Here are the latest Amateur Radio news, features, events, and commentary compiled by The ARRL.
Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio news update are those of the reporters and correspondents.
Accessed on 24 March 2023, 0024 UTC.
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March 23, 2023
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
State Proclamations Recognize Amateur Radio
Several states, counties, and communities across the US have officially recognized the public contributions of amateur radio in advance of World Amateur Radio Day (WARD) on April 18.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has released an official statement designating April 16 – 22, 2023, as Amateur Radio Recognition Week. Members of the Meriden Amateur Radio Club (MARC) in Connecticut pursued the proclamation with the Governor’s office. “We want the public to know that many of their friends and neighbors are amateur radio operators,” said MARC President Ed Snyder, W1YSM. “Amateur radio is a worldwide community of volunteers who use their knowledge and skills to serve our communities,” added Snyder.
Snyder said that his radio club participates in many outreach activities to help introduce ham radio to the public. Club members support demonstrations for schools, student groups, and scouts. The club also provides communications support for the National Weather Service storm spotting program, SKYWARN®, and an annual cycling event that benefits the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. An annual scholarship is awarded to a deserving, local high school senior.
Snyder also cited the club’s involvement with training members to provide emergency communications when disasters or other incidents damage or disrupt critical communications infrastructure, including cell towers. MARC is closely linked with the Wallingford Fire Department and the town’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), and holds its monthly meetings at the Wallingford Emergency Operations Center.
“There are over 40 radio clubs in Connecticut. We’re grateful for the Governor’s recognition of our amateur radio community,” noted Section Manager of the ARRL Connecticut Section Bud Kozloff, W1NSK.
A similar resolution was made by the Maine State Legislature, recognizing April 18, 2023, as World Amateur Radio Day, and acknowledging “the accomplishments and public service provided by amateur radio operators.” The resolution was advanced by ARRL Maine Section Manager Phil Duggan, N1EP. Duggan said he pursued the resolution on behalf of all radio amateurs in the state of Maine.
The March issue of ARRL Club News encourages radio clubs to seek local government proclamations to build relationships and foster recognition for club events, and amateur radio in general. Proclamations are typically sought leading up to World Amateur Radio Day and ARRL Field Day. Radio clubs and other amateur radio groups are encouraged to share a copy of their proclamations with ARRL via firstname.lastname@example.org. ARRL will often share the proclamations to advance legislative efforts, creating additional support of awareness for amateur radio among lawmakers.
Read the full text of the proclamations at ARRL News.
ARRL members can subscribe to the free monthly Club News e-newsletter by visiting their account on the ARRL website (requires log in).
QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo this weekend
The event takes place March 25 – 26, 2023 (UTC) — Friday night in the US.
This is a fantastic opportunity for all ham radio operators and enthusiasts to come together and enjoy a variety of presentations, exhibits, and networking opportunities – all from the comfort of your own home.
Register for the event now at www.qsotodayhamexpo.com
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released a final version (March 2023) of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Functional Guidance. The guidance, which provides a framework for communications resources within incident management, officially includes support from amateur radio operators. The expanded Communications Unit (COMU) structure now includes the Auxiliary Communicator (AUXC) role, which covers personnel from services that provide communications support to emergency management, public safety, and other government agencies. This includes amateur radio.
NIMS guides government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to work together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and other emergencies. “This is a major step in the recognition of the need and usefulness of amateur radio and other communications services in our national preparedness,” said Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, Director of Emergency Management for ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio®. “It also gives official guidance to pave the way for future training and education of volunteers in ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®),” Johnston added.
The NIMS ICT guide (PDF) is available at https://www.fema.gov/sites/
New Chief Named for Air Force Military Auxiliary Radio System
David L. Antry, Jr., WD9HBA, has been named Chief of the Air Force Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS).
MARS is a Field Operating Agency of the US Air Force’s Air Combat Command (ACC) and HQ Cyberspace Capabilities Center (CCC).
Prior to his new assignment, Antry served as a Logistics Manager in the 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing War Reserve Materiel Program Integration Office.
He enlisted in the US Air Force in January of 1985 and worked in Avionics. He received a Palace Chase assignment in 1989 and spent the rest of his uniformed career working in Avionics and Supply for the Air National Guard.
