Kudos to the Nashua Area Radio Society and its innovated “Ham Bootcamp” program for being featured in an in-depth article and on the cover of October, 2020 QST Magazine. Ham Bootcamp includes a series of demonstrations and tutorials designed to help newly licensed Technician, General, and Extra class license holders get on the air and use their amateur radio license. Bootcamp is also a great opportunity for prospective Hams who are interested in seeing what the hobby has to offer.
08/27/2020 – 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 Information Officer of this globally recognized portfolio of brands that includes Elizabeth Arden Company, Chesebrough-Ponds Canada, Thomas J. Lipton Co., and others. From there, he moved to fine jewelry manufacturer and retailer David Yurman, where he served as COO and CIO. More recently, Minster served as CEO of jewelry brands Scott Kay and Judith Ripka.
“Building a culture of accomplishment and accountability is what I do best. My initial focus will be working with the Board on establishing strategic goals and concrete plans to navigate ARRL through the digital transformation required for the coming decades of its Second Century. This includes exciting and innovative ways to be engaged in amateur radio, while growing activity and membership.”
Minster got his Novice license, WB2MAE, in 1977, when he was in his teens. He progressed from Advanced to Amateur Extra and, after a stint as NW2D, he settled on the vanity call sign NA2AA in the 1990s as a way to honor a mentor, N2AA, and the contest station that he used to frequent, K2GL, in Tuxedo Park, New York.
Minster’s ham radio pursuits have ranged far and wide over the years. His background includes National Traffic System training and participation in public service events, as well as contesting from home, club stations, and contest stations in the Caribbean — particularly on Bonaire, where he is a member of PJ4G. Primarily a CW operator, Minster collects unique and vintage bugs and keys.
Minster earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from The Ohio State University and has a special interest in satellites, digital communications, remote operation, and ham radio computing and software. He has written keyer software for the commercial market, and contest logging, packet, and satellite telemetry software for personal use.
In addition to being an ARRL member, Minster is a member of AMSAT, the Frankford Radio Club, the Straight Key Century Club, CWops, and the North American QRP CW Club.
“I spend every day of my life, one way or another, engaged in amateur radio. It is more than just a hobby for me; it is my community. It is where I live; where I have built lifelong friendships, and friendships that span the globe. Amateur radio allows me to dream and to experiment. I can’t wait to bring my energy and boundless enthusiasm in service to ARRL.”
ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, said, “We are excited to welcome David as our new CEO, and look forward to his progressive leadership. His experience in management and operations, plus his activities in amateur radio, will serve our organization and members well.”
Minster will succeed Barry J. Shelley, N1VXY, who was CEO in 2018, and who has been serving as ARRL’s Interim CEO since January 2020. Shelley had been ARRL’s Chief Financial Officer since January 1992.
Cape and Islands conducted its annual summer field communications exercise on Saturday, August 8, 2020. Exercise #68 “Operation Windbreaker” had three primary field sites, several individual field ops and several home stations. The main sites were: outside the Sandwich Human Services Building, outside of Falmouth Hospital, and in Eastham near Larry, K1LRJ, home area.
VHF signals were excellent. The HF voice operation went quite well with our Cape/Islands stations as well as the off-Cape stations that hosted a 75-meter net over 75 miles away in another part of MA. Digital modes on HF had mixed results due to some glitches, but a couple of stations did well.
In Sandwich we had a crew of five including a couple of our new folks, Jermy, KC1NGL, from Sandwich Fire; Dennis, N1RDN, from Sandwich CERT; and Jason, KC1MLQ, from Yarmouth. Our 440 MHz simplex backchannel (was diplexed off our main dual band antenna to two radios) with the Falmouth field site worked even better than expected.
My thanks to all of our people who participated and special thanks to those off Cape stations that conducted the net, as well as stations that contacted us from various locations.
The Board named veteran ARRL Rhode Island Section Manager Robert G. “Bob” Beaudet, W1YRC, of Cumberland, Rhode Island, as the recipient of the Knight Distinguished Service Award, given to an ARRL Section Manager. Beaudet has been Rhode Island SM since 2002.
The Board cited Beaudet’s active promotion of ARRL activities in his Section, including visiting hundreds of Field Day operations; participating in many Volunteer Examiner test sessions; attending at countless club meetings; staying active as a contester, DXer, and mentor, and serving as a model to other Section Managers. The Board said “Beaudet’s leadership of the ARRL Rhode Island Section Field Organization has led to a strong working cadre of volunteers within the Section.”
