Delta Division survey provides insight into clubs

In a LinkedIn discussion about grant writing for amateur radio clubs, I learned about a membership survey done by the ARRL’s Delta Division. There’s a big section on clubs and club activities. Here are a few bullet points from the executive summary:

  • Clubs and the experiences that League members have in them constitute important elements shaping both amateur’s behavior and assessments of membership. Almost two-thirds (65%) say they are a member of at least one local club. The median distance to their nearest club is 9 miles, irregardless of their membership status. By comparison, the average commute to work in the US is almost one hour. Comparing ARRL Affiliated Club locations with those of the survey respondents using GIS methods, the objective distance to a club does not appear to have an important relationship to membership even though it was the second highest reason given for non-membership.
  • What does affect membership appears to be the availability of time to participate and the quality of club leadership. Life cycle demands involving work and family obligations are tied to age and marital/parental status. These periods reduce the potential for many to seek membership in clubs. Leadership which allows or even fosters a hostile political environment and which does not plan and conduct interesting educational activities sponsored by the club are the most reported signs of poorly-evaluated leadership in the Delta Division.
  • Club leadership is rated very positively by many Division club members. There appears to be a segment of clubs, however, who have lost members due to poor leadership and perhaps a lack of leadership training for succession in club leadership roles. 

For the full report, go to http://www.arrldelta.org/2013final.pdf.

From my Twitter feed: club resources

arrl's avatarARRL @arrl
ARRL Atlantic Division Adds Resources to Aid Amateur Radio Clubs: The ARRL Atlantic Division leadership has cr… bit.ly/1gB2ptw

Atlantic Division director Bill Edgar, N3LLR, is truly one of the directors that knows what he’s doing.

 

qrparci's avatarQRP ARCI @qrparci
The Rockmite is back ! A HF transceiver with built in keyer for $40 – qrpme.com/pages/RM%20][.… #hamr #hamradio #qrp

The Rockmite is a classic. If you haven’t built any kits lately, consider picking up one of these and doing so.

 

AlanAtTek's avatar

Alan Wolke W2AEW @AlanAtTek
Lots of folks liked my “how to test BJTs” video, and asked for a similar one on MOSFETs. Here it is: youtube.com/watch?v=gloikp…Another great W2AEW video. I don’t know how he has time to do these, but they’re certainly worth watching.

ARRL membership: Is 25% asking too much?

ARRLIn the March 2014 issue of QST, Harold Kramer, WJ1B makes a big deal of the fact that ARRL membership is now up to 162,200 members and growing at a rate of about 1% per year. After patting the ARRL on the back about this, WJ1B launches into a discussion of the different programs that WJ1B feels have contributed to the membership growth.

Let’s take another look at the numbers, though. As the editorial points out, 10,300 ARRL members are international members, meaning that there 151,900 U.S. hams are ARRL members. Another article in the March issue, “New Licenses,” notes that the total number of licensed radio amateurs at the end of 2013 was 717,201. If you do the math, you’ll find that only slightly more than one in five hams are ARRL members. I personally don’t think that’s so hot, and it’s certainly not worthy of all the self-congratulation going on in this editorial.

The licensing article also points out that “the amateur radio population in the US grew by slightly more than 1 percent last year.” That being the case, ARRL membership has grown at about the same rate. If all the programs noted in WJ1B’s editorial were so effective, wouldn’t you expect membership growth to be at least 2%?

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. I think the ARRL should set a goal to enroll at least 25% of licensed radio amateur as members. It seems to me that any group calling itself “the national organization for amateur radio” should have at least one in four amateur radio operators as part of their membership. I think it says something that the membership rate is so low.

What do you think? Am I right or is reaching 25% asking too much?

2014 Tech study guide index

I’ve now update all of the sections for the 2014 version of the No-Nonsense Technician Class License Study Guide. Here’s an index to all of the sections:

From my Twitter feed: Antique wireless, Nuclear Summit special event

K7AGE's avatar @K7AGE
AWA GATEWAY available #hamradio antiquewireless.org/uploads/1/6/1/… pic.twitter.com/NoI7dkksmW

DIYEngineering's avatarDIY Engineering @DIYEngineering
Call for Hams and Hackers: Welcome ICE/ISEE-3 Home – ISEE-3, one of America’s most dedicated space exploration … ow.ly/2DSJMz

PD0MV's avatarPD0MV@PD0MV
#PD6NUKE – For All Ham Operators world wide pic.twitter.com/tmHZDuCQAOStory image

More QSLs: K7TAN, W8UM

K7TAN is my first “TAN” card.

k7tan-qsl

This isn’t a QSL from a station whose callsign spells a word, but I like it because it’s from W8UM, the amateur radio station at the University of Michigan, here in Ann Arbor. As you can see, they celebrated their 100th anniversary last year. At the bottom of the card is all of the station callsigns that they’ve had over the years.

w8um-qsl

2014 Tech study guide: ID, repeaters, club stations

Proper station identification is also very important. The basic rule is that an amateur station is required to transmit its assigned call sign at least every 10 minutes during and at the end of a communication. (T1F03) The only time an amateur station may transmit without identifying is when transmitting signals to control a model craft. (T1D11)

The English language is the only acceptable language for use for station identification when operating in a phone sub-band. (T1F04) Sending the call sign using CW or phone emission is the required method of call sign identification for a station transmitting phone signals. (T1F05)

For some types of operations, using a tactical call is allowed. A tactical call describes the function of the station or the location of a station. For example, a tactical call is the type of identification being used when identifying a station on the air as “Race
Headquarters.” (T1F01) When using tactical identifiers such as “Race Headquarters” during a community service net operation, your station must transmit the station’s FCC-assigned call sign at the end of each communication and every ten minutes during a communication. (T1F02)

When operating mobile or portable, or when you wish to note something about your station, you may use a self-assigned call sign indicator, such as “/3,” “mobile,” or “QRP.” All of these choices are correct when choosing formats for self-assigned indicators that are acceptable when identifying using a phone transmission. (T1F06)

  • KL7CC stroke W3
  • KL7CC slant W3
  • KL7CC slash W3

Indicators required by the FCC to be transmitted after a station call sign include /KT, /AE or /AG when using new license privileges earned by CSCE while waiting for an upgrade to a previously issued license to appear in the FCC license database. (T1F08)

Third-party communications are communications on behalf of someone who is not the station licensee. For example, if you have a friend over to your house and let him or her talk on your radio, that is a third-party communication.

