Section Manager’s Newletter – October 2018

GM (Good Morning in CW) from Fryeburg, ME!
Judy and I spent the last weekend in Newington, CT, where I attended the annual meeting held for new Section Managers. The participants ranged from two from CA to my friend Nancy, KG0YL, from ND, to MI to NNJ. It truly was an eclectic group that worked well together. Steve, WV1X, was our gracious host who took great care of us! We met all the staff
leaders, who briefed us on their areas of responsibilities, along with many others, starting with the new ARRL CEO Howard Mickel, WB2ITX, and outgoing (as of this past Monday) CEO Barry Shelley, N1VXY.
Rest assured, from Howard on down the ARRL is focused on ensuring the Amateur Radio Service’s and the ARRL’s viability, including serving each of you well. I encourage you to make visiting HQ an important item on your bucket list. This was my second trip there, as I was fortunate to visit during the centennial in 2014. I got to operate W1AW again,
handing out dozens of QSOs in a pileup on 20m and more on 40m for the PA QSO Party.
We’re preparing to leave for home tomorrow, just in time for this weekend’s NM Section Convention at the Socorro Hamfest this coming weekend. While it’s too late to get a Friday-night banquet ticket, you can still rent tables and register at This is our state’s Convention, which includes the annual ARES and ARRL forums. I’ll host the latter, where my focus will be answering your questions. I hope to see you there! For those in and around Albuquerque, the High Desert
ARC will host the Veteran’s Day Tailgate in the Intel parking lot on 10 Nov. See you there too?
The Duke City Hamfest/Rocky Mountain Division Convention was a success by all accounts. Our new venue was well-received, we had many compliments about the extensive presentation list, the food and service were exceptionally good, and the initial accounting indicates we made a
small profit. The Board will meet next month to review all the details since many of us had put off necessary travel until after the event. We already have improvement ideas for 2019. Submit yours at
I enjoyed meeting many of you while I ran from one event to the next. We had nearly 50 participants attend the secret Wouff Hong (best when heard aloud) ceremony, which included celebrity guests Mike Corey, KI1U, from HQ ARRL, and Katie Allen, WY7YL, RMD Director Dwayne’s, WY7FD’s, wife. I hope you had fun, learned something new, and found a treasure to take home. About one-third of attendees came from out-of-State leaving approximately 400 from NM.
That number is less than one-third of NM ARRL members and represents 6 percent of the total number of active amateur licenses in NM, less than 1 in 20. Many attendees hoped for more manufacturers and vendors to be in the large hall. Sadly, they won’t be there unless more of you shown up!
I assert the low participation rate at the biggest convention in NM is mostly due to low participation rate in ham radio overall, in club membership, and membership in the ARRL. Each of us has a role to play in turning those low rates around.
The ARRL Strategic Plan includes the following: Get active. Get involved. Get on-the-air. I have heard, sometimes from longtime friends, that Amateur Radio is dying. Nothing could be further from the truth! CW operating is on-the-rise! WSJT-X as implemented in FT-8 has taken over the lion’s share of HF activity! Some clubs meet every week each month for project nights and learning nights! If you believe
there is nothing left to do or learn in the Amateur Radio Service (ARS), you and Rip Van Winkle need to shake off the cobwebs and open QST, visit eHam, or join one of the e-mail lists, blogs, etc., that describe the activity the rest of us are enjoying!
For example, our NM W6H operation for Route 66 On-the-Air last month made nearly 4,300 contacts despite a geomagnetic storm and the poor HF propagation. We would have made even more if more “chasers” had show up to work us! It seems many didn’t bother since everybody knows
hour poor HF conditions are. Yes, they aren’t great, but there are still many HF contacts to be made and even some DX to work including Chad, an all-time new one (ATNO) for me last week, along with new band-slots for Rwanda. And those with just a dipole at 35 feet!
For those of us who are active in the ARS, we need to do a better job of sharing that activity with others. I gave a presentation on mentoring (Elmering for us long-licensed hams) at the DCHF. Sadly, the tradition of helping others to become active, to become involved, to get them on the air has waned. I hope, over the next year, we can turn that trend around. I’d be happy to give that presentation at one of your club’s meetings.
I have already visited over half a dozen club meetings and hamfests since taking over the SM role in July. Please add my e-mail address to your newsletter mailing list. I look forward to invitations from the other clubs across NM, so I can explain my role in the ARRL and help provide
some motivation to get hams in NM active, involved, and on the air. Let me know your thoughts in Socorro or write me at The term “amateur” comes from the Latin “Amare” which means “to love.” A common saying used in business is: “Learn it. Love it. Live it.”
Let’s apply that in the hobby (and Service) we love!
73, Bill, K8TE
ARRL New Mexico Section
Section Manager: Bill Mader, K8TE
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Two new licensees and an upgrade

