*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 26, No. 25 June 22, 2007 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + Field Day Is Here! * + Field Day from the South Pole * + Field Day from Space * + Field Day from W1AW * + ARRL Membership Numbers Climbing * + July QST Hits the Streets * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Weekend on the Radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Course Registration + ARRL Staff Members Meet in Germany + The 2006 ARRL Annual Report Is Here ARRL Editors Attend Conference FCC Commissioner Gets Presidential Nod to Continue; Awaits Confirmation ARRL E-Mail Going Strong Let Us Know Corrections and Clarifications +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> =========================================================== ==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/faq.html#nodelivery>, then e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane, <email@example.com> =========================================================== ==> Field Day Is Here! For almost 100 years, Amateur Radio operators across the country have been providing emergency communications when other systems failed or were overloaded in a crisis. Each year, operators take their equipment into unusual locations to test communications capabilities and make sure Amateur Radio will always be there to get the message through. This year, more than 70 years after the very first Field Day, thousands of ham radio operators will be showing off their emergency capabilities this Field Day weekend. Field Day is the largest on-the-air operating event today. Amateur Radio is about knowledge and growth. According to ARRL Field Day Coordinator Dan Henderson, N1ND, "Amateur Radio is a service that truly offers 'something for everyone.' It is a chance to learn and grow, but above all, Amateur Radio is about fun where we learn, share, and just have a good time. And for many, there is perhaps nothing more fun than ARRL Field Day. Old friendships are renewed and new ones created. We become both teacher and student during Field Day weekend -- sharing our experience while learning new things." Henderson said that Amateur Radio "stands at a juncture where we can embrace both the old and new. While CW, or Morse code, may no longer be a testing element, it is still a strong and favorite operating mode of tens of thousands of operators." More and more operators are embracing digital technologies, from RTTY to the newer digital modes like PSK31 and Olivia. And phoneband expansion has brought about a growth in this traditionally popular mode. Henderson calls Field Day "the time where we bring Amateur Radio to Main Street USA. By setting up in parking lots, malls, Emergency Operations Centers, parks and even at home, amateur operators learn skills that will allow them to better serve their communities. Setting up in these public venues gives added public relations value -- their friends and neighbors can see and experience the fun and public service capability that their 'ham radio' neighbors bring to their towns. High visibility helps get the Amateur Radio message out to the community." Keep in mind two minor rule changes for Field Day 2007. First, while working for the satellite contact bonus, you are limited to making only one QSO when using any of the single-channel FM satellites. This will allow more stations to access this very limited resource. The second change involves the bonus points for GOTA (Get-On-The-Air) stations. The number of QSOs required to attain the bonus changes from 50 down to 20, and continues in multiples of 20 up to 100 QSOs per GOTA operator -- 20 bonus points for each 20 QSOs completed. For more information on Field Day rules and procedures, check out the Field Day packet or go to the Field Day Web site available at <http://www.arrl.org/contests/forms/fd-2007-packet.pdf>. ==> Field Day from the South Pole It's not just Field Day here on the continental United States - it's also Field Day on the South Pole! Robert Reynolds, NØQFQ, a ham down at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, said all three US bases on the Pole will be on the air for Field Day. Amundsen-Scott, KC4AAA; Palmer Station, KC4AAC, and McMurdo Station, KC4/W1MRQ, will be operating on 40 meters around 7.235 MHz and on 20 meters around 14.243 MHz throughout the event. McMurdo will also be operating CW on 7.028 MHz. Since the Pole at this time of year is in total darkness, Reynolds says 40 meters will be the better band. Reynolds went on to say that Amundsen-Scott will be on the air throughout the entire 24 hour event. Palmer and McMurdo, he said, will be on the air "as much as possible." Please send QSLs for Amundsen-Scott, Palmer and McMurdo to QSL Manager Larry Skilton, K1IED, 72 Brook St, South Windsor, CT 06074. ==> Field Day from Space ARRL Field Day Coordinator Dan Henderson, N1ND, reports that he was contacted several weeks ago NASA regarding the International Space Station's participation during Field Day this year. "As in past years, there is the usual 'soft' plan for at least one of the stations on the ISS being activated for a time during Field Day. As always, this is dependent on the astronauts' work schedule, and always subject to last minute change," Henderson said. For each of the past