ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 24, No. 14
April 8, 2005
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +Amateur Radio a hit in TOPOFF 3 homeland security drill
* +No balancing act for BPL, ARRL tells FCC
* +Texas kids log 170th ham radio school QSO with ISS
* +"Wireless literacy" is Big Project goal
* +SKYWARN springs into action in Central Mississippi
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF: 
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course registration
    +FT5XO Kerguelen Island DXpedition logs nearly 68,000 contacts
    +Digital Communications Conference issues call for papers
    +Volunteers needed for endangered bat research
     Michael Heiler, KA0ZLG, wins March QST Cover Plaque Award
     Special event set for Visalia DX Convention

+Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> 

===========================================================
==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
letter-dlvy@arrl.org
==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, n1rl@arrl.org
===========================================================

==>AMATEUR RADIO EARNS KUDOS FOR TOPOFF 3 PERFORMANCE

The role of Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers in Connecticut
in this week's massive TOPOFF 3 exercise has drawn praise from the American
Red Cross, for which ARES provided virtually all radio communication.
Sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security and intended as a
realistic test of the nation's homeland security system, TOPOFF 3's goal was
to push the system of first responders beyond its limits to find the weak
spots. American Red Cross emergency services director Mario J. Bruno
extolled ARES' performance.

"Operators were there when we needed them, and messages got to where they
were needed," he said in a note to ARRL Connecticut Section leadership. "We
have learned a lot about what ARES can really do when things get messy, and
TOPOFF 3 has been a clear example of how complicated a disaster can get." 

Bruno said the Red Cross doesn't have to worry if today's fancy
telecommunications devices fail, because ARES will always be there to
provide the needed support. "Thank you ARES for helping us respond to the
largest disaster exercise in the history of the United States," Bruno
concluded. "We will not forget."

Connecticut's phase of TOPOFF 3 began April 4 with a bang--an explosion in
New London meant to simulate a terrorist attack. "Loud enough that the
organizers passed out earplugs for the media gathered on the bluffs above,"
recounted ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP--a
former Connecticut Section Emergency Coordinator and current ARES member.

Visual realism was very much a part of the $16 million exercise, and
prospective ARES volunteers were cautioned in advance. "As the mushroom
cloud of smoke drifted away," Pitts said, describing the explosion's
immediate aftermath, "hundreds of gory victims processed into the site to
assume positions of death and agony." Pitts says Amateur Radio's real work
only began in earnest after the media also drifted away, once the smoke and
simulated blood were gone.

After ARES stood down from the drill late on April 6, ARRL Connecticut
Section Manager Betsey Doane, K1EIC, and SEC Chuck Rexroad, AB1CR, said they
felt Amateur Radio acquitted itself very well during the drill.

"The energy, enthusiasm and absolute dedication of all the volunteers for
this event are a testament to the real dedication and teamwork in the
Connecticut Section," Doane said in a statement thanking all who took part.

Rexroad agreed. "It's just been amazing," he said. "People came into this
drill prepared and ready to stay. It was a very positive experience." 

Under the National Disaster Plan, the Red Cross has primary responsibility
for mass care. ARES provided communication among all of the Red Cross
emergency response vehicles (ERVs), mobile canteens, kitchen, headquarters
and other sites the organization needed stay in touch with.

In all, as many as 40 of the 150 ARES volunteers from Connecticut and other
states in the Northeast were deployed to the field at any given time, and
everyone got to take part at some point. "Everybody had a job to do,"
Rexroad said. "Everyone had at least one shift when they were able to get on
the radio and provide communications support."

Doane also credited the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications courses
and other training with raising the overall level of operating skill--even
among newer operators.

"There were a few new people that were assigned to be observers, and before
the end of the drill ended up trained well enough to be an operator on an
ERV," she said. "I have to tell you, I was impressed."

TOPOFF 3 required participants to be ready for unexpected events, and the
ARES operation was no exception. "The only big curveball we got thrown was
when one of the judges decided they were going to take one of our repeaters
down," Rexroad explained. Connecticut ARES was able to promptly switch to a
backup. Ironically, a genuine repeater breakdown occurred just before the
exercise got under way.

