*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 24, No. 12 March 25, 2005 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +Amateur Radio to have role in major terrorism response exercise * +ARRL CEO tells broadband conference BPL inherently flawed * +Fire, bloody noses, giving birth in space among ARISS QSO topics * +League reps attend National Severe Weather Workshop * +FCC grants early access to 7100-7200 kHz to licensees outside Region 2 * +Dayton Hamvention announces award winners for 2005 * +Rush Drake, W7RM, SK * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +AMSAT-NA issues call for Symposium papers CQ introduces CQ DX Field Award Radio amateur tapped to head NASA Washington ham nominated to National Inventors Hall of Fame Norwegian club stations gaining access to 5 MHz frequencies DXCC Desk approves operations for DXCC credit FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau chief stepping down +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== NOTE: Because ARRL Headquarters is closed Friday, March 25, this week's editions of The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News are distributing to subscribers one day early. There will be no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions March 25. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Monday, March 28, at 8 AM Eastern Time. We wish all an enjoyable holiday weekend. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): firstname.lastname@example.org ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, email@example.com =========================================================== ==>LARGEST-EVER MASS CASUALTY EXERCISE WILL PUT AMATEUR RADIO UNDER SCRUTINY Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) members in Connecticut and elsewhere in the Northeast are poised to take part in what's being characterized as the most comprehensive terrorism response exercise ever conducted in the US. Sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security as a realistic test of the nation's homeland security system, the exercise--TOPOFF 3--will run Monday through Friday, April 4-8. Approximately 100 ARES volunteers primarily will support the American Red Cross. Connecticut Section Emergency Coordinator Chuck Rexroad, AB1CR, says that while governmental agencies will comprise the majority of those taking part in TOPOFF 3, Amateur Radio's cooperation with and assistance to the American Red Cross will be under scrutiny. "We've been assigned evaluators and judges who will be watching what we do and how we do it to determine our suitability for such things in the future," he explained. Rexroad says at TOPOFF 2 a couple of years ago, evaluators pointed to massive communication problems that Amateur Radio could have helped to resolve, Rexroad said. "So we do hope that this will show that we are very relevant in responding to a disaster situation." The TOPOFF 3 scenario will depict a complex terrorist campaign beginning in Connecticut and New Jersey and leading to national and international response that will include Canada--where the exercise will be known as "TRIPLE PLAY"--and the United Kingdom--where it will be called "ATLANTIC BLUE." The only nongovernmental organization with a formal role in the recently released National Disaster Plan, the Red Cross has main responsibility for mass care. Rexroad anticipates that ARES will be providing its traditional "backbone" communication support among Red Cross mobile feeding stations, the organization's temporary stationary facilities and other Red Cross units. ARES also will be ready to provide back-up communication support the Connecticut Office of Emergency Management, he said. Rexroad and Connecticut Section Manager Betsey Doane, K1EIC, have been gearing up for TOPOFF 3 for more than a year. Both hope the ARES role in the drill will provide graduates of the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications courses a chance to put into practice what they've learned--on a national stage. With the drill just days away, Rexroad said he still needs volunteers. "People who can staff a permanent position, people who can set up a temporary position, people who can do shadowing and--the big one we're missing right now--people who can temporarily put a radio in a mobile Red Cross van," he explained. "The sections surrounding Connecticut have all offered to provide assistance, and we're looking forward to support from Eastern and Western Massachusetts, Rhode Island and possibly even some people from New York." Rexroad has been making the rounds to conduct briefing sessions prior to the drill. TOPOFF 3 ARES volunteers must be comfortable with a high-security environment, realistic-looking "injuries" and military aircraft flying overhead, Rexroad says. In terms of equipment, he says most operation will take place on VHF and UHF, with an HF link