*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 22, No. 16 April 18, 2003 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +DXCC to accept approved portable operations from Iraq * +FCC flames "enhanced SSB" * +Astronaut answers 30 questions in 10 minutes during ARISS QSO * +FCC revises repetitious applications rule * +Haynie, volunteers represent ham radio at broadcasters' confab * +The Big Project gets big boost from club's donation * +Wisconsin to require ARRL EmComm classes for ARES/RACES officials * IARU World Amateur Radio Day marks 78th anniversary New ARRL Web page provides one-click access for donors * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration ARRL Emergency Communications course registration ARRL members benefit from Web site contest coverage KC3RE employing APRS during CelebrateLifeRun AMSAT-NA issues first call for annual symposium papers Ham named to FCC advisory panel +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== NOTE: ARRL Headquarters is closed Friday, April 18, and there will be no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions that day. Editions of The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News for April 18 are being distributed Thursday, April 17. ARRL Headquarters reopens Monday, April 21, at 8 AM EDT. =========================================================== ==>DXCC TO ACCEPT IRAQ PORTABLE OPERATIONS APPROVED BY COMMANDING OFFICERS ARRL Membership Services Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG, says the League will accept for DXCC credit YI/ operations from Iraq by US or British military personnel provided the operator has written permission from his or her commanding officer. "There is precedent for this," Mills said, citing an operation during the 1991 Gulf War. "These operators will need written authorization to operate from their commanding officers until an interim Iraqi civilian government is in place," Mills said. After that point, operators would need documented permission from Iraqi authorities. The Daily DX <http://www.dailydx.com/> has reported that several hams with the US military in Iraq have been showing up on the air in recent days. Mark Smith, NG5L, has been active from near Nasiriya as YI/NG5L on SSB, usually around 0500 UTC near 14.195 MHz. He's also been spotted in Europe and North America on other 20-meter frequencies and at other times of the day. Smith is in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division. Jim Dunkerton, YI/KT4CK, has been active on 15-meter SSB between 1430 and 1600 UTC. Dunkerton is believed to be with the 101st Airborne. Bob Furzer, 9K2ZZ/K4CY, reportedly has been on the air from Iraq as K4CY/p or K4CY/m. Other hams are known to be in Iraq but have not yet been reported on the air. Still not known is whether Ed Giorgadze, 4L4FN--now in the Middle East after wrapping up his North Korean (P5) operation last fall--will be on a United Nations World Food Program assignment inside Iraq in the near future. That could depend in part on how big a role the UN plays in rebuilding Iraq. ==>"ENHANCED SSB" BANDWIDTHS "EXTREMELY INCONSIDERATE," FCC SAYS The FCC has sent advisory notices to four enthusiasts of what's become known as "enhanced SSB"--the practice of engineering transmitted single-sideband audio to approach broadcast quality. Letters went out earlier this month to amateurs in Illinois, Florida and New Jersey who are aficionados of enhanced SSB, also known as "upper wideband" and "lower wideband." "The Commission has received numerous complaints regarding the operation of your station," FCC Special Counsel Riley Hollingsworth wrote Paul Christensen, W9AC, John Anning, NU9N, Anthony Latin, W4NSG, and Sareno Salerno, W2ONV, on April 3. Hollingsworth said complaints to the FCC alleged that the bandwidths of the stations' enhanced SSB emissions were "wider than necessary and contrary to good engineering practice." "Wideband overly-processed audio, especially when coupled with the high intermodulation levels of certain amplifiers, results in the use of bandwidths extremely inconsiderate of other operators," Hollingsworth said. Such transmissions may violate FCC rules and may be at odds with what Hollingsworth described as "the expectation that the Amateur Service be largely self-regulated." NOTE: The FCC subsequently withdrew its Advisory Notice to Latin, indicating that it had been issued to him "in error" and apologizing for "whatever inconvenience that letter may have caused you." The FCC also later wrote Christensen to indicate that the Advisory Notice was based on a single complaint, not "numerous" complaints as it had indicated. The FCC also apologized to Christensen for the error but went on to say that the points raised in the Advisory Notice "still stand." Occupying more bandwidth than necessary in a heavily used amateur band, Hollingsworth wrote, not only could generate ill will among operators but lead to petitions asking the FCC to establish bandwidth limits for amateur emissions. At present, the FCC imposes no specific bandwidth