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The ARRL Letter
May 9, 2013
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+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

+ Dayton Hamvention®: Meet the Authors at ARRL EXPO in Dayton

The ARRL will present a "Meet the Authors" area in the ARRL EXPO at the 2013 Dayton Hamvention, giving visitors an opportunity to speak with authors who are inspiring today's radio experimenters, operators and innovators. Leigh Klotz Jr, WA5ZNU, lead editor of Ham Radio for Arduino and PICAXE, along with Eric P. Nichols, KL7AJ, author of Radio Science for the Radio Amateur and Don Keith, N4KC, author of Riding the Shortwaves: Exploring the Magic of Amateur Radio will be available to discuss -- and sign -- their books during Hamvention.

In addition to the "Meet the Authors" area, the ARRL EXPO will include a wide variety of exhibits and activities from the ARRL, including an exhibit commemorating the 75th anniversary of W1AW featuring photographs of the station from over the years; QSL card checking; the opportunity to have your handheld transceiver checked for spurious emissions; youth activities, and more. Read more.

+ ARRL Centennial Celebration: ARRL Public Relations Committee Sponsoring "I am the ARRL" Video Contest

As part of the ARRL's Centennial Celebration in 2014, the ARRL's Public Relations Committee is sponsoring an "I am the ARRL" video contest. The Committee is looking for pairs of short video clips featuring ARRL members. One clip should show the radio amateur on the radio, while the other should show the amateur in his or her work setting saying "I am (name). I like (radio activity) and I am the ARRL."

ARRL Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, explained further: "For example, a car mechanic in coveralls working over an engine looks at the camera and says 'I am Henry Smith, N0XCC. I like to talk to people in exotic countries and I am the ARRL.' This clip would then be paired with a shot of him at home talking on the radio. You may be a lab technician in a white coat, a doctor with a stethoscope, a teacher in a classroom, a cook in a kitchen -- whatever represents your profession. We're looking for videos that communicate that you are that 'guy or gal down the street' and you are the ARRL. With Field Day coming up next month, you have a great opportunity for filming clips." Read more.

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+ FCC News: FCC and GAO Release Recommendations on Receiver Performance; Comments Invited

In early 2012, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski tasked the FCC's Technological Advisory Council (TAC) to study the role of receivers "in ensuring the efficient use of spectrum and to provide recommendations on avoiding obstacles posed by receiver performance to making spectrum available for new services." On April 22, 2013, the FCC released a Public Notice (Docket No. ET 13-101), detailing the recommendations of the TAC's working group on Receivers and Spectrum in a white paper called Interference Limits Policy -- The use of harm claim thresholds to improve the interference tolerance of wireless systems. Last week, President Obama nominated TAC Chairman Tom Wheeler as FCC Chairman.

In addition to the work of the TAC, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) was tasked by Congress in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 to study spectrum efficiency and receiver performance. The GAO report -- titled Further Consideration of Options to Improve Receiver Performance Needed -- was recently published and references the TAC white paper. The GAO report recommends that the FCC "consider small-scale pilot tests and other methods to collect information on the practical effects of various options for improving receiver performance." Comments on the both the TAC's white paper and the GAO's report are now being accepted.

The white paper also noted that "interference being experienced is widely distributed both geographically and temporally. This would be the case when, for example, widely deployed consumer devices like television sets or handheld wireless devices receiving signals 'over the air' are interfered with by, say, geographically dispersed private land mobile radio, amateur radio transmitters or other wireless devices operating in an adjacent band. Thus the base case would exclude resolution of interference that arises when multiple radio systems (i.e., transmitters and receivers) are co-located at a single antenna site, or on a single tower, or even share a single antenna on a tower." The ARRL is studying all the documents in this proceeding and expects to file comments. Read more.

+ Public Service: GAREC 2013 to Precede HAM RADIO Gathering in Friedrichshafen Next Month

The 2013 Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference (GAREC) will take place June 25-27 in Zurich, Switzerland, immediately preceding HAM RADIO -- Europe's largest Amateur Radio gathering -- in Friedrichshafen, Germany, June 28-30. GAREC 2013 will be combined with Switzerland's Convention of Amateur Radio Emergency Communication, on June 27. GAREC -- held annually since 2005 -- provides an opportunity for emergency communicators to discuss recent events, technical solutions to problems and how to find cooperation with professional partners. Attendees have an interest in providing emergency communication via Amateur Radio during training exercises or in response to disasters.

While GAREC 2013 will primarily focus on Amateur Radio emergency communication in Europe, all radio amateurs who are interested in providing public service via Amateur Radio are invited to attend. This year's topics include the relevance of Amateur Radio Emergency Communication in the First World and the HAMNET high speed data network, as well as presentations from the three IARU regions and presentations from groups with recent disaster relief communications operations. The ARRL will be represented by ARRL Vice President for International Affairs Jay Bellows, K0QB, who will also attend HAM RADIO. Read more.