to the National Traffic System only. Headsets are advisable because of anticipated high noise levels. Volunteers will wear matching vests that say "Radio Communications" on the back and "ARES" on the front. Due to security requirements, all volunteers must register with ARES in advance. Information on the exercise and how to volunteer is on the Connecticut ARES Web site <http://www.ctares.org/>. ==>BPL INHERENTLY FLAWED, LEAGUE CEO TELLS BROADBAND ALTERNATIVES CONFERENCE ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, told a New York City conference on "Alternative Broadband Platforms" March 18 that broadband over power line (BPL) has "an inherent technical flaw"--interference potential--that cannot be completely nor inexpensively eliminated. He also told the gathering that no BPL system operator can guarantee that its system will always work or that it will be allowed to operate. Sumner said the problem is simple: Power lines were not designed to carry broadband signals, so they can't do it very well. "BPL is not a radio spectrum user. It is a radio spectrum polluter," Sumner told the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) workshop, "Alternative Broadband Platforms: Can They Compete With Fiber Optics? Where?" at Columbia University. "And if the pollution causes harmful interference to an authorized radio station, the BPL system operator has the absolute burden of fixing it--even if that means shutting off the system." Sumner asked his audience to keep this unique shortcoming of BPL in mind as they compare and consider the alternative broadband platforms discussed. The 70 conference participants included BPL manufacturers and proponents as well as individuals involved in some aspect of broadband telecommunications, members of the academic community and students. Directed by Eli Noam, KE2PN, CITI held its first workshop on BPL--then called PLC--in February 2002 and has held several more since. This month's event was the first in which ARRL was invited to participate. The conference's entire morning session was devoted to BPL. In addition to the question of interference, Sumner also raised the legal obstacles confronting BPL. "I think you can see--or hear--why we radio amateurs are concerned," he said after showing the audience a video clip of BPL interference recorded in Briarcliff Manor, New York, last December. "But anyone who is thinking about investing in BPL should also be concerned, because the interference you just heard is illegal," he continued. "It is prohibited by the international radio regulations of the International Telecommunication Union, which the United States must observe as a treaty obligation. It is prohibited by the Communications Act. It is prohibited by the FCC's own rules." Sumner also spoke about BPL interference complaints involving pilot projects in Iowa and Texas. The emission limits the FCC has applied to BPL originally were established with intermittent, narrowband, point-source radiators in mind, Sumner explained. "Applying them to a high duty cycle, broadband emitter that is attached to a long conductor such as a power line is like saying that there's no difference between the noise of a helicopter that goes over your house once a day and one that hovers over your back yard all the time," Sumner said. "You wouldn't complain about the first, but you'd raise quite a fuss about the second." Most workshop participants, Sumner said, appeared to believe that fiber optic cable close by or to the home--or a combination of fiber and coaxial cable--would be most likely to provide a broadband pipeline in 10 years. "They also liked wireless because of mobility and portability," he added. When asked at the end of the day who would invest in BPL, "only two or three hands went up." Sumner's prepared remarks plus additional material relating to his CITI presentation are available on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/presentations.html>. ==>AUSTRALIAN YOUNGSTERS QUIZ ISS COMMANDER VIA AMATEUR RADIO Giving birth in space, the behavior of fire in zero gravity and what happens if an ISS crew member gets a bloody nose were among the topics that piqued the curiosity of a group of Australian youngsters this month. Students at St Martins Lutheran College in Mt Gambier spoke via Amateur Radio March 17 with International Space Station Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao, KE5BRW. The teleconferenced contact between WH6PN in Honolulu and NA1SS in space was arranged by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. One youngster wanted to know if it would be possible for a baby to be born in space. "There's no reason why a baby could not be born in space," Chiao said, "however that has not been done." Earlier reproductive experiments involving Japanese red-bellied newts, fish and other animals in space have been successful, he