Category Archives: ARRL


ARRL January Board Meeting, “On The Air” magazine

The January Board of Directors meeting minutes have been published.  I
think its important to bring you up to date on some important matters.
Let’s start with some good news…

Our former Dakota Division Directors and Vice Directors retired at the
end of the January board meeting from their First Vice President
positions.  Both were elected Honorary Vice Presidents.  Both have
ongoing active roles in amateur radio near and far.

Jay Bellows, KØQB, served 22 years on the board and continues to serve
as International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 (The Americas)

Greg Widin, KØGW, served 12 years on the board and continues to serve
as Chairman of the Logbook Of The World Committee (LOTW).

I’m very fortunate to have two (and for a while three) mentors, sitting
in the board room me, for the past four years.  Jay and Greg, along with
former Director Kent Olson, KAØLDG, introduced me to my fellow
directors and the staff at ARRL HQ.  They also brought me up to speed on
prior board actions and provided historical context regarding issues
being discussed by either the ARRL or IARU.  Having four leaders from
the Dakota Division, in the board room, at the same time, has been an
experience I’ll never forget.  Thanks gents and thank you Vice Director
Lynn Nelson for continuing to serve the Dakota Division with me.

The Board of Directors held officer elections at the January board
meeting.  I think its important the members know the results of these
elections which are conducted by secret ballot.  Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Howard Michel was not re-elected.  6 directors voted “yes” and 9
directors voted “no” to re-elect CEO Michel.

I voted to retain Dr. Michel because I thought he was making
improvements in day-to-day operations of our non-profit organization
that has about 80 employees and about a 15 million dollar annual
operating budget.  I judge the CEO on their merits of running a
non-profit organization not their CW sending speed, number of DXCC
entities verified or their contest scores.

My fellow board members have a considerable challenge to find our 3rd
CEO in as many years.  A search committee has been formed to hire a new
CEO with experience running a non-profit organization, managing a large
staff, enthusiasm for amateur radio, doesn’t mind New England weather
and possibly paying higher state income taxes than they have experienced
in their home state.

Two other officer elections had two candidates each:

Incumbent President Rick Roderick, K5UR, received 8 votes.  Challenger,
Pacific Division Director, Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, received 7 votes.

New International Affairs Vice President Rod Stafford, W6ROD, received
13 votes to challenger Bruce Frahm, K0BJ, 2 votes.

Elected Without Contest:
First Vice President Michael Raisbeck, K1TWF
Second Vice President Bob Vallio, W6RGG
Interim CEO and Secretary Barry Shelley, N1VXY
Treasurer Rick Niswander, K7GM
Chief Financial Officer Diane Middleton, W2DLM

The link to the full meeting minutes are posted at

Committee reports are posted at

I’ll serve as the Program and Services Committee Chair in 2020.

Work on Capitol Hill continues. The legislative advocacy committee is
working with elected leaders, and their office staff, to create new
legislation to provide reasonable accommodation of Amateur Radio
antennas.  With the impeachment proceedings behind us, I think
Washington D.C.’s focus will turn to November elections.  This means the
process of crafting a bill, finding a sponsor and cosponsors and getting
a House committee to review the bill will likely take all year and drift
in 2021.

I ask each member to review the proposed HF band plan that I mentioned
in my last bulletin to members.  Digital mode operation has become very
popular and many days digital contacts make up the majority of QSOs
uploaded to Logbook Of The World (LOTW).  A committee was formed to
consider the needs and wants of CW, digital and phone operators when
drawing up this plan.  Also considered in the process were IARU regional
band plans.  Please file your comments, online, at by February 19th.

Have you checked out the new ARRL magazine?  “On The Air,” will be
published every other month and available to all members online.  If
you’re new to amateur radio or don’t feel QST has articles that most
interest you, please give “On The Air” a read.  When you renew your
membership you can elect to receive QST or “On The Air” by mail.
Remember both magazines are available to members, online, as a member

The 2020 hamfest season is upon us.  Check out the Division calendar at for an event near you.

ARRL Dakota Division
Director: Matt Holden, K0BBC


FCC Invites Comments on 5.9 GHz

The FCC has invited comments on a Notice of Proposed Rule Making
(NPRM) in WT Docket 19-138, which said the FCC would take ”a fresh
and comprehensive look” at the rules for the 5.9 GHz band. The FCC
proposes to make 5.850 – 5.895 GHz available for unlicensed
operations and to authorize transportation-related communication
technologies to use 5.895 – 5.925 GHz.

