VE exam news…….

To All ARRL Members and ARRL VEC Accredited Volunteer Examiners

We know many examiners have canceled amateur radio license exam sessions to meet the requirements and recommendations of national and local government and of health officials. The health and safety of examinees and our Volunteer Examiners (VEs) is first and foremost in any decision-making process. The ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) does not offer video-supervised online amateur radio licensing exams at the present time. We are aware, however, that some VE teams are exploring alternative formats on a local basis. Please use ARRL’s License Exam Search to find scheduled exam sessions in your area and verify with the local exam team that the session is still being held.

The ARRL VEC is continuing to process license examination materials from VEs who have completed exam sessions, although some delays may occur under the circumstances. The ARRL VEC electronically forwards all required data to the FCC for qualified examinees.

We understand that some examination candidates are continuing their studies toward new amateur radio licenses and license upgrades. We also know some will be frustrated that, at this time, the ARRL VEC does not offer online licensing exams. Amateur radio is not alone in this challenge, though.

While each of us continues to respond to the immediate evolving crisis, we also know that we must keep an eye on the future. Throughout its decades of service, the VEC system has served the FCC as a shining example of the successes of a privatized system. The ARRL VEC and our VEs are recognized throughout the Amateur Radio Service for our integrity and efficiency. Adapting our all-volunteer license examination administration will be a challenge, but it’s a challenge we are committed to undertake in order to advance the program and improve service.

While we face unprecedented challenges, opportunities also await. We are grateful to support radio amateurs in our common pursuit of skill, service, and discovery. ARRL and the ARRL VEC remain steadfast in serving the amateur radio community. We will provide updates as they become available.

ARRL Field Day (An excerpt from the ARRL Letter April 2, 2020)

ARRL Field Day 2020 — A Time to Adapt

Many individuals and groups organizing events for ARRL Field Day 2020 have been contacting ARRL for guidance on how to adapt their planned activities in this unprecedented time of social distancing and uncertainty.

“Due to the unique situation presented this year, this can be an opportunity for you, your club, or your group to try something new,” ARRL Contest Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, said. “Field Day isn’t about doing things the same way year after year. Use this year to develop and employ a new approach that is in line with the current circumstances.”

Social distancing and state and local requirements very likely will impact just how — and even whether — you are able to participate in Field Day this year. ARRL continues monitoring the coronavirus situation, paying close attention to information and guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If social distancing means that Class A with a 30-member team set up in a city park won’t work this year, then it’s time for a Plan B. Part of the Field Day concept has always been adapting your operation to the situation at hand. At its heart, Field Day is an emergency communication demonstration. Field Day rules are flexible enough to allow individuals and groups to adjust their participation and strategies in a way that still addresses their needs while being fun. Some possibilities include:

  • Encouraging club members to operate from their home stations on emergency power (Class E).

  • Using the club’s repeater as a means for individual participants to keep in touch during the event.

  • Setting up a portable station in the backyard with a temporary antenna for family members interested in operating Field Day, who are now unable to participate as part of a larger group.

One big impact this year will be a decline in public visibility and any interaction with the visitors. Prudence may dictate dispensing with the ham radio PR table to attract passersby, should you set up in a more public location. It’s okay not to score all the bonus points you may have attempted in the past. Local and served agency officials may be unwilling to visit, which is understandable under the circumstances. Do be sure to reach out to them as part of your preparations and remind them that you look forward to continuing your working relationship with them in the future.

The impact will differ from place to place, so ARRL recommends that all amateur radio clubs participating in Field Day stay in regular contact with local or state public health officials for their advice and guidance on hosting Field Day activities.

“With any emergency preparedness exercise, it’s not about adapting the situation to your operation; it’s about adapting your operation to the situation that presents itself,” Bourque said. “Try something different.” Read more. — Thanks to Paul Bourque, N1SFE, and Dan Henderson, N1ND

More events cancelled.

Follow up from yesterday’s email…………

More events are cancelled!
More iconic Northwestern Division event dominoes are falling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I received notification yesterday afternoon that both the Pacific Northwest DX Convention, originally scheduled for August 7th-9th, and the Stanwood-Camano ARC Hamfest, in Stanwood, Washington, originally scheduled for May 9th, have both been canceled for this year.

The Pacific Northwest DX Convention is scheduled to be hosted again by he Willamette Valley DX Club in Portland, Oregon in August 2021. The event normally rotates between 4 different host DX groups, and the 2021 event was originally to be hosted by the Idaho DX Association, in conjunction with the Spokane DX Club. They will now host the event in 2022.

SEA PAC Cancelled

From an email sent out today……..

I received the following notice regarding the cancellation of Sea-Pac 2020, (which also hosts our yearly ARRL Northwestern Division Convention). While disappointing and painful, it’s certainly the right thing to do.

At this point in time the Pacific NW DX Convention scheduled for August is still going on as planned. That said, stay tuned for further developments.

I’ve received many requests for club Zoom meetings in the last few weeks, so I’m certain most clubs are properly “social distancing” themselves. Social distancing is vitally important in keeping the virus in check, especially when so many amateurs fit the most vulnerable demographic. Let’s all hope that this virus pandemic blows over quickly and we can get our lives back to normal!

Finally, there have been many questions brought to me by members as to the status of the ARRL Volunteer Examiner program, and also questions as to how the upcoming ARRL Field Day event will be affected. I’ll deal more with these questions in my next update, as I have a teleconference with other members of the Board’s Programs and Services committee scheduled later this week.

The staff at ARRL HQ are adjusting to the “new normal” of working mostly from home, (as are we all), so please be patient when attempting to contact them regarding any issues.

73, and please stay safe!

Mike Ritz, W7VO
Director, ARRL Northwestern Division

 


 

SEA-PAC 2020 Cancellation Notice

For some time the SEA-PAC Executive Committee has monitored the
COVID-19 pandemic working closely with our local health, public and
government partners in assessing this unprecedented situation.

With approximately 60 days until the event, the Executive Committee has
made the decision to cancel the SEA-PAC convention for 2020. Convention
fees paid will be refunded.

This conclusion is based on the deadly seriousness of the virus, the
rate of expansion, and the recovery time after the crisis apex is
achieved. But more importantly, it is based on the genuine concern for
the health and safety of the attendees, vendors and presenters.

Details regarding this cancellation will be posted at www.seapac.org.

Thank you for your understanding and we are looking forward to the next
SEA-PAC on 4, 5, and 6 June 2021.

Gary J Takis K7GJT

SEA-PAC 2020 Chairman

No Snow at the Peak

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The snow has melted but our backup antenna has broken (circled in blue), most likely cause is falling ice from the tower

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