Western Washington
Section News

Clark county ARC icon goes here February 27, 2017 - Clark County Amateur Radio Club has won the Hamvention Club of the Year for 2017

from Frank J. Beafore / WS8B - Chairperson "2017 Hamvention(r) Awards Announcement":

I am pleased to announce the following winners of the Hamvention Awards 2017. These prestigious awards are presented every year to honor radio amateurs who have made major contributions to the art and science of our avocation. The winners are:

Club of the year: Clark County Amateur Radio Club - W7AIA

The Clark County Amateur Radio Club (CCARC) was established in 1930 and serves Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon. They have been an ARRL Affiliated Club since 1932 and are an ARRL Special Service Club.

The club is active in community service. Using the club call sign W7AIA members participated in 8 Public Service activities in 2016 and tallied over 1500 hours of volunteer service.

CCARC is actively growing a youth program. Activities include supporting the Boy Scouts of America and sponsoring a Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) station in 2016. The club is also working to establish a Communications Explorer Post in Vancouver as well as licensing teens within a local trade school.

In 2016, the CCARC licensed 95 new hams. 'Ham Basics' classes are held periodically for new licensees and the club offers a dynamic Elmer program. The club hosts monthly interest meetings such as the 'Digital Group' which is an open forum to discover and explore the many types of digital modes. This meeting typically draws hams from other areas.

The CCARC created the pioneering EYEWARN program (www.eyewarn.net) to provide visual situation reports to Emergency Managers. This program encourages all hams in the county to 'report what they see, where they are' in a disaster."

Please join me in congratulating the members and the leadership of the Clark County ARC on earning this prestigious award.

ARRL Western Washington Section
Section Manager: Monte L Simpson, AF7PQ

ARRL diamond goes here February 26, 2017, NORTHWESTERN DIVISION NEWSLETTER - MARCH 2017

Congratulations to Washington State Hams: (from WWA SM Monte Simpson) During the first week of January 2017, an ARRL member in Clark County, Stephen Aberle, WA7PTM, brought to the attention of myself and Eastern Washington Section Manager Mark Tharp, KB7HDX, Senate Bill 5289. Within the next few days Mark would learn from the bill's author Senator Ann Rivers that the bill had no impact on the Amateur Radio Service. As the next week passed we learned that not only did Senate Bill 5289 impact the Amateur Radio Service so did House Bill 1371. Mark, our Section Government Liaison Lee Chambers, KI7SS and me began researching the bills. We found that both bills were nearly identical. The House Bill Digest had included the exclusion. They were going to repeal Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.61.667 and .668. The current law, RCW 46.61.667, had an exclusion for the Amateur Radio Service and the operation of two-way or citizens band radio. The two bills had not replaced those exclusions.

In the following week ARRL membership was informed of the two bills and the impact they had without the exclusion. As the WWA Section Manager I sent nearly 60 emails to my lawmakers as well as those who were sponsoring the bill(s) and on the House and Senate Transportation Committees. On February 7th, Lee Chambers, KI7SS, and I appeared before the Senate House Committee to testify on behalf of an exclusion for the Amateur Radio Service as currently provided for in RCW 46.61.667. The chair's response was we'll share your comments with the bill's author. On February 9th, Lee and I appeared before the House Transportation Committee. While waiting for the committee meeting I was contacted by a Washington Traffic Safety Commission staff member who said that Senator Rivers had contacted her about adding amateur radio to the exclusions of the bill. During our testimony before the House Transportation Committee the chair told us that the bill's author Representative Jessyn Farrell was taking steps to provide an exclusion for amateur radio. After the hearing on HB 1371 Representative Farrell sought us out in the hallway to thank us for our efforts in seeking an amendment to the bill.

I am very pleased by the involvement of the ARRL membership in addressing this issue that could have severely impacted how the Amateur Radio Service meets the FCC mandate of licenses being issued at the public's convenience, necessity and interest. We wouldn't have been able to perform many of our public service events like bike rides and our involvement in Search and Rescue would be impacted. Many members went above and beyond by helping me to get the word out to other hams who may have not received email from the section manager. A member in Snohomish County, Steve Burling, KJ7YL, researched which members of the legislature are hams and provided me that information. Steve also, looked for hams in QRZ with email addresses and contacted them to make sure they were aware of the situation. Thank you to our membership for getting the word out to nonmembers so they could be actively engaged in the process. It is my hope that more hams will join the ARRL to help us be more proactive and engaged with matters that impact how we provide service to the people of Washington state.

