*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 28, No. 5 February 6, 2009 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + ARRL Executive Committee Issues Mobile Amateur Radio Operation Policy Statement * + ARRL Announces Second Homebrew Challenge * + Look for the March Issue of QST in Your Mailbox * + Save the Date: ARRL National Convention to be Held at 2009 Dayton Hamvention * + North Dakota to Offer State QSO Party in March * + Awards Conferred at 2009 ARRL Board of Directors Annual Meeting * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Week on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + William E. Packard, NN9U, Wins January QST Cover Plaque Award + Antarctic Station QRV Until February 18 Swedish Amateurs Granted New Privileges +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 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ISSUES MOBILE AMATEUR RADIO OPERATION POLICY STATEMENT On January 30, at the instruction of the Board of Directors at its January 2009 meeting, the ARRL Executive Committee adopted a policy statement on mobile Amateur Radio operations. The statement addresses the growing number of proposed state and local laws and ordinances regulating the use of cellular telephone and text messaging, inadvertently affecting Amateur Radio mobile communications <http://www.arrl.org/govrelations/MobileAmateurRadioPolicyStatement.pdf> . In its statement, the Executive Committee urges state and municipal legislators to limit the scope of their proposals, limiting them to devices such as full duplex wireless telephones and related handheld or portable equipment. Alternately, it suggests that licensed Amateur Radio operation be listed specifically as an exclusion to the proposed regulations. "At the start of each new session, you see a flurry of this type of proposal in state legislatures across the country," said ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. As of February 1, 2009, Henderson said that the ARRL is aware of proposals in 11 states: Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming, as well as several local city or town proposals. "These proposals are usually intended to regulate cellular telephone and text messaging by drivers as a matter of safety but, when they are written in very broad terms, can include Amateur Radio mobile operations in the 'net' they cast," Henderson continued. "The Executive Committee's policy statement gives a good, concise background of the role the Amateur Service plays in public safety and service communications. It also highlights the differences between communications conducted by cellular telephone and those using Amateur Radio. Finally, the statement offers some suggested statutory language for state motor vehicle codes which would protect Amateur Radio mobile operation." The ARRL recognizes that driver inattention is a leading cause of automobile accidents. The policy statement raises the fact that cell phones utilize full duplex communications -- where the user is talking and listening simultaneously. The Executive Committee statement says "Two-way radio use is dissimilar from full-duplex cellular telephone communications because the operator spends little time actually transmitting; the time spent listening is more similar to, and arguably less distracting than listening to a broadcast radio, CD or MP3 player. There are no distinctions to be made between or among Amateur Radio, public safety land mobile, private land mobile or citizen's radio in terms of driver distraction. All are distinguishable from mobile cellular telephone communications in this respect." The ARRL Policy Statement also recognizes the responsibility of the amateur community to conduct its activities in a manner that does not create unsafe operation of their motor vehicle. "Safety has to be a top concern at all times," Henderson concluded. ==> ARRL ANNOUNCES SECOND HOMEBREW CHALLENGE The first ARRL Homebrew Challenge, announced in the August 2006 issue of QST, offered a prize for the best 5 W, 40 meter CW and voice transceiver our readers could build. The only requirement was that the rig had to be built for less than $50 of new, readily available parts. In 2009, ARRL ups the ante in the Second Homebrew Challenge by upping the power limit to 50 W. All entries are due no later than February 28, 2010 <http://www.arrl.org/qst/hbc/>. "Low power (QRP) operation is fun, but often a little more power is even more fun," said ARRL Technical Editor Joel Hallas, W1ZR. "For our new challenge, we are asking readers to design, or adapt a published design (with appropriate credit), and build a 50 W amplifier to follow a 5 W/40 meter transceiver. This could be used behind one of the radios from the original challenge, or from other QRP radios at similar power level." There will be two cash prizes for this challenge. In addition to the prizes, the winners will receive the usual QST page rate for published