*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 26, No. 16 April 20, 2007 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +League aids effort to mitigate repeater interference to military radars * +FCC proposes drastic cut in vanity call sign fee * +Ham radio volunteers tackle foul weather in the Northeast * +Background investigations topic of ARRL, Red Cross discussion * +Kids connect with space travelers via ham radio, thanks to ARISS * +McGan Award deadline is May 25 * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +Swains Island N8S operation tops 100,000 contacts! +CubeSats launch successfully! +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> =========================================================== ==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/faq.html#nodelivery>, then e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, <email@example.com> =========================================================== ==>ARRL AIDING EFFORT TO MITIGATE REPEATER INTERFERENCE TO MILITARY RADARS The ARRL has been working with the US Department of Defense to develop a plan to mitigate alleged interference from 70 cm ham radio repeaters to military radar systems on both coasts. Amateur Radio is secondary to government users from 420 to 450 MHz and must not interfere with primary users. Citing an increasing number of interference complaints, the US Air Force has asked the FCC to order dozens of repeater systems to either mitigate interference to the "PAVE PAWS" radars or shut down. The Commission has not yet responded. The situation affects 15 repeaters in the vicinity of Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and more than 100 repeaters within some 140 miles of Beale Air Force Base near Sacramento, California. ARRL Regulatory Information Specialist Dan Henderson, N1ND, stresses that the Defense Department acknowledges Amateur Radio's value in disasters and emergencies and is being extremely cooperative — and a wholesale shutdown of US 70 cm Amateur Radio activity is not in the offing. "The ARRL Lab is working up calculations on each repeater system the Air Force has identified to determine where interference-mitigation techniques offer a reasonable chance of keeping the repeater on the air," Henderson says. "In order for the amateur community as a whole to succeed in this venture, it is going to require the cooperation of all affected repeater owners." A US Air Force contractor identified the problematic repeater systems last summer, but the situation didn't become critical until the Air Force contacted the FCC a month ago. ARRL officials met with Defense Department representatives in late March to discuss alleged interference to the PAVE PAWS radar sites. This week Henderson contacted Amateur Radio frequency coordinating organizations in both affected areas — the Northern Amateur Relay Council of California (NARCC) and the New England Spectrum Management Council (NESMC). PAVE PAWS is a missile and satellite detection and tracking system, and its name is a half-acronym. "PAVE" is simply an Air Force program name. "PAWS" stands for "Phased Array Warning System." Although PAVE PAWS has been in existence since the late 1970s, the Cape Cod and Sacramento sites are the only remaining operational facilities in the US. PAVE PAWS facilities occupy essentially the entire 70 cm band -- one factor that makes mitigation difficult. Feeding upward of 1800 active antenna elements, the broadband radar transmitters emit an average power output of more than 145 kW. As a "first step" to mitigate the interference, the ARRL is recommending that all affected repeater owners reduce power -- possibly to as little as 5 W effective radiated power (ERP). "We understand the difficulty this may cause to owners and users," Henderson said, "but the alternative to operating with a smaller coverage area may be not operating at all." Amateur Radio stations already must abide by a maximum 50 W PEP power limitation in the areas around both Air Force facilities. Henderson says the League is still seeking further information on the problem. "Until the Defense Department accepts a mitigation plan, repeater owners should exercise patience," he cautioned. "Once the ARRL Lab has completed its propagation calculations, we will be in a better position to provide advice for specific repeaters on a case-by-case basis." Contact Dan Henderson, N1ND <firstname.lastname@example.org> or 860-594-0236, with specific questions or issues associated with this situation. ==>FCC POISED TO CUT VANITY CALL SIGN FEE BY MORE THAN 40 PERCENT The FCC has proposed reducing the regulatory fee to obtain or retain an Amateur Radio vanity call sign by more than 40 percent starting later this year. In a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), "Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2007" in