*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 26, No. 09 March 2, 2007 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +New FCC rules prompt application avalanche * +ARRL wants documents relating to FCC's dismissal of BPL complaints * +First space station ham contacts for India, Portugal a success * +FCC turns down petition to require question pools in other languages * +Ham radio volunteers help following severe weather * +Past ARRL Central Division Director Ed Metzger, W9PRN, SK * +World-class contester Phil Goetz, N6ZZ, SK * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio: the ARRL International DX Contest (SSB) ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +ARRL Regulatory Information Branch issues reminders FCC denies "Hams For Action" Petition For Rule Making FCC Universal Licensing System announces new Hotline hours Summits on the Air comes to the US Lynn Hansen, KU7Q, wins February QST Cover Plaque Award We stand corrected! +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> =========================================================== ==>APPLICATION AVALANCHE UNDER WAY AS NEW CODELESS TESTING REGIME RAMPS UP The avalanche of Amateur Radio license and license upgrade applications prompted by the FCC's elimination of Morse code as a licensing requirement is well under way with no end in sight. ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, reports that paperwork from upward of 450 Amateur Radio exam sessions, most held since the new rules went into effect February 23, arrived this week, more than her department sees in a month under "normal" circumstances. The ARRL VEC has had to add personnel and schedule extended hours to keep up with the workload. "We've been seeing some of the largest brand-new Technician sessions ever," Somma said. "These examination sessions are huge, and a ton of new Technician license applications has been coming in -- sometimes 60 or 70 at a clip." Somma says license upgrade traffic also has been brisk, and, with some 650 examination sessions already on the calendar for March and more arriving daily, it doesn't look like the pace will slacken anytime soon. New Amateur Radio rules are driving the demand for new licenses and upgrades. Effective February 23, the FCC no longer requires Amateur Radio applicants to pass a Morse code test to earn operating privileges below 30 MHz. As of the same date, Technician licensees who never passed a Morse code test gained new CW privileges on 80, 40 and 15 meters and new CW, RTTY, data and SSB privileges on 10 meters. Since the Technician ticket has not required a Morse code test since 1991, most current Technician license holders will face a learning curve to take advantage of their new CW privileges. As of February 25, there were approximately 324,200 Technician licensees in the US -- more than any other license class. Technicians may begin using their new privileges without having to apply for them. No other license class acquired new privileges as a result of the new rules that went into effect February 23, however. All license upgraders must first apply at an examination session, pay any application fee and either successfully pass the appropriate written test or present valid exam element credit. ARRL VEC personnel must go through "every single piece of paper" that arrives from an examination session, Somma explained. Before keying application data directly to the FCC's licensee database, the staff must make sure that session paperwork is in order, each application is filled out correctly and signed and any element credit is attached. If an applicant took an exam element, ARRL VEC must ensure that the test questions came from the correct question pool and that the applicant indeed passed. She said it typically takes up to 90 seconds for staff members to key in an application for a new licensee, but only about 30 seconds in the case of a license upgrade. Among the growing stack of incoming paperwork February 28 was a package from a session held in the Bahamas for 56 US citizens -- more than likely retirees and members of the cruising and sailing communities in the Caribbean. Somma said it included applications for 12 new Technician licensees. The rest were upgrades. Normally with a staff complement of six, ARRL VEC now has as many as eight full-timers plus three part-timers to handle the rush. Somma says her team by and large has been able to review each application and transmit license and upgrade application data to the FCC within three or four days of receipt. She also had words of praise for the Volunteer Examiner (VE) teams. "I want to thank the VEs," Somma said. "Most of the paperwork is neat and orderly, and this makes it easy for us to just key it to the FCC." She did caution VEs to make sure they include any proof of prior element credit -- usually a Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination or CSCE -- when submitting applications. Some VE teams have been sharing observations and photos from their examination sessions. "We're enjoying those," Somma said. "Keep 'em coming." ==>ARRL SEEKS TO FORCE FCC TO PRODUCE DOCUMENTS ON BPL COMPLAINT DISMISSALS The ARRL has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking to compel the FCC to provide several documents related to its dismissal <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2006/12/22/100/> of several broadband over power line (BPL) interference complaints from radio amateurs in Manassas, Virginia. The FCC told five Manassas radio amateurs December 14 that it was throwing out their complaints, asserting that its measurements last October 25 and 26 showed the Manassas BPL system to be in compliance. The ARRL has disputed the FCC's findings and, on December 21, sought clarification in a letter to several FCC officials, including Enforcement Bureau Chief Kris Monteith and Spectrum Enforcement Division Chief Kathryn S. Berthot, who authored the dismissal letter. