Friday, October 14, 2022

KD2JTX Elected ITU Secretary-General

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, KD2JTX, has been
elected as the next Secretary-General of the
International Telecommunication Union, the
first woman to lead the international agency.
(ITU photo)
Doreen Bogdan-Martin, KD2JTX, has been elected as Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, the first woman to hold the position. She takes the reins of the United Nations agency for telecommunication regulation on January 1, 2023. 

Bogdan-Martin has been Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau since 2019, at that time becoming the first woman to hold a senior leadership position in the agency. She is the second radio amateur to hold the agency’s top spot. Dr. Hamadoun TourĂ©, HB9EHT, was Secretary-General from 2007 to 2014.

WRC-23 to be Held in Dubai

The International Telecommunication Union has announced that the 2023 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23) will be held from November 20 through December 15 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. WRCs are held every three to four years, at which time delegates from around the world review and, as needed, revise the ITU Radio Regulations, which provide an international framework for regulation of the RF spectrum and the orbits of communications satellites. The Radio Regulations include the basic structure of the Amateur Radio Service, including frequency allocations and license requirements. The ARRL and International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) are always involved in pre-conference deliberations and send observers to the conferences.

Hams Respond to Hurricanes Fiona and Ian

Amateur radio emergency communicators had a very busy month in September, with two major hurricanes wreaking havoc from the Caribbean to Canada. In addition to the various local EmComm organizations that were active in affected areas, the Hurricane Watch Net <> collected information on a broad scale to funnel to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.

According to HWN Net Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, the net activated four times for Hurricane Fiona as it swept through Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica before turning north and slamming into the Maritime Provinces of Canada. The net re-activated on September 26 for Hurricane Ian as it moved through the Cayman Islands and western Cuba before setting its sights on the west coast of Florida, where it caused historic levels of damage. The storm crossed the Florida peninsula and made landfall again in South Carolina, but as a much weaker system. 

Graves reported that the net’s volunteers racked up nearly 40 hours of on-air time for Fiona, followed by 93 hours for Hurricane Ian. The net forwarded nearly 200 surface reports to the National Hurricane Center and was involved in notifying officials of at least two people in Florida in need of being rescued. SATERN, the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network, was also heavily involved in relief efforts.

YOTA Camp ’23 Set for Canada

The third summer camp program for young radio amateurs from the Americas has been scheduled for July 16-21, 2023 at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. According to the Youth on the Air (YOTA) organization, a team from the Radio Amateurs of Canada will serve as the local host for the camp. The previous two camps were held at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in Ohio.

Online applications will be accepted at <> starting December 1 from amateurs aged 15-25 residing in North, Central or South America. A maximum of 30 campers will be accepted. Priority will be given to first-time applicants and those living outside the United States. Returning campers will serve as leaders during the camp. The YOTA organization encourages potential campers from outside Canada to start now on the process of obtaining a passport and any visas that may be necessary. More information is available on the YOTA website or from Camp Director Neil Rapp, WB9VPG <>.

VOA Headquarters Named Historic Site in Journalism

For the shortwave listeners among us ... the Society of Professional Journalists has designated the Voice of America’s Washington, DC, headquarters as a Historic Site in Journalism. 

"For 80 years, the Voice of America has been a source of solid and honest journalism,” according to a society announcement. “From its beginning in 1942, despite being a U.S. government agency, through custom, charters and law the editorial independence of VOA journalists has not wavered." 

A bronze plaque attesting to its status as a National Historic Site in Journalism will be installed outside VOA headquarters at 330 Independence Avenue in Washington.

RSGB to Host Transatlantic Centenary Tests

The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its “transatlantic tests” with a series of special event operations during the month of December. 

According to the ARRL Letter, the RSGB will be using five call signs, which the organization originally held in the 1920s: G5WS, "the first to get across" in the one-way tests of 1922; G5AT and G6XX, used during additional tests in 1923; G6ZZ, used for the first railroad-mobile amateur tests in 1924,and G3DR, originally used in the Scottish Highlands, which will now be operates as GM3DR. Variations on these calls will also be activated in different regions of the United Kingdom that are separate DXCC entities, according to the ARRL, including GM5WS (Scotland), GW5WS (Wales), GU5WS (Guernsey), GD5WS (Isle of Man), GJ5WS (Jersey), and GI5WS (Northern Ireland). Additional details are available from RSGB at <>.

Arecibo Observatory to Be Replaced by Education Center

The huge dish at the Arecibo Observatory
was destroyed by the telescope's collapse
in 2020. (Arecibo website photo)
The National Science Foundation has decided not to rebuild the iconic radiotelescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, instead winding down current scientific projects there and converting the facility to an educational center “to serve as a hub for STEM education and outreach.”

In an announcement in mid-October, NSF said it was soliciting proposals to manage the education, research and outreach elements of the new center. The announcement also specified that “(t)he solicitation does not include rebuilding the 305-meter telescope (which collapsed in 2020) or operational support for current scientific infrastructure, such as the 12-meter radio telescope or Lidar facility.” According to Angel Vazquez, WP3R, the head of telescope operations at Arecibo, all current scientific work at the facility will end on September 30, 2023.

