*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 27, No. 25 June 27, 2008 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + Strong Support for Amateur Radio Week as ARRL Field Day Approaches * + IARU Administrative Council Meets in Germany * + 2007 ARRL Annual Report Now Available * + Global EmComm Conference in Germany This Week * + Get Ready for a Summer of E-Skip * + Go Long on Shortwave for ARRL Field Day * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Weekend on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + ARRL to Close in Observance of Fourth of July + ARRL Audio News via Phone Back On Line +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> =========================================================== ==> STRONG SUPPORT FOR AMATEUR RADIO WEEK AS ARRL FIELD DAY APPROACHES ARRL Field Day -- June 28-29 -- <http://www.arrl.org/fieldday> is many things to many people. It ranges from a contest to a picnic to an emergency drill and more. But according to ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, it is also a public relations event and groups can score more than 500 points for working the public relations angle before the weekend even begins. Instead of just telling your fellow hams and club members about Field Day, why not tell your local newspapers and radio and television stations? Having a media hit or link is good for 100 points. Instead of manning only the radios, how about manning a public information table with brochures, signs and a smile? That's another 100 points. The ARRL offers publicity materials <http://www.arrl.org/brochures/> at no charge except a small shipping fee. It is too late to receive these brochures and handouts if you have not already requested them, but go ahead and order them -- you or your club will never know when the opportunity to tell the world about Amateur Radio will pop up next. When you invite your elected local officials to visit your Field Day site, you can earn 100 points when they come. "This is easier than many folks might expect, especially with election season looming. All you have to do is ask!" Pitts said. Having an official proclamation helps, too, he said; many communities and states have named June 23-29 as Amateur Radio Week. "ARRL Public Information Officers around the country were encouraged to begin work on obtaining these many weeks ago, and hundreds of local proclamations by city and county leaders -- as well as six state proclamations -- have been made, with more expected. Proclamations from the governors of Texas, Ohio, Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan, West Virginia, Washington and Alabama, along with a letter from the California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger are not just recognitions of the past, but keys for future political actions such as PRB-1 <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/local/prb-1_program.html> and legislative issues." Pitts said that if your state is one of the 24 states without a PRB-1 statute on the books, "Why not start the process now by inviting your elected officials to your Field Day site to see what Amateur Radio is all about. Chances are, they will see the importance of what we do, giving you an inroad into discussing how they can help you get antennas in your community or even across the state. It's amazing to think that a simple invitation could lead to so much, but it's happened before -- why not make your Field Day the next success story." For a list of the many ways you or your club can earn bonus points this Field Day, please be sure to check out the ARRL Field Day packet <http://www.arrl.org/contests/forms/fd-2008-packet.pdf>. To find a Field Day site near you, check out the ARRL Field Day Locator <http://www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/fd/locator.php>. ==> IARU ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL MEETS IN GERMANY The Administrative Council (AC) of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) held its Annual Meeting on June 24-25, 2008 in Konstanz, Germany. Topping the agenda was the consultative process leading to nominations for IARU President and Vice President for the five-year term beginning on May 9, 2009. Current IARU President Larry Price, W4RA, announced in 2007 that he was not available to serve an additional term. The AC agreed that Vice President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, and Region 1 President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, are suitably qualified to serve as IARU President and Vice President, respectively. Their nominations will be offered to the Member-Societies for ratification. The ARRL serves as the International Secretariat of the IARU. The AC conducted a comprehensive review and updated the working document that defines the additional spectrum requirements of the Amateur and Amateur Satellite Services. Requests from the amateur satellite community for support of additional allocations were considered and referred to the IARU Satellite Adviser for additional information. IARU International Coordinator for Emergency Communications Hans Zimmermann, HB9AQS/F5VKP, presented his report in person to the AC. He noted the outstanding performance of radio amateurs in China who responded to the recent tragic earthquake emergency <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/05/27/10125/>. The Council also received reports of the other IARU international coordinators and advisers, including International Beacon Project Coordinator Peter Jennings, AB6WM/VE3SUN; Satellite Adviser Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV; EMC Adviser Christian Verholt, OZ8CY, and Interim Monitoring System International Coordinator Chuck Skolaut, K0BOG. The AC also heard a progress report from an ad hoc committee that is investigating the future role and structure of the IARU. Work since the previous AC meeting last year in Boston has refined the structure and identified the remaining issues to be resolved. Region 1 representatives offered a resolution seeking to improve the operating standards of radio amateurs; this was adopted by the Council. The AC endorses and recommends the principles set out in the booklet "Ethics and Operating Procedures for the