limits on various amateur modes. Hollingsworth cited §97.307(a) of the Amateur Service rules that requires the signal of an amateur station not to occupy "more bandwidth than necessary for the information rate and emission type being transmitted, in accordance with good amateur practice." Some amateurs have complained that enhanced SSB signals can take up 8 kHz or more of spectrum, cause splatter and unnecessarily interfere with other stations. "The Amateur Service is not a substitute for the Broadcast Service," Hollingsworth said, "and the frequencies allocated to the Amateur Service were not allocated for a 'broadcast quality' audio emission or sound." Hollingsworth suggested the enhanced SSBers operate when the bands are less busy or on bands that are not heavily used. The many complaints the FCC has been getting--20 or so per week--leads to the conclusion that the stations' enhanced SSB operation is having "a negative impact" on the Amateur Service, Hollingsworth said. He requested that the four amateurs "fully review the rules" and make sure their stations conform to them. ==>"SOX" BLASTS THROUGH 30 QUESTIONS FROM NEW JERSEY STUDENTS VIA HAM RADIO International Space Station Expedition 6 Crew Commander Ken Bowersox, KD5JBP, deftly managed 30 questions put to him this week during a 10-minute Amateur Radio contact with 15 New Jersey students. The number of questions answered could be a record for a school group contact. The April 14 QSO with youngsters at Lounsberry Hollow Middle School <http://www.vtsd.com/lhms/> in Vernon was arranged by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. Bowersox--who's known as "Sox" within NASA's Astronaut Corps--answered the obviously well-rehearsed students' questions as quickly as they asked them. Questions ranged from the usual, "What is your favorite space food?" to the more arcane, "What did you learn from your favorite experiment?" Another asked, "Do you have a telescope or binoculars on the ISS?" while a third asked how carbon dioxide was removed from the air inside the ISS. Control operator John Santillo, N2HMM, reports that teachers at the northwestern New Jersey school were ecstatic about the smooth and speedy banter between Bowersox and the students. Reporters from a New York City TV station (WNBC-TV, channel 4), a local cable channel and two newspapers covered the event. ARISS is an international project, with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. In related news, a Russian Soyuz vehicle will transport a new two-person crew--Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP, and Ed Lu, KC5WKJ, to the International Space Station April 25. Bowersox and his Expedition 6 crewmates, Don Pettit, KD5MDT, and Nikolai Budarin, RV3FB, are scheduled to leave the ISS aboard the Soyuz transporter in early May. NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe told a congressional panel this week that the nation's shuttle fleet could return to flight before the end of the year. The space agency head thinks the independent investigation board looking into the shuttle Columbia disaster is just weeks away from recommending hardware and procedural improvements necessary to make the remaining three space shuttles safe to fly.--Gene Chapline, K5YFL/ARISS; AMSAT News Service; NASA ==>FCC ADOPTS CHANGES TO REPETITIOUS APPLICATIONS RULE The FCC has amended its rules to prohibit the filing of repetitious license applications in the wireless radio services--including the Amateur Radio Service--within a year after it has denied or dismissed "a substantially similar application" with prejudice. The FCC also has streamlined §1.937 by combining the first two subsections of the rule into a single paragraph. The FCC invited comments on the proposed changes more than a year ago in ET Docket 02-57. "Our amendment of §1.937 will simplify and clarify our prohibition against repetitious applications," the FCC said in a Report and Order (R&O) released April 16. The FCC said the new language reflects the rule's applicability to all types of license applications. The revised rule also "sufficiently distinguishes applications dismissed without prejudice from those either dismissed with prejudice or denied," the Commission said. While the change applies to the Amateur Service, it would prohibit only a handful of applications filed by new and renewing hams. Most dismissed amateur applications--such as vanity dismissals--are turned down without prejudice because of procedural deficiencies. The FCC now allows such rejected applicants to correct their mistakes and file again, and it will continue to do so. When it issued the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in the proceeding in March 2002, the FCC cited the then-pending application of Herbert Schoenbohm, KV4FZ, of the US Virgin Islands, as an example of a repetitious application for the same service less than 12 months after the final denial of a previous application. Schoenbohm had applied for a new Amateur Radio license only weeks after his authority to operate had ended