*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 25, No. 23 June 9, 2006 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +House-passed telecoms bill keeps BPL study requirement * +FCC Citation issued in ham radio power line interference case * +June 28 set as launch date for 13 CubeSats * +Vermont becomes the 23rd PRB-1 state * +ARRL to be represented at international EmComm conference * +Newest DXCC entity is waiting in the wings * +AMSAT-UK cites potential threat from wireless broadband * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio: The ARRL June VHF QSO Party! ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration Spratly Islands operation reported imminent +Dayton Hamvention 2006 attendance nearly even with last year's +Ebbing sunspots fail to stanch flood of QSL cards W1AW/0 special event set for Rocky Mountain Division Convention K6KPH to transmit West Coast Qualifying Run June 17, Field Day message Marv Loftness, KB7KK, wins May QST Cover Plaque Award New Air Force MARS chief announced DXCC Desk approves operation for DXCC credit Correction +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> =========================================================== ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): firstname.lastname@example.org ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, email@example.com =========================================================== ==>US HOUSE OKAYS TELECOMS BILL WITH BPL STUDY LANGUAGE INTACT On a 321 to 101 vote, the US House of Representatives on June 8 passed the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) Act of 2006. The House-passed bill, HR 5252, leaves intact language that would require the FCC to study the interference potential of BPL systems. US Rep Mike Ross, WD5DVR (D-AR), one of two radio amateurs in Congress, sponsored the BPL study requirement, "Study of Interference Potential of Broadband over Power Line Systems," contained in Title V, Section 502 of the complex bill. HR 5252 now goes to the US Senate, where a separate--and very different--telecoms bill, the Communications, Consumer's Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006 (S 2686) is still in committee. "We were concerned that a representative might be persuaded by BPL interests to introduce an amendment to delete or dilute Section 502," said ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. "As it turns out that didn't happen, although we had taken steps to counter it if it had. So for now our focus returns to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee." Sumner says that if similar language were introduced on the Senate side, it would be more likely to remain when and if the House and Senate versions go to a conference committee. Section 502 calls on the FCC to "conduct, and submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, a study of the interference potential of broadband over power line systems," within 90 days of the bill's enactment. Ross proposed including the study wording while the bill was still in the Energy and Commerce Committee. With the support of Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX), the panel agreed by voice vote to include it when it reported the bill out. The BPL study requirement reportedly has received significant opposition from electric utilities. The United Telecom Council (UTC), a bulwark of BPL support and administrator of the Interference Resolution Web site, last month referred to the study requirement as a threat and urged its members to contact their members of Congress regarding its inclusion in the House measure. A year ago, Ross sponsored House Resolution 230 (H Res 230), which calls on the FCC to "reconsider and revise rules governing broadband over power line systems based on a comprehensive evaluation of the interference potential of those systems to public safety services and other licensed radio services." That non-binding resolution has eight cosponsors. In an April 27 statement, Ross said including the FCC study requirement in the House bill "would guarantee that valuable public safety communications and Amateur Radio operators are not subject to interference." He said infrastructure-free Amateur Radio, "often overlooked in favor of flashier means of communication," can maintain communication in disasters that bring more vulnerable technology to its knees. Ham radio operators "are often the only means of communication attainable in a devastated area," Ross said. "I believe it is imperative that the interference potential [of BPL] is thoroughly examined and comprehensively evaluated to ensure that deployment of BPL, which I do support, does not cause radio interference for Amateur Radio operators and first responders who serve our communities," Ross added. