ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 24, No. 50
December 23, 2005
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +Response to BPL complaints an "illusion," League charges
* +Two down, one to go in filling FCC vacancies
* +Astronauts don't spend much time in space, ISS commander says
* +The toys have landed! Holiday Toy Drive is a wrap for 2005
* +Get ready for Kids Day on January 8
* +Vanity call sign processing set to resume January 4
* +ARRL Northwestern Division Director Greg Milnes, W7OZ, SK
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF:
     On the radio: ARRL RTTY Roundup, January 7-8; ARRL Kid's Day, January
8!
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     New Maryland Section Manager named
     ISS crew sends holiday greetings from space
     ARISS-Russia "Space Patrol" holiday operating event set
     Leap second to be introduced as new year arrives

+Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/>

===========================================================
==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
letter-dlvy@arrl.org
==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, n1rl@arrl.org
===========================================================
+ NOTE: ARRL Headquarters will be closed Monday, December 26, for the
Christmas holiday, and Monday, January 2, for New Year's Day. There will be
no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions on those days. ARRL
Headquarters will reopen after Christmas on Tuesday, December 27, and after
New Year's Day on Tuesday, January 3, at 8 AM Eastern Time. THERE WILL BE NO
EDITIONS OF THE ARRL LETTER OR ARRL AUDIO NEWS ON DECEMBER 30. The next
editions will be January 6, 2006. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable
holiday!
===========================================================

==>RESPONSE TO BPL COMPLAINTS AN "ILLUSION" OF RESOLUTION, ARRL SAYS

In a strongly worded letter to the FCC, the League has once again asked the
Commission to shut down the Manassas, Virginia, BPL system because it's
still causing harmful interference to Amateur Radio and otherwise does not
comply with FCC Part 15 rules. The December 19 letter from ARRL General
Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, was in response to a November 30 letter from
Spectrum Enforcement Division Chief Joseph Casey, who suggested further
cooperation between the complaining radio amateurs and the city-owned BPL
system. Imlay said more meetings and discussions about ongoing interference
are no longer productive while "this hopelessly flawed BPL system" is
allowed to continue operating.

"These meetings have not produced any solution to the interference problem
but have, instead, created the illusion that the problem is being
addressed," Imlay wrote. Ham radio complaints of interference from the BPL
system date back to early 2004. "This system should have been taken off the
air long ago, pending reconfiguration or re-engineering of it," he added,
"and the only operating that it should be doing is for purposes of
interference testing."

Communication Technologies (COMTek) operates the BPL system over the
municipally owned electric power grid using Main.net equipment on
frequencies between 4 MHz and 30 MHz. The League said the FCC has not
discharged its "most fundamental obligation" to prevent or resolve
interference issues involving the Manassas system, which, the League
charged, only remains operating "because the Commission, for political
reasons, has consistently refused to enforce its rules with respect to BPL."

The League told Casey that the only solution at this point is to order the
Manassas BPL system--an unlicensed RF emitter permitted to operate only on a
non-interference basis--to cease operation except to test for interference.

The Part 15 BPL rules the FCC adopted in October 2004 require a BPL operator
informed of harmful interference to "investigate the reported interference
and resolve confirmed harmful interference . . . within a reasonable
period," Imlay pointed out. "No reasoned examination of this case could
produce a finding that this rule has been complied with in Manassas," he
added.

Imlay says that at a December 13 meeting, COMTek and the City of Manassas
"openly acknowledged the interference to amateur stations" but claimed that
until a month or so earlier, they had been unable to "notch" amateur
allocations because they didn't yet have the equipment to do so. "By the
admission of COMTek, the capability of reducing interference in this system
does not exist," Imlay noted.

Previous meetings between the complaining radio amateurs and the BPL
operator "produced no measurable results," Imlay contended, referring to the
response of Donald Blasdell, W4HJL, to Casey on December 9. At one point in
the system, interference was reported at S9 plus 40 dB on typical ham gear.
"That level precludes virtually all Amateur Radio communications," he
asserted.

Imlay took the opportunity to again point out that the Manassas BPL system
is out of compliance with §15.615(a) because its operator failed to provide
full information to the public BPL database by the November 19 deadline.

