*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 24, No. 20 May 20, 2005 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +ARRL, CAP to sign cooperative agreement * +Morse code tops text messaging on national TV * +Ham contact with ISS excites Japanese junior high kids * +League to offer Amateur Radio credit card * +Reputed jammer under house arrest after release from jail * +WX4NHC sets 2005 hurricane season on-the-air test * +ARRL Foundation scholarship winners announced * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +Kentucky emergency communicators receive donation Bill Smith, KO4NR, is April QST Cover Plaque Award winner WRTC 2006 organizers to be at Dayton Hamvention DXCC Desk approves operation for credit +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> =========================================================== ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): email@example.com ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, firstname.lastname@example.org =========================================================== NOTE: Because of Dayton Hamvention and the ARRL National Convention May 20-22, The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News are being distributed Wednesday, May 18. See you in Dayton! =========================================================== ==>ARRL SIGNING MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH CIVIL AIR PATROL The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and ARRL will sign a Memorandum of Agreement during Dayton HamventionR, May 20-22, where CAP plans to field a major presence. The agreement will spell out guidelines for CAP--the US Air Force Auxiliary, and ARRL--the national association for Amateur Radio, to better use and integrate their resources during communication exercises and emergencies. "Civil Air Patrol has one of the largest unified communications networks in the nation," said CAP Lt Col Maurice Thomas, N3ADV. "Federal, state and local agencies call on CAP members every day for communication support in search-and-rescue missions and disaster relief." Thomas says CAP, which has been in existence for more than 60 years, needs "implementers" for its communication technology, and highly skilled ham radio operators are "a natural resource." Dayton Hamvention will play host to ARRL's 2005 National Convention, featuring ARRL EXPO 2005 in Hara Arena's Ballarena. The League also will maintain a retail booth and relaxation area at its traditional North Hall location. CAP National Commander Maj Gen Dwight Wheless, will join ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, at Hamvention to sign the formal agreement. The ceremony will take place Friday, May 20, during the "ARRL Goes to Washington for You" forum at 10:15 AM in Room 2 of Hara Arena. Wheless called radio amateurs "highly skilled and knowledgeable about the latest in communications technology." ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, points out that volunteerism is an Amateur Radio tradition. "We look forward to educating our members about CAP, and CAP members about ARRL," he said. "From Morse code to high-speed digital, a wire up in a tree to satellite communications, hams love to make it happen." Pitts says the ham radio slogan "When all else fails . . ." is more than mere words. "They know ham radio communication works again and again when other systems fail," he said. "One way or another, hams get the message through." Radio communication plays a major role in all of CAP's operations too--including homeland security, damage assessment, search and rescue, and disaster relief. It was key in CAP's impact assessment missions during last year's hurricanes in Florida, ice storms in Arkansas and New York, and floods in Missouri. Pitts notes that during the course of many emergency response situations, Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), and other Amateur Radio emergency groups find themselves working side by side with CAP members. "This formal agreement between our two organizations will acknowledge that in a disaster, we all work for the common good," he said. During Hamvention, CAP members hope to educate radio amateurs about the opportunities available to civilian volunteers through Civil Air Patrol. CAP will occupy Booth 154-155 in the Ballarena. CAP's Wisconsin Wing will display its new 35-foot state-of-the-art Mobile Command Center. The unit was custom-built for CAP by Winnebago Corporation thanks to a US Department of Homeland Security grant. National Headquarters Chief of Communications Malcolm Kyser, KG4G, says CAP maintains a dedicated nationwide HF and VHF network on federal government frequencies. "We operate over 550 VHF repeaters spread across the country as well as HF, tactical VHF/UHF, data and commercial satellite applications," he explains. "The CAP network is a 24/7 emergency services resource, which we rely upon to support an almost unlimited variety of missions." A nonprofit organization with some 60,000 members, the Civil Air Patrol performs the vast majority of continental US inland search-and-rescue missions under the direction of