*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 25, No. 41 October 13, 2006 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +FCC releases "omnibus" Amateur Radio Report & Order * +ARRL requests members' comments on "omnibus" R&O * +League court filing says FCC exceeded its jurisdiction in BPL orders * +AMSAT's new Eagle satellite will use software defined transponder * +FCC invites comments on WRC-07 recommendations * +ARRL seeks nominees for 2006 International Humanitarian Award * +Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +Washington Amateur Radio club turns 90 DXCC Desk approves operation for DXCC credit +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> =========================================================== ==>FCC RELEASES LONG-AWAITED "OMNIBUS" AMATEUR RADIO REPORT AND ORDER Ending a protracted waiting period, the FCC's Report and Order (R&O) in the so-called "omnibus" Amateur Radio proceeding, WT Docket 04-140, was adopted October 4 and released October 10. In it, the FCC adopted nearly all of the changes it had put forth in its 2004 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the proceeding. The R&O the FCC released this week does NOT include action on the Commission's proposal to eliminate the Morse code requirement. A Report and Order in that proceeding, WT Docket 05-235, is pending. ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, expressed the League's gratitude to the FCC for acting this week in the wide-ranging proceeding. "On behalf of the ARRL and the Commission's licensees in the Amateur Radio Service I want to express appreciation for your release yesterday of the Report and Order in WT Docket 04-140 (FCC 06-149) amending Part 97 of the Commission's Rules," Harrison wrote October 11. "The Commission's action in clearing this pending proceeding will assist the Amateur Radio Service in meeting its objectives, particularly with regard to providing emergency and public service communications." The new rules are expected to become effective later this year. Among the highlights in the October 10 Report and Order, the FCC: * "refarmed" the current Novice/Tech Plus bands to expand certain phone subbands; * agreed to allow Novice and Tech Plus licensees to operate CW in the General class CW subbands on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters. * implemented rules to discourage multiple vanity call sign filings on the same day from the same applicant; * permitted auxiliary stations to transmit on portions of the 2 meter band; * permitted amateur licensees to designate a specific Amateur Radio club to receive their call sign in memoriam; * eliminated certain restrictions governing the manufacture, marketing and sale of external RF power amplifiers intended for Amateur Radio use; * clarified that "amateur stations may, at all times and on all frequencies authorized to the control operator, make transmissions necessary to meet essential communication needs and to facilitate relief actions"; * deleted the requirement to publicly announce Amateur Radio examination locations and times, and * deleted the frequency bands and segments specified for Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) stations. In response to an ARRL Petition for Rule Making, the Commission agreed to "refarm" the HF segments currently authorized to Novice and Technician Plus licensees. The reallocation will expand the phone subbands for General, Advanced and Amateur Extra licensees, although not all commenters agreed with the idea. "We are persuaded, however, by ARRL's contention that increasing the amount of spectrum for voice communications will reduce interference among stations using voice communications," the FCC said in its R&O, "thereby benefiting all licensees." The FCC said authorizing more phone spectrum would "more closely reflect licensees' operating preferences" and mean more efficient spectrum use. On 75 meters, the FCC went well beyond the modest expansion the ARRL had proposed and the FCC had tentatively adopted in its 2004 NPRM. Generals will be able to operate on phone from 3800 to 4000 kHz, Advanced class licensees from 3700 to 4000, and Amateur Extras from 3600 to 4000 kHz -- greatly reducing the amount of 80-meter spectrum available for RTTY and data (the only segment where automatically controlled digital stations may operate on 80 meters is 3620 to 3635 kHz). The FCC said the amateur community wanted as much phone spectrum as possible. "Indeed, a number of commenters argue that the NPRM proposal to increase the amount of spectrum permitted for voice communications would still not meet the demand for voice communication spectrum in the HF bands, particularly in the 80 meter band," the FCC said. On 40 meters, Advanced and Extra Class licensees will be able to operate phone from 7125 to 7300 kHz, and Generals from 7175 to 7300 kHz. On 15 meters, General class operators may operate phone from 21,275 to 21,450 kHz. The FCC affirmed its intention to permit