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The ARRL Letter
October 11, 2012
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+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

+ FCC News: FCC Seeks to Change Amateur Radio Licensing Rules

The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks to change the way it licenses Amateur Radio operators.

On October 2, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in WT Docket No. 12-121 that seeks to change the Amateur Radio licensing rules, especially as they concern former licensees. Acting upon an April 2011 Petition for Rulemaking filed by the Anchorage VEC to give permanent credit to radio amateurs for examination elements they have successfully passed, the FCC proposes to revise Section 97.505 to require that Volunteer Examiners (VEs) give examination credit to an applicant who can demonstrate that he or she formerly held a particular class of license. In addition, the Commission seeks to shorten the grace period during which an expired amateur license may be renewed and to reduce the number of VEs needed to administer an amateur license examination. Read more here.

+ FCC News: FCC Agrees with ARRL on Emission Designators, TDMA

Part of WT Docket No. 12-121 (see above) included a response to a March 2011 Petition for Rulemaking filed by the ARRL. Through the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC is seeking to amend the Amateur Service rules to allow amateur stations to transmit additional emission types in order to permit Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) in the Amateur Service; however, it denied the League's request for a blanket waiver pending the resolution of the rulemaking proceeding. The FCC pointed out that one of the purposes of the Amateur Service is to contribute to the advancement of the radio art: "Allowing amateur stations to use communication technologies that are used in other radio services, such as TDMA technologies, allows Amateur Service licensees to experiment with and improve these technologies and, therefore, is consistent with the basis and purpose of the Amateur Service. For this reason, we agree with the ARRL that the current rules allowing the use of multiple time-slot TDMA repeaters, but not permitting amateur stations to transmit single-slot TDMA emissions, may be unnecessarily impeding Amateur Radio operators in advancing the radio art." Read more here.

+ On the Air: Scouts and Scouters Take to the Airwaves for the 55th Jamboree on the Air

The theme of this year's Jamboree on the Air is How Big Is Your World?

Each year, more than 500,000 Scouts in more than 100 countries take to the airwaves on the third full weekend in October -- and this year on October 20-21, it will be no different. The Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) is an annual Scouting and Amateur Radio event sponsored by the World Scout Bureau of the World Organization of the Scout Movement where Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from all over the world speak to each other via Amateur Radio. Since 1958 -- when the first Jamboree on the Air was held -- millions of Scouts have met through this event. Many contacts made during JOTA have resulted in pen pal relationships and links between Scout troops that have lasted many years. Read more here.

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The ARRL Offers Five New Books for Fall

The ARRL has just released five new books that you are going to want to have in your shack. This fall, two favorites have been re-released and are chock-full of new information: hardcover and softcover editions of The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications (90th edition), The ARRL Operating Manual (10th edition). In addition, the ARRL is proud to offer three new titles: The Amateur Radio Public Service Handbook, The Care and Feeding of Transmission Lines by QST Technical Editor Joel Hallas, W1ZR, and Antenna Modeling for Beginners by H. Ward Silver, N0AX. Read more here.

+ IARU News: IARU Region 2 Executive Committee Meets in Curacao

The IARU Region 2 Executive Committee met in Curacao September 29-30. Led by Region 2 President Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM, the meeting was attended by Region 2 Officers and Area Directors; Area B Director and ARRL International Affairs Vice President Jay Bellows, K0QB, represented the United States. IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD, represented the IARU and IARU Region 1 President Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, represented IARU Region 1. Read more here.

+ ARRL Invites Nominations for 2012 International Humanitarian Award

Nominations are open for the 2012 ARRL International Humanitarian Award. This award is conferred upon an amateur or amateurs who demonstrate devotion to human welfare, peace and international understanding through Amateur Radio. The League established the annual prize to recognize those radio amateurs who have used ham radio to provide extraordinary service to others in times of crisis or disaster. As one of the few telecommunication services that allow people throughout the world from all walks of life to meet and talk with each other, Amateur Radio spreads goodwill across political boundaries. The ARRL International Humanitarian Award recognizes the Amateur Radio Service's unique role in international communication and the assistance amateurs regularly provide to people in need. Read more here.

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+ At the Workbench: Attention Kit Builders -- The ARRL Wants to Hear from You!

The ARRL wants to hear from kit builders about simple, useful, educational and exciting kits. These kits should have a high probability for success and would serve as stepping stones for more advanced projects. We are looking all sorts of kits, but RF detector kits that work in the 380 MHz-2.5 GHz range are of special interest. The kits should also have a "Wow, I built this and it works!" factor. If you know of such a kit, please let us know by filling out a simple form here by October 31.

Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, October 11, 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 Cook, K7RA, reports: There was another decline in sunspot activity this week, although activity may be making a slow recovery based on recent activity over the past few days and projected solar flux values. The average daily sunspot numbers dropped from 73 to 51.7, a difference of 21.3 points. But the past two days saw sunspot numbers (63 and 71) higher than the average -- and climbing. The average of daily solar flux was off 23.8 points to 104.9, and like the sunspot figures, the past two days saw solar flux values (106.2 and 112) higher than the average for the week. The predicted solar flux from the Wednesday, October 10 NOAA/USAF forecast is 115 on October 11-13, 120 on October 14-15, 115 on October 16-18, then 145, 150 and 145 on October 19-21, 140 on October 22-23, and 135 on October 24-27. We then see solar flux dip below 100 on November 4-8 and peak at 150 again on November 16. The predicted planetary A index for October 11-17 is 10, 5, 5, 12, 12, 10 and 8, and then 5 on October 18-November 3, and then rising to 18, 20, 12 and back down to 8 on November 4-7. We saw the most geomagnetic activity on October 8-9 showed the most, with the planetary A index at 35 and 42, the mid-latitude A index at 21 and 32 and the high latitude college A index at 66 and 54; this activity was triggered by a coronal mass ejection on October 8. The predicted rise in planetary A index to 12 on October 14-15 is due to a solar wind spewing from a coronal hole, which should rotate into a geo-effective position during that time. Look for more on the ARRL website on Friday, October 12. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page.

+ ARRL Recognizes: MFJ's Martin F. Jue, K5FLU, Honored at ARRL Day in the Park

Martin F. Jue, K5FLU (left) of MFJ Enterprises accepts the ARRL Special Achievement Award from ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B (right). ARRL Mississippi Section Manager Malcolm Keown, W5XX, holds the award.

To celebrate 40 years in the Amateur Radio business, MFJ Enterprises hosted ARRL Day in the Park in Starkville, Mississippi, October 5-6. Martin F. Jue, K5FLU, started MFJ in October 1972 in a Starkville hotel room with one product: a CW filter kit that sold for less than $10. Today, MFJ consists of six different ham radio companies that manufacture more than 2000 products. ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, and ARRL Mississippi Section Manager Malcolm Keown, W5XX, represented the League at MFJ's ARRL Day in the Park. The two-day event brought 500 people to Starkville and featured tours of the MFJ facilities (including the factory and metal shop), tailgating, forums, demonstrations and lunch. Kramer presented Jue with the ARRL Special Achievement Award, honoring Jue and MFJ for their four decades of service, as well as the company's innovative products, which have contributed to the enjoyment and effectiveness of Amateur Radio all around the world. Tom Medlin, W5KUB, was at the event and produced a video of the speeches and presentations, which can be viewed here.

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ARRL HQ Seeks Applicants for QST Technical Editor

The League is currently looking to fill the position of QST Technical Editor at ARRL Headquarters in Newington. Connecticut residency or the ability to relocate to Connecticut is required. The QST Technical Editor will provide leadership to the technical Amateur Radio community by developing and promulgating a vision of the state of the Amateur Radio art through the pages of QST.

Qualifications:

  • Broad knowledge of and experience with Amateur Radio and electronics.
  • Broad knowledge of and experience with the design and construction of Amateur Radio equipment, antennas and accessories.
  • Broad knowledge of and experience with Amateur Radio software.
  • A bachelor or graduate college degree, preferably in a technical field. Exceptional related work history can be substituted for a degree.
  • A minimum of three years of writing or editing experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and productively with a variety of people.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, especially Word and Excel.
  • An Amateur Extra class license.

Click here for more information and an application. To apply, please send your cover letter and resume via e-mail, or complete the application, print it out and mail it with your resume and cover letter to Monique Levesque, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. You can also fax your application, cover letter and resume to 860-594-0298. Please include your salary history and salary requirements. The ARRL is an equal opportunity employer.

This Week in Radiosport

This week:

  • October 12 -- NCCC Sprint
  • October 13 -- EU Autumn Sprint (CW); FISTS Fall Sprint
  • October 13-14 -- Arizona QSO Party; Pennsylvania QSO Party; Makrothen RTTY Contest; Oceania DX Contest (CW); QRP ARCI Fall QSO Party; Scandinavian Activity Contest (SSB)
  • October 14 -- North American Sprint (RTTY); SKCC Weekend Sprintathon

Next week:

  • October 15-19 -- ARRL School Club Roundup
  • October 19 -- NCCC Sprint, MCG Autumn Sprint
  • October 20 -- Iowa QSO Party; Feld Hell Sprint
  • October 20-21 -- New York QSO Party; 10-10 International Fall Contest (CW); Stew Perry Topband Challenge; JARTS WW RTTY Contest; Worked All Germany Contest; Araucaria VHF Contest; 10-10 International Fall Contest (CW); W/VE Islands QSO Party
  • October 21 -- Asia-Pacific Fall Sprint (CW); UBA ON Contest (2 meters)
  • October 21-22 -- Illinois QSO Party
  • October 22 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest
  • October 24 -- SKCC Sprint
  • October 24-25 -- 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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