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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 28, No. 17
May 1, 2009


* + Houston Representative Introduces Amateur Radio Bill in Congress 
* + President Obama Nominates New FCC Commissioner 
* + The 2009 ARRL National Convention and Dayton Hamvention: Two Weeks
and Counting! 
* + ARRL Foundation Announces 2009 Scholarship Recipients 
* + ARRL's Technical Information Service Provides Members with Answers 
* + ARRL In Action: What Have We Been Up to Lately? 
*  Solar Update 
      This Week on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + No ARRL Audio News on May 15 
    + Larry Banks, W1DYJ, Wins April QST Cover Plaque Award 
      ARRL Sweepstakes Awards Sent 
      ARRL DXCC Desk Approves Two 2009 Operations 
      Internet Search Engine Celebrates Birthday of Samuel F. B. Morse 

+Available on ARRL Audio News <> 

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


On Wednesday, April 29, Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)
introduced HR 2160 -- the "Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
Enhancement Act of 2009" -- in the US House of Representatives. This
bill, if passed, would "promote and encourage the valuable public
service, disaster relief, and emergency communications provided on a
volunteer basis by licensees of the Federal Communications Commission in
the Amateur Radio Service, by undertaking a study of the uses of Amateur
Radio for emergency and disaster relief communications, by identifying
unnecessary or unreasonable impediments to the deployment of Amateur
Radio emergency and disaster relief communications, and by making
recommendations for relief of such unreasonable restrictions so as to
expand the uses of Amateur Radio communications in Homeland Security
planning and response." The bill has been referred to the Committee on
Energy and Commerce

If enacted into law, HR 2160, would instruct the Secretary of Homeland
Security to undertake a study and report its findings to Congress within
180 days. The study would spell out uses and capabilities of Amateur
Radio communications in emergencies and disaster relief. The study

* Include recommendations for enhancements in the voluntary deployment
of Amateur Radio licensees in disaster and emergency communications and
disaster relief efforts.
* Include recommendations for improved integration of Amateur Radio
operators in planning and in furtherance of the Department of Homeland
Security initiatives.
* Identify unreasonable or unnecessary impediments to enhanced Amateur
Radio communications -- such as the effects of private land use
regulations on residential antenna installations -- and make
recommendations regarding such impediments.
* Include an evaluation of Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of
1996 (Public Law 104-104, 110 Stat 56 [1996]).
* Recommend whether Section 207 should be modified to prevent
unreasonable private land use restrictions that impair the ability of
amateurs to conduct, or prepare to conduct, emergency communications by
means of effective outdoor antennas and support structures at reasonable
heights and dimensions for the purpose in residential areas.

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall utilize the expertise of the
ARRL and shall seek information from private and public sectors for the

The bill currently has five co-sponsors: Madeleine Bordallo (Guam), Mary
Jo Kilroy (D-OH), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and
Bennie Thompson (D-MS). Representative Thompson currently serves as
Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security. Representatives
Jackson-Lee, Lofgren and Kilroy are members of that committee.

"We understand that Representative Jackson-Lee was very impressed with
the radio amateurs she encountered on a visit to an Emergency Operations
Center in Houston during Hurricane Ike last September," said ARRL Chief
Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "We are grateful to her and to the
five original co-sponsors for their support of Amateur Radio and the
encouragement that their bill offers."

ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, concurred: "We are excited to have
Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee introduce HR 2160. It is extremely
encouraging to have the support of a number of original co-sponsors --
including several members of the House Homeland Security Committee --
who recognize the importance of Amateur Radio's long history of public


On Wednesday, April 29, President Barack Obama announced his intention
to nominate Mignon L. Clyburn of South Carolina as an FCC Commissioner
re-Key-Administration-Posts-4-29-09/>. If her nomination is approved by
Congress, Clyburn will fill the seat of Democrat Jonathan Adelstein.
Adelstein is leaving the FCC to head up the Department of Agriculture's
Rural Utilities Service (RUS)

Clyburn, the daughter of House Majority Whip Representative James
Clyburn (D-SC), has served on the Public Service Commission of South
Carolina <> since 1998. The Public Service
Commission regulates South Carolina's investor owned public utilities,
including providers of telecommunications services. Before her election
to that body, she spent 14 years as the publisher and general manager of
"The Coastal Times," a weekly newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina.

