*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 24, No. 28 July 22, 2005 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +FCC says code requirement should go * +League Board okays modified regulation-by-bandwidth plan * +Space station ham gear in repeater mode * +ARRL Board announces award winners * +Radio amateurs secure ops after Hurricane Emily * +New ARRL video available for download * +K2BSA/4 on the air from National Scout Jamboree * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +NASA sets July 26 for shuttle Discovery launch H ugh Brower joins ARRL Headquarters staff ARRL to host fall power-line interference workshop Contester's Rate Sheet timely, informative, humorous +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> =========================================================== NOTE: Due to the high volume of important news, this week's edition of The ARRL Letter is significantly larger than usual. =========================================================== ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): email@example.com ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, firstname.lastname@example.org =========================================================== ==>FCC PROPOSES DROPPING MORSE CODE REQUIREMENT The FCC has proposed dropping the 5 WPM Morse code element as a requirement to obtain an Amateur Radio license of any class. The Commission included the provision in a July 19 Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Order (NPRM&O) in WT Docket 05-235, but it declined to go along with any other proposed changes to Amateur Service licensing rules or operating privileges. Dropping the Morse code requirement or any other changes to Part 97 would not become final until the Commission gathers additional public comments, formally adopts any new rules and concludes the proceeding with a Report and Order specifying the changes and an effective date. That's not likely to happen for several months. "Based upon the petitions and comments, we propose to amend our amateur service rules to eliminate the requirement that individuals pass a telegraphy examination in order to qualify for any amateur radio operator license," the FCC said. The NPRM&O consolidated 18 petitions for rule making from the amateur community. Several petitioners simply asked the FCC to drop the Morse requirement, but some--including the ARRL--also proposed a wide range of additional changes to the amateur rules. The FCC said the various petitions had attracted 6200 comments from the amateur community, which soon will have the opportunity to comment again--this time on what the FCC calls "our tentative conclusions" in its NPRM&O. The Commission said it believes dropping the 5 WPM Morse examination would encourage more people to become Amateur Radio operators and would eliminate a requirement that's "now unnecessary" and may discourage current licensees from advancing their skills. It also said the change would "promote more efficient use" of amateur spectrum. To support dropping the code requirement, the FCC cited changes in Article 25 of the international Radio Regulations adopted at World Radiocommunication Conference 2003. WRC-03 deleted the Morse testing requirement for amateur applicants seeking HF privileges and left it up to individual countries to determine whether or not they want to mandate Morse testing. Several countries already have dropped their Morse requirements for HF access. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, said he was not surprised to see the FCC propose scrapping the code altogether, although the League and others had called for retaining the 5 WPM requirement for Amateur Extra class applicants. Sumner also expressed dismay that the FCC turned away proposals from the League and other petitioners to create a new entry-level Amateur Radio license class. "We're disappointed that the Commission prefers to deny an opportunity to give Amateur Radio the restructuring it needs for the 21st century," he said. "It appears that the Commission is taking the easy road, but the easy road is seldom the right road." Sumner said ARRL officials and the Board of Directors will closely study the 30-page NPRM&O and comment further once they've had an opportunity to consider the Commission's stated rationales for its proposals. In 2004, the League called on the FCC to create a new entry-level license, reduce the number of actual license classes to three and drop the Morse code testing requirement for all classes except for Amateur Extra. Among other recommendations, the League asked the FCC to automatically upgrade Technician licensees to General and Advanced licensees to Amateur Extra. In this week's NPRM&O, the FCC said it was not persuaded such automatic upgrades were