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Due to Pandemic

I’m curious if the Swains DXpedition delay due to a global pandemic was a first in ham radio history event?

The backstory here being that an international team of 10 operators planned to be active from Swains Island as W8S from March 10-25th of this year. Being number 34 on the Most Wanted list made this one highly anticipated and the team planned to be active on all HF bands in CW, SSB, FT8 and RTTY.

But then came breaking news that the operation would have to be canceled due to the Coronavirus. Not that anyone on the team had contracted the virus, but rather the sudden travel restrictions implemented upon entering American Samoa, restrictions imposed by the Department of Health as a result of the outbreak. The Department of Health allows non-residents to enter American Samoa only via Hawaii, after a 14 days mandatory quarantine in Hawaii. This wasn’t workable for the team as it would have extended the time of the excursion by an additional two weeks, and would require re-routing of flights and purchasing new tickets, etc.

The GOOD NEWS is that the operation has been re-scheduled:

Following the disappointing news earlier this week the Swains2020 team is extremely happy that we can announce the new schedule for the W8S DXpedition to Swains Island. The team will be on the island from September 23 until October 6, 2020.

The impact of the deadly Coronavirus continues to be much more serious than simple changes in travel plans. With thousands having died of the virus and the impending collapse of the global economy, the final results from this pandemic have yet to fully materialize.

Still I wonder, as just a footnote in our history, was this a first for amateur radio?

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ARRL International DX Contest

The deep freeze that’s crept across the country showed up here last night. What had been 33F at dinner time yesterday turned into 2F by the morning commute to work today. This will pass quickly as temperatures are supposed to return to the 40s a little later in the weekend. Still, this won’t be the time for any other antenna work. The temporary wire strung up last weekend will be employed for a few hours in the ARRL International DX (CW) contest this weekend. This event is usually good for 50-75 entities, and that would go a long way toward my primary operating goal for 2020, but given the less than ideal antenna situation, I’ll be pleased to work even a fraction of that.

Good luck!

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SVHFS Conference

SVHFS Conference 2020 Registration & Call For Papers

The 2020 Southeastern VHF Society Conference will be held in Gainesville, Georgia on April 24-25, 2020. Gainesville, GA is approximately 60 miles north of Atlanta in EM84ch. It is about 1.5 miles from I-985.

The Ramada Inn, of Gainesville, Georgia is the conference hotel for the 2020 SVHFS Conference. The hotel is now taking reservations directly. To book your room, please see the conference page. The conference rate is $80 per night. To secure this rate, call the hotel directly at 770-531-0907. Do not call Ramada central reservations or book through the Ramada Website.

Conference Pre-registration:
Pre-registration is now open through April 15, 2020. Please use the registration form on the conference web page.

Call for papers:
Papers and presentations are solicited on both the technical and operational aspects of VHF, UHF and Microwave weak signal amateur radio. The deadline for the submission of papers and presentations for this year’s conference is March 7, 2020. Please indicate when you submit your paper or presentation if you plan to attend the conference and present your paper in person or if you are submitting solely for publication. Papers and presentations are being handled by Charles Osborne, K4CSO if you have any questions.

Please see http://svhfs.org/wp/conference/call-for-papers/ for complete details concerning papers and presentations.

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ARRL BoD Minutes

Minutes from the January ARRL Board of Directors meetings have been made available to the public. Details about the vote that ended the CEO position held by Howard Michel, WB2ITX are slim:

13. President Roderick opened the floor for nominations for Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Carlson nominated Dr. Michel. President Roderick stated that this would be a Yes/No vote. Ballots were distributed, collected and counted by the tellers with the following results: Yeas, 6; Nays, 9. Dr. Michel was not re-elected Chief Executive Officer.

The Board was on break from 9:40 – 9:59 AM with all returning as noted above except for Dr. Michel.

And then a short time later:

15. President Roderick opened the floor for a discussion preceding the motion to appoint an interim Chief Executive Officer. A debate ensued on whether the vote should occur today or tomorrow following a discussion of the details of the interim position. There was a conversation regarding what the title of the interim officer should be, and the Board agreed that the title shall be Interim Chief Executive Officer to comply with the By-Laws.

16. On the motion of Mr. Stratton, seconded by Mr. Norris, it was VOTED that:

Whereas, A vacancy exists in the office of Chief Executive Officer;

Whereas, The ARRL Board of Directors wishes to ensure continuous leadership for the ARRL during the period of its search for a new executive officer;

Whereas, Mr. Barry Shelley has previously served the ARRL with distinction in a capacity as Chief Financial Officer and interim Chief Executive Officer;

Whereas, Mr. Barry Shelley, N1VXY, has agreed to serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer during the period of the ARRL’s search for a new executive officer;

It is accordingly resolved:

(1) That the President of the ARRL is authorized, with the assistance of such staff and legal advisors as he deems necessary, to negotiate the terms of an employment contract with Mr. Barry Shelley to serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer of the ARRL for such terms as are reasonable;

(2) That the proposed contract with Mr. Barry Shelley be submitted to the Board of Directors for final approval prior to execution.

After discussion the motion was APPROVED.

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New AMSAT President

Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, Elected AMSAT President

At a special meeting held via teleconference, the AMSAT Board of Directors elected Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, President. Coleman previously served as a member of the Board of Directors from 2017-2019 and also served as AMSAT’s Secretary during this time. 

Read the entire AMSAT Bulletin here.

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Asides

SOTA Surprise

While activating Berrian Peak for Summits On The Air (SOTA) with MTR3 (5-watts CW to wire antenna 10′ up in a tree) Jose/EA5GV in Spain answers Steve, WG0AT.

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CSVHFS Conference

Greetings VHF+ Operators!

As this year’s Conference President, I, along with the Conference’s host team, cordially invite you to attend the 54th annual Central States VHF Society Conference, which is being held at the Radisson Hotel located on the beautiful riverfront of the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin on July 24th and 25th, 2020.

This year’s event will have all the great activities you’ve come to expect from a CSVHFS Conference: technical presentations, antenna range, noise figure lab, rover row and dish bowl, Thursday evening social activity, Friday evening trade-fest, dealer room, hospitality suite for evening socializing, fun family activities, and a closing banquet with a guest speaker and a prize table.

If you have never been to a CSVHFS conference before, you will find it a great event where you will learn many new things, meet new people, and connect with others you have talked to on-the-air. If you are new to VHF-and-above operating, you will want to be sure to attend the perennial favorite, VHF 101, an alternate track talk designed to get new VHFers successfully on the air. One thing we are certain of: if you attend the CSVHFS conference, you will go home reinvigorated about operating and experimenting on the bands above 50 MHz!

We are sending this letter out early in the new year so that you can make time in your busy summer schedule to attend. From past experience, most attendees arrive on Thursday (July 23rd) and depart on Sunday (July 26th). La Crosse, Wisconsin is easy to get to either by car or air. Interstate 90 passes directly through the city, and the La Crosse Airport (LSE) has direct connections with 3 major airports: Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), and Detroit (DTW). Hotel accommodations at the special conference rate will be available beginning around February 1st.

Registration for the conference will open around May 1st. Be sure to visit the conference website at http://2020.csvhfs.org/ for ongoing updates and further information. Please direct any questions you may have about the Conference to registration@csvhfs.org

We look forward to seeing you in La Crosse in late July!

73,

Bruce Richardson, W9FZ

CSVHFS President