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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 27, No. 7
February 22, 2008


* + Kosovo and DXCC 
* + Homebrew Challenge Winners Announced 
* + New ARRL Section Managers in San Diego, Louisiana and Virginia 
* + What's Coming Up in the March/April Issue of QEX 
* + Name the W1HQ Mascot 
* + Kansas Hams Working to Get Antenna Bill Passed 
*  Solar Update 
      This Weekend on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + 2008 Field Day Web Page Good to Go 
    + ARRL Handbook a "Must-Have" for Broadcast Industry 
      From the DXCC Desk 
      W1AW Endowment Campaign to Start in March 
      Rod Dinkins, AC6V (SK) 

+Available on ARRL Audio News <> 

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


Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia on February 17, setting off
new speculations on what this means to Amateur Radio and specifically,
to the DXCC program. ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, said he
understands that there are many questions about the DXCC status of
Kosovo, especially concerning whether or not the new state will be added
to the DXCC list. 

Moore said the DXCC rules, modified in 2000 to better handle inclusion
to DXCC, are clear on how additions can be made: "For inclusion in the
DXCC List, certain conditions must be met. Gaining entry on the DXCC
List is not contingent upon whether operation has occurred or will
occur, but only upon the qualifications of the Entity." 

According to Moore, adding Kosovo to the DXCC List would be considered
under the "Political Entity" DXCC guidelines. The DXCC rules state that
"Political Entities are those areas which are separated by reason of
government or political division. They generally contain an indigenous
population which is not predominantly composed of military or scientific

Kosovo, according to the DXCC rules, would then be added to the DXCC
List as a Political Entity if it meets one or more of the following

* The entity is a UN Member State. 

* The entity has been assigned a call sign prefix block by the ITU. (The
exceptions to this rule are international organizations, such as the UN
and ICAO. These Entities are classified under Special Areas, 3.a; and
Ineligible Areas, 4.b.) A provisional prefix bloc assignment may be made
by the Secretary General of ITU. Should such provisional assignments not
be ratified later by the full ITU, the Entity will be removed from the
DXCC List. 

* The Entity contains a permanent population, is administered by a local
government and is located at least 800 km from its parent. To satisfy
the "permanent population" and "administered by a local government"
criteria of this sub-section, an Entity must be listed on either (a) the
US Department of State's list of "Dependencies and Areas of Special
Sovereignty" as having a local "Administrative Center," or (b) the
United Nations list of "Non-Self-Governing Territories." 

"New Entities satisfying one or more of the conditions above will be
added to the DXCC List by administrative action as of their 'Event
Date.' Kosovo will be added to the DXCC list if it becomes a member of
the UN, or if it receives a prefix bloc from the ITU. The third
condition does not apply," Moore said. "The 'Event Date' will be either
the date Kosovo became a UN member or it receives its prefix from the
ITU. Contacts made before the Event Date will be counted as Serbia." 


The Homebrew Challenge (HBC) <> was
announced in the August 2006 issue of QST and on the ARRL Web site.
Entrants were encouraged to submit a home-constructed voice and CW, 5 W
minimum output radio by August 1, 2007. The radio had to be reproducible
from no more than $50 of new parts.

In October of 2006, by popular demand, HBC organizers at ARRL offered a
second category to the competition that allowed a PC to be used as part
of the control, display or processing function; it could also be used to
program a microprocessor.

QST Technical Editor Joel R. Hallas, W1ZR, found four entries that
passed the documentation and price confirmation check. These entries
also went through an ARRL Laboratory evaluation to make sure that they
met all the ARRL and FCC technical requirements before being subjected
to a thorough operational evaluation by ARRL staffers. 

The judges announced two winners in the HBC, one in each category. The
PC-supported winner was Jim Veatch, WA2EUJ, who gathered the most points
in the evaluation by our judges; an article describing his radio will
appear in the May 2008 issue of QST. In a way, Hallas said, Veatch's
radio could be considered a contender for the other award as well, since
he has agreed to provide his firmware onto builders' processors at no
cost if they don't have programming capabilities. 

The winner with a radio totally without use of a PC is Steve Weber,
KD1JV, who came in close behind in overall scoring by the judges. His
radio will be described in a subsequent QST article.

