*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 28, No. 3 January 23, 2009 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + ARRL Board of Directors Considers Internal and External Goals for 2009 * + Coy Day, N5OK, Resigns from ARRL Board of Directors * + Hams Help Out with Historic Day * + LoTW Reaches New Milestone: 200 Million QSOs * + ARRL to Unveil New Course for Public Information Officers * + FCC Reports Decline in BPL Customers * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Week on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + Officers for ARRL Foundation Elected + Amateur Radio Groups Help with Digital TV Transition +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 <email@example.com> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA <firstname.lastname@example.org> =========================================================== ==> ARRL BOARD OF DIRECTORS CONSIDERS INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL GOALS FOR 2009 The ARRL Board of Directors held its 2009 Annual Meeting on January 16-17 in Windsor, Connecticut, under the chairmanship of President Joel Harrison, W5ZN. Radio Amateurs of Canada President David Goodwin, VO1AU/VE3AAQ, and IARU President Larry Price, W4RA, were guests of the Board. The Board considered and acted on a number of organizational and regulatory issues. Election of the Executive Committee, committee appointments and awards were also on the agenda for the Annual Meeting. Organizational Issues ARRL Strategic Plan: At its July 2008 meeting, the Board voted to develop a timeline to review and revise the ARRL Strategic Plan. The Board directed Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, to release the Plan's long-range goals to the membership and to solicit comments from members "on the future direction and priorities of their national organization." At this meeting, Sumner led an in depth led an in depth discussion of the membership input. The Executive Committee is tasked with developing materials for use in completing the Plan revision at the July 2009 Board meeting. ARRL Membership and Deployed Active Duty Military: The Board voted unanimously to amend Bylaw 5 <http://www.arrl.org/aabl.html>, stating that the Executive Vice President is authorized to maintain ARRL membership privileges without charge for the duration of a member's active military deployment outside the ARRL operating territory as described in Bylaw 30, with or without the delivery of QST at the member's option. Bylaw 30 delineates which states (or portions of states) belong to the 15 ARRL Divisions. This action brings in to the Bylaws a policy adopted earlier by the Board. Budget: The Board voted to adopt the 2009-2010 Plan (as amended), as presented by the Administration and Finance Committee. Scouting: The Board voted to offer assistance to the Boy Scouts of America and their 2010 National Scout Jamboree. By representing Amateur Radio and participating with K2BSA at the Jamboree in conjunction with the Boy Scouts, the ARRL plans to build on the success of past National Jamborees where thousands of youth learned about the value and enjoyment of Amateur Radio. Teaching the Radio merit badge program, license classes and VE exam sessions have been parts of the quadrennial event that attracts more than 40,000 Scouts and leaders. Technology Task Force: This group, created in 1999, was formed to develop a strategy and plan of work for exploring new technologies, assessing their applicability to Amateur Radio and also developing a plan as to how to incorporate such new technology in the Amateur Radio Service. Since its inception, the Technology Task Force has carried out studies and offered recommendations -- particularly with regard to digital voice, high-speed multimedia, and software-defined radio. The Board resolved that the exploration and promotion of new Amateur Radio communications technologies shall continue to be an essential element of the ARRL's mission and that the original mission of the Technology Task Force may now be carried out more effectively by other means. With sincere thanks and gratitude, the Board voted to dissolve the group. IARU Member-Society Admissions: The Board voted unanimously to instruct the Secretary to cast ballots in favor of admitting the Emirates Amateur Radio Society and the Kazakhstan Federation of Radiosports and Radioamateur to the IARU ARRLWeb Redesign: A group from Fathom, a contractor based in Hartford, presented the company's progress on a new design for the ARRL Web site. As recommended by the Administration and Finance Committee, the Board voted to approve a capital expenditure to move into the third phase of the design development. Legislative Regulatory Matters Legislative Objectives: The Board voted to approve five legislative objectives for the 111th Congress: * Objective #1: The ARRL seeks legislation to extend the requirement for "reasonable accommodation" of Amateur Radio station antennas (a requirement that now applies to state and local regulations) to all forms of land use regulation. * Objective #2: The ARRL opposes legislation that encourages the deployment of RF technologies such as broadband over power line (BPL) systems unless adequate safeguards against interference