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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
July 13, 2023
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


Commercial Interests Petition FCC for High Power Allocation on Shortwave Spectrum

The ad hoc group Shortwave Modernization Coalition petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow data communications on multiple bands within the HF 2 - 25 MHz range with up to 20 kW, including on bands immediately adjacent to spectrums allocated to the Amateur Radio Service. This group appears to represent high-speed stock trading interests. The FCC has assigned the public notice as docket number RM-11953. Comments are due by July 31, 2023, and comment replies are due by August 15, 2023. While the petitioners exclude the amateur bands, high-power operations on immediately adjacent bands are proposed. ARRL is reviewing the petition.

A PDF of the petition is available at:

Teachers Gather for STEM Training at ARRL

A group of educators were at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut, the week of July 13, 2023, for the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology. The 13 teachers were from all over the country, and they were in town to learn hands-on STEM activities through amateur radio. "They liked foxhunting and satellite contacts the best," said ARRL Education and Learning Manager Steve Goodgame, K5ATA.

A group of teachers from the ARRL Teachers Institute of Wireless Technology learn about radio direction finding (foxhunting) in front of ARRL Headquarters.

ARRL holds five sessions each year, and each session is 5 days in length. The Teachers Institute is an expenses-paid professional development program filled with lectures, hands-on activities, and demonstrations that are intended to provide teachers with tools and strategies to introduce basic electronics, radio science, satellite communications, amateur radio, weather science, microcontrollers, and electronic sensors to their students. "The whole idea is to inspire teachers to go back and inspire their students to be excited about amateur radio," said Goodgame.

Support for the institute is provided by donations from amateurs like you to the ARRL Education & Technology Fund.

2023 YOTA Summer Camp is Ready to Go!

The Youth on the Air (YOTA) Americas Camp, hosted by the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC), is going to be filled with 6 days of activity.

Young amateur radio operators in North, Central, and South America will operate special event station VE3YOTA from July 16 - 21, 2023, in addition to contacting the International Space Station (ISS) and activating a two-for-one Parks on the Air (POTA) location. The opening and closing ceremonies, and the ISS contact, will be live streamed on YouTube .

The special event station will operate from YOTA camps at Carleton University and the Diefenbunker Cold War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,

Activation of the VE3YOTA call sign begins on Sunday, July 16, and concludes at 2 PM on Friday, July 21. Campers will operate the station during their free time.

Dedicated HF station operating times are Monday, July 17, through Wednesday, July 19, from 2300Z to 0230Z (7 PM to 10:30 PM EDT). The dedicated satellite station operating time is Wednesday, July 19, from 1400Z to 1700Z (10 AM to 1 PM EDT).

Fifteen QRP stations will activate two-for-one POTA location Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site of Canada (VE-5095) and Rideau Canal National Historic Site (VE-4882) on 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. The activation will occur on Tuesday, July 18, from 1900Z to 2100Z (3 PM to 5 PM EDT) and Thursday, July 20, from 1300Z to 1600Z (9 AM to 12PM EDT, weather permitting).

The opening ceremony is Sunday, July 16, from 2100Z to 2315Z (5 PM to 7:15 PM EDT) and the keynote speaker will be RAC President Phil McBride, VA3QR. The ISS contact is currently scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 18, at 1842Z (2:42 PM EDT). The closing ceremony is Friday, July 21, from 1500Z to 1600Z (11 AM to 12PM EDT). The channel will also feature daily videos spotlighting the previous day's activities.

For details about the camp, visit YouthOnTheAir.

For additional information, contact YOTA Camp Director Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, at

Handbook 100: Now Available in Softcover

The softcover edition of The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications.

The 100th edition of The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications is the most extensively revised and expanded edition in recent years. Each chapter is filled with up-to-date knowledge representing radio amateurs' wide and ever-expanding range of interests. There are practical, hands-on projects for all skill levels, from simple accessories and small power supplies to amplifiers and high-gain antennas. The traditional softcover edition features the same piano-finish black cover as the hardcover collector's edition and six-volume paperback set.

Dual Contests Make for Busy HF Weekend

The weekend of July 8 - 9, 2023, was a big one for HF contests. The World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC) 2022 coincided with the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) HF World Championship.

WRTC 2022

Judging for WRTC 2022, held July 8 - 9, 2023, is complete. The event was postponed for 1 year in 2022.

