ETH News February 6, 2019


Hello everybody and welcome back to Everything Ham Radio! Today we talk about a few things that I noticed in the amateur radio news around the internet and what some of my thoughts about them are.

Below is the complete articles that I talk about in this video.

FCC Digging Out from Beneath Shutdown Backlog

In the wake of the more-than-month-long partial government shutdown, the FCC has set about tackling a backlog of applications already in the queue. At first, it sought to hold back the flood as it dug out, asking that Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) give the agency a little breathing room before submitting any additional new files. On Monday, services using the FCC electronic batch filing (EBF) system — including commercial and amateur — received an automated message from the FCC updating users on the situation.

“Due to the recent government shutdown, applications submitted through the Electronic Batch Filing (EBF) system between the dates of January 3 through January 29 will begin processing over the next several weeks [emphasis added],” the FCC said. “Please, be patient as we are expeditiously working through the backlog of filings.” Expeditious it was, taking not weeks but days.

“The FCC worked through its backlog very quickly, and started processing our files about noon today,” Assistant ARRL VEC Manager Amanda Grimaldi, N1NHL, said on Wednesday. “We’re slowly submitting the files we have in queue — we don’t want to bombard them! Assuming there are no hiccups, everyone should see their applications processed by the close of business on Thursday.”

The ARRL VEC had piled up some 2,700 pending Amateur Radio applications, many of them from 425 ARRL VEC examination sessions that took place during the shutdown or immediately prior to it. These do not include files that the other 13 VECs may have ready to upload.

As it attempts to dig out from beneath a blizzard of applications from all services, the FCC this week reset some filing deadlines and established new receipt dates. The FCC said filings due between January 3 and January 7 (inclusive) will be due on January 30. Filings that would otherwise be required to be filed between January 8 and February 7 will be due on February 8. The FCC said all ULS applications and notifications originally due on January 3 through February 8 (inclusive) are now due on February 8, 2019.

“In addition, all Universal Licensing System (ULS) filings that were held during the lapse in funding through January 25, as well as any other ULS filings that were held from January 26 through January 29, will be considered received on January 29,” the FCC said. The large volume of filings submitted during the partial government shutdown will be entered into ULS in batches and assigned a January 29 receipt date, the FCC said. That includes Amateur Radio vanity call sign applications filed via ULS or by mail between January 3 and January 29, which will be treated as filed on January 29.

Ordinarily, vanity call sign applications are processed on a daily basis, with a random selection procedure used to determine the processing order for applications filed on the same day.

The FCC said changes in receipt dates were made “in order to accommodate the orderly resumption of business.

Brief ARRL Website Outage Planned for Wednesday, February 13

Some services on the ARRL website may be interrupted briefly on Wednesday, February 13, sometime between 1100 UTC and 1300 UTC. This outage is to accommodate a hardware test of the existing failover system for all systems behind the Rackspace firewall. Affected systems are the main website, including the ARRL Store and contesting-related pages. Logbook of The World (LoTW), email, and Headquarters will not be affected. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The AnyTone D878UV radio will add a circuit card (BT Module) inside the radio.

The kit will also include an external Bluetooth PTT switch (battery operated and connected to the radio via pairing with the radio.

Then also a mobile phone type earphone with microphone paired with the radio.

When used in a vehicle, and paired with the car, the radio can be playing music, and when a Analog or DMR call comes in, the radio music will silence and the call heard over the car speaker.

If the PTT button (velcroed to the steering wheel) is pushed, you are using the car microphone for your mic.

Worked well in several cars , now a bit more testing will be done before the kit is released by AnyTone…. Coming soon about march 2019.

The very best of this module BT is that not used a mike and ear external (like a normal BT handset) but used the internal system audio of your car , GREAT !!!

Thanks for this info to Trygve Svard

Best 73 de IW2BSF – Rudy

New CEO Wants ARRL to Serve All Ages and Amateur Radio Interests


Newly elected ARRL CEO Howard Michel, WB2ITX, is still on the uphill side of the learning curve as he acquaints himself with ARRL Headquarters and the nearly 90 staffers who work there. The New Jersey native arrived at HQ on October 15 and has spent much of his time since meeting with department managers and others to get his bearings, with an eye toward building consensus and aligning people, programs, and services in the same direction.

“I’m still trying to understand what is working and where the challenges are,” Michel said. “Once I understand where the challenges are, I need to understand why. Before I make any changes in what we’re doing, I need to make sure the change is a step in the right direction and for the right reasons, and not kind of a random process.”

Michel would like to see ARRL focus on the future of Amateur Radio and not become the redoubt of a particular generation of radio amateur or interest group. He said, “Ham radio shouldn’t abandon the old guardians of the hobby, but at the same time, it needs to have new things that appeal to people who have different interests and different passions.”

