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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
May 18, 2023
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


Dayton Hamvention® 2023: Ready!

All is set and ready to go for the Dayton Hamvention® 2023 in Xenia, Ohio.

Dayton Hamvention grounds on Thursday, May 18, 2023.

Campers began arriving with their RV's early Thursday morning at the Greene County Fair Grounds and Expo Center. The gates open Friday morning May 19 at 9:00 AM for amateur radio's largest annual gathering.

This year's theme is Innovation and everything amateur radio will be on display for the 3-day event.

This year's Hamvention is hosting the ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention. A summary of ARRL's participation is published at Keep up with all the forums and convention activities you want to attend on the ARRL Events app. Produced in partnership with Hamvention, it is the event's official mobile application for attendees. The ARRL Events app is free. Find it in your device's app store.

ARRL staff began setting up the booth on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. ARRL warehouse employee Brian McNeill carries a box of goods into the exhibit.

ARRL Director of Marketing and Innovation, Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, left and ARRL Treasurer John Sager, WJ7S, right, hang a banner in the ARRL exhibit.

ARRL is ready with a large exhibit area in Building 2, which revolves around the yearlong theme, Year of the Volunteers. There will be staff on hand in the Year of the Volunteers section of the ARRL exhibit to help those interested find a pathway into volunteer service, or for those already serving to reach - "one rung higher" - on the ladder of service. Those who stop by the booth will have the opportunity to use a selfie photo frame to share the fun of Dayton Hamvention with their social media followers.

ARRL is sponsoring eight forums this year beginning early Friday morning with The ARRL Laboratory - Behind the Scenes! This forum gives the inside scoop on what happens in the lab beginning at 9:15 AM - 10:20 AM in Room 3.

ARRL's Year of the Volunteers selfie frame will be at the Year of the Volunteers booth. Come take a photo with it and learn how to get involved with the ARRL field organization.

Additional forums follow on Friday and Saturday including Protecting Amateur Radio, ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) Forum, and the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Forum. All of the information including a full list and descriptions about the ARRL sponsored at Hamvention can be found on the ARRL Events app and in the Dayton Hamvention® 2023 - ARRL Forums. The full slate of Hamvention forums is published at

Everything at Hamvention is easy to find and it's easy to get there. The Talk In - Hamvention net is up and running with directions, traffic conditions and detours. The net is on the Dayton Amateur Radio Association's repeater, 146.94 (-) 123.0 PL with an alternate frequency of 146.985 (-) 123.0 PL.

Follow ARRL News and ARRL social media channels for coverage on Dayton Hamvention.

ARRL Member Dues Survey Continues

We've received thousands of responses so far, but we want to hear from as many members as possible. ARRL's online survey that seeks input from members on how we handle an increase in dues remains open until May 31. The results from the survey will be tabulated and shared with members on the ARRL website in June. Responses will ultimately help guide the future of ARRL. The survey is available to ARRL members, only. Members need to make sure they have logged into the ARRL website to participate. For more information, and to complete the survey, visit

Marc Tarplee, N4UFP, Section Manager, ARRL South Carolina Section (SK)

Section Manager of the ARRL South Carolina Section Marc Tarplee, N4UFP, passed away on Sunday, May 14, 2023.

Marc Tarplee, N4UFP, (SK). [Photo courtesy of ARRL South Carolina Section.]

Tarplee served as the South Carolina Section Technical Coordinator for 7 years before becoming the South Carolina Section Manager in 2010. He was the longest-serving Section Manager of the century within the ARRL Roanoke Division.

He was a member of the York County Amateur Radio Society (YCARS), the Carolina DX Association (CDXA), a founding member of the York County Contesters Group, and he recently retired as the Chief Financial Officer of York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He completed his undergraduate degree in physics at the State University of New York in Brockport, and then he pursued an M.Sc. at the Rochester (New York) Institute of Technology. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of South Carolina.

After spending many years as a shortwave listener, Tarplee became licensed in 1988. He was an avid CW operator and was chasing ARRL's Fred Fish Memorial Award, which is granted to hams who work all 488 maidenhead grids in the continental US via VHF/UHF. He had more than 420 grids confirmed.

