*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 23, No. 24 June 11, 2004 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +NTIA says BPL will mean less power line noise * +Public funding of BPL project irks ARRL * +ISS crew honors Reagan * +Maritime net gets help for injured sailor * +Virginia ham earns WAS with tuna power * +Canadian 60-meter experiments scheduled * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration ARRL Emergency Communications course registration ARRL to sponsor emergency communications seminar in Oregon +SO-50 satellite now available to all via CTCSS tone +Kentucky's youngest amateur also youngest Extra Ham-Com 2004 to feature emergency communication, Kid's Day operation Elmer stories wanted ARRL 2003 Annual Report now available +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>NTIA CLAIMS BPL COULD HELP ALLEVIATE POWER LINE NOISE The National Telecommunications and Information Administration's comments <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/new.html> in the BPL Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) more clearly reveal the political face of an agency eager and determined to sell the technology's viability, no matter what its own scientists have concluded. The NTIA is the principal White House adviser on telecommunications policy and administers federal government radio spectrum. Its largely scientific Phase 1 report, which clearly established BPL's interference potential, already is part of the proceeding. The agency's formal comments, filed June 4, take pains to depict the technology not only as workable but desirable to all--provided that BPL operators and utilities are willing to jump through additional NTIA-recommended hoops. At one point, the NTIA calls BPL "a win-win proposition," claiming that its widespread deployment could lead to a reduction in power line noise. "Substitution of BPL emissions for the strong, much wider-bandwidth power line noise emissions will broadly reduce risks of interference to radiocommunications," the agency asserts. The NTIA says it's measured power line noise levels that are higher than the proposed BPL emission limits. Existing power line noise poses "greater local interference risks" than BPL would. The agency qualified its remarks, however, saying that while it doesn't expect a net, nationwide reduction of interference risks, it believes there will be "at least partial offsetting" of BPL's interference risks. The NTIA called reduction of strong power line noise "a basic technical requirement" for acceptable BPL performance at the field strengths the FCC has proposed and the NTIA has endorsed. Nowhere does NTIA acknowledge that power line noise interference to licensed radio services already contravenes FCC Part 15 rules regulating unintentional radiators--the same rules that apply to power line carrier and BPL systems. The agency does come close to recommending a limit on BPL signal power to compensate for variations in power line noise, however. "Because radio noise on power lines can vary by upwards of 20 dB throughout a day," the comments said, "a rule should require adjustment of BPL signal power to preclude unnecessarily high levels of radiated emissions." The NTIA said reducing Access BPL emissions by about 20 dB (a factor of 100) when noise is at relatively low levels "will substantially reduce interference risks." Addressing BPL's interference potential is a persistent theme throughout the agency's remarks, and sometimes the NTIA's stance verges on the defensive. In an over-the-top example of "suspected" versus genuine interference, the agency raised the specter of coax-munching rodents. "For example, rodents sometimes chew coaxial cables or twin-lead transmission lines and cause significant reductions or complete loss of the desired signal power that should reach the receiver," the NTIA said. "In many other cases, interference is realized but not caused by the suspected device." To reduce BPL's interference risks, the NTIA comments recommend "several new BPL rule elements" to augment the FCC's proposals. "These rules also help ensure that interference from BPL systems would be eliminated expeditiously with little effort needed on the part of any radio operator," the NTIA predicted. Its recommendations, the agency says, shift emphasis away from eliminating interference and toward preventing it--something it says BPL operators have a strong incentive to do. "NTIA believes that BPL operators, as the parties responsible for eliminating harmful interference, will voluntarily implement equipment, organizational elements, and installation and operating practices that prevent interference and facilitate interference mitigation," the agency states. "Market appeal of BPL could