International Amateur radio Union

Caracas, December 2017
Dear friends,

It is auspicious in this time of festivities to review and highlight what in my opinion are some of the most outstanding facts of the road traveled by the Radio Amateur service in 2017, especially in Region 2.

Most of the member societies are active; in most countries there is a slight increase in the number of radio amateurs, they are present in larger numbers, both in HF and in VHF, especially in international competitions.

The new satellites placed in orbit – such as the recently launched EO-88, CAS-4A and CAS-4B, LilacSat-1, the AO-91 and those launched in previous years, for example the oldest and venerable AO-7 (still operational), placed in orbit on November 15, 1974 – have given a boost to satellite activity. On the other hand, the International Space Station (ISS), with its Radio Amateur Module in the Station (ARISS), has allowed young people to become familiar with the activity while establishing contacts with stations in primary and high schools.

The access and popularity of digital modes and especially those of the WSTJ-X family, such as the FT-8, have allowed many radio amateurs with limitations to install directional antennas to successfully work DX with small antennas and very low power.

Antenna simulation programs have facilitated the experimentation and have rendered surprising results that in some way modified the conception of multi-band antennas and the layout and setting up of antennas in stations dedicated to contests.

Software-designed radios (SDR) are here to stay. Practically all new radios use SDR, with small modules that reduce their size and cost of the equipment, as well as increase their capabilities.

For a long time, computers have been an essential element in radio ham stations.

All this has allowed to us enjoy our hobby more and more, exploring the multiple possibilities and modes of communication, contributing to our intellectual enrichment, having fun and being ready to assist in the relief of natural disasters.

Region 2 has a new member society, the Belize Amateur Radio Club of BARC, to whom we extend a warm welcome.
We are present at the meetings of the Inter-American Telecommunications Commission CITEL, of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union CTU and at the International Telecommunication Union ITU, where our delegates contribute to the work of these institutions, this being perhaps the most important and sensitive activity of those entrusted to IARU for the defense and maintenance of the assigned radio electric spectrum. It is satisfying to note that more national administrations authorize their radio amateurs to use the 2200, 630 and 60-meter bands.

As the festivities and the New Year approach, my colleagues on the Executive Committee of the International Union of Amateur Radio and myself, are pleased to express to the amateurs of the Region, member societies and their management committees our best wishes for a happy holiday and a prosperous New Year.

Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM
President – Executive Committee
IARU – Region 2