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ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter
May 23, 2013
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
ARRL Home PageARRL Letter ArchiveAudio News


+ Available on ARRL Audio News.

There will be no ARRL Audio News on Thursday, May 30. The ARRL Letter will be distributed on its usual schedule. The Audio News will return on Thursday, June 6.

+ Public Service: Amateurs in Oklahoma Respond to Storm Aftermath

This map -- courtesy of the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma -- shows the track and varying strength of the tornado that swept through Oklahoma on May 20, destroying much of the city of Moore. See a larger version of the map here.

After an EF5 tornado swept through Oklahoma on May 20, radio amateurs in that state assisted the American Red Cross with its communications efforts. "Amateur Radio operators were asked to support voice communications from the American Red Cross Oklahoma City Chapter Headquarters to their feeding station at the Incident Command Post located in Moore," explained ARRL Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator Mark Conklin, N7XYO. Moore, located about halfway between Norman and Oklahoma City, suffered the brunt of the tornado damage. As of 8:30 CDT on May 22, all Amateur Radio operations in support of the American Red Cross ceased.

At least 24 people, including nine children, were killed when the 1.3-mile-wide tornado moved through Moore, Oklahoma's seventh largest city. The National Weather Service stated that the tornado traveled an estimated 17-mile-long path for 50 minutes, with an estimated peak wind that ranged from 200-210 miles per hour, making it an EF5 storm, the most powerful category of tornados possible. Read more.

+ Dayton Hamvention®: Foggy Skies, Friendly Faces, Fantastic Event

Hamvention 2013 began on a foggy May 17 morning in Dayton, Ohio. As soon as the doors opened, it didn't take long for the streams of humanity to fill the indoor aisles. The ARRL EXPO drew substantial crowds throughout the weekend, with attractions such as the W1AW 75th anniversary exhibit, DXCC card checking, the Youth Lounge and free spectral purity testing, courtesy of the ARRL Lab.

ARRL Central Division Vice Director Kermit Carlson, W9XA, assists with spectral purity testing in the ARRL EXPO. [Steve Ford, WB8IMY, photo]

Hamvention forums were also well attended. At the ARRL Power Line Interference forum, ARRL Laboratory Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI, offered advice and guidance with assistance from ARRL Lab Engineer Mike Gruber, W1MG, and an arcing "Jacob's Ladder."

At the ARRL Member Forum, ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, spoke on a number of topics, but placed particular importance on the efforts of new ARRL's Second Century Campaign to ensure the strength of the organization well into the future. To emphasize the point and its relevance during the upcoming ARRL Centennial, she said, "While the past may excite us, it is the future that must inspire us."

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, brought the forum audience up to date on the status of ARRL involvement in national and international regulatory issues. While discussing a potential threat to the amateur allocation at 76 GHz, he stressed the fact that even such sparsely used amateur spectrum deserved a vigorous defense: "The 76 GHz band may be of little interest to most hams today, but we need to preserve our microwave allocations for technologies we can't even imagine today and the future amateurs who will use them."

ARRL First Vice President Rick Roderick, K5UR, issued five challenges to the ARRL Member Forum audience. [Steve Ford, WB8IMY, photo]

ARRL First Vice President Rick Roderick, K5UR, stepped to the podium and presented five challenges to the audience:

  1. If you don't belong to a local club, join one today.
  2. If you already belong to a club, actively support it.
  3. Help inactive hams get on the air. Give assistance to new amateurs to help them use their privileges effectively. Volunteer your time to help elderly hams who are no longer able to maintain their stations.
  4. Recruit as many new amateurs as possible. Recruit as many new ARRL members as possible.
  5. Donate to the Second Century Campaign.

Early reports from commercial vendors supported the perception that Hamvention attendance was strong and people were in the mood to buy. The flea market also saw quite a few browsers and shoppers. The rain held off and overcast skies helped keep conditions pleasant. Watch for a Hamvention report, along with new product highlights, in the August print and digital editions of QST.

+ Former QST Managing Editor Joel Kleinman, N1BKE (SK), Inducted into CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame

CQ magazine announced its 2013 Hall of Fame inductees on May 17, welcoming eight new members into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame, including former QST Managing Editor Joel Kleinman, N1BKE (SK), who helmed QST from 2001 until his untimely death in 2012. In addition, CQ named two new members to the CQ DX Hall of Fame and two new members to the CQ Contest Hall of Fame.

Former QST Managing Editor Joel Kleinman, N1BKE (SK) -- who helmed QST from 2001 until his untimely death in 2012 -- has been inducted into the 2013 CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame. [Harold Kramer, WJ1B, photo]

Kleinman came to the League in 1976 after receiving his master's degree from the University of Montana; his first article appeared in QST less than a year later. He quickly moved from the Education side of the building to the Editorial and Production side as an editorial assistant before becoming the ARRL Features Editor, then Editorial Supervisor, then Editorial/Production Supervisor. In 1988, Kleinman became Book Team Supervisor, where he was responsible for the development and editorial integrity of ARRL books and other media. He was named QST Managing Editor in April 2001. Read more.

+ On the Air: Take Part in WX4NHC's Annual On-the-Air Station Test from the National Hurricane Center

The annual WX4NHC On-the-Air Station Test from the National Hurricane Center in Miami will take place Saturday, June 1, 1300-2100 UTC (9 AM-5 PM EDT). "The purpose of this annual station test is to test all of our radio equipment, computers and antennas using as many modes and frequencies as possible in preparation for this year's hurricane season," said WX4NHC Assistant Amateur Radio Volunteer Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R. "This is not a contest or simulated hurricane exercise."

