Revised AMSAT-NA Website in the Offing

AMSAT Treasurer and Vice President of User Services Robert Bankston, KE4AL, has announced that the AMSAT Board has approved his recommendations for an internet-based membership management system, the transition to a digital full-color edition of AMSAT Journal, and a complete overhaul of the AMSAT-NA website.“I have been putting together these proposals for several months and thank the Board of Directors for the permission to move these projects forward,” Bankston said at the conclusion of the 2019 AMSAT Symposium and Annual General Meeting over the weekend. He said the improvements will modernize how AMSAT serves its members and that the new membership management system will give members control over their membership accounts, allowing them to update contact information, pay dues, and register for events. He did not indicate when the updated website would be up and running.

Bankston said the new website will aim to make navigating the site more intuitive with portals for members and friends in the AMSAT community, how-to guides on getting

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Congressional Champion of Amateur Radio Greg Walden, W7EQI, Announces Retirement


One of amateur radio’s strongest supporters in the US House of Representatives, Oregon Republican Greg Walden, W7EQI — the top Republican on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee — said this week that he won’t be seeking another term in 2020. Walden, 62, who will have served for 22 years the US House at the end of his current term, championed the Amateur Radio Parity Act as the chair of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. He went on to chair the US House Energy and Commerce Committee in the 115th Congress, and has served as the panel’s ranking member since the Democratic Party gained control of the House.

“I will close the public service chapter of my life, thankful for the friends I’ve made and the successful work we’ve done together,” Walden said in a statement.

In 2014, The ARRL Board of Directors voted to confer the first Barry Goldwater, K7UGA, Achievement

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ARRL November Sweepstakes Offers Two Weekends of Fun

The ARRL November Sweepstakes (SS) weekends again loom large on the amateur radio contest horizon. The CW weekend is November 2 – 4 — this weekend — while the phone weekend is November 16 – 18. Both events begin on Saturday at 2100 UTC and conclude on Monday at 0259 UTC. An Operating Guide that relates some of the history and evolution of these North American contests is available. SS offers operating categories for every preference. The goal for many seasoned SS operators is to complete a “clean sweep” by working all 83 ARRL and Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) sections. Sunday drivers may just want to dabble. Others enjoy trying to make a clean sweep by working one station in each section. Most SS operators, though, simply try to run up the contact and multiplier counts, staying in the chair for the full 24 (out of 30) allowable hours.Some multipliers are much rarer than others, although these can shift from one

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Don’t Forget

FCC Turns Down Petition to Amend Amateur Radio Identification Rules

The FCC has denied a Petition for Rule Making to amend Part 97 station identification rules to better accommodate and simplify station identification during emergency nets, drills, or activations. ARRL member Robert A. Dukish, KK8DX, of Canfield, Ohio, had sought a change to Section 97.119(a) of the rules to allow a single point of transmission for station ID on those occasions. He proposed permitting a net control station or other designated participant to announce the call signs of every station taking part in the net or exercise, when tactical call signs often are in use, at 10-minute intervals, using automatic CW identification.In turning down Dukish’s petition, Scot Stone, the Deputy Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s Mobility Division, said commenters overwhelmingly opposed the proposal.

“They argue that the current rule strikes the appropriate balance between the need to identify the source of transmissions and ease of communication,” Stone wrote. “Commenters state that, in their years of experience

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ARRL Creates New Online Groups for Members to Communicate with Leadership

ARRL’s Committee on Communication with ARRL Members has opened new online forums where all radio amateurs — ARRL members and non-members alike — can discuss issues and topics in two-way conversation with ARRL leadership. The new groups are aimed at enhancing communication among ARRL leadership, staff, members, and prospective members, in a manner that enables timely updates and collegial discussion.This project was based on the success over the past several years of the ARRL-LoTW (Logbook of The World) Group in responding to Amateur Radio operators’ questions and generating discussion on ways to improve that program. “The LoTW initiative has clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of online Groups as a means of achieving the desired interaction,” ARRL said in announcing the new groups.

ARRL has added three online groups:

ARRL-Contesting — moderated by ARRL Contest Advisory Committee Chairman Dennis Egan, W1UE. ARRL-Awards — moderated by ARRL Radiosport and Field Services Manager

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Arizona Club Takes Advantage of Low Bands to Support 100-Mile Endurance Run

The Coconino Amateur Radio Club (CARC) provided safety and coordination communications for the 100-mile Stagecoach Line Run over the September 21 – 22 weekend. This endurance run from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon takes place every September. The 31-hour event pushes runners to the limit. The Stagecoach Line Run also tests Amateur Radio’s capabilities and requires planning and commitment. Because of the geographical coverage required, the club’s Amateur Radio support even took advantage of 160 meters, not a band typically associated with public service communication.“Because we are in a solar minimum, a combination of bands and communication methods were required in order to track and maintain contact with the numerous stations,” said Dan Shearer, N7YIQ, the club’s Public Information Officer. “What worked well at 3 o’clock in the afternoon was not going to work at 2 in the morning.” The club’s communication infrastructure required a combination of HF and VHF/UHF equipment that included setting up portable repeaters and stations powered by generators and

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Pitcairn Island DXpedition Offers Tips on Working VP6R on FT8

The contact count for the VP6R Pitcairn Island DXpedition was approaching 50,000 as of October 24. Stormy weather put a bit of a damper on things, however.

“Late yesterday, we were hit with a tropical storm with torrential rain and gale force-plus winds,” DXpedition leader Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, reported on Thursday. “We had several antennas come down, but they are repairable and will be back up when it is safe to go outside.”

Johnson said VP6R has experienced great band conditions from 160 to 10 meters. “We had a very successful night on 60 meters (5.357 MHz) 2 days ago and will be on again. We are using FT8 in fox/hound (F/H) mode.” VP6R has been working a lot of FT8 on all bands except 160 and Johnson said the digital protocol has been putting a lot of new and unique call signs into the log. VP6R anticipates using FT8 on 160 starting on Tuesday, October 29, on 1.836 MHz.

“Most DXpeditions, including VP6R, are using

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The Lastest Episode of ARRL Audio News is Now Available


Listen to the new episode of ARRL Audio News on your iOS or Android podcast app, or online at Audio News is also retransmitted on a number of FM repeaters. Click here and then scroll down to see the list.

Dorian Sets New Record for Hurricane Watch Net

Hurricane Dorian, which sat nearly stationary over the Bahamas for several days – causing massive destruction there – before moving toward the U.S. east coast, resulted in a new record for hours activated during a single storm by the Hurricane Watch Net. According to the ARRL Letter, the net’s volunteers were activated for 159 hours, 139 of them continuously, eclipsing the previous record of 151 hours last year for Hurricane Matthew. Net Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, noted that during the activation, net members collected and forwarded countless surface reports to the National Hurricane Center. After devastating the Bahamas, Dorian made a second landfall in North Carolina, then clipped the New England states and Maritime Canada before finally heading out to sea.

Another hurricane – Lorenzo – posed no threat to the western Atlantic but was threatening the Azores as of the last week in September. As a result, amateurs there asked AMSAT

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