A screengrab from the WRTC 2022 closing ceremony on YouTube.

The WRTC 2022 competition winners are:

I44W (UW7LL / VE3DZ)
I49D (9A7DX / 9A3LG)
Phone: I43L (YU5EEA / 9A3SMS)
CW: I47M (F8DBF / F1AKK)
Mults: I44W (UW7LL / VE3DZ)
Youth: I43O (YL3JA / UR5YKO)
Accuracy: I43C (DJ5MW / DL1IAO)

The WRTC judges analyzed each log to verify the contacts made during the competition and cross-referenced them to the official records to ensure accuracy. Once the log checking process was complete, the judges posted the winners. All of the logs, the final score list, and a YouTube video of the closing ceremony are available on the WRTC website.

Information on the next WRTC Championship was announced on July 11, 2023. It will be hosted by the United Kingdom in 2026.

IARU HF World Championship

Early numbers of log submissions show enthusiastic participation for this year's IARU HF World Championship. More than 5,000 logs were submitted by the afternoon of July 13. Stations have 7 days after the event to submit their logs, so there's still time for more submissions to be received.

ARRL staff members Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, and Sierra Harrop, W5DX, operating as NU1AW, the IARU Headquarters station, from Studio 1 of W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station at ARRL HQ.

Volunteer operators from ARRL Headquarters staff participated in the event as NU1AW, the IARU Headquarters station. They logged more than 1,000 contacts from the W1AW Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station during the event.

As part of the yearlong W1AW portable operations, W1AW/KH6 served as the ARRL Headquarters station on SSB from KH6YY in Oahu, Hawaii (, and on CW from KH6LC in Keaau, Hawaii (

Amateur Radio in the News

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

"Poway ham radio operators host demonstrations during national Field Day" / San Diego Union Tribune (California), July 4, 2023 --The Poway Amateur Radio Society.

"Tampa Amateur Radio Club prepares for this hurricane season" / WTOG-TV/CW-44 (Florida), July 10, 2023 -- The Tampa Amateur Radio Club is an ARRL Affiliated Club.

"CT ham radio enthusiasts use old-time skills to reach out to the world" / (Connecticut), July 11, 2023 -- The Wireless Operators of Winsted and the CQ Radio Club are ARRL Affiliated Clubs.

any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.

ARRL Podcasts

On the Air
Sponsored by

When Messages Matter: Passing Traffic

Passing traffic is a ham radio activity that's nearly as old as ham radio itself, and getting accurate messages to their destination in a timely manner takes training and skill. In addition to participating in nets, hams also have the opportunity to take on ARRL Field Organization positions that are responsible for traffic. In this episode, we talk to Ethan Hansen, KC1OIP, who fulfills one such position, Official Relay Station, in ARRL's National Traffic System. Listen in to learn about what it takes to become an Official Relay Station, how the position makes a difference in the community, and how it benefits your amateur radio skills and experience.

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 Bogotá Amateur Radio League will be on the air on July 22 - 24, 2023, to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Colombian Radio Amateur League and to commemorate the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Maracaibo and Colombia's National Navy Day. A special event station will run from 19:00Z on Saturday, July 22, to 23:59Z on Monday, July 24, 2023. All amateur radio operators are invited. Information about the event, including frequencies and operating modes, is available on ARRL's Search for Spcical Events Stations web page.

Students from the Kopernik Observatory & Science Center's Return to the Edge of Space STEM summer camp plan to launch a high-altitude weather balloon on July 19, 2023. The launch is scheduled for approximately 10 AM EDT (1400 UTC). Onboard the weather balloon will be a 2-meter Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) beacon, K2ZRO-9, and a slow scan television (SSTV) transmitter operating on 145.600 MHz. The SSTV transmitter will send pictures throughout the flight. The balloon and its payload are expected to reach more than 100,000 feet at their maximum altitude. New England, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Ontario and Quebec, Canada, should receive SSTV pictures. The entire flight should last approximately 4 hours. The Kopernik Observatory & Science Center asks that any images received be sent to For more information about the Kopernik Observatory & Science Center, visit their website.

In Brief...

