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FCC Proposes to Reinstate Amateur Radio Service Fees


Amateur radio licensees would pay a $50 fee for each amateur radio license application if the FCC adopts rules it proposed this week. Included in the FCC’s fee proposal are applications for new licenses, renewal and upgrades to existing licenses, and vanity call sign requests. Excluded are applications for administrative updates, such as changes of address, and annual regulatory fees.

The FCC pr...

The K7RA Solar Update


Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: Our closest star seems to have quieted again. We have now experienced 7 consecutive days with no sunspots.

Average daily sunspot number dropped from 5.4 to 1.9 this week, and average daily solar flux declined from 71 to 70.4. Geomagnetic indicators increased marginally, with average daily planetary A index going from 4.4 to 5.1, and average middle latitude A ind...

Amateur Radio Volunteers Ready as Deadly Hurricane Laura Makes Landfall


Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) teams along the Gulf Coast were ready to assist as needed after Hurricane Laura made landfall as a powerful and deadly Category 4 storm along the Texas-Louisiana border with sustained winds of 150 MPH. The National Hurricane Center (NHC)-predicted “unsurvivable storm surge” was in the vicinity of 20 feet or greater, driving Gulf waters inland into waterwa...

FCC Grants Temporary Waiver to Permit PACTOR 4 for Emergency Communications


The FCC has granted an ARRL request for a 30-day waiver to facilitate relief communications in the wake of Hurricane Laura. The waiver temporarily permits amateur data transmissions at a higher symbol rate than currently permitted under the FCC’s rules. ARRL pointed out in its request that Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) members would be working with federal, state, and local emergency m...

ARRL Seeks National Club Coordinator


ARRL is seeking a National Club Coordinator who will act as the primary point of contact for Section Affiliated Club Coordinators. Section Affiliated Club Coordinators work with clubs to foster and coordinate activities to promote recruiting and training of new radio amateurs, endorse ARRL membership, and impart a positive image of amateur radio within the community.

In addition to maintaining l...

Board of Directors Elects New ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA


The ARRL Board of Directors has elected David Minster, NA2AA, of Wayne, New Jersey, as ARRL’s new Chief Executive Officer, starting on September 28. Minster is currently Managing Partner at Talentrian Partners, a management consulting firm serving the consumer goods and luxury goods industries.

Minster began his career as a software engineer, moving into management at Unilever, as a Chief Infor...

Amateur Radio Volunteers Prepare to Greet Dangerous Hurricane Laura


Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) teams along the Gulf Coast have plans in place to deal with Hurricane Laura, now expected to make landfall as a powerful and dangerous Category 4 storm. “Catastrophic damage will occur” in a Category 4 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warns. More than a half-million people in Louisiana and Texas have been ordered to evacuate ahead of the sto...

Hurricane Watch Net Firms Up Wednesday Activation Plans


With Hurricane Laura set to make landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday, the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) will activate at 1300 UTC on Wednesday, on its primary frequency of 14.325 MHz, with simultaneous operation starting on 7.268 MHz at 2100 UTC.

“Of course, any change in the forward speed of this storm would change the timing of landfall,” HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, pointed out. “Laura...

Candidates Set for 2020 ARRL Division Elections


The candidates for the 2020 ARRL Division Elections are now official. ARRL members will choose between two candidates for Director in the Dakota, Great Lakes, and Midwest Divisions in this year’s election cycle, and from among three candidates for Vice Director in the Great Lakes Division. In the Atlantic and Delta Divisions, incumbents are unopposed for both Director and Vice Director. In the ...

Hurricane Watch Net Announces Tentative Mid-Week Activation for Laura


One down, one to go. The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) says that a vastly weaker Tropical Storm Marco made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River on Monday at around 2300 UTC, with maximum sustained winds of 40 MPH. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Tropical Storm Laura, now just below hurricane strength, “to become a major hurricane over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico on Wedne...

As Marco Weakens, Attention Turns to Laura, Which May Become a Category 2 Hurricane


With now-Tropical Storm Marco continuing to weaken, the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) canceled plans to reactivate on Monday morning. Although no longer a hurricane, Marco is producing heavy rainfall and gusty winds along portions of the northern Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported at 1200 UTC. Marco was some 85 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River with m...

Hurricane Watch Net to Activate as Louisiana Braces for Marco and Laura


The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) will activate for Hurricane Marco today (Sunday, August 23) at 2100 UTC on 14.325 MHz, switching to 7.268 MHz at 2300 UTC, where operation will continue until 0100 UTC. Just barely a category 1 hurricane, Marco is forecast to make landfall on Monday afternoon.

“The purpose of this activation is to line up reporting stations for Marco as well as for Laura, which is ...

Technology and Technique Making Ham Radio Testing Possible During Pandemic


Amateur radio license testing continues during the pandemic, with a combination of remote Volunteer Examiner (VE) test sessions and careful in-person session planning. In Hawaii, VE Team leader and Section Manager Joe Speroni, AH0A, said he and his team passed the 100-candidate mark on August 10 for video-supervised remote test sessions. Speroni said the most recent session administered exams t...

Shorter Call Signs Popular with Australian Foundation Licensees


Australian Foundation-class licensees attempting to swap call signs under a new plan are encountering delays. Foundation licensees may now shed their seven-character call signs (VK#Fxxx) for standard six-character call signs. Australian regulator ACMA announced the change in July. Its contractor, the Australian Maritime College (AMC), has been unable to meet the overwhelming demand, so processi...

James Armstrong, NV6W, Named Santa Clara Valley SM


James Armstrong, NV6W, of San Jose, California, has been appointed to the post of Santa Clara Valley (SCV) Section Manager (SM), following the untimely death on July 28 of incumbent Bill Ashby, AA6FC, just 4 weeks after he took office. An ARRL Life Member, Ashby, also of San Jose, was 66 and the only nominee for the position when nominations closed in March. Ashby had earlier served as the Affi...

Enthusiasm Undimmed for International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend


The 23rd International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend (ILLW) takes place this weekend. The 2-day event begins at 0001 UTC on August 22 and continues until 2400 UTC on August 23. Each year, participants set up portable stations at, or as close as possible to, lighthouses and lightships around the world. This year’s event is a week later than usual to avoid on-the-air activities marking the 75th an...

Rene Fonseca, NP3O, Elected as Puerto Rico Section Manager


Challenger Rene Fonseca, NP3O, has been elected as ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager, defeating two other candidates including incumbent Oscar Resto, KP4RF. Fonseca, of Fajardo, received 85 votes, Juan Sepulveda Mercado, KP3CR, garnered 48 votes, and incumbent Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, got 31 votes. Resto has been Puerto Rico’s Section Manager since 2016. An ARRL Life Member, Fonseca i...


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