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The ARRL Letter
April 11, 2013
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+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

+ New Legislation in Idaho Clarifies Exemption for Guyed Amateur Radio Towers

On April 1, Idaho Governor C. L. "Butch" Otter (R) signed Senate Bill 1065 into law. This new law is an amendment to a current Idaho law regarding guyed towers, which states that guyed towers "shall be lighted, marked and painted or otherwise constructed to be visible in clear air during daylight hours from a distance of not less than 2000 feet." With the passage of SB 1065, both guyed Amateur Radio and CB antenna support structures are exempt from these regulations.

According to ARRL Idaho Section Manager Ed Stuckey, AI7H, Governor Otter signed the original legislation into law in 2012, but there was an exemption for telecommunications towers. "This year, we went back [to the legislature] to specifically define Amateur Radio towers as one of the types of telecommunications towers," he said, "ARRL Idaho Section Government Liaison Rex Green, K7DMV, put a huge amount of effort into firming up the groundwork behind the legislation. We also had the good fortune to have Idaho State Senator Lee Heider, KE7GAG, take an interest in the legislation, and he acted as the Senate sponsor for the bill." Read more.

+ Julie N. Zoller, KJ4EMJ, Named to Senior State Department Telecom Post

Julie Zoller, KJ4EMJ, and International Amateur Radio Club President Attila Matas, OM1AM, at the IARC 50th anniversary celebration in January 2012. [Photo courtesy of the ITU]

Julie N. Zoller, KJ4EMJ, has succeeded Richard C. Beaird at the Department of State as Senior Deputy Coordinator of the Office of Multilateral Affairs, Communications and Information Policy Directorate, Economics and Business Affairs Bureau. In this position, she will serve as principal advisor to the United States Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy. Beaird retired at the end of January after a distinguished career in government service. Read more.

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+ Amateur Radio in the Classroom: Applications for Teachers Institute, ETP Grants Due in May

Attention, teachers who are thinking about using Amateur Radio and wireless technology in their classrooms to help facilitate hands-on learning opportunities. The ARRL's Education & Technology Program offers two programs that can help make this happen, but the application deadlines are fast approaching: The deadline for the 2013 Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology is May 15, while the deadline for equipment and resource grants is May 1. Read more.

+ On the Air: The 2013 SSB Rookie Roundup Is Here!

The weather's getting warmer and that means the bands will be hot for the ARRL SSB Rookie Roundup, Sunday, April 21, 1800-2359 UTC. Created to give the budding operator a place to learn about contesting at an easier pace, the ARRL Rookie Roundup is a six hour contest open to all amateurs who first got their ticket in 2011, 2012 or 2013. Even if you were licensed prior to 2011, you can still get on the air and work Rookies, help a Rookie get on the air or help your club members put together a team of Rookies. The contest exchange is easy: send both call signs, your first name and your location, either your US state, Canadian province or Mexican call area. If you're not in one of those areas, send "DX" for your location. Remember: Rookies can work anybody, but non-Rookies can only work Rookies. Read more.

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+ Dayton Hamvention® Awards Committee Withdraws 2013 Amateur of the Year Award

The Dayton Hamvention Awards Committee announced on April 7 that it would be withdrawing its Amateur of the Year Award for 2013. According to Dayton Hamvention General Chairman Charles Kaiser, KD8JZR, the committee had received "conflicting information from credible sources regarding the accuracy of the winning nomination." After verifying these reports, Kaiser made the decision to withdraw the award for 2013. "Unfortunately, this changes the way we score for the Amateur of the Year Award," Kaiser said in a statement on the Hamvention website. "Since the competition was close with other nominees, the outcome would have been different." Kaiser then made the decision to not award the Amateur of the Year Award for 2013 to any of the other nominees. The other awards for 2013 -- the Technical Excellence Award, the Special Achievement Award and the Club of the Year Award -- are not affected by Kaiser's decision.

Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, April 11, 2013 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: Both the average daily sunspot numbers and the solar flux were up this week, with the sunspot numbers rising nearly 57 points to 138.1, and the average daily solar flux up more than 25 points to 138.8. Paired with the average daily planetary A index dropping from 9.4 to 4.1, this is great news for HF propagation. On April 8, the daily sunspot number reached 162; two days later, it was at 163. This is the highest level since January 11 when it was 166. The solar flux prediction from the USAF and NOAA sees flux values of 150, 145, 140 and 130 on April 11-14, 125 on April 15-16, 120 on April 17, 100 on April 18-19, 95 on April 20-23, and then rising to a peak of 138 through May 5. The predicted planetary A index is 5 on April 11-22, then 12, 8, 18 and 15 on April 23-26, 5 on April 27-May 4, and rising to 8 on May 5. Look for more information on the ARRL website on Friday, April 12. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page.

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+ ARRL Recognizes: ARRL Announces Winners of 2013 Video Contest

A frame from the first place winning video by Levi Maaia, K6LCM.

In November, the ARRL invited members to shoot and submit a ham radio-related video in its third annual video contest. After much deliberation, we are pleased to announce the first, second and third place winners. Levi Maaia, K6LCM, took first place and $500 for his outstanding video that highlighted the activities of the Near Space Exploration Club at the Anacapa School in Santa Barbara, California. Second place (and a prize of $250) goes to Kevin Thornton, K5KVN, for his video of the 2012 first-time "activation" of Horseshoe Island, located on Beaver Lake in Northwest Arkansas as part of the US Islands Awards program. David Fugleberg, W0ZF, won third place and $100 for his video showcasing the techniques and excitement of VHF contest "roving" in the Midwest. Watch the winning videos on the ARRL's channel on YouTube or on the ARRL website.

This Week in Radiosport

This week:

  • April 12 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • April 13 -- EU Spring Sprint (CW)
  • April 13-14 -- Georgia QSO Party; Montana QSO Party; New Mexico QSO Party; JIDX CW Contest; SKCC Weekend Sprintathon
  • April 14 -- Hungarian Straight Key Contest
  • April 15 -- NAQCC-EU Monthly Sprint

Next week:

  • April 19 -- Holyland DX Contest
  • April 20 -- TARA Skirmish Digital Prefix Contest; ES Open HF Championship; EU Spring Sprint (SSB); Feld Hell Sprint
  • April 20-221 -- Michigan QSO Party; North Dakota QSO Party; Ontario QSO Party; CQ Manchester Mineira DX Contest; YU DX Contest
  • April 21 -- ARRL Rookie Roundup (SSB)
  • April 22 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest
  • April 24 -- SKCC Sprint; 432 MHz Spring Sprint (local time)
  • April 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 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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