MD Docket 07-81 released April 18, the Commission is proposing to cut the fee from its current $20.80 to $11.70. If ultimately adopted, that would mark the lowest fee in the history of the current vanity call sign program. The FCC proposed to collect nearly $290.3 million in FY 2007 regulatory fees. "These fees are mandated by Congress and are collected to recover the regulatory costs associated with the Commission's enforcement, policy and rulemaking, user information, and international activities," the FCC said. "Consistent with our established practice, we intend to collect these regulatory fees in the August-September 2007 time frame in order to collect the required amount by the end of the fiscal year." Comments on MD Docket 07-81 are due May 3. Reply comments are due May 11. The vanity call sign fee has fluctuated over the 11 years of the current vanity call sign program -- from a low of $12 to a high of $50. The FCC says it anticipates some 14,700 Amateur Radio vanity call sign "payment units" or applications during the next fiscal year. The vanity call sign regulatory fee is payable not only when applying for a new vanity call sign but upon renewing a vanity call sign for a new term. The first vanity call sign licenses issued under the current Amateur Radio vanity call sign program that began in 1996 came up for renewal last year. Those holding vanity call signs issued prior to 1996 are exempt from having to pay the vanity call sign regulatory fee at renewal, however. That's because Congress did not authorize the FCC to collect regulatory fees until 1993. Such "heritage" vanity call sign holders do not appear as vanity licensees in the FCC Amateur Radio database. Amateur Radio licensees may file for renewal only within 90 days of their license expiration date. The ARRL VEC will process license renewals for vanity call sign holders for a modest fee. The service is available to ARRL members and nonmembers, although League members pay less. Routine, non-vanity renewals continue to be free for ARRL members. Trustees of club stations with vanity call signs may renew either via the ULS or through a Club Station Call Sign Administrator, such as ARRL VEC. League members should visit the "ARRL Member Instructions for License Renewals or Changes" page <http://www.arrl.org/fcc/memberlicenseinstructions.html>, while the "Instructions for License Renewals or Changes" page <http://www.arrl.org/fcc/licenseinstructions.html> covers general renewal procedures for nonmembers. There's additional information on the ARRL VEC's "FCC License Renewals and ARRL License Expiration Notices" page <http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/renewals.html>. License application and renewal information and links to the required forms are available on the ARRL Amateur Application Filing FAQ Web page <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/application-filing-faq.html>. The FCC's forms page <http://www.fcc.gov/formpage.html> also offers the required forms. ==>NORTHEAST AMATEUR RADIO VOLUNTEERS AID MASSIVE STORM RESPONSE, RECOVERY Amateur Radio volunteers have been helping the US Northeast to recover from the effects of a huge and punishing nor'easter that generated high winds and caused extensive flooding in many communities -- rural, urban and coastal. While sunny weather has returned to the region, some ARES volunteers remain active. "This was a long-duration event that impacted the region for several days," said ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY, who's also ARES SKYWARN coordinator for the Taunton National Weather Service office. New Hampshire Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and Eastern Rockingham County ARES have been backing up landline telephone service, including 911, between Nottingham and the New Hampshire Bureau of Emergency Management. Service was knocked out by flooding at a switching station. Operations could last for several days. Even cell service is affected. The mountains of northern New England received snow, some of which melted, while most of the rest of the region saw heavy rainfall -- three to six inches on the average with isolated higher amounts in southern and central New England. The result was significant flooding of rivers, streams and urban areas, coupled with mudslides and bridge and road washouts. Amateur Radio ARES, RACES, SKYWARN and Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) volunteers monitored river levels for authorities. The Nashua, Farmington, Connecticut, Blackstone, Pawtuxet, Piscataquog, Shawsheen, Souhegan and Merrimack rivers were among those overspilling their banks. Homes and businesses had to be evacuated in some communities. Flooding of smaller rivers and streams added to the problem. Along the coast, Amateur