Distracted driving is a serious problem, I urge every ham operator to exercise due care and diligence while driving. Just because you may have an exemption, you can be cited for distractive driving, if operating your Ham Radio, causes you to drive improperly!

HAVE SOME FUN; TRY SLOW SCAN TV: Slow-scan television (SSTV) transmissions are planned from the International Space Station (ISS) on February 13-14.

The SSTV images will be transmitted on 145.800 MHz FM as part of the MAI-75 Experiment, using the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver located in the ISS Russian Service Module. It's anticipated the transmissions will be in PD-180 SSTV format.

The MAI-75 activities have been scheduled for the Russian crew on February 13 from 0925 until 1800 UTC and on February 14 from 1125 until 1630 UTC. Transmissions on 145.800 MHz FM use 5-kHz deviation. The ISS Fan Club website will show when the space station is in range. The website URL is, http://www.issfanclub.com.

More information on ISS SSTV is on the AMSAT-UK website at, https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv. Visit the gallery of ARISS SSTV images at, http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/index.php.

DIGITAL AWARDS PROGRAM IN TRANSITION: Over the last 16 years, the Troy Amateur Radio Association (N2TY) has sponsored the All Seasons Contest and Awards Program. Low participation in the contest portion of the program has lead the club to end it and turn their efforts toward new ventures. Based on its digital mode focus, participants within the awards program felt that it still represented a great value to amateur radio operators and have rebranded this effort as the Grid and Prefix Award Program or GAPA. Awards offered by GAPA fall into two major categories based on call sign prefixes and grid square locations.

Popular digital modes such as JT, RTTY and PSK can be used to earn individual awards and as award endorsements. The program also encourages the use of other modes like Throb, SSTV and Hell. Contacts can be confirmed through use of LOTW, eQSL, QRZ or direct QSLs. Awards are based on operator contacts, not an operator's location.

The Prefix Award is earned by working digital mode stations with different prefixes from around the world. A basic award begins with submission of 50 to 400 unique prefixes based on the mode used. Additional endorsements then can be added for different bands, modes and continents worked.

Grid square awards begin with a basic award that requires 50 to 300 unique grid square locators depending on the mode used. Additional endorsement can be added for band, mode and continent worked.

A separate portion of the GAPA Program is based on confirming a specified number of unique grid square locators within a specific political entity or subdivision that are used to earn a certificate bar. These bars can be for individual countries or specific US States or Provinces and Districts within Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan. There are many 'one-grid-countries', such as Heard Island, Aruba, or Guam; however, many larger and more populated countries require multiple grids such as 20 grids for Brazil or 10 grids for Poland. The GAPA Program provides attractive collector sheets where the bars can be affixed.

Amateurs that collect all the bars associated with a collector's sheet qualify for GAPA's top achievement, our series of Pinnacle Awards. Some of the awards include working 100 countries (DXCC), all US States, all Provinces of Canada and Districts of Japan. Amateurs that complete a Pinnacle Award are also recognized online with the GAPA OnLine Digital Award Record (OLAR).

We invite you take to a look at the GAPA Program's Certificate Family Tree page http://www.gapawards.com/grid/awards_tree.html to examine the certificates offered and see some examples of certificates with their band and continent endorsement stickers. For further information contact Ernie Mills WM2U or Rich Kennedy K3VAT. Email addresses for both are found on the gapawards.com or qrz.com websites.

AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT UPDATE: The Bill passed the House of Representatives early in January and appeared to be on a 'fast track' to the Senate. However, like many Bills, ours has stalled in the Senate due to some other activity that seems to be taking up most the Senate's time. As soon as we see further progress, we will let you know.

MYSTERIOUS FOGHORN - IS CHINESE OVER THE HORIZON BURST RADAR: The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU-R1) Monitoring System (IARUMS) newsletter reports a mysterious "foghorn" - a Chinese over-the-horizon (OTH) burst radar - is operating in Amateur Radio bands.

