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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
July 14, 2022
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


Geochron Atlas 2 4K Donated to ARRL

Geochron, headquartered in Oregon City, Oregon, has donated a Geochron Atlas 2 4K - a digital Geochron world clock - to ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio®.

Geochron Owner Patrick Bolan (left) was thanked by ARRL Director of Operations Bob Naumann, W5OV (right) for the donation of a Geochron Atlas 2 4K to ARRL. The device was installed at W1AW.

Geochron Owner Patrick Bolan is on the fourth leg of a cross-country motorcycle trip during which he has supported Geochron installations at MIT in Massachusetts, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, the US Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., the University of Delaware, and the University of Vermont. Bolan arranged the donation for installation at the ARRL Headquarters station, W1AW.

The digital Geochron displays the Earth with sunrise and sunset rendered in real time. "The device is a small computer that plugs directly into any HDMI port on your TV via a short cable," wrote reviewer Pascal Villeneuve, VA2PV in the February 2022 edition of QST. "It offers several standard base maps, including a ham radio map set with DXCC country prefixes and CQ zones. There are several data layers, with some using live updates from the internet. Layers can be turned on and off and adjusted by the viewer using the included remote. It's very simple to set up and operate." A subscription to a premium bundle supports real-time data for radio amateurs including live propagation information, AMSAT satellite tracking, and Maximum Usable Frequency overlays.

Geochron Owner Patrick Bolan included a visit to ARRL HQ on the fourth leg of a cross-country motorcycle trip during which he has supported Geochron installations. [Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, photo]

"We're honored that ARRL has received the donation of a digital Geochron," ARRL Director of Operations Bob Naumann, W5OV, said. "Its beautiful maps of the Earth and the utility of so much displayed information will be a treat for members to see and use when visiting the station. ARRL thanks Patrick Bolan for arranging this donation and for Geochron's support."

Read the complete ARRL News story and see more photos.

Ulrich L. Rohde, N1UL, to Receive Engineering Achievement Award

ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio® is pleased to recognize Dr. Ulrich L. Rohde, N1UL, as the 2022 recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Photonics Society Engineering Achievement Award. The award is for outstanding engineering achievement in the field of optoelectronic signal generation and optical measurement equipment for next-generation intelligent optical networks. Dr. Rohde is an ARRL Maxim Society and Life Member.

Dr. Rohde is currently a partner of Rohde & Schwarz, in Munich, Germany, and Chairman of Synergy Microwave Corporation in Paterson, New Jersey. He is also President of the Communications Consulting Corporation, serving as an honorary member of the Senate of the University of the Armed Forces in Munich, honorary member of the Senate of the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, and past member of the Board of Directors of Ansoft Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Throughout his career he has been active in microwave technology, and in 2017 was honored for his work developing software-defined radio (SDR).

Dr. Rohde has been an avid amateur radio operator holding several licenses in the United States and Germany. He has been licensed since 1956 and involved mostly in technology and systems. In 2015, he won first place in the ARRL DX Contest in the Northern New Jersey Section. He also operates N1UL/MM on his yacht, the Dragonfly, and is Trustee of the Marco Island Radio Club, K5MI.

"We congratulate Dr. Rohde on this prestigious award," said ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI. "We in the amateur radio community have long benefited from Dr. Rohde's expertise. His advice and guidance on technical procedures and his generosity have been invaluable to ARRL members and our Lab." In 2021, Rohde donated a Rohde & Schwarz SMBV100A vector signal generator to the ARRL Lab.

Dr. Rohde will receive the 2022 Engineering Achievement Award at the IEEE Photonics Conference in November in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada.

Amateur Radio to Be Showcased at 2022 EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

ARRL member-volunteers will ensure amateur radio is well-represented at the annual EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on July 25 through July 31. More than 10,000 aircraft and a half-million flight enthusiasts make Wittman Regional Airport the busiest airfield in the world during AirVenture.

ARRL has participated at AirVenture since 2018, supporting an exhibit that encourages pilots and aviation enthusiasts to discover radio communications and radio technology through ham radio. ARRL Director of Public Relations and Innovation Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, has organized a booth (#2152 in Hangar B) and an all-volunteer team.

"There's a kinship among the aviation and amateur radio communities," Inderbitzen said. "In addition to introducing newcomers to ham radio, we expect to meet hundreds of ham-pilots at AirVenture. This is a great opportunity to show off ham radio at such a large-scale event." Frederick Hart, AA0JK, and Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, wrote "Growing Amateur Radio, One Pilot at a Time," in the January 2019 issue of QST, describing some of the opportunities and experiences pursued by pilots who become active ham radio operators.

Children attending KidVenture at 2022 AirVenture will be able to build a simple radio receiver kit, encouraging their discovery of radio communications.

