ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 25, No. 15
April 14, 2006
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +Despite claims to the contrary, Virginia BPL system still interfering
* +ARRL urges more support for BPL resolution in US House
* +League inaugurates vanity license renewal program
* +It's a wrap for ISS Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR
* +ISS crew swap is successful
* +ARES, SATERN participate in major New York City disaster drill
* +Activity from top-10 most-wanted DXCC entity VU4 to start April 18
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF: 
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
    +It's a photo contest!
     World Amateur Radio Day 2006 certificate
     FCC statistics suggest minuscule market share for BPL
     VUCC basic operating area expanded for 50 through 1296 MHz
     First call for presenters, papers for 2006 AMSAT-UK Colloquium
     DXCC Desk approves operation for DXCC credit

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

===========================================================
==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
letter-dlvy@arrl.org
==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, n1rl@arrl.org
===========================================================
NOTE: ARRL Headquarters is closed Friday, April 14. There will be no W1AW
code practice or bulletin transmissions that day. This week's editions of
The ARRL Letter, ARRL Audio News and the propagation bulletin are being
distributed Thursday, April 13. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Monday, April
17, at 8 AM EDT. We wish all our members a safe and enjoyable holiday
weekend!
===========================================================

==>MANASSAS BPL SYSTEM STILL INTERFERING DESPITE CLAIMS TO THE CONTRARY

Interference from the Manassas, Virginia, BPL system persists on ham radio
frequencies, radio amateurs there say. Their reports fly in the face of an
April 7 news release from system operator COMTek that a recent engineering
survey found "no interference unique to BPL" in the amateur bands. On April
6, COMTek filed a report
<http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/files/COMTek.pdf> with the FCC in
response to an earlier interference complaint from Dwight Agnew, AI4II.
COMTek said it does not believe the Manassas BPL system caused the
interference Agnew and other Manassas ham radio operators have heard. Agnew
told the ARRL this week that the BPL interference continues.

"Yes, it's still there," Agnew said. "Some days it will blow your ears off,
other days not," he explained. "It varies. That's what's so aggravating
about it."

Another Manassas amateur, George Tarnovsky, K4GVT, who's also complained to
the FCC of BPL interference, echoed Agnew's report. He told the ARRL the BPL
signal still can be heard along "miles of road" on 40 meters as well as 20,
17 and 15 meters. "It's everywhere," Tarnovsky said. He points out the
interference level varies based on how heavily the system's approximately
900 customers are using the system.

In its April 6 filing with the FCC, COMTek--which operates the BPL system
for the city--said it takes interference complaints seriously and is
conducting "an ongoing investigation" to determine whether the "alleged
interference" is coming from its equipment. The Manassas system uses
Main.net equipment on frequencies between 4 MHz and 30 MHz, according to the
BPL database.

On March 7, FCC Spectrum Enforcement Division Chief Joseph P. Casey
requested the city and COMTek to follow up on Agnew's January 19 complaint
citing harmful BPL interference along Virginia Business Route 234. The
Commission told the city to test its system to be sure it complies with FCC
Part 15 rules and to "resolve any continuing harmful interference."

COMTek's FCC filing included a test report by Product Safety Engineering Inc
of Dade City, Florida, outlining BPL system measurements made on 40 meters
at one location on Route 234. Product Safety Engineering tempered its
report, however, by saying its measurements "were not intended to qualify
the system or BPL equipment with respect to compliance with the FCC rules."
They were intended to "assist the client in gaining an understanding of the
interference potential" of the BPL equipment at "a specific location," the
engineering firm said. 

Conceding that the engineering firm's report was interim and "not fully
compliant with the FCC's new measurement guidelines," COMTek told the FCC it
would supply a complete survey by April 14.

The ARRL already has called on the FCC to shut down the Manassas system
until it complies with FCC Part 15 rules. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, says
COMTek's April 6 FCC filing failed to provide what Casey had requested last
month. That included making measurements at multiple locations Agnew
described in his January complaint. The engineering report also gives no
indication that the tests were performed during peak system usage hours, as
the FCC had required.

