*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 24, No. 38 September 30, 2005 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +ARRL COO speaks on Capitol Hill about Amateur Radio's value * +New federal grant boosts "Ham Aid" fund for hurricane volunteers * +Hurricane-hit states still need Amateur Radio volunteers * +Vanity call sign processing suspended * +ARRL 2005 Toy Drive under way for hurricane victims * +School space contact a success with help from local club * +IARU seeks harmonized global ham radio response to BPL issues * +SSETI Express launch postponed * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration ARRL Handbook 80th anniversary edition arrives +Joel Hallas, W1ZR, is new QST Technical Editor California QSO Party celebrates 40th anniversary this year +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 =========================================================== ==>ARRL COO TESTIFIES ON CAPITOL HILL TO AMATEUR RADIO'S VALUE IN DISASTERS ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, testified on behalf of the League September 29 before the US House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. Addressing the hearing topic, "Public Safety Communications from 9/11 to Katrina: Critical Public Policy Lessons," Kramer reiterated and amplified comments ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, delivered earlier this month to the House Government Reform Committee. As Haynie did on September 15, Kramer testified on the successful efforts of Amateur Radio operators who provided communications during the Hurricane Katrina response. "Amateur Radio was uniquely suited to this task by virtue of the availability of HF communications covering long distances without fixed infrastructure," Kramer pointed out in his testimony. In addition to those who responded to support relief agencies in hurricane-devastated areas, thousands more radio amateurs outside the affected area monitored radio traffic and relayed health-and-welfare messages, he said. Kramer noted that there's been a lot of discussion in recent years about public safety interoperability. "The Amateur Radio Service provides a good deal of interoperability communications for first responders in disaster relief incidents," he told the subcommittee. He said ham radio is able to fill this crucial role because even the "interoperability channels" that exist in most Public Safety allocations are useless when the Public Safety communication infrastructure goes down. "Interoperability, in short, presumes operability of Public Safety facilities," Kramer said. "While some 'hardening' of Public Safety facilities is called for, there is in our view an increasing role for decentralized, portable Amateur Radio stations which are not infrastructure-dependent in providing interoperability communication on site." Kramer told Subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and his House colleagues that Amateur Radio "is largely invisible to both the FCC and to Congress on a daily basis, because it is virtually self-regulating and self-administered," he said. "It is only during emergencies that the Amateur Radio Service is in the spotlight." Also testifying at the subcommittee session was FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, and Kramer said he had the opportunity to introduce himself to the chairman before the subcommittee convened. Kramer said he was honored to be chosen to provide the testimony on behalf of the ARRL. "I am proud of Amateur Radio's and our role in the Katrina relief effort," he added. The text of Kramer's remarks before the subcommittee are available on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/09/30/2/>. ==>FEDERAL GRANT AUGMENTS "HAM AID" FUND FOR HURRICANE VOLUNTEERS The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will provide the ARRL with an additional $77,000 to support Amateur Radio operators volunteering in the field in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The latest grant augments the recent $100,000 CNCS made available immediately following the Katrina disaster. The grant money, supplemented by contributions from individual donors, will subsidize "Ham Aid," a new League program to help defray out-of pocket expenses of Amateur Radio volunteers deployed in the field in disaster-stricken areas. "The new funding of $77,000--added to the initial $100,000 award, for a total of $177,000--is gratefully accepted to assist ham radio operators who have incurred expenses related to their volunteer service," said ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. "The per-diem awards of $25 per day up to a maximum award of four days, or $100 per person, will cover approximately 6000 'ham days' of service." Ham Aid also will strengthen the role Amateur Radio can play in disaster response by funding the preparation of complete "containerized" Amateur Radio HF/VHF stations that include radios, antennas, feed lines, repeaters and more, Hobart added. These are