Radio volunteers reported widespread minor to moderate flooding across coastal eastern Massachusetts Sunday through Wednesday. In Nantucket, the ocean claimed one home during high tide, while numerous cars got stuck in coastal flooding, and motorists had to be rescued. A few families had to evacuate during high water. Winds gusting between 60 and 75 MPH brought down trees and power lines, leaving some 45,000 customers without power in Massachusetts alone. Trees and tree limbs also fell on cars and houses, in some instances causing significant damage. Macedo reports SKYWARN operations at the Taunton NWS office's WX1BOX, were active for 40 hours straight -- from 8 AM Sunday through midnight Tuesday. SKYWARN provided some 500 to 600 reports of snowfall, rainfall, flooding, wind damage and wind-speed measurements. More than a dozen repeaters served formal and informal SKYWARN gatherings. At the Massachusetts State EOC, RACES' WC1MA was active from 6 PM Sunday through 7 PM Monday, monitoring not only the storm but the Boston Marathon. The race went on despite the rough weather. Conditions improved by afternoon. More than 200 Amateur Radio volunteers deployed for the Boston Marathon while operations for the nor'easter were under way. Eastern Massachusetts ARES went on standby to support storm operations. "This was a test of our ability to have a large amount of resources deployed for the large storm as well as for a large event, and things went very well." Macedo said. Western Massachusetts SEC John Ruggiero, N2YHK, reported some localized ARES activity as a result of the nor'easter. Mutual-aid ARES teams in Western Mass were on alert but not activated. Shelters opened in Greenfield and Leominster to house flood victims, and ham radio volunteers were on hand to support communication. The Greenfield EOC was open for a time. In Northampton flooding caused some apartment dwellers to evacuate. Some roadways throughout the region were washed out or flooded over. In Connecticut, ARES went on alert to support the American Red Cross and the Department of Emergency Services and Homeland Security. A SKYWARN net fired up to gather reports of flooding, high water levels, power outages and rainfall totals, reported Hartford-Tolland Counties SKYWARN Coordinator Roger Jeanfaivre, K1PAI. Connecticut SEC Brian Fernandez, K1BRF, said ARES volunteers staffed emergency management facilities in two of the state's five regions, "largely along the shoreline where there has been flooding in low-lying areas." Some evacuations occurred. ARES volunteers also staffed selected EOCs and, briefly, shelters in affected areas. The Connecticut River reportedly crested on Wednesday. In Northern New Jersey, DEC George Sabbi, KC2GLG, in Bergen County reports that Bergen Amateur Radio Association volunteers supported communication for a Red Cross shelter in Lodi, which housed some five dozen clients. At one point, the shelter lost its telephone service and power was out. Radio amateurs on site used handhelds to facilitate communication until backup power arrived. SKYWARN volunteers also provided weather observations, as more than seven inches of rain caused the closing of many roads throughout the county. New York City-Long Island SEC Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, said all ARES members through the section were put on standby Saturday in anticipation of the storm, due to hit around midnight. In New York City, the Red Cross called upon DEC John Healy, KA2ABV, to staff up to nine shelters. The Salvation Army also asked ARES to remain ready. A staff of 30 ARES volunteers was assembled for the first 24-hour period, "with more to come if needed," Healy said. More than eight inches of rain caused scattered flooding in New York City, but predicted 50 MPH winds never materialized. The danger was over by the next day, and New York City District ARES was able to stand down and secure. ARES teams on Long Island also were prepared in advance on April 14. Most of Long Island was spared the brunt of the storm, however. ==>RED CROSS, ARRL DISCUSS BACKGROUND INVESTIGATIONS Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) members volunteering to support Red Cross disaster relief or recovery operations would not have to submit to a Red Cross background check unless their volunteer stints extended beyond seven days. That was the word from American Red Cross officials, who met recently with ARRL representatives. The ARRL has expressed concerns about the Red Cross's background check policy since first learning of it last year. The League posted its most recent position statement <http://www.arrl.org/announce/ARRL-ARC-bg-check.html> on the topic in March. ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, and Chief Technology Officer Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, met March 20 at American Red Cross offices in Washington, DC, with two attorneys from the Red Cross General Counsel's office and two management-level staff members from Red Cross Disaster Services. ARRL asked the Red Cross staff if ARRL ARES volunteers would be subject to the American Red Cross background check requirement if they provided communication for more than seven days. The position of the Red Cross is that ARES volunteers would not be permitted to provide communications at an American Red Cross disaster site for more than seven days without submitting to the Red Cross background check procedure. Discussion then turned to the Red Cross's announcement that it would not conduct credit or mode-of-living checks. The League's stated concern has been that the ARC background investigation consent form states that a consumer report and/or an investigative consumer report -- which includes certain credit checks and mode of living checks -- will be obtained on the volunteer signing the form. The ARRL team asked if the Red Cross would be willing to modify its consent form to limit the authority granted by the person signing the form to criminal background checks only. The Red Cross representatives did not appear willing to modify the current consent form, however. The ARRL also suggested alternatives to the Red Cross investigation firm, MyBackgroundCheck.com (MBC). The Red Cross also appears unwilling to accept background checks conducted by other entities, such as law enforcement organizations. The Red Cross based its reluctance on a requirement to compare the methodologies of MBC with those of alternative background-check providers. Following the meeting, the ARRL reiterated its recommendation that members carefully review any consent document permitting a private organization to conduct a background investigation on that individual. The current Red Cross background check consent form continues to include permission, without further consent from the volunteer, to conduct a consumer report and/or an investigative consumer report. The Federal Trade Commission and federal statutes define "investigative consumer reports" to include a mode-of-living check as well as certain credit checks. While the Red Cross has said it won't routinely pull credit reports on background check applicants, ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, has said that just requiring volunteers to authorize procurement of a credit report "is inconsistent with this assurance." In the course of the background check application process, prospective volunteers must agree to let MBC obtain a wide range of personal information bearing not just on criminal background and creditworthiness but, MBC says, "character, general reputation [and] personal characteristics." MBC advises, "The nature and scope of this disclosure and authorization is all-encompassing." The ARRL says it won't suggest which organizations or agencies Amateur Radio volunteers should or should not support, but the League stresses that it does wish to facilitate the provision of volunteer services. The ARC and the ARRL have a Statement of Understanding (SoU), which is up for review this year. ==>HAM RADIO LETS ISS CREW MEMBERS CONNECT WITH SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program is having a very busy and successful April. So far this month, Amateur Radio has made it possible for youngsters at nine schools in the US, the Netherlands, Australia, Hungary and Russia to speak with the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the ISS as well as with a civilian guest. On April 12 alone, students at three schools got the chance to talk with those aboard the ISS. Two ARISS school contacts April 17 brought the total to 286 since the first ISS crew came aboard in November 2000. ARISS International Secretary Rosalie White, K1STO, notes that civilian space traveler Charles Simonyi, KE7KDP/HA5SIK, has been spending some of his precious time in space on the air. "Charles Simonyi is making hams happy by getting on the air at various times from the ISS," she said. "Over his homeland of Hungary, he made QSOs with over 20 ham stations using his Hungarian call sign." Simonyi, who paid the Russian space agency some $25 million for his 10-day space adventure, handled four ARISS school contacts during his stay. He'll return to Earth at week's end. Still ahead in April are ARISS school contacts in Italy, Germany, Illinois and Virginia. The space station's orbital pattern this month enabled ARISS Earth stations in Australia to serve as a conduit for four of the question-and-answer sessions with ISS crew members, including direct contacts with two schools down under. Verizon Conferencing provided two-way teleconferencing links between the stations and the schools for five so-called "telebridge" contacts. On April 2, youngsters at St Michaels Primary School in New South Wales, Australia, had 17 questions asked and answered by Expedition 14 Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria, KE5GTK, as some 240 people looked on. The event also attracted a TV crew and reporters from two regional newspapers. Expedition 14/15 astronaut Suni Williams, KD5PLB, told youngsters at Glenden State School in Queensland, Australia, April 4 that human habitation of the ISS is part of a larger effort to understand what happens to the human body in long-term space flight. "You guys will be the ones who will be venturing off to other planets," she told the students. She noted that ham radio is "always a fallback plan" if other communication systems go down. The contact culminated some nine months of planning at the school. On April 10, Lopez-Alegria took the helm at NA1SS to answer questions for youngsters at Delta Researchers School, a human spaceflight project for primary schools in the Netherlands, aimed at using human spaceflight as a theme to integrate science and technology into the curriculum. ARISS was even able this month to put the space program within the reach of 22 youngsters attending the tiny, remote Salt Creek Primary School in South Australia. Williams answered more than a dozen youngsters' questions on April 12. One wanted to know if she'd ever seen a "black hole" in space. "Thank God we haven't," Williams quipped. "I don't thing we'd see it for very long at all." On April 16, Patriots Day in her native Massachusetts, Williams became the first human to run the 26-mile Boston Marathon in space. She finished the race on a specially designed treadmill in 4 hours, 23 minutes, 10 seconds. Simonyi handled the other two April 12 contacts, speaking with students at Fairborn High School in Ohio and at Puskás Tivadar Távközlési Technikum in Budapest, Hungary. "Fantastic PR both for Charles and for ham radio!" Chris Hildebrand, HG5XA, reported afterward. "I could not meet anyone today who had not heard of Charles and Amateur Radio." Following the contact, Fairborn teacher Barb Skusa commented on the level of excitement at the school. "It was truly a thrill to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," she told ARISS Mentor Charlie Sufana, AJ9N. "I actually had tears in my eyes." On April 16 Simonyi spoke via ham radio with students at Redmond High School in Redmond, Washington, the home of Microsoft where he once developed software. "I think that space is one of the best things that humanity does," he told the high schoolers. "And to participate in it -- just even in a very small way -- I think it's a privilege, and getting young people like you involved in science, that's just a bonus." The following day, a youngster at Cedar Point Elementary School in Bristow, Virginia, quizzed Simonyi about his job assignment in space. "Well, I'm a tourist, actually, so I don't need to have a job," Simonyi responded, "but I signed up for a number of interesting science experiments to help. For example, measuring the radiation in space." Also on April 17, Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, RN3FI, spoke in Russian with students attending Kursk State Technical University in Russia. Yurchikhin formally assumed command of the ISS that same day. The ISS occupants have managed to work around a busy schedule of crew handover activities to accommodate the ARISS school contacts. Simonyi will accompany Expedition 14's Lopez-Alegria and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, RZ3FT, when they return to Earth April 21 aboard a Soyuz transporter. ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach, with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>DEADLINE LOOMS FOR MCGAN AWARD NOMINATIONS The deadline is drawing near to nominate candidates for the prestigious Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award for excellence in Amateur Radio public relations. Throughout the year ARRL Public Information Coordinators, Public Information Officers and other public relations volunteers strive to keep Amateur Radio visible in their communities by publicizing special events, activities and accomplishments. "Their efforts benefit us all," says ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP. "If you know someone who has achieved public relations success on behalf of Amateur Radio, nominating him or her for the McGan award is the perfect way to say 'thank you'." The 2007 McGan award will go to a radio amateur who's achieved demonstrable success in Amateur Radio public relations and who best exemplifies the volunteer spirit of the late Philip McGan, WA2MBQ, the first chairman of the ARRL Public Relations Committee. The McGan Award recognizes public relations activities specifically directed at bringing Amateur Radio to the public's attention -- and most often the media's -- in a positive light. This may include preparing news releases, hosting a radio show or being an active public speaker. If you know of a ham who has gone "above and beyond" to promote Amateur Radio to the public, consider nominating that person for the 2007 award. Nominations are due by Friday, May 25. Full information is on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/pio/mcgan/>. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Solar Fluxmeister Tad "The Spudman" Cook, K7RA, Boise, Idaho, reports: We are on the road in the Gem State this week -- another with few or no sunspots. Most days had zero spots, but from time to time a new sunspot will appear, but only briefly. Expect more of the same conditions, with few or no sunspots. Eventually this year we should reach a point where the only place for solar activity to go is up. April 20, we may see unsettled geomagnetic activity. Geophysical Institute Prague expects unsettled to active geomagnetic conditions for April 20, unsettled for April 21-22, quiet to unsettled on April 23, and quiet April 24-26. The US Air Force predicts April 28 as the next date for active geomagnetic conditions, with a predicted planetary A index of 25. Sunspot numbers for April 12 through 18 were 0, 0, 11, 0, 0, 12 and 11, with a mean of 4.9. The 10.7 cm flux was 68.3, 68.3 68.2, 69.3, 69.3, 69.2, and 68.8, with a mean of 68.8. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 2, 4, 4, 1, 8 and 9, with a mean of 5.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 7, 1, 3, 2, 0, 6 and 6, with a mean of 3.6. 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 TARA Skirmish Digital Prefix Contest, the Holyland DX Contest, the ES Open HF Championship, Kids Roundup, the EU Spring Sprint (SSB), the Michigan and Ontario QSO parties, the EA-QRP CW Contest, the YU DX Contest, and the SKCC Weekend Sprint are the weekend of April 21-22. The 432 MHz Spring Sprint is April 25. The NCCC Sprint Ladder is April 27. JUST AHEAD: The Florida and Nebraska QSO parties, the SP DX RTTY Contest and the Helvetia Contest are the April 28-29 weekend. 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, May 6 , for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (CEC) program online courses beginning Friday, May 18: 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, May 4, for classes beginning Friday, June 15. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE Department <email@example.com>. * Swains Island N8S operation tops 100,000 contacts! The Swains Island N8S DXpedition team made 117,205 QSOs, The Daily DX reports. That's the fourth highest all-time DXpedition contact total. After shutting down April 15, the crew made it back to American Samoa late the following day. The N8S online logs are available <http://logsearch.de/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=73>, and the DXpedition is expected to upload its log data to Logbook of the World (LoTW). The first N8S QSL cards will be available in about a month. YT1AD will handle cards for N8S. -- The Daily DX * CubeSats launch successfully! Four CubeSats containing payloads operating on Amateur Radio frequencies were among several spacecraft launched successfully April 17 at 0645 UTC from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. A Dnepr rocket deployed seven CubeSats plus seven other satellites from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine into Earth orbit, and signals from at least two of the four CubeSats have been copied on Earth. Among the spacecraft was Colombia's first satellite. The CubeSats are: CalPoly's PolySats CP3 and CP4, 436.845 MHz and 437.325 MHz respectively, 1200 bps FM AFSK, AX.25, 1 W, operating under an FCC Part-5 Experimental license; University of Louisiana CAPE-1 435.245 MHz, 9600 bps FM FSK AX.25 and CW telemetry during opposing 30-second intervals, 1 W, call sign K5USL (e-mail telemetry reports <firstname.lastname@example.org>); Universidad Sergio Arboleda, Colombia, Libertad-1, 437.405 MHz, 1200 bps FM AFSK AX.25, 400 mW, call sign 5K3L. CP4 will transmit a "sensor snapshot" every 2 minutes on 437.325 MHz at 1200bps FSK, AX.25. FSK will require using SSB mode for reception. A 6-second CW preamble precedes this transmission. Keplerian elements for the new ham radio birds and additional information will be posted on Cal Poly's CubeSat Web page <http://www.cubesat.org/>. CalPoly offers a CubeSat "Satellite Contact Form" to report telemetry data received from any satellite <http://cubesat.atl.calpoly.edu/pages/missions/dnepr-launch-2/data-packet-fo rm.php>. -- AMSAT =========================================================== 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. 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