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 <>.