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 to the development of the amateur radio microwave bands. The nomination deadline is March 31, 2020.
  • The ARRL Technical Service Award recognizes an individual radio amateur or group of radio amateurs who provide amateur radio technical assistance or training. The nomination deadline is March 31, 2020.
  • The ARRL Technical Innovation Award is conferred on an individual radio amateur or group of radio amateurs who develop and apply new technical ideas or techniques in amateur radio. The nomination deadline is March 31, 2020.
  • The Knight Distinguished Service Award recognizes exceptional contributions by a Section Manager to the health and vitality of ARRL. The nomination deadline is April 30, 2020.

The ARRL Board of Directors selects award recipients, and winners are typically announced following the Board’s July meeting. More information about these awards on the ARRL website, or contact Steve Ewald, WV1X, telephone (860) 594-0265.

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 water service is operational in most places, Resto added.

ARRL is shipping six VHF/UHF base/repeater antennas and six 50-foot rolls of LMR-400 coax, through the Ham Aid Fund.

Since January 12, the ARES Zone 5 amateur radio volunteers have been handling health-and-welfare traffic from the earthquake zone, reports Yauco ARES District Emergency Coordinator Heriberto Perez, WP4ZZ, who said internet service has been slow. He said the Red Cross has been providing food and drinks for the volunteers. Operations are running from 9 AM until 5 PM each day.

“Today was a bit of a rough day,” Perez said on Saturday. “Many quakes during the day. It feels like you’re in a simulator.” He said the three-person team is using UHF for direct contact with San Juan, with a backup support frequency on VHF, and communication has been solid.

“During the course of the day, we began to handle health-and-welfare traffic from nearby victims,” he said. “We are now reaching out to affected communities asking for tents for the community [as well as] diapers or medicine, and many other requests. We also initiated food collection in our community.”

Perez said an HF radio was to be on site for backup on 20 and 40 meters. Power to the distribution center is 40% from the power utility and 60% from generators.

Resto said over the weekend that he’d been told that the Red Cross was relocating the disaster relief operation to Mayagüez, which is a much closer site to the initial impact area, and ARES will provide communication support at the new site.

“A personal comment,” Resto added. “[It] is very difficult to sleep with so many earthquakes — more than 3,000 from December 28 — shaking your house. I hope that my house survives these intense seismic events.”

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the southwestern part of Puerto Rico on January 7, fast on the heels of a magnitude 5.8 tremor the day before. The worst-impacted cities were Guayanilla, Peñuelas, Yauco, and Guánica, where, Resto said, engineers have determined that 80% of the houses in the earthquake’s impact zone are uninhabitable.

Resto told ARRL last week that the earthquake disaster has definitely been a setback for the US territory as it continues its long recovery from severe hurricane damage in 2017.

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 into the articles and issues raised in the magazine, including advice and insight on topics covering the range of amateur radio interests and activities: radio technology, operating, equipment, project building, and emergency communication.

Supplementing On the Air will be a new Facebook page for those who share a love of radio communication and are looking to learn and explore more about their interests.

The biweekly Eclectic Tech podcast for experienced radio amateurs will launch on February 13. Hosted by QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, Eclectic Tech will highlight topics involving amateur and non-amateur technology, offer brief interviews with individuals involved in projects of interest to amateurs, and include practical information of immediate benefit to today’s hams. Eclectic Tech will be available via iTunes and Stitcher.

The ARRL Mags apps including QST and On the Air are now live on Apple iTunes and Google Play. The digital edition of On the Air magazine is now live and linked from the On the Air page on the ARRL website.

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 hear officers’ reports and receive financial reports. Members will also hear reports from ARRL’s Washington Counsel, David Siddall, K3ZJ, and from its Connecticut Counsel. The Board will also receive and consider reports and recommendations from committees and coordinators.

The Board will also consider recommendations of the Standing Committees, including the Executive Committee, the Administration and Finance Committee, and the Programs and Services Committee and consider additional recommendations as contained in reports.

The meeting will hear any motions that the 15 individual Directors may offer for Board consideration

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 sign) for West Texas Ham of the year. He/She is an ARRL member (required).  (Name) was licensed in _____, and has lived in the West Texas Section for ____ years.

(Name) currently is a member of the following amateur radio organizations (List).  And, he/she has held office as the (_______) for the (_________).

List awards and accomplishments of the nominated individual.  Eg, served as net control for (???) Net; established a mentoring program for new hams; etc.  This is the opportunity to promote your nominee!

Closing paragraph example:

I highly recommend (name) for the West Texas Section Ham of the Year Award.  (he/she) has: (add comments here). Indicate how long you have known the person and their personal attributes.

If it’s an individual making the nomination, include your name, callsign, address, email and telephone number.

If it’s a club making the nomination, include the club name, callsign and pertinent information of the officers making the nomination (as above).   I suspect the club would form a committee to consider club nominations.

Send your completed nomination form to me, H. Dale Durham, W5WI, WTX Section Manager, P.O. Box 375 Buffalo Gap, TX 79508.  Email: Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. November 30m, 2019.

I know there are many hams in West Texas that deserve this recognition.  I look forward to receiving your nominations.

Vry 73,

Dale, W5WI WTX Section Manager