Just Ahead in Radiosport

March 14 — AGCW QRP Contest (CW) March 14 – 15 — RSGB Commonwealth Contest (CW) March 14 – 15 — F9AA Cup, SSB March 14 – 15 — South America 10 Meter Contest (CW, phone) March 14 – 15 — Stew Perry Topband Challenge (CW) March 14 – 15 — Oklahoma QSO Party (CW, phone) March 14 – 15 — TESLA Memorial HF CW Contest March 14 – 15 — QCWA QSO Party (CW, phone) March 14 – 15 — Idaho QSO Party (CW, phone) March 14 — QRP ARCI Spring Thaw SSB Shootout March 15 — North American Sprint, RTTY March 15 – 16 — Wisconsin QSO Party (CW, phone, digital) March 16 — Run for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW) March 17 — CLARA Chatter Party (CW, phone) March 19 — NAQCC CW Sprint

See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information. For in-depth reporting on amateur radio contesting, subscribe to The ARRL Contest Update via

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Visalia International DX Convention, Other Events Cancelled Due to Coronavirus Worries

[UPDATED 2020-03-12 @ 1503 UTC] Concern over COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of the 2020 International DX Convention (IDXC), which was to be held April 24 – 26 in Visalia, California. The IDXC 2020 co-chairs posted an announcement on the convention website on March 10.

“We send out our apologies to all our perspective patrons of the 2020 International DX Convention. Due to concerns, health and well-being of our amateur radio family, our age group and possible compromised health issues, we are taking the side of safety and canceling the convention,” IDXC Co-chairs Cathy Gardenias, K6VC, and Kris Jacob, KC6TOD, said on behalf of the convention committee. They conceded that, although the number of COVID-19 cases remains low, it only takes one person to pass the virus.

“We will be refunding everyone’s reservation funds/shirt request funds,” the announcement continued. “We appreciate your support and patience while we proceed with

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International Space Station Resupply Mission to Carry New ARISS Ham Radio Gear

The scheduled March 7 SpaceX CRS-20 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) will include the initial Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Interoperable Radio System (IORS) flight unit. The IORS is the foundation of the ARISS next-generation amateur radio system on the space station. The ARISS hardware team built four flight units, and the first will be installed in the ISS Columbus module.A second flight unit expected to be launched on a later 2020 cargo flight will be installed in the Russian Service Module. NASA contracts with SpaceX to handle ISS resupply missions.

The IORS represents the first major upgrade of on-station ARISS equipment. The package will include a higher-power radio, an enhanced voice repeater, and updated digital packet radio (APRS) and slow-scan television (SSTV) capabilities for both the US and Russian space station segments.

The IORS consists of a custom-modified JVCKenwood TM-D710GA transceiver, an AMSAT-developed multi-voltage power supply, and interconnecting cables. Once at the space station, the IORS will

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Partially Submerged NEMO-1 WSPR Buoy Retrieved by Fishing Boat

The NEMO-1 WSPR buy buoy launched by AMSAT-Argentina (AMSAT-LU) on January 30 was retrieved 12 days later by a fishing vessel. The buoy transmitted WSPR on 14.095.6 MHz and APRS on VHF FM using the call sign LU7AA. The captain of the tuna vessel Juan Pablo II considered that the buoy was partially submerged, decided to retrieve it, and informed AMSAT-LU.The NEMO-1 traveled another 8 days aboard the tuna vessel, arriving at Mar del Plata on February 19, where members of the Mar del Plata Radio Club were holding it until members of AMSAT-LU could recover it. The buoy will be reconditioned, and a new launch is planned, this time taking the buoy more than 200 kilometers (124 miles) offshore, so that it will navigate freely.

TIME CHANGE (Already?) (Yep!)

