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The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association for amateur radio, connecting hams around the U.S. with news, information and resources.
Updated: 10 hours 6 min ago

The K7RA Solar Update

Fri, 09/11/2020 - 08:16

Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: An extended lull in solar activity persists. The smoothed sunspot minimum occurred last December, but the flurry of moderate sunspot activity in August has not continued.

An event to look forward to is the autumnal equinox, which occurs at 1330 UTC on Tuesday, September 22. We should see a seasonal improvement in HF propagation around that date because the north...

US Mail is the Only Way to Vote in ARRL Division Elections

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 15:29

The candidates for the 2020 ARRL Division elections are now official. Unfortunately, incorrect information regarding electronic balloting in ARRL Division elections was disseminated in the Midwest Division. ARRL does not use electronic voting. The only way to cast a vote is by US Postal Service mail.

We urge you to participate by casting and mailing your ballot. Ballots, accompanied by a photogr...

Brazil Proposes to End Amateur Radio Exams

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 07:40

The Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL) has proposed to end amateur radio certificate exams for all classes, replacing the current system with free access to the initial Class C license, access to Class B for those presenting a technical course certificate in telecommunications (or similar) or who have 3 years of experience as a Class C licensee, and to Class A for those who p...

North American CW Sprint is Great Practice for Fall Contesting

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 14:55

The September edition of the North American CW Sprint, sponsored by National Contest Journal (NCJ), is this weekend. The often-frantic 4-hour event gets under way on Sunday, September 13, at 0000 UTC (Saturday, September 12 in North American time zones). CW Sprints take place twice a year, in September and February; RTTY Sprints are in March and September.

“The CW Sprint can seem intimidating, p...

Preparations Continue for World Radiocommunication Conference 2023

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 14:28

As preparations for World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23) go forward, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) continues its efforts to protect amateur and amateur-satellite allocations. The international conference, which generally takes place every 4 years, is sponsored by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

IARU participated in the first online meeting of Project ...

Ham Radio Wireless Network Camera Detects Washington Wildfire

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 13:42

Nigel Vander Houwen, K7NVH, reported on September 8 that some HamWAN users in the Puget Sound region of Washington who were viewing the network’s camera feeds, spotted a large brush fire.

“They reported it to the DNR [Department of Natural Resources], which thanked them for the first report they’d gotten on the fire, and they’ve sent a team to try and keep it small and under control,” Vander Ho...

NCVEC Holds Its Annual Meeting via Teleconference

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 13:30

ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, reports that the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) held its annual meeting via teleconference on August 21. Somma is the NCVEC Vice Chair. NCVEC Chair Larry Pollock, NB5X, presided at the 35th annual meeting. The NCVEC functions to facilitate communication between the FCC and VECs. Representatives...

Air Force Research Laboratory Tracks Sporadic E

Fri, 09/04/2020 - 10:16

Researchers at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in New Mexico have discovered a new way to track and characterize sporadic E, which occurs when large structures of dense plasma form naturally in the upper atmosphere. These plasma structures, which occur at mid-latitude locations around the world, can affect radio wave propagation in both positive and negative ways. VHF enthusiasts frequ...

Maine Radio Amateur Dies after Fall from Tower

Fri, 09/04/2020 - 10:10

James Larner, N1ATO, of Bangor, Maine, died on Wednesday, September 2, after apparently falling a reported 80 feet from an amateur radio tower in the rural Knox County town of Union. The incident happened just before 1 PM local time.

Said to have been a tower professional who had done a lot of work for many Maine broadcasters, Larner, an ARRL member, was 74. According to news accounts, Larner wa...

The K7RA Solar Update

Fri, 09/04/2020 - 08:29

Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: As of Thursday night, no sunspots have appeared for the past 13 days. I know we are all hoping for more sunspots, and I’m sure they’ll be returning soon; the trends for this newly awakening solar cycle favor it. One event to look forward to this month is the autumnal equinox on Tuesday, September 22, which should favor worldwide HF propagation.

Average daily sol...

FCC Application Fee Proposal Proceeding is Open for Comments

Thu, 09/03/2020 - 10:08

Comments are being accepted on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD Docket 20-270, which proposes application fees for radio amateurs. Formal deadlines for comments and reply comments will be determined once the NPRM appears in the Federal Register. Comments may be filed now, however, by using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), posting to MD Docket No. 20-270. The dock...

First Element of ARISS Next-Generation Radio System Installed and Operating on ISS

Wed, 09/02/2020 - 11:45

The initial element of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) next-generation radio system has been installed onboard the ISS, and amateur radio operations using the new gear are now under way. The first element, dubbed the InterOperable Radio System (IORS), was installed in the ISS Columbus module. The IORS replaces the Ericsson radio system and packet module that were or...

Scouting’s Jamboree on the Air Set for October 16, 17, and 18

Mon, 08/31/2020 - 13:23

Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) and Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) will be held this year on October 16, 17, and 18. Register online as an individual or as a group.

Jamboree on the Air is the largest Scouting event in the world. In a typical year, more than 1 million Scouts participate in JOTA, with over 11,000 stations operated by 20,000+ young radio amateurs from 150+ countries around the world.

JO...

Hurricane Watch Net Logs More than 29 Hours of Continuous Operation for Laura

Fri, 08/28/2020 - 11:01

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) logged 29.5 hours of continuous operation in advance of Hurricane Laura, beginning at 1300 UTC on August 26, and after the storm made landfall. 

One primary function of the HWN is to elicit real-time ground-level weather conditions and initial damage assessments from radio amateurs in the affected area and relay that information to the National Hurricane Center (NHC...

FCC Proposes to Reinstate Amateur Radio Service Fees

Fri, 08/28/2020 - 09:11

[UPDATED 2020-09-01 @1845 UTC] 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 an...

The K7RA Solar Update

Fri, 08/28/2020 - 06:29

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...