ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 25, No. 12
March 24, 2006
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IN THIS EDITION:

* +Manufacturer demos BPL chipset interference reduction improvements at
ARRL
* +ARRL-proposed rule change would simplify spread spectrum operation
* +ISS commander completes another set of back-to-back school contacts
* +Not responding to FCC correspondence a bad idea
* +Gordon West, WB6NOA, is Hamvention's 2006 Amateur of the Year
* +ARRL's Logbook of the World now supports WAS
* +Nominations open for 2006 McGan public relations award
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF:
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
    +Maryland utility ends limited BPL pilot
     Nominations invited for 2006 Young Ham of the Year Award

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

===========================================================
==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
letter-dlvy@arrl.org
==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, n1rl@arrl.org
===========================================================

==>BPL CHIP MAKER SHOWS INTERFERENCE ABATEMENT IMPROVEMENTS TO LEAGUE

A demonstration at ARRL Headquarters of DS2 BPL equipment suggests the
chipset developer and manufacturer is working to minimize--if not altogether
eliminate--interference from its products on amateur bands, ARRL Laboratory
Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, says. Hare met with two DS2 officials at ARRL to
discuss the company's improved approach to Amateur Radio band notching
techniques. Based upon his observations during a demonstration of DS2's
latest generation G2 technology, Hare says he's cautiously optimistic. A
spectrum analyzer check of the modem's output showed the G2 modem could
attain a notch depth of up to 40 dB.

"While there's no certainty that all BPL products using this technology
could achieve 40 dB of protection within notched spectrum, our tests show
the capability to do so is there," Hare commented. "This may not prevent all
interference problems, but a 10 to 15 dB improvement over the notching used
by many BPL systems in place today would be a significant improvement."

Hare points out that DS2 chipsets are used by BPL equipment makers Ambient,
Amperion, Corinex and Mitsubishi, among others. "Our work with DS2 could
help manufacturers as they address interference problems in
earlier-generation equipment," he said.

In its October 2005 Petition for Further Rule Making in the BPL proceeding
<http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/filings/BPL-FNPRM.pdf>, ARRL cited
BPL systems using Main.net and DS2 chipsets as among those that lack fixed,
permanent notches in the ham bands and "have caused numerous cases of
harmful interference to stations in the Amateur Service."

Hare says he was intrigued by an earlier demonstration showing that DS2 had
improved the notching capability of its latest chipset. Preliminary tests
showed that although close-in notching wasn't much better than other
systems', BPL noise dropped below the ambient noise level deep into the
notches. Hare and DS2 agreed to work with ARRL to further investigate the
notching improvements.

On March 9 DS2 Vice President of Technology and Strategic Partnerships Chano
Gómez and Product Manager Eduardo Lluna, EA5ETP, brought a pair of modems
using DS2's latest-generation G2 technology to ARRL Headquarters. Gómez
directs DS2's US office in California. Lluna is based in Valencia, Spain.
The modems were set up in the ARRL Laboratory's screen room, and checked on
a spectrum analyzer in the 20-meter band. Hare said the 40 dB notch depth
across the entire band was typical of all bands measured.

The DS2 modems also were tested at Maxim Memorial Station W1AW, where they
were plugged into outlets in separate parts of the building and set to
transmit data. Hare listened on a number of ham bands and on adjacent
spectrum. Inside the ham bands, the signal was inaudible, he said.

"Although this was encouraging as a reasonable quick-look test of DS2 modems
on premise," Hare cautioned, "testing on a BPL installation using overhead
power lines would present a more realistic situation from which to draw firm
conclusions." Gómez offered to look into ways such tests might be arranged.

Gómez said he's happy to be working with ARRL to demonstrate that DS2's
chipsets are Amateur Radio-friendly. "We have made a huge effort to ensure
that the 40 dB programmable notches in our OFDM chipset provide adequate
protection," he said. Lluna said several vendors already have deployed
DS2-based equipment in the US, "and this gives them the mechanism to avoid
interference problems completely." Feedback from the ARRL "has been
invaluable" in achieving that goal, he added.

Afterwards, Hare, Gómez and Lluna discussed BPL and electromagnetic
compatibility (EMC) issues and potential solutions to head off most cases of
interference. "We had a solid exchange of ideas about the technical aspects
of interference problems and how improved notch depth could be combined with
other techniques to prevent and correct interference," Hare said. "The DS2
staff has a good grasp of the technical issues involved and believes many of
them ultimately can be implemented in deployed systems."

ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, concurred with Hare's cautious optimism. "We
very much appreciate this dialogue with DS2, and we are looking forward to
turning talk into action and solutions," he said.

==>LEAGUE REQUESTS RULE CHANGE TO EASE SPREAD SPECTRUM OPERATION

The ARRL has asked the FCC to modify one of its rules governing spread
spectrum (SS) operation on Amateur Radio frequencies. The League has
petitioned the Commission to drop all but the first sentence of §97.311(d),
which now requires the use of automatic power control (APC) for SS stations
running more than 1 W. The ARRL request would retain the 100 W overall power
limitation for SS.

"The effect of the rule change would be to eliminate an automatic power
control provision that has proven over time to be impractical" in terms of
compliance, the League said in its Petition for Rule Making filed March 13
<http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/SS-Rulemaking-Petition.pdf>. It
also conceded that the provision--one the League had proposed and supported
more than 10 years ago--was unnecessary to protect the operations of other
licensees and had "unfortunately served as an unintended but effective
deterrent to spread spectrum experimentation" on ham radio.

Since the FCC first approved the use of spread spectrum techniques for
Amateur Radio in 1985 on bands above 225 MHz and at power levels up to 100
W, there's been limited--but never widespread--experimental amateur
operation. More recently, the FCC has made the SS rules less restrictive in
response to League showings that the rules were hampering SS experimentation
and that interference has not proven to be an issue.

The ARRL says it now agrees with those who opposed the automatic power
control provision in WT Docket 97-12, concluded in 1999. Those changes not
only relaxed rules governing the use of spread spectrum techniques by radio
amateurs but opened the door to the possibility of international spread
spectrum communication.

"Now seven years later, it is apparent to ARRL that the rules requiring APC
indeed have proven to be difficult to implement, unnecessary and something
of a barrier to SS experimentation," the ARRL said in its latest rule making
petition. "Section 97.311(d) can be greatly simplified without increasing
the risk of intra-service or inter-service harmful interference."

The ARRL said keeping the maximum power at 100 W limits the power spectral
density of an SS emission, contributing to compatibility between Amateur
Radio SS and narrowband modes in the same allocations. The rules already in
place make spread spectrum "essentially secondary to any amateur narrowband
emission modes," the League pointed out, and make the APC requirement
unnecessary to avoid interference to other users of the same spectrum.

In any event, the League concluded, radio amateurs employing SS modes would
remain obliged to comply with the rule requiring use of "the minimum
transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communication." That
was a primary reason the ARRL asked for the APC provision in the first
place.

The FCC has not yet assigned a rule making (RM) petition number to the
ARRL's petition nor invited comments.

In its Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) WT Docket 04-140, the FCC, in
response to another ARRL petition, proposed extending the bands available
for spread spectrum to include 222-225 MHz. On its own initiative, the
Commission also recommended permitting SS operation on 6 and 2 meters, a
move the ARRL opposes. In its comments, the League cited concerns about
raising the noise floor on 6 meters and the fact that both bands already
support substantial narrowband and weak-signal work, meaning "fewer
opportunities for frequency reuse in those allocations."

The Commission is expected to conclude WT Docket 04-140 this year. The FCC
suggested that restrictions on spread spectrum already in place should be
sufficient to prevent any adverse impact of SS operation to other users of 6
and 2 meters.

==>ISS COMMANDER ON A ROLL, COMPLETES ANOTHER SET OF BACK-TO-BACK SCHOOL
QSOS

With Expedition 12 drawing to a close in April, ISS Commander Bill McArthur,
KC5ACR, has been working hard to speak via Amateur Radio with students at as
many schools as possible. This week, he took time to thank the worldwide
Amateur Radio community for its help in achieving several ham radio
milestones from space. McArthur has been more active from NA1SS than any
other astronaut or cosmonaut who's lived aboard the ISS since the first crew
arrived in 2000. Among other accomplishments, he completed DXCC and WAS from
space (the awards will be honorary). In addition, he holds the record for
handling the most Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
school contacts of any ISS crew member--34 as of March 23.

