*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 27, No. 39 October 3, 2008 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + Canadian and American Hams Provide "Textbook Example" of Amateur Radio's EmComm Role * + Radio Amateurs Assist with Hurricane Kyle Operations * + Another World Championship Medal for ARDF Team USA * + ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference: "Pretty Interesting!" * + 2009 ARRL Handbook (Eighty-Sixth Edition) Now Available * + IARU-Endorsed Booklet Promoting Ethics, Operating Issues, Now Available * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Weekend on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + Jim Weit, KI8BV, Wins September QST Cover Plaque Award + West Gulf Vice Director Appointed to Texas State Agency Army Amateur Radio Station in Iraq Seeks American Military Personnel to Lead Station +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> =========================================================== ==> CANADIAN AND AMERICAN HAMS PROVIDE "TEXTBOOK EXAMPLE" OF AMATEUR RADIO'S EMCOMM ROLE On Sunday, September 27, the VoIP Hurricane Net <http://www.voipwx.net/> formally activated at 5 PM EDT to provide surface reports as Hurricane Kyle affected portions of extreme Northeastern Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada. The activation was in coordination with WX4NHC <http://www.wx4nhc.org/>, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center (NHC), to support their operations for Hurricane Kyle. "The Canadian Maritimes rarely get hurricanes, but we received some of our highest quality reports that included measured wind data every 15-20 minutes, as well as damage reports from radio amateurs in the area. They did a fantastic job," said Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net Rob Macedo, KD1CY. "We reached out to many of the IRLP and EchoLink stations in this area and the response rate from those amateurs connecting to our Net was extremely high." Assistant WX4NHC Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R, agreed: "The Canadian amateurs provided critical surface reports to the National Hurricane Center that we wouldn't have received otherwise. I was very impressed with the level and detail of the reports we received." The National Hurricane Center in Miami works closely together with the Canadian Hurricane Centre <http://www.atl.ec.gc.ca/weather/hurricane/index_e.html> when tropical events impact this area of the world. The storm downed trees and wires, prompting power outages over portions of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada. A measured wind gust to near 95 MPH was reported in Lockeport, Nova Scotia by a ham radio operator with a weather station within a couple hundred feet of the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD, acted as Net Control for most of the Net's activation; Dura also serves as Assistant Director of the VoIP Hurricane Net Operations. "I, too, was extremely impressed with the level of support from the Canadian amateurs in providing situational awareness and disaster intelligence for Hurricane Kyle," he said. "The work these hams performed was a textbook example of the role Amateur Radio plays in events like this. Many lessons were re-learned tonight, lessons that need to be re-taught in areas impacted by tropical events." On Saturday, prior to Kyle's arrival in the Canadian Maritimes, Dura began providing information to the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) <http://www.rac.ca/> through their ARES e-mail reflector. Sunday's information sharing was escalated with direct contact with RAC Vice President for Field Services Bob Cooke, VE3BDB. "This event provides an opportunity for cross border support, as it's certainly not every day that a tropical event is aimed at a Canadian Province without first hitting the States," Dura said. Cooke echoed this in his message to the RAC Section Emergency Coordinators, District Emergency Coordinators and local Emergency Coordinators, urging "every Radio Amateur to participate to the best of his or her ability." Elsewhere in the tropics, Sub-Tropical Storm Laura has formed in the open Atlantic, but is currently only a threat to marine or shipping interests. Laura may briefly reach hurricane strength before weakening over the colder waters of the Northern Atlantic. ==> RADIO AMATEURS ASSIST WITH HURRICANE KYLE OPERATIONS As Hurricane Kyle brushed its way across the Eastern New England region on its way to the Canadian Maritimes, hams in the area were prepared for impact. Heavy rain associated with a stalled out boundary, as well as some influence from Kyle, caused heavy rainfall and flooding in the region. "We were lucky to have a 12-18 hour lull in rainfall between the rain on Friday and what came on Saturday," said Director of Operations for the VoIP Hurricane Net and SKYWARN <http://www.skywarn.org/> Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY. "We were also lucky that most of the direct influence from Kyle remained offshore, or this situation would've been