Novice and Tech Plus (or Technician with Element 1 credit) licensees to operate CW in the current General exclusive-CW allocations on 80, 40 and 15 meters and CW/data on 10 meters, where the FCC provided an additional 100 kHz for Novice/Tech Plus licensees. Novice/Tech Plus licensees still may run no more than 200 W PEP, but the Commission has done away with Novice band power limitations for higher-class licensees. The FCC revised its vanity call sign rules to discourage the filing of multiple applications for the same call sign on the same day, and many commenters supported this concept. As implemented in §97.19(d)(1), if the FCC receives more than one application requesting a vanity call sign from a single applicant on the same receipt day, it will process only the first application entered into the Universal Licensing System. "Subsequent vanity call sign applications from that applicant with the same receipt date will not be accepted," the rule concludes. "We are persuaded that we should adopt rule amendments to discourage multiple vanity call sign applications," the FCC said in the R&O, "and we believe that a one-application-per-day-per-applicant rule, as requested by ARRL and others, will eliminate multiple applications requesting the same assignable call sign on the same day." The FCC concedes that its one-application-per-day rule "will not prevent an individual from requesting multiple vanity call signs per se," because an applicant may request up to 25 call signs at a time. When the FCC receives multiple valid applications from several individuals requesting the same vanity call sign as a first choice on the same day, it uses a lottery system to decide which application to process first. The R&O also affirms changes to Part 2 and Part 97 rules the FCC had proposed regarding the manufacture, marketing and sale of external RF power amplifiers. Current FCC rules prohibit commercial manufacturers from marketing RF power amplifiers capable of transmitting on the 12 and 10 meter bands. The rules were put in place as a way to prevent use of such amplifiers by CBers. "We agree with ARRL that the requirements imposed on Amateur Radio operators by the current rule are unnecessary because, under the present rules, 'the equipment, once authorized, can be modified to transmit on all amateur service frequency allocations,' and that revising the rule 'will enhance use of the 12 and 10 meter amateur bands,'" the FCC said. To prevent the use of Amateur Radio amplifiers by CBers, the FCC says manufacturers of Amateur Radio amplifiers must design their products to avoid operation between 26 MHz and 28 MHz. They also must certify that amplifiers are not easily modifiable to operate between 26 MHz and 28 MHz prior to a grant of equipment certification. The various rule changes become effective 30 days after their publication in the Federal Register <http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html>. A copy of the R&O appears on the FCC Web site <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-06-149A1.pdf>. ARRL has posted a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the R&O <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/wt04-140/faq.html>. A downloadable chart shows the band changes <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/wt04-140/Hambands3_color.pdf>. ==>ARRL REQUESTS INPUT ON RECENT FCC "OMNIBUS" REPORT AND ORDER The ARRL is requesting member input concerning the FCC's Amateur Radio proceeding, WT Docket 04-140, released on October 10. The Report and Order will not take effect until 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. This publication date is not yet known. The complete text is available for viewing as a PDF file on the FCC Web site <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-06-149A1.pdf>. A summary is available on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2006/10/11/100/>. The ARRL is specifically seeking member guidance on how the changes will affect current operating activities on 80, 40 and 15 meters. See the current ARRL band plans <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/bandplan.html> and an ARRL FAQ <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/wt04-140/faq.html> that includes a downloadable chart showing the band changes <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/wt04-140/Hambands3_color.pdf>. Comments may be submitted by e-mail to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. All e-mails will be read and considered, but individual responses will not be possible due to the message volume expected. The deadline for comments is October 31. ==>BPL ORDERS EXCEED FCC'S JURISDICTION AND AUTHORITY, LEAGUE COURT FILING SAYS The ARRL this week notified the US District Court of Appeals -- DC Circuit that it's appealing certain aspects of the FCC's Part 15 rules governing broadband over power line (BPL) systems. The ARRL Executive Committee ratified plans to go forward with the Petition for Review when it met October 7. The League is asking the court to review the FCC's October 2004 Report and Order (R&O) establishing Part 15 rules to govern BPL systems as well as its August 2006 Memorandum Opinion and Order (MO&O) that dealt with various petitions for reconsideration of the 2004 R&O, including one from the ARRL. "ARRL seeks review of the orders on the ground that they exceed the Commission's jurisdiction and authority; are contrary to the Communications Act of 1934; and are arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with law," the League said in its petition. "ARRL requests that this court hold unlawful, vacate, enjoin and set aside the orders." A court filing that details the League's specific objections regarding the two orders is pending. Although the petition will argue a number of points, two specific aspects of the FCC's BPL orders precipitated the League's appeal. One is a new rule, only revealed after the FCC made the MO&O public, that limits the extent to which an unlicensed, unintentional radiator must protect a licensed mobile station. The new rule, §15.611(c)(1)(iii), provides that BPL operators only have to reduce emission levels below established FCC permissible limits by 20 dB below 30 MHz and by 10 dB above 30 MHz -- even if that's not enough to resolve harmful interference complaints. The FCC called these levels "modestly above the noise level." ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, contends the rule change in the MO&O regarding mobile stations contravenes the International Radio Regulations and the Communications Act of 1934. "The FCC has, in effect, tried to redefine harmful interference," he said. "It can't do that. The Commission doesn't have the authority to do that, and we're going to demonstrate that to the Court of Appeals." ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, has said the levels applicable to mobiles would be some 25 dB higher than the median values for man-made noise in residential areas and up to 40 dB higher than the minimum values hams use for reliable communication. The Commission also declined to adjust the 40 dB per decade "extrapolation factor" applied to measurements performed at distances from power lines other than those specified in Part 15. Sumner says this is an important technical point because the existing Part 15 rule underestimates actual field strength. In their petitions for reconsideration, the ARRL and others demonstrated that the 40 dB per decade extrapolation factor was wrong and that a figure closer to 20 dB per decade was appropriate. Sumner called the Commission's stand on the 40 dB per decade rule "clearly, demonstrably and inarguably wrong." Sumner said the League decided to go forward with its appeal only after considering the effect on licensed spectrum users of letting the BPL rules stand. He addressed a number of ARRL's concerns with the FCC's BPL rules in his "It Seems to Us . . ." editorial in October QST. The firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP of Washington, DC, is handling the ARRL's Petition for Review in conjunction with ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD. ==>AMSAT'S PROJECT EAGLE SATELLITE SHIFTS DIRECTION AMSAT-NA has announced it's revamping the design of its high-Earth orbit (HEO) Project Eagle satellite, currently in the development stages <http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/eagle/>. The next generation satellite will take maximum advantage of software-defined transponder (SDX) technology to offer a broader range of easily accessible Amateur Radio payloads. The AMSAT Board of Directors okayed the Eagle upgrade plans during the 2006 AMSAT-NA Space Symposium and Annual Meeting held October 6-8 in San Francisco. Eagle Project Manager Jim Sanford, WB4GCS, outlined the changes at his Space Symposium forum October 7. "The structure which we have been presenting for several years is not going to meet our mission needs," Sanford explained. "We have moved on to a later structure." Under the new plan, Sanford says, Eagle's communications payloads will include a mode U/V linear transponder for SSB, CW and other modes. A second SSB/CW transponder will uplink on L band (1.2 GHz) and downlink on S1 band (2.4 GHz). Both would be usable over 75 percent of the satellite's orbit by an AO-13 or AO-40-capable ground station, AMSAT says. Something new to Amateur Radio satellites is a planned low-rate text messaging system similar to cellular telephone SMS. Sanford said the text-messaging capability may prove valuable for providing emergency and disaster communication. It will operate in mode U/V and also will be available to modest ground stations over 75 percent of Eagle's orbit. Eagle will also carry an advanced communications payload (ACP). The ACP will accommodate voice communication using an S2 band (3.4 GHz) uplink and a C band (5.8 GHz) downlink via a single 60 cm dish on the ground. As an alternative -- for stations in those parts of the world