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ARRL Club News
January 25, 2022
Editor: Michael Walters, W8ZY
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Welcome

Winter is in full swing, but so far here in Connecticut, other than a few really cold nights, we have had a very mild time. I want all of the clubs' presidents to think about what seems to be a common theme across the country. Many clubs have a new slate of officers, some old and some new. Many clubs are collecting dues for the next year. January is always a bit of a time for renewal. Now is the time to renew the club in general. Do you have plans to do outreach in your community? Are you sponsoring a new ham training class or working with a school club? Do you have plans for activities for the membership to get them involved or to do EmComm training? COVID has had us all locked up for the last couple of years and we all need a chance to get involved in some way. Work with your club and see if there is an event, a contest, a net that you can be more active in. Winter is a great time for Net Control training. Most of can attest to the fact that the amount of traffic on the local repeaters might be less than it used to be. What do you need to do to light a fire under the club and have some fun?

By the way: I will be at HamCation in Orlando in the ARRL Clubs booth. Stop by and say hello if you are in the area for the hamfest.

Mike, W8ZY

ARRL Foundation to Create Club Grants Program

01/13/2022

A new ARRL Foundation Club Grants program, funded by a grant from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), will make $500,000 available to radio clubs. The program will provide up to $25,000 for worthy club projects. Requests for more than that will be referred back to ARDC.

ARRL has long recognized that it is in the best interests of amateur radio to encourage and support amateur radio clubs. Clubs historically have recruited, licensed, and trained new radio amateurs and have provided the community setting for radio amateurs to continue their education and training. The new Club Grants program will help clubs more easily provide and expand their important services.

Beginning in April 2022, amateur radio clubs will be able to apply for these grants by filling out a simple form on the ARRL website. The ARRL Foundation will evaluate the grant proposals. The Foundation was established in 1973 to advance the art, science, and societal benefits of the Amateur Radio Service by awarding financial grants and scholarships to individuals and organizations in support of their charitable, educational, and scientific efforts.

A key criterion for determining awards will be how the project will advance amateur radio in the grantee's community. In most cases, this process should take no longer than 90 days.

ARRL Foundation President David Woolweaver, K5RAV, shared his enthusiasm about this new program. "This program will substantially contribute to the growth of amateur radio clubs and their efforts to expand and support the amateur radio community," he said.

ARDC is a California-based foundation and makes grants to projects and organizations that follow amateur radio's practice and tradition of technical experimentation in both amateur radio and digital communication science. ARDC Executive Director Rosy Schechter, KJ7RYV, noted that this program will streamline the process for getting club projects funded, so that clubs can get started on these projects more quickly.

"We're very excited about working with the ARRL Foundation on this program," said Schechter. "We can't wait to see what kinds of creative things clubs will do with these grants." All of the details of application and criteria are still being developed at this time. Please watch for further details to be released as the program is finalized. -- Thanks to ARDC

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Winter Field Day Is Coming
For those who operate HF, note that Winter Field Day is
coming up on the weekend of January 29-30, 2022. This is
a great opportunity for hams around the country to
exercise their skills and equipment under conditions that are "less ideal" than late June. You are encouraged to set up a simple field
station, or to make contacts with stations from home.
Remember to send us pictures of Winter Field Day and make sure that you stay warm - and most of all, have fun.

Maine Scouts On 40 Meters

Thanks to Al Sirois, N1MHC, some scouts in Lincoln County, Maine, were introduced to amateur radio while they worked on their Radio merit badges on December 18. N1MHC and friends set up a schedule on 40-meter phone. and four scouts and Scoutmaster Mike Lomas were able to chat with Phil Duggan, N1EP, in Maine, Ralph Churchill, W3FME, in Pennsylvania, and Skip Newell, K1WMN, In Massachusetts on 7.262 MHz.

Scout Elijah Smith shared with N1EP that he was 11 years old and was working on his Radio merit badge. Elijah also volunteered that he liked anything related to nature.

Scouts Dylan Lomas, Phil Smith, and Eddie Seiders chatted with W3FME and K1WMN about radio and scouting. Skip, K1WMN is an eagle scout. Ralph, W3FME, earned his Radio merit badge and ham radio license in the 1950s.

