This Week in Amateur Radio

Subscribe to This Week in Amateur Radio feed This Week in Amateur Radio
This Week in Amateur Radio: North America's Amateur Radio News Magazine. Articles on amateur radio and news stories in the media featured here.
Updated: 2 hours 47 min ago

Circuit Board for Bare-Bones Ventilator Moves Toward Production with Radio Amateurs’ Help

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 18:30
We know many examiners have canceled amateur radio license exam sessions to meet the requirements and recommendations of national and local government and of health officials. The health and safety of examinees and our Volunteer Examiners (VEs) is first and foremost in any decision-making process. The ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) does not offer video-supervised online amateur radio licensing exams at the present time. We are aware, however, that some VE teams are exploring alternative formats on a local basis. Please use ARRL’s License Exam Search to find scheduled exam sessions in your area and verify with the local exam team that the session is still being held.

To All ARRL Members and ARRL VEC Accredited Volunteer Examiners

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 18:30
We know many examiners have canceled amateur radio license exam sessions to meet the requirements and recommendations of national and local government and of health officials. The health and safety of examinees and our Volunteer Examiners (VEs) is first and foremost in any decision-making process. The ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) does not offer video-supervised online amateur radio licensing exams at the present time. We are aware, however, that some VE teams are exploring alternative formats on a local basis. Please use ARRL’s License Exam Search to find scheduled exam sessions in your area and verify with the local exam team that the session is still being held.

International Marconi Day 2020 has been Canceled

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 18:30
The annual International Marconi Day (IMD) ham radio operating event that was set to take place on April 25 has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 24-hour amateur radio event celebrates the birth of Marconi on April 25, 1874. Sponsored by the Cornish Radio Amateur Club, which operates as GB4IMD, International Marconi Day features participating stations operating at sites hav...

Some Countries Permitting “STAYHOME”-Suffix Call Signs during COVID-19 Pandemic

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 18:30
Some countries around the world are allowing radio amateurs to use special “STAYHOME” call sign suffixes. For example, listen for 8A1STAYHOME from Indonesia, and A60STAYHOME/# call signs from the United Arab Emirates. In Canada, Michael Shamash, VE2MXU, is using VC2STAYHOM “to raise awareness for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Canada limits call sign suffixes to seven character...

Spain Grants Unlicensed Individuals Permission to Use Amateur Stations During Lockdown

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 18:30
Spain’s International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-society URE has obtained temporary permission from the country’s telecommunications regulator for unlicensed people to use amateur stations during the coronavirus lockdown. “The main objective of the request is to disseminate and promote amateur radio among schoolchildren who must be confined at home,” the announcement from the Ministry of ...

USA Amateur Radio Direction Finding Championships Canceled

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 10:30
The FCC has granted temporary permission to wireless internet service providers (WISPs) in rural portions of 29 states and the US Virgin Islands to operate in the 5.8 GHz band (5.850 – 5.895 GHz). The authorization, to help meet the temporary surge in demand for residential fixed broadband services during the COVID-19 pandemic, was one of multiple waivers issued in the past week that grant temporary access to a variety of bands in response to the uptick in residential broadband demand.

FCC Grants Temporary Emergency Authority to WISPs Operating in 5.8 GHz Band

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 10:30
The FCC has granted temporary permission to wireless internet service providers (WISPs) in rural portions of 29 states and the US Virgin Islands to operate in the 5.8 GHz band (5.850 – 5.895 GHz). The authorization, to help meet the temporary surge in demand for residential fixed broadband services during the COVID-19 pandemic, was one of multiple waivers issued in the past week that grant temporary access to a variety of bands in response to the uptick in residential broadband demand.

RSGB contest committees launch ‘Hope QSO Party’

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 10:30
To help and support radio amateurs who are isolated at home and would appreciate contact with other people, the RSGB Contest Committees are launching a new six-week initiative starting on Monday 6 April, called the ‘Hope QSO Party’. Open to every radio amateur, not just RSGB members, this contest will also welcome international participation with the scoring being on an “Anyone works Anyone” basis. The initiative follows a recent survey to discover people’s views on how to support radio amateurs in these challenging times. By 1 April, 571 responses had been received and a significant majority of respondents wanted to participate in a series of short QSO party-style weekday contests. The committees appreciate that not everyone is keen on the proposal but the majority view supports this new activity on a temporary basis. The survey will remain open until Friday 3 April and we’ll present the full results next week.

Radio Amateurs Team Up to Help University Design Low-Cost Ventilator

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 19:30
Amateur radio volunteers from around the world have volunteered to assist University of Florida Professor Sam Lampotang and his engineering team in their quest to rapidly develop an open-source, low-cost patient ventilator that can be built anywhere from such commonly available components as PVC pipe and lawn-sprinkler valves. The amateur radio volunteers are developing Arduino-based control so...

