*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 25, No. 50 December 22, 2006 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +FCC drops Morse requirement for all license classes * +League challenges FCC's dismissal of BPL interference complaints * +"Hello" campaign concludes with voices on the air December 29-30 * +ARES volunteers muster in wake of weather emergencies * +ESA astronaut conducts first ARISS school QSO in Swedish * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +ARRL Kids Day is Sunday, January 7 AO-51 "Echo" is now carrier-access New DX record claimed for 300+ GHz "traditional RF" operation New 2-meter EME world record claimed Reminder: "Beijing model 1" IRCs expire at year's end Dale Hatfield, W0IFO, named Spectrum Advisory Committee chairman Angus Tait, ZL3NL, is 2006 Fred M. Link Award winner We stand corrected! +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> =========================================================== NOTE: ARRL Headquarters will be closed Christmas Day, Monday, December 25, and New Year's Day, Monday, January 1, reopening the following day at 8 AM Eastern Time in both instances. There will be no W1AW code practice or bulletin transmissions on those days. In addition, there will be no editions of The ARRL Letter or ARRL Audio News for Friday, December 29. Both will return Friday, January 5, 2007. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season! =========================================================== ==>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 ELIMINATES MORSE CODE AS EXAM REQUIREMENT! Early next year, the US will join the growing list of countries that no longer require Amateur Radio applicants to pass a Morse code test as the entry ticket to HF. Announcement of the pending historic rule change arrived with no fanfare December 15 in an FCC public notice. A full-blown Report and Order (R&O) in the proceeding, WT Docket 05-235, followed December 19. The best estimate of when the Morse code requirement will go away officially is sometime in February -- 30 days after the R&O appears in the Federal Register. "We . . . believe that the public interest is not served by requiring facility in Morse code when the trend in amateur communications is to use voice and digital technologies for exchanging messages," the FCC said in its R&O. "Rather, we believe that because the international requirement for telegraphy proficiency has been eliminated, we should treat Morse code telegraphy no differently from other Amateur Service communications techniques." The FCC says it deems the current regime of written examinations "sufficient to determine whether a person is qualified to be issued an Amateur Radio operator license." The FCC cast aside arguments that Morse ability is advantageous in emergencies, concluding that most emergency communication is handled using voice, data, or video techniques. The Commission also turned away assertions that retaining a Morse requirement would help keep out the bad apples. "The record is devoid of a demonstrated nexus between Morse code proficiency and on-the-air conduct," the FCC observed. It concurred with one commenter's observation that "maintaining the code requirement does not purge Amateur Radio of bad operators. Education and self-policing does." The FCC also ordered that all Technician licensees present and future -- whether or not they've passed a Morse code test, will get privileges on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters identical to those of Novice licensees. "In eliminating this disparity between Technician and Technician Plus licenses, we are simplifying the Amateur Service licensing structure and promoting regulatory parity," the FCC said. The FCC took advantage of the occasion to act on the League's Petition for Partial Reconsideration in the "omnibus" proceeding, WT Docket 04-140, calling on the Commission to retain 3620 to 3635 kHz for automatically controlled digital stations by moving the Extra class phone band edge to 3635 kHz. The FCC decided instead to authorize 3585 to 3600 kHz for such operations, and leave the newly expanded phone band intact. The Commission further amended Part 97 "to authorize Amateur Extra class privileges to all individuals who have been issued a CEPT radio-amateur license by their country of citizenship, and who satisfy other requirements in the Commission's rules." Although the FCC's Morse code decision came as no surprise, it nonetheless revived debate on the issue. The FCC had proposed more than a year ago to drop the Morse code requirement for all license classes. The record in the proceeding, the FCC said, "reflects a division of views in the Amateur Radio community." After reviewing the more than 3500 comments and counter-proposals radio amateurs had filed, the Commission stuck with its initial proposal. ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, had this reaction: "While the Commission's decision to delete the Morse code requirement for an Amateur Extra Class license departs from the ARRL's recommendation, it is helpful to have the matter resolved so we can move forward." ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, expressed a similar viewpoint. "Now that the debate is over, we can focus on learning Morse code simply for its own sake," he said. Sumner pledged that the League would maintain its traditional support of Morse code as an operating mode and would continue to offer Morse training materials as well as such incentives as bonus credit for CW contacts in ARRL-sponsored operating events. ARRL's Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station W1AW will keep its schedule of Morse code practice and bulletin transmissions. Since World Radiocommunication Conference 2003, the UK, Canada, Germany and other countries have dropped their Morse requirements. Sumner said other countries have successfully made the transition to a codeless testing regime, and he doesn't anticipate problems in the US. The pending disappearance of the Morse code requirement seems to have rejuvenated the urge to upgrade. ARRL Sales and Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, says distribution of General Class license training materials have skyrocketed in the week after the FCC announcement. The pending disappearance of the Morse code requirement seems to have rejuvenated the urge to upgrade. ARRL Sales and Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, says sales of General Class license training materials have skyrocketed in the week after the FCC announcement. The ARRL has posted information relevant to the FCC action in WT Docket 05-235, including an FAQ, on its Web site <http://www.arrl.org/fcc/morse/>. ==>ARRL CHALLENGES FCC DISMISSAL OF VIRGINIA BPL INTERFERENCE COMPLAINTS The FCC has told five Manassas, Virginia, radio amateurs that its testing showed the city's BPL system complies with FCC Part 15 rules, and it dismissed their interference complaints. The League is questioning the Commission's conclusions, however. Six Manassas radio amateurs earlier this year complained of BPL interference to their mobile operations. FCC engineers took measurements at several locations in Manassas on October 25 and 26. Spectrum Enforcement Division Chief Kathryn S. Berthot reported the results December 14. "These measurements demonstrate that the Manassas BPL system is in compliance with the radiated emission limits specified in Section 15.611(b) of the Commission's rules at the two sites in areas we tested where emissions appear to be the highest," Berthot wrote, adding that the measurements showed the system is notching at 20 dB or greater to protect the 40-meter band. "Accordingly, based on the results of our investigation, we conclude that the Manassas BPL system is in compliance with the FCC's requirements, and the complaints are hereby dismissed." BPL proponent The United Power Line Council called the letter "complete and total vindication" of the Manassas BPL system. Not so fast, says ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, who responded December 21 on behalf of the League and the complainants <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/BPL-Manassas-2006-12-21.pdf>. Imlay maintained that Berthot's letter raises more questions than it answers. Because the "alleged testing" took place in the presence of BPL operator COMTek and equipment maker Main.net but without the complainants, Imlay said, there's no independent means to evaluate the FCC's conclusions. "In ARRL's view, the Commission owes the complainants a far more comprehensive response to their two-year-old complaints than what is set forth in the terse and uninformative dismissal letter," Imlay wrote. Copies of his letter went to the five FCC commissioners and to the complainants. One complainant, George Tarnovsky, K4GVT, says neither he nor the other five complainants was alerted to the planned FCC testing. The others are Donald "Butch" Blasdell, W4HJL; William South, N3OH; Arthur Whittum, W1CRO; Jack Cochran, WC4J, and Dwight Agnew, AI4II. Imlay says Berthot's December 14 letter overlooks Whittum's May 2006 interference complaint, and, because of that, Whittum's complaint "remains pending and unadjudicated." Beyond that, Imlay contended, the Amateur Radio complainants, as FCC licensees, deserve better treatment and protection from the FCC. Because the Commission -- and especially OET -- has exhibited "an overwhelming and obvious bias in favor of BPL" and "done everything possible to deny or obfuscate the substantial interference potential of BPL" on HF, Imlay wrote, the League is unwilling to accept what he called "the unsupported conclusions" in Berthot's letter. Those conclusions, he noted, vary substantially with