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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 27, No. 25
June 27, 2008


* + Strong Support for Amateur Radio Week as ARRL Field Day Approaches 
* + IARU Administrative Council Meets in Germany 
* + 2007 ARRL Annual Report Now Available 
* + Global EmComm Conference in Germany This Week 
* + Get Ready for a Summer of E-Skip 
* + Go Long on Shortwave for ARRL Field Day 
*  Solar Update 
      This Weekend on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + ARRL to Close in Observance of Fourth of July 
    + ARRL Audio News via Phone Back On Line 

+Available on ARRL Audio News <> 

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


ARRL Field Day -- June 28-29 -- <> is many
things to many people. It ranges from a contest to a picnic to an
emergency drill and more. But according to ARRL Media and Public
Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, it is also a public relations
event and groups can score more than 500 points for working the public
relations angle before the weekend even begins.

Instead of just telling your fellow hams and club members about Field
Day, why not tell your local newspapers and radio and television
stations? Having a media hit or link is good for 100 points.

Instead of manning only the radios, how about manning a public
information table with brochures, signs and a smile? That's another 100
points. The ARRL offers publicity materials
<> at no charge except a small shipping
fee. It is too late to receive these brochures and handouts if you have
not already requested them, but go ahead and order them -- you or your
club will never know when the opportunity to tell the world about
Amateur Radio will pop up next.

When you invite your elected local officials to visit your Field Day
site, you can earn 100 points when they come. "This is easier than many
folks might expect, especially with election season looming. All you
have to do is ask!" Pitts said.

Having an official proclamation helps, too, he said; many communities
and states have named June 23-29 as Amateur Radio Week. "ARRL Public
Information Officers around the country were encouraged to begin work on
obtaining these many weeks ago, and hundreds of local proclamations by
city and county leaders -- as well as six state proclamations -- have
been made, with more expected. Proclamations from the governors of
Texas, Ohio, Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan, West Virginia, Washington
and Alabama, along with a letter from the California Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger are not just recognitions of the past, but keys for
future political actions such as PRB-1
and legislative issues."

Pitts said that if your state is one of the 24 states without a PRB-1
statute on the books, "Why not start the process now by inviting your
elected officials to your Field Day site to see what Amateur Radio is
all about. Chances are, they will see the importance of what we do,
giving you an inroad into discussing how they can help you get antennas
in your community or even across the state. It's amazing to think that a
simple invitation could lead to so much, but it's happened before -- why
not make your Field Day the next success story."

For a list of the many ways you or your club can earn bonus points this
Field Day, please be sure to check out the ARRL Field Day packet
<>. To find a Field
Day site near you, check out the ARRL Field Day Locator


The Administrative Council (AC) of the International Amateur Radio Union
(IARU) held its Annual Meeting on June 24-25, 2008 in Konstanz, Germany.
Topping the agenda was the consultative process leading to nominations
for IARU President and Vice President for the five-year term beginning
on May 9, 2009. Current IARU President Larry Price, W4RA, announced in
2007 that he was not available to serve an additional term. The AC
agreed that Vice President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, and Region 1 President Ole
Garpestad, LA2RR, are suitably qualified to serve as IARU President and
Vice President, respectively. Their nominations will be offered to the
Member-Societies for ratification. The ARRL serves as the International
Secretariat of the IARU.

The AC conducted a comprehensive review and updated the working document
that defines the additional spectrum requirements of the Amateur and
Amateur Satellite Services. Requests from the amateur satellite
community for support of additional allocations were considered and
referred to the IARU Satellite Adviser for additional information.

IARU International Coordinator for Emergency Communications Hans
Zimmermann, HB9AQS/F5VKP, presented his report in person to the AC. He
noted the outstanding performance of radio amateurs in China who
responded to the recent tragic earthquake emergency
<>. The Council also
received reports of the other IARU international coordinators and
advisers, including International Beacon Project Coordinator Peter
Jennings, AB6WM/VE3SUN; Satellite Adviser Hans van de Groenendaal,
ZS6AKV; EMC Adviser Christian Verholt, OZ8CY, and Interim Monitoring
System International Coordinator Chuck Skolaut, K0BOG. The AC also heard
a progress report from an ad hoc committee that is investigating the
future role and structure of the IARU. Work since the previous AC
meeting last year in Boston has refined the structure and identified the
remaining issues to be resolved.

Region 1 representatives offered a resolution seeking to improve the
operating standards of radio amateurs; this was adopted by the Council.
The AC endorses and recommends the principles set out in the booklet
"Ethics and Operating Procedures for the Radio Amateur" by John
Devoldere, ON4UN, and Marc Demeuleneere, ON4WW, and encourages each IARU
Region to consider this booklet, with a view to adopting it, including
any Regional variations that might be felt appropriate.

