*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 26, No. 01 January 5, 2007 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +Ham radio volunteers help in wake of Colorado snowstorm * +HF digital transmission caps "Hello" activity at W1AW * +Youngsters in Japan query ISS commander via ham radio * +Huntsville to host Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference * +New AMSAT Satellite Integration Lab to be in Maryland * +Deadline is February 1 to apply for ARRL Foundation scholarships * +Alan Kaul, W6RCL, SK * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio: ARRL RTTY Round-Up ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration Revised rules prompt ARRL RTTY Round-Up advisory +FCC chairman names new Wireless Telecommunications Bureau chief FCC cites Pennsylvania radio amateur for failure to ID World Scout Movement announces centenary of scouting ham radio award Hamboree, Amateur Radio Hurricane Conference seek new 2007 weekend(s) Floyd Koontz, WA2WVL, wins December QST Cover Plaque Award Romanian and Bulgarian amateurs celebrate EU membership Ham Radio University 2007 is Sunday, January 7 Straight Key Century Club sets first anniversary special event AMSAT files second "orbital debris" petition +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> =========================================================== ==>THE DAY THE SNOWS CAME: COLORADO ARES TEAMS STAY BUSY OVER HOLIDAYS A major Colorado snowstorm just after Christmas prompted Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) teams to activate for the second time in less than 10 days along Colorado's Front Range -- the state's most populous region. The December 28 storm dumped upward of three feet of snow on and around Denver, stranding both air and highway travelers. The area was just starting to recover from a pre-Christmas blizzard that stranded holiday travelers and brought the Denver area to a near-standstill when the second snowstorm struck. Colorado Section Emergency Coordinator Ben Baker, KB0UBZ, reports that all Colorado ARES teams had stood down as of Monday, January 1. The last to terminate operations were the volunteers at the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center (EOC), who held down the fort until 3 PM on New Year's Day. "The worst of the second storm affected the southeast corner of Colorado the most, although all areas of eastern Colorado were also affected, from Ft Collins to the New Mexico border," Baker said. "Because of the snow coming in waves along the Front Range, travel was difficult but not as impossible as with the first storm." He told ARRL Headquarters that teams from several ARES districts deployed to report snowfall totals and remained available to support communication for shelters, although that turned out to be unnecessary. Colorado Gov Bill Owens declared a state of emergency, and the National Guard was called out to search snowbound roadways for stranded motorists. Stretches of two major Interstate highways, I-70 and I-25, had to be closed to traffic. Power remained out to thousands of rural customers at week's end. Bill James, KC0FGJ, the ARES EC for Baca, Bent, Kiowa and Prowers counties, coordinated communications between the State EOC and ARES teams in southeastern Colorado counties. James reported that travel was impossible due to snowfall of up to three feet and drifts of more than 10 feet in some spots. Erix Dyce, W0ERX, the EC for the Colorado State Emergency Operation Center, reported that UHF, HF and IRLP were the primary communications modes used at the EOC to maintain communication throughout southeastern Colorado. Baker said primary roadways into and out of the region began re-opening on January 2. The Colorado National Guard this week has been air-dropping bales of hay from helicopters to stranded livestock, and the Civil Air Patrol deployed aircraft seeking stranded motorists and livestock. The storms that struck Colorado moved east into the Midwest causing similar problems in Kansas and elsewhere. Forecasters were calling for a third, less-severe snowstorm in Colorado this weekend. ==>"HELLO" FINALE AT W1AW INCLUDES HISTORIC DIGITAL VOICE TRANSMISSION The December 29-30 capper to the yearlong "Hello" Amateur Radio promotional campaign <http://www.hello-radio.org/> included a historic HF digital voice transmission from W1AW. W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, did the honors, telling listeners that the digital voice bulletin marked another technological step forward for ham radio. "It is the first ARRL bulletin transmitted in digital HF," he said, "a new and developing mode of radio that provides FM clarity but at much longer ranges and less bandwidth." (see and hear Carcia making the historic digital audio transmission <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/first-digi-bc.html#top>). The 20-meter WinDRM transmission was part of the W1AW bulletins the evening of December 29. Carcia says he doesn't anticipate any digital HF transmissions