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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
October 4, 2012
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

+ IARU News: Peter Lake, ZL2AZ, Appointed Chairman of IARU Region 3

The Directors in IARU Region 3 have voted to appoint Peter Lake, ZL2AZ, of Wellington, New Zealand, as the Chairman of IARU Region 3. He replaces Michael Owen, VK3KI, who passed away unexpectedly last month. Owen, who was also President of the Wireless Institute of Australia, had served as Region 3 Chairman since 2006. "I am extremely grateful to my fellow Directors for their support in this difficult time, and for the procedural work by [IARU Region 3] Secretary Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP, to formalize an appointment," Lake said in a statement. "I will do my best to carry through all the work that we have in progress, much of it due to items and ideas put in place by Michael. It is my privilege to have the opportunity to serve you, the Member Societies and fellow amateurs in Region 3." Read more here.

+ ARRL Invites Nominations for 2012 International Humanitarian Award

Nominations are open for the 2012 ARRL International Humanitarian Award. This 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 those radio amateurs who have used ham radio to provide extraordinary service to others in times of crisis or disaster. As one of the few telecommunication services that allow people throughout the world from all walks of life to meet and talk with each other, Amateur Radio spreads goodwill across political boundaries. The ARRL International Humanitarian Award recognizes the Amateur Radio Service's unique role in international communication and the assistance amateurs regularly provide to people in need. Read more here.

+ Check Out the November Issue of QST

Ever since the dawn of civilization, man has looked to the heavens and pondered his existence. Thousands of years later, we still look to the stars, but with radio, the stars seem a little closer. The November issue of QST features a group of middle school students from Arizona who reached for the stars with a high-altitude balloon launch and a QSO with the International Space Station. Join them on their adventure as you delve into the latest issue of QST.

Kaci Heins, KF7RCV, is a sixth grade teacher in Flagstaff, Arizona. In addition to her teaching duties, she leads the Space Spartans, an after-school science club. In her article "Reaching for the Stars with Radio," Heins tells how she used Amateur Radio -- including a high-altitude balloon launch with a repeater and a radio telescope project -- to capture her students' imaginations, both in and out of the classroom. Many states have laws against using cell phones in your car, making it illegal to talk or text behind the wheel. But what about using your mobile rig while driving? In his article "Distracted Driving and Amateur Radio -- A Civil (Law) Perspective," ARRL Volunteer Counsel John Swartz, WA9AQN, points out that operating mobile isn't just a legislative issue.

Amateur Radio clubs are always looking for projects they can do together. In his article "A Club Project -- Automatic Mobile Power Control," Jim Cook, W8WKE, details a simple and inexpensive APRS group project to give hams a way to experience the thrill of the workbench. With the advent of computers with built-in sound cards, the digital modes have gained popularity. Thomas W. Brooks, KE1R, has always been fascinated -- and mystified -- by PSK31. In his article "PSK31 -- A Different View," Brooks found a way to not only hear the PSK31 tones, but to see them, too.

ARRL Contributing Editor H. Ward Silver, N0AX, takes a look at the Array Solutions AIMuhf vector impedance analyzer in this month's Product Review. He says this accessory "offers reflection and impedance-only measurements for dedicated and popular measurement functions. The host software creates easy-to-read displays and easy-to-use pre-programmed functions." ARRL Test Engineer Bob Allison, WB1GCM, checked out the DZKit HT-7 40 meter AM handheld transceiver, saying that it "is a fully functional single channel, crystal controlled 40 meter AM handheld transceiver kit that is fun to build and fun to operate. Users must accept the challenges of making contacts with low power and limited antennas while portable."

Of course, there are the usual columns you know and have come to expect in the November QST: Happenings, Hints & Kinks, The Doctor is In, Short Takes, Technical Correspondence, Vintage Radio, How's DX? and more, including lots of new books and products. Look for your November issue in your mailbox. QST is the official journal of the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. QST is just one of the many benefits of ARRL membership. To join, or to renew your ARRL membership, please see the ARRL web page.

+ Silent Key: Goran Savic, YT2A, Killed in Plane Crash

Goran Savic, YT2A, was killed as he tried to redirect his aircraft from a residential neighborhood.

While on a routine training mission, Serbian Air Force Major Goran Savic, YT2A, was killed trying to direct his plane away from a residential area in Nova Pazova, Serbia. According to Nova Pazova Municipal President Dorde Radinovic, the plane crashed into the yard of a private house. Due to Savic's skill in maneuvering the aircraft, there were no casualties on the ground. "The aircraft went down between two structures, Radinovic explained to B92, a Serbian news outlet. "One pilot ejected, while the other made an effort until the last moment (before ejecting) not to hit a house in this residential area. Once the plane stopped, there was no explosion either." According to B92, Savic was found close to his plane and was in serious condition when medical teams reached him. He later died at the hospital. Savic's co-pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Tomislav Becagovic, managed to jump out of the aircraft before impact and survived the crash.

