*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 28, No. 11 March 20, 2009 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + Hams Assist Woman Injured in Desert * + ARRL Youth Editor: Young People Can Help with Emergency Communications, Too! * + ARRL Releases Revision of "Experimental Methods in RF Design" * + FCC Denies Petition to Increase Size of Amateur Radio Question Pools * + Global Simulated Emergency Test Scheduled for April * + African Radio Organization Applies for IARU Membership * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Week on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + W1AW QSYs on 160 Meters + Addressing Change Coming to ARRL Magazines Rich Beebe, N0PV (SK) Burghardt to No Longer Sell Amateur Radio Equipment Eighth Annual VoIP Conference Scheduled for April 18 +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> =========================================================== ==> HAMS ASSIST WOMAN INJURED IN DESERT It was a sunny day, not a cloud in the sky, when Hal Whiting, KI2U, Todd Kluxdal, Kluxdal's father and Whiting's two sons decided to go out to the Poverty Mountain area in Arizona to search for airplane crash sites. Whiting, who lives in St George, Utah, and Kluxdal, who lives in Mesquite, Nevada, took two vehicles that day. According to Whiting, they always take two vehicles, just in case a problem pops up: "We always have two spare tires, extra gasoline and a tow rope. We take enough food and supplies to stay two or three days." In addition to the extra equipment, Whiting took the one thing he never goes without -- his ham radio. "It was a bit after lunch, about 73 miles into our trip," Whiting told the ARRL," when we were flagged down by a man wanting to know if we had a satellite phone, since he couldn't get coverage on his cell phone." Whiting didn't have a satellite phone, but he asked the man if this was an emergency. Whiting said that the man told him that one of his friends had been injured when her ATV rolled on top of her. "I told him I could call for help on my ham radio," he said. The injured woman was knocked unconscious by the fall, but had regained consciousness and was speaking coherently, but was in pain. "I picked up my mic and put out a call on the 146.910 repeater, one of four repeaters run by Dean Cox, NR7K," Whiting said. "I called for assistance a couple of times when Mac Magee, N6LRG, in the Arizona Cane Beds, answered." "Mac lives about 50 miles away from the accident site," Whiting said. "It's funny -- it's usually Washington County hams who are on the repeaters, since that's the direction they're pointed in. But Mac lives in Mohave County. And the accident happened in Mohave County. We were lucky, since if the call was answered by a ham in Washington County, there would have been a delay in them getting the info to the proper authorities in Mohave County, but with Mac answering, all our information went right to the proper place." That morning, Magee told the ARRL that he came into my shack "and for some reason, turned on the 2 meter rig and it happened to be on the 146.910 repeater. I usually have a problem with the repeater 'hearing' me, so I rarely use it. About 11:20 Arizona time, I heard someone call and say they had emergency traffic and needed help. I fully expected a bevy of hams to answer the call, since so many are in range of that machine, but after his second call, and no answer, I took it." Magee said that the calling station had been flagged down by another motorist. "He told me there had been an accident in the vicinity of Poverty Mountain," he said. "I really had no idea where that was, but I began to write down details. As soon as I had basic info, I called 911. The Mohave County Sheriff Office answered; I explained who I was and what the call was about." The dispatcher asked Magee for the coordinates to the site, and Magee relayed the request to Whiting. "I looked at my GPS and gave Mac my coordinates, but he said the dispatcher wanted the coordinates from the accident site," Whiting said. "So I got in my 4-wheel drive and drove down the ridge to the site, about 5600 feet above sea level, and got the coordinates. I had to drive back to the ridge, another 1000 feet up, to call Mac back, because I couldn't get a signal down there." Whiting told the ARRL that in addition to his ham radio, he also carries a set of FRS radios. "I gave one of the FRS radios to Todd and he drove his Jeep down the ridge to the accident site," he said. "I kept the other one and Todd was able to relay me information about the injured woman's condition and I was able to relay that information to Mac who in turn relayed it to the 911 dispatcher. Mac put the mic right up to the phone so the dispatcher could hear exactly what was going on." Magee said the 911 dispatcher requested more information: "While Hal was replying, I held the phone up to my radio speaker. When