*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 23, No. 46 November 19, 2004 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +League working with industry to set BPL standards * +Norton, Woolweaver and Donahue win ARRL divisional races * +Adelstein appointed to new FCC term * +Experimental licensees populating LF spectrum * +FCC warns amateur that frequencies open to all licensees * +Huge response to ARRL holiday toy drive continues * +Sixth annual SKYWARN Recognition Day is December 4 * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course registration Correction +NASA names space veteran, ham as deputy for exploration operations Society marks 100th anniversary of electronics Donald M. "Don" Johnson, WA0EPX, SK +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== NOTE: ARRL Headquarters and Maxim Memorial Station W1AW will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 25-26, for the Thanksgiving holiday. There will be no code practice or bulletin transmissions on those days, and there will be no editions of The ARRL Letter or ARRL Audio News on Friday, November 26. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Monday, November 29. The next editions of The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News will be Friday, December 3. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday! =========================================================== ==>ARRL PARTICIPATING IN IEEE, INDUSTRY EFFORTS TO SET BPL STANDARDS Working with industry through the IEEE Broadband over Power Line (BPL) Study Group <http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/bpl> and in other venues, the ARRL is taking part in efforts aimed at defining and establishing key BPL technical standards. Among other issues, these standards will address the avoidance of interference from BPL to licensed radio services. The study group has held three meetings this year, and the next session is set for January 14 in San Diego. The study group met most recently in Piscataway, New Jersey, on October 13, the day before the FCC adopted new Part 15 rules to govern BPL deployment. ARRL Lab Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, told those attending that gathering that any BPL standards must address issues of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). "The consensus of the committee is still that dealing with emissions and EMC is very high on the importance list," Hare said later. In terms of EMC, he said, the components of any IEEE BPL standard should "include the needs of the BPL industry to have a workable environment in which to manufacture and market BPL technology while addressing the need for licensed radio services to operate in an environment that does not result in harmful interference." Hare's presentation focused on explaining why the BPL industry's measurements using spectrum analyzers and test probes differ from the impact BPL emissions have on communications receivers attached to typical amateur antenna systems. "I also continued to extend our offer to work cooperatively with industry representatives," Hare said. The ARRL and the FCC's Enforcement Bureau have a long history of cooperating in resolving Part 15 interference complaints resulting from power line noise. Hare and ARRL Chief Technology Officer Paul Rinaldo, W4RI--who attended a July study group meeting in Piscataway--have been charged with drafting the part of the IEEE study group's "white paper" dealing with affected radio services, including Amateur Radio. Other aspects of the document will include safety; compatibility between access BPL and in-home BPL; compatibility with utility distribution systems, and security, privacy and authentication issues. Following the July study group meeting, Rinaldo said the consensus of participants was that the core issue confronting the BPL industry was dealing successfully with the issue of interference from and to BPL. "BPL won't survive unless that fundamental problem is solved soon," Rinaldo asserted. Rinaldo also took part in a Power Line Communications Association (PLCA) Strategic Summit and Business Briefing in late October in the DC area. His presentation concluded, among other things, that best practice for the BPL industry would be to avoid Amateur Radio spectrum at the equipment design level. A few days earlier, Rinaldo had represented the League at a meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners (NARUC) Broadband over Power Lines Task Force. ==>N6AA ELECTED SOUTHWESTERN DIVISION DIRECTOR Richard J. "Dick" Norton, N6AA, of Topanga, California, will be the new ARRL Southwestern Division Director. Norton thwarted a bid by current Southwestern Division Vice Director Tuck Miller, NZ6T, to gain a seat on the ARRL Board of Directors. The final tally was 2662 to 1451 votes. A retired businessman and electrical engineer and an ARRL Charter Life Member, Norton's been a radio amateur for 49 years and is a member