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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 26, No. 49
December 14, 2007


* + Ice Storms Move across Midwestern United States 
* + Radio Club of America Honors Cronkite, Bodson, Belrose; Cronkite
Receives ARRL President's Award 
* + NASA Pushes Shuttle Launch to January 
* + New ARRL Award Products Available 
* + The 2007 ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund Needs You! 
* + ARRL Headquarters Closed for Christmas, New Year's Holidays 
*  Solar Update 
      This Weekend on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + December 2007 West Coast Qualifying Run Schedule Change 
      Rich Mitchell, N3III, Wins November "QST" Cover Plaque Award 
      "200 Meters and Down" Index Now Available Online 
      Peter W. Dahl Company, Manufacturers of Custom Transformers, Going
Out of Business 
      Foundation for Amateur Radio Invites Scholarship Applications 
      Incorrect Date Listed for Frostfest 2008 

+Available on ARRL Audio News <> 

There will be no ARRL Letter on December 28, 2007 or January 4, 2008.
There will be no ARRL Audio News on December 21, December 28 or January
4, 2008.

==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ
<>, then e-mail
==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane,


Ice storms swept across the Plains states earlier this week, and as of
Wednesday, nearly 1 million homes and business were without power. In
Oklahoma alone, there were approximately 600,000 without power, with
250,000 households and businesses in Tulsa alone without power.
Officials in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma had declared states of
emergency. President Bush declared a federal emergency in Oklahoma on
Tuesday, ordering government aid to supplement state and local efforts.
Authorities said Tulsa and Oklahoma City each had more than 100 reports
of fires since the storm began, mostly from tree limbs crashing into
live power lines. 

According to ARRL Oklahoma District Emergency Coordinator Mark Conklin,
N7XYO, "Starting early Monday morning, Oklahoma ARES was activated to
support local area hospitals, as only five of the area hospitals had
power from the grid. As of Wednesday, all hospitals had power. ARES
volunteers are providing communications for one hospital at this time,
but the Oklahoma State University Medical Center and Tulsa Spine
Hospital also requested assistance. ARES is also working with the local
Medical Emergency Response Center and the Tulsa Area Emergency
Management Agency." 

Tim Hoss, Safety Officer at the Oklahoma State University Medical
Center, said, "I want to personally thank each and every one of the
volunteers that came to our facility and kept us in constant
communication with the Medical Emergency Response Center. I hope you and
all your fellow hams know how greatly respected you are in the eyes of
the emergency planners for Tulsa. Your organization is the one that will
get through and perform flawlessly when no one else can." 

More than 30 shelters were opened across the area. More than 1500 people
have stayed at least one night in one of the shelters. 

Ice ranging from a quarter-inch to an inch thick has glazed roads in
much of the central Plains and Midwest. At least 24 deaths -- mostly
traffic accidents -- have been blamed on the storm since it developed
last weekend: 15 in Oklahoma, four in Kansas, three in Missouri and one
each in Nebraska and Michigan. 

The power outage was the worst ever in Oklahoma, with more than 618,000
homes and businesses without electricity as of late Tuesday. Officials
said it could be a week to 10 days before power is fully restored.
Elsewhere, nearly 350,000 people were affected by outages in Missouri,
Kansas, Iowa and Illinois. 

The National Weather Service said that all ice storm warnings for the
storm have come to an end. Freezing rain and winter weather advisories
over Northern Missouri and Western Illinois expired Wednesday morning.
Other winter weather advisories across the Midwest, including Northeast
Oklahoma, also expired Wednesday morning. Collinsville, Oklahoma
experienced 1.5 inches of freezing rain; Davenport, Iowa had .4 inches
of freezing rain; Manhattan, Kansas had .75 inches of freezing rain;
Poplar Grove, Illinois had more than one inch of sleet and freezing
rain. Iowa is expected to get another five inches of snow, and Nebraska
up to 10 inches. 


