ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 27, No. 8
February 29, 2008
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* + ARRL, FCC, Department of Defense Review New Developments in PAVE PAWS
Interference Mitigation 
* + Tennessee Agency Calls Army MARS into Action 
* + Ducie Island, VP6DX: Making Contacts, Breaking Records 
* + Two New Titles Join the ARRL Bookshelf 
* + The March/April Issue of NCJ Now Available 
* + FCC Denies Petitions to Bring Back Morse Code Testing 
*  Solar Update 
*  IN BRIEF: 
      This Weekend on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + ARRL Gearing Up for Dayton Hamvention 
    + W1HQ Now Up and Running -- on the World Wide Web 
      Wisconsin Hams Assist Injured Driver 
      Los Angeles County Hams Honored for Community Service
      500 kHz Distance Record Broken Again 
      "Swiss Army Knife" Now Available for PIOs 


+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 <letter-dlvy@arrl.org>;
==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane, <k1sfa@arrl.org>;
===========================================================

==> ARRL, FCC, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE REVIEW NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN PAVE PAWS
INTERFERENCE MITIGATION

The FCC, ARRL representatives and agents of the various US Air Force units
working on developing a plan to mitigate alleged interference from 70 cm ham
radio repeaters to PAVE PAWS radar systems on both coasts met February 20 via
conference call. The purpose of the conference was to review the status of the
mitigation plans at both sites: the Massachusetts Military Reservation on Cape
Cod and Beale AFB, north of Sacramento, California. 

Thanks to the cooperation and assistance of the involved repeater owners on Cape
Cod, ARRL Regulatory Branch Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, said, "I am
pleased to be able to pass along that at this time, the Department of Defense
has determined that the levels of harmful interference to the PAVE PAWS radar
site on Cape Cod have been sufficiently reduced. As part of this determination,
they are not rescheduling additional follow-up testing for that area until
sometime in 2009." 

Henderson said that this decision doesn't mean New England is back to
pre-mitigation repeater operation: "Any mitigation steps that have been
taken should remain in place. A repeater that has gone off the air should not be
simply turned back on at its original power level -- its previously determined
mitigation standard still applies in order to protect the primary user from
harmful interference." 

Henderson stressed that the entire process is ongoing. "The high degree of
voluntary cooperation shown by the owners of Air Force-identified repeaters has
helped demonstrate to the DoD that the amateur community takes its
responsibility seriously. This should help us retain access to the band in the
long run." 

During the discussion of the Cape Cod radar during the teleconference, the ARRL
broached the topic of allowing the resumption of coordinating new repeaters on
the 70 cm band in New England. The Air Force has agreed in principle to allow
the New England Spectrum Management Council (NESMC) to resume coordination
efforts under certain conditions. "These include that in addition to
NESMC's normal coordination policies, Longley-Rice signal strength plots are
prepared to determine expected signal strength at the radar site,"
Henderson said. 

Henderson said that the ARRL has a "fairly good understanding of what
strength level at the site should be workable, even though the DoD has not given
us specific information on the sensitivity of the radar. The Longley-Rice plots
should indicate if the operating parameters of the proposed repeater might be
sufficient to prevent harmful interference to the radar site. The Longley-Rice
plots are not the 'last word' in the process, but are a good tool giving the
repeater owner and NESMC a reasonable assessment of possible problems." 

Henderson reiterated that "any specific mitigation number from the Air
Force is an exact measurement, not a 'predicted' number from a computer
analysis." 

Once NESMC approves a tentative coordination, Henderson explained that NESMC
would forward the complete information on the new repeater to the Air Force for
authorization on a case-by-case basis, as provided for in Title 47 §2.106
Footnote US7. "During a 60 day trial period, the Air Force would contact
NESMC for an immediate shut-down of a new repeater causing harmful interference.
If that happens the new repeater would have to remain off the air until it can
be successfully mitigated." 

While this new process is a bit burdensome to NESMC and the repeater owners, it
goes a long way toward keeping Amateur Radio in a position where 70 cm operation
can grow with careful attention to the effect of our operations on the primary
users. 

