ARRL Hamfest and Convention Closings

The ARRL has created a webpage that lists all hamfests and conventions that have advised the League that they are canceling scheduled events.

For the list of currently known closings, please go to:

Nominations Invited for 2020 McGan Silver Antenna Award for Excellence in Public Relations

The ARRL Public Relations Committee invites nominations for the Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award, presented annually to a radio amateur who has demonstrated success in public relations efforts on behalf of amateur radio and who best exemplifies the volunteer spirit of Philip McGan, WA2MBQ (SK).

“ARRL Public Information Officers (PIOs) and other volunteers are working hard every day to create greater awareness of all that amateur radio has to offer,” the Committee said in announcing the opening of nominations for the award. “They are publicizing special events, writing press releases, or doing interviews on radio and television or in newspapers to highlight the service that amateur radio provides.”

A journalist, McGan was the first chairman of the ARRL’s Public Relations Committee, which helped reinvigorate ARRL’s commitment to public relations. To honor McGan, members of the New Hampshire Amateur Radio Association joined with the ARRL Board of Directors to establish an award that would pay lasting tribute to the important contributions he made on behalf

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If you’re “sheltering in place” or otherwise stuck at home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the CQ World Wide WPX SSBContest this coming weekend (March 28-29) is the perfect way to have some fun and keep connected with the outside world.

However, we want to make sure you practice “safe contesting,” especially if you’re planning a multi-operator effort. A few suggestions:

– Consider staying at home and operating single-op (except for family stations), especially if local jurisdictions are limiting or prohibiting group gatherings – Consider remote multi-op with operators “traveling” to your station via the internet instead of in-person (if you’re equipped for it and if your ops will all be legal)

– If you’re too far along in planning an in-person multi-op operation, please follow “social distancing” recommendations, including:

setting up operating positions at least six feet (two meters)

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Radio Amateurs Team Up to Help University Design Low-Cost Ventilator

Amateur radio volunteers from around the world have volunteered to assist University of Florida Professor Sam Lampotang and his engineering team in their quest to rapidly develop an open-source, low-cost patient ventilator that can be built anywhere from such commonly available components as PVC pipe and lawn-sprinkler valves. The amateur radio volunteers are developing Arduino-based control software that will set the respiratory rate and other key parameters in treating critically ill coronavirus victims.

Multiple volunteers responding to a call for help from Gordon Gibby, MD, KX4Z, included noted software developer Jack Purdum, W8TEE, and uBITX transceiver maker Ashhar Farhan, VU2ESE. University of Florida physicians are working to address the critical legal aspects as the design moves closer to fruition.

The ventilator’s valves would precisely time compressed oxygen flow into patient breathing circuits under Arduino control, allowing exhausted patients with “stiff” lungs impacted by viral pneumonia to survive until their body

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ARRL Headquarters is Closing

ARRL Headquarters will comply with an executive order from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont that all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities reduce in-person workforces by 100% no later than March 23, 2020, at 8 PM. ARRL will equip as many Headquarters staffers as possible to work remotely.

W1AW bulletin and code practice transmissions will continue. Customer service representatives will be available to take calls, although response times could be longer than usual. Operations at the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) will also continue, and the best way to receive a timely response is via email, as call volume has been heavy. The ARRL publication schedule will remain unchanged.

The ARRL warehouse will be working with a reduced staff, so orders will be delayed, and ARRL will not be able to respond to expedited shipping orders. ARRL Headquarters will remain open until 5 PM on March 23, as managers and staff prepare for the shutdown.

ARRL will keep members posted on this situation.

Emails, Newsletters and Blasts! Oh My!!

As we all know, the Corona Virus COVID-19 crisis has us all sheltering at home and keeping our distance from our fellow citizens. I’ve been using blast emails to convey information to ARRL members in the Section. Unfortunately only 60% of our you our membership has signed up for any ARRL services including receiving my or our Division Director’s blast emails, or newsletters from ARRL. I encourage all of you to sign up to receive these important emails and newsletters. There is no cost for these.

For information on how to sign up visit the ARRL Webpage, sign in and go to your personal data section. There is an option to sign up for the emails from me and the Division Director and to sign up to receive newsletters on a variety of subjects. If you have questions, please contact me at:

DARPA Launch Challenge Cancelled

The launch of the PSAT3 CubeSat, which was part of the DARPA Launch Challenge, has been canceled. The Challenge offered a $10 million prize for any launch provider that could deliver a rocket with only 30 days’ notice of what payloads they would have and where they would launch from — and then, to do it again only 30 days later. “We were on the second launch,” said PSAT3’s Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, of the US Naval Academy. “But on March 2, the third attempt by the launch provider was scrubbed at T-9 minutes and was not resolved until the launch window and DARPA Challenge deadline had passed. Therefore, the Challenge was over. There was no winner, and we lost the launch.” The US Naval Academy project spacecraft remains available for a CubeSat Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD) launch opportunity, Bruninga said. He described PSAT3 as a follow-on opportunity to

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Outer Space is Your Next Radio Frontier!

You can make contacts through amateur radio satellites, and even with the International Space Station, using equipment you probably own right now! All it takes is the right information, which you’ll find in ARRL’s new book Amateur Radio Satellites for Beginners.

Dozens of spacecraft are in orbit just waiting for your signals, and more are being launched every year. This book is your guide to a whole new world of operating enjoyment. Inside you will be able to locate satellites and determine when they will be available in orbit, gain tips for building your own “satellite station, find a simple step-by-step guide to making your first contacts, and discover satellite antenna projects you can build at home.

“Even with just a dual-band FM transceiver and a mobile antenna, you can make contacts through an amateur satellite!” said ARRL author and QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY.

Building amateur radio satellites is

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St. Patrick’s Day Hamfest — Midland Hamfest March 21, 2020 POSTPONED

Forwarded for the Midland ARC Board of Director’s

Good afternoon,

Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus scare and the unpredictability of venue management and public officials, we are postponing the St. Patrick’s Day Hamfest and West Texas Section Convention. We are exploring the options to host the event this summer in either June or July. The new date will be announced as soon as it is confirmed.

All pre-registration, registration and extra chance tickets for door prizes will be honored during the rescheduled event as will table reservations for the swap meet.

All raffle tickets for the Elecraft K4 have been sold. We will draw the winning ticket for the Elecraft K4 on Saturday March 21, 2020. The winner will be notified.


W5QGG Board of Directiors

…Continue reading St. Patrick’s Day Hamfest — Midland Hamfest March 21, 2020 POSTPONED

Correction to Frequency Measuring Test Website URL

An incorrect website address for the April 24 Frequency Measuring Test (FMT) appeared in QST. The correct URL is The old website is still active and has a hyperlink to the new site.