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Default The ARRL Letter, Vol 27, No 8 (Friday, February 29, 2008)

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 27, No. 8
February 29, 2008
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* + ARRL, FCC, Department of Defense Review New Developments in PAVE PAWS
Interference Mitigation
* + Tennessee Agency Calls Army MARS into Action
* + Ducie Island, VP6DX: Making Contacts, Breaking Records
* + Two New Titles Join the ARRL Bookshelf
* + The March/April Issue of NCJ Now Available
* + FCC Denies Petitions to Bring Back Morse Code Testing
* Solar Update
* IN BRIEF:
This Weekend on the Radio
ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration
+ ARRL Gearing Up for Dayton Hamvention
+ W1HQ Now Up and Running -- on the World Wide Web
Wisconsin Hams Assist Injured Driver
Los Angeles County Hams Honored for Community Service
500 kHz Distance Record Broken Again
"Swiss Army Knife" Now Available for PIOs


+Available on ARRL Audio News http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/

================================================== =========
==Delivery problems: First see FAQ http://www.arrl.org/members-only/faq.html#nodelivery, then e-mail
==Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane,
================================================== =========

== ARRL, FCC, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE REVIEW NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN PAVE PAWS INTERFERENCE MITIGATION

The FCC, ARRL representatives and agents of the various US Air Force units
working on developing a plan to mitigate alleged interference from 70 cm ham
radio repeaters to PAVE PAWS radar systems on both coasts met February 20 via
conference call. The purpose of the conference was to review the status of
the mitigation plans at both sites: the Massachusetts Military Reservation on
Cape Cod and Beale AFB, north of Sacramento, California.

Thanks to the cooperation and assistance of the involved repeater owners on
Cape Cod, ARRL Regulatory Branch Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, said, "I am
pleased to be able to pass along that at this time, the Department of Defense
has determined that the levels of harmful interference to the PAVE PAWS radar
site on Cape Cod have been sufficiently reduced. As part of this
determination, they are not rescheduling additional follow-up testing for
that area until sometime in 2009."

Henderson said that this decision doesn't mean New England is back to
pre-mitigation repeater operation: "Any mitigation steps that have been taken
should remain in place. A repeater that has gone off the air should not be
simply turned back on at its original power level -- its previously
determined mitigation standard still applies in order to protect the primary
user from harmful interference."

Henderson stressed that the entire process is ongoing. "The high degree of
voluntary cooperation shown by the owners of Air Force-identified repeaters
has helped demonstrate to the DoD that the amateur community takes its
responsibility seriously. This should help us retain access to the band in
the long run."

During the discussion of the Cape Cod radar during the teleconference, the
ARRL broached the topic of allowing the resumption of coordinating new
repeaters on the 70 cm band in New England. The Air Force has agreed in
principle to allow the New England Spectrum Management Council (NESMC) to
resume coordination efforts under certain conditions. "These include that in
addition to NESMC's normal coordination policies, Longley-Rice signal
strength plots are prepared to determine expected signal strength at the
radar site," Henderson said.

Henderson said that the ARRL has a "fairly good understanding of what
strength level at the site should be workable, even though the DoD has not
given us specific information on the sensitivity of the radar. The
Longley-Rice plots should indicate if the operating parameters of the
proposed repeater might be sufficient to prevent harmful interference to the
radar site. The Longley-Rice plots are not the 'last word' in the process,
but are a good tool giving the repeater owner and NESMC a reasonable
assessment of possible problems."

Henderson reiterated that "any specific mitigation number from the Air Force
is an exact measurement, not a 'predicted' number from a computer analysis."

Once NESMC approves a tentative coordination, Henderson explained that NESMC
would forward the complete information on the new repeater to the Air Force
for authorization on a case-by-case basis, as provided for in Title 47 2.106
Footnote US7. "During a 60 day trial period, the Air Force would contact
NESMC for an immediate shut-down of a new repeater causing harmful
interference. If that happens the new repeater would have to remain off the
air until it can be successfully mitigated."

While this new process is a bit burdensome to NESMC and the repeater owners,
it goes a long way toward keeping Amateur Radio in a position where 70 cm
operation can grow with careful attention to the effect of our operations on
the primary users.

During the update discussion of the Beale AFB PAVE PAWS site in California,
the DoD was able to report that there was a reduction in harmful interference
at the radar, though work remains to be done to bring the situation at that
site to a successful conclusion. DoD officials announced that a new round of
testing is scheduled during the spring at Beale, and that they will share the
results after the next round of testing is complete.

During the teleconference, the FCC reported that it has received excellent
compliance in the wake of their phone calls and letters to repeater trustees
and owners. This cooperation has made it unnecessary for the FCC to issue any
mandatory shut down orders to date. The Commission will continue to be the
initial point of contact with the DoD should further mitigation be required
based on additional testing at Beale.

The ARRL will continue to work with the FCC, DoD, repeater coordinating
groups and individual repeater owners as requested. "Because of the sheer
number of 70 cm repeaters in that area, the Beale problem is taking longer to
resolve," Henderson said. "We will continue to work toward a successful,
constructive conclusion for as long as it takes."

== TENNESSEE AGENCY CALLS ARMY MARS INTO ACTION

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) called Army Military
Affiliate Radio System (MARS) into action as tornados swept across the
Southeastern United States February 5-6. According to Army MARS Chief Stuart
Carter, "For the first time as far back as we can remember, a state
government called for MARS deployment in response to an actual emergency. The
resulting teamwork and use of Army MARS Winlink capability gave TEMA its only
e-mail link during President Bush's visit to the storm-stricken area." At
least 70 messages were sent during the state operation ranging from casualty
figure updates and signal reports to staff rosters and photos.

TEMA's Chief of Communications David Wolfe, WA4VVX (MARS call sign AAR4CY),
said, "Although there was no commercial power at the deployment site, TEMA's
communications infrastructure was fully operational. Both the VHF high band
and 800 MHz repeater systems had good coverage for voice command and control.
Our shortage was Internet connectivity, and our unmet needs were e-mail and
the ability to send pictures. MARS Winlink provided exactly what was not
available by any other means."

Carter said that this event illustrates the importance of detailed
preparation and training that has taken place during realistic disaster
response exercises over the past several years. "In the case of Tennessee,
the story goes back a year and a half. Steve Waterman, K4CJX (MARS call sign
AAA9AC) began working with Wolfe in late 2006, preparing for just such a
deployment. At the time, Army MARS was just beginning to adopt the Winlink
2000 radio e-mail network system, and with the assistance of the
then-Tennessee State Director Paul Drothler, WO4U (MARS call sign AAV4DJ),
Army MARS had just signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TEMA. This MOU
just served to strengthen an already strong relationship between TEMA and
Army MARS. Wolfe led TEMA staffers who were already hams to becoming MARS
members and to become qualified MARS Winlink 2000 operators. The rest of
Wolfe's team soon obtained their Amateur Radio and Army MARS licenses."

The next step, according to Carter, was joint training for TEMA staff and
Tennessee Army MARS members. Some was classroom training followed up with
extensive field training. The culmination of the field training was TNCAT07,
a massive exercise that included the Central United States Earthquake
Consortium (CUSEC), an eight-state alert consortium along the New Madrid
fault line. This exercise also included the participation by ARRL Amateur
Emergency Radio Service (ARES), Civil Air Patrol and other EmComm services
that clearly demonstrated interoperability between TEMA, Tennessee Army MARS,
the Amateur Radio community and other municipal communications services.

"To make a long story short," Carter said, "we now have seen a demonstration
of seamless collaboration between Army MARS and one of our supported agencies
under 'Real World' emergency conditions. This was the first Army MARS
deployment since the Katrina/Rita disasters two years ago. Successfully
meeting the challenge involved deployment readiness on the part of our
members, and it required total Winlink 2000 mobility. First of all came the
building of relationships with existing and potential customers, and then
came meticulous training of state and federal staffers, and frequent
exercising at home and in the field. With this pattern of established
collaboration between our customers and MARS members, we enter the new era of
Army MARS Emergency communications support."

