*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 25, No. 26 June 30, 2006 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +Ham radio volunteers ready as floods hit Eastern US * +Montenegro becomes the 336th DXCC entity * +Space campers in Belgium query ISS crew member via ham radio * +FCC levies fine for marketing non-certificated CBs as ham radio gear * +Fires keeping Southwestern ham radio volunteers on alert * +Contest Soapbox ready for your Field Day writeups, photos * +NCJ to offer WRTC-2006 blogs * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +ARRL, IARU HQ mults will be on the air for IARU HF World Championship WRTC-2006 requests IARU HF World Championship logs ARRL "DXCC Dialog" blog debuts Field Day at W1AW slide show available Educator astronaut gets on the air for Kids Day New IRC available July 1 Correction regarding Director/Vice Director eligibility +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 =========================================================== NOTE: ARRL Headquarters will be closed Tuesday, July 4, for the Independence Day holiday. There will be no W1AW code practice or bulletin transmissions that day. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Wednesday, July 5, at 8 AM EDT. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend! =========================================================== ==>ARES/RACES TEAMS HANDLE FLOOD DUTY IN MIDDLE ATLANTIC STATES Amateur Radio volunteers this week supported communication or remained on alert to assist relief organizations and local emergency managers in flood-stricken regions of the Eastern US. Widespread flooding in several states claimed at least a dozen lives. ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania PIO Bob Josuweit, WA3PZO, says ham radio volunteers in 10 counties in his Section actively aided local law enforcement, emergency management agencies and the Red Cross, which set up about a dozen evacuation centers. "Hams in some areas may be on duty for several days as river levels slowly drop below flood stage," Josuweit told ARRL June 29. The Delaware River -- which separates New Jersey and Pennsylvania -- crested June 29, and the Susquehanna River a day earlier. A mandatory evacuation order affecting some 200,000 residents of the Wilkes Barre area in Luzerne County was lifted June 29. Josuweit reports that the Susquehanna crested at nearly 34 feet, 12 feet above flood stage for that area. "In areas where the water has already receded, many utilities are still out of service and local officials are advising residents to stay away from the their homes until at least Saturday [July 1]," Josuweit said. Despite flooding in the area, Josuweit says the Wilkes Barre hamfest <http://www.qsl.net/k3ytl> sponsored by the Murgas Amateur Radio Club will go on as scheduled Sunday, July 2, at the Luzerne County Fairgrounds, Route 118, Lake Lehman. ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Section Emergency Coordinator Al Rabenau, W3AHR, reported the Schuylkill River receding as of June 29. He said Bucks County ARES had been on alert status since June 28. Members established a VHF repeater net and have been staffing several EOCs and shelters. Bucks County EC Harris Stein, NY3H, says ARES/RACES was trimming down some operations at week's end but will continue Red Cross support through the holiday weekend. He anticipates needing operators to assist with damage assessment July 1 and to replace shelter operators. Due to topography, flooding along the Delaware typically is worst in Bucks County and in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. ARRL Hunterdon County District Emergency Coordinator David Kanitra, WB2AZE, this week placed Hunterdon ARES on a Level 1 alert for possible deployment to assist RACES. In Mercer County, New Jersey, Emergency Coordinator Kip Burnett, KB2EGI, reported his ARES/RACES team was on standby and no longer staffing the EOC, which remains active. "We may be needed later to assist with water deployment or some other situation," he said. ARES/RACES personnel at the EOC this week monitored river levels. Burnett called the flooding "basically a repeat of the October 2004 and April 2005 floods," and said officials evacuated the same locations -- an area called "The Island" -- in Trenton as well as parts of Titusville. Conventional communication systems remained intact. In Binghamton, New York, and surrounding Broome County authorities ordered the evacuation of some 15,000 residents as the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers overflowed their banks, putting some neighborhoods under several feet of water. Parts of Interstates 81 and 88 as well as State Route 17 were closed. In Delaware last weekend, Justin Kates, KB3JUV, says ARES volunteers diverted their