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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
March 30, 2023
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


World Amateur Radio Day is April 18

In less than a month, 2023 World Amateur Radio Day (WARD) will be celebrated, literally, around the world!

WARD is held on April 18 every year and is celebrated by radio amateurs and their national associations which are organized as member-societies of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). It was on this day in 1925 that the IARU was formed in Paris. American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim was its first president.

The IARU announced previously that Human Security for All (HS4A) will be this year's World Amateur Radio Day theme. The day is being celebrated with a 2-week operating event occurring April 11 - 25. Special event stations will be operating from around the world, making two-way radio contacts to call attention to the HS4A campaign. The United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security describes 'human security' as "a more powerful, lasting approach to the most difficult deficits in peace and development," such as poverty, war, and natural disasters.

ARRL encourages all radio amateurs to take to the airwaves for WARD, to enjoy our global friendship with other amateurs, and to show our skills and capabilities to the public.

More information about 2023 World Amateur Radio Day is available at and

Amateur Radio Activity Honors African American Heritage

Parks on the Air® (POTA) sites that honor African American heritage are the focus of a casual operating event organized by the OMIK Amateur Radio Association, Inc (OMIK). The OMIK POTA Challenge 2023 will run from April 1 to December 31.

OMIK was founded in 1952 by black amateur radio operators. While it is still a predominately African-American organization, today it represents a multi-racial, multi-cultural organization with members from the US and around the globe. OMIK is an ARRL Affiliated Club.

The group hopes to attract at least 750 radio contacts for the program by the end of the year. All modes permitted by the POTA program are eligible. OMIK members are encouraged to activate sites using the OMIK club call sign, K0MIK. The club's call sign must be reserved at least a week in advance.

The group has a list of suggested sites that are known to have a significant role in African American history. They hope that at least five unique national parks will be activated as part of the event, contributing to a total of at least 10 successful activations.

Parks on the Air is a movement to get radio amateurs to set up portable operations in recognized park locations. It promotes a culture of operators who make as many contacts as possible from and with such locations.

HamCation 2023 Attendance Update

Orlando HamCation announced the attendance number for this year's 76th annual event, which was held February 10 - 12 at the 87-acre lakefront Central Florida Fairgrounds and Expo Park.

This year's attendance was the third largest for HamCation, at 21,830.

HamCation organizers reported the weather was great during show hours and the rain held off each night until after closing.

A big thank you was issued to all the sponsors, volunteers, visitors, and vendors for their participation, dedication, and making HamCation a true five-star event.

Planning is already underway for next year's HamCation, which will be held February 9 - 11, 2024. Dates have already been set for the following three years:

  • HamCation 2025: February 7 - 9

  • HamCation 2026: February 13 - 15

  • HamCation 2027: February 12 - 14

For more information, visit the HamCation website.

ARRL Announces Leadership Changes in the Hudson Division

ARRL Director Ria Jairam, N2RJ, who has represented the Hudson Division since 2019, has stepped down, effective March 31, 2023, at 5 PM Eastern.

Vice Director Nomar Vizcarrondo, NP4H, of Englewood, New Jersey, will accede to the Director's chair. Vizcarrondo, who earned his amateur radio license in 1978 at the age of 11, will serve as Director for the remainder of a 3-year term ending December 31, 2024. He was appointed as Vice Director of the Hudson Division in February 2022, following the retirement of previous Vice Director William Hudzik, W2UDT, who held the position from 2011 to 2022.

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, will announce a successor to Vizcarrondo to fill the vacant Vice Director's seat. The ARRL Hudson Division is comprised of the ARRL Sections of Eastern New York, New York City - Long Island, and Northern New Jersey.

ARISS Contact Scheduled for March 31, 2023

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact between an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and students at Stone Magnet Middle School located in Melbourne, Florida.

The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for March 31, 2023, at 2:07 PM EDT (18:07 UTC, 1:07 PM CDT, 12:07 PM MDT, 11:07 AM PDT).

This direct contact will allow students to ask Astronaut Steve Bowen, KI5BKB, questions.