much worse." Over the 3 day period, 3 to 6 inches of rain fell over much of Eastern New England, Connecticut and parts of Central Massachusetts and Eastern New Hampshire. Some areas, Macedo said, received more than 8 inches, resulting in pockets of flooding with a few brooks going out of their banks. The Amateur Radio station at the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts, WX1BOX, coordinated SKYWARN operations Friday afternoon through Sunday. According to Macedo, this station covers much of Southern New England. Farther north, the National Weather Service's office in Gray, Maine's station, WX1GYX, coordinated SKYWARN efforts in that area. Macedo said that amateurs at theses stations mostly received reports of rainfall amounts and flooding. The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) <http://www.hwn.org/> also provided reports to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/>. HWN Net Manager Dave Lefavour, W7GOX, said, "Propagation was tough. We think most hams in Kyle's path were making preparations for this rare Canadian hurricane, but we were able to pick up and relay some actual ground observations to the National Hurricane Center. The NHC is always looking for first-hand ground observations of weather conditions to help them understand what the storm is doing below radar and satellite visibility." The HWN relays information obtained on 14.325 MHz to hams at the National Hurricane Center operating WX4NHC. District Emergency Coordinator for Maine District 3 Phil Roberts, K1PAR, activated ARES Nets in his region -- Knox, Waldo, Hancock and Washington Counties -- on Saturday night. All ARES members in the affected counties were on standby. In Southwestern Maine, all ARES members were also on standby for possible activation by their respective served agencies. Maine Section Emergency Coordinator, Bryce Rumery, K1GAX, provided reports all day Sunday to ARRL Headquarters. On Sunday evening, Rumery advised all District Emergency Coordinators and local Emergency Coordinators to "stand down their ARES members no later than 0500 Monday morning or earlier if possible at the discretion of the DEC or EC." According to e-mail reports, New Hampshire hams were also on alert throughout the day, Macedo said. ==> ANOTHER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MEDAL FOR ARDF TEAM USA Ten years ago, only a few hams in North America knew that on-foot hidden transmitter hunting is an international sport with many names such as foxtailing, foxhunting, radio-orienteering and Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) <http://www.homingin.com/index.html>. Few were aware that Eastern European countries had begun playing with ARDF decades ago; the first World Championships were in 1980. In 1988, stateside ARDF active hams in Portland, Oregon and Southern California were learning the ARDF ropes by holding on-foot foxhunting events using international rules. In the past 10 years, more hams in more places have discovered that this form of radiosport is great exercise for the body and the brain. According to ARRL ARDF Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, as the USA catches up with the rest of the world, the US's ARDF "big guns" continue to improve. Earlier this month, the Korean Amateur Radio League <http://www.karl.or.kr/> hosted the ARDF World Championships <http://www.2008ardf.org/>, and for the sixth time, Team USA made the trip. Members of the American team ranged in age from 23 to 66, representing seven states. Team members earned their positions at the 2007 USA Championships near South Lake Tahoe, California as well as the 2008 USA Championships near Bastrop, Texas. "Overall, this was Team USA's best performance ever," Moell said. "We had four Top 10 finishes in the two days of fox-finding competition, first with 2 meter AM signals, and then with 80 meter CW signals. ARRL's team faced more than 300 of the planet's best foxtailers that represented 24 other national Amateur Radio societies. " George Neal, KF6YKN, of Maspeth, New York, led Team USA, capturing a bronze medal in the category for men between ages 50 and 59 in the 2 meter foxhunt. He found all four required transmitters and got to the finish line in 1:23:42, less than six minutes behind gold medalist Igor Kekin of Russia. The other Top 10 finishers -- all in the 80 meter event -- were Vadim Afonkin of Boston, who was 5th in M40 category; Bob Cooley KF6VSE, of Pleasanton, California, who was 7th in M60, and Nadia Scharlau of Cary, North Carolina, who was 9th in W35. "This was an excellent World Championships," Neal said. "The courses were very hard, almost brutal!" Radio-orienteers are used to running among trees in forested land, using an orienteering map as a guide, but this year's 2 meter event on September 4 was quite different. According to Jay Hennigan, WB6RDV, of Goleta, California, the terrain of the 2400 acre site was unlike any he had ever experienced. "The course was long and narrow, about three times as long as it was wide," Hennigan explained. "The start was in the