*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 28, No. 22 June 5, 2009 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + High Speed Telegraphy on the World Stage * + Changes to ARRL VHF/UHF Contest Rules Now in Place * + Jeff Beals, WA4AW, Appointed Southeastern Division Vice Director * + First 2009 ARRL Teachers Institute in the Books * ARRL In Action: What Have We Been Up to Lately? * + President Obama to Renominate FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell for New Term * + NASA Releases New Predictions for Solar Cycle 24 * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Week on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + Mal Eiselman, NC4L, Wins May QST Cover Plaque Award Operation Approved for DXCC Credit More 2009 Field Day T Shirts on the Way +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> =========================================================== ==> HIGH SPEED TELEGRAPHY ON THE WORLD STAGE The October 1936 issue of QST reported on the first official "Amateur Code Speed Contest" ever held. Eugene A. Hubbell, W9ERU, took home the silver trophy with his wining speed of 52.2 words per minute. Held at the ARRL Central Division Convention that year, the contest required operators to decipher plain language text for two minute intervals that ranged in speed from 25 to 52.7 words per minute. "Only bona-fide amateurs, holding at least an amateur operator's license, were eligible" to compete in the contest, the article stated <http://p1k.arrl.org/cgi-bin/topdf.cgi?id=18072&pub=qst>. Fast forward to 1995. Competitors from 15 countries on three continents traveled to Siofok, Hungary to show off their CW operating skills in the first IARU High Speed Telegraphy (HST) World Championship. According to Barry Kutner, W2UP, HST has long been considered a sport in Europe, especially Eastern Europe, similar to chess or an Olympic sport. Kutner was the sole US representative at the 2005 HST World Championship in Macedonia. In 2009, he is leading a team of seven this September to Obzor, Bulgaria for the Ninth High Speed Telegraphy IARU World Championship <http://www.hst2009.eu/>. Kutner said that most of the participating IARU Member-Societies hold a national competition in their country, seeking members to field and sponsor a team to the World Championship. "In some of the eastern European countries, where they take this very seriously, there are team and/or individual coaches, too," he said. Competitors must be licensed Amateur Radio operators, except entrants in the younger categories may be SWLs. The IARU HST World Championships follow rules set forth by the IARU Region 1 High Speed Telegraphy Working Group <http://www.darc.de/referate/dx/archives/hstrules.pdf>. In the US, Kutner said those who wish to participate in the World Championship do so at their own expense. "In past years, there has either been one -- myself in 2005 and Ilya Kleyman in 2007 -- or no US participants," he told the ARRL. "This year, we have a team!" The US team consists of shortwave listener Brana Kleyman (category A, women 16 and younger); Kody Low, KB3RUP, and Cal Darula, K0DXC (category B, men 16 and younger); Ilya Kleyman, KE7OPG, and Ken Low, NV1P (category H, men age 40-49), and Gary Schmidt, W5ZL, and Kutner (Category I, men 50 and older). "The 2 OM categories are full," Kutner said. "But we are always looking for younger hams, especially young ladies!" There are nine categories, and each country can only send two competitors per category, for a maximum of 18 competitors. There are three main competitive events at HST meets: Transmitting, receiving and receiving Amateur Radio call signs via RUFZxp <http://www.rufzxp.net/>; the sending and receiving portions of the competition are referred to as the Radioamateur Practicing Tests (RPT). There is also a pileup competition. In the RPT, random letters and numbers are sent via Morse code -- five characters at a time -- at a high speed. Separate competitions are held for the reception of only the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, only the 10 Arabic numerals or a mixed content of letters, numbers and some punctuation symbols. Competitors may choose to record the text by hand on paper or by typing on a computer keyboard. The competition starts with one minute of transmission sent at an initial speed defined for the entry category (usually 50 letters per minute for juniors and 80 letters per minute for the other age categories). After each test, the competitors' copy is judged for errors. Subsequent tests are each conducted at an increased speed until no competitor remains who can copy the text without excessive error. The transmission tests require competitors to send five character groups in Morse code as fast as possible. Competitors send a printed message of five character groups at a specific speed that is judged for its accuracy by a panel of referees. Like the receiving tests, there are separate competitions for sending five character groups of only letters, only numbers or a mixed content of letters, numbers and some punctuation symbols. Kutner noted that 100 letters per minute is equivalent to 25 words per minute and 100 numbers per minute is equal to 36 words per minute. The mixed category of 100 letters, numbers and punctuation is equal to 29 words per minute. The Amateur Radio Call Sign Receiving Test uses a software program called RufzXP that generates a score for each competitor. Rufz is the abbreviation of the German word Rufzeichen-Horen