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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
February 22, 2024
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


Amateur Radio Operators Needed for Help with Solar Eclipse Project

The Case Amateur Radio Club, W8EDU, the club station at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, is asking for amateur radio operators to help with a research project centered around the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse.

W8EDU club member Adam Goodman, W7OKE, said the project centers around studying the effects of the eclipse on propagation to better understand the recombination time of the ionosphere.

"To do this, we are recruiting North American amateur stations interested in recording the Canadian time standard station CHU (Canada's WWV) for two weeks surrounding the eclipse," added Goodman. "Anyone with a KiwiSDR or a rig that can interface with analysis/recording software such as Fldigi is encouraged to reach out to us to participate."

W8EDU club member and project software manager Maris Usis, KE8TXG, said that while the software is simple to use, there is some detailed work involved. "We can help make it easier and there are good online instructions as well," said Usis.

All of the participation details are on the club's website at

W8EDU club faculty advisor David Kazdan, AD8Y, said the research project has received positive attention from the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Program community, the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) community, and Case Western Reserve University's engineering deans. "It is already a truly international effort, and we are collaborating with more than 20 stations across the continent, from collegiate and high school stations, to a representative from the Radio Amateurs of Canada, to a station in Mexico," said Kazdan.

The 2024 solar eclipse will over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. ARRL is a partner with HamSCI to help promote this opportunity for radio amateurs to participate in an active science experiment, through the Solar Eclipse QSO Party.

Winter Season Section Manager Election Results

On Tuesday, February 20, at ARRL Headquarters, ballots were counted for two Section Manager elections that were conducted this winter.

ARRL members in Louisiana elected Houston Polson, N5YS, of Winnfield, to become the next Section Manager of the ARRL Louisiana Section starting on April 1, 2024. Polson received 200 votes, and incumbent Section Manager Matt Anderson, KD5KNZ, received 169 votes.

Polson was first licensed in 1984, and he has been a member of the Ak-Sar-Ben Amateur Radio Club in Omaha, Nebraska, ever since. He is also a Volunteer Examiner and an active member of the Central Louisiana Amateur Radio Club.

Anderson, of Covington, has served as the Section Manager for the ARRL Louisiana Section since August 31, 2023, when he was appointed to fulfill the remainder of the term after John Mark Robertson, K5JMR, stepped down.

In the ARRL Pacific Section, Alan Maenchen, AD6E, was re-elected in a close race by receiving 113 votes. Kevin Bogan, AH6QO, of Honolulu, received 100 votes. Maenchen, of Wailuku, Hawaii, was appointed as Section Manager of the Pacific Section on November 1, 2023, to fulfill the term of office after Joe Speroni, AH0A, stepped down.

The ARRL Georgia Section has a new Section Manager as of January 1, 2024. Hank Blackwood, K4HYJ, of Dalton, Georgia, was the only nominee to run for the re-solicited, 18-month new term of office that is to begin on April 1.

David Benoist, AG4ZR, who continued serving as Section Manager of the Georgia Section beyond the conclusion of his term on September 30, 2023, decided to step down at the end of 2023 to allow Blackwood to officially begin his term of office early. Benoist, of Senoia, was Section Manager from December 2021 through December 2023, and he previously led the Georgia Section's field organization from November 2016 to September 2021.

The following incumbent Section Managers were unopposed after the fall nomination deadline, and they will begin new, two-year terms of office starting on April 1, 2024: John Fritze, K2QY (Eastern New York); Bob Wilson, W3BIG (Eastern Pennsylvania); Marvin Hoffman, WA4NC (North Carolina); Dave Kaltenborn, N8KBC (San Diego); Chris Stallkamp, KI0D (South Dakota), and Jack Smith, KE4LWT (Virginia).

Former Vice Director of the ARRL Hudson Division, Bill Hudzik, W2UDT, Silent Key

Former Vice Director of the ARRL Hudson Division and ARRL Maxim Society Member William "Bill" Hudzik, W2UDT, has passed away at the age of 77.

Bill Hudzik, W2UDT | 1947 - 2024
[Ria Jairam, N2RJ, photo]

Hudzik served as Vice Director from 2011 to 2022, and he had previously been Section Manager of the ARRL Northern New Jersey Section.

Hudzik was first licensed in 1961 as WV2UDT, and he was active in VHF contesting at the time.

