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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 28, No. 10
March 13, 2009


* + Agenda for WRC-11 Poses Opportunities and Challenges for Hams 
* + ARRL Seeks Nominations for Annual Awards 
* + Application Deadline Approaching for ARRL Teachers Institute on
Wireless Technology 
* + Hams to Activate Midway Atoll as K4M in October 2009 
* + GAREC-2009: Emergency Communications Across Borders 
* + US Coast Guard to Discontinue LORAN Stations 
*  Solar Update 
      This Week on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + Two New ARRL Section Managers, Six Remain in Office 
    + NASA Delays Discovery's Trip to ISS 

+Available on ARRL Audio News <> 

==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ
<>, then e-mail
==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA


The next World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-11)
ng=en> is scheduled for fall 2011. These periodic conferences of the
Member States of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
consider allocations to the various radio services -- including the
Amateur Radio Service -- and evaluate what new technologies and
applications should be addressed by future conferences.

The agenda for WRC-11, developed by the delegates at the last WRC in
Geneva in 2007 (WRC-07), was formally adopted by the ITU Council in
2008. There are 25 agenda items addressing potential new or revised
spectrum allocations to existing services. Of most interest to amateurs
is agenda item 1.23, "to consider an allocation of about 15 kHz in parts
of the band 415-526.5 kHz to the amateur service on a secondary basis,
taking into account the need to protect existing services."

"This agenda item is the highest item on my long term priority list,"
said ARRL Technical Relations Manager Brennan Price, N4QX. "We are
fortunate that WRC-11 presents an opportunity for a new secondary
allocation in the medium waves. While the outcome in 2011 is far from
certain, our experience in other bands -- most notably 30 meters --
indicates Amateur Radio's compatibility with certain other services as a
secondary user."

Price said that some WRCs have posed great challenges for Amateur Radio,
with blocks of spectrum potentially at risk. "This was the case at
WRC-03 and WRC-07, which posed a very real potential reallocation of
portions of the 40 meter band in Region 2 to HF broadcasting," he said.
"The agenda for WRC-11 does not pose any threats to Amateur Radio as
clear or as overt as those faced in prior years." Price and ARRL
Technical Relations Specialist Jon Siverling, WB3ERA, are monitoring
developments on a number of other agenda items that could affect Amateur
Radio if they take unanticipated turns, including:

* Agenda item 1.14, considering requirements for and implementation of
the radiolocation service (radar) between 30-300 MHz.
* Agenda item 1.15, considering possible allocations between 3-50 MHz
for oceanographic radar applications.
* Agenda item 1.19, considering regulatory measures to enable
software-defined and cognitive radio systems.
* Agenda item 1.22, examining the effect of emissions from short-range

"Oceanographic radar is perhaps our biggest defensive issue," Price
said. "Fortunately, its proponents, at least domestically and at least
at this time, are acknowledging that sharing with Amateur Radio would be

WRC-11 is tentatively scheduled for October 24-November 18, 2011, in


Each year, the ARRL Board of Directors has the opportunity to select
recipients for a number of awards that honor Amateur Radio operators.
These awards, designed to recognize educational and technological
pursuits in Amateur Radio, represent many categories, including
education and technical excellence. If you know of someone who deserves
to be recognized by the ARRL for the service and dedication they have
shown on behalf of Amateur Radio, now is the time to submit their name
for consideration. Nominations and supporting information should be
submitted to ARRL Headquarters by March 31, 2009. Nomination forms and
further information on these awards are found on the ARRL Web site

The ARRL Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award
<> goes to a volunteer
Amateur Radio instructor. The ARRL Professional Educator of the Year
Award <> is given to a
professional teacher who has incorporated Amateur Radio into his or her
class curriculum.

The ARRL Microwave Development Award
<> is
presented to a licensed radio amateur (or to individuals who are
licensed radio amateurs) who contribute to the development of the
Amateur Radio microwave bands.

The ARRL Technical Service Award
recognizes a licensed radio amateur (or individuals who are licensed
radio amateurs) who provides Amateur Radio technical assistance or
training to others.

The ARRL Technical Innovation Award
<> is
granted to the licensed radio amateur (or to individuals who are
licensed radio amateurs) who develops and applies new technical ideas or
techniques in Amateur Radio.

The ARRL also offers an award to recognize someone who has served
admirably as an ARRL Section Manager. The Knight Distinguished Service
Award recognizes exceptionally notable contributions by a Section
Manager to the health and vitality of the League. The first such award
was presented to Joe T. Knight, W5PDY (now SK) in 2003 -- for whom the
award was named -- in recognition of his exemplary service not only as
the ARRL New Mexico Section Manager for more than a quarter century, but
also for his willingness to share his knowledge and skills.

