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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
June 20, 2013
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


Field Day 2013: June 22 and 23

The clocks are ticking down to the start of Field Day, one of the largest on-the-air Amateur Radio gatherings in the world. According to a QuickStats survey due to be published in the August issue of QST, nearly 2/3 of all those surveyed indicated that they would be participating in Field Day. You'll find more helpful information in the Field Day section of the ARRL website.

Trusted QSL Version 1.14.1 Released

Logbook of The World users will be pleased to know that the new Trusted QSL software is now available for downloading from the ARRL Logbook of The World page.

Enforcement: FCC Citation Targets Online Retailer

The FCC has cited an Omaha, Nebraska based online retailer for marketing unauthorized RF devices, including high power 10 and 12 meter amplifiers, in violation of FCC rules. An FCC Citation and Order released June 6 orders Enterprise Group Inc, doing business as ePowerAmps, to immediately stop advertising, marketing and selling "all unauthorized radio frequency devices, specifically modified Citizens Band (CB) radios and non-certified radio frequency (RF) amplifiers for use in the 10 and 12 meter bands" or face possible fines and seizure of equipment.

ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, said it was reassuring to see evidence of the FCC's continuing commitment to enforcement relating to Amateur Radio. "It is gratifying to see the Commission's Enforcement Bureau taking action against flagrant violators," he commented. The Amateur Radio community has long complained about interference, mainly on 10 meters, from unlicensed CBers and so-called "HFers." The FCC once banned the sale of amplifiers capable of operating above 24 MHz, a move that some considered misguided and punitive to Amateur Radio licensees.

An agent from the FCC's Kansas City office observed on ePowerAmps' website "illegally modified CB radios being offered for sale," as well as various modifications and upgrades. These included swapping out the original final amplifier for a higher powered replacement. Linear amplifiers offered for sale varied between 120 W and 8200 W, and the Commission said none of the 50 linears offered for sale appeared to have FCC certification.

The FCC gave ePowerAmps 30 days to confirm "in writing" that it has stopped marketing unauthorized RF devices and to provide certain information to the Commission.

FCC News: FCC Sets RF Exposure Reassessment Comments Deadlines

The Amateur Radio community and other interested parties have until September 3 to file comments on an FCC proceeding to reassess the limits and policies governing exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields. The FCC released a First Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry in the proceeding (ET dockets 13-84 and 03-137) on March 27 and published in The Federal Register June 4. The ARRL plans to submit comments this summer. The Commission will accept reply comments -- ie, comments on the comments filed in the proceeding by September 3 -- until November 1.

While the FCC proposals do not alter existing RF exposure limits, they do call for the elimination of existing special evaluation exemptions spelled out in Section 97.13(c) of the Commission's rules. Minor rules changes adopted in the Report and Order section of the document take effect August 5.

Rules Change Sought to Permit Encryption of Sensitive Emergency Communications

The FCC is inviting public comments on a proposal from a Massachusetts ham to amend the Part 97 Amateur Service rules to permit the encryption of certain amateur communications during emergency operations or related training exercises. On June 7 the FCC accepted for filing a Petition for Rulemaking (RM-11699) from Don Rolph, AB1PH, and put it on public notice. It will remain open for comment until July 8. Rolph petitioned the Commission in March to suggest an additional exception to §97.113, which currently prohibits "messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning."

"As such, encryption cannot be effectively supported by the Amateur Service," Rolph told the FCC in his PRM, "and this restriction has impacted the relationship of Amateur Radio volunteers and served agencies and significantly limited the effectiveness of amateurs in supporting emergency communications." He pointed out that Part 97 already relaxes its encryption prohibitions with respect to satellite control link communications and model craft radio control.

In his petition Rolph suggested excepting "intercommunications when participating in emergency services operations or related training exercises which may involve information covered by HIPAA [medical privacy requirements -- Ed] or other sensitive data, such as logistical information concerning medical supplies, personnel movement, other relief supplies or any other data designated by Federal authorities managing relief or training efforts."

