*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 24, No. 47 December 2, 2005 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +ARRL and FCC continue sparring over BPL database * +LA repeater loses automatic control privileges * +Spacewalks "an absolute delight," ISS commander says * +Holiday Toy Drive donation deadline draws nigh * +Dayton Hamvention hoping to please visitors in 2006 * +Al Oubre, K5DPG, SK * +"Go Army!" ISS commander exhorts during casual QSO with Naval Academy * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio: Get on the air for the ARRL 160-Meter Contest! ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +Ed Marriner, W6XM, SK December 2005 QST Error +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 =========================================================== ==>ARRL, FCC CONTINUE BPL INTERFERENCE RESOLUTION DATABASE DEBATE The acting chief of the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) is standing foursquare behind the recently opened Broadband over Power Line (BPL) Interference Resolution Web site <http://www.bpldatabase.org/>. The deadline for BPL operators to populate the database, provided by the United Power Line Council (UPLC) and the United Telecom Council (UTC), was November 19. In October, the ARRL took strong exception to limitations UTC, the site's administrator, has imposed on the number of allowable licensee searches and to the use of ZIP codes as the only search key. Acting OET Chief Bruce Franca defended the BPL database November 22. "Your concern, limiting access to the database, does not constitute a violation of the rules," said Franca, citing verse and chapter of Part 15 to back up his assertion. Franca said §15.615(d) "clearly states" that the database is intended to identify possible sources of harmful interference thought to emanate from a BPL system. "Permitting individuals who are using a licensed service that operates on the same frequencies as are used by a BPL system to query for pertinent information in the geographic area of that interference fully fulfills this function," he concluded. A note on the BPL database site cautions that users are "allowed to search a limited number of times each month." It further advises users not to conduct random database searches, lest their access to the database be further restricted. In his initial complaint, ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, characterized the notice as an attempt to "ration access" to the site. Franca also defended the use of ZIP codes as the only means to query the database, saying they are easily understood and identifiable and will provide the information the rules require on BPL systems deployed within a ZIP code. Sumner had argued earlier that requiring users to enter a ZIP code before gaining access to the database was "clearly contrary" to the requirement that the database be available to the public. Responding November 30, Sumner gamely took another stab at getting the League's point across. Part 15 is unambiguous that the information in the database must be publicly accessible approximately 30 days before a BPL system begins operation, he said. Using a ZIP code to gain entry, Sumner continued, "renders the advance notification requirement meaningless to the public" unless someone were to regularly visit the Web site and repeatedly enter a particular ZIP code. But since that practice "is specifically discouraged by the UTC's notice," Sumner pointed out, it's impossible for the public to know about a BPL startup in advance, something the BPL Report and Order seems to require. As a result, Sumner said, the benefit of a prior notification requirement, while limited as an interference-prevention measure, is lost to BPL operators as well as to licensed radio services that may suffer harmful interference that could have been avoided. Sumner said the UTC-administered database "provides less than was promised" in the FCC's October 2004 Report and Order. "For advance notification to be meaningful, the public must know when additions and changes to the database occur," he contended. "That is functionally impossible if the 'publicly accessible' database is actually maintained behind an opaque curtain and is only revealed one ZIP code at a time." One workaround, Sumner suggested, would be to require UTC to make publicly available a list of ZIP codes and the date of the most recent data entry for each. "This also would make it clear when a specific BPL system serves more than one ZIP code area, information that is required by §15.615(a)(3) but that is not available to the public at present except by individual query of each ZIP code." Sumner said Franca failed to respond to his point regarding the error message that appears when a