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DX Activities Abound at ARRL EXPO and National Convention


ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, reports that plans for a plethora of DX activities at the ARRL EXPO -- part of the 2009 ARRL National Convention at the Dayton Hamvention -- are wrapping up. "We are excited about the activities that will be taking place," he said. "Visitors to the EXPO will see a lot of activities relating to DX, including an expanded International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) area." The National Convention will take place May 15-17 at Hara Arena, located near Dayton, Ohio.

An International Flavor

The IARU area, led by incoming IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, will feature each of the three IARU Regions. The Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC), representing Region 1, will be running a world flag identification contest throughout the show. ARRL, representing Region 2, will sponsor a RUFZ CW copying competition throughout the event. The Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL), representing Region 3, will be on hand to check applications for the IARU's Worked All Continent (WAC) and 5-Band WAC awards. According to Patton, they will check QSL cards and issue the award certificates on the spot.

"The 2009 ARRL National Convention marks the first time we have offered the WAC and 5-Band WAC awards on the spot," Ellam said. "It is definitely exciting to be able to walk away with your award certificate in hand." To be eligible for WAC, applicants must submit QSL cards (no photocopies, please) confirming contacts with at least one other amateur in each of six continents: North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Oceania and Africa. The 5-Band WAC award recognizes amateurs who have made confirmed contacts with these continents on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters.

JARL representatives will also check applications for certain JARL awards (AJD, WAJA, JCC, JCG, ADXA and ADXA-Half) and issue them at the convention. JARL staff members Masa Ebisawa, JA1DM, and Hiro Tamama, JA1SLS, will check applications for other JARL awards at the JARL corner; certificates for these awards will be mailed from JARL headquarters. Ebisawa and Tamama will be glad to answer questions about JARL activities, as well as the reciprocal licensing procedures.

Applicants for JARL awards do not need to have the QSL cards present; a list showing the call signs of stations worked, date, band and mode (or other data required by each award) of the contacts is sufficient. A statement making an oath that the QSL cards of the contacts listed are in the possession and that the items are correctly listed should be attached to the application. Applicants may use a DXCC Record Sheet for their QSL card list. The JARL award fee is $16. Check out the JARL Web site for more information about JARL awards.

Homegrown Tastes

ARRL staff and DXCC Card Checkers will offer full DXCC card checking and award applications as always, and will also be able to check applications and QSLs for the Worked All States (WAS) and the VHF/UHF Century Club (VUCC) awards.

Visitors to the ARRL EXPO will be able to check out the Logbook of the World (LoTW) "Call Sign Lookup." This nifty program will allow anyone to see how many times LoTW users have submitted their call sign to the 222 million QSO log database! ARRL staff will also be able to assist with LoTW signup and problems throughout the weekend. For those who have not yet signed up to use LoTW, bring a copy of your license to show to staff and they will be able to help expedite the sign-up process.

For the first time ever, ARRL members will be able to drop off their QSL cards to be sent through the ARRL Outgoing QSL Bureau. If you have QSLs that you would like to send through the ARRL Outgoing QSL Bureau (your QSLs going to foreign stations --no US-US QSLs please), you can save the shipping cost to ARRL by bringing them to Dayton and the League will transport your cards to the Bureau in Newington.

In order to take advantage of this exciting benefit, all of the standard QSL Bureau rules must be followed: Cards must be sorted by DXCC country; they must go to countries where a bureau exists, and you must be an ARRL member to use the Outgoing QSL Bureau. Patton said that hams utilizing this service do not need to box the cards, but they should be wrapped with rubber bands; ARRL will weigh the cards on-site in the ARRL EXPO area.

The rates are $5 for the first .5 pounds of cards or portion thereof. Keep in mind that approximately 75 cards weigh .5 pounds. The rates increase to $10 for one pound, and then $5 for each additional half-pound. For example, a package containing 1.5 pounds of cards should include the fee of $15. A package of only 10 cards or fewer costs only $1.50, 11-20 cards are $2.50 and 21-30 cards are $3.75. Members can pay for this service via check, cash or credit card.

Why not make 2009 your year to go to Dayton? Where else can you experience all the fun and excitement of the ARRL EXPO, the 2009 ARRL National Convention and the Dayton Hamvention under one roof? It's not too late to make plans to join us in Dayton May 15-17.



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