Wednesday, 29th July 2015

LoTW, ARRL E-Mail, Online Store Will Be Down Overnight, July 31-August 1!

Logbook of The World (LoTW), E-mail to and from ARRL Headquarters, and the ARRL Online Store will be down from Friday, July 31, at 8 PM EDT (0000 UTC on August 1) until 8 AM EDT (1200 UTC on August 1) in order to complete necessary maintenance.

All incoming e-mail will be queued for later delivery. The ARRL website will be operating normally. We apologize for any inconvenience.

HAARP Facility Will Be Transferred to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks on August 11

Tuesday, 28th July 2015

ARRL Files More “Grow Light” Ballast Complaints with FCC

The ARRL has filed three more complaints with the FCC, urging its Enforcement Bureau to investigate and initiate enforcement proceedings to halt the marketing and retail sale of certain RF lighting devices typically known as “grow light” ballasts, which, it said, violate FCC Part 18 rules. The largely identical complaints zeroed in on three specific products: The Galaxy Legacy Selective Wattage...

Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 Gains Momentum, Cosponsor List Tops 90

Keep those letters coming! To date, according to the ARRL Regulatory Affairs Office, more than 4300 letters have been received from League members since the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 grassroots campaign began in March, all urging their members in both branches of Congress to become cosponsors of the bill. More letters are in the queue, and the correspondence seems to be having the desire...

Monday, 27th July 2015

Participants at International Gatherings to Speak with ISS via Amateur Radio

Participants at two international youth gatherings will have opportunities this week to speak via Amateur Radio with a member of the International Space Station crew.

On Tuesday, July 28, attendees at the United Space School in Seabrook, Texas, are scheduled to speak with astronaut Kimiya Yui, KG5BPH. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact between NA1SS and W6SRJ in...

Saturday, 25th July 2015

AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-DL, and Virginia Tech Announce Potential Phase 3E Opportunity

Virginia Tech has approached the US Government to fly the Phase 3E space frame into high-Earth orbit (HEO) in order to support scientific payloads as well as serve as an Amateur Radio satellite. During the AMSAT-DL Annual Meeting on July 4, the membership approved the concept, agreeing to allow the Phase 3E space frame currently stored in Germany to be shipped to Virginia Tech for further const...

Past IARU Region 3 Director, WARC-79 Delegate Fred Johnson, ZL2AMJ, SK

Friday, 24th July 2015

SEA-PAC Pioneer Al Berg, W7SIC, SK

One of the founding chairmen of SEA-PAC, Allan J. “Al” Berg, W7SIC, of Hillsboro, Oregon, died on July 22. He was 81 and had been suffering from cancer.

“Al was instrumental in assuring that SEA-PAC would be the premier Northwest ham convention and the ARRL Northwestern Division Convention,” said ARRL Oregon Section Manager Everett Curry, W6ABM. “He is credited with securing the ARRL National Co...

Researchers Decode CASSIOPE Satellite Field Day Fly-Over Experiment Results

The University of Calgary’s “Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (ePOP) Radio Receiver Instrument (RRI)” on the CASSIOPE satellite was able to detect several ARRL Field Day stations on June 28. The RRI listened on 80 and 40 meter segments. Virginia Tech graduate researcher Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, said that during the first 25 seconds of 7 MHz reception, he and his team aurally decoded and identifie...

FCC Shows No Mercy, Sustains $22,000 Fine for Egregious On-Air Behavior by Michigan Licensee

Friday, 24th July 2015

The K7RA Solar Update

All daily sunspot numbers dipped into the double digits last week, with the average declining from 73.7 to 43.4. This compares the latest July 16-22 period against the previous seven days.

Over the same periods, average daily solar flux went from 114.8 to 95.1.

Geomagnetic indices were mostly quiet, with average daily planetary A index going from 13.7 to 6.1 and average mid-latitude A index decli...

