*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 23, No. 35 September 3, 2004 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +Amateur Radio readies for Hurricane Frances * +FCC enforcing some Part 15 rules in ham radio interference cases * +Space life sometimes challenging, astronaut says * +ARRL Education and Technology Program to offer new activity board * +ISS ham gear briefly becomes FM EasySat. * +Real-time DXCC standings coming to ARRL Web site * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course registration Employment opportunity at ARRL Headquarters +"The Beeb" to air program on Amateur Radio and 9/11 +Opportunities Fair showcases ham radio for retirees +W9DXCC Convention features new location, full program Bill Seabreeze, W3IY, wins August QST Cover Plaque Award Industry Canada soliciting comments on Morse requirement, other issues +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== NOTE: ARRL Headquarters will be closed on Labor Day, Monday, September 6. There will be no W1AW code practice or bulletin transmissions that day. ARRL Headquarters will reopen for business Tuesday, September 7, at 8 AM Eastern Time. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend! =========================================================== ==>HURRICANE NET, WX4NHC CONTINUE HELPING FORECASTERS TRACK FRANCES The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) on 14.325 MHz this week has been working hand-in-hand with WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) to relay weather data and damage reports as a downgraded Hurricane Frances continues on what appears to be an inevitable collision with Florida's Atlantic Coast. As of September 3 at 1800 UTC, the National Hurricane Center said Frances was "relentlessly lashing central and western Bahamas" while slowly heading for Florida. "We continue to have torrential rains," Marti Brown, KF4TRG/C6A, on Abaco reported to the HWN net control station September 3. "It's essentially a whiteout condition." Her report, typical of those being gathered, may portend what Southern Florida can expect. Another Amateur Radio report from the Bahamas indicated that seas were breaching the dunes of the beach, and residents were evacuating. All such reports, typically including real-time measured weather data, are passed along to WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center for forecasters to review. HWN operators have been handling and relaying all reports with businesslike efficiency, despite occasional QRM--some of it possibly intentional. HWN Manager Mike Pilgrim, K5MP, in Boca Raton, Florida, briefly checked into the net using an indoor antenna "in case we need it," he told net control. The latest National Hurricane Center forecast is available via the HWN Web site <http://www.hwn.org/atlantic/hapt31us.htm>, which includes graphics. During hurricanes and severe weather emergencies, trained HWN members work in cooperation with WX4NHC to relay observed or measured weather data and damage reports to forecasters via Amateur Radio. The ground-level weather data assist NHC forecasters in predicting a storm's path and behavior. Frances was downgraded September 3 to a Category 3 hurricane, with winds of 115 MPH with higher gusts. Its forward motion was expected to continue to slow, however, perhaps buying some time for Floridians preparing for or escaping the storm's anticipated wrath. As the state continued to recover from Hurricane Charley in mid-August, Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) teams throughout Florida this week got ready for another punishing storm. Some communities hard-hit by Charley are in the potential path of Hurricane Frances. Special sessions of the Southern Florida ARES Net (SFAN) to coordinate response activities (Florida Midday Traffic Net and Tropical Phone Traffic Net, both on 7242 kHZ) were called up this week. Southern Florida ARES Section Emergency Coordinator Jim Goldsberry, KD4GR, says the Broward County Emergency Preparedness Net activated September 2 from the Broward County emergency operations center (EOC). Palm Beach County also was recruiting ARES volunteers for shelter and EOC communicator duty. Palm Beach County RACES Officer Mark Filla, KS4VT, reported coastline and mobile home evacuations were under way. "This is not a drill," emphasized Polk County Assistant Emergency Coordinator Wayne Miles, KG4TCJ, in a message to the Florida ARES reflector. Among the areas assaulted by Hurricane Charley, Polk County ARES has begun conducting informational nets (146.985 MHz, 127.3 Hz tone) at the top of every hour. Earlier this week, Indian River County Emergency Management's Nathan McCollum put that county's Auxiliary Communication Services (ACS)--a Citizen Corps group--on a "Level 1" alert. The ACS includes Amateur Radio and REACT communication resources. SATERN, the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network, planned to activate September 4 at 1400 UTC on 14.265 MHz. SATERN will handle emergency and health-and-welfare traffic for those attempting to get news of friend and relatives in the affected areas. SATERN also accepts specific H&W inquiries via its Web page <http://www.satern.org/>. A fairly new all-CW entity, the National Radio Emergency Net (NREN), activated September 3 in response to Hurricane Frances to monitor 14,050 kHz and 7050 kHz for health-and-welfare, emergency traffic and hurricane information throughout the weekend. NREN is geared to low-power, portable and mobile stations. ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager Dave Armbrust, AE4MR, said Hillsborough County and Sarasota County ARES were preparing for ARES Mutual Assistance Team (ARESMAT) deployments. "If your county is not directly hit, please be ready to lend a hand elsewhere if requested," he advised. In a message to the Tampa Amateur Radio Club Hillsborough County of Emergency Management Director Larry Gispert, KR4X, said that many emergency workers were "very impressed" by what Amateur Radio volunteers were able to accomplish during Hurricane Charley. "In this day and age of ubiquitous Internet access and prolific cell phone usage, it is still amazing that when the chips are down the only reliable form of communication is a bunch of hams with their radios," Gispert said. ==>FCC STILL ENFORCING PART 15 RULES IN SOME AMATEUR INTERFERENCE CASES While the ARRL has accused the FCC of sweeping under the rug several Amateur Radio complaints of interference from unlicensed broadband over power line (BPL) devices, the Commission apparently is not ignoring other Part 15-related interference complaints from hams. With the assistance of the ARRL Laboratory, the FCC continues to dog complaints--some now longstanding--of power-line noise interference to amateur communication. Other cases of Part 15 device interference to radio amateurs have been a bit more exotic. For example, two recent citations issued by the Portland, Oregon, FCC field office involved interference from wireless microphones operating in the 70-cm band. "The agent measured the field strength at 1500 uV/meter at a distance of 3 meters from the referenced wireless microphones and determined that the microphones were in noncompliance with §15.209 of the Commission's rules, which apply to intentional radiators," the FCC said. Daniel Bathurst, WA7ABU, of Salem, Oregon, filed the complaint. In citations to FLECO Corp of Chino, California, and The Club Works Sound and Lighting of Salem, the Commission alleged that the devices, which operate on 432.55 and 439.55 MHz, also were not certificated for sale in the US. The FCC citation indicated that FLECO had sold the microphones to The Club Works. As reported, the FCC earlier this year fined Best Wok, a Westville, New Jersey, restaurant $10,000 for operating transmitting equipment on the 2 meter satellite subband without a license. The eatery allegedly was using a so-called "long-range cordless telephone" to communicate with its delivery vehicle. Other recent cases have stemmed from radio amateurs' complaints about their neighbors' Part 15 devices. In a Texas case that FCC Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth described as "an unfortunate neighborhood situation," the neighbor allegedly not only failed to respond to FCC letters but tossed out the toroid core devices the amateur, William Cooper, W5ZAF, had provided free and which, the FCC said, had resolved the interference. Hollingsworth told the neighbor that under Part 15, operation of a consumer product "such as a battery charger" must not result in harmful interference to a licensed radio service. He emphasized that it's the neighbor's responsibility to correct the interference--whether or not the neighbor accepts Cooper's help. In a similar case in Colorado, Hollingsworth on August 10 wrote another amateur's neighbor about interference from an electric fence charger to the Amateur Radio and broadcast television reception of P. E. Muetz, K0AWS. "Operation of a consumer device such as your fence charger under Part 15 of the Commission's rules must not result in harmful interference to a licensed radio service, and Part 15 of our rules clearly explains that," said Hollingsworth, who'd also spoken with the neighbor by telephone last April. In a seeming turnabout-is-fair-play situation, the FCC contacted a Mattawan, Michigan, resident to follow up on complaints that the individual's TV set was causing harmful interference to the Amateur Radio operations of Robert Lawson, KG8QD. Sharon Bowers, deputy chief of the FCC's Consumer Inquiries and Complaint Division, noted that Part 15 obliges the TV set's owner to resolve the interference promptly. Under Part 15, a TV set or a computer monitor is considered an "unintentional radiator." In