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The ARRL Letter
October 20, 2011
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+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

+ Thai Amateurs Respond to Floods, Ask that 7.060-7.063 MHz Be Kept Clear

RAST posted a video on YouTube of Thai hams providing communications support at Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport. Click here to watch the video.

Authorities in Thailand continue to battle the country's worst floods in decades, with the death toll rising to almost 300. While Thai hams are mostly using 2 meters to communicate, IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee Chairman Jim Linton, VK3PC, is asking all radio amateurs to keep 7.060-7.063 MHz clear from unnecessary traffic, as Thai hams are also using 40 meters during the flooding that is affecting millions of people in North and Central Thailand. "Amateur Radio has been assisting with flood relief communications, helping victims in the affected areas, said Tony Waltham, HS0ZDX, the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand's (RAST) International Liaison Officer. "Operators are using RAST's club station call sign HS0AC, and a special flood relief center with the call sign HS0AB has been established at Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport. Please be formally advised that Thai radio amateurs are standing by on 144.900 MHz, 145.000 MHz and 144.9375 MHz, as well as on frequencies of 7.060-7.063 MHz in the 40 meter HF band." Read more here.

+ ARRL Executive Committee Examines BPL Issues, Regulatory Matters, Electronic Balloting, More

The ARRL Executive Committee (EC) held its second 2011 meeting Saturday, October 1 in Dulles, Virginia. The EC administers the League's affairs in between Board meetings. It consists of the President (Kay Craigie, N3KN), five Directors elected annually by the Board, and -- without vote - the First Vice President (Rick Roderick, K5UR) and Chief Executive Officer (David Sumner, K1ZZ). For 2011 the Director members are Tom Frenaye, K1KI (New England), Dick Isely, W9GIG (Central), Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT (Rocky Mountain), Bob Vallio, W6RGG (Pacific) and Dr David Woolweaver, K5RAV (West Gulf). Also in attendance at the meeting were Second Vice President Bruce Frahm, K0BJ, International Affairs Vice President Jay Bellows, K0QB, and General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD. Read more here.

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+ Newly Elected Section Managers to Converge in Newington

This weekend, five newly elected or appointed Section Managers will be in Newington for an orientation workshop. The primary purposes of the workshop sessions are to share ideas and to provide basic administrative, management, leadership and motivational training.

"The Section Manager Workshop is an orientation and training event for new Section Managers that have come on board within the last year or so," said ARRL Field Organization Team Supervisor Steve Ewald, WV1X. "The ARRL has conducted this training each year at HQ for the past several years, and it has been well received by past participants. The Membership and Volunteer Programs Department Staff and its Field Organization Team are the lead coordinators of the event. We also cover the responsibilities and functions of the Section Manager position, and the SMs are able to visit with ARRL Headquarters staff members and learn more about the many programs that the ARRL supports. The workshop sessions are presented by several ARRL Headquarters staff members who are experts in their respective areas."

The following five Section Managers are attending the orientation workshop: Alabama Section Manager David Drummond, W4MD; Arkansas Section Manager Dale Temple, W5RXU; Colorado Section Manager Jack Ciaccia, WM0G; Western New York Section Manager Steve Ryan, N2ITF, and West Texas Section Manager Bill Roberts, W5NPR. Drummond, Temple, Ciaccia and Roberts began their terms in 2011, while Ryan began his 2010.

The 6th Annual ARRL On-Line Auction Is Open for Bidding!

The Sixth Annual ARRL On-Line Auction opened for bidding on Wednesday, October 19. There is a large assortment of ARRL Product Review items, including a Yaesu FT-DX5000D HF and 6 meter transceiver, an Ameritron ALS-1300 HF power amplifier, a Ten-Tec 599AT Eagle HF and 6 meter transceiver, a Kenwood TS-590S HF and 6 meter transceiver and an Elecraft P3 panadapter, as well as a wide assortment of books, including ARRL Handbooks from the 1920s and 1930s. "If you are interested in some great bargains and some great fun, you really need to check this out," Advertising Manager and ARRL On-Line Auction Coordinator Deb Jahnke, K1DAJ said. The 2011 ARRL On-Line Auction runs through 11:59 PM (EDT) October 26.