Rexroad and Doane agreed that TOPOFF 3 not only was a success but a helpful
learning experience for ARES. "We learned a fair number of lessons, and most
of them were organizational, not technical, in nature," Rexroad remarked.

Rexroad says Connecticut ARES also prepared to assist the Connecticut Office
of Emergency Management and actually activated several of its stations to
show the state officials that it had the back-up coverage in case they
needed it.

A bioterrorism incident was the scenario in New Jersey--the only other
TOPOFF 3 site. Emergency officials there not only were key to the exercise,
they had real problems owing to flooding in the northern part of the state.
ARES teams in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania participated in the
flood emergency response and relief effort.

Brian Fernandez, K1BRF, a Connecticut Assistant SM and ARES liaison to the
Red Cross said Amateur Radio's performance in TOPOFF 3 did not go unnoticed
within the Department of Homeland Security. "Amateur Radio made a major
contribution to the nation," he said, "and those who contribute to making it
safer and stronger and folks in the right places know it."

==>BPL IS NO BALANCING ACT, ARRL SAYS IN FCC FILINGS

In filings before the FCC, the ARRL has again challenged some basic
assumptions made by BPL proponents and included in the FCC's Report and
Order (R&O) adopting new rules governing the deployment of broadband over
power line (BPL) systems. The League took particular issue with any notion
that a balancing test exists between BPL's purported public benefits and its
potential to interfere with licensed services.

"There is no balancing to be done in the case of compatibility between
unlicensed devices and licensed radio services," the ARRL asserted April 1
in its Reply to Oppositions from Ambient Corporation and the United Power
Line Council (UPLC). "Unlicensed devices are not entitled to operate if they
cause harmful interference to licensed radio services, and they cannot be
authorized at all . . . if they have, as does BPL, a significant
interference potential to licensed services." The League's remarks
reiterated a point it's made in other FCC proceedings pitting unlicensed
Part 15 devices against licensed services.

The Reply to Oppositions comments mark the last opportunity for BPL
stakeholders to comment in the FCC rule making proceeding that led to last
October's R&O. In separate replies, the ARRL zeroed in on oppositions to
petitions for reconsideration filed by Ambient, the UPLC, Current
Technologies, three utilities--Ameren Energy Communications, Virginia
Electric Power and Tucson Electric Power--Homeplug Power Line Alliance and
Intellon.

The ARRL targeted Ambient's stated assumption that the FCC's goal in the
proceeding should be to "ensure that its interference protection rules and
policies do not inadvertently hinder development and deployment" of BPL. The
League cited its own experiences with Ambient to make its point.

"Ambient's priorities and spectrum manners are evident not only in [its]
statement, but as well in its atrocious record of harmful interference and
unresponsiveness to verified interference complaints in its BPL test
operations," the ARRL said. It attached a copy of its latest interference
complaint involving Ambient's Briarcliff Manor, New York, BPL pilot project.
"The interference to Amateur Radio communications at that site has been
unresolved for a period of an entire year," the League emphasized.

Ambient's Opposition filing, the League said, suggests the company "believes
that the potential future benefit of BPL justifies whatever harmful
byproduct there is in terms of interference to licensed radio services." But
the Ambient pilot project, the ARRL continued, "form an obvious, empirical
rebuttal" to the FCC's assertion in the R&O that BPL has a low interference
potential, and that BPL providers have some incentive to remedy BPL
interference. "Both of these fundamental premises have proven false," the
ARRL said.

The ARRL also took issue with the UPLC's suggestion in its Opposition that
the FCC's R&O "struck the right balance between protecting against potential
interference and promoting the public interest in BPL deployment." The
League said previously stated FCC policy that radiated emission levels
sufficiently low to prevent interference to licensed services rather than
mitigating it after the fact have provided the basis for authorizing
unlicensed RF devices such as BPL.

Any "balancing test" with respect to BPL is improper, the ARRL concluded,
adding that any future public benefits of unlicensed BPL systems "are
irrelevant" under the Communications Act.

Beyond that, BPL operators have a greater incentive to deny the existence of
any interference, harmful or otherwise, the ARRL said, "and so far, the
Commission has given every indication that it will indulge them."

"BPL providers are the beneficiaries of the Report and Order." Amateur
licensees on the other hand, the ARRL said, "must bear the burden" the R&O
creates, despite the fact that Amateur Radio is a licensed service. 

