*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 26, No. 07 February 16, 2007 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +States consider a new crop of "cell phone" bills * +Two cosponsors sign onto BPL study bill * +Japanese elementary schoolers learn about life in space via ham radio * +ARRL seeks Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award nominations * +At least one US ham-astronaut to be on next three ISS crews * +Job opportunity at ARRL HQ: Emergency Communications Manager * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio: The ARRL International DX Contest (CW)! ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration ARRL Headquarters closed Monday, February 19 +Nominations invited for Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year +FCC affirms big fine for marketing non-certified transceivers Betty C. Mallay, KL7AP, SK ARRL COO to speak at Communications Academy 2007 New England's "Hosstraders" hamfest calls it quits AMSAT-UK issues call for colloquium papers Brazilian power company launches BPL pilot project +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> =========================================================== ==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/faq.html#nodelivery>, then e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, <email@example.com> =========================================================== NOTE: This week's editions of The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News are being distributed one day early to accommodate vacation schedules. =========================================================== ==>"CELLULAR TELEPHONE" BILLS POSE POTENTIAL PROBLEMS FOR HAM RADIO OPERATION Bills aimed at thwarting "driving while cellular" and "driving while distracted" behavior have been introduced in several states, and most are worded broadly enough to potentially proscribe some Amateur Radio mobile operation. ARRL Regulatory Information Specialist Dan Henderson, N1ND <firstname.lastname@example.org>, so far has catalogued 11 active pieces of legislation. Bills introduced in Montana and New Mexico have been sidelined for now, but related measures -- more than one in some states -- remain alive in Georgia, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming. Henderson reports that ARRL Field Organization volunteers and members called the League's attention to the various pieces of pending legislation, none of which specifically exempt Amateur Radio mobile operation. "In most cases we try to work to have language exempting Amateur Radio inserted into the bill, rather than narrowing by definition the behavior or activity the bill seeks to address," Henderson explains. "It is a far easier approach and removes ambiguity down the road." Henderson says that, if requested, the League will advise radio amateurs preparing to testify about a bill before a state legislative committee. "We offer some suggestions regarding what to cover and how to approach their testimony," he said. "We also will speak with legislators or their aides to try and clarify questions or help them craft language that help accomplish our goal of specifically exempting Amateur Radio operation from these measures." Most of the measures include exceptions for emergency communication and law enforcement agencies. In Georgia, House Bill 5 (HB 5) would assess those anyone found to be "driving while distracted" while using a wireless communication device one driver's license infraction point. The bill defines "device" to cover not only cellular or mobile telephones -- whether or not they're hands-free, but any "wireless communication device, personal digital assistant, radio or citizens band radio." HB 5 thus appears to include such routine activities as changing the station on your car radio. In Montana, House Bill 233 (HB 233) would restrict drivers from "the use of electronic communication devices, or any other activity that causes the driver to become inattentive." This bill was tabled in committee on January 30, following a hearing a few days earlier. In New Jersey, Assembly Bill 1966 (A 1966), would broaden the scope of that state's existing law prohibiting the use of a hand-held wireless telephone while driving. It would expand the law to cover "distracted driving" by prohibiting a motor vehicle operator from engaging in "any activity unrelated to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle." In New Mexico, House Bill 241 (HB 241) would prohibit a driver from using "a mobile communication device while operating a motor vehicle." The measure has been tabled. Three related bills now are in play in Oregon: House Bill 2482 (HB 2482) and Senate Bill 293 (SB 293) contain essentially the same language, making it an offense to operate a motor vehicle "while using a mobile communication device" without a hands-free accessory. Senate Bill 246 (SB 246) establishes such behavior as an offense, punishable by a fine of up to $180 and providing more serious consequences if property damage, injury or death result -- up to and including license suspension and prison terms. In Texas, Senate Bill 154 (SB 154) would prohibit a motor vehicle operator from using a "wireless communication device" while under way, unless equipped for hands-free operation. In Vermont, two measures are in play. House Bill 31 (HB 31) would make it a violation to use a "cellular telephone" while in motion on the highway, except in the event of an emergency. Enforcement would be secondary; ie, police would have to first stop a driver for a suspected violation of another traffic offense. A more-restrictive bill, HB 126, addresses "distracted driving," and cites "any activity involving the use of one or both of the driver's hands if the activity is not necessary for the operation of the vehicle or any of its installed accessories." The bill would include