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The ARRL Letter
June 28, 2012
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+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

Please note: Due to the Fourth of July holiday next week, there will be no ARRL Audio News on Thursday, July 5. The ARRL Letter will be sent out on its regular schedule.

+ Silent Key: Former ARRL General Manager and IARU President Richard Baldwin, W1RU (SK)

Dick Baldwin, W1RU (SK)

Richard "Dick" Baldwin, W1RU, of Damariscotta, Maine, passed away on Thursday, June 21, after a long struggle with Parkinson's Disease. He was 92. An ARRL Charter Life Member, Baldwin capped a long career on the ARRL staff with service as General Manager from 1975 until his retirement in 1982. He served as Secretary of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) from 1976-1982. After retirement, he continued his involvement as a volunteer, serving as IARU President from 1982-1999 and as ARRL International Affairs Vice President from 1982-1986.

Baldwin began his career at ARRL Headquarters in 1948 as an Assistant Secretary. After a brief hiatus to work in the private sector in the early 1950s, he returned in 1956 as Managing Editor of QST, where he was responsible for production of the monthly member journal and all ARRL publications. In 1963, Baldwin became Assistant General Manager and almost immediately got involved with international matters. He organized the Intruder Watch one year later, and served as the ARRL Liaison between the amateurs who monitored the bands and the FCC. Baldwin was named by the ARRL Board to succeed John Huntoon, W1RW, on Huntoon's retirement as General Manager, the position now titled Chief Executive Officer, in 1975. In total, Baldwin wrote 234 articles and columns for QST.

Baldwin was a keen proponent of the Amateur Radio Service, especially on the international level. In 1993, he traveled to Beijing, China to teach the Amateur Radio Administration course. [Chen Ping, BA1HAM, photo]

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, who succeeded Baldwin as General Manager in 1982, observed that Baldwin is responsible for much of Amateur Radio's success in retaining and expanding its international frequency allocations: "Beginning in 1964, strengthening our position at the International Telecommunication Union in preparation for what ultimately became the 1979 World Administrative Radio Conference, was a major preoccupation in Dick's life. He played a key role in developing and implementing the strategy that led to success. Sitting at Dick's elbow in the years leading up to WARC-79 was an extraordinary learning experience for which I will always be grateful."

As IARU President, Baldwin led the development and adoption of a new IARU Constitution and oversaw the continued strengthening of the IARU as the spokesman for Amateur Radio at the ITU and in regional telecommunications organizations. In 1999, he was named IARU President Emeritus for his service to the IARU and the Amateur Radio Service. Read more here.

+ Public Service: ARRL Offers Online Public Service Training

The former Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (AREC) series of three levels of emergency communications courses has been reconfigured into two new courses: An introductory course for radio amateurs who want to volunteer to provide services for public service and emergency communications, and a course for leaders and managers who are responsible for training and coordinating response efforts. The course descriptions for both of these courses that make up the ARRL's ARES® training program can be found in the ARRL Online Course Catalog. Links to register for each course are included in the course descriptions. Read more here.

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+ Notes from the ARRL VEC Desk

The ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) is one of 14 VECs in the US that coordinate the efforts of Volunteer Examiners (VEs) who administer Amateur Radio operator license examinations. More than 11,000 active ARRL VEs throughout the country give back to Amateur Radio by administering approximately 40,000 Technician, General and Amateur Extra exam elements each year. Read more here.

New Volunteer Examiner Apparel and Supply Items Now Available

If you're an ARRL Volunteer Examiner, take note: The ARRL has recently introduced new apparel and supply items just for you. Choose between a new black polo-style shirt (sizes S-4XL) or a white long-sleeved button down shirt (sizes S-3XL), each embroidered with the ARRL diamond logo and "Volunteer Examiner" on left chest. Wear your VE badge on the new ARRL VE lanyard. This stylish white lanyard is imprinted with "ARRL Volunteer Examiner" and "Amateur Radio" in black. It includes a bulldog clip for your call sign badges or your ARRL VEC credentials. Carry your VE exam supplies in style with the ARRL VE Portfolio. This black portfolio features a zipper closure and is imprinted with the ARRL diamond logo and words "ARRL VEC Exams." There's lots more available in the ARRL VEC Online Store, including the ARRL VEC Volunteer Examiner Manual, ARRL VE patches, challenge coins and pins.

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+ International News: ARRL Attends HAM RADIO 2012 in Germany

HAM RADIO 2012 in Friedrichshafen, Germany -- held June 22-24 -- is billed as Europe's biggest Amateur Radio exhibition. Held annually in the Lake Constance region, this is the 37th international Amateur Radio exhibition and the 63nd Lake Constance Convention of Radio Amateurs, sponsored by the German Amateur Radio Club (DARC), which gave rise to the fair. Each year, a contingent from ARRL attends HAM RADIO. In 2012, this group included ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, along with ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, and ARRL Field Correspondent Chuck Skolaut, K0BOG. Read more here.