north and the finish was in the south. On the map, it was about three-fifths woods, but that was all marked dark green, which meant you couldn't get through it unless you could find a pathway. Fortunately, there were a few trails in there to make it doable. The rest was marked yellow, which turned out to be cultivated fields and drained rice paddies. There were roads on either side, so it became a matter of running down the road until you thought you were perpendicular to a transmitter, slogging to it through the mud, punching in and then running to one of the side roads, depending on where the next fox appeared to be. It wasn't just rice, there were other crops including some kind of cabbage. We couldn't avoid trampling the plants, but the farmers weren't yelling or coming after us." The 80 meter event on September 6 was mostly in more familiar forested terrain. It was a bigger site and a 10 percent longer course. Competitors said that they felt like mountain goats because it seemed as if each fox was on top of a different hill. Excellent radio-orienteers abound in Europe and Asia. Fourteen of the 25 nations at this year's World Championships took home one or more medals, but only five countries brought home gold. Three of them -- Russia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic -- dominated the medal count, capturing 71 percent of all medals and 92 percent of the golds. In these countries, ARDF is an important Amateur Radio activity in nearly every city and town. With so many hams doing radio-orienteering, these countries can fill complete team rosters with the maximum allowable three persons in each age category for males and females. Having a large team does not provide a cooperative advantage. Each competitor must work independently on championship courses. Any collusion or collaboration among team members is strictly forbidden; team scores are based only on the sum of individual performances. Long-time map-and-compass orienteer Bob Cooley, KF6VSE, of Pleasanton, California, explained, that "It is important to make a lot of mistakes while practicing and to learn from them so that you don't make them in the future. I got the opportunity to get fooled in a variety of ways." For more information on ARDF, including international rules, suggestions for equipment and ideas for local events, go to Moell's Web site <http://www.homingin.com/index.html>. "I welcome your local event stories and photos for future ARDF Updates," he said. ==> ARRL/TAPR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE: "PRETTY INTERESTING!" Almost 150 aficionados of digital communications came to Chicago for the 27th annual ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC) the weekend of September 26-28 <http://www.tapr.org/dcc.html>. This conference is an international forum for radio amateurs to meet, publish their work and present new ideas and techniques. Presenters and attendees had the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn about recent hardware and software advances, theories, experimental results, and practical applications. Not only was the conference technically stimulating, it was a weekend of fun for all who have more than a casual interest in any aspect of amateur digital electronics and communications; introductory sessions were scheduled throughout the conference to introduce new technical topics for both beginners and experts. One of the attendees was QEX Editor Larry Wolfgang, WR1B, representing the ARRL <http://www.arrl.org/qex>. He gave a talk "Writing for Publication - It's Not Rocket Science (Even if You Are Writing About Rocket Science!)." Retired ARRL Chief Technology Officer Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, also represented the League, speaking on "SDR Outlook." Central Division Vice Director Howard Huntington, K9KM, was present, as was ARRL Contributing Editor H. Ward Silver, N0AX. Wolfgang, who gave his presentation on Friday morning, spoke with many participants throughout the conference who told him that they were enthused about writing something for QEX. "It also seemed like almost everyone there was making a point to stop me in the hallways or at mealtimes to tell me how much they are enjoying QEX, and to thank me for the effort I putting into the magazine," he said. Friday was a full day of technical presentations, including "A Protocol for Multicast Weather Data Distribution over AX25," by Nick Luther, K9NL; "SuitSat-2 Update," by Steve Bible, N7HPR; "EcomScs and GateWayScs AX25 Packet Radio E-Mail," by John Blowsky, KB2SCS, and "Frequency and Other New Initiatives in APRS," by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR. The last presentation of the afternoon was "D-STAR Uncovered," by Peter Loveall, AE5PL. The DCC provided a separate demonstration room for participants to show off their latest projects. Wolfgang said he had some "play time" in this room after all the presentations on Friday. After dinner that evening, he said there was "a string of D-STAR presentations starting at 7 PM and lasting until after 10 PM. These