"No explanation was provided as to why COMTek was unable to comply with the
FCC requirement to resolve the interference complaint and to report within
30 days," Sumner said. "Yet on April 7, COMTek issued a news release that
claimed 'rigorous FCC-mandated testing' had been completed. In fact, the
testing completed as of that date failed to comply with FCC requirements, as
acknowledged by COMTek itself."

Sumner said "the test results are meaningless" as a measure of the radio
interference emanating from the Manassas BPL system. "Using the test
equipment described in the test report to check for radio interference is
like using an oven thermometer to check for a fever."

Sumner reiterated the League's request that the FCC order the Manassas BPL
system disabled "until its operation is able to comply fully with the FCC
rules and instructions."

ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, charged COMTek with "trying to fix
interference problems with press releases." ARRL's technical analysis of the
testing indicates COMTek cannot show that it's able to meet FCC-required
emission limits, Hare said, and doesn't even demonstrate that its system is
not causing harmful interference.

Hare said BPL manufacturers and providers whose technology can operate
compatibly with Amateur Radio have been working closely with the ARRL and
local amateurs. "Those that cannot are taking preliminary test results and
turning them into 'everything-is-wonderful now' news releases," he said.
"From a technical point of view, that moves us further from solutions, not
toward them."

==>SUPPORT STILL NEEDED FOR HOUSE RESOLUTION 230

The ongoing BPL battles in Manassas, Virginia, and Briarcliff Manor, New
York, underscore the need for better FCC rules to protect radiocommunication
systems from BPL interference. House Resolution 230 (H Res 230), introduced
by Rep Mike Ross, WD5DVR, of Arkansas, calls on the FCC to "conduct a full
and complete analysis" of radio interference from BPL, particularly with
regard to public safety radio systems. 

"Members of Congress need to hear constituents' concerns about BPL
interference while they are in their home districts this week and next,"
ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, observed this week. "Rep
Ross has been joined by six co-sponsors, but more support is needed to move
this legislation along." 

H Res 230 recently received a boost when the March issue of NPSTC Spectrum,
the newsletter of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council,
carried an article, "Ham Radio and Public Safety Ask for FCC Reevaluation of
Broadband over Power Lines." The article notes "significantly high levels of
potential interference in the VHF low band 30 to 50 MHz range" in several
test locations.

A sample letter
<http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/filings/hres230/HRes230-SampleLtr.doc
> is available for ARRL members to use as a starting point in contacting
their congressional representatives. ARRL members logging onto the
Members-Only portion of the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/members-only/> will see contact information for their
Member of Congress. Alternatively, visit http://www.house.gov/. 

When writing, please send a copy of your letter to ARRL's Government
Relations firm: Chwat & Company Inc, ATTN: Eric Heis, KI4NFC, 625 Slaters
Ln--Suite 103 Alexandria, VA 22314; Fax 703-684-7594;
<eric.heis@chwatco.com>;.

==>ARRL VEC ANNOUNCES VANITY CALL SIGN LICENSE RENEWAL PROGRAM

The ARRL VEC now can process license renewals for vanity call sign holders
for a modest fee. The service is available to ARRL members and nonmembers,
although League members will pay less. Routine, non-vanity renewals continue
to be processed at no cost for ARRL members. In addition, ARRL VEC Manager
Maria Somma, AB1FM, points out that trustees of club stations with vanity
call signs may renew either via the Universal Licensing System (ULS) or
through a Club Station Call Sign Administrator, such as ARRL VEC.

"2006 is an appropriate year for the ARRL VEC to implement this service,
since the licenses of the many radio amateurs who obtained their vanity call
signs as a result of the FCC program that went into effect in 1996 will
expire this year," Somma said. The first of those licenses are due to expire
in June.

"As the FCC has already noted, licensees who want to keep their vanity call
signs must pay the regulatory fee, currently $21.90 for the 10-year license
term, when renewing their licenses," Somma noted. "Licensees who don't want
to pay the mandatory regulatory fee to retain a vanity call sign may request
a sequentially issued call sign at the time of renewal."

The FCC has proposed to reduce the vanity call sign regulatory fee to $20.10
for the 10-year license term. The new fee, if adopted, would go into effect
in August or September.