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, says the FCC's silence to date prompted the FOIA request. "The reasons for the Commission's dismissal, after months of delay, of five of the six Manassas complaints are inadequately documented, and no action appears ever to have been taken on a sixth complaint," Sumner commented. "The FOIA request was submitted only after the FCC failed, after more than two months, to respond to a letter from the ARRL pointing out apparent deficiencies in the Commission's investigation and requesting additional information to supplement Kathryn Berthot's terse and uninformative letter of December 14 dismissing the five complaints." While Manassas-area amateurs indicate that new BPL equipment has somewhat reduced interference, some severe interference exists, and the situation remains "far from acceptable," Sumner said. ARRL Chief Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, filed the FOIA request February 23, seeking essentially the same information and documentation it had asked the Commission last December to provide voluntarily. The League is looking for any documents that: * indicate whether or not the hams who filed interference complaints were notified in advance of the FCC inspection and testing in late October, and, if so, who; * indicate if anyone other than FCC staff observed the Manassas BPL system tests; * indicate which FCC staffers were involved in the testing and if any were from the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET); * indicate which FCC staff members determined the test procedures used during the October inspection; * indicate whether or not representatives of BPL system operator COMTek and equipment supplier Main.net had been notified in advance of the October inspection and testing; * identify the six areas of the BPL system where the FCC reported it conducted tests, how it determined those areas, why two test sites were segregated from the six identified earlier, whether test results on October 26 differed from those of the previous day and whether there were changes in the BPL system prior to the October 26 testing, and that * indicate specific test methodologies and equipment the FCC used during its testing, specific frequencies checked, radiated emission levels recorded, the distance from power lines and their height above ground, if any underground lines were tested and if they were notched on any bands. The League also wants copies of all correspondence regarding the October 25-26 tests "between or among" OET, the Enforcement Bureau, Main.net, COMTek and/or the City of Manassas, including letters and e-mails. In his December 21 response to the FCC, Imlay maintained that Berthot's letter raised more questions than it answered. For starters, he said, there's no independent means to evaluate the conclusions Berthot described. One complainant, George Tarnovsky, K4GVT, said 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. Berthot's December 14 letter altogether overlooked Whittum's May 2006 complaint that BPL interference precluded communication with the EastCARS and MidCARS nets on 40 meters. As recently as February 26, Whittum reported experiencing harmful interference on 40 meters from emissions that appeared to be well in excess of FCC limits. Last August, the ARRL had recommended that the FCC Enforcement Bureau and the OET to take independent measurements in Manassas, rather than relying on COMTek to provide the information. It further urged the Commission to permit all concerned parties to witness the testing and be assured that the testing was valid. "Had that been done," Imlay wrote December 21, "and had the measurements been fairly and objectively made, and if the results were as the Commission stated in its December 14 letter, this matter would have been resolved. As it is, nothing is now resolved." ==>YOUNGSTERS IN INDIA, PORTUGAL SPEAK WITH ISS VIA AMATEUR RADIO For the first time in the history of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program, youngsters in India and Portugal got the chance to learn about life in space firsthand via ham radio. At the controls of NA1SS, ISS crew member Suni Williams, KD5PLB, fielded questions February 24 from youngsters at Vasant Valley School in New Delhi, India. A couple of days later, she got on the air to speak with students at Camilo Castelo Branco School in Carnaxide, Portugal. Williams assured one Vasant Valley student that the ISS generates no appreciable pollution in space. "We're just orbiting, so we're not giving off any pollution while we're up here," Williams responded. "Sometimes, some things fall off the space station, like little pieces of dust or little pieces of metal, but that's all, really, the pollution we're putting out up here." Among the 13 youngsters participating in the event were the niece and nephew of US astronaut Kalpana "KC" Chawla, KD5ESI (SK), who died in the Columbia space shuttle accident. Williams also explained that the microgravity environment of space does have an effect on the crew's health and fitness. "Of course, we don't have gravity so we're not using our bones as much so we're not stimulating our bones for bone growth, so we lose a little bone, and also with that, we lose a little muscle mass," she said. "To overcome that, we have a nutrition experiment that we're monitoring what we're eating as well as doing exercises -- some on the bike, some on the treadmill and also some on the resistive