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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
November 22, 2023
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


Florida Hams Make Contact 100 Miles Apart via 10-Meter Repeater... in Switzerland.

When 10 meters is open, amazing things can happen. Lu Romero, W4LT, knows that well. He said, "When 10 is open, I often venture up into the top of the band to see if there is any FM activity. I've always liked to use 10 FM, especially when conditions are marginal to observe the Faraday phase distortion on signals. Before FT8, 10 FM was always a good way to discover where the band was propagating to in addition to the beacons. If you hear FM (especially repeaters) operating, then the propagation is really good!"

At around 1500z on October 23, 2023, the band was open. Romero stated that he went to the top of the band and "found multiple signals in both simplex and via repeaters."

Tower 1 of the Tampa Amateur Radio Club, with the Force 12 C31XR antenna, second from the top. [Lu Romero, W4LT, photo.]

"Usually, I receive a repeater in New York City, KQ2H, one of the strongest signals I can get down here in Florida when 10 is open, but today there was another strong signal [of] 10 kHz above it," he said.

Using a FLEX-6400 at 75 W and the C32XR beam at 108 feet that he maintains for the Tampa Amateur Radio Club, he heard an ID through the splatter from the KQ2H repeater. "It was HB9HD in Switzerland! I set up for split and reduced power to 75 W on the Flex and gave the repeater a kerchunk." Romero was able to contact a Swiss ham, Rene, HB3XVR, on the repeater's 70-centimeter link.

Then, on October 31, again around 1500z, Romero tried the repeater once more. "I found the repeater full quieting, even stronger than it was on October 23, and with no QRM from KQ2H, so it was clean and easy to copy!

A Google Maps display of the nearly 5,000-mile distance each leg of the QSO traveled.

For the heck of it, I called CQ several times on the repeater. I received no callers, but finally, I received a signal that was fading up and down. I called again and that signal stopped fading for a while, and I was able to work David, WA3LXD, over the HB9HD repeater. After a little while, his signal settled down, and David asked me what my QTH was, and I told him I was in Tampa. He laughed and
said we worked each other 'the hard way,' because he was in Ocala, about 100 miles to my north," said Romero.

As Solar Cycle 25 continues to rise toward its peak, amateurs can expect to encounter more exciting propagation, especially on the 10- and 6-meter bands. In this case, the signals traveled roughly 9,800 miles round trip. Your mileage may vary.

2023 ARRL Board of Directors Election Results

ARRL Great Lakes Division Vice Director Scott Yonally, N8SY (2,175 votes), of Lexington, Ohio, defeated candidate Michael Kalter, W8CI (2,023 votes), for the position of Division Director.

Scott Yonally, N8SY, has been elected Director of the ARRL Great Lakes Division.

Yonally will assume the role when Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, who has held the seat since 2014, completes his current term at the end of the year.

In the Atlantic Division, Vice Director Martin Pittinger, KB3MXM (2,801 votes), of Owings Mills, Maryland, defeated candidate Robert Weinstock, W3RQ (1,044 votes) for the seat.

Marty Pittinger, KB3MXM, has been re-elected as Vice Director of the ARRL Atlantic Division.

In the Dakota Division, Vice Director Lynn Nelson, W0ND (656 votes), of Minot, North Dakota, defeated candidate Matthew Holden, K0BBC (519 votes).

Winners will assume their roles for terms beginning January 1, 2024.

Members had the option to vote using paper or electronic ballots. The election was conducted by third party Election Services Co., of Melville, New York -- the same company that conducted ARRL elections in 2022. The tabulation was observed by Director of the ARRL Pacific Division Kristen McIntyre, K6WX, who chairs the ARRL Ethics and Elections Committee.

Lynn Nelson, W0ND, has been re-elected Vice Director of the ARRL Dakota Division.

Those were the only contested races in this year's election cycle for Director and Vice Director. In August, the following incumbents, running unopposed in this election cycle, were declared winners: Atlantic Division Director Robert Famiglio, K3RF; Dakota Division Director Bill Lippert, AC0W; Delta Division Director David Norris, K5UZ, and Vice Director Ed Hudgens, WB4RHQ; Midwest Division Director Arthur Zygielbaum, K0AIZ, and Vice Director David Propper, K2DP.

