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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
November 24, 2010
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


ARRL Board of Directors: New Vice Director for Southeastern Division; Southwestern, West Gulf Divisions Remain Unchanged

Newly elected Southeastern Division Vice Director Andrea Hartlage, KG4IUM

ARRL Southeastern Division members have chosen a new Vice Director for the ARRL Board family. Andrea Hartlage, KG4IUM, is already a familiar face to many, but on January 1, she will become the youngest serving ARRL Vice Director in modern times -- and possibly in history. On November 19, ballots were counted in the races for Director and Vice Director in the Southeastern and West Gulf Divisions and Director in the Southwestern Division. Hartlage, 21, of Grayson, Georgia, was declared the new Vice Director in the Southeastern Division, defeating incumbent Jeff Beals, WA4AW, of Loxahatchee, Florida.

Director Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, of Huntsville, Alabama, won re-election as the Director in the Southeastern Division. Dick Norton, N6AA, of Topanga, California will stay as Southwestern Division Director. In the West Gulf Division, Dr David Woolweaver, K5RAV, of Harlingen, Texas and John Robert Stratton, N5AUS, of Austin, Texas, will continue as Director and Vice Director, respectively. Terms for Directors and Vice Directors begin at noon on January 1, 2011 and run for three years. Read more here.

ARRL Section Managers: 2010 Fall Section Manager Election Results

ARRL members in Western Pennsylvania, Missouri and South Carolina have re-elected their Section Managers -- John Rodgers, N3MSE, Dale Bagley, K0KY, and Marc Tarplee, N4UFP, respectively -- for another two year term. Votes were counted on Tuesday, November 23 at ARRL Headquarters. In Eastern Massachusetts, the only nominee for Section Manager was Phil Temples, K9HI, of Watertown. Temples previously served as the Eastern Massachusetts Section Manager for terms from 1994-1996 and again from 2001-2004. The following incumbent ARRL Section Managers did not face opposition and were declared elected for their upcoming terms of office: Art Zygielbaum, K0AIZ, Nebraska; Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, New York City-Long Island; Thomas Dick, KF2GC, Northern New York; George Strayline, W2GSS, Southern New Jersey, and Dee Turner, N4GD, West Central Florida. New terms of office will begin on January 1, 2011. Read more here.

On the Air: Warm Up Your Chilly December with the 2010 ARRL 160 Meter Contest

The ARRL 160 Meter Contest -- an all-CW event -- is tremendous fun! As the object of the contest is for DX stations to contact American and Canadian stations (and vice versa), everyone will be seeking you (especially if you live in a rare section like North Dakota, Nebraska or any of the rare sections from November's Sweepstakes contests).

Gene Shea, KB7Q, of Bozeman, Montana, operated the 2009 ARRL 160 Meter Contest from the QTH of Todd Gahagan, WA7U, also in Bozeman. Shea clears the snow away from the base of WA7U's base-insulated 80 foot tower to make sure all 66 radials were still connected and ready to go. [Photo courtesy of Gene Shea, KB7Q]

In this contest, Alaska (KL7) and Hawaii (KH6) count as DX, as do the Caribbean US possessions (KP1-KP5) and all of the Pacific Ocean territories (KH0-KH9). According to ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, if you don't have an antenna for 160, you should just load up whatever you have through an antenna tuner and give "top band" a try -- even a 40 meter dipole through a tuner will make QSOs.

Since ARRL and RAC Sections are worth 2 points each and count as multipliers, the ARRL 160 Meter Contest is a good way to begin working -- or finishing up! -- your Worked All States (WAS) award. But don't forget about those DX stations -- each DXCC entity is a multiplier and is worth 5 points.

The ARRL 160 Meter Contest runs from 2200 UTC Friday, December 3 through 1559 UTC Sunday, December 5. Logs must be e-mailed or postmarked no later than 1600 UTC Tuesday, January 4, 2011. Paper logs should be sent to ARRL 160 Meter Contest, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.

Amateur Radio in Space: ARISS Aiming to Raise Its Educational Profile

NASA will assume more direct sponsorship of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program as an educational project. Among its activities, ARISS oversees the project that enables schoolchildren to speak via ham radio with astronauts aboard the International Space Station. NASA also will embrace ARISSat as an educational project for the ISS National Lab. A reconfigured, yet-to-be-named education planning group will pick up the mission of the ARISS Communications Council. These changes were among the outcomes of a meeting of NASA and ARISS International officials who gathered November 12-13 at ARRL Headquarters. Read more here.

