Louisiana Section Managers Newsletter April 2020

ARRL LOUISIANA SECTION MANAGERS NEWSLTTER APRIL 2020

 

I hope all of you are well!

Since the Hamfest in West Monroe was canceled our next one is scheduled for July in Slidell. I sure hope that things will be back to normal by then.  I know that many are disappointed with Hamvention being canceled as well.

 

SILENT KEYS: As listed in May QST

Larry LeBlanc, KE5KJD

David Romano, KG5OPB

 

NEW HAMS:  CONGRATULATIONS AND WELCOME!

Report for 2020-04-02

Brandon D Willmott, KI5IPD
Kenner, LA 70065-3219

James M Chauvin, KI5IPC
Houma, LA 70364-3010

Matthew B Mckellar, KI5IPZ
Lafayette, LA 70506-3634

Jason T Olivier, KI5IQB
Arnaudville, LA 70512-3527

Victor L Baudoin, KI5IMV
Jeanerette, LA 70544-8211

Jason O Noel, KI5IQA
Opelousas, LA 70570-0537

Chad A Comeaux, KI5IPY
Youngsville, LA 70592-6302

Dawson G Andrews, KI5IMY
French Settlement, LA 70733-2540

Elienne A Blanchat, KI5IPK
Natchitoches, LA 71457-3582

Will D Butterfield, KI5IPJ
Pollock, LA 71467-3942

 

UPGRADED LICESNES:  CONGRATULATIONS!

Report for 2020-04-02

Justin M White, KI5IBP
West Monroe, LA 71291-8856

John L Eubanks, KI5HVM
Pineville, LA 71360-5801

 

New/Renewed ARRL members:  WELCOME/WELCOME BACK!

Report for 2020-04-02

Janice W Liang, WA5RDR
Metairie, LA 70003-1925

Abdulbasit N Mahmud, KD5BKW
Metairie, LA 70003-6339

Daniel R Sicuro, W5KKZ
Kenner, LA 70062-6040

Steven P Schwenker, K2JY
New Orleans, LA 70122-5915

Anja B Urner, KF5NKW
River Ridge, LA 70123-1126

Thomas B Harang, KF5DKN
Thibodaux, LA 70301-3503

Hubert J Cavalier, K5HCV
Napoleonville, LA 70390-8515

Moise M Collins, N5TSQ
Slidell, LA 70461-2910

David J DeCourt, KI5DHH
New Iberia, LA 70563-0053

Bradley Bordelon, KE5VLB
Lake Charles, LA 70611-6208

David B Guidry
Lake Charles, LA 70611-6224

Dustin K Royer, KG5AFX
Dequincy, LA 70633-4629

Lisa D Jacobs, KC5ACA
Deridder, LA 70634-3640

Lonnie P Jacobs, AC5A
Deridder, LA 70634-3640

Anthony Savant, KE5YXW
Kinder, LA 70648-3532

Jeff W Waldrop, N1JWW
Westlake, LA 70669-3102

John J Barnes, N5WWL
Denham Springs, LA 70706-0631

Robert A Davis, W1DOS
Baker, LA 70714-6061

August J Levert, KF5NA
Greenwell Springs, LA 70739-3909

Larry J Simms, KB5KKL
Plaquemine, LA 70765-0024

Justin M White, KI5IBP
West Monroe, LA 71291-8856

William C Huddleston, KE5CMC
Alexandria, LA 71306-0452

Michael W Stokes, AA5ES
Pineville, LA 71360-5550

Dennis P Vaughan, KG5FNU
Campti, LA 71411-4104

Thomas J Bird, WJ5Y
Many, LA 71449-5375

David A Mcnair, AC2WU
Fort Polk, LA 71459-3630

Jerry W Penfield, KG5UPA
Zwolle, LA 71486-3078

 

FROM THE ARRL:

http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/?issue=2020-03-26

http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter?issue=2020-04-02

http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter?issue=2020-04-09

http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter?issue=2020-04-16

http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/?issue=2020-04-23

 

Field Day 2020 — A Time to Adapt

03/27/2020

Many individuals and groups organizing events for Field Day 2020 have been contacting ARRL for guidance on how to adapt their planned activities in this unprecedented time of social distancing and uncertainty.

 

“Due to the unique situation presented this year, this can be an opportunity for you, your club, and/or group to try something new,” ARRL Contest Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, said. “Field Day isn’t about doing things the same way year after year. Use this year to develop and employ a new approach that is in line with the current circumstances.”

 

Social distancing and state and local requirements very likely will impact just how — and even whether — you are able to participate in Field Day this year. ARRL continues monitoring the coronavirus situation, paying close attention to information and guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If social distancing means that Class A with a 30-member team set up in a city park won’t work this year, then it’s time for a Plan B. Part of the Field Day concept has always been adapting your operation to the situation at hand. At its heart, Field Day is an emergency communication demonstration. Field Day rules are flexible enough to allow individuals and groups to adjust their participation and strategies in a way that still addresses their needs while being fun. Some possibilities:

 

Encourage club members to operate from their home stations on emergency power (Class E).

Use the club’s repeater as a means for individual participants to keep in touch during the event.

Family members interested in operating Field Day and unable to participate as part of a larger group may want to consider setting up a portable station in the backyard with a temporary antenna.

One big impact this year will be a decline in public visibility and any interaction with the visitors. Prudence may dictate dispensing with the ham radio PR table to attract passersby, should you set up in a more public location. It’s okay not to score all the bonus points you may have attempted in the past. Local and served agency officials may be unwilling to visit, which is understandable under the circumstances. Do be sure to reach out to them as part of your preparations and remind them that you look forward to continuing your working relationship with them in the future.

 

The impact will differ from place to place, so ARRL recommends that all amateur radio clubs participating in Field Day stay in regular contact with local or state public health officials for their advice and guidance on hosting Field Day activities.

 

Demonstrating an understanding of the health crisis we all face and your willingness to adapt will show that you and your club or group are good working partners with local or served agencies.

 

“With any emergency preparedness exercise, it’s not about adapting the situation to your operation, it’s about adapting your operation to the situation that presents itself,” Bourque said. “Try something different. Learn something new about how you prepare. It may be a challenge, and you may have to ask yourself if you’re up to the challenge. We hope to hear you on the air over the June 27 – 28 weekend.” — Thanks to Paul Bourque, N1SFE, and Dan Henderson, N1ND

 

COVID-19 Affects Space Station Crew Transition

03/30/2020

International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 62 crew is readying its Soyuz MS-15 vehicle for an April 17 departure back to Earth. Expedition 62 members are NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Meir; Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan, KI5AAA, and Commander Oleg Skripochka, RA0LDJ. The Expedition 63 crew members who are to replace them are nearing an April 9 launch aboard the Soyuz MS-16 vehicle.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin, and Ivan Vagner arrived this week at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for final training. The Expedition 63 trio is scheduled to live aboard the station for a little longer than 6 months, with Cassidy as commander. Because of travel limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cassidy’s family will watch from home when he blasts off on April 9. Launch day at Baikonur is usually a festive affair.

“But it’ll be completely quiet,” Cassidy said in a Spaceflight Now satellite interview from Star City, Russia. “There won’t be anybody there.” A NASA protocol has long been in place to prevent astronauts from carrying disease microbes into space. All astronauts going to orbit must go through a 2-week “health stabilization” quarantine period. This way, NASA can make sure the crew is not incubating any illnesses before launch. NASA said it “will continue to evaluate and augment this plan, in coordination with its international and commercial partners,” if needed.

Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos has shut down all media activity surrounding the Soyuz launch, barring journalists from covering the mission in person. Russia will still live-stream the launch; NASA typically carries all of its crewed launches online via its NASA TV channel. The mid-April return of the Expedition 62 crew would typically involve a large number of recovery personnel.

SpaceX will be ready to send its first crew of NASA astronauts to the ISS aboard its Crew Dragon capsule sometime in May. NASA has not said what might happen if those operations should change in light of the pandemic. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service

 

International Marconi Day 2020 has been Canceled

03/31/2020

The annual International Marconi Day (IMD) ham radio operating event that was set to take place on April 25 has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 24-hour amateur radio event celebrates the birth of Marconi on April 25, 1874. Sponsored by the Cornish Radio Amateur Club, which operates as GB4IMD, International Marconi Day features participating stations operating at sites having a personal connection to Marconi, including places where he set up transmitting and receiving stations.

Former ARRL DXCC Manager Don Search, W3AZD, SK

03/31/2020

Former ARRL DXCC Manager Donald B. “Don” Search, W3AZD, of Davie, Florida, died on March 26. Search was widely known throughout the DXing community and was a fixture at many hamfests and conventions, including the Dayton Hamvention®, where he checked cards for years. An ARRL Life Member, he was 80. A skillful DXer, Search was on the DXCC Honor Roll with 378 entities confirmed on phone. He and his partner Hope Smith, WB3ANE, were early members of the National Capitol DX Association (NCDXA) — traveling from Florida to attend monthly meetings as recently as 2018. He also belonged to the Potomac Valley Radio Club (PVRC).

According to reports, Search had struggled with health issues related to a fall last December in which he struck his head.

A nearly lifelong radio amateur, Search worked as an electronics technician in Maryland before serving for about 15 years as ARRL DXCC Manager from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. In addition to ham radio, his interests included astronomy. Arrangements are pending.

 

Circuit Board for Bare-Bones Ventilator Moves Toward Production with Radio Amateurs’ Help

04/01/2020

Radio amateurs continue to play key roles in developing the electronic control system for an open-source/architecture, modular, low-cost human patient ventilator. The device itself was designed by researcher Sem Lampotang and his team at University of Florida Health — the school’s academic health center — using such commonly available components as PVC pipe and lawn-sprinkler valves. The idea is to create a bare-bones ventilator that could serve in the event of a ventilator shortage.

“The way I looked at it is, if you’re going to run out of ventilators, then we’re not even trying to reproduce the sophisticated ventilators out there,” Lampotang said. “If we run out, you have to decide who gets one and who doesn’t. How do you decide that? The power of our approach is that every well-intentioned volunteer who has access to Home Depot, Ace, Lowe’s, or their equivalent worldwide can build one.”

His team is working on adding safety features to meet regulatory guidelines, then they will run engineering tests to determine safety, accuracy, and endurance of the machine, which can be built for as little as $125 to $250.

Dr. Gordon Gibby, KX4Z — a retired associate professor of anesthesiology at the University of Florida and an electrical engineer — is among those involved in the project, developing control-system prototypes. He reports that a trial printed circuit board is being created, populated, and tested prior to large-scale fabrication. “This should lead to a documented open-source design that can be replicated or improved upon by any interested manufacturer,” Gibby said, noting that the board could be built anywhere in the world, based on the Arduino Nano microcontroller.

“A huge amount of work has gone on in the design of the circuit boards,” Gibby told ARRL. “We have at least two, maybe three designs, ready for fabrication.” Current design specifications and a video of prototypes have been posted online. The Arduino-based control software will set the respiratory rate and other key parameters in treating critically ill coronavirus victims. Other radio amateurs involved in the control system aspect of the project include Jack Purdum, W8TEE, and uBITX transceiver maker Ashhar Farhan, VU2ESE.

Using a Groups.io forum, up to 140 volunteers have been studying or working to push the project to completion. Software is being created by multiple volunteers, with amateur radio operators involved in that phase as well.

The ventilator’s valves will precisely time the flow of compressed oxygen into a patient with lungs weakened by viral pneumonia in order to extend life and allow time for the body to clear the infection.

Among the project’s assumptions: The Food and Drug Administration will waive clearance for the bare-bones design, if a massive shortage develops; traditional medical components and supplies used in ventilators will be in short supply, and transportation will be impaired or disrupted.

 

Contest Entry Features Multiple Operator Locations and Remote Transmitter-Receiver Site

04/01/2020

Restrictions on gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic recently prompted a novel approach to multioperator/multi-transmitter operation. The WW2DX entry in the CQ World Wide WPX SSB Contest over the March 28 – 29 weekend featured 10 operators, each at separate locations around the US and in Europe, all operating via a single remote site on the coast of eastern Maine. WW2DX entered in the multioperator high-power category, racking up a claimed score of 32,026,176 points. NR6O operated remotely from the west coast with a smaller complement of remote operators in the same category.

“It was so much fun to work this contest,” one of the WW2DX operators, 17-year-old Connor Black, W4IPC, remarked. “This was the most fun I’ve had in a contest ever. We had no equipment failures and pulled off, hopefully, a new US record.”

In soapbox comments on the 3830scores.com website, Lee Imber, WW2DX, expressed his belief that this year’s contest would be viewed as a turning point in multioperator contesting. Participants had nothing but a web browser and a USB headset to operate, with the closest team partner some 625 miles away. “No radio, no hardware, no traveling, and no external logger,” he noted.

Team members brainstormed various configurations. Rock Schrock, WW1X, custom-engineered the requisite software. In addition to Black, the team included a few other young — but experienced — contesters: 13-year-old Charles Hoppe, AA4LS; 17-year-old Mason Matrazzo, KM4SII, and 21-year-old Tucker McGuire, W4FS. The more senior team members were K1LZ, K3JO, W1ADI, W2RE, WW1X, and WW2DX.

“We also used Slack and created a channel for the team to stay connected over the weekend, and this ended up being half the fun,” Imber said. “Game time.” Another feature included the “multi bell,” which would chime whenever a new multiplier was logged. He said it was “awesome having seasoned pro operators sharing and mentoring these young contesters.”

“The world is experiencing something on a whole new level,” he observed. “I think it’s clear that multi-multi contesting in general is also going to see big changes moving forward. I am looking forward to that.”

The ARRL Contest Update Editor Brian Moran, N9ADG, said in this week’s newsletter, “Until restrictions on gatherings are relaxed, this is a winning model for multi-multi efforts. Perhaps this is also the model of future big-gun multi-multi stations.”

 

Use of Special Call Sign Suffixes in the US During COVID-19 Pandemic

04/06/2020

Some countries have authorized selected radio amateurs or organizations to identify with longer-than-normal suffixes that relate to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as “STAYHOME.” FCC Part 97 Amateur Radio Service rules do not provide for amateur call sign suffixes longer than three characters, but a potential workaround exists.

As §97.119(c) of the FCC’s Amateur Radio Service rules states: “One or more indicators may be included with the call sign. Each indicator must be separated from the call sign by the slant mark (/) or by any suitable word that denotes the slant mark. If an indicator is self-assigned, it must be included before, after, or both before and after, the call sign. No self-assigned indicator may conflict with any other indicator specified by the FCC Rules or with any prefix assigned to another country.”