Antry retired from the 126th Air Refueling Wing at the Scott Air Force Base in October 2011 with the rank of E-7, Master Sergeant. In addition to his daily Air Force duties, Antry has voluntarily served with Air Force MARS since November 2012 as a member of the amateur radio community, operating both Very High Frequency (VHF) and High Frequency (HF) radio equipment.
Prior to being named Chief of MARS, he served as Operations Officer for the 51st Air Force MARS Communications Group.
Reid Snider, N4SPY, Public Information Officer of US Air Force MARS, said Antry brings with him a broad skill set for MARS operations. “Chief Antry has the understanding, knowledge, ability, and respect to help Air Force MARS plan and position its programs for communications of [the] future,” said Snider.
Today, US Air Force MARS is an organization of about 800 licensed amateur radio operators who volunteer their time and radio equipment to assist government agencies in the event that normal communications channels are disrupted, either by natural calamity or deliberate hostile action.
MARS members are trained to meet the requirements of any communications emergency. In recent years, greater interoperability between the Air Force and the Army has facilitated accomplishment of this objective. Individual civilian MARS stations operate throughout the continental US alongside civil agencies and military MARS stations in the US and overseas.
Antry will be stationed at the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. He has been a licensed amateur radio operator since 1977.
For more information about Air Force MARS, visit their website.
Amateur Radio in the News
ARRL Public Information Officers, Coordinators, and many other member-volunteers help keep amateur radio and ARRL in the news.
“Dayton leader of world’s largest gathering of radio amateurs dies” / Dayton Daily News (Ohio), March 18, 2023 —The Dayton Amateur Radio Association is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
“Amateur radio operators like Bob McArthur of New Ipswich make connections” / Monadnock Ledger — Transcript (New Hampshire), March 22, 2023 — Bob McArthur, K1QT.
On the Air
In the current episode, we cover radio orienteering (aka Amateur Radio Direction Finding, or ARDF), a radio sport like no other. It gets you out of your shack chair and bounding through the woods or a park, using a handheld receiver and directional antenna to find a transmitter that’s located somewhere in the vicinity. People of all ages and skill levels can have fun with radio orienteering – and you don’t even need a ham radio license to join in. In this episode, we talk to USA ARDF Co-coordinator Charles Scharlau, NZØI, about how get involved in what he calls, “the only athletic radio sport.”
ARRL Audio News
The On the Air podcast is available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android). The On the Air podcast and ARRL Audio News are also on blubrry — On the Air | ARRL Audio News.
To raise awareness of World Autism Acceptance Week (March 27 – April 2), a team of international amateur radio operators will operate eight special event stations from March 25 through April 2, 2023. According to the Center for Disease Control’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects about 1 in 44 children. The special event stations are sponsored by the Ten Mile River Scout Museum Amateur Radio Club, W2TMR, in Narrowsburg, New York. Event stations W2A, GB2AA, GB2AAW, GB0AAW, 8A0RARI, 4X0AAW, HI0AUT, and S76A will be joined by more than 40 operators across the US and Puerto Rico and two dozen international operators from 19 countries on six continents. More information and QSL cards are available from the Ten Mile River Scout Museum Amateur Radio Club, W2TMR, at QRZ.com.
AMSAT needs volunteers for the Dayton Hamvention. Amateur radio’s biggest event of the year is less than eight weeks away at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio. The 2023 Hamvention is May 19 – 21. AMSAT is a major Hamvention exhibitor with different displays, ranging from engineering, operations, educational relations, the AMSAT Store, and much more. In 2022, about 35 people assisted with the AMSAT booth. It was the efforts of those volunteers that made the 2022 Dayton Hamvention a success for AMSAT. The interaction with AMSAT members, satellite operators, designers, and builders make the whole experience a lot of fun. Would you consider helping AMSAT at the Hamvention this year? Whether you’re available for only a couple of hours, or if you can spend the entire weekend with us, your help will be greatly appreciated. If you will be attending Hamvention and can help, please send an e-mail to Phil Smith, W1EME, AMSAT Hamvention Coordinator, at email@example.com.
[A special thanks to Phil Smith, W1EME, AMSAT Hamvention Coordinator for the above information.]