quickly evaporate if BPL systems were to endemically cause interference and have to be shut down with operating authorizations swiftly revoked if necessary." The NTIA's comments also include some key findings of the agency's pending Phase 2 BPL study, set for release later this year. The FCC has extended the reply comment deadline to June 22 to allow stakeholders time to review the NTIA's comments. For additional information, visit the "Broadband Over Power Line (BPL) and Amateur Radio" <http://www.arrl.org/bpl> page on the ARRL Web site. To support the League's efforts in this area, visit the ARRL's secure BPL Web site <https://www.arrl.org/forms/development/donations/bpl/>. ==>ARRL TAKES ISSUE WITH PUBLIC FUNDING OF NEW YORK BPL PROJECT The ARRL has questioned the propriety of a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) grant from public funds to promote a broadband over power line (BPL) project. The project is believed to be the BPL field test now under way in Briarcliff Manor. The Westchester County community is just north of New York City. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, on June 10 faxed a strongly worded letter to NYSERDA President Peter R. Smith asserting that acknowledged interference from the Briarcliff Manor installation clearly violates the Communications Act of 1934. "We respectfully suggest that this violation of federal law is relevant to the question of whether such a grant of funding is in the public interest," Sumner told Smith. He said both fixed and mobile stations operated by the nation's 680,000 Amateur Radio licensees in the US "are entitled to absolute protection from harmful interference from unlicensed emitters such as PLC/BPL systems." Utility Consolidated Edison and Ambient Corporation on June 8 announced the award of NYSERDA funding, pending final contract negotiations, "to enhance their PLC pilot in Westchester County." The announcement from Ambient says the Con Edison-Ambient proposal "was favorably reviewed by a technical evaluation panel and NYSERDA management." The authority will provide up to $200,000 of the $480,000 project. Smith said NYSERDA was "excited about the potential PLC technology has to improve system reliability and power quality for business and residential customers in New York." Ambient says the project will enable Con Edison to monitor two overhead distribution circuits via Ambient's utility applications as well as provide a backbone to deliver high-speed Internet service. "To gain the support of a government agency such as NYSERDA, is a further testament to the potential of Ambient's technology," the news release said. Sumner told Smith that the Briarcliff Manor field trial for months has been "the source of ongoing harmful interference to radio communication in violation of §15.5(b) of the Federal Communications Commission rules." He pointed to documentation of interference, filed complaints and failures to immediately eliminate the interference posted on the "BPL in Briarcliff Manor" Web site <http://www.columbia.edu/~alan/bpl/> of ARRL member Alan Crosswell, N2YGK, a resident of the community. Sumner also attached an April 26 reply to the FCC from Holland & Knight LLP, a law firm representing Ambient, in response to Crosswell's March 31 interference complaint. The letter, to Jim Burtle, chief of the Experimental License Branch within the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology, indicates that Ambient representatives spoke with Crosswell "to confirm that the company takes his interference concerns seriously" and was evaluating various options, including notching. The Briarcliff Manor pilot project was granted an FCC Experimental License, WD2XEQ, last September. In his letter to Smith, Sumner said the BPL system operator failed to terminate the test immediately following Crosswell's complaint and allowed the interference to continue, "despite the clearly stated requirement of §15.5(b) that operation is subject to the condition that no harmful interference is caused." George Y. Wheeler of Holland and Knight said Ambient was studying the proposed FCC BPL guidelines and was "considering how to introduce them into its test program at an early date." In the meantime, Ambient notched out the 20-meter amateur band. "Initial results from field tests have shown feasibility of notching as a mitigation technique," Wheeler said, adding that full implementation would require hardware upgrades. ==>EXPEDITION 9 CREW HONORS PRESIDENT REAGAN FROM SPACE The International Space Station Expedition 9 crew paid tribute to former President Ronald Reagan June 10. Astronaut Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, and cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, RN3DT, rang the ISS