Radio Amateur" by John Devoldere, ON4UN, and Marc Demeuleneere, ON4WW, and encourages each IARU Region to consider this booklet, with a view to adopting it, including any Regional variations that might be felt appropriate. The Council also commissioned a study of the international QSL bureau system. The study will seek input from Member Societies on the problems they face in light of escalating postage and other expenses, as well as the anticipated impact of electronic confirmation systems such as the ARRL's Logbook of the World <http://www.arrl.org/lotw>. The AC reviewed and renewed the three-year strategic plan for the development of support for Amateur Radio frequency allocations for the period 2008-2011. The principal focus is on preparations for the 2011 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-11) <http://www.itu.int/ITU-R/index.asp?category=conferences&rlink=wrc-11&la ng=en>, especially the attainment of an amateur allocation in the vicinity of 500 kHz. The Council identified the upcoming International Telecommunication Union (ITU) meetings where IARU representation will be required and plans for such representation were reviewed. The plans of Region 3 for the IARU presence at Telecom Asia 2008 (Bangkok, September 2-5) and of the International Secretariat for Telecom World 2009 (Geneva, October 5-9) were also reviewed. The AC reviewed the 2009-2011 budget, as presented by the International Secretariat (ARRL). It includes provision for financial contributions from the three regional organizations to defray a portion of the expenses, in accordance with previously adopted policy. The upcoming implementation of the worldwide exclusive allocation of 7100-7200 kHz that was adopted at the 2003 WRC and set to begin on March 29, 2009, was noted, and the many contributors to this achievement were recognized. The Council selected "Amateur Radio: Your Resource in Disaster and Emergency Communication" as the theme for the next World Amateur Radio Day, April 18, 2009. The theme for 2008 was "Amateur Radio: Allowing Youth to Connect the World." Each of the three IARU Regions presented status reports that the AC received and discussed. The next regional conference will be that of Region 1, to be held in Cavtat, Croatia in mid-November. Attending the Konstanz meeting were IARU President Larry Price, W4RA; Vice President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA; Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ; regional representatives Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Don Beattie, G3BJ; Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T; Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AMH; Ramon Santoyo, XE1KK; Rod Stafford, W6ROD; Michael Owen, VK3KI, and Gopal Madhavan, VU2GMN; ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, on behalf of the International Secretariat, and recording secretary Paul Rinaldo, W4RI. IARU International Coordinator for Emergency Communications Hans Zimmermann, HB9AQS/F5VKP, attended a portion of the meeting. The next scheduled meeting of the IARU Administrative Council will be held in Christchurch, New Zealand in October 2009. ==> 2007 ARRL ANNUAL REPORT NOW AVAILABLE The ARRL Annual Report for 2007, now available online <http://www.arrl.org/announce/annualreport/> and in print, reviews the League's major events of the year and documents the renewed growth of both the ARRL and the activities of the Amateur Radio Service. Just 50 years ago, there were fewer than 90,000 ARRL members; in 2007, ARRL achieved its highest level of membership growth since 1993. By the end of 2007, there were 153,535 ARRL members -- a single year increase of 3.3 percent. In this period of growth, ARRL has upheld its commitment and mission as the leading representative of active radio amateurs. "As it played out, 2007 was a great year for ARRL and Amateur Radio," said ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN. "We experienced growth in the Amateur Service, growth in ARRL membership, the League is in good fiscal shape and hams are excited about getting on the air. Our headquarters staff is more excited and pumped about our mission than I've ever seen and that enthusiasm is being reflected in our membership numbers." ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, concurred: "The mentoring of newcomers by a friendly, welcoming, and supportive community of experienced amateurs is an essential part of 'service after the sale.' It's what turns license-holders into active, lifelong radio amateurs. It's what will ensure our success as a radio service and as a national and community resource for public service communications. The ARRL and its 2100 affiliated clubs are working to meet the challenge." According to ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, "The Annual Report is not only useful for showing members the strength of the organization, but it is also a valuable tool in presentations to major public officials. At times they may know little about Amateur Radio, but when they see the quality of the annual report, even before they open it up, they know this is an organization to be taken very seriously. We are indeed a national association and very active." ==> GLOBAL EMCOMM CONFERENCE IN GERMANY THIS WEEK The fourth annual Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (GAREC) Conference <http://www.iaru.org/emergency/GAREC2008Program.pdf> is this week, June 26-27, in Friedrichshafen, Germany. It is scheduled just prior to HamRadio 2008 <http://www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.de/html/en/>. That event, called "the Dayton of Europe," is scheduled for June 27-29. IARU International Coordinator for Emergency Communications Hans Zimmermann, F5VKP/HB9AQS, will present the opening remarks at GAREC 08; Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, President of IARU Region 1, is scheduled to join Zimmermann on the stage, along with representatives from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC), the hosts of HamRadio 2008. GAREC will take a look at the state of EmComm preparedness in each of the IARU regions, as well as discuss experiences of the 2006 and 2007 EmComm Parties-on-the-Air and the future of the Global Simulated Emergency Test (SET). Delegates will also discuss implementation of the WRC-03 modifications to Article 25 of the Radio Regulations <http://www.iaru.org/rel030703att2.html>, in respect to third-party traffic during emergencies and exercises. The part of Article 25 concerning Emergency Communications says "Amateur stations may be used for transmitting international communications on behalf of third parties only in case of emergencies or disaster relief. An administration may determine the applicability of this provision to amateur stations under its jurisdiction" (RR 25.3), and "Administrations are encouraged to take the necessary steps to allow amateur stations to prepare for and meet communication needs in support of disaster relief" (RR 25.9A). GAREC delegates will also have the opportunity to look at and discuss the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) and the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), as well as the MOU between the IARU and the ITU. IARU Vice President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, with assistance from Hugh Peterken of the IFRC and Zimmermann, as well as a representative from the ITU, will lead the discussion. ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD, will present a session on how Emergency Communications are handled in the US. Each of the three IARU regional leaders -- Region 1 President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Region 2 President Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AMH, and Region 3 Chairman Michael Owen, VK3KI -- will speak on the status of EmComm in their respective regions. Seppo Sisatto, OH1VR, and Juha Hulkko, OH8NC, will present on the possibility of Emergency Communication Centers around the world. There will be a talk on D-STAR in Emergency Communications, and case studies of Emergency Communication practices around the world will also be presented. ==> A SUMMER OF E-SKIP Tired of the lousy conditions on the HF bands? Come join the crowd on the "Magic Band." Each summer regardless of where the sunspot cycle is, sporadic E -- or E-skip -- blooms on 6 meters and sometimes even on the bands above that. What often appears to be a dead band jumps to life with signals -- some relatively close, only hundreds of miles away -- but some representing worldwide DX on 6 meters. This year is no different. After a slow start, the 6 meter band came into its own in May and has been open in some direction from almost every location in the US almost every day. Sporadic E peaks around the summer solstice, on or around June 21, with a minor peak around the winter solstice, on or around December 21. Each summer season has unique characteristics that are not predictable, but make the band so fascinating to follow. This year, the emphasis has been on paths to the west and northwest, extending much further east and south than normal. According to VHF expert and conductor of QST's "World Above 50 MHz" column Gene Zimmerman, W3ZZ, there have been several strong openings from Hawaii to the mainland that have included many areas other than the West Coast. Stations in the Mid-Atlantic, the Southeast and the Midwest have had good shots at KH6 in both May and June. Zimmerman said that summer has brought a nice surprise: "The highlight of this season has been repeated openings to Japan that have mostly bypassed the West Coast and settled in the Southwest, the Southeast (especially Florida) and the Midwest; Japanese stations have even been heard, but not worked, on the East Coast. The latter is a very rare occurrence indeed." Calling conditions to the Caribbean "outstanding," Zimmerman said that stations in that part of the world have been working the US and Canada, as well as many stations in Europe. "Ted Jimenez, HI3TEJ, in the Dominican Republic has even worked Japan, a tough path even on 10 meters. Inside the US, stations up to 1500 miles away have been easy to get, and there have been lots of openings where the West Coast and the Pacific Northwest worked the East Coast and the Southeast." Six meter operators should be alert for very short E-skip that indicates a rare increase in the maximum usable frequency (MUF) to a point where 2 meter E-skip -- or very, very rarely 222 MHz E-skip -- is possible. Zimmerman said there have been several 2 meter sporadic E openings and one 222 MHz E-skip opening this summer: "On May 29-30, 2 meter contacts were reported from Maine to Ohio, south to the Mid-Atlantic, to the Northeast, to South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana in the south and Michigan, Western Tennessee and Southern Illinois to the West. The longest was 1477 miles from Maine (David Olean, K1WHS) to Louisiana (William Kemp, K5EMP)." After small 2 meter E-skip openings on June 3-4 from the Northeast to the Midwest, Zimmerman said the bands blew wide open during the ARRL VHF QSO Party on June 15 with a report of two 222 MHz contacts: John Butrovich, W5UWB (EL17), of Orange Grove, Texas, to Vince Pavkovich, N0VZJ (EN35), of Big Lake, Minnesota; and Paul Trotter, AA4ZZ (EM96), of Charlotte, North Carolina, to David Rush, W5DDR (EM84), McAlister, New Mexico. "This extremely rare event has happened less than half a dozen times in the last 60 years," Zimmerman said. "Two meter E skip was everywhere: Texas; all over the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic; New Mexico to West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee; Colorado to Florida, West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas; Idaho, Oregon and Washington to the Midwest; Wyoming to Illinois, and Nevada to Iowa, North Dakota and Minnesota." Zimmerman said that conditions are likely to continue to be very good until the middle of July when the E-skip traditionally begins to wind down. "Most areas of the country have not had good conditions to Europe, so that may still be something to look forward to," he said. "Two DXpeditions to rare Caribbean countries are coming up later in June -- to San Andres (HK0) and to St Barts (FJ). If you have an HF/VHF radio that covers 6 meters, put up a dipole or try your 80 meter antenna -- it should work on 6 meters as well -- and have some fun. You never know what you may work next." ==> GO LONG ON SHORTWAVE FOR ARRL