The ARRL says analyses by the National Telecommunications and Information
Agency (NTIA) and others have shown that if a large number of BPL emitters
is deployed, "they will raise the ambient levels of man-made noise
worldwide." The League countered assertions that BPL is a point-source
radiator for measurement purposes rather than a line-source radiator.

The ARRL also urged BPL providers to seriously rethink the idea of using BPL
to carry emergency communications and provide utility company management of
the power grid. "BPL is entitled to no protection from interference at all,
and it can neither expect nor claim any such protection," the ARRL said,
pointing to tests demonstrating that even low levels of RF can disrupt BPL
transmissions.

Copies of the League's Reply to Oppositions are on the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/files/>.

==>TEXAS YOUNGSTERS LOG 170TH ARISS SCHOOL GROUP QSO

A group of elementary schoolers in Denton, Texas, used ham radio to quiz
International Space Station Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao, KE5BRW,
about life in space March 29. The direct VHF contact between W5NGU at the
Science Discovery Center at Pecan Creek Elementary School and NA1SS was
arranged by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
program. It marked the 170th ARISS school group contact since the first crew
came aboard the ISS in 2000. Chiao told the pupils he believes the
development of human space travel will parallel the earlier development of
air travel.

"In the beginning of the airplane, there were only a few people that got to
fly in them, and now we've got air travel, it's pretty commonplace for
everyone," Chiao replied. "The same thing's going to happen with space. It's
just taking a little bit longer because it's a little harder and a little
more challenging to get up into space." Noting ventures under way to
privatize space travel, Chiao said he thinks that's the direction human
space flight will take in the future.

Among other things, Chiao also told the kids that education is very
important to becoming an astronaut. Most members of the NASA Astronaut
Corps, he said, have advanced degrees, and training in various aspects of
technology is ongoing. "We're always kind of in school," he remarked. 

One youngster wanted to know if the ISS crew members log all the new things
they see or learn during their duty tours for later study. Chiao said that
some astronauts keep journals as part of one of the science experiments
aboard the ISS. 

"I've been keeping a journal that I put in my thoughts maybe two or three
times a week, depending on how much time I have, and those will be used
later to study different social aspects of being on board a space station
for so long," he said. Chiao and his Expedition 10 crewmate, cosmonaut
Salizhan Sharipov of Russia, have been aboard the ISS since last October.
They're due to return to Earth later this month.

In all, the Pecan Creek students put 15 questions to Chiao before the ISS
went out of range. At one point during the contact, Chiao looked out the
window and observed that the spacecraft was passing directly over the Dallas
area. He commented that looking at Earth and taking photographs was a
favorite spare-time activity aboard the ISS.

Amateur satellite veteran Keith Pugh, W5IU, served as mentor for the ARISS
contact. Members of the Denton County Amateur Radio Club, W5NGU, set up the
ground station equipment and handled control operator duties. They also
arranged for other schools to view the contact live via amateur TV.

About 50 parents and guests along with members of the school faculty joined
some 300 of the participating pupils' schoolmates to witness the contact.
The Science Development Center contact got media coverage from two TV
stations and two newspapers.

ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss/> is an international educational outreach
with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA.

==>"WIRELESS LITERACY" IS ARRL EDUCATION & TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM GOAL

With some 130 schools now on board, the ARRL Education & Technology Program
(ETP)--also known as "the Big Project"--has set its sights on transforming
the teaching of wireless technology in the US. ETP Coordinator Mark Spencer,
WA8SME, acknowledges that incorporating what he calls "wireless literacy"
into the broader educational landscape is not something that will happen
overnight. Even so, he believes the ETP not only can have a role in
developing a favorable climate for wireless literacy and establishing it as
an educational mainstay but in ultimately setting academic standards.
Spencer says reaching teachers first is key.

"You've got to have a jazzed teacher," Spencer stresses, pointing out that
many teachers remain uncomfortable with wireless technology and are unaware
of the best ways to teach it. To address this problem, the ETP last summer
sponsored its first Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology, an intensive
weeklong, hands-on session aimed at getting the nine attendees up to speed
on wireless and electronics technology basics and how to teach them.

