ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 27, No. 40
October 10, 2008
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* + ARRL Auction: Getting Down to the Wire 
* + Spectrum Defense: "More Work to Do" 
* + Look for the November Issue of QST in Your Mailbox 
* + Pennsylvania Becomes 27th State with PRB-1 Law on Books 
* + American Hams to Lead 2009 DXpedition to Desecheo Island 
* + Garriott Gears for Space Journey 
*  Solar Update 
*  IN BRIEF: 
      This Weekend on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + Book on Amateur Radio's "Golden Age" Now Available from ARRL 
    + ARRL Book Released in China 
      ARRL Invites Nominations for 2008 International Humanitarian Award

      Singapore to Make Temporary Licenses Available for Visiting Hams 

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

==> ARRL AUCTION: GETTING DOWN TO THE WIRE 

Excitement continues to build as the ARRL gets ready to preview items
for the Third Annual On-Line Auction on Thursday, October 16
<http://www.arrl.org/auction>. With almost 140 items up for bid -- with
more being added every day -- this event promises to have something for
just about everyone. The auction kicks off October 23 and runs until
October 31 on the ARRL Web site. 

This year's auction will again include many transceivers and other items
that have appeared in the QST Product Review column and have thus been
thoroughly tested by the ARRL Lab. ICOM has generously donated an
IC-7000 HF/VHF/UHF mobile transceiver; this rig was reviewed in the May
2006 issue of QST
<http://www.arrl.org/members-only/prodrev/pdf/pr0605.pdf>. 

A new donor to the ARRL On-Line Auction is R4 Systems
<http://www.r4systems.com/> -- developers of the Proteus Design Suite, a
suite of tools for professional printed circuit board design -- has
donated a Proteus Suite software package.

According to ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, "Last
year's online auction -- our second -- proved to be a successful and
enjoyable event for both hams and ARRL staff members alike. When the
bidding ended, we realized that we had sold 162 items and sold just more
than $50,000 worth of merchandise." Proceeds from the auction benefit
ARRL education programs including activities to license new hams,
strengthen Amateur Radio's emergency service training, offer continuing
technical and operating education, as well as create instructional
materials.

Many vintage items will also be offered. Returning by popular demand are
four ARRL Lab unique "junque" boxes. With a starting bid of $50, these
boxes are filled with components, parts and electronic do-dads. No one
-- except the ARRL Lab staff -- knows what exactly is inside each box,
but each is guaranteed to be full of things that the Lab staff considers
valuable (but keep in mind that they collect just about anything).

All product review items in the On-Line Auction will include a link to a
PDF file of the actual Product Review, as well as a reference to the QST
issue that the review appeared in.

ARRL Business Services Manager Deb Jahnke, K1DAJ, said that there are
"loads of neat stuff" available in the Auction, including a set of
Dayton Hamvention pins going back to 1995, gift certificates for ARRL
merchandise and publications, radios, books and much more. "We'll be
adding items throughout the preview period, so keep checking back to
find things you might have missed," she said. "This event would not be
possible without the generosity of our many corporate donors. Our
sincere thanks go to all who donated items for this year's auction."

Jahnke also advised auction users to look through the "Help" and "About
Us" sections, where you'll find useful information about bidding, FAQs
and a host of other facts. "To ensure an enjoyable experience, please be
sure to read all policies in the 'About Us' section," she said.

==> SPECTRUM DEFENSE: "MORE WORK TO DO" 

Defending and enhancing access to the Amateur Radio spectrum is the
primary mission of the ARRL. According to ARRL Chief Executive Officer
David Sumner, K1ZZ, the League has not only protected the bands, but has
also added several new ones, despite exponential growth in the variety
and number of radio frequency devices in the hands of consumers and
businesses. "Even our most disappointing defeat -- the loss of the
bottom 40 percent of the 220 MHz band some two decades ago -- gave us
upgraded status, from shared to exclusive, in the remaining 60 percent
of the band," he said.