that means "listening of call signs." In RufzXP, competitors listen to an Amateur Radio call sign sent in Morse code and must enter that call sign with the computer keyboard. If the competitor types in the call sign correctly, their score improves, and the speed at which the program sends subsequent call signs increases. If the competitor types in the call sign incorrectly, the score is penalized and the speed decreases. Only one call sign is sent at a time and the event continues for a fixed number of call signs (usually 50). Competitors can choose the initial speed at which the program sends the Morse code and the winner is the competitor with the highest generated score. There is also a Pileup Trainer Test that simulates a pileup situation on the air -- numerous stations attempt to establish two-way contact with one particular station at the same time. This competition uses a software program called MorseRunner <http://www.dxatlas.com/MorseRunner/>. In this test, more than one amateur radio call sign is sent at a time via Morse code that is generated at different audio frequencies and speeds, timed to overlap each other. Competitors must record as many of the call signs as they can during a fixed period of time. They may choose to do this either by recording the call signs by hand on paper or by typing them in with a computer keyboard. The winner is the competitor with the most correctly recorded call signs. Kutner said that each US team member practices on an individual basis, using both on-the-air and computer generated CW. As the team gears up for Bulgaria, "we are in frequent contact via e-mail, exchanging tips and ideas," he said. HST has definitely come a long way since 1936 when Hubbell dazzled the crowds with 52.2 words per minute; competitors at the IARU HST World Championships consistently have speeds of more than 500 characters per minute -- 100 words per minute. While it's too late to join the 2009 US team, it's not too early to think about upcoming events. If you are able to copy and/or send CW at dizzying speeds, why not think about attending the next IARU HST World Championship? For more information on HST events, contact Kutner via e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>. ==> CHANGES TO ARRL VHF/UHF CONTEST RULES NOW IN PLACE The League's Programs and Services Committee has approved recommendations made by the ARRL's VHF-UHF Advisory Committee (VUAC) <http://www.arrl.org/contests/vuac.html> to change two rules in the ARRL's VHF/UHF contest program. These changes are in effect immediately, and include the 2009 June VHF QSO Party, scheduled for June 13-15 <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2009/june-vhf.html>. The first change concerns the Limited Rover category. The ARRL Programs and Services Committee accepted the VUAC's proposal that Limited Rovers may now compete on only the four lowest frequency bands available for any given contest. For the January, June and September VHF Contests, this means 6 and 2 meters, as well as 222 and 432 MHz. For the August UHF Contest, this means 222, 432 and 902 MHz and 1.2 GHz. QSOs on other bands can be made by Limited Rovers, but they will not count toward the Limited Rover's score and will be considered a checklog. "We have already applied changes to the log-checking software that will adjust the Limited Rover's QSOs above the lowest four bands to zero-point QSOs," said ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X. The second change concerns the ARRL UHF Contest <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2009/uhf.html>. For the first time, Kutzko said, the ARRL Awards Committee voted to add Club Competition to the UHF Contest, beginning in 2009. "This is something that the VHF/UHF community has been asking for for quite some time," he explained. "The VUAC made their recommendations and the Awards Committee agreed. We hope to see VHF/UHF clubs across the country help increase participation and get involved with this fun contest." According to Kutzko, these changes come on the heels of the redesign of the June VHF QSO Party Plaque Program. "In the past," he said, "plaques in the June VHF QSO Party have been awarded for first through tenth place in any category, regardless of location. As any VHFer will tell you, there are radical differences in propagation from one part of the country to another. We decided the plaque program needed to be based on Division, just like every other plaque program that the ARRL offers, not position in the standings." Kutzko explained that the Programs and Services Committee agreed with this recommendation and voted in favor of it: "This change in structure recognizes the Division-level competition that takes place in the June VHF QSO Party, sometimes under conditions of little to no propagation." June VHF QSO Party plaque sponsorships are available for all entry categories in all 15 ARRL Divisions, Canada, Mexico and DX. If you or your club is interested in sponsoring a plaque ($75, including shipping charges), contact ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, via e-mail <email@example.com> and he will help you find a plaque that's right for you or your club to sponsor. ==> JEFF BEALS, WA4AW, APPOINTED SOUTHEASTERN DIVISION VICE DIRECTOR With the approval of the ARRL Ethics and Elections Committee, ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, appointed Southern Florida Assistant Section Manager Jeff Beals, WA4AW, as Vice Director in the Southeastern Division, effective