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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
November 9, 2023
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


The First Worked All States Certificate Awarded for the 33-Centimeter Band

On November 4, 2023, Al Ward's, W5LUA, 38-year quest to contact all 50 states on the 33-centimeter band ended when he received the first-ever Worked All States (WAS) certificate for (902 - 928 MHz). Ward started collecting states on the band shortly after it was opened in 1985.

"I am extremely grateful to Peter Van Horne, KA6U, for his EME [Earth-moon-Earth] efforts. I was able to work Wisconsin for my last state [on] the 33-centimeter band on October 21. At the end of September, I was sitting at 32 states confirmed with cards and/or the Logbook of The World (LoTW), when Van Horne went on a 25-state expedition providing my last 18 states," said Ward. In recent expeditions, Brian McCarthy, NX9O, and Jason Baack, N1AV, also provided several states that were needed.

Al Ward, W5LUA, holds his WAS certificate in front of his 5-meter dish. [Photo courtesy of W5LUA]

Ward's station consists of a 5-meter dish with 400 W of power obtained from two 300 W Motorola amplifiers in parallel. His feed is a dual polarity patch feed.

ARRL Radiosport and Regulatory Information Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, was one of the first people to congratulate Ward on his accomplishment.

Jahnke stated, "Hearty congratulations! It's my privilege to confirm the ARRL Awards Department has received your WAS application, plus Card Checker document, and we have issued the 33-centimeter (902 - 928 MHz) Worked All States Award number 1 to you in culmination of your 38-year quest to contact all 50 states on the 33-centimeter band."

Other stations on the hunt for the 33-centimeter WAS certificate that are nearing completion include AC0RA, K0DAS, and N1AV.

In 1985, the Federal Communications Commission allocated the frequency band between 902 and 928 MHz to Part 18 industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) equipment. In that proceeding, the band was also allocated to the Amateur Radio Service on a secondary basis, meaning amateurs could use the band if they accepted interference from and did not cause interference to primary users.

FCC Hiring for Maryland Facility

In what could be a perfect job for a radio amateur, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is hiring a Telecommunications Specialist. The position is based at the Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau, Operations and Emergency Management Division, High Frequency Direction Finding Center in Columbia, Maryland.

The Telecommunications Specialist will perform "watch duty" and serve as a technical authority providing technical assistance and guidance to communication systems users to resolve radio interference complaints and problems and collect radio signal analysis information.

Detailed information about the position, its qualifications, and how to apply can be found at

Editors Note: ARRL also seeks qualified applicants for the position of Sr. Lab Engineer at our Newington, Connecticut Headquarters. ARRL is an equal opportunity employer.

ARRL HQ will be closed on Friday, November 10, 2023, in observance of Veterans Day.

There won't be any W1AW bulletins or code practice that day. ARRL Headquarters will reopen on Monday, November 13, 2023, at 8:00 AM Eastern time.

We are grateful for the sacrifices and service of veterans.

Changes in the ARRL Pacific Section

Section Manager of the ARRL Pacific Section Joe Speroni, AH0A, has retired from the position.

Retiring ARRL Pacific Section Manager Joe Speroni, AH0A, has been active as a volunteer with ARRL for 40 years. [Robert Schneider, AH6J, photo]

Speroni served in the role for 7 years. He was active with ARRL in a variety of positions dating back to the creation of the Volunteer Examiner program in 1984. He has also been an instructor and Affiliated Club Coordinator (ACC). His contributions to emergency communications and management in the Hawaiian Islands have long been recognized by the amateur radio community. ARRL Field Services Manager Mike Walters, W8ZY, said, "With 40 years of service as a volunteer, he is one of the best examples of making the world a better place through amateur radio." Speroni is an ARRL Life Member.

Alan Maenchen, AD6E, is the new Section Manager of the ARRL Pacific Section.

The Section Manager position is being filled by Alan Maenchen, AD6E, for the remainder of the term.

Maenchen is also an ARRL Life Member and has served as an ACC, an Assistant Section Manager, and a DXCC Card Checker.

He assumes the duties of Section Manager with experience in emergency communications and a background of assisting amateur radio clubs in the Section.

Amateur Radio in the News

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

"A look at the questions Valley Stream South students sent to the International Space Station" / LI Hearld (New York) November 3, 2023 -- The Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club is an ARRL Affiliated Club.

"Radio enthusiasts flock to 75th annual 'Hamarama Hamfest' in Ardmore" / KXII (Oklahoma) November 6, 2023 -- 75th annual 'Hamarama Hamfest' in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.

