ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 28, No. 36
September 11, 2009
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* + National Safety Council Responds to ARRL: No Evidence of
"Significant Crash Risks" While Operating Mobile 
* + Amateurs with General Class Licenses to be Granted Reciprocal
Licenses in Some CEPT Countries 
* + IARU, ARRL Officials Attend Ham Fair, GAREC in Japan 
* + Delegates Descend on Tokyo for GAREC 09 
* + Look for the October Issue of QST in Your Mailbox 
* + Governor's $250,000 Grant to Amateur Radio Goes Online as Oregon
Hams Install New Winlink System 
*  Solar Update 
*  IN BRIEF: 
      This Week on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + HR 2160 Gains Three More Cosponsors 
    + Faster Than a Speeding Pigeon? 
      FCC Chairman Announces Enforcement Bureau Chief 


+Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> 

===========================================================
==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ
<http://www.arrl.org/members-only/faq.html#nodelivery>, then e-mail
<letter-dlvy@arrl.org>;

==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA
<k1sfa@arrl.org>;
===========================================================

==> NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL RESPONDS TO ARRL: NO EVIDENCE OF
"SIGNIFICANT CRASH RISKS" WHILE OPERATING MOBILE 

ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, wrote a letter to National Safety
Council (NSC) President Janet Froetscher in July expressing the ARRL's
concerns that Amateur Radio not become an unintended victim of the
growing public debate over what to do about distracted drivers
<http://www.arrl.org/news/files/NSC_Letter7-30-09.pdf>. Froetscher has
now replied, saying the NSC does not support bans or prohibitions on the
use of Amateur Radios while driving
<http://www.arrl.org/news/files/NSC_Response_to_ARRL.pdf>.

Noting that there is significant evidence that talking on cell phones
while driving poses crash risk four times that of other drivers,
Froetscher observed that the NSC position calling for bans on the use of
cell phones while driving is grounded in science. "We are not aware of
evidence that using Amateur Radios while driving has significant crash
risks," Froetscher wrote in her August 24 letter. "We also have no
evidence that using two-way radios while driving poses significant crash
risks. Until such time as compelling, peer-reviewed scientific research
is presented that denotes significant risks associated with the use of
Amateur Radios, two-way radios or other communication devices, the NSC
does not support legislative bans or prohibition on their use."


Froetscher said that while "the specific risk of radio use while driving
is unmeasured and likely does not approach that of cell phones, there
indeed is some elevated risk to the drivers, their passengers and the
public associated with 650,000 Amateur Radio operators who may not, at
one time or another, not concentrate fully on their driving." She points
out that the "best safety practice is to have one's full attention on
their driving, their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.
Drivers who engage in any activity that impairs any of these constitutes
an increased risk."

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, said the ARRL
"appreciates NSC President and CEO Janet Froetscher's clear statement
that the NSC does not support legislative bans or prohibitions on the
use of Amateur Radio while driving. We applaud the NSC for taking
positions that are grounded in science. At the same time, all radio
amateurs should heed her call to concentrate fully on driving while
behind the wheel. It is possible to operate a motor vehicle safely while
using Amateur Radio, but if it becomes a distraction we owe it those
with whom we share the road, as well as to our passengers, to put safety
first."

On January 30, 2009, the ARRL Executive Committee adopted the ARRL's
Policy Statement on Mobile Amateur Radio Operation
<http://www.arrl.org/govrelations/MobileAmateurRadioPolicyStatement.pdf>
that states "Amateur Radio mobile operation is ubiquitous, and Amateur
Radio emergency and public service communications, and other organized
Amateur Radio communications activities and networks necessitate
operation of equipment while some licensees are driving motor vehicles.
Two-way radio use is dissimilar from full-duplex cellular telephone
communications because the operator spends little time actually
transmitting; the time spent listening is more similar to, and arguably
less distracting than, listening to a broadcast radio, CD or MP3 player.
There are no distinctions to be made between or among Amateur Radio,
public safety land mobile radio, private land mobile radio or citizen's
radio in terms of driver distraction. All are distinguishable from
mobile cellular telephone communications in this respect. Nevertheless,
ARRL encourages licensees to conduct Amateur communications from motor
vehicles in a manner that does not detract from the safe and attentive
operation of a motor vehicle at all times."

