*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 25, No. 49 December 15, 2006 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +US radio amateurs take advantage of newly expanded phone allocations * +Revised band plans get green light from ARRL Executive Committee * +Ham radio satellites set for launch, deployment * +FCC orders hearing in possible ham license hijacking case * +ARRL's 500 kHz experiment team wants reception reports * +Dayton Hamvention seeks nominations for 2007 awards * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration ARRL Outgoing QSL Service revises rates +New Jersey club boosts Spectrum Defense Fund +ISS digital, SSTV, crossband repeater operations temporarily curtailed Radio Club of America honors Frank Clement, W6KPC FCC proposes to fine California amateur licensee $14,000 Codeless Canadian "Basic Plus" amateurs may operate HF in the US UK "lifetime license" regime now in place +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> =========================================================== ==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/faq.html#nodelivery>, then e-mail <email@example.com> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, <firstname.lastname@example.org> =========================================================== ==>AMATEUR COMMUNITY TRANSITIONS SMOOTHLY TO NEW ALLOCATIONS With some confusion but little commotion, the amateur community took occupancy of more commodious HF phone subbands as the so-called "omnibus" Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 04-140 <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-06-149A1.pdf> kicked in December 15 at one minute past midnight Eastern Time. Among other things, the wide-ranging R&O inflated the overall phone allocations on 75 and 40 meters and provided Generals with a little additional phone spectrum on 15 meters. On 75 meters, where the phone band expansion came at the expense of spectrum that had been allocated to CW, RTTY and data modes, some operators camped out above the new 3.600 MHz Extra class phone band edge to count down the switch. "Anyone on that wants last CW es [and] first SSB?" pleaded one operator as the minutes ticked away. He'd been working a string of stations on CW, and when the appointed time arrived, he simply switched to SSB and carried on in that mode. There was no massive onslaught of phone stations, however, and several CW contacts continued largely unhindered, interspersed among a slowly growing number of SSB signals. By week's end, the FCC had not acted on the League's Petition for Partial Reconsideration <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/wt04-140/ARRL-04-140-ReconPetition. pdf> in the proceeding, filed December 11, so the changes went into effect as scheduled. The ARRL had called on the Commission to postpone the allocation change for 3600 to 3635 kHz while considering a request to maintain the status quo in that small segment. In its petition, the League emphasized that it was not seeking reconsideration of the entire 75-meter phone band expansion. "Rather, we ask only that the Commission restore the privileges unintentionally withdrawn from those who operate and who utilize automatically controlled narrowband digital stations between 3620 and 3635 kHz," the League said. The ARRL pointed out that while the R&O left unchanged rules permitting automatically controlled narrowband digital in that segment, it eliminated RTTY and data as permitted emissions above 3600 kHz. The League wants the Commission to make a "simple and equitable fix" by moving the dividing line between the narrowband and wideband segments of 80/75 meters to 3635 kHz. This would keep 3600 to 3635 kHz available to General and higher licensees for RTTY, data and CW and open to Novice and Tech Plus licensees for CW. It also would maintain access to the automatically controlled digital subband, 3620-3635 kHz. "This is neither a minor matter nor an academic exercise in future band planning," the ARRL concluded. "It is an urgent problem which, unless corrected, affects a substantial number of existing Amateur Radio fixed facilities and an even more substantial number of mobile facilities." Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports indicated that some stations -- perhaps out of confusion regarding the effective time or a lack of concern -- fired up on the new phone segments well in advance of the effective time. Judging from those heard in the eastern US, everyone was enjoying -- and even wisecracking about -- the additional elbow room. "It's just like up the band," quipped one operator attempting a QSO in the newly expanded 40-meter phone band. Retorted another operator: "It's no good down here. It's too crowded!" The Amateur Radio frequency allocation chart <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/bands.html> and the ARRL Band Plans <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/bandplan.html> on the ARRL Web site have been updated to reflect the band changes. Revised FCC Part 97 Amateur Service rules reflecting all changes detailed in the FCC Report and Order in WT Docket 04-140, also are available <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/news/part97/>. ==>ARRL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OKAYS REVISED BAND PLANS FOR 80/75, 40 AND 15 The ARRL Executive Committee this week approved revised band plans for 80/75, 40, and 15 meters developed and recommended by the League's Band Planning Committee. ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, says the Band Planning Committee "did a commendable job" stepping into the breach caused by the FCC's unexpected 80/75 meter decision in the so-called "omnibus" Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 04-140. "In the case of 80/75 meters, it is an interim plan, subject to change if the FCC acts favorably on our Petition for Reconsideration," Sumner said (see <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2006/12/11/100/>). The lower edge of the Amateur Extra 75-meter phone band shifted to 3600 kHz as of December 15. The League wants the FCC to rectify an "unintended consequence" of that expansion by moving the narrowband/wideband boundary on 80/75 meters to 3635 kHz. ARRL Vice President and Band Planning Committee chair Rick Roderick, K5UR, says his panel considered members' input in developing the changes the committee recommended. He notes that the Committee received nearly 900 comments. The charts below reflect the old band plan as well as the changes that went into effect December 15. 75/80 METERS OLD BAND PLAN NEW BAND PLAN 3.590 RTTY DX RTTY/Data DX 3.580-3.620 RTTY 3.570-3.600: RTTY/Data 3.620-3.635 Packet Delete 3.790-3.800 DX Window No change 3.845 SSTV No change 3.885 AM calling frequency No change 40 METERS OLD BAND PLAN NEW BAND PLAN 7.040 RTTY DX RTTY/Data DX 7.080-7.100 RTTY 7.080-7.125: RTTY/Data 7.171 SSTV No change 7.290 AM calling frequency No change 15 METERS OLD BAND PLAN NEW BAND PLAN 21.070-21.100 RTTY 21.070-21.110: RTTY/Data 21.100-21.110 Packet 21.070-21.110: RTTY/Data 21.340 SSTV No change ==>AMATEUR RADIO SATELLITES AWAITING LAUNCH, DEPLOYMENT The GeneSat-1 satellite <http://www.crestnrp.org/genesat1/>, which carries an Amateur Radio payload, now is set to launch Saturday, December 16, at 1200 UTC from Wallops Island, Virginia. The launch window extends to 1530 UTC. Problems with testing of TacSat-2, the primary Minotaur launch vehicle payload, forced NASA to postpone the launch from December 11. A collaboration of NASA Ames Research Center, industry and local universities, the GeneSat-1 CubeSat will transmit AX.25 1200 bps FM/AFSK telemetry on 437.075 MHz. Additional information on GeneSat-1 and other CubeSats is on the Amateur Radio Information and Support for CubeSats Web site maintained by Ralph Wallio, W0RPK <http://showcase.netins.net/web/wallio/CubeSat.htm>. Rocket launches from the Wallops Flight Facility are available live via the Web <http://www.wff.nasa.gov/webcast/>, starting approximately 30 minutes before launch. The space shuttle Discovery carried four other ham radio payloads to the International Space Station for deployment later this month. Discovery launched December 9 and now docked with the ISS. The spacecraft <http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/ande-raft-ops.html> will be released into space from the ISS on December 20. The ANDE (Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment), RAFT (Radar Fence Transponder) and MARScom satellites all contain systems involving student projects. Midshipmen at the US Naval Academy's Satellite Laboratory designed and built RAFT and MARScom plus the ANDE communication package under the tutelage of Bob Bruninga, WB4APR. The fourth satellite, FCal (Fence Calibration satellite), was built at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) It contains an Amateur Radio CubeSat for communications and telemetry. The Amateur Radio payload within the ANDE satellite will contain two independent AX.25 packet command and telemetry systems. The primary system will operate like PCsat and PCSAT2, providing telemetry and supporting 1200 bps packet communication (ie, digipeater operation) on 145.825 MHz. The secondary will operate on unpublished frequencies. Bruninga says midshipmen had to rebuild the ANDE communication package from scratch after the finished modules "burned to a crisp" the day before it was due for delivery when a heat-chamber thermostat failed. "This project has taken multiple years to complete and the current team has taken the work of past students and moved forward with it," he explained. RAFT-1 will have a PSK31 uplink passband of 28.117 to 28.120 MHz as well as a UHF telecommand uplink. The 145.825 MHz uplink/downlink frequency will support 1200 bps packet. RAFT also will provide a 217 MHz transmitter/receiver for the NSSS radar fence experiments. Radio amateurs will be able to listen to the signal as the satellite crosses the National Space Surveillance Satellite