October 8, 2009Editor: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA
+ Available on ARRL Audio News
+ Regulatory: Counterpart Bill to HR 2160 Introduced in Senate
On Tuesday, October 6, Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), along with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), introduced Senate Bill 1755, The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009. Similar to HR 2160 -- also called The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009 -- that was introduced this past April by Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX-18), the bill, if passed, would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to undertake a study on emergency communications. S 1755 points out that "There is a strong Federal interest in the effective performance of Amateur Radio Service stations, and that performance must be given -- (A) support at all levels of government; and (B) protection against unreasonable regulation and impediments to the provision of the valuable communications provided by such stations."
"We are delighted to have the sponsorship of both the Chairman and the Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and especially to have the support of Senator Lieberman from the ARRL's home state," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "The bill could not have a better pedigree. Click here for more information on S 1755."
+ FCC Enforcement: FCC Fines California Firm $4000 for Operating on Amateur Frequencies
On September 28, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to a California firm that the Commission maintains was using amateur frequencies to conduct business. According to the Commission, Shimmick Construction Company, Inc/Obayashi Corporation, Joint Venture ("Shimmick-Obayashi") -- licensees of stations WQER756, WQEN793, WQJI360 and WQKG818 -- apparently repeatedly violated Section 1.903(a) of the Commission's Rules "by failing to operate only in accordance with the rules applicable to their particular service as set forth in the Commission's Rules and with a valid authorization granted by the Commission." Click here for more information.
Events: ARRL Gears Up for Fourth Annual On-Line Auction
The Fourth Annual ARRL On-Line Auction begins its preview week on Thursday, October 15. With more than 160 items up for bid -- and more being added every day -- this event promises to have something for just about everyone. The auction kicks off Thursday, October 22 and runs through Thursday, October 29 on the ARRL Web site. Proceeds from the auction benefit ARRL education programs including activities to license new hams, strengthen Amateur Radio's emergency service training, offer continuing technical and operating education, as well as create instructional materials. Click here to discover just what the ARRL Auction has in store for 2009.
+ ARRL Publications: Look for the November Issue of QST in Your Mailbox
The November issue of QST is jam-packed with all sorts of news and information today's Amateur Radio operator needs. From product reviews to construction projects to public service, the upcoming issue of QST has something for just about everyone.
A. Robert Patzlaff, W9JQT, takes a look at "The Rockless, a VFO Controlled Low Power Transceiver." In this article, Patzlaff builds on the Rock-Mite -- profiled in the April 2003 issue of QST -- and modifies this basic CW transceiver to work with a variable frequency oscillator. Jean-Yves Morin, VE2MHZ, presents a "Removable Car Window Antenna with Cross Over Connector." Make your go-kit ready to go for any vehicle with this no-holes mounting arrangement.
With the cold wind blowing on the long winter nights this past January, Poul-Erik Karlshoj, OZ4UN, got to wondering about the LDEs he encountered while QSOing with a Spanish amateur. Read about his experience in "Observation of Long Delayed Echoes on 80 Meters." ARRL Education Project Coordinator Mark Spencer, WA8SME, describes the newest program in the Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology in his article, "The 2009 Teachers Institute Introduces Advanced Satellite Workshop."
ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, in his column "This Month in Contesting," discusses the "crown jewel" of W/VE contesting -- the ARRL November Sweepstakes! And now that the 2009-2010 Contest Season is in full swing, catch up on all the upcoming contest activity with this month's "Contest Corral."
If you read last week's ARRL Letter, you saw the video featuring ARRL Test Engineer Bob Allison, WB1GCM introduce the ICOM IC-7600 HF and 6 meter transceiver. Now is your chance to get up close and personal with this rig. NCJ Managing Editor Rick Lindquist, WW3DE (ex-N1RL), reviews the 7600, calling it "a superb synthesis of ICOM's popular PROIII and the IC-7700/7800 transceivers, both in styles, features and capability. Another winner!" Allison also provides an update to October's Product Review, the FlexRadio FLEX-3000.