At KidVenture, a highlight for children attending AirVenture, kids can build and take home a radio receiver to listen to air traffic and other nearby transmissions from approximately 65 - 140 MHz. The kit, designed by student engineer Levi Zima, KN4YHS, with additional support from his sister, Kirsten Zima, KC9RWG, has been an ARRL offering since 2021 (see ARRL's Introduction to Radio Receiver Kit). "It's great fun to see children at AirVenture walking around with the radio kits they've built and tuning in to the busy Air Traffic Control Tower throughout the event," said Inderbitzen. "Radio communications is a key part of learning about avionics. ARRL is grateful to EAA AirVenture for sponsoring the activity, which promises to introduce a lot of young people to radio."

Richard William Ehrhorn, W4EA, SK

Richard William Ehrhorn, W4EA, passed away on June 26, 2022. An ARRL Life Member, Ehrhorn was first licensed in 1947 and founded Signal/One. He and Eugene Chenette, N5YJ (SK), designed, manufactured, and marketed the then state-of-the-art, high-end Signal/One CX7 multiband transceiver in the late 1960s. He also founded Ehrhorn Technological Operations, Inc. and was Chairman of Alpha/Power, Inc.

He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1955 with a BS in Electrical Engineering, and in 1958 he received his MS in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology.

Ehrhorn was a licensed amateur radio operator for over 70 years, an ARRL Life Member, and throughout his career in radio technology, was well known for designing and building RF amplifiers.

In his QRZ database biography, Ehrhorn wrote about his respect and competitiveness with Art Collins, founder of the Collins Radio Company in 1933. "I always had aimed to replicate in a small way Art Collins' success: build the finest ham radio gear and -- someday -- government and/or industrial customers would 'discover' us," Ehrhorn wrote. Then in 1983, Ehrhorn was invited by General Electric Medical Systems to design a linear RF amplifier to work with their new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology.

Ehrhorn retired to Forest, Virginia, where Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, began to know Ehrhorn and his work in more detail. "He was a man of a lot of firsts and high-water marks," said Justin. "His claim to fame was certainly the development [of] the Alpha Series RF power amplifiers that made their way into medical technology."

Justin added that Ehrhorn, in his later years, was still active in amateur radio, especially on the HF bands. On his move to a new location, Ehrhorn wrote, "New QTH, 58 acres with a broad hilltop 0.2 miles high! We still can see for miles in all directions. And I finally have room for decent 75 - 80 and 160-meter antennas. Better late than never." Several years ago, a tornado barely missed Ehrhorn's house, leaving his towers and antennas intact.

Amateur radio drove Richard Ehrhorn's passions and creativity throughout his career.

Amateur Radio in the News

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

"Ham radio group receives national recognition" / KAAL TV (Minnesota), July 6, 2022 -- Northland Amateur Communications Group is an ARRL Affiliated Club.

"Amateur radio group holds 90th Hamfest" / Rochester Beacon (New York), July 8, 2022 -- The Rochester Amateur Radio Association is an ARRL Affiliated Club.

"Community Amateur Radio Club holds 24-hour emergency training" / The Advocate (Louisiana), July 8, 2022 -- Baton Rouge Amateur Radio Club is an ARRL Affiliated Club.

Share any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.

ARRL Podcasts Schedule

The latest episode of the ARRL On the Air podcast (Episode 31) provides an overview of the 222 MHz frequency band.

The latest edition of the ARRL Eclectic Tech podcast (Episode 64) features a discussion with Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, about station downsizing and getting the most out of limited space antennas.

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 operators are needed for the Marine Corps Marathon on October 30, 2022, in Washington, DC, and Arlington, Virginia. The call is for 150 amateur radio operators to provide "eyes on the course" using the 144 and 420 MHz bands, with FM and Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio (D-STAR), and a Medical Data Network using Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN). Amateur radio will also be used as back-up communications in case all else fails. Operators will prepare themselves, supplies, and equipment to function in a large-scale, multi-jurisdictional, mass casualty-type event under real-world conditions. Training will be provided, and each operator will receive a commemorative T-shirt. Amateurs can sign up by following the link To learn more about the 2022 Marine Corps Marathon, visit their website at Marine Corps Marathon.

The EAA Warbirds of America Board of Directors will be sponsoring a special event station, W9W, which will be on the air all week during daylight hours on July 25 - 31 from AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The station will be located on the Warbirds' grounds near their headquarters, against the backdrop of the display of historic and vintage ex-military aircraft. Look for W9W on 40 - 10 meters near 7.225, 14.250, 21.235, and 28.425 MHz. The station will also operate on the 2-meter and 440 MHz bands, simplex. A special event QSL card will be issued for contacts with W9W. Icom America will support the event with HF, VHF, and UHF radio equipment. Other sponsors include Heil Sound, Radio Wavz, DX Engineering, and US Tower. If you would like to get on the schedule to operate W9W, please contact Ray Novak, N9JA. See the ARRL Special Events database for further details.

Members of the Fox Cities Amateur Radio Club (FCARC) will be operating station W9ZL from Pioneer Airport at KidVenture throughout EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Club members and other volunteers will operate HF stations on 20 and 40 meters, 6-meter SSB (on, or near, 7.250, 14.270, and 50.150 MHz), plus local communications on 2 meters. A special event certificate will be available. See the ARRL Special Events database for further details.

In Brief...

