RTTY Service Station K6KPH, operating from the Maritime Radio Historical Society (MRHS), is officially back on the air. K6KPH also transmits W1AW Qualifying Run texts and the W1AW Field Day Bulletin. The station was off the air due to COVID-19 restrictions and antenna damage.
Repairs to the transmitter site in Bolinas, California, were performed under a US National Park Service grant and support from the MRHS. Years of damage from decaying poles, failing crossarms, and falling trees necessitated the repairs, MRHS said. The next West Coast Qualifying Run to be transmitted from K6KPH is scheduled for Saturday, September 25, 2021, at 2100 UTC on 3581.5, 7047.5, 14047.5, 18097.5, and 21067.5 kHz.
The Intrepid-DX Group's plans for a 2023 DXpedition to Bouvet Island are on the front burner again. In a brief announcement to the "global DX community," DXpedition co-leader Paul Ewing, N6PSE, said this week that a new charter vessel contract is in the offing. The 3Y0J DXpedition has refunded all donations to its earlier announced plan, advanced before losing its contract with the charter vessel Braveheart, and
Ewing conceded, "there was a high degree of uncertainty that we could move forward." Braveheart captain Nigel Jolly, K6NRJ, told the DXpedition in June that the Braveheart was being put up for sale, and he was canceling its contract for the 3Y0J voyage.
Ewing said this week that the team has found a suitable and affordable vessel whose skipper is willing to take a group of a dozen DXers to Bouvet, and they are negotiating the terms of that charter contract at present.
"We have submitted a new application to the Norwegian Polar Institute," Ewing said. The team leadership has been revised. David Jorgensen, WD5COV, will be a co-leader, responsible for operations and antennas, while Kevin Rowett, K6TD, will be a co-leader, responsible for systems/networks, procurement, and logistics, and Ewing as a third co-leader, will oversee planning, public relations, tents, and logistics.
"Together, this leadership team will assemble 12 operators to make this vision a reality," Ewing said. "We are revising our website, and soon, we will begin fundraising for this renewed effort." He expressed gratitude for all past sponsors of the Bouvet Island DXpedition initiative and said he hopes they can support the renewed effort as well. A new website is under construction.
A dependency of Norway, Bouvet is a subantarctic volcanic island in the South Atlantic.
SB QST ARL ARLB019 ARLB019 New Section Managers Appointed in Orange and Eastern Washington
Carl Gardenias, WU6D, of Perris, California, is retiring as ARRL Orange Section Manager after serving in the position since 2003. His term of office had expired at the end of March, but he agreed to continue serving as SM until a successor was chosen.
A re-solicitation for Section Manager nominations in the Orange Section was issued this past spring. The only nominee responding by the June 4 deadline was Bob Turner, W6RHK, also of Perris,California. Turner's elected 2-year term of office does not officially begin until October 1, and Gardenias has said he wished to step down as Section Manager at the end of June.
In accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the ARRL Field Organization, ARRL Field Services Manager Mike Walters, W8ZY, has appointed Turner to start his term of office as the Orange Section Manager earlier than scheduled, with the appointment effective July 1. Walters made his decision after consulting with ARRL Southwestern Division Director Dick Norton, N6AA, and Gardenias. Turner has been the Section Emergency Coordinator for the past 10 years.
Beginning May 20, 2021, all amateur examination applicants will be required to provide an FCC Registration Number (FRN) to the Volunteer Examiners (VEs) before taking an amateur exam. This is necessary due to changes the FCC has made to its licensing system.
Amateur candidates who already have an FCC license, whether for amateur radio or in another service, already have an FRN and can use the same number. All prospective new FCC licensees, however, will be required to obtain an FRN before the examination and provide that number to the volunteer examiners on the Form 605 license application. An FCC instructional video provides step-by-step instructions on how to obtain an FRN through the FCC's COmmission REgistration System (CORES).
ARRL member and Edmonson County Emergency Coordinator Tim Skees, K9KSP, a firefighter in Brownsville, Kentucky, was among those responding to an April 23 fire dispatch call he heard on his ham station scanner reporting a possible drowning in the Green River. Radio traffic indicated that the potential victim was a 40-year-old male.
"After assessing the information provided by family members at the scene, [I] went downriver approximately 300 yards, located the victim in water, washed up on a shallow rock shoal in the river," Skees told ARRL. "[I] waded out to the victim, dragged him to the riverbank, and, as other responders showed up and came to where the victim was, he was pulled up the bank of the river. He was suffering exposure/hypothermia from being in the cold water for hours
"I submit this as a testament to the need of hams to get involved with emergency services and foster good working relationships with [emergency managers] and local agencies," Skees said.
The ARRL Board of Directors will look into the use of electronic balloting systems "to augment paper balloting for ARRL elections." The Board instituted a hybrid paper and electronic balloting process in the fall of 2012, which was popular among those who took advantage of it, but overall voter participation declined significantly. In 2015, the Board's Ethics and Elections Committee decided to return to using solely paper ballots. The Ethics and Elections Panel said continuing changes in technology, the acceptance of remote meetings, and significant advancements in voting processes since then have made electronic balloting worth a second look.
"Electronic balloting is now in common use among professional organizations," the Board said. "Using electronic balloting would be of benefit to members who find paper ballots difficult to use. Providing electronic balloting as an alternative to paper balloting may result in a cost savings to the organization and decrease delays and potential conflicts over delays of paper ballots. It is likely, also, that the use of online balloting will be attractive to younger members who are more accustomed to online transactions."
The Board directed its Administration & Finance Committee to investigate the state, cost, and availability of commercial electronic balloting services as a member-selected alternative to paper ballots distributed and collected via the postal service. The committee will report back to the Board within a year.