Categories
Asides

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!

Categories
Asides

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.

Categories
General

Scrambled Eggs

In the shack a couple hours before sunrise this morning. But with no antenna other than a wire in the attic it’s not like I’m trolling for DX on the low-bands. It’s 30F outside and though a snow/rain mix has been falling since midnight, there’s no real accumulation, the ground it too warm for it to stick. Before walking in here I put chicken in a pot in preparation for the noon meal, made a pot of coffee and stuffed the last of my Plum Pudding barrel aged tobacco in a sure-enough Mark Twain Missouri Meerschaum. Mornings like this are made for low-band DXing but I’ve settled on eavesdropping on a few friendlies on 75 meters while shaking off the cobwebs with the first cup.

type

Sometimes I wonder if Sunday mornings will still be this enjoyable after I retire?

I purchased tickets for the SWODXA DX Dinner (Hamvention) online last night. The hotel has already been booked so the plans are nearly complete. I’ll be at FDIM on Thursday and plan to spend Friday at Xenia then that evening I’ll be at the DX Dinner. I’d like to visit the Air Force Museum on Saturday, assuming its open then. I’ll be home late Saturday evening and that will end my 39th excursion to Dayton.

Best wishes for a speedy recover to Bob Bruninga, WB4APR who told the APRS world he will be out of action while doctors determine how to best treat the football-sized tumor in his gut.

Over the last month everyone around here has been sick, including yours truly. Some weird bug that has us coughing without end and feeling a little under the weather without fever. We had avoided the flu so far. Until this week when one of my daughter-in-laws went to a doctor who diagnosed her with Influenza Type B. It’s fairly late in this flu season so hopefully it will pass without much more difficulty. Our immune systems need to recharge given that the new coronavirus appears destined to span the globe. We’re overdue for pandemic, perhaps this will be that?

Having foolishly waded into the shallow end of the ARRL CEO controversy, I’ve become disillusioned with the response. Life is too short for ham radio politics. I’m an ARRL Life Member but I’m done with the organization. I’m not sure why the internal strife of a shrinking non-profit organization gathers such an interested, rowdy crowd but there’s plenty of dysfunction to pick at if you’re so inclined. I remember well the days when 73 magazine would arrive in the mail and Uncle Wayne’s monthly column would often take up a quarter of the magazine with complaints about the ARRL. I dismissed those as chumming the water to sell magazines but maybe he was on to something. One thing is certain, he’s grinning from ear-to-ear with this latest soap opera drama in Newington.

I’ve been engaged in a long conversation with a couple of radio friends about where we’re going with the hobby. These conversations almost always conclude with some minimalist definition of a simple, off-grid, low-power station, using wire antennas and CW only. More recently the discussion has warped a little to include publishing original content via AX.25 packet over HF. So not just off the power grid, but off the Internet too.

Yeah, I know, it’s foolish. Everyone knows ham radio can’t work without the Internet…

Categories
General

ARRL Stumbles

The practically new ARRL CEO has been shown the (revolving) door. According to the terse announcement from Newington:

At its meeting this weekend, the ARRL Board of Directors did not elect Howard Michel, WB2ITX, as the ARRL Chief Executive Officer. Beginning Monday, January 20, Barry Shelley, N1VXY, will become interim CEO. Mr. Shelley was ARRL’s Chief Financial Officer for 28 years and CEO during 2018 before his retirement. The board has created a search committee to select the next CEO. More details on this and other matters which took place at the board meeting will be released shortly.

http://www.arrl.org/news/barry-shelley-n1vxy-to-become-arrl-interim-ceo

This one will be difficult, if not impossible, for the ARRL to explain to members. If it was a personnel issue we will never hear it as those are not disclosed. If it was a lack of confidence by the BoD for the CEO’s bold new direction, then there’s so much uncomfortable explaining to do that no one at HQ will be likely to do that either.

It’s no secret that members have been generally impressed with the new direction proposed during Michel’s short tenure to grow the organization by enhancing member services. Apparently, he’s also been busy trying to mend rifts between the crusty old dudes (who members won’t stop electing) and newer Board members who have ascended out of growing member frustration.

Whatever the reason, and whether members ever hear the truth about it, this is a massive failure for ARRL. Particularly, for the Board of Directors who only recently were “shaken up” and mandated to “fix” the many problems facing a century-old organization that appears to be shrinking right in front of a great cloud of witnesses.