Friday, October 13, 2023

FCC Back to Full Strength

New FCC Commissioner Anna Gomez (left)
with FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel
soon after her swearing-in ceremony.
(FCC photo via Instagram)
The FCC is finally back to having five commissioners, after the Senate voted in early September to confirm the nomination of Anna Gomez to fill a long-vacant seat. This will allow the Commission to take action on significant issues, as it previously had been deadlocked with two commissioners from each major political party. 

Gomez is a former high-level FCC staffer, and just prior to her appointment was working for the State Department, leading the U.S. preparations for the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23). According to the ARRL Letter, Gomez has been succeeded in that role by Steve Lang, the State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Information and Communications Policy. He had already been working closely with Gomez on WRC-23 preparations.

ARRL Asks Hams to Comment on FCC 60-Meter Proposal

The ARRL is asking hams who use the 60-meter (5-MHz) band to file comments in response to the FCC’s proposal to bring the U.S. allocation for the band into conformity with the structure approved several years ago by a previous WRC. 

The effect of the change would be to replace the five discrete channels on the band with a continuous 15-kHz-wide band segment. It would also reduce permitted power from the current 100-watt ERP (effective radiated power) maximum to 15 watts EIRP (effective isotropic radiated power), which is equivalent to 9.1 watts ERP, per the ARRL Letter. The docket number is WT 23-120, and the comment period runs through October 30.

The League encourages amateurs to urge the FCC to maintain the 100-watt power maximum and to keep secondary amateur access to the four current channels that are not included in the proposed new allocation.

Solar Maximum May Be Approaching

NASA/SDO photo
We may be nearing the maximum of Solar Cycle 25, based on observed weakening of the sun’s north and south poles. According to SpaceNews, this is typical as solar max approaches, as the polarity of the sun’s poles reverses with each new cycle. 

According to the report, recent measurements by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, indicate that the magnetic fields in the sun’s polar regions are rapidly weakening and are likely to disappear entirely before flipping polarity. This phenomenon has been observed at the peak of every solar cycle since scientists learned how to measure the strength of the sun’s magnetic field.

Three Hams Among RCA Honorees

The Radio Club of America’s annual list of honorees for radio-related accomplishments includes three hams this year. According to
 Newsline, they are Ruth Willett, KM4LAO, first recipient of the club’s Carole Perry Young Professional Award; ICOM’s Ray Novak, N9JA, recipient of this year’s special service award; and the RCA Business Award goes to Tim Duffy, K3LR, and DX Engineering, of which he is CEO. Duffy is also a past president of RCA, a longtime member of the CQ Contest Committee and a member of the CQ Contest Hall of Fame. 

Intrepid DX Group Announces 4th Youth Essay Contest

The Intrepid DX Group is again sponsoring its Youth Dream Rig Essay Contest, in which the top prize is – you guessed it – a really great ham rig! Entrants must be age 19 or younger, hold a U.S. or Canadian ham license and submit a two-page essay describing what attracted them to amateur radio.

Entry deadline is November 30 and winners will be announced in December. More information is available at <>.

Young Ham of the Year Award Presented to W0AAE

2023 Newsline Young Ham of
 the Year Kees Van Oosbree,
 W0AAE (K0NEB photo)

Kees Van Oosbree, W0AAE, a 19-year-old ham from Maple Grove, Minnesota, was presented with the 2023 Bill Pasternak Memorial Newsline Young Ham of the Year award at the Huntsville Hamfest in Alabama on August 19. Van Oosbree was honored for his leadership in both the Youth on the Air (YOTA) Americas program and the Remote Ham Radio Youth Network.

Amateur Radio Newsline anchor Don Wilbanks, AE5DW , was the master of ceremonies at the annual presentation. Joining Don and Kees on stage was Yaesu USA Sales Office Manager Nori Romero), who came bearing gifts! 

Yaesu is a corporate sponsor of the Newsline Young Ham of the Year award, along with CQ, Heil Sound and RadioWavz antennas. 


Software for Digital Voice Modes Getting an Upgrade

The Multimode Digital Voice Modem project, which supports most of the digital voice modes used in amateur radio, is about to get a software upgrade through the efforts of Jonathan Naylor, G4KLX, and with funding from ARDC, the Amateur Radio Digital Communications foundation. 

