ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 28, No. 6
February 13, 2009
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* + Oklahoma Hams Warn of Oncoming Tornadoes 
* + NCVEC Question Pool Committee Begins Work on 2010 Technician Pool
Revisions 
* + Get Ready for the 2009 ARRL International CW DX Contest 
* + IARU Member-Societies Ratify New Officers, Vote to Admit New Members

* + Judge Rules in Favor of Amateur in Palmdale Antenna Support
Structure Case 
*   IEEE to Form Balloting Group on BPL EMC Standard 
* + Jim Smith, VK9NS (SK) 
*  Solar Update 
*  IN BRIEF: 
      This Week on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + W1AW to QSY on 160 Meters 
    + K5D Is On the Air! 
      Radio Society of Bermuda Celebrates Founding of Island with
Special Call Sign 

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

==> OKLAHOMA HAMS WARN OF ONCOMING TORNADOES 

A rare winter tornado struck Oklahoma around dinner time on Tuesday,
February 10. According to various news reports, Oklahoma officials
credited Amateur Radio operators with spotting the tornadoes and
relaying the information to the National Weather Service.

ARRL Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator Charles Goodson, KC5UEG,
told the ARRL that the Southern Oklahoma ARES group (SOARES)
<http://www.soaresss.org/> and other Amateur Radio operators from the
Ardmore area served as SKYWARN storm spotters. "After the tornado passed
Lone Grove and Ardmore, several hams went back to the Lone Grove area,"
Goodson said. "One ham went to the Red Cross building and set up a
communication command post from the Red Cross radio room. It was amateur
operators who had the first visual contact with the tornadoes. They
started reporting the tornado to Neil Mayo, KC5AMX, the Emergency
Coordinator for Murray County and our Net control for severe weather
events; he in turn reports to the National Weather Service in Norman via
Amateur Radio."

The town of Lone Grove, population 4600 and located about 100 miles
south of Oklahoma City, bore the brunt of the storm, with the Oklahoma
Department of Emergency Management (ODEM) reporting eight deaths and
more than 100 homes destroyed. Two other tornadoes hit the Oklahoma City
metro area and the north-central Oklahoma region late Tuesday. No
serious injuries were reported in the Oklahoma City storm, but at least
six homes were destroyed and businesses were damaged there, ODEM
officials said.

ARRL Oklahoma Section Public Information Coordinator Kevin O'Dell,
N0IRW, told the ARRL that his Ardmore home survived the tornado, but
they are without power, water and other services. Other homes in his
neighborhood were completely destroyed. Oklahoma Gas and Electric
reported about 6000 customers are currently without power, with 3461 in
Lone Grove.

Well-known contester Tim Duffy, K3LR, told the ARRL that he lost 40
percent of his home as a tornado blew through his town of Edmond, a
suburb of Oklahoma City: "We lost all the doors and windows in the
house, all the power, just everything. The damage is amazing. The cell
phone system is still 'on tilt' with emergency services taking most of
the channels. We're making big progress on getting things sorted out
here. We will rebuild and make it better than it was before. With the
house in complete disrepair, we'll be staying in a hotel for a while."

Duffy said that National Weather Service officials told him that the
wind speed at his home was more than 150 MPH. While the family dog, a
golden retriever, made it through the storm okay, Duffy said their pet
cat is still missing. According to emergency management officials in
Edmond, six homes were destroyed in the storm.

This storm took many by surprise because even in tornado-prone Oklahoma,
February twisters are rare. According to the NWS, since 1950, only 44
twisters have touched down in the state during the month of February.
The Lone Grove tornado was the third to cause multiple fatalities in the
state since March 2007, when a Panhandle couple became the state's first
tornado deaths in almost six years.

==> NCVEC QUESTION POOL COMMITTEE BEGINS WORK ON 2010 TECHNICIAN POOL
REVISIONS 

The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators' (NCVEC)
<http://www.ncvec.org/> Question Pool Committee (QPC)
<http://www.ncvec.org/page.php?id=333> is currently reviewing the
Technician class (Element 2) question pool. According to QPC Chairman
Rol Anders, K3RA, the review is part of a regular process: "Each
question pool is reviewed on a four year rotation. The next Technician
class pool will become effective on July 1, 2010."