Amateur Radio in Space: Hams Invited to Listen for New Satellites

Five research satellites were carried to orbit on November 19 aboard a Minotaur V rocket from Kodiak Island, Alaska. All the satellites use Amateur Radio frequencies and hams have been invited to participate in their missions by monitoring and collecting data.

An artist's conception of the FASTRAC satellites separating after reaching orbit.

Two of the satellites are FASTRACs -- relatively small "nanosatellites" -- built by students at The University of Texas in Austin. They enter orbit as a single spacecraft, but then separate into FASTRAC 1 (known as "Sara Lily") and FASTRAC 2 (referred to as "Emma"). Both satellites use 1200 or 9600 baud AX.25 digital communication and transmit at 1 W output, so they should be receivable with omnidirectional VHF or UHF antennas and decodable by ordinary packet radio hardware and software. After their scientific missions are complete, the satellites will be reconfigured to function as digipeater relays for Amateur Radio use, as part of the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS). Read more here.

ARRL to Close in Observance of Thanksgiving Holiday

ARRL Headquarters will be closed November 25 and 26 in observance of Thanksgiving. There will be no W1AW bulletins or code practice transmissions those days. The ARRL Letter is being published a day early, but there will be no ARRL Audio News this week. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Monday, November 29 at 8 AM Eastern Standard Time. We wish everyone a safe and bountiful Thanksgiving holiday.

Out and About: "Coming Home" to HamJam 2010

On November 13, Georgia hams and others enjoyed HamJam 2010. According to HamJam organizer Mack McCormick, WB4MAK, the event's goal is to encourage members of Amateur Radio clubs in the region to come together for a day of learning and fellowship. Members of more than a dozen clubs from Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee -- and of course, Georgia -- were on hand. "HamJam is an example of how the traditional hamfest is evolving to incorporate education and social elements," said H. Ward Silver, N0AX, who attended as a guest speaker. "Change hasn't left behind the traditional raffle prizes, as high-end manufacturers sponsored equipment donations, allowing attendance to be free, with Georgia Tech providing the meeting space." Read more here.

Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, November 24, 2010 from NASA's SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope. This MDI (Michelson Doppler Imager) image was taken in the continuum near the Ni I 6768 Angstrom line. The most prominent features are the sunspots. This is very much how the Sun looks in the visible range of the spectrum.

Tad "For I have the warmth of the Sun" Cook, K7RA, reports: Sunspot numbers declined this week, and it looks like the average daily sunspot number will be less than half the value reported last week. Solar flux was in the 90s a week ago and is now around 75. The predicted solar flux from NOAA/USAF shows levels continuing around 75 through December 1, and then rising gradually and returning to 90 around December 12-14; quiet geomagnetic conditions are predicted for the near term. This week's bulletin will be available as usual on Friday from the ARRL Web site, but it won't go out from W1AW or via e-mail until Monday, November 29. Look for more information on the ARRL Web site on Friday, November 26. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" is brought to you by The Beach Boys' The Warmth of the Sun.

ARRL Recognizes: Deadline Closing Fast for Nominations for ARRL's Leonard Award

Television, radio, magazines, newspapers, blogs, Webcasts -- Amateur Radio has been featured in all of them in 2010. And now it is time to thank the professional media people who made it happen by nominating them for the Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award. This national level annual award sponsored by the ARRL, honors three professional journalists whose outstanding coverage in audio, video and print formats best reflect the enjoyment, importance and public service value of the Amateur Radio Service. The deadline for nominations is December 10. Read more here.

ARRL Recognizes: Nomination Deadline for 2010 ARRL International Humanitarian Award Approaching

The ARRL International Humanitarian Award

Nominations are open for the 2010 ARRL International Humanitarian Award. The award is conferred upon an amateur or amateurs who demonstrate devotion to human welfare, peace and international understanding through Amateur Radio. The League established the annual prize to recognize Amateur Radio operators who have used ham radio to provide extraordinary service to others in times of crisis or disaster. The deadline for nominations is December 31, 2010. Read more here.

This Week on the Radio

This week:

  • November 26 -- QRP Fox Hunt
  • November 27-28 -- CQ Worldwide DX Contest (CW)
  • December 1 -- QRP Fox Hunt
  • December 2 -- ARCI Topband Sprint

Next week:

  • December 3 -- NCCC Sprint
  • December 3-5 -- ARRL 160 Meter Contest
  • December 4 -- TARA RTTY Melee
  • December 4-7 -- ARS Spartan Sprint
  • December 8 -- CWops Mini-CWT Test

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 Stations Web page.

Upcoming ARRL Section, State and Division Conventions and Events

To find a convention or hamfest near you, click here.

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The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

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