ARRL Northwestern Division Newsletter- April 18, 2019

It seems appropriate that the ARRL Northwestern Division would publish its newsletter today, as today is World Amateur Radio Day! Every April 18, radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on this day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) was formed in Paris.

Many years ago, Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short wave spectrum — far from being a wasteland — could support worldwide propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, Amateur Radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” as the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio worldwide. (Note that this is a full nine years after the ARRL was formed!)

Just two years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, Amateur Radio gained the allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters. Certainly a day for celebration! The IARU today proclaimed; “It is a day for all of Amateur Radio to tell the world about the science we can help teach, the community service we can provide, and the fun we can have.” Get on the radio and have some fun today!

Your Director is just back from California, where last weekend I attended the International DX Convention down in Visalia, along withapproximately 600 other hams from around the world. It was great to finally meet several DX hams that I have worked many times over the years, and see other hams that I’ve not seen since the 1980s! That said, it was a working weekend too, as I also assisted with the manning of the ARRL booth at the event, and sat as a panelist at the ARRL Forum, where we discussed the issues. As a member of the ARRL Board’s Programs and Services Committee, it was great to be able to attend both the DX and Contest Forums to hear information on issues facing the various Board advisory committees. About 30 former ARRL members renewed their membership that weekend, which I believe is a sign of good times ahead for the League. It was also great to see so many of you there!

On another note, diligent work continues on our new NW Division website, Please go on-line and get a log-on and password set up for the site. Then stay in tune with all the happenings within our Division! We now have a Division Forum and swap page, information on Assistant Directors, Division advisers, links to the event calendar, and much more.

On the topic of Assistant Directors (AD), these are defined as ARRL member appointments made by the Division Director, and are a vital part of the Division as both subject matter experts, and as administrators. Mark and I would not be able to do our jobs without their diligent efforts, I want to thank all of them, past and present, for their tireless service to the Division. I have recently completed an evaluation of the prior AD list, and many on the old list have decided to retire. This is to be expected, as many were appointments dating back to the 1990s! I am proud to announce the following new, (and, in some cases, continuing), appointments as Northwestern Division Assistant Directors:

Daniel Stevens, KL7WM: Education/Training, Seattle Area
Delvin Bunton, NS7U: Education/Training, Vancouver, WA / Portland, OR
Lynn Burlingame, N7CFO: Event Calendar
Phil Kane, K2ASP: FCC Matters
Bill Balzarini, KL7BB: STEM Outreach, Seattle Area
Dave Cole, NK7Z: RFI/EMI Technical Resource
Steve Aberle, WA7PTM: Tribal Liaison
Michael Sterba, KG7HQ: Webmaster / Social Media Admin

Finally, as many of you know, at the January Board meeting I was elected as a Director for the ARRL Foundation. This is a very important non-profit organization, separate from the ARRL, and focuses on providing scholarships and grants, (some $1.2 million predicted for this year), to deserving students and organizations. At the present time, all members of the Foundation’s Scholarship committee, (myself included), are evaluating some 230 candidates for 77 different scholarship opportunities ranging from $500 to $5000. For more information about the ARRL Foundation, check out their web page:

I hope to see many of you at SeaPac, host of the Northwestern Division Convention, May 31st-June 2nd!

Diary of the Vice Director Volume 1, April 2019

Mike and Key Swapmeet was another success this year. “Unofficial reports” put the number of folks registering at over 2000 and more than 500 behind the tables selling. It’s hard not to find what you are missing in your shack at this event. (yes, that was a shameful plug.) Dir. Ritz and I along with WWA SM Simpson staffed the ARRL booth all day and saw the usual crowd along with a number of folks that stopped by to say hello I had never met.

Also, this year at Mike and Key, I offered to check cards for the ARRL® DXCC awards program and had three takers. It is very cool to see some of these cards and help with the program. I’m sure the WVDXC (Williamite Valley DX Club) will be checking cards and have a table set up at SEA-PAC® this year as they also manage the 7th area QSL bureau. If you are not aware of this program stop by the WVDXC booth and ask! Or you can always email me as well.

The Entry level license committee is winding down its activities and staying in a holding pattern at least until the July board meeting as the work it was originally tasked to do, is essentially done. As some have heard, an “unofficial” word came down from the FCC that we would not be getting another license if asked for and needed to work with what we have. That caused the committee to change gears, and focus on the privileges associated with the current Technician license. That proposal was approved by the ARRL board during the 2018 January meeting. More information is on the ARRL web under news.

The ARISS, (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station), committee had its first kick off meeting March 21st. This is a great group of folks with a real passion for the program. I learned a ton during the 2-hour meeting. It was more of an orientation for the new folks than anything, but now the work begins.

t was great to see everybody at the Yakima Hamfair last weekend! Upcoming events I am looking forward to attending are: NW Div. Convention (SEA-PAC®) on June 1st and 2nd, Wenatchee Hamfest on June 7th, 8th and 9th, the PNW DX Convention in Everett on August 9th, 10th, and 11th, the Spokane Hamfest on September 28th, the PNW VHF conference in Issaquah on October 12th. And the “APRS Summer Gathering” is also on my list this fall.

A few Division statistics for the month of February:

324 new licenses issued

72 upgraded licenses

12,348 ARRL members in Division (+.2% from 2018)

If you have any questions or input on any of the committees feel free to shoot me an email. That is the best way to contact me.

73, Mark
Mark J. Tharp, KB7HDX
ARRL Vice Director
Northwestern Division

ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: Michael T Ritz, W7VO


Here in the Pacific Northwest, I have assumed the roles and responsibilities of Assistant Director, Technical Specialist and a Volunteer Examiner, Nothwestern Division, ARRL. As an Amateur Radio Extra Class, I enjoy operating CW, SSB, FM, AM and Digital Mode technologies on the bands from 33cm through 80 Mtrs both base and mobile. With having a solid background in RF propagation and digital communications, I enjoy assisting others with their station setups. This station is powered by open source software.In addition to operating, I also assist with RFI/EMI complaints and/or problems. Whether we are tracing down powerline noise or assisting with complaints of interference, I try to render assistance toward a resolution.73, Michael - KG7HQ


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