According to Newsline, the open-source modem project supports D-STAR, Yaesu System Fusion, NXDN and more than 80% of the hotspots and repeaters on the Brandmeister-DMR network. In addition, Naylor is working on developing high-speed packet modes that will support narrow-bandwidth digital voice signals.

Air Force MARS Turns 75

The Air Force arm of MARS, the Military Auxiliary Radio Service, is celebrating its 75th anniversary next month with special event stations operating from the Pentagon and all ten of the system’s “wings.”

Newsline reports that certificates will be awarded for contacts with multiple AF MARS special event stations, which will be on the air between November 5th and Veterans Day, November 11th. Certificates will be downloadable and will be available after November 30th. For more information, visit <>.

ARRL Foundation Turns 50; Accepting Grant Applications

The ARRL Foundation is observing its 50th anniversary this year, and is now accepting applications for grants to be awarded next year. According to the ARRL Letter, clubs and other amateur radio organizations may apply for grants for ham-related projects and initiatives, especially those related to education and licensing, and particularly those with a focus on young people.

The application deadline for grants to be awarded next June is October 31. Details are available at <>.

ARRL Launches New Newsletter

The ARRL has added “The NTS Letter” to its roster of newsletters, focusing on message-handling and the NTS 2.0 vision of a 21st-century National Traffic System. 

The newsletter will be published online monthly and is edited by Marcia Forde, KW1U, the Section Traffic Manager for the Western Massachusetts, Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island ARRL sections. The first issue was e-mailed to ARRL members in early October. Input is solicited for future issues. Marcia may be contacted at <>.

Applications Open for 2024 ARISS Contacts

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program, or ARISS, is seeking applications from schools and other educational organizations for scheduled contacts with space station crew members in the second half of 2024. 

According to the ARRL Letter, “ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan.” Applications will be accepted through November 10th. Details are available at <>.

Petition Started to Save BBC Longwave Service

A group of longwave radio fans in the United Kingdom has launched a petition on to try to pressure the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) into reversing a decision to shut down its 198-kHz Radio 4 Longwave service at the end of next March, just six months before its 90th anniversary. 

According to Newsline, the BBC says longwave is a “dying technology,” while its fans call it “a historic radio lifeline” and note that its transmitter at Droitwich efficiently covers most of the UK and northern Europe. The BBC says it plans to move many of the station’s most popular programs to other platforms.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Nets Ramp Up for Idalia

Projected path for tropical cyclone Idalia as of
2100 UTC August 28. (National Hurricane
Center map)
As the first tropical system expected to make landfall in the eastern United States this year gains strength in the western Caribbean and has its sights set on Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, several ham radio emergency nets are preparing to activate.

The Hurricane Watch Net announced plans to activate as of 1200 UTC on Tuesday, August 29 on 14.325 MHz, shifting to 7.268 MHz at 2300 UTC. The net will remain active as long as the storm is a threat to land. The National Hurricane Center currently expects Idalia to cross the Florida peninsula and impact the Atlantic coastlines of Georgia and the Carolinas before heading out to sea. More detail on HWN operations may be found at

In addition to the Hurricane Watch Net, the VOipWX Net and Auxcomm USA will be listening for reports to be relayed to WX4NHC, the amateur station at the National Hurricane Center. Activity will be centered on the Echolink WXTalk conference server 7203 and Internet Relay Protocol 9219. Other internet-linked nets will be active as well. For more information, visit and/or

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

ARRL Raises Dues, Makes Print Magazines Added-Cost Options

The ARRL Board of Directors approved a 20% dues increase and a major shift in member benefits at its July meeting. Starting next year, standard one-year dues will increase from $49 to $59, and will continue to include access to the digital editions of all four ARRL publications, QST, On the Air, QEX and the National Contest Journal (NCJ). However, print editions of the magazines – including QST – will become added-cost options at $25 per publication per year, bringing the cost of a traditional one-year ARRL membership with print QST to $84. According to a letter to members from ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, it is the League's first dues increase in 22 years. 

In addition, new life memberships were put on hold while the staff determines how to make the program self-sustaining once again. This move also eliminates the time-honored tradition among ARRL members of jumping in to life memberships just before a dues increase.

A video on accessing the League's digital publications  "How to View ARRL Magazines Digitally" – is on the ARRL YouTube channel at <>.