attention from Field Day and prepared to support communication in the wake of flooding in Sussex County, which received 15 inches of rain in some areas. "Emergency management had a difficult time providing road and medical crews to the affected areas due to the high water," Kates told ARRL. The weather event also disrupted conventional communication systems. While formal activation was unnecessary, Amateur Radio volunteers remained poised to supply any needed communication assistance. A SKYWARN activated, however, and volunteers relayed rainfall reports as well as road and highway reports. ==>UN MAKES IT OFFICIAL: MONTENEGRO NOW NUMBER 336 ON THE CURRENT DXCC LIST A new ARRL DXCC entity came into being this week! As expected, the United Nations admitted the Republic of Montenegro as its 192nd member June 28, and that action automatically makes the tiny Balkan nation the 336th current DXCC entity. "According to the ARRL DXCC List criteria, entities on the UN list of member-states qualify as political entities," said ARRL Membership Services Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG. "Therefore, effective June 28, 2006 (UTC), ARRL has added The Republic of Montenegro to the DXCC List. Claims for DXCC credit will be accepted immediately." The Daily DX <http://www.dailydx.com/> this week quoted Ranko Boca, YT6A, that current Montengrin radio amateurs may use their current Serbia-Montenegro call signs until the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) designates a call sign block for the new country. In anticipation of Montengro's new nation status, International DX Festival Montenegro <http://www.yu6scg.cg.yu/international-dx-festival.html> has been set for July 20 until August 12. That's when several international operators — with Boca as DXpedition leader and well-known DXer Martti Laine, OH2BH, as radio operations leader — will join forces with Montenegrin Amateur Radio operators from at least three different stations using a common call sign in an effort to meet the DX community's need to work the newest DXCC Entity. Festival organizers have set the ambitious goal of 200,000 contacts for the event, which will use all HF bands. The event also will include several basic courses on ham radio operating and CEPT license examinations aimed at new and less-experienced radio amateurs. Another goal is to establish an Amateur Radio Club of Montenegro Others scheduled to take part in the DX Festival include ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, and XYL Linda, KA1ZD; 3Y0X team member Bob Grimmick, N6OX; IARU Region 1 Executive Committee member Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T; Carsten Esch, DL6LAU, and Vladan Kecman, YT3T/YU1AO. Montenegro declared its independence on June 3 following a national referendum May 21.--The Daily DX; ARRL DXCC Desk ==>EUROPEAN SPACE CAMPERS QUIZ ASTRONAUT ON SPACE LIFE, RESEARCH A group of British space campers at the Euro Space Center (ESC) in Belgium went right to the source via ham radio and teleconference to get answers to their questions about life and work aboard the International Space Station. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program arranged the June 13 contact with US Astronaut Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ, at NA1SS. One camper wanted to know whether a human space flight to Mars would be possible by 2020, as has been projected. "Oh, I think it's realistic," Williams replied. "It depends upon the countries that are involved and how committed they are to the programs to make them happen by 2020." Answering another space camper, Williams outlined some potentially practical benefits of the scientific research occurring onboard the ISS. "You never know when you're doing research what the benefits are going to be until way off in the future," Williams qualified. "We are working on research to prevent kidney stones -- renal stones. That's very important for us in a weightless environment, and that will have direct application to those on the ground." Williams said he and Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov, RV3BS, also are conducting studies on bone density. Experience has shown that the weightless environment appears to affect bone density of astronauts and cosmonauts on long-term duty in space. As other ISS crew members before him have said, viewing Earth from the ISS is awe inspiring. "It definitely changes your vision of the world. It's a very humbling experience to see the earth from this vantage point," Williams responded. "The earth is a beautiful planet from above, and it definitely makes you more aware of what we've been given in our world and that we need to be good stewards of it." One questioner wanted to know if Williams saw the flashes of light in his eyes -- believed