In his letter, Harrison explained to Froetscher that Amateur Radio
operators provide essential emergency communications when regular
communications channels are disrupted by disaster: "Through formal
agreements with federal agencies, such as the National Weather Service,
FEMA and private relief organizations, the Amateur Radio volunteers
protect lives using their own equipment without compensation. The
ability of hams to communicate and help protect the lives of those in
danger would be strictly hindered if the federal, state and local
governments to not ensure that Amateur Radio operators can continue the
use of their mobile radios while on the road."

Froetscher replied that she "appreciate[s] your focus of Amateur Radio
for emergency communications during disasters. I encourage ARRL to adopt
best practices for the safe operation of vehicles that confines use of
Amateur Radios while driving only to disaster emergencies."

The Policy Statement asserts that the ARRL "is aware of no evidence that
[mobile] operation contributes to driver inattention. Quite the
contrary: Radio amateurs are public service-minded individuals who
utilize their radio-equipped motor vehicles to assist others, and they
are focused on driving in the execution of that function."

==> AMATEURS WITH GENERAL CLASS LICENSES TO BE GRANTED RECIPROCAL
LICENSES IN SOME CEPT COUNTRIES

On Thursday, September 10, the Federal Communications Commission
released a new Public Notice implementing changes in CEPT reciprocal
operating arrangements for US citizens who hold an FCC-issued General,
Advanced or Amateur Extra class Amateur Radio licenses. DA-09-2031
continues to allows US licensees "to utilize temporarily an amateur
station in a European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications
Administrations (CEPT) <http://www.cept.org/> country that has
implemented certain recommendations with respect to the United States,"
subject to the regulations in that country and implements recent changes
in the agreement
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-2031A1.pdf>.

When an Amateur Radio operator with US citizenship holds an Advanced or
Amateur Extra Class license, they continue to be granted CEPT Radio
Amateur License privileges in accordance with CEPT Recommendation T/R
61-01 (as amended)
<http://www.erodocdb.dk/docs/doc98/Official/word/TR6101%20off%20140905.d
oc>. There is no change in reciprocity for those license classes. What
has changed is that US citizens holding a General class license -- who
had lost all CEPT reciprocal privileges in 2008 -- are now granted CEPT
Novice Radio Amateur License privileges in accordance with ECC
Recommendation (05)06 (as amended)
<http://www.erodocdb.dk/docs/doc98/Official/word/Rec0506.doc>.

The Public Notice states that while operating an amateur station in a
CEPT country, the person "must have in his or her possession a copy of
this Public Notice, proof of US citizenship and evidence of an
FCC-issued Amateur Radio license. These documents must be shown to
proper authorities upon request." The Public Notice can be found online
on the FCC's Web site
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-2031A1.pdf>.

According to ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND,
the changes in the CEPT reciprocity are a two-part result of changes
made by the European Communications Office (ECO) in February 2008 when
they re-examined US license class equivalency in comparison to their
HAREC examination contest. "The result of that review was full CEPT
reciprocity was only granted to US Amateur Extra and Advanced class
licensees, leaving US General and Technician class operators without
CEPT reciprocal privileges." The new public notice now reflects that
change.

"In order to re-obtain at least some limited privileges under CEPT for
those class licensees, the ARRL approached the FCC, asking that the US
consider accepting ECC Recommendation (05)06" Henderson continued.
"Reciprocal agreements between the US and other countries are actually
diplomatic arrangements and come about through the agreements through
the State Department. In the winter of 2008/2009, the FCC followed up on
our request and contacted the US Department of State, asking that the US
formally approach the ECO with a request to become party to the
recommendation."

At its meeting in late spring 2009, Henderson said that the ECO working
group that handles issues pertaining to Amateur Radio accepted the US
request to join ECC Recommendation (05)06, and authorized US General
Class licensees to operate under that recommendation's terms. It did not
extend those privileges to US Technician class licensees.

