*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 26, No. 19 May 11, 2007 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +ARRL EXPO 2007 at Dayton Hamvention® just days away * +Devastating tornado brings out the best in Amateur Radio volunteers * +Amateur Radio volunteers cooperate in maritime rescue * +Ham radio contacts make life in space up close and personal for students * +Three states seeking ham radio antenna legislation * +Senior News Editor Rick Lindquist, N1RL, announces retirement * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration ARRL HQ seeks Assistant Editor +AMSAT 2007 Space Symposium and General Meeting set Steven Pituch, W2MY, wins April QST Cover Plaque Award ARRL congratulates centenarian member JARL operating award checking available at Hamvention +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> =========================================================== ==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/faq.html#nodelivery>, then e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, <email@example.com> =========================================================== NOTE: Because of Dayton Hamvention, the Friday, May 18, editions of The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News will distribute one day earlier. The "Solar Update" will be available on the ARRL Web site on May 18. =========================================================== ==>ARRL EXPO 2007 AT DAYTON HAMVENTION® TO SHOWCASE LEAGUE, HAM RADIO In less than a week, all eyes in the Amateur Radio community -- well, most of them, anyway -- will be on Dayton, Ohio. The 56th Dayton Hamvention® <http://www.hamvention.org/> gets under way Friday, May 18, at Hara Arena and continues through Sunday, May 20. ARRL EXPO will return for a third year in the Ballarena Hall, showcasing the League's activities and membership services as well as topics of interest to the Amateur Radio community. ARRL Sales and Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, says ARRL EXPO is akin to taking the entire organization to Dayton. "Attending ARRL EXPO is a great way to become familiar with many of the programs, services, staff and volunteers that comprise ARRL," Inderbitzen said. "Besides having a fun time, many hams use the opportunity to learn more about the ARRL and about Amateur Radio." On Friday, May 18, International Space Station Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR -- the most active ham-astronaut ever to live aboard the space station and the first to work all states from space -- will be the League's honored guest. McArthur will be on hand at the ARRL EXPO area to meet and greet visitors. A veteran of four spaceflights and spacewalks, McArthur also established a yet-to-be surpassed milestone of 37 ARISS school contacts. In addition, he put 130 DXCC entities into the NA1SS log. He and Expedition 12 Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev released SuitSat-1 into orbit. Live presentations -- mini forums -- on the ARRL Stage at ARRL EXPO 2007 will offer plenty of opportunities to enhance and extend your knowledge of various facets of Amateur Radio. Presentations will take place every half hour. Topics this year will run the gamut from ARRL's Logbook of the World (LoTW) to HF digital voice techniques and protocols, radio frequency interference, broadband over power line (BPL), going mobile, clubs, ham radio instruction techniques, Amateur Radio rules and regulations, contesting, public relations, good operating practices and more. McArthur will take the ARRL Stage to discuss his six-month duty tour aboard the ISS, among other things telling how he managed to rack up more than 1800 VHF and UHF contacts from space. He'll also be featured during the Ham Radio Aboard the International Space Station Forum, Friday, 10:15 AM, in Room 3. ARRL staff members and officers also will take part in Hamvention forums throughout the weekend. The ARRL Membership Forum takes place Saturday at noon in Room 2. The complete ARRL Exhibit & Activities Guide is available on the ARRL EXPO 2007 Web site <http://www.arrl.org/announce/nc/2007/2007-ARRL-EXPO-Exhibit-Activities-Guid e.pdf>. The popular ARRL Passport scavenger hunt will be back again this year, with an expanded list of possible prizes. Passports are limited to the first 5000 visitors. Also returning is the ARRL Internet Café, which will feature free wireless Internet access. Of course, ARRL EXPO 2007 at Dayton Hamvention will feature a huge retail area where the League's most popular products and publications will be on sale. While there, visitors can renew their League memberships or join for the first time. Younger hams and prospective hams will find lots to do. Seventeen-year-old Goldfarb Scholarship winner and youth editor Andrea Hartlage, KG4IUM, will head the team organizing youth activities and hosting the Youth Lounge, as well as the third annual ARRL Dayton Youth Dinner on Saturday evening. Come to the Youth Lounge for the free snacks, stay for the fun activities and to just hang out. In August, ARRL EXPO 2007 will return during the League's National Convention, held in conjunction with the Huntsville