As I sit here I am working FT8 on 160 meters. It's a great mode to kill time and get some DX, states or new friends in the log. But this mode is not without controversy. Let's explore some of the controversies and see what can, and should be done. Or not.
What's the big deal about FT8 anyway?
If you haven't heard of the mode, I am thinking that maybe your radio isn't working or you haven't tuned up into the digital portion of the HF bands lately. So, briefly - FT8 is a digital "sound card" mode jointly developed by two really smart people - Joe Taylor, K1JT and Steve Franke, K9AN. It's not a rag chew mode. Instead, it provides basic QSOs exchanging grid squares and signal reports. One can optionally send a short message (13 characters) but the mode really isn't for this. FT8 was born out of other similar modes such as JT65 and JT9, which were also short QSO modes, developed for weak signal work. In fact, Joe initially developed the JT65 mode f…
Friday, November 16 I received the phone call from ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR. It was to inform me that I was elected as the new ARRL Division Director for the Hudson Division. My term begins on January 1, 2019 at 12 noon. You can see the results and vote tallies here.
Of the five challengers, only one lost their election, namely Valerie Hotzfeld, NV9L. I was saddened by this because I felt she had a lot of value to offer.
But I'm still happy that four challengers won, because let's face it - many are of the opinion that ARRL needs some serious change, and a shakeup of this magnitude will facilitate exactly that.
I did reach out to my opponent, Mike Lisenco, N2YBB. I left him a voicemail on his cellphone, with no reply. I still would like to thank him for his past 6 years of service. He did some good things during his tenure evven though we disagreed on some other issues.
I am of the firm belief that Amateur Radio wins. In my opinion, we now have the ability to enact f…
The CEO choice has been a controversial topic among board governance matters. The last CEO who resigned (and blamed the tax law) had numerous issues, which we will touch on in a bit. I can therefore understand the apprehension of watchful ARRL members who want to ensure that we get a CEO who not only is a good CEO but is also a good steward of the ARRL, and who is also invested in Amateur Radio.
Note that when I mean "invested in Amateur Radio" I do not mean that someone has to have several hundred thousand dollars in ham equipment and an antenna farm to rival K3LR. What I do mean is that I personally want someone who knows the hobby, its participants and is at least somewhat active. This way she/he knows the issues on the ground and can relate to member concerns. Two examples come to mind - GM and the USPS. Both of these have CEOs who worked in the lower levels of the organization and who know how it runs. They therefore know what the effect of their decisions made. That is…