HF band propagation is certainly looking up, AT LAST! What a difference
a month makes, as band conditions in the recent CQ WPX (Work All
Prefixes) CW contest were much better than any other contest I’ve
participated in so far this year. The 20 meter band was pretty much open
to Europe from sunrise to at least 11 PM for the entire contest. The
good news is that HF propagation should continue to get better from
here. Let’s see even more sunspots, Mr. Sun, PLEASE!
ARRL FIELD DAY:
The annual ARRL Field Day (June 26-27), operating event is rapidly
approaching, and I hope everybody within the Division is in the process
of finalizing their plans, whether choosing to operate from home this
year, or from a club Field Day site. Please remember that the pandemic
rules waivers we had last year are still in force for this year, with
the exception that Class D and E (home stations) have to use “low
power” of 150 Watts or less this year. (Of course, one can also choose
to run QRP!). Full Field Day rules are available on the ARRL website:
The ARRL has a great Field Day “Safety Guide” they published last
year. I’m going to send it out to the Division later this week in
another e-mail as a reminder to us all. Remember: SAFETY FIRST!
Now for a question for NW Division members to ponder: Should the ARRL
make the “temporary” Field Day waivers we’ve used the last two
years permanent? What do you think? Drop Vice Director Tharp, or myself
a line and let us know! I already know there will be deep emotions
brought forth from both sides on this issue. The Board’s Programs and
Services Committee will be asking staff at HQ put out a formal poll on
this very subject towards the end of the year to help guide what happens
for Field Day next year.
For those that are looking for some extra bonus Field Day points, the
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) cross-band
repeater will be available for Field Day this year. Contacts will count
toward Field Day bonus points as satellite contacts and Field Day
contacts. Field Day rules limit stations to one contact on any
single-channel FM satellite. Note that contacts made during Field Day by
ISS crew would only count for contact credit, but not for satellite
bonus points. ISS cross-band repeater contacts are also valid AMSAT
Field Day satellite contacts.
The ARISS cross-band repeater uplink is 145.990 MHz (67 Hz tone), with a
downlink of 437.800 MHz.
ARISS suggests that those unfamiliar with the ISS repeater may want to
practice with it prior to Field Day. ARISS had planned to switch modes
to the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) during the second week
of June, but this won’t happen until after the first ARISS school
contact following ARRL Field Day.
NEW NET FOR THE BLIND, VISUALLY IMPAIRED, AND/OR DISABLED:
I received the following message from Gerald Gaule, KE7GGV a couple days
ago, and he has given me permission to forward the following information
to NW Division members:
“I want to pass along to all, or if you know someone who is Visually
Impaired, Blind, and/or Disabled. There is a NEW net starting the 27th
of June at 8 PM. It is the “Sunday Night Net for The Blind and Visually
Impaired” via the W7RAT 440.400 Repeater (123.0 PL), and located in
W7RAT operates an IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Project) repeater: Node
3039, Portland, Oregon, Frequency 440.400 P/L, +5.0MHz split, tone 123
Hz. This node is located at the 500-foot level of KOIN-TV’s broadcast
tower and provides wide coverage of the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan
area. For node status, go to www.pdxirlp.net
This net is a well-needed outlet for those who are Blind, Visually
Impaired, and Disabled, and in this net many will offer ideas,
suggestions, and discuss issues to be addressed. It will also will be a
place and secure outlet, without judgment.
There will be some guidelines. NO politics or religion, however, all
related subject matter will be Amateur Radio related. For educational
purposes, subjects related to the world of being Blind, Visually
Impaired and/or Disabled will be discussed.
The Net is planned for 8 PM Pacific and on the 4th Sunday of each month.
For now, I will be the Net Control and Moderator, and as time goes by
more ideas will be added.
This is a well-needed net, the W7RAT coverage is excellent, and in due
time will better serve the Blind, Visually Impaired and Disabled
Community. (I am myself Disabled, and have been since 2007.) I felt
there was a need in our area, and if you know someone who is Visually
Impaired, Blind and or Disabled, please let them know about this net.
The Net will have a preamble and guidelines, and to be honest no drama,
but just air time to serve our community better. (I have been working
with The Blind and Visually Impaired for many years.)
More information will be given later, but in the mean-time, please pass
KL7RA CHOSEN TO BE ARRL HQ STATION IN IARU HF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
CONTEST, JULY 10-11, 2021
The ARRL Headquarters Station for the upcoming IARU HF World
Championship Contest, (July 10-11, 2021), will be signing
“W1AW/KL7” in a few weeks! The North Pole Contest Club, (KL7RA), is
organizing the operation, and is currently planning to have four station
locations on the air from Alaska. They will be on all the usual contest
bands for the entire 24 hours of the contest. The four stations are:
KL7RA (@KL7SB) in Kenai, KL2R in Fairbanks/Two Rivers, KL7AA in
Anchorage, and one more station, most likely in Homer.