articles. The amplifier must operate on 40 meters. It must operate as a linear amplifier capable of accepting a QRP input signal and putting out a minimum of 50 W PEP into a 50 ohm load. It must meet all FCC requirements for spurious emissions. The amplifier must include control circuitry to switch from transmit to receive through a single contact closure and provide a path from antenna to receiver during receive mode. Hallas suggested taking a look at the two part series by Rick Campbell, KK7B, "Designing and Building Transistor Linear Power Amplifiers," in the February and March 2009 issues of QST. Hallas listed some basic requirements for the Homebrew Challenge: * It must meet all requirements while operating from a 13.8 V dc power supply. * It must put out 50 W PEP on 40 meters with a 5 W PEP input. * It must be a linear amplifier with third order and higher intermodulation products must be below -28 dBc (28 dB below the carrier) as measured using the procedures described in the ARRL Lab product review Test Procedures Manual <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/prodrev/testproc.pdf>. * It must be capable of key down operation at 40 W CW output for 5 minutes without more than a 5 percent reduction in output level. * Single contact transmit/receive switching is required. * Parts must be readily available either from identified national retailers or by mail order. No "flea market specials" allowed. * The total cost of all mechanical and electrical parts required for duplication of the amplifier cannot exceed $125. * All entries must be received at ARRL Headquarters no later than February 28, 2010. * The amplifier that meets all the basic requirements at the lowest cost will receive a prize of $200. * An additional prize of $300 will be awarded for an amplifier that meets all the basic requirements and, in the sole judgment of the reviewers, provides the most useful mix of the following additional attributes within the $125 cost limitation: * * Full output with an input lower than 5 W, perhaps as low as 2 W, to allow operation with other popular radios. * * Use of aluminum oxide or other types of power transistors rather than beryllium oxide. * * Operation on additional bands besides 40 meters. * * Operation in support of full break-in (QSK) mode. Hallas noted that some RF power transistors, and even some conduction cooled vacuum tubes, are built on a beryllium oxide substrate or heat conduction base. "Beryllium oxide is inert and safe if properly handled," he said. "If crushed, drilled or filed, however, the resulting dust can be harmful if breathed. Many new power transistors use an aluminum oxide substrate that avoids this problem. It is recommended that aluminum oxide be used if possible. If you do choose to use beryllium based transistors for your amplifier, please treat them with the respect that they deserve, and dispose of them as hazardous material outside of normal household waste disposal channels if they fail or are no longer needed." Each entrant must submit the fully operational amplifier, as well as a documentation package. This package should include a draft QST article with a discussion of the design considerations and tradeoffs and a description of the construction techniques. The article will also include test and alignment steps, operating instructions, along with a readable schematic with a list of all parts used, their source and price. Those who do not have the capability to measure the desired and undesired output products accurately may submit amplifiers early for an unofficial pre-test in the ARRL Lab. Hallas advised entrants allow two weeks (from ARRL's receipt of the package) to be notified of the results. The station will first be evaluated in comparison to the basic requirements by the ARRL Laboratory. Entries determined by the Lab to be acceptable on the basis of FCC spectral purity and output requirements will be further evaluated by the QST Technical Editorial Staff. While the basic rules and evaluation criteria were provided in the original announcement, Hallas said that there are always questions on interpretation. "We have thus again provided a Web resource <http://www.arrl.org/qst/hbc/> to provide the questions and answers (FAQs) to all interested participants. Answers provided should be considered a part of the rules and are binding on all entrants." ==> LOOK FOR THE MARCH ISSUE OF QST IN YOUR MAILBOX The March issue of QST, our annual antenna issue, is jam-packed with all sorts of things today's Amateur Radio operator needs. From product reviews to experiments to contesting, the upcoming issue of QST has something for just about everyone. Jim Steible, K4DLI, and Pete Gaddle, W6XX, designers of the 160 meter beam used on the 3Y0X DXpedition to Peter I, relate how the extreme polar environment provided extreme antenna performance. If you have a small area -- and a small budget -- be sure to check out the article