Here are the latest Amateur Radio news, events, features, and commentary compiled by “The ARRL Letter.”
Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio news update are those of the reporters and correspondents. Accessed on 11 November 2022, 0350 UTC.
Content republished with permission of The ARRL. Copyright ARRL.
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November 10, 2022
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
Ellen White, W1YL, Silent Key, Devoted Lifetime to Amateur Radio and ARRL
Ellen White, W1YL, of Brandon, Florida, passed away on Sunday, November 6, 2022. She was 95. White became a radio amateur in 1946 and devoted over 75 years of her life to ham radio, including more than 25 years on the headquarters staff for ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio®. She retired in 1978 as Deputy Communications Manager and became editor of the “How’s DX?” column for ARRL’s membership journal, QST. White was an ARRL Life Member and donor.
At its meeting in January 1978, the ARRL Board of Directors adopted a resolution recognizing White and her husband Robert (Bob) L. White, W1CW (SK), after having “completed a quarter-century of faithful service to the American Radio Relay League.” The resolution cites that Ellen White had “built a reputation for thoroughness and objectivity on a mountain of contest logs,” and celebrated her “intelligent and creative work as Deputy Communications Manager.”
White was admired by the worldwide amateur radio community. In 2019, she was the sole US radio amateur to be awarded the Russian E.T. Krenkel Medal, a prestigious award granted to individuals and organizations for outstanding global contributions to amateur radio.
Director of ARRL’s Publications and Editorial Department Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY, reflected on the news of White’s passing. “Ellen was a trailblazing woman in amateur radio. She and I corresponded over the years [before] finally meeting up at Orlando HamCation® in 2020. Ellen often marveled at how much farther women had come in the ham radio hobby, service, and community since she got her start. Every time I talked to her, I thanked her for paving the way,” said Schoenfeld.
White had learned Morse code in high school, and only rarely operated any other mode. “Ellen loved CW, contesting, and DXing,” said former ARRL Field & Educational Services Manager Rosalie White, K1STO (no relation) who was hired by Ellen White to work for ARRL in 1973. Rosalie White is now an ARISS-International US Delegate representing ARRL. She recounted that in the 1940s, Ellen and Bob White earned First Class Radiotelephone and Second Class Radiotelegraph commercial licenses. “She [Ellen White], being a maverick, also took the Class B FCC amateur radio test to become W2RBU, and promptly joined ARRL. Radio broadcast station KPOA based in [Hawaii], hired her (then KH6QI) as Station Engineer in the days when it was unheard of for a woman.”
Read the full story and remembrances on ARRL News.
ARRL Programs to Benefit from Auction Proceeds
The 17th Annual ARRL Online Auction, sponsored by RT Systems Inc., took place on October 21 – 27, 2022. There were over 200 participants who submitted bids, vying for QST “Product Review” equipment, new ham radio gear, vintage books, and the popular ARRL Lab mystery junque boxes. Plenty of spectators also contributed additional traffic to the auction site by browsing items and watching the bids climb.
ARRL Auction Manager Lisa Tardette, KB1MOI, reported that “695 bids were recorded, and a number of items went into overtime bidding.” After all was tallied, this year’s auction grossed more than $32,000. Tardette said the items that drew the highest interest from bidders had been previously tested for the popular “Product Review” column in QST. The Elecraft K4D HF/6M SDR transceiver, reviewed in the September 2022 issue of QST, had a winning bid of $5,850. The Four State QRP Group Bayou Jumper 40-meter CW transceiver, reviewed in the March 2022 issue of QST, went for $675, while it currently retails for $105. Bidders like to support a good cause and know that these “Product Review” items have been rigorously tested in the ARRL Lab.
Comments from bidders included, “Thank you, I’m excited about my new radio,” and, “Happy to participate in an event for a great cause.”