June 1. Beals replaces Sandy Donohue, W4RU, who passed away last month <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/05/10805/?nc=1>. An Extra class licensee, Beals was first licensed in the early 1960s as WN2OUK. Beals -- who splits his time between Royal Palm Beach, Florida and Dothan, Alabama -- has served as Southern Florida Assistant Section Manager since 2002. Beals has also held appointments as Section Emergency Coordinator, Affiliated Club Coordinator, Technical Coordinator, Technical Specialist and District Emergency Coordinator. "I am deeply honored to be chosen by President Harrison to serve as Vice Director of the Southeastern Division," Beals told the ARRL. "I am looking forward to working with Division Director Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, to provide quality service and representation to the members of the Southeastern Division. I feel that my years of service in the ARRL Field Organization provide me with a unique outlook on what our members expect of our League. My ability to listen and learn from them will assist Greg and myself to provide the representation they have come to expect from the Southeastern Division." Sarratt said that was "proud" that Beals was chosen to be the new Southeastern Division Vice-Director: "Jeff has a heart for Amateur Radio. He and I have worked together at many hamfests in the Southeastern Division and I look forward to many more. Please join me in welcoming Jeff as Southeastern Division Vice Director." Beals said he would be "remiss if I didn't mention the many years of friendship and tutelage given to me by former Southeastern Director Frank Butler, W4RH, and Vice Director Sandy Donahue, W4RU (SK). Their years of service to the League and to Amateur Radio are much appreciated by me and the many members of the Division with whom they came in contact." Beals was a long-time friend of Donahue's. "I knew Sandy for more than 25 years," he told the ARRL upon Donahue's passing. "He was very, very devoted to Amateur Radio, especially the public service side: Emergency Communications, traffic handling and helping out wherever and whenever he could. We had a lot in common." Beals counts emergency communications support, liaison with served agencies, radio club liaison and support, classic Amateur Radio operation and restoration, and training of Section volunteers as just some of his Amateur Radio activities. "I am always promoting Amateur Radio and the ARRL at community events, and I attend many club meetings, functions and hamfests throughout the Division," he said. "I am a participant in a pilot project to provide membership support to members of the ARRL Southern Florida Section; this project has since grown to encompass the entire Southeastern Division." He also holds commendations from the State of Florida for his communications support during Hurricanes Andrew, Frances, Jean and Katrina. "During my tenure as the Southern Florida Section SEC, President Harrison appointed me to serve on the National Emergency Response Planning Committee. One of the challenges facing many of our SFL Section members -- as well as the rest of our nation -- is the ability to construct an effective antenna system in communities governed by covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/local/ccr.html>," Beals explained. "I am -- and always have been -- a staunch supporter of any bill in Congress, such as HR 2160 <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/04/30/10792/?nc=1>, to effect such change in these most restrictive regulations that prevent hams from providing needed public service communications, as well as their enjoyment of Amateur Radio. Beals is a Life Member of the ARRL, Quarter Century Wireless Association and the Antique Wireless Association; he is a Senior Grade member of the Radio Club of America and the ARRL A-1 Operator Club <http://www.arrl.org/awards/a1-op/>. He is Past President of the Fort Myers and West Palm Beach Amateur Radio Clubs and current member of the Palms West ARC, North Florida ARS, Wiregrass ARC, OOTC, the Florida and Alabama Contest Groups and the Florida East Coast DX Club. ==> FIRST 2009 ARRL TEACHERS INSTITUTE IN THE BOOKS The week of May 25 saw the completion of the first 2009 Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/tbp/ti.html>. According to Education and Technology Program Coordinator Mark Spencer, WA8SME, about half of the participants came from the host institution, the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) in Roswell <http://www.nmmi.edu/>. "The NMMI was an exceptional venue for the Teachers Institute and the school's chaplain, Major Dan Musgrave, WD8RMG, proved to be a gracious host, as well as one of the NMMI faculty participants," Spencer recounted. Spencer said that the Teachers Institute curriculum -- four days of intensive in-service training in basic electronics, the science of radio, bringing space technology into the classroom, microcontroller programming and basic robotics -- continues to be refined. "One participant, a Colonel, commented that the Teachers Institute far exceeded her expectations, and that she could not even imagine the amount of material that was covered during the course," Spencer said. Another participant -- a Lieutenant Colonel who is the NMMI choir and band director -- quickly made connections between the operation of the musical instruments he instructs (and his cadet students use) and the five building blocks of radio that are presented in