During the update discussion of the Beale AFB PAVE PAWS site in California, the
DoD was able to report that there was a reduction in harmful interference at the
radar, though work remains to be done to bring the situation at that site to a
successful conclusion. DoD officials announced that a new round of testing is
scheduled during the spring at Beale, and that they will share the results after
the next round of testing is complete. 

During the teleconference, the FCC reported that it has received excellent
compliance in the wake of their phone calls and letters to repeater trustees and
owners. This cooperation has made it unnecessary for the FCC to issue any
mandatory shut down orders to date. The Commission will continue to be the
initial point of contact with the DoD should further mitigation be required
based on additional testing at Beale. 

The ARRL will continue to work with the FCC, DoD, repeater coordinating groups
and individual repeater owners as requested. "Because of the sheer number
of 70 cm repeaters in that area, the Beale problem is taking longer to
resolve," Henderson said. "We will continue to work toward a
successful, constructive conclusion for as long as it takes." 

==> TENNESSEE AGENCY CALLS ARMY MARS INTO ACTION 

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) called Army Military Affiliate
Radio System (MARS) into action as tornados swept across the Southeastern United
States February 5-6. According to Army MARS Chief Stuart Carter, "For the
first time as far back as we can remember, a state government called for MARS
deployment in response to an actual emergency. The resulting teamwork and use of
Army MARS Winlink capability gave TEMA its only e-mail link during President
Bush's visit to the storm-stricken area." At least 70 messages were sent
during the state operation ranging from casualty figure updates and signal
reports to staff rosters and photos. 

TEMA's Chief of Communications David Wolfe, WA4VVX (MARS call sign AAR4CY),
said, "Although there was no commercial power at the deployment site,
TEMA's communications infrastructure was fully operational. Both the VHF high
band and 800 MHz repeater systems had good coverage for voice command and
control. Our shortage was Internet connectivity, and our unmet needs were e-mail
and the ability to send pictures. MARS Winlink provided exactly what was not
available by any other means." 

Carter said that this event illustrates the importance of detailed preparation
and training that has taken place during realistic disaster response exercises
over the past several years. "In the case of Tennessee, the story goes back
a year and a half. Steve Waterman, K4CJX (MARS call sign AAA9AC) began working
with Wolfe in late 2006, preparing for just such a deployment. At the time, Army
MARS was just beginning to adopt the Winlink 2000 radio e-mail network system,
and with the assistance of the then-Tennessee State Director Paul Drothler, WO4U
(MARS call sign AAV4DJ), Army MARS had just signed a Memorandum of Understanding
with TEMA. This MOU just served to strengthen an already strong relationship
between TEMA and Army MARS. Wolfe led TEMA staffers who were already hams to
becoming MARS members and to become qualified MARS Winlink 2000 operators. The
rest of Wolfe's team soon obtained their Amateur Radio and Army MARS
licenses." 

The next step, according to Carter, was joint training for TEMA staff and
Tennessee Army MARS members. Some was classroom training followed up with
extensive field training. The culmination of the field training was TNCAT07, a
massive exercise that included the Central United States Earthquake Consortium
(CUSEC), an eight-state alert consortium along the New Madrid fault line. This
exercise also included the participation by ARRL Amateur Emergency Radio Service
(ARES), Civil Air Patrol and other EmComm services that clearly demonstrated
interoperability between TEMA, Tennessee Army MARS, the Amateur Radio community
and other municipal communications services. 

"To make a long story short," Carter said, "we now have seen a
demonstration of seamless collaboration between Army MARS and one of our
supported agencies under 'Real World' emergency conditions. This was the first
Army MARS deployment since the Katrina/Rita disasters two years ago.
Successfully meeting the challenge involved deployment readiness on the part of
our members, and it required total Winlink 2000 mobility. First of all came the
building of relationships with existing and potential customers, and then came
meticulous training of state and federal staffers, and frequent exercising at
home and in the field. With this pattern of established collaboration between
our customers and MARS members, we enter the new era of Army MARS Emergency
communications support." 