Wigi, KL0R, Station Manager for KL7RA, had the following to say:
“We’re honored to be selected as the HQ station for 2021. The North
Pole Contest Group has been W1AW one other time, in 2009. We have
incredibly large shoes to fill, and I hope we’re up to the challenge.”
They will also be operating as W1AW/KL7 for the period 0000Z July 9th to
2359Z July 13th, before and after the IARU contest. They will be on as
many band/modes as possible during these times, including EME.
For more information about the IARU HF World Championship Contest, check
out the ARRL website: http://www.arrl.org/iaru-hf-world-championship
A HAM RADIO HISTORY LESSON:
Now, time for a bit of ham radio history, and something to think about.
As I’ve discussed here many times, the FCC is currently reviewing
RM-11828, the “Technician Enhancement” petition filed by the ARRL
that if enacted, will give Technician Class licensees new limited phone
privileges on the upper ends of the 80, 40, and 15 meter bands, and
digital privileges as well on those bands. It is expected that this
petition will be acted upon by the FCC sometime later this year, along
with other petitions.
Now, you may be asking yourself “What does that have to do with ham
radio history”? Well, as we all know, history has a habit of
By chance, a friend of mine loaned me a March, 1947 issue of QST
magazine to read. In that issue was an interesting editorial and article
related to whether or not the ARRL Board should consider petitioning the
FCC for a new class of license. This new license, “Class D” (at the
time there were Class A, B and C amateur licenses), was to be VHF/UHF
only, and minus any form of CW requirement. (Perish the thought!)
There are some interesting comments and views on the subject posed
within the article, but this one stood out to me: “The fear has been
expressed that the new Class D men would be so numerous that they would
dominate the affairs of the League, and not being CW men themselves,
would succeed in shaping ARRL policies to the eventual elimination of CW
everywhere, the gradual liquidation of CW, and the opening of lower
frequency phone bands to persons without code knowledge, thus ruining
The ARRL’s response at the time was that the Board was considering a
proposal that these new Class D licensees would not be allowed to be
“full” ARRL members, and as such would have no voting power, nor the
ability to run for any ARRL offices. The premise was to be: If you
didn’t know code, you couldn’t be a full ARRL member, period! (As an
aside, I don’t think this ever came to be though, as the Technician
license as enacted retained a minimal 5 WPM code requirement.)
Of course, this “Class D” license eventually became the new
Technician Class license in 1951, albeit still with a minimal 5 WPM code
requirement. (And, of course, in 1958 the nomenclature of “Class D”
was eventually turned into the familiar 27 MHz “Citizen’s Band”,
channelized phone only, with a 5 watt power limit.)
In 2007, a full 60 years beyond 1947, CW was eliminated entirely as a
requirement for all amateur licenses. Fast forward to today, and we are
now a full 14 years into “no code”. Has the elimination of CW
testing requirements “liquidated CW”, and “ruined amateur
radio”, as predicted in 1947? Every amateur certainly has their
opinion one way or the other on this matter to this day. That said,
based on how many CW stations from around the world were on the air for
the recent WPX CW contest, (some 6,000 plus, last I heard), I find it
very hard to argue that it has.
If RM-11828 is ultimately approved by the FCC, will the influx of
Technicians getting their feet wet using their new SSB and digital
privileges overpower the HF bands, and “ruin amateur radio”? Well,
I say “no”, but what do you think?
CALL FOR NORTHWESTERN DIVISION DIRECTOR AND VICE DIRECTOR ELECTIONS:
After three years as your official ARRL Board representatives,
(already?!), it’s now your turn to provide both Vice Director Tharp
and I a referendum on our job performance, so to speak. Starting July
1st you as members get the chance to decide if we get to keep our
current jobs representing the ARRL Northwestern Division on the ARRL
Board for another three years. July 1st is the first day one can request
a nomination petition form from HQ, and officially starts the yearly
ARRL Board election season.
Besides our Division, there are also four other Divisions, (Hudson,
Central, New England, and Roanoke), holding elections this year.
If interested, “Call for Nominations” information can be found on
page 68 in the July 2021 issue of QST magazine. There you will find the
qualification criteria, nomination procedure, important dates to meet,
and a description of the balloting process. You can find the same
information on the ARRL website:
The new Division Director and Vice Director terms will run from January
1, 2022 through December 31, 2024.
Until next month, 73, stay safe, and get on the air!
Mike Ritz, W7VO
Director, ARRL Northwestern Division
Director, ARRL Foundation
Now, the latest words from Vice Director Tharp!
