*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 27, No. 2 January 18, 2008 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + ARRL Board of Directors Annual Meeting this Weekend * + Motorola Completes Tender Offer for Yaesu's Parent Company * + "The Doctor Is IN" the ARRL Letter * + Tune In for the ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes this Weekend * + Order Deadline Approaching for Clean Sweep Mugs and Pins * + FCC Enforcement Actions * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Weekend on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + Hiram Percy Maxim II Passes Away at 72 + The 2007 ARRL Periodicals on CD-ROM Now Shipping Stu Leland, W1JEC (SK) Johnny Grant, WB6MJV (SK) Lunar Echo Experiment looking for Amateur Radio Participants +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> =========================================================== ==> ARRL BOARD OF DIRECTORS ANNUAL MEETING THIS WEEKEND The ARRL Board of Directors holds their Annual January meeting today and tomorrow in Houston, Texas. The two-day meeting was preceded by meetings of the Administration and Finance Committee and the Programs and Services Committee on January 17. According to Board Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ, "Much of what we do at a Board meeting has to do with receiving and considering recommendations from committees, including in this case the approval of the operational plan for 2008." One of the items on this meeting's agenda is the election of ARRL officers and Director members of the Executive Committee. The offices of President, First Vice President and Vice President, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, International Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer are elected by the Directors each even-numbered year; members of the Executive Committee are selected by the Directors to serve one-year terms. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, is completing his first term as ARRL President. The ARRL President appoints Board members to various committees -- among them Administration and Finance, Programs and Services, and Ethics and Elections -- at the January meeting. Some committees are led by Board members, but have members comprised of ARRL members, such as Legal Defense & Assistance, Electromagnetic Compatibility, Bandplanning and the Historical Committees; the chairmen of these committees, as well as their members, are also appointed by the ARRL President. Other committees are led by ARRL members appointed by the President with respect to their expertise in the committee's area: Public Relations, RF Safety, DX Advisory, Contest Advisory, VHF/UHF Advisory Committees, as well as the Amateur Radio Direction Finding Coordinator. The President of the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) Dave Goodwin, VE3AAQ, is representing his organization at the meeting. The ARRL and RAC have a long tradition of attending each other's Board meetings. More information on the January meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors will be available next week on the ARRL Web site and in the ARRL Letter. ==> MOTOROLA COMPLETES TENDER OFFER FOR YAESU'S PARENT COMPANY On Wednesday, January 16, Motorola announced that its subsidiary, MI, Inc, has successfully completed its tender offer to acquire a controlling interest in Vertex Standard, parent company of Yaesu. The tender offer period expired on January 15 with approximately 5.4 million shares tendered and accepted. On November 5, 2007, Motorola launched the tender offer, in cooperation with Tokogiken (a privately held Japanese company controlled by Vertex Standard's president and CEO Jun Hasegawa) with the intention of forming a joint venture to develop and sell Vertex Standard products and develop select Motorola products. All regulatory clearances required for the completion of the transaction have been obtained. Starting on January 22, Motorola will have a total ownership stake of approximately 78 percent of Vertex Standard on a fully diluted basis (excluding certain stock acquisition rights that are scheduled to be cancelled), following the settlement of the tender offer for approximately 12 billion Yen (almost $112 million US dollars) in cash. Through a subsequent restructuring process, Motorola will own 80 percent of Vertex Standard, while Tokogiken will retain a 20 percent stake. "We are extremely pleased to team with Motorola, a global technology leader that has been a leading provider and pioneer in 2-way radio communication solutions," Hasegawa said. "With Motorola, Vertex Standard will be stronger and better positioned to deliver new and innovative 2-way radio solutions for professionals and consumers." Dennis Motschenbacher, K7BV, Yaesu's Executive Vice President for Amateur Radio Sales in North America, told the ARRL that he sees the joint venture of Vertex Standard and Motorola as "a very good thing for Amateur Radio in general and Yaesu customers in particular. I hope our loyal customers will readily see this business venture for what it is, an opportunity to make a solid 50-plus year old Yaesu company even stronger and more formidable than is already the