At the 98th annual Radio Club of America (RCA) banquet on November 16 in
New York City, Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD; ARRL Roanoke Division Director
Dennis Bodson, PhD, PE, W4PWF, and Jack Belrose, PhD, VE2CV, were
toasted and feted throughout the night. Bodson received the Sarnoff
Citation, given to recognize significant contributions to the
advancement of electronic communications. Barry Goldwater, K7UGA (SK),
was the first recipient of the Sarnoff Citation in 1973. Both Cronkite
and Belrose received the Armstrong Medal, the RCA's foremost achievement
award and named for its first recipient, Major Edwin Armstrong. The
keynote speech was given by Andy Rooney of television's "60 Minutes." 

According to RCA Director-Elect Don Bishop, W0WO, Cronkite and Rooney
both attended the latter part of cocktail reception that preceded the
banquet. Cronkite sat in an elevated chair to greet RCA members and
guests in a receiving line and Rooney sat at a small table where the
occasional visitor might approach to offer greetings. "The focus was on
Cronkite, who enjoyed shaking hands with his admirers and exchanging a
few words with them," Bishop said. 

Before the banquet and ceremony, ARRL Hudson Division Director Frank
Fallon, N2FF, presented Cronkite with the ARRL President's Award. This
award, created in 2003 by the ARRL Board of Directors, recognizes an
ARRL member or members who "have shown long-term dedication to the goals
and objectives of ARRL and Amateur Radio" and who have gone the extra
mile to support individual League programs and goals. Cronkite was
selected to receive the award in April 2005 "in recognition of his
outstanding support of the ARRL and Amateur Radio by narrating the
videos 'Amateur Radio Today' and 'The ARRL Goes to Washington.'" 

"It was quite a thrill to make this presentation to Cronkite," Fallon
said. "He has long been recognized as the 'most trusted man in

Fallon said that this is only the third time the award has been given
and second time a ham residing in the Hudson Division has been given the
Award: "The first award went to Jerry Agliata, W2GLA, who received the
award in 2004 at the Hudson Division Awards Dinner for his longtime
involvement in legislative efforts in New York State on behalf of
amateurs. The second time it was presented, it went to Mary Ann Crider,
WA3HUP, in 2005 for her contributions to the cause of international
goodwill through her long service as QSL Manager and Manager of the ARRL
Third Call Area Incoming QSL Bureau." 

After the dinner, RCA Fellow Ted Rappaport, PhD, N9NB, came to the
podium to present the Sarnoff Citation to Bodson. Rappaport said, "It is
my honor to present this year's Sarnoff Citation. It isn't given every
year. It was initiated in 1973, and it is given to one individual who
has made significant contributions to the advancement of electronics.
This year's recipient is Dennis Bodson. Dennis has dedicated his career
to standardizing the electronics industry. His efforts in standards,
which were required to allow components made by all manufacturers to
interact with one another, were recognized by the IEEE with the Charles
Proteus Steinmetz Award. We're honored to have with us Dennis Bodson to
receive this citation. I asked him, given his amazing contributions
amongst the many he has made technically, what was the key to his
success. He said a key to his success was his wife of 42 years, Rita,
who is with him tonight."

Bodson received the citation and responded: "As I look back through my
career to identify highlights as anyone might do with their own careers,
it is never a singular thing one sees. There are many others who help
you to achieve. To those, I also thank them. I also have a special
thanks to my family and to my wife Rita, because without their
cooperation and support, I wouldn't have been able to accomplish much of
anything. Thank you, Rita, and thank you to the Radio Club of America."

