ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 25, No. 07
February 17, 2006
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***THIS WEEKEND: THE ARRL INTERNATIONAL DX CONTEST (CW)!***
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IN THIS EDITION:

* +No news on fate of the Morse code requirement
* +SuitSat-1 heads into third week of operation
* +Oklahoma, Texas schools work ISS on consecutive orbits
* +ARRL cites BPL database irregularities in complaint
* +NA1SS, RS0ISS log Peter I QSOs from space
*  W1AW Endowment Fund kicks off 2006 campaign
* +DXer Charles Mellen, W1FH, SK
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF: 
     This weekend on the radio: THE ARRL INTERNATIONAL DX CONTEST (CW)!
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
    +Utility steps back from North Idaho BPL test deployment
     Direct FAX number now available for DXCC
     Stu Cohen, N1SC, wins January QST Cover Plaque Award
     Correction

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

===========================================================
NOTE: ARRL Headquarters is closed Monday, February 20, for Presidents' Day.
It will reopen Tuesday, February 21, at 8 AM EST. Have a safe and enjoyable
holiday weekend.
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==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
letter-dlvy@arrl.org
==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, n1rl@arrl.org
===========================================================

==>FCC NONCOMMITTAL ON "MORSE CODE" PROCEEDING ACTION

Just when the FCC will act on the "Morse code" proceeding, WT Docket 05-235,
remains hazy. The Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making and
Order (NPRM&O) last July proposing to eliminate the Element 1 (5 WPM) Morse
code requirement for all license classes. The Amateur Radio community has
filed more than 3800 comments on the proceeding, and additional comments
continue to show up, even though the formal comment deadline was last
October 31 (with reply comments by November 14). The next--and
most-anticipated--step for the Commission is to formally adopt any revisions
to its rules and conclude the proceeding with a Report and Order (R&O) that
spells out the changes and specifies their effective date.

"There really is no news," an FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau staffer
told ARRL this week on background. "We certainly hope to release WT Docket
05-235 sometime this year, but we're not making any predictions at this
time. We certainly are not saving up any big announcements for Dayton
Hamvention."

Beyond eliminating the Morse requirement, the FCC declined proposing any
other suggested changes to the Amateur Service.

The proceeding began with 18 petitions for rule making--many just calling
for the elimination of the Morse requirement but some asking for more
far-reaching changes in the Amateur Service rules. The various petitions
attracted a total of some 6200 comments. The FCC subsequently consolidated
the petitions--including one from the ARRL asking the FCC to establish a new
entry-level license class and to retain the Morse requirement only for
Amateur Extra class applicants--into a single proceeding designated WT
05-235.

The FCC has not proposed extending HF privileges to current Technician
licensees who have not passed a Morse code examination. In its NPRM&O the
FCC suggested that in a no-Morse-requirement regime, "codeless Techs" could
gain HF access by taking the Element 3 General class written examination.

Any FCC decision to eliminate the 5 WPM Morse code requirement for HF access
would have *no* impact on either the current HF CW-only subbands or on the
CW privileges of Amateur Radio licensees.

Before it releases an R&O on the Morse code proceeding, however, the WTB
wants to wrap up action in another Amateur Radio-related docket--the "Phone
Band Expansion" (or "Omnibus") NPRM in WT Docket 04-140, released April 15,
2004. A dozen petitions for rulemaking, some dating back to 2001, were
consolidated in the Omnibus proceeding. 

In that NPRM, the Commission proposed to go along with the ARRL's Novice
refarming plan aimed at reallocating the current Novice/Tech Plus subbands
and expanding portions of the 80, 40 and 15 meter phone bands. The FCC also
agreed with an ARRL proposal to extend privileges in the current General
CW-only HF subbands to present Novice and Tech Plus licensees (or
Technicians with Element 1 credit). WT 04-140 further proposed to
essentially do away with FCC rules prohibiting the manufacture and marketing
to Amateur Radio operators of amplifiers capable of operation on 12 and 10
meters.

