Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Icom, DX Engineering, Team Up for Dayton Megaprize

Icom America and DX Engineering have joined forces to assemble the largest-ever grand prize in the history of the Dayton Hamvention.® The prize package, which will be given away on the closing day of the 2022 Hamvention, has been dubbed the "Icom America Dream Station Package" and is valued at close to $20,000.

According to DX Engineering, the package includes four transceivers, covering 1.8 MHz to 1.2 GHz and designed for home, mobile and portable use, along with a variety of station accessories. The transceivers include the IC-7851 home station for HF/50 MHz; the portable IC-705 for QRP on HF through 450 MHz, the IC-9700 multimode VHF/UHF/1.2 GHz rig and the ID-52A VHF/UHF/D-STAR handheld. A complete list of the equipment and accessories included in the Dream Station Package may be found at <>.

New FCC License Fees Take Effect, Crash Licensing Computers

The new $35 fee for most amateur radio license applications (exceptions: license upgrades and administrative updates) took effect on April 19 and the updated software for processing batch applications from the volunteer examiner coordinators crashed within hours. According to the ARRL, the system was down for four days, going back online on April 23, but resulting in a backlog of unprocessed applications. The League says applicants should expect delays in normal FCC turnaround times.

A related item: The ARRL-VEC reports that the League's Youth Licensing Grant Program took effect along with the new fees on April 19. Under the program, ARRL will reimburse the $35 filing fee for successful new license candidates younger than age 18 for tests administered through the ARRL-VEC. The League has also reduced its exam fee for candidates under 18 from $15 to $5. Details may be found at <>.

Region 1 Youth Summer Camp to be Held in Croatia

The International Amateur Radio Union's Region 1 youth summer camp is back after a 2-year Covid hiatus, and is scheduled for August 6-13 in Croatia. According to Newsline, attendance is open to amateurs ages 15-25 living in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, along with guests from other parts of the world. Campers will be organized into teams led by a team leader between the ages of 18 and 30. Attendance is limited to 80 total participants. For more information, visit the IARU Region 1 Youngsters on the Air website at <>.

The Youth on the Air program for IARU Region 2 – North and South America – is seeking a host for its 2023 summer camp program. The timeframe would be one week between June 1 and August 15 and the host would need to be able to arrange meeting rooms, event space and lodging for up to 55 campers and staff, along with space for three simultaneously operating HF stations. Detailed information and a host application form are available at <>.

Finally in this month's young ham roundup, May 31 is the deadline for nominating candidates for Amateur Radio Newsline's Bill Pasternak Memorial Young Ham of the Year award. Nominees must be age 18 or younger, living in the continental United States and demonstrating "talent, promise and a commitment to the spirit of ham radio," according to Newsline. Nomination forms may be found at <>. [CQ is a co-sponsor of the Young Ham of the Year award.]

Be Prepared: Another Active Hurricane Season Predicted

Researchers at Colorado State University1 are predicting an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season for 2022. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 each year, although the storms don't always respect those dates!

CSU's center for Tropical Weather and Climate Research issued its annual forecast in early April, predicting 19 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes this year, versus the 30-year average from 1991-2020 of 14.4, 7.2 and 3.2 respectively.

The forecasters noted that "Current weak La Niña conditions look fairly likely to transition to neutral ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) by this summer/fall, but the odds of a significant El Niño seem unlikely. Sea surface temperatures averaged across the eastern and central tropical Atlantic are currently near average, while Caribbean and subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are warmer than normal. We anticipate an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean."

The researchers concluded, "As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted."

Hams living in hurricane-prone areas should first make sure that they and their families are well-prepared for hurricane damage and extended power outages, then take advantage of available training through FEMA, the National Weather Service and local emergency communication groups in order to be able to help effectively if needed.

Amateurs in potentially-affected areas should monitor the Hurricane Watch Net  on 14.325 MHz USB during the day and 7.268 MHz LSB at night. The net is activated whenever a tropical system reaches hurricane status and is within 300 miles of a populated land area, or at the request of forecasters. For more information on the Hurricane Watch Net, visit <>.


Hams in Bosnia and Herzegovina Respond After Earthquake

An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale rocked Bosnia and Herzegovina on April 22, resulting in one fatality, many injuries and considerable property damage. Southgate Amateur Radio News reports that the nation's ham radio emergency network was activated within 5 minutes after the quake, which was felt as far away as Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro.

Following established emergency plans, three teams were mobilized and established a network on VHF repeaters, along with a digital link to the capital of Sarajevo and HF nets on 80 and 40-meter voice and digital modes. The networks were planning to remain active until the risk of aftershocks had passed.

Hawaiian Hams Conduct Statewide Disaster Drill


Hawaii's Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) sponsored a statewide disaster drill on April 16 to assess its members' abilities to provide emergency communications in the event of a natural disaster. 

The scenario was a 4-day rain and wind storm battering all of the state's islands, taking out power, internet and cell phone towers, according to the ARRL Letter. The hams operated under the structure of the Incident Command System. State, local and federal agencies also took part. 