According to QPC Member and ARRL Assistant VEC Manager Perry Green,
WY1O, the reason the QPC reviews the three question pools every four
years is to ensure that the questions are asking for information
relevant to that particular license class. "In the case of the
Technician pool, the question set should provide for the new Technician
licensee to be able to establish his or her station and operate it
legally, courteously and safely. The Technician question pool and exam
are intended to be the beginning of the journey into the Amateur Radio
Service. It prepares the person for the enjoyment of operating, and that
of preparing to learn electronics, the cornerstone of the education
needed to obtain the further enjoyment that can come with the higher
license classes."

Green said that the QPC must rely on members of the Amateur Radio
community to suggest questions and answers in a responsible manner to
preserve a high level of legitimacy for our radio service, so the NCVEC
QPC is seeking input from the amateur community concerning the revision.
They are accepting input for new question topics and new questions, as
well as suggestions for changes or deletions.

Anders said that amateurs may submit questions for the QPC via the NCVEC
Web site <http://www.ncvec.org/feedback.php>. If you choose to submit a
question for the QPC's consideration, please be sure to observe the
following procedure:

* Questions must have no more than 210 characters, including spaces, or
a maximum of three 70 character lines.
* Answers must be no more than 140 characters, including spaces, or two
70 character lines in length. 
* Each question must be accompanied by four possible answers. The
answers may be in any order, but the correct answer must be indicated.
* Each question must be accompanied by a resource or Part 97 rule to
support the correct answer or explanation of the correct answer.

Green said that the most difficult part of writing the questions and
answers is creating the incorrect answers. "We try to stay away from
'All of these answers are correct' and 'None of these answers are
correct' for some obvious reasons," he said. "It is a more difficult
task to find three incorrect answers that are plausible, but are
absolutely incorrect!"

The current Technician question pool
<http://www.ncvec.org/page.php?id=349>, effective July 1, 2006, will
expire on June 30, 2010. The General class question pool
<http://www.ncvec.org/page.php?id=350> is effective July 1, 2007 and is
valid through June 30, 2011. The Amateur Extra class pool
<http://www.ncvec.org/page.php?id=351> became effective July 1, 2008 and
is valid until June 30, 2012. If you have any comments or suggestions on
the current Element 2 question pool, please contact Anders via e-mail
<mailto:qpcinput@ncvec.org>;. 

==> GET READY FOR THE 2009 ARRL INTERNATIONAL CW DX CONTEST 

The weekend of February 21-22 will be a busy one for CW operators as the
2009 ARRL International CW DX Contest takes center stage
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2009/intldx.html>. First started in
1929 as the ARRL International Relay Party, the ARRL DX CW Contest is
the longest running contest in Amateur Radio. Stations from all around
the world -- from Australia to Zimbabwe -- should be active for this
great event that takes place on 160-10 meters (no contest QSOs are
permitted on 12, 17, 30 or 60 meters).

Stations in the US and Canada work only DX stations (Alaska and Hawaii
are considered DX for this contest), and DX stations only work the US
and Canada. DX stations will be trying to make as many QSOs with all US
states and Canadian provinces as they can. The contest exchange is
simple -- US and Canadian stations send a signal report and their state
or province, while DX stations send a signal report and the amount of
power with which they are transmitting.

"If you've never operated a CW contest, now is the time to start," said
ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X. "You can work a lot of DX
with just 100 W and a simple dipole or vertical antenna. If your CW is a
little rusty, this event is a great way to get your CW skills back up to
snuff and get some new DX countries into your bag. If you live in one of
the rarer states, such as Delaware, North Dakota, West Virginia or
Wyoming, DX stations from all around the world will be looking for you.
This is your opportunity to 'be the rare one!'"

