ARRL Self-Guided Emergency Communication Course EC-001-S is Now Available On Demand

ARRL’s EC-001-S online “Introduction to Emergency Communication” course is now available to students in an on-demand format, allowing students to register for the course and begin work at any time. This course is designed to provide basic knowledge and tools for any emergency communications volunteer.

In response to the great course demand and to expand access to EC-001, ARRL developed a self-guided version of the course, EC-001-S, which launched in June. This version of the course is designed for those who prefer to work independently and who do not need guidance from an online mentor. EC-001-S was previously offered only during specific sessions along with the traditional mentored version. The course opened for general enrollment on November 6.

Visit the ARRL Online Course Registration page for more information and to register.

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 meters.

Modes: Any mode that can faithfully transmit the exchange intact without conversion table… CW, SSB, AM, FM, DStar, C4FM, DMR, Packet, PSK, SSTV, RTTY, Olivia, Satellite, etc…(note FT8 2.0 cannot)

Suggested Frequencies: (to make it easier for entrants to find each other)

HF CW – 1810-1820, 3.530-3.550, 7.030-7.050, 14.035-14.055, 21.030-21.050, 28.030-28.040

HF SSB – lowest 30 kHz of the US General Class Phone bands (160m- 15m), 28.400-28.425MHz (10m)

6m/VHF/UHF – adjacent to, but not on, nationally recognized simplex calling channels.

Entry categories: (..if operating as a group under one call, all stations in your entry must fit the category you choose. Also see further clarification in “definitions” below)

Indoor: Operation from inside a remote, insulated, heated (or cooled, depending on your local weather), and weather-protected structure where an Amateur station is normally not available. (Park buildings/cabins, community center, EOC, senior center, club shack, etc).

Outdoor: Operation from a location partly or fully exposed to the elements and at least 30 feet away from your normal     station location and not using any part of a previously erected antenna system or ham station. A campground, park pavilion, canopy, picnic table, tent, pop- up camper, or a backyard shed/tent/deck, etc may be used. Operation from a non-insulated car/truck/van/boat (mobile or not) is considered “outdoor”.

Home: Operation from inside a home or inside another structure attached to a home that could or would be the usual location of an Amateur station (garage, sunroom, etc), generally using a previously erected antenna system. A “Home” entrant may still be eligible to claim the “alternate power” bonus if not using commercial power. Use of any pre -existing (on site) or permanently installed antenna system or station components renders your station a “Home” station.

Entry Class: your entry “class” is a number designated by the number of stations in your entry that are capable of simultaneous transmission. (Explained further in summary below)

Exchange: Your WFD exchange will be a combination of your “class” and “category” and your ARRL section as described below, using an appropriate letter designator or phonetics (examples: 1I, 2H, 5I, 6O, 3H, 9I, etc) In short: Call sign, Class + Category, ARRL Section (or DX).

     Example: K4YM this is KB8X, we are Two Hotel, Ohio ..or in CW: K4YM de KB8X TU 2H OH…

        KB8X this is K4YM, thank you, we are Twelve India, West Central Florida ..or in CW: KB8X TU 12I WCF

In summary: There are only 3 categories of entry: Indoor, Outdoor, and Home as described above and in the definitions. Your entry class will depend on the number in your exchange. That number will be determined by the number of stations capable of simultaneously transmitting at your WFD site. If you only have one station set up, but plan on using it on several bands and modes (example: 160-2m, CW, SSB, FM, Digi, etc), the number in your exchange would be “1”. If you have 10 stations set up and operators working at all of them, regardless of bands, and modes, the number in your exchange would be “10”. If you have only two operators, but have two HF stations set up and a third and possibly fourth station dedicated to VHF, UHF, or a Satellite contact, your exchange number would be “2”, as one op would have to leave a station idle to make contacts on the other. In other words, don’t count a station where one station has to be left idle to make contacts on another. Once you decide upon your number of stations (class), you must use it for the duration of the contest. There are no points awarded for number of stations and it does not affect your score.

QSO Points: 1 point per Phone QSO, 2 points per CW & Digital QSO… Busted exchanges will be penalized by 1 additional point for each missed exchange or call sign. Duplicate contacts (same call, band, and mode) will not be counted, but will not be penalized.