the US Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. CAP volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and anti-drug trafficking missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP will hold its national conference August 17-20 in St Louis. Visit CAP on the Web <http://www.cap.gov/>. ==>CW OPS WHIP WHIPPERSNAPPER TEXT MESSENGERS ON NATIONAL TV It may have been Friday the Thirteenth, but it was a lucky day for Morse code--and particularly for veteran CW contest ops Chip Margelli, K7JA, and Ken Miller, K6CTW. During a May 13 appearance on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the pair was able to pass a message using good old fashioned Morse code more rapidly than a pair of teenaged text messengers equipped with modern cell phones. The victory, which replicated a similar challenge that took place recently in Australia, has provided immense encouragement to Amateur Radio's community of CW operators, who been ballyhooed the achievement all over the Internet. The text messaging team consisted of world text-messaging champ Ben Cook of Utah and his friend Jason. Miller said afterward in a reflector posting that the CW team won fairly handily. "Ben was just getting ready to start entering the last two words when I was done," he said on the Elecraft reflector in response to various questions he's received following the TV appearance. "I already knew that 28-30 WPM would easily keep us in front of even the current world [text messaging] record holder, and also it is the fastest speed that I can make nice readable copy on paper with a 'stick' [pencil]." Miller said it was decided he'd be on the receiving end because he wasn't distracted by the noise in the studio. Margelli recalls that he was sending at 29 WPM. "I believe the goods were suitably delivered," he told ARRL. "CW and old guys rule!" What the viewing public didn't know was that Margelli and Miller had, in Miller's words, "smoked 'em every time" during three pre-program rehearsals. Even so, during the real thing, when Miller raised his hand to signal he'd copied the CW message successfully, Jason's jaw dropped. None of the players had any idea of the text they'd be sending, Miller noted. The message? "I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance." As with many Tonight Show bits, this one involved a member of the audience, a young woman named Jennifer who predicted--incorrectly as it turned out--that text messaging definitely would top 170-year-old Morse code. She walked away with a gift of restaurant tickets anyway. Margelli says the CW team used Yaesu FT-817 transceivers--one of his own and another owned by Dan Dankert, N6PEQ. Backup units--not needed--were provided by HRO; Margelli's wife Janet, KL7MF, manages an HRO store. They ended up using 432.200 MHz as an operating frequency in order to avoid RFI from the plethora of TV equipment in the studio and to avoid interfering with NBC's gear. They ran the little transceivers at their lowest power level and with the antennas disconnected--although they were mounted on the back of each unit--no problem given the close proximity involved. Margelli sent with a Bencher paddle. To add a little atmosphere to the affair, NBC producers attired Margelli and Miller to look like 19th-century-era Western Union or railroad Morse telegraphers. The costumes came complete with green visors, white shirts, sleeve garters, vests and bow ties. The teenaged SMSers wore T-shirts and jeans. Cook told Leno that he'd managed to send a 160-letter message to his friend using his cell phone's short message system (SMS)--the formal term for text messaging--in 57 seconds. A member of the Morse Telegraph Club and a QRP enthusiast, Miller said he'd been using CW for 38 years. Margelli told Leno he'd been using Morse "for 43 years in ham radio," a phrase Leno echoed. That was the only plug Amateur Radio got during the appearance on the show's "Dinner for 4" segment. Miller says that during rehearsal, the pair had come up with a few lines to promote ham radio and telegraphy, but they were cut during the final dress rehearsal in the interest of making the segment fit its allotted time slot. During the Australian competition in April, a Morse team consisting of 93-year-old former post office telegrapher Gordon Hill--the sender--and 82-year-old Jack Gibson--the receiver--topped 13-year-old SMSer Brittany Devlin. In that event, Hill spelled out the message in full, while Devlin used text-messaging shorthand. In that competition, held at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Hill took 90 seconds to send the message, 18 seconds faster than Devlin's message took to reach her friend's cell phone. Miller encouraged all who enjoyed the CW-vs-text messaging segment on NBC to contact The Tonight Show to let the producers know about it--with an eye toward having the network schedule a more elaborate segment "next time." "Thanks for the kind comments from all," Miller concluded, advising "let's keep on having fun!