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The ARRL Letter
February 4, 2010
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Public Service : Illinois Teams with Amateur Radio Operators to Create RACES Program

A newly forged partnership between Amateur Radio operators throughout the state of Illinois and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will provide an additional layer of emergency communications during disasters. The agreement creates the State Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) program. Under the agreement, IEMA Director Andrew Velasquez appointed ARRL Illinois Section Emergency Coordinator Brad Pioveson, W9FX, of Benton as the volunteer State RACES Officer. Pioveson will serve as the single point of contact between IEMA and the Illinois Amateur Radio community. Read more here.

Public Service: MARS Unifies Operation in Support of Haiti Relief Effort

To assist the MARS communications support effort in Haiti, the heads of the Army, Air Force, and Navy-Marine Corps MARS programs have agreed to divvy up responsibilities among the three Service MARS programs. According to Air Force MARS Public Information Officer David Trachtenberg, N4WWL/AFA3TR, this delegation of responsibility will facilitate more efficient utilization of MARS communications assets in the overall relief operation. On January 12, a 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, killing thousands and wiped out the island nation's communication infrastructure. Read more here.

ARRL Field Day : 2010 Field Day Packets Now Available

It's that time of year again -- time to start gearing up for ARRL Field Day, June 26-27, 2010! ARRL's flagship operating event -- always held the fourth full weekend in June -- brings together new and experienced hams for 24 hours of operating fun. Field Day packets are now available for download and include the complete rules (including changes for 2010), as well as other reference items such as forms, ARRL Section abbreviation list, entry submission instructions, a Frequently Asked Questions section, guidelines for getting bonus points, instructions for GOTA stations, a kit to publicize your event with the local press and more.

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Coming Up in QST : Look for the March Issue of QST to Arrive Soon!

The March issue of QST -- our annual antenna issue -- is jam-packed with all sorts of things today's Amateur Radio operator needs. From product reviews to experiments to contesting to a plethora of antennas and antenna projects, the upcoming issue of QST has something for just about everyone. You'll find an abundance of technical and general interest articles -- including a new operating event for newly licensed hams -- as well as monthly columns such as Happenings, How's DX, Hamspeak, Vintage Radio and more. Click here to discover what's in store for you in the March issue of QST, the official journal of the ARRL .

Licensing News: NCVEC Releases Revised Technician Question Pool

In January, the Question Pool Committee (QPC) of the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) released the 2010 Technician (Element 2) Question Pool. Upon further review of the pool, members of the QPC found and corrected more than 50 minor typographical errors and clarified the questions and answers, making them easier to understand. These adopted changes are now incorporated in a revised question pool. Read more here.

ARRL In Action : What Have We Been Up to Lately?

This feature -- including convenient Web links to useful information -- is a concise monthly update of some of the things ARRL is doing on behalf of its members, including planning for the League's future at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors, preparing for WRC-12, investigating interference, providing equipment for communications support in Haiti through the ARRL's Ham Aid program and more. This installment covers the month of January. Read more here.

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ARRL Recognizes: Former ARRL President Named QCWA President Emeritus

Harry Dannals, W2HD

Harry Dannals, W2HD -- who led the ARRL as President from 1972-1982 and was named ARRL President Emeritus in 1984 -- has been named President Emeritus of the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA). Dannals also served as President of QCWA from 1989-1994; he is the only person to ever serve as President to both organizations. In addition to his work with the QCWA and ARRL, Dannals is a Fellow in the Radio Club of America (RCA), a member of the Society of Wireless Pioneers (SOWP), the Old Old Timers Club (OOTC) and the Veteran Wireless Operators Association (VWOA). In 2002, he was inducted into the CQ Magazine Amateur Radio Hall of Fame. "I was pleased to learn that the QCWA's leadership has conferred upon Harry Dannals this very well-deserved accolade," said ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN. "As the only person to have served as President of the ARRL and the QCWA, he is unique among amateurs."