== DUCIE ISLAND, VP6DX: MAKING CONTACTS, BREAKING RECORDS

After 13 days, 7 hours and 37 minutes of continuous operation, the VP6DX Team
on Ducie Island http://ducie2008.dl1mgb.com/index.php made their 168,723rd
contact. Valeri Koursov, RA0ALM, of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, contacted the Ducie
Island expedition on Monday, February 25, 2008 at 0437 UTC on 30 meters.
According to documents maintained by Jari Jussila, OH2BU, this contact breaks
the record for the largest number of contacts made by any radio expedition.
The previous record was held since February 8-28, 2001 by the Five Star DX
Association's DXpedition to the Comoros Island, D68C.

The Ducie Island DXpedition has broken other expedition records throughout
the course of the DXpedition, including:
* The largest number of RTTY contacts, previously held by the Swains Island
N8S DXpedition in April 2007.
* The largest number of SSB (voice) contacts, previously held by the Comoros
Island D68C DXpedition.
* The largest number of contacts on 40 meters, previously held by the Libya
5A7A DXpedition in November 2006.
* The largest number of contacts on 30 meters, previously held by the St
Brandon Island 3B7C DXpedition in September 2007.
* The largest number of contacts on 17 meters, previously held by the Swains
Island N8S DXpedition.
* The largest number of contacts with North America, previously held by the
Comoros Island D68C DXpedition.
* The largest number of contacts with South America, previously held by the
Peter I Island 3Y0X DXpedition in February 2006.
* The largest number of contacts with Africa, previously held by the
Rodrigues Island 3B9C DXpedition in March-April 2004.

The Ducie Island crew received inquiries about the equipment and antennas
used on Ducie Island. They reported that each operating position used:
* Elecraft K3 radio. They said "The outstanding receiver and transmitter
characteristics allowed us to run two positions simultaneously on any band --
even the very narrow 30 meter band -- with absolutely no interference. Good
design makes the complex appear simple: the ins and outs of this
sophisticated radio were quickly mastered by the operator team, none of whom
had seen a K3 before the expedition."
* Microham microKeyer II computer interfaces: plug in, turn on, call CQ and
get to work.
* Acom 2000, 1000 or 1010 amplifiers: quietly getting the job done without
trouble. The position used on 160 meters includes an OM 2500 HF amplifier.
* 200 W W3NQN bandpass filters from Array Solutions and 2 kW bandpass filters
from 4O3A.
* WinTest logging software running on Durabook ruggedized laptops.
* Honda EM65is and EM30is inverter supply, gasoline generators. The operators
report that the generators offer "100 percent reliability to date. The
inverter system has been very tolerant of the widely varying loads presented
to the generators as multiple operating positions switch between transmit
(high power consumption) and receive (low power consumption), a vast
improvement over previous gasoline generator designs."

The seven operating positions were divided into two sites: East (four
positions) and West (three positions). The operating sites stood about 1
kilometer apart, a 15 minute walk over a coral shelf bordering the island's
inner lagoon. Each site had its own WiFi network; a microwave link tied the
two sites together. Sleeping tents and meals were located at the East camp.

The Ducie Island DXpedition closed down operations on Wednesday, February 27.
Amateurs who had QSOs with VP6DX can check the online logs
http://ducie2008.dl1mgb.com/onlinelog/index.php. -- Information provided by
VP6DX Team

== TWO NEW TITLES JOIN THE ARRL BOOKSHELF

The ARRL is pleased to announce two new books as part of the spring
publications line-up: "ARRL's VHF Digital Handbook" and "ARRL's Hands-On
Radio Experiments." These books complete the spring suite that includes the
2008-2009 "ARRL Repeater Directory" and "TravelPlus for Repeaters" CD-ROM,
both to be released in April.