following the Supreme Court's refusal to hear an appeal of the FCC's denial of his license renewal application. FCC rules already prohibited repetitious applications for new stations, modifications of services or facilities, or for licenses that have been revoked. The amended rule covers the filing of other repetitious applications not specified within the old rule's language, including renewal applications. It also applies the ban equally to "all dispositive actions, including dismissals with prejudice, denials and revocations," the FCC said. The FCC's R&O indirectly alludes to the Schoenbohm case, citing "at least one instance" where a licensee had filed a repetitious application for the same service less than 12 months after the denial of his renewal application. "Such cases can consume significant resources to re-litigate identical issues involving the same applicants very close in time," the FCC said. The Commission subsequently designated Schoenbohm's application for hearing and, following the hearing, granted it. The rule changes become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. A copy of the FCC Report and Order is available on the FCC Web site <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-79A1.doc>. ==>ARRL PRESIDENT, VOLUNTEERS, PROMOTE LEAGUE TO BROADCASTERS ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, headed the League's contingent to the 2003 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas April 5-10. Haynie said he was impressed to note the number of Amateur Radio operators in the crowd of some 90,000. Among other benefits, Haynie said, the huge gathering offered him an opportunity to pitch the ARRL Education and Technology Program--The Big Project <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/tbp>. "I got a chance to meet with quite a number of Society of Broadcast Engineers members and tell them about The Big Project," Haynie said. "My job is to go to these things and develop closer ties with these folks and let them know that Amateur Radio is a resource they can draw from when they're looking for the next generation of engineers." Haynie got to meet with FCC Chairman Michael Powell and National Telecommunications and Information Administration Assistant Secretary Nancy Victory. He also was introduced to the FCC's newest member, Jonathan Adelstein. Other League volunteers at the NAB gathering included Vice President Fried Heyn, WA6WZO; Pacific Division Director Bob Vallio, W6RGG, and Vice Director Andy Oppel, N6AJO; Southeastern Division Vice Director Sandy Donahue, W4RU, and Nevada Section Manager Dick Flanagan, W6OLD. In addition to meeting with groups and officials, all helped staff the ARRL booth set up by Las Vegas Radio Amateur Club <http://www.lvrac.org/> members Bill and Carolyn Cornelius, K8XC and K9XC. Seventeen Las Vegas-area amateurs pitched in for booth duty. League materials on hand included a special shipment of four cases of QSTs--always a popular item--as well as membership applications, the Amateur Radio Today video, QST reprints on ARRL services and the Field Organization, and the kid-oriented Leap into Amateur Radio brochure. On April 9, Haynie addressed the convention's annual Amateur Radio Operator's Reception, cosponsored by Kenwood and CQ. Some 800 hams attended the reception, which acknowledges the contributions of amateurs to broadcasting. During the convention, the NAB honored ARRL member John Reiser, WQ4L, as the winner of its 2003 Radio Engineering Achievement Award. ==>THE BIG PROJECT GETS BIG BOOST FROM LAS VEGAS CLUB The ARRL Education and Technology Project <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/tbp>, also known as "The Big Project," got a boost last week in the form of a $1000 check from the Las Vegas Radio Amateur Club. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, received the check at the club's April 8 meeting while he was in Vegas attending the National Association of Broadcasters convention. "It came as a total surprise to me," Haynie said. "We had no idea before the meeting that they were going to do this. It's a wonderful gift for the project." Equally thrilled was ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. She said the LVRAC contribution was most welcome and hopes the gift will spur others to similar action. "These are challenging times for all of us, but our dedication to the future of Amateur Radio is now more important than ever before," she commented. "Next to spectrum defense, the ARRL Education and Technology Program is the most important thing we do." Both Haynie and Hobart expressed their appreciation on behalf of the ARRL for the generous gift from the LVRAC. The Education and Technology Program <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/tbp> puts ham radio directly into schools, supplying equipment and Amateur Radio-related curriculum materials. To date, 50 schools have been accepted into the program. Hobart urged all interested in the future of Amateur Radio to contribute to the fund by clicking on "Donate to