"We observed the mysterious foghorn on 7, 10, and 14 MHz," the newsletter recounted. "This is a Chinese OTH radar, which is often jumping, and sounding like a foghorn." The signal is frequency modulation on pulse (FMOP) with 66.66 sweeps-per-second bursts.

Other intruders reported by the IARUMS include a Russian frequency-shift keying (FSK) signal from Kaliningrad on 7,193 kHz, and a Russian FSK signal on 7,193 kHz (50 baud, 200 Hz shift). German telecommunications authorities have filed another complaint.

The latest IARUMS newsletter also reports strong splatter from Radio France International (RFI) on 7,205 kHz down to 7,186 kHz. The French REF has informed RFI and French telecommunications authorities. Intruders still reported and the subjects of further complaints from German authorities include Radio Hargeysa in Somaliland on 7,120.0 kHz; Radio Eritrea with Ethiopian interference on 7,175.0 kHz; Radio Taiwan and a Chinese jammer on 7,200.0 kHz, and a Radio Tajik harmonic (from 4765 kHz) on 14,295.0 kHz.

ANTARCTICA ON THE AIR: KC4AAA at the US Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station has been heard recently on 40 meters (SSB) at around 0650 UTC. QSL Manager Larry Skilton, K1IED, reports that QSL cards for recent activity (December 2016 through January 2017) should go out in March. KC4AAA plans to be on LoTW with logs from 2013 to the present. Skilton reports that KC4AAA was not on the air very often during 2016. The KC4USV station at McMurdo Station has been off the air for 2 years, and the antennas are down. KC4USV is on LoTW.

Mikhail "Mike" Fokin, RI1AND, at Novolazarevskaya Base, Antarctica, has been showing up on PSK31 on 40 and 20 meters, working into the US.

Oleg Neruchev, ZS1OIN/UA3HK, will be active as RI1ANN from the Russian Progress station until February 22 (QSL via ZS1OIN). The Russian Antarctic Bases Award is available for contacts or SWL reports with stations at the Russian Antarctic bases and stations. - Thanks to The Daily DX

CONGRATULATIONS TO VICE DIRECTOR BONNIE ALTUS, AB7ZQ: At the January 2017 ARRL Board meeting in Hartford, Bonnie was appointed to the Program and Services Committee. This appointment is in addition to her serving on The New License Investigating Committee and the Education Subcommittee. Director Pace, K7CEX, continues to serve as Chairman of the Administration and Finance Committee and serves on the Public Service Program Working Group, the Ethics and Elections Committee and was recently elected as Vice President of the ARRL Foundation - the group that oversees ARRL Scholarships and Grants.

Certainly a busy year for Bonnie and Jim, but the Northwestern Division is well represented in ARRL Policy making.

HAMFESTS AND CONVENTIONS: The Northwestern Division has many Hamfests and Conventions this year, so large and some small, but all great times to find the special radio or part, meet new friends or reacquaint yourself with longtime friends that share this great hobby. For more information on Hamfest/Convention Schedules check http://www.n7cfo.com.

ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: James D Pace, K7CEX

WWA section icon goes here February 22, 2017, 2016 - UPDATE - Distracted Driving Bills - HB 1371 and SB 5289

from WWA Section Manager Monte L Simpson, AF7PQ:

Washington House Bill 1371 and Senate Bill 5289 both now have been amended to include an exclusion for members of the FCC licensed Amateur Radio Service. The house bill is now Substitute House Bill 1371 and the senate bill is now Substitute Senate Bill 5289.

March 8, 2017, is the last day for the bills to be considered (pass) bills in the house of origin (5 p.m.).

I am continuing to monitor how these two bills progress in the legislature. In the event the bills do not make it to the floor for a vote we'll need to be vigilant come next session to insure that the Amateur Radio Service is excluded from enforcement action of personal communications devices.

All of us should be proud of our lawmakers as it relates to their support for the Amateur Radio Service regarding this issue. They have shown us the utmost respect for our contributions to the people of the State of Washington.

