*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 28, No. 12 March 27, 2009 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + FCC Clarifies What Constitutes an Amateur Radio Repeater * + North Dakota Hams Help to Head Off River Flooding * + Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, Steps Down from ARISS and AMSAT Duties * + FCC Proposes New Rules for Medical Devices Operating on 70 cm Band * + Legislation Introduced in US Senate to Inventory Radio Spectrum * + Hurricane Watch Net Seeks New Members * FCC Corrects Call Sign Error * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Week on the Radio + Get Ready for ARRL Field Day 2009 ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + ARRL to Close in Observance of Good Friday +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> NOTE: There will be no ARRL Audio News April 3 or April 10. The ARRL Letter will be distributed one day early on Thursday, April 9, as ARRL HQ is closed Friday, April 10 in observance of Good Friday. =========================================================== ==>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> =========================================================== ==> FCC CLARIFIES WHAT CONSTITUTES AN AMATEUR RADIO REPEATER In December 2007, Gary Mitchell, WB6YRU, President of the Northern California Packet Association (NCPA), filed a Petition with the FCC, asking for the Commission to clarify the definition of a repeater. According to Part 97, Section 3(a)(39), a repeater in the amateur service is "[a]n amateur station that simultaneously retransmits the transmission of another amateur station on a different channel or channels." Mitchell sought clarification on the word "simultaneously," asking if it referred to the signal information being retransmitted, or to the fact that the receiver and transmitter must both be active at the same time while acting on the same signal information. On March 23, 2009, the Commission clarified that even if there is a slight delay between what is received and what it transmits (as in the case of D-STAR and other digital repeaters), it is considered simultaneous if the receiver and transmitter are both active at the same time. Mitchell pointed out in his petition that while the Commission's Rules specify on which bands amateur repeaters may operate, "some amateur repeaters are operating on bands other than set forth in Section 97.205(b) with systems that are essentially voice repeater stations, but that digitize and retransmit the user's voice, on the theory that because there is a small delay in retransmitting the signal of another amateur station, the signal is not 'simultaneously' retransmitted and, therefore, the system is not a repeater." In its reply, the Commission pointed out that prior to 1994, a repeater was defined as "[a]n amateur station that automatically retransmits the signals of other stations." This, the Commission told Mitchell, was revised to clarify "that certain accommodations for message forwarding systems do not apply to other operating activities such as repeaters and auxiliary stations." The Commission proposed to define a repeater as "[a]n amateur station that instantaneously retransmits the transmission of another amateur station on a different channel or channels," but ultimately replaced "instantaneously" with "simultaneously" because commenters noted that there is always a small propagation delay through a repeater. As one commenter explained, "The word 'simultaneously' in this case means that the repeater is receiving and transmitting concurrently, whereas each signal might be slightly displaced in time between receive and transmit." To be able to repeat another station's transmission, the Commission said that a repeater "must be able to receive a transmission from another station and retransmit it. Because the word 'simultaneously' in the definition is used to modify 'retransmit,' we believe it refers to a repeater station's transmitter being active when retransmitting the signal received by the repeater station's receiver from another amateur station. We conclude, therefore, that 'simultaneously' as used in the definition of a repeater refers to the receiver and transmitter both being active at the same time." ==> NORTH DAKOTA HAMS HELP TO HEAD OFF RIVER FLOODING Early on Friday, March 27, the Red River -- the natural boundary separating North Dakota and Minnesota -- rose to 40.32 feet, more than 22 feet above flood stage and inches more than the previous high water mark of 40.10 feet set April 7, 1897. According to Mark Johnson, KC0SHM, President of the Red River Radio Amateurs (RRRA) <http://www.rrra.org/>, hams are "substantially involved" with the flood operations. "This flooding event is impacting residents in both North Dakota and Minnesota" he told the ARRL. "National Weather Service forecasters are predicting that the river will crest to 41 feet, maybe even as high as 43 feet, by Saturday." Johnson said that on March 22, officials in North Dakota's Cass County and Minnesota's Clay County requested the assistance of local amateurs. Hams set up local nets on the W0ILO repeater system, using 444.875+ and 145.350-. "Initially, hams supported the area, helping out with coordinating food and water requests for the Salvation Army and Red Cross," he said. "In addition, Clay County hams