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The ARRL Letter
May 12, 2022
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
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Annual Armed Forces Day Cross-Band Exercise Set for May 14

The US Department of Defense will host this year's Armed Forces Day (AFD) Cross-Band Test on Saturday, May 14. While Armed Forces Day is May 21, the AFD cross-band military-amateur radio event traditionally takes place 1 week earlier to avoid any conflict with the Dayton Hamvention®. The event is open to all radio amateurs.

The 2022 running of the Armed Forces Day Cross-Band Test will be May 14.

The AFD Cross-Band Test is two-way communications exercise between military and amateur radio stations, as authorized under FCC Part 97 rules (47 CFR § 97.111), and Department of Defense Instruction 4650.02 which establishes the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS). During the exercise, radio amateurs listen for stations on military operating frequencies and transmit on frequencies in adjacent amateur bands.

ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio® has promoted the participation of military and amateur radio stations in the AFD event for more than 50 years. In the August 1950 issue of ARRL's membership journal, QST, it was noted that "232 persons made perfect copy of the 'Greeting to Amateurs' broadcast at 25 w.p.m. over 13 military frequencies and have received a Certificate of Merit signed by the Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Louis Johnson."

There are 24 military stations registered across the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, that will be participating in the 2022 event. Several of those stations will be using the 60-meter interoperative channels during this exercise. All operations will be on a not-to-interfere basis, in case there are real-world missions being supported during the event timeframe.

An AFD Secretary of Defense message will also be sent in CW and RTTY, and an AFD message will also be transmitted utilizing the Military Standard (MIL-STD) serial PSK waveform (M110), followed by MIL-STD Wide Shift FSK (850 Hz RTTY), as described in MIL-STD 188-110A/B.

A detailed list of modes and frequencies for military/government stations taking part in the Armed Forces Day Cross-Band Test and information on the AFD message is available at www.dodmars.org. In the upper right corner is a dropdown with all the information.

Complete the request form to obtain a QSL card at www.usarmymars.org/armed-forces-day-qsl-card-request.

Get To 2022 Dayton Hamvention® -- May 20-22

The 2022 Dayton Hamvention®, among the world's largest annual amateur radio gatherings, is ready to celebrate its 70th Anniversary event, May 20 - 22, at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. Organizers report that brisk advance sales of tickets and reservations for inside exhibit booths and flea market spaces are an indication that Hamvention 2022 is headed for success.

At the final planning meeting held on May 10, committee members learned that 94 percent of the inside exhibits were already sold, and more than 450 vendors had already claimed over 85 percent of the flea market spots.

Adding to the interest this year is the largest prize ever offered in the history of Hamvention, an amateur radio dream station package worth almost $20,000. General Chairman Rick Allnutt, WS8G, thanked DX Engineering and Icom America for the prize, which made them Platinum Prize Sponsors for Hamvention 2022. The prize package includes an Icom IC-7851 HF/50MHz Transceiver and an extensive list of station accessories. Allnutt also acknowledged all the other donors who contributed the many hourly prizes given out during Hamvention.

Other points made during the planning meeting included urging the use of the free ARRL Events app for smartphones and tablets to help attendees navigate the large schedule of forums and meeting locations, the sprawling fairgrounds, multiple buildings that house hundreds of exhibits, and related activities. While a printed program will be available, the app provides an easier way to access information. Visit your app store to download the app (search "ARRL Events"), or via the following link: www.tripbuildermedia.com/apps/arrl. A web version is also available. The ARRL app is offered in partnership with Hamvention.

The use of the Hamvention web pages was promoted to help locate parking areas, gates, and other relevant materials. It was also recommended that committee members and those attending also have an In Case of Emergency Card on their person, preferably on a lanyard around their neck.

Hamvention will continue the policy of having free admission on Sunday. However, tickets are still required for entrance on Sunday, and can be obtained at no cost at the ticket booth. Those tickets are for admission only and do not include a prize drawing stub.

Allnutt thanked all committee members and asked them to pass on his thanks to all their volunteers. Dayton Hamvention includes hundreds of volunteers and is sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association.

ARRL will distribute a free commemorative 2022 button to Hamvention goers.

For its part, ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio® will host over a dozen booths in its large exhibit area, located in building 2 (see PDF-format map). The booths will be supported by an 80-person team comprised of ARRL Board members, Section Managers, Field Organization volunteers, program representatives, and ARRL Headquarters staff. Included are exhibits supporting radio clubs, the ARRL Great Lakes Division (including the ARRL Sections of Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio), the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®), ARRL Development and ARRL Foundation, ARRL Learning Center, ARRL Teachers Institute, ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Program, ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator, ARRL Volunteer Monitor Program, ARRL Radiosport and DXCC, and the ARRL Laboratory. The ARRL exhibit area is also host to a booth for the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). Visit www.arrl.org/expo for a complete summary of ARRL's participation at 2022 Hamvention.

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ARES® Activated in Oklahoma for Tornado Clean-Up Communications

To help with emergency communications support following an outbreak of tornadoes that hit this past week, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency of Management and Homeland Security requested support from the Oklahoma Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®).