On July 12, 2023 Bob Wertz, NF7E, was recognized by Flagstaff (Arizona) Business News for earning the ARRL DXCC Honor Roll. The final contact was made with the 3Y0J Bouvet Island DXpedition off the coast of Antarctica via Morse code. Wertz said making the contact was "very difficult" because the distance was more than 9,000 miles. It ended his 47-year quest to contact all 340 independent DXCC entities. Wertz has a long history with amateur radio. He was first licensed in 1976 and comes from a family of amateur radio operators. His father, brother, uncle, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren are all licensed amateur radio operators. On July 23, 2022, Wertz was honored by the Northern Arizona DX Association as the Ham of the Year, and he is an ARRL member. You can read the complete article about Wertz at the Flagstaff Business News website.

ARRL has open positions for full-time employment in technical and non-technical areas of the association. Among the qualifications for each position is a desire for experienced radio amateurs, individuals who will thrive in a collaborative results-driven environment, and to those who have a commitment to advancing ARRL's mission. Read more about the open positions on ARRL News.

ARRL is an equal opportunity employer.

The K7RA Solar Update

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

We saw a rise in solar activity this reporting week, July 6 - 12, 2023.

Solar disk image taken July 13, 2023, courtesy of NASA SDO/HMI.

Referencing the previous 7 days, average daily sunspot numbers rose from 126.1 to 181.9, while the average daily solar flux increased from 164.5 to 179.4.

Geomagnetic indicators did not change much. The average planetary A index went from 7.3 to 8.6 and the average daily middle latitude A index went from 8 to 8.1.

The most active day was July 7, when the University of Alaska's College A index was 40! The middle latitude A index on that day was only 11. The College A index was measured by a magnetometer in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Predicted solar flux looks like it will be great over the next few days, at 190 on July 13; 188 on July 14 - 15; 186 on July 16; 182 on July 17 - 18; 180 on July 19; 170 on July 20 - 21; 160 on July 22 - 23; 155 on July 24 - 25; 160 on July 26 - 27; 165 on July 28 - 29; 170 on July 30 - 31; 165 on August 1 - 4; 170 on August 5; 175 on August 6 - 7; 170 on August 8, and 165 on August 9 - 11.

Predicted planetary A index is 15 and 10 on July 13 - 14; 5 on July 15 through August 2; 10, 8, and 5 on August 3 - 5, then 8, 8, 5, 8, and 8 on August 6 - 10.

On July 12, reported:

"A new hyperactive sunspot is producing M-class solar flares every few hours. This is causing shortwave radio blackouts around all longitudes of our planet. If current trends continue, an X-flare could be in the offing."

See for updates.

Thanks to reader David Moore for sending us the information on aurora hype at

Sunspot numbers for July 6 through 12, 2023, were 149, 147, 167, 183, 181, 227, and 219, with a mean of 181.9. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 157.6, 161.4, 160.5, 179.2, 190.6, 213.5, and 193.3, with a mean of 179.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 11, 18, 8, 4, 5, 8, and 6, with a mean of 8.6. The middle latitude A index was 11, 16, 6, 4, 6, 8, and 6, with a mean of 8.1.

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:

  • July 12 - July 18 - Wisconsin W1AW/9

  • July 12 - July 18 - Utah W1AW/7

  • July 12 - July 18 - American Samoa W1AW/KH8

Upcoming Contests:

  • July 13 -- EACW Meeting (CW)

  • July 14 -- NCCC RTTY Sprint (digital)

  • July 14 -- NCCC Sprint (CW)

  • July 15 -- Russian Radio Team Championship (CW, phone)

  • July 15 -- Trans-Tasman Low-Bands Challenge (CW, phone, digital)

  • July 15 - 16 -- IARU Region 1 70 MHz Contest (CW, phone)

  • July 15 - 16 -- North American QSO Party, RTTY (digital)

  • July 15 - 16 -- CQ Worldwide VHF Contest (CW, phone, digital)

  • July 16 -- RSGB Int'l Low Power Contest (CW )

  • July 16 -- CQC Great Colorado Gold Rush (CW)

  • July 16 - 17 Run for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)

  • July 17 -- RSGB FT4 Contest (FT4)

  • July 19 -- VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest (FT8)

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.

Getting it Right...

In the July 6, 2023, issue of The ARRL Letter, we featured stories about the June International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Administrative Council meeting and the IARU HF World Championship. In both stories, we neglected to explain what IARU stands for, or what the IARU is.

IARU is the worldwide federation of national amateur radio organizations. The IARU membership consists of more than 160 member-societies in as many countries and separate territories. ARRL is the United States member-organization and serves as the secretariat for IARU.

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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