In 1998, Clyburn was elected by the South Carolina General Assembly as a
Commissioner to represent the Sixth Congressional District; she has been
re-elected three times, chairing the Commission from 2002-2004. She is a
past chair of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility
Commissioners, and is presently the chair of the Washington Action
Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility
Commissioners (NARUC) <>. Clyburn also serves on
NARUC's Audit Committee and Utilities Market Access Partnership Board.

Calling Clyburn a "fine public servant," Obama said Clyburn was "a
welcome addition to my team as we work to put America on a path towards
prosperity and keep our nation safe. I am honored [Clyburn] will be
joining my administration and look forward to working with [her] in the
months and years ahead."

Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps congratulated Clyburn, saying, "She is
an excellent choice, and the experience she brings from her service on
South Carolina's Public Service Commission will be an invaluable asset
as we address the many challenges and opportunities that are before us.
I wish her a successful Senate confirmation and look forward to working
with her over the coming months and years in serving consumers and the
public interest."

Clyburn graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor
of Science degree in Banking, Finance & Economics in 1984.


On May 15-17, hams from all over the world will make their way to the
Hara Arena, located in Trotwood, Ohio for the 2009 ARRL National
Convention <> and Dayton
Hamvention <>. Held annually since 1952,
Hamvention is one of the largest Amateur Radio gatherings in the world.

Following the tradition of Dayton natives Wilber and Orville Wright, the
ARRL National Convention will be a "hands-on" paradise. New, interactive
exhibits at the ARRL EXPO, the centerpiece of the National Convention,
will provide engaging, real-life experiences that encourage hams and
non-hams alike to get more active in Amateur Radio. At the ARRL Project
Building Booth, attendees can try their hand at assembling a kit as they
handle electronic components and circuit boards -- even a little

"If you have never built a project before, we hope you will consider
this a 'Soldering 101' basic course," said ARRL Laboratory Engineer Bob
Allison, WB1GCM. Allison will lead a team of instructors who will mentor
visitors throughout the activity. "We want to encourage hams who have
not built something in a long time to get back in the saddle. Project
building is fun, and it's a great way to build low cost gear and
accessories. We want everyone to unlock their inner do-it-yourselfer."
Pre-registration is required -- sign up at the ARRL EXPO.

You can also explore the many facets of ARRL Field Day
<> at the ARRL EXPO. "Field Day is the
largest operating event in the world and represents the very best of the
Amateur Radio Service," said ARRL Field Day Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND.
The annual event draws tens of thousands of radio amateurs to the
airwaves over a single weekend. Henderson said that Field Day is part
emergency preparedness exercise, part public demonstration and part
radio club social event: "It's really just a lot of fun and gives us a
chance to get out there and show what we can do on many fronts."

ARRL Forum Schedule 

Several ARRL staff members will be on hand at Dayton, presenting forums
on several exciting topics. On Friday, May 15 at 10:30 AM in Room 5,
Henderson and a group of other Field Day aficionados will share some
helpful hints they have garnered from decades of Field Day operations.
Special Field Day 2009 posters will be available to participants (while
they last), as well as some special Field Day surprises. Come learn more
about some of the unique and fulfilling ways groups across the US and
Canada get on the air to celebrate ARRL Field Day.

ARRL Volunteer Counsel (VC) Jim O'Connell, W9WU, along with "Antenna
Zoning for the Radio Amateur" author Fred Hopengarten, K1VR, ARRL
Technical Relations Manager Brennan Price, N4QX, and ARRL VC Paula
Uscian, K9IR, will present "Ham Radio and the Law -- Getting It Up and
Keeping It Up" on May 15 at 12:15 PM in Room 3. Join this discussion by
Amateur Radio attorneys on legal issues of interest to hams on topics
that include how to avoid restrictive covenants, how to present your
case for a tower permit and how to defend against nuisance claims. Hear
about the latest court rulings on RFI, PRB-1 and towers, as well as
updates on the ARRL's Legal Defense and Assistance Committee.

Come ask QST's very own "Doctor" your technical Amateur Radio questions
in person on May 15 at 12:15 PM in Room 2. QST Technical Editor Joel
Hallas, W1ZR, will provide his best answer on the spot, or get back to
you shortly after the National Convention. Some questions and answers
may end up in QST if they seem likely to be helpful to readers. This
will be an informal sleeves-rolled-up chalk talk environment. Be sure to
bring your questions!