The ARRL Online Auction is an important fundraiser and a critical means of support for many of the association’s programs, which rely on funding sources beyond basic membership dues. ARRL Education and Learning Manager Steve Goodgame, K5ATA, said that the auction raises funds to further projects that otherwise would go unsupported. “Following the launch of the ARRL Learning Center (learn.arrl.org) late last year, we are developing more content to help amateur radio operators increase their knowledge and skills,” said Goodgame. “The Learning Center provides ARRL members with instruction and training for getting on the air, emergency communications, and electronics and technology.”
Goodgame said that several full courses are under development. ARRL Emergency Communications Training courses are being updated and modernized. ARRL has also partnered with Dave Casler, KE0OG, to offer his supplemental amateur radio license instruction on the ARRL Learning Center. These efforts are made possible in part through the proceeds of the ARRL Online Auction.
“We would like to express our appreciation to all of the winning bidders, RT Systems — this year’s auction sponsor — and to all of our donors who provided such a diverse mix of items,” said Tardette. “We look forward to our 18th Annual ARRL Online Auction in 2023.”
Calvert Amateur Radio Association Conducts Simulated Emergency Test
On October 15, 2022, the Calvert County Auxiliary Communications Services of Maryland, associated with the Calvert Amateur Radio Association (CARA), conducted a Simulated Emergency Test (SET).
The test was designed to evaluate the capability of a county-provided, amateur-band radio system that uses Kenwood TM-V71A transceivers and Remoterig RRC-1258 hardware over the county-secure intranet to a tower site in Barstow, Maryland.
Remoterig gear allows for the separation of the front panel from the radio’s RF deck, similar to a mobile installation. But with Remoterig, the separation cable is a TCP/IP network, allowing an arbitrarily long distance between the front panel and the RF deck. For the SET, the radio’s front panels were in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and the RF decks were at a tower site about 3 miles away, near the geographic center of the county.
The planning and implementation of this system was guided by Calvert RACES Officer Bill Hackett, N3XMZ, and Calvert ARES® Emergency Coordinator Shawn Donley, N3AE, using county funding.
The first part of the test was to determine if MT63-2000L digital mode would work over the Remoterig system to augment existing Winlink capability.
The second part of the test was to have CARA members transmit on simplex from mobile transceivers from various locations in the county to the Barstow tower. Transmissions from low-lying areas were preferred, such as the many waterways and other locations that may need to be accessed during disasters. The tests were on 2 meters and 70 centimeters.
The results showed that additional work is needed to send MT63-2000L over Remoterig terminals, and some changes to the audio quality settings are necessary (sampling rate and word size). As the Diamond X300NA antenna on the tower is 350 feet above the ground and the terrain of the county is flat, nearly all locations were successful in contacting the ham radio operators at the EOC, including those using low power at the tower site.
Radio Amateurs at the Ready for Tropical Storm Nicole
Amateur radio emergency communications volunteers have been busy throughout preparations for, and in response to, Tropical Storm Nicole as the storm crossed the Atlantic and made landfall in Florida as a hurricane on Thursday, November 10, 2022, around 3:00 AM EST.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) had upgraded the tropical storm to a hurricane on Wednesday night when Nicole made landfall on Grand Bahama Island. The storm soon returned to tropical-storm status, after moving over east-central Florida.
The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) activated Wednesday morning at 10:00 AM EST on their primary frequency of 14.325 MHz. The net disseminates the latest NHC advisories and will obtain real-time ground-level weather conditions and initial damage assessments from amateur radio operators in the affected area, and relay that information to the NHC by way of their station, WX4NHC.
The VoIP Hurricane Net began monitoring conditions at 8:00 AM EST on Wednesday morning, and activated at 12:00 PM EST. The net will remain active potentially through 12:00 PM EST on Thursday. Read the Wednesday post from Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net Rob Macedo, KD1CY.
