New FCC Application Fee Will Not Apply To Amateur Radio License Upgrades

FCC logoFrom ARRL News:
 
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) staff has clarified in response to an ARRL request that the new $35 application fee will not apply to most license modifications, including those to upgrade an Amateur Radio Licensee’s operator class and changes to club station trustees. The FCC staff explained that the new fees will apply only to applications for a new license, renewal, rule waiver, or a new vanity call sign. As previously announced, the new fees take effect on April 19, 2022.
 
“We are pleased that the FCC will not charge licensees the FCC application fee for license upgrade applications,” said ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM. “While applicants for a new license will need to pay the $35 FCC application fee, there will be no FCC charge for future upgrades and administrative updates such as a change of mailing or email address. Most current licensees therefore will not be charged the new FCC application fee until they renew their license or apply for a new vanity call sign.”
 
ARRL previously reported that the new $35 application fee for Amateur Radio licenses will become effective on April 19, 2022. Further information and instructions about the FCC Application Fee are available from the ARRL VEC.

Western MA Emergency Net Looking for Net Control Stations

Danny Vierno, K1VWQ, writes on the Mt. Tom ARA Facebook page:
 
Our very own Western Mass Emergency Net, under ARES, is still looking for Net Control Operators sponsored by the ARRL heard right here on the W1TOM repeater system.
 
If you like checking into these nets, and would like to have them continue, please consider being a NCS. Your community and fellow ham will be glad you did.
 
Here is a wonderful video to help get you started if you do have an interest. Please let us know here, and we will get you in contact with the right people to get started.
 
73 de K1VWQ
 

HAARP On The Air

photo of HAARP array
The High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility in Alaska

The High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) will be supporting the NASA Sounding Rockets Program Office (SRPO) Ion-Neutral during Active Aurora (INCAA) mission by providing an additional non-co-located ground-based sensor. HAARP will concurrently be conducting an HF ocean scatter experiment. Actual transmit days and times are highly variable based on real-time ionospheric conditions and the Poker Flat Research Range launch window. The following schedule is subject to change, and all transmissions will take place on 6.8 MHz.

 
INCAA Launch Support Window
 
0500-0700 UTC, 24 March through 02 April inclusive
1230-1430 UTC, 03 April through 07 April inclusive
 
Ocean Scatter Window
 
0712-0722 UTC, 23 March
0819-0829 UTC, 24 March
0743-0753 UTC, 25 March
0707-0717 UTC, 26 March
0848-0858 UTC, 26 March
0731-0741 UTC, 27 March
0813-0823 UTC, 27 March
0737-0747 UTC, 28 March
0702-0712 UTC, 29 March
0626-0636 UTC, 30 March
0807-0817 UTC, 30 March
0732-0742 UTC, 31 March
0656-0706 UTC, 01 April
0620-0630 UTC, 02 April
0802-0812 UTC, 02 April
 
To request a HAARP QSL card, send reception reports to:
 
HAARP
P.O. Box 271
Gakona, Alaska 99586

Amateur Radio EmComm in the Azores

RSGB logoFrom the Radio Society of Great Britain:

Emergency comms in the Azores
GB2RS News Team | March 25, 2022

The island of Sao Jorge in the Azores has suffered over 1,800 earthquakes in 48 hours.

The regional government has prepared contingency plans to protect the island’s population.

CT1END, the Emergency Communications Coordinator for Portugal, reports that a group of nine radio amateurs are working to support emergency communications locally and back to Portugal.

Radio amateurs are asked to steer clear of 3.75 to 3.76MHz overnight, 7.1 to 7.11MHz during the day, and around 14.300MHz for those amateurs outside the region.

All radio amateurs are encouraged to listen carefully and avoid causing any interference to emergency operations on those frequencies.

More details are available on the IARU Region 1 website.