ARRL Files in Opposition to Commercial HF Petition

The ARRL has filed comments with the FCC in opposition to a petition by the "Shortwave Modernization Coalition" to permit high-powered digital transmissions on a variety of HF bands, including some immediately adjacent to popular amateur bands. 

Calling the petition "seriously flawed," the ARRL urged the FCC to turn it down, based on a technical analysis conducted by the ARRL lab over a period of several months to determine the likelihood of interference to amateur communications from high-powered digital signals just outside the ham bands. 

"This petition seeks to put 50-kHz wide, 20,000-watt signals immediately next to seven different amateur bands with weaker protections against interference than required in other services," said the League in its comments, adding that, harmful interference "is not just likely, but certain, if the rules proposed by SMC are adopted as proposed. It is noteworthy that SMC's proposed rules would provide less protection than the much-lower power amateur radio transmitters are required to provide Part 90 receivers."

Several hundred amateurs filed comments in opposition before the comment period closed, according to ARRL. The FCC will now consider all of the comments received and make a decision at some point in the future. The "Wall Street Journal" reported on the proposal and the ham radio opposition in early August. The article is available online at <>.

From Beanie Babies to Earth Orbit: 20 Years of CubeSats

A typical CubeSat measures 10 centimeters
on each side and weighs 1 kilogram or 
less. (CQ Newsroom archive photo)
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the CubeSat, a small, standardized satellite spaceframe that opened up space launches to countries around the world and revolutionized the satellite industry. And of course, there was a ham at the helm. 

Back at the turn of the century, Professor Bob Twiggs, KE6QMD, then of Stanford University (now at Morehead State University in Kentucky) and Professor Jordi Puig-Suari of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo were looking for a way to provide university students with hands-on experience in designing and building satellites. 

The result was the CubeSat, described by the AMSAT News Service as "a tiny satellite with the dimensions of a square tissue box," which broke through the previous satellite barriers of extremely high cost and lengthy development times. They developed a standardized cube, measuring 10 centimeters on each side and weighing only 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds), into which student-designed experiments could be mounted and then launched into space as "hitchhikers" on rockets with other primary payloads. According to a 2012 article in the Journal of Small Satellites, Twiggs said the basic design of the CubeSat was based on the 4-inch cube packaging for Beanie Babies, which were extremely popular toys at the time.

The first CubeSat was launched in 2003. According to ANS, the CubeSat's design was released as an open standard and "opened the doors to space" not only for university space science programs, but also "for many countries that launched their first-ever satellites, including Colombia, Switzerland, Hungary, Vietnam," and others. Many amateur radio satellites launched over the past two decades have also been CubeSats.

Fair Radio Sales Closing as Owner Retires

An institution in the surplus electronics marketplace is closing its doors. Lima, Ohio-based Fair Radio Sales ( announced its upcoming closure on its website in early August. Owner Phil Sellati said it was time to retire after more than 50 years in the surplus electronics business. Fair Radio has been open even longer, dating back to 1947. Sellati did not provide a closing date but said it would be "several months" and encouraged those interested in surplus gear and accessories to "buy an item, a pallet or a truckload." (Tnx NL7XM)

Hurricane Watch Net Recruiting Bilingual Net Controllers

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) is looking for hams who are fluent in both Spanish and English and/or in French Creole and English, to train to become net control operators on the severe weather network.

The ARRL reports that is particularly interested in recruiting potential net control stations from the central and western regions of the United States, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean.

The HWN activates whenever a named storm in the Atlantic or Caribbean is within 300 miles of a populated land area, or at the request of the National Hurricane Center. The net collects reports of actual conditions in storm-affected areas – known by meteorologists as "ground truth" – and relays those reports to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center via the center's ham station, WX4NHC. It also disseminates the latest storm updates from the NHC.

Net control operators can expect to work shifts of several hours at a time, directing the flow of information. Net Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, says candidates will receive training and work with a mentor during a probationary period. For more information, visit <>.

Three Hams to Fly to Space Station as Members of SpaceX Crew 8

The four members of SpaceX Crew 8 include
three licensed hams. (NASA photo by Bill Stafford)
NASA announced the roster for the SpaceX Crew 8 mission to the International Space Station in early August, and the AMSAT News Service reports that three of the four crew members are radio amateurs. 

