*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 24, No. 04 January 28, 2005 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +ARRL Board lays out 2005 legislative priorities * +International Humanitarian, Leonard Award winners announced * +Astronaut enthuses French elementary schoolers via ham radio * +FCC ramps up forfeiture total in Gerritsen case * +Pact facilitates international ham radio disaster communication * +DXCC standings now available daily via the Web * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +Nominations for ARRL ham radio instructor awards due by March 1 +Amateur Radio volunteer among train wreck victims ISS RS0ISS packet system remains problematic Special event station to commemorate Yalta Conference +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>ARRL BOARD OF DIRECTORS OUTLINES AMBITIOUS LEGISLATIVE AGENDA Frigid New England temperatures and a major snowstorm failed to chill enthusiasm as the ARRL Board of Directors met January 21-22 in Windsor, Connecticut, to tackle a lengthy agenda. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, chaired the gathering. Among the highlights of the session was the Board's unanimous adoption of positions on six initiatives for the 109th Congress. Topping the list was a call for "consistent application" of the FCC's limited federal preemption policy--PRB-1--to Amateur Radio antenna systems. The League wants PRB-1 to apply to "all types of land use regulations," public and private. That would include deed covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). "The American Radio Relay League seeks congressional instruction to the FCC to extend its limited preemption policy governing residential Amateur Radio antennas, so that private land-use authorities cannot preclude, but must reasonably accommodate, Amateur Radio communications in subdivisions and communities," the Board resolved. After the FCC declined to include CC&Rs under the PRB-1 umbrella, the League since 2002 has initiated bills in Congress to accomplish the same end. In addition, the Board expressed support for measures to improve federal management of telecommunications, including beefing up the FCC's ability to regulate transmitter, receiver and antenna issues and resolve electromagnetic interference. The Board also wants public service allocations, including Amateur Radio's, exempted from auction or commercial reallocation, and compensatory spectrum whenever the federal government reallocates existing public service spectrum to another service. The resolution reflected the essence of the "Amateur Radio Spectrum Protection Act of 2004," HR 713. An identical bill will be introduced into the 109th Congress. Calling amateur frequencies "the technological equivalent of a national park," the Board further resolved to support measures that "preserve and protect" primary Amateur Radio access to existing amateur spectrum "as a natural resource for the enjoyment of all properly licensed individuals, and protect against interference from unlicensed transmitters such as Part 15 devices" operating on amateur frequencies. Finally, the Board expressed support for requiring the FCC to develop effective, mandatory standards for radio frequency susceptibility of consumer electronic devices. And it expressed general opposition to expansion of current prohibitions against the reception of radio signals beyond those already on the books. In a related vein, the Board affirmed support for the ARRL Grassroots Legislative Action Plan and called for its immediate implementation. Hudson Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, says the Grassroots Legislative Action Plan will function mainly by direct contacts with lawmakers in their members' home districts and by motivating legislative support through letter writing by members. Working with the new Congress could prove more difficult than in the past, ARRL's congressional consultant John Chwat of Chwat & Co suggested to the Board. He expressed the belief that the 109th Congress is very contentious and advised that every League effort on Capitol Hill focus on Amateur Radio's role in emergency communication. Following recommendations of the ARRL Executive Committee, the Board adopted changes to the League's pending petition that would propose segmenting bands principally by maximum bandwidth rather than by emission type. Amendments to the plan, still in the draft stage, would call on the FCC to permit non-telephony emissions not exceeding 3 kHz at 10.135 to 10.150 MHz, prohibit "continuous" test transmissions on most frequencies above 51 MHz, and clarify the rules to specify that amateur stations may use any published digital code, as long as other rules are observed. The Board will consider the amended bandwidth petition at its July meeting. The League is not expected to file the petition with