==> DUCIE ISLAND, VP6DX: MAKING CONTACTS, BREAKING RECORDS 

After 13 days, 7 hours and 37 minutes of continuous operation, the VP6DX Team on
Ducie Island <http://ducie2008.dl1mgb.com/index.
php> made their 168,723rd contact. Valeri Koursov, RA0ALM, of
Krasnoyarsk, Russia, contacted the Ducie Island expedition on Monday, February
25, 2008 at 0437 UTC on 30 meters. According to documents maintained by Jari
Jussila, OH2BU, this contact breaks the record for the largest number of
contacts made by any radio expedition. The previous record was held since
February 8-28, 2001 by the Five Star DX Association's DXpedition to the Comoros
Island, D68C. 

The Ducie Island DXpedition has broken other expedition records throughout the
course of the DXpedition, including: 
* The largest number of RTTY contacts, previously held by the Swains Island N8S
DXpedition in April 2007. 
* The largest number of SSB (voice) contacts, previously held by the Comoros
Island D68C DXpedition. 
* The largest number of contacts on 40 meters, previously held by the Libya 5A7A
DXpedition in November 2006. 
* The largest number of contacts on 30 meters, previously held by the St Brandon
Island 3B7C DXpedition in September 2007. 
* The largest number of contacts on 17 meters, previously held by the Swains
Island N8S DXpedition. 
* The largest number of contacts with North America, previously held by the
Comoros Island D68C DXpedition. 
* The largest number of contacts with South America, previously held by the
Peter I Island 3Y0X DXpedition in February 2006. 
* The largest number of contacts with Africa, previously held by the Rodrigues
Island 3B9C DXpedition in March-April 2004. 

The Ducie Island crew received inquiries about the equipment and antennas used
on Ducie Island. They reported that each operating position used: 
* Elecraft K3 radio. They said "The outstanding receiver and transmitter
characteristics allowed us to run two positions simultaneously on any band --
even the very narrow 30 meter band -- with absolutely no interference. Good
design makes the complex appear simple: the ins and outs of this sophisticated
radio were quickly mastered by the operator team, none of whom had seen a K3
before the expedition." 
* Microham microKeyer II computer interfaces: plug in, turn on, call CQ and get
to work. 
* Acom 2000, 1000 or 1010 amplifiers: quietly getting the job done without
trouble. The position used on 160 meters includes an OM 2500 HF amplifier. 
* 200 W W3NQN bandpass filters from Array Solutions and 2 kW bandpass filters
from 4O3A. 
* WinTest logging software running on Durabook ruggedized laptops. 
* Honda EM65is and EM30is inverter supply, gasoline generators. The operators
report that the generators offer "100 percent reliability to date. The
inverter system has been very tolerant of the widely varying loads presented to
the generators as multiple operating positions switch between transmit (high
power consumption) and receive (low power consumption), a vast improvement over
previous gasoline generator designs." 

The seven operating positions were divided into two sites: East (four positions)
and West (three positions). The operating sites stood about 1 kilometer apart, a
15 minute walk over a coral shelf bordering the island's inner lagoon. Each site
had its own WiFi network; a microwave link tied the two sites together. Sleeping
tents and meals were located at the East camp. 

The Ducie Island DXpedition closed down operations on Wednesday, February 27.
Amateurs who had QSOs with VP6DX can check the online logs <http://ducie2008.dl1mgb.
com/onlinelog/index.php>.  -- Information provided by VP6DX Team 

==> TWO NEW TITLES JOIN THE ARRL BOOKSHELF 

The ARRL is pleased to announce two new books as part of the spring publications
line-up: "ARRL's VHF Digital Handbook" and "ARRL's Hands-On Radio
Experiments." These books complete the spring suite that includes the
2008-2009 "ARRL Repeater Directory" and "TravelPlus for
Repeaters" CD-ROM, both to be released in April.

"ARRL's VHF Digital Handbook," written by QST Editor Steve Ford,
WB8IMY, looks at how today's Amateur Radio operators are using digital radio
applications for fun, technical achievement and public service. And it's no
wonder -- getting started often requires little more than a VHF radio and a
computer. This new book includes such topics as packet radio, APRS, D-STAR,
digital applications in public service and emergency communications and much
more. 

Without complicated "owner's manual" jargon, "ARRL's VHF Digital
Handbook" presents the material through a unique how-to approach and
friendly, conversational style. Readers will understand how to setup and operate
their equipment and software and make the best use of their VHF digital station.

