ARRL

ARRL Letter

 


***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 26, No. 43
October 26, 2007
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* + San Diego Area Hams Activated as Wildfires Ravage Southern
California 
* + Second Annual ARRL On-Line Auction Up and Running
* + ARRL Faces FCC in Federal Court over BPL Issues 
* + FCC's Riley Hollingsworth to Retire in January 2008 
*   New ARISS Antennas Installed on Columbus 
* + John Scott Redd, Vice Admiral, USN (Ret), K0DQ, "Going Ashore"
* + Amateur Radio Service Named Volunteer Group of the Year by Marine
Corps Marathon 
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF: 
      This Weekend on the Radio
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration
    + New Mexico Ham Falls to Death from Tower 
    + New Section Manager Appointed in Western Pennsylvania 
      Tornado Touches Down in Michigan, Three Dead 
      Former North Texas Section Manager Don Mathis, KB5YAM (SK)
      ARRL Again Participating in the Combined Federal Campaign 
      Pension Protection Act Streamlines Charitable Donations from IRAs 
      Let Us Know What You Think 

+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
<letter-dlvy@arrl.org>;
==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane,
<k1sfa@arrl.org>;
===========================================================

==> SAN DIEGO AREA HAMS ACTIVATED AS WILDFIRES RAVAGE SOUTHERN
CALIFORNIA

As fires raged through parts of the San Diego area and other areas in
Southern California, ham radio operators did their part to ensure the
safety of residents either affected or threatened by the fires. ARES
groups in San Diego were activated on Monday, October 22 and continued
to assist their served agencies until early Wednesday morning. Sixty
hams were called to service by the County of San Diego's Emergency
Medical Service. 

According to ARRL San Diego Section Emergency Coordinator James J.
Cammarano II, KG6R, hams assisted at the San Diego Medical Operations
Center, six trauma centers and 16 community hospitals. Hams served as a
resource, Cammarano said, "to be used in case primary circuits to
hospital communications were lost due to either overload or power
interruptions." In addition to these 60 amateurs, another dozen or so
hams were activated by the Red Cross. 

ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD,
learned that San Diego ARES volunteers were activated and now they are
in standby mode. "They are ready to go at a moment's notice, but there
are currently no plans for re-activation," he said. As in any emergency
situation, information can quickly change and the ARRL will continue to
monitor the situation and inform members if the situation changes.

As the fires started to spread, hams started a FIRENET on the Palomar
ARC 146.73 MHz repeater. Howard White, KY6LA, of La Jolla, who was among
those who served as net control operator under extremely stressful
conditions, disseminated a preliminary log of his experience. Excerpts
follow:

"With flames starting to engulf the county and no active single source
of information, as best as I could determine Charlie NN3V stepped into
the information vacuum to start the 'FIRENET' as an ad hoc operation on
Sunday afternoon. Early contributors included Gayle K6GO and Gary W6GDK.
Initial operations started by collecting fire information as to fire
location, wind directions, shelter locations and initial evacuations.
Hams provided eyes and ears on the ground where the danger was. Soon
however the fires seemed to be heading down to the Poway area so Charlie
and the other Poway hams needed to evacuate....

"Day One: Is the fire near us? Where is the head of the fire? What
directions are the heads going? What are the winds doing? Should we
evacuate? What roads are closed? What about our animals? Where should we
go? What should we take? What is the route to avoid the flames?  Can you
help us find missing people or pets? Can you help us get barrels of
water for animals? Can you help us find food and water? Can you get the
police to deal with looters?

"Unlike Katrina, the questions and answers did not abate at night. It
was nonstop. Terry K3PXX needed routing around the fires to evacuate his
Animal trailer.  Terry reported on Fires as he drove through Poway and
back to San Marcos EOC. ROARS hams had evacuated Ramona and the 147.03
repeater and were looking for help to be routed safely out of the area.
Fires broke out in Coronado Hills in San Marcos. People needed to be
evacuated. Brian KF6C asked where to evacuate his 4 children. San Marcos
EOC needed to be activated and FIRENET held the fort for them until they
could get there and became operational to evacuate San Marcos. George
KG6IDE tries to drive up to Ramona to evacuate elderly parents but we
turn him back to avoid the flames...

"0130 Tuesday: N9XF reports flame proceeding down 76 from Fallbrook. Tom
KI6IET, who is blind, but stays at his post as my backup net control,
needs to be evacuated. Evacuation arranged ok. Rob WA3IHV calls from his
office at Palomar hospital to tell us his family was evacuated OK and
horses survived... 

