ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 27, No. 20
May 23, 2008
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* + American Red Cross Responds to ARRL Concerns Regarding Background
Checks 
* + FCC's Bill Cross, W3TN, Calls Ham Radio "Below the Radar" 
* + New Section Managers to Take Office July 1 
* + CQ Announces 2008 Hall of Fame Inductees 
* + FCC's Hollingsworth Set to Retire in July 
* + FCC Posts Amateur Radio Enforcement Correspondence 
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF: 
      This Weekend on the Radio
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration
    + Chinese Olympic Special Event Stations Are On-the-Air 
    + New Amateur Radio Satellite Receives OSCAR Designation  
      Young Ham of the Year Nominations Due May 30 
      Notes from the ARRL Contest Desk 
      Notes from the DXCC Desk 

+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>;
===========================================================

==> AMERICAN RED CROSS RESPONDS TO ARRL CONCERNS REGARDING BACKGROUND
CHECKS 

At the ARRL ARES forum at the Dayton Hamvention, ARRL Emergency
Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD, announced that the
American Red Cross (ARC) has finally moved to resolve the issue of 
background checks for ARES volunteers.

In November 2007, ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, wrote to the
American Red Cross (ARC) regarding concerns voiced by ARRL volunteers.
In 2006, the Red Cross stated it would implement background checks that
included, among other things, a credit check and a "mode of living"
check for its staff and volunteers, including ARES volunteers providing
services to the Red Cross during disasters. ARRL saw these portions of
the background check as unneeded and inappropriate for ARES service.

In a letter dated May 8 of this year, Armond T. Mascelli, ARC Vice
President for Disaster Response Services replied to President Harrison:
"I can now report back to you that [these] actions have been completed
and changes have been instituted which I trust resolves the concerns
detailed in your letter. This effort took considerably more time and
attention than originally envisioned, but I believe the results will now
benefit our respective organizations.

"A new background consent form now [is] to be used by all Red Cross
chapters for ARRL members and other partner organizations. The form and
related process is limited to the name and social security number
verification of the individual, and a criminal background check.
References and suggestions to other related investigative possibilities
have been stricken."

Harrison said that "We are very pleased that the American Red Cross has
addressed some of the issues that we raised regarding their background
investigations and that we can move forward in a relationship that has
existed for a long, long time. The American Red Cross and the ARRL have
shared a productive relationship for many years which has been of
benefit to both the organizations and to the public. We are glad that
throughout the past months we have been able to negotiate the issues
that we had and have finally come to a resolution."

With the background check issue apparently resolved, the ARRL will be
working with the ARC in the negotiation and creation of a draft for a
new "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) or similar document to replace
the one which expired last year; Dura and Keith Robertory of the ARC
will be leading the effort. When complete, the draft of the MOU will be
presented to the leadership of both organizations for approval.

"While we believe that the Red Cross is implementing some changes that
will address some of the concerns expressed to them by ARRL, at this
point, it is work in process," said ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold
Kramer, WJ1B. "There are many questions yet to be answered, but we
believe that the Red Cross is progressing in good faith to complete the
changes to their policy and their background check consent form, which
was the primary concern expressed to the Red Cross by ARRL. There will
be more clarifications and information in the near future. Please keep
an eye on the ARRL Web site for updates as we know them. We are very
much aware of your concerns and have conveyed them to the Red Cross. We
expect the Red Cross to address these and other concerns on subject of
their background check policy in the near future."

"The ARRL is very pleased that the American Red Cross has responded
appropriately to our concerns about the background check issue," said
ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "We believe it now will
be possible to go forward to negotiate a statement of understanding
between the two organizations. We look forward to renewing and expanding
the relationship with the Red Cross."

Dura warns that when requesting a background check on the ARC Web site,
volunteers from partner agencies, such as the ARRL or ARES, should
select "I am an ARC partner" when asked "What is my Red Cross role?"
Otherwise, he says, volunteers will see the background check form that
asks for "everything." 

==> FCC'S BILL CROSS, W3TN, CALLS HAM RADIO "BELOW THE RADAR"

William Cross, W3TN, a staff member in the FCC's Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau, and Riley Hollingsworth, Special Counsel for
the Spectrum Enforcement Division of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, spoke
at the FCC Forum on Saturday afternoon at the 2008 Dayton Hamvention.
Cross opened by explaining just where Amateur Radio falls in the FCC's
bureaucracy. 