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Philadelphia Club Supports Wounded Veterans via Stamp Collecting Program

What do you do with the envelopes when you receive about 1,000 QSL card requests followingthe 13th Annual 13 Colonies Special Event in July?" Do you just throw out the envelops, or is there something you can do with the cancelled stamps? This was a question discussed by the QSL managers for WM3PEN, the club call of the Holmesburg Amateur Radio Club (HARC).

WM3PEN trustee Bob Josuweit, WA3PZO, learned of a program called Stamps for the Wounded. Stamps for the Wounded (SFTW) is a service organization dedicated to providing comfort and stimulating activity to US veterans through stamp collecting. SFTW sends donated US and foreign postage stamps and other philatelic material and supplies to wounded, ill, and isolated veterans. SFTW has been helping veterans since 1942. The program gives the wounded something to spark their interest and stave off boredom.

Just how many stamps has the club shipped? According to Rich Shivers, K3UJ, who coordinates the shipments, HARC has shipped over 60 pounds of stamps. Shivers says approximately 4,000 stamps equal 1 pound. That means that about a quarter of a million stamps have been shipped to SFTW! Stamps have been received from several countries, including Great Britain, Germany, and Canada. People learn about amateur radio through local publicity. Several hams who are active in other organizations have started their own stamp collection and are sending them directly to the SFTW program.

Josuweit says that this is a project that clubs, special event organizers, or even individuals can start. They promote the program on our QSL cards as well as on the web and social media sites. For further information on the SFTW program, go to https://www.stampsforthewounded.org/ or contact HARC at WM3PEN @ ARRL.net.

Go Fully Electronic in 2022!

By Maria Somma, AB1FM, ARRL VEC Manager

Online Examinations and Remote Testing

Your club's VE team can become part of the fun and excitement of remotely administered Online Examinations.

The remote exam sessions are conducted using an online video conferencing platform and a web-based examination system with on-screen tests. ARRL VE teams have had the option to be completely electronic since June 2020 by using online exams. The online exams can also be utilized at in-person sessions automating most of the process, for a fully electronic in-person session experience.

VE teams have been using the Exam.Tools Online Examination system for remote video and in-person sessions. Over 25,000 applicants have been tested through the Online Examinations system in the past two years. The system works well for online or printed examinations and includes registering and tracking candidates throughout the session, on screen exams and grading, online signing of CSCE and 605 forms by the candidate and examiners, logging and compiling session stats and VE participation list (test report summary), and output files for upload to the coordinating VEC. The program manages and handles almost everything needed to conduct a test session. Time and experience with in-person exam sessions is invaluable when transitioning to remote video-supervised online exam sessions.

Interested ARRL VE teams must contact the VEC department to receive the online exams instructions and remote video session procedures.

Not a VE? Become one today!

Visit http://www.arrl.org/become-an-arrl-ve

Electronically File Exam Session Documents for Quicker Service

After the session has concluded, VE teams can upload in-person documents or remote video session files via ARRL VEC's secure web page (program service option since 2018).

New and upgraded licenses are issued within 1 to 2 business days for weekend sessions and are usually issued on the same day for weekday sessions.

Please contact the VEC department for the information and instructions on electronically filing exam session documents through our upload page. Authorized VEs will be sent the upload page URL which, is hidden from the public.

Resources for ARRL VEs

The ARRL VEC VE Resources page offers the information you will need to help conduct exam session business. Our support page offers easy access to session forms and information, online examinations, remote video session instructions, VE Manual supplemental information, FCC rules, basic qualification question procedures, and much more. There is also some helpful information for the community, such as preparation resources for candidates, in-person and remote video exam session search, vanity call sign information, and more.

The ARRL VE Newsletter relays important updates relating to FCC rule or policy changes, exam session document or procedural changes, video sessions, and other topics. VEs can sign up for the newsletter at https://reflector.arrl.org/mailman/listinfo/ve-list

We appreciate your service to the amateur radio community!

