West Texas Section Roundtable (Zoom Meeting)

  The weeks are flying by.  This is kinda strange phenomena to me because we are still in a COVID shutdown…  I think most of us have gotten used to the social distance  and the wearing a mask requirement and are just doing it. 

I’m still working on finding a guest speaker for this week, but we should be ready to do as we have done and that is to just discuss what we’ve been up to and any concerns we may have.

We might consider the ARRL as a conversation topic:   We can discuss, what do you see as the value to your ARRL membership?  Is spectrum defence important to you?  Is ARRL providing what you need in the QST or other publications, such as books?  What would you like to see done differently or expanded upon?  Recent national sticking points are Bandwidth and the proposed band plan.  What do you think about these items?

I look forward to hearing from your thoughts on the

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ARRL Board Meets in Remote Electronic Meeting

Due to travel and gathering restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, the ARRL Board of Directors met on Friday, July 17, 2020 in a remote session, using the Zoom videoconferencing platform.

During this session, the Board took the following actions:

Accepted the final recommendations of the Band Planning Committee. Committee chair and ARRL First Vice President Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, introduced the motion to adopt the plan. An earlier draft of the plan was introduced at the Board’s in-person January meeting. After the January Board meeting, the Committee received and considered hundreds of comments from interested amateurs. The final band plan can be viewed on the ARRL website. Voted, in anticipation of hiring the new Emergency Management Director, to modify the charter of the search committee to study and, if appropriate, prepare a report on, the implementation of a new Standing Committee of the Board to emphasize emergency communications and provide advice to the CEO in these matters. The report

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ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference Seeks Papers

Technical papers are being solicited for presentation at the 2020 ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC), September 11 – 13. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s conference will be held online. Papers will also be published in the Conference Proceedings. Authors do not need to participate in the conference to have their papers included in the Proceedings. The submission deadline is August 15, 2020. Submit papers via email to Maty Weinberg, KB1EIB. Papers will be published exactly as submitted, and authors will retain all rights.

FCC Fines HobbyKing Nearly $3 Million for Marketing Unauthorized Drone Transmitters

The FCC has issued a Forfeiture Order (FO) calling for HobbyKing to pay a fine of $2,861,128 for marketing drone transmitters that do not comply with FCC rules. An FCC Enforcement Bureau investigation stemmed in part from a 2017 ARRL complaint that HobbyKing was selling drone transmitters that operated on amateur and non-amateur frequencies, in some instances marketing them as amateur radio equipment. The fine affirms the monetary penalty sought in a June 2018 FCC Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL). The FCC said its investigation found that dozens of devices marketed by the company transmitted in unauthorized radio frequency bands and, in some cases, operated at excessive power levels. “Such unlawful transmissions could interfere with key government and public safety services, like aviation systems,” the FCC said.“We have fully considered HobbyKing’s response to the NAL, which does not contest any facts and includes only a variety of legal arguments, none of which we find persuasive,” the FCC said in the FO. “We

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Hurricane Watch Net Activates for Hurricane Hanna

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has activated for Hurricane Hanna, the first hurricane of the Atlantic Hurricane season. The storm is poised to make landfall along the Gulf of Mexico. A Category 1 storm, Hanna has maximum sustained winds of 75 MPH. As of 1200 UTC, the storm was about 90 miles east-northeast of Port Mansfield, Texas, and about 100 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas.

“The year 2020 has been a strange year in every way, and the weather is no different,” HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, said. “Just a few hours ago, it looked as though we would be activating for Hurricane Gonzalo. Well, that storm had other ideas. The same can be said for what had been Tropical Storm Hanna in the Gulf of Mexico. All along, it looked as though this storm would make landfall as a Tropical Storm.”

Graves said the

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Tropical Storm Hanna

Weekly Section Roundtable

Our weekly Roundtable discussion will again be held this coming Thursday evening at 8 p.m.  This week we have Victoria (Tori) Harden, KF5VSI who will discuss the popular internet program Discord that is widely used by gamers, young hams, CW trainers and hams in general as a social network media.   

If time permits we will introduce a couple topics, such as: What makes a successful Club ?  Club activities, what works best for the community and club members? 

And, my weekly question… Ideas from the Zoom meeting participants on a topic they’d like to have us cover, either inhouse or through guest speakers.

Zoom  invitation is below:

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Field Day 2020 is Shaping Up to be One for the Record Books

ARRL Contest Program Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, reported that ARRL has received more than 8,700 online Field Day entries by mid-week, and paper-only entries have started arriving too.

“As many participants chose to operate from home this year — and given the 2020 rules waivers, we have seen a tremendous increase in entries over last year’s event,” Bourque said. “Most of the entries received have been through the online web app, and Headquarters staffers have begun processing the paper entries this week. The 2020 waivers allowed individual club members to attribute their scores to their clubs.

Participants who submitted entries online are encouraged to check the Field Day entries received page to verify that their entries are marked as complete, and that the club name entered is correct. Entries with a status of “pending” are incomplete entries that are missing one or more items, and these need to be completed for an official entry. Share your stories and

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Ham Holiday 2020 Canceled Replaced as an Online Event

Due to the Covid-19 limitations the CORA Board regrets to say that this year’s Ham Holiday will not be held as an in-person event.

We will be operating as a free Zoom based online event and we’ll fill the day with the sessions and forums that you can watch from your home.

Detailed schedule to arrive soon, but save the date, and join us here. Sign up for the email list to make sure you catch all of the details.

More Than 70 Speakers Scheduled for “Virtual Ham Expo”

CQ Newsroom

As we reported here last month, QSO Today podcast host Eric Guth,4Z1UG, is trying to fill the vacuum left by cancelled hamfests by organizing an online “QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo,” which will be accessible via your computer or mobile device on the weekend of August 8 and 9. 

The event has drawn many major manufacturers and other vendors (including CQ) as participants, and the forums will feature more than 70 speakers on a variety of topics for both new and experienced hams. There will also be a youth track, led by Carole Perry, WB2MGP. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Scott Wright, K0MD, a well-known contester and Editor of the National Contest Journal who is also one of the leaders of the Mayo Clinic’s study on using blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to help others fight the disease. 

Admission is free and pre-registration is encouraged at <https://www.qsotodayhamexpo.com/>.