May 25, 2017
Editor: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME
ARRL Headquarters Will Be Closed on Monday, May 29: ARRL Headquarters will be closed for the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 29. There will be no W1AW code practice or bulletin transmissions on that day. ARRL Headquarters will reopen for business on Tuesday, May 30, at 8 AM EDT. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!
Hamvention Gets Off to a Promising Start at Its New Venue
Official attendance numbers are not yet in, but Hamvention® 2017 drew a happy and enthusiastic crowd to its new venue at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center May 19-21 in Xenia, Ohio. The sponsoring Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) was forced to relocate the event after the dilapidated Hara Arena in Trotwood closed for good last summer. Traffic jams were the order of the day on opening day, however, with those eager to experience Hamvention’s first Xenia outing waiting, or up to 2 hours in traffic. Traffic flow smoothed out on Saturday and Sunday. Heavy rain on Saturday didn’t dampen spirits, although it made things a bit dicey in the flea market. ARRL Contributing Editor Ward Silver, N0AX, a Hamvention veteran, gave the show high marks.
“Overall, I would give it a 9 out of 10, just due to the [Friday] traffic and some mud,” he said. “I had a great time, and I think a large collective sigh of relief went up from everybody that it all worked out as well as it did — rain and traffic issues notwithstanding.” Silver said DARA did “a fantastic job,” in moving the show from Trotwood to Xenia. “I look forward to many more years of Hamvention. They saved it with this performance.” Silver noted that Hamvention had renamed several of the large halls on site after such notables as Hertz, Tesla, and ARRL co-founder Hiram Percy Maxim.
“I liked the way they had the buildings clearly labeled,” Silver said, “so you could tell who was inside.”
QST Managing Editor Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY, felt Hamvention 2017 went well, by and large. “I visited a lot of forums and generally saw very good attendance,” she said. She said ARRL’s “Ham Radio Makers and Hackers” forum drew a capacity crowd. “Attendees seemed to be pleased with the number and variety of food trucks.” But Schoenfeld and others also remarked on the warm and steamy atmosphere in the exhibit halls on Friday; cooler weather made things more comfortable on Saturday and Sunday.
The ARRL Expo remained busy throughout the 3-day international gathering, which featured, among other things, a meet-the-author table. Visitors also took the opportunity to meet with League Board members and staffers as well as to stock up on new publications and ARRL Field Day gear.
More than 100 turned out for the ARRL Member Forum, where moderator and ARRL Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, encouraged attendees to build something, mentor a young person, become a volunteer examiner, and contribute to Amateur Radio in some meaningful way.
Keynote speaker and ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, offered members more information about the revamping of the ARRL Official Observer program, prompted in part by the FCC’s closing of several field offices and cutting staff.
“We will be retraining OOs,” Roderick told the forum. “Instead of focusing on individual offenses by hams, we will focus on patterns of offenses, things that happen routinely. Once we observe and establish a pattern of offenses, then the FCC may become involved.”
Roderick also talked about possible changes to entry-level licensing, assuring those on hand that a new or revised entry-level license would not be “dumbed down” but redirected toward privileges that the “new generation” of hams actually want. He also challenged forum attendees to approach potential new hams with activities and information that they will find interesting.
The Hamvention Youth Forum, moderated for her 30th year by Carole Perry, WB2MGP, attracted a large crowd on Saturday morning to hear some of Amateur Radio’s best young minds present on a variety of topics.
The HamSCI citizen science team reported “a successful weekend” at Hamvention, with a booth in the ARRL Expo area, where they discussed the HamSCI mission, upcoming experiments, and ways ham radio operators could participate in HamSCI activities, including the upcoming Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP). On Saturday, HamSCI presented an ARRL-sponsored forum about HamSCI research and activities.
Schoenfeld said Hamventioneers seemed pleased with the choice of cuisine. “Over the course of the weekend, many Hamvention attendees commented on the variety of food choices that had been available, from ‘walking tacos’ and corn dogs, to pork chop sandwiches and local sausage,” she said.