==>SUITSAT-1 BATTERY VOLTAGE MAY BE ON DOWNWARD SLIDE

Heading into its third week of operation, SuitSat-1
<http://www.suitsat.org/> continued to put out a faint signal on 145.990
MHz. While hearing the spacesuit-satellite's telemetry and voice messages
can be difficult even for the best-equipped stations, recent
as-yet-unconfirmed reports suggest that SuitSat-1's battery voltage could be
entering a death spiral. ARRL Member Richard Crow, N2SPI, has been tracking
the satellite's battery voltage, nominally 28 V. While it's been dropping
incrementally, Crow noticed a "noticeable acceleration" at week's end. While
conceding that he's "going out on a limb" because SuitSat-1's signal was
noisy on its last pass over his QTH, Crow believes he heard the voice
telemetry announce 18.3 V, a precipitous drop from earlier orbits.

"If this is so, the battery voltage may have dropped another 6.9 volts in
only 8 hours," he commented. "If so, the battery voltage is dropping like a
rock." ARRL member AJ Farmer, AJ3U, has posted the reports on his Web site
<http://www.aj3u.com/blog> and invites others. Crow says he won't add the
still-questionable reading to his table until the battery voltage is
verified or corroborated.

Not taking any chances, however, SuitSat-1's sponsor--the Amateur Radio on
the International Space Station (ARISS) program--issued an urgent call for
appropriately equipped Earth stations to make every effort to copy
SuitSat-1's voice telemetry reports. ARISS US Hardware Manager Lou McFadin,
W5DID, who was directly involved in the construction of the SuitSat-1
package, says he and others on his team have been following the voltage
reports with great interest.

"Your efforts to gather the telemetry data are very much appreciated and
will contribute to further success should we get the opportunity to build a
second SuitSat," McFadin said today. "The power system is designed to
squeeze every drop of power out of the batteries that is possible." Post
telemetry reports or recordings to <suitsat@comcast.net>;.

Deployed from the International Space Station on February 3, SuitSat-1
already has outlasted its initially predicted one-week active life.

McFadin explained that SuitSat-1's battery current will rise as its battery
voltage drops. "That is the power system's attempt to keep the transmitter
voltage at 12 V," he noted. "As the battery voltage nears 12 V, the
regulator will no longer be able to maintain 12 V output. At a battery
voltage below 9 V all transmissions will cease."

He says that while SuitSat-1's computer will continue to operate down to 3
V, the transmitter will shut down and SuitSat-1 will appear dead. "I expect
this drop-off to occur very rapidly," McFadin added, expressing appreciation
for the dedication of those who have helped monitor SuitSat-1.

Extremely low transmitter output power has been one explanation for
SuitSat-1's faint signal. AMSAT-NA calculations last weekend suggested that
SuitSat-1's transmitter is likely putting out between 1 and 10 mW instead of
the 500 mW it was supposed to produce.

Its puny signal aside, the novel SuitSat-1 Amateur Radio transmit-only
spacesuit turned satellite has been heard around the globe since its launch
by the International Space Station crew. ARRL ARISS Program Manager Rosalie
White, K1STO, said the past week has brought reports from teachers who've
integrated SuitSat-1 monitoring into their classroom lessons.

"Thank you to the SuitSat team for the opportunity to have students involved
in such an exciting space project," teacher Neil Carleton, VE3NCE, at R.
Tait McKenzie Public School in Almonte, Ontario, said. "It's been a week of
adventure, and I'm happy to report on the involvement of my class as part of
our grade 6 science studies of space."

SuitSat-1's transmission order is: DTMF tone, CW ID, SSTV image, 30 seconds
of silence, voice identification, mission time, temperature and battery
voltage. The voice messages, telemetry and SSTV image are being sent on a
nine-minute repeating cycle. ARISS International Chairman Frank Bauer,
KA3HDO, said the SuitSat team plans to provide special recognition to the
person who copies the last SuitSat telemetry, and in particular the mission
time and battery voltage.

AMSAT-NA has designated SuitSat-1 as AMSAT-OSCAR 54 (AO-54). By week's end,
SuitSat-1 had completed more than 200 orbits of Earth. Since its deployment,
SuitSat-1 has shed a piece of debris. Speculation is that it could be a
glove or another piece of the spacesuit.

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>
and on the SuitSat Web site <http://www.suitsat.org/>.

