*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 25, No. 44 November 3, 2006 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +League wants FCC WRC-07 support for 150 kHz band at 60 meters * +Two DXpeditions set to activate rare Lakshadweep Islands * +ARISS "Contingency Network" put on alert for first time * +Amateur Radio volunteers on duty in California wildfire response * +FCC solicits comments on Amateur Radio petitions * +IARU observers to attend ITU Plenipotentiary Conference * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio: ARRL November Sweepstakes (CW)! ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +ARRL extends deadline for member input on "omnibus" Report and Order +ARRL Foundation scholarship application window open KPH to mark International Radiotelegraph Conference centenary Jersey Shore DXPO set for November 11 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 <email@example.com> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, <firstname.lastname@example.org> =========================================================== ==>LEAGUE SEEKS FCC'S WRC-07 SUPPORT FOR 150-KHZ 60-METER AMATEUR ALLOCATION The ARRL wants the FCC to throw its support behind a Draft Proposal seeking to have World Radiocommunication Conference 2007 (WRC-07) delegates consider a worldwide, secondary Amateur Radio allocation from 5260 kHz to 5410 kHz. The ARRL included the request in comments <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/WRC07/WRC-07-Comments-10-27-06.pdf> it filed October 27 in IB Docket 04-286, "Recommendations approved by the Advisory Committee for the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference." WRC-07 Agenda Item 1.13 will review allocations to all services between 4 and 10 MHz. The League told the FCC that a contiguous band of frequencies in the range of 5 MHz is an important goal of the amateur community -- domestically and internationally. "There are times when the propagation at 5 MHz bridges a significant gap between the Maximum Usable Frequency (MUF) when the MUF is below 7 MHz, but the Lowest Usable Frequency (LUF) is above the next lower Amateur Radio allocation at around 3.8 MHz," the League said, citing the Draft Proposal. "For reliable communications, an Amateur allocation in the vicinity of 5 MHz is the solution." Originating with ARRL, the Draft Proposal from Informal Working Group 4 (IWG-4) follows up on disaster relief-related changes to Article 25 of the international Radio Regulations made at WRC-03. "The amateur services provide emergency communications on a local, national and international basis as an adjunct to normal communications, and in many cases provide the first information about disasters and serve as the only communications link when communications infrastructures are destroyed," the IWG-4 Draft Proposal background information notes. Several countries -- including the US, Canada, Finland, Iceland, Norway and the UK -- already have permitted Amateur Radio operation on spectrum between 5250 and 5450 kHz, the ARRL said, citing the Draft Proposal. "It notes that there is a successful history of amateur secondary use of bands in which incumbent primary users are present," the ARRL said, mentioning 30 meters as one example. The ARRL said the five 60-meter channels have been in regular use by US radio amateurs since 2003 "without any instances of interference reported by primary users." The League took issue with remarks contained in the ITU Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) draft report with respect to Agenda Item 1.13 that suggest otherwise. Among "disadvantages," the Draft CPM Report asserts, an allocation such as the League suggests "would increase congestion and potential interference to fixed and mobile services at 5 MHz." It argues that compatibility between amateur and fixed service systems in the vicinity of 5 MHz "has not been shown" and a decision to create an Amateur Service allocation there "could seriously affect reliable 24 hours [sic] communication capabilities of the fixed and mobile services." The Draft CPM Report also takes note of the advantages to the Amateur Service of such an allocation. The proposed allocation is "well within the scope of existing resolutions from WRC-03," the League said. It reiterated that amateur use of the five current 60-meter channels "has not resulted in any apparent compromise in the use of the band" on the part of primary Fixed and Mobile services. "To the contrary, that use has demonstrated compatibility with primary users over a reasonable period of time," the ARRL said. The ARRL's request in its IB Docket 04-286 comments is unrelated to the League's October 10 Petition for Rule Making (PRM) <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/5MHz/5-MHz-Improvement-Petition-09- 2006.pdf>, in which the ARRL asked the FCC to expand operating privileges on 60 meters and to swap one existing channel for a new one. While