Caracas, diciembre de 2018

For the Member Societies of the IARU-R2, its Directing Committees, its associates and all the radio amateurs of Region 2

Dear friends:

In the last days of this year, I am very pleased to address you to make a few comments about what I believe are relevant events that affect the Amateur Radio service.

Those of us who follow closely what happens—be it due to our activity in the bands, the reading of magazines, our contact with other radio amateurs in the national or regional conventions, in the meetings at our radio clubs as well as when surfing the web—cannot cease to marvel at technological progress, that are generated in the ham community itself or in other sectors like commercial services, adapting those technologies to our needs. To only name two, the use of radios defined by software SDR and the modeling of antennas and filters in RF and Audio using personal computers, are common functions that do not cause surprises, greatly enriching our ability to communicate, even in these times of minimal solar activity.

One example is the endorsement of the Worked all Continents diploma requested by LX1DB in the bands 5.6 GHz and 10 GHz, a feat that until recently was considered impossible.

Contrary to what some people think, the state of amateur radio is healthy, we observe a small increase in the number of licenses in many countries of the world and in our region, most of the Member Societies are active and relations with the Authorities in general are good. Our activity on emergency occasions is recognized at the local, regional and international level by governments and international organizations. An example is the collaboration between the countries of Central America and more recently the Caribbean for the Winlink 2000 project supported by the International Telecommunications Union.

The irruption of the FT8 mode has constituted a revolution, allowing those people who do not have large facilities due to legal limitations of space, to communicate with the whole world with low power and rudimentary antennas. In my experience, the ease of its use makes it almost additive.

Each year the number of participants in the most relevant international competitions increases in SSB, CW and digital.

The ARRL Log of the World and other similar means have greatly facilitated the confirmation of contacts, both for the application of diplomas and for maintaining a secure database in support of our personal computer logs at a significantly lower cost than that of the postal service. That is why the IARU Management Committee suggests to its Member Societies the use of electronic confirmation for the application of awards. However, the sending and request of QSL cards continues to increase, not so much for applying for awards, but for our own collections.

This year the “World Radio Sport Championship” competition was held in Germany with significant participation from Region 2 teams: Seven from the United States plus the former champions and three by invitation or sponsors for a total of eleven teams; two from Canada plus one by invitation, one from Brazil and one from Argentina. Also by invitation one from Venezuela, and one from Chile, the latter representing new generations. I want to emphasize that the WRTC is held every four years within our IARU contest. The next competition was established for 2022 in Italy.

Two important events will take place in the last quarter of next year. The first, our triennial assembly in Lima, Peru for which all Member Societies are invited to participate, sending delegates, providing documents and if they wish, presenting candidates to the Executive Committee that will be elected in the Assembly.

The other event is the World Radio Conference that will take place in Egypt and in which the use of the electric radio spectrum will be reviewed, where we must defend the current assignments and achieve harmonization between the regions. It is the main goal for which IARU has intensively prepared and where the work of the Member Societies to obtain the support of their administrations is essential.

I take this opportunity to express on behalf of the members of the Executive Committee of the International Amateur Radio Union – Region 2 that I am honored to preside and on my own, my most fervent wishes for a Merry Christmas and a prosperous and happy new year.

Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM