ARRL Headquarters will be Closed on Monday, May 27

ARRL Headquarters will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. There will be no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions on that day. ARRL Headquarters will reopen on Tuesday, May 28, at 8 AM EDT. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

The Wouff-Hong and Rettysnitch Legends

By Rob L. Dey, KA2BEO1 – September 1997

A wonderful article about these two legends was written by L.B. Cebik, W4RNL2, and appeared in September 1996 QST, on pages 59 and 603. Cebik offered that “We should not be troubled by the size of the task at hand: Curing Amateur Radio of its illegalities and indecencies. We have many more folks available to wield the Wouff-Hong and the Rettysnitch. No, not on others, but on ourselves – to make sure that we set a model for how amateur operations ought to be conducted.”

 

The Wouff-Hong

The Wouff-Hong
The Wouff-Hong is used to enforce law and order in Amateur Radio operating work.
“The Old Man” (T.O.M.), originator of the Wouff-Hong and the Rettysnitch, is known to be the one and only Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW, founder of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL)4 in 1914. T.O.M. wrote his first mention of a Wouff-Hong and a Rettysnitch in 1917. In 1919, the league received an actual Wouff-Hong specimen directly from T.O.M. The first photo of the Wouff-Hong was published in July 1919 QST.

 

The Rettysnitch

The Rettysnitch
The Rettysnitch is used to enforce decency in Amateur Radio operating work.
In 1921, the Washington DC Radio Club presented the Rettysnitch to the league’s traffic manager. According to legend, the club received the Rettysnitch specimen from “The Old Man” himself. Cebik stated that “Even at its first public appearance, two of its teeth were missing, suggesting a long history of necessary and effective use. However, to this day, the Rettysnitch has lost no further teeth. It was ordered to be displayed by its mate.” The Wouff-Hong and Rettysnitch stories were retold by Rufus P. Turner, when he wrote “Hamdom’s Traditions: A Bedtime Story for Young Squirts” in May 1934 QST. According to Cebik, “In 1930, The ARRL Handbook had pictures of both instruments of enforcement. By 1936, only the Wouff-Hong appeared. By 1947 the Handbook had deleted both photos.” An editorial on the Wouff-Hong (without the hyphen) appeared many years later in February 1961 QST. Presently, both of these legendary instruments are on display at the ARRL museum in Newington, CT.

Continue reading The Wouff-Hong and Rettysnitch Legends

“Mentoring the Next Generation” is Hamvention and ARRL 2019 National Convention Theme

With an eye toward helping new and inexperienced hams enjoy the full range of activities that Amateur Radio has to offer, Hamvention® and the ARRL 2019 National Convention will embrace the theme of “Mentoring the Next Generation.” Hamvention hosts the National Convention May 17 – 19 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. This will mark the third year for Hamvention at its new venue. A contingent of ARRL staff and member-volunteers will join forces to make available many ARRL exhibits and resources to Hamvention visitors. The centerpiece of ARRL’s participation will be ARRL EXPO in Building 2. An extensive roster of exhibits and activities will also educate and entertain.

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ARRL West Texas Section Convention

The 64th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Hamfest

The 64th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Hamfest & ARRL West Texas SectionConvention hosted by the Midland Amateur Radio Club. The hamfest will be held March 16th, 2019, at the MLK Community Center in Midland, Texas.

Check out all the pages on this website for the most up to date hamfest information. If we have your email on file we’ve emailed past attendees with a link to this website in order to reduce our mailing expenses. For others our traditional hamfest flier was mailed out in late January. You may also download the flyer.

In addition to our normal hamfest prizes we are again raffling an Elecraft K3S transceiver with MH4 microphone.  A maximum of 300 tickets will be sold at $20 each.  Don’t delay, they’re going fast! For complete details please visit the raffle page on this website.

We look forward to seeing you at the St. Patrick’s Day Hamfest!

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.

Court Rules Excessive Antenna Application Fees Violated Reasonable Accommodation

Long-pending Amateur Radio antenna litigation that ARRL helped to fund has finally borne fruit. The Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department has ruled in the case of Myles Landstein, N2EHG, that the Town of LaGrange, New York, not only overstepped its state-granted authority by assessing excessive fees, but violated the limited federal preemption PRB-1 in the process. PRB-1 requires municipalities and states to “reasonably” accommodate Amateur Radio antennas and to apply the “minimum practicable regulation” in handling Amateur Radio antenna applications. The ruling is slated to be published as a case decision. Landstein had wanted to erect a 70-foot antenna support structure; the Town of LaGrange has a 35-foot height limit.

“This case, which goes back to 2013, was about applying PRB-1 to a situation in which a municipality attempted to thwart the installation and maintenance of ham radio antennas by imposing excessive permit application costs on the ham applicant,” said communications attorney Chris Imlay, W3KD, who is familar with the case. Imlay said the FCC has refused to clarify the cost-prohibition issue as it relates to PRB-1’s “minimum practicable regulation” and reasonable accommodation provisions of PRB-1.

Continue reading Court Rules Excessive Antenna Application Fees Violated Reasonable Accommodation

John Robert Stratton, N5AUS, is New ARRL West Gulf Division Director

John Robert Stratton, N5AUS, of Austin, Texas, is the new ARRL West Gulf Division Director. Stratton, the incumbent Vice Director, moved up to the Director’s chair after Director Dr. David Woolweaver, K5RAV, announced his immediate retirement during the ARRL Board of Directors meeting January 18 – 19.

An attorney, Stratton served as West Gulf Division Vice Director since 2009, when he was appointed to succeed Woolweaver, who became Director following the resignation of then-Director Coy Day, N5OK.

Woolweaver served as West Gulf Vice Director from 2000 until 2009, and as Director from 2009 until 2019. During his
tenure, he served on several committees, including the ARRL Board Executive Committee. He is a member of the ARRL Foundation Board of Directors.
Continue reading John Robert Stratton, N5AUS, is New ARRL West Gulf Division Director

New Faces Around the Table in Newington

When the ARRL board of directors meets in Connecticut next month, there will be several new faces at the table, as well as the “back bench” for vice directors.

In addition to this being the first board meeting for new CEO Howard Michel, WB2ITX, there will be new directors present from the Hudson, New England, Northwestern, Roanoke and Rocky Mountain Divisions. Three of those new directors defeated incumbents, while one moved up from the vice director’s chair to succeed a director who resigned and the fifth was elected in a division in which the incumbent was not seeking re-election. There will also be two new vice directors.

This represents a change in leadership in one-third of the ARRL’s 15 geographic divisions.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! and HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Fellow Hams of the West Texas Section:

As we rapidly approach Christmas 2018 and New Years 2019, I would like to wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year. I would also like to thank you for your continued efforts to be prepared to help your community as an Amateur Radio Operator. Your attention to maintaining your home station’s radios, antennas, power supplies, etc., the mobile equipment in your vehicles and the portable equipment in your Go Boxes is admirable. It shows a concern for your families, neighbors, communities and fellow man.

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Senator Lauds Hams in Post-Hurricane Tweet

Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker – a longtime supporter of amateur radio – used his Twitter feed in October to point out the ways in which hams helped with disaster response efforts in Florida after Hurricane Michael.

According to the ARRL Letter, Wicker tweeted that hams are trained volunteers who “help maintain critical communication to areas with no electricity, phone, or internet service.”