in the public interest. The FCC said it did not believe a new entry-level license class was warranted because current Novice and Tech Plus licensees will easily be able to upgrade to General once the code requirement goes away. The Commission also said it already addressed some other issues petitioners raised in its "Phone Band Expansion" (or "Omnibus") NPRM in WT Docket 04-140. The NPRM&O is on the FCC Web site <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-143A1.pdf> A 60-day period for the public to comment on the NPRM&O in WT 05-235 will begin once the notice appears in the Federal Register. Reply comments will be due within 75 days. ==>ARRL BOARD ADOPTS MODIFIED REGULATION-BY-BANDWIDTH PROPOSAL Following considerable discussion and debate, the ARRL Board of Directors has approved a modified set of recommendations to regulate the use of amateur spectrum by emission bandwidth rather than by emission mode. Last April, the ARRL Executive Committee reached consensus on a set of regulation-by-bandwidth proposals <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/04/13/1/> to serve as the basis of an FCC Petition for Rule Making. Following additional fine tuning based on hundreds of comments from the amateur community, the Board formally adopted a further-modified plan at its July 15-16 meeting. The revised plan stipulates that the League "will promptly undertake a procedure to establish a band plan to be utilized with the proposed subband allocation petition." Until that happens, existing band plans will remain. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, remarked after Board's 12-3 vote that improved band planning is critical to the success of the League's regulation-by-bandwidth proposals and will require the support of the amateur community at large. "I think it's fair to say that the Board recognizes that regulation by bandwidth is not going to work without a spirit of cooperation among amateurs pursuing different interests," he said, "any more than current regulations would be adequate without a spirit of cooperation." As one example, Sumner pointed out that under the current rules, RTTY and data enthusiasts may, by rule, operate in the low end of the CW subbands. "They don't, because to do so would disrupt amateur CW," he said. Sumner said that if the FCC ultimately implements the modified ARRL recommendations, there's no reason to believe that amateurs will operate right up to the absolute limit of what the FCC says they may, any more than they do now. The regulation-by-bandwidth issue dominated the Board's second meeting of the year in Windsor, Connecticut. After a great deal of give and take among its members, the Board ultimately okayed raising the maximum bandwidth the EC had proposed for frequencies below 29 MHz from 3.0 kHz to 3.5 kHz. A provision permitting the continued use of double-sideband AM with bandwidth of up to 9 kHz was retained. Significantly, the Board also agreed that maximum permitted bandwidth should be defined in terms of necessary rather than occupied bandwidth. In addition, the modified proposal removes the exception for independent sideband (ISB) emissions--apparently not used in the Amateur Service--and drops certain mode restrictions on Novice and Technician class operators. The ARRL proposal would leave two important FCC rules unchanged. §97.307(a) says: "No amateur station transmission shall occupy more bandwidth than necessary for the information rate and emission type being transmitted, in accordance with good amateur practice." §97.101(a) reads: "In all respects not specifically covered by FCC Rules each amateur station must be operated in accordance with good engineering and good amateur practice." Per the Board's motion, the ARRL Executive Committee will review the final rule making petition, which will be filed with the FCC at the Committee's discretion. The Board began work on the bandwidth concept in 2002. In other action, the ARRL Board adopted a resolution to establish an ARRL VHF/UHF Advisory Committee (VUAC) to address contesting issues over a period of no more than three years. The new panel, to be comprised of "exceptionally qualified and recognized members of the VHF/UHF community," will seek input from VHF/UHF contesting "public," identify important issues and "seek the sense of the 'public'" on those issues. The Board also adopted five strategies to include in the League's 2006 Operational Plan. These address improvements in the ARRL advocacy program and members-only features of the Web site, and review and analysis of ARRL programs. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, chaired this month's Board meeting. Radio Amateurs of Canada President Earle Smith, VE6NM, was a guest of the Board. ==>AMATEUR RADIO ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION IN REPEATER MODE NA1SS aboard the International Space Station is now operational as a Mode U/V (Mode B) FM voice repeater. Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Ham Radio Project Engineer Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, said July 20 that the system appears to be working well following a week of silence during an initial attempt to activate the repeater. "John Phillips, KE5DRY, gave it a second try after a scheduled contact with Goddard Space Flight Center," Ransom told ARRL. "On the next pass, I was able to work four stations." Just how long the repeater mode will be active remains to be seen, and it could be switched off after the next ARISS school group QSO or because of the space shuttle's arrival (NASA plan to launch Discovery on Tuesday, July 26). Phillips and crewmate Sergei Krikalev, U5MIR, can step in and talk to Earth stations if they wish; otherwise, the system acts as a crossband repeater when the ISS is within range. "Enjoy it while it lasts," Ransom remarked, "because we don't know when they're going to shut it off." The uplink frequency is 437.800 MHz; the downlink is 145.800 MHz. The RS0ISS packet system is off the air while the voice repeater is in operation. Since the ISS equipment is channelized, it cannot correct for Doppler shift, which can be significant at 70 cm. For more information, see "Success Tips for Using the ISS Voice Repeater," by Emily Clarke, W0EEC <http://www.arrl.org/news/features/2004/10/06/1/>. ==>ARRL BOARD DESIGNATES AWARD WINNERS The ARRL Board of Directors has announced the winners of several prestigious awards. The Board made the selections when it gathered for its second meeting of the year July 15-16 in Windsor, Connecticut. With the exception of the Philip J. McGan Memorial Antenna Award, awards recognize accomplishments from 2004. The Board honored Rebecca Rich, KB0VVT, of Raytown, Missouri, as the recipient of the 2004 ARRL Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award. The Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award goes annually to an amateur under age 21 who has contributed in an exemplary manner to both the Amateur Radio community and the local community. A rising senior at Raytown South High School, Rich, 17, is president of her school's National Honor Society chapter and maintains a 4.0 grade point average while taking an accelerated course of study. "I am really honored to receive the HPM Award," Rich said, expressing thanks to the Board for choosing her and to her parents, Dave and Barb Rich, KG0US and KG0UT, for introducing her to Amateur Radio nearly 10 years ago. "I would like to thank Steve Lufcy, K0OU, for introducing me to CW contesting, which I love so dearly," she added. She also thanked her teachers and the Kansas City-area ham radio community for their support. In its motion granting her the award--the League's highest youth honor--the ARRL Board of Directors called Rich "an outstanding example of a young amateur who epitomizes the precepts of The Amateur's Code." An ARRL member who obtained her license at age seven and upgraded to Amateur Extra the following year, Rich enthusiastically participates in local club activities and amateur contesting and has been a regular presenter at youth-oriented Amateur Radio forums, including at Dayton Hamvention. In endorsing Rich's nomination, Carole Perry, WB2MGP, who moderates the Hamvention "Youth in Amateur Radio Forum," called her an "inspiration to many others" and "the perfect example of a youngster who loves the hobby and service and is always out there helping to recruit other young hams." Sarah Guild of the Raytown South High School Science Department said Rich "epitomizes excellence in leadership and community service." Her community service activities support Amateur Radio, her school and her church, the Board noted. "Among her community service activities are working with local homeless shelters, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics, tutoring middle school orchestra students and high school students in mathematics and science." Additionally, Rich is an accomplished violinist and member of her school's varsity color guard. Concluded the ARRL Board: "Rebecca Rich is an extremely intelligent, focused, well-rounded young woman perfectly suited to the honor of the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award." Rich says she plans to pursue studies in engineering and mathematics when she heads off for college. As winner of the 2004 HPM Award, she'll receive an engraved plaque, to be presented at a suitable occasion, and a check for $1500. Rich Davidson, K9RD, of Lake Forest, Illinois, is the recipient of the 2004 ARRL Herb S. Brier (W9AD) Instructor of