delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 37 NUMBER 3

Ham Radio News

...because we don’t live in a vacuum.

Hamvention Online Flea Market and Inside Exhibit

Reservations Open

Online reservations for Hamvention® 2018 flea market and inside exhibit spaces are now available. Vendors who had spaces last year are being encouraged to log into their accounts to reserve them for this year's event. Online sales were delayed after it became apparent that an additional building would not be built before Hamvention, prompting scheduling and planning adjustments. The addition of Building 4 -- the former furniture store, which was not available last year, has made room for more indoor exhibits, however. Hamvention organizers said this week that both the flea market and inside exhibits committees have been responding to vendors as promptly as possible. Hamvention General Chairman Ron Cramer, KD8ENJ, asked vendors to be patient, once they have entered their information for 2018. "The staff is working to confirm requests as quickly as possible," Cramer said. "Additional e-mails or information requests will only slow the process." Inside exhibits Chairman Brian Markland, N8UDQ, said that any exhibitor who completes an online order for the same spaces by April 15 will be guaranteed those spaces. Vendors who were in tents during Hamvention 2017 will have the option of keeping tent space or entering the pool for the additional spots in Building 4. "Since we expect more people to want to move to the building than there are spaces, we determined that a lottery was the only fair way to assign those spaces," Markland said. Vendors staying in tents during 2018 will be moved inside in 2019, when the new building is available, he added. Because some vendors will be moving inside, and to address some issues that arose last year, layouts inside tents may change slightly; affected tent vendors will be contacted by the exhibits committee. Both Cramer and Markland urged vendors to read the 2018 inside exhibits and flea market rules and instructions before registering. Incomplete or incorrect applications only slow the process. Contact the flea market, exhibits or tickets committee, as appropriate. Sending e-mails elsewhere will only cause delays, Hamvention said. This will mark Hamvention's second year at its new location, the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio.

FT-818 not a hoax

There’s been some buzz in amateur radio circles recently about a new radio by Yaesu that’s supposed to replace the venerable FT-817. News of the FT-818 seems to have been first leaked by the QRPblog. The post noted, “What we know so far is that is covers 0.1 to 470MHz, it is still a superheterodyne receiver, comes with a BNC connector and it’s battery operated. Although the specs say “tri-band”, FCC reports coverage over 4 bands: 0.01-30MHz, 50-54MHz, 76- 154MHz and 420-470MHz.”   A photo of the new FT-818, cadged from the Ham Radio Outlet website. People were getting excited about this radio because the FT-817 has been in production a long time, and many of them were hoping that the new model would include some fancy new SDR technology. Unfortunately, that does not see to be the case. Ed, DD8LP, one of my colleagues on the ICQPodcast reports that this is instead “a minor update to replace obsolescent parts.” The update does include a few new features that do improve the radio. These include:   Increased power output 6W(SSB, CW, FM) 2.0W(AM Carrier) Improved frequency stability ±0.5 ppm : Built-in TCXO-9 Larger battery capacity : 9.6V/1,900mAh (SBR-32)   These radios are a lot more popular than I thought, and even though it’s only a product update, not an entire redesign, I’m sure that a lot of hams will be happy to see that this product line will be continued.  Apparently, they are the radio of choice for many SOTA activators, and many microwave enthusiasts use them with transverters when operating microwave frequencies. As a small, anecdotal example of how popular they are, we polled the panelists on the most recent episode of the ICQPodcast, and of the four of us, I was the only one that did not own an FT-817. It’s actually making me think twice about NOT owning one. What kind of fun am I missing by not having one? Ham Radio Outlet, and presumably other Yaesu dealers, are now accepting orders for the FT-818. HRO’s price is $850, and shipments are scheduled to begin in March. Perhaps I’ll pick one up or maybe look for the 817s that will undoubtedly be put on the market as some hams with an FT-817 purchase an FT-818. -- Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

ARRL Requests Expanded HF Privileges for

Technician Licensees

ARRL has asked the FCC to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and 15 meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. The FCC has not yet invited public comment on the proposals, which stem from recommendations put forth by the ARRL Board of Directors' Entry-Level License Committee, which explored various initiatives and gauged member opinions in 2016 and 2017. "This action will enhance the available license operating privileges in what has become the principal entry-level license class in the Amateur Service," ARRL said in its Petition. "It will attract more newcomers to Amateur Radio, it will result in increased retention of licensees who hold Technician Class licenses, and it will provide an improved incentive for entry-level licensees to increase technical self-training and pursue higher license class achievement and development of communications skills." Specifically, ARRL proposes to provide Technician licensees, present and future, with phone privileges at 3.900 to 4.000 MHz, 7.225 to 7.300 MHz, and 21.350 to 21.450 MHz, plus RTTY and digital privileges in current Technician allocations on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. The ARRL petition points out the explosion in popularity of various digital modes over the past 2 decades. Under the ARRL plan, the maximum HF power level for Technician operators would remain at 200 W PEP. The few remaining Novice licensees would gain no new privileges under the League's proposal. ARRL's petition points to the need for compelling incentives not only to become a radio amateur in the first place, but then to upgrade and further develop skills. Demographic and technological changes call for a "periodic rebalancing" between those two objectives, the League maintains. "There has not been such a rebalancing in many years," ARRL said in its petition. "It is time to do that now." The FCC has not assessed entry-level operating privileges since 2005. The Entry-Level License Committee offered very specific data- and survey-supported findings about growth in Amateur Radio and its place in the advanced technological demographic that includes individuals younger than 30. It received significant input from ARRL members via more than 8,000 survey responses. "The Committee's analysis noted that today, Amateur Radio exists among many more modes of communication than it did half a century ago, or even 20 years ago," ARRL said in its petition.   Overall net growth in the Amateur Service has remained sluggish at about 1% per year over the past few years. Now numbering some 378,000, Technician licensees comprise more than one-half of the US Amateur Radio population. ARRL said that after 17 years' experience with the current Technician license as the gateway to Amateur Radio, it's urgent to make it more attractive to newcomers, in part to improve upon science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education "that inescapably accompanies a healthy, growing Amateur Radio Service," ARRL asserted. ARRL said its proposal is critical to developing improved operating skills, increasing emergency communication participation, improving technical self-training, and boosting overall growth in the Amateur Service, which has remained nearly inert at about 1% per year. The Entry-Level License Committee determined that the current Technician class question pool already covers far more material than necessary for an entry-level exam to validate expanded privileges. ARRL told the FCC that it would continue to refine examination preparation and training materials aimed at STEM topics, increase outreach and recruitment, work with Amateur Radio clubs, and encourage educational institutions to utilize Amateur Radio in STEM and other experiential learning programs. "ARRL requests that the Commission become a partner in this effort to promote Amateur Radio as a public benefit by making the very nominal changes proposed herein in the Technician Class license operating privileges," the petition concluded. - ARRL Letter

Teachers and Ham Radio

Each summer, the ARRL offers an electronics training institute to school teachers.  Transportation, lodging, meals etc are all free, except for a $100 enrollment fee. This year there is a session in Dayton in July. No doubt most teachers are unaware of this opportunity. It would be great if DELARA could publicize this to all Delaware County teachers. The course is described here: What are your ideas on how we could do this? Bob W8ERD
© DELARA News, the official monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware, OH