Expanding on the success of the inaugural institute, the ETP this year will
sponsor three sessions--two at ARRL Headquarters and one "on the road" in
Ohio in July. The institutes at ARRL Headquarters will immerse two dozen
educators from across the US in wireless technology--all expenses paid.
Spencer plans to augment the 2005 Teachers Institutes with more radio
operating experience, evening sessions and more hands-on and interactive
projects. 

The ARRL Education & Technology Program recently kicked off its 2005
fund-raising effort, and ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH,
says subsidizing the expansion of the Teachers Institute initiative is one
facet of the current drive. She reports the ARRL Teachers Institute has
leadership funding for 2005 with gifts from the Brandenburg Life Foundation
and from ARRL Vice President Kay Craigie, N3KN, and her husband Carter,
N3AO. 

"Those contributions will provide about one-half of the total funding needed
for the three Teachers Institute programs in 2005," Hobart notes. ARRL
corporate partner Parallax will contribute robotics kits for participating
teachers to build and program during this year's sessions.

Hobart says the ARRL has dedicated close to $470,000 in resources and member
contributions to make the ETP a success. In addition to subsidizing the
Teachers Institutes, the program's major expenses include station
equipment--some $2200 per school--and project and activity boards and kits,
which run between $20 and $100 apiece.

As of March, 134 schools are part of the Big Project, and the program has
provided turnkey Amateur Radio stations to 110 of them--up from 80 schools a
year earlier. In many instances teachers working with the ETP have
encouraged many of their students to become radio amateurs, although that's
not a primary program objective.

Beyond local schools and teachers, Spencer looks to Amateur Radio clubs in
the community to establish close relationships with participating schools,
sharing their expertise and providing assistance. "It really comes down to
the local community drives what gets taught in the local schools," he says.
"The teachers can be jazzed, but if they don't have any support from the
local ham community, they're just going to get themselves burned out."
Spencer says he's frequently on the stump asking amateurs to "walk the walk
as well as talk the talk."

Overall, Spencer feels the program is moving in the right direction,
although he said the progress is not easy to document. "Any real change in
the educational community takes at least 12 years to come to fruition,"
Spencer said. In many cases, he believes, the program plants a seed that
might flower down the road when a youngster exposed to wireless technology
and electronics via the ETP makes his or her academic plans and career
choices.

"We need to be patient," he cautions those who may feel that an enterprise
like the Big Project should yield more immediate, obvious results.
"Contributions that are given today don't necessarily turn into rubber on
the road today."

"We're really talking about changing the culture of the school," Spencer
concluded.

The 2005 Teachers Institute sessions at ARRL Headquarters will be June 13-17
and August 1-5. For more information, visit the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/tbp/TI-2005-announce.pdf> or contact Mark
Spencer, WA8SME, mspencer@arrl.org; 860-594-0396. To help support the ARRL
Education & Technology Program, visit the secure donation form on the ARRL
Web site
<https://www.arrl.org/forms/development/donations/education/education.html>.

==>SKYWARN ENDURES DAYLONG SIEGE IN CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI

Wednesday, April 6, in Central Mississippi began with tornadoes, severe hail
and flooding, prompting activation of local SKYWARN, Amateur Radio Emergency
Service (ARES) teams and Amateur Radio volunteers. Members of the Jackson
Amateur Radio Club (JARC) staffed the National Weather Service (NWS) Jackson
Forecast Office. Operations continued for more than 16 hours as a line of
severe storms marched across Mississippi. The club's station, WX5JAN,
handled a substantial number of warning statements, spotter and damage
reports. 

"I think we did extremely well considering the length of the event and
everything else that occurred," said JARC SKYWARN Coordinator, Robert "Billy
Bob" Sekul, N5XXX. This week's event marked the eighth SKYWARN activation
since March 1. 

Within an hour of activation, an F3 tornado struck the Monterey area in
Rankin County, injuring six residents, destroying 17 homes and damaging many
more. Smith County radio amateurs reported major damage in Mize after a
tornado struck the community's K-12 school as students took shelter.
Throughout the morning, reports of hail, funnel clouds and flooding streamed
into the station from counties across Central Mississippi. 