Interruption to Internet Access at ARRL Headquarters Scheduled for March 4

As part of ARRL Headquarters’ transition to new internet service providers, an interruption of internet access at ARRL Headquarters is set for Wednesday, March 4, starting at 2300 UTC. The interruption will last no longer than 4 hours.During the work period, these services will be unavailable:

Logbook of The World (LoTW) Online DXCC International Grid Chase Archive National Parks on the Air Archive Centennial QSO Party Archive, W1AW Echolink Conference Server VPN access to Headquarters.

Email to Headquarters will remain online, and the ARRL website (www.arrl.org) will remain operational throughout the maintenance period, along with the Contest and advertising pages. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Coronavirus Fears Postpone Another DXpedition

Alex Gromme, 5B4ALX, has postponed his March 18 – April 2 T30ET DXpedition to Tarawa (West Kiribati) because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The Kiribati Ministry of Health told Gromme that he would need to be quarantined for 14 days in Honiara, Solomon Islands, before getting medical approval to continue on to Kiribati. “T30ET is currently postponed, not deleted,” Gromme said on his website. He’s now looking at October 2020, assuming the COVID-19 situation is resolved by then.Last week, travel restrictions imposed on individuals entering American Samoa as a result of the coronavirus outbreak caused Swains Island W8S DXpedition organizers to postpone that DXpedition until later in the year. The team members were unable to comply with a 14-day mandatory quarantine in Hawaii. The DXpedition announced tentative dates of September 23 – October 6.

ARRL Seeks a New Chief Executive Officer

ARRL is seeking an experienced radio amateur to be Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at its headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. The CEO is the top compensated employee in ARRL’s management structure and oversees all operations in collaboration with the President and the Board of Directors, in accordance with ARRL’s Articles of Association, Bylaws, and Board policies. The successful candidate will ensure day-to-day management of ARRL, including fiscal operations and will oversee and make certain that its fund-raising, marketing, human resources, technology, advocacy, and governance strategies are effectively implemented.

Essential CEO functions include:

Leading the headquarters staff and field volunteers, in response to Board policy, in the development and implementation of effective programs for the promotion and growth of amateur radio and the provision of services to members. Planning, developing, organizing, implementing, directing, and evaluating ARRL’s operational and fiscal performance. Providing leadership, directing headquarters staff, and maintaining performance standards in headquarters operations. Participating, in collaboration with officers, Directors,

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FCC Turns Down Amateur Licensee’s Appeal

In a Memorandum Opinion and Order (MO&O) released on February 20, the FCC turned down an appeal by William F. Crowell, W6WBJ, of Diamond Springs, California, of an Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) dismissal of Crowell’s amateur radio license renewal application. Chief ALJ Richard L. Sippel, ruled in 2018 that Crowell “failed to prosecute his application by refusing to attend a hearing scheduled by the judge,” and that this warranted dismissal of Crowell’s 2007 renewal application. The FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau had designated Crowell’s renewal application for hearing based on allegations that he had violated the Communications Act and FCC rules by causing intentional interference and by transmitting one-way communications, indecent language, and music on amateur frequencies. The hearing was set to be held in Washington, DC, and Crowell filed a notice of appearance certifying that he would appear and present his case.The case was interrupted by what the FCC in the MO&O called “a hiatus

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Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions

March 7 – Delta Division Convention, Russellville, Arkansas March 13 – 14 — North Carolina Section Convention, Concord, North Carolina March 14 – 15 — Great Lakes Division Convention, Perrysburg, Ohio March 14 — Nebraska State Convention, Lincoln, Nebraska March 14 — West Virginia Section Convention, Charleston, West Virginia March 21 — West Texas Section Convention, Midland, Texas March 29 — Virginia Section Convention, Vienna, Virginia April 10 – 11 — Oklahoma State Convention, Claremore, Oklahoma April 11 — Roanoke Division Convention, Raleigh, North Carolina April 18 — Delaware State Convention, Georgetown, Delaware May 8 – 9 — Utah State Convention, Orem, Utah June 6 – 7 — Northwestern Division Convention, Seaside, Oregon June

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