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The ARRL Letter
September 2, 2010
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+ Available on ARRL Audio News

+ Public Service: Hurricane Earl Heading for North Carolina, Hurricane Warnings Issued for New England

This image shows Hurricane Earl's projected track along the Atlantic Coast. Click here for a larger image. [Image from Stormpulse]

Hurricane Earl -- once again a Category 4 storm -- is currently aiming for North Carolina's Outer Banks. At 11 AM (EDT) on Thursday, September 2, Earl is located about 300 miles south of Cape Hatteras and 765 south of Nantucket Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts. Earl is now moving north at a speed near 18 MPH, and is expected to turn north-northeast with an increase in forward speed on Friday. The center of Earl will pass near the North Carolina Outer Banks Thursday night and approach Southeastern New England sometime on Friday night. No significant change in strength is expected today, but forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) expect that the storm will show gradual weakening beginning on Friday.

This map -- dated 8 AM EDT on Thursday, September 2 -- from the National Hurricane Center shows Hurricane Earl, Tropical Storm Fiona and Tropical Depression Gaston, as well as a spot where NHC forecasters say there is a 10 percent chance for a tropical cyclone to form (marked in yellow). Click here for a larger image.

"Here at ARRL Headquarters, we are continuing to monitor Hurricane Earl," said ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Mike Corey, W5MPC. "I've been in touch with Section Managers, Section Emergency Coordinators and served agencies at the national level such as FEMA, National VOAD and the National Weather Service, sharing information about preparedness efforts in the storm's path. Right now, like most, we are keeping alert, monitoring the changing conditions and waiting to see where Earl goes. We're also keeping an eye on other storms developing in the Atlantic -- Fiona and Gaston a threat." Read more here.

+ ARRL Leadership: ARRL Members Nominate Candidates for Director, Vice Director

The policies of the ARRL are established by 15 Directors who are elected to the Board on a geographical basis, with elections for three-year terms held in five divisions each year. At the same time, Vice Directors are elected on the same basis. Responding to solicitations in the July and August issues of QST, ARRL members in the Pacific, Rocky Mountain, Southeastern, Southwestern and West Gulf Divisions have nominated 16 candidates for the 10 positions of Director and Vice Director.

Five incumbents have been declared elected without opposition, while there will be balloting for the Director position in the Southeastern, Southwestern and West Gulf Divisions, and for the Vice Director position in the Southeastern and West Gulf Divisions. Ballots will be counted on Friday, November 19, 2010, and those elected will serve three-year terms beginning at noon on January 1, 2011.

  • In the Pacific Division, Bob Vallio, W6RGG, of Castro Valley, California -- as the only nominee for Director -- was declared re-elected, as was Vice Director Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, of Oakland, California.
  • Current Rocky Mountain Director Division Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was unopposed for the position of Rocky Mountain Division Director, so he is declared re-elected. Vice Director Dwayne Allen, WY7FD, of Devils Tower, Wyoming, was also declared re-elected.
  • Having no opponent, incumbent Southwestern Division Vice Director Marty Woll, N6VI, of Chatsworth, California, was also declared re-elected. Read more here.
+ On the Air: New D-STAR Repeater Now in Place in ARRL Laboratory

ARRL Test Engineer Bob Allison, WB1GCM, has some fun on the new D-STAR repeater -- located in the ARRL Lab -- on his lunch break. [Photo S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA]

The ARRL Lab has installed a D-STAR (Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio) repeater in the Lab at the ARRL Headquarters building. Operating with an output of 147.390 MHz, positive offset, the W1HQ D-STAR repeater is a local repeater with a modest footprint covering the Hartford-New Britain, Connecticut area. The antenna is on the roof of the Headquarters building with the repeater located in the Lab. With its gateway, the repeater is accessible to any D-STAR user on the planet. The Lab's call sign is W1INF.

"The purpose of the repeater is to better educate the Lab staff on D-STAR technology," explained ARRL Test Engineer Bob Allison, WB1GCM. "In turn, we will have the ability to handle some of our members' questions on the matter. We also intend to use this new technology when emergencies occur where D-STAR technology is deployed." Read more here.