to licensed radiocommunication services are included in the legislation. * Objective #3: The ARRL opposes legislation that would diminish the rights of federal licensees in favor of unlicensed emitters, especially unintentional emitters. * Objective #4: The ARRL seeks recognition of the unique resources, capabilities and expertise of the Amateur Radio Service in any legislation addressing communications issues related to emergencies, disasters, or homeland security. * Objective #5: The ARRL supports the complementary legislative objectives of other radiocommunication services, particularly the public safety and scientific services that require spectrum access and protection from interference for noncommercial purposes that benefit the public. Call Sign Allocation Study: The Board voted to instruct the Executive Committee, with advice and input from the Programs and Services Committee, to study the FCC sequential, vanity and special call sign programs. Amateur Radio and Driving: The Board noted that local municipalities, as well as state legislatures, have made laws or are considering laws that apply to drivers who use cellular telephones while driving. Recognizing that this sort of legislation often inadvertently prohibits -- or can be construed to prohibit -- Amateur Radio mobile communications, the Board instructed the Executive Committee to develop a policy statement and recommend language that protects the ability of licensed radio amateurs to prudently conduct mobile amateur communications. Other Items Committee Elections and Appointments Executive Committee: The Board elected the following Directors to the ARRL Executive Committee: Bill Edgar, N3LLR, Atlantic Division; Dick Isely, W9GIG, Central Division; Jay Bellows, K0QB, Dakota Division; Tom Frenaye, K1KI, New England Division, and Bob Vallio, W6RGG, Pacific Division. Members of this committee serve one year terms. President Harrison appointed the following Board members to committees: Administration and Finance Committee: Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, Chairman, Northwestern; Jim Weaver, K8JE, Great Lakes; Dennis Bodson, W4PWF, Roanoke; Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, Rocky Mountain; Dick Norton, N6AA, Southwestern; Vice Director Cliff Ahrens, K0CA, Midwest, and Treasurer Jim McCobb, K1LU. Programs and Services Committee: Bruce Frahm, K0BJ, Chairman, Midwest; Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, Southeastern; Coy Day, N5OK, West Gulf; Mickey Cox, K5MC, Delta; Frank Fallon, N2FF, and Vice Director Greg Widin, K0GW, Dakota. Ethics and Elections Committee: Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, Chairman, Southwestern; Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, Rocky Mountain, and Jay Bellows, K0QB, Dakota Division. Ad Hoc Scouting: Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, Chairman, Rocky Mountain; Bill Edgar, N3LLR, Atlantic Division; Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, Northwestern, and Staff Liaison Larry Wolfgang, WR1B. Ad Hoc Committee on the ARRL Foundation: Vice President Rick Roderick, K5UR, Chairman; Tom Frenaye, K1KI, New England; Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, Northwestern, Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, and Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. Chairman and Liaison Appointments Public Relations Committee: Bill Morine, N2COP, Chairman; Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, Liaison, New England. Historical Committee: Vice Director Gary Johnston, KI4LA, Chairman, Great Lakes. Legal Defense and Action Committee: Jay Bellows, K0QB, Chairman, Dakota Division. Electromagnetic Compatibility Committee: Dennis Bodson, W4PWF, Chairman, Roanoke. Band Planning Committee: Vice President Rick Roderick, K5UR, Chairman. Microwave Band Planning Committee: Tom Clark, K3IO, Chairman RF Safety Committee: Greg Lapin, N9GL, Chairman. VHF/UHF Advisory Committee: Kermit Carlson, W9XA, Chairman. DX Advisory Committee: To be announced Contest Advisory Committee: Dick Green, WC1M, Chairman. Amateur Radio Direction Finding Coordinator: Joe Moell, K0OV. Awards 2008 International Humanitarian Award: The Board selected the Amateur Radio operators of the Sichuan Radio Sports Association, the Chinese Radio Sports Association and the many operators from around China who supported communications efforts in the aftermath of the May 2008 earthquake, as the recipient of the 2008 International Humanitarian Award. 