from W1AW in the near future, with the possible exception of special events and occasions. Despite some advance publicity, W1AW received no reception reports of the digital transmission, although it's possible the band was closed by the time it was made. That drew this response from ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, who conceived and managed the Hello campaign: "No one noticed much -- just like Fessenden in 1906 -- but this time it was documented," he said. The "Hello" campaign centered on early wireless pioneer Reginald Fessenden's 1906 Christmas Eve broadcast from Brant Rock, Massachusetts. ARRL Connecticut Section Manager Betsy Doane, K1EIC, joined several ARRL Headquarters staffers and volunteers -- about two dozen in all -- for the "Hello" finale from W1AW. ARRL Membership Manager Katie Breen, W1KRB, ran a blog <http://www.arrl.org/blog/Hello-Live!> to document the occasion in print and in video, and videos from the event also have been posted on U-Tube <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d83CJRfpgrs&mode=related&search=>. Concluded Carcia: "We had a wonderful time this weekend during the Hello operating event." 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, Scotland -- led by Duncan MacArthur, GM3TNT, epitomized "Amateur Radio Past" for the Hello campaign finale. ==>ELEMENTARY, JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLERS IN JAPAN TALK WITH ISS COMMANDER Youngsters from an elementary and a junior high school at Kashiwabara Community Center in Sayama, Japan -- some 30 km from Tokyo -- spoke via ham radio December 27 with International Space Station Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria, KE5GTK. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program arranged the direct VHF contact between 8J1K in Japan and NA1SS in space. Lopez-Alegria told the youngsters that one of the most important characteristics of a good ISS crew member is being a team player who works well with others. The crew's duties are varied, he said. "The kind of work we do depends a lot on the day," he said. "Sometimes we do science experiments, sometimes we do maintenance on the space station, sometimes we do spacewalks -- it depends on the day. It's all very interesting, though." On orbit with Lopez-Alegria are Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, RZ3FT, and US Astronaut Suni Williams, KD5PLB, who joined Expedition 14 already in progress. Lopez-Alegria said that while he felt "a little apprehensive" about going into space, it was a "very exciting experience." He's also enjoying the ability to float in the microgravity environment, something he described as being "a bit like swimming underwater." When he returns to Earth this spring, Lopez-Alegria told the students, the first thing he wants is "a nice shower," although he conceded that medical debriefings may take priority. ARISS-Japan Mentor Satoshi Yasuda, 7M3TJZ, says Lopez-Alegria answered 15 questions during a truncated contact that ran approximately six minutes instead of the typical ten. For the first four minutes of the pass, Yasuda reports, nothing was heard from NA1SS. The 50 students selected from the two schools to participate in the event had studied about human space flight and the ISS for four months in preparation for the ARISS contact. "In addition, they learned English conversation and Amateur Radio," Yasuda noted. Earth-station control operator Tetsuya Yoshida, who holds an operator license but not a station license and thus has no call sign, is an alumnus of both the elementary and junior high schools. An audience of approximately 400 people looked on during the event. Those on hand included reporters from two newspapers and one TV station. ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>GLOBAL AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE SET FOR HUNTSVILLE The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has announced that Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference 2007 (GAREC-07) will take place this August in conjunction with the 2007 ARRL National Convention at the Huntsville Hamfest. IARU International Coordinator for Emergency Communications Hans Zimmermann, F5VKP/HB9AQS, says GAREC-07 will take place Thursday and Friday, August 16 and 17 at the Embassy Suites Hotel, just prior to the convention and hamfest. "Let's hope that this will be a good year for progress with our work in emergency communications, but that there will be no major disasters that will need them!" Zimmermann said. The ARRL Alabama Section and the Huntsville Hamfest Association will sponsor GAREC-07. This will mark the third annual Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference and the first held in the US. The two previous events were held in 2005 and 2006 in Tampere, Finland, which loaned its name to the Tampere Convention <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/1998/12/02/1/>. That 1998 pact is aimed at removing regulatory impediments to swift