the FCC until later this year. Turning out for their first meeting of the ARRL Board were new Southwestern Division Director Dick Norton, N6AA, and Vice Director Ned Stearns, AA7A, both elected last fall. New on the "back bench" was Rocky Mountain Division Vice Director Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT. At 25, Mileshosky is believed to be the youngest vice director in League history. He succeeded Rev Morton, WS7W, who attended for the first time as Rocky Mountain Division Director. The Board also elected a new ARRL chief operating officer. He's Harold R. Kramer, WJ1B, of Cheshire, Connecticut, now a vice president with Connecticut Public Broadcasting. When he officially joins the ARRL staff February 15, Kramer will succeed former COO Mark Wilson, K1RO, who left the ARRL Headquarters staff last September. Board members got a chance to greet Kramer at the January Board meeting. Additional details on the January Board meeting are on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/01/27/1/>. The minutes of the Board meeting also are on the ARRL Web site < http://www.arrl.org/announce/board-0501/>. ==>ARRL BOARD OF DIRECTORS NAMES HUMANITARIAN, LEONARD AWARD WINNERS The ARRL Board of Directors has named the winners of the 2004 ARRL International Humanitarian Award and the 2004 Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award. Veteran radio amateur and ARRL Life Member Dr Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, of Bemidji, Minnesota, will receive the 2004 ARRL International Humanitarian Award. The award recognizes Dr Johnson's contributions as a medical emissary to the Kingdom of Bhutan and the numerous times he has practiced and taught Amateur Radio in that developing country. Among the first to bring Amateur Radio back to Bhutan during a visit in 2000, Dr Johnson learned firsthand during that trip that the country had very limited resources to deal with those needing orthopedic treatment. The following year, he went to Bhutan as an orthopedic surgeon on behalf of Orthopaedics Overseas, a group of physicians and health-care professionals dedicated to improving basic orthopedic care in developing countries through training and education. Dr Johnson was able to treat a wide variety of injuries and conditions by working with local physicians, enabling them to augment their own skills and knowledge. During Dr Johnson's 2000 visit, Bhutan's director of telecommunications and the chief engineer of the Bhutan Telecommunications Authority asked W0GJ to help teach a ham radio course. Using his 25-plus years experience as an ARRL-certified instructor, Dr Johnson adapted material for an Amateur Radio class, taking Bhutan's licensing and operating regulations into account. In less than a month, seven local students finished the course, passing the examination on the first try. Dr Johnson subsequently helped set up ham radio club stations at three high schools. In recognition of his many contributions, the Bhutan government has designated Dr Johnson as an honorary citizen, and he's been granted the call sign A51B for life. As the recipient of the 2004 International Humanitarian Award, Johnson will be presented with an engraved plaque. Named the recipient of the 2004 Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award was Randall D. Larson of San Jose, California. Larson's six-page article "Ham Operator Assistance" appeared in the July 2004 issue of Homeland Protection Professional magazine. "Thank you," Larson told ARRL when being notified that his submission had won. "I am both humbled and pleased to have this article recognized by your organization!" A San Jose Fire Department senior dispatcher and director of an incident dispatcher team since 1993, Larson is very familiar with emergency communications. He's also been a Communications Academy instructor since 1995. Larson's byline also has appeared in publications that include Firehouse, Fire Engineering, American Fire Journal, 9-1-1 Magazine--for which he currently serves as editor--and Public Safety Communications. The Leonard Award goes annually to a media professional or group who does the best job during the previous calendar year of covering Amateur Radio in print, photo essay, audio or video forms. As 2004 winner, Larson will receive a $500 check and an engraved plaque. ==>"MANY MILLIONS" OF KILOMETERS TRAVELED TO DATE, ASTRONAUT TELLS FRENCH PUPILS International Space Station Commander Leroy Chiao, KE5BRW, estimated that he and his Expedition 10 crewmate, cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov, have traveled "many millions" of kilometers through space since their mission began last October. The Expedition 10 crew marked its 100th day in space January 21. Chiao made the comment in response to a question put to him January 19 during an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact between NA1SS on the ISS and F6KFA at Robespierre School in Rueil Malmaison, France. "If you figure we orbit Earth once every one and a half hours, and we're going to be up here six months, you can figure it out. It's going to be many millions," Chiao said, inviting the youngsters to do the math for themselves. As hard as he worked to become an astronaut and earn a place on an ISS crew--he and Sharipov trained for more than three years for their mission, and Chiao described getting into the astronaut program as "pretty competitive"--Chiao said he had no desire to spend his life off the planet. "I really love being in space, I love being on space missions, but I miss my family and friends and other things about the earth," Chiao said. "I miss nature and fresh fruits and vegetables, so while I like being in space, I do want to come back to Earth." While he's in space, however, Chiao said looking at Earth is one of his and Sharipov's favorite pastimes, and he said they can see a lot with the naked eye, including continents and cities. "I'm still looking for the Great Wall [of China]," Chiao said. "I haven't seen it yet." An audience of more than 300 turned out for the event at the primary school near Paris, more than 200 of them students. The enthusiastic crowd erupted into loud applause as the QSO drew to a close, and cheers broke out after Chiao offered his now-traditional parting comment to "follow your dreams and reach for the stars." ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss/> is an international educational outreach with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>FCC FINES CONTINUE TO MOUNT IN GERRITSEN CASE Briefly licensed radio amateur and alleged jammer Jack Gerritsen, ex-KG6IRO, of Bell, California, now faces a total of $52,000 in FCC-imposed or proposed fines. In a January 21 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) the FCC proposed to levy another $21,000 forfeiture on Gerritsen--this time for apparently violating Section 333 of the Communications Act by interfering with a US Coast Guard rescue effort last October 29 on amateur frequencies. Part 97 Amateur Service rules also require that control operators "give priority to stations providing emergency communications," the FCC noted. "Gerritsen's apparent willful and malicious interference with the radio communications of the Coast Guard Auxiliary officer who was attempting to communicate with a ship in distress is egregious," said the most recent NAL, signed by FCC Los Angeles District Office District Director Catherine Deaton. "According to the evidence, Gerritsen knowingly operates, without a license, radio transmission equipment." In the NAL, the FCC alleged that Gerritsen continued to transmit "despite repeated warnings and requests to vacate the frequency." The latest proposed forfeiture factors in an "upward adjustment" from the $7000 base fine for causing interference to licensed stations, the NAL said. The FCC already has affirmed a $10,000 fine levied against Gerritsen last year for interfering with Amateur Radio communications. In December, the Commission proposed another $21,000 fine, citing additional instances of alleged interference on amateur frequencies. Gerritsen has been accused of bombarding numerous Los Angeles-area repeaters with verbal tirades, often identifying with his now-deleted amateur call sign. The FCC in 2001 granted Gerritsen a Technician ticket, then promptly set it aside when it learned of Gerritsen's state conviction for interfering with public safety radio communications. He spent some time in jail as a result of that case, which he's appealing. According to the FCC, the October 29, 2004, incident involved efforts by a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary to contact the sailing vessel Elke-Marie after a storm had knocked out the boat's VHF marine radio. The vessel had working Amateur Radio gear, however. When the USCGA officer attempted to contact the S/V Elke-Marie on behalf of the Coast Guard using the Catalina Island Amateur Radio Association (CARA) VHF repeater, "Gerritsen began speaking and transmitting a prerecorded message," the officer and the complainant in the case--the wife of a passenger on the sailboat--alleged. Although the officer asked him to stand down, Gerritsen continued to transmit, accusing the officer of declaring a sham emergency in an effort to jam Gerritsen's transmissions, the NAL recounts. The FCC said the transmissions, which continued for some 40 minutes, included the repeated playing of a recording and ultimately ended with the perpetrator's saying, "If you jam me, I'll jam you." FCC agents promptly tracked a signal on the repeater's input frequency to Gerritsen's residence, but attempts to contact him by telephone proved unsuccessful. Later that day, FCC officials tracked to Gerritsen's