due to cosmic rays -- that other space travelers have reported. Williams said he does see them, especially when he closes his eyes to sleep, but they're not very bothersome. "It's just a very quick flash out of the corner of your eye," he explained. Serving as the Earth station for the contact with NA1SS was W6SRJ at Santa Rosa Junior College in California. Verizon Conferencing donated a teleconference link to handle two-way audio between the ESC and California. Contact audio was distributed worldwide via EchoLink and IRLP. Some 60 teenaged students and their teachers from Gillingham School, Dorset, England, were at the ESC Space Camp the week the contact took place. According to ARISS-Europe's Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, youngsters from many European countries visit the space camp, which includes a permanent Space Expo and an Amateur Radio club station, ON4ESC. Twenty questions were asked and answered, and there was time left over for Bertels to express thanks on behalf of the students, and the youngsters gave a resounding applause. Williams signed off by encouraging the students to make the most of their space camp experience and suggested that some of them might contribute to space exploration in the future. Also visiting on the day of the event were 50 French schoolchildren. A teacher translated the questions and the answers into French for their benefit. After the contact, an ARISS member conducted a half-hour question-and-answer session with the students. Six of their questions focused on ARISS activities. ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is a nine-nation international educational outreach, with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>FCC AFFIRMS FINE FOR MARKETING NON-CERTIFICATED CBs AS HAM TRANSCEIVERS The FCC has affirmed a $7000 fine it proposed to levy on TravelCenters of America in Troutdale, Oregon, for marketing uncertificated Citizens Band (CB) transceivers as 10-meter Amateur Radio transceivers. In a Forfeiture Order (NoF) released June 29 <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1334A1.pdf>, the FCC turned away TravelCenters' argument that the transceivers in question were not CB transceivers, which require FCC certification, but Amateur Radio transceivers, which do not. The Commission says its Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) determined that the radios in question -- manufactured by Galaxy -- could be easily modified to operate on CB channels. "TravelCenters provides no evidence to show that the Galaxy models it offered for sale were not easily modified," the FCC said in its NoF. "Therefore, we find that the subject Galaxy models were CB transmitters pursuant to Section 95.603(c), regardless of the signs TravelCenters placed near the point of purchase." The signs advised that the units were Amateur Radio transceivers, not CB radios, and a license was required. In May, an FCC Order concluded a similar case in which the Commission had imposed $125,000 in fines on Pilot Travel Centers LLC for continuing to market CB transceivers labeled as Amateur Radio gear but intended for use on both CB and amateur frequencies. Under the terms of a consent decree, Pilot agreed to make "a voluntary contribution" of $90,000 to the US Treasury "without further protest or recourse," but did not admit to any wrongdoing. Pilot further agreed to refrain from marketing as "Amateur Radio" gear any transmitting devices with built-in features to facilitate CB operation. The FCC required Pilot to remove from sale Galaxy transceiver models DX33HML, DX66V and DX99V. Those units also were among the radios the FCC cited in the TravelCenters proceeding. Some of the Galaxy transceivers at issue in the TravelCenters' case have only CB-like channel knobs and indicators for tuning, although the more expensive models sport a digital frequency readout. Most of the units transmit only in AM and FM mode. In affirming the $7000 fine, the FCC cited a 1999 letter from the FCC's Office of General Counsel (OGC) on the importation and marketing of ham radio transceivers. The OGC's letter clarified that transmitters having "a built-in capacity to operate on CB frequencies and can easily be altered to activate that capacity, such as by moving or removing a jumper plug or cutting a single wire" fall within the definition of a CB transmitter and must obtain FCC certification prior to importation or marketing. The FCC also turned away TravelCenters' argument that Commission efforts 10 years ago to clarify the definition of a CB transceiver in an OET Public Notice violated the Administrative Procedures Act. The FCC countered that it had relied on the OGC's letter and its interpretation of §95.603(c) as well as the OET's recent determination regarding the