exercise device, which is like weights, to stimulate the bones and muscles for growth." Williams, who's of Indian heritage, told the students that she has some Indian cuisine aboard the ISS. The Vasant Valley ARISS event attracted news media attention from several newspapers. On February 26, Williams chatted with high schoolers in Portugal attending Camilo Castelo Branco School as well as Manuel Vaz School and Jorge Mineiro School. Responding to one question, she said those bound for space cannot learn everything they need to know on Earth -- that there's a big difference between training and the real thing. "The training is great, particularly the spacewalking training and the robotic training on Earth are just spectacular and really prepare you for the tasks that you'll be doing up here," she said. "Now, living up in space, that's a little bit different. I don't think we have an accurate simulator to really understand how to eat up here, how to sleep, and how to, you know, use the bathroom and those types of things." One of the main missions of the space station crew is to help determine how long humans can remain in space, she told another questioner. Williams also said that ISS crew members consider each other friends and colleagues. Brazilian astronaut Marcos Pontes, PY0AEB, had been scheduled to talk with students at Camilo Castelo Branco School last April when he was aboard the ISS during Expedition 12. The contact never took place, however, because of Pontes' work schedule aboard the space station. Nancy Rochelau, WH6PN, at Sacred Hearts Academy in Honolulu served as the Earth station for the India contact, while Tony Hutchison, VK5ZAI, in Australia handled Earth station duties for the Portugal QSO. A Verizon Conferencing teleconference link provided two-way audio to the schools from each station. ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach, with US participation from ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>FCC SAYS "NO" TO PETITION CALLING FOR EXAMS IN LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH The FCC has turned down a petition seeking a rule requiring question pools be prepared for each examination element in languages other than English. Filing on behalf of the Puerto Rico Amateur Radio League (PRARL), Victor Madera, KP4PQ, sought the change to §97.523 of the rules last year. Madera is the PRARL's secretary and ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager. The organization cited a need to administer standardized ham radio license exams in Spanish. In a letter February 23 <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-814A1.pdf>, Scot Stone, deputy chief of the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) Mobility Division suggested that the PRARL would be better off to approach the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) Question Pool Committee (QPC) about establishing language criteria. "The Commission's rules do not specify any particular language(s) in which Amateur Radio Service written examinations must be administered," Stone wrote. "Consequently, no rule change is required for the NCVEC QPC to maintain Spanish-language question pools." Stone said that because Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) cooperate in maintaining standard question pools, the NCVEC QPC might be the more appropriate forum for the PRARL's request. The PRARL has developed Spanish-language question pools and has offered them to the NCVEC QPC at no expense, Madera told ARRL. "We have been using [a standard Spanish-language question pool] for close to 10 years with excellent results, thanks to the ARRL/VEC," he said. Madera says he presented the issue to the NCVEC without success before going to the FCC. He's also proposed a standard Spanish-language question pool to the ARRL VEC, and that issue is pending. Stone noted that §97.523 in part requires that VECs "must cooperate in maintaining one question pool for each written examination element" and that each question pool be made publicly available prior to its use in making a question set. "Thus, the written examination questions are drawn from a uniform national database of multiple-choice questions and answers" that the NCVEC approves, he said. The PRARL also publishes Amateur Radio study materials in Spanish. The organization told the FCC that because there's no uniform Spanish-language version of the Amateur Radio exam question pools, Volunteer Examiners (VEs) prepare Spanish-language Amateur Radio license examination questions at random. "You are concerned that this method of preparing examination questions may result in Spanish-language examinations being prepared without following a standard pattern," Stone said, "thereby resulting in Spanish-speaking examinees not being treated equally to English-speaking examinees." The FCC suggested that PRARL's concern regarding disparate treatment of Spanish speakers appeared to be based on speculation. "The petition presents no evidence of an existing problem meriting a rule change," Stone concluded. ==>AMATEUR RADIO VOLUNTEERS ASSIST FOLLOWING SEVERE WEATHER Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) members and individual radio amateurs pitched in to assist after severe weather struck Arkansas and Louisiana February 24. In Desha County, Arkansas, more than two dozen people were injured when a tornado ripped through Dumas, causing widespread damage. Dumas resident Roger Lunsford, KD5HMS, says the twister spared his neighborhood. "My family and I huddled in the bathroom with my radios in hand monitoring public officials reporting a visual sighting of the funnel cloud . . . heading straight for town," he recounted. The storm took