In the Great Lakes Division, Roy Hook, W8REH, will be the next Vice Director. Hook ran unopposed for the seat vacated by Director-elect Yonally.

ARRL is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. Elections are held for five of the 15 ARRL Divisions each year, for terms of 3 years.

Elections were also held for Section Managers

Two balloted Section Manager elections were conducted this fall. Ballots were counted on Tuesday, November 21, at ARRL Headquarters. All two-year terms of office will begin on January 1, 2024.

For Section Manager of the ARRL Alaska Section, David Stevens, KL7EB, of Anchorage, Alaska, has been declared re-elected. Stevens has been the Section Manager of the ARRL Alaska Section since 2020. Stevens' first term as Section Manager in Alaska was from 1984 through 1985. He also served as Section Manager from 1998 through 1999, as well as 2002 through 2007.

For Section Manager of the ARRL Delaware Section, Steven Keller, KC3DSO, of Milford, Delaware, has been declared the winner, and his two-year term of office starts on January 1, 2024.

The ARRL Alabama Section will also have a new Section Manager starting on January 1. Dennis Littleton, K4DL, of West Blocton, was the only nominee to run for the new term of office.

The following incumbent Section Managers ran unopposed during the nomination period, and they will begin new, two-year terms of office starting January 1, 2024: Mike Patterson, N6JGA (East Bay); Larry Camp, WB8R (Michigan); David Thomas, KM4NYI (Tennessee); John Kitchens, NS6X (Santa Barbara), and Ray Lajoie, AA1SE (Western Massachusetts).

There were no Section Manager nominating petitions received from Kansas or New Mexico by the receipt deadline of September 8, 2023. Nominations for new 18-month terms starting on July 1, 2024, will be resolicited in the January and February issues of QST.

See the full Section Manager election results on ARRL News.

Former Illinois Section Manager Tom Ciciora, KA9QPN, SK

Thomas "Tom" T. Ciciora, KA9QPN, of Sandwich, Illinois, has become a Silent Key.

Tom Ciciora, KA9QPN, served as Section Manager of the ARRL Illinois Section from 2006-2017.

He was 66 years old. Ciciora served as the Section Manager of the ARRL Illinois Section from 2006 - 2017. He was an ARRL Life Member.

According to his obituary, Ciciora was active in several amateur radio clubs and had been the director of the Sandwich Emergency Management Agency.

Ciciora was involved in emergency communications, and he was frequently quoted in ARRL News during his time as Section Manager to highlight the work of radio amateurs in Illinois.

Information regarding services may be found in the online obituary.

Giving Thanks in the Year of the Volunteers

This Thanksgiving, in the Year of the Volunteers, ARRL is grateful for the many member-volunteers who share their talents to grow and advance amateur radio. There are nearly 60,000 volunteers nationwide who make ARRL strong. From ARRL-accredited Volunteer Examiners, Field Organization volunteers, to members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®), to Section Managers, and Division Directors and Vice Directors. In essence, volunteers are the lifeblood of the organization.

A handful of local volunteers who are geographically privileged enough to come to ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut, on a regular basis serve a truly special role: volunteer operators of The Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, W1AW.

Some of the W1AW Volunteers with ARRL Headquarters Staff.

Skip Colton, W1FTE, is one of them. He wrote the following passage to encourage radio amateurs to visit what is arguably the most famous station in the world:

2023 is the ARRL Year of the Volunteers. It is about all the hams who give their time, knowledge, and experiences to our hobby. Volunteer tour guides are now operating W1AW on weekdays. The door opens at 10:00 AM and closes at 3:45 PM. We also give tours of the station, which includes Hiram Percy Maxim's original spark-gap transmitter, key, and desk, along with many other historical items. W1AW's large room has all the radios and three studios. You are encouraged to operate in any of the studios, each with two rigs and your choice of frequency. We volunteers mentor you as you operate. If you cannot come to Newington, there is a link on the ARRL website through which you can take a virtual tour of W1AW.