"ARRL again requests that the BPL facility at Manassas, Virginia, be
instructed to shut down immediately," the League's letter concluded, "and
that it not resume operation unless the entire facility is shown to be in
full compliance with Commission rules regarding radiated emissions; with the
non-interference requirement of Section 15.5 of the Commission's rules; and
not in any case until thirty days subsequent to full compliance with Section
15.615(a) of the rules."

Field tests conducted by Manassas radio amateurs established that the city's
BPL system "was an interference generator at distances of hundreds of feet
from the modems on overhead power lines," the ARRL told the FCC October 13.
"It was also, incidentally, determined that the system was susceptible to
interference from nearby radio transmitters operating between 4 and 20 MHz,"
the League added.

==>SENATE CONFIRMS FCC APPOINTEES

The US Senate this week confirmed the White House nomination of Republican
Deborah T. Tate and the reappointment of Democrat Michael J. Copps to the
FCC. News reports say the Senate approved the nominations of Tate and Copps
by voice vote December 21 during a late-night session.

Tate, 49, most recently served as director of the Tennessee Regulatory
Authority. She will fill out the remainder of the term of former FCC
Chairman Michael K. Powell, which expires June 30, 2007. Powell departed the
FCC last March.

A former Senate staffer, Copps, 65, has been on the Commission since 2001.
His new term will expire in 2010.

Under Powell's successor, Chairman Kevin J. Martin, a Republican, the FCC
has been operating with four members for most of 2005 and with just three
members since the December 9 departure of Republican Kathleen Q. Abernathy.

President George W. Bush still must fill the remaining opening on the
five-member FCC with a Republican nominee to succeed Abernathy, who never
was appointed to a full term.

During confirmation hearings before the Senate Commerce Committee earlier
this month, Tate reportedly offered few specifics on key issues facing the
FCC but touted herself as a mediator. Copps said his objective would be to
"help bring the best, most accessible, and cost-effective communications
system in the world to all of our people" wherever they live and whatever
their status.--media reports; FCC

==>ASTRONAUTS DON'T SPEND MUCH TIME IN SPACE, ISS COMMANDER TELLS STUDENTS

International Space Station Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR,
really enjoys being an astronaut. But he told students at Sanderson High
School in Texas December 8 that, although he's been an astronaut for a while
now and really enjoys it, he really hasn't spent all that much of his career
in space.

"I've been an astronaut for 15 years now, and this is only the fourth time
I've flown in space," McArthur told the students via the space station's
NA1SS. "So it's a great job, but there's much more to it than just being in
space."

But being in space and navigating by floating around in microgravity is
"just really neat" he told another questioner. Still, being part of a
two-person crew for six months aboard the ISS does put astronauts on the
spot, McArthur explained in another reply.

"We're under a lot of pressure to be able to complete our work up here,"
McArthur said. "It's so expensive to send people into space that we want to
be successful at everything we do." He went on to say that being away from
their families for so long also is a source of stress for the ISS crew,
although he noted that the crew members can stay in daily touch with their
families via telephone and e-mail.

Down the road, he said--perhaps as soon as next year--ISS crews may again
consist of three people and perhaps, eventually, as many as six. The ISS has
been limited to two-person crews while the shuttle fleet remains grounded.

Despite the downsides of long-term space travel, McArthur made it clear that
he loves being aboard the ISS. "I love it in space, if it wasn't for the
fact that my family was on the ground I would never want to leave," he said.


Ten high schoolers took part in the event, and Sanderson math teacher Amy
Carman, KD5HYB, served as the control operator for the nearly 10-minute
direct VHF contact. In all, McArthur answered 18 of the students' questions.
Before the contact, the students got to see a videotape of a recent space
walk and discussed it in their science classes.

Four members of the Big Bend Amateur Radio Club provided and set up all the
equipment needed to make the contact a reality. An audience of approximately
25 students, teachers, parents, local dignitaries and others looked on, and
reporters from four newspapers covered the ARISS contact.

On December 15, students at Mt Carmel High School in San Diego, California,
had the opportunity to interview McArthur via Amateur Radio. Replying to one
question, McArthur said most movie portrayals about life in space have not
been very accurate because they don't capture what it's like to work in
microgravity. He also said the astronauts and cosmonauts themselves are the
most important research subjects. "We ourselves are the experiments," he
said.

McArthur told the California high schoolers that the danger of meteorite
damage to the ISS is low, although he said the ISS has encountered them.
"They have, fortunately, been very, very small and never penetrated the skin
of the vehicle," he pointed out. "There is a certain amount of 'space dust,'
so we see it more in erosion or in delicate equipment like our solar
panels."

