*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 27, No. 13 April 4, 2008 ***************
IN THIS EDITION:
* + Fourteenth Annual AES Superfest a Super Success * + ARRL Recognition Awards Available * + Get Ready for World Amateur Radio Day on April 18 * + ARRL Compiles Complete Works of Larson E. Rapp, WIOU * + Annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Test Scheduled for May * + 2008-2009 ARRL Repeater Directories Now Shipping * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Weekend on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration Notes from the DXCC Desk + Hams Come to Rescue in Utah + Dick Jansson, KD1K, Wins March QST Cover Plaque Award Exhibit Kits Available for Field Day Field Day Station Locator Up and Running Transatlantic Balloon to Launch this Weekend Tim Hulick, W9QQ (SK) Des Moines Hamfest Location Update Belgian Satellite to Feature D-STAR Technology
+Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/>
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ARRL Sales and Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, attended the 14th Annual AES Superfest <http://www.aesham.com/superfest.shtml> at the headquarters store of Amateur Electronic Supply in Milwaukee, Wisconsin March 28-29. This event is an ARRL sanctioned hamfest that included forums, VE testing (sponsored by MRAC), DXCC card checking and a fox hunt. ARRL Central Division Director Dick Isely, W9GIG; Vice Director Howie Huntington, K9KM, and ARRL Wisconsin Section Manager Don Michalski, W9IXG, were also on hand for the event.
More than 30 vendors made the trek to Wisconsin to show off their wares. "It was fun to visit with all of the AES staff and sales people, too. I enjoyed discussing our new publications, especially the new format of the 'The ARRL Repeater Directory,'" Inderbitzen said.
ARRL Volunteer Counsel Jim O'Connell, W9WU, offered a forum Saturday afternoon -- Legal Issues for Hams -- giving advice for avoiding restrictive antenna covenants, presenting a case for installing a tower (before legislative or zoning officials) and information on the latest court rulings on RFI and PRB-1. ARRL Instructor Gordon West, WB6NOA, presented a forum, encouraging the crowd to recruit, mentor and most of all, have fun!
Inderbitzen heard from many hams while he was at the ARRL booth at Superfest: "Most of the comments I received were very positive. There were lots of nice words about the 'direction' of ARRL, the layout of QST and the one-on-one experiences members have with the ARRL staff and officials. A few folks mentioned having great visits to ARRL headquarters."
On March 27, the night before Superfest, Inderbitzen attended a meeting of the Milwaukee Radio Amateurs' Club (MRAC) and spoke about sharing the passion for Amateur Radio with friends and family members. This club, founded in 1917, will celebrate 90 years of ARRL Club Affiliation in 2009. In recognition of this milestone, Inderbitzen presented MRAC President Howard Parks, AB9FH, with an ARRL Recognition Award "for its commitment to Amateur Radio and to the American Radio Relay League."
As a service to its members, the ARRL now offers custom awards for clubs, groups and individuals for recognition and achievement, offering a wide range of styles and price levels. Each award is customized with your text and the ARRL logo. The ARRL has introduced these items in response to requests by members.
Products offered include a tan leather rectangular key fob with a call sign on one side and the ARRL diamond on the other; a rosewood pen and pencil set with personalization available on the pen and pencil, as well as the presentation box; an 8x10 inch wood plaque with blue plate engraved with up to 14 lines of gold text; a swiveling wood desk clock that holds a photo or an insert -- personalize this with up to 25 characters on two lines, and a beautiful crystal 3-inch etched globe on a crystal base, presented in a velvet-lined gift box.
Do you have that one ham in your group who comes out every Field Day, rain or shine, who stays from beginning to end, helping out in any way possible? Acknowledge their involvement with a beautiful gift that shows how much you value their service. What about the ham in your club that has been a member for 25 years and has yet to miss a meeting? Show them how much you appreciate their contribution with a small personalized token. Do you have an Elmer you would like to thank with more than words? A personalized gift with their name and call sign on it would remind them of you every time they use it.
Each item features the ARRL diamond logo. Award orders will be processed and delivered within 20 working days. View the entire award product line, as well as ARRL clothing items, at the Barker Specialties Web site <http://www.barkerstores.com/arrl>.
