It’s hard to believe that it’s almost the Fall season already! As
part of a busy month of July, Vice Director Tharp and I are both just
back from the recently concluded July ARRL Board meeting. While I
cannot publicly comment on some of the results of the Board motions
until the ARRL has published the official minutes, I can say there was a
lot of time spent in discussions over a couple of main “hot button”
topics. The main topic, and by far the most time consuming for the
Board, was related to FCC proposal filings RM-11708, RM-11831, and the
associated FCC response to RM-11708, entitled NRPM 16-239. These are the
digital symbol rate and digital “transparency” proposals, wrapped
around the popular Winlink e-mail software and PACTOR protocol. These
continue to be hot button topics, with sincere passion continuing to be
evident from both sides of the issues.
My e-mail box has been filled with member opinions from both sides;
some pleading that the FCC continue to allow and expand the use of
Winlink and PACTOR on the HF bands, and those on the other side that
believe that ALL amateur software such as Winlink and PACTOR should:
• Be completely transparent as to where signals are originating from.
• Be completely transparent at to what is contained within all
• Be open-source, not proprietary.
• Be banned if not compliant.
Please note that the ARRL has no pecuniary interest in Winlink, or the
PACTOR digital mode, as these are commercial programs, designed and sold
by the companies that own them. The ARRL in this case is acting as a
moderator in the best interest of amateur radio, and is working towards
a resolution. In early July a pivotal meeting was finally held between
the rival parties: ARSFI, (the originators of Winlink), and
representatives of Dr. Rappaport, N9NB, Dan Kolarik, K0IDT, (the author
of RM-11831), and several others in attendance. The meeting was
moderated by ARRL FCC Counsel, David Siddall, K3ZJ, at his offices in
Our job during the Board meeting was to work with Mr. Siddall to draft a
comment document that would be submitted to the FCC in response to some
consensus reached regarding the two RMs, and the NPRM. This work
actually started Thursday evening, the night before the formal Board
meeting on Friday. The ARRL should be formally commenting on the results
of this meeting, (which will be rolled into the aforementioned FCC
comment), very soon.
Another action related to a “hot button issue” that took place at
the July Board meeting was the sun-setting of the ARRL Board’s ad-hoc
“Entry Level License Committee”. The committee was established by
the Board in 2016 to examine current license exam requirements for the
Technician Class license, and make recommendations for change, including
consideration of a new entry level license class. With the ARRL’s
formal submittal of what is now known as RM-11828, “Technician
Enhancement”, to the FCC, it was felt that the committee had completed
its tasks. It is expected that the FCC will formally rule on RM-11828 by
the end of the year.
During the Board meeting I had the extreme pleasure of preparing a Board
motion to acknowledge the winner of the ARRL’s 2019 Doug DeMaw, W1FB
Technical Excellence Award, to a very worthy ham that lives right here
in the Northwestern Division! That ham is none other than Rudy Severens,
N6LF, of Cottage Grove, Oregon. His article published in the March/April
2018 issue of QEX entitled “Insulated Wire and Antennas” was
nominated by the editorial staff of QST, and unanimously approved by the
ARRL Board. Hearty congratulations to Rudy!
Attention, Alaskans! Ray Hollingbeck, KL1IL has recently announced that
he has decided not to run for re-election as the ARRL Alaska Section
Manager. If you are interested in this position and want to be a
valuable part of the ARRL Northwestern Division leadership team,
information regarding the application process can be found on Page 76 of
the current July issue of QST magazine. Just what are the qualifications
and responsibilities required of an ARRL Section Manager? That
information can be easily found on the ARRL website:
Finally, a reminder: This upcoming weekend, (August 9-11th), is the 64th
Annual Pacific Northwest DX Convention. This year the event is hosted by
the Western Washington DX Club at the Delta Hotels Seattle/Everett, 3105
Pine Street, in Everett, Washington. They have an absolutely stellar
list of program speakers on offer, including none other than Dr. Joe
Taylor, K1JT, (Nobel Prize in Physics recipient, and the team leader of
the popular JT and FT digital software), and Dr. Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW,
(also known as the “Space Weather Woman”). They also have many
other great programs on tap, so this is a “don’t miss” event.
We will have ARRL representation from both Mark and myself, ARRL 2nd
Vice President, Bob Vallio, W6RGG, Pacific Division Director, Jim
Tiemstra, K6JAT, and also ARRL Honorary Vice President, Jim
Fenstermaker, K9JF. We hope to see many of you there!
Mike Ritz, W7VO
ARRL Northwestern Division Director
Now, we’ll get the latest from Northwestern Division Vice Director,
Mark Tharp, KB7HDX:
Diary of the Vice Director, Volume 1, August 2019
If this is your first Division newsletter as a new member, Mike and I
would like to welcome you into the ARRL and are glad to have you as a
member of the Northwestern Division.
The Board meeting week was another fast paced and productive three days
of meetings, one day of travel that was good, and one day that was,
well, let’s just say I need to avoid the Chicago airport in the
future. I sat in on the Administration and Finance (A&F) meeting on
Thursday at HQ, then we had dinner Thursday evening with the Board
family, and a lengthy discussion afterwords pertaining to the “hot
topics” Mike mentioned. Mike and I both have received a number of
emails and phone calls about the minutes from the recent meeting. They
will be published as soon as they are approved by the board. The process
for approval, and subsequent posting to membership is as follows. (for
those who are curious)
(Standing Order 11-2.18) Effective with the minutes of the 2016 Second
Meeting of the Board of Directors the procedure for the approval of
Board meeting minutes will be as follows:
- The Secretary will circulate draft minutes to Board members as soon
as possible after the meeting.
- Once Board members have had the opportunity to review the draft and
offer comment, a final draft will be circulated.
- Three business days after distribution of the final draft, the
Secretary will call for a vote by electronic mail to approve the
- The minutes will be declared as approved upon the receipt of
affirmative votes of eight or more directors within three business days
of the call for the vote.
- The final minutes will be made available to members following formal
This may seem like a long drawn out process, however when you consider
we have 15 Directors, 15 Vice Directors, Officers, and select staff
members who can all offer input, it takes a bit of time. We appreciate
Upcoming Division events I plan to attend (or might be currently
attending) 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.
If your club or group is hosting an event or participating in an
“RRA” (Radio Related Activity) and would like to share that with the
Division, please let us know. Mike and I would be glad to include that
information in the newsletter. This would include event summaries and
wrap up articles. You never know, it might even end up in QST! We cannot
share information of we never receive it. Hamfests, and Conventions of
course are already listed at the always up to date web page maintained
by Lynn, N7CFO at: http://www.n7cfo.com/amradio/hf/hf.htm This page is
also available from the NW Division Website at https://arrlnwdiv.org
.Check this page often to see if anything is going on in your area.
Division statistics as of the end of June (July was not out at time of
278 new licenses issued and 102 upgraded licenses
12,423 ARRL members in Division (+ 0.0% from 2018)
The Membership Challenge.
As you may recall, last month I offered a challenge to the Northwestern
Membership to recruit one new member this next year. At the BOD meeting
last month, President Rodrick also put the challenge to all in the room.
That challenge being, 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. This challenge started after the Northwestern Division Convention,
also known as SEA-PAC. That event is now 10 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
when you get another person 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”. (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. This is not a
fund-raising challenge, it’s a membership challenge. Membership
numbers matter when we go to Washington (the East coast one) and work to
enhance our hobby, and maintain our spectrum. Let’s work together to
make the league 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