As another wave of severe storms moved through these same areas in the
afternoon, operators continued to report funnel clouds, hail and flooding.
Several JARC ARES members responded to the Central Mississippi Chapter of
the American Red Cross to assist with damage assessment and other duties.
During this second wave of storms, a nearby lightning strike forced the
SKYWARN station off the air. Hurricane Watch Net Assistant Manager Bobby
Graves, KB5HAV, served temporarily as alternate net control while the
station recovered from the strike. Although the interruption was short
lived, warnings and reports continued unabated. 

By late afternoon, a third round of storms moved through, hitting many of
the same areas. Again, reports of hail, funnel clouds and flooding continued
until operations ceased at 10:30 PM. SKYWARN is a voluntary program
developed by the NWS to improve its severe weather warning program.--Ben
Jones, AC5SU

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Solar swami Tad "SPF-15" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Sunspots,
solar flux and geomagnetic numbers all averaged out to a slight rise this
past week over the previous period. Average daily sunspot numbers rose more
than 5 points to 39.4, and average daily solar flux was up more than 2
points to 82.5. 

Sunspot numbers and solar flux are expected to decline very slowly for the
rest of April. Sunday, April 10, looks like a day for possibly unsettled to
active geomagnetic conditions.

Sunspot numbers for March 31 through April 6 were 22, 26, 30, 38, 54, 56 and
50, with a mean of 39.4. The 10.7 cm flux was 76.7, 78.3, 80.2, 81.1, 84.8,
88.3 and 88, with a mean of 82.5. Estimated planetary A indices were 9, 8,
4, 6, 17, 48 and 11, with a mean of 14.7. Estimated mid-latitude A indices
were 5, 6, 1, 4, 11, 30 and 7, with a mean of 9.1.

A more detailed edition of Solar Update appears Fridays on the ARRL Web
site.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The JIDX CW Contest, the ARCI Spring QSO Party,
the EU Spring Sprint (SSB), the Georgia QSO Party, the Yuri Gagarin
International DX Contest, the UBA Spring Contest (SSB) and the SARL Hamnet
40-Meter Simulated Emergency Contest are the weekend of April 9-10. The 222
MHz Spring Sprint is April 12, the RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (SSB), is
April 13 and the YLRL DX-YL to NA-YL Contest (SSB) is April 13-15. JUST
AHEAD: The Holyland DX Contest, the TARA Skirmish Digital Prefix Contest,
the ES Open HF Championship, the EU Spring Sprint (CW), the Michigan and
Ontario QSO parties, and the YU DX Contest are the April 16-17 weekend. The
NAQCC Weeknight 40/80-Meter Sprint and the 432 MHz Spring Sprint are April
20. The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (Data) is April 21. 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 Technician Licensing course (EC-010) remains open
through Sunday, April 10. Classes begin Friday, April 22. With the
assistance of a mentor, EC-010 students learn everything they need to know
to pass the FCC Technician class license examination. 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 cce@arrl.org. 

* Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course registration: Registration
for the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level II on-line course
(EC-002) opens Monday, April 11, at 1201 AM EST and will remain open until
all available seats have been filled or through the April 16-17
weekend--whichever comes first. Class begins Friday, April 29. 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. Act
now! This is the final year of the grant-subsidized classes! Radio amateurs
age 55 and older are strongly encouraged to participate. 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, cce@arrl.org; 860-594-0340.

* FT5XO Kerguelen Island DXpedition logs nearly 68,000 contacts: The recent
FT5XO Kerguelen Island DXpedition racked up 67,954 QSOs during its 11-plus
days of operation in late March. Located in the subantarctic region of the
Indian Ocean, Kerguelen (IOTA AF-048)--also known as "Desolation Island"--is
ranked as the 13th most-wanted DXCC entity worldwide and the 10th
most-wanted in the US. The multinational Microlite Penguins DXpedition
Team--AG9A, GI0NWG, HB9ASZ, M0DXR, N6MZ, N0TT, SP5XVY, VE3EJ, VK6DXI, W3WL,
W7EW and 9V1YC--reports that 68 percent of the contacts were made on
CW--many of them on 40 and 30 meters--while 29 percent were on SSB and 3
percent on RTTY. European DXers were the primary beneficiaries, accounting
for slightly more than one-half of the FT5XO contacts made. Japan followed
with 21 percent, and the US at 17 percent. The DXpedition was organized and
sponsored by the Northern California DX Foundation. QSL FT5XO via
VE3XN.--George Fremin III, K5TR

