First of all, I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving. Things are
certainly bustling here at the W7VO household, with my ears still
ringing from last weekend’s CQWW CW contest. (Why they decided to hold
that contest the weekend after operators are suffering from tryptophan
induced comas the day before is beyond me!) It’s interesting also that
immediately following any big CW contest effort, everything you hear
sounds like CW for a while. Door squeaks sound like callsigns!
You will notice that this newsletter is a bit later than usual in the
month, but still technically a November newsletter! I’ve been very
busy the last few weeks with a combination of very sick animals at home,
and a lot of time working with the team preparing a formal white paper
for the Clean Signal Initiative (CSI). (More on that later.)
Now, on with the show!
NW DIVISION ASSISTANT DIRECTOR PHIL KANE, K2ASP, SK
I am very sorry to report that our well known FCC expert, and an
Assistant Director for the Northwestern Division, Phil Kane, K2ASP, has
recently become a silent key. Phil and I go way back, as he was the
steely-eyed engineer at the FCC office on Battery Street in San
Francisco that administered my Second and First Class Commercial
Radiotelephone license tests back in the 1970s. As a relative youngster
sitting in an exam room, I was deathly afraid of him then. That said,
his humor, good nature and expert knowledge were well respected, both
then, and now. The below is courtesy of the Broadcasters’ Desktop
“Phil Kane, well-known broadcast engineer, FCC District Director (San
Francisco), attorney, and Amateur K2ASP passed away on November 24th in
Beaverton, OR after dealing with some health issues. He was 85 years
Phil Kane was born in Brooklyn NY on December 6, 1936. Life brought him
Phil earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from The Cooper
Union School of Engineering. He also graduated from UCLA, Los Angeles,
with a degree in System Engineering.
After graduation, in 1957, Phil worked for the US Air Force as an
Electronic Systems Engineer on major defense applications including
USAF/SAC Command and Control System. There he designed and oversaw
functional and operational tests.
From 1964-67, he served in the Ministry of Communications of the State
of Israel. In the Engineering Services, Frequency and Licensing Branch
he worked as a regulatory engineer, dealing with national and
international communications regulatory issues.
Back in the USA, Phil joined the FCC in 1967, serving in the San
Francisco office for 28 years and rising to the post of District
Director. Known as a detailed engineer, he usually was more concerned
with helping broadcast stations correct problems – although when they
ignored/disobeyed his orders, there would be consequences.
During his time at the FCC Phil also attended San Francisco Law School,
graduating with a JD in 1994. He was admitted to legal practice before
California State and Federal Courts and before the Federal
Communications Commission – and the Supreme Court of the United
Since retiring from the FCC in 1995, Phil would become perhaps the very
first Alternate Broadcast Inspector under the ABIP arrangement. He had
been an Attorney and Engineering Manager as Vice-President-General
Counsel of the consulting engineering firm CSI Telecommunications. There
his specialties included communications regulatory compliance – legal
and technical areas such as siting and land use permit issues for
communications facilities, especially emergency communication siting,
planning and operations.
As part of his work over the past 50 years, he qualified as Registered
Professional Engineer in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah, and is
eligible in all other jurisdictions.
Phil was Senior Life Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronic
Engineers (IEEE); a Life Member – Society of Broadcast Engineers,
Chapter Vice-Chair; a Senior Member – National Association of Radio
and Telecommunications Engineers and a Life Member and Asst. Division
Director – American Radio Relay League, and, locally, active in the
Washington County (Oregon) ARES.
Phil had a both a great sense of humor and a clear understanding of the
issues that have consumed much of the FCC he knew.
Phil passed away just a month after his wife. He is survived by son,
Daniel (Leslie) Petcher; sister, Ruthanne Gould; stepson, Lee (Gina
Rosito) Kane; and stepdaughter, Shoshana (Stephen) Silver. They asked
that those wishing to make donations, do so in their name to any food
Phil, you will be sorely missed by all the amateurs in this Division.