For information on visiting ARRL, click here. If you can't come to W1AW yourself, bring W1AW to your own home with the 2024 ARRL Wall Calendar, "A Visit to W1AW," available now in the ARRL Store for $12.95.

ARRL Headquarters to be Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving on Thursday and Friday November 23 - 24, 2023. There will be no W1AW bulletins, code practice, or visitor operations during that time.

Offices will reopen at 8:00 am Eastern on Monday, November 27, 2023. We wish you and yours a happy holiday, and we're thankful for your membership and support.

ARRL Store Black Friday and Cyber Monday

ARRL mystery boxes are back! This Black Friday weekend there are two mystery boxes to choose from. The first applies to orders for the new 25th hardcover edition ARRL Antenna Book. The second the commemorative hardcover collector's edition of Handbook 100. Each mystery box includes the book and other bonus items. For $79.95/ea. they are a great deal and the perfect gift for every amateur radio operator on your holiday list!

Watch your email over the weekend for special Cyber Monday offers, including free shipping on US orders over $30 (members can subscibe to receive special offers via email at

Black Friday mystery boxes are available November 24-26, 2023. You need to be logged into the website to checkout. No returns or exchanges on mystery boxes.

Giving Tuesday: The Future of Amateur Radio Needs You

Giving Tuesday is a great day to join others in their support of amateur radio and ARRL by giving back!

Donations made to ARRL on GivingTuesday provide vital support in all that we do for amateur radio, including reaching the next generation of amateur radio.

Education and outreach are at the heart of what we do.

The future of amateur radio depends on the next generation getting introduced to these principles, and ARRL is committed to reaching and inspiring the next generation of amateur radio--our youth.

Your generous donation will help enable programs that provide pathways into successful science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers for young people through radio communications and radio technology.

Amateur Radio in the News

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

"Gold Hill hosts ham radio licensing class" / The Mountain Ear (Colorado) November 14, 2023 -- Boulder County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES®).

"The Fort Wayne Hamfest and Computer Expo Happened This Weekend" / WOWO Radio (Indiana) November 20, 2023 -- Allen County Amateur Radio Technical Society.

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, in the current episode of the On the Air podcast, "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 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.


Turkey Beach Radio, a twenty-year-old tradition, will continue this Thanksgiving -- the first since renowned radio amateur Chip Margelli, K7JA, had become a Silent Key. Turkey Beach Radio is an annual, informal portable operation that has been conducted by the late Margelli and amateur radio instructor Gordon West, WB6NOA.

The tradition of frying a turkey while operating from a Southern California beach on Thanksgiving continues in honor of Chip Margelli, K7JA, SK.

It entailed Margelli frying a turkey on a Southern California beach while operating. Janet Margelli, KL7MF, along with Gordon and Suzy West and several local hams, will again celebrate Thanksgiving on the beach while operating around 14.275 MHz and 7250 kHz. "We are using most of Chip's gear for our portable ops in the sand, and we hope to continue Chip's legacy of gobbling turkey and gabbing with pals as 'Turkey Beach Portable,'" commented Gordon West. Turkey Beach Radio will be on the air for several hours starting at 2000 UTC on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, and it will continue for several hours on both 20 and 40 meters. Call sign for the activation is W6NOA, no "B".

Tucson Amateur Packet Radio, Inc. (TAPR) will hold an online Mini-Digital Communications Conference on December 9, 2023, from 1700 to 2230 UTC (1200 to 1730 EST, 0900 to 1430 PST). Log in details for the conference will be available at prior to December 9. TAPR is an international amateur radio organization that was founded in Tucson, Arizona, in 1981 by a group of amateurs interested in developing a terminal node controller (TNC) for amateur use. Presentations during the conference will include:

  • TAPR Software Defined Radio (SDR) Development Progress and Challenges by David Larsen, KV0S

  • Developments in KA9Q Radio by Phil Karn, KA9Q

  • An Open Source Wideband HF Receiver Design by David Witten, KD0EAG

  • An Inexpensive Global Positioning System Disciplined Oscillator (GPSDO) for HF Receivers by John Ackermann, N8UR

  • Current Open Source Digital Voice Techniques by Walter Holmes, K5WH

  • A Low Cost FreeDV-based ESP32 Radio Interface by Mooneer Salem, K6AQ

  • ESP32 Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) and Long Range (LoRa) Hardware by Jason Rausch, K4APR

In Brief...