designed for deployment to disaster areas where the Amateur Radio infrastructure has been compromised or additional equipment is required. The CNCS Ham Aid grant is effective for operations established and documented as of September 1, 2005, and the aid is earmarked for Hurricane Katrina deployments only at this point. Corporation funds may also sustain the Ham Aid program and help to rebuild the emergency communications capabilities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to ensure that the Gulf Coast is prepared, should disaster strike again. The grants represent an emergency amendment to ARRL's three year Homeland Security training grant, which provided emergency communication training to nearly 5500 Amateur Radio volunteer over the past three years. The recent grant extensions do not cover additional ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications training program reimbursements, however. Hobart says the League will accept reimbursement request applications on a first-come, first served basis for as long as funds are available. For now, the program only covers per-diem reimbursements between September 1 and December 31, 2005, although that period may be extended. The Hurricane Katrina ARRL Ham Aid Reimbursement Procedures are on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/forms/cncs/>. ==>AMATEUR RADIO VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED As of week's end, Amateur Radio volunteers still were needed to assist relief agencies in the southern Mississippi counties hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. In addition ham radio volunteers were being sought to support Hurricane Rita FEMA operations in Texas. ARRL Alabama Section Manager Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, who's been at the American Red Cross volunteer staging area in Montgomery for nearly a month now, says turning the "operator pipeline" back on after holding off on soliciting additional volunteers has been slow. "Three Mississippi Gulf Coast counties need amateurs in EOCs, American Red Cross shelters and other locations to provide reliable communication," Sarratt said. He's trying to fill a need for 18 operators in Hancock County, 24 in Harrison County and 9 in Jackson County. Sarratt reported he was already getting word on the availability of fresh recruits via the nationwide network of ARRL SMs and SECs <http://www.arrl.org/sections/>. Prospective volunteers may indicate their willingness to deploy by first signing up on the Hurricane Katrina Disaster Communications & Volunteer Registration and Message Traffic Database <http://katrina.ab2m.net/>, then awaiting word on whether to deploy. Operators should not self-deploy! If requested to report, they should notify their ARRL SEC. Volunteers who are asked to deploy would report to the Montgomery marshaling center to receive orientation and a specific assignment. Some volunteers will help support communication at Red Cross shelters set up for evacuees, while others will provide tactical communication for feeding stations. Amateur Radio Station W4AP at the Montgomery staging facility monitors 7.280 MHz days/3.965 MHz evenings to keep in touch with HF-equipped mobile operators who are traveling to or are at their assigned locations. Operators requested to deploy should be self-sufficient with some food, fuel, water and camping gear sufficient to cover their travel to and operation in affected areas. Shelters are supplying food for ham radio volunteers in affected communities, however. In Louisiana, where New Orleans and several parishes suffered severe damage from Hurricane Katrina, SEC Gary Stratton, K5GLS, says local ARES members are still handling communication request and needs that arise. He says that first responders are expected to enter Cameron Parish this weekend. Amateur Radio volunteers have been asked to accompany law enforcement personnel to support their internal communication on this mission. Flood waters in Louisiana have been receding, and most shelters now have telephone service, electricity and running water. Meanwhile, the Amateur Radio response to Hurricane Rita continues. North Texas SEC Bill Swan, K5MWC, reports that two teams from his section are in Jasper, Texas, to assist the Salvation Army. He predicts that more ham radio volunteers will be called to assist after cities such as Beaumont and Port Arthur are reopened for residents to return. In San Augustine County, Texas, Marshall Williams, K5QE, says that up to eight ARES-trained Amateur Radio volunteers are needed for one week minimum stints to support the FEMA-coordinated disaster relief operation with mobile HF SSB and VHF FM. Prospective volunteers may register their availability on the Hurricane Rita Disaster Communications Volunteer Registration & Message Traffic Database <http://rita.ab2m.net/>. The FEMA support requirement is likely to continue for several weeks, with up to eight volunteers needed each week. The need is for self-contained operators