ARRL NW DIVISION NEWSLETTER – JULY 1, 2022
NOTE: I originally sent this out last night, but for some reason it
didn’t actually get sent from the ARRL servers. I am resending today!
I will start by hoping that everybody had a great ARRL Field Day last
weekend! I operated with the Columbia River DX Club as a Class 2A
station here in Columbia County, Oregon, and had a wonderful time
operating with some old friends of mine. While propagation was VERY iffy
on Saturday due to Ol’ Mr. Sol deciding to throw a CME our way, Sunday
morning was a blast, and delivered us most of our QSO count. Based on my
observations, and from what I’ve gathered on social media since, the
ARRL Programs and Services Committee (PSC) decision to limit ALL FD
stations to 100 watts of output power was a success. At 100 watts we had
no issue either running stations, or working anybody we could hear while
in search and pounce mode. It also seemed to me that there were more
Class A and B portable stations on the air this year compared to last,
and perhaps a few less Class D and E home stations. A few of the home
class crowd were certainly louder than the others, but that’s probably
due to most home stations being equipped with better antennas than
temporary field antennas.
It’ll be interesting when HQ staff sends me the final report on FD
numbers. Maybe the pandemic is loosening its grip and finally allowing
hams back in the field again!
Some of the common complaints I have heard were related to the fact that
a LOT of stations were on FT8, (we were not), and perhaps the 2 points
per QSO advantage for digital contacts needs to be looked at for next
year. Note that despite what the ARRL newsletter disseminated, the PSC
will most certainly be reviewing existing FD rules and COVID waivers
enacted the last few years in preparation for FD2023, and will probably
make a few tweaks for next year.
Please let me know what you thought of the PSC FD rule changes for this
year. There’s a PSC meeting coming up next month, and I’d like to
provide the committee your input.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST DX CONVENTION
Time is running out to register for the Pacific Northwest DX Convention,
held on August 5th-7th in Spokane, WA, and yesterday was the last day
you can sign up for the Saturday night banquet! The DX convention has
been held every summer since 1955, with the sponsorship rotating between
the major DX clubs of the Pacific Northwest. There was no convention in
2020 because of COVID, and the convention in 2021 had to be done via
Zoom for the same reasons. The 67th Annual Convention will be hosted by
the Spokane DX Association (sdxa.org), and will be “live and
Together, these organizations have upheld the rich traditions of amateur
radio and the pursuit of DX through five solar cycles. Over the decades,
we have enjoyed wonderful friendships and the very special international
camaraderie that ham radio fosters in the Pacific Northwest and around
If you are not familiar with the event, the organizers have provided the
The PNW DX Convention promo video:
Convention registration Link:
Convention program schedule:
So far, they have 100 people registered for the convention, but there is
room for many more! Besides Vice Director Mark Tharp, KB7HDX and myself
in attendance, Ed Hare, W1RFI from the ARRL Headquarters in Newington
will be “in the house”, providing a presentation to the group titled
“Radio Frequency Interference and the Radio Amateur”. All of us can
certainly learn something new to help us clean up our shack from
external and internal RFI.
I hope to see many of you there!
AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE RENEWAL INFORMATION
As of the middle of April, the FCC now requires a $35 fee be paid for
amateur license renewals and new applications. I’ve received a few
messages from Division amateurs who are having issues trying to get
renewals done, then get the fees paid. Here’s a short FCC tutorial to
help. (Remember that a renewal application can be filed no earlier than
90 days before the expiration date on the license!)
Amateur Renewal Filing Instructions:
If your license expires, you may apply for renewal of the license during
a two-year grace period. The renewal application must be received by the
FCC on or before the end of the two-year grace period. Until the license
is renewed, no amateur operator or station operating privileges are
conferred. Applications received after the end of the two-year grace
period cannot be granted.
Please Note: Per Public Notice DA 15-72, the FCC no longer mails license
authorizations. If you provide an email address on your application, a
link to print your official copy of your license will be automatically
emailed to you when the application is granted.
Go to https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsEntry/licManager/login.jsp, enter
your FCC Registration Number (FRN) and password and click the Submit
button. Then, proceed to Step 2 below to begin filing the application.
If you do not know your FRN, you can search for it by clicking the
“Check your licenses” link under the Submit button on the Log In page.