The three hams on the crew include mission commander Matthew Dominick, KC0TOR, making his first flight to space; pilot Michael Barratt, KD5MIJ, making his third trip to the space station; and mission specialist Jeanette Epps, KF5QNU, another first-timer. The fourth crew member named is Russian cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, also a mission specialist. The crew is expected to launch to the space station early next year for what is described as "a long-duration stay."


FCC Hiring Field Agents

If you're an electrical engineer with experience in RF engineering and looking for a job, the FCC may be looking for you! The ARRL Letter reports that the Commission is hiring agents to work in field offices in New York City, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Candidates must be able to operate all technical equipment typically used in the field. Agents will issue violation notices as required and will maintain contact with and assist other law enforcement agencies regarding RF issues.

Applications are being accepted through August 24. The complete job postings are online at <> (New York, Boston and Chicago), and at <> (Los Angeles and San Francisco). 




Monday, July 17, 2023

Europeans Dominate WRTC Competition

A long-standing knowledge of HF propagation from Europe seems to have been a major advantage in the delayed-until-2023 2022 World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC), held in Italy in early July in conjunction with the IARU HF Championship contest. According to the website, virtually all of the top scorers were Europeans. No US team finished higher than 10th place.

The first-place finisher was I44W, operated by UW7LL and VE3DZ (the only non-European in a top spot). Second place went to I43C, captained by DJ5MW and DL1IAO; and the third place winner was I49D, operated by 9A7DX and 9A3LG. Other top slots included: Phone - I43L (YU5EEA/9A3SMS), CW - I47M (F8DBF/F1AKK), Mults - I44W (UW7LL/VE3DZ), Youth - I43O (YL3JA/UR5YKO), and Accuracy - I43C (DJ5MW/DL1IAO). 

FCC Considering Proposal for New Commercial Use of HF Bands

As traditional users of the shortwave spectrum move their operations to satellites and the internet, a group of businesses in the financial sector is seeking to use HF for high-speed, high-power data transmissions. The ARRL reports that the "Shortwave Modernization Coalition" has petitioned the FCC for use of multiple frequencies between 2 and 25 MHz with power authorizations up to 20 kilowatts. 

While Newsline reports that the FCC says that the proposed uses would not impact spectrum used exclusively by amateur radio, maritime or aeronautical services, the ARRL points out that some requested frequencies are immediately adjacent to amateur bands, which could be affected by high-power digital signals. Comments are due by July 31, with reply comments open until August 15. The full petition may be found at <>.

Bill to Pre-Empt HOA Antenna Restrictions Reintroduced in Congress


A Republican Congressman from Ohio and a Democrat from Connecticut have jointly introduced a bill to force homeowners' associations (HOAs) to allow amateur radio antennas in the developments that they control. HR 4006 would remove private land use restrictions that prevent amateur radio operators from installing and using "reasonable antennas" on property that they own or control. 

This month's "Learning Curve" column is devoted to the bill and recommendations for encouraging your congressional representative to support it. The full text of the bill may be found at <>.

Kees Van Oosbree, W0AAE, Named 2023 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year

2023 Newsline Young Ham of the Year
Kees Van Oosbree, W0AAE
(Photo courtesy AR Newsline)
Nineteen-year-old Kees Van Oosbree, W0AAE, of Maple Grove, Minnesota, has been selected as the 2023 Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, Memorial Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year. Kees was honored for his leadership in helping other young amateurs through Youth on the Air (YOTA)-Americas program and the Remote Ham Radio Youth Network. 

A visit to a museum with an amateur radio station at age 12 sparked his interest in becoming a ham, Van Oosbree told Newsline. Studying on his own, he quickly earned his Technician and General Class licenses, then joined the Minnesota Wireless Association and developed his interest in contesting. 

“HF was my life,” Kees said. “Contesting is pretty much my main thing in amateur radio although I do branch out and do other things.”

Among those "other things" is YOTA-Americas, in which he has taken on a variety of leadership roles including the training of youth operators, serving as QSL manager for W8Y contacts made with YOTA campers and sharing his interest in remote operating. 

A 2023 graduate, and class valedictorian, of Heritage Christian Academy in his hometown, Kees will be attending Iowa State University this fall, where he plans to study aerospace engineering. 

