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Updated August 22, 2023

ARRL to Increase Dues

July 23, 2023

   ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, announced that dues for all membership levels will increase effective January 1, 2024. The new basic membership will be $59.00 a year. Additionally, a subscription for printed versions of QST, and On the Air will cost $25.00 each. Members will continue to have online digital access to QST, On the Air, QEX and NCJ magazines as part of their membership.

   Effective July 21, 2023, ARRL will no longer accept Life Membership applications until the ARRL Board establishes a new rate. Meanwhile, current Life Members will need to opt in to continue to receive a printed edition of QRZ.

   Roderick said that the changes are necessary because the current dues structure can no longer sustain the costs. He pointed out that this was only the second increase in 22 years.

   A full rundown of the new rates are on the ARRL website,

Field Day Fun
Kevin Grantham, N5KRG, coached new ham Kim Walter, KI5ZOT, at the GOTA station.

   Area Amateur Radio operators and guests converged on the Farmers Branch Bob Phelps Fire Administration Building for ARRL’s annual Field Day June 24–25. Antennas and more antennas were the order of the weekend.

   MARS activities actually started on Friday with the assembly and raising of a 50-foot trailer-mounted tower courtesy Perry Schrag, N0PAS. 

 Tom Yenny’s (K5LOL) multi-band Mosely beam on a rotator was the big gun sharing space with a 6-meter Moxon and a 2 meter/70 cm vertical on top. An end-fed half wave (EFHW) wire was stretched from the tower to a handy tree across the parking lot. Ken Wendel, W5RPS, set up a satellite antenna array for his station. Finally, a little 2-meter stick on a magnetic mount found a home on a metal awning.

   Saturday began about 7:30 with setup in the air-conditioned training room. Tom Yenny brought his HF rig dedicated to phone work; Andy Smolenski, KI5YLX, and David Gilpin, K5GIL, were quite busy with FT8; James Jernigan, KG5WVL, had his station up and running. We had a Get-On-The-Air (GOTA) station on the EFHW wire and a 2-meter station dedicated to local communication and Winlink.

   We worked under the Club call KB5A as 3A (3 stations) in North Texas (NTX). Our essential bands were 6, 10, 15, 20 and 40 meters.

   Tom, K5LOL, got the “Most QSOs” award with 134 contacts, followed by Andy, KI5YLX, with 90 QSOs primarily on 10 meter FT8. The long-distance award went to Ron Reeves, NN5R, with a SSB QSO on 20m to Slovenia, a mere 5525 miles away. James, KG5WVL, was runner-up with a SSB QSO to Hawaii on 15m, 3792 miles away. As a group, we were only 4 states away from achieving “Worked All States” lacking only Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, and Delaware. We were 14 sections away from doing a clean sweep of all the ARRL sections.

   Ken, W5RPS, worked all day to get 3 satellite contacts but that was worth 103 points — the same as making 103 SSB contacts. The satellites were so busy it was hard to get a signal in. Ken had several hams sit down to work with him.

   The GOTA station saw new and future hams try their hands at the mic. They made 25 QSOs, and certificates were handed out. Dennis Allen’s (WA5LXS) grandson, Teller, made 11 contacts. Thanks go to Kevin Grantham, N5KRG, for being our “GOTA Coach.”

   We welcomed some special visitors as well. Farmers Branch Mayor Terry Lynne and Farmers Branch Emergency Management Coordinator Luke Parten, KI5WJM, dropped by. Being a new ham, Luke tried out the GOTA station and caught some contacts.

   Thanks go to our Chefs: Andy, KI5YLX, David, K5GIL, and Dale Hiatt, K5MAY, for the food. Thanks go to Liz Brown, K5EMB, for running our registration table and pulling Safety duty along with Andy Parcel, KE5KOF. Thanks to all who joined us and brought rigs, antennas, coax, and the myriad of things that it takes to pull off a successful Field Day operation. Finally special thanks to Field Day Marshal Ron Reeves, NN5R, for organizing the event. We’re looking forward to next year.

Field Day Box Score

The final tally for the MARS 2023 Field Day:

> 30 participants including Terry Lynne, the Mayor of Farmers Branch

> 9 sun-powered Contacts

> 3 satellite Contacts

> 25 GOTA Station Contacts

> 237 phone Contacts

> 133 digital Contacts

> 395 total Contacts

> Operation on all contest bands between 40m and 2m

> 46 out of 50 states contacted—almost Field Day WAS!

> 72 out of 86 ARRL sections contacted

> Perfect copy of the W1AW Field Day Bulletin

> Earned points in 14 out of 17 Bonus Point Categories

> 2451 Grand Total Points per our Field Day entry submitted to ARRL (but, it’s not a contest!).

Thanks to everyone who helped make this a successful Field Day.

—Ron Reeves, NN5R

It’s Dick’s Fault

   Dick Kinnett, K9VIE, is hereby charged with the crime of promoting and facilitating ham radio and I can prove it. Back in 1964, he was the Field Day Marshal for the Indianapolis Radio Club, W9JP.

   Founded in 1914, it is the oldest continuously meeting Amateur Radio Club in the United States, but I digress. For the 1964 Field Day they had 4 stations on 6m AM, 20m SSB and CW, 40 CW, and 75 SSB powered by two 2.5 KW generators. They set up in a cow pasture using 3 tents—one borrowed from the Wilbert Burial Vault Company (hmm, file that for future reference).

   They set up dipoles on the HF bands using trees and masts for support and hung a 6m halo antenna. Dick and his club racked up 852 contacts with 380 of those being on 75m SSB (yes, they worked overnight) and 115 being on 6m AM no less. They tracked sections worked using a 4-foot-wide piece of butcher paper. No computer logging or fancy digital modes for these guys.

Heathkit SB-100

   But being Field Day Marshal in 1964 is not his only crime. He had a mobile rig mounted over the hump in his car (probably a Heathkit SB-100) with a big whip antenna on the back bumper. 

The rig had 12 knobs, a round dial and a small meter—no color digital display—with tubes that lit up the interior at night and provided additional heat in the winter. He’d drive to church on Sunday and park in the same spot every week. After church, he’d sit in the parking lot and play with that radio (probably on 20m SSB). Voices came out of that box from who knows where and he would talk to them!

   Back in the 60s, Dick sparked a fire and fanned the flames of a young 4th grader who would one day get his ham license, park in his church parking lot, talk on his mobile 2m FM rig, and be another generation’s Field Day Marshal perpetuating the crime of promoting and facilitating ham radio. It’s Dick’s fault.

—Ron, NN5R, a grown-up 4th grader.

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