Register Account

Login Help

ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
August 10, 2023
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


New ARRL Video Helps Members Navigate Digital Magazines

The video on YouTube makes it easy for members to navigate the digital editions of QST, On the Air, QEX, and NCJ.

ARRL members have digital access to four high quality magazines: QST, On the Air, QEX, and NCJ. If you have questions or concerns about how to get the most out of the digital editions, "How to View ARRL Magazines Digitally" on the ARRLHQ YouTube channel, will help walk you through it.

The video, hosted by Jherica Goodgame, KI5HTA, explores the features of the digital presentation including switching between magazines, saving to PDF, searching for content, bookmarkings, and zooming in to content. It covers the web browser version, as well as the Android and iOS applications.

If you download the ARRL magazines app for Android or iOS, ARRL will send a notification to your device when a new edition is available for reading. They are also available on Amazon Kindle.

The video can be viewed at

FCC Recruiting Field Agents

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking for qualified applicants to fill Field Agent positions in five offices across the United States: New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Applicants will need to be degreed electrical or electronics engineers with experience in tests, measurements, calculations, and similar work involving radio frequency (RF) engineering, broadcast engineering, or telecommunications engineering. The duties include:

  • Operate and understand all technical equipment typically used in the field, including RF spectrum analyzers, field strength meters, RF field survey meters, and radio receivers.

  • Maintain contacts with and assist other federal agencies, foreign counterparts, and local law enforcement organizations concerning interaction and utilization of the radio spectrum for both authorized and unauthorized activities.

  • Initiate Official Notices of Violation, Warnings, Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, and other orders to radio operators and licensees to bring unsatisfactory or violative conditions to their attention as a result of monitoring and performing investigations, and inspections.

  • Independently initiate correspondence or other communications with complainants and radio users concerning the enforcement functions of the office and region.

The salary range is $66,134 - $158,432 per year depending on qualifications and experience.

The New York, Boston, and Chicago job postings are at

The Los Angeles and San Francisco postings are at

Applications are being accepted through August 24, 2023.

IARU Approves two Digipeating Amateur Satellites

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has coordinated two European digipeating satellites that are scheduled to launch in fall 2023. At the Technical University of Kosice in Slovakia, satellite Veronika, a 1U CubeSat, is scheduled for launch on a Falcon 9 launcher on the Transporter 9 mission in October 2023.

The satellite will be equipped with a 24/7 digipeater on two different bands, as well as experimental slow-scan digital video (SSDV) transmissions. There is an education and outreach mission planned to involve Slovak grammar and high schools, and to transmit special CW and AX.25 messages on several special occasions. The satellite will be equipped with a novel Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) subsystem, including electromagnetic actuators and a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver. This will also help to identify the satellite during the first days and weeks of orbit.

The satellite will communicate using Spacemanic's well-known Murgas transceivers (BDSat-1, BDSat-2, Planetum-1). Altogether, Veronika will provide: AX.25 telemetry, a CW beacon, a digipeater, AX.25 and CW messages on special occasions for community engagement, experimental SSDV transmissions, SatNOGS integration, a decoder, and a dashboard. A downlink on 436.680 MHz has been coordinated, and it will use 9k6 G3RUH AX.25 and a CW beacon. A SpaceX launch on the Transporter 9 mission will send the satellite to a 500/600-kilometer polar orbit.

The Romanian Federation of Amateur Radio (FRR) is preparing the ROM-3 for launch in October or November 2023. ROM-3 is a 50 x 50 x 100-millimeter picoSAT with three missions and objectives. Its primary mission is to act as a digital amateur radio repeater. Its secondary mission is to transmit low-resolution SSDV images in a Gaussian frequency shift keying (GFSK) mode. The tertiary mission is to transmit a CW beacon that will help amateur radio operators detect the presence of the satellite and measure basic properties of the signals, such as its strength, fading due to spinning, and Doppler to measure speed. A downlink on 436.235 MHz has been coordinated for 20 WPM on CW, 500 (bps) GFSK telemetry, and 5 (kBps) GFSK SSDV. A SpaceX launch will send ROM-3 into a 500-kilometer polar orbit.

New ARRL Propagation Book Offers Tools for Solar Cycle 25

Get an understanding of propagation by reading Here to There: Radio Wave Propagation. Available now from ARRL.

"Learning about propagation will make you a more effective operator and station builder," said Ward Silver, N0AX, editor of ARRL's newest book, Here to There: Radio Wave Propagation. "It's a key part of 'radio know-how.'"

Silver and contributing editors present the principles of signal propagation in an easy-to-understand style. Other contributors include Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA; Dr. Nathaniel A. Frissell, W2NAF; Frank Donovan, W3LPL; Ethan Miller, K8GU, and Hermann Schumacher, DF2DR.