"The Mobility Division of Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has the
oversight of the Amateur Radio Service," Cross said. "We handle the
day-to-day administration of the Amateur Service and some of the
rulemaking activities that affect the Amateur Radio Service. The
Gettysburg office handles applications, licensing -- including vanity
calls -- and the ULS. Within the Commission, other bureaus also make
rules that affect you. The Office of Engineering and Technology handles
spectrum allocations and equipment issues. Our Managing Director's
Office is the office that handles matters relating to fees, such as the
fees relating to vanity call signs, Debt Collection Improvement Act
matters, the need for Federal Registration Numbers."

Cross divided comments into two areas: Proceedings where the Commission
has issued a decision and rulemaking requests that have been filed with
the FCC, but which are pending resolution by the Commission.

Calling the past year "interesting, because it has been a quiet year on
the regulatory front," he said that no big rulemaking items were
released. "This being an election year, there doesn't seem to be any
legislation on Capitol Hill that is of direct interest or impact on the
Amateur Service. This year is a good time for Amateur Radio to be flying
'below the radar,' and that's where ham radio is right now in terms of
the big picture -- below the radar," Cross said. "We wrapped up a couple
of Petitions for Rulemaking [PRM] that were pending and it doesn't look
like (at least in the near future) there will be anything else coming
out."

One of the cases the FCC issued a decision on was what Cross referred to
as the Miller Order. This Order, released May 7, dismissed a PRM from
Mark Miller, N5RFX. Miller sought three points: To delete the FCC's 2006
addition to how it defines data, to amend the rules to prohibit
automatically controlled stations from transmitting on frequency
segments other than those specified in Section 97.221(b), and to replace
the symbol rate limits in Section 97.307(f) with bandwidth limitations.

"The effect of these changes," Cross explained, "when taken together,
would have been, as [Miller] said, 'A small number of wider bandwidth
modes, including Pactor III, would no longer be authorized.' Translating
that into English, what he was asking for was 'bye-bye Winlink.' Don't
get me wrong -- Winlink as a communications system seems to have become
the 'Brussels sprouts of ham radio' -- you either love it or you hate
it. And trying to bury it under ketchup or hollandaise sauce hasn't
changed the basic like or dislike for Winlink. Most of the controversy
here seems to swirl around how certain licensees use it. Some use it for
a radio e-mail system. Others use it for getting weather maps while they
are on sailboats in places the brave dare not go. Others use it for
their personal business activities, such as buying and selling stocks.
These uses are really a Section 97.113, a 'prohibited communications'
question, not a technology question."

Cross mentioned that there are "some things coming down the pike that
you want to keep track of. The ARRL has a pending petition -- RM 11325
-- that requests that we amend the rules that apply to the power
stations may use when transmitting spread-spectrum emissions -- BPL. The
DC Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the FCC's final BPL rules. The
Court did not vacate the rules, so they are still in effect. There will
be another proceeding to address what the Court told the Commission it
had to address."

The Northern California Packet Association has filed a request for
clarification that the FCC define what is meant by the term
"simultaneously" as it is used when defining a repeater. "The issue here
is that in California," Cross explained, "D-STAR repeaters have been
coordinated on channels that are set aside for auxiliary stations, on
the basis that, because there is a delay in retransmission of the
signal, the retransmission is not simultaneous, and therefore the
repeating station is not a repeater." Cross said others have advanced
what he calls "the duck argument: If the station looks like a repeater,
if it functions like a repeater, and it sounds like a repeater, it
should be treated as a repeater -- and confined to the repeater
subbands. A decision on this will be coming [from the Commission]
shortly."

When Hollingsworth stepped up to the podium, he spoke about what he
called "the magic of radio," saying, "we need to realize the debt we owe
to those who work so hard to further the goals of Amateur Radio, whether
it's the Emergency Communications participants, club members, teachers,
VEs, the League. One of the richest rewards in doing something is to
experience joy in doing it. And with so many people working so hard on
their own time to further the goals of Amateur Radio, we're all a little
more free to enjoy radio and to make it fun as well as a public
service."

Saying that "things have calmed down a lot in the Amateur Radio
Service," Hollingsworth explained, "[that] when it comes to the Amateur
Radio Service, there's one enforcement tool we need very badly and we
just don't have it -- and that's straitjackets," he deadpanned,
eliciting guffaws from the crowd of more than 150 people. "Some days I
want to ask, 'Why can't everybody just get along?'"