database user enters a ZIP code where no BPL system apparently has been deployed. At that point, users are asked to provide "written details" about the nature of the interference and the user's licensed operations as well as location--"complete address and coordinates"--operating frequencies, whether mobile or fixed and a brief description of the interference. "Frankly, UTC has no authority to require the submission of such information from an FCC licensee prior to sharing information that the public is entitled to as a matter of right," Sumner concluded--reiterating a point made in his initial correspondence. "If the database were appropriately accessible the question would never arise." On November 23, the League told the FCC that the Manassas, Virginia, BPL system was not in compliance with FCC Part 15 rules because its operator failed to provide full information to the public BPL database by the November 19 deadline and the system should be shut down. The letter came barely six weeks after the ARRL called on the FCC to turn off the Manassas BPL system because of unresolved interference complaints to Amateur Radio. Since the League's letter, a search under ZIP code 20110 indicates the Manassas system has provided a contact name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. Its entry still lacks details about the equipment in use, however. ==>FCC LIFTS AUTOMATIC CONTROL PRIVILEGES OF BUSY LA-AREA REPEATER The call sign and owner have changed again, but the FCC alleges that problems persist on the Los Angeles area's 147.435 MHz repeater, now operated by Jeffrey Stieglitz, AE6NZ, of Torrance. The FCC Los Angeles District Office recently informed Stieglitz that it was suspending automatic control privileges for the repeater. That means the licensee or a designated control operator must be at the repeater's control point whenever the machine is operational. "Your amateur station AE6NZ is under review by the Enforcement Bureau for numerous and continued apparent violations of the Commissions rules," FCC LA Office District Director Catherine Deaton wrote Stieglitz November 18. The Commission alleges inadequate station control, deliberate interference, failure of users to identify and use by unlicensed operators. Stieglitz told ARRL he encourages users of the busy repeater to comply with Part 97 rules and to make a reasonable effort to identify unlicensed operators. "I believe that the 147.435 repeater attracts people to the hobby and, overall, is consistent with the purposes of Amateur Radio," he said. "Sometimes the talk on the repeater may resemble that of a boys locker room," Stieglitz conceded, "but I think we more than make up for it with charitable activities and technical sophistication." Deaton says if AE6NZ is operated under automatic control prior to notification from her office, enforcement action up to and including a license revocation and suspension hearing, a fine or both could follow. Deaton also asked Stieglitz to submit in advance the names and contact numbers of other licensees who serve as control operators. "During any times that no control operator is available, the repeater must be shut down," Deaton stated. The odd-split 147.435 MHz repeater (the primary input is 146.400 MHz) has been a lightning rod for controversy. In 2001, the FCC terminated the automatic control privileges of the then-W6NUT repeater while it was reviewing its operation. Since then the repeater has changed hands a few times, and enforcement issues seem to have followed. Stieglitz believes "heat from the FCC" was behind the frequent ownership changes. "As the Jack Gerritsen case shows, there is very little the FCC can actually do against a determined bootlegger," Stieglitz said. Gerritsen is set to appear in federal court next week. "In my opinion, shutting down a repeater because a third party breaks the rules just penalizes the honest operators." FCC Enforcement Bureau Special Counsel Riley Hollingsworth had another perspective: "The repeater has been out of control long enough, and we have been too patient too long," he told ARRL. ==>SPACEWALKS "THRILLING," ASTRONAUT TELLS STUDENTS DURING HAM RADIO CHAT International Space Station Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, told students gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, November 22, that taking a spacewalk is a thrilling experience. Speaking the following day with middle schoolers in upstate New York, McArthur described space exploration as the new frontier. Both contacts were arranged by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. During the Geneva contact--part of the "Science on Stage" program for European science teachers--McArthur rhapsodized about the spacewalk experience. "It's an absolute