*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 25, No. 46 November 17, 2006 *************** =========================================================== NOTE: The new Amateur Radio rules detailed in the recent "omnibus" FCC Report and Order (R&O), WT Docket 04-140, will go into effect at 12:01 AM EST December 15. See "Amateur Radio 'omnibus' rule changes," below. =========================================================== IN THIS EDITION: * +Amateur Radio "omnibus" rules changes to go into effect Dec 15 * +Hensley is New Vice Director in Roanoke Division * +Broadcasters intervene to support ARRL in BPL court appeal* * +ARRL 500 kHz experiment kicking into high gear * +W1AW sporting brand-new antennas * +SKYWARN Recognition Day coming December 2 * +Delegates elect new ITU Secretary-General * +Hams headed for space * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio: The ARRL November Sweepstakes (SSB) ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration Celebrate a birthday on the air! Great thing to do for our troops +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> =========================================================== NOTE: ARRL Headquarters will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 23 and 24, for the Thanksgiving holiday. There will be no editions of The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News or W1AW bulletin and code practice transmissions on Friday, November 24. ARRL Headquarters will re-open Monday, November 27, at 8 AM EST. The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News will return Friday, December 1. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday! =========================================================== ==> AMATEUR RADIO "OMNIBUS" RULES CHANGES TO GO INTO EFFECT DECEMBER 15 A little over a month after the Federal Communications Commission released the Report and Order (R&O) in the so-called "Omnibus" Amateur Radio proceeding, WT Docket 04-140 (FCC 06-149) to the public, a revised version appeared November 15 in the Federal Register <http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20061800/edocket.access.gpo.go v/2006/pdf/E6-19189.pdf>. The changes in the R&O will take effect Friday, December 15, at 12:01 AM EST, 30 days after its publication. As expected, the Report & Order clarified two items that had raised some concerns when it was first released last month: That the 80/75 meter band split applies to all three IARU Regions, and that FCC licensees in Region 2, which includes North America, can continue to use RTTY/data emissions in the 7.075-7.100 MHz band. Still to be resolved are three controversial aspects of the Proceeding: * Expansion of the 75 meter phone band all the way down to 3600 kHz (thus reducing the privileges of General, Advanced and Amateur Extra class licensees, who had RTTY/data privileges in the 80 meter band, and CW privileges of General and Advanced class licensees) * The elimination of J2D emissions, data sent by modulating an SSB transmitter, of more than 500 Hz bandwidth. This will make PACTOR III at full capability illegal. Other digital modes effectively rendered illegal below 30 MHz include Olivia and MT63 (when operated at bandwidths greater than 500 Hz), 1200-baud packet, Q15X25 and Clover 2000. * The elimination of access to the automatic control RTTY/data subband at 3620-3635 kHz. The ARRL Board is discussing the possibility of a petition to reconsider several items in the R&O. ARRL Regulatory Information Specialist Dan Henderson, N1ND, commented: "The release of the R&O in the Federal Register has started the countdown clock. We are all looking forward to being able to use the refarmed frequencies starting on December 15. We are still anxiously awaiting the release of the Report and Order for 05-235, the Morse Code Proceeding. We are hopeful that the Commission will be able to move on that petition and address the outstanding issues in the Omnibus R&O soon." For more information, see the band chart <http://www2.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/wt04-140/Hambands3_color.pdf> and the Frequently Asked Questions on WT Docket No. 04-140 <http://www2.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/wt04-140/faq.html>. Both have been updated to reflect the R&O as it was published in the Federal Register. ==> HENSLEY IS NEW VICE DIRECTOR IN ROAOKE DIVISION Patricia Hensley, N4ROS, was elected as Vice Director of the Roanoke Division today. She defeated incumbent Rev Les Shattuck, K4NK, 2280 to 996. A total of 3281 ballots were received; five ballots were not able to be counted, being declared spoiled or invalid. The three year term begins at noon EST January 1, 2007. Hensley, a retired school principal from Richburg, South Carolina, has served in ARRL volunteer positions for the past 15 years, serving as South Carolina Section Manager from February 2000 to December 2002. She is a recipient of the ARRL Instructor of the Year award and is currently the South Carolina state director for Air Force MARS. Hensley ran on a platform wanting to make the term "Amateur Radio operator" a highly respected title. She said she feels, "…an Amateur Radio license no longer fosters respect from community and national leaders. Even FEMA finds it 'more comfortable' to hire part-time individuals to provide emergency communications because amateurs are 'volunteers.'" She went on to acknowledge