While ARRL has no plans to sponsor or support an effort as an ARRL contest-based activity, licensees desiring to do this as a one-off stay-at-home event are welcome to do so.

 

Icom Announces Delay in Delivery of New IC-705 Transceiver

04/06/2020

Icom has announced that delivery of the new IC-705 HF – 430 MHz all-mode 10 W transceiver, which was scheduled to be released in March, has been pushed back to later this year because the coronavirus pandemic has delayed the delivery of some components. “We are sorry to share this disappointing news,” Icom said, “and as soon as we have more information, we will post it on our website and social media pages.” Many radio amateurs had made reservations for the IC-705.

 

Randy Thompson, K5ZD, Named as Interim CQ WPX Contest Director

04/06/2020

Randy Thompson, K5ZD, is filling in as CQ WPX Contest Director. CQ’s Rich Moseson, W2VU, announced the appointment of Thompson as interim director following the resignation of Terry Zivney, N4TZ, who had been the director for 7 years. Thompson previously served as director of the CQ World Wide Contest and is a long-time CQ Contest Committee member. Anyone interested in taking on the WPX Director position on a permanent basis should contact Moseson.

 

Japan to Expand Access to 160 Meters

04/06/2020

Yoshi Shoji, JG7AMD, reports that Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is about to expand access to 160 meters for radio amateurs and permit SSB on that band. The current 160-meter band in Japan consists of 1810 – 1825 kHz (CW) plus 1907.5 – 1912.5 for CW and data. Japan will allocate 1800 – 1810 kHz and 1825 – 1875 kHz for all amateur radio modes. The effective date has not yet been announced.

 

Spain Grants Unlicensed Individuals Permission to Use Amateur Stations During Lockdown

04/02/2020

Spain’s International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-society URE has obtained temporary permission from the country’s telecommunications regulator for unlicensed people to use amateur stations during the coronavirus lockdown.

“The main objective of the request is to disseminate and promote amateur radio among schoolchildren who must be confined at home,” the announcement from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Infrastructure said. “This activity offers young people the opportunity to gain practical experience in telecommunications technology, promotes education in technological subjects, and is a socially enriching family activity.”

The temporary authorization would be in place while the state of alert and mandatory confinement measures are in effect in Spain. Non-licensed individuals could operate an amateur station only under the direct supervision of the licensee, under current amateur radio rules and regulations.

 

Ned Stearns, AA7A, Appointed as ARRL Southwestern Division Vice Director

04/07/2020

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, has appointed Edward J. “Ned” Stearns, AA7A, of Scottsdale, Arizona, as ARRL Southwestern Division Vice Director, succeeding Mark Weiss, K6FG, who resigned.

This will mark the third time Stearns has held the post. He served as Southwestern Division Vice Director for 2005 – 2006 and again for 2017 – 2019.

A retired electrical engineer, Stearns has been licensed since 1963 and is active on all bands from 160 meters through 23 centimeters. His principal interests are DXing, contesting, VHF, moonbounce, antenna design, and homebrewing.

 

New TQSL Version 2.5.2 Provides Better LoTW Rover Support, Other Improvements

04/07/2020

The latest version of TrustedQSL (TQSL), version 2.5.2, offers improved Logbook of The World (LoTW) support for operations from several locations, as well as the ability to detect uploads that contain incorrect location data. The primary new feature in TQSL 2.5.2 allows logging programs, in conjunction with TQSL, to avoid incorrect contact uploads, while adding mechanisms to allow easy uploading of logs for roving stations. LoTW had required rovers to identify each location used as a separate location in TQSL. The new version of TQSL allows these operations to be handled much more smoothly by using information from the station’s logging program.

When a log is signed by TQSL, the station details — call Sign, DXCC entity, grid square, and other location details provided by the selected station location (and call sign certificate) — are compared with the details in the log. If the US state and station location in a log do not agree, TQSL 2.5.2 will reject the contact, detecting errors in instances when an incorrect station location has been chosen. This feature will necessitate changes in many logging programs, because it requires that the log provide station details previously not used by TQSL. Once a logging program supplies these (MY_STATE, MY_DXCC, MY_CQ_ZONE, etc.), then TQSL will validate them against the log. Currently, Cabrillo logs use the CALLSIGN field to verify that the contacts are for the correct call sign.

Optionally, a station performing roaming operations (e.g., from multiple grid squares) can choose to have TQSL assume that the log is correct. When call sign or home station are provided with the log, TQSL will automatically update the details on the upload. Select “Override Station Location with QTH Details from your Log” on the “Log Handling” preference page to enable this feature.

This release also includes an update to the most recent TQSL configuration file. — Thanks to Rick Murphy, K1MU

 

World Amateur Radio Day on April 18 Celebrates 95th Anniversary of the IARU

04/07/2020

Saturday, April 18, is World Amateur Radio Day (WARD), this year marking the 95th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). Around the world, amateur radio special event stations — most sponsored by IARU member-societies — will mark the event on the air, starting on April 18 at 0000 UTC and continuing until April 19, at 0000, honing skills and capabilities while enjoying global friendship with other amateurs worldwide. The theme for WARD is “Celebrating Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society.” IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, notes that the COVID-19 pandemic casts the event in a different light than in years past.

“A few short weeks ago, many of us could not imagine the levels of isolation that we are now dealing with and the sacrifices of many on the front lines of the pandemic,” Ellam said. “As we have done in past challenges to our society, amateur radio will play a key part in keeping people connected and assisting those who need support.”

Ellam said he’s coming off his own 14-day isolation after returning from overseas. “I am touched by the kindness of strangers who assisted me when I was unable to leave my house,” he said. “It strikes me amateur radio operators, who give so much during these times of crisis are not limited to assisting over the air. Amateurs are true volunteers, and I would encourage everyone to assist in the community as they are able to.”

On April 18, 1925, the IARU was formed in Paris, with ARRL cofounder Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW, in attendance. Radio amateurs were the first to discover that shortwave spectrum could support worldwide propagation, and in the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, amateur radio found itself “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” as IARU history puts it. Two years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, amateur radio gained allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters. From an initial 25 countries, the IARU has grown to include 160 member-societies in three regions.

How to Participate

  • Get on the air. Create your own personal “event” to talk about amateur radio. (To list your World Amateur Radio Day event, contactIARU Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ.)
  • Check into the Echolink World Conference and IRLP 9251. The special event call sign will be W7W.
  • Look for and contact stations using the W7W call sign.
  • Create and hold a special net on World Amateur Radio Day to draw attention to the event and allow hams to start talking about our hobby.
  • Spread the word. If you’re responsible for club publicity, send a press release and do public relations outreach to highlight the event.
  • Promote your personal World Amateur Radio Day activity on social media by using the hashtag #WorldAmateurRadioDayon Twitter and Facebook.
  • Use the posterand flyer that IARU provides in publicizing the event, amateur radio, and your group or club.

World Amateur Radio Day is not a contest but an opportunity to talk about the value of amateur radio to the public and our fellow amateur colleagues. It is also a great opportunity to talk about your club and amateur radio in local media.

In this time of social isolation, amateur radio continues to remain relevant in bringing people together. “Social distancing” has long been a positive practice in the hobby by bringing people together culturally through radio while providing essential communication in the service of communities.

“My wish for this World Amateur Radio Day is for everyone to stay safe, follow the advice of medical professionals and use amateur radio and your skills to help us through this crisis,” Ellam said.