"2100 Tuesday: FIRENET hams drive to Qualcomm Stadium and load trucks
with food. Dan leads ham relief convoy with food and supplies to Mira
Costa College. Fire victims at shelter express gratitude for first food
delivery...

"2350 Wednesday: KG6VVN signs off as net control as the 146.730 repeater
runs out of fuel and goes off the air..."

Orange County update: Acting Section Emergency Coordinator Cathy
Gardenias, K6VC, provided this update on the situation in the ARRL
Orange Section as of October 25: "Slide Fire/Green Valley is 17%
contained; Grass Fire is 70% contained. Santiago Canyon Fire was 50% but
was reduced last night as it turned and headed for the Riverside County
border of the Cleveland National Forest. 

"Amateur Radio operators have been utilized. The San Bernardino County
Fire EOC has been using ECS and ARES members in the EOC to monitor
communications and other jobs needed. At the command post at the Rim of
The World High School near Lake Arrowhead, ECS and ARES members who have
been fully trained in all ICS and S190 (bush training) are handling
communications and other needs. This is according to Jeff W6JJR DEC for
ARES San Bernardino County and a Public Information Officer (Miles) from
the EOC in San Bernardino. The EOC is at Level III at this time.

"SATERN [Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network] Amateur Radio
operators at all the shelters have been volunteering their time as non
communicators, but as helpers for those who are in need."

As of Friday afternoon, CNN reported that 14 of the nearly two dozen
fires were under control. Nearly 800 square miles has burned in Southern
California, and seven deaths have been blamed on the fires, with dozens
of injuries. 

Ron Roberts, Chairman of the San Diego Board of Supervisors estimates
that 560,000 people were ordered to evacuate their homes, and thousands
more were evacuated in San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange counties. 

Firefighters received help from Mexico, the state and federal
governments and even inmates from California's prisons. About 7000
firefighters were battling the blazes, including 2300 inmates from
California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, according to
Governor Schwarzenegger. 

President Bush visited the area on Thursday and declared a federal
emergency for seven counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San
Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura. FEMA Administrator
David Paulison said that the President's action authorizes FEMA to
"coordinate all disaster relief efforts, which have the purpose of
alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the
local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required
emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to
save lives, protect property and public health and safety and lessen or
avert the threat of a catastrophe." Schwarzenegger estimated that at
least $75 million in federal aid would be needed. -- Some information
from The Weather Channel and CNN


==> SECOND ANNUAL ARRL ON-LINE AUCTION UP AND RUNNING

The Second Annual ARRL On-Line Auction
<http://arrl.auctionanything.com/> went live Wednesday with more than
160 items to gawk at, gaze on and drool over. Bidding for these items,
with more to be added as the auction progresses, ends November 2. 
 
Items range from a 1971 ARRL publication, Operating an Amateur Radio
Station, which has an opening bid of $3, to an ICOM IC-7800 HF and 6
Meter Transceiver with an opening bid of $6865.
 
ARRL Business Services Manager Deb Jahnke, K1DAJ, encourages everyone to
come and peruse the wide variety of offerings: "Browse through the Web
site frequently, as items will be added on a daily basis. We also
encourage you to look through the 'Help' and 'About Us' sections. You'll
find useful information about bidding, FAQs and a host of other facts.
To ensure an enjoyable experience, please be sure to read all policies
under the 'About Us' section," she said. 


==> ARRL FACES FCC IN FEDERAL COURT OVER BPL ISSUES 

On Tuesday, October 23, the ARRL faced the Federal Communications
Commission in the US Court of Appeals over the continuing debate
concerning harmful interference to licensed radio services from
unlicensed Broadband over Powerline (BPL) systems. BPL is the delivery
of broadband Internet communications using unshielded electrical wiring
to conduct high-speed digital signals to homes and businesses. BPL
systems are designed to conduct RF energy through unshielded, medium
voltage power lines, using some or all of the HF spectrum between 1.7-80
MHz. At those frequencies on unshielded overhead power lines, the
electrical wiring not only conducts the signals, it radiates them very
efficiently for very substantial distances from the power lines. 

In October 2006, the League petitioned the United States Court of
Appeals for the DC Circuit to review the FCC's October 2004 Report and
Order (R&O) in ET Docket 04-37 and 2006 Memorandum Opinion and Order
which generally denied all of the 17 petitions for reconsideration. In
its brief initially filed May 17, the ARRL contends, among other things,
that the FCC's adoption of rules to govern unlicensed BPL systems
fundamentally alter the longstanding rights of radio licensees,
including Amateur Radio operators. Specifically, the FCC order, while
adopting rules that it claimed would minimize instances of harmful
interference to licensed services, eliminated a fundamental requirement
for unlicensed devices, and held for the first time that BPL systems
need not shut down in the case of unresolved instances of harmful
interference to "mobile" stations. 