Of course, the November issue includes the variety of columns you know and love: "Happenings," "Hints & Kinks," "The Doctor Is IN," "How's DX," "Eclectic Technology," "World Above 50 MHz," "Hamspeak" and more. Look for your November 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.
+ International: Oldest National Amateur Radio Society Marks 100th Anniversary
In 2010, the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) -- the oldest national Amateur Radio society -- will celebrate its 100th anniversary. On March 11, 1910, the WIA had its beginnings when a group of wireless pioneers gathered at the Hotel Australia, Martin Place in Sydney. These early hams wanted to protect their interests and rights against what they considered to be harsh treatment by authorities -- and a high license fee. Chairman of the founding meeting, George Taylor, proposed "the formation of an institution amongst experimenters and enthusiasts in wireless for their mutual benefit." From that meeting, the Institute of Wireless Telegraphy of Australia -- later, the WIA -- was formed. Since its founding, the WIA has continued to protect and enhance the privileges of radio amateurs and to promote Amateur Radio in Australia and beyond. Click here for more information on the WIA's centennial celebration.
ARRL In Action: What Have We Been Up to Lately?
This feature is a concise monthly update of some of the things ARRL is doing on behalf of its members. This installment covers the month of September.
Did You Know?
Did you know that the K3LR Multi-Multi Team consumes more than 200 cups of coffee during a 48 hour contest?
+ ARRL Field Organization: 2009 Section Managers Workshop: A Learning Experience
The Annual Section Manager (SM) Workshop -- held September 25-27 --
afforded 12 newly elected SMs (including three who began their first terms of office October 1) to visit ARRL Headquarters. During the extended weekend gathering, participants not only got to meet many Headquarters staff members, but also learned some of the ins and outs of how to be effective Section leaders and administrators. The primary purposes of the Workshop sessions were to share ideas and to provide basic administrative, management, leadership and motivational training. Click here for more information on the 2009 ARRL Section Managers workshop.
+ Amateur Radio and Scouting: Scouting Jamboree on the Air (JOTA)
October 17 and 18 will mark the 52nd worldwide Scouting Jamboree on the Air (JOTA). Held the third full weekend in October each year, this is the premier operating event for Amateur Radio and Scouting around the world. Click here to join QEX Editor and Staff Liaison to the ARRL Ad Hoc Committee on Scouting Larry Wolfgang, WR1B, to find out ways to interest youth in Amateur Radio.
Tad "Like the bright spots that move about the Sun" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: Sweet memories of the 11-day run of sunspots toward the end of last month are fading, and so far, the days of zero sunspots are at six, with the last sunspot seen on October 1. A peek at the latest STEREO images shows two active areas in our Sun's southern hemisphere beyond our direct view, but it is hard to tell if these will emerge as sunspots when they appear over the eastern limb. A rough guess has the first one possibly emerging around October 10, with the second around a week later. Currently, the solar flux forecast shows flux values lower then 70 through October 15, then around 72 during the two-week period from October 16-30. The same NOAA/USAF forecast predicts the same very quiet geomagnetic conditions that we've seen for some time, with planetary A index around 5. Two very small increases are predicted for October 11-12 -- with an A index of 7 -- and October 24-25, with the A index at 8. Average sunspot numbers for the week dropped 15.3 points below the September 24-30 period, and the average daily solar flux for the week declined 2.2 points to 70.5. We'll also go over some e-mail about propagation via ground fog -- mentioned in last week's bulletin -- in the Solar Update, available on the ARRL Web site on Friday, October 9. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" brought to you by John Keats' To My Brother George.