residence a transmission on another 2-meter frequency during which the operator identified as KG6IRO. Although the agents reported hearing a voice from inside the dwelling that "synchronized with the voice" on their scanner, the NAL said, no one answered the door. In the NAL, Deaton said the Communications Act requirement that all radio stations give "absolute priority" to radio communications or signals relating to ships in distress "exemplifies one of the best uses for radio transmissions, the endeavor to save a human life." "Gerritsen's actions on October 29, 2004," she concluded, "exemplify the worst." Several hundred ARRL members from the Los Angeles area have complained to the League about Gerritsen. In mid-December, the League called upon FCC Enforcement Chief David Solomon to intervene with the US Attorney's office in the case, citing the urgency of the situation and suggesting "that procedures other than monetary forfeitures be brought to bear." ==>TAMPERE CONVENTION EASES INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY TELECOMMUNICATIONS When an international disaster strikes, humanitarian organizations now will be able to provide telecommunications more quickly and effectively to help victims, thanks to a treaty that became effective January 8. The Tampere Convention on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations largely eliminates roadblocks to moving telecommunications personnel and equipment into and within disaster-stricken areas--such as those affected by the December earthquake and tsunami. Delegates to the Intergovernmental Conference on Emergency Telecommunications (ICET-98) adopted the 17-article treaty in June of 1998 in Tampere, Finland. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, attended on behalf of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). ARRL Chief Technology Officer Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, credits Hans Zimmermann, HB9AQS, with being "a prime mover" behind the Tampere Convention. "The Tampere Convention has broader purposes but is an important building block in IARU's efforts to improve recognition of the Amateur Service in providing emergency communications for disaster relief," Rinaldo says. Zimmermann coordinated work on the Tampere disaster telecommunications treaty while Seppo SisšttŲ, OH1VR, chaired the convention's organizing committee. Rinaldo notes too that the IARU led the way for a revision of Article 25 of the international Radio Regulations at World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) to include an item enabling radio amateurs to handle third-party traffic during emergency and disaster relief situations. While FCC Part 97 has not yet been revised to reflect this change, ARRL understands from FCC staff that if governments of disaster-affected countries do not object to their amateur stations receiving messages from our amateur stations on behalf of third parties, the US has no objection to its amateur stations transmitting international communications in support of disaster relief. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) says that until the Tampere Convention, regulatory barriers often impeded the ability of humanitarian organizations to deploy telecommunications equipment across borders in an emergency, and delays have cost lives. "With this convention, relief workers can make full use of today's telecommunication tools, which are essential for the coordination of rescue operations," ITU Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi said in a statement. The first treaty of its kind, the Tampere Convention calls on signatory countries to facilitate prompt telecommunication aid to mitigate a disaster's impact. It covers both installation and operation of telecommunication services and waives regulatory barriers such as licensing requirements and import restrictions as well as limitations on the movement of humanitarian teams. The pact also grants immunity from arrest and detention to those providing disaster assistance, and exempts them from taxes and duties. In his role as IARU's new International Coordinator for Emergency Communications, Zimmermann, in concert with IARU regional coordinators, is focusing on assisting IARU member-societies to fulfill "the expectations of the international community, of all those who rely on telecommunications when responding to emergencies, and of those affected by disasters." As a first step in this task, he's facilitating an exchange of information on training and cooperation on all levels. Addressing that in a broader forum will be the first Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference (GAREC-2005). An initiative of the Finnish Amateur Radio Society (SRAL), GAREC 2005 will take place June 13-14 in Tampere, in recognition of the city's "long tradition in emergency