The YHOTY award will be presented to Kees during a ceremony at the Huntsville Hamfest in Alabama on August 19. Amateur Radio Newsline, CQ magazine, and Yaesu USA are primary sponsors of the award, along with Heil Sound, Ltd. and Radiowavz Antenna Company. 

Young Hams in the Spotlight at Hamvention

The young hams who made presentations at the
2023 Dayton Hamvention Youth Forum. From left:
Lyle Strachan, KE0ZNV; Javan Miller, W8UA;
Collin Holdsworth, K0NNK; Forum Moderator Carole
Perry, WB2MGP; Landon Baumgartner, KE8TJU;
 Katie Campbell, KE8LQR, and Grace Papay,
KE8RJU. (Photo courtesy WB2MGP)
Once again, the Dayton Hamvention® Youth Forum highlighted the accomplishments of young radio amateurs. This year, there were six presenters describing their involvement in various ham radio activities and events. 

The forum coordinator, as always, was Carole Perry, WB2MGP, who also presented the 11th annual "Young Ham Lends a Hand" award to 16-year-old Bernadette Wagner, KE8LWO, and Kees VanOosbree, W0AAE, age 19, who was independently selected as the 2023 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year (see above story). The award recognizes young hams who have "given back" in some way to their community, school, neighbors handicapped individuals, seniors, or to military personnel in need of assistance. 

According to Carole, Bernadette’s dedication to recruiting other young people into ham radio, her involvement her local ham radio club, volunteering with the scouting community, her commitment to community service through her church, and her selflessness in helping her younger siblings are all examples of her outstanding character and her desire to make a positive impact on the world.

Kees, said Perry, is currently the QSL manager for YOTA Americas.  He also handles public relations, scheduling young operators, managing logs, and recruiting operators. In addition, he is active in a Remote Ham Radio for Youth initiative where he assists all those who need help.

The Young Ham Lends a Hand program is supported by the Radio Club of America, Quarter Century Wireless Association, and Evan Rolek, K9SQG. Each winner receives $100.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Attendance Up at Europe's Biggest Hamfest

The annual "HAM RADIO" show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, drew a crowd of over 11,000 attendees this year, up 10% from 2022, according to Newsline

The show, Europe's largest, had close to 400 exhibitors, according to the ARRL Letter, including 149 commercial exhibitors and international associations (including ARRL), as well as 243 flea market vendors, an increase of 15% from last year. The show's theme this year was "We're all about STEM!" (science, technology, engineering and math), and included many youth-focused activities.

JY1's Ham Station Donated to RSGB

JY1 QSL card
(Courtesy K8CX Ham Gallery)
Jordan's Queen Noor has donated the ham station equipment of her late husband, King Hussein, JY1, to the Radio Society of Great Britain. The king was very active on the ham bands and always introduced himself simply as "Hussein" to ham contacts. 

The ARRL Letter reports that RSGB is preparing a permanent exhibition of the JY1 station at its National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park.

Milestones: W5NYV Honored as a Woman of Influence in Engineering

Michelle Thompson, W5NYV
(Open Research Institute photo)
Open Research Institute (ORI) co-founder and CEO Michelle Thompson, W5NYV, is among this year's "Women of Influence in Engineering," a list assembled each year by the San Diego Business Journal. 

The ARRL Letter reports that Thompson, a third-generation ham, has been licensed for more than 25 years. Through amateur radio, she told the Letter, " I was drawn to the vocation of helping people navigate difficult rules and regulations that impeded their learning and success."

Thompson is heavily involved in amateur satellite service regulatory reform and is a member of the FCC's Technological Advisory Council. She is also chair of the San Diego section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and founder of the institute's Information Theory Society.

Milestones: Bouvet Puts NF7E at the Top of the Honor Roll … and in the Newspaper

When Bob Wertz, NF7E, of Flagstaff, Arizona, received his confirmation for working the 3Y0J DXpedition to Bouvet earlier this year, it was his 340th confirmed DX entity, putting him at the Top of the Honor Roll for DXCC, and that put him in the local nbewspaper! The Flagstaff Business News ran an excellent article on Bob, DXing and ham radio in general. He was hoping that the article would draw prospective hams to the Flagstaff Hamfest (also mentioned in the article) on July 15.

It's good to keep in mind that local newspapers and internet news outlets are always interested in stories about accomplishments by area residents and can often be good ways to promote amateur radio. The article can be found at <> on page 14.