"I would like to express my deep gratitude to the worldwide amateur radio
community for your participation in this great adventure," McArthur said.
"Clearly, one of the benefits for Amateur Radio is bridging the distances
between us. Through your participation, you helped realize the potential for
the human exploration of space to do exactly that. Thanks to you, over the
past six months, the International Space Station has been more international
than ever before."

On St Patrick's Day, March 17, McArthur chatted with students at high
schools in Maryland and Ohio on successive orbits. Something a bit out of
the ordinary occurred during the contact with Bowie High School in Maryland,
when one student asked in Russian, "How do the northern lights look from out
in space?" Because all ISS crew members are bi-lingual, McArthur was able to
respond in kind: "It's a beautiful sight."

Commenting for an article
<http://www.gazette.net/stories/032306/bowinew185511_31939.shtml>  about the
contact that appeared in The Gazette newspaper, Bowie High School Principal
John Birckhead said, “This type of event creates all kinds of opportunities
for the students.” He credited coordinating teacher and Earth station
operator Art Colton, KB3KAR, with doing "an excellent job" in making the
contact happen. Members of the Goddard Amateur Radio Club (WA3NAN) provided
and set up the equipment and antennas for the ARISS QSO.

McArthur answered 20 questions during the approximately 10-minute contact.
The station for the direct VHF ARISS contact was located in the Bowie High
School library. AMSAT President Rick Hambly, W2GPS, was on hand for the
Bowie contact.

ARISS Mentor Jim Gass, N3CJN, said the event received coverage from TV and
print media, including the Washington Post. "The kids were ecstatic, their
parents were proud, and the principal, his staff and administrators were
highly impressed and very pleased," he said.

On the next orbit, McArthur took 22 questions from students at Cleveland
Heights High School in Ohio during a direct contact between NA8SA and NA1SS.
In response to one, he indicated he doesn't put much stock in astrology and
discounted any notion of a connection between astrology and space.

"That's a pretty interesting question," McArthur allowed. "Of course,
astrology involves looking at the stars and the constellations and seeing if
it can help predict our fates." Then, after some hesitation, he added, "I
don't really pay much attention to astrology, to be quite honest with you."

McArthur told the students that the major difference between daily life on
Earth and daily life in space is that his work day is longer on orbit.

"We really have a longer work day here," he responded. "Almost everything we
do to some degree or another is work, so we have a little less time to 'hang
around' if you will, although I'm hanging around on the ceiling right now."

The NA8SA Earth station call sign belongs to the NASA Lewis Research Center
Amateur Radio Club in Cleveland, whose members helped set up for the event.

Coincidentally, both Bowie and Cleveland Heights boast current NASA
astronauts among their graduates. Ricky Arnold, KE5DAU, of the astronaut
class of 2004 is a Bowie alumnus, while Don Thomas, KC5FVF, attended
Cleveland Heights.

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

==>FAILURE TO RESPOND TO FCC COULD LEAD TO ENFORCEMENT ACTION

The FCC has held up the license renewal of a New Jersey Novice ticket holder
for failing to respond to a Commission field office Citation and a Warning
Notice, both dating back several years. FCC Special Counsel in the
Enforcement Bureau Riley Hollingsworth told Ronald A. Mondgock, KA3OMZ, of
Burlington, that if he did not submit a timely reply to his February 6,
2006, letter, the Commission would dismiss his renewal application and issue
a Notice of Apparent Liability for Monetary Forfeiture.

In February 2002, Hollingsworth wrote Mondgock regarding allegations he'd
transmitted in the 75-meter phone band, which is unavailable to Novice class
licensees. In July 2004, the FCC's Philadelphia Field Office cited Mondgock
for allegedly failing to identify, making transmissions involving obscenity
and indecency and operating on a frequency not authorized under his license.

On February 7, Hollingsworth sent a Warning Notice to Frank J. Fatigate,
KB2YDO, of Hopewell Junction, New York, for allegedly failing to reply to a
complaint the FCC forwarded to him nearly a year earlier. The FCC cited US
Postal Service records indicating that Fatigate, a Technician licensee,
refused delivery of the Commission correspondence. Subsequent attempts to
reach Fatigate yielded no response. Noting that Fatigate had apparently
changed his address, the FCC gave him additional time to reply or face a
possible fine of up to $4000.