specific transceiver models in question. The Commission further noted that §95.655(a) of its rules states that no transmitter will be certificated for CB use if "equipped with a frequency capability" not listed in Part 95 as CB transmitter channel frequencies. The TravelCenters case dates back to the fall of 2001, when an FCC agent visited the TravelCenters' retail store in Troutdale and observed six models of "CB transceivers" that had not received FCC certification. The FCC's Portland, Oregon, Field Office issued a Citation to TravelCenters' Troutdale store later that fall for selling non-certificated CB transceivers. It warned TravelCenters that future violations could lead to fines and seizure of equipment. In July 2005 the FCC's Enforcement Bureau issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) proposing the $7000 fine for "apparently willfully and repeatedly" violating §302(b) of the Communications Act and §2.803(a)(1) of its rules "by offering for sale a non-certified CB transceiver." ==>ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO ARES TEAMS KEEP CLOSE EYE ON WILDFIRES As firefighters gained the upper hand with the Brins Fire near Sedona, Arizona, and some evacuation orders have been lifted, Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers were in a holding pattern at week's end. The fire burned more than 4300 acres and was 90 percent contained by midweek. "We are essentially just in a standby mode if something should change," ARRL Arizona SEC Rick Aldom, W7STS, told ARRL Headquarters. Two Red Cross evacuation centers closed over the June 24-25 weekend. Evacuations for some Oak Creek Canyon residents remained in effect at midweek, impacting nearly 600 homes and 40 businesses. State Rte 89A remained closed to the general public, but authorities reopened the highway to residents, business owners, service providers and emergency vehicles June 27. Individuals entering the area must provide identification. Officials believe the Brins Fire, some two miles north of Sedona in the Coconino National Forest, resulted from an escaped campfire. "The firefighters who responded to this fire have done an incredible job of saving not only one of the more scenic areas of Arizona, but nearly 500 structures that were threatened," Aldom commented. "Had this fire jumped the fire lines, it would have become really ugly, really fast." In New Mexico, Sandoval County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (SCARES) was well into its Field Day exercise on Saturday, June 24, when Sandoval County's emergency manager notified District Emergency Coordinator Mike Scales, K5SCA, of a forest fire north of Cuba, near Gallina, in the Santa Fe National Forest. The SCARES Field Day ended abruptly, and members went on standby until Scales could assess the needs at the Bear Paw fire scene. By 7 PM, Scales and Vance Loen, WV5L, were in Sandoval County's Emergency Communication Vehicle — "Command 7" — en route to assist with any evacuations and to coordinate communication among Sandoval and Rio Arriba counties and the US Forest Service. Until then Command 7 had been used for Field Day. By June 28, the Bear Paw Fire had consumed 3200 acres in sage and ponderosa and full containment was expected by June 29. A downed power line apparently caused the fire, but the circumstances remain under investigation. At one point, the fire threatened the communities of Gallina Plaza and Bear Paw, prompting a mandatory evacuation order for Gallina Plaza and a voluntary evacuation advisory for Bear Paw. State Road 96 was closed, and an evacuation shelter was set up in Cuba. SCARES members remained on stand-by at the scene in Command 7, while Bill Kauffman, W5YEJ, and Marlin Allison, K5MHA, kept an ear on the SCARES repeater on Pajarito Peak from Rio Rancho. At week's end, no ARES/RACES personnel were on active fire duty in New Mexico. "Fire season is not over," New Mexico SEC Rick Sohl, K5RIC, has reminded all ARES members nonetheless. Although several of the state's forest and range fires have been doused with rains over the past week, new ones continue to break out.