2008 Bill Leonard, W2SKE Professional Media Award: The Board selected Ted Randall, WB8PUM, of Lebanon, Tennessee, as the recipient of the 2008 Bill Leonard, W2SKE Professional Media Award; Randall is host of the QSO Radio Show. He was cited for his ongoing coverage of Amateur Radio through his profiling of key figures and personalities. Randall's reporting of their contributions "best reflects the enjoyment, importance and public service value of Amateur Radio." The complete Minutes of the 2009 Annual Meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors will soon be available on the ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/announce/board.html>. The next meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors is scheduled for July 17-18, 2009. ==> COY DAY, N5OK, RESIGNS FROM ARRL BOARD OF DIRECTORS After more than 12 years as a member of the ARRL Board family -- 10 of them as West Gulf Division Director -- Coy Day, N5OK, announced that he is resigning from ARRL elected office, effective January 20. Per the ARRL Articles of Association <http://www.arrl.org/aabl.html>, Vice Director Dr David Woolweaver, K5RAV, has taken over as Director, and ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, will appoint a new Vice Director. The next election for West Gulf Division Director and Vice Director will be in 2010. Day, who was Chairman of the League's Ethics and Elections Committee, and served on the Executive Committee for the past year, said, "I have really enjoyed interfacing with and serving the membership in my term as West Gulf Division Director. Traveling around, going to club meetings, going to hamfests -- I've just enjoyed being with other amateurs the most. I've also enjoyed representing the membership at the Board of Directors meetings, talking, finding out what they need and what they are feeling and bringing that back to the Board." Before being elected to the Board of Directors, Day served as West Gulf Vice Director and Oklahoma Section Manager. "It has been a pleasure to work with Coy Day on the ARRL Board," said ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN. "Coy's integrity is admirable and something that everyone should model. We will miss his wisdom and smooth manner on the Board, and wish the best for Coy and his wife Judy." ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, concurred: "In addition to the gentlemanly demeanor that most people who know him associate with Coy, what I will always remember about his service on the Board are the high standards that he set -- for himself, as well as for the ARRL staff. This was especially evident while he was Chairman of the Administration and Finance Committee. Coy challenged and supported the staff in equal and abundant measure." "I could not step down if I was not confident that David would do a great job as Director," Day said. "He's been such a great Vice Director. He's already served on committees and done so many things within the West Gulf Division. David's doing a great job and I know he will continue to do great things as Director of the West Gulf Division." Dr Woolweaver will take Day's place on the Programs and Services Committee for 2009. Woolweaver called Day a "tireless contributor to Amateur Radio for two decades," and said Day's long service "has been marked by honor and integrity. It has been my privilege to serve with Coy for the past seven years as his Vice Director. I know that everyone in the West Gulf Division will join me in wishing Coy well in his retirement." While serving on the Board of Directors, Day served on numerous committees. "I think I served on all of them," he joked. "I was Chairman of the Membership Services Committee -- that was before the name was changed to the Programs and Services Committee. I was also Chairman of the Administration and Finance Committee. My first committee was the ad hoc Committee for Long Range Planning, back in 2001." "I would like thank the members and the staff -- the support here at HQ," Day said. "I also want to thank my fellow Board members -- it takes all 15 of us working together to make things happen. It's been fun." ==> HAMS HELP OUT WITH HISTORIC DAY On Tuesday, January 20, Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. Numerous organizations -- federal, state and local agencies, the staff of Presidents Bush and Obama, as well as private agencies -- were involved in the months of planning required to make the event go smoothly. From the very beginning, Amateur Radio operators were involved, making sure that communications support was available by providing backup communications in the event that primary communications were disrupted. According to ARRL Virginia Section Public Information Coordinator Joe Safranek, K4JJS, the Virginia and Maryland Offices of Emergency Management -- as well as various local jurisdictions in and around the Washington, DC metro area -- requested the assistance of Amateur Radio operators to provide local and short distance communications for the inauguration and the events leading up to it. Safranek said that ARRL Virginia Section Manager Carl Clements, W4CAC, and ARES-RACES of Virginia Section Emergency Coordinator Ron Sokol, K4KHZ, selected Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator Bruce Freund, K7BC, to be the project officer for this event. "Freund's area of responsibility covered two Virginia ARES districts that are comprised of 14 cities and counties along the western border of the District of Columbia," Safranek said. "These districts are managed by Howard Cunningham, WD5DBC, and Tom Lauzon, KI4AFE. They had to ensure that their jurisdictional Emergency Coordinators and members accomplished the mission objectives received from event officials. Numerous Amateur Radio operators involved with the various organizations serving the jurisdictions in Virginia, DC and Maryland all worked together." Across the Potomac River, ARRL Maryland/DC Section Manager James Cross, WI3N, and Section Emergency Coordinator Steve