Hollingsworth said this week that he has yet to hear from either Mondgock or
Fatigate.

In another enforcement matter, the FCC wrote Technician licensee Brandon M.
Duke, KC0UWS (ex-KC0TKB), of Longmont, Colorado, January 9 advising him of a
complaint alleging "deliberate interference and other rule violations on
repeaters." Duke replied, pledging to change his ways.

In a January 26 e-mail, an apologetic Duke said he'd destroyed an audio CD
containing apparently objectionable material he'd been accused of airing. He
also said he'd "refrain from jamming, interfering, kerchunking and using any
repeaters."

Hollingsworth cautioned Duke that the FCC expected him to abide by requests
to steer clear of certain repeaters or face license revocation, a fine or
other sanctions. In his e-mail response, Duke said he would refrain from
using Boulder Amateur Radio Club repeaters, per the club's written request.

On January 24, Tracy Simmons of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
licensing operations in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, advised Duke that because
he was "involved in an enforcement action," the Commission had set aside its
earlier grant of a new sequential call sign, KC0VRS. Duke told Hollingsworth
that he'd also filed for a vanity call sign.

Hollingsworth cautioned Duke that no matter his call sign, he remains
obligated to stay off the repeaters as requested.

==>DAYTON HAMVENTION® ANNOUNCES 2006 AWARD WINNERS

Dayton Hamvention has announced the winners of its 2006 Amateur of the Year,
Special Achievement and Technical Excellence awards. Being honored for their
contributions to the Amateur Radio Service are Gordon West, WB6NOA--Amateur
of the Year; Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH--Special Achievement Award, and Dick
Illman, AH6EZ--Technical Excellence Award.

West, of Costa Mesa, California, was named Amateur of the Year for his
efforts in recruiting and training many new amateurs, in addition to his
nearly lifelong involvement in ham radio. A Radio Club of America fellow and
a recipient of the ARRL Instructor of the Year Award, West volunteers with
the American Red Cross communications team in Orange County and regularly
offers free kids classes and classes for cities to support their Community
Emergency Response Teams (CERT).

"It's my give-back to a hobby that gives me the satisfaction of offering
free classes for kids and emergency responders," West said "and I thank all
the ham operators who support our training program, and the ARRL for their
continued support with the emergency communication Web-based classes."

Hollingsworth, who's Special Counsel in the FCC Enforcement Bureau at the
Commission's Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, office, will receive Hamvention's
Special Achievement Award. Hamvention is recognizing Hollingsworth's
efforts, begun in 1998, to resurrect the FCC's Amateur Radio enforcement
program. Radio amateurs across the US have credited Hollingsworth with
reducing malicious interference and other problem behavior on the air.

First licensed in 1960 in his home state of South Carolina, Hollingsworth is
a member ARRL, QCWA and F.I.S.T.S.

Illman, who lives in St Charles, Illinois, was picked to receive the 2006
Technical Excellence Award. The honor recognizes his work as principal staff
engineer at Motorola in developing the company's patent-pending Powerline LV
broadband over power line (BPL) system, which essentially eliminates HF
interference.

Motorola and the ARRL have cooperated in deploying a test stand Powerline LV
system between ARRL Headquarters and W1AW. Preliminary test results have
shown the Powerline LV system to be Amateur Radio-friendly. Illman's idea to
include a set of hardware notch filters to protect Amateur Radio beyond the
traditional technique of turning off specific carriers is an industry first.


Hamvention Chairman Jim Nies, WX8F, praised the winners on behalf of the
Dayton Amateur Radio Association and Hamvention. "Please join me in
recognizing each of these gentlemen for their outstanding contributions to
Amateur Radio and their many years of devotion to the Amateur Radio
Service," he said.

Held this year from May 19 until May 21, Dayton Hamvention, the world's
largest Amateur Radio gathering, annually attracts more than 25,000 people
to the greater Dayton area. The event includes exhibits, a flea market,
forums and educational sessions. More information is on the Hamvention Web
site <http://www.hamvention.org/>.

==>LOGBOOK OF THE WORLD NOW SUPPORTS WORKED ALL STATES AWARD

Users of the ARRL's Logbook of the World (LoTW) <http://www.arrl.org/lotw/>
now may apply their LoTW credits to applications for the League's Worked All
States (WAS) award. Once registered and logged in, users may set up a WAS
account on the Logbook Awards page, configuring the account to automatically
select QSLs to use or selecting them manually via the Your QSOs page.