where 3.4 GHz is unavailable -- Eagle will provide an additional L band uplink. The ACP also will offer high data rate communication including the possibility of full-motion compressed video in S2/C mode. The same mode also could support an Internet link. Ground-station antennas for Eagle may even pass muster in neighborhoods governed by private deed covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs), Sanford suggested. During a presentation on the ACP, Matt Ettus, N2MJI, said one of the goals of the package is to open up the satellite to a new base of users, not just restrict it to elite satellite operators and sophisticated ground stations. Embracing SDR technology simplifies signal handling, he explained, because going digital is just a matter of transmitting bits up and down. "The satellite doesn't really care what the bits mean," he said. The satellite "just reflects bits," and most policy-type issues will be handled by ground stations. The satellite's signal will present one wideband downlink containing multiplexed data. "There will be room for many, many carriers in the passband," Ettus predicted. The mix of users would be apportioned among both low and high-rate modes, depending on overall traffic. Plans call for electronically steering the satellite's antennas to mitigate the effects of the spacecraft's spin and maximize the spacecraft's accessibility. In a subsequent forum, AMSAT board member and well-known satellite expert Tom Clark, K3IO (ex-W3IWI) discussed some of the mathematics and physics that would permit steering a 37-element S band antenna array on Eagle. "We would intentionally steer that pattern, so the array is always pointing toward Earth," Clark said, regardless of spin factor. He described a system of interferometers to do the pointing on the basis of "master beacon signals" uplinked from different points on Earth's surface. "It [Eagle] will measure where they are and know where to point the beam," he explained. In a presentation on applying SDR techniques to satellite transponders, Howard Long, G6LVB, described and demonstrated a prototype SDX board. "This is the holy grail of what we've been trying to do," he told his audience. Long showed how his hand-soldered SDX could be configured to accommodate various signal strengths and types within the same passband and even to easily notch interfering signals quickly and flawlessly. Sanford concluded his presentation by saying it's time to take the AMSAT board's concrete decisions and plan, schedule and build Eagle. "We're about to start spending some serous money," he said. During a later question-and-answer session, Sanford stressed that reliability of the ultimate Eagle satellite is a key goal. "I want no single-failure mission kills on this satellite," he said. Project Eagle still needs to raise $33,500 by December. Eagle could launch by 2010. The whole project will cost some $600,000. During the AMSAT-NA annual meeting October 8, President Rick Hambly, W2GPS, expressed his enthusiasm for Project Eagle. "I think it will be the greatest thing we've ever done!" he said. The 2007 AMSAT Symposium and Annual Meeting will take place in Pittsburgh. ==>FCC SEEKS COMMENT ON WRC-07 RECOMMENDATIONS The FCC is seeking comment on recommendations <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2013A1.pdf> approved by the Advisory Committee for World Radiocommunication Conference 2007 (WRC-07) in IB Docket 04-286. The WRC-07 Advisory Committee, which assists the Commission in developing WRC-07 proposals, submitted its recommendations October 4. Several WRC-07 agenda items have the potential to directly or indirectly impact Amateur Radio. WRC-07 takes place in Geneva October 22 to November 16, 2007. "Based upon an initial review of the attached WRC-07 Advisory Committee recommendations, the International Bureau, in coordination with other FCC bureaus and offices, tentatively concludes that it can generally support these recommendations," the FCC said this week in a public notice. The Commission cautions because the Advisory Committee recommendations "may evolve in the course of interagency discussions as WRC-07 nears, they do not constitute final US Government position on any issue." The FCC is inviting comment on recommendations that appear in all WRC-07 Advisory Committee documents as well as draft preliminary views and proposals developed by Executive Branch agencies and submitted to the FCC by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Individuals may use the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) to file comments <http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/>. After clicking on "Submit a Filing," Users should type "04-286" (without the quotation marks but including the hyphen) in the "Proceeding" field. It is possible to attach documents when posting electronic comments. The filing deadline is October 27, 2006. WRC-03 had hardly wrapped up when preparations began for WRC-07. "Delegates do not just show