*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 23, No. 41 October 15, 2004 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +FCC adopts rules for BPL * +ARRL calls for shutdown of New York BPL system * +AMSAT-NA Symposium gets greeting from space * +ARRL invites input on digital systems * +Repeater coordinator drops controversial all-tone policy * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course registration ARRL Web site glitch +No news is . . . no news +RAC Board appoints new President, First Vice President New world record set on 47 GHz Amateurs join Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Hall of Fame Alan B. Caplan, K4AVQ, SK Former landline telegraphers to gather DXCC Desk accredits DX operations +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>FCC ADOPTS NEW BPL RULES, ACKNOWLEDGES ITS INTERFERENCE POTENTIAL As expected, the FCC this week adopted revised Part 15 (unlicensed services) rules to specifically regulate broadband over power line (BPL) systems. Meeting October 14 in open session, the Commission adopted a Report and Order in ET Docket 04-37. In comments before voting, three members of the Commission, including Chairman Michael Powell, specifically cited the concerns of Amateur Radio operators and expressed either assurances or hope that the new BPL rules will adequately address interference to licensed services. Republican FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin mentioned Amateur Radio's and broadcasters' interference concerns in a written statement. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, said he was encouraged to see the Commission acknowledge interference to amateurs as a genuine issue in the proceeding. "What the League has done in the last year and a half on this issue showed in the Commission's public meeting today," Haynie said Thursday. He cited the FCC's approval of three major points that the League had been pushing for: Certification of BPL equipment instead of verification, a requirement for a public BPL database--something the BPL industry did not want--and mechanisms to deal swiftly with interference complaints. Haynie conceded, however, that the devil is in the details of the R&O, which likely will not be made public for at least a few weeks. Anh Wride of the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology (OET), acknowledged that Access BPL devices "pose a somewhat higher potential for interference to licensed radio services than typical Part 15 devices." But, Wride continued, "we believe the specific benefits of BPL warrant acceptance of a small degree of additional risk, and that this interference potential can be satisfactorily managed." Commissioner Michael Copps, a Democrat, said he remains concerned about interference to Amateur Radio users. "I take the concerns of this community very seriously and believe that the FCC has an obligation to work hard to monitor, investigate and take quick action, where appropriate, to resolve harmful interference." Copps said if interference occurs, "we must have a system in place to resolve it immediately," and he expressed the hope that the new rules would include such "rapid turnaround" provisions. Copps, who dissented in part with the R&O, raised the question of whether utility ratepayers should have to "subsidize an electric power company's foray into broadband." The Commission's other Democrat, Jonathan Adelstein, said the interference question made the proceeding a challenging one because it had to accommodate concerns raised by Public Safety licensees, federal government users and Amateur Radio operators. "These are important services that we need to protect from harmful interference," Adelstein said. Adelstein also said that while it's clear that some BPL systems can co-exist with existing licensees, others "haven't fared so well." He said those systems shouldn't be deployed commercially until it's assured that they won't cause harmful interference. Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy, a Republican, said the FCC had to "make some hard compromises" to deal with questions about interference. But she expressed confidence in "technical solutions." Chairman Powell called it "a banner day" for communications in the US because, he said, BPL promises "ubiquitous service to all Americans at affordable rates." The chairman, a Republican, conceded that BPL will affect some spectrum users--including "all those wonderful Amateur Radio operators out there." Powell said the FCC has taken Amateur Radio interference concerns seriously from the start and has put protections in place "to allow that service to continue." At the same time, Powell implied that the FCC must balance the benefits of BPL against the relative value of other licensed services. Powell said BPL's potential for the US economy "is too great, too enormous, too potentially groundbreaking to sit idly by and allow any claim or any possible speculative fear" keep the Commission from promoting adoption of BPL technology. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, suggested that Powell was overstating the necessity of yet another broadband pipeline. "It's astonishing to me that the chairman of the FCC can talk about needing a 'third way' to provide broadband to consumers when multiple technologies already are available, including wireless broadband," he said. The United Power Line Council (UPLC) applauded the FCC's action, saying the new rules should encourage BPL deployment while protecting licensed services from harmful interference. "We didn't get everything we wanted," said UPLC President and CEO William R. Moroney, who called the R&O "the result of close cooperation and compromise" with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to address its concerns about potential interference. For more information on BPL, visit the "Broadband Over Power Line (BPL) and Amateur Radio" page on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/bpl>. ==>ARRL ASKS FCC TO SHUT DOWN NEW YORK BPL FIELD TRIAL The ARRL this week asked the FCC to shut down a BPL field trial system in Briarcliff Manor, New York, that has been the subject of past interference complaints. The ARRL says the system, operated by Ambient Corporation under an FCC Experimental license, continues to cause "harmful interference" to amateur stations and that the FCC must require it to cease operation immediately. "The operator of the system has attempted what it referred to as 'adjustments' in this system in order to reduce the severe interference potential to licensed radio services such as the Amateur Service," said ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD. "These 'adjustments' have come to be inaccurately referred to as 'notching' of certain bands, and as a solution to interference to Amateur Service stations, they are incomplete and inadequate." The ARRL's October 8 letter of complaint asserts that the Briarcliff Manor system not only is currently causing interference but fails to comply with either applicable FCC Part 15 regulations or with the terms of its FCC experimental authorization. ARRL said the BPL facility at Briarcliff Manor should not be permitted to resume operation until it can demonstrate "full compliance" with FCC rules. The League also called on the FCC to impose "appropriate monetary forfeitures" against Ambient. Accompanying the League's complaint were technical exhibits substantiating the degree of interference the League alleges. One exhibit shows the results of frequency-shifting adjustments Ambient made to the system in the wake of "multiple interference complaints from licensed radio amateurs." The complaint maintains that the adjustments failed to reduce interference on "a substantial portion" of the HF amateur allocations. The ARRL study says Ambient has been trying for more than a year to mitigate interference by using "notching" techniques, "but to no avail." The ARRL said measurements taken at 14.3 MHz at one point in the system "revealed 30 to 40 dB of degradation to Amateur Radio operations along a stretch of road over a kilometer in length." A sweep at another location showed that BPL signals occupying the entire 15-meter band remained strong more than a quarter mile from the BPL injector. "The levels of interfering BPL signals are sufficient to obscure virtually all Amateur Radio received signals and preclude Amateur Radio communications in the areas and on the bands identified in the report," the ARRL concluded. ARRL member Alan Crosswell, N2YGK, a resident of the community, has documented interference, complaints and related information on his "BPL in Briarcliff Manor" Web site <http://www.columbia.edu/~alan/bpl/>. The Briarcliff Manor BPL system, which is operated by the electric utility Consolidated Edison, was the focus of a March 2004 front-page Wall Street Journal article, "In This Power Play, High-Wire Act Riles Ham-Radio Fans," by technology writer Ken Brown. ARRL staff members accompanied Brown to the BPL site so he could hear the interference firsthand. ==>GREETING FROM SPACE, CHANGE OF GUARD HIGHLIGHT AMSAT-NA GATHERING A congratulatory greeting <http://www.ericsatcom.net/NN1SS%201st.wav> via ham radio from the crew of the International Space Station was among the highlights of the 2004 AMSAT-NA Symposium and Annual Meeting October 8-10 in Arlington, Virginia. The gathering--for the first time held in conjunction with this week's Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) International delegates meeting--attracted upward of 200 attendees--among them some of the best-known names in the amateur