the Year Award. Named for the late, long-time CQ "Novice" column editor, the award honors an individual who represents the spirit of Brier's effective and caring Amateur Radio instruction. The Lake County Amateur Radio Club of Crown Point, Indiana, cosponsors the award. "My students teach themselves the material, and I train their minds," says Davidson, who's taught at least three license classes a year since 1994 and helped hundreds to get their ham tickets. Davidson has been education director and ham class instructor of the North Shore Radio Club for 10 years. A ham and ARRL member for 45 years, Davidson said he was "ecstatic" to win the Instructor of the Year Award, for which he'll receive an engraved plaque. Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, of Bloomington, Indiana, is the winner of the 2004 ARRL Professional Educator of the Year Award. This award goes to a teacher who uses Amateur Radio within the curriculum. The Lambda Amateur Radio Club of Philadelphia is the award cosponsor. A chemistry teacher at Bloomington High School South and sponsor of the school's Amateur Radio Club, K9SOU, Rapp has woven Amateur Radio into his classes for the past 11 years. Bloomington South is an ARRL Education and Technology Program ("The Big Project") participating school, and Rapp also mentors club members as part of the club's extracurricular program. Rapp's classes emphasize hands-on building and operating experiences. During the past school year the main project was building a 220 MHz and 440 MHz repeater with a remote base. As the 2004 ARRL Professional Educator of the Year Award winner, Rapp--who was first licensed at age 5--will receive an engraved plaque. Jerome E. "Jerry" Martin, KC9BDA, of Libertyville, Illinois, is the recipient of the 2005 Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award. The annual award honors an amateur who demonstrates outstanding public relations success on behalf of Amateur Radio at the local, state or national level. The recipient best exemplifies the volunteer spirit of the award's namesake--the late journalist Philip J. McGan, WA2MBQ, the first chairman of the ARRL's Public Relations Committee. In the wake of the South Asia tsunami, Martin took an ARRL public service announcement (PSA) for radio, added still photos and video, generated graphics and synched the voice track with the video to create a widely seen TV PSA. "He helped get the right message on the right topic to the right people at the right time," said Ron Lane, N1FNE, who nominated Martin. The PSA's message is that Amateur Radio works when other systems don't. The winner of the McGan Award receives an engraved plaque. Three radio amateurs were honored as recipients of the 2004 Doug DeMaw, W1FB, Technical Excellence Award. The award honoring DeMaw, one of the most widely published technical authors in Amateur Radio history, is bestowed upon the author or authors of the best QST or QEX technical article during the prior year, as judged by the ARRL Technical Advisor group. For the best of 2004, the voting ended in a tie between the collaboration of Tom McDermott, N5EG, and Karl Ireland for their article "A Low-Cost 100 MHz Vector Network Analyzer with USB Interface," in July/August QEX, and widely published author Jack Belrose, VE2CV, for his article "On the Quest for an Ideal Antenna Tuner," in October QST. Accordingly, the ARRL bestowed the Technical Excellence Award on both articles and their authors. The DeMaw Award consists of an engraved nine-inch pewter cup. Additional details and photos of the ARRL award winners are on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/07/20/3/>. ==>HURRICANE WATCH NET, WX4NHC, ARES SECURE EMILY OPERATIONS After several days of involvement with Hurricane Emily, the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) <http://www.hwn.org/> and WX4NHC <http://www.wx4nhc.org/> at the National Hurricane Center secured net operation on 14.325 MHz at 0430 UTC July 20. The HWN activated several times as Emily crossed the Caribbean Sea, the Yucatan Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall on the coast of Mexico south of Brownsville, Texas, as a dangerous Category 3 hurricane. The storm rapidly lost strength over the mountainous terrain of northern Mexico. "Now with Emily safely behind us, it is time to take a breath, sit back and get ready for the next one," HWN Manager Mike Pilgrim, K5MP, commented this week. "Unfortunately, there is sure to be another." Emily arrived fast on the heels of Hurricane Dennis, which came ashore in Florida and Alabama. At week's end, the National Hurricane Center was eyeing Tropical Storm Franklin, drifting erratically northeastward near the Great Abaco Island and not far from the Bahamas. Pilgrim recounted