Products debuting at Hamvention included the FLEX-6400/6400M and FLEX-6600/6600M from FlexRadio Systems; the KPA1500 1,500 W amplifier from Elecraft; the IC-7610 HF/50 MHz transceiver from Icom; a new line of microphones from INRAD, and new antennas from MFJ, Momobeam, and SteppIR. The August issue of QST will include a roundup of new products.
“Xenia was a significant upgrade over Hara Arena,” noted contester and Hamvention regular Kirk Pickering, K4RO, told ARRL. He said the large, comfortable forum rooms were far better than those available at Hara Arena. Silver pointed out that the new arrangement meant no “QRM” from adjacent forums.
“I really preferred the county fair atmosphere over Hara and am already looking forward to next year,” Pickering added. “I felt good about the new venue and think that DARA has found a nice home for Hamvention. Major kudos to DARA for pulling it together.”
CQ Announces Hall of Fame Honorees for 2017
CQ magazine has announced the induction of new members to the CQ DX Hall of Fame, the CQ Contest Hall of Fame, and the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame nominees are traditionally announced each spring in conjunction with Hamvention®.
CQ DX Hall of Fame
Bill Moore, NC1L (SK): ARRL DXCC Manager for more than 20 years, Bill Moore provided a public face for the program at hamfests around the world. He was also a major contributor behind the scenes, heading the transition from DXCC paper records to a computer database, then, years later, guiding a major upgrade to the system that is in use today. Severely injured in a traffic accident in 2014, Moore died last year.
Jerry Rosalius, WB9Z: An accomplished DXer and DXpeditioner, Rosalius has worked them all, except for North Korea, and has participated in multiple major DXpeditions — seven of which were designated as “DXpedition of the Year” by the Southwest Ohio DX Association. He is a frequent speaker at club meetings and hamfests and regularly makes his home station available for training new contesters.
CQ DX Editor Bob Schenck, N2OO, presented Hall of Fame plaques at an induction ceremony held at the annual Dayton DX dinner on May 19.
CQ Contest Hall of Fame
Dave Robbins, K1TTT: Robbins is the builder and owner of a contest superstation in Western Massachusetts. Soon after assembling his first contest station, he wrote in the introduction to his book, Building a Superstation, “I realized I was not a 48-hour iron pants operator and decided to start doing multi-ops from here.” For more than 30 years, Robbins has hosted legions of operators at his multi-multi station, some veterans, some newcomers, and willingly shared his knowledge and experiences, both in his building book and his annual Contest Cookbooks, distributed to members of the Yankee Clipper Contest Club (YCCC), of which he is a past president.
Bob Wilson, N6TV: An accomplished contester and contest DXpeditioner, Wilson’s achievements behind the scenes are as significant as those he’s made on the air. A regular speaker at Contest University and at the International DX Convention’s Contest Academy, Wilson has developed new techniques and technologies to enhance logging and scorekeeping software and to advance SO2R (single operator, two radio) operating, along with the efficiency of software-defined radios, CW Skimmer, the Reverse Beacon Network, and more.
CQ Contesting Editor David Siddall, K3ZJ, presented Hall of Fame plaques at an induction ceremony held at the annual Dayton contest dinner on May 20.
CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame
The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame gained 18 new members. They are Bhumibol Adulyadej, HS1A (SK); John Brosnahan, W0UN (SK); Garrett Brown, W3AFF; Britton Chance, W2IBK (SK); John Crockett, W3KH; Julius T. Freeman, KB2OFY (SK); Limor Fried, AC2SN; Robin Haighton, VE3FRH (SK); David Honess, M6DNT; Pete Kemp, KZ1Z (SK); Kristen McIntyre, K6WX; Pat McPherson, WW9E (SK); Andy Nguyen, VK3YT; Tim Peake, KG5BVI; Mike Santana, WB6TEB (SK); Allan Steinfeld, W2TN, ex-KL7HIR (SK), and Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR. Read more.