Mode and Band Multipliers: Count 1 multiplier for each mode operated per band. For example, operating CW and Phone on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters, CW and PSK31 on 20m, FM on 2meters and 440 would be a total multiplier of 12x.

Power Output Multipliers: >100W = 1x, 100W or less = 2x, QRP = 4x (QRP defined below)

Bonus points:

  • You may claim 1500 bonus points if no commercial power is used in powering your WFD station. (see “alternate power” definitions below). Your logging-only computer may use any available power.

  • You may claim 1500 bonus points if your operation is “Outdoors” (see definition below).

  • You may claim 1500 bonus points if your operation is not a “Home” operation (remote).

  • You may claim 1500 bonus points for making a QSO via Satellite (once only, see Satellite rule).

Example: Operating outdoors on your back deck table more than 30 feet from your usual station without commercial power and using a temporary WFD antenna, set up within the allowed timeframe, would be 1500 + 1500 = 3000 bonus points (outdoors, no commercial power), while operating from a campground tent using commercial power and making one Satellite QSO would be 1500 + 1500 + 1500 = 4500 bonus points (outdoors, not home, and Satellite).

Note: There must have been at least 1 valid QSO in order to claim any bonus points. This is to ensure that someone claiming bonus points without actually making any contacts cannot win a category! Bonus points may not be claimed unless all stations covered in your entry qualify as well.

Claimed Score Tabulation: QSO Points x Power Output Multiplier x Band/mode multiplier + Bonus Points.

Log submission DEADLINE and contents:  Logs must be submitted to  via email before 0000 UTC March 1st, 2020 to be considered. Logs should contain the following in the subject line… “WFD 2020 Log KD8XXX” with KD8XXX being the callsign you used for the event. Logs MUST be submitted as an attached Cabrillo File, not as an email text. If simply submitting a question about WFD, please put “WFD Questions” in the subject line to ensure your query gets to the right in-box. ALL logs must be in Cabrillo format and should contain the following information:
Frequency: kHz, band, or a generic frequency for the band. Frequency accuracy is not used to judge valid QSOs.

Modes in the log: CW = CW. PH = Phone, as in AM, SSB, FM, C4FM, DStar, Mototurbo, DMR, etc (..if the end result is voice transmission, it’s phone). DI = Digital, as in RTTY, Olivia, Packet, PSK, SSTV, ATV (if the end result is text or pictures on a screen, it’s digital). Note: Working the same station in multiple digital or phone modes on any one band will result in “dupes” in your logging software.

Date and time: UTC/GMT (..need not be exactly accurate. Exception: QSO’s time-stamped/logged outside the contest period will be disqualified)

QSO data required: Entrant’s Call, Class + Category, ARRL/RAC Section — Call worked, Class + Category, ARRL/RAC Section. Any station worked without an ARRL/RAC section designation is to be logged simply as “DX” in the space allotted for the section identifier. DX entrants would give DX or their country as their “section” in their exchange.

Bonus Points: Please enter your calculated bonus points in the Cabrillo Soapbox comments as shown directly below with a short explanation. The soapbox is just above the main body of the log in the header

The Cabrillo Entry template is as follows:


Created-By: whatever program you used to make this log







SOAPBOX: 1,500 points for not using commercial power

SOAPBOX: 1,500 points for setting up outdoors

SOAPBOX: 1,500 points for setting up away from home

SOAPBOX: BONUS Total 4500 (remote location, outdoors and generator power)(example)

CLAIMED-SCORE: xxxx (your calculated total score including bonuses)

OPERATORS: Call #1, Call #2, Call #3, etc

NAME: Your Name (contact person)

