*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 24, No. 17 April 29, 2005 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +Ham-congressman wants FCC to evaluate BPL's interference potential * +Texas lawmakers ignore ham radio's BPL bill concerns, ARRL SM says * +New school QSO record set during Expedition 10 * +Ham-astronaut describes ISS experience for Senate subcommittee * +FCC chairman queried during hearing on Amateur Radio's BPL fears * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course registration +FCC adopts digital broadcasting standard +Dr William W. McGrannahan, N0ZL (ex-K0ORB), SK +Philip Morrison, ex-W8FIS, SK +ARRL accepts Horace Mann "Friend of Education" Award California RACES ATV demonstration gets high marks from fire officials "Enigma machine" special event, reactivation set CQ announces annual "DX Marathon" Final WRTC 2006 rules now available +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 =========================================================== ==>US HOUSE RESOLUTION CALLS ON FCC TO EVALUATE BPL INTERFERENCE, REVIEW RULES Rep Michael Ross, WD5DVR, of Arkansas, has introduced a resolution in the US House of Representatives calling on the FCC to "conduct a full and complete analysis" of radio interference from broadband over power line (BPL). The resolution, H. Res 230, says the Commission should comprehensively evaluate BPL's interference potential incorporating "extensive public review and comment," and--in light of that analysis--to "reconsider and review" its new BPL rules, adopted last October. If approved by the full House, the non-binding resolution, introduced April 21, would express the requests as "the sense of the House of Representatives." "We are grateful to Congressman Ross and his staff for taking a leadership position in recognizing that the BPL interference issue deserves more careful consideration than the FCC was willing to give it under former Chairman Powell," said ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. The resolution has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, on which Ross serves. The resolution's prime focus is on BPL's potential to disrupt critical public safety radiocommunication. It cites National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) studies that "have determined that broadband over power line creates a 'high risk' of radio wave interference, and that harmful interference to public safety mobile radio receivers can be expected at distances of 75 meters from the power line where broadband over power line is in operation, and at distances of up to 460 meters from fixed stations, such as VHF police or fire dispatch communications facilities." The resolution notes that the same NTIA study determined that BPL interference to aeronautical and airline travel communications "could be expected at distances up to 40 kilometers from the center of the broadband over power line system, and that interference to outer marker beacons for airline instrument landing systems could be expected at great distances as well." Many public safety agencies and support services, including emergency medical services, fire, and law enforcement, utilize Low-Band VHF (30-50 MHz), the resolution points out. According to the resolution, at least 13 states--California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming--use the band for state police operations. It's the primary public safety radio band in nine states. The resolution further notes that the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials Inc (APCO), and the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), urged the FCC to withhold final action in the BPL proceeding for at least a year, pending a "conclusive determination" of BPL's potential to interfere with public safety and other licensed radio systems operating below 80 MHz. It also cites comments filed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which uses a statewide radio system with more than 1400 Low-Band VHF users. The Missouri State Highway Patrol commented that the overall effect of BPL implementation would be "a potentially significant increase in interference to the mission of critical public safety communications," the resolution says. The resolution recounts that the FCC has struggled for years to resolve widespread harmful interference to the radiocommunications of first responders on 800 MHz and "should not have proceeded with introduction of a technology which appears to have substantial potential to cause destructive interference to police, fire, emergency medical services, and other public safety radio systems" without first conducting a comprehensive evaluation. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, has urged ARRL members to contact their US representatives to support the resolution. A sample letter is available on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/filings/hres230/HRes230-SampleLtr.doc >. Members are encouraged to express their support in their own words. If you're not sure who represents your congressional district, visit the United States House of Representatives Web site <http://www.house.gov/>. To expedite delivery, send all correspondence bound for Members of Congress--preferably as an attachment--to <firstname.lastname@example.org> or fax it to 703-684-7594. The ARRL will bundle correspondence addressed to each Member of Congress for hand delivery. A copy of HRes 230 is available on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/filings/hres230/HRes230.pdf>. ==>TEXAS LAWMAKERS IGNORING AMATEUR RADIO CONCERNS IN BPL BILL, ARRL SM SAYS A bill aimed at amending the Texas utilities code to "encourage the deployment of BPL" by electric utilities could soon be up for a vote by the Texas Senate. The measure, SB 1748, recently