*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 28, No. 38 September 24, 2009 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + Preparations Underway for WRC-12 * + Changes in Store for The ARRL Letter * ARRL: A Proud History of Defending Amateurs' Rights * + Call for Nominations: The ARRL's Bill Leonard, W2SKE Professional Media Award * + Newly Elected Section Managers Converge on Newington * + ARRL Membership Newsletters, Bulletins and Notifications * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Week on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + ARRL to Welcome USTTI Students + More CubeSats in Orbit +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> =========================================================== ==> PREPARATIONS UNDERWAY FOR WRC-12 Approximately 200 participants came together in an ITU preliminary meeting that ended September 16 in Geneva, Switzerland to help African countries prepare for the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) <http://www.itu.int/ITU-R/index.asp?category=conferences&rlink=wrc-12%C3 %83%C2%A2%C3%82%C5%92%C3%82%C2%A9=en>. The six regional telecommunications organizations -- APT (Asia-Pacific), ASMG (Arab States), ATU (Africa), CEPT (Europe), CITEL (the Americas) and RCC (independent states of the former Soviet Union) -- were represented at the meeting. This meeting was part of a series of ongoing international and regional preparatory meetings to allow government and industry to address the far-reaching and complex agenda of the WRC-12. ARRL Technical Relations Specialist Jonathan Siverling, WB3ERA, and IARU Region 1 Vice President Tafa Diop, 6W1KI, were among the participants. WRC-12, which will be held in Geneva from January 23-February 17, 2012, will review the international treaty that governs radiocommunications -- the ITU Radio Regulations <http://www.itu.int/publ/R-REG-RR-2008/en>. The conference will be preceded by the Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-12), also to be held in Geneva, January 16-20, 2012. The agenda for WRC-12, developed by the delegates at the last WRC in Geneva in 2007 (WRC-07), was formally adopted by the ITU Council in 2008. There are 25 agenda items addressing potential new or revised spectrum allocations to existing services. A key objective is the review of the international regulatory framework applicable to radiocommunications. This review should reflect the convergence of some radio services arising from the development of next-generation networks (NGN) <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_Generation_Networking>, as well as new radio applications and technologies. Of most interest to amateurs is agenda item 1.23, "to consider an allocation of about 15 kHz in parts of the band 415-526.5 kHz to the amateur service on a secondary basis, taking into account the need to protect existing services." "This agenda item is the highest item on my long term priority list," said ARRL Technical Relations Manager Brennan Price, N4QX. "We are fortunate that this upcoming WRC presents an opportunity for a new secondary allocation in the medium waves. While the outcome is far from certain, our experience in other bands -- most notably 30 meters -- indicates Amateur Radio's compatibility with certain other services as a secondary user." According to the ITU, WRC-12 will focus on appropriate spectrum sharing mechanisms to make the best use of the digital dividend in the UHF and other frequency bands, providing new opportunities for radiocommunication services. It will also identify the spectrum requirements to increase security for both maritime and aeronautical transport services. Additional spectrum resources will also be identified for scientific and other radiocommunication services, specifically related to the environment, meteorology and climatology, as well as disaster prediction, mitigation and relief. Along with the introduction of more efficient digital services requiring less power consumption, WRC-12 will be a milestone to meet ITU's commitment to achieve climate neutrality with the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_and_communication_technologies > as effective tools to combat climate change and its effects. Along with IARU volunteers worldwide, Price and Siverling are monitoring developments on a number of other agenda items that could affect Amateur Radio if they take unanticipated turns, including: * Agenda item 1.14, considering requirements for and implementation of the radiolocation service (radar) between 30-300 MHz. * Agenda item 1.15, considering possible allocations between 3-50 MHz for oceanographic radar applications. * Agenda item 1.19, considering regulatory measures to enable software-defined and cognitive radio systems. * Agenda item 1.22, examining the effect of emissions from short-range devices. "Oceanographic radar is perhaps our biggest defensive issue," Price said. "Fortunately, its proponents have acknowledged that sharing with Amateur Radio would be problematic." The ITU preparatory meetings ahead of WRC-12 provide an opportunity to exchange information and views on the ongoing studies regarding WRC-12 agenda items, as well as on the common proposals and positions of the regional groups and other organizations. The discussions in this meeting addressed all WRC-12 agenda items and identified those deserving special consideration for African countries, including the sensitive issue related to the operation of security systems for ships and ports and the shared use of the planned digital TV spectrum by other services. The Director of ITU's Radiocommunication Bureau Valery Timofeev noted that the agenda for WRC-12 was likely to be as complex as the previous World Radiocommunication Conference held in 2007. "We need to continue the trend toward increasing the number of common and coordinated proposals," he explained. "This process, which highlights the great spirit of international cooperation and consensus building at ITU, has proved to be increasingly successful in the WRC process." Timofeev added that the level of participation at the meeting indicated the importance of the WRC process "to improve regulatory procedures, to provide