ARRL NW DIVISION NEWSLETTER – FEB 22, 2022

What a busy last month it’s been! In between club Zoom presentations,
a few major contests to operate, the Salem Hamfest at Rickreall last
Saturday, a quick trip to Montana to visit the Yellowstone ARC Annual
Dinner in Billings, meetings in preparation for the Annual ARRL Board
meeting in CT, the Board meeting itself, and activity related to the
ARRL Foundation, the month went by very, very quickly. Soon it will be
March, and that’s hard to believe.

I had planned on attending the ARRL National Convention in Orlando, FL,
which was held this year in conjunction with Hamcation the week of Feb
9th, but the US COVID situation said otherwise, and I backed out in
mid-January. That said, I heard the event went well and the ARRL booths
there had a lot of traffic. With all the other things going on, I’m
glad I made the decision to stay home.

JANUARY ARRL BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

There were several highlights from the ARRL Board meeting itself to
report, and from the Programs and Services Committee (PSC) meeting that
preceded it. First, let’s discuss a major topic from the PSC meeting:
Proposed Field Day (FD) rules for 2022.

As you may recall from earlier newsletters, last year I had asked ARRL
staff to conduct a member Field Day survey prior to PSC deciding what
the upcoming rules for this year should look like. Over the last two
years the PSC made several concessions to the rules in order to ensure
that those that needed to stay home due to COVID concerns could still
take part in the beloved yearly event, but what should we do for 2022
and beyond? Let the members themselves decide! I worked with ARRL staff
to get the survey questions formulated, a survey link was e-mailed to
over 12,000 prior Field Day entrants, and was also provided on several
social media outlets for others to check out and respond. In the end,
about 3,100 completed surveys were submitted by respondents. There are
some surprising results from the FD survey:

  1. Should we change the Low Power (LP) category power limit to 100W PEP
    from 150W PEP, as was done for ARRL contests? By a big majority of 84%,
    the answer was YES. This makes sense for the same reason it does for
    contests: The vast majority of radios sold today only put out 100
    watts.
  2. Should we allow FD home stations to aggregate their scores with their
    home club stations actually in the field? 75% voted YES. With the aging
    ham population as a whole and ongoing COVID concerns, this was no real
    surprise.
  3. Should we allow Class D (home stations on commercial power) to get
    point credit for contacts with other Class D stations? Again, 75% voted
    YES, and probably for the same reason as in Question 2. This one
    surprised me by the size of the margin, I expected a closer race.
  4. Should we continue to limit both Class D and E (home stations on
    emergency power) to “Low Power” only? (Now set to 100W from
    Question 1). No surprise here either, as the vote was an overwhelming
    92% YES. That particular change was very popular last year, and I fully
    expected this result.
  5. Now for an interesting one! Should we limit all, some, or no Field
    Day Stations to 100W maximum output power? The respondents were given 4
    choices:

Class D only to be limited

Class D and E only to be limited

All FD stations to be limited, no matter the class

No changes (Revert back to 2019 rules, allow High Power (1500W) for
everyone)

Drum roll please…… The result was that 44% said ALL, verses no more
than 20% for each of the other choices. Who will really enjoy this
result? It’ll be the QRP stations, who now have a much better chance
of actually being heard!

So, one can probably predict what Field Day will look like in 2022; just
like 2021, but with ALL stations limited to either QRP (5W or less), or
Low Power (100W or less), for the event. You now know exactly how these
decisions were made. The members have spoken, and the ARRL listened!

Since these changes were published by the ARRL I’ve received a few
negative comments, mostly related to allowing Class D to Class D
stations to again get point credit in 2022, but most responses I’ve
received have been positive in nature. Please note that despite what the
ARRL press release said about these changes being “permanent”,
please don’t believe it. The PSC will absolutely look at the rules
again after the conclusion of FD 2022.

As usual, most of the ARRL Board meeting itself involved motions that
really just affected governance of the Board, such as the election of
Officers, (none changed hands), and a proposal to change to four formal
Board meetings a year. (Rather than the current two, with two
“live” meetings in Connecticut each year, and two virtual meetings
in between. While it sounded like a good idea, the idea overlaps with
existing Executive Committee duties and responsibilities, and the motion
failed to pass.)

