*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 25, No. 06 February 10, 2006 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +SuitSat-1 a success, ARISS says * +Radio amateurs hailed as "true heroes" on US House floor * +USMA cadets, Florida high schoolers enjoy successful QSOs with NA1SS * +Telecoms attorney poised to be fifth FCC member * +ARRL EXPO will return at Dayton Hamvention 2006 * +ARRL Field Day 2006 info now available * +AD5X captures Bill Orr Award * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio: The North American Sprint (CW)! ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration 3Y0X Peter I Island DXpedition is on the air! +ARRL announces DeSoto Cup winners, DXCC Challenge Top 10 ARRL advisory committees to consider contesting, DXCC changes ARRL teams named for WRTC-2006 DXCC Desk approves operation for DXCC credit Correction +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 =========================================================== ==>"SUITSAT-1" DESIGNATED AO-54, SPONSORS CALL IT "TREMENDOUSLY SUCCESSFUL" Released into Earth orbit February 3, the novel SuitSat-1 Amateur Radio transmit-only spacesuit turned satellite has been heard around the globe, but those hoping to hear it using a hand-held transceiver or scanner have been disappointed. From the start, SuitSat-1 has been quite weak, and reports this week indicate its already-puny 145.99 MHz FM signal may be getting even weaker. Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), the project's sponsor, remains very interested in obtaining any valid voice telemetry reports (post to SAREX@amsat.org). "The telemetry is transmitted about 30 seconds after the SSTV image stops," explains ARISS Ham Radio Project Engineer Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO. Ransom says the transmission order is SSTV image, 30 seconds of silence, voice identification, mission time, temperature and battery voltage. "The battery voltage is of most importance," he added. At week's end, SuitSat-1 was reporting a battery voltage of 26.7 V. Based on that figure, Lou McFadin, W5DID, of ARISS and AMSAT, has calculated that SuitSat-1 is likely to last a little more than nine days total. That means it could stop transmitting as early as February 12. ARISS Secretary Rosalie White, K1STO, says the ARISS team is especially interested in telemetry reports "near what we think may be the end, to help us track battery power and how the suit will finish up life." Consisting of a discarded Russian Orlan spacesuit equipped with ham radio gear, SuitSat-1 was released by International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 12 Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev as he and Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, began a spacewalk. The crew had stuffed some of its laundry into the spacesuit to help it to keep its form as it orbits Earth. AMSAT-NA has designated SuitSat-1 as AMSAT OSCAR 54 (AO-54). "Seldom has an Amateur Radio event captured the public's imagination and evoked so much positive news media coverage as SuitSat has," said AMSAT-NA's Bill Tynan in announcing the AO-54 designation. Several reception reports on the SuitSat Web site <http://www.suitsat.org/> indicate SuitSat-1 audio has been retransmitted via the NA1SS crossband repeater aboard the ISS. While the NA1SS Phase 2 station has been configured to retransmit SuitSat's 145.99 MHz signal on 437.800 MHz, Ransom says he tends to discount the validity of the signals heard via the UHF repeater. "Since it hears everything, people are reporting every little squeak and whistle," he said, adding that any reports posted are "very hard to verify" at this stage. Several reports mention hearing packet signals, but SuitSat-1 carries no packet gear. All telemetry transmissions are by digital voice. Ransom urged all Earth stations not to transmit on SuitSat-1's 145.99 MHz frequency--which is also the normal packet uplink channel--until the SuitSat-1 experiment ends. ISS Commander McArthur remained upbeat about a future SuitSat mission. "Where there's a will there's a way," he philosophized during a post-spacewalk contact recorded by Scott Avery, WA6LIE. "We've got more suits that need to be jettisoned." ARISS International Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, proclaimed SuitSat-1 "tremendously successful," its weak signal notwithstanding. "We have captured the imagination of students and the general public worldwide through this unique experiment," he said, adding that the media attention alone has been some of the best ever for Amateur Radio. Bauer further notes that SuitSat-1 has successfully carried student artwork, signatures and voices into space, and "the students are now space travelers as the suit rotates and orbits the earth." SuitSat-1 also has shown that a spacesuit could be deployed and orbited from the ISS, "demonstrating to the space agencies that this can be safely done," Bauer noted. "Pioneering efforts are challenging. Risk is high. But the future payoff is tremendous," Bauer concluded. He was able to hear one