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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
September 27, 2012
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

+ On the Air: Hams From Five Countries Help Put Kosovo On the Air for the First Time

Hams from England, the US, the Netherlands, Croatia and Finland went to Kosovo earlier this month to help with the first Amateur Radio activation in that country. [Nigel Cawthorne, G3TXF, photo]

On September 12, the Autoriteti Rregullativ i Telekomunikacionit (ART) -- Kosovo's telecommunications regulatory authority -- created the necessary legal framework for the development of an Amateur Radio Service in the Republic of Kosovo by approving its Regulation for Amateur Radio Services. Although not formally assigned a prefix by the International Telecommunication Union, Kosovo will use the Z6 prefix. Currently, Kosovo does not count toward the ARRL's DXCC Award, as it has not been assigned a prefix by the ITU (per DXCC rule II.1.a), nor has it been recognized by the United Nations (per DXCC rule II.1.b).

Nigel Cawthorne, G3TXF, and Bob Barden, MD0CCE/N2BB -- members of the Chiltern DX Club (CDXC) -- were part of a team of operators led by IARU Region 1 President Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, that activated Z60K, the first Amateur Radio station in the Republic of Kosovo. Along with Cawthorne, Barden and Blondeel Timmerman, the team included the following radio amateurs: Nik Percin, 9A5W; Emil Balen Zdravko, 9A9A; Emir Mahmutovic, 9A6AA; Martti Laine, OH2BH; Jorma Saloranta, OH2KI, and Pekka Holstila, OH2TA. Click here for Cawthorne's and Barden's account of the Z60K activation.

+ Former AMSAT President Bill Tynan, W3XO, to Receive RCA's Goldwater Award

The Radio Club of America (RCA) has announced that William A. Tynan, W3XO, of Kerrville, Texas, will receive its 2012 Barry Goldwater Amateur Radio Award. First given in 1994, the Goldwater Award is given to an RCA member who is also a licensed amateur, in recognition of a long record of service to the public through the use of Amateur Radio. Tynan -- an RCA Fellow and an ARRL Life Member -- will receive the award at the RCA's 103rd annual awards banquet, held in New York City on November 16. ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, also an RCA Fellow, will be the banquet's keynote speaker. Read more here.

+ Silent Key: IARU Region 3 Chairman Michael Owen, VK3KI (SK)

IARU Region 3 Chairman Michael Owen, VK3KI, passed away September 22. He was 75. Owen, who was also President of the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) -- that country's IARU Member Society -- was active in the IARU and served as a member of the IARU Observer Team at a number of World Radiocommunication Conferences. He is perhaps best remembered for his work on Article 25 -- a package of revisions to the international Radio Regulations that are specific to the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Services -- at WRC-03.

During the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the WIA in 2010, WIA President Michael Owen, VK3KI (SK), chatted with ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, using the special event call sign VK100WI. [Robert Broomhead, VK3DN, photo]

Amateur Radio societies around the world have benefited from Owen's enthusiasm and experience; he was passionately involved with the Amateur Radio Service since the 1960s, and served as IARU Vice President from 1989-1999.

"I am very saddened to hear about Michael's sudden passing," IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, told the ARRL. "I was only speaking to him a few days ago and he was very enthused about leading the IARU Region 3 Conference in Ho Chi Minh City in a few weeks. Michael was a good friend and mentor to many of us in IARU. His drafting skills were second to none, and his ability to clearly articulate his position on a number of issues was of immeasurable help to us. The IARU is indebted to his work at WRCs and at many regional Asia Pacific Telecommunications meetings." Read more here.

+ ARRL Executive Committee to Meet in Colorado This Weekend

The ARRL Executive Committee will meet Saturday, September 29 in Denver, Colorado. ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, serves as Chairman of the Executive Committee. Five Division Directors who are elected by the ARRL Board of Directors are also on the committee: Midwest Division Director Cliff Ahrens, K0CA; Northwestern Division Director Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF; Central Division Director Dick Isely, W9GIG; Rocky Mountain Division Director Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, and West Gulf Division Director David Woolweaver, K5RAV. ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, and ARRL First Vice President Rick Roderick, K5UR, are non-voting members of the Executive Committee. ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, and Second Vice President Bruce Frahm, K0BJ, will also attend the meeting. Click here for the meeting's agenda.

Federal Employees Can Help Support ARRL through the 2012 Combined Federal Campaign

For the past 11 years, the US Office of Personnel Management has designated the ARRL as a participant in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). This campaign for federal government civilian employees, US Postal Service workers and members of the military has generated almost $192,000 for ARRL programs since it first became an option for federal employees to donate to the League. The CFC provides an easy way to support the ARRL's effort to represent its members and all radio amateurs. Read more here.

+ At the Workbench: Attention Kit Builders -- The ARRL Wants to Hear from You!

Hams of all ages -- and all levels of experience -- enjoy kit building. The ARRL wants to know what kits you enjoy. [S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, photo]

The ARRL wants to hear from kit builders about simple, useful, educational and exciting kits. These kits should have a high probability for success and would serve as stepping stones for more advanced projects. We are looking all sorts of kits, but RF detector kits that work in the 380 MHz-2.5 GHz range are of special interest. The kits should also have a "Wow, I built this and it works!" factor. If you know of such a kit, please let us know by filling out a simple form here by October 31.

Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, September 27, 2012 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 "We all shine on, like the Moon and the stars and the Sun" Cook, K7RA, reports: The average daily sunspot numbers rose this week from 56 to 81.3, while the average daily solar flux increased from 101.4 to 129.7. This increase is expected to continue over the next few days, with the solar flux peaking at 150 on September 28-29, then going to 145 on September 30-October 1, 140 and 135 on October 2-3, 130 on October 4-5, 125 on October 6-7, 120 on October 8, 115 on October 9-10, 120 on October 11, 115 on October 12-13, and 120 on October 14-15. It is then expected to rise to a peak of 150 on October 20 and 150 again on October 25-26, with the average solar flux on October 21-24 around 141. The average planetary A index declined from 7.4 last week to 4.3 this week. The predicted planetary A index values are 5 on every day through October 2, then 10 on October 3, 8 on October 4-5, and 5 on October 6-11. Look for more on the ARRL website on Friday, September 28. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page. This week's "Tad Cookism" is brought to you by John Lennon's Instant Karma!

ARRL HQ Seeks Applicants for QST Technical Editor

The League is currently looking to fill the position of QST Technical Editor at ARRL Headquarters in Newington. Connecticut residency or the ability to relocate to Connecticut is required. The QST Technical Editor will provide leadership to the technical Amateur Radio community by developing and promulgating a vision of the state of the Amateur Radio art through the pages of QST.


  • Broad knowledge of and experience with Amateur Radio and electronics.
  • Broad knowledge of and experience with the design and construction of Amateur Radio equipment, antennas and accessories.
  • Broad knowledge of and experience with Amateur Radio software.
  • A bachelor or graduate college degree, preferably in a technical field. Exceptional related work history can be substituted for a degree.
  • A minimum of three years of writing or editing experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and productively with a variety of people.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, especially Word and Excel.
  • An Amateur Extra class license.

Click here for more information and an application. To apply, please send your cover letter and resume via e-mail, or complete the application, print it out and mail it with your resume and cover letter to Monique Levesque, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. You can also fax your application, cover letter and resume to 860-594-0298. Please include your salary history and salary requirements. The ARRL is an equal opportunity employer.

+ Silent Key:Ethiopian Amateur Radio Society Chairman Sid T. May, ET3SID (SK)

Ethiopian Amateur Radio Society Chairman Sid T. May, ET3SID/G4CTQ/AB3OZ (SK)

Ethiopian Amateur Radio Society (EARS) Chairman Sid T. May, ET3SID/G4CTQ/AB3OZ, passed away September 25. In 1993, May established ET3AA, the first Amateur Radio club in Ethiopia. According to Hailemelekot Negussie, AB3OX, of EARS (Ethiopia's IARU Member Society), May taught Amateur Radio licensing classes in Ethiopia for more than 15 years. An accredited ARRL Volunteer Examiner, May administered the FCC Amateur Radio license exam to prospective Ethiopian hams. He took part in administering an FCC exam session in December 2011 where more than 50 Ethiopians received US call signs; May gave his last exam session on September 10, with 18 sitting for the exam. "Sid was a teacher, a mentor and a father to all of us at ET3AA," Negussie explained. "We feel very saddened about the news, and extend our condolences to his family and wish for his soul to rest in peace. Sid is survived by hundreds of ambitious radio hams and engineers who will forever be inspired by his humbleness and vision." Read more here.

Silent Key: Everett Gracey, WA6CBA (SK)

Everett Gracey, WA6CBA, of Grass Valley, California, passed away on August 26. He was 90. In 1979, Gracey -- along with Ken, K6HCP, and Jacqui Holladay -- founded Mirage Communications in Gilroy, California. After selling Mirage, Gracey founded RF Concepts in 1986. Both Mirage and RF Concepts sold and manufactured VHF and UHF amplifiers. After Gracey sold RF Concepts, he continued to lead the company's marketing team for the next six years. In August 2000, Gracey joined forces with LDG Electronics as its dealer representative and marking consultant. Gracey was also responsible for bringing Alinco Electronics -- a radio manufacturer in Osaka, Japan -- into the USA marketplace. Read more here.

+ Last Man Standing Producer Cancels Special Event

Due to concerns over perceived violations of Section 97.113(a)(3), Last Man Standing Producer John Amodeo, NN6JA, has cancelled the Last Man Standing Special Event Station planned for October 28. Amodeo had applied for and received a 1×1 call sign -- K6T -- to use for the event that would have taken place on the show's set. Last Man Standing stars Tim Allen as Mike Baxter, KA0XTT. "Although the intent of the Special Event Station was to celebrate and promote ham radio, it might be interpreted as promotion for the show and that cannot be permitted," Amodeo explained. "While we are disappointed with the cancelation of what would have been a fun, one-of-a-kind event, I know that as a licensed amateur and producer of broadcast programs, compliance with the FCC rules takes precedence. We will find other fun ways to use our station and promote ham radio soon. Mike Baxter's fictitious station, KA0XTT, will continue to appear on the set of Last Man Standing, but the radios will remain silent." Last Man Standing begins its second season on Friday, November 2 at 8/7 Central.

This Week in Radiosport

This week:

  • September 29 -- Microwave Fall Sprint (local time)
  • September 29-30 -- Texas QSO Party; CQ WW RTTY Contest
  • October 2 -- ARS Spartan Sprint
  • October 3 -- German Telegraphy Contest
  • October 3 -- 432 MHz Fall Sprint (local time)

Next week:

  • October 5 -- NCCC Sprint
  • October 5-7 -- YLRL DX/NA YL Anniversary Contest
  • October 6 -- TARA PSK Rumble Contest; EU Autumn Sprint (SSB)
  • October 6-7 -- ARRL EME Contest; California QSO Party; EPC Russia DX Contest; Oceania DX Contest (SSB); WAB HF Phone Contest
  • October 7 -- UBA ON Contest (SSB)
  • October 10 -- 10-10 International 10-10 Day Sprint; NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint
  • October 10-11 -- 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 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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