Sumner said that amateurs will soon have cause to celebrate: March 29,
2009 marks the date that high-powered international broadcasting
stations will be removed from the heart of the 40 meter band. "We are
working with the broadcasters to make sure the change takes place as
agreed at the 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC)," Sumner
said. "While it's probably too much to expect 100 percent instant
compliance, we know that the responsible broadcasters are preparing to
move out of the 7100-7200 kHz segment -- doubling the size of the
worldwide 40 meter band and making this popular band more useful than
it's been in 70 years."

At the WRC in 2007, the Amateur Radio Service earned its first
low-frequency (LF) allocation, 135.7-137.8 kHz; however, here in the
United States, amateurs will not gain access to this new band
automatically when the Final Acts of the conference take effect on
January 1, 2009. "We must petition the FCC to implement the allocation,
and we know the petition will not be granted without an argument --
because we've been down this road before," Sumner explained. "Twice in
the past, the ARRL has sought an LF allocation. Both times our request
was opposed by the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) -- the same
organization that has opposed our efforts to protect radio services from
Broadband over Power Lines (BPL)
<http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/> interference."


Sumner recounted that the ARRL's fight against BPL interference has been
going on for six years. "Last year, in the wake of Federal
Communications Commission decisions that did not adequately protect
licensed radiocommunication services from interference from BPL systems,
the ARRL even went to court to challenge the FCC and won!" he said
<http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/common/opinions/200804/06-1343-1112979.p
df>. "On April 25, the United States Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia Circuit confirmed what the ARRL has been saying for years
about how the FCC was handling the BPL interference issue: FCC prejudice
tainted the rulemaking process."

On July 9, the Court went one step further, ordering the FCC to pay the
ARRL more than $6000 toward the League's costs in pursuing the appeal.
"While this is a tiny fraction of our total investment," Sumner said,
"the award affirmed that -- contrary to the 'spin' the FCC had been
trying to give to the Court's decision -- the ARRL substantially
prevailed in its appeal."

Calling the Court's decision "a tremendous victory for radio amateurs
and other licensed users of the radio spectrum -- indeed, for anyone who
cares about the federal administrative process," Sumner said that the
remand does not guarantee that the FCC will correct its errors. "We face
another round of technical arguments," he said. "No doubt the FCC's
technical staff, many of whom want to do the right thing, will remain
under heavy pressure to ignore the laws of physics and give preference
to wishful thinking once again. When the FCC reopens the BPL proceeding
as the Court has ordered, we must leave no room for these technical
issues to be settled on anything other than technical grounds. There's
more work to do. It is only through the support of thousands of ARRL
members and friends that we have managed to come this far. But it took
great effort, including our frontal assault on the flawed FCC
proceedings, to get their attention. Together we can celebrate all that
we have accomplished on the BPL front over the past six years!"

BPL is not the only challenge facing the League, Sumner said, pointing
out that preparations for the upcoming WRC in 2011 are already underway.
The key WRC-11 issues for Amateur Radio are:
* A possible allocation near 500 kHz. This would provide amateur's first
access to the lower part of the medium frequency (MF) band. Sumner said
a "600 meter" band offers exciting possibilities for reliable groundwave
communication through the application of digital signal processing
techniques to a portion of the spectrum that is as old as radio itself.
* Defense against a push to allocate spectrum between 3 and 50 MHz for
oceanographic radar applications.
* Support of an initiative to provide better protection for radio
services against interference from short-range radio devices.
* Consideration of regulatory measures for software-defined radio and
cognitive radio systems, which offer both opportunities and threats to
existing radio services.
* Selection of agenda items for the WRC to follow (tentatively planned
for 2015). 

"ARRL staff and volunteers are hard at work on your behalf, teaming up
with International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) volunteers from around the
globe to build the strongest possible case for Amateur Radio at WRC-11,"
he said, calling on all amateurs to help protect Amateur Radio's
precious spectrum. "Once again, your financial commitment to spectrum
defense is vital to our ability to protect your access to radio
spectrum. Your contribution to the 2009 Spectrum Defense Fund will
provide the financial resources required for us to represent you at
WRC-11, and to respond when the FCC reacts to the BPL remand decision."