"ARRL's VHF Digital Handbook," written by QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY,
looks at how today's Amateur Radio operators are using digital radio
applications for fun, technical achievement and public service. And it's no
wonder -- getting started often requires little more than a VHF radio and a
computer. This new book includes such topics as packet radio, APRS, D-STAR,
digital applications in public service and emergency communications and much
more.

Without complicated "owner's manual" jargon, "ARRL's VHF Digital Handbook"
presents the material through a unique how-to approach and friendly,
conversational style. Readers will understand how to setup and operate their
equipment and software and make the best use of their VHF digital station.

"ARRL's Hands-On Radio Experiments," written by H. Ward Silver, N0AX, is a
compilation of the author's "Hands-on Radio" columns that appeared in QST
from 2003-2008. The experiments cover a wealth of topics designed to educate
today's radio experimenters, and inspire others who want to learn what makes
their radios work. Even seasoned experts will encounter new approaches to
practical methods, new explanations for familiar topics and new ideas that
will enhance your understanding of the radio art. Step-by-step, Silver
expertly leads you through each experiment -- and you'll make discoveries
along the way.

With more than 60 experiments ranging from Radio and Electronic Fundamentals
to Semiconductor Basics to Transmission Lines and Impedance Matching to Power
Supplies, these projects are designed to increase your understanding of basic
radio fundamentals, components, circuits and design.

Order your copy of "ARRL's Hands-On Radio Experiments" and "ARRL's VHF
Digital Handbook" today at the ARRL Online Store
http://www.arrl.org/catalog/.

== THE MARCH/APRIL ISSUE OF NCJ NOW AVAILABLE

NCJ, The National Contest Journal is what everyone interested in radiosport
needs to have in their shack. Filled with the latest news from the contesting
world, this is a definite must-have. Whether you are new to contesting or are
a seasoned pro (or somewhere in the middle), you will find something in NCJ
just for you.

In the March/April issue, David Robbins, K1TTT, ruminates on a "Real-Time
Contest Scoreboard." Julius Fazekas, III, N2WN, discusses "Top Band
Contesting: My 80/160 Meter Receive Antenna Evolution." Tom Menas, K3WT,
remembers the "The 5J0A San Andres Island 2007 CQ WW CW Contest Operation,"
and Scott Robbins, W4PA, profiles Rick Lindquist, N1RL, in this issue's "NCJ
Profiles." Bob Neece, K0KR, concludes his "virtual tour" of the CAC in his
article, "Update: The ARRL Contest Advisory Committee -- Part 2."

If you've been waiting to see how you did in the October 2007 RTTY Sprint,
you definitely don't want to miss this issue! Ed Muns, W0YK, give readers the
rundown on this popular contest. Was your log one of three "Golden Logs"
received? Check out your scores and see if you can beat it for the March
Sprint.

A new regular column appears in this issue: "Contesting 101." Each issue,
Kirk Pickering, K4RO, takes contesters, novice and expert alike, around the
"nuts and bolts" of radiosport. This issue, he looks at why people get
started in contesting, as well as an explanation of why people participate in
contests.

Of course, there are all the regular columns and features you expect from
NCJ: "Workshop Chronicles," by Don Daso, K4ZA; "Contest Tips, Tricks &
Techniques," by Gary Sutcliffe, W9XT; "Propagation," by Carl Luetzelschwab,
K9LA; "VHF-UHF Contesting," by Jon Jones, N0JK; "Contesting on a Budget," by
Paul Schaffenberger, K5AF; "DX Contest Activity Announcements," by Bill
Feidt, NG3K; "RTTY Contesting," by Don Hill, AA5AU, and "Contest Calendar,"
by Bruce Horn, WA7BNM.

All this and more in the March/April issue of NCJ. NCJ is published six times
a year by the ARRL; it is edited by Al Dewey, K0AD. Subscribe today
http://www.arrl.org/ncj/!