After the contest is over and you've had your fill of DX, Kutzko advises
that you make sure to submit your QSOs to Logbook of The World (LoTW)
<http://www.arrl.org/lotw/>: "You can get a lot of your DX QSOs
confirmed with little effort, and the instant gratification of having
those QSOs count toward your DXCC totals just can't be beat."

The ARRL International CW DX Contest runs from 0000 UTC Saturday,
February 21 through 2359 UTC Sunday, February 22, 2009. Complete rules
and forms can be found on the ARRL Contest Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/forms>. Electronic logs should be e-mailed
<mailto:DXCW@arrl.org>;; paper logs can be sent to ARRL DX CW Contest,
225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Logs sent via postal mail must be
postmarked no later than 2359 UTC Monday, March 23, 2009.

==> IARU MEMBER-SOCIETIES RATIFY NEW OFFICERS, VOTE TO ADMIT NEW MEMBERS


On February 10, International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Secretary David
Sumner, K1ZZ, counted ballots submitted by IARU Member-Societies.
Proposals submitted to the Member-Societies in September 2008 (IARU
Calendar 187) <http://www.iaru.org/cal187.pdf> included the election of
a new IARU President and Vice President, and admission of two new
Amateur Radio societies to the IARU. Per the IARU Constitution
<http://www.iaru.org/iarucnst.html>, each Member-Society must submit its
vote in writing; late votes will not be counted. According to Sumner, 73
Member-Societies cast votes or abstentions on the proposals; of these
votes, 57 affirmative votes are required for the proposal to pass.

Proposal Number 241

Proposal Number 241 concerned the ratification of the nomination of
Timothy S. Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, to serve as President of the IARU for a 5
year term to begin May 9, 2009: Ellam was declared elected, with 72
votes in favor and 1 abstention.

Upon his election as the next IARU President, Ellam said he was "very
honoured to have been elected as President of IARU and [I] look forward
to working with all three Regions and the Member-Societies during my
term in office. We no doubt will face many issues in the run up to the
2011 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-11), but I look forward to
working as a team to meet the challenges ahead. I would like to thank
Larry Price, W4RA, for his sterling work with IARU during his term as
President. IARU is in a very strong position today as a result of
Larry's leadership. His support and friendship to me has also been very
helpful in fulfilling my former duties as Vice President."

Ellam was a delegate to the 1998 IARU Region 2 Conference and was
elected to the Region 2 Executive Committee in 2001, stepping down upon
his election to IARU Vice President in 2004. He also served as an IARU
Expert Consultant from 2000 until his election as Vice President. First
licensed in 1977 as VE6CJR at the age of 16, Ellam credits a visit to
the ITU in 1979 and the opportunity to operate 4U1ITU during his student
years with contributing to his interest in the organizational side of
Amateur Radio. He held executive positions in the Radio Amateurs of
Canada (RAC) and one of its predecessor organizations, the Canadian
Radio Relay League (CRRL), starting in 1990. Ellam's extensive travel as
IARU Vice President has included a particular emphasis on the ITU
Development Sector. He is active on the air from his home in Calgary.

Professionally, Ellam is a Barrister and Solicitor with the law firm of
McCarthy Tetrault LLP. He is a partner in the firm's Calgary, Alberta,
and London, UK, offices. Born in England, Ellam emigrated to Canada in
1972 and holds both Canadian and British/EU citizenship. He holds a BA
in political science and economics from the University of Calgary and an
LLB from the University of Alberta. He is a member of the Law Societies
of Alberta and England & Wales, as well as of the International Bar
Association. In 2005, Ellam was made a Fellow in International Legal
Practice - College of Law of England and Wales, the first Canadian
lawyer to be awarded the designation. He is also qualified in the UK as
a solicitor/advocate and was recently awarded higher rights
qualifications (the right to appear in all courts) in that jurisdiction.
His extensive legal experience includes intellectual property and
corporate litigation, arbitrations involving communications, technology
and energy matters, and utility regulations.

Proposal Number 242

Proposal Number 242 concerned the ratification of the nomination of Ole
Garpestad, LA2RR, to serve as Vice President of the IARU for a 5 year
term beginning on May 9, 2009. Garpestad was declared elected, receiving
73 votes.