Each year on the anniversary of its founding, April 18, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) marks World Amateur Radio Day. On this 83rd anniversary of its inaugural meeting in Paris, the IARU dedicates World Amateur Radio Day to the future of Amateur Radio with its theme, "Amateur Radio: A Foundation for Technical Knowledge."
It is no secret that many professionals in the field of radio, TV, communications and electronics have started their technical education as young radio amateurs. Although Amateur Radio has a different face nowadays -- Digital Communications, Voice over Internet Protocol, Satellite up- and downlinks and more -- it is even of greater value as a foundation for technical knowledge for youngsters. And much more -- it is and should be used as a unique attraction for future young radio amateurs.
World Amateur Radio Day provides an occasion to promote and publicize Amateur Radio. Amateur Radio clubs are encouraged to find suitable ways of celebrating World Amateur Radio Day. Many ways can be considered -- inviting youngsters to visit radio clubs, showing up on the air with a special call sign, organizing a station in a public area with media coverage or publicly honoring amateurs who have made significant contributions. Whatever method is chosen, clubs should think about publishing a press release for the media, giving the background to World Amateur Radio Day and promoting the value of Amateur Radio as a foundation for a technical career.
The ARRL will be very pleased to hear how Amateur Radio clubs chose to celebrate World Amateur Radio Day. Share your stories and photos with us, so that they may be shared with the Amateur Radio community. E-mail your submissions to ARRL Affiliated Club/Mentor Program Supervisor Norm Fusaro, W3IZ <email@example.com>. Please be sure to put "World Amateur Radio Day" in the subject line. -- Information provided by IARU
Thanks to the efforts of ARRL volunteer Bob Allison, WB1GCM, the League has assembled the complete known works of noted QST author Larson E. Rapp, WIOU <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/larson/>. Rapp's remarkable contributions spanned a period of more than three decades (1941-1962, 1972), primarily during the month of April. Rapp was said to be from Kippering-on-the-Charles, Massachusetts, just off Route 128.
"Like most visionaries unafraid of pushing technology beyond conventional limitations, Larson at times was controversial among his peers and contemporaries," ARRL Lab Engineer Mike Gruber, W1MG, said. "You can now be the judge of just how well Rapp's theorems and trademark 'radical approach' have withstood the test of time."
The first Rapp article, "Putting Dynamic Prognostication to Work," appeared in the April 1941 issue of QST. In the article, Rapp expounded on his efficient one-tube transmitter. When Rapp discussed the tuning of the transmitter, he said, "The high coupling efficiency of the unit results in a minimum plate current of resonance of about 0.9 ma. at 7 Mc. This is too low a value to show on the 0-250 milliammeter that should be used for the circuit, so you'll have to take our word for it." The transmitter was described as having a "simple construction of the chassis which is made from cardboard fastened by wire staples and glue. The underside is covered with tin foil."
In "The Circular Band Theorem: Operational Advantages of Concentric Frequency Allocations" [April 1946], Rapp theorized if the FCC assigned "amateur frequencies in concentric circles instead of bands [the end result would be] the consequent elimination of out-of-band operation and band edge crowding...[making] it possible to work someone 40 or 50 kc. removed from one's frequency." This was brought on by Rapp's claim that amateurs, "realizing that after calling 'CQ' they had to start listening somewhere and that somewhere was usually the edge of the band." Rapp called for bands to be designed in "concentric circles, and the beginners should be encouraged to start in the smallest circle. Thus, even if one managed to get out of band -- we don't see how he could, but someone would find a way! -- he would still be inside the next circle and amateur radio would have no black mark against it for out-of-band operation. Further, the fact that a beginner was encouraged to start in the inner circle would make him feel like he was one of the boys right off, being allowed into the inner circle!"