Network (NSSS) radar-tracking system. MARScom will operate on Navy-Marine Corps Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) frequencies. It will feature UHF AM and 148.975 MHz FM uplinks and a 27.965 MHz SSB downlink. FCal's downlink frequency will be 437.385 MHz (AX.25 AFSK 1200 bps packet). It will identify as KD4HBO. ==>FCC CITES POSSIBLE HAM LICENSE HIJACKING IN INITIATING HEARING PROCEEDING The FCC has begun a hearing proceeding in the case of an Amateur Radio applicant who, the Commission says, may have attempted earlier to hijack the General class ticket of a Delaware man with a similar name. The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) issued a Hearing Designation Order (HDO) <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2487A1.pdf> to Joseph W. Hartmann Jr, last known to be living in Lansing, Michigan, on December 11. The FCC put Hartmann's January 2006 application for an Amateur Radio license on hold while it looked into why he filed a half-dozen administrative updates in 2005 seeking to change the name and address of Joseph V. Hartman Sr, K3GUX, of Oceanview, Delaware, to his own name and address. "The record before us suggests that Hartmann, Jr. intentionally submitted fraudulent administrative updates to obtain the privileges associated with call sign K3GUX," the FCC said in the HDO. "Based on the information before us, we believe that Hartmann, Jr.'s actions raise a substantial and material question of fact as to whether he possesses the requisite character qualifications to be a Commission licensee." According to the FCC, Hartmann also attempted to associate his FCC Registration Number (FRN) with amateur call sign K3GUX. The Commission said it was designating the hearing in part to determine whether Hartmann's 2006 application for a new amateur license "would serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity." In the wake of the spate of administrative update applications in 2005 involving K3GUX, Special Counsel in the FCC Spectrum Enforcement Division Riley Hollingsworth contacted Hartmann by telephone. Hollingsworth told ARRL at the time that Hartmann had indicated he was trying to correct errors in his licensee record in the FCC's database. The FCC's Universal Licensing System (ULS) shows a Delaware mailing address for the senior Hartman. FCC records indicate that Joseph V. Hartman Sr was born in 1919, while Joseph W. Hartmann Jr indicated on his application that he was born in 1969. A June 21, 2005, certified letter to Hartmann from Hollingsworth attempting to get to the bottom of the matter came back unclaimed, the HDO recounts. "Hartmann Jr's repeated attempts to change the licensee information for call sign K3GUX from Hartman Sr's name and address to Hartmann Jr's name and address raise substantial and material question of fact as to whether Hartmann Jr made false certifications, misrepresented facts to the Commission, and/or demonstrated a lack of candor in order to claim the identity and higher class license of Hartman, Sr," the FCC said in its HDO. "In each application, Hartmann also certified that all of the statements therein were true, complete, correct, and made in good faith, even though his filings appear to have satisfied none of these standards." The Commission noted that Hartmann Jr continued to file administrative update applications on K3GUX even after the Enforcement Bureau contacted him to investigate the discrepancies regarding the identity of the licensee. After Hartmann failed to respond to the FCC, the WTB set aside the remaining administrative update applications on January 17, 2006. Just 10 days later, Hartmann filed his application for a new Amateur Radio license. "The record suggests that Hartmann Jr has engaged in false certification, misrepresentation and lack of candor in order to assume the identity and higher class license of Hartman Sr for Commission licenses purposes," the FCC said. The "circumstances presented" in its HDO, the Commission continued, "raise substantial and material questions of fact" as to whether Hartmann would deal truthfully with the FCC and comply with its rules and policies. A hearing would, in part, determine whether Hartmann made false certifications or representations and/or lacked candor in his dealings with the Commission, the FCC said. It also would determine the effect of Hartmann's representations of fact and candor before the FCC to be a Commission licensee and whether to grant his ham radio license application. Hartmann would bear the burden of proof with respect to all issues outlined in the HDO. ==>ARRL 600-METER EXPERIMENT SEEKS RECEPTION REPORTS The ARRL 500 kc Experimental Group for Amateur Radio (WD2XSH) <http://www.500kc.com/> is encouraging radio amateurs and listeners to submit reception reports <http://w5jgv.com/500kcreportform.htm> of group members' operations between 505 and 508 kHz. As of this week, 16 of the 21 WD2XSH participants were on the air. "Several 500 kHz experimenters are generally