ARRL DX Contest Changes

ARRL logoARRL Contest Advisory Committee Chairman Dennis Egan, W1UE, writes on the YCCC mailing list:

By now, I’m sure most of you have seen the changes for just 2021, pertaining to multi-operator entries.  I’ll comment more on that, probably tomorrow.  For now, I’ll just comment on the changes for 2021.

  1. Multi-single and Multi-2 entries will now be allowed 10 band changes per hour; old rule was 8 band changes per hour.
  2. There are now online certificates available for SO Single Band HP, LP, QRP, SOU Single Band HP, LP, and QRP.
  3. If you haven’t already seen them, the Rules Consolidation Project has produced a new set of rules for ARRL DX.  If you navigate to the ARRL DX page on the website and go to the bottom of the page, you can download the rules as a pdf.  I’d be interested to hear comments on them.
  4. There is a new set of rules for Affiliated Club Competition, also on the ARRL.org website.

Dennis W1UE

WMA ARES Upcoming Activities

WMA ARES logoWMA Section Emergency Coordinator Bob Meneguzzo, W1YO, writes on wma.arrl.org:
 
There is a substantial amount of work underway in the WMA Section for activities upcoming in the near future. I’m certain most of you are unaware of these since they are still in the planning stage, but I wanted to give you a quick update.I’m planning for a local Section Emergency Test (SET) to be conducted soon … likely in the mid to late December timeframe. What we’d like to do with this is (of course) exercise our voice net capabilities to give us a bit of needed practice in handling and forwarding messages to / from agencies that would likely require the same in the event of a disaster. …. But additionally, to come up to par with what ARES sections are doing across the nation, we need to also develop the capacity to handle messages digitally – and by that I mean via WinLink and NBEMS / FLDigi. Updates will appear here as things progress.

There has been a LOT of activity in this vein across ARES nationally in the past month or two. WinLink training videos (along with many other excellent and useful topics) are now available for free via Vimeo (video) to be viewed at users’ convenience. Also, you’ve all seen the offerings going on right now from the New Hampshire Training Academy … which have produced some great feedback!

But while training is great, PRACTICE is the key determinant of our abilities. To this end, our plan is to setup additional nets for practice handling digital messaging, and some additional exercises (beyond just check – ins) for voice nets.  To do this we need participants … which we have a good share of for our HF voice nets, but to a lesser extent for UHF / VHF repeater and simplex nets. MUCH testing has been done recently to determine our capacity for cross – county communications on HF, and VHF digital operations (digital VARA FM via 6 meter repeater, for ex.) and for simplex on VHF. Work will continue in these areas. The VHF / UHF repeater capacity should be back to its original capabilities in the near future also, so hopefully the VHF/UHF net participation will increase.

If you have digital capability already ( HF and / or VHF ) and would like to become part of the proposed digital messaging networks, please let me know (k1yo@arrl.net) . If you don’t have the experience but would like to get involved, that’s great !   We have some pretty good startup documents to help you and will offer short Zoom classes to finalize your capabilities …. even one on one if needed !

Anyone with solid digital messaging experience would be welcome to help train others to come on board!  Those with traffic handling expertise are also needed to get users up to speed on how messages should be passed to existing NTS traffic nets as that would be a probable conduit in a large scale disaster.

Simply, there has recently  been much work done  towards reviving the ARES capabilities of WMA. I believe we are now ready to start moving forward – simply at first – but engaging additional capabilities and technologies as we ready ourselves to meet the needs of our healthcare partners, agencies, and communities

The only thing missing is you !

Vy 73
Bob – K1YO
SEC WMA ARES

P.S. .  Several Worcester area stations have already volunteered for helping with additional testing … my apologies but due to an email error I have lost the specifics on  those of you who already contacted me!  Please resend – thanks.

“The man with a plan for ham radio towers”

Photo of Zachary Manganello, K1ZK, in his ham shack
“Zachary Manganello is a longtime ham radio enthusiast looking to up his gear game.”

Shelburne, Vermont amateur Zachary Manganello, K1ZK, was featured in an October 15, 2020 article in The Citizen, a publication of the Vermont Community Newspaper Group. The story chronicles his struggle to erect his towers at his new QTH.  

[Full story]

K8ZT: “How to Get Started in Amateur Radio Contesting,” November 3, 2020

ARRL Learning Network logoWhy do hams participate in on-air contests? How would I benefit from contesting? What do I need to get started in contesting? What are good contests for beginners? Where can I learn more? This session will answer all of these questions and more.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020, 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST (1800 UTC)

Visit the ARRL Learning Network website (a members-only benefit) to register for upcoming sessions and to view previously recorded session. The schedule is subject to change.

Ham Operator Plate Renewal Problems at MA Registry of Motor Vehicles

From ema.arrl.org:

Updated October 28, 2020 at 10:00 AM

All Massachusetts hams with Ham Radio passenger special plates must renew their plate registration by the last day of November. Eastern MA ARRL staff are receiving reports of license plate renewal problems when attempting to use the online system. Apparently, the Registry of Motor Vehicles’ computer system doesn’t recognize the “slash” representing the “lightning bolt” icon. For example, the call sign WX1XXX is actually coded in the system as “WX1/XXX”; KX1X is “KX1/X.”