July, the FCC contacted Illinois Power Company to report receiving complaints that the utility's equipment may be causing harmful interference to the amateur operations of Earl Shaffer, WB9UWA, of Normal. "The complainant has attempted unsuccessfully to work through your usual complaint resolution process, and, as a result, the matter has been referred to our office," Bowers said in a form letter to the utility's CEO. In both cases she handled, Bowers provided the address, telephone number and e-mail address of the ARRL's Radio Frequency Interference Desk as a source of "help and guidance about radio interference that involves Amateur Radio operators." More than five dozen power line interference cases have been referred to the League this year. ==>LIFE IN SPACE FUN, CHALLENGING, ASTRONAUT TELLS PENNSYLVANIA STUDENTS NASA International Space Station Science Officer Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, told students at Pennsylvania's Upper St Clair High School August 27 that life in space is both fun and, at times, challenging. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school group contact between NA1SS in space and WB4GCS in Western Pennsylvania represented a homecoming of sorts for Fincke, who was born in Pittsburgh and whose parents live in Emsworth, where he grew up. Fincke said problems with an onboard gyroscope system that occurred just as the Expedition 9 crew arrived aboard the ISS presented the most unexpected challenge to date of his six-month tour of duty. "Our biggest challenge was to get some spacesuits and get outside and fix it, and it turned out that the American spacesuits were broken, and we had to go to our backup plan with the Russian spacesuits," Fincke recounted. "That took a lot of work. That was a big challenge, but we were successful on the Fourth of July weekend, and we fixed that gyroscope's power source." The challenge aside, Fincke said, the experience was "really exhilarating." Although he's missed his wife and children while in space since April, Fincke says he's enjoying his time aboard the ISS. "The most fun I've ever had in space has been every day since I got here," he said in reply to a youngster's question. "I've been waiting my whole life, and every day aboard the space station has been a great day. There's always something new, something new to learn, something new to see." Fincke said he'd like to see the human space flight program focus on once again landing on the moon, journeying to Mars and eventually to the stars. "We need to explore who we are and our potential as human beings." Fincke also philosophized in response to a question about the perspective he's gained from living in space. "Every piece of history, everything we've ever talked about, every poem that was ever created, every heart that was broken, every joy that was felt is just on that ball of rock that's below us right now, and that really puts things into perspective." The Expedition 9 crew is scheduled to return to Earth in about six weeks. Mentoring the ARISS contact was Howard Ziserman, WA3GOV. Jim Sanford, WB4GCS, served as the control operator. Setting up the Earth station for the contact were the Wireless Association of South Hills (WASH) and Washington Amateur Communications (WACOM), with assistance from local AMSAT members. ARISS is an educational outreach with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>NEW "BIG PROJECT" ACTIVITY BOARD A TREASURE TROVE OF TEACHING POSSIBILITIES The ARRL Education and Technology Program (ETP--also known as "The Big Project") will offer a new activity board to schools this fall. ETP Coordinator Mark Spencer, WA8SME, says the "L/C/Resonance" or L/C/R activity board will allow students to explore many facets of alternating current and RF theory. The board will help students to unravel the mysteries of capacitive and inductive reactance, verify reactance formulas using actual data taken from the activity board, measure the resonant frequency of either series or parallel L/C circuits and then put it all together to explore the relationship between capacitive and inductive reactance and resonance. And there's more, Spencer points out. "Because the board uses a microcontroller and a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to generate the ac waveform used to explore L/C circuits, there is an additional learning opportunity: digital signal processing (DSP) fundamentals," he notes. "This facet of the board leads to exploration of root mean square (rms) voltage and current and the mathematical derivation of rms." Given the level of mathematics involved, Spencer says the activity board is intended primarily for high school physics or second-year algebra students. But, he adds, anyone studying for the General or Amateur Extra license examination could benefit from the learning opportunities the L/C/R activity board affords. "In