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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
April 28, 2022
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
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ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program

The ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program, in effect since April 19, 2022, will cover the one-time $35 application fee for new amateur radio license candidates younger than 18 years old for tests administered under the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) program.

"We are thrilled that we are able to provide this opportunity to our youth candidates," said ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM.

The $35 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) application fee will be reimbursed after the ARRL VEC receives the completed reimbursement form and after the new license has been issued. The reimbursement check will be mailed to the fee payer. Also, candidates younger than 18 years old would pay a reduced exam session fee of $5 to the ARRL VEC team at the time of the exam. The $5 fee is for all candidates under the age of 18, regardless of the exam level taken. Proof of under 18 status is required at the session.

The ARRL Board approved the Youth Licensing Grant Program at its July 2021 meeting in Hartford, Connecticut, expanding on the scope of the original motion proposed by ARRL Southeastern Division Director Mickey Baker, N4MB.

The Board believes the recruitment and training of young amateur radio operators is a necessary and proper mission of the ARRL and subsidization of the $35 fee will reduce the number of new amateurs that would otherwise be lost from these groups. Initially the new program would serve up to 1,000 new license applicants under 18 years old. The program length is indefinite; it may be renewed or terminated by the Administration and Finance Committee or by the Board of Directors.

Visit the ARRL website for the program instructions and reimbursement form at

One Family Celebrates Generations of Amateur Radio Operators

Orville Stewart, WN9IOP/KA9ONQ (SK).

For nearly 60 years, the Stewart family in Wisconsin has had more in common than their last name -- they seem to have amateur radio in their DNA.

It all started with Orville Stewart, WN9IOP/KA9ONQ (SK). He worked in advertising for a local brewing company, and it was his supervisor, an amateur radio operator, who first suggested that he get licensed. Orville asked his son, Walter "Bud" Stewart, to come along to classes at the old Allied Radio company, and both passed the exam. Orville operated phone and AM and started The Southeast Wisconsin Information Net on 2-meters, the first in Wisconsin.

Bud Stewart, N0KBS (formerly WN9INY).

He went on to become treasurer of the Milwaukee Radio Amateurs' Club Inc., W9RH, which was founded in 1917 and is one of the oldest amateur radio clubs in the world. Orville became a Silent Key in 1999, after spending almost 30 years as a ham.

But the story doesn't end there. Bud, N0KBS (formerly WN9INY), is now celebrating 58 years as a ham, thanks to his father's interest in the hobby. Bud's son Dustin, KI4ZER, also joined the family legacy, and his son, Tyler, is just waiting for his call sign to get posted by the FCC so he can get on the air. It seems that Tyler, without any prodding from his father or grandfather, became interested in amateur radio at his college radio club at the University of Central Florida.

Father and son, Dustin Stewart, KI4ZER (left), and Tyler Stewart, who has a pending ham radio license.

The Stewart family's story is just one the many remarkable stories that amateur radio generates. Bud says it's not just the radio that he enjoys, it's the friends you make and keep for decades and the legacy you leave behind.

A New Colorado Section Manager Begins July 1

ARRL Colorado Section Manager Robert Wareham, N0ESQ, has resigned from the position, effective June 30, 2022. "I appreciate all the hard work that you have put in and wish you the best for the future," responded ARRL Field Services Manager Mike Walters, W8ZY.

Wareham has a long history of leadership within ARRL, serving as State Government Liaison, Public Information Coordinator, Section Emergency Coordinator, Division Vice Director, and finally, Section Manager since 2006. Wareham told Walters he was stepping down because he didn't feel he could devote the time necessary to the Section Manager role for the remainder of his term.

On the recommendation of Wareham and Rocky Mountain Division Director Jeff Ryan, K0RM, Walters has asked Amanda Alden, K1DDN, to serve the remainder of Wareham's term, which ends September 30, 2023. Alden has served as an Assistant Section Manager, and Region Emergency Coordinator for the south and southeast All-Hazards Regions of Colorado.

USA ARDF Championships Results

The results are in for the 21st USA Championships in Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF). The 4 days of competitions were held from April 7 - 10 in Prince William Forest Park (PWFP) in northern Virginia. The competition results will help determine the makeup of ARDF Team USA at the 20th ARDF World Championships, set for September 2022 in Serbia.

Group photo of competitors and volunteers at the 2020 USA ARDF Championships. [Photo courtesy of Adalia Schafrath-Craig]

Thirty participants competed in categories for men and women ranging in age from 15 to 70+. All the competitive events were held within PWFP, on maps provided by the Quantico Orienteering Club (QOC) of Quantico, Virginia. In an innovative approach, the Backwoods Orienteering Klub (BOK) of Raleigh, North Carolina, organized and sponsored the event across state lines, applying the Raleigh group's ARDF knowledge and experience to a beautiful new venue.