activities ranging from smoking, eating or drinking to "performing personal grooming," "interacting with pets or unsecured cargo" and "using personal communications technologies." Hands-free cell phone operation would be permissible, however. In Washington, House Bill 1214 (HB 1214) would outlaw such activities as "reading, manually writing or sending a message on an electronic wireless communications device." The measure does not include an exception for hands-free devices. In Wyoming, two nearly identical measures are alive. The more general legislation, House Bill 152 (HB 152) addresses using "a cellular or satellite telephone while operating a motor vehicle" without a hands-free device. House Bill 284 (HB 284) contains essentially identical language but specifies drivers operating under an "intermediate permit." Both incorporate an exemption for Citizens Band, but not for Amateur Radio operation. Henderson advises ARRL members to contact their Section Manager <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/org/smlist.html> to learn about any initiatives under way to address the ham radio implications of a particular state bill. ==>BPL STUDY BILL GAINS COSPONSORS A bill in the US House of Representatives calling on the FCC to study the interference potential of broadband over power line (BPL) technology and report its findings back to Congress has gained two cosponsors, its sponsor, US Rep Mike Ross, WD5DVR (D-AR), reports. They are US Rep Steve Israel (D-NY) and US Rep Ron Paul (R-TX). One of two radio amateurs in the House, Ross submitted the "Emergency Amateur Radio Interference Protection Act of 2007" (HR 462) <http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.462:> on January 12. Last year, the US House passed a telecommunications bill, HR 5252, containing language that Ross proposed requiring the FCC to study the interference potential of BPL systems. The legislation never made it out of Congress, however. In a letter to his House colleagues inviting additional cosponsors, Ross emphasized that his primary goal is to minimize BPL's interference potential. "In the 110th Congress, I have reintroduced this legislation and narrowed the scope of the study significantly so as to not hinder any broadband Internet deployment that does not cause proven interference," Ross wrote. "The study called for by this bill will not slow, nor frustrate, the deployment of competitive broadband delivery mechanisms. It will not inhibit the deployment of Broadband over Power Line (BPL) systems anywhere in the US. The purpose of the study is to ascertain what additional rules should be adopted by the FCC governing BPL systems in order to reduce the interference potential to a reasonably low level." Ross said that as a radio amateur, he believes it's imperative that BPL's interference potential be thoroughly examined and comprehensively evaluated. "Power lines are not designed to prevent radiation of RF energy; therefore BPL represents a significant potential interference source for all public safety radio services using this frequency range, including Amateur Radio operators," he told his colleagues. HR 462 would require the Commission to address several technical facets, including variations in BPL emission field strength with distance from power lines and a technical justification for using a particular distance extrapolation factor when making measurements. The FCC also would have to investigate the degree of notching necessary "to protect the reliability of mobile radio communications," and provide a technical justification for permitted BPL radiated emission levels relative to ambient noise levels. Finally, the study would have to outline options for new or improved BPL rules aimed at preventing harmful interference to public safety and other radio communication systems. HR 462 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. If Ross's measure is adopted by both houses of Congress and signed by the president, the FCC would have to undertake a study of BPL's interference potential within 90 days of enactment and report to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. ==>FRESH FOOD DOESN'T LAST LONG ON ISS, ASTRONAUT TELLS YOUNGSTERS VIA HAM RADIO US astronaut Suni Williams, KD5PLB, this week continued her string of successful Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contacts when she spoke with youngsters at Hanazono Elementary School in Japan. ARISS arranged the February 12 direct VHF QSO between NA1SS in space and 8N3F at the school. Williams said that supplies of fresh food tend to go fast aboard the space station. "We do get fresh food, raw food, when the Progress [supply rocket] comes up," Williams explained, "and we try to eat it within the first month because, yeah, it's just going to get old up here." She also told the youngsters that the ISS crew members rarely argue with one another. "Well, sometimes we have arguments, but usually we just discuss and, actually, end up laughing quite a bit, over dinner," she said. Now onboard the ISS with Williams are Expedition 14 Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria, KE5GTK, and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, RZ3FT. Responding to another youngster's question, Williams said that various odors abound aboard the space station. "There are all sorts of smells up here, ranging from food to the different metals to some of the materials that we're working with," she said, "so there's all sorts of good and bad smells up here." As for space trash, Williams explained that it all goes into the Progress supply rocket that remains attached to the ISS after its cargo has been unloaded. Once the rocket it full, it's sent into Earth's atmosphere where it disintegrates. All told, Williams managed to answer 21 of the students' questions during the approximately 10-minute pass before the space station went over the horizon and out of range. On hand for the occasion were some 200 onlookers, including teachers, parents and other pupils, plus members of the news media -- one newspaper and one TV station. Serving as the 8N3F control operator was Kaz Tanaka, JG3QZN. The contact came off without a hitch despite a temporary power outage aboard the space station a day earlier. A space walk is scheduled for February 22. ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR ARRL 2006 HIRAM PERCY MAXIM MEMORIAL AWARD The ARRL invites nominations for the 2006 Hiram Percy Maxim (HPM) Memorial Award <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/awards/hpm.html>. The League's premier youth recognition, the HPM Memorial Award goes annually to a radio amateur under age 21 in recognition of the recipient's accomplishments and contributions "of the most exemplary nature" to both the Amateur Radio community and the local community during the previous calendar year -- 2006 in this instance. Nomination criteria may include: * Participation or leadership in organizational affairs at the local or national level (for example, local radio club, ARES, net control, participation in civic groups); * Technical achievement (for example, built a radio, put up an antenna, etc); * Operating record (for example, nets, disaster drills, contests, ARRL November Sweepstakes, etc); * Recruitment and training of new amateurs (for example, helped teach a license class, JOTA, etc); * Public relations activities (for example, create a ham radio Web page). To nominate a deserving candidate, submit a completed nomination form <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/awards/hpm-nomination-form.html> to your ARRL Section Manager (SM), along with any supporting information and endorsements of ARRL-affiliated clubs and elected or appointed League officials. SMs make the formal nominations. There is no limit to the number of nominations an individual or club may submit to an SM, and SMs may nominate more than one individual. SMs need to have all information in sufficient time to submit a formal nomination to ARRL Headquarters by March 31. A list of SMs is available on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/org/smlist.html>. Nomination forms and supporting information should document as thoroughly as possible the Amateur Radio achievements and contributions of the nominee during the previous calendar year. ARRL must receive all supporting documentation by April 15. An award panel reviews the nominations and selects the winner. HPM Memorial Award winners receive a cash award of $1500 and an engraved plaque. For more information, contact Mark Spencer, WA8SME <email@example.com>; 530-495-9150. ==>RADIO AMATEURS SPRINKLED AMONG FUTURE SPACE STATION CREWS NASA and its International Space Station partners have announced the expected ISS crew complements for the next two years, and the list includes several Amateur Radio licensees. The crew members comprise three ISS expeditions and represent four space agencies. "We now have a ham-licensed US crew member -- including back-up crew members -- who will be onboard the ISS through Expedition 18," said Rosalie White, K1STO, who's secretary-treasurer of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program <http://www.rac.ca/ariss>. Assignments include the first long-duration station flight for a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, astronaut and the second long-duration station flight for a European Space Agency, ESA, astronaut. "The JAXA and ESA astronauts will work on the installation and checkout of the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo and European Columbus laboratories on the space station," NASA said this week. NASA astronaut and ISS Expedition 5 crew member Peggy Whitson, KC5ZTD -- an ARISS veteran -- will command Expedition 16, set to begin this fall. Flight engineers for that mission include cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP -- who was ISS Expedition 7 commander -- ESA astronaut Leopold Eyharts, KE5FNO -- a Mir veteran -- and NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman, KE5HAE. They will join NASA astronaut Daniel Tani, KD5DXE, aboard the station. Eyharts will fly to the station on space shuttle mission STS-122, which is expected to deliver the Columbus lab module this fall. He'll remain aboard to oversee activation and checkout of the laboratory while Tani takes the shuttle home. Reisman will replace Eyharts and remain on the station for about six months. Cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, arriving in the spring of 2008, will command Expedition 17. Flight engineers include cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, RN3DX, and NASA astronaut Sandra Magnus, KE5FYE. NASA astronaut and ISS Expedition 9 veteran Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, will command Expedition 18. Flight engineers include cosmonaut and veteran station crew member Salizhan Sharipov, JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata, KC5ZTA, and NASA astronaut Gregory Chamitoff, KD5PKZ. Under the current system of ISS crew rotations, there are at least three crew members aboard during any given expedition, with one crew member's duty tour bridging two expeditions. All ISS crew members spend approximately six months aboard the orbiting outpost. -- NASA/ARISS ==>ARRL SEEKS EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER The ARRL seeks to fill the new position of Emergency communications Manager within Membership and Volunteer Programs. This is a permanent staff position at League Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut, and applicants must be willing to relocate. Candidates should have at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent experience and an Amateur Radio license. Applicants should hold or