*************** 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!): firstname.lastname@example.org ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, email@example.com =========================================================== ==>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, firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com. * 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, firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com. 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, 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. 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