*************** 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 <email@example.com> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA <firstname.lastname@example.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 <email@example.com>. * 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 news of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest Amateur Radio news and news updates. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> also offers informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also available as a podcast from our Web site. 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The ARRL Letter
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