he finished with the details, I asked them if they copied that. The dispatcher said he did, and they held me on the line. Hal and I talked a while as he gave more data. When the dispatcher returned, they said a chopper was being dispatched from Phoenix! Well, we finished that call after they had the actual accident site GPS coordinates that Hal had passed on." With emergency help on the way, Kluxdal returned to the ridge and he and Whiting and his group went on their way to go check out an airplane crash site, the original intent of their trip. "The family members told us to go on and get on with our trip, so we did, after making sure they were all okay," Whiting said. "So we left to go to the crash site, about 3-4 miles away. As we were getting ready to return, we saw the helicopter overhead, taking the injured woman to the hospital in Las Vegas. We returned to the top of the ridge and a sheriff's deputy was there and he told us that our GPS coordinates were off, but only by 20 feet! He said that the helicopter crew was real happy that they were so on-target." Whiting said they were glad to have been able to help. "This is a remote area," he said. "There's only one way in, one way out with no shortcuts to get in and out. There are only dirt roads, and it can get very muddy when it rains a lot. I was out that way two weeks ago and got stuck in the mud there, but it was all dry this past weekend." Whiting said he learned a few things after this trip: "I am glad I had my radio equipment with me, and I am glad there was someone listening on the repeater to take the emergency call. Having the spare FRS radios created an efficient means for relay with a non-ham person, and having the GPS equipment provided a very effective means for the helicopter rescue team to locate the accident, since they did not want the road designation information but the exact patient coordinates. It would have been useless to have my equipment if there had not been someone listening. This proves that there is a good reason to keep your radios with you and in good operating condition." Whiting, who was first licensed in 1976, is the ARES Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Washington County. A CAD Manager and Aerial Photographer for Bulloch Brothers in Mesquite, Nevada (he and Kluxdal are co-workers), he is currently teaching an Amateur Radio licensing class to 13 prospective hams at the Dixie Regional Medical Center in St George. Magee said that before this incident he had never been involved in an actual emergency. "I have established emergency communications networks, in particular for the LDS Church in Newbury Park, California, where I was the Stake Emergency Communications Coordinator." He told the ARRL: "Our communications group won the first worldwide test of the system back in the late 1980s. This is like ARRL Field Day, but involved mostly LDS members and facilities, then under the name of Mercury Amateur Radio Association (MARA) <http://www.mara.net/>. I feel very pleased in knowing that I had the opportunity to serve in this rescue incident and that every penny I spent on my system, radio and antenna was certainly worth it. In these days of extensive cell phone service and coverage, isn't it satisfying to know that ham radio can still be of use for public service?" ==> ARRL YOUTH EDITOR: YOUNG PEOPLE CAN HELP WITH EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS, TOO! ARRL Youth Editor Duncan MacLachlan, KU0DM, of Prairie Village, Kansas, says many young hams want to help out with Emergency Communications and ARES activities, but really don't know where to start. "One disadvantage of being younger hams is the fact that legal guardians are a must for most situations," MacLachlan said. "While a young ham may not be able to go out and save the day with a handheld transceiver after a large storm, there are many ways they can aid in emergency operations." MacLachlan said that the first step in helping to support Emergency Communications is to join the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) or a local club that works with city or county to provide emergency communications services. "When you approach your EC -- the Emergency Coordinator, basically the president of that ARES group -- I recommend that you have discussed with your parents what you can and can't do in an emergency in terms of Amateur Radio response. If your parents are like mine, chances are they're not fond of the idea of having their kid running around a disaster zone in the name of emergency communications. I'd recommend asking your EC if there is a position you could fulfill from home, or even in the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) where operations are carried out." One example of a duty that a young ham could fulfill at the EOC would be Net duty. In an emergency response effort, MacLachlan said that hams establish a Net to relay emergency