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The ARRL Letter
June 14, 2012
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+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

+ ARRL Field Day: Notify Your Neighbors about ARRL Field Day, June 23-24

It's not too late to get information about your ARRL Field Day activities out to the public. ARRL Field Day -- the largest on-the-air operating event -- is the one of the best opportunities of the year for showing our Amateur Radio capabilities to the public. ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, notes that the ARRL has made many media materials available for local use: "Our visibility to the public is important in antenna, band preservation and texting issues, so we encourage you to use this opportunity to showcase what Amateur Radio can do," he said. Download an audio PSA that can air on local radio stations. Send out a press release or invite your local officials to your Field Day site. Send high-definition video files suitable for airing to your local television stations. Get more information on ARRL Field Day, including the 2012 ARRL Field Day logo and operating tips here. Looking for a Field Day station near you? Find one here.

+ ARRL Field Day: W1AW Announces 2012 Field Day Bulletin Schedule

Stations active during ARRL Field Day -- June 23-24 -- are eligible to receive 100 bonus points for copying the special Field Day bulletin transmitted by W1AW (or K6KPH on the West Coast). You must include an accurate copy of the message in your Field Day submission. The Field Day bulletin must be copied via Amateur Radio; it will not be included in Internet bulletins sent out from Headquarters and will not be posted to Internet BBS sites.

W1AW will operate on the regularly published frequencies. The special PSK31 bulletin will be transmitted on the regular W1AW digital frequencies:

  • CW frequencies: 1.8025, 3.5815, 7.0475, 14.0475, 18.0975, 21.0675, 28.0675 and 147.555 MHz.
  • Digital frequencies (includes PSK31 and MFSK16) using 45.45-baud Baudot: 3597.5, 7.095, 14.095, 18.1025, 21.095, 28.095 and 147.555 MHz.
  • Phone frequencies: 1.855, 3.990, 7.290, 14.290, 18.160, 21.390, 28.590 and 147.555 MHz.

The Maritime Radio Historical Society's K6KPH will transmit the 2012 W1AW Field Day message for the benefit of West Coast stations on 3.5815, 7.0475, 14.0475, 18.0975 and 21.0675 MHz, CW only. The frequencies for K6KPH Digital (RTTY, BPSK31 MFSK16 and FEC AMTOR) will be 7.095 and 14.095 MHz. Click here for the complete schedule.

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+ Digital Edition of July QST Available June 15

The digital version of the July QST will be available to ARRL members on Friday, June 15. The digital version includes many features not available in the print version, such as:

  • An expanded look at the Dayton Hamvention® (including a look at the many new products that were introduced).
  • Product Review videos on the Alinco DJ-G29T dual-band handheld transceiver and the WaveNode WN-2d station monitoring system.
  • Audio from "A Transceiver Comes Home," by QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY.
  • Links to the winning videos from the 2012 QST Video Contest.

Watch your e-mail inbox for a link to the digital edition of the July issue of QST.

+ FCC News: Mignon Clyburn Renominated for New Term as FCC Commissioner

President Obama has renominated Mignon Clyburn for a new term as FCC Commissioner.

On June 6, President Barack Obama announced that he will nominate Mignon Clyburn for a new five-year term as one of five FCC Commissioners. Clyburn, a Democrat, came to the Commission in August 2009, filling the unexpired term of Republican Deborah Taylor Tate, whose tenure as a Commissioner came to a close in January 2009. Clyburn's current term expires June 30, 2012. "In renominating Commissioner Clyburn, President Obama has made an outstanding choice for the Commission and for the American people," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. "As I know from working with her for the past several years, Commissioner Clyburn is a strong leader, focused on helping all Americans harness the benefits of broadband. I congratulate her." Read more here.

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+ Getting Licensed: New Amateur Extra Class Question Pool Effective July 1

The new Amateur Extra class (Element 4) question pool -- released by the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) in January 2012 -- becomes effective on Sunday, July 1. The current Amateur Extra class pool expires on June 30, 2012 and cannot be used after that date. This new question pool -- including graphics and diagrams -- will remain valid until June 30, 2016. The new Amateur Extra pool contains 702 questions, from which 50 are selected for an Element 4 examination. As of June 13, three questions -- E1D09, E2A14 and E6E10 -- have been removed from the new pool. The current Technician class question pool that became effective July 1, 2010 is valid through June 30, 2014. The current General class pool that became effective July 1, 2011 is valid until June 30, 2015.