The Longmont Amateur Radio Club (LARC) and the Northern Colorado Amateur Radio Club (NCARC) will help kids get into the holiday spirit by putting Santa Claus on the air. On November 27 - December 10, 2023, Santa will be on the NCARC and LARC repeaters, including EchoLink node W0ENO-R 8305. For those interested in participating, the LARC repeater frequencies will be 147.270 (+) 100/100 and 448.800 (-) 88.5/88.5. The NCARC repeater frequency will be 447.700 - 100.0/100.0. Santa will send a QSL card to every kid who talks to him during the event.

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week's ARRL Propagation Bulletin, ARLP047:

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, this bulletin preview is moved back a day and does not have the full Thursday-through-Wednesday data; that will appear in Friday's bulletin.

Solar disk image taken November 22, 2023. [Photo courtesy of NASA SDO/HMI]

Last weekend, conditions during the ARRL November Phone Sweepstakes were great because geomagnetic activity was so low. Planetary A index was 3 and 4, and even high-latitude indicators were low. Alaska's college A index was 2 and 1.

Solar activity has been up for the past few days. Starting on November 17, a new sunspot group appeared every day, and on Monday, November 20, six new sunspot groups emerged. Sunspot numbers on Monday and Tuesday were 127 and 138, which is the first time the daily sunspot number has been more than 100 since November 3.

Predicted solar flux is 172, 175, and 177 on November 22 - 24; 180 on November 25 - 27; 185 on November 28 - 29; 155 on November 30 - December 1; 150, 152, 148, and 145 on December 2 - 5; 140 on December 6 - 8; 145 on December 9 - 10, and 140 on December 11 - 17.

Predicted planetary A index is 14, 12, and 8 on November 22 - 24; 5 on November 25 - 26; 10 and 8 on November 27 - 28; 5 on November 29 - December 3; 12, 16, 12, and 10 on December 4 - 7; 5 on December 8 - 11; 10 and 8 on December 12 - 13, and 5 on December 14 - 17.

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 22 - None --Thanksgiving Week

  • November 29 - December 5 -- Florida W1AW/4

  • November 29 - December 5 -- Delaware W1AW/3

  • November 29 - December 5 -- Rhode Island W1AW/1

Upcoming Contests:
  • November 22 -- SKCC Sprint (CW)

  • November 23 -- RSGB 80-Meter Autumn Series (CW)

  • November 25 - 26 -- ARRL EME Contest (CW, phone, digital)

  • November 25 - 26 -- CQ Worldwide DX Contest (CW)

  • November 27 -- RSGB FT4 Contest (FT4)

  • November 29 -- UKEICC 80-Meter Contest (CW)

Visit the ARRL Contest Calendar for more events and information.

Upcoming Section, State, and Division Conventions
  • December 8 - 9 | Tampa Bay Hamfest, hosting the ARRL West Central Florida Section Convention, Plant City, Florida

  • January 6 | Ham Radio University, hosting the ARRL New York City-Long Island Section Convention, Brookville, New York

  • January 12 - 14 | ARRL Puerto Rico State Convention, Hatillo, Puerto Rico

  • January 19 - 20 | Cowtown Hamfest, hosting the ARRL North Texas Section Convention, Forest Hill, Texas

  • January 27 | Winterfest, hosting the ARRL Midwest Division Convention, Collinsville, Illinois

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 ARRL or Renew Today! No other organization works harder to promote and protect amateur radio. Membership supports benefits, services, programs, and advocacy to help you get (and stay) active and on the air. Membership includes access to 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.

  • 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.

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