*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 25, No. 47 December 1, 2006 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +FCC fixes error in "omnibus" Report and Order * +Exam question pools brought into line with new rules * +Belgian primary schoolers speak with ISS commander via ham radio * +Early-morning explosion puts ARES, RACES on alert in Eastern Mass * +First of two Lakshadweep (VU7) DXpeditions gets under way * +Discovery set to launch to ISS with three hams aboard * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio: The ARRL 160-Meter Contest ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +Martin confirmed for second FCC term ARRL still seeking data on mobile emergency communications vehicles +W1AW 80-meter digital transmission frequency changing ARRL announces new electronic newsletter for clubs New Sacramento Valley Section Manager takes office ARRL extends birthday wishes to centenarian member Past West Virginia SM Olie Rinehart, WD8V, SK Radio Amateurs of Canada General Manager Debbie Norman, VA3RGM, SK Special Canadian prefixes to honor historic Fessenden transmissions +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> =========================================================== ==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/faq.html#nodelivery>, then e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, <email@example.com> =========================================================== ==>FCC CORRECTS J2D ERROR IN "OMNIBUS" REPORT AND ORDER The FCC this week released an Erratum that corrects one error in the recent Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 04-140 -- the so-called "omnibus" Amateur Radio proceeding. As originally worded, §97.3(c)(2) inadvertently limited J2D emissions to an occupied bandwidth of 500 Hz. J2D emissions are data sent by modulating an SSB transmitter. Had it been left to stand, the error would have rendered illegal below 30 MHz PACTOR III at full capability as well as Olivia and MT63 when operated at bandwidths greater than 500 Hz bandwidth, 1200 baud packet, Q15X25 and Clover 2000. The FCC Erratum <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-268642A1.pdf> revises §97.3(c)(2) of the Amateur Service rules going into effect December 15 to read: "Data. Telemetry, telecommand and computer communications emissions having (i) designators with A, C, D, F, G, H, J or R as the first symbol, 1 as the second symbol, and D as the third symbol; (ii) emission J2D; and (iii) emissions A1C, F1C, F2C, J2C, and J3C having an occupied bandwidth of 500 Hz or less when transmitted on an amateur service frequency below 30 MHz. Only a digital code of a type specifically authorized in this part may be transmitted." In its comments on the proceeding, the ARRL argued that a 500-Hz bandwidth limitation in the definition of data emissions would have unintended consequences because the limitation would also apply to Amateur Radio bands where a higher bandwidth is allowed. In its R&O, the FCC said relaxing the bandwidth limitation "would de facto eliminate the separation of narrow bandwidth and wide bandwidth emissions," which it called an "reasonable means to minimize interference on shared frequencies and bands." The Commission said in the running text of the R&O that it would address the League's concern by revising the Part 97 rules "to clarify that the 500 Hz limitation applies only to the emission types we are adding to the definition of data when transmitted on Amateur Service frequencies below 30 MHz." Unfortunately, the language of the intended revision that appeared in the original version of the R&O inadvertently included J2D emissions among those to which the 500-Hz bandwidth limitation would apply. The FCC incorporated some unrelated editorial revisions in the version of the R&O that 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 "omnibus" rule changes -- including those accounted for in the Federal Register and the Erratum -- take effect Friday, December 15, at 12:01 AM EST (0501 UTC). ==>AMATEUR RADIO EXAM QUESTION POOLS ALTERED TO AGREE WITH NEW RULES With numerous new FCC Part 97 rules soon going into effect, the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators' (NCVEC) Question Pool Committee (QPC) has dropped two dozen questions from the three Amateur Radio examination question pools. The deletions will bring ham radio license exams offered starting December 15 into line with rule changes spelled out in the recent FCC "omnibus" Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 04-140. ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, says ARRL VEC-sponsored examination sessions will go forward without interruption. "ARRL VEC will not be replacing any of our exam booklets affected by the WT 04-140 rule changes," Somma said. "We will, instead, be using stickers to substitute alternate questions. The stickers will contain valid questions to place in the exam booklets to cover up the deleted questions." The stickers will go out by December 15 to ARRL VEC volunteer examiner teams that have been formally field stocked. The QPC cut just one question from the Technician question pool, 13 from the General pool and 10 from the Amateur Extra pool. Changes in rules governing frequency privileges and external RF power amplifier standards accounted for the lion's share of the questions cut from the General and Amateur Extra pools. The table below includes all questions eliminated from the current question pools as a result of changes dictated by the "omnibus" R&O. In a letter earlier this month to all ARRL VEC teams, Somma pointed out that even after the deletions, "sufficient questions will remain in the applicable pools to meet the mandated '10-times' rule, so no new questions are being added to existing pools." The "10-times" rule requires question pools to include 10 times the number of questions on a given examination for that license class. DELETED TECHNICIAN (ELEMENT 2) QUESTIONS T2A02 Change to §97.113, Incidental music transmissions from manned spacecraft DELETED GENERAL (ELEMENT 3) QUESTIONS G1A02 Change to §97.301(d), General class frequency privileges G1A03 Change to §97.301(d), General class frequency privileges G1A06 Change to §97.301(d), General class frequency privileges G1A10 Change to §97.301(d), General class frequency privileges G1B05 Change to §97.113(e), Incidental music transmissions from manned spacecraft G1C01 Change to §97.313(c), Observing 200 W limit in Novice segments G1D01 No mention of need to be a VE* G1F02 Change to §97.315(b)(1), External RF power amplifier standards G1F03 Change to §97.317(a)(3), Power amplifier gain/drive requirements G1F04 Change to §97.317(b), External RF power amplifier standards G1F10 Change to §97.317(b), External RF power amplifier standards G1F11 Change to §97.317(b)(2), Power amplifier gain/drive requirements G2F02 Change in Amateur Extra class phone band on 75 meters DELETED AMATEUR EXTRA (ELEMENT 4) QUESTIONS E1A01 Change to §97.301(b), Extra class frequency privileges E1A02 Change to §97.301(b), Extra class frequency privileges E1E05 Change to §97.207(d), Space station communications E1E08 Change to §97.207(g)(1), Space station communications E1F04 Removed to maintain consistency with VEC regulations* E1F20 Change to §97.519(b), 10-day rule removed E1F26 Change to §97.505, Permanent code credit even if CSCE expired E1F27 Change to §97.505, Permanent code credit even if CSCE expired E1F28 Change to §97.505, Permanent code credit even if CSCE expired E1G02 Change to §97.317(a), Standards for RF power amplifiers Somma says that while questions G1D01 and E1F04 remain largely correct, they're being removed at this time because they do not meet current standards for the degree of completeness or accuracy the QPC desires of exam questions. ==>EACH DAY "NEW AND EXCITING" ISS COMMANDER TELLS YOUNGSTERS VIA HAM RADIO International Space Station Expedition 14 crew commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, KE5GTK, told Belgian schoolchildren in November that he's been enjoying a busy time in space now that he's gotten used to the routine aboard the ISS. Via NA1SS Lopez-Alegria spoke November 10 to students at Henri D'Haese Primary School in Gentbrugge. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program arranged the contact. One youngster wanted to know what kinds of activities the ISS crew was engaged in. "We do all kinds of things, from scientific experiments to building the International Space Station to conducting maintenance," Lopez-Alegria responded, "and it's all very different and every day seems like a new and exciting day to us up here." Lopez-Alegria, who arrived at the ISS this fall, is sharing space aboard the space outpost with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, RZ3FT, and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter, DF4TR, who returns home soon. Replying to another question, Lopez-Alegria told the youngsters that a spacewalk -- or EVA (extra-vehicular activity) in NASA-speak -- isn't really a "walk" at all. "As it turns out, we don't really walk on an EVA. We use our arms, so, it's kind of like doing a handstand the whole time. We use our arms to hold onto handrails, and that's how we get from one place to another," he explained. "So, calling it a 'spacewalk' isn't really correct, but I don't know what they'd call it. A 'space handstand' maybe?" With Tyurin, Lopez-Alegria carried out the first "spacewalk" of Expedition 14 on November 22 -- his sixth. Tyurin began that event by swatting a three-gram golf ball into space and a short-lived Earth orbit, a feat widely reported by the news media. Lopez-Alegria put the tee on a ladder