"ARRL's Hands-On Radio Experiments," written by H. Ward Silver, N0AX,
is a compilation of the author's "Hands-on Radio" columns that
appeared in QST from 2003-2008. The experiments cover a wealth of topics
designed to educate today's radio experimenters, and inspire others who want to
learn what makes their radios work. Even seasoned experts will encounter new
approaches to practical methods, new explanations for familiar topics and new
ideas that will enhance your understanding of the radio art. Step-by-step,
Silver expertly leads you through each experiment -- and you'll make discoveries
along the way.

With more than 60 experiments ranging from Radio and Electronic Fundamentals to
Semiconductor Basics to Transmission Lines and Impedance Matching to Power
Supplies, these projects are designed to increase your understanding of basic
radio fundamentals, components, circuits and design.

Order your copy of "ARRL's Hands-On Radio Experiments" and
"ARRL's VHF Digital Handbook" today at the ARRL Online Store <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/>. 

==> THE MARCH/APRIL ISSUE OF NCJ NOW AVAILABLE

NCJ, The National Contest Journal is what everyone interested in radiosport
needs to have in their shack. Filled with the latest news from the contesting
world, this is a definite must-have. Whether you are new to contesting or are a
seasoned pro (or somewhere in the middle), you will find something in NCJ just
for you. 

In the March/April issue, David Robbins, K1TTT, ruminates on a "Real-Time
Contest Scoreboard." Julius Fazekas, III, N2WN, discusses "Top Band
Contesting: My 80/160 Meter Receive Antenna Evolution." Tom Menas, K3WT,
remembers the "The 5J0A San Andres Island 2007 CQ WW CW Contest
Operation," and Scott Robbins, W4PA, profiles Rick Lindquist, N1RL, in this
issue's "NCJ Profiles." Bob Neece, K0KR, concludes his "virtual
tour" of the CAC in his article, "Update: The ARRL Contest Advisory
Committee -- Part 2." 

If you've been waiting to see how you did in the October 2007 RTTY Sprint, you
definitely don't want to miss this issue! Ed Muns, W0YK, give readers the
rundown on this popular contest. Was your log one of three "Golden
Logs" received? Check out your scores and see if you can beat it for the
March Sprint. 

A new regular column appears in this issue: "Contesting 101." Each
issue, Kirk Pickering, K4RO, takes contesters, novice and expert alike, around
the "nuts and bolts" of radiosport. This issue, he looks at why people
get started in contesting, as well as an explanation of why people participate
in contests. 

Of course, there are all the regular columns and features you expect from NCJ:
"Workshop Chronicles," by Don Daso, K4ZA; "Contest Tips, Tricks
& Techniques," by Gary Sutcliffe, W9XT; "Propagation," by
Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA; "VHF-UHF Contesting," by Jon Jones, N0JK;
"Contesting on a Budget," by Paul Schaffenberger, K5AF; "DX
Contest Activity Announcements," by Bill Feidt, NG3K; "RTTY
Contesting," by Don Hill, AA5AU, and "Contest Calendar," by Bruce
Horn, WA7BNM. 

All this and more in the March/April issue of NCJ. NCJ is published six times a
year by the ARRL; it is edited by Al Dewey, K0AD. Subscribe today <http://www.arrl.org/ncj/>! 

==> FCC DENIES PETITIONS TO BRING BACK MORSE CODE TESTING 

In a "Memorandum Opinion and Order" (MOO) <http://
hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-08-59A1.pdf> released
February 28, the FCC denied two petitions calling for General or Amateur Extra
license applicants to demonstrate proficiency in Morse code. In December 2006,
the FCC released a "Report and Order" (R&O) <http:/
/hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-06-178A1.pdf> in the
"Morse code proceeding," WT Docket 05-235, that eliminated Morse code
testing as of February 23, 2007. 

The "R&O" amended Section 97.501 to remove the telegraphy
requirement. In reaching this decision, the FCC noted in the R&O that
"one of the fundamental purposes underlying our Part 97 rules is to
accommodate amateur radio operators' ability to contribute to the advancement of
the radio art, and that the Commission had previously concluded that an
individual's ability to demonstrate Morse code proficiency is not necessarily
indicative of his or her ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio
art." The FCC also noted that another fundamental purpose underlying Part
97 rules is "to enhance the value of the amateur service to the public,
particularly with respect to emergency communications, and that the Commission
had previously concluded that most emergency communication today is performed
using voice, data, or video modes, because information can be exchanged much
faster using modes of communication other than telegraphy." 