active every evening," says Experiment Coordinator Fritz Raab, W1FR, in Vermont. "Your signal reports will help to establish communication capabilities." Team participants are using 507.5 kHz as a "calling frequency." Raab urges listeners to file multiple reports for receiving the same station on different days. "This helps to establish the reliability of the communication path," he said. Most communications to date have been nighttime skywave using CW and very slow-speed CW (QRSS). Raab also would appreciate reports from northeastern Nebraska comparing the signal strengths of WD2XSH stations to those of NDB (non-directional beacon) OF on 510 kHz. Raab says the six WD2XSH stations in the Midwest are avoiding 508 to 510 kHz to make sure there aren't any interference problems. More than two dozen two-way contacts have been logged to date, the best distance being 884 miles. The experiment's Web site already has gathered more than 900 reception reports. Three stations have been received in Europe, one in Hawaii. Gus Gustafson, SM6BHZ, in Gothenberg on Sweden's western coast, contacted Raab this week with the news that Sweden's telecommunication authority has given Gustafson permission to operate from 505.0 to 505.2 kHz at 20 W ERP until November 30, 2007. ==>DAYTON HAMVENTION® INVITES 2007 AWARD NOMINATIONS Dayton Hamvention <http://www.hamvention.org/> is accepting nominations for its 2007 Amateur of the Year, Special Achievement, and Technical Excellence awards. The deadline to submit nominations is February 19, 2007. All Amateur Radio operators are eligible. Dayton Hamvention will recognize the winners at the 2007 Hamvention, May 18-20. The Amateur of the Year Award goes to an individual who has made a long-term, outstanding commitment to the advancement of Amateur Radio. The Technical Excellence Award is for the person who has made an outstanding technical advancement in the field of Amateur Radio. The Special Achievement Award honors someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of Amateur Radio, usually by spearheading a significant project. The Hamvention Awards Committee makes its decisions on all awards based in part upon the information it receives and not on the number of nominations submitted. Documentation to inform the Awards Committee of a candidate's accomplishments may include magazine articles, newsletters, newspaper clippings and even videos. All materials submitted become the property of Hamvention and will not be returned. Additional details and a nomination form are available on the Dayton Hamvention Web site <http://www.hamvention.org/nomination07.htm>. Nominations also are accepted via US mail to Dayton Hamvention Awards, PO Box 964, Dayton, OH 45401. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Ra the Sun god Tad "Blinded by the Light" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: There was big solar and geomagnetic activity this week from Sunspot 930 as it moved across the center of the visible solar disk as seen from Earth. On Wednesday December 13, there was a big X-class solar flare, and Thursday's mid-latitude A index rose to 30, while the planetary A index hit 63, indicating a severe geomagnetic storm. On December 14, the Australian Space Forecast Centre issued a warning for a major to severe geomagnetic storm for December 15. Geophysical Institute Prague also predicted a severe geomagnetic storm on December 15, active conditions on December 16, unsettled conditions on December 17 and back to quiet on December 18. Geomagnetic storms aren't all bad. Other than producing pretty aurora borealis, there are some nice effects on VHF too, such as the auroral propagation many 6 meter ops enjoyed December 14. Sunspot numbers for December 7 through 13 were 48, 32, 13, 23, 28, 27 and 21, with a mean of 27.4. 10.7 cm flux was 96, 96, 92.4, 90, 92.2, 102, and 93.6, with a mean of 94.6. Estimated planetary A indices were 25, 25, 7, 14, 15, 26 and 5, with a mean of 16.7. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 14, 17, 6, 8, 11, 15 and 5, with a mean of 10.9. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint is December 13. The Russian 160-Meter Contest is December 15 (UTC). The OK DX RTTY Contest is December 16 (UTC). The MDXA PSK DeathMatch, the Croatian CW Contest and the International Naval Contest are the weekend of December 16-17. The ARCI Holiday Spirits Homebrew Sprint is December 17. The Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is December 18. JUST AHEAD: The RAEM Contest is December 24. The DARC Christmas Contest is December 26. The RAC Winter Contest is December 30. The Feld Hell QSO Party and the Stew Perry Topband Challenge are the weekend of December 30-31. 