ARRL West Texas Ham of the Year Award

At the West Texas Convention in March 2019 during my remarks I mentioned that I was instituting a West Texas Ham of the Year Award. The award will be presented at the West Texas Convention, Midland Texas during the March 2020 Hamfest.

Below is the nomination format I’d like you to use in nominating someone for the award. Nominations may be made using the outline below on a plain sheet of paper.

Nominations should be legible and accurately spell out why the person being nominated deserves to be the 2020 West Texas Ham of the Year.

I will appoint a nominating committee who will review the received nominations and make recommendations for the award. The nominating committee will be composed of our SEC, a DEC and a randomly chosen club member from a West Texas radio club. Nominating Committee members and ARRL office holders are not eligible for this award.


I would like to nominate (Name and Call

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Winter Field Day 2020

Winter Field Day is just about here!

From the Winter Field day website… (

Purpose: To foster Ham camaraderie, field operation, emergency operating preparedness, and just plain on the air, outdoor fun in the midst of winter for American, Canadian and DX Amateurs. Don’t let those winter doldrums keep you locked up in the house… get out and play some radio!!

When: Winter Field Day runs for 24 hours during the last full weekend in January each year from 1900 UTC (2pm EST) Saturday to 1900 UTC (2pm EST) Sunday. For 2020, the dates are January 25th and 26th. Station set-up may commence no earlier than 1900 UTC (2pm EST) on Friday before. Station setup may consume no more than 12 hours total. How & when you schedule/spend those 12 hours is up to you.

Bands: All Amateur bands, HF, VHF, & UHF except 12, 17, 30 and 60

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Barry Shelley, N1VXY, to Become ARRL Interim CEO

At its meeting this weekend, the ARRL Board of Directors did not elect Howard Michel, WB2ITX, as the ARRL Chief Executive Officer. Beginning Monday, January 20, Barry Shelley, N1VXY, will become interim CEO. Mr. Shelley was ARRL’s Chief Financial Officer for 28 years and CEO during 2018 before his retirement. The board has created a search committee to select the next CEO. More details on this and other matters which took place at the board meeting will be released shortly.

European Space Agency Issues Challenge to Hams

The European Space Agency (ESA) is asking hams to help it track a new satellite right after launch and is offering an incentive for taking part. The satellite is called OPS-SAT and it’s scheduled for launch on December 17. According to ESA, “OPS-SAT is a first-of-its-kind CubeSat dedicated purely to experimentation. It carries a wide variety of advanced payloads allowing ‘Experimenters’ to deploy and test their software and apps in space.” You must apply to become an experimenter, but there’s a form on the OPS-SAT website.

ESA is offering hams an incentive: “The first three radio amateurs to receive at least five correctly decoded frames and submit them to ESA get an exclusive invite to the OPS-SAT Experimenter day in March 2020, as well as a tour of the control facilities and ground stations at ESA in Darmstadt, and of course a certificate.”

Details on launch time, frequencies, etc., as well as a link to the experimenter application form, are at <>. (Tnx Billy Bloom)

Nominations Solicited for Six ARRL Awards

ARRL is inviting nominations for awards that recognize educational and technological pursuits in amateur radio. Nominations are also open for the League’s premier award to honor a young licensee.

The Hiram Percy Maxim Award recognizes a radio amateur and ARRL member younger than age 21, whose accomplishments and contributions are of the most exemplary nature within the framework of amateur radio activities. Nominations for this award are made through ARRL Section Managers, who will forward nominations to ARRL Headquarters. The deadline is March 31, 2020. The ARRL Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award honors an ARRL volunteer amateur radio instructor or ARRL professional classroom teacher who uses creative instructional approaches and reflects the highest values of the amateur radio community. The award highlights quality of and commitment to licensing instruction. Nominations are due by March 16, 2020. The ARRL Microwave Development Award pays tribute to a radio amateur or group of radio amateurs who contribute

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Puerto Rico Volunteers Deployed to Red Cross, ARRL Sending Equipment

Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, reports that several Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers have been deployed to earthquake-ravaged regions of the island at the request of the American Red Cross. Initial operations got under way in the town of Yauco, where the Red Cross has a central warehouse for the earthquake relief effort. Operations are on VHF and UHF, although commercial telecommunication services remain in operation for the most part. A station has also been activated at the Red Cross Headquarters in the capital of San Juan, which is not in the earthquake zone. Aftershocks continue on the island. A magnitude 5.9 tremor struck over the weekend.“The stations are operating as a backbone, in case a new or stronger earthquake hits the region,” Resto explained. “HF equipment is stored in Pelican Cases for protection from a larger catastrophic event, if communications fail.” Power has been re-established over more than 90% of Puerto Rico, and

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ARRL On the Air Podcast Premieres on January 16

ARRL’s new On the Air podcast for those just getting started on their amateur radio journey, will debut this Thursday, January 16, with a new podcast posted each month. The podcast is a companion to the new bimonthly On the Air magazine, which is already on its way to member subscribers. On the Air magazine editor Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY, will be the host of the new podcast. Both the podcast and the magazine are aimed at offering new and beginner-to-intermediate-level radio amateurs a fresh approach to exploring radio communication.Listeners can find the On the Air podcast at Blubrry, Apple iTunes (or by using your iPhone or iPad podcast app (search for On the Air), and Stitcher (or through the free Stitcher app for iOS, Kindle, or Android devices). Episodes will be archived on the ARRL website.

Each On the Air podcast will take a deeper dive

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Leadership Elections to Highlight January 17 – 18 ARRL Annual Board Meeting

The ARRL Board of Directors will elect League officers when it meets for its 2020 annual meeting on January 17 – 18 in Windsor, Connecticut. The Board will hear nominations and then vote, as necessary, for ARRL president, first and second vice presidents, international affairs vice president, secretary, treasurer, chief executive officer, and chief financial officer. The Board will also choose members to serve on the Executive Committee and on the ARRL Foundation Board. Successful candidates will take office after the Board meeting adjourns.Some new faces will be around the table. The ARRL Southeastern Division has entirely new leadership. In last year’s elections, Mickey Baker, N4MB, defeated Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, to become the new Southeastern Division Director, while James Schilling, KG4JSZ, won a three-way race for Vice Director. In the Southwest Division, new Vice Director Mark Weiss, K6FG, was the sole candidate to succeed Ned Stearns, AA7A, who decided not to stand for another term.

The Board will

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W6NBC Wins December QST Cover Plaque Award

The winning article for the December 2019 QST Cover Plaque award is “Slot Cube Antenna for 6 Meters” by John Portune, W6NBC.The QST Cover Plaque Award — given to the author or authors of the most popular article in each issue — is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll web page. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the January issue today.

ARRL Reshapes its Podcast Offerings for 2020

In conjunction with the launch of its new On the Air magazine, which is aimed at those just beginning their journey in amateur radio, ARRL is reconfiguring its podcast lineup.Heading up the new schedule will be a free companion podcast to the bimonthly On the Air magazine. The “On the Air” podcast will take a deeper look into select features and projects from the magazine. Each month, host and On the Air Editorial Director Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY, will offer additional resources, techniques, and hints to help less-experienced radio amateurs to get the most from the magazine’s content.

In addition to the podcast, ARRL will introduce a free “On the Air” blog featuring curated content from the communicators and makers who are the driving force of amateur radio today. Curated by ARRL Product Development manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, the blog will highlight opportunities and activities available to new licensees. The “On the Air” blog is intended as an

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Holiday Season and Year End Thank You

As we move through the holiday season and approach the end of the calendar year reflection on the year past is on our minds. I think of the advances we’ve made in amateur radio, especially in the West Texas Section and the people that have made it happen and continue to make it happen. As Section Manager I rely on my Assistant Section Managers, our Affiliated Club Coordinator, and our Public Information Coordinator who also serves as our Section Webmaster and our emergency management folks. Thank you for your time and effort you put forth in support of our fellow hams. Our Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) staff do a tremendous job at helping keep our community’s safe by giving selflessly of their time and providing their own equipment to serve their respective communities. Working with government and other agencies, ARES members provide much needed communication support when infrastructure goes down or is overloaded. The ARES

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