To help in the ARRL's ongoing mission to protect our valuable spectrum,
please visit the ARRL Office of Development's Web page. You can also
reach ARRL Chief Development Office Mary Hobart, K1MMH at 860-594-0397
or via e-mail <k1mmh@arrl.org>;. New special gifts are being offered for
contributions, including a new 2009 mug and pin. More details on thank
you gifts can be found on the donation form for the Spectrum Defense
Fund.

==> LOOK FOR THE NOVEMBER ISSUE OF QST IN YOUR MAILBOX 

The November issue of QST is jam-packed with all sorts of news and
information today's Amateur Radio operator needs. From product reviews
to experiments to public service, the upcoming issue of QST has
something for just about everyone.

Earl Schlenk, W0ES, dissects "The Anatomy of a Homebrew Project." In
this article, Schlenk offers that you don't have to have a degree in
engineering to build your own gear, just a little patience and a desire
to have some fun. Steve Gradijan, WB5KIA, gives readers a look at
"Greening Up Your Station" with tips to make your shack more energy
efficient as well as environmentally friendly -- save a bit of green by
going green! 

Are you just itching to put up that antenna support structure, but
aren't too sure how to go about it? Find out how Stephen Rudin, W1WSN,
and Kris Merschrod, KA2OIG, used education and cooperation to secure
permission to build their structures in "Overcoming Antenna
Restrictions." Journey to Italy with Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, Assistant
Manager for the ARRL's Membership and Volunteer Programs Department, in
his article "Pizza, Macaroni, Contest." 

ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, in his column "This Month
in Contesting," points out that Contesting and Emergency Communications
have more in common that you might think. And now that the 2008-2009
Contest season is in full swing, catch up on all the upcoming contest
activity with this month's "Contest Corral." 

If you're looking for a way to regulate your battery voltage while in
the field, be sure to check out October's Product Review: QST
Contributing Author Phil Salas, AD5X, gives his take on battery boost
regulators from TG Electronics and MFJ Enterprises. In his review, Salas
says "Either of these battery boost regulators will help you get more
operating time from your mobile or portable transceiver as battery
voltage sags. There are some differences between the units, so take a
close look when deciding which is right for your application."

This issue also boasts the results of the ARRL's Third Annual Photo
Contest. With more than 60 submissions (our most ever!), the judges had
a difficult choice in selecting the best ones. November's cover features
three winners, with the other winners inside.

Of course, the November issue includes the variety of columns you know
and love: "Hints & Kinks," "The Doctor Is IN," "How's DX," "Eclectic
Technology," "Technical Correspondence," "World Above 50 MHz,"
"Hamspeak" and more. Look for your November issue to arrive soon. QST is
the official journal of ARRL, the national association for Amateur
Radio. QST is just one of the many benefits of ARRL membership. To join
or renew your ARRL membership, please visit the ARRL Web page
<http://www.arrl.org/join>. 

==> PENNSYLVANIA BECOMES 27TH STATE WITH PRB-1 LAW ON BOOKS 

On Wednesday, October 8, Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell (D)
signed into law a bill that guarantees radio amateurs the right to erect
antenna support structures up to 65 feet without the need for a Special
Use Permit. The bill passed in the House with a vote of 196-1; it passed
in the Senate with a vote of 49-1. The new law is scheduled to go into
effect December 8, 60 days after signing.

Senate Bill 884 (now Act 88), "An Act amending Title 53 (Municipalities
Generally) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, Restricting
Municipalities from Regulating Amateur Radio Service Communications,"
was first introduced on June 1, 2007 by Pennsylvania Senator Stewart J.
Greenleaf (R) who represents portions of Bucks and Montgomery Counties.
The bill requires local municipalities to "reasonably accommodate
amateur radio service communications, and [to] impose only the minimum
regulations necessary to accomplish the legitimate purpose of the
municipality" and says that "[n]o ordinance, regulation, plan or any
other action shall restrict amateur radio antenna height to less than 65
feet above ground level, [but a] municipality may impose necessary
regulations to ensure the safety of amateur radio antenna structures,
but must reasonably accommodate amateur service communications." The
text of the bill may be found here
<http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType
=HTM&sessYr=2007&sessInd=0&billBody=S&billTyp=B&billNbr=0884&pn=2433>. 

