*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 25, No. 25 June 23, 2006 *************** =========================================================== It's ARRL Field Day Weekend! Details are on the ARRL Web site: <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2006/rules-fd-2006.html>. =========================================================== IN THIS EDITION: * +Wildfire season keeping Western US ARES volunteers on alert * +FCC to invite comments on Katrina Panel recommendations * +Youngsters in two states take a turn at ham radio's microphone to space * +ARRL asks FCC to protect amateur operations on 902-928 MHz * +Ham-Com 2006 in Texas a big success at its new location * +League invites nominations for Knight Distinguished Service Award * +Astronaut still collecting cards to earn DXCC from space * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio: It's ARRL Field Day Weekend! ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +Minnesota student-ham presented with 2006 ARRL Goldwater scholarship Three radio amateurs aboard Discovery for July 1 launch Special WRTC 2006 call signs announced Spain, the Netherlands report Amateur Radio regulatory changes Yukon Territory radio amateur exploring LF spectrum +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> =========================================================== ==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/faq.html#nodelivery>, then e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, <email@example.com> =========================================================== ==>AMATEUR RADIO VOLUNTEERS READY IN WESTERN STATES AS FIRE THREAT CONTINUES Fire season is in full swing in several states in the Western US, and Amateur Radio volunteers have been helping to provide communication for the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army. Fires have forced evacuations in several areas. At week's end, Arizona ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator Rick Aldom, W7STS, said ARES teams were gearing up to activate in case the Brins Fire, burning in timber two miles northeast of Sedona, got out of hand over the weekend. Given the heavy HF activity expected for Field Day, Aldom requested that radio amateurs steer clear of the ARES net frequencies of 7248 kHz and 3992 kHz and The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) frequency of 3977.7 kHz, on the outside chance they'll be needed for fire-related emergency traffic. Aldom anticipates that most emergency communication would take place on VHF and UHF repeaters, however. "The American Red Cross invited ARES volunteers to provide back-up for their communication systems," Aldom told ARRL June 23. "Emergency Coordinators in Flagstaff and Yavapai County report ham radio volunteers are supporting two evacuation centers." He said ARES also is available to provide communication between the state emergency operations center and the two shelters, as needed. Additional ARES involvement depends on how the fire behaves, Aldom said, noting that firefighters made "significant progress" in battling the blaze June 23, and "things are looking very good." The weather also cooperated. "Two things happened," Aldom said. "We had an influx of moisture last night in the middle levels, which I think helped on the ground, and the winds were much calmer than they might have been." Should additional evacuations become necessary, ARES volunteers may be called in to help livestock rescue crews. As of June 23, about a dozen ARES volunteers were assisting in the Arizona wildfire response. Aldom also has two portable repeaters on standby in case they're needed. By late June 22, the Brins Fire had burned some 3260 acres and was 15 percent contained. Evacuation orders remained for Oak Creek Canyon and two subdivisions north of Sedona. State Route 89A was closed, and power to the region was cut. The fire also was generating considerable smoke in the region, causing a health and visibility hazard. A statewide fire emergency continues throughout New Mexico. On June 19, the Bear Fire in the Bearwallow Mountain area of Catron County prompted authorities to evacuate residents and campers in the vicinity to two Red Cross shelters. New Mexico ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator Rick Sohl, K5RIC, has been coordinating Amateur Radio volunteer assistance for Grant and Catron counties. Russell Stanley, KD5RWX, and Grant County ARRL Emergency Coordinator Tom Meyer, N4CYV, were reported active on UHF to provide any needed communication support. "This looks to be a very active fire season," Sohl observed. "ARES groups need to be ready in the event of a major fire." ARES volunteers have been working overtime in June to support local emergency managers after several wildfires broke out across the state -- some of them ignited by lightning. As of June 23, the Bear Fire had spread over more than 44,800 acres and was only 5 percent contained. Sixty structures along Willow Creek were said to be imminently threatened. The fire has crossed into the wilderness, and