Students yelled "Thank you!" to McArthur as the ISS went out of radio range.

The direct VHF contact between KG6EQU and NA1SS ran about six and one-half
minutes. Both school group contacts were arranged by the Amateur Radio on
the International Space Station (ARISS) program. ARISS is an educational
outreach, with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA.

==>THE TOYS HAVE LANDED! 2005 HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE GIFTS GET TO GULF COAST

"Mission accomplished!" That was the word on the 2005 Holiday Toy Drive from
ARRL Delta Division Vice Director Henry Leggette, WD4Q, and assistant
warehouse volunteer coordinator Joe Lowenthal, WA4OVO, on the US Gulf Coast
after they'd completed unloading some 5000 toys contributed by generous
Amateur Radio clubs and individual radio amateurs from all over. In
addition, the second ARRL Holiday Toy Drive benefited from more than $8000
in cash donations, which permitted the purchase of gifts for older
recipients and helped defray the costs of transporting the toys.

"The 2005 ARRL/Salvation Holiday Toy Drive is about completed with the
exception of the cleanup," Leggette reported this week. The toys headed to
Mississippi following a December 15 sendoff ceremony in Memphis.

ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP--who spearheaded
the drive from the League Headquarters side--says Lowenthal, a former FedEx
employee, did such a professional packing job that he only needed one
truck--instead of the anticipated three--to transport the toys to coastal
Mississippi from Memphis, saving even more money to purchase additional
toys. "The overwhelming response of hams around the country was clear as
thousands of toys, games, bikes and stuffed animals headed south," he added.

The ARRL Toy Drive partnered with The Salvation Army, whose distribution
network throughout the Gulf Coast remains intact. "The Salvation Army has
the ability to screen recipients and will assure that the toys are used
where they are truly needed most," Pitts explained. A big rental moving van
took the full load directly to Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi.

Representatives of The Salvation Army and the League were on hand in Memphis
December 15 to see the truckload of toys southward. Holiday Toy Drive
national chairperson and country music singer Patty Loveless, KD4WUJ, joined
Amateur Radio volunteers, the news media, dignitaries and, of course, Santa
Claus for the occasion.

"For those who couldn't be here, I'm sure they're here in spirit and giving
from their hearts, and I just want to thank them--from all around--for
collecting," Loveless told ARRL.

Bill Feist, WB8BZH, The Salvation Army's disaster services director for the
Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi division, represented his organization for the
occasion. "We are certainly very appreciative of what all the Amateur Radio
operators around the country and the ARRL have done for the people of
Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi," he said.

ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, summed it up simply in thanking Pitts for his
role: "It was a great, great project."

==>KIDS' TURN AT THE RADIO: FIRST KIDS DAY OF 2006 IS SUNDAY, JANUARY 8

The second Sunday in January is the day to turn your shack over to the kids
for some ham radio fun with a purpose. The first running of Kids Day 2006
begins Sunday, January 8, at 1800 UTC and continues until 2400 UTC with no
limit on operating time (the second Kids Day will be Saturday, June 17).
Kids Day provides a terrific opportunity to show youngsters what Amateur
Radio is all about--and that includes its role in emergency communication.
ARRL Education and Technology Program ("The Big Project") Coordinator Mark
Spencer, WA8SME, says Kids Day can be a great opportunity spark change and
get kids and families thinking about emergency preparedness.

"While you are coaching the youngsters who visit your shack--and their
parents too--on how to make contacts and new friends via ham radio during
Kids Day, why not take a few moments to ask them about their family's plans
to deal with emergency challenges?" he says in December 2005 QST (see "Kids
Day 2006" on p 45). "Why not use the opportunities offered by Kids Day to
show the youth in your neighborhood that ham radio can be loads of fun, and
that ham radio is a way that they can contribute something very valuable to
their communities?"

Call "CQ Kids Day." The suggested exchange for Kids Day contacts is first
name, age, location and favorite color. It's okay to work the same station
more than once if the operator has changed. Suggested frequencies are
14.270-14.300, 21.380-21.400 and 28.350-28.400 MHz. Contacts via VHF
repeaters are okay too, with permission from the repeater owner. Observe
third-party traffic restrictions when making DX QSOs
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/io/3rdparty.html>.