other words," Spencer says, "there is a whole lot of activity packed into this little board." Students use mathematical, graphing, graphing calculator, spreadsheet and critical-thinking skills to make sense of the data collected during the various board activities. For example, students use graphing calculator curve-fitting techniques to verify the reactance formulas. Drawing on the premise that one picture is worth a thousand words, Spencer says, spreadsheet software helps students visualize the raw voltage and current data measurements. During the DSP activities, students use the OptaScope digital oscilloscope to see the stair-step waveform generated by the computer and the DAC on one channel, and the smoothed waveform exiting a simple filter on the other. "Visualizing a waveform in discrete slices helps students understand what happens during DSP," Spencer explains. The L/C/R activity board kit includes the circuit board, the parts to populate it, plus documentation to support the board's construction and use. As with previous activity boards, this one is designed to be constructed by students under adult supervision. Activity board kits are available to interested and qualified schools through generous donations to the Education and Technology Program Fund. To qualify for one of these kits, interested schools need to write Spencer on school letterhead and verify that (1) the lead teacher has reviewed the curriculum that supports the L/C/R activity board, (2) the curriculum and the board fit into the school's curriculum and the school intends to use the board as an instructional activity, and (3) the school has the capability to build the activity board (preferably, students will do the actual construction). For schools wishing to roll their own, all documentation, diagrams, a parts list, and software in hard copy are available simply for the asking. Send requests to Mark Spencer, WA8SME, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Another new activity board kit, to be available in January 2005, is a simple and inexpensive direct-conversion receiver kit, produced by the American QRP Club. For more information about these boards and the ARRL Education and Technology Program, contact Mark Spencer, WA8SME, 860-594-0396; firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about how to support the ARRL Education and Technology Program, contact ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, 860-594-0397; email@example.com. ==>ARISS PUTS ISS PHASE 2 EQUIPMENT TO USE AS FM "EASYSAT" The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program this week put one of the two ham stations aboard the ISS to use as a U/V (Mode B) FM repeater (437.80 MHz up and 145.80 MHz down). The new Phase 2 ISS ham gear--primarily used for packet operation and tests and briefly by Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka, RN3DT, during Field Day 2004--was pressed into service for several days as a low-Earth-orbiting FM "EasySat." The crossband repeater experiment, announced August 28, was shut down with the other ARISS gear September 2 in preparation for a September 3 space walk. The Amateur Radio equipment aboard the ISS will be powered back up no sooner than 1700 UTC on September 4, said ISS Ham Radio Project Engineer Ken Ransom, N5VHC. "Mike Fincke [KE5AIT] reported hearing stations actively using the repeater over North America, the southern portion of South America, South Africa, Europe, Australia and Japan," Ransom said. He got lucky on the ISS repeater September 2, snagging a QSO with V31KD in Belize City, Belize (EK57). The Phase 2 gear was scheduled to return to RS0ISS packet operation following the space walk, but the repeater experiment could be back for a "repeat" performance. ARISS International Team Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, said the crossband repeater test provided an opportunity to further experiment with the ISS Amateur Radio system. Last December, ISS Expedition 8 Commander Mike Foale, KB5UAC, set up a new Kenwood TM-D700 Phase 2 dualband transceiver in the ISS Zvezda Service Module--the crew's living quarters. With the help of the ARISS Japan team, Kenwood donated the TM-D700 transceivers to ARISS and made specific hardware and firmware modifications--including limiting its power output to a maximum of 25 W--to prepare it for flight. Plans call for using the Phase 2 station at 10 W output during ARISS school group QSOs, starting with the arrival of the Expedition 10 crew this fall. ==>DXCC DROPPING ANNUAL LIST DEADLINE, ADDING REAL-TIME STANDINGS The ARRL DX Century Club Program (DXCC) has announced that, effective immediately, there no longer will be a submission deadline for the DXCC Annual List. "We have been working toward this end for several years," says ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L. In the past, he explains, September 