ship's bell 40 times to commemorate the nation's 40th chief executive. Reagan died June 5 at the age of 93 of complications resulting from Alzheimer's disease. "We, the crew of the International Space Station, join millions of others in mourning the passing of President Reagan, who worked tirelessly to bring the world closer together," said Padalka, the Expedition 9 crew commander. Fincke noted that it was Reagan who had proposed building the space station. "President Reagan realized that freedom would ring in a new era of international cooperation," he said, "and with his vision guiding us, the United States again began to work with our former Cold War rivals, the Russians." Within a decade, Fincke said, the US Shuttle Atlantis docked to the Russian Mir Space Station, and President Reagan's space station Freedom became the International Space Station. Fincke said he and Padalka felt privileged to be working aboard the ISS "for the benefit of all humankind." He recalled that during Reagan's White House tenure, the president spoke with astronauts in space, greeted the crew of Columbia after its fourth voyage and led the nation in mourning the loss of the Challenger crew. "We all mourn his passing as freedom loving people around the world," Fincke concluded. "God bless him, and God bless America." A funeral service for Reagan was held in the National Cathedral June 11. Interment followed in a private ceremony at the Reagan Presidential Library in California. ==>MARITIME MOBILE SERVICE NET HANDLES AT-SEA MEDICAL EMERGENCY Members of the Maritime Mobile Service Net <http://mmsn.org/> recently were instrumental in the successful handling of yet another medical emergency at sea. The crisis arose when a young hand aboard a commercial fishing vessel in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Central America suffered serious knife wounds May 25 in a fight with a crewmate. Although not an amateur licensee, the captain of the Motor Vessel Brandon Travis knew he could get prompt assistance on the net's 14.300 MHz frequency. "Under normal conditions, transmissions by non-amateur stations on this frequency are prohibited by international law," said Assistant Net Manager Tom Job, VE3II, who lives near Toronto and took the initial call for help. "But when an emergency occurs at sea, anyone can use the frequency for assistance." At the time, the 80-foot, steel-hulled Brandon Travis was reported two days east of Roatan, Honduras. The captain, who identified himself as "Chris," explained that the most serious injury the 17-year-old crew member suffered was a stab wound in the back, just a few inches from the victim's spine. After obtaining critical information, Job contacted the Coast Guard's District 7 Search and Rescue Center in Miami and relayed the situation report. The Coast Guard in turn contacted Honduran authorities to arrange to evacuate the injured man. The net also was able to get physician Jim Hirschman, K4TCV, a net member in Miami, on frequency. Hirschman has extensive experience assisting with injuries and medical emergencies via the radio. He was one of the principal MMSN members to provide assistance and advice to the parents of Willem van Tuyl, then 13, after he was shot and seriously injured in a pirate attack on the family's sailboat in 2000. The injured man was reported in pain and apparent shock and having difficulty breathing. Hirschman advised the captain on how to stabilize the victim and treat his injuries. No oxygen was available aboard the vessel. "The injury was life-threatening, and medical evacuation was of the utmost urgency," Job pointed out. Hirschman was joined by fellow physician Peter Sosnow, W1KY, an emergency room trauma specialist. The net remained open past its normal closing time to keep an ear on the situation. Early the next morning, the captain of the Brandon Travis informed the net that the injured man had been removed to a Honduran naval vessel and taken to a hospital. "Without the assistance of the net, this situation could have resulted in the death of the crew member," Job added. The stabbing victim spent a couple of days in the hospital and was released. The captain of the Brandon Travis checked into the net two days after the incident to thank everyone for their help. At the captain's request, the net supplied him with a copy of ARRL Amateur Radio license study materials. "He was super impressed with the net's response and now has 14.300 in the ship SSB radio's memory," Job said. "Chalk up another one for the good guys." ==>VIRGINIAN IS FIRST US HAM TO ACCOMPLISH "TUNA TIN II" WAS It took him four years, but a ham from Bealeton, Virginia, has become the first US amateur licensee to work all states using a flea-power "Tuna Tin II" transmitter. ARRL