Reaching out to the public is the life blood of Amateur Radio! From
land- and property-use restrictions to recruiting, our ability to enjoy
the service depends on keeping a positive image. Join ARRL Media and
Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, on May 15 at 1:30 PM in
Room 2 as he introduces ARRL's PR-101 course
<>. This is a
course to teach hams the basics of making -- and keeping -- a good
relationship with your town and the media. If "every ham is a Public
Information Officer," then every ham needs to have these skills.

Join the ARRL on Saturday, May 16 at 10:30 AM in Room 2 for an
interactive session with ARRL national and regional leadership. ARRL is
a membership organization -- we are here for you. Come share your ideas
and ask questions.

If you've ever wanted to try digital contesting but weren't sure how to
get started, we definitely have a forum for you! Join ARRL Publications
Manager and digital guru Steve Ford, WB8IMY and learn how to get started
in digital contesting. This forum, offered on May 16 at 1:15 PM in Room
3, will show you that you don't need to be a big-gun station with a
kilowatt and a tower to have hours of on-the-air fun. All you need is a
radio, a computer, an antenna -- and some helpful advice that you'll
pick up at this forum! Join the thousands of hams who are already
experiencing the joys of digital contesting.

Get up close and personal with Richard Garriott, W5KWQ, on Saturday, May
16 at 1:30 PM in Room 1. In October 2008, Garriott -- son of Owen
Garriott, W5LFL -- fulfilled a lifelong dream to experience spaceflight
and traveled to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Russian
Soyuz spacecraft. While living on the ISS, he conducted scientific
experiments and environmental research, but he also had a chance to do
quite a bit of Amateur Radio operating, including sending slow-scan TV
(SSTV) images. Owen Garriott, W5LFL, initiated the first ham radio
contacts from space 26 years ago aboard the shuttle Columbia on STS-9.
Richard Garriott will also be on hand at the ARRL EXPO throughout the
weekend signing autographs and meeting amateurs.

At the EXPO -- and Beyond!

There is so much to do at the ARRL EXPO. Visit the huge ARRL bookstore
to purchase popular ARRL publications, join or renew your ARRL
membership and pick up official ARRL merchandise. Get a free gift when
you join ARRL or renew your membership at ARRL EXPO and everyone gets a
free ARRL Dayton 2009 button (while supplies last).

Whether you're 10 or 110, the EXPO has something just for you. Join
young (and young-at-heart) amateurs at the ARRL Youth Lounge. Drop by
the ARRL Youth Lounge to meet and socialize with other young hams. Come
chat with other hams, listen to music, grab a snack or participate in
one of the many activities, such as fox-hunts, scavenger hunts, Morse
code fun, a QSL card designing contest, crafts, prizes and more. Whether
or not you're licensed, you're welcome to come by and join the fun! If
you're looking for other youth during the convention, try calling them
on the youth calling frequencies: 145.540 MHz (107.2 Hz CTCSS) primary
and 146.430 (233.6 Hz CTCSS) secondary. Not licensed yet? Soon-to-be
hams can check-in using FRS channel one.

If you enjoy waxing nostalgic over the gear of yesteryear, drop by the
exhibit area to meet vintage equipment photographer Joe Veras, K9OCO. He
will be autographing his book, "50 Years of Amateur Radio Innovation" --
filled with photographs of classic and legendary transmitters -- that
was recently published by ARRL <>.
You can also tour a 1964 Collins Radio Company communications van -- a
Ford Econoline van that traveled as a mobile demonstration center for
Collins equipment. The van, decked out with vintage gear from the S-Line
period, will be there for you to explore.

Bring your license and get on the air from W1AW/8 at the ARRL National
Convention. Operating times and frequencies will be posted at the
station. Meet W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, from the famed
Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station at ARRL Headquarters.

Personnel from the ARRL DXCC Branch will be on hand to check your DX
cards and applications. All cards will be eligible for checking,
including old cards, cards for deleted countries and cards for 160
meters. Applications will be limited to 120 cards (more cards will be
checked as time and volunteer Card Checkers are available). See the DXCC
Web site for the latest program information and current forms
<>. Representatives from Logbook of the
World (LoTW) will also be on hand, giving demonstrations and answering
your questions <>.