Amateur Radio licensees may file for renewal only within 90 days of their
license expiration date. All radio amateurs must have an FCC Registration
Number (FRN) before filing any application with the Commission. Applicants
can obtain an FRN by going to the ULS <http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/> and
clicking on the "New Users Register" link. You must supply your Social
Security Number to obtain an FRN.

Those holding specifically requested call signs issued prior to 1996 are
exempt from the vanity call sign regulatory fee. That's because Congress did
not authorize the FCC to collect regulatory fees until 1993. Such heritage
call sign holders do not appear as vanity licensees in the ULS Amateur Radio
database.

Somma says the ARRL's new license renewal/modification Web pages contain
complete information on license-filing procedures, including step-by-step
instructions on how to renew or update a license using the FCC's ULS site
and a schedule of fees.

League members should visit the "ARRL Member Instructions for License
Renewals or Changes" page
<http://www.arrl.org/fcc/memberlicenseinstructions.html>. The "Instructions
for License Renewals or Changes" page
<http://www.arrl.org/fcc/licenseinstructions.html> covers general renewal
procedures for nonmembers. There's additional information on the ARRL VEC's
"FCC License Renewals and ARRL License Expiration Notices" page
<http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/renewals.html>.

==>McARTHUR CALLS IT A WRAP; BRAZIL'S PONTES COMPLETES ONE QSO

Even as he was preparing to depart the International Space Station April 4,
Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, took time out to talk one
last time from NA1SS with some excited students on Earth. The following day,
McArthur's traveling companion on his April 9 trip home--Brazil's first
astronaut Marcos Pontes, PY0AEB--answered questions put to him via ham radio
in two languages by youngsters in Rio de Janeiro. McArthur told students at
Robert McQueen High School in Reno, Nevada, that ISS Expedition 12 would be
his last space mission.

"This will be my last flight into space, and I hope to work to help folks
with future missions," McArthur explained, "and I would very much like to be
involved with supporting the first mission to go back to the moon and the
first mission to Mars." The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
(ARISS) contact was the 38th and final QSO during Expedition 12, which began
last October. McArthur handled 37 of the school contacts--a mission record.

McArthur said his time aboard the ISS has been "awfully exciting" and he's
never gotten bored. But, besides his family, he does miss some things.

"What I miss most are beverages with ice in them," McArthur said. "We have
no ice up here, and so our beverages are never that cold--I miss that quite
a bit." He said he also misses the smell of coffee, since the crew must
drink beverages from a bag to keep the liquid from dispersing in the
microgravity environment.

Darrell Upson, W6ADZ, served as the control operator for the Reno event.
Upson said student Jordan Anise, KD7OAT, approached him more than 3 years
ago about arranging a contact with the ISS. The event attracted some media
coverage, including at least one TV news report.

Despite his busy research schedule, Brazil's Pontes--who arrived aboard the
ISS April 1 with Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov, RV3BS, and Flight
Engineer Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ--was able to talk with youngsters April 5 at
The American School in Rio. The contact was conducted in English and
Portuguese, and Pontes answered 17 questions.

"We use our free time mostly to view the earth," Pontes told the students.
"Very beautiful! It's really beautiful!"

Pontes said he'd thought about becoming an astronaut since he was a child,
"but my chance was when I was in Monterey studying for my PhD," he said. All
of his mission was "very exciting," he added, especially getting to talk to
students on Earth via ham radio.

Because of his hectic schedule, Pontes was unable to make a second scheduled
contact with youngsters at a school in Portugal. 

ARISS-Brazil Team coordinator Tadeu Fernandes, PY1KCF, served as the control
operator for the contact with PY0AEB. The contact attracted considerable
media attention in addition to a sizeable audience. Contact audio was
retransmitted via ham radio on HF and VHF as well as via EchoLink. 

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

==>EXPEDITION 12 CREW PLUS ONE RETURN SAFELY TO EARTH

After orbiting Earth more than 3000 times during their six months aboard the
International Space Station, Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR,
and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev have returned to the planet. With them on
the return trip was Brazilian astronaut Marcos Pontes, PY0AEB, who had been
the third passenger onboard the Soyuz "taxi flight" that carried Expedition
13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov, RV3BS, and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams,
KD5TVQ, to the ISS April 1.

