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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
April 6, 2023
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


NASA Names Three Hams for Artemis II Moon Mission Crew

NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced the four astronauts who will venture around the moon on Artemis II. This will be the first crewed mission on NASA's path to establishing long-term moon science and exploration development. The agencies revealed the crew members on Monday, April 3, 2023, during an event at Ellington Field near NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Three of the four crew members are amateur radio operators.

The crew of NASA's Artemis II mission (left to right): NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch, Reid Wiseman KF5LKT, (seated), Victor Glover, KI5BKC, and CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen, KF5LKU. Credits: NASA.

"The Artemis II crew represents thousands of people working tirelessly to bring us to the stars. This is their crew, this is our crew, this is humanity's crew," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. "NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, and Christina Hammock Koch, and CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen, each has their own story, but together, they represent our creed: E pluribus unum - out of many, one. Together, we are ushering in a new era of exploration for a new generation of star sailors and dreamers - the Artemis Generation."

The crew will work as a team to execute an ambitious set of demonstrations during the flight test.

Their assignments are as follows: Commander Reid Wiseman, KF5LKT, Pilot Victor Glover, KI5BKC, Mission Specialist 1 Christina Hammock Koch, and Mission Specialist 2 Jeremy Hansen, KF5LKU. Koch had planned to study and take her amateur license exam in 2019, but her flight was suddenly rescheduled 6 months earlier than originally planned. She had to immediately begin preparing for her flight instead of studying.

The Artemis II mission is scheduled to launch in November 2024. The approximately 10-day flight test will launch on the agency's powerful Space Launch System rocket, prove the Orion spacecraft's life-support systems, and validate the capabilities and techniques needed for humans to live and work in deep space.

For more information, visit the NASA website.

Hamvention 2023 Getting Ready

Dayton Hamvention® 2023, scheduled for May 19 - 21, is just six weeks away and preparations are moving forward for the big event.

Tickets are now available online and by mail order. They can be purchased at

Hamvention, which is amateur radio's largest annual convention, is held at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio.

ARRL is readying its large participation at Hamvention. ARRL's exhibit area will be located in Building 2 and will include program representatives and volunteers supporting over a dozen booths and activities.

With nearly 700 volunteers, this year's Hamvention will boast more than 500 indoor exhibits and more than 2,500 outdoor exhibits. The event showcases the latest in amateur radio equipment, technology, and computer software and hardware, along with hard-to-find radio and computer accessories and equipment. For the latest information about Hamvention 2023, visit their website.

Time to Get Ready for Field Day

ARRL Field Day is just over two months away, but like spring cleaning, it pays to start getting ready now.

2023 Field Day will be held June 24 - 25. It is ham radio's open house. Every June, hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio's science, skill and service to communities and the nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Some participants may also choose to operate from home, using the exercise to develop and practice their personal radio communications capability.

Field Day has been an annual event since 1933 and remains the most popular event in ham radio.

In 2022, 4,929 entries were submitted (including check logs), and there was a total of 29,679 reported participants.

Field Day is open to all amateurs in the areas covered by the ARRL/RAC Field Organizations and countries within IARU Region 2. DX stations residing in other regions may be contacted for credit and may submit entries as check logs.

The main focus of Field Day is to work as many stations as possible on the 160-, 80-, 40-, 20-, 15-, and 10-meter HF bands, all bands on 50 MHz and above, and to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less-than-optimal conditions. A premium is placed on developing skills to meet the challenges of emergency preparedness and acquaint the general public with the capabilities of amateur radio.

For Field Day 2023, several rules changes have been made. It's a good idea to make sure that your logging software has been updated to the most current version to incorporate these rule changes including the updated Canadian sections list. There are many facets to operating on Field Day and knowing the rules and keeping good logs are paramount to successful contacts.

Many local amateur radio clubs participate in ARRL Field Day. To start preparing for Field Day, check out for the official rules and all the information you'll need. To find a participating radio club in your area, use the Field Day Locator on the page.

Amateur Radio in the News

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

"Western NY ham radio operators prepare to help in emergencies" / Spectrum News 1 (Western New York), April 3, 2023 -- The Buffalo Amateur Radio Repeater Association.

"UNCHARTED TERRITORY: New Braunfels doctor assists on 2-month expedition to Bouvet Island" / The Herald-Zeitung (Texas), April 4, 2023 -- Mike Crownover, AD5A, Boerne, Texas.

"Veteran Allen County storm spotter readies volunteers" / WANE -TV (Indiana), April 4, 2023 -- Jay Farlow , W9LW, of Fort Wayne, Indiana is Net Manager of the Allen County, Indiana SKYWARN Net and Assistant Emergency Coordinator for SKYWARN of the Allen County Amateur Radio Emergency Service. He is an ARRL Member.

any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.

ARRL Podcasts

On the Air
Sponsored by

Radio orienteering (aka amateur radio direction finding, or ARDF) is a radio sport like no other. In this episode, we talk to USA ARDF Co-coordinator Charles Scharlau, NZØI, about how get involved in what he calls, "the only athletic radio sport." Radio orienteering will get you out of your shack chair and bounding through the woods or a park, using a handheld receiver and directional antenna to find a transmitter that's located somewhere in the vicinity. People of all ages and skill levels can have fun with radio orienteering -- and you don't even need a ham radio license to join in.

