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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
June 3, 2010
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


+ Available on ARRL Audio News

+ After installing some software updates, we are pleased to be able to once again offer the ARRL Audio News via telephone. By calling 860-594-0384, you can listen to the latest edition of the Audio News.

+ 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins This Week

Forecasters are calling for a busy hurricane system this season/

The Atlantic hurricane season could be the busiest since 2005, when Katrina and Rita caused massive destruction along the same part of the Gulf Coast now struggling with the largest offshore oil spill in US history, government scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said last week. According to NOAA's predictions, the 2010 season may spawn as many as 23 named tropical storms, including up to seven major hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season began Tuesday, June 1 and runs through November 30.

"This year's hurricane season is forecasted to be a busy one, with a strong chance of a major hurricane making landfall in the US," said ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Mike Corey, W5MPC. "I would encourage all amateurs in hurricane-prone areas to take part in any planning, drills or exercises, have your go-kits in order, review your local plans, make sure your home and family are safe and be ready if called upon. We here at ARRL Headquarters are already making plans to assist amateurs in the field if and when needed this season." Read more here.

+ On the Air: Join the Fun on VHF in the ARRL VHF QSO Party

Malcolm Scrimger, VE7DAO, of Victoria, British Columbia, activated Special Event Station VE7IYOA from Mt Tolmie for the 2009 ARRL June VHF QSO Party. The station, to commemorate the International Year of Astronomy, intrigued many visitors to the park, giving Scrimger opportunity to explain not only how astronomy has evolved over 400 years, but the Amateur Radio Service.

Lots of RF will be generated on 6 meters and up the weekend of June 12-13 during the 2010 ARRL VHF QSO Party. While many amateurs think of the VHF+ bands as a "local" band for public service, emergency communications or even a bit of fun on FM repeaters, weak-signal VHF+ enthusiasts know better. Even with a modest station, it's possible to work hundreds, or even thousands of miles, on the VHF bands during a good opening.

ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, is a big VHF enthusiast himself. "In more than 25 years of Amateur Radio, weak-signal work on 6 and 2 meters remains the most fun and intriguing activity I do. There is nothing like a good VHF opening; with interesting propagation characteristics like Sporadic-E, tropospheric ducting, aurora and even meteor scatter and moonbounce, VHF offers QSO opportunities that HF can never satisfy." The ARRL June VHF QSO Party runs from 1800 UTC Saturday, June 12 through 0300 UTC Monday, June 14 (Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening for most of the US and Canada). Complete rules and entry forms may be found on the ARRL Web site. Read more here.

+ Amateur Radio in Space: Australia Students Celebrate WIA Centenary with ARISS QSO

Students from the Trinity Christian School at Wanniassa in the Australian Capital Territory made history on May 29 with the first Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact to be held in Canberra. The event was part of the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) Centenary Dinner on May 29. More than 200 people attended the event, including international guests IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, and ARRL International Vice President Jay Bellows, K0QB, as well as prominent Australians such as IARU Region 3 Chairman Michael Owen, VK3KI, Australian Communications and Media Authority Chairman Chris Chapman and WIA Centenary Patron Dick Smith, VK2DIK. The principal of Trinity Christian School is Carl Palmer, VK2TP/VK1TP. 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 bringing the ever-popular ARRL EXPO to the 2010 Dayton Hamvention®, awarding college scholarships, releasing new books, holding Section Manager elections and more. This installment covers the month of May. Read more here.