Richard Somers, W6NSV, presented Cronkite with the Armstrong Award.
Somers said, "Each year, the Radio Club of America recognizes
outstanding achievement in the field of wireless communications by
honoring individuals who have made significant contributions to the
industry and the public it serves. The highest and most prestigious
award given by the Club is the Armstrong Medal, created in 1935 and
named after Major Edwin Armstrong, wireless pioneer and inventor of FM
radio. Since that time, this award has been presented infrequently and
only to the most accomplished and deserving individuals -- those who
have made important contributions to the radio art and science. As his
significant contribution, our award recipient has used the medium of
television to keep the American public informed of the news in a manner
never before imagined. And tonight, we have the distinct privilege of
having that individual with us, America's best known and most respected
broadcast journalist, Walter Cronkite."

Following the introduction, Cronkite simply said: "Thank you for
accepting me as one of you and for your accomplishments in the field of

RCA Vice President Marty Cooper then stepped to the podium and presented
a second Armstrong Medal to John S. "Jack" Belrose, PhD, VE2CV. "As
Richard said, the Armstrong Medal was first awarded in 1935 and has been
awarded 40 times since then. Not long after it was first awarded, our
next awardee went to work at the Communications Research Centre in
Canada, John Belrose. Jack worked at the Communications Research Centre
for 55 years and still works there today but he rose to become the
director of the Radiosciences Branch. He was educated in Canada and got
his PhD in Cambridge. He has participated in numerous Canadian and
international standards and technical groups. He has written more than
125 articles and papers on the subject of radioscience and antennas and
propagation. For your lifetime of important communications, it is my
pleasure to present you with the Armstrong Medal," Cooper said.

Belrose, a "QST" and "QEX" author, responded: "It was noted that
candidates for the Armstrong Medal are restricted to Club members since,
in 1937, everyone who was anyone in radio was a member of the Club. We
can't say that nowadays, but it shows the prestige that our Club once
had. Professor Hazeltine, the first recipient in 1937, said Edwin H.
Armstrong is the patron saint of our Club, and certainly it was true.
Armstrong made it a practice to make his first declaration of his
inventions before the Club. Seven out of 26 important papers were
published in our "Proceedings." He was president from 1916 to 1920, and
he was one of the six member team that designed, constructed and
operated the Amateur Radio station 1BCG that successfully transmitted a
12 word message across the Atlantic from Greenwich, Connecticut to
Ardrossan, Scotland on December 11, 1921. Thank you for giving me the
Armstrong Medal. When I look at it, I will think perhaps I did
contribute something, rather than nothing, to the book of knowledge." 


NASA announced last week that the space shuttle Atlantis, set to launch
into space on December 6 to the International Space Station (ISS), would
be delayed until no earlier than Wednesday, January 2 after a failure
occurred in a fuel sensor system while Atlantis' external fuel tank was
being filled. The shuttle will transport Columbus, the space laboratory
built by the European Space Agency (ESA). Columbus has two Amateur Radio
on the International Space Station (ARISS) antennas attached to its
nadir side, and will also provide scientists around the world the
ability to conduct a variety of life, physical and materials science

One of the four engine cutoff, or ECO, sensors inside the liquid
hydrogen section of the tank gave a false reading. NASA's current Launch
Commit Criteria require that all four sensors function properly. The
sensor system is one of several that protect the shuttle's main engines
by triggering their shut down if fuel runs unexpectedly low. Atlantis'
scheduled launch on December 6 was delayed after two liquid hydrogen ECO
sensors gave false readings. A third sensor failed after the tank was
drained of fuel. 

The mission, STS-122, will bring seven astronauts to the ISS: Commander
Stephen N. Frick, KD5DZC; Pilot Alan G. Poindexter; Mission Specialist
Rex J. Walheim; Mission Specialist Stanley G. Love; Mission Specialist
Leland D. Melvin; Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel, DG1KIH, of Germany,
and Mission Specialist/Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts,
KE5FNO, of France. Flight Engineer Dan Tani, KD5DXE, already on board
the ISS, will depart when Atlantis returns to Earth; Eyharts will stay
behind on the ISS and take his place. 