Internet Archive Developing Digital Library of Amateur Radio and Communications

The Internet Archive has begun gathering materials for its new Digital Library of Amateur Radio and Communications (DLARC), an initiative funded by the Amateur Radio Digital Communications foundation (ARDC). 

According to Special Collections Program Manager Kay Savetz, K6KJN, the project is “looking for partners and contributors with troves of ham radio, amateur radio, and early digital communications related books, magazines, documents, catalogs, manuals, videos, software, personal archives, and other historical records collections, no matter how big or small. In addition to physical material to digitize, we are looking for podcasts, newsletters, video channels, and other digital content that can enrich the DLARC collections.”

Savetz explains that the library “will be a free online resource that combines archived digitized print materials, born-digital content, websites, oral histories, personal collections, and other related records and publications. The goals of the DLARC are to document the history of amateur radio and to provide freely available educational resources for researchers, students, and the general public.” For more information or to inquire about donating materials, contact Savetz at <>.

Applications Closing Soon for Club Grants, ARISS Contacts

The application window for a second round of grants from the ARRL Foundation’s Club Grant Program will close on November 4th. In the first round, two dozen clubs shared grants totaling $270,000, funded by ARDC, Amateur Radio Digital Communications. According to the ARRL Letter, another $230,000 will be awarded in round two. Information and applications are available at <>. An informational webinar may be viewed on ARRL's YouTube channel at <>.

Separately, the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program (ARISS) has a November 13 deadline for educational institutions or organizations to apply for large-group contacts with a crew member on the International Space Station in the second half of 2023. According to the ARRL Letter, ARISS is looking for proposals that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate into a well-developed education plan. Additional information is available on the ARISS International website at <>.

FCC: Unused Satellites Must be Deorbited Within 5 Years

The FCC has adopted a new rule requiring owners of out-of-service satellites to remove them from orbit within five years, a significant acceleration from the previous rule which provided a 25-year deorbiting window. 

According to the AMSAT News Service, the goal is to reduce the risk of collisions in the ever-more crowded low-earth orbits inhabited by many communication satellites. The reduction in time was recommended by NASA, which is concerned about the growing amount of space junk in Earth orbit. 

According to ANS, it’s estimated that there are already some 100 million pieces of space junk in orbit, much of it too small to track but not too small to cause significant damage in a collision. The ANS report did not indicate what impact the new rule may have on amateur satellites, some of which have spontaneously reactivated themselves after many years of theoretically being “out of service.”

Hawaiian Hams Drill for Hurricane Response as Tropical Storm Approaches

(Source: Hawaii ARES website)
The long-planned “Makani 'Ino,” or “Big Wind” drill to test the ability of Hawaii’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) to respond to a strike by a major hurricane, took place on July 16 as Tropical Storm Darby was heading toward the islands. The ARRL Letter reports that over 100 amateurs participated, passing more than 250 Winlink and voice messages to served agencies. 

According to the Letter, the drill simulated severe infrastructure failure as a hurricane “impacted every island's electrical power, internet service, and cell phone service. High winds, catastrophic rains, and storm surges on coastal lands produced flooding in many areas,” according to the scenario. Fortunately for everyone involved, the real storm weakened as it approached the islands and never grew to hurricane status.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

CQ News: Mark Wohlschlegel, WC3W, Named CQ DX Marathon Director

(Photo courtesy WC3W)
(Sayville, NY) – Mark Wohlschlegel, WC3W, has been appointed as Director of the CQ DX Marathon, CQ Editor Rich Moseson, W2VU, announced today. Mark succeeds John Sweeney, K9EL, who has held the post since the program was reinstituted in 2006.

An electrical engineer, Mark has been a ham radio operator since age 12. He currently lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, with his wife of 49 years. Both his wife and two adult children are licensed hams. Due to antenna restrictions in his home community, Mark and a ham friend have built a remote station about 80 miles from his home QTH (photos on Mark and his wife spend about five months of each year in Grand Lake, Colorado, where he has a small HF station and a UHF repeater.

Mark’s operating preferences are CW, FT8, and SSB, in that order.  He routinely chases DX on all bands. Besides amateur radio, Mark flies single engine airplanes, enjoys motorcycle riding and sailing, and is a musician in his church.

Wohlschlegel says his goals for the DX Marathon program include working to double participation over the next 3-5 years by increasing the number of categories and encouraging greater participation by DX clubs around the world.

“I want to thank John Sweeney for getting the DX Marathon up and running in 2006 and guiding it successfully through the past 16 years,” said Moseson. “Building an activity like this from the ground up is a huge challenge. I also look forward to working with Mark in the future. I am very impressed with his dedication to the DX Marathon program and his vision for its future.”

Wohlschlegel will take over as DX Marathon director with the 2023 running of the year-long activity. Complete rules for the 2023 CQ DX Marathon will appear in the November issue of CQ.