Well, the last week of August, and the first couple weeks of September
have been busy for me, but not from anything really ARRL related for a
change. It’s because the XYL and I went on a vacation road trip to
California to visit with relatives and friends for almost three weeks,
the first real trip out of the area we’ve done together since the
pandemic began in early 2020. Of course, there was some ham radio
I came home from that trip with a treasure trove of electronics from a
techie cousin I visited who needed to clean out his garage. (“Bring a
truck”, he told me before I left home!) Treasures I ended up bringing
home included an old Hallicrafters S40A receiver, and a 1937 Silvertone
AM/SW console radio, complete with a “magic eye”. (You old timers
will know what that is!) I also brought home a somewhat rare tabletop
WW2-era Minerva “Tropic Master” AM/SW radio, which was a special
model sold through military exchanges, and was marketed to service
members heading home from the war in the Pacific. It’s complete with a
gunmetal-grey steel case, and fold down front and rear lids with dzus
fasteners, just like military radios of the era. All of these are future
restoration projects I’m looking forward to, once I really do retire!
On September 14th, I was invited to pay a visit to the Wahkiakum Amateur
Radio Club in Cathlamet, WA, and gave them a presentation on the latest
regarding ARRL activities and initiatives. This is the first real
“in-person” ham club that I’ve visited since the pandemic began,
and I certainly hope is a sign of brighter times ahead!
Now on to business..
A HUGE “THANK YOU”!
First, I want to sincerely thank the members of the ARRL Northwestern
Division for the continued support and words of encouragement you have
given both Vice Director Tharp and I over the three years that have
quickly elapsed since we were entrusted with these positions. As most of
you know, we were both up for re-election this year, seeking additional
three year terms serving the Division. Because either the Division
membership believes we are doing a satisfactory job, or maybe because
the jobs are so tough nobody else wanted them, no other Division members
submitted nomination petitions to run against us, and when the window
closed we were summarily declared “elected” at the end of last
month. Thank you!
Of the five Divisions up for ARRL Director and Vice Director elections
this year, only ours, the Hudson and the Central Divisions were
uncontested. The Roanoke and Northeastern Divisions are both hotly
contested this election season, and each of those is a three-way contest
for the Director slot.
Despite no challengers for either of our positions, some have asked me
why there wasn’t an ARRL election ballot sent out anyway, so the
membership can vote for “none of the above”, (essentially a “no
confidence” vote), and provide for a write-in candidate? The second
part is easier to answer, as all candidates are pre-vetted by the
Board’s Ethics and Elections Committee to both ensure four years of
continuous ARRL membership when applying, ( a requirement), and to
discern there are no professional conflicts of interest present. That
really makes a write-in candidate proposition unviable, but what about
the first question?
Should there be a process for a vote of “no confidence” for Director
and Vice Director incumbent candidates that do not have competition in
an election? In essence, there is a process, albeit “after the
fact”, in the ARRL recall process as outlined in ARRL By-Laws,
ARRL FOUNDATION SCOLARSHIP DEADLINE REMINDER
Things are progressing rapidly on the ARRL Foundation Scholarship
Committee front. On September 22nd I gave a presentation all about the
ARRL Foundation to the RAT-PAC educational organization via Zoom. If you
are interested in learning about the ARRL Foundation grant and
scholarship process, here is a link to the presentation:
After a record number of scholarships vetted by the committee for this
year, and a record amount of money awarded to deserving students as a
result, the scholarship program for the upcoming 2022-2023 academic year
is shaping up to be even better than this last one! There will be more
scholarships available, and importantly, more total dollars are
available this go-around.
Please note as mentioned last month, the window for 2022-2023 academic
year Foundation Scholarship Program application acceptance is set to
open on November 1, 2021 and will close at midnight on December 31,
- This is a later and a tighter window than in previous years, but
is consistent with other scholarship programs out there. It also allows
ARRL staff more time to work with a brand new ARRL scholarship program
database program vendor, and get any bugs worked out.
Another important change: All transcripts and any additional
documentation needed are now required to be submitted with the
application as opposed to being sent to the ARRL Development office at a
later date, as was done in the past.
Scholarship recipients will be notified of scholarship awards in May
2021 ARRL SIMULATED EMERGENCY TEST COMING UP!
(From the ARRL Newsletter):
The weekend of October 2 – 3 is designated for holding the annual ARRL
Simulated Emergency Test (SET), although local and Section-level
exercises may take place throughout the fall. The SET is ARRL’s
primary national emergency exercise and is designed to assess the skills
and preparedness of Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®)
volunteers, as well as those affiliated with other organizations
involved in emergency and disaster response.
The SET encourages maximum participation by all radio amateurs, partner
organizations, and national, state, and local officials who typically
engage in emergency or disaster response. In addition to ARES
volunteers, those active in the National Traffic System (NTSÔ), Radio
Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), National Weather Service (NWS)
SKYWARN®, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and a variety of
other allied groups and public service-oriented radio amateurs are
needed to fulfill important roles in this nationwide exercise.