LoTW is a repository of logbook records submitted by users from around the
world. When both participants in a contact submit matching QSO records to
LoTW, the result is an electronic "QSL" that can be used for award credit.

As part of this addition, administration and maintenance of all WAS awards
is now perfomed using an LoTW module. US Amateur Radio licensees must be
ARRL members to apply for the WAS award. In addition to WAS, LoTW supports
the ARRL DX Century Club (DXCC) award.

Since its inauguration in September 2005, LoTW has more than 95 million QSO
records on file, with nearly 5.15 million QSL records resulting. The system
boasts just over 12,000 registered users, and there are more than 18,100
certificates--each representing a particular user call sign--on file.

==>NOMINATIONS INVITED FOR 2006 PHILIP J. McGAN MEMORIAL SILVER ANTENNA
AWARD

The ARRL is accepting nominations for the 2006 Philip J. McGan Memorial
Silver Antenna Award. This annual honor goes to a radio amateur who has
demonstrated success in Amateur Radio public relations and best exemplifies
volunteer spirit of the award's namesake, Phil McGan, WA2MBQ (SK). As the
first chairman of the ARRL Public Relations Committee, he helped to
reinvigorate the League's commitment to public relations.

"Throughout the year ARRL Public Information Coordinators, Public
Information Officers and other public relations volunteers strive to keep
Amateur Radio visible in their communities," says ARRL Media and Public
Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP. "They do this by publicizing special
events, writing press releases and maintaining good relations with local
news media. Their efforts benefit us all."

The individual selected to receive the McGan Award must be a full ARRL
member in good standing and may not be regularly compensated for public
relations work involving Amateur Radio--including payment for articles.

Pitts is careful to point out the distinction between public
relations--essentially getting Amateur Radio's message to the public--and
public service, which is Amateur Radio activity on behalf of the public,
such as supporting emergency communication. The McGan Award honors
achievement in public relations.

Public Relations activities the McGan Award recognizes include efforts
specifically directed at bringing Amateur Radio to the public's attention
(and most often to the news media's) in a positive light. These may include
traditional methods such as news releases or less-traditional methods such
as hosting a radio show or being an active public speaker.

Unfortunately, McGan never got to see how well his own PR efforts paid off.
In his honor, his friends in the New Hampshire Amateur Radio Association
joined with the ARRL Board of Directors to pay a lasting tribute to the
important contributions he made on behalf of Amateur Radio by establishing
this annual award.

A committee of volunteers knowledgeable about Amateur Radio public relations
will pick the winner, subject to approval by the ARRL Board of Directors.

Pitts says recognizing someone's public relations achievements by nominating
him or her for the McGan Award is "the perfect way to say 'thank you.'"

Nominations must be received at ARRL Headquarters by 5 PM Eastern Time on
May 22, 2006. The committee will not consider nominations that arrive after
the deadline or without an entry form.

Complete details and an official nomination form on McGan Award eligibility
and how to nominate someone are on the ARRL Web site along with an official
nomination form <http://www.arrl.org/pio/mcgan/>.

Return the completed entry forms and supporting materials to Philip J. McGan
Memorial Silver Antenna Award, c/o Allen Pitts, W1AGP, ARRL, 225 Main St,
Newington, CT 06111.

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Sol man Tad "I Wear My Sunglasses At Night" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington,
reports: There were no zero-sunspot days over the past week. In fact, the
average daily sunspot number was a little more than double the previous
week's numbers, rising by more than 17 points to 33.4.

This was a nice little uptick toward the solar cycle minimum, coming with
the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Unfortunately for HF
operators, the average geomagnetic numbers doubled as well. This and the
associated aurora were triggered by a solar wind stream that hit Earth
starting last Saturday, March 18. Maximal effects were felt the following
day, when the College A index--measured less than two degrees latitude south
of the Arctic Circle--rose to 51 on March 19. Saturday's College A index was
39, but on Friday, March 17 it was only 2--very quiet. The Planetary A index
over those same days was 3, 26 and 37, and the mid-latitude A index was 2,
15 and 24.