by Leo Shoemaker, K4KIO, detailing his five band G3TXQ broadband hexagonal beam antenna. David Hannon, KE7TTT, recommends a vertical antenna that requires no permanent mounting that is both easy and efficient. If you've never participated in a contest but wondered what all the fuss was about, or if you are the type to plan family vacations around the contest calendar, you won't want to miss "This Month in Contesting" by ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X. This month, Sean features a primer on the ARRL International DX Phone Contest; this contest runs from 0000 UTC March 7-2400 UTC March 8. The results of the 2008 ARRL September VHF QSO Party, the 2008 ARRL 10 GHz and Up Contest and the 2008 IARU HF World Championship are in. Did you top your score from last year? How did your closest rival do? Also, find out about upcoming contests in the Contest Corral. ARRL Test Engineer Bob Allison, WB1GCM, compares five analog HF/VHF wattmeters in the March issue. According to the ARRL Lab test results, "These reasonably priced HF/VHF wattmeters offer power and SWR measurements at several power levels. Each model offers something different, but one is sure to be a match for your station requirements." Also in the March issue, ARRL Technical Advisor Bruce Prior, N7RR, takes a look at six high end dual-lever keyer paddles: "Finely crafted from top quality materials, these high end-dual-lever keyer paddles are designed for the discerning CW operator. Some are better suited to heavy fisted operators, while others reward a light touch." Of course, there are the usual columns you know and expect in the March QST: Hints & Kinks, The Doctor Is IN, How's DX, Vintage Radio, Hamspeak and more. This month also features Technical Correspondence, the Emergency Communications Course Honor Roll and the ARRL VEC Volunteer Examiner Honor Roll. Look for your March issue of QST in your mailbox. 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 see the ARRL Web page <http://www.arrl.org/join>. ==> SAVE THE DATE: ARRL NATIONAL CONVENTION TO BE HELD AT 2009 DAYTON HAMVENTION The ARRL National Convention will be held at the Dayton Hamvention May 15-17 at Hara Arena <http://www.hamvention.org/>. According to ARRL Sales and Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, the ARRL National Convention will be filled with activities and exhibits. "Our host organization, the Dayton Amateur Radio Association, has three big days planned, chock-full of every bit of Amateur Radio you can think of," Inderbitzen said. "ARRL volunteers from across its 15 National Divisions will be present, alongside thousands of out-of-towners who will make Dayton their home-away-from-home during the event. The centerpiece of ARRL's convention planning is ARRL EXPO -- a huge showcase of ARRL program representatives and activities. Many new exhibits are being planned, with special focus on operating and project-building." A preview of what is planned for ARRL EXPO can be found at the ARRL EXPO Web site <http://www.arrl.org/expo>. The ARRL EXPO, located in the large exhibit area in the Ballarena Hall (near the 400-numbered booths), will showcase exhibits and activities to enhance the ham radio experience. Open to both ARRL members and nonmembers, ARRL EXPO is packed with official ARRL program representatives, activities and forums. Visit the ARRL bookstore for popular publications and products, join the ARRL or renew your membership, and pick up official ARRL merchandise. All who join the ARRL or renew their membership at the Dayton Hamvention will receive a free gift. Personnel from the ARRL DXCC Branch will be on hand to check DX cards and applications. All cards will be eligible for checking -- including old cards, cards for deleted countries and cards for 160 meters. Applications will be limited to 120 cards (more cards will be checked as time and volunteer Card Checkers are available). Check out the ARRL Awards Web site for the latest program information and current forms <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc>. Inderbitzen said that a special event operating station is planned, so be sure to have a copy of your license on hand -- get in the hot seat of W1AW/8 and get on the air! You can also meet W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, part of the team that supports the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station at ARRL Headquarters. The ARRL Youth Lounge in the ARRL EXPO is the place to meet and socialize with other young hams. Whether you're 1 or 21, the Youth Lounge is sure to offer something that young hams will enjoy. Come to chat with other hams, listen to music, grab a snack or participate in one of the many activities, such as fox-hunts, scavenger hunts, Morse code fun, a QSL card designing contest, crafts, prizes and more. Whether or not you're licensed, you are welcome to come by and join the fun! If you are looking for other young people