*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 27, No. 18 May 9, 2008 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + Leaving on a Jet Plane to Dayton Hamvention * + Look for the June Issue of QST in Your Mailbox * + FCC Denies Two Amateur Radio Petitions for Rulemaking * + Veteran Wireless Operators Association Honors Two Hams * + New NASA Tool Allows Exploration of Ionosphere from Inside * + Annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Test to Be Conducted May 10 * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Weekend on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + No ARRL Audio News on May 16 + ARRL to Blog from Dayton Hamvention + Jim Oberhofer, KN6PE, Wins April QST Cover Plaque Award History Channel Show to Feature Nikola Tesla Colorado Group Receives D-STAR Equipment +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> =========================================================== ==> LEAVING ON A JET PLANE TO DAYTON HAMVENTION "As the song says, 'All our bags are packed and we're ready to go' -- well, almost," said ARRL Hamvention Coordinator Katie Breen, W1KRB. "The ARRL EXPO area <http://www.arrl.org/expo> is packed up into seven shipping skids and they are in a truck on their way to Dayton. We here at headquarters are not only breathing a huge sigh of relief, but many of us are still wrapping up our individual final details." The Dayton Hamvention will run from May 16-18 at Hara Arena, just outside Dayton, Ohio <http://www.hamvention.org/>. Breen said that all around the Newington offices, ARRL staffers are putting the last-minute touches on their Dayton preparations: "Frankie Perez, KB1NQR, is finishing up his schedule for checking cards at the DXCC area. By late Saturday afternoon at Hamvention, there will be an area set up by the card checking just for DX Talk. We've named it the DXCC Discussion Zone." Also new this year is the "Doctor Is IN" booth. This area, Breen said, is all about and just for technology enthusiasts: "QEX Editor Larry Wolfgang, WR1B, has been putting his creative genius to work and coming up with some great plans for that booth! ARRL Circulation Manager Amy Hurtado, KB1NXO, is finalizing details on what will be available in the bookstore and membership area. And me? Well, since this is my first year of coordinating the EXPO, I think I'm just worrying about everyone else at this point!" Breen said that one thing she is really excited about with this year's EXPO is that the ARRL will host a larger number of volunteers from around the country: "Some of our newer Section Managers, some as far away as Northern California and Florida will be there. ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, will be attending forums, meeting and greeting members and generally sharing the good stories of all that is happening here at the League. We're also going to have an international presence with the IARU; we are pleased to welcome IARU President Larry Price, W4RA, and IARU Vice President Tim Ellam, VE6SH." "Amateur Radio is all about the people," Breen remarked. "Without people on the air in various modes, what would Amateur Radio be? Without hams invested in Public Service, what would Amateur Radio be? Without people in their communities volunteering their time, what would Amateur Radio be? I think the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) hit the nail on the head with this year's theme of 'People + Radio = Fellowship.' When it all comes down to it, we are communicating with each other, regardless of the mode being used. What better opportunity to come together and communicate than at Hamvention, the country's largest gathering of radio enthusiasts?" ==> LOOK FOR THE JUNE ISSUE OF QST IN YOUR MAILBOX The June issue of QST, our annual Field Day issue, 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. Ride the waves this Field Day with the ARRL Field Day Cookbook, an eight page insert located near the center of the magazine. Learn how to succeed in Field Day by really, really trying. Did you know that bonus points are available when you conduct an educational activity at your Field Day site? Learn how to collect these bonus points and have fun at the same time. Once again, we have some delectable recipes to tempt your palate as you're making those contacts. Along with some tips to make your Field Day a memorable one, we have included a chart of the US Amateur Radio bands. The 2008 ARRL Field Day is June 28-29. John Stanley, K4ERO, discusses how looking at signals can improve our ability to listen to them in the first of his two-part article "The Beauty of Spectrum Analysis -- Part 1." Kirk Kleinschmidt, NT0Z, takes a look at modern, portable power generators. Rick Littlefield, K1BQT, takes a practical approach for achieving excellent multi-band performance in his article "A No Compromise Off-Center Fed Dipole for Four Bands." And don't forget Kids Day on June 21. June is a great month for radiosport, with both the ARRL June VHF QSO Party and Field Day. While Field Day is more of an operating event than a contest, it is modeled after a contest in that points are earned for making contacts. ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, takes a look at these two events and gives his hints and helps for working this VHF contest that runs the weekend of June 14-15. The results of the 2007 ARRL 160 Meter Contest and the 2007 ARRL November Phone Sweepstakes are in. Did you top your score from last year? How did your closest rival do? Also, find out about upcoming contests in Contest Corral. QST Product Review Editor Mark Wilson, K1RO, reviews Tokyo Hy-Power's HL-1.2KFX linear amplifier. According to Wilson, "This amplifier is a compact, easy-to-use 750 W solid state power amplifier for 160 through 10 meters. Its size, weight and flexible ac power requirements make it a good candidate for portable, as well as home station operation." Check out the reviews on the M-Cubed Electronix digital LCRZ meter kit and LDG Electronics RCA-14 transceiver accessory port breakout box, also in the June issue. Of course, there are the usual columns you know and love in the June QST: Hints & Kinks, The Doctor Is IN, How's DX, Old Radio, Hamspeak and more. This month also features Amateur Radio World, the Emergency Communications Course Honor Roll and the ARRL VEC Volunteer Examiner Honor Roll. Look for your June 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>. ==> FCC DENIES TWO AMATEUR RADIO PETITIONS FOR RULEMAKING On May 7, the FCC denied two separate Petitions for Rule Making (PRM) dealing with digital issues. Mark Miller, N5RFX, of Arlington, Texas, sought to delete the FCC's 2006 addition to how it defines data, amend the rules to prohibit automatically controlled stations from transmitting on frequency segments other than those specified in Section 97.221(b), and replace the symbol rate limits in Section 97.307(f) with bandwidth limitations. The FCC denied all three parts of Miller's PRM, saying he "did not set forth sufficient reasons for the Commission" to approve his petition and that "should future experience substantiate Miller's concerns, he may file a new, factually supported petition for rulemaking." The complete copy of the FCC's reply to Miller is on the FCC Web site <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-08-1082A1.pdf>. Ken Chafin, W6CPA, of La Crescenta, California, and Leon Brown, KC6JAR, of Los Angeles, California, also filed a PRM concerning additional spectrum for more repeaters, including digital systems, requesting that the FCC "propose to expand the frequencies on which an amateur station operating as a repeater (repeater station) may operate." Chafin and Brown argued that additional spectrum is needed for repeater stations because some amateur repeater stations have begun using digital communications protocols" and "digital voice operation is incompatible with existing analog operations [because d]igital voice users are unable to determine if the desired frequency is in use by analog users and can inadvertently cause harmful interference to those users." The men pointed out that coordinating groups have been unable to separate analog and digital voice repeater operations to avoid harmful interference because the available repeater spectrum in the 2 meter band is "fully occupied by existing analog users in most metropolitan areas." The FCC, after considering Chafin and Brown's PRM, concluded that the PRM did not present grounds for the Commission to amend its rules: "Repeater stations are authorized to transmit on any frequency in the 2 meter band except the 144.0-144.5 MHz and 145.5-146.0 MHz frequency segments. These two segments were excluded to minimize the possibility of harmful interference to other amateur service stations and operating activities, including 'weak signal' operations. Allocating an additional three hundred kilohertz of the 2 meter band to repeater operation would not be consistent with that concern. Rather, it would likely result in increased interference to non-repeater stations." The complete copy of the FCC's reply to Chafin and Brown is on the FCC Web site <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-08-1083A1.pdf>. ==> VETERAN WIRELESS OPERATORS ASSOCIATION HONORS TWO HAMS At their annual awards banquet on April 26 in New York City, the Veteran Wireless Operators Association (VWOA) <http://www.vwoa.org/> honored two Amateur Radio operators with two of the association's top awards: Fritz Raab, W1FR, and John "Jack" Curtis, K6KU. Raab gave the keynote address at the banquet. "The dinner speech was a wonderful presentation of the Amateur Radio Experiment domestically and that which is happening internationally. He explored what may happen, if things go well for the museum stations on 500 kHz and for radio amateurs," said VWOA Chairman Francis Cassidy. "Ever since the emergence of the Global Marine Distress and Safety System, professional radio officers have discussed the prior use