telecommunications," Zimmerman says. Rinaldo also points to ITU Radiocommunication Sector Recommendation M.1042, "Disaster Communications in the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Services" as another vehicle to formalize Amateur Radio's role in international emergency and disaster mitigation. It encourages the development of "robust, flexible and independent" Amateur Radio networks that can operate from emergency power and provide communication in natural disasters. The IARU, Rinaldo added, also had leading role in developing the ITU-D Emergency Telecommunications Handbook, recently edited under Zimmermann's leadership. "Together," Rinaldo observed, "the Tampere Convention, the Handbook, Article 25 and Recommendation M.1042 represent an improved environment in which Amateur Radio operators can conduct international emergency communications." ==>DXCC LISTINGS NOW AVAILABLE ON THE ARRL WEB SITE The ARRL Web site now features up-to-date listings of DXCC awards earned. The new system shows every issued DXCC award known to ARRL's computerized DXCC system, with the exception of individual standings for 5BDXCC. ARRL Membership Services Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG, says the Web site listing is even more complete than the DXCC Yearbook ever was, since the printed list did not list inactive band-accounts for the previous year. "This will list everything and everybody," Mills emphasized. "The new system makes available a separate listing for each DXCC award type--band or mode." Even more important, Mills notes, is that it essentially renders obsolete the manually generated monthly and yearly reports. "Under the new system, DXCC listings will updated daily," he emphasized. The DXCC standings of all ARRL members will remain in dark type. Call signs of non-members who have not submitted credits for 10 years or more are in grayed-out type. Each listing by band or mode is complete in a separate Adobe PDF file. The largest listing (DXCC Mixed) now runs to more than 50 pages, but the size of the PDF file is only about 150 kbytes because of file compression. Printing format options include US letter-sized or ISO A4 paper. The DXCC listings can be found at http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/#listings. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Sunspot seeker Tad "Sunshine of Your Love" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar activity was down this week. Average daily sunspot numbers were off by nearly 36 points to 53.4, and average daily solar flux dropped 31 points to 101.7. On Friday, January 21, we were hit by a big blast of energy from an X7-class solar flare the previous day. The planetary A index went to 61, and the mid-latitude A index was 30. A severe geomagnetic storm lasted the next couple of days, but conditions really calmed down on Monday through Thursday, January 24-27. On Wednesday, January 26, the mid-latitude A index went clear down to zero because the K index, upon which it is based, was zero during all eight reporting periods. This is incredibly quiet--good for HF propagation, provided the sunspots are there to support it. We could hope for similar quiet conditions for this weekend's CQ World Wide 160-meter CW Contest, but the forecast doesn't look that great. The predicted planetary A indices for Friday through Monday, January 28-31, are 15, 30, 20 and 20. This isn't due to any flare activity, but Earth is about to move into a solar wind stream, and the most active conditions are expected on January 29. Conditions should be back to quiet by February 3. Flares, solar wind and geomagnetic storms aren't bad for all radio propagation. Six meters often gets interesting during active conditions, and a number of reports arrived this week concerning VHF. When HF operators thought their radios were dead on January 21, OZ1DJJ in Denmark worked Lefty Clement, K1TOL, in Maine on 6-meter CW via aurora during the Scandinavian Activity Contest. Sunspot numbers for January 20 through 26 were 61, 69, 60, 40, 42, 56 and 46, with a mean of 53.4. The 10.7 cm flux was 122.7, 113.5, 102.2, 95.8, 94.6, 94.1 and 89.3, with a mean of 101.7. Estimated planetary A indices were 12, 61, 28, 17, 6, 4 and 4, with a mean of 18.9. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 10, 30, 23, 12, 5, 2 and 0, with a __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The CQ 160-Meter Contest (CW), the REF Contest (CW), the UK DX Contest (RTTY) and the UBA DX Contest (SSB) are the weekend of January 29-30. JUST AHEAD: The North American Sprint (SSB), the Vermont, Delaware and Minnesota QSO parties, the 10-10 International Winter Contest (SSB), the YL-ISSB QSO Party, the YLRL YL-OM Contest (CW), the AGCW Straight Key Party, the Mexico RTTY International Contest and the ARCI Winter Fireside SSB Sprint are the weekend of February 5-6. The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (SSB) is February 7, and the ARS Spartan Sprint is February 8. 