five or six years, at least one of the residents of the ISS has made an appearance during Field Day. Stations should check the ISS passes - "No guarantees," Henderson said. "But if it happens, it sure builds the excitement at a Field Day site." You can find out just when the ISS will pass over your Field Day site at spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/index.html. ==> Field Day from W1AW The Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, W1AW, located at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut, will be hosting their own Field Day event. ARRL HQ staff and visitors will be operating W1AW the entire 24 hour Field Day period. W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, said, "If you are in the area, please stop by and say hello. You are certainly welcome, and this is a wonderful chance to operate W1AW in a fun environment." W1AW will be open to visitors during Field Day on Saturday between 2-9 PM EDT and 9 AM-2 PM EDT on Sunday. Carcia noted that there will be times during these hours when Field Day operations will be suspended in order for the scheduled Field Day bulletins to be sent. You can find the W1AW Field Day Bulletin schedule on the Field Day Web site <http://www.arrl.org/contests/forms/fd-2007-w1aw-sked.html>. ==> ARRL Membership Numbers on the Rise With now close to 152,000 members, the ARRL is going, and growing, strong. ARRL Customer Service Manager Amy Hurtado, KB1NXO, says the "ARRL is a viable, up-to-date organization that every ham should be a part of." Hurtado credits the rise in membership in part to the FCC rule changes earlier this year that eliminated Morse code testing for the General and Amateur Extra license classes. "Since more people were upgrading their licenses as a result of there being no Morse code requirement, we were successfully able to show them the benefits of being an ARRL member," she said. One of the many benefits of ARRL membership, Hurtado said, is the monthly subscription to QST, the official journal of the ARRL. Other benefits of ARRL membership include a QST/QEX/NCJ index search on the ARRL Web site; operating awards; outgoing QSL service; access to the Technical Information Service; available ham radio equipment insurance program and more. Members can also get an arrl.net e-mail address through the ARRL e-mail forwarding service. Hurtado went on to say that new, renewing and lapsed members can join the ARRL in many ways. "About 40-50 percent of membership enrollment is online. We also have people join after taking a licensing exam, by calling us on the phone, by answering a direct mail package or by joining up at their local hamfest." If you are interested in joining the ARRL or renewing your present membership, please see the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/join>. ==> July QST Hits the Streets If you haven't received the July issue of QST, just wait, because it's on its way! QST, the official journal of the ARRL, is the members-only magazine featuring all the latest Amateur Radio news and technology. This month, QST and the ARRL get ready to head to Huntsville, Alabama, site of the 2007 ARRL National Convention, held in conjunction with the Huntsville Hamfest. The convention, scheduled for August 18-19, features the ARRL Expo, a special exhibit area with ARRL program representatives, activities, presentations and the huge ARRL bookstore. On the technical side, the July issue offers articles on how to get on 24 GHz, a balloon-lifted full-wave loop antenna and a keyboard that lets you send CW when your fingers can't. QST Technical Editor Joel R. Hallas, W1ZR also reviews the new Ten-Tec Omni VII HF/6 meter transceiver. For those interested in the latest in Amateur Radio news, you will be sure to find it in the July issue. Hallas and QST Managing Editor Joel Kleinman, N1BKE, report on the 2007 Dayton Hamvention, noting that it was "standing room only" at many of the forums and presentations. You can also read about a ham's QRP trek in Ireland, as well as the latest in ARRL and FCC news. For you contesters out there, read the results articles for the 2006 ARRL 10 Meter Contest, 2007 ARRL RTTY Roundup and the 2007 ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes. Keep in mind that the 2007 ARRL August UHF Contest is coming up, so catch up on the latest rules and information on this contest in the July issue. As in each and every QST, you will find a wide variety of articles and columns for all hams, covering DXing, vintage gear and cutting edge technology, public service, special events, as well as a schedule of upcoming hamfests, conventions and contests. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "Walking on Sunshine" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: June 23-24 is ARRL Field Day, and it follows a week with no sunspots. As expected, there was a mild geomagnetic upset on Thursday, June 21 when a solar wind stream pushed against Earth's magnetic field. The planetary A index went to 14, a moderate level, but the mid-latitude A index, which affects most of us more directly, was only 8. That number comes from the Fredericksburg Geomagnetic Center near Corbin, Virginia, which is at 38.2 degrees north latitude. Boulder, Colorado provides the mid-latitude A index that we hear on WWV at 18 minutes after each hour, and at 40 degrees north latitude, it produced an A index of 12 for June 21. For the weekend, we might see another sunspot appear by Sunday, so it looks like any 10 meter propagation will be sporadic-E skip, not any great openings based on a higher MUF. Predicted planetary A index for June 22-24, Friday through Sunday, is 15, 10 and 8. Predicted solar flux is 68, 68 and 70. A solar flux value below 70 implies no sunspots, which you can observe along side zero sunspot days at <http://www.sec.noaa.gov/ftpdir/indices/DSD.txt>. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts unsettled to active conditions June 22, unsettled June 23 and quiet June 24-25, quiet to unsettled June 26 and back to quiet June 27-28. The A index and solar flux predictions referenced in the previous paragraph are available at <http://sec.noaa.gov/ftpmenu/forecasts/45DF.html>. After 2100 UTC on Friday, check this again for a June 22 update. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: ARRL Field Day is this weekend, June 23-24, 1800-1800 UTC. This weekend also plays host to the following contests: NCCC Sprint Ladder and the Digital Pentathlon on June 22; the Ukrainian DX DIGI Contest, His Majesty King of Spain Contest, (SSB), Marconi Memorial HF Contest and the ARCI Milliwatt Field Day. The Quebec QSO Party has been cancelled. Coming up next weekend, June 30-July 1, the NCCC Sprint Ladder and the Digital Pentathlon are June 29. The WLOTA is June 30-July 1. The RAC Canada Day Contest and SKCC Weekend Sprint are July 1. During the week, the RSGB 80m Club Championship (CW) is July 2, and the ARS Spartan Sprint is July 3. Schedule the Michigan QRP July 4th CW Sprint around your hot dogs and fireworks on July 4-5. See the ARRL Contest Branch page http://www.arrl.org/contests/, the ARRL Contester's Rate Sheet <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rate-sheet/> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar <http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/index.html> for more info. * ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration: Registration remains open through Sunday July 8 for these online courses beginning on Friday July 20: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 2 (EC-002); Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 3 (EC-003); Antenna Modeling (EC-004); Radio Frequency Propagation (EC-011); HF Digital Communications (EC-005), and VHF-UHF (EC-008). To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE Department <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * ARRL Staff Members Meet in Switzerland, Germany: ITU-R Working Party 8A just finished up their meeting in Geneva. This group is responsible for most of the land mobile services, plus the amateur and amateur-satellite services, approved the Amateur Service and Amateur-Satellite Service Handbook, to be published by the International Telecommunication Union. The handbook is an overview of the activities of the amateur services, along with existing ITU texts that relate to the two services. This will be published by the ITU in the six official UN languages, and will be a useful guide to administrations in countries where the amateur services may not be well developed. IARU President Larry Price, W4RA, represented the IARU. ARRL Chief Technology Officer Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, is on the US delegation and is chairman of the working group that dealt with the handbook. ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, Price and Rinaldo will meet up with Membership and Volunteer Services Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, and ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, in Friedrichshafen, Germany, Europe's largest hamfest at HAM RADIO 2007. To find out more about HAM RADIO 2007, please see their Web site <http://www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.de/html/en/>. * ARRL Annual Report: The ARRL's 2006 Annual Report has been published. Highlighting the "Hello" Campaign and other major events in 2006, the report contains information about all of the activities of the ARRL headquarters staff throughout the year as well as summaries by ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, and CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. According to ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, "The Annual Report is not only useful for showing members the strength of the organization, but it is also a valuable tool in presentations to major public officials. At times they may know little about Amateur Radio, but when they see the quality of the annual report, even before they open it up, they know this is an organization to be taken very seriously. It is indeed a national association and very active. That gets their attention quickly." The 2006 Annual Report is available in both printed format and also on the ARRL Web site. <http://www.arrl.org/announce/annualreport/2006/Annual_Report_2006_web.p df> * ARRL Editors Attend Publishing Conference: QST Editor and Publications Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY, and QST Managing Editor Joel Kleinman, N1BKE, attended the National Society of Association Publications (SNAP) conference in Washington, DC June 13-14. SNAP is an organization made up of