out electrical power. Once the storm passed, Lunsford grabbed his radio and went into town to help search for victims; most escaped without life-threatening injuries. No ARES teams deployed, but with telephone service out, Lunsford was able to get out word of the damage via Amateur Radio. He and his family had to take cover again as another tornado threatened. In Louisiana, Caddo-Bossier Parish Emergency Coordinator Richard Lea, NZ5S, reports Bossier Marshals Office Chief Rick Ware, K5VXT, requested ARES activation after a tornado struck North Bossier Parish. An emergency net convened for three hours on a VHF repeater, with 20 check-ins and others monitoring. SKYWARN volunteers relayed storm and weather data. Agencies responding to or using the ARES net included the Bossier Office of Emergency Preparedness as well as law enforcement. "The affected area was thankfully small, and only minor injuries were reported," Lea said. "ARES stations were prepared to deploy, but there was not a need at the time of the activation." ARES terminated operations at midnight, although Lea and Ware stood by overnight. ==>ARRL HONORARY VICE PRESIDENT, PAST DIRECTOR ED METZGER, W9PRN, SK ARRL Honorary Vice President and Past Central Division Director Edmond A. "Ed" Metzger, W9PRN, of Springfield, Illinois, died February 26. He was 93. An ARRL Charter Life Member, Metzger spent more than half his life serving the League in a variety of capacities. Licensed in 1941, Metzger began his lengthy League service in 1957, when he became Illinois Section Communications Manager (SCM -- now Section Manager), a post he held until 1980. From 1965 until 1981, he also served as ARRL Central Division Vice Director. He became Central Division Director in 1981. That same year, the ARRL Board of Directors elected Metzger as an ARRL Foundation Director, and he subsequently served as the Foundation's president from 1993 until 2001, when Dick Isely, W9GIG, succeeded him as Director. The ARRL Board of Directors named Metzger an ARRL Honorary Vice President in 2001. Metzger was a member of the Sangamon Valley Radio Club and the Quarter Century Wireless Association. He regularly attended the annual W9DXCC gathering in Chicago. A graduate of Springfield Junior College, Metzger, was comptroller for Kerasotes Theatres for more than 50 years. Survivors include two sons -- Ed, NL7LJ, and William, and three daughters -- Margaret, Molly and Lisa. A service was held March 1. The family invites memorial contributions to the Edmond A. Metzger Scholarship, c/o The ARRL Foundation, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. ==>NOTED CONTESTER PHIL GOETZ, N6ZZ, SK World-class Amateur Radio contester Phil Goetz, N6ZZ, of Alto, New Mexico, died unexpectedly February 27. He was 64. Goetz reportedly suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while playing racquetball. Past ARRL Southwestern Division Director Art Goddard, W6XD, called Goetz, who competed on phone and CW, HF and VHF/UHF, "a consummate contester." "The contest community has lost one of its most outstanding practitioners and Amateur Radio has lost a fine gentleman," he said this week. Goddard said, "Phil always kept his composure on the air, even when dealing with unruly pileups after 40+ hours of nonstop contest operation. He was most thoughtful of other members of his contest team and was ready to apply his quick wit and sense of humor to any situation." ARRL Southwestern Division Director Dick Norton, N6AA -- himself an active contester and DXer -- said he and Goetz were best friends and had operated contests together since 1965. Norton said he'd miss Goetz's assistance with CQ World Wide DX Contest log checking and as a good friend. An ARRL member, Goetz had the distinction of being one of only two radio amateurs to operate the CQ World Wide DX Contest from all 40 CQ zones. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, said Goetz operated Zone 5 -- saving the easiest zone for last -- from his station in 2004. "He did a great job, placing in the US top 10 from an unfamiliar station, and he taught me a thing or two about SO2R [single operator/two radio] and staying in the chair," Sumner recounted. Goetz was a key member of the judging committee at the World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC 2006) in Brazil last July. He was a member of the Sierra Blanca Amateur Radio Club and the A-1 Operator Club. Arrangements are incomplete. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Solar slacker Tad "Workin' in a Coal Mine" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Sunspot numbers and solar flux both increased this week, but just barely. Average daily sunspot numbers rose 5 points to 19.6, while average daily solar flux rose 1 point to 75.8. Values are expected to stay about the same over the next week. In fact, the US Air Force predicts an even 75.0 for solar flux over the next 30 days. Geomagnetic activity should remain quiet. Geophysical Institute Prague agrees with outlook, predicting quiet to unsettled conditions for today, March 2, quiet conditions on March 3-5, and unsettled on March 6-7. The Air Force predicts 5 for the planetary A index from March 2-5, 10 for March 6, and back to 5 after that. Conditions should be fair for the ARRL International DX Contest (SSB) this weekend, with no geomagnetic storms predicted. Sunspot numbers for February 22 through 28 were 25, 22, 11, 12, 22, 23 and 22, with a mean of 19.6. The 10.7 cm flux was 75.5, 75.1, 75.5, 76.6, 75.4, 74.8, and 75.8, with a mean of 75.5. Estimated planetary A indices were 2, 2, 1, 3, 4, 12 and 23, with a mean of 6.7. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 2, 2, 4, 4, 7 and 12, with a mean of 4.7. 