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The ARRL Letter
August 25, 2011
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+ Available on ARRL Audio News

+ NHC Issues Hurricane Watch for Portions of North Carolina; ARRL Establishes Hurricane Irene Website

As Hurricane Irene -- currently a Category 3 storm -- approaches the US, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a hurricane watch earlier this morning for regions north of Surf City, North Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border, including the Pamlico, Albemarle and Currituck Sounds. A tropical storm watch is also in effect for north of Edisto Beach, South Carolina to Surf City, North Carolina.

This map from the Natinal Hurricane Center shows how Hrrricane Irene -- currently a Category 3 storm -- is expected to track through Monday, August 29. Click here for a larger image.

In anticipation of Irene's expected landfall in North Carolina, the ARRL HQ Emergency Response Team (HQERT) has established a website to keep amateurs informed of the latest developments. This website will also provide links to the NHC, WX4NHC -- the Amateur Radio station at the NHC -- the Hurricane Watch Net and the Voice over Internet Protocol Weather Net, where radio amateurs can send in their reports. The HQERT will also be monitoring various nets and providing support to the affected Field Organizations beginning on Friday, August 26 from W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station.

The NHC is predicting that it will be issuing hurricane warnings later on Thursday for those areas already covered by the hurricane watch, and is expected to extend the hurricane watch northward along the Mid-Atlantic coast, as well. The NHC advises residents in the Mid-Atlantic States and New England to monitor Irene's progress in anticipation of possible hurricane watches or warnings. Read more here.

+ 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 Atlantic, Dakota, Delta, Great Lakes and Midwest Divisions have nominated 15 candidates for the 10 positions of Director and Vice Director.

One candidate for Vice Director was found to be ineligible by the Ethics and Elections Committee, which left one eligible nominee for Vice Director in each of the five divisions. Accordingly, all five have been declared elected to three-year terms beginning at noon on January 1, 2012. Two incumbent Directors were unopposed and have been declared re-elected. There will be balloting for Director in the Atlantic, Delta and Midwest Divisions. Read more here.

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+ FCC News: ARRL Files Comments in Response to Anchorage VEC's Waiver Request

In April 2011, the Anchorage VEC -- one of 14 Volunteer Examiner Coordinators -- filed a Petition for Rule Making (RM-11629) that asked the FCC to give permanent credit to radio amateurs for examination elements they have successfully passed. This would, in effect, create a license exam credit that would be valid throughout an amateurs' lifetime, never expiring. On July 6, the Anchorage VEC submitted a Waiver Request with the FCC while RM-11629 is pending. This request asks that the FCC grant a blanket waiver ofSection 97.505 of the Commission's Rules to those radio amateurs whose licenses have expired -- and are beyond the two-year grace period for renewal -- to be afforded credit for examination elements previously passed. On August 11, the ARRL filed comments with the FCC, urging the Commission to dismiss or deny the Waiver Request. Read more here.

+ Scoutmaster Arthur Anderson, W9WPH, Stabbed to Death on Hiking Trip

Arthur Anderson, W9WPH (SK)

Arthur Anderson, W9WPH, of Kokomo, Indiana, 76, bled to death after being stabbed in what authorities are calling "a senseless act." On Sunday, August 21, Anderson -- together with another man -- was leading two Boy Scouts, ages 11 and 12, on a required five mile nature hike on the Nickel Plate Trail in Bunker Hill, 60 miles north of Indianapolis. According to Indiana State Police Sergeant Tony Slocum, the group had stopped on the trail to discuss a tree when Anderson was attacked from behind. Anderson, a scouting volunteer for 50 years, was an Assistant Scoutmaster of a troop based at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kokomo. Read more here.

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+ Section News: Georgia, Western Washington See No Change in Section Leadership

Two Section Manager elections this summer were decided by member balloting. In Georgia, incumbent Gene Clark, W4AYK, of Albany, was re-elected to a second term with 820 votes. His opponent Verne Fowler, W8BLA, of Cumming, received 365 votes. In Western Washington, Jim Pace, K7CEX, of Centralia, was re-elected for a third term with 965 votes. His opponent Daniel Stevens, KL7WM, of Kent, received 508 votes. Both men will begin new terms of office on October 1. Read more here.

IARU Administrative Council Holds Annual Meeting in South Africa

The Administrative Council of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) held its annual meeting on August 19-20 in Sun City, South Africa. The AC is responsible for the policy and management of the IARU and consists of the three IARU international officers and two representatives from each of the three IARU regional organizations.

IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, along with IARU Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, and IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD, were in attendance. IARU Region 1 President Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, IARU Region 1 Vice President Tafa Diop, 6W1KI, and IARU Region 1 Executive Committee Member Colin Thomas, G3PSM, represented IARU Region 1. IARU Region 2 President Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM, IARU Region 2 Secretary Ramon Santoyo, XE1KK represented IARU Region 2. IARU Region 3 Chairman of Directors Michael Owen, VK3KI, and IARU Region 3 Secretary Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP, represented IARU Region 3. David Sumner, K1ZZ, attended as recording secretary. Read more here.

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+ At the Workbench: Heathkit Returns to the Kit Business

A notice on the Heathkit website announces that the venerable kit manufacturer, well-known to all Amateur Radio operators of a certain age, will be reentering the kit business in late August. The notice states, in part: "Heathkit will debut their new line of Do-it-Yourself kits for common around-the-house items. The first kit will be a Garage Parking Assistant (GPA). The Garage Parking Assistant kit lets you build your own system that uses ultrasonic sound waves to locate your car as it enters the garage. The system signals to the driver using LED lights mounted on the wall when the car is detected and in the perfect spot for parking. Read more here.

Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, August 25, 2011 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 "I could feel the Sun on my back" Cook, K7RA, reports: Solar activity rose this week, with the average daily sunspot number rising more than 40 points to 66 points, while the average daily solar flux rose more than 13 points to 101.9. The predicted solar flux for August 25-26 is 110, rising to 115 for August 27-30, 110 for August 31, 105 for September 1-3, and 100 for September 4-5. The predicted planetary A index is 5 for August 25-26, 10 on August 27, and 5 on August 28 through September 2, then 8, 10, 10, 10, 7 and 5 on September 3-8. Look for more information on the ARRL website on Friday, August 26. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" is brought to you by The Bangles' Something to Believe In.

+ Silent Key: Peter Dahl, K0BIT (SK)

Peter Dahl, K0BIT (SK)

Peter Dahl, K0BIT, of El Paso, Texas, passed away August 15 of Parkinson's disease. He was 71. In 2007 after more than 40 years, he closed his company -- the Peter W. Dahl Company -- citing health reasons. "I want to thank everyone for their business throughout the years," Dahl told the ARRL upon his retirement. "I have enjoyed making each Amateur Radio transformer." Read more here.

This Week on the Radio

This week:

  • August 26 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • August 27 -- ARCI Welcome to QRP
  • August 27-28 -- Hawaii QSO Party; Kansas QSO Party; Ohio QSO Party; ALARA Contest; YO DX HF Contest; SCC RTTY Championship
  • August 28 -- SARL HF CW Contest

Next week:

  • September 2 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • September 3 -- Wake-Up! QRP Sprint; GCW Straight Key Party; Russian Radio WW RTTY Contest
  • September 3-4 -- Colorado QSO Party; QCWA Fall QSO Party; All Asian DX Contest (Phone); CWops Mini-CWT Test
  • September 4 -- DARC 10 Meter Digital Contest
  • September 4-5 -- Tennessee QSO Party
  • September 5-6 -- Michigan QRP Labor Day CW Sprint
  • September 6 -- ARS Spartan 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 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 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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