Henderson stated that it is important to note two things about ECC
Recommendation (05)06: "First, not all European countries have
implemented this recommendation. Therefore, a US General class operator
does not have reciprocal privileges in many countries, including popular
US travel destinations like Italy, the UK or France. Second, as with any
reciprocal operation, the band frequencies and privileges are those
allowed by your host country -- they are not the frequencies and
privileges extended by your FCC license. Travelers need to make sure
they are familiar with the authorized privileges for the CEPT Novice
Radio Amateur License if operating using ECC Recommendation (05)06 or
T/R 61-01."

CEPT countries participating in CEPT Recommendation T/R 61-01 as of
September 10, 2009 include Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark (including Greenland
and the Faroe Islands), Estonia, Finland, France (including Corsica,
Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Martinique, St Bartholomew, St Pierre and
Miquelon, St Martin, Reunion and its Dependencies, Mayotte, French
Antarctica, French Polynesia and Clipperton, New Caledonia, and Wallis
and Futuna), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia,
Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Monaco, Netherlands,
Netherlands Antilles, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak
Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the
United Kingdom(including Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the
Isle of Man).

CEPT countries participating in ECC Recommendation (05)06 as of
September 10, 2009 are Belgium, Denmark (including Greenland and the
Faroe Islands), Germany, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,
Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and
Switzerland.

==> IARU, ARRL OFFICIALS ATTEND HAM FAIR, GAREC IN JAPAN 

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, attended Ham Fair in
Tokyo, Japan
<http://www.jarl.or.jp/English/4_Library/A-4-6_ham-fair/ham-fair.htm>,
August 22-23, at the invitation of Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL)
President Shozo Hara, JA1AN. "Ham Fair is by far the largest event of
its kind in Asia. It is generally regarded as one of the 'Big Three'
internationally, the other two being Dayton and Friedrichshafen," Sumner
said. "It is held at Big Sight, a very large and modern exhibition
facility on Tokyo Bay. Most attendees come by train or subway."
According to JARL, more than 31,000 people attended the two-day event,
with more than 20,000 coming on the first day. The 2009 Global Amateur
Radio Emergency Conference (GAREC) was held in conjunction with the
event <http://www.rientola.fi/oh3ag/garec/index.html>.

Sumner said that IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, was able to schedule a
business trip to Tokyo to coincide with Ham Fair: "On Friday, IARU
Region 3 Secretary Jay Oka, JA1TRC, and JARL staff member Mitsu
Sugawara, JN1LQH, gave Tim and me a tour of JARL Headquarters. ARRL
Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, was already
spending his second day at JARL HQ helping to check DXCC applications."
Patton said he received more than 260 DXCC applications while in Japan.

On Saturday morning, Sumner and Ellam were invited to participate in the
ribbon-cutting ceremony that marks the beginning of Ham Fair. "This is a
rather elaborately staged event," Sumner recounted, "complete with white
gloves, golden scissors and a bank of photographers. After the ceremony,
and as thousands of patient attendees streamed into the exhibit area, Mr
Hara led a group of us to the convention Special Event station 8J1A,
where he made the first QSO. Then he led us to visit some of the
commercial exhibitors." Sumner said he had the opportunity to operate
8J1A on 20 meter CW for 25 minutes. "The station had multiple operating
positions and was quite busy throughout the show," he said.

On Sunday afternoon, Patton shared his ideas for rejuvenating college
and university club stations as a means of reaching prospective hams.
"This was well received by the Japanese hams in attendance," Sumner
said. Yoshi Tsutsumi, JE2EHP/K1HP, provided interpretation.

On Monday, Sumner, Ellam and Patton attended GAREC-09; there were about
30 participants from 14 countries at the conference. Former IARU Region
3 Secretary Keigo Komuro, JA1KAB, chaired the meeting. "I was asked to
chair the Statement Committee that was responsible for producing the
GAREC Statement <http://www.rientola.fi/oh3ag/garec/index.html>,
summarizing the conclusions and recommendations of the conference,"
Sumner said. "IARU International Coordinator for Emergency
Communications Hans Zimmermann, HB9AQS, who did not attend this year's
GAREC, had provided a draft as a starting point, and it was only
necessary to tailor it to what we actually talked about."