Hamfest in Alabama <http://www.arrl.org/announce/nc/2007/huntsville.html>. Preparations are in high gear for this year's national, August 18-19, at Huntsville's Von Braun Center. ==>AMATEUR RADIO VOLUNTEERS SERVE THOSE DISRUPTED BY KANSAS TWISTERS Amateur Radio volunteers responded after an EF5 magnitude tornado with winds exceeding 200 MPH swept through southwestern Kansas over the May 5-6 weekend, essentially wiping out the town of Greensburg. The town, population 1500, lost its hospital, schools, churches and all of its business and infrastructure. A National Weather Service meteorologist called the tornado "one of the most destructive tornadoes in the last 10 years." A team of Amateur Radio volunteers entered the area Saturday morning and began setting up communication, according to District 6 Emergency Coordinator Godfrey Flax, KC0AUH. District 5 Emergency Coordinator Robert Hanke, WG0Q, activated ARES in Pratt, Stafford, Reno and Barton Counties. Hams deployed to Greensburg and Haviland, and net control operations were established in Pratt. According to ARRL Kansas Section Manager Ron Cowan, KB0DTI, repeaters that remained on the air were some distance from the affected area. He and other hams were monitoring 3.920 MHz Saturday in case there was HF. The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) was conducting logistical nets at 9 AM, 3 PM and 9 PM each day on 3.920 MHz, and HF and 2 meter operations were been established in Haviland. Kansas and Western Missouri SATERN Coordinator June Jeffers, KB0WEQ, says SATERN members will be utilized in Kiowa County to support Salvation Army canteens and the service center in Haviland. Twelve people died as a result of the severe weather, 10 of them from Greensburg, which is located some 45 miles east of Dodge City in Kiowa County. The entire town evacuated Friday night, and more than 400 people took refuge in shelters in Haviland and Pratt. The Salvation Army dispatched canteen units from Dodge City and Hutchinson. A shelter was also opened in Mullinville. On Sunday night, the Red Cross requested radio operators to provide communications between the hospital in Pratt and the shelter in Haviland. President Bush declared Kiowa County a major disaster area, making federal aid available to people and communities affected by the storm. "Our hearts are heavy for the loss of life in Greensburg, Kansas," the president said Sunday. "It's going to take a long time for the community to recover." ==>HAM RADIO INSTRUMENTAL IN PACIFIC MARITIME RESCUE Amateur Radio played a critical role May 4 and 5 in rescuing two people from a foundering sailboat that had been en route to Colombia. Members of the Maritime Mobile Service Net (MMSN) and Intercontinental Net on 14.300 MHz were involved in getting the man and woman aboard the 35-foot s/v Sailabout to safety after they ran into trouble some 700 nautical miles southwest of the Galapagos Islands in the South Pacific. The couple, identified as Gunnar Hansen and Grethe Haraldsen, both Norwegian nationals and neither an amateur licensee, put out a Mayday call on the Intercon/MMSN 14.300 MHz frequency the morning of May 4 after Sailabout sustained damage to its bow -- possibly as a result of losing a forestay, which helps to keep the mast upright -- and started taking on water. Thanks to its efficient pumps, the sailboat remained afloat. The main concern was for the mast, which supported the antenna for the vessel's HF radio. Fortunately, it remained standing. The conversation on the MMSN reportedly was widely monitored by others in the sailing and cruising communities. The Sailabout had only recently been equipped with an HF SSB transceiver. According to an account Assistant MMSN Manager Tom Job, VE3II, posted on the net's Web site <http://www.mmsn.org/events/sailabout.html>, handling the incident involved multiple stations and relays to contend with problematic propagation. Sonny Sides, N5OTB, on s/v Valentina, and Doug Reinthal, W7DUG, relayed the Sailabout's Mayday on 14.300 MHz to Intercon Net Control Station Wes Mullenax, KI0A, in Texas. Because of poor propagation, however, KI0A had rough copy on the vessel's signal, so he turned the frequency over to Fletcher Henderson, KA4BPR, in Alabama. Another report credits Ernie Polack, 6Y5RP, in Jamaica with intercepting the Mayday and assisting via intermittent radio contacts and relays during the first few hours of the event to get information to the Coast Guard. Compounding the urgency of the situation were six to eight-foot seas and winds of 16 to 18 knots. Amateur Radio relays alerted the US Coast Guard at Alameda, California, to the Sailabout's predicament. At the Coast Guard's request, relayed via ham radio, Hansen set off the vessel's Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). Job says Henderson -- assisted by several other stations -- passed critical information to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard contacted and attempted to divert two vessels to the Sailabout's assistance, although only one, m/v Belnor -- a Norwegian freighter -- eventually reached the distressed vessel. Another boat, s/v Damarri, reported some 50 