*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 25, No. 45 November 10, 2006 *************** =========================================================== NOTE: The new Amateur Radio rules detailed in the recent "omnibus" FCC Report and Order (R&O), WT Docket 04-140, released October 10, are NOT yet in effect. See "Reminder -- FCC 'omnibus' rule changes not yet in effect," below. =========================================================== IN THIS EDITION: * +Red Cross tries to clarify background-check policy * +Stand by for SuitSat-2! * +FCC warns unlicensed 2 and 10-meter users * +League's Legislative Action Program seeks volunteers * +ARRL On-Line Auction to return next year * +"Hello" video now available * +It's back to basics for 2006 Frequency Measuring Test * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +Reminder: FCC "omnibus" rule changes not yet in effect Texas club makes generous Spectrum Defense Fund donation ARRL members may sign up for IARU E-Letter QEX turns 25! Randy Koehn, KC5TIL wins October QST Cover Plaque Award +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> =========================================================== ==>AMERICAN RED CROSS CLARIFIES BACKGROUND CHECK POLICY The American Red Cross (ARC) has attempted to clarify its policy to require background checks of its employees and volunteers, at least as far as the policy applies to possible credit checks. After the ARC announced the policy in July through its regional and local chapters, Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) members who support Red Cross disaster relief and recovery efforts began expressing concerns to ARRL. In some past incidents -- most notably the 2001 World Trade Center terror attacks and the 2005 Hurricane Katrina response -- ARES volunteers have had to badge in as Red Cross volunteers. In a statement <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/RedCross-LauraHowe-Statement.pdf> to the ARRL November 9, Laura Howe, the ARC's director of response communication and marketing, stressed that, while background check applicants must give permission to conduct a credit check, the ARC has no intention of conducting them across the board. "The Red Cross realizes some volunteers may have concerns about authorizing a credit check. Those concerns are understandable," Howe said. "But please rest assured that credit checks are only run in rare instances and are not a part of the routine minimum basic check the Red Cross performs on employees or volunteers." Howe told the League that the "standard minimum check" verifies the applicant's Social Security number and a search of the National Criminal File for the past seven years. "While the Red Cross will never run a credit check on the vast majority of its employees and volunteers," she asserted, "it is important that this standard language is included in the consent form to protect our clients, volunteers and employees." The ARC has contracted with MyBackgroundCheck.com LLC (MBC) to handle the on-line background checks. MBC notifies the applicant's local Red Cross chapter whether or not the individual passed the background check, but it does not share any personal data. In a statement <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/RC-Background-Checks0610.pdf> October 24, ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, urged ARES and other ham radio volunteers to tread cautiously and read very carefully what they are giving MBC permission to collect on behalf of the Red Cross, especially given the wide net being cast. Howe acknowledged that by signing the consent form, applicants do give MBC permission to "conduct a credit check or other investigation into an individual's background." ARES members are not obliged to submit to a background check, however; the choice to do so is a personal one. Several ARES leaders maintain that they and their volunteers represent ARES when supporting the ARC as a served agency. "Our issue is not the background checking, but the fact ARC considers ARES members ARC volunteers," one ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator told ARRL. An ARES District Emergency Coordinator suggested the ARC policy is too arbitrary. "The unfortunate thing is that if a member decides not to submit to this check, then that will hamper our ability to serve the Red Cross in an emergency," he said. ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Dave Patton, NN1N -- whose department supports and oversees the ARRL Field Organization -- believes the Red Cross stands to lose a fair number of volunteers because of the requirement -- and not necessarily just ARES volunteers. The Statement of Understanding (SoU) between the ARC and the ARRL does not address the issue of background checks. It also is ambiguous on the subject of whether ARES volunteers automatically become ARC volunteers when supporting Red Cross operations and become subject to a background check. The bottom line: The requirement extends to whomever the Red Cross says it does. While some Red Cross chapters will allow ARES member participation without requiring that they register as Red Cross volunteers, others may not. The ARRL-ARC SoU is up for review in 2007. ==>SUITSAT-2 TO HAVE AMATEUR RADIO TRANSPONDERS Plans to launch a second "SuitSat" spacesuit-turned-satellite were the subject of discussions and presentations at the recent AMSAT Space Symposium and Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) International Delegates' meeting near San Francisco. Despite a weaker-than-anticipated 2-meter signal, SuitSat-1 -- a surplus Russian Orlan spacesuit fitted with an Amateur Radio transmitter -- sparked the imagination of students and the general public and turned into a public relations bonanza for Amateur Radio. ARISS now hopes to capitalize on the concept by building an even better SuitSat that will include ham radio transponders. "The whole science fiction aspect" of SuitSat-1 made it attractive, ARISS International Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, told the AMSAT Space Symposium in October. "From our perspective it was a tremendous success." Bauer said the experience gained through SuitSat-1 "will provide the stepping stone to get to the next level." The next-generation SuitSat also will re-use another surplus Orlan spacesuit. The ISS Expedition 12 crew of Bill McArthur, KC5ACR -- who was the AMSAT Space Symposium's banquet speaker -- and Valery Tokarev released SuitSat-1 into orbit. SuitSat-1 transmitted its voice message -- "This is SuitSat-1 RS0RS!" -- in several languages plus telemetry and an SSTV image on an eight-minute cycle as it orbited Earth. The unusual spacecraft's radio signal was heard around the globe, although only the best-equipped Earth stations could copy it. Designated by AMSAT as AO-54, SuitSat-1 remained in operation for more than two weeks. It re-entered Earth's atmosphere September 7. Lou McFadin, W5DID, who headed the SuitSat-1 hardware team, told the AMSAT Space Symposium that SuitSat-2 will incorporate some features his team didn't have the chance to accomplish the first time around. For starters, the second SuitSat will have an onboard Amateur Radio transponder using digital signal processing (DSP) techniques. McFadin says the team is looking at SuitSat-2 as a test bed for the hardware that AMSAT plans to launch on its Phase 3E "Eagle Project" satellite, which will employ software defined radio (SDR) technology. "With DSP, we can do more than one thing at once," he said. Among them are an SSB Mode U/V transponder, an FM crossband transponder, a CW ID that offers a contest for listeners to copy as many of the call signs as possible, a digipeater and four slow-scan TV (SSTV) cameras. Other experiments are yet to be determined. Solar panels -- something SuitSat-1 did not have -- will energize the hardware and recharge SuitSat-2's batteries. An ISS crew could launch SuitSat-2 during a spacewalk as early as next fall. It could have an operational lifetime of six months or longer. "We're going to have so much fun with this," McFadin predicted, adding that one goal of SuitSat-2 will be to attract newcomers to Amateur Radio. ==>LOADED FOR BEAR: FCC ISSUES WARNINGS FOR UNLICENSED USE OF HAM BANDS Special Counsel in the FCC Spectrum Enforcement Division Riley Hollingsworth has warned seven Michigan residents that unlicensed use of Amateur Radio transmitting equipment on 2 meters to facilitate their bear hunting activities is illegal and may result in substantial fines. Warning notices went out October 19. "While many hunters use Citizens Band radio or Family Radio Service equipment, the use of Amateur Radio equipment requires a license," Hollingsworth advised. He also sent an Advisory Notice to the Michigan Bear Hunters Association, suggesting the association post it on its Web site. In a similar situation, the Commission attempted to enlist the aid of Quest Air Soaring Center in Groveland, Florida, in spreading the word that glider pilots using the facility also need to avoid unlicensed operation on 2 meters. Hollingsworth said unlicensed use of airborne radio equipment not only violates federal law but causes widespread interference to licensed stations. He suggested the soaring center post the Advisory Notice on its Web site as well. The FCC also warned yet another trucking firm of apparent unlicensed operation on 10 meters by two of its drivers this past summer. Hollingsworth wrote Sysco Corporation of Houston, Texas, October 10, citing reports that the transmissions were spotted August 11 and 18 on 28.115 MHz while the drivers were on the road in Michigan. In all instances of alleged unlicensed operation, Hollingsworth pointed