--It is a hobby after all." Commented Margelli to ARRL: "I completely agree with my fantastic teammate, Ken Miller. It was a lot of fun, just like ham radio, and the show also delivered an important, if subtle, message about the benefits of the 'basic' communication infrastructure that Amateur Radio provides." ==>JAPANESE JUNIOR HIGH STUDENTS TAKE "GIANT LEAP" VIA HAM RADIO A dozen junior high students in Japan used Amateur Radio May 9 to quiz NASA International Space Station Science Officer and US astronaut John Phillips, KE5DRY, about life in space. The contact between NA1SS in space and 8N3H at Hosokawa Junior High School in Ikeda was arranged by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. Working in microgravity, the training necessary to become an astronaut and food were the focus of several of the more than 20 questions asked and answered. Phillips told the youngsters that he was surprised at how beautiful the Earth appears from space and that he never tires of watching the planet from the ISS. Responding to another student's question, he nearly waxed poetic in describing Earth's beauty. "It's absolutely true that the Earth looks beautiful from space," Phillips replied. "The blue of the oceans, the green of the forests and the white snow of the mountains create a beautiful and continuously changing picture." He told the next questioner that his first impression of space was that the view was magnificent "and that I knew that I would like it up here and that I would like to stay longer." Questions about the diet of ISS crews are among the most frequent during ARISS school group QSOs, and the Hosokawa students asked several. Phillips noted that there is both American and Russian-style cuisine aboard--some fresh, some dried and some in cans. "We eat very well up here," he stated. He told another student that there was plenty of food aboard the ISS and that he and crewmate Sergei Krikalev, U5MIR, were not in any immediate danger of running low, as the previous crew had. He explained that there's no refrigerator aboard the ISS, and the crew's chow is stored in metal boxes in the kitchen and elsewhere aboard the spacecraft. As for living and working in microgravity, he said it can be fun. "I feel wonderful in space," he declared. "I can fly like a bird or like Superman!" In addition, he told another student questioner, working in space is much easier because "we're always floating" and can even work upside down if necessary. But there are downsides. He explained that the lack of gravity means the ISS crew members always have to keep untethered objects under control, lest they float off and get lost. Phillips said dizziness and "space sickness" are not problems he has encountered so far, but he added that there are medications aboard the spacecraft should either arise. Training for his mission aboard the ISS as part of the Expedition 11 crew took three years, he said. He advised youngsters interested in becoming astronauts to start by studying a lot of math. He noted that an astronaut from Japan is scheduled to be aboard the next space shuttle mission. At the contact's conclusion, Earth station control operator Junki Okuda, JL3JRY, said the students were very excited by the experience of being able to talk directly with an astronaut in space. "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for children," he joked, paraphrasing the famous words US astronaut Neal Armstrong spoke as he became the first human to set foot on the moon in 1969. On hand at the school for the event were some 300 students representing the entire enrollment of Hosokawa Junior High, plus 100 parents and other visitors and news media representatives. The ARISS-Japan mentor for the contact was Satoshi Yasuda, 7M3TJZ/AD6GZ. ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss/> is an international educational outreach program with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>ARRL TO SPONSOR AFFINITY CREDIT CARD The League will unveil its new ARRL VisaR Card--an affinity credit card with U.S. Bank--this week at Dayton Hamvention, which is playing host to the ARRL 2005 National Convention. U.S. Bank personnel will be on hand for the launch, Friday, May 20, at the ARRL EXPO 2005 exhibit area with applications for radio amateurs attending the convention who want to be among the first to apply. The no-annual-fee card is available to ARRL members and nonmembers. "With every card issued and every purchase made, ARRL Visa card holders support ARRL programs and services at no additional cost to them," says ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R. "This is a great way for members to show off their support for ARRL and for Amateur Radio." The card carries an attractive design with the ARRL logo. The words "Amateur Radio Operator" appear prominently on the face of the card. Basic information about the ARRL Visa card is available on the ARRL Web site <www.arrl.org/visa>. This page includes a link <http://www.usbank.com/affinitycreditcards/?loc=9507> to U.S. Bank's Web site to learn more and to apply. ARRL membership does not confer automatic eligibility to obtain a card. While there's no annual fee, the ARRL Visa card carries a credit limit of up to $15,000 and 0 percent APR