This Week on the Radio
This week, the ARRL EME Contest is October 10-11. There's an NCCC Sprint October 9 and the YLRL DX/NA YL Anniversary Contest is October 9-11. The 10-10 International 10-10 Day Sprint and the FISTS Fall Sprint are both October 10. On October 10-11, check out the Pennsylvania QSO Party, the Arizona QSO Party and the Oceania DX Contest (CW). The North American Sprint (RTTY), the SKCC Weekend Sprint and the UBA ON Contest (SSB) are October 11. The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint is October 14. Next week, look for the ARRL School Club Roundup October 19-23. There's another NCCC Sprint October 16. The Iowa QSO Party, the Feld Hell Sprint and the Microwave Fall Sprint are October 17. On October 17-18, check out the New York QSO Party, JARTS WW RTTY Contest, the Stew Perry Topband Challenge, the Worked All Germany Contest and the W/VE Islands QSO Party. The Illinois QSO Party is October 18-19 and the Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is October 19. All dates, unless otherwise stated, are UTC. See the ARRL Contest Branch page, the ARRL Contest Update and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar for more info. Looking for a Special Event station? Be sure to check out the ARRL Special Event Station Web page.
+ ARRL Recognizes: Paul Danzer, N1II, Wins September QST Cover Plaque Award
The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for September is Paul Danzer, N1II, for his article "A Simple Transformer to Measure Your Antenna Current." Congratulations, Paul! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award -- given to the author or authors of the best article in each issue -- is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the October issue by Saturday, October 31.
Operating: Hams Face New Rules on Ontario Roadways
The Ministry of Transportation in Ontario, Canada announced on September 30 that Bill 118 concerning distracted driving will take effect on October 26, 2009. According to Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) Vice President for Public Relations Peter West, VE3HG, the new law makes it illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or e-mail using handheld cell phones and other handheld communications and entertainment devices. Following a three-month period that begins October 26 where the focus will be on educating drivers, police will start issuing tickets on February 1, 2010. "All two-way radios in all vehicles -- with the exception of emergency responding vehicles -- must be hands-free in three years' time," he posted on the RAC's blog. "This news comes from the official government staffer who has been in communications with Radio Amateurs of Canada over the last year. At the end of the three-year exemption, all commercial, CB and Amateur Radio equipment used in moving vehicles by the vehicle operator must be hands-free in operation."
Operating: Webinar on Remote Control Operating Planned
With the growing limits imposed on hams due to antenna restrictions, interest is growing in operating amateur stations by remote control. With that in mind, Bob Arnold, N2JEU, one of the pioneers of Internet remote station control, is organizing an Internet-based live conference, or webinar, on the topic. The conference would feature a guest panel comprised of amateurs currently involved in remote operations, both at the operating and software levels. Interested hams could listen to the live audio stream and could ask questions via "text chat." Since he is presently organizing resources for this online event, Arnold is looking for feedback on what topics listeners would like to see addressed. He is also looking for information from people currently operating online remote stations. There is still room on the guest panel for additional participants. Authors of software that make remote operation possible are also asked to respond. If you would like to participate either as a guest or a listener, please contact Arnold via e-mail or visit this Web site for any additional information on the conference as it becomes available.
Operating: Angola Operation Approved for DXCC Credit
ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, reports that the current Angola operation -- D2QMN -- has been approved for DXCC credit. "If you had cards that were recently rejected for this operation, please send an e-mail to the ARRL DXCC Desk and you will be placed on the list for update," Moore said.
+ Amateur Radio in Space: Astronaut Fernando "Frank" Caldeiro, KE4RFI (SK)
NASA Astronaut Fernando "Frank" Caldeiro, KE4RFI, passed away on October 3 after a more than two year battle with a brain tumor. He was 51. Caldeiro was a member of the Astronaut Class of 1996 and most recently was assigned to the WB-57 High Altitude Research Program within the Aircraft Operations Division at Ellington Field in Houston. In that role, he directed the integration and conducted the operation of high-altitude atmospheric research experiments carried on board the NASA WB-57 aircraft. "Frank was a valued member of the astronaut corps and the Flight Crew Operations team," said NASA's Director of Flight Crew Operations Brent Jett. "He provided a wealth of experience and made significant contributions to the success of both the WB-57 project and the space shuttle program. He will be missed by all those who knew him at NASA. Our hearts go out to his family." Caldeiro was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but he considered New York City and Merritt Island, Florida, to be his hometowns. He is survived by his wife, the former Donna Marie Emero of Huntington Beach, California, and two daughters.
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. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page or contact the Continuing Education Program Coordinator.
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