== FCC DENIES PETITIONS TO BRING BACK MORSE CODE TESTING

In a "Memorandum Opinion and Order" (MOO)
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-08-59A1.pdf released
February 28, the FCC denied two petitions calling for General or Amateur
Extra license applicants to demonstrate proficiency in Morse code. In
December 2006, the FCC released a "Report and Order" (R&O)
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-06-178A1.pdf in the
"Morse code proceeding," WT Docket 05-235, that eliminated Morse code testing
as of February 23, 2007.

The "R&O" amended Section 97.501 to remove the telegraphy requirement. In
reaching this decision, the FCC noted in the R&O that "one of the fundamental
purposes underlying our Part 97 rules is to accommodate amateur radio
operators' ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art, and
that the Commission had previously concluded that an individual's ability to
demonstrate Morse code proficiency is not necessarily indicative of his or
her ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art." The FCC also
noted that another fundamental purpose underlying Part 97 rules is "to
enhance the value of the amateur service to the public, particularly with
respect to emergency communications, and that the Commission had previously
concluded that most emergency communication today is performed using voice,
data, or video modes, because information can be exchanged much faster using
modes of communication other than telegraphy."

The Commission therefore concluded that requiring an individual to
demonstrate Morse code proficiency as a licensing requirement "did not
further the purposes of the Part 97 rules." The Commission also found that
this reasoning applied equally to the General Class and the Amateur Extra
Class, so "it rejected suggestions that the Morse code requirement be
eliminated for the General Class license but retained for the Amateur Extra
Class license."

In the wake of the FCC's actions in WT Docket 05-235, two amateurs submitted
separate petitions to the FCC, asking them to bring back the testing. Anthony
R. Gordon, KG6EQM, of West Covina California, objected to the FCC eliminating
the telegraphy examination element as an examination requirement for the
Amateur Extra Class operator license. Russell D. Ward, W4NI, of Nashville,
Tennessee, requested the FCC reconsider their decision for "'strictly
procedural'" reasons.

Gordon asserts that "'the failure to keep the Morse code telegraphy
requirement intact, at least as a required examination element for the
Amateur Extra Class operator license, fails to take into consideration the
significant national security implications that require retaining adequate
examination safeguards to insure the viability that Morse code telegraphy
provides, not only to the Amateur service, but the nation as well.'" Gordon
argues that the requirement should be retained so that amateur operators can
act as "a 'strategic reserve,'" because there is "no assurance that...voice
or digital modes will even be operationally viable in future emergency
communication environments."

The FCC was not persuaded, however, that eliminating the Morse code
examination element will affect national security or emergency
communications. "We agree with the commenters who point out that requiring
applicants to pass a one-time telegraphy examination did not and would not
guarantee a supply of skilled telegraphy operators. Moreover, nothing in the
Commission's decision prevents an interested amateur radio operator from
pursuing Morse code proficiency."

The FCC reiterated their prior conclusion that "an individual's ability to
demonstrate Morse code proficiency does not further the underlying purposes
of the Part 97 rules, i.e., to accommodate individual contributions to the
advancement of the radio art and to enhance the value of the amateur service
to the public. Accordingly, we deny the petition."

In the MOO, Ward states that he "encountered difficulty" in submitting his
comments and reply comments to the NPRM electronically and that his filings
were not posted on the ECFS (the Commission's electronic filing system) until
after the deadlines had passed. He asserts that "there is no certainty that
the Commission considered his comments and reply comments, that the late
posting of his comments prevented others from replying to them, and that it
is 'quite likely that other comments were treated improperly.'" As a result,
Ward requested that the FCC "stay the proceeding, reopen the record and
reconsider the NPRM after the close of the extended comment period."

The FCC claims that all comments in the ECFS "were considered before the
Commission adopted the Report and Order, regardless of the how or when they
were filed. Moreover, many of the 3900 comments and reply comments expressed
the same view as Mr. Ward, so the substance of his views unquestionably was
replied to and considered. Finally, he provides no evidence that ECFS
mishandled other comments. No other party has complained that his or her
comments were not received. We conclude, therefore, that reopening the
proceeding for additional comments is not justified, and we deny the
petition."