The ARRL argues that the FCC's BPL rules violate Section 301 of the
Communications Act, which requires that operators of devices that emit
radio frequency energy which have a substantial interference potential
cannot operate without an FCC license. "For years, the FCC has
consistently read Section 301 to apply to unintentional radiators, such
as BPL devices, and has expressly embodied that interpretation in its
rules," the League's brief recounts. The brief notes that extensive
studies done by the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration conclude persuasively that interference from BPL to
mobile stations can be expected at distances up to almost a football
field, and to fixed stations at distances up to five football fields. 

The Commission then compounded its error by asserting that BPL devices
do not fall within Section 301 at all, the League said. "This hail-Mary
attempt at justification is another unexplained departure from prior
policy that independently requires invalidation of the orders," the ARRL
remarked in its brief. 

The ARRL contends that the FCC orders under review "jeopardize the
license rights of ARRL's members and other license holders by
authorizing providers of a new device -- Access Broadband over Power
Lines, or 'BPL' -- to send radio signals across the electric grid in the
frequencies the license holders occupy, but without having to obtain an
FCC license." 

Each side had 20 minutes to present their case, with the League going
first. Attorney Jonathan Frankel, of the WilmerHale Law Firm, argued the
case for ARRL before the three judge panel; Attorney C. Grey Pash, of
the FCC General Counsel's office, argued for the FCC. According to ARRL
President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, who attended the Court session, Frankel's
argument centered on the removal of interference protection for licensed
mobile stations, and the Commission's rules for measuring interference.
"Frankel received multiple, direct questions from each of the judges
concerning the topics in the briefs, and responded to each very well,"
Harrison said. 

"Judges Tatel, Rogers and Kavanaugh interrupted both sides repeatedly
with intelligent, challenging questions," ARRL Chief Executive Officer
David Sumner, K1ZZ, said. "For example," Sumner continued, "while
quizzing Frankel, the judges sounded skeptical that interference to
mobile stations couldn't simply be regarded as 'not harmful' because it
was temporary; but then, when quizzing the FCC's attorney, Judge Tatel
said in response to the statement that 'mobile stations could simply
move,' that in the case of BPL in Manassas, Virginia for example, you
can only get away from the interference by leaving Manassas.' It wasn't,
he went on to say, like a garage door opener." 

For the first time in decades, the FCC decided against requiring that
operations found to cause "harmful interference" be shut down
immediately -- a stance that ignores the "right of the license holder to
be free from interference," Frankel said in court. The FCC has also
withheld portions of studies that would "potentially" show BPL does
cause harmful interference to other devices -- and ignored reports of
tests the ARRL argues offer "substantial" evidence of interference
problems, he continued. "We're talking about devices that radiate for
football fields in length and all along power lines," Frankel said of
the BPL gadgets. "When you drive down the street, [an Amateur Radio
operator's] service is interrupted constantly." 

"All three judges were clearly very familiar with the written record.
They spent a lot of time on the issue of what information the FCC had
withheld from public view (redacted)," Sumner said. "In the course of
the argument, the FCC's attorney had to acknowledge that the
Commission's explanations in the BPL proceeding were deficient in a
number of respects, although it wasn't clear that administrative
agencies are held to a very high standard in that regard." 

Harrison said that Pash, the FCC's attorney, began his defense of the
FCC orders and was almost "immediately interrogated" by the judges on
the Commission's premise that "a mobile station in a licensed service
should not be afforded complete protection from harmful interference
just because it can just move away from the interference. 

Pash also came under what Harrison called "considerable direct
questioning" concerning the redacted material from the FCC's response to
the ARRL's Freedom of Information request. ARRL had asked the FCC to
produce all of what FCC described as "extensive" studies allegedly
justifying its BPL order, on which the FCC relied in adopting the BPL
rules. The FCC had deleted what appeared to be any material in that one
single study that indicated that interference from BPL systems was
likely. One page that was completely redacted was a Powerpoint slide
titled "New Information Arguing for Caution on HF BPL." The FCC claimed
that was not factual information, but just staff advice. Pash "attempted
to present a position that the material pertained to 'staff opinion'
that was determined to not be a basis for the FCC's decision," Harrison
said. According to Pash, the redacted sections referenced earlier
sections of the report, and were not "a bunch of new information,"
Harrison added. 