RIP, OM! And yes, I will always remember those steely eyes.
SADDLE MOUNTAIN ARC RECEIVES $30,000 GRANT
The newly ARRL affiliated club “Saddle Mountain Amateur Radio Club”
has received $30,000 from the City of Othello, WA to aid in building a
radio system to provide for communications resiliency of the city in
times of disaster. With the funds the club is setting up a
Shack-in-a-Box HF/2m station, with a Mag Loop, portable Off Center Fed
Dipole (OCFD) antenna and emergency solar power and LiFePo batteries.
They are also setting up a Shack-in-a-Box GMRS/CB and antenna system
with a portable repeater, antennas etc. We are also installing a
permanent public access GMRS repeater system with solar cells and
The club is going to start by holding public GMRS classes on Dec 9th,
which will include an introduction and guidance into ham radio. They
have coordinated with their local police department to establish radio
licensed block captains equipped with provided radios. They are also in
the process of coordinating with local clergy to introduce them to the
concept of two-way radio networks for disasters they could establish in
their respective churches. In all of this they are going to try and
establish a hierarchy of network information reporting.
John Pierre, W7COP, SMARC Club President commented:
“We are a small rural community and hold no illusions the Federal
Government would get to us anytime soon in the event of a regional
disaster. The club will purchase, own and maintain the equipment. We
plan to grow and offer our services as often as possible. Not bad for a
five person club.”
No, it is not, and on behalf of the NW Division, congratulations!
OREGON RADIO CLUBS RECEPIENTS OF ARDC GRANTS
In October, 2021, Valley Radio Club of Oregon (VRC) submitted a $16,525
grant proposal to Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) for
upgrading the ham radio station at the Eugene Science Center. The
station is owned and operated by Valley Radio Club of Oregon, a
501(c)(3) organization. In 2014, the existing station was assembled from
borrowed and donated materials, and installed by VRC club members. It
has been used on non-football Saturdays to demonstrate ham radio to
thousands of museum visitors, provide on-air experience for hundreds of
kids, and teach many STEM topics.
Scott Rosenfeld, N7JI, W7PXL station trustee (Valley Radio Club of
“We submitted this grant proposal because the station is showing its
age. The proposed new station would include new antennas and cables, a
Flex 6400M HF/6m radio, a dual band FM radio, several large monitors, a
12 VDC power system, and multiple computers, providing the museum and
museumgoers a more visually stimulating and interesting exhibit, and
creating a more functional and reliable ham radio station. We included
in our proposal the possibility of making the station portable through
the use of rolling racks, and emphasized its usefulness in teaching the
art, science, and enjoyment of amateur radio to a new generation, and
supporting our community’s science museum.
We are fortunate that ARDC saw the benefits of funding our proposal – we
got the grant! Now we move to figuring out what goes where, what we
have room for, when we can get up on the roof, etc. As we see it, those
are nice problems to have to worry about. Again, many thanks to the
ARDC for supporting us in this venture.”
Meanwhile, down at the University of Oregon, Ducks on the Air club
president Hannah Rosenfeld, W7HER, (yes, this is N7JI’s daughter!),
“We are excited to announce that Ducks on the Air (N7DUX), based out
of the Price Science Commons’ DeArmond Makerspace at the University of
Oregon (UO), has received a $25,600 grant from the Amateur Radio Digital
Communications (ARDC) Organization. The grant covers the construction of
two go-box-based ham radio stations covering HF, VHF, and UHF, plus
antennas, test equipment, hand tools, and accessories. The construction
process, to be performed by student members of the club, will be an
invaluable educational opportunity.
The two portable stations will permit club members to learn how to
operate on the amateur bands, and with the addition of a number of
“loaner” handheld radios, establish radio communications among club
members on and around campus. Club members will be able to field-deploy
these stations, and demonstrate ham radio to the UO community, with the
goals of performing outreach and community service, and providing
emergency communications training and real-time support in the event of
a significant disaster.”
