*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 27, No. 9 March 7, 2008 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + ARRL "Antenna Expert" to Retire * + ARRL Announces Colvin Award Recipients * + ARRL Soliciting Nominations for 2007 Hiram Percy Maxim Award * + April QST on the Way to your Mailbox * + New Edition of "ARRL Instructor's Manual" Now Available * + FCC Enforcement Actions * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Weekend on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + Larry Scheff, W4QEJ, Wins February QST Cover Plaque Award + ARRL to Close in Observance of Good Friday Nominations Invited for 2008 Young Ham of the Year Award ARRL DXCC Desk Approves 3C7Y Operation Daylight Saving Time Begins this Weekend +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 "ANTENNA EXPERT" TO RETIRE R. Dean Straw, N6BV, best known to Amateur Radio operators as the "ARRL antenna expert," has announced his retirement, effective March 31. Straw's main responsibility at ARRL has been shepherding and shaping "The ARRL Antenna Book" since he took over as editor in 1993 from Jerry Hall, K1TD. "Jerry was one of my Elmers in Hawaii back in the early 1960s. He had been the editor of "The Antenna Book" for many years, and when he decided to retire he suggested I put my name in for the position of editor," Straw said. "At that time, I had been in the marine electronics industry for more than 20 years and I wanted to 'give something back' to this great hobby we call Amateur Radio. Now, looking back, it's been a gratifying 15 years that I've been privileged to work at ARRL." While at ARRL, Straw specialized in antennas, transmission lines and propagation. "I have been able to utilize my training as an electronics engineer in other areas where I could help out. I've enjoyed being associated with some remarkable people at ARRL -- folks who are truly dedicated not only to preserving the legacy of Amateur Radio, but to taking Amateur Radio forward in the 21st century." In his 15 year tenure at ARRL, Straw served as Senior Assistant Technical Editor in the Publications Group. He was Editor of "The ARRL Antenna Book" for five Editions (17th-21st Editions), Editor of "The ARRL Antenna Compendium" series (Volumes 4-7), as well as several editions of "The ARRL Handbook." He was co-author of "Simple and Fun Antennas for Hams" with Chuck Hutchinson, K8CH. A frequent contributor to QST (he most recently served as the handling editor for the "Hints & Kinks" column) and NCJ, Straw has also been Editor of numerous ARRL books: "ON4UN's Low-Band DXing" (4th Edition), "Low-Profile Amateur Radio," "The ARRL DXCC Handbook," "DXing on the Edge," "Amateur Radio on the Move," "Antenna Zoning for the Radio Amateur" and the ARRL Continuing Education "Antenna Modeling" course. ARRL Publications Manager and QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, said, "Back when I first joined the HQ staff, Dean Straw was the man who introduced me to the wonders of ladder line. Before I encountered Dean, I had never heard of ladder line, and I had no idea that this strange-looking feedline could be used with an antenna tuner, giving multiband HF operation with one ordinary wire dipole. Needless to say, it worked -- Dean has been my antenna Elmer ever since. Through all his books and QST articles over the years, Dean has fulfilled the same Elmer role for many. He will be greatly missed." Straw said, "The Lord has been good to me -- how many people can truly say that their vocation has been their beloved avocation too? My wife has consistently maintained over the years: 'You're having entirely too much fun in this job!'" ==> ARRL ANNOUNCES COLVIN AWARD RECIPIENTS The ARRL has granted Colvin Awards to three 2008 DXpeditions: The recently completed VP6DX Ducie Island DXpedition <http://ducie2008.dl1mgb.com/index.php> and the upcoming operations from the TX5C DXpedition to Clipperton Island <http://www.clipperton2008.org/> and the 9X0R DXpedition to Rwanda <http://www.9x0r.com/>. These three DXCC entities appear high-up on the most-wanted lists. The VP6DX DXpedition was on the air from February 11-27. Carsten Esch, DL6LAU, and Eric Scace, K3NA, led the 13-member team to the small island 540 kilometers east of Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific. This DXpedition made 183,686 contacts, the largest number of contacts made by any radio DXpedition. The previous record had been held since February 2001 by the Five Star DX Association's DXpedition to the Comoros Island, D68C. Ducie Island was ranked as #25 on the DXCC list of most-wanted entities. The VP6DX DXpedition broke many other records, 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. An overseas possession of France, Clipperton Island is a coral atoll in the North Pacific. About nine square kilometers, it lies southwest of Mexico and west of Costa Rica and has no permanent inhabitants. Bob Grimmick, N6OX, will lead an international team of 21 amateurs to the atoll for a DXpedition set to begin March 7 for 10 days. Clipperton currently ranks as #21 on the DXCC list of most-wanted entities. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of the World <http://www.arrl.org/lotw/> once TX5C's official log has been certified. TX5C plans to operate on 6-160 meters: "We will nearly always be working split and will regularly announce our listening frequencies. Our goal is to make over 100,000 QSOs and will pay special attention to working some of the more difficult areas like Europe and the Middle East." The TX5C bandplan is available at <http://www.clipperton2008.org/dxpedition/bandplan.htm>. An important goal of the TX5C DXpedition is furthering the knowledge of Clipperton and its ecosystem. As part of the application for the landing permit, the TX5C team agreed that certain scientific studies would be performed during their stay on the atoll, such as setting up a weather station, recording tide times and observation of native bird species. These studies will be conducted under the auspices of Christian Jost, director of the Geographical Research Center of Paul Verlaine University in Metz. Antonio Gonzalez, EA5RM, will lead a 13-member team to Rwanda, a small landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of east-central Africa. The 9X0R team plans to be on the air from March 16-27. They will operate on 10-160 meters on CW, SSB and digital modes. Rwanda has not been on the air since late 1997 and currently ranks as #45 on the DXCC list of most-wanted entities. The 9X0R bandplan is available at <http://www.9x0r.com/operation/>. Gonzalez said the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) is trying to establish rules regarding Amateur Radio in Rwanda: "Right now there is not an easy way to get an Amateur Radio license here, but in a few months things should be different and ham radio activities will start to be more usual from this country." According to Gonzalez, a group of Rwandan amateurs, with the help of RURA, are trying to establish the Rwanda Amateur Radio Union (RARU) as the national Amateur Radio society in that country. He said that the RARU will be applying for membership in the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) soon. The Colvin Award was established in 1994 with the proceeds of a life insurance policy purchased by renowned DXer Lloyd Colvin, W6KG (SK), naming the League as beneficiary. The award is conferred in the form of grants in support of Amateur Radio projects that promote international goodwill in the field of DX. The awards guidelines favor multi-national teams with strong ethics and good QSLing policies including the use of Logbook of the World. From the 1960s into the early 1990s, Lloyd Colvin and his wife Iris, W6QL, activated more than 100 DXCC entities. Lloyd Colvin died in 1993 and Iris Colvin in 1998. ==> ARRL SOLICITING NOMINATIONS FOR 2007 HIRAM PERCY MAXIM AWARD The ARRL invites nominations for the 2007 Hiram Percy Maxim (HPM) Memorial Award <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/awards/hpm.html>. The League's premier youth recognition, the HPM Memorial Award goes annually to a radio amateur under age 21 in recognition of the recipient's accomplishments and contributions "of the most exemplary nature" to both the Amateur Radio community and the local community during the previous calendar year -- 2007 in this instance. Nomination criteria may include: * Participation or leadership in organizational affairs at the local or national level (for example, local radio club, ARES, net control, participation in civic groups). * Technical achievement (building radios, putting up an antenna and such). * Operating record (for example, nets, disaster drills, contests, ARRL November Sweepstakes, etc). * Recruitment and training of new amateurs (for example, helped teach a license class, JOTA, etc). * Public relations activities (for example, create a ham radio Web page). To nominate a deserving candidate, submit a completed nomination form <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/awards/hpm.html> to your ARRL Section Manager (SM), along with any supporting information and endorsements of ARRL-affiliated clubs and elected or appointed League officials. SMs make the formal nominations. There is no limit to the number of nominations an individual or club may submit to an SM, and SMs may nominate more than one individual. SMs need to have all information in sufficient time to submit a formal nomination to ARRL Headquarters by March 31. A list of SMs is available on page 16 of any issue of QST or on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/org/smlist.html>. Nomination forms and supporting information should document as thoroughly as possible the Amateur Radio achievements and contributions of the nominee during the previous calendar year. ARRL must receive all supporting documentation by April 15. An award panel reviews the nominations and selects the winner. HPM Memorial Award winners receive a cash award of $1500 and an engraved plaque. For more information, contact Steve Ewald, WV1X <firstname.lastname@example.org>, tel 860-594-0265. ==> APRIL QST ON THE WAY TO YOUR MAILBOX The April issue of QST is jam-packed with all sorts of things today's Amateur Radio operator needs. From product reviews to experiments to contesting, the upcoming