Pash defended the Commission's approach. He said the FCC didn't require
the so-called "cease-operations" rule because it didn't find ample
evidence that BPL posed any real potential for "harmful" interference.
He said the studies the FCC relied upon, including one by the US
National Telecommunications and Information Administration, found that
so long as the FCC restricts the strength of the signals emitted by BPL
devices -- as it did through its rules -- others sharing that spectrum
"won't notice a difference" in the quality of their services.  

Attorney Frankel reserved seven of his allotted 20 minutes for rebuttal
of the FCC's arguments. He reiterated the League's position concerning
mobile operations and also emphasized that "unless we have an
opportunity to review the redacted material, no determination can be
made as to its role in the FCC's rulemaking decision," Harrison said. 

Both Sumner and Harrison said they were "quite impressed" with the
knowledge that the judges had concerning the case and with the questions
that they asked. Harrison said it could be "three months or more" before
the Court announces its decision.  - Some information from cnet.com


==> FCC'S RILEY HOLLINGSWORTH TO RETIRE IN JANUARY 2008 

Riley Hollingsworth, Special Counsel in the FCC's Enforcement Bureau,
announced his retirement this week, effective Friday, January 3, 2008.
While his successor has not been named, Hollingsworth was quick to point
out that the FCC's Amateur Radio enforcement program will continue. 

Hollingsworth told the ARRL: "After about a year of thinking about the
'if not now, when?' question, I decided to retire January 3. I love
working for the FCC and I've always had great jobs, but this one
involving the Amateur Radio Service has been the most fun and I have
enjoyed every day of it. For nine years I've worked with the best group
of licensees on earth, enjoyed your support and tremendous FCC support
and looked forward every day to coming to work. The Amateur Radio
enforcement program will continue without missing a beat, and after
retirement I look forward to being involved with Amateur Radio every way
I can. I thank all of you for being so dedicated and conscientious, and
for the encouragement you give us every day." 

Speaking at the New England Division Convention in August 2000,
Hollingsworth offered his 10 personal suggestions to secure a sound
future for Amateur Radio
<http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/00/0901/rileys10.html>, encouraging
amateurs to "seize the moment" to ensure a bright future for Amateur
Radio. "Look beyond enforcement," he urged, "because if I do my job
right, in five years you won't even remember my name." Hollingsworth
said that while no one can predict the future, amateurs must invent
theirs in an era of converging digital and RF technology. "There is no
reason why our Amateur Radio Service can't be the envy of the rest of
the world," he said. Getting there, he suggested, comes with each
amateur's taking responsibility for his or her behavior on the air.
Amateurs should encourage arrogant, negative operators to "take their
anger and hate to the Internet," he said. "Every minute they are on the
Internet is a minute they aren't on Amateur Radio."

Upon learning of Hollingsworth's retirement, ARRL Chief Operating
Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, said, "Riley Hollingsworth has been a
tremendous supporter of and asset to the Amateur Radio Service. He will
be remembered as being the force behind the re-introduction of Amateur
Radio enforcement in 1998 and continuing those efforts through today.
His contribution in cleaning up the amateur bands has been substantial
and effective. We are very sorry to see him go, and we wish him every
continued success."


==> NEW ARISS ANTENNAS INSTALLED ON COLUMBUS 

Two Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) antennas
have been installed on the nadir side of the new International Space
Station's Columbus module, set to launch later this year. On October 12,
the antennas successfully passed electrical and SWR tests, with one of
the two antennas, Antenna 42, going through a final test -- a thermal
test under vacuum. Based on modeling, engineers have no fear the antenna
will pass with flying colors. Columbus will house an additional Amateur
Radio station, including the first digital Amateur Radio TV (DATV)
station in space, as well as a ham radio transponder. 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. Video from the installation and inspection is available at
the Columbus Web site <http://www.ariss-eu.org/columbus.htm>. 

At the ARISS International conference last year 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. 

Funding to finish and install ham radio antennas on the European Space
Agency (ESA)-built laboratory module has been uncertain, however. ARISS
Vice Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, says donations from various sources
covered a payment of 9000 Euros (approximately $12,000) in March. A
second payment is due this fall. Donations already have come in from the
ARRL Foundation, AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-UK, among other organizations, as
well as from many individual donors. According to Bertels, there is
still a funding shortfall of 15,000 Euros (approximately $21,000 USD).
To help out, PayPal donations are being accepted (access the PayPal site
via the Columbus Web page).