All participants are eligible to receive a colorful certificate, which
becomes the youngster's personalized "sales brochure" for ham radio, Spencer
says. The League asks everyone taking part in Kids Day to complete a short
survey and post comments afterward
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/kids-day-survey.html>. Doing this provides
access to download the certificate page, or participants can send a 9x12
self-addressed, stamped envelope to Boring Amateur Radio Club, PO Box 1357,
Boring, OR 97009.

Spencer notes that this year's hurricane season highlighted one of the real
values that ham radio brings to the community--a spirit of resilience. "By
their very nature, ham radio operators are interested in personal
preparedness and community service…this is resilience," he says. Spencer
suggests that Kids Day sponsors take advantage of the opportunity to show
how ham radio offers a way for participants to contribute something very
valuable to their communities.

"A very effective advertising strategy is to get kids hooked on an idea," he
says. "The kids in turn go home and 'bug' their parents about the idea. You
plant the seed in a young mind, and they will take care of the rest!"

Spencer believes Kids Day activities can result in a family emergency plan
campaign that could save lives, and future community planners who know
communication and how to communicate.

"Make that personal connection that may result in a new licensee and,
perhaps, more resilient individuals by opening your station and inviting
kids and neighbors to share in your hobby," Spencer urges. "You just might
find yourself re-infected with that enthusiasm that you once had."

Visit the ARRL Web site for full information on Kids Day
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/kd-rules.html>.

==>AMATEUR RADIO VANITY CALL SIGN PROCESSING WILL RESUME JANUARY 4

The FCC has announced that routine processing of Amateur Radio vanity call
sign applications will resume Wednesday, January 4, 2006. The Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) suspended vanity processing in September as
an indirect result of its hurricane-related extensions of certain regulatory
and filing deadlines. The Commission said licensees or applicants needing
relief beyond the initial extension periods should follow the process for
submitting waiver requests provided in §1.925 of the Commission's rules.

"The Bureau will consider additional relief related to the hurricanes on a
case-by-case basis," the FCC said December 19 in a public notice.

Earlier this year, the FCC announced it would extend filing and regulatory
deadlines for licensees in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas
and Florida directly affected by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. During
the extension periods, the WTB temporarily suspended certain automated
licensing functions. These included dismissing applications that are
returned and not amended on a timely basis, changing the status of a call
sign from active to expired if a license is not renewed within the two-year
grace period for Amateur Radio licensees, and issuing vanity call signs.

In September, the FCC said it had to suspend routine vanity call sign
processing because the extensions included the two-year grace period and
could conceivably affect the vanity program.

==>ARRL NORTHWESTERN DIVISION DIRECTOR GREG MILNES, W7OZ, SK

ARRL Northwestern Division Director Greg E. Milnes, W7OZ (ex-W7AGQ), of
Hillsboro, Oregon, died December 17 as a result of a heart attack he'd
suffered earlier while returning from a trip. He was 66.

"It's a great sadness that we all feel here at the League at the passing of
Greg Milnes, our Northwestern Division Director," ARRL President Jim Haynie,
W5JBP, said. "I've worked with Greg for a number of years, and I know he was
conscientious and tried to do the best for Amateur Radio, and it's going to
be a real loss on our Board of Directors."

Northwestern Division Vice Director Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, of Vancouver,
Washington, has assumed the position of Director and will fill the remainder
of Milnes' term, which runs through 2006. Haynie is expected to appoint
someone to fill the vacant Vice Director's chair prior to the ARRL Board of
Directors meeting January 20-21.

An ARRL Life Member and a retired Oregon Circuit Court judge, Milnes had
served as Northwestern Division Director for seven years. He acceded to the
post in December 1998 after then-Director Mary Lou Brown, NM7N, died
unexpectedly, and he had since been re-elected to new terms.

Milnes was known to many in his Division as the long-time master of
ceremonies for the SeaPac Northwestern Division Convention banquet. During
the past year, he had served on the ARRL Board's Administrative and Finance
and Elections and Ethics committees, and he previously chaired and was a
member of the Volunteer Resources Committee. Milnes also was a member of the
ARRL Foundation Board of Directors. A member of DXCC, he belonged to the
Western Washington and Willamette Valley DX clubs. He also was a member of
the Quarter Century Wireless Association and the International Friendship
Amateur Radio Society.

