ARRL

ARRL Letter

 


***************
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
<letter-dlvy@arrl.org>;
==>Editorial questions or comments only: Rick Lindquist, N1RL,
<n1rl@arrl.org>;
===========================================================
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 <cce@arrl.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 <sked-60@oh2bh.fi>;. The birthday party
station will then call you at that exact minute. You can also send your
birthday greetings via e-mail to <msg-60@oh2bh.fi>;. 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


===========================================================
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Radio Relay League: ARRL--the National Association For Amateur Radio, 225
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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.

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