traffic or other information to the people responsible for responding to the event: "Chances are the Net will last longer than 10 hours, and since hams are human, the primary Net Control (NC) will need a break at least several times in that time period -- you could help as back-up. Another duty that could be performed is shadowing various emergency response personnel for the city. Believe it or not, not a lot of Emergency Managers have their Amateur Radio license. If they go out to drive around and survey damage, they need to have a link to the ham radio Net in case they hear anything they need to respond to." MacLachlan recommends that young hams contact their EC and ask what roles there are that they could perform for the group in an emergency. "If you know your parents' threshold of what you can and can't do, let the EC know upfront that you do have limits," he cautions. "Make sure you participate in as many emergency communication drills as you can and consult with your EC and other members." According to ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD, young hams also need to check with their local government officials, as well. "Due to legal considerations, not all emergency management officials can have young people in their domains, such as an EOC," Dura explained. "While you can still help out with your ARES group, you might not be allowed to help out in the EOC." MacLachlan strongly encourages local Emergency Coordinators to think of ways of creating positions that younger hams could fulfill in an emergency. "We're the next generation," MacLachlan said, "and starting emergency response at a young age is the best training for when we're ready to take the helm." ==> ARRL RELEASES REVISION OF "EXPERIMENTAL METHODS IN RF DESIGN" The revised first edition of "Experimental Methods in RF Design" is now available from the ARRL <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=9239>. Co-written and updated by Wes Hayward, W7ZOI, Rick Campbell, KK7B, and Bob Larkin, W7PUA, "Experimental Methods in RF Design" explores wide dynamic range, low distortion radio equipment, the use of direct conversion and phasing methods and digital signal processing. Use the models and discussion included in the book to design, build and measure equipment at both the circuit and the system level. Readers are immersed in the communications experience by building equipment that contributes to understanding basic concepts and circuits. The updated version of "Experimental Methods in RF Design" is loaded with new, unpublished projects. Presented to illustrate the design process, the equipment is often simple, lacking the frills found in current commercial gear. The authors understand that measurement is a vital part of experimentation. Readers are encouraged to perform measurements on the gear as they build it. Techniques to determine performance and the measurement equipment needed for the evaluations are discussed in detail and include circuits that the reader can build. Contents of "Experimental Methods in RF Design" include: * Basic Investigations in Electronics * Amplifiers, Filters, Oscillators and Mixers * Superheterodyne Transmitters and Receivers * Measurement Equipment * Direct Conversion Receivers * Phasing Receivers and Transmitters * DSP Components * DSP Applications in Communications * Field Operation, Portable Gear and Integrated Stations A follow-up to the widely popular "Solid-State Design for the Radio Amateur" (published in 1977), "Experimental Methods in RF Design" includes a CD-ROM with design software, listings for DSP firmware and supplementary articles. It is available from the ARRL for $49.95. ==> FCC DENIES PETITION TO INCREASE SIZE OF AMATEUR RADIO QUESTION POOLS In April 2008, Michael Mancuso, KI4NGN, of Raleigh, North Carolina, filed a petition with the FCC, seeking to increase the size of the question pools that make up the Amateur Radio licensing exams <http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/retrieve.cgi?native_or_pdf=pdf&id_do cument=6520001890>. Mancuso sought to increase the question pool from 10 times the number of questions on an exam to 50 times more questions. On March 19, 2009, the Commission notified Mancuso that it was denying his petition <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-618A1.pdf>. In his 2008 petition, Mancuso claimed that the current question pool is too easy to memorize and "that there has been a significant increase in the number of Amateur Radio operators receiving their licenses over at least the last decade or more who do not appear to possess the knowledge indicated by the class of license that they have received. Most discussion about this topic, both on the air and on Internet forums, generally refers to these widespread observations as the 'dumbing down' of Amateur Radio. It has been widely assumed that the cause of this observed situation is based upon the