outside the Pirs docking compartment, then helped to secure Tyurin's feet as he addressed the ball for the one-handed shot. A Canadian golf company sponsored the golf outing through a contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency. In other remarks November 10, Lopez-Alegria explained that the ISS crew cannot "see" the hole in the ozone layer, mainly because ozone is invisible to the naked eye and the ozone hole exists in Earth's polar regions, over which the ISS does not fly. He said he's missing his family during his time in space, but noted later that he'll miss the view of Earth and being able to float in microgravity once he's back home. "I'd love to stay a bit longer," he said. Asked if going into space was a dream come true, Lopez-Alegria said it was better than what he'd hoped for. "So, I would say that, yes, my dream is coming true every day." The Earth station for the contact was W5RRR at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Verizon Conferencing provided a two-way teleconference link between the space station and the students in Belgium. ARISS Europe Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, served on site as the ARISS mentor for the contact. He spoke with the students about ARISS and the space program before the event, which also attracted news reporters from TV, radio and print media. ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>MASSACHUSETTS ARES/RACES TEAMS MUSTER FOLLOWING DEVASTATING FACTORY BLAST Eastern Massachusetts ARES and RACES teams went on alert November 22 after an early-morning explosion destroyed a paint and ink plant in Danvers, located on Massachusetts' North Shore some 15 miles north of Boston. The blast, felt as far away as Southern Maine, destroyed more than a dozen nearby homes and damaged upward of 100 others. Minutes after the 2:45 AM explosion at the building occupied by CAI Inc and Arnel Company, North Shore ARES members initiated an informal net on a Danvers repeater while monitoring the situation. The blast awakened North Shore ARES Emergency Coordinator Jim Palmer, KB1KQW, who lives about a mile from the plant site. "As soon as I heard the explosion, I followed our well-established ARES protocols by getting on my local SKYWARN/ARES frequency and starting an informal net," Palmer said. "I also monitored my scanner to hear information directly from the incident area." Palmer also notified North Shore ARES District Emergency Coordinator Eric Horwitz, KA1NCF, and Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY. Macedo said, "It is very important to maintain a high state of readiness and to react and start a net, but at the same time, we do not self-deploy to any serious incident." North Shore ARES Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Operations Gordon Gravelese, KX1KTY, assisted with net control duties during the informal ARES net. Also checking in was Region One RACES Radio Officer Terry Stader, KA8SCP. He informed Palmer that at that point there had been no calls for RACES assistance. Macedo, meanwhile, got in touch with Massachusetts Bay Red Cross, which opened a shelter at Danvers High School to accommodate some 100 to 150 displaced residents. He said Red Cross had necessary communication with the shelter, but he noted that radio amateurs were ready to provide communication support for the Red Cross or other agencies. "We continued the informal net until 6 PM and secured," Macedo told ARRL this week. "No deployments were required, but we were ready to deploy if needed. We had over 40 check-ins to the informal net and between 6 and 12 amateurs ready for deployment." Authorities have yet to determine the cause of the explosion but have ruled out criminal activity. An Environmental Protection Agency team will begin cleaning up the chemical-laden debris. ==>VU7LD LAKSHADWEEP DXPEDITION HITS THE AIRWAVES The first of two planned DXpeditions to rare Lakshadweep Islands (VU7) now is on the air. A team sponsored by the Amateur Radio Society of India (ARSI) -- the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-society for India -- began operating as VU7LD <http://arsi.info/vu7/> from Kavaratti Island December 1 at around 1830 UTC, The Daily DX <http://www.dailydx.com/> reported this week. Lakshadweep Islands is the second most-wanted DXCC entity. When identifying, operators have been asked to append their own call signs following VU7LD (eg, VU7LD/VU2PAI), The Daily DX says. Also, be prepared to wait your turn for a QSO. "As with any major DXpedition to a rare location, such as the Lakshadweep Islands, the pileups are going to be extremely large," advises The Daily DX (and QST "How's DX?") Editor Bernie McClenny, W3UR. "Certain areas of the world will have a more difficult time than other areas. When the operator asks for a certain area please respect their plea." According