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 29 June 2023, 2328 UTC.
Content provided by The ARRL. Copyright ARRL.
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Russ Roberts (KH6JRM), Public Information Officer, Hawaii County (ARRL Pacific Section).
12:43 PM (48 minutes ago)
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June 29, 2023
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
2023 ARRL Field Day Was a Success
2023 ARRL Field Day is in the books and from all indications, it was a success!
Social media is buzzing with stories and photos from around the country.
Results are coming in, and so far, 2,548 Field Day entries have been received. You can see a live, up-to-the-minute count of the entries, comments, and photos on the Field Day Entries Received web page.
Participants have been submitting photos and descriptions of their stations and setups to the SOAPBOX column. Below are just a few of the many Soapbox received so far.
William Roy, K1YOR:
“I used a Yaesu FT-450D, 100, and an
[MFJ] G5RV Junior [antenna] in the near vertical incidence skywave configuration. It was basically horizontal. The average height was about 14 to 18 feet above the ground, broadside was north/south, and the ends were pointing east and west. Because I was inside, the antenna could not be extended in a normal fashion. I used rubber standoffs and non-metal furniture to support the antenna.
Thomas Hardy, NN7O:
“This was my first year participating in Field Day. [I] operated CW [low power] from eastern California. I am still a new CW operator, and while I am getting better, I appreciate everyone’s patience. I was using my KX2 into a 40-meter [end-fed-half-wave] setup as an inverted v. [It] seemed to work well. [I got] more east coast contacts than I expected!”
Thomas G. Azlin, W7SUA:
“I set up at our family cabin on the Mogollon Rim [Trail] near Show Low [in Arizona]. [I] used an [Elecraft] K3, [a] Goal Zero Yeti 1500X battery/inverter, [a] 200 -W solar panel for daytime charging, and an [MFJ] G5RV Junior [antenna] strung up in pine [trees] with pre-existing ropes and pulleys. [I] split my time between JS8 and FT8 on 40, 20, and 15 meters. [It was a] nice Field Day, [and] fun!”
Like many ARRL Field Day sites, the Hampden County Radio Association (HCRA) in Massachusetts welcomed guests to their event. They got more than they bargained for, though, when a black bear showed up and started helping itself to their food!
More stories and updates are on the way. Check out the ARRL News web page for the latest on 2023 Field Day!
ARRL Field Day Banner Winner
Mike Moore, WI9MMM, President of the Fox Cities Amateur Radio Club, W9ZL, in Wisconsin, was the winner of the ARRL Field Day banner giveaway earlier this month.
ARRL Affiliated Clubs and members opted into the Club newsletter via email were automatically entered by purchasing ARRL Field Day merchandise or submitting an entry through an online form. Mike was the lucky winner, and displayed the banner at his club’s site.
“The banner made our Field Day site much easier to find. We had decent enough foot traffic that I forgot to take more pictures. In a way… that’s a “Win!” – because I got to share the hobby with more people,” wrote Moore.
2023 AMSAT Field Day
2604 AMSAT Field Day is over, and early data shows how the satellites were utilized.
It has been many years since there were more than one or two Field Day submissions from outside North America. This year, immediately after of Field Day ended, there were two submissions from Japan.
The satellites worked well. The FM Tevel family of satellites and GreenCube seemed to be popular. SO-50, AO-91, and the International Space Station were also busy with their FM single channel. DOSAAF-85 (RS-44) was quite tame, with plenty of bandwidth for many to make contacts, whether they were sitting on a frequency and calling CQ or using the hunt-and-pounce method.
More data is on the way. For updates, visit the AMSAT website. A special thanks to Bruce Paige, KK5DO, for the information provided in this story.
ARRL Section Managers Prepare for New Terms
When the nomination period for the summer ARRL Section Manager election cycle concluded on June 9, 2023, there was only one candidate for each of the Sections up for election.
The following incumbent Section Managers were declared re-elected to new 2-year terms starting on October 1, 2023:
Kevin Kerr, W1KGK, of Plains, Montana, was the only nominee for the ARRL Montana Section, and he will be taking the reins of the Montana Field Organization on October 1. Kerr is presently serving as Section Emergency Coordinator of the Montana Section and as a District Emergency Coordinator within the Section. Paul Stiles, KF7SOJ, decided not to run for a new term. Stiles, of Billings, Montana, has been Section Manager of the Montana Section since 2019.
Dr. Antonis Papatsaras, AA6PP, of Larkspur, California, will become the Section Manager of the San Francisco Section on October 1 because he was the only nominee. He currently is an Assistant Section Manager of the ARRL San Francisco Section and has been President and Director of the San Francisco Radio Club.
Bill Hillendahl, KH6GJV, of Santa Rosa, California, decided not to run for another office term after serving as Section Manager of the San Francisco Section for 20 years.
Section Manager of the Oregon Section David Kidd, KA7OZO, has decided to step down from the role for personal reasons. He was first appointed to the position on July 1, 2018. Effective July 1, 2023, Jonathan Wanzer, KK6GXG, will fill the role for the remainder of the current term.