"Congratulations to Ole Garpestad for his election as Vice President,"
Ellam said. "I am very pleased to have Ole as part of the officer team
and know he will do an excellent job in his new position."

Garpestad joined the Norsk Radio Relae Liga (NRRL) -- Norway's IARU
Member-Society -- in 1972, one year before he was licensed as LA2RR. His
service as an NRRL volunteer includes service as a member of the NRRL
Board of Directors from 1981-1992. While on the NRRL Board, Garpestad
served as Secretary, ARDF Manager, IARU Liaison Officer. He also served
as Chairman of the Second ARDF World Championship's Organizing Committee
and as a member of the IARU Region 1 Conference's Organizing Committee
for that meeting in Lillehammer in 1999. Garpestad topped off his
service to the NRRL Board of Directors when he served as NRRL President
from 2000-2002.

In 1999, Garpestad was elected to the IARU Region 1 Executive Committee,
and was elected Chairman in 2002. He has represented Region 1 on the
IARU's Administrative Council since 2001 and has attended IARU
conferences in Regions 2 and 3. He has participated in CEPT preparations
for WRC-03 and WRC-07, attending both conferences as a Norwegian
delegate representing Amateur Radio interests.

Garpestad is a telecom and radio engineer working with development,
system design and program management of tactical communications systems
for Thales Norway AS (formerly Alcatel). He holds an MSc in electronic
engineering and radio technology from the Technical University of Norway
in Trondheim.

Proposal Number 243

Proposal Number 243 concerned the admission of Emirates Amateur Radio
Society (EARS)<http://www.a62er.com/> as an IARU Member-Society. The
proposal received 72 votes in favor and 1 abstention. Based in Sharjah,
EARS was formally authorized by the Ministry of Social Affairs of the
United Arab Emirates on February 5, 2008. There are 72 licensed Amateur
Radio operators in the UAE; 28 are members of EARS. His Highness Abdulla
Faisal Al Qassimi, A61AQ, is EARS President. Yousuf Ahmed Rafee, A61Y,
is Vice President. Mohammad Hamza Darwish, A61M, serves as EARS General
Secretary and IARU Liaison, and Qabila Shatter Al Bedawi, A61YL, is
Treasurer.

Proposal Number 244

Proposal Number 244 concerned the admission of Kazakhstan Federation of
Radiosports and Radioamateur (KFRR) <http://www.cqun.kz/?lang=en>. The
proposal received 73 votes in favor. According to the IARU, KFRR
registered with the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan
and holds a general license from that country's Sports Committee,
Ministry of Tourism and Sport. On May 17, 2008, KFFR held its first
conference. The Chairman of the KFFR is Seitkul Assaubay, UN7BM; KFFR
Vice Chairman is Igor Marchenko, UN7BF. Of the 617 licensed amateurs in
Kazakhstan, 452 are KFFR members.

With the addition of the Emirates Amateur Radio Society and the
Kazakhstan Federation of Radiosports and Radioamateur, there are now 162
IARU Member-Societies.

==> JUDGE RULES IN FAVOR OF AMATEUR IN PALMDALE ANTENNA SUPPORT
STRUCTURE CASE 

On Friday, February 6, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe
issued a ruling in favor of Alec Zubarau, WB6X, of Palmdale, California,
in Zubarau's case against the City of Palmdale
<http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/12/19/10512/?nc=1>. Last year,
after Zubarau received a valid building permit from the City to erect an
antenna support structure, the City of Palmdale revoked Zubarau's
building permit after he had erected the tower. According to Zubarau's
attorney, Len Shaffer, WA6QHD, the Court's ruling invalidates the
actions of the City in revoking Zubarau's permit and requires the City
to allow him to replace the tower. 

