ARRL NW Division Newsletter, March 24, 2023

First of all, I hope all of you enjoyed the several days of Spring we
just had, while we are now back to full Winter weather! Just Tuesday I
was out in the garden weeding out the blueberry patch here at Radio
Scappoose, and today I’m wondering if I’ll need my snow shovel this
weekend. Such is weather in the wonderful Pacific Northwest. I guess all
the bad weather makes it easier to justify spending more time in the
shack working the myriad of DX operations on the bands these days.

This upcoming weekend is one of the best “everybody works everybody”
contests for those looking for something to do: The CQ WPX SSB contest.
Now that 10 meters is open during daylight hours, even Technician Class
amateurs can do some serious contesting between their allotted 28.300
and 28.500 MHz span, and get that 10 meter Worked All States (WAS) award

The multipliers are simply call sign prefixes (W7, K9, WA4, KI7, AA2,
etc.), followed by a sequential serial number, starting at 001. More
information and rules for the contest are available at

We’ll be hiding under the club callsign of “WM7A” this weekend,
look for us! With a major solar storm in play at the moment, things
might get very interesting.

(A note that we will have a second station on the air this weekend
operating in the ARRL “Volunteers on the Air” (VOTA) operating
event, using my callsign. Work us and get 225 VOTA points!)


Dick Frey, K4XU, the 7th Area QSO Party Chairman recently announced:
“The 17th annual 7QP will run this year on Saturday, May 6. We have an
outstanding record to uphold. Based on number of logs received last
year, 7QP has become the 2nd largest QSO party in the country. Info at

If you are new to computer logging, here is a tip. There are three other
QSO parties using our weekend: NewEngland, Indiana, and Delaware. N1MM+
logger is the only one that will let you copy their exchanges as sent
rather than shortening them to RI or IN. If you do log their whole
exchange you can enter the other three parties just by sending your log
to them – the very same log you send to us. The increase in
participation this enables helps us all.

Remember the Digital category. We can help out all those guys looking
for Oregon on RTTY or PSK31. Sorry, no WSJT modes. Digital modes provide
another way to get more new operators with modest stations into the
activity on HF. And please email us a copy of your log even if you
don’t care to compete for an award. It helps us score the event.

Whether you can participate this year or not, I’d appreciate your reply
to confirm your email address and so we can make other arrangements to
cover your county. In Oregon, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River,
Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Wallowa, Wasco, and Wheeler remain as targets
for expeditions and/or mobiles. (Ed: Many other county operations are
needed in other Northwestern Division counties contained within
Washington, Idaho, and Montana too!)

Talk it up when you can. Consider giving a talk to your local club about
the 7QP. Your support and enthusiasm for this event is the backbone of
the participation. And remember to put May 6th on your wife’s calendar
so you don’t get pre-scheduled.

10 meters will be HOT. I look forward to seeing large scores …and
hearing from you. As always, thanks for your support of the 7QP.”

Many THANKS to you Dick, and the rest of the Central Oregon DX Club for
sponsoring this wonderful event!


It’s not too early to make your plans for SEA-PAC, and the ARRL
Northwestern Division Convention, June 2-4, 2023! The keynote speaker
for the Saturday night banquet has been announced as Steve Goodgame,
K5ATA, the ARRL Education and Learning Manager. From Steve’s QRZ page:

“I currently serve as the ARRL Education and Learning Manager. I spent
over 20 years as a classroom teacher and had the opportunity to teach
amateur radio to many Padawans. Most recently, I was a computer science
teacher and taught ham radio as a part of my curriculum. Over 60 hams
were added to the amateur radio ranks during that time. Among my
responsibilities at ARRL, I have the opportunity to try to propagate
Padawans everywhere through my work with ARRL. I firmly believe that the
best way to introduce and ENGAGE youth in amateur radio is to get them
involved with it at school. Much of my work focuses on that goal.”

Before joining the ARRL team, Steve had his own YouTube channel where he
focused on amateur radio education aimed at the “next generation” of
hams, which are comprised of the young students of today. He is now
fully responsible for marketing and operating the ARRL Teacher’s
Institute program, where he trains educators on how to work amateur
radio into their STEM curriculums. He is also responsible for the ARRL
Learning Center (, where all amateurs can engage with
pre-recorded materials to further their own education.

This should be a great keynote, as we can all learn how to better engage
that “next generation” of potential amateurs, get them licensed and
on the air, and get them into being active members of our radio clubs.

Registration for SEA-PAC is now well underway! They hope you have
already made your plans and have reserved your lodging, as rooms become
scarcer and more expensive as the convention draws closer.
Early-Bird Registration Closes at 11:59pm on April 15th, and On-line
Registration Closes at 11:59pm on May 26th.