have been heavily involved with coordinating sand and sandbag logistics." In Fargo, schools were closed and trials in the municipal court were suspended. According to "The New York Times," hundreds of people swarmed onto the floor of the Fargodome, home of the North Dakota State University football team and where a rodeo had been scheduled for this week. In the center of the stadium, the "Times" reported that "mountains of clay- and rock-filled sand were surrounded by college students, children, members of the National Guard and ordinary residents, all bearing shovels and filling white sandbags. Thousands of volunteers -- from places as far as Florida and Alaska -- have filled 2.5 million sandbags in just five days. Little forklifts whirred around bearing pallets of bags and dump trucks drove through delivering more sand, even as volunteers offered 'fresh hot cookies,' neck massages and tetanus shots" <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/us/27flood.html?_r=1&ref=us >. Johnson said that as the river continues to rise and sandbagging operations near completion, "ham activity is morphing from dike preparations to developing emergency communications for evacuations, in the event should that become necessary. As of Thursday, March 26, we are currently communicating between three hospitals, two county Emergency Operation Centers, volunteer centers, the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, the Coast Guard and a helipad." Johnson said these are 24 hour operations. "Honestly, I do not know the number of hams participating; I would estimate roughly 30 or more at this time to support the operations," Johnson told the ARRL. "The volunteer response has been enormous -- we believe we have enough volunteers on hand to manage through the weekend. After the weekend, we are relying on other area hams who have responded to the call that are standing by." Since all resource needs are being met by amateurs in the North Dakota and Minnesota Sections, ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD, said that there is no need for Amateur Radio assistance from other Sections at this time. Cass County Sherriff Paul Laney told the "Times" that south of the city -- near the Red River and the Wild Rice River -- 46 residents and 12 pets had to be rescued by boat from homes in which water had pressed through sandbags and made its way into first floors, and that on Thursday, he and his officers were headed off on boats to make 11 additional rescues. Concerns about major flooding extend well beyond Fargo. Throughout parts of North Dakota and western Minnesota, residents are bracing for the Red River, nearby streams and rivers and the Missouri River to spill their banks -- the result, according to the NWS, of a combination of factors. In the fall, the flat terrain was saturated by rain, followed by a winter of heavy snow, and now -- as so much snow began melting -- came days more of rain and, on Wednesday, half a foot of snow in some places. In the Canadian province of Manitoba, the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization and the City of Winnipeg Emergency Program have requested assistance from local ARES groups there to help out with the flooding on that side of the border, said Radio Amateurs of Canada's Manitoba Section Emergency Coordinator Don Gerrard, VE4DWG. "Both organizations are in the process of activating their Emergency Operations Centers and have requested ARES radio operators to begin staffing the radio room at the facilities beginning Monday March 30, 2009," he posted on an RAC ARES reflector. "Jeff Dovyak, VE4MBQ, District Emergency Coordinator of the Capital Region, advises that he is beginning the process of scheduling ARES radio operators for these current taskings. Further requirements are likely as water levels rise, and will be communicated when received." "As both a ham and a resident of Fargo, I am deeply touched by the community outpouring of support for fellow man," Johnson said. "Volunteers by the thousands have poured into churches to help with food, volunteer centers to help fill sand bags and to the front lines for sand bag placement. Everyone pray for us -- we need a miracle for the community as a whole to pull this off." ==> FRANK BAUER, KA3HDO, STEPS DOWN FROM ARISS AND AMSAT DUTIES Citing personal and professional reasons, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) <http://www.rac.ca/ariss/oindex.htm> International Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, announced on March 24 that he will be step down from all his ARISS duties, effective immediately. Bauer served as ARISS Program Leader, ARISS International Working Group Chair and as the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation's (AMSAT) <http://www.amsat.org/> Vice President for Human Spaceflight Programs, a position he has held since 1991. He is also one of two ARISS USA delegates, serving with ARRL ARISS Program Manager Rosalie White, K1STO. Bauer is currently the Chief Engineer for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA. This directorate is developing the next generation human spaceflight vehicles that will take NASA to the International Space Station (ISS) <http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html> and then to the Moon, Mars and beyond. He is also providing some backup support