30 has been the traditional cutoff date to compile entity totals for the DXCC Annual List, published in the DXCC Yearbook. Moore says that in the past, DXCC participants have tended to collect their cards and submit them once a year to ensure the highest possible total for the listing. A major downside of the deadline system is that DXCC typically has received more than 25 percent of annual credit submissions during September. That, in turn, created a huge increase in workload and lengthened processing time. Under the deadline-free system, complete lists on the ARRL Web site will replace the lists of DXCC standings that customarily have appeared in the DXCC Yearbook. The new Web-based lists should be on-line early in the first quarter of 2005--about the time the DXCC Yearbook typically publishes. After an initial posting, DXCC will regularly update the Web lists. These listings also will include the standings of all DXCC members, not just those who made a submission in the previous year, as had been the practice. ARRL will publish a scaled-down version of the DXCC Yearbook that will contain highlights of the standings, along with other features. For more information on the DXCC program, visit the DXCC Web page <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc>. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Propagation maven Tad "Sunshine Superman" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Sunspot numbers and solar flux values declined this week compared to last. The average daily sunspot number dropped by nearly 50 to 27.7, and the average daily solar flux was down more than 23 points. Geomagnetic activity increased on August 30 and 31, sparked by a moderate solar wind stream. The predicted solar flux values for Friday, September 3, through Monday, September 6, are 100, 105, 110 and 115. Solar flux is expected to peak around 130 on September 9. The planetary A index for September 3-6 is predicted at 15, 10, 10, and 10. The planetary A index may rise higher around September 5 due to a solar wind stream from a coronal hole. This could produce unsettled to active geomagnetic conditions. Sunspot numbers for August 26 through September 1 were 44, 33, 28, 36, 30, 11 and 12, with a mean of 27.7. The 10.7 cm flux was 97.5, 90.5, 87.2, 86.1, 89.9, 88.1 and 89.9, with a mean of 89.9. Estimated planetary A indices were 7, 8, 12, 8, 34, 28 and 9, with a mean of 15.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 4, 4, 6, 5, 27, 14 and 5, with a mean of 9.3. ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The All Asian DX Contest (SSB), the Russian RTTY World Wide Contest, the Wake-Up! QRP Sprint, IARU Region 1 Field Day (SSB), RSGB SSB Field Day, the AGCW Straight Key Party and the DARC 10-Meter Digital Contest are the weekend of September 4-5. The Michigan QRP Labor Day CW Sprint is September 6-7; the ARS Spartan Sprint is September 7 and YLRL Howdy Days are September 8-10. JUST AHEAD: The ARRL September VHF QSO Party, the North American Sprint (CW), the WAE DX Contest (SSB), the CIS DX Contest (RTTY), the Swiss HTC QRP Sprint, the Tennessee QSO Party and the ARCI End of Summer PSK31 Sprint are the weekend of September 11-12. See the ARRL Contest Branch page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar <http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/> for more info. * Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course registration: Registration for the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level I on-line course (EC-001) opens Monday, September 6, 1201 AM EDT, and will remain open through the September 11-12 weekend or until all available seats have been filled. Class begins Friday, September 24. Seniors are strongly encouraged to participate. 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. During this registration period, seats are being offered to ARRL members on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Web page <http://www.arrl.org/cce>. For more information, contact Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan Miller, K3UFG, 860-594-0340; firstname.lastname@example.org. * Employment opportunity at ARRL Headquarters: ARRL--the national association for Amateur Radio seeks a Chief Operating Officer at its headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. The COO's primary objective is to manage and direct League operations relating to publications, marketing and sales, membership services, field and educational services, volunteer examinations, laboratory and Web site. Major areas of responsibility include employing and directing staff members, maintaining performance standards; working with other League officers on budgetary and management matters; identifying future trends affecting demand for headquarters support and services, and providing technical resources to support ARRL advocacy efforts. Qualifications