 

New Volunteer Monitor Program is Up and Running

04/10/2020

After kicking off on January 1, the new Volunteer Monitor Program has ramped up to operational status. A “soft rollout” of the program began on February1, designed to familiarize Volunteer Monitors (VMs) with issues on the bands and to put into practice what to report — and what to ignore, based on their training. The VMs not only will be looking for operating discrepancies, but for examples of good operating. The VM program has, at least for the moment, put Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, back in the center of amateur radio enforcement as the Volunteer Monitor Coordinator (VMC). He was brought aboard to get the program up and running, and ARRL will eventually take over the VMC function.

Hollingsworth is using a system called VMTRAC — developed by a VM — to measure the work of VMs and determine instances that qualify for good operator or discrepancy notices, referral to the FCC, or follow-up with FCC requests to the VM program. Hollingsworth reported that during March, the 165 active VMs logged upward of 2,300 hours of monitoring on HF, and nearly 2,000 hours on VHF-UHF and other frequencies.

“I am extremely pleased with the number of hours devoted to monitoring this early in the program,” Hollingsworth said. No stone is being left unturned. Two VMs constantly monitor FT8 watering holes and have developed programs that alert them if a licensee is operating outside of privileges accorded to that license class or if a license has expired. “That has occurred in a half dozen cases so far,” he said.

“We have 30 open cases, five of which are good operator cases,” Hollingsworth said. “Regarding open cases relating to rule violations, none have yet had to be referred to the FCC.” He said he’s experimented with letters, telephone calls, or emails to the subjects of discrepancy reports where they could be identified. While he’s still waiting for replies to his written correspondence, he has received responses to his calls and emails, and the violations have either stopped or were explained. “They were violations such as expired licenses, Technicians operating on General frequencies, unauthorized use of a call sign, and deliberate interference,” he said.

One case “being groomed for FCC referral,” he said, involves long-standing interference to a repeater in the Philadelphia area by someone using an unauthorized call sign. Hollingsworth said he worked with net control operators of nets on 75 and 40 meters that had been suffering serious interference, and so far the solutions are working.

“It is becoming apparent that if informal contact can be made by the VMC with a known offender, the problem can sometimes be stopped,” Hollingsworth said. “If this continues to work, it will minimize FCC referral and make those we do refer more worthy of FCC resources and more severe action. We do not want to call upon the FCC unless absolutely necessary, but when we do, the subjects should understand that FCC action will be expedited. I think our own enforcement outreach may resolve all but our very worst cases. At the present time, we have only one in which we do not have a suspicion as to who is causing the problem.”

 

ARRL VEC Issues Statement on Video-Supervised Online Exam Sessions

04/13/2020

Very few ARRL Volunteer Examiner teams have successfully conducted in-person exam sessions (following social distancing guidelines) and video-supervised exam sessions using fillable PDF exams and documents. So far, we have found that both types of sessions take volunteer teams two to three times longer to conduct and accommodate fewer candidates than sessions conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, the video sessions have included only one examinee per session.

We ask the community to be patient with our volunteer teams as they navigate uncharted territory. Please remember with the introduction of significant new processes such as these, that there should be proof of concept, establishment of protocols and procedures, and beta testing before expanding to a larger audience. Video-supervised exam sessions require a different skillset than in-person exam administration. Not all teams will be equipped to deliver video exams right away.

The ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) has been investigating options for an online examination system.

Fillable PDFs are cumbersome within a video-supervised exam session process. We recognize that online testing would represent a large-scale solution for our thousands of VEs and would make session procedures easier for our teams, but this will not happen overnight.

The ARRL VEC will continue to adapt and respond to the evolving crisis as we search for viable and easy-to-use online examination system solutions and conduct exam sessions in innovative ways.

 

New 144 MHz Transatlantic Record Reported

04/13/2020

The claimed transatlantic record on 2 meters has been extended to nearly 4,760 kilometers (2,951 miles).

“The incredible tropo conditions between Cape Verde Islands and the Caribbean continue to amaze with transatlantic contacts on 144 MHz and 432 MHz being made,” John Desmond, EI7GL, said in a blog post. The April 8 FT8 contact was between D4VHF in the Cape Verde Islands and PJ2BR on Curacao. The distance covered was some 300 kilometers greater than the previous transatlantic record, set last summer by D41CV and NP4BM.

The new 2-meter transatlantic record distance is about 10 kilometers short of the IARU Region 1 tropospheric propagation record on that band, Desmond said.

On April 7, an operator at D4VHF and Burt Demarcq, FG8OJ, on Guadeloupe completed the first direct transatlantic contact on 70 centimeters, spanning 3,867 kilometers (2,398 miles) using FT8.

 

Fresh Crew Arrives on ISS

04/13/2020

Astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, and two Russian cosmonauts arrived on April 9 as the Expedition 63 crew on the International Space Station, temporarily restoring the orbiting laboratory’s population to six people. A Soyuz spacecraft transported Cassidy, Anatoly Ivanishin, and Ivan Vagner on a four-orbit, 6-hour flight after launching from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Expedition 63 crew will live aboard the station for a bit longer than 6 months, with Cassidy as commander.

The Expedition 62 crew of Jessica Meir, Drew Morgan, KI5AAA, and Oleg Skripochka, RA0LDJ, will head back to Earth on April 17.

 

Hamvention QSO Party Set for Saturday, May 16

04/09/2020

The Hamvention QSO Party, a sort of virtual Dayton Hamvention®, will take place on the HF bands on May 16, which would be the Saturday of the now-canceled event. “Let’s celebrate the many years we have all had at the Great Gathering we call Hamvention,” said an announcement over the signatures of Tim Duffy, K3LR, and Michael Kalter, W8CI.

“We also want to remember Ron Moorefield, W8ILC, who never missed a Hamvention and contributed to our club until his recent death. Let’s light up the airwaves with our remembrances of Hamventions of the past! See you on the air!”

The Hamvention QSO Party will be a 12-hour event, 1200 UTC until 2400 UTC on May 16. Operate CW or SSB on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters, exchanging signal report and the first year you attended Hamvention. If you have never attended Hamvention, send “2020.”

Designated members of Hamvention’s host, the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA), will activate DARA’s W8BI. Participants can add 10 points for each band/mode contact with W8BI (12 available). Post scores (number of contacts) to 3830scores.com within 5 days of the event. An online certificate will be available to print. No logs will be collected. N1MM Logger+ has provided a User Defined Contest module for the event. More information is on the N1MM Logger+ website.

 

ARISS Altering its Approach in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic

04/14/2020

In a message to Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) team members, sponsors, and educational institutions, ARISS International President Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, outlined how ARISS is transforming its activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our primary objective in these challenging times is to protect all students, faculty, astronauts, and our volunteer team in all we do,” Bauer said, noting the international scope of ARISS and the space station. “Each one of us, around the globe, is dealing with the COVID-19 virus in one way or another. Each area of the globe is unique in the virus spread as well as in the government policy to protect their people. And the situation in each location is changing rapidly.”

ARISS has postponed school/group contacts in Georgia, Tennessee, and California, as well as in South Africa and Romania. At least one school/group contact in the UK has been canceled altogether.