Bill Hudzik, W2UDT. | 1947 - 2024

He quickly gained a reputation as someone willing and able to help. "He was probably one of the most capable people I have ever known. It didn't matter what you were doing, he knew how to deal with it," said ARRL Director of Operations Bob Naumann, W5OV. Naumann had known Hudzik for 45 years. "Bill set a very high bar for how to treat people," he said.

Hudzik served in the military and used his radio skills to help his fellow servicepeople. He spent the holiday season of 1966 - 1967 running phone patches from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, as KR6SP.

Hudzik called himself a "contest junkie" and enjoyed operating in contests from V26B in Antigua and Barbuda. He was part of several high-scoring team activations from the station. He also operated from St. Croix and wrote about the trip for ARRL (see Vacation, Contesting and Friends - Perfect Together).

Hudzik served as Section Manager from 2001 to 2008. He was active in government affairs to advance amateur radio in the Garden State. In 2011, he was appointed to serve as Vice Director of the ARRL Hudson Division. He served in that capacity until an illness forced his retirement in 2022.

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, praised the impact Hudzik had on amateur radio. "Bill served ARRL and its members for many years. It was evident from the beginning that he was someone special. He was highly respected, friendly with all, and showed great insight and patience. Bill left a legacy that will be remembered. It was a privilege to have known him," he said.

ARRL Hudson Division Director Nomar Vizcarrondo, NP4H, says Hudzik's guidance was invaluable to him as he started in the role. "I am deeply saddened by Bill's passing. Shortly after he resigned as Vice Director for the Division because of his health and I was appointed to continue his term, Bill reached out and offered me his support and guidance. It was a pleasure and honor to have known him. Board Members at ARRL along with our Hudson Division family are saddened by his passing and acknowledge the great human being and Amateur Radio Operator he was. He will be truly missed. Godspeed W2UDT," wrote Vizcarrondo.

A celebration of life will be planned in the future.

Amateur Radio in the News

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

"Free amateur radio instruction offered in Stillwater" / Twin Cities Pioneer Press (Minnesota) February 15, 2024 -- The Stillwater Amateur Radio Association is an ARRL Special Service Club.

"Amateur radio is still on the airwaves in Utica, across New York and the U.S." / Utica Observer-Dispatch (New York) February 16, 2024 -- The Utica Amateur Radio Club.

"The Athens County Amateur Radio Association finds that young people are still drawn to old-school communication" / WOUB (Ohio) February 16, 2024 --The Athens County Amateur Radio Association is an ARRL Affiliated Club.

"'A different world:' Ham radio points East Elementary students to STEM concepts" / The Herald Bulletin (Indiana) February 16, 2024 --The Madison County Amateur Radio Club.

"Amateur radio club starts up in Upshur County" / WBOY (West Virginia) February 21, 2024

any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.

ARRL Podcasts

On the Air
Sponsored by

The Joys of Being a General

The January/February 2024 issue of On the Air featured a story from Brian McSpadden Gardener, KE8JVX, about "The First-Year Experiences of a General-Class Ham," in which Brian detailed how he got his feet wet as a General, and how he put together his first station for HF. Brian joins this episode of the podcast to tell us a little more about his first year as a General, as well as what he's done since then.

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 and ARRL Audio News are available on blubrry, iTunes, and Apple Podcasts -- On the Air | ARRL Audio News.


American Legion Post 104 in Sevierville, Tennessee, will celebrate the 105th anniversary of the American Legion with a special event station on March 8 - 9, 2024. K4L will be active from 1500Z - 0300Z on 7.250 and 14.250 MHz with operators from the American Legion Amateur Radio Club, AL4US, an ARRL Affiliated Club. Everyone who contacts the station can request a digital certificate by providing a valid email address. On Saturday there will be an American Legion Birthday Party at the post from 11:00AM - 4:00 PM EST and the public is invited to attend. The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization. The Legion evolved into an organization with a focus on service to veterans, service members, and communities. Membership is now at nearly 2 million, and there are 12,000 American Legion posts worldwide.

In Brief...

