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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
March 22, 2012
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
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+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

+ New ARRL Membership Benefits Coming in June

Beginning in June, ARRL members will have access to a digital edition of QST that can be read on smartphones, tablets and computers.

The ARRL is excited to announce two new membership benefits that will be introduced in June 2012. In addition to the print copy of QST, all members will have access to an online digital edition of QST -- at no extra cost. You will be able to access QST from anywhere -- on nearly any computer, laptop, mobile device, smartphone and tablet (including Apple iPad, iPhone, iTouch and devices using the Android operating system). Members will also gain access to archived issues of QST from December 1915 to the present; previously, only issues through 2007 were available to members. If you are familiar with the current periodicals archive, that platform will be expanded to include all of QST from December 1915 through December 2011. A second, new archive will be introduced for issues beginning January 2012, featuring enhanced functionality including full-text search. Read more here.

+ ARRL Announces New DXCC Fee Structure

The DX Century Club (DXCC) is the premier Amateur Radio operating award. Available to hams around the world, tens of thousands of awards have been issued since 1945 under the modern award program. In 2012, the DXCC program is not only still thriving, but it is growing, both in participation and in numbers of award options. The addition of Logbook of the World and soon, the addition of an Online DXCC Application utility, will continue to help the program grow. Effective Monday, April 2, the way DXCC fees are assessed will change. These changes will include both rate increases and rate decreases. Read more here.

+ 2012 National Hurricane Conference to Feature Amateur Radio Activities

The National Hurricane Conference -- scheduled for March 26-29 in Orlando, Florida -- will feature several Amateur Radio activities. The National Hurricane Conference leadership continues to recognize the valuable contributions of Amateur Radio and has invited several radio amateurs to participate in two sessions. Read more here.

+ On the Air: Special Event Stations Planned for London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

The London 2012 Inspire program has granted the Radio Society of Great Britain use of the "Inspire mark" for 2O12L and 2O12W.

Some special event call signs will be activated to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: 2O12L from London, England and 2O12W from Barry, Wales. The London 2012 Inspire program has granted the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) -- Great Britain's IARU Member-Society -- use of the "Inspire mark" for these stations. Both stations will be on-the-air for the duration of the Games, July 27-August 12. Read more here.

+ Executive Committee to Meet this Weekend in Missouri

The ARRL Executive Committee will meet Saturday, March 24 in St Louis, Missouri. Agenda items include a review of the ARRL policy on repeater coordination, a look at how the mandated study on Amateur Radio -- as outlined in Section 6414 in the just-passed payroll tax legislation -- will be implemented, the first periodic review of the National Broadband Plan Committee report, discussion of the proposed changes to the FCC's rules as set forth in report from the ARRL Electromagnetic Compatibility Committee and more . ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, serves as chairman of the Executive Committee. Click here for more information, including a link to the meeting's agenda.

Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, March 22, 2012 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 Sun has long been set" Cook, K7RA, reports: Solar activity declined this week - the average daily sunspot numbers were off by more than 13 points to 75.1, while the average daily solar flux dropped more than 32 points to 102.1. Solar flux values have also dropped below 100 for the past two days; they are expected to remain there until March 28. The next short-term peak in solar flux is expected at the 135 level for April 3-6. The predicted solar flux for March 22 is 95. On March 23-26, expect 90, then 95, 100 and 100 on March 27-29, 130 on March 30-April 2, then 135 on April 3-6, and 130, 120, 115 and 105 on April 7-10, and 100 on April 11-15. The predicted planetary A index is 7 on March 22, 5 on March 23-27, 10 on March 28, 8 on March 29-31, 5 on April 1-2, 8 on April 3-4, 5 on April 5-9, then 12, 5, 5, 15 and 10 on April 10-14, and 5 again on April 15-23. Look for more information on the ARRL website on Friday, March 23. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" is brought to you by William Wordsworth's The Sun Has Long Been Set.

+ TAPR Opens "Interest List" for Hermes SDR

Tucson Amateur Packet Radio (TAPR) announces the opening of the "interest list" for the openHPSDR Hermes single-board Software Defined Radio. The Hermes interest list is used by TAPR to determine the number of Hermes boards to manufacture in the pending initial production run this spring. Hermes is a long-awaited addition to the openHPSDR project lineup, advancing through four prototypes while evolving from a USB-based to an Ethernet-based transceiver in about two years. Hermes is a Direct-Down-Conversion receiver, a Direct-Up-Conversion 500 mW transmitter and a gigabit Ethernet interface all on one board. Also on board is an RF-quiet switch-mode power supply, which allows Hermes to run from a single 13.8 V dc source. Read more here.

This Week in Radiosport

This week:

  • March 24-25 -- CQ WW WPX Contest (SSB)
  • March 26 -- QRP Homebrewer Sprint
  • March 28 -- SKCC Sprint
  • March 28-29 -- CWops Mini-CWT Test

Next week:

  • March 31-April 1 -- Missouri QSO Party
  • April 1 -- UBA Spring Contest (SSB)
  • April 3 -- 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

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.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.

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