ARRL Board Lauds “Unforgettable Milestone,” Formalizes LoTW Policy, Honors Award Recipients
Reflecting the afterglow of the ARRL National Centennial Convention that concluded a couple of days earlier, the ARRL Board of Directors commended and thanked the ARRL Headquarters staff and the National Centennial Convention volunteers for “their devotion and service, contributing to a truly memorable celebration of this unforgettable milestone in the life of the ARRL.” The resolution, offered during the Board’s July meeting in Hartford, and adopted with applause, took note of the “countless” hours staffers spent, in addition to their routine responsibilities, preparing for and running the convention. The Board also noted the essential role of “many dedicated volunteers” before, during and after the convention.
The Board dealt with a variety of matters during the two-day gathering on July 21 and 22 and bestowed several awards and honors. ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, chaired the session. The minutes of the meeting have been posted.
Emergency Communications Role Reaffirmed
Citing the inspiring speech delivered by Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, at the National Centennial Convention banquet, the Board resolved to reaffirm its “commitment and desire to further improve and enhance Amateur Radio’s participation and standing in emergency communications for the benefit of the nation’s emergency response agencies and the American public.”
Logbook of The World
The Board adopted an updated policy for the League’s popular Logbook of the World (LoTW). The new statement largely formalizes long-standing and existing policies and procedures. To maintain LoTW’s security, the policy states that in the event that a call sign certificate is shown to have been compromised, “all contacts submitted with that call sign certificate will be removed from LoTW, all confirmations generated by those contacts will be invalidated, and all award credit generated by those confirmations will be revoked.” LoTW users who allow their certificates to be compromised or who “knowingly exploit” compromised certificates may lose their privileges of using LoTW and participating in ARRL awards programs. The policy would allow ARRL to establish relationships with sites such as ClubLog that provide contact analysis.
“The integrity of LoTW must support the prestige of those awards that depend on it, such as DXCC,” the policy states. “The goals of ‘ease of enrollment’ and ‘ease of use’ must be balanced against the requirement of maintaining an extremely high level of integrity.”
The policy calls on ARRL’s Information Technology Department “to keep the processing queue as short as possible,” adding that “quick processing is second[ary] to LoTW’s primary goal of authenticating contacts.” The policy also states that while LoTW often is available around the clock, it “is not guaranteed to be a 24/7 application,” and that down times will be announced in advance whenever possible.
The policy says that while fees currently are only required when contact credits are redeemed toward supported awards, “Premium services may be developed for LoTW which would require user fees.”
Also related to operating awards, the Board agreed to modify some DXCC Rules to clarify the appointment procedure and eligibility of DXCC card checkers.
The Board referred several matter to committees for study.
- The Programs and Services Committee (P&SC) is to closely examine the issue of remotely controlled stations, noting that these “pose both opportunities and challenges.” The P&SC would “consider the possible advantages, disadvantages, and any potential ethical issues as it relates strictly to the DXCC program” and report its findings by the Board’s January 2015 Annual Meeting.
- The Administration and Finance Committee is to study the establishment of a three-person Information Technology Strategic Planning Committee to examine existing IT operationsand create a strategic plan that maximizes the IT services provided to League members and Headquarters staff now and in the future.
- The Executive Committee is to study the possibility of seeking limited RTTY/data privileges for Technician licensees in the 80, 40, and 15 meter bands.
- The Executive Committee will also study two proposals related to its internal procedures.
In other business, the ARRL Board of Directors:
- voted, without getting into specifics, to support “a significant increase in the resources directed to generating new amateurs, with particular emphasis on increasing diversity.” The ARRL staff was directed to propose a course of action to meet that goal, with initial steps to be taken during formulation of the Board’s 2015-16 Plan.
- voted to have ARRL staff work with the Programs & Services Committee to design and implement a web-based reporting system to gather information on activities performed by Field Organization volunteers. The first phase of the reporting system should be implemented during 2015.
- ARRL Chief Financial Officer Barry Shelley, N1VXY, reported to the Board that the first-half operating loss was a bit less than the budget plan allowed for. Cash flow for the year will be negative, he said, mainly because of an upgrade of the HVAC system in the older part of ARRL Headquarters.
- ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, reported that Second Century Campaign pledges and gifts now total about $7.2 million toward the goal of $10 million. The Spectrum Defense Fund is ahead of its 2013 pace, she said.
- ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, reported that a revised policy statement on mobile Amateur Radio operation is being prepared for Executive Committee consideration. The policy will offer appropriate wording for distracted driving legislation aimed at avoiding unintended consequences for mobile operators.
- New England Division Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI, chairman of the Ethics & Elections Committee, noted that voter participation in division elections was below expectations in 2012 and 2013, the first years during which electronic voting was the principal means for casting ballots. The Board was told that steps would be taken to raise the visibility of the balloting process for the fall elections.
The Board named several award winners:
- The 2014 Hiram Percy Maxim Award went to Padraig Lysandrou, KC9UUS, of Bloomington, Indiana. The recipient of a Goldfarb Scholarship, Lysandrou was cited for his demonstrated passion for HF DXing, his high school Amateur Radio club activity, his service as Indiana Assistant Section Manager for Youth Activities, and for actively sharing his love for Amateur Radio by being a presenter Dayton Hamvention and other venues. Lysandrou was the recipient of the QST Cover Plaque Award in May 2013 for his article on his DXpedition to Cyprus.
- The 2014 ARRL Technical Innovation Award went to Warren C. Pratt, NR0V, of Santa Cruz, California. Pratt was cited for his research leading to the development of PureSignal, “an adaptive baseband pre-distortion algorithm used to improve the linearity of amplifiers and reduce intermodulation distortion products emitted by software-defined transmitters.”
- The joint recipients of the 2014 Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award were Brad Amacker, N5MZ, of Petal, Mississippi, and Bill Finnegan, NR8I, of Marion, Ohio. Amacker has taught at 16 Amateur Radio license instruction classes that have resulted in some 100 students becoming Amateur Radio licensees, and he’s been active in mentoring students after they’ve become licensed. Finnegan, who has taught 21 Amateur Radio license instruction classes in the past decade resulting in 60 new ham radio licensees, was cited for “his patience with students, especially those struggling with comprehension of more difficult radio theory.”
- The joint recipients of the 2013 Doug DeMaw, W1FB, Technical Excellence Award were Kai Siwiak, KE4PT, of Coral Springs, Florida, and Bruce Pontius, N0ADL, of Scottsdale, Arizona. Both were credited with “distinguished lifelong Amateur Radio careers, both on the air and in test and measurement respects.” They were specifically cited for their December 2013 QST article, “How Much ‘Punch’ Can You Get from Different Modes?” The article characterized and quantified the typical performance of various analog and digital modes to shed light on their performance and limitations.
- The Board elected Bruce J. Frahm, K0BJ, an Honorary Vice President. Frahm served a total of 20 years as Midwest Division Vice Director, Director, and ARRL Second Vice President. The Board cited his diligent service on Board committees as well as his leadership and “extraordinary generosity” as an ARRL Maxim Society member and his regular on-the-air activity, which included stints from some 30 countries, promoting international goodwill.
- The Board granted the title of ARRL Receptionist Emerita to Penny Harts, N1NAG, who retired on July 31 following 46 years of service at ARRL Headquarters — the longest tenure of any current Headquarters staff member. The Board’s resolution recounted that after joining the staff in 1968, “Penny quickly established herself as the friendly voice and face of the ARRL to countless callers and visitors to Newington.” She also earned her Amateur Radio license — eventually upgrading to Amateur Extra class — became active in local radio club affairs, and served as an ARRL Volunteer Examiner at more than 100 exam sessions. She “capped her career by providing invaluable assistance at the ARRL National Centennial Convention,” the Board said, and, over the years, has been “an inspiring friend to her colleagues” as well as to volunteers and Board members.
- The Board extended its very best wishes to ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary M. Hobart, K1MMH, who also retired on July 31, after 13 years of “outstanding service, above and beyond the call to the members of the ARRL, present and future,” the Board resolution said. Among her other accomplishments, Hobart was credited with developing the Second Century Campaign, “to insure the fiscal well being of the ARRL for years to come” and for being “directly responsible for raising millions of dollars in cash, endowments, and bequests” for the League.
Northwestern Division Director Jim Pace, K7CEX, and Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, attended their first ARRL Board meeting as directors. Delta Division Vice Director Ed Hudgens, WB4RHQ, Northwestern Division Vice Director Bonnie Altus, AB7ZQ, and Great Lakes Division Vice Director W. Thomas “Tom” Delaney, W8WTD, attended their first Board meeting ever. President Craigie welcomed Honorary ARRL Vice Presidents Fried Heyn, WA6WZO, and Jay Holladay, W6EJJ, and IARU Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, as guests.