delight, it's thrilling to be outside, it's being truly in a totally alien environment," McArthur said, "and you realize the only thing between you and vacuum is the small little spaceship that you call your spacesuit. And it is truly the most thrilling thing I've ever done." Responding to a question involving human physiology in space, McArthur said it's theorized that bone tissue is replaced more slowly in space because it does not get stressed in microgravity. "On Earth, when you walk, when you run, every time your foot strikes the ground there is stress on your skeletal system, and this aids in bone development," McArthur said. He told another student that getting used to weightlessness was the biggest adjustment for ISS crew members. He noted that he and crewmate Valery Tokarev will have spent some 182 days in space by the time they return to Earth next April. In the meantime, much of the research conducted aboard the ISS will help determine how well human beings will be able to handle long-term space travel beyond Earth orbit, McArthur said. Some 300 science teachers from 25 countries gathered at the European Nuclear Research Center (CERN) in Geneva for the conference. Eighteen students from Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Norway and Portugal took part in the space QSO. NN1SS at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland served as the Earth station for the CERN event. MCI donated a two-way teleconferencing link between NN1SS in Maryland and the ISS. Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, was the ARISS-Europe mentor. On November 23, youngsters at Central Park Middle School in Schenectady, New York--a NASA Explorer School--focused most of their questions on spaceflight training, preparation and safety. McArthur told the youngsters that it was hard to get into the space program. "It was very difficult because there simply are so few astronauts--there are only slightly more than 100 astronauts in the US space program, and each time we ask for new volunteers, we get thousands of applications from very, very qualified people," McArthur explained. "So, to be quite honest, not only do you have to have a good resume, you have to be very, very lucky." An astronaut for 15 years, McArthur said he trained four and a half years for his current mission onboard the ISS. The most challenging aspect of his job is "to be patient," he said in reply to another question. "I've spent much, much more time training and on the ground than flying in orbit." McArthur said he believes the most important thing society can gain from missions like his is a continued belief in and commitment to space exploration. "Humans by their very nature want to go to the next frontier," he added, "and we think the next frontier is the one you see when you look straight up." W6SRJ at Santa Rosa Junior College in California served as the Earth station for the Central Park contact, and MCI donated a teleconferencing link between W6SRJ and the school. ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>2005 HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE ON A ROLL! Hams are finding even more ways to pitch in and boost the ARRL/The Salvation Army 2005 Holiday Toy Drive <http://www.arrl.org/pio/#toy>. The League has partnered with The Salvation Army in an effort to bring some holiday cheer to children along the US Gulf Coast left homeless or displaced in the aftermath of this year's devastating hurricanes. Likewise, many individual radio amateurs and ham radio groups are partnering with others and even providing some incentives to spread the joy of giving. Chiropractor Dr Frank Vesci, W1NK, has offered free evaluations to any patients who bring a toy with them to their appointments. Joe Guvman, KB1DVG, has been encouraging customers with a special display at his Meineke Muffler shop to bring in toys for the drive. The Hampden County Radio Association in Massachusetts has urged members to bring toys to the club's annual holiday party this week. The club already collected and shipped off a batch of toys gathered during its yearly auction early this month. Many others around the country are similarly enthusiastic. Charles Kosman, WB2NQV, reports that the toy drive's public service announcement featuring country music star Patty Loveless, KD4WUJ, aired all last week during the 5:30 PM time slot on KSWO-TV, which serves southwestern Oklahoma and northern Texas. "That's between the early local news and ABC Network news," Kosman enthused. "I guess we got some prime time for it!" Between "testing" the many toys, ARRL Delta Division Vice Director Henry Leggette, WD4Q, and the crew of ham radio volunteers have otherwise been busy at the Memphis, Tennessee, warehouse where the