of the CQ Contesting Hall of Fame. He competed at the 2002 World Radiosport Team Championship and is a pioneer in computerized contest log checking. Norton will succeed current Southwestern Division Director Art Goddard, W6XD, who's held the seat since 2002 but decided not to run for the 2005-2007 term. During his campaign <http://www.kkn.net/n6aa/> Norton pledged to work to defend Amateur Radio frequencies, help amateurs in their communities and grow the number of Amateur Radio operators and ARRL members of all ages. Edward J. "Ned" Stearns, AA7A, of Scottsdale, Arizona, was unopposed for the Southwestern Division Vice Director's seat that Miller vacated to run for Director. In the West Gulf Division, incumbent Vice Director Dr David Woolweaver, K5RAV, overcame a strong challenge from Doug Loughmiller, W5BL, to retain his seat. The vote was 1417 to 1301. A dentist, Woolweaver is an ARRL Life Member and has been a Amateur Radio licensee for 46 years. He's the ARRL Board Liaison to the Public Relations Committee and also served under West Gulf Division Director Coy Day, N5OK, as Congressional Action Chairman. During the campaign, Woolweaver stressed the importance of "a strong, politically active voice" in confronting BPL, antenna ordinances and spectrum protection. Day ran unopposed for a new term. It was a similar story in the ARRL Southeastern Division, where incumbent Vice Director Nelson E. "Sandy" Donahue, W4RU, beat back a challenge from Sharon T. "Sherri" Brower, W4STB, 2413 to 1694. Donahue, a ham for 43 years and a former Georgia Section Manager, was first elected in 2001. During the campaign, he cited his lifelong commitment to the League, to public service--he's completed and mentors all three ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications courses--and to operating. Twenty-five-year veteran Director Frank Butler, W4RH, faced no opposition for re-election. Elsewhere, Rocky Mountain Division Director Walt Stinson, W0CP, did not seek another term after serving since 1998. Rocky Mountain Division Vice Director Warren G. "Rev" Morton, WS7W, and Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, were unchallenged in their bids for Director and Vice Director, respectively. In the Pacific Division incumbent Director Bob Vallio, W6RGG, was unopposed for a new term in his own right. He took over as director in February 2003 following the untimely death of Jim Maxwell, W6CF. Vice Director Andy Oppel, N6AJO, also ran unopposed. He'd been appointed in 2003 to replace Vallio. Votes were counted November 19 at ARRL Headquarters. Three-year terms for successful candidates begin January 1, 2005. ==>WHITE HOUSE APPOINTS ADELSTEIN TO NEW TERM ON FCC President George W. Bush this week tapped FCC Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein to serve the remainder of a five-year term expiring in 2008. Sworn into office in November 2002 to complete the rest of former Commissioner Gloria Tristani's term that ended in June 2003, Adelstein is one of two Democrats on the five-member FCC. Without reappointment, his tenure on the FCC would have ended when the 108th US Congress adjourned. When the FCC adopted its BPL Report and Order in ET Docket 04-37 October 14, Adelstein was among those acknowledging the technology's potential to interfere with Public Safety licensees, federal government users and Amateur Radio operators. "These are important services that we need to protect from harmful interference," Adelstein said, "and I'm glad we made every effort to do so in this [agenda] item." Adelstein called recent BPL tests "very useful" in developing techniques to mitigate interference. "It's clear that some of these systems can co-exist very well with existing licensees," he said. During a confirmation hearing November 18 before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Adelstein noted that Congress has charged the FCC with ensuring that the public stays well-connected and well-protected. "If confirmed, I will continue to work with each of you to implement these Congressional imperatives," he pledged. Adelstein told lawmakers that the telecommunications industry is at a crossroads, "driven by the rise of broadband and its revolutionary implications." "We must continue to encourage broadband deployment by increasing incentives for investment and promoting competition," Adelstein said. "We can do both with a policy framework that is flexible and keeps pace with rapid technological changes." A native of South Dakota, Adelstein served as a senior legislative aide to US Sen Tom Daschle (D-SD), the Senate Minority Leader defeated for re-election November 2. He is the first South Dakotan ever to serve on the FCC. ==>EXPERIMENTAL LICENSEES MOVING LOW-FREQUENCY AGENDA FORWARD With no Amateur Radio low-frequency allocation in North America, stations operating under FCC Part 5 Experimental licenses <https://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/oet/cf/els/index.cfm> in