*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 27, No. 7 February 22, 2008 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + Kosovo and DXCC * + Homebrew Challenge Winners Announced * + New ARRL Section Managers in San Diego, Louisiana and Virginia * + What's Coming Up in the March/April Issue of QEX * + Name the W1HQ Mascot * + Kansas Hams Working to Get Antenna Bill Passed * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Weekend on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + 2008 Field Day Web Page Good to Go + ARRL Handbook a "Must-Have" for Broadcast Industry From the DXCC Desk W1AW Endowment Campaign to Start in March Rod Dinkins, AC6V (SK) +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 <email@example.com> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane, <firstname.lastname@example.org> =========================================================== ==> KOSOVO AND DXCC Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia on February 17, setting off new speculations on what this means to Amateur Radio and specifically, to the DXCC program. ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, said he understands that there are many questions about the DXCC status of Kosovo, especially concerning whether or not the new state will be added to the DXCC list. Moore said the DXCC rules, modified in 2000 to better handle inclusion to DXCC, are clear on how additions can be made: "For inclusion in the DXCC List, certain conditions must be met. Gaining entry on the DXCC List is not contingent upon whether operation has occurred or will occur, but only upon the qualifications of the Entity." According to Moore, adding Kosovo to the DXCC List would be considered under the "Political Entity" DXCC guidelines. The DXCC rules state that "Political Entities are those areas which are separated by reason of government or political division. They generally contain an indigenous population which is not predominantly composed of military or scientific personnel." Kosovo, according to the DXCC rules, would then be added to the DXCC List as a Political Entity if it meets one or more of the following criteria: * The entity is a UN Member State. * The entity has been assigned a call sign prefix block by the ITU. (The exceptions to this rule are international organizations, such as the UN and ICAO. These Entities are classified under Special Areas, 3.a; and Ineligible Areas, 4.b.) A provisional prefix bloc assignment may be made by the Secretary General of ITU. Should such provisional assignments not be ratified later by the full ITU, the Entity will be removed from the DXCC List. * The Entity contains a permanent population, is administered by a local government and is located at least 800 km from its parent. To satisfy the "permanent population" and "administered by a local government" criteria of this sub-section, an Entity must be listed on either (a) the US Department of State's list of "Dependencies and Areas of Special Sovereignty" as having a local "Administrative Center," or (b) the United Nations list of "Non-Self-Governing Territories." "New Entities satisfying one or more of the conditions above will be added to the DXCC List by administrative action as of their 'Event Date.' Kosovo will be added to the DXCC list if it becomes a member of the UN, or if it receives a prefix bloc from the ITU. The third condition does not apply," Moore said. "The 'Event Date' will be either the date Kosovo became a UN member or it receives its prefix from the ITU. Contacts made before the Event Date will be counted as Serbia." ==> HOMEBREW CHALLENGE WINNERS ANNOUNCED The Homebrew Challenge (HBC) <http://www.arrl.org/qst/hbc/> was announced in the August 2006 issue of QST and on the ARRL Web site. Entrants were encouraged to submit a home-constructed voice and CW, 5 W minimum output radio by August 1, 2007. The radio had to be reproducible from no more than $50 of new parts. In October of 2006, by popular demand, HBC organizers at ARRL offered a second category to the competition that allowed a PC to be used as part of the control, display or processing function; it could also be used to program a microprocessor. QST Technical Editor Joel R. Hallas, W1ZR, found four entries that passed the documentation and price confirmation check. These entries also went through an ARRL Laboratory evaluation to make sure that they met all the ARRL and FCC technical requirements before being subjected to a thorough operational evaluation by ARRL staffers. The judges announced two winners in the HBC, one in each category. The PC-supported winner was Jim Veatch, WA2EUJ, who gathered the most points in the evaluation by our judges; an article describing his radio will appear in the May 2008 issue of QST. In a way, Hallas said, Veatch's radio could be considered a contender for the other award as well, since he has agreed to provide his firmware onto builders' processors at no cost if they don't have programming capabilities. The winner with a radio totally without use of a PC is Steve Weber, KD1JV, who came in close behind in overall scoring by the