Wanzer stated, “Homebrew radios, tools, and antennas are not my only interests in the Amateur Radio Service. I like to share with others; I teach license classes and introduction to Emergency Communications (EC-001). I am an active Volunteer Examiner… I also have the honor of serving fellow hams as the Klamath County Emergency Coordinator and as the Assistant Section Manager for [the Oregon Section]. One of my greatest privileges is in developing contacts and relationships with non-ham groups and providing presentations and information on amateur radio and all it has to offer their members, and the community at large, through the Civil Defense Communications Auxiliary.”
Wanzer, of Klamath Falls, will serve as Section Manager of the Oregon Section through June 30, 2024.
HAM RADIO in Germany Draws International Crowd
The 46th annual International Amateur Radio Exhibition, HAM RADIO, attracted more than 11,000 visitors to Friedrichshafen, Germany, June 23 – 25, 2023.
ARRL, which has nearly 7,000 international members, sends a small delegation to the convention each year — greeting members and friends from the global amateur radio community, and networking with other national radio societies. ARRL representatives included President Rick Roderick, K5UR and his wife Holly Roderick; CEO David Minster, NA2AA; Director of Operations Bob Naumann, W5OV, and Director of Marketing and Innovation Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R.
Messe Friedrichshafen Managing Director Klaus Wellmann and Project Manager Petra Rathgeber were delighted with the success of the event.
“HAM RADIO lived up to its reputation as Europe’s largest amateur radio exhibition. In cooperation with the German Amateur Radio Club (DARC), the perfect partner for the event, we showed that amateur radio plays an important role in society,” said Wellmann and Rathgeber. “This year’s slogan, ‘We’re all about STEM!’ was brought to full fruition, with many activities focusing on work with young people — something that really brought in the crowds.”
A recent press release from HAM RADIO said young attendees were able to tinker and make things under guidance, and they were also able to test their knowledge in the Ham Rally, a technical scavenger hunt featuring 25 stations. Students were encouraged to try sending Morse code, and pass the QSL card quiz. ARRL participated in the Ham Rally, challenging young people to name and identify the US states.
“We were really happy with the way this year’s exhibition went,” said Christian Entsfellner, DL3MBG, Chairman of DARC.
A total of 392 participants, including 149 commercial exhibitors and international associations, as well as 243 flea market exhibitors, represented the unique diversity of amateur radio around the world.
Plans are already being made for next year’s HAM RADIO to be held June 28 – 30, 2024. More information is available at HAM RADIO.
See also ARRL’s photo album from the convention on Facebook.
FCC ULS System Restored
The FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS) has resumed operations, including the Electronic Batch Filing (EBF) system.
As of June 27, 2023, all systems have been reported to be working. However, visitors to the website will see a message referring them to Public Notice DA-23-529 for additional information and guidance on filing deadline extensions.
The systems were first reported unavailable on June 9, 2023. On Friday afternoon, June 23, the EBF system was restored. All VEC organizations use that system for filing exam sessions, individual applications, and club license applications. ARRL VEC staff worked late into Friday night to ensure all backlogged sessions and application files were transmitted to the FCC before the weekend. Approximately 350 backlogged files were successfully submitted to and processed by the FCC before the system’s normal shutdown at 8 PM.
ARRL is still monitoring the ULS, and any further updates will be available at ARRL News.
The Big Bang Theory Antenna Lives On
An antenna that holds an important place in scientific history sits on a small parcel of land on Crawford Hill in Holmdel Township, New Jersey.
The antenna is known as the Holmdel Horn Antenna, and it was built in
1959 by Bell Labs (now Nokia Bell Labs) researchers. It was originally designed to bounce radio signals off of reflective satellite balloons for long-distance communication. It worked, and the Holmdel Horn Antenna was no longer needed.
Two Bell Labs astronomer employees, Arno A. Penzias and Robert W. Wilson, received permission in 1965 to use the antenna to search for radio transmissions in outer space. They pointed the antenna toward what was considered a quiet area, but what they discovered was anything but quiet. They discovered Cosmic Microwave Background radiation, which provided evidence for the Big Bang Theory.
Now, there is a historical marker at the site, but there has been some dispute as to who owns the antenna and surrounding land. In mid-June 2023, the Holmdel Township Committee voted unanimously to approve resolutions that will begin the process of acquiring two of the three parcels that make up the Crawford Hill property. The township committee is leaving the third parcel to be part of the redevelopment toward preserving Crawford Hill as a public park to celebrate the horn antenna’s place in scientific history.
Visit the Holmdel Horn Antenna to learn more.
Amateur Radio in the News
ARRL Public Information Officers, Coordinators, and many other member-volunteers help keep amateur radio and ARRL in the news.
“Amateur Radio Field Day | PHOTOS” / The Allentown Morning Call (Pennsylvania), June 25, 2023 — Amateur radio Field Day at Bicentennial Park in East Allen Township.