the US or under special experimental authorizations in Canada nonetheless continue to research the nether regions of the radio spectrum. By and large, LF experimentation is occurring in the vicinity of 136 kHz--typically 135.7 to 137.8 kHz--where amateur allocations already exist elsewhere in the world. The FCC rejected the ARRL's 1998 petition for LF allocations at 135.7 to 137.8 kHz and 160 to 190 kHz, however, after electric utilities objected that ham radio transmissions might interfere with power line carrier (PLC) signals used to control the power grid. "Most of the new LF activity of Part 5 licensees has been in the shared 137 kHz amateur allocation available in some parts of the world," says low-frequency experimenter Laurence Howell, KL1X/5. "Although not in the Amateur Radio Service, these Part 5 experimental stations continue to add to our knowledge on propagation and engineering." The holder of Part 5 Experimental license WD2XDW, Howell--who's also GM4DMA--previously operated LF from Alaska. He's since relocated to Oklahoma, and has now resumed his LF work on 137.7752 and 137.7756 kHz. Already he's reporting some spectacular success, despite antenna limitations. On October 28, New Zealand LFer Mike McAlevey, ZL4OL, copied WD2XDW's 137 kHz carrier "bursts" over a path of more than 13,000 km (8000 miles). Howell believes the reception probably marked the first transpacific reception of a US-generated signal. "The land mass between Oklahoma and the ocean was considered to be a large obstacle to long-range communications," Howell remarked, "but obviously not." The next day, Jim Moritz, M0BMU, copied the LF signals of three North American in the vicinity of 137 kHz (137.777 kHz)--including Howell's WD2XDW and WD2XES, operated by John Andrews, W1TAG, in Massachusetts--using Argo software, which can detect signals not otherwise readable. The third station, Joe Craig, VO1NA, in Newfoundland, has been operating a beacon on 137 kHz. Howell says, VO1NA's signals serve as a bellwether of LF transatlantic propagation. LF signals of European amateurs likewise are heard in North America. On November 12, Andrews and another LF experimenter in Massachusetts completed the first two-way data exchange between Part 5 Experimental license stations on 137 kHz. Andrews worked Warren Ziegler, K2ORS, operating as WD2XGJ in Wayland, using conventional CW. The stations are about 25 miles apart, and both used loop antennas for transmitting. Jay Rusgrove, W1VD, some 100 miles to the south in Connecticut, monitored and recorded the QSO. In British Columbia, Lorne Tilley, VE7TIL, and Steve McDonald, VE7SL, have been heard throughout North America on LF. Howell says both are starting a formal study of variances in groundwave propagation. Howell says the disturbed solar conditions earlier this month wiped out long-haul paths through or close to the auroral oval during nighttime hours--especially at higher latitudes. He notes, however, that daytime signals over paths of between 1000 and 1500 km (620 and 930 miles) showed increased signal strengths during the disturbances. Howell has more LF information on his Web site <http://myweb.cableone.net/flow>. ==>FCC REMINDS LICENSEE THAT ALL AMATEUR FREQUENCIES ARE SHARED FCC Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth has reminded a New Jersey radio amateur that all frequencies in the Amateur Service are shared. Hollingsworth included the advice in a Warning Notice to Irwin L. Richardt, W2VJZ, in response to complaints from other 75-meter AM operators. Hollingsworth in July asked Richardt to respond to a complaint alleging, among other things, that Richardt would not relinquish the "AM window" (3885 kHz) or let others use the frequency unless he was included in the conversation. Hollingsworth called Richardt's response to the complaint "unacceptable." "We have reviewed your response as well as tape recordings submitted with the complaint," Hollingsworth said in the October 22 Warning Notice. He told Richardt that it was "absolutely irrelevant" under the Amateur Service rules how long he had been licensed or how many hours a day he spent monitoring or using the frequency. "None of that makes a frequency 'your frequency,'" Hollingsworth said, adding that all amateur licensees have the same rights to any given frequency as Richardt does. The primary complainant has alleged that Richardt exhibits "eccentric" and "offensive" behavior on the air, occasionally leaving his AM transmitter keyed while he does other tasks around his house. Another radio amateur said W2VJZ continues to attempt to contact him even though he's made it clear he doesn't wish to speak with Richardt. Referring to his ham station as "my electronic printing press," Richardt asserted in his July 28 response to the FCC that he's been "a victim of vicious radio jamming for well over one quarter of a century." He also claimed to have once discovered a "jamming transmitter" hidden in nearby woods. In addition, Richardt accused another station of transmitting "filthy lies and language" when he (Richardt) was in QSO with his friends in July. Hollingsworth said if incidents "such as those outlined in the complaint" recur, the FCC will initiate enforcement actions that could include fines, license revocation or both. ==>HAMS FROM ALL OVER RESPONDING TO ARRL TOY DRIVE Generous radio amateurs have been answering the ARRL's call to help Florida youngsters displaced by the hurricanes earlier this year. Shipments of toys from more than 100 clubs, groups or individuals already have arrived at the Martin County United Way collection site in Stuart, Florida, and more are showing up every day. The ARRL initiated the toy drive to brighten the holidays for youngsters left homeless or displaced as a result of several hurricanes that struck Florida earlier this year. The League's campaign will fold into the United Way's White Doves Holiday Project <http://www.martinvolunteers.org/whitedoves/>. "The Southern Oklahoma Amateur Radio Emergency Service (SOARES) wants to ensure the smallest victims have a good Christmas," says Claude Williams, KD5PHQ, who was among the radio amateurs who witnessed the destruction the hurricanes caused in Florida. "Kids don't understand why they don't have their homes. They don't have their beds, they don't have the things they're used to." SOARES members and other amateurs in southern Oklahoma are among those contributing to the drive. In North Carolina, Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, reports that the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society (RARS) collected 61 toys in just one evening meeting. The club has made arrangements with the United Way staff in Florida for a personal delivery on December 15. Meanwhile, club members are gathering even more toys and donations and hope to double or even triple their collective toy drive contribution. An article November 14 in The Kentucky Standard reported the involvement of the Kentucky Amateur Radio Society (KARS) in the toy drive. The news account, quoting local drive organizer Tammy Brooks, KC4CTB. "I can't imagine not having a Christmas," she said. The newspaper report included a list of drop-off points throughout the paper's coverage area. Tommy Thompson, KD4TJO, in Memphis, Tennessee, reports the Delta Amateur Radio Club is working on collecting toys in the Memphis area, and several members had brought their contributions to the club's last meeting. Hams from Florida's Miami-Dade area scheduling a stop in Broward County to collect more toys on their way a delivery in Martin County. The Framingham Amateur Radio Association (FARA) in Massachusetts assisted teacher Donna LaRoche's first graders by covering all shipping costs for the seven large boxes of toys they contributed. In South Carolina, members of the York County Amateur Radio Society (YCARS) also responded to the ARRL's call by donating dozens of new toys. YCARS President Van Brown, KG4LUT, and Trustee Bob Bacharach, WA2EMF, organized the toy drive saying. "We are glad for the chance to do something to brighten their lives in a small way," they said. The United Way staff in Florida has been posting QSL cards accompanying the toys and monetary donations. Carol Hodnett, director of the Volunteer & Community Resource Center, says the toy drive is going very well. "I just got off the phone with a ham operator from Atlanta who is doing a drive for us there," she noted. "Everyone has been so nice!" Associate Director Diane Tomasik said the toy drive also received help from hams in Clearwater, Florida, and from Motor City Radio Club in Michigan. "The staff really felt a heart tug when we opened a box of teddy bears from Martin King, N3FHD, of Plainville, Georgia," she said. "They were handcrafted by his late wife, Beverly R. Bauer, KD4NHP, with a lot of love put in." Tomasik said the United Way staff enjoys reading the notes hams have written on their QSL cards or included with their checks. "It is so heartening to know that so many kind and generous people are reaching out to the children of our area to ensure that they have a happy holiday," she said. Hams across the country are encouraged to purchase an unwrapped toy for a boy or girl aged 1 to 14 and send it with a QSL card or 3x5 card displaying their call sign to: Ham Radio, The United Way White Doves Project, 50 Kindred St--Suite 207, Stuart, FL 34994. Monetary donations also are welcome. Send gifts and donations prior to Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 25. Martin County United Way has agreed to serve as the collection point for donations and will coordinate distribution to youngsters in surrounding counties. ==>ARRL-NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY IS DECEMBER 4 The sixth annual ARRL-National Weather Service SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) <http://hamradio.noaa.gov/> event