During the first week of May, 12 tornadoes touched down in the central and eastern parts of Oklahoma. The tornado that struck Seminole, Oklahoma, on Wednesday, May 4, left EF2 damage, according to the National Weather Service. That tornado was a mile wide, and its path totaled 31 miles.

Gary Way, AE5OF, at net control in Seminole, OK. [Mark Conklin, N7XYO, photo]

The request for amateur radio emergency communications support from the Oklahoma ARES was made on Thursday, May 5, 2022. ARES was activated on Saturday May 7, 2022. Seven amateur radio operators were active, providing voice communications between chainsaw and debris removal teams from their base at Seminole State College's volunteer center.

ARRL Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator Mark Conklin, N7XYO, said the clean-up crews worked quickly, and ARES was needed for 8 hours until cellular and wired communications were restored.

There were no deaths or injuries during the tornado outbreak, but clean up continues.

National Hurricane Center Annual Communications Test to be Held on May 28

WX4NHC, the amateur radio station at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Florida, will hold its annual communications test on Saturday, May 28, 2022, from 9 AM to 5 PM EDT (1300 - 2100 UTC).

The event is designed to evaluate WX4NHC's amateur radio equipment and antennas at the headquarters in Florida, and to give operators an opportunity to evaluate their home equipment prior to this year's Atlantic hurricane season, which starts on June 1 and runs through November 30. This event allows ham radio operators worldwide to hone their amateur radio communications skills for times of severe weather.

Brief contacts will be available on many frequencies and modes, as well as the exchange of signal reports and basic weather data with any station in any location.

WX4NHC will be on the air on HF, VHF, UHF, 2- and 30-meter APRS, and Winlink at wx4nhc@winlink.org (subject must contain "//WL2K").

The Hurricane Watch Net 14.325 MHz frequency will be active for most of the test, as will 7.268 MHz, depending on propagation. Depending on man-made noise, the net may move to different frequencies, and participants can locate the net using one of the DX spotting networks, such as the DX Summit website at www.dxsummit.fi.

There will also be a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Hurricane Net from 4 - 5 PM EDT, or 2000 - 2100 UTC (IRLP Node 9219/EchoLink WX-TALK Conference Node 7203).

WX4NHC will make a few contacts on local VHF and UHF repeaters, as well as on Florida's Statewide Amateur Radio Network (SARnet).

QSL cards will be available via Julio Ripoll, WD4R.

For more information about WX4NHC, visit their website at www.wx4nhc.org.


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ARRL Podcasts Schedule

The latest episode of the ARRL On the Air podcast (Episode 29) features a discussion about the nature of frequency modulation (FM) and how it differs from AM.

The latest edition (Episode 59) of the ARRL Eclectic Tech podcast features a discussion with ARRL Radiosport Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, about the upcoming ARRL International Digital Contest.

The On the Air and Eclectic Tech podcasts are sponsored by Icom. Both podcasts are available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android), as well as on Blubrry -- On the Air | Eclectic Tech.


Amateur Radio in the News

ARRL Public Information Officers, Coordinators, and many other member-volunteers help keep amateur radio and ARRL in the news.

Share any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.


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Announcements
  • Pete Varounis, NL7XM, Wins the April 2022 QST Cover Plaque Award. The winning article for the April 2022 QST Cover Plaque award is "The Better Antenna: Copper Versus Aluminum," by Pete Varounis, NL7XM. (The QST staff hopes you enjoyed this "highly scientific" April Fool's article.) The QST Cover Plaque Award -- given to the author or authors of the most popular article in each issue -- is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll web page. Cast a ballot for your favorite article today.

  • The 2022 Europe Day On the Air (EUDOTA) was held this past weekend, beginning Friday, May 6. The numbers are still being tabulated, but currently 1,507 contacts were made with special event station A0#EU including contracts in 68 countries. The contacts were made on 6-, 10-, 15-, 17-, 20-, 30-, 40-, and 80-meter bands, as well as the 70-centimeter band using modes CF4M, CW, FT8, MFSK, SSB. Europe Day, held annually on May 9, celebrates peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historic Schuman Declaration that set out French foreign minister Robert Schuman's idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe's nations unthinkable. Schuman's proposal is the beginning of what is now the European Union. The official event for the celebration is for only a day, but EUDOTA began their event on Friday, May 6, to celebrate with additional contacts.


In Brief...

More Ham Families. ARRL News Editor John Ross, KD8IDJ, continues to hear from readers about family trees that include amateur radio licensees spanning three or more generations. For example, Mike Olbrisch, KD5KC, and his wife, Monika, N5NHC, in El Paso, Texas, have two children who are hams. Their son James' call sign is KC0WKY, his mother-in-law, Elsa Price, was KB5YMQ (SK), and his step-father-in-law, Ron Price, holds the call sign WA5IVX. Mike's daughter, Heidi Wilden, is KE5BHT, and her husband, Keith, K9DHC, took his father's call sign when he passed away. Their son, Bobby, holds the call sign KI5DYU. Monika's family, including her sister, Gerda Ludolph, DL1NLG; brother-in-law, Helmut Ludolph, DG7NFV, and their oldest nephew, Andi Ludolph, DO5AL, are also on the air. Mike also had surrogate grandparents who were hams -- Frank Rourke, WD8EFB, and Reba Anne Rourke, WD8EFC (both are now Silent Keys). Mike said that family gatherings can be fun. When someone calls out a name, "QRZ" is a common response, and there's always plenty of RFI, or "Related Family Interference."