were all very interesting presentations, including the D-RATS messaging software by Dan Smith, KK7DS. Peter Loveall, AE5PL, presented 'D-PRS Update' about ways the D-STAR data links can be used to send and plot APRS position maps or interface to the APRS system. Robin Cutshaw, AA4RC, gave a presentation about DV-Dongle, a PC add-on that allows connection to D-STAR repeaters around the world through an Internet connection. Pretty interesting!" In addition to the main technical presentations on Saturday, there was also a full day of introductory sessions, mostly about digital voice and D-STAR. Also on Saturday, Matt Etttus, N2MJI, gave a report on the Ettus Research USRP2. Tom Clark, K3IO, gave an "AMSAT Update." Paul Wiedemeier, KE5LKY, presented his paper on "Using UDPcast to IP Multicast Data over Packet Radio." Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, gave his "SDR Outlook" that covered the international regulatory front and presented some of the concerns that some world governments have with regard to the flexibility of SDR. Scott Cowling, WA2DFI, gave an "HPSDR (High Performance Software Defined Radio) Update" during which he described the various circuit boards that make up the HPSDR project. He also demonstrated a complete working radio in the demo room. Jerry Shirar, N9XR, presented a paper called "Clocking the Data," concerning the use of an inverter and a crystal to form a Colpitts oscillator. Victor Poor, W5SMM, gave an update on Winlink 2000. "He reported that the network presently consists of one Web site, five Common Message Server sites around the world, 150 Radio Message Service Pactor Gateway sites, 800 RMS Packet Gateway sites and over 13,000 registered users," Wolfgang said. "He also mentioned that inactive users are purged from the system from time to time." Rick Muething, KN6KB, described his "WINMOR Soundcard ARQ Mode for Winlink HF Digital Messaging." Wolfgang said that this was a much anticipated presentation: "Rick reported that WINMOR is 3 to 4 months from beta testing. His preliminary comparisons to Pactor 1, 2 and 3 are based on simulator tests. He indicates that WINMOR will have better throughput than Pactor 1 and comparable to, or perhaps a bit better than Pactor 2, but not quite as good as Pactor 3. He indicated that the efficiency is within about 70 percent of Pactor ARQ." The TAPR Annual Meeting was held after all the presentations on Saturday. During the meeting, the Board of Directors discussed the idea of coming back to the same hotel for next year's DCC. "The local group that supported DCC this year, including Mark Thompson, KA9MDJ, and Kermit Carlson, W9XA, did a great job of providing AV support," Wolfgang said. "Ron Steinberg, K9IKZ, who owns a local audio/visual company, provided two large projection screens and projectors, so every presentation was shown on both sides of the room, as well as on a widescreen TV outside the room. The audio was very easy to hear, even if you were in the hall outside the room or in the demonstration room; the set-up was left there from the W9DXCC Convention the previous weekend. They offered to provide the same support for next year, if the DCC returned. So, the decision was made to break with tradition, and return to Chicago next year, September 25-27." Phil Harman, VK6APH, presented the Sunday morning seminar, "Software Defined Radio through the Looking Glass." Wolfgang said he found Harman's presentation to be understandable "at my level of knowledge, and he gave a lot of good insight into many of the design decisions that went into the High Performance Software Defined Radio Project. I found his descriptions of how the hardware and software work to be very interesting. The four hours went by quickly." For more information on the 2008 Digital Communications Conference, please visit TAPR's DCC Web page <http://www.tapr.org/dcc.html>. ==> 2009 ARRL HANDBOOK (EIGHTY-SIXTH EDITION) NOW AVAILABLE "The 2009 ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications" uniquely serves both amateur experimenters and industry practitioners, emphasizing connections between basic theory and application. "The ARRL Handbook" is simply the standard in applied electronics and communications. This 86th edition is both a useful introduction to radio communication and features the most current material on electronics and Amateur Radio. Topics in the 2009 edition include: * Principles of Electronics -- including basic theory, components, analog and digital circuit construction. * Radio Communications Fundamentals and Design -- including modes and systems, filters, EMI, digital signal processing and software radio design, and RF power amplifiers. * Real-World Applications and Operating -- including practical projects, station setup, antennas, transmission lines, and methods for testing and troubleshooting. * References -- filled with hundreds of detailed tables, illustrations and photos. * And much more! The "Handbook" is filled with valuable references, practical examples and projects. The CD-ROM at the back of the book