accumulations of extremely dry fuels in the southern and western portions of the fire are hampering containment. Over the June 17-18 weekend, the Skates Fire prompted precautionary evacuations in the Lake Roberts area, and ARES volunteers provided communication for a shelter. Residents have since been allowed to return home. No homes were lost. ARES volunteers assisted the Red Cross after two fires broke out earlier this month in the Bosque south of Albuquerque. Colorado SEC Rob Roller, N7LV, reports the Colorado Disaster Response Team (DRT) stood down this week after providing communication support for The Salvation Army in the wake of the Mato Vega fire near Fort Garland. DRT Emergency Coordinator Wes Wilson, K0HBZ, provided communication support for The Salvation Army back to its Denver Headquarters using Winlink for digital e-mail communication. At more than 13,100 acres and 35 percent contained as of June 23, the fire, 12 miles northeast of Fort Garland, prompted the evacuation of 280 homes in three communities. US Route 160 remained closed. So far in 2006, wildfires have burned more than 3.1 million acres nationwide. Long-range forecasts offer little hope for relief from the extreme fire danger in the Southwest and the Amateur Radio operators who volunteer when called. -- NM PIO Charlie Christman, K5CEC, contributed information for this report ==>FCC TO SEEK COMMENTS ON KATRINA PANEL RECOMMENDATIONS The FCC will invite public comments in response to recommendations presented this month by the Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks. A Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-06-83A1.pdf> in EB Docket 06-119, released this week, contains wide-ranging proposals and considerations that could involve FCC rule or administrative changes, a few of which deal with the Amateur Service. "The devastation of Hurricane Katrina highlighted the importance of telecommunications and media to our daily lives, and our dependency on our national communications infrastructure," remarked FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin. "With this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we are asking for comments and suggestions from the public on how to best address and implement the Independent Panel's recommendations." The Independent Panel's report points out that Amateur Radio stations were among those segments of the communications infrastructure adversely affected by Hurricane Katrina. "Equipment was damaged or lost due to the storm, and trained amateurs were difficult to find in the immediate aftermath," the report said. "However, once called into help, Amateur Radio operators volunteered to support many agencies, such as FEMA, the National Weather Service, Hurricane Watch [Net] and the American Red Cross." The Independent Panel report said Amateur Radio volunteers provided communication in many locations where no other means of communicating existed. Hams also provided other technical aid to communities affected by Hurricane Katrina, the report added. The panel recommended adopting "a proactive (rather than reactive) program for network reliability and resiliency." ARRL Alabama Section Manager Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, addressed the Independent Panel on March 7 to note that Amateur Radio volunteers "were part of the solution" in supplementing normal emergency communication systems taken out by the storm. For 37 days following Hurricane Katrina, Sarratt headed the volunteer effort to process Amateur Radio volunteers headed to the Gulf Coast to assist recovery operations. In its NPRM, the FCC asked if should explore amending its rules to permit automatic grants of certain types of waivers or special temporary authority (STA) in declared disaster areas. "As a condition of the waiver or STA, the FCC could require verbal or written notification to the Commission staff contemporaneously with activation or promptly after the fact," the NPRM suggested. Following last year's devastating hurricanes, the FCC issued a handful of STAs to permit licensees lacking HF privileges to operate on HF for emergency purposes. The NPRM offered these specific areas for consideration. * Waiver of Amateur Radio and license-exempt rules, permitting transmissions necessary to meet essential communications needs. * Waiver of application filing deadlines, something the FCC did last fall for amateurs who lived in hurricane-stricken states. * Streamlined STA process, so parties in the affected area may simply notify the FCC in writing or orally of a need to operate in order to restore service. Comments will be due 30 days from the date the NPRM is published in the Federal Register and may be filed via the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) <http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/>. ==>NEW JERSEY, MICHIGAN KIDS GET A TURN AT HAM RADIO'S "MICROPHONE TO SPACE" Youngsters in New Jersey and Michigan recently had a chance to learn firsthand about life in space when they spoke via ham radio with