satellite world. Fincke joined the celebration vicariously by working ARISS Ham Radio Technical Manager Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, during an ISS pass October 9. "I'd like to send a greeting to all the people attending the AMSAT conference and congratulate you all on 35 years of Amateur Radio in space," astronaut Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, said from NA1SS on behalf of himself and Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka, RN3DT. "Wishing you all the best from the International Space Station!" Fincke jumped in to work Ransom and several other stations while the ARISS amateur gear was in FM repeater mode. "Thanks to you guys, people in the world are a little bit closer together," Fincke added. In a second QSO <http://www.ericsatcom.net/NN1SS%202nd.mp3> with WF5X, Fincke reiterated his greeting and expressed gratitude to AMSAT--an ARISS partner--for the amateur equipment aboard the space station. Fincke briefly switched to Russian to also greet ARISS-Russia delegate Sergei Samburov, RV3DR, who was with Ransom in Arlington during the QSO. The annual gathering marked the official changing of the guard at AMSAT-NA as Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, presided over his last Board of Directors meeting October 8 before turning over the gavel to incoming president Rick Hambly, W2GPS. At the board session, members agreed to file a Petition for Reconsideration of the recent FCC Second Report and Order in IB Docket 02-54 dealing with orbital debris. Haighton's four-year tenure spanned this year's success of the Echo/AO-51 satellite, which has helped the organization to rebound from the earlier, less-than-successful outcome of the now-defunct Phase 3D/AO-40--the most expensive and elaborate amateur satellite project in history. Planning for the proposed Project Eagle satellite also got under way under Haighton's AMSAT-NA leadership. That work will continue under Hambly. Haighton had the pleasure of announcing that AMSAT finally was able to recover the entire $110,000 Echo launch cost, thanks to donations from individuals attending the AMSAT Symposium and matching funds. Hambly hopes to proceed with new satellite projects already on the drawing board as well as to expand AMSAT-NA's educational mission. He also faces the challenge of finding a new home for the AMSAT Lab. The Orlando building where Phase 3D was integrated was damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Charley. In addition to hearing updates on satellite projects present and future, Symposium attendees were able to choose from a rich menu of presentations. Among them, AMSAT-DL President Peter GŁlzow, DB2OS, outlined plans for a Phase 3 Express (P3E) satellite--essentially a scaled-down and less-complex version of AO-40. AMSAT-NA is a partner in the P3E high-altitude-orbit satellite, which will be a prelude to an ambitious Mars-orbiting spacecraft. Other presentations covered such diverse topics as Voice over Internet Protocol communication for the ARISS program, the AMSAT-UK Student Space Exploration and Technology Initiative (SSETI) satellite, CubeSats, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence and a proposal for a satellite with an onboard robot to repair it. ISS Expedition 4 crew member and astronaut Carl Walz, KC5TIE, keynoted the October 9 banquet. Among the many high points of his duty tour was a 2002 space walk with Expedition 4 Commander Yuri Onufrienko, RK3DUO, to install the first of four ARISS antennas on the ISS. ==>ARRL DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS STUDY UNDER WAY The ARRL Ad-Hoc Committee on Amateur Radio Emergency Service--ARES--Communications (ARESCOM) is seeking the assistance of the amateur community in documenting what digital communications systems now are in use today on the VHF and UHF bands. While the majority of digital communication is via packet, there are many different packet systems in use, and they are interconnected using a variety of methods. The ARRL Board of Directors resolved at its July 2004 meeting to encourage the deployment of e-mail via Amateur Radio--"as exemplified by Winlink 2000"--to meet the needs of served agencies and others involved in providing disaster communications. ARESCOM now wants to gather input on systems already in place. "We are seeking input from packet System Administrators, not individual users, as we need information on how the packet nodes are linked and what connectivity methods the packet systems use with systems outside their coverage area," said ARRL Ad-hoc ARESCOM Committee Chair Dick Mondro, W8FQT. The committee plans to wrap up data collection December 31. The study seeks detailed information on current packet infrastructure, and one person may respond on behalf of several