*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 26, No. 10 March 9, 2007 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +Diamond Terrace at ARRL a "rock-solid" opportunity to donate * +ARRL President Emeritus Jim Haynie, W5JBP, is "Amateur of the Year" * +Three states mull Amateur Radio antenna legislation * +Astronauts enhance youngsters' ISS ham radio contact experience * +Deadly storms prompt Amateur Radio volunteers to activate * +FCC reduces fine, issues short-term renewal in interference case * +Software pioneer to be next civilian space traveler * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration ARRL releases statement on Red Cross background check policy +Advisory to Amateur Radio license/upgrade applicants: Use your FRN! ARRL 2006 Frequency Measuring Test results now available The SouthWest Ohio DX Association announces 22nd annual DX Dinner 2007 ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference issues call for papers Topbanders' DX Dinner set at Visalia Australia's WIA applies for 500 kHz amateur allocation +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> =========================================================== ==>DIAMOND TERRACE INVITES MEMBERS TO ENGRAVE THEIR CALL SIGNS IN STONE The ARRL Diamond Club is offering members the opportunity to make their call signs a permanent part of ARRL Headquarters by contributing an engraved brick to The Diamond Terrace at ARRL. A project of the ARRL Diamond Club, The Diamond Terrace will be constructed of personalized, 4x8-inch laser-engraved bricks. Gracing the soon-to-be renovated entrance to ARRL Headquarters, The Diamond Terrace will recognize donors wishing to venerate their own call signs or to honor or memorialize the call sign of a family member, club or "Elmer" (mentor). "We already had plans to refurbish the Headquarters entrance area, so this was an ideal opportunity to invite our members to participate in the project and supporting League programs at the same time," said ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. "We want to grow the Diamond Club, which enables the ARRL to continue programs that require revenue above and beyond what annual dues provide, ensuring their long-term health and enabling the League to do more on behalf of Amateur Radio." Diamond Club enrollment ($75-$249 per year for regular members; $50 annually for Life Members) covers ARRL full-membership benefits, including QST. ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, was the first in line to buy a Diamond Terrace brick, and another 20 bricks already are spoken for. Others can join them with a $250 annual Diamond Club membership contribution. The Diamond Club now has more than 2000 members, and the unrestricted funds it takes in support such ARRL activities as spectrum defense, educational initiatives, field services, DXCC, publications, contesting and the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator among others, Hobart points out. Donors may request up to three lines of 16 characters (including spaces and punctuation) per line. Legends may consist of a call sign or a name -- or both -- or a club name and call sign and even a year. Diamond Club members contributing $250 or more each year may add a new brick, or bricks, to the terrace. Especially generous donors may wish to donate a garden bench to The Diamond Terrace at ARRL for an initial donation of $10,000. The Diamond Terrace project will get under way this spring, and new bricks will be put into place 50 bricks at a time each year during May and June. Bricks will be set in sand and treated to withstand harsh New England winters. Hobart says the terrace ultimately will consist of 5000 bricks. "We hope it will be a catalyst for growth, and that many members will support this effort," she said. Contact Hobart 860-594-0397; <email@example.com> or visit the Diamond Club Web page <https://www.arrl.org/forms/development/donations/diamondclub/index.html> to learn more or to sign up for your Diamond Club membership and Diamond Terrace brick. Visit The Diamond Terrace at ARRL page for additional information <https://www.arrl.org/forms/development/donations/diamondclub/terrace.html>. ==>ARRL PRESIDENT EMERITUS JIM HAYNIE, W5JBP, NAMED "AMATEUR OF THE YEAR" Dayton Hamvention® <http://www.hamvention.org/> has named ARRL President Emeritus Jim Haynie, W5JBP, as its 2007 Amateur of the Year. Hamvention says Haynie's League leadership "helped define Amateur Radio's role in emergency communication." Hamvention also announced this week that ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, will receive Hamvention's Special Achievement Award to recognize his technical expertise in documenting the threat of interference from broadband over power line (BPL) systems. Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP) <http://www.irlp.net/> David Cameron, VE7LTD, was named the recipient of the Technical Excellence Award. "I was astonished, and I'm deeply honored," Haynie said after getting word that he'd be receiving Hamvention's top award in May. "It's quite a recognition -- and quite a surprise." A ham for 34 years, Haynie, who lives in Dallas, was West Gulf Division Director for eight years and an ARRL vice president for two years. He then served three terms as the League's volunteer president, from 2000 until 2006, when he was succeeded by current ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN. Haynie's award nomination cited his "energy, tenacity and attention to detail that has transformed the American Radio Relay League from the service organization it was prior to 9/11 into the proactive, vital emergency service clearing house and educational operation that it is today." During his tenure as League president, Haynie's effort to define Amateur Radio's role in homeland security was among his top initiatives. In 2003, he signed a formal Statement of Affiliation between the Department of Homeland Security and ARRL. He has an abiding interest in emergency communication and has promoted Amateur Radio's emergency communication value and contributions on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. Haynie also championed "The Big Project" -- now the ARRL Education and Technology Program (ETP) -- to bring ham radio and wireless technology into schools. Special Achievement Award: Ed Hare, W1RFI Dayton Hamvention will honor Hare for his extensive work calling attention to the potential threat of BPL interference to licensed radio communication services and in documenting it. A member of the ARRL HQ staff for more than 20 years, Hare said he's honored but feels the award really is one for Amateur Radio. "What I did would have had no meaning without the work of hundreds of hams across the country working on BPL issues locally," he said. "They have put in countless hours as volunteers, making a difference when a difference was really needed." Hamvention said Hare's modeling of BPL interference "made a convincing argument" about the threat. "Hare even outfitted his own automobile so he could travel the Northeast and conclusively document BPL interference," the announcement added. Hare said the award would have a place in the ARRL Lab "to honor and thank all of those who have given their time to protect Amateur Radio." Technical Excellence Award: David Cameron, VE7LTD In announcing the recipient of its Technical Excellence Award, Hamvention cited Cameron's instrumental role in developing IRLP to permit worldwide radio and repeater linking. "His work literally transformed FM repeater communication from a local entity into a worldwide communication network that has been of immense value in emergencies and has helped unite the world's radio amateurs over the Internet and radio," the announcement said. "IRLP and its derivatives have opened up a whole new world of communications in VHF/UHF repeaters with the power of the Internet." Dayton Hamvention 2007 takes place Friday through Sunday, May 18-20, at Hara Arena near Dayton, Ohio. The theme of the 56th Hamvention is "Local Clubs: The Heart of Ham Radio." ==>HAM RADIO ANTENNA BILLS IN PLAY IN THREE STATES Lawmakers in three states -- Arizona, Maryland and Oklahoma -- are considering Amateur Radio antenna bills that would put the essence of the limited federal pre-emption known as PRB-1 <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/PRB-1_Pkg/prb-1.pdf> into each state's statutes. The Arizona and Maryland bills go a step beyond most PRB-1 legislation. They not only would require that municipal land-use or zoning regulations "reasonably accommodate" Amateur Radio communication per PRB-1, spelled out in the FCC's Amateur Radio rules in §97.15(b), they would extend the same protections to certain private communities where deed covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) apply. The Arizona amateur antenna bill, House Bill 2595 <http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/48leg/1r/bills/hb2595p.pdf> calls for "reasonable heights and dimensions for accommodation of Amateur Radio station emergency service communications antennae and structures." After stripping a provision to exempt Amateur Radio licensees from the $25 vanity license plate fee from the bill, the Arizona House Appropriations Committee voted out the measure with a "do pass" recommendation. The bill already has a Senate sponsor. In Maryland, essentially identical bills are under consideration in both legislative chambers: House Bill 941 <http://mlis.state.md.us/2007RS/bills/hb/hb0941f.pdf> and Senate Bill 68 <http://mlis.state.md.us/2007RS/bills/sb/sb0068f.pdf>. These measures would require local zoning authorities to comply with the PRB-1 limited federal pre-emption calling on municipalities to "reasonably accommodate Amateur Radio communication." The bills' provisions also would apply to homeowners' associations (HOAs) that have not already enacted antenna restrictions by the time the bill becomes law. Affected HOAs would