toys are collecting for delivery. Volunteer coordinator Joe Lowenthal, WA4OVO, concedes that the warehouse crew sometimes has to resist the temptation to play with the toys. He says the crew has inventoried close to 2800 toys already, and more are in the offing as the final weeks of the 2005 Holiday Toy Drive approach. "Things are definitely picking up," Lowenthal told ARRL this week, noting that some 500 toys arrived November 29 alone. While many of the toys--perhaps 1000 or more--are stuffed animals, he says there's quite a variety among the remaining donations, including a lot of athletic gear. "We've got soccer balls, we've got basketballs, we have footballs," he reports. And there's more. "We have a number of dolls, doll sets, jewelry, makeup kits, we have a number of crayons and coloring books, we even have some computer programs, quite a few puzzles and games," Lowenthal added. One donor sent an educational toy that lets the youngster set up various electronic circuits. "He's probably hoping whoever gets it will become a ham," he said. There's still a big need for toys suitable for older children, Lowenthal said. He suggested that ARRL members write a check to help cover those needs unless they have a specific donation in mind. One individual has donated a new bicycle. "That will probably be the biggest item," he said. Radio amateurs are invited to send new unwrapped toys for boys and girls aged 1 to 14 to: ARRL Toy Drive/The Salvation Army, 1775 Moriah Woods Blvd--Suite 12, Memphis, TN 38117-7125. Include a QSL card or a card bearing your call sign. ARRL invites its members to send checks if they prefer, made out to "ARRL Toy Drive." Send these donations to: ARRL Toy Drive, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. At the warehouse, volunteers log in each contribution, then sort the toys and record the donors, if known. Lowenthal notes that in some shipments QSL cards have not been attached to a particular toy. He advises donors to tape cards to the gifts. Many hams have indicated, however, that they're less concerned about getting credit or even a "thank you" for their contribution as long as they know the toys are going where they'll bring smiles. Lowenthal says the toys have been arriving via a number of carriers, but he recommends FedEx, UPS or DHL for the most expeditious delivery, although shipments have been arriving via the US Postal Service as well. ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP--the League's point man for the drive, says the final two weeks are critical. "This is when we make or break it," he said. He encourages groups, clubs and individuals to send their toy packages by December 10. ==>DAYTON HAMVENTION® SAYS BETTER COMMUNICATION A KEY GOAL FOR 2006 Well in advance of the 55th Dayton Hamvention next spring, event organizers report they're implementing strategies to improve communication and provide more and better information about the show. Part of the plan is a complete makeover of the Dayton Hamvention Web site <http://www.hamvention.org/>, still a work in progress. Hamvention 2006 takes place May 19-21 at Hara Arena in Trotwood, Ohio. Dayton Hamvention volunteers this past spring asked many vendors and visitors alike what they could do to improve the world's largest Amateur Radio gathering, and "better communication" was the most common response. "People told us what they wanted, and we are going to do our best to deliver," says Dayton Hamvention 2006 General Chairman Jim Nies, WX8F. "We have set several goals for this year, and one of the most important is to respond to requests more quickly than we did during the 2005 show." Nies took over the reins from Gary Des Combes, N8EMO, who headed up the 2004 and 2005 events and brought back an all-volunteer staff. The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) has sponsored Hamvention since the early 1950s. The goal of the 2006 Dayton Hamvention staff will be to at least acknowledge all requests within 24 hours and, if possible, provide the information or assistance needed within the same time frame, Nies said. "I know that we won't be able to answer every question or deal with every problem immediately, but we will definitely make every effort to do it as soon as possible," he added. Hamvention organizers say that while feedback from those who attended the 2005 show generally was very positive, a number indicated that more advance information would be helpful. For example, Hamvention will post information on traffic patterns and access points on its Web site well in advance of the 2006 show, said Assistant General Chairman Carl Rose, K8CPR, who served as security chair for Dayton Hamvention 2004 and 2005. "We tried some things with traffic flow and vendor access in 