Thursday, 23rd July 2015

FCC Proposes Fining Georgia Ham $1000 for Failing to Identify

The FCC has proposed fining a Georgia ham $1000 for alleged failure to properly identify. David J. Tolassi, W4BHV, had been warned last August about not following the Commission’s Part 97 ID rules. The FCC said his “deliberate disregard” of that warning warranted the proposed penalty.

“Mr Tolassi…has a history of failing to comply with the rules governing the Amateur Radio Service,” the FCC said...

Wednesday, 22nd July 2015

Amateur Radio Volunteers Support Michigan’s Premier Bicycle Tour

A team of Michigan Amateur Radio volunteers supported communication on July 11 for the 39th running of the One Helluva Ride (OHR) bicycle tour. The annual event, sponsored by the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society (AABTS), kicks off from and ends at the Chelsea, Michigan, fairgrounds and offers rides ranging from 15 to 100 miles. The longer routes pass through the town of Hell. This marked the 2...

WB6RSE Wins July QST Cover Plaque Award

The winner of the July 2015 QST Cover Plaque award is Steve Lawrence, WB6RSE, for his article “Rebuilding a Receiving Flag Antenna for 160 Meters.”

The QST Cover Plaque Award -- given to the author or authors of the most popular article in each issue -- is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll web page. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the August issue today.


Party Balloon Carrying Ham Radio Payload Circles Southern Hemisphere a Second Time

After travelling for more than 110,800 km (68,696 mi) aloft, the record-setting pico balloon PS-46, carrying an Amateur Radio payload, completed its second circumnavigation of the Southern Hemisphere, before descending into the Indian Ocean on July 18 due to bad weather. The helium balloon and its solar-powered 25 mW payload were launched on May 23 by Andy Nguyen, VK3YT.

“It was an exciting but...

Tuesday, 21st July 2015

ARISS Offering Certificate for Receiving Apollo-Soyuz Mission SSTV Images

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is offering a certificate to anyone who received slow-scan TV images during the Apollo-Soyuz mission 40th anniversary event, July 18-19. The ARISS team transmitted a series of 12 SSTV images related to the historical event. Apollo-Soyuz represented the first joint US-USSR mission, and it set the stage for later US-Russia collaboration on ...

Amateur Radio Satellite Pioneer’s Estate Will Boost ARRL Endowment Fund

The ARRL will benefit from the largesse of the late Amateur Radio satellite pioneer Cliff Buttschardt, K7RR (ex-W6HDO), and his late wife Mable Vierthaler. The League this month received the first major installment of its portion of the couple’s estate. Buttschardt also designated AMSAT to receive a similar share. Buttschardt died in 2006, and his wife in 2013. The funds will go into the ARRL E...

ARRL Board Approves Dues Hike, HF Band Plan, 2016 National Parks Centennial Event

Monday, 20th July 2015 Website Undergoing Major Upgrade

[UPDATED 2015 07-22 1905 UTC] The popular website has been undergoing a major upgrade since last Friday, and things are going a bit more slowly than initially anticipated. Founder and President Fred Lloyd, AA7BQ, said the site’s engineers “have encountered some unforeseen problems.”

“What started out as a simple update that went bad is now almost over,” Lloyd announced on the sit...

Friday, 17th July 2015

ARRL Complains to FCC About The Home Depot’s Marketing of RF Lighting Devices

[UPDATED 2015-07-20-1825 UTC] The ARRL has filed a formal complaint with the FCC, alleging that The Home Depot home improvement chain has been illegally marketing certain RF-ballast lighting devices in violation of FCC Part 18 rules. Accompanying the League’s July 14 letter to FCC Enforcement Bureau Spectrum Enforcement Division Chief Bruce Jacobs and Office of Engineering and Technology Labora...

Tuesday, 14th July 2015

Wednesday, July 15, is Amazon Prime Day! Support ARRL by Shopping at AmazonSmile

“Amazon Prime Day” is a 1-day shopping event on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, offering more deals than Black Friday. As you browse the great deals available exclusively to Amazon Prime members, we invite you to shop at AmazonSmile, choosing the ARRL as your charity of choice.

