Here are the latest Amateur Radio news, events, features, and commentary compiled by “The ARRL Letter.”
Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio update are those of the reporters and correspondents. Accessed on 04 November 2022, 0327 UTC.
Content republished with permission of The ARRL. Copyright ARRL.
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November 3, 2022
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Delegates Attend IARU Region 2 General Assembly
An ARRL delegation led by President Rick Roderick, K5UR (Head of Delegation), and including Chief Executive Officer David Minster, NA2AA, have attended the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 General Assembly this week. This year’s meeting will conclude on Friday, November 4, 2022. ARRL International Affairs Vice President Rod Stafford, W6ROD, is also participating, serving as the Area B Director for Region 2.
The triennial General Assembly is the formal decision-making body of IARU Region 2, comprising The Americas, and delegates are the representatives of each member society. The President of IARU Region 2 is Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK.
The meetings began on October 31, 2022, with five evening sessions, held virtually, of approximately three hours each. The virtual meetings were necessary because of COVID and travel concerns.
At the meetings, the delegates have reviewed challenges to amateur radio, debated proposals from member societies, and received reports from coordinators and elected volunteers. A selection will also be made for the host society of the next General Assembly in 2025.
“Having a virtual conference has allowed many of our societies with limited means to participate in the triennial governance process of IARU Region 2 for the first time,” said IARU Region 2 Secretary George Gorsline, VE3YV / K8HI. “26 member societies are represented with 117 registered attendees from across Region 2 as well as representatives from Region 1 (Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Northern Asia), 3 (Asia-Pacific), and the IARU Officers. The Wednesday evening committee reports were especially well received and stimulated much discussion. A full summary will be published after the General Assembly including videos of each Plenary session.”
The IARU is the worldwide federation of national amateur radio organizations. ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio® in the US is a member society and IARU International Secretariat, participating in matters that promote and protect the interests of the Amateur Radio Service worldwide.
Australian Radio Amateurs May Move to a Class Licensing Structure
Australia’s radiocommunications regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), is proposing to move the country’s radio amateurs to a class license, which is intended to simplify administration of the Amateur Radio Service.
Currently, Australia’s radio amateurs are regulated under an apparatus license, with privileges and conditions set out in a Radiocommunications License Conditions Determination. Australian hams pay an annual license fee of A$55.00 (US$35.68), but under the proposed class license, annual license renewal payments would end.
The ACMA reports that the current consultation follows extensive public feedback on the review of the non-assigned licensing arrangements conducted between February and April 2021. The review’s principal objective was to identify the most appropriate licensing mechanism that would reduce regulatory burden and minimize costs for amateur radio operators, while preserving the operational utility for amateurs.
The ACMA says they will carefully consider responses received to the current consultation. As stated in the consultation paper, subject to the outcomes of the current consultation and the implementation of supporting operational and administrative arrangements, the ACMA intends to implement the proposed class-licensing arrangements on July 1, 2023.
The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) is the national member organization representing the interests of Australian radio amateurs and is a member of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). The WIA has a well-credentialed working group developing their response to the ACMA’s proposals. The ACMA’s deadline for receiving responses is November 29, 2022.
The WIA’s working group intends to open a survey in early November to gauge the views of the Australian radio amateur community.
“As this is going to be a quantum step in the evolution of amateur licensing in Australia, such as we have not seen previously, the details need close and careful consideration,” said working group leader Peter Young, VK3MV. Peter has been licensed since 1964 and has a background in maritime communications engineering. He is a former Regional Manager with the ACMA and, since retiring, held positions with the WIA as a Director on the WIA Board, and Director with IARU Region 3.
Veterans Day 2022 Special Events
Veterans Day is Friday, November 11, 2022, and will feature many opportunities for amateur radio operators to celebrate and honor Veterans throughout the holiday weekend.