interest for the first six months. Certain terms and conditions do apply. U.S. Bank is the creditor, issuer and service provider. At least initially, call signs cannot be embossed onto the card, Inderbitzen says. "We're working with U.S. Bank to find a suitable solution, but that will most likely be further down the line," he explained. ==>GERRITSEN RELEASED ON BOND, REMAINS UNDER HOUSE ARREST Reputed Los Angeles-area radio jammer Jack Gerritsen reportedly has satisfied the requirements of a $250,000 cash or property bond and has been released from a federal lockup. The US Bureau of Prisons indicates that Gerritsen got out of jail May 17, although he reportedly remains under house arrest at his home in Bell. Acting on a criminal complaint, FBI special agents, accompanied by personnel from the FCC Los Angeles Field Office, arrested the 69-year-old Gerritsen without incident early May 5 at his home. Federal agents also seized his radio equipment. According to terms spelled out by the US Attorney for the Central District of California after he was taken into custody, Gerritsen will be subject to monitored home detention and barred from possessing or using any radio equipment. Additionally, Gerritsen's residence remains subject to search. Unconfirmed reports say Gerritsen's passport has been taken as well. The criminal complaint said an FCC investigation revealed that Gerritsen "often transmits his prerecorded political messages and real-time harassment and profanity for hours at a time, often making it impossible for licensed radio operators to use the public frequencies." The FCC already has affirmed a $10,000 fine against Gerritsen for operating without a license. It has proposed another $42,000 in forfeitures for alleged interference-related infractions. Five years ago, Gerritsen was convicted in a California court of interfering with police radio transmissions and sentenced to 38 months in prison. After his release, he applied for a Technician class amateur license and was granted KG6IRO. The FCC promptly rescinded the grant when it learned of his earlier conviction, however. ==>WX4NHC HURRICANE SEASON 2005 ON-THE-AIR STATION TEST SET WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio station at the National Hurricane Center (NHC), will sponsor the WX4NHC Hurricane Season 2005 On-The-Air Station Test Saturday, June 4, from 1300 until 2200 UTC. This is not a contest or hurricane exercise. The purpose of this annual event is to test all radio equipment, computers and antennas using as many modes and frequencies as possible. It also provides an opportunity to monitor for any possible RFI to NOAA and NHC equipment. "We will also be testing some new antennas and equipment that are being installed for this coming season," says WX4NHC Amateur Radio Coordinator John McHugh, K4AG. "Some operator training will also be conducted." McHugh reminds participants that the hurricane season station test is just an equipment and operator test, and WX4NHC will not activate any nets. WX4NHC will be on the air on HF, VHF, UHF as well as on APRS on 2 and 30 meters. Approximate frequencies include: 7.268, 14.325, 21.325 and 28.525 MHz on SSB; 14.035, 21.035 and 28.035 MHz on CW; 14.070 MHz on PSK31. WX4NHC also plans to be on the VoIP Hurricane Net 1700-1900 UTC on IRLP Node 9219 and EchoLink WX-TALK Conference and will be active on South Florida-area VHF and UHF repeaters, 146.52 MHz FM simplex and 144.200 SSB. Participants report call sign, signal report, location, name and a brief weather report (eg, "sunny," "rain" etc). Nonhams may submit their actual weather using the On-Line Hurricane Report Form <http://www.wx4nhc.org/WX-form1.html>. Send QSL card requests with an SASE to W4VBQ. Visit the WX4NHC Web site for additional information <http://www.wx4nhc.org/>. ==>ARRL FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS FOR 2005 The ARRL Foundation has announced the recipients of 31 scholarship awards for the 2005 academic year. Congratulations to these scholarship winners! * The ARRL Scholarship to Honor Barry Goldwater--$5000: Kyle Graves, KY5LE, Weatherford, Texas * The Carol J. Streeter, KB9JBR, Scholarship--$750: Brian Poustinchian, KB9TEH, Carol Stream, Illinois * The Central Arizona DX Association Scholarship--$500: Gerica Rayas, KD7WJR, Phoenix, Arizona * The Charles Clarke Cordle Memorial Scholarship--$1000: Sylvia Richardson, KG4OEG, Cumming, Georgia * The Charles N. Fisher Memorial Scholarship--$1000: James Wenner, K6NSY, Westminster, California * The Donald Riebhoff Memorial Scholarship--$1000: Andrew Sowa, KB3EFQ, Media, Pennsylvania * The Dr. James L. Lawson Memorial Scholarship--$500: Timothy Jean, KB1FIP, Swansea, Massachusetts * The Earl I. Anderson Scholarship--$1250: David Lambert, KC9BLA, Brownsburg, Indiana; Rasa Dovilas, W9RSA, Urbana, Illinois * The Edmond A. Metzger Scholarship--$500: Charles McClish, KB9RGF, Kokomo, Indiana * The Fred R. McDaniel Memorial Scholarship--$500: David Darrow, KD5JLK, Plano. Texas * The General Fund Scholarships--$1000: Wendy Wigh, AE6RL, Kingsburg, California; Jonathan Garrison, KG4GZR, Salisbury, California * The