case. There is absolutely no reason to have the slightest concern about equipment warranties and the continuation of support for our products. I am really excited to see what the joint engineering capabilities of these two huge communications companies will bring in the way of new technology advancement for the Amateur Radio Service." Motschenbacher continued: "There is a unique aspect of business that comes with Amateur Radio. It's not just about a radio. It's the relationship between the ham, the radio itself and the company that makes that radio. This relationship in Amateur Radio is far different than it is, say, between a buyer of a HDTV, the TV and the TV manufacturer. The relationship in Amateur Radio is far more personal and 'bonding,' per se. I am certain that we will do our utmost to ensure that Motorola understands this delicate bond. Since Motorola is leaving the day-to-day management of Yaesu in the hands of my boss, Jun Hasegawa, President of Vertex Standard, we can expect our longtime relationship with hams to remain intact." According to Motorola, "[t]he joint venture is expected to expand and develop a comprehensive suite of products to address the rapidly growing demand for 2-way radio solutions. Vertex Standard's strength in the amateur, marine and airband (avionics) segments provides Motorola with access to new business opportunities. In addition, Vertex Standard's solutions are highly complementary with Motorola's products and add greater depth and breadth to Motorola's Government and Public Safety business. The venture also provides additional engineering talent for Motorola." Following the restructuring, which will be implemented after the settlement of the tender offer, Vertex Standard will be de-listed from the JASDAQ. The joint venture company will continue to be called "Vertex Standard Co, Ltd" and will become a subsidiary of Motorola, with headquarters in Tokyo. ==> "THE DOCTOR IS IN" THE ARRL LETTER This week, ARRL Letter readers are in luck! The ARRL's very own Doctor, author of the popular QST column "The Doctor Is IN," answers a question from his mailbag: Question -- Wilber Warke, N9RGE, of Lebanon, Illinois, asks: What happens to a dipole or random wire antenna if end-insulators are not used? Does it change the radiation pattern? What if the ends without insulators are left hanging down? Does that change the radiation from horizontal to vertical? The Doctor Answers -- Wilbur, the insulators themselves don't change antenna performance. The insulators are designed to provide a high impedance path between the end of the antenna, usually a high voltage point, and the support structure. If the support is metal, without an insulator the current from the antenna will continue to the support and that will become part of the antenna. The resulting performance will depend on the size and shape of the support and how solid a connection there is between the antenna and the support -- but often it will be a poor and likely intermittent connection -- usually a recipe for a number of different problems. In the more typical case of a tree or other wooden structure, the impedance will be relatively high and it shouldn't matter too much until it gets wet -- then you could easily have a very unpredictable situation and likely be sending much of your power into warming up the tree. Very dry tree branches also introduce the risk of fire, especially if high power is used. With respect to "dangling ends," they don't need insulators if they will stay dangling in space. Whatever is holding up the antenna just before the dangle suffers as above. Unfortunately, if the dangling ends aren't secured, they have a tendency to get blown around and can get wrapped around the antenna or other nearby objects. If a "random wire" has both horizontal and vertical segments, each will radiate depending on the magnitude of the current in each segment -- this generally changes from band to band. Sometimes this can be used to good advantage. In the case of a balanced half-wave dipole, if both ends are dangling the same amount, the vertical radiation will cancel in the direction of the main horizontal radiation lobe. There will be a small amount of vertical radiation, because the ends have less current than the center, in the direction of the dipole ends. Antenna insulators are not expensive, so why not use them just to be safe. If you don't have a local source, consider making your own from scrap PVC pipe, or couplings. Just drill a hole through both sides at each end, de burr the holes and use them as insulators -- they are pretty close to free. ==> TUNE IN FOR THE ARRL JANUARY VHF SWEEPSTAKES THIS WEEKEND Have you ever wondered how far you can communicate on VHF or UHF frequencies? This weekend gives you the chance to find out, during the ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes. This contest gives amateurs throughout the United States and Canada the opportunity to work stations on 6 meters and up. All licensed amateurs in the United States have privileges above 6 meters, and many of the new radios being sold today have at least one VHF band built in. If you've never used the VHF or UHF bands on your rig before, this