Hawaii Office of Homeland Security Statewide Interoperability Coordinator Everett Kaneshige noted that "having multiple outlets for communication during a crisis is critical," and added that it was "exciting to see the incorporation of innovative technology, such as the amateur radio-developed GPS software mapping capabilities.

INDEXA Names Humanitarian Fund in Memory of JH1AJT (SK)

The International DX Association (INDEXA) has renamed its humanitarian fund the Zorro Miyazawa, JH1AJT, Hams with Hearts Fund, in memory of Zorro, who founded and endowed the fund in 2016. JH1AJT, also a member of the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame, became a Silent Key in March.

According to Newsline, the fund helps provide assistance to humanitarian aid projects undertaken by amateurs during DXpeditions. INDEXA said it is "proud and grateful to be able to sustain Zorro's legacy through this fund."

Canadian Hams Authorized Special Prefixes to Honor Queen's Jubilee

Canada's communications regulator is allowing hams to use special prefixes between May 15 and July 14 in honor of Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, marking he 70 years on the throne. 

The ARRL Letter reports that all hams in Canada may choose to use the special prefixes. They include VG, VX, XK and XJ. In addition, the Canadian government's special event station listing shows two specific Jubilee-related special event operations planned, with call signs XM3A and VB3Q70.

NASA Club Stations Mark Apollo 16 Anniversary

Amateur radio club stations at several NASA centers around the U.S. conducted special event operations between April 23rd and 27th to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 16 mission to the moon. 

According to Newsline, participating club stations included NA6MF at the Ames Research Center in California; NA8SA at the Glenn Research Center in Ohio; WA3NAN at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, and N5SSC at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Stations making contact with these club stations are eligible for certificates. 

See the page for each club station for QSL and certificate info.

ARRL June VHF Contest Adds Analog-Only Category


Participants in the Single Operator categories for the ARRL June VHF Contest can now enter in "All Mode" (which includes all digital modes) or "Analog-Only" (CW and SSB/FM) subcategories. The ARRL Programs and Services Committee, with guidance from the Contest Advisory Committee, has approved this rule change in response to the survey that was sent to participants of ARRL VHF contests late last year. For full rules and details, visit<>. 

- Tnx CQ VHF+ Editor Trent Fleming, N4DTF

Thursday, April 7, 2022

$35 FCC License Fee Kicks in April 19 – License Upgrades Excluded

The FCC's new $35 filing fee for nearly all amateur radio license applications takes effect on April 19. The fee was among many adopted in December of 2020 but the effective date was delayed until the Commission's computer systems could be upgraded to handle the changes. 

The new fee applies to most license-related applications, including new licenses, renewals and vanity call sign requests. It does not apply to license upgrades or purely administrative filings, such as a change of name or address. 

The fee is separate from the exam fee collected by most volunteer exam teams and is paid directly to the FCC via its Universal Licensing System website, <>. For more details, visit <>.

Dayton Awards Announced - KF8J, VA7OJ/AB4OJ, N6IZW, Highland ARC Honored

The Dayton Hamvention® Awards Committee has announce its 2022 honorees. The Dayton awards are considered among the most prestigious in amateur radio. The Amateur of the Year award goes to the Hamvention's own Jim Simpson, KF8J. A member of the Hamvention Committee continuously since 1973, Simpson twice served as General Chairman and has held a variety of other posts both within the Hamvention Committee and the parent Dayton Amateur Radio Association. He also founded the Xenia Weather Radio Network after the town that now hosts the Hamvention was devastated by a tornado in 1974, and has been instrumental in forming and continuing to help with the 4-H Amateur Radio Club in Xenia.

This year's Technical Achievement award goes to Adam Farson, VA7OJ/AB4OJ, in recognition of his decades of service in providing independent technical support for various HF radios, particularly ICOMs. He also conducts and reports on independent measurements of nearly all new radios, and has produced the only data radio for hobbyists that clearly delineates the performance of software defined radios (SDRs) across the spectrum of band noise levels.

The Hamvention's Special Achievement award this year goes to Kerry Banke, N6IZW. A microwave RF engineer, Banke has been a key contributor to the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program, designing and building both flight hardware and test equipment to certify the spaceworthiness of ARISS gear.

The 2022 Club of the Year is Ohio's Highland Amateur Radio Association, based in rural Highland County. The club has nearly 150 members, maintains five repeaters, hosts two weekly nets with average attendance of 28 hams, and holds both monthly and bi-monthly programs. Members are involved with emergency communications, Parks on the Air, and volunteer examining.

The awards will be presented at the Dayton Hamvention in May, the first in-person gathering for the event since 2019.

Friedrichshafen On, "HamCamp" Off

The organizers of Europe's largest hamfest, "Hamradio" in Friedrichshafen, Germany, say the show will return in-person this year, but the co-located youth "HamCamp" will not be held. 

According to the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC), the available facilities could not safely house over 100 young hams and adult supervisors in accordance with Covid protocols. DARC says it hopes to resume HamCamp in 2023..