FIELD DAY Have you ever dreamed about being able to broadcast with hundreds of thousands of watts and talk about Amateur Radio to a worldwide audience? Ted Randall, WB8PUM, of Lebanon, Tennessee, will be "Live from Field Day" on 7.415 MHz on WBCQ -- a shortwave radio station -- from 2 PM EDT to 5 PM EDT, then from 11 PM EDT to 2 AM EDT on Saturday, June 28 <http://www.wbcq.com/>. "This is a chance for all ARRL Field Day locations to call in and do a special live 'remote' broadcast from your Field Day site," Randall said. "This international broadcast has a potential audience of more than 200 million people." Randall, who will be "in the field" but connected to a radio studio, said he will be prepared to take calls from any ARRL Field Day location, "so line up your best chatterbox that likes to rag chew and call in." The number to call during the broadcast times to get on-the-air -- or any time during Field Day for information -- is 931-528-0133 (the phone will not be answered prior to Field Day). "As far as we know," Randall said, "nothing like this has ever been done before, so be sure and call in and do your 'broadcast' from your ARRL Field Day site -- listeners will love to hear from you." Shortwave broadcasting -- the common term for HF broadcasting -- is an FCC-licensed radio service operating between 5.950-26.100 MHz. Shortwave is an international broadcast service intended to be received by the general public in other countries and remains the only medium capable of direct communication from one country to listeners in another country without governmental intervention. With more than 1.5 billion shortwave receivers in use worldwide, the BBC estimates that at any given moment, more than 183 million people listen to shortwave broadcasts each week. Especially in developing countries, shortwave remains the dominant mass communications medium. "Just remember -- major networks and news services all monitor shortwave," Randall said, "so you never know who will be listening to you tell the world about Field Day and Amateur Radio." More information concerning this event is available on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/06/26/10185/?nc=1>. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "My Sun sets to rise again" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: Recent days graced by sunspots were short lived. June 10-June 13 saw a single sunspot group, followed by two days with no spots then a week of spots from June 16-22. During that week, the sunspot number was 11 every day, the lowest non-zero sunspot number. The four days since have had no spots at all. This weekend is ARRL Field Day, and while there are no sunspots, E skip is a possibility and conditions should be quiet, meaning no geomagnetic disturbance is expected. Predicted planetary A index for June 27-July 3 is predicted at 10, 8, 5, 5, 5, 5 and 5. Geophysical Institute Prague expects unsettled conditions June 27-28, quiet to unsettled June 29 and quiet June 30 to July 3. Sunspot numbers for June 19 through 25 were 11, 11, 11, 11, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 6.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 64.9, 65.2, 64.8, 65.4, 65.3, 65.8 and 65.9 with a mean of 65.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 11, 5, 4, 3, 4 and 12 with a mean of 6.4. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 5, 8, 4, 2, 2, 3 and 10 with a mean of 4.9.. 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 ARRL Field Day on June 28-29. The Digital Pentathlon is June 27. The Ukrainian DX DIGI Contest, His Majesty King of Spain Contest (SSB), the Marconi Memorial HF Contest and the ARCI Milliwatt Field Day are all June 28-29. Look for RAC's Canada Day Contest next week on July 1. All dates, unless otherwise stated, are UTC. See the ARRL Contest Branch page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/>, the ARRL Contest Update <http://www.arrl.org/contests/update/> 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, July 6, 2008 for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, July 18, 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 Continuing Education course listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the Continuing Education Program Coordinator <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * ARRL to Close in Observance of Fourth of July: ARRL Headquarters will be closed in observance of Independence Day on Friday, July 4. There will be no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions that day. The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News will be posted a day early on Thursday, July 3. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Monday, July 7 at 8 AM Eastern Daylight Time. We wish everyone a safe and festive holiday weekend. * ARRL Audio News via Phone Back On Line: The ARRL Audio News is now accessible via phone at 860-594-0384, as well as on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/>. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. =========================================================== 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. 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Click on "Modify membership data," check or uncheck the appropriate boxes and/or change your e-mail address if necessary. (Check "Temporarily disable all automatically sent email" to temporarily stop all e-mail deliveries.) Then, click on "Submit modification" to make selections effective. (NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You must do this yourself via the Members Only Web Site.) The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources: * ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/>. (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will be posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.) * The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur Radio Club: Visit Mailing Lists@QTH.Net <http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/letter-list>. (NOTE: The ARRL cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this listserver.) Copyright 2008 American Radio Relay League, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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