Here are the latest Amateur Radio news, events, and commentary compiled by “The ARRL Letter.”
Accessed on 11 August 2022, 2150 UTC.
Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio News update are those of the reporters and correspondents.
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August 11, 2022
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
Upcoming Ham Radio Conventions Emphasize Learning and Youth
Two major ham radio events in August will host Division Conventions for ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio®. On August 20 – 21, the Huntsville Hamfest will be the host of the ARRL Southeastern Division Convention at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama. On August 26 – 28, the Northeast HamXposition will host the combined ARRL New England and Hudson Division Conventions at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center in Marlborough, Massachusetts.
“Both conventions include an exceptional amount of programming to encourage and instruct radio amateurs across a variety of interests,” said ARRL Education and Learning Manager Steve Goodgame, K5ATA. Goodgame, who used his recent experience as a school teacher to help high school students earn their ham radio licenses, will participate in both events. He will lead forums to share ways for engaging youth and offer tools and tips for approaching schools about including amateur radio in their programs and curriculum.
The Huntsville Hamfest will also include a Youth Lounge where young and prospective hams can participate in hands-on activities and demonstrations, including kit building, fox hunting (find the hidden transmitter), and opportunities to get on the air.
Other forums at the conventions will cover topics geared toward inspiring attendees to get more active and involved in amateur radio. Forums at the Huntsville Hamfest include “Arduino: The Next Generation,” with ARRL author Glen Popiel, KW5GP; “Grounding and Bonding,” with ARRL editor and author Ward Silver, N0AX; “Fox Hunting 101,” with co-presenters Joe Domaleski, KI4ASK, and Mary Catherine Domaleski, KI4HHI, and “Kit Building Techniques for Success,” presented by ARRL Handbook contributor Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB. Eisenberg is also the speaker for the Saturday Grand Banquet at the Northeast HamXposition.
A similar lineup of forums has been organized for the Northeast HamXposition, including “How to Solve Radio Frequency Interference,” “Linux in Your Ham Shack,” and “Playing Radio ‘Outside’.”
ARRL will have exhibits at both conventions, where attendees can connect with membership program representatives and elected volunteers from the Board of Directors and Field Organization. ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, and CEO David Minster, NA2AA, will attend the Huntsville Hamfest. Minster will give the opening Keynote Address on Saturday morning at the Northeast HamXposition.
The convention exhibit halls will also include the participation of manufacturers and equipment resellers — an opportunity for attendees to browse and shop in person for the latest in amateur radio equipment and accessories. Among the confirmed exhibitors for the Huntsville Hamfest are ABR Industries, BridgeCom Systems, Diamond® Antenna, DX Engineering, Elecraft, FlexRadio Systems, GigaParts, Ham Radio Outlet, Icom America, MFJ Enterprises, N3ZN Keys, RT Systems, SteppIR Communication Systems, and Yaesu USA. Exhibits at Northeast HamXposition will include, among others, Elecraft, Ham Radio Outlet, Momobeam, and Quicksilver Radio Products. Both conventions include a flea market.
Audrey McElroy, KM4BUN, an 18-year-old student who recently started her studies at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), will be presented with the 2022 Bill Pasternak WA6ITF Memorial Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year award at the Huntsville Hamfest. In July, the ARRL Foundation awarded McElroy a $25,000 scholarship, sponsored by Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC).
Proceeds from the Northeast HamXposition go to the FEMARA Scholarship fund, which helps students attend a college or trade school of their choice. Scholarships are administered by the ARRL Foundation Scholarship Program.
Visit the official convention websites for advance tickets and a complete listing of activities:
A list of all ARRL-sanctioned hamfests and conventions is published at www.arrl.org/hamfests and includes these upcoming events:
MFJ to Celebrate 50th Anniversary
MFJ Enterprises, an amateur radio electronics manufacturer and retailer, will celebrate 50 years in business this October. Martin Jue, K5FLU, founded the company in 1972 after building a CW filter kit that sold for less than $10. Since 1990 the company has made five acquisitions, including Hy-Gain and Cushcraft antennas.
MFJ Customer Services and Public Relations Manager Richard Stubbs says the company continues to grow with the popularity of amateur radio and currently manufactures over 2,000 products. “I’ve been with the company for 28 years and the numbers are good,” said Stubbs. “Amateur radio continues to grow worldwide.”
Quite a few of MFJ’s employees have worked there for years, such as MFJ Product Representative Phyllis Randle, who will be retiring in September after 45 years with the company. She started working there when she was a teenager in 1977, and she is now the Product Representative for all MFJ dealers.
Jue graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, and he earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). He served as a professor of electrical engineering at Mississippi State University from 1972 until 1979, but abandoned his doctorate in 1977 because of MFJ’s growth.
Currently, because of COVID-19 concerns, the company does not have any plans for a special event to celebrate the anniversary, although Stubbs said that may change in the months ahead.
Amateur Radio in the News
ARRL Public Information Officers, Coordinators, and many other member-volunteers help keep amateur radio and ARRL in the news.
“Local radio club prepares for Ham Fest” / The Brandon Sun (Canada), July 25, 2022. — Thanks to the Brandon Amateur Radio Club.
“Tripura To Set-Up Nearly 9 Ham Radio-Stations; Enabling Locals To Communicate During Emergencies” / Northeast Today (India), August 5, 2022.
“Harrison County Amateur Radio Emergency Service participates in simulated disaster drills” / WLOX (Mississippi), August 6, 2022.
“Hamfest celebrates amateur radio operators” / The Herald-Dispatch (West Virginia), August 8, 2022. — Tri-State Amateur Radio Association, W8VA, is an ARRL Affiliated Cub.