Another interesting motion involved a proposal to make the ARRL CEO the
permanent President of the ARRL Foundation as well. This would have
essentially brought the Foundation, which for years has enjoyed
independence as a small and agile separate 501(c)(3) organization,
entirely under the control of the ARRL mothership. By a very narrow
margin the motion failed.

NEW ARRL INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL CONTEST

As part of removing the FT-x modes from the ARRL RTTY Roundup contes for
2023, (making the contest RTTY only), the ARRL has created a new contest
aimed for fans of the HF FT-x modes. This contest has a few twists in
it, including the use of “distance base scoring”, where the stations
you work in the contest that are farther from your grid square are worth
more points. Unfortunately for us here in the Northwest, it falls on the
same weekend as SEA-PAC, but it’s hard to find a weekend that
doesn’t have a big contest in it.

For more information on the new contest check out the ARRL website page:
http://arrl.org/arrl-digital-contest

ARRL BOARD COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR recently announced the new ARRL
committee assignments for 2022. Assignments this year, at least as far
as Mark and myself are concerned, are the same as last year. I remain on
as Chair of the PSC, a member of the Band Planning Committee, and was
also re-elected to another three-year term to serve on the ARRL
Foundation Board. Vice Director Tharp remains on the Emergency
Communications/Field Services Committee, and as Chair of the ARISS
(Amateur Radio aboard the International Space Station) Committee.

THE ARRL CLEAN SIGNAL INITITIAVE

An important vote that occurred during the ARRL Board meeting was the
formal adoption of the Clean Signal Initiative (CSI) as a new ARRL
program. (As well as a benefit for all amateurs, ARRL members or not!)
The Board vote on that motion was a resounding 15-0 to adopt the
proposal, which, as I have mentioned previously, gets the ARRL into the
technical standards business as it relates to spurious emissions from
commercial ham transmitters and amplifiers. I am very proud to have been
part of the team that put the program together, and it is now in the
hands of ARRL staff for implementation.

ARRL FOUNDATION NEWS

On the ARRL Foundation front, a LOT changed last month as we prepare for
the upcoming scholarship vetting season, and the launch of the new
ARRL/ARDC Club Grant program. First, at the last ARRL Board meeting, Dr.
Woolweaver, K5RAV, was usurped as both a Foundation Board member, and as
President when ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA, was elected to serve on
the Board. Along with David, Central Division Director Carl
Luetzelschwab, K9LA, and Kermit Carlson, W9XA, both were elected to the
Foundation Board with the retirements of Dick Norton, N6AA, and Brain
Mileshosky, N5ZGT.

Secondly, at the annual ARRL Foundation Zoom meeting a few weeks ago,
the ante was raised further as I was elected by the Foundation Board to
serve as the new Vice President for 2022, a huge honor. In addition, I
also was appointed by the new Foundation President, David Norris, K5UZ,
to serve on both the Foundation Grants and Scholarship committees. I see
lots of work in my near future, as if I don’t have enough already!

FINAL THOUGHTS

Finally, I have to say that I really enjoyed the opportunity to attend
the Salem Hamfest at Rickreall last weekend. While the event was a bit
short on sellers, it was well attended and I had a chance to meet and
greet members that I have missed greatly over the last few years. On
March 12th, I will be live at Mike and Key up in Puyallup, WA, and am
certainly looking forward to the Northwestern Division Convention at
SEA-PAC in June, which is also still on track. At SEA-PAC both ARRL CEO
David Minster, NA2AA, and President Rick Roderick, K5UR are scheduled to
be in attendance, so Mark and I will have to be on our very best
behavior! David himself will be delivering the keynote address at the
Saturday night banquet. I hope you will ALL come by the ARRL booths at
the events and say HI to the ARRL teams!

73 and stay safe;

Mike Ritz, W7VO

ARRL NW Division Director
ARRL Foundation Vice President
www.arrl.org
www.arrlnwdiv.org
e-mail: w7vo@arrl.org

Now, we will see what Vice Director Tharp has been up to!