Henry Broughton, K2AE, Memorial Scholarship--$1000: John McIntyre, KC2JSJ, Rochester, New York; Lawrence Lin, AB2PS, Flushing, New York * The IRARC, Joseph P. Rubino, WA4MMD, Memorial Scholarship--$1000: Gary Fowks, KF4HEE, Saint Cloud, Florida; Leeds, David, KG4MQX, Hollywood, Florida; * The Irving W. Cook, WA0CGS, Scholarship--$1000: Evan Seiwert, KC0LET, Viola, Kansas * The Jean Cebik Memorial Scholarship--$1000; Thomas Campie, KC0PNH, Camanche, Iowa * The K2TEO Martin J. Green Sr Memorial Scholarship--$1000: Andrew Krumm, KG4OTL, Greenbackville, North Carolina * The L. Phil and Alice J. Wicker Scholarship--$1000: Yan Yan, KG4IHW, Chapel Hill, North Carolina * The Louisiana Memorial Scholarship--$500: Dustin Howell, W5CFI, West Monroe, Louisiana * The Mary Lou Brown Scholarship--$2500: Trevor Conroy, W7TDC, Newberg, Oregon * The Mississippi Scholarship--$500: Chris Abbott, KD5WCR, Vicksburg, Mississippi * The Nemal Electronics Scholarship--$600: William Fisher, W4WJF, Vale, North Carolinia * The New England Federation of Eastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Associations (FEMARA) Scholarships--$1000: Scott Jamieson, KO1W, Tiverton, Rhode Island; Matthew Lape, N1XB, Francestown, New Hampshire; Jennifer Moyher, N1ZZY, Stratford, Connecticut; Jake Stone, KB1INV, Stamford, Connecticut * The Norman E. Strohmeier, W2VRS, Memorial Scholarship--$500: Dana Esposito, KC2NDL, Syracuse, New York * The Paul and Helen L. Grauer Scholarship--$1000: Jack Short, KC0QIO, Kansas City, Missouri * The Perry F. Hadlock Memorial Scholarship--$2000: Brian Rautio, AB2MP, Phoenix, New York * The PHD Scholarship--$1000: Daniel Friedrichs, K0IPG, LeMars, Iowa * The Six Meter Club of Chicago Scholarship--$500: Andrew Carter, KC9BOH, Wilmette, Illinois * The Tom and Judith Comstock Scholarship--$1000: Andrew Warner, KD5KZG, Richardson, Texas * The William Bennett, W7PHO, Memorial Scholarship--$500: Garrett Swanberg, KD7MCS, Monroe, Washington * The Yankee Clipper Contest Club Inc Youth Scholarship--$1500: Henry Ferland, KB1HOY, Gardner, Maine * The You've Got a Friend in Pennsylvania Scholarship--$2000: John Stratton, AA3SL, Glen Mills, Pennsylvania; Amy Johnson, KB3HXF, New Castle, Pennsylvania Downloadable applications and instructions for 2006 academic year scholarships are on the ARRL Foundation Web site <http://www.arrl.org/arrlf>. The application period for 2006 academic year awards begins October 1, 2005. The deadline to submit applications with transcripts and SAT/ACT scores affixed is February 1, 2006. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Solar flash Tad "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Things got quite exciting last weekend. On Friday the Thirteenth at 1650 UTC, a tremendous explosion near Sunspot 759 blasted toward Earth. The impact on Earth's magnetic field was felt at 0230 UTC on May 15, producing an extreme geomagnetic storm. A geomagnetic storm is a disturbance of Earth's magnetic field. The planetary K index reached 9 on Sunday, May 15. This is huge!. The middle-latitude, high-latitude and planetary A indices for Sunday were 44, 77 and 105 respectively--all very high values. The A and K indices indicate the severity of magnetic fluctuations and, as a result, the disturbance to the ionosphere. K indices of 2 or 4 indicate unsettled or even active magnetic conditions--likely to be reflected in a degradation of HF conditions. An index of 9 represent a major storm that would result in an HF blackout. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The US Counties QSO Party (SSB), VK/Trans-Tasman 80-Meter Contest (Phone), the EU PSK DX Contest, the Portuguese Navy Day Contest (PSK31), the Manchester Mineira CW Contest, His Majesty the King of Spain Contest (CW) and the Baltic Contest are the weekend of May 21-22. JUST AHEAD: The CQ WW WPX Contest (CW), the ARCI Hootowl Sprint and the Michigan QRP Memorial Day CW Sprint are the weekend of May 28-29. See the ARRL Contest Branch page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar <http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/index.html> for more info. * ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration: Registration for the ARRL HF Digital Communication (EC-005) and ARRL VHF/UHF--Beyond the Repeater (EC-008) courses remains open through Sunday, May 22. Classes begin Friday, June 3. Students participating in VHF/UHF--Beyond the Repeater (EC-008) will explore some of the lesser-used and more intriguing aspects of VHF/UHF operation. HF Digital Communication students will learn to use a variety of HF digital modes. To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Web page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/> or contact the ARRL C-CE Department email@example.com. * Kentucky emergency communicators receive donation: The Kentucky District 7 Amateur Radio Emergency Team (KD7ARET) <http://www.ky7et.org/> has received a $5000 donation from the John E. and Betty J. Meyer Family Foundation. The funds will support the group's efforts to provide emergency communication to served agencies during emergencies and disasters. KD7ARET