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Monthly Zoom Meeting for Collegiate Clubs Offers a Variety of Topics

Each month, ARRL hosts a Zoom meeting with student representatives and advisors from the large community of college radio clubs. The group met on January 11, led by ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Advisors Tony Milluzzi, KD8RTT, and Andy Milluzzi, KK4LWR. Among the schools represented were College of DuPage, University of Arizona, University of Florida, The Ohio State University, Temple, Cal Poly, University of Michigan, Penn State, Texas A&M, and others.

These meetings often include a guest speaker or spotlight the activities of a particular college club. This meeting, however, was a bit more open ended - inviting a rapid-fire collection of the different activities the clubs have taken on over the school year. Here's what they did:

  • Foxhunts
  • Satellite operating
  • Winter Field Day
  • School Club Roundup (second full school week of February, and third full school week of October)
  • Parks on the Air (POTA) expeditions
  • State QSO parties
  • A shopping trip to a ham radio dealer. Bringing along some of the new and inexperienced members
  • Project building. Examples:
    • 1/4-λ ground-plane antenna to help extend the signal of a handheld radio
    • Tape measure beam for radio direction finding
    • End-fed half-wave antenna (see kit available from ARRL)
  • High-altitude balloon launch with amateur radio payload
  • Restoration of vintage radio gear
  • NTS nets and informal nets
  • Hosting license exam sessions in the community or at events
  • Volunteering to support public service communications at a marathon or bikeathon

Each of these activities can encourage new experiences for participants and helps everyone in the club develop skills and knowledge. Consider creating a 12-month calendar of events for your club, with one activity scheduled every month. For example: three contests or operating events (including ARRL Field Day); three projects or workshops; two public service events and/or an annual basic EmComm training session; and four speakers.

College radio clubs are uniquely organized to emphasize learning by doing. After all, most of their membership are busy students who join the club for new experiences and to have fun. It's a model that might work for every radio club!

For more information about the monthly ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio webinars and related resources, visit www.arrl.org/WeWantU.

Get to the 2022 ARRL National Convention at Orlando HamCation

The ARRL National Convention & Orlando HamCation® is February 10 - 13, 2022. Register at www.arrl.org/expo.

The convention will be held in two parts. On Thursday, February 10, an all-day ARRL National Convention Program will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld. Advance registration is required and includes a series of day-long ARRL Training Tracks and a National Convention luncheon. Registration can be completed online.

DX Engineering is the Official Sponsor of the 2022 ARRL National Convention Program.

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 11 - 13, HamCation will take place at the Central Florida Fairgrounds and Expo Park in Orlando -- an 87-acre lakefront fairgrounds. The convention marks the 75th anniversary of HamCation -- one of the largest annual gatherings of radio amateurs in the US. Get your tickets for HamCation at www.hamcation.com.

Submitting Info for This Newsletter

ARRL Club News is for radio clubs to show how they are working in the community and the hobby to advance amateur radio. If your club does a project, supports an event, does an EmComm activation or activates a park, we want to hear about it. You can submit your newsletter article to us at clubs@arrl.org. We like to get them as text or Word files instead of PDFs. If you have pictures, please submit them with any caption information, as well as the name and call sign of the photographer. We want to highlight the good work being done by the clubs and show others in the community of clubs. Think of this as a chance to show off your club and your programs.

How to Plan and Apply for an ARRL Hamfest or Convention

If your amateur radio club is planning to host a convention, hamfest, tailgate, or swapfest, please consider applying for ARRL sanctioned status for your event. To learn what it means to be an ARRL sanctioned event, and to get some ideas on how to prepare for and conduct a hamfest or convention, visit www.arrl.org/arrl-sanctioned-events.

To apply for ARRL sanctioned status for your event, go to www.arrl.org/hamfest-convention-application.

The ARRL Hamfests and Conventions Calendar can be found online at www.arrl.org/hamfests. In addition, the Convention and Hamfest Calendar that runs in QST each month also presents information about upcoming events.

Important Links

ARRL Home: www.arrl.org

Find an ARRL Affiliated Club: www.arrl.org/clubs

Find Your ARRL Section: www.arrl.org/sections

Find a License Class in your area: www.arrl.org/class

Find a License Exam in your area: www.arrl.org/exam

Find a Hamfest or Convention: www.arrl.org/hamfests

Email ARRL Clubs: clubs@arrl.org

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