Director’s Update for 1Q-2022

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC Speaking at the Dayton Hamvention

It has been about 3 months since I became the ARRL New England Division Director. My focus has been on the following areas since January:

  • Building a relationship with and begin working with the ARRL Board Members, CEO, and Staff at ARRL Headquarters
  • Setting up communications processes with our division
  • Appointing four Assistant Directors to work on important issues and helping them to get their teams up and running
  • Working with the ARRL Foundation to get the new ARRL Club Grant Program ready to roll out
  • Enhancing focus within our division on legislation and regulations that impact Amateur Radio

All of this work would not be possible without the team of people who are working with me on these and other initiatives. We call ourselves the New England Director, Vice Director, Assistant Director (DVA) Team. I’d like to introduce you to the DVA Team:

  • Phil Temples, K9HI – New England Division Vice Director
  • Cory Golob, KU1U – Assistant Director, Emergency Communications and Public Service Activities
  • Rob Leiden, K1UI – Assistant Director, Spectrum Protection and Use
  • Anita Kemmerer, AB1QB – Assistant Director, Mentoring and Ham Development
  • Dan Norman, N0HF – Assistant Director, Youth Outreach and STEM Learning

I feel very fortunate to have this group of dedicated people working with me to serve New England Hams.

ARRL Update

David Minster, ARRL CEO has been hard at work filling key positions at ARRL HQ. David’s recent hires include:

I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time with Steve and Josh and they are both top-notch picks. They bring innovative thinking to their respective roles and they both are extremely enthusiastic and hard workers.

A number of important things got accomplished at the ARRL Board of Directors Meeting in January. You can find more about the details in the Board Meeting Notes here. The highlights include:

Club Recognitions

The ARRL Board of Directors recognizes clubs for long-standing ARRL affiliation and service to the Amateur Radio community. Along with the ARRL Board of Directors, I am pleased to recognize the following New England Clubs for their many years of ARRL affiliation and service:

  • Androscoggin Amateur Radio Club70 Years
  • Ellsworth Amateur Wireless Association60 Years
  • Meriden Amateur Radio Club75 Years
  • Providence Radio Association101 Years
  • Southeastern MA Amateur Radio Association 75 Years

You can read about some of the many accomplishments of these clubs via the links above. We will be presenting each of these clubs with a plaque recognizing their long service and contributions at upcoming Hamfests and Club meetings.

Communications

The DVA Team believes that effective, 2-way communications are an essential part of serving members and Hams in New England. Our communications approach consists of three parts:

  • Quarterly Division Cabinet Meetings with Club Presidents, Section Managers and Field Staff Members, and other leaders
  • Triannual (every 4 months) Division Town Hall Meetings with all ARRL Members in New England
  • Frequent attendance at Club Meetings (at least 6 times a quarter for each DVA team member) 

We held our first Cabinet Meeting on January 8th (see what was discussed here). Our next Cabinet Meeting is scheduled for April 16th. We are inviting members of the HQ Staff to these meetings so that they can share information on what they are doing and receive feedback directly from division leaders.

We held our first Town Hall Meeting on February 16th. Attendance was very good with over 200 in attendance. We provided an update on ARRL and New England Division activities and answered some 75 questions from the folks who attended. You can see what was discussed including a recording of the event here. We are planning to hold our next Town Hall Meeting in June.

AB1OC Presentation at K1USN, March 5, 2022
AB1OC Presentation at K1USN, March 5, 2022

I’ve had a lot of fun attending some 11 club meetings so far this quarter. Our DVA team has also been attending many club meetings. We all find these meetings very helpful for keeping in touch with what Hams are doing in New England. We also want to be available to hear concerns and ideas that we can help with.

A special thanks to our Vice Director Phil, K9HI, who has built and continuously provides content for our division website. You can sign up to receive updates when we publish articles and information here by sharing your email address in the sidebar.

Assistant Director Teams

I heard concerns about many issues from ARRL Members and Hams in New England during the past 6 months. I have appointed four Assistant Directors (ADs) with the charter to bring people together to address some of the top concerns. Our initial Assistant Directors are:

  • Cory Golob, KU1U – Assistant Director, Emergency Communications and Public Service Activities
  • Rob Leiden, K1UI – Assistant Director, Spectrum Protection and Use
  • Anita Kemmerer, AB1QB – Assistant Director, Mentoring and Ham Development
  • Dan Norman, N0HF – Assistant Director, Youth Outreach and STEM Learning

You can learn more about our Assistant Directors here and here.