In the April 1960 issue of QST, a phony full-page ad announced the formation of "Larsen E. Enterprises, Inc," supposedly off Route 128 in Kippering-on-the-Charles, Massachusetts, with Larsen E. Rapp as president. Bearing a "Not a Advertisement" disclaimer, the ad offered customers free access to the company's air-conditioned "Wonder Workshop" with each kit purchase. "If you don't have the time to assemble the entire kit yourself, one of our engineers will be glad to do it for you, just for the pleasure it gives him," the ad promised. "No tipping please." In the "Print Shoppe," customers could purchase "authentic reproductions of the rarest QSL cards in the world." The price included having the company's "patient penman" fill in the card with your call sign and a signal report, duplicating the original ink and handwriting.
Rapp himself said that "In assembling this list of my articles and letters over the years, I noticed that QST always chose to publish them in the springtime. This practice was especially meaningful to me as spring has historically been a time of new beginnings and in our radio hobby, a time for new insights into old technical problems. I hope you, too, will be helped and inspired by these writings of an old ham."
The Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are co-sponsoring the annual Military/Amateur Radio communications tests in celebration of the 58th anniversary of Armed Forces Day (AFD). Although the actual Armed Forces Day is celebrated on May 17, the AFD Military/Amateur Crossband Communications Test will be conducted on May 10 to prevent conflict with the Dayton Hamvention, scheduled for May 16-18.
The annual celebration features traditional military to amateur crossband communications SSB voice tests and copying the Secretary of Defense message via digital modes. These tests give Amateur Radio operators and short wave listeners an opportunity to demonstrate their individual technical skills and to receive recognition from the Secretary of Defense and/or the appropriate military radio station for their proven expertise. QSL cards will be provided to those stations making contact with the military stations. Special commemorative certificates will be awarded to anyone who receives and copies the digital Armed Forces Day message from the Secretary of Defense.
Look for schedules and frequencies of participating military stations to be published in May on the Army MARS Web site <http://www.netcom.army.mil/MARS>.
With more than 20,000 listings for VHF/UHF repeaters across the US and Canada, "The ARRL Repeater Directory 2008-2009" is a must have. Once again, the ARRL is offering two sizes of the "Repeater Directory" -- pocket size <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=1271> and desktop <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=1298>.
This year, not only is the pocket-sized Repeater Directory a half-inch larger than previous editions, it boasts a larger font size, making for easier reading. For the first time ever, this year's editions feature handy indexing tabs on the cover, easier to read listings and a "Key to Repeater Notes" located right up front in the Directory.
Along with these new features, both editions have the features you know and enjoy from prior years: Repeater operating practices, repeater lingo and hints for newly licensed hams; Frequency Coordinator contact information; listings for D-Star and APCO 25 repeaters; a guide to using CTCSS tones and Digital Coded Squelch (DCS); VHF/UHF band plans and a 2 meter channel-spacing map; IRLP (Internet linked) nodes; tips for handling interference; listings for IRLP, WIRES-II and EchoLink (Internet linked) nodes; emergency message handling procedures, and a transceiver memory log.
Order your copy of The ARRL Repeater Directory 2008-2009 today at the ARRL Online Store <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?category=What's%20New>.
Tad "Who bade the Sun clothe you with rainbows" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: The past few days have had very stable geomagnetic conditions. After unsettled to active geomagnetic indicators on March 26-28, conditions quieted down dramatically. Combined with the nearly two-week run of sunspots and the spring season, this makes good HF conditions. There were actually three sunspots, beginning on March 23 with the first one and a sunspot number of 14. March 24 and 25 each brought one new spot; the sunspot number rose to 35 and 52 on those days. Activity peaked between March 26-29 with daily sunspot numbers of 63, 57, 63 and 50. Yesterday, April 3, the sunspot number was back to 14 again, as one-by-one, the three spots drifted from view. Today's sunspot number may be back to zero, and it may stay that way until April 18-20. Sunspot numbers for March 27 through April 2 were 57, 63, 50, 41, 45, 25 and 24 with a mean of 43.6. The 10.7 cm flux was 84.8, 82.9, 82.6, 80.5, 79.2, 77.8 and 75.9 with a mean of 80.5. Estimated planetary A indices were 31, 21, 8, 8, 4, 4 and 1 with a mean of 11. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 19, 13, 6, 6, 2, 5 and 1, with a mean of 7.4. 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 Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
* This Weekend on the Radio: This weekend, look for the YLRL DX-YL to NA-YL Contest (CW) on April 4-6. The SP DX Contest, the EA RTTY Contest, the QCWA Spring QSO Party, the Missouri QSO Party and the Yuri Gagarin International DX Contest are all on April 5-6. The RSGB RoPoCo 1 is April 6, the RSGB 80 Meter Club Championship (CW) is April 7, the ARS Spartan Sprint is April 8 and the NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint is April 9. The CQ WW WPX Contest (SSB) is March 29-30. Next weekend is the LRL DX-YL to NA-YL Contest (SSB) on April 11-13. The EU Spring Sprint (CW) is April 12. The JIDX CW Contest, Radio Maritime Day and the Georgia QSO Party are April 12-13. Be sure to check out the SKCC Weekend Sprintathon and the UBA Spring Contest (SSB) on April 13. The RSGB 80 Meter Club Championship (SSB) is scheduled for April 16. 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, April 20, 2008, for these on-line course sessions beginning on Friday, May 2, 2008: Technician License Course (EC-010); Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1 (EC-001); Radio Frequency Interference (EC-006); Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009); Analog Electronics (EC-012), and Digital Electronics (EC-013). 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>.