miles distant, learned of the situation. MMSN says Sailabout was able to get under way and changed its course toward Damarri, which was sailing into the weather in an effort to rendezvous with Sailabout. Once on scene, the Damarri's crew kept watch through the night from a safe distance to avoid collision in the rough seas but did not attempt to take Hansen and Haraldsen aboard. At the time, the distressed vessel was contending with 14-foot seas and 25-knot winds. When outside radio contact essentially became impossible, the MMSN secured for the night. The m/v Belnor arrived the next morning and took the couple aboard, while Damarri's crew confirmed the rescue via radio. The couple was reported to be in good health and spirits but had to abandon their vessel. The Belnor was believed headed for Panama. Throughout the ordeal, various Amateur Radio stations -- some of which simply stood by if needed -- made themselves available to update the Coast Guard, which never had direct contact with Sailabout. SOURCES: MMSN/Intercon Net; Jack Richards, W4QVA; SailboatOwners.com, Aftenposten, S/V Sailabout Web site ==>YOUNGSTERS IN EUROPE, US GET FRONT-ROW SEATS TO SPACE VIA HAM RADIO Now part of the ISS Expedition 15 crew, US astronaut Suni Williams, KD5PLB, has continued her run of successful Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contacts. In late April, she enlightened youngsters in Italy, Germany, Virginia and Illinois about what it's like to live aboard the ISS. Williams has been in space since December and is scheduled to return home next month via the space shuttle that will bring her replacement. During the first of two ham radio conversations on April 23 with students at the Scuola Europea Varese in Varese, Italy, Williams allowed that she's growing tired of space meals. "They were tasty for the first couple of months, but now it's getting a little bit old, because the menu sort of repeats," Williams responded. "It's about a 10-day cycle, and then you start eating the same things over and over again, so I try to be creative and mix new things with each other." Shane Lynd, VK4KHZ, served as the Earth station for the event. Students at the school spent about three months learning about the ISS. An audience of about 300 looked on during the contact, which attracted media coverage from newspapers and television. Verizon Conferencing provided a teleconferencing link between Australia and Italy. A few hours later, youngsters at Kingston Elementary School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, spoke with Williams during a direct VHF contact between NA1SS and control op Ed Williams, KN4KL. Thirteen Kingston third through fifth graders participated, while the rest of the school's nearly 600 students watched via closed-circuit TV. Julia, whose father had graduated from the US Naval Academy with Suni Williams, wanted to know how long it took to prepare for a space walk. "Well, it takes a little while," Williams explained. "It's sort of like when you're going diving. We're going to breathe 100 percent oxygen, and so we have to make sure that we get all the nitrogen out of our system. So that's the longest preparation time, and then we have to get the spacesuits ready." She said it typically takes four to five hours before the astronauts are ready to open the hatch and go out into space. Members of the Virginia Beach Amateur Radio Club (VBARC) provided the ground station and support for the ARISS event, which was the subject of a newspaper article in the Virginian Pilot. (The ARRL Virginia Section Web site <http://aresva.org/arrlva/news/20070428.ariss_va_beach.html> has a copy of the article and additional information.) Two days later, about a dozen youngsters attending Christian Life Elementary School in Rockford, Illinois, had their "day in space." Youngsters there chatted with Williams at the helm of NA1SS via Earth station control operator Shari Harlan, N9SH. Williams told one questioner that she believes the next step for the human spaceflight program is to return to the moon. "We've got a lot that we can learn from living in a different type of gravity environment if we want to explore further, potentially go out to Mars or some other part of the universe," she said. "If we're only at the moon, we'll have only a small delay in communication -- maybe a two-second delay -- and we need to learn how to work autonomously without always [having] the help of the ground. It would be nice to have a moon base to see how that would work and see if we can still survive there." Upward of 1000 students looked on during the ARISS QSO, and audio and video were fed live to a local Amateur TV repeater. On April 28, Williams fielded more questions from students at the Samuel von Pufendorf Gymnasium, a middle and high school of some 675 students in Floeha, Germany. The direct contact was between NA1SS and the school's Amateur Radio club station DL0GYM, with Harald Schoenwitz, DL2HSC, as the control operator. All of the students who took part in the event had obtained their Amateur Radio licenses in advance of the contact. Williams told the students she wished the ISS had Internet access. "It