that during the course of seven days, Emily--the second major hurricane of the still-early season--cut a swath across the southern Caribbean barely missing Jamaica and the Caymans. "This is the earliest in recorded history that we have had five named storms," he said. "We certainly hope that is not a sign of what's to come.” The Atlantic Hurricane season ends November 30. All told, Pilgrim reports, the HWN maintained an active presence on 14.325 MHz for a total of 45 hours spread over various portions of five days and nights. "A rough estimate yields approximately 600 voluntary person-hours expended by HWN members and members of WX4NHC over that short period of time," he said. Meanwhile, South Texas Section Emergency Coordinator Jerry Reimer, KK5CA, says Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) teams wound down their activation for Emily July 20. South Texas ARES District 3 volunteers began to prepare their homes and key operating sites for Emily on July 16, when forecasts indicated a potential landfall along the lower Texas coast. At the request of the Texas Governor's Division of Emergency Management, South Texas ARES activated an emergency net on July 19 on HF, Reimer reported. Supplementing the net were EchoLink and IRLP-linked repeaters throughout the potential target area and at resource staging areas such as San Antonio. "Some ARES leaders relied upon Winlink to maintain communications when their Internet provider had unexplained difficulties," Reimer noted. As things turned out, Emily's trajectory took it ashore some 90 miles south of the Texas-Mexico border, sparing South Texas its most intense winds--upward of 125 MPH when the storm hit land. Reimer noted that constant onshore winds of 40-45 MPH along South Padre Island caused storm surges of 4 to 8 feet in some areas and localized coastal flooding. ARES volunteers remained at emergency operations centers in Brownsville, Cameron County, NWS Brownsville, Hidalgo County and elsewhere throughout the night in case the storm changed direction. Reimer says reports came in of intermittent rain and wind gusts of up to 50 MPH well inland from the coast. One special-needs shelter opened July 19. "Many people heeded the call for voluntary evacuation, especially those living on South Padre Island and those with motor homes," Reimer said. ==>NEW ARRL GOES TO WASHINGTON VIDEO AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD The ARRL is making available a 10-minute video, The ARRL Goes to Washington, that documents the League's activities on behalf of Amateur Radio on Capitol Hill and at the FCC. Produced by Dave Bell, W6AQ, Alan Kaul, W6RCL, and Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, The ARRL Goes to Washington now is available for downloading from the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/pio/VTS-Video.mpg>. Because it typically occurs behind the scenes, ARRL's advocacy in "official Washington" in support of Amateur Radio receives little fanfare compared to its importance and significance. This video offers an opportunity to call attention to this critical ARRL function in an entertaining and informative way. ARRL members often say that legislative and regulatory advocacy is very important to them. Now clubs, public information officers and others will be able to witness the League's leadership in action in the nation's capital for themselves. Featuring ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, and narrated by former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD, the presentation's debut at Dayton Hamvention was resoundingly positive. Now you can download this video and save it on your computer or on a CD. It makes a great centerpiece for an Amateur Radio club program or meeting too. This video is not intended, nor available, for telecasting or broadcasting in any manner. It may be shown to groups or at hamfests, forums and clubs. The file is 95 MB, so a high-speed connection is necessary. The video runs 10:42. A higher-resolution DVD is expected to become available in a few weeks. ==>AMATEUR RADIO, TRAFFIC-HANDLING OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND AT SCOUT JAMBOREE From Monday, July 25 until Wednesday, August 3, thousands of Boy Scouts will converge on Fort AP Hill, Virginia, for the 2005 National Scout Jamboree. K2BSA, the official Amateur Radio station of the Boy Scouts of America, will be on the air (as K2BSA/4) for the duration of the Jamboree. Staff and volunteers (including ARRL staff member Larry Wolfgang, WR1B) will assist already-licensed scouts to operate the station and experience all that ham radio has to offer. In addition to workshops for the Radio merit badge, the K2BSA staff will offering licensing classes and examinations for those bitten by the