If you do not have an FRN, you can register for one by clicking the
“Register with the FCC” link under the Submit button on the Log In
If you do not know the password: Click on the “Contact Tech Support”
link under the Submit button on the Log In page. On the next page, click
the Forgot Your Password link and follow the prompts for resetting the
After receiving confirmation of a successful password reset, click the
link for Universal Licensing System (DO NOT click the CORES Public
Click the yellow ULS License Manager button to return to the Log In
Enter the FRN and password and click the Submit button.
Click the “Begin the renewal process” link in the center of the page.
(If you are taken to the My Applications page after logging in, click
the My Licenses link on the navigation menu on the left.)
On the Select Updates page, check the Licensee Name and Address checkbox
only if changes to the name, mailing address, phone, fax or email
address are necessary. Then, click the Continue button.
On the Applicant Questions page, leave the fee exemption questions
answers set to “No” and click the Continue button.
On the Licensee Information page, enter any updates to your name,
mailing address, phone, fax or email address and click the Continue
Applicants are now required to answer the Basic Qualifications Felony
Convictions Question. If this question has been previously answered it
will be pre-filled. If the answer to Felony Question is “Y,” attach as
an exhibit a statement explaining the circumstances and a statement
giving the reasons why the applicant believes that grant of the
application would be in the public interest notwithstanding the actual
or alleged misconduct. The exhibit is a document you prepare, there is
no special form. Please also include the address of the court, the
sentence imposed, and if the sentence has been satisfied.
The “Yes” response will be publicly viewable in the Commission’s
Universal Licensing System (ULS), but the applicant may request that the
exhibit be treated as confidential. In order to seek confidential
treatment, the applicant must include a separate request that the
material not be made available for public inspection. The request must
contain a statement of the reasons for the request and must identify the
portion(s) of the exhibit for which confidential treatment is requested.
It is not sufficient to simply mark a document as “Confidential.”
If the applicant does not request confidential treatment, the exhibit
may be publicly viewable in ULS.
On the Summary page, review any updates that you made and click the
Continue to Certify button.
On the Certification page, sign your application by typing your name in
the boxes provided as it appears on your license.
◦ A suffix is a part of a personal name that generally appears at the
end of the name, e. g., Junior (Jr) or Senior (Sr).
◦ Do not use punctuation with a suffix in ULS.
◦ The Title field is optional.
Click the Submit Application button.
ULS will calculate the fees. Fees for online filing MUST be received
within 10 calendar days of the filing.
Click the “Continue For Payment Options” button to choose the
method of payment
FAQs – Filing a Renewal Application in the Universal Licensing System
After your application has been granted, you may also download an
official copy of your license from the License Manager by following the
Go to https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsEntry/licManager/login.jsp and log in
with your FCC Registration Number (FRN) and password.
Click the “Download Electronic Authorizations” link on the navigation
bar on the left side of the License Manager home page.
In the My Authorizations box at the bottom of the page, select the call
sign(s) you wish to download.
Add the call signs to the Authorizations to Download box by clicking the
Click the Download button in the lower right-hand corner of the page.
The download will be automatically converted to a PDF file, and you can
choose to Open (to print) or Save (to save to a desired folder).
If you have any further questions or need additional information, please
submit a help request at
https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/available-support-services or call the FCC
Licensing Support Center at (877) 480-3201, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM EST, M –
ARRL YOUTH LICENSING GRANT PROGRAM
While we are on the subject of license fees, just a reminder the ARRL
Youth Licensing Grant Program formally took effect on April 19, 2022.
The program covers the onetime $35 application fee for new amateur radio
license candidates younger than 18 years old for tests administered
under the ARRL VEC program. The $35 FCC application fee will be
reimbursed after the ARRL VEC receives the completed reimbursement form
and after the new license has been issued. The reimbursement check will
be mailed to the fee payer. Also, candidates younger than 18 years old
would pay a reduced exam session fee of $5 to the ARRL VEC team at the
time of the exam. The ARRL Board approved the Youth Licensing Grant
Program at its July 2021 meeting.
Maria Somma, AB1FM, created and implemented the program guidelines,
procedures, and form. Visit the youth licensing grant program webpage
for the program instructions and reimbursement form:
NEW HELP VIDEO AVAILABLE FOR ARRL.ORG WEBSITE LOG-IN PROBLEMS
ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA recently announced that there is a new
video available to assist those that are still having ARRL website
(arrl.org) log-in issues since the switchover to the new Personify
association management software a few months ago.