The Council also commissioned a study of the international QSL bureau
system. The study will seek input from Member Societies on the problems
they face in light of escalating postage and other expenses, as well as
the anticipated impact of electronic confirmation systems such as the
ARRL's Logbook of the World <>. 

The AC reviewed and renewed the three-year strategic plan for the
development of support for Amateur Radio frequency allocations for the
period 2008-2011. The principal focus is on preparations for the 2011
World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-11)
ng=en>, especially the attainment of an amateur allocation in the
vicinity of 500 kHz.
The Council identified the upcoming International Telecommunication
Union (ITU) meetings where IARU representation will be required and
plans for such representation were reviewed. The plans of Region 3 for
the IARU presence at Telecom Asia 2008 (Bangkok, September 2-5) and of
the International Secretariat for Telecom World 2009 (Geneva, October
5-9) were also reviewed.

The AC reviewed the 2009-2011 budget, as presented by the International
Secretariat (ARRL). It includes provision for financial contributions
from the three regional organizations to defray a portion of the
expenses, in accordance with previously adopted policy.

The upcoming implementation of the worldwide exclusive allocation of
7100-7200 kHz that was adopted at the 2003 WRC and set to begin on March
29, 2009, was noted, and the many contributors to this achievement were

The Council selected "Amateur Radio: Your Resource in Disaster and
Emergency Communication" as the theme for the next World Amateur Radio
Day, April 18, 2009. The theme for 2008 was "Amateur Radio: Allowing
Youth to Connect the World."

Each of the three IARU Regions presented status reports that the AC
received and discussed. The next regional conference will be that of
Region 1, to be held in Cavtat, Croatia in mid-November.

Attending the Konstanz meeting were IARU President Larry Price, W4RA;
Vice President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA; Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ;
regional representatives Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Don Beattie, G3BJ; Hans
Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T; Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AMH; Ramon Santoyo,
XE1KK; Rod Stafford, W6ROD; Michael Owen, VK3KI, and Gopal Madhavan,
VU2GMN; ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, on behalf of the
International Secretariat, and recording secretary Paul Rinaldo, W4RI.
IARU International Coordinator for Emergency Communications Hans
Zimmermann, HB9AQS/F5VKP, attended a portion of the meeting.

The next scheduled meeting of the IARU Administrative Council will be
held in Christchurch, New Zealand in October 2009.


The ARRL Annual Report for 2007, now available online
<> and in print, reviews the
League's major events of the year and documents the renewed growth of
both the ARRL and the activities of the Amateur Radio Service. Just 50
years ago, there were fewer than 90,000 ARRL members; in 2007, ARRL
achieved its highest level of membership growth since 1993. By the end
of 2007, there were 153,535 ARRL members -- a single year increase of
3.3 percent. In this period of growth, ARRL has upheld its commitment
and mission as the leading representative of active radio amateurs.

"As it played out, 2007 was a great year for ARRL and Amateur Radio,"
said ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN. "We experienced growth in the
Amateur Service, growth in ARRL membership, the League is in good fiscal
shape and hams are excited about getting on the air. Our headquarters
staff is more excited and pumped about our mission than I've ever seen
and that enthusiasm is being reflected in our membership numbers." 

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, concurred: "The
mentoring of newcomers by a friendly, welcoming, and supportive
community of experienced amateurs is an essential part of 'service after
the sale.' It's what turns license-holders into active, lifelong radio
amateurs. It's what will ensure our success as a radio service and as a
national and community resource for public service communications. The
ARRL and its 2100 affiliated clubs are working to meet the challenge." 

According to ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP,
"The Annual Report is not only useful for showing members the strength
of the organization, but it is also a valuable tool in presentations to
major public officials. At times they may know little about Amateur
Radio, but when they see the quality of the annual report, even before
they open it up, they know this is an organization to be taken very
seriously. We are indeed a national association and very active."


The fourth annual Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (GAREC)
Conference <> is this
week, June 26-27, in Friedrichshafen, Germany. It is scheduled just
prior to HamRadio 2008
<>. That event, called
"the Dayton of Europe," is scheduled for June 27-29. 

IARU International Coordinator for Emergency Communications Hans
Zimmermann, F5VKP/HB9AQS, will present the opening remarks at GAREC 08;
Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, President of IARU Region 1, is scheduled to join
Zimmermann on the stage, along with representatives from the
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Deutscher Amateur
Radio Club (DARC), the hosts of HamRadio 2008.

