Western Washington
Section News

ARRL diamond goes here April 26, 2017, NORTHWESTERN DIVISION NEWSLETTER - MAY 2017

WASHINGTON STATE HAM PLATES: It has come to our attention that some folks attempting to renew their auto license Ham Plate have been having problems. While I must admit I had no problem with mine, I'm told that others have. EWA SM Mark Tharp, KB7HDX, has had a conversation with DOL and obtained the following suggestions:
  1. The best and possibly easiest way to reach us to update the FCC license is to call the Customer Care Center at 360-902-3770. They will forward an action request to the Special Plates Unit so that they can look up the license to update for the customer.

  2. The customer can email the Customer Care Center and request assistance at this email address: CustomerCare@dol.wa.gov

  3. The customer can take a copy of their updated FCC license to their local licensing office to have the date updated. (ed. she did say the sub agents may charge extra for this?)

  4. The customer can send a copy of their updated FCC license with a note asking to be updated to: CustomerCare@dol.wa.gov. DOL does say that the problem was a glitch in the migration of software, but will eventually be corrected.

RUMORS, RUMORS AND MORE RUMORS: It always amazes me how rumors get started, but moreover, how they get spread. Oh well, it seems that's the way of some humans.

The ARRL is reviewing three of its legacy programs, to see what can be done to modernize them, so they are relevant considering today's communication needs; ARES, OO and NTS. At the moment, no decisions have been made - in fact no recommendations have been brought forward to the Board of Directors, that would alter any of the programs. Each program has had a subcommittee assigned to do the research and make suggestions. As soon as there are any changes, updates or recommendations, We will let you know. In the meantime, all 3 programs are still functioning - and quite well in the NW Division.

WASHINGTON DISTRACTED DRIVING BILL: As of this writing, the Bill has passed out of the House and the Senate, with an exemption for Amateur Radio, and is now on the Governor's desk to be signed. Once signed, the law will become effecting January of 2019.

I would like to thank SMs Mark Tharp and Monte Simpson, for spurring on a real grass roots effort to preserve our privilege to operate our mobile radios while in a moving vehicle. Be aware, though, we can still be cited for distracted driving if we improperly operate our vehicle while using our radios. Many thanks to your leaders and all those who helped.

IN SPACE: NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) says a minor (G1) geomagnetic storm watch remains in effect for April 24-26, due to the continued influence of a large, recurrent, negative-polarity coronal hole high-speed stream (CH HSS). A coronal hole is an area of the Sun where the magnetic field folds back, and solar wind escapes. This follows on the heels of an unexpected coronal mass ejection (CME) impact on April 22.

Conditions on HF are no better than fair, with conditions on the higher bands (17 through 10 meters) deemed poor. A G1 warning had been in effect until 1500 UTC today.

The odds of a G1 storm are 50-50. The upside is that the CH HSS increases the chances of auroral displays at lower-than-typical latitudes. NOAA says migratory animals are affected at the G1 and higher levels, and aurora is commonly visible at high latitudes (northern Michigan and Maine).

A G1 storm can cause weak power grid fluctuations and possibly impact satellite operations. According to NOAA, during storms, the currents in the ionosphere, as well as the energetic particles that precipitate into the ionosphere, add energy in the form of heat. This can increase the density and distribution of density in the upper atmosphere, causing extra drag on satellites in low-Earth orbit.

The local heating also creates strong horizontal variations in the ionospheric density, which can modify the path of radio signals and cause GPS errors. Geomagnetic storms can generate harmful geomagnetic induced currents (GICs) in the power grid and in pipelines.

YOUNG HAM OF THE YEAR: Nominations for the 2017 Bill Pasternak/Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year (YHOTY) will be accepted until May 31.

Candidates for the award must be 18 or younger and reside in the US (or its possessions) or Canada. Nominees must hold a valid Amateur Radio license issued by the US or Canada. A candidate needs to have accomplished something outstanding as an Amateur Radio operator, whether by recruiting new hams, engaging in a community service project, or helping to benefit Amateur Radio in other ways.

The award presentation will be held at the Huntsville Hamfest on August 19, 2017. The Young Ham of the Year Award was created by Amateur Radio Newsline founder Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF (SK). The 2016 YHOTY was Skyler Fennell, KD0WHB, of Denver

NEW ENTRY LEVEL LICENSE? No, not really! However, the ARRL Board of Directors has established an ad hoc committee to review the past 15 years, under the current licensing structure. Our own Vice Director, Bonnie Altus - AB7ZQ, is a member of the committee.

A recent survey was taken of our membership, yielding over 8,000 responses - some positive and some not so positive. The committee is reviewing the responses one-by-one and may bring some recommendations to the July Board meeting.

Is there a chance for a new license class? Well, that is truly hard to predict. Even if the Ham Community felt a new entry level license was needed, the ultimate decision is of course, the FCC. Stay tuned for more info.

NORTHWESTERN DIVISION CONVENTION: SeaPac, the Northwestern Division Convention is almost here. ARRL Chief Executive Officer Tom Gallagher, NY2RF (what a great call sign) will be in attendance. Tom is passionate for Ham Radio and the future of the ARRL. Come visit him at the ARRL booth, in Seaside.