“Amateur radio operators gather in Falcon for weekend-long Field Day exercise” / KRDO (Colorado), June 25, 2023 — Pikes Peak Radio Amateur Association (PPRAA), is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
“Tampa Amateur Radio Club prepares for hurricane season during Field Day exercise” / WFLA (Florida), June 25, 2023 — Tampa Amateur Radio Club is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
“Local Amateur Radio operators reach out to the world during Field Day in Calhoun this weekend” / KARD (Louisiana), June 25, 2023 — Northeast Louisiana Amateur Radio Club.
“HAM Radio demonstration held at Aiken Municipal Building” / Aiken Standard (South Carolina), June 25, 2023 — The North Augusta Belvedere Radio Club and Aiken Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES®).
“Birmingham radio amateurs demonstrate how they help in emergency communications” / WBRC (Alabama), June 26, 2023 — Birmingham Amateur Radio Club.
Share any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.
On the Air
For the June 2023 episode of the On the Air podcast, ARRL Radiosport & Regulatory Information Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, and ARRL Contest Program Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, join us to talk about a popular Field Day fixture known as the GOTA (Get On the Air) Station, a beginner-friendly station that get licensees – and even the ham -curious public – on the air with knowledgeable licensee literally standing by.
ARRL Audio News
Two special event stations will be in operation beginning July 1, 2023. The Annual 13 Colonies Special Event will take place on July 1 – 7, 2023. The event honors the original 13 colonies, US independence, active military personnel, and veterans. All amateur radio operators are welcome to participate, including shortwave listeners. Certificates will be available for all participants. Each US state that was one of the original 13 colonies has a special call sign. All HF bands will be open, including the WARC bands (with the exception of 60 meters). Simplex on 2 and 6 meters is encouraged, and 40 – 160 meters is encouraged for stations on the southeast coast. All modes of operation may be used, including SSB, CW, RTTY, and digital. The mode of operation is up to the individual colony/state station. More information is available at the Annual 13 Colonies Special Event website and the ARRL website. Also, on Saturday, July 1, 2023, at 1400Z – 2000Z, the annual Colonial Williamsburg Special Event station, K4RC, will be operated by the Williamsburg Area Amateur Radio Club on 7.265 and 14.265 MHz. A certificate and QSL card will be available for every contact. The event celebrates the 247th anniversary of the founding fathers signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
The Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) in China is developing a new lunar amateur radio satellite.
Thanks to the IARU and HIT for the above information.
Four members of the ARRL Headquarters staff are celebrating accomplishments in amateur radio this week.
In a test session held on June 28, 2023, ARRL Director of Development Kevin Beal, K8EAL; ARRL Learning Associate Eliza Croarkin, KC1TAP, and ARRL Social Media Specialist Alex Norstrom, KC1RMO, each upgraded to the General-class license. ARRL Development Operations Manager Christina Lessard passed her Technician-class exam and received the call sign KC1TDM. Alex (who scored 100% on the exam) is featured on the cover of the ARRL General Class License Manual. ARRL also has manuals for the Technician– and Amateur Extra-class licenses.
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week’s ARRL Propagation Bulletin, ARLP026:
Conditions were favorable over Field Day weekend, with the exception of a brief period where planetary K index was at 5 on Saturday night.
There were five new sunspot groups on June 23, two more on June 24, another on June 26, and another on June 27.
Average daily sunspot numbers were up, and solar flux was down.
The average daily sunspot number rose from 143 to 170, and the average daily solar flux declined slightly from 165.4 to 160.3.
This was unexpected because we normally see these values track together.
Predicted solar flux is 155 on June 29; 150 on June 30 through July 4; 145 on July 5; 135 on July 6 – 8; 145, 155, 160, 165, and 170 on July 9 – 13; 175 on July 14 – 18; 170 on July 19 – 21; 160, 150, 145, 145, 140, and 135 on July 22 – 27, and 130 on July 28 – 31.
Predicted planetary A index is 5 on June 29 – 30; 15 and 10 on July 1 – 2; 5 on July 3 – 7; 12 and 8 on July 8 – 9; 5 on July 10 – 11; a stormy 20 and 30 on July 12 – 13; 8 on July 14 – 23; 12 on July 24 – 25, and 8 on July 26 – 27.
Read about the cycle peak and see images at https://bit.ly/3ps6iOI.
Check out a useful glossary for space weather terms at https://bit.ly/3XuimeQ.
Sunspot numbers for June 22 – 28, 2023, were 176, 194, 200, 180, 158, 141, and 141, with a mean of 170. 10.7-centimeter flux was 173.2, 169.7, 160.8, 154.8, 157.7, 151.2, and 154.9, with a mean of 160.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 9, 16, 15, 11, 8, and 8, with a mean of 10.7. Middle latitude A index was 8, 9, 16, 10, 11, 7, and 8, with a mean of 9.9.
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
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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