the complainants' own observations and measurements, verified by the ARRL Laboratory staff. Among other things, the League wants to know if any of the complainants were notified prior to the FCC's October testing, whether the OET is "routinely involved" in enforcement-related field measurements, when COMTek and Main.net learned of the planned testing, precisely where the FCC tested and how it determined the sites and the system's status during the tests -- including system loading. In addition, the League requested technical details of the testing, including measured emission levels. Imlay says the Amateur Radio complainants "have been stonewalled by the City and COMTek, and now they have been stonewalled by the Commission, after waiting patiently for two years for some action." If the FCC seriously intends to claim that the Manassas system complies with the rules, he continued, it "must be willing to provide the information necessary to support its dismissal order with documentation that is objectively verifiable." ==>HELLO" CAMPAIGN FINALE TO SHOWCASE HAM RADIO'S PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE Amateur Radio past, present and future will be the focus as the ARRL's "Hello" campaign <http://www.hello-radio.org/> concludes with on-the-air events Friday and Saturday, December 29 and 30. Aimed at putting a friendly face on Amateur Radio, "Hello" also has celebrated "100 years of voice over radio worldwide." In 1906, Canadian experimenter Reginald Fessenden transmitted a program of voice and music -- in essence the world's first radio broadcast -- from Brant Rock, Massachusetts. His original goal had been to make voice radio contact with a station in Machrihanish, Scotland, but that plan fell through after a storm felled the Scottish station's antenna. ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, says, Fessenden, "in true ham radio spirit," switched to "Plan B," broadcasting a Christmas Eve program to ships at sea. "This month ham radio operators events will complete what Fessenden was unable to do in 1906 with special event stations and a lot more," Pitts says. "Three primary centennial special events will take to the airwaves December 29 and 30, representing the past, present and future of Amateur Radio." Special event stations W100BO/W1F at Brant Rock -- sponsored by the Peconic Amateur Radio Club (PARC) with Steve Barreres, K2CX, as team leader -- and GB1FVT in Machrihanish -- with Duncan MacArthur, GM3TNT, heading that effort -- will epitomize Amateur Radio Past (Icom UK and Icom America are supplying equipment for both events). Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station W1AW at ARRL Headquarters will represent Amateur Radio Future. The station will be on the air with all voice modes for the event. "In addition to the sites showing the past and future of radio, the transmission modes used will also reflect both traditional as well as new and emerging technologies," Pitts says. "The stations will be operating AM -- an early 20th-century mode -- and SSB and FM -- both later 20th-century modes. EchoLink and IRLP plus digital voice on HF will carry us into the 21st century." The special event will commence at 2000 UTC on Friday, December 29, and continue through the next 24 hours. During the W1AW "Hello" event operation, ARRL Membership Manager Katie Breen, W1KRB, will run a real-time blog -- called "Hello -- Live!" -- that will include both photos and video <http://www.arrl.org/blog/Hello%20-%20Live%21>. "This blog will be a way to find out and even see what's taking place at the three keystone stations," Breen said. She hopes to be able to include photos and video from all three sites. "I hope people will share their thoughts <firstname.lastname@example.org> on what Amateur Radio has meant to them, whether they're longtime licensees or newcomers. I want this to be fun and interactive, so the amateur community can get a real picture of who we are here in Newington!" Hundreds of other ham radio stations in the US and around the globe are also set to participate in the event. The special event participants will use a variety of modes, reflecting the advances that have been made in radio technology since 1906. Pitts says Fessenden's 1906 broadcast inspired others to start playing with radio, or "wireless" -- a term that's come full circle over the decades. Ham radio evolved from that sort of early tinkering, and ham radio operators have been in the forefront of developing wireless technologies from the start. "They continue their role in exploring new designs and applications," he notes. "Today's hams use satellites, computers, software defined radio, microwave, voice over Internet protocol systems and other technologies undreamed of in 1906. But it all started with the word 'Hello.'" ==>COLORADO, WESTERN WASHINGTON ARES VOLUNTEERS RESPOND TO WEATHER EMERGENCIES