IARU and Amateur Radio Reach “Inflection Point”

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08/11/2019

Participants at the 45th meeting of the Board of Directors (AC) of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) in late September discussed the organization’s role in the advancement of amateur radio. IARU has published a summary report of this week’s meeting. IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH / G4HUA, who chaired the Board meeting in Lima, Peru, observed that IARU and Amateur Radio were reaching what he called “an inflection point. “. He asserted that amateur radio is changing, but not the IARU and its member companies.

Ellam’s remarks preceded a broad discussion of the challenges ahead if the IARU and amateur radio itself are to remain relevant. After several hours of discussion, the board participants agreed on four first-level titles to identify the challenges to be overcome:

  • What is amateur radio?
  • The roles of IARU and its member societies
  • Amateur radio recruitment
  • IARU Finances

The Board also agreed that it is essential to involve young people from outside the Board in determining how to address these challenges, and the three regions of IARU were asked to identify people who “could take ownership of these challenges. topics “.

A small working group was appointed, consisting of IARU Region 2 Vice-President, Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK; Region A Director of Region 2, George Gorsline, VE3YV, and IARU Region 1 President, Don Beattie, G3BJ. Using the topics discussed to develop a starting point, the panel will aim to have a draft of a plan by mid-December to address the challenges that would serve as a basis for further discussion.

IARU Region 1 (Europe, Africa and Middle East) has been a leader in mobilizing the interest of new generation radio amateurs, sponsoring Youngsters On The Air (YOTA) and other youth-related activities including a summer camp attended annually by young radio amateurs from Region 1. IARU Region 3 noted at the Council meeting that it is planning a Youth on the Air activity in Thailand next October and expressed hope that Regions 1 and 2 can participate.

In other areas, based on a suggestion from Fred Matos, W3ICM – a spectrum manager with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) – AC agreed to change the goal of the World Championship competition. IARU HF to read: “To support self-hobbyist-training in radio communications, including improving hobbyist operating skills, conducting technical surveys, and intercommunication with other hobbyists around the world entire, in particular the headquarters stations of IARU member societies, using the bands 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters.

According to a board meeting document, Matos The rationale is that the objective of an IARU sponsored activity should be directly related to ITU Radio regulations.

In a related case, the Council agreed to indicate to the ARRL, which administers the competition, that it would support a relaxation of the rules for multi-operator, single-issuer and mixed-mode entries – which the CA considers as more restrictive and punitive than those that apply to most other contests – without affecting rating and arbitration. Under current rules, multi-operator, single-transmitter, and mixed-mode entries must remain on one band and one mode for at least 10 minutes before changing bands or modes, and violation of the change-band rules will re-classify l ‘entry as an audit log. The IARU event takes place every July.

To stay informed of IARU events, subscribe to the ARRL-IARU online group, moderated by IARU Secretary Dave Sumner, K1ZZ.

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