overhead pass that included at least part of the English-language ID, recorded by his daughter, Michelle. "Keep your spirits up, and let's continue to be optimistic," he urged later in an official SuitSat-1 status report. "And please keep monitoring!" More information on the SuitSat-1 project, including QSL information, is available on the AMSAT Web site <http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/index.php>. ==>HAM RADIO OPERATORS "TRUE HEROES," REP MIKE ROSS, WD5DVR, SAYS IN "SALUTE" US Rep Mike Ross, WD5DVR (D-AR), this week offered "A Salute to Ham Radio Operators" on the floor of the US House. Ross, one of two Amateur Radio licensees in the House of Representatives (the other is Rep Greg Walden, W7EQI, R-OR), addressed his colleagues February 8 to recognize the contributions of the Amateur Radio community in the wake of last year's devastating hurricane season. "Citizens throughout America dedicated to this hobby--a hobby that some people consider old fashioned or obsolete--were true heroes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as they were often the only line of communication available into the storm ravaged areas," Ross said. He noted that while ham radio is often overlooked "in favor of flashier means of communication," Gulf Coast communities learned after the 2005 hurricanes that technology can be "highly vulnerable" to storm damage. "Ham radios, entirely self- contained transmitters, require no cell towers or satellites, simply a battery and a strip of wire as an antenna," Ross explained. Because of the "critical intervention" of radio amateurs across the US, Ross said, many lives were saved following Hurricane Katrina. "The dedication displayed by ham radio operators in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina sets a tremendous example for us all," Ross concluded, noting that "now more than ever" he's proud to be an Amateur Radio operator. "The people whose lives were rescued as a result of the tireless dedication of ham radio operators will forever be grateful to these selfless public servants." ==>VERY FULL SCHEDULE KEEPS SPACE STATION CREW HOPPING, CADETS TOLD International Space Station Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, spoke recently via ham radio with cadets at his alma mater, the US Military Academy at West Point, New York, and with high schoolers in Orlando, Florida. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program arranged both on-the-air events. During a January 26 direct VHF contact between NA1SS and W2KGY at West Point, one cadet asked McArthur's opinion regarding the most important design factors for a future lunar base. McArthur responded by expressing his frustration with the ISS crew's lack of control over its work schedule. "We have a daily list of tasks that we're scheduled out for," McArthur told the cadets. "The bottom line is the schedule is very full, and you really need to maintain the timeline." Unfortunately, he went on, various factors come into play that cause the crew to under-schedule the time needed for each task. "So, I think the most important thing to do," McArthur concluded, "is to give a crew on the lunar base more time to actually plan out their own activities, and give them adequate time to execute them." Answering another question, McArthur told the West Pointers that the crew sometimes finds itself wasting time on non-productive activities. "The things that waste most of our time on orbit are all related to stowage," he said. "We have limited stowage volume up here. Over time things migrate from place to place, and even though we have a fairly sophisticated inventory-management system, it's very frustrating--it takes a lot of time--to find the tools and supplies that you need." On a more mundane subject, McArthur discussed the art of shaving in space. He said he uses a safety razor and shaving gel, but since he cannot rinse off the razor, blades have to be replaced more frequently. He said he sometimes uses an electric razor but doesn't believe he gets as smooth a shave. Audio of the approximately six and one-half minute contact between NA1SS and W2KGY was fed via closed circuit to the academy's 4000 cadets could listen in. Seven cadets participated in the event. ARISS mentor Steve McFarlane, VE3BTD, provided equipment and antennas for the club station to undertake the contact, which McArthur had requested. On February 2, McArthur took questions via ham radio from students attending Timber Creek High School, located some 30 miles from Cape Canaveral--close enough to see shuttle launches. A number of the students have parents who work in the space industry. On hand for the occasion was Florida's Commissioner of Education John Winn. During the direct VHF contact between NA1SS and KC4IYO, McArthur told the students that crew members "launch healthy" as part of an overall effort to avoid problems with illness in space. He pointed out that bones need physical stress to maintain their density. Because there is hardly any physical stress in the microgravity environment of the ISS, the crew must exercise