out that violators face fines of up to $10,000 and possible imprisonment as well as seizure of any transmitting equipment they may have been using illegally. In other recent actions, the FCC alerted two radio amateurs that the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) has referred their Amateur Radio license renewal applications to the Enforcement Bureau for review. Hollingsworth notified each licensee to expect a Hearing Designation Order from the Commission. Hollingsworth told David O. Castle, WA9KJI, of Evansville, Indiana, October 11 that the WTB referral was the result of "longstanding complaints against the operation of your station" involving interference on HF and 2 meters. In another case, Hollingsworth wrote William F. Crowell, W6WBJ (ex-N6AYJ), of Diamond Springs, California, that his license renewal application has been designated for hearing after a review of "numerous complaints filed against the operation of your station" alleging deliberate interference. Hearings are held in Washington, DC, before an administrative law judge, and the applicants will have the burden of proof in showing they're still qualified to be Amateur Radio licensees. Over the past several years, the FCC has asked both licensees to respond to allegations of deliberate interference on the amateur bands. ==>THE ARRL LEGISLATIVE ACTION PROGRAM WANTS YOU! The ARRL Legislative Action Program wants League members who are willing to get directly involved in promoting and protecting Amateur Radio through coordinated, legitimate political action at the "grassroots level." The program is being staffed to prepare for the 110th Congress, which convenes in January. ARRL Great Lakes Division Director Jim Weaver, K8JE, who chairs the Legislative Action Committee, says members of Congress often base their votes upon their understanding of what their constituents -- the voters who put them in office -- want. "As a constituent, your opinion is important to them," Weaver says. "Constituent input helps lawmakers gauge positions on legislation and determine how a particular bill might affect voters in their states or districts." He says radio amateurs can be a valuable resource to members of Congress, who may have only a limited knowledge of Amateur Radio. "Your combination of being a constituent and a federal licensee can help make a difference by ensuring that your member of Congress and staff receive the balanced information they need to make good decisions on Amateur Radio-related legislation," Weaver adds. A new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) <http://www.arrl.org/govrelations/laprog-faq.html> on the ARRL Legislative Action Program now is available for ARRL members and others interested in this ARRL grassroots effort. Contact your ARRL Division Director <http://www.arrl.org/divisions/> for additional information or to volunteer. There's more information on the ARRL Government Relations page <http://www.arrl.org/govrelations/>. ==>ARRL ON-LINE AUCTION: "WE'LL BE BACK!" The first ARRL On-Line Auction <http://arrl.auctionanything.com/> is history, but the event may well become an annual affair. Once the bidding had ended November 3 and the dust had settled a bit, ARRL Business Services Manager Deb Jahnke, K1DAJ -- whose staff pulled the auction together -- was able to compile and share some statistics. Not only did auction proceeds exceed expectations by more than 20 percent, it attracted more than 4300 bidders from 36 countries -- and as far away as Australia -- competing for just over 100 items. "Based on feedback, I think it's safe to say -- to paraphrase Arnold Schwarzenegger -- we'll be back!" Jahnke said. During the bidding from October 23 until November 3, she reports, many participants e-mailed League Headquarters not just with questions but to share their excitement. "This is too much fun -- I'm high bidder on two items! And just a beginner!" enthused one participant. "What a riot!" Another put it more succinctly: "Our hobby still rocks!" Jahnke says most of those who wrote expressed the wish that the ARRL run and online auction every year -- or perhaps even more frequently, possibly all year long. She says that while the auction involved a lot of planning and preparation, ARRL Headquarters staffers also had a lot of fun. "All staff members who worked on the project enjoyed it as much as the bidders as we saw the prices climb and bidding wars ensue," she said. "We also thoroughly enjoyed the one-on-one contact with bidders grateful for prompt responses to their questions and shared our excitement with the winners." The 12-day event actually ran into overtime as a handful of bidders battled for the right to take home the coveted prizes that remained. In all 1300 bids were placed. A 1964 softcover edition of the ARRL's Radio Amateur's Handbook was the unlikely final item. Extended