The driving force behind the bill's passage was George Brechmann, N3HBT,
of Warminster. "We didn't have a PRB-1 law and I just got tired of
people telling me it couldn't be done," he told the ARRL. "So I called
up my senator's local office and told them what I wanted. They referred
it to his Harrisburg office and a while later, I got a call from Senator
Geeenleaf's executive assistant Eric Pauley wanting more information."

Brechmann said the bill was stuck in committee "for the longest time,
with lots of back-and-forth. Fortunately, they were able to reach a
compromise with the help of the League and its General Counsel Chris
Imlay, W3KD. This act even encompasses the urban areas of Philadelphia
and Pittsburgh." Brechmann, who has a 60 foot crank-up tower in his
backyard, says he has no plans to get a taller antenna support
structure.

Brechmann said he found out about the bill's passing in the most
appropriate of ways -- on the radio. "I'm the trustee at the club
station, K3DN, at our senior center; we have about 130 members there. I
went over on Tuesday evening to unlock the doors and get the rigs going,
when my wife Elaine, N3TMP, called me on the radio to tell me the bill
had passed the House. Five minutes later, she called me again on the
radio to tell me it had passed the Senate! And now the governor signed
it as soon as it reached his desk."

Saying that getting this bill passed is his "little contribution to
posterity," Brechmann said he is glad to be able to do something good
for the amateur community "because they have been so very good to me.
I'm blind, and Amateur Radio has been a very large part of my life."
Brechmann stays active ragchewing on 15 meters "and 10 when it's open,"
as well as serving as Net Control and coordinating his township's public
service events.

ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager Eric Olena, WB3FPL, said he
was "thrilled" with the bill's passage: "The Pennsylvania Legislature
showed overwhelming support of Amateur Radio [by passing this bill].
This legislation was started by George and coordinated with Senator
Greenleaf and Representative Kathy Watson (R). Pennsylvania hams made an
outstanding effort contacting their senators and representatives [in
support of the bill]. By seeking their support, they really helped with
the success of this legislation. The effort by all hams throughout the
country to foster Amateur Radio as an effective communications method in
emergencies did much to highlight a valued reputation for Amateur Radio,
and without a doubt, had an effect on these proceedings."

==> AMERICAN HAMS TO LEAD 2009 DXPEDITION TO DESECHEO ISLAND 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has selected a group of hams led
by veteran DXpeditioners Bob Allphin, K4UEE, and Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, to
lead a DXpedition to Desecheo Island, KP5 (IOTA NA-095), in early 2009
<http://www.fws.gov/caribbean/Refuges/Desecheo/default.htm>. Desecheo
currently sits at number 7 on DX Magazine's Most Wanted list
<http://hamgallery.com/countries/>. 

Desecheo is a small uninhabited island in the Mona Passage, 14 miles off
the western coast of Puerto Rico. It is part of the FWS's national
wildlife refuge system administered by the Caribbean National Wildlife
Refuge Complex (CNWR) <http://www.fws.gov/caribbean/>. 

Johnson told the ARRL that about eight years ago, a group of DXers
wanting to activate Navassa and Desecheo Islands formed an organization,
the KP1-5 Project <http://www.kp1-5.com/>. According to its Web site,
"The purpose of the KP1-5 Project is to work toward a solution to the
closure of Desecheo and Navassa Islands to Amateur Radio operators by
achieving lawful, periodic access to these islands pursuant to US Fish
and Wildlife Service authorization. While operating from these islands
is a worthwhile goal, the KP1-5 Project is dedicated to a long term
partnership that jointly benefits the US Fish and Wildlife Service and
Amateur Radio operators worldwide."

In 2005, H.R. 1183 was introduced in the US House of Representatives
<http://bulk.resource.org/gpo.gov/bills/109/h1183rh.txt.pdf>. This bill,
while not specifically mentioning Amateur Radio operations, would
require "limited public access to the Desecheo and Navassa national
wildlife refuges." While this bill did not become law, the KP1-5 Project
continued to negotiate with the FWS, seeking permission to mount a
DXpedition and activate Desecheo Island. Through these negotiations, the
FWS, by way of the CNWR, invited written proposals from groups
interested in activating the island.