nonprofit entities that publish books, magazines, Web sites and other media. The purpose of the conference is to facilitate the exchange of ideas between organizations, with an eye to improving their media offerings. The conference, entitled "Offset, Online, On Message... Association Publishing on the Cutting Edge," included sessions on practices in corporate publishing, understanding digital readers, measuring reader satisfaction and how to use the Internet to reach a global audience. "Being at the SNAP conference gives us an excellent opportunity to share ideas with other nonprofits to improve our books, magazines and electronic media," said Ford. * FCC Commissioner Gets Presidential Bid to Continue; Awaits Confirmation: President George W. Bush has announced his intention to nominate Deborah Taylor Tate to a full term as a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission. Tate is serving out the remainder of the term of former FCC Chairman Michael Powell. Current FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said of Bush's announcement, "If confirmed, I look forward to continuing to work closely with Commissioner Tate. She has served admirably at the Commission for the past year and a half, and I appreciate her continued dedication to public service. Debi brings important insight to the Commission, including her distinguished career as a leader in state government. Her thoughtfulness, dedication, and leadership have made Debi an invaluable member of the Commission." Among her many responsibilities, Tate serves as Chair of both the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service (Universal Service Joint Board) and the Federal-State Joint Board on Jurisdictional Separations. * ARRL E-Mail Usage Going Strong: One of the many benefits of ARRL membership is the ARRL e-mail forwarding service, first offered in February 1999. This service allows ARRL members to set up an arrl.net alias e-mail address. When e-mail is sent you at your arrl.net address, it is forwarded to an e-mail address you have designated. According to ARRL Information Services Manager Don Durand, approximately 45 percent of ARRL members take advantage of the e-mail forwarding service. "Using the figures from Wednesday, June 20, we had 876,993 connection attempts and 148,400 actual e-mail deliveries," Durand said. "The difference of 728,593 represents spam that was trapped and not delivered to our members." Durand said the numbers show the e-mail filters do a "pretty good job eliminating spam. Using a combination of filtering software, as well as holding in-bound messages to the accepted standards of transmittal, we are able to remove approximately 90-95 percent of all spam before it reaches a user's inbox." * Let Us Know: Do you have a favorite part of The ARRL Letter? What kind of stories would you like to see in the Letter? This is your chance to let your voice be heard. Please send your suggestions to ARRL News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, at email@example.com. Please title your e-mail "ARRL Letter Suggestions." We look forward to implementing positive suggestions into the Letter. * Clarifications and Corrections: The ARRL Letter, Vol 26, No 24 (Friday, June 15, 2007), did not wish to imply the US Senate would be conducting an investigation into Broadband over Power Line issues ("US Senate to investigate BPL's interference potential to Amateur Radio"). Senate Bill 1629, also known as the Emergency Amateur Radio Interference Protection Act of 2007, stresses the impact the Amateur Radio Service has with regard to emergency communication. The bill, if, and only if, it becomes law, would require the FCC to conduct a study on BPL and report back to House and Senate committees their findings regarding "the interference potential of systems for the transmission of broadband Internet services over power lines." In the same edition, ElectroMagnetic Compatibility was referred to as Electromagnetic Capability ("ElectroMagnetic Capability Committee meets at ARRL HQ"); it should read "ElectroMagnetic Compatibility" throughout the article. =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American Radio Relay League: ARRL--the National Association for Amateur Radio, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President. The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential and general news of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest Amateur Radio news and news updates. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> also offers informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also available as a podcast from our Web site. Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): firstname.lastname@example.org ==>Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, email@example.com ==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org/> ==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call 860-594-0384 ==>How to Get The ARRL Letter The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail delivery: ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site <http://www.arrl.org/members/>. You'll have an opportunity during registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW bulletins, and other material. 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