Hollingsworth noted that since the 75 and 80 meter phone band has been
expanded, "a lot of these regular small groups, ragchews and some of the
Nets should consider "spreading out, because a lot of the regular
operations every night are clumped together. Yes, there are still
interference issues and interference allegations, but if everybody would
spread out a little bit, now, it's going to take a real change of habit
by a group that has used the same frequency for 40 years to talk across
the state, but you really need to spread out and take advantage [of the
band] expansion."

He also noted that interest in Morse code "seems to be higher than ever
before." On the enforcement side, Hollingsworth said he has noticed "no
difference in enforcement problems related to no-code, and I think I'm
seeing more young people at events that I go to." He reminded audience
that only 1 percent of Amateur Radio licensees filed comments in the
Morse code Proceeding. "I see the new code keys for sale here, and I
always see a big crowd of people around anything related to code or code
keyers. I think the interest has really peaked."

Hollingsworth pointed out a 12 year old boy who sat in the front row.
When asked, the boy responded he received his license three years ago
when he was 9. "The future President of the League might be sitting
right there," Hollingsworth explained, pointing at the boy. "That's our
future, right there, and we're depending on you. We need a lot more
young people and I think that Morse code seems to interest young people
-- hopefully they're getting tired of instant messengers and the
Internet. Last night someone told me about a 14 year old Net Control
Operator on a national Net."

Calling for "more courtesy" on the Amateur Radio bands, Hollingsworth
said, "This fighting amongst yourselves is the worst thing that you can
do. You have some rude operators and operators who don't care and who
are hateful and bitter about life in general, but every group has that,
whether it's doctors, electricians, lawyers, plumbers, whatever, every
group has a certain percentage of people like that. What you have to do
is to remind yourself every day to stay on the high road and report to
us if you can't resolve a problem after you've given it a chance to go
away. There are plenty of ugly situations in the world and you don't
have to add to them. Now, there are a few idiots in your Service who
know all the answers, only because they haven't thought of all the
questions. They just want recognition and reaction. Don't give it to
them. Don't be baited. Don't feel insulted -- they are their own worst
punishment. Don't dignify them with a response."

Hollingsworth implored the audience to "never let the Commission get by
again with handing you 10 to 12 years of neglect. You have to stay
vigilant. Even though the bands may sound better to you, you have to be
vigilant to protect your Service, and be part of the solution -- not the
problem -- and operate as if the whole world is listening, because
generally it is."

You can listen to the FCC Forum in its entirety on the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/news/images/nms/other/FCCForumMP3.mp3>. 

==> NEW SECTION MANAGERS TO TAKE OFFICE JULY 1 

In the only contested Section Manager race this spring, Paul Eakin,
KJ4G, was elected as the ARRL Northern Florida Section Manager with 430
votes. Dale Sewell, W4NBF, received 385 votes, and Carl Zelich, AA4MI,
received 370 votes. Ballots were counted May 20 at ARRL Headquarters.

Eakin's two-year term begins on July 1; he will be stepping into the
office that has been held by Rudy Hubbard, WA4PUP, since 1990. Hubbard
has served nine continuous terms of office. A Life Member of ARRL, Eakin
is from the Tallahassee area and he has been a licensed radio amateur
since 1969. He has a strong background in Emergency Communications and
many years of emergency service experience.

The ARRL Northern New Jersey Section is getting a new Section Manager
starting on July 1, as well: Richard Krohn, N2SMV, of Manalapan, will be
taking over the reins from Bill Hudzik, W2UDT, who has served as Section
Manager since 2001.

The following incumbent ARRL Section Managers did not face opposition
and were declared elected for the next two year terms of office
beginning July 1: Tom Ciciora, KA9QPN (Illinois); Bill Woodhead, N1KAT
(Maine); Bonnie Altus, AB7ZQ (Oregon); Bill Dale, N2RHV (Santa Clara
Valley); Paul Gayet, AA1SU (Vermont), and Don Michalski, W9IXG
(Wisconsin). 

Nominations for the Indiana Section Manager position will be resolicited
in July QST for an 18-month term of office beginning in January 2009.