vigorously every day and take vitamins to fend off the risk of bone loss. Most of the students taking part in the interview were sophomores taking advanced placement biology, and many of their questions had to do with biology, physiology and botany. Some students from other classes also participated. McArthur said that since living and working in space is considered stressful, the body needs more energy to deal with it. So, crew members are provided with a high-calorie diet, whether they'll consume it or not. "We are provided more calories on orbit," McArthur explained. "At some point, though, I've found that I simply can't eat all the food that is provided for me. I just get too full." Fielding a question about getting ready for a space walk--something the crew was doing the week of the contact--McArthur said the crew spends the better part of a week preparing their spacesuits and equipment. "The thing we have to do is gather all the equipment, which may be stored in different locations of the space station," McArthur explained, "then actually install things such as the carbon dioxide scrubbing canisters, humidity separators--things like that in a spacesuit because they can't be installed for a long period of time." In terms of science aboard the ISS, McArthur said the crew is trying to learn how to do research in space. "We're actually maybe two generations away from things that have direct application," he added. As the Timber Creek contact got under way, McArthur took the opportunity to greet Coordinating Teacher Sarah Longino. "It's a delight to hear your voice," McArthur said, noting that he and Longino have been friends for more than four decades. John Rothert, KC4IYO, served as the Earth station control op for the contact between the ISS and the suburban high school, which boasts a student population of approximately 4000. Coordinating the radio contact was Joe Singer, N4IPV, and members of the Lake Monroe Amateur Radio Society assisted in setting up equipment for the contact. The ARISS mentor was Keith Pugh, W5IU. ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach, with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>WHITE HOUSE TO TAP VIRGINIAN AS FIFTH FCC MEMBER President George W. Bush has announced his intention to nominate Republican Robert M. McDowell of Virginia to serve on the FCC for the remainder of a five-year term expiring June 30, 2009. If confirmed by the US Senate, McDowell--a telecommunications attorney--would bring the Commission back to its statutory five-member complement. FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin applauded the president's announcement. "If confirmed, Rob McDowell will be a great asset to the Commission," Martin said. "He has a wealth of knowledge in the communications arena, and we will rely on his insight when evaluating the issues before us." When Martin took over as FCC chairman last year, the political balance on the Commission was split evenly between two Republicans and two Democrats. Republican Kathleen Abernathy departed in December, while Republican Deborah T. Tate officially came aboard January 3. Democrat Michael J. Copps was sworn in for another term the same day. The other Democrat is Jonathan Adelstein. McDowell currently serves as senior vice president and assistant general counsel for the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel). Prior to that he served as executive vice president and general counsel for the America's Carriers Telecommunications Association. A cum laude graduate of Duke University, McDowell received his law degree from the College of William and Mary's Marshall-Wythe School of Law. ==>ARRL EXPO RETURNS AT DAYTON HAMVENTION 2006! With thanks to Dayton Hamvention and owing to its popularity among 2005 Hamventioneers, ARRL EXPO will return to Dayton this year. Hamvention takes place Friday through Sunday, May 19-21, at Hara Arena near Dayton, Ohio. "Dayton Hamvention has generously agreed to partner again with ARRL to accommodate ARRL EXPO 2006," ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, announced. "As we did during last year's National Convention, ARRL will organize its primary Hamvention exhibit in the Ballarena, which allows plenty of room to showcase a broad variety of ARRL programs and services. Our hope is to reprise the best elements of last year's very successful event." Inderbitzen notes that while some details remain in the development stages, current plans call for ARRL EXPO 2006 to feature a huge--and readily accessible--ARRL bookstore and retail products center. Those renewing their League memberships or joining for the first time will receive a gift. Individual exhibits and booths will highlight the League's various activities or focus on more specialized Amateur Radio interests. Also held over from last year's ARRL National Convention EXPO will be live, on-stage presentations and mini-forums by ARRL staff members and volunteers. DXCC card checking will be available on site. So will the Internet Café, which last year provided not only free access to Internet-ready computers to