Amateur Radio Liaison to the State of Florida Arc Thames, W4CPD, reported that the radio room in the Florida State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was staffed for any emergency traffic. The center has been monitoring HF nets and the Statewide Amateur Radio Network (SARnet), a network of linked repeaters that serves Florida. Additionally, the Statewide Emergency NET was activated on Wednesday at 11:00 PM EST/10:00 PM CST, with plans to run the operation for approximately 24 hours. More information is available at https://floridaemergency.net.
ARRL Southern Florida Section Manager Barry Porter, KB1PA, reported activations of Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) groups and counties that had activated shelters. Northern Florida ARES was operating at “Level 3 MONITORING.”
Reaching Youth Through Amateur Radio in the Classroom
ARRL Education and Learning Manager Steve Goodgame, K5ATA, attended the Georgia Educational Technology Conference, held November 2 – 4, 2022. The conference was the first part in a series of planned ARRL exhibits to meet with teachers and promote amateur radio in the classroom. Assisted by ARRL Teachers Institute Instructor Wayne Greene, KB4DSF, along with volunteers Cyndi Goodgame, K5CYN, and Betsey Greene, they spoke to hundreds of teachers, school administrators, and technology directors about the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology.
ARRL’s participation at this conference, as well as future events, is meant to inform and network with educators looking to incorporate amateur radio into their curriculum.
“The level of interest among teachers was incredible!” said Goodgame. “Our booth enjoyed heavy traffic for the duration of the conference, much of the time with all four of us engaged in discussions with multiple people simultaneously. Except for a couple of teachers we met who were already hams, few teachers had heard of amateur radio before this conference. These teachers were absolutely amazed at the possibilities that exist when including amateur radio and related educational experiences in their schools.”
“Teachers were especially excited at the connections between amateur radio and space. We shared information about the ARISS program — Amateur Radio on the International Space Station — as well as communicating via amateur satellites. Enough teachers were interested in learning more about the relationship between amateur radio and satellites communications that we put together an impromptu live demonstration using two handhelds and an Arrow antenna we had for display in the booth. We gathered a crowd of teachers, along with a few students who were presenting their Student Showcase projects and headed outside. We enjoyed a good satellite pass and made contacts through AO-27. One of the students even got on the air!”
“Overall, it was a great conference and a great opportunity for ARRL to network with educators and work with them to help get more youth engaged in amateur radio.”
Amateur Radio in the News
ARRL Public Information Officers, Coordinators, and many other member-volunteers help keep amateur radio and ARRL in the news.
“‘When all else fails, ham radio doesn’t’: Radio club connects Burlington to the world and beyond” / The Burlington Post (Canada), August 24, 2022 — Thanks to the Burlington Amateur Radio Club.
“Loften HS teaches amateur radio skills” / Mainstreet Daily News (Florida), October 31, 2022. — Thanks to W. Travis Loften High School Amateur Radio Club, K4WTL, of Gainesville.
“Amateur Radio Club Host Presentation by Rob Sherwood” / WRWH (Georgia), November 3, 2022 — The Gateway Amateur Radio Club is an ARRL Affiliated Club. Thanks to Rob Sherwood, NC0B.
The latest episode of the ARRL On the Air podcast features details from avid satellite operator Sean Kutzko, KX9X, about how to get started on the amateur satellites – an activity that’s available to hams of all license classes.
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.
WXWarn 2.0, software that uses the National Weather Service (NWS) real-time weather data feed, is now available. The application constantly monitors NWS weather updates and displays user-selected alerts as they’re issued. WXWarn 2.0 can be configured to display a simple heads-up, unfolding weather conditions at the county, statewide, or regional level, or severe weather alerts for the entire US. WXWarn 2.0 is useful for individual use, but also for volunteers supporting amateur radio emergency communications as part of the complement of resources they utilize. Developers and ARRL members Scott Davis, N3FJP; Kimberly Davis, KA3SEQ, and their son, Chris Davis, KB3KCN, report that the updated software is a complete recreation from the previous 1.8 version. They also state that it is operating-system agnostic and will run entirely in a browser. There is nothing to install, and it will even work on a phone, but Chrome or Firefox should be used for the best results. The latest version of WXWarn is available at https://wxwarn.affirmatech.com
ARRL Headquarters will be closed on Friday, November 11, in observance of Veterans Day. There will be no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions on that day. ARRL HQ will reopen on Monday, November 14, at 8 AM EST. The FCC will also be closed on Veterans Day. Amateur license applications will not be processed by the FCC from close of business Thursday, November 10, until Monday, November 14, at 8 AM EST.