astronaut Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ, aboard the International Space Station. Both contacts were arranged by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. Using the ARISS station NA1SS, Williams chatted June 5 with pupils at Salt Brook Elementary School in New Providence, New Jersey, and June 6 with students at Scarlett Middle School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. All of the Salt Brook students who participated in the contact between N2XJ and NA1SS are members of the Salt Brook Statics, a ham radio club at the school mentored by the New Providence Amateur Radio Club. One sixth grader wanted to know if Williams felt as if he were moving in space during his recent spacewalk. Williams answered that when he looked around and saw Earth far below him, it did indeed feel like he was moving. The New Providence Amateur Radio Club set up and operated the ground station at the school for the approximately 10-minute contact, originally scheduled for May 31 but postponed due to technical difficulties. Nick Esposito, KC2ONP, a seventh grader at New Providence Middle School, served as the control operator. An audience of some 600 fellow students, parents, faculty, dignitaries and news media packed the school's auditorium for the contact. Another 300 students at Liberty Middle School in W Orange listened in. ARRL Northern New Jersey Section Manager Bill Hudzik, W2UDT, represented ARRL. The following day, students at Scarlett Middle School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, had their chance to speak with Williams via ham radio. Responding to one youngster's question, "Why did you decide to go into space?" the astronaut said he wanted to serve his country and humankind. "Really, the history of humankind is the history of exploration," Williams told the middle schoolers. "And that's what we're doing here: Exploring the unknown." Replying to another question about the risks involved with space travel, Williams said, "There's quite a bit of risk involved with going into space and being in space – and returning home." Understanding the risks and how to minimize them is part of an astronaut's training, he explained. His two favorite things about living aboard the ISS are weightlessness "and all the things weightlessness allows you to do" as well as looking at Earth from 220 miles above. Wearing T-shirts illustrating the space station and commemorating the ARISS contact, 21 youngsters from science teacher Jon Strempek's class prepared and asked the questions. Ignacy Justyna, N0EFT, served as the control operator. In the audience was a staff member from US Rep John Dingell's office as well as NASA Aerospace Education Specialist Jim Fitzgerald, a reporter and a photographer from the Ann Arbor News, administration, faculty and parents. ARISS is a nine-nation educational outreach with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>LEAGUE ASKS FCC TO PROTECT 902-928 MHZ OPERATIONS The ARRL has asked the FCC to avoid making any changes within the 902-928 MHz allocation -— including further deployment of unlicensed Part 15 devices —- that might increase the noise floor or otherwise adversely affect Amateur Radio operations there. The League filed comments recently in a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in WT Docket 06-49, which seeks input on encouraging the little-used Multilateration Location Monitoring Service (M-LMS) -- a terrestrial service for location of objects and tracking -- while continuing to accommodate licensed and unlicensed uses of the 902-928 MHz band. Amateur Radio is secondary in the band to federal radiolocation systems, industrial, scientific and medical devices, federal fixed and mobile systems and the M-LMS. "This 'kitchen sink' of allocations is acceptable from ARRL's perspective, provided that the noise floor is regulated, in terms of aggregate noise levels from unlicensed devices," the ARRL said in its comments, filed May 30. "The high power levels permitted in this band in particular bear careful watching, lest the allocated radio services, including federal systems, suffer decreased utility of the band." Given that only two M-LMS licensees operate these systems that exist only in six major US cities and in parts of Florida, the League asked whether present FCC rules are the obstacle to M-LMS or whether it's been overtaken by time and GPS technology. The League urged the FCC to examine the 902-928 MHz band in its entirety. "Specifically, the needs of the Amateur Service in this proceeding are increased protection of weak-signal operations in the 902-903 MHz segment," the ARRL noted, specifying the 902.0-902.2 MHz and 903.0-903.2 "weak-signal" segments. "The Amateur Service also requires the continued use of the 903.2-928 MHz band for amateur voice, television and digital communications, coexisting with other licensed and unlicensed users of this spectrum," the League concluded. In its comments, the ARRL pointed out that the NPRM does not propose to adopt, modify or delete any rules but only seeks information "looking toward modifications in the licensing and use" of the 902-928 MHz band. The League described the band as "a patchwork of overlays" and one that has "orphan allocation status" in ITU Region 2, precluding amateur use of the band for communication outside the region. ==>HAM-COM 2006 A HUGE SUCCESS AT NEW LOCATION, ORGANIZERS SAY Organizers of Ham-Com are calling the Texas hamfest's first year at its new location in Plano "an unqualified success." The show moved this year from Arlington. More than 3500 attended Ham-Com June 9-10 at the Plano Centre, its sponsors report. Ham-Com has secured the new venue at least through the 2011 event. ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, addressed the ARRL West Gulf Division forum during the show. Representing ARRL Headquarters were Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, who discussed the importance of the League's development activities to Amateur Radio, and Field and Regulatory Correspondent Chuck Skolaut, K0BOG, who talked about the Headquarters' response to Hurricane Katrina. "An enthusiastic crowd visited the ARRL booth, which was staffed by a multitude of League officials," Skolaut reported. Those attending managed to retain an upbeat mood despite unseasonably hot weather, he added. In addition to President Harrison, other League volunteers attending included West Gulf Division Director Coy Day, N5OK, Vice Director Dr David Woolweaver, K5RAV, Oklahoma ARRL Section Manager John Thomason, WB5SYT, Arkansas SM David Norris, K5UZ, and North Texas ASM Bill Byrom, N5BB. Past ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, from Dallas also turned out for Ham-Com 2006, which is billed as "the biggest hamfest in Texas." Ham-Com 2006 offered more than 100 hours of programs featuring 52 speakers and 78 individual forum sessions. Amateur Radio examination session resulted in 38 license upgrades as well as 19 new Technician, 9 new General and 10 new Amateur Extra Class tickets. Ham-Com volunteers also helped 57 Boy Scouts receive their Radio merit badges. Ham-Com 2006 was a commercial success as well, with more than three dozen commercial vendors filling all 60 booths. All 48 available tables in the indoor flea market were sold, while tailgaters filled 61 spaces on Friday and 88 spaces on Saturday -- the largest turnout in several years, Ham-Com sponsors said. The ARRL West Gulf Division forum featured a discussion on BPL. Addressing the concerns of radio amateurs during his presentation was Jory McIntosh, KJ5RM, an ARRL West Gulf Assistant Director and chair of the West Gulf BPL Task Force. A representative of Texas utility TXU discussed his company's plans to deploy BPL in Texas. TXU's initial foray into BPL in Irving, Texas, resulted in interference complaints, including one from McIntosh. The company has changed BPL vendors and will use Current Technologies equipment in its future systems. Current Technologies' gear has shown to be Amateur Radio friendly. In conjunction with Ham-Com 2006, the Lone Star DX Association hosted W5DXCC 2006, which featured a Friday banquet. Featured speaker Bob Allphin, K4UEE, spoke about his experiences as co-leader of the recent 3Y0X DXpedition to Peter I Island. A sellout crowd of more than 150 attended the DX gathering. ==>KNIGHT DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD NOMINATIONS WELCOME The ARRL invites nominations for the Joe Knight Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes "exceptionally notable contributions by a Section Manager to the health and vitality of the League." The ARRL Board of Directors created the award in 2003 to honor former ARRL New Mexico SM Joe Knight, W5PDY, who was its first recipient. He died in December of that year. Until ill health forced him to step down as SM in July 2003, Knight had guided the New Mexico Section for nearly 27 years -- longer than any of his peers. Knight was honored not only for his more than a quarter-century of service as an SM but for repeatedly volunteering to share his leadership knowledge and skills each year to help orient new SMs. Knight also headed a section that values public service and emergency preparedness, and he helped to maintain the WA5IHL Megalink Repeater System that opened up statewide communication to anyone with a handheld. The ARRL Board of Directors may from time to time designate a recipient of the Knight Distinguished Service Award to an individual who distinguishes himself or herself in accordance with these ideals: * Exceptionally notable contributions over an extended period of time within his or her Section and beyond. * Efforts contributing to the health and vitality of the ARRL and its Field Organization. * Actions in the spirit of the unselfish contributions of Joe Knight, W5PDY. Recipients of the Knight Distinguished Service Award will be presented with a plaque commemorating the award. Any ARRL member may nominate a Section Manager -- past or present -- for the Knight Distinguished Service Award. A narrative of the nominee's accomplishments identifying the individual's long-term contributions