received unanimous approval from the Senate Business and Commerce Committee. Sen Troy Fraser, the sponsor of the measure, also chairs the panel. After reporting the bill out of committee following an April 21 hearing, the panel voted to put it on the "consent agenda" to expedite its passage in the Senate. ARRL North Texas Section Manager Tom Blackwell, N5GAR, says the BPL bill was added to the committee's hearing agenda at the last minute "so we would have the minimum amount of time to submit input." At the hearing itself, "everything was well scripted in advance," he said, and radio amateurs' concerns about the measure have fallen on deaf ears. "Those who opposed this and made phone calls, sent letters or e-mail or who made personal visits to the staff members or senators themselves were summarily ignored," Blackwell said. He suggests that his constituents would make better use of their time at this point by contacting members of the Texas House--the bill's next stop. "I know there are amateurs who want their views considered on this bill," Blackwell said. "Amateurs deserve respectful treatment and consideration from these elected officials who will decide the outcome of these issues." One radio amateur showed up prepared to testify on the originally scheduled hearing date of April 5. Fraser then announced that the committee would not be accepting testimony on the bill that day, and the hearing subsequently was rescheduled. As drafted, the bill establishes a state regulatory framework for electric utilities, municipally owned utilities and electric cooperatives to develop and deploy BPL systems in Texas. It would allow utilities to lease their power lines to other concerns to operate BPL systems. The measure also would authorize a utility to recover its BPL investment from ratepayers. A utility offering BPL would only have to consider 40 percent of its BPL revenues as income in rate proceedings. Fraser asserts that his measure, introduced March 11, will prove "especially important to rural Texas, where high-speed Internet service is not readily available." But he conceded in a statement issued after the bill's favorable committee report that BPL "is still in the early stages of development." His bill also makes BPL secondary to the delivery of electric power and requires that BPL not affect the reliability of power delivery. An Irving, Texas, BPL pilot project that was the target of an ARRL complaint shut down in March and removed its equipment. There's been no word from TXU as to why it shut down the system and removed its equipment, but the League has withdrawn its complaint. ==>EXPEDITION 10 COMMANDER RACKS UP SCHOOL QSO RECORD As he wrapped up his last successful Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school group contact before heading home, Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao, KE5BRW, also set a new ARISS record. Chiao's contact April 19 with youngsters at Schulhaus Feld 1 in Richterswil, Switzerland, marked his 23rd ARISS school group contact. That tops the previous record of 22 QSOs set by Expedition 3 Crew Commander Frank Culbertson, KD5OPQ, in 2001-2002. Chiao safely returned to Earth with crewmate Salizhan Sharipov and ESA Astronaut Roberto Vittorio, IZ6ERU, on April 24. During the contact between NA1SS and HB9IRM, Chiao told the eight, nine and ten-year-old youngsters that the ISS is still growing. "There will be a few more modules added to the ISS. As soon as the shuttle starts flying again, we'll resume major construction," Chiao explained. "There will be a European module, the Columbus, of course, and also the Japanese module, the JEM module, and a few other smaller ones." NASA announced this week that it's postponed the space shuttle "return to flight" mission to a date no earlier than mid-July. The last ARISS school group contact of Chiao's duty tour was the first for Switzerland. Chiao told the youngsters that he had a nice view of the Swiss Alps and the Zurich region from his vantage point some 350 km above Earth. Before the ISS went out of range, Chiao was able to answer all 20 questions the Richterswil pupils had prepared. As he went over the horizon, he wished the students "all the very best of luck," and--as he'd urged other school groups in previous contacts--told them to "reach for the stars and keep on dreaming." At least two newspapers published reports of the Richterswil contact. Chiao, who said he enjoyed getting to answer questions about life in space posed by students on Earth, shifted into an accelerated schedule of ARISS school contacts as his duty tour drew to a close. His penultimate school QSO occurred April 15 with students at Fort Ross Elementary School in Cazadero, California, some 90 miles north of San Francisco. The school has an enrollment of just 50 students in kindergarten through grade 8. Apparently the forest of tall redwoods surrounding the small school blocked signals, causing a slight delay in the start of the Fort Ross event as the ISS came over the horizon. Once contact was established, however, signals were reported to be excellent, and seventh and eighth graders at Fort Ross managed to get 15 of their 20 questions asked and answered. During the direct VHF contact between NA1SS and WA6M, students wanted to know--among other things--how small an object Chiao could view from the ISS, how high the spacecraft was flying and how many space walks he's done. Bob Dickson, WA6M, served as the Earth station control operator, with assistance from David Horvitz, KD6BPS, and John Sperry, KE6IRX. The ARISS contact received news coverage in the Independent Coast Observer. Chiao and Sharipov will spend several weeks in Star City, Russia--near Moscow--for debriefings and medical examinations. Now aboard the ISS is the Expedition 11 crew of Commander Sergei