2005, and some worked very well and others need improvement," Rose said. "We will use the feedback we received, particularly about vendor access, to see if we can make it quicker and easier to get into the arena for setup." Rose urged Dayton Hamvention visitors to check the Web site before leaving to see if there are any last minute changes due to construction or other unforeseen events. Hamvention also will continue golf cart shuttles and benches in the flea market for the convenience of attendees, Rose said. Some things won't change for the 55th Hamvention. Tickets prices will remain the same as the 2005 show, and so will show hours. Dayton Hamvention 2006 is expected to draw some 25,000 visitors from all over the US and around the world. The Dayton/Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau has estimated Dayton Hamvention's annual economic impact at close to $4 million for Montgomery County and nearly $10 million regionally. ==>PAST ARRL DIRECTOR, VICE DIRECTOR, SECTION MANAGER AL OUBRE, K5DPG, SK Lionel A. "Al" Oubre, K5DPG, of New Iberia, Louisiana, died November 25, surrounded by his family. He was 64. An ARRL Life Member and Diamond Club member, Oubre served in the 1980s as ARRL Delta Division Vice Director and Director and from 1992 to 2000 as ARRL Louisiana Section Manager. ARRL Delta Division Director Rick Roderick, K5UR, says he and Oubre were friends for many years. "He was always involved in and doing things for ham radio," Roderick said. "He left a strong record of helping make things better. I will miss him greatly." Louisiana SM Mickey Cox, K5MC, who succeeded Oubre as Section Manager, recounted that after stepping down as SM, Oubre continued to serve the section as an Assistant SM and was the Section's Webmaster. He also was an ARRL Official Relay Station. "In addition to being an active traffic handler on NTS and MARS nets, he was a mentor for many of us over the years," said Cox. "He will be truly missed." In 1979, Oubre won a contested election for Delta Division Vice Director and took office January 1, 1980. When the Board elected then-Director Max Arnold, W4WHN, to be a Vice President, Oubre moved up to the Director's position. He served on the Board for two years, but lost a bid for a new term. Subsequently re-elected as Delta Division Vice Director, he held that position from 1984 until 1986. More recently, Oubre was very active in the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications online courses, mentoring more than 225 students since 2002. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Oubre filled in for several weeks as Louisiana Section Emergency Coordinator. A US Air Force veteran, Oubre was a member of the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion and the Civil Air Patrol. Oubre held bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana-Lafayette), and he worked as a dispatcher for the New Iberia Police Department. Oubre was a member of the A-1 Operator Club and the Acadiana Amateur Radio Association (AARA). Survivors include his wife, Carolyn, KA5IJU, sons Michael, KC5HXL, and Eugene, W5DBR, and daughters Alice, N5SYD, and Theresa. A service was held November 28 in New Iberia. ==>ISS COMMANDER CHEERS FOR ARMY IN CONTACT WITH NAVAL ACADEMY'S W3ADO During a brief 2-meter contact November 26 between the US Naval Academy's W3ADO and NA1SS, ISS Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, cheered for an Army win in the traditional Army-Navy football game December 3. "Thanks very much for the contact, but I can't resist," said McArthur, a US Army officer and veteran. "Go, Army. Beat Navy!" At W3ADO Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, said he and some midshipmen were getting ready for a pass of the Academy's PCSat2, which is attached to the ISS. The Academy planned to use PCSat2 to track the Army-Navy game football run from Annapolis to Philadelphia December 2. Bruninga took advantage of the quick contact to thank the ISS crew for installing and maintaining PCSat2 and the MISSE5 experiment. McArthur responded, "Gosh, sure appreciate working with you guys. Good luck. Hope it's a great game on Saturday." "Bill caught us by surprise, as it is very rare for them to find time to get on the radio," Bruninga said afterward. And at the very last possible minute too--just as the ISS was passing east over the Atlantic, he added. Just before contacting W3ADO, he worked the Experimenters' Group Amateur Radio Club's N4ISS, operated by ARISS aficionado Al Lark, KD4SFF, in South Carolina. "After exchanging signal reports, I asked him what he ate for Thanksgiving," Lark recounted. McArthur replied: "Al, we had a good Thanksgiving, gosh . . . turkey, corn, mashed potatoes, cranapple for dessert. We ate almost a full day of rations in one meal." McArthur reportedly made some three dozen casual contacts during Thanksgiving week, most over North America with a few over Europe and New Zealand. The NA1SS worldwide downlink frequency is 145.800 MHz. There's more information on the ARISS Web page <http://www.rac.ca/ariss>. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Sun watcher Tad "Who Let the Dogs Out!" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Average daily sunspot numbers were down nearly 15 points to 33.7 this week, and average daily solar flux declined nearly 13 points to 84.2. Currently sunspot and solar flux numbers are rising due to Sunspot 826, which is growing rapidly and moving toward the center of the solar disk, giving it maximum influence here on Earth. It also could be a source of flares, which would not be good for the ARRL 160 Meter CW Contest this weekend. Predicted solar flux for Friday through Monday, December 2-5, is 100, 105, 105 and 105. Predicted planetary A index for the same days is 15, 12, 8 and 5, although those numbers will be higher if Sunspot 826 becomes especially active. Sunspot numbers for November 17 through 23 were 62, 51, 52, 56, 45, 36 and 35, with a mean of 48.1. The 10.7 cm flux was 100.5, 101.1, 102, 96.4, 94.7, 92.6, and 89.7, with a mean of 96.7. Estimated planetary A indices were 3, 4, 10, 7, 3, 6 and 8, with a mean of 5.9. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 1, 2, 6, 5, 2, 3 and 12, with a mean of 4.4. Sunspot numbers for November 24 through 30 were 30, 39, 30, 26, 27, 27 and 57, with a mean of 33.7. The 10.7 cm flux was 86.6, 79.9, 80.8, 80.7, 81.9, 84.7, and 94.7, with a mean of 84.2. Estimated planetary A indices were 9, 10, 5, 2, 9, 5 and 10 with a mean of 7.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 6, 8, 3, 2, 6, 6 and 9, with a mean of 5.7. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: Get on the air for the ARRL 160-Meter Contest (CW), the ARCI Topband Sprint, the New Mexico QSO Party, the TARA RTTY Melee, the Wake-Up! QRP Sprint and the TOPS Activity Contest are the weekend of December 3-4. JUST AHEAD: The ARS Spartan Sprint is December 6. The EU-PSK-QRP Contest is December 9. The ARRL 10-Meter Contest and the CQC Great Colorado Snowshoe Run are the weekend of December 10-11. The NA High Speed Meteor Scatter Winter Rally is December 10-18. The NAQCC 80-Meter Straight Key/Bug Sprint is December 14. The Russian 160-Meter Contest is December 16. 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 remains open through Sunday, December 4, for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (CCE) Program on-line courses: Emergency Communications Level 2 (EC-002), Emergency Communications Level 3 (EC-003), Antenna Modeling (EC-004), VHF/UHF Beyond the Repeater (EC-008), and Propagation (EC-011), HF Digital Communications (EC-005) Classes begin Friday, December 16. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE Department <email@example.com>. * Ed Marriner, W6XM, SK: Well-known Amateur Radio author Edmund H. "Ed" Marriner, W6XM (ex-W6BLZ), of San Luis Obispo, California, died November 20. He was 90. A prolific writer, he contributed to various Amateur Radio publications, including QST, CQ, Ham Radio and 73, from the 1950s until the 1990s. Marriner edited the "Ham Notebook" column in Ham Radio for several years and authored dozens of construction project articles for CQ. He also wrote about linear amplifiers and the advent of SSB. Earlier this year, Marriner--an ARRL member--was inducted into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame. * December 2005 QST Error: An error appears in the article "What's the Deal About 'NVIS'?" by Dean Straw, N6BV (page 39 of the December 2005 issue of QST): Figures 1 and 9 depict the same graphic. The corrected article is available in PDF format on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/files/qst-binaries/Straw1205.pdf>. This file is nearly 10 MB in size, and a high-speed Internet connection is highly recommended. We regret any confusion this error may have caused QST readers. =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American Radio Relay League--The National Association For Amateur Radio--225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Jim Haynie, W5JBP, President. The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential news of interest to active amateurs. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise, and readable. Visit ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> offers access to news, informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled from The ARRL Letter. Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. 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