the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has indicated it's okay with the ARRL's October 10 petition request, it also said it could not support a request for a 50 kHz-wide domestic secondary allocation. The NTIA oversees spectrum allocated to federal government users, which includes the present 60 meter allocation. Both the FCC and the NTIA provide input toward positions the US delegation ultimately will take on various WRC-07 issues. Should WRC-07 delegates eventually consider and agree to the international allocation at 5 MHz that ARRL proposes, it still would be up to the FCC -- in conjunction with the NTIA -- whether to authorize such a band for US radio amateurs. ==>DUELING DXPEDITIONS? TWO GROUPS SET TO DESCEND ON RARE LAKSHADWEEP ISLANDS The second most-wanted DXCC entity, Lakshadweep Islands (VU7) may host two separate DXpeditions during December. A team sponsored by the Amateur Radio Society of India (ARSI) -- the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-society for India -- will operate as VU7LD <http://arsi.info/vu7/index.html>. A second group, under the auspices of the National Institute for Amateur Radio (NIAR), has announced plans to operate as VU7RG <http://www.vu7.in/>, in honor of the late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, VU2RG. While the two DXpeditions would have multiple stations on the air simultaneously on various HF bands and modes for at least the first part of December, the Web sites for the respective DXpeditions do not mention the other's planned operation. The Daily DX and QST "How's DX?" Editor Bernie McClenny, W3UR, has cautioned that the two highly competitive organizations carefully coordinate their on-air activities to avoid chaos. "It is possible that up to six or more stations between the two teams may operate at the same time on the same band and mode," McClenny pointed out in the October 26 edition of The Daily DX <http://www.dailydx.com/>. He said both teams are aware of concerns within the DX community and on the part of potential DXpedition sponsors regarding the possibility for confusion caused by overlapping operating frequencies that could decrease the efficiency of the operations as well as opportunities to get into the VU7LD and VU7RG logs. "With this in mind, it will be important for some kind of frequency management (ie, to assign strict frequency slots for all modes and bands to all operation sites of both groups)," McClenny advised. "This will ensure well-regulated and trouble free operations." He says members of the two groups need to work out an agreement before their DXpeditions begin. The NIAR says all of its VU7RG sites "will work closely together to avoid multiple stations in the air using overlapping frequencies." ARSI's VU7LD DXpedition will run from December 1 until December 30, while NIAR's VU7RG DXpedition is set for December 1 until December 10. A three-day hamfest and conference will kick off the NIAR DXpedition. Earlier NIAR announcements had set the event for the January 15-25, 2007, time frame, but ARSI's announcement that it would mount its own VU7 DXpedition reportedly drove NIAR to reschedule. Questions remain as to whether the Indian government has authorized NIAR's VU7RG DXpedition, but event organizers called these "rumors," and assured that the VU7 licenses "are getting processed in a regular way." Earlier this year, the NIAR organized and sponsored a successful DXpedition and hamfest-conference in the Andaman Islands (VU4). Fifty or more hams from India and elsewhere -- including a number of well-known DXers -- are said to have signed on to fill the VU7RG operating positions. Approximately two dozen radio amateurs from India will handle VU7LD operations on CW, SSB and digital modes. Part of the Laccadive Islands, Lakshadweep -- the smallest union territory of India -- is located in the Arabian Sea some 200 to 300 km off the southwestern coast of India. The territory marks its 50th anniversary this year. The VU7LD team will operate from Kavaratti Island, while the VU7RG DXpedition will take place from sites on Agatti, Bangaram and Kadmat islands. ==>ARISS "CONTINGENCY NETWORK" IMPRESSES NASA When Russian flight controllers encountered difficulties during a recent International Space Station cargo rocket docking, NASA called on a special -- although little-known -- Amateur Radio team to stand by if needed. Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Ops Team "ISS Ham Contingency Network" volunteers around the world immediately swung into action. Within 15 minutes of receiving the call from Johnson Space Center, Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, reported the ISS Ham Contingency Network was ready to provide any necessary communication support. "The ARISS teamwork was very effective," ARISS Secretary-Treasurer Rosalie White, K1STO said. "Its members learned a great deal, and they impressed NASA with how quickly the system was brought up." During the October 26 Progress docking, NASA says, Russian flight controllers were unable to confirm whether an automated antenna on the rocket had retracted as commanded. If still extended, the antenna could have interfered with the final latching of the supply ship to the ISS. To avoid disturbing the softly docked cargo ship and to aid the crew with docking maneuvers, the ISS orientation was allowed to drift freely. During free-drift mode, however, the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) -- which handles communication between the crew and Mission Control in Houston -- can be lost. That's because the station's solar arrays may not directly face the sun, causing a drop in onboard power. Awakened at 2 AM, ARISS Australian team member Tony Hutchison, VK5ZAI, put out a blind call on VHF to the ISS crew, although no answer was needed at that point. Others available to cover later passes included Gerald Klatzko, ZS6BTD, in South Africa; Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, at ON4ISS in Belgium; Dick Flagg, AH6NM, and Nancy Rocheleau, WH6PN, at Sacred Hearts Academy in Honolulu; and Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, and Mark Steiner, K3MS, at the Goddard Space Flight Center's WA3NAN. Each of these Earth stations has a track record of being able to sustain reliable communication with the ISS. The call-up marked the first time that NASA had asked for such Amateur Radio assistance since the initial crew came aboard the ISS in November 2000. Ransom says that by remaining available to ensure solid communication while Mission Control staff dealt with the docking issue, the ISS Ham Contingency Network provided Mission Control with an additional layer of security. Once the antenna retraction problem was resolved, the contingency network stood down, but NASA's request and the ensuing ham radio activity did serve as a valuable drill, ARISS said. NASA says Expedition 14 Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria, KE5GTK, and flight engineers Mikhail Tyurin, RZ3FT, and Thomas Reiter, DF4TR, opened the hatch to the supply ship October 27 to unload supplies. ==>ARES/RACES ASSIST IN ESPERANZA FIRE RESPONSE Amateur Radio volunteers under the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) banners in late October assisted the American Red Cross response to California's Esperanza Fire, some 90 miles east of Los Angeles. "We are very proud of all of our Amateur Radio operators who were called in to assist not only with communications but other needed areas," ARRL Orange Section Manager Carl Gardenias, WU6D, said. Authorities believe an arsonist ignited the deadly blaze early on October 26. Before it was declared 100-percent contained October 31, the fire had burned over some 40,200 acres and claimed the lives of five firefighters. The Salvation Army provided canteens for firefighters, while the Riverside County Red Cross opened shelters to house and feed those displaced by the flames. The Esperanza Fire destroyed 34 homes and 20 outbuildings, and the Red Cross said many residents were forced to flee with nothing. Via the 3965 kHz RACES net, Gardenias says, Riverside County Red Cross issued "a big thank you" for Amateur Radio support to its shelters. Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) members supported that organization's relief efforts, he said. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said more than 1800 fire personnel were involved in battling the Esperanza Fire. ==>FCC INVITES COMMENTS ON TWO AMATEUR RADIO RULE MAKING PETITIONS The FCC has invited comments on two Amateur Radio-related petitions for rule making. Both petitioners seek changes in the FCC's Part 97 Amateur Service station identification rules, specifically §97.119(a). That rule now requires stations to identify "at the end of each communication, and at least every ten minutes during a communication . . ." RM-11346, filed December 9, 2005, by Murray Green, K3BEQ, would raise the required ID interval to 30 minutes as well as at the end of each communication. Green argues in his petition that while he has no problem with the Commission's requirement that Amateur Radio stations identify, "less frequent identification should not hinder the Commission's enforcement of Amateur Radio regulations, as demonstrated by the station identification requirements for other radio services." He suggests the current 10-minute requirement is a result of "an abundance of caution" on the FCC's part. A second petition, RM-11347, filed May 19, 2006, by Glen Zook, K9STH, would revise §97.119(a) to more closely resemble the old FCC §12.82(a) Transmission of call signs rule. The FCC's Amateur Radio Service rules were under Part 12 prior to a revision that put them under Part 97. In what he calls "a minor but important change," Zook proposes requiring radio amateurs to transmit the call sign(s) of stations with which they are in communication plus their own call sign at the start and