Our ADs have formed groups of folks interested in working together to solve problems and promote programs in their focus areas. Some of the work that is going on with the AD teams includes:

  • Sharing successful activities, programs, and tools (check out the AD pages on nediv.arrl.org)
  • Promoting activities and programs across the division
  • Encourage collaboration to create new and strengthen existing division-wide programs

Are you interested in being part of one or more of these teams? Check out the associated groups.io or contact our ADs at:

Focus AreaAssistant DirectoreMailgroups.io
Emergency Communications and Public Service ActivitiesCory Golob, KU1U ku1u@nediv.arrl.orgne-ecaps
Spectrum Protection and Use Including RFI ResolutionRob Leiden, K1UI k1ui@nediv.arrl.orgspectrum-protection-and-use
Mentoring and Ham DevelopmentAnita Kemmerer, AB1QBab1qb@nediv.arrl.orgne-ham-dev
Youth Outreach and STEM LearningDan Norman, N0HFn0hf@nediv.arrl.orgnediv-yso

Hamfests

Horace Clark, N1HC with Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC
L-R: Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, with Horace Clark, N1HC, at HAM-CON

I have been enjoying attending Hamfests and Conventions during the past few months. I’ve attended Hamcation in Florida in February, HAM-CON (the VT State Convention) in March, and I’m planning to attend the Maine State Convention in April. In addition to doing ARRL Forums and providing updates at these events, I’ve very much enjoyed talking with Hams to understand what is on their minds and to hear about projects and ideas to improve Amateur Radio and the ARRL.

The ARRL provides a Hamfest and Convention sanctioning program. The benefits of ARRL Sanctioning include:

  • Your event will be listed online and in QST
  • Sanctioned ARRL Conventions will be listed in the ARRL Letter
  • You will receive ARRL prize certificates for use at your event

It’s a good idea to apply for sanctioning early as this process can help you to avoid scheduling conflicts by letting other groups know that you are holding your event on a specific date(s).

Club Grant Program

As many of you probably know, I have a passion for all that Amateur Radio Clubs provide. Clubs are the cornerstone of mentoring, many Amateur Radio activities, youth outreach projects, and many other important parts of Amateur Radio.

I made it a point to take on a role in the planning work for the forthcoming ARRL Club Grant Program. I have been working as part of a team of ARRL and ARRL Foundation directors and leaders to define how the Club Grant Program will work. The work is proceeding well and we are planning to begin rolling out the details of the program in April. Does your club have a project that would benefit the Amateur Radio community and the public as well as your club? You might want to consider applying for an ARRL Club grant.

We are also looking for volunteers to serve as Club Mentors and Club Coaches. You can learn more about these volunteer roles here.

Focus on Legislation

With help from vigilant members in our division and Section Managers and State Government Liaisons in New England Sections, we have been working with Hams in New England to address pending legislation that would negatively impact Amateur Radio.

We are seeing bills emerge in several states in New England which are intended to protect people from health effects due to RF exposure from 5G commercial wireless networks. The most recent situation occurred with New Hampshire HB1644. This bill was written so broadly that it would have prohibited nearly all transmit antennas in residential areas. The bill would also establish a public registry where anyone who felt they were experiencing negative health effects due to RF exposure from nearby transmit antennas of any type could publicly identify the location of such antennas. With help from NH Section Manager Peter Stohrer, K1PJS, and NH State Government Liaison Bill Nelson, KA1PTW, we were able to mobilize NH Hams to file comments and testify at a hearing on this bill. At present, HB1644 has been sent back to Committee for further study and revision.

We have held meetings with the Section Managers and State Government Liaisons in New England to make them aware of the potential for similar bills to emerge in other states and to set up a process to share information and coordinate efforts to address such legislation going forward.

AB1OC’s Ham Radio Activities

It’s been a challenge during the past few months to find time to participate in the Amateur Radio activities that I enjoy. I’ve continued to support the Nashua Area Radio Society as Program Chairperson where I’m responsible for finding speakers for the club’s monthly Membership Meetings and Tech Night training sessions. I’ve also been part of a team that taught both Technical and General License Training classes where we helped a total of 16 people earn their Amateur Radio License or upgrade.

Sussex County Charter School ISS Contact

I’ve continued to be a mentor and ground station for the ARISS program. The school that I’ve been working with recently as their ARISS Mentor is located in Sussex County, NJ. They made contact with the ISS in February. I had the opportunity to join the group on contact day – it was an amazing experience!

I also had the opportunity to serve as the ARISS ground station for a group of scouts at a Jamboree in Victoria, Australia who made contact with astronaut Mark VandeHei, KG5GNP, on the ISS. You can read more about this contact here. I really enjoy working with young people around the world in this way to bring an amazing experience to them via Amateur Radio.