The Commission therefore concluded that requiring an individual to demonstrate
Morse code proficiency as a licensing requirement "did not further the
purposes of the Part 97 rules." The Commission also found that this
reasoning applied equally to the General Class and the Amateur Extra Class, so
"it rejected suggestions that the Morse code requirement be eliminated for
the General Class license but retained for the Amateur Extra Class
license." 

In the wake of the FCC's actions in WT Docket 05-235, two amateurs submitted
separate petitions to the FCC, asking them to bring back the testing. Anthony R.
Gordon, KG6EQM, of West Covina California, objected to the FCC eliminating the
telegraphy examination element as an examination requirement for the Amateur
Extra Class operator license. Russell D. Ward, W4NI, of Nashville, Tennessee,
requested the FCC reconsider their decision for "'strictly
procedural'" reasons. 

Gordon asserts that "'the failure to keep the Morse code telegraphy
requirement intact, at least as a required examination element for the Amateur
Extra Class operator license, fails to take into consideration the significant
national security implications that require retaining adequate examination
safeguards to insure the viability that Morse code telegraphy provides, not only
to the Amateur service, but the nation as well.'" Gordon argues that the
requirement should be retained so that amateur operators can act as "a
'strategic reserve,'" because there is "no assurance that...voice or
digital modes will even be operationally viable in future emergency
communication environments." 

The FCC was not persuaded, however, that eliminating the Morse code examination
element will affect national security or emergency communications. "We
agree with the commenters who point out that requiring applicants to pass a
one-time telegraphy examination did not and would not guarantee a supply of
skilled telegraphy operators. Moreover, nothing in the Commission's decision
prevents an interested amateur radio operator from pursuing Morse code
proficiency." 

The FCC reiterated their prior conclusion that "an individual's ability to
demonstrate Morse code proficiency does not further the underlying purposes of
the Part 97 rules, i.e., to accommodate individual contributions to the
advancement of the radio art and to enhance the value of the amateur service to
the public. Accordingly, we deny the petition." 

In the MOO, Ward states that he "encountered difficulty" in submitting
his comments and reply comments to the NPRM electronically and that his filings
were not posted on the ECFS (the Commission's electronic filing system) until
after the deadlines had passed. He asserts that "there is no certainty that
the Commission considered his comments and reply comments, that the late posting
of his comments prevented others from replying to them, and that it is 'quite
likely that other comments were treated improperly.'" As a result, Ward
requested that the FCC "stay the proceeding, reopen the record and
reconsider the NPRM after the close of the extended comment period." 

The FCC claims that all comments in the ECFS "were considered before the
Commission adopted the Report and Order, regardless of the how or when they were
filed. Moreover, many of the 3900 comments and reply comments expressed the same
view as Mr. Ward, so the substance of his views unquestionably was replied to
and considered. Finally, he provides no evidence that ECFS mishandled other
comments. No other party has complained that his or her comments were not
received. We conclude, therefore, that reopening the proceeding for additional
comments is not justified, and we deny the petition." 

In summary, the FCC said neither petition asserted "any grounds for
reconsidering" the decision in the Report and Order. "We believe that
the actions taken therein will allow amateur service licensees to better fulfill
the purpose of the amateur service, and will enhance the usefulness of the
amateur service to the public and licensees." 