includes all of the fully searchable text and illustrations in the printed book, as well as companion software, PC board templates and other support files. Revisions to the 2009 "Handbook" include updated material on amateur satellites, including details for today's fleet of operational satellites, as well as updated versions of accessory software on the CD-ROM included with the book. New projects in the 86th edition include: * RockMite QRP CW transceiver -- now expanded to cover 80, 40, 30 or 20 meters. * Audio Interface for Field Day or Contesting -- audio and mic connections for two operators sharing a radio. * Remote Power Controller -- turn high current devices off and on. * Audible Antenna Bridge -- tune for the lowest SWR by ear. The softcover edition of the "Handbook" sells for $44.95; the hardcover sells for $59.95 <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=no-hb2009>. Both editions are available now. ==> IARU-ENDORSED BOOKLET PROMOTING ETHICS, OPERATING ISSUES, NOW AVAILABLE A 67-page booklet, "Ethics and Operating Procedures for the Radio Amateur" by John Devoldere, ON4UN, and Mark Demeuleneere, ON4WW, is available for free download from the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/Eth-operating-ENarrl-SITE-1jul2008.pdf> . This is an "Americanized" version of the booklet the authors wrote for an international audience. An international version is also available <http://www.iaru.org/Eth-operating-EN-iaru-SITE-1july2008.pdf>. At its June 2008 meeting, the IARU Administrative Council endorsed and recommended the principles set out in the booklet as a means of encouraging all radio amateurs "to operate to the highest levels of proficiency, with proper consideration for others using the amateur radio bands" and as a tool "to teach newcomers and others correct operating behavior." The booklet mainly addresses HF operating issues, but the principles are also applicable to VHF and higher bands. ARRL Chief Executive Officer and IARU Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ, expressed appreciation for Devoldere's and Demeuleneere's efforts: "The authors are well known, experienced HF operators who are concerned about on-the-air operating standards and who decided that 'It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness.' Anyone who reads their booklet will learn something, no matter how experienced they may be." ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "When all the birds are faint with the hot Sun" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: The sunspot appearance reported last week seems to follow the pattern emerging for most of 2008. A spot will appear for one or two days and then suddenly it is gone. Last week's report mentioned the solar wind being at an all time low. This week, NASA announced that so far, 2008 is the "blankest year of the space age," with more than 200 spotless days <http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/30sep_blankyear.htm>. The minimum following Solar Cycle 18 in 1954 had 241 days without sunspots, and it preceded the solar max in 1959 for Solar Cycle 19 that had the highest sunspot numbers on record. Sunspot numbers for September 25-October 1 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 0. The 10.7 cm flux was 68.2, 67.7, 67.3, 67, 66.8, 66.2 and 65.8 with a mean of 67. The estimated planetary A indices were 4, 4, 2, 3, 2, 4 and 6 with a mean of 3.6. The estimated mid-latitude A indices were 1, 2, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 7 with a mean of 2.6. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>. To read this week's Solar Report in its entirety, check out the W1AW Propagation Bulletin page <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/prop/>. This week's "Tad Cookism" brought to you by John Keats' "On the Grasshopper and the Cricket" <http://www.sonnets.org/keats.htm#150>. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This Week on the Radio: This week is the YLRL Anniversary Party (CW) is October 3-5. The EU Autumn Sprint (SSB), the TARA PSK Rumble Contest and the NCCC Sprint are October 4. The Oceania DX Contest (Phone), the International HELL-Contest and the California QSO Party are October 4-5. The UBA ON Contest (6 meters) is October 5, the 432 MHz Fall Sprint is October 8 (local time) and the RSGB 80 Meter Club Sprint (CW) is October 9. Next week, the 10-10 International 10-10 Day Sprint and the NCCC Sprint are October 10. The YLRL Anniversary Party (SSB) is October 10-12. On October 11, be on the lookout for the FISTS Fall Sprint and the EU Autumn Sprint (CW). The Makrothen RTTY Contest, the Oceania DX Contest (CW) and the Pennsylvania QSO Party are October 11-12. The North American Sprint (RTTY), the SKCC Weekend Sprintathon and the UBA ON Contest (SSB) are October 12. The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint is October 15. 