==>BACK-TO-BACK ARISS SCHOOL QSOS ATTEST TO AMBITIOUS CONTACT SCHEDULE

Some schools have waited years for a chance to speak via ham radio with the
crew of the International Space Station. In part to catch up on the backlog,
the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program has
adopted a more ambitious roster of ARISS school group contacts, working
around the crew's work schedule to arrange as many as two or three such QSOs
per week. On February 7, ARISS managed to squeeze in two school contacts in
the same day on consecutive ISS orbits. Both Dale High School in Dale,
Oklahoma, and DeGolyer Elementary School in Dallas, Texas, had submitted
contact applications to ARISS some five years earlier.

"We got the first pass," said Dale High School control op Ron Cochrane,
KD5GEZ, whose grandson Justin, now a high school freshman, inspired the
application to ARISS while in elementary school.

"When we knew that they were going to be coming back around in another hour
and a half, every one of the same kids who had asked questions before came
back and were sitting around the radio listening to Dallas and all their
questions," Cochrane continued. He said the activity attracted attention
from other students who slipped into the room to listen in on the DeGolyer
contact too.

Dale School Counselor Karren Cantrell said the opportunity for students in
the community to talk to McArthur "was huge for a little country school" in
Oklahoma. "The students in grades 3 through 12 were very wide-eyed and alert
during this event," she said. "For a period of about 10 minutes, our kids
were in another world--literally." Cochrane says perhaps as many as 1000
students, parents, visitors and members of the news media gathered for the
school system-wide assembly. So intense was the interest, "you could have
heard a pin drop," Cochrane said. "Everybody was just locked in."

Those taking part in the contact, all ninth grade science
students--including Justin Cochrane, wanted to know about an astronaut's
training, food aboard the ISS, and whether it's scary to travel to and work
in space. Keith Pugh, W5IU--the ARISS mentor for both the Dale and DeGolyer
events--said McArthur answered 15 of the students' questions during the
20-degree pass before the ISS went out of range.

ARRL Oklahoma Section Manager John Thomason, WB5SYT, says efforts are under
way to use the successful Dale High School ARISS contact as a springboard to
have Amateur Radio licensing become a part of the school's curriculum.
Thomason and ARRL West Gulf Director Coy Day, N5OK, represented the League
at the event.

At DeGolyer Elementary, current and former students gathered to take part in
the ARISS school group contact on the subsequent ISS orbit. DeGolyer, the
first Amateur Radio Education and Technology Program (aka "The Big Project")
pilot school, boasts its own club station, K5DES, and many ham radio
licensees. Bob Landrum, W5FKN, was at the controls for the contact, and all
of the youngsters participating in the contact were Amateur Radio operators
who had been encouraged and "Elmered" by art teacher Sanlyn Kent, KD5LXO,
and teaching assistant Richard Aguilar, K5LXM.

The DeGolyer pupils also asked about space food, the effects of microgravity
and what jobs onboard the ISS they enjoy or don't enjoy. "The DeGolyer
contact went off without a hitch before a crowd that filled the auditorium
plus closed-circuit TV to the rest of the school," Pugh reported, adding
that the youngsters asked 17 questions during the 35-degree pass. The event
also got good news media coverage. "The DeGolyer crew was able to listen to
the Dale contact prior to their event," he noted.

Stopping by for the occasion were ARRL President Emeritus Jim Haynie, W5JBP,
and ARRL North Texas Section Manager Tom Blackwell, N5GAR.

Owing largely to the accelerated ARISS school group contact schedule, ISS
Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, recently topped the previous
record for the most such QSOs in a single mission, and Expedition 12 still
has some six weeks to go. As of February 15, McArthur and crewmate Valeri
Tokarev had logged a total of 25 school contacts from NA1SS and RS0ISS--all
but one by McArthur. This past week, McArthur also topped 100 entities in
his effort to complete DXCC from space. Since DXCC rules make no provisions
for contacts from space, he'll have to settle for an honorary DXCC
certificate.

ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach
with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA.

==>LEAGUE COMPLAINS TO FCC ABOUT BPL DATABASE IRREGULARITIES

Describing the FCC-mandated BPL Interference Resolution Web site
<http://www.bpldatabase.org/> as "woefully incomplete and improperly
managed," the ARRL has called on the FCC to order database manager United
Telecomm Council (UTC) to fix it immediately or appoint "a competent
database manager" to repair the problems.