On the Air: ARRL UHF/Microwave Band Plan Committee Seeks Comments on Proposed 23 cm Band Plan

The ARRL UHF/Microwave Band Plan Committee has proposed a new 23 cm band plan. See a larger image of the proposed band plan here.

Last winter, the ARRL UHF/Microwave Band Plan Committee asked the Amateur Radio community about current, planned and projected uses of the amateur bands between 902 MHz and 3.5 GHz. The excellent level of response provided us with the basis to complete drafts of the 9 cm, 13 cm and 33 cm revised band plans for ARRL Board approval. The Committee has now prepared for your consideration a draft band plan for 23 cm (1240-1300 MHz), the final band on its assigned list. Please look over the accompanying draft and let us know if you have any major concerns. Read more here.

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Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, June 28, 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 "The Sun came up this morning like a burning red balloon" Cook, K7RA, reports: Sunspot activity continued to drop until early this week: The average daily sunspot numbers were 26.3, down more than 58 points from last week's numbers, while the average daily solar flux declined to 92.8, down over 33 points from last week's average. The weekly sunspot number average has declined since the May 31-June 6 period, when it was 130.4, followed by 116.1 the next week, 84.6 the next and 26.3 this week. In last week's ARRL Letter, we reported the average daily sunspot number as 87, but it was really 84.6. This is because we reported what may have been a preliminary sunspot number of 46 for June 20, but the sunspot number for that date was 29. Geomagnetic conditions over the past week were quiet. The average planetary A index was 5.7, down from 12.6 last week, 9 the week before and 13.4 the week before that. The quiet planetary A index for this week was exactly as it was on the week of May 24-30 -- 5.7 -- which also happened to be the mid-latitude A index for that period. The latest prediction from USAF/NOAA shows geomagnetic activity peaking on June 29-July 4, probably from a coronal hole spewing solar wind. The predicted planetary A index for June 28-30 is 7, 10 and 18, followed by 15 on July 1-3, 10 and 8 on July 4-5, 5 on July 6-7, 8 on July 8-9, 5 on July 10-25, and then 10, 18, 15, 15, 15 and 8 on July 26-31. This is an echo of the activity this week, based on the 27.5 day rotation of our Sun, relative to Earth. The predicted solar flux is 110, 115 and 115 on June 28-30, 120 and 125 on July 1-2, 130 on July 3-5, 135 and 140 on July 6-7, 135 on July 8-9, 130 on July 10-11, 125 on July 12-13, then 120, 115, 110 and 105 on July 14-17. Solar flux may dip below 100 around July 19-28. Look for more on the ARRL website on Friday, June 29. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" is brought to you by Eurythmics' You Hurt Me.

+ DXCC Desk Approves Seven Operations for Credit

In June, the DXCC approved seven operations for DXCC credit. On June 21, the 2012 TT8ES (Chad) operation, the XX9E (Macao) operation and the 2011 TL9EL (Central African Republic) were approved. On June 25, the 2012 XW4XR (Laos) operation was approved. On June 26, the 2010 J28RO (Djibouti) operation, the 2011 J25DXA (Djibouti) operation and the 2012 5X1RO (Uganda) operation have been approved. "If you had cards that were recently rejected for these operations, please send an e-mail to the ARRL DXCC Desk," Moore said. "Please note that due to extremely heavy e-mail, DXCC staff may not respond to your message. Once your record is updated, results will appear in Logbook of The World (LoTW) accounts or in the live, daily DXCC Standings. Due to a backup on DXCC e-mail, DXCC staff will make the corrections to accounts, but may not respond directly to messages about this." Moore noted that the J28RO and 5X1RO logs have been uploaded to LoTW.

This Week in Radiosport

This week:

  • July 1 -- RAC Canada Day Contest; WAB 144 MHz Low Power Contest (Phone)
  • July 2-8 -- 10-10 International Spirit of '76 QSO Party
  • July 3 -- ARS Spartan Sprint
  • July 4-5 -- Michigan QRP July 4th CW Sprint

Next week:

  • July 6 -- NCCC Sprint
  • July 7-8 -- Venezuelan Independence Day Contest; DL-DX RTTY Contest; Original QRP Contest; PODXS 070 Club 40 Meter Firecracker Sprint (local time)
  • July 8 -- SKCC Weekend Sprintathon; DARC 10 Meter Digital Contest; QRP ARCI Summer Homebrew Sprint
  • July 9 -- NAQCC-EU Monthly Sprint
  • July 11-12 -- 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 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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