In summary, the FCC said neither petition asserted "any grounds for
reconsidering" the decision in the Report and Order. "We believe that the
actions taken therein will allow amateur service licensees to better fulfill
the purpose of the amateur service, and will enhance the usefulness of the
amateur service to the public and licensees."

==SOLAR UPDATE

Tad "They have never seen the sunshine, nor the glory" Cook, K7RA, this week
reports: A sunspot emerged a few days ago, a welcome sight at Cycle minimum.
Sunspot numbers for February 25-28 were 12, 13, 12 and 12, but that spot
(number 983) is now gone over the eastern horizon of our Sun. If the February
29 sunspot number is zero, this means our three-month moving average of
sunspot numbers centered on January will be 8.5, slightly higher than the
last reading. Our moving average centered on June 2007-January 2008 is 18.7,
15.4, 10.2, 5.4, 3, 6.9, 8.1 and 8.5, with the minimum centered on October
2007. Sunspot numbers for February 21-27 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 12, 13 and 12 with
a mean of 5.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 71.8, 72.4, 71.6, 70.7, 71.4, 70.7 and
70.7 with a mean of 71.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3
and 12 with a mean of 5. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 3, 3, 3, 2, 1,
2 and 6 with a mean of 2.9. Remember that a sunspot number does not represent
t
he actual number of sunspots. The minimum non-zero sunspot number is 11, because a value of 10 is counted for each cluster of sunspots; a value of one is added for each individual spot. So the February 26 sunspot number of 13 represents one group containing three sunspots. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html. To read this week's Solar Report in its entirety, check out the W1AW Propagation Bulletin page http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/prop/. This week's "Tad Cookism" brought to you courtesy of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

__________________________________

==IN BRIEF:

* This Weekend on the Radio: This weekend, the ARRL International DX Contest
(Phone) is March 1-2. The NCCC Sprint is February 29 and the Wake-Up! QRP
Sprint is March 1. The low band portion of the Open Ukraine RTTY Championship
is March 1 and 2; the high band portion is March 2. The DARC 10 Meter Digital
Contest is March 2 and the RSGB 80 Meter Club Championship (Data) is March 3.
The ARS Spartan Sprint and another running of the NCCC Sprint are March 4.
Next weekend starts with the NCCC Sprint on March 7. The AGCW QRP Contest and
SOC Marathon Sprint are March 8. The RSGB Commonwealth Contest, the Oklahoma
QSO Party, the EA PSK31 Contest and the Idaho QSO Party are March 8-9. The
North American Sprint (RTTY), the SKCC Weekend Sprintathon, the UBA Spring
Contest (CW) and the NSARA Contest are March 9. The Wisconsin QSO Party is
March 9-10 and the CLARA and Family HF Contest is March 11-12. The RSGB 80
Meter Club Championship (CW) is March 12. See the ARRL Contest Branch page
http://www.arrl.org/contests/, the ARRL Contester's Rate Sheet http://www.arrl.org/contests/rate-sheet/ and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/index.html for more info.

* ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration: Registration remains open
through Sunday, March, 9, 2008, for these online course sessions beginning on
Friday, March, 21, 2008: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 2
(EC-002); Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 3 (EC-003R2); Antenna
Modeling (EC-004); HF Digital Communications (EC-005); VHF/UHF -- Life Beyond
the Repeater (EC-008), and Radio Frequency Propagation (EC-011). Each online
course has been developed in segments -- learning units with objectives,
informative text, student activities and quizzes. Courses are interactive,
and some include direct communications with a Mentor/Instructor. Students
register for a particular session that may be 8, 12 or 16 weeks (depending on
the course) and they may access the course at any time of day during the
course period, completing lessons and activities at times convenient for
their personal schedule. Mentors assist students by answering questions,
reviewing assi
gnments and activities, as well as providing helpful feedback. Interaction with mentors is conducted through e-mail; there is no appointed time the student must be present -- allowing complete flexibility for the student to work when and where it is convenient. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html or contact the Continuing Education Program Coordinator .