The Soyuz spacecraft with McArthur, Tokarev and Pontes onboard landed in
central Kazakhstan just before midnight UTC April 8. McArthur and Tokarev
will remain in Star City for post-flight debriefings.

The most active radio amateur ever to serve aboard the ISS, McArthur worked
all continents--including Antarctica--on both VHF and UHF from NA1SS during
is nearly 190 days in space. He also racked up QSOs with 130 DXCC entities
and worked all states. The last QSL he needed to confirm WAS--from
Wyoming--arrived at ARRL Headquarters not long before the end of McArthur's
duty tour. In all, he put more than 1750 contacts into the NA1SS log. Since
the WAC, WAS and DXCC programs don't provide for space contacts, his
certificates will be honorary.

Pontes flew to the space station as part of a commercial agreement with the
Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos and conducted experiments during his
eight days on the ISS.

Vinogradov and Williams will spend this week getting better acquainted with
their new home for the next six months. No ARISS school contacts are on the
NA1SS schedule until the week of April 24. During their duty tour,
Vinogradov and Williams will perform two spacewalks and--if all goes
according to plan--greet two space shuttle crews.

Scheduled to join Expedition 13 this summer on the shuttle Discovery's
STS-121 mission will be European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter,
DF4TR, of Germany. He'll also be flying under a commercial agreement with
Roscosmos. Reiter will remain aboard the ISS when Expedition 14 begins in
October, to help provide some crew continuity aboard the ISS.--some
information from NASA and ARISS

==>ONLY A TEST: NEW YORK CITY ARES, SATERN TAKE PART IN DISASTER DRILL

Members of the New York City District Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)
team and the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN)
participated in a mass casualty disaster drill March 26. Dubbed "Operation
Trifecta," the exercise got under way with the mock explosion in Maspeth,
Queens, of a chemical bomb aboard a freight train that occurrs just as a
commuter train passes. The scenario called for 100 people dead or wounded.
Police academy recruits covered in blood acted as victims. The elaborate
simulation involved 1500 emergency workers. ARES supported the American Red
Cross.

"We were an integral part of the Red Cross response, and the folks in charge
were duly impressed with our capabilities and deeply grateful for our
participation," said NYC ARES District Emergency Coordinator Mike Lisenco,
N2YBB. ARES' role was to provide communication support for the Red Cross at
its emergency operations center, its on-site command vehicle--making its
inaugural run--and a shelter set up to care for area residents affected by
the incident. ARES also maintained liaison with SATERN, Lisenco said, "and
we had additional volunteers standing by had there been a request for more
operators."

Operation Trifecta referred to the fact that, during the seven-hour drill,
responders not only had to deal with the explosion and hazardous materials
but potential saboteurs hiding in the railroad freight cars.

Roger Rischawy, who directs The Salvation Army's Greater New York
Division-Emergency Disaster Services with assistance from Carlos Varon,
K2LCV, reports the division assembled two canteen crews, three staff
vehicles and a SATERN emergency communications van. Greater New York SATERN
Amateur Radio Liaison Officer Jeff Schneller, N2HPO, managed communication
activities for The Salvation Army's response.

In the wake of Amateur Radio's emergency communication role following last
summer's Gulf Coast hurricanes, emergency responders once again are looking
to ham radio volunteers as "a resource that is desperately needed in a
disaster situation," Lisenco said. "To that end, the Red Cross here in New
York City has redoubled its efforts to maintain a strong working
relationship with ARES." He said NYC District ARES also has strengthened its
relationship with The Salvation Army.

"We have become an important cog in the response wheel, acting as the
communications provider for our clients," Lisenco said. "That is what we
train to do. Nothing more, nothing less. We are ready when all else fails."

==>ANDAMANS (VU4) TO BE ACTIVATED IN A BIG WAY STARTING APRIL 18

Enthusiasm and anticipation have been building within the DX community this
week as the radio window is about to open once again on the Andaman and
Nicobar Islands (VU4). The National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR) in
Hyderabad, India, will sponsor a first-of-its-kind event, "Hamfest - (VU4)
India - 2006," April 18-20 in Port Blair on South Andaman Island. Dozens of
VU4 stations are expected on the air. 