The ARRL now offers custom awards for clubs, groups and individuals for
recognition and achievement, offering a wide range of styles and price
levels. Each award is customized with your text and the ARRL logo. 

Products offered include a tan leather rectangular key fob with a call
sign on one side and the ARRL diamond on the other; a rosewood pen and
pencil set with personalization available on the pen and pencil, as well
as the presentation box; an 8x10 inch wood plaque with blue plate
engraved with up to 14 lines of gold text; a swiveling wood desk clock
that holds a photo or an insert -- personalize this with up to 25
characters on two lines, and a beautiful crystal 3-inch etched globe on
a crystal base, presented in a velvet-lined gift box. 

Do you have that one ham in your group who comes out every Field Day,
rain or shine, who stays from beginning to end, helping out in any way
possible? Acknowledge their involvement with a beautiful gift that shows
how much you value their service. What about the ham in your club that
has been a member for 25 years and has yet to miss a meeting? Show them
how much you appreciate their contribution with a small personalized
token. Do you have an Elmer you would like to thank with more than
words? A personalized gift with their name and call sign on it would
remind them of you every time they use it.

Each item features the ARRL diamond logo. Award orders will be processed
and delivered within 20 working days. View the entire award product
line, as well as ARRL clothing items, at the Barker Specialties Web site


The annual Spectrum Defense Fund is arguably the most significant
fund-raising campaign that ARRL mounts each year. With funds dedicated
to ARRL activities that defend Amateur Radio spectrum, all hams benefit
from the efforts of ARRL in Washington and around the world. 

This year, the Defense Fund has been especially important in funding the
ARRL legal action regarding BPL. While we await the decision of the
Appeals Court in Washington, the legal bills still need to be satisfied.
So in these final weeks of the year, all members are urged to consider
what they can do to help ARRL reach its financial goal. As the nation's
most effective voice on behalf of Amateur Radio, ARRL needs you -- now! 

Your contribution online <>, through
the mail or by phone is vital to ARRL's continued success. Your
contribution will be dedicated to this purpose -- and no other. ARRL
Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, said, "I encourage you to
consider a gift under the guidelines of the Pension Protection Act that
sunsets on December 31, 2007. If you are 70-1/2 or older, you may
request a contribution from your IRA directly to ARRL and designate that
contribution to the Spectrum Defense Fund. Such a contribution may offer
tax advantages for you." 

More information about the Pension Protection Act is available online
<>. Thank you for standing with
ARRL to preserve Amateur Radio Spectrum.


ARRL Headquarters will be closed Monday, December 24 and Tuesday,
December 25 in observance of Christmas, and on Monday, December 31, 2007
and Tuesday, January 1, 2008 in observance of New Year's. 

There will be no W1AW bulletins or code practice transmissions those
days. There will be no ARRL Letter on Friday, December 28 or January 4;
there will also be no ARRL Audio News on Friday, December 21, Friday
December 28 or Friday, January 4. 

Headquarters will reopen Wednesday, December 26 at 8 AM Eastern Standard
Time after Christmas, and Wednesday, January 2 at 8 AM Eastern Standard
Time after New Year's. We wish everyone a safe and joyful holiday season
and a prosperous 2008. 