to the ARRL and its Field Organization should accompany the nomination. Submit nominations to ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 or via e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>. ==>ASTRONAUT STILL SEEKS QSLS FOR DXCC FROM SPACE International Space Station Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, reports logging 130 DXCC entities from NA1SS while on orbit, but the DX QSLs have been slow in coming. To date McArthur has only about one-third of the entities confirmed for a special DXCC from space. DX stations that worked McArthur at NA1SS during Expedition 12 are urged to send QSL cards to ARRL, ARISS QSL -- Exp 12, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111-1494 USA. DX stations may also QSL via the routes on the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Web site <http://www.rac.ca/ariss/oindex.htm#QSL's>, but they will take longer to be counted. If you've already sent a card "via the buro," ARISS asks that you send another to the ARRL ARISS QSL address. As of June 20, McArthur has these entities confirmed from NA1SS: Alaska, Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, England, France, Gibraltar, Hawaii, India, Israel, Japan, Mariana Is, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Puerto Rico, South Cook Is, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Sun gazer Tad "Staring at the Sun" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: One thing nice about the bottom of the solar cycle is that disruptive radio blackouts or sudden ionospheric events are very unlikely, compared with periods when the solar cycle is active. Very low geomagnetic activity is predicted this time around, with the planetary A index forecast around five. Sunspot counts for the past five days have been 23, 21, 20, 19 and 0. No substantial increase is predicted. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet conditions June 23, 24 and 27, quiet to unsettled June 25 and 29, and unsettled June 26 and 28. I've received many messages asking for advice on which HF bands to concentrate on during Field Day. Your best bets are going to be 40 and 20 meters. Be alert for sporadic E openings on 15 and 10 meters too. Forty meters will open to many areas of North America throughout the day and night, and 80 meters should give good results from a couple of hours before local sunset on Saturday night until a couple of hours past local sunrise on Sunday morning. 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 15 through 21 were 11, 0, 42, 23, 21, 20 and 19, with a mean of 19.4. 10.7 cm flux was 76.4, 75.3, 73.2, 73.3, 73.3, 72.9, and 72.7, with a mean of 73.9. Estimated planetary A indices were 28, 10, 10, 8, 5, 4 and 4, with a mean of 9.9. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 17, 7, 7, 6, 4, 2 and 2, with a mean of 6.4. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: ARRL Field Day, the ARCI Milliwatt Field Day, the His Majesty the King of Spain Contest (SSB) and the Ukrainian DX Digi Contest are the weekend of June 24-25. The Marconi Memorial HF Contest has been cancelled. The Thursday NCCC Sprint Ladder is June 30. JUST AHEAD: The RAC Canada Day Contest is July 1. The Venezuelan Independence Day Contest, the DL-DX RTTY Contest, the Original QRP Contest, the DARC 10-Meter Digital Contest are the weekend of July 1-2. The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (CW) is July 3. The ARS Spartan Sprint is July 4. The MI QRP July 4th CW Sprint is July 4-5. 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 Friday July 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-003R2) 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, July 21. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE Department <email@example.com>. * Minnesota student-ham presented with 2006 ARRL Goldwater scholarship: Acting in his role as vice president of the ARRL Foundation, ARRL Dakota Division Director Jay Bellows, K0QB, recently presented the 2006 ARRL Scholarship to Honor Senator Barry Goldwater, K7UGA, to Melissa Johnson, K1MJ, of Bemidji, Minnesota. The $5000 scholarship grant recognizes her outstanding academic achievement and her dedication to the ideals of public service that Senator Goldwater exemplified. Melissa, 21, just completed her first year at the University of Minnesota School of Veterinary Medicine. Bellows presented a Certificate of Award to Melissa on May 26. She is the daughter of 2004 ARRL International Humanitarian Award winner Glenn Johnson, W0GJ. * Three radio amateurs aboard Discovery for July 1 launch: NASA has tentatively cleared the shuttle Discovery for a July 1 flight to the International Space Station. Three radio amateurs will be among the seven crew members. One of them, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut and Mission Specialist Thomas Reiter, DF4TR, will remain on the ISS as part of the Expedition 13 and 14 crews, marking the first three-person crew since NASA grounded the shuttle fleet in 2003. Discovery will carry no Amateur Radio equipment. Commander Steve