frequency and orbit resources for new technologies and to strengthen the technical framework for the operation of services." Recognizing that WRC-12 is an important event for the future of information and communication technologies, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure, HB9EHT, said the forthcoming conference will be a landmark in achieving ITU's connectivity targets: "WRC-12 will be held only three years ahead of 2015 -- the target date to connect all villages, towns and cities, universities and schools in the world and to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) <http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/>. If there is any chance to meet these goals, we must rely on ICTs -- omnipresent tools with profound implications for all economic sectors -- to accelerate the process and bridge the digital divide." -- Thanks to the ITU for some information ==> CHANGES IN STORE FOR THE ARRL LETTER After asking for feedback from ARRL Letter subscribers and reviewing surveys sent to ARRL members, we are changing the way you receive The ARRL Letter. Starting next week -- October 1 -- The ARRL Letter will be available to subscribers in an HTML formatted version. Each message will contain both an HTML and a plain-text version of the Letter, and the recipient's mail program can choose which version to display. For our members who prefer a plain-text version of the Letter, there will be simple instructions on the ARRL Letter Web page that describe how to view the plain-text version in some of the more common mail programs. According to ARRL News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, this new format will allow for more graphics and pictures, as well as occasional articles that feature the technical side of Amateur Radio. We will also be running portions of popular QST features, such as "The Doctor Is IN" and "Hints & Kinks." "I am very excited about presenting The ARRL Letter in a completely new format," Keane said. "Not only will we be able to add features such as pictures and video, but by offering the Letter in HTML, readers will be able to navigate directly to those stories they are most interested in. The ARRL already offers two other newsletters -- The ARRL Contest Update and The ARRL ARES E-Letter -- in an HTML version. We have received a lot of positive feedback on these two newsletters." The ARRL Letter first appeared in 1981 as a print publication, available by subscription from the League. In 1991 -- following the technology of the day -- it moved from being a print publication to being published electronically and sent via e-mail as a free service to ARRL members. "Now, once again, we at the ARRL are following technology's path and publishing The ARRL Letter in a new way, moving from plain text to a graphically pleasing interface," Keane explained. We think you will enjoy this new format, and we welcome your comments. Tell us what you like -- and don't like -- by sending an e-mail to Keane <email@example.com>, with "ARRL Letter Feedback" in the subject line. ==> ARRL: A PROUD HISTORY OF DEFENDING AMATEURS' RIGHTS The fall operating season is just around the corner. Whether it's because radio conditions improve or just because attention returns to indoor pursuits as the days get shorter, on-the-air activity always picks up at this time of the year. Do you operate on 40 meters? "If you haven't been on the band lately, you're in for a real treat!" said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "Years of patient effort by the ARRL and by our sister members of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) have paid off. The band is more useful now than it's been in more than 70 years. When you think of 40 meters, you probably think of interference from foreign broadcasters. Here in the Americas, amateurs always have had access to 7,000-7,300 kHz - but we had to tolerate broadcasters in the rest of the world in the upper two-thirds of the band." Sumner said he can recall the "futility" he felt as a 13-year-old Novice, "trying to make myself heard through the racket with just two crystal-controlled transmitting frequencies to choose from. I remember taking the crystal holders apart and putting pencil lead on the crystals in a vain attempt to slip in between the broadcasting behemoths." At the 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-03) -- 40 years later -- he had the privilege of being present in Geneva when it was agreed that amateurs had made the case for a wider worldwide amateur band, free of broadcasting interference." For the first time in the history of radio communication, an HF broadcasting allocation would be shifted in order to accommodate the needs of another radio service -- the Amateur Radio Service! Sumner called the WRC-03 decision "very gratifying," but said an important question remained: Would the broadcasters really move? "The International Telecommunication Union has no enforcement authority," he explained, "and operation in contravention of the international Radio Regulations is not exactly unknown. In fact, the transition turned out to be quite dramatic. On the last weekend of March, on Friday evening 7,100-7,200 kHz was full of broadcasters as usual -- but as the new seasonal broadcasting schedule took effect on Saturday night the band cleared of all but a few. For the very first time our overseas friends could hear us on 40 meter phone without having to breach the wall of broadcasters! Over the past six months the situation has continued to improve as more broadcasters have complied with the WRC-03 decision. Nighttime operation above 7,200 kHz remains a challenge, but it's not an exaggeration to say that 40 meters is like a whole new band." Sumner explained that moving hundreds of broadcast transmitters in dozens of countries out of a band didn't just happen: "It took years of patient effort by a global team of volunteers and ARRL professionals, working through the IARU, to overcome objections and marshal the necessary support. It was an expensive undertaking, and it never could have been accomplished without the voluntary contributions - above and beyond their basic dues - of thousands of ARRL members." Even as we celebrate