* Notes from the DXCC Desk: ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, reports that DXCC has completed processing applications for 2007. As such, St Barthelemy (FJ) has been added to the DXCC computer system and Logbook of The World <http://www.arrl.org/lotw>. With the addition, this moves the #1 Honor Roll position to 338 current entities; operators now need 329 entities to qualify for Honor Roll. ARRL "While DXCC has completed applications for 2007, there are a number of application returns still being mailed, so it may be another 2-3 weeks before applicants receive their 2007 return," Moore said. "LoTW is now accepting certificate requests for St Barthelemy; once those logs are submitted, the matches should occur and applicants can claim DXCC credit." For programmers who use the DXCC entity numbering system, the entity code for St Barthelemy is 516. Moore also noted that the 2007 G4GIR/KH9 DXpedition to Wake Island has been approved for DXCC credit: "If you had cards rejected for this operation, please send an e-mail to the ARRL DXCC Desk <email@example.com> to have your DXCC record updated."
* Hams Come to Rescue in Utah: Eldon Kearl, K7OGM, of Fish Haven, Idaho, was driving in the Logan Canyon, Utah area last week when he came upon a driver who lost control of her truck in the snow. Her truck fell more than 100 feet over a cliff, and two of the three passengers were thrown from the truck. Witnesses tried to call for help on their cell phones, but the closest cell coverage was more than a 30 minute drive away. Kearl, however, had a radio in his car and was able to get a hold of another ham, Roger Ellis, KE7HTE, of Logan, Utah. Kearl relayed to Ellis information about the accident scene and Ellis called 911. First responders were on the scene within half an hour. Although the driver and passengers in the truck suffered only minor injuries, a spokesman for the Utah Highway Patrol said that if Kearl and Ellis had not responded in getting help so quickly, the injuries could have been much worse. As Kearl said, "It all worked out pretty good." Kearl and Ellis have never met, but live relatively close to each other; they plan on meeting each other in person soon. -- Information provided by KSL-TV, Salt Lake City, Utah
* Dick Jansson, KD1K, Wins March QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for March is Dick Jansson, KD1K, for his article "HF Antennas and Restricted Living." Congratulations, Dick! 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 April issue by Wednesday, April 30.
* Exhibit Kits Available for Field Day: Visit the ARRL Field Day information page <http://www.arrl.org/fieldday> for all the details on Field Day rules, frequencies, forms, pins, logos and T shirts. The complete Field Day packet <http://www.arrl.org/contests/forms/fd-2008-packet.pdf> can be downloaded from the site as well. If you have unanswered questions about Field Day, contact ARRL Field Day Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, via e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> or by phone at 860-594-0236. If you want to order exhibit kits containing printed flyers about Amateur Radio, you may order these materials on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/brochures/>. The cost of the exhibit kits ranges from $8-$12 depending on shipping. To make sure you'll have the display material in time for Field Day, your order must be received before June 13. ARRL Field Day is always the fourth full weekend in June; in 2008, it is June 28-29.