not be permitted to "restrict or prohibit the design, placement, screening, height or use of Amateur Radio equipment on the property of lot owners." The measure would exempt HOAs having antenna restrictions in place when the bill goes into effect, however. Among other things, the Maryland bills' preambles cite the value of Amateur Radio to the public welfare, pointing out its "invaluable emergency radio communication services in the state and across the United States before, during and after floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, earthquakes, blizzards, train accidents, chemical spills and other disasters." In Oklahoma, House Bill 1037 <http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/2007-08bills/HB/HB1037_HFLR.RTF> has been voted out of committee with a "do pass" recommendation and onto House floor for a vote. The measure provides that municipal ordinances shall comply with §97.15(b) by permitting Amateur Radio antennas or antenna support structures "at a height and dimension sufficient to accommodate Amateur Radio service communications." The measure already has a sponsor in the Oklahoma Senate. To date, 23 states have adopted PRB-1 legislation <http://www.arrl.org/field/regulations/statutes.htm>. PRB-1 does not specify a minimum height below which local governments may not regulate but does require reasonable accommodation, but four states -- Alaska, Wyoming, Virginia and Oregon -- enacted legislation that specifies heights below which municipalities may not regulate. ==>FORMER ISS CREW MEMBERS ON HAND FOR HAM RADIO CONTACT WITH ISS Technical problems failed to dampen the enthusiasm of youngsters at Virginia Run Elementary School in Centreville, Virginia, who spoke March 2 via ham radio with International Space Station flight engineer Suni Williams, KD5PLB. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program arranged the direct VHF contact. For reasons still being looked into, the space station's NA1SS and Earth station K4HTA failed to establish solid communication until more than three minutes into the approximately ten-minute pass. Nonetheless, not only did Williams answer all the students' questions but had time to let the youngsters know how much she enjoyed the opportunity. "It's a great honor and privilege to be here and be talking to you guys," Williams said as the contact drew to a close. "I know you've done a lot of work and a lot of research to get this contact done. I hope you've learned a lot." Food is a favorite topic for students when they speak with ISS crew members. This contact was no exception. One youngster wanted to know how the ISS crew members eat in space. Williams said it's not always easy. "It is a little bit difficult to eat because everything flies around," she responded. "But luckily it's stuff that's usually stuck together, like some type of casserole, and we have it in a can so it doesn't get too far away. Sometimes we have to catch it, though." Williams pointed out that the ISS crew doesn't have to prepare its meals, just heat them up, if necessary. Williams told another youngster that the biggest surprise she's had aboard the ISS was discovering how difficult it is to relax in space and sleep easily. "I felt like I needed a bed or something to lay down on, but there's nothing much to lay down on," Williams said. "We sleep in sleeping bags, and the sleeping bags are tied to the wall so you don't go anywhere, but I had a hard time relaxing my neck because I didn't have a pillow and didn't have that sense of having a pillow or something I was laying down to." Augmenting the ARISS experience for the Virginia Run pupils, ISS Expedition 4 crew member Carl Walz, KC5TIE, and Expedition 3 crew commander Frank Culbertson, KD5OPQ, were on hand at the school, located some 20 miles west of Washington, DC, to discuss their experiences and answer additional questions. Both took part in ARISS school contacts while they were in space. Members of the Vienna Wireless Society (VWS) set up the Earth station at the school, and the club loaned its call sign for the occasion. Reporters from two newspapers and a Washington, DC, TV station attended the event. ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach, with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. -- ARRL Virginia PIC Randy Sly, W4XJ, provided information for this report ==>SEVERE WEATHER PUTS AMATEUR RADIO VOLUNTEERS TO THE TEST Severe weather that included tornadoes March 1 prompted activation by Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and SKYWARN volunteers in Alabama, Georgia and Missouri. Twenty people died in the three states, including seven in Alabama. A tornado destroyed the high school in Enterprise, and five students died when the roof collapsed as they took cover inside. Tornadoes wreaked extensive property damage in the affected communities. "It was a very busy day for Alabama ARES," said ARRL Alabama Section Manager Greg Sarratt, W4OZK. "Amateur Radio operators