said, "so I would anticipate that it is possible." Responding to another question, Chiao told the St Martins pupils that fire behaves a bit differently in space than it does on Earth. "If you were to light a candle, for example, the flame would actually form a ball instead of the point that you're used to seeing on Earth," he explained. A bloody nose would get essentially the same treatment in space as it would on Earth, Chiao said in answer to another query. "Of course, you couldn't tilt your head back--that wouldn't do much good without gravity," Chiao said. "But we do have a complete medical kit on board that includes a kit for bloody noses, and we would try to apply local pressure as you would on Earth and try to stop the bleeding." Under the guidance of teacher Jeanie Axton, the 10 participating students squeezed in 22 questions during the approximately 10-minute contact, which took place around 8 PM local time. Handling Earth-station duties in Hawaii was Nancy Rocheleau, WH6PN, at Sacred Hearts Academy. MCI donated a two-way audio teleconferencing link to make the contact possible. Tony Hutchison, VK5ZAI, represented ARISS at the school and set up a PowerPoint display of space scenes and a tracking screen to show the ISS's position relative to Earth. He also answered numerous questions from the youngsters and the audience following the contact. He had on-site assistance from members of the South East Radio Club. Will Marchant, KC6ROL, moderated the ARISS event. Live audio from the ARISS contact also was distributed via IRLP and EchoLink. Some 200 parents, teachers and other students were on hand for the St Martins QSO. Several members of local and national news media covered the event. The St Martins QSO marked the seventh time an Australian school has taken part in an ARISS school group contact. ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>ARRL REPRESENTED AT NATIONAL SEVERE WEATHER WORKSHOP 2005 Three ARRL representatives attended the 2005 National Severe Weather Workshop (NSWW), held March 3-5 in Midwest City, Oklahoma. Sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the NSWW is a national forum for emergency management and media to exchange needs and ideas on severe weather safety. Oklahoma Section Manager John Thomason, WB5SYT; Assistant SM Eddie Manley, K5EMS, and--from ARRL Headquarters--Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan Miller, K3UFG, staffed an ARRL exhibit and responded to questions. Some of the more than 250 attendees also completed a survey. All of those who responded said Amateur Radio is essential for emergency communication, and 86 percent said they consider Amateur Radio a community service. Half of the respondents said they considered radio amateurs to be "reliable" and "very motivated." Eighty-six percent of those completing the survey said their emergency communication is via Amateur Radio voice or Morse code, while just 14 percent included Amateur Radio e-mail. Nearly two thirds of those surveyed reported that Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is offered to everyone--including hams--in their area, while a third said such training was just becoming available. The top emergency communication priorities cited included interoperability (43 percent), safety (36 percent), equipment (29 percent), back-up power (21 percent) and adequate personnel (21 percent). ==>FCC LICENSEES OUTSIDE REGION 2 TO GAIN EARLY ACCESS TO 7100-7200 KHZ The FCC has given licensees operating in FCC-administered territory in Regions 1 and 3 early access to 7100-7200 kHz. The change was included in a massive Report and Order (R&O) in ET Docket 04-139, a portion of which dealt with 40-meter worldwide realignment. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, said the ARRL was grateful to the FCC for allowing amateur stations it regulates in Regions 1 and 3 to gain prompt access to 7100-7200 kHz. "This will make it easier for amateurs throughout the world to use the very popular and crowded 40-meter band and will facilitate disaster communications," Sumner said. He added that ARRL joins the FCC in cautioning Commission-licensed amateurs outside of Region 2 to avoid interfering with broadcast stations in the 7100-7200 kHz band during the transition period, which ends in 2009 per an agreement reached at WRC-03. Sumner credited the efforts of Larry Gandy, AH8LG, and the American Samoa Amateur Radio Association, who supported the ARRL's comments in the proceeding, for helping to advance the proposal. Gandy argued that during a typhoon that struck American Samoa, communication would have been significantly improved had amateur operators been allowed access to 7100-7200 kHz. Other countries also have made 7100-7200 kHz available to amateurs, generally on a secondary, non-interference basis. Sumner said that even with constraints, access to this band by amateurs