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will consider S 2686 in a markup session later this month. The ARRL has e-mailed members in the 22 states with Senators on the committee, urging them to write seeking support to include similar BPL study language in the Senate bill. ==>FCC CITES FLORIDA UTILITY FOR INTERFERENCE TO RADIO AMATEUR The FCC has issued a Citation to Lakeland Electric, a municipally owned utility in Lakeland, Florida, for violating Part 15 rules by interfering with a local radio amateur. §15.5(c) of the FCC rules requires that the operator of an "incidental radiator" must cease operating the device after an FCC representative notifies the operator that the device is causing harmful interference. The "incidental radiator" in this case is overhead power lines. Under an agreement, the ARRL and the FCC cooperate in resolving cases of line noise interference to Amateur Radio licensees. "Power line noise continues to generate the bulk of interference complaints that ARRL receives," says ARRL Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineer Mike Gruber, W1MG, who says the League reviews hundreds of such complaints each year. About half of them are resolved promptly by the utilities, in some instances with assistance from the ARRL Laboratory. Gruber says he believes this is the first time the FCC has issued a Citation to a utility in a case involving power line interference to ham radio. The radio amateur involved, J. C. Flynn, W4FGC, told ARRL that Lakeland Electric has been good about fixing routine problems, but he doesn't think the utility personnel know how to resolve cases of power line noise. "I have been 10 years trying to get something done," he said, adding that the noise affects all HF bands. "It is terrible!" Flynn first noticed the power line noise around 1995. Subsequent complaints, assurances from the utility that it was addressing the problem--or that it couldn't find one--and even some FCC warnings followed before the FCC issued its Citation to Lakeland Electric on May 16. Flynn, who's now 84, told the League that as of June 7, nothing had been done to fix the severe line noise at his location, which he demonstrated over the telephone on several bands. He said he especially enjoys getting on 40 meter SSB with a large roundtable of friends. Commented Gruber: "There has been no activity by the utility in resolving this problem in over a year, and Mr Flynn's noise case now appears to be at a standstill." The League's involvement in the case goes back to January 2001, when Flynn requested the League's assistance. Gruber says the League's role is to provide technical information and guidance to utilities "to keep a complaint from reaching the point of a Citation." In late 2005, Gruber had a chance to check the line noise at Flynn's QTH firsthand. He had taken RFI gear to a Florida ham radio convention for a talk and demonstration. Afterward, on his own time, Gruber--with help from ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager Dee Turner, N4GD--took some noise measurements of his own. Gruber submitted the results of his on-site inspection to the FCC. Personnel from the Commission's Tampa field office followed up with their own inspection before issuing the Citation, which lays the groundwork for a possible Notice of Apparent Liability proposing to fine the utility if the interference problem is not resolved. "I hope this case serves as a precedent for FCC enforcement, where appropriate, in power line noise cases," said Gruber, who's compiled various reports and correspondence relating to the Lakeland Electric power line interference case into a booklet of approximately 60 pages. "While the League will work with amateurs in such cases for as long as it takes," he added, "we hope the FCC Citation will serve as a warning to electric utilities that it's not acceptable to take months or years to fix the problem causing the interference." ==>HUGE CUBESAT LAUNCH SET FOR JUNE 28 In what AMSAT-NA is calling the largest deployment ever of Amateur Radio satellites, 13 "CubeSats" carrying ham radio payloads are set for launch June 28. If all goes according to plan, a Dnepr-1LV rocket will carry the CubeSats into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. A fourteenth satellite in the package will not carry an Amateur Radio payload. The CubeSat project is a collaboration between California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and Stanford University's Space Systems Development Laboratory. All of the CubeSats set to launch this month were designed and built by students at various universities in the US and elsewhere in the world. Cornell University, Cal Poly, and the University of Arizona each will send two CubeSats into space. Other US schools participating in the mass CubeSat launch are the University of Illinois, the University of Kansas, Montana State University and the University of Hawaii. In addition, schools in Norway, S Korea and Japan have built CubeSats for this month's launch. One of the CubeSats, known as