who can provide their own shelter, water and some or all of their food for a week. The duty tour will involve working in high humidity and temperatures, so anyone with medical problems that could be aggravated by these conditions should not volunteer for this assignment. The West Gulf ARES Emergency Net (7.285 MHz days/3.873 MHz evenings) is providing daily updates on the Hurricane Rita emergency response at noon and 7 PM Central Daylight Time. ==>AMATEUR RADIO VANITY PROCESSING FALLS VICTIM TO HURRICANES The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) has suspended the processing of Amateur Radio vanity call sign applications. A WTB staff member, speaking to ARRL on background, said the FCC halted vanity processing on or about September 23 after realizing that filing and regulatory deadline extensions for hurricane-affected licensees in certain states could adversely impact the vanity system. The WTB staffer pointed out that the filing extensions announced this month also apply to Amateur Radio's two-year "grace period." "Because these extensions apply to the grace period, it could affect vanity processing," the WTB staffer told ARRL. "We stopped processing when it came clear that some call signs could be affected." No decision has been made on when vanity processing will resume. On September 1, the FCC extended until October 31 all filing and regulatory deadlines falling between August 29 and October 30 for licensees in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana affected by Hurricane Katrina. On September 24, it extended until November 21 all filing and regulatory deadlines falling between September 20 and November 20 for licensees in Louisiana and Texas affected by Hurricane Rita. The WTB staff member emphasized that the FCC intended the deadline extensions to apply only to licensees who have been directly impacted by the storms. "These are not statewide extensions," the staffer said. Under Part 97, Amateur Radio licensees have two years from the date of license expiration to renew their tickets without having to retest or risk losing their call signs to a vanity applicant. The staffer confirmed that WTB had disabled the "auto-termination" feature of the Universal Licensing System (ULS) so that it will not automatically cancel licenses that have not been renewed by the end of the grace period. "We can't assume based on address who might be affected," the staff member explained, "so we're not auto-terminating anything at this point." In the meantime, the FCC is encouraging radio amateurs to continue filing vanity applications as they normally would. "Everything will be held in queue," the WTB staff member said.--thanks to Dean Gibson, AE7Q, for alerting ARRL to this situation ==>ARRL ANNOUNCES 2005 TOY DRIVE FOR HURRICANE VICTIMS In the wake of unprecedented hurricane devastation in the Gulf Coast region, the ARRL has announced it will again sponsor a toy drive to brighten the holidays for youngsters left homeless or displaced as a result of the storms. Country singer and ARRL member Patty Loveless, KD4WUJ, has agreed to serve as honorary chairperson for the 2005 toy drive. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, is urging the Amateur Radio community to pitch in. "Last year, hams from all over the country brought smiles to children during the holidays," Haynie said. "We made a lot of friends, and we did a lot of good. No one expected that we would need to do it again so soon, but the recent hurricanes' destruction changed the plans of a lot of people." Last year, individual radio amateurs and clubs across the US joined together to collect new toys for youngsters affected by a series of four hurricanes in Florida. ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, says the 2004 effort was a success beyond anyone's wildest dreams, and there was no question in his mind about doing another toy drive for the latest hurricane victims. "Not only can it be done, it really must be done. It is simply the right thing to do," he said. "We are asking hams from all over the country to begin gathering new toys for shipment to Memphis, Tennessee. ARRL Delta Division Vice Director Henry Leggette, WD4Q, has secured a receiving warehouse and is recruiting ham volunteers there." Ham radio clubs and individual amateurs should send new, unwrapped toys for boys and girls aged 1 to 14 to ARRL Toy Drive, 1775 Moriah Woods Blvd--Suite 12, Memphis, TN 38117-7125. Plan mailings and shipments to arrive prior to Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 24, for distribution over the holidays. "Just as we did last year, we are asking the donors to please put a QSL card into the box with the toy," Pitts added. Non-hams are encouraged to join this effort too. "Early in December, we will divide the toys among the various agencies and states that need help the most at that point in time," Pitts explained. "We are making these arrangements so that we can maximize the areas receiving aid while maintaining