issue of QST has something for just about everyone. Larry Scheff, W4QEJ, discusses what you need to do to protect your house -- and your shack -- from a lightning strike in "Lightning: Understand it or Suffer the Consequences -- Part 2." ARRL News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, takes a look at the first 2008 meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors in her article "ARRL Board Authorizes New Section Positions, Adopts Budget, More, at 2008 Annual Meeting." Paul Pescitelli, K4UJ, and Tom Harwell, N4XP, take readers to a coral reef in the South China Sea in their cover article, "The 2007 DXpedition to Scarborough Reef." In his monthly column "This Month in Contesting," ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, talks about how those new to radiosport can get their feet wet. He gives his picks for the best contests for those wanting to try out contesting for the first time, especially those new to the digital modes. Read about the results of the 2007 ARRL International EME Competition and go ahead and start planning for the 2008 IARU HF Championship, scheduled for July 12-13. Find out about other upcoming contests in this month's Contest Corral. ARRL Technical Advisor Bruce Prior, N7RR, reviews the Elecraft K3 HF/6 Meter Transceiver. According to the ARRL Lab test results, "Elecraft's K3/10 modular kit is easy and enjoyable to assemble. Once built, you're rewarded with a feature-laden transceiver with receiver performance rivaling the best available at any price. You can customize your radio with a wide range of options at any time as your interests and needs change." ARRL Product Contributing Editor Howard Robins, W1HSR, reviews the Kenwood TH-D7A(G) Dual Band Handheld, saying this radio "is a full-featured dual band handheld that works well, is easy to use and expands on the original model's APRS capabilities." Of course, there are the usual columns you know and love in the April QST: Hints & Kinks, The Doctor Is IN, How's DX, Old Radio, Hamspeak and more. Look for your April issue of QST in your mailbox. QST is the official journal of ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. QST is just one of the many benefits of ARRL membership. To join or renew your ARRL membership, please see the ARRL Web page <http://www.arrl.org/join>. ==> NEW EDITION OF "ARRL INSTRUCTOR'S MANUAL" NOW AVAILABLE The fourth edition of the "ARRL Instructor's Manual" <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=1263> is designed to coordinate classroom instruction with the current ARRL student manuals for Technician and General Class licensing, "The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual" and "The ARRL General Class License Manual." The lesson plans and instructional PowerPoint presentations in the new edition of the Instructor's Manual have been developed by ARRL Education & Technology Program Manager Mark Spencer, WA8SME, and are intended to provide an outline for instruction. Instructors can customize these lesson plans and materials to fit their course format, addressing the needs of a particular audience. ARRL Education Services Manager Debra Johnson, K1DMJ, said, "We encourage instructors to think of the provided PowerPoint presentations, along with our instruction materials, as teaching aids -- one tool among many in your instructional toolbox." Get your copy today at the ARRL Online Store <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/>. ==> FCC ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS Special Counsel in the FCC Spectrum Enforcement Division Riley Hollingsworth sent a Warning Notice to Amanda F. Spenlinhauer, KB1CQX, of Wells, Maine, reminding her that "the trustees of the N1KMA, N1VAR, KQ1L and the repeaters operating under the WA1ARN call sign have requested in writing that you refrain from use of the repeater." These requests, the Commission, noted, were due to Spenlinhauer's "failure to follow operational rules set forth by the licensee/control operators of the repeater system for its users and FCC rules." Spenlinhauer had been issued verbal requests to refrain from using the repeaters in the past, but she has, according to the Warning Notices, "apparently ignored both verbal and written requests." Warned that the FCC would initiate enforcement action against her license -- which can include revocation, monetary forfeiture or a "modification proceeding to restrict the frequencies on which [she] may operate KB1CQX" -- Spenlinhauer was informed by the Commission that she was "expect[ed] to abide by the request to stay off the repeater systems and any other such request by a repeater licensee, control operator or trustee." Fines normally range from $7500-$10,000. Hollingsworth also pointed out that Spenlinhauer's Amateur Radio license was set to expire on April 7, 2008. "Please be advised," Hollingsworth said, "that your license will not be routinely renewed unless this matter is resolved." Hollingsworth also sent a an inquiry into interference from a Part 15 device to a licensee in Holmen, Wisconsin, and a Warning Notice concerning interference on 10 meters from an unlicensed station in Harmony, North Carolina. Two