end of each single transmission or of a series of transmissions between stations in communication "each transmission of which is of less than three minutes' duration" (operators could omit the ID at the end when the entire series is less than three minutes), at least every 10 minutes during a series of transmissions between stations in communication, and at least every 10 minutes during any single transmission more than 10 minutes long. "Unfortunately, too many Amateur Radio operators, especially when using FM repeaters, do not identify during their first transmission," Zook asserts in his petitions. "In fact, a considerable number of these operators never seem to get around to identifying even after 10 minutes of operation and a 'fair' number never seem to get around to giving their call sign at all." Zook believes his suggested changes will "clarify the existing regulations and to help eliminate problems with station identification in the Amateur Radio Service" and actually legalize some commonplace on-air station identification behavior. Comments on these petitions are due by November 29. Interested parties may file using the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). In the "Proceeding" field, commenter should enter the full petition identifier with "RM" in capital letters followed by the hyphen and the five digit number. ==>ALL EYES ON ANTALYA: ITU PLENIPOTENTIARY CONFERENCE TO CONVENE IN TURKEY The top event in the world of telecommunications this month is the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey. The "Plenipot" opens November 6 and concludes November 24. Some 2000 attendees are expected. For only the second time, International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) representatives will be among the Plenipot observers. Turkey's IARU member society, Telsiz ve Radyo Amatörleri Cemiyeti (TRAC), has organized a demonstration station and exhibit of Amateur Radio emergency communications capabilities adjacent to the conference site. Attending on behalf of the IARU are Vice President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, and International Coordinator for Emergency Communications Hans Zimmermann, HB9AQS/F5VKP. Each will be present for half of the conference. The Plenipot is the ultimate authority in the ITU. Every four years, representatives of ITU member states meet to consider proposed changes to the organization's constitution and convention, adopt strategic and financial plans and elect senior management. Incumbent Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi is not eligible to run for another term. A new secretary-general will be elected from a field of six candidates that includes current Deputy Secretary-General Roberto Blois of Brazil and Telecommunication Development Bureau Director Hamadoun Touré of Mali. They are also term-limited in their present positions and so must move "up or out." The other candidates are Marc Furrer of Switzerland, Matthias Kurth of Germany, Montasser Ouaili of Tunisia, and Muna Nijem of Jordan. ITU-Radiocommunication Bureau Director Valery Timofeev of the Russian Federation is eligible for re-election and is unopposed. There are four candidates for each of the other three senior posts: deputy secretary-general, director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, and director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau. Among the candidates for the 12 seats on the part-time Radio Regulations Board is Robert W. Jones, VE7RWJ. He served two terms as director of the Radiocommunication Bureau and later as a consultant to the IARU at World Radiocommunication Conference 2003. In addition, 46 member states will be elected to the ITU Council. The council meets annually and supervises the overall ITU management and administration between Plenipots. The delegates in Antalya and those whom they elect to carry out the work of the ITU over the next four years face significant challenges. In recent years member states have been unwilling to increase their financial contributions to the ITU. IARU Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ, observes that normal increases in expenses and the costs associated with simultaneous interpretation and the translation of documents into the ITU's six official languages have limited the ITU's ability to keep up with the rapid pace of telecommunications development and led to staff reductions, lowering morale among those who remain. Because ITU bureau directors are elected by the member states rather than appointed by the secretary-general, outgoing Secretary-General Utsumi has complained of having responsibility without authority. Plenipot delegates will even be called upon to consider changing the name of the ITU! A Common Proposal submitted by several Arab States would make it the "International Telecommunication and Information Technology Union." Whatever the fate of this specific proposal, it reflects a growing belief among member states that "telecommunication" no longer adequately encompasses the scope of the ITU's responsibilities.