GAREC will take a look at the state of EmComm preparedness in each of
the IARU regions, as well as discuss experiences of the 2006 and 2007
EmComm Parties-on-the-Air and the future of the Global Simulated
Emergency Test (SET). Delegates will also discuss implementation of the
WRC-03 modifications to Article 25 of the Radio Regulations
<>, in respect to third-party
traffic during emergencies and exercises. The part of Article 25
concerning Emergency Communications says "Amateur stations may be used
for transmitting international communications on behalf of third parties
only in case of emergencies or disaster relief. An administration may
determine the applicability of this provision to amateur stations under
its jurisdiction" (RR 25.3), and "Administrations are encouraged to take
the necessary steps to allow amateur stations to prepare for and meet
communication needs in support of disaster relief" (RR 25.9A).

GAREC delegates will also have the opportunity to look at and discuss
the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the International
Amateur Radio Union (IARU) and the International Federation of Red Cross
Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), as well as the MOU between the IARU and
the ITU. IARU Vice President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, with assistance from Hugh
Peterken of the IFRC and Zimmermann, as well as a representative from
the ITU, will lead the discussion.

ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD,
will present a session on how Emergency Communications are handled in
the US. Each of the three IARU regional leaders -- Region 1 President
Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Region 2 President Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AMH, and
Region 3 Chairman Michael Owen, VK3KI -- will speak on the status of
EmComm in their respective regions. Seppo Sisatto, OH1VR, and Juha
Hulkko, OH8NC, will present on the possibility of Emergency
Communication Centers around the world. There will be a talk on D-STAR
in Emergency Communications, and case studies of Emergency Communication
practices around the world will also be presented.


Tired of the lousy conditions on the HF bands? Come join the crowd on
the "Magic Band." Each summer regardless of where the sunspot cycle is,
sporadic E -- or E-skip -- blooms on 6 meters and sometimes even on the
bands above that. What often appears to be a dead band jumps to life
with signals -- some relatively close, only hundreds of miles away --
but some representing worldwide DX on 6 meters.

This year is no different. After a slow start, the 6 meter band came
into its own in May and has been open in some direction from almost
every location in the US almost every day. Sporadic E peaks around the
summer solstice, on or around June 21, with a minor peak around the
winter solstice, on or around December 21.

Each summer season has unique characteristics that are not predictable,
but make the band so fascinating to follow. This year, the emphasis has
been on paths to the west and northwest, extending much further east and
south than normal. According to VHF expert and conductor of QST's "World
Above 50 MHz" column Gene Zimmerman, W3ZZ, there have been several
strong openings from Hawaii to the mainland that have included many
areas other than the West Coast. Stations in the Mid-Atlantic, the
Southeast and the Midwest have had good shots at KH6 in both May and

Zimmerman said that summer has brought a nice surprise: "The highlight
of this season has been repeated openings to Japan that have mostly
bypassed the West Coast and settled in the Southwest, the Southeast
(especially Florida) and the Midwest; Japanese stations have even been
heard, but not worked, on the East Coast. The latter is a very rare
occurrence indeed."

Calling conditions to the Caribbean "outstanding," Zimmerman said that
stations in that part of the world have been working the US and Canada,
as well as many stations in Europe. "Ted Jimenez, HI3TEJ, in the
Dominican Republic has even worked Japan, a tough path even on 10
meters. Inside the US, stations up to 1500 miles away have been easy to
get, and there have been lots of openings where the West Coast and the
Pacific Northwest worked the East Coast and the Southeast."

Six meter operators should be alert for very short E-skip that indicates
a rare increase in the maximum usable frequency (MUF) to a point where 2
meter E-skip -- or very, very rarely 222 MHz E-skip -- is possible.
Zimmerman said there have been several 2 meter sporadic E openings and
one 222 MHz E-skip opening this summer: "On May 29-30, 2 meter contacts
were reported from Maine to Ohio, south to the Mid-Atlantic, to the
Northeast, to South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana in the south
and Michigan, Western Tennessee and Southern Illinois to the West. The
longest was 1477 miles from Maine (David Olean, K1WHS) to Louisiana
(William Kemp, K5EMP)."

After small 2 meter E-skip openings on June 3-4 from the Northeast to
the Midwest, Zimmerman said the bands blew wide open during the ARRL VHF
QSO Party on June 15 with a report of two 222 MHz contacts: John
Butrovich, W5UWB (EL17), of Orange Grove, Texas, to Vince Pavkovich,
N0VZJ (EN35), of Big Lake, Minnesota; and Paul Trotter, AA4ZZ (EM96), of
Charlotte, North Carolina, to David Rush, W5DDR (EM84), McAlister, New
Mexico. "This extremely rare event has happened less than half a dozen
times in the last 60 years," Zimmerman said. "Two meter E skip was
everywhere: Texas; all over the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic; New Mexico to
West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee; Colorado to
Florida, West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi,
Arkansas; Idaho, Oregon and Washington to the Midwest; Wyoming to
Illinois, and Nevada to Iowa, North Dakota and Minnesota."