Krikalev, U5MIR, and NASA ISS Science Officer John Phillips, KE5DRY. The ARISS school group schedule is on hiatus until May 4 while the new team settles in. ARISS is an international educational outreach with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>HAM-ASTRONAUT SAYS SMALLER ISS CREWS WORKING HARDER, SMARTER International Space Station Expedition 9 crew member Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, told a US Senate subcommittee last week that two-person ISS crews such as his have been able to accomplish a lot. NASA cut back the ISS crew complement from three to two after it was forced to ground the space shuttle fleet following the 2003 Columbia disaster. Testifying April 20 before the US Senate Commerce Committee's Science and Space Subcommittee hearing on International Space Station research benefits, Fincke recounted his more than six months in space with Russian cosmonaut and crew commander Gennady Padalka, RN3DT. "With only two people, it was kinda tough," Fincke told the panel, chaired by Texas Sen Kay Bailey Hutchison. "We had to maintain the space station, they threw in a couple of extra spacewalks for us and, even so, we were able--with ingenuity, with working together--to get a lot of work done." That included maintaining a strong science program aboard the space station, he added, despite being one person short. Fincke, who served as NASA ISS Science Officer while in space, said the experience made the Expedition 9 team more self-sufficient. "We learned how to fix things--like our spacesuits, our oxygen generator," explained Fincke, who wore a NASA flight suit for his Senate appearance. "We need to know how to do those things for the moon." Many of the questions subcommittee members put to Fincke and others in the NASA delegation dealt with the Bush administration's stated goal of reaching the moon, Mars and beyond in the coming decades. Responding to another line of questioning, Fincke credited the Expedition 9 crew's rigorous and regular exercise program onboard the ISS for his minimal bone loss and generally good physical shape at the end of his mission. "Because I exercised, I came back strong, I came back feeling healthy and with minimum--but still some--bone loss," he remarked. Fincke said he and Padalka worked out for two and a half hours a day using resistive and cardiovascular exercise. Determining the physiological mechanisms for bone loss in space, Fincke said, is critical to the success of long-term space ventures such as to the moon and Mars. "I felt, even though we were in space for more than 187 days, that I could have walked off the Soyuz spacecraft," Fincke said referring to his return to Earth last fall. "I was feeling very good, very strong." The only problem he experienced was a slight loss of balance, he said. Since NASA grounded the shuttle fleet, ISS crews have been relying on the Russian Soyuz vehicle to transport crews to and from the ISS, and on Russian Progress rockets to supply food, supplies, oxygen and water. During his duty tour, Fincke conducted 14 Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school group contacts from NA1SS and also achieved Worked All Continents. Presiding over her first subcommittee hearing as chair, Hutchison expressed her view that "this important, impressive facility"--the ISS--"cannot be allowed to be used simply as a tool for moon and Mars exploration-related research." She is promoting the idea to pursue a national laboratory designation for the ISS. ==>CONGRESSMAN QUERIES FCC CHAIR ON AMATEUR RADIO'S BPL CONCERNS Following the prepared testimony of FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin before the US House Appropriations Committee April 26, Rep Rodney Alexander of Louisiana raised the topic of broadband over power line (BPL) and how it was hurting the Amateur Radio community. Again acknowledging the concerns of radio amateurs regarding BPL's interference potential, Martin responded that the Commission is aware of the good work that radio amateurs do and that the FCC would attempt to strike a balance with the amateur community with respect to its BPL concerns. When the FCC unanimously adopted new BPL rules last October, Martin also took note of Amateur Radio's concerns, said he would take them seriously, and expressed confidence that the Commission would take the necessary steps to address interference. Martin succeeded Michael K. Powell as FCC chairman in March. His Appropriations Committee appearance--his first as FCC chairman--was to discuss the Commission's fiscal year 2006 budget request. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Astral aficionado Tad "Who can make the sun shine, on a cloudy day?" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar flux and sunspot numbers continue their lull. This week the daily sunspot number on average dropped 25 points to 25.9, and the average daily solar flux increased a little more than 2 points to 84. A new sunspot appeared--number 756--appeared April 25 and is growing quickly. The resulting sunspot numbers for April 26-28 were 20, 45 and 71. Predicted solar flux values for this weekend, April 29-May 1, are 103 on all days. Flux values should rise above 105 by Monday, May 2. Predicted planetary A index for April 29 through May 3 is 8, 8, 20, 40 and 15. A planetary A index of 40 indicates a major geomagnetic storm, which is expected from the reappearance of a recurring coronal hole and associated high-velocity wind stream. Sunspot numbers for April 21 through 27 were 22, 34, 35, 0, 25, 20 and 45, with a mean of 25.9. The 10.7 cm flux was 77.1, 77.2, 79.3, 82.3, 86, 90.9 and 95.3, with a mean of 84. Estimated planetary A indices were 4, 9, 6, 10, 11, 5 and 4, with a mean of 7. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 7, 5, 5, 9, 2 and 1, with a mean of 4.4. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The SBMS 2 GHz and Up WW Club Contest is the weekend of April 30-May 1. The May CW Sprint and the AGCW QRP/QRP Party are May 1. The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (SSB) is May 2. JUST AHEAD: The New England, Nevada, Indiana and Oregon QSO parties, the MARAC County Hunter Contest (CW), the US IPARC Annual Contest (CW). the 10-10 International Spring Contest (CW), the Microwave Spring Sprint, the ARI International DX Contest and the US IPARC Annual Contest (SSB), are the weekend of May 7-8. The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (Data) is May 11. 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), Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009) and Analog Electronics (EC-013) courses remains open through Sunday, May 1. Classes begin Friday, May 13. 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. Analog students will learn about the use of instrumentation, Kirchhoff's laws, diodes, rectifier circuits, bipolar and field effect transistors, various amplifier configurations, filters, timers, op-amps, and voltage regulators. To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (C-CE) Web page 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 I on-line course (EC-001) opens Monday, May 2, 2005, 1201 AM EST, and will remain open until all available seats have been filled or through the May 7-8 weekend--whichever comes first. Class begins Friday, May 20. Thanks to our grant sponsors--the Corporation for National and Community Service and 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. * FCC adopts digital broadcasting standard: The FCC has adopted the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) standard for US HF Broadcasting Service (HFBC) digital transmission. DRM is capable of providing near-FM quality sound within current AM emission bandwidths. Adoption of the DRM standard was among several actions the FCC took in a wide-ranging Report and Order (R&O) in response to World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03)--ET Docket 04-139. The FCC authorized both digital audio broadcasting and datacasting. It said channels using digitally modulated emissions may share the same spectrum or be interleaved with analog emissions in the same HFBC band, provided the protection afforded to the analog emissions is at least as great as that currently in place for analog-to-analog protection. The Commission authorized double-sideband (DSB), single-sideband (SSB), and digital transmissions in HF bands between 5900 and 26,100 kHz, and it set minimum HFBC power levels of 50 kW PEP for SSB. In the same proceeding the FCC also reallocated the 7100-7200 kHz band to the Amateur Service on a co-primary basis and reallocated the 7350-7400 kHz band to the HFBC Service on a co-primary basis with the fixed service until March 29, 2009, after which it will be allocated exclusively for broadcasting. * Dr William W. McGrannahan, N0ZL (ex-K0ORB), SK: Past ARRL Midwest Division Vice Director and Director Bill McGrannahan, N0ZL (ex-K0ORB), of Kansas City, Missouri, died April 24. He was 83. A Charter Life Member of the ARRL, McGrannahan was serving as vice director of the Midwest Division when Director Paul Grauer, W0FIR, resign for health reasons in 1993. McGrannahan assumed the directorship for the next six months, but that fall he lost a close election for a full term as director. McGrannahan also served on the Quarter Century Wireless Association Board of Directors. A dental surgeon, he retired in 1986. Survivors include his wife Virginia and their daughter and son. There will be no formal service. The family requests memorial donations to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation <http://www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org/> or to Children's Mercy Hospital <http://www.childrens-mercy.org/>. * Philip Morrison, ex-W8FIS, SK: Philip Morrison, ex-W8FIS, a world-famous physicist who helped develop the atomic bomb and later became an outspoken critic of nuclear war and arms proliferation, died April 22. He was 89. SETI League Inc Executive Director Paul Shuch, N6TX, says he best remembers Morrison as a friend and mentor who co-authored the world's first serious scientific paper on SETI--the search for extraterrestrial intelligence--a 1959 paper "Searching for Interstellar Communications" in the British science journal Nature. Shuch called Morrison "a pioneer in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence through radio communication" who also chaired NASA's early study groups on SETI. According to Shuch, Morrison's boyhood interest in Amateur Radio motivated his interest in exploring the feasibility of microwaves for interstellar communication. In addition to being a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Morrison was a prolific author of books and articles and well as a TV producer and lecturer. He also authored the jacket blurb for Shuch's ARRL hypertext book Tune In The Universe!. * ARRL accepts Horace Mann "Friend of Education" Award: ARRL Midwest Division Director Wade Walstrom, W0EJ, has accepted the Missouri National Education Association's (MNEA) Horace Mann Award in the category of "Contribution to Public Education in the Field of Civic Organizational Achievement" on behalf of the League. The presentation took place April 23 in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, during the MNEA's Spring Representative Assembly. More than 300 Missouri educators attended. "These teachers are now more aware of the League's Field and Educational Services department and the 'Big Project!'" said Midwest Division Assistant Director Ron Ochu, KO0Z, who was on hand for the occasion. Making the presentation to Walstrom was