"The database management is either shamefully incompetent on the part of UTC
or simply nonexistent," the ARRL said in a complaint this week to the FCC's
Office of Engineering and Technology (OET). "The database is merely 'garbage
in, garbage out,' and in its present form cannot serve any useful purpose at
all, much less a 'sufficient' means of addressing BPL interference."

In a related development, UTC has terminated the ARRL's access to the BPL
Interference Resolution Web site, and the League plans to file a separate
complaint to the FCC on that issue. League efforts to access the database
yielded this error message: "The system has determined that this line of
searching constitues [sic] unauthorized use of the database. Cease
operations immediately."

The BPL database should be accessible from other ISPs, however, and the ARRL
wants to hear from anyone else spotting discrepancies as well as from those
whose database access has been curtailed or cut off.

The ARRL already has complained about the UTC database's use of ZIP codes as
a sole database access key. To simplify searches, the League has requested
that the FCC require UTC to provide a list of ZIP codes where BPL systems
are on line or pending.

The FCC ordered creation of the BPL Interference Resolution database to
provide licensed spectrum users a central, public information source on
local BPL operations to help resolve incidents of harmful interference.
Commission rules require BPL operators to provide the name of the BPL
provider, frequencies of operation, postal ZIP codes served, manufacturer
and type of BPL equipment, a point-of-contact telephone number and e-mail
address for interference inquiries and resolution, and the proposed or
actual date the system will start operation.

Having correct and up-to-date information in the BPL Interference Resolution
Database benefits both BPL providers and licensed services, the League has
pointed out. For example, a radio amateur suspecting BPL interference might
be able to rule out the possibility by consulting the database.

ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI--the League's point man on BPL
technical issues--says that while the BPL database has its shortcomings,
ARRL staff have until now made extensive use of it to help radio amateurs
deal appropriately with interference issues.

"In the past, when amateurs have reported BPL interference, one industry
response has been to claim that the amateur station is hearing some other
noise and thinking that it's BPL," Hare said. The BPL database makes it
possible to baseline noise levels in advance of a BPL deployment and can
even help to prevent erroneous interference reports, he pointed out.

"The UTC's escalating restrictions on access to the database will serve
little other purpose than to make it harder for amateurs to identify BPL
interference correctly," Hare remarked.

The ARRL complaint said the FCC should require UTC "to revisit every entry
in the database and verify independently the information provided."
Alternatively, the League requested that the FCC relieve UTC as database
manager and appoint a new one that will supervise it properly. 

"The fox, therefore, should be withdrawn from the henhouse," the League
said.

Attached to the League's letter of complaint was a compilation of BPL
database errors and omissions the ARRL discovered between January 27 and
February 14, 2006. "There may be others," the ARRL noted. The League said
the FCC is obliged under Part 15 to apply sanctions on BPL providers not
complying with the database requirements.

Most noteworthy among the alleged violators are the Briarcliff Manor, New
York, and Allentown, Pennsylvania-area BPL systems that have been the cause
of substantial interference to Amateur Radio stations. The League recently
asked the FCC to shut down the Briarcliff Manor system because of
longstanding interference complaints. Such BPL operators have no incentive
to comply with the database requirements because "their scofflaw attitudes"
toward the few BPL regulations in place have been rewarded by FCC inaction,
the ARRL complaint said.

A copy of the League's complaint is on the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/filings/BPL-Database-Content-Complain
t.pdf>.

==>3Y0X AND NA1SS LOG HISTORIC QSO

Completing an overhaul of the International Space Station's exercise
treadmill cut into Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur's ham radio time
from NA1SS. But when he did get on the radio February 13, he made excellent
use of the time remaining.

"Only one contact," McArthur reported. "3Y0X! Thanks!" The 2-meter contact
between the space station and the Peter I Island DXpedition
<http://www.peterone.com/main.htm> near Antarctica occurred during a barely
viable 2-degree pass. The 3Y0X QSO pushed McArthur's count of DXCC entities
worked from space to 104. McArthur already has worked all states and all
continents during his duty tour aboard the ISS.

On the Peter I Island end of the contact was 3Y0X DXpedition team member
Gordon Hardman, W0RUN. McArthur, who's KC5ACR, reports he and Hardman
enjoyed "a brief, but nice chat." 

