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Dr Joe Palsa
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Good morning on November 11, 2020.  COVID-19 virus appears to be following predictions about a renewed outbreak not only in the USA, but around the world.


We all pray that the latest announcement of PFIZER concerning their testing and new vaccine will be the first to finally help combat this pandemic. On personal note, I evidently contracted the virus about the August time frame, even though the XYL and had been tested for antibodies, the test was negative.  In August within a 12 hour period, my symptoms appeared like falling off of a cliff. Because of my medical history of heart and COPD conditions, my doctors originally thought I was having just some new bouts of problems, because I had no fever.

Subsequent testing, med changes, x-rays, and testing by my family doctor, cardiologist and pulmonologist, it was concluded I did experience  a  serious COVID-19 infection.  Since I already had Oxygen at home, it was instrumental in my not being hospitalized immediately.

I am still fighting lingering effects of respiratory, exhaustion, congestive heart failure, and diminished strength, I am however to feel somewhat better..



On November 14 , this coming Saturday, the National Red Cross/Ham Radio Drill will take place to test emergency communications between Amateur Radio operators and Red Cross operations using WINLINK as the primary communications method. November 2019 a drill was performed covering South Carolina to Maine. This was very successful in showing use of voice for message handling was successful over short as well as long distances. With that success, it was decided to run a National drill using only digital communications (WINLINK) in November 2020. This exercise is a cooperative effort between ARES and Auxcomm groups as well as individual amateur radio operators. Message formats will be on FEMA forms as well as Red Cross actual forms.  This is being done to enhance the use of FEMA forms and get amateur radio operators familiar with actual Red Cross forms.


Well we sure have had an active season. Going through the normal alphabet names, then having to start using Greek Alphabet names.  Many of these storms ended up in the Gulf states and even hitting one of the same areas twice. Several areas had severe storm surges which simply washed away whole communities. In addition a number of Tornado’s in all of these areas. DC, Maryland and Virginia also had experienced severe storms and Tornado’s in Sept.. Much flooding has occurred in all of Ohio Valley states and Piedmont all the way up through, VA, MD, DC, NJ, PA and NY.


Without being said we all know the National Hurricane center, Hurricane Watch Net , as well VOIP/Hurricane Watch Nets were active for many hours covering carribean as well as USA states. As noted above the participation of ARES in the Red Cross drill takes place Nov 14. Other flooding areas required ARES activiations. CONNECT is still growing and becoming an excellent database for resource availability.

I have received several complaints of some amateurs disrespecting new hams, increased interference of a number of various schedule nets, and finally a few hams who are in some volunteer leadership positions acting like drill sergeants. PLEASE REMEMBER we are not in the army, everyone is a volunteer. While we need training and education, WE are all volunteers. LEADERSHIP is what we want and need to train others who do not know as much as we do. The keyword is EDUCATION. Old timers like the old ways of doing thing and at times also need education on new modes, like digital, etc.  I know because I am an old timer. Learn from the younger generation and the younger generation can also teach us old hams too.


While COVID-19 has created problems for multi-multi contests, however we all can spend more time on additional contests all over the world. h the contest buy. It is greatest place to make additional DX and rare contacts. Most conventions and hamfests have been cancelled for 2020 several so far even into 2021. Keep watching QST magazine ARRL web site for announcements. 


The Chinese have restarted their radar interference on several HF bands.

 The FCC announcement of planned to reinstate the $50.00 license fees is being opposed not by most hams. FCC claims that fees were dropped years ago because FCC budgets were being operated by congressional funding.

With all of the budget cuts, the FCC wants recoup budget money from reinstating fees for all FCC licensees, not only amateurs. These FCC cuts also cut very deeply into field engineer layoffs. Enforcement staff is only few bodies and centers on commercial problems. However has you all may be aware the FCC contacted ARRL to develop a program with and for the FCC to compliment the few FCC enforcement left. Riley Hollingsworth who is a ham was a career field engineer in charge has been hired to develop this program. Traditional OO programs were dropped by ARRL. The new “VM” volunteer program was established. New applications of old interested hams were vetted, tested and accepted  by Riley into the program. These VM’s are the field eyes and ears of the FCC program being administered by the ARRL. Ham radio is their primary area, but collecting any type communications laws are violated, this information can be forwarded when needed. The VM’s can also “Good Operator” certificates for exception help given and/or assistance to amateur radio in general. I am proud to say I have been accepted as a “VM”.


MARS is still undergoing their rebuilding programs and increasing their cooperation with general ham community. COMEX 20-4 program for all of October has been completed and was successful communication of cross bands of military and ham radio .


It looks like the new sunspot cycle is becoming a real possibility.

Increased sunspots or solar storms have been recorded.  More VHF and UHF band openings not occurring with long distance contacts.

Gob bless all hams and their families. Including our active and retired military as well as our United States of America.


 Dr Joe Palsa - K3WRY

ARRL Virginia Section Manager

State Government Liaison





"You are what you do, When it counts"

"No Trees were destroyed in the sending of this message, however, a significant number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced"



ARRL Virginia Section

Section Manager: Dr Joseph G Palsa, K3WRY





Virginia Officials