Federal Court Complaint Filed to Recover Unpaid $11,500 FCC Fine in Amateur Case
The US Government has filed a civil complaint in Federal District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to recover an unpaid $11,500 fine that the FCC imposed in a Forfeiture Order 2 years ago on Brian Crow, K3VR, of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. The complaint was filed in Federal District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on the basis of Crow’s residence. The office of the clerk for the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania confirmed to ARRL that the complaint was filed on May 8.
In January 2015, the FCC levied the $11,500 fine on Crow for allegedly causing deliberate interference. The FCC had linked its enforcement case against Crow with the separate case of Michael Guernsey, KZ8O (ex-ND8V), of Parchment, Michigan, whom the FCC has fined $22,000 for allegedly causing intentional interference with other Amateur Radio communications and for allegedly failing to identify. In both cases, the FCC said, it responded in March 2014 to “several complaints of intentional interference” on 14.313 MHz, and Commission agents used radio direction-finding techniques to determine the transmission sources.
According to the court complaint against Crow, FCC agents in March 2014 tracked transmissions to Crow’s residence and monitored them for approximately 3 hours and heard him transmit slow-scan television (SSTV) signals and a prerecorded voice transmission of another Amateur Radio station on the frequency.
The complaint seeks payment of the $11,500 fine plus interest and the plaintiff’s costs. Read more.
The Doctor Will See You Now!
“Flea Market Tips” is the topic of the latest episode of the “ARRL The Doctor is In” podcast. Listen…and learn!
Sponsored by DX Engineering, “ARRL The Doctor is In” is an informative discussion of all things technical. Listen on your computer, tablet, or smartphone — whenever and wherever you like!
Every 2 weeks, your host, QST Editor-in-Chief Steve Ford, WB8IMY, and the Doctor himself, Joel Hallas, W1ZR, will discuss a broad range of technical topics. You can also e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the Doctor may answer them in a future podcast.
Enjoy “ARRL The Doctor is In” on Apple iTunes, or by using your iPhone or iPad podcast app (just search for “ARRL The Doctor is In”). You can also listen online at Blubrry, or at Stitcher (free registration required, or browse the site as a guest) and through the free Stitcher app for iOS, Kindle, or Android devices. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, download our beginner’s guide.
Ned Stearns, AA7A, Elected as Southwestern Division Vice Director
Edward J. “Ned” Stearns, AA7A, is once again Vice Director of the ARRL Southwestern Division. Stearns, of Scottsdale, Arizona, served as Southwestern Division Vice Director in 2005-2006. After ballots were counted on May 19 at ARRL Headquarters, Stearns topped a field of three candidates. He succeeds Marty Woll, N6VI, who decided not to run for another term after serving since 2008. Stearns garnered 1,836 votes, while Grant Hays, WB6OTS, received 575 votes, and Frank Westphal, K6FW, picked up 762 votes.
Stearns has served on the ARRL DX Advisory Committee. Since September 2015, he has maintained the World Above 50 MHz Standings on the ARRL website. Licensed since 1963, Stearns has chased DX on all bands, operated as part of DXpeditions all over the world, and run moonbounce from home and abroad. He is active on all bands from 160 meters to 23 centimeters.
Spring Section Manager Election Results Announced
Northern New Jersey Section ARRL members have elected a new Section Manager, while members in Utah have re-elected their Section Manager for another 2-year term. Ballots for contested seats in the spring election cycle were counted on May 23 at ARRL Headquarters.
In Northern New Jersey, Rob Roschewsk, KA2PBT, of Washington, outpolled incumbent SM Steve Ostrove, K2SO, 399 to 307 votes.
Roschewsk has been licensed since 1982 and is a computer server/network engineer. In his candidate statement, Roschewsk said his goal is “to promote the diverse facets of Amateur Radio, with a special focus on youth activities, building-making, contesting, and public service.”
