*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 26, No. 12 March 23, 2007 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +League proposes alternate approach to "regulation by bandwidth" * +Some Technician licensees remain unclear about new privileges * +ARRL Education and Technology Program continues to grow * +Donations urged to help expand ham radio's presence in space * +500-kHz experiment offers early verification of band's EmComm value * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +Ham radio volunteers locate missing man +CubeSat launch scheduled +FCC fines shop for selling non-certified CBs as ham gear DXCC Honor Roll listings due! Visalia programs announced +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> =========================================================== ==>ARRL OFFERS ALTERNATE APPROACH TO "REGULATION BY BANDWIDTH" In the wake of recent changes in the Part 97 Amateur Radio rules, the ARRL has revised its “regulation by bandwidth” proposals to match the new reality, avoid some unintended consequences and temper some of the controversy the original petition had aroused. In a November 2005 Petition for Rule Making (RM-11306 <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/rm-11306/RM-11306-asFiled.pdf> ) <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/rm-11306/RM-11306-asFiled.pdf>, the League asked the FCC to establish a regulatory regime that would segment bands by necessary bandwidths ranging from 200 Hz to 100 kHz rather than by emission mode. The ARRL now is urging the FCC to adopt a "subset” of the rules <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/rm-11306/appendixA.html> <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/rm-11306/appendixA.html> contained in its original petition that largely affects only the amateur bands at 28 MHz and above. “Because the proposals affecting the bands above 28 MHz had not aroused much controversy, they were retained in the shortened list,” ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, explained this week. “Regulation by bandwidth rather than by mode of emission remains controversial below 28 MHz because of its perceived potential impact on established operating patterns, so these proposals were removed from the list with one narrow exception.” That exception addresses the fact that current rules impose no effective bandwidth limit on HF digital operation. “Digital emissions using multiple carriers, such as OFDM [orthogonal frequency division multiplexing], can be designed for any bandwidth while staying within the existing rules,” Sumner points out, “so, the subset of proposed rule changes includes a bandwidth limit of 3 kHz on RTTY and data emissions below 28 MHz.” The proposed 3 kHz RTTY/data bandwidth limit aims to avoid the possibility existing under the present rules that a single digital station could monopolize large MF and HF band segments. In an Erratum this week the ARRL also asked the FCC to retain the existing 500 Hz bandwidth limit that applies to certain automatically controlled RTTY/data stations under §97.221. The ARRL proposal would amend the definition of “bandwidth” in §97.3(a)(8) to read: “For a given class of emission, the width of the frequency band which is sufficient to ensure the transmission of information at the rate and with the quality required under specified conditions.” The rule references the definition of “necessary bandwidth” appearing in Parts 2 and 97 of the FCC rules. If the FCC adopts the League’s revised proposals, the 10, 6 and 2 meter amateur bands would be segmented into subbands allowing maximum emission bandwidths of 200 Hz, 500 Hz, 3.0 kHz (with an exception for double-sideband, full-carrier AM phone), 16 kHz or 100 kHz. Above 222 MHz, the entire emission must be within the allocated Amateur Radio band to comply with §97.307(d). Sumner concedes that the subset of proposed rule changes in RM-11306 would provide less protection to CW, RTTY and other narrowband modes than the League’s original proposals afforded, but not less than the existing rules provide. “In fact, protection against interference from wideband digital modes would be increased, not decreased, even by adoption of the subset,” he contended. Some confusion arose because of an inadvertent omission in the initial notice of a meeting on this subject between ARRL officials and FCC staff. This week's Erratum addressed that issue. Additional consternation followed in the wake of a widely circulated, but erroneous, comment alleging "the complete absence of CW as a mode in the table of HF modes" the ARRL submitted. The ARRL has proposed no change to §97.305(a) of the rules, which authorizes CW on all amateur frequencies except on 60 meters. The League has petitioned the FCC to permit CW and other modes on 60 meters, in addition to