First of all, I hope everybody had a safe and wonderful Field Day, and are currently enjoying a relaxing Independence Day holiday. From what I’ve been seeing on various reflectors and social media websites, the ARRL Northwestern Division was very well represented in Field Day, with some groups setting both attendance and contact records. Band conditions weren’t the best and however despite the poor propagation, the spirit, comradery, and elmering associated with Field Day lives on!
I also want to thank everybody that stopped by the ARRL booth at SEA-PAC to say hello to Vice Director Tharp, KB7HDX and myself, the ARRL staff and our special ARRL guests last month, and for the wonderful discussions we had during the course of the weekend. I heard that attendance at the event was close to 3,000, and despite all the construction going on around us the organizers pulled off an amazing event. Kudos to the Oregon Tualatin Valley ARC, the Clark County ARC, and all the other clubs and individuals that worked so hard to put on the convention. Next year will be even better, I’m sure!
Next, if you have been paying attention on the various ham related social media sites, the popular two-meter amateur band is under attack in ITU Region 1, which covers Europe, Africa, and parts of the Middle East. There was a proposal submitted by representatives from France at the June meeting of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) Project Team that would reassign the 144 – 146 MHz band as a primary Aeronautical Mobile Service allocation, with amateur use secondary. Another proposal submitted was one to study interference issues between Europe’s Galileo GPS system in the shared 1240 – 1300 MHz (23 cm) band with amateurs, which could result in a reallocation of at least a part of the band. These proposals will very likely become agenda items at the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23), and are concerns for us here in ITU Region 2 as well.
As we all know the two-meter band is heavily used throughout the world for short-range communications including the use of repeaters, and heavily used by many emergency communications units. It is also used for Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) communications on a world-wide basis, and importantly, the two-meter band is one of the most heavily used for amateur satellite operations, which has an exclusive and globally coordinated sub-band at 145.800 – 146 MHz. This includes global communications with the International Space Station (ISS).
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has publically come out against the proposals. (Reference: https://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php/88-news/1864-wrc-23-agenda-items ), and the ARRL Board will soon be receiving a report from Jay Bellows, K0QB, the ARRL Vice President for International Affairs, who met recently with several Region 1 IARU members, and leaders for the Radio Society for Great Britian (RSGB), while attending the HAM Radio Friedrichshafen event held in Germany. The ARRL itself has not publically commented on the proposal, other than this press release: (http://www.arrl.org/news/no-strong-opposition-to-144-146-mhz-reallocation-proposal-at-cept-meeting). I would expect the ARRL to provide more comments on these proposals following the upcoming annual July Board meeting in Newington.
Mark and I will keep all our Northwestern Division members informed with the latest news as these proposals progress. I also ask that we all refrain from some of the hysteria surrounding the two-meter threat. There are various petitions circulating across social media that will most likely have very little impact on the outcome, and in fact could hamper efforts by involved IARU member societies in their world-wide efforts to defeat these measures. (That request was published by the RSGB). Not to sound like a League commercial, but instead perhaps you could consider a small donation to the ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund. Information on this important effort can be found at: http://www.arrl.org/spectrum-defense-fund.
Finally, starting at 1200 UTC on July 13, 2019 is the annual IARU Radiosport contest. This is one of the most popular of the HF contests, as it’s an “everybody works everybody” contest, utilizing both CW and/or SSB modes. There is certainly something there for everybody, and a great chance to work a few new states for your Worked All States (WAS) award, or countries for your DXCC. More information on the contest can be found on the ARRL website: (http://www.arrl.org/iaru-hf-championship ). I’ll be operating with Steve, W7XQ at his QTH in Sisters, Oregon for the event, using his callsign. I hope to hear many of you on the air that day!
Mike Ritz, W7VO
ARRL Northwestern Division Director
Now, we will see what Vice Director Mark has been up to!
Diary of the Vice Director, Volume 1, July 2019
The weekend after SEAPAC was the Wenatchee Hamfest in Dryden WA. We had another great turnout for the weekend with many RVers and day trippers. The Wenatchee folks always put on a great event. Lynn, N7CFO, Michael, KG7HQ, and myself represented our Division, and the ARRL
Nothing of major interest to report from the various committees. The committee chairs are all busy preparing reports for the Board of Directors meeting on the 19th and 20th of this month.
Upcoming Division events I plan to attend are, 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” this fall. I hope to see you at one or all of them.
For information on other Hamfests, Conventions, and related “gatherings” please see the list maintained by Lynn, N7CFO at: http://www.n7cfo.com/amradio/hf/hf.htm. (Ed note: or click on the link on our website, www.arrlnwdiv.org.) A number of new events have been added in the last month. Check this page out often to see if anything is in your area.
A few Division statistics as of the end of June 278 new licenses issued and 102 upgraded licenses 12,423 ARRL members in Division (+ 0.0001610% from 2018).
I threw in the extra decimal places intentionally. At the forum this year at SEAPAC, President Rodrick brought along a challenge to those in the room, and I will pass that on now to the Division. Out of all the amateur radio folks you know who are not league members, get one of them to join. Just one. Not 20, but one. SEAPAC is 11 months away. More than enough time to get one more member, grow our league, and make our voice in Washington that much stronger. To sweeten the deal I’ll ask that if you indeed get another amateur to join ARRL, send me an email with your name, and the person who joined. Next July, all those names will go into a drawing for “A Major Award” and no, it will not be “Fragile”. (Yes that is a reference to “A Christmas Story”) If you love the league, or hate the league, it is still our number one voice for retaining our spectrum. Let’s work together to make it the best it can be.
If you have any questions or input, an email to firstname.lastname@example.org is the best way to contact me.
Mark J. Tharp, KB7HDX
ARRL Vice Director
ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: Michael T Ritz, W7VO