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 25 August 2023, 0259 UTC.
Content provided by The ARRL. Copyright ARRL.
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Russ Roberts (KH6JRM), Public Information Officer, Hawaii County (ARRL Pacific Section).
12:25 PM (4 hours ago)
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August 24, 2023
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
Amateur Radio Responds to Disasters Across the United States
The fires are out on the Hawaiian island of Maui but extensive search and rescue operations continue.
President Biden visited the island on Monday, August 21, 2023, and told residents the federal government will provide help “for as long as it takes” to recover from the devastation.
Numerous emergency response agencies and organizations are still arriving, and volunteers are helping to provide coordinated communications on the KH6COM repeater, on 146.520 MHz, and a VHF/UHF countywide system with emergency backup power. Hawaii has many amateur radio repeaters and an extensive internet-linked repeater system.
On the west coast of the United States, after a record amount of rainfall, Hurricane Hilary has downgraded to a tropical storm and is heading toward the Northeast. The west coast area is still experiencing flooding and mudslides as residents face major cleanup operations.
Section Manager of the ARRL Los Angeles Section Diana Feinberg, AI6DF, said there weren’t any amateur radio activations, but Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service and ARES groups were on heightened alert. There was minimal damage in the Los Angeles A Basin area. Feinberg also said the City of Los Angeles Auxiliary Communications Service was activated and reported to the Emergency Operations Center, but there weren’t any communication outages.
Section Manager of the ARRL Santa Barbara Section John Kitchens, NS6X, said there was more concern for the 5.1-magnitude earthquake that hit his area during the storms. “There were no actual activations, but we were ready. Our folks [took] advantage of the situation and turned it into a real-time drill,” said Kitchens.
The Hurricane Watch Net, WX4NHC amateur radio station at the National Hurricane Center, and the VoIP Hurricane Net were activated on Sunday, August 20, for Hurricane Hilary. Despite having bilingual operators in each group, and the storm’s impact to the Baja California peninsula, there weren’t any reports from Mexico, much to the concern of net operators. WX4NHC Amateur Radio Assistant Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R, said, “Hurricanes have no borders and ham radio has no borders.”
Ripoll encouraged Mexican stations to check in and pass along reports when the net was active. “We can work together to help each other and those affected by hurricanes,” he said.
Tropical storm alerts were issued along the south Texas coast on Tuesday, August 22, as Tropical Depression 9 formed in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm’s center moved inland over south Texas by midday, when it became Tropical Storm Harold. It caused rain and wind, but there was little to no damage. The South Texas Amateur Radio Club said their amateur radio operators were ready even though they were not activated.
While tropical storms and an earthquake impacted large portions of the country, much of the Pacific Northwest has been dealing with wildfires.
In eastern Washington, the Spokane County ARES®/ACS was activated to deploy a mobile network unit (MNU) to the Gray Fire on Friday, August 18. The MNU is a self-contained, satellite-based internet and cell (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile) support system. Volunteers set up the gear at an incident command post used by county officials.
Radio amateurs are encouraged to participate in their local ARES group.
Candidates Named for ARRL Director and Vice Director Elections
The candidates for the 2023 ARRL Division elections are now official.
ARRL members will choose between two candidates for Director in the Great Lakes Division, and two candidates for Vice Director in the Atlantic and Dakota Divisions. Incumbents for Directors are unopposed in the Atlantic, Dakota, Delta and Midwest Divisions, in the Delta and Midwest Divisions incumbents are unopposed for Vice Director, and the sole candidate in the Great Lakes Division for Vice Director is also unopposed.
Declared Elected without Opposition:
Balloting for contested seats will take place this fall. Votes will be counted, and successful candidates announced, in November. Candidates declared elected will assume their roles for terms beginning January 1, 2024.
Air Force and Marines Corps Marathons Need Amateur Radio Volunteers
This fall, amateur radio operators will have the opportunity to volunteer their services and share their communication skills at two different marathons.
The Air Force Marathon will occur on Saturday, September 16, on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. The race will begin at 7:30 AM EDT.
Bob Baker, N8ADO, Greene County Emergency Communications Volunteer Lead, for Amateur Radio Support to the Air Force Marathon said, “We need a team of ham radio volunteers to support the event by operating several networks for logistics, [providing] medical information, monitoring and tracking runners, shadowing race officials, and supporting finish line operations.”
He went on to say, “We need an excess of 60 volunteers to make all of this happen. Only 75% of the required number of volunteers have signed up and we could use amateur radio operators’ help.”
Most of the race takes place on the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and to comply with security regulations, all volunteer applications must be submitted by August 31, 2023, to allow for background checks.
To volunteer, visit usafmarathon.com/volunteer/ and click the “Volunteer Now button.” You’ll be redirected to the portal at raceroster.com, where you’ll need to create an account. Once you’ve created an account, select “Volunteer,” and sign in. Select the pull-down list under “Volunteer With Us,” and then scroll down and select “Volunteer on Saturday, September 16, 2023.” Continue to scroll down and fill out the required information.
Be sure to include your call sign in the appropriate box. Below that box, under “Amateur Radio Operator,” click the “Add to Order box.” Continue to the bottom of the web page and select your t-shirt size. Then, select “Continue” to submit your registration. Please report that you have signed in by sending a message with your name and call sign (and preferred email, if it’s different from the account from which you send the message) to AFM.Hams@gmail.com
As the race date nears, you’ll receive an invitation to a training session and a link to the training materials, assignment list, and communications plan. Please arrive by 5:30 AM to accommodate ID checks and road closures.