the presently permitted upper-sideband SSB. After studying the topic several years, the ARRL Board of Directors continues to support the principles of regulation by bandwidth contained in the original RM-11306 petition. “Regulation by bandwidth provides a better regulatory framework, not only for the introduction of future digital emissions but for the protection of traditional narrowband modes as well,” Sumner asserted this week. He expressed the hope that the subset of RM-11306 modifications offers an alternative that “will make it easier for the FCC to move at least part of the way in that direction.” ==>KNOW YOUR PRIVILEGES! MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUND REGARDING TECH HF PRIVILEGES Some Technician licensees who gained new privileges February 23 remain unaware or uninformed as to what they may and may not do on the HF bands, says ARRL Regulatory Information Specialist Dan Henderson, N1ND. In addition to all Amateur Radio operating privileges above 50 MHz, Technicians who never passed a Morse code test now have CW privileges on certain segments of 80, 40 and 15 meters plus CW, RTTY, data and SSB privileges on certain segments of 10 meters. And that's it. "Know your privileges <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/bands.html>," Henderson advises all Amateur Radio licensees. He says some Technicians apparently believe their new HF phone privileges go far beyond what they really have. "Technicians have no phone privileges on any HF band other than 10 meters, period!" Henderson emphasizes. "That's the bottom line. If you want to operate phone on the other HF bands, you'll have to upgrade to General or Amateur Extra class." A lot of Technician licensees appear to have done just that, according to statistics compiled by Joe Speroni, AH0A <http://ah0a.org/FCC/Licenses.html>. So far in March, the number of General class licensees is up by more than 2700 over the February figure to 134,173, after hitting a 5-year low of just under 131,000 in January. The number of Technicians dropped by 4655 in the same period to 318,838. Speroni notes, however, that his mid-month figures tend to underestimate actual totals. Most Technician license holders face a learning curve to take advantage of their new CW privileges on HF, but they no longer have to pass a Morse code examination. Technicians also may use their new HF privileges without having to apply for them first. No other license class automatically acquired additional privileges February 23. The "omnibus" rule changes effective last December 15 did not give Technician licensees without Morse code credit any additional privileges either. Henderson further warns new Techs not to extrapolate additional phone privileges by misconstruing the FCC Part 97 rules to mean something they don't. "Calls I've been getting lately indicate that some misinformed individuals believe Technicians may operate 'digital voice' on 80, 40 and 15, where they have only CW privileges," he says. "Not true. Digital voice is really digitized voice, and it's not permitted in non-phone band segments." Henderson reiterates that Technicians do not have FM voice privileges on 10 meters -- or on any other HF band, for that matter. The HF privileges all Technicians now have are equivalent to those that Novice licensees enjoy, Henderson notes. "This also means the 200 W maximum power limit still applies, regardless of where you operate in the HF bands," he says. Technicians may operate at up to the legal limit on VHF and UHF, however. On 10 meters, Technician and Novice licensees have CW, RTTY and data privileges from 28.000 to 28.300 MHz, and CW and SSB privileges from 28.300 to 28.500 MHz. "We're sorry that the sunspots aren't favoring 10 meters at this point in the sunspot cycle, but they will in a few years," Henderson allowed. In addition, Technicians and Novices have CW -- and only CW -- privileges on from 3.525 to 3.600 MHz on 80 meters, from 7.025 to 7.125 MHz on 40 meters and 21.025 to 21.200 MHz on 15 meters. Henderson believes at least some of the confusion may have originated with a few brand-new or inexperienced Technician licensees who heard that the FCC deleted the Morse code requirement to obtain an Amateur Radio license, but paid little attention to the fine print. "And we all know the devil's in the details," Henderson says. "Remember, the FCC requires you to know where you may and may not operate and with what modes. Stick to the privileges your license allows or risk hearing from the FCC." ==>ARRL EDUCATION AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM EXPANDS ITS REACH The ARRL Education and Technology Program (ETP) continues to expand and evolve. Conceived and put into motion in 2000 as "The Big Project" by then-ARRL President (now President Emeritus) Jim Haynie, W5JBP, the