MNEA President Greg Jung. * California RACES ATV demonstration gets high marks from fire officials: Huntington Beach, California, Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) communications volunteers recently demonstrated an amateur television (ATV) system newly installed in the city fire department's hazardous materials (HAZMAT) unit. The ATV system enables live, real-time video images for "visual reconnaissance" to supplement voice-mode communications and accident scene descriptions. For the April 5 demo, RACES communications volunteers were stationed in the HAZMAT vehicle and in a Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD) helicopter to operate the ATV equipment. HAZMAT personnel interfaced with the police helicopter via a radio link to direct and request images from the airborne ATV system. Said Huntington Beach City Fire Battalion Chief Bill Reardon, "Our RACES team is really showing the fire department how valuable they are to the city with this new and exciting technology." The RACES volunteers used local a repeater system to ensure reliable communication during the demonstration. The Huntington Beach Fire Department Emergency Services Office administers the RACES team, one of 18 in Orange County, California. * "Enigma machine" special event, reactivation set: As a tribute to the work of England's voluntary interceptors (VIs) during World War II, the Scarborough Special Events Group (SSEG) will operate special event station GB2HQ from GCHQ--Government Communications Headquarters--in Scarborough. VIs intercepted encrypted Enigma messages transmitted in Morse code; these were passed to code breakers at Bletchley Park who were attempting to crack the German Enigma code. The GB2HQ special event will take place over the May 7-8 weekend, with activity on SSB, PSK and CW (around 3515 or 7015 kHz). A souvenir QSL card showing an Enigma cipher machine and an HRO receiver will commemorate the occasion. GCHQ has provided a working Enigma machine for use by the SSEG, and Ofcom--the UK telecommunication regulator--has authorized transmission of an enciphered Enigma message in Morse code on the amateur bands for this event only. The Enigma message will be transmitted Saturday, May 7, 1100 UTC (repeated at 1300 and 1900 UTC), at a speed of 15 WPM. Listeners are invited to submit a copy of the Enigma message, and certificates are available for those achieving 100-percent copy. Entries and QSLs go to G0OOO, Scarborough Special Events Group, 9 Green Island, Irton, Scarborough YO12 4RN UK. Further details are on the SSEG Web site <http://www.sseg.co.uk/>. * CQ announces annual "DX Marathon": CQ magazine has announced the revival of its long-dormant CQ DX Marathon, which last ran in 1948. The new CQ DX Marathon will essentially be a year-long DX contest, with stations competing to contact as many different countries ("entities") and CQ Zones of the World as possible over a full year, then starting again at zero at the beginning of the next year. The first running of the event will be in 2006. The new CQ DX Marathon is aimed at reinvigorating DXing. CQ outlined the program April 16 at the International DX Convention in Visalia, California. Scoring will consist of the total number of DXCC entities and CQ zones contacted over the course of a year. There will be no multipliers, and each country/entity and zone counts only once. Rules for the new CQ DX Marathon will be on the CQ Web site <http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/> and in the May issue of CQ magazine. * Final WRTC 2006 rules now available: Atilano de Oms, PY5EG, reports final rules for World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC) 2006 participants are now available on the WRTC 2006 Web site <http://www.wrtc2006.com/ingles/ruleswrtc2006Vfinal.pdf>. WRTC 2006 will take place July 7-10, 2006, in Southern Brazil. The Liga de Amadores de Radio Emissão (LABRE) and the Araucária DX Group (GADX) are sponsoring the event. WRTC 2006 will bring the world's top operators together in a single geographical area to showcase Amateur Radio competition at its highest level. The on-the-air portion of the event is held in conjunction with the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) HF World Championship. WRTC stations all run 100 W and have comparably modest antenna systems. Two-person teams from all over the globe will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals. The contesting duo of Jeff Steinman, N5TJ, and Dan Street, K1TO, took home the WRTC gold for the third time in the 2002 event in Finland. Teams for the 2006 event have not yet been announced. =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American Radio Relay League--The National Association For Amateur Radio--225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Jim Haynie, W5JBP, President. The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential news of interest to active amateurs. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise, and readable. Visit ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> offers access to news, informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled from The ARRL Letter. Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): email@example.com ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, firstname.lastname@example.org ==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org/> ==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call 860-594-0384 ==>How to Get The ARRL Letter The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from ARRL HQ. 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/>. You'll have an opportunity during registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW bulletins, and other material. 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