In June 2008, CNWR invited written proposals from hams who had
previously made inquiries about an Amateur Radio operation from
Desecheo; CNWR indicated that they would allow one group to activate the
island. After reviewing the proposals, CNWR would then select a group
and prepare to issue a Special Permit to the successful party, limiting
the group to no more than 15 people staying no longer than 14 days.
Applicants had 45 days to prepare and submit their proposals. According
to Allphin, seven groups submitted proposals.

The CNWR also stated certain conditions that would have to met to be
considered for selection, such as completing unexploded ordnance
awareness training (Desecheo has been used in the past by the US Air
Force as a bombing range and for survival training), prior experience
conducting a DXpedition from a natural resource area and other sites,
removing all refuse from the island and locating all transmission
equipment and camping facilities within 200 feet of the cement helipad
on the island. According to the solicitation letter, CNWR personnel will
make periodic compliance checks during the stay.

"A panel of three Fish and Wildlife Service employees, from areas within
the Service outside of the Caribbean refuge, spent September 24 & 25
reviewing and evaluating the [seven] proposals," Allphin said. "The
selection criteria used were those outlined in the proposal invitation
letter. Points were awarded for how well criteria were addressed for
thoroughness and documentation. USFWS has not announced the actual dates
of the operation yet, but the DXpedition is expected to take place
between January 15 and March 30, 2009. A Special Use Permit will be
issued as per USFWS regulations." Allphin said he expects that the
DXpedition team and DXers worldwide will have a minimum of 30 days'
notice prior to the start of the trip to Desecheo.

"It was truly an honor to have our proposal and team selected from the
stiff competition," Johnson told the ARRL. "This has been a true team
effort on our part from the start. We look forward to activating an
entity in the Top 10 Most Wanted that is located in our own back yard!"

According to ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager and
experienced DXpeditioner Dave Patton, NN1N, both Desecheo and Navassa
Islands (currently third on DX Magazine's Most Wanted list) saw frequent
operations in the late 1970s through late '80s, but operations from the
islands have been very limited since then. With the islands under the
control of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, combined with decaying
"infrastructure" on Navassa, there are more issues that must be dealt
with than there were 25 years ago.

"A well-organized and lengthy operation from Desecheo will be a nice
treat for the world's DXers," Patton said. "With W0GJ and K4UEE leading
the operation, I think we can all count on a first class effort that
will give maximum exposure to Asia/Oceania and Europe where KP5 is most
needed. I also think that Glenn and Bob can demonstrate to the Fish and
Wildlife Service that a DXpedition can take place and not damage the
environment or cause big problems amongst other hams or for other
agencies. I hope hams will be invited back to Desecheo more frequently
in the future and expand the places where hams may operate."

Dennis Motschenbacher, K7BV (ex-KZ5M), fondly recalled his part in the
Texas DX Society's 1985 DXpedition to Desecheo, telling the ARRL what
made his time there so special: "KP5 -- what incredible memories for me.
It was my first 'classic' DXpedition; meaning putting a tiny island on
the air after landing on the beach in a small boat and hauling all the
gear up the rocks. This one took 24 hours of manual labor to get
everything from the small beach, over the rocks, and to the operating
area -- quite a task for a bunch of guys that spent more time behind a
desk than they did at the gym! To this day, I have never had the
pleasure and excitement of working down huge pileups like we experienced
on KP5 -- I can still hear them in my ears. I know that Bob, Glenn and
their crew will do a fantastic job lowering this Top 10 rare one down
the needed list. I am so happy for each and every operator going in
2009. I know in my heart this will be a trip that even the most
well-traveled of them will remember for the rest of their lives.

In 1979, upon the recommendation of the DX Advisory Committee (DXAC),
Desecheo Island was added to the DXCC list for contacts made after March
1 of that year. KP4AM/D -- with operators N4EA, KP4Q, N4ZC, KP4DSD,
KV4KV (now KP2A), KP4AM (now W4DN) -- made the first DXpedition Desecheo
in March 1979. Various groups have made their way to Desecheo since the
first trip, but other than a brief operation in December 2005, there has
been no activity from the island since 1994.

