*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 25, No. 02 January 13, 2006 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +League's "regulation by bandwidth" petition up for public comment * +ARRL Board of Directors meets January 20-21 * +Youngsters in three countries speak to ISS via ham radio * +Texas BPL deployment not expected to be interference problem * +Vanity call sign processing is back on track * +FCC still shy one commissioner * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio: The North American QSO Party (CW)! ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration Logbook of the World to be down +ISS commander attempting to work all continents on UHF +Group petitions FCC to eliminate segregation of emission modes YI9DXX Internet Remote Base on the air from Iraq ARRL announces new policy for deployed members of the US military NCDXA takes over as ARRL W3 Incoming QSL Bureau K1JT to headline SVHFS gathering DXCC Desk approves operations for DXCC credit +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 =========================================================== ==>FCC INVITES COMMENTS ON LEAGUE'S "REGULATION BY BANDWIDTH" PETITION Comments are due by Monday, February 6, on the ARRL's Petition for Rule Making that asks the FCC to regulate the amateur bands by necessary bandwidth rather than by mode. The petition, designated as RM-11306, recommends what the ARRL calls "a shift in regulatory philosophy" to encourage and enable development and refinement of digital techniques and advanced technologies. "This petition seeks for the Amateur Radio Service the flexibility to experiment with new digital transmission methods and types to be developed in the future while permitting present operating modes to continue to be used for as long as there are radio amateurs who wish to use them," the League said in its petition, filed November 14. The ARRL says the changes it suggests also will update the FCC's rules and eliminate the need for "cumbersome procedures" to determine whether a new digital mode is legal under Part 97. The next step in this proceeding would be either a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) or a dismissal of the League's petition. An NPRM would kick off a further round of formal comments. For the rules to take effect, the FCC would have to issue a Report and Order putting the changes into place and setting an effective date. The ARRL is asking the FCC to replace the table at §97.305(c) with a new one that segments bands by necessary bandwidths ranging from 200 Hz to 100 kHz. Unaffected by the ARRL's recommendations, if they're adopted, would be 160 and 60 meters. Other bands below 29 MHz would be segmented into subbands allowing maximum emission bandwidths of 200 or 500 Hz or 3.5 kHz, with an exception for AM phone. * 200 Hz would permit CW "at all speeds that human operators can decode" as well as PSK31. * 500-Hz bandwidth would accommodate RTTY and data modes and possibly some new image modes. * 2.8 kHz would remain the bandwidth for 60-meter operation on USB. * 3.5 kHz would accommodate SSB and digital telephony, image, high-speed data and multimedia. * 9 kHz is the ARRL's recommendation for double-sideband AM. * 16 kHz is "a reasonable compromise bandwidth" to continue to permit analog FM voice, data, digital voice and multimedia at 29.0 to 29.7 MHz. * 100 kHz, now permitted for RTTY and data in bands above 420 MHz, should be allowed starting at 50 MHz, with the exception of 50.0-50.3 MHz and 144.0-144.3 MHz to allow digital multimedia and high-speed meteor scatter work. The ARRL says the Part 97 changes it's proposing constitute a balance "between the need to encourage wider bandwidth, faster digital communications and the need to reasonably accommodate all users in crowded bands." Conceding that its regulation-by-bandwidth regime would place increased responsibility on the amateur community to establish workable, accepted band plans, the League has expressed confidence that such an effort would be successful. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, has discussed the subject of regulating by bandwidth in three "It Seems to Us . . ." QST editorials: "Regulation by Bandwidth" in September 2004, "Narrowing the Bandwidth Issues" in April 2005 and "Self Regulation" in October 2005. "This petition does not favor one mode at the expense of another," the ARRL concluded in urging FCC adoption. "It merely allows expansion of the repertoire of options that amateurs may pursue compatibly." A copy of the ARRL petition is on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/bandwidth/Bandwidth-Minute-64-Petit ion-FINAL.pdf> Comment via the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) <http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/>. Under "ECFS Main Links" on the right-hand side of the screen, click on "Submit a Filing" to file comments. To view others' comments, click on "Search for Filed Comments." In either case, type "RM-11306" in the "Proceeding" field using capital letters and including the hyphen (but not the quotation marks). ==>PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TO HIGHLIGHT ARRL BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING The election of a new ARRL president will highlight the annual meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors. When the Board convenes Friday and Saturday, January 20 and 21, in Windsor, Connecticut, Jim Haynie, W5JBP, will wield the gavel for the last time as the League's president. Haynie, who lives in Dallas, Texas, has made it known over the past few months that he will not be a candidate for a fourth two-year term. He says that while it's been a great honor to serve as the ARRL's president for the past six years, he feels it's time for him to step