ARRL Colorado Section Emergency Coordinator Ben Baker, KB0UBZ, says Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers activated this week after a blizzard struck December 20 and continued into the next day, paralyzing a large part of the state and stranding thousands of air and highway travelers. Snowfall totals averaging 20 to 30 inches around the Front Range of Denver and 40 inches or more in the foothills west of Denver, Baker said. "ARES districts all along the Front Range are active, reporting snow totals as well as responding to served agency requests," Baker told ARRL Headquarters December 21. "Amateur Radio operators supporting the Red Cross and The Salvation Army have been staffing shelters, while other ARES members have been using their four-wheel drive vehicles to transport essential and emergency personnel to their assignments." Colorado Gov Bill Owens declared a state of emergency and activated the Colorado National Guard to assist in rescuing stranded motorists. The Colorado Emergency Operations Center as well as county and local EOCs were opened By week's end, major highways and Denver's airport were reopened to traffic. Elsewhere, ARES and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) teams across Western Washington activated December 14 after severe weather struck the Pacific Northwest, ARRL Western Washington Section Manager Ed Bruette, N7NVP told ARRL. Eight people died, and nearly 1.5 million homes and businesses lost electrical power in the wake of the strong winds and heavy rainfall, although the communications infrastructure "pretty well stayed intact," Bruette said. "The need for ARES/RACES was to be staged and have circuits established at the local EOCs and ECCs in case of major communication outages, with a secondary mission to support Red Cross shelters," Bruette explained. "I'm fairly certain every local ARES/RACES team in Western Washington was activated." Fifteen American Red Cross shelters opened across the affected region, and the state activated its EOC at Fort Murray. Winds approaching 70 MPH were clocked at SeaTac Airport, Seattle's official observation point, damaging the terminal and canceling flights. Bruette predicted it could take several days to restore power in outlying areas. Meanwhile, he noted, imprudent use of portable generators and other devices had caused at least two deaths and sent many more to emergency rooms with carbon monoxide poisoning. "The number of CO poisonings in the area have been termed epidemic," Bruette said. "In one case, 30 apartment dwellers were burning charcoal indoors to stay warm." Gov Chris Gregoire urged Washingtonians to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poising and to spread the word to those without power or heat. Downed trees closed several major highways, while others fell victim to flooding. Blocked roads affected public safety agencies' ability to respond, Bruette said. After weathering the worst of the storm at his fire district headquarters, Bruette says he returned home to find he still had power -- and "all my antennas are unharmed." Other radio amateurs in the region were not so lucky, he added. ==>SWEDISH FROM SPACE VIA HAM RADIO DELIGHTS ARISS QSO AUDIENCE The first Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contact in Swedish delighted both students and onlookers this past weekend. European Space Agency astronaut Christer Fuglesang, SA0AFS/KE5CGR, chatted in his native tongue Sunday, December 17, with youngsters at Thunman School in Knivsta, Sweden. ARISS-Europe Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, said everyone enjoyed hearing the Swedish language from space. "Christer answered 13 questions from the students," Bertels noted. "Funglesang is the first Swedish astronaut and enthusiasm in Sweden is topmost. The audience was delighted with hearing Swedish spoken from space." Students and an estimated audience of 500 gathered in Kvistna's sport hall for the event, Bertels said. Verizon Conferencing provided a teleconference circuit to bridge the gap from Earth station VK4KHZ in Australia to Sweden. Among other things, the grade 5 through 9 students wanted to know if birds can fly in the microgravity of the ISS, how the ISS crew disposes of its trash, whether crew members have to wear spacesuits all the time, if they saw flashes of light in their vision due to cosmic rays and did Fuglesang believe there was intelligent life in space. For the contact, which attracted generous media coverage -- including TV and newspaper reports -- students wore shirts bearing a special logo commemorating the contact. Bertels said the students who took part in the contact plan to sign one of the shirts and present it personally to Fuglesang when he's back on Earth. Fuglesang arrived aboard the ISS as part of the shuttle Discovery STS-116 crew. Discovery returned December 22. ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach, with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>STRAIGHT KEY NIGHT IS JANUARY 1, 2007 (UTC) ARRL once again will sponsor Straight Key Night (SKN) <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2007/skn.html> starting at 0000 UTC January 1 (New Year's Eve in US time zones) and continuing for the next 24 hours. SKN is *not* a contest. It's an opportunity for CW enthusiasts -- veterans or novices -- to dust off their straight keys and enjoy socializing and "rag chewing" on the air. Some 350 participants posted entries for SKN 2006. SKN 2007 entries via e-mail <email@example.com> or to SKN, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 must be received by January 31, 2007. "Best Fist" and "Most Interesting QSO" votes will appear in April 2007 QST. "Soapbox" posts <http://www.arrl.org/contests/soapbox/> also are welcome. During the same time period, AMSAT invites radio amateurs worldwide to participate in Straight Key Night on OSCAR 2007. The AMSAT event is dedicated to the memory of Cliff Buttschardt, K7RR, an enthusiastic and longtime SKN participant on both OSCAR and HF. No rules, no scoring and no logs, AMSAT says. Just operate CW through any OSCAR between 0000 and 2400 UTC on 1 January 2007 using a straight key. SKN on OSCAR 2007 participants also may nominate a "Best Fist" from among stations worked. Nominations go to Ray Soifer, W2RS <firstname.lastname@example.org>. A list of nominees will appear in AMSAT News Service and in The AMSAT Journal. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Propagation prognosticator Tad "Who Let the Spots Out?" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: More stormy space weather showed up this week! At the same time, sunspot activity was lower. Average daily sunspot numbers dropped 17 points to 10.4 for December 14-20, but on December 15, the planetary A index -- an indicator of global geomagnetic activity from magnetometers around the globe -- rose to 104. That's a very high number and indicates a severe geomagnetic storm. The cause was a large coronal mass ejection (CME) that happened to be Earth-directed. It arrived on December 14, and aurora borealis -- the northern lights -- were visible as far south as Arizona. During the hours of darkness in North America December 14 and 15, the planetary K index rose to eight for three successive three-hour periods. That's very big. A paper, "Geomagnetic activity indicates a large amplitude for sunspot cycle 24" <http://tinyurl.com/yewboz> presented at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, proposes that the next sunspot cycle could be one of the most intense ever seen. Also, see "The World Above 50 MHz" in December 2006 and January 2007 QST. Currently we've seen several days of zero sunspots. Expect few or no sunspots over the short term and planetary A indices December 22-27 of 15, 15, 10, 5, 5 and 15. The next predicted period of higher geomagnetic activity is around January 2, with a planetary A index of 25. Sunspot numbers for December 14 through 20 were 23, 19, 20, 11, 0, 0 and 0, with a mean of 10.4. The 10.7 cm flux was 93.4, 87.1, 82.3, 81.3, 74.7, 72.9, and 71.5, with a mean of 80.5. Estimated planetary A indices were 63, 104, 11, 4, 8, 14 and 24, with a mean of 32.6. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 30, 48, 10, 3, 7, 9 and 16, with a mean of 17.6. 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 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. The SARTG New Year RTTY Contest, the AGCW Happy New Year Contest, the AGCW VHF/UHF Contest are January 1, 2007. The ARS Spartan Sprint is January 2. The ARRL RTTY Roundup, the Original QRP Contest and the EUCW 160-Meter Contest are the January 6-7 weekend. ARRL Kid's Day is Sunday, January 7. 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, January 7, for these on-line courses beginning Friday, January 19. 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, January 5, for classes beginning Sunday, February 18. 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 Kids Day is Sunday, January 7: The next chance to provide youngsters with a fun, hands-on radio experience is Sunday, January 7, when the first ARRL Kids Day of the new year takes place <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/kd-rules.html>. ARRL Education and Technology Program Coordinator Mark Spencer, WA8SME, offers some Kids Day 2007 thoughts and suggestions on p 45 of December QST. Kids Day begins at 1800 UTC and continues until 2400 UTC. There's no limit on operating time. Suggested exchanges are first name, age, location and favorite color. Suggested frequencies are 14.270 to 14.300 MHz, 21.380 to 21.400 MHz and 28.350 to 28.400 MHz, plus local VHF repeaters with the sponsor's permission. Licensees should observe third-party traffic restrictions when