member Bob Chapman, W9JOP, recently completed his "QRPp" (less than 1 W output) accomplishment and has received his ARRL Worked All States Award certificate. "Unfortunately, ARRL does not issue a certificate for WAS QRPp," he said. "Mine is endorsed with 'QRP-CW.'" Chapman, 71, says he actually used two Tuna Tin transmitters to accomplish the feat. He worked and confirmed the contiguous 48 states with a classic Tuna Tin, which uses an inverted tuna can as a chassis. Not only was Chapman running just 250 mW--one-quarter of a watt--he was crystal controlled on 7043 kHz! Chapman says he snagged the last two states, Hawaii (KH6U) and Alaska (WL7WH) using a homebrew 20-meter Tuna Tin, rockbound on 14,060 kHz and also running 250 mW. "No QRO here," Chapman says of his setup. "Just a low-power, low-tech station with a G5RV wire antenna at 50 feet and a 'TiCK' keyer." He uses a vintage Collins 51S-1 receiver. A ham for 50 years, Chapman further points out that he accomplished his QRPp WAS without any schedules but "just by waiting for the states to pass within my capture area--namely, on my frequency," he said. He also has a QRP Amateur Radio Club International QRPp Worked All States certificate. His wife, Joy, is KA9TTB. In 2001 Steve Chapman, VE7SL, in British Columbia, Canada, became the world's first amateur to accomplish QRPp WAS using a Tuna Tin II running about 400 mW. ==>VO1MRC 60-METER EXPERIMENTS SET FOR JUNE 19-20 The Marconi Radio Club of Newfoundland's VO1MRC will conduct an experiment on 60 meters Saturday and Sunday, June 19-20, from 0000 to 2400 UTC (ie, starting the evening of Friday, June 18, in North America). During this period, a CW beacon will be in operation on 5269.5 kHz to determine the relative performance of high and low radiation angle antennas. The antenna in use will be identified by a code in each transmission. "The low-angle aerial is a vertical, and the high-angle one is an inverted V," says RAC Newfoundland-Labrador Section Manager Joe Craig, VO1NA. He's coordinating the 60-meter experiment in Canada and will be the primary operator for the antenna tests. Craig will use the club's Marconi CH-150 for simplex QSOs, for the beacon and as a transmitter for split operation. VO1MRC will open briefly for two-way contacts with stations authorized to transmit on 60 meters starting at 0000 UTC each of these days, operating CW on 5260.5 kHz (US stations may not transmit on this frequency, nor may they use CW on 60 meters). VO1MRC will listen on 5346.5 kHz USB. Following this VO1MRC will transmit on 5327.5 USB and receive 5346.5 USB and 3807.5 kHz LSB. "For split operation," Craig said, "I will be using a manual T/R switch, so it's going to be a bit awkward and patience will be needed from those looking for QSOs." He invites signal reports from all stations via e-mail to Joe Craig, VO1NA <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Proposed by the Marconi Radio Club of Newfoundland, the 5-MHz experiment has been endorsed by Radio Amateurs of Canada <http://www.rac.ca/> and authorized by Industry Canada, which approved resumption of the 60-meter experiments in February. US licensees unfamiliar with the rules for operating on 60 meters may consult the "60 Meters - Frequently Asked Questions" page <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/faq-60.html> on the ARRL Web site. For further information, visit the MRCN Web site <http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~jcraig/mrcn.html> and The VO1MRC 5 MHz Experiment page <http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~jcraig/5megex.html>. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Sol man Tad "SPF-15" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar activity remains low. As the sunspot cycle declines, we are inevitably headed toward a year or two of quiet sun. The sunspot minimum still is several years away, however. This week average daily sunspot numbers were up slightly by more than 7 points to 68.3. Average daily solar flux was down nearly 10 points to 87.4. Geomagnetic conditions remained quiet to slightly unsettled. The chance of any geomagnetic upset this weekend seems very remote. The sun is nearly blank, but as of June 10, two sunspots were peeking around the edge of the visible face. Solar flux is expected to remain low, declining to around 80 next week. Solar flux is expected to rise above 100 once again between June 19-22. The Regional Warning Center Prague predicts quiet geomagnetic conditions June 13, 14 and 17, quiet to unsettled conditions June 12, and unsettled conditions June 11, 15 and 16. On June 9, the sun spewed a coronal mass ejection, but the energy was aimed away from Earth, and it caused no geomagnetic upset. Sunspot numbers for June 3 through 9 were 77, 55, 59, 60, 82, 72 and 73, with a mean of 68.