==> CQ ANNOUNCES 2008 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES 

Just before Hamvention weekend, CQ magazine announced its 2008 Hall of
Fame inductees, welcoming 14 new members into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall
of Fame, three new members of the CQ DX Hall of Fame and two new members
of the CQ Contest Hall of Fame. The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honors
those individuals, whether licensed hams or not, who have made
significant contributions to Amateur Radio; and those amateurs who have
made significant contributions either to Amateur Radio, to their
professional careers or to some other aspect of life on our planet. The
CQ Contest and DX Halls of Fame honor those amateurs who not only excel
in personal performance in these major areas of Amateur Radio but who
also "give back" to Amateur Radio in outstanding ways.

The 2008 inductees to the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame (listed
alphabetically) are:

Gaston Bertels, ON4WF -- Honorary President, former President and CEO,
UBA (Belgian IARU Member-Society); Founder & President, AMSAT Belgium;
Chairman, ARISS Europe. 

L. B. Cebik, W4RNL (SK) -- Noted antenna authority, prolific author on
topics relating to antennas and antenna modeling. One of Cebik's last
articles for QST, "A New Spin on the Big Wheel," appeared in the March
2008 issue. The article, co-written with Bob Cerreto, WA1FXT, looked at
a three dipole array for 2 meters. This was a follow-up to their article
in the January/February issue of QEX that featured omnidirectional
horizontally polarized antennas. Cebik authored the "Antenna Options"
column for QEX. Cebik, an ARRL Life Member, passed away last month at
age 68. 

Gordon England, ex-W3AWO -- Deputy Secretary of Defense; former
Secretary of the Navy; former defense industry executive. 

Admiral Edmund Giambastiani, N4OC -- Retired Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs
of Staff. 

Gerald Griffin, MD, K6MD -- Brigadier General, Medical Corps, US Army
(Retired). Led medical brigades and humanitarian missions in various
combat zones; delegate to NATO medical advisory committee 

Larnelle Harris, WD4LZC -- Multi-award-winning gospel singer/songwriter.


Lenore Jensen, W6NAZ (SK) -- Co-Founder, Young Ladies' Radio League
(YLRL). Jensen wrote articles for QST, such as "Ask Not What Amateur
Radio Can Do for You" (September 1978) and "California Hams Assist
During Mud/Flood Crisis" (June 1980). During the 1930s, she acted in the
radio drama Ma Perkins and later starred with McDonald Carey in the Lock
Up TV series. Jenson was featured on This Is Your Life for her important
contributions during World War II. After Pearl Harbor, she founded radio
training courses for the American Women's Voluntary Service (AWVS),
specializing in phone patches between servicemen overseas and their
families, running more than 50,000 phone patches during the Vietnam War.
Jensen's stepdaughter, Cynthia Wall, KA7ITT, wrote several ham
radio-related adventure books for young people that were published by
the ARRL. 

John Kanzius, K3TUP -- Inventor of possible cure for cancer using RF
energy; process for possible use of seawater as fuel. Kanzius's work was
featured in the February 2008 issue of QST. 

Charles (Chip) Margelli, K7JA -- DXer and DXpeditioner; in 2005,
successfully represented hams in Morse code vs text-messaging
competition on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He has written several
articles for QST since 1973, including "Field Day 2003 from Cuba" in the
December 2003 issue. In his capacity as Vice President for Amateur Sales
and Marketing for Heil Sound, Margelli arranged the donation of
equipment to The Laird Campbell Memorial HQ Operators Club station,
W1HQ. 

Philip S. Rand, W1DBM (SK) -- TVI pioneer; author, Television
Interference. Rand was an electronics engineer for the Remington-Rand
Corporation in the late 1940s, when Amateur Radio faced a crisis in the
form of interference to the early VHF television sets. Rand worked with
the ARRL to develop TVI suppression techniques for channels two through
six. ARRL's then-Technical Editor George Grammer, W1DF, designed high
pass filters for the primitive TV sets, while Rand developed new methods
of shielding for amateur transmitters. Rand published articles in QST
Magazine spanning 50 years, from "A Shack on Wheels" in 1933 to "The
Beeper, An Audible Frequency Readout for The Blind Amateur" in September
1983. Rand served as ARRL New England Division Director in 1955 and
1956. 

Vice Admiral Scott Redd (Retired), K0DQ/A92Q -- Former Director,
National Counterterrorism Center; Retired Commander, US Fifth Fleet;
active contester and DXer. 

Tony Tether, PhD, K2TGE -- Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency (DARPA) 

Dr Hamadoun I. Toure, HB9EHT -- Secretary-General, International
Telecommunication Union (ITU). Dr Toure received his Amateur Radio
license in October 2007. An interview with Dr Toure appears in the May
2008 issue of QST. 