include an MBA or equivalent experience or education, demonstrated success in organizational management, the ability to inspire excellence and to work effectively as part of a team of staff and volunteers, and a strong background in Amateur Radio and the ARRL. Please read the official announcement <http://www.arrl.org/announce/jobs/#coo> for complete details. Résumés and any supplemental information go to David Sumner, K1ZZ, Chief Executive Officer, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Applications must be received by October 8, 2004. ARRL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. * "The Beeb" to air program on Amateur Radio and 9/11: BBC Radio 4 this weekend will air a documentary on Amateur Radio's involvement in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The half-hour program, "Unsung Heroes," will be broadcast Saturday, September 4, at 1030 UTC. It will remain available on the BBC's archives for one month after that. "Through moving interviews, sensitive use of ham radio transmissions and some harrowing accounts, 'Unsung Heroes' reveals the little-known story of the 9/11 ham radio operators who provided vital communication networks for the rescue agencies," the BBC program listing says. "Hams, often mocked for their obsessive hobby, believe that September 11th became Amateur Radio's finest hour. Stephen Evans, the BBC's North American Business Correspondent, witnessed the attacks that day and meets with ham operators who witnessed the terrorist attacks or lost friends and relatives on September 11th and still helped to support the search-and-rescue operation." Mark Phillips, KC2ENI/G7LTT, says the program, produced by Kate Bissell, features N2NOV, KF2EO, KE2UN, AB2IZ, "and a whole host of others," including himself. It was recorded during the last week of June. The program also be available in MP3 format on Phillips' Web site <http://www.g7ltt.com/audio-files/911r4.mp3> starting September 4. * Opportunities Fair showcases ham radio for retirees: ARRL Honorary Vice President Hugh Turnbull, W3ABC, Bob Barnes, KR3X, and his wife Pat, KB3BTB, hosted an Amateur Radio demonstration Friday, August 20, at the Riderwood Village retirement complex in Silver Spring, Maryland, where all reside. The display was part of the complex's annual Opportunities Fair. "Along with about 35 other special-interest groups, we welcomed the opportunity to acquaint the other residents with another way to spend their time," Turnbull said. "Our table featured some ham radio memorabilia, QSL cards, an operating 2 meter station and a code practice machine to provide some Morse Code 'background music.'" Turnbull said the timing of their demonstration turned out to be "opportune" as well--coming just as local media were praising the Amateur Radio community for assisting in providing communication when Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly lost its main telephone system for about 10 hours. Turnbull said that while their demonstration table might not result in any new licensees, it did contribute to a better-informed public. "We continued the education process from what people read in the morning paper about the telephone outage," he said. * W9DXCC Convention features new location, full program: The 52nd W9DXCC DX Convention and Banquet takes place Saturday, September 18, at a new location--the Holiday Inn Chicago in Elk Grove, Illinois. (A welcome reception and a hospitality suite will get under way Friday, September 17, at 7:30 PM.) Early registration prices remain in effect through Friday, September 10. Speaking at the Saturday evening banquet will be noted DXer and author John Devoldere, ON4UN. Representing ARRL will be Central Division Director Dick Isely, W9GIG, Vice Director Howie Huntington, K9KM, Membership Services Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG, and DX Advisory Committee Chairman Jim O'Connell, W9WU. ARRL DXCC card checking will be available. For registration and lodging information, visit the W9DXCC Web site <http://www.qth.com/w9dxcc>. * Bill Seabreeze, W3IY, wins August QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for July is Bill Seabreeze, W3IY, for his article "2004 ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes Results." Congratulations, Bill! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award--given to the author or authors of the best article in each issue--is determined by a vote of ARRL members. Voting takes place each month on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/qstvote.html>. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the September issue of QST. Voting ends September 30. =========================================================== 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. Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. 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