Commenters may use the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) to comment on RM-11699 online.

International: IARU Helps Raise Ham Radio Visibility in Ghana

The West African nation of Ghana may become less of a "rare one" in the future, thanks to an Amateur Radio Administration Course (ARAC) held earlier this month by International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) representatives. The IARU offers ARACs in developing countries, primarily to train regulators or prospective regulators on the administration of the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services.

"There were 28 students in total, 24 from the Ghana National Communications Authority (NCA), three from Kenya, and one from South Sudan," said ARRL Chief Technology Officer Brennan Price, N4QX, one of the course instructors. "All were attentive, engaged, and inquisitive." IARU Region 1 President Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, also was an instructor. The NCA hosted the ARAC June 3-7 in the capital of Accra. Speaking at the opening of the five-day session, NCA Director General Paarock Vanpercy stressed the need for Ghana to encourage Amateur Radio to develop an interest and awareness of technology among the country's youth. Price said there are only 10 Ghanaian licensees on the books. Timmerman will continue working with the NCA as it publishes its Amateur Radio examination syllabus and conducts its first examinations in some time. Workshops addressed a range of topics, including the Nature of Amateur Radio Services, ITU Radio Regulations, Amateur Allocations, How Society Can Benefit from Amateur Radio, National Licensing and Regulations, Amateur Radio Examinations, and Emergency Communications. Price and Timmerman were granted licenses to operate from Ghana, and both did so "for instructional and recreational purposes," Price said. As 9G5AA, Timmerman logged more than 1000 QSOs (QSL via PB2T), while Price reported logging "dozens of contacts" as 9G5AB (QSL exclusively via Logbook of The World).

Youth: Calvin Darula, KØDXC, Awarded 2013 Goldfarb Scholarship

The ARRL Foundation has awarded the 2013 William R. Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship to Calvin P. Darula, KØDXC, of St Bonifacius, Minnesota. A graduate of Waconia High School, he will attend St John's University to study business management and economics.

Darula is an avid and active Amateur Radio contester and a rising radiosport star. He was part of the K1LZ multioperator, two-transmitter teams that took top honors in the 2010 CQ World Wide WPX Contest (CW) and set the North American record in the 2011 CQ World Wide DX Contest (SSB). He has served as the ARRL Minnesota Youth Assistant Section Manager. In 2010, he was recruited as a team member to the USA High Speed Telegraphy Team. That year Darula spoke at the Dayton Hamvention® contest forum on the topic "How To Become A 50 WPM CW Wizard."

The prestigious Goldfarb scholarship is the product of a generous endowment that William Goldfarb, N2ITP (SK), set up before his death in 1997 in memory of his parents, Albert and Dorothy Goldfarb. Awarded to one high school senior each year, the Goldfarb Scholarship assists the recipient to receive a four-year undergraduate degree in engineering, science, medical or business-related fields. In addition to outstanding academic performance, scholarship applicants must demonstrate financial need and be significantly involved with Amateur Radio.

The applications window for all 2014 ARRL Foundation Scholarships opens October 1, 2013, and closes at midnight on January 31, 2014. More information is available online.

ARRL Names New Media & Public Relations, Contest Branch Managers

Sean Kutzko, KX9X, is the new ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager, succeeding Allen Pitts, W1AGP, who has retired. Kutzko has served as Contest Branch Manager since arriving at Headquarters in October 2007. An enthusiastic operator in contests and VHF weak signal work as well as a backpack QRPer, Kutzko holds a BA in communications from the University of Illinois at Springfield and has worked at several National Public Radio affiliates in the Midwest.

"After spending the past six years promoting radiosport to the Amateur Radio community, I'm looking forward to helping promote all of Amateur Radio and what we have to offer, both within our community and to the rest of the world," Kutzko said. "Amateur Radio isn't just a resource to our communities in time of need, it's also a lot of fun."

Succeeding Kutzko as Contest Branch Manager is Mike DeChristopher, N1TA. DeChristopher started at ARRL last year as a Logbook of The World specialist and Awards and Programs Assistant.