John Townsend, PhD, W3PRB -- Space program pioneer, aerospace industry
executive. 

The 2008 inductees to the CQ DX Hall of Fame are:

John Devoldere, ON4UN, who more or less single-handedly popularized
DXing on 80 meters. His book, Low Band DXing, the last several editions
of which have been published by the ARRL, is considered the "bible" for
DXing on these bands, with more than 50,000 copies sold. In 1979,
Devoldere was the first ham to earn CQ's 5-Band Worked All Zones (5BWAZ)
award; he holds 80 meter DXCC Certificate #1 and currently has 357
countries confirmed on that band. 

Nellie Saltiel de Lazard, XE1CI, a pediatrician and DXer/DXpeditioner,
has earned just about every major DXing award. She has operated from
more than a dozen different countries, including being the first female
to operate from Palestine (E4). 

Bob Schenck, N2OO, has made his greatest contribution to DXing behind
the scenes as QSL manager for more than 100 DX stations as well as more
than 130 DXpeditions. Schenck is founder of the QSL Manager's Society. 

The 2008 inductees to the CQ Contest Hall of Fame are:

Paolo Cortese, I2UIY, has too many Top 10 finishes to list. Off the air,
he served for more than a decade as the HF Contest Manager for
Associazione Radioamatori Italiani, Italy's national Amateur Radio
association and IARU Member-Society. Cortese wrote a book on contesting
and has been a member of the CQWW Contest Committee since 1990,
co-director of the CQ WW RTTY DX Contest and CQ WPX RTTY Contest since
2005. He has also written articles for QST and NCJ. 

Randy Thompson, K5ZD, has multiple wins in the CQ World Wide DX Contest,
ARRL Sweepstakes, CQ WPX (CW and SSB), CQ 160 and the IARU HF
Championship. His station has also hosted many #1 performances by guest
operators. Thompson is three-time editor of the National Contest Journal
(NCJ) and co-founder of the eham.net Web site. He has just been named
Director of the CQ WPX Contests. Thompson is a member of the Yankee
Clipper Contest Club (YCCC). 

==> FCC'S HOLLINGSWORTH SET TO RETIRE IN JULY 

Special Counsel in the FCC Spectrum Enforcement Division Riley
Hollingsworth has announced plans to retire from the FCC later this
year. "My intention," Hollingsworth told the ARRL, "is to head out in
July, assuming the results of the second round of the PAVE PAWS/440
repeater monitoring in California present no complications. It has been
a privilege to work with and for the Amateur Radio licensees and the
land mobile frequency coordinators. I am extremely fortunate to work for
two wonderful groups of people: Those at headquarters in the Enforcement
Bureau, and for the Amateur Radio operators." Hollingsworth had planned
to retire earlier this year, but changed his mind, saying, "There [were]
several issues on the table that I want[ed] to continue to work through
with the amateur community."

While his successor has not been named, he was quick to point out that
the FCC's Amateur Radio enforcement program will continue.

Hollingsworth said he considered it an honor to have given something
back to "the incredible enjoyment and benefits that Amateur Radio has
given me since age 13. And to every one of the thousands of you that
thanked us for our work, many of whom waited for long periods after a
forum or radio meeting just to come up and express appreciation for what
the FCC was doing in enforcement, you have no idea how much that was
appreciated every single time. It sure wasn't a 9 to 5 job, but it was a
gift and a daily joy to work for the best group of people on earth. The
only bad day in nearly 10 years was September 21, 2001, when we lost
Steve Linn, N4CAK. We still miss him." Linn, deputy chief of the
Licensing and Technical Analysis Branch for private wireless within the
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and his wife Lesley were killed in a
car accident on their way to the Virginia Beach hamfest.

Hollingsworth told the ARRL he was "so very impressed" with the young
people who are involved with Amateur Radio: "To the very young Amateur
Radio operators I met at Dayton, who have dreams of being scientists and
astronauts and communications engineers, we will be pulling for you; I
have a strong feeling we won't be disappointed."

"The Amateur Radio Service is part of the American heritage, and I am
going to stay as actively involved in it as I possibly can,"
Hollingsworth explained. "Thank you all for working tirelessly to
provide the only fail safe communications system on Earth and for
helping this country keep its lead in science and technology. What an
incredible gift it has been to work with you every day, and how
fortunate we are to love the magic of radio!"

