*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 28, No. 17 May 1, 2009 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + Houston Representative Introduces Amateur Radio Bill in Congress * + President Obama Nominates New FCC Commissioner * + The 2009 ARRL National Convention and Dayton Hamvention: Two Weeks and Counting! * + ARRL Foundation Announces 2009 Scholarship Recipients * + ARRL's Technical Information Service Provides Members with Answers * + ARRL In Action: What Have We Been Up to Lately? * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Week on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + No ARRL Audio News on May 15 + Larry Banks, W1DYJ, Wins April QST Cover Plaque Award ARRL Sweepstakes Awards Sent ARRL DXCC Desk Approves Two 2009 Operations Internet Search Engine Celebrates Birthday of Samuel F. B. Morse +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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA <email@example.com> =========================================================== ==> HOUSTON REPRESENTATIVE INTRODUCES AMATEUR RADIO BILL IN CONGRESS On Wednesday, April 29, Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) introduced HR 2160 -- the "Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009" -- in the US House of Representatives. This bill, if passed, would "promote and encourage the valuable public service, disaster relief, and emergency communications provided on a volunteer basis by licensees of the Federal Communications Commission in the Amateur Radio Service, by undertaking a study of the uses of Amateur Radio for emergency and disaster relief communications, by identifying unnecessary or unreasonable impediments to the deployment of Amateur Radio emergency and disaster relief communications, and by making recommendations for relief of such unreasonable restrictions so as to expand the uses of Amateur Radio communications in Homeland Security planning and response." The bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce <http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bill s&docid=f:h2160ih.txt.pdf>. If enacted into law, HR 2160, would instruct the Secretary of Homeland Security to undertake a study and report its findings to Congress within 180 days. The study would spell out uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio communications in emergencies and disaster relief. The study shall: * Include recommendations for enhancements in the voluntary deployment of Amateur Radio licensees in disaster and emergency communications and disaster relief efforts. * Include recommendations for improved integration of Amateur Radio operators in planning and in furtherance of the Department of Homeland Security initiatives. * Identify unreasonable or unnecessary impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio communications -- such as the effects of private land use regulations on residential antenna installations -- and make recommendations regarding such impediments. * Include an evaluation of Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-104, 110 Stat 56 ). * Recommend whether Section 207 should be modified to prevent unreasonable private land use restrictions that impair the ability of amateurs to conduct, or prepare to conduct, emergency communications by means of effective outdoor antennas and support structures at reasonable heights and dimensions for the purpose in residential areas. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall utilize the expertise of the ARRL and shall seek information from private and public sectors for the study. The bill currently has five co-sponsors: Madeleine Bordallo (Guam), Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS). Representative Thompson currently serves as Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security. Representatives Jackson-Lee, Lofgren and Kilroy are members of that committee. "We understand that Representative Jackson-Lee was very impressed with the radio amateurs she encountered on a visit to an Emergency Operations Center in Houston during Hurricane Ike last September," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "We are grateful to her and to the five original co-sponsors for their support of Amateur Radio and the encouragement that their bill offers." ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, concurred: "We are excited to have Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee introduce HR 2160. It is extremely encouraging to have the support of a number of original co-sponsors -- including several members of the House Homeland Security Committee -- who recognize the importance of Amateur Radio's long history of public service." ==> PRESIDENT OBAMA NOMINATES NEW FCC COMMISSIONER On Wednesday, April 29, President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate Mignon L. Clyburn of South Carolina as an FCC Commissioner <http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/President-Obama-Announces-Mo re-Key-Administration-Posts-4-29-09/>. If her nomination is approved by Congress, Clyburn will fill the seat of Democrat Jonathan