deployment of emergency telecommunications equipment and personnel to disaster zones, especially in those parts of the world where the telecommunications infrastructure may be marginal and the regulatory environment hostile. ARRL First Vice President Kay Craigie, N3KN, chaired GAREC-06, held concurrently with the International Conference on Emergency Communications (ICEC 2006) and the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications (WGET). Representatives of more than 20 countries were on hand. Additional details on GAREC-07 will be announced as they become available <http://www.arrl-al.org/GAREC07.htm>. ==>AMSAT-NA SIGNS AGREEMENTS TO BUILD "EAGLE" AT MARYLAND FACILITY AMSAT-NA will co-locate its Satellite Integration Lab with the Hawk Institute for Space Sciences (HISS) in Pocomoke City on Maryland's Eastern Shore and construct its Eagle satellite <http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/eagle/> there. A division of the Maryland Hawk Corporation, HISS is a non-profit educational organization affiliated with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). "I consider these happenings to be a serious beginning of the activities towards a real spacecraft," commented AMSAT Vice President for Engineering Bob McGwier, N4HY. The new site will replace AMSAT's former lab facility in Orlando, Florida, damaged beyond repair during Hurricane Charley in August 2004. With the unanimous approval of its board of directors, AMSAT-NA has executed memoranda of understanding with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and with Maryland Hawk Corporation to formalize the relationship. Per the agreements, AMSAT-NA will gain essentially no-cost access to the HISS facility in return for sharing its equipment and ideas with HISS as well as limited access to the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, which includes environmental testing, machine shop, rocket manufacturing and launch facilities. In addition, AMSAT-NA will work with UMES to identify opportunities to work together on satellite and related technology projects as well as to work with students and faculty to enhance hands-on studies and research. HISS is currently constructing the interior walls for the new 8000-square-foot facility. It's being designed around AMSAT's dual clean room, used for AO-40 and now in storage at Florida Space Institute. AMSAT's lead mechanical engineer, Bob Davis, KF4KSS, an employee of HISS, was AMSAT's mechanical design expert in the Orlando lab during the AO-40 (Phase 3D) campaign. AMSAT expects to move its "clean room" plus parts and equipment currently in storage in the Orlando area to the new lab in the next few months. The next-generation high-Earth orbit satellite, Eagle will provide many services and reliable communication on bands not previously available. It will take maximum advantage of software-defined transponder (SDX) technology to offer a broader range of easily accessible Amateur Radio payloads. The AMSAT Board of Directors okayed the Eagle upgrade plans during the 2006 AMSAT-NA Space Symposium and Annual Meeting last October in San Francisco. Under the new plan, Eagle's communications payloads will include a mode U/V linear transponder for SSB, CW and other modes. A second SSB/CW transponder will uplink on L band (1.2 GHz) and downlink on S1 band (2.4 GHz). Both would be usable over 75 percent of the satellite's orbit by an AO-13 or AO-40-capable ground station, AMSAT says. Jim Sanford, WB4GCS, is the Eagle project manager. ==>FREE MONEY FOR COLLEGE: ARRL SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 1 The deadline to apply for academic year 2007-2008 ARRL Foundation scholarships is February 1. ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, urges radio amateurs who are college-bound high school seniors or already in college and even older students returning to school to take advantage of this opportunity. "With the costs of higher education rising every year, I hope that many young hams will apply for an ARRL scholarship," Hobart said. "There's a great deal of interest on the part of individuals, clubs and ham radio organizations to provide financial resources, and many of the scholarships have very open selection criteria." The ARRL Foundation has added three scholarships to its list of those available: The Zachary Taylor Stevens Scholarship, The Richard W. Bendicksen, N7ZL, Memorial Scholarship and The Gary Wagner, K3OMI, Scholarship. These latest scholarship awards bring the total number of ARRL scholarships to 44. Some of these provide multiple awards. All information on ARRL Foundation scholarships for young radio amateurs, including application forms and instructions, is only available on the ARRL Foundation Scholarship Programs Web page <http://www.arrl.org/arrlf/scholgen.html>. Applicants must include high school or college academic transcripts with all scholarship applications. Those applying for the four-year William R. Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship also must include a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The ARRL Foundation Scholarship Committee will announce 2007-2008 academic year ARRL Foundation scholarship recipients in the spring. The ARRL Foundation is a not-for-profit IRS 501(c)(3) organization, and contributions to support the future of Amateur Radio are welcome <http://www.arrl.org/arrlf/contribs.html>. ==>2005 AMATEUR OF THE YEAR ALAN KAUL, W6RCL, SK Dayton Hamvention's 2005 Amateur of the Year Alan Kaul, W6RCL, of La Cañada-Flintridge, California, died December 22 after a long illness. He was 64. First licensed in 1958 as K7EHW, Kaul was a well-known and respected news producer at NBC. Within Amateur Radio, Kaul was best known for his behind-the-scenes efforts to promote ham radio, and he and his good friend Dave Bell, W6AQ, were largely responsible for producing the ARRL video, Amateur Radio Today <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=9027>, narrated by retired newscaster Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD. "He had a good appreciation of 'truth telling,' and he was a wonderful writer," Bell said of Kaul. "He wrote all the words Walter Cronkite said in Amateur Radio Today." Bell said Kaul also was very interested in education. "I think Alan would like people to donate to the League in his name, especially the Education & Technology Fund <https://www.arrl.org/forms/development/donations/education/education.html>, " he said. "You would never meet anyone more giving than Alan. It was just his nature to be cheerful." Amateur Radio Today won the Chicago Film Festival's Award of Merit. Kaul subsequently helped produce The ARRL Goes to Washington <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=9507>, which documented the League's efforts in Washington to preserve Amateur Radio spectrum in the face of such threats as broadband over power line (BPL). In the past, Kaul served as a writer-reporter for Amateur Radio Newsline <http://www.arnewsline.org/> and its predecessor, the Westlink Report. In 1983, he produced a 30-minute video, Amateur Radio's Newest Frontier, profiling US astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL, who conducted the first human Amateur Radio operation from space. Kaul was interested in many aspects of Amateur Radio, especially low-power (QRP) operating and contesting. An ARRL and A-1 Operator Club member, he helped establish the Hollywood Hills QRP Contest Club. He also served on the ARRL Public Relations Committee and was a CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame inductee (Class of 2006). During his TV news career, Kaul played a role in NBC's coverage of many major events, including the Iran hostage crisis in 1979, the Mt St Helens volcano eruption, the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 and the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro. In 1997, Kaul received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Television Journalism for his part in producing NBC's coverage following the death of Mother Teresa. Survivors include his wife Christine and four children. A memorial service is set for Saturday, January 13, at La Cañada Presbyterian Church, 626 Foothill Blvd. The family invites donations to the Alexa and Ryan Kaul Educational Fund, c/o Bank of America, 537 Foothill Blvd, La Canada-Flintridge, CA 91011. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Sun watcher Tad "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: This is the first bulletin of 2007, the year we'll likely see the end of Sunspot Cycle 23, the beginning of Cycle 24, and the minima between cycles. Average daily sunspot numbers for the years 1999 through 2006 show a very clear decline. For the next few days, expect geomagnetic conditions to be quiet to unsettled. Solar flux should stay around 90 and sunspot numbers below 50. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts unsettled conditions for January 5, quiet to unsettled January 6-7, and quiet January 8-11. Sunspot numbers for December 28 through January 3 were 0, 0, 11, 28, 28, 31 and 38, with a mean of 19.4. The 10.7 cm flux was 76.3, 78.4, 80, 83.3, 86.9, 90, and 87.7, with a mean of 83.2. Estimated planetary A indices were 2, 2, 2, 0, 7, 19 and 20, with a mean of 7.4. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 1, 1, 2, 1, 7, 12 and 11, with a mean of 5. 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 ARRL RTTY Roundup, the Original QRP Contest and the EUCW 160-Meter Contest are the weekend of January 6-7. ARRL Kids Day is Sunday, January 7 <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/kd-rules.html>. JUST AHEAD: The North American QSO Party (CW), Hunting Lions in the Air, the 070 Club PSKFest, the Michigan QRP January CW Contest, the SPAR Winter Field Day, the Midwinter Contest (CW = January 13; SSB = January 14), the NRAU-Baltic Contest (CW = January 13; SSB = January 14) and the DARC 10-Meter Contest are the weekend of January 13-14. The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint is January 18. 