After a day of practice, the races began on April 7, with the fast-paced sprint event in which two sets of five transmitters operating on two different 80-meter frequencies transmit sequentially in 12-second bursts every minute. "The course was hillier than typical for this event. Nevertheless, none of the finishers exceeded the 60-minute time limit," noted Event Director Joseph Huberman, K5JGH.

Other events included:

Foxoring -- This event followed the next day. Foxoring is a timed race in which individual competitors use a topographic map and a magnetic compass to navigate through diverse, wooded terrain while searching for radio transmitters (foxes).

2-Meter Classic -- This involves locating up to five transmitters on courses of up to 12 kilometers in length. Course lengths and the number of foxes are adjusted for different age and gender categories, so that men, women, youth, and seniors, can traverse courses designed to be appropriate for their capabilities.

80-Meter Classic -- This is conducted much like the 2-Meter Classic, but without the reflections and multipath propagation that are often observed at VHF frequencies.

US competitors in the six International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) categories for men aged 19 - 70 and women aged 19 - 65, are under consideration for membership in the US team for the 2022 ARDF Championships. Up to three competitors in each age and gender category and competition format may be on a national team.

For more information on amateur radio direction finding, visit the ARRL ARDF website.

Friedrichshafen, Germany to Host the 45th International Amateur Radio Exhibition

After a 2-year break, amateur radio fans will reunite on Lake Constance in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from June 24 - 26, 2022, for HAM RADIO -- the 45th International Amateur Radio Exhibition.

Planning for Europe's largest amateur radio exhibition is under way, and this year's theme is "Seeing Friends Again." While amateurs were able to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic, Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) Chairman Christian Entsfellner, DL3MBG, said, "This is exactly what we have been missing over the past 2 years." He further explained, "Despite all the difficulties, this demonstrates how valuable and helpful the amateur radio operator community is. It is high time for personal contact again -- with due attention to the safety of each individual, of course."

Project Manager Petra Rathgeber added, "Together with our exhibitors and partners, we are looking forward to a long-awaited get-together with the international amateur radio industry."

ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio® will be among the participating International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-societies exhibiting at the convention. The contingent representing ARRL to greet international visitors and to network with representatives of other national ham radio societies will include ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR; CEO David Minster, NA2AA; Director of Operations Bob Naumann, W5OV, and Director of Public Relations and Innovation Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R. ARRL will offer DXCC card checking at its stand -- a service that's very popular within the international ham radio community.

More information on 2022 HAM RADIO can be found at

ARRL Podcasts Schedule

The latest episode of the ARRL On the Air podcast (Episode 28) features a discussion of digital multimeters with practical usage examples and shopping tips.

The latest edition (Episode 58) of the ARRL Eclectic Tech podcast features a discussion with author Nick Tusa, K5EF, about his new book Wes Schum - Amateur Radio's Unsung Hero.

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.

"Bellefontaine City Schools Set to Communicate with International Space Station" / (Ohio), April 14, 2022.

any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.

  • An informational webinar about the ARRL Foundation Club Grant Program will be held on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 8 PM EDT / 5 PM PDT. This webinar will offer an orientation to the program and provide information on how to apply. Please register in advance for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. -- Mike Walters, W8ZY, ARRL Field Services Manager

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has started accepting applications for electronic engineers for Recent Graduates positions in the Pathways Program which is located in the Office of Engineering and Technology in Washington, DC. Candidates should be recent graduates for this one year developmental program which may lead to a term or permanent appointment. Visit USAJOBS for the position summary and to apply.

In Brief...

Astronaut Kayla Barron, KI5LAL [Photo courtesy of SpaceX]

Out of this world. Astronaut Kayla Barron, KI5LAL, completed a successful, scheduled ham radio contact on April 21, 2022, with students from Bellefontaine High School in Bellefontaine, Ohio via Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS). The radio contact was streamed on YouTube. The students were supported by members of the Champaign Logan Amateur Radio Club Inc., W8FTV, an ARRL-affiliated radio club. The school's STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum supports the newly formed Bellefontaine High School Amateur Radio Club, W8BCS. Barron is currently serving as mission specialist of the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the ISS, which launched on November 10, 2021. ARRL, an ARISS supporter, has information for schools and student groups interested in hosting a future amateur radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS.

Robert Wassili, M0RWX, from Wiltshire, earned Mountain Goat
status for reaching 1,000 activator points in the popular Summits on the Air (SOTA) award program. Wassili, who grew up in the Netherlands listening to aircraft and utility transmissions, earned his amateur radio licenses in Chippenham and Bath, and discovered SOTA. His Mountain Goat activation occurred on Moel Siabod (GW/NW-010) in Snowdonia, where he operated on HF and VHF. For more information about the SOTA program,

The 2022 Virtual Amateur Radio Workshop from the National Hurricane Conference has been posted to YouTube, according to ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY. "We appreciate everyone who attended the workshop live," said Macedo. "The attendance was higher than last year." Macedo added, "Thanks to all for their continued support of the Amateur Radio Hurricane Program led by WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center; Hurricane Watch Net; VoIP Hurricane Net; SATERN; ARRL; National Hurricane Center and Canadian Hurricane Center, as well as all the local [and] regional SKYWARN/CANWARN programs in the United States and Canada, and the various local groups that support us internationally." Watch the YouTube recording. Contact Macedo at for additional information about the VoIP Hurricane Net.