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Tad "They have never seen the sunshine, nor the glory" Cook, K7RA,
this week reports: A sunspot emerged a few days ago, a welcome sight at Cycle
minimum. Sunspot numbers for February 25-28 were 12, 13, 12 and 12, but that
spot (number 983) is now gone over the eastern horizon of our Sun. If the
February 29 sunspot number is zero, this means our three-month moving average of
sunspot numbers centered on January will be 8.5, slightly higher than the last
reading. Our moving average centered on June 2007-January 2008 is 18.7, 15.4,
10.2, 5.4, 3, 6.9, 8.1 and 8.5, with the minimum centered on October 2007.
Sunspot numbers for February 21-27 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 12, 13 and 12 with a mean of
5.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 71.8, 72.4, 71.6, 70.7, 71.4, 70.7 and 70.7 with a
mean of 71.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3 and 12 with a
mean of 5. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 3, 3, 3, 2, 1, 2 and 6 with a
mean of 2.9. Remember that a sunspot number does not represent the actual number
of sunspots. The minimum non-zero sunspot number is 11, because a value of 10 is
counted for each cluster of sunspots; a value of one is added for each
individual spot. So the February 26 sunspot number of 13 represents one group
containing three sunspots. 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/>.
This week's "Tad Cookism" brought to you courtesy of Elizabeth Barrett
Browning.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This Weekend on the Radio: This weekend, the ARRL International DX Contest
(Phone) is March 1-2. The NCCC Sprint is February 29 and the Wake-Up! QRP Sprint
is March 1. The low band portion of the Open Ukraine RTTY Championship is March
1 and 2; 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. Next weekend
starts with the NCCC Sprint on March 7. The AGCW QRP Contest and SOC Marathon
Sprint are March 8. The RSGB Commonwealth Contest, the Oklahoma QSO Party, the
EA PSK31 Contest and the Idaho QSO Party are March 8-9. The North American
Sprint (RTTY), the SKCC Weekend Sprintathon, the UBA Spring Contest (CW) and the
NSARA Contest are March 9. The Wisconsin QSO Party is March 9-10 and the CLARA
and Family HF Contest is March 11-12. The RSGB 80 Meter Club Championship (CW)
is March 12. 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 <cce@arrl.org>;.

* ARRL Gearing for Up Dayton Hamvention: ARRL EXPO returns to Dayton Hamvention,
to be held May 16-18, 2008 at the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio. The huge ARRL
exhibit area is a showcase of displays, activities and program representatives
to enhance your ham radio experience. The ARRL EXPO is open to all Hamvention
attendees. Meet ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, other ARRL officials,
volunteers and staff knowledgeable on a wide variety of topics. Among the
highlights of the exhibit space will be a card checking area for operating
awards, activities for young hams, the ARRL bookstore and more. ARRL Membership
Manager Katie Breen, W1KRB, is the ARRL EXPO coordinator. "We are looking
at some new and exciting venues within EXPO, but I'm not ready to spill the
beans quite yet! We are focusing our attention this year on the theme of
technology and on Hamvention's theme celebrating ham radio fellowship -- stay
tuned for more news. We sincerely thank the 2008 Dayton Hamvention Committee and
their volunteers for all they do to make this a signature convention; we are so
pleased to participate." Keep an eye on the ARRL EXPO Web site <http://www.arrl.org/expo> for updates. 

* W1HQ Now Up and Running -- on the World Wide Web: ARRL Membership Manager
Katie Breen, W1KRB, has started a blog <http://www.arrl.org/
blog/The%20Rebirth%20of%20W1HQ> chronicling the rebirth of the ARRL
employee's club station, the Laird Campbell Memorial Station, W1HQ. "I've
created this blog as a method of tracking our activities at the ARRL employee's
club station," Breen said. Along with Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko,
KX9X, she has led the charge to spiff up the station by giving the room a
much-needed coat of new paint. Ed Hare, W1RFI, constructed all-new desks and
cabinets. Building Manager Greg Kwasowski, W1GJK, installed new carpet and
ceiling tiles. Test Engineer Mike Tracy, KC1SX, and Lab Assistant Anthony Nesta,
AA1RZ, ran new antenna cables to the roof and rewired the entire room with a new
antenna patch panel to accommodate all the new antenna feed lines. Lab Engineer
Mike Gruber, W1MG, built a trap vertical. Read along as Breen, Kutzko and the
rest of the W1HQ Crew bring W1HQ back to life and back on the air. You can also
check out blogs <http://www.arrl.org/blog/> from past
ARRL events, such as Dayton Hamvention and ARRL Expo, the 2007 ARRL National
Convention and Field Day. DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, also keeps a blog
discussing news and notes concerning the DXCC program.