Renewal by phone DOES appear to work when you input the phone ID code listed on the application.

Another ARRL member adds, “I found that Registry services at AAA offices can overcome the issue.  One must be a AAA member, and an appointment is necessary.”

This latest problem is in addition to the fact that MA RMV cannot process new Ham Radio Plate applications.  See: https://nediv.arrl.org/2020/10/01/massachusetts-department-of-motor-vehicles-is-not-processing-ham-operator-plate-applications/.

K9HI On “License Fee NPRM—Filing Comments to MD Docket 20-270”

ARRL logoNew England Division Vice Director Phil Temples, K9HI has been giving the presentation “License Fee NPRM—Filing Comments to MD Docket 20-270” to various radio clubs across the division. 

On October 19, he spoke to the North Shore (MA) Radio Association. On October 22, Phil presented to the Meriden (CT) Amateur Radio Club. The Sci-Tech ARS (MA) hosted K9HI’s presentation on October 27. Phil is scheduled to give his talk to the Granite State Amateur Radio Association (NH) on November 13, and the Bloomington (IN) Amateur Radio Club–his hometown club–on November 6.

He is available to present on Docket 20-270 comments with clubs holding online meetings between now and the deadline for filing comments–November 17, 2020.

W5LDK & WB5HJV: Winlink for Beginners & Red Cross ARC-213 Forms, October 29, 2020

Dan Marler, K7REX, writes:

Please plan to attend Thursday, October 29, Zoom session. Winlink Workshop WK 11 of WK 12. Winlink setup and use for beginners and how to send Red Cross ARC-213 forms.

9:00 PM AST / 9:00 PM EDT / 8:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM MDT / 6:00 PM PDT / 5:00 PM AKDT / 3:00 PM HST

This Thursday, October 29, Linda Kangas, W5LDK, and Dave Underwood, WB5HJV will be conducting a beginner’s Zoom Winlink class that includes how to send ARC-213 forms. 

If you plan to participate in the November 14 American Red Cross drill, you will need to know both; please note that this training DOES NOT address Linux or individual radio configurations.

Before attending this class, you will need to of completed the following. 

  1. Go to WinLink Express https://winlink.org/WinlinkExpress
  2. Click on Download
  3. Click on User Programs
  4. Click on Winlink_Express_install_1-5-32-0.zip , download and install the software on your computer.
  5. Register your Winlink Software (there is no cost for registration). Save your confirmation email; you’ll need to use your WinLink registration number during the training. 

If you have not done so already, I recommend you join SEC-ARES groups.io https://groups.io/g/SEC-ARES. SEC-ARES currently has 720 members (and growing), and it is there that we discuss everything related to ARES and disaster communications. You can no doubt get answers to your Linux and individual radio configurations questions there; plus, this is where discussions of the upcoming American Red Cross November 14 Drill will take place.

Please note: This Zoom session is open for all to attend and that the only requirements are listed above. 

  • This meeting will be recorded. By participating you consent to being recorded. 
  • Please change your display name to Your FirstName, CallSign (or organization) and Location, e.g. Dan K7REX Idaho. 
  • Please stay muted until ready to speak. Your space bar works like a PTT for unmuting
  • To be fair to everyone, there will be a three minute limit for each person during Q & A

You may ask questions in chat; please stay on topic while using chat.Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2128884758?pwd=cm94K3U3Nys1aHl4akJlaG9PK1pKUT09

Meeting ID: 212 888 4758
Passcode: ARCWinlink
One tap mobile
+13462487799,,2128884758#,,,,,,0#,,0015332482# US (Houston)
+16699006833,,2128884758#,,,,,,0#,,0015332482# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
Meeting ID: 212 888 4758
Passcode: 0015332482

Greater Bridgeport (CT) ARC Space Day Event, October 25, 2020

From GBARC wiki:

The Greater Bridgeport Amateur Radio Club will hold its first ever Space Day on Sunday, October 25 2020 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  This is an opportunity to learn about Amateur Satellites.  Lunch in the form of hot dogs and snacks will be provided. 

Additional Information about the satellite passes is posted at Space Day Satellite Predictions.

For information about what kind of satellite radios are needed see Satellite Radio Equipment.

Space Day will be held at the QTH of N1DID – 14 Three Trees Ln, Trumbull.  Call in will be on the GBARC Repeaters!

POTA Activation, Hopkinton State Park (MA), October 25, 2020

Parks On The Air logoFrom ema.arrl.org:

Steve Ciavarini, NQ1F, writes on the Wellesley ARS mailing list:

Rob Jaczko, WA1UMU, and I and possibly Leandra Mac Lennan,  AF1R, are doing a POTA activation at Hopkinton (MA) State Park tomorrow at 1 PM and would love to have anyone join us. We will have plenty of antennas so you will only need to bring your radio if you would like to operate in tandem. It’s like a mini field day and a chance to escape the Covid blues. We practice safe Covid operation, keeping several wavelengths apart, hi hi.
 
 
If you can’t make it but would like to participate, work us from home and you can spot our frequencies on the website.
 
73,
Steve, NQ1F
Scroll Up