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The ARRL Letter
July 15, 2010
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+ Available on ARRL Audio News


+ FCC Rules that Amateurs May Participate in Non-Government-Sponsored Drills by Employers

In a Report and Order (R&O) released Wednesday, July 14, the FCC stated that under new guidelines, amateurs employed by non-governmental agencies, such as hospitals, may participate and operate in drills sponsored by their employer. Specifically, the FCC will now permit Amateur Radio operators "to transmit messages, under certain limited circumstances, during either government-sponsored or non-government sponsored emergency and disaster preparedness drills, regardless of whether the operators are employees of entities participating in the drill." More information will be posted on the ARRL Web site.

+ ARRL Board of Directors Holds Second 2010 Meeting This Weekend

The ARRL Board of Directors will hold its 2010 Second Meeting July 16-17 in Windsor, Connecticut. Directors, Vice Directors and ARRL Board Officers will be in attendance, including three Vice Directors who will be at their first Board meeting: Rod Blocksome, K0DAS, of the Midwest Division, Kent Olson, KA0LDG, of the Dakota Division and Grant Hopper, KB7WSD, of the Northwestern Division. The Board will also be welcoming Rod Stafford, W6ROD, in his new capacity as IARU Secretary, as well as Radio Amateurs of Canada President Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW.

The meeting will be preceded on Thursday, July 15 with meetings of the Administration and Finance Committee and the Programs and Services Committee. The Administration and Finance Committee is chaired by Northwestern Division Director Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF. This committee studies, advises and makes recommendations for all administration and financial matters of the League, including recommending the annual budget to the Board, making recommendations in regard to staff management and monitoring investment of ARRL funds. The Programs and Services Committee, headed by Atlantic Division Director Bill Edgar, N3LLR, studies, advises and makes recommendations for all programs and services the League provides, including operating activities and the Field Organization.

At its January 2010 meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors decided to make the agendas of Board and Executive Committee meetings available on the ARRL Web site. The agenda for the 2010 Second Meeting is available here. Per the Articles of Association, the ARRL Board of Directors meets twice a year, in January and July.

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+ ARRL West Gulf Division Vice Director John Thomason, WB5SYT, Resigns Position

John Thomason, WB5SYT

On Sunday, July 11, ARRL West Gulf Division Vice Director John Thomason, WB5SYT, of Edmond, Oklahoma, submitted his resignation to ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN. Thomason told President Craigie that by resigning, he will be able to "devote my energy to serve my family, employer and health." Craigie accepted the resignation with regret and then informed West Gulf Director Dr David Woolweaver, K5RAV. Previously the Oklahoma Section Manager, Thomason was appointed Vice Director in January 2009 after Dr Woolweaver moved up to the Director position upon the retirement of Division Director Coy Day, N5OK. The Director and Vice Director positions in the West Gulf Division -- as well as the Pacific, Rocky Mountain, Southeastern and Southwestern Divisions -- are up for election this year.

+ First Half of 2010 Sees Upswing in New Amateur Radio Licensees

As of June 30, 2010, the number of new licenses issued by the FCC in 2010 is outpacing the January-June 2009 totals by almost 8.5 percent; at this time last year, the FCC had issued 16,844 new licenses. Click here for a larger image.

With more than 18,000 new Amateur Radio licenses issued in the first half of this year -- 18,270 to be exact -- 2010 is shaping up to be a banner year for Amateur Radio. So far, the number of new licenses issued by the FCC in 2010 is outpacing the January-June 2009 totals by almost 8.5 percent; at this time last year, the FCC had issued 16,844 new licenses. As of June 30, 2010, there are 694,346 licensed Amateur Radio operators in the US, an almost 1 percent rise over all of calendar year 2009. Broken down by license class at the end of June 2010, there were 16,299 Novices, 342,064 Technicians, 154,284 Generals, 60,059 Advanced and 121,640 Amateur Extra licensees . Read more here.

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+ ARRL Recognizes: Fred Fish Memorial Award #2 Goes to Texas Ham

Pat Rose, W5OZI, is the recipient of the Fred Fish Memorial Award #2.

Llewellyn "Pat" Rose, W5OZI, of Junction, Texas, is the recipient of the Fred Fish Memorial Award (FFMA) #2. Thanks to a recent Grid DXpedition by Russ Dwarshius, KB8U, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Rose earned FFMA #2; FFMA #1 was awarded posthumously to Fred Fish, W5FF, himself. The ARRL Awards Branch received and approved Rose's QSL for his last-needed grid -- CM79 in California -- on July 8, 2010.

Fred Fish, W5FF (SK)

The Fred Fish Memorial Award was created in honor of Fish, a legendary VHF+ operator who became the first amateur to work and confirm all 488 Maidenhead grid squares within the 48 contiguous United States on 6 meters. Rose is the first amateur to duplicate Fish's feat. The FFMA will be awarded to any amateur who can duplicate Fish's accomplishment. Read more here.

+ Honoring the Best: The ARRL's A-1 Operator Club

First organized in May 1933, the ARRL's A-1 Operator Club has a proud history and occupies an important place in Amateur Radio tradition. By early 1934, the roster of recognized A-1 operators had swelled to more than 400; by the end of 1938, to 1000. As of mid-2010 there are more than 6000 members of this special club! Then, as now, nominations were not made lightly; through the years, recognition as an A-1 Operator has represented an unsolicited acknowledgment of one's high standing among one's peers. Read more here.

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International Perspective: WRTC 2010 Winners Announced

Broadcast live over the Internet on Monday, July 12, WRTC Judge David Sumner, K1ZZ -- on behalf of Chief Judge Mike Klokov, UA9PM, and the Judging Committee that included Nodir Tursoon-Zadeh, EY8MM, Roger Western, G3SXW, and Don Field, G3XTT -- announced the winners of the 2010 World Radiosport Team Championships (WRTC) in Moscow, Russia:

  • Gold Medal (First Place): The R32F Team, consisting of Vladimir Aksenov RW1AC, and Alexey Mikhailov, RA1AIP, of Russia, with 4,098,162 points.
  • Silver Medal (Second Place): The R33A Team, consisting of Tonno Vahk, ES5TV, and Toivo Hallikivi, ES2RR, from Estonia, with 4,084,889 points.
  • Bronze Medal (Third Place): The R33M Team, consisting of Dan Craig, N6MJ, and Chris Hurlbut, KL9A, of the United States, with 3,942,904 points
  • Best SSB score: The R33A Team. At least 35 percent of their contacts must have been on CW.
  • Best CW score: The R33L Team, consisting of Yuri Onipko, VE3DZ, and Yury Romanov, VE3XB, of Canada. At least 35 percent of their contacts must have been on SSB.
  • Highest multiplier: The R33A Team with 389 multipliers.

Congratulations to all 48 WRTC teams! A complete list of teams and their scores can be found here. According to WRTC officials, the location of the 2014 WRTC will be announced shortly; groups in two countries -- the United States and Bulgaria -- have submitted letters of interest to host the 2014 event.

International Perspective: Spain Extends Amateur Privileges on 70 MHz

The Union de Radioaficionados Espanoles -- Spain's IARU Member-Society -- announced that the Secretaría de Estado de Telecomunicaciones y para la Sociedad de la Información (Spain's equivalent to the FCC) has extended temporary privileges on the 70 MHz band (4 meters) to hams in that country. In 2008, hams in Spain were granted 70 MHz privileges for six months. Spanish amateurs may now use 70.150-70.200 MHz, with a maximum of 10 W; the average power of emission outside the authorized band should not exceed 25 microwatts. Read more here.

+ Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, July 15, 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 Kelvin.

Tad "The river glistened like a path of diamonds in the Sun" Cook, K7RA, reports: Two new sunspot groups this week provided increased solar activity. The average daily sunspot numbers this week rose 2.9 points to 18.9, and the average daily solar flux was up 6.4 points to 79.2. The predicted solar flux for July 15-21 is 80 on each day. The predicted planetary A index for July 18 is 8, followed by 5 for each day through July 22. The next rise in the planetary A index is July 23-25, when it is predicted to be 18, 12 and 10. On Wednesday, July 14, there was an interruption at in the portion of the STEREO image that faces Earth, but by early Thursday morning it was restored. Due to movement of the STEREO craft, as the gap closes on the far side, a new one facing Earth will begin in January 2011. Eventually, the two spacecraft will work their way around the Sun and return to their original position by 2024. Currently, the outlook for the near term looks good for HF propagation, with low geomagnetic indices and some moderate solar activity. Look for more information on the ARRL Web site on Friday, July 16. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" brought to you by Charles Dickens' The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Chapter 6).

This Week on the Radio

This week, the North American QSO Party (RTTY), the DMC RTTY Contest and the CQ Worldwide VHF Contest are July 17-18. The Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is July 19. Next week, there is another running of the NCCC Sprint Ladder on July 23. The RSGB Islands on the Air (IOTA) Contest is July 24-25 and the SKCC Sprint July 28. 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 Events Station Web page.

ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration

Registration remains open through Sunday, July 25, 2010, for this online course session beginning on Friday, August 6, 2010: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1. To learn more, visit the CEP Course Listing page or contact the Continuing Education Program Coordinator.

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