* Digital Communications Conference issues call for papers: The 24th annual
ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference is soliciting technical
papers for presentation at the conference and for publication in the
conference Proceedings. The event will be held September 23-25 in Santa Ana,
California. Presentation at the conference is not required for publication.
Submit papers by August 9 to Maty Weinberg, KB1EIB, ARRL 225 Main St,
Newington, CT 06111 or via e-mail to maty@arrl.org. Additional conference
information is on the DCC Web site <http://www.tapr.org/dcc/>. 

* Volunteers needed for endangered bat research: ARRL Amateur Radio
Direction Finding Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, is asking radio amateurs in
the Northeast to assist in a wildlife radio-tracking project from mid-April
to early May. "The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
is placing tiny VHF radio transmitters on Indiana bats--an endangered
species--as they leave their winter homes in two caves," Moell says. "The
goal is to track them to determine their summer habitat." According to
wildlife technician Carl Herzog, AB2SI, 40 bats will be trapped, tagged and
released as they emerge from caves in the Watertown and Kingston areas.
Possible destinations are in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Connecticut, Ontario and Quebec. Initial tracking will be by aircraft. When
breeding locations are determined, the bats' activity will be monitored from
the ground. The tiny transmitters are on six spot frequencies between 150
and 151 MHz. Herzog expects the bats to emerge around April 15, but he notes
that the exact date will depend on the weather--and especially the
temperature. Moell says a receiver with SSB/CW capability will give optimum
range. "Volunteers with high fixed antennas and computer logging equipment
in their homes may be able to detect flyover and roosting," he said.Visit
Moell's Homing In Web site <http://www.homingin.com/> for project updates
and additional information on biological radio tags and the best equipment
to monitor them.

* Michael Heiler, KA0ZLG, wins March QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of
the QST Cover Plaque Award for March is Michael Heiler, KA0LZG, for his
article "A Backpacker's Delight--The Folding J-Pole." Congratulations,
Michael! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award--given to the author or
authors of the best article in each issue--is determined by a vote of ARRL
members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page
<http://www.arrl.org/members-only/QSTvote.html>. Cast a ballot for your
favorite article in the April issue by April 30.

* Special event set for Visalia DX Convention: Special event station N6V
will be on the air April 15-16, 1600-0200 UTC, from the 56th annual
International DX Convention in Visalia, California. Convention attendees are
invited to operate the station. Operation will be on 14.190-14.240 MHz days
and 7.175-7.250 MHz evenings. QSL via operator's instructions, and include
an SASE with all QSL requests. Contact K6AER for more information.

=========================================================== 
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,
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access to news, informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News
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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.

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The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

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.

Back issues published since 2000 are available on this page. If you wish to subscribe via e-mail, simply log on to the ARRL Web site, click on Edit Your Profile at the top, then click on Edit Email Subscriptions. Check the box next to The ARRL email newsletter, the ARRL Letter and you will receive each weekly issue in HTML format. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): letter-dlvy@arrl.org

Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME, at ww1me@arrl.org.

Plain-Text

The ARRL E-Letter e-mail is also available in plain-text version:

Outlook Express

1. From the Inbox view, select the Tools menu and the Options selection.

2. Click the Read tab

3. Check the Read All Messages In Plain Text box.  When you open the e-mail, it will be in plain text without images. Other e-mail programs may be able to make a Mail Rule for e-mail received from the address memberlist@www.arrl.org so that the plain-text-only display is selected automatically.

Outlook 2007

Use the same procedure as for Outlook Express, although the global option is under "Tools/Trust Center/E-mail Security".

Thunderbird

Use the menu item "View/Message Body As/Plain Text" or "View/Message Source" options.

OS X Mail (Mac)

Use the "View/Message/Plain Text Alternative" menu item.

GMail

Use the "Message text garbled?" link in the drop-down menu at the upper right of the displayed message block. pine, alpine Set "prefer-plain-text" in your ~/.pinerc configuration file: feature-list=..., prefer-plain-text, ...