cases were opened by the Commission regarding unlicensed transmissions on non-amateur frequencies by amateur licensees in Zebulon and Pikeville, North Carolina. The Appalachian Power Company in Charleston, West Virginia also received a letter from the FCC regarding radio frequency interference from power line hardware to an Amateur Radio licensee. Direct all questions concerning the Amateur Radio Service Enforcement Actions Web postings via e-mail only to Riley Hollingsworth <email@example.com> in the FCC Spectrum Enforcement Division ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "When the flush of a new-born Sun fell first on Eden's green and gold" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: Following five days of no sunspots, we saw one (number 984) on March 5 and 6, but it is fading off the west limb of the Earth-facing portion of the Sun. Solar activity is still very low. Sunspot numbers for February 28-March 5 were 12, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 13 with a mean of 3.6. The 10.7 cm flux was 70, 69.8, 68.6, 69.2, 68.4, 68.3 and 69.3 with a mean of 69.1. Estimated planetary A indices were 22, 27, 19, 8, 5, 4 and 8 with a mean of 13.3. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 17, 18, 13, 8, 4, 3 and 7, with a mean of 10. For next week, NOAA and the US Air Force predict planetary A index of 5, 15, 15, 10, 10, 15 and 10 for March 7-13. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts unsettled to active conditions March 7, active geomagnetic conditions March 8 and unsettled conditions March 9-13. 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 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. Next weekend, the NCCC Sprint is March 14. The AGCW VHF/UHF Contest, Feld Hell Sprint and the 10-10 International Mobile Contest are on March 15. The Russian DX Contest is March 15-16 and the Virginia QSO Party is March 15-17. The UBA Spring Contest (6 meters) and the 9K 15 Meter Contest are both March 16. On March 17, look for the Run for the Bacon QRP Contest and the Bucharest Contest. The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint and the RSGB 80 Meter Club Championship (SSB) are scheduled for March 20. 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * Larry Scheff, W4QEJ, Wins February QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for February is Larry Scheff, W4QEJ, for his article "Lightning: Understand It or Suffer the Consequences -- Part 1." Congratulations, Larry! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award -- given to the author or authors of the best article in each issue -- is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/qstvote.html>. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the March issue by Monday, March 31. * ARRL to Close in Observance of Good Friday: ARRL Headquarters will be closed in observance of Good Friday on Friday, March 21. There will be no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions that day. "The ARRL Letter" will be posted a day early on Thursday, March 20; there will be no "ARRL Audio News" that week. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Monday, March 24 at 8 AM Eastern Daylight Time. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend. * Nominations Invited for 2008 Young Ham of the Year Award: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2008 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year (YHOTY) Award. The award honors a licensee 18 years old or younger who has used ham radio to significantly contribute to the benefit of the Amateur Radio Service, to the state of the communications art, to the community or the nation. This year, nominations are being accepted for Amateur Radio operators living in the US, Puerto Rico and the 10 Canadian provinces. Nominations and supporting materials must be submitted before May 30, 2008, on an official application. To obtain a nomination form, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to 2006 Young Ham of the Year Award, c/o Newsline, 28197 Robin Ave, Santa Clarita, CA 91350, or download the form from the Internet <http://www.yhoty.org/pdf/YHOTY_2008_Nomination_Form.pdf>. Nominations may electronically submitted using a Web form <http://www.yhoty.org/nomination-form.htm>, but supporting materials must be submitted separately. Presentation of the 2008 YHOTY Award will take place in August at the Huntsville Hamfest in Alabama. There's more information on the YHOTY Web site <http://www.yhoty.org/>. * ARRL DXCC Desk Approves 3C7Y Operation: ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, reports that the 2007 3C7Y DXpedition to Equatorial Guinea has been approved for DXCC credit. "If you had cards rejected for this operation, please send an e-mail <email@example.com> to the ARRL DXCC Desk to have your DXCC record updated," Moore said. * Daylight Saving Time Begins this Weekend: Don't forget to set your clocks ahead one hour -- daylight saving time begins Sunday, March 9 at 2 AM local time. =========================================================== 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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