Be sure to stop by the EXPO to meet new IARU <>
President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, and Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, at
the IARU booth. Special exhibits in the area will be hosted by the three
different IARU Regions: Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) from Germany
will represent Region 1, the ARRL will represent Region 2 and the Japan
Amateur Radio League (JARL) will represent Region 3.

Besides the myriad of activities taking place off-site such as Contest
University <> and the QRP event Four
Days in May <>, there will be a Wouff Hong
Ceremony <> on Saturday, May 16
at 10:45 PM at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Dayton. Sponsored by
the NE Ohio Ham Radio Players, any licensed ARRL member can participate
in this lively ARRL tradition that is steeped in mystery! Attendees will
receive a special keepsake at this fun activity, appropriate for all

Keeping Up in Dayton

If you can't make it to Dayton -- or even if you make the trek -- you
can still catch all the latest news on the Convention's Weblog
<>. QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, will once
again be blogging about Hamvention. Proving you can indeed go home
again, Steve will regale readers with the adventures of staying with his
mother at his childhood home in Dayton. For the past few years,
thousands of readers have been entertained as Steve has related stories
about new gear making its debut at Hamvention, the weather in Dayton and
the overall feel of the event -- as well as the ever-popular antics at
"Casa de Mi Madre."

The ARRL will introduce a new blog at this year's National Convention:
ARRL Youth Editor Duncan MacLachlan, KU0DM, will blog from a young ham's
perspective. MacLachlan, who will be assisting former Youth Editor
Andrea Hartlage, KG4IUM, and her father Scott, KF4PWI, in the ARRL Youth
Lounge, will explore the Hamvention exhibits, forums and events, giving
his first-time take on the Hamvention experience. MacLachlan's
perspective is a welcome addition to the ARRL National Convention team.
Explore all of Hamvention's nooks and crannies through his blog and
Twitter updates <>.

ARRL staff are getting ready for all the excitement that a National
Convention brings. Teaming up with the Dayton Hamvention is sure to
bring everything to a fever pitch, so why not make plans to join in on
the fun? Travel and lodging information is available on the Hamvention
Web site <>.


The ARRL Foundation <> Board of Directors is
pleased to announce that they have awarded 52 scholarships to students
in 21 states. Of these awards, 48 are annual scholarships with a total
value of $54,700. In addition there are currently four holders of the
William R. Goldfarb Memorial scholarship for whom the awards vary based
on the college or university they attend, other awards they receive and
other financial factors.

Last month, the ARRL Foundation announced that they had awarded the
William R. Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship
<> to Dean LaBarba, KI6CUX, of
Long Beach, California. He will graduate from Woodrow Wilson High School
this year with a GPA of 4.0. LaBarba holds a Technician class license
that in 2005 led him to participation in the Amateur Radio Emergency
Communication (AREC) team at his high school; since 2007, he has served
as president. LaBarba also spends considerable time coordinating Amateur
Radio activities, including Field Day, with the local community. LaBarba
-- who will be attending Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California
<> -- has had a keen interest in medicine and
intends to pursue a career in neurology.

The Goldfarb Scholarship is the result of a generous endowment from the
late William Goldfarb, N2ITP. Goldfarb, who died in 1997, set up a
scholarship endowment of close to $1 million in memory of his parents,
Albert and Dorothy Goldfarb. Awarded to one high school senior each
year, the Goldfarb Scholarship assists the recipient to receive a
four-year undergraduate degree in engineering or science or in the
medical or business-related fields. The terms of reference of the
generous Goldfarb scholarship award require that recipients demonstrate
financial need and significant involvement with Amateur Radio, in
addition to high academic performance. The seventh Goldfarb Scholarship
winner, LaBarba continues the tradition of prior recipients,
demonstrating superior academic performance, outstanding leadership and
extraordinary Amateur Radio and community service.

The ARRL Foundation administers scholarships for post-secondary
education students holding a valid FCC-granted Amateur Radio license.
Scholarship awards range from $500 to $5000 or more and are available to
high school seniors (or equivalent) or students currently enrolled in a
college or university. Scholarships are funded by generous individuals
and Amateur Radio organizations to encourage radio amateurs to pursue
their educational goals. All ARRL Foundation-administered scholarships
are intended exclusively for educational use, to provide assistance with
costs of tuition, room, board, books and/or other fees essential to the
education of the recipient.