In addition to these winners, entries were received from Dave Cripe,
NM0S, and Doug Pongrance, N3ZI. Hallas said the judging panel enjoyed
exploring and operating each radio; each radio had its strong points and
unique features, making selection difficult. The judges spent many hours
operating, comparing and scoring the radios based on their technical
proficiency, as well as operating features and reports from distant

Hallas thanked the judges for contributing their time to this effort:
W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q; ARRL Lab Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI;
Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, and QEX Editor Larry Wolfgang,
WR1B. Hallas also served as a judge. Almost all the judges have
considerable experience operating low power (QRP) radios in contests and
other venues. Hare has served as a judge for various QRP equipment
contests sponsored by the QRP Amateur Radio Club International (QRPARCI)
and noted these entries stood well in comparison to many he has judged

Hallas also thanked ARRL Lab Engineer Michael Tracy, KC1SX, for fitting
in HBC testing between product review evaluations and his other
responsibilities, as well as for helping set up the operational
evaluation suite in the newly renovated W1HQ/W1INF Headquarters
Operators Club shack.


In the only contested Section Manager race this winter, Steve Early,
AD6VI, was elected ARRL San Diego Section Manager with 332 votes; his
opponent, Pat Bunsold, WA6MHZ, received 264 votes. Election ballots were
counted February 19 at ARRL Headquarters. 

Early, whose two-year term begins on April 1, 2008, said that he is
looking forward to the opportunity to serve. He has been active in
several Amateur Radio clubs and ARES, as well as providing public
service support to agencies such as the American Red Cross and CERT
(Community Emergency Response Team); he is president of the Palomar
Amateur Radio Club (PARC). Early takes over from Harry Hodges, W6YOO,
who was appointed to fill the vacant position in November 2007. 

Louisiana will also be getting a new Section Manager on April 1. Gary
Stratton, K5GLS, of Shreveport, the Louisiana Section Emergency
Coordinator for the last three years, will be taking the reins from
Mickey Cox, K5MC. Cox, who has served as Section Manager for the past
eight years, decided not to run for another term of office. 

Carl Clements, W4CAC, of Portsmouth, Virginia, returns to the Virginia
Section Manager's post on April 1. He previously served as Virginia
Section Manager from May 2001-March 2006. Glen Sage, W4GHS, the outgoing
Virginia Section Manager, did not seek a new term of office. 

The following incumbent ARRL Section Managers did not face opposition
and were declared elected for their next terms of office beginning April
1, 2008: Pete Cecere, N2YJZ, Eastern New York; Eric Olena, WB3FPL,
Eastern Pennsylvania; Tim Slay, N4IB, North Carolina; Richard Beebe,
N0PV, South Dakota, and Bob Schneider, AH6J, Pacific. 


The March/April issue of QEX is out, and it is full of theoretical and
practical technical articles that you don't want to miss. 

In this issue, Milt Cram, W8NUE, and George Heron, N2APB, describe the
design and construction details of their "NUE-PSK Digital Modem." The
authors provide complete technical details as a companion to their March
QST article. Cornell Drentea, KW7CD, presents some schematic diagrams
and circuit descriptions for his "Star-10 Transceiver," in Part 2 of
this series. 

Jack Smith, K8ZOA, provides an interesting look at carbon composition
resistor aging as well as inductive and capacitive effects of other
resistor construction types in "Carbon Composition, Carbon Film and
Metal Oxide Film Resistors." Contributing Editor L. B. Cebik, W4RNL,
looks at several impedance matching options for modern HF and VHF beam
antennas in "Antenna Options." 

Would you like to write for QEX? It pays $50 per printed page. Be sure
to check out the Author's Guide <> for
more information. If you prefer postal mail, please send a business-size
self-addressed, stamped envelope to QEX Author's Guide, c/o Maty
Weinberg, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111-1494. 

QEX is edited by Larry Wolfgang, WR1B, and is published six times a
year. The subscription rate for ARRL members in the US is $24. For First
Class US delivery, the rate is $37 for members, $49 for nonmembers. For
international delivery via air mail, including Canada, the subscription
rate is $31 for members, $43 for nonmembers. Subscribe to QEX today


W1HQ, the Laird Campbell Memorial HQ Operators Club, has a mascot in
need of a name. Membership Manager Katie Breen, W1KRB, purchased the
six-foot long stuffed yellow-green toy snake as a way to make the
refurbished station a bit friendlier. 

Breen said, "In addition to the physical upgrades to W1HQ, we realized
that it is our club -- therefore it should be fun too! It just seemed so
natural to have a mascot for our club station. The snake comes in handy
when stressed out trying to get that DX that is just out of reach! With
all the serious sides of ham radio, it's important to remember that it
is fun -- and not to take ourselves too seriously sometimes!" 

Breen and the rest of the W1HQ team are calling on the Amateur Radio
community to help give the as-yet unnamed snake a name: "We encourage
all amateurs to submit a name for the snake. We will get together and go
over all the entries to choose the best one and announce the winner at
our W1HQ special event around the first of April." 

