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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
September 22, 2011
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

+ On the Air: Radio Amateurs Take to the Air to Support National Wildlife Refuge Week

This colorful QSL card commemorated a previous NWR Week operation.

Amateur Radio operators will be on the air in observance of the 2011 National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 8-16. This event will coincide with festivals and special events at refuges that help connect people with nature at the country's more than 500 National Wildlife Refuges. Radio amateurs are helping spread the word about the National Wildlife Refuge System by operating from refuges during National Wildlife Refuge Week. This event is a chance to combine Amateur Radio's communication capabilities with enjoyment of the outdoors, while helping others learn about the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS). Hams will highlight refuge features, wildlife and geography when making contact with other stations across North America. Operators will make contact using SSB, CW and various digital modes, including RTTY and PSK31. Read more here.

+ ARRL Recognizes: 2010 ARRL Technical Excellence Award Winners Announced

Joe Taylor, K1JT

Joe Taylor, K1JT, and Bruce Walker, W1BW, are winners of the 2010 ARRL Doug DeMaw, W1FB, Technical Excellence Award for their article "WSPRing Around the World" that appeared in the November 2010 issue of QST. Established in 1975 as the ARRL Technical Excellence Award, the name was changed in 1997 to honor the late Doug DeMaw, W1FB, a former ARRL Headquarters technical editor and well-known Amateur Radio author. The award consists of an engraved 9 inch pewter cup.

Joe Taylor was first licensed as KN2ITP in 1954, and has since held call signs K2ITP, WA1LXQ, W1HFV, VK2BJX and K1JT. He was Professor of Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts from 1969 to 1981 and since then Professor of Physics at Princeton University, serving also as Princeton's Dean of the Faculty from 1997 to 2004 and retiring in 2007. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1993 for discovery of the first orbiting pulsar.

Bruce Walker, W1BW

Bruce Walker has a Bachelor in Science degree in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is the Director of Genome Assembly and Analysis at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bruce was an avid shortwave listener in his youth and became a ham in 1991. His involvement in Amateur Radio has gone through several phases: homebuilt QRP, amateur satellites, early computer-based digital modes (PSK31, MSFK, etc), and occasional contesting. Read more here.

On the Air: Yaesu Donates FT DX 5000 HF/6 Meter Transceiver to W1AW

Thanks to the generosity of Yaesu, W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, now boasts Yaesu's premier transceiver -- an FT DX 5000 and SM-5000 Station Monitor. Dennis Motschenbacher, K7BV, Executive Vice President for Yaesu's Amateur Radio Sales Division, visited ARRL Headquarters on August 26 to present the radio. ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, accepted the radio on behalf of the station. Sumner also serves as W1AW trustee.

Yaesu's Dennis Motschenbacher, K7BV (left), visited ARRL Headquarters in August to present the FT DX 5000 to W1AW. ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, accepted the radio on behalf of the station. [S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, Photo]

"Yaesu is thrilled to continue its long support of the ARRL by donating our new premium class FT DX 50000 transceiver," Motschenbacher said. "We understand this transceiver scored some of the best receiver performance numbers every measured during ARRL Lab product testing, so ARRL Headquarters guests will now be able to slip into one of the W1AW operating studios to get on the air and spin the knobs on one of the best of the best radios ever manufactured for the enjoyment of Amateur Radio."

W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, thanked Yaesu for their donation of the FT DX 5000 transceiver to W1AW: "This radio is installed in Studio Three and is available for use to Amateur Radio operators visiting W1AW. The Yaesu Quadra amplifier, DMU-2000 and Yaesu SM-5000 Station Monitor are all attached and make for an excellent operating spot. The FT DX 5000 certainly complements the station."

Motschenbacher, who worked at ARRL HQ before moving to Yaesu, remarked that returning to Newington to make the presentation "was a wonderful personal experience for me. I was so happy to see many old friends inside HQ, friendships made during the four and half years I spent with ARRL before joining Yaesu. It didn't take me long to see that the staff is very busy supporting its membership and Amateur Radio as a whole!"

+ FCC News: FCC Upholds $17,000 Forfeiture Order to Tennessee Ham

In March 2009, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) in the amount of $17,000 to David Edward Perka, KA3PRB, of Lewisburg, Tennessee. The FCC alleges that Perka "willfully and repeatedly violat[ed] section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, by operating without a license in the Maritime Radio Service and willfully violat[ed] Section 333 of the Act by maliciously interfering with the United States Coast Guard on the International Distress, Safety and Calling Channel in Annapolis, Maryland." Perka, who admitted to the findings, requested a reduction in the forfeiture amount, based on his inability to pay, but in a Forfeiture Order released by the FCC on September 21, 2011, the Commission refused to lower the amount. Read more here.

+ ARRL Seeks Treasurer

After more than 31 years of distinguished service to the ARRL as its volunteer Treasurer, Jim McCobb, K1LU, has decided to step down when his current term expires in January 2012. The ARRL is seeking qualified candidates from among its membership. The Board of Directors elects the Treasurer and other officers at its Annual Meeting in even-numbered years.