For a complete list of scholarship recipients for 2009, please visit the
ARRL Web site <>.


Have you ever had a technical question that you weren't able to figure
out? Even after checking with publications such as The ARRL Handbook or
the ARRL Antenna Book, you're still stumped. Have you exhausted every
resource you can think of, including your Section's Technical
Coordinator (TC) <>? Just
when you think you're at the end of your rope, you remember the ARRL
Technical Information Service <>.

The TIS is staffed by members of the ARRL Lab and is here to provide
technical assistance at no cost to ARRL members. Many members seem to be
using the service: In a six week period (October 20-November 30, 2008),
ARRL Lab staff fielded almost 1300 requests for information from the
TIS. These ranged from questions on how to choose the best radio,
propagation and BPL to questions concerning antennas, feed lines and

ARRL TCs and Technical Specialists (TS)
<> in the field and at ARRL
Headquarters can answer your questions on topics ranging from A (ampere)
to Z (impedance) -- and just about anything in between. Our technical
staff will help you over the phone, refer you to a volunteer ARRL TS in
your area or send you the needed information from a growing collection
of information packages. For really difficult questions, an ARRL Lab
Engineer will research the League's technical library and send you an
answer by postal or electronic mail.

ARRL Lab Engineer Mike Gruber, W1MG, remembers a question that a member
sent in recently via e-mail: "I have a 250 foot run of Buryflex 213 from
the shack to the switchbox at the top of the tower. I know that results
in significant loss at, say, 14 and 18 MHz (I seldom work 10 or 15 and
the tower antennas are only for HF), but here is the question: Is it
ENOUGH of a loss (for the receiver) to warrant running hardline (it
would be free) between the shack and tower switchbox with a tail of
about 10 feet of 213 inside the shack, and another tail of about 10 feet
at the tower end, running from the switchbox to the TA-33, considering
the insertion loss of two additional connectors (to connect the hardline
to the 213 on each end) and the impedance difference of the hardline
compared with the 213?"

Gruber answered the ham, providing a chart he developed, showing "some
losses shown for 250 feet of RG-213 vs half-inch hardline. I selected
50, 100 and 150 ohm resistive loads for this analysis. Any rate, if you
consider the case with the highest loss -- 29 MHz with a 150 ohm load --
will only improve by 3.9 - 1.544 = 2.4 dB. If you consider that a
typical S-unit is 6 dB, the most dramatic improvement in the example
cases I selected is still less than half of an S-unit. It's not a
homerun by any stretch of the imagination. Of course, that extra 2.311
dB may be significant in some cases. If you ran 1500 W, you would only
have 881 W at the antenna feed point. The rest would be lost in the feed

ARRL Senior Lab Engineer Zack Lau, W1VT, recalls an interesting question
he received from a member: "How can I make a simple circularly polarized
antenna out of linear elements?" Lau referred him to an article he
wrote, "A Simple 10-Meter Satellite Turnstile Antenna," that appeared in
the November/December 2001 issue of QEX.

The TIS, as one of the many services it offers, maintains a database of
more than 2000 suppliers that provide goods and services of interest to
radio amateurs <>. These include
manufacturers, dealers, publications, clubs and museums, just to name a
few. The TIS also keeps what they call an "expanding list" of technical
pages that include articles from QST, QEX and The ARRL Handbook, as well
as original articles on a variety of subjects including theory,
tutorials and projects <>. Many
pages also contain additional sources for materials and information and
Web links of particular interest.

If you need a copy of the QST Product Review from May 1985 that featured
the ICOM IC-271A 2 meter multimode transceiver, look no further. The TIS
also keeps a list of every QST Product Review published since 1970
<>. ARRL members can also
download any QST Product review published after 1980
<>. If you need a
quick summary of any HF transceiver featured in a QST Product Review,
you can also find it on the TIS Web site.

The TIS also maintains the ARRL Periodicals Archive and Search
<>. This feature provides
ARRL members with PDF copies of all QST articles from December 1915
through December 2005, enabling members to view and print their favorite
article, project and more. The ARRL Periodicals Archive and Search lists
every article for QST from 1915 to the present, QEX from 1981 to the
present, Ham Radio Magazine from 1968 to 1990 and NCJ from 1973 to the
present (please note that beginning in 1998, each issue of QEX covers
two months).