"I'm very excited to be taking over the Contest Branch and am looking forward to the new challenges this will bring," DeChristopher said. He is active in contesting from his home in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. Kutzko and DeChristopher began their new positions June 17.

Dayton Hamvention Attendance Holds Steady

The Dayton Hamvention website has announced that 24,542 people attended Hamvention® 2013, approximately the same as last year's attendance. The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) has sponsored Hamvention since 1952. Originally called the Southwestern Ohio Ham-vention, the inaugural event, held in March in downtown Dayton, attracted 600 attendees -- twice the number anticipated. Hamvention attendance peaked at 33,669 in 1993, before the 1996 change in date from April to May. While attendance has fluctuated over the years, Dayton Hamvention has grown to international proportions, attracting members of the worldwide Amateur Radio community each spring. On its website DARA already is counting down the days, hours and minutes until the next Dayton Hamvention, which takes place May 16, 17 and 18, 2014.

Noted DXer, Contester Wilse Morgan, WX7P (ex-KL7CQ), SK

ARRL Life Member and CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Famer Wilse G. Morgan, WX7P, of Rice,Washington, died June 13. He was 82 and had been suffering from cancer. "Wilse was an avid contester, DXer, involved with public safety communications, a mentor, Volunteer Examiner, club president, Assistant SM, and much, much more," recalls ARRL Eastern Washington Section Manager Mark Tharp, KB7HDX. In a tribute on the Spokane DX Association website, Steve Sala, K7AWB, said, "Wilse put Rice, Washington, on the map with his multioperator contest station, where it was more important to train new contesters than to win the contests." ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, called Morgan "one of the operating world's fan favorites."

Morgan twice made the cover of CQ, first in September 1980 installing a large beam antenna with a hot air balloon and again in August 1984 doing the same thing using a helicopter. He spent 20 years in Alaska as KL7CQ, was that state's first VE and taught ham radio classes that produced hundreds of new licensees. "Wilse recognized the hobby has a social side, and he was a grand master at that level, and lots of people became hams because of it," said Rich Strand, KL7RA. Morgan's survivors include his wife Gimmie, AL7LB. -- thanks to The Daily DX and SDXA

Renowned Storm Chaser Tim Samaras, WJØG, SK

Professional storm chasers Tim Samaras, WJØG, his son Paul Samaras and fellow investigator Carl Young died May 31 near El Reno, Oklahoma, when an EF3 tornado suddenly changed paths and slammed into their vehicle, and they were unable to escape. In his biography on The Weather Channel website, Tim Samaras said that he always carried along Amateur Radio equipment when he chased storms. "I chase the most powerful storms on the planet," Tim Samaras said in a video on his personal website. "At times I have mixed feelings about chasing these storms. On one hand they are incredibly beautiful; on the other hand, these powerful storms can create devastating damage that change people's lives forever." The TWISTEX tornado research team that Tim Samaras founded has been featured on The Discovery Channel's "Storm Chasers."

Former ARRL Staffer Bernie Glassmeyer, W1QT (ex-W9KDR), SK

ARRL has learned of the death March 24 of former Headquarters staff member Bernard Glassmeyer, W1QT (ex-W9KDR), of Taylor Springs, Illinois. He was 80 years old and had been in ill health. Bernie Glassmeyer was on the ARRL HQ staff from 1978 until 1986, serving as the League's satellite coordinator and OSCAR operations manager. Glassmeyer continued his ham radio activities in retirement. He was a US Air Force veteran of the Korean War and served as a radio communications operator on sensitive SAC missions. Survivors include two daughters, a sister and a brother. Private services were held with honors at Camp Butler National Cemetery near Springfield, Illinois.

This Week in Radiosport
  • June 22 -- His Majesty King of Spain Contest, SSB
  • June 22 -- Ukrainian DX DIGI Contest
  • June 22 -- Marconi Memorial DX Contest
  • June 22 -- ARRL Field Day

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.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

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