aside. "It's a time-consuming job. It tends to wear on you after a while," Haynie conceded this week. "I've racked up hundreds of thousands of miles traveling--not only here in the United States but all over the world representing the ARRL and Amateur Radio." Haynie says he's thoroughly enjoyed his tenure in the League's top office--a strictly volunteer position--but he believes someone with fresh ideas and a different vision from his now should take over the reins. The ARRL Board customarily elects a president from among its own ranks or elevates one of the League's vice presidents, although it's not required to. When he was elected, Haynie was the ARRL West Gulf Division Director. Among the successes of his six years as ARRL president, Haynie cites the ARRL Education and Technology Program--often better known as "The Big Project." Haynie kicked off the initiative to put Amateur Radio stations and a curriculum into schools across the US shortly after he took office in 2000. The program now boasts upward of 180 participating schools. He says he's also proud that he's been able to contribute to enhancing the visibility of Amateur Radio at the FCC, in "official Washington" and on Capitol Hill. "I enjoyed that work," said Haynie, who testified before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet on behalf of the Spectrum Protection Act in 2003. Last year, he submitted written testimony to the House Government Reform Committee on the successful efforts of Amateur Radio operators who provided communications during the Hurricane Katrina response. "It's paid off in the long run," Haynie said of his regular visits to Washington to advance Amateur Radio's agenda. "Amateur Radio needs to learn how to sell itself, not just from the League's standpoint," he said. "The president can only do so much." He encouraged all radio amateurs, whether or not they're ARRL members, to promote Amateur Radio and its value to the community. Once he steps down, Haynie says he's looking forward to "maybe chasing some DX or maybe running a few contests." But he says he'll also make himself available to the Board to handle any necessary duty. Among other items on its agenda, the ARRL Board is expected to discuss the process of developing effective band plans to support rule changes the League recently requested in a Petition for Rule Making RM-11306. The petition asks the FCC to regulate the amateur bands by necessary bandwidth rather than by mode. The Commission will accept public comments on the petition until February 6. The Board also plans to review and discuss Article 11 of its Articles of Association, which defines eligibility to hold League office. It also will hear reports from officers and consider recommendations from various committees. ==>US, THAI AND BRAZILIAN YOUNGSTERS LEARN ABOUT LIFE IN SPACE VIA HAM RADIO Students in Michigan, Thailand and Brazil are among the latest to learn about life in space by speaking via ham radio with International Space Station Expedition 12 commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR. The three contacts with the station's NA1SS were arranged by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. McArthur told pupils at Carman Park and Rankin elementary schools in Flint, Michigan, December 21 that wearing eyeglasses in space poses special problems. "My glasses get oily from my skin a little more quickly than on the earth, and if my face is wet, they do fog up because we don't have the same breezes to keep them clear," said McArthur. McArthur also told the youngsters that the ISS is relatively safe from collisions with space debris, although it does collide with "minor pieces of dust" as it orbits Earth. Responding to another question, he said he's able to keep in touch with the ground via e-mail at least three times a day. Youngsters at the two Michigan schools had been studying about the ISS and preparing for their big moment since September. Nancy Rocheleau, WH6PN, in Hawaii served as the Earth station control operator, and MCI donated a teleconference link to provide two-way audio to the Michigan students. Despite some delay in getting the contact under way, 17 questions were asked and answered during the QSO. On December 31, several young radio amateurs attending the 25th Asia-Pacific Scout Jamboree in Bangkok, Thailand, spoke with McArthur. During the approximately eight minute contact between NA1SS and E25AJ, the ISS commander left open the possibility of life on other planets. "There are billions and billions of stars in the universe, so there must be billions and billions of planets," McArthur observed. "Certainly other planets must have the ability to sustain life." The Bangkok ARISS event attracted several TV, radio and newspaper reporters. Nui Apornrum, E20YZD, served as the Earth station control operator for the direct VHF contact. The first ARISS school group contact of the new year took place January 2 between NA1SS and PY1KCF at the STS Flight School in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. McArthur answered 15 questions put to him by students, professors and flight instructors. McArthur told the group that keeping fit was among the biggest challenges of living in space. "The most difficult thing is keeping healthy in the absence of gravity, keeping muscles strong as well as our bones, and we do that through intense exercise," he said. Being fit, he said in response to a later question, is one requirement for venturing into space. "I think the greatest skill is doing a spacewalk," he said. "It requires physical strength, endurance and significant training." Replying to another question, the Expedition 12 commander described the ISS as much more than a spaceship "It is a very large ship, rather than an aerospace vehicle," McArthur said, "because it is so stable, and there is no turbulence and very little vibration." Earth station operators for the direct contact were Tadeu Fernandes, PY1KCF, of ARISS-Brazil, and Felipe José, PY1IA. Cássio da Fonte, ZZ1UMS, and Kevin Fernandes handled the real-time translation for the approximately 60 people on hand. ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>ARRL CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT PENDING TEXAS BPL DEPLOYMENT The ARRL is taking a cautious, but hopeful, stance following the recent announcement of a commercial broadband over power line (BPL) deployment by the largest electric power utility in Texas. TXU Electric Delivery and BPL manufacturer Current Communications Group have partnered to establish "the nation's first broadband-enabled Smart Grid" that will cover most of TXU's service area. That includes some two million homes and businesses in the Dallas-Forth Worth area as well as other Texas communities. "If TXU is going to install a BPL system, the ARRL is glad that TXU has chosen Current's system--which avoids using spectrum allocated to the Amateur Radio Service--in preference to one that has proven to be problematic," commented ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. It was another story altogether when TXU operated a pilot BPL project in Irving, Texas, in 2004 and early 2005 using Amperion hardware. The system generated such interference on Amateur Radio frequencies that the League filed a formal complaint with the FCC in support of a Texas radio amateur seeking the system's shutdown and fines for the operator. Within two weeks of the League's filing, TXU dismantled the BPL trial, and the ARRL withdrew its complaint. Sumner says the League is not expecting history to repeat itself when TXU and Current begin installing their "Smart Grid" BPL system later this year. As he pointed out in his "It Seems to Us . . ." editorial in August 2005 QST, Cinergy Corp's deployment of the nation's largest BPL system in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area so far "has proceeded without major interference problems." The Cinergy system also uses Current Technologies equipment. "Current has avoided putting high-frequency energy on the medium-voltage lines by using low-band VHF (30-50 MHz) instead," Sumner wrote. Additionally, he noted, Current's system uses Homeplug modems, which avoid all ham bands except 60 meters, to connect individual customers. Limited testing of the Cinergy BPL deployment suggested its interference potential is minimal relative to Amateur Radio facilities. While Sumner won't rule out some occurrences of RF interference in the TXU rollout, he says the League anticipates a low-enough probability to deal with it on a case-by-case basis. ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, says he's discussed with engineers at Current Technologies the sorts of interference issues that might arise. "While they are taking the position that they will wait until problems actually occur, then determine what is needed to fix them, their open dialogue with ARRL will be an important part of the process," he said. "The opportunity for dialogue exists for all of the BPL companies, although not all of them want to work on solutions to the interference problems that have plagued this industry." In October, the ARRL petitioned the FCC to issue a Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making modifying the Part 15 BPL rules it adopted a year earlier and sharply reduce BPL's potential to cause interference. In exchange, the League said it would withdraw its still-pending Petition for Reconsideration in the BPL proceeding, ET Docket 04-37. "It is no longer the case that all BPL systems inherently radiate high levels of RF energy on amateur allocations on overhead medium-voltage power lines," the ARRL said in its petition. "Thus, not all BPL architectures have similar potential for harmful interference to the Amateur Radio Service (and to other licensed services)." The League's petition cited BPL systems by Current Technologies, IBEC and Corridor Systems as being among those that meet the additional requirements it's proposed. The ARRL also has cooperated with Motorola in testing the interference potential of that company's Powerline LV BPL system. Results so far have been very encouraging. Judging from TXU's news release, BPL's ability to provide broadband service to individual customers and businesses take a back seat to its potential to monitor the utility's power grid, preventing and detecting problems and outages and enabling automated meter reading. ==>FCC ZIPS THROUGH VANITY APPLICATION BACKLOG Once the FCC resumed processing Amateur Radio vanity call sign applications earlier this month, its Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) blazed through the backlog. A total of 990 vanity applications piled up in the queue after the FCC suspended vanity processing September 23. The WTB dispatched them in fairly short order. An initial batch of 121 grants Friday, January 6, was followed by 195 more the next day. Apparently confident by then that the system was working okay, the FCC let loose the remaining 674 vanity grants Tuesday, January 10. During the vanity hiatus, applications appeared with a "Y--application has problems" flag in the Universal Licensing System (ULS) <http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/>, prompting some concern on the part of those who checked their applications' status. The WTB reportedly applied the "Y" status to prevent the system from running the entire backlog at once. The WTB halted vanity processing last fall after realizing that filing deadline extensions for licensees in certain states affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita applied to Amateur Radio's two-year "grace period" and could impact the vanity system. FCC spokesman Tracy Simmons told ARRL this week that the WTB now is processing current vanity call sign receipts. It typically takes approximately three weeks from the time a vanity application is submitted until a call sign is issued. The current vanity call sign fee is $21.90 for the ten-year license term.