"Having access to every issue of QST through 2005 is absolutely
incredible!" said ARRL Lab Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI. "The best of the best
of QST from every era is now at the fingertips of every ARRL member with
a keyboard and an Internet connection. Members can research articles on
any subject that interests them, or just browse the past issues. This
valuable content will help radio amateurs who use QST as a technical
resource -- for projects, equipment 'hints and kinks' -- and for other
research contributing to the advancement of the radio art."

For those needing a higher quality reprint, a reprint from QEX or NCJ,
or for hams who are not members of the ARRL, the TIS also provides
photocopies of articles for a nominal fee
<>. You can reach the TIS
via e-mail <>; or by phone at 860-594-0214.

The TIS is just one of the many benefits available to ARRL members. To
learn about all the benefits of ARRL membership, including QST, e-mail
forwarding service, the outgoing QSL service and more, please visit the
ARRL Membership Web page <>.


This feature -- including convenient Web links to useful information --
is a concise monthly update of some of the things ARRL is doing on
behalf of its members. This installment covers the month of April.

The ARRL worked with Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) as she
sponsored HR 2160, the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
Enhancement Act of 2009, in the US House of Representatives

Upon request from the FCC, the ARRL submitted comments to the Commission
defining "broadband"

The ARRL Foundation awarded scholarships, including the prestigious
William R. Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship, to 49 outstanding young radio
amateurs for the 2009-2010 academic year

Santa Cruz area ARES members provided communications support after
vandals disrupted communications infrastructure on April 9

Amateurs in North Dakota and Minnesota provided communications support
to various served agencies when the Red River overflowed in late March
and early April

Hams in the Southeastern US, through the use of weather spotting
networks, kept the National Weather Service apprised when deadly
tornadoes struck that area on April 10

The ARRL announced that it was in the process of developing a new
Emergency Communications course

ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD,
attended the 2009 National Hurricane Conference, held April 6-10 in
Austin, Texas. ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts,
W1AGP, represented the ARRL at the National Association of Broadcasters
event in Las Vegas

Thomas Dick, KF2GC, of Saranac Lake, returns as Section Manager of the
ARRL Northern New York Section <>. Scott
Rausch, WA0VKC, of Piedmont, was appointed Section Manager of the ARRL
South Dakota Section as of April 7 <>. 

The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for April is Byron Black,
W4SSY, for his article "The W4SSY Spudgun." 

The June 2009 issue of QST and the May/June issues of QEX and NCJ were
released to the printer.


Tad "He smiles upon their sunny faces" Cook, K7RA, this week reports:
The data at the end of last week's bulletin showed daily sunspot numbers
from April 16-22 as six zeros, then 11. In fact, every day was at zero
until April 21, when it was 11; it moved again to zero the next day,
April 22. We had just as many zero sunspot days -- and only one day with
a sunspot -- but we saw the sunspot on Tuesday, April 21, not April 22.
We had two additional days with a sunspot this week, Wednesday and
Thursday, April 29-30. The sunspot number was 15 and 12, respectively,
on those days. But this was another old Solar Cycle 23 sunspot, and it
appeared near the western limb. By today, it may have either faded away
completely or rotated out of view, May 1. The data at the bottom of our
bulletin shows seven days, Thursday through Wednesday for the reporting
week, so the sunspot number of 12 for Thursday will appear in next
week's data. Sunspot numbers for April 23-29 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and
15 with a mean of 2.1. The 10.7 cm flux was 70.6, 69.7, 69.4, 69.2,
67.7, 68.8 and 69.5 with a mean of 69.3. The estimated planetary A
indices were 3, 5, 4, 5, 4, 2 and 3 with a mean of 3.7. The estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 0, 5, 2, 3, 3, 2 and 3 with a mean of 2.6.
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 week's "Tad Cookism" brought
to you by John Clare's "May" <>. 