--IARU E-Letter/International Amateur Radio Union ==>SOLAR UPDATE Solar flash Tad "I Live for the Sun" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Sunspot numbers rose over the past few days. Although the average sunspot number for the past reporting week (Thursday through Wednesday) was about the same as for the previous week, the emergence of sunspots 921 and 922 brought the daily sunspot number from October 29 through November 2 to 0, 15, 34, 46 and 59. This number will probably rise through the weekend, when the ARRL November Sweepstakes (CW) <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2006/novss.html> takes place. A new spot is emerging on the far side of our sun. It should rotate to face us around November 7. Attribute it to the many large short term variations we see in solar activity during any cycle. For the ARRL November Sweepstakes (CW), conditions should remain quiet through the weekend, with increased sunspot numbers. Many contesters would rather see those conditions on a DX contest weekend, but we can't complain. The predicted planetary A index (lower numbers indicate more stable geomagnetic conditions), for November 3-9 are 8, 8, 5, 5, 5, 5 and 20. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts unsettled conditions for November 3, quiet to unsettled November 4, quiet conditions November 5-7, quiet to unsettled November 8, and unsettled to active November 9. For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL Technical Information Service at <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>. For a detailed explanation of the numbers used in this bulletin, see <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/k9la-prop.html>. Sunspot numbers for October 26 through November 1 were 0, 2 14, 28, 0, 15, 34 and 46, with a mean of 19.9. The 10.7 cm flux was 71.9, 72, 74.7 , 73.3, 75.7, 80.1, and 86.7, with a mean of 76.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 1, 2, 14, 21, 9, 4 and 6 with a mean of 8.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 1, 3, 12, 13, 6, 2 and 5, with a mean of 6. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The ARRL November Sweepstakes (CW), the North American Collegiate ARC Championship (CW), the IPARC Contest (CW/SSB), the PSK63 Sprint, the Ukrainian DX Contest, the High Speed Club CW Contest, and the DARC 10-Meter Digital Contest are the weekend of November 4-5. The ARS Spartan Sprint is November 7. JUST AHEAD: The Worked All Europe DX Contest (RTTY), the ARRL EME Contest Part 3 (50-1296 MHz), the JIDX Phone Contest, the OK/OM DX Contest (CW), the Kentucky QSO Party and the CQ-WE Contest are the weekend of November 11-12. The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint is November 16. The YO International PSK31 Contest is November 17. 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, November 19, for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (CCE) <http://www.arrl.org/cce/> online courses beginning Friday, December 1: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1 (EC-001), Radio Frequency Interference (EC-006), Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009), Amateur Radio License Course (EC-010), Analog Electronics (EC-012) and Digital Electronics (EC-013). These courses also will open for registration Friday, November 17, for classes beginning Friday, January 5, 2007. 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 extends deadline for member input on "omnibus" Report and Order: The ARRL has extended the deadline to receive members' input concerning the FCC's "omnibus" Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 04-140, released October 10 <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-06-149A1.pdf>. The ARRL is specifically seeking member guidance on how the changes the R&O mandates 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 chart showing the band changes.) The R&O takes effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, and ARRL will accept members' comments until one week after Federal Register publication. The publication date is not yet known. A summary of the "omnibus" R&O appears on our Web site <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2006/10/11/100/>. Submit comments by e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>. All e-mails will be read and considered, but individual responses are not possible. Thank you for your assistance and cooperation! * ARRL Foundation scholarship application window open: The application period for ARRL Foundation scholarships <http://www.arrl.org/arrlf/scholgen.html> remains open until February 1, 2007. The ARRL Foundation has announced the addition of three new scholarships for the 2007 awards: The Zachary Taylor Stevens Scholarship, The Richard W. Bendicksen, N7ZL, Memorial Scholarship and The Gary Wagner, K3OMI, Scholarship. These new scholarship awards bring the total number of ARRL scholarships to 44 -- some providing multiple awards. Following an evaluation of all applications, the ARRL Foundation Scholarship Committee will announce the 2007-2008 academic year ARRL Foundation scholarship recipients next spring. IMPORTANT: Applicants must include high school or college academic transcripts with scholarship applications. Those applying for the four-year William R. Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship <http://www.arrl.org/arrlf/goldfarb.html> must include a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a transcript. * KPH to mark International Radiotelegraph Conference centenary: The Maritime Radio Historical Society (MRHS) <http://www.radiomarine.org/> will join others around the world in marking the 100th anniversary of the International Radiotelegraph Conference. Delegates to the 1906 gathering in Berlin designated 500 kHz (600 meters) as the international distress and calling frequency and SOS as the distress signal, and they signed the International Radiotelegraph Convention, which eventually became the International Telecommunication Union Radio Regulations. MRHS's KPH, which began operation in 1905, will activate at 0001 UTC on Saturday, November 4, on 500 kHz and on its working frequency, 426 kHz. "KPH will send special messages and marine information using 500 kc as frequently as possible, keeping in mind that other stations share this frequency," says the KPH Chief Operator Richard "R.D." Dillman, W6AWO. "Longer bulletins will be sent on 426 kc after an announcement on 500 kc." Dillman says KPH will monitor 500 kHz at all times for calls from ships and will observe the silent period. KPH ops also will listen between 505 and 510 kHz for stations operating as part of the ARRL WD2XSH experimental group <http://www.500kc.com/>, although Dillman adds that contacts between those stations and KPH will not be possible. MRHS Amateur Radio station K6KPH will monitor 3550, 7050 and 14,050 kHz for calls from radio amateurs wishing to submit signal reports. To obtain a printed confirmation of KPH reception, send reports to D.A. Stoops, PO Box 381, Bolinas CA 94924-0381 USA. * Jersey Shore DXPO set for November 11: The South Jersey DX Association (SJDXA), the Old Barney Amateur Radio Club (OBARC) and Yaesu will sponsor Jersey Shore DXPO 2006, Saturday, November 11, Ocean Acres Community Center, Manahawkin, New Jersey (near the Garden State Parkway). Doors open 11 AM, and programs run from noon until 5 PM, with a social hour and buffet dinner to follow. There will be DXCC card checking, and the program agenda covers a wide range of topics that include presentations on several DXpeditions and DX contest sites, 6-meter DXing and more, plus an update on the December DXpedition to Lakshadweep Islands (VU7). Some of the top DXers will be on hand and among the presenters. Bob Allphin, K4UEE, will keynote the dinner with his "3Y0X DX-perience Show." Full information is available on the DXPO 2006 Web site <http://sjdxa.org/jersey_shore_dxpo.htm>.--Bob Schenck, N2OO * North Carolina county commissioners commend Amateur Radio volunteers: The Orange County, North Carolina, Board of County Commissioners has commended Amateur Radio volunteers as well as volunteer firefighters and rescue squads. At its October 17 meeting, the Board recognized the county's volunteer emergency responders, including Amateur Radio operators, for their continuing service, and presented plaques to the Orange County Radio Amateurs (OCRA) -- an ARRL-affiliated special service club -- as well as to each volunteer fire department and rescue squad. OCRA President Dave Snyder, W4SAR (left in photo, holding plaque), and Orange County ARES Emergency Coordinator Skip Fisher, N6LUZ (right in photo), represented the county's amateur community. The inscription says: "Presented to the Orange County Ham Radio Amateurs in appreciation of your service and dedication to the citizens of Orange County." * DXCC Desk approves operations for DXCC credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved these operations for DXCC credit: ZA/IK7JWX (Albania), July 10-30, 2006; 3V6T (Tunisia), July 5-15, October 22-31 and November 22-30, 2006; 3V7A (Tunisia), May 22-31, 2006; 9G5UR (Ghana), current operation effective September 22, 2006; 9M0/9M2TO (Spratly Islands), June 9-12, 2006; 9Q1NT (Democratic Republic of the Congo), current operation effective September 22, 2006; C91TL (Mozambique), June 29-July 13, 2006; FO/F8UFT (Clipperton Island), March 1-31, 2005; OJ0LA (Market Reef), September 9-15, 2006; ZL9BSJ (Auckland & Campbell Island), September 12, 2002. 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 <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/faq/>. =========================================================== 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. 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