--some information from Fred Maia, W5YI ==>TATE, COPPS SWORN IN AS FCC MEMBERS Republican Deborah T. Tate and Democrat Michael J. Copps were sworn in January 3 by FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin as members of the FCC. But the Commission still remains one member shy. Tate will complete the term of former FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell, who departed the Commission last March. That term ends June 30, 2007. Copps, an FCC member since 2001, is beginning a second term that will run through June 30, 2010. Before joining the FCC, Tate was a director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, which she chaired in 2003 and 2004. Earlier in her career, Tate was an attorney and senior policy advisor to former Tennessee governors Lamar Alexander and Don Sundquist. Prior to his FCC service, Copps was assistant secretary of commerce for trade development at the US Department of Commerce. He previously was on the staff of US Sen Ernest "Fritz" Hollings (D-SC) and served for more than a dozen years as chief of staff. To round out the five-member FCC, the White House still must fill the vacancy left by former Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy, a Republican, who stepped down December 9. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Propagation guru Tad "Walking on the Sun" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Geomagnetic conditions have been very, very quiet. This week has seen many periods when the K index--both planetary and mid-latitude--was zero or one. The average planetary/mid-latitude K index this week dropped from 5.4/5.1 last week to 3.3/3.4 in the current reporting period. Of course, this low in the solar cycle, it is not surprising that sunspot numbers and solar flux also dropped. Average daily sunspot numbers declined by 35 points from last week to 14.7, and solar flux was down 7.5 points to an average of 79.4. Over the next week expect these conditions to stay the same, with some slightly unsettled geo-activity possible January 16. Sunspot numbers for January 5 through 11 were 23, 24, 11, 11, 11, 11 and 12, with a mean of 14.7. The 10.7 cm flux was 83.4, 82, 79.2, 78.2, 77.6, 77.8, and 77.3, with a mean of 79.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 3, 6, 5, 4, 2, 1 and 2, with a mean of 3.3. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 3, 6, 6, 5, 1, 2 and 1, with a mean of 3.4. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: 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. JUST AHEAD: The ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes, the North American QSO Party (SSB), the LZ Open Contest, the UK DX Contest (RTTY) and the Hungarian DX Contest are the weekend of January 21-22. 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. 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 22, for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (CCE). Program on-line courses: Amateur Radio Emergency Communication Level 1 (EC-001) Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009), Technician Licensing (EC-010), Radio Frequency Interference (EC-006), Digital Electronics (EC-013) and Analog Electronics (EC-012). Classes begin Friday, February 3. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE Department <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * Logbook of the World to be down: The ARRL Logbook of the World (LoTW) <http://www.arrl.org/lotw> system will be off line for maintenance this weekend. LoTW will shut down at 1300 UTC Saturday, January 14, and will return to service at 1300 UTC on Monday, January 16. We regret any inconvenience to LoTW users. * ISS commander attempting to work all continents on UHF: International Space Station Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, will be attempting to work all continents--including Antarctica--on UHF during the January 14-15 weekend (UTC). McArthur will be using the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) call sign NA1SS. The astronaut already has worked all continents plus Antarctica on VHF. "It is his desire to work all continents on the UHF band (70 cm) from the International Space Station," said Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, the ARISS ham radio engineer. "The frequency he will be using will be 437.55 MHz FM simplex." Ransom notes that the substantial Doppler effect on 70 cm dictates split-frequency operation for most of a given pass. He suggests setting up transmit and receive memories with 5 kHz spacing. McArthur still needs to work Alaska and Missouri to claim Worked All States from space. He also has worked more than half the 100 entities he needs for DXCC US QSLs for NA1SS contacts go to ARRL, ARISS QSL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111-1494. * Group petitions FCC to eliminate segregation of emission modes: A group calling itself the Communications Think Tank has filed a Petition for Rule Making asking the FCC "to discontinue mandatory segregation of emission modes and the activities using these modes in the Amateur Service." Instead, the petitioners would substitute "a voluntary system of coordination" on the bands. The FCC has designated the petition as RM-11305. Comments are due by February 6. The petitioners assert "there is a chronic need to allow greater leeway in selecting a place to operate" on the ham bands. "We propose ending mode-based subbands in the Amateur Radio