all across the state were busy March 1 tending to a massive severe weather outbreak in most of the state." Sarratt says Alabama was under multiple tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings for a large part of the day. Amateurs stationed at National Weather Service (NWS) offices, emergency operations centers (EOCs) and elsewhere used HF and VHF to relay critical weather information to served agencies, he reported. "The Alabama amateurs performed as professionals," Sarratt said. "Many hams took off from work to staff stations." At week's end, Sarratt told ARRL Headquarters that Enterprise/Coffee County Emergency Coordinator Jim Garrison, KL0LN, and local amateurs were still at the Enterprise EOC assisting the local emergency management agency and the city with recovery efforts. In Georgia, ARRL Section Traffic Manager Charles Pennington, K4GK, said the Georgia ARES Net activated during the afternoon of March 1 and continued into the wee hours of March 2, as a series of severe weather watches and warnings were posted. "Several tornadoes were reported, scattered mostly through central and southern Georgia," he said. "We had 82 stations reported on the statewide HF net. In addition, the SKYWARN nets were active from 1:45 PM until around midnight, with extensive coverage in the affected areas." Pennington said several VHF/UHF nets also were up and running during the event. Georgia ARES stood down March 2 but remained on standby if needed during recovery operations. Georgia authorities blamed the storms for at least two deaths after a tornado struck a hospital in Americus. Another person died and four were injured when a tornado touched down in Taylor County, near Albany. In Missouri, Section Traffic Manager Dale Huffington, AE0S, cited "many reports of activation" March 1 on the 75-meter phone net. "Amateurs in over half of Missouri's ARES districts reported activations due to the storm," he said. In Howell County, in south-central Missouri, a tornado was blamed for the death of a seven-year-old girl. An ARES net activated in Howell County. In Boone County, in central Missouri, ARES teams activated at the request of the Joint Communications Information Center. Ten weather spotters -- among them Missouri Section Emergency Coordinator Don Moore, KM0R -- provided real-time, ground-level weather observations to supplement NWS radars in Kansas City and St Louis. ==>FCC LOPS FINE, ADMONISHES AMATEUR RADIO LICENSEE The FCC has reduced from $11,000 to $2500 the fine it imposed in 2004 on Daniel Granda, KA6VHC, of Whittier, California. In a Memorandum Opinion and Order (MO&O) released March 1, the FCC said Granda intentionally interfered with Amateur Radio communications and failed to respond to FCC correspondence. Granda petitioned for reconsideration of the $11,000 fine in 2004. "In his petition, Mr Granda does not dispute our finding that he caused deliberate interference to Amateur Radio communications nor does he deny his failure to respond to official Commission correspondence," recounted Assistant FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief George R. Dillon, who signed the MO&O. "He does contend, however, that imposition of the full forfeiture amount would impose a financial hardship on him and his spouse." The FCC agreed to reduce the fine to $2500 after reviewing Granda's federal tax returns. "The reduction of the forfeiture amount, however, does not lessen the severity of the violations cited in this proceeding, specifically Mr Granda's intentional interference to radio communications," Dillon cautioned. "For that reason, we will further admonish Mr Granda for his violations." Granda's license renewal has been in limbo since 2003, when the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) set aside his renewal application. As the MO&O noted, the Enforcement Bureau had asked the WTB to "consider this violation in processing Mr Granda's pending license renewal application for KA6VHC." Apparently it did. This week, the WTB renewed Granda's license for just one year. ==>NEXT CIVILIAN SPACE TRAVELER IS AMATEUR RADIO-READY The next civilian space traveler is Amateur Radio ready. Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> reports that software pioneer and aviator Charles Simonyi, KE7KDP, plans to talk with students at three schools during his stay in space. He also may make casual contacts. Simonyi, 58, is set to head into space April 7 on a Soyuz "taxi mission" to the ISS. He'll accompany Expedition 15 Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin, RN3FI, and Oleg Kotov. They'll join US astronaut Sunita Williams, KD5PLB. As a client of Vienna, Virginia-based Space Adventures Ltd <http://www.spaceadventures.com/>, Simonyi will pay $25 million for the privilege. He's been undergoing pre-flight training at Star City, Russia. During his eight-day stay aboard the ISS, he will conduct experiments on behalf of several international space agencies. "I am fascinated by the