really would be helpful," she remarked. She noted the crew does have access to e-mail, however. She also said that the crew can see the northern lights from above, and on one occasion, an aurora occurred during a space walk. "It was a little creepy to see the green lights flashing," she said. About 50 people plus news media looked on as the approximately 10-minute contact progressed flawlessly. Five newspapers, three radio stations and the regional TV channel reported on the event. The von Pufendorf contact was the 290th since the ARISS program began coordinating ham radio events for schools when the first space station crew came aboard in November 2000. ARISS is an international educational outreach with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>THREE STATES SET SIGHTS ON AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA LEGISLATION North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma have -- or soon will have -- Amateur Radio antenna legislation in play. Radio amateurs in all three states are hoping to have the essence of the limited federal preemption known as PRB-1 <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/PRB-1_Pkg/prb-1.pdf> incorporated into their states' statutes. The North Carolina bill, H 1340, is on the fastest track at this point. The measure was reported favorably out of the House Ways and Means Committee on May 3, and unanimously approved by the full House on May 8. ARRL North Carolina Section Manager Tim Slay, N4IB, says the bill has been referred to the Senate. "Thanks to all of you who contacted your state representative," Slay said. "None of us imagined this would happen so quickly! We will need you to make the same great effort to build support with your state Senator as soon as a number is assigned for the companion bill." Slay also expressed appreciation to the bill's sponsor Rep Danny McComas (R-New Hanover) and to former Wilmington Mayor Hamilton "Ham" Hicks, KB4BR, for shepherding the bill through the House "with overwhelming success." H 1340 calls on municipalities to require ordinances based on health, safety, or aesthetic considerations regulating placement, screening or height of Amateur Radio antennas or antenna support structures "must reasonably accommodate Amateur Radio communications and must represent the minimum practicable regulation necessary to accomplish the purpose" of the city or county. In addition, the measure would establish a minimum regulatory height of 90 feet "unless the restriction is necessary to achieve a clearly defined health, safety, or aesthetic objective" of the city or county. Elsewhere ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager Eric Olena, WB3FPL, has alerted members in his section to a pending piece of legislation in the works for that state. At this point, the measure has not been introduced. Radio amateurs are hoping their proposal may be integrated into an update of municipal codes now under way in the General Assembly. The proposed bill would restrict municipalities from adopting "an ordinance, regulation or plan or take any other action that precludes Amateur Service communications" or that fails to comply with PRB-1. Meanwhile, radio amateurs in Oklahoma are still trying to get PRB-1 language on the books in that state. House Bill 1037 (HB 1037) moved out of the General Government and Transportation Committee with a "do pass" recommendation, but it failed to make the House calendar for a vote. ARRL Oklahoma SM John Thomason, WB5SYT, tells ARRL that the language of HB 1037 has been attached to a Senate Bill, SB 426, which involves municipal annexations. SB 426 now is in a conference committee for action, and Thomason says one of the committee members is a radio amateur. Eddie Manley, K5EMS, who tracks FCC and governmental actions for the Oklahoma Section, has suggested that Oklahoma radio amateurs contact the authors of both the House and Senate bills as well as members of the conference committee considering SB 426. To date, 23 states <http://www.arrl.org/field/regulations/statutes.htm> have adopted PRB-1 legislation. While PRB-1 requires reasonable accommodation, it does not specify a minimum height below which local governments may not regulate. Four states -- Alaska, Wyoming, Virginia and Oregon -- have legislation in place that specifies antenna support structure heights, below which municipalities may not regulate. ==>ARRL SENIOR NEWS EDITOR RICK LINDQUIST, N1RL, TO RETIRE ARRL Senior News Editor Rick Lindquist, N1RL, will retire from the Headquarters staff on Friday, June 1. Assistant Editor Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, has been named ARRL News Editor, effective May 1. Lindquist, who turns 62 this month, came to the League from The Roanoke Times in Southwest Virginia 12 years ago. He began his Headquarters tenure as QST "Product Review" editor while juggling News Bureau duties on the side. A couple of years later, he shifted to covering Amateur Radio news fulltime as part of the League's initiative to feature news and features on its Web site. "It's been a great ride, and -- thanks to the great folks on staff -- I've learned a lot, but it's time