* This Week on the Radio: This week, the NCCC Sprint Ladder and the AGCW
QRP/QRP Party are May 1. The Microwave Spring Sprint is May 2 (local
time). The MARAC QSO Party (both CW and SSB), the 10-10 International
Spring Contest (both CW and digital), the 7th Call Area QSO Party, the
Indiana QSO Party, the New England QSO Party and the ARI International
DX Contest are all May 2-3. Next week is another running of the NCCC
Sprint Ladder on May 8. The FISTS Spring Sprint is May 9. On May 9-10,
look for the SBMS 2 GHz and Up WW Club Contest (local time), the CQ-M
International DX Contest, the VOLTA WW RTTY Contest, the Nevada Mustang
Roundup and the 50 MHz Spring Sprint. The SKCC Weekend Sprint is May 10.
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, May 24, 2009, for these online course sessions
beginning on Friday, June 5, 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 <>;.

* No ARRL Audio News on May 15: Due to staff attendance at the ARRL
National Convention and Dayton Hamvention, there will be no ARRL Audio
News on May 15. The ARRL Letter will be distributed that day. ARRL Audio
News will resume regular distribution on May 22.

* Larry Banks, W1DYJ, Wins April QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of
the QST Cover Plaque Award for April is Larry Banks, W1DYJ, for his
article "A 20 Meter Moxon Antenna." Congratulations, Larry! 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 May issue by Sunday, May 31.

* ARRL Sweepstakes Awards Sent: The ARRL Contest Branch reports that all
special items for the 2008 November Sweepstakes have been sent. This
includes a Clean Sweep Broom and Medallion for all entrants who worked a
confirmed Clean Sweep and a magnet for all stations that worked a
confirmed 75 ARRL Sections. These items were sent free of charge to all
stations that qualified; no order was necessary. According to ARRL
Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, all Clean Sweep mugs and
Participation Pin orders have also been shipped. If you have not
received your Sweepstakes items yet, please let Kutzko know via e-mail

* ARRL DXCC Desk Approves Two 2009 Operations: ARRL DXCC Manager Bill
Moore, NC1L, reports that two 2009 operations have been approved for
DXCC credit: Western Sahara (S04R) and North Cook Island (E51QQQ). "If
you had cards that were recently rejected for this operation, please
send an e-mail to the ARRL DXCC Desk <>; and you will be
placed on the list for update," Moore said. 

* Internet Search Engine Celebrates Birthday of Samuel F. B. Morse:
Internet search engine Google <> reconfigured
their home page for April 27 to honor the 218th birthday of Morse code
creator Samuel F. B. Morse (April 27, 1791-April 2, 1872). Morse, a
native of Charlestown, Massachusetts, conceived the basic idea of an
electromagnetic telegraph in 1832. Experiments with various kinds of
electrical instruments and codes resulted in a demonstration of a
working telegraph set in 1836 and introduction of the circuit relay,
making transmission possible over any distance. With his creation with
Alfred Vail of the American Morse code, the historic message "What hath
God wrought?" was successfully sent from Washington to Baltimore. For
more information Amateur Radio and Morse code, please visit the ARRL Web
site <>.

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
e-mail delivery: 
ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site
<>. You'll have an opportunity during
registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW
bulletins, and other material. To change these selections--including
delivery of The ARRL Letter--registered members should click on the
"Member Data Page" link (in the Members Only box). Click on "Modify
membership data," check or uncheck the appropriate boxes and/or change
your e-mail address if necessary. (Check "Temporarily disable all
automatically sent email" to temporarily stop all e-mail deliveries.)
Then, click on "Submit modification" to make selections effective.
(NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You
must do this yourself via the Members Only Web Site.)

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

* ARRLWeb <>. (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will
be posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.)

* The listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur
Radio Club: Visit Mailing Lists@QTH.Net
<>. (NOTE: The ARRL
cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this

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


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

Outlook Express

1. From the Inbox view, select the Tools menu and the Options selection.

2. Click the Read tab

3. Check the Read All Messages In Plain Text box.  When you open the e-mail, it will be in plain text without images. Other e-mail programs may be able to make a Mail Rule for e-mail received from the address so that the plain-text-only display is selected automatically.

Outlook 2007

Use the same procedure as for Outlook Express, although the global option is under "Tools/Trust Center/E-mail Security".


Use the menu item "View/Message Body As/Plain Text" or "View/Message Source" options.

OS X Mail (Mac)

Use the "View/Message/Plain Text Alternative" menu item.


Use the "Message text garbled?" link in the drop-down menu at the upper right of the displayed message block. pine, alpine Set "prefer-plain-text" in your ~/.pinerc configuration file: feature-list=..., prefer-plain-text, ...


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