These are entirely legal within the United States, but there are some restrictions when you are in contact with an amateur station in a foreign country. The FCC rules authorize the transmission of non-emergency, third party communications to any station whose government permits such communications.(T1F11) A non-licensed person is allowed to speak to a foreign station using a station under the control of a Technician Class control operator only if  the foreign station is one with which the U.S. has a third party agreement. (T1F07)

Finally—and I do mean finally—the station licensee must make the station and its records available for FCC inspection any time upon request by an FCC representative. (T1F13) They’re not going to knock on your door at 3 a.m. some morning to take a look at your shack, but one of your obligations as a licensee is to make your station and your records available when requested to do so.

2014 Tech study guide: control operator and control type

An important concept in amateur radio is the control operator. Only a person for whom an amateur operator/primary station license grant appears in the FCC database or who is authorized for alien reciprocal operation is eligible to be the control operator of an amateur station. (T1E02) The FCC presumes the station licensee to be the control operator of an amateur station, unless documentation to the contrary is in the station records. (T1E11)

An amateur station is never permitted to transmit without a control operator. (T1E01) The station licensee must designate the station control operator. (T1E03) When the control operator is not the station licensee, the control operator and the station licensee are equally responsible for the proper operation of the station. (T1E07) The control operator of the originating station is accountable should a repeater inadvertently retransmit communications that violate the FCC rules. (T1F10)

The class of operator license held by the control operator determines the transmitting privileges of an amateur station. (T1E04) At no time, under normal circumstances, may a Technician Class licensee be the control operator of a station operating in an exclusive Extra Class operator segment of the amateur bands. (T1E12)

Two related concepts are the control type and control point. An amateur station control point is the location at which the control operator function is performed. (T1E05)

Local control is the type of control being used when transmitting using a handheld radio. (T1E09) Operating the station over the Internet is an example of remote control as defined in Part 97. (T1E10) Repeater operation is an example of automatic control. (T1E08) APRS network digipeaters operate under automatic control. (T1E06)

From my Twitter feed: weather radio, drones, DMR

TAUTIC's avatarJayson Tautic @TAUTIC
Really cool project! “@chasxmd: Project: Si4707 Weather Radio wp.me/p3oePO-7Q

 

XE2K's avatarJ.Héctor García XE2K @XE2K
After so many Drones in the news, Why not an 160m Vertical wire array supported by Drones ? can be the future?

 

VA3XPR's avatarVA3XPR Repeater @VA3XPR
Teach your local radio club all about Digital Mobile Radio at their next mtg. #hamr #hamradio ow.ly/tkdCb pic.twitter.com/v2cDxOoYdz

2014 Tech study guide: authorized and prohibited transmissions

As a licensed radio amateur, it’s important to know what you can and can’t do on the air. For example, any language that is considered obscene or indecent is prohibited. (T1D06). For the most part, transmitting music is also prohibited. The only time an amateur station is authorized to transmit music is when incidental to an authorized retransmission of manned spacecraft communications (T1D04).

Transmitting any codes whose specifications are not published or well-known is prohibited. The transmission of codes or ciphers that hide the meaning of a message transmitted by an amateur station is allowed only when transmitting control commands to space stations or radio control craft (T1D03).

Amateur radio operators are only allowed to communicate with other amateur radio stations, except in specific instances. For example, in an emergency, you are allowed to communicate with stations in other radio services. Another example is during the special event called Armed Forces Day Communications Test. An FCC-licensed amateur station may exchange messages with a U.S. military station during an Armed Forces Day Communications Test (T1D02).

FCC-licensed amateur stations are prohibited from exchanging communications with any country whose administration has notified the ITU that it objects to such communications. (T1D01) Currently, there are no countries that U.S. amateurs are prohibited from contacting.

Amateur radio operators may not use their stations to make money, except in some very special circumstances. For example, the control operator of an amateur station may receive compensation for operating the station only when the communication is incidental to classroom instruction at an educational institution (T1D08). Amateur radio operators may use their stations to notify other amateurs of the availability of equipment for sale or trade, but only when the equipment is normally used in an amateur station and such activity is not conducted on a regular basis (T1D05).

All amateur communications must be station to station. That is to say, amateur radio operators may not broadcast. The term broadcasting in the FCC rules for the amateur services means transmissions intended for reception by the general public (T1D10). Only when transmitting code practice, information bulletins, or transmissions necessary to provide emergency communications may an amateur radio station engage in broadcasting. (T1D12)

Amateur stations are authorized to transmit signals related to broadcasting, program production, or news gathering, assuming no other means is available, only where such communications directly relate to the immediate safety of human life or protection of property. (T1D09).

So, what is allowed? Communications incidental to the purposes of the amateur service and remarks of a personal character are the types of international communications that are permitted by an FCC-licensed amateur station (T1C03).