Zaffirini Bill to remove Ham Radio Exemption from wireless law

Attention Amateur Radio Operators!
Legislation is pending in the Texas Senate that will affect your right to operate your mobile amateur radio while in motion.  Below are some clips from the actual document:

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As you can see in the last clip (line 6-8), the exemption for FCC licensees is removed.  This revision to current law will treat amateur radios like cell phones in regard to operation while in motion.  If you are concerned about your right to operate your mobile radio on the amateur bands while in motion, please contact your Texas State Senator and respectfully request that he or she vote “NO” to protect your FCC amateur radio operator rights.


WSJT-X Version 2 Released; Prompt Upgrades Encouraged

A new version of K1JT’s digital communications suite – WSJT-X, Version 2.0.0 – has been released for general use. All users of the software, especially the popular FT8 and MSK144 modes, are encouraged to upgrade promptly. “The FT8 and MSK144 protocols have been enhanced in a way that is not backward compatible with older program versions,” according to an announcement on the WSJT home page. It continued that the new protocols became the world-wide standards as of December 10, 2018, and that “all users should upgrade to WSJT-X 2.0 by January 1, 2019. After that date, only the new FT8 and MSK144 should be used on the air.”

Other modes included in the WSJT-X suite are JT4, JT9, JT65, QRA64, ISCAT, WSPR and the Echo mode for measuring your own signals reflected from the Moon. For more information, visit <>.

New Faces Around the Table in Newington

When the ARRL board of directors meets in Connecticut next month, there will be several new faces at the table, as well as the “back bench” for vice directors.

In addition to this being the first board meeting for new CEO Howard Michel, WB2ITX, there will be new directors present from the Hudson, New England, Northwestern, Roanoke and Rocky Mountain Divisions. Three of those new directors defeated incumbents, while one moved up from the vice director’s chair to succeed a director who resigned and the fifth was elected in a division in which the incumbent was not seeking re-election. There will also be two new vice directors.

This represents a change in leadership in one-third of the ARRL’s 15 geographic divisions.


Time flies when you are having fun! This year has flown by and the holiday season is upon us.

I want to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year! May God’s blessing be upon you!

I hope each of you has enjoyed ham radio as much as I have this past year. Although I haven’t gotten to meet and visit with as many of my fellow hams as I would have liked to, I did meet some wonderful folks who are enjoying our hobby and passing it on to the next generation. I visited several clubs over Field Day and I enjoyed visiting the folks and I really enjoyed the fellowship this activity brings.

Continue reading MERRY CHRISTMAS

“Hunt for Santa Claus” Event Gets Under Way on December 21

The “Hunt for Santa Claus” (HSC) event will start on Friday, December 21, at 1800 UTC and will end at 2400 UTC on Monday, December 31. Stations should listen for OF9X from the frozen north.

Continue reading “Hunt for Santa Claus” Event Gets Under Way on December 21

The K7RA Solar Update

On Wednesday, December 19 displayed this headline: “Solar minimum conditions are in effect”, followed by “The Sun has been without sunspots for 209 days in 2018–that is, 59% of the time. To find a similar stretch of blank suns, you have to go back to 2009 when the Sun was experiencing the deepest solar minimum in a century.”

Looking at my own records, I show the average daily sunspot number for all of 2009 was 5.05, and average daily solar flux was 70.6.

Continue reading The K7RA Solar Update


Fellow Hams of the West Texas Section:

As we rapidly approach Christmas 2018 and New Years 2019, I would like to wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year. I would also like to thank you for your continued efforts to be prepared to help your community as an Amateur Radio Operator. Your attention to maintaining your home station’s radios, antennas, power supplies, etc., the mobile equipment in your vehicles and the portable equipment in your Go Boxes is admirable. It shows a concern for your families, neighbors, communities and fellow man.


2019 CQ DX Marathon

January 1 – December 31, 2019
Log Deadine: January 5, 2020

The CQ DX Marathon is designed to promote DXing
activity throughout the year rather than only on contest
weekends and during DXpeditions. Because activity is
not concentrated in particular time periods, credit is given for
contacts on all ham bands, including those not normally used
for contesting (e.g., 60, 30, 17, and 12 meters).
Scoring is simple: You score one point the first time you
work a new country and / or a new zone during the course
of the year. Add the points up at the end of the year for your
total score. There are no multipliers.