The grant was written in conjunction with club members, and submitted by
Dean Walton, N7DPW, the faculty advisor for the club.
Membership in Ducks on the Air is open to current and former University
of Oregon students, alumni, faculty, staff, and retirees. They meet on
the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month at 5 p.m. Pacific Time.
Meetings, for the moment, are over Zoom, but their hope is to eventually
have hybrid remote/in-person meetings.
For more information, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
They also have a web site, found at blogs.uoregon.edu/ducksontheair/.
“CLEAN SIGNAL INITIATIVE” ON TO FULL ARRL BOARD FOR CONSIDERATION
Finally, as most of you know, I have been working hard the last few
months to get the ARRL to adopt the “Clean Signal Initiative” as a
formal 2022-2023 ARRL program. That effort took a major leap forward
last night when the Board’s Programs and Services Committee (PSC)
voted unanimously to accept the technical white paper the CSI Working
Group drafted, and move the proposal as a PSC motion for a full ARRL
Board vote in January. While the white paper itself is eleven pages
long, here is the abstract portion of the paper:
“Observation of the HF bands suggests that many signals exhibit poor
signal quality with spurious emissions from distortion of both the RF
and information signals that modulate them. This problem exists
independently of band congestion and is present for all modes.
Initially, it was suggested that sanctioning the transmitting station in
some way, through regulation or other operating rules, would provide the
incentive to improve signal quality.
After some discussion, however, it was recognized that very few amateurs
actually intend to transmit poor quality signals, so punitive rules
would in reality be ineffective. There has to be a better way to attack
the problem. After additional discussion it was decided that the best
solution for everyone is to go after the sources or root causes of
“poor quality signals”: fairly lax FCC rules that lead to
compromised commercial transmitter/amplifier design standards for signal
purity, lack of education about the technical causes of spurious
emissions, and a lack of training regarding how to actually adjust a
This presents a unique opportunity for the ARRL, the “National
Association of Amateur Radio”, to be the definitive technical leader
in solving the problem.”
I’m very excited that this proposal is moving ahead, and really want
to thank my fellow CSI Working Group committee members: Ward Silver,
N0AX, Rob Sherwood, NC0B, Karl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, Kristen McIntyre,
K6WX, and Ed Hare, W1RFI, for their diligent work.
73 and stay safe!
Mike Ritz, W7VO
ARRL Northwestern Division Director
ARRL Foundation Director
Now, we will hear from our NW Division Vice Director, Mark Tharp,
Diary of the Vice Director, Volume 3, November 2021
I hope all had a fantastic Thanksgiving.
The Investment Management Committee started the interview process with
the firms selected by the committee. All board and officers were invited
to watch the interviews. After this process is complete, the committee
will review the data and provide a list of firms for the full board to
review and vote on during the upcoming January annual meeting in
After much hard work aligning the schedules of applicants and committee
members, we managed to hold all the interviews for the Emcom Director
over a 7-day period. (Even with Chairman Hippisley taking time off to
work CW Sweeps….. ) Our work on this has now paused and our
recommendations will be sent to CEO Minster after he holds another round
of interviews with the candidates himself. We are anticipating this to
be wrapped up soon. Other work continues to be done by the committee and
now that our portion of the selection process is over we can devote more
time to other priority items.
The committee is assisting ARISS with various tasks, including an
upcoming fundraiser and the yearly budget submission to ARRL. ARISS is
very thankful to the league and its members for the continuing support
it and you provide.
Events are still being added, and sadly, removed from the calendar and
the most current list of Hamfests, Conventions, and other gatherings,
can be found 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 October:
148 new licenses issued and 49 upgraded licenses.
12630 ARRL members in Division
149 Active ARRL affiliated clubs.
2165 New hams in Division YTD.
Our challenge from President Rodrick to pass the Atlantic Division in
membership looks like this.
The Atlantic Division had 12,647 members. (a friendly competition of
course) We are short 17.
Overall league membership 157363, 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