FCC Proposes to Reinstate Amateur Radio Service Fees

FCC sealFrom the ARRL Website, 08/28/2020:

Amateur radio licensees would pay a $50 fee for each amateur radio license application if the FCC adopts rules it proposed this week. Included in the FCC’s fee proposal are applications for new licenses, renewal and upgrades to existing licenses, and vanity call sign requests. Excluded are applications for administrative updates, such as changes of address, and annual regulatory fees.

The FCC proposal is contained in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD Docket 20-270, which was adopted to implement portions of the “Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act” of 2018 — the so-called “Ray Baum’s Act.”

The Act requires that the FCC switch from a Congressionally-mandated fee structure to a cost-based system of assessment. In its NPRM, the FCC proposed application fees for a broad range of services that use the FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS), including the Amateur Radio Service that had been excluded by an earlier statute. The new statute excludes the Amateur Service from annual regulatory fees, but not from application fees. [Full story]

WG0AT: “Summits On The Air” at K1USN Radio Club On-line Meeting, September 1, 2020

man standing besides goats“Pi” Pugh, K1RV, writes in the K1USN Radio Club newsletter:

“Remember that our next biweekly K1USN Zoom session will take place this upcoming Tuesday, Sept 1st @ 7:30 PM with Steve – WG0AT (AKA the Goat Hiker) doing a presentation on SOTA (Summits On The Air). Some of you may have worked Steve on the air or perhaps have viewed some of his Goat Hiker videos on YouTube already. This should be an interesting presentation and you will receive an invitation by this Sunday if you are already on the K1USN Zoom subscription list. If you are not already on the list then please send me an e-mail (k1rv@arrl.net) so that I can add you to our separate Zoom invitation list!”

Board of Directors Elects New ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA

From ARRL Web:

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.

N1DM: “FT4/FT8 Digital Modes” at Billerica ARS Online Meeting, September 2, 2020

FT8 QSO on screenAndy Wallace, KA1GTT, writes on the Billerica Amateur Radio Society’s website:

I am pleased to announce that Dom Mallozzi, N1DM, will give a presentation introducing the FT4 and FT8 digital modes [ on September 2, 2020 at 7 PM]. This will cover basic install and operation of the software, and Dom hopes that this will help new users avoid pitfalls. Dom will show actual QSOs as well so you can understand how the exchange works.

Dom has been licensed for 48 years and active on FT8, DMR, CW, construction projects, etc. He’s trustee of the Natick RACES repeater on 447.675. Recently, he has planned constructing an antenna system for amateur satellites so he can enjoy that mode again. Retired in 2019 (Electrical Engineer) he stays busy as the radio engineer for the Natick Fire and Police departments as well!  [Full story]

WQ1O: “Go-Kits” at New England Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society On-line Meeting, August 18, 2020

Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O, is the guest speaker at the Sci-Tech Amateur Radio Society’s weekly meeting, Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 7 PM.

According to the ARRL EMA section website, “Frank is the District Emergency Coordinator for the Cape Cod and the Islands area. This large and challenging area consists of Cape Cod, the island of Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Island.  Frank heads the CCARES organization and is the Hyannis Red Cross Communications Officer.  Frank is an experienced veteran of field operations and NTS procedures. He frequently presents material about field operations at the ARES Workshops, including the ‘go-kit’ presentation.”

[For Zoom conference details, email info -at- stars -dot- radio.]


N1DC: “Logbook Of The World” and “Ham Radio Deluxe” at the K1USN Radio Club Online Meeting, August 18, 2020

“Pi” Pugh, K1RV, writes in the K1USN Radio Club newsletter:
Rick, N1DC will be speaking [on August 18, 2020 at 7:30 PM] about using Logbook of the World (LOTW) as well as Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) to keep track of your HF contacts.
Logbook of the World is a web-accessed database provided by the American Radio Relay League to implement a contact verification service among amateur radio operators. Using LoTW, radio amateurs can claim and verify contacts made with other amateurs, generally for claiming credit for operating awards, such as DXCC.
Ham Radio Deluxe is an amateur radio software suite that includes five ham radio apps. … It includes most everything an amateur radio operator needs to automate their ham radio station.. These applications are all built to work together.
After Rick’s presentation we should have ample time for some Q & A
If you would like to receive an invitation to next Tuesday’s K1USN Zoom session be sure to send an e-mail to me ( k1rv@arrl.net ) to be added to our growing Zoom list. It is not necessary to re-register if you have already been receiving invitations to our previous Zoom sessions!

KD1D Fox is On the Loose in Westford

Alan Hicks, KD1D, writes on the NEMass Fox Hunters List at 3:34 PM on August 14, 2020:

The KD1D Fox is out again with a new battery from Electronics Plus!  I expect it to last for 4 -5 days.

In consideration of the warm weather (and the chiding I got for the last location’s altitude), the new location is easily accessible from the parking area at the end of Trails End Road in Westford.  