Also, Scott Rosenfeld, N7JI is working with ARRL staff to put together a
special ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio booth at SEA-PAC. Scott is looking
for student volunteers to man the booth during the event, and engage
with other young people that will be attending SEA-PAC with their
parents. If you have any young college-age hams that can help out that
weekend, please contact Scott directly: email:

We’ll see you all there!


The ARRL Foundation Scholarship Committee has just finished vetting all
42 student amateur applicants for the Amateur Radio Digital
Communications (ARDC) scholarships, which the Foundation manages for
them. These scholarships are larger than most ARRL managed scholarships,
and vary in value from $5,000 all the way up to $25,000. Because of the
high dollars involved, all of these applicants not only had to submit
all of the required documentation to be vetted for a scholarship, they
also were each personally interviewed via Zoom by two-person teams
consisting of Foundation Directors, and some “select” volunteers.
(Thanks, Vice Director Tharp, for stepping up!)

Now that the ARDC candidates have been selected, we move on to the other
100+ scholarships available through the Foundation, and the remaining
250+ applicants for them. These students will all be vetted for the
largest scholarship they qualify for, and we expect the process should
be complete by the end of April or early May. Values for these
scholarships range in value from $500 to $5,000, lower than ARDC
scholarships, but still will help out struggling student amateurs with
their education costs.

On the Club Grant side of the Foundation, we just completed approving
nine grant requests for the current grant cycle, out of 21 total
applications. The club grant program has recently proven very popular!
Just a couple years ago we went the entire year with just a few requests
to consider. We are on track to get close to 100 club grant requests
this year alone.


The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program is
seeking formal and informal educational institutions and organizations,
either individually or working together, to host an amateur radio
contact with a crew member on board the International Space Station

ARISS anticipates the contact will be held between January 1, 2024, and
June 30, 2024. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact
contact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is
looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants
and integrate the radio contact into a well-developed education plan.

The deadline to submit a proposal is March 31, 2023. Proposal
information and more details, such as expectations, proposal guidelines,
and the proposal form, can be found at

ARISS is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies
and the space agencies that support the ISS. The United States sponsors
are ARRL, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), Amateur Radio
Digital Communications (ARDC), NASA’s Space Communications and
Navigation program (SCaN), and the ISS National Lab Space Station
Explorers (SSE).


The ARRL recently announced the 2023 Field Day (FD) rule set. They are
now available at:

Not much has changed from last year, with the exception of a new
500-watt maximum output High Power (HP) category, (with a whopping 50%
point penalty though!), and increased scoring possibilities for “Get
on the Air” (GOTA) stations to encourage more FD participation by
newly licensed and previously inactive hams, and encouraging proper
elmering for them during the event by offering FD point bonuses for
doing so. Often neglected by many clubs, there are now more incentives
in place to get GOTA stations equipped with better FD antennas, better
equipment and some much needed help!

You may have heard that the Programs and Services Committee (PSC)
changed the point structure for the various Field Day modes, and yes we
did. That said, after much push-back from the loud CW community though
we voted a month later to revert back to the old scoring rules: One
point per QSO for SSB contacts, and two points for either Digital or CW
contacts. (The PSC had leveled everything at two points per QSO in
January 2023)

Despite documentation that indicated the original reason put in place
way back in 1974 to lower points for SSB contacts is no longer valid; to
keep SSB from “taking over Field Day”, as the then ARRL Board was
worried about, the fact is that since 2020 there are now many more CW
contacts made in FD than SSB. All the while, FT-8 use has risen

To boot, it’s been almost 20 years now since the FCC removed CW
competency requirements from all amateur licenses. CW is certainly not
dead, as was predicted by the pundits of the time, and we can thank
organizations such as CW Ops and the Long Island CW Club for attracting
many new hams to the mode.

After the decision by the PSC to “level the playing field” between
all the FD modes as a way to get some of the new FT-8 crowd to at least
try grabbing a microphone, the CW aficionados really came out in force,
as if that decision would be the end of amateur radio as we know it.
Your ARRL Director, and many other Board members, received e-mails from
angry amateurs actually threatening to cancel their ARRL membership over
this decision, and some on social media called for the instant
resignation of all current PSC members, and the Chair of the PSC’s
head (mine to be exact), be hoisted on a stick and paraded around ARRL
HQ as a message to all ARRL Board members that may serve on the PSC in
the future. “How dare anybody even think that a FD SSB contact should
be worth the same point value as a CW contact. It takes skill and
determination to learn CW, and we are to be rewarded!” Remember that
the difference is but one point per QSO. That is true passion, for sure.

In the end, the PSC listened to members, and put the FD point values
back to the way they were. Case closed.