technologies utilized by the American and Russian space programs," Simonyi said. "As an engineer, I look forward to studying the different engineering approaches." Simonyi obtained his Technician ticket in December. Space Adventures says Simonyi's mission goals are to advance civilian space travel, assist with space station research and involve youth in the science of space travel. He established his space flight Web site <http://www.charlesinspace.com/> to chronicle his training experiences. A native of Hungary, Simonyi earned a bachelor's degree in engineering and mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in computer science from Stanford University. Over the years, he's been associated with Xerox and with Microsoft, where he oversaw the teams that developed the company's Excel, Multiplan, Word and other applications. After leaving Microsoft in 2002, Simonyi founded Intentional Software Corporation, a software engineering company. The following year, he founded the Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences to support arts organizations, science programs and educational institutions. Simonyi began his cosmonaut training in September. As part of his multi-faceted training at Star City, he has learned how to use the ARISS gear aboard the ISS. Space Adventures organized the flights for the world's first private space explorers, Dennis Tito, KG6FZX, Mark Shuttleworth, Greg Olsen, KC2ONX, and Anousheh Ansari. "We wish Charles well and we look forward with great anticipation to his launch," said Space Adventures President and CEO Eric Anderson. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Heliophile Tad "That Lucky Ol' Sun" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: On March 1 Sunspot 944 was pointed straight at Earth. This small sunspot was followed a few days later by another small one, Sunspot 945. Both spots seemed to disappear a day or two later, before they would have rotated off the visible solar disk. Now the sun is blank, and the sunspot number is zero. No solar activity is expected for the next few days, so we will probably see at least several days with a sunspot number of zero. Geomagnetic conditions are expected to remain quiet, at least until Monday or Tuesday, March 12-13. The US Air Force predicts a planetary A index for March 9-15 of 5, 5, 7, 15, 20, 15 and 10. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet conditions for March 9-10, quiet to unsettled March 11, active geomagnetic conditions for March 12, unsettled to active March 13, unsettled March 14 and quiet to unsettled March 15. A recurring solar wind stream is predicted for Monday, March 12, and it should produce the expected geomagnetic instability. Sunspot numbers for March 1 through 7 were 11, 23, 11, 24, 27, 26 and 11, with a mean of 19. 10.7 cm flux was 74.8, 75.5, 73.3, 72.5, 71.9, 71.9, and 72.9, with a mean of 73.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 11, 5, 2, 3, 8, 18 and 14, with a mean of 8.7. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 7, 4, 0, 4, 6, 14 and 12, with a mean of 6.7. 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 RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (Data) is March 5. The ARS Spartan Sprint and the AGCW YL-CW Party are March 6. JUST AHEAD: The RSGB Commonwealth Contest, the AGCW QRP Contest, the Oklahoma and Wisconsin QSO parties, the EA PSK31 Contest, the North American Sprint (RTTY) and the UBA Spring Contest (CW) are the March 10-11 weekend. The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (CW) is March 14. 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * ARRL releases statement on Red Cross background check policy: ARRL -- the National Association for Amateur Radio, has released a position statement <http://www.arrl.org/announce/ARRL-ARC-bg-check.html> <http://www.arrl.org/announce/ARRL-ARC-bg-check.html> regarding the implementation of a background check procedure by the American Red Cross. The statement was released to address ARRL members' concerns prior to a March 31, 2007, compliance deadline the Red Cross has set. The application of the background check policy to Amateur Radio operators providing communication services to the Red Cross -- either as Red Cross volunteers or as Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) members -- is the subject of continuing discussions between the ARRL and the Red Cross. Therefore, the position statement is subject to change. The ARRL will announce any such revisions and updates on its Web site. * Advisory to Amateur Radio license/upgrade applicants: Use your FRN! ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (ARRL VEC) urges all Amateur Radio license and upgrade applicants to use their FCC Registration Number (FRN) <https://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/coresWeb/publicHome.do>, if they have one, when completing Form 605, not their Social Security number. The FCC asks applicants to register via the FCC's COmmission REgistration System (CORES), to obtain an FRN, and it requires applicants to use their FRNs when filing Form 605. The FRN uniquely identifies an applicant in all transactions with the FCC and avoids the need to provide a Social Security number on the application form. ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, says that if her department submits license data to the FCC using a Social Security number when the applicant already has an FRN, the FCC rejects the data because an FRN already exists. Somma also reminds applicants and Volunteer Examiner teams to attach any Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) for element credit to upgrade applications. Using your FRN and attaching any needed CSCE to your Amateur Radio application in Form 605 will eliminate delays in obtaining your license or upgrade. * ARRL 2006 Frequency Measuring Test results now available: The results of the ARRL's November 15, 2006, Frequency Measuring Test (FMT) now are available <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/fmt/2006/2006-fmt-results.html>. Of the 195 participants, 51 determined the frequency of W1AW or WA6ZTY with an accuracy of less than 1 Hz. Certificates to all participants will be mailed this week. Thanks to all who took part! * The SouthWest Ohio DX Association announces 22nd annual DX Dinner: The SouthWest Ohio DX Association (SWODXA) has announced that tickets now are available for the 22nd annual DX Dinner held in conjunction Dayton Hamvention 2007. The dinner will be Friday, May 18, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Dayton. Tickets are $36 per person, payable in US funds to SWODXA, (no PayPal or credit card payments), c/o Jay Slough, K4ZLE, 8183 Woodward Dr, West Chester, OH 45069. Seating is limited. Details are available from the SWODXA Web site <http://www.swodxa.com/>. * 2007 ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference issues call for papers: Technical papers are solicited for presentation at the 26th annual ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC), Friday-Sunday, September 28-30, in Hartford, Connecticut. Papers will also be published in the Conference Proceedings. Authors do not need to attend the conference to have their papers included in the Proceedings. The submission deadline is July 31. The ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference is an international forum for technically minded radio amateurs to meet and present new ideas and techniques. Paper/presentation topic areas include -- but are not limited to -- software defined radio (SDR), digital voice, digital satellite communication, digital signal processing (DSP), HF digital modes, adapting IEEE 802.11 systems for Amateur Radio, Global Positioning System (GPS), Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS), Linux in Amateur Radio, AX.25 updates and Internet operability with Amateur Radio networks. Submit papers to Maty Weinberg, KB1EIB, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 or via e-mail <email@example.com>. Papers will be published exactly as submitted, and authors will retain all rights. ARRL will provide additional information on the 2007 DCC as it becomes available. * Topbanders' DX Dinner set at Visalia: The Topbanders' DX Dinner held in conjunction with the 58th annual International DX Convention in Visalia, California, will take place Friday, April 27, at 6:30 PM in the banquet room of the Sizzler Steak House, 2121 W Caldwell Ave, Visalia. Attendees will order from the menu and pay individually, so there is no fee. Those planning to attend should contact Earl Cunningham, K6SE <firstname.lastname@example.org>, to ensure adequate seating. The International DX Convention, sponsored by the Northern California DX Club, will be held April 27-29 at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center -- Visalia. There's more information on the convention Web site <http://www.dxconvention.org/>. * Australia's WIA applies for 500 kHz amateur allocation: The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) <http://www.wia.org.au/> has applied to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for experimental access to a small band of frequencies near 500 kHz. Amateur Radio operators in the United States, the UK, Sweden and Germany have recently been granted experimental or provisional access to frequencies just above 500 kHz. The New Zealand Amateur Radio Transmitters also has applied for access to the band. The WIA requests a temporary/experimental amateur allocation of 505-515 kHz, in line with current medium-frequency allocations available to radio amateurs and experimenters in Europe and the US. =========================================================== 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!): email@example.com ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, firstname.lastname@example.org ==>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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