SEEDS, was built by students at the Nihon University in Japan. It contains a CW beacon, Digi-Talker and other experiments. The CW beacon will be on 437.485 MHz and use the call sign JQ1YGU. The Digi-Talker experiment will be activated later. All 13 CubeSats will identify using Amateur Radio call signs. According to AMSAT-NA, the satellites will be put into a 500-by-566 km (310 by 351 miles) orbit with a 97-degree inclination. Each tiny satellite is a 10 cm (4 inch) cube weighing just 1 kg (2.2 lbs) into which the battery, transmitter and various experiments are packed. Twelve of the satellites have downlinks in the Amateur Radio satellite allocation between 435 and 438 MHz, and one will operate on 145.980 MHz, so there will be lots of signals to listen out for after launch. None of the spacecraft will carry a transponder. Transmitter power outputs range from 10 mW to 2 W. Handling the complex job of frequency coordination was International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Amateur Satellite Advisor Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, and a panel of experts who assist in frequency coordination and advise satellite builders. Ralph Wallio, W0RPK, maintains a Web page <http://showcase.netins.net/web/wallio/CubeSat.htm> with up-to-date CubeSat status (scroll down).--AMSAT News Service ==>VERMONT GOVERNOR SIGNS AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA BILL Vermont Gov Jim Douglas has signed Amateur Radio antenna legislation that puts the language of the limited federal preemption known as PRB-1 into the Green Mountain State's statutes. Vermont is the 23rd state to adopt an Amateur Radio antenna law. "Today we reached a milestone in Vermont Amateur Radio history," exulted David Cain, W1DEC, on May 30. "PRB-1 is now officially codified into Vermont's statutes." Cain chaired the PRB-1 Committee and serves as Vermont ARRL State Government Liaison. "To all of you who worked so hard on this a hearty 'thank you' and 'well done!'" ARRL New England Division Vice Director Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, offered his congratulations to all involved in seeing the bill through. "This is a major achievement for Vermont, the New England Division and the hobby," he said. The legislation, H.12, cleared Vermont's General Assembly on May 10. The new law requires local ordinances to comply with §97.15(b) "by allowing for the erection of an Amateur Radio antenna or an Amateur Radio antenna support structure at a height and dimension sufficient to accommodate Amateur Radio Service communications." Cain notes that a PRB-1 bill has been in the General Assembly hopper in Vermont for more than three years. "Hard work and persistence paid off," he said, noting that lawmakers "recognized the value of ham radio and the need for reasonable accommodation." Section 1 of the bill declares it Vermont policy "that Amateur Radio use and Amateur Radio antennas and support structures protect and promote the public interest by providing important communications support to both government and the public during times of emergency when other communications infrastructure is disabled or overburdened and by presenting the public with an opportunity for public service, self-training, communications and technical investigation." Language in the original Vermont antenna bill outlined a schedule of minimum regulatory heights, below which localities could not impose restrictions. That language did not survive the legislative process, however. The legislation that did pass also provides for the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) to report to the House and Senate committees on government operations "concerning municipal permitting and siting of Amateur Radio antennas and Amateur Radio antenna structures and municipal compliance with state statutes." In developing its report, DHCA "shall consult with representatives" of Vermont's Amateur Radio community and include their recommendations and input in its report to the General Assembly. ==>SECOND GLOBAL AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE SET ARRL First Vice President Kay Craigie, N3KN, will represent the League at the second Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (GAREC) Conference. GAREC 2006 will take place June 19-20 in Tampere, Finland, in parallel with the International Conference on Emergency Communications (ICEC 2006). "Many new experiences resulted from dramatic events over the past 12 months, new lessons have been learned, and new concepts have been developed," said IARU International Coordinator for Emergency Communications Hans Zimmermann, F5VKP/HB9AQS. Continuing the work begun during GAREC 2005, this year's conference will consider the latest developments in the application of Amateur Radio to emergency communication and cooperation with institutional partners in emergency response and disaster relief, Zimmerman said. It