The link can be found on arrl.org directly under the Login button and is
called “Login Help”.
DAN MARLER, K7REX, RE-ELECTED AS ARRL IDAHO SECTION MANAGER
Congratulations to Dan Marler, K7REX for remaining as ARRL Idaho Section
Manager (SM)! As no other SM nomination petitions were received for the
Idaho section by the deadline of June 10, 2022, he was then declared
“elected”. His new two-year term begins October 1, 2022.
ARRL FILES RESPONSE TO FCC ET DOCKET 22-137, “PROMOTING EFFICIENT USE
OF SPECTRUM THROUGH IMPROVED RECEIVER INTERFERENCE IMMUNITY
In this latest move from the FCC, they apparently have decided that
since they cannot control spurious emissions from many consumer
products, they need to come up with receiver performance standards
instead. In my opinion, this is akin to an assailant blaming the victim
in a court case! Here is an excerpt from the formal ARRL response to
this proposal as submitted to the FCC by David Siddall, K3ZJ, our FCC
Legal Counsel on June 27, 2022:
“ARRL, The National Association for Amateur Radio, also known as the
American Radio Relay League, Incorporated (ARRL) submits these comments
in response to the Commission’s Notice of Inquiry examining the role
of receiver performance in achieving more efficient spectrum use in the
ever-changing and intensive spectrum environment.
- Receiver Standards Would be Inappropriate for the Amateur Service.
The Commission seeks comment on whether there are services in which
promotion or regulation of receiver improvements is unnecessary. The
Amateur Service is strictly a non-commercial service and experimental in
nature under both the Commission’s rules and ITU Radio Regulations.
Unlike the commercial services, in the Amateur Service many of the
amateur bands are used in a relatively free-form manner without
channelization and with signals of different bandwidths, modulation
types, and signal strengths adjacent to each other simultaneously in an
ever-changing ad hoc arrangement. Coexisting with different and
unexpected signals, as well as widely varying and continually changing
signal propagation in bands such as those at high frequencies (HF) are a
continual part of operations and experimentation. In addition, many
amateurs build or modify their own receivers. Given the inherent
characteristics of the Service, regulatory performance standards for
receivers used in the Amateur Service would be counterproductive to the
amateurs’ continued experimentation and operations.
- Lessons From the Amateur Experience
We do, however, offer two aspects of the amateur experience that may
contribute to the Commission’s consideration of how to approach the
impact of receiver characteristics on spectrum use and whether and how
receiver considerations might be treated within the regulatory context.
Receivers used by radio amateurs have remarkably improved in recent
years in their handling of adjacent signals of different strengths and
technical characteristics. Much of the improvement has derived from
better testing of relevant receiver parameters and effective
communication of the test results to users who have the technical
knowledge to understand their meaning. This has been accomplished
without regulatory mandate.
Another aspect worth consideration is that when reallocations will
change the spectrum environment today’s software-defined radios may
provide a more flexible and timely upgrade path to accommodate future
requirements and improvements in those services in which they are
employed. More specifically, the ARRL Laboratory conducts thorough
testing of major new amateur transmitters and receivers (most commonly
combined in transceivers) and publishes the results in its
widely-distributed magazine, QST.
Other amateurs independently conduct and publish similar tests focused
on their particular areas of interest. In turn, many amateurs view the
published material and are guided by the results when making equipment
purchases. Many amateurs focus on receiver test results because receiver
capabilities directly affect whether a relatively weak signal adjacent
to a much stronger signal can be heard. In the amateur bands, strong and
weak signals often are randomly mixed. The different modulation schemes
and bandwidths of signals operating adjacent to each other, and even
partially overlapping, often create multiple scenarios similar to or
even more complex than those present in typical adjacent band scenarios
between commercial services.
The difficulty of receiving some of the signals in complex situations
and the public receiver testing has resulted in substantial improvements
to amateur receiver dynamic range (the ratio of the smallest usable
signal to the largest tolerable signal) and to both hardware and
software filters. Amateur receiver capabilities today excel in the
crowded and complex RF environment of the amateur bands because amateur
receiver manufacturers responded to the test data by making improvements
to their receivers. The result is that amateur receivers today are
exceptionally robust in crowded signal environments compared to those of
a generation ago.