Adelstein. Adelstein is leaving the FCC to head up the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/03/23/10716/?nc=1>. Clyburn, the daughter of House Majority Whip Representative James Clyburn (D-SC), has served on the Public Service Commission of South Carolina <http://www.psc.sc.gov/> since 1998. The Public Service Commission regulates South Carolina's investor owned public utilities, including providers of telecommunications services. Before her election to that body, she spent 14 years as the publisher and general manager of "The Coastal Times," a weekly newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1998, Clyburn was elected by the South Carolina General Assembly as a Commissioner to represent the Sixth Congressional District; she has been re-elected three times, chairing the Commission from 2002-2004. She is a past chair of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and is presently the chair of the Washington Action Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) <http://www.naruc.org/>. Clyburn also serves on NARUC's Audit Committee and Utilities Market Access Partnership Board. Calling Clyburn a "fine public servant," Obama said Clyburn was "a welcome addition to my team as we work to put America on a path towards prosperity and keep our nation safe. I am honored [Clyburn] will be joining my administration and look forward to working with [her] in the months and years ahead." Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps congratulated Clyburn, saying, "She is an excellent choice, and the experience she brings from her service on South Carolina's Public Service Commission will be an invaluable asset as we address the many challenges and opportunities that are before us. I wish her a successful Senate confirmation and look forward to working with her over the coming months and years in serving consumers and the public interest." Clyburn graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in Banking, Finance & Economics in 1984. ==> THE 2009 ARRL NATIONAL CONVENTION AND DAYTON HAMVENTION: TWO WEEKS AND COUNTING! On May 15-17, hams from all over the world will make their way to the Hara Arena, located in Trotwood, Ohio for the 2009 ARRL National Convention <http://www.arrl.org/announce/nc/2009/dayton.html> and Dayton Hamvention <http://www.hamvention.org/>. Held annually since 1952, Hamvention is one of the largest Amateur Radio gatherings in the world. Following the tradition of Dayton natives Wilber and Orville Wright, the ARRL National Convention will be a "hands-on" paradise. New, interactive exhibits at the ARRL EXPO, the centerpiece of the National Convention, will provide engaging, real-life experiences that encourage hams and non-hams alike to get more active in Amateur Radio. At the ARRL Project Building Booth, attendees can try their hand at assembling a kit as they handle electronic components and circuit boards -- even a little soldering! "If you have never built a project before, we hope you will consider this a 'Soldering 101' basic course," said ARRL Laboratory Engineer Bob Allison, WB1GCM. Allison will lead a team of instructors who will mentor visitors throughout the activity. "We want to encourage hams who have not built something in a long time to get back in the saddle. Project building is fun, and it's a great way to build low cost gear and accessories. We want everyone to unlock their inner do-it-yourselfer." Pre-registration is required -- sign up at the ARRL EXPO. You can also explore the many facets of ARRL Field Day <http://www.arrl.org/fieldday> at the ARRL EXPO. "Field Day is the largest operating event in the world and represents the very best of the Amateur Radio Service," said ARRL Field Day Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. The annual event draws tens of thousands of radio amateurs to the airwaves over a single weekend. Henderson said that Field Day is part emergency preparedness exercise, part public demonstration and part radio club social event: "It's really just a lot of fun and gives us a chance to get out there and show what we can do on many fronts." ARRL Forum Schedule Several ARRL staff members will be on hand at Dayton, presenting forums on several exciting topics. On Friday, May 15 at 10:30 AM in Room 5, Henderson and a group of other Field Day aficionados will share some helpful hints they have garnered from decades of Field Day operations. Special Field Day 2009 posters will be available to participants (while they last), as well as some special Field Day surprises. Come learn more about some of the unique and fulfilling ways groups across the US and Canada get on the air to celebrate ARRL Field Day. ARRL Volunteer Counsel (VC) Jim O'Connell, W9WU, along with "Antenna Zoning for the Radio Amateur" author Fred Hopengarten, K1VR, ARRL Technical Relations Manager Brennan Price, N4QX, and ARRL VC Paula Uscian, K9IR, will present "Ham Radio and the Law -- Getting It Up and Keeping It Up" on May 15 at 12:15 PM in Room 3. Join this discussion by Amateur Radio attorneys on legal issues of interest to hams on topics that include how to avoid