Service, and we seek affirmation of established operator responsibility against interference as part of this request for greater latitude in frequency selection," the petitioners state. A survey, "An Analysis of Band Occupancy by Mode" accompanies the group's petition <http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/retrieve.cgi?native_or_pdf=pdf&id_docume nt=6517982317>. * YI9DXX Internet Remote Base on the air from Iraq: Keith Lamonica, W7DXX, has announced that the YI9DXX Internet remote base (IRB) station is on the air from Baghdad, Iraq, controllable via the Internet from the US and elsewhere. Lamonica says he made the first contact by talking with himself to and from YI9DXX. The YI9DXX gateway is a closed system. "The Baghdad remote is available only to those who have contributed toward the equipment and/or sent equipment," Lamonica says. He has no plans to charge dues or membership fees but does ask participants to help defray expenses. Live streaming audio from both W7DXX and YI9DXX remotes may be available from the W7DXX Internet Remote Base Web site <http://www.w7dxx.com/>. Lamonica holds the license for YI9DXX, issued by Iraqi authorities. "This is truly amazing," raved Jim Brookmon, WA4PXP, after using the IRB. ARRL DXCC Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, points out that DXCC Rule 9 stipulates that while the location of the transmitter defines a station's location, for award purposes, "remote operating points must be located within the same DXCC entity as the transmitter and receiver." In practice, this means a contact with YI9DXX counts toward DXCC only if a properly licensed control op is operating the YI9DXX IRB from within Iraq. Articles in the November 2001 and 2002 issues of QST detail the concept and technical aspects of an IRB. * ARRL announces new policy for deployed members of the US military: In support of deployed US armed forces, the ARRL has adopted a new policy. ARRL members in active US military deployment outside the US and its territories may request to temporarily suspend dues payments and/or delivery of QST for the duration of their deployments. The objective is to ensure that members in active duty and deployed overseas can maintain their League memberships. The ARRL recognizes that members deployed away from their homes or permanent duty stations may experience difficulties with, or interruptions in, mail delivery or other disruptions. To apply, members should e-mail the ARRL Circulation Department <email@example.com> or send a copy of their deployment orders or a verification letter to ARRL, Attn: Circulation/Military Deployment, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 USA; fax 860-594-0303. * NCDXA takes over as ARRL W3 Incoming QSL Bureau: Effective January 2, the National Capitol DX Association (NCDXA) <http://www.qsl.net/ncdxa/> assumed sponsorship of the ARRL Third Call Area Incoming QSL Bureau. The new bureau address is National Capitol DX Association, PO Box 1149, Clinton, MD 20735-5149. Noted DXer Fred Laun, K3ZO, will manage the bureau. He takes over the reins from well-known QSL manager and DXer Mary Ann Crider, WA3HUP, who oversaw W3 incoming QSLs for more than a decade. "Her tenure has been notable for its length of service and for the collegial atmosphere she has nurtured among her loyal band of sorters," Laun said of Crider, who received the 2005 ARRL President's Award last November. "Her encyclopedic knowledge of DXCC entities and call sign prefixes was built by her work in the trenches, as illustrated by her DXCC confirmed total of 360 entities." Before taking over as manager, Crider served as a sorter for 11 years. Laun says the QSL bureau transition should be seamless, and many of the sorters will remain the same. * K1JT to headline SVHFS gathering: Nobel laureate Joe Taylor, K1JT, will be the guest speaker for the 10th annual Southeastern VHF Society (SVHFS) Technical Conference April 28-29 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center in Greenville, South Carolina. Taylor shared the Nobel prize in astrophysics and authored the WSJT weak-signal communication program. The April event also will feature a flea market night, banquet, pre-amp noise figure testing, antenna range and technical paper presentation. A field trip to the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) in North Carolina will follow the conference on Sunday, April 30. The deadline to submit papers and presentations is March 3. All submissions should be in Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. For additional information, visit the SVHFS Web site <http://www.svhfs.org/>. * DXCC Desk approves operations for DXCC credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved these operations for DXCC credit: D2DX (Angola), current operation as of December 15, 2004; KH9/W0CN (Wake Island) September 17-28, 2005. For more information, visit the DXCC Web page <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/>. "DXCC Frequently Asked Questions" <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/faq/> can answer most questions about the DXCC program. ARRL DX bulletins are available on the W1AW DX Bulletins page <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/dx/>. =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American Radio Relay League--The National Association For Amateur Radio--225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Jim Haynie, W5JBP, President. The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential news of interest to active amateurs. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise, and readable. Visit ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> offers access to news, informative features and columns. 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