in a growing number of countries "is a significant benefit to the Amateur Radio Service," and he said the League appreciates the Commission's efforts to extend this benefit to its licensees, especially those in the US Pacific insular areas in Region 3. In a footnote to the R&O, the FCC said amateur operators may file interference complaints if they receive interference from HF broadcast signals directed to Region 2. "In the current seasonal schedule, we observe that several HFBC signals are directed to the United States in the band 7100-7300 kHz," the FCC noted. The FCC has not announced the effective date of the rule change. ==>DAYTON HAMVENTIONR NAMES 2005 AWARD WINNERS Dayton Hamvention has announced the 2005 Amateur of the Year, Technical Excellence Award and Special Achievement Award winners. Dayton Hamvention will host the ARRL 2005 National Convention May 20-22. The 2005 Amateur of the Year is Alan S. Kaul, W6RCL, of La Canada, California. Hamvention is recognizing Kaul for his ongoing dedication to educating radio amateurs about the many facets of ham radio and to publicizing Amateur Radio through the media. A career electronic journalist who's currently a West Coast Producer for NBC Nightly News, Kaul has been an amateur licensee for much of his life. He was instrumental in the 2002 production of the ARRL video "Amateur Radio Today," for which producer Dave Bell, W6AQ, recruited Kaul's volunteer assistance as a script writer and co-producer. He's now at work on another ARRL project. The Dayton Hamvention Technical Excellence Award winner is author Jerry Sevick, W2FMI. Among other books, Sevick wrote Understanding and Using Baluns and Ununs, Transmission Line Transformers, Theory and Practice of Transmission Line Transformers, and Building and Using Baluns and Ununs--now out of print. He also authored numerous articles for QST and other Amateur Radio publications. He is noted for a classic series on short vertical antennas that appeared in QST. His April 1978 QST article, "Short Ground-Radial Systems for Short Verticals," is considered a classic. Receiving the Dayton Hamvention Special Achievement Award is D. Bharathi Prasad, VU2RBI, a prime mover behind the VU4RBI/VU4NRO DXpedition to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in December. When an earthquake and tsunami struck the region December 26, Bharathi immediately shifted the DXpedition into an emergency communication operation. Her efforts and those of the other DXpedition team members received widespread media attention. One news account dubbed Bharathi "Angel of the Seas" for reestablishing communication links with the Indian mainland and other parts of the stricken region. There's more information on the Hamvention Web site <http://www.hamvention.org/>. ==>PAST ARRL DIRECTOR, CONTEST HALL OF FAMER RUSH S. DRAKE, W7RM, SK Past ARRL Northwestern Division Director Rush Drake, W7RM, of Vancouver, Washington, died March 11. He was 87. Drake served as Northwestern Division Director from January 1987 through December 1989, when he stepped down due to medical problems. Prior to serving as Director, he was the division's Vice Director for two years. A Life Member of the ARRL and an inductee to the CQ Contest Hall of Fame (Class of 1993), Drake may have been best known for his wholehearted devotion to contesting and to hosting some of the nation's top operators--initially from his well-outfitted oceanfront multi-multi station on Foul Weather Bluff northwest of Seattle. "I am sure many tributes will follow, but as one who knew Rush very well during his glory years at Foul Weather Bluff, I must say that it was an honor to have grown up in contesting at the helm of his station and at his side on many a tower," said Chip Margelli, K7JA, in a message to the CQ Contest Reflector. "He put together a potent antenna farm at one of the premier locations in North America and reshaped contesting in the USA for many years." The heyday of Foul Weather Bluff was during the 1970s, with major multi-op and single-op wins in DX events and in the ARRL November Sweepstakes. "Rush brought curiosity and passion to his station and his crew," Margelli said. Drake acquired the 2.5-acre tract atop a 210-foot bluff on a peninsula northwest of Seattle in the 1960s. As Margelli recounted, Foul Weather Bluff featured "a sheer drop-off to 20 miles of salt water toward Europe and deep Asia, salt water to the east and west and a gentle downward slope to the south." As a result of this confluence of superb location and effective antennas, W7RM was able to challenge the dominance of East Coast DXers with their built-in advantage of being a continent closer to Europe. The W7RM Foul Weather Bluff contest station sported several towers' worth of multiband arrays and contributed to several first-place DX contest finishes. It also lived up to its name, Margelli recalls. "Foul