bidding -- a dollar or two at a pop and sometimes edging to within seconds of the gavel -- ultimately upped the price to $161. Other last-minute holdouts included a 1973 hardcover edition of the Radio Amateur's Handbook, which went for $52, and a white gold signet ring, which brought $334. The generosity of many donors, Jahnke says, made it possible for the League's premier auction to offer a diverse list of items that also included transceivers, ARRL Lab-tested and reviewed equipment, exotic vacations, vintage gear, mystery "junque" boxes and an Eagles-autographed acoustic guitar donated by Joe Walsh, WB6ACU, that went for $3353. Jahnke says the auction donors were as thrilled as the participants. "Quite a few of our advertisers who donated items called to tell us that their Web sales had spiked during and immediately after the auction," Jahnke remarked afterward. Said ARRL COO Harold Kramer, WJ1B, after the last item had sold: "It was fun, it was exciting and, best of all, it raised money for a good cause." Auction proceeds will help support ARRL educational activities including licensing newcomers, strengthening Amateur Radio's emergency service training, offering online continuing education courses and creating new instructional and educational materials. ==>NEW "HELLO" VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE A new Amateur Radio promotional video -- part of the "Hello" campaign -- now is available from ARRL. Kevin O'Dell, N0IRW, a member of the ARRL Public Relations Committee, produced the video, which runs approximately four minutes. It's available for viewing <http://p1k.arrl.org/files/Hello-Movie.wmv> and downloading in Windows Media and MPEG formats via the League's public relations page <http://www.arrl.org/pio/> (scroll down to "Hello Video Files Hello - 4 minute mini-presentation"). ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, says the video is an excellent addition to the Hello package. Timed to coincide with the culmination of the Hello campaign in late December, he says, the video "gives hams a once-in-a-century opportunity to promote Amateur Radio as never before!" He advises that a DVD version also is available for placement on cable and TV stations (unlike Amateur Radio Today, the "Hello" campaign video production may be broadcast). Contact Pitts <firstname.lastname@example.org> to obtain a copy. The "Hello" campaign, aimed at presenting a friendly and inviting image of Amateur Radio to non-hams, has been tremendously successful, Pitts reports. "It has shown that active public information officers across the country can be very effective when provided with quality materials. Audio and video public service announcements have played on hundreds of stations." The "Hello" campaign brochure quickly blew its initial printing of 40,000 and soon will pass 80,000 or more, he says, adding that buttons and bumper stickers "flew off the tables" at various gatherings. ==>ARRL FREQUENCY MEASURING TEST 2006 GOES BACK TO BASICS The ARRL Frequency Measuring Test (FMT) this year will represent a return to basics: Measuring the carrier frequency of the transmitted signal. Engineer and Contributing Editor Ward Silver, N0AX, spells out the details of FMT 2006 in the article "Frequency Measuring Test 2006 -- Back to Basics, Plus," which appears on p 50 of November QST and on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/fmt/>. "You don't have to own a rack full of sophisticated test equipment," Silver advises. "By calibrating your radio to a known frequency reference such as WWV or CHU and letting the radio reach an even, stable temperature, your measurements can be within 1 part per million (ppm) or even better!" FMT transmissions from ARRL Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station W1AW at League Headquarters in Connecticut will take place on 160, 80 and 40 meters starting at 0245 UTC on Thursday, November 16 (Wednesday, November 15, in US time zones), replacing the W1AW phone bulletin. Approximate frequencies will be 1853 kHz, 3586 kHz and 7039 kHz. An initial call-up will take place on all three bands. During the FMT, W1AW will indicate the band for the upcoming transmission. W1AW's FMT 2006 transmissions will start on 160 meters. To better accommodate stations west of the Mississippi, Mike Fahmie, WA6ZTY, has volunteered to transmit a separate West Coast FMT signal on 40 meters from the San Francisco area. The FMT transmission from WA6ZTY will begin at 0330 UTC on approximately 7029 kHz. FMT participants should listen to the W1AW CW or digital bulletin transmission prior to the FMT to determine which band will provide the best conditions for reception and measurement purposes. The W1AW test will consist of three 60-second continuous carrier transmissions on each band, followed by a series of Morse dits and station identification. The