ARRL" on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/>. ==>WISCONSIN MANDATES ARRL EMCOMM CLASSES FOR ARES/RACES OFFICIALS Wisconsin has become the first ARRL Section to make the basic ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course (ARECC) an ARES/RACES leadership job requirement. Wisconsin Section Emergency Coordinator Dr Stan Kaplan, WB9RQR, has announced that Amateur Radio Emergency Service and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service leadership personnel in the Badger State must complete the Level I Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course (EC-001) by June 30, 2004, and all three course levels by June 30, 2005. "We are seeing the marked difference this training makes, both here in Wisconsin and across the United States," Kaplan said in announcing the upgraded requirements. "It is a 'Good Thing' and will help you be a much better emergency communicator and a much better leader of communications teams." Kaplan said there's "just no question" that completing the AREC courses will help ARES/RACES leadership members to serve the public better. The change affects all Wisconsin district emergency coordinators, emergency coordinators, assistant emergency coordinator, liaison emergency coordinators and others in the state's ARES/RACES leadership. That even includes Kaplan, who also serves as Wisconsin's RACES chief radio officer, and Wisconsin Section Manager Don Michalski, W9IXG. ARRL Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan Miller, K3UFG, <firstname.lastname@example.org> said he was pleased to learn that Wisconsin ARES/RACES values the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications courses so highly that they've made them a requirement. "We have indeed been impressed with the activities from that state," Miller remarked. Still under discussion in Wisconsin is a proposal to require all ARES/RACES members to pass the Level I Amateur Radio Emergency Communications class. ==>IARU CELEBRATES WORLD AMATEUR RADIO DAY Friday, April 18, is World Amateur Radio Day, celebrated each year on the anniversary of the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). The IARU is the worldwide federation of national Amateur Radio organizations representing radio amateurs in 158 countries. On this, the 78th anniversary of its inaugural meeting in Paris, the IARU dedicates World Amateur Radio Day to the radio amateurs, educators, and administrators who use Amateur Radio to support technology education in the classroom. Such programs are not confined to the developed countries. They are even more valuable in countries where telecommunications technology is not yet commonplace and where natural disasters and other calamaties can overload or even disrupt regular communications circuits. Radio technology offers a wide array of tools for teachers to use as they integrate technology into the curriculum. In schools without an Internet connection, Amateur Radio can fill that void through interactive communications and shortwave reception. Elementary school teachers using AM radios can interject fun while helping students learn basic electricity and regional geography. Social studies teachers can use Amateur Radio and shortwave receivers to teach about different cultures the world over, as well as advancing deeper into geopolitics and geography. Earth science and physics teachers can use radio to teach electricity and electronics, radio wave propagation, weather and atmospheric science. Language arts teachers may use radio to supplement writing, speaking and listening skills while providing access to numerous foreign languages from the lips of native speakers. With almost three million licensees in nearly every country on Earth, the amateur service provides an ample reservoir of expertise for use in classrooms throughout the world.--IARU news release ==>NEW WEB PAGE LINK SIMPLIFIES DONATING TO ARRL Now it's easier than ever to find out about the numerous ways ARRL works to ensure a bright future for Amateur Radio and to become a part of it. The ARRL Development Office has debuted one-button access on the ARRL Web site to on-line information about the various fund-raising initiatives that support ARRL programs not funded by member dues. From the ARRL Web home page, clicking on either "Donate to ARRL" link will let you access the "ARRL Development Overview," <http://www.arrl.org/development/> which provides a central repository of development information. "Before the Development Office consolidated this information on the ARRL Web site, information on the Defense of Frequencies Fund, the Education and Technology ("The Big Project") Fund, and numerous other funds appeared as individual campaigns on the ARRL Web site," said Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. "Now, we've integrated all of these campaigns and additional information into a single Development Office section." Information available via the consolidated page includes an overview of what the Development Office is and does, plus specific links and detailed information