This weekend is the CQ World Wide WPX Contest (SSB), and there shouldn't be
any nasty surprises regarding propagation. Predicted planetary A index for
the next five days, March 24-28, is 12, 12, 10, 7 and 5.

Sunspot numbers for March 16 through 22 were 22, 24, 27, 40, 33, 39 and 49,
with a mean of 33.4. The 10.7 cm flux was 72.4, 72, 72.4, 75.2, 76.9, 76.7,
and 75.9, with a mean of 74.5. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 3, 26,
37, 22, 13 and 10, with a mean of 16.7. Estimated mid-latitude A indices
were 4, 2, 15, 24, 14, 8 and 9, with a mean of 10.9.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The CQ WW WPX Contest (SSB), the UBA Spring
Contest (2 meters), and the Spring QRP Homebrewer Sprint are the weekend of
March 25-26. JUST AHEAD: Kids Roundup, the SP DX Contest, the EA RTTY
Contest, the QCWA Spring QSO Party and the Missouri QSO Party are the
weekend of April 1-2. The ARS Spartan Sprint is April 4. The YLRL DX-YL to
NA-YL Contest (CW) takes place from April 4 until April 6. The SARL 80-Meter
QSO Party is April 6. 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, April 16, for these ARRL
Certification and Continuing Education (CCE) Program on-line courses:
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 2 (EC-002), Amateur Radio
Emergency Communications Level 3 (EC-003), Antenna Modeling (EC-004), HF
Digital Communications (EC-005), VHF/UHF Beyond the Repeater (EC-008),
Technician Licensing (EC-010) and Radio Frequency Propagation (EC-011).
Classes begin Friday, April 28. NOTE: Because Technician Licensing (EC-010)
courses beginning in April are based upon the current question pool,
students completing these April classes should take the FCC Technician class
(Element 2) examination by June 30. A new Element 2 question pool goes into
effect July 1. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page
<http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE Department
<cce@arrl.org>;.

* Maryland utility ends limited BPL pilot: The Southern Maryland Electric
Cooperative (SMECO) has ended a limited broadband over power line (BPL)
pilot project, concluding that the technology is not yet ready for prime
time in its service area. "At this time, SMECO believes that BPL technology
needs to advance further before it can meet the needs of our customers," the
utility said in its March customer newsletter, Cooperative Review
<http://www.smeco.com/pdfs/coopreview/currentissue.pdf>. "BPL signal speeds
and bandwidth are not competitive with other technologies currently
available." The ARRL is unaware of any radio frequency interference
complaints related to the SMECO BPL test, which ran from April through
December 2005 and used Current Technologies equipment, which has shown to
have comparatively less potential to interfere with Amateur Radio. The
utility also cited safety concerns, the impact of BPL on the co-op's current
construction practices and "the lack of a proven method for delivering BPL
signals via underground power lines," which make up 60 percent of SMECO's
power grid. The utility further noted that currently available BPL hardware
is not remotely programmable, something it would need to offer such services
as pay-per-view programming, and that should the power grid get knocked out,
BPL service would go down with it. A member-owned electric co-op, SMECO
serves more than 130,000 customers in four Southern Maryland counties.

* Nominations invited for 2006 Young Ham of the Year Award: Nominations are
now being accepted for the 2006 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year
(YHOTY) Award. The award honors a licensee 18 years old or younger who has
used ham radio to significantly contribute to the benefit of the Amateur
Radio Service, to the state of the communications art, to the community or
the nation. This year, nominations are being accepted for Amateur Radio
operators living in the US and in the 10 Canadian provinces. Nominations and
supporting materials must be submitted before May 30, 2006, on an official
application. To obtain a nomination form, send a self-addressed, stamped
envelope to 2006 Young Ham of the Year Award, c/o Newsline, 28197 Robin Ave,
Santa Clarita, CA 91350, or download the form from the Internet
<http://www.yhoty.org/YHOTY_2006_Nomination_Form.pdf>. Nominations may be
made online using a Web form <http://www.yhoty.org/2006.htm>, but supporting
materials must be submitted separately. Presentation of the 2006 YHOTY Award
will take place in August at the Huntsville Hamfest in Alabama. There's more
information on the YHOTY Web site <http://www.yhoty.org/>.

===========================================================
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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.

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* 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, ...