The Knight Distinguished Service Award may be awarded to an ARRL Section
Manager who has distinguished himself or herself in accordance with the
following ideals: Exceptionably notable contributions over and extended
period of time within his or her Section and beyond; demonstrated
efforts that have contributed to the health and vitality of the ARRL and
its Field Organization, and displayed actions that are in the spirit of
the unselfish contributions of Joe T. Knight, W5PDY. Nominations may be
made by any ARRL member and shall be accompanied by a narrative of the
accomplishments of the nominee identifying the long term contributions
of the nominee to ARRL and its Field Organization.

If you have questions on any of these awards, please contact Steve
Ewald, WV1X, via e-mail <>; or by phone at 860-594-0265.


Donors to the ARRL Education & Technology Program (ETP) fund
<> have made it possible to offer seven
sessions of the Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology this summer
<>. According to Education
Services Manager Debra Johnson, K1DMJ, she is receiving applications for
the Teachers Institute daily, but seats are still available in most
sessions: "If you are a teacher -- or you know one who may be interested
in exploring the world of wireless technology in their classroom -- now
is the time to apply!"

This year, Teachers Institute sessions will be offered in Roswell, New
Mexico (May 26-29); Rocklin, California (June 15-18); Tucson, Arizona
(June 15-18); Viera, Florida (June 23-26); Berrien Springs, Michigan
(June 29-July 2); Dayton, Ohio (July 6-9), and Newington, Connecticut
(July 27-30). Educators interested in the New Mexico, California and
Arizona sessions need to apply no later than April 15, while those
interested in the sessions in Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Connecticut
have until May 15 to apply.

Johnson said that wireless technologies "underpin so many areas of daily
life. It is increasingly important for today's education to include at
least some basic understanding of the technology involved," she said.
"One of ARRL's goals for the Education & Technology Program, and the
professional development opportunity that we have developed with the
Teachers Institute, is to build wireless technology literacy among
America's citizens. It's equally essential to provide an opportunity at
an early age for students who will become tomorrow's scientists and
engineers to engage their imagination with the fascinating world of
radio science."

Teachers who are interested in exploring the basic principles of
electronics, satellite communications (including communications with
weather satellites), radio signals and radio science, radio astronomy,
scientific data collection, microcontroller technology and robotics --
and who want to gain a transmissible understanding of the wireless
technologies that are so vital to so many areas of everyday life -- will
want to investigate this opportunity. The instruction and resources
presented in the seminar provide the tools to engage with subject matter
in core classroom curricula in science, math, geography and language
arts. The resources offered at the Teachers Institute can be adapted to
engage students in the primary levels through university. Applicants do
not need to be licensed radio amateurs. Teachers need to complete an
for this 4 day, expenses-paid seminar. Check the ARRL Web site
<> for more information.

For the first time this year, Johnson said that the ARRL is offering an
Advanced Teachers Institute, open to six graduates of the TI program
that will focus on satellite communications. "This opportunity has been
enthusiastically received and is at full enrollment," she said. "As
demonstrated by the application response, we are pleased that the
teachers who have participated in the past see the value of the
resources that the ARRL offers through this program and are eager to
take their exploration of wireless technology to the next level."

If you would like to contribute to this very important educational
outreach of the ARRL to students in classrooms across the US, you can
find more information here


Earlier this year, US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that
they would open Midway Atoll <> to Amateur
Radio operations for two weeks only, from October 5-19, 2009
<>. Tom Harrell, N4XP,
of Monroe, Georgia, and Dave Johnson, WB4JTT, of Aitkin, Minnesota, have
put together a team of 19 operators from all over the world to activate
Midway Atoll for a 10 day period as K4M <>.
This the first time that USFWS has allowed amateurs to operate from the
wildlife refuge since 2002.

"Midway ranks as Number 24 worldwide and Number 13 in Europe on DX
Magazine's Most Wanted List <>," Harrell and
Johnson said. "Activity will be on 6-160 meters with 5 to 6 stations. At
least one station will be active on 20 meters around the clock for those
who need it for a new country. Major efforts will be made to meet the
demand to the most needed geographical areas, the low bands and RTTY."
The team has posted a list of planned frequencies on their Web site

The co-leaders said that travel to the atoll is only allowed by
chartered aircraft: "Because of the size of the aircraft, the team is
presented with unique challenges. As such, the aircraft will only be
able to carry the team, requiring the equipment to be shipped by boat
some months ahead."