on all of the programs and initiatives ARRL has created to engage its members in supporting ARRL and Amateur Radio. Clicking on the yellow "Donate to ARRL" toolbar link drops down a menu with additional links to a donation form, information on annual giving, ARRL funds, estate planning, memorial gifts and corporate matching gifts. There's also a link to contact the Development Office. Hobart said visitors to the ARRL site now can more easily locate information on how to donate to a particular campaign, leave a legacy gift or joint the Maxim Society and the Diamond Club. Contact information and a secure Web page for on-line donations also are provided. Information provided by donors is not made available to any third parties. "We want to make this site efficient and informative, so we're always willing to hear from people who might have ideas about the site," Hobart said. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Propagation maven Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, is filling in for vacationing Tad "Hoppin' Down the Bunny Trail" Cook, K7RA: Geophysical activity during the period ran the full gamut--from quiet early in the period to some minor-to-major storminess later in the period. The minor-to-major storminess was caused by high-speed solar wind that was induced by a coronal hole. Solar activity during the period was low to very low. The largest flare was a C7 event Friday, April 11. For the next several days, geophysical activity is forecast to decrease to unsettled conditions. Thus propagation should generally improve as the Easter weekend approaches. Additionally, solar activity is forecast to be low for the next several days, so flares shouldn't cause any problems. Your reporter noted many 6-meter spots posted early in the week. This is a reminder that the summer Es (sporadic E) season is underway, and Es can provide a link to transequatorial propagation (TEP) for stateside stations. Sunspot numbers for April 10 through 16 were 66, 49, 60, 61, 63, 54 and 40, with a mean of 56.1. The 10.7-cm flux was 103.7, 102.6, 102.1, 102.4, 102, 100.5 and 98.5 with a mean of 101.7. Estimated planetary A indices were 26, 14, 7, 10, 16, 22 and 31, with a mean of 18. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The YLRL DX to NA YL Contest (SSB) is April 16-18. The Holyland DX Contest, the TARA Spring Wakeup PSK31 Rumble, the ES Open HF Championship, the YU DX Contest, the GACW CW DX Contest, the EU Spring Sprint (CW), the Michigan and Ontario QSO parties, and the 432 MHz Spring Sprint are the weekend of April 19-20. JUST AHEAD: The Low Power Spring Sprint is April 21. The Harry Angel Memorial Sprint is April 25. The SP DX RTTY Contest, the Helvetia Contest, the QRP to the Field, and the Florida and Nebraska QSO parties are the weekend of April 26-27. See the ARRL Contest Branch page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar <http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/index.html> for more info. * ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration: Registration for the ARRL HF Digital Communications (EC-005) course <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> opens Monday, April 21, 12:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time (0401 UTC). Registration will remain open through Sunday, April 27. Class begins Tuesday, April 29. Registration for the ARRL Antenna Modeling (EC-004) course remains open through Sunday, April 20. Those interested in taking an ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (C-CE) course in the future can sign up to be advised via e-mail in advance of registration opportunities. To take advantage, send an e-mail to email@example.com. On the subject line, indicate the course name or number (eg, EC-00#) and the month you want to start the course. In the message body, provide your name, call sign, and e-mail address. Do not send inquiries to this mailbox. To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Web page <http://www.arrl.org/cce> and the C-CE links found there. For more information, contact Certification and Continuing Education Program Coordinator Howard Robins, W1HSR, firstname.lastname@example.org. * ARRL Emergency Communications course registration: Registration opens Monday, April 21, 12:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time (0400 UTC), for the Level III Emergency Communications on-line course (EC-003). Registration remains open through the April 26-27 weekend or until all available seats have been filled--whichever comes first. Class begins Tuesday, May 6. Thanks to a grant from United Technologies Corp, the $45 registration fee paid upon enrollment will be reimbursed after successful completion of the Level III course. Approximately 50 seats are being offered to ARRL members on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, contact Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan Miller, K3UFG, email@example.com; 860-594-0340. * ARRL members benefit from Web site contest coverage: ARRL publishes the results of ARRL-sponsored