to the Space Operations Chief Engineer who supports the space shuttle and ISS programs. "Work responsibilities, which have increased substantially over the past couple of years, coupled with some recent health issues within my immediate family, led me to the conclusion that I could not continue to provide the leadership and passion that has been characteristic of my past support to these amateur radio endeavors," Bauer explained. "This was a very hard decision. I will certainly miss the phenomenal ARISS international team and our mission to inspire the next generation of space explorers using ham radio as our platform. But I thought it would be best to step down at this juncture. Over the past 12 years, we have developed, mentored and matured an outstanding volunteer team with a wide breadth and depth. I am fully confident that they will keep the ARISS program running smoothly without missing a beat." AMSAT-NA President Barry Baines, WD4ASW, has tapped Will Marchant, KC6ROL, to become the next AMSAT Vice President for Human Spaceflight Programs and the AMSAT USA delegate of the ARISS International Working Group. "AMSAT is fortunate that we have a very capable leader in Will Marchant who is intimately familiar with ARISS, our extensive human spaceflight program, and is well respected internationally," Baines said. "Frank's leadership has left a significant mark on the overall ARISS program and the cooperative relationship between Amateur Radio, NASA and other governmental space agencies; however, Frank also ensured that his team evolved to the point where the work that he pioneered will be carried on by those that he mentored and encouraged to take on greater responsibility." In his new role, Marchant will work with White and the other ARISS International Delegates and the ISS Space Agencies to coordinate the development and operations of the Amateur Radio systems onboard the ISS. White said that she looks forward to working with Marchant in his new role: "He has provided outstanding leadership and support to ARISS from its very beginning, most recently as an Operations Team Leader. He helped pioneer the school group mentor role as part of the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX) program in the early 1990s <http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/station/reference/radio/sarex.html>. Frank will be missed tremendously. It is incredible how much volunteer time and effort he put into ARISS educational activities; it was easy to see it was his passion." With Bauer stepping down from the ARISS International Chairman role, ARISS International Vice Chair Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, will become the ARISS International Chairman, effective immediately. Bertels has been a leader of ARISS from its inception and serves as the Chairman of the ARISS-Europe team. He has established a close relationship between ARISS and the European Space Agency (ESA). This resulted in the development and the installation of ARISS L- and S-band antennas on the nadir of Columbus, the European Space Laboratory. Bertels also chairs IARU Region 1's Amateur Radio Space Exploration Working Group (ARSPEX). "We can understand the reasons of Frank Bauer's resignation," Bertels said, "but we also feel how difficult this decision has been. Frank has inspired a worldwide group of passionate radio amateurs, working together to a common goal. Now it is up to us to continue in the same direction and with the same spirit. That's the best farewell present we can offer Frank." Bauer's departure represents the culmination of more than 25 years of leadership and support to Amateur Radio activities on human spaceflight vehicles, including NASA-sponsored ham radio activities on the shuttle, Space Station Mir and the ISS. Starting in 1983, he led the Goddard Amateur Radio Club team that provided around-the-clock space shuttle retransmissions from the WA3NAN club station. These retransmissions provided the international ham radio community with up-to-the-minute information during the flight of Owen Garriott, W5LFL, on STS-9 <http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/archives/sts- 9.html> and subsequent SAREX flights. In the days prior to the Internet, these real-time bulletins and frequent orbital element updates could only be obtained through Amateur Radio. In 1996, when the International Space Station design development was well underway, NASA Headquarters Education Office Executive Pam Bacon (Mountjoy) requested that the Amateur Radio community form a single, international team to provide one voice for all ham radio development and operations on the ISS. The SAREX Working Group, led by Roy Neal, K6DUE, was tapped to turn this vision into reality. In November 1996, Neal and White, under the auspices of the ARRL, Bauer and NASA's Matt Bordelon, KC5BTL, organized a joint NASA-international Amateur Radio meeting at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. This led to the formulation of the ARISS International Working Group of delegates representing Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the US, leading up to the current day ARISS program. Since the beginning, the ARISS team of volunteers has developed and deployed ham radio equipment that resides in three modules of the ISS -- the Service Module, the FGB and the Columbus