According to DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, the lack of activity is due
to the FWS not issuing the needed Special Use permits. "The FWS has
always claimed safety concerns as a reason to not issue the permits," he
said. "Since the island was used as a bombing range, there is the
possibility that unexploded, live munitions are still on the island. It
is always a good thing when an entity that had activation difficulties
in the past gets on the air again."

==> GARRIOTT GEARS FOR SPACE JOURNEY 

On Sunday, October 12, Richard Garriott, W5KWQ, is scheduled to begin
his journey to the International Space Station (ISS) as he blasts off
into space via a Russian Soyuz and docks with the ISS two days later; he
is due to return to Earth on Thursday, October 23. Richard, the sixth
private citizen to be accepted by the Russian Federal Space Agency (RKA)
for a short-term mission on the ISS, is the son of Owen Garriott, W5LFL.
In 1983, Owen was the first ham to make QSOs from space. Richard said he
plans to build on his father's legacy by also making QSOs from the ISS:
He plans to perform several school contacts and downlink slow scan
television images during his flight, as well as contact the general ham
community in his free time and perform random scout contacts during
Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) <http://www.arrl.org/scouts/jota/>. 

According to ARRL Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
(ARISS) Program <http://www.rac.ca/ariss/oindex.htm> Manager Rosalie
White, K1STO, excitement is building for this launch. "Richard and Owen
have been working as a team to plan how to cram in all of the objectives
Richard hopes to achieve in space, including scientific experiments.

Through White, Richard and Owen sent this message for all hams:
"We are both very pleased and appreciative of the ARISS and ARRL support
in making the voice and SSTV ham operations more fun, interesting to the
public, and valuable for research on Richard's flight this October. One
of the most exciting aspects of living and working in space is the
chance to look back at the Earth. Owen had one of the first
opportunities to do this 35 years ago on Skylab. He also had the first
opportunity to talk with the ham community from space 25 years ago
aboard [NASA shuttle mission] STS-9. Richard now has the opportunity to
connect with the ham community almost exactly 25 years after his
father's shuttle flight and 35 years after Skylab. One of Richard's
primary objectives with his flight is to photograph the Earth 35 years
after the first orbital laboratory and look for changes on the Earth in
the intervening time." 

"While Richard is at the ISS window, he will be operating the amateur
SSTV equipment and sending its images down to hams around the world.
These downlinks can then be sent to an ARISS central repository for
delayed and wider use. We further expect to be able to compare many of
the images with near simultaneous, handheld, high resolution digital
photo images. 

"We are very excited to share this experience with the Amateur Radio
community, and thank our fellow hams for their support of this project."

According to AMSAT Vice President of Operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA,
AO-51 will be operated in a special mode this weekend in preparation for
Richard's Slow Scan Television (SSTV) operations. "Since Richard wants
to experiment with the SSTV equipment on the ISS, a test will take place
with AO-51 configured with dual repeaters. This will be during October
11 and 12," he said.

"The primary repeater on AO-51 will be configured with an uplink on
1268.700 FM and downlink of 435.300 FM, and will be designated for this
period as an SSTV repeater," Glasbrenner reported. "Users are encouraged
to exchange SSTV images in ROBOT 36 mode, as an opportunity for others
to practice receiving SSTV images from space before the ARISS activity."

The ARISS Team requests that the images hams transmit be related to
space and to the ROBOT 36 mode. As always, Glasbrenner said, "good
Amateur Radio practice -- including cooperation in sharing the uplink --
is crucial to the success of this test mode." Glasbrenner said that
there will be a QRP voice repeater running concurrently on 145.880 FM
uplink and 435.150 FM downlink. Users are asked to use 10 W or less, and
omnidirectional or handheld antennas only.

As Richard gets ready for his voyage, he only had kind words to say
about the amateur community: "I am very impressed with the ham community
and ARISS and how well it puts together such complicated activities! I
am very excited about my ham radio part -- I hope to perform well."