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+ California Ham Killed in Shooting Spree

David Caouette, N6DAC, of Seal Beach, California, was fatally shot when a gunman opened fire in a local beauty salon on October 12. [Photo courtesy of Darrin Simmons, W7UNI]

A gunman, apparently enraged over a custody dispute with his ex-wife, walked into a hair salon in Seal Beach, California on October 12. Scott Evans Dekraai allegedly opened fire in the salon, killing eight people, including his ex-wife. David Caouette, N6DAC -- who was waiting outside the salon in his car -- was killed in the rampage. He was 64. Ed Testa, KI6OJV, a longtime friend of Caouette's, told The Orange County Register that Caouette "was in the wrong place at the wrong time and had no way to defend himself. We are just in disbelief that he could have been involved in this tragedy." Testa said that he had heard that Caouette was visiting one of the restaurants next to the salon where the shooting occurred. Read more here.

Check Out the November/December Issue of QEX

The November/December issue of QEX is coming soon, and it is full of theoretical and practical technical articles that you won't want to miss. QEX is the ARRL's "Forum for Communications Experimenters." Published bimonthly, it features technical articles, columns and other items of interest to radio amateurs and communications professionals. The mission of QEX is threefold: To provide a medium for the exchange of ideas and information among Amateur Radio experimenters; to document advanced technical work in the Amateur Radio field, and to support efforts to advance the state of the Amateur Radio art. Read more here.

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+ Honor Professional Journalists: Nominate Them for the ARRL's Leonard Award

Bill Leonard, W2SKE

Television, radio, magazines, newspapers, blogs, Webcasts -- Amateur Radio has been featured in all of them in 2011. Now it is time to return the favor and thank the professional media people who made it happen by nominating them for the Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award. This national level annual award is sponsored by the ARRL and honors three professional journalists whose outstanding coverage in audio, video and print formats best reflect the enjoyment, importance and public service value of the Amateur Radio Service. The deadline for nominations is December 9. Read more here.

Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, October 20, 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 "Blackbirds and the Sun of October" Cook, K7RA, reports: The high solar activity -- relative to the past few years -- continues. The average daily sunspot number rose more than 66 percent this week (October 13-19) over last week, to 158.6, while the average daily solar flux for the same period rose more than 15 percent to 144.2. With the geomagnetic indices this week below the previous week, radio amateurs have frequently worked stations on other continents as late as midnight on 10 meters. The bands are alive. The latest forecast from USAF/NOAA shows solar flux from October 20-23 at 145, 150, 150 and 140, then 135 on October 24-28, and then 130 on October 29-November 3. The planetary A index is predicted at 5 on October 20-27, 8 on October 28-30 and 5 on October 31-November 2. Geophysical Institute Prague shows quiet conditions October 21-13, quiet to unsettled October 24 and quiet again October 25-27. Look for more information on the ARRL website on Friday, October 21. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" is brought to you by Dylan Thomas's Poem in October.

+ Postage Rates to Increase in January

The US Postal Service has announced that as of January 22, 2012, the cost to mail first class letters, postcards and packages within the US will go up. The cost to mail a first class letter will be 45 cents, an increase of 1 cent. According to the USPS, this is the first increase since May 2009. The cost of mailing a postcard will be 32 cents, an increase of 3 cents. This is the second increase for postcard postage in less than a year; in April 2011, the USPS boosted the postcard stamp price from 28 cents to 29 cents. You will also pay more to send letters to Canada, Mexico and other international destinations. Click here for more information on all the postal increases.

This Week on the Radio

This week:

  • October 22 -- FOC QSO Party, Microwave Fall Sprint (local time)
  • October 22-23 -- ARRL EME Contest; Stew Perry Topband Challenge; W/VE Islands QSO Party; SYLRA Contest
  • October 26 -- SKCC Sprint
  • October 26-27 -- CWops Mini-CWT Test

Next week:

  • October 29-30 -- CQ Worldwide DX Contest (SSB); 50 MHz Fall 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.

ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for Amateur Radio News and Information

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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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