whole test will run for about 15 minutes and will end with a series of Vs followed by a station ID. The West Coast FMT from WA6ZTY will begin with a general call at 10 WPM CW of "QST DE WA6ZTY". The measurement period begins with "NOW 40 METERS". Transmissions consisting of one minute of continuous carrier and 10 seconds of Morse dits will follow. The West Coast FMT will conclude with 15 seconds of Vs followed by a station ID. All FMT participants will receive a Certificate of Participation. Those coming closest to the measured frequency will be listed in the test report and receive special recognition on their certificate. Submit entries via e-mail to <email@example.com> or via the USPS to W1AW/FMT, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Entries must be received or postmarked by December 16, 2006. An ARRL staple for nearly 50 years, the League resurrected the FMT in 2002. The increasing technical quality of amateur gear was one of the primary reasons the League suspended the FMT in 1980. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Propagation guru Tad "I Saw the Sun" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Average daily sunspot numbers more than doubled this week over last, up by nearly 27 points to 46.3. While there were more sunspots, the geomagnetic K index was zero, and on some days the A index was zero as well. That quiet period has come to an end. At 0600 UTC on November 10, the mid-latitude K index reported by WWV is 5, and the planetary K index is 6. This indicates a geomagnetic storm and a good time to observe aurora. On November 6, as sunspot 923 was about to emerge, it was throwing off X rays and a strong solar wind, but it was not yet aimed toward Earth. Radioastronomer Thomas Ashcraft in New Mexico had his antennas aimed at the sun and his receivers tuned to 18.7 and 22.2 MHz to detect radio noise. On November 6 he recorded a particularly fast burst of solar radio energy, and recorded it in stereo with the 18.7 MHz receiver feeding one channel, and 22.2 MHz feeding the other <http://www.heliotown.com/Snov6_06_1747ut1822.mp3>. He recommends stereo headphones for maximum effect. The predicted planetary A index for Friday, November 10, through Tuesday, November 14 is 20, 10, 8, 8 and 5. Sunspot numbers and solar flux should begin to taper off, reaching a short-term minimum around November 21-23, and becoming high again around December 5-7. 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 November 2 through 8 were 59, 57, 52, 62, 30, 26 and 38, with a mean of 46.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 88.2, 87.4, 85.5, 84.7, 83.5, 87.1, and 86.4, with a mean of 86.1. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 8, 6, 5, 1, 0 and 1, with a mean of 4.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 6, 5, 4, 3, 1, 0 and 0, with a mean of 2.7. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: 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. JUST AHEAD: The ARRL November Sweepstakes (SSB), the NA Collegiate ARC Championship (SSB), SARL Field Day, the LZ DX Contest, the EUCW Fraternizing CW QSO Party, the All-Austrian 160-Meter Contest, the RSGB Second 1.8 MHz Contest (CW), the EU PSK63 QSO Party are the weekend of November 18-19. The Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is November 20. The CQ Worldwide DX Contest (CW) is the weekend of November 25-26. The ARCI Topband Sprint is November 30 (UTC). The ARRL 160-Meter Contest, the EU-PSK QRP Contest, the TARA RTTY Melee, the Wake-Up! QRP Sprint, and the TOPS Activity Contest are the weekend of December 2-3. 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * Reminder -- FCC "omnibus" rule changes not yet in effect: The new Amateur Radio rules detailed in the recent "omnibus" FCC Report and Order (R&O), WT Docket 04-140, adopted October 4 and released October 10, are NOT yet in effect. The changes will become effective 30 days after they appear in the Federal Register, the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules and notices of federal agencies and organizations. Since publication has not yet occurred, the effective date of the Part 97 rule changes cannot be determined. The ARRL will announce the effective date of these new rules as soon as it's known. The "omnibus" R&O does not include action on the Commission's proposal to eliminate the Morse code requirement for all license classes. A Report and Order in that proceeding, WT Docket 05-235, is still pending, and the ARRL will announce when the Commission releases it. * Texas club makes generous Spectrum Defense Fund donation: The Temple Amateur Radio Club (TARC) <http://www.tarc.org/> in Texas has donated $1000 to the 2007 ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund <https://www.arrl.org/forms/fdefense/>. "TARC is pleased to donate a little something