Tag Archives: ARRL

A Very Memorable Club Meeting

We had a very memorable club meeting last evening. Tom Gallagher NY2RF, CEO of the ARRL and Dave Patton NN1N were our speakers. Tom and Dave talked with us about their plans for the future of the ARRL and our hobby. Their plans include:

  • Initiatives to bring young people and new folks into our hobby
  • Plans for electronics oriented education and training
  • Social Media enhanced information sharing within the Amateur Radio community

These goals align well with the work that our club has been doing over the past 18 months.

13 Colonies Top Club Award Presentation
13 Colonies Top Club Award Presentation

We also used this opportunity to recognize the members of our club who operated as K2K New Hampshire in the Thirteen Colonies Special Event this year. Their efforts made our club the Top Club in the event this year, making over 9,700 contacts.

Abby Finchum Presenting our Youth Outreach Plans
Abby Finchum Presenting our Youth Outreach Plans

Abby Finchum KC1FFX, her Dad Jamey KC1ENX, and Brian Smigielski AB1ZO have been working on a project to interest young people in Amateur Radio. Abby did a nice presentation of their plans and asked for folks to volunteer to help us.

Members and Guests at our Meeting
Members and Guests at our Meeting

We invited several other clubs in New Hampshire and Massachusetts to join us for our meeting. Our club had a good turnout for the meeting.

Our Thanks to Tom Gallagher and Dave Patton
Our Thanks to Tom Gallagher and Dave Patton

We ended our meeting by thanking Tom and Dave for taking the time to come to talk about where the ARRL and Amateur Radio are headed. Their plans and work to keep our hobby strong and to evolve the ARRL into the future are very much appreciated by the Amateur Radio community and by our club.

Fred, AB1OC

Amateur Radio Parity Act passes in the US House of Representatives

The bill is passed without objection.” With those words, Amateur Radio history was made on September 12, when the US House of Representatives approved the Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301 on a voice vote under a suspension of the rules. The focus of the campaign to enact the legislation into law now shifts to the US Senate. The House victory culminated many years of effort on ARRL’s part to gain legislation that would enable radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities to erect antennas that support Amateur Radio communication. The measure calls on the FCC to amend its Part 97 rules “to prohibit the application to amateur stations of certain private land-use restrictions, and for other purposes.” While similar bills in past years gained some traction on Capitol Hill, it was not until the overwhelming grassroots support from the Amateur Radio community for H.R. 1301 shepherded by ARRL that a bill made it this far. The legislation faces significant obstacles to passage in the US Senate, however.

“This is a huge step in our effort to enact legislation that will allow radio amateurs who live in deed-restricted communities the ability to construct an effective outdoor antenna,” ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, said. “Thanks to everyone for their help in this effort thus far. Now we must turn our full attention to getting the bill passed in the Senate.”

ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, who chairs the ARRL Board’s Legislative Advocacy Committee, has been heavily involved in efforts to move H.R. 1301 forward. “This has been a multi-year effort that is finally seeing some light,” he said. “The passage of the bill in the House is a major accomplishment, due to the hard work of so many — from the rank-and-file member to the officers and directors.”

Lisenco said it’s not a time to rest on our laurels. “We are only halfway there. The focus now shifts to our effort in the Senate,” he said. “We are beginning a massive e-mail campaign in which we need every member to write their two Senators using our simplified process. You will be hearing from President Roderick and from your Directors, asking you to go to our ‘Rally Congress’ page. Using your ZIP code, e-mails will be generated much like our recent letter campaign. You’ll fill in your name and address and press Enter. The e-mails will be sent directly to your Senators without you having to search through their websites.”

Lisenco said getting these emails to members’ Senators is a critical part of the process. “Those numbers matter! Please help us help you by participating in this effort,” he said.

As the amended bill provides, “Community associations should fairly administer private land-use regulations in the interest of their communities, while nevertheless permitting the installation and maintenance of effective outdoor Amateur Radio antennas. There exist antenna designs and installations that can be consistent with the aesthetics and physical characteristics of land and structures in community associations while accommodating communications in the Amateur Radio services.”

During this week’s limited debate, the House bill’s sponsor, Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), thanked ARRL and the Community Associations Institute (CAI) for reaching an agreement to move the bill forward “in a bipartisan and very positive manner.” He pointed out to his colleagues that Amateur Radio antennas are prohibited outright in some areas.

“For some, this is merely a nuisance,” Kinzinger said, “but for others — those that use their Amateur Radio license for life-saving emergency communications — a dangerous situation can be created by limiting their ability to establish effective communication for those in need.”