that ARRL membership is declining, and leadership positions are "…filled by default because few want to serve. More is required than smiling faces behind a hamfest table to solve these problems." She said she sees restrictive covenants and interference to frequencies as major issues affecting the Amateur Radio community. Stepping forward to run for election for what she calls "proactive change," she said the members of the Amateur Radio community "must be regarded as individuals who are knowledgeable about our avocation and are willing and competent to serve our communities in time of need." Rev Shattuck became Vice Director in 2000 after serving as South Carolina Section Manager. He has been licensed for over 40 years. In the past, Rev Shattuck has served as president of QRP ARCI, and is a member of QCWA, the A-1 Operator Club, DXCC, VUCC, FISTS CW Club and ARES/RACES. He is currently serving as pastor of Gilgal United Methodist Church. He lives in Anderson, South Carolina. ==> BROADCASTERS INTERVENE TO SUPPORT ARRL IN BPL COURT APPEAL The Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) have filed a joint motion for leave to intervene in support of the ARRL in its court appeal of the Federal Communications Commission's Broadband over Power Line (BPL) rules. The motion to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is dated November 9 and states: "MSTV and NAB believe that the regulations under review are arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law, and will adversely impact their members by, among other things, permitting unlicensed users of radio spectrum to interfere with licensed uses of the spectrum." MSTV and NAB are entitled to intervene as a matter of right, so the Court is expected to grant the motion. As expected, some BPL proponents are seeking to intervene on the side of the FCC. ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, welcomed the support of MSTV and NAB. "It is gratifying that these two prestigious broadcasting organizations recognize the danger posed to all FCC licensees by the FCC's flawed BPL rules. It's good to have them on our side." ==>ARRL 500 kHz EXPERIMENT KICKING INTO HIGH GEAR The group of Amateur Radio operators researching the radio spectrum in the vicinity of 500 kHz already have recorded a few successes. The 500 KC Experimental Group for Amateur Radio <http://www.500kc.com/> is operating under Part 5 experimental license WD2XSH, which the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology granted September 13 to the ARRL. Project manager Fritz Raab, W1FR, says WD2XSH participants have been heard across both the Atlantic and the Pacific as well as all around the US. "Things took off much faster than I had ever imagined," Raab told ARRL early this month. "Eleven station are on the air now." Others in the 21-station group included on the Experimental license continue efforts to cobble together the transmitting and antenna systems necessary to put out a signal on what group members call "the 600 meter band." Raab says the 600-meter signal of well-known low-frequency enthusiast "Dex" McIntyre, W4DEX, in North Carolina -- operating as WD2XSH/10 -- was copied October 10 in Germany using very slow-speed CW (QRSS). Other stations have since duplicated that feat. Rudy Severns, N6LF, operating as WD2XSH/20 from Oregon, not only is heard regularly throughout the western half of the US but has been copied in Hawaii and, possibly, in New Zealand, Raab says, noting that the New Zealand reception was "not sufficiently clear" to make a claim. While not a part of the experimental group, Ralph Wallio, W0RPK, has assumed the role of official record keeper and has noted more than two dozen one-way reception reports of more than 1000 miles. The list included "by ear" CW reception from Colorado to Massachusetts, nearly 1800 miles. The best distance as of earlier this week: 4515 miles from Conard Murray, WS4S, operating as WD2XSH/11 in Tennessee to Germany using QRSS (reception using computer software). Operating as WD2XSH/14 from Vermont, Raab says he's managed three QSOs with his "meager 42-foot vertical" -- New Hampshire, Massachusetts and North Carolina -- plus reception in Ohio. He envisions at least a secondary 600-meter Amateur Radio allocation from 495 to 510 kHz that would support Amateur Radio emergency communication via groundwave. The two-year WD2XSH authorization permits experimentation and research between 505 and 510 kHz using narrowband modes at power levels of up to 20 W effective radiated power (ERP). The Midwest stations are limited to 505 to 508 kHz for the time being, Raab notes. The first QSO took place September 21 between the stations in Tennessee and North Carolina — a distance of some 300 miles. To get on the air, WD2XSH participants have repurposed some older gear and even some text equipment. Paul Signorelli, W0RW, operating as WD2XSH/21 from Colorado, has modified a vintage Heath DX-100 transmitter for LF CW operation. "I match the DX-100 output to a 5-turn link of #10 wire," he reported in a detailed description of how he was able to get the old rig to transmit just below the AM broadcast band. Getting "down there" points up the need to increase physical component size by several orders of magnitude. "The link is on a 13-inch diameter cardboard hoop," Signorelli continues. "It slips up and down over the antenna loading coil and is adjusted