In January, the USFWS started a program to encourage visitors to
experience Midway's wildlife, history and culture, as well as
non-wildlife-dependent activities -- including Amateur Radio. To ensure
the safety of the wildlife on the Refuge, Midway Atoll Refuge Manager
Matt D. Brown said that Amateur Radio operations will be permitted for
two weeks only, and only within a designated area on the north side of
Sand Island. Brown also said that while portable generators will not be
permitted, there is 120 V power available at the operation site; any
modifications to the island power grid/infrastructure must be approved
in advance and be paid for entirely by the radio operators.

Brown said that the K4M team will also be required to attend a refuge
orientation shortly after their arrival designed to enhance visitor
safety, wildlife protection and overall enjoyment of the wildlife
refuge. "Although determined to be a wildlife-compatible activity,"
Brown said, "this [Amateur Radio] opportunity is being conducted on a
trial basis." Brown has the authority to discontinue the activity at any
time, based on wildlife protection and conservation goals.

Midway is located in the North Pacific Ocean (near the northwestern end
of the Hawaiian archipelago) -- approximately 1250 miles northwest of
Honolulu -- about one-third of the way between Honolulu and Tokyo. At
less than 150 miles east of the International Dateline, Midway Atoll is
truly "midway" around the world from the Greenwich meridian. The atoll
is an unincorporated territory of the United States and is the only
atoll/island in the Hawaiian archipelago not part of the State of
Hawaii. Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is owned and administered
by the USFWS on behalf of the American people and has international
significance for both its historic and natural resources.

In 1988, Midway became a National Wildlife Refuge, at the time subject
to the primary jurisdiction of the Navy. In 1993, the Navy decided to
close the Naval Air Facility after more than 50 years of continuous
operation. On May 20, 1996, custody and accountability for Midway Atoll
transferred from the Department of the Navy to the Department of the
Interior. President Clinton signed Executive Order 13022 on October 31,
1996, effectively superseding earlier orders assigning responsibility
for Midway to the Navy. A new code of regulations governing activities
at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge was published in the Federal
Register on March 10, 1998.

When Midway became a national wildlife refuge, it joined a network of
more than 500 separate units of the National Wildlife Refuge System,
encompassing nearly 93 million acres, throughout all 50 states and
several territories and possessions. Refuges represent the only Federal
lands set aside and managed principally for the conservation of fish and


The Fifth Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference
(GAREC) -- hosted by the Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL) -- will be
held in conjunction with the JARL Ham Fair
<> at
Tokyo Big Sight on August 24-25, 2009. Registration for GAREC-2009 will
begin in early May.

According to GAREC 2009 Organizing Committee Member Seppo Sisatto,
OH1VR, this year's theme is "Emergency Communications across Borders."
The program will include presentations about operations during disasters
that have occurred since GAREC-2008 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, as well
as discussions about new developments in technology and their
application in emergency communications. The detailed program will be
published in late April.

All Amateur Radio operators interested in Emergency Communications are
invited to participate in GAREC. The fifth GAREC continues the work of
its four forerunners: After the first and the second GAREC in Tampere,
Finland, the third GAREC in Huntsville, Alabama, USA, and the fourth
GAREC in 2008, this year's event will be the first GAREC conference in
IARU Region 3. The proceedings and the statements of the 2005, 2006,
2007 and 2008 conferences can be found at the GAREC Web site

Sisatto pointed out that the theme of GAREC-2009 mirrors the theme
chosen by the IARU for World Amateur Radio Day
<> on April 18, "Amateur Radio:
Your Resource in Disaster and Emergency Communication."


Last month, the US Coast Guard <> announced that due
to economic conditions, they would be closing down the 24 LORAN-C (Long
Range Aid to Navigation) <>
stations operated under the auspices of the USCG. LORAN stations provide
navigation, location and timing services for both civil and military
air, land and marine users. According to the USCG, LORAN-C is approved
as an en route supplemental air navigation system for both Instrument
Flight Rule (IFR) and Visual Flight Rule (VFR) operations. The LORAN-C
system serves the 48 continental states, their coastal areas and parts
of Alaska.

LORAN-A stations were developed beginning in World War II, and signals
were transmitted on frequencies in and around our present-day 160 meter
band. LORAN-A was responsible for reduced amateur radio operations,
including frequency and power limitations, on 160 meters in the United
States. In 1979, the Coast Guard phased out the LORAN-A stations; they
were replaced by LORAN-C stations. The newer stations operated on 100
kHz, enabling the restrictions on the 160 meter amateur band due to
LORAN functions, to be dropped.