Zimmerman said that conditions are likely to continue to be very good
until the middle of July when the E-skip traditionally begins to wind
down. "Most areas of the country have not had good conditions to Europe,
so that may still be something to look forward to," he said. "Two
DXpeditions to rare Caribbean countries are coming up later in June --
to San Andres (HK0) and to St Barts (FJ). If you have an HF/VHF radio
that covers 6 meters, put up a dipole or try your 80 meter antenna -- it
should work on 6 meters as well -- and have some fun. You never know
what you may work next."


Have you ever dreamed about being able to broadcast with hundreds of
thousands of watts and talk about Amateur Radio to a worldwide audience?
Ted Randall, WB8PUM, of Lebanon, Tennessee, will be "Live from Field
Day" on 7.415 MHz on WBCQ -- a shortwave radio station -- from 2 PM EDT
to 5 PM EDT, then from 11 PM EDT to 2 AM EDT on Saturday, June 28

"This is a chance for all ARRL Field Day locations to call in and do a
special live 'remote' broadcast from your Field Day site," Randall said.
"This international broadcast has a potential audience of more than 200
million people." Randall, who will be "in the field" but connected to a
radio studio, said he will be prepared to take calls from any ARRL Field
Day location, "so line up your best chatterbox that likes to rag chew
and call in." 

The number to call during the broadcast times to get on-the-air -- or
any time during Field Day for information -- is 931-528-0133 (the phone
will not be answered prior to Field Day). "As far as we know," Randall
said, "nothing like this has ever been done before, so be sure and call
in and do your 'broadcast' from your ARRL Field Day site -- listeners
will love to hear from you." 

Shortwave broadcasting -- the common term for HF broadcasting -- is an
FCC-licensed radio service operating between 5.950-26.100 MHz. Shortwave
is an international broadcast service intended to be received by the
general public in other countries and remains the only medium capable of
direct communication from one country to listeners in another country
without governmental intervention. With more than 1.5 billion shortwave
receivers in use worldwide, the BBC estimates that at any given moment,
more than 183 million people listen to shortwave broadcasts each week.
Especially in developing countries, shortwave remains the dominant mass
communications medium.

"Just remember -- major networks and news services all monitor
shortwave," Randall said, "so you never know who will be listening to
you tell the world about Field Day and Amateur Radio."

More information concerning this event is available on the ARRL Web site


Tad "My Sun sets to rise again" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: Recent
days graced by sunspots were short lived. June 10-June 13 saw a single
sunspot group, followed by two days with no spots then a week of spots
from June 16-22. During that week, the sunspot number was 11 every day,
the lowest non-zero sunspot number. The four days since have had no
spots at all. This weekend is ARRL Field Day, and while there are no
sunspots, E skip is a possibility and conditions should be quiet,
meaning no geomagnetic disturbance is expected. Predicted planetary A
index for June 27-July 3 is predicted at 10, 8, 5, 5, 5, 5 and 5.
Geophysical Institute Prague expects unsettled conditions June 27-28,
quiet to unsettled June 29 and quiet June 30 to July 3. Sunspot numbers
for June 19 through 25 were 11, 11, 11, 11, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of
6.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 64.9, 65.2, 64.8, 65.4, 65.3, 65.8 and 65.9
with a mean of 65.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 11, 5, 4, 3,
4 and 12 with a mean of 6.4. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 5, 8,
4, 2, 2, 3 and 10 with a mean of 4.9.. 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 is ARRL Field Day on June
28-29. The Digital Pentathlon is June 27. The Ukrainian DX DIGI Contest,
His Majesty King of Spain Contest (SSB), the Marconi Memorial HF Contest
and the ARCI Milliwatt Field Day are all June 28-29. Look for RAC's
Canada Day Contest next week on July 1. All dates, unless otherwise
stated, are UTC. See the ARRL Contest Branch page
<>, the ARRL Contest Update
<> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<> for more info.

* ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration: Registration remains
open through Sunday, July 6, 2008 for these online course sessions
beginning on Friday, July 18, 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 Continuing Education course listing page
<> or contact the Continuing
Education Program Coordinator <>;.

* ARRL to Close in Observance of Fourth of July: ARRL Headquarters will
be closed in observance of Independence Day on Friday, July 4. There
will be no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions that day. The
ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News will be posted a day early on Thursday,
July 3. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Monday, July 7 at 8 AM Eastern
Daylight Time. We wish everyone a safe and festive holiday weekend. 

* ARRL Audio News via Phone Back On Line: The ARRL Audio News is now
accessible via phone at 860-594-0384, as well as on the ARRL Web site
<>. We are sorry for any
inconvenience this may have caused.

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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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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