Weather Bluff claimed more than its share of antennas that obviously were 'big enough.'" Drake sold the Foul Weather Bluff site to his neighbor, Gordon Marshall, W6RR, in the late 1970s due to the failing health of his late wife, LaVonne (Marshall still lives there). Drake subsequently started all over again on five acres in La Center, in the hills north of Vancouver. Recalls ARRL Contributing Editor Ward Silver, N0AX, "By the mid-90s he had it all up again--at age 80--and the station started making pretty big scores again." Silver says Drake retired from multi-multi operating "by default" after the 2002-2003 contest season and moved into an assisted-living facility not long afterward. Drake initially got into contesting while attending the University of Washington, and he won a club award as W7ESK for his 1938 ARRL International DX Contest effort. He built his contesting reputation as W4ESK, operating with the Potomac Valley Radio Club from Arlington, Virginia. He became W7ESK again when he moved back to the Pacific Northwest in the late 1950s to start up an electronics distributorship. Past ARRL Midwestern Division Director Lew Gordon, K4VX, said Drake, a close friend, "possessed a charismatic presence" that served him well in business and in Amateur Radio. "I will miss him," he said. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Sun watcher Tad "Ain't No Sunshine" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Seasonally this is a great time for HF propagation, as the Northern Hemisphere passed into spring last Sunday. But sunspot activity is low as we slip toward the bottom of the cycle--still some two years off. The weekly average of the daily sunspot number slipped by more than 16 points from a week earlier to 44.3. The daily average of the solar flux was down by more than 12 points to 92.1. Geomagnetic A and K index showed stable conditions, with slightly unsettled conditions on March 19. The forecast for this week shows more of the same, with solar flux slipping below 90. A solar wind stream may cause some unsettled to active conditions. Sunspot numbers for March 17 through 23 were 35, 37, 41, 39, 53, 49 and 56, with a mean of 44.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 101.4, 96.5, 93, 89, 89.7, 87.3 and 87.7, with a mean of 92.1. Estimated planetary A indices were 12, 9, 14, 5, 8, 3 and 4, with a mean of 7.9. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 8, 6, 9, 4, 5, 2 and 3, with a mean of 5.3. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The CQ WW WPX Contest (SSB), the UBA Spring Contest (2 meters), the Spring QRP Homebrewer Sprint, the Low Power Spring Sprint are the weekend of March 26-27. The Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society (ARLHS) Annual Spring Lites QSO Party runs from March 26 to Apr 3. JUST AHEAD: The SP DX Contest, the EA RTTY Contest, the Missouri QSO Party, the QCWA Spring QSO Party and the RSGB RoPoCo are the weekend of April 2-3. The 144 MHz Spring Sprint and the RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (CW) are April 4. The ARS Spartan Sprint is April 5, the YLRL DX-YL to NA-YL Contest (CW) is April 6-8 and the SARL 80-Meter QSO Party is April 7. 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 HF Digital Communication (EC-005) and ARRL VHF/UHF--Beyond the Repeater (EC-008) courses remains open through Sunday, March 27. Classes begin Friday April 8. 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. HF Digital Communication students will learn to use a variety of HF digital modes. To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Web page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/> or contact the ARRL C-CE Department <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * AMSAT-NA issues call for Symposium papers: AMSAT-NA has issued its first call for papers for the 2005 AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual Meeting. The gathering is set for October 7-9 in Lafayette, Louisiana. Proposals for papers, symposium presentations and poster presentations are invited on any topic of interest to the amateur satellite program. A one-page abstract is due by June 1, with "camera-ready" hard copy or final electronic documents due by August 1 for inclusion in the printed symposium Proceedings. Send abstracts and papers to Daniel Schultz, N8FGV, <email@example.com>. Details on the AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual Meeting is available on the AMSAT Web site <http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/symposium/>. * CQ introduces CQ DX Field Award: CQ magazine has introduced the CQ DX Field Award to recognize making two-way contact with at least 50 of the world's 324 "grid fields." The CQ DX Field Award is based on the Maidenhead Grid Locator system, already popular among VHF DXers and contesters, in which the world is divided--based