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The ARRL Letter
May 17, 2012
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ARRL Centennial Celebration: ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, Invites Input for 2014 ARRL Centennial

The ARRL will celebrate its centennial in 2014, and is already making plans to commemorate the highlights of the League's first century and looking forward to what the second century may bring. But it's your

League and your centennial. ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, invites all ARRL members to provide suggestions to help make this once-in-a-lifetime event truly special. "Centennial theme publications and special sections of regular publications are in the works," Craigie noted, "as is an operating event that all members can participate in. We will have centennial merchandise in the ARRL store and artwork you can use to design items for yourself and your club. We'll be drawing on the ARRL's historical collection and the memories of living amateurs." Read more here.

Regulatory: ARRL Responds to FCC Request for Comments on Impediments to Amateur Radio Communications

On Wednesday, May 16, 2012, the ARRL filed comments in response to the FCC's Public Notice seeking comments on Emergency Communications by Amateur Radio and impediments to Amateur Radio communications. Known as Docket 12-91, the Commission is soliciting comments from the public as it writes the report they were directed to present to Congress as part of Public Law No. 112-96.

At the direction of ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, and the ARRL Board's Executive Committee, the document was drafted by ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, assisted by ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, as well as ARRL Chief Technology Officer Brennan Price, N4QX and several ARRL Headquarters staff members.

Over 1500 e-mails were received at ARRL from amateurs, sharing the details of their various deed restrictions. An additional 350-plus e-mails were also received detailing actual Emergency Communications participation in various events from almost every state in the US as well as several US territories.

"The information provided to the ARRL by its members has provided a strong statement of how the various deed restrictions have negatively impacted the ability of Amateur Radio licensees to maximize their participation in disaster and emergency support communications," said Henderson. "The information provided by the membership not only helps us make the best case to the FCC in this docket, but also begins to lay a good foundation for considering possible rule changes that would enhance Amateur Radio communications beyond this proceeding. I want to thank the hundreds of concerned amateurs who made the effort to provide the ARRL with the facts of their personal set of circumstances. What you shared with us has helped us make a strong argument to present to the Commission," he added.

A copy of the ARRL's filing to the FCC may be found on the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System website.

Regulatory: New "PRB-1" Law Now in Effect in Ohio

On May 15, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law granting comprehensive rights to Amateur Radio operators in that state. Several key players in the successful effort to enact a "PRB-1" law in Ohio were present for the signing, including Section Manager Frank J. Piper, KI8GW; Rick Swain, KK8O; Bill Carpenter, AA8EY; Steve Katz, N8WL,

At the signing: (l-r), State Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster), Bill Carpenter, AA8EY, Allyson Miles, State Representative Gerald Stebelton (R-Lancaster), State Representative Mark Okey (D-Youngstown), Constance Barsky, WD8ODC, Governor John R. Kasich (seated), Steve Katz, N8WL, Ohio SM Frank Piper, KI8GW, OOC Rick Swain, KK8O, and Great Lakes Director Jim Weaver, K8JE. [photo courtesy of the Ohio Statehouse Photo Archive]

and Constance Barsky, WD8ODC. ARRL Great Lakes Division Director James Weaver, K8JE, was also at the signing.

Ohio SM Frank Piper provided some background:

"In the past three years, we have had four versions of this bill in the Ohio Statehouse. In the last State Assembly, these bills died in Committee. In this current Assembly, everything lined up for us, and House Bill 158 made the entire journey from Introduction to the Governor Kasich's signature.

"We had to make a few revisions to HB 158 during its travels through committee hearings, but in the end we finished with an Act that places the full language of CFR 47, Part 97.15 into the Ohio Revised Code. In addition, language at the end of the law states: 'Any legislative authority that denies an application for approval of an amateur station antenna structure shall state the reasons for the denial and shall, on appeal, bear the burden of proving that the authority's actions are consistent with this section.' This language removes the burden of proof from the Amateur Radio operator and places it on the legislative authority.

"State Government Liaison Nick Pittner, K8NAP, did a tremendous job over the past several years, staying on top of the status of bills that were running their course on both sides of the Statehouse. Nick knew when to call in key people to testify to Committees, and was instrumental in the process of negotiating the required revisions when requested.

"My thanks go out to all the Amateur Radio operators in the Ohio Section who called, wrote and e-mailed their State Representatives and Senators to support this legislation. Without their grass roots work, this victory would not have been possible."

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Hamvention: Dayton Hamvention Starts May 18

Thousands of ham radio operators from around the world are converging on Dayton, Ohio for this weekend's Hamvention. The theme: Internationally Connected.

FCC News: Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai Sworn in As FCC Commissioners

On Monday, May 14, Jessica Rosenworcel, and Ajit Pai, were sworn in

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai

by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski as FCC Commissioners. For the first time in almost a year, the Commission is once again at full strength. Rosenworcel, a Democrat, fills the seat vacated by Michael Copps who retired from the Commission earlier this year; her term runs through June 30, 2015. Pai, a Republican,

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel

replaces Meredith Attwell Baker, who left the FCC in June 2011; his term runs through June 30, 2016. Read more here.

On the Air: ARRL Microwave Band Planning Committee Releases Draft Band Plans

The ARRL UHF-Microwave Band Plan Committee has released for comment its draft band plan for 13 cm (2.3/2.4 GHz) and welcomes comments on it. The amended draft band plan for 902-928 MHz (33 cm) has also been released. Read more here.