Ostrove has been the Northern New Jersey Section Manager since September 2016, when he was appointed to complete the remaining term of Rich Krohn, N2SMV, who stepped down midterm.
In Utah, incumbent SM Mel Parkes, NM7P, was re-elected to a ninth consecutive term. In a very close race, Parkes received 351 votes, and Pat Malan, N7PAT, of South Jordan, received 332 votes. Parkes has been the Utah Section Manager since 1999.
Elsewhere, in the West Texas Section, H. Dale Durham, W5WI, of Buffalo Gap was an uncontested nominee for the SM position. He has been serving as Section Emergency Coordinator under current Section Manager Ron Harden, KB5HGM, since 2015, and as Assistant Section Manager since 2016. Harden did not run for a new term after serving since 2015.
These incumbent Section Managers were unopposed in this election cycle and were declared elected: Marty Pittinger, KB3MXM (Maryland-DC); John Bigley, N7UR (Nevada); Peter Stohrer, K1PJS (New Hampshire); Bob Beaudet, W1YRC (Rhode Island), and Dan Pruitt, AE6SX (San Joaquin Valley).
Suquamish Tribe Hosts Regional Tribal Emergency Preparedness Conference
The Suquamish Tribe hosted the 14th annual Regional Joint Tribal Emergency Preparedness Conference May 1-3 at the Port Madison Indian Reservation at Agate Pass on Puget Sound, Washington. Radio amateurs from Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona contributed to the success of this conference. The event was sponsored by the Northwest Tribal Emergency Management Council (NWTEMC).
Kitsap County ARES/RACES/ACS set up a demonstration station and display tables outside the conference rooms, and many tribal emergency management leaders stopped by for information, to chat about creating a stronger Amateur Radio presence within their tribes, and to see the station in operation. Kitsap County Emergency Coordinator Mike Montfort, KB0SVF, called his group’s participation “a fantastic opportunity” to build relationships with neighbors. At the request of Quileute Nation Fire Chief Chris Morganroth, KI7EGI, Montfort and Dan Ransom, K7MM, will soon conduct a Technician license class for Quileute tribal members.
At the Monday general session, Suzanne Everson, KI7EGE, Regional Emergency Management Specialist at Region 10 Administration for Children and Families, co-presented “Administration for Children and Families, How We Can Work With You.” Lou Schmitz, KE7RYR, American Indian Health Commission, discussed the “Emergency Preparedness Toolkit.”
On Tuesday morning, three hams spoke at the conference general session. Jim Sande, KG7NRF, National Tribal Emergency Management Education Sub-Committee Chair, co-presented “Pursuing Ongoing Education in Emergency Management.” Nathan Nixon, N7NAN, President of the National Tribal Amateur Radio Association and Training Coordinator for the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, discussed the “Indian Country Intelligence Network.” Tracy DePew, KI7EGC, Director of Emergency Management, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, presented “FEMA HMA External Stakeholder Working Group and PDM in Indian Country.”
On Tuesday afternoon, three radio amateurs gave talks during breakout sessions. Bart Kus, AE7SJ, founder and lead developer of HamWAN, spoke about the operational high-speed digital network designed for maximum resiliency and survivability, which operates on Amateur Service microwave frequencies and allows for continuous exchange of data between key emergency management facilities throughout the Puget Sound region. Assistant State RACES Officer Steve Aberle, WA7PTM, spoke on communication support for mass care and public health, which included a practicum in message receiving. FirstNet Regional Tribal Government Liaison Adam Geisler, KJ6YHN, co-hosted “FirstNet Presentation, Listening Session, and FirstNet Surveys.”