most typically supports police and fire departments, the National Weather Service and emergency management offices. In addition, some of the money will be go into a fund to purchase a mobile communication van with Amateur Radio capabilities that could serve to back up local police and fire departments. KD7ARET boasts more than 100 Amateur Radio volunteers from the nine-county area comprising District 7 in Northern Kentucky. ARRL Kentucky Section Manager John Meyers, NB4K, says the team plans to participate in ARRL Field Day, June 25-26, at Mills Road Park in Independence, Kentucky. In the past year KD7ARET has bought reflective vests for its members as well as radios, antennas and coax for the Owen County Emergency Operations Center. "We are in the process of buying radios, antennas and coax for the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky Regional Communication bus, the Campbell County Emergency Operations Center and the District Office of Emergency Management in Walton, Kentucky, as well as additional handheld radios and extra battery packs for emergency coordinators," he adds. Since KD7ARET's incorporation in January 2004, the group has received $10,000 in cash and more than $2000 worth of equipment to enhance local emergency communication capabilities. * Bill Smith, KO4NR, is April QST Cover Plaque Award winner: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for April is Bill Smith, KO4NR, for his article "A Low-Cost Remote Antenna Switch." Congratulations, Bill! 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 May issue by May 31! * WRTC 2006 organizers to be at Dayton Hamvention: Atilano de Oms, PY5EG, will head the WRTC 2006 Organizing Committee delegation to Dayton Hamvention Friday through Sunday, May 20-22. Committee members will be promoting the global Amateur Radio contesting competition held in conjunction with the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) HF World Championship. WRTC 2006 will take place July 7-10 in and around Florianopolis, Brazil. At Dayton Hamvention and elsewhere, the WRTC-2006 Organizing Committee will be attempting to raise the funds needed to support the event. Look for "Win a free trip to Brazil for WRTC 2006" banners at Hamvention. Other WRTC 2006, from buttons to T-shirts will be available too, plus there will be a drawing on an Acom amplifier. WRTC representatives plan to frequent other contesting-oriented events at Dayton Hamvention as well. The drawings will be at the contest dinner Saturday, May 21, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Dayton. There's more information on the WRTC-2006 Web site <http://www.wrtc2006.com/html/web/en/home.asp>. * DXCC Desk approves operation for credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved this operation for DXCC credit: T68G, Afghanistan, current operation effective April 2005. For more information, visit the DXCC Web page <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/>. "DXCC Frequently Asked Questions" <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/faq/> can answer most questions about the DXCC program. ARRL DX bulletins are available on the W1AW DX Bulletins page <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/dx/>. =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American Radio Relay League--The National Association For Amateur Radio--225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Jim Haynie, W5JBP, President. The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential news of interest to active amateurs. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise, and readable. Visit ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> offers access to news, informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled from The ARRL Letter. Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): firstname.lastname@example.org ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, email@example.com ==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org/> ==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call 860-594-0384 ==>How to Get The ARRL Letter The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail delivery: ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site <http://www.arrl.org/members/>. You'll have an opportunity during registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW bulletins, and other material. To change these selections--including delivery of The ARRL Letter--registered members should click on the "Member Data Page" link (in the Members Only box). Click on "Modify membership data," check or uncheck the appropriate boxes and/or change your e-mail address if necessary. (Check "Temporarily disable all automatically sent email" to temporarily stop all e-mail deliveries.) Then, click on "Submit modification" to make selections effective. (NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You must do this yourself via the Members Only Web Site.) The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources: * ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/>. 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