Tad "There's a Little Black Spot on the Sun Today" Cook, K7RA, this week
reports: Sunspot 978 made a strong showing this week, and daily sunspot
numbers are up as a result. The average daily sunspot number for this
week rose more than 25 points to 36.7, and the average daily solar flux
(the amount of energy we receive from the Sun at a wavelength of 10.7 cm
or 2800 MHz) rose more than 14 points to 87.2. The sunspot numbers on
December 9-11 were 42, 43 and 44. Sunspot numbers haven't been nearly
this high since July 14-15 of 2007, when it was 41 both days. The daily
sunspot number hasn't been higher since June 2-8 of this year, when it
was 45, 58, 58, 63, 47, 59 and 51. Sunspot numbers for December 6-12
were 29, 24, 36, 42, 43, 44 and 39 with a mean of 36.7. The 10.7 cm flux
was 78.2, 82.2, 86.9, 88.9, 86.9, 93.4 and 93.9 with a mean of 87.2.
Estimated planetary A indices were 1, 1, 0, 2, 8, 12 and 7 with a mean
of 4.4. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 1, 0, 1, 1, 5, 9 and 7
with a mean of 3.4. The US Air Force and the NOAA Space Weather
Prediction Center forecast solar flux at 95 for December 14-16, and 90
on December 17-19. This suggests a possible continuation of recent
sunspot activity, because sunspot numbers this week were 39-44 while
solar flux was 89-94. They also predict a planetary A index for December
14-20 at 5, 5, 10, 20, 15, 15 and 10, so expect unsettled to active
geomagnetic conditions on Monday, December 17. Geophysical Institute
Prague predicts quiet conditions December 14-16, active December 17, and
unsettled December 18-20. For more information concerning radio
propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation
page <>. To read this
week's Solar Report in its entirety, check out the W1AW Propagation
Bulletin page <>. 



* This Weekend on the Radio: This weekend, the OK DX RTTY Contest and
the Feld Hell Sprint are December 15. The Croatian CW Contest and the
International Naval Contest are December 15-16. On December 16, check
out the ARCI Holiday Spirits Homebrew Sprint. The Run for the Bacon QRP
Contest is December 17. Next weekend is the SKCC Weekend Sprintathon on
December 23. The DARC Christmas Contest is December 26 and the RAC
Winter Contest is December 29. The Original QRP Contest and Stew Perry
Topband Challenge are both December 29-30. The ARRL Straight Key Night
begins December 31. Plan now for the SARTG New Year RTTY Contest and
AGCW Happy New Year Contest, both scheduled for January 1. Don't forget
the ARRL RTTY Roundup January 5-6, 2008. See the ARRL Contest Branch
page <>, the ARRL Contester's Rate Sheet
<> and the WA7BNM Contest
Calendar <> for more

* ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration: Registration remains
open through Sunday, December 23, 2007 for these online courses
beginning on Friday, January 4, 2008: Technician License Course
(EC-010); Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1 (EC-001); Radio
Frequency Interference (EC-006); Antenna Design and Construction
(EC-009); Analog Electronics (EC-012), and Digital Electronics (EC-013).
To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page
<> or contact the Continuing
Education Program Coordinator <>;.

* December 2007 West Coast Qualifying Run Schedule Change: There is a
slight change to the December 2007 West Coast Qualifying Run schedules.
The December West Coast Qualifying Run will be handled by Maritime Radio
Historical Society station KPH/K6KPH. This station is the same one that
sends out the W1AW Field Day Bulletin for the benefit of West Coast
amateurs. Look for station K6KPH to transmit the December Run on
Saturday, December 15 at 2200 UTC (2 PM local time). The code speeds
will remain at 10-35 WPM. The frequencies are: 3.5815, 7.0475, 14.0475
and 21.0675 MHz. Qualifying Run submissions should still be sent to the
ARRL for processing.

* Rich Mitchell, N3III, Wins November "QST" Cover Plaque Award: The
winner of the "QST" Cover Plaque Award for November is Rich Mitchell,
N3III, for his article "Building Kits to Learn." Congratulations, Rich!
The winner of the "QST" Cover Plaque award -- given to the author or
authors of the best article in each issue -- is determined by a vote of
ARRL members on the "QST" Cover Plaque Poll Web page
<>. Cast a ballot for your
favorite article in the December issue by Monday, December 31.

