As we rapidly approach the Holiday season, things seem to be settling
down a bit on the ARRL front. The HF Digital Band Planning Committee has
thoughtfully worked through the mode allocations for 80 meters, 20
meters, and the tough 40 meter bands so far, and is now looking at the
other bands. (Factoid: One of the things we looked at in regards to the
40 meter band was learning where the various nets are currently situated
on the band. Who would have thought there are 150 plus different 40
meter nets registered on the ARRL website? Wow!)
The digital portions of both the 15 meter and 10 meter bands will be
pretty easy to work with, and in fact there is room for some digital
growth on both bands. We still need to make some tough decisions on the
WARC bands before we are through. For example, is it feasible to squeeze
a bit more ACDS/wide-band allocation to the “already narrow” 30
meter band? We’ll analyze that one very carefully. The 17 meter band
is too narrow to support any further ACDS/wide-band allocations, but
there may be a bit that can be added to the 12 meter band. The end is in
Once the committee has formulated its recommendations the next step will
be to present them to the full ARRL Board Executive Committee for
consideration. Following that step there will be an ARRL member comment
period, before any formal recommendations are sent to the FCC. Yes,
member input WILL be a part of this equation!
There is somewhat a sense of urgency though, as we are expecting the FCC
to roll NRPM 16-239, (what once was RM-11708), RM-11759, RM-11828,
RM-11831, and perhaps several other petitions sitting out there into a
single Omnibus Report and Order. When exactly that will happen is
unknown, but the HF digital band planning work we are doing has to be
part of the final result. I, for one, will certainly be glad when these
controversial issues are behind us.
Next, activity is starting to pick up with the ARRL Foundation, as we
prepare for the 2020-2021 scholarship and grant cycle. A reminder that
young hams seeking scholarships for post-secondary education may apply
to the ARRL Foundation Scholarship Program for one, or more of the many
grants it administers, between September 1 and December 31, 2019, 11:59
PM EST, for the 2020-2021 academic year. Requirements for each award
vary, with some offered only to residents of certain ARRL divisions or
pursuing certain academic majors. It is extremely important for
applicants to read through the specifics for each scholarship! Detailed
information is available at http://www.arrl.org/scholarship-program.
There is also a list of Northwestern Division specific scholarship
opportunities on our Division website:
It’s also great to hear that ARRL Headquarters has recently hired
Melissa Stemmer as its new Development Manager, who is replacing the
departed Lauren Clarke in the position. It’s hoped that she will also
be assisting with some of the administrative work of the ARRL Foundation
back at HQ, in addition to her work with the important ARRL Development
On the ARES front, we are currently reviewing some 30 plus resumes
submitted for the new Director of Emergency Management position at HQ.
This position is a much higher level within the ARRL organization than
staffers who worked with these important Field Services programs in the
past. The new Emergency Management (EM) Director will be managing a team
responsible for supporting all ARRL Emergency Communications (EmComm)
programs and services, including the ARES and NTS, and will work with
staff to develop standards, protocols, and processes designed to support
the Field Organization. He or she will also be working to develop a true
ARES Strategic Plan, including both tactics and metrics for the program.
(This was something many felt was sorely missing from the original ARES
Plan that the Board released back in January.) The EM Director will
also serve as the official point of contact and liaison to ARRL key
partners, (ie: Red Cross), and other served agencies, (ie; FEMA), at
both the regional and national levels. This includes representing the
ARRL at served agency and partner meetings, conventions and exercises,
along with organizing and providing presentations for various relevant
audiences. I would suspect the hiring process for the new EM Director
will be finalized before the next January Board meeting.
Finally, a Happy Thanksgiving holiday to all hams and their families
within the ARRL Northwestern Division. We all have a lot to be thankful
for, and one of those has to be the beginning of Solar Cycle 25. Bring
on the sunspots!
Mike Ritz, W7VO
And now the latest from Vice Director Tharp:
Diary of the Vice Director, Volume 1, November 2019
If this is your first Division newsletter, Mike and I would like to
welcome you into the ARRL and are glad to have you as a member of the
Not to take your attention the bottom of the letter, but if you notice,
according to the FCC, the Northwestern Division gained 300 new amateurs
last month. THREE HUNDRED! Great job and many thanks go to all the VE
teams that work to do this. Now that these folks are licensed, it’s
time for the clubs to get busy and get them involved. Did you know Club
officials can request the information on new hams in their area from the
ARRL webpage? They can, at http://www.arrl.org/new-amateur-reports This
is an often-overlooked benefit to being an affiliated club. You can
download the new hams and license upgrades in PDF format already for
printing on labels.
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 this newsletter and share with the Division. This would
include event summary’s and wrap up articles. You never know, it might
even end up in QST! We cannot share information if 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.
The ARISS committee met this last month and finalized the budget
requests for next year. ARRL supports the ARISS program in many ways,
such as banners and displays to use at various events, and funding for
travel expenses that Roselie White, K1STO incurs as the league
representative. ARISS is a great program and if you want to help out
directly you can donate here: https://www.ariss.org/donate.html
The LDAS (Legal Defense & Assistance) committee has been very quiet.
The PSEWG has welcomed Lee Cooper, W5LHC as a part of the team. Lee
brings many years of Emcom experience and we are all glad to have him on
I would also like to share the league has a new Development Manager,
Melissa Stemmer. She will be overseeing fund-raising campaigns and
building relationships with donors. She has only been on the job a week
so is still getting acquainted with the halls at 225 Main St.
300 new licenses issued and 18 upgraded licenses.
12,410 ARRL members in Division (+ 1.0% from 2018)
143 ARRL affiliated clubs.
The Membership Challenge.
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 7 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