ARRL Audio News
Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday. ARRL Audio News is a summary of the week's top news stories in the world of amateur radio and ARRL, along with interviews and other features.

The On the Air podcast is available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android). The On the Air podcast and ARRL Audio News are also on blubrry -- On the Air | ARRL Audio News.


The Lewis and Clark Trail on the Air special event commemorates the historic path the explorers took on their trek across the Midwest. The trail covers 4,900 miles and 16 states. This includes the disembarkation from Camp Dubois and what is referred to as the Eastern Legacy. The event is sponsored by the Clark County Amateur Radio Club, with support and participation from other clubs in all 16 states along the historic trail. The 2023 event will run 24 hours per day beginning June 3 and continuing through June 18 (June 2, 5:00 PM Pacific Time to June 18, 5:00 PM Pacific Time). The rules are simple: contact one club in each of the 16 states on the historic Lewis and Clark Trail. Operating modes include SSB phone, FM phone, CW, and FT8. Any combination of modes used to work all 16 states is allowed. The on-air exchange will include the call sign and name of the operator. Additional information, such as a signal report or a Parks on the Air park designation, may also be logged but is not required. Additional information can be found at Lewis & Clark Trail on the Air (

In Brief...

Canadian amateur radio operators will be able to participate in a special event honoring the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. The coronation takes place on May 6, 2023, and the special event runs from May 5 to July 2. Operators will be able to use special event call sign prefixes. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) has approved the special call signs, which will correspond to the early summer operating season. All Canadian amateurs can use the special event call sign prefixes for all occasions, including Field Day and the Radio Amateurs of Canada Day Contest. More information about the special event call signs is available here. Additional information about the coronation can be found at King Charles: When is the coronation and what do we know about it? - BBC News.

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week's ARRL Propagation Bulletin, ARLP014:

Solar disk image taken April 6, 2023, courtesy of NASA SDO/HMI.

Average solar flux and sunspot numbers went down this week. Sunspot numbers are down by half, from 112.6 last week to 53.4 this week. Average daily solar flux declined from 156.1 to 132.5.

Geomagnetic indicators also declined this week. The average daily planetary A index went from 23.3 last week to 15 this week. Average daily middle latitude A index went down from 13.7 to 11.7.

The middle latitude A index for April 1 was not available, so my guess for it is 11.

Predicted solar flux is 140 on April 6 - 8; 135 on April 9 - 11; 140 on April 12 - 13; 130 on April 14; 135 on April 15 - 17; 140 on April 18 - 20; 135 on April 21 - 23, then 130, 125, and 120 on April 24 - 26; 115 on April 27 - 29; 125 on April 30; 120 on May 1 - 2; 115 on May 3 - 4, and 110 on May 5 - 7.

Predicted planetary A index was 8 on April 6; 5 on April 7 - 10, then 8, 8, and 5 on April 11 - 13; 8 on April 14 - 15, then 12, 10, and 15 on April 16 - 18, then 5, 20, 15, and 10 on April 19 - 22; 5 on April 23 - 25, then 15 and 18 on April 26 - 27; 15 on April 28 - 29; 8 on April 30; 10 on May 1 - 2; 8 on May 3, and 5 on May 4 - 6.

This video from Tamitha Skov features flares and wind, and came out right after last week's bulletin:

Sunspot numbers for March 30 through April 5, 2023, were 99, 61, 23, 54, 56, 44, and 37, with a mean of 53.4. 10.7-centimeter flux was 140.3, 129.3, 125.3, 126.9, 133.6, 135.7, and 136.6, with a mean of 132.5. Estimated planetary A indices were 17, 21, 13, 15, 15, 13, and 11, with a mean of 15. Middle latitude A index was 11, 17, 11, 13, 11, 10, and 9, with a mean of 11.7.

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

The Yearlong -- ARRL Volunteers On the Air (VOTA) event continues. At their website you can see the State Activations Schedule for weekly W1AW Portable Operations, including:

  • April 5 - April 11 Pennsylvania W1AW/3

  • April 5 - April 11 Oregon W1AW/7

  • April 12 - April 18 Massachusetts W1AW/1

  • April 12 - April 18 North Carolina W1AW/4

Upcoming Contests:
  • April 6 - 7 -- Walk for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)

  • April 8 -- QRP ARCI Spring QSO Party (CW)

  • April 8 - 9 -- JIDX CW Contest (CW)

  • April 8 - 9 -- DIG QSO Party, (CW)

  • April 8 - 9 -- OK/OM DX Contest, SSB (phone)

  • April 8 - 9 -- IG-RY World Wide RTTY Contest (digital)

  • April 8 - 9 -- New Mexico QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)

  • April 8 - 9 -- Georgia QSO Party (CW, phone)

  • April 8 - 9 -- Yuri Gagarin Int'l DX Contest (CW)

  • April 9 -- WAB 3.5/7/14 MHz Data Modes (digital)

  • April 10 -- 4 States QRP Group 2nd Sun Sprint (CW, phone)

  • April 10 -- DARC Easter Contest (CW, phone)

  • April 10 -- 144 MHz Spring Sprint (CW, phone, digital)

  • April 12 -- NAQCC CW Sprint (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

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.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.

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