"Zubarau's case has drawn nationwide attention and financial support
from the ARRL, Amateur Radio clubs and individual Amateur Radio
operators from around the country," said ARRL Southwestern Division Vice
Director Marty Woll, N6VI. "Although this ruling does not directly
address the City's proposed zoning ordinance amendment, based on the
Court's language, it should provide considerable support for those hams
attempting to negotiate a more reasonable provision allowing antenna
support structures in the Palmdale City Code." 

According to Woll, the Court also found that "unsubstantiated complaints
by neighbors and anecdotal reports of transmissions interfering with
other electrical equipment or posing health and safety concerns" did not
constitute substantial evidence. Yaffe's ruling stated that Palmdale's
ordinance requiring that amateur antennas be compatible with the
surrounding neighborhood with respect to visual and other impacts is
void, since it may not constitute the minimum practicable regulation as
required under the California state statute
<http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/03-04/bill/asm/ab_1201-1250/ab_1228_bill_
20030714_chaptered.html>. The judge further found that the City's
decision to eliminate the tower violates the express requirements of
California's PRB-1 equivalent statute that was enacted in 2003, but had
yet to be used in a court case. 

"While falling just short of invalidating Palmdale's current antenna
ordinance," Woll said, "this language ought to put a damper on the
City's Draconian proposed zoning ordinance amendment and its extreme
limitations on Amateur Radio antennas. One hopes that the City of
Palmdale will think twice in the future about using tactics -- such as
the threat of large fines -- to force compliance with an order based on
unsubstantiated findings." 

Shaffer told ARRL that the text of the Yaffe's ruling will be released
after the service of notice on the City and expiration of the appeal
period. He, Zubarau and Woll thanked the ARRL and the Amateur Radio
community for what he called "the tremendous showing of support during
this lengthy battle."

==> IEEE TO FORM BALLOTING GROUP ON BPL EMC STANDARD 

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
<http://www.ieee.org/> has been developing standards
<http://www.ieee.org/organizations/pubs/newsletters/emcs/spring08/standa
rds.pdf> for Broadband over Power Line (BPL) use and deployment.
According to ARRL Lab Manager and IEEE member, there are three IEEE
standards in progress at this time. The first, P1675
<http://standards.ieee.org/board/nes/projects/1675.pdf>, covers
installation and safety practices and should be published soon. The
second, P1901 <http://standards.ieee.org/board/nes/projects/1901.pdf>,
is focused mostly on BPL protocols and interoperability between various
BPL systems. ARRL has no direct interest in either of these standards.
The third standard -- P1775
<http://standards.ieee.org/board/nes/projects/1775.pdf> -- covers the
electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) aspects of BPL emissions testing and
the immunity of BPL systems. ARRL Lab Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, as a
member of the IEEE's P1775 BPL EMC Standards Working Group, has
participated in the development of this standard from the very first
meeting held in Denver, Colorado in 2004.

"The IEEE Working Group developing the standard is heavily dominated by
the BPL industry and its electric-utility and EMC testing partners,"
Hare noted. "The ARRL was the only radiocommunications stakeholder that
regularly attended meetings. Although I did make a number of
contributions to the standard that were included, most of the major
points I made about what was needed in an EMC standard to achieve
compatibility with licensed radio services were voted down by the
Working Group. The end result does not offer any real protection to
Amateur Radio, despite progress made in the industry in that direction
elsewhere."

Hare said that the major problem with the emissions testing part of this
standard is that it offers little more than a parroting of the FCC rules
on how to make measurements: "The test methods in this standard are
overly complex and incomplete at the same time. By strongly parroting
the FCC rules, the standard is promoting regulations that do not serve
well to provide good test methods that enable BPL while protecting
licensed services." Hare said that the risk to having an international
industry standard that relies heavily on FCC regulations will increase
the likelihood that these regulations will be adopted by other
countries. Hare has prepared a report
<http://p1k.arrl.org/~ehare/bpl/P1775Issues.htm> that outlines other
problems he sees in the present draft of the standard.