back to the hobby that we all enjoy," TARC's President-Elect Tom Olsen, KC5KXS, and President Myron Mesecke, N5TFK, said in a note to ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. "The ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund needs our support, and we hope this check helps, if just a little. Thanks for all you do!" TARC's twice-yearly Belton HamEXPO, billed as the "friendliest hamfest in the country," draws thousands of hams come from all over Texas and the surrounding states to buy, sell and socialize. The ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund wants to raise $250,000 by year's end, and the ARRL's federal court appeal of the FCC's 2004 and 2006 broadband over power line (BPL) rule decisions will be a prime beneficiary. Donations will enable the court appeal to go forward without shifting resources away from other important ARRL programs. * ARRL members may sign up for IARU E-Letter: ARRL members now may sign up to receive the monthly International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) electronic newsletter, The IARU E-Letter <http://www.iaru.org/e-letter/>. This new e-publication reports on various IARU activities and projects in all three IARU regions. New editions appear on the IARU Web site around the first of each month and are available for free viewing/downloading. ARRL members now may request to receive The IARU E-Letter directly: (1) Log into the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> as a member and click on "Member Data page" Note: If you're logged in as a member, this link will appear in the box in the site banner that says "Members Only (your call sign)." If you don't see this link, you're not logged in as a member. (3) Click on "Modify membership data." (4) Check the box next to "The IARU E-Letter (International Amateur Radio Union news)." (5) Click on "Submit modification." Other IARU member-societies may make the IARU E-Letter available to their members through their own news channels. Subscribers receive their copies via the "iaru-news" e-mail list maintained by the IARU International Secretariat. Anyone holding a position as an IARU volunteer or with an IARU member-society will be included on this distribution list upon e-mail request <email@example.com>. Please include your IARU or member-society position. * QEX turns 25! QEX -- A Forum for Communications Experimenters celebrates 25 years of publication with its November/December 2006 issue. Published six times a year, QEX features technical articles, columns and other items of interest to radio amateurs, students and communications professionals. Doug Smith, KF6DX, who's in his ninth year as editor (ARRL Senior Assistant Technical Editor Larry Wolfgang, WR1B, is QEX managing editor), says the magazine aims to strike a balance between the theoretical and the practical. "You're reading the best technical journal in its field," he tells subscribers. "QEX rose to that status through hard and intelligent work of the same kind that sustains it now." Most QEX content comes from outside contributors, and Smith encouraged more authors to submit construction articles. To learn more about QEX, visit the QEX Web site <http://www.arrl.org/qex/>. * Randy Koehn, KC5TIL wins October QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for October is Randy Koehn, KC5TIL, for his article "A Remote Reporting Solar Powered Weather Station." Congratulations, Randy! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award--given to the author or authors of the best article in each issue--is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/QSTvote.html>. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the November issue by Thursday, November 30. =========================================================== 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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Click on "Modify membership data," check or uncheck the appropriate boxes and/or change your e-mail address if necessary. (Check "Temporarily disable all automatically sent email" to temporarily stop all e-mail deliveries.) Then, click on "Submit modification" to make selections effective. (NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You must do this yourself via the Members Only Web Site.) The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources: * ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/>. (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will be posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.) * The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur Radio Club: Visit Mailing Lists@QTH.Net <http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/letter-list>. (NOTE: The ARRL cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this listserver.)
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