of 500 kHz. They know the attributes in the oceans of the world where ground wave transmissions on the oceans provided their primary informational experience of these transmissions." Fritz Raab, W1FR, of Burlington, Vermont, received the VWOA's De Forest Audion Gold Medal, honoring his "technical achievements in 35 years of radio engineering." Raab serves as the experimental project manager for The 500 KC Experimental Group for Amateur Radio <http://www.500kc.com/>. The ARRL 500 kHz experimental license, WD2XSH, was issued in September 2006 and has 20 active stations. "I'm kind of excited to see how we can apply modern technology to a 'classic part' of the radio spectrum," Raab told ARRL in 2006 when the experimental license was issued. He pointed out that 500 kHz -- the traditional maritime emergency frequency -- is roughly geometrically halfway between the 136 kHz experimental band and the 160 meter amateur allocation. "In contrast to 160 meters, 500 kHz is low enough to offer good ground wave propagation," Raab said, "but in contrast to 137 kHz, it is high enough to allow us to engage in real communication with realistic equipment." Raab said he would eventually like to see at least a secondary 600 meter amateur allocation from 495 to 510 kHz. "Besides the opportunities for experimenting at low frequencies, that frequency is well suited to regional groundwave communication," Raab said. He said he envisions the eventual use of the spectrum to provide Amateur Radio emergency communication via groundwave, without having to deal with the vagaries of the ionosphere or causing interference to any other services. Additional information on the 500 KC Experimental Group for Amateur Radio 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>. Raab said that it was "a real honor for me to receive an award named after one of the most important inventions in radio, and given by an organization whose members have included a number of the legends in the field. As a newcomer to 500 kHz through our experimental license, it is especially nice to be recognized by a group of people who have actually used 500 kHz for communication." Raab is chief engineer and owner of Green Mountain Radio Research, a consulting firm that he founded in 1980. He received his BS, MS and PhD in electrical engineering from Iowa State University. Raab is co-author of "Solid State Radio Engineering" and author of more than 100 technical papers; he has been issued 12 patents. Raab's professional activities include RF power amplifiers, radio transmitters and radio-communication/navigation systems. He is a fellow of IEEE and a member of ARRL, Sigma Xi, Association of Old Crows, Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association and the Radio Club of America. Jack Curtis, K6KU, of Granite Bay, California, received the VWOA's Marconi Memorial Award Plaque "for his lifetime efforts of perfecting electronic circuits to generate Morse code as exemplified by the development of the Curtis Keyers." In an article Brad Mitchell, N8YG, wrote for the ARRL Web site in 2002 <http://www.arrl.org/news/features/2002/02/042/>, he said, "Modern transceivers incorporate many features that not long ago were considered accessories: CW keyers and SWR meters come to mind. John Curtis, K6KU, created an electronic iambic-keyer circuit and subsequently offered an IC chip to do the job. He revolutionized keying, as we know it." Mitchell wrote that Curtis, when studying for his Amateur Extra ticket, "decided to get a feel for the requirements of the Extra Class test by undertaking a circuit design project. John built a keyer circuit and learned about digital electronics." This keyer worked so well that Curtis's ham friends told him he should market it. Curtis followed the advice, and in 1969, he placed an ad in "Ham Radio Magazine" announcing the Curtis Electronic Devices EK-38. The -38 and its follow-up, the -39, became so successful that Curtis quit his day job and formed Curtis Electro Devices. Curtis had established a lot of contacts while working at a semiconductor manufacturing company in the 1960s. These paid off for him when he decided that a keyer circuit could be implemented on a chip. He started with two designs: The 8043 and the 8044. "The 8043 was designed as a completely custom integrated circuit in CMOS," Mitchell wrote. "At the same time, International Microcircuits was looking for a chip in which to test their gate array technology. The first chip down the line was the 8044, produced for Curtis. The 8043 worked first try. It was limited to dit memory, and sold for $7.95 in quantities of 50 or more in 1973. The 8044 also worked right off the bat. It offered dah memory in addition and sold for $24.95 in 1975. The 8044M was introduced in 1980. M stood for meter. A meter could be hooked up to a pin of the 8044M to indicate sending speed." In 1981 Curtis added mode B keying characteristics to his keyers. Mode B simply added an extra dit or dah when the operator