The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800 MHz and may be heard by listeners within the ISS-footprint that encompasses the Platinum Coast Amateur Radio Society (PCARS) ham station in Melbourne, Florida.

A live stream of the contact will be available at:

ARISS conducts anywhere from 60 to 80 of these special amateur radio contacts each year between students around the globe and crew members with ham radio licenses aboard the ISS.

Stone Magnet Middle School currently has 649 students from ages 12 to 15. The school's educational foundation provides science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM)-based programs with interdisciplinary STEAM connections for students across all classrooms. Prior to this ARISS contact, students will research and learn about the ISS, conduct their own ISS-based experiments, and study radio science concepts, such as radio waves. Members of PCARS are supporting the school during this ARISS contact.

ARISS is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the ISS. In the US, participating organizations include from NASA's Space Communications and Navigation program (SCaN), the ISS National Lab - Space Station Explorers, ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio®, and AMSAT.

Amateur Radio in the News

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

"Ham radio kept Upland man connected during pandemic" / The Sun (California), March 23, 2023 -- Michael Guerin, W6MVT, of Upland California, is an ARRL Member.

"FCC grants seven new amateur radio operator licenses to Caribou residents" / The Country (Maine), March 24, 2023 -- Caribou Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service.

any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.

ARRL Podcasts

On the Air
Sponsored by

Radio orienteering (aka amateur radio direction finding, or ARDF) is a radio sport like no other. In this episode, we talk to USA ARDF Co-coordinator Charles Scharlau, NZØI, about how get involved in what he calls, "the only athletic radio sport." Radio orienteering will get you out of your shack chair and bounding through the woods or a park, using a handheld receiver and directional antenna to find a transmitter that's located somewhere in the vicinity. People of all ages and skill levels can have fun with radio orienteering -- and you don't even need a ham radio license to join in.

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 is available on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android). The On the Air podcast and ARRL Audio News are also on blubrry -- On the Air | ARRL Audio News.


ARRL Audio News Diventa Italiano! The English translation of this Italian phrase reads, "ARRL Audio News Goes Italian!" The weekly ARRL Audio News will soon be available on the internet radio station RTA PLANET, in Italy. Station owner and ARRL member Tiziano Antei, IU3LZL, will add the weekly report so that it airs in three different time slots and time zones.

Airing every Friday, ARRL Audio News is heard by 82 amateur radio clubs across the United States. The program highlights current news in amateur radio and ARRL special features and announcements. It's hosted by ARRL News Editor, John Ross, KD8IDJ.

Each edition of ARRL Audio News runs between 10 - 15 minutes. For those airing Audio News on repeaters, every three minutes or so, the letter "K" is transmitted in Morse code to signal a four-second pause in the audio. These breaks prevent a repeater from timing out and provide a moment to insert a repeater ID.

ARRL Audio News is distributed through You can subscribe to the podcast via your IOS or Android mobile device with your favorite podcast app, or you can listen and download episodes directly from the Audio News page at Blubrry. Each week, the current edition is available at ARRL Audio News.

In Brief...

Letter from Reader: "[The] inclusion of our recent call for engineering volunteers for our FOX-PLUS and GOLF satellite programs really paid off. We received over a dozen emails from highly qualified mechanical and electrical engineers offering to join the team. I think that speaks to the consistently high quality of the stories you report and the wide readership of the ARRL Letter. Congratulations!" -- Frank Karnauskas, N1UW, AMSAT Vice President, Development.

John Gibbons, N8OBJ, introduced the Grape Version 2 at the 2023 HamSCI Workshop that was held March 17 and 18 at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. Grape is a high frequency (HF) Doppler receiver that is used as a low cost, personal space weather station (PSWS). The project was created for ionospheric research. The Grape collects Doppler measurements of time standard stations, like WWV in Fort Collins, Colorado. The data is used by professional and academic researchers to learn about solar flare impacts and geomagnetic storms. Grape receivers can be easily deployed by amateur radio operators. A video introducing the Grape Version 2 is available on ARRL's YouTube channel.

