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The ARRL Letter
July 14, 2011
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2011 Second Meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors to Take Place This Weekend

The ARRL Board of Directors will hold its 2011 Second Meeting this weekend in Windsor, Connecticut, with Directors, Vice Directors and ARRL Board Officers in attendance. Per the Articles of Association the ARRL Board of Directors meets twice a year, in January and July. Find a copy of the meeting's agenda here.

+On the Air: The Republic of South Sudan Now a DXCC Entity

The newly created Republic of Sudan was recognized by the United Nations on July 14, making it the newest DXCC entity.

At 10 AM (EDT) on Thursday, July 14, the UN General Assembly met to vote on whether or not to admit the Republic of South Sudan as its 193rd member state. The Republic of South Sudan was admitted by a vote of acclamation and is now a member of the United Nations. Immediately following the General Assembly meeting, the flag of the Republic of South Sudan flew for the first time in front of the UN, ceremoniously marking its membership in the UN. The membership of the Republic of South Sudan in the United Nations invokes DXCC status under Section II, 1(a) of the DXCC rules. As such, the new country is declared a DXCC entity and QSOs for this new entity will be accepted immediately, with a start date of July 14, 2011.

The flag of the Republic of South Sudan

According to DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, the Honor Roll numbers move from 340 to 341 for the Top of the Honor Roll, and for Honor Roll it becomes 332. "The deadline for the Honor Roll and annual listings is December 31, so you must submit the new entity to DXCC by then in order to retain your Honor Roll status," Moore explained. "For Logbook of The World (LoTW), you may submit all your QSOs with the Republic of South Sudan stations anytime. There is no need to hold them out of your log or do anything differently from what you already have been doing. You do not need to assign country names or identifiers. After we issue certificates to the Republic of South Sudan license holders, LoTW will make matches and assign the correct entities automatically." Click here for more on how the Republic of South Sudan became the newest DXCC entity.

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+ FCC News: ReconRobotics Pays $17,500 to End FCC Investigation of Rules Violations

The Recon Scout -- manufactured and marketed by ReconRobotics -- is a remote-controlled, maneuverable surveillance robot designed for use in areas that may be too hazardous for human entry. In 2010, ReconRobotics was granted a waiver by the FCC for the device to operate between 430-448 MHz, a portion of spectrum available to the Amateur Radio Service on a secondary basis.

On Wednesday, July 13, the FCC announced that its Enforcement Bureau and ReconRobotics have entered into a Consent Decree. This resolves an FCC investigation in response to a complaint filed by the ARRL. In 2010, the ARRL alleged that ReconRobotics had violated Section 302a(b) of the Communications Act of 1934 as amended and Section 2.803 of the Commission's rules regarding the manufacturing, marketing, distributing and selling of radio frequency transmitters. In the complaint the ARRL alleged that ReconRobotics had unlawfully marketed the Recon Scout -- a remote-controlled, maneuverable surveillance robot operating in the 430-448 MHz band -- to public safety agencies and certain security personnel prior to the grant of a necessary waiver. The FCC granted a waiver to ReconRobotics in 2010 allowing public safety licensees to operate the device in a portion of the 70 cm band. To date, no license applications have been granted by the Commission for the device and the ARRL has petitioned to deny all applications filed. Read more here.

+ Public Service: Hurricane Watch Net Seeks New Members

The various organizations that assist the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami are gearing up for what forecasters are predicting to be a very active storm season. One organization that assists the NHC is the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN). One of the functions of HWN is to provide on-the-ground, real-time weather data to the forecasters at the NHC. The HWN gets this weather data from Amateur Radio operators who volunteer their time to monitor data from their calibrated home weather stations and report that data to the HWN. To better assist the NHC, HWN Manager Kirk Harding, K6KAR, told the ARRL that the HWN is looking for new members. Read more here.

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+ Amateur Radio in the Classroom: ARRL Executive Committee Approves Equipment Grants for Six Schools

In June, the ARRL Executive Committee reviewed grant applications for the ARRL's Education & Technology Program (ETP), awarding equipment valued at nearly $5000 to six schools. More than 575 schools across the country have received support from the ETP in the form of grants for equipment, curriculum and resources, as well as teacher in-service training through the Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology. Applications for equipment and resource grants are accepted twice each year; application deadlines are May 1 and November 1.