Kinzinger said that in emergencies, hams can provide “a vital and life-saving function” when conventional communication systems are down. He also praised the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS), a US Department of Defense-sponsored program, comprised largely of Amateur Radio volunteers, that also supports communication during emergencies and disasters.

Cosponsor US Rep Joe Courtney (D-CT) also urged the bill’s passage. “This is not just a feel-good bill,” Courtney said, recounting how Hurricane Sandy brought down the power grid, and “we saw all the advanced communications we take for granted…completely fall by the wayside.” Ham radio volunteers provided real-time communication in the storm’s wake, he said, saying the legislation was a way “to rebalance things” for radio amateurs who choose to live in deed-restricted neighborhoods by enabling them to install “non-intrusive antennas.”

Courtney noted that he spoke recently with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and said that Wheeler “strongly supports this legislation.”

Leading up to the vote, Rep Paul Tonko (D-NY) also spoke in support of the legislation, calling it a common-sense approach that would build “fairness into the equation for Amateur Radio operators” in dealing with homeowners associations.

The earlier U.S. Senate version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act, S. 1685, no longer is in play, and the Senate is expected to vote by unanimous consent on the version of H.R. 1301 that was adopted by the House on September 12.

Source: ARRL

Nashua Area Radio Club – 2016 Highlights

Our club has had quite a year in 2016. We initiated many new activities and our members learned some new skills. Most importantly, we contributed a great deal to the Amateur Radio Service through license classes and other educational and outreach activities. We have plenty of material to include in our 2016 Highlights video which follows.

Highlights From Nashua Area Radio Club’s 2016 Activities

We made a video as a sort of memory book about our club’s activities and accomplishments in 2016. We hope that you enjoy it!

Fred, AB1OC

Ham Radio is Not Dead Yet

Meet Joel Wilhite, or KD6W as he’s known in the American Radio Relay League. Yes, Joel is a competitive ham radio enthusiast.

Joel admits to using a “store bought” shortwave radio back in the early 80s when he first started this hobby, but his focus ever since has been one of innovation. It started with a few “upgrades” but increasingly Joel has focused on designing his competitive ham radios from the ground up. From tubes to transistors, this is clearly not your father’s ham radio.

The American Radio Relay League dates back to 1914 when an inventor, Hiram Percy Maxim, best known for his firearm silencer, was anything but silent about his ham radio hobby. Frustrated by the inability to communicate directly with other hams, he had the idea of creating a relay system to extend the range of radio communication.

Fast forward to modern times and Joel designs and redesigns his radios as one of the top competitors the ARRL’s 10GHz and Up contest which they hold twice a year. A 10 year veteran of the competition his best result is a second place finish.

The object of the 10GHz & Up contest (http://www.arrl.org/10-ghz-up) is to communicate with as many other radio broadcasters from as many different locations as possible. Joel’s modifications including “locking in the oscillator so that two devices trying to communicate do not drift into a different frequency. He used a Jameco DC to DC converter to accomplish this crucial task, as well as other existing parts. In order to lock the oscillators, he uses phase lock loops. During the contest, the competitors try to get to a broadcast location, get on the air as fast as possible, communicate with others, and repeat this in as many locations as possible. Since the contest requires almost constant movement, a crucial part of the design process is ensuring that the operator has the ability to break down and reassemble the device. This requires a certain amount of durability and flexibility in the design.

Hamr Radio

He will often use a pre-made module but fires up his CAD software for the design process evaluating fit and function. This ownership of the design is both practical and a source of pride for Joel – he enjoys the knowledge that he is the greatest expert when it comes to his own devices.

According to Joel, the innovations in this industry continue to come, and he’s regularly researching what capabilities he might be able to incorporate into his designs.   Joel’s day job in television is nothing like his weekends as KD6W, ARRL competitor. He has been pursuing his radio hobby as much as possible since he first got licensed in 1982 and is a part of a very active hobbyist community.   Together, Joel and his fellow radio enthusiasts work to continue learning, developing, and practicing their skills. According to Joel, “getting a license is easy” – the fun truly starts when people are able to access their own creativity and think of new, innovative projects. While many of us may think of amateur radio as a thing of the past, Joel assures me that it is “not the old tube ham radio stuff anymore.”

FULL ARTICLE HERE  by Danielle Roof: http://www.jameco.com/Jameco/workshop/MyStory/ham-radio-is-not-dead-yet.html

Layne, AE1N