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The ARRL Letter
July 19, 2012
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+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

+ 2012 Second Meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors Set for July 20-21, Agenda Announced

ARRL policy is made by its Board of Directors. The 15 voting members of the Board are the Directors who are elected by the ARRL members in their respective divisions. The Board meets in January and July, usually in the Hartford area. ARRL members also elect Vice Directors who may attend the meetings. ARRL Directors and Vice Directors are volunteers who work hard to represent the ARRL in their divisions, to represent the members who elect them on policy issues and to conduct the committee work that is so important to good decision-making. The Board will be meeting for its 2012 Second Meeting July 20-21; the meeting will be preceded by meetings of the Administration and Finance Committee and the Programs and Services Committee. Read more here.

+ Amateur Radio in Space: Astronaut Don Pettit, KD5MDT, Chats with ARRL

NASA Astronaut Don Pettit, KD5MDT, sat down with ARRL News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, for a chat about ham radio -- and life on the International Space Station. [Screengrab courtesy of NASA TV]

NASA Astronaut Don Pettit, KD5MDT, sat down with ARRL News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, on Thursday, July 12, for a one-on-one interview about ham radio and life on the International Space Station (ISS). Pettit returned from the ISS on July 1 where he served as part of Expedition 31, spending 193 days in space. He first ventured into space in 2002 on the space shuttle Endeavour as part of Expedition 6, logging more than 161 days in space. In 2008, he was a part of the crew on STS-126, also on Endeavour. Pettit holds the distinction of spending 370 days in space, placing him fourth among US space fliers for the longest time in space. Read more here.

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+ Digital Edition of August QST Now Available

The digital version of the August QST is now available to ARRL members. The digital version includes many features not available in the print version, such as:

  • The complete 2011 edition of The DXCC Yearboook
  • Video overviews of two MFJ automatic antenna tuners and the ICOM ID-31A transceiver
  • An expanded version of "Remote Radio Control Made Easy," by John Raydo, K0IZ

Every issue of QST is filled with the news and features you need to keep active in Amateur Radio. After you read through it, visit the Digital QST Feedback Form and tell us what you enjoyed! QST is the official journal of the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. QST is just one of the many benefits of ARRL membership. To join or renew your ARRL membership, please see the ARRL Web page.

+ FCC News: FCC Denies Arizona Ham's Petition to Extend PRB-1 to Private Contracts, Such as CC&Rs

In January 2012, Leonard Umina, W7CCE, of Gilbert, Arizona, filed a Petition for Rulemaking, asking the FCC to "expand its policy of limited preemption of state and local regulations governing amateur station facilities to preempt private land use regulations such as covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) and rental agreements that limit amateur licensees' ability to deploy antennas." On July 16, the FCC notified Umina that it had denied his Petition. Read more here.

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+ FCC News: FCC Fines Alaska Man for Interfering with Air Traffic Using CB Radio

On July 17, the FCC announced that it had issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order in the amount of $12,500 to Glenn S. Yamada, of Kenai, Alaska. Yamada is accused of "apparently willfully and repeatedly violat[ing] Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 95.409(a) and 95.411(a)(1) and (b) of the FCC Rules by operating his CB radio without requisite Commission authorization." In January 2012, the FCC received a complaint regarding interference to an authorized user in the aeronautical band -- a safety of life service -- on 21.964 MHz. According to the FCC, the complaint "Concerned a male subject talking and interfering with the control and monitoring of air traffic over the North Atlantic." The FCC's High Frequency Direction Finding Center (HFDFC) monitored the frequency over the next few days, and on January 31, "observed a subject matching the details of the compliant transmitting on the frequency 21.965 MHz." The HFDFC noted that the subject was using the call "1600 Alaska," that the actual operating frequency was 27.025 (CB channel 6) and that the transmissions were coming from Kenai. Read more here.

+ W1AW: W1AW's EchoLink and IRLP Nodes Temporarily Suspended

Recent upgrades to the ARRL's Internet system has caused access to both the W1AW EchoLink Conference Server W1AWBDCT and W1AW's IRLP Node 4292 to be temporarily suspended. Access to both W1AW systems can be expected by month's end. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, July 19, 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 total eclipse of the Sun" Cook, K7RA, reports: In last week's Solar Update, I reported a blast of energy from a solar flare headed our way, with a predicted arrival of Saturday, July 14. The CME hit at 1800 UTC, and had a huge effect on propagation and geomagnetic indices. The next day, the planetary A index was 60, the mid latitude A index was 39 and the high latitude college A index was 88. Conditions haven't been this disturbed since March 9, 2012, when the mid-latitude A index was 57, planetary A index was 67 and the college A index was 107. All other indices were lower, with the weekly average of daily sunspot numbers down more than 16 points to 104.7, while the average daily solar flux was down 25 points to 141.8. The latest prediction from NOAA/USAF has solar flux at 100 on July 19, 95 on July 18-22, back to 100 on July 23, 105 on July 24-25, then 125 and 150 on July 26-27, and 165 on July 28-August 2. The predicted planetary A index is 5 on July 19-21, then 12 and 8 on July 22-23, 5 on July 24-26, then 25 on July 27, 20 on July 28-29, 10 on July 30-31, 15 on August 1-2, 10 on August 3-4, 8 on August 5, and back down to 5 on August 6-22. Look for more on the ARRL website on Friday, July 20. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" is brought to you by Carly Simon's You're So Vain.

TAPR Accepting Orders for Hermes SDR Transceiver

Tucson Amateur Packet Radio (TAPR) is now accepting orders for the Hermes software-defined transceiver. Hermes is part of the non-profit openHPSDR project. Spanning 50 kHz-55 MHz, the Hermes transceiver includes 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, allowing Hermes to run from a single 13.8 V dc source. The transceiver is completely assembled and tested. The price of the Hermes transceiver is $895 for TAPR members; the price for non-members is $940. The order page will close Wednesday July 25. TAPR states that there will be only one production run of Hermes boards and that they will build only the number necessary to fulfill orders received on or before the July 25 cutoff. Estimated delivery is October 15.

This Week in Radiosport

This week:

  • July 20 -- NCCC Sprint
  • July 21 -- Russian Radio Team Championship; Feld Hell Sprint
  • July 21-22 -- North American QSO Party ( RTTY); DMC RTTY Contest; CQ Worldwide VHF Contest
  • July 22 -- RSGB Low Power Contest
  • July 25 -- SKCC Sprint
  • July 25-26 -- CWops Mini-CWT Test

Next week:

  • July 27 -- NCCC Sprint
  • July 28-29 -- New Jersey QSO Party; RSGB IOTA Contest
  • July 29 -- ARS Flight of the Bumblebees

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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