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Minster, NA2AA (left) presents the 2021 ARRL Technical Innovation Award plaque for Wojciech Kaczmarski, SP5WWP, to Ed Wilson, N2XDD, the M17 Project Community Manager, at ARRL Headquarters. [Alex Norstrom, KC1RMO, photo]

The 2021 ARRL Technical Innovation Award honors Wojciech Kaczmarski, SP5WWP, for developing a new digital radio communication protocol, M17, for the good of amateur radio. M17 is a new open-source and patent-free digital radio protocol with a goal to provide a fully sustainable option for digital radios in the future. ARRL member Ed Wilson, N2XDD, the Community Manager of the M17 Project, accepted the 2021 Technical Innovation Award plaque on behalf of Kaczmarski when Wilson visited ARRL Headquarters on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. The award plaque is being shipped to Kaczmarski in Poland. The efforts of Kaczmarski and other M17 community team members have led to the development of DroidStar, an Android application by Doug McLain, AD8DP. The protocol has also been incorporated within other amateur radio-related projects to help advance the radio art.

ARRL is seeking a Public Relations & Outreach Manager for employment at our headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. The manager will be responsible for increasing the awareness and value of the Amateur Radio Service to the public at large, for promoting the value of ARRL and the contributions of its member-volunteers, and for developing outreach opportunities that support awareness and growth of amateur radio. The ideal candidate will be a storyteller who is adept at writing content and developing campaigns to convey our message to various audiences. This professional must possess the know-how to train and motivate grassroots volunteers, and the ability to develop and sustain long-term relationships with external media. ARRL is also seeking a Social Media Strategist who will be responsible for developing and administering social media content that is aimed at engaging users and creating an interactive relationship with members, the wider amateur radio community, and prospective hams. Visit for a complete summary of open positions and instructions to apply.

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week's ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP028:

Rising solar activity over the past reporting week, July 7 - 13, 2022, was reflected in increased sunspot numbers, solar flux, and rising geomagnetic activity.

[Photo courtesy of NASA SDO/HMI]

Average daily sunspot numbers increased from 62.6 to 102.1, with the peak value at 134 on Monday, July 11. Average daily solar flux rose from 103.5 to 147.4, with peak values at 164.9 and 164.8 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

New sunspots emerged on July 7, July 10, and July 11. Total sunspot area peaked on July 11.

Planetary A index averaged out at 12.4 (up from 9.8 last week) while the middle latitude A index went from 9.7 to 10.6.

Toward the end of the day on July 7, Alaska's college A index was 46 (a very high value), while the last four K index readings of the same day and the next two were 6, 6, 7, 5, 5, and 5.

This was caused by a corotating interaction region, sparking a G1-class geomagnetic storm.

Visit the following links for info on corotating interaction regions:

The Wednesday-night prediction from the United States Air Force shows solar flux at 165 on July 14 - 15; 160 on July 16 - 18; and 155, 150, and 135 on July 19 - 21. A prediction of 130 is shown July 22 - 24; 138 and 148 on July 25 - 26; 150 on July 27 - 29; 160 on July 30 - August 7; and 155, 145, and 135 on August 8 - 10. August 11 - 12 is 138, then 128 and 125 on August 13 - 14, and 130 on August 15 - 17.

Predicted planetary A index is 8 on July 14 - 21, then 15, 20, and 12 on July 22 - 24. Eight is predicted again on July 25 - August 2, then 12 and 10 on August 3 - 4, and 8 on August 15 - 17.

I often see news items that mention solar flares and are written as though the world is about to end.

A few recent examples, for our collective amusement:

Sunspot numbers for July 7 - 13, 2022, were 80, 81, 89, 113, 134, 117, and 101, with a mean of 102.1. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 121.3, 129.6, 136.9, 153, 161, 164.9, and 164.8, with a mean of 147.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 20, 19, 6, 7, 12, 18, and 5, with a mean of 12.4. Middle latitude A index was 15, 14, 6, 8, 10, 16, and 5, with a mean of 10.6.

Send your tips, questions, or comments to

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
  • July 16 -- Russian Radio Team Championship (CW, phone)

  • July 16 -- Trans-Tasman Low-Bands Challenge (CW, phone, digital)

  • July 16 - 17 -- IARU Region 1 70 MHz Contest (CW, phone)

  • July 16 - 17 -- North American QSO Party (RTTY, digital)

  • July 16 - 17 -- CQ Worldwide VHF Contest (CW, phone, digital)

  • July 17 -- RSGB International Low Power Contest (CW)

  • July 17 -- CQC Great Colorado Gold Rush (CW)

  • July 17 -- 18 Run for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)

  • July 18 -- OK1WC Memorial (MWC) (CW)

  • July 18 -- RSGB FT4 Contest (FT4)

  • July 20 -- A1Club AWT (CW)

  • July 20 -- VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest (FT8)

  • July 21 - 22 -- Walk for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)

  • July 21 -- NAQCC CW Sprint (CW)

  • July 21 -- NTC QSO Party (CW)

  • July 23 - 28 -- YOTA Contest (CW, phone)

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.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

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