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+ On the Air: Discover the Fun of 6 Meters (and Up!) in the ARRL September VHF QSO Party

September is here, and according to ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, that means the VHF bands are getting a workout: "If you've never experienced the fun of VHF+ operating, the ARRL September VHF QSO Party is a great place to start. With many HF radios now offering at least 6 meter SSB/CW capabilities -- and some offering 2 meters and 70 cm as well -- any amateur with a Technician class license or higher can experience long-haul communication on the VHF bands." Read more here.

+ FCC: New Rules for Employee Participation in Drills Begin September 3

Beginning September 3, the new, revised wording of Section 97.113 goes into effect. As of this date, the FCC will permit government entities that sponsor disaster and emergency drills to hold these drills without applying for a waiver. Additionally, employees who wish to participate in non-government-sponsored drills and exercises may do so under certain conditions. Part 97 is the portion of the Commission's rules that govern the Amateur Radio Service. Read more here.

+ FCC: FCC Reaffirms 2×2 Call Signs Are Only for Advanced, Amateur Extra License Classes

In May 2010, John Gottschalk, KB1DDK, of Westwood, Massachusetts, requested a new call sign via the FCC's vanity call sign program. Gottschalk, a General class licensee, requested KK1CQ -- a 2×2 call sign -- and a waiver from the Commission allowing him to hold the call sign. The FCC denied both requests on Tuesday, August 31, 2010. Read more here.

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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 advocating for and representing Amateur Radio at the local, national and international level, facilitating elections for Directors, Vice Directors and Section Managers, putting W1AW on the air, holding operating events and more. This installment covers the month of August. Read more here.

+ AWA Recognizes: QST Columnist Recognized for Documenting Radio's Past

AWA Houck Awards Administrator Barney Wooters, W5KSO, presents the Houck Award for Documentation to John Dilks, K2TQN. [Photo, Bill Zukowski, N2YEG]

John Dilks, K2TQN -- who pens the "Vintage Radio" column in QST every month -- was awarded the AWA Houck Award for Documentation by the Antique Wireless Association at their 2010 World Convention, held August 17-21 in Rochester, New York. This award is presented each year to an AWA member who has written original articles on radio development or history in the AWA Journal, AWA Review or other publication. Read more here.

+ ARRL Recognizes: James Garland, W8ZR , Wins August QST Cover Plaque Award

The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for August is James Garland, W8ZR , for his article "The StationPro Master Station Controller." Congratulations James! 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 September issue today!

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+ Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, September 2, 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 "We turn the Sun away" Cook, K7RA, reports: Over the past week three new sunspot groups appeared: Group 1101 was already in place since August 24, group 1102 emerged on August 29, and on September 1, new sunspot groups 1103 and 1104 appeared. From August 26-September 1, the daily sunspot number was 23, 11, 11, 25, 28, 27 and 51. Over those same days, the total relative size of all the sunspot groups in millionths of a solar hemisphere was 100, 100, 130, 170, 180, 220 and 270. The average daily sunspot numbers rose more than 17 points to 25.4, when compared to the previous seven day period. Geomagnetic indicators began the week showing unsettled conditions, but they calmed down to quiet levels again. Predicted solar flux for the next 12 days is 76, 76, 77, 76, 75, 75, 74, 74, 76, 78, 80 and 80. For September 2-18, the planetary A index is predicted to be 5, then 12 and 8 for September 19-20. Look for more information on the ARRL Web site on Friday, September 3. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" is brought to you by Emily Dickinson's As Summer into Autumn Slips.

This Week on the Radio

This week:

  • September 4 -- Russian RTTY WW Contest; Wake-Up! QRP Sprint; AGCW Straight Key Party
  • September 4-5 -- ARRL EME Contest; All Asian DX Contest (Phone); Colorado QSO Party; Brazil Independence Day BPSK31 CDX Contest
  • September 5 -- WAB 144 MHz QRP Contest (Phone)
  • September 5-6 -- Tennessee QSO Party
  • September 6-7 -- Michigan QRP Labor Day CW Sprint
  • September 7 -- ARS Spartan Sprint
  • September 8 -- QRP Fox Hunt
  • September 8-9 -- CWops Mini-CW Test

Next week:

  • September 10 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • September 11 -- Ohio State Parks on the Air
  • September 11-12 -- Arkansas QSO Party; FISTS Get Your Feet Wet Weekend; WAE DX Contest (SSB)
  • September 11-13 -- ARRL September VHF QSO Party
  • September 12 -- North American Sprint (CW); SKCC Weekend Sprint
  • September 16 -- NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint

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.

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