stopped sending, depending on which was sent last. If a dit was sent last, an extra dah would be sent. If a dah were sent last, a dit followed. Curtis added this feature to his 8044B. He introduced several keyers incorporating his new full-featured ICs. The first was the EK430 incorporating the 8043 chip. Curtis also introduced a fully integrated keyboard chip called the 8045. In June 1982, Curtis Electro Devices produced its last keyer, the Lil' Bugger. Offered as the K5 or K5B, it incorporated the 8044 or the 8044B chip, respectively. Both models sold for $39.95 and were quite popular. In spring of 1986, Curtis introduced the 8044ABM chip. It incorporated selectable A or B modes and the speed meter, becoming an industry standard. In the 1980s, however, microcontrollers were making serious headway and Curtis chips were no longer in demand. MFJ took over part of the line and Curtis Electro Devices ceased operations in April 2000. The Veteran Wireless Operators Association was founded in 1925 to foster fellowship among wireless operators aboard ship, in the military, and in the shore stations. Through the years, the ranks of the VWOA have included most of the executives and innovators of the broadcasting and communication industry, as well as thousands of radio operators. Today, in its 83rd year, the VWOA serves as both a link to the history or radio, as well as a bridge to the future. Its members have been, and continue to be, on the front lines of the development of radio and television broadcasting, satellite communications, and the entire digital revolution. Current membership is approximately 300 men and women. Members are concentrated along both US coasts, but members also reside in almost every state as well as Canada and several other countries. For more information on the VWOA, please visit the VWOA Web site <http://www.vwoa.org/>. ==> NEW NASA TOOL ALLOWS EXPLORATION OF IONOSPHERE FROM INSIDE Last week at the Space Weather Workshop in Boulder, Colorado, NASA released a 4D live model of the Earth's ionosphere <http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/30apr_4dionosphere.htm?list2125 89>. Without leaving home, anyone can fly through the layer of ionized gas that encircles Earth at the edge of space itself. All that is required is an Internet connection and a free copy of Google Earth <http://earth.google.com/>. NASA calls the ionosphere the "last wisp of Earth's atmosphere that astronauts leave behind when they enter space. The realm of the ionosphere stretches from 50 to 500 miles above Earth's surface where the atmosphere thins to near-vacuum and exposes itself to the fury of the sun. Solar ultraviolet radiation breaks apart molecules and atoms creating a globe-straddling haze of electrons and ions." Using a Google Earth interface, users can fly above, around and through these regions getting a true 4D view of the situation. "The fourth dimension is time. This is a real-time system updated every 10 minutes," said W. Kent Tobiska, president of Space Environment Technologies and chief scientist of its Space Weather Division. The proper name of the system is CAPS, short for Communication Alert and Prediction System. Earth-orbiting satellites feed the system up-to-the-minute information on solar activity; the measurements are then converted to electron densities by physics-based computer codes. It is important to note, Tobiska said on the NASA Web site, that CAPS reveals the ionosphere not only as it is now, but also as it is going to be the near future. According to propagation specialist Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, this model "can provide Amateur Radio operators a broad view of what the ionosphere is doing 'now.' This broad view is due to the fact that the resolution in the color coding schemes only gives coarse estimates of the six parameters available." Luetzelschwab, former editor of "National Contest Journal" (NCJ) <http://www.arrl.org/ncj/>, writes a propagation column in NCJ and other publications. "This is an exciting development," said NASA solar physicist Lika Guhathakurta on the NASA Web site. "The ionosphere is important to pilots, ham radio operators, earth scientists and even soldiers. Using this new 4D tool, they can monitor and study the ionosphere as if they're actually inside it." Guhathakurta made his comments on the NASA Web site. NASA understands that "[h]am radio operators know the ionosphere well. They can communicate over the horizon by bouncing their signals off of the ionosphere -- or communicate not at all when a solar flare blasts the ionosphere with X-rays and triggers a radio blackout." As radio amateurs, we use -- and depend on -- the ionosphere to make contacts. Tobiska agrees: "For ham radio operators, this is a great application because it enables them to figure out what frequencies that are going to be available for communicating with any part of the world they want to communicate with at that moment in time. So ham radio operators who are