ARDC Grant Provides New Antennas and Satellite Capability for Museum Ham Station

A grant from ARDC, the Amateur Radio Digital Communications foundation, has allowed the radio club of the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut in Windsor to upgrade its antennas and add satellite capability to its demonstration station, W1VCM. 

According to the ARRL Letter, the new equipment includes a high-gain antenna system with computer-controlled tracking and a satellite-capable transceiver. While the museum focuses on vintage radio gear, officials feel a modern ham station complements the collections and helps to reinforce the history that has led to our current communications capabiliites.

A New "OTA" – Scout Camps On The Air

There's a new "OTA" program joining islands, summits, parks, and lighthouses on the air … Scout Camps On The Air, or SCOTA. 

According to Newsline, the goal is to promote amateur radio operations from scout camps, non-camp Scout-operated stations and everyone else who works them. 

The program is the brainchild of Matt Murphy, KR8E. It isa still in the formative stages. Interested hams are invited to follow progress or contribute to it by following the group on Twitter  <@SCOTA_k2bsa> or on Instagram at <scota_k2bsa>. 

YOTA Camp On the Air July 16-21

The Youth on the Air Americas summer camp station will be on the air from July 16-21 and will be looking to contact you! This year's YOTA camp is being held on the campus of Carlton University in Ottawa, Ontario. Special event station VE3YOTA will be active from there, from the Diefenbunker Cold War Museum in nearby Carp, and from a two-for-one Parks On the Air (POTA) location. A contact with the International Space Station is also scheduled.

According to a YOTA Americas news release, activation of the VE3YOTA callsign will begin on Sunday, July 16 and conclude at 2 p.m. on Friday, July 21. Youth will operate the station as they finish projects, between sessions, and during free time. Opening and closing ceremonies and the ISS contact will be streamed live on YouTube. For more information, visit <>.

Youth DX Adventure Station W3Y to be QRV on July 29

After being forced to cancel its planned trip to Curacao due to the extensive delays in processing passport applications, the Dave Kalter Youth DX Adventure shifted gears and is operating this summer from a premier DXing location rather than a DX location. 

The ARRL Letter reports that special event station W3Y will be operated from the K3LR contest superstation in western Pennsylvania on July 29. The team of 4-5 young hams between ages 12 and 17 will have the opportunity to work the world from one of the world's major contesting stations. 

The Dave Kalter Youth DX Adventure program normally sends a group of young hams on a DXpedition each summer. It is sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association and named in memory of Dave Kalter, KB8OCP, who became a Silent Key in 2013.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

FCC Universal Licensing System Back Online

The FCC announced today that its Universal Licensing System (ULS), which has been offline since June 9 due to technical issues, is once again up and running. Any filings with deadlines between June 9 and June 29 have been automatically extended to June 30. The outage also affected the FCC's Tower Construction Notification System, Antenna Structure Notification System and E-106 System. All of these are back online as well.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Floods in Italy Cause Last-Minute Scramble for WRTC

WRTC-2022, the World Radiosport Team Championship already delayed a year due to Covid travel restrictions, will go on despite major flooding in the region of Italy where the competition is scheduled to take place. According to Newsline, several planned station sites were rendered unusable by the floods, but organizers say replacement sites have been found. 

At press time, the logistics for those new sites were still being worked out, but organizers were confident everything would be ready in time for the international competition on July 8-9. Additional donations were being sought to cover added expenses associated with these last-minute changes. For updates, visit <>.

Hamvention® Reports Record Attendance

The Dayton Amateur Radio Association has released its official attendance figure for the 2023 Hamvention®, reported at 33,681. 

This is an increase of 2000 over 2022, the show's first year back after two pandemic-prompted cancellations. It is also a record for the Hamvention's "new" site at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center, eclipsing the 2019 record of 32,472. 

Anna Gomez Nominated to FCC; Carr and Starks Renominated

FCC Nominee Anna Gomez
(NTIA photo)
President Biden has nominated telecommunications attorney Anna Gomez to fill a vacant seat on the FCC and break the long-standing 2-2 Republican / Democratic tie on the commission that has blocked significant action. 