contests on its Web site and in QST, although only ARRL members enjoy the benefits of the more-detailed Web-based contest coverage. Here's how it works. As soon as possible after an operating event, an extensive post-contest writeup and searchable, indexable detailed score listings--available only to ARRL members--go up on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/contests/results/>. Subsequently, an article summarizing the contest appears in QST, usually about a month later. The QST article typically is less extensive than the Web writeup and QST contest reports no longer include detailed line scores. Finally, at about the time members receive their issues of QST, a PDF file will be posted on the ARRL Contest Results Web page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/results/> that includes the text of the QST article as well as detailed line scores--although these are not searchable. The PDF version is available to everyone--members and nonmembers alike--along with the on-line "Soapbox" comments.--ARRL Contester's Rate Sheet <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rate-sheet/index.html> * KC3RE employing APRS during CelebrateLifeRun: Concert pianist Martin Berkofsky, KC3RE, is equipped with Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS) hardware, so APRS aficionados can track his progress on his 860-mile CelebrateLifeRun from Tulsa to Chicago on the Internet. Visit the findu.com site <http://www.findu.com/> to see how Berkofsky's doing. A cancer survivor, Berkofsky, 60, is making the run to raise money for cancer research. John Chamberlain, AC5CV, reports that he provided Berkofsky with an APRS-GPS tracker. Berkofsky is not carrying the gear as he runs, but he does send out his position at the end of each day's jog. In getting APRS-ready, Berkofsky also had assistance from Gregg Wonderly, W5GGW, and Larry Bush, W5NCD. All proceeds from Berkofsky's run and benefit events go to the Cancer Treatment Research Foundation. Details are on his CelebrateLifeRun Web site <http://www.celebrateliferun.com/>. Cancer Treatment Centers of America <http://cancercenter.com/> is tracking Berkofsky's progress on its Web site (scroll down and click on "CTCA News"). * AMSAT-NA issues first call for annual symposium papers: AMSAT-NA has issued the first call for papers for its 2003 Space Symposium and Annual Meeting <http://www.barc.ca/amsat_ca/> October 17-19, 2003 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Papers may be presented by the author during the symposium or submitted for inclusion in the symposium Proceedings publication. Subject matter should be of general interest to Amateur Radio operators involved in satellite communications. Suggested topics include operating techniques, antenna design and construction, spacecraft design and construction, current mission status, proposed satellite missions, and telemetry acquisition and relay. Authors should submit brief abstracts as soon as possible but in no case later than June 15. Publication-ready manuscripts are due August 15, preferably in electronic form and in MS-Word format. E-mail electronic submittals to Wayne Chandler, VE3WHC, firstname.lastname@example.org.--AMSAT News Service [AMSAT logo] * Ham named to FCC advisory panel: An Amateur Radio operator from Mississippi has been named as one of 35 members to the FCC's Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC). George M. "Mike" Duke, K5XU, of Jackson will represent the interests of blind or visually impaired persons, Amateur Radio amateur operators and management of audio information services for the blind. FCC Chairman Michael Powell announced the appointees March 28. Shirley Rooker, President of Call For Action <http://www.callforaction.org/>, will chair the CAC, which meets for the first time April 25. The CAC succeeds the Consumer/Disability Telecommunications Advisory Committee (C/DTAC). The FCC says the panel was rechartered as the Consumer Advisory Committee to reflect the broader scope of its responsibilities. During its two-year term, the committee will address a number of topics including consumer protection and education, access by people with disabilities, impact upon consumers of new and emerging technologies, and implementation of FCC rules and consumer participation in the FCC rulemaking process. More information is available in an FCC Public Notice <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-03-876A1.doc>. =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American Radio Relay League--The National Association For Amateur Radio--225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Jim Haynie, W5JBP, President. The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential news of interest to active amateurs. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise, and readable. Visit ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> offers access to news, informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled from The ARRL Letter. 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