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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
May 19, 2022
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


The 2022 Dayton Hamvention® -- May 20-22 -- Is Ready to Go

The gates are set to open at 9 AM on Friday, May 20, for the 70th

Gate 8 at the Greene County Fairgrounds on Wednesday stands ready to admit thousands to Hamvention 2022. [John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, photo]

anniversary of the Dayton Hamvention® at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. The 2022 Hamvention theme is "Reunion," to celebrate the much-anticipated return of this popular annual gathering of the ham radio community after the event's two-year absence in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. Hamvention officials have great reason to expect this year's event will be highly successful. Advance ticket sales have been brisk, and over 450 vendors have been working this week setting up booths and displays.

(left to right) ARRL Director of Public Relations and Innovation Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, caught up to 2022 Hamvention General Chairman Rick Allnutt, WS8G, at the fairgrounds during setup day on Thursday.

ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio® has organized a large exhibit area, the ARRL EXPO, in the Tesla building. More than a dozen booths will be staffed by a team of 80 including ARRL Board members, Section Managers, Field Organization volunteers, program representatives, and ARRL Headquarters staff. ARRL has also organized 10 forums, including presentations for the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®), 2022 ARRL Field Day, the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Program, the ARRL Volunteer Monitor Program, and topics covering ham radio outreach to youth, reinvigorating radio clubs, and understanding the FCC RF Exposure Rules. An ARRL membership forum will be held Saturday afternoon.

The 2022 Hamvention will be open Friday and Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM, and on Sunday from 9 AM to 1 PM. For more information, please visit these official websites:

Dayton Hamvention

ARRL EXPO at Dayton Hamvention

Attendees can follow the complete Hamvention program using the ARRL Events app which is available for download at, or use the web version. Photos will be posted throughout the event on the ARRL Facebook page at

Armed Forces Day Crossband Test Successful

The 2022 Armed Forces Day Crossband Test, held May 14, produced impressive results. Frank Donovan, W3LPL, reports good band conditions and participation resulted in over 800 contacts with 330 on Single Side Band (SSB).

"Cooperation of amateurs, as secondary users of 60 meters, was outstanding, with no interference," said Donovan. "All of the 24 stations that signed up for the exercise were active at some point."

Here is the detailed NSS band-by-band QSO breakdown:

80 meters: 20 CW, 35 SSB = 55 total
60 meters: 21 CW, 169 SSB = 190 total
40 meters: 85 CW, 87 SSB = 172 total
30 meters: 54 CW = 54 total
20 meters: 151 CW, 165 SSB = 316 total
Total contacts: 331 CW, 456 SSB = 787 grand total

Historic US Navy call sign NSS in Annapolis, Maryland was operated by the U.S. Naval Academy Amateur Radio Club, supported by members of the Potomac Valley Radio Club (PVRC), and produced 331 CW and 456 SSB contacts from the location of the 1918 NSS Naval Radio station.

NSS QSL cards are available from K3LU. A self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) will be appreciated.

Vibroplex Acquires SPE Expert Linear Amplifiers

Vibroplex LLC, of Knoxville, Tennessee, has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire all operating assets related to the sale and servicing of SPE Expert linear amplifiers from Expert Linears America LLC, of Magnolia, Texas, for undisclosed terms. This is including contractual agreements for the exclusive sale and service of SPE Expert amplifiers for the United States and Canada. SPE, based in Rome, Italy, has also agreed to provide an extension to existing distribution agreements as part of the transaction. Vibroplex has taken over the exclusive US and Canada distribution and service of SPE Expert products effective May 1, 2022.

(left to right) Bob Hardie, W5UQ, and Elva Hardie, KG5HIE, of Expert Linear Amplifiers. Bob Hardie will continue repair SPE Expert products following the company's purchase by Vibroplex. [Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, photo]

Present ELA LLC owner Bob Hardie, W5UQ, told ARRL, "I'm still doing a lot of the repairing, and I will be for a few years until I just can't repair anymore." Hardie will continue to provide repair and parts services for SPE Expert products on behalf of Vibroplex and function as a consultant during the transition to new ownership. An additional repair person has also been brought on by ELA and Vibroplex to assist with both future warranty and non-warranty service and tech support.

All SPE amplifier warranties presently in effect will be transferred to and administered by Vibroplex. Pending orders for SPE Expert unfulfilled prior to May 1, 2022, will be administered by Vibroplex with no additional delay over quoted delivery time added.

SPE is owned and operated by Gianfranco Scasciafratti, I0ZY, of Rome, Italy. The current SPE product line is distributed worldwide and consists of the SPE 1.3K-FA, SPE 1.5K-FA, and SPE 2K-FA solid-state linear amplifiers.