to McClenny, the Americas could be among the "more difficult" areas. The VU7LD Web site soon will have a propagation forecast page <http://arsi.info/vu7/propagation.html>, he reports in The Daily DX. VU7LD plans to operate from three or four locations on the island, with up to six stations in all. This all-Indian DXpedition will be on the air through December. QSL via W3HNK. Meanwhile, a second Lakshadweep foray has returned to its original plans to commence in mid-January instead of December, thus avoiding the potential for on-air conflict. The second VU7 DXpedition <http://www.vu7.in/>, under the auspices of the National Institute for Amateur Radio (NIAR), will kick off with a three-day hamfest January 15, and the DXpedition will continue for approximately 10 days. The NIAR DXpedition plans to operate as VU7RG, in honor of the late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, VU2RG. NIAR says "well-known, experienced operators" staffing three operating sites will "work closely together to avoid multiple stations on the air using overlapping frequencies." Concerns arose within the DX community in October after NIAR had rescheduled its event from January to December, and it appeared the two DXpeditions would have multiple stations on the air at the same time during early December. ==>SHUTTLE DISCOVERY CREW INCLUDES THREE RADIO AMATEURS NASA has set Thursday, December 7, as the launch date for the next space shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Shuttle Discovery will carry three radio amateurs, one of whom -- US astronaut Sunita Williams, KD5PLB -- will join ISS Expedition 14 in progress. She'll replace European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter, DF4TR, whose duty tour has spanned Expeditions 13 and 14 -- the first time that's happened in the history of the ISS. Williams is said to be eager to do Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> school group contacts from NA1SS. Also aboard Discovery will be European Space Agency astronaut and mission specialist Christer Fuglesang, KE5CGR/SA0AFS, Sweden's first astronaut, who will be making his first journey into space. Plans are in place for Fuglesang to carry out an ARISS school contact with students at Thunmanskolan in Knivsta, Sweden. The contact would be the first ARISS school QSO with Scandinavia. On November 20, Fuglesang attended an Amateur Radio training session at Johnson Space Center to prepare him for using the ARISS Phase 2 station for his school contact. Primary payloads on the 12-day mission are the P5 integrated truss segment, SPACEHAB single logistics module and an integrated cargo carrier. Mission specialist Nicholas Patrick, KD5PKY, also is on the seven-member STS-116 mission crew. This will mark the 20th shuttle flight to the ISS. -- NASA; ARISS ==>SOLAR UPDATE Solar Seer Tad "SPF-15" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: The Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) dipped south early on November 30 UTC, letting in a blast of solar wind. The planetary K index November 30 UTC was 2, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 2 and 1, yielding a planetary A index of 28. Over the Friday through Thursday reporting week, the average daily planetary A index rose by 8.7 points to 12.3, while average daily sunspot numbers declined more than 11 points. The daily sunspot number was zero on three days recently, November 22, 23 and 24. Since that time the number has been rising, 12, 12, 30, 34, 33 and 59 from November 25-30. Two prominent and growing sunspots are in view -- 926 and 927. The sunspot minimum is predicted to be three to four months away. Average daily solar flux for the past week was 80.6. That number should rise to 85 for December 1-5, 90 for December 6-7, and 95 for December 8-13. Sunspot numbers also should go up. During this weekend the planetary A index is expected to quiet down, with a value of 15 for December 1, and 5 for December 2-5. The next period of geomagnetic disturbance is expected around December 7, with a planetary A index of 25, just prior to the ARRL 10 Meter Contest. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet to unsettled conditions December 1, quiet conditions December 2-5, unsettled December 6, and active geomagnetic conditions on December 7. Sunspot numbers for November 23 through 29 were 0, 0, 12, 12, 30, 34 and 33, with a mean of 17.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 76.8, 77.4, 78.6, 78.2, 82.4, 85.5, and 85, with a mean of 80.6. Estimated planetary A indices were 18, 21, 15, 15, 6, 5 and 6, with a mean of 12.3. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 8, 10, 10, 9, 7, 4 and 6, with a mean of 7.7. For more radio propagation information, 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 report, see http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/k9la-prop.html. An archive of past propagation bulletins is at http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/prop/. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: 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. The Antique Wireless Association's Bruce Kelley Memorial 1929 QSO Party will take place the weekends of December 2-3 and 9-10. The ARS Spartan Sprint is December 5. The ARRL 10-Meter Contest is the weekend of December 9-10. The North America High-Speed Meteor Scatter Winter Rally takes place December 10-18. The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint is December 13. 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 24, for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education program (CCE) online courses starting Monday, January 1, 2007: 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, December 22, for classes beginning Sunday, February 4, 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>. * Martin confirmed for second FCC term: The US Senate on November 16 confirmed Kevin J. Martin to serve as FCC chairman for another term, which expires in 2011. He's one of three Republican members on the five-member commission. "I will continue to work to provide a regulatory environment that promotes competition and drives investment and innovation while protecting consumers and promoting public safety," Martin said in a statement. He's has been on the FCC since 2001. In 2005, President George W. Bush appointed him as chairman to succeed Michael Powell and nominated Martin for a second term last April. Like his predecessor, Martin has been among the most enthusiastic BPL proponents. * ARRL still seeking data on mobile emergency communications vehicles: The League's National Emergency Response Planning Committee (NERPC) continues to invite responses from clubs or groups having access to an emergency communications vehicle (ECV). An initial appeal was included recently in The ARES E-Letter <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/ares-el/>. If your group has an ECV and has not yet participated in the survey, please have someone take a few minutes and be a part of this effort. The Committee's response to the ARRL Board is due in January. A number of responses have been received to date, but the Committee wants to collect as much information as possible to develop its report. As of November 29, clubs and groups had entered 29 ECVs into the survey database. Most ECVs are owned by individuals or local governments, 14 have portable repeaters onboard and another 25 have their own power generators. This information will help determine what assets are available and help in planning for future disasters. To participate, visit the Emergency Communications Vehicle Survey Web site <http://www.bullock.org/nerpc>. Thank you for assisting in this project! * W1AW 80-meter digital transmission frequency changing: Effective December 15, in response to rule changes resulting from the "omnibus" Report & Order (R&O) in WT Docket 04-140, ARRL Maxim Memorial Station W1AW will change its 80-meter digital transmission frequency to 3597.5 kHz. The expansion of the 75-meter phone band to 3600 kHz makes the change necessary. W1AW will begin using the new frequency starting with the regularly scheduled 2300 UTC digital bulletin on Friday, December 15. A possible change in the W1AW 80-meter CW frequency is under consideration. * ARRL announces new electronic newsletter for clubs: A new monthly newsletter, ARRL Club News, will soon be available via e-mail at no charge to ARRL members. Designed to help invigorate Amateur Radio clubs and their activities, each issue will contain information and highlights for and about ARRL-affiliated clubs. "Although the first issues will be in text format, we expect to have the ARRL Club News available in HTML format so we can share photos and other exciting material from over 2000 ARRL-affiliated clubs," says ARRL Affiliated Club/Mentor Program Coordinator Norm Fusaro, W3IZ. The first issue of ARRL Club News will be out Wednesday, December 6. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail delivery, ARRL members must register on the Members Only Web Site <http://www.arrl.org/members/>. During registration, members will have the opportunity to sign up for e-mail delivery of the ARRL Club News, The ARRL Letter, W1AW bulletins and other material. ARRL members already registered and logged into the Web site may subscribe to ARRL Club News by visiting the Member Data Page <http://www.arrl.org/members/>, scrolling down to "Which of the following would you like to receive automatically via email from ARRL?" and checking the box for ARRL Club News (monthly club news). * New Sacramento Valley Section Manager takes office: Casey McPartland, W7IB, of Meadow Vista, California, is the new ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Manager. He took the reins December 1 from outgoing veteran SM Jettie Hill, W6RFF, who is stepping down. McPartland has served as a Sacramento Valley Assistant SM and as an Official Emergency Station. Hill was Santa Clara Valley Section Communications Manager (SCM) from 1978 until 1982, and he was Sacramento Valley SM from 1989 until 2000 and again since 2002. He also was the ARRL Pacific Division Vice Director from January 1982 through December 1983. Contact McPartland via e-mail <email@example.com>. * ARRL extends birthday wishes to centenarian member: ARRL member Ralph Hasslinger, W2CVF, of Glen Rock, New Jersey, turned 100 years old on November 24. Hasslinger is said to be the last living charter member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA) <http://www.qcwa.org/>. Noting the "rare privilege" of congratulating a League member on becoming a centenarian, ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, extended birthday wishes to Hasslinger on behalf of the League. "The fact that you are still active on the air practically puts you in a class by yourself," Sumner wrote. "I know you have seen many changes since you were first licensed in 1922. One thing that has not changed is the unique camaraderie among radio amateurs of different generations. I hope we will continue to enjoy your fellowship for many years to come." * Past West Virginia SM Olie Rinehart, WD8V, SK: Former West Virginia Section Manager Oliver N. "Olie" Rinehart, WD8V, of S Charleston died November 25. He was 76. First licensed in 1983, Rinehart -- a retiree from the West Virginia Department of Highways -- served as West Virginia SM from 1994 until 2001. An ARRL member, he remained active in the ARRL Field Organization and, until his death, held appointments as Official Relay Station, Official Emergency Station, Official Observer, and Assistant Section Manager. In addition, he served as a Roanoke Division Assistant Director and was active in the National Traffic System. He was a member of the A-1 Operator Club. Survivors include his wife L. Ann Rinehart, KA8ZGY, who became West Virginia SM in 2005, and sons, Jeff, KB8VDK, Greg, N8XAQ, and Steve. There will be no memorial service. The family invites memorial contributions to the West Virginia State Amateur Radio Council, care of Patrick Shea, N8MIN. * Radio Amateurs of Canada General Manager Debbie Norman, VA3RGM, SK: Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) General Manager Deborah "Debbie" Norman, VA3RGM, of Orleans, Ontario, died November 27 following a long illness. Norman had served as RAC's General Manager since the organization's inception 13 years ago and was the its sole staff member. Announcement of her death came from RAC President Earle Smith, VE6NM. "So many of us have known Debbie through many years of working with her at CARF, through the merger with CRRL and many years with Radio Amateurs of Canada," he said. "In so many ways she was the voice of RAC, the cheerful personality on the other end of the phone line." In 2004, the RAC Board recognized Norman's service with a plaque thanking her for "her loyalty and perseverance as the corporation's sole permanent and full time employee." A service was held December 1. * Special Canadian prefixes to honor historic Fessenden transmissions: At the request of Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC), Industry Canada has authorized radio amateurs in Canada to identify with special prefixes to mark the 100th anniversary of Reginald Fessenden's radio accomplishments. Canadian Amateur Radio operators may use the commemorative prefixes from December 1, 2006, through January 31, 2007. In call sign districts 1 through 9, those with VE call signs may identify using CG, while those with VA call signs may identify using CF, plus the assigned call sign district and suffix. Holders of VY call signs may identify using CI, while those with VO call signs may use CH, plus their assigned call sign district and suffix. A Quebec native, Fessenden is probably best known for his Christmas Eve 1906 broadcast that included his violin rendition of "O Holy Night" and a Bible reading. He transmitted a second short program on New Year's Eve 1906. =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American Radio Relay League: ARRL--the National Association For Amateur Radio, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President. The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential and general news of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest Amateur Radio news and news updates. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> also offers informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also available as a podcast from our Web site. 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