ADDRESS: #### Your Street





EMAIL: The email address to contact you

QSO:  3750 PH 2017-01-07 1911 W8D 1O OH WB9XXX 2H IL

QSO:  7030 CW 2017-01-07 2021 W8D 1O OH K8UO 14I MI

QSO: 14070 DI 2017-01-07 2131 W8D 1O OH K6XXX 14I LA


—————————– ——–info sent——  —————————info rcvd—

QSO: freq   mo   date          time  Urcall  Cat sec   Their call      Cat sec

QSO: 3750   PH  2017-01-07 1911 W8D    1O OH    WB9XXX        2H IL

QSO: 7030   CW 2017-01-07 2021 W8D    1O OH    K8UO            14I MI

QSO: 14070 DI    2017-01-07 2131 W8D    1O OH    K6XXX           14I LA

Notes: There must be at LEAST one space between fields. More than one is fine, but at least one is required Each line in the log MUST end with a carriage return and line feed. There MUST be at least one space following the colon in each line. More than one is fine, but at least one is required. The frequency for HF must be in Kilohertz rounded to the nearest kilohertz, no decimal, 3750 is fine 3750.14 is not. If your logging software is NOT connected to your radio, any in-band frequency is fine. The callsign in the file name for the log MUST be the same as the callsign USED in the contest. EG: w3ert.log or w3ert.txt

Results will be posted on the Winter Field Day Association website ( as we check and score them. Your pictures, videos, description of operations, and logistics are encouraged and welcome at both the website and the WFD Facebook group. Your submission of photos and comments implies your consent to their use and possible editing by the WFDA to promote WFD both on the website, Facebook Group, or elsewhere. Though we attempt to ID who took photos, it’d be best if you used software (like MS Paint) to add your callsign/name to any photos you submit.

Paper Logs and logs not in the correct format: Paper logs are being accept. However, they must be legible and in the correct Cabrillo format or they will be rejected. They must reach my QTH before the Deadline posted above. A PDF form will be available for download.

Mail logs to: Tom W8WFD

                       235 Leonard Ave N.W.

                       Massillon, Ohio 44646

On your return address, please also include the callsign that was used during the event.

Logs submitted in wrong file formats, as email  texts and as screen captures will no longer be accepted. logs must be submitted in the correct Cabrillo format and as an attached file of your email.

Further definitions & rules clarifications:
Station Location Limitations: A WFD operation, regardless of the number of stations operating under one call sign, must be located in one physical location; ergo all station equipment, including antennas, feed lines, and accessories used must be located within a 1000 foot (300m) diameter circle at the site chosen. Remote station operation (via internet link) is allowed, but may only enter WFD as a “Home” station (w/o bonus pts) since a remote station, almost by definition, is previously assembled and operates off local commercial power.

Qualifying Alternate/Non-Commercial Power: Any power not connected to the commercial power grid… generator (stand alone or built into an RV), battery (which may not be re-charged from commercial mains while in use), solar power (yours), hydroelectric (yours, not the local power company’s!), wind power (yours), etc. You may only recharge batteries in use using alternate power… generator, solar, hydro, wind, etc. Batteries, when not in use, may be charged by any means available. WFD operations claiming the “alternate power” bonus, must run all station equipment and accessories from an alternate power source, with the exception of the logging-only computer. In multiple station set- ups, that means all stations working under one call sign must do the same. If even one station in a multi-station set-up uses commercial power, the group may not claim the bonus.

Station accessories & power requirements: Your logging-only computer/device may use any power available ( a real emergency there’d likely be little contest type QSO logging going on). If you are claiming an “alternate power” source for bonus points, any peripheral devices that assist in the making of WFD QSOs must also run on an “alternate power” source. Simply put, if your computer is used to generate the transmission of or the decoding of WFD QSOs and you’re claiming alternate power, it must also run on alternate power. This standard also applies to any other external devices used in making or decoding transmissions like CW keyers/decoders, tablets/iPads, voice memory keyers, soundcard links (rigblasters, etc), equalizers, and audio filters (timewave, etc).

QRP: CW = 5 watts maximum carrier. Phone/Digi = 10W maximum peak power.