In between all of this, I’ve hosted some new Hams at our station to help them to get on the air and try various modes and bands. I’ve also been making contacts via Amateur Satellites and have been doing some meteor scatter and digital contacts on the 6m band. The 10 and 12-meter bands have been showing some decent DX activity on SSB and CW recently and I’ve had some fun there as well.

I hope to see you soon at a Hamfest, Club Meeting, Town Hall Meeting, or some other event in the near future. All the Best and 73,

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC
ARRL New England Division Director
eMail: ab1oc@arrl.org

Categories All

New Amateur Radio License Applications Fee To Become Effective April 19, 2022

FCC logo

From ARRL Web:

A Public Notice released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on March 23, 2022, in MD Docket No. 20-270, announced that new application fees for Wireless Telecommunications Bureau applications will become effective on April 19, 2022. The new fees, mandated by Congress, apply to applications for Amateur Radio licenses including those associated with filing Form 605, the Amateur Operator/Primary Station Licensee Application.

Effective April 19, 2022, a $35 fee will apply to applications for a new Amateur Radio license, modification (upgrade and sequential call sign change), renewal, and vanity call signs.

Anticipating the implementation of the fee in 2022, the ARRL Board of Directors, at its July 2021 meeting, approved the “ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program.” Under the program, ARRL will cover a one-time $35 application fee for license candidates younger than 18 years old for tests administered under the auspices of the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (ARRL VEC). Qualified candidates also would pay a reduced exam session fee of $5 to the ARRL VEC. ARRL is finalizing details for administering the program.

ARRL had filed comments in opposition to imposing a fee on Amateur Radio license applications. The FCC initially proposed a higher, $50 fee. In a Report and Order (R&O), released on December 29, 2020, the amount was reduced — the FCC agreeing with ARRL and other commenters that its proposed $50 fee for certain amateur radio applications was “too high to account for the minimal staff involvement in these applications.”

ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (ARRL VEC) Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, explained that all fees are per application. “There will be no fee for administrative updates, such as a change of mailing or email address. The fees will be the responsibility of the applicant regardless of filing method and must be paid within 10 calendar days of FCC’s receipt of the application. For applications filed by a VEC, the period does not begin until the application is received by the Commission, a ULS file number assigned, and an email sent by the FCC directly to the applicant.”

VECs and Volunteer Examiner (VE) teams will not collect the $35 fee at license exam sessions. New and upgrade candidates at an exam session will continue to pay the $15 exam session fee to the ARRL VE team as usual, and pay the new, $35 application fee directly to the FCC by using the CORES FRN Registration system (CORES – Login).

When the FCC receives the examination information from the VEC, it will email a link with payment instructions to each successful candidate who then will have 10 calendar days from the date of the email to pay. After the fee is paid and the FCC has processed an application, examinees will receive a second email from the FCC with a link to their official license or explanation of other action. The link will be good for 30 days.

Somma also explained that applications that are processed and dismissed will not be entitled to a refund. This includes vanity call sign requests where the applicant does not receive the requested call sign. “The FCC staff has suggested that applicants for vanity call signs should first ensure the call signs requested are available and eligible for their operator class and area, and then request as many call signs as the form allows to maximize their chances of receiving a call sign.”

Further information and instructions about the FCC Application Fee are available from the ARRL VEC at www.arrl.org/fcc-application-fee. Details for the ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program will be similarly posted there, when available.

New Look for the ARRL.org Website

ARRL "New Look" bannerEarly next week, our homepage will have a new look. You’ll also notice a new streamlined menu to help you quickly find what you need.

What this means to you:

  • The arrl.org website and store will be unavailable from Friday, March 25 at 4 pm (ET) to Tuesday, March 29 at 8 am (ET) as we change over to the new system.
    During this time, the following actions will be limited: Online DXCC (single sign on capability), LoTW (member verification), PageSuite (access to digital magazines), and access to The ARRL Learning Center. ARRL.net email forwarding will still be functioning.
  • Your Member Profile Page will be easier to update and navigate. Your existing usernames will be in the system, but for your security, you will need to create a new password the first time you access your profile.
  • A consolidated checkout lets you renew, donate, and shop all in one transaction!

Need help?

We’re here for you! Call us (888-277-5289) Monday – Thursday from 8 am – 7 pm (ET) and on Friday from 8 am – 5 pm (ET) or email us at membership@arrl.org.