Special event stations will be on the air across the county, including the Redding Veterans Amateur Radio Club, W6VET, in Redding, California, and the Veterans Day commemoration onboard the USS Kidd (DD-661), a World War II Fletcher-class destroyer, with the USS KIDD Amateur Radio Club in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Ashland, Nebraska, has a full day of activities planned on November 11, including an amateur radio demonstration by the Strategic Air Command Memorial Amateur Radio Club (SACMARC) using the historic call signs of General Curtis Emerson LeMay, K0GRL, and the Offutt Air Force Base, K0AIR.
The American Legion Amateur Radio Club, K9TAL, is located at their national headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. Any station that contacts K9TAL on Veterans Day will receive a special QSL card.
The Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, will celebrate Veterans Day on November 12 – 13, 2022. The USS Cobia Amateur Radio Club will be onboard and on the air from the USS Cobia World War II submarine. A commemorative QSL card will be issued for contacts made during the 2-day event.
A complete list of special event stations, including Veterans Day stations, is available at www.arrl.org/special-event-
ARRL Headquarters will be closed on Friday, November 11, in observance of Veterans Day. There won’t be a W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions on that day. ARRL HQ will reopen on Monday, November 14, at 8:00 AM EST.
ARDC is Looking for Volunteers for its Advisory Committees
Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) is looking for volunteers for its 2023 Grants Advisory Committee (GAC) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).
The GAC reviews proposals submitted by organizations seeking ARDC grants. The committee usually meets twice a month for at least an hour, with additional time spent reviewing proposals and email correspondence that happen between meetings. The estimated time commitment from a volunteer on this committee is about 2 – 5 hours per week.
The TAC advises ARDC’s staff and Board on 44Net technology, architecture, and policy. The TAC usually meets once or twice a month for at least an hour. Additional time may be spent working on or attending meetings related to projects, such as refining 44Net use-cases and standards, developing a new 44Net portal, and developing a proposal for Points of Presence (PoPs).
If you’re interested in joining either committee, please send a resume and brief cover letter to email@example.com by November 12, 2022.
For more information on the GAC, go to www.ampr.org/now-accepting-
OPDX Bulletin Editor Retires after 42 Years
Tedd Mirgliotta, KB8NW, has retired from his role as the editor of the Ohio/Penn DX (OPDX) Bulletin.
Mirgliotta has written the internet publication for 32 years. He started on a local Radioteletype (RTTY) bulletin board system (BBS) and moved to a packet BBS (an online dial-up BBS voice and data system), before adding the internet.
“The last 42 years has been fun,” said Mirgliotta. He’s retiring because of age and health considerations. “I am happy to say that the OPDX Bulletin has been totally free for all those years, with no ads, no games, no hype or boasting, and no requests for donations, but there have been very few unsolicited donations. Thanks to those donors,” said Mirgliotta.
Mirgliotta wished all of his friends and supporters good luck and good DX. For additional information, visit the OPDX Bulletin website.
Hurricanes Lisa and Martin Kept Amateur Radio Operators Busy
Amateur radio operators were closely monitoring hurricane and weather nets, as two tropical storms in the eastern and southwest Atlantic were upgraded to hurricane status late Wednesday, November 2, 2022.
Hurricane Lisa made landfall late Wednesday in the Central American nation of Belize, near Belize City and the town of Dangriga, with 60 MPH winds and heavy rain. The hurricane has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, but a state of emergency has been issued and remains in effect.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Martin, in the eastern Atlantic, has also been downgraded to a tropical storm. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is predicting that Martin will become a large and powerful post-tropical cyclone by late Thursday, November 3, 2022.
The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) was activated late Wednesday morning on 14.325.00 MHz, and later on 7.268.00 MHz. The VoIP Hurricane Net was also activated, and as of early Thursday morning, both nets are in standby mode.
Amateur radio operators will continue to monitor the hurricane and weather nets to be ready if help is needed.
Amateur Radio in the News
ARRL Public Information Officers, Coordinators, and many other member-volunteers help keep amateur radio and ARRL in the news.
“St. Stephen’s Episcopal School students make contact with space in unique, STEM-based programming” / Community Impact Newspaper (Texas), October 3, 2022. — Thanks to ARISS and the Brazos Valley Amateur Radio Club, an ARRL Affiliated Club.