On Wednesday morning, Everson moderated a breakout session talk titled, “Children and Youth Task Forces,” and NWTEMC Executive Director Lynda Zambrano, KE7RWG, facilitated an open panel discussion between attendees and the NWTEMC Board of Directors. She reported hearing many “best tribal emergency preparedness conference ever” comments afterward. Read more. — Thanks to Steve Aberle, WA7PTM, Assistant State RACES Officer (Tribal Liaison), Washington State
Hawaii Hams Demonstrate Amateur Radio at Youth Fest
Members of the Kohala Hamakua Radio Club in Hawaii demonstrated Amateur Radio during the annual Keiki (Youth) Fest in Kamuela on the Big Island. The event April 22 event was sponsored by the North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH). South Kohala Emergency Coordinator Norm Cohler, NH7UA, and South Kohala AEC Steve Doyle, WH7TW, staffed the booth. An Icom IC-706 and a Buddipole were set up on 40 meters to demonstrate regional communication.
Although band conditions were poor, they made a few contacts, including those with Hamakua EC Rick Bowen, AH6RK, and North Hawaii DEC Eric Grabowski, KH6CQ. They also contacted a few stations on the 147.32 MHz repeater at NHCH.
“As usual, one of the biggest draws this year was Norm’s demonstration of Morse code, using a code practice oscillator,” Grabowski said. “As he keyed ‘HI’ and ‘SOS’ repeatedly, interest picked up and, at times, there was a line of four or five keiki waiting their turn to send their names in Morse code.”
Case Western Honors David Kazdan, AD8Y, for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
At its May 21 commencement ceremonies, Ohio’s Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) honored ARRL member David Kazdan, AD8Y, with the Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. A retired anesthesiologist and virtual renaissance man, Kazdan has leveraged his passion for Amateur Radio in his Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship (SAGES) course. SAGES classes stress critical thinking, written and oral communication, the use of information, quantitative reasoning, engagement with ethical issues and diversity, and exposure to experimental and theoretical approaches to understanding human culture and behavior, scientific knowledge, and methods of research.
As part of Kazdan’s course, all students must earn an Amateur Radio license and use the Case Amateur Radio Club’s W8EDU, where he’s a club advisor. Examination sessions can include 100 students at a time. Kazdan encourages his students “to pursue virtually anything that interests them within and beyond the requirements of his course,” said an article posted in The Daily, CWRU’s e-newsletter and website.
“The curricular material is the accreditation requirement for the degree, but it’s going to be the application of that material to life that matters,” Kazdan said. “Extracurriculars, including research, are that application.” Kazdan — who’s been licensed since 1970 — and his students use Amateur Radio to frame his SAGES course, exploring distance communication and how it has shrunk the world, the Daily article recounted. Students nominated him for the award.
Kazdan holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering from CWRU as well as another degree in electrical engineering, and is a musician, birder, cyclist, photographer, licensed pilot, and drone enthusiast. He said he was “honored and proud” to be recognized.
Low-Power Broadcasting Proponent Nick Leggett, N3NL, SK
Nickolaus Leggett, N3NL, an early low-power FM (LPFM) broadcasting proponent, civil libertarian, and inveterate commenter in a variety of FCC proceedings over the years, died on April 26 after a long illness. An ARRL member, he was 72. Hardly any FCC petition or proceeding escaped his attention, and Leggett was often listed among those who had expressed their opinions. A recent remembrance in Radio World magazine described Leggett as “an electronics technician, analyst, technical writer, and inventor who held multiple US patents,” but pointed out that he would be best known within broadcasting circles as one of the original petitioners for a super-local radio broadcasting service, which grew into the LPFM initiative. Leggett and co-petitioners — his wife Judith, and attorney and friend Don Schellhardt, KI4PMG — in 1997 sought to have the FCC establish a microbroadcasting radio service to give a voice to individuals and small groups.
“The microstation broadcasting service,” the petition said, “would also provide direct opportunity for citizen involvement in broadcasting.”