WT Docket 19-138 files can be found online in PDF format at, .

The FCC is not proposing to delete or otherwise amend the
5-centimeter secondary amateur radio allocation at 5.650 – 5.925
GHz, part of which includes the 75 Megahertz under consideration.

Comments are due by March 6, and reply comments are due by April 6.
ARRL will be filing comments supporting no change to 5.850 – 5.925
GHz for amateurs, as included in the FCC proposal.


ARRL to Argue for Continued Access to 3-GHz Spectrum as FCC Sets Comment Deadlines


At its January meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors instructed the League’s FCC counsel to prepare a strong response to protect amateur access to spectrum in the 3 GHz range. In its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in WT Docket 19-348, the FCC proposed to relocate all non-federal operations, including amateur uses, to spectrum outside the 3.3 – 3.55 GHz band. The Commission anticipates auctioning this spectrum to expand commercial use of 5G cellular and wireless broadband services, if agreement can be reached on relocation of — or sharing with — the federal incumbents that operate in the same band. Publication of the NPRM in the Federal Register on January 22 established deadlines of February 21 for comments and March 23 for reply comments.

The FCC has requested comment on the uses radio amateurs make of the spectrum and appropriate relocation options. Complicating matters is the fact that radio amateurs must consider the possibility that the immediately adjacent 3.1 – 3.3 GHz band is included in the spectrum that Congress has identified for similar study. FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, in a December statement, referenced the fact that the lower band may also be considered for non-federal reallocation, potentially limiting relocation possibilities.

Amateurs make substantial use of the 3.3 – 3.5 GHz band that would be hard to replicate elsewhere, and they have filed more than 150 comments before the designated comment period even began. Among users looking at options are those who use this spectrum for Earth-Moon-Earth (moonbounce) communication, mesh networks, experiments with communication over long distances, radiosport, and amateur television. A portion of the band also is designated for use by amateur satellites in ITU Regions 2 and 3 (the Americas and Asia/Pacific).

A report is due by March 23 from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) evaluating the feasibility of having federal users share all or part of the 3.1 – 3.55 GHz band with commercial wireless services. This report is required by the Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless (MOBILE NOW) Act. The results of the NTIA report will impact how much spectrum ultimately may be re-allocated for auction to wireless providers.

ARRL urges amateurs who comment to inform the FCC about the uses they make of the 3 GHz spectrum. Short comments and longer statements may be filed electronically. Visit the FCC “How to Comment on FCC Proceedings” page for more information. Commenters should reference WT Docket 19-348.


ARRL Dakota Division Update

The ARRL July 2018 Board of Directors meeting minutes have been published on the league’s website.  I wanted to share with you some of the highlights of the meeting.

The Volunteer Monitoring (VM) program was announced to replace the official observer program.  The VM program was developed in response to the now smaller FCC enforcement department in an effort to identify situations that need addressing, gather suitable evidence and present the findings in a way that will potentially result in swifter responses from the FCC.  More information can be found at

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) is getting an overhaul.  New membership levels, training materials, and ARES Connect, an online membership database are a few of the changes.  Our three Section Emergency Coordinators have been given a copy of ARES Strategic Plan and asked to submit comments to ARRL HQ.  More information can be found at

The ARRL Articles of Incorporation were updated to include volunteer indemnification, add “the national association for Amateur Radio” to the front page and update the Board of Directors election schedule.  The details are contained in the meeting minutes and the website will happen soon.

The meeting agenda and minutes are on-line at
The various committee reports are on-line at

The Dakota Division is looking for a new Contest Advisory Committee member.  The Contest Advisory Committee was tasked with studying aspects of digital mode contests and the November ARRL Sweepstakes.  If you have an interest, please contact me directly.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer.  I look forward to visiting South Dakota members in Sioux Falls and Rapid City later this month.  The fall hamfest season is near and the Dakota Division calendar has been updated at Vice Director Nelson is planning to attend the RRRA hamfest and ARRL North Dakota State Convention, September 29th, in West Fargo.

73 Matt Holden, KØBBC, ARRL Dakota Division Director