Multiple Transmitter Limitations: The use of more than one transmitter on a single band & mode is prohibited. Operation of multiple transmitters at different physical sites is prohibited (see station location limitations above).
Indoor: Operation from inside a building or structure at another temporary, remote (away from home) location where amateur radio equipment and antennas are not typically available, including community centers, park buildings/cabins, some RVs, etc. If it has a permanent roof, windows, doors, and walls, it’s indoors. Indoor stations, already eligible for “remote” bonus points, may also claim “alternate power” bonus points if not using commercial power.
Outdoor: Operation from a location remote to your normal at-home station and fixed antennas, such as locations with
no permanent buildings, no insulation, no central heating/AC system, including campgrounds, park picnic tables, tents, some RV’s (see below), lean-tos, etc. Comfort allowances are made for windbreaks, sun/rain/snow cover (canopy/tent/pop-up), and heat source (fire, patio heater, catalyst/propane heater, torpedo/kerosene heater, electric heater, etc), or cooling if needed. Operating from your pool deck or backyard screen gazebo would be considered “outdoor” as long as it’s not attached to the house and you’re more than 30 feet from your normal station. An open- air pavilion with no walls would be considered Outdoor as would a tent, canopy, or canvas pop-up. An entrant using a plugged-in, fully enclosed, insulated, and centrally heated/cooled motor-home or trailer would be considered “Indoor” although they may still be eligible for “remote” and “alternate power” bonus points. A station set up thusly may still qualify for the “alternate power” bonus if not using commercial power. Conversely, operation from an un-insulated vehicle (car, van, boat, or truck, mobile or not) would be considered “outdoor”. In order to claim the “outdoor” bonus, all stations in your entry must fit the definition, no exceptions.
Home: Operation from a place where an amateur station is already or would normally be established, whether it’s your home or another person’s, including any enclosed structure attached to the home (garage, deck, sunroom) . Use of any pre-existing feed line or pre- mounted antenna system, such as a backyard tower/beam, roof antenna, or previously installed dipole/wire, or previously installed rig renders your station a “Home” operation. A home station may still claim “alternate power” bonus if using non-commercial power. Operation from another ham’s home other than your own, from a seasonal rental ( your Florida/Arizona snowbird condo), or from a second home you own would still be considered a “Home” operation unless no equipment, antennas, or accessories were present before the stated WFD set-up time (in which case you’d be an “Indoor” entrant and eligible for the “remote/not at home” and possibly the “alternate power” bonuses).
Allowed Bands: The Amateur non -WARC band allocations recognized by the ITU, i.e. 160, 75/80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meters, plus the UHF bands. To qualify as a band worked, at least 1 valid, non-solicited, two-way QSO must have taken place on said band during the contest. The WARC bands (30m, 12m, & 17m) and 60m are off-limits for WFD QSOs as they are for any other contest. Entrants are strongly advised to avoid parking on recognized national simplex calling channels on the 6m, VHF, and UHF bands and use adjacent frequencies.

Satellite Contact rules: Satellite contacts do not count as a new mode/band multiplier. Satellite contacts are limited to ONE ONLY per entry so as to not tie up satellite frequencies with stations calling CQ WFD. A simple CQ (versus CQ WFD) is sufficient and you should be prepared to give a signal report and your VHF Grid Square to the other station versus your normal WFD exchange. A satellite contact is worth 1500 bonus points, one time only. Making further contacts earns no extra points. If you complete a satellite QSO, be sure to note the bonus points as well as a short synopsis of the contact in the “Soapbox”. Chances are very good that the other station will not be a WFD contestant and he will likely want a confirmation of the contact afterwards, especially if your location is remote. Be considerate and comply.
Qualifying WFD QSO: You must copy the full exchange (with the exception of Satellite QSOs, see above). QSOs may not be solicited… in other words; you may not call someone, use the internet (email, IMs, Facebook or spotting networks) or repeater/digipeater to request/suggest they meet you on any frequency for a WFD QSO or set up a QSO in advance of WFD. The internet, Echolink, VOIP, IRLP, repeaters, digi-peaters, and cross-banding are off-limits and barred from use to make WFD QSOs as they are in all other contests, with the single exception of a cross-band Satellite QSO. Do not park on the national VHF/UHF/6m calling frequencies to make QSOs. Entrants may not count for QSO credit any contact with anyone who is or was a participant in their WFD operation or is present at their WFD
location. No credit may be taken for QSOs involving, light, laser, or LED unless the stations are more than 1000m distant from each other and the receiving station includes detection circuitry.
Qualifying WFD Modes (underlined): CW, Phone (includes SSB, AM, FM, Dstar, C4FM, Mototurbo… if the end result is voice it’s phone), and Digital (includes PSK, RTTY, Olivia, Packet, SSTV, ATV and other soundcard modes. If the end result is text or a picture, it’s digital). Note: Working the same station in multiple digital or phone modes on any one band will result in “dupes” in your logging software.
Operator: Any person that operates a radio, keyboard, microphone or CW key, including logging assistance. This does not include non-operators, such as those who cook or serve food, but do not participate in the radio operation.

