New Book, Energy Choices for the Radio Amateur, Now Shipping

Revolutionary changes are taking place in the way we produce and consume power for our homes, transportation, and the technology that we use every day. A new book, Energy Choices for the Radio Amateur by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, who developed the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS), explores ongoing changes in the world of power and energy and takes a careful look at the choices we can make. Home solar or utility power? Oil/gas heat or electric heat pump? Gas car or hybrid/EV?

Continue reading New Book, Energy Choices for the Radio Amateur, Now Shipping

Hey! Did your Change your Clocks?

‘We’ll be losing a whole hour every day – these government cutbacks are getting ridiculous!’

U.S. Bans Import of Several Hytera Radio Models

The U.S. International Trade Commission has banned the import of several DMR radio models manufactured by the Chinese company Hytera. According to Newsline, the ITC ruled that the radios infringe on numerous Motorola patents.

Continue reading U.S. Bans Import of Several Hytera Radio Models

Time Change

New ARRL Podcast Geared Toward Newcomers to Amateur Radio Debuts on March 7

A new ARRL podcast aimed newcomers to Amateur Radio will launch on Thursday, March 7. “So Now What?” will alternate new-episode weeks with the “ARRL The Doctor is In” podcast.

“So Now What?” will focus on answering questions and providing support and encouragement for new licensees to get the most out of the hobby. Co-hosting “So Now What?” will be ARRL Communications Content Producer Michelle Patnode, W3MVP, and ARRL Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q. The podcast will explore questions that newer hams may have and the issues that keep newcomers from remaining active.

Continue reading New ARRL Podcast Geared Toward Newcomers to Amateur Radio Debuts on March 7

Spring Time Change

ARRL CEO: “Balance Has Been Lost”

ARRL CEO Howard Michel, WB2ITX, says the “balance has been lost” between the League’s three major components – a membership organization, a business and a 501(c)(3) charity. The key, according to the ARRL Letter, is creating value. Speaking at Ham Radio University in New York in early January, Michel said the League needs to refocus its priorities on creating value for new licensees who currently don’t join ARRL or quit after a year; shift the perspective in its publishing operations from producing books to producing and delivering value to readers, regardless of the medium, and that the organization must do more for new hams once they become licensed. “We’ve got them through the test to get their license,” he said, “and then we’ve dropped them. We’ve got to fix that.”
A major part of Michel’s effort to have the ARRL deliver more value to its members and prospective members is a reorganization of the League’s management structure. He announced plans in early February to create a management council to discuss long-term planning, ideas and operations; and the creation of two new positions, a Product Development Manager and a Marketing Communications Manager.

New Plan Aligns ARES with the Needs of Served Agencies

The new ARES Plan adopted by the ARRL Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting in January represents an effort to provide ARES with a clearly defined mission, goals, and objectives; specific training requirements, and a system for consistent reporting and record-keeping. The Board’s Public Service Enhancement Working Group (PSEWG) spent more than 3 years crafting the ARES Plan which, ARRL officials believe, provides a much-needed update of the program’s role in public service and emergency preparedness in the 21st century. Concerns focused on bringing ARES into alignment with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS), and creating more consistent and standardized ARES training requirements. Given dramatic changes and upgrades in national, regional, and local emergency and disaster response organizations, ARRL faced a major challenge, said ARRL Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, who chaired the PSEWG.

“If we didn’t address these issues, such as training standards and organizational management, ARES faced the very real possibility that it would no longer be viewed as a valid and valuable partner in emergency and disaster relief situations,” Williams said.

Continue reading New Plan Aligns ARES with the Needs of Served Agencies

ARRL Board: We Are Not Abandoning Antenna Rights Fight

One of many actions taken by the ARRL board of directors at its January meeting (see details in the March issue of CQ) was a decision to “review, reexamine and reappraise” the organization’s approach to seeking antenna rights for hams subject to private land use restrictions not covered by the FCC’s partial pre-emption of state and local laws regarding antenna structures. That decision included asking Congressional sponsors of the Amateur Radio Parity Act not to try to move the bill to a vote for now, and withdrawing a petition asking the FCC to incorporate provisions of the Parity Act in the amateur radio rules.
“The board wants to make clear,” it said in a statement, “that this pause is not, and should not be interpreted as, an abandonment of its efforts to obtain relief from private land-use restrictions,” adding that it intends “to renew, continue and strengthen the ARRL’s efforts to achieve relief from such restrictions.”

FCC Works Through Shutdown Backlog

Several thousand amateur radio license applications were waiting for FCC staff members when they returned to work after January’s partial government shutdown, but they quickly worked through them. The ARRL Letter reported that the ARRL VEC alone had some 2700 applications awaiting FCC action. It said the FCC told volunteer examiner coordinators that it might take weeks to get caught up, but the staff actually achieved that goal in a matter of days.

As this is written in early February, there is still the chance of another government shutdown on February 15, if Congress and the President cannot agree on border security provisions of a funding bill.