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 21, for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (CCE) online courses with classes beginning Sunday, February 4: Technician License Course (EC-010), Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1 (EC-001), Radio Frequency Interference (EC-006), Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009), Analog Electronics (EC-012) and Digital Electronics (EC-013). These courses will also open for registration Friday, January 19, for classes beginning Friday, March 2. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE Department <email@example.com>. * Revised rules prompt ARRL RTTY Round-Up advisory: The ARRL RTTY Round-Up <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2007/rtty.html> takes place January 6-7. During this operating event, radio amateurs worldwide exchange QSO information using Baudot RTTY, ASCII, AMTOR, PSK31, and packet (attended operation only) on 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. Any station may work any other station. The recent realignment of frequency allocations on 80 meters, effective December 15, 2006, means that RTTY and digital operation is restricted to frequencies below 3.600 MHz. At this time the ARRL Contest Branch offers no specific guidance to participants regarding which frequencies to use on 80 meters, although the 3.590 MHz DX "window" for the Americas remains in place. The League urges RTTY Round-Up participants operating elsewhere in the band to be considerate of other stations and activities on the band and to avoid interfering with them. In addition, the December 15 rule revisions mean that contesters now may run more than 200 W PEP in the former Novice/Tech Plus allocations above 7.100 and 21.100 MHz. * FCC chairman names new Wireless Telecommunications Bureau chief: FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin has named Fred Campbell to be the new chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB), the bureau that oversees the Amateur Radio Service. Campbell succeeds Catherine Seidel, the acting chief of WTB since April 2005, who will become chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. An attorney, Campbell most recently served as Martin's legal advisor for wireless issues and previously as an attorney advisor in the Wireline Competition Bureau. * FCC cites Pennsylvania radio amateur for failure to ID: The FCC's Philadelphia Field Office has issued a formal Notice of Violation (NoV) <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-269180A1.pdf> to a Pennsylvania radio amateur for failure to identify in a timely manner. The Commission released the NoV to Andrew Ban, KB3GRK, of Feasterville, on December 20. The notice says that on September 12 and 13, 2006, an agent of the FCC's Philadelphia office monitored KB3GRK's transmissions on 439.850 MHz and observed that the operator failed to identify for nearly one hour in one instance and for more than 20 minutes in the second. §97.119(a) of the Amateur Radio Service rules requires stations to identify "at the end of each communication, and at least every 10 minutes during a communication." The FCC has advised Ban that he must submit within 20 days a written statement addressing the alleged violations and action taken to preclude recurrence. The issuance of an NoV appears to be a departure from the FCC Enforcement Bureau's typical practice of addressing such alleged infractions with an advisory letter. * World Scout Movement announces centenary of scouting ham radio award: The World Scout Bureau is sponsoring the "Scouting 100 Radio Award" for contacting Scout stations via Amateur Radio during 2007 -- the centenary of Scouting. This international award is also available to short-wave listeners (SWLs). Stations may be worked/logged on all bands and modes including EchoLink and IRLP, and endorsements are available for special modes or bands, such as "All Satellite Contacts" or "All QRP Contacts." Award activity will focus around the international Scout frequencies <http://www.home.zonnet.nl/worldscout/Jota/frequencies.htm> (in the Americas, use 7270 kHz as the 40-meter SSB frequency; on 80 meters, avoid RTTY/digital DX on 3590 kHz). Complete details are on the Scouting 100 Radio Award Web site <http://www.scouting100award.org/>. Meanwhile, special event station VI3JAM <http://www.vi3jam.com/> will be on the air until January 13 from the 21st Scouts Australia Jamboree, and the Scout Radio and Electronics Service Unit will activate special event VI3SAA throughout 2007. Both events are part of the World Scouting centenary activities, and commemorative QSL cards will be available. * Hamboree, Amateur Radio Hurricane Conference seek new 2007 weekend(s): The Miami Tropical Hamboree <http://www.hamboree.org/> and the 12th annual Amateur Radio Hurricane Conference are seeking new dates for 2007 due to a conflict with the Super Bowl. At this point, Hamboree and hurricane