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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
March 14, 2024
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


Amateur Radio Stands Ready to Support Eclipse Operations

The upcoming April 8, 2024, solar eclipse has many excited about the opportunity to witness the darkness of totality. Spectators from across the country are traveling to the path of total darkness that will stretch from South Texas to Northeastern Maine.

The second "diamond ring" phase of the 2017 Great American Eclipse, as seen in Madras, Oregon. [Sierra Harrop, W5DX, photo]

Some states are anticipating more than a million travelers for the event. In the impacted areas, schools will be letting students out early for the day, and residents are being encouraged to avoid driving on the day of the event. Emergency response organizations are adding staff for the event in many areas. The eclipse is expected to directly impact parts of 14 states as it moves across the country. The travel impact alone could be substantial.

In preparation for the event, many state emergency management organizations have called on local hams to provide communication services via HF nets and locally on VHF/UHF frequencies. There have been numerous planning meetings, exercises, and preparations across the country. The ARRL Emergency Management department has worked with ARRL Section Emergency Coordinators and Section Managers in the directly affected areas to collect the frequencies each Section plans to utilize, and to assist in any frequency conflicts. Hams across multiple states and ARRL Sections have been practicing their communications capabilities via Winlink, SSB, and CW. "It is great to see Sections along the path working together to be prepared to assist in any emergency, should it occur during the event," said ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV. "Heavy traffic is the major concern, but [anything can happen] during such a large event," he added.

Johnston went on to say, "There will be several on-air operating events on the day of the eclipse, but please give some space for any emergency traffic that may be taking place as well."

Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) is leading the Solar Eclipse QSO Party which will allow radio amateurs to participate in propagation research by operating during the eclipse and submitting their logs. Much of that activity will be focused on the FT8 frequencies of the non-World Administrative Radio Conference (WARC) HF bands, but all modes will be welcome during the event.

2024 ARRL Field Day Theme: Be Radio Active

The theme for 2024 ARRL Field Day is "Be Radio Active." The event will run on June 22 - 23, and it will be one-part contest, one-part emergency communications exercise, and one-part open house -- and a great time. The theme encourages radio amateurs to take advantage of the peak of Solar Cycle 25, which we are nearing. Activity this year is likely to be extremely high thanks to favorable solar conditions. The upper HF bands, such as 15 and 10 meters, should benefit most from the Cycle's peak.

There are resources available already for clubs and individuals to make their Field Day plans. ARRL will publish more information and tools so that hams can make the most of the event as it draws near. Amateurs interested in learning more are invited to join the Field Day Facebook group to connect with others who are planning for the big weekend.

Find links to all of the resources on the ARRL Field Day web page at

Dayton Hamvention® 2024 Award Winners Announced

The recipients of the 2024 Hamvention Awards were announced on March 8, 2024.

Special Achievement Award: Anthony Luscre, K8ZT

Anthony Luscre, K8ZT. [Photo courtesy of Hamvention®]

Luscre is from near Akron, Ohio, and he was first licensed in 1981. He has been a low-power operator, contester, and teacher throughout his amateur radio career. He received his Amateur Extra-class license in 2000. Luscre is active on HF and VHF/UHF, and he operates on CW, phone, and digital modes. His low-power contacts now top 115,000. Between licensing classes, club programs, webinars, hamfests, conferences, youth and school radio demonstrations, and other in-person and online talks, Luscre has presented more than 500 sessions since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. He has presented multiple times for Contest University, the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo, and Dayton Hamvention®. He holds a weekly class, "The Joy of Operating," for the Long Island CW Club. Anthony serves as the ARRL Ohio Section Youth Coordinator and he is an officer in the Cuyahoga Falls Amateur Radio Club.

Technical Achievement Award: Ward Silver, N0AX

Ward Silver, N0AX [Photo courtesy of Hamvention®]

For the past 15 years, Silver has been the Lead Editor of The ARRL Handbook and The ARRL Antenna Book, and he was a primary author of all three ARRL license manuals and study guides from 2004 until his retirement in 2023.

As an electrical engineer, he designed microprocessor-based products and medical devices for 20 years before beginning a second career as a teacher and writer. Licensed since 1972, he is a co-founder of the World Radiosport Team Championships and was inducted into the CQ Contest Hall of Fame in 2015, with numerous top scores and records. He is President of the Yasme Foundation, and he is also a board member of the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) collaborative research group. Silver's primary interests in amateur radio include radiosport, antenna design, and supporting his local emergency response team.

Club of the Year Award: The Young Ladies' Radio League (YLRL)

The Young Ladies' Radio League, Inc. (YLRL), is proud to be celebrating its 85th anniversary this year. With members from all over the world, the organization has been involved in everything from contests, to emergency events, to helping new hams get licensed and on the air, as well as everything in between.

The Young Ladies' Radio League at their Convention in Washington state in 2014. [Photo courtesy of Hamvention®]

Established in 1939, YLRL has been found at hamfests and conventions all over the world. The club is proud to have had a booth at Hamvention® every year since the 1950s and a YL Forum since the 1960s. "Women helping women in amateur radio" is a mission statement for this organization, but there are also contest and award opportunities for the OMs who support their YLs. YLRL has the motto "QRV -- I am ready," as they are always ready to assist in the radio community.

Amateur of The Year Award: Edward Engleman, KG8CX

Edward Engleman, KG8CX. [Photo courtesy of Hamvention®]

Engleman, KG8CX, is from Menominee, Michigan. He is the co-founder of the Young Amateurs Communications Ham Team (YACHT). He was first licensed in 1991 and received his Amateur Extra-class license in 2000. He has been a member of ARRL since 1991. Engleman serves his home club, the Marinette & Menominee Amateur Radio Club, as a volunteer examiner. Engleman's 33-year background as an elementary educator and principal was instrumental in developing the talents he now uses in his work with young amateurs.

ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio® and Hamvention® have announced that Hamvention will host the 2024 ARRL National Convention on May 17, 18, and 19 at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio. ARRL has an exciting lineup of forums and presentations for the ARRL National Convention. For information about the 2024 ARRL National Convention, go to For tickets to Hamvention and further information, head to

You can read more about the 2024 Hamvention award winners and the 2024 ARRL National Convention at

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 Club Revives Alternative Communication" / The Parthenon (West Virginia) March 2, 2024 -- Thundering Herd Amateur Radio Club.

"Ham Radio Enthusiasts Dial In To 2024 Crossroads Hamfest & Radio Swap - Search News (" / WWMT (Michigan) March 10, 2024 -- The Southern Michigan Amateur Radio Society is an ARRL Affiliated Club.

"Peoria Radio Club hosts Storm Spotter Training" / WMBD (Illinois) March 12, 2024 -- The Peoria Area Amateur Radio Club is an ARRL Affiliated Club.

any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.

ARRL Podcasts

On the Air
Sponsored by

Contribute to Science While You Operate

The Solar Eclipse QSO Party (or SEQP), is an on-air event coming up on April 8, the same day as the next total solar eclipse. The SEQP is a great opportunity for hams to contribute data to studies of Earth's ionosphere, the part of our atmosphere that makes radio communications possible, and all you have to do is get on the air and operate as you normally would. The lead organizer of Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI), Dr. Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, joins us in this episode to explain how to get involved.

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.


The 2024 Baker to Vegas (B2V) race is set to run on March 23 and 24. The B2V race features 120 miles of pavement, 20 stages, and more than 10,000 runners. Family members and other guests are invited to support the runners, and support staff will also be present for this annual event. The race is a unique law enforcement footrace starting in Baker, California, and ending in Las Vegas, Nevada. Law enforcement officers from around the globe compete in B2V every spring for the chance to win the coveted cup trophy. Special event station N6A will be on the air during the race on March 23 - 24, from 1600Z to 0000Z on 7.225 and 14.225 MHz. For those who work the station, a QSL card will be available by contacting Glenn Arrant, N6JAI, at 14723 Puma Trail in Valley Center, California, 92082.

In Brief...

The 50th anniversary of the Georgian Bay Amateur Radio Club (GBARC) in Annan, Ontario, Canada, continues into 2024. The club's first meeting was October 18, 1973, and it was attended by 14 amateur radio operators, three Citizens Band (CB) operators, and one former amateur operator. Today, there are 30 club members. Activities and celebrations will continue with a special event commemoration on March 23, 2024, using the call sign VC3GB. The station will be active from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT on 80, 40, and 20 meters, on SSB and CW. There will be two stations operating for the event, and 80 meters may not be available until after 5:00 PM EDT. For more information and the history of the club, contact GBARC at Canada Post G.B.A.R.C 142 Paradise Bay, Annan, Ontario N0H 1B0.

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week's ARRL Propagation Bulletin, ARLP0011:

This solar disk image was taken on March 14, 2024. [Photo courtesy of NASA SDO/HMI]

Six new sunspot groups appeared over the past reporting week of March 7 - 13.

One emerged on March 7, two more appeared on March 12, and three more appeared on March 13.

Solar activity was down. The average daily sunspot number went from 106.7 to 82.3, and the solar flux went from 147.4 to 130.4.

Geomagnetic indicators were somewhat quieter, with the average daily planetary A index dropping from 10 to 8.9, and the middle latitude A index from 8 to 7.

The outlook for the next few weeks shows continued low numbers, with predicted solar flux at 130 on March 14; 135 on March 15 - 17; 140, 145, and 150 on March 18 - 20; 135 on March 21 - 23; 132, 130, 132, and 138 on March 24 - 27; 140 on March 28 - 29; 142, 140, 135, 130, and 128 on March 30 - April 3, and 125 on April 4 - 8.

Predicted planetary A index is 10, 12, 10, and 8 March 14 - 17; 5 on March 18 - 27; 10 and 8 on March 28 - 29; 5 on March 30 through April 2, and 12 on April 3 - 5.

Read a NASA article about long-lasting radio bursts at

Watch a solar storm forecast from Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW, at

Sunspot numbers for March 7 through 13, 2024, were 99, 91, 99, 77, 56, 68, and 86, with a mean of 82.3. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 136.6, 129, 134.5, 127, 126.7, 130.5, and 128.3, with a mean of 130.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 12, 11, 13, 7, 4, 6, and 9, with a mean of 8.9. Middle latitude A index was 8, 9, 11, 6, 4, 4, and 7, with a mean of 7.

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
  • March 16 -- PODXS 070 Club St Patrick's Day Contest (digital)

  • March 16 - 18 -- BARTG HF RTTY Contest (digital)

  • March 16 - 17 -- Russian DX Contest (CW, phone)

  • March 16 - 17 -- F9AA Cup SSB (phone)

  • March 16 - 17 -- Africa All Mode Int'l DX Contest (CW, phone, digital)

  • March 16 -- AGCW VHF/UHF Contest (CW)

  • March 16 - 17-- 2359 All Virginia QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)

  • March 17 -- UBA Spring Contest SSB (phone)

  • March 17 - 18 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)

  • March 18 -- Bucharest Digital Contest (FT4)

  • March 18 -- RSGB FT4 Contest (FT4)

  • March 21 - 22 -- Walk for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)

  • March 20 - 21 -- NAQCC CW Sprint (CW)

  • March 21 -- NTC QSO Party (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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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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