Another consideration worth highlighting is the potential for increased
flexibility with software defined receivers. If designed with future
upgrades in mind, a range of improvements and changes are possible
without requiring new hardware. While the hardware necessarily has
limits, many amateurs today take advantage of improvements and new
functions by downloading software upgrades rather than making hardware
changes. This and related advances in software receiver technologies not
generally employed by amateurs, such as dynamic frequency selection,
could be useful to explore in the context of improving spectrum use
through receiver improvements.
Given the inherent characteristics of the Amateur Service, regulatory
performance standards for receivers used by amateurs would be
counterproductive to the amateurs’ continued experimentation and
operations and should not be considered.
In the context of how to approach receiver issues, however, there are
worthwhile lessons to be learned from amateur experience and
experimentation in situations that duplicate some of the problematic
adjacent signal and other scenarios called out in the NOI as
problematic. The ARRL stands ready to provide additional information and
contribute to the Commission’s work in this area.”
Finally, as you know SEA-PAC is also the ARRL Northwestern Division
Convention. I want to thank the many members that stopped by the ARRL
booth to converse with Mark, our Section Managers, the other ARRL
officials in attendance, and myself. I heard a lot of complements from
you, and a few welcome gripes as well. I also want to thank those that
attended the Saturday banquet keynote given by our ARRL CEO, David
Minster, NA2AA. I had the chance to be a quick “warm up” act before
David took the stage, and did a short roast of our ARRL President, Rick
Roderick, K5UR, which was a heck of a lot of fun. (At least for me, Rick
did later say that he WILL get me back!) It was great to be able to
conduct my seminars to actual “live audiences”, find a few new
treasures in the ham swap area, and generally just get things back to
During SEA-PAC, Everett Curry, W6ABM, announced his official retirement
as the long time SEA-PAC Master of Ceremonies. Next year, someone will
be trying to fill the gigantic shoes left by him. (Not literally
though!) Ev, hearty congratulations from the ARRL Northwestern Division,
and thank you for your service.
73, and get on the air!
Mike Ritz, W7VO
Director, ARRL Northwestern Division
Vice President, ARRL Foundation
Now we will hear from our Vice Director!
Diary of the Vice Director, Volume 4, June 2022
Mike and I have been very busy the last two months working on
scholarship applications for the ARRL Foundation. Thanks to a grant from
ARDC we have, shall I say, a HUGE pile of money to award this year. Over
150 available scholarships and 187 applicants. This is my first year
being involved with this, and it is a lot of work but very rewarding to
meet these young folks and get to know them.
The ARRL executive committee met on May 9th and again on June 9th via
ZOOM. These meetings are open to other board members and I try to attend
as my work schedule allows. It is always time well spent as we get
updates from our CEO on current project status, and other information.
The regular meetings of this body help speed up the process during our
regular board meetings in January and July.
The ECFSC committee has been meeting every 2-3 weeks and we are working
through a number of projects. The items at the top of the list include
updating online reporting for our ECs and SECs. Reviewing the
integration of Auxcom training into our existing programs. Revising a
few club benefits including the commission program for new and renewing
ARRL members, and we are studying the relationships between Section
Managers, HQ and the Board.
Since the last newsletter We had SEAPAC which was a rainy weekend and
may have had an effect on attendance. We had a good group from the ARRL,
with President Rodrick, CEO Minster, Bob Inderbitzen, Kathleen Calahan,
Mike and I of course, and 4 out of the 6 Section Managers. Also in
attendance were Director Luetzelschwab, Vice Director Marcin, and our
all time favorite guest, Holly Rodrick, President Rodricks wife.
The Wenatchee Hamfest, in Dryden WA, also took place the weekend after
SEAPAC and was well attended. The weather was great, as was the homemade
Ice cream provided by our WWA ACC, Lynn N7CFO.
ARRL Eastern Washington section has made a few changes with field
Frank Hutchison, AG7QP has been appointed as the new Section Emergency
Coordinator replacing Randy Thomas, K7RHT from Ellensburg. Frank lives
in the Spokane area and has been very active with the local ARES®
group. Welcome to the Section staff Frank!
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:
Events I am currently planning to attend are:
PNW DX Convention (Spokane) August 5-7
N7YRC Swap July 30 in Union Gap, WA
PNWVHF conference Oct. 7 and 8 in Salem, OR
At the end of May the NW Div had 12,553 members which is down 1.2% from
We are still having issues retrieving data for the new ham reports. That
is supposed to be resolved soon.
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.
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