“ARISS needs to be prepared for a longer term effect — months,” Bauer said. “As a result, we have instituted an immediate response effort followed by a more strategic, longer term, initiative to protect all. ARISS leadership, working with a physician on the leadership team, is carefully reviewing all of our procedures in light of the evolving COVID-19 recommendations. We will continue to monitor the local and global situations and will modify our local and global planning as these situations change.”

Bauer said that over the short term, ARISS mentors will work with each school or organization in the ham radio contact queue “to determine the way forward.” He said ARISS would rely on local government COVID-19 policy for guidance in deciding whether to cancel or postpone a contact or to modify the contact schedule. “But in each case, we are encouraging all to put health and safety first. And each contact decision is being carefully scrutinized by the senior ARISS International leadership team,” he said.

Bauer said that several initiatives are in the works over the longer term “to transform how we interact with students and host educational institutions in light of COVID-19” by engaging with students and educational institutions virtually. One possibility, he said, is ARISS “virtual school” contacts, employing ARISS telebridge ground stations around the world to link individual students at home with audio and streaming video. Typically, telebridge stations serve as ground stations for ARISS contacts with schools not in the footprint of an ISS orbital pass. “ARISS plans to transition into this model in the next couple of weeks,” Bauer said.

ARISS also is planning several slow-scan television (SSTV) sessions, during which images from the ISS would be transmitted to at-home students. “These can be received directly, if a student has a radio, or indirectly, if a student connects to a remote station via internet or goes to the ARISS SSTV Gallery, where all downloaded images can be posted and reviewed,” Bauer explained.

Bauer characterized the ARISS long-term approach as “a huge pivot” for the organization, but said ARISS considers it “a great strategic move” going forward. “It should be noted that one reason we were allowed to set up ARISS on ISS was to help astronauts improve their psychological well-being by allowing them to freely talk to students, friends, and ham radio operators on the ground,” he said. “We are now at a juncture, with COVID-19, to help do the same for students — in other words, providing a psychological well-being STEM motivation to students, faculty, and the local community through ARISS on-orbit connections — virus free!”

 

Remotely Administered Amateur Exam Systems Showing Promise

Facing a growing demand for amateur radio exam sessions in a time of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, sponsors of some Volunteer Examiner (VE) teams have risen to the challenge and are developing systems to remotely proctor test sessions.

“Many of our VEs and VE Teams have been working on remotely proctored exam session ideas, employing both video and in-person components — following social distancing protocols,” ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, said. “We have been receiving interesting and innovative suggestions, and we appreciate the dedication and ingenuity our examiners have shown.”

The Spalding County Amateur Radio Club in Georgia is among those that have come up with plans to remotely administer amateur exams while complying with ARRL VEC testing standards during COVID-19 stay-home mandates and social distancing guidelines. Current systems leverage Zoom video-teleconferencing technology, the “Fill & Sign” feature of Adobe PDFs, reliable email, appropriate computer equipment and internet connection, and no volunteer examiners (VEs) present at individual remote test sites. The Georgia club collaborated and shared ideas with the Emergency Amateur Radio Club (EARC) in Hawaii, which has successfully conducted sessions since 2011 with its own remote testing system, initially with paper exams with a proctor on site and now with fillable PDFs, with no on-site proctor.

The Georgia club obtained ARRL VEC approval to administer video-supervised exams. The club’s David Robinson, K4WVZ, said the first exam session took place this week, with another set for next week, and “many more in the pipeline” going forward.

“We have started with testing just one candidate at a time but are planning to ramp up to multiple candidates — probably two or three — simultaneously,” Robinson told ARRL. “Before we do that, we want a few more single sessions under our belt and a few more Video VEs trained. It also gives us an opportunity to garner lessons learned from each test session and upgrade our procedures accordingly.” Robinson said this week’s session went “exceedingly well,” and the candidate passed the test.

The club’s procedures entail a pre-exam video interview with candidates to ensure they understand all the requirements and procedures. “This also allows us to test the candidate’s ability to work with the video and computer technology before the actual exam,” Robinson explained. “Training sessions were conducted for VEs to make sure they understood their role and how to use the technology.”

Following the exam, the VEs score the test and sign off on the paperwork, with the VE Team Leader submitting the application online and by mail, per ARRL VEC instructions. Application and successful exam are first accepted and then submitted to the FCC for processing.

New England Amateur Radio Inc (NE1AR), an affiliate of New England Sci-Tech, (NESciTech), has taken it one step further, Somma said. It got the approval of ARRL VEC to begin trials of what it describes as “completely online testing with strict rules and protocols for maintaining the integrity of the testing environment.” NE1AR is limiting candidates to one exam per candidate, due to the current candidate backlog and the “difficulty of administering exams online.” Candidates must agree to a list of protocols, which include no visitors (or pets) in the exam room and a cell-phone camera scan of the entire room and exam area “to show that there are no materials or people [in the room] that could aid in taking the exam.” If the VE team suspects the possibility of cheating, the exam may be terminated and the candidate barred from future online exam sessions.

“We began a series of trials on April 1 under ARRL VEC review and have now been asked to help train more VE Teams on the process,” NE1AR President Bob Phinney, K5TEC, told ARRL. “We have now tested 12 applicants and are still working on streamlining the process. We are working with the software developer of the exam delivery system to help them adapt the system for video-supervised testing.” At present, Phinney said, only one person at a time can be tested. Another time-related issue is how long it takes a candidate to go through the NE1AR security protocol. “Sometimes, the setup and follow-up for an exam take far longer than the exam itself, in order that we provide complete integrity of the exam session,” he said.

With pressure continuing to build to provide testing compatible with COVID-19 guidelines and stay-home orders, ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, has asked the amateur radio community to be patient. “Please remember that with the introduction of significant new processes such as these, that there should be proof of concept, establishment of protocols and procedures, and beta testing, before expanding to a larger audience,” she said this week. Somma said video-supervised exam sessions require a different skillset than in-person exam administration, and not all teams will be equipped to deliver video exams right away.

“ARRL is pleased to be one of the leaders in providing an opportunity, although limited initially, for video-supervised exams in this time of social distancing and isolation required by the current health situation,” Somma said.

 

COVID-19 Net Now Running Wednesdays on 40 Meters

04/20/2020

The Medical Net, a special COVID-19 net, is running Wednesdays, 0130 UTC, on 7.222 MHz. The net deals with correct data on COVID-19 epidemiology care, care issues, and more. Net control will be Dr. Harry Przekop, WB9EDP, a past president of the Medical Amateur Radio Council Organization (MARCO) and now a director at large.

Przekop is a specialist in infectious diseases and biomedical physics and is board-certified as an expert in HIV care.

Participants do not need to be physicians or medical providers to check in, ask questions, and otherwise take part, but no diagnoses can be rendered. The regular MARCO Grand Rounds Net is held on Sundays, 1500 UTC, on 14.342 MHz.

 

ARRL/TAPR DCC Going Virtual

04/20/2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC), originally planned for Charlotte, North Carolina, will take place as an online virtual conference on the same dates, September 11 – 13. Details of the virtual DCC will be announced in the coming months as event plans are finalized. Plans call for holding the 2021 DCC in Charlotte.

 

FCC Seeking World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee Members

04/20/2020

The FCC has announced that it’s looking for individuals or entities to serve on its World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee. The committee will provide advice, technical support, and recommended proposals in the run-up to World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23). In particular, the committee will focus on international frequency spectrum issues identified on the WRC-23 agenda.