ARRL Podcasts

On the Air
Sponsored by

The Value of Contest Clubs

"Contesting encompasses so much of the hobby," says seasoned contester Craig Thompson, K9CT, "from station building, learning how to operate, understanding propagation, knowing the rules, learning from your peers," that there's something in it for every ham radio operator. As current member and former president of the Society of Midwest Contesters, Craig knows the ins and outs of a running a contest club and ensuring that the value proposition makes sense to the average member. In this episode, Craig talks about why you might want to get involved with a contest club, what it entails, and how these specialized clubs stir up on-air activity that benefits every ham. This discussion extends the November/December 2023 On the Air, "Joining a Contest Club," by Leanna Figlewski, KC1RMP.

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. The On the Air podcast and ARRL Audio News are also on blubrry -- On the Air | ARRL Audio News.


ARRL has a list of special event stations that offer many opportunities for amateur radio operators to honor Veterans and make contacts for Veterans Day. They include:

A complete list of special event stations, including Veterans Day stations, is available at Type "Veterans" in the keyword search bar to find the stations.

In Brief...

The Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA) is sponsoring the third annual W2MM special event station to celebrate their 76th anniversary on December 5, 2023. Beginning on the first weekend of December, QCWA members in the US and its territories will be able to activate W2MM for this event, which will run for 7 days. Stations activating W2MM must submit their log as an ADIF file to by the end of the third week of December. When naming your file, use the following format: (your call sign) -SE2023.adf. At the end of December, all of the stations that worked W2MM will be able to download a commemorative certificate. Louis Maggio, NO2C, is providing this service on a volunteer basis, so please expect a 2- to 3-month lead time for certificates. Contact QCWA Activities Manager John Kludt, K7SYS, at for more information and scheduling. The QCWA was founded in 1947 to provide an organization for the hobby's pioneers. QCWA promotes friendship and cooperation among amateur radio operators licensed at least a quarter century ago and who remain licensed today.

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week's ARRL Propagation Bulletin, ARLP045:

This reporting week, ending on November 8, 2023, saw six new emerging sunspot groups; one on each day, except November 6.

Solar activity improved, with the average daily sunspot number increasing from 76.7 to 89.7. The average daily solar flux rose from 137.5 to 151.7.

Solar disk image taken November 9, 2023. [Photo courtesy of NASA SDO/HMI]

Geomagnetic activity increased. The average daily planetary A index changed from 15.9 to 22.3 and the middle latitude A index rose from 11.9 to 14.6.

The most active days were Sunday and Monday when the planetary A index was 57 and 40.

Predicted solar flux is 146 on November 9; 145 on November 10 - 13; 150 on November 14 - 16; 123 and 123 on November 17 - 18; 125 on November 19 - 22; 130 on November 23 - 26; 132, 134, and 134 on November 27 - 29; 136 on November 30 through December 2, and 140 and 138 on December 3 - 4.

Predicted planetary A index is 12, 10, and 8 on November 9 - 11; 5, 5, 8, and 10 on November 12 - 15; 5 on November 16 - 21; 15, 10, and 15 on November 22 - 24; 15, 20, 15, and 8 on November 25 - 28, and 5 on November 29 through December 5.

Read about the recent aurora at

Sunspot numbers for November 2 through 8, 2023, were 113, 106, 95, 81, 67, 74, and 92, with a mean of 89.7. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 158.4, 156.1, 155.3, 154.8, 146.2, 145.1, and 145.7, with a mean of 151.7. Estimated planetary A indices were 7, 4, 14, 57, 40, 18, and 16, with a mean of 22.3. Middle latitude A index was 4, 3, 12, 30, 27, 11, and 15, with a mean of 14.6.

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:

  • November 8 - 14 -- Wyoming W1AW/7

  • November 8 - 14 -- Maryland W1AW/3

  • November 8 - 14 -- Kansas W1AW/0

  • November 15 - 21 -- Alaska W1AW/KL7

  • November 15 - 21 -- Washington W1AW/7

  • November 15 - 21 -- Mississippi W1AW/5

Upcoming Contests:
  • November 9 -- 7 EACW Meeting (CW)

  • November 11 -- FISTS Saturday Sprint (CW)

  • November 11 - 12 -- WAE DX Contest, RTTY (digital)

  • November 11 - 13 -- PODXS 070 Club Triple Play Low Band Sprint (digital)

  • November 11 - 12 -- 10-10 Int'l Fall Contest (digital)

  • November 11 - 12 -- SARL VHF/UHF Analogue Contest (phone)

  • November 11 - 12 -- JIDX Phone Contest (phone)

  • November 11 - 12 -- OK/OM DX Contest (CW)

  • November 11 - 12 -- SKCC Weekend Sprintathon (CW)

  • November 11 - 13 -- CQ-WE Contest (CW, phone, digital)

  • November 11 - 20 -- AWA Bruce Kelley 1929 QSO Party (CW)

  • November 12 -- North American SSB Sprint Contest (phone)

  • November 12 -- FIRAC HF Contest (phone)

  • November 13 -- 4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint (CW, phone)

  • November 14 -- DARC FT4 Contest (FT4)

  • November 15 -- RSGB 80-Meter Autumn Series, SSB (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

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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