be able to earn an Amateur Extra class ticket. Other qualifications include: * knowledge of Amateur Radio, including HF, VHF and digital modes related to emergency communications * five years' minimum ARES/RACES experience or equivalent * ARRL Field Organization leadership experience * knowledge of and experience with ICS and NIMS (FEMA 100 and 700 certification highly desirable, 200 and 800 certification recommended) * completion of the Level 1 ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course (EC-001) * superior speaking and writing skills. Emergency communications professional and/or first responder experience is desirable. The Emergency Communications Manager will act as ARRL emergency communications liaison to government agencies, including FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. This individual also will: * administer memoranda of understanding between ARRL and served agencies, such as the American Red Cross * maintain and encourage relationships with all ARRL served agencies * create and administer ARRL's internal emergency response plan * coordinate Simulated Emergency Tests * assist field personnel with emergency communications and public service events, as required * maintain and update ARRL emergency communications training materials and publications plus ARRL emergency communications and public service Web content * maintain the ARES volunteer database * act as liaison to ARRL emergency communications Field Organization leadership * write/edit occasional material for QST and other ARRL publications * manage other emergency communications and public service-related issues. To apply, submit cover letter and resume via e-mail or USPS to Human Resources Manager LouAnn Campanello <firstname.lastname@example.org>, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. ARRL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Solar flash Tad "Sunrise, Sunset" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: The sunspot number is currently zero, and the sun appears spotless, at least from this side. Currently a solar wind is causing geomagnetic instability here on Earth, and the mid-latitude K index was five at 0600 UTC on February 15. Sunspot numbers for February 8 through 14 were 22, 11, 11, 0, 0, 0 and 0, with a mean of 6.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 78.4, 76.7, 75.9, 74.7, 73.6, 72.7, and 72.7, with a mean of 75. Estimated planetary A indices were 7, 4, 3, 2, 7, 17 and 18, with a mean of 8.3. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 6, 3, 2, 1, 4, 13 and 16, with a mean of 6.4. 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 International DX Contest (CW) is the weekend of February 17-18. The Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is February 19. The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (CW) is February 22. JUST AHEAD: The CQ World Wide 160-Meter Contest (SSB), the Russian PSK WW Contest, the REF Contest (SSB), the UBA DX Contest (CW), the North American QSO Party (RTTY), the High Speed Club CW Contest, and the North Carolina QSO Party are the weekend of February 24-25. The ARRL International DX Contest (SSB) is the weekend of March 3-4. 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 Monday, March 5, for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education CCE <http://www.arrl.org/cce/> online courses beginning Friday, March 16: 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, March 2, for classes beginning Friday, April. 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 Headquarters closed Monday, February 19: ARRL Headquarters will be closed Monday, February 19, for the Presidents' Day holiday. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Tuesday, February 20, at 8 AM. * Nominations invited for Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2007 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year (YHOTY) Award. The award recognizes a radio amateur 18 years old or younger who has used ham radio to significantly contribute to the benefit of Amateur Radio, to the state of the communications art or to the community or nation. Nominations are being accepted for Amateur Radio licensees living in the 48 contiguous United States, Puerto Rico and the 10 Canadian provinces. Nominations and supporting materials must be submitted before May 30, 2007, on an official application. Download a nomination form or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to 2007 Young Ham of the Year Award, c/o Newsline, 28197 Robin Ave, Santa Clarita, CA 91350. Nominations may be made online using a Web form, but supporting materials must be submitted separately. Presentation of the 2007 YHOTY Award will take place in August at the Huntsville Hamfest in Alabama, site of the 2007 ARRL National Convention. There's more information on the YHOTY Web site <http://www.yhoty.org/>. * FCC affirms big fine for marketing non-certified transceivers: The FCC has affirmed a $14,000 fine it proposed in November in the case of a California radio amateur. The Commission alleges that Jason Kaltenbach, KE6CND, doing business as Metamerchant of Laguna Nigel, "willfully and repeatedly" violated FCC rules and the Communications Act of 1934 by marketing non-certified VHF and UHF transceivers on the eBay auction site. In a Forfeiture Order (NoF) released February 2, the FCC said Kaltenbach failed to respond to its November 9 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-268422A1.pdf>, so the Commission affirmed the fine based on the information it had. According to the NAL, an FCC agent found two models of KYD brand transceivers offered by Metamerchant, 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 its rules by marketing non-certified General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) and Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) transceivers. Kaltenbach