* Field Day Station Locator Up and Running: This year, for the first time, the ARRL has put together a Station Locator <http://www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/fd/locator.php> to help amateurs or those interested in Amateur Radio find a Field Day <http://www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/fd/> site near them. According to ARRL Field Day Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, many amateurs have been asking for something like this for many years: "So far, 287 groups in 45 states and 3 Canadian provinces had registered their Field Day site with the Station Locator." If your group would like to be a part of the Station Locator Service, it's easy to get started. Just go to the Field Day Station Locator Web site <http://www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/fd/locator.php> and follow the instructions.
* Transatlantic Balloon to Launch this Weekend: The trans-Atlantic balloon flight of the Spirit of Knoxville V is set to launch April 5 at 2000 EDT (0000 UTC April 6). The balloon, designed to stay aloft for more than 24 hours, will be inserted into the current jet stream at normal flight altitudes of 30,000-40,000 feet. This will take the balloon into Europe over the UK and France at around 40 hours into the flight if all goes well. Using radio frequencies, the balloon transmits data detailing its current location, distance traveled, speed, height and health of the balloon. Last month, the Spirit of Knoxville IV made two-thirds of its journey and crossed the tectonic plate to Europe; organizers hoped the balloon would make to Europe, but after 40 hours and 3300 miles, the balloon lost altitude and went into the ocean as it neared Ireland. The balloon's payload consists of hand-made computers and radios along with a GPS and self-authored software. The onboard computer gathers information from the GPS like altitude, speed and temperature; the computer then determines whether it needs to drop weight to maintain its altitude and sends this information, via Amateur Radio frequencies, to volunteers around the globe. Track the mission live (the live status page will only become active at launch). See the Spirit of Knoxville Web page <http://www.spiritofknoxville.com/> for more information.
* Tim Hulick, W9QQ (SK): ARRL has learned that Tim Hulick, PhD, W9QQ (ex W9MIJ), Captain, USNR retired, of Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, passed away December 28, 2007 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 65. Hulick, an ARRL Life Member, also held the calls V47QQ, KG4QQ, HL9QQ and PJ9Q. A 1964 graduate of the US Naval Academy, Hulick served his country for 29 years. Upon retiring from the Navy, he operated Watts Unlimited, producing a lightweight HV Power Supply designed for use as a replacement in older amplifiers. Hulick wrote several articles for QST and QEX, including "Switching Power Supplies for High Voltage" (QEX, February 1991), "PSK31 on the Road!" (QST, March 2000), and "A Two-Element Vertical Parasitic Array for 75 Meters" (QST, December 1995). Hulick was on the ARRL DXCC Honor Roll with 356 countries; he only needed BS7, but was too sick to mount a serious effort to get them while it was most recently on the air. He worked more than 230 counties while mobile. He also operated /MM from a number of ships during his Naval career. Hulick was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. He is survived by his wife JoAnne, three sons, a daughter and several grandchildren.
* Des Moines Hamfest Location Update: The Des Moines Radio Amateur Association (DSMRAA) will hold their hamfest on April 27 at the 92.5 KJJY Event Center, located at 2100 NW 100th Street in Clive, Iowa. The April issue of QST inadvertently stated the hamfest would be held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
* Belgian Satellite to Feature D-STAR Technology: Students at the Universite de Liege in Belgium have built OUFTI-1 <http://www.leodium.ulg.ac.be/cmsms/>, a new Amateur Radio CubeSat featuring D-STAR digital-communication protocol that is used for control and telemetry. Amateur Radio operators from all over the world are able to listen in on the ON0ULG D-STAR repeater on 70 cm <http://www.jfindu.net/dstarlh.aspx?rptr=ON0ULG>; 2 meters will be operational soon. The objective of this nanosatellite project is to provide hands-on experience to students in the design, construction and control of complete satellite systems, ultimately serving as the basis for a variety of space experiments. The first satellite in the series, OUFTI-1, is a CubeSat -- a 10×10×10 cm cube weighing in at no more than one kilogram. -- Information provided by the OUFTI Team
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.
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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.
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