+ Public Service: The Weather Channel to Begin Naming Winter Storms

Beginning this winter, The Weather Channel will begin naming what it calls "noteworthy winter storms." As The Weather Channel explained on its website, "[a] storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation. In addition to providing information about significant winter storms by referring to them by name, the name itself will make communication and information sharing in the constantly expanding world of social media much easier." Unlike the National Hurricane Center -- which has named tropical storms and hurricanes since the 1940s -- the National Weather Service does not name winter storms. Read more here.

ARRL in Action: What Have We Been Up to Lately?

This feature is a concise monthly update of some of the things the ARRL is doing on behalf of its members. This installment -- which covers the month of September -- takes a look at how the ARRL is laying the groundwork for its 100th birthday celebration, planning for the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference, Section Manager training at ARRL Headquarters, operations approved for DXCC credit, improvements to W1AW, reports from the Official Observer Desk and more. Read more here.

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

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, October 4, 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 Cook, K7RA, reports: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit the Earth on September 30, causing a jump in geomagnetic indices. The planetary A index on October 1 was 31, while the K index went as high as 7, making aurora visible across the northern tier of the United States. The far-northern latitude college A index was 23 (near Fairbanks, Alaska), about the same as the mid-latitude index -- which was 21 -- in Fredericksburg, Virginia. It is common during a geomagnetic disturbance to see indices go much higher toward the poles than anywhere else. The average daily sunspot numbers declined 8.3 points to 73, while the average daily solar flux was off exactly 1 point to 128.7. The latest prediction from NOAA/USAF has solar flux on October 4-7 at 110, 105 on October 8, 100 on October 9-11, 115 on October 12-13, 120 on October 14, and then rising to a peak of 150 on October 20. The same forecast has solar flux rebounding to 150 on November 16 after reaching a minimum of 110 on November 4-5. The predicted planetary A index is 5 on October 4-14, then 8, 12 and 10 on October 15-17, 5 on October 18-25, 10 on October 26, and then reaching a peak of 15 on October 29. 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.

+ ARRL Recognizes: Thomas Schaefer, NY4I, Wins September QST Cover Plaque Award

The winner of the September QST Cover Plaque award is Thomas Schaefer, NY4I, for his article "Your Antenna is on Fire!" Congratulations Thomas! 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 October issue today.

MFJ Celebrates 40th Anniversary

In October 1972, Martin F. Jue, K5FLU, started MFJ in a hotel room in Starkville, Mississippi. 40 years later, MFJ Enterprises consists of six different ham radio companies that manufacture more than 2000 products. To celebrate this milestone, MFJ will host ARRL Day in the Park this weekend (October 6-7) at McKee Park in Starkville. An ARRL-sanctioned event, ARRL Day in the Park will feature tours of the MFJ facilities (including the factory and metal shop), tailgating, forums, demonstrations and lunch -- all at no cost to attendees. Special Event Station K5MFJ will also be on the air. ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, and ARRL Mississippi Section Manager Malcolm Keown, W5XX, will represent the ARRL. Click here to go to the ARRL Day in the Park website.

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.

This Week in Radiosport

This 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

Next week:

  • October 12 -- NCCC Sprint
  • October 13 -- EU Autumn Sprint (CW); FISTS Fall Sprint
  • October 13-14 -- Arizona QSO Party; Pennsylvania QSO Party; Makrothen RTTY Contest; Oceania DX Contest (CW); QRP ARCI Fall QSO Party; Scandinavian Activity Contest (SSB)
  • October 14 -- North American Sprint (RTTY); SKCC Weekend Sprintathon

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.

Amateur Radio Fun: New QuickStats Now Available on ARRL Website

Four new poll questions have just been published on the QuickStats page on the ARRL website. Let your voice be heard!

  • Have you built a project using an Arduino microcontroller?
  • Do you subscribe to any Amateur Radio e-mail lists (reflectors)?
  • Do you prefer extended conversations on the air, or short contacts?
  • Was public service the primary motivation for getting your Amateur Radio license?

Visit the QuickStats page and be sure to bookmark it in your browser. Results from this QuickStats poll will be published in the January 2013 issue of QST on the QuickStats page, located in the rear advertising section of the magazine. Along with monthly poll results, QST QuickStats offers colorful charts and graphs that highlight interesting Amateur Radio statistics.

Amateur Astronomy Group Solicits Papers for New Mexico Conference

The Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA) -- an organization for those interested in radio astronomy -- is soliciting papers for presentation at its 2013 Western Regional Conference, February 9-10, 2013 in Socorro, New Mexico. Papers on radio astronomy hardware, software, education, research strategies, observations and philosophy are welcome. SARA members or supporters wishing to present a paper should e-mail a letter of intent, including a proposed title and informal abstract or outline no later than December 1, 2012 (please inform SARA if more time is needed). Be sure to include your full name, affiliation, postal address and e-mail address, and indicate your willingness to attend the conference to present your paper. Submitters will receive a response via e-mail, typically within one week. Formal printed Proceedings will be published for this conference and all presentations can be made available on CD.

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.

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.

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