“Boy Scouts use amateur radios for worldwide conversations” / Murfreesboro Post (Tennessee), October 27, 2022. — The Stones River Amateur Radio Club is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
The latest episode of the ARRL On the Air podcast includes Arc Thames, W4CPD, the ARRL Northern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator and ARES Emergency Coordinator of Santa Rosa County, Florida. Thames shares some of his experiences from supporting emergency communications during Hurricane Ian.
Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday. ARRL Audio News is a summary of the week’s top news stories in the world of amateur radio and ARRL, along with interviews and other features.
The 3rd Annual Youth “Dream Rig” Essay Contest is now under way. The contest is sponsored by the Intrepid-DX Group, a US-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes amateur radio activities around the world for youth. The contest is open to US and Canadian amateur radio operators aged 19 or older. The first-place winner will receive a new HF transceiver. Second- and third-place winners will receive a handheld transceiver. To enter, contestants must write a two-page essay answering the question, “How does amateur radio factor into your career plans?” The submission needs to be in plain text, PDF, or a Microsoft Word attachment. Additionally, contestants must promise to use the radios on the air for 1 year and not trade, sell, or “flip” the equipment. The entry deadline is November 30, 2022, and winners will be announced on December 15, 2022. More information about the Intrepid-DX Group is available at their website.
ARRL Northwestern Division Director Mike Ritz, W7VO, presented the 2021 ARRL Technical Innovation Award to Steve Haynal, KF7O, creator of the Hermes-Lite software-defined radio (SDR). “This long-overdue presentation was made during the October 27, 2022, meeting of the Willamette Valley DX Club,” said Ritz. The ARRL Board of Directors bestowed the 2021 ARRL Technical Innovation Award to Haynal during its September 2021 meeting. Haynal was cited as the instrumental and driving force behind the Hermes-Lite 5 W HF SDR transceiver being a fully open-source hardware and software project. More information about Hermes-Lite is available on their website.
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week’s ARRL Propagation Bulletin:
Solar activity perked up this week. The average daily sunspot number rose from 58.4 to 70.3, and solar flux averages increased from 113.3 to 129.9.
There are still problems with the Fredericksburg magnetometer, so I did my own rough estimate of middle-latitude numbers. I wish I could substitute the Boulder numbers, but I cannot find a source for the data outside of purely graphic representations.
Planetary A index averages went from 19.4 to 13.7, and middle latitude estimated numbers changed from 9.1 to 12.6.
The solar flux prediction shows the highest values over the next week, starting with 130 on November 3 – 4; 135, 130, 135, 130, and 135 on November 5 – 9; 115 on November 10 – 12; 112 on November 13 – 14; 110 on November 15; 108 on November 16 – 18; 104 on November 19; 100 on November 20 – 23; 98 on November 24 – 25; 100, 105, 105, and 110 on November 26 – 29; 112 on November 30 through December 2, and 118 on December 3 – 6.
Predicted planetary A index is 12 on November 3 – 4; 20, 15, and 8 on November 5 – 7; 5 on November 8 – 9; 18, 18, and 15 on November 10 – 12; 5 on November 13 – 17; 25, 15, and 8 on November 18 – 20; 5 on November 21 – 22; 8, 15, and 25 on November 23 – 25; 15 on November 26 – 27; 18, 12, 10, 12, 20, and 15 on November 28 through December 3, and 5 on December 4 – 6.
New videos from Dr. Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW:
Part 3 of her mini-course:
Sunspot numbers for October 27 through November 2, 2022, were 72, 87, 97, 68, 56, 63, and 49, with a mean of 70.3. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 129.7, 129.3, 133.9, 130.5, 127.9, 128.1, and 129.7, with a mean of 129.9. Estimated planetary A indices were 9, 16, 26, 12, 11, 8, and 14, with a mean of 13.7. Middle latitude A index was 6, 15, 24, 14, 12, 6, and 11, with a mean of 12.6
Send your tips, questions, or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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