The committee will be charged with gathering data and information necessary to formulate meaningful recommendations for these objectives. The FCC seeks applications from interested individuals, organizations, institutions, or other entities in both the public and private sectors.

Selection will be based on factors such as expertise and diversity of viewpoints necessary to effectively address the questions before the committee. Applicants should describe both their specific interests and their expertise or experience as it relates to the questions before the committee, including such matters as wireless communications infrastructure and equipment, telecommunications, fixed, mobile, broadcasting, satellite, and other radiocommunication services, consumer advocacy, and underserved populations.

It’s anticipated that the committee will meet in Washington, DC, up to three times per year in preparation for WRC-23. Submit nominations, including contact information and the statement of qualifications, by email no later than May 29, 2020.

 

ARRL/TAPR DCC Going Virtual

04/20/2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC), originally planned for Charlotte, North Carolina, will take place as an online virtual conference on the same dates, September 11 – 13. Details of the virtual DCC will be announced in the coming months as event plans are finalized. Plans call for holding the 2021 DCC in Charlotte.

 

FCC Seeking World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee Members

04/20/2020

The FCC has announced that it’s looking for individuals or entities to serve on its World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee. The committee will provide advice, technical support, and recommended proposals in the run-up to World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23). In particular, the committee will focus on international frequency spectrum issues identified on the WRC-23 agenda.

The committee will be charged with gathering data and information necessary to formulate meaningful recommendations for these objectives. The FCC seeks applications from interested individuals, organizations, institutions, or other entities in both the public and private sectors.

Selection will be based on factors such as expertise and diversity of viewpoints necessary to effectively address the questions before the committee. Applicants should describe both their specific interests and their expertise or experience as it relates to the questions before the committee, including such matters as wireless communications infrastructure and equipment, telecommunications, fixed, mobile, broadcasting, satellite, and other radiocommunication services, consumer advocacy, and underserved populations.

It’s anticipated that the committee will meet in Washington, DC, up to three times per year in preparation for WRC-23. Submit nominations, including contact information and the statement of qualifications, by email no later than May 29, 2020.

 

Contest University (CTU) 2020 will be Free and Online

04/21/2020

Tim Duffy, K3LR, has announced that Contest University (CTU) USA 2020 will be held online via Zoom on Thursday May 14, starting at 1245 UTC. CTU 2020 is free. The CTU course outline has been posted online. Connection details to the CTU Zoom bridge will be posted on the Contest University site one week prior to CTU. Sessions will be recorded for viewing any time after May 14. Slide decks will be posted on the CTU website as well. At the end of CTU 2020, Dave Siddall, K3ZJ, will present the 2020 CQ Contest Hall of Fame awards.

 

Nomination Deadline Extended for Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award

04/22/2020

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the ARRL Public Relations Committee has extended the nomination deadline for the Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award until Monday, June 15, 2020.

 

The Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award is presented annually to a radio amateur who has demonstrated success in his or her public relations efforts on behalf of amateur radio and who best exemplifies the volunteer spirit of the award’s namesake, journalist Philip McGan, WA2MBQ (SK). McGan was the first chairman of the ARRL Public Relations Committee, which helped reinvigorate ARRL’s commitment to public relations. To honor McGan, members of the New Hampshire Amateur Radio Association joined with the ARRL Board of Directors to establish an award that would pay lasting tribute to the important contributions he made on behalf of amateur radio.

 

Public relations activities for which the McGan Award is presented include efforts specifically directed at depicting amateur radio in a positive light in the media and for the general public. This may include traditional methods, such as issuing news releases or arranging interviews, or by less-traditional methods, such as hosting a radio show or serving as an active public speaker.

 

The ARRL Board of Directors will choose the award winner at its July 2020 meeting, based on recommendations from the ARRL Public Relations Committee. The Committee has responsibility for reviewing the nominations and supporting material.

 

Eligible nominees must be full ARRL members in good standing at the time of nomination. The award is given only to an individual, and nominees may not be current ARRL officers, directors, vice directors, paid staffers, or members of the ARRL Public Relations Committee. Nominees must not be compensated for any public relations work involving amateur radio — including payment for articles.

 

A nominee’s efforts must fit the definition of public relations and recognize the promotion of amateur radio to the non-amateur radio community.

 

Nominations must be received at ARRL Headquarters by the close of business on Monday, June 15, 2020. Nominations must be on an official entry form. Anyone may make a nomination.

 

For more information, contact ARRL Public Relations Committee Chair Sid Caesar, NH7C, or send an email to the ARRL Headquarters Public Relations mailbox

 

ARRL 2020 Teachers Institute Sessions are Canceled

04/22/2020

The landscape of education in the US has been greatly affected by the current pandemic. As K – 12 school systems and universities have been forced to move entirely to remote learning, teachers and students have had to make dramatic adjustments to their teaching and learning methods. After considering these educational challenges, along with travel restrictions and restraints on the ability to gather in groups, ARRL leadership feels it is appropriate and necessary to cancel the 2020 Teachers Institute. We look forward to bringing back this important program in 2021, so that we can continue promoting amateur radio in the classroom through our Education and Technology Program (ETP).

 

Japan’s Radio Amateurs Gain Expanded Access to 160 and 80 Meters

04/22/2020

Effective on April 21, Japan radio amateurs have new privileges on 160 and 80 meters. The new allocations are 1800 – 1810, 1825 – 1875, 3575 – 3580, and 3662 – 3680 kHz. ARRL Life Member Kenji Rikitake, JJ1BDX/N6BDX, said the new regime allows Japanese radio amateurs to operate FT8 on 80 meters (3574 ~ 3577 kHz), and on 160 meters (1840 ~ 1843 kHz) as well as WSPR (1836.6 kHz).

On 160 meters, the allocations are:

1800 – 1810: All modes (new assignment)

1810 – 1825: CW only

1825 – 1875 kHz: All modes (as secondary service, new assignment)

1907.5 – 1912.5: CW and data (A1A, F1B, F1D, G1B, and G1D)

On 80 meters, the allocations are:

3500 – 3520: CW (A1A) only

3520 – 3535: CW and data (A1A, F1B, F1D, G1B, and G1D)

3535 – 3575: CW, phone, and image, and data only permitted for making contacts with non-JA amateurs

3575 – 3580: All modes (as secondary service, new assignment)

3599 – 3612: CW, phone, image, and data

3662 – 3680: All modes (as secondary service, new assignment)

3680 – 3687: CW, phone, and image

3702 – 3716, 3745 – 3770, and 3791 – 3805: CW, phone, and image (no data). 

Additional details are on the Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL) website. — Thanks to Kenji Rikitake, JJ1BDX/N6BDX

 

Ballot Counting Postponed in Four ARRL Section Manager Elections

04/23/2020

During these unprecedented times of social distancing and staying at home, the ARRL Ethics and Elections Committee (E&E) has postponed ballot counting for four contested Section Manager elections.

Since March 23, ARRL Headquarters staff has been working remotely under the Governor of Connecticut’s mandate, which is currently in effect through May 20 and may be extended into June. The ballots for the Section Manager races in Illinois, Indiana, Oregon, and Maine were scheduled to be counted on Tuesday, May 19 as directed by the ARRL rules and regulations for Section Manager elections. Due to the circumstances, ARRL Interim CEO Barry Shelley, N1VXY, asked the E&E Committee for an extension that would allow ballot counting to happen as soon as practicable before mid-June.

