into the voice of the Association,
kHz at 2300Z
Something interesting is happening on the sun. June 3rd, the sunspot
number dropped to 0, and the solar disk was still blank on June 5th.
Latest images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory reveal no significant
The spotless state of today's sun is just temporary. Underneath the visible surface of the sun, the solar dynamo is still churning out knots of magnetism that will soon bob to the surface to make new sunspots. The current solar cycle is not finished. It is, however, rapidly waning.
Forecasters expect the next Solar Minimum to arrive in 2019-2020. Between now and then, there will be lots of spotless suns. At first, the blank stretches will be measured in days; later in weeks and months. Don't expect space weather to grow quiet, however. Solar Minimum brings many interesting changes. For instance, as the extreme ultraviolet output of the sun decreases, the upper atmosphere of Earth cools and collapses. This allows space junk to accumulate around our planet. Also, the heliosphere shrinks, bringing interstellar space closer to Earth. Galactic cosmic rays penetrate the inner solar system with relative ease. Indeed, a cosmic ray surge is already underway. Goodbye sunspots, hello deep-space radiation!
Supports" Petition to Drop 15 dB Restriction for Amateur Amplifiers
"The Petition proposes relief that is in the nature of eliminating unnecessary regulatory underbrush, and it continues an effort started by the Commission on its own motion in 2004...to do precisely that," the ARRL said in its comments. "The rule proposed to be eliminated is outdated; it constituted overregulation when it was adopted long ago, and it now substantially limits the flexibility of Amateur Radio operators to experiment with the current generation of software-defined Amateur Radio equipment."
The 15 dB provision came into the rules during an era when the FCC initiated various actions to rein in a major interference problem resulting from the use of illegal 11 meter amplifiers during the Citizens Band radio boom of the 1970s. "In its effort to address that problem, the Commission enacted a series of largely redundant and overlapping regulations that, in their overall effect, unnecessarily (and inappropriately) penalized the wholly innocent Amateur Radio operators," the League asserted. "There was created a plethora of restrictions on manufacturers of external RF power amplifiers."
The ARRL noted that while the FCC eliminated some of the unnecessary regulations in 2004, others remain, including the 15 dB gain restriction. The rules adopted in 1978 also called for type acceptance (certification) of manufactured RF power amplifiers operating below 144 MHz, including a 50 W minimum drive power requirement and a ban on amplifiers capable of operation between 24 and 35 MHz.
"Indeed, precisely the same rationale for elimination of the 50 W minimum drive power rule in 2006 applies to the elimination of the 15 dB gain rule for amateur amplifiers," the ARRL said in its comments. "There is no continued justification for retaining the 15 dB gain limitation." Read more..
Acquires Clifton Laboratories
For decades, Clifton Laboratories has been at the leading edge of Ham Radio technology, making preamplifiers and filters with unparalleled performance characteristics. Now, that tradition of quality will continue under the DX Engineering brand. DX Engineering recently acquired exclusive rights to Clifton Laboratories Amateur Radio gear.
Each items part number, design specs, and impeccable quality remains the sameit will just be built by DX Engineering and carry the DX Engineering name. There are over a dozen Clifton Laboratories Amateur Radio products that will be manufactured, including several popular filters and preamplifiers. DX Engineering is also committed to offering parts and tech support for owners of Clifton Laboratories legacy products.
Fans of Elecrafts K-series transceivers are very familiar with the Clifton name. The company has a series of filters, preamplifiers, adapters and other enhancement products tailored precisely to these well-liked HF radios. DX Engineering will ensure that this Elecraft-specific gear will be refined and supported.
Also included in the transition is Clifton Laboratories extensive range or RF filters, like its Z10020 medium wave band reject filter. Designed for Amateur Radio operators battling interference from strong or nearby AM broadcast band commercial radio signals, the Z10020 can deliver up to 80 dB of signal rejection.
DX Engineering is tooling
up to begin production of Clifton Laboratories products, expect to see
the full line available by mid-summer 2016.
History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL
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