Thank you again to each and every ham who took the time to call or write their lawmakers in Olympia. Please be sure to share this information with your ham friends. If they are not members of the ARRL kindly give them an invitation to join us so we can keep them informed of what is impacting our hobby.

ARRL Western Washington Section
Section Manager: Monte L Simpson, AF7PQ

WWA section icon goes here February 7, 2017 - Distracted Driving Bills - HB 1371 and SB 5289

from WWA Section Manager Monte L Simpson, AF7PQ:

The Senate Transportation Committee meets tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.

2/7/17 3:30 pm
Senate Full Committee
Senate Hearing Rm 1
J.A. Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA

Public Hearing:
  1. SB 5289 - Modifying the infraction of and penalties for distracted driving.
  2. SB 5402 - Creating the Cooper Jones bicyclist safety advisory council.
  3. SB 5503 - Requiring safety belts on school buses.
  4. SB 5590 - Addressing illegal vehicle wrecking operations.
  5. SB 5649 - Modifying the eligibility requirements for certain counties to form a regional transportation planning organization.

Work Session: Washington State Patrol organizational study - Office of Financial Management.

Possible executive session on bills heard in committee. Other business.

Mike Bates, N7DQ, of Cowlitz County received good news from his Senator who is on the Senate Transportation Committee.

"Takko, Sen. Dean _5:34 PM (0 minutes ago) to me _ Thanks for the email. I agree with you and will vote to accommodate the amateur radio operators. Dean"

So this is a good sign.

73 de Mike N7DQ

Please take a few minutes to send your legislators an email asking for an exception to their bills for the Amateur Radio Service.

After reviewing Senate Bill 5289 I have prepared a recommendation to change the bill to include some of the verbiage of RCW 46.61.667:

(2) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to:
 (a) A driver who is using a personal electronic device to contact emergency services;
 (b) The use of a system by a transit system employee for time-sensitive relay communication between the transit system employee and the transit system's dispatch services
 (c) An individual employed as a commercial motor vehicle driver who uses a personal electronic device within the scope of such individual's employment if such use is permitted under 49 U.S.C. Sec. 10 31136 as it existed on the effective date of this section.
Please consider adding to this bill the following
 (d) an amateur radio station operated by a person who holds a valid amateur radio operator license issued by the Federal Communications Commission.
 (e) the operation of two-way or citizens band radio services.

I thank each of the ARRL members in the Western Washington Section who have supported our efforts to have the bills changed.

Tomorrow is when I will receive advice from Chris Imlay our legal counsel and I'll share with you what I find out from him.

ARRL Western Washington Section
Section Manager: Monte L Simpson, AF7PQ

Western Washington
Section Staff

Section Manager
Monte L. Simpson, AF7PQ
P.O. Box 5835
Bremerton, WA, 98312
(360) 633-7665 af7pq@arrl.org

Assistant Section Manager
Official Observer Coordinator
Scott Douglas, W7XC
Post Office Box 7320
Bonney Lake, WA 98391-0913
(253) 891-8000

Assistant Section Manager
Robert M. Purdom, AD7LJ
PO Box: 65171
University Place, WA 98464

Assistant Section Manager
Tribal Liaison

Steve R. Aberle, WA7PTM
10214 NE 75TH Street
Vancouver, WA 98662

Section Emergency Coordinator
Frank Wolfe, NM7R
PO box 91
Nahcotta, WA 98637

Section Youth Coordinator
Delvin Bunton, N7QMT
7410 NE Glenwood Dr
Vancouver, WA 98662

Affiliated Club Coordinator
Lynn Burlingame, N7CFO
15621 SE 26TH St.
Bellevue, WA 98008

Technical Coordinator
Tom Herman N1BEC
PO Box: 775
Napavine, WA 98565

Section Traffic Manager
Bill Frazier, W7ARC
16419 Spruce Way B5
Lynnwood, WA 98037
(425) 361-1181

State Government Liasion
Lee A. Chambers, KI7SS
1625 Delphi Road SW
Olympia, WA 98512
(360) 866-0236 (h)
(360) 951-2538 (c)

Section Webmaster
Glenn Thomas WB6W
PO Box 72
Oysterville, WA 98641
(360) 665-2807 (h)