for lowest SWR." That antenna loading coil itself is a foot in diameter, wound with #10 solid, insulated wire. A 30-gallon trash can provides the weatherproofing for the coil. The DX-100 generates 100 W of RF on 500 kHz. Signorelli advises against using conventional-sized coax. "This transmitter will smoke your coax if you have high SWR," he said. He's using hardline instead. While Raab notes that while the current license cannot accommodate more participants, he plans to re-evaluate the situation in a year. "At that time, we may request a revision to the license that makes substitutions for stations that have not gotten on the air and possibly add some new stations," he says on the group's Web site. "Substitutes and additions will be selected based upon their potential to contribute to the experiment." He cautions, "This is an experimental license, not just ham radio on a new frequency!" The experimental group does invite reception reports <http://w5jgv.com/500kcreportform.htm> of transmissions made by group members. You do not have to be a member of the experimental team to send a reception report. ==>W1AW COMPLETES "THE BIG (ANTENNA) PROJECT" Can you hear us now? W1AW's typically strong signals may be pushing S meters a tad higher now, following the recent replacement of nearly every one of the station's antennas. The last major upgrade was in 1989. Despite wear and tear inflicted during numerous New England winters, the old antennas -- installed on four towers at the W1AW site adjacent to ARRL Headquarters -- had been getting the job done reliably. Even so, replacing the aging aluminum had been on the agenda for a while. W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, says the loss of one-half of a director on a 20-meter rotatable Yagi at the very top of the 120-foot tower pushed the project to top priority. "Instead of just piecemealing it, we decided to do the major antenna replacement now," he explained. "Antenna for antenna, they're essentially the same capability or better." Interest from the W1AW Endowment Fund <http://www.arrl.org/endoww1aw.html>, which depends on members' contributions, covered the nearly $24,000 project cost. All of the new antennas are manufactured by M2. The W1AW antenna farm includes both fixed-direction "bulletin" Yagis as well as several rotatable Yagis that can serve to fill in "holes" in W1AW's coverage pattern and are available for use by radio amateurs who visit W1AW to operate. While the new antenna farm may mean "a few dB" of additional signal during bulletin and code practice transmissions, Carcia says, visiting ops will be the primary beneficiaries. A five-element 20-meter Yagi replaced the old three-element unit available for visitors. "I've already noticed that when we put visitors on 20 meters, we've had very good reports at barefoot power levels," he reports. Carcia says that while the five-element Yagi's pattern is a bit more narrow, it has a much better front-to-back ratio. The new antennas also will enhance ARRL's ability to put the station on the air for contests, special occasions and during emergencies. W1AW undertook the massive antenna swap in consultation with ARRL antenna expert Dean Straw, N6BV, and installation contractor (and noted contester and DXer) Matt Strelow, KC1XX. Replaced were all 14 of W1AW's HF Yagis as well as Yagis for 2 meters and 70 cm. The 120-foot tower alone supports two Yagis for 40, three for 20, two for 15 and one for 10 meters. The project included changing out a lightning-damaged rotator on the big tower. One especially significant antenna upgrade involved the 30-meter system. W1AW went from a cut-down 40-meter Yagi to a "monster" full-size 30-meter Yagi that dwarfed the ground crew tasked with handling it. The 15 and 12 meter Yagis went from three elements to four. Carcia also installed a new 160-meter dipole using Poly 13 UV-jacketed stranded copper-clad steel wire. The antenna upgrades took about four days in all, spread out over a period of a few weeks. While the weather cooperated by and large, Carcia says inclement weather did get in the way at one point. Strelow, an assistant and several members of the ARRL HQ staff performed the work, which included a tower inspection. The old antennas -- some damaged and all requiring new hardware -- were offered "as is" to ARRL staff members. Carcia says he's pleased with the results. "I'm very impressed by the performance overall, but especially on 17 meters," Carcia said of the new system. "We are putting 1 kW into three elements. The amp is extremely happy with the antenna." Project photos and details on the W1AW antenna farm accompany our Web site news story <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2006/11/01/100/>. ==> SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY IS DECEMBER 2 The 8th annual SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) special event will take place Saturday, December 2, 2006. SKYWARN Recognition Day is an event co-sponsored by the National Weather Service and the American Radio Relay League, and it is the National Weather Service's way of saying "thank you" to Amateur Radio operators for their commitment to helping keep their communities safe. During the 24-hour special event, amateur radio operators will visit their local National Weather Service (NWS) office, set up Amateur Radio stations, and work as a team to contact other hams across