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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
April 18, 2024
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


2024 ARRL National Convention at Dayton Hamvention -- Program and App Available

The 2024 ARRL National Convention, hosted by Dayton Hamvention®, is just a month away, and the convention program guide is now available at The ARRL Events app is also ready to use, encouraging everyone planning to attend to preview all of the Hamvention exhibits, forums, and related activities.

Download the free ARRL Events app, or access the content from an internet browser. The app is offered in partnership with Hamvention, and it contains Hamvention's full program and live updates, so attendees can browse and schedule forums, find affiliated events, and preview the extensive list of exhibitors. During the event, attendees can use many of the app's other features to follow the hourly prize drawings organized by the Dayton Hamvention Prize Committee and browse building and site maps.

The MyProfile icon in the app allows users to add their name, call sign, email address, and any additional information they would like to share with other Hamvention attendees. Additionally, the MyBadge icon displays a QR code of your event badge that can be scanned by another attendee or exhibitor using the Scan Badge icon to instantly share contact information with other hams at the event. The app is available for Apple and Android smart devices. You can also access the web browser version, which is optimized for nearly any browser or mobile device.

Use the app to preview many of the informative presentations planned by Hamvention and ARRL that cover a variety of topics and interests to help grow your skills as a radio amateur -- no matter where you are in your journey.

Young hams and young newcomers to amateur radio are reminded to register for the 2024 ARRL Youth Rally, which will be held on Saturday during the convention. While Hamvention offers free tickets for youths aged 12 through high school, advance registration for the Youth Rally ($20) includes a tee shirt to wear on Saturday, a badge, a lanyard, and a reusable tote bag. Register for the Youth Rally now (11 to 21 years of age).

Hamvention and the 2024 ARRL National Convention is May 17 - 19 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center, in Xenia, Ohio. In the lead-up to the convention, the venue has finished making improvements to the flea market area. The walking paths have been topped with gravel and rolled to make the paths smooth and safe.

Complete information about this year's event can be found on the Hamvention website, Facebook page, and at

Amateur Radio Provides Communications Support for Boston Marathon

On Monday, April 15, 2024, ham radio operators provided communications for the 128th running of the Boston Marathon. More than 280 radio amateurs participated in the event.

The marathon is one of the largest events for which hams provide communications support.

Sisay Lemma wins the 128th Boston Marathon with a time of 2:06:17. Hundreds of radio amateurs volunteered to provide communications for the historic race. [BAA Courtesy Photo]

It drew volunteers from many different places. "Operators are volunteering across Start, Course, Finish, Transportation, and various operations centers, including the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) Unified Command Center (UCC) and the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) Race Operations Center (ROC) in Boston. They are performing communications duties that include logistics support as a primary function, and backup support for medical and other public safety requests for the race as needed," wrote District Emergency Coordinator for the ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section Rob Macedo, KD1CY.

Amateur radio operators serving in the Unified Command Center (UCC) for the 128th running of the Boston Marathon. [Section Manager of the ARRL Rhode Island Section Nancy Austin, KC1NEK, photo]

Amateur radio operator volunteers supported the BAA, the American Red Cross, and other agencies surrounding the event, according to Macedo.

Armed Forces Day Crossband Test May 11, 2024

The US Department of Defense will host this year's Armed Forces Day (AFD) Crossband Test on May 11, 2024. For more than 50 years, military and amateur stations have taken part in this event, which is an interoperability exercise between hobbyist and government radio stations. The event is open to all licensed amateur radio operators and will not impact any public or private communications. The AFD Crossband Test is a unique opportunity to test two-way communications between military communicators and radio stations in the Amateur Radio Service (ARS), as authorized in 47 CFR 97.111.

These tests provide opportunities and challenges for radio operators to demonstrate individual technical skills in a tightly controlled exercise scenario. Military stations will transmit on selected military frequencies and announce the specific ARS frequencies monitored. All scheduled times will be in Zulu (Z), and all scheduled frequencies will be upper sideband (USB) unless otherwise noted.

Information on frequencies, times, and other technical information can be found at DoD MARS - Armed Forces Day. Information for QSL cards and contact information is available at Armed Forces Day QSL request form.

AFD is classified as an observance -- not a federal holiday. It will be celebrated on Saturday, May 18, 2024, and it will be a time of honor. The establishment of AFD was first announced on August 31, 1949, by then US Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson. It was meant to replace the separate Army, Navy, and Air Force Days. All branches were combined to create the US Department of Defense. The first Armed Forces Day was held on May 20, 1950. The day is celebrated with special events, tributes, observances, and parades.

Amateur Radio in the News

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

"Amateur radio operators gather at the Expo" / The Claremore Daily Progress (Oklahoma) April 13, 2024 -- The Green Country Hamfest.

"Going the extra mile: the radio operators who connect all 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon" / The Huntington News (Massachusetts) April 15, 2024 -- The Northeastern Wireless Club.

"World Amateur Radio Day is April 18" / The Monroe News (Michigan) April 16, 2024 -- The Monroe County Radio Communications Association.