is a great opportunity to explore new territory in Amateur Radio. When conditions are good, amateurs are able to communicate up to several hundred miles on VHF and UHF frequencies. Most of the activity will be on SSB or CW, with horizontally-polarized antennas. A dipole for 6 meters is only about 9 feet long, which is an easy construction project. Activity will be between 50.125-50.200 MHz for USB, and 50.085-50.100 MHz for CW. Between 50.100-50.125 is a "DX Window"; US stations should avoid transmitting there unless calling a DX station. If you live in an urban area, you can also try FM simplex on 2 meters. Many VHF contesters will be looking for extra contacts in the FM simplex portion of the band. The contest exchange is your grid square. Grid squares are geographic areas two degrees of longitude wide by 1 degree of latitude high. For more information on grid squares and how to determine what grid you are in, you can visit <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/grid-squares/grid.html>. The 2008 ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes begins at 1900 UTC Saturday, January 19, and ends at 0400 UTC Monday, January 21. You can find complete rules on the Contest section of the ARRL Web site <www.arrl.org/contests>. Get active on VHF SSB and CW and hear what you've been missing! ==> ORDER DEADLINE APPROACHING FOR CLEAN SWEEP MUGS AND PINS They're new! They're red! They can hold your favorite beverage without leaking! And they're a collectible trophy of a great accomplishment: Getting a "Clean Sweep" in the 2007 ARRL Phone or CW Sweepstakes. ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, said, "If you worked all 80 ARRL/RAC Sections to earn a Clean Sweep -- making confirmed contact with each of the 80 sections -- in the 2007 ARRL Sweepstakes, either Phone or CW, your time to order a mug commemorating your achievement is running out. To order a mug, you must submit proof of working all 80 sections (a copy of your Sweepstakes summary sheet or a printout of the first page of your electronically submitted Cabrillo log file will suffice), along with a check for $12 per mug." Kutzko also said that commemorative pins are available for working 100 QSOs in either the Phone or CW Sweepstakes at $6 per pin (CW and Phone Sweepstakes pins are separate items). Submit proof of making 100 or more QSOs along with your check. Mail your summary sheets along with your check to: ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111, ATTN: Contest Branch -- SS Mugs and Pins Please write how many mugs and/or pins you are ordering in the "memo" area of your check. Orders must be postmarked no later than January 31, 2008. ==> FCC ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS On January 15, Riley Hollingsworth, Special Counsel in the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, issued a Warning Notice to David O. Castle, ex-WA9KJI, of Evansville, Indiana. Castle's application to renew his Amateur Radio license was "denied with prejudice" by an Administrative Law Judge in August 2007. The current complaint states that "Monitoring information before the Commission indicates that you have been operating portable radio transmitting equipment on Two Meters in order to interfere with a local linked repeater system on 146.835/146.250, and that you have provided a portable unit for others to use in the same manner. You have no authority to operate Amateur radio transmitting equipment on any frequency. Such operation is a violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. Section 301, and carries criminal penalties including monetary forfeiture (fine) and prison. Monetary forfeitures normally range from $7,500 to $10,000." ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun with All His Beams Full-dazzling" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: We've seen another seven days with no sunspots. After observing the first sunspot of Solar Cycle 24, we hope to see more and more of these, signaling the beginning of the next sunspot cycle and the end of Solar Cycle 23. So what do conditions look like over the next week? Expect quiet geomagnetic conditions through the end of this month, with the next geomagnetic disturbance centered on February 1. We may see sunspots return January 28 through February 3. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet to unsettled conditions January 18-19 and quiet conditions January 20-24. Sunspot numbers for January 10 through 16 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 0. The 10.7 cm flux was 75.7, 76, 75.7, 75.3, 75.6, 73.7 and 72.9 with a mean of 75. Estimated planetary A indices were 3, 2, 9, 11, 16, 8 and 11 with a mean of 8.6. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 2, 4, 9, 14, 7 and 9, with a mean of 6.7. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>. To read this week's Solar Report in its entirety, check out the W1AW Propagation Bulletin page <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/prop/>. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This Weekend on the Radio: This weekend, check out the ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes January 19-21. The LZ Open Contest is January 19. The UK DX Contest (RTTY), the Hungarian DX Contest and the North American QSO Party (SSB) are January 19-20. The Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is on January 21. Next weekend, the CQ 160 Meter Contest (CW), the REF Contest (CW), the BARTG RTTY Sprint, the UBA DX Contest (SSB) and the SPAR Winter Field Day are all January 26-27. 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 Continuing Education Course Registration: Registration remains open through Sunday, February 3 for these online courses beginning on Friday, February 15: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 2 (EC-002); Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 3 (EC-003R2); Antenna Modeling (EC-004); HF Digital Communications (EC-005); VHF/UHF -- Life Beyond the Repeater (EC-008), and Radio Frequency Propagation (EC-011). Each online course has been developed in segments -- learning units with objectives, informative text, student activities and quizzes. Courses are interactive, and some include direct communications with a Mentor/Instructor. Students register for a particular session that may be 8, 12 or 16 weeks (depending on the course) and they may access the course at any time of day during the course period, completing lessons and activities at times convenient for their personal schedule. Mentors assist students by answering questions, reviewing assignments and activities, as well as providing helpful feedback. Interaction with mentors is conducted through e-mail; there is no appointed time the student must be present -- allowing complete flexibility for the student to work when and where it is convenient. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the Continuing Education Program Coordinator <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * Hiram Percy Maxim II Passes Away at 72: The grandson of ARRL co-founder Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW, died at home in Lyme, Connecticut January 12 after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. Hiram Percy Maxim II -- called HPM just like his grandfather -- was 72. Not a ham, Maxim told the Newington Amateur Radio League at an October 2002 meeting that he doesn't feel he shares the inventive talents of his grandfather and great-grandfather, who held many patents between them; Maxim's great-grandfather invented the machine gun. He told the club audience that his grandfather took on radio and filmmaking as diversions from inventing -- an endeavor he considered extremely hard work. He also thought of Amateur Radio as a means to "bring together" individuals from distant locations and believed that communication was a key to better understanding other people and cultures. The elder Maxim -- often referred to as "The Old Man," or "TOM" -- was an amateur film buff, and a highlight of his grandson's 2002 presentation was a short 16 mm film that showed HPM and some of his friends working, relaxing and frolicking on the grounds of the family's summer home in Lyme, Connecticut, where HPM II lived until his death. His son, Merritt Maxim, told the ARRL, "Even though he didn't have an Amateur Radio license, he was aware of the importance of his family's role in founding the League. Through his father, my grandfather -- an active engineer -- he continued to maintain an interest in all things mechanical." A memorial service will be held at the Lyme Public Hall at 11 AM on Monday, January 21. Burial will be private. Memorial contributions may be made to the Lyme Public Hall Association, 249 Hamburg Rd, Lyme, CT 06371 * The 2007 ARRL Periodicals on CD-ROM Now Shipping: The 2007 ARRL Periodicals on CD-ROM includes all 2007 issues of QST, NCJ and QEX -- every word and photo published throughout the year is included. Search the full text of every article by entering titles, call signs, names or any word. See every word, photo (most in color), drawing and table in technical and general-interest features, columns and product reviews, plus all advertisements. Print what you see, or copy it into other applications. The CD also includes Section News and ARRL Contest Results, including individual scores and Contest Soapbox. System Requirements: Microsoft Windows and Macintosh systems, using Adobe Acrobat Reader (included). Get your copy at <http://www.arrl.org/catalog>. * Stu Leland, W1JEC (SK): Former ARRL Assistant Technical Editor Stu Leland, W1JEC, passed away this summer in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He was 90. Leland, who worked in the former Technical Department, came to ARRL HQ in 1976, retiring in 1982. He edited the "Hints and Kinks" column and QST technical articles every month, as well as the Hints and Kinks books. Larry Wolfgang, WR1B, QEX Editor, remembers "When I was hired as an Assistant Technical Editor in June 1981, it was to take over the 'Hints & Kinks' column with Stu Leland's impending retirement. During my first half year or so at ARRL HQ, he taught me the ropes of being a technical editor. It's hard to imagine a kinder, more gentle soul than Stu. He was a great mentor, helping a raw young editor fit into the Technical Department and teaching me how to work with the many 'Hints & Kinks' authors who submitted their ideas -- some good and some perhaps not so good!" ARRL Graphic Design Supervisor Sue Fagan, KB1OKW, remembered Leland fondly: "Stu was one of the kindest, classiest individuals I had the pleasure to know. We checked in with each other during the holidays, and my gift was the instant flood of all the good memories I had of Stu back in the days when he was one of my beloved Tech Department 'partners.'" Former ARRL colleague Paul Pagel, N1FB, said, "Stu was a quiet, soft-spoken, gentle man, always willing to help others and dedicated to ensuring the technical-article material he was handling for QST was accurate. He had a good knowledge of antenna theory. He liked operating CW most. He was a fatherly and -- to the younger coworkers -- a grandfatherly image." * Johnny Grant, WB6MJV (SK): Johnny Grant, WB6MJV, the "Honorary Mayor of Hollywood," passed away January 9 in the Hollywood hotel suite he called home. He was 84. "The city of Los Angeles mourns the loss of one of its cherished sons, Johnny Grant, the indefatigable mayor of Hollywood and its greatest icon," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. "Angelenos will always remember Johnny as the heart of Hollywood Boulevard, the dignified guardian of its gilded prestige and the human shine behind every one of its stars. Even before he became the official ambassador of Hollywood, he rose to what he saw as his duty -- to country and to Hollywood -- to share his energy and enthusiasm on countless USO trips to combat bases in Vietnam and Korea." He was one of the original entertainers to make trips overseas to entertain US troops in the field, making 15 trips to Korea and 14 to Vietnam. He is the lone recipient of the Bob Hope Combat Entertainer Award from the International Korean War Veterans Association for his entertainment tours to the front lines. * Lunar Echo Experiment looking for Amateur Radio Participants: The HF Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Alaska and the Long Wavelength Array (LWA) in New Mexico are planning an additional lunar echo experiment for January 19-20. Interested radio amateurs are invited to participate in this experiment by listening for the lunar echoes and submitting reports. On January 19, listen on 6.7925 MHz from 0500-0600 UTC, and on 7.4075 MHz from 0600-0700 UTC. On January 20, listen on 6.7925 MHz from 0630-0730 UTC, and on 7.4075 MHz from 0730-0830 UTC (depending on frequency occupancy at the time of operation, it may be necessary to adjust the frequency slightly). Based on previous experiments, investigators believe it should be possible to hear the lunar echoes with a standard communications receiver and a simple 40 meter dipole antenna. The format for the transmissions will follow a five second cycle beginning on the hour and repeating continuously. The HAARP transmitter will transmit for the first two seconds. The next three seconds will be quiet to listen for the lunar echo. Then HAARP will transmit again for two seconds, repeating the cycle for one hour. In the second hour, this five second repetitive cycle will be repeated at a different frequency. All transmissions from HAARP will be CW (no modulation). Depending on ionospheric conditions, it may or may not be possible to hear the HAARP transmission directly via skywave propagation. Since HAARP will not be using any modulation, it will be necessary to use USB or LSB mode on the receiver to hear HAARP and the lunar echo. Investigators are interested in receiving signal reports from radio amateurs who may be able to detect -- or not detect-- the lunar echo or the transmitted skywave pulse from HAARP. Submit reports via e-mail <email@example.com>, and list your call sign and the type and location of your receiving equipment and antennas. -- Information provided by Ed Kennedy, K3NS, HAARP Navy Program Manager * Crawlie F: =========================================================== 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. To change these selections--including delivery of The ARRL Letter--registered members should click on the "Member Data Page" link (in the Members Only box). Click on "Modify membership data," check or uncheck the appropriate boxes and/or change your e-mail address if necessary. (Check "Temporarily disable all automatically sent email" to temporarily stop all e-mail deliveries.) Then, click on "Submit modification" to make selections effective. (NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You must do this yourself via the Members Only Web Site.) The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources: * ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/>. (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will be posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.) * The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur Radio Club: Visit Mailing Lists@QTH.Net <http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/letter-list>. (NOTE: The ARRL cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this listserver.) Copyright 2008 American Radio Relay League, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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