Module, as well as having deployed a short duration satellite in a space suit called SuitSat-1/Radiosskaf/AO-54 <http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/articles/BauerSuitsat/index.php>. These systems enable the ARISS team to inspire more than 15,000 students each year, encouraging them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through Amateur Radio communications with the ISS on-orbit crew. It also introduces these students and millions from the worldwide general public to the fun, exciting, multi-faceted world of Amateur Radio. -- Information provided by AMSAT ==> FCC PROPOSES NEW RULES FOR MEDICAL DEVICES OPERATING ON 70 CM BAND On March 20, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-09-20A1.pdf>, proposing to allocate spectrum and adopt service and technical rules for the utilization of new implanted medical devices that operate on 413-457 MHz (70 cm). According to the Commission, these devices, called implanted neuromuscular microstimulators, would greatly expand the use of functional electric stimulation to restore sensation, mobility and function to those persons with paralyzed limbs and organs; they would be implanted in a patient and function as wireless broadband medical micro-power networks (MMNs). The Amateur Radio Service has a secondary allocation in the 70 cm band. The FCC said that several proponents claim that this technology "could revolutionize medical treatment and therapy for millions of people living with brain and spinal cord injuries and neuromuscular disorders such as multiple sclerosis, polio, cerebral palsy and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as 'Lou Gehrig's Disease'), as well as numerous other neurological disorders. It could be used in conjunction with next-generation prosthetic limbs to provide wireless sensation and control to the prostheses. Of particular note, this technology can provide an important tool in the medical treatment and care of numerous US soldiers who suffered spinal cord, brain and other serious injuries in Iraq, Afghanistan and other missions abroad." Last month, ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, and Technical Relations Manager Brennan Price, N4QX, met with officials of the Alfred Mann Foundation, developers of the implanted neuromuscular microstimulators, to discuss ARRL concerns with the NPRM. Imlay and Price both came away satisfied that the project should have little, if any, impact on Amateur Radio operators. "There are redundant layers of interference rejection mechanisms built into the product that should protect its users from being impacted by strong Amateur Radio signals," Price said. "The very low power output of these devices should have no impact on the Amateur Radio Service. The ARRL Executive Committee will monitor this filing and take action as appropriate." The FCC is seeking comments on the feasibility of allowing up to 20 MHz of spectrum in the 413-457 MHz band to be used under the Medical Device Radiocommunication Service (MedRadio Service, formerly the Medical Implant Communications Service [MICS]) in Part 95 of the Commission's rules, and seeks comments on the allocation of four specific segments for this purpose: 413-419 MHz, 426-432 MHz, 438-444 MHz and 451-457 MHz. The Commission also seeks comments on the prospective service and technical rules that would govern MMN operations, such as transmitter power, emission bandwidth, duty cycle, contention protocols, and other operating specifications that generally comport with the framework of the existing MedRadio Service. ==> LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN US SENATE TO INVENTORY RADIO SPECTRUM Two US Senators -- Democrat John Kerry of Massachusetts and Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine -- have introduced a bill in the Senate that would mandate an inventory of radio spectrum bands managed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/> and the Federal Communications Commission. The inventory would include those frequencies between 300 MHz-3.5 GHz managed by the two agencies. The proposed legislation, known as the "Radio Spectrum Inventory Act" <http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.649:>, states that the NTIA and the FCC would be required to inventory the spectrum no later than 180 days after the bill becomes law; after the initial survey, follow-ups would be required every two years. Both agencies would need to prepare a report listing the licenses or government user assigned in the band, the total spectrum allocation, by band, of each licensee or government user (in percentage terms and in sum) and the number of intentional radiators and end-user intentional radiators that have been deployed in the band with each license or government user. Additionally, if the information is applicable, the report would be required to show the type of intentional radiators operating in the band, the type of unlicensed intentional radiators authorized to operate in the band, contour maps that illustrate signal coverage and strength and the approximate geo-location of base stations or fixed transmitters. The report would then be sent to the Senate's Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and to the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. The bill also mandates that both agencies create a