According to RadioWorld, Gomez currently works for the State Department, leading preparations for U.S. participation in the World Radiocommunication Conference scheduled for later this year. She served previously as deputy administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA – which serves many of the same functions of the FCC relating to federal government spectrum usage) and spent 12 years as an FCC staffer, rising to Deputy Chief of the International Bureau. Her nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.

Mr. Biden also nominated current FCC commissioners Brendan Carr, a Republican, and Geoffrey Starks, a Democrat, to serve additional terms. Carr has been a commissioner since 2017; Starks since 2019. The five-member FCC is structured to have at least two members from each major political party, with the fifth position filled by a member of the President's party.

Passages… K7JA, DL6RAI, WB2D, Silent Keys

Chip Margelli, K7JA, became a Silent Key
in late May. (WB6NOA photo)
The ham radio community lost three well-known amateurs in about as many weeks in late May and early June. The best-known was Charles "Chip" Margelli, K7JA, who was a leader of the amateur radio industry for over 40 years. You'll find a full obituary and remembrances of Chip in the July issue of CQ. 

In mid-May, just before he was to be inducted into the CQ Contest Hall of Fame, Bernhard "Ben" Buettner, DL6RAI, died as a result of a tower accident at his contest station in Aruba. Ben was a leader of the contesting community in Germany, and indeed, worldwide. He served on the CQ World Wide Contest Committee and was a major part of the organizing team for the 2018 World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC) in Germany. In 2014, he purchased the P49V contest station in Aruba from Carl Cook, AI6V/P49V (now an SK), and he was working on antennas there when his key was silenced by a tower accident.

Finally, former ARRL and CQ staffer Peter O'Dell, WB2D, passed away in early June. Peter and CQ columnist Wayne Yoshida, KH6WZ, were the ARRL's public relations team in the 1980s when Owen Garriott, W5LFL, took ham radio into space for the first time, and Pete was the founding editor of the ARRL Letter. At CQ, O'Dell was involved in a variety of special projects, including the launch of CQ's long-running series of buyer's guides, and he authored Ham Radio Horizons – The Book to introduce new and prospective amateurs to the hobby. After leaving CQ, Peter launched his own business helping hams learn Morse code through hypnosis. 


ARRL Cements Relationship with Federal Emergency Response Network

The ARRL has renewed a long-standing Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which keeps amateur radio as part of the "response ecosystem" in FEMA's National Incident Management System (NIMS) Information and Communications Technology Functional Guidance document. According to the ARRL: Letter, the new MOA "emphasizes the importance of skilled amateur radio operators in times of crisis and the role of ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) leadership within the emergency communications space."

The ARRL Letter also reports that the League has been invited to become a member association of SAFECOM, "a group of national thought leaders and officials within the emergency communications and response space that works to set (interoperability) standards at every level." SAFECOM is under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA. ARRL Emergency Management Director Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, will be the League's representative on SAFECOM <>.

Cass Awards Go to SP9FIH and TY0RU

Six-time individual Cass Award
winner SP9FIH. (Photo from
Cass Award website)
In an effort to encourage DXpeditions to work as many different stations as possible (as opposed to working the same stations on multiple bands and modes), Club Log, DXLab and the Northern California DX Club jointly award the Cass Awards each year to the single-operator and group DXpeditions which have worked the greatest number of unique call signs.

The sponsors report that the 2022 single-op winner, for the sixth year in a row, is Janusz Wegryzn, SP9FIH, who worked 10,771 different stations from St. Barthelemy Island during a two-week one-person DXpedition as FJ/SP9FIH.

The unlimited class, or group DXpedition, award for 2022 went to the team that operated TY0RU from Benin last October, contacting 33,553 unique call signs, a new record for the unlimited Cass award. 

The awards are named for the late Hugh Cassidy, WA6AUD, longtime publisher of the West Coast DX Bulletin. More information is available at <>.

California Ham Fined $24,000 for QRM

A ham in California has been hit with a $24,000 fine by the FCC for alleged interference with a net on 75 meters and failure to identify his station. 

The ARRL Letter reports that Philip J. Beaudet, N6PJB, of Burney, California, was cited for "willfully and repeatedly interfering with the radio communications of the Western Amateur Radio Friendship Association (WARFA) while it was attempting to hold a regularly scheduled net, and for failing to provide station identification on amateur radio frequencies." According to the report, FCC field agents monitored the transmission of recordings that caused interference and tracked the signals to Beaudet's home station.