Scott Robbins, W4PA, owns Vibroplex, as well as Bencher, INRAD, Par EndFedz and Vintage Manuals product lines. The company is also the exclusive US and Canada distributor for Spiderbeam, MAT-TUNER, Easy-Rotor-Control, GHD, and Hi-Mound radio accessories.

More information is available from Virboplex;

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 60) of the ARRL Eclectic Tech podcast features a discussion with Brian Callahan, AD2BA, about his proposal for embedding small binary files within SSTV images. Also, an old idea revived for the 21st century: using "lens" antennas for microwaves.

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.


W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station located at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut, is fulfilling QSL card requests with a commemorative card celebrating the Amateur Radio Transatlantic Communications Centennial. The special card will be issued for all W1AW QSL card requests for contacts made with the station from December 11, 2021, to December 31, 2022. The historic transatlantic tests of 100 years ago contributed to the dawn of international amateur radio communications. US amateurs contacting W1AW who would like a QSL card should send their card directly to the station with a SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope). International stations may confirm receipt of transmissions directly to W1AW with one IRC or via the W1 Incoming QSL Bureau.

On June 12, 2022, the Blackstone Valley Amateur Radio Club (BVARC) will mark the 250th anniversary of the burning of the British tax collection ship HMS Gaspee in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.
The club will operate a special event station from the site at Gaspee Point on June 11, and two stations, W1G and K1G from June 4 - 20. The BVARC team will provide a special certificate to anyone who works both W1G and K1G. There is no charge for postage or certificate. Details available at

In Brief...

On the road from Toronto, Canada to Dayton Hamvention, Mike Walker, VA3MW, stopped along Highway 401 to operate a little 10 GHz via rain scatter propagation. Mike managed 2 contacts; one with Peter Paul Prabucki, VA3ELE, and another with Gedas Vysniauskas, W8BYA. The CW contact with W8BYA was his longest to date at 377km while VA3ELE was at 167 km.

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports:

Solar activity was up, up, up this week, with average daily sunspot

Sunspot AR3014 has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that poses a threat for X-class solar flares. [SDO/HMI NASA photo]

numbers increasing from 74.4 to 134.1, and average daily solar flux from 120.3 to 157.3.

Geomagnetic indicators were higher also. Average daily planetary A index went from 5 to 9, while middle latitude A index increased from 4.6 to 9.6. reported on Wednesday that big sunspot AR3014 doubled in size, and presented this movie from NASA, showing 24 hours of activity:

Predicted solar flux is 180 on May 19 - 20, 178 on May 21 - 24, then flux values drop rapidly to 176, 170, 150, 136 and 138 on May 25 - 29, 140 on May 30 - 31, 143 on June 1 - 3, 140 and 136 on June 4 - 5, 138 on June 6 - 7, then 140 and 150 on June 8 - 9, 154 on June 10 - 12, 152 on June 13 - 14, then 150 and 148 on June 15 - 16, 140 on June 17 - 18, 145 on June 19, 142 on June 20 - 21, and 138 on June 22.

Predicted planetary A index is 14 and 12 on May 19 - 20, 8 on May 21 - 22, 5 on May 23 - 25, 15 on May 26 - 27, 8 on May 28, 5 on May 29 through June 9, 8 on June 10, 14 on June 11 - 12, 8 and 5 on June 13 - 14, 8 on June 15 - 16, 5 on June 17 - 19, 18 on June 20, and 15 on June 21 - 23.

The above predictions are from the 557th USAF Weather wing.

In Friday's bulletin look for reports of unusual propagation on 12 meters.

Sunspot numbers for May 12 - 18, 2022 were 112, 120, 105, 129, 173, 153, and 147, with a mean of 134.1. 10.7 cm flux was 133, 149.5, 152.7, 153.6, 161.7, 170.8, and 179.9, with a mean of 157.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 7, 7, 12, 10, 12, and 7, with a mean of 9. Middle latitude A index was 8, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, and 7, with a mean of 9.6.

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 21 - 22 -- SARL VHF/UHF Digital Contest (digital)

  • May 21 -- UN DX Contest (CW, phone)

  • May 21 -- YOTA Contest (CW, phone)

  • May 21 - 22 -- NZART Sangster Shield Contest (CW)

  • May 21 - 22 -- His Majesty King of Spain Contest (CW)

  • May 21 - 22 -- EU PSK DX Contest (digital)

  • May 21 - 22 -- Arkansas QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)

  • May 21 -- Feld Hell Sprint (digital)

  • May 21 - 22 -- Baltic Contest (CW, phone)

  • May 23 -- QRP ARCI Hootowl Sprint (CW)

  • May 25 -- SKCC Sprint (CW)

  • May 26 -- QRP Minimal Art Session (CW)

  • May 26 -- RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (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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