For World Amateur Radio Day (WARD) on April 18, 2024, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has chosen the theme, "A Century of Connections: Celebrating 100 years of Amateur Radio Innovation, Community and Advocacy." WARD is the day when IARU Member-Societies show their capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with other amateurs worldwide. The IARU was founded in Paris, France, in 1925, and it has worked to promote innovation in amateur radio and to encourage the growth of the Service in communities throughout the world. The IARU will celebrate its centenary in 2025.

IARU has represented amateur services at international and regional regulatory bodies by relying on volunteers from many countries and communities. IARU has been a sector-member of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) since 1932, and the work of their volunteers has successfully continued since that date. ARRL is a member of IARU Regions 3 and 2 because it represents the radio amateurs of Guam, the Northern Marianas, and American Samoa, which are located in Region 3. The administration of the IARU is performed by ARRL, which serves as the International Secretariat.

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week's ARRL Propagation Bulletin, ARLP008:

The Australian Space Weather Forecasting Centre (ASWFC) issued the following geomagnetic disturbance warning at 0237 UTC on February 22, 2024:

This solar disk image was taken on February 22, 2024. [Photo courtesy of NASA SDO/HMI]

A solar filament has erupted from the northwest solar quadrant and a component of the predominately westward associated coronal mass ejection (CME) is expected to arrive at the Earth during the second half of February 24. G1 conditions, with the chance of G2 periods are possible during the second half of February 24 and first half of February 25. Modeling shows the bulk of the CME missing the Earth. Increased geomagnetic activity is expected due to coronal mass ejection from February 24 - 25, 2024.

Sunspot numbers and solar flux values dropped over the past week, with average daily sunspot numbers down from 134.6 to 84.4, and average daily solar flux dropping from 190 to 164. Geomagnetic conditions were very quiet. Only four new sunspot groups appeared: three on February 15 and one on February 18. says all of their content is written by humans, with no artificial intelligence (AI) at all. I decided to ask an AI bot when Cycle 25 will peak. From Google's Gemini AI bot:

There are two main perspectives on when Solar Cycle 25 will reach its maximum. Original prediction: an expert panel convened by [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the International Space Environment Service (ISES)] in 2019 predicted a peak in July 2025 with a maximum sunspot number of 115. This prediction assumed a similar strength to the weak Solar Cycle 24.

Revised prediction: in October 2023, NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) released a revised prediction based on observed activity. This new prediction suggests a faster rise and higher peak, likely between January and October 2024, with a sunspot number between 137 and 173. However, it's important to note that the timing could still fall within the broad error range of November 2024 to March 2026.

So, the answer depends on which prediction you consider. Original prediction: July 2025. Revised prediction: between January and October 2024 (more likely than July 2025). It's important to stay updated on the latest information as scientists continue to monitor the sun's activity. You can find more details and updates on the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center website at

Here is a revised outlook for the next few weeks:

Predicted solar flux is 170 and 175 on February 22 - 23; 180 on February 24 - 28; 170, 160, and 165 on February 29 through March 2; 170 on March 3 - 9; 165 on March 10 - 16, and 162, 160, and 165 on March 17 -19.

Predicted planetary A index is 5 on February 22 - 24; 8 on February 25, and 5 on February 26 through the first week of April.

Sunspot numbers for February 15 through 21, 2024, were 151, 97, 100, 84, 64, 50, and 45, with a mean of 84.4. 10.7-centimeter flux was 178.3, 168.8, 169.9, 156.5, 152.1, 152.6, and 169.9, with a mean of 164. Estimated planetary A indices were 4, 4, 4, 6, 3, 6, and 4, with a mean of 4.4. Middle latitude A index was 3, 3, 4, 4, 1, 5, and 3, with a mean of 3.3.

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
  • February 23 - 25 -- CQ 160m Contest, SSB (phone)

  • February 24 - 25 -- REF Contest, SSB (phone)

  • February 24 - 25 -- UBA DX Contest (CW)

  • February 24 - 25 -- South Carolina QSO Party (CW, phone)

  • February 24 - 25 -- North American QSO Party, RTTY (digital)

  • February 24 - 25 -- NA Collegiate Championship, RTTY (digital)

  • February 25 -- High Speed Club CW Contest (CW)

  • February 25 - 26 -- North Carolina QSO Party (CW, phone)

  • February 26 -- RSGB FT4 Contest FT4 (FT4)

  • February 28 -- SKCC Sprint (CW)

  • February 28 -- UKEICC 80m Contest (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.

  • 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.

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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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