our reborn 40 meter band, Sumner said that we, as amateurs, must remember that it takes hard work just to hang onto what we have. "As much as we like to pursue new and improved ham bands, most of our effort must go toward frequency defense," he said. "Every day, new uses of the radio spectrum are being conceived. Each one competes for spectrum access with incumbent radio services, including ours. Not only must we defend our allocations against well-heeled backers of licensed services, we must also try to prevent the pollution of the radio spectrum by unlicensed devices. The fight goes on in Washington, Geneva and around the globe -- and there's no end in sight." Decisions for WRC-12 are being made now that will determine how many administrations -- including the United States - will support a new secondary allocation to the Amateur Service at 500 kHz, and whether proposals for allocations to oceanographic radars will threaten some of our existing HF bands. "We are hard at work meeting these challenges, but we need your help," Sumner said, in asking for support for the ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund. "Members' past response helped us to keep commercial satellites out of the 144 and 420 MHz bands, to gain access to frequencies around 5 MHz, and to win our court challenge of the FCC's flawed Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) rules. New challenges keep cropping up. Currently we are working to ensure that new short-range medical devices do not impact our ability to use our UHF and microwave bands." To help in the ARRL's ongoing mission to protect our valuable spectrum, please visit the Spectrum Defense area on the ARRL Web site <https://www.arrl.org/forms/fdefense/>. You can also reach ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, at 860-594-0397 or via e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Special gifts are being offered for contributions, including a mug and pin. More details on thank you gifts can be found on the donation form for the Spectrum Defense Fund. ==> CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: THE ARRL'S BILL LEONARD, W2SKE PROFESSIONAL MEDIA AWARD Since 1999 when Jeff Holland -- former city editor for "The Enquirer-Journal" in Monroe, North Carolina -- was named the first winner of the Bill Leonard, W2SKE Professional Media Award, there has been only one award given out each year. The award -- honoring the late Bill Leonard, a former president of CBS News -- recognizes a professional journalist whose outstanding coverage best reflects the enjoyment, importance and public service value of the Amateur Radio Service. "At the time, printed newspapers were still a main news source," said ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP. "Now there is the Internet, a host of blogs and news sites, audio and video streaming, cell phone alerts and many more news outlets still in development. The world of media and news reporting has been caught in the rip-currents of technology and it's causing the overnight erosion of old models while creating new opportunities." Pitts remembers when it once was a major accomplishment for an Amateur Radio Public Information Officer (PIO) to get a few column inches in ink. "Now, the same positive PR outcomes can be achieved by placement on community Web sites and inclusion in blogs," he explained. "In the meantime, video capabilities have become available to almost anyone with a cell phone and ever more media outlets are incorporating video clips into their product." The ARRL Public Relations Committee recognized that one award, looking at only one medium, was no longer the best fit to the current realities of PR, and the best way to update the Leonard Award was to solicit input from the very professionals who worked in this new media arena. With a subcommittee of nationally recognized reporters and media managers, they looked not only at the award itself, but also at ways to make it a catalyst for even more coverage of Amateur Radio topics in the future. Their recommendations were presented to the ARRL Board of Directors this past July. To address both current and coming news modalities, the award was split into three areas: * Audio formats -- primarily something you listen to * Visual formats -- primarily something you watch * Print and Text formats -- primarily something you read Each of the three categories will have an honorarium of $250 for the best selection within that category, but the PRC can also exercise discretion to withhold an award within a category in any given year based on the quality and content of submissions, Pitts explained. "Many news outlets have strict rules against reporters receiving any cash or other material prizes from outside sources," he said. "What may be a 'prize' to one person could be seen as 'kickback' to another. So the Leonard honorariums will no longer go to the recipients, but rather to Internal Revenue Service 501[c](3) recognized non-profit organizations of the recipients' choosing. The three recipients will still receive personalized plaques. In this way the recipient can donate the $250 to their favorite charity (or even back to the ARRL). This avoids burdening nominated reporters with any ethics issues." Complete information on the Bill Leonard Award, including entry and selection criteria, can be found in the November 2009 issue of QST. ==> NEWLY ELECTED SECTION MANAGERS CONVERGE ON NEWINGTON This weekend, 12 Section Managers who are new -- or returning after a long absence -- to their post are in Newington for an orientation. The primary purposes of the Workshop sessions are to share ideas and to provide basic administrative, management, leadership and motivational training. "The Section Manager Workshop is an orientation and training event for new Section Managers that have come on board within the last year or so," said Supervisor of the ARRL Field Organization Team Steve Ewald, WV1X. "ARRL has conducted this training each year at HQ for the past several years, and it has been well received by past participants. The Membership and Volunteer Programs Department Staff and its Field Organization Team are the lead coordinators of the event. We also