The 2023 Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) will take place on Sunday, October 29 in Washington, D.C., and Arlington County, Virginia at 7:55 AM EDT. The MCM Ham Volunteers team is looking for 150 amateur radio operators to support the event by providing racecourse situation reports.
The Marine Corps Marathon, also known as the People’s Marathon, expects to support more than 29,000 runners at this year’s event.
Amateurs can register to volunteer at www.hamcommunity.com/mcm-
The mission of the MCM is to showcase physical fitness and generate community goodwill to promote the high standards and discipline of the Marine Corps. Annually ranked as one of the largest marathons in the US and the world, the MCM has been recognized as the “Best Marathon in the Mid Atlantic,” “Best for Families,” and “Best for Beginners.”
Amateur Radio in the News
ARRL Public Information Officers, Coordinators, and many other member-volunteers help keep amateur radio and ARRL in the news.
“Huntsville Hamfest brings thousands of amateur radio enthusiasts to the Rocket City” / WHNT (Alabama) August 21, 2023 — The Huntsville Amateur Radio Club is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
“Local Radio Club Receives Grant To Provide Classes” / Cleveland County Herald (Arkansas) August 23, 2023
“ARRL Battles Stock Traders for Spectrum” / In Compliance Magazine August 24, 2023
On the Air
This month, we talk with Steve Simons, W1SMS, the Technical Coordinator for the Connecticut Section, who shares his experiences as a TC, from coordinating with Emergency Operations Centers during an emergency, to presenting technical papers at ham club meetings, to working with the Section’s Technical Specialists to help local hams with troubleshooting and other technical matters.
ARRL Audio News
The special call sign AT2ISRO has been activated to commemorate India’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft landing on the moon. Through August 25, 2023, four amateur radio operators in India — Arunava Dey, VU3XRY; Nilkantha Chatterjee, VU2OII; Abhrajit Das, VU3YDA, and Amitava Gupta, VU3IBL — will be maki contacts. Activity will be on most of the HF, VHF, and UHF bands, and EchoLink and FT8. The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft was launched from Sriharikota in southern India on July 14, 2023. It touched down on August 23 at 8:34 AM ET. The landing makes India the fourth country, after Russia, the US, and China, to land on the moon and the first to land on one of the moon’s poles. A special QSL card will be issued for all confirmed contacts.
The World Association of Christian Radio Amateurs and Listeners (WACRAL) special event, CHurches and CHapels On The Air (CHOTA), is on Saturday, September 9, 2023. The WACRAL organization was started in 1957 in England, by the Huddersfield South Methodist Radio Club. It’s been ecumenical since 1978. CHOTA is not a contest; it has been described as an institutional space for using amateur radio to reach the public, like Parks on the Air (POTA). To date, there hasn’t been any participation from amateur radio operators in the US. However, ARRL Delta Division Assistant Director Frank Howell, K4FMH, recently wrote to John Wresdell, G3XYF, manager of the CHOTA event, about getting the US involved by activating his church in Ridgeland, Mississippi. To participate, send an email to Wresdell at email@example.com with the call sign you intend to use and the location of the church or chapel you plan to activate. Suggested frequencies for CHOTA 2023 are 20 meters on SSB, 40 meters on CW, and FT8. Operating times are 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM EDT. Participants who make eight or more contacts will receive an award. More information can be found at Awards – WACRAL.ORG.
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week’s ARRL Propagation Bulletin, ARLP034:
Five new sunspot groups emerged this week: one on August 17, another on August 18, two more on August 21, and another on August
Average daily sunspot numbers rose slightly from 95.7 to 105.9, while the average daily solar flux declined from 154.2 to 149.4.
There weren’t any big geomagnetic events this week to report. The average daily planetary A index changed from 6 to 8.4, while the average daily middle latitude index changed from 7.7 to 10.1.
Predicted solar flux is 150 on August 24; 155 on August 25 – 26; 160, 165, and 165 on August 27 – 29; 160, 165, and 165 on August 30 through September 1; 163 and 160 on September 2 – 3; 162 on September 4 – 5; 158 on September 6 – 7; 160 and 162 on September 8 – 9; 158 on September 10 – 11; 155 on September 12; 152 on September 13 – 15; 153 on September 16 – 18; 155 on September 19, and 158 on September 20 – 23.
Predicted planetary A index is 8 on August 24 – 25; 5, 10, and 8 on August 26 – 28; 5 on August 29 through September 5; 10, 8, and 8 on September 6 – 8; 5 on September 9 – 13; 12 on September 14; 10 on September 15 – 17, and 5 on September 18 through the end of the month.
Jeremy Gill of Seattle, Washington, shared the article, “Laboratory measurements of the physics of auroral electron acceleration by Alfvén waves,” which has information on aurora activity and the ionosphere. Read it at https://bit.ly/44sRGgh.
Sunspot numbers for August 17 – 23, 2023, were 135, 112, 104, 93, 102, 96, and 99, with a mean of 105.9. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 151.9, 150.6, 150.6, 146.3, 148.7, 150.9, and 147, with a mean of 149.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 11, 8, 11, 9, 8, and 4, with a mean of 8.4. Middle latitude A index was 10, 14, 8, 12, 10, 12, and 5, with a mean of 10.1.
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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