catch up on e-mail or surf the Web, but an open-access Wi-Fi "hot spot" for the laptop/notebook crowd. Also back this year: "ARRL Passport," the ultimate scavenger hunt. Collect ARRL Passport numbers at booths and concessions throughout Dayton Hamvention 2006 and win terrific prizes. Of course, ARRL EXPO will offer an opportunity for Hamvention visitors to meet ARRL staff members and authors and to learn more about the League's various activities and initiatives--from advocacy and development to technical and regulatory support and operating activities. Inderbitzen says various ARRL forums will be coordinated with the Dayton Hamvention program. Hamvention sponsor, the Dayton Amateur Radio Association, will sponsor Amateur Radio license examinations. Dayton Hamvention itself will offer some 500 indoor exhibit/concession spaces throughout Hara Arena, where visitors can feast their eyes on the latest Amateur Radio gear or touch bases with their favorite ham radio organizations and activity groups. The outdoor flea market--a huge favorite--will again have more than 2500 spaces available. It's the largest of its kind and a great place to meet old friends or make new ones. And remember: "If you can't find it at Dayton, you'll never find it!" Watch this space <http://www.arrl.org/announce/nc/2006/> for ARRL EXPO 2006 updates! ==>ARRL FIELD DAY 2006 PACKAGES, RULES NOW AVAILABLE The 2006 ARRL Field Day package <http://www.arrl.org/contests/forms/06-fd-packet.pdf> and rules (HTML version <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2006/rules-fd-2006.html>) (PDF version <http://www.arrl.org/contests/forms/06-fd-rules.pdf>) now are available on the ARRL Web site. "The only rule change in 2006 involves the GOTA ('Get On The Air') station bonus-point structure," says ARRL Contest Branch Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. "An individual operator may earn a 50-point bonus for completing 50 QSOs at the GOTA station. They may earn an additional 50 bonus points when they reach 100 QSOs." Henderson notes there's a 100-QSO cap for bonus points per individual GOTA operator, but additional GOTA operators may earn the bonuses for the club, up to a maximum of 500 GOTA bonus points. "Additionally, Field Day operations can double their GOTA bonus points by having a designated GOTA Coach/Mentor supervise the station whenever it's on the air," Henderson notes. "The GOTA Coach/Mentor may talk the participants through the QSOs and serve as control operator, but GOTA participants must make and log all QSOs themselves." This means that if a Field Day group has a GOTA Coach/Mentor, the 50 and 100-point bonuses GOTA operators earn will double to 100 and 200 points respectively, while the maximum GOTA bonus increases to 1000 points. ARRL Field Day 2006 will be Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25. ==>PHIL SALAS, AD5X, NAMED 2005 ORR AWARD WINNER Acting on a recommendation from the QST editorial staff, the ARRL Foundation Board of Directors has voted unanimously to give the 2005 Bill Orr, W6SAI, Technical Writing Award to Phil Salas, AD5X. An ARRL Life Member from Richardson, Texas, Salas was recognized for "his excellence at making technical concepts understandable," said QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY. The award is based on articles published in QST during 2005. "I've admired Bill Orr's technical writings over the years, so I am very pleased and honored to receive this award," said Salas. "I've enjoyed sharing my ideas with the ham community through my articles and plan on continuing to do so." Salas' oeuvre in QST during 2005 included "A Compact Battery Pack for the SG-2020" in the March "Workbench" section, "Input Voltage Conditioner--and More--for the FT-817" in the June "Workbench," and "Tuning Switch with Limit Indication for Screwdriver Antennas" in the December "Workbench." Salas also authored the article "The Ultimate Portable HF Vertical Antenna" in the July issue, and he contributed to "Hints & Kinks" and "Technical Correspondence." Salas is a past winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award, given to the author or authors of the best article in each issue as determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page. He captured a cover plaque in 2000 for his article "A Simple HF-Portable Antenna," which appeared in that year's December issue. The Orr Award pays tribute to the winning author's ability to explain technical topics in a manner that is easy for relatively non-technical people to understand. Bill Orr, W6SAI, the award's namesake, was best known for his voluminous publications for radio amateurs. From the 1940s through the 1980s, Orr was a frequent contributor to QST. In addition, he constructed some of the amplifiers once used at ARRL Maxim Memorial Station W1AW. Orr died in 2001. ARRL West Gulf Division Director Coy Day, N5OK, will present Salas with the 2005 Bill Orr Award plaque at HamCom this June in Dallas, Texas. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Propagation prognosticator Tad "When I Needed Sunspots, I Got None" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Our sun is very quiet. The daily sunspot reading was zero each day from January 29 through February 7! The last time we saw 10 consecutive days with a sunspot number of zero was way back on the other side of the solar cycle, from December 24, 1996 to January 3, 1997. Prior to that, from September 13, 1996 through October 20 1996 were 38 days with a sunspot number of zero. Perhaps a year from now we'll again see a whole month with no sunspots. Compared with last week, the average sunspot number declined by more than 7 points to 1.7. Average daily solar flux was down more than 4 points to 76. Sunspot numbers and solar flux should rise over the next few days, but not by much. Geomagnetic conditions also look quiet, with the next period of high geomagnetic activity set for February 22. This is based upon the previous rotation of the sun. Sunspot numbers for February 2 through 8 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 12, with a mean of 1.7. The 10.7 cm flux was 77.3, 78.7, 77, 76.3, 74.9, 74, and 74, with a mean of 76. Estimated planetary A indices were 3, 4, 4, 3, 12, 4 and 3, with a mean of 4.7. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 1, 3, 3, 3, 11, 4 and 2, with a mean of 3.9. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The North American Sprint (CW), the YLRL YL-OM Contest (SSB), the CQ WW RTTY WPX Contest, the Louisiana and New Hampshire QSO parties, the SARL Field Day Contest, the Asia-Pacific Spring Sprint (CW), the Dutch PACC Contest, the OMISS QSO Party 1500Z, the FISTS Winter Sprint, the British Columbia QSO Challenge and the RSGB First 1.8 MHz Contest (CW) are the weekend of February 11-12. The ARRL School Club Roundup runs from February 13 to February 17, and the AGCW Semi-Automatic Key Evening is February 15. JUST AHEAD: The ARRL International DX Contest (CW) is the weekend of February 18-19. The Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is February 20. 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, February 20, for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (CCE) Program on-line courses: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1 (EC-001), Radio Frequency Interference (EC-006), Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009), Technician License Course (EC-010), Analog Electronics (EC-012) and Digital Electronics (EC-013). Classes begin Friday, March 3. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE Department <email@example.com>. * 3Y0X Peter I Island DXpedition is on the air! The Peter I Island 3Y0X DXpedition took to the air this week, despite a delay due to persistent heavy fog. Most, if not all, of the 22-member DXpedition team now are on the tiny island in the Bellinghausen Sea near Antarctica. On most bands, the operators will be listening up, but pay attention to the operator's instructions, and do NOT transmit on the DXpedition's frequency! The DXpedition expects to update its on-line log search once or twice a day. After waiting on the ship for fog to lift, the first helicopter load landed on Peter I Island February 7. As of February 10, the 3Y0X team was active on all bands from 160 through 15 meters. The Peter I Island DXpedition was the recipient of a $7500 ARRL Colvin Award grant to help finance the team's visit. The Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF) has been a premier contributor to the major undertaking, estimated to cost upward of $500,000, making it the most costly DXpedition ever undertaken. Bob Allphin, K4UEE, and Ralph Fedor, K0IR, are the co-leaders of the 3Y0X effort. More information is on the 3Y0X Web site <http://www.peterone.com/>. * ARRL announces DeSoto Cup winners, DXCC Challenge Top 10: For the sixth straight year, Bob Eshleman, W4DR, has won the Clinton B. DeSoto Cup gold medal with 3095 points. The ARRL DXCC Desk announced the winners of the 2005 DeSoto Cup/DXCC Challenge competition this week, with top honors once again going to Eshleman, an ARRL Life Member from Midlothian, Virginia. Capturing the silver and bronze medals for second and third place respectively are Ken Bolin, W1NG, (3082) and Fausto Minardi, I4EAT (3077). Rounding out the Top Ten: (4) Ryszard Tymkiewicz, SP5EWY, 3072; (5) Leif Ottosen, OZ1LO, 3070; (6) Rick Roderick, K5UR, 3066; (7) Randy Schaaf, W9ZR, 3053; (8) Klaus Heintzenberg, DJ6RX, 3042; (9) Donald Karvonen, K8MFO, 3041; (10) Joseph Reisert Jr, W1JR, 3041. This list details the DXCC Challenge Top Ten as of September 30, 2005. Current DXCC Challenge standings are available on the ARRL DXCC page <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/>. Starting this year, the DeSoto Cup winners will be based on DXCC Challenge standings at the end of the calendar year. The DeSoto Cup honors the memory of Clinton B. DeSoto, W1CBD, who wrote the definitive 1935 QST article that inspired the original DXCC program. * ARRL advisory committees to consider contesting, DXCC changes: The ARRL Programs and Services Committee (PSC) has asked its Contest Advisory Committee (CAC) to consider whether the current