restrictive covenants, how to present your case for a tower permit and how to defend against nuisance claims. Hear about the latest court rulings on RFI, PRB-1 and towers, as well as updates on the ARRL's Legal Defense and Assistance Committee. Come ask QST's very own "Doctor" your technical Amateur Radio questions in person on May 15 at 12:15 PM in Room 2. QST Technical Editor Joel Hallas, W1ZR, will provide his best answer on the spot, or get back to you shortly after the National Convention. Some questions and answers may end up in QST if they seem likely to be helpful to readers. This will be an informal sleeves-rolled-up chalk talk environment. Be sure to bring your questions! Reaching out to the public is the life blood of Amateur Radio! From land- and property-use restrictions to recruiting, our ability to enjoy the service depends on keeping a positive image. Join ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, on May 15 at 1:30 PM in Room 2 as he introduces ARRL's PR-101 course <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/01/22/10578/?nc=1>. This is a course to teach hams the basics of making -- and keeping -- a good relationship with your town and the media. If "every ham is a Public Information Officer," then every ham needs to have these skills. Join the ARRL on Saturday, May 16 at 10:30 AM in Room 2 for an interactive session with ARRL national and regional leadership. ARRL is a membership organization -- we are here for you. Come share your ideas and ask questions. If you've ever wanted to try digital contesting but weren't sure how to get started, we definitely have a forum for you! Join ARRL Publications Manager and digital guru Steve Ford, WB8IMY and learn how to get started in digital contesting. This forum, offered on May 16 at 1:15 PM in Room 3, will show you that you don't need to be a big-gun station with a kilowatt and a tower to have hours of on-the-air fun. All you need is a radio, a computer, an antenna -- and some helpful advice that you'll pick up at this forum! Join the thousands of hams who are already experiencing the joys of digital contesting. Get up close and personal with Richard Garriott, W5KWQ, on Saturday, May 16 at 1:30 PM in Room 1. In October 2008, Garriott -- son of Owen Garriott, W5LFL -- fulfilled a lifelong dream to experience spaceflight and traveled to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. While living on the ISS, he conducted scientific experiments and environmental research, but he also had a chance to do quite a bit of Amateur Radio operating, including sending slow-scan TV (SSTV) images. Owen Garriott, W5LFL, initiated the first ham radio contacts from space 26 years ago aboard the shuttle Columbia on STS-9. Richard Garriott will also be on hand at the ARRL EXPO throughout the weekend signing autographs and meeting amateurs. At the EXPO -- and Beyond! There is so much to do at the ARRL EXPO. Visit the huge ARRL bookstore to purchase popular ARRL publications, join or renew your ARRL membership and pick up official ARRL merchandise. Get a free gift when you join ARRL or renew your membership at ARRL EXPO and everyone gets a free ARRL Dayton 2009 button (while supplies last). Whether you're 10 or 110, the EXPO has something just for you. Join young (and young-at-heart) amateurs at the ARRL Youth Lounge. Drop by the ARRL Youth Lounge to meet and socialize with other young hams. Come chat with other hams, listen to music, grab a snack or participate in one of the many activities, such as fox-hunts, scavenger hunts, Morse code fun, a QSL card designing contest, crafts, prizes and more. Whether or not you're licensed, you're welcome to come by and join the fun! If you're looking for other youth during the convention, try calling them on the youth calling frequencies: 145.540 MHz (107.2 Hz CTCSS) primary and 146.430 (233.6 Hz CTCSS) secondary. Not licensed yet? Soon-to-be hams can check-in using FRS channel one. If you enjoy waxing nostalgic over the gear of yesteryear, drop by the exhibit area to meet vintage equipment photographer Joe Veras, K9OCO. He will be autographing his book, "50 Years of Amateur Radio Innovation" -- filled with photographs of classic and legendary transmitters -- that was recently published by ARRL <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=0228>. You can also tour a 1964 Collins Radio Company communications van -- a Ford Econoline van that traveled as a mobile demonstration center for Collins equipment. The van, decked out with vintage gear from the S-Line period, will be there for you to explore. Bring your license and get on the air from W1AW/8 at the ARRL National Convention. Operating times and frequencies will be posted at the station. Meet W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, from the famed Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station at ARRL Headquarters. Personnel from the ARRL DXCC Branch will be on hand to check your DX cards and applications. All cards will be eligible for checking, including old cards, cards for deleted countries and cards for 160 meters. Applications will be limited to 120 