takes place Saturday, December 4. SKYWARN Recognition Day pays tribute to Amateur Radio SKYWARN volunteers for the vital services they provide during weather-related emergencies. During the 24-hour activity, radio amateurs set up stations at National Weather Service (NWS) offices and work as a team to contact other hams around the world. "Ham radio operators are a tremendous resource for the National Weather Service," says Scott Mentzer, N0QE, the event's organizer and the meteorologist-in-charge at the NWS office in Goodland, Kansas. "The dedication these amateurs have shown is inspirational, and their assistance during the year is invaluable." The 2004 activity gets under way December 4 at 0000 UTC (Friday, December 3, in US time zones) and continues until 2400 UTC. The object is for amateur stations to exchange QSO information with as many National Weather Service stations as possible on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6 and 2 meters, and 70 cm. Contacts via repeaters and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) modes also are permitted. Operators will exchange call sign, signal report, QTH, and a one or two word description of their weather, such as "sunny," "partly cloudy," "windy," etc. Participants in the 2003 SRD logged nearly 19,000 QSOs. A number of NWS stations will utilize EchoLink and the Internet Radio Linking Project to make contacts during SRD 2004. IRLP reflector node 9219 will be utilized for QSOs with NWS stations and also will be bridged to the EchoLink WX-TALK conference room so that IRLP stations can talk to EchoLink stations using a common point of contact. WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, will utilize IRLP reflector 9219 from 1700 UTC through 2100 UTC during SRD 2004. Net control operators will develop a list of stations to talk to WX4NHC using an online form, similar to the process used during hurricane season. Danny Musten, KD4RAA, <firstname.lastname@example.org> has more information about SRD VoIP activities. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Astral aficionado Tad "(The Sun is Shining Like a) Red Rubber Ball" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Conditions calmed over the past week, with average daily sunspot numbers lower by more than 35 points, and average daily solar flux down more than 28 points. November 11 and 12 were the last days with high geomagnetic activity, which was caused by intense solar wind streams that recently buffeted Earth. This weekend is the ARRL November Sweepstakes (SSB). There is a possibility of aurora but probably only at higher latitudes--nothing like recent sightings of northern lights as far south as Arizona. Predicted planetary A index for November 19-22 is 5, 12, 15 and 10. Predicted solar flux for the same period is 100, rising to 110 around November 22 and 120 the next day. Solar flux should peak for the near term near 135 around November 26-28. Sunspot numbers for November 11 through 17 were 70, 52, 50, 69, 57, 46 and 59, with a mean of 57.6. The 10.7 cm flux was 94.9, 97.4, 96.4, 100.3, 105.6, 108.4 and 104.9, with a mean of 101.1. Estimated planetary A indices were 23, 30, 8, 9, 3, 8 and 6, with a mean of 12.4. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 22, 23, 7, 7, 2, 5 and 7, with a mean of 10.4. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The ARRL Sweepstakes Contest (SSB), the North American Collegiate Amateur Radio Club Championship (SSB), the RSGB Second 1.8 MHz Contest (CW), the LZ DX Contest, the EUCW Fraternizing CW QSO Party and the All Austrian 160-Meter Contest are the weekend of November 20-21. JUST AHEAD: The CQ Worldwide DX Contest (CW) is the weekend of November 27-28. The ARCI Topband Sprint is December 2. The ARRL 160-Meter Contest, the TARA RTTY Melee, the Wake-Up! QRP Sprint, the CIS DX Contest (CW), and the ARCI Holiday Spirits Homebrew Sprint are the weekend of December 4-5. The ARS Spartan Sprint is December 7. 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 HF Digital Communication (EC-005), VHF/UHF--Beyond the Repeater (EC-008) and Technician Licensing (EC-010) courses remains open through Sunday, November 21. Classes begin Friday, December 3. Registration for the ARRL RFI (EC-006) and Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009) courses remains open through Sunday, November 28. Classes begin Friday, December 10. HF Digital Communication students will learn to use a variety of HF digital modes. Students participating in VHF/UHF--Beyond the Repeater (EC-008) will enjoy exploring some of the lesser-used and more intriguing aspects of VHF/UHF operation. With the assistance of a mentor, EC-010 students learn everything they need to know to pass the FCC Technician license examination. Antenna Design and Construction students will, among other things, learn about basic dipoles and ground planes, and how to assemble combinations of