The IEEE has announced that the P1775 standard is ready for ballot. Hare
explained that the balloting process is not only a vote, but it is part
of the process to develop standards. "Stakeholders that cannot attend
the meetings that develop these standards can join the balloting pool,"
Hare said. "The IEEE requires that 75 percent of the balloting pool vote
to approve the standard. Even if it passes, the IEEE requires that an
attempt be made to resolve all negative ballots. The ballot is not as
much a vote as it is an important part of ensuring that all interests
are represented in an IEEE standard."

ARRL encourages those with a radio interest to join the IEEE balloting
pool <http://p1k.arrl.org/~ehare/bpl/balloting_pool.htm> prior to
February 22, 2009. Many amateurs are IEEE members; if they are also
members of the IEEE Standards Association, they are able to ballot on
IEEE standards at no cost. Hare reiterated that ARRL is not opposed to
the development of BPL standards, but we realize that the best standards
include the interests of all stakeholders. "There are a lot of good
parts of this standard," Hare explained, "but it is lacking in areas
that would make it a useful tool with good test methods and practices
that offer significant protection to licensed radio services. Joining
the balloting pool is the best way that amateurs can help develop a more
useful and inclusive standard."

==> JIM SMITH, VK9NS (SK) 

Jim Smith, VK9NS (ex-P29JS), of Norfolk Island, Australia, passed away
Tuesday, February 10, after a short illness. He was 80. A noted DXer and
ARRL member, Smith was #81 on the Islands on the Air (IOTA) Honour Roll
<http://www.rsgbiota.org/>.

According to Bernie McClenny, W3UR, editor of "The Daily DX", Smith was
first licensed in 1947 as VS1BQ in Singapore: "Through the years, Jim
operated as CAR (VU4 Nicobar), VS1BQ, DL2TH, HZ1AB, MP4BER, 9V1PR,
P29JS, VR4BJ, H44BJ, G3HSR, C21AA, T3KJ, T3AJ, VK9YS, VK9XS, VK9NS,
VK0JS/VK9N, 9M8JS, VK0JS, ZL0AAB, ZM7JS, ZL1BUN, T30JS, T1JS, T32JS,
T33JS, A35MR, A51JS, S21U, WR1Z, WR1Z/KH9, S21ZA, VK9WW, A35MR/p,
A51MOC, VU2JBS, NO1Z/KH1, VK9WW, WR1Z/KH8, H40AB and A52JS, just to name
a few." Smith was originally from Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland.

McClenny said that in 1980, Smith founded the Heard Island DX
Association (HIDXA) <http://www.hidxa.nlk.nf/>. Three years later, along
with wife Kirsti, VK9NL, Smith put the rare VK0/H on the air as VK0NS
and VK0NL. "Over the years, Jim put on several all time new countries --
as well as many rare ones -- from the Pacific and Asia," McClenny said.
"In fact, he took part in the regulations for Amateur Radio in several
DXCC entities. When not out on DXpeditions, Jim could usually be found
on 14.222 MHz."

Mike Tessmer, K9NW/VK9NW, who visited Norfolk Island for a week in
November 2004, remembered Smith fondly on the Society of Midwest
Contesters' e-mail reflector: "I spent three wonderful afternoons at Jim
and Kirsti's house having tea -- coffee in my case -- and discussing all
things DX. Jim showed me the old Collins gear he was restoring. I even
picked up a few QSL cards from some of his past DXpeditions. Great
memories!"

In an e-mail to ARRL Membership and Volunteer Services Manager Dave
Patton, NN1N, Andy Chesnokov, UA3AB, told how he first met Smith in
Bhutan in 2000 while on the A52A DXpedition
<http://www.qsl.net/bhutan2000/>. "Boy, Jim was quite upset with us
operating from 'his territory,'" Chesnokov said. "But we went along
quite nicely after few minutes, and he even allowed us to operate his
tiny station there. I met him few times after that and he was a true
gentleman."