on latitude and longitude--into 324 10x20-degree fields, and each field is broken up into 100 1x2 degree grid squares or locators. CQ DX Awards Endorsements will be issued for each additional 50 fields up to 150. Further endorsements will be available in increments of 25 fields, up to the 324 maximum. Contacts made on or after January 1, 1980--when the grid system was adopted for Amateur Radio use--may be applied toward the new award. Full details and rules will appear in the April 2005 issue of CQ and posted on the magazine's Web site <http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/>. * Radio amateur tapped to head NASA: President George W. Bush has announced his intention to nominate Michael Griffin, NR3A, to be the next administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He'll succeed Sean O'Keefe, who departed NASA earlier this year. Griffin currently heads the Space Department at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. In 2003 testimony before the US House of Representatives' Future of Human Space Flight Committee on Science, Griffin described himself as "an unabashed supporter of space exploration in general, and of human space flight in particular." Griffin expressed his belief that the human space flight program "is in the long run possibly the most significant activity in which our nation is engaged." His extensive and impressive academic resume includes five master's degrees and a doctorate (aerospace engineering). The US Senate must confirm Griffin's appointment. * Washington ham nominated to National Inventors Hall of Fame: Congratulations to ARRL member Don Bateman, KK7UT, of Bellevue, Washington, who will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May. A Honeywell engineer, Bateman invented the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) in the 1970s and the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) in the 1990s. The EGPWS is now required in all US turbine aircraft with at least six passenger seats. Other countries have implemented similar requirements. As a result of EGPWS, aircraft accident rates have declined dramatically. Should a pilot of an under-control aircraft unknowingly fly into terrain, a computerized voice in the cockpit repeats the warning, "Terrain ahead. Pull up! Terrain ahead. Pull up!" One of Bateman's most recent aircraft safety innovations comprises a real-time map display to make pilots aware of surrounding terrain when visibility is bad. The National Inventors Hall of Fame honors "men and women responsible for the great technological advances that make human, social and economic progress possible."--Ben Schupack, NW7DX * Norwegian club stations gaining access to 5 MHz frequencies: The Norwegian Post and Telecommunication Authority has granted permission to Norwegian Amateur Radio club stations to operate on eight 60-meter spot frequencies from April 1, 2005, until December 31, 2007, on a non-interference-basis. Five of the channels are the same as those available to US radio amateurs. Permissible modes are upper sideband and CW with a maximum transmitter power of 100 W. The channel center frequencies 5280, 5290, 5332, 5348, 5368, 5373, 5400 and 5405 kHz (the USB "dial frequency" would be 1.5 kHz lower for each channel).--RSGB via NRRL HF Traffic Manager Tom Segalstad, LA4LN * DXCC Desk approves operations for DXCC credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved these operations for DXCC credit: YI9KT and YI9GT, Iraq, May 7, 2004-February 8, 2005; T6KBLRM, Afghanistan, current operation; A52CDX, Bhutan, October 24-November 12, 2004; TT8M, CHAD, current operation, effective March 14, 2005; 6O0CW. Somalia, February 3-17, 2005. For more information, visit the DXCC Web page <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc>. "DXCC Frequently Asked Questions" can answer most questions about the DXCC program <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/faq/>. ARRL DX bulletins are available on the W1AW DX Bulletins page <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/dx/>. * FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau chief stepping down: John Muleta, chief of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB), has announced plans to leave the Commission at the end of March. The WTB is responsible for Amateur Radio licensing. Muleta has headed the WTB since February 2003. =========================================================== 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!): firstname.lastname@example.org ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, email@example.com ==>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. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail delivery: ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site <http://www.arrl.org/members/>. 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