cards (more cards will be checked as time and volunteer Card Checkers are available). See the DXCC Web site for the latest program information and current forms <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc>. Representatives from Logbook of the World (LoTW) will also be on hand, giving demonstrations and answering your questions <http://www.arrl.org/lotw>. Be sure to stop by the EXPO to meet new IARU <http://www.iaru.org/> President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, and Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, at the IARU booth. Special exhibits in the area will be hosted by the three different IARU Regions: Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) from Germany will represent Region 1, the ARRL will represent Region 2 and the Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL) will represent Region 3. Besides the myriad of activities taking place off-site such as Contest University <http://www.contestuniversity.com/> and the QRP event Four Days in May <http://www.fdim.qrparci.org/>, there will be a Wouff Hong Ceremony <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/history.html> on Saturday, May 16 at 10:45 PM at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Dayton. Sponsored by the NE Ohio Ham Radio Players, any licensed ARRL member can participate in this lively ARRL tradition that is steeped in mystery! Attendees will receive a special keepsake at this fun activity, appropriate for all ages. Keeping Up in Dayton If you can't make it to Dayton -- or even if you make the trek -- you can still catch all the latest news on the Convention's Weblog <http://www.arrl.org/blog>. QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, will once again be blogging about Hamvention. Proving you can indeed go home again, Steve will regale readers with the adventures of staying with his mother at his childhood home in Dayton. For the past few years, thousands of readers have been entertained as Steve has related stories about new gear making its debut at Hamvention, the weather in Dayton and the overall feel of the event -- as well as the ever-popular antics at "Casa de Mi Madre." The ARRL will introduce a new blog at this year's National Convention: ARRL Youth Editor Duncan MacLachlan, KU0DM, will blog from a young ham's perspective. MacLachlan, who will be assisting former Youth Editor Andrea Hartlage, KG4IUM, and her father Scott, KF4PWI, in the ARRL Youth Lounge, will explore the Hamvention exhibits, forums and events, giving his first-time take on the Hamvention experience. MacLachlan's perspective is a welcome addition to the ARRL National Convention team. Explore all of Hamvention's nooks and crannies through his blog and Twitter updates <http://twitter.com/arrlyouth>. ARRL staff are getting ready for all the excitement that a National Convention brings. Teaming up with the Dayton Hamvention is sure to bring everything to a fever pitch, so why not make plans to join in on the fun? Travel and lodging information is available on the Hamvention Web site <http://www.hamvention.org/travel.php>. ==> ARRL FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES 2009 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS The ARRL Foundation <http://www.arrlf.org/> Board of Directors is pleased to announce that they have awarded 52 scholarships to students in 21 states. Of these awards, 48 are annual scholarships with a total value of $54,700. In addition there are currently four holders of the William R. Goldfarb Memorial scholarship for whom the awards vary based on the college or university they attend, other awards they receive and other financial factors. Last month, the ARRL Foundation announced that they had awarded the William R. Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship <http://www.arrlf.org/programs/scholarships> to Dean LaBarba, KI6CUX, of Long Beach, California. He will graduate from Woodrow Wilson High School this year with a GPA of 4.0. LaBarba holds a Technician class license that in 2005 led him to participation in the Amateur Radio Emergency Communication (AREC) team at his high school; since 2007, he has served as president. LaBarba also spends considerable time coordinating Amateur Radio activities, including Field Day, with the local community. LaBarba -- who will be attending Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California <http://www.westmont.edu/> -- has had a keen interest in medicine and intends to pursue a career in neurology. The Goldfarb Scholarship is the result of a generous endowment from the late William Goldfarb, N2ITP. Goldfarb, who died in 1997, set up a scholarship endowment of close to $1 million in memory of his parents, Albert and Dorothy Goldfarb. Awarded to one high school senior each year, the Goldfarb Scholarship assists the recipient to receive a four-year undergraduate degree in engineering or science or in the medical or business-related fields. The terms of reference of the generous Goldfarb scholarship award require that recipients demonstrate financial need and significant involvement with Amateur Radio, in addition