Tarplee also enjoyed 160 meters and particularly relished working the top band from a large piece of marshland he owned on the South Carolina coast. From there, he had the space to run a full-wave Beverage antenna. As both a committed DXer and contester, Tarplee could be found anywhere from 160 meters to 23 centimeters.

"Marc's service to the South Carolina Section was legendary. He served as Technical Coordinator prior to my successful election as Section Manager in 2003 and continued in that position throughout my tenure. When I was elected to the ARRL Board to start in 2010, I was looking for a replacement. As I was considering candidates, Marc came to me and wanted to give it a shot. I admitted to him that I did not even consider him at first, but that he was absolutely the right person for the position," said Jim Boehner, N2ZZ, Director of the ARRL Roanoke Division.

ARRL Field Organization Supervisor Steve Ewald, WV1X, said, "Marc was a wonderful ambassador for ARRL. While working with him over the years, I sensed that he really enjoyed sharing his interest in amateur radio, and he knew how to encourage others to participate and get involved."

Tarplee is survived by his wife, Lee, W7LEE, and his daughters, Austin and Marley.

A memorial service for Tarplee will be held at the Learning Commons in Building L at York Technical College, 452 South Anderson Rd., Rock Hill, South Carolina on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at 1:00 PM.

NASA Astronaut to Contact Two Schools from the International Space Station

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation from NASA for two radio contacts from Astronaut Warren Hoburg, KB3HTZ, aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Both contacts will take place on Friday, May 19, 2023.

NASA Astronaut Warren Hoburg, KB3HTZ

The first contact will be with students at Webb Bridge Middle School in Alpharetta, Georgia, at 18:20:31 UTC. A livestream will be available at 15 minutes before the contact begins.

Webb Bridge Middle School is a public school with a total enrollment of 1,188 students in grades 6 through 8. Alpharetta is a northern suburb of Atlanta. The primary audience for the ARISS contact will be their 6th-grade students, ages 11 and 12, who study geology and space sciences during the year.

The second contact will be at 18:58:08 UTC with Fairview Elementary School in Olathe, Kansas. A livestream will be available for the contact at

Fairview Elementary School is a Title 1 public elementary school with a total enrollment of 250 students in grades Pre-K through 5. Olathe is just outside Kansas City and has a population of 140,000.

ARISS conducts 60 - 80 of these special amateur radio contacts each year between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses aboard the ISS.

ARISS is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the ISS. In the US, participating organizations include NASA's Space Communications and Navigation program (SCaN), the ISS National Laboratory's Space Station Explorers program, ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio®, and AMSAT.

Amateur Radio in the News

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

"Red River Valley Amateur Radio Club celebrates 50th Anniversary" / eExtra News (Texas), May 10, 2023 -- The Red River Amateur Radio Club is an ARRL Affiliated Club.

"Knights statewide share mission via ham radios" / Catholic Star Herald (New Jersey), May 15, 2023 -- The New Jersey Knights of Columbus, K0C, Special Event Station.

"Heavy traffic expected in Greene County this weekend due to Hamvention" / WHIO TV (Ohio), May 17, 2023 -- Hamvention, the world's largest amateur radio show.

any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.

ARRL Podcasts

On the Air
Sponsored by

With this year's ARRL June VHF Contest fast approaching on the weekend of June 10, seasoned VHF operator Bob Witte, KØNR, joins the podcast to talk about how to prepare yourself and your station to join in the fun of this beginner-friendly event.

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.


AMSAT is seeking nominations for the 2023 AMSAT Board of Directors election. The election will be held in the third quarter of this year. The seats of the following four incumbent Directors expire in 2023: Jerry Buxton, N0JY; Joseph Armbruster, KJ4JIO; Robert Bankston, KE4AL, and Zach Metzinger, N0ZGO. Two alternate Directors may also be elected for one-year terms. A valid nomination for Director requires either one Member Society or five current individual members in good standing to nominate an AMSAT member. The nomination must be written and include the nominee's name, call sign, and contact information, as well as the nominators' names, call signs, and contact information. Nominations should be sent to AMSAT Secretary Jeff Davis, KE9V, at PO Box 11, Yorktown, Indiana 47396, or to his email at The deadline for nomination is June 15, 2023. For additional information, contact AMSAT.