judges. His radio will be described in a subsequent QST article. In addition to these winners, entries were received from Dave Cripe, NM0S, and Doug Pongrance, N3ZI. Hallas said the judging panel enjoyed exploring and operating each radio; each radio had its strong points and unique features, making selection difficult. The judges spent many hours operating, comparing and scoring the radios based on their technical proficiency, as well as operating features and reports from distant stations. Hallas thanked the judges for contributing their time to this effort: W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q; ARRL Lab Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI; Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, and QEX Editor Larry Wolfgang, WR1B. Hallas also served as a judge. Almost all the judges have considerable experience operating low power (QRP) radios in contests and other venues. Hare has served as a judge for various QRP equipment contests sponsored by the QRP Amateur Radio Club International (QRPARCI) and noted these entries stood well in comparison to many he has judged previously. Hallas also thanked ARRL Lab Engineer Michael Tracy, KC1SX, for fitting in HBC testing between product review evaluations and his other responsibilities, as well as for helping set up the operational evaluation suite in the newly renovated W1HQ/W1INF Headquarters Operators Club shack. ==> NEW ARRL SECTION MANAGERS IN SAN DIEGO, LOUISIANA AND VIRGINIA In the only contested Section Manager race this winter, Steve Early, AD6VI, was elected ARRL San Diego Section Manager with 332 votes; his opponent, Pat Bunsold, WA6MHZ, received 264 votes. Election ballots were counted February 19 at ARRL Headquarters. Early, whose two-year term begins on April 1, 2008, said that he is looking forward to the opportunity to serve. He has been active in several Amateur Radio clubs and ARES, as well as providing public service support to agencies such as the American Red Cross and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team); he is president of the Palomar Amateur Radio Club (PARC). Early takes over from Harry Hodges, W6YOO, who was appointed to fill the vacant position in November 2007. Louisiana will also be getting a new Section Manager on April 1. Gary Stratton, K5GLS, of Shreveport, the Louisiana Section Emergency Coordinator for the last three years, will be taking the reins from Mickey Cox, K5MC. Cox, who has served as Section Manager for the past eight years, decided not to run for another term of office. Carl Clements, W4CAC, of Portsmouth, Virginia, returns to the Virginia Section Manager's post on April 1. He previously served as Virginia Section Manager from May 2001-March 2006. Glen Sage, W4GHS, the outgoing Virginia Section Manager, did not seek a new term of office. The following incumbent ARRL Section Managers did not face opposition and were declared elected for their next terms of office beginning April 1, 2008: Pete Cecere, N2YJZ, Eastern New York; Eric Olena, WB3FPL, Eastern Pennsylvania; Tim Slay, N4IB, North Carolina; Richard Beebe, N0PV, South Dakota, and Bob Schneider, AH6J, Pacific. ==> WHAT'S COMING UP IN THE MARCH/APRIL ISSUE OF QEX The March/April issue of QEX is out, and it is full of theoretical and practical technical articles that you don't want to miss. In this issue, Milt Cram, W8NUE, and George Heron, N2APB, describe the design and construction details of their "NUE-PSK Digital Modem." The authors provide complete technical details as a companion to their March QST article. Cornell Drentea, KW7CD, presents some schematic diagrams and circuit descriptions for his "Star-10 Transceiver," in Part 2 of this series. Jack Smith, K8ZOA, provides an interesting look at carbon composition resistor aging as well as inductive and capacitive effects of other resistor construction types in "Carbon Composition, Carbon Film and Metal Oxide Film Resistors." Contributing Editor L. B. Cebik, W4RNL, looks at several impedance matching options for modern HF and VHF beam antennas in "Antenna Options." Would you like to write for QEX? It pays $50 per printed page. Be sure to check out the Author's Guide <http://www.arrl.org/qex/#aguide> for more information. If you prefer postal mail, please send a business-size self-addressed, stamped envelope to QEX Author's Guide, c/o Maty Weinberg, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111-1494. QEX is edited by Larry Wolfgang, WR1B, and is published six times a year. The subscription rate for ARRL members in the US is $24. For First Class US delivery, the rate is $37 for members, $49 for nonmembers. For international delivery via air mail, including Canada, the subscription rate is $31 for members, $43 for nonmembers. Subscribe to QEX today <http://www.arrl.org/qex>. ==> NAME THE W1HQ MASCOT W1HQ, the Laird Campbell Memorial HQ Operators Club, has a mascot in need of a name. Membership Manager Katie Breen, W1KRB, purchased the six-foot long stuffed yellow-green toy snake as a way to make the refurbished station a bit friendlier. Breen said, "In addition to the physical upgrades