On May 10, 2022, radio amateurs in Puerto Rico celebrated 25 years of Día del Radioaficionado (Puerto Rico Amateur Radio Operator Day). The day was designated the second Tuesday in May by Law 50 of June 7, 1996. The Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, issued a proclamation to honor the event. Radio amateurs took to social media and the airwaves to celebrate and send good wishes. A special message was sent to amateurs by the Puerto Rico Broadcasters Association. This year, 2022, is also the Centennial of Radio station WKAQ which went on the air on December 3, 1922. Radio amateurs were among the radio pioneers who helped get the station on the air. The Federación de Radio Aficionados de Puerto Rico (FRA) developed a special event Net to celebrate the day offering an electronic certificate of participation. Many stations from other countries connected by Echolink to participate in the event.


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The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports:


May 12, 2022 image [NASA SDO/HMI photo]

There was some evidence of sporadic-E propagation this week on 6 and 10 meters, which is always surprising and exciting.

Solar activity was the same as last week, at least going by the numbers.

Average daily sunspot numbers rose slightly from 68.6 to 74.4, while average daily solar flux only budged from 120 to 120.3.

Geomagnetic indicators were quieter, with average daily planetary A index shifting from 10.7 to 5, and average middle latitude numbers from 9.3 to 4.6. We listed the middle latitude A index on May 6 as 2, but that number is an estimate. At the end of that day, the last K index reading was not reported, and since the A index for the day is calculated from all the K index readings, there was not any official middle latitude A index reported and was estimated on available data.

Thursday's outlook for solar flux is more optimistic than last week's prediction, with no values below 100. Expected flux values are 124 on May 12 - 13; 126 on May 14 - 16; 124 on May 17 - 18; 118 on May 19 - 21; 120, 124, and 121 on May 22 - 24; 118 on May 25 - 27; 116 on May 28 - 31; 118 on June 1 - 5; 116 and 118 on June 6 -7; 120 on June 8 - 9; 122 on June 10 - 14, and 118 on June 15 - 17.

Planetary A index is predicted at 6, 8, 12, 8, 14, and 8 on May 12 - 17; 5 on May 18 -19; 12 and 8 on May 20 - 21; 5 on May 22 - 23; 18 on May 24; 15 on May 25 - 27; 8 on May 28, and 5 on May 29 through June 15. There will be a nice long quiet spell of more than 2 weeks.

Wednesday's forecast was prepared by the US Air Force personnel.

Sunspot numbers for May 5 through 11 were 85, 64, 66, 89, 71, 62, and 84, with a mean of 74.4. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 119.9, 119.2, 118.1, 119.2, 117, 115.8, and 132.9, with a mean of 120.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 4, 5, 3, 6, 8, 3, and 6, with a mean of 5. Middle latitude A index was 4, 2, 4, 7, 8, 2, and 5, with a mean of 4.6.

A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service, read "What the Numbers Mean...," and check out the Propagation Page of Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA.

A propagation bulletin archive is available. For customizable propagation charts, visit the VOACAP Online for Ham Radio website.

Share your reports and observations.

A weekly, full report is posted on ARRL News.


Just Ahead in Radiosport
  • May 14 - 15 -- CQ-M International DX Contest (CW, phone)

  • May 14 - 15 -- VOLTA WW RTTY Contest (digital)

  • May 14 - 15 -- Canadian Prairies QSO Party (CW, phone)

  • May 14 - 15 -- 50 MHz Spring Sprint

  • May 15 - 16 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)

  • May 18 -- VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest

  • May 18 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship, Data

  • May 19 - 20 -- Walk for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)

  • May 19 -- NAQCC CW Sprint (CW)

  • May 19 -- NTC QSO Party (CW)

Visit the ARRL Contest Calendar for more events and information.


Upcoming Section, State, and Division Conventions

Search the ARRL Hamfest and Convention Database to find events in your area.


Have News for ARRL?

Submissions for the ARRL Letter and ARRL News can be sent to news@arrl.org. -- John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, ARRL News Editor


ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
Amateur Radio News and Information

  • Join or Renew Today! Eligible US-based members can elect to receive QST or On the Air magazine in print when they join ARRL or when they renew their membership. All members can access digital editions of all four ARRL magazines: QST, On the Air, QEX, and NCJ.

  • Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

  • The ARRL Letter is available in an accessible format, posted weekly to the Blind-hams Groups.io email group. The group is dedicated to discussions about amateur radio as it concerns blind hams, plus related topics including ham radio use of adaptive technology.

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The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

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