Club Log Allocates 100% of its Computing Resources to COVID-19 Protein Research

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 19:30
Michael Wells, G7VJR, has announced that Club Log is contributing 120 CPU cores (most running at 3.4 GHz) to the Folding@Home Project that’s simulating the dynamics of COVID-19 proteins to hunt for new therapeutic opportunities. Wells said he’s assigned a higher priority to the Folding@Home work, so radio amateurs may experience slightly longer upload times.“You can help, too, by contributing y...

International Amateur Radio Union Adjusting to COVID-19

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 19:30
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has reported on how it is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, given the various restrictions in place to slow the spread of the virus. IARU said the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Headquarters in Geneva remains off limits to visitors until April 17 at the earliest. ITU has cancelled some meetings, postponed others, and converted others int...

ARRL Headquarters is Closing

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 19:30
ARRL Headquarters will comply with an executive order from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont that all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities reduce in-person workforces by 100% no later than March 23, 2020, at 8 PM. ARRL will equip as many Headquarters staffers as possible to work remotely.W1AW bulletin and code practice transmissions will continue. Customer service representatives ...

Refund Procedures in Place for Dayton Hamvention-Associated Social Events

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 12:30
Refunds are being processed for Dayton Hamvention-associated social gatherings, including Contest University, Contest Dinner, and Top Band Dinner. Each event has its own procedures. Those who signed up for the DX Dinner will be able to obtain refunds via PayPal. An email to all registrants will provide details. — Thanks to Tim Duffy, K3LR, SWODXA

HamSCI 2020 Workshop Retools as a Virtual Event

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 12:30
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the March 20 – 21 HamSCI Workhop will go on, moving to an all-digital webinar workshop. Registration and participation will be free and open to all, organizer and University of Scranton professor Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, said over the weekend. A tentative agenda has been posted. Participants may register online. The workshop will be presented using the Zoom webinar platform. Those planning to take part should visit the Zoom website, create a free account, and download the client software. Frissell encouraged participants to set up a Zoom account, so they can get familiar with the system.

Long Island CW Club Offering Free, Online Morse Code Instruction for Homebound Youngsters

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 12:30
The Long Island CW Club in New York is offering free, online Morse code instruction for the “many youngsters at loose ends as a result of school closings due to COVID-19 concerns.” The club’s co-founder, Howard Bernstein, WB2UZE, pointed out that learning Morse code is “a fun and educational activity for children of all ages that can fill part of the gap left by the current unfortunate situatio...

FCC Levies $18,000 Fine on Louisiana Amateur Radio Licensee

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 12:30
In an enforcement case prompted by complaints filed in 2017, the FCC has imposed an $18,000 forfeiture on Jerry W. Materne, KC5CSG, of Lake Charles, Louisiana, for intentional interference and failure to identify. The FCC had proposed the fine in a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) in the case in July 2018, and, based on Materne’s response to the NAL, the agency affirmed the fine in a March 12...

via the RSGB: BATC helps clubs to hold virtual meetings

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 12:30
In order to support the worldwide amateur radio community during the Covid-19 virus pandemic, British Amateur Television Club (BATC) is offering free use of the BATC Video Streaming Service and chat facility to any radio club or group of radio amateurs. This will help clubs to hold virtual meetings with HD video and audio streaming and a chat window for real-time feedback and discussion. To enable this, the BATC is offering free one-year cyber membership to any radio club or group of radio amateurs. For details of how to apply, please go to the BATC website

Canceled Ohio ARES State Conference Morphs into Statewide Communication Exercise

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 12:30
Ohio Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) canceled the Ohio ARES State Conference set for April 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic and repurposed the date for a statewide communication exercise, with an emphasis on communicating from home. “Ohio has a high-profile station at the state Emergency Operations Center (EOC), with regular weekly EOC nets,” ARES Section Emergency Coordinator Stan Broadway, N8BHL, said. “But with the national emphasis on staying home, we turned the vacated day into a 2-hour series of nets designed to have amateur operators check in using their home stations.”

Message from RSGB General Manager, Steve Thomas, M1ACB

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 12:30
We took the decision to close the RSGB National Radio Centre earlier this week to help protect our staff, volunteers and visitors. You will also have seen announcements about changes to our AGM, exams and contests over recent days. During this difficult time we have also been focused on protecting the welfare of our volunteer teams and the staff at RSGB HQ in Bedford. The majority of the sixteen RSGB staff are now working remotely but we will maintain a skeleton staff at the office, to receive deliveries, for as long as we can. Our staff have a very positive team spirit as they adjust to new working environments while we strive to maintain the usual services. We are still supporting members and volunteers through the usual telephone and online services so do continue to contact RSGB HQ in the usual way. Thank you for your support as we face these challenges together.

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly Nominated for Another Term

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 12:30
President Donald Trump has nominated FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly for another 5-year term on the Commission. The nomination was sent to the US Senate on March 18. O’Rielly was initially appointed to the FCC in 2013 by President Barack Obama. “During my tenure at the Commission, I have advocated for preserving and advancing American free market principles to develop common sense regulation and eliminate unnecessary rules that hurt consumers,” O’Rielly said in a statement, expressing appreciation to President Trump.

Pages