radio bug while at the Jamboree. By monitoring the Scout frequencies and making a contact with K2BSA, you just might be helping a Scout to earn his Radio merit badge or even be the first to contact for a scout who's earned his new Amateur Radio privileges. Band SSB CW 80 meters 3.940 MHz 3.590 MHz 40 meters 7.270/7.290* MHz 7.030 MHz 20 meters 14.290 MHz 14.070 MHz 15 meters 21.360 MHz 21.140 MHz 10 meters 28.360/28.990 MHz 28.190 MHz * Note that 7.290 MHz is the AM Calling Frequency, according to the ARRL Band Plan <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/40m>. With a ban on cell phones at the Jamboree, K2BSA will serve as an important contact point for message traffic into and out of the Jamboree. Those who know scouts who will be attending the National Jamboree can surprise them with a greeting via Amateur Radio! Make your station and traffic-handling skills available to parents and Scout leaders back home and offer to send messages to the campers. Traffic handlers are encouraged to use the National Traffic System (NTS) rather than the Scout frequencies to pass traffic. There's a list of traffic nets on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/nets/>. To address traffic to a scout at the Jamboree, use the following address format: Scout's Full Name Jamboree Troop XXXX Subcamp No XX 2005 National Scout Jamboree Bowling Green, VA 22428-Troop# The Troop number used in the address is a special number assigned for use during the Jamboree. It is not the scout's hometown troop number. Scouts and parents can get the Jamboree troop number and subcamp number from the Jamboree registration information they received. If you don't have the Jamboree troop number and subcamp number, then use the scout's hometown BSA council name. July 25 until August 3 is also a good time to check into your local traffic net, because scouts may be generating traffic home from the Jamboree. Outlets are needed to clear traffic from the nets and deliver them to parents and friends. K2BSA/4 has been approved for a contact with the crew of the International Space Station. The date and time of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) QSO have not yet been established, however, and current plans to launch the shuttle Discovery to the ISS on July 26 could complicate matters. For more information, visit the K2BSA Web site <http://www.lightlink.com/bbm/k2bsa.html>.--Brian Cieslak, K9WIS ==>SOLAR UPDATE Heliophile Tad "Sunshine Superman" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: This week, sunspots again declined to zero. There haven’t been any sunspots on the Earth-facing disk of the sun for several days now. The average daily sunspot number declined by more than 73 points to 18.1, while the average daily solar flux was down by nearly 26 points to 77.5. Expect sunspots to return. Remember July 4, when the sunspot count was so high? That same area of the sun will return to view about 28 days later. Look for a gradually rising solar flux and sunspot number peaking around August 1-5. The predicted planetary A index for Friday through Monday, July 22-25, is 15, 10, 5 and 5. Sunspot numbers for July 14 through 20 were 61, 38, 16, 12, 0, 0 and 0, with a mean of 18.1. The 10.7 cm flux was 89.9, 87.2, 76.3, 74.1, 72, 71.2 and 72.1, with a mean of 77.5. Estimated planetary A indices were 11, 6, 9, 22, 34, 10 and 20, with a mean of 16. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 7, 4, 10, 15, 19, 8 and 14, with a mean of 11. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The Great Lakes Sweepstakes and the VK/Trans-Tasman 160-Meter Contest (CW) are the weekend of July 23-24. JUST AHEAD: The RSGB IOTA Contest and the ARS Flight of the Bumblebees are the weekend of July 30-31. 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), ARRL VHF/UHF--Beyond the Repeater (EC-008) and ARRL Digital Electronics (EC-013) courses remains open through Sunday, July 24. Classes begin Friday August 5. HF Digital Communication students will learn to use a variety of HF digital modes. Students participating in VHF/UHF--Beyond the Repeater (EC-008) will enjoy exploring some of the lesser-used and more intriguing aspects of VHF/UHF operation. Digital Electronics students will learn about Boolean essentials, basic gates, latches, buffers and drivers, encoders and decoders, serial interfaces, input devices, displays, logic families, microprocessor basics, interfacing with analog devices, understanding data sheets and design resources. To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education <http://www.arrl.org/cce/> Web page or contact the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Program Department email@example.com. * NASA sets July 26 for shuttle Discovery launch: With some work still to