*************** 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane, <email@example.com> =========================================================== ==> 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 <firstname.lastname@example.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 <email@example.com>. * 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!): 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/>. (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>. 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