Although this extension was granted, it does not change the Friday, May 15, 2020 deadline for ballots to be received at ARRL HQ. Standard operating practice dictates that any ballots received after this deadline will not be counted. The Governor’s mandate and social distancing practices do not affect this section of the election rules.

Terms for election winners are scheduled to begin on July 1, 2020. ARRL hopes to see the Governor’s restrictions relaxed in time to have a team of tellers inside HQ to count the ballots and publish the elections’ results in enough time that the terms of office will not change. The E&E Committee will have to decide the course of action, should any unforeseen circumstances not allow the ballots to be counted by mid-June.

 

International Marconi Day Canceled

04/24/2020

Add International Marconi Day (IMD) to the roster of amateur radio events canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. IMD celebrates the role of wireless pioneer Guglielmo Marconi played in the development of radio technology. The 24-hour event is held annually to celebrate Marconi’s birthday on April 25, 1874, and is typically held on the Saturday in April closest to that date. This year, IMD would have fallen on Marconi’s actual birth anniversary. The event would have involved amateur radio operations from historic Marconi sites. — Thanks to Southgate Amateur Radio News via Ronny Plovie, ON6CQ

 

 

The safety of our staff and members remains the highest priority as we work through these difficult times. Thank you for your understanding.

 

ARRL Suggests Taking a Creative Approach to Field Day 2020

04/22/2020

This year, ARRL Field Day promises to be a unique iteration of this annual event, with many individuals and groups coming up with new and interesting ways to adjust their approach. As an event, Field Day is structured to be versatile and can be adapted for any situation.

Many groups have asked how they can adjust their Field Day planning to address social-distancing guidelines that may be in effect in many areas of the country, as gathering at their traditional Field Day site may not be feasible or safe. Instead of participating in a group event this year, consider operating as a Class B, C, D, or E station, utilizing your own call sign.

ARRL will include club names for all participating stations in the published results, so the efforts of your club’s members can be acknowledged. While we will not publish an aggregate club score, seeing the name of your club associated with various individual member’s results is certainly a way to highlight your club’s activity.

Myriad opportunities are possible in this year’s Field Day setting. These are just a couple.

  • Consider having an intra-club competition among members, seeing who can make the most contacts during the event. You can award prizes or distribute certificates at a club meeting. This can be a fun way to bolster the activities of individual club members, even though they cannot all gather together at the same location this year.
  • Set up a Field Day Challenge with rival clubs in neighboring communities. See how many members of each club get on the air from their own stations and participate in the event. In addition to “bragging rights,” perhaps certificates to the top-scoring individual entries in each category can be presented as part of this inter-club camaraderie.

One club is planning to conduct its Field Day as a 4A club group, with participants spaced to comply with social distancing guidelines within the required 1,000-foot diameter circle and operating individual stations. This club also plans to set up a “Get on the Air” (GOTA) station. The club’s plan is to have the GOTA coach at the Field Day site, while GOTA operators participate via remote link.

Another club is planning to set up a remote-controlled station at its usual Field Day site, with club members taking turns controlling the station from their homes. The club is developing a schedule that outlines when each member of the club will be at the helm via the remote link.

Whatever approach you take to this year’s Field Day, keep up to date with the current guidelines issued by local and state health agencies that may impact your proposed operation.

ARRL invites your stories about the interesting and creative ways you’re planning to use to adapt your Field Day operation. Share these on the ARRL Field Day Facebook page.

For the latest news and updates, visit the Field Day webpage— Thanks to ARRL Contest Program Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE

Contest Calendar

June 2020

13-15     June VHF

20         Kids Day

27-28    Field Day

 

July 2020

11-12   IARU HF World Championship

 

August 2020

1-2  222 MHz and Up Distance Contest

15-16   10 GHz & Up – Round 1

16        Rookie Roundup – RTTY

 

September 2020

12-14    September VHF

19-20    10 GHz & Up – Round 2

12-13    EME – 2.3 GHz & Up

 

October 2020

19-23   School Club Roundup

10-11   EME – 50 to 1296 MHz

 

November 2020

7-9       Nov. Sweepstakes – CW

21-23   Nov. Sweepstakes – Phone

28-29   EME – 50 to 1296 MHz

 

December 2020

4-6      160 Meter

12-13  10 Meter

20       Rookie Roundup–CW

 

FROM AROUND THE SECTION:

 

REGION 2: 

Check out the latest “Ascension Airwaves” at K5ARC.ORG….it is ALWAYS full of great information!

 

REGION 4:

From Volume 60, Number 04 ACADIANA AMATEUR RADIO ASSOC., INC. – April 2020

 

A Message from our President Chris Ancelet N5MCY Dated March 16, 2020

As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 situation, it is important to be mindful of your own personal health and well-being. After the closure of gatherings greater than 250 from the Governor, many of us were having smaller conversations regarding AARA General Meetings. I felt it necessary to draft some correspondence to everyone on how we will proceed until these state of affairs are behind us.

  1. AARA Annual Banquet – At this time, we will postpone this event until a later date that is more suitable for larger gatherings. It was brought up to even incorporate this into the 2020 ARRL Field Day. That is one of many options that will need to be investigated further.
  2. April General Meeting – According to Paul McCasland, the Lafayette Science Museum has temporarily suspended operations and, in turn, will impact our ability to gather as a club. At this time, the April 2nd meeting will be canceled. In the interim, I would encourage every to become more active in the weekly nets that are already in play and that everyone can attend without compromise.

 

VE Test Session March 5, 2020 73, de Greg ~ K5LFT Started off this month with a straight win. Four for Four tonight. The candidates were Chad Comeaux ~KI5IPY ~ of Youngsville, Matthew McKellar~KI5IPZ ~ of Lafayette, Jason Noel ~ KI5IQA ~ of Opelousas, and Jason Olivier ~ KI5IQB ~ of Arnaudville All got their tickets/ Congratulations to the testees & a great big thank you to the VEs in attendance…… The VEs for this session were: Michael Cavell KI5ARX William Redfearn N4ELM John Cunniff W4HVH Galen Wilson KF5BET Richard Wallace KF5KFL.

 

Dated March 15, 2020 General Messsage to the AARA Clubmembers There comes a time in every organization when you are faced with adversity and how you fair is directly proportional to the strength of your team. The Acadiana Amateur Radio Association was faced with this exact adversity for the 60th Annual Hamfest. From logistics, volunteers, vendors, venue, city officials, etc, we all know how difficult a task of this scale can be and it takes a machine firing on all cylinders to be successful. Months of planning go into a successful hamfest and this year proved to be the most challenging yet. While just kicking off the 60th Annual AARA Hamfest, we began receiving notifications on local news outlets and social media sites, that the Governor just declared a state of emergency amidst the COVID-19 virus. Most of us didn’t think much of it until shortly later, the Mayor of the City of Rayne called to advise that we would be able to continue the Friday portion of our venue but the Saturday gathering would have to be canceled due to the event size. Our initial reaction was similar to the wind being taken out of your sail, but there was no hysteria. The AARA leadership gathered and discussed the news and rather than panicking about how this would impact our organization, the conversation was more along the lines of the following: How do we make the most out of the remaining hours of the event? Vendor notification. Visitor notification. How do we make everyone whole? It was decided to continue as though we were in the final hours of the “Day 2” event and to continue to raffle off everything that we had on hand. Pull all vendors in privately to break the news and ask for feedback. Make a general announcement to the public about the situation and the plans moving forward and finally, offer reimbursement to the folks who had pre-registered and did not make it yet. As I sat back and observed, I saw the leadership of the AARA remain calm and rational; keeping everyone who had traveled to our venue a 1st priority. As the news was delivered, you could see the disappointment in the air but everyone understood that these decisions were made at a higher level and it was completely out of our control. You would have expected that everyone would have started flooding to the doors to leave, but that wasn’t the case. We began to receive an overwhelming amount of support from everyone there. Some approached me and said “Hey man, it’s OK. Nothing you guys could have done to prevent this”, or “Don’t worry about this, we are already planning to come back next year”. These conversations were meaningful, it proved to me that we were doing things in the right manner. We even received a monetary donation from a Louisiana Club, who wanted to remain anonymous. They approached me and said that they understood the countless number of manhours that go into making a successful event and they wanted to contribute to offset some of the cost. To that Louisiana Ham Club, your act of professionalism & humbleness was greatly appreciated. On behalf of the AARA we wish you continued success and well-being.