cover the responsibilities and functions of the Section Manager's position, and the SMs are able to visit with ARRL Headquarters staff members and learn more about the many programs that ARRL supports. The Workshop sessions are presented by several ARRL Headquarter staff members who are experts in their respective areas." Arkansas Section Manager J.M. Rowe, N5XFW; Eastern Massachusetts Section Manager Mike Neilsen, W1MPN; Georgia Section Manager Gene Clark, W4AYK; Iowa Section Manager Tom Brehmer, N0LOH; Los Angeles Section Manager David Greenhut, N6HD; New York City-Long Island Section Manager Mike Lisenco, N2YBB; North Texas Section Manager Jay Urish, W5GM; Oklahoma Section Manager Dean Fekan, KL7MA; San Joaquin Valley Section Manager Dan Pruitt, AE6SX; Southern New Jersey Section Manager George Strayline, W2GSS; South Texas Section Manager Lee Cooper, W5LHC, and Wyoming Section Manager Garth Crowe, N7XKT, are in attendance. ==> ARRL MEMBERSHIP NEWSLETTERS, BULLETINS AND NOTIFICATIONS Did you know the ARRL offers more newsletters than just The ARRL Letter? One of the many ARRL membership benefits includes other newsletters, such as the ARRL Contest Update (a bi-weekly contest newsletter), the ARES E-Letter (sent monthly, containing public service and emergency communications news), the ARRL Club News, the ARRL Instructor/Teacher E-Letter and the VE Newsletter, just to name a few. You can also elect to receive news and information from your Division Director and Section Manager (keep in mind that not all Divisions/Sections send notices), as well as W1AW bulletins that relate to DX, propagation, satellites and Keplerian reports. The ARRL also offers a free notification service to members, letting them know when their membership and license are due to expire. Sign up for these newsletters, bulletins and notifications on the Member Data page of the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/memdata.html>. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "Him whose strenuous tongue can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: Two large sunspots, 1026 and 1027, both emerged in the past few days. We could see them in advance of their appearance while they formed on the side of the sun previously unseen from earth, via the NASA STEREO mission, mentioned in last week's bulletin. These spots, emerging on the autumnal equinox, should enhance HF propagation, and expect them to increase in size as they move into the most geoeffective position over the next couple of days. We will discuss this more in the Solar Update, available on the ARRL Web site on Friday, September 25. 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' "Ode on Melancholy" <http://www.bartleby.com/101/628.html>. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This Week on the Radio: Next week, look for the NCCC Sprint on September 25. The Texas QSO Party, the CQ Worldwide DX Contest (RTTY) and Scandinavian Activity Contest (SSB) are all September 26-27. QRP Homebrewer Sprint is September 28, and the Fall 222 MHz Sprint is September 29. Next week, the California QSO Party and the Oceana DX Contest are October 3-4. The Fall 432 MHz Sprint is October 7. 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, October 25, 2009, for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, November 6, 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>. * ARRL to Welcome USTTI Students: Next month -- October 12-16 -- the ARRL will welcome students from various countries from all over the world who want to learn how to administer and regulate Amateur Radio programs in their home countries. This course, offered by the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI) <http://ustti.org/>, will help participants create, administer and foster an Amateur Radio Service in their countries. Designed for those in developing countries who regulate and manage their country's Amateur Radio Service, this course will help participants learn just who radio amateurs are. ARRL staff instructors will help course participants discover the ever-expanding universe of Amateur Radio communication. They will explain why Amateur Radio operators -- upwards of three million individuals in virtually every country of the world -- have earned licenses to operate stations in the Service and why they are recognized, both by their governments and internationally, as a valuable voluntary telecommunications resource. Course participants will also discover how a telecommunications administration can bring the benefits of a healthy Amateur Service to its nation. Now in its 27th year, USTTI is a nonprofit venture involving leading US-based communications and information technology corporations and leaders of the federal government cooperating to provide tuition-free management, policy and technical training for talented professionals from the developing world. This is the 25th year the ARRL has participated in the program. * More CubeSats in Orbit: Early Thursday morning (UTC), an Indian PSLV-C14 rocket carried the Oceansat-2 satellite <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oceansat-2> to orbit, along with four CubeSats and two RubinSats. The RubinSats are 8 kg research modules that will remain attached to the PSLV-C14 booster. CubeSats are very small satellites, typically only a few inches on each side. As they are a relatively inexpensive research spacecraft, they've become increasingly popular with university science programs. A number of CubeSats use Amateur Radio frequencies to downlink telemetry, as is the case with this latest group. Early reports indicate that all of the CubeSats are active. You can check out the frequencies and modes of the four satellites on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/09/23/11090/?nc=1>. =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Thursdays, 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 Thursday 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. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA ARRL News Editor ARRL - the national association for Amateur Radio (tm) 860.594.0237 www.arrl.org/news firstname.lastname@example.org
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