centralized portal or Web site that lists each agency's band inventories. This information would then be made available to the public via an Internet-accessible Web site. Both agencies would also be required to make all necessary efforts to maintain and update the inventory information "in near real-time fashion and whenever there is a transfer or auction of licenses or change in allocation or assignment." The bill includes an exemption for licensees or users if they can demonstrate that disclosure would be harmful to national security. "Our public airwaves belong to the American people, and we need to make certain we are putting them to good use in the best interests of those citizens," Senator Kerry said. "Last year's 700 MHz auction resulted in $20 billion for the treasury and will create greater opportunity and choice for consumers and businesses that need broadband service. We also took a great step forward when the FCC established a way for unlicensed devices to operate in white spaces. These two initiatives are evidence of how valuable spectrum is and how it serves as fertile grounds for innovation. We need to make sure we're making as much of it available to innovators and consumers as possible." "Used by millions of consumers and countless businesses on a daily basis, wireless technology is a proud part of America's innovative history and a key to its economic future," Senator Snowe said. "But as radio spectrum is already a scarce yet valuable resource in many areas, we must ensure that this public good is allocated and used efficiently for the needs of the American people. This legislation is the first step to addressing comprehensive spectrum reform and will work to enhance advanced communications services to keep people on-line and in touch." ARRL Technical Relations Manager Brennan Price, N4QX, said that the bill is in its infancy and that there is no corresponding legislation in the House of Representatives: "The text of the proposed legislation neither exempts Amateur Radio nor considers the frequency-agile and unfixed nature of most Amateur Radio operations. This bill merits watching and presents amateurs an opportunity to educate their Senators about the nature of our stations and our Service." The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, and Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican. ==> HURRICANE WATCH NET SEEKS NEW MEMBERS With hurricane season approaching, the various organizations that assist the National Hurricane Center (NHC) <http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/> in Miami are gearing up for what could be a very active storm season. One organization that assists the NHC is the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) <http://www.hwn.org/>. To better assist the NHC, HWN Manager Dave Lefavour, W7GOX, told the ARRL that the HWN is looking for new members. "The Hurricane Watch Net relies on volunteer operators -- our members -- who serve as our net control stations," he said. "HWN members are hams who have above-average stations, are capable of effectively conducting HF net operations and are willing to commit their time to operating in support of the HWN's mission during Net activations. The Net sessions can be long, and, in the recent absence of sunspots, pretty grueling." Lefavour said that the HWN is looking for new members with stations that can effectively communicate with Central America and the Caribbean, Mexico and South Texas on the 20 meter band. "With the low solar activity, our Assistant Net Manager Brad Pioveson, W9FX, is very interested in finding more members that can help with Net Control Station duties on the low ends of the 40 and 80 meter phone bands," Lefavour said, "as we're having to broaden our focus from only operating on 14.325 MHz. During the 2008 hurricanes, 20 meters died after the Sun went down -- we no longer had the ability to effectively communicate with reporting stations or the National Hurricane Center. So in preparation for the 2009 hurricane season, we're open to applications from qualified amateurs who are located anywhere within North America or the Caribbean. With propagation having been so unpredictable in the past couple of years, you never know who's going to be able to hear the hurricane-affected area." Lefavour said that bilingual hams are especially welcome: "We recognize that some Latin American operators hesitate to check in and send reports to us if they aren't fluent in English, so we're also interested in hearing from hams that are fluent in both Spanish and English. When we're working storms that are either affecting or threatening areas where Spanish is the language of choice, we always try to have one or more bilingual HWN members on hand to help with reporting. Those who have previously applied for HWN membership are encouraged to submit new applications. New applicants are also encouraged to apply." Lefavour said that the Hurricane Watch Net is generally activated when a named Atlantic basin storm is within 300 miles of landfall. Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean runs from June 1-November 30, peaking from late August through September; the Pacific Ocean season runs from May 15-November 30. Of course, hurricanes may occur at any time of the year. The Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University predicts that the 2009 hurricane season will see above-average activity with 14 named storms and seven hurricanes, three of which will be Category 3 or higher. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines a normal hurricane season as having 9-12 named storms -- with 5-7 of those reaching hurricane strength -- and 1-3 major hurricanes. ==> FCC CORRECTS CALL SIGN ERROR In October 2006, Peter Birk (formerly WB2DCG) of Virginia Beach, Virginia, applied for a vanity call sign, K4ZL, under the FCC's Vanity Call Sign Program. This call sign was previously held by Elmer B. Jackson, Jr of Lavergne, Tennessee. Jackson held this call sign since before 1978; it was set to expire June 11, 2008. In October 2006, the Commission received notification that Jackson had passed away February 14, 2004, so the FCC canceled his license as of this date. More than two years after the date of Jackson's death, Birk applied for and received K4ZL. Per FCC rules pertaining to vanity call signs, certain family members and previous holders of the call sign are eligible to receive the dead person's call sign; after the two year period, the call sign is open for anyone to acquire it under the vanity call sign program. In June 2008, Jackson notified the FCC that he was still very much alive and that he wished to renew his license. According to the FCC, based upon information they had received, "it appears that the call sign K4ZL was made available under the vanity call sign system as a result of a defective cancellation of the license originally held by Jackson. Further review determined that the information submitted to the Commission in 2006 pertained to a different person with the same name." On Friday, March 27, Birk told the ARRL he had no idea Jackson had passed away. "There was no way for me to know that Elmer Jackson was not dead at the time I applied for K4ZL," Birk said. "In fact, the FCC believed he was dead, as well." On March 23, the FCC released an Order Proposing Modification and concluded that cancelling K4ZL in 2006 "was defective" and that the call sign should not have been made available in the vanity call sign pool <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-656A1.pdf>. To correct this error, the FCC "propose[s] to exchange K4ZL with the call sign previously assigned to Birk's amateur radio station, WB2DCG; and concurrently to assign call sign K4ZL back to Jackson's license, which was reinstated under call sign AJ4JT." The Commission cited Section 316(a)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended <http://law.onecle.com/uscode/47/316.html>, saying it "provides the appropriate vehicle for resolving this matter. Section 316(a) permits the Commission to modify a station license if the action will promote the public interest, convenience, and necessity. In this connection, we note that the proposed modification would serve the public interest by ensuring that a licensee is not harmed by having his or her license canceled based on erroneous information submitted by a third party." In accordance with Section 97.27(b) of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations <http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2002/octqtr/pdf/47cfr97.27.pdf>, the FCC will not issue a modification order "until Birk has received notice of our proposed action and has had an opportunity to file a protest." Birk has 30 days from March 23 to submit a written statement to the FCC "with sufficient evidence to show that the modification would not be in the public interest." If Birk chooses not to file a protest, he will have waived his right to protest the modification and will have deemed to have consented to the modification. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "The Sun was warm but the wind was chill" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: Currently, USAF and NOAA predict a planetary A index of 8 for today, March 27, then leveling off at 5 (a very quiet, stable level) until April 9-10 when it jumps to 15, then 10. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet to unsettled conditions March 27, quiet March 28-29, quiet to unsettled March 30-31 and back to quiet for April 1-2. Sunspot numbers for March 19 through 25 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 0. The 10.7 cm flux was 69.1, 68.7, 70.1, 68.7, 68, 69.1, and 68.5 with a mean of 68.9. The estimated planetary A indices were 3, 4, 8, 4, 3, 8 and 10 with a mean of 5.7. The estimated mid-latitude A indices were 3, 2, 5, 4, 2, 6 and 7 with a mean of 4.1. 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 Robert Frost's "Two Tramps in Mud Time" <http://www.etymonline.com/poems/tramps.htm>. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This Week on the Radio: This week, look for the CQ WW WPX Contest (SSB) and the EU EME Contest on March 28-29. Next week, the NCCC Sprint Ladder is April 3. On April 4-5, check out the Montana QSO Party, the Missouri QSO Party, the QCWA Spring QSO Party, the ARCI Spring QSO Party, the SP DX Contest and the EA RTTY Contest. The 144 MHz Spring Sprint is April 6 (local time). 