* ARRL Gearing for Up Dayton Hamvention: ARRL EXPO returns to Dayton
Hamvention, to be held May 16-18, 2008 at the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio. The
huge ARRL exhibit area is a showcase of displays, activities and program
representatives to enhance your ham radio experience. The ARRL EXPO is open
to all Hamvention attendees. Meet ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, other
ARRL officials, volunteers and staff knowledgeable on a wide variety of
topics. Among the highlights of the exhibit space will be a card checking
area for operating awards, activities for young hams, the ARRL bookstore and
more. ARRL Membership Manager Katie Breen, W1KRB, is the ARRL EXPO
coordinator. "We are looking at some new and exciting venues within EXPO, but
I'm not ready to spill the beans quite yet! We are focusing our attention
this year on the theme of technology and on Hamvention's theme celebrating
ham radio fellowship -- stay tuned for more news. We sincerely thank the 2008
Dayton Hamvention Commi
ttee and their volunteers for all they do to make this a signature convention; we are so pleased to participate." Keep an eye on the ARRL EXPO Web site http://www.arrl.org/expo for updates.

* W1HQ Now Up and Running -- on the World Wide Web: ARRL Membership Manager
Katie Breen, W1KRB, has started a blog
http://www.arrl.org/blog/The%20Rebirth%20of%20W1HQ chronicling the rebirth
of the ARRL employee's club station, the Laird Campbell Memorial Station,
W1HQ. "I've created this blog as a method of tracking our activities at the
ARRL employee's club station," Breen said. Along with Contest Branch Manager
Sean Kutzko, KX9X, she has led the charge to spiff up the station by giving
the room a much-needed coat of new paint. Ed Hare, W1RFI, constructed all-new
desks and cabinets. Building Manager Greg Kwasowski, W1GJK, installed new
carpet and ceiling tiles. Test Engineer Mike Tracy, KC1SX, and Lab Assistant
Anthony Nesta, AA1RZ, ran new antenna cables to the roof and rewired the
entire room with a new antenna patch panel to accommodate all the new antenna
feed lines. Lab Engineer Mike Gruber, W1MG, built a trap vertical. Read along
as Breen, Kutzko and the rest of the
W1HQ Crew bring W1HQ back to life and back on the air. You can also check out blogs http://www.arrl.org/blog/ from past ARRL events, such as Dayton Hamvention and ARRL Expo, the 2007 ARRL National Convention and Field Day. DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, also keeps a blog discussing news and notes concerning the DXCC program.

* Wisconsin Hams Assist Injured Driver: On Wednesday, February 27, Brian
Sprecher, KC9LCC, of Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin, received a radio call on the
147.150 Madison repeater requesting emergency help. Robert Stout, WB9ECK, of
Monticello, Wisconsin, told Sprecher that a vehicle had gone off the road
through a guard rail, stopping short of a creek. The driver was injured and
trapped in his vehicle and an ambulance was needed at the scene. Sprecher
called the Dane County sheriff's office to relay the information. Stout, via
the repeater, kept Sprecher apprised of the driver's injuries; Sprecher, in
turn, updated the sheriff's dispatch with the information. Stout remained at
the scene providing aid until local police arrived. Sprecher relayed all
information to the dispatcher until local authorities arrived and assumed
control. "It sounds like the guy drove off the road through a guard rail and
may have not been found had it not been for WB9ECK. It was also unknown how
long the
driver had been over the embankment before being found. This could have been a lot worse had WB9ECK not become involved," Sprecher said. -- Information provided by Brian Sprecher, KC9LCC