told the Commission the gear had been listed accidentally and that he removed them from sale and corrected his auction listing. Nonetheless, the NAL recounted, an FCC agent was able to purchase a non-certified VHF transceiver via auction from Metamerchant last March. In July, the FCC's Seattle office received a complaint from someone who purchased a UHF transceiver from Metamerchant via eBay that was neither FCC-certified nor certifiable. * Betty C. Mallay, KL7AP, SK: Betty Mallay, KL7AP, of Columbia, Maryland, died February 11 after a brief illness. She was 61. An ARRL Life Member, Mallay was a telecommunications specialist with the FCC's High Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) Group in Columbia and an active radio amateur. "Betty was our project lead and worked closely with Riley Hollingsworth coordinating the HFDF side of our Amateur Radio enforcement work," said HFDF Group Manager Dave Larrabee, K1BZ. Before relocating to Maryland in 1996 to join the then-new HFDF Group, Mallay worked for 11 years at the FCC's Anchorage, Alaska, Monitoring Station. During her years in Alaska, she was active in the Anchorage Amateur Radio Club. Larrabee says Mallay enjoyed ham radio and had planned to make it an important part of her retirement. Although Mallay had planned to retire last fall, she agreed to stay on at the HFDF facility until March to help train new personnel. Survivors include her mother and several siblings. Arrangements are incomplete. * ARRL COO to speak at Communications Academy 2007: ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, will be a keynote speaker during the 2007 Communications Academy, Saturday and Sunday, March 31 and April 1, on the campus of Seattle Pacific University <http://www.commacademy.org/>. Kramer will speak about the future of ARRL and its role in Amateur Radio emergency and public service communication. John Cline, W5USN, also will be a featured speaker. Cline directed the Idaho Bureau of Disaster Services from 1995 through 2003, leading the state's response and recovery for numerous disasters and emergencies. The 2006 academy attracted more than 200 attendees, most of them radio amateurs. The Communications Academy is open to anyone with an interest in emergency communications, volunteer or professional. Presentations are designed to promote the development of knowledgeable, skilled emergency communicators who will support their local communities during a disaster or emergency response. * New England's "Hosstraders" hamfest calls it quits: Sponsors of the Hosstraders Tailgate Swapfest -- a New England Tradition for more than 30 years -- have announced that last October's event was the last. "After careful consideration, we have decided to discontinue hosting the event," said a statement on the Hosstraders' Web site <http://www.qsl.net/k1rqg/>. "A combination of factors have led to this difficult decision. We want to take things out on a high note, while we can still be proud of our efforts." The swapfest, an outgrowth of the 75-meter "Hosstraders Net," debuted in 1973 in Seabrook, New Hampshire. It subsequently took up residence in Deerfield, Kingston, Rochester and Hopkinton, New Hampshire. Joe Demaso, K1RQG, Norm Blake, W1ITT (ex-WA1IVB) and Bob Tiffany, W1GWU, have been the Hosstraders' prime movers from the outset, and the event, held spring and fall, became as much a social gathering as a place to buy, swap and sell ham radio gear. Over the years, Hosstraders donated some $1.3 million to the Shriners' hospitals. Demaso, Blake and Tiffany cited problems with site logistics, competition from Internet auction/sales sites and the change in the direction of Amateur Radio coupled with "the fact that we have done it for a third of a century and we are getting old and tuckered out," as reasons for throwing in the towel. They say they plan to "relax and play radio" now. * AMSAT-UK issues call for colloquium papers: AMSAT-UK <http://www.uk.amsat.org/> has issued a call for papers for its 22nd International Space Colloquium, Friday through Sunday, July 20-22, at Surrey University, Guildford, England. The colloquium is the UK's flagship amateur satellite and space event. Presenters should send submissions as soon as possible via e-mail to event organizer Dave Johnson, G4DPZ <g4dpz.me.uk>. The deadline to receive submissions is mid-June. AMSAT-UK also invites suggestions for program topics and speakers for this year's colloquium. Send these as soon as possible to G4DPZ. Future calls for papers will invite papers on specific subjects. You do not have to be a member of AMSAT to attend the colloquium. Additional details will be posted on the AMSAT-UK Web site as soon as they're available. * Brazilian power company launches BPL pilot project: According to media reports, Brazilian power distributor Eletropaulo plans to begin testing broadband over power line (BPL) Internet service in São Paulo, Brazil. Eletropaulo reportedly has been conducting BPL lab tests for the past three years. The reports indicate that the utility now considers BPL to have reached the point where it's economically viable to offer it to residential users. Eletropaulo is hoping to attain throughput speeds of 200 Mbps. Eletropaulo provides electrical power to some 5 million customers in two dozen Brazilian cities. Details of BPL equipment to be deployed and any HF frequencies to be used in São Paulo are not yet known. Late last year, a public BPL pilot project went on line in the Regional Administrative Center of Restinga on the outskirt of Porto Alegre, Brazil. That system uses Mitsubishi BPL hardware. Although BPL testing has been conducted in Brazil, there have been no commercial deployments. =========================================================== 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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