While we are on the subject of CW, we have this:


I don’t normally plug things “non-ARRL” in this newsletter, but
since this brand-new amateur radio book was authored by an ARRL member
of our own Northwestern Division, and of interest to members, I thought
I’d let you know about it. What I am talking about is the first
entirely new book on CW and Morse code in decades, “The CW Way of
Life”, written by Chris Rutowski, NW6V, who resides right here in

More than just a history of Morse Code itself, Chris goes into the
mechanics and magic of Morse, and deeper into how CW interacts with the
human brain to turn sounds into letters, words, and finally thoughts.
As a guy that has struggled somewhat with CW my entire ham career, I
found it an extremely interesting read!

The CW Way of Life is now available on Amazon in both paperback and
Kindle versions.

73, and get on the air!

Mike Ritz, W7VO

ARRL Northwestern Division Director
ARRL Foundation Vice President

Now, we will hear from Vice Director Tharp:

Diary of the Vice Director, Volume 5, March 2023

Mike and Key, came and went. What a turnout. Attendance looked to be
back to where it was in 2019 (in the before time) Mike, W7VO Jo, KA7LJQ
(EWA SM) George, AC7AI (WWA STM) and myself held down the ARRL table.
Monte, W7FF (WWA SM) was out on a medical leave and was missed by many.
The booth was busy all day and if you stopped by to say hi, renew or
join, Thank you!

The ECFSC committee is back to regular meetings. Subcommittee (subs)
assignments have been made and I am pleased to again be serving on the
“Clubs” and “Field Service” subs. Other subs are “NTS”
“ARES” and a new one “Insurance.” This new sub is tasked with
looking into optional insurance policies for volunteers to purchase to
cover them for liability and injury during club or public service
events. This program is envisioned to be like the ARRL sponsored
equipment and club liability insurance.

The ARISS committee is meeting/met on March 23rd to receive an update
from Rosalie White from the last quarter and first part of 2023
activities. The Committee is still working on updating documentation for
Section Managers and others to assist schools and groups with ARISS

For those who are not aware, ARISS is NOT a ARRL function. ARISS is its
own 501 c3 entity and ARRL is a support partner. We provide gratis
advertising in QST and online along with a funding donation each year.

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:

The Spokane Hamfest, although not yet on the FB list from Lynn is on and
they are working on ARRL affiliation as of this writing.

Regarding conventions, this year the Pacific Northwest DX Convention will be back in beautiful British
Columbia. This convention rotates each year between the hosting club
cities of Seattle (Western Washington DX Club )
Portland (Willamette Valley DX Club ) Spokane,
(Spokane DX Association ) and Vancouver BC ( Orca DX
and contest club ) This will be the 68th time
contesters and dxers from across the land will gather for this event. If
you are interested in attending, the exchange rate is very favorable to
visit Canada. The hotel fills up quick so don’t put it off, you have
been warned.

The ARDC and ARRL Foundation scholarship award program is well underway.
Mike and I have spent many hours in the last month reviewing
applications and holding online interviews for those on the ARDC list.
We intend to be done with this portion the week of March 19th and then
we start in on the ARRL list. It is a bunch of work but very rewarding
to be a part of the process. We have many fantastic people applying and
most of them are very involved in Amateur Radio. If you know of a Ham
student that has not been applying, please encourage them to do so next

We have a few scholarships that go un-awarded due to the terms
associated with them. Such as the Wilse Morgan, WX7P scholarship. After
awarding the ARDC and other ARRL scholarships we ran out of eligible
applicants from either the NW Division, or the field of study did not
meet the requirement for the award.


VOTA operation is gaining momentum and Mike and I have been on the air
handing out points. 225 for him and 200 for myself. Check the schedule
for W1AW/* operations at

Division stats:

At the end of January the NW Division had 12,101 members which is down
4.8% from 2022

New hams in the NW Division last month totaled 255 (how many did we
educate about the ARRL???)

License class upgrades last month were 111

Events I am currently planning to attend in person are:

N7YRC Swap, May 20th
SEA-PAC convention, June 2-4
Wenatchee Hamfest, June 9-11
PNW DX Convention, August 11-13 in New Westminster, BC
Spokane Hamfest, September

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.

CONGRATULATIONS to Jim Tills, W7JWT from Marcus, WA. (North of Kettle
Falls) who recently received his 5BWAS (Five Band Worked all States 80,
40, 20, 15 and 10 meters) along with endorsements for 160, 30, 17 and

  1. (thanks to PARC, Panoramaland ARC, for the info) Nice job Jim!

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


Mark J. Tharp, KB7HDX

ARRL Vice Director
Northwestern Division

ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: Michael T Ritz, W7VO

Leave a Reply