subject material addressed by the license examinations, that the material requirements specified for the examinations does [sic] not meet some minimum level of knowledge expected by some or many in the Amateur Radio community." The FCC pointed out to Mancuso that each applicant for a new or upgraded Amateur Radio operator license "is required to pass a written examination in order to prove that he or she possesses the operational and technical qualifications required to perform properly the duties of an amateur service operator licensee, i.e., that he or she is qualified to be an amateur service licensee." The Commission summed up Mancuso's petition, saying, "You argue that the current question pool size is no longer adequate, because online practice examinations enable examinees to memorize a question pool without fully comprehending the subject matter being tested. Consequently, you propose to increase the size of the question pools, in order to hinder memorization." The Commission concluded that Mancuso did not present grounds for the Commission to amend its rules: "As noted above, the purpose of the examinations is not to demonstrate an applicant's comprehension of certain material, but rather to determine whether he or she can properly operate an amateur station. Moreover, your contention that there has been 'a significant increase in the number of Amateur Radio operators...who do not appear to possess the knowledge indicated by their class of license' is not supported by any data or facts." The FCC pointed out to Mancuso that the Commission's Rules only dictate the minimum number of questions for each question pool for the three Amateur Radio license classes. This, the Commission told Mancuso, "does not prevent the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) from increasing the number of questions in a question pool should it decide that this is appropriate. We conclude, therefore, that the petition presents no evidence of an existing problem or other reason for a rule change." ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, said that while he agreed with the Commission's decision, he disagrees with the rationale behind it. "The International Radio Regulations require that administrations verify the operational and technical qualifications of prospective amateur licensees, using Recommendation ITU-R M.1544 for guidance," he said. "The present examinations confirm to this requirement." ==> GLOBAL SIMULATED EMERGENCY TEST SCHEDULED FOR APRIL IARU Region 1 has invited the HQ stations of IARU Member-Societies, as well as the EOCs of Emergency Communications Groups (ECGs), to participate in the 2009 Global Simulated Emergency Test (GlobalSET), on Saturday, April 18, 2009 from 1100-1500 UTC <http://www.arrl.org/news/files/2009GlobalSET.pdf>. The GlobalSET will take place on and near the emergency Center of Activity (CoA) frequencies on 80, 40, 20, 17 and 15 meters, +/- QRM. IN the US, ARES groups that will be representing EOCs need to register through their IARU International Emergency Communications Coordinator. Registrations should be e-mailed to ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD <email@example.com>, and must include the call sign (this will be used as the name of the ECG) and the EOC that the ECG is representing, as well as a list of the names and call signs of all operators involved. The intent of the 2009 GlobalSET is for established IARU Headquarters stations and EOCs to test their capabilities. Dura said that W1AW will be the official ARRL and ARES representative for this event. Other ARES groups that participate from EOCs (as per their established response plan) are also invited to participate. "While we appreciate individual interest in participating, the purpose of the GlobalSET is to allow IARU Member-Societies and other EOCs they support to test their infrastructures and procedures at the highest levels," Dura said. "Other events, such as ARRL Field Day and the annual ARRL SET are available for individuals to test their preparedness." According to IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Coordinator Greg Mossop, G0DUB, the GlobalSET is not a contest, but an emergency communications exercise to develop skills needed to provide an international emergency network. Mossop said that the GlobalSET has four objectives: * To increase the common interest in emergency communications. * To test how usable the CoA frequencies are across ITU regions. * To create practices for international emergency communications. * To practice the relaying of messages using all modes: Voice (SSB), Data or CW. "The exercise will build on earlier GlobalSET exercises and will focus on generating and relaying messages in a common format across country borders, rather than the information gathering capabilities that we've done in the past," Mossop said. "We will pass messages in a format that we may have to use