All rules governing amateur radio at your location must be observed throughout.

Bonus Points: The more details you add here will help with scoring.

Although not required, we recommend the WFD Logging program by N3FJP, W3KM also has excellent software  N1MM also has some excellent software, but it can be tricky to set up for WFD and if done improperly may not log properly. Be sure that whatever software you use generates a properly formatted Cabrillo WFD log file. THAT’S the file you’ll attach to your entry submission email

FT8 Notes:

WFD has always had an Emcomm emphasis, even when SPAR sponsored it.. We waited for FT8 2.0, hoping it would be more flexible as we were told it would be, but were disappointed that the new release will NOT do the WFD Exchange as it currently stands. That alone rules out FT8 for WFD. Also, it’s ability to carry any emergency message is near nil… try sending “SOS – HMS TITANIC – HIT ICE – SINKING – 82.566N 34.713W”. Almost any other mode CAN send that (or the WFD Exchange).

    Getting a message through bad conditions is great.. but getting only a grid square and a signal report is hardly a message of value to Ecomms. When FT8 can do the WFD exchange verbatim, as written in the rules, it’ll become part of WFD. That has been the consensus of the WFDA board for some time…

    We are not anti-FT8… the ARRL did not change any rules to allow FT8… FT8 developers changed what it could send to fit a few ARRL contest exchanges.

PS… There are a few folks talking about using JS8Call… you might want to try that. It works similarly to FT8, but is far more robust in what it can send and receive.

2019 ARRL Board of Directors Election Results

Incumbent Director John Robert Stratton, N5AUS, defeated challenger Madison Jones, W5MJ, to be re-elected as Director of the West Gulf Division, based on results from ballot tabulations on Friday, November 15, in the 2019 ARRL Board of Director elections. The vote was 2498 for Stratton and 1,405 for Jones.

A new Director and Vice Director have been elected in the ARRL’s Southeastern Division. Mickey Baker, N4MB, defeated incumbent Director Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, 2,132 votes to 1739 votes. Also, challenger James Schilling, KG4JSZ, (1,356 votes)  defeated incumbent Vice Director Joseph Tiritilli, N4ZUW, (1,209 votes) and challenger Jeff Stahl, K4BH, (1,281 votes).

Seats for Director and Vice Director in three other ARRL Divisions – Pacific (Director Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, and Vice Director Kristen McIntyre, K6WX); Rocky Mountain (Director Jeff Ryan, K0RM, and Vice Director Robert Wareham, N0ESQ); and Southwestern (Director Richard Norton, N6AA) — were unchallenged, with incumbents running for election in all but one case. Also, in the West Gulf Division Vice Director Lee Cooper, W5LHC, was running unopposed. In the Southwestern Division, Mark Weiss, K6FG, ran unopposed for the seat being vacated by Ned Stearns, AA7A.

All candidates having no opposition were declared elected at the close of the nominations period.

Russian OTH Radar Now Reported to be “Everywhere”

[UPDATED and CORRECTED @ 1625 UTC on November 2019] The latest International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring System (IARUMS) newsletter reports the Russian “Contayner” over-the-horizon radar (OTHR) has been active in the 7, 10, 14, and 18 MHz amateur radio allocations (amateur radio is primary on 40, 20, and 17 meters). The OTHR transmissions have been 40 sweeps/second, FM on pulse, and 12 kHz wide.

Additionally, IARUMS reports a significant increase in Russian military traffic using F1B, PSK, and orthogonal frequency division multiplex (OFDM) on 40, 30, 20, and 15 meters.