in South Carolina want to talk to someone in Europe or Africa, they can know exactly what frequencies to turn to on their dial." Luetzelschwab said he personally believes that "The importance of this new product is the fact that this is likely the first physical model of the ionosphere available to the widespread Amateur Radio community. This is in contrast to the model in our current propagation predictions -- such as VOACAP, W6ELProp and the like -- that is based on years of measured ionospheric data correlated to a proxy for the true solar ionizing radiation (the proxies being sunspots and 10.7 cm solar flux)." NASA explained that it appears that this new physical model takes satellite measurements of solar radiation at extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelengths (the true ionizing radiation) and inputs this data, along with a geomagnetic field activity index, into a model of the atmosphere to determine electron densities. Luetzelschwab said "Yes, it only offers a broad view now -- but I think it is a sign of things to come." More information on this tool for radio amateurs can be found on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/05/06/10081/>. ==> ANNUAL ARMED FORCES DAY CROSSBAND TEST TO BE CONDUCTED MAY 10 The Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are co-sponsoring the annual Military/Amateur Radio Crossband Communications Test in celebration of the 58th anniversary of Armed Forces Day (AFD). Although the actual Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May -- May 17 in 2008 -- the AFD Military/Amateur Crossband Communications Test will be conducted on May 10 to prevent conflict with the Dayton Hamvention(r), 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. Military-to-Amateur crossband operations will take place on the dates and time in UTC on the frequencies listed for each station on the Army MARS Web site. Voice contacts will include operations in single sideband voice (SSB). Some stations, depending on propagation and manning, may not operate the entire period. Participating military stations will transmit on selected Military MARS frequencies and listen for Amateur Radio stations in the Amateur bands. The military station operator will announce the specific amateur band frequency being monitored. Duration of each voice contact should be limited to 1-2 minutes. The newly updated list of schedules and frequencies <http://www.netcom.army.mil/MARS/docs/ARMEDFORCESDAYFinal.pdf> of participating military stations is published on the Army MARS Web site <http://www.netcom.army.mil/MARS/>. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "Ne'er shall the Sun arise on such another" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: Again this week, we saw a new, but brief sunspot, sunspot 993. Judging from the polarity of the spot, it looks to be from new Solar Cycle 24; this spot was south of the solar equator, so it has the same polarity as any Cycle 23 spot that was north of the equator. After two days it was gone, not from drifting over the edge of the visible solar disk -- it just disappeared. Geomagnetic indices were mostly quiet this week, except for some only slightly unsettled planetary A index numbers for May 2-3. The next active geomagnetic period is expected May 20, with a planetary A index of 25. For May 9-15, the predicted planetary A index is 8, 5, 5, 5, 12, 8 and 5. Sunspot numbers for May 1-7 were 0, 0, 0, 13, 15, 0 and 0 with a mean of 4. The 10.7 cm flux was 68.5, 68.1, 67.3, 68.3, 67.6, 67.2 and 66.5 with a mean of 67.6. Estimated planetary A indices were 9, 12, 12, 8, 11, 10 and 4 with a mean of 9.4. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 6, 7, 9, 6, 8, 9 and 5, with a mean of 7.1. For May 9-15, Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet conditions May 9, quiet to unsettled May 10, unsettled May 11-13, quiet to unsettled May 14 and quiet again on May 15. 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 Ladder is May 9 and the Nevada Mustang Roundup is May 9-10. The VK/Trans-Tasman 80 Meter Contest (Phone) and the FISTS Spring Sprint are both on May 10. Be sure to check out the SBMS 2 GHz and Up WW Club Contest, the EUCW Fraternizing CW QSO Party, the CQ-M International DX Contest, the VOLTA WW RTTY Contest and the 50 MHz Spring Sprint on May 10-11. The SKCC Weekend Sprintathon is on May 11 and the RSGB 80 Meter Club Championship (Data) is on May 14. Next weekend, look for another running of the NCCC Sprint Ladder on May 16. The Feld Hell Sprint is May 17. On May 17-18, be sure to make room in your schedule for the EU PSK DX Contest, His Majesty King of Spain Contest (CW), the Manchester Mineira All America CW Contest and the Baltic Contest. The Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is on May 19 and the NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint is on May 22. All dates listed are UTC. 