ETP exposes youngsters to Amateur Radio and electronics in their schools. The program is funded solely through donor dollars. It not only offers a comprehensive curriculum on wireless technology, it sponsors free Teachers Institutes (TIs) <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/tbp/ti.html> to get educators up to speed. Some of the latest schools to come aboard only recently received their ham radio stations and are putting their programs into gear. ETP Coordinator Mark Spencer, WA8SME, says the program now boasts 224 participating schools and colleges, public and private. "I expect that number to reach above 250 after the May round of schools and this summer's TIs," Spencer said. "I am constantly reviewing the program and making adjustments in an attempt to make the program more effective." He says that's especially true in an era of standardized achievement tests to address states' educational accountability requirements. Spencer says the educational standards he's been studying not only have validated what the program has been doing over the past few years, but have given him some new vocabulary as well as ways to show educators how the program's goals address the standards. "This has resulted mainly in changes to the TI content," Spencer explains. "In future TIs, I will increase emphasis on space and on radio direction-finding -- fox hunting." While he's abandoned providing "activity circuit boards" as kits to Teachers Institute attendees, he will be adding a "Soldering 101" module, where educators will build one of the simpler boards under his supervision. Teachers attending TIs now will get completed activity boards instead of kits, plus 3 units of graduate-level credit through Fresno Pacific University. By inspiring enthusiasm in participating educators, the TIs have become one route for schools to apply for ETP grants. Several lead teachers among the recent round of ETP participants were TI attendees. Spencer explains that more educators are looking in depth at space-related activities that can be used over years of curriculum. "Consequently an increasing number of ETP grant requests are related to Earth stations to support space communication," he noted. Students at many ETP-grant schools have been motivated to become radio amateurs, and some ETP programs incorporate licensing classes. Becoming an Amateur Radio operator is not a primary program goal, however. Several teachers also have obtained their Amateur Radio licenses as a result of their involvement in the program. For a school to be considered an ETP participant, it must have received some level of support from the program -- such as Teachers Institute participation, activity board kits or equipment grants. Schools awarded ETP grants may choose from a number of Amateur Radio station packages, each adjusted to accommodate specific needs -- particularly antenna needs -- if possible. Progress grants include curriculum and printed materials plus ancillary components and pieces of equipment to enhance existing programs. No cash is awarded. Recent schools' proposals include one to integrate ham radio satellite activity into the curriculum. A college in Mississippi is hoping to rebuild its ham radio program after Hurricane Katrina destroyed its ham station. A third school wants to emphasis emergency communication-related activities as well as radio direction finding and balloon-borne radio payloads. Others are looking to Amateur Radio and a school station to support extra-curricular opportunities. Some progress grant recipients plan to implement "Space in the Classroom" concepts like the one presented during a Teachers Institute. For more information about the ARRL Education and Technology Program, visit the ARRL ETP Web site <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/tbp/> or e-mail Mark Spencer, WA8SME <email@example.com>. To support the ARRL Education and Technology Program, visit the secure donor page <https://www.arrl.org/forms/development/donations/education/education.html>. ==>DONATIONS URGENTLY NEEDED TO GET ISS COLUMBUS MODULE AMATEUR RADIO-READY More money is needed -- and soon -- to help expand Amateur Radio's presence in space. The International Space Station's Columbus module, set to launch later this year, will house an additional Amateur Radio station. Equipment will include the first digital Amateur Radio TV (DATV) station in space as well as a ham radio transponder. But funding to finish and install ham radio antennas on the European Space Agency (ESA)-built laboratory module remains incomplete. The total project cost is 80,000 Euros (approximately $106,500). Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Vice Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, says a payment of 9000 Euros (approximately $12,000) is due this month. ARISS-Europe remains 4000 Euros (approximately $5330) shy of that goal, however, and time is short to have it in place. "The ARISS antennas for Columbus will be finally manufactured in March and delivered to Kennedy Space Center for integration into the Columbus module," Bertels said in a recent appeal to International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) and AMSAT member-societies and radio amateurs around the globe. "It would be a pity to stop the process because of a lack of funding, now that we are so close to the goal." Another 9000 Euros will come due in October. Donations already have come in from the ARRL Foundation, AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-UK, among other organizations, as well as from many individual donors. ARISS Europe contracted with the Institute of Telecommunications and Acoustics at Poland's Wroclaw University of Technology to fabricate the L and S-band antennas with financial support from AMSAT-Belgium and the Royal Belgium Amateur Radio Society (UBA), Belgium's IARU member-society. ARISS International Secretary-Treasurer Rosalie White, K1STO, says European hams have devoted several years toward outfitting Columbus for Amateur Radio. "ESA has supported the project with quite a lot of money and people-time," she says. Installation of the microwave panel antennas on Columbus' meteorite debris panels would take place this May at Kennedy Space Center. The yet-to-be-built Columbus amateur gear will facilitate operation on new frequencies that will make it possible for ARISS to establish wideband and video operations for the first time and allow continuous transponder operation. At the ARISS International conference last October in San Francisco, Graham Shirville, G3VZV, speaking on behalf of ARISS-Europe, outlined plans for a mode L/S ham radio transponder as well as a DATV downlink on S1 band (2.4 GHz). "So, future ARISS contacts could have pictures as well as sound," Shirville told the delegates. ARISS-Europe is looking at a 10 W transmitter and a signal bandwidth of from 4 to 8 MHz. Since the Columbus module will be some distance from the other two ARISS stations, parallel operation will be possible. Antennas were to have been installed before Columbus came to the US, but Shirville told last fall's ARISS gathering that ARISS-Europe had "some fairly major problems" developing the antennas due to extreme launch load requirements. AMSAT-Belgium has set up a bank account to receive donations toward equipping the module with the necessary ham radio antennas. Bertels says donors within the European Union will not have to pay any additional banking costs -- beyond the cost of a national money transfer -- if they use the international banking number (IBAN) and mention the international identification code (BIC). Reference transfers as "Donation Columbus" to: AMSAT-Belgium 001-2306592-08 IBAN -- BE63 0012 3065 9208 BIC -- GEBABEBB PayPal account holders can make a donation <http://www.ariss-eu.org/columbus.htm> by clicking on the "Donate" button in the left column. Credit card donations for the Columbus project are also accepted. ==>ARRL 500 KHZ EXPERIMENT LOGS THOUSANDS OF ACTIVITY HOURS ARRL 500 kHz Experiment <http://www.500kc.com/> Coordinator Fritz Raab, W1FR, reports that a total of 16 participating stations have been active on the air since the experiment got under way in late 2006. The FCC Office of Engineering and Technology granted the WD2XSH experimental license to the ARRL last September. Raab says the low-frequency investigation has demonstrated ground-wave communication at distances of 100 miles in New England, in the Gulf Coast states and in Colorado. "This might not sound very dramatic, but it is very important, as no current amateur band has the capability for beyond-line-of-sight communication that does not depend upon the whims of the ionosphere," Raab told ARRL Headquarters. In his second quarterly Project Status Report <http://www.500kc.com/#report2>, Raab noted that during the past three months, WD2XSH participants have racked up another 2250 hours of operation, bringing the total to 4629. As of the end of February, the project had recorded 75 two-way contacts and more than 3100 reception reports via its Web site. Raab says most of the records for QSO and reception distances set in the experiment's first three months have not been broken. "The longest distance over which a QSO has been maintained is 884 miles -- from New Hampshire to Tennessee," he notes. WD4XSH/10 (W4DEX operator) completed a crossband (500 kHz/137 kHz) QSO with WD2XNS (W1VD operator ) in Connecticut. Stations have been using CW or very slow-speed CW (QRSs). Even daylight contacts have been completed via ground wave. These include a 127-mile path between Massachusetts and Connecticut and an 87-mile path between