A special thanks to Jeff Davis, KE9V, AMSAT Secretary, for the information.

In Brief...

May 31, 2023, will be the 25th anniversary of the May 31, 1998, severe storm outbreak locally known as the F3 Mechanicville, New York, tornado. The severe thunderstorms produced 20 tornadoes along with hundreds of damaging winds and large hail reports within a two-hour drive of Albany, New York. This link from the National Weather Service has details and a radar image of the storms, examples of the extensive damage, and a National Disaster Survey report that details amateur radio's assistance with warning and recovery. It also outlines the changes and improvements that led to today's storm warning procedures.

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week's ARRL Propagation Bulletin, ARLP020:

This reporting week, May 11 - 17, the average daily sunspot number was marginally lower at 118.6 compared to 119.3 last week.

Solar disk image taken May 18, 2023, courtesy of NASA SDO/HMI.

The average daily solar flux dropped from 167.8 to 143.2.

Geomagnetic indicators were quieter, with both planetary and middle latitude A index at 9.6. Last week the two numbers were 15.1 and 11.9.

10.7-centimeter solar flux is forecast to peak at 165 on June 8.

The predicted solar flux numbers are 140 and 138 on May 18 - 19; 135 on May 20 - 21; 130 on May 22 - 24, then 154, 140, and 145 on May 25 - 27; 155 on May 28 - 30; 160 on May 31 and June 1; 155 on June 2 - 3; 160 on June 4 - 7, then 165, 160, 150, 145, and 150 on June 8 - 12, then 155 on June 13 - 17.

Predicted planetary A index is 5 on May 18 - 19; 8 on May 20 - 21; 5 on May 22 - 23, then 12, 15, and 15 on May 24 - 26; 10, 10, and 8 on May 27 - 29; 5 on May 30 through June 1, then 16, 12, 16, and 12 on June 2 - 5; 8 on June 6 - 8, and 5 on June 9 - 18.

Check out NASA's sunspot picture from May 17 at

Check out a video of the recent solar eruption at

Read about how the solar flare caused a radio blackout at

Read about a solar storm threat at

Sunspot numbers for May 11 through 17, 2023, were 152, 134, 120, 109, 103, 106, and 106, with a mean of 118.6. 10.7-centimeter flux was 163.4, 149.1, 143.8, 139.7, 134.5, 134.3, and 137.9, with a mean of 143.2. Estimated planetary A indices were 9, 19, 13, 8, 6, 8, and 4, with a mean of 9.6. Middle latitude A index was 10, 15, 12, 9, 6, 10, and 5, with a mean of 9.6.

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

Yearlong -- ARRL Volunteers On the Air (VOTA). See the State Activations Schedule for weekly W1AW Portable Operations, including:

  • May 24 - May 30 -- New York W1AW/2

  • May 24 - May 30 -- Colorado W1AW/0

  • May 31 - June 6 -- Wyoming W1AW/7

  • May 31 - June 6 -- Missouri W1AW/0

Upcoming Contests:
  • May 20 - 21 -- SARL VHF/UHF Digital Contest (digital)

  • May 20 -- UN DX Contest (CW, phone)

  • May 20 - 21 -- NZART Sangster Shield Contest (CW)

  • May 20 - 21 -- His Maj. King of Spain Contest, (CW)

  • May 20 - 21 -- EU PSK DX Contest (digital)

  • May 20 - 21 -- Arkansas QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)

  • May 20 -- Feld Hell Sprint (digital)

  • May 21 - 22 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)

  • May 22 -- RSGB FT4 Contest (digital)

  • May 24 -- SKCC Sprint (CW)

  • May 25 -- RSGB 80m Club Champ (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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  • Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

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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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