at Hamvention, check out the youth calling frequencies at 145.540 MHz (107.2 Hz CTCSS) primary and 146.430 (233.6 Hz CTCSS) secondary. If you enjoy waxing-nostalgic over the gear of yesteryear, then drop by the exhibit area to meet vintage equipment photographer Joe Veras, K9OCO. He will be autographing of his new book, "50 Years of Amateur Radio Innovation" <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=0228>, recently published by ARRL. There are some other "vintage" surprises planned, as well, Inderbitzen said. "If you can't make it to Dayton," Inderbitzen said, "you can still catch all the latest news on the Convention's Weblog <http://www.arrl.org/blog>. QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, will once again be blogging about Hamvention. Proving you can indeed go home again, Steve will regale readers with the adventures of staying with his mother at his childhood home in Dayton." For the past few years, thousands of readers have been entertained as Steve has related stories about new gear making its debut at Hamvention, the weather in Dayton and the overall feel of the event -- as well as the ever-popular antics at "Casa de Mi Madre." The ARRL will introduce a new blog at this year's National Convention: ARRL Youth Editor Duncan MacLachlan, KU0DM, will blog from a young ham's perspective. MacLachlan, who will be assisting former Youth Editor Andrea Hartlage, KG4IUM, and her father Scott, KF4PWI, in the ARRL Youth Lounge, will explore the Hamvention exhibits, forums and events, giving his first-time take on the Hamvention experience. "Duncan's youth perspective is a welcome addition to the ARRL National Convention team," Inderbitzen said. "We hope you'll explore all of Dayton's nooks and crannies through his reporting." ARRL staff are getting ready for all the excitement that a National Convention brings. Teaming up with the Dayton Hamvention is sure to bring everything to a fever pitch, so why not make plans to join in on the fun? Travel and lodging information is available on the Hamvention Web site <http://www.hamvention.org/travel.php>. ==> NORTH DAKOTA TO OFFER STATE QSO PARTY IN MARCH Stations working on their Triple Play Award <http://www.arrl.org/awards/> or Year of the State QSO Party Award <http://www.arrl.org/awards/ysqso/> will want to be on the air on Saturday, March 21 as North Dakota -- always a rare state -- will hold their first QSO Party in 14 years. "The North Dakota QSO Party (NDQP) is certain to put North Dakota on the map -- and hopefully off the Needed List of many a deserving amateur," said ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X. The contest is sponsored by the North Dakota Radio Association (NDRA) with help from several other North Dakota clubs. Newly appointed North Dakota Section Manager Lynn Nelson, W0CQ, told Kutzko that interest has been high for starting the event up again. "I had many hams asking me to kick off a State QSO Party," Nelson said. "We are encouraging North Dakota stations to work 20 meters in the afternoon hours. This will help to tackle the demand of the state -- and its many rare counties -- for several Amateur Radio awards, including the ARRL's Triple Play and Year of the State QSO Party." The North Dakota QSO Party runs from 1700 UTC Saturday, March 21-0100 UTC Sunday, March 22. All bands from 160-2 meters (except 60, 30, 17 and 12 meters) are acceptable. Complete rules and forms can be found on the NDRA Web site <http://k0ln.com/>. Don't miss your chance to work one of the rarest states in the country -- get in on the fun of the North Dakota QSO Party! ==> AWARDS CONFERRED AT 2009 ARRL BOARD OF DIRECTORS ANNUAL MEETING At the 2009 Annual Meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors voted to convey two awards for 2008: The Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award and the ARRL Humanitarian Award. * The Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award Ted Randall, WB8PUM, was named the recipient of the Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award. Every week, Randall hosts the QSO Radio Show, featuring guests who have ties to the amateur community, such as country music artist Ronnie Milsap, WB4KCG, Amateur Radio licensing instructor Gordon West, WB6NOA, and Monitoring Times publisher Bob Grove <http://www.tedrandall.com/>. This annual award honors a professional journalist whose outstanding coverage in TV, radio, print or multimedia best reflects the enjoyment, importance and public service value of Amateur Radio. The award was created as a tribute to the late CBS News President Bill Leonard, W2SKE. Leonard was an avid Amateur Radio operator, most active on the air during the 1960s and 1970s. As the recipient of the Bill Leonard Award, Randall will receive a plaque and a cash prize of $500. "I want to thank you all for this award, on behalf of the radio show, more than for myself," Randall said. "I believe the award will