system operators if they all approve. "We simply ask that the names and call signs of all involved be listed," Mondro said. To participate download the on-line form <http://www.arrl.org/digtest/TestSurvey.pdf> or <http://www.arrl.org/digtest/testSurvey.doc>. After providing all applicable information, submit the survey form via e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> or via surface mail to ARRL, DCTI Study, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Those interested in sharing comments and ideas are invited to subscribe to the DCTI Reflector <DCTIemail@example.com>. For more information, visit the ARRL Digital Communications Study Web page <http://www.arrl.org/digtest>. ==>SOUTHEASTERN REPEATER ASSOCIATION RESCINDS CONTROVERSIAL REPEATER TONE POLICY The SouthEastern Repeater Association (SERA) Board of Directors has rescinded a controversial policy that would have amended SERA's coordination policy and guidelines to require CTCSS or DCS receive and transmit tones on all new FM voice repeaters. Existing voice repeaters would have had to comply by July 1, 2006. The Board adopted the "all tone, all the time" policy during its summer meeting in June. SERA President Roger Gregory, W4RWG, said the SERA Board repealed the policy "after much discussion" on October 4. "We may revisit this issue at a later date, but with input from the membership," Gregory told ARRL. He said that while SERA received many positive comments as well as negative ones, complaints from repeater owners prompted the Board's change of heart on the tone policy. "Some [repeaters] had been untoned for years without any interference issues," he said. "They did not wish to tone. North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee seemed to have more concerned repeater owners." The largest Amateur Radio repeater coordinating body in the US, SERA provides voluntary frequency coordination for repeaters in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and parts of Virginia and West Virginia. In a letter on the SERA Web site <http://www.sera.org/>, Gregory called the tone requirement "just another tool we thought was needed to help us to continue to do our job." He noted that SERA has been requiring tones on 10-meter, 6-meter and 70-cm repeaters "for years." Some of those upset with SERA's June decision to require tones tried to get the FCC involved. The Amateur Repeater Society of East Tennessee (ARSET) <http://arset.org/>, which sprang up because of the controversy, wanted the FCC to recognize it as the official coordinating body for eastern Tennessee. FCC Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth said the Commission does not recognize or certify specific coordinators in the Amateur Service, as it does in the Land Mobile services, and had no plans to get involved in the SERA controversy. But he said requiring tones is a good idea. "From a spectrum efficiency standpoint, tones will be the wave of the future and have been in regular use in the Land Mobile services for decades," said Hollingsworth, who oversees Land Mobile as well as Amateur Radio Service enforcement. He said if tones will cure an interference case in the Land Mobile services, he tells the parties to implement them. "It is surprising that tone systems are not used more in the Amateur Service, a service we expect to be on the leading edge of technology instead of being wedded to old ways of doing things," Hollingsworth added. "As for tones, it's only a matter of time, just as it was with transistors and integrated circuits." ==>SOLAR UPDATE Sunspot seeker Tad "You Are My Sunshine" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar activity has been very low. In fact, on Sunday and Monday, October 10-11, the sunspot count was zero. Images of the sun on the Spaceweather.com site ,http://spaceweather.com/> for those days show a blank, spotless sun. Check the archive section by dialing in the dates on the upper right of the Web page, and look at the sun images on the left. October 10-11 were the first days with a sunspot count of zero since January 27-28, 2004. To find another period before that with a zero sunspot number, you have to go back six years to January 7-9, 1998. There was one day prior to that with a zero sunspot number, October 23, 1997, and there were several zero days in the summer of that year. For the next week and through the end of the month, daily solar flux is expected to hover around 90. A solar wind stream from a recurring coronal hole may cause some unstable geomagnetic conditions today and tomorrow, October 15-16. Geomagnetic conditions are expected to be very quiet for the week of October 22-28. Sunspot numbers for September 30 through October 6 were 36, 37, 35, 39, 41, 40 and 39, with a mean of 38.1. The 10.7 cm flux was 88.2, 88, 88, 89, 90.7, 90.8 and 92.1, with a mean of 89.5. Estimated planetary A indices were 4, 4, 12, 15, 10, 5 and 5, with a mean of 7.9. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 2, 8, 7, 8, 3 and 2, with a mean of 4.6. Sunspot numbers for October 7 through 13 were 38, 28, 24, 0, 0, 14 and 41, with a mean of 20.7. The 10.7 cm flux was 93.8, 90.6, 88, 89, 86.9, 87.6 and 88.5, with a mean of 89.2. Estimated planetary A indices were 4, 7, 6, 8, 11, 11 and 35, with a mean of 11.7. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 4, 4, 3, 5, 9, 7 and 17, with a mean of 7. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/jota.html>, the JARTS World Wide RTTY Contest, the Microwave Fall Sprint, the Worked All Germany Contest, the Asia-Pacific Fall Sprint (CW). the UBA ON 2-Meter Contest, the RSGB 21/28 MHz Contest (CW) and the Illinois QSO Party are the weekend of October 16-17. JUST AHEAD: The ARCI Fall QSO Party, the W/VE Islands QSO Party, the 50 MHz Fall Sprint and the FISTS Coast to Coast Contest are the weekend of October 23-24. The CQ World Wide DX Contest (SSB) and the 10-10 International Fall Contest (CW) are the weekend of October 30-31. See the ARRL Contest Branch page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar <http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/> for more info. * ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration: Registration for the ARRL Antenna Modeling (EC-004) and Radio Propagation (EC-011) on-line courses remains open through Sunday, October 17. Classes begin Friday October 29. The Antenna Modeling course is an excellent way to learn the ins and outs of computerized modeling of antenna designs. Computer-modeling expert and noted author L.B. Cebik, W4RNL, has combined the expertise of his long career as a college professor with his love and antennas and antenna modeling to offer a comprehensive, yet practical, course of study. Propagation students will study the science of RF propagation, including the properties of electromagnetic waves, the atmosphere and the ionosphere, the sun and sunspots, ground waves and sky waves, and various propagation modes--including aurora and meteor scatter. To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Web page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/> or contact the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Program Department <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course registration: Registration for the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level III on-line course (EC-003) opens Monday, October 18, 1201 AM EDT, and remains open through the October 23-24 weekend or until all available seats have been filled. Amateurs aged 55 and older are strongly encouraged to participate. Class begins Friday, November 5. 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, email@example.com; 860-594-0340. * ARRL Web site glitch: Some updates to ARRL members' Web site records made since October 1 may have been lost due to a server problem this week. This affects updated e-mail addresses and automatic e-mail delivery selections. It does not include changes to mailing addresses, call signs or other membership data. If in doubt, check your record on the Member Data page <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/memdata.html>. ARRL regrets the inconvenience. * No news is . . . no news: There have been no changes to the Amateur Radio Part 97 rules nor any news to report regarding FCC action on proposals that address the number of license classes, the 5 WPM Morse code requirement (Element 1) to obtain a General or Extra license, or other amateur licensing qualifications or privileges. The FCC continues to review the thousands of comments it received on 18 petitions for rule making--including a petition from the ARRL--that, in general, address various facets of license restructuring and the Morse code requirement. Prompting most of these petitions were actions taken during World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03). The FCC first must issue a Notice of Proposed Rule Making and assign it a docket number, then invite comments on what it decides to propose, based on the petitions it has before it. The ARRL estimates that the FCC is only about one-third of the way through its review of the petitions, however, and does not anticipate any final FCC action--in the form of a Report and Order--until sometime in 2006. The ARRL has posted answers to frequently asked questions on its own restructuring initiative on its Web site <http://www.arrl.org/news/restructuring2/faq.html>. * RAC Board appoints new President, First Vice President: Radio Amateurs of Canada <http://www.rac.ca/> has announced that Earle Smith, VE6NM, is the RAC's new president, and John Iliffe, VE3CES/VA3JI, is