With every qualifying purchase you make through AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a contribution to ARRL. This helps the League t...

ARISS Announces Live Video Feed of Contact with Russian Cosmonaut

A live video feed is planned of an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact Wednesday, July 15, with members of the Vail Vaqueros 4H Club in Pima County, Arizona. The event will get under way in at Empire High School Auditorium in Tucson at approximately 18:01 UTC, and will be a direct contact via W7LB.

Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, RN3BF, will speak with the students via ...

IARU Member-Societies Conducting Second Kosovo Vote, Burundi Admitted

International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-societies are taking a second vote on whether to admit Kosovo’s national Amateur Radio association, Shoqata e Radio Amatoreve te Kosoves (SHRAK). IARU Proposal 254 is a revote on whether or not to admit SHRAK.

“Many of you will recall that Kosovo was proposed for IARU membership in IARU Proposal 251 in 2014,” IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD, exp...

Monday, 13th July 2015

DeorbitSail CubeSat Put into Orbit, Heard in US

The DeorbitSailCubeSat, built by researchers and radio amateurs at the Surrey Space Centre in Guildford, England, was launched into orbit on July 10. It carries a 1200 bps BPSK beacon transmitting on 145.975 MHz. The first DeorbitSail packet reports to the Surrey Space Centre came from Ken Swaggart, W7KKE, in Oregon. Nitin Muttin, VU3TYG, reported receiving signals as the CubeSat passed over In...

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015: Politicians Do Listen, ARRL President Says

ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, said in the July ARRL Legislative Update Newsletter that Washington politicians are paying attention to League members who have contacted lawmakers to urge their cosponsorship of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015. Essentially identical bills have been introduced in both the US House (H.R. 1301) and Senate (S. 1685). Both measures would direct the FCC to exte...

Friday, 10th July 2015

Short Circuit Causes Feed Line Fire at Sweden’s SAQ Alexanderson Station

Sweden’s Alexanderson alternator station SAQ said this week that a feed-line fire may have adversely affected the tally of listener reports from the station’s June 28 “Alexanderson Day” transmissions. Lars Kalland, SM6NM, at the SAQ World Heritage Grimeton site said there was a problem with the antenna on the first transmission from the vintage equipment at 0900 UTC.

“[A]fter a wet and rainy nig...

AMSAT 2015 Symposium Invites Papers

AMSAT has issued its first call for papers for its Annual Meeting and Space Symposium, set for October 16-18 in Dayton, Ohio. Proposals for papers, symposium presentations and poster presentations are invited on any topic of interest to the amateur satellite community.

AMSAT requests a tentative title, but no later than August 1. Final copy must be submitted by September 15 for inclusion in the ...

The August Edition of Digital QST is Now Available

The August Edition of Digital QST is Now Available at

• Control your station remotely from your tablet or smartphone

• Build an audio notch filter and clipper

• Learn how to avoid “dirty digital.”

• See some of the new gear that debuted at the Dayton Hamvention®

…and much more!

Enjoy Content You Won’t Find in the Print Edition…

• See a video overview of...

The K7RA Solar Update

Solar activity perked up over the July 2-8 period, with average daily sunspot numbers increasing from 35.9 to 109.1, compared to the previous seven days.

Likewise, average daily solar flux increased from 100.7 to 123.2.

Daily sunspot numbers were below 100 on June 16 through July 3, bottoming out at 25 on June 27.

A moderate geomagnetic storm on July 4-5 was caused by a solar wind stream. The mid-...

Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR Named to Head NASA Astronaut Office

Ham-Astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, has been appointed chief of NASA’s Astronaut Office. Cassidy, who conducted several Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contacts as part of the Expedition 35/36 crew onboard the ISS in 2013, is a US Navy Captain and a former Navy SEAL. NASA officials announced Cassidy’s appointment on July 9.

During his career as an astronaut, Cassidy, 45...

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