Here is your New Years ARRL Tennessee Section Update:
Our Section Traffic Manager, Tom Wolfe K4CMY, is retiring on December 31. Tom has faithfully served the section for over 15 years and is taking a well-deserved rest. Harrell Davidson WD4LAR has been appointed to take over from Tom on January 1. Harrell has been serving as the Net Manager for the TN Phone Net for several years.
TN Section ARRL State Government Liaison Ingrid Klose KD4F is recovering from surgery. Ingrid has quite a bit of physical therapy in the days ahead before she’ll be walking again, so let’s keep her in our thoughts and prayers.
The Tennessee Section has lost a valued and well-loved member of the EMCOMM community. Elizabeth St. Vincent K4KTG succumbed to cancer on December 27. She was a member of the TEMA Com-U support team, a VE, and had served as an NCO for Williamson County ARES, MARS, and MTEARS. She leaves behind her husband, Michael KC6ZUS, sons, a granddaughter, and a large extended family. A public memorial will be announced at a later date.
A new and exciting year-long operating event honoring all ARRL volunteers and members begins January 1st. Volunteers On The Air (VOTA) allows you to earn points for contacting league volunteers, officials, and other ARRL members. VOTA is an easy event to participate in as all you have to do is load your contacts into Logbook Of The World (LOTW), which will automatically calculate your points daily. W1AW will be operating portable for 2 weeks in every state. W1AW is scheduled to operate in Tennessee in March and again in September. Section Cabinet members will be reaching out to clubs and ARES groups from across the state to schedule volunteers to operate as W1AW during the 2 week periods. Go to www.arrl.org/volunteers-on-the-air for the rules and a list of point values for contacts. More information about the W1AW activation in Tennessee will be in the upcoming issue of the state newsletter.
The ARRL has rolled out “NTS 2.0”, a program to create the next generation of the National Traffic System (NTS). One of the first items to come from this work group was the recognition that in many state-wide emergency situations, local 2-meter nets are a highly valuable asset that needs to be better integrated with the NTS. In keeping with this, our incoming Section Traffic Manager Harrell Davidson (WD4LAR) is encouraging local VHF nets to consider writing and practicing traffic handling for possible disasters here in the Volunteer State. “For instance, if we had off-grid problems like they had recently in North Carolina who lost power for several days, what part could amateur radio play to help our fellow man? Would your local community be served by amateur radio communicators?” Harrell is asking that any traffic originated on a local net be brought to the daily Tennessee Phone Net sessions for integration into the traffic system, and that Net Control Operators for local VHF nets consider holding exercises to introduce check-ins to traffic handling. Look for updates about our efforts to revitalize traffic handling in the Tennessee Section throughout 2023.
ARRL Straight Key Night is coming up January 1, 2023, from 0000 UTC to 2359 UTC. Many hams look forward to this annual CW event as one of the highlights of the year. SKN is not a contest, so there’s no need for quick exchanges. Get out that straight key or bug and join in the fun!
Two pieces of legislation have been introduced in the US House of Representatives that affect amateur radio. HR9670 would eliminate private land use restrictions that prohibit, restrict, or impair the ability of an amateur radio operator from operating or installing amateur station antennas on property subject to the control of the amateur operator. HR 9664 seeks to replace the FCC’s symbol rate limit for HF digital communications with a bandwidth limit. More information on this legislation can be found at www.arrl.org
Mark your calendars for the first ARRL sanctioned hamfests in 2023: MTARS Tullahoma Hamfest on March 11 and the Sevier County Amateur Radio Society Hamfest in Sevierville on March 18.
As 2022 ends I would like to thank everyone for their dedication and service to amateur radio through their support of the ARRL.
2023 will be celebrated by ARRL as “The Year of the Volunteer.” More information will be available throughout the year as the details are confirmed. However, the first adventure has been announced as a project called “Volunteers On The Air (VOTA).” Here we get ‘points’ for each contact made with another ARRL volunteer. So, if two ARRL members contact each other, they will each receive a point for that QSO. No special codes, sequence numbers, or section information needs to be passed. Make contact with a fellow ARRL member, and you each receive a point. Each of you must upload the contact to the Logbook of The World (LoTW), and your points are calculated when the QSO is matched. This could be an FT8 contact, a CW contact, a simplex 2M FM contact, an RTTY contact, or an SSB rag-chew.
To add more interest to the contest and help demonstrate the ARRL volunteers’ value, each level of volunteer activity has been assigned a point level, shown in the table below.
So, get your HF gear running, make sure your LoTW connection is working, and see you on the air!!!
VOTA Program Rules
I’m sure these rules will be extended or revised, so please return here to check for updates.
Contacts can be made on any band (except the WARC bands of 12M, 17M, and 30M).
Contacts can be made on any legal mode of operation.
You receive ‘points’ based on the volunteer level of the ARRL member you contact. Points range from 1 point for an ARRL member to 300 points for Rick Roderick K5UR. The point levels are listed below. (Your favorite Section Managers are worth 175 points.)
Each QSO will get only one point value. For example, someone who is a member, a life member, and an Assistant Section Manager will be worth the value of the highest role, 35 points for the ASM role.
Logbook of The World (LoTW)
All of the reporting for this VOTA effort will be handled automatically by the ARRL Logbook of The World (LoTD) QSO matching system. If you already log your QSOs from your favorite logging software and it uploads them to LoTW, you will automatically be enrolled in the project. Your QSOs will be verified normally, and the callsigns of the people you work will be searched to find the appropriate points (table shown below) that you receive for each QSO.
But, if you aren’t set up to use LoTW, now is the time to set it up. The LoTW quick-start page is a great place to start, and the “What is LoTW Document” explains the whole process. You must authenticate yourself with the system by receiving a postcard mailed to your FCC-registered address. You’ll run a program called TSQL that is used by your logging program, N3FJP, N1MM, DX Lab Suite, or something else to authenticate and upload to LoTW. You can start the setup process now, and you’ll be ready on January 1st! Or, hold your logs until you get LoTW set up, and you can upload them when you get it all sorted.
Volunteers Point Value Table
Note: These appointments are for current appointees unless otherwise noted. Eg: Assistant Director (AD) is only for the current Assistant Directors. Past office-holders and appointees are only eligible if the title listed includes the word “Past,” such as “Past Section Manager (PSM).”