Beckman, N3SB, were actively involved from the beginning with planning and preparation efforts. If needed, Section leadership was prepared to assist within the District. In DC, members of Radio Emergency Associated Communications Teams (REACT) <http://www.reactintl.org/> were also part of the planning; the organization had a representative at the very first regional planning meeting. Planning for communications support during the inauguration drew upon the expertise and relationships developed through the years of planning the annual Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) in DC <http://www.marinemarathon.com/>, Safranek said. "The marathon is our major regional Amateur Radio event in the Metropolitan DC area," he said. "When planning our communications support for the marathon, we use the Incident Command Structure (ICS). We decided to use ICS with the inauguration, too. By using a system we were all familiar with, we had a head start." Safranek listed some of the many ways amateurs helped out with communications support: Nick Meacher, N3WWE, built on a template the group used for the marathon for the compilation of the Incident Communications Plan. Weeks in advance of the inauguration, Fairfax County Emergency Coordinator Jeff Wilson, AI4IO, led a field test of the repeaters planned for use for the primary Regional Coordination Net to ensure that participating Emergency Operations Centers would be able operate cleanly through the selected repeaters. Field tests are a key lesson learned from MCM and identified necessary changes to the Communication Plan. District Emergency Coordinator Howard Cunningham, WB5DBC, serves the marathon as Special Project Officer. He prepared a staffing approach for mutual assistance that, if needed, would rely on the on-call ARES/RACES organizations in Loudoun, Prince William and Fauquier counties to supplement the activated groups in Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax. Safranek said that the area's communications equipment was well suited to the task: "Using a combination of many systems, hams were able to move information quickly and efficiently. The Network Engineers Repeater Association (NERA) UHF linked repeater system <http://www.qsl.net/nera/> supported the primary Regional Coordination Net. Local group operations used other analog VHF and UHF systems for phone, Winlink, packet and other modes of operation, as well as the use of a D-STAR VHF/UHF voice and data system. Some operators monitored the Old Dominion Emergency Net/Alfa on 3947 kHz." On the Maryland/DC side of the Potomac River, hams were active in other areas, including several stationed at RFK Stadium to assist with the visitors from the more than 1200 buses that were parked there. District EOCs in Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties also had hams providing communications support. ASEC Bruce Freund singled out the achievements of the Fairfax ARES-RACES Unit, specifically the actions of Fairfax Assistant Emergency Coordinator Tom Azlin, N4ZPT. "Tom was deeply involved in the local and regional planning activities before the event; he serves a similar key role in the Marine Corps Marathon leadership. But in my opinion, it was his performance in the execution of the plan that is particularly noteworthy. During the field testing for the Regional Coordination Net, several jurisdictions could not reliably hit the planned repeaters, so we made the decision to shift to the NERA linked UHF system. Unfortunately, the Fairfax EOC VHF/UHF antenna only provides marginal coverage into NERA. Due to the difficulties the EOC experienced when the Regional Coordination Net opened at 4 AM, Tom put a separate liaison channel in place to supplement the EOC's NERA link and manned it himself while developing a watch bill to ensure coverage on this unanticipated circuit. That liaison channel was covered solidly throughout the day and was the last ARES-RACES circuit secured at the end of operations on Tuesday evening. Tom made sure that the EOC was staffed beginning at 3 AM, until it was secured a little after 8 PM. While his leadership in the planning activities is noteworthy, Tom's stepping forward to provide leadership ensuring successful execution merits special recognition." Fairfax Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Operations, Art Pond, KD4FBT, worked very long days during the planning phase. Due to his job on Capitol Hill, he was busy getting the new members' IT infrastructure set up. "He pulled one of the six hour rotations in the EOC during what might have been the highest activity time if there had been transport problems inbound," Freund said. "This shows the dedication of the volunteers in working very long days on their regular job, pulling activation duty for the event, and then going back to their regular jobs the very next day." In Fairfax, one operator was on duty at the local Emergency Operations Center at the beginning and end of the activation, while two were on duty during the main portion of the event. EOCs in Alexandria, Arlington and Falls Church City also had ARES/RACES operators on duty. The Virginia State EOC was manned with a full Amateur Radio crew utilizing HF, VHF and UHF links via voice, packet and Winlink to the inauguration Nets. Besides providing support at EOCs, amateurs were also on duty at Alexandria Hospital, while others were on standby to support communications at two other hospitals in Prince William County, as well as EOCs in Loudoun, Fauquier and Prince William Counties. Freund is also a member of Army MARS. He served as Net Control Station on the MARS frequencies during the event. According to Safranek, Army MARS HQ at Ft Huachuca, Arizona, put out a directive stating an Actual Incident Net would be established, directing the type of MARS coverage that would be required and how Region 3 (in the DC area) would have liaisons from other regions available to pass any necessary traffic. ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD, monitored both ham radio frequencies and the ARRL HQ MARS station, AAN1ARL. At the Virginia Commonwealth level, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management opened their EOC where Terry Hebert, KG4GLS, coordinated Amateur Radio activities. State EOCs in Maryland and Virginia had Army MARS operators on premises participating in their regional nets. Sokol said he was pleased at the outcome of this historical event: "When I was appointed SEC in April 2008, I told the ASECs that they are the managers over their areas and they will be given the opportunity to do just that -- manage operations in their designated areas. Section Manager Carl Clements, W4CAC, totally agreed with this comment and has been extremely supportive of efforts to delegate authority to the intermediary managers, the ASECs and the District Emergency Coordinators, since they are the local area experts. I am really proud of the way in which ARES-RACES of Virginia participated in this event." "As Virginia Section Manager, I am responsible for a myriad of items -- the emergency communications aspect of the hobby being one of prime importance," Clements said. "With a senior leader like Ron Sokol, a staff of ASECs like Bruce, our DECs, and our local ECs performing their managerial and supervisory duties in an outstanding manner, there is no wonder why our numbers are constantly growing. The Section has accomplished a lot in less than a year, including a Memorandum of Understanding with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. We have been instrumental in working with a group of dedicated hams in the western areas of the Commonwealth in building an RF link to the eastern areas of Virginia and now we are participating in the inauguration of the President of the United States of America. I could not be more proud of these fine men and women as I am now." ==> LOTW REACHES NEW MILESTONE: 200 MILLION QSOS On January 16, Vic Kean Jr, K1LT, of Carroll, Ohio, uploaded four years' worth of logs -- about 25,000 QSOs -- to ARRL's Logbook of The World (LoTW) <http://www.arrl.org/lotw>. Somewhere in that batch, the LoTW counter crossed the 2 million mark. To celebrate Kean's submission of the 200 millionth QSO, the ARRL has awarded him lifetime free LoTW credits and free ARRL Awards as he qualifies for them. "When I uploaded all of my contest logs since moving to my current location," Kean said, "I was really surprised at the number of the contacts that were immediately confirmed -- about 30 percent -- especially DXpeditions. I've been very laggard about responding to QSLs that I get. The last batch I did was by printing some card stock on a laser printer." Kean, who mainly enjoys operating CW on 160 meters, said that he enjoys what he calls "success at contesting through technological superiority," as opposed to superior operating ability. "In other words," he said, "I work at improving my station with technology, and then test those improvements in a contest. I attempt to achieve awards by trying to get into one of the 'Top 10 boxes' in the contest results. Somewhere I have a Worked All States certificate from my youthful days. I worked about 160 countries but never got around to submitting any cards for DXCC." Kean said that he still intends to try and get at least one QSL card from every country. "Even though we knew that Logbook of The World would explode in its popularity, 201 million QSOs in roughly the first five years of its existence show that LoTW's concept and ideas have worked beyond our expectations," said ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Department Manager Dave Patton, NN1N. "Vic's log contributes not only to the bottom line, but to the overall embrace of the technology and further bolsters our commitment to continue to improve and expand the system." Kean said that he believes Amateur Radio will certainly continue to change as time goes on, "but I don't expect the hobby to ever completely go away. With cognitive radio coming, there is plenty of opportunity to experiment, even by just writing software. In the long run, I think the rules of spectrum allocation will change, but hopefully the change will benefit people in general, rather than corporations. If so, there will still be a role for communications experimenters. Man versus the ionosphere will still be interesting, no matter what the spectrum rules are." When asked if he would encourage other hams to try Logbook of The World, Kean was enthusiastic: "If someone asked me