up at a WRC and make up their minds on the spot," International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ, pointed out in a recent edition of the IARU E-Letter. "Years of preparation are behind every WRC decision." Most work is done within the framework of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) working parties (WPs). WP-8A is responsible for studies related to the Land Mobile Service and to the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services. ARRL's involvement in the rollup to WRC-07 is in two arenas: The FCC WRC-07 Advisory Committee and its informal working groups (IWGs), and regular meetings of the various ITU WPs. ARRL Technical Relations Specialist Walt Ireland, WB7CSL, serves as vice chairman of IWG 4, which is dealing with broadcasting and Amateur Radio WRC-07 agenda items. (He's also the convener of US WP-6E, which deals with terrestrial delivery in the broadcasting service.) WRC-07 agenda item 1.13 will review allocations to all services between 4 and 10 MHz, excluding allocations from 7000 to 7200 kHz -- settled to the advantage of Amateur Radio during WRC-03. Starting in March 2009, radio amateurs will enjoy a worldwide 200 kHz segment on 40 meters. WRC-07 delegates may revisit the 7200-7300 kHz segment with an eye toward attaining the IARU's goal of a 300-kHz worldwide ham radio allocation. Following up on disaster relief-related changes to Article 25 of the international Radio Regulations at WRC-03, a Draft Proposal from IWG-4 that originated with the ARRL requests that WRC-07 delegates consider a 150 kHz-wide, secondary 60-meter Amateur Radio allocation. The panel says most administrations recognize that emergency communication via Amateur Radio can serve humanitarian and disaster-relief agencies. In the US, radio amateurs have access to five discrete channels and may only run USB at a maximum of 50 W ERP. "Operating experience has shown that these frequencies have the desired radio propagation characteristics and that amateur operations can co-exist without interference to the fixed and mobile services," the IWG-4 proposal says. "A secondary allocation of 150 kHz would allow sufficient bandwidth to meet Amateur Service requirements while dynamically avoiding frequencies in use by other services." WRC-07 agenda item 1.15 will consider establishing a secondary Amateur Radio Service allocation in the band 135.7 to 137.8 kHz. Several countries already have allocated that LF spectrum to Amateur Radio, although the FCC several years ago turned away an ARRL proposal to create a sliver band there for ham radio. During the September meeting of WP-8A, its Working Group 1, chaired by ARRL Chief Technology Officer Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, completed draft Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) text for agenda item 1.15. WP-8A also completed and approved a Draft New Report on the role of the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services in disaster mitigation and relief. Study Group 8 adopted the report at its September 20-21 meeting. The next step is for the Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) February 19 to March 2, 2007, to complete its report covering regulatory, technical, operational and procedural matters for WRC-07 delegates to consider. ==>NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR 2006 ARRL INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN AWARD Nominations are open until December 31 for the 2006 ARRL International Humanitarian Award. The award is dedicated to an individual radio amateur or Amateur Radio group devoted to promoting human welfare, peace and international understanding through Amateur Radio. The League established this annual award to recognize Amateur Radio operators who have used ham radio to provide extraordinary service to others in times of crisis or disaster. The ARRL International Humanitarian Award recognizes Amateur Radio's unique role in international communication and the assistance we regularly provide to those in need. Amateur Radio is one of the few telecommunication services that allow people throughout the world from all walks of life to meet and talk with each other, thereby spreading goodwill across political boundaries. A committee appointed by the League's president recommends an award recipient from among those nominated, and the ARRL Board of Directors makes the final decision. The committee is now accepting nominations from Amateur Radio, governmental or other organizations that have benefited from extraordinary service rendered by an Amateur Radio operator or Amateur Radio group. Nominations must include a summary of the nominee's actions that qualify the individual or group for this award, plus verifying statements from at least two individuals having firsthand knowledge of the events warranting the nomination. These statements may be from an official of a group (for example, the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, a local or state emergency management official) that benefited from the nominee's particular Amateur Radio contribution. Nominations should include the names and addresses of all references. Submit all nominations and supporting materials for the 2006 ARRL International Humanitarian Award in writing in English to: ARRL International Humanitarian Award, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 USA. In the event that no nominations are received, the committee itself may determine a recipient or make no award. The award winner receives an engraved plaque, and is profiled in QST and other ARRL venues.