From the Department of New Hams and Upgrades, congratulations to Ellis Fish of Los Lunas for earning his Tech license, to Scott Rankin of Fence Lake for earning his Tech ticket, and to Scott Weltin (WA1FTI) of Albuquerque for upgrading to Extra Class. Testing came courtesy of the W5YI VE Squad ND the Valencia County Amateur Radio Association.

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Section Manager’s Newsletter – September 2018

GA from Albuquerque and the ARRL/TAPR DCC (Digital Communications Conference).  The has been great thus far!  I’m looking forward to this afternoon’s and tomorrow’s presentations.  I had the opportunity two weekends ago to visit the Alamogordo Hamfest when I got to meet some of you.  That was a fun event even though I didn’t find any treasures to bring home.  Thanks to Rick, KB7SQF, and his team for their hospitality.

Next Thursday evening, I and others will be setting up for the Duke City Hamfest/Rocky Mountain Division Convention at the Isleta Pueblo Convention Center.  We’ve sold all the hotel rooms and meals for which
we contracted which is a financial relief.  I won’t repeat all the information here; it’s  available at the event web site:

You can still make the early registration deadline (18 Sep) so go there and sign-up now, if you
haven’t already.

Four weeks after the convention at Isleta,  I will host the annual NM Section forum at the ARRL Section Convention at the Socorro Hamfest (Oct. 19-20).  You can register for it at:

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Section Manager’s Newsletter – August 2018

While time is short, you can still plan to attend the Alamogordo Hamfest this coming Saturday.  You can find all the details at:  I look forward to seeing many of you from Southern NM there!

I’m am writing this edition from the 2018 Homeland Security and Emergency Management Conference.  I’ve already met a couple of other hams attending the event. I mention this because the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) has significant changes pending in its Strategic Plan.  Our Section Emergency Coordinator, Jay, W5WHN, and I are reviewing the plan, which is available at:  Your comments are important to us!  Please send your comments to us no later than Sept. 30.  Thanks!

Don’t forget to register for the Duke City Hamfest and ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Convention at:  This event will have everything you expect from a first class amateur-radio convention. This event runs Sept. 21-23.  I’ll be there, too, and look forward to meeting many of you.

On Oct. 18-19, the Socorro Hamfest will host the ARRL NM Convention.  The event details are found at:  This will be a busy weekend starting with a tour of the Very Large Array and an evening banquet with a full day Saturday.  BCNU!

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Harvey Houses on the Air

Back in the day, when my family took road trips throughout the Southwest and traveled Route 66, likely as not we’d either eat or stay at a Harvey House when we hit major stops. Founded by Fred Harvey in 1876, his restaurants at stations along the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe rail system would blossom into a network of 84 hotels and restaurants.

On Sept. 8, from 1500 to 2300 UTC, the Valencia County Amateur Radio Association will be hosting its annual Harvey Houses on the Air event, with the anchor station operating at the Harvey House Museum in Belen, NM. On First Street. right by the railroad tracks. Where else?