 

To all who traveled near and far, we thank you for the continued support. We are grateful to have such an understanding ham community and none of this would be possible without the support of everyone who attends. Soon, this viral outbreak will be in our rear view mirror and we will get back to a sense of normalcy. In the interim, please keep our country in your prayers. I opened by mentioning that how you fair is directly proportional to the strength of your team and the members of the Acadiana Amateur Radio Association truly demonstrated continued strength through this unnerving situation. We are a stronger club than we were a year ago, and I am grateful to each of you for your continued contributions. While this Hamfest proved to be challenging it is important to remember that individually we are impressive, together we are unstoppable. Respectfully, Chris Ancelet – N5MCY President – Acadiana Amateur Radio Association

 

Raffle Ticket Winners AL-811 AMP & MFJ-994B Tuner KA5RKH David Fullerton, Church Point, LA MFJ-259D Antenna Analyzer W5TGK – Robert Wells, Centerville, LA MFJ-4230MV Power Supply N5XES – Tyrone Burns, Springfield, LA MFJ-1126 Power Strip K5CNU – James Romero, Maurice, LA

 

A time of crisis has come upon us. Because of this, all of our lives have been turned upside-down to various degrees. Due to a decree from our Governor’s Office, our 60th Annual Hamfest was cut short. Many who wanted to attend on the Saturday were unable to. Since then, many changes have been made to the way we travel and spend time away from our houses. In many places, fewer people are out shopping. In other places, some people act like they don’t want to hear the message. I want to let everyone to know that your health, your family’s health, and your friends’ health are important. Take care of yourself. Use some common sense. Next year will be different. For better or worse, it is not in our hands. Joseph “Moe” Meaux K2JDM Editor of LARC Newsletter.

 

AARA Monday Night 2 Meter Net / Net Controllers will rotate each week and held on the 146.820 W5DDL Repeater only. The AARA Monday Night Net and the Silent Key Memorial Net is being held on the 146.820. The March 2020 schedule can be downloaded and printed in Adobe Acrobat .PDF from the club website.

 

REGION 4 SKYWARN NET Each Tuesday night at 7:00 PM (local), the Region 4 Skywarn Net will take place on the 145.370 Skywarn Repeater in Lafayette, LA. Net Control Operators will alternate each week. In case the 145.370 repeater fails, the net will be held on the 146.820 W5DDL repeater PL Tone 103.5. The March 2020 schedule can be found at this link: Net Schedules When using the Skywarn 145.370 repeater, be sure to use the receiver PL tone for your area as follows: NW Quadrant 114.8 – NE Quadrant 127.3 – SW Quadrant 141.3 – SE Quadrant 94.8 – Central 103.5 See our website for additional information: http://www.w5ddl.org/repeaters.htm.

 

REGION 9:

 

From:  The SELARC “Hamster”

*Serving Amateur Radio Since 1974*

Published Monthly by the Southeast Louisiana Amateur Radio Club Inc.
Visit our website: www.selarc.org

Vol. 47, No. 4 ……………………. April 2020

* Club Meeting *

April Meeting Postponed: No meeting on the 14th,
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic as of April 2: Louisiana, Gov. Edwards has put a 
Stay at Home order in force until April 30th, and,
Local and National 
guidance are in effect that include
(from http://ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/page/3878, 
CDC.gov, and US-CERT)

 

2020 Hurricane Season – June 1st – This is just over 2 months away and early predictions have forecast an “above-average” season: Projected numbers for this year:

  • Tropical Storms: 14 – 18
  • Hurricanes: 7 – 9
  • Major Hurricanes: 3 – 4

Please review and test your equipment while you have time. Be ready.

 

Special Events, Other Hamfests & VE Sessions

2020 ARRL Field Day – June 27-28, 2020

The Greater New Orleans Hamfest – Nov 14, 2020 – Hamfest page

Milton Amateur Radio Club 25th Annual Hamfest – July 10-11, 2020 – 2020 Flyer

Happy Birthday

Birthday Wishes for April go out to – Blake KG5UZW, Judy AA5UZ, and Robbie KG5JSK
If we missed your birthday, then please let us know.

Get Well Soon —

Best wishes for continued recuperation go to SELARC members Tom Simpson N5HAY and Homer Jones KA5TRT. We look forward to hearing you on the air!

Bike Tour

(Bob WB5FBS): The MS Bike Tour is coming 3-4 October

ARES

(Pat EC): There is a statewide exercise coming up in April.

Stay Radio active — The April meeting is postponed, but hope to see you at a future meeting: to be announced. Be sure to monitor your weekly nets, e-mail, and the SELARC website at https://www.selarc.org .

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Section Traffic Managers Report

Sessions QNI QTC QTR

  1.          427  38.  463

 

Jimmy Lewis AB5YS

Louisiana Section Traffic Manager

Section Emergency Coordinators Report

ARES Monthly Section Emergency Coordinators Report

  1. ARRL Section: Louisiana
  2. Month: March
  3. Year: 2020
  4. Total number of ARES members: 431
  5. Number of DECs/ECs reporting this month: 9
  6. Number of ARES nets active: 50
  7. Number of nets with NTS liaison: 2
  8. Calls of DECs/EC reporting: W4NDF NS5W KD5BNH KE5BMS AG5LR KD5DFL W5GAS KD5IGZ KE5GMN

9a. Number of exercises & training sessions this month:  29

9b.  Person hours:  215

10a. Number of public service events this month:  0     10b. Person hours:  0

11a. Number of emergency operations this month :  0

11b. Person hours:  0

12a. Number of SKYWARN operations this month:  5

12b. Person hours:  39

13a. Auto Sum 9a, 10a, 11a, 12a:  34.0

13b. Auto Sum 9b, 10b, 11b, 12b:  254.0

 

Submitted by Jim Coleman, AI5B

Louisiana Section Emergency Coordinator

http://www.arrl.org/ares-el?issue=2020-03-18

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/ares-el/?issue=2020-04-15

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS April winners: Books
ARRL Affiliated Club: Minden Amateur Radio Assn. (MARA).
ARRL LA Section Member: Herman Campbell, KN5GRK of Lafayette.

 

Radio winner: Robert Johnston, KG5FDX of Metairie.

 

Next drawing May 1st.

 

ARRL.ORG

LAARRL.ORG

 

73,

John Mark Robertson

K5JMR