India's telecommunication authorities have issued a number of short-term
licenses to both nationals and foreigners, and operations reportedly will
extend beyond the three-day festival to April 26. The most recent VU4
DXpedition, led by Bharathi Prasad, VU2RBI, in December 2004, turned into a
disaster communication operation after the devastating South Asia earthquake
and tsunami. Prasad and others involved in the 2004 VU4 DXpedition are
expected to be active during the Andamans hamfest activity. 

All call signs for this event will bear the VU4AN prefix followed by an
India mainland call sign. There will be no operation from Nicobar Island
and, so far, no operation on 30 meters.

According to The DX Magazine's 2005 survey of DXers Andaman and Nicobar
Islands was the 10th most-wanted DXCC entity. There's more information on
the NIAR Web site <http://www.niar.org/>.--The Daily DX
<http://www.dailydx.com/>

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Sunspot seeker Tad "Hoppin' Down the Bunny Trail" Cook, K7RA, Seattle,
Washington, reports: Average daily sunspot numbers for the week were up more
than 12 points to 70.7. March 30 through April 5, the daily sunspot number
at the start of the period was 35, and it rose to 88 by the seventh day.
April 6 it rose to 105, dropping the next day way down to 65, then 57, then
46 last Sunday. By Wednesday, April 12, it had risen again to 79.

Geomagnetic disturbances accompanied the rising solar activity. A solar
windstream from a coronal hole met the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF)
which was pointing south, and this leaves Earth vulnerable. On April 9 the
mid-latitude A index was 27, and the K index rose to 4 and 5. The planetary
A index was 39, with the planetary K index reaching 5 and 6.

A condition similar to that of April 9 occurred four days earlier on April
5. But at that time Sunspot 865 was still visible. This is the biggest
sunspot seen the year, and it has since rotated out of view.

There is a nice peppering of sunspots on the side of the sun facing Earth,
but they are small. We could see another period of geomagnetic disturbance
Saturday, April 15. Planetary A index predicted for the next few days,
Thursday, April 13, through Sunday, April 16, is 10, 25, 40 and 25.

Sunspot numbers may rise again later in the month--perhaps over 100 again.
This would most likely occur around April 24 through May 4.

Sunspot numbers for April 6 through 12 were 105, 65, 57, 46, 70, 73 and 79,
with a mean of 70.7. The 10.7 cm flux was 98.9, 94.5, 91, 89.2, 88.7, 89.7,
and 81.1, with a mean of 90.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 10, 3, 5,
39, 18, 5 and 2, with a mean of 11.7. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were
6, 2, 3, 27, 11, 3 and 1, with a mean of 7.6.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The TARA Skirmish Digital Prefix Contest, the
Holyland DX Contest, the ES Open HF Championship, the EU Spring Sprint
(SSB), the Michigan and Ontario QSO parties, the EA-QRP CW Contest and the
YU DX Contest are the weekend of April 15-16. The ARLHS Annual Spring Lites
QSO Party is April 15-23. The Run for the Bacon QRP Contest and the Low
Power Spring Sprint are April 17. The 432 MHz Spring Sprint and the RSGB
80-Meter Club Championship (Data) are April 20. The Thursday NCCC Sprint
Ladder is April 21. JUST AHEAD: The DX Colombia International Contest, the
SP DX RTTY Contest, and the Florida and Nebraska QSO parties are the weekend
of April 22-23. The Thursday NCCC Sprint Ladder is April 28 (UTC). 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, May 7, 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--Life Beyond the Repeater (EC-008),
and Radio Frequency Propagation (EC-011). Classes begin Friday, May 19. To
learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page
<http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE Department
<cce@arrl.org>;.