IARUMS on November 13 reported an OTHR in northern Iran on 6.078 – 7.022 MHz, AM on pulse, 81 sweeps/second, 44 kHz wide.

HuskySat-1 Successfully Lifted into Space

AMSAT reports that on November 2, a Cygnus cargo spacecraft carrying the University of Washington’s student-built HuskySat-1 CubeSat was successfully launched atop a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket. The Cygnus will dock with the International Space Station (ISS) today, November 4.Cygnus is then scheduled to depart the ISS on January 13, 2020, and raise its orbit to approximately 500 kilometers (310 miles), where HuskySat-1 and SwampSat will be deployed. After deployment, HuskySat-1’s 1,200 bps BPSK beacon on 435.800 MHz should be active and decodable with the latest release of FoxTelem. HuskySat-1 is expected to run its primary mission for 30 days — testing a pulsed plasma thruster and experimental 24 GHz data transmitter — before being turned over to AMSAT for amateur radio operation. HuskySat-1 features a 30 kHz wide 145 to 435 MHz linear transponder for SSB/CW.

“Usually people buy most of the satellite and build one part of it,” said Paige Northway, a doctoral student who’s been involved with the project since inception. “We built all the parts. It was a pretty serious undertaking.”

For more information about HuskySat-1’s development and its science, read the UW News article, “Washington’s first student-built satellite preparing for launch.” — Thanks to AMSAT News Service via; Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, and UW News

FCC Asked to Clarify Amateur Rules Governing Encrypted or Encoded Messages

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is soliciting comments on a Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed on behalf of New York University (NYU) seeking to clarify that Section 97.113(a)(4) of the Amateur Service rules prohibits the transmission of “effectively encrypted or encoded messages, including messages that cannot be readily decoded over-the-air for true meaning.” Comments are due by December 2, with reply comments (comments on comments already filed) due on December 17. The FCC has requested that all filings refer to WT Docket No. 16-239, which grew out of an ARRL Petition for Rule Making seeking elimination of symbol rate limitations on the amateur bands and is unrelated to the wider encryption issue.

A footnote in the Petition says the efficacy and availability of recently announced software to decode Winlink communications when sent using different PACTOR modes is “unclear” as it applies to existing PACTOR-capable modems. “If any bits or letters are missed or corrupted during the reception — as would be expected under HF propagation — the message cannot be realistically decoded,” the footnote asserts. SCS, the company that created PACTOR, recently unveiled its PMON software that it says offers the ability to monitor the content of PACTOR 1, 2, and 3 transmissions over the air.

Maine Radio Amateurs Helping to Deploy AM Band Public Information Radio Service

Waldo County, Maine, is implementing the nation’s first county-wide emergency AM radio station with the help of radio amateurs.“We realized that the last option [in emergencies] most people have for getting information is by broadcast radio,” said Waldo County Emergency Management Agency Director Dale Rowley, KC1LKI. He recalled an ice storm a few years ago that took down the power grid for a week. “We established an emergency shelter, but could not get the word to residents that the shelter was open. They couldn’t watch TV, and their smartphone batteries were dead,” he said.

Rowley’s agency learned about emergency radio advisory stations and determined that they could be a solution. The RadioSAFE Wide Area Emergency Broadcast System is by Information Station Specialists, which has provided a similar station for Dayton Hamvention visitors. The company developed a compact, center-loaded whip antenna with a small ground plane that will cover the mostly rural coastal county.

Brit Rothrock, AB1KI, and Robert Hoey, W1EBA, with the Waldo County Emergency Management Agency are handling system planning and will install the new service at the county’s tower site. The 530 kHz channel is designated exclusively for Travelers’ Information Station (TIS) services. — Thanks to Information Station Specialists

IARU and Amateur Radio are Reaching “an Inflection Point”

Participants at the 45th meeting of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Administrative Council (AC) in late September discussed the organization’s role in advancing amateur radio going forward. The IARU released a summary record of the meeting this week. IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, who chaired the AC meeting in Lima, Peru, observed that the IARU and amateur radio are reaching what he called “an inflection point.” He asserted that amateur radio is changing, but the IARU and its member-societies are not.