—Charlie Christman, K5CEC; National Fire Information Center ==>POST YOUR FIELD DAY 2006 PHOTOS AND EXPERIENCES ON THE CONTEST SOAPBOX ARRL invites participants in ARRL Field Day 2006 to post photos and narratives to its Contest Soapbox <http://www.arrl.org/contests/soapbox/> for all to see. It's not only fun and easy, but your photos and writeup could become part of the annual Field Day summary that appears in December QST. Several participants have already taken the opportunity to tell their Field Day tales on the ARRL Contest Soapbox, which is open to ARRL members and non-members alike. Narratives should focus on your or your club's or group's involvement in Field Day. The League reserves the right to edit or even to decline postings it considers inappropriate for this forum. The potential audience for your post is broad, so good taste is a must. Responsibility for all posted material rests solely with the author, and the ARRL staff assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or accuracy of items appearing in the Contest Soapbox. Direct any questions and comments on to the author of the post. If you have questions or comments about using Contest Soapbox, contact the ARRL Contest Branch <firstname.lastname@example.org>. ==>FOLLOW WRTC-2006 VIA THE NCJ WEB SITE BLOGS The year's premier global contesting event, World Radiosport Team Championship 2006 (WRTC-2006) <http://www.wrtc2006.com/site/home.asp>, takes place July 8-9 in conjunction with the IARU HF World Championship <http://www.iaru.org/contest.html>. Via Web logs (blogs), the National Contest Journal (NCJ) is giving you a front-row seat as top-notch contesters in two-person teams from around the world compete on HF from Brazil on as level a playing field as possible. The contest period is 1200 UTC Saturday, July 8, until 1200 UTC Sunday, July 9. Winners will be announced Monday, July 10, at the awards dinner. The NCJ WRTC-2006 blogs will include the musings and general comments of WRTC-2006 competitors, referees and log checkers. We invite NCJ readers to post their comments as well. Access the blogs from the NCJ home page <http://www.ncjweb.com/> or from the WRTC-2006 coverage section <http://www.ncjweb.com/wrtc2006blogs.php>. Postings have already begun and will continue -- on a time-available basis, since the contributors do have WRTC-2006 responsibilities -- until WRTC-2006 wraps up. Blog contributors are: Doug Grant, K1DG; Randy Thompson, K5ZD; Jeff Briggs, K1ZM; Ann Santos, WA1S; Tim Duffy, K3LR; Eric Scace, K3NA; Glenn Johnson, W0GJ; Ward Silver, N0AX; Dean Straw, N6BV; Tree Tyree, N6TR; Rusty Epps, W6OAT, and Dale Green, VE7SV. The National Contest Journal thanks these contributors for being willing to share their personal WRTC-2006 experiences with the Amateur Radio community. Also, thanks to Bruce Horn, WA7BNM, for suggesting this blog and putting it on the NCJ Web site, and to the ARRL for shipping 300 copies of the special WRTC-2006 July/August NCJ issue to Brazil. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Solar swami "You Are My Sunshine" Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: There were no sunspots for Field Day weekend, but a big new sunspot (897) rotated into view this week. Followed by sunspot 898, it looks like a moderately rising solar flux and sunspot number will be with us through July 6. A solar wind stream caused elevated geomagnetic numbers on June 28 and 29, and this may happen again around July 3-5. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet conditions over June 30 to July 3, quiet to unsettled on July 4, unsettled to active on July 5, and unsettled on July 6. 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 22 through 28 were 0, 0, 0, 13, 14, 33 and 38, with a mean of 14. The 10.7 cm flux was 72.1, 71.8, 73.6, 74, 76.4, 78.5, and 83.5, with a mean of 75.7. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 2, 4, 5, 3, 6 and 18, with a mean of 6.3. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 6, 1, 2, 3, 1, 7 and 12, with a mean of 4.6. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: 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. JUST AHEAD: The VK/Trans-Tasman 160-Meter Contest (phone) is July 8. The IARU HF World Championship, the FISTS Summer Sprint, the Six Club Contest and the ARCI Summer Homebrew Sprint are the weekend of July 8-9. The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (SSB) is July 12. The Thursday NCCC Sprint Ladder is July 14. 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>. * ARRL, IARU HQ mults will be on the air for IARU HF World Championship: During the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) HF World Championship Contest July 8-9, W1AW/4 will provide the ARRL Headquarters multiplier from Tennessee, with the Tennessee Contest Group hosting the operation. Supplying the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) HQ multiplier will be NU1AW/8, operating from sites in Michigan and Ohio, hosted by Dave Pruett, K8CC, and friends from the Mad River Radio Club and the North Coast Contesters. The World Radiosport Team Championship 2006 (WRTC 2006) in Brazil takes 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. IARU HF World Championship Contest rules are on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2006/iaru.html>. * WRTC-2006 requests IARU HF World Championship logs: World Radiosport Team Championship 2006 (WRTC-2006) <http://www.wrtc2006.com/> officials want