==>SOLAR UPDATE 

Tad "When clear October suns unfold" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: A
familiar sight appeared this week, as a sunspot emerged for one day,
then was gone. Based on its magnetic polarity and high position in our
Sun's southern hemisphere, sunspot 1003 was a new Solar Cycle 24
sunspot; like all the other recent sunspots, it was short lived. For
October 10-17, the US Air Force Space Weather Operation predicts the
planetary A index at 5, 5, 15, 10, 5, 5, 5 and 5. Over the same period,
Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet conditions today, October
10, unsettled October 11-12, quiet to unsettled October 13 and quiet
again October 14 to 16. Sunspot numbers for October 2-8 were 0, 0, 12,
0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 1.7. The 10.7 cm flux was 66.3, 67.2, 66.6,
67.4, 67.2, 66.7 and 67.7 with a mean of 67. The Estimated planetary A
indices were 12, 13, 11, 4, 4, 3 and 2 with a mean of 7. The Estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 11, 10, 8, 3, 3, 1 and 2 with a mean of 5.4.
For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL
Technical Information Service Propagation page
<http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>. To read this week's
Solar Report in its entirety, check out the W1AW Propagation Bulletin
page <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/prop/>. This week's "Tad Cookism" brought
to you by Flexmore Hudson's "Mallee in October." 

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This Weekend on the Radio: This 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. Next week is the ARRL EME
International Competition on October 18-19 and the ARRL School Club
Roundup from October 20-24. The NCCC Sprint is October 17 and the Feld
Hell Sprint is October 18. Look for the JARTS WW RTTY Contest, the ARCI
Fall QSO Party, the Worked All Germany Contest, the Stew Perry Topband
Challenge, the W/VE Islands QSO Party, the PODXS 070 Club 160 Meter
Great Pumpkin Sprint and the 50 MHz Fall Sprint to be on the air October
18-19. The Asia-Pacific Fall Sprint (CW) and the UBA ON Contest (2
Meters) are October 19. The Illinois QSO Party is October 19-20 and the
Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is October 20. The SKCC Sprint and the
RSGB 80 Meters Club Sprint (SSB) are October 22. The NCCC Sprint is
October 24. 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 <cce@arrl.org>;.

* Book on Amateur Radio's "Golden Age" Now Available from ARRL: Many
consider 1930 to 1980 as the "golden age" of American radio technology.
A time of extraordinary innovation driven by pioneering engineers and
entrepreneurs, this 50 year span saw the introduction of rigs that would
become famous throughout the world. The newest addition to the ARRL
Library, "50 Years of Amateur Radio Innovation -- Transceivers,
Receivers and Transmitters: 1930-1980," highlights these treasured
favorites in a way that has never been seen before. This book takes you
on a guided tour of more than 400 of these legendary radios, lovingly
restored by their owners and gorgeously photographed by Joe Veras,
K9OCO, a professional photographer and Amateur Extra class ham. The
images presented in the book represent more than 200 photo sessions and
nearly 500,000 miles of travel. "You find yourself leafing through the
pages and blurting out, 'I owned one of those!' at regular intervals. I
had to laugh out loud when I saw the photo of the Gonset Communicator II
transceiver, complete with its cyclops 'eye tube.' That was my first 2
meter rig," said ARRL Publications Manager and QST Editor Steve Ford,
WB8IMY. Whether you've been licensed for many years or are just starting
out in Amateur Radio, "50 Years of Amateur Radio Innovation" offers a
fascinating visual travelogue of Amateur Radio technology. Each photo
includes a brief description of the radio, model number, manufacturer,
as well as the year it was introduced and its selling price at the time.
"50 Years of Amateur Radio Innovation -- Transceivers, Receivers and
Transmitters: 1930-1980" <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=0228> is
hardcover and 128 pages. It is available from the ARRL Web site and
dealers for $39.95. If you order before November 30, 2008, you will
receive a free 2009 ARRL Calendar
<http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=0302> featuring the vintage radio
photography of Joe Veras, K9OCO.