Because the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Phase 2
gear is in crossband repeater mode for SuitSat-1, McArthur used the
lower-power Phase 1 Ericsson 2-meter gear for the contact. He reported good
copy on 3Y0X, which was using its moonbounce equipment and array for the
event. The 3Y0X team already was celebrating the nine moonbounce contacts it
had made over the previous weekend.

Operating as RS0ISS, McArthur's crewmate Valeri Tokarev also got in a QSO
this week with a Russian member of the 3Y0X DXpedition team.

Topping the Peter I Web site I is the comment, "More people have flown in
outer space than have set foot on Peter I Island!" ARISS Ham Radio Project
Engineer Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, notes that the 3Y0X DXpedition is the first
to work someone in space from that location. 

McArthur earlier worked the 3Y0X DXpedition team while it was still en route
and operating as XR9A/mm. Previous tries at a 3Y0X-NA1SS contact were
unsuccessful, but Ransom thinks a recent change in the space station's
orientation may have contributed to this week's success. 

==>HELP SUPPORT W1AW . . . MORE THAN AN AMATEUR RADIO TRADITION! 

Since its dedication in 1938, ARRL Maxim Memorial Station W1AW has served as
a beacon for the Amateur Radio community in the US and around the world.
While a symbol of the past, W1AW continues to play an active role in Amateur
Radio's present and in helping to forge its future. Now you can take part in
helping to preserve and advance W1AW as a tradition and a trendsetter. ARRL
is working to build a permanent fund to cover W1AW's annual operations and
capital needs. 

"Your support will help keep W1AW at the cutting edge of technology," said
ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. "I know you share with me a strong sense of
history and a desire for W1AW to continue as an active and vibrant station,
contributing to the Amateur Radio community for years to come." 

Experiments at W1AW include work with cutting-edge digital technologies and
satellite reception techniques. Continuing traditions are code practice and
bulletin transmissions. 

The stop at the historic little brick building in front of ARRL Headquarters
also is the highlight of any visit to the League. Radio amateurs thrill at
having the opportunity to operate from W1AW, often generating pileups of
stations equally excited about making a contact with what may be the world's
best-known ham radio call sign. 

The League invites contributions in any amount--or a pledge spread out over
time to the W1AW Endowment Fund <http://www.arrl.org/endoww1aw.html>. Help
to ensure that W1AW will remain the flagship station of the ARRL! For
information on other giving options, contact ARRL Chief Development Officer
Mary Hobart, K1MMH, <mhobart@arrl.org>;; 860-594-0397.

==>LEGENDARY DXer CHARLES MELLEN, W1FH, SK

DXing icon Charles Mellen, W1FH, of W Roxbury, Massachusetts, died January
21. He was 91. In 1947, the ARRL awarded Mellen with the first mixed-mode
and phone DXCC certificates ever issued. Mellen's friend (and ARRL Rhode
Island Section Manager) Bob Beaudet, W1YRC, says that if Mellen's declining
health hadn't intervened in the early 1990s, he would have become the only
DXer left to have worked and confirmed all 393 post-World War II DXCC
entities.

"The great world of DX is a bit smaller today," said Beaudet, calling Mellen
"one of the finest role models our DX fraternity has ever produced."

Licensed in 1930, Mellen was inducted into the CQ DX Hall of Fame in 1994.
In addition to being an ARRL member, he also belonged to the First Class CW
Operators Club (FOC).

Beaudet says Mellen was able to achieve world-class DXer status despite his
"relatively modest setup." Bruce Marshall, K1AJ, says that during the 1940s,
50s and 60s, Mellen was one of the best-known DXers in the US, and he and
the renowned and far-better-equipped Don Wallace, W6AM "were constantly
battling for the top of the Honor Roll list."

According to those who knew him, Beaudet said, Mellen's secret was something
he never bragged about but taught by example: Operator skill, and especially
knowing how to listen carefully.

Survivors include Mellen's wife, Mary, and a daughter. The family invites
memorial contributions to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of New England, 514
Parker St, Boston, MA 02120, or to the MSPCA Development Office, 350 S
Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02130.--some information from The Daily DX
<http://www.dailydx.com/> and the Boston Globe

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Sun Watcher Tad "Black Hole Sun" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports:
Average daily sunspot numbers this week rose by more than 7 points to 9.
Expect to see even longer stretches with no sunspots over the next year.