FCC News : FCC Notes Amateur Radio Response to Haitian Earthquake

In a posting on January 28 to the FCC's blog, Mindel DeLaTorre -- the Commission's International Bureau Chief -- noted how Amateur Radio operators are assisting with communications support in earthquake ravaged Haiti. "The amateur radio community is also contributing to the relief efforts," she wrote. "In the aftermath of the earthquake, the amateur radio community in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and elsewhere has dedicated equipment and spectrum resources to the relief efforts." DeLaTorre reiterated that those who want to assist in the relief effort must go through the proper channels: "For anyone wanting to help, to protect against harmful interference, it is important to go through the Haitian government before any radio equipment or spectrum resources are used in Haiti."

ARRL Recognizes: Phil Salas, AD5X, Wins January QST Cover Plaque Award

The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for January is Phil Salas, AD5X, for his article "160 and 80 Meter Matching Network for Your 43 Foot Vertical -- Part 2." Congratulations Phil! 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 February issue by Sunday, February 28.

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Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, February 4, 2010 from NASA's SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope. This image was taken at 304 Angstrom; the bright material is at 60,000 to 80,000 degrees Kelvin.

Tad "Sun and moon but set to rise" Cook, K7RA, reports: As soon as sunspot 1041 went over the horizon at the end of January, sunspot 1043 emerged, high in our Sun's northern hemisphere. The average daily sunspot number this week fell more than 13 points to 14.6; the average daily solar flux declined nearly 7 points to 75. Geomagnetic activity was up, and the average daily planetary A index rose 2 points to 5.1. The average daily sunspot number for January was 21.3, and the 3-month trailing average -- centered on December -- was approximately 15.2. Like last month, the average for the month greater than the 3-month average centered on the previous month is a good trend. The difference between the monthly average sunspot number and the trailing 3-month average has been positive since September. The difference for November, December and January was 0.6, 5.5 and 6.2. For 2009, the 3-month average centered on January through December (resolved to two digits beyond the decimal point) was 2.19, 2.02, 1.49, 2.01, 4.23, 5.2, 4, 4, 4.64, 7.1, 10.16 and 15.15. The predicted planetary A index for February 4-9 is 5, 5, 8, 10, 10 and 5. The predicted solar flux for those same days is 78, 80, 82, 85, 88 and 90. Look for more information in the Solar Update -- including news on 6 meter openings, and a piece from Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, about an auroral oval image -- on the ARRL Web site on Friday, February 5. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" brought to you by Robert Burns' Inconsistency in Love.

This Week on the Radio

Click here for a preview of the Product Review in the March QST: A look at remote automatic antenna tuners and the 43 foot vertical.

This week, there is a running of the NCCC Sprint Ladder on February 5. Look for the FYBO Winter QRP Sprint, the Minnesota QSO Party and the AGCW Straight Key Party on February 6. The Vermont QSO Party, the YL-ISSB QSO Party (CW), the 10-10 International Winter Contest (SSB), the British Columbia QSO Party, the Delaware QSO Party and the Mexico RTTY International Contest are February 6-7. On February 7, check out the North American Sprint (CW) and the ARCI Fireside SSB Sprint. The New Mexico QSO Party is February 8. The ARRL School Club Roundup is February 8-12. The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint is February 10 and the CWops Mini-CWT Test is February 10-11. Next week, the NCCC Sprint Ladder is February 12. The YLRL YL-OM Contest is February 12-14 and the FISTS Winter Sprint is February 13. On February 13-14, be sure to check out the CQWW RTTY WPX Contest, the KCJ Topband Contest, the Louisiana QSO Party and the OMISS QSO Party. The North American Sprint (SSB) and the SKCC Weekend Sprint are both February 14. The Classic Exchange (Phone) is February 15 and the AGCW Semi-Automatic Key Evening is February 17. 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 Continuing Education Course Registration

Registration remains open through Sunday, February 21, 2010, for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, March 5, 2010: 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 CEP Course Listing page or contact the Continuing Education Program Coordinator.

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