for the agencies we may serve. The message exchange will take longer than in previous exercises, and stations will have to be patient to transmit their messages across country and language boundaries." Each participating station is to send messages to their Regional HQ station using the IARU International Emergency Operating Procedure <http://www.darc.de/referate/notfunk/info/emerg-ww.pdf>, using IARU message forms <http://www.iaru-r1.org/IARU-msg1.pdf>. Stations should relay the messages they receive to their Regional HQ station; the Region 2 station is TG0AA in Guatemala. To comply with license regulations in some countries, all messages should be addressed to Greg Mossop, G0DUB, and should come from a licensed radio amateur. Messages should contain fewer than 25 words and should not include anything that would be considered as a "real emergency" message by a listener. Mossop suggests constructing messages that include weather conditions, the number of operators at the station or even an interesting fact about the station. "There is no limit on the number of messages to be sent," he said, "but each one must have a unique message number." Regional HQ stations will not be sending messages, only receiving them. Mossop recommends that in order to create "a more realistic situation, please limit your transmitting power during the exercise to 100 W. We are especially interested in stations operating mobile/portable and/or on emergency power." Usually held in May, the 2009 GlobalSET was moved to April to tie into World Amateur Radio Day. The theme of the 2009 World Amateur Radio Day is "Amateur Radio: Your Resource in Disaster and Emergency Communication." "This is an ideal opportunity to showcase the work of emergency communications groups around the world," Mossop said. For more information on the 2009 GlobalSET, including a list of CoA frequencies for Regions 1, 2 and 3, please see the GlobalSET announcement <http://www.arrl.org/news/files/2009GlobalSET.pdf>. ==> AFRICAN RADIO ORGANIZATION APPLIES FOR IARU MEMBERSHIP In the IARU Calendar, No 188 dated March 11, 2009, IARU Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ, reported that the Union des Radioamateurs du Congo (URAC) in the Republic of the Congo has applied to become an IARU Member-Society (IARU Proposal No 245) <http://www.iaru.org/cal188.html>. Sumner said that the Republic of the Congo (whose capital is Brazzaville) is not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (whose capital is Kinshasa); that country's amateurs are already represented in the IARU by the Association des Radio Amateurs du Congo (ARAC). The Republic of the Congo was formerly a part of French Equatorial Africa and became independent in 1960. Its ITU-allocated call sign prefix is TN. URAC was formed in Brazzaville on October 8, 2008. Its officers are President Mao Monguimet, TN5MM; Secretary General Ulysse Yinda, and Treasurer Chynauldat Bangue. The URAC lists 15 members on its roster, including three licensed radio amateurs. Sumner said that the URAC has stated to the IARU that it has the ability to meet its financial obligations as a member of the IARU through fees from members; that it is legally able to act in the furtherance of IARU objectives within the Republic of the Congo; that it will adequately represent the interests of radio amateurs throughout the country, and that it will adhere to the Constitutions of the IARU and of IARU Region 1. The IARU Region 1 Executive Committee has examined URAC's application and has found it to be in order. In accordance with Bylaw 3 of the Bylaws of the International Amateur Radio Union <http://www.iaru.org/iarucnst.html>, it is proposed that Union des Radioamateurs du Congo be elected to IARU membership. A voting sheet for Proposal No 245 was sent to all IARU Member-Societies. Member-Societies need to submit their votes no later than August 11, 2009; votes received after this date cannot be counted. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "By banks where Sun beams earliest rest" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: This reporting week -- March 12-18 -- there were no sunspots, but we saw a couple of promising magnetic anomalies which faded away before ever emerging as sunspots. Sunspot numbers for March 12-18 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 0. The 10.7 cm flux was 68.7, 68.2, 68.5, 68.4, 69.4, 68.8 and 68.4 with a mean of 68.6. The estimated planetary A indices were 6, 16, 9, 7, 5, 3 and 1 with a mean of 6.7. The estimated mid-latitude A indices were 6, 10, 7, 5, 4, 3 and 0 with a mean of 5. 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 John Clare's "May" <http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/may-2/>. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This Week on the Radio: This week, the Feld Hell Sprint and the 10-10 International Mobile Contest are on March 21. On March 21-22, be sure to tune in for the the Russian DX Contest, the Oklahoma QSO Party and the North Dakota QSO Party. The BARTG HF RTTY Contest and the Virginia QSO Party are March 21-23. The 9K 15 Meter Contest and the QRP Homebrewer Sprint are March 23. The SKCC Sprint is March 25. Next week, look for the CQ WW WPX Contest (SSB) and the EU EME Contest on March 28-29. 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, March 22, 2009, for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, April 3, 2009: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1, Radio Frequency Interference, Antenna Design and Construction, Ham Radio (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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * W1AW QSYs on 160 Meters: On Monday, March 9, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, W1AW <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw.html>, began using a new 160 meter frequency for its CW transmissions. According to W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, there was "increasing activity" near the previous bulletin frequency of 1817.5 kHz. "In order to reduce the possibility of interference, W1AW has moved to 1802.5 kHz," Carcia said. * Addressing Change Coming to ARRL Magazines: A change in the postal regulations for flat mail processing takes effect March 29 that will require the addressing area on the front of any flat, bulk-processed mail (such as magazines) be positioned to new specifications. According to ARRL Sales and Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, QST, QEX and NCJ magazines will all have the delivery address imprinted upside down, but positioned in the same area on the front covers. * Rich Beebe, N0PV (SK): South Dakota Section Manager Rich Beebe, N0PV, of Sioux Falls, passed away March 16. He was 46. Beebe had served as Section Manager since October 2002, running unopposed for each two-year term of office. According to the ARRL Field Organization Rules and Regulations, ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, in consultation with Dakota Division Director Jay Bellows, K0QB, will appoint a new Section Manager to fulfill Beebe's remaining term of office that ends March 31, 2010. * Burghardt to No Longer Sell Amateur Radio Equipment: On March 16, Jim Smith, W0MJY, owner of Burghardt Amateur Center in Watertown, South Dakota <http://www.burghardt-amateur.com/>, announced that the company will no longer sell Amateur Radio transceivers and accessories. The company, now called Burghardt Radio Repair, has canceled all backorders. In an e-mail, Smith blamed the current economic conditions for the change that forced the company "to re-evaluate our goals and direction. We will continue to provide radio repair service as it has become a very busy business. Our technicians are very experienced and parts inventories are good. Thank you for your support in the past and we look forward to continuing our relationships through our servicing facility." Jim Smith's son, Mike Smith, KC0FTM, told the ARRL that even though the company has had to lay off employees in the past couple of months, "Burghardt will concentrate on service, just like we have been doing since 1973." Burghardt was founded in 1937 by Stan Burghardt, W0IT (SK), as Burghardt Radio Supply. He sold the company to Smith in 1982, remaining active in the company until January 2002. Burghardt passed away in 2004 at the age of 93. * Eighth Annual VoIP Conference Scheduled for April 18: Each spring since 2002, the Nevada Amateur Radio Repeaters, Inc (NARRI) has sponsored the Annual VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Conference in Las Vegas. Attendees have discussed such protocols as the Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP). IRLP System Designer David Cameron, VE7LTD, was the keynote speaker for the first six years of the conference. The 2009 conference is open to discuss all forms of VoIP communications. This year's meeting encompasses a broader scope, including all major VoIP systems in use by the Amateur Radio community such as IRLP, EchoLink, EchoIRLP, All Star, D-Star and DV Dongle; VoIP for emergency communications will also be on the agenda. According to Conference Chair Kent Johnson, W7AOR, there will be plenty of presentations and demonstrations at the conference. The conference is from 8:30-5 on Saturday, April 18 in Las Vegas in the conference area of the Circus Circus Hotel, under the North High Rise; enter from northeast side of the swimming pool. There will be plenty of presentations with demonstrations. For more information, please contact Johnson via e-mail <email@example.com> or visit the VoIP Conference Web site <http://www.narri.org/Annual_VoIP_Conference.html>. =========================================================== 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. 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