the world. "Ham radio operators volunteering as storm spotters are an extremely valuable asset to National Weather Service operations since they are cross-trained in both communications and severe storm recognition", says Scott Mentzer (N***QE), organizer of the event and Meteorologist-In-Charge at the NWS office in Goodland, Kansas. In typical warning operations, it is the direct communication between mobile spotters and the local NWS office which provides vital ground truth information. Spotter reports of hail size, wind damage and surface-based rotation in real time greatly assists the radar warning operator since that information can be correlated with Doppler radar displays. The result can range anywhere from a more strongly-worded statement to convey a greater sense of urgency, or the issuance of a tornado warning a few minutes earlier than would otherwise have been possible. While National Weather Service offices utilize the real-time reporting of severe weather events to assist in warning operations, hurricanes and tropical storms have shown us that ham radio operators are equally important during the recovery phase of natural disasters. There are countless stories where ham radio worked in tandem with more conventional technology to relay emergency traffic. SKYWARN Recognition Day will be held on December 2, 2006, from 0000 UTC to 2400 UTC. The object is for all radio amateur stations to exchange QSO information with as many National Weather Service Stations as possible on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meter bands plus the 70 centimeter band. Contacts via repeaters are permitted. The exchange should include call sign, signal report, location, and a one or two word description of the weather occurring at your site ("sunny", "partly cloudy", "windy", etc.). NWS stations will work various modes including SSB, FM, AM, RTTY, CW, and PSK31. While working digital modes, special event stations will append "NWS" to their call sign (e.g., N***A/NWS). ==>DELEGATES ELECT AMATEUR RADIO-FRIENDLY ITU SECRETARY-GENERAL Member states of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) attending the 17th ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, have elected Hamadoun I. Touré of Mali as Secretary-General of ITU for a four-year term. Touré topped a field of six candidates to succeed Japan's Yoshio Utsumi, who cannot run for another term. International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) President Larry Price, W4RA, says the ITU member states chose wisely in their selection of Touré. "Hamadoun Touré is someone with whom IARU has worked for the past eight years," Price said, "and he has a proven record of understanding the importance of the Amateur Services, especially their importance in emergency and disaster communications." IARU Vice President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, who's attending the "Plenipot," congratulated Touré in person on behalf of IARU and its member-societies. Ellam says Touré told him that it's important for IARU to "continue its good work in the ITU," adding that the IARU "has an important role to play in the future." Addressing the conference after the vote, Touré told the 1500 delegates from around the world that he would work with transparency, objectivity and vigor to realize the two main objectives that were central to his campaign: to eliminate the digital divide and to ensure that cyberspace would become more secure. Touré has served two terms as director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau. Delegates elected Houlin Zhao of China as Deputy Secretary-General. He said that he would do his best to assist the Secretary-General elect and the three directors as well as the membership to make ITU a more dynamic organization that would contribute to the emerging global Information Society. ITU-Radiocommunication Bureau Director Valery Timofeev of the Russian Federation was unopposed for re-election. The "Plenipot" concludes November 24. For only the second time IARU representatives will be among the Plenipot observers, with Ellam and International Coordinator for Emergency Communications Hans Zimmermann, HB9AQS/F5VKP, each present for half of the conference. 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. The ultimate authority in the ITU, the Plenipot, held every four years, is the occasion for representatives of ITU member states to consider proposed changes to the organization's constitution and convention, adopt strategic and financial plans and elect senior management. [THIS WILL NEED UPDATING] Among candidates for the 12 seats on the part-time Radio Regulations Board is Robert W. Jones, VE7RWJ. Plenipot 2006 delegates also will consider changing the name of the ITU. Several Arab States have submitted a Common Proposal to call it the "International Telecommunication and Information Technology Union." — ITU; IARU ==>HAMS HEADED FOR SPACE NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency have named two astronauts and two cosmonauts to make up the next International Space Station crew, Expedition 15. While their duty tours will not coincide, if the current schedule holds, there will always be at least one US and one Russian radio amateur aboard the ISS for the next year. Astronauts Clayton Anderson, KD5PLA, and Daniel Tani, KD5TXE, will travel to the station next year as flight engineers. Anderson