Ellam returned to Canada on Monday afternoon, and Sumner and Patton
stayed through the end of the conference on Tuesday afternoon and flew
home on Wednesday. Sumner thanked his Japanese hosts, saying, "We are
grateful for the extraordinary hospitality extended to us by JARL."

==> DELEGATES DESCEND ON TOKYO FOR GAREC 09 

Officials from the IARU and all three IARU regions, national IARU
Member-Societies and specialized Amateur Radio emergency communications
groups from around the globe gathered in Tokyo on August 24-25 for the
Fifth Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference (GAREC
2009) <http://www.rientola.fi/oh3ag/garec/index.html>. Hosted by the
Japan Amateur Radio League, GAREC was held in conjunction with Ham Fair.
More than 30 participants considered the statements from past GAREC
conferences -- GAREC 05 (Tampere, Finland), GAREC 06 (Tampere, Finland),
GAREC 07 (Huntsville, Alabama, USA) and GAREC 08 (Friedrichshafen,
Germany) -- discussing the progress made on the implementation of the
recommendations, and looking at recent experiences from exercises and
actual emergency operations.

While GAREC is not a decision-making body, delegates made note of the
relationships between the Amateur Service and organizations that are
engaged in public protection and disaster relief, in particular the
formal agreements and understandings that exist between the IARU and the
United Nations, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
<http://www.itu.int/>, and the International Federation of Red Cross and
Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) <http://www.ifrc.org/>. They also looked
at reports on recent emergency communications operations, specifically
the earthquake disaster relief operations in Japan in 1995, China in
2008 and Italy in 2009, as well as the 2009 Australian bushfires.
Delegates also took into account the reports on Global SETs, Center of
Activity Frequencies, Automatic Link Establishment (ALE)
<http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/ale.html> and emergency communications
across international borders.

GAREC delegates requested that the ITU "continue to support the
activities of IARU in facilitating the role of the Amateur Radio Service
in emergency communications by fully implementing the provisions of
Radio Regulations (RR) Article 25
<http://www.iaru.org/rel030703att2.html> as revised by the World
Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-03, Geneva 2003) through the
appropriate mechanisms of its Telecommunication Development Bureau and
to support national Administrations in such implementation." The part of
Article 25 concerning Emergency Communications states: "Amateur stations
may be used for transmitting international communications on behalf of
third parties only in case of emergencies or disaster relief. An
administration may determine the applicability of this provision to
amateur stations under its jurisdiction" (RR 25.3), and "Administrations
are encouraged to take the necessary steps to allow amateur stations to
prepare for and meet communication needs in support of disaster relief"
(RR 25.9A).

GAREC also wants the ITU to "continue to study the possibilities for the
introduction of an International Amateur Radio License facilitating the
work of Amateur Radio Service in international assistance and related
training activities."

GAREC appealed to all of the IARU Member-Societies, as well as
specialized emergency communications groups, to do the following:

* To establish close working relationships between the National IARU
Member-Society and independent specialized Amateur Radio emergency
communications groups in the respective countries, as well as to
cooperate internationally.
* To request their national regulatory authorities implement the
modifications to Article 25 of the Radio Regulations, particularly the
regulations governing third-party traffic during emergencies and during
training for emergency operations.
* To provide training in emergency communications to as many amateurs as
possible in their respective countries, with particular emphasis on
personal and logistical preparedness, psychological aspects of entering
a disaster area, familiarity with the civil protection system in their
country, communications techniques of particular value in emergencies
and remembering that the skills developed in the amateur service can be
of great benefit to disaster relief organizations in maintaining and
operating their own telecommunications networks.
* Whenever emergency communications are being conducted on frequencies
that propagate internationally, to use any available real-time
communications channels, including but not limited to e-mail bulletins,
Web sites, social networking and DX clusters to draw the attention of
the largest possible number of Amateur Radio operators to ongoing
emergency communications, in order to avoid interference with emergency
traffic.
* To use their contacts with national regulatory authorities to
encourage the accession to and implementation of the "Tampere Convention
on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation
and Relief Operations"
<http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/emergencytelecoms/doc/tampere/S-CONF-ICET-2001
-PDF-M07.pdf>. To date, 37 countries have adopted Tampere
<http://www.reliefweb.int/telecoms/tampere/signatories.html>.
* To support the work of the IARU on an international Emergency
Communications Handbook and to provide copies of existing agreements
with institutional partners in emergency response, as well as copies of
emergency communication guidelines, manuals and checklists developed for
national or local use as inputs to this work.
* To work toward the implementation of Memoranda of Understanding
established between the IARU and ITU, IFRC, and the United Nations by
seeking cooperation with the respective national institutions and
organizations in their country.
* To continuously improve their awareness of the mission, vision and
values of served agencies.
* To represent themselves as a human and technical resource able and
willing to investigate the communication requirements of served
agencies, offer recommendations when asked, and facilitate emergency
communications when required.