THE ARRL INTERNATIONAL DX CONTEST (CW) is this weekend. Sunspot 854 is
pointing straight at us, but it is tiny. Look for sunspot numbers and solar
flux to rise only slightly, if at all, and for quiet geomagnetic conditions.

Based on the previous solar rotation, Wednesday, February 22 looks like it
may show some fairly active geomagnetic conditions. Geophysical Institute
Prague predicts slightly different conditions, with February 19 unsettled to
active, and February 21 and 22 just unsettled. The prediction is for quiet
geomagnetic conditions Friday and Saturday, February 17 and 18, only
slightly unsettled geomagnetic conditions on Sunday, February 19, and quiet
to unsettled geomagnetic conditions February 20 and 23.

Sunspot numbers for February 9 through 15 were 24, 13, 11, 0, 0, 0 and 15,
with a mean of 9. The 10.7 cm flux was 74.8, 75.2, 76, 76, 76.3, 77.3, and
78.5, with a mean of 76.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 2, 2, 6, 3, 2,
1 and 12, with a mean of 4. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 2, 4,
2, 2, 1 and 7, with a mean of 2.9.

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: THE ARRL INTERNATIONAL DX CONTEST (CW) is the
weekend of February 18-19. The Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is February 20.
JUST AHEAD: The North American QSO Party (RTTY), the CQ 160-Meter Contest
(SSB), the Russian PSK Worldwide Contest, the REF Contest (SSB), the UBA DX
Contest (CW), the Mississippi and North Carolina QSO parties, the CZEBRIS
Contest, the High Speed Club CW Contest and the CQC Winter QSO Party are the
weekend of February 25-26. 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 19, 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 <cce@arrl.org>;.

* Utility steps back from North Idaho BPL test deployment: Avista Utilities
announced recently that it's re-evaluating its plans to deploy a broadband
over power line (BPL) project in North Idaho. The company, which serves some
330,000 electrical power customers in three western states, said it and a
BPL vendor had "mutually agreed" to end contract negotiations for a test
deployment in Post Falls. "We want to step back and look at how the industry
is evolving in terms of technology and the business model," Avista Market
Solutions Manager Dave Heyamoto said in a company news release February 9.
While Avista did not name the BPL vendor, a February 3 article in Spokane,
Washington's, Spokesman-Review newspaper identified the company as
Communication Technologies (COMTek) of Chantilly, Virginia. COMTek operates
the Manassas, Virginia, BPL rollout that's been the subject of Amateur Radio
interference complaints. In mid-January, the ARRL again called on the FCC to
order the Manassas BPL system shut down until it resolves the interference
complaints. Avista says it has not set a timeline for any future BPL
projects, which reportedly could involve power-grid monitoring.

* Direct FAX number now available for DXCC: The ARRL DXCC Desk now has a
direct FAX number to improve and expedite the receipt and handling of
DXCC-related communications. The number is 860-594-0346. There has been no
change in policy, and DXCC does not accept DXCC submissions via FAX. The
former FAX number, 860-594-0259, remains active for several other ARRL
Headquarters departments, but that FAX machine is not in the immediate DXCC
area.

* Stu Cohen, N1SC, wins January QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the
QST Cover Plaque Award for January is Stu Cohen, N1SC, for his article
"Vintage Product Review--The Collins 75A-4 Receiver." Congratulations, Stu!
The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award--given to the author or authors of
the best article in each issue--is determined by a vote of ARRL members on
the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page
<http://www.arrl.org/members-only/QSTvote.html>. Cast a ballot for your
favorite article in the February issue by Tuesday, February 28.

* Correction: The article "Phil Salas, AD5X, Named 2005 Orr Award Winner" in
The ARRL Letter, Vol 25, No 06, contained some incorrect and incomplete
information regarding the award ceremony. Phil Salas, AD5X, will receive the
Bill Orr Award plaque during a presentation attended by ARRL President Joel
Harrison, W5ZN, and West Gulf Division Director Coy Day, N5OK, at Ham-Com
2006, June 9-10, at the Plano Centre in Plano, Texas.
=========================================================== 
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.

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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/>. (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will be
posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.)

* The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur Radio
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, ...