will ride to the ISS aboard shuttle Endeavour on mission STS-118, targeted for next June, and he'll return to Earth on shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-120, which will carry his replacement, Tani, to the station. Tani will return via the shuttle in October 2007. Cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin, RN3FI, and Oleg Kotov will fly to the ISS next March on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and will spend six months aboard the orbiting laboratory. Yurchikhin will command Expedition 15, and Kotov will serve as station flight engineer and Soyuz commander. Until Anderson arrives, astronaut Sunita Williams, KD5PLB, will serve as Expedition 15's third crew member and flight engineer. She's scheduled to fly to the ISS on shuttle Mission STS-116 in December. Williams is reported to be eager to do ARISS school group contacts from NA1SS. The same shuttle flight will carry European Space Agency astronaut Christer Fuglesang, KE5CGR/SA0AFS, Sweden's first astronaut. He will serve as a mission specialist on his first journey into space, an 11-day ISS construction mission. Plans are under way to arrange for Fuglesang to carry out an ARISS school contact with students in Thunmanskolan located in Knivsta, Sweden. The contact would be the first ARISS school QSO with Scandinavia. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Heliophile Tad "Who Let the Spots Out?" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: This week saw the odd combination of average daily sunspot number declining while the solar flux rose. It isn't so odd for this to happen when there are very few sunspots, and one rises slightly while the other declines slightly. But this time, the solar flux rose quite a bit. Average daily sunspot number dropped nearly 19 points to 27.7, and average daily solar flux rose over 8 points to 94.3. There is a big sunspot number 923, currently moving off center to the western limb. This sunspot is so large that it could be seen unaided at sunset, although this is not safe viewing. Perhaps this spot radiated plenty of energy at 2.8 GHz (the frequency at which solar flux is measured), but the combined area and number of spots didn't make a high sunspot number. Conditions should be good this weekend, although today (November 17) unsettled geomagnetic activity is expected. After today geomagnetic conditions should stabilize. Predicted planetary A indices for November 17-20 is 15, 10, 5 and 5. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts unsettled to active conditions for November 17, unsettled November 18, quiet to unsettled November 19, quiet November 20-22, and quiet to unsettled on November 23. The predicted solar flux is 95 through the weekend. This is relatively high for this point in the sunspot cycle. If we had zero sunspots we would expect to see the solar flux nearly 30 points lower, around 67. 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. An archive of past propagation bulletins is at http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/prop/. Sunspot numbers for November 9 through 15 were 29, 13, 13, 18, 30, 41 and 50 with a mean of 27.7. 10.7 cm flux was 89.4, 91.1, 97, 96.7, 95.2, 94.5, and 96.1, with a mean of 94.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 10, 36, 20, 7, 2, 4 and 5 with a mean of 12. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 7, 29, 20, 9, 1, 3 and 6, with a mean of 10.7. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: 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. JUST AHEAD: 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. 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, December 3, for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (CCE) online courses beginning Friday, December 15: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 2 (EC-002), Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 3 (EC-003R2), Antenna Modeling (EC-004), HF Digital Communications (EC-005), VHF/UHF -- Life Beyond the Repeater (EC-008), and Radio Frequency Propagation (EC-011). These courses will also open for registration Friday, December 1, for classes beginning Friday, January 19, 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>. * Celebrate a Birthday On the Air! Well-known contester and DXer Martti Laine, OH2BH, is getting ready to celebrate his 60th birthday Sunday, November 19. Since his friends are scattered in every corner of the world, a unique concept is underway. Just dress up for the occasion, switch on your radio and you will find yourself at the most thrilling birthday party ever. The birthday event will begin November 18 at 0000 UTC and run for 48 hours until November 19, 2006 2359 UTC -- the 19th being Martti's actual birthday. It will run on both CW and SSB simultaneously, on frequencies .025 and .225 (such as 14.025 and 14.225), with powerful 4O60BH stations on a 600 meter high mountain perch that overlooks Kotor Bay in Montenegro. The radio operations are led by Ranko Boca, YT6A; Dragan Djordjevic, YT6Y, and others from near and far. But that's not all -- you can pass on your birthday wishes to Martii personally on the air. You can schedule appointment for the time of your choice on 14.225 kHz by sending a request to <email@example.com>. The birthday party station will then call you at that exact minute. You can also send your birthday greetings via e-mail