conference organizers are hoping to reschedule their respective gatherings -- either on the same or on separate weekends. "A future date has not yet been firmly decided upon, but we are looking at the months of October and November 2007 right now," says Hamboree Chairman Robert Cruz, KE4MCL. Hamboree organizers are open to suggestions from potential attendees and vendors alike and have posted a list of possible weekend dates <http://www.hamboree.org/2007dates.htm>. E-mail Cruz with your suggestions <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Meanwhile, Amateur Radio Volunteer Coordinator John McHugh, K4AG, at the National Hurricane Center's WX4NHC <http://www/wx4nhc.org>, has contacted past Amateur Radio Hurricane Conference participants to find out if they'd be willing to make the trip if the conference took place independently of the Hamboree. * Floyd Koontz, WA2WVL, wins December QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for December is Floyd Koontz, WA2WVL, for his article "The Horizontal EWE Antenna." Congratulations, Floyd! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award--given to the author or authors of the best article in each issue--is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/QSTvote.html>. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the January issue by January 31. * Romanian and Bulgarian amateurs celebrate EU membership: Radio amateurs in Romania and Bulgaria are celebrating their countries' membership in the European Union with special event stations. The two Eastern European nations became full members of the European Union on January 1. Members of the Romanian Federation of Radio Amateurs will be on the air as YR0UE until January 10, while special event station LZ2007EU is operating from the headquarters of the Bulgarian Federation of Radio Amateurs until April 30. * Ham Radio University 2007 is Sunday, January 7: The eighth Ham Radio University (HRU) takes place Sunday, January 7, at Briarcliffe College in Bethpage, Long Island, New York, in conjunction with the 2007 ARRL New York City-Long Island Section convention. HRU 2007 is a day of Amateur Radio education, with a focus on hands-on activities and demonstrations. Forums will cover topics ranging from satellite communication and low-power operating to Amateur Radio emergency communication. Various organizations -- including the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, the National Weather Service and Friends of Long Island Wireless -- will sponsor information tables. An Amateur Radio examination session will be held, and special event station W2V will be on the air. Sponsored by the Radio Central Amateur Radio Club, HRU 2007 is a cooperative effort among more than 20 clubs and organizations in the New York City-Long Island Section. The HRU 2007 Web site <http://www.hamradiouniversity.org/> has full details and directions. Talk-in will be on the W2VL 146.850 MHz repeater (CTCSS = 136.5 Hz). * Straight Key Century Club sets first anniversary special event: Members of the fledgling Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) have reserved the call sign K1Y during January to celebrate the club's first anniversary. Only one operator will have the call sign at any given time in each US call area. Special QSL cards will be issued for confirmed contacts. All K1Y operators will be using straight keys or bugs using all HF bands on or about SKCC frequencies <http://www.skccgroup.com/opfreq.htm>. The SKCC has attracted more than 2400 members in its first year. * AMSAT files second "orbital debris" petition: AMSAT has filed a Petition for Reconsideration with the FCC with respect to the orbital debris mitigation proceeding, IB Docket 02-54. Referencing a footnote in the recent "omnibus" Amateur Radio Report and Order in WT Docket 04-140, AMSAT asked that orbital debris-related revisions, under §97.207 of the Amateur Service "Space Station" rules, not go into effect until the FCC considers AMSAT's earlier Petition for Reconsideration pending in IB Docket 02-54. Filing a second petition in WT Docket 04-140 makes the issues part of that proceeding as well. Most of the Part 97 rules in WT Docket 04-140 became effective December 15. The new orbital debris rules generally require submission of an "orbital debris mitigation plan" to the FCC with each space station license application. AMSAT contends the FCC's orbital debris amendments "would cause irreparable harm" to Amateur Radio satellite builders, placing their projects "into limbo indefinitely" and seriously jeopardizing projects that have already contracted for launches. AMSAT wants the FCC to delete the orbital debris amendments altogether. AMSAT's petition is on the FCC Web site <http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/retrieve.cgi?native_or_pdf=pdf&id_docume nt=6518712069>. =========================================================== 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. 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