Mississippi and Louisiana. "The Mississippi-Louisiana link has proven reliable multiple times at all times of the day or night," he commented. Daytime ground wave reception also has been reported over paths of 25 miles and 150 miles. "These QSOs and reception reports provide preliminary verification of the capability for amateurs to use this band for regional emergency communication that does not depend upon the ionosphere," Raab said. SM6BHZ in Sweden has been authorized to operate from 505.0 to 505.2 kHz. Two German experimental stations that had been operating in the vicinity of 400 kHz have shifted to 500 kHz too. "We moved our operations up 200 Hz to create a 'DX Window' for them," Raab said. "The UK is now issuing special permits for 501-504 kHz." Raab says the WD2XSH participants plan to continue their current operating pattern through the end of May. "We are trying designated QSO nights to increase the number of contacts," he pointed out. "Given successful completion of the third quarter, we would like to begin use of PSK/FSK/MSK31. Since these signals fit within the spectrum of the currently authorized CW signal, we should be able to use these digital modes by simply filing notice under Section 5.77 of the FCC rules." Because a few of the original WD2XSH stations no longer are able to participate, Raab says he's looking into adding other stations to the list of those authorized to operate under the experimental license. "At present, nearly two dozen amateurs have submitted information forms with the hope of being added to the license," he notes. Criteria for additional participants include expansion of geographic coverage, expansion of ground wave tests, narrowband digital-mode capability and an on-going ability to contribute to the experiment. The two-year WD2XSH authorization permits experimentation and research between 505 and 510 kHz using narrowband modes at power levels of up to 20 W effective radiated power (ERP). Important WD2XSH Frequencies: CW beacons: 505.300-506.300 kHz; QRSs operation: 505.250-505.255 kHz, and calling frequency: 507.5 kHz (band center). ==>SOLAR UPDATE Sunspot seeker Tad "Who Let the Spots Out?" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: For the past 10 days we've observed no sunspots at all! Periods like this -- or longer -- are expected at the bottom of the sunspot cycle. As mentioned in a recent "Solar Update," the latest projection for smoothed sunspot numbers from the NOAA Space Environment Center puts the solar minimum at February through April 2007, with a smoothed sunspot number of 11. Another way to look at it is that the minimum is projected between December 2006 and July 2007, with a smoothed sunspot number of 12 or lower. The lower part of the HF spectrum is a good place to operate at the bottom of the sunspot cycle. Unlike 10 or 15 meters, 160 and 80 meters won't be bothered by a low MUF (Maximum Usable Frequency) -- a consequence of the lack of sunspots. With less solar activity comes fewer problems with geomagnetic disturbances, which can be frequent toward the top of the cycle. For the CQ World Wide WPX Contest (SSB) this weekend, there probably won't be any sunspots. The higher frequencies won't be fantastic, but geomagnetic conditions are expected to be stable and quiet. The US Air Force predicts planetary A index for March 23-29 at 5, 5, 10, 15, 20, 10 and 5. Geophysical Institute Prague says that March 23 should be quiet to unsettled, March 24-25 unsettled, March 26-27 unsettled to active, March 28 unsettled, and March 29 quiet. Sunspot numbers for March 15 through 21 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0, with a mean of 0. The 10.7 cm flux was 69.2, 68.7, 69.3, 70.5, 70.1, 72.6, and 72.8, with a mean of 70.5. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 10, 8, 3, 2, 2 and 2, with a mean of 5. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 5, 11, 8, 1, 1, 1 and 1, with a mean of 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 CQ World Wide WPX Contest (SSB), and the SKCC Weekend Sprint are the weekend of March 24-25. JUST AHEAD: The QCWA Spring QSO Party is the weekend of March 31-April 1. The RSGB RoPoCo 1 is April 1. The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (CW) is April 2. The ARS Spartan Sprint is April 3. The YLRL DX-YL to NA-YL Contest (CW) is April 3-5. The SARL 80-Meter QSO Party is April 5. 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, April 1, for these for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (CCE) online courses beginning Friday April 20: 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 30, for classes beginning Friday, May 18. 