to throttle back, shift into the slow lane and coast a bit," said Lindquist, who lives with his wife Jean Collier, N1MJC, in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. "For starters, I hope to get on the air more frequently and attend to our somewhat neglected clock collection." A radio amateur for 49 years, he's also is a mobile CW, contesting, vintage radio and boating enthusiast. During his time at League Headquarters, Lindquist has prepared and edited the "Happenings" news column for QST plus most of the news items and announcements appearing on the ARRL Web site. In addition, he has compiled and edited The ARRL Letter. The former radio and TV broadcaster also has voiced, edited and produced ARRL Audio News, a Web/podcast he launched in 1997, and he has edited the Web site youth, QRP, "The Amateur Amateur" and the Amateur Radio Direction Finding columns. ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, said it's been his privilege to work with Lindquist. "Rick has been our news editor and reporter through many of the major events in Amateur Radio, including 9/11, Katrina, and the elimination of the Morse code requirement," Kramer noted. "He has been the print and audio voice of the ARRL both during these events and he has reported them accurately, incisively and engagingly." Added ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ: "Rick's newspaper experience, writing talent and longtime Amateur Radio involvement combine to give him a great ability to grasp what's important and communicate it to readers. We're fortunate that we will be able to continue to call on him." After June 1, Lindquist will continue his association with the ARRL as a freelance writer/editor. He will also take over from Keane as Managing Editor of National Contest Journal (NCJ). An ARRL Life Member, Keane joined the Headquarters staff a little over a year ago, arriving at the ARRL by way of Texas, California and Chile. She and her husband, Michael, K1MK, live in Watertown, Connecticut, and she has served as Public Information Coordinator for the Section. Keane passed her General class exam earlier this year. A graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas (hence the call sign!), Keane majored in journalism, history and English, with a minor in photography. She has previously led political campaigns in Connecticut, worked for the Boy Scouts of America and headed up the news department for her local newspaper. At ARRL Headquarters, Keane prepares and edits feature articles for the ARRL Web site, including "Surfin'," as well as for QST and for NCJ. She also has been serving as Managing Editor for NCJ and is a contributor to ARRL Audio News, which she'll be taking over on a regular basis. A mother of two, Keane is a member and chapter officer of the Order of the Eastern Star. She enjoys reading and needlepoint. "I am honored that I was chosen to fill Rick's shoes," Keane remarked. "His help and the guidance of the editorial staff here definitely will make a challenging job easier." ==>SOLAR UPDATE Astral aficionado Tad "Walking on the Sun" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Over the past week, sunspot activity has again declined, with average daily sunspot number down by more than 7 points to 18. Geomagnetic activity has been much more stable this week, with the planetary and mid-latitude A indexes less than half what they were the week before. The mid-latitude A index was actually down to zero on both weekend days, May 5-6. The next period of higher geomagnetic activity is expected around May 25-27. Geophysical Institute Prague projects quiet conditions for May 11-12, quiet to unsettled May 13, unsettled May 14-15, and quiet again on May 16-17. For May 11-17, the US Air Force expects planetary A indices of 5, 5, 8, 8, 10, 10 and 5, a slightly different scenario. April 30 through May 3 saw sunspot numbers ranging from 32-38, more than 20 points higher than the usual daily readings of late. Several readers reported better propagation on those dates. Sunspot numbers for May 3 through 9 were 33, 19, 18, 14, 12, 12 and 18, with a mean of 18. 10.7 cm flux was 83.1, 82.5, 81, 78.1, 75.7, 73.4, and 72.1, with a mean of 78. Estimated planetary A indices were 4, 2, 3, 2, 18, 14 and 5, with a mean of 6.9. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 1, 0, 0, 11, 11 and 3, 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 Military/Amateur Radio Communications Tests to celebrate Armed Forces Day and the Nevada Mustang Roundup are May 12. The SBMS 2 GHz and Up WW Club Contest, the VK/Trans-Tasman 80-Meter Contest (phone), the CQ-M International DX Contest, the VOLTA WW RTTY Contest, the Mid-Atlantic QSO Party, the FISTS Spring Sprint, the EACW International Contest, the 50 MHz Spring Sprint are the May 12-13 weekend. The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (Data) is May 16. The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint and the QRP Minimal Art Session are May 17. The NCCC Sprint Ladder is May 18. JUST AHEAD: The US Counties QSO Party (SSB), His Majesty the King of Spain Contest (CW), the EU PSK DX Contest, the Manchester Mineira All America Contest and the Baltic Contest are the May 19-20 weekend. The Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is May 21. The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship (CW) is May 24. The CQ World Wide WPX Contest (CW) is May 26-27 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 22, for these ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (CCE) online courses beginning Friday June 1: 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, May 18, for classes beginning Friday, July 6. 