method of scoring ARRL Affiliated Club competition is adequate or whether is should be revised to better "reward a combination of activity, effort and achievement." The PSC also wants the CAC to determine whether a return to the policy of assessing a three QSO per error penalty for electronic logs--as is currently assessed for hard-copy logs--is in the best interest of the ARRL contesting program. Both CAC assignments followed presentations to the PSC on both topics by ARRL Southwestern Division Director Dick Norton, N6AA. The PSC also has asked the DX Advisory Committee (DXAC) to study the impact of amending the DXCC "political entities" rule. The change under consideration would revise Section II, "DXCC List Criteria," under "1. Political Entities," to add a Paragraph c) reading, "The Entity contains a permanent population, is administered by a local government and is located at least 800 km from its parent." The CAC will seek public input in completing work on its tasks, and a progress report is due June 19. The PSC has asked the DXAC to report back by March 15. * ARRL teams named for WRTC-2006: Members have been named to the two-person teams that will represent ARRL in World Radiosport Team Championship 2006 (WRTC-2006) this summer in Brazil. To honor the organizing committees of previous WRTCs, the WRTC-2006 selection criteria call on the organizing committees of the five WRTC events to select five team leaders, with teams chosen by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-societies in the host countries. Since two WRTCs have been held in the US, the ARRL was asked to select two teams. The League, in turn, asked the organizers of the first and second WRTCs to chose team captains and teammates. The Western Washington DX Club, sponsor of the first WRTC, held in 1990 in Seattle, has announced the selection of ARRL Contributing Editor Ward Silver, N0AX, as team captain. Silver has picked Chris Hurlbut, KL9A, as his teammate. The host of WRTC-96 in the San Francisco Bay area, the Northern California Contest Club, has selected ARRL Senior Assistant Technical Editor Dean Straw, N6BV, as team captain. His teammate will be Mark Obermann, AG9A. "Congratulations to these fine contesters," said ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. "We look forward to a strong competition!" Held in conjunction with the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) HF World Championship, WRTC-2006 takes place July 7-10 in and around Florianopolis, Brazil. There's more information on the WRTC-2006 Web site <http://www.wrtc2006.com/html/web/>. * DXCC Desk approves operation for DXCC credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved this operation for DXCC credit: K7C (Kure Island), September 25-October 5, 2005. For more information, visit the DXCC Web page <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/>. "DXCC Frequently Asked Questions" 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/>. * Correction: In The ARRL Letter, Vol 25, No 05, Feb 3, 2006, the story "NASA, International Partners Tap Two Hams as Next Space Station Crew" contained an incorrect call sign for Expedition 13 back-up crew member Mike Fincke, KE5AIT.--noted by Hans Schwarz, AA0RM/DK5JI =========================================================== 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/>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President. The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential news of interest to active amateurs. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise, and readable. Visit ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> offers access to news, informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled from The ARRL Letter. Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): firstname.lastname@example.org ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, email@example.com ==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org/> ==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call 860-594-0384 ==>How to Get The ARRL Letter The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail delivery: ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site <http://www.arrl.org/members/>. You'll have an opportunity during registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW bulletins, and other material. To change these selections--including delivery of The ARRL Letter--registered members should click on the "Member Data Page" link (in the Members Only box). Click on "Modify membership data," check or uncheck the appropriate boxes and/or change your e-mail address if necessary. (Check "Temporarily disable all automatically sent email" to temporarily stop all e-mail deliveries.) Then, click on "Submit modification" to make selections effective. (NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You must do this yourself via the Members Only Web Site.) The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources: * ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/>. 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