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 (SSB), the Wake-Up! QRP Sprint, the Open Ukraine RTTY Championship, and the DARC 10-Meter Digital Contest are the weekend of March 3-4. JUST AHEAD: The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (Data) is March 5. The ARS Spartan Sprint and the AGCW YL-CW Party are March 6. 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, March 25, for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (CCE) online courses beginning on Friday, April 6: The ARRL Ham Radio 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, March 23, for classes beginning Friday, May 4. 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 Regulatory Information Branch issues reminders: The ARRL Regulatory Information Branch advises all Technician and Novice licensees that they may *not* operate FM mode on 10 meters (or anywhere else below 30 MHz). Novices and Technicians may operate CW and data on the segment 28.0 to 28.3 MHz, and CW and SSB phone on the segment 28.3 to 28.5 MHz. Novices and Technicians must limit their output power to 200 W PEP on these 10-meter segments and on any HF bands where they have privileges (ie, CW on 80, 40 and 15 meters). The RIB also notes that a valid Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) for element credit issued prior to February 23, 2007, does *not* automatically convey operating privileges under the new rules. The holder must first redeem the CSCE by applying at an examination session and paying any application fee. If the Volunteer Examiner (VE) team accepts the CSCE for element credit, it will issue a CSCE for upgrade credit. Only then may upgraders operate under their new privileges, identifying as /AG (if upgrading to General) or /AE (if upgrading to Amateur Extra) until the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS) <http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/> database reflects their new license class. A CSCE is valid for 365 days from the date of issuance. * FCC denies "Hams For Action" Petition For Rule Making: In a February 28 letter <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-898A1.pdf>, the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) denied a petition for rule making filed last July by Don Schellhardt, KI4PMG, on behalf of "Hams for Action" (HFA). The petition requested that the FCC adopt rules, under certain circumstances, to override private deed covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) preventing radio amateurs from installing antennas and antenna support structures. HFA asked the FCC to preempt CC&Rs that fail to provide reasonable accommodation for any ham certified as an "emergency communications operator." Scot Stone, deputy chief of the WTB's Mobility Division, said the FCC "has previously addressed the question of whether to preempt CC&Rs in deeds and bylaws" that restrict the installation of Amateur Radio antennas and support structures. Stone said the FCC's PRB-1 decision <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/local/prb-1.html> established a policy of limited preemption of state and local regulations governing ham radio facilities, including antennas and support structures, but expressly decided not to extend the limited preemption policy to CC&Rs in home ownership deeds and condominium bylaws because home buyers and tenants enter into such agreements voluntarily. The HFA "has not presented grounds for the Commission to revisit this policy," Stone concluded. * FCC Universal Licensing System announces new Hotline hours: The FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) has announced new hours for Universal Licensing System (ULS) Customer Support Hotline. Online customer support remains available 24/7 on the FCC Web site <http://esupport.fcc.gov/index.htm>. Effective March 5, customers will be able to reach the FCC ULS Customer Support Hotline Monday through Friday (excepting federal holidays) from 8 AM until 6 PM Eastern Time. Contact ULS Customer Support at (877) 480-3201, option 2 (toll-free); (888) 225-5322, option 2 (toll-free) or (717) 338-2888. TTY service is available at (717) 338-2824. * Summits on the Air comes to the US: The "Summits on the Air" (SOTA) <http://www.sota.org.uk/> mountain-topping radio operating award program starts March 1 in New York and New Jersey. It's being launched with a partial summit list under the leadership of Andrew Pepper, KC2EUS. He notes that no summits have been listed to date in New Jersey. SOTA encourages Amateur Radio activity from the summits of hills and mountains at least 150 meters above the surrounding terrain in countries around the world. "Chasers" working SOTA stations also are eligible for award points. There's more information on the SOTA US Region Web site <http://www.kc2eus.org/sota/>. Originating in the UK, SOTA already has gained a foothold in Ireland, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, South Africa, Austria and Hungary. * Lynn Hansen, KU7Q, wins February QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for February is Lynn Hansen, KU7Q, for the article "A Simple Bluetooth Radio Interface." Congratulations, Lynn! 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 March issue by March 31. * We stand corrected! The story "Nor'easter Prompts Amateur Radio Activity in Ohio, Northeast," in The ARRL Letter, Vol 26, No 08 (Feb 23, 2007), incorrectly reported the frequency of the Ohio Single Sideband Net. The net meets on 3972.5 MHz.-- submitted by Richard Webb, NF5B =========================================================== 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. 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