Here to There: Radio Wave Propagation provides practical advice for understanding what's going on in the ionosphere and troposphere, how takeoff angle impacts your transmission, how far you can really communicate over VHF and UHF, and much more. Understanding ionospheric structures, how they form, and which bands they interact with will prepare you for practical operating and help you make the most of your time on the air. The book is timely, introduced as Solar Cycle 25 is in its upswing.

Order from the ARRL Store or find an ARRL publications dealer.

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 Enthusiasts Battle High-Frequency Traders for the Airwaves" / The Wall Street Journal (New York) August 6, 2023.

Share any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.

ARRL Podcasts

On the Air
Sponsored by

This month, we talk with Steve Simons, W1SMS, the Technical Coordinator for the Connecticut Section, who shares his experiences as a TC, from coordinating with Emergency Operations Centers during an emergency, to presenting technical papers at ham club meetings, to working with the Section's Technical Specialists to help local hams with troubleshooting and other technical matters.

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.


National Sunflower Day is August 15, 2023, and the ARRL Kansas Section will be hosting a Sunflower Net. The Sunflower Linked System is a multimode linked system in Kansas and the special event call sign is W0S. Stations are encouraged to check into the Sunflower Net using one of the connectors listed at Those connections are available on Allstar, Hamshack Hotline, EchoLink, digital mobile radio (DMR), Digital Smart Technology for Amateur Radio (D-STAR), System Fusion, Project 25 (P25), or open-source amateur radio M17. Lloyd Colston, KC5FM, one of the event managers, said the sunflower is the state flower of Kansas, and more information about its observance and history is available at the National Sunflower Day website or at State Symbols USA.

The New England Amateur Radio Festival (NEAR-Fest) will be held on October 13 - 14, 2023. NEAR-Fest is an international event run by and aimed at all radio hobbyists and enthusiasts, including hams, short-wave listeners, scanner buffs, and vintage/antique radio fans. NEAR-Fest is held biannually in the spring and fall, rain or shine, at the Deerfield Fairgrounds in Deerfield, New Hampshire. The event will begin on Friday at 0900 ET and end on Saturday at 1500 ET. NEAR-Fest typically attracts attendees from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and other states, as well as from Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, Canada. Some attendees travel great distances. One participant from Los Angeles, California, has attended NEAR-Fest 15 times, and in 2010, one radio amateur traveled from Greece. The program will feature a huge outdoor electronic flea market and three buildings full of commercial vendors, forums, technical seminars and symposiums, demonstrations, exhibits, displays, licensing examinations, special event radio stations, and a jam session. The event is the largest of its kind in the Northeast and was once described as the "Woodstock of Amateur Radio." More information is available at

In Brief...

The 3rd annual Masonic Lodges on the Air (MLotA), an amateur radio special event, will occur on Saturday, September 23, 2023, from locations across the United States. The event is open to all amateur radio operators. The idea for the event grew from the realization that many Freemasons also have a love for amateur radio. The Fulton County Amateur Radio Club and Ohio's Fulton Lodge #248 first hosted the event in 2021. The mission is to promote fraternal bonds within the ranks for Free and Accepted Masonic lodges and its many amateur radio operators, who are also brothers in the fraternity while encouraging contact with amateur radio operators around the state, county and world. The event will take place from 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM ET, on 80 - 40 - 20 -15, and 10 meters SSB. Amateur radio participants are asked to honor all band plans, and all contacts must be on the phone portion of the bands. Stations may be contacted once on each band. Complete contest rules and more information can be found at

Visit the ARRL Special Event Stations database at to find other on-the-air events and commemorations.

Minutes of the Second Meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors are now published. The meeting was held July 21 - 22, 2023 in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Among the decisions approved at the meeting was a new dues rate, effective January 1, 2024. The minutes are available at

The 2022 ARRL Annual Report has been published. This yearly summary details accomplishments of our member-volunteers. Included is ARRL's Report to America, which highlights the contributions made by radio amateurs to their local communities. It may be especially valuable to amateur radio clubs and emergency communications groups to help tell the story of good works done by hams. Communications responses for New England blizzards, Oklahoma tornadoes, Colorado wildfires, and Hurricane Ian are detailed in the report which may be viewed at this link.

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week's ARRL Propagation Bulletin, ARLP032:

Solar disk image taken August 10, 2023, courtesy of NASA SDO/HMI.

Two new sunspot groups appeared on August 3, and then three more appeared on August 7, followed by another on August 9.

But solar activity was lower during our current reporting week of August 3 - 9, with the average daily sunspot number dropping from 154.3 to 108.9, and average solar flux from 173 to 166.4.

The average daily planetary A index rose from 8.3 to 12.3, and the average middle latitude A index rose from 9.3 to 10.1.