GAREC called on the IARU to encourage its national IARU Member-Societies
to "actively support the mission of Amateur Radio as an emergency
communications resource." In the official GAREC Statement, delegates
also stated that they would like to see the IARU support the following:
The implementation of Article 25, the ongoing work toward an
International Amateur Radio License, and the work and publication of the
IARU Emergency Communications Handbook.

With respect to governments and telecommunication administrations, the
conference would like these bodies to encourage joint training
activities and exercises of Amateur Radio emergency communications
groups and institutional providers of emergency response. Delegates
recommend that GAREC conferences should continue to be held in locations
throughout the world, maintaining the character of GAREC as an informal
meeting among representatives of IARU Member-Societies and of Amateur
Radio emergency communications groups, "serving as a forum for the
exchange of experience and as an advisory body for the work on emergency
communications of the IARU."

==> LOOK FOR THE OCTOBER ISSUE OF QST IN YOUR MAILBOX 

The October issue of QST -- our second annual Radiosport issue -- is
jam-packed with all sorts of things today's Amateur Radio operator
needs, with a special focus on Amateur Radio contesting. From product
reviews to experiments to public service, the upcoming issue of QST has
something for just about everyone.

Kevin Kaufhold, W9GKA, takes a look at the highs and lows of the very
high frequencies in his article "The Past, Present and Future of VHF
Contesting." Scott Straw, KB4KBS/5, proves that everything is indeed
bigger in Texas as he recounts his visit in "Multiop, Texas Style." And
if you ever thought you needed to be a "big gun" to win wood in a
contest, check out "How to Win the ARRL Sweepstakes with 11 QSOs" by
John Kanode, N4MM. 

In addition to the articles featuring contesting, ARRL Contributing
Editor H. Ward Silver, N0AX, introduces QST readers to "The ARRL
Handbook for Radio Communications, 2010 Edition." The 87th edition of
this must-have book for radio amateurs has more than 1250 pages; of its
32 chapters, 16 have been completely revised or are altogether new, and
another 12 have been updated. The 2010 Handbook features 70 percent new
or updated material, including 50 percent new illustrations. The ARRL
2010 Handbook will be available for purchase from the ARRL Online Store
beginning October 1.

ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, looks at VHF contesting,
with a special focus on roving, in "This Month in Contesting." With so
many amateurs living with deed restrictions, in apartments or dealing
with other factors that prevent them from installing outdoor antennas,
today's amateur needs to be a bit creative. If you can't operate from
home, Kutzko suggests taking your station -- and your contest enjoyment
-- on the road. 

ARRL News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, describes the events and
decisions from the July ARRL Board of Directors meeting, and profiles
the eight hams on whom the Board bestowed awards for 2008-2009.

If you're in the market for a new rig, be sure to check out October's
Product Review: QST Assistant Editor Steve Sant Andrea, AG1YK, gives his
take on FlexRadio Systems' FLEX-3000 software defined HF/50 MHz
transceiver. In his review, Sant Andrea says "The FLEX-3000 is a compact
software defined radio (SDR) in the mid-range price class. It can be
used at home or paired with a notebook computer for operation on the go.
Although it gives up some features compared to the FLEX-5000A, it
doesn't give up much performance."

Of course, there are the usual columns that you expect in the October
QST: "Hints & Kinks," "The Doctor Is IN," "How's DX," "Eclectic
Technology," "World Above 50 MHz," "Hamspeak" and more. Look for your
October issue to arrive soon. QST is the official journal of ARRL, the
national association for Amateur Radio. QST is just one of the many
benefits of ARRL membership. To join or renew your ARRL membership,
please visit the ARRL Web page <http://www.arrl.org/join>. 