+ Texas Group to Host International Earth-Moon-Earth Conference in August

The North Texas Microwave Society (NTMS) will host the 14th International EME Conference in Dallas, Texas on August 12-14. This is the first time the conference has been held in the US since 2004. Whether you are an experienced EMEer or new to EME, the conference will offer a wide range of technical, social and sight-seeing activities. Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR, President and Chief Executive Officer of FlexRadio, will be the lunchtime speaker on Friday, August 13; Nobel laureate Joe Taylor, K1JT, will speak about April's 432 MHz EME event at Arecibo on Saturday, August 14. Presentations will include a noise figure workshop hosted by Al Ward, W5LUA, Tommy Henderson, WD5AGO, and Tony Emanuele, WA8RJF, as well as an EME demonstration by Paul Perryman, WA5WCP, and exhibits featuring a number of dealers. The event will also feature tours for both attendees and their spouses to various historic sites around the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Organizers are still soliciting people to speak or submit articles for the conference's Technical Proceedings. If interested, please contact Barry Malowanchuk, VE4MA, via e-mail. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Westin Hotel, a short shuttle ride from DFW Airport; rooms must be reserved by July 12 to take advantage of special rates.

+ International Perspective: 2010 IARU Eyeball QSO Contest Results

At the 2010 Dayton Hamvention®, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) and the ARRL sponsored a game that involved searching for hams visiting from outside the USA. According to ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, the idea was to obtain calls and names from as many different DXCC entities (from outside the USA) as possible by making "eyeball QSOs" during the Hamvention.

"No one knew exactly what to expect," Patton said, "as there hadn't been a formal list of attendees from outside the USA in the recent past. But amazingly, there were at least 138 hams from 48 DXCC entities -- not including all the DXpeditioners who signed with their DXpedition calls -- appearing on the eyeball QSO cards that were turned in to IARU officials at the end of the event to the IARU staff." As for the winners, Patton said that "everyone was a winner through the interaction with all the international guests, and the Top 10 will receive gift certificates from the ARRL."

The Top 10 winners -- including a tie for first place --were (with number of international "eyeball QSOs" following their call sign): Margreet Blondeel Timmerman, K2XYL (24); Frank Butler, W4RH (24); Lewis Ankerbrand, W3GHU (19); Steve Gocala, KB8VAO (18); Allen Olender, WA8IWK (14); Stan Arnett, AC8W (14); Judy Attaya-Harris, KB1SRO (12); Coy Day, N5OK (12); Preben Mailand Christensen, OZ1HHH (10); Ed Moyer, AB3AH (9), and Ken Lowry, W8ND (6). For a list of the 138 call signs representing almost 50 DXCC entities, click here.

+ ARRL Recognizes: Mert Nellis, W0UFO, Wins May QST Cover Plaque Award

The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for May is Mert Nellis, W0UFO, for his article "Build an Ampere-Hour Meter for Portable Operations." Congratulations Mert! 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 June issue by Wednesday, June 30.

+ Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, June 3, 2010 from NASA's SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope. This MDI (Michelson Doppler Imager) image was taken in the continuum near the Ni I 6768 Angstrom line. The most prominent features are the sunspots. This is very much how the Sun looks in the visible range of the spectrum.

Tad "Fear no more the heat o' the Sun," Cook, K7RA, reports: Sunspot group 1072 -- reported in last week's bulletin -- was visible for nine days, until May 28. When it disappeared on May 29, three new groups appeared: 1073, 1074 and 1075. On May 29-31, the sunspot number was 43, 40 and 39, but geomagnetic indices were high as well, with the planetary A index at 33 on May 29 and the planetary K index up to 5. On the same day, the college A index (Alaska) was 53, with the college K index as high as 7. So we have had some increased sunspot activity, but the downside for HF operators has been geomagnetic storms. Look for more information, including a rare 2 meter sporadic-E opening, on the ARRL Web site on Friday, June 4. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" brought to you by William Shakespeare's Cymbeline (Act IV, Scene 2).

This Week on the Radio

This week, the Ten-Ten International Open Season Contest and the Alabama QSO Party are June 5-6. The CWOps Mini-CWT Test is June 9-10. Next week, the ARRL June VHF QSO Party is June 12-14. Another running of the NCCC Sprint Ladder takes place June 11. On June 12, look for the BARTG Sprint, the Portugal Day Contest and the Bill Windle QSO Party. TheDRCG Long Distance Contest (RTTY) is June 12-13 and the SKCC Weekend Sprint is June 13. 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, June 20, 2010, for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, July 2, 2010: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1; Antenna Design and Construction; 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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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.

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