Diary of the Vice Director, Volume 4, January/February 2022

The New Year is upon us and with it comes the next three-year stint for
Mike and I as your Director, and Vice Director respectfully. We are both
grateful and honored to continue serving the members of the Northwestern
Division.

Mike and I have “survived” the annual ARRL Board of Directors
meeting in Connecticut! Contrary to what some may think, these in-person
meetings are of great value due to the amount of work that gets done
outside the board room. Hallways, restaurants, dinners, and yes, the
bar, are all common places for board members to “informally” gather,
and work out issues and concerns for the next day’s agenda. It also
gives those of us in the “back row” (Vice Directors) a chance to
interface with other Directors and share our opinions. For those
unaware, the back row during the meeting “sits quietly and keeps its
mouth shut”. It’s not quite that harsh of course. Does it cost to do
this? Yes. Is the cost worth the return? Very much so.

My travel this time to the meeting and back home however, is another
story and I’ll not bother you with it here. Ask me in person some
time.

ARISS Committee

President Rodrick appointed me for another year as Chair of the ARRL
ARISS committee.
We are working on an upcoming fundraiser with ARRL for the ARISS STAR
program and some of you may receive an email about it in the near
future. I hope many of the NW Division will see the benefit to this
project, and help out with a small donation if possible.

EMFSC

I am glad to announce Josh Johnston, KE5MHV as the new Director of
Emergency Management. The committee and CEO Minster both interviewed the
candidates, and we all agreed Josh was the perfect fit for this
position. President Rodrick also re-appointed me to this committee, and
with a new Chairman, Director Dale Williams from the Great Lakes Div. we
are all ready to get to work on matters other than hiring. We spent
close to a year with that being priority. You will remember we hired Mr.
Paul Gilbert last spring, and unfortunately, he had to resign due to a
medical issue.

Events

The most current list of Hamfests, Conventions, and other gatherings,
can be found 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:
https://arrlnwdiv.org/

Events I am currently planning to attend are:

Mike and Key swap March 12th
SEAPAC June 3-6
Wenatchee Hamfest June 10-12
PNW DX Convention (Spokane) August 5-7
N7YRC Swap (date TBD)

Club News (repeat from last month)

ARRL HQ has brought back Club News, a monthly e-letter with a focus on
clubs. The current issue is available here http://www.arrl.org/club-news
as well as the past two months. You, as a member, can select to have
this delivered to your email each month in the email subscriptions tab
of your member profile at ARRL.ORG. Click the “edit your profile”
link under your user name at the top of the page.

February QST

Don’t forget to read the article from our very own Al Rover, K7AR,
from Vancouver, WA. Al gives up some hints and tips on planning a
DXpedition. And don’t forgot to vote for your favorite article at
http://www.arrl.org/pages/complete/589/cover-plaque-poll

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 us
a note and we would be glad to include it here. It is always good to
hear from members.

Division statistics from 2021, year-end totals:
2581 new licenses issued.
12722 ARRL members in Division
149 Active ARRL affiliated clubs.
678 Amateurs upgraded their licenses in 2021!

Our challenge from President Rodrick to pass the Atlantic Division in
membership looks like this.
The Atlantic Division had 12,781 members. (a friendly competition of
course) We are short 59.

Overall league membership 158600, up 106 members from 2020, a .0006%
increase.

That overall membership number is the one President Rodrick brought up
at the Board Meeting. League membership is essentially flat. Here in the
NW Div. alone we licensed 2581 new hams. Where are they? Are they
joining your clubs? Is your club reaching out to these new hams? Are you
promoting the ARRL at test sessions? Do you have your 15 second elevator
speech ready to go when someone asks, “why should I join ARRL”? If
your club is interested in mailing labels for these new folks, have one
of your officers contact your Section Manager. That data is available
each month on or about the 5th. A postcard with your club’s contact
information might just net you a new member or more every month. All
food for thought.

If you have any questions or input, an email to kb7hdx@arrl.org is the
best way to contact me.

73..

Mark J. Tharp, KB7HDX
ARRL Vice Director
Northwestern Division
kb7hdx@arrl.org


ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: Michael T Ritz, W7VO
w7vo@arrl.org

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