Saturday, 13th February 2016

Enthusiasm, Friendly Faces Abound at Orlando HamCation, Host of 2016 ARRL National Convention

New ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, was among the members of the ARRL team greeting visitors to the ARRL Expo at Orlando HamCation on February 12. Friday was opening day for the Orlando HamCation, which is hosting the 2016 ARRL National Convention. The event marks President Roderick’s inaugural ARRL National Convention appearance since his election in January. The weather has been pleasant,...

Antonio Gonzalez, EA5RM, to Receive 2015 ARRL International Humanitarian Award

“Ham TV” System Used for First Time During ARISS Contact with UK School

The “Ham TV” digital Amateur Radio television system onboard the International Space Station was used for the first time ever this week for an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contact. UK and ESA Astronaut Tim Peake, KG5BVI, inaugurated the system as he spoke on February 11 with students at a school in Rickmansworth, England. The DATV system in the Columbus module...

Friday, 12th February 2016

The K7RA Solar Update

All four of the indices we track rose over the past week, with average daily sunspot number rising from 50.6 to 86.6, average daily solar flux up from 105.4 to 117.4, average daily planetary A index increasing from 7.3 to 9.4, and average daily mid-latitude A index up from 5.6 to 6.4.

Predicted solar flux for the near term is 110 and 105 on February 12-13, 105 on February 14-16, 111, 100, 105 an...

Amateur Radio Parity Act Gets Favorable Subcommittee Report

On a voice vote, the US House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology has sent the Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301, to the full House Energy and Commerce Committee with a favorable report for further consideration. The measure was among three bills the Subcommittee considered during a February 11 "markup" session. The Subcommittee is chaired by Rep Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR).

“I’m optim...

Wednesday, 10th February 2016

The March Edition of Digital QST is Now Available

The March Edition of Digital QST is now available at

 This is our annual antenna issue!
• Build a four-band VHF-UHF “contest” antenna

• Use a satellite TV dish to disguise a 2 meter antenna

• Try a 60-meter dipole antenna that also works on 15 meters

• Build a compact 3-band HF antenna

…and much more!

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


Army and Air Force MARS Communications Exercise Set for February 12

The first quarterly Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) US Department of Defense communications exercise of 2016 (COMEX 16-1) is set for February 12. The scenario will be a loss of electrical power, landline telephone and cell service, and Internet. The exercise will get under way at 1200 UTC and run for 12 hours. Individual radio amateurs and Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) groups wi...

Randy Thompson, K5ZD, Stepping down as CQ World Wide Contest Director

Randy Thompson, K5ZD, said February 9 that he will step down as director of the CQ World Wide Contest as soon as his replacement can be found. His announcement includes a job description for prospective applicants. Thompson cited increasing professional responsibilities for his decision. Thompson became director of the CQ WPX Contest in 2008, serving through the 2012 contest. He was appointed a...

ARRL 2016 International DX Contest (CW) is February 20-21

No contest season is complete without the running of our annual ARRL International DX Contest. The CW event is February 20-21; the phone event is 2 weeks later on the weekend of March 5-6.

Whether you’re new to DXing, new to HF, or even new to CW, this contest offers an easy way for you to join in and have a lot of fun! The contest exchange is short and simple, and many participants here and abr...

The March/April Issue of QEX Is on the Way!

Tuesday, 9th February 2016

Japanese Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads to Launch on February 12

US House Subcommittee to Consider Amateur Radio Parity Act

The Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301, will be among three bills that the US House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will consider in a Thursday, February 11, “markup” session. The subcommittee will gather on February 10 for opening statements only. When it reconvenes the next day, its members could vote to send the measure to the House Energy and Commerce Committee for further co...

Virgin Islands Weather Net Founder, Repeater Network Pioneer George B. Cline, KP2G, SK

George B. Cline, KP2G, of St John, Virgin Islands, died on January 11. He was 79. For many years Cline served as a radio dispatcher for St John Rescue, and he was a member of the St John Amateur Radio Club. In 1994, Cline initiated the Virgin Islands Weather Net to provide weather updates and critical weather information for the greater Virgin Islands community.

He also spearheaded a project to ...

Monday, 8th February 2016

Icom Donates IC-9100 Transceiver to ARRL

Icom America recently donated an IC-9100 transceiver for installation at W1HQ, the ARRL Headquarters station used by employees and volunteers. 

The transceiver was provided courtesy of Ray Novak, N9JA, Icom America Senior Sales Manager, and it includes the optional 1200 MHz module. The IC-9100 is an HF through 1200 MHz multimode transceiver that offers two independent receivers. It received an e...

IARU President Touts Amateur Radio’s Relevance in Emergency Communication

International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, says Amateur Radio is “probably more relevant today than it was 25 years ago.” Ellam made the comment during an interview with Maximilian Jacobson-Gonzalez at the 2nd Global Forum on Emergency Telecommunications (GET-2016), held in late January in Kuwait and sponsored by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). T...

New ARRL President Happy to be Part of “Exciting Times for Amateur Radio”

Making his inaugural ARRL National Convention appearance as ARRL President, Rick Roderick, K5UR, said he’s looking forward to meeting many League members in person in Orlando this week. The 2016 ARRL National Convention, February 12-14, is hosted by the Orlando HamCation®, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.

“We are embarking on a new era at ARRL as the second century begins,” Presi...