==> GOVERNOR'S $250,000 GRANT TO AMATEUR RADIO GOES ONLINE AS OREGON
HAMS INSTALL NEW WINLINK SYSTEM 

This month, Oregon ARES members will complete the state-wide
installation of Winlink <http://www.winlink.org/>, thanks to a $250,000
grant from Governor Ted Kulongoski. In 2007, the governor was impressed
by the hams' ability to handle emergency communications when severe
winter storms wreaked havoc on Oregon's North Coast and flooded the City
of Vernonia, knocking out 911 services, Internet and phone service for
an extended period of time
<http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2007/12/05/100/>. The Oregon Office of
Emergency Management said that during the storms, the radio operators
were "tireless in their efforts to keep the systems connected." When
even state police had difficulty reaching some of their own troops, ham
radio worked, setting up networks so emergency officials could
communicate and relaying lists of supplies needed in stricken areas.

"I'm going to tell you who the heroes were from the very beginning of
this...the ham radio operators," the governor said at the time. "These
people just came in and actually provided a tremendous communication
link to us." Because of the service rendered by Amateur Radio operators
in providing communications support, the governor allocated funds for
the installation of a Winlink system to integrate Amateur Radio with the
Internet.

The equipment will be installed in the Emergency Operating Center in
each of Oregon's 36 counties. Once the monies were distributed, ARES
members researched and purchased the equipment that would be needed,
formalized and signed contracts between the state, counties and ARES,
and allocated space to install the antennas and equipment within each
EOC. The project is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2009 ARRL
Simulated Emergency Test (SET) scheduled for October 3-4
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/setguide.html>.

"Using Winlink equipment and other amateur equipment already in place at
the EOCs, ARES teams will have to quickly create a communications
network, in some instances without depending on other infrastructure
such as telephones or Internet," said ARRL Oregon Section Public
Information Coordinator Steve Sanders, KE7JSS. "Many will not use
commercial electric power. Despite these limitations, the ARES teams
should not only be able to quickly pass local messages, but also
communicate with other regions of the country. The ability to pass
information in and out of disaster areas is crucial to the effectiveness
of emergency responders."

When Oregon's State Office of Emergency Management was activated on
December 3, 2007 <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2007/12/13/101/>,
hams over the course of the next four days used Winlink to pass message
traffic. "The Winlink system performed perfectly, and the ARES team at
the OEM was able to pass approximately 200 messages into and out of the
State of Oregon Emergency Operations Center," said Marion County ARES
Emergency Coordinator Dean Davis, N7XG. "The only mode of communications
for several Oregon counties for the first two days of the storm was the
Winlink system."

==>SOLAR UPDATE 

Tad "Who loves to peer up at the morning Sun" Cook, K7RA, this week
reports: No new sunspot activity this week, and no emerging sunspots are
visible on the far side of the Sun. Sunspot region 1025 (or 11025) that
appeared over August 31 and September 1 faded more than a week ago, and
the area in which it appeared has just rotated over the Sun's western
limb. Sunspot numbers for September 3-9 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0
with a mean of 0. The 10.7 cm flux was 68.6, 68.4, 68.5, 69.2, 68.8,
68.9 and 69.2 with a mean of 68.8. The estimated planetary A indices
were 4, 5, 2, 3, 3, 2 and 1 with a mean of 2.9. The estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 4, 4, 2, 2, 3, 2 and 3 with a mean of 2.9.
The average daily solar flux for this week was up slightly, just 0.7
points, to 68.8. Geomagnetic A indices were quieter, with last week's
average daily planetary and mid-latitude A index at 5.7 and 4.1
respectively, while both numbers dropped to 2.9 for this week. The
planetary A index is projected to be 5 for today through September 14,
then 8 for September 15-18. Solar flux is expected to be 69 for today
and tomorrow, then 68 for September 13-19. Geophysical Institute Prague
predicts quiet conditions for September 11-12, quiet to unsettled on
September 13, 15 and 17 and unsettled on September 14 and 16. 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 Keats' "On Leigh Hunt's Poem, The Story of Rimini"
<http://www.litscape.com/author/John_Keats/On_Leigh_Hunts_Poem_The_Story
_of_Rimini.html>. 