 

Have comments on the new online experience?

Let us know what you like about our new look and your suggestions for future updates at members@arrl.org.

 

ARRL Teachers Institute to Offer Four Sessions this Summer

ARRL Teachers Institute of Wireless Technology logoFrom ARRL Web:

ARRL will offer four sessions of the Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology in June and July as part of its educational outreach to schools through the Education & Technology Program. The Teachers Institute (TI) is an expenses-paid professional development program intended to provide teachers with tools and strategies to introduce their students to basic electronics, the science of radio, space technology and satellite communications, weather science, microcontrollers, robotics, and amateur radio. The curriculum is designed for motivated teachers and other school staff who want to learn more about wireless technology, gain hands-on experience, and bring that knowledge to their students. Class sizes are limited to 12 teachers. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2022.

“I invite you to apply and to share this incredible opportunity with schools and teachers,” ARRL Education and Learning Manager Steve Goodgame, K5ATA, said. Goodgame said to contact him via email with any questions.

Sessions this summer will be held in Newington, Connecticut, and in Dayton, Ohio. There are two levels — TI-1 Introduction to Wireless Technology, and TI-2 Remote Sensing and Data Analysis. TI-1 is a prerequisite for TI-2.

TI-2 focuses on the basic electronics of sensors (temperature, pressure, position, humidity, etc.), converting analog sensor data to a digital format, programming the microcontroller to read and interpret the data, and using radio to send the sensor data to the user. After learning the basics of remote sensing, teachers assemble a sensor package to collect environmental data remotely.

Program Location Dates
TI-1 Newington, Connecticut June 27 – July 1
TI-2 Newington, Connecticut July 11 – July 15
TI-1 Dayton, Ohio July 18 – July 22
TI-1 Newington, Connecticut July 25 – July 29

 

A 2022 brochure is available from the Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology web page. An explanatory video is also available.

The ARRL Teachers Institute recognizes that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) instruction must focus on the connection among these fields. Because it is the teacher’s role to make these connections for students, teachers need to know the science and math content and understand, in sufficient detail, the technologies used in order to make the connections for their students.

The Teachers Institute is only the beginning of a participant’s exploration of wireless technology. The goal of the TI program is to equip each schoolteacher with necessary foundational knowledge and, through hands-on learning, generate the inspiration for teachers to continue to explore wireless technology and adapt relevant content into their classroom instruction.

This training serves as an excellent foundation for schoolteachers interested in including classroom learning about radio communications and wireless technology as part of student preparation for participation in the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program.

This in-service training program is supported entirely by generous philanthropic donations. TI opportunities are virtually free for participants. The grant to attend a TI covers transportation; hotel; a modest per diem to cover meals; instructional resources for the electronics, microcontroller, and robotics segments of the course, and a resource library of relevant ARRL publications. The primary out-of-pocket expense is a $100 enrollment fee.

Graduate credits are available through Fresno Pacific University upon completion of the TI-1 or TI-2 programs. These credits can be used to satisfy professional growth requirements to maintain teaching credentials. The class is self-contained, and participants are expected to be able to complete all requirements during the class time.

Qualified applicants must be active teachers at an elementary, middle, or high school, at a college or university, or in a leadership or enrichment instruction role in an after-school or collective homeschool program. An amateur radio license is not required for the introductory workshop (TI-1) but is required for the advanced TI-2 program.

New Western MA Affiliated Club Coordinator: Larry Krainson, W1AST

WMA Section logoRay Lajoie, AA1SE, writes in the Western Massachusetts ARRL Members List:

Hello everyone,

Gil Hayes, WK1H, has stepped down as our affiliated club coordinator due to job obligations. I wish to thank him for his contribution to the section.

I am pleased to announce that Larry Krainson, W1AST, has accepted the position as club coordinator effective March 22. Larry is currently the President of the Hamden County Radio Association. Larry is an ARRL Life Member and licensed since 1977. He also is the 13 Colonies special event manager for Massachusetts and is leading the Big E expo display coming in September. Larry’s wife, Faye is always assisting him and also has a son who is an Eagle Scout and a ham.

Please join me in welcoming Larry to the section staff.

73
Ray-AA1SE

——————————————————————–
ARRL Western Massachusetts Section
Section Manager: Raymond P Lajoie, AA1SE
aa1se@arrl.org
——————————————————————–

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