Vol 13 # 1
In this issue:
After several months of planning, the ARRL Library will be going live in early January 2015, probably as early as January 6. This long-term project will be home to what I hope will eventually become one of the largest repositories of Amateur Radio-related papers and presentations, created by and for the Amateur Radio community. This is your opportunity to submit material for the betterment and education of all radio amateurs.
The Library will initially consist of three major areas. First, PowerPoint presentations that may be used at club meetings, outreach efforts to the general public or other public presentations, PDFs of material for general education about Amateur Radio, and lastly, the oral histories of radio amateurs describing their personal experiences with Amateur Radio.
You will note, upon your first visit, that the material available is sparse. That's where you come in. Any radio amateur may submit material for consideration in the ARRL Library, on topics as wide-ranging as imaginable. As long as it relates to Amateur Radio, it will be considered. The PR Committee was tasked with being the vetting group. If a submission is approved, it will be entered in the ARRL Library.
Common questions, information on how to upload content, and how to conduct an oral history interview can all be found in the Library’s Frequently Asked questions area.
Sharing expertise is one of the best things we can do for Amateur Radio. I hope you will consider submitting material for the Library and help give back to the entire community.
ARRL Contributing Editor and all-around swell guy Ward Silver, NØAX, has started writing a column in Nuts and Volts Magazine, beginning with the January 2015 issue. The column is a great step in targeting the electronics tinkerers and DIY’ers that live in a parallel universe of ham radio and introducing them to what we do. The bi-monthly column, “The Ham’s Wireless Workbench,” will be covering topics that will merge the world of electronics experimentation and demonstrate how involvement in Amateur Radio will augment an electronics hobbyist’s enjoyment of their technical avocation.
Nuts and Volts has been around since 1980 and boasts an international monthly circulation of 60,000. Congratulations to Ward for opening another doorway to Amateur Radio for non-hams, and thanks to Bryan Bergeron, NU1N and Robin Lemieux at Nuts and Volts for allowing Ward to ply his trade in their pages.
Video is finally available of the three major addresses at the ARRL Centennial Convention in Hartford in July, 2014. Head over to ARRL’s YouTube Channel to view presentations by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, ARRL First Vice President Rick Roderick, K5UR, and Nobel Laureate Joe Taylor, K1JT. These speeches will be available on a DVD through the ARRL Store shortly.
As you’re probably aware, the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014 didn’t get out of Committee before Congress adjourned for the year. This isn’t a big surprise; very rarely does proposed legislation become law on the first go-around. However, we covered a lot of ground: thousands of letters from radio amateurs created a grassroots community and 63 of the original co-sponsors of the legislation will be returning to Washington in 2015. This will remain a major component of ARRLs Washington efforts in the next Congress and we hope we can count on your assistance to get the word out and keep the topic visible. Complete info is available in the December 2014 ARRL Legislative Update.
ARRL’s Centennial is now over. The candles have been blown out of the birthday cake, and now that the Centennial QSO Party is over, the bands seem awfully quiet in comparison.
The inevitable question that hangs in the air is, “now what?”
Any organization lasting a century is a big deal. We had a swell party. But now it’s time to take stock of where we are and build upon the incredible success of the Centennial.
Licensing is at an all-time high. More people seem interested in being on the air, and this resurgence helped garner a lot of mostly-favorable press coverage in 2014. All fine things. But it’s now year 101, and that doesn’t get nearly as much media coverage as the previous number.
If we’re to continue to keep license numbers climbing, there needs to be a reason why. Information is not knowledge, though, and positive, relevant PR efforts to keep Amateur Radio in the public consciousness will need to keep going.
PIOs get tagged as being the primary messengers of who we are and what we do. But all of us, every single licensed Amateur, can help tell our story and let the public and media know what’s going on with ham radio TODAY.
If you haven’t been paying attention, there’s been a lot of exploration and development in the hobby. New modes, new ways of experimenting with RF and radio that weren’t around even 15 or 10 years ago. Sound familiar? We’re a hobby of experimenters and communicators; it only stands to reason ham radio will evolve. As David Byrne sang, "Same as it ever was! Same as it ever was!"
To be a successful promoter to the media and public of what is going on with Amateur Radio in 2015, all of us need to be aware of…well, what is going on with Amateur Radio in 2015. If I’m not familiar with the ways Amateur Radio is naturally evolving, I run the risk of delivering a stagnant message. I owe it to the hobby to keep abreast of all current technologies and ways to participate and enjoy this great hobby; when I’m asked to explain it, I can keep the message relevant to my audience.
We just spent a year celebrating our past, as we should have. It is now time to throw away the rear-view mirror and look forward, find new ways to promote who we are and what we do to our communities, and keep the number of licensed, ACTIVE radio amateurs on the upswing. That is a responsibility we all share.
Happy New Year, and thanks for all you do.
Sean Kutzko, KX9X
Media and Public Relations Manager