to high academic performance. The seventh Goldfarb Scholarship winner, LaBarba continues the tradition of prior recipients, demonstrating superior academic performance, outstanding leadership and extraordinary Amateur Radio and community service. The ARRL Foundation administers scholarships for post-secondary education students holding a valid FCC-granted Amateur Radio license. Scholarship awards range from $500 to $5000 or more and are available to high school seniors (or equivalent) or students currently enrolled in a college or university. Scholarships are funded by generous individuals and Amateur Radio organizations to encourage radio amateurs to pursue their educational goals. All ARRL Foundation-administered scholarships are intended exclusively for educational use, to provide assistance with costs of tuition, room, board, books and/or other fees essential to the education of the recipient. For a complete list of scholarship recipients for 2009, please visit the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/04/28/10787/?nc=1>. ==> ARRL'S TECHNICAL INFORMATION SERVICE PROVIDES MEMBERS WITH ANSWERS Have you ever had a technical question that you weren't able to figure out? Even after checking with publications such as The ARRL Handbook or the ARRL Antenna Book, you're still stumped. Have you exhausted every resource you can think of, including your Section's Technical Coordinator (TC) <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/org/tc.html>? Just when you think you're at the end of your rope, you remember the ARRL Technical Information Service <http://www.arrl.org/tis/>. The TIS is staffed by members of the ARRL Lab and is here to provide technical assistance at no cost to ARRL members. Many members seem to be using the service: In a six week period (October 20-November 30, 2008), ARRL Lab staff fielded almost 1300 requests for information from the TIS. These ranged from questions on how to choose the best radio, propagation and BPL to questions concerning antennas, feed lines and towers. ARRL TCs and Technical Specialists (TS) <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/org/ts.html> in the field and at ARRL Headquarters can answer your questions on topics ranging from A (ampere) to Z (impedance) -- and just about anything in between. Our technical staff will help you over the phone, refer you to a volunteer ARRL TS in your area or send you the needed information from a growing collection of information packages. For really difficult questions, an ARRL Lab Engineer will research the League's technical library and send you an answer by postal or electronic mail. ARRL Lab Engineer Mike Gruber, W1MG, remembers a question that a member sent in recently via e-mail: "I have a 250 foot run of Buryflex 213 from the shack to the switchbox at the top of the tower. I know that results in significant loss at, say, 14 and 18 MHz (I seldom work 10 or 15 and the tower antennas are only for HF), but here is the question: Is it ENOUGH of a loss (for the receiver) to warrant running hardline (it would be free) between the shack and tower switchbox with a tail of about 10 feet of 213 inside the shack, and another tail of about 10 feet at the tower end, running from the switchbox to the TA-33, considering the insertion loss of two additional connectors (to connect the hardline to the 213 on each end) and the impedance difference of the hardline compared with the 213?" Gruber answered the ham, providing a chart he developed, showing "some losses shown for 250 feet of RG-213 vs half-inch hardline. I selected 50, 100 and 150 ohm resistive loads for this analysis. Any rate, if you consider the case with the highest loss -- 29 MHz with a 150 ohm load -- will only improve by 3.9 - 1.544 = 2.4 dB. If you consider that a typical S-unit is 6 dB, the most dramatic improvement in the example cases I selected is still less than half of an S-unit. It's not a homerun by any stretch of the imagination. Of course, that extra 2.311 dB may be significant in some cases. If you ran 1500 W, you would only have 881 W at the antenna feed point. The rest would be lost in the feed line." ARRL Senior Lab Engineer Zack Lau, W1VT, recalls an interesting question he received from a member: "How can I make a simple circularly polarized antenna out of linear elements?" Lau referred him to an article he wrote, "A Simple 10-Meter Satellite Turnstile Antenna," that appeared in the November/December 2001 issue of QEX. The TIS, as one of the many services it offers, maintains a database of more than 2000 suppliers that provide goods and services of interest to radio amateurs <http://www.arrl.org/tis/tisfind.html>. These include manufacturers, dealers, publications, clubs and museums, just to name a few. The TIS also keeps what they call an "expanding list" of technical pages that include articles from QST, QEX and The ARRL Handbook, as well as original articles on a variety of subjects including theory, tutorials and projects <http://www.arrl.org/tis/tismenu.html>. Many pages also contain additional sources for materials and information and Web links of particular