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. Classes start 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 <email@example.com>. * ARRL Outgoing QSL Service revises rates: The ARRL Outgoing QSL Service <http://www.arrl.org/qsl/qslout.html> has announced has announced a new rate structure, effective January 1, 2007. The new basic rate will be $5 per half-pound (8 ounces -- or approximately 75 cards) or any portion of a half-pound. That's a change from the current rate of $4 per half-pound or any portion. One pound will cost $10, and larger packages will be assessed $5 for each additional half-pound (or portion thereof). For example, a package containing 1.5 pounds of cards will cost $15, while a package containing 1.75 pounds of cards will cost $20. For smaller packages, the new fee is only $1.50 for 10 or fewer cards, $2.50 for 11 to 20 cards and $3.75 for 21 to 30 cards. The new rate structure will help to cover basic handling costs for smaller packages while continuing to offer a price break to moderate-volume users submitting less than one-half pound of cards. The new rate schedule is in response to the recent postal rate increase and price restructuring, which doubled the bureau's postal costs. The ARRL Outgoing QSL Service is available only to ARRL members. The last rate revision went into effect in March 2001. * New Jersey club boosts Spectrum Defense Fund: Representatives of the Bergen Amateur Radio Association (BARA) <http://www.bara.org/> in Northern New Jersey led by club president Tony Izzo, K2AMI, and a Hudson Division delegation headed by Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, traveled to ARRL Headquarters this week with a substantial ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund donation in hand. Representing BARA, Hudson Division Assistant Director Jim Joyce, K2ZO, presented a $2500 check to ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. This marked the third year in a row the Spectrum Defense Fund has benefited from raffle and program advertising proceeds from the Hudson Division awards dinner, which BARA co-sponsored this year. Contributions are especially important this year, ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, stressed, to support the League's federal court challenge of certain FCC broadband over power line (BPL) rules. "We are making progress -- good progress -- but there is always room for more," she said. Hobart expressed the hope that other clubs would follow BARA's lead and support the Spectrum Defense Fund by December 31. "Spectrum defense is a 365-day-a-year operation," she continued. "We hope you, either as an individual or as a club, can help. The ARRL has always 'had your back' -- now we need you to have our back as we meet this challenge." Members may donate via the ARRL Development Department's secure Web site <https://www.arrl.org/forms/fdefense/2007/fall/fdefense.html>. * ISS digital, SSTV, crossband repeater operations temporarily curtailed: The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> program has announced that Amateur Radio automatic-mode operations (packet, APRS, slow-scan TV and crossband repeater) are temporarily off the air or will be available only for brief periods until further notice. That's because the ISS Phase II ham station -- a modified Kenwood TM-D700E -- requires reprogramming for modes other than FM voice. The ISS crew will continue to use the Phase II station for ARISS school contacts. "A computer designated for Amateur Radio operations that will allow reprogramming the radio is planned to arrive on the next Progress vehicle in 2007," said ISS Ham Radio Project Engineer Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO. Meanwhile, the ISS Phase I ham station -- an Ericsson 2-meter handheld transceiver in the Zarya Functional Cargo Block (FGB) -- appears to have developed an intermittent audio problem. Fixing this will require scheduling some crew time to determine the cause. The Phase I station has been used mostly for ARISS school contacts since the packet system associated with the radio began to malfunction during Expedition 6. The Expedition 14 crew now aboard the ISS consists of Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria, KE5GTK, Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin, RZ3FT, and Suni Williams, KD5PLB. Williams arrived this month on the shuttle Discovery. She's replaced European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter, DF4TR, who will head home after a six-month duty tour spanning Expeditions 13 and 14. ISS call signs include NA1SS, RS0ISS and DP0ISS. * Radio Club of America honors Frank Clement, W6KPC: The Radio Club of America (RCA) has honored ARRL Life Member A.J.F. "Frank" Clement, W6KPC, of Bakersfield, California, with its 2006 Barry M. Goldwater Amateur Radio Award. The award recognizes Clement's accomplishments in designing and manufacturing towers and designing and constructing of North America's largest Amateur Radio phased HF Yagi sextet. Clement's article "The Collinear Yagi Sextet" was the cover story for June 1980 QST. He also authored three other QST articles on antennas and now is writing two books. Clement worked for Hughes Aircraft and was part of the engineering team that designed and built the Hughes Flying Boat (the HK-1 Hercules) and