Although the FCC did not go along with Leggett’s vision for 10 W “micropower” LPFMs, he never gave up on that notion either. He also hoped the FCC would expand low-power broadcasting to the AM band. In 2013, Leggett urged the FCC to consider the value of AM broadcasting in emergencies and the establishment of neighborhood AM radio broadcasting outlets targeting specific communities.
Leggett and Schellhardt also lobbied for reform of rules regulating the erection of Amateur Radio antennas in neighborhoods governed by deed covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). Schellhardt credited Leggett with strongly encouraging and assisting him in becoming a radio amateur. Read more.
ISS Commander Peggy Whitson, ex-KC5ZTD, and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer, K2FSH, Conclude Spacewalk: International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson, ex-KC5ZTD, and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer, K2FSH (ex-KG5FYH), undertook a nearly 3-hour spacewalk to replace a faulty computer relay box and install a set of antennas to enhance radio communication on future spacewalks. This 10th spacewalk for Whitson moves her into third place all-time for cumulative spacewalking time. This was Fischer’s second spacewalk. The computer relay unit failed on May 20. The ISS has two, but needs one for a backup. Whitson and Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, had installed the failed computer relay box during a March 30 spacewalk.
Resting Place of Keel from Marconi’s Floating Lab Elettra to be “Museum Ships” Event Site:The resting place of the keel from wireless pioneer Guglielmo Marconi’s floating laboratory — the yacht Elettra — will be the site of a special event in conjunction with the annual Museum Ships Weekend Event, June 3-4, sponsored by the Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station NJ2BB. Marconi named his youngest daughter after the Elettra, which means “electron” in Italian. The Elettra special event, under the sponsorship of the Guglielmo Marconi Foundation, will use the call sign IQ4FE. Members of the Italian Amateur Radio Association (ARI) Fidenza Radio Club will operate from the vicinity of the Marconi Museum in Pontecchio, where the vessel’s keel is kept. — Thanks to Cristiano Cornini, IW4CLV, ARI Fidenza Radio Club President
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: The Australian Space Forecast Centre on May 23 issued a geomagnetic disturbance warning for May 26-27, starting with a minor to major storm warning for May 26, and a minor storm on May 27. These are due to what’s called a “partial halo coronal mass ejection.”
Space Weather Woman Tamitha Skov has released a new space weather video.
Average daily sunspot number for the May 18-24 reporting week increased from 3.4 to 31.7. The previous week had 5 days of zero sunspots. There were no zero-sunspot days this week, so the average daily sunspot number is much higher now.
Over the same 2 weeks, average daily solar flux rose from 70.5 to 74.1. Average daily planetary A index rose from 8.3 to 11, and average mid-latitude A index rose from 9.4 to 11.7.
Predicted solar flux is 78 on May 25-28; 75 on May 29-June 1; 72 on June 2-3; 70 on June 4-8; 72 on June 9-11; 74 onJune 12-18; 76 on June 19-23; 74 on June 24-25 (Field Day weekend); 72 on June 26-30, and 70 on July 1-5.
Predicted planetary A index is 5 on May 25; 12 on May 26-27; 10 and 8 on May 28-29; 5 on May 30-June 9; 10 and 12 onJune 10-11; 5 on June 12-13; 8, 10, and 20 on June 14-16; 12 on June 17-18; 8 on June 19, and 5 on June 20-July 6.
ARRL Field Day is just four weeks away! The 45-day predictions for solar flux and planetary A index look good for Field Day weekend. For June 23-25, the predicted planetary A index is 5 (good) and solar flux is 76 on Friday and 74 on Saturday and Sunday (not bad).
Sunspot numbers for May 18 through 24, were 24, 24, 22, 35, 55, 47, and 15, with a mean of 31.7. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 72.2, 72.3, 72.4, 73.5, 74.4, 76, and 77.9, with a mean of 74.1. Estimated planetary A indices were 11, 11, 24, 9, 10, 8, and 4, with a mean of 11. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 15, 13, 23, 10, 9, 8, and 4, with a mean of 11.7.
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