about Logbook, I would tell them, 'Don't worry about it. Logbook of The World works, and it seems to be enjoying much greater popularity than you know.' At least, that's what I just found out!" ==> ARRL TO UNVEIL NEW COURSE FOR PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICERS With the many weather events and other newsworthy items of note in 2008, ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, said that it was evident around the US "that the expertise, motivational level and activities of individual Public Information Officers (PIOs) are highly variable <http://www.arrl.org/pio/>. Some PIOs are excellent. Some retain the PIO title but are inactive, while others are motivated, but apparently not aware of the basic expectations of their role or the skills involved." Pitts equated the PIO situation to the situation that ARES faced several years ago: "The corrective action for ARES -- that resulted in major success -- began with the design and implementation of the ARRL EmComm Level 1 classes (first tested in Connecticut and then expanded and deployed nationally). They produced significant positive results in the quality, scope and skill of ARES activities." A similar course, "PR-101," is now being developed by the ARRL. "This course is geared toward PIOs and others interested in Public Relations," Pitts said. "While voluntary, the course will be 'strongly encouraged' for all ARRL PIOs and available for others." Overall goals for the course are: * To clarify the role of the PIO in the Field Organization. * To establish a base set of expectations (job description) for a PIO to fulfill, and peer pressure to do the job well. * To establish, teach and verify that course graduates have the common basic skill set needed to accomplish expectations set forth in the PIO job description. * To create a pool of trained PIOs who can be confidently called upon to represent Amateur Radio in their region during breaking news events. * To create a spirit of pride in being a trained and active PIO. * To increase the productivity of PIOs and resultant positive media coverage. "There is a critical need to offer public relations training that addresses the 21st century media landscape," said ARRL Public Relations Committee Chairman Bill Morine, N2COP. "Since the last revision of the ARRL PIO Handbook in the mid 1990s, domination of coverage has shifted from newspapers, magazines and broadcast stations to cable, satellite and Internet media outlets. The decentralization of media means there are many more ways and formats from which the public can access information. The PR-101 course will point ARRL PIOs in the direction where they can best take advantage of opportunities in both traditional and emerging media." Saying that the League is fortunate to have a dedicated corps of more than 450 appointed PIOs in the field, Morine pointed out the results of a survey sent to all PIOs: "The December 2008 survey of this group showed that the majority of PIOs are either self-appointed or were appointed by their local club. This confirms that many PIOs are highly motivated and eagerly want to tell the public about Amateur Radio. At the same time, the survey revealed that most PIOs have little or no formal training or experience in public relations, journalism or the media in general. The overwhelming number of respondents told the survey they would gladly participate in public relations and media training from ARRL." Morine said he is glad to see that more and more Section Managers are already endorsing PR-101 for their PICs and PIOs. "The goal of the Public Relations Committee is to raise the professionalism of our field PIOs, just as the ARECC courses <http://www.arrl.org/cce/activity-list.php3> have elevated the training of ARES operators," he said. PR-101 is expected to be first shown to the public in May at the ARRL EXPO at the Dayton Hamvention. ==> FCC REPORTS DECLINE IN BPL CUSTOMERS On January 16, 2009, the Federal Communications Commission released data, as of December 31, 2007, on the services used for high-speed Internet access in the United States. According to the data collected by the FCC, as of that date there were 121.2 million high-speed lines (including wireless), a 20 percent increase in just six months. In sharp contrast to the rapid growth in mobile wireless, cable modem, ADSL and fiber as delivery mechanisms to subscribers, Broadband over Power Line (BPL) utilization apparently declined during the period. According to the FCC figures, the category "Power Line and Other" dropped from 5420 lines in June 2007 to just 5274 six months later. It is not known how many of these are "Power Line" and how many are "Other." "Despite the enormous and unwarranted hype given to BPL by the FCC under Chairmen Powell and Martin, the message from the marketplace is clear: BPL is going nowhere as a means of delivering broadband connectivity to consumers," observed ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "Still, the FCC has unfinished business with respect to BPL. It has been nine months since the federal Court of Appeals ordered the Commission to correct the errors it committed in adopting rules that inadequately protect licensed radio services from BPL interference <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/04/25/10064/>, yet the FCC has made no effort to comply. With the change at the FCC helm that is about to take place, we hope the foot-dragging will come to an end and the Commission will fulfill its obligations to the Court as well as to its licensees." The 27-page FCC report may be found at on the FCC's Web site <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-287962A1.pdf>. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "Sometimes a piece of Sun burned like a coin in my hand" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: Monday revealed another shy sunspot. Sunspot 1011 appeared suddenly, and then it was gone. Its configuration and location did not identify it as belonging to either Solar Cycle 23 or 24. On Monday, January 19 the sunspot number was 13. Sunspot numbers for January 15-21 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 13, 0 and 0 with a mean of 1.9. The 10.7 cm flux was 71, 71, 72, 71, 71, 70 and 69 with a mean of 70.7. The estimated planetary A indices were 4, 2, 2, 2, 9, 3 and 2 with a mean of 3.4. The estimated mid-latitude A indices were 4, 2, 2, 2, 7, 1 and 2 with a mean of 2.9. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>. To read this week's Solar Report in its entirety, check out the W1AW Propagation Bulletin page <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/prop/>. This week's "Tad Cookism" brought to you by Pablo Neruda's "Clenched Soul" <http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/txt/941.txt>. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This Week on the Radio: This week, the NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint is January 22 and the CQ 160 Meter Contest (CW) is January 23-25. The REF Contest (CW), BARTG RTTY Sprint, the UBA DX Contest (SSB) and the SPAR Winter Field Day are January 24-25. The SKCC Sprint is January 28. Next week, look for the SARL Youth Day Sprint on January 31. The QRP Winter Fireside SSB Sprint is February 1. All dates, unless otherwise stated, are UTC. See the ARRL Contest Branch page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/>, the ARRL Contest Update <http://www.arrl.org/contests/update/> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar <http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/index.html> for more info. 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: Registration remains open through Sunday, February 8, 2009, for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, February 20, 2009: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 2; Antenna Modeling, and Radio Frequency Propagation. 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/cep/student> or contact the Continuing Education Program Coordinator <email@example.com>. * Officers for ARRL Foundation Elected: During its annual meeting on January 22 the ARRL Foundation <http://www.arrlf.org/> elected officers for 2009: Tom Frenaye, K1KI, President; Dick Isely, W9GIG, Vice President; Mary Hobart, K1MMH, Secretary, and Jim McCobb, K1LU, Treasurer. Each of the officers served in 2008 "These officers have demonstrated the leadership and commitment to the goals of the ARRL Foundation and received a vote of confidence from the Board for another term," Frenaye said. "In re-electing the slate of officers for another year, the Foundation recognizes the importance of leadership continuity in the organization's commitment to Amateur Radio." * Amateur Radio Groups Help with Digital TV Transition: ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, said he has been getting e-mails and phone calls from Amateur Radio operators concerning the Digital TV conversion, currently set for February 17. "People are asking what's happening with the DTV conversion and wondering what can we do to help," he said. "While there is considerable confusion on a possible extension of the date, things continue as there will be a conversion and the technical information hams provide to their communities will be needed -- even if the scheduled date for the conversion changes. The role of Amateur Radio is simply to be helpful to the people in our communities." The FCC's Sue McNeil told Pitts that she sent out a request "for all of the [FCC] HQ and Field folks to contact the ARRL Section Managers went out in late December; I understand that contacts have been or are being made. In addition to Philadelphia and Hawaii, I understand that there have been some fruitful discussions with folks in North Carolina and California (Silicon Valley area). We have received good feedback about contacts made in Montana and Portland, as well." If your group or club is interested in participating, please be sure to let your Section Manager <http://www.arrl.org/sections> know of your plans and actions. =========================================================== 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>. (NOTE: The ARRL cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this listserver.) Copyright 2009 American Radio Relay League, Inc. All Rights Reserved
The ARRL Letter
The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.
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Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, K1SFA@arrl.org.