* It's a photo contest! Have you ever wanted to see a photo of yours in QST,
the annual ARRL Amateur Radio calendar or another ARRL publication? Well,
here's your chance! Not only will your photographic skill be propagated far
and wide, but we're offering a $100 prize to the winning entry. The winning
photo and three runners-up will be published in QST. All submitted photos
will also be considered for the 2007 ARRL calendar. Photos must be received
at ARRL Headquarters by May 31, 2006. Subject matter must relate to Amateur
Radio and be in good taste. Photos will be judged on overall quality and
composition. Digital images or color prints are acceptable, but digital,
images must have at least 300 dpi resolution. E-mail <upfront@arrl.org>;
digital images of up to 2 MB or copy to a CD and mail to ARRL Photo Contest,
225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. All entries must include caption
information describing where the photo was taken, along with the names and
call signs of anyone appearing in the photograph. Photos submitted become
the exclusive property of the ARRL, and decisions of the judges (QST
editorial and production staff) are final. Only one entry per person is
allowed. Good luck in the contest!

* World Amateur Radio Day 2006 certificate: World Amateur Radio Day,
Tuesday, April 18, commemorates the founding of the International Amateur
Radio Union (IARU) in Paris in 1925. The 2006 theme is "Amateur Radio: A
gateway to information and communications technologies for today's youth."
With support from PZK, the Polish Amateur Radio Union, MK QTC, the Polish
radio amateurs' journal again will sponsor the World Amateur Radio Day
(WARD) certificate <http://ward-award.prv.pl/>. To qualify, stations must
complete 10 HF contacts or 5 VHF contacts on April 18 between 0000 and 2400
UTC. To obtain the full-color certificate, send a log extract including the
list of QSOs and $6 US (?5) to: The Radio Amateurs' Journal MK QTC,
Suchacz-Zamek - Wielmozy 5b, 82-340 Tolkmicko, Poland, on or before May 31,
2006. The World Amateur Radio Day certificate also is available to SWLs who
log the same number of reports. 

* FCC statistics suggest minuscule market share for BPL: The latest FCC
statistics on the status of high-speed Internet services indicate a
minuscule market share for broadband over power line (BPL). The FCC Wireline
Competition Bureau report, "High-Speed Services for Internet Access: Status
as of June 30, 2005," puts at 4872 the number of business and residential
"Power Line and Other" connections that deliver at speeds greater than 200
kbps in at least one direction. The total number of high-speed lines for all
technologies is 42,866,469--the vast majority DSL, cable and traditional
wireline connections. This puts the share for "Power Line and Other" at a
bit more than 0.01 percent of the total. The number of residential BPL
"advanced services" lines--greater than 200 kbps in both directions--is 3916
out of 34,259,411, the FCC report indicates. Although some data have been
withheld as proprietary, the FCC report indicates there are 18 "Power Line
and Other" high-speed providers nationwide. Facilities-based broadband
providers must report the number of high-speed connections in service to the
FCC twice a year.

* VUCC basic operating area expanded for 50 through 1296 MHz: The ARRL
Membership Services Department has announced an increase in the size of the
basic operating area for VUCC contacts made between 50 MHz and 1296 MHz.
Effective immediately VUCC rules allow stations to submit confirmations for
contacts made from different locations, provided no two locations are more
than 200 km (124 miles) apart. The VUCC operating area for SHF operation
remains unchanged. The change results from a recommendation of an ad hoc
VHF/UHF Study Committee, appointed by the then-Membership Services
Committee, chaired by ARRL New England Division Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI.
The ARRL Awards Committee recently added its approval to the change. 

* First call for presenters, papers for 2006 AMSAT-UK Colloquium: AMSAT-UK
has issued a first call for speakers and papers for its 21st Colloquium,
July 28-30, at Surrey University, Guildford, Surrey, UK. AMSAT-UK seeks
presentations about Amateur Radio space activities and related topics.
Speakers/authors also are also invited to submit papers for publication in
the conference Proceedings. Submit complete documents by June 15 to David
Johnson, G4DPZ, <g4dpz@amsat.org>;. AMSAT-UK also invites suggestions for
program topics. More information on this year's event will be available on
the AMSAT-UK Web site
<http://www.uk.amsat.org/Colloquium/default.php>.--AMSAT-UK

* DXCC Desk approves operation for DXCC credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has
approved this operation for DXCC credit: TT8PK, Chad, March 15 to May 27,
2004, and December 27, 2005, to October 3, 2006. 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/>.

=========================================================== 
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
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Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or
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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, ...