Australian Government Gets Back Into the Ham Licensing Business

The Australian Communications and Media Authority – that country's telecommunications regulator – reportedly will resume direct licensing of amateur radio operators as of next February. 

According to the ARRL Letter, the agency had previously delegated amateur licensing to the Australian Maritime College, which decided not to renew the arrangement when it expires early next year. A corps of volunteer "assessors" (examiners) organized by the college will remain in place and will administer exams directly on behalf of the government.

Take Your Own Photos From Space?

A new satellite being developed by students at Stanford University will allow amateur radio operators to download specific photos taken by the satellite and, if all goes according to plan, direct the satellite to take a picture on command. Different modulation techniques for transmitting the images will be analyzed.

According to the AMSAT News Service, the Sapling Magnifica satellite's primary mission will be to prove several key technologies needed for future Stanford Student Space Initiative satellites to host scientific payloads. The International Amateur Radio Union has coordinated downlink frequencies of 437.400 and 2427.00 MHz. Launch is tentatively planned for later this year. More information is available at <>.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Charles "Chip" Margelli, K7JA, SK

Chip Margelli, K7JA, operating Field Day, one
of his favorite ham radio activities. (Photos
courtesy Gordon West, WB6NOA)
One of the best-known amateurs of the past 40 years has become a Silent Key. CQ joins the contesting and DXing communities in mourning the loss of Charles "Chip" Margelli, K7JA, to cancer on May 25. We first received the news from his close friend and CQ Contributing Editor Gordon West, WB6NOA:

"Chip left us yesterday at 4pm, after spending weeks putting together Field Day station antennas and gear. That is all he would talk about - a great station on the air! He was ready for Field Day!

He and Janet (KL7MF, Chip's wife of 45 years) fought this fast-spreading cancer for months, with never a word to most anyone about his heroic fight. He passed away peacefully, with dignity, at his home, with Janet and his cat at his side. He gracefully closed his eyes, with piles of Field Day equipment and cables he prepared, ready for deployment, right next to his chair.

Chip never complained, never let on to his fight, and always had a smile for the upcoming Field Day event. So professional. He was always total positive in all that he could do for ham radio operators.

What a gentleman - a true fighter to the end. We are all heartbroken."

Chip with his wife of 45 years, Janet, KL7MF

Chip was a ham's ham, a contester (and frequent winner), DXer, DXpeditioner (he was part of the ZA1A team that reintroduced ham radio to Albania in 1991 and a member of the 2003 CO0US joint US/Cuban Field Day operation), moonbouncer, weak-signal VHFer, satellite operator and more. Chip spent three decades as the "face" of Yaesu in the United States, attending hamfests, visiting dealers and introducing new gear. After leaving Yaesu, Chip worked for Heil Sound and as CQ Advertising Manager before leaving the hamfest circuit and working behind the scenes at Ham Radio Outlet. He couldn't totally stay home, though, as he continued to be in high demand as a banquet speaker at conventions and hamfests.

Chip is perhaps best known among the general ham public for his 2005 appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," in which he and partner Ken Miller, K6CTW, proved they could send a message faster in Morse code than by texting. Chip was inducted into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame in 2008 and awarded Russia's E.T. Krenkel medal in 2021

"In a hobby full of really nice and really knowledgeable people," recalled CQ Editor Rich Moseson, W2VU, "Chip was without question one of the nicest and most knowledgeable. He was experienced in nearly every aspect of amateur radio and was always happy to share that knowledge as well as his many ham radio adventures. While Chip was on the CQ staff for only a short period of time, he and Janet have been part of the extended CQ family for many years. More than that, he was always just a good friend. We will miss him greatly."

"OMG!" responded CQ Publisher Dick Ross, K2MGA, when he heard the news. "Chip was the picture of good health! He used to go out running at shows. He and Arnie (Sposato, longtime CQ ad manager, also SK) would be out early on a Sunday to do a few miles together. And he had just retired from HRO after a lifetime at Yaesu. Another old friend gone ... Certainly, we all know of those who were very sick and who we expected to leave us, but too often (others have) left us with no warning and no time to prepare our minds for the inevitable."

Words cannot even begin to express our sorrow. All of us at CQ extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Janet and their entire family.