to W1HQ, we realized that it is our club -- therefore it should be fun too! It just seemed so natural to have a mascot for our club station. The snake comes in handy when stressed out trying to get that DX that is just out of reach! With all the serious sides of ham radio, it's important to remember that it is fun -- and not to take ourselves too seriously sometimes!" Breen and the rest of the W1HQ team are calling on the Amateur Radio community to help give the as-yet unnamed snake a name: "We encourage all amateurs to submit a name for the snake. We will get together and go over all the entries to choose the best one and announce the winner at our W1HQ special event around the first of April." "I will be blogging again and posting YouTube videos of the event," Breen said. "We'll announce the winner over the air, on the blog and in video, too." She previously blogged the Hello-Live! event and the W1AW HF Open House. The contributor of the winning entry will receive their choice of a current edition of "The ARRL Operating Manual," "The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications" or "The ARRL Antenna Book." All entries should be family-friendly (G-rated) and sent via e-mail <email@example.com>. ==> KANSAS HAMS WORKING TO GET ANTENNA BILL PASSED After an unsuccessful attempt eight years ago to get a PRB-1 type bill signed in Kansas, radio amateurs in that state are trying once again. A hearing for HB 2805 <http://www.kslegislature.org/bills/2008/2805.pdf> in front of the Kansas House Elections and Governmental Organization Committee is scheduled for Monday, February 25. The bill, "An Act Concerning Telecommunications; Establishing The Kansas Emergency Communications Preservation Act," was written by Rep Arlen Siegfreid (R-15). JD Spradling, KC0NYS, of Olathe, Kansas, is chairman of the committee <http://www.hamsforkansas.org/> leading the charge to get a PRB-1 <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/local/prb-1.html> law on the books in that state. He commented: "Many local zoning boards don't give FCC regulations adequate consideration when making zoning decisions and across the country amateurs have found that state laws are a more effective tool for influencing local zoning regulations. So beginning in the 1990s, amateurs began lobbying for legislation that would place PRB-1-type language into their state laws." The bill states that if a municipality takes any action that regulates the placement, screening, number or height of a station antenna structure, the action must "Reasonably accommodate federally licensed amateur radio service communications; and constitute the minimum regulation practicable to carry out the legitimate purpose of the governing body." Antenna support structures that were constructed prior to the bill's effective date (if passed) "are exempted from subsequent changes in zoning regulations...and may be repaired as required." Spradling said the bill was introduced on February 11 and referred to committee the next day. The Committee will hear the bill on Monday, February 25 in Room 784 in the Docking Building in Topeka at 3:30. If hams plan on testifying Monday, please e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> Spradling the written testimony so he can prepare a final list to give to the Committee Chairman Secretary. "If you cannot be present on Monday, you can always send written testimony and I will make sure it becomes part of the written record," Spradling said. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "Tipt round with silver from the Sun's bright eyes" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: No sunspots yet, and the sun has been blank for 17 days. For a week, one sunspot was visible prior to the spotless period, and that followed a 20-day spotless run. NOAA and the US Air Force have predicted daily solar flux (the amount of energy we receive from the Sun at a wavelength of 10.7 cm or 2800 MHz) right at 70 recently, but bumps that to 72 for March 1, continuing into April. This is a minor change, but perhaps this signals that forecasters don't expect any more spots during February. NOAA also predicts low geomagnetic activity until February 28-29 with the planetary A index at 5 through February 26, then 8, 20, 15 and 12 through March 1. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet conditions February 22-26, quiet to unsettled February 27 and unsettled February 28. Sunspot numbers for February 14-20 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 0. The 10.7 cm flux was 70.6, 69.7, 70.3, 71.1, 71.2, 71.7 and 70.9 with a mean of 70.8. Estimated planetary A indices were 15, 10, 9, 5, 12, 12 and 7 with a mean of 10. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 10, 8, 8, 3, 9, 10 and 5 with a mean of 7.6. 