Orlando HamCation
® reported attendance of over 19,000 people for its 2022 event held in February. Sponsored by the Orlando Amateur Radio Club, their 75th anniversary event also played host to the 2022 ARRL National Convention. HamCation is held annually at the 87-acre lakefront Central Florida Fairgrounds and Expo Park in Orlando, and it is one of the largest annual gatherings of radio amateurs in the US. Planning is underway for next year's HamCation, February 10 - 12, 2023. More information is available at

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports:

On April 28, 2022, the Australian Space Forecast Centre issued a

This Solar Dynamics Observatory Image was taken on April 27, 2022. [Photo courtesy of NASA SDO/HMI]

geomagnetic disturbance warning, stating, "The Earth is currently under the influence of moderately elevated solar wind speed associated with a southern coronal hole. Late on April 29, solar wind conditions are expected to enhance further due to the possible arrival of the 27 April CMEs [Coronal Mass Ejections]. G0-G1 conditions are likely for next three days with a chance of G2 on April 29 due to both coronal hole effects and impending impact of the CMEs. Aurora may be visible from Tasmania, southern coastline Victoria and southwest Western Australia."

On Wednesday sunspot groups threaded across the sun from southeast to northwest. Daily sunspot number peaked at 126 on Tuesday, and average daily sunspot number for the week was 109.3, up from 64.4 last week. Daily solar flux peaked at 164.4 on Thursday, April 21, and the average for the week was 156, which was up from 133.9 in the previous week.

Predicted solar flux is 140 and 125 on April 28 - 29; 110 on April 30 - May 1; 105 on May 2 - 5; 130 on May 6 - 7; 128 on May 8; 130 on May 9 - 10; 135 on May 11 - 12; 140 on May 13 - 15; 160 on May 16 - 21; 135 on May 22; 132 on May 23 - 25; 125 on May 26 - 27; 130 on May 28 - 31, and 125 on June 1.

Predicted planetary A index is 8, 18, 10 and 8 on April 28 through May 1; 5 on May 2 - 5; 8, 15, 12, and 8 on May 6 - 9; 5 on May 10 - 12; 8, 10, 8, and 8 on May 13 - 16; 5 on May 17 - 19; 10 and 8 on May 20 - 21; 5 on May 22 - 25; 18, 12, and 8 on May 26 - 28, and 5 on May 29 through June 1.

In Friday's bulletin look for a report by KD9KCK of some astonishing 10-meter conditions on Wednesday.

Sunspot numbers for April 21 - 27, were 119, 101, 118, 112, 94, 126, and 95, with a mean of 109.3. 10.7-centimeter flux was 164.4, 162.5, 159.8, 158.5, 156.6, 148.9, and 141.5, with a mean of 156. Estimated planetary A indices were 10, 7, 13, 5, 5, 3, and 21, with a mean of 9.1. Middle latitude A index was 9, 7, 12, 5, 4, 3, and 16, with a mean of 8.

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
  • April 30 -- SBMS 2.3 GHz and Up Contest (CW, phone, digital

  • April 30 -- Russian WW Multi-Mode Contest (CW, phone, digital)

  • April 30 -- UK/EI DX Contest, (CW)

  • April 30 -- Florida QSO Party (CW, phone)

  • May 1 -- AGCW QRP/QRP Party (CW)

  • May 2 -- K1USN Slow Speed Test (CW max 20 WPM)

  • May 2 -- OK1WC Memorial (MWC)(CW)

  • May 3 -- Worldwide Sideband Activity Test (phone)

  • May 3 -- ARS Spartan Sprint

  • May 3 -- RTTY Weeksprint (digital)

  • May 4 -- A1Club AWT (CW)

  • May 4 -- CW Test (CWT) (CW)

  • May 4 -- 144 VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest

  • May 4 -- CW Test (CWT) (CW)

  • May 4 -- All MIE 33 Contest CW (phone)

  • May 5 -- Walk for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)

  • May 5 -- CW Test (CWT) (CW)

  • May 5 -- CW Test (CWT) (CW)

  • May 5 -- RTTY Weeksprint (digital)

  • May 5 -- NRAU 10-Meter Activity Contest (CW, phone, digital)

  • May 5 -- EACW Meeting (CW)

  • May 5 -- SKCC Sprint Europe (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 -- John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, ARRL News Editor

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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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