as many logs as possible from IARU HF World Championship <http://www.iaru.org/contest.html> participants within six hours of the event's end. The WRTC-2006 competition among 47 top contesting teams from around the globe takes place in Brazil July 8-9, coinciding with the IARU HF World Championship event. Because WRTC-2006 winners will be announced on July 10, event organizers want IARU contest logs enhance the accuracy of WRTC-2006 log checking. WRTC-2006 is especially interested in logs from HQ stations, since these serve as multipliers for both events. E-mail complete IARU HF World Championship logs in Cabrillo format by 1800 UTC Sunday, July 9, to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. WRTC-2006 has announced a lottery and prizes for early receipt of IARU contest logs <http://www.wrtc2006.com/release52.html>. Note that submission of IARU contest logs does not constitute an official entry for the IARU HF World Championship. That is an entirely separate entry, and the usual deadline and submission requirements apply. [WRTC-2006-logo.jpg] * ARRL "DXCC Dialog" blog debuts: The ARRL DXCC Desk has inaugurated the "DXCC Dialog Weblog" <http://www.arrl.org/blog/DXCC%20Dialog> — containing news and notes about the ARRL DXCC program. "This page will have up-to-date information about the DXCC program," says ARRL Membership Services Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG. "It does not provide for users to post responses, but authors and e-mail addresses are listed." The blog will be updated as needed to inform and update the DXing community regarding news of interest. * Field Day at W1AW slide show available: A slide show, "Field Day at W1AW," now is available on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/contests/FD2006-W1AW/>. Photographed and produced during Field Day 2006 by ARRL Web/Software Development Manager Jon Bloom, KE3Z, the 4-1/2 minute presentation "was created to give members a feel for what happens at W1AW on Field Day," he says. It also provides a peek inside W1AW for those who have never visited. "The slide show is presented using Adobe Flash format. Adobe Flash Player 7 or later and a compatible Web browser are needed to play the slide show," he notes, adding that most computers already have a copy of Flash Player installed. If not, Flash Player is a free for download from Adobe <http://www.adobe.com/go/gntray_dl_getflashplayer>. The show can be played directly from the Web site in either a large format — suitable for broadband Web users — or in a smaller format more attuned to dial-up Internet connections. * Educator astronaut gets on the air for Kids Day: NASA Educator Astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, KE5DAT, spent an hour or so on the air June 17 talking to youngsters around the US during ARRL Kids Day. She spoke with about a dozen kids and ham radio operators from W5RRR at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Assisting her at the microphone was Kent Castle, W5OJ, who spent several hours on 20 meters before and after KE5DAT's visit, chatting with youngsters taking part in the twice-a-year activity. Metcalf-Lindenburger joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in 2004.--Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO * New IRC available July 1: The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has announced that a new International Reply Coupon (IRC) design <http://www.dailydx.com/2007irc.jpg> has been selected. Radio amateurs often enclose IRCs when QSLing DX stations directly to cover the cost of return postage. The new design, known as "Beijing Model No. 2," was submitted by Volodymyr Taran, a graphic artist from Ukraine. Chosen by a jury of 40 UPU member countries, the coupon design was inspired by Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel -- two fingers about to touch framed in a postage stamp, representing the notions of communication and exchange. The new IRC will be valid until December 31, 2009. The current IRC is valid through December 31, 2006. For more information on IRCs, see the June 1999 issue of QST (page 83).--The Daily DX <http://www.dailydx.com/> Correction regarding Director/Vice Director eligibility: The July QST "It Seems to Us . . ." editorial misstates the eligibility requirements to run for ARRL Director and Vice Director. The membership/licensing requirements are four years of continuous full membership and four years of continuous holding of a valid authorization as a radio amateur in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations of the United States immediately preceding nomination. =========================================================== 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. 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