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The ARRL Letter
April 25, 2013
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+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

+ FCC Enforcement: FCC Announces Enforcement Actions for January-March 2013

In the first quarter of 2013 (January-March), the FCC issued 23 enforcement actions. These enforcement actions are in addition to the $10,000 fine issued to Jared A. Bruegman, ex-KC0IQN, of Bolivar, Missouri, and the $25,000 fine issued to Terry L. VanVolkenburg, KC5RF, of Cocoa, Florida, as previously reported.

This past quarter, the FCC sent Warning Letters to 10 individuals regarding unlicensed transmissions, interference and repeater-related infractions. In addition, the FCC sent Warning Letters to four commercial entities or individuals that had conducted commercial operation on the amateur bands. The FCC also sent one letter to a power company, as well as eight letters addressing RFI complaints regarding interference from various electronic devices, including plasma television sets, electric fence chargers and grow light ballasts. Read more.

+ FCC Enforcement: Radiating Well Pump Leads to FCC Citation for Interference to Amateur Radio

The FCC has issued a Citation and Order to Ruben D. Lopez Jr of Pomona Park, Florida. The Citation, issued April 23, was in response to several complaints concerning a well pump at Lopez's residence that was acting as an incidental radiator and causing harmful interference to local radio amateurs. In July 2010 and February 2011, the FCC received complaints from radio amateurs regarding interference on the MF and HF Amateur Radio bands. Upon investigation, the FCC found that a well pump at Lopez's residence was causing the interference, and advised Lopez of the complaints and of the rules regarding interference to licensed radio services. The FCC instructed Lopez to resolve any interference. In October 2012 -- in response to another interference complaint coming from Lopez's residence -- FCC agents used direction finding equipment to identify Mr Lopez's well pump as the source of transmissions on the frequency 1800 kHz. Read more.

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+Public Service: Chinese Amateurs Assist in Earthquake's Aftermath

On the morning of Saturday, April 20, a powerful earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck Ya'an City in China's Sichuan province. The epicenter was near Lushan County. As of Wednesday, April 24, almost 200 people have been killed and more than 11,000 people are injured.

Radio amateurs in Sichuan province took immediate action. Liu Hu, BD8AAA, and BA8DX led a team to the disaster area to provide emergency communication services. Even in the aftermath of the earthquake, the FM repeater in Ya'an City was still functioning; BG8FUW in Lushan County and BG8EYD in Ya'an City used this repeater to coordinate local efforts.

According to IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee Chairman Jim Linton, VK3PC, it has been raining in the earthquake area. "Effective traffic control has been very important to transport tents, water, foods and medicines into the area," he said. "The rural communities around Ya'an City are along the same seismic fault where the Great Sichuan Earthquake killed more than 90,000 people five years ago in one of China's worst natural disasters. The latest earthquake on Saturday left tens of thousands of people in tents or cars, unable to return home or too afraid to go back as aftershocks continued. Badly hit Lushan County is now a large refugee camp, with tents set up and volunteers providing meals."

Immediately after the earthquake, the Chinese Radio Sports Association and Chinese Radio Amateur Club asked all amateurs to avoid 3.855, 7.050 and 14.270 MHz, as these frequencies were being used for disaster relief communications. As of April 22, public communication is back to normal in the disaster area and amateurs are free to once again use these frequencies. -- Thanks to Fan Bin, BA1RB, and Jim Linton, VK3PC, for the information

+ Dayton Hamvention®: Get Ready for the 2013 ARRL EXPO at the Dayton Hamvention

The Dayton Hamvention® -- the largest gathering of radio amateurs in the US -- is just around the corner, May 17-19. Held annually at the Hara Arena Conference and Exhibition Center in the Dayton suburb of Trotwood, Ohio, Hamvention is sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association.

This year's "ARRL Dayton Team" includes more than 100 people -- volunteers, officials and Headquarters staff. The centerpiece of the ARRL's participation is ARRL EXPO 2013, a large exhibit area in Hara's Ballarena Hall. First introduced in 2005, ARRL EXPO has become a popular mainstay at the event. "ARRL EXPO is a show-within-a-show, and the area will be filled with membership program representatives and exhibits that cover a variety of Amateur Radio topics and interest areas," explained ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, who also serves as the ARRL EXPO Coordinator. "The ARRL has put together dozens of exhibits, programs and activities to help represent the very best of our programs, services and information. There will be something for every ham at ARRL EXPO."