add credibility to the show and will help us continue to get to our goals. This is just one of the many reasons why doing the QSO Radio Show is so important to me. The folks who 'are' Amateur Radio and the ARRL have stories to tell that the rest of the world needs to hear. Little on radio today is authentic and compelling. The QSO Radio Show brings all these special people into the homes and listening posts of people in every continent. We are taking a story of goodwill and friendship, the story of Amateur Radio, 'up close and personal' to millions of listeners around the world. We are also collecting a fraternity of folks together, around what comes natural to us, the radio. We saw this magic take place in 2008 on Field Day, with Field Day locations calling in from everywhere, including Iraq. Magicians appear to perform magic on stage, but what these folks did is real magic!" ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, said Randall was cited for his ongoing coverage of Amateur Radio through his profiling of key figures and personalities as host of the QSO Radio Show: "Each week, Ted broadcasts interesting information, interviews and news about the Amateur Radio world to the world. The power of his shortwave broadcast medium was pleasantly made very real to me when, following an interview, I was flooded with e-mails asking for more information. Not only were they coming from the USA, but just as many came from foreign countries such as China, Canada and Japan. Ted is a tireless promoter of the Amateur Radio Service -- not just on the air, but to every broadcast engineer and celebrity he meets." * The ARRL Humanitarian Award The Board voted to confer the 2008 ARRL Humanitarian Award to the amateurs of the Sichuan Radio Sports Association, the Chinese Radio Sports Association (CRSA)<http://www.crsa.org.cn/english.php> and the many Amateur Radio operators in China who assisted with communications support during the aftermath of the May 2008 earthquake in that country. In the wake of the earthquake, the CRSA called on its members to "take actions to ensure their Amateur Radio stations to operate properly, and to the extent possible stand by on often used short-wave frequencies. If any radio signal is heard from the disaster area, please do your best to understand what is most needed by people in that area and report it to the local government authority. If people in the surrounding areas need to pass messages to their loved ones over the radio, please help them to get in touch and get the messages across as soon as possible. Amateur Radio stations in the disaster area and surrounding areas if in working condition should be used unconditionally to assist the local earthquake disaster relief authorities, and subject to permission by the said authorities, to provide communications services to them. For emergency communications purposes, Amateur Radio stations may also be used to pass messages for local residents on a temporary basis until local telecommunications services resume. Amateur Radio stations of all regions should give way to and stand by for emergency communications." According to the CRSA -- the Chinese IARU Member-Society -- Chinese government officials and the news media recognized that when normal communications failed after the earthquake, Amateur Radio operators stepped in to provide vital links. CRSA acknowledged that the main organizer of local Amateur Radio traffic, Luo Minglin, BY8AA, "continuously coordinated VHF/UHF communications for a 100 km radius from Chengdu, the capital of southwest China's province of Sichuan. More repeaters were set up in both Beichuan and Mianyang -- among the worst hit areas outside the epicenter -- to form an effective Amateur Radio communication network." Zhang Zhen, BG8DOU, said that right after the earthquake, "Two ham radio operators drove to the center of the earthquake area and had a repeater set up by the morning of May 13. This repeater enabled the transmission of rescue instructions and status reports, and was a main communication channel for public use. The repeater carried communications for the Mayor of Mianzhu City who gave orders to those on the front line rescue and recovery activity." On May 12 at 1858 UTC, Liu Hu, BG8AAS, of Chengdu, reported that the local UHF repeater in that town "keeps busy running after the quake. It helps to direct social vehicles to transport the wounded from Dujiangyan, Beichuan and other regions. Another UHF repeater also started working in Mianyan, supported by generators, but they are going to face a shortage of gas." According to ARRL Programs and Services Committee Chairman Bruce Frahm, K0BJ, the PSC Committee itself put forward the nomination. "We received three nominations from the public for other groups or individuals," Frahm said, "but we as a committee felt the Chinese amateurs and their organizations exemplified the highest level of dedication to public service." ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "The slant Sun of February" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: We still have had no hint of sunspots or sunspots to come, though there was some geomagnetic activity on February 4 from a possible coronal mass ejection, raising the planetary A index to 16 that day. Sunspot numbers for January 29-February 4 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 0. The 10.7 cm flux was 69.3, 69.1, 69.4, 69.5, 69.1, 69.3 and 69.5 with a mean of 69.3. The estimated planetary A indices were 4, 4, 7, 3, 2, 4 and 16 with a mean of 5.7. The estimated mid-latitude A indices were 3, 3, 4, 1, 0, 2 and 10 with a mean of 3.3. 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 William Cullen Bryant's "A Winter Piece" <http://poetry.poetryx.com/poems/11716/>. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This Week on the Radio: This week, the School Club Roundup is February 9-13. The Minnesota QSO Party and the FYBO Winter QRP Field Day are on February 7. On February 7-8, look for the Vermont QSO Party, the 10-10 Winter Phone QSO Party, the Worldwide Peace Messenger Cities, the British Columbia QSO Challenge, the New Mexico QSO Party and the FMRE International RTTY Contest. The Delaware QSO Party is February 7-9, and the North American Sprint (CW) and the FM Simplex Contest are February 8. Next week, the Valentine's Day Sprint and the YL-OM Contest are February 13-14. The Asia Pacific Sprint and the FISTS CW Winter Sprint are both February 14. On February 14-15, look for the CQWW WPX Contest, (RTTY), the Northern New York QSO Party, the EU EME Contest, the New Hampshire QSO Party, the Dutch PACC Contest, the Louisiana QSO Party, the OMISS QSO Party and the RSGB 160 Meter Contest. The North American Sprint is February 15 and the Classic Exchange is February 15-16. 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 22, 2009 for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, March 6, 2009: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1; Radio Frequency Interference; Antenna Design and Construction; Technician License Course; Analog Electronics, and Digital Electronics. 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>. * William E. Packard, NN9U, Wins January QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for January is William E. Packard, NN9U, for his article "Morse Code: Efficient or Over the Hill?" Congratulations, William! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award -- given to the author or authors of the best article in each issue -- is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/QSTvote.html>. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the February issue by Saturday, February 28. * Antarctic Station QRV Until February 18: KC4USV, the Amateur Radio station at McMurdo Station <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMurdo_Station> on Ross Island in Antarctica is now on the air. According to Bill Erhardt, K7MT, who is stationed at McMurdo, the station boasts a new transceiver, amplifier and antenna. "We set up the equipment on January 19, tested it and went on the air," Erhardt said. "The station will be in operation on Sundays on 14.243 MHz, starting at 0001 UTC. We had a nice pile up Sunday, February 1 with US hams on the East Coast and in the Midwest." Erhardt leaves McMurdo on February 18 and is unsure if the station will be on the air over the Antarctic winter. * Swedish Amateurs Granted New Privileges: On January 29, the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) announced that Amateur Radio operators in that country will now have access to 50-52 MHz (6 meters) with a power output limit of 200 W <http://www.pts.se/sv/Radio/Amatorradio/>. Before the change, Swedish amateurs were allowed on the band only with a special license at an additional cost. The Foreningen Sveriges Sandareamatorer (SSA), Sweden's IARU Member-Society, also announced that as of April 1, Swedish amateurs will gain access to 7.0-7.2 MHz (40 meters), bringing Sweden into line with the WRC-03 decision to shift broadcasting stations in Regions 1 and 3 out of the 7100-7200 kHz band and to reallocate the band exclusively to the Amateur Service in those two regions as of March 29 <http://www.iaru.org/rel030703.html>. Each country in Regions 1 and 3 is permitted to determine their own timeline for the amateur allocation. While the band has been vacated by commercial broadcasters, no country is required to give amateurs privileges on those frequencies. =========================================================== 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. 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(NOTE: The ARRL cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this listserver.) Copyright 2009 American Radio Relay League, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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