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, the NCCC Sprint is on February 22. The Russian PSK WW Contest is February 22-23. Look for the CQ 160 Meter Contest (SSB), the REF Contest (SSB), the UBA DX Contest (CW), the Mississippi QSO Party and the North American QSO Party (RTTY) on February 23-24. The High Speed Club CW Contest is February 24. The North Carolina QSO Party is February 24-25 and the SKCC Sprint is February 27. Next weekend is the ARRL International DX Contest (Phone) on March 1-2. The NCCC Sprint is February 29 and the Wake-Up! QRP Sprint is March 1. Thelow band portion of the Open Ukraine RTTY Championship; the high band portion is March 2. The DARC 10 Meter Digital Contest is March 2 and the RSGB 80 Meter Club Championship (Data) is March 3. The ARS Spartan Sprint and another running of the NCCC Sprint are March 4. 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, March, 9, 2008, for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, March, 21, 2008: 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 <email@example.com>. * 2008 Field Day Web Page Good to Go: The official 2008 ARRL Field Day Web page <http:// www.arrl.org/FieldDay> is up and running. The page includes a summary of available resources, with links to Field Day forms and rules, logos and reference links. There is also a link for ordering commemorative Field Day T-shirts, pins and other supplies. ARRL Sales and Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, said supplies will begin shipping in early March, but it's not too early to place a pre-order now. Radio clubs are encouraged to order early. * ARRL Handbook a "Must-Have" for Broadcast Industry: A broadcast industry trade publication has named "The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications" as the top-rated reference book of broadcast engineers. In an article <http://radioworld.com/pages/s.0047/t.11230.html> in the February 13 edition of "Radio World," the various annual versions of the "Handbook" received the most mentions of necessary literature on the engineer's desk. Doug Fearn, K3KW, an independent handcrafter of audio equipment and a former chief engineer, said, "Not only did I learn electronics from that book, but the old editions are superb examples of how to explain things clearly." Andy Butler, senior director for systems engineering at PBS and a former president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), also recommended the "Handbook," calling it "The best, most comprehensive, cheapest guide to technology you will ever need." * From the DXCC Desk: ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, reports that the 3Y0E DXpedition to Bouvet Island from December 2007-February 2008 has been approved for DXCC credit. * W1AW Endowment Campaign to Start in March: The W1AW Endowment campaign is ready to launch next month. Contributions to help preserve and maintain W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw.html> will help ARRL continue the work to upgrade the Amateur Radio equipment that sends the daily bulletins and code practice sessions, as well as equipment in the visitor operating suites. All new antennas have been installed and filters added in 2007. With more new transceivers and amplifiers, W1AW will continue to live up to its role as the flagship Amateur Radio station. Contributions can be made by mail, telephone (860-594-0397) or online <http://www.arrl.org/endoww1aw>. * Rod Dinkins, AC6V (SK): Rod Dinkins, AC6V, of Oceanside, California, passed away Saturday, February 16. An ARRL member, he was 77. Many hams considered Dinkins, the author and developer of the Web site www.ac6v.com, <http://www.ac6v.com/> to be the final word on anything to do with ham radio. His Web site has more than 130 pages covering thousands of Amateur Radio-related topics, everything from amps (A) to impedance (Z); some hams have said that if a topic is not found on or linked to Dinkins' Web site, it's safe to say that topic does not exist in the Amateur Radio world. Dinkins was also the author of a number of ham radio books, including "FM101x: Using FM Repeaters" and "DX101x: HF + 6 Meters DXing." Dinkins started in radio in the late 1940s with his Knight Kit Ocean Hopper receiver, listening in to the ham bands. In 1977, he received his Amateur Radio license with call sign WA6WTO. He served as an Aviation Electronics Technician from 1951-1955. Re-entering civilian life, Dinkins spent four years as an electronics instructor, followed by two years as a vocational electronics teacher at a junior college. For more than 30 years, Dinkins worked in the aerospace industry as an electronics technical writer. He was a member of the San Diego DX Club (SDDXC) and the Palomar Amateur Radio Club (PARC), and was the former newsletter editor of the Northern California DX Club (NCDXC). Son Jeff has hosted his father's Web site for the past five years and has plans to keep it up and running; Jeff plans on getting his Amateur Radio license and applying for his father's call sign. Dinkins is survived by his wife Karla, sons Jeff and Steve and two grandchildren, Rory and Ewan. Jeff Dinkins told the ARRL that a funeral with full military honors will take place March 13 at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego. =========================================================== 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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