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+ Hurricane Watch Net Seeks New Members for Net Control Stations

With the 2013 hurricane season approaching, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami and the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) are gearing up for what could be a very active storm season. In preparation for the upcoming season, the HWN is currently seeking new members who can serve as net control stations. The HWN provides on-the-ground, real-time weather data from Amateur Radio operators who volunteer their time to monitor their calibrated home weather stations. The stations report that data to the HWN, who in turn reports it to WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio station at the NHC. "The Hurricane Watch Net relies on volunteer operators -- our members -- who serve as our net control stations," HWN Net Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, told the ARRL. "HWN members are hams who have above-average stations, are capable of effectively conducting HF net operations and are willing to commit their time to operating in support of the HWN's mission during net activations." Read more.

Support ARRL: Attention Federal Employees -- ARRL Approved for 2013 Combined Federal Campaign!

Since 2001, the US Office of Personnel Management has designated the ARRL to participate in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the annual giving campaign for federal employees. In that time, this campaign for civilian employees of the federal government, US Postal Service workers and members of the military has generated almost $220,000 for ARRL programs. The CFC provides federal employees with an easy way to support the ARRL's effort to represent its members and all radio amateurs.

The CFC encourages individuals employed in all branches of the federal government to pledge by payroll deduction to the non-profit organizations of their choice. The ARRL encourages eligible radio amateurs to consider the League when designating campaign recipients. Payroll deduction through the CFC is an easy way for participants to support the ARRL over and above their annual membership. Such contributions support programs that are not funded by member dues, enriching the ARRL's ability to serve its members and all of Amateur Radio. Read more.

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On the Air: Annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Test Scheduled for May 11

In celebration of the 63rd anniversary of Armed Forces Day (AFD), the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are co-sponsoring the annual Military/Amateur Radio Crossband Communications Test. Although Armed Forces Day is traditionally celebrated on the third Saturday in May -- May 18 in 2013 -- the AFD Military/Amateur Crossband Communications Test will be conducted on May 11 to prevent conflict with the Dayton Hamvention®, scheduled for May 17-19. The annual celebration features traditional military-to-amateur crossband communications SSB voice and Morse code tests. These tests give Amateur Radio operators and short wave listeners an opportunity to demonstrate their individual technical skills and to receive recognition from the appropriate military radio station for their proven expertise. QSL cards will be provided to stations making contact with the military stations. Read more.

Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, May 9, 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: This week, the average daily sunspot numbers remained about the same, with the number nudging up from 120.9 to 121.7, while the average daily solar flux numbers went from 136.5 to 137.5. For the past two weeks, the average planetary A index has been the same as the mid-latitude A index. Last week they were both 9.9; this week, both values were 8. The predicted solar flux for the near future is 125 on May 9-10, 120 on May 11-13, 115 on May 14-15, 120 on May 16-17, 125 on May 18, and rising to 130 on May 19-20. The predicted planetary A index is 5 on May 9-20, then 15, 10 and 15 on May 21-23, 5 on May 24-27, and rising to 15 and 10 for May 28-29. Look for more information on the ARRL website on Friday, May 10. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page.

+ New QuickStats Poll Now Available on ARRL Website

Four new poll questions have just been published on the QuickStats page on the ARRL website. Let your voice be heard!

Questions in this month's QuickStats poll:

  • Do you own a solid-state or tube-type linear amplifier?
  • Where will you be operating during Field Day 2013?
  • Do you own a software defined receiver or transceiver?
  • Have you participated in any VHF/UHF contests during the last five years?

Visit the QuickStats page and be sure to bookmark it in your browser. Results from this QuickStats poll will be published in the July 2013 issue of QST on the QuickStats page, located in the rear advertising section of the magazine. Along with monthly poll results, QST QuickStats offers colorful charts and graphs that highlight interesting Amateur Radio statistics.

This Week in Radiosport

This week:

  • May 10 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • May 11 -- FISTS Spring Sprint
  • May 11-12 -- Nevada Mustang Roundup; VOLTA WW RTTY Contest; CQ-M International DX Contest; Portuguese Navy Day Contest; SKCC Weekend Sprintathon; EUCW Fraternizing CW QSO Party; Worldwide EME Contest

Next week:

  • May 18 -- Portuguese Navy Day Contest (Digital); Feld Hell Sprint
  • May 18-19 -- His Majesty King of Spain Contest (CW); Baltic Contest; EU PSK DX Contest; Worldwide EME Contest
  • May 20 -- Run for the Bacon QRP Contest
  • May 22 -- SKCC Sprint
  • May 22-23 -- 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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