the Science of Radio unit. "This connection between content areas -- in this case music and electronics -- is an example of what the program and the Teachers Institutes are all about," Spencer said. "This instructor will now be in a better position to help his students to make their own connections between the subjects they are studying in school. These connections make learning relevant." The next two Teachers Institutes -- in Rocklin, California and in Tucson, Arizona -- are scheduled for this coming week, marking the first time that two Teachers Institutes have been held at the same time. Spencer and Teachers Institute Instructor Miguel Enriquez, KD7RPP, plan to connect the two sessions by making a satellite contact using AO27. "This will demonstrate to participants how amateurs connect with each other via satellites," Spencer explained, "making a practical demonstration of the Space in the Classroom unit." ==> 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 May. The ARRL solicited support for HR 2160, the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009 <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/12/10818>. An ARRL Freedom of Information Act request forced the FCC to release the redacted portions of the studies on which they relied with regard to their Broadband over Powerline (BPL) rulemaking in 2004 <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/08/10811/?nc=1>. The ARRL hosted their 2009 National Convention at the Dayton Hamvention on May 15-17 <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/16/10823/?nc=1>. The ARRL honored those who donated more than $1000 to the League in 2008 with a reception just prior to the 2009 ARRL National Convention and Dayton Hamvention. Three new members of the ARRL's Maxim Society <http://www.arrl.org/development/maxim.html> were introduced at the reception <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/27/10839/?nc=1>. The ARRL's Programs and Services Committee approved two changes to ARRL VHF and UHF contests <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/29/10847/?nc=1>. The first of seven ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology took place in Roswell, New Mexico <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/06/02/10852/ >. The ARRL Public Relations Committee honored three Public Information Officers for going above and beyond in ensuring that the role of Amateur Radio is explained to media and the public, especially in unanticipated situations in the field <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/14/10813/?nc=1>. The Committee also introduced the new PR-101 course <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=0133> at the 2009 ARRL National Convention at the Dayton Hamvention <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/15/10817/?nc=1>. ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, presented former ARISS International Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, with the ARRL President's Award at Dayton <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/27/10838/?nc=1>. W1AW and W1HQ received some new antennas during their semi-annual tower inspection <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/20/10827/?nc=1>. At month's end, the ARRL had awarded 269 Triple Play Awards <http://www.arrl.org/awards/#tripleplay> since the award's inception January 1, 2009 <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/28/10843/?nc=1>. The ARRL participated in the 2009 Maker's Faire in San Mateo, California <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/26/10835/?nc=1>. Mel Parkes, NM7P, of Layton, was re-elected as the Utah Section Manager. Dan Pruitt, AE6SX, is the new Section Manager in the San Joaquin Valley Section. The Rhode Island, Maryland-DC, West Texas, Nevada, Northern New Jersey and New Hampshire Sections will keep their incumbent Section Managers <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/21/10829/?nc=1>. The current 7Z1CQ operation in Saudi Arabia has been approved for DXCC credit <http://www.arrl.org/?artid=8964>. ==> PRESIDENT OBAMA TO RENOMINATE FCC COMMISSIONER ROBERT MCDOWELL FOR NEW TERM On Tuesday, June 2, President Barack Obama announced that he will renominate current FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell for another term <http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/President-Obama-Announces-Hi s-Intent-to-Nominate-Robert-McDowell-for-Another-Term-at-the-FCC/>. McDowell, a Republican, was first nominated by President George W. Bush and sworn into office in June 2006, filling the unexpired term of Republican Kathleen Q. Abernathy. McDowell, whose present term expires June 30, 2009, would need to be confirmed by the Senate. Commissioners' terms are five years long. According to the White House, McDowell has collaborated with his fellow Commissioners to develop and establish American communications policy covering the wireless, media and Internet industries, as well as international policy matters. He has worked to create rules governing wireless auctions, establish a framework for unlicensed use of TV "white spaces" spectrum, develop incentives to encourage the development of new broadband technologies, review public interest benefits as part of the approval process of proposed corporate mergers and adjudicate enforcement proceedings. McDowell brings to the FCC approximately 16 years of private sector experience in the communications industry. Immediately prior to joining the