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The ARRL Letter
August 23, 2012
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+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

+ FCC News: FCC Releases Congressionally Mandated Study on Amateur Radio

On August 20 -- in response to a Spring 2012 Congressional directive -- the Federal Communications Commission released its findings on the Uses and Capabilities of Amateur Radio Service Communications in Emergencies and Disaster Relief: Report to Congress Pursuant to Section 6414 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.

This report contains the FCC's " review of the importance of emergency Amateur Radio Service communications relating to disasters, severe weather and other threats to lives and property in the United States; and recommendations for enhancements in the voluntary deployment of Amateur Radio operators in disaster and emergency communications and disaster relief efforts; and recommendations for improved integration of Amateur Radio operators in the planning and furtherance of initiatives of the federal government." It also required "that the study identify impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio Service communications and provide recommendations regarding the removal of such impediments."

"There are many positive things included in the FCC report to Congress," said ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. "We are pleased that the Commission highlighted the existing Amateur Radio infrastructure to provide disaster and time-critical communications. They also recognized the flexibility of the Amateur Service in working with federal, state, local and tribal emergency service agencies to supplement existing communications. The affirmation of the value that Amateur Radio brings to the communities across the country is underscored by the suggestion that 'DHS work with state, local, and tribal authorities so they may develop disaster area access or credentialing policies for trained amateur operators, including a means for documenting their qualifications...'"

While the FCC did hold Amateur Radio in a positive light in its discussion of emergency Amateur Radio Service communications, the FCC report was not as favorable in the portion of the study that addressed impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio Service communications. In the comments provided to the FCC as they prepared the study, the ARRL -- as well as numerous individuals -- cited the proliferation of specific land-use restrictions, such as deed restrictions and homeowners associations covenants, that prohibit the erection of even modest Amateur Radio antennas. Read more here.

+ ARRL Members Nominate Candidates for Director, Vice Director

In response to solicitations in the July and August issues of QST, ARRL members in the Central, Hudson, New England, Northwestern and Roanoke Divisions have nominated 14 candidates for the 10 positions of Director and Vice Director. This year, there will be three contested elections: The Director positions in the Hudson and Northwestern Divisions, and the Vice Director position in the Northwestern Division.

Seven incumbents have been declared elected without opposition; per ARRL By-Law 19, if there is only one eligible candidate for an office, he or she will be declared elected by the Ethics and Elections Committee. If there is more than one eligible candidate for an office, the full members in that division (who are in good standing as of September 10, 2012) will have the opportunity to cast ballots. Balloting will begin no later than October 1, 2012 and will conclude at noon (EST) Friday, November 16, 2012. The candidate receiving the most votes will be declared the winner. Read more here.

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+ Silent Key: QST Managing Editor Joel Kleinman, N1BKE (SK)

QST Managing Editor Joel P. Kleinman, N1BKE, of Meriden, Connecticut, died from injuries received during a house fire on August 18. He was 64. Kleinman was responsible for the coordination, organization, control and completion of all aspects of QST's editorial content each month. Kleinman's wife Jayne survived the fire, but is currently in the intensive care unit of a local hospital.

QST Managing Editor Joel Kleinman, N1BKE, died Saturday, August 18 from injuries sustained during a house fire. [Harold Kramer, WJ1B, Photo]

"Joel was obsessed with making QST the best Amateur Radio magazine it could be, but he pursued that obsession with uncommon dignity and kindness," said QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY. "He was the quiet man behind the scenes, shouldering much of the burden that comes with creating 164 pages of new content every month. Joel set a high standard for all who may follow him."

After graduating from the University of Montana with an MA in Journalism, Kleinman came to ARRL's Club and Training Department in June 1976 to lead a program aimed at introducing students to space science using Amateur Radio satellites. It was in this capacity that he contributed to the five-part series "Getting to Know OSCAR from the Ground Up" that was published in QST in 1977. Less than year later, Kleinman moved over to the ARRL's Production Department as an Editorial Assistant before becoming the ARRL Features Editor, then Editorial Supervisor, then Editorial/Production Supervisor. In 1988, he became Book Team Supervisor, where he was responsible for the development and editorial integrity of ARRL books and other media. He was named as QST Managing Editor in April 2001.

Kleinman was not licensed prior to beginning his career at ARRL Headquarters: "When I came on board, I didn't know much about ham radio," he remarked in a "Behind the Diamond" feature in the June 1979 issue of QST. "But it was made very clear to me that I soon would -- and I did!" Before long, Kleinman had written such QST articles as "The Lure of 2 Meters -- Part 1," the OSCAR articles and "Network Hams: A Hobby Becomes a Career," which focused on hams who worked at ABC, CBS and NBC: "It's not often that a person gets to go on behind-the-scenes tours of the headquarters of all three broadcast networks in two days," Kleinman remarked. [Editor's note: You must be an ARRL member and logged in to the ARRL website to access the linked articles.]