Sunday, 7th February 2016

School Club Roundup is February 8-12; Some Rule Changes are in Place

Young operators at school clubs across the country will take to the air for the “Winter/Spring Term” School Club Roundup, which gets under way Monday, February 8 at 1300 UTC, and continues through Friday, February 12, at 2359 UTC.

Because of changes in rules for the event, operators should ensure that their logging software is up to date: 

  • Contacts on digital modes such as RTTY and PSK31 now coun...

Saturday, 6th February 2016

Severe Weather, Out-of-Turn Callers Hindering VP8SGI DXpedition

[UPDATED 2016-02-07 1445 UTC] The South Georgia Island VP8SGI DXpedition has been cut short by bad weather. “VP8SGI Team back on Braveheart. Big storm right now. Everyone is OK. More news later,” was the word earlier today from VP8STI/VP8SGI Chief Pilot Toni Gonazlez, EA5RM.  

VP8SGI and VP8SGI/mm were still being spotted or heard on 30, 20, and 10 meter CW after the announced shutdown, but thos...

Friday, 5th February 2016

The K7RA Solar Update

Over the recent reporting week (January 28 through February 3) both sunspot and solar flux averages were down a negligible amount, and geomagnetic numbers were down substantially, compared to the previous seven days.

Average daily sunspot numbers declined from 57.3 to 50.6, while average daily solar flux values went from 106 to 105.4. Average daily planetary A index softened from 11.6 to 7.3, wh...

Quarter Century Wireless Association Honors ARRL President Emeritus Harry Dannals, W2HD

Monday, 1st February 2016

New QST QuickStats Poll Posted

This month’s QuickStats poll has been posted! Check the QuickStats page at and answer these questions . . .

• How active are the FM repeaters in your area?

Do you own a 3D printer?

• Have you operated from a National Park for National Parks On The Air?

Do you have an Amateur Radio map on the wall at your home station?

Visit the QuickStats page and be sure to bookmark it ...

Satellite Package Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Released into Orbit from ISS

A package of two satellites carrying Amateur Radio payloads has been deployed into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS) as part of a collaborative Texas A&M and University of Texas at Austin research effort. Built by Texas A&M students, AggieSat4 (AGS4) will release UT's Bevo-2 CubeSat in about a month, once it is far enough away from the ISS. Both schools received support from NASA...

Friday, 29th January 2016

Visalia 2016 Top Band Dinner Set for April 15

The Top Band Dinner at the International DX Convention in Visalia, California, will take place on April 15 in the ballroom of the Marriott hotel adjacent to the Visalia Convention Center. Craig Thompson, K9CT, will present, “Top Band from Palmyra, K5P.” The dinner will be a buffet. Check in starts at 6:30 PM. Complete details and registration information are on the Top Band Dinner website. 

Ohio SEC Hoping to Expand “NVIS Antenna Day” Activity this Year

 ARRL Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator Stan Broadway, N8BHL, says he is hoping to expand his section’s “NVIS Antenna Day” on April 23 by encouraging participation by stations in neighboring states. This year’s activity also will offer the concept of establishing “anchor stations” around Ohio to provide consistent signal reports to other participants. The Near-Vertical Incidence Skywave or NVI...

FEMA Issues Call for Youth Council Members

Applications for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) are currently open. The deadline to submit an application is Tuesday, March 1.

Members represent the youth perspective on emergency preparedness and share information with their communities. They also meet with FEMA on a regular basis to provide ongoing input on strategies, initiatives, and projects....

The K7RA Solar Update

Solar activity increased last week (January 21-27), compared to the previous seven days. Average daily sunspot numbers increased from 46 to 57.3, and average daily solar flux went from 100.7 to 106. Geomagnetic indices were also higher, with planetary A index going from 9 to 11.6.

Predicted solar flux for the short term is 110 and 108 on January 29-30, 105 on January 31 through February 1, 108 o...

Thursday, 28th January 2016

ARES Volunteers Help to Distribute Water in Ohio Community with Lead-Tainted Water

Flint, Michigan, is not the only community with water problems due to high lead content. During the week of January 18, some 8100 water customers in Sebring, Ohio, were notified that they, too, had problems with high lead content in their drinking water. On January 22, both Ohio and Mahoning County emergency management agencies began passing out bottled water in Sebring. Mahoning County ARES Em...

FCC Waives Filing Deadlines Due to Weather-Related Closures

Due to adverse weather conditions, FCC headquarters closed early on January 22 and was closed altogether on January 25 and 26. “In recognition of the numerous closings and disruptions caused by the weather in the Washington, DC, area, all paper and electronic filings that were due on January 22 through January 27, 2016, will now be due on Thursday, January 28, 2016,” the FCC announced on Januar...

University Radio Club Donates Vintage J-37 Key to B-29 Radio Position Restoration

The Amateur Radio Club of the University of Arkansas (W5YM), which celebrates its centennial this year, has donated a J-37 telegraph key to be used in a radio position under restoration onboard “Fifi,” a World War II vintage B29 Superfortress. Members of the Rockwell-Collins Amateur Radio Club have been recreating a radio operator’s position on the aircraft.

“It’s a grand addition to ‘Fifi’s’ re...

IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society Honors Ulrich Rohde, N1UL

Ulrich Rohde, N1UL, has been honored with the 2016 Microwave Application Award by the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society. He was credited with “Significant contributions to the development of low-noise oscillators.” The Microwave Application Award recognizes an individual, or a team, for an outstanding application of microwave theory and techniques that have been put into practice wit...

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