The ARRL Laboratory is looking for two new staff members to join our team in Newington, CT. The Digital RF Engineer will serve as the subject matter expert in the areas of digital RF and RF-based networking topologies, including LAN- and WAN-based systems. The Senior Lab Engineer will perform a wide range of technical duties in support of ARRL publications, membership services, and spectrum defense objectives. Visit the ARRL website for complete job descriptions at Those interested may send their resumes and cover letters to ARRL HR Manager Luci Goodwin at ARRL is an equal opportunity employer.

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week's ARRL Propagation Bulletin, ARLP013:

Solar disk image taken March 30, 2023, courtesy of NASA SDO/HMI.

Solar activity increased this week. The average daily sunspot number rose from 68 to 112.6, and the average daily solar flux changed from 145.6 to 156.1.

Due to solar wind at the beginning of the reporting week, average daily planetary A index increased from 10.6 to 23.3, while average middle latitude A index went from 8.4 to 13.7. Many reports of aurora came in this week, some down to lower latitudes in North America.

Predicted solar flux is 150 on March 30 through April 1; 140 on April 2 - 3; 130 on April 4 - 5; 132 on April 6 - 8, then 130, 132, 135, and 135 on April 9 - 12, then 140, 145, and 148 on April 13 - 15, then 150, 150, 155, 155, and 158 on April 16 - 20; 160 on April 21 - 23, then 155, 145, and 145 on April 24 - 26, and 135 on April 27 through May 1.

Predicted planetary A index is 18 on March 30 - 31, then 16, 12, 10, and 8 on April 1 - 4, then 5 on April 5 - 9, then 15, 12, 8, and 5 on April 10 13; 8 on April 14 - 15, then 12, 20, 15, and 5 on April 16 - 19, then 20, 15, and 10 on April 20 - 22; 8 on April 23 - 24; 5 on April 25 - 26, then 12, 15, 10, and 8 on April 27 - 30.

Sunspot numbers from March 23 through 29, 2023, were 73, 108, 105, 125, 128, 114, and 135, with a mean of 112.6. 10.7-centimeter flux was 151, 157.5, 160.3, 159.4, 158.2, 158.7, and 147.8, with a mean of 156.1. Estimated planetary A indices were 60, 66, 15, 8, 3, 5, and 6, with a mean of 23.3. Middle latitude A index was 28, 40, 12, 6, 2, 4, and 4, with a mean of 13.7.

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

Yearlong -- ARRL Volunteers On the Air (VOTA). See the State Activations Schedule for weekly W1AW Portable Operations, including:

  • March 30 - April 5 Vermont W1AW/1

  • March 30 - April 5 Mississippi W1AW/5

  • April 5 - April 11 Pennsylvania W1AW/3

  • April 5 - April 11 Oregon W1AW/7

Upcoming Contests:
  • April 1 -- RSGB FT4 International Activity Day (digital)

  • April 1 - 2 -- PODXS 070 Club PSK 31 Flavors Contest (digital)

  • April 1 - 2 -- EA RTTY Contest (digital)

  • April 1 - 2 -- Louisiana QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)

  • April 1 - 2 -- Mississippi QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)

  • April 1 - 2 -- Missouri QSO Party (CW, phone, digital)

  • April 1 - 2 -- Florida State Parks on the Air (CW, phone, digital)

  • April 1 - 2 -- SP DX Contest (CW, phone)

  • April 3 -- RSGB 80m Club Champ, (CW)

  • April 4 -- ARS Spartan Sprint (CW)

  • April 5 -- UKEICC 80m Contest (phone)

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

ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for
Amateur Radio News and Information

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  • Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

  • The ARRL Letter is available in an accessible format, posted weekly to the Blind-hams email group. The group is dedicated to discussions about amateur radio as it concerns blind hams, plus related topics including ham radio use of adaptive technology.

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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.

Back issues published since 2000 are available on this page. If you wish to subscribe via e-mail, simply log on to the ARRL Web site, click on Edit Your Profile at the top, then click on Edit Email Subscriptions. Check the box next to The ARRL email newsletter, the ARRL Letter and you will receive each weekly issue in HTML format. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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