A central goal of the ETP is to develop a foundation of wireless technology literacy among America's teachers and students. It employs Amateur Radio to explore radio science and electronics and provide hands-on activities that engage students' minds and imaginations, opening doorways into math, science and technology curriculum topics, as well as other core curriculum areas such as geography and language arts. Read more here.

+ Ofcom Tests 70 cm Band in Advance of 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London

In April, Ofcom -- the British equivalent to the FCC -- approached the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) to help determine which sections of the 70 cm band could be used by the London Olympic Committee for a limited period before, during and after the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games. Both events will be held in London.

"As a secondary user of the band, we as radio amateurs have no specific rights to any of those frequencies," the RSGB stated on its website. "Rather than just imposing changes, Ofcom has approached the Society in the spirit of cooperation to work together to solve the problem. The RSGB intends to work constructively on this matter to reach agreement with Ofcom on the segments that can be released on a temporary basis. Ofcom has given clear and unambiguous assurance that the segments used will be returned once the London 2012 Games are over." Read more here.

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+ New Section Manager Appointed in West Texas

Bill Roberts, W5NPR, of Alpine, has been appointed as the Interim West Texas Section Manager as of July 8, 2011. ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, made the appointment in consultation with ARRL West Gulf Division Director David Woolweaver, K5RAV. Roberts has served as the ARRL West Texas Section Traffic Manager since 2009. He is a past president of the Big Bend Amateur Radio Club and is also active as a back-up net control station for the Big Bend Emergency/West Texas ARES® Net and a net control station for the National Traffic System's Daytime Region Net 5.

John Dyer, AE5B, completed his latest term of office as the West Texas Section Manager on June 30. Dyer has served as the top Field Organization official in West Texas since July 2007; he previously served as Section Manager from October 2002-June 2005. Dyer decided not to run for the new term of office that began July 1, 2011. Roberts will serve as Interim West Texas Section Manager until a Section Manager is declared elected. Read more here.

Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, July 14, 2011 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 "I'm gonna soak up the Sun" Cook, K7RA, reports: The average daily sunspot numbers this week were up 57 percent over the previous seven days, rising from 41.6 to 65.6, while the average daily solar flux rose just 3 points to 89.1. There seem to be plenty of sunspots of late, but none have been large, so the sunspot number and solar flux are not as high as in some previous months. A new sunspot appeared on July 7, then three more the next day on July 8, then a new one each day on July 9, 10 and 11 and two more on July 13. A coronal mass ejection on July 9 gave us some geomagnetic activity a couple of days later. Current forecast has an active day on July 14, with planetary A index at 17, then on July 15-24 at 8, 5, 5, 8, 10, 15, 12, 8, 8 and 5. Solar flux is predicted at 95 on July 14-15, 92 on July 16-17, 90 on July 18-20, then 92, 94, 90, 89 and 87 on July 21-25. Look for more information on the ARRL website on Friday, July 15. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" is brought to you by Sheryl Crow's Soak Up the Sun.

New QuickStats Poll Now Available on ARRL Website

Four new poll questions have just been published on the QuickStats page on the ARRL website. Let your voice be heard!

Questions in this month's QuickStats poll:

  • Is it becoming more difficult to find parts for your homebrew projects?
  • Have your neighbors ever complained about your outdoor antennas?
  • What is your favorite source for used Amateur Radio equipment?
  • Are you active on 6 meter FM?

Visit the QuickStats page and be sure to bookmark it in your browser. Results from this QuickStats poll will be published in the October 2011 issue of QST on the QuickStats page, located in the rear advertising section of the magazine. Along with monthly poll results, QST QuickStats offers colorful charts and graphs that highlight interesting Amateur Radio statistics.

This Week on the Radio

This week:

  • July 16 -- Feld Hell Sprint
  • July 16-17 -- DMC RTTY Contest; CWops Mini-CWT Test; CQ Worldwide VHF Contest; North American QSO Party (RTTY)
  • July 17 -- CQC Great Colorado Gold Rush
  • July 18 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest
  • July 21 -- NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint

Next week:

  • July 22 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • July 24 -- WAB 144 MHz QRO Phone
  • July 27 -- SKCC Sprint
  • July 27-28 -- CWops Mini-CWT Test

All dates, unless otherwise stated, are UTC. See the ARRL Contest Branch page, the ARRL Contest Update and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar for more information. Looking for a Special Event station? Be sure to check out the ARRL Special Event Stations Web page.

Upcoming ARRL Section, State and Division Conventions and Events

To find a convention or hamfest near you, click here.

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The ARRL Letter

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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