Calling him "a serious DXer," McClenny said Smith worked all countries
on SSB, Mixed and only missing one on CW. In April 1986 Jim was inducted
into the CQ DX Hall of Fame. One of Smith's last big projects was
writing his autobiography, "The Old Timer"
<http://www.jimkirsti.com/books.html>. Smith is survived by his wife
Kirsti, VK9NL, and his four children: Bruce, G3HSR, Stuart, Sheena and
Fraser. Condolences may be sent to Kirsti via e-mail
<mailto:jimkirsti@ni.net.nf>;.  -- Some information provided by "The
Daily DX" <http://www.dailydx.com/>

==>SOLAR UPDATE 

Tad "The red Sun flashes on village windows" Cook, K7RA, this week
reports: Sunspots returned this week, or rather, one did, but it is an
old Solar Cycle 23 spot. Sunspot 1012 has been visible the last couple
of days, February 11-12. It is down near the Sun's equator, typical for
spots from a previous cycle. It's nice to have a sunspot, but it doesn't
indicate activity from the new Solar Cycle 24, which has been so eerily
quiet. Sunspot numbers for February 5-11 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 11
with a mean of 1.6. The 10.7 cm flux was 70.1, 70.1, 71.1, 71.2, 70.7,
67.6 and 70.3 with a mean of 70.2. The estimated planetary A indices
were 7, 2, 3, 4, 4, 3 and 5 with a mean of 4. The estimated mid-latitude
A indices were 6, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0 and 2 with a mean of 1.4.. For more
information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical
Information Service Propagation page
<http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>. To read this week's
Solar Report in its entirety, check out the W1AW Propagation Bulletin
page <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/prop/>. This week's "Tad Cookism" brought
to you by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Afternoon in February"
<http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/afternoon-in-february/>. 

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This Week on the Radio: This 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 (SSB) is February 15 and the Classic Exchange
is February 15-16. Next week is the ARRL International DX Contest (CW)
on February 21-22. The AM QSO Party and the REF Contest are also
February 21-22. 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 <cce@arrl.org>;.

* W1AW to QSY on 160 Meters: Starting Monday, March 9, the Hiram Percy
Maxim Memorial Station, W1AW, will begin using a new 160 meter frequency
for its CW transmissions. According to W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia,
NJ1Q, there has been what he called "increasing activity" near the
current bulletin frequency of 1817.5 kHz. "In order to reduce the
possibility of interference, W1AW will move to 1802.5 kHz," Carcia said.

* K5D Is On the Air!: Due to some heavy winds that delayed helicopter
relays onto Desecheo Island, the K5D DXpedition <http://www.k5d.us/> got
off to a late start. But according to reports received by the ARRL, as
of around 12 noon (EST) on February 13, operators on the island are QRV
on 17 and 20 meters; the team will be running CW, SSB and RTTY on 160-6
meters. The DXpedition, headed by Bob Allphin, K4UEE, and Glenn Johnson,
W0GJ, is expected to be on Desecheo until February 26. Desecheo Island
currently sits at #7 on DX Magazine's Most Wanted list; the island is
the second most-wanted DXCC entity in Asia and third most-wanted in
Europe. Desecheo is a small uninhabited island in the Mona Passage, 14
miles off the west coast of Puerto Rico. It is part of the US Fish and
Wildlife Service's national wildlife refuge system administered by the
Caribbean National Wildlife Refuge Complex (CNWR). 

* Radio Society of Bermuda Celebrates Founding of Island with Special
Call Sign: Four hundred years ago, Sir George Somers settled the island
of Bermuda. To celebrate, the Radio Society of Bermuda (RSB)
<http://www.bermudashorts.bm/rsb/> will use VP9400/xx (xx is the
operator's call sign -- VP9LN would use VP9400/LN). Be aware that some
Bermudian Novices have three-letter suffixes.

=========================================================== 
The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the
American Radio Relay League: ARRL--the national association for Amateur
Radio, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax
860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President.

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential and general
news of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest Amateur Radio news and news
updates. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> also offers
informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News
<http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast"
compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also available as a
podcast from our Web site.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole
or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be
given to The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League.

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

==>How to Get The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly
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ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site
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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
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* The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur
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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.

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

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.

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

Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): letter-dlvy@arrl.org

Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME, at ww1me@arrl.org.

Plain-Text

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