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ARRL In Action: What Have We Been Up to Lately?

04/01/2010

Compiled by S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA
ARRL News Editor
news@arrl.org
April 1, 2010

This feature -- including convenient Web links to useful information -- is a concise monthly update of some of the things ARRL is doing on behalf of its members. This installment covers the month of March.

The ARRL and the American Red Cross signed a new Memorandum of Understanding that provides a "broad framework for cooperation" between the two organizations.

The League's Executive Committee released its agenda prior to its March meeting where it examined the FCC's proposed vanity call sign changes, as well as legislative and regulatory issues.

FCC News: The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) proposing to amend the Commission's Amateur Radio Service rules "with respect to Amateur Radio operations during government-sponsored emergency preparedness and disaster readiness drills and tests." The FCC also issued an NPRM to eliminate spread spectrum APC requirement, reduce spread spectrum power limit and clean up portions of Part 97.

Legislative Issues: Following the Senate's lead, Representative Jerry McNerny (D-CA-11), introduced HR 4809 -- the FCC Commissioners' Technical Resource Enhancement Act -- in the House of Representatives; the bill seeks to provide greater technical resources to FCC Commissioners. The ARRL requested support of S 1755 -- The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009 -- that unanimously passed the US Senate, sent to the US House of Representatives for consideration and now sits in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko reported that the Contest Branch received more logs from the ARRL International DX Contests (CW and SSB combined) than ever before. Plaques and certificates for the 2009 DX CW and SSB contests have been sent out. Sweepstakes pins and mugs are currently being processed.

The ARRL announced that the International Amateur Radio Region 2 conference -- held later this year in El Salvador -- will review the existing Region 2 band plan, consider input from the amateur community and make recommendations to the ARRL Board for submission to IARU Region 2.

ARRL Chief Technology Officer Brennan Price, N4QX, worked on comments for an NTIA proposal to make 495-505 kHz exclusive to the maritime mobile service (thus precluding Amateur Radio operations in that band), and another regarding Amateur Radio concerns to be addressed at the World Telecommunication Development Conference (Hyderabad, May 24-June 4) and the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference (Guadalajara, October 4-22). ARRL Technical Relations Specialist Jon Siverling, WB3ERA, attended the CITEL assembly in Mexico City. Both Price and Siverling continue to work on preparations for WRC-12.

The ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology completed its first session designed specifically for teachers in the Tucson (Arizona) Unified School District.

The winners of the ARRL's Second Homebrew Challenge were announced. The challenge: To build a linear amplifier designed to boost the 5 W, 40 meter output from the transceivers from the First Homebrew Challenge up to the 50 W level.

The ARRL Lab sent out letters regarding noises generated by power lines in New York and West Virginia and an electric fence. They referred a power line noise case in Missouri to the FCC.

The ARRL's 500 kHz Experiment Coordinator Fritz Raab, W1FR, reported that activity on the experimental band is on the rise, both in the US and around the world.

ARRL Field and Regulatory Correspondent Chuck Skolaut, K0BOG, received reports of jamming conditions on 75 meters and information regarding a bootlegged call.

The ARRL has established an agreement with McSnyder Software to produce Amateur Radio practice exam software. The software will be Microsoft Windows compatible. Development has begun, and the product will be completed during the summer. McSnyder presently produces and sells a suite of Amateur Radio mobile software -- designed specifically for use with the iPhone and iPod Touch -- and licensed through a partnership with ARRL.

The new W1AW digital run schedule began Monday, March 15. The new schedule allows for the various digital modes used in the regular digital transmissions (Baudot, BPSK31 and MFSK16) to be alternated each day.

H. Robert "Bob" Schroeder, N2HX, of Ewing, New Jersey, has been named the winner of the ARRL Foundation's 2009 Bill Orr, W6SAI, Technical Writing Award for his article "Electromagnetic Pulse and Its Implications for EmComm" that appeared in November 2009 issue of QST.

The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for March is Rudy Severn, N6LF, for his article "An Experimental Look at Ground Systems for HF Verticals."

The May 2009 issue of QST, as well as two new titles -- PIC Programming for Beginners and Storm Spotting and Amateur Radio -- have been released to the printer. The second edition of The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual and the 5th edition of ARRL's Tech Q&A (for Technician exams given on or after July 1, 2010), The ARRL Repeater Directory 2010-2011 edition (pocket-sized and desktop editions) and a new ARES® pin are now shipping. The second edition of Understanding Basic Electronics was introduced.



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