07/26/2020–The University of Maine Wireless Sensing Laboratory (WiSe-Net Lab) and AMSAT have signed an agreement to collaborate on building and operating MESAT1, Maine’s first small satellite. Carrying an amateur radio payload in addition to science payloads, MESAT1 is set to launch sometime in the next 3 years under NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI), which provides opportunities for nanosatellite science and technology payloads built by universities, schools, and nonprofits to ride-share on space launches. AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, celebrated the announcement.
“This is a great day for AMSAT and UMaine’s WiSe-Net Lab,” Coleman said. “This partnership is a true win-win for both education and the amateur radio community. The collaborative effort under AMSAT’s engineering and operations teams has once again succeeded to bring another opportunity to AMSAT.”
07/24/2020 – Due to travel and gathering restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, the ARRL Board of Directors met on Friday, July 17, 2020 in a remote session, using the Zoom videoconferencing platform.
During this session, the Board took the following actions:
Accepted the final recommendations of the Band Planning Committee. Committee chair and ARRL First Vice President Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, introduced the motion to adopt the plan. An earlier draft of the plan was introduced at the Board’s in-person January meeting. After the January Board meeting, the Committee received and considered hundreds of comments from interested amateurs. The final band plan can be viewed on the ARRL website.
Voted, in anticipation of hiring the new Emergency Management Director, to modify the charter of the search committee to study and, if appropriate, prepare a report on, the implementation of a new Standing Committee of the Board to emphasize emergency communications and provide advice to the CEO in these matters. The report is expected to be delivered to the Board by November 24, 2020.
The ARRL Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2020 scholarship awards. There were 103 awards this year, totaling $144,450. The non-profit Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) has generously awarded a grant to the ARRL Foundation to match each scholarship award on a dollar-for-dollar basis, lifting the grand total of scholarships awarded to $288,900.
Several New England Division youths were the recipients of scholarship awards:
The Androscoggin Amateur Radio Club Scholarship
Megan G. Wagner, KC1FGH, of Westford, Massachusetts
The CTRI/Chris Seeber, KA1GEU, Memorial Scholarship
Julie Knappik, KB1YTT, of Raynham, Massachusetts
The FEMARA Scholarship
Yettive S. Crestohl, K1YTV, of Marblehead, Massachusetts
Joseph F. Murray, KC1EGK, of Braintree, Massachusetts
Edward G. Ridolfi, KC1CMF, of Kittery, Maine
Bahnou Hazel Upton, KB1OIS, of Mount Vernon, New Hampshire
The Alfred E. Friend, Jr., W4CF, Memorial Scholarship
Numerous lighthouses and lightships will be activated for the upcoming International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, August 22-23, 2020. Among the 33 or so registered in the United States, five are situated in New England:
K1LX, Permaquid Point Light, US0124 (ME), Direct to Lincoln County ARC
KM1R, Faulkners Island Light, US0243 (CT)
N1QLL, West Quoddy Head, US0041 (ME), Direct or buro (Send SAE, no stamp needed)
W1QK, Avery Point Lighthouse, US0190 (CT), LoTW
W1TUK, Sankaty Head Light, US0135 (MA), direct or QRZ.com
The Nantucket ARA, W1TUK, plans to operate in International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend at Sankaty Head Light once again.
According to NARA’s Jerry Horton, W2JH: “We kicked off planning last Sunday during our weekly outreach video conference. We will operate at least two HF rigs on Saturday [August 22, 2020] from about 10 AM to 4 PM, with Sunday serving as the rain date. We are exploring the possibility of streaming our station; at a minimum we want to capture plenty of video and lots of photos for after-the-fact posting. The whole gang is involved, sharing assorted tasks: readying equipment, obtaining access to the lighthouse, site prep, publicity, handouts, etc. Should be fun!”
From ARRL Web:
Registrations for this year’s popular International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend (ILLW) appear to have been largely unaffected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. The event will take place this year over the August 22 – 23 weekend. By mid-July, more than 200 entries had been received, and some 400 are expected to have signed up by the event weekend.
New to this year’s event is Corsica at Phare d’Alistro, which for ILLW purposes carries the French number of FR0030. Two lighthouses in Ghana will be on the air for the first time, as well as Buck Island Lighthouse in the US Virgin Islands (VI0001). Germany is well in the lead with 54 entries, followed by Australia with 29 entries, and the US with 27 entries.
This event is designed as a fun weekend to encourage exposure to amateur radio and lighthouses to the visiting public, and ILLW stresses contacts should be more than just an exchange of signal reports. All participants are urged to observe local COVID-19 safety guidelines. —Thanks to Kevin Mulcahey, VK2CE