Commission, McDowell was a senior executive for a trade association representing competitive facilities-based telecommunications service providers. He has served on the North American Numbering Council (NANC) <http://www.fcc.gov/wcb/cpd/Nanc/> and on the Board of Directors of North American Numbering Plan Billing and Collection (NBANC) <http://www.fcc.gov/wcb/cpd/numbering/nbc.html>. Acting Chairman Michael Copps congratulated McDowell on his renomination, saying he was "truly delighted that he will continue on as a fellow Commissioner. Since becoming Acting Chairman several months ago, I appreciate more than ever Rob's collegiality, his openness, his creative intellect, and the deep sense of purpose he brings to his work. I especially want to thank him for all the talent and energy he has brought to our work on next week's DTV transition. He has traveled near and far to help consumers prepare and he has done an outstanding job in helping us deploy an extensive DTV Call Center operation. I look forward to our continuing work together as we tackle the many tough communications issues confronting the Commission and the country." McDowell was graduated cum laude from Duke University in 1985. After serving as chief legislative aide to a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, he attended the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. Upon his graduation from law school, McDowell joined the Washington, DC office of Arter & Hadden, a national law firm, now closed, that was based in Cleveland. McDowell is admitted to practice law before the courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the US Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, First, Fourth and Fifth Circuits, as well as the US Supreme Court. He lives in Fairfax County, Virginia on his family's farm with his wife Jennifer and their three children. ==> NASA, NOAA RELEASES NEW PREDICTIONS FOR SOLAR CYCLE 24 An international panel of experts -- led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and sponsored by NASA -- has released a new prediction for the next solar cycle: Solar Cycle 24 will peak in May 2013 with a below-average number of sunspots <http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/29may_noaaprediction.htm?list13 00638>. "If our prediction is correct, Solar Cycle 24 will have a peak sunspot number of 90, the lowest of any cycle since 1928 when Solar Cycle 16 peaked at 78," said panel chairman Doug Biesecker of NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center. This report clarifies a NOAA report from May 2009 that stated that Solar Cycle 24 would bring "90 sunspots per day on average" <http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2009/20090508_solarstorm.html>. The latest forecast revises a prediction issued in 2007 <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/01/07/100/>. At that time, a sharply divided panel believed solar minimum would come in March 2008 followed by either a strong solar maximum in 2011, or a weak solar maximum in 2012. "It turns out that none of our models were totally correct," said Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center and NASA's lead representative on the panel. "The Sun is behaving in an unexpected and very interesting way." In 2007, experts varied in their predictions on when the solar cycle would peak and how strong it would be. In April of that year, NOAA, in coordination with an international panel of solar experts, predicted that the next 11-year cycle of solar storms "would start in March 2008, plus or minus six months, and peak in late 2011 or mid-2012" <http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/>. In the cycle forecast issued in April 2007, half of the panel predicted a "moderately strong cycle of 140 sunspots, plus or minus 20, expected to peak in October 2011. The other half predicted a moderately weak cycle of 90 sunspots, plus or minus 10, peaking in August 2012. An average solar cycle ranges from 75 to 155 sunspots. The late decline of Cycle 23 has helped shift the panel away from its earlier leaning toward a strong Cycle 24. The group is evenly split between a strong and a weak cycle." At a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco in December 2007, David Hathaway of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, along with colleague Robert Wilson, said that Solar Cycle 24 "looks like it's going to be one of the most intense cycles since record-keeping began almost 400 years ago." They said they believe the next solar maximum should peak around 2010 with a sunspot number of 160, plus or minus 25. "This would make it one of the strongest solar cycles of the past 50 years -- which is to say, one of the strongest in recorded history." Four of the five biggest cycles on record have come in the past 50 years. "Cycle 24 should fit right into that pattern," Hathaway said. Right now -- June 2009 -- the solar cycle is in a valley, the deepest of the past century. In 2008 and 2009, the Sun showed some of the lowest sunspot counts on record, as well as weak solar winds and a low solar irradiance, going more than two years without a significant solar flare. "In our professional careers, we've never seen anything quite like it," Pesnell said. "Solar minimum has lasted far beyond the date we predicted in 2007." In recent months, however, Pesnell said that the Sun has begun to show some small signs of life: Small sunspots and "proto-sunspots" are popping up with increasing frequency. Enormous