the "Spruce Goose." He later worked in missile technology at Northrop; founded Diodes Incorporated, a silicon rectifier maker; built Golden Valley Radio, an early specialized mobile radio system, and acquired Tri-Ex Tower. In expressing appreciation, Clement noted that he knew the award's namesake -- five-term US Senator, 1964 GOP presidential candidate and ham radio advocate Barry Goldwater, K7UGA (SK) -- because he bought a Skyneedle while Clement owned Tri-Ex. * FCC proposes to fine California amateur licensee $14,000: The FCC has issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-268422A1.pdf> to Jason Kaltenbach, KE6CND, proposing to fine him $14,000 for willfully and repeatedly selling non-certified VHF and UHF transceivers on the eBay auction site. Kaltenbach does business as Metamerchant of Laguna Nigel, California. The Commission's Los Angeles District Office released the NAL November 9. According to the NAL, an FCC agent found two models of KYD brand transceivers, one capable of operating on 136 to 174 MHz at 3 W, the other capable of operating on 400 to 470 MHz at 4 W. In January 2006, the FCC cited Kaltenbach d/b/a Metamerchant for violating §302(b) of the Communications Act and §2.803(a)(1) of the FCC rules by offering for sale non-certified General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) and Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) transceivers. Kaltenbach told the Commission the gear had been listed accidentally as GMRS and MURS radios and that he removed them from sale and corrected his auction listing. Nonetheless, the NAL recounts, an FCC agent was able to purchase a non-certified VHF transceiver via auction from Metamerchant in March. In July, the FCC's Seattle office received a complaint from someone who purchased a UHF transceiver from Metamerchant via eBay that turned out not to be certified or even FCC-certifiable. The Commission gave Kaltenbach 30 days to pay the fine or file a statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the forfeiture. * Codeless Canadian "Basic Plus" amateurs may operate HF in the US: Canadian licensees holding "Basic Plus" tickets may operate HF in the US, whether or not they've passed a Morse code test, according to the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC). Since Canada removed its mandatory Morse requirement in 2005, the impression has persisted that the US still required visiting ops to have Morse credit for HF operation under the reciprocal operating agreement between the two countries. The issue came to a head when a Canadian Winlink mailbox reportedly denied access to Canadian Basic Plus licensees operating from US territory. Basic Plus licensees have scored at least 80 percent on the written examination, obviating the need to pass a Morse examination. According to §97.107 of the FCC rules, operator privileges in the US are those authorized by the alien licensee's government, not to exceed Amateur Extra class privileges, but visitors must operate according to US frequency allocations. The situation may not be the same for Canadians operating in other countries. "Many countries have still retained the Morse requirement for HF, and some countries continue to require a Morse qualification for HF operation by amateurs visiting from other countries," RAC advised in a recent bulletin. Radio amateurs from countries with which the US has reciprocal operating agreements also may be HF station control operators when transmitting from territory where the FCC regulates Amateur Radio. * UK "lifetime license" regime now in place: All Amateur Radio licensees in the United Kingdom/Great Britain as of December 1 will receive free replacement lifetime licenses. Telecoms regulator Ofcom <http://www.ofcom.org.uk/> says all new amateur licensees can apply online to obtain free lifetime licenses. While Ofcom charges an administrative fee (£20) for hard-copy applications, these will continue to be free of charge for applicants 75 or older. Under the new lifetime license regime, Ofcom issues Amateur Radio licenses, which will remain valid for as long as the license details remain correct or until the license is revoked or surrendered. Ofcom notes, however, that Amateur Radio licensees still must confirm their license information every five years. "Although the licence will be valid for life, Ofcom considers that for spectrum management and administrative purposes, it is necessary to carry out a licence validation process," the regulator says on its Web site. Ofcom will prompt licensees to ensure that the information on file is still correct. Once registered, licensees will be able to validate their details online. =========================================================== 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!): firstname.lastname@example.org ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, email@example.com ==>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/>. 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