"A Stroudsburg teens' passion for radio" / WBRE (Pennsylvania) April 16, 2024 -- The Eastern Pennsylvania Amateur Radio Association.

"Amateur radio club collaborates to help during emergencies" / Clark Fork Valley Press (Montana) April 17, 2024 -- The Clark Fork Valley Amateur Radio Club is an ARRL Affiliated Club.

any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.

ARRL Podcasts

On the Air
Sponsored by

Served Agencies: Who They Are and How We Serve Them

We often hear about served agencies when hams talk about disaster response and emergency communications. ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, joins the podcast this month to discuss exactly what and who served agencies are, and where the Amateur Radio Service fits into their responses.

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.


To celebrate the 155th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike, a ceremony that celebrated the completion of the transcontinental railroad, the Ogden Amateur Radio Club (OARC) will operate special event station W7G on May 10 - 11, 2024. Operating hours for both days will be 1500Z - 2300Z (09:00 - 17:00 MDT) on single sideband on 7.235 MHz, 14.255 MHz, 21.330 MHz, and 28.385 MHz. There may be CW operation on 7.040 MHz and 14.040 MHz. The special event station will be located at the Golden Spike National Historical Park in Promontory Summit, Utah. During last year's 2-day celebration, OARC made approximately 300 contacts. QSL information is available at the OARC website.

In Brief...

Students at Mountain View Elementary School in Marietta, Georgia, held an amateur radio contact with the International Space Station (ISS) in the afternoon on April 18, 2024. More than 800 students experienced the contact with the help of the Cherokee Amateur Radio Society (an ARRL Affiliated Club) and the North Fulton Amateur Radio League. The Cobb County Public Library System, bluShift Aerospace, and the Cobb Electric Membership Corporation provide lending support. This was a direct contact via amateur radio, and it allowed students to ask questions of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut Jeanette Epps, KF5QNU.

Students at Mountain View Elementary ask questions via ham radio to the International Space Station. [Image from livestream]

Watch video of the event at ARISS is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the ISS. In the US, participating organizations include NASA's Space Communications and Navigation program (SCaN), the ISS National Laboratory -- Space Station Explorers, ARRL, and AMSAT.

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week's ARRL Propagation Bulletin, ARLP0016:

This solar disk image was taken on April 18, 2024. [Photo courtesy of NASA SDO/HMI]

Solar activity increased this week, and 11 new sunspot groups emerged. One appeared on April 11, two more on April 13, three more on April 14, another two on April 15, one more on April 16, and another two on April 17.

The daily sunspot number was 199 on April 17 -- the highest value since July 12, 2023, when it was 219.

Average daily sunspot numbers jumped from 67.9 to 142.7, and average daily solar flux increased from 123.2 to 177.4.

Predicted solar flux over the next few weeks is 210 and 200 on April 18 - 19; 190 on April 20 - 21; 180 on April 22 - 24; 155, 140, 135, 125, and 120 on April 25 - 29; 125 on April 30 to May 6; 130, 140, 150, 160, and 175 on May 7 - 11, and 180 on May 12 - 14.

Predicted planetary A index is 20 on April 18; 10 on April 19 - 20; 12 and 8 on April 21 - 22; 5 on April 23 - 27; 8 on April 28 - 29; 7 on April 30; 10 on May 1 - 3; 5 on May 4; 8 on May 5 - 7; 5 on May 8 - 11; 10 and 8 on May 12 - 13, and 5 on May 14 - 24.

Sunspot numbers for April 11 through 17, 2024, were 81, 83, 115, 152, 193, 176, and 199, with a mean of 142.7. 10.7-centimeter flux was 143.7, 151.5, 161, 178.4, 191.9, 198.7, and 216.5, with a mean of 177.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 7, 5, 6, 8, 31, and 10, with a mean of 9.6. Middle latitude A index was 6, 6, 6, 5, 7, 17, and 8, with a mean of 7.9.

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
  • April 18 - 19 -- Walk for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)

  • April 20 -- ES Open HF Championship (CW, phone)

  • April 20 - 21 -- Worked All Provinces of China DX Contest (phone)

  • April 20 - 21 -- YU DX Contest (CW, phone)

  • April 20 - 21 -- CQMM DX Contest (CW)

  • April 20 - 21 -- VHF/UHF Nebraska QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)

  • April 20 - 21 -- Texas State Parks on the Air (CW, phone, digital)

  • April 20 - 21 -- Michigan QSO Party (CW, phone)

  • April 20 - 21 -- EA-QRP CW Contest (CW)

  • April 20 - 21 -- Ontario QSO Party (CW, phone)

  • April 20 - 21 -- North Dakota QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)

  • April 21 -- International Vintage Contest HF (CW, phone)

  • April 21 -- Quebec QSO Party (CW, phone)

  • April 21 -- ARRL Rookie Roundup SSB (phone)

  • April 21 - 22 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest (CW)

  • April 24 -- 432 MHz Spring Sprint (CW, phone, digital)

  • April 25 -- RSGB 80m Club Championship Data (digital)

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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