The SET offers volunteers an opportunity to test equipment, modes, and
skills under simulated emergency conditions and scenarios. Individuals
can use the time to update a “go-kit” for use during deployments and
to ensure their home station’s operational capability in an emergency
or disaster. To get involved, contact your local ARRL Emergency
Coordinator or Net Manager.
ARRL, RSGB ANNOUNCE JOINT EVENTS TO CELEBRATE CENTENARY OF HAM RADIO
TRANSATLANTIC TEST SUCCESS
Many of you know that I am keen on our cherished Amateur Radio history,
and may have seen my “The Storied History of the Ham Radio Callsign”
presentation sometime. If you remember, the period between the end of
World War One and the mid 1920’s was a period of quantum leaps in
radio technology, especially with the introduction of the superhetrodyne
radio around 1920, supplanting the cruder regenerative receivers of
earlier times. In my presentation, I state that “…by 1923
international radio contacts were becoming commonplace”, causing more
confusion over duplications of amateur callsigns between countries. Of
interest here is a post from the ARRL e-Newsletter of Sept 23, 2021
regarding the upcoming celebrations of the historic 1921-1923
Transatlantic radio tests, events that proved that reliable
intercontinental communications were possible, and heightened the need
for country specific amateur callsign prefixes to be used:
“ARRL and the Radio Society of Great Britain will jointly sponsor
events to celebrate the achievement of transatlantic communications by
radio amateurs 100 years ago.
In December 1921, ARRL sent Paul F. Godley, 2ZE, as its representative
to listen for amateur signals from North America during the Second
Transatlantic Tests. Setting up his listening station in Ardrossan, on
the west coast of Scotland, Godley received the signals of more than 2
dozen US amateur radio stations, the first on December 12 (UTC) from
1BCG in Connecticut, operated by members of the Radio Club of America.
The message read: “Nr 1 NY ck 12 to Paul Godley, Ardrossan, Scotland.
Hearty Congratulations. (Signed) Burghard Inman Grinan Armstrong Amy
These successful transatlantic tests and the ones that followed spurred
technological advances and new global wireless distance records. Several
amateur radio operating events this year and next will commemorate the
centenary of these significant milestones that heralded the dawn of
two-way international amateur radio communication.
ARRL and RSGB will activate special event stations for 6 hours (0200 –
0800 UTC) on December 12 for the 160-meter Transatlantic Centenary QSO
Party. RSGB will activate GB2ZE from Scotland, with a team of stations
from the GMDX Group sharing operating duties. ARRL will activate W1AW.
The stations will operate only on CW. If transatlantic propagation holds
up, the stations may continue to operate beyond 0800 UTC.
The GMDX Group of Scotland will award a quaich — a traditional Scottish
drinking cup representing friendship — to the first stations in North
America and the UK to complete contacts with both W1AW and GB2ZE during
the QSO party. A commemorative certificate will be available for
RSGB and ARRL are also organizing an international amateur radio
marathon on the HF bands to commemorate transatlantic tests held between
1921 and 1923. The Transatlantic Centenary Marathon will take place in
December 2022. The objective will be to mark these historic events by
encouraging all radio amateurs to get on the air. Event details are
ARRL and RSGB have assembled a list of stations and groups that are also
organizing events and activities to celebrate 100 years of amateur radio
transatlantic communication. For more information, visit
arrl.org/transatlantic and rsgb.org/transatlantic-tests. The sites also
include links to many previously published articles and presentations
covering the historic tests.
Additional events and commemorations include:
Radio Club of America (RCA) Transatlantic QSO Party, 1200 UTC on
November 13 to 0400 UTC on November 14, 2021 (16 hours total). The QSO
party commemorates the contribution of members of the Radio Club of
America who constructed and operated the 1BCG transmitter site in
Greenwich, Connecticut, that sent the first message received by Paul
Godley, 2ZE, in Scotland.
W1AW Commemorative Transatlantic QSL Card. Stations making contact with
the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, W1AW, between December 11, 2021,
and December 31, 2022, qualify to receive a commemorative W1AW QSL card.
US stations should QSL with a self-addressed, stamped envelope;
international stations should QSL via the Bureau.
The 2021 ARRL 160-Meter Contest, 2200 UTC on December 3 – 1559 UTC on
December 5. This 42-hour, CW-only contest is most similar to the
original Transatlantic Tests of the early 1920s. Stations in the US and
Canada work each other as well as DXCC entities. RSGB is planning to
activate one of the original call signs used in the Transatlantic Tests,
with up to seven different prefixes from the UK and Crown Dependencies.
Look for G6XX (England); GD6XX (Isle of Man); GI6XX (Northern Ireland);
GJ6XX (Jersey); GM6XX (Scotland); GU6XX (Guernsey), and GW6XX (Wales).