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. Looking for a Special Event station? Be sure to check out the ARRL Special Event Station Web page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/spev.html>. * ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration remains open through Sunday, October 26, 2008, for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, November 7, 2008: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1 (EC-001), Radio Frequency Interference (EC-006), Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009), Technician License Course (EC-010); 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>. * Jim Weit, KI8BV, Wins September QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for September is Jim Weit, KI8BV, for his article "An All Band HF Dipole Antenna." 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 October issue by Friday, October 31. * West Gulf Vice Director Appointed to Texas State Agency: Texas Governor Rick Perry has appointed ARRL West Gulf Vice Director Dr David Woolweaver, K5RAV, to the Council of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), formally known as the Texas Department of Health. The nine member council makes recommendations regarding management, operation, policies and rules for public health, mental health and substance abuse. * Army Amateur Radio Station in Iraq Seeks American Military Personnel to Lead Station: Army Captain Jeff Hammer,YI9IC/N9NIC, the custodian of the Baghdad Amateur Radio Society (BARS) <http://www.usaars.com/bars.htm>, is due to come home after a nine month tour of duty with the Indiana National Guard. "I need someone I can turn the BARS station over to," he said. "Please assist me in finding other Amateur Radio operators in or coming to Iraq." The Baghdad station boasts the following equipment: an ICOM IC-7000 transceiver, an LDG Z-100 autotuner, a Kantronics KAM XL wireless modem, a RIGblaster Pro, an MFJ 25 A power supply, plus a Cushcraft MA5B 3-element beam and a Trans World TW2010 vertical dipole. The club library is valued at $400. All items in the station have been donated by various Amateur Radio vendors. Hammer, a military intelligence officer who previously served in Afghanistan, took over the club leadership last spring from Army Major Scott Hedberg, AD7MI, when Hedberg returned to the US. Since his arrival in April 2008, Hammer has mentored half a dozen service members for their licenses and led the station's first ARRL Field Day operation. "We enjoy learning about radio and talking with unique people in unique places," he said. "We've been excited to talk to many stations back in the U.S." Hammer said it can get busy, too, handling MARSgrams between soldiers and their families during holidays. BARS members operate under the Army call sign AEN5NAA relaying soldier messages through MARS WinLink stations in Kuwait or Germany <http://www.netcom.army.mil/mars/marsgrams.aspx>. Keeping the club active is a challenge in the face of constant troop rotation, Hammer said. "Operating Amateur Radio in camp is fairly easy, as long as you ask your commander and don't cause interference," he said. "If you know of any hams deploying to Iraq, contact me as soon as possible to coordinate the transfer of equipment and discuss licensing procedures." Hammer can be reached via e-mail <email@example.com>. =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American Radio Relay League: ARRL--the national association for Amateur Radio, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President. The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential and general news of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest Amateur Radio news and news updates. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> also offers informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also available as a podcast from our Web site. Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): firstname.lastname@example.org ==>Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, email@example.com ==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org/> ==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call 860-594-0384 ==>How to Get The ARRL Letter The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail delivery: ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site <http://www.arrl.org/members/>. You'll have an opportunity during registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW bulletins, and other material. To change these selections--including delivery of The ARRL Letter--registered members should click on the "Member Data Page" link (in the Members Only box). Click on "Modify membership data," check or uncheck the appropriate boxes and/or change your e-mail address if necessary. (Check "Temporarily disable all automatically sent email" to temporarily stop all e-mail deliveries.) Then, click on "Submit modification" to make selections effective. (NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You must do this yourself via the Members Only Web Site.) The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources: * ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/>. 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