“Broadstairs eight-year-old to feature on NASA website after radio chat with ISS astronaut” / The Isle of Thanet News (United Kingdom), August 10, 2022. — Thanks to Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), and the Hilderstone Radio Society, G0HRS.
“Students at Kopernik Speak to Astronaut Aboard ISS” / FOX 40 WICZ TV (New York), August 10, 2022. — Thanks to Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), the Kopernik Observatory & Science Center, and the Binghamton Amateur Radio Association, an ARRL Affiliated Club.
ARRL Podcasts Schedule
The latest episode of the ARRL On the Air podcast (Episode 32) addresses the topic of scanning, with specific discussions about memory scanning, CTCSS tone scanning, priority watch, and more.
The latest edition of the ARRL Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 66) features Steve Ford, WB8IMY, discussing VARAC, a new conversational HF digital mode that is gaining popularity, an innovative antenna design that will be traveling on a NASA mission to Europa, and new research exploring the possibility of beaming electric power down to Earth from orbit.
The On the Air and Eclectic Tech podcasts are sponsored by Icom. Both podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android), as well as on Blubrry — On the Air | Eclectic Tech.
The Hancock Auxcomm Team in Chester, West Virginia, is again hosting the annual Teapot Day Special Event Station using the call signs W1T, K2T, W3T, W4T, W5T, W6T, W7T, W8T, W9T, W0T, and WV8HAT. The event is currently in operation through August 14, and it celebrates the world’s largest teapot. Before finding its home in Chester, which was once known as the pottery capital of the world, the giant teapot started out as a root beer stand, and then became a clubhouse for a miniature golf course in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. It was moved to Chester in 1938 and served as a roadside attraction for a local pottery company. The Teapot Day Special Event Station has been held for 6 years. Operators will be eligible for a certificate by contacting one or all stations. The event also includes endorsements for the bonus stations and a clean sweep. More information is available at the Hancock Auxcomm Team website. Use the ARRL Special Event Stations listing to find other on-air events.
This year’s 10th Youngsters on the Air Summer Camp is taking place in Karlovac, Croatia, August 6 – 13, 2022. Attending from the Americas is Mily Erazo, YS1YXI, from El Salvador, along with her father, Juan Erazo, YS1JFE, who is participating as a team leader. Participants are publishing a daily blog from the camp: www.ham-yota.com/yota2022.
Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) has awarded two separate grants to help educate students about amateur radio. The first is a grant for the Hampton University School of Engineering and Technology. Hampton will introduce its students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to amateur radio and engage them through activities that provide unique hands-on, experience-building opportunities. Additionally, the grant will fund hour-long educational programs highlighting scholars studying STEM topics that will be aired on the university’s FM radio station, WHOV. Hampton University seeks to ensure that African Americans have access to educational opportunities in engineering and technology and, informs the community of significant contributions made to the profession by African Americans and all ethnic minorities. The second grant was awarded to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) program, “Exploring the Electromagnetic Spectrum (and Why Ham Radio Matters)”. This grant will be used to focus on broadening the excitement of amateur radio among BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students. NRAO Director Tony Beasley noted, “Amateur radio continues to be incredibly important to the nation and global communications, and NRAO is excited to be working with ARDC to bring a new generation and diverse communities to the field.” ARDC is a California-based foundation with roots in amateur radio and the technology of internet communication.
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week’s ARRL Propagation Bulletin:
Solar activity did a rebound this week to more active levels.
The average daily sunspot number increased from 36.6 to 65.4, and the average daily 10.7-centimeter solar flux rose from 95.7 to 111.9.
Solar wind caused geomagnetic numbers to rise, with the average planetary A index going from 7.7 to 14.4, and middle latitude numbers from 8.6 to 12.1.
An improved outlook shows solar flux peaking at 116 on September 2 – 4.
A look at ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP032 from 2021 gives a perspective on solar cycle progress. A year ago, the average sunspot number was 6, and the average solar flux was just 74.8. Quite a difference from 65.4 and 111.9 during the past week.
Predicted flux values are 105 on August 11 – 13; 108 on August 14; 110 on August 15 – 18; 104 on August 19 – 21; 98, 100, 102, 100, 102, and 100 on August 22 – 27; 102 on August 28 – 30; 108 and 114 on August 31 and September 1; 116 on September 2 – 4; 112 on September 5 – 7; 110 on September 8 – 9, and 108 on September 10 – 12.
Predicted planetary A index is 12 on August 11; 8 on August 12 – 13; 5 on August 14 – 17; 8 and 15 on August 18 – 19; 8 on August 20 – 21; 5 on August 22 – 26; 12 on August 27; 8 on August 28 – 30; 5 on August 31 through September 2; 14, 18, 14, 10, and 8 on September 3 – 7, and 5 on September 8 – 12.
Always appreciate The Sun Now from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory: https://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov.
Another cycle prediction method can be found at: https://phys.org/news/2022-08-
Sunspot numbers for August 4 through 10, 2022, were 52, 69, 69, 87, 63, 58, and 60, with a mean of 65.4. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 108.8, 112.2, 116.3, 116.1, 113, 109.4, and 107.6, with a mean of 111.9. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 6, 4, 24, 31, 19, and 11, with a mean of 14.4. Middle latitude A index was 7, 7, 5, 20, 21, 15, and 10, with a mean of 12.1.
Send your tips, questions, or comments to email@example.com.
A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service, read “What the Numbers Mean…” and check out the Propagation Page of Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA.
A propagation bulletin archive is available. For customizable propagation charts, visit the VOACAP Online for Ham Radio website.
Share your reports and observations.
A weekly, full report is posted on ARRL News.
Just Ahead in Radiosport
Visit the ARRL Contest Calendar for more events and information.
Upcoming Section, State, and Division Conventions
Search the ARRL Hamfest and Convention Database to find events in your area.
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