Ham radio appears currently entrenched with opposition often expressed to FT8 and other digital modes and protocols that bend Amateur Radio traditions and conventions, Michel observed. However, as he sees it, technology for the whole of Amateur Radio has been changing, and detractors to advances have always been present. He’d like ARRL to encourage more technological diversity without creating controversy.

“My kick is seeing the technology advance,” the former IEEE president and CEO said. “I want to see hams embrace the new technology — as long as we do that in a way that those who don’t adopt the new technology won’t feel abandoned.” In his view, the real reason behind the continued enthusiasm for CW “is not the technology; it’s the legacy.”

At the same time, resources should reflect usage and interest, with respect to the spectrum and with respect to how many pages QST devotes to a particular interest area. “Everything should reflect the growth and change, without abandoning the legacy interests.”

Acknowledging the incessant push to get more young people into Amateur Radio, Michel wants to explore ways “to morph some of the League’s processes and services and products into something that would appeal to the newer generation of hams.”

“Young people in general don’t join organizations, but they join causes,” he said. “With that kind of attitude, how do we develop the same kind of ability for people interested in Amateur Radio to self-organize around causes? And if we can design the infrastructure around that, maybe they’ll see value in ARRL and become a new type of member — not one who necessarily comes to ham club meetings once a month but finds the League can facilitate what they want to do.”

Michel said he’s always enjoyed tinkering with ham gear, building it, modifying it, and repairing it, and then making it do something new or different. He concedes that while he has not had an opportunity to do much hamming as he’s moved around with the military and for academic and business pursuits, he’d like to become more active, and he is presently exploring his options as an apartment dweller. As for FT8, he’d like to try it, if for no other reason than the novelty.

Michel said he definitely wants to encourage partnerships with other organizations with which ARRL might share some common ground, including IEEE.

“We can’t do everything ourselves. We have to find partnerships,” he said. Some IEEE operating units would be applicable to Amateur Radio, and he’s already heard from two unit heads that are both hams.

Michel also feels that radio amateurs need to extend their gaze beyond the everyday nuts and bolts of Amateur Radio operating. “What we need to do is protect the spectrum from competition, develop interest in the various facets of Amateur Radio, and not try to pick fights ‘in house,’” he said. “Spectrum is the gold of the 21st century.”

Young Amateurs Radio Club Wants to Pair Youthful Contesters with Big Gun Stations


The Young Amateurs Radio Club (YARC) Youth Contesting Program (YCP) wants to match groups of enthusiastic young contesters with “Big Gun” stations to gain operating experience during the CQ World Wide WPX SSB Contest over the March 30 – 31 weekend. The YCP is a weekend initiative for groups of young Amateur Radio contesters in the US and Canada.

“It will hopefully enable a new dimension of the hobby to young hams who have contested a little before and set a new precedent for the welcoming of a new generation of radiosport aficionados,” explained YARC Board Member Sterling Mann, N0SSC. The 27-year-old electrical engineer, who helps manage YARC programs and outreach, described the initiative as “intentionally flexible, lightly organized, and low-cost.”

“It works like this — we will attempt to pair a small group (up to four) of young contesters interested in operating with a ‘Big Gun’ station owner interested in hosting the youth group,” continued Mann, an ARRL member active in the College Amateur Radio Initiative. “The contesters will operate from the station, and the host has the option to help the youth improve their skills, provide advice, and even operate alongside. We will try to keep it such that young hams will only require a relatively short drive (ideally no more than 5 hours) to keep travel costs low.”

Mann concedes that this arrangement will require the participation of as many operators and hosts as possible, but suitable matches may not exist at all. He said YARC would try its best to improve the program going forward.

YARC’s YCP is inspired by the efforts of Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) and its own Youth Contesting Program, as well as Team Exuberance, Mann said. He added, “We hope to inspire a big chunk of young hams into becoming the greatest contesters of the 21st century.”

YARC is reaching out to radio amateurs under age 27 or so with at least some contesting experience who would be interested in operating the CQ WW WPX SSB at a contest-grade ham radio station, and to owners of such stations. He urges those interested to sign up (scroll down to select your role of station host or operator).

“Because we’re trying to keep costs low by making this a drivable event for our young ops, we can’t promise that you’ll be selected as a host or operator, especially if either no young ops sign up nearby your station or there’s no station near young operators,” Mann said. “Since this is our first try, we probably have a lot to learn about this, so bear with us.”

YARC hopes to announce matches on March 1. Email with any questions or comments.

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Until next time,

73 de Curtis, K5CLM

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