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>. * Ham radio volunteers locate missing man: Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers in Stanislaus County, California, were able to locate an 82-year-old man suffering from senile dementia who walked away from a residential care facility March 14. Police in Modesto organized a search for the elderly man, and members of the Stanislaus Amateur Radio Association (SARA) -- an ARRL Special Service Club -- volunteered to help (the club meets at the Modesto Police Department's Northeast Area Substation). One volunteer who had helped locate victims of Hurricane Katrina brought along her search dog. The searchers found the missing man sitting in the driver's seat of a pick-up truck. Modesto police say that while he appeared disoriented, he was in good spirits and shook hands with the volunteers who found him. "We are very thankful for the help our local volunteers provide us in times like these," said Modesto Police Lt Gary Watts, who headed the search. "They are all very dedicated, and we couldn't do it without them." -- Modesto Police Department * CubeSat launch scheduled: Four CubeSats operating on Amateur Radio frequencies will be among seven CubeSats set to head into space on a Dnepr launcher Tuesday, March 27, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. CubeSats carrying Amateur Radio payloads are CalPoly's PolySats CP3 and CP4, which will transmit 1200 bps FM AFSK (AX.25) on 436.845 MHz and 437.325 MHz, respectively, under an FCC Part 5 experimental license; University of Louisiana's CAPE-1, which will transmit 9600 bps FM FSK (AX.25) and CW telemetry during opposite 30-second intervals on 435.245 MHz using the call sign K5USL (forward telemetry reports via e-mail <email@example.com>), and the Universidad Sergio Arboleda's Libertad-1, which will transmit 1200 bps FM AFSK (AX.25) on 437.405 MHz. CubeSat separation is scheduled to occur March 27 at 0702 UTC with first acquisition of signal over South Africa at 0708 UTC. * FCC fines shop for selling non-certified CBs as ham gear: In a Forfeiture Order <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-881A1.pdf> released March 2, the FCC has affirmed a $7000 fine it levied on Ben Metzger of Titusville, Florida, doing business as 1 Stop Communications / 1 Stop CB Shop, for marketing non-certified Citizens Band transceivers. The FCC's Tampa Office issued Metzger a Citation in March 2006 for marketing certain Galaxy and Connex transceivers. Metzger has asserted that the units are Amateur Radio transceivers, which do not require FCC certification, not CB transceivers, which do. The FCC says the units are intended for use on CB as well as on amateur frequencies through a simple modification, and it has determined that such dual-use transceivers are CB transceivers under its rules. Metzger told the Commission last May that he'd removed the radios mentioned in the Citation from his store. In June 2006, the FCC declined to withdraw the citation on the basis that the transceivers were marketed as ham gear. Agents from the Tampa FCC office later revisited the shop and were able to buy a Connex CX 3300HP, which they say Metzger modified to operate on part of 10 meters as well as on CB and other frequencies (25.615 to 28.305 MHz). Metzger still maintains that the Connex CX 3300HP is a ham transceiver and that he did not violate any FCC rules, the FCC said. * DXCC Honor Roll listings due! The deadline for the next ARRL DXCC Honor Roll listing is looming. All submissions must be postmarked by March 31. The Honor Roll list will appear in August QST. There are 337 current entities on the DXCC list, so you must be at 337 for Top of the Honor Roll or within the numerical top 10 to qualify for the Honor Roll (minimum of 328 entities; deleted entities do not count toward Honor Roll). Top of Honor Roll and Honor Roll plaques and lapel pins are available to all past and current Honor Roll members. Visit the ARRL DXCC Web page for details <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/>. * Visalia programs announced: The 2007 International DX Convention program will include presentations on the KH8SI, VU7RG, XF4DL, YI9MD and ZL8R DXpeditions. Other programs on the schedule are: "Audio Reinforcement in Contesting" by Bob Heil, K9EID, and Chip Margelli, K7JA; "DXing from a City Lot," by Dean Straw, N6BV; "Ionospheric Propagation Simplified," by Dave Gomberg, NE5EE; "Why Do We DX?" by Bob Locher, W9KNI; and "Working Your First 100 Countries," by Rich Moseson, W2VU. The Saturday night banquet will feature the 4O3T operation from Montenegro. The Sunday breakfast will include a presentation on the 5A7A DXpedition to Libya. The 58th annual International DX Convention <http://www.dxconvention.org/> takes place April 27-29 in Visalia, California. =========================================================== 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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