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QST: Get Ready for the Launch of the Digital Version of QST

We are excited about being able to offer ARRL members access to a brand-new digital edition of QST. We expect to launch the digital edition on or about May 23. If you have checked the Notification box on your Member Profile, you will be notified by e-mail as soon as the digital edition becomes available. As a bonus, ARRL members will also have access to the digital archive -- the digital editions beginning with the January 2012 issue. Our thanks to those who have beta tested the digital edition. Your input has been invaluable as we have worked to improve and enhance the digital edition. For more information, please see the Digital Edition FAQ.

Nominations Invited for 2012 Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award

The ARRL is now accepting nominations for the 2012 Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award. This annual honor goes to a radio amateur who has demonstrated success in Amateur Radio public relations and best exemplifies volunteer spirit of the award's namesake, Phil McGan, WA2MBQ (SK). As the first chairman of the ARRL Public Relations Committee, McGan helped to reinvigorate the League's commitment to public relations. Nominations are due at ARRL Headquarters by May 25, 2012.

"Throughout the year, ARRL Public Information Coordinators (PICs), Public Information Officers (PIOs) and other public relations volunteers strive to keep Amateur Radio visible in their communities," explained ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP. "They do this by publicizing special events, writing press releases and maintaining good relations with local news media. Their efforts benefit us all. Nominating someone -- and recognizing his or her public relations achievements -- is "the perfect way to say 'thank you' for promoting Amateur Radio."

The McGan Award honors achievement in public relations. Pitts pointed out the distinction between public relations -- essentially getting Amateur

Phil McGan, WA2MBQ

Radio's message to the public -- and public service, which is Amateur Radio activity on behalf of the public, such as supporting emergency communication. "If you're considering nominating someone in your area for the McGan Award, please ask yourself if your candidate's work fits the public relations definition," he said.

The McGan Award recognizes those Public Relations activities that include efforts specifically directed at bringing Amateur Radio to the public's attention (and most often to the news media's) in a positive light. These may include traditional methods such as news releases, or less-traditional methods such as hosting a radio show or being an active public speaker.

Unfortunately, McGan never got to see how well his own PR efforts paid off. In his honor, his friends in the New Hampshire Amateur Radio Association joined with the ARRL Board of Directors to pay a lasting tribute to the important contributions he made on behalf of Amateur Radio by establishing this annual award. A committee of volunteers knowledgeable about Amateur Radio public relations will pick the winner, subject to approval by the ARRL Board of Directors. All McGan Award nominees must be a full ARRL member -- not a group -- in good standing and may not be regularly compensated for public relations work involving Amateur Radio, including payment for articles. Nominees may not be a current officer, director, vice director or paid staff member, or a member of the current selection committee.

Nominations must be received at ARRL Headquarters by 5 PM Eastern Time on May 25, 2012. The committee will not consider nominations that arrive after the deadline or without an entry form. Complete details and an official nomination form on McGan Award eligibility and how to nominate someone are available on the ARRL website. Completed entry forms and supporting materials should be mailed to Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award, c/o Allen Pitts, W1AGP, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.

Solar Update

Tad "Unspeakable high processions of Sun and Moon and countless stars above" Cook, K7RA, reports: If you look at Spaceweather.com and use their archive feature (check the three drop-down field on the upper right), you can step day-by-day through the past week and see the progression of a considerable number of sunspots in the Daily Sun image on the left side of the page. There was one new sunspot group on

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, May 17, 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.

May 10, two on May 11, four more on May 13 and another on May 15. Average daily sunspot numbers for the past week rose nearly 25 points, or about 27 percent, to 117.3. The big day was Monday, May 14, when the daily sunspot number jumped to 156. This was one day after four new sunspot groups, 1481 through 1484 appeared for the first time. Average daily solar flux rose 12 points to 131, an increase of 10 percent. For the near term, predicted solar flux is 130 on May 17-24, 115 on May 25-31, 120 on June 1, 125 on June 2-3, 130 on June 4, 135 on June 5-9 and 130 on June 10-12. Projected planetary A index is 5 on May 17-22, 8 on May 23, 5 on May 24 through June 4, then 8, 12, 18, 10 and 5 on June 5-9.

Look for more on the ARRL website on Friday, May 18. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" is brought to you by Ralph Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony (IV The Explorers), taken from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass (Book XXVI, Passage to India, verse 5).

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No ARRL Audio News on May 17, Will Return May 24

Due to staff travel to the Dayton Hamvention, there will be no ARRL Audio News on Thursday, May 17. ARRL Audio News will return on May 24.

This Week in Radiosport

This week:

  • May 19 -- Feld Hell Sprint
  • May 19-20 -- His Majesty King of Spain Contest (CW); EU PSK DX Contest; Baltic Contest
  • May 21 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest
  • May 21-22 -- Aegean RTTY Contest
  • May 23-24 -- CWops Mini-CWT Test

Next week:

  • May 25 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • May 26-27 -- CQ WW WPX Contest (CW)
  • May 27 -- QRP ARCI Hootowl Sprint (local time); SARL Digital Contest
  • May 27-28 -- Michigan QRP Memorial Day CW 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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