According to the Coast Guard, the nation's oldest continuous sea-going
service will continue to operate the current LORAN-C system through the
end of fiscal year 2009; it is in the process of preparing detailed
plans for implementing the fiscal year 2010 budget. According to USCG
Vice Commandant and Chief Operating Officer Vice Admiral V. S. Crea,
further details of the LORAN-C termination plan will be available upon
the submission of the President's full budget.  -- Some information
provided by Cliff Appel, W7CGA


Tad "Where Suns peep in every sheltered place" Cook, K7RA, this week
reports: Last week's report again mentioned briefly appearing sunspots
and it happened again this week. For just two days, another Solar Cycle
23 spot appeared, number 1014. The latitude of the spot was consistent
with an old and fading solar cycle. As this period of quiet Sun drags
on, statistic based projections of a return to solar activity continue
to be pushed out. Sunspot numbers for March 5-11 were 0, 12, 12, 0, 0, 0
and 0 with a mean of 3.4. The 10.7 cm flux was 69.2, 69.1, 69.1, 68.9,
69.1, 68.8, and 68.9 with a mean of 69. The estimated planetary A
indices were 3, 2, 1, 8, 2, 3 and 3 with a mean of 3.1. The estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 3, 0, 0, 7, 1, 3 and 2 with a mean of 2.3.
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 week's "Tad Cookism" brought
to you by John Clare's "Young Lambs"



* This Week on the Radio: This week, look for the AGCW QRP Contest, the
SOC Marathon Sprint and the ARCI HF Grid Square Sprint on March 14. The
EA PSK31 Contest and the Idaho QSO Party are on March 14-15. The North
American Sprint (RTTY) and the UBA Spring Contest (6 meters) are March
15. The Wisconsin QSO Party is March 15-16. On March 16, be sure to
check out the Run for the Bacon QRP Contest and the Bucharest Contest.
The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint and the RSGB 80 Meter Club
Championship (SSB) are March 19. Next week is the Feld Hell Sprint, the
AGCW VHF/UHF Contest and the 10-10 International Mobile Contest on March
21. On March 21-22, be sure to tune in for the SARL VHF/UHF Contest, the
Russian DX Contest, the Oklahoma QSO Party and the North Dakota QSO
Party. The BARTG HF RTTY Contest and the Virginia QSO Party are March
21-23. The UBA Spring Contest (2 meters), the 9K 15 Meter Contest and
the QRP Homebrewer Sprint are March 23. The SKCC Sprint is March 25. 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. Looking
for a Special Event station? Be sure to check out the ARRL Special Event
Station Web page <>. 

* ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration: Registration remains
open through Sunday, March 22, 2009, for these online course sessions
beginning on Friday, April 3, 2009: Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Level 1, Radio Frequency Interference, Antenna Design and
Construction, Ham Radio (Technician) License Course, Analog Electronics,
and Digital Electronics. 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 <>;.

* Two New ARRL Section Managers, Six Remain in Office: Daniel L. Pruitt,
AE6SX, of Fresno -- the only nominee for San Joaquin Valley Section
Manager -- will take over from Charles McConnell, W6DPD. Tom Dick,
KF2GC, of Saranac Lake, will be the Section Manager in Northern New
York. Tom -- who served as Section Manager from 2000-2006 -- is taking
the reins from Tom Valosin, WB2KLD; Dick's term will be 18 months. The
following incumbent Section Managers were unopposed after being
nominated. They will begin new two-year terms of office in July: Jim
Cross, WI3N, Maryland-DC; Al Shuman, K1AKS, New Hampshire; Rich Krohn,
N2SMV, Northern New Jersey; Joe Giraudo, N7JEH, Nevada; Bob Beaudet,
W1YRC, Rhode Island, and John Dyer, AE5B, West Texas. All terms begin
July 1.

* NASA Delays Discovery's Trip to ISS: Due to a leak in the venting
system outside the giant external fuel tank, NASA has decided to
postpone the launch of a space shuttle headed to the International Space
Station (ISS), originally scheduled for 9:20 EDT on March 12. The launch
has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 15 at 7:43 PM EDT. Discovery will
carry a crew of seven astronauts, including Flight Engineer Koichi
Wakata, KC5ZTA; Wakata is with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
(JAXA). He will stay on the ISS, replacing Flight Engineer Sandra
Magnus, KE5FYE, who will return home on Discovery. Wakata is scheduled
to return to Earth when Endeavour launches to the ISS in June 2009;
Flight Engineer Timothy Kopra, KE5UDN, will replace Wakata. Discovery's
14 day mission, which has four spacewalks scheduled, will deliver the
fourth and final set of solar array wings to the ISS
<>. With
the completed array, the station is expected to be able to provide
enough electricity when the crew size is doubled to six in May. The
shuttle also will carry a replacement for a failed unit in a system that
converts urine to drinkable water. 

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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ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site
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(NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You
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The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these

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Copyright 2009 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.

Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):

Editorial questions or comments: John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, at


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