Monday, January 31, 2022

COVID Fallout Continues: Visalia Cancelled, Dayton Cautious


Covid-19 and its variants continue to disrupt in-person ham gatherings. The Southern California DX Club, organizer of the 2022 International DX Convention in Visalia, California, announced in January that this year's event – normally held in April – had been cancelled "in response to the current … virus threat."

The Dayton Hamvention® is still on as of now, but General Chairman Rick Allnutt, WS8G, said in a statement that the Hamvention would follow state guidance, which he expects to include recommendations (but not requirements) for masking and social distancing at large events. "It has become obvious," he said, "that the State of Ohio is very unlikely to call a halt to large gatherings anytime soon." As of now, Allnutt added, there are no plans to offer onsite Covid testing during the Hamvention and he does not anticipate checking vaccination status at the show. He says updates will be posted online at <>.

ARDC Makes More Than $1 Million in New Grants

Amateur Radio Digital Communications, the organization that administers the AMPRNet internet domain and sold some 4 million unassigned addresses in 2019, continues using the proceeds from that sale to support amateur radio and communications networking research. Its most recent grants, according to the ARRL Letter, include nearly $900,000 to the Internet Archive to establish the "Digital Library of Amateur Radio and Communications," which would be a freely-accessible repository of publications, movies, software and more that is related to amateur radio.

ARDC also made a $318,000 grant to the Society of Women Engineers to fun 30 scholarships and help with programs that encourage women to choose careers in engineering and showcase their achievements. In addition, ARDC gave $500,000 to the ARRL Foundation to fund a new club grants program. Starting in April, amateur radio clubs will be able to apply for grants of up to $25,000 to support programs or projects that "will advance amateur radio in the grantee's community."

An example of such a project is one directly funded by ARDC – some $34,000 to the Fauquier 4-H Ham Radio Club in Virginia to equip a Youth Station and Outreach Trailer for use by young members at meetings, public gatherings and special events.

HamSCI Workshop Gets NSF Grant

The Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation group, or HamSCI, has received a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support its 2022 in-person and virtual workshop. 

The workshop, to be held at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, on March 18-19, will focus on connections between space weather and terrestrial weather, according to the ARRL Letter

It will also host a team meeting of HamSCI's Personal Space Weather Station project, which is also being funded by a much larger NSF grant.

Dick Fijlstra, PA0DFN, Named Carole Perry Educator of the Year

2022 Carole Perry Educator
of the Year Dick Fijlstra,
PA0DFN (OARC photos)

The Orlando Hamcation® has selected Dutch amateur Dick Fijlstra, PA0DFN, as the 2022 Carole Perry Educator of the Year. A retired public school principal, Dick continues working with young people by organizing exhibitions at different schools to make students aware of the radio hobby and inspire them to pursue careers in science and technology.

Dick teaches foxhunting
techniques to a young

Dick is also heavily involved in amateur radio direction-finding (ARDF) – also known as foxhunting – and uses hidden transmitter hunts as one method of introducing young people to amateur radio. He is the representative of VERON, the Dutch national ham radio association, to the International Amateur Radio Union's Region 1 (Europe, Africa and the Middle East) ARDF committee. One of the committee's activities is the European Youth ARDF Championships, in which young people ages 14-19 from all over Europe compete to find hidden transmitters. Dick builds many of the foxhunting transmitters and receivers used in the events that he coordinates.

The Carole Perry Educator of the Year award is named in honor of its first recipient, noted ham educator Carole Perry, WB2MGP. The award will be presented at this month's Orlando Hamcation® hamfest in Florida. (Full disclosure: CQ Editor Rich Moseson, W2VU, is on the judging committee for this award)

"Low Power" in Majhor Contests Now a Uniform 100 Watts


The ARRL has redefined what constitutes "low power" in its contests, reducing the maximum power level for the category from its long-standing 150 watts to the 100-watt level used by most other major contest sponsors, including CQ. 

According to Newsline, the League made the change both to standardize its categories with other contests and in recognition of the fact that 100 watts is now the most common "barefoot" output power of current HF transceivers.