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, May 25, 2008, for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, June 6, 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>. * No ARRL Audio News on May 16: There will be no ARRL Audio News on Friday, May 16. The ARRL Letter will be released on that day. ARRL Audio News will return on Friday, May 23. * ARRL to Blog from Dayton Hamvention: As in previous years, the ARRL will be blogging live <http://www.arrl.org/blog/Dayton%20and%20ARRL%20Expo> from Hara Arena, site of the Dayton Hamvention <http://www.hamvention.org/>. In addition to keeping everyone up with the latest and greatest at Dayton, this year's blog will feature video clips. QST Editor -- and Hamvention blogger extraordinaire -- Steve Ford, WB8IMY, said, "The video clips were such a big hit with last year's blog that we decided to do even more of them for this year!" Ford says he plans on featuring new products that are debuting at the Hamvention, as well as all the "fun stuff" that pops up: "Both I and the staff have a lot of fun with this, and we hope those who read the blog do, too." Look for the blog to go "live" Thursday, May 15 and continue throughout the Hamvention. * Jim Oberhofer, KN6PE, Wins April QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for April is Jim Oberhofer, KN6PE, for his article "Outpost: Packet Radio for Emergency Messaging." Congratulations, Jim! 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 May issue by Saturday, May 31. * History Channel Show to Feature Nikola Tesla: Modern Marvels, a series on The History Channel, will feature electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla in an episode scheduled to air May 14 <http://www.history.com/shows.do?action=detail&episodeId=295798>. Helping out with the program was Bob "Loby" Lobenstein, WA2AXZ; Lobenstein is General Superintendent, Power Operations for New York City's subway system. "We did 8 hours of taping interviews at my 1904 power substation," Lobenstein said. "In addition to the action scenes of me throwing the 100 year old switches and demonstrating the use of power, I did a 'Mr Wizard' talk, showing the various things that 'Mr T' envisioned and invented. Of course, radio had a part and I just had to put the D-104 mic with our club's K2IRT shield into view!" According to The History Channel, Tesla's "...bizarre vision of the future brought him failure, but his genius electrified the world. Travel to Niagara Falls, where in 1893, Tesla installed his new system of Alternating Electrical Current known as AC -- the same power we use today. Uncover the forgotten ruins of Tesla's dream experiment -- a huge tower on Long Island Sound he hoped would wirelessly power the world. Radar, death rays, invisibility devices and earthquake machines: Tesla claimed to have created them all. More than 100 years ago Tesla foresaw the need for alternative energies like geothermal and solar." Check the The History Channel Web site for show times <http://www.history.com/>. * Colorado Group Receives D-STAR Equipment: The Colorado Council of Amateur Radio Clubs (CCARC) recently teamed up with Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) in Denver to donate a 2 meter, 70 cm and 23 cm D-STAR system stack. According to ARRL Colorado Section Manager and CCARC Board Member Jeff Ryan, K0RM, the two groups hit upon the idea of issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to Colorado radio amateurs. "We received three excellent proposals," Ryan said, "and on March 21, CCARC and HRO awarded the D-STAR system to the Colorado D-STAR Association, a consortium of Denver area individuals, clubs and ARES groups." Ryan explained that the goal of the CCARC, which also serves as Colorado's frequency coordination body, was "to spur the interest and use of digital Amateur Radio technology. This is the first D-STAR system that will go on the air in Colorado. The hope is that it is the first of many such systems, ultimately linking the entire Amateur Radio community throughout Colorado and beyond." The 3-band D-STAR system, serving the Denver Metro area and the Front Range of Colorado from Ft Collins to Castle Rock and points east, will be installed this summer at a mountaintop site. The system will have a coverage area of more than 5400 square miles, nearly the size of Connecticut. Ryan said that the RFP placed "special emphasis" on the D-STAR systems being available to ARES groups in the served area, "and also requires the host group to link to any other requesting D-STAR system that comes on the air in Colorado." =========================================================== 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!): email@example.com ==>Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, firstname.lastname@example.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 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. 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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.
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