currents of plasma on the Sun's surface are gaining strength and slowly drifting toward its equator. Radio astronomers have detected a tiny but significant uptick in solar radio emissions. All these things are precursors of an awakening Solar Cycle 24 and form the basis for the panel's new, almost unanimous forecast. Pesnell cautioned optimism, telling the ARRL that there is an "error bar of +/- 20." This means Solar Cycle 24's sunspot number could be as high as 110, or as low as 70. "Based upon my own personal research, I don't think we'll see 90 [sunspots in Solar Cycle 24]," he said. When asked if such a low number foretold the beginnings of a Maunder Minimum <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunder_minimum>, Pesnell said that a Maunder Minimum takes several cycles to appear: "Sunspots [in solar cycles] leading up to the Maunder Minimum took several cycles to disappear. I really can't predict what will happen in Solar Cycle 25. What we're seeing now is something that looks like a sunspot, but it looks as if someone has come along and 'stomped' on it, creating a multitude of little things. We don't have a name for this and we've never seen anything like it before." There could be more surprises, panelists acknowledge -- and more revisions to the forecast. "Go ahead and mark your calendar for May 2013," Pesnell said. "But use a pencil." -- Some information from NASA ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "In the Sun he sang with cheerful heart" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: It is so great to see some real Solar Cycle 24 sunspot activity this week. Instead of a phantom that pops into view one day and is gone the next, we have sunspot 1019, which has persisted for five days so far. Emerging on Sunday, May 31, the resulting daily sunspot numbers through June 4 are 15, 23, 19, 17 and 17. This is a Solar Cycle 24 spot, and at high latitude too -- an indication of a new cycle spot. Meanwhile, the low solar wind and quiet geomagnetic conditions continue. Currently, spot 1019 is about to fade, although it is still a few days away from crossing the eastern limb to the far side. NOAA and the US Air Force expect geomagnetic conditions to continue to be quiet, and a planetary A index around 5 is predicted until June 29. Predicted solar flux values are 72 for June 5-6, then 74 on June 7-13. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet geomagnetic conditions June 5-8, quiet to unsettled June 9-10 and quiet again June 11. Sunspot numbers for May 28-June 3 were 0, 0, 0, 15, 23, 19 and 17 with a mean of 10.6. The 10.7 cm flux was 67.7, 68.2, 68.5, 68.5, 72.5, 71.9 and 72.5 with a mean of 70. The estimated planetary A indices were 7, 5, 3, 3, 3, 2 and 4 with a mean of 3.9. The estimated mid-latitude A indices were 5, 4, 2, 3, 2, 2 and 4 with a mean of 3.1. 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 William Allingham's "A Singer" <http://www.sonnets.org/allinghm.htm#005>. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This Week on the Radio: This week, the SEANET Contest, IARU Region 1 Field Day and the Alabama QSO Party are all June 6-7. Next week is the ARRL June VHF QSO Party on June 13-15. The Asia-Pacific Sprint is June 13. The GACW WWSA CW DX Contest and the ANARTS WW RTTY Contest are June 13-14. 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, June 28, 2009, for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, July 10, 2009: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1; Antenna Modeling; Radio Frequency Interference; Antenna Design and Construction; Ham Radio (Technician) License Course; Propagation; 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>. * Mal Eiselman, NC4L, Wins May QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for May is Mal Eiselman, NC4L, for his article "Troubleshooting Radios." Congratulations, Mal! 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 June issue by Tuesday, June 30. * Operation Approved for DXCC Credit: ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, reports that the HZ1EA operation in Saudi Arabia has been approved for DXCC credit. "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. "Once completed, if you have an account in Logbook of the World (LoTW), the update will be posted to your account" <http://www.arrl.org/lotw >. * More 2009 Field Day T Shirts on the Way: The 2009 ARRL Field Day T shirts are a huge hit <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=NO-0515 >, topping demand from previous years. "While the current supply of Field Day shirts has stocked out, we expect to be re-supplied before the end of next week -- in time to fulfill all orders to clubs and individuals," said ARRL Sales and Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R. "We appreciate everyone's patience and apologize for shipping delays." This year's logo captures the spirit of Field Day in camp-like fashion. The artwork depicts a woodland outdoor scene on a green-colored shirt. The logo was designed by ARRL Graphic Arts Supervisor Sue Fagan, KB1OKW, and Senior Technical Illustrator David Pingree, N1NAS. "We've received some really nice compliments about the design -- and a couple of funny remarks asking why we left out the grizzly bear," Inderbitzen said. 2009 ARRL Field Day is June 27-28 <http://www.arrl.org/fieldday >. =========================================================== 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.
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