+ Call for Nominations for ARRL Directors and Vice Directors for Central, Hudson, New England, Northwestern and Roanoke Divisions

The ARRL is governed by its Board of Directors. A voting Director is chosen by ballot by the full (licensed) members in each of the 15 ARRL divisions. Vice Directors -- who serve in the absence of the Director from a Board meeting and succeed to the position of Director should a vacancy occur -- are chosen at the same time. Elections are held in five divisions per year. It only takes 10 full members in a division to nominate a candidate for either office.

This fall, ARRL members in the Central, Hudson, New England, Northwestern and Roanoke Divisions will have the opportunity to choose a Director and a Vice Director for a three year term that starts January 1, 2013. Beginning in 2012, ARRL members in Divisions where there are contested elections will be able to vote electronically. Members with valid e-mail addresses in their membership profiles will be sent instructions on how to vote by e-mail; members without e-mail addresses, or whose e-mails bounce, or who request a paper ballot, will be sent a ballot by postal mail as in the past. Read more here.

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+ ARDF Update: Team USA Forming after USA ARDF Championships

By ARRL ARDF Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV

Stevie Van Skiver, VE7SMX, of New Westminster, British Columbia, comes up the finish corridor of the 2 meter contest. This is her second year attending the USA ARDF Championships. [Joe Moell, K0OV, Photo]

From DXing to microwaves, nearly every facet of our hobby has its competitions. But there are no more ardent contesters than the ones who take to the fields and forests to see who can locate the greatest number of radio transmitters in the shortest time. They call themselves foxhunters, foxtailers, radio-orienteers and ARDFers. Each year, they come together from around the country to see who is best. Every two years, the best from each country gather to see who is tops in the world. The 12th USA ARDF (Amateur Radio Direction Finding) Championships took place May 30-June 3 near Mt Laguna, California. In September, the 15th ARDF World Championships will get under way at the resort city of Kopaonik, in central Serbia. Standard rules and procedures of the International Amateur Radio Union govern these competitions. Read more here.

Papers Requested for ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference

Amateurs are invited to submit technical papers for presentation at the 31st Annual ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC), to be held September 21-23, 2012 at the Sheraton Gateway Airport Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. These papers will also be published in the Conference Proceedings (you do not need to attend the conference to have your paper included in the Proceedings). The submission deadline is July 31. Please send papers to: Maty Weinberg, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111, or you can make your submission via e-mail. For more information about the conference, see the DCC website or call 972- 671-8277.

Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, June 14, 2012 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 "All for the love of sunshine" Cook, K7RA, reports: Solar activity was lower this week, although for the past few days, sunspot numbers and solar flux were rising. The average daily sunspot numbers declined more than 14.3 points to 116.1, while the average daily solar flux was off by 14.5 points to 115.9. There were five new sunspot groups this week: two each on June 9-10, and one more on June 13. The latest prediction has solar flux at 145 on June 14-16, 140 on June 17-18, 135 on June 19-20, 120 on June 21, 110 on June 22-26, 105 on June 27-28, followed by a climb back to 120 on July 1-12. The predicted planetary A index is 5 on June 14-15, 8 on June 16-17, 10 on June 18-19, 8 on June 20-21, and 5 on June 22-25. The next peak in geomagnetic activity is predicted for July 1-3, with planetary A index at 15, 12 and 10. Look for more on the ARRL website on Friday, June 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 Hank Williams Jr's All for the Love of Sunshine.

This Week in Radiosport

This week:

  • June 15 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • June 16 - ARRL Kids Day; Feld Hell Sprint; SARL Youth Day Sprint; AGCW VHF/UHF Contest
  • June 16-17 -- West Virginia QSO Party; All Asian DX Contest (CW); Ukrainian DX Classic RTTY Contest
  • June 17 -- WAB 50 MHz (Phone)
  • June 18 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest
  • June 21 -- NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint

Next week:

  • June 23-24 -- ARRL Field Day; His Majesty King of Spain Contest (SSB); Marconi Memorial HF Contest; Ukrainian DX DIGI Contest
  • June 27 -- SKCC Sprint
  • June 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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