"With the passing of Joel Kleinman, N1BKE, we have lost not only a respected professional colleague, but also a friend," said ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN. "The shocking circumstances of his death sharpen the sadness we feel. The ARRL sends our deepest sympathy to all of Joel's friends and family. I would like to thank the many amateurs who have expressed condolences through social media and by other means. Although you may not have known Joel personally, you feel his loss as a member of the extended Amateur Radio family. Your kindness and words of comfort are sincerely appreciated."

"Joel was a gifted writer and editor," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "Amateur Radio is the richer today because he chose to devote his talents to the work of the ARRL."

Kleinman was a former president of the Newington Amateur Radio League (NARL) and a member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA). Funeral arrangements are pending. The ARRL is collecting condolence messages to forward on to Joel's family. If you would like to send a message, please submit it here.

+ Summer Section Manager Election Results Announced

Two Section Manager elections this summer were decided by member balloting: ARRL Connecticut Section Manager Betsey Doane, K1EIC, was re-elected, and John Mueller, K2BT, was elected as the new ARRL Western New York Section Manager. New terms of office start October 1, 2012. Ballots were counted at ARRL Headquarters on Tuesday, August 21. Puerto Rico will be getting a new Section Manager beginning October 1: Rene Fonseca, NP3O, of Fajardo, will be taking over from Roberto Jiminez, KP4AC, who has served as Section Manager since 2007; Jiminez decided not to run for another term of office. Read more here.

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Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, August 23, 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 "In the dark of the Sun, we will stand together" Cook, K7RA, reports: The weak solar activity continues: The average daily sunspot numbers for August 16-22 were down 23 points -- or 30 percent -- to 54.6, while the average daily solar flux dropped a little more than 16 percent -- or 18.7 points -- to 96. These figures offer a comparison between August 9-15 and the latest reporting period of August 16-22. Solar flux is expected to rise above 100 soon, with the predicted flux values from NOAA/USAF at 95 on August 23, 100 on August 24-25, 105 on August 26-27, and then peaking at 130 at month's end on August 31 and September 1. The next peak is expected in the three days following the autumnal equinox, with flux values at 135 on September 23-25. Look for more on the ARRL website on Friday, August 24. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" is brought to you by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' In the Dark of the Sun.

+ Silent Key: Vic Poor, W5SMM (SK)

Vic Poor, W5SMM (SK)

Victor (Vic) Poor, W5SMM, of Melbourne, Florida, passed away Friday, August 17, due to complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 79. Just last month, Poor -- an ARRL member -- received the ARRL President's Award for his contributions to the development of digital communications systems in the Amateur Radio Service. Poor was also known for his work in the development of one of Intel's first commercial microprocessors. Poor -- who also held the calls KH6AXV, W6JSO and K3NIO -- developed an active interest in ham radio while still in high school and became W6JSO in 1951. He quickly developed an affinity for RTTY and later, other Amateur Radio digital modes, and was instrumental in the development of many hardware and software innovations that are at the heart of modern day computing and communications technology, used both in Amateur Radio and in industry. Read more here.

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+ Silent Key: George Varvitsiotes, K6SV (SK)

George Varvitsiotes, K6SV (SK)

Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) Vice President George Varvitsiotes, K6SV (ex-WB6DSV), passed away August 21 due to complications from cancer. He was 57. An ARRL member, Varvitsiotes began his career at HRO in September 1976 as a salesman in the company's Burlingame, California store. "While at HRO, George did just about everything," recalled HRO Owner and President Robert Ferrero, W6RJ. "As Vice President, George did all the purchasing for the entire company. He was a technician, a salesman, a store manager. He loved our hobby top-to-bottom. George lived ham radio." A memorial service for Varvitsiotes is planned for August 28 at Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church in Castro Valley, California.

+ ARRL Headquarters to Close in Observance of Labor Day

ARRL Headquarters will be closed in observance of Labor Day on Monday, September 3. There will be no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions that day. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Tuesday, September 4 at 8 AM Eastern Daylight Time. We wish everyone a safe and festive holiday weekend.

"Early Bird" Hotel Reservation Deadline Approaching for ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference

A reminder that this coming Monday -- August 29 -- is the deadline for discounted room rates for the 31st Annual ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC), scheduled for September 21-23 in Atlanta at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel Atlanta Airport. Click here to make your hotel reservations before the rates go up.

This Week in Radiosport

This week:

  • August 24 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • August 25 -- QRP ARCI Welcome to QRP
  • August 25-26 -- Hawaii QSO Party; Kansas QSO Party; Ohio QSO Party; SCC RTTY Championship; YO DX HF Contest; CVA DX Contest (SSB)
  • August 26 -- SARL HF CW Contest

Next week:

  • August 31 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • September 1 -- Russian RTTY WW Contest; Wake-Up! QRP Sprint; AGCW Straight Key Party
  • September 1-2 -- Colorado QSO Party; All Asian DX Contest (Phone); CWOps CW Open
  • September 2 -- DARC 10 Meter Digital Contest
  • September 2-3 -- Tennessee QSO Party
  • September 3-4 -- Michigan QRP Labor Day CW Sprint
  • September 4 -- 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.

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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