* ARRL Book Released in China: The first of several ARRL books to be
translated and published in Chinese has just been released. "Getting
Started with Ham Radio" by QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, published by
Posts and Telecommunications Press (PTPress) of Beijing, People's
Republic of China, is the first of eight books that will be published in
that language. Other ARRL titles to be translated and published in the
PRC include "The ARRL Handbook," "ARRL Antenna Book," "Experimental
Methods in RF Design," "Understanding Basic Electronics" and "Ham Radio
on the Move." Posts and Telecommunications Press is one of the largest
Chinese print and electronic media publishers. It is a specialized
publishing house operating under the management of the Ministry of
Information Industry. At present, PTPress annually publishes 3600 book
titles in 10 categories such as communications, computers, electronics
and electrical engineering technology. "Getting Started with Ham Radio"
was translated and adapted for its Chinese audience by Zhang Hong,
BG1FPX.

* ARRL Invites Nominations for 2008 International Humanitarian Award:
Nominations are open for the 2008 ARRL International Humanitarian Award
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/awards/humanitarian.html>. The award
is conferred upon an amateur or amateurs who demonstrate devotion to
human welfare, peace and international understanding through Amateur
Radio. The League established the annual prize to recognize Amateur
Radio operators who have used ham radio to provide extraordinary service
to others in times of crisis or disaster. A committee appointed by the
League's President recommends the award recipient(s) to the ARRL Board,
which makes the final decision. The committee is now accepting
nominations from Amateur Radio, governmental or other organizations that
have benefited from extraordinary service rendered by an Amateur Radio
operator or group. Amateur Radio is one of the few telecommunication
services that allow people throughout the world from all walks of life
to meet and talk with each other, thereby spreading goodwill across
political boundaries. The ARRL International Humanitarian Award
recognizes Amateur Radio's unique role in international communication
and the assistance amateurs regularly provide to people in need.
Nominations should include a summary of the nominee's actions that
qualify the individual (or individuals) for this award, plus verifying
statements from at least two people having first-hand knowledge of the
events warranting the nomination. These statements may be from an
official of a group (for example, the American Red Cross, The Salvation
Army or a local or state emergency management official) that benefited
from the nominee's particular Amateur Radio contribution. Nominations
should include the names and addresses of all references. All
nominations and supporting materials for the 2008 ARRL International
Humanitarian Award must be submitted in writing in English to ARRL
International Humanitarian Award, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 USA.
Nomination submissions are due by December 31, 2008. In the event that
no nominations are received, the committee itself may determine a
recipient or decide to make no award. The winner of the ARRL
International Humanitarian Award receives an engraved plaque and a
profile in QST and other ARRL venues.

* Singapore to Make Temporary Licenses Available for Visiting Hams: On
Thursday, October 9, the Singapore Amateur Radio Transmitting Society
(SARTS) <http://www.sarts.org.sg/> -- that country's IARU Member-Society
-- announced that the Infocommunications Development Authority (IDA)
would begin issuing temporary Amateur Radio licenses for visiting hams;
the IDA is the agency responsible for Amateur Radio licenses in
Singapore. According to SARTS Vice President Peter Cook, JV1PC, visiting
hams should apply three weeks before arriving in Singapore. The license,
typically valid for a three month period at a cost of 50 Singapore
dollars (or $25 for VHF/UHF-only operation), would use the call sign
9V1/home call (for example, 9V1/K1SFA). "The Singapore administration's
accommodation of visiting radio amateurs will be greatly appreciated by
many who visit and pass through this busy city-state," said IARU
Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ. "Congratulations to the Singapore Amateur
Radio Transmitting Society for achieving this long-sought objective."
Check the IDA Web site for the application process and necessary forms
<http://www.ida.gov.sg/doc/Policies%20and%20Regulation/Policies_and_Regu
lation_Level2/Guidelines%20on%20Licensing%20Scheme/GuideAmateur.pdf>. 

=========================================================== 
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!):
letter-dlvy@arrl.org
==>Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA,
k1sfa@arrl.org
==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org/>
==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call
860-594-0384

==>How to Get The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly
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The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these
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* The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur
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The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

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 and The American Radio Relay League.

Back issues published since 2000 are available on this page. If you wish to subscribe via e-mail, simply log on to the ARRL Web site, click on Edit Your Profile at the top, then click on Edit Email Subscriptions. Check the box next to The ARRL email newsletter, the ARRL Letter and you will receive each weekly issue in HTML format. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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