will also review progress made on concepts developed during last year's conference and formulate additional proposals. Zimmerman noted that the concurrent ICEC 2006 will review the application and implementation of the Tampere Convention on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations. "Holding the two events at the same time in the same location allows us to give high visibility to the important role of Amateur Radio in emergency communications," he said. ==>MONTENEGRO POISED TO BECOME NEWEST DXCC ENTITY The Republic of Montenegro, which declared its independence June 3, has applied for United Nations membership, according to The Daily DX <http://www.dailydx.com/>. The move paves the way for the tiny Balkan nation to join the ARRL DXCC list. "Once Montenegro is accepted into the UN or obtains a call sign prefix block, DXers will have a new DXCC entity," says ARRL Membership Services Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG. The division of Serbia and Montenegro eliminates what remained of Yugoslavia. Serbia's parliament this week declared Serbia a sovereign nation as heir to the former Serbia-Montenegro union. Assuming that Serbia continues to hold its current seat in the UN, it will remain on the DXCC list as a pre-existing and continuing DXCC entity, Mills explained. A decision on whether to admit Montenegro into the UN must go before the UN Security Council and then to the UN General Assembly. A UN spokesperson could not say how long the process might take, The Daily DX said. ==>POTENTIAL THREAT TO AMATEUR BANDS IN UK CITED AMSAT-UK warns that proposals under consideration in the UK to provide wireless broadband in rural areas could pose a threat to Amateur Radio and Amateur-Satellite services there. A recently published report from telecoms regulator Ofcom <http://www.ofcom.org.uk/research/technology/overview/ese/exempt/> explores various options to bring broadband to countryside communities. One option calls for the use of wireless broadband. The systems would require high power to cover the large geographical areas involved, however. The Ofcom report proposes power levels of up to 80 W EIRP in the 2.4 GHz band and 200 W EIRP in the 5 GHz band. "It is hard to see how amateurs would be able to continue using these frequencies when faced by the high levels of interference from the high power applications envisaged by this report," an AMSAT-UK spokesperson said. Ofcom notes that unlicensed broadband operators now may run 100 mW on 2.4 GHz and 2 W EIRP on 5.8 GHz. Both bands have Amateur Radio allocations, and AMSAT-UK worries that the high power levels outlined in the report could cause serious interference to radio amateurs operating in those bands. The problem could be particularly severe on the 2400 to 2450 MHz band, used by "weak-signal" amateur satellites and amateur TV repeaters. The report makes no mention of Amateur Radio operation on the 2.4 GHz band. AMSAT-UK notes that four amateur satellites currently under construction will use 2.4 GHz to provide worldwide communications. The Amateur Radio P5-A Mars orbiter, due to launch in 2009, will rely on 2.4 GHz as well. Also under threat would be a planned 2.4 GHz Amateur Radio video link from the International Space Station to schools as part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) educational outreach.--RSGB ==>SOLAR UPDATE Propagation prognosticator Tad "Sun King" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Sunspot counts were lower this week, but it's surprising what has been happening on the ham bands. Operators are still having fun, and still working long distances, even on VHF, during this low part of the sunspot cycle. Most of this is due to seasonal sporadic E propagation. There were also reports of great HF conditions during the CQ WPX contest over the Memorial Day weekend. Average sunspot numbers dropped by 35 points to 19.3 between the last week of May and the first week of June. Geomagnetic indexes were a little higher. For more information concerning propagation and an explanation of the numbers used in this bulletin see the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>. Sunspot numbers for June 1 through 7 were 11, 0, 0, 17, 23, 36 and 48, with a mean of 19.3. 10.7 cm flux was 77.2, 75.3, 75.9, 75.6, 77.9, 78, and 82.7, with a mean of 77.5. Estimated planetary A indices were 13, 8, 4, 2, 4, 23 and 24, with a mean of 11.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 10, 5, 2, 1, 2, 15 and 18, with a mean of 7.6. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The ARRL June VHF QSO Party, the ANARTS World Wide RTTY Contest, the Portugal Day Contest, the Asia-Pacific Sprint (SSB), the GACW WWSA CW DX Contest and the REF DDFM 6-Meter Contest are the weekend of June 10-11. The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint and the RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (CW) are June 14. The Thursday NCCC Sprint Ladder and SARL Youth Day are June 16. JUST AHEAD: ARRL Kids Day, Council of Europe RC 20th Anniversary Challenge 0800Z, Jun 16 to 1000Z, Jun 18, All Asian DX Contest, CW 0000Z, Jun 17 to 2400Z, Jun 18, SMIRK Contest 0000Z, Jun 17 to 2400Z, Jun 18, West Virginia QSO Party 1600Z, Jun 17 to 0200Z, Jun 18, AGCW VHF/UHF Contest 1600Z-1900Z, Jun 17 (144), 1900Z-2100Z, Jun 17 (432), Quebec QSO Party 1700Z, Jun 17 to 0300Z, Jun 18, Kid's Day Contest 1800Z-2400Z, Jun 17, DIE Contest 0600Z-1200Z, Jun 18, Run for the Bacon QRP Contest 0100Z-0300Z, Jun 19, RSGB 80m Club Championship, SSB 1900Z-2030Z, Jun 22, Thursday NCCC Sprint Ladder 0230Z-0300Z, Jun 23, 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, June 25, 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), Analog Electronics (EC-012) and Digital Electronics (EC-013). Classes begin Friday, July7. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE Department <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * Spratly Islands operation reported imminent: The Daily DX <http://www.dailydx.com/> quotes Toshi Kusano, JA1ELY, who provides details of an imminent--and brief--operation from the Spratly Islands. According to the report, Tex Izumo, 9M2TO, will commence operation from Layang Layang Island, Spratly Islands (AS-051) starting at about 1200 UTC, Friday, June 9, through 2200 UTC on Monday, June 12. He is said to have all necessary documentation in order and will be on the air as 9M0/9M2TO on CW only. The one-person operation will cover all bands from 80 through 6 meters at 100 W. QSL via JA0DMV, via the bureau (JARL) or direct to Tex Izumo, 2C-10-03 Mutiara Apt, Jalan Sungai Emas, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Penang Is, Malaysia. * Dayton Hamvention 2006 attendance nearly even with last year's: Dayton Hamvention? 2006 General Chairman Jim Nies, WX8F, reports that the estimated attendance for the May 19-21 event was very nearly the same as last year's. "Our best estimates for attendance at 2006 Hamvention put the number at 20,324, a slight drop from 2005, but still within the ballpark for the three latest all-volunteer Hamvention years," Nies told ARRL. In 2005, an ARRL Convention year, 20,411 visitors attended Hamvention. The number of attendees in 2004 was calculated at 19,869. Nies said the Dayton Amateur Radio Association's Hamvention Committee will conduct a critique meeting June 13 to identify areas of Hamvention that need improvement and to discuss possible solutions, although Nies says that process already has begun informally. "Some committee chairmen have begun planning their timelines and their recruiting for next year," he adds. * Ebbing sunspots fail to stanch flood of QSL cards: Despite the fact that the current sunspot cycle is nearing its low point, the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service is doing a brisk business. "We are seeing bigger numbers this year as compared to last year," says ARRL Outgoing QSL Service Manager Sharon Taratula. "It's amazing, considering where we are in the sunspot cycle." By late May, the Outgoing QSL Service had received 66,150 QSL cards, she says. That compares with 54,850 cards received during the entire month of May 2005--a difference of 11,200 QSLs. "In 2006 so far, we have received 60,025 more cards than we had by this time in 2005," Taratula said. The volume of outgoing QSL cards reflects the trend, although not all cards received--especially those destined for rarer DXCC entities--go out right away in the bi-monthly mailings to foreign bureaus. "This year so far, we have shipped 530,250 cards," she says. "That's 5400 more cards than we'd shipped by this time last year." The 2005 total was 1,137,550 cards. In the current solar cycle, the number of cards shipped via the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service topped 1.9 million cards in the 2001-2002 period. The Outgoing QSL Service sorts and forwards QSLs received from US radio amateurs to bureaus in 225 countries. * W1AW/0 special event set for Rocky Mountain Division Convention: ARRL Maxim Memorial Station W1AW will be on the air as special event station W1AW/0 June 9-11 during HAMCON Colorado--the ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Convention. HAMCON will be held at the Holiday Inn-Rocky Mountain Park Convention Center in Estes Park, Colorado. Two HF stations will be available for conventioneers to operate throughout the event. Look for W1AW/0 on SSB, 3.875, 7.255, 14.245 and 21.320 MHz. QSL W1AW/0, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.