==> FCC POSTS AMATEUR RADIO ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENCE 

Special Counsel in the FCC Spectrum Enforcement Division Riley
Hollingsworth sent a Warning Notice to Thomas A. Nichols, WA6BKR, of
Fairfield, California -- a General class licensee - reminded Nichols
that on February 28, 2008, the FCC notified him once before, "the
Enforcement Bureau indicated that in September 2004 and on various dates
since October 2007 you operated on frequencies assigned to Extra class
licensees but prohibited to General class licensees." 

According to the Warning Notice, Nichols replied to Hollingsworth's
February letter, conceding "an instance in which you operated in the
Extra Class portion of the band and gave numerous reasons and comments
on the Morse code exam, Amateur Radio in general, the Extra Class
examination and other radio and kit building topics not relevant to your
out-of-band operation." 

Hollingsworth warned Nichols that "any additional out-of-band operation
may lead to revocation of your license or a monetary forfeiture."
Nicholls was also warned that his license would not be renewed or
upgraded "until such matter is resolved." 

Direct all questions concerning the Amateur Radio Service Enforcement
Actions Web postings via e-mail only to Riley Hollingsworth
<fccham@fcc.gov>; in the FCC Spectrum Enforcement Division. 

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Tad "Born of Sun and shower" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: This week
several new sunspots appeared for five days, but they were all leftover
spots from Solar Cycle 23, not new Cycle 24 spots. But this is okay,
because at the sunspot minimum we appreciate any spots we can get. May
16-20 saw daily sunspot numbers of 34, 23, 30, 28 and 23. Sunspot
numbers for May 15- 21 were 0, 34, 23, 30, 28, 23 and 0 with a mean of
19.7. The 10.7 cm flux was 71.1, 71.6, 71.2, 71.6, 68.9, 68.6 and 69.1
with a mean of 70.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 4, 4, 2, 3, 8,
10 and 13 with a mean of 6.3. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2,
3, 1, 2, 5, 7 and 9, with a mean of 4.1. Keep in mind that a sunspot
number of 34 does not mean there were 34 sunspots last Friday. Instead,
the numbers represent a somewhat arcane calculation that accounts for
the number of sunspot groups and the size of each group. The count gets
10 points for each sunspot group and one point for each spot within the
groups, the designation of these different areas within the groups
seeming somewhat arbitrary to a layman such as myself. So 34 could mean
that there are three darkened areas, with one of them counting as two
spots, the other two just one each. Presumably, the same number would
describe the Sun with two darkened areas facing Earth, and each counting
for seven spots. Thirty plus four is the same as 20 plus 14, but this
week there were three areas. Expect quiet geomagnetic conditions and
another prediction for a planetary A index of 25 just before the start
of summer on June 17. Geophysical Institute Prague calls for unsettled
conditions May 23-24, quiet to unsettled May 25, quiet May 26, quiet to
unsettled again on May 27-28 and unsettled for May 29. 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 is VK/Trans-Tasman 80 Meter
Contest (CW) on May 24. The CQ WW WPX Contest (CW) is May 24-25. The MI
QRP Memorial Day CW Sprint is May 27. The MI QRP Memorial Day CW Sprint
is May 26-27. The ARCI Hootowl Sprint is May 27 (local time) and the
SKCC Sprint is May 28. Next weekend is ARRL Kids Day on June 21.
The RSGB 80 Meter Club Championship (Data) is June 2. All dates, unless
otherwise stated, 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, June 8, 2008, for these online course sessions
beginning on Friday, June 20, 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>;.

* Chinese Olympic Special Event Stations Are On-the-Air: Special Event
stations for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games began operating May 18,
running through Wednesday, September 17. Five special calls,
representing the five rings of the Olympic flag, will be on the air:
BT1OB, BT1OJ, BT1OH, BT1OY and BT1ON. The last letter of the call sign
corresponds to the color of each of the rings of the Olympic flag --
Beibei (Blue), Jingjing (Black), Huanhuan (Red), Yingying (Yellow) and
Nini (Green). Zheng Feng, BA4EG, will be the QSL manager for all
stations. QSLs can be sent either direct or via the bureau and will
begin to be answered in October. A Web site supporting the Special Event
stations will include an on line log search, QSL card received and sent
status, as well as other information <http://www.bj2008ses.com.cn/>;
award criteria will soon be posted on the site.  -- Thanks to "The Daily
DX" for this information 