* Los Angeles County Hams Honored for Community Service: On February 27,
members of the Disaster Communications Service (DCS), based at the Carson
Sheriff Station, received individual and group awards from the State of
California, the County of Los Angeles, the Carson Sheriff Station Support
Foundation and the City of Carson, California for their participation in a
wide range of both planned and emergent events. These 27 Amateur Radio
operators provided almost 8000 hours of service to the agencies, including
assisting in providing assistance during a bicycle race, tactical alerts due
to civil unrest, funerals for fallen deputy sheriffs and the fires that
plagued Southern California. Members of their Rapid Deployment Team spent
five days on Catalina Island, serving as the primary means of communication
between the island and the mainland until telephone systems were restored.
The service provided by the Carson Station DCS volunteers saved the taxpayers
of Los Angeles County al
most $320,000, "but more importantly, they selflessly provided an invaluable service that is a critical component to the safety of our communities and families," the DCS coordinator said. Thirteen deputies, a firefighter, two station volunteers and two citizens were also recognized in the second annual event that pays tribute to Carson sheriff's deputies and supporters for their work in the city. More information can be found at the Los Angeles County Disaster Communications Web page http://lacdcs.com/carson-awards-endpage.html.

* 500 kHz Distance Record Broken Again: On February 21, Neil Schwanitz,
V73NS/WD8CRT, on Roi-Namur in the Marshall Islands, received a signal from
experimental station WD2XSH/6. This experimental station, operated by Pat
Hamel, W5THT, is located in Long Beach, Mississippi -- 6679 miles away from
the island in the Kwajalein atoll. This contact breaks the previous record
for the longest 500 kHz contact. That record, set in January 2008, was for a
distance of 4737 miles from Cottage Grove, Oregon to Roi-Namur. An article on
Hamel's station appears in the March issue of QST. The ARRL 500 kHz
experimental license, WD2XSH, was issued in September 2006 and has 20 active
stations. Fritz Raab, W1FR, of Vermont, serves as experimental project
manager for The 500 KC Experimental Group for Amateur Radio
http://www.500kc.com. Additional information can be found at the
experiment's Web site and also in the July/August 2007 issue of QEX
http://www.arrl.org/qex/2007/07/raab.pdf. -- Info
rmation provided by Fritz Raab, W1FR

* "Swiss Army Knife" Now Available for PIOs: The 2008 edition of the "Swiss
Army Knife for PIOs" CD is now available. This "toolkit-on-a-disk" is
designed to be a handy reference for Amateur Radio public relations
officials. Topics on the disk include how to write press releases, give
interviews and talk to groups; how to deal with legislative issues affecting
Amateur Radio; audio, video and picture files; how to write articles for ARRL
publications such as QST; how to connect with youth; information on ARRL
public relations awards; how to promote Field Day in your community; FEMA
course information, and more. To receive a copy, send a self-addressed
stamped envelope (please make sure the envelope is large enough for a CD
disk) with at least two units of postage and a note to Public Relations,
ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. This disk is available to anyone with
an interest in spreading the word about Amateur Radio.

================================================== =========
The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American
Radio Relay League: ARRL--the National Association for Amateur Radio, 225
Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259;
http://www.arrl.org. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President.

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential and general news
of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site
http://www.arrl.org for the latest Amateur Radio news and news updates. The
ARRL Web site http://www.arrl.org/ also offers informative features and
columns. ARRL Audio News http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/ is a weekly
"ham radio newscast" compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also
available as a podcast from our Web site.

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/American Radio Relay League.

==Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
==Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA,

==ARRL News on the Web: http://www.arrl.org
==ARRL Audio News: http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/ or call 860-594-0384

==How to Get The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from
ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail
delivery:
ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site
http://www.arrl.org/members/. You'll have an opportunity during
registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW
bulletins, and other material. To change these selections--including delivery
of The ARRL Letter--registered members should click on the "Member Data Page"
link (in the Members Only box). Click on "Modify membership data," check or
uncheck the appropriate boxes and/or change your e-mail address if necessary.
(Check "Temporarily disable all automatically sent email" to temporarily stop
all e-mail deliveries.) Then, click on "Submit modification" to make
selections effective. (NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail
delivery address. You must do this yourself via the Members Only Web Site.)

The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources:

* ARRLWeb http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/. (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will be
posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.)

* The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur Radio
Club: Visit Mailing

http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/letter-list. (NOTE: The ARRL cannot
assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this listserver.)

Copyright 2008 American Radio Relay League, Inc.
All Rights Reserved



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