Diary of the Vice Director, Volume 3, June 2021
The first, and hopefully last, all virtual SEA-PAC convention was held
on June 5th. Mike and I presented short topics during the forum in the
morning. It went quite well from what I saw and what I have heard. It
will be great to actually see everyone next year in person.
On a side note, on the way home from the Oregon coast on the 13th, we
drove past the newly remodeled convention center in Seaside and it looks
great! The motels are making reservations now and a brand new one, 4
stories tall, is now in the lot just off the Northwest corner of the
parking lot of the center. Get your reservations in early to avoid the
Eastern Washington gets a new Section Manager.
Jack Tiley, AD7FO, from Spokane, decided not to run for another term and
as only one name was submitted to headquarters for the position. Jo
Whitney, KA7LJQ, from Yakima, was declared “elected” and will start
her official term on October 1st. After the election announcement, Mr.
Tiley resigned and as a result, Jo will assume the job as soon as the
paperwork is all done at HQ.
Jo holds an Advanced class license and has served Yakima county as EC
for the second time since 2003. She is an active ham, holding WAS SSB
and has 80 confirmed working on her DXCC award. She is very active with
public service communication events, and enjoys search and pounce
operation in contests when her pesky OM is not hogging the chair and or
radio. She is looking forward to this new position, and I’m sure the
EWA section will give her the same support it has given all of us former
EWA SMs. Welcome to the NW Division team Jo!
Congratulations also go to Monte Simpson, W7FF in Western Washington for
being elected to another two-year term starting on October 1st. This
will be Montes 5th full term, and he also started early when Jim Pace,
K7CEX, advanced to Vice Director mid-term.
Mike and I participated again as guests during the EC meeting held on
My Tuesday nights are still tied up observing the investment management
committee meetings and now that the outside presentations are all done,
that group will start deliberations on exactly what our IMP (investment
management policy) will look like, and with who. It continues to be an
education each week and well worth the two hours spent on zoom.
The work of the Emcom director search committee is finally wrapped up,
and we have tied the knots on the by-law changes to create a new, third
standing committee of the ARRL Board. Many hours went into this and I
would like to thank Directors Hippisley, Stratton, and Ritz for the many
hours we spent together (virtually of course) working on this. The full
committee unanimously agreed with the final product and it has been
submitted for the board to vote on next month at the July BoD meeting.
I’m sure by the end of that meeting, I will be able to stop calling it
“the name of the new committee”.
I’m going to run the next three paragraphs again about the available
division awards, just in case you missed it last month.
Northwestern Division Awards https://arrlnwdiv.org/division-awards/
Ok, that name may be a bit inaccurate, but our division does have a few
awards available, sponsored by individual clubs. We have added a page to
the division website to promote these awards and I would like to
spotlight the two I am aware of this month.
The “Washington – Worked all Counties” award is sponsored by the
Clark County ARC. This award is to acknowledge and recognize the
achievement of contacting Amateur Radio operators in each of Washington
state’s 39 counties. This award is open to any licensed ham.
Individuals submit proof of contact to the Clark County awards team and
once confirmed the award will be sent to you. This award was established
in 1995. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org (club website is
here: https://www.w7aia.org/ )
The” Washington Totem Award” is sponsored by the Western Washington
DX Club, the Northwest’s largest and most active DX group, and takes
pleasure in issuing the first major W7 award. This award is issued to
any licensed radio amateur who submits proof of two-way radio contact
with the state of Washington. More information can be found here:
https://www.wwdxc.org/awards/washington-totem/ This award has been
around since 1973 and has been awarded 1202 times to date. (club website
is here: https://www.wwdxc.org/ )
Events I am planning to attend IN PERSON!! 😊
The YARC swap meet, September 18th in Union Gap (Yakima, WA)
The Spokane (WA) Hamfest. This is currently on, however is dependent on
the school making a final decision.
Other events are coming up and for the most current list of Hamfest,
Convention, and other gatherings, take a look at the website maintained
by Lynn Burlingame, N7CFO at http://www.n7cfo.com/amradio/hf/hf.htm
A link to this page is also on the Division website at:
Mike and I are always looking for information to share with the
Division. If you have a news item you would like to offer please send
Mike or I a note and we would be glad to include it here.
267 new licenses issued and 71 upgraded licenses.
12,706 ARRL members in Division (+ 0.9% from 2020)
148 Active ARRL affiliated clubs.
Overall league membership 158,119, up 0.4% from 2020
If you have any questions or input, an email to email@example.com is the
best way to contact me.
Mark J. Tharp, KB7HDX
ARRL Vice Director
ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: Michael T Ritz, W7VO