Georgia State Parks on the Air will be held April 1 – 2, 2023. ARRL member Claude Ray, AC4SH, said all 50 state parks will be involved in this inaugural event. “The objective is to encourage ham radio operators to visit Georgia state parks and experience the fun of Parks on the Air activations. This is a fun contest only, the rules are minimal, the scoring is simple, and the main award is simply the fun of getting on the air,” said Ray. The contest period begins at 8:00 AM EDT on April 1, and ends at 7:59 PM EDT on April 2. Operating hours are subject to park rules and times. Every station participating in the event and submitting a log will, upon request, receive a Certificate of Participation indicating the number of parks contacted. “Incredibly, we’ve had enough interest among Georgia hams that we now have at least one ham signed up at each of Georgia’s 50 state parks,” Ray added. “Many parks have multiple hams doing activations over both days. The enthusiasm for this event has been remarkable.” More information and a complete list of rules can be found at gaparks.org/rules.
On February 25th, 2023, the Calvert Amateur Radio Association (CARA) participated in the 10th annual Science and Engineering Expo held at Calvert High School in Prince Frederick, Maryland. CARA members Shawn Donley, N3AE; Andy Charland, KC3WRX; Les Silva, KH6CUJ, and Dale Sollars, KC3RKP, set up amateur stations for 2 meters, 70 centimeters, and HF. They helped introduce students and their family members to the wonder and fun of amateur radio operation. Handouts were available, including youth-specific flyers provided by ARRL. Recently, CARA has been exploring ways to reach out to the community, especially young persons, regarding the fun and science of amateur radio, which is a priority for ARRL. Even though the club’s planning time was short, much of the supplies and operating equipment were close at hand due to the club’s involvement with ARES® and RACES®. With that kind of experience, along with ARRL Field Day and other events that take place outside normal home station operations, club members had their gear ready to operate at this event. Some of the interesting things the attendees experienced included: HF contacts, different types of antennas, how their first name sounds in Morse code, and how ham radio works when other kinds of communications fail. Participants were also able to talk on the local 2-meter repeater system with local hams! The club’s display received a lot of attention due to its proximity to the Expo’s main entrance and attendee sign-in desk. At the club’s request, the school staff arranged for them to be near an exit and away from participants, which allowed for coax cables to run to temporary antennas positioned outside. Erik Johnson, KC3QQD, CARA President, reported that the club, attendees, and event organizers said it was very exciting and they are looking forward to next time! CARA would like to thank Dr. Yovonda Kolo, Supervisor of Science and STEM of Calvert County Public Schools ,for the opportunity to participate.
[ A Special thanks to Erik Johnson, KC3QQD, CARA President for the updated information.]
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week’s ARRL Propagation Bulletin, ARLP012:
Sunspot numbers were lower again this week, with the average declining from 143.6 two weeks ago to 118.7 last week, and now 68 this week. Average daily solar flux sank eight points, from 153.6 last week to 145.6 this week.
Six new sunspot groups emerged over the week: one on March 17, another March 18, three more on March 19, one more on March 21, and another on March 22.
Predicted solar flux is 155, 150, and 145 on March 23 – 25; 140 on March 26 – 27, then 130, 130, and 140 on March 28 – 30; 138 on March 31 through April 1, then 136, 136, and 134 on April 2 – 4; 132 on April 5 – 7; 130 on April 8 – 9, then 132, 135, 138, and 140 on April 10 – 13; 142 on April 14 – 15; 143 on April 16; 140 on April 17 – 18; 142 on April 19 – 21, and 144 on April 22.
Predicted planetary A index is very active over the next few days, at 20, 40, 30, 20, and 15 on March 23 – 27; 8 on March 28 – 29; 20 and 18 on March 30 – 31; 12 on April 1 – 2; 10 and 8 on April 3 – 4; 5 on April 5 – 9, then 15, 12, 8, and 5 on April 10 – 13: 8 on April 14 – 15, then 12, 10, 5, and 5 on April 16 – 19, then 10, 36, 20, 10, and 8 April 20 – 24.
Send your tips, reports, observations, questions, and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. When reporting observations, don’t forget to tell us which mode you were operating.
Sunspot numbers for March 16 through 22, 2023, were 84, 58, 35, 73, 75, 70, and 81, with a mean of 68. 10.7-centimeter flux was 135.4, 134.2, 140.3, 142.7, 156.1, 151.6, and 158.9, with a mean of 145.6. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 7, 8, 10, 13, 8, and 17, with a mean of 10.6. Middle latitude A index was 6, 7, 6, 8, 10, 8, and 14, with a mean of 8.4.
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
Yearlong — ARRL Volunteers On the Air (VOTA). See the State Activations Schedule for weekly W1AW Portable Operations, including:
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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