ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
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
<letter-dlvy@arrl.org>;
==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA
<k1sfa@arrl.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 <cep@arrl.org>;.

* 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
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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

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The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these
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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.

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.

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