For this event, you can be an activator as well as a chaser. The organizers invite ham-radio operators who have former Harvey House sites near them to activate them. You can find details on the event and what you’ll need to do to activate a site at the event’s website:

Now, please pass the sugar…

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Chasing Route 66 on the Air

Back in the day, when my family took road trips throughout the Southwest, Route 66 got you there. Next month, the Cirtrus Belt Amateur Radio Club kicks off its event: Route 66 On The Air 2018.

Twenty-two club stations in communities along the historic route’s 2,448-mile stretch from the Santa Monica pier in CA, to Chicago, IL, as well as two roving stations, will operate using the calls W6A-U. The event runs from Sept. 8-16. The rest of us are chasers. For details on the event, see:

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A new Tech and an upgrade to General

Congratulations to a new ham and to a ham who upgraded, courtesy of their own hard work and the testing prowess of the Valencia County ARA Volunteer Examiner team (W5YI).

The newcomer? Kevin Welander of Los Lunas, who earned his Tech license (call TBA). Elmers, start your engines!

And Cynthia Wimberly, KL7FQR, of Belen upgraded to a General ticket.

Well done!

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In Socorro, kudos to a special-event crew

Shared with permission: From Dave Finley, N1IRZ, net control, Socorro Chile Harvest Triathlon 2018, Aug. 3-4:

Thank you all for your support of this weekend’s Triathlons. We had another highly successful event, with excellent participation in both the Youth and the Adult races. I received thanks from many of the participants, and I presume some of you did, too. As has always been the case in the 23 years of Socorro’s triathlon, our amateur-radio support is greatly appreciated by both the participants and the organizers.

Stacy Timmons, this year’s race director, was performing that role for the first time. At the end of the race, she told me, “I don’t know how anyone could do this job without you guys.” The USA Triathlon official working this race told her at the end that “you guys did a great job.” He was very enthusiastic about how well-run the Socorro event was, and that is high praise from someone who has officiated countless triathlons over many years. I consider the situational awareness that we provide to the race director to be a valuable part of keeping things on track during the race.

Our volunteer service for this highly-visible community event definitely shows the value of amateur radio to our friends and neighbors as well as to the larger audience of participants from around New Mexico and surrounding states.

Thanks again for a job well done!

Doug May, KF5AVG
Eric Stargardt, KF5RCN
Henry Newton, KC5WYA
Bear Albrecht, W5VZB
Jim Lommen, KC7QY
Martin Pokorny, KB7YRK
Ananda Pravinkumar, AB9XC
Jim Jackson, KE5LEI
Jon Spargo, KC5NTW

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NM QSO Party Results Are In!

How did you do during the New Mexico QSO Party back in April? The results are up!
Among the highlights:

  • New Mexico Big River Contesters romped in the Club category, garnering 387,572 points.
  • Among clubs, the Albuquerque DX Association activated the most counties (13).
  • AA5B let the pack among single-op stations with 226,348 points.
  • Mesilla Valley Radio Club (N5BL) led the multi-op category with 45,696 points.
  • K8TE captured the top spot in the single-op mobile category with 131,272 points.
  • NA5M took first place in the QRP category with 3,420 points.

Check out the full results at

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Initial newsletter from NM’s New Section Manager

By Bill Mader, K8TE

For those of you who follow ARRL news, you already know I have been selected to replace my predecessor, Ed James, KA8JMW, as your new Section Manager. I am glad for the opportunity to serve, offering back to the Amateur Radio Service and the ARRL that have given me so much over the last 58 years.

Before going further, I want to thank my friend Ed for his service! He went beyond his two-year term to give us an extra six months through the end of June. It is my honor to serve in his place and those who served before him. I am friends with Bill, W5YEJ, and Don, W5FHA, and knew Joe, W5PDY. It won’t be easy to live up to the standard each of them set.

My primary roles are to represent the ARRL to you and to serve you as your representative to the ARRL. While written last, I view my service to you as first. Continue reading

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