—Chuck Skolaut, K0BOG ==>SOLAR UPDATE Propagation maven Tad "Who can make the sun shine, on a cloudy day?" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Last time we reported the week's solar flux and sunspot numbers had risen slightly, but this week they declined. Average daily sunspot numbers were cut approximately in half, sinking from 34.6 to 16.9. Wednesday and Thursday of this week had zero sunspots, and we'll likely see more days with no spots as the solar cycle continues to decline. Geomagnetic conditions were very stable, with an average mid-latitude A index of 3.1, about half the previous week's number. We may see some unsettled to active conditions on Sunday, October 15, when the planetary A index is predicted at 20. The same number may come up around October 21 and again on October 28. For this week, expect more of the same with little or no sunspots. This means the higher bands, such as 15, 12 and 10 meters, won't be as promising as a few years ago. But on this Friday the 13th, we can look forward to October 2007, when the sunspot count by many estimates will be higher than it is now and climbing too. 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 October 5 through 11 were 27, 23, 24, 22, 11, 11 and 0, with a mean of 16.9. 10.7 cm flux was 77.3, 76.4, 76.5, 75.2, 75, 75.3, and 73.6, with a mean of 75.6. Estimated planetary A indices were 3, 3, 9, 7, 5, 2 and 3, with a mean of 4.6. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 2, 7, 6, 3, 0 and 2, with a mean of 3.1. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The North American Sprint (RTTY), the ARRL EME Contest (50-1296 MHz - Part 2), the Makrothen RTTY Contest, the Microwave Fall Sprint, the Oceania DX Contest (CW), the EU Autumn Sprint (CW), the Pennsylvania QSO Party, the F.I.S.T.S. Fall Sprint, the Asia-Pacific Fall Sprint (CW), and the UBA ON Contest (2 meters) are the weekend of October 14-15. The Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is October 16. JUST AHEAD: The JARTS Worldwide RTTY Contest, the ARCI Fall QSO Party, the Worked All Germany Contest, the W/VE Islands QSO Party, the 50 MHz Fall Sprint, and the Illinois QSO Party are the weekend of October 21-22. 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, October 22 , for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (CCE) on-line courses: Amateur Radio License Course (EC-010), 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, November 3. These courses will also open for registration Friday, October 20, for classes beginning Friday, December 1. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.htm> or contact the CCE Department <email@example.com>. * Washington Amateur Radio club turns 90: The Radio Club of Tacoma, W7DK, will celebrate its 90th anniversary October 16. An ARRL-affiliated Special Service Club since 1920, the Radio Club of Tacoma will mark the occasion with a homecoming dinner October 21 and a week-long operating event with certificates. Special event station W7DK/90 will be on the air October 16-22, and for part of the event will put its "old oak rig" -- a circa 1930 breadboard-style AM transmitter -- on the air. "We have done some historical research, and it's been very interesting," says the club's Peter Baker, AD7EU. One item that turned up was a W7DK QSL card from 1938 (photo). Details on the club's 90th anniversary celebration are available on the club's Web site <http://www.w7dk.org/>. * DXCC Desk approves operation for DXCC credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved this operation for DXCC credit: 9Q1D (Democratic Republic of the Congo), current operation beginning September 22, 2006. This accreditation also includes 9Q1TB and 9Q1EK. A reminder: The DXCC Desk now is accepting submissions for Swain's Island (KH8). 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. =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American Radio Relay League: ARRL--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 and general news of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest Amateur Radio news and news updates. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> also offers informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also available as a podcast from our Web site. Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. 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