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 HQ seeks Assistant Editor: The ARRL is accepting applications for the position of Assistant Editor. The successful candidate for this full-time position at ARRL HQ in Newington, Connecticut, will prepare material for publication in QST, other print publications and the ARRL Web site, and will write material for publication. Paid work experience and a college degree in a related field preferred. Ham radio license and on-the-air experience required. Send resume and cover letter to LouAnn Campanello, c/o ARRL HQ, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111, <email@example.com>. ARRL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. * AMSAT 2007 Space Symposium and General Meeting set: The 2007 AMSAT-NA Space Symposium and General Meeting will take place Friday through Sunday, October 26-28, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania <http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/symposium/2007/index.php>. The Wireless Association of South Hills Amateur Radio Club will serve as the host for this year's event. The 2007 Space Symposium will attempt to attract local middle and high schoolers to the Saturday sessions and is offering programs by local educators. In connection with this initiative, a fully operational satellite station will be available on site. -- AMSAT News Service * Steven Pituch, W2MY, wins April QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for April is Steven Pituch, W2MY, for his article "A Portable Equipment Support Frame." Congratulations, Steven! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award -- given to the author or authors of the best article in each issue -- is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/QSTvote.html>. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the May issue by Thursday, May 31. * ARRL congratulates centenarian member: The ARRL has extended its congratulations to League member Harvey Baalke, W9HNX, of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, who celebrated his 100th birthday March 23. Wrote ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, on the League's behalf: "I seldom have the privilege of writing to an ARRL member on the occasion of their 100th birthday! Please accept belated congratulations on behalf of the Board, staff and your fellow members of the ARRL. I know you have seen many changes since you were first licensed. One thing that has not changed is the unique camaraderie among radio amateurs of different generations and cultures. Best wishes from the worldwide Amateur Radio community. Sincere 73." Baalke first joined the ARRL in 1936. * DXCC Desk approves operation for DXCC credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved the BS7H Scarborough Reef 2007 operations for DXCC credit. For more information, visit the DXCC Web page <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc>. * JARL operating award checking available at Hamvention: A representative of the Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL) will be available at Dayton Hamvention May 18-20 to check applications for JARL awards and to issue certificates for certain awards. Former JARL executive director and renowned DXer Masa Ebisawa, JA1DM, will be at Booth 483 in the Ballarena of Hara Arena, near ARRL EXPO 2007. Applications for other JARL awards can be checked at the JARL booth. Masa also will answer questions on JARL activities as well as reciprocal licensing in Japan. =========================================================== 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. To change these selections--including delivery of The ARRL Letter--registered members should click on the "Member Data Page" link (in the Members Only box). Click on "Modify membership data," check or uncheck the appropriate boxes and/or change your e-mail address if necessary. (Check "Temporarily disable all automatically sent email" to temporarily stop all e-mail deliveries.) Then, click on "Submit modification" to make selections effective. (NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You must do this yourself via the Members Only Web Site.) The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources: * ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/>. (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will be posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.) * The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur Radio Club: Visit Mailing Lists@QTH.Net <http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/letter-list>. 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