go, NASA is moving ahead with plans to launch the shuttle Discovery on its Return to Flight mission (STS-114) Tuesday, July 26, at 1439 UTC. US Astronaut Eileen Collins, KD5EDS, is the commander for mission. She leads an international crew of six astronauts that includes five other Amateur Radio licensees. Discovery is set for a 12-day flight to deliver equipment and supplies to the International Space Station, although Amateur Radio operation by the licensed shuttle crew members from the space station's NA1SS is considered doubtful. Onboard Discovery is the PCSat2 Amateur Radio package, which will be installed outside the ISS during a spacewalk. NASA says engineers are wrapping up a troubleshooting plan to address a fuel sensor system anomaly that prompted shuttle managers to scrub the first Discovery launch attempt July 13. The official countdown for the Discovery launch begins Saturday, July 23. During the countdown, engineers will closely watch the behavior of the sensor system circuit as the tank is filled with super-cooled propellants. For the latest information on the Space Shuttle's Return to Flight, visit the NASA Web site <http://www.nasa.gov/returntoflight/main/index.html>.--some information from NASA * H ugh Brower joins ARRL Headquarters staff: H ugh Brower is the newest addition to the ARRL Headquarters staff. He joined the ARRL Web/Software Development Department July 5, where he'll primarily be responsible for developing new Web applications and helping to maintain existing ones. Brower has extensive prior experience in that area. He founded one of the first Internet Service Providers in Connecticut and developed one of the earliest e-mail SPAM-fighting programs. More recently he worked as an Internet consultant in the areas of e-commerce and Internet security. He previously established a "dot-com" startup that syndicated topical news articles to various Web sites and newspapers, and he wrote a weekly technology column for the syndicate. "I have also worked as an IT manager for a number of Fortune 500 firms, including several stints overseas," he says. "On the weekends I like to run trolleys and trains at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor, where I am also a member of the Board of Trustees." Brower lives in South Windsor, Connecticut, with his fiancée, Stephanie. Welcome aboard, H ugh! * ARRL to host fall power-line interference workshop: ARRL will sponsor a workshop on power-line interference conducted by Mike Martin, K3RFI, of RFI Services of Maryland. The session will take place Tuesday and Wednesday, October 11-12, at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. If there is sufficient demand, a second workshop will be scheduled Thursday and Friday, October 13-14. RFI Services provides classroom and on-site training for power-company personnel on the techniques used to identify and cure power-line interference and can also troubleshoot electrical noise problems in the field. Registration is $995 per person. The workshop is designed for utility professionals who are responsible for locating and dealing with power-line related interference issues. For radio amateurs who work in the utility industry, this course has the added benefits of being held at ARRL Headquarters where participants will have a chance to operate W1AW. For more information or a workshop application, visit the RFI Services Web site <http://www.rfiservices.com/>. * Contester's Rate Sheet timely, informative, humorous: What absolutely free biweekly ARRL e-mail newsletter provides timely news, product releases, technical tips and tricks, information about and results from radiosport events, and even a sprinkle of ham radio humor? If you're one of the more than 13,100 subscribers to the Contester's Rate Sheet you already know the answer. Noted Amateur Radio writer Ward Silver, N0AX, edits each edition. Signing up to receive it couldn't be easier. Just visit the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rate-sheet/about.html#get> and follow the directions to bring the Rate Sheet to your e-mail inbox every other Wednesday. Even non-contesters will find lots of good technical and product information. Recent issues have featured notes on safe tower work, sources for inexpensive Field Day logging software, new radio books, propagation predictors, operating from Canada and a humorous list of new definitions. Back issues are available on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rate-sheet/>. Spread the word! =========================================================== 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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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.
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