Survivors include Milnes' wife, Loretta. A memorial service will be held
December 30 in Hillsboro, Oregon. The family has invited memorial
contributions to the ARRL Foundation, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Heliophile Tad "Mr Nutcracker Suite" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington,
reports: Average daily sunspot numbers dropped about five points, and
average solar flux was down about three points compared to the previous
week. Geomagnetic indexes also were down.

Sunspot 838 currently looks to be the most interesting as it is expanding
rapidly and not quite in the center of the visible solar disk--the area
where it would have the most effect on Earth. The predicted solar flux for
the next few days is around 90--slightly higher than it has been recently,
but only by a few points. Sunspot 838 is growing rapidly, but it probably
will not emit any solar flares. Planetary A index for December 23-26 is
predicted at 7, 7, 10 and 7.

Sunspot numbers for December 15 through 21 were 47, 47, 45, 45, 63, 53 and
45, with a mean of 49.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 87, 85.8, 85.2, 85.6, 89.5,
87.8, and 86.5, with a mean of 86.8. Estimated planetary A indices were 2,
5, 5, 3, 8, 16 and 8, with a mean of 6.7. Estimated mid-latitude A indices
were 2, 3, 2, 2, 6, 11 and 5, with a mean of 4.4.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* On the radio: The RAEM Contest is December 25 and the DARC Christmas
Contest is December 26. ARRL Straight Key Night (SKN)
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2006/skn.html> is January 1 (UTC). Also,
the SARTG New Year RTTY Contest and the AGCW Happy New Year Contest are
January 1. The AGCW VHF/UHF Contest is January 1-3. The WQF QRP Party is
January 6. The ARRL RTTY Roundup, the Midwinter Contest (CW), the Original
QRP Contest, the EUCW 160-Meter Contest, the Midwinter Contest (SSB), the
DARC 10-Meter Contest are the weekend of January 7-8. ARRL Kid's Day is
Sunday, January 8 <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/kd-rules.html>. JUST
AHEAD: The North American QSO Party (CW), Hunting Lions in the Air, the 070
Club PSKFest, the Michigan QRP January CW Contest and the NRAU-Baltic
Contest (CW and SSB are separate events) are the weekend of January 14-15.
The Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is January 16. The NAQCC 80-Meter Straight
Key/Bug Sprint is January 19. 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, January 8, for these ARRL
Certification and Continuing Education (CCE) Program on-line courses:
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 2 (EC-002), Amateur Radio
Emergency Communications Level 3 (EC-003), Antenna Modeling (EC-004),
VHF/UHF Beyond the Repeater (EC-008), Radio Frequency Propagation (EC-011)
and HF Digital Communications (EC-005) Classes begin Friday, January 20. To
learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page
<http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE Department
<cce@arrl.org>;.

* New Maryland Section Manager named: ARRL Field and Educational Services
Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, has announced the appointment of Jim Cross, WI3N,
of Laurel, Maryland, to succeed Tom Abernethy, W3TOM, as ARRL Maryland-DC
Section Manager. Abernethy was elected ARRL Atlantic Division Vice Director
in November. Both Abernethy and Cross will assume their new offices January
1. Patton consulted with outgoing ARRL Atlantic Division Director Bernie
Fuller, N3EFN, and incoming Director Bill Edgar, N3LLR, in making the
appointment. Cross, who's been serving as the Maryland-DC Section Emergency
Coordinator, will complete the remainder of Abernethy's term as SM, which
ends in July 2007. A member and a past president of the Laurel Amateur Radio
Club, Cross has served as Prince Georges County ARES Emergency Coordinator
and RACES Radio Officer.

* ISS crew sends holiday greetings from space: "What a wonderful place to
spend Christmas!" That was the word this week from Expedition 12 Commander
Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, and his crewmate and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev
on the International Space Station. Wearing Santa hats, the astronaut and
the cosmonaut extend Christmas and new year's greetings to everyone on Earth
in a video clip available from NASA TV during which they take turns at the
microphone
<http://anon.nasa-global.speedera.net/anon.nasa-global/ccvideos/jsc/windows/
holiday05_iss.asx>. In it, McArthur says that this is his favorite time of
year, and he regrets not being able to spend it with his family this year.
"As we look down on the earth, especially during this timeof year, it really
strikes us how fortunate mankind is to live on such a wonderful, beautiful
planet," McArthur goes on to say during the greeting, which runs about
almost four minutes. "And also we realize we have great responsibilities as
stewards of this planet." McArthur and Tokarev will return to Earth in
April.

