“Where’s W1A?”

One frustrated attendee asked, “Where is W1A?”

Our friend wandered around the hotel looking for the station and asked numerous people, but no one seemed able to direct him to the location of the special events station.

Admittedly, the signage directing people to W1A was lacking. As mentioned in the program book, the station was tucked away in the Corporate Room (E7) off one of the side hallways.  (See diagram below.)

The hours posted in the program booklet were:

  • Friday: 6 pm — midnight
  • Saturday: 9 am — midnight
  • Sunday: 9 am — noon

Sometime on Saturday mid-afternoon when the gentleman finally did find the station’s location, the door was locked and no one was staffing the station.

We deeply regret the fact that none of the volunteers were present at W1A during the advertised hours when our friend wanted to visit. We’ll try to make sure there isn’t a repeat of this problem next year.

Map of East Wing with Corporate room marked

Celebrating 50 Years of the ARRL Foundation

[The FEMARA Scholarship is administered by the ARRL Foundation.]

ARRL Foundation 50th Anniversary logo09/22/2023 – Thursday, September 21, 2023, marked 50 years since the ARRL Foundation was formed. As a partner with ARRL, the ARRL Foundation stewards philanthropic support for amateur radio through scholarships, club grants, and other programs to ensure a strong and vibrant future for the avocation.

The total assets of the nonprofit entity measured nearly $8M at its most recent annual audit, but it grew from humble beginnings. In September 1973, several members of the ARRL Board of Directors worked to establish the charity. Larry Shima, W0PAN, was the Director of the ARRL Dakota Division at the time and did a lot of work to get the Foundation started. Shima is very pleased with the Foundation’s success, stating, “We started off with $1,000, and just look at it now!”

Shima says the original intent was to support future generations of radio amateurs. At the time, space and satellite communications were cutting-edge, and they were the focus of ARRL Foundation activities, though scholarships were also high on the list. “I was thrilled when I got the recent issue of QST that had the photos of the scholarship recipients in it. That is exactly what it was intended to do; we wanted to provide scholarships for young people,” he said.

Gifts from generous donors support The ARRL Foundation, but it also works to help other charitable groups extend their reach. In an address to donors delivered over the summer, ARRL Foundation President David Norris, K5UZ, highlighted a recent grant the Foundation received. “The recent support the Foundation has received from Amateur Radio Digital Communications, or ARDC, has been transformational. We have been able to dramatically increase the funding of scholarships through their generosity and are working through a program of club grants, where more than $500,000 was distributed to clubs looking to take on new projects or sustain their organizations – and to share their learning with others,” he told the crowd.

Shima was just 35 when the ARRL Foundation was formed. He is the only surviving founding member of the Foundation Board. Fifty years later, he believes that hams who have done well in life have an obligation to support amateur radio by giving generously to ARRL and the ARRL Foundation. Ongoing financial support enables ARRL to promote and protect amateur radio while our Foundation supports the future generations of hams.

That generous support will have a tangible reach. More than 100 scholarships, ranging from $500 to $25,000, will be awarded in 2024. Thank you to the many donors for making this work possible, and congratulations to the numerous scholarship recipients who have benefited from their generosity.

To learn more about the ARRL Foundation, please visit the Foundation website at http://www.arrl.org/the-arrl-foundation. To learn how to make amateur radio a part of your charitable giving, contact the ARRL Development Office at http://www.arrl.org/contact-us.

Regarding “Food Trucks”

Several attendees have indicated that they would like more food choices while at the Convention. One question that is asked repeatedly: “Could you arrange to have food trucks in the parking lot?”

This has been a sore point of contention for many attendees. The Committee has reached out to the hotel to request permission to have a food truck but so far they have been unsuccessful in convincing the hotel to allow it. We’ll continue to explore this and other alternatives going forward.

Unlike Boxboro, however, there are food venues practically within walking distance of the convention.

Cigarette Smoke Near the Vendor Hall Door

We received a complaint from one of the vendors situated near one of the outside doors of a strong tobacco odor. One of our HamXposition Committee members noticed this problem, too. Next year we will request people smoke further away from the exit!

Rhode Island’s Strong Presence at HamXposition 2023

Nancy Austin, KC1NEK, writes on ri-arrl.org:

Last weekend’s HamXposition was a success. The technical programming rivaled Dayton alongside something for every interest with two or three options to choose from every hour.  At night, nationally-known keynote speakers shared their personal experiences and perspectives on the future of DXpeditioning (Friday) and fractal antennas (Saturday).

Rhode Island’s strong presence at HamXpo 2023 was widely commented on.  This in-person annual gathering brought together club members from at least ten RI amateur radio clubs. Many people were meeting the person behind a familiar call sign for the first time, unfolding new opportunities. Thank you to everyone who participated from the following RI clubs, radio infrastructure teams, and national supporters.

Please see the HamXpo 2023 photos posted under Clubs > Club News.

Please email additional suggestions to kc1nek@arrl.org.

Special Dietary Needs

One attendee writes:

“Please pass on my congrats to all who organized and helped out at HamXposition. Thank you too all involved. It was well done!

“At the banquets, the ticket listed the meal as “chicken” or “fish” only. Could there somehow be a bit more descriptive?  I have to be gluten-free and both banquets I chose the wrong meal. The first night the fish was not breaded but I chose chicken, which happened to be breaded. The opposite for the following night. Maybe just a one-sentence description could fit on the ticket.”

According to General Chair of Operations Bob DeMattia, K1IW, “All of the meals can be modified for special dietary requirements.  This is called out at the bottom of the “Menu Details” page:

“If you have special dietary needs, select the vegetarian option then contact K1IW with your details.”
Through discussions with the hotel, the need to select the vegetarian option will not be necessary next year. However, I still prefer direct email contact for the requirements; burying any special needs in the automated system could get  missed.