WX4NHC will be on the air on HF, VHF and UHF, as well as 2 and 30 meter APRS. Suggested SSB frequencies are 3.950, 7.268, 14.325, 21.325 and 28.425 MHz, +/-QRM. WX4NHC also will be on the VoIP Hurricane Net from 1700-1900 UTC (IRLP node 9219/EchoLink WX-TALK conference node 7203) and on VHF/UHF repeaters in Southern Florida. Read more.

+ FCC News: FCC Now Down to Three Commissioners

With the departure of Chairman Julius Genachowski and Commissioner Robert McDowell this past weekend, the FCC now only has three of its full complement of five Commissioners. Pending the Senate confirmation hearings for Tom Wheeler, President Obama's pick to head the FCC, Obama has named Mignon Clyburn, the FCC's ranking Democrat, to serve as Acting Chairwoman. The three remaining Commissioners -- Clyburn, fellow Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Ajit Pai -- have almost six years of combined experience on the FCC. The Senate confirmation hearings for Wheeler as the new FCC Chairman have yet to be scheduled. President Obama has not announced his nomination of a candidate to replace McDowell. Read more.

Section News: Section Manager Election Results Announced

This spring, the ARRL held two balloted elections for Section Manager. ARRL members in Nebraska elected a new Section Manager, while members in Utah -- faced with a three-way race -- voted to keep their Section Manager. In addition, ARRL members in New Hampshire and Wisconsin will each get a new Section Manager, and Section Managers in seven Sections ran unopposed and were declared elected for a new two-year term. Ballots were counted and verified at ARRL Headquarters on Tuesday, May 21. Read more.

+ LoTW: Logbook of The World Reaches 500 Million QSOs

On May 21 at approximately 9:40 PM EDT (0140 UTC on May 22), Logbook of The World (LoTW) -- the ARRL's online QSO confirmation system - reached a new record: 500 million QSOs. This milestone was reached as Gabor Horvath, VE7JH, of Crofton, British Columbia, uploaded a log from 2011 for VC7M, the Canadian Multi/Multi Team in the 2011 CQ WPX CW Contest.

Since LoTW was first introduced in September 2003, almost 58,000 hams around the world have registered to use the system to confirm two-way contacts they have made. The confirmations are credited toward various ARRL operating awards, such as Worked All States and DXCC. By using digitally signed certificates with QSO date ranges and station locations for geographic information, LoTW is able to accommodate clubs, previously held call signs, QSL managers, DXpeditions, mobile and rover operators just as easily as it handles the individual user with one call sign and one location,

LoTW: Release of TQSL 1.14 for LoTW Delayed

Last week, the ARRL announced that the introduction of the new TQSL 1.14 software for Logbook of The World (LoTW) would be available on May 20. Upon further testing, three defects -- now corrected -- were reported after that announcement. Before publicly releasing a corrected version of TQSL 1.14, the software must be thoroughly retested by the Trusted QSL Software Development Team. LoTW users should expect a public release of TQSL 1.14 by the end of the month.

Solar Update

The Sun, as seen on Thursday, May 23, 2013 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: Solar activity remains quiet, but on May 16 the daily sunspot number reached 212. I had to keep searching further and further back in the records to find a higher sunspot number. One year, six months and one week earlier -- November 9, 2011 -- the sunspot number was almost that high, at 208. Going back seven years, 10 months and 12 days to July 4, 2005, it was 192. To find activity beating the May 16 number, we have to go back nearly a decade to November 1, 2003 when the daily sunspot number was 277. This was on the downward slide of Solar Cycle 23 -- nine years, six months and 15 days earlier than our recent high number. Let's hope for many more days like this. This week, the average daily sunspot numbers this week were down more than 12 points to 144, while the average daily solar flux declined nearly 6 points to 134.2. Geomagnetic activity was higher, with the average daily planetary A index up 3.7 points to 9.7, and the average daily mid-latitude A index rose 4.4 points to 10.3. The latest prediction from NOAA/USAF has solar flux at 125 on May 23-24, 130, 135, 140, 145 and 150 on May 25-29, 100 on May 30-31, 105 and 110 on June 1-2, 120 on June 3-5, and then 125 on June 6-8 before rising to a short term peak of 140 on June 12-13. This prediction is a bit far off, but it also shows a minimum flux value of 100 on June 26-27. The predicted planetary A index is 15, 8, 15, 10, 7, 15 and 12 on May 23-29, 5 on May 30-June 10, and then 8, 12 and 8 on June 11-13, 5 on June 14-17, and then 15, 12, 8 and 5 on June 18-21. Look for more information on the ARRL website on Friday, May 24. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page.

+ ARRL HQ to Close in Observance of Memorial Day

ARRL Headquarters will be closed Monday, May 27 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. There will be no W1AW code practice or bulletin transmissions that day. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Tuesday, May 28 at 8 AM (EDT). We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

This Week in Radiosport

This week:

  • May 24 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • May 25 -- Portuguese Navy Day Contest (Digital); QRP ARCI Hootowl Sprint (local time)
  • May 25-26 -- CQ WW WPX Contest (CW)
  • May 26 -- SARL Digital Contest
  • May 27-28 -- Michigan QRP Memorial Day CW Sprint

Next week:

  • May 31 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder
  • June 1 -- Maritimes QSO Party; Wake-Up! QRP Sprint
  • June 1-2 -- Alabama QSO Party; IARU Region 1 Field Day; 10-10 International Open Season PSK Contest; SEANET Contest; UKSMG Sporadic E Contest
  • June 4 -- ARS Spartan Sprint

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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