interest. If you need a copy of the QST Product Review from May 1985 that featured the ICOM IC-271A 2 meter multimode transceiver, look no further. The TIS also keeps a list of every QST Product Review published since 1970 <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/prodrev.html>. ARRL members can also download any QST Product review published after 1980 <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/prodrev/bymfg.html>. If you need a quick summary of any HF transceiver featured in a QST Product Review, you can also find it on the TIS Web site. The TIS also maintains the ARRL Periodicals Archive and Search <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/qqnsearch.html>. This feature provides ARRL members with PDF copies of all QST articles from December 1915 through December 2005, enabling members to view and print their favorite article, project and more. The ARRL Periodicals Archive and Search lists every article for QST from 1915 to the present, QEX from 1981 to the present, Ham Radio Magazine from 1968 to 1990 and NCJ from 1973 to the present (please note that beginning in 1998, each issue of QEX covers two months). "Having access to every issue of QST through 2005 is absolutely incredible!" said ARRL Lab Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI. "The best of the best of QST from every era is now at the fingertips of every ARRL member with a keyboard and an Internet connection. Members can research articles on any subject that interests them, or just browse the past issues. This valuable content will help radio amateurs who use QST as a technical resource -- for projects, equipment 'hints and kinks' -- and for other research contributing to the advancement of the radio art." For those needing a higher quality reprint, a reprint from QEX or NCJ, or for hams who are not members of the ARRL, the TIS also provides photocopies of articles for a nominal fee <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/artcopies.html>. You can reach the TIS via e-mail <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> or by phone at 860-594-0214. The TIS is just one of the many benefits available to ARRL members. To learn about all the benefits of ARRL membership, including QST, e-mail forwarding service, the outgoing QSL service and more, please visit the ARRL Membership Web page <http://www.arrl.org/join>. ==> ARRL IN ACTION: WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO LATELY? This feature -- including convenient Web links to useful information -- is a concise monthly update of some of the things ARRL is doing on behalf of its members. This installment covers the month of April. The ARRL worked with Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) as she sponsored HR 2160, the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009, in the US House of Representatives <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/04/30/10792/?nc=1>. Upon request from the FCC, the ARRL submitted comments to the Commission defining "broadband" <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/04/15/10768/?nc=1>. The ARRL Foundation awarded scholarships, including the prestigious William R. Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship, to 49 outstanding young radio amateurs for the 2009-2010 academic year <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/04/28/10787/?nc=1>. Santa Cruz area ARES members provided communications support after vandals disrupted communications infrastructure on April 9 <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/04/15/10771/?nc=1>. Amateurs in North Dakota and Minnesota provided communications support to various served agencies when the Red River overflowed in late March and early April <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/04/06/10752/?nc=1>. Hams in the Southeastern US, through the use of weather spotting networks, kept the National Weather Service apprised when deadly tornadoes struck that area on April 10 <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/04/14/10766/?nc=1>. The ARRL announced that it was in the process of developing a new Emergency Communications course <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/04/07/10756/?nc=1>. ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD, attended the 2009 National Hurricane Conference, held April 6-10 in Austin, Texas. ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, represented the ARRL at the National Association of Broadcasters event in Las Vegas <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/04/22/10779/?nc=1>. Thomas Dick, KF2GC, of Saranac Lake, returns as Section Manager of the ARRL Northern New York Section <http://www.arrl.org/?artid=8903>. Scott Rausch, WA0VKC, of Piedmont, was appointed Section Manager of the ARRL South Dakota Section as of April 7 <http://www.arrl.org/?artid=8882>. The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for April is Byron Black, W4SSY, for his article "The W4SSY Spudgun." The June 2009 issue of QST and the May/June issues of QEX and NCJ were released to the printer. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "He smiles upon their sunny faces" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: The data at the end of last week's bulletin showed daily sunspot numbers from April 16-22 as six zeros, then 11. In fact, every day was at zero until April 21, when it was 11; it moved again to zero the next day, April 22. We had just as many zero sunspot days -- and only one day with a sunspot -- but we saw the sunspot on Tuesday, April 21, not April 22. We had two additional days with a sunspot this week, Wednesday and Thursday, April 29-30. The sunspot number was 15 and 12, respectively, on those days. But this was another old Solar Cycle 23 sunspot, and it appeared near the western limb. By today, it may have either faded away completely or rotated out of view, May 1. The data at the bottom of our bulletin shows seven days, Thursday through Wednesday for the reporting week, so the sunspot number of 12 for Thursday will appear in next week's data. Sunspot numbers for April 23-29 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 15 with a mean of 2.1. The 10.7 cm flux was 70.6, 69.7, 69.4, 69.2, 67.7, 68.8 and 69.5 with a mean of 69.3. The estimated planetary A indices were 3, 5, 4, 5, 4, 2 and 3 with a mean of 3.7. The estimated mid-latitude A indices were 0, 5, 2, 3, 3, 2 and 3 with a mean of 2.6. 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 NCCC Sprint Ladder and the AGCW QRP/QRP Party are May 1. The Microwave Spring Sprint is May 2 (local time). The MARAC QSO Party (both CW and SSB), the 10-10 International Spring Contest (both CW and digital), the 7th Call Area QSO Party, the Indiana QSO Party, the New England QSO Party and the ARI International DX Contest are all May 2-3. Next week is another running of the NCCC Sprint Ladder on May 8. The FISTS Spring Sprint is May 9. On May 9-10, look for the SBMS 2 GHz and Up WW Club Contest (local time), the CQ-M International DX Contest, the VOLTA WW RTTY Contest, the Nevada Mustang Roundup and the 50 MHz Spring Sprint. The SKCC Weekend Sprint is May 10. 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, May 24, 2009, for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, June 5, 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 <email@example.com>. * No ARRL Audio News on May 15: Due to staff attendance at the ARRL National Convention and Dayton Hamvention, there will be no ARRL Audio News on May 15. The ARRL Letter will be distributed that day. ARRL Audio News will resume regular distribution on May 22. * Larry Banks, W1DYJ, Wins April QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for April is Larry Banks, W1DYJ, for his article "A 20 Meter Moxon Antenna." Congratulations, Larry! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award -- given to the author or authors of the best article in each issue -- is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/QSTvote.html>. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the May issue by Sunday, May 31. * ARRL Sweepstakes Awards Sent: The ARRL Contest Branch reports that all special items for the 2008 November Sweepstakes have been sent. This includes a Clean Sweep Broom and Medallion for all entrants who worked a confirmed Clean Sweep and a magnet for all stations that worked a confirmed 75 ARRL Sections. These items were sent free of charge to all stations that qualified; no order was necessary. According to ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, all Clean Sweep mugs and Participation Pin orders have also been shipped. If you have not received your Sweepstakes items yet, please let Kutzko know via e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * ARRL DXCC Desk Approves Two 2009 Operations: ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, reports that two 2009 operations have been approved for DXCC credit: Western Sahara (S04R) and North Cook Island (E51QQQ). "If you had cards that were recently rejected for this operation, please send an e-mail to the ARRL DXCC Desk <email@example.com> and you will be placed on the list for update," Moore said. * Internet Search Engine Celebrates Birthday of Samuel F. B. Morse: Internet search engine Google <http://www.google.com/> reconfigured their home page for April 27 to honor the 218th birthday of Morse code creator Samuel F. B. Morse (April 27, 1791-April 2, 1872). Morse, a native of Charlestown, Massachusetts, conceived the basic idea of an electromagnetic telegraph in 1832. Experiments with various kinds of electrical instruments and codes resulted in a demonstration of a working telegraph set in 1836 and introduction of the circuit relay, making transmission possible over any distance. With his creation with Alfred Vail of the American Morse code, the historic message "What hath God wrought?" was successfully sent from Washington to Baltimore. For more information Amateur Radio and Morse code, please visit the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/learncw/>. =========================================================== 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
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