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>. * Get Ready for ARRL Field Day 2009: The official 2009 ARRL Field Day Web page is up and running <http://www.arrl.org/FieldDay>. This page includes a summary of available resources, with links to Field Day forms and rules, logos and reference links. The page also includes a quick link to the map-based Field Day Station Locator where users can search for public Field Day sites. "Field Day is the largest on-the-air operating event," said ARRL Field Day Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. "The event draws tens of thousands of radio amateurs to the airwaves over a single weekend." This year, Field Day is June 27-28. According to Henderson, it has become a tradition to create a new logo each year to commemorate Field Day: "This year's logo evokes a sense of the 'great outdoors' in camp-like fashion. We hope the logo inspires even more participants to get active, get outdoors and get on-the-air." This year's logo was designed by ARRL Graphic Arts Supervisor Sue Fagan, KB1OKW, and Senior Technical Illustrator David Pingree, N1NAS. The Field Day page also includes a link for ordering commemorative Field Day T-shirts, hats, pins and other supplies. All of the items are available for ordering now; many of the items are already in stock. Radio clubs are encouraged to order early. * ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration: Registration remains open through Sunday, April 5, 2009 for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, April 17, 2009: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 2; Antenna Modeling, and Radio Frequency Propagation. Each online course has been developed in segments -- learning units with objectives, informative text, student activities and quizzes. Courses are interactive, and some include direct communications with a Mentor/Instructor. Students register for a particular session that may be 8, 12 or 16 weeks (depending on the course) and they may access the course at any time of day during the course period, completing lessons and activities at times convenient for their personal schedule. Mentors assist students by answering questions, reviewing assignments and activities, as well as providing helpful feedback. Interaction with mentors is conducted through e-mail; there is no appointed time the student must be present -- allowing complete flexibility for the student to work when and where it is convenient. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cep/student> or contact the Continuing Education Program Coordinator <email@example.com>. * ARRL to Close in Observance of Good Friday: ARRL Headquarters will be closed in observance of Good Friday on Friday, April 10. There will be no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions that day. "The ARRL Letter" will be posted a day early on Thursday, April 9; there will be no "ARRL Audio News" on April 3 or April 10. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Monday, April 13 at 8 AM Eastern Daylight Time. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend. =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American Radio Relay League: ARRL--the national association for Amateur Radio, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President. The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential and general news of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest Amateur Radio news and news updates. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> also offers informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also available as a podcast from our Web site. Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): firstname.lastname@example.org ==>Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, email@example.com ==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org/> ==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call 860-594-0384 ==>How to Get The ARRL Letter The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail delivery: ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site <http://www.arrl.org/members/>. You'll have an opportunity during registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW bulletins, and other material. To change these selections--including delivery of The ARRL Letter--registered members should click on the "Member Data Page" link (in the Members Only box). Click on "Modify membership data," check or uncheck the appropriate boxes and/or change your e-mail address if necessary. (Check "Temporarily disable all automatically sent email" to temporarily stop all e-mail deliveries.) Then, click on "Submit modification" to make selections effective. (NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You must do this yourself via the Members Only Web Site.) The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources: * ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/>. (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will be posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.) * The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur Radio Club: Visit Mailing Lists@QTH.Net <http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/letter-list>. (NOTE: The ARRL cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this listserver.) Copyright 2009 American Radio Relay League, Inc. All Rights Reserved
The ARRL Letter
The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.
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!): firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, K1SFA@arrl.org.