making DX contacts <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/io/3rdparty.html>. These apply when unlicensed individuals communicate via ham radio. * AO-51 "Echo" is now carrier-access: AO-51 "Echo" satellite users no longer need to transmit a 67-Hz CTCSS subaudible tone to enable the satellite's transponder. AMSAT Vice President of Operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, reports AO-51 is now a carrier-access satellite. The change was aimed at improving worldwide access to AO-51, especially from those areas where CTCSS-equipped transceivers are less common. Check the AO-51 operating schedule <http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/echo/ControlTeam.php> *before* using the satellite! -- AMSAT News Service * New DX record claimed for 300+ GHz "traditional RF" operation: Microwave enthuiasts Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, and Pete Lascell, W4WWQ, in Virginia are claiming a new DX record for "traditional RF operation above 300 GHz." The December 10 QSO on 322 GHz spanned 7.3 km (4.53 miles) and was accomplished using slow-speed FSK CW and Spectran software. "This latest QSO exceeds our former DX of 1.4 km (0.87 mile) as well as makes a claim for best DX on any amateur frequency above 300 GHz, except for visible light," said Justin, who also welcomes competition on the millimeter wavelengths. "I hope other hams come to know that the bands above 47 GHz are ripe for the picking when it comes to DX and other firsts." * New 2-meter EME world record claimed: Moonbounce enthusiasts in New Zealand and Portugal are claiming a new EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) distance record on 2 meters. The December 6 contact, using digital JT65B mode, was between Nick Wallace, ZL1IU, in New Zealand (RF64vr) and Joe Kraft, CT1HZE/DL8HCZ, (IM57nh) in Portugal. Wallace was running 500 W to 4-by-12 Yagis, while Kraft was putting 1.5 kW into 4-by-11 Yagis. The EME contact spanned a terrestrial distance of 19,685 km (12,204 mi). * Reminder: "Beijing model 1" IRCs expire at year's end: Check any International Reply Coupons (IRCs) <http://www.upu.int/irc/en/> you've got on hand for an expiration date! As of January 1, 2002, UPU-issued IRCs bear expiration dates, after which the coupons *have no value*. The so-called "Beijing model 1" IRC expires on December 31. The newest IRC, the "Beijing model 2," expires December 31, 2009. Many DXers still use IRCs, issued by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) <http://www.upu.int/index.html>, to cover return postage for QSL cards. The UPU says IRCs are exchangeable in all member countries for the minimum postage of a priority item or an unregistered air mail letter sent to a foreign country. An IRC costs $1.85 in the US. Although US post offices are not obliged to sell IRCs, it is mandatory for post offices in UPU member countries to *exchange* the coupons. * Dale Hatfield, W0IFO, named Spectrum Advisory Committee chairman: ARRL member Dale Hatfield, W0IFO, of Boulder, Colorado, has been named to chair the Commerce Department's Spectrum Advisory Committee <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/advisory/spectrum/index.html>. The former chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology, Hatfield now is an independent consultant and adjunct professor in the University of Colorado Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program. The Commerce Spectrum Advisory Committee is part of the President's Spectrum Policy Initiative. * Angus Tait, ZL3NL, is 2006 Fred M. Link Award winner: The Radio Club of America (RCA) has honored Sir Angus Tait, ZL3NL, as the recipient of the 2006 Fred M. Link (W2ALU) Award. The RCA recognized Tait "for his substantial contributions to the advancement and development of land mobile radio and communications." The managing director of Tait Electronics in Christchurch, New Zealand, Tait, 87, was unable to attend RCA's awards banquet in mid-November, and Tait Communications President Bill Fredrickson accepted the award in his stead. -- Don Bishop, W0WO, provided some information for this report * We stand corrected! In The ARRL Letter, Vol 25, No 49 (Dec 15, 2006), the news brief "New Jersey club boosts Spectrum Defense Fund" contained incorrect information. Hudson Division Assistant Director Jim Joyce, K2ZO, filled in for Bergen Amateur Radio Association (BARA) President Tony Izzo, K2AMI, who could not make the trip to ARRL Headquarters. The news brief "Radio Club of America honors Frank Clement" should have said: Clement worked for Hughes Aircraft and was part of the engineering team that designed and built the Hughes Flying Boat (the HK-1 Hercules), the "Spruce Goose." =========================================================== 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. 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