Special Event GB1002ZE, December 1 – 26, 2021. The Crocodile Rock
Amateur Group (CRAG) based near Ardrossan, Scotland, will activate the
special event station GB1002ZE to commemorate the successful reception
of amateur transatlantic signals by Paul Godley, 2ZE, in 1921. The RSGB
encourages stations in the UK and Crown Dependencies to append the
suffix “/2ZE” to their station’s normal call sign throughout the period,
as authorized by UK regulator Ofcom.”
ARRL NW DIVISION WEBSITE HAS A NEW LOOK!
NW Division Assistant Director and our webmaster, Michael Sterba,
KG7HQ, has been very busy updating our Division website, and has given
it a completely new and fresh look. If you haven’t visited it in a
while, check it out!
Finally, other pressing commitments this year mean that I will not be
able to attend the October 16th Swaptoberfest at the Polk County
Fairgrounds in Rickreall, (sponsored by the Mid-Valley ARES group).
While the Spokane Hamfest/Washington State Convention has been recently
canceled due to COVID concerns, I’ve not heard anything about
Swaptoberfest, so I assume it’s still on! (If that changes, I’ll
send a note out to the Division.)
I want to wish all the Swaptoberfest attendees the best of times though,
and hope to see everybody back at Rickreall in February! In case you
don’t know, the address for the Polk County Fairgrounds is 520 SW
Pacific Hwy West, Rickreall, OR. For more information about
Swaptoberfest, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
73 and stay safe!
Mike Ritz, W7VO
Director, ARRL NW Division
Director, ARRL Foundation
Now, we will see what Vice Director Mark Tharp, KB7HDX has to say!
Diary of the Vice Director, Volume 3, September 2021
The IMC (Investment Management Committee) is now working on the review
process of all the submissions. The formal meetings have been put on
hold while this work is done by the committee as individual members. My
Tuesdays are once again free. The many nights in meetings were well
worth it however and I have no doubt the league portfolio will be in
good hands when this process is done.
Starting on October 1, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
(ARISS) will accept applications from US schools, museums, science
centers, and community youth organizations — individually or working
together — interested in hosting amateur radio contacts with crew
members on the International Space Station (ISS). Contacts will be
scheduled between July 1 and December 31, 2022. Crew scheduling and ISS
orbits will determine the exact contact dates. ARISS is looking for
organizations that will draw a sizeable number of participants and
integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan.
If you would like to learn more about ARISS visit the website at:
The ECFSC (Emergency Communications and Field Service Committee), has
now started working on the form 2 revision that is used by your EC and
DEC to make monthly reports. This follows the work done to revise form
4, used by your SEC. We are also reviewing the applicants for the
position Director of emergency management left vacant when our last
hire, Mr. Paul Gilbert, had to step down due to health reasons. We wish
Paul all the best in his overcoming this situation. To date, we have 17
September 10th I made a quick trip “up nort” or north for those
unfamiliar with a North Dakota accent, and attended the Matanuska
Hamfest in Big Lake, just outside of Wasilla, Alaska. The weather was
great, as well as the hamfest. Craig, KL7H set up a table for AMSAT (of
which I am also a member) and I got to help out by being chief flunky,
helping carry the antennas up and down the stairs for three passes of
SO-50 during the day. Due to the SW-NE passes, we were only able to work
fellow Alaska hams, but it was a success and aside from working the
space station, it was actually my first time on a satellite. Many
thanks to Craig for letting me help out, and for the fantastic job
setting up the booth. During my contact, I was asked point blank when
Mike and I were going to attend the Fairbanks hamfest so we may have to
double down and make that trip next year. Our CEO, David Minster, has
also asked about planning a trip to visit our members in Alaska so the
ball is in Mike and my hands to drop now. HA!
Events I am planning to attend IN PERSON!!
The YARC swap meet, September 18th in Union Gap (Yakima, WA) (over by
the time this goes to print)http://www.n7cfo.com/amradio/hf/N7YRC21.pdf
As I am sure you have heard by now, the Spokane Hamfest, and Washington
State convention was canceled due to Covid concirns and they are
planning for 2022 now.
W7DP Walla Walla ARC Swap meet on October 17th.
Other events are on the calendar and for the most current list of
Hamfest, Conventions, and other gatherings, take a look at the website
maintained by Lynn Burlingame, N7CFO at:
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. It is always
good to hear from members.
Division statistics from July:
193 new licenses issued and 44 upgraded licenses.
12618 ARRL members in Division (exactly the same as 2020)
149 Active ARRL affiliated clubs.
1856 New hams in Division YTD.
Our challenge from President Rodrick to pass the Atlantic Division in
membership looks like this.
The Atlantic Division had 12,721 members. (a friendly competition of
course) We are short 103.
Overall league membership 157,480, down 0.3% 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