--Wes Wilson, K0HBZ * K6KPH to transmit West Coast Qualifying Run June 17, Field Day message: The Maritime Radio Historical Society's K6KPH will transmit the "W1AW" West Coast Qualifying Run session Saturday, June 17, 2100 UTC (1400 PDT). K6KPH will use the normal W1AW CW frequencies of 3.5815, 7.0475, 14.0475 and 21.0675 MHz. This information was inadvertently omitted from the W1AW schedule appearing in June's QST. The following weekend, K6KPH will complement W1AW's Field Day 2006 message on CW and digital modes for the benefit of West Coast stations. K6KPH frequencies for the Field Day transmissions: CW, 3.5815, 7.0475, 14.0475 and 21.0675 MHz; Teleprinter (RTTY and FEC AMTOR), 7.095 and 14.095 MHz. The K6KPH schedules are subject to change. The W1AW and K6KPH Field Day schedules are on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/contests/forms/06-fd-w1aw-sked.html>. * Marv Loftness, KB7KK, wins May QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for May is Marv Loftness, KB7KK, for his article "That Noise--When to Call the Power Company." Congratulations, Marv! 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 June issue by Friday, June 30. * New Air Force MARS chief announced: The Air Force Communications Agency (AFCA) has announced the appointment of MSgt Donald Poquette as Chief of Air Force Military Affiliate Radio System (AF MARS). Poquette, who holds the Amateur Radio call sign KE9XB, will assume his duties and the AF MARS chief's call sign AGA3C immediately. He succeeds AF MARS Chief Ray Collins, AGA3C, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Poquette has more than 20 years of radio communications experience. He has maintained high-power HF global stations, managed several radio work centers, and served as quality assurance inspector and frequency manager. Additionally, he has gained valuable experience as installation MARS director and with assisting the previous AF MARS chief with associated responsibilities. The Air Force MARS office is located at AFCA Headquarters, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. * Three radio amateurs on next ISS crew: NASA astronauts Michael Lopez-Alegria, KE5GTK, and Sunita Williams, KD5PLB, and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, RZ3FT, have been named as the 14th crew of the International Space Station. Expedition 14 is scheduled to begin this fall. Lopez-Alegria will serve as Expedition 14 commander and as NASA ISS science officer for the six-month mission. Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin--who was on the ISS Expedition 3 crew--are now training to launch aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in September. Williams' arrival on the ISS depends on NASA's shuttle fleet being back in operation. She's scheduled to travel to the ISS via shuttle--her first space flight--and join Expedition 14 in progress. If all goes according to current plans, Williams will replace European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter, DF4TR, whose duty tour is scheduled to bridge part of expeditions 13 and 14--the first time that's happened in the history of the ISS. Unclear at this point is whether Reiter will return on the shuttle or aboard a Soyuz, so there could be some additional crew overlap. Plans call for Reiter to go into space when the NASA space shuttle returns to flight in July, and he'll join Expedition 13's Pavel Vinogradov, RV3BS, and Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ, whose mission began in April. * DXCC Desk approves operation for DXCC credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved this operation for DXCC credit: T61AA, Afghanistan, current operation effective May 23, 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. * Correction: In the story "2006 NORTH ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON OFFICIALLY UNDER WAY" in The ARRL Letter, Vol 25, No 22 (Jun 2, 2006), we should have said: "The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) <http://www.hwn.org/> activates on 14.325 MHz when a hurricane is forecast within 300 miles of landfall in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf Coast regions." =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American Radio Relay League--The National Association For Amateur Radio--225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President. The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential news of interest to active amateurs. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise, and readable. Visit ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> offers access to news, informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled from The ARRL Letter. Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): email@example.com ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, firstname.lastname@example.org ==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org/> ==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call 860-594-0384 ==>How to Get The ARRL Letter The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail delivery: ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site <http://www.arrl.org/members/>. 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