"I will be blogging again and posting YouTube videos of the event,"
Breen said. "We'll announce the winner over the air, on the blog and in
video, too." She previously blogged the Hello-Live! event and the W1AW
HF Open House.

The contributor of the winning entry will receive their choice of a
current edition of "The ARRL Operating Manual," "The ARRL Handbook for
Radio Communications" or "The ARRL Antenna Book." All entries should be
family-friendly (G-rated) and sent via e-mail <>;. 


After an unsuccessful attempt eight years ago to get a PRB-1 type bill
signed in Kansas, radio amateurs in that state are trying once again. A
hearing for HB 2805 <>
in front of the Kansas House Elections and Governmental Organization
Committee is scheduled for Monday, February 25. The bill, "An Act
Concerning Telecommunications; Establishing The Kansas Emergency
Communications Preservation Act," was written by Rep Arlen Siegfreid

JD Spradling, KC0NYS, of Olathe, Kansas, is chairman of the committee
<> leading the charge to get a PRB-1
<> law on
the books in that state. He commented: "Many local zoning boards don't
give FCC regulations adequate consideration when making zoning decisions
and across the country amateurs have found that state laws are a more
effective tool for influencing local zoning regulations. So beginning in
the 1990s, amateurs began lobbying for legislation that would place
PRB-1-type language into their state laws." 

The bill states that if a municipality takes any action that regulates
the placement, screening, number or height of a station antenna
structure, the action must "Reasonably accommodate federally licensed
amateur radio service communications; and constitute the minimum
regulation practicable to carry out the legitimate purpose of the
governing body." Antenna support structures that were constructed prior
to the bill's effective date (if passed) "are exempted from subsequent
changes in zoning regulations...and may be repaired as required." 

Spradling said the bill was introduced on February 11 and referred to
committee the next day. The Committee will hear the bill on Monday,
February 25 in Room 784 in the Docking Building in Topeka at 3:30. If
hams plan on testifying Monday, please e-mail <>;
Spradling the written testimony so he can prepare a final list to give
to the Committee Chairman Secretary. "If you cannot be present on
Monday, you can always send written testimony and I will make sure it
becomes part of the written record," Spradling said. 


Tad "Tipt round with silver from the Sun's bright eyes" Cook, K7RA, this
week reports: No sunspots yet, and the sun has been blank for 17 days.
For a week, one sunspot was visible prior to the spotless period, and
that followed a 20-day spotless run. NOAA and the US Air Force have
predicted daily solar flux (the amount of energy we receive from the Sun
at a wavelength of 10.7 cm or 2800 MHz) right at 70 recently, but bumps
that to 72 for March 1, continuing into April. This is a minor change,
but perhaps this signals that forecasters don't expect any more spots
during February. NOAA also predicts low geomagnetic activity until
February 28-29 with the planetary A index at 5 through February 26, then
8, 20, 15 and 12 through March 1. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts
quiet conditions February 22-26, quiet to unsettled February 27 and
unsettled February 28. Sunspot numbers for February 14-20 were 0, 0, 0,
0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 0. The 10.7 cm flux was 70.6, 69.7, 70.3,
71.1, 71.2, 71.7 and 70.9 with a mean of 70.8. Estimated planetary A
indices were 15, 10, 9, 5, 12, 12 and 7 with a mean of 10. Estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 10, 8, 8, 3, 9, 10 and 5 with a mean of 7.6.
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 NCCC Sprint is on
February 22. The Russian PSK WW Contest is February 22-23. Look for the
CQ 160 Meter Contest (SSB), the REF Contest (SSB), the UBA DX Contest
(CW), the Mississippi QSO Party and the North American QSO Party (RTTY)
on February 23-24. The High Speed Club CW Contest is February 24. The
North Carolina QSO Party is February 24-25 and the SKCC Sprint is
February 27. Next weekend is the ARRL International DX Contest (Phone)
on March 1-2. The NCCC Sprint is February 29 and the Wake-Up! QRP Sprint
is March 1. Thelow band portion of the Open Ukraine RTTY Championship;
the high band portion is March 2. The DARC 10 Meter Digital Contest is
March 2 and the RSGB 80 Meter Club Championship (Data) is March 3. The
ARS Spartan Sprint and another running of the NCCC Sprint are March 4.
See the ARRL Contest Branch page <>, the
ARRL Contester's Rate Sheet <>
and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<> for more info.

* ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration: Registration remains
open through Sunday, March, 9, 2008, for these online course sessions
beginning on Friday, March, 21, 2008: Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Level 2 (EC-002); Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
Level 3 (EC-003R2); Antenna Modeling (EC-004); HF Digital Communications
(EC-005); VHF/UHF -- Life Beyond the Repeater (EC-008), and Radio
Frequency Propagation (EC-011). Each online course has been developed in
segments -- learning units with objectives, informative text, student
activities and quizzes. Courses are interactive, and some include direct
communications with a Mentor/Instructor. Students register for a
particular session that may be 8, 12 or 16 weeks (depending on the
course) and they may access the course at any time of day during the
course period, completing lessons and activities at times convenient for
their personal schedule. Mentors assist students by answering questions,
reviewing assignments and activities, as well as providing helpful
feedback. Interaction with mentors is conducted through e-mail; there is
no appointed time the student must be present -- allowing complete
flexibility for the student to work when and where it is convenient. To
learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page
<> or contact the Continuing
Education Program Coordinator <>;.

* 2008 Field Day Web Page Good to Go: The official 2008 ARRL Field Day
Web page <http://> is up and running. The page
includes a summary of available resources, with links to Field Day forms
and rules, logos and reference links. There is also a link for ordering
commemorative Field Day T-shirts, pins and other supplies. ARRL Sales
and Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, said supplies will begin
shipping in early March, but it's not too early to place a pre-order
now. Radio clubs are encouraged to order early.

* ARRL Handbook a "Must-Have" for Broadcast Industry: A broadcast
industry trade publication has named "The ARRL Handbook for Radio
Communications" as the top-rated reference book of broadcast engineers.
In an article <> in the
February 13 edition of "Radio World," the various annual versions of the
"Handbook" received the most mentions of necessary literature on the
engineer's desk. Doug Fearn, K3KW, an independent handcrafter of audio
equipment and a former chief engineer, said, "Not only did I learn
electronics from that book, but the old editions are superb examples of
how to explain things clearly." Andy Butler, senior director for systems
engineering at PBS and a former president of the Society of Broadcast
Engineers (SBE), also recommended the "Handbook," calling it "The best,
most comprehensive, cheapest guide to technology you will ever need." 

* From the DXCC Desk: ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, reports that
the 3Y0E DXpedition to Bouvet Island from December 2007-February 2008
has been approved for DXCC credit. 

* W1AW Endowment Campaign to Start in March: The W1AW Endowment campaign
is ready to launch next month. Contributions to help preserve and
maintain W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station
<> will help ARRL continue the work to
upgrade the Amateur Radio equipment that sends the daily bulletins and
code practice sessions, as well as equipment in the visitor operating
suites. All new antennas have been installed and filters added in 2007.
With more new transceivers and amplifiers, W1AW will continue to live up
to its role as the flagship Amateur Radio station. Contributions can be
made by mail, telephone (860-594-0397) or online

* Rod Dinkins, AC6V (SK): Rod Dinkins, AC6V, of Oceanside, California,
passed away Saturday, February 16. An ARRL member, he was 77. Many hams
considered Dinkins, the author and developer of the Web site, <> to be the final word on anything to
do with ham radio. His Web site has more than 130 pages covering
thousands of Amateur Radio-related topics, everything from amps (A) to
impedance (Z); some hams have said that if a topic is not found on or
linked to Dinkins' Web site, it's safe to say that topic does not exist
in the Amateur Radio world. Dinkins was also the author of a number of
ham radio books, including "FM101x: Using FM Repeaters" and "DX101x: HF
+ 6 Meters DXing." Dinkins started in radio in the late 1940s with his
Knight Kit Ocean Hopper receiver, listening in to the ham bands. In
1977, he received his Amateur Radio license with call sign WA6WTO. He
served as an Aviation Electronics Technician from 1951-1955. Re-entering
civilian life, Dinkins spent four years as an electronics instructor,
followed by two years as a vocational electronics teacher at a junior
college. For more than 30 years, Dinkins worked in the aerospace
industry as an electronics technical writer. He was a member of the San
Diego DX Club (SDDXC) and the Palomar Amateur Radio Club (PARC), and was
the former newsletter editor of the Northern California DX Club (NCDXC).
Son Jeff has hosted his father's Web site for the past five years and
has plans to keep it up and running; Jeff plans on getting his Amateur
Radio license and applying for his father's call sign. Dinkins is
survived by his wife Karla, sons Jeff and Steve and two grandchildren,
Rory and Ewan. Jeff Dinkins told the ARRL that a funeral with full
military honors will take place March 13 at Fort Rosecrans National
Cemetery in San Diego.

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
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The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these

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Copyright 2008 American Radio Relay League, Inc.
All Rights Reserved


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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