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 90, 89.4, 84.5, 88.4, 88.5, 86 and 85.2, with a mean of 87.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 11, 11, 11, 8, 9 and 14, with a mean of 10.3. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 6, 14, 8, 12, 7, 6 and 13, with a mean of 9.4. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The ARRL June VHF QSO Party, the ANARTS World Wide RTTY Contest, the Portugal Day Contest and the Asia-Pacific Summer Sprint (SSB) are the weekend of June 12-13. SARL Kid's Day and the RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (CW) are June 16. JUST AHEAD: ARRL Kid's Day is Saturday June 19. The All Asian DX Contest (CW), the SMIRK Contest, the West Virginia and Quebec QSO parties, the AGCW VHF/UHF Contest and the DIE Contest are the weekend of June 19-20. 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 Antenna Modeling (EC-004) on-line course remains open through Sunday, June 20. Classes begin Tuesday June 29. This course is a excellent way learn the ins and outs of antenna modeling. Computer-modeling expert and noted author L.B. Cebik, W4RNL, has combined the expertise of his long career as a college professor with his passion for antennas and antenna modeling to offer a comprehensive, yet practical, course of study. Registration for the Technician Licensing course (EC-010) also remains open through Sunday, June 27. Classes begin Tuesday, July 6. With the assistance of a mentor, EC-010 students learn everything they need to know to pass the FCC Technician license class test. To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education <http://www.arrl.org/cce/> Web page or contact the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Program Department <email@example.com>. * ARRL Emergency Communications course registration: Seats are still available for the ARRL on-line Level I Emergency Communications course (EC-001). Registration remains open through Sunday, June 13, or until all available seats have been filled--whichever comes first. Registration opens Monday, June 14, 12:01 AM EDT (0401 UTC), for the Level II Emergency Communications on-line course (EC-002). Registration remains open through Sunday, June 20, or until all seats are filled--whichever occurs first. Class begins Tuesday, June 29. Thanks to our grant sponsors--the Corporation for National and Community Service and the United Technologies Corporation--the $45 registration fee paid upon enrollment will be reimbursed after successful completion of the course. Seats are limited. Register early to ensure your place in the June classes! To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (C-CE) Web page <http://www.arrl.org/cce>. For more information, contact Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan Miller, K3UFG, firstname.lastname@example.org; 860-594-0340. * ARRL to sponsor emergency communications seminar in Oregon: The ARRL will offer a free Amateur Radio Emergency Communications seminar Friday, June 18, in conjunction with the SeaPac Amateur Radio convention in Seaside, Oregon. The seminar will not include the Level I course itself. Senior citizens are strongly encouraged to participate. All ARES/RACES volunteers, ARECC course participants, ARRL Field Organization leadership (SMs, SECs, DECs and ECs), course participants at every ARECC level--mentors, certification instructors, certification examiners, current students and all interested radio amateurs--are invited to participate. The seminar will be held Friday, June 18, at the Seaside Convention Center, 415 First Avenue, Seaside, Oregon, from 1 until 4 PM. Seating may be limited. If you plan to attend, contact Dan Miller, K3UFG, <email@example.com>; 860-594-0340; fax 860-594-0259). For more information on the SeaPac Convention, visit the convention Web site <http://www.seapac.org/>. Attendance at this seminar does not include the price of admission to the convention. * SO-50 satellite now available to all via CTCSS tone: AMSAT-NA says the the SO-50 <http://www.amsat.org/amsat/sats/n7hpr/so50.html> satellite--also known as SaudiSat-1C--now is available to all, and users can switch on the Mode J transponder via a CTCSS tone. Previously, only one of the three control operators could turn on the spacecraft for amateur communication. Here's the procedure: Transmit on 145.850 MHz (taking Doppler effect into account) using a CTCSS tone of 74.4 Hz to arm the onboard 10-minute timer. Then, transmit FM voice on 145.850 MHz using a CTCSS tone of 67.0 Hz to actuate the repeater within the 10-minute window (SO-50 takes a half second or so to start transmitting once a signal is received, so users should pause briefly before