* ARISS-Russia "Space Patrol" holiday operating event set: ARISS-Russia's
Sergey Samburov, RV3DR, has announced that his team and Russian Space Agency
Roscosmos/Energia will sponsor "Space Patrol," a space-related operating
event, December 25 and 26. The activity will be both space-based and
ground-based and on HF as well as VHF. International Space Station Flight
Engineer Valery Tokarev will take part from space via RS0ISS. Special pass
times are December 25 at 2056 UTC, and December 26 at 1947 UTC. Western
Europeans should listen 10 minutes prior. RS0ISS will use 145.99 MHz FM
simplex (145.55 MHz FM simplex will be a back-up frequency). ARISS-Russia
has asked to put NA1SS into crossband repeater mode beginning some time on
December 27 and continuing through 0912 UTC on December 31, when Expedition
12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, will be speaking via NA1SS to Boy Scouts
in Thailand. The repeater will be available worldwide, and the crew may join
in at anytime. The worldwide repeater downlink is 145.80 MHz, and the uplink
is 437.80 MHz. All frequencies are subject to Doppler shift. Worldwide
earthbound ham radio operations on HF will begin December 25 at 1200 UTC and
continue through the following day. Frequencies are on or about 7.080-7.090
MHz (transmit) listening on 7.290 MHz, 14.180-14.290 MHz and 21.280-21.390
MHz. Hams and cosmonauts will be on the air from Energia's R3K in Korolev
and from RK3DZB at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City.
Participating cosmonauts include Sergei Krikalev, U5MIR; Yuri Usachev,
RW3FU; and Alexander Kaleri, U8MIR. The event commemorates the first
anniversary of the death of cosmonaut Gennady Strekalev, U6MIR. "Space
Patrol" participants are eligible for a certificate and a commemorative QSL
card. Details on obtaining these will be announced.

* Leap second to be introduced as new year arrives: The International Earth
Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) has announced the introduction
of a "time step" at the end of December to add a "leap second" as 2006
arrives. Leap seconds are needed to keep clocks in step with Earth's
rotation, which varies by several thousandths of a second per day. Slowing
down the clocks every year or two keeps them in sync. As 2005 transitions to
2006, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) will be retarded by 1.0 second. This
essentially means that the last minute in 2005 will be 61 seconds long:
December 31, 2005, 23:59:59; December 31, 2005, 23:59:60; January 1, 2006,
00:00:00. This adjustment will affect UTC and all time scales based on UTC.
Loran-C and GPS will not be adjusted physically, however. Times of
Coincidence for LORAN-C are available on the Time Service Web Page. For GPS,
the leap second correction, contained within the UTC data of the navigation
message transmitted by satellites, will change. After the leap second GPS
will be ahead of UTC by 14 seconds.

===========================================================
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
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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
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Club: Visit Mailing Lists@QTH.Net
<http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/letter-list>. (NOTE: The ARRL
cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this listserver.)


 

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.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

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.

Back issues published since 2000 are available on this page. If you wish to subscribe via e-mail, simply log on to the ARRL Web site, click on Edit Your Profile at the top, then click on Edit Email Subscriptions. Check the box next to The ARRL email newsletter, the ARRL Letter and you will receive each weekly issue in HTML format. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): letter-dlvy@arrl.org

Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME, at ww1me@arrl.org.

Plain-Text

The ARRL E-Letter e-mail is also available in plain-text version:

Outlook Express

1. From the Inbox view, select the Tools menu and the Options selection.

2. Click the Read tab

3. Check the Read All Messages In Plain Text box.  When you open the e-mail, it will be in plain text without images. Other e-mail programs may be able to make a Mail Rule for e-mail received from the address memberlist@www.arrl.org so that the plain-text-only display is selected automatically.

Outlook 2007

Use the same procedure as for Outlook Express, although the global option is under "Tools/Trust Center/E-mail Security".

Thunderbird

Use the menu item "View/Message Body As/Plain Text" or "View/Message Source" options.

OS X Mail (Mac)

Use the "View/Message/Plain Text Alternative" menu item.

GMail

Use the "Message text garbled?" link in the drop-down menu at the upper right of the displayed message block. pine, alpine Set "prefer-plain-text" in your ~/.pinerc configuration file: feature-list=..., prefer-plain-text, ...