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 RFI (EC-006) and Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009) courses remains open through Sunday, January 30. Classes begin Friday, February 11. 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 interference sources. 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. * Nominations for ARRL ham radio instructor awards due by March 1: The deadline to submit nominations for ARRL's two Amateur Radio instructor awards for 2004 is March 1, 2005. The ARRL Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/award/herb-tor.html> is presented to a volunteer Amateur Radio instructor. Named in memory of long-time CQ Novice Editor Herb S. Brier, W9AD, the award honors Brier's spirit of effective, caring Amateur Radio instruction. The ARRL sponsors this award, in conjunction with the Lake County (Indiana) Amateur Radio Club to recognize the very best in volunteer Amateur Radio instruction and recruitment. The ARRL Professional Educator of the Year Award <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/award/pey-tor.html> is presented to a teacher who uses Amateur Radio as part of the curriculum or after-school program, or teaches it in an educational institution, such as a community college. These awards honor those hams who put in countless volunteer hours to seek out newcomers and teach them the standards and practices of Amateur Radio. Nominating forms for the Brier award and the Professional Educator award are available on the ARRL Web site. All nominations must be received at ARRL Headquarters by March 1. All nominees will be invited to confirm their interest in competing for the award and to submit material documenting their activities. Winners receive engraved plaques and up to $100 worth of ARRL publications. * Amateur Radio volunteer among train wreck victims: Amateur Radio volunteer Scott McKeown, KE6EMI, of Moorpark, California, was among the 11 people who died after two Los Angeles Metrolink commuter trains collided January 26 in Glendale. More than 200 people were injured in the mishap, which occurred after one of the trains derailed after striking a motor vehicle left on the tracks. McKeown, 42, served as Ventura County ARES/RACES Area 8 Moorpark Assistant Emergency Coordinator. He also regularly volunteered to support communications for the Angeles Crest 100-Mile Endurance Run and had assisted during past runnings of the Baker to Vegas Relay Annual Challenge Run. A former City of Glendale employee, McKeown--a married father of two--was acting telecommunications manager for the City of Pasadena. * ISS RS0ISS packet system remains problematic: ISS Ham Project Engineer Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, at Johnson Space Center reports that the packet BBS portion (RS0ISS-11) aboard the International Space Station remains non-operational, and efforts to restore the BBS capability have been unsuccessful. "At this point it is unknown if this is a temporary or permanent state," Ransom said, adding that Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) hopes the feature can be restored in the future, "once a computer becomes available." Meanwhile, the ARISS digipeater is working but exhibits difficulties in relaying data. "The digipeater appears to be listening for long periods of time and then transmitting all of the buffered information at once," Ransom explained. "This duration of this issue seems to vary depending on your location." A computer is tentatively scheduled to be delivered to the ISS later this year, but Ransom says the schedule could be pushed back to accommodate higher priority items. "Once a computer is available, troubleshooting of both packet systems can be performed and hopefully both restored to full functionality." The ARISS Phase 2 station handles RS0ISS packet system operation. * Special event station to commemorate Yalta Conference: Special event station EM60J will be on the air February 4-11 from Ukraine to mark the 60th anniversary of the Yalta Conference. The historic 1945 talks brought together the "Big Three" Allied leaders--(left to right in photo) Great Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Russia's Joseph Stalin--to discuss post-World War II reorganization of Europe. The conference's primary purpose was to re-establish the nations that had been conquered by Nazi Germany, and one result was the partitioning of Germany into US, Russian, British and French zones. QSL via UU5JYA or direct to PO Box 378, Yalta 98600, Ukraine.--The Daily DX <http://www.dailydx.com/> =========================================================== 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. 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