* Wisconsin Hams Assist Injured Driver: On Wednesday, February 27, Brian
Sprecher, KC9LCC, of Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin, received a radio call on the
147.150 Madison repeater requesting emergency help. Robert Stout, WB9ECK, of
Monticello, Wisconsin, told Sprecher that a vehicle had gone off the road
through a guard rail, stopping short of a creek. The driver was injured and
trapped in his vehicle and an ambulance was needed at the scene. Sprecher called
the Dane County sheriff's office to relay the information. Stout, via the
repeater, kept Sprecher apprised of the driver's injuries; Sprecher, in turn,
updated the sheriff's dispatch with the information. Stout remained at the scene
providing aid until local police arrived. Sprecher relayed all information to
the dispatcher until local authorities arrived and assumed control. "It
sounds like the guy drove off the road through a guard rail and may have not
been found had it not been for WB9ECK. It was also unknown how long the driver
had been over the embankment before being found. This could have been a lot
worse had WB9ECK not become involved," Sprecher said.  -- Information
provided by Brian Sprecher, KC9LCC

* Los Angeles County Hams Honored for Community Service: On February 27, members
of the Disaster Communications Service (DCS), based at the Carson Sheriff
Station, received individual and group awards from the State of California, the
County of Los Angeles, the Carson Sheriff Station Support Foundation and the
City of Carson, California for their participation in a wide range of both
planned and emergent events. These 27 Amateur Radio operators provided almost
8000 hours of service to the agencies, including assisting in providing
assistance during a bicycle race, tactical alerts due to civil unrest, funerals
for fallen deputy sheriffs and the fires that plagued Southern California.
Members of their Rapid Deployment Team spent five days on Catalina Island,
serving as the primary means of communication between the island and the
mainland until telephone systems were restored. The service provided by the
Carson Station DCS volunteers saved the taxpayers of Los Angeles County almost
$320,000, "but more importantly, they selflessly provided an invaluable
service that is a critical component to the safety of our communities and
families," the DCS coordinator said. Thirteen deputies, a firefighter, two
station volunteers and two citizens were also recognized in the second annual
event that pays tribute to Carson sheriff's deputies and supporters for their
work in the city. More information can be found at the Los Angeles County
Disaster Communications Web page <http://lacdcs.com/carson-
awards-endpage.html>. 

* 500 kHz Distance Record Broken Again: On February 21, Neil Schwanitz,
V73NS/WD8CRT, on Roi-Namur in the Marshall Islands, received a signal from
experimental station WD2XSH/6. This experimental station, operated by Pat Hamel,
W5THT, is located in Long Beach, Mississippi -- 6679 miles away from the island
in the Kwajalein atoll. This contact breaks the previous record for the longest
500 kHz contact. That record, set in January 2008, was for a distance of 4737
miles from Cottage Grove, Oregon to Roi-Namur. An article on Hamel's station
appears in the March issue of QST. The ARRL 500 kHz experimental license,
WD2XSH, was issued in September 2006 and has 20 active stations. Fritz Raab,
W1FR, of Vermont, serves as experimental project manager for The 500 KC
Experimental Group for Amateur Radio <http://www.500kc.com/>. Additional
information can be found at the experiment's Web site and also in the
July/August 2007 issue of QEX <http://www.arrl.org/qex/2007/07/
raab.pdf>.  -- Information provided by Fritz Raab, W1FR 

* "Swiss Army Knife" Now Available for PIOs: The 2008 edition of the
"Swiss Army Knife for PIOs" CD is now available. This
"toolkit-on-a-disk" is designed to be a handy reference for Amateur
Radio public relations officials. Topics on the disk include how to write press
releases, give interviews and talk to groups; how to deal with legislative
issues affecting Amateur Radio; audio, video and picture files; how to write
articles for ARRL publications such as QST; how to connect with youth;
information on ARRL public relations awards; how to promote Field Day in your
community; FEMA course information, and more. To receive a copy, send a
self-addressed stamped envelope (please make sure the envelope is large enough
for a CD disk) with at least two units of postage and a note to Public
Relations, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. This disk is available to
anyone with an interest in spreading the word about Amateur Radio.

=========================================================== 
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
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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!): letter-dlvy@arrl.org
==>Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, k1sfa@arrl.org
==>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

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The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources:

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(NOTE: The ARRL Letter will be posted each Friday when it is distributed via
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* The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur Radio
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Copyright 2008 American Radio Relay League, Inc.
All Rights Reserved


 

The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

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 and The American Radio Relay League.

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