* "200 Meters and Down" Index Now Available Online: "200 Meters and
Down," by Clinton DeSoto, remains one of the most popular Amateur Radio
historical works ever printed. Published in 1936, the book chronicles
the beginning of ham radio in the United States and the challenges it
faced in the first 30 years of its existence. The book was originally
published without an index, which made it somewhat difficult for readers
(historians in particular) to navigate the wealth of information. All
that has changed, thanks to Tom Hart, AD1B. Hart has painstakingly
indexed "200 Meters and Down" and the results of his work are now
available for free downloading in PDF format on the ARRLWeb site
<>. "200 Meters and
Down" is still available for purchase from the ARRL online store
<> or by calling 1-888-277-5289. 

* Peter W. Dahl Company, Manufacturers of Custom Transformers, Going Out
of Business: The Peter W. Dahl Company in El Paso, Texas, will be
closing its doors as of December 31, 2007, according to Peter Dahl,
K0BIT, owner and founder of the company that has made custom
transformers for more than 40 years. Dahl, 67, has Parkinson's Disease.
The company manufactured a wide variety of transformers and reactors for
Amateur Radio and commercial radio and television applications.
According to Dahl, many are direct replacements for original equipment
components that are no longer available from the manufacturer, while
others have general-purpose applications in any number of different
transmitters. He said that they had more than 4000 individual
transformer designs on file. QST columnist John Dilks, K2TQN ("Old
Radio"), said the closing of the Dahl Company was "sad news for those of
us who restore the big iron." Dahl told the ARRL, "I want to thank
everyone for their business throughout the years. I have enjoyed making
each Amateur Radio transformer."

* Foundation for Amateur Radio Invites Scholarship Applications: The
non-profit Foundation for Amateur Radio (FAR) is now accepting
applications for 55 academic year 2008-2009 scholarships to assist radio
amateurs pursuing higher education. The deadline to apply is March 30,
2008. FAR fully funds three of scholarships and administers 41 others
without cost on behalf of various club and individual donors; grant
income funds the remaining 11 awards. Amateur Radio licensees pursuing a
full-time course of study beyond high school and accepted by or enrolled
in an accredited university, college or technical school are eligible to
apply. Scholarship grants range from $500 to $3000, and preference in
some cases goes to applicants living in particular geographical areas or
pursuing certain studies. Non-US residents are eligible to apply for
some of the scholarships. FAR encourages clubs -- especially those in
California, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and
Wisconsin -- to announce these scholarship opportunities at meetings, in
newsletters, during training classes, on nets and on their Web sites.
More information and an application form may be requested by letter via
e-mail <>; or by sending a QSL card postmarked
prior to March 30, 2008, to FAR Scholarships, PO Box 831, Riverdale, MD
20738. Headquartered in Washington, DC, FAR consists of more than 75
area Amateur Radio Clubs. FAR is devoted to promoting the interests of
Amateur Radio and those scientific, literary and educational pursuits
that advance the purposes of the Amateur Radio Service.

* Incorrect Date Listed for Frostfest 2008: The December issue of "QST"
(page 106) listed the incorrect date for Frostfest 2008. The
advertisement said the event would be Saturday, February 8; the event is
on Saturday, February 9. Frostfest 2008 will host the Virginia ARRL
State Convention. 

The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the
American Radio Relay League: ARRL--the National Association for Amateur
Radio, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax
860-594-0259; <>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President.

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential and general
news of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site
<> for the latest Amateur Radio news and news
updates. The ARRL Web site <> also offers
informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News
<> is a weekly "ham radio newscast"
compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also available as a
podcast from our Web site.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole
or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be
given to The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League.

==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
==>Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA,
==>ARRL News on the Web: <>
==>ARRL Audio News: <> or call

==>How to Get The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly
from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for
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The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these

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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.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.

Back issues published since 2000 are available on this page. If you wish to subscribe via e-mail, simply log on to the ARRL Web site, click on Edit Your Profile at the top, then click on Edit Email Subscriptions. Check the box next to The ARRL email newsletter, the ARRL Letter and you will receive each weekly issue in HTML format. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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The ARRL E-Letter e-mail is also available in plain-text version:

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