Get ready for ARRL November Sweepstakes Phone (SSB), November 19-21, 2022. In this popular annual contest, stations in the US and Canada (including territories and possessions) exchange information with as many other US and Canadian stations as possible. November Sweepstakes is the oldest domestic radiosport event (the first was in 1930). Read the contest rules at http://arrl.org/sweepstakes.
Bruce Draper, AA5B (SK), died on October 25, 2022. He was 68. Draper was a past editor of NCJ, as well as a past contributing editor for QST. Read the ARRL News story.
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week’s ARRL Propagation Bulletin:
Average daily sunspot numbers rose this week from 70.3 to 78.9, yet somehow, the solar flux averages stayed the same as 129.9 and 129.9.
Average daily planetary A index went from 13.7 to 13.4, but the middle latitude numbers changed from 14.3 to 9.6.
Predicted solar flux is 135 on November 10 – 11; 140 on November 12 – 13; 130, 125, 120, and 114 on November 14 – 17; 116 on November 18 – 19; 114 on November 20 – 21; 112 and 114 on November 22 – 23; 116 on November 24 – 26; 118 on November 27 – 28; 120, 122, 125, 124, and 122 on November 29 through December 3; 130 on December 4 – 5; 125 and 120 on December 6 – 7; 115 on December 8 – 9, and 120, 118, and 116 on December 10 – 12.
Predicted planetary A index is 10, 10, and 8 on November 10 – 12; 5 on November 13 – 17; 25, 15, and 8 on November 18 – 20; 5 on November 21 – 22; 8, 16, 26, 15, and 12 on November 23 – 27; 8, 15, 26, 16, and 12 on November 28 through December 2; 8 on December 3 – 4; 12 on December 5 – 8; 8 on December 9, and 5 on December 10 – 14.
Angel Santana, WP3GW, wrote:
“Ten meters is getting so [much] better that today, on November 9 at 1319 UTC, [I] had a contact with 3B9FR on 28.522 MHz up 5. He even answered me in Spanish.”
3B9FR was operating from Rodrigues Island in the Indian Ocean, which is more than 9,000 miles from Puerto Rico.
More on Rodrigues:
Solar flares and radio blackouts:
Because ARRL is closed this Friday for Veterans Day, the regular Friday bulletin will not come out until Monday, November 14.
Sunspot numbers for November 3 through 9, 2022, were 65, 81, 82, 78, 80, 85, and 81, with a mean of 78.8. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 125.3, 117.7, 131.1, 130.8, 134.6, 132.3, and 137.6, with a mean of 129.9. Estimated planetary A indices were 26, 16, 10, 4, 19, 12, and 7, with a mean of 13.4. Middle latitude A index was 16, 12, 8, 3, 12, 8, and 8, with a mean of 9.6.
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.
Share your reports and observations.
A weekly, full report is posted on ARRL News.
Just Ahead in Radiosport
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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.
Getting it Right…
In last week’s edition of The ARRL Letter, the Announcements about the 3rd Annual Youth “Dream Rig” Essay Contest included an incorrect age reference for entrants. The correct age is 19 or younger. The ARRL Letter regrets the error.
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Reminder for all Hawaii Island Radio Amateurs:
The Big Island Amateur Radio Club Christmas Party will be held on Saturday, 10 December 2022, 1400 HST, at the Keaau Community Center.
Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM).
Public Information Officer
Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section