these into more complex antennas. Students also learn about transmission lines, standing wave ratio, phased arrays and Yagis. Students participating in the RFI course will learn to identify various radio frequency interference sources. To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Web page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/> or contact the ARRL C-CE Department <email@example.com>. * Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course registration: Registration remains open for the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level III on-line course (EC-003) through the November 20-21 weekend or until all available seats have been filled. Class begins Friday, December 3. Radio amateurs age 55 and older 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, firstname.lastname@example.org; 860-594-0340. * Correction: In the report "HF Propagation Falls Victim to Strong Solar Winds; VHFers Exult," in The ARRL Letter, Vol 23, No 45 (Nov 12, 2004), Chip Margelli, K7JA, says he meant to say "Harang discontinuity" instead of "heliopause." The Harang discontinuity is a polarity shift in the horizontal component of Earth's magnetic field occurring around "magnetic midnight," during which aurora conditions disappear for a short time, then return. "I am not a physicist, but there seems to have been something very aggressive happening about the right time," Margelli concluded. The Harang discontinuity is named for its discoverer, Norwegian physicist Leiv M. Harang (1902-1970), a pioneer in the study of magnetic disturbances in the polar regions and of radio investigations of the atmosphere in the auroral zone. * NASA names space veteran, ham as deputy for exploration operations: NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe has appointed International Space Station Expedition 8 Commander Mike Foale, KB5UAC, as deputy associate administrator for exploration operations. In that role, the British-born Foale--who also did a duty tour aboard the Russian Mir space station--will advise the mission directorate senior leadership on opportunities to refocus and realign training, operations, engineering support and life sciences research towards accomplishing the Vision for Space Exploration. During his stay aboard the ISS, Foale participated in more than a dozen Amateur Radio on the International Space Station school-group contacts from NA1SS. An astronaut since 1987, Foale developed crew rescue and integrated operations for the ISS. He is a veteran of six space flights and has logged more than 374 days in space, including four space walks, making him the US record holder for time spent in space. * Society marks 100th anniversary of electronics: The AVS Science & Technology Society this week marked the 100th anniversary of electronics during its 51st International Symposium and Exhibition through November 14-19 in Anaheim, California. The Society considers November 16, 1904, the start of the electronic age. On that date, British scientist John Ambrose Fleming applied for a Britsh patent for his invention of the first practical electronic device--the thermionic diode, also known as the "Fleming valve." Fleming discovered that his simple vacuum tube, containing only two electrodes--a cathode and a plate--could convert alternating current to direct current. His later research with the thermionic valve was important to the development of radio. A special AVS symposium session November 16 celebrated Fleming's seminal invention and the subsequent evolution of electronic components based on vacuum devices.--submitted by William Ricker, N1VUX * Donald M. "Don" Johnson, WA0EPX, SK: ARRL has learned that Don Johnson, WA0EPX, of Lewiston, Minnesota, died July 14. He was 69. Johnson was a founding member of Handihams and described as "an extraordinarily active guy who enjoyed ham radio and was a true 'Renaissance Man.'" He also was a member of the US Army Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) and of the ARRL A-1 Operator Club. According to his obituary in the Winona Daily News and the Tri-County Record, "From his wheelchair, Don was active throughout his life in many fields, as marksman, fisherman, a member of 4-H." A storekeeper in Fremont, he was inducted into the Winona County Fair Hall of Fame in 1989. In addition to Amateur Radio, he also enjoyed chess. A service was held July 18. =========================================================== 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. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): email@example.com ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, firstname.lastname@example.org ==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org/> ==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call 860-594-0384 ==>How to Get The ARRL Letter The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from ARRL HQ. 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