talking). SO-50's downlink frequency is 436.800 MHz. Sending the 74.4 Hz CTCSS tone again within the 10-minute window resets the timer. Launched in December 2002, SO-50 sports a quarter-wave vertical receiving antenna mounted at the top corner of the spacecraft. The transmitter runs 250 mW into a quarter-wave antenna mounted on the bottom corner of the spacecraft and canted 45 degrees inward. * Kentucky's youngest amateur also youngest Extra: ARRL Kentucky Section Manager John Meyers, NB4K, says League member Christopher Lee Castle, KI4BOQ, of West Van Lear, Kentucky, not only is the youngest radio amateur in the Blue Grass State, he's its youngest Amateur Extra class licensee. Castle got his Technician ticket last July at age 11. After upgrading to General in January, he passed the Extra examination on St Valentine's Day--less than 10 days before his 12th birthday. The youngster hails from a family of hams, taking not only after his father, Ron Castle, KI4NM, and grandfather, Donald Castle, KI4NL, and grandmother, Deloris Castle, N4OKP, but his late great-grandfather Clyde Castle Jr, N4KJQ. He says his biggest thrill in Amateur Radio was getting his Extra before his granddad did. Castle enjoys DXing, and he's a member of the Big Sandy Amateur Radio Club and Johnson County ARES. In addition to his ham radio activities, Castle plays the drums, steel guitar and a little piano, and he's won drum and steel guitar competitions. He also is a member of the Porter Elementary/Johnson County Middle School Academic/Future Problem Solving team, part of the Future Problem Solving Program <http://www.fpsp.org/>. During a competition June 3-6, his teams placed second and fourth in the world, while the Johnson County Middle School Team--to which he'll be recruited in the fall, took first place in the world. The competition included participants from all 50 states and 10 countries. "Chris is so proud and told many students about his involvement in ham radio," said his dad, "and many seemed very interested."--John Meyers, NB4K; Ron Castle, KI4NM * Ham-Com 2004 to feature emergency communication, Kid's Day operation: Community-based emergency communication will be a major focus of Ham-Com 2004 <http://www.hamcom.org/>, Friday and Saturday, June 18-19, at the Arlington Convention Center, Arlington, Texas. With more than 100 hours of activities and workshops, Ham-Com key forum topics will include the ARRL Education and Technology Program (ETP) <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/tbp/>, public service, and Amateur Radio's role in providing emergency communication. The Boy Scouts of America have authorized the use of their K2BSA call sign as a special event station for ARRL Kid's Day <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2004/kd-rules.html>, Saturday, June 19. HamCom 2004 Chairman Barry Goldblatt, WA5KXX, says the station will operate from the exhibit floor staffed by students from the DeGolyer School, an ARRL ETP pilot school. Ham-Com's featured speaker will be FCC Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth. He and ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, will hold a Saturday forum to discuss Amateur Radio restructuring and BPL. There will be Amateur Radio examination sessions, and Goldblatt says HamCom expects to be the first hamfest to offer same-day FCC call sign grants for new license applicants. Upward of 5000 visitors are expected to attend HamCom. * Elmer stories wanted: Attention, clubs! Is there someone in your club who is especially good at Elmering (mentoring) new hams? Tell us what this person does that goes above and beyond the ordinary. An ARRL Web feature--"Elmers: A Guiding Ham"--awaits your story. Now's the chance to put your Elmer in the spotlight! Send your information to ARRL Affiliated Club/Mentor Program Manager Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, W3IZ@arrl.org. Now's the time to publicly praise that special mentor. * ARRL 2003 Annual Report now available: The ARRL 2003 Annual Report is hot off the press and copies--while they last--are available free upon request. Enjoy a look back at ARRL activities, Headquarters staff efforts, messages from ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, and ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ and more. To obtain your copy of the ARRL 2003 Annual Report, contact Media Relations Manager Jennifer Hagy, N1TDY, <firstname.lastname@example.org>; 860-594-0328. The 2003 Annual Report also is available on the ARRL Web site as an Adobe PDF file <http://www.arrl.org/announce/annualreport/03ar.pdf>. =========================================================== 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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