The middle latitude A index on August 3 - 4 was not available, so I estimated the value based on the planetary A index and remaining five middle latitude readings for the rest of the week.

Predicted solar flux is 150 on August 10 - 12; 145, 140, 130, and 135 on August 13 - 16; 162 on August 17 - 18; 164 on August 19 - 20; 168 on August 21 - 23; 172, 172, and 170 on August 24 - 26; 172, 172, and 174 on August 27 - 29; 172, 172, and 170 on August 30 - September 1; 168, 168, 166, and 164 on September 2 - 5, and 162, 162, 164, and 164 on September 6 - 9.

Predicted planetary A index is 12 on August 10; 5 on August 11 - 14; 12 and 8 on August 15 - 16; 5 on August 17 - 25; 12 on August 26, and 5 on August 27 - September 4.

On August 9, wrote about a 1940 geomagnetic storm that sounds similar to the infamous Carrington Event.

Two coronal mass ejections hit Earth, each 109 minutes apart. Read a recent scientific paper on the event at

Check out the following articles on solar flares:

Space weather forecaster Dr. Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW, recently uploaded this video:

Sunspot numbers for August 3 - 9, 2023, were 124, 122, 100, 97, 101, 115, and 103, with a mean of 108.9. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 162.9, 170.8, 175.8, 173.5, 169.7, 158.9, and 153.4, with a mean of 166.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 13, 36, 4, 12, 8, and 7, with a mean of 12.3. Middle latitude A index was 5, 12, 24, 4, 11, 7, and 8, with a mean of 10.1.

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:

  • August 9 - 15 -- New Jersey W1AW/2

  • August 16 - 22 -- Vermont W1AW/1

  • August 16 - 22 -- Oklahoma W1AW/5

Upcoming Contests:
  • August 12 -- FISTS Saturday Sprint (CW)

  • August 12 - 13 -- ARRL EME Contest (CW phone, digital)

  • August 12 - 13 -- WAE DX Contest, CW (CW)

  • August 12 - 14 -- 144 MHz Meteorscatter Sprint Contest (CW, phone, digital)

  • August 12 -- SARL Youth QSO Party (phone)

  • August 12 - 13 -- SKCC Weekend Sprintathon (CW)

  • August 12 -- Kentucky State Parks on the Air (CW, phone, digital)

  • August 12 - 13 -- Maryland-DC QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)

  • August 13 -- SARL HF Digital Contest (digital)

  • August 14 -- 4 States QRP Grp 2nd Sun Sprint (CW, phone)

  • August 16 -- 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.

Have News for ARRL?

Submissions for the ARRL Letter and ARRL News can be sent to -- John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, ARRL News Editor

ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
Amateur Radio News and Information

  • Join or Renew Today! Eligible US-based members can elect to receive QST or On the Air magazine in print when they join ARRL or when they renew their membership. All members can access digital editions of all four ARRL magazines: QST, On the Air, QEX, and NCJ.

  • Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

  • The ARRL Letter is available in an accessible format, posted weekly to the Blind-hams email group. The group is dedicated to discussions about amateur radio as it concerns blind hams, plus related topics including ham radio use of adaptive technology.

Subscribe to...

  • NCJ -- National Contest Journal. Published bimonthly, features articles by top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA Sprint, and QSO parties.

Free of charge to ARRL members...

  • Subscribe to the ARES Letter (monthly public service and emergency communications news), the ARRL Contest Update (biweekly contest newsletter), Division and Section news alerts, and much more!



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.

Back issues published since 2000 are available on this page. If you wish to subscribe via e-mail, simply log on to the ARRL Web site, click on Edit Your Profile at the top, then click on Edit Email Subscriptions. Check the box next to The ARRL email newsletter, the ARRL Letter and you will receive each weekly issue in HTML format. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):

Editorial questions or comments: John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, at


The ARRL E-Letter e-mail is also available in plain-text version:

Outlook Express

1. From the Inbox view, select the Tools menu and the Options selection.

2. Click the Read tab

3. Check the Read All Messages In Plain Text box.  When you open the e-mail, it will be in plain text without images. Other e-mail programs may be able to make a Mail Rule for e-mail received from the address so that the plain-text-only display is selected automatically.

Outlook 2007

Use the same procedure as for Outlook Express, although the global option is under "Tools/Trust Center/E-mail Security".


Use the menu item "View/Message Body As/Plain Text" or "View/Message Source" options.

OS X Mail (Mac)

Use the "View/Message/Plain Text Alternative" menu item.


Use the "Message text garbled?" link in the drop-down menu at the upper right of the displayed message block. pine, alpine Set "prefer-plain-text" in your ~/.pinerc configuration file: feature-list=..., prefer-plain-text, ...


Instragram     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     LinkedIn