the unique identity that this is the Amateur Radio Community's response." Pitts says he's heard from many Amateur Radio clubs that are already gathering toys together. "Please check with your local club and see if they are planning a mass shipment," he urged. "If not, perhaps you can help organize one for your area." Monetary donations to purchase new toys for special age groups and to help cover operational expenses also are welcome. Those wishing to donate money instead of toys can send a check to ARRL Toy Drive, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. ==>LOCAL HAM CLUB MEMBERS ASSIST IN SPACE CONTACT AT MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL A dozen youngsters from two NASA Explorer Schools (NES) spoke September 16 via Amateur Radio with International Space Station Expedition 11 NASA Science Officer John Phillips, KE5DRY. The contact between W1ACT at the Matthew J. Kuss Middle School in Fall River, Massachusetts, and NA1SS in space was arranged by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. The audience of more than 100 parents, faculty members, fellow students and dignitaries was split between two locations, reports Roland Daignault, N1JOY, of the Fall River Amateur Radio Club/Bristol County Repeater Association. Club members, who have set up a club station and conducted licensing classes at Kuss Middle School, assisted in the contact. "We were set up in the Kuss library with about 50 people present, including Mayor Ed Lambert, and Senator Joan Menard, who presented a citation to the Kuss students for their work," Daignault said. "We also set up an ATV link to the church hall across the street, where about 50 more people were watching our live video feed of the event projected onto a large screen." W1ACT is the call sign of the Fall River ARC. The school's club station equipment was used to make the successful two-way space contact. Ten of the youngsters who participated in the ARISS event were from Kuss Middle School. Two seventh graders from Central Park Middle School in Schenectady, New York, also took part in the contact. Both schools are NES partners. Six of the students who got to speak with Phillips are Amateur Radio licensees. The event drew a great deal of media attention with reporters from three television stations from nearby Providence, Rhode Island, the Comcast local access cable channel, Fall River Educational Television (FRED-TV), and two newspapers in attendance. In addition, the Museum of Science, Boston, was doing a documentary of the school contact, Daignault said. The youngsters managed to ask Phillips 22 of the 24 questions they had on their list. Among other things, they asked what ham radio equipment the ISS had onboard, if Phillips thought a person with special needs could ever work on the ISS and if becoming an astronaut was his first career choice. Mentoring and attending the Massachusetts event was ARISS International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO. "Needless to say, there were plenty of smiling faces at the end of the event," Daignault commented. ARISS is an international educational outreach with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>IARU EYES GLOBAL COORDINATION OF AMATEUR RADIO'S BPL/EMC RESPONSE The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Administrative Council will explore ways to improve the coordination of Amateur Radio's representation on electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) issues at national, regional and global forums. Meeting September 17-18 in Zurich, Switzerland, the Council also made further progress firming up plans to deal with Amateur Radio-related issues at World Radiocommunication Conference 2007 (WRC-07). The Council requested the International Secretariat (ARRL)--in conjunction with the EMC advisor--seek ways to better harmonize Amateur Radio's EMC response at meetings and conferences. The study, prompted mainly by concerns about interference from broadband over power line (BPL), is to be completed by year's end. The objective is to recommend steps, subject to Council approval, to arrive at a more unified Amateur Radio position regarding BPL and EMC and to "maintain a favorable EMC environment for radio services." At its October 2004 session, the Administrative Council adopted a resolution concerning potential interference to radio services from BPL systems. The Council resolved to urge member-societies to make national administrations and standards bodies aware of their obligations under the international Radio Regulations. Those rules, in part, call on administrations to "take all practicable and necessary steps to ensure that the operation of electrical apparatus or installations of any kind, including power and telecommunication distribution networks . . . does not cause harmful interference to a radiocommunication service." A principal focus was on WRC-07 preparations. The Administrative Council affirmed the IARU's positions on agenda items. WRC-07 issues