to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. QSLs will be via OH2BN. Each direct request will be honored by a special stamp released for the occasion. * DXpeditioning Basics available as a free ARRL download: Thinking about going on a DXpedition? Then you might want to check out DXpeditioning Basics, by ARRL Membership Services Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG, a DXpedition veteran. The 26-page booklet covers DXpedition objectives, organization, whom to work, pileup management, QSO mechanics, frustration management, problems, and follow-up. If you have never been on a DXpedition before, this guide will give you some real insight. While DXpeditioning Basics no longer available in print, ARRL offers a free download <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/dx-basics.pdf>. * FCC classifies BPL-enabled Internet access as "information service": The FCC has declared Broadband over Power Line (BPL)-enabled Internet access service to be an information service. The November 3 Memorandum Opinion and Order (MO&O) <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-06-165A1.pdf> in WC Docket 06-10 places BPL-enabled Internet access service on an equal regulatory footing with other broadband services, such as cable modem and DSL. BPL proponent the United Power Line Council had asked the Commission last December to issue a declaratory ruling in the matter. The FCC said competition among broadband services providers will provide consumers with more and better services at lower prices. "The Commission's broadband statistics show that subscribers to BPL Internet access services, although few in number overall, increased by nearly 200% in 2005," FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said in a statement. Specifically, the MO&O finds that the transmission component underlying BPL-enabled Internet access service is "telecommunications," and that the approach it's adopted with respect to BPL is consistent with the framework established for cable modem and wireline broadband Internet service. * UK authorities to permit experimental Internet/HF speech gateway: The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) <http://www.rsgb.org/> says UK telecoms regulator Ofcom <http://www.ofcom.org.uk/> has granted a unique Notice of Variation (NoV) to Steve Richards, G4HPE, to operate an experimental Internet/HF speech gateway. The NoV would allow two-way communication between the Internet and the Amateur Radio HF bands. The RSGB assisted Richards in obtaining the authorization. "The purpose of the research is to explore the many technical and operational challenges that such a system poses for emergency communications," the RSGB said. "It is also hoped that the project will shed light on how Internet-based networks can aid Amateur Radio emergency communications." The NoV is a first in the UK because it allows full frequency agility over the lower HF bands and the use of significant power levels, the RSGB said. According to the Society, the gateway is not intended as a permanent Amateur Radio Service facility and will likely only be operated on a predetermined test schedule. Only Amateur Radio licenses will have access the gateway, which will be fully attended at all times. The International Radio Emergency Support Coalition (IRESC) <http://www.iresc.org/> -- a worldwide group of radio amateurs who use voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) facilities to connect disaster areas to points of support -- also is involved in this project. * Great thing to do for our troops: If you go to the Web site <http://www.letssaythanks.com/>, you can pick out a thank you card. Xerox Corporation will print it, and it will be sent (at no charge) to a soldier currently serving in Iraq. You can't pick who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services. -- tnx Coy Day, N5OK =========================================================== 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. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): email@example.com ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, firstname.lastname@example.org ==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org/> ==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call 860-594-0384 ==>How to Get The ARRL Letter The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail delivery: ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site <http://www.arrl.org/members/>. You'll have an opportunity during registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW bulletins, and other material. To change these selections--including delivery of The ARRL Letter--registered members should click on the "Member Data Page" link (in the Members Only box). 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.)
The ARRL Letter
The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.
Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.
Back issues published since 2000 are available on this page. If you wish to subscribe via e-mail, simply log on to the ARRL Web site, click on Edit Your Profile at the top, then click on Edit Email Subscriptions. Check the box next to The ARRL email newsletter, the ARRL Letter and you will receive each weekly issue in HTML format. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): email@example.com
Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, K1SFA@arrl.org.