This year's ARRL EXPO will include a spotlight on W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station. The world's most famous Amateur Radio station turns 75 in September. Dayton attendees will enjoy a special W1AW exhibit, including photographs of the station from over the years. Read more.

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Celebrate 75 Years of W1AW with Commemorative Gear

The ARRL is featuring a limited edition T-shirt, key chain, pin and challenge coin to mark the 75th anniversary of W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station.

W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and what better way to show your support of Amateur Radio's flagship station than by sporting W1AW commemorative gear! The ARRL is pleased to present a limited edition T-shirt, key chain, pin and challenge coin to mark this milestone. Your purchase helps support W1AW -- $5 from every shirt purchased and 100 percent of the key chain and pin proceeds go directly to the W1AW Endowment Fund. Read more.

+ Seattle Will Host the 32nd Digital Communications Conference

Digital communications enthusiasts will be heading to the Pacific Northwest this autumn for the 32nd annual ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC), September 20-22, at Cedarbrook Lodge near Seattle, Washington. The ARRL/TAPR DCC is an international forum for radio amateurs to meet, publish their work and present new ideas and techniques. Presenters and attendees will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn about recent hardware and software advances, theories, experimental results and practical applications. The DCC is for all levels of technical experience -- not just the expert. Introductory sessions are scheduled throughout the conference to introduce new technical topics for both beginners and experts. Read more.

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Changes to FCC Radiotelegraph Operator Certificates Coming May 20

Effective May 20, 2013, the FCC will no longer accept applications for First (T1), Second (T2) or Third Class (T3) Radiotelegraph Operator Certificates. In addition, the FCC has consolidated the T1 and T2 Radiotelegraph Operator Certificates into a new license class called the Radiotelegraph Operator License (T). According to the FCC, this change takes effect upon renewal: T1s and T2s that are renewed on or after May 20, 2013 will be renewed as Ts, but existing T1s and T2s will retain their current license class for the duration of the current license term. The Commission also consolidated theT3 with Marine Radio Operator Permits (MP); T3s renewed on or after May 20, 2013 will be renewed as MPs, but existing T3s will retain their current license class for the duration of the current license term. These new rules were first announced in a Report and Order (WT Docket No. 10-177), issued January 8, 2013.

Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, April 25, 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: Solar activity was quiet this week: The average daily sunspot number declined nearly 23 points to 90.6, while the average daily solar flux values were down nearly 13 points to 109.1. The most active day was April 24, with a planetary A index of 19 and mid-latitude A index of 15. The average daily mid-latitude A index was the same this week as last, 4.9. The predicted solar flux is 115 on April 25-27, 120 on April 28-29, 125 on April 30-May 5, 120 on May 6, 115 on May 7-8, 120 on May 9-11, 115 on May 12-13, 110 on May 14-15, and down to 105 on May 16-18. The predicted planetary A index is 18 on April 25, 12 on April 26, 5 on April 27 through May 4, 8 on May 5, 5 on May 6-18, and then rising to 8, 12, 12, 15, 12 and 5 on May 19-24. Look for more information on the ARRL website on Friday, April 26. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page.

+Silent Key: Antennalyzer Inventor Wendell C. Morrison, W7LLX (SK)

Wendell C. Morrison, W7LLX, of Waukesha, Wisconsin, passed away October 18, 2012. He was 97. An ARRL member for 66 years, Morrison is perhaps best known for the Antennalyzer, an early analog computing device for designing multi-tower AM directional arrays. Morrison worked for the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) all his life. While at RCA, he was part of the RCA Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey, where in the early 1940s, Morrison, together with George H. Brown, developed the Antennalyzer. Read more.

This Week in Radiosport

This week:

  • April 26 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • April 27-28 -- Florida QSO Party; SP DX RTTY Contest; 10-10 International Spring Contest (Digital); Helvetia Contest; QRP to the Field
  • April 28 -- BARTG Sprint 75
  • May 1 -- AGCW QRP/QRP Party

Next week:

  • May 3 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • May 4 -- Microwave Spring Sprint (local time)
  • May 4-5 -- New England QSO Party; Indiana QSO Party; 7th Call Area QSO Party; 10-10 International Spring Contest (CW); Araucaria VHF Contest; ARI International DX Contest
  • May 7 -- ARS Spartan Sprint
  • May 8 -- NAQCC-EU Monthly Sprint
  • May 8-9 -- CWops Mini-CWT Test
  • May 9 -- NAQCC Straight Key/Bug 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.

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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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