facing Amateur Radio include the possible identification of additional HF spectrum between 4 and 10 MHz for broadcasting, which could put pressure on other services. A possible international amateur allocation in the vicinity of 136 kHz is also on the agenda. In other business, the Council established a small working group to develop an international emergency communications handbook for radio amateurs based on existing texts. The International Secretariat (ARRL) was requested to produce a brochure on Amateur Radio response to emergencies. The Council thanked Bob Knowles, ZL1BAD, for his more than 20 years of volunteer service as IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS) International Coordinator. Knowles recently stepped down from the position, which he'd occupied since the inception of IARUMS. Attending the gathering were IARU President Larry Price, W4RA; Vice President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA; Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ; Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Don Beattie, G3BJ; Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T; ARRL International Affairs Vice President Rod Stafford, W6ROD; Dario Jurado, HP1DJ; Y. S. Park, HL1IFM; Chandru Ramchandra, VU2RCR; Yoshi Sekido, JJ1OEY, and Recording Secretary Paul Rinaldo, W4RI. ==>SSETI EXPRESS LAUNCH DELAYED INDEFINITELY The launch of the Student Space Exploration and Technology Initiative (SSETI) Express satellite, which will carry an Amateur Radio package, has been postponed indefinitely. That announcement this week from SSETI Express Project Manager Neil Melville put a damper on the enthusiasm building in anticipation of a planned September 30 launch. Melville blamed the delay on the failure of another spacecraft set to go into space during the launch from Russia. "Early indications suggest that we have a delay of at least one month, but this is not confirmed," he said. "This is, of course, very unfortunate, but it is not critical," he went on. "The spacecraft can easily wait for the new launch date without any significant problems, and we will fly it as soon as we can." When it does fly, the SSETI Express, which also carries three CubeSat picosatellites, will leave Earth from Plesetsk Cosmodrome via a Cosmos-3M LV vehicle. The Cosmos-3M will deploy the Topsat, China DMC and the low-Earth orbit 60 kg SSETI Express satellites. Plans call for downlinking AX.25 telemetry at 9.6 kb on 437.250 MHz and at 38.4 kb on 2401.835 MHz. The satellite will be turned into a single-channel amateur FM voice Mode U/S transponder after the transmitter serves initial telemetry duty. SSETI Express will, in turn, release the three CubeSats--NCUBE-2, UWE-1, and XI-V. The XI-V ("sai five") package will include a CW beacon on 437.465 MHz and FM packet on 437.345 MHz. The ESA SSETI Express initiative has brought together students from two dozen European universities via the Internet to build and launch a satellite. ESA provides managerial and technical coordination. There's more information on the AMSAT-UK Web site, www.uk.amsat.org/ and on the AMSAT-NA Web site, www.amsat.org. "We'll get there eventually," Melville optimistically concluded this week. "Watch this space." ==>SOLAR UPDATE Sunspot seeker Tad "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Average daily sunspot numbers dropped over the past week by more than 16 points to 29.7. Solar flux values were down 20 points to 80.2. The week was quiet with no geomagnetic storms. September 26-28 had the most geomagnetic activity, but it was all pretty mild. The K index for middle latitude and planetary readings only went to 3 or 4 on occasion and quickly dropped back to 2. The forecast for the next few days, September 30 to October 2, is for low sunspot activity. The next peak of activity may be when sunspot 798 returns. It's currently on the sun's far side. That activity should peak around October 14-16. The geomagnetic prediction for this weekend is for mild to unsettled conditions, with the planetary A index for September 30 through October 3 at 15, 15, 12 and 12. Prague Geophysical Institute predicts quiet conditions for October 5 and 6, quiet to unsettled conditions October 3 and 4, and unsettled conditions September 30 through October 2. Sunspot numbers for September 22 through 28 were 28, 49, 33, 28, 25, 23 and 22, with a mean of 29.7. The 10.7 cm flux was 83.7, 82.8, 81.4, 81, 81.3, 76.9, and 74.6, with a mean of 80.2. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 8, 4, 5, 14, 13 and 12, with a mean of 9.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 6, 5, 2, 3, 9, 10 and 12, with a mean of 6.7. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The California QSO Party, the TARA PSK Rumble Contest, the Oceania DX Contest (SSB), the International HELL-Contest, the EU Autumn Sprint (SSB), the PRO CW Contest, the UBA ON Contest (SSB) and the RSGB 21/28 MHz Contest (SSB) are the weekend of Oct 1-2. JUST AHEAD: The German Telegraphy Contest is October 3. The YLRL Anniversary Party (CW) is October 5-7. the 432 MHz Fall Sprint is October 5 and the SARL 80-Meter QSO Party is October 6. The Pennsylvania QSO Party, the FISTS Fall Sprint, the North American Sprint (RTTY), the Makrothen RTTY Contest, the Oceania DX Contest (CW), EU Autumn Sprint (CW) and the UBA ON Contest (CW) are the weekend of October 8-9. The 10-10 International 10-10 Day Sprint is October 10. The NAQCC 80/40 Straight Key/Bug Sprint is October 12. 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 is open through Sunday, October 2, for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education courses: ARRL Radio Frequency Interference (EC-006); ARRL Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009); ARRL Technician Licensing (EC-010); ARRL Analog Electronics (EC-012) and ARRL Digital Electronics (EC-013). All classes begin Friday, October 14. To learn more and to see a description of these and other on-line courses, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Web page <http://www.arrl.org/cce> or contact the ARRL CCE Department <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * ARRL Handbook 80th anniversary edition arrives: A truck convoy of 18-wheelers rolled up to the ARRL warehouse September 28, delivering thousands of copies of the newest ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications. The 2006 edition marks the Handbook's 80th anniversary, and the publication's arrival at the ARRL warehouse means copies will be shipping very soon. ARRL technical editor Dean Straw, N6BV, served as the principal editor for this 83rd edition. The 2006 Handbook includes a new high-power HF linear amplifier project. Built around the Eimac 3CX1500D7, the design is the brainchild of Jerry Pittenger, K8RA (see October 2005 QST, p 13). To celebrate this special Handbook anniversary, those placing early orders for the 2006 edition will receive a reproduction of the very first edition of The Radio Amateur's Handbook. Published in 1926 and authored by the late ARRL Communications Manager Francis Edward "Ed" Handy, W1BDI, this 224-page volume is a facsimile of Handy's signed, personal "desk copy" and even includes some of his handwritten notes. While supplies last, the 2006 Handbook offer is available only directly from ARRL and from select ARRL publication dealers. The 2006 Handbook comes with The ARRL Handbook on CD-ROM Ver 10.0--fully searchable with additional software and reference material. Early Handbook orders begin shipping the first week of October. The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications is $54.95 in hardcover, $39.95 in softcover. Visit the ARRL on-line catalog <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=no-hb2006>. * Joel Hallas, W1ZR, is new QST Technical Editor: Joel Hallas, W1ZR, has been promoted to the position of QST Technical Editor. Hallas, who had been serving as the magazine's "Product Review" editor, replaces Stu Cohen, N1SC, who has departed the ARRL Headquarters staff. "Joel brings a strong technical and management background to his new position, which involves planning the technical content of QST and ensuring that it is of the highest quality and useful to ARRL members," QST Managing Editor Joel Kleinman, N1BKE, said in announcing the change. Hallas also is a member of the team that reviews technical articles submitted for QST publication. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering and has been on the ARRL Headquarters staff for two years. Congratulations, Joel! Former ARRL Chief Operating Officer Mark Wilson, K1RO, has taken on "Product Review" editorial responsibilities. In recent additions to the ARRL staff: Devon Neal has joined the Graphics Department. A graduate of Porter & Chester Institute, his responsibilities include creating schematics and illustrations for QST and other League publications. Lisa Riendeau has joined the ARRL VEC Department. She brings seven years' experience in customer service to her new position at ARRL. Welcome aboard! * California QSO party celebrates 40th anniversary this year: The 40th anniversary celebration of the California QSO Party (CQP) is the weekend of October 1-2. All 58 California counties are expected to be on the air for the event. Tom Frenaye, formerly WB6KIL and now K1KI (and ARRL's New England Division Director), and Gene Hoelzle, WB6EUZ, organized the first running of the CQP while still in high school. The Northern California Contest Club (NCCC) took over its sponsorship in 1975. A special-edition CQP T-shirt is available for those making 100 contacts during the event and submitting their logs along with $12 ($15 for DX entries, for whom the 100-QSO minimum is waived). Specify size: M/L/XL/XXL. More information is on the CQP Web site <http://www.cqp.org/>.--Marc Ziegler, W6ZZZ =========================================================== 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/>. 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