the organization's new First Vice President. Smith and Iliffe will fill the remaining terms of Daniel Lamoureux, VE2KA, and Bob Nash, VE3KZ, respectively, which run through next year. Lamoureux and Nash stepped down recently for medical reasons. Smith and Iliffe were appointed by the RAC Board of Directors during a special meeting October 12. Smith has been the RAC Director for the Alberta/Northwest Territories/Nunavut Region. The RAC Board will announce a new director soon. * New world record set on 47 GHz: On September 19 during the ARRL 10 GHz and Up Cumulative Contest, Frank Bauregger, W6QI, and Gary Lauterbach, AD6FP, claimed a new world distance record on 47 GHz after they completed a contact over a distance of 290 km. W6QI operated from Shuteye Peak (DM07gi) just south of Yosemite, while AD6FP operated from Frazier Mountain (DM04ms) north of Los Angeles. Although it was officially still summer, W6QI had to brave 30-degree temperatures and snow while modifying the radio in order to complete the contact. Signal margins were 40 dB on the W6QI end and about 8 dB on the AD6FP end. The contact was completed using a combination of narrowband FM and CW. The two reported weather conditions were quite unusual for September with scattered rain showers in the central California Valley between Shuteye and Frazier. * Amateurs join Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Hall of Fame: Two League members have been inducted into the Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Hall of Fame. Rodney C. Pratt, K2AFK, of Holland Patent, New York, and William O. "Bill" Troetschel, W7LVO, of Saratoga, California, also will receive the Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Award, which recognizes individuals who played a significant role in the history of Air Force space and missile programs. Pratt and Troetschel were honored during a September 1 ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. The Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Award consists of an engraved trophy. There were six honorees in 2004. * Alan B. Caplan, K4AVQ, SK: Alan B. Caplan, K4AVQ (ex-W0RIC), of Apple Valley, Minnesota, died October 8. He was 63. Licensed as a young teenager while living in Virginia, he eventually went to work in the Amateur radio industry. Caplan was customer service and sales manager for Hy-Gain from 1976 through 1993 and more recently was sales manager at Timewave. "I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Alan Caplan," said Chip Margelli, K7JA, of Vertex-Standard (Yaesu). "We both worked in the manufacturing/distribution side of the Amateur Radio industry for a number of years, and he was always a steady and knowledgeable person who represented his company with dignity and distinction. And he was just one of the nicest guys you'll ever know." Caplan was an ARRL member and a veteran of the US Navy. Survivors include his wife Rebecca Harman, a son and a daughter.--some information contributed by Randy Gawtry, K0CBH * Former landline telegraphers to gather: Telegraphers from throughout the US and Canada will gather in person at the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan, Saturday, October 16, to formally dedicate the Institute's newly constructed telegraph office and a national telegraph hub. Others will participate "on-line" via a nationwide telegraph circuit. Sponsors say the event will provide a rare glimpse into an earlier era, as numerous telegraph operators will be on the wire exchanging telegrams and conversing in American Morse Code. K8QMN will retransmit the proceedings October 16 on 14,050 kHz (Ī3 kHz) from approximately 1600 to 2000 UTC, providing radio amateurs throughout North America with a rare opportunity to hear American Morse code being used by experienced telegraphers. This code, developed by Morse and Vail, is the predecessor to the International Morse Code that radio amateurs use. QSL with a business-size SASE to Morse Telegraph Club, PO Box 457, Allegan, MI. 49010. * DXCC Desk accredits DX operations: The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved these operations for DXCC credit: 9U6PM, Burundi, effective August 20, 2004; ZS8MI, Prince Edward & Marion Island, April 1-May 9, 2004. A new feature, "DXCC Frequently Asked Questions" <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/faq/>, can answer most questions about the DXCC program. For more information, visit the DXCC Web page <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc>. Current ARRL DX bulletins are available on the W1AW DX Bulletins for 2004 page <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/dx/>. =========================================================== 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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