* New Amateur Radio Satellite Receives OSCAR Designation: Earlier this
week, Bill Tynan, W3XO, announced that Amateur Radio satellite Delfi C-3
<http://www.delfic3.nl/> has been issued an OSCAR number: Delfi-C3
OSCAR-64 or Dutch OSCAR-64. The shortened version of either of these two
designations is DO-64. Delfi C-3 was successfully launched April, 28,
2008 from India aboard a Polar launch vehicle and was successfully
commissioned, currently transmitting telemetry on the 2 meter amateur
band. In addition to its 2 meter downlink, Delfi C-3 has an uplink on
the 70 cm band. This newest amateur satellite was developed by a team of
some 60 students and facility members from various polytechnic schools
in The Netherlands. Delfi C-3 carries two experiments: one involving
thin film solar cells developed by Dutch Space, and an autonomous
wireless Sun sensor from the Dutch Government Research Institute (TNO).
According to Delfi C-3 Project Manager Wolter Jan Ubbels, Delfi C-3 has
been duly coordinated through Region 1 IARU representative Graham
Shirville, G3VZV, that the satellite meets all of the criteria necessary
to be issued an OSCAR number. "AMSAT-NA is pleased to welcome DO-64 into
the family of Amateur Radio satellites," Tynan said. "We are hopeful
that it will fulfill its intended mission of furthering education and
increasing interest in the Amateur Radio space program. We congratulate
all of those responsible for designing, building, testing and launching
this new Amateur Radio satellite and look forward to its long and
productive life."

* Nominations for Young Ham of the Year Due May 30: Nominations for
Amateur Radio Newsline's Young Ham of the Year award are due no later
than May 30. According to AR Newsline's Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, "We have
not received any nominations for this year's award. Not a single one by
e-mail. Not a single one by the US mail. Not even a phone call or e-mail
asking for a nominating form." He said that due to everything needed to
take place in preparation for the award ceremony, "it is impossible to
extend [the deadline] beyond [May 30]. Any nomination received
electronically after midnight May 30 or postmarked after midnight on May
30 will be deemed ineligible. If no valid nominations are received by
that cutoff date and time, the award program for 2008 will be
cancelled." Pasternak defined "valid nomination" as a nomination for "a
youngster age 18 or younger who has made a major contribution in some
way to the betterment of Amateur Radio. This can be through public
service, technical development, contributions to the state of
communications sciences, recruitment of new hams or whatever seems to be
an accomplishment worth honoring. What is not acceptable are nominations
that say something like, 'My 7 year old just passed his tech test so
give him a radio.'" The Young Ham of the Year Award is open to any ham
age 18 or younger living in the 50 United States, plus Puerto Rico and
all Canadian Provinces. A full set of rules, along with a downloadable
nominating form is online <http://www.yhoty.org/>. The form must have the
required substantiating material attached to it. Mail the form and
additional material to Amateur Radio Newsline, YHOTY, 28197 Robin Ave,
Santa Clarita, CA 91350. 

* Notes from the ARRL Contest Desk: ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean
Kutzko, KX9X, has announced that, after receiving numerous requests, he
has started a contest blog called Notes from the Contest Branch. "I have
just returned from my very first trip to Dayton in 26 years of being
licensed. It was a great experience. I'm glad I was able to help answer
some of your questions and listen to your suggestions -- and yes, even
some constructive criticism. One of the suggestions bandied about was an
official Contest Branch blog. Your wish is my command." Kutzko said the
new blog will be a place where he can post "official information on all
things Contest-related, such as when results for ARRL contests are put
online, when awards are going out the door, and if there are any
problems you need to know about. This blog will cover both HF and VHF+
contests. I hope this will help keep you informed on happenings here at
the Contest Branch. As always, I strive to be available to you. Feel
free to drop me a line with any questions, comments, or constructive
criticism. Compliments are welcome, too." View the new ARRL Contest
Branch blog, as well as other ARRL bogs, on the ARRL blog page
<http://www.arrl.org/blog>. Kutzko can be reached via e-mail
<kx9x@arrl.org>;. 

* Notes from the DXCC Desk: ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, reports
that the 2008 TI9KK DXpedition to Cocos Island
<http://www.ti9kk.dh8wr.com/ > has been approved for DXCC credit. "If you
had cards rejected for this operation, please send an e-mail to the ARRL
DXCC Desk <dxcc@arrl.org>; to have your DXCC record updated," Moore said.


=========================================================== 
The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the
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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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