Ellam’s remarks prefaced a wide-ranging discussion of the challenges to be overcome if the IARU and amateur radio itself are to remain relevant. After several hours of discussion, AC participants agreed on four top-level headings to identify the challenges that must be faced:

  • What is amateur radio?
  • The roles of IARU and its member-societies
  • Recruitment into amateur radio
  • IARU finances

The AC also agreed that it is essential to involve younger people from outside the Council in determining how to address these challenges, and the three IARU regions were asked to identify individuals who “could take ownership of these topics.”

A small working group was named, consisting of IARU Region 2 Vice President Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK; Region 2 Area A Director George Gorsline, VE3YV, and IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ. Using topics discussed to develop a starting point, the panel will aim to have a draft version of a plan by mid-December to address the challenges that would serve as a basis for further discussion.

IARU Region 1 (Europe, Africa, and the Mideast) has been a leader in marshalling interest among next-generation radio amateurs, sponsoring Youngsters On The Air (YOTA), and other youth-related activities, including a summer camp each year attended by young radio amateurs from around Region 1. IARU Region 3 noted at the Council meeting that it plans a Youth on the Air activity in Thailand next October and expressed the hope that Regions 1 and 2 can participate.

In other matters, based on a suggestion from Fred Matos, W3ICM — a National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) spectrum manager — the AC agreed to change the objective of the IARU HF World Championship contest to read as follows: “To support amateur self-training in radiocommunications, including improving amateur operating skills, conducting technical investigations, and intercommunicating with other amateurs around the world, especially IARU member-society headquarters stations, using the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands.”

According to an AC meeting document, Matos’ rationale is that the objective of an IARU-sponsored activity should tie directly to the ITU Radio Regulations.

In a related matter, the Council agreed to indicate to ARRL, which administers the competition, that it would favor relaxing rules for multioperator, single transmitter, mixed-mode entries — which the AC views as more restrictive and punitive than those that apply to most other contests — without affecting scoring and adjudication. Under current rules, multioperator, single transmitter, mixed-mode entries must remain on a band and mode for at least 10 minutes before changing bands or modes, and violating the band change rules will reclassify the entry as a check log. The IARU event is held each July.

To keep informed on IARU happenings, subscribe to the ARRL-IARU online group, moderated by IARU Secretary Dave Sumner, K1ZZ.

The American Legion Amateur Radio Club to Operate Special Event Station N9V on Veterans Day, 11/11

The American Legion Amateur Radio Club to Operate Special Event Station N9V on Veterans Day, November 11.

The American Legion Amateur Radio Club (TALARC) headquarters station, K9TAL, will anchor Veterans Day operations for special event N9V on Monday, November 11.

K9TAL will be joined by several TALARC stations around the US for its annual national salute to veterans. The American Legion is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Operation will be from 1800 to 0000 UTC on or about 7.285, 14.285, and 21.285 MHz.

Certificates will be available to all sending a QSL card. More information is on the N9V profile page on — Thanks to Jim Harris, W0EM, and The National Legion Amateur Radio Club

W1AW to Commemorate 98th Anniversary of First Amateur Radio Signals to Span the Atlantic

December 11 marks the 98th anniversary of the success of ARRL’s Transatlantic Tests in 1921, organized to see if low-power amateur radio stations could be heard across the Atlantic using shortwave frequencies (i.e., above 200 meters). On that day, a message transmitted by a group of Radio Club of America members at 1BCG in Greenwich, Connecticut, was copied by Paul Godley, 2ZE, in Scotland.

While the first two-way contact would not take place until 1923, the 1921 transatlantic success marked the beginning of what would become routine communication between US radio amateurs and those in other parts of the world — literally the birth of DX.

To commemorate this amateur radio milestone, Maxim Memorial Station W1AW will be on the air through the day on December 11 with volunteer operators. The goal is to encourage contacts between radio amateurs in the US and Europe while showcasing the significance of the transmissions that pioneered global communication and laid the groundwork for technology widely used today. The event will run from 1300 until 0000 UTC. Some details are still being worked out, but operation will focus on 40 and 20 meters (SSB).

Contact Clark Burgard, N1BCG, for more information.