PLACES TO GO: We are in the beginnings of the Ham Fest season, with some big ones in the Northwestern Division coming up. Of course, the Division Convention at Seaside, DX Convention in Spokane, Washington State Convention in Spokane, APRS/Digital Summer Gathering, PNW VHF Society Conference in Moses Lake and many more. For additional information on these and others go to www.n7cfo.com where Lynn keeps a great updated list of activities.

7CQP - 7th call area QSO Party: 1300 UTC Saturday to 0700 UTC Sunday (6 AM to midnight PDT the first Saturday in May - it's May 6,7 this year)). 7th call area stations work everyone, others work 7th area stations only. Work stations once per band/mode. 7th area mobiles (and those participating in other concurrent QSO parties or contests) may be worked again as they enter new counties.

Entry categories:
  Single-op: high-power, low-power <150W, QRP <5W; CW, Phone, Digital, Mixed

  Single-op Assisted: high-power, low-power, QRP; CW, Phone, Digital, Mixed

  Multi-single: high-power, low-power

  Multi-multi: No differentiated mode or power levels

  7th-area County Expedition: This is an operation from a temporary location using antennas installed for the contest period, using temporary supports or trees, either single-county, county-line; single-op, multi-single, multi-multi; or open (anything else)

  Mobile: This station must be self-contained and capable of motion: single-op (one person, unassisted, performs all operating, logging and driving functions and, for safety reasons, should operate only while parked), multi-single (any other mobile operation); high-power, low-power; CW, Phone, Mixed. Use of APRS (location and call only) is allowed.

Awards: Certificates will be awarded to the top three finishers in each category within and outside the 7th call area, plus the top finisher in each state/province and 7th area county; a 25-QSO minimum applies. See the web site for a list of plaques to be awarded.

Exchange: 7th area stations send signal report plus 5-letter state/county code (e.g., ORDES; see list). County-line stations send multiple codes, e.g., UTRIC/IDBEA (state code needed only once, e.g., ORDES/JEF). Non-7th-area stations send signal report plus state/province/"DX" two-letter codes. Stations in other QSO parties send their appropriate exchange. The 13 "Provinces" are VE1-9, VO and VY0-2. County-line contacts may be logged with one entry showing all counties or with separate entries for each county.

Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6 and 2m, simplex only. Suggested operating frequencies: 1815 and 40 kHz up on CW, except on 40m, where 7025-7035 is suggested; 1845, 3855, 7180, 14255, 21355 and 28455 on SSB; 3580+, 7035+, 14070+, 21070+ on PSK; 3585+, 7038+, 14075+, 21075+ on RTTY. Check 80m at 0500Z, 160m at 0530Z. All CW and Digital contacts must be in the CW/Data sub-bands.

Scoring: 2 points per SSB QSO, 3 points per CW or Digital QSO. County-line contacts count as multiple QSOs for both stations. 7th area stations multiply total QSO points by the total of states (50), provinces (13) and other DXCC entities (maximum of 10). Non-7th-area stations multiply total QSO points by 7th area counties worked (259).

Logs: All logs must be received by May 17; logs containing more than 40 QSOs must be submitted electronically via email or floppy disk. Send logs to 7qplogs@codxc.org -- include the station callsign in the email "Subject" line. Cabrillo preferred (7QP details here) but any plain text format will be accepted. A web form is available for online Cabrillo log-file generation and submission. Be sure your entry includes name, address and/or email address, station callsign, entry category, location code(s) and operator callsigns (if Cabrillo, they should appear within the Cabrillo attachment itself; the log processor ignores the rest of the message). Send paper logs with a completed summary sheet to:

  7th Call Area QSO Party, c/o CODXC
61255 Ferguson Rd
Bend, OR 97702

Check to make sure your callsign, with correct entry category, appears on the 7QP web site's Received Logs page -- normally within two days of receipt.

Other: All equipment and antennas must lie within a 1000-foot diameter circle. County-line operations must be within 500 feet of the county line. Any computer-to-computer mode is considered digital. The same station may be worked on each band on CW, Phone, and Digital. All contacts must be made without using repeaters, digipeaters, satellites, etc. Only one entry per callsign (can't do, e.g., mobile and expedition entries).

Help: On the web site at http://7qp.org are these complete rules; FAQs (please read); lists of county names and abbreviations: state/county maps; county sign-up sheet; summary sheet; state coordinators; logging-program info and configuration files; list of plaques and donors.

This is a great event and even with band conditions as they have been, we'll have some fun. Look for me from Alaska de K7CEX/KL7

DON'T FORGET FIELD DAY: Did you know that the ARRL sponsors the largest emergency test activity in the world? Indeed, it does!

Field Day is ham radio's open house. Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio's science, skill and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.

We welcome the public to come learn more about ham radio! Use our Field Day Locator to search for a Field Day site near you.

Follow Field Day on Facebook and Twitter! ARRL has created a Field Day event on Facebook, and you can also join the conversation by using the hash tag #ARRLFD. Share your plans, tips and tricks to a successful Field Day!

Don't forget to list your Field Day site on the ARRL Field Day Site Locator: http://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator.

73 and good Hamming

ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: James D Pace, K7CEX

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)