The Treasurer is a non-voting member of the Board of Directors and must be a licensed radio amateur and a Full member of the ARRL for four continuous years prior to nomination. The ARRL By-laws define the role of the Treasurer as follows:

  • In consultation with and subject to the general supervision of the Administration and Finance Committee, provides for the investment and reinvestment of the surplus funds of the League in any bonds or stocks or other securities as would be selected by a trustee with the care of a prudent investor.
  • Reports to and attends all regular meetings of the Board of Directors.
  • Serves as a member of the Administration and Finance Committee.

The position is unpaid; however, necessary expenses including travel to meetings are reimbursable.

A Search Committee has been established to recommend one or more candidates for Treasurer to the Board. Additional information about the position is available here. Interested and qualified members are invited to submit a Statement of Interest and qualifications by November 14, 2011 to the Secretary, preferably by e-mail.

Hays Affinity Group Provides ARRL Members with Equipment Protection, Club Liability Insurance Plans

On May 1, 2011, the ARRL began a new partnership with Hays Affinity Group to provide its ARRL-sponsored Equipment Insurance and Club Liability Insurance plans. Hays -- who took over from Marsh Affinity Group Services -- serves as the program administrator to provide equipment insurance to ARRL members who choose to elect coverage. In addition, Hays will also provide club liability insurance to ARRL Affiliated Clubs for those clubs that wish to take advantage of that program. Hays has introduced new policies for both plans, underwritten by the Hanover Insurance Company. Read more here.

+ HB9DRV Sells Rights to Ham Radio Deluxe

Simon Brown, HB9DRV, has sold the rights to his popular Ham Radio Deluxe software package to a group consisting of Mike Carper, WA9PIE, Randy Gawtry, K0CBH and Rick Ruhl, W4PC. All three principals have more than 25 years of experience with radio data communications. Rick Ruhl is the president of W4PC Software, Inc whose products include the PakRatt, PKTerm and Radio Operations Center software suites. Randy Gawtry is the president of Timewave Technology Inc whose products include the PK and DSP families of data controllers and other commercial data products. Mike Carper is an experienced Fortune 500 technology executive, educator and featured speaker in the areas of wireless technologies and IT Service Management. Read more here.

Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, September 22, 2011 from NASA's SOHO Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope. This image was taken at 304 Angstrom; the bright material is at 60,000 to 80,000 Kelvin.

Tad "Somewhere the Sun is shining" Cook, K7RA, reports: Compared to the uneventful past few years, sunspot activity was truly remarkable this week. The daily sunspot number for September 16 was 173. We haven't see numbers like this in more than six years, when the sunspot number was 181, way back on July 5, 2005 in Solar Cycle 23. The solar flux reached 150.1 on September 18. Just six months ago it was slightly higher, 153 on March 7 and 155 on March 8, but prior to that the only higher number was 157.3 on August 22, 2005, about 7 weeks after the sunspot number of 181. Currently, the solar flux and planetary A index forecast from USAF/NOAA calls for solar flux of 144 on September 22-23, 140 on September 24-25, 145 on September 26-28, 130 on September 29 through October 1, and 135 on October 2-5. The planetary A index is predicted at 5 on September 22-24, 8 on September 25, 5, 8, 5, 5, 15 and 8 on September 26 through October 1, and 5 on October 2-7. Look for more information on the ARRL website on Friday, September 23. 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 Go-Go's Stuck in My Car.

+ ARRL Invites Members to Express Opinions in QST

Each month in QST, the ARRL devotes a page to print letters from its members. This is a chance for you to express your opinions -- good or bad -- on ham radio-related matters. Your opinion counts! Send your letters electronically to or via postal mail to Correspondence, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. You can also fax your letters to 860-594-0259. We read every letter received, but we can only publish a few each month. We reserve the right to edit your letter for clarity and to fit the available page space. Letters published in QST may also appear in other ARRL media. The ARRL assumes no responsibility for statements made by correspondents.

+ On the Air: JARL QSL Bureau Has New Address

As of October 1, 2011, the Japan Amateur Radio League's (JARL) QSL Bureau will have a new address. If you use the JARL QSL Bureau, please send your QSL cards to JARL QSL Bureau, 1324-3 Kanba, Hikawa-cho, Izumo-shi, Shimane 699-0588 JAPAN.

This Week on the Radio

This week:

  • September 23 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • September 24 -- AGCW VHF/UHF Contest
  • September 24-25 -- ARRL EME Contest; Texas QSO Party; CQ Worldwide DX Contest (RTTY)
  • September 25 -- UBA ON 6 Meter Contest
  • September 26 -- QRP Homebrewer Sprint
  • September 27 -- 222 MHz Fall Sprint (local time)
  • September 28 -- SKCC Sprint
  • September 28-29 -- CWops Mini-CWT Test

Next week:

  • October 1 -- TARA PSK Rumble Contest; EU Autumn Sprint (SSB)
  • October 1-2 -- California QSO Party; Oceania DX Contest (SSB); WAB HF Phone Contest; EPC Russia DX Contest
  • October 2 -- UBA ON Contest (SSB)
  • October 3 -- German Telegraphy Contest
  • October 4 -- ARS Spartan Sprint
  • October 5 -- 432 MHz Fall Sprint1 (local time)

All dates, unless otherwise stated, are UTC. See the ARRL Contest Branch page, the ARRL Contest Update and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar for more information. 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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