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This Week on the Radio: This week, look for the ARRL September VHF QSO
Party September 12-14. There are two NCCC Sprints this week -- one on
September 11 and another on September 12. The WAE DX Contest (SSB), the
Arkansas QSO Party and the FISTS Get Your Feet Wet Weekend are September
12-13. The North American Sprint (CW) and the SKCC Weekend Sprint are
both September 13. The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint is September 17.
Next week is the ARRL 10 GHz and Up Contest on September 19-20 (local
time). Look for two more NCCC Sprints this week, one each on September
18 and 19. The Feld Hell Sprint is September 19. The South Carolina QSO
Party, QRP Afield, the Washington State Salmon Run, the QCWA Fall QSO
Party and the Scandinavian Activity Contest (CW) are all September
19-20. The North American Sprint (SSB) is September 20. The Run for the
Bacon QRP Contest and the 144 MHz Fall Sprint (local time) are September
21. The SKCC Sprint is September 23. 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, September 20, 2009, for these online course
sessions beginning on Friday, October 2, 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 <cce@arrl.org>;.

* HR 2160 Gains Three More Cosponsors: On September 10, three more
Congressmen -- Geoff Davis (R-KY-4), Bill Posey (R-FL-15) and Michael
Turner (R-OH-3) -- pledged their support for HR 2160
<http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.2160:>, The Amateur
Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009, bringing the
total number of cosponsors to 24, including original sponsor Sheila
Jackson-Lee (D-TX-18)
<http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/04/30/10792/?nc=1>. HR 2160 is
also sponsored by W. Todd Akin (R-MO-2), Michael Arcuri (D-NY-24),
Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD-6), John Boozman (R-AR-3), Madeleine Bordallo
(D-Guam), Bob Filner (D-CA-51), Bart Gordon (D-TN-6), Brett Guthrie
(R-KY-02), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY-22), Michael Honda (D-CA-15), Mary Jo
Kilroy (D-OH-15), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-16), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO-9),
Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI-11), Charlie Melancon (D-LA-3), Dennis Moore
(D-KS-3), Bennie Thompson (D-MS-2), Peter Welch (D-VT), David Wu
(D-OR-1) and Don Young (R-AK). Visit the ARRL Web site for information
on how to encourage your Congressional representative to sponsor HR 2160
<http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/05/12/10818>.

* Faster Than a Speeding Pigeon?: In South Africa, an information
technology company proved that it was faster for them to transmit data
with a carrier pigeon than to send it using Telkom, the country's
leading Internet service provider. Internet speed and connectivity in
Africa's largest economy are poor due to a shortage of bandwidth and its
high cost. Local news agency SAPA reported that on September 9, an 11
month old pigeon named Winston took 68 minutes to fly the 50 miles from
Unlimited IT's offices near Pietermaritzburg to the coastal city of
Durban with a data card strapped to his leg. Including downloading, the
transfer took two hours, six minutes and 57 seconds -- the time it took
for only four percent of the data to be transferred using a Telkom line.
SAPA said Unlimited IT performed the stunt after becoming frustrated
with slow internet transmission times. The company has 11 call centers
around the country and regularly sends data to its other branches.
Internet speed is expected to improve once a new 11,000 mile underwater
fiber optic cable linking southern and East Africa to other networks
becomes operational before South Africa hosts the soccer World Cup next
year.

* FCC Chairman Announces Enforcement Bureau Chief: Federal
Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced on
September 9 that he has appointed P. Michele Ellison as Chief of the
Enforcement Bureau. Ellison will take the helm of the Enforcement Bureau
starting on September 28, 2009. "Protecting and empowering consumers
through effective and timely enforcement of the Commission's rules and
policies is a top priority for the FCC," said Chairman Genachowski.
"Michele is a talented leader with vast communications experience and
sound legal judgment, and I look forward to working with her in her new
capacity."

=========================================================== 
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
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Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole
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given to The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League.

==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
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==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call
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Copyright 2009 American Radio Relay League, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

 

The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

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

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

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

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