Lindsey will head the 12-day STS-121 mission. Others on the flight include Pilot Mark Kelly, Mission Specialists Michael Fossum, Lisa Nowak, KC5ZTB, Stephanie Wilson, KD5DZE, and Piers Sellers. The Discovery crew will test new hardware and techniques to improve shuttle safety, as well as deliver supplies to the ISS and make repairs. Now aboard the ISS are Expedition 13 Commander and cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov, RV3BS, and Flight Engineer and NASA Station Science Officer Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ. * Special WRTC 2006 call signs announced: WRTC 2006 Steering Committee Chairman Atilano de Oms, PY5EG, has announced that ANATEL (Agência Nacional De Telecomunicações), Brazil's national telecommunication authority, has okayed the allocation of special call signs for use by World Radiosport Team Championship 2006 teams Saturday and Sunday, July 8-9. The call signs approved are from PW5A to PW5Z and from PT5A to PT5Z -- a total of 52 call signs, although 47 stations will be competing. Call signs will be assigned by lottery prior to the contest. WRTC 2006 will take place concurrently with the IARU HF World Championship, although WRTC rules differ in some respects from those of the IARU event, and scoring is separate. More information is on the WRTC 2006 Web site <http://www.wrtc2006.com/site/home.asp>. * Spain, the Netherlands report Amateur Radio regulatory changes: New Amateur Radio regulations <http://www.ure.es/ureinforma/Reglamento_Radioaficionados.pdf> became effective in Spain on June 10. The new licensing regime essentially eliminates the former Novice, General and Restricted license classes and extends the same privileges to all radio amateurs. Jose Díaz, EA4BPJ, general secretary of the Union de Radioaficionados Españoles (URE), Spain's IARU member-society, says the change means EB and EC-prefix call signs will be showing up on all bands now, in addition to the familiar EA prefix. All amateurs in Spain also now may use the 50-51 MHz band, although Díaz notes there are some geographical restrictions on 6-meter operation. In the Netherlands, Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, the IARU liaison officer of IARU member-society the Vereniging voor Experimenteel Radio Onderzoek in Nederland (VERON), reports that as of June 10, radio amateurs in the Netherlands may use the band 7.100-7.200 MHz on a secondary basis with a maximum power output of of 250 W. Telecommunication authorities in Thailand reportedly have granted temporary permission for radio amateurs to operate on the 30, 17 and 12-meter bands upon application. The temporary allocation is valid until the end of the year. * Yukon Territory radio amateur exploring LF spectrum: J Allen, VY1JA, of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, recently became the first radio amateur to put the Yukon on LF. Allen has joined the half-dozen or so Canadian hams authorized to experiment on low frequencies. Perhaps best known as the ham who most often hands out the hard-to-work Northern Territories multiplier, Allen now is beaconing nightly on 137.574 kHz. On May 25, Allen completed the first LF QSO from the Yukon by working LF aficionado Steve McDonald, VE7SL, in British Columbia. "Running just 30 W into a loaded inverted L, J's ERP was likely well below 100 mW," McDonald estimated. He reports Allen's very slow-speed CW signal was 100-percent copy using ARGO software on the receiving end. In Whitehorse, Allen reported that VE7SL's signal was strong enough to copy by ear at normal speeds. Observed McDonald: "At 1000 miles distance, the initial QSO demonstrates that amateurs can enjoy inter-provincial or out-of-state CW ragchews on 2200 meters using simple stations and backyard antenna systems." There's more information on 2200 meter activity in "The VE7SL Radio Notebook" <http://www.imagenisp.ca/jsm>. =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American Radio Relay League -- The National Association For Amateur Radio -- 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President. The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential news of interest to active amateurs. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise, and readable. Visit ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> offers access to news, informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled from The ARRL Letter. Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): firstname.lastname@example.org ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, email@example.com ==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org/> ==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call 860-594-0384 ==>How to Get The ARRL Letter The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail delivery: ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site <http://www.arrl.org/members/>. You'll have an opportunity during registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW bulletins, and other material. 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