Happy Hunting!
73 de KD1D

“Communication is Key as MARS Auxiliarists Refine Skills”

photo of participant in recent MARS nationwide exerciseFrom army.mil:

“…The MARS Auxiliarists were tasked with collecting three different kinds of reports,” said English. “They collected county status reports from across the U.S. by interfacing with the amateur radio community; airport weather reports, called METARS, from select airports across CONUS and finally road closure reports.  In total, MARS Ops collected 1,400 city and county status reports; 424 METARSs [Meteorological Terminal Air Reports]; and 190 road closure reports.” [Full story]

Zola ARC Virtual Summer Reunion, August 15, 2020

Frank Ventura, N1FMV, writes on the Middlesex ARC mailing list: 

Due to the Covid-19 situation [the Zola ARC] won’t be holding a Summer luncheon this year. However, we can still get together and catch up and share our stories about how each of us has been doing and what radio related projects we have been working on. So order yourself some good takeout food for lunch and we’ll go around the virtual room and share our latest happenings.. Please see the meeting information below my name.

[Contact Frank Ventura, N1FMV,  at frank -at- littlebreezes -dot- com for Zoom conference details.]

Nashoba Valley ARC to Offer Technician Class in November, 2020

Edited: October 8, 2020:

Bruce, K1BG, will be conducting on-line technician classes beginning on Monday, November 2nd. Classes will run twice weekly for four weeks, on Monday and Wednesday nights. Each class will be two hours long and run on Zoom. The class will be limited to 15 students, and preference will be given to family and friends of NVARC members. Cost of the class will be $30 and will include textbook material. For more information, please contact Bruce, K1BG, at 508-341-5124. -NVARC Signal, October 2020

“Nashoba Valley ARC to Offer Technician Class in September, 2020”

Bruce Blain, K1BG, writes in the August issue of NVARC Signal:

Beginning sometime in September, the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club will offer Technician license classes the first time in over 20 years.

I will be coordinating a four-week class schedule, with two-hour sessions taking place twice weekly (eight sessions/16 hours total). A detailed schedule will be made available during the August club meeting webinar, and I’ll be looking for several volunteers to help with the classes.

Because we are avoiding group gatherings, classes will be held using the WebEx on-line webinar services generously offered by Jim, N8VIM, and Medtronic, his employer. Plans are to follow up the classes with a VE session to get the students licensed (and we will have to plan for dealing with social distancing at that session). Additionally, if there is enough interest, we will offer classes leading to a General class license sometime later in the fall. Stay tuned for more details.

If you have questions, feel like volunteering for either classroom instruction or the VE session, know of someone who wants to participate, etc., please contact me at K1BG.Bruce@gmail.com, or call me at 508- 341-5124.

WK4 – Winlink Radio Soundcard Interface Workshop, August 13, 2020

Please plan to attend the Thursday, August  13 ARES Zoom session. 

9:00 PM AST / 9:00 PM EDT / 8:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM MDT / 6:00 PM PDT / 5:00 PM AKDT / 3:00 PM HST

Topic: WK4 – Winlink Radio Soundcard Interface 
Speaker:  Kevin Custer W3KKC

Thursday’s meeting will be OPEN for all to attend. Please feel free to invite others. Please note that we have a Zoom participate limitation of 500.  Let us know if you can’t get in so that we can send you the video link. 

  • This meeting will be recorded. By participating you consent to being recorded. 
  • Please change your display name to Your FirstName, CallSign and Location, e.g. Dan K7REX Idaho
  • Please stay muted until ready to speak. Your space bar works like a PTT for unmuting
  • To be fair to everyone, there will be a three minute limit for each person during Q & A
  • You may ask questions in chat; please stay on topic while using chat.  

[For Zoom conference details, email Tom Walsh, K1TW at k1tw@arrl.org or Phil Temples, K9HI, at k9hi@arrl.org.]

ARRL Hires Paul Z. Gilbert, KE5ZW, as Director of Emergency Management

ARRL logoFrom ARRL web:

As another step in ARRL’s increased focus on strengthening its emergency communications capabilities and long-standing working relationships with federal and state agencies and private emergency response organizations, ARRL has hired Paul Z. Gilbert, KE5ZW, of Cedar Park, Texas, as its first Director of Emergency Management.

Gilbert brings more than 30 years of experience in public service in both his professional and amateur radio endeavors. Beginning with his appointment as Emergency Coordinator in 1987, he has held multiple positions in the ARRL Field Organization. Currently in his second term as South Texas Section Manager, he has also served for more than a decade as the West Gulf Division’s Assistant Director for Public Service, acting as liaison between Division leadership and local, state, and federal emergency management organizations.

Professionally, Gilbert most recently was Radio Officer, HQ Staff, for the Texas State Guard, where for the past 6 years he has been responsible for planning and implementation of the organization’s communications capabilities. Previously he was a Public Safety Radio Coordinator for a Texas agency, charged with overseeing that organization’s large-scale disaster communications response and identifying and eliminating in-state interoperability issues.

Gilbert, who has an Amateur Extra-class license, is a member of Army MARS, and holds numerous DHS certifications, including COML, COMT, COMT Instructor, and AUXCOM Communicator. He is a member of the FEMA Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Group (RECCWG), a graduate of the FEMA Emergency Management Institute’s Exercise Design Course, and was a founding member of the Texas Division of Emergency Management Communications Coordination Group.

In his new role, Gilbert will manage a team responsible for supporting ARRL Emergency Communications (EmComm) programs and services, including the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) and National Traffic System (NTS), as well as lead the continued modernization of those programs in consonance with the future emergency communications needs of the public and ARRL’s key partners.