Ham radio in the news
A quick summary of what is happening in amateur radio
Click on headline to read full story
• Hamvention 2012 Awards Committee chooses 2012 winners - The Hamvention Awards Committee has announced the winners for 2012. Mr. S. Suri, VU2MY, has been selected as the amateur of the year.
Joel Hallas, W1ZR, won the technical achievement award and Steven Betza, WZ2V, received the special achievement award. The German Deutscher Amateur Radio Club was chosen for the Club of the Year Award.
Mr. Suri, can be described as the H.P. Maxim of India. He is well recognized throughout the vast country of India. Mr. Suri was instrumental in establishing the art and science of amateur radio as well as leading his country’s effort to establish the National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR). Staying with his avocation, Mr. Suri has lead search and rescue and reovery efforts in many natural emergency events throughout India and elsewhere. It gives us great pleasure in presenting Mr. Suri with the 2012 Hamvention Amateur of the Year Award.
Winning the Technical Achievement Award is Joel Hallas. Joel is better known for his monthly QST column titled “The Doctor Is In”. This lively column answers many of the basic and not-so-basic technical questions of ham radio. Joel answers these questions in a easy to read format that has a low “intimidation factor”. Many amateurs worldwide appreciate his help. He is the author of Basic Radio, Basic Antennas, The ARRL Guide to Antenna Tuners, Care and Feeding of Transmission Lines and Understanding and Using Your Antenna Analyzer. Joel has garnered many technical awards and remains one of the top technical authors in our avocation.
Steven Betza wins the Special Achievement Award for 2012. Steven enjoys teaching a wide range of students through live experiments and missions. Through a project called “Blue Horizon”, he caused the licensing of 38 new hams, set the world record for the highest amateur balloon vehicle (125,000 feet AGL), and demonstrated many technical feats relating to the flight. Steve has contributed in a major way to college and high school education programs in electronics engineering.
The Annual Club Award goes to Deutsche Amateur Radio Club (DARC). DARC has organized the country of Germany into one unified national radio organization. It can be compared to the ARRL in the United States. It provides educational and technical support for radio amateurs and shortwave listeners. Prior to formal regulations in Germany, DARC provided guidance in terms of frequency and power. DARC plays a major role in training and licensing and is well respected throughout the European Union (EU).
Visit the Hamvention Web Site frequently for updates on the winners of the prestigious Hamvention 2012 Amateur Radio Awards.]
• New 60 Meter Privileges Now In Effect - Effective March 5, US amateurs have new privileges on the 60 meter band. In addition to an increase in effective radiated power from 50 to 100 W, hams can now transmit CW and PSK31 on the following channel-center frequencies:
Channel 1: 5332.0 kHz
Channel 2: 5348.0 kHz
Channel 3: 5358.5 kHz
Channel 4: 5373.0 kHz
Channel 5: 5405.0 kHz
Amateurs can also transmit Upper Sideband voice and PACTOR III on the following suppressed carrier frequencies (the frequencies typically shown on transceiver displays):
Channel 1: 5330.5 kHz
Channel 2: 5346.5 kHz
Channel 3: 5357.0 kHz
Channel 4: 5371.5 kHz
Channel 5: 5403.5 kHz
For more information, download 60-Meter Operations – New Privileges and Recommended Practices. Also, a revised ARRL band chart is available for download.
• Three Operations Approved for DXCC Credit - ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, reports that three operations -- the current VK0TH and AX/VK0TH (Macquarie Island) operation, the 2011 6O0M (Somalia) operation and the December 2011-January 2012 9U3TMM (Burundi) operation -- have been approved for DXCC credit.
“If you have had these operations rejected in a recent application, please send an e-mail to the ARRL DXCC Desk,” Moore said. “Please note that due to heavy e-mail volume, you may not receive a reply. Once updated, results will appear in Logbook of The World (LoTW) accounts, as well as online in the daily listings.”
• ARRL Seeks Comments on Proposed 9 cm Band Plan - A few months ago, the ARRL UHF/Microwave Band Plan Committee asked the Amateur Radio community about current, planned and projected uses of the amateur bands between 902 MHz and 3.5 GHz. The response was beyond our expectations, with hundreds of comments and suggestions received. Thanks to all of you who took the time to share information with us.
After reading the feedback, the committee began working on the band plans; the first draft plan ready for review is for the 9 cm band (3300-3500 MHz). Please take a moment to look over the accompanying draft (see below) and let the committee know if you have any major concerns. Draft plans for the remaining bands under study will be released for comment as they become available over the next few months.
As a reminder, the purpose of these band plans is to share information about how the amateur bands are being used and to suggest compatible frequency ranges for various types of application. The ARRL recognizes that local conditions or needs may necessitate deviations from a band plan, and regional frequency coordinating bodies may recommend alternatives for use in their respective regions.
• Amateur radio is attracting a new generation of enthusiasts - At an age when most kids are cruising the Internet, Adam Simeth is exploring ham radio. Simeth, 16, has been intrigued with the century-old technology since his dad introduced him to it a few years ago.
"With the Internet, you find a chat room, you click on and you join," Adam said. "With ham radio, you have to tune around and find a frequency that people are talking on. You can actually go all around the world and hear yourself as an echo." Adam is one of the young people keeping the tradition of amateur radio alive in the digital age.
In an era of instant messaging, tweeting and text messaging, loyal ham radio practitioners young and old feel a sense of responsibility - and enjoyment - to keep ham radio use alive and well. They like the technological challenge of mastering the medium, the thrill of communicating with other like-minded people, and the ability to help out in times of crisis.
• 2011 Sees Tremendous Increase in DXCC Applications - With the coming of more sunspots, comes more DX. And when more amateurs are working DX, that means the ARRL’s Membership and Volunteer Programs Department -- especially the DXCC Desk and the ARRL Incoming and Outgoing QSL Bureaus -- goes into high gear.
“In 2011, we saw an increase in the number of cards we received from ARRL members that were sent to foreign QSL bureaus, as well as the number of cards we sent out to the bureaus,” said DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L. “In addition, the number of DXCC applications -- including those for initial awards and endorsements -- also increased.”
“Through December 31, 2011, the ARRL Outgoing QSL Bureau received 802,500 cards destined for foreign QSL bureaus from ARRL members in the US,” said MVP Administrative Manager Sharon Taratula. “This represents an increase of 4 percent over the 2010 number of about 771,900 cards. In 2011, the ARRL shipped 799,675 cards -- or close to 5400 pounds of cards -- to foreign bureaus.”