==> JOHN SCOTT REDD, VICE ADMIRAL, USN (RET), K0DQ, "GOING ASHORE"

Scott Redd, K0DQ, Director of the National Counterterrorism Center
(NCTC), announced his retirement from that agency last week. Redd
submitted his resignation to President Bush with an effective date of
November 10, 2007. Over his four-decade career, Scott Redd has created a
new Navy fleet, helped administer Iraq's first occupational government
and served as the first director of the NCTC.

An active contester for more than 40 years, Redd, a native of Sydney,
Iowa, enjoys both CW and phone. In 1971, Redd, then K0DQI, won the CQ
World Wide DX Contest (phone) from Mexico as 6D1AA 1971. He also won the
ARRL International DX Contest, both phone and CW, in 1972 from Mexico as
XE1IIJ; this was the first time a single operator surpassed 10,000
contacts in a contest. In 1973, Redd won the ARRL Phone DX Contest from
the DX side (Mexico) as 6J9AA, and in 1986, he won the ARRL CW from the
US as W3GRF. All of these wins were as Single Operator, High Power. Redd
went on to place third in his first CQ Worked All Prefix (WPX) (CW)
contest in 1995 as A92Q from Bahrain.  

Throughout his ham radio career, Redd has held many DX call signs: P40Q,
3V8DQ, A92Q, XE1IIJ, 4A4AA/1, 6J9AA, 6D1AA, 6G1AA, 6J9AA, 4C5AA and
4C9AA, to name a few. 

A 1966 graduate of the Naval Academy and a Fulbright Scholar, in 1995
Redd founded and was named commander of the Navy's Fifth Fleet - which
operates in waters surrounding the Middle East and is the only new fleet
since World War II. He served as director of strategic plans and policy
on the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1996 until he retired from the Navy
two years later. Redd was also named chief operating officer of the
Coalition Provisional Authority in March 2004, but the White House
recalled him a month later to lead the commission that examined the
intelligence failures that led up to the Iraq war. He earlier served as
Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer of the Coalition
Provisional Authority in Baghdad, for which he received the Secretary of
Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service. Redd pledged to carry out
the mission of the NCTC "with determination, with integrity, and to the
very best of my abilities." Congress confirmed Redd as NCTC director in
August 2005.

The NCTC is the nation's repository for counterterrorism intelligence
and sets the nation's war plan for fighting terrorists. The center has
few employees of its own and, instead, brings together about 400
analysts and other employees from agencies such as the CIA, the Homeland
Security Department and the FBI to pore over data collected by other
agencies. The NCTC houses the nation's terrorist watch list and
distributes it throughout the government nightly. It holds video
teleconferences three times a day to keep the White House and the
intelligence community informed about terrorist activity and
counterterror operations. "We say, 'Mr. President, here's what the
intelligence community believes, and here's where agencies disagree,'"
Redd said. "So now he can see what the disagreement is and why. Because
intelligence is not an arithmetic thing, there's a lot of judgment that
goes into it."


==> AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE NAMED VOLUNTEER GROUP OF THE YEAR BY MARINE
CORPS MARATHON 

On October 19, the Marine Corps Marathon announced that the Amateur
Radio Service is its Volunteer Group of the Year in light of the 30
years of service and support hams have provided for the annual event.
Amateur Radio volunteers began assisting with the Marine Corps Marathon
in 1978 and have provided essential, mission critical communications to
the medical staff on race day. The Volunteer Group of the Year Award
will be presented today, October 26, as part of a special ceremony. 

"The ham radio operators play a vital role in medical operations of the
race. The knowledge and expertise of their dedicated volunteers enables
the Marine Corps Marathon to provide all participants the highest level
of emergency care and I am deeply appreciative of the hams' continued
support," said Rick Nealis, Director of the Marine Corps Marathon. 

Initially, ham radio served as a simple means of communications at both
aid stations and mile markers. In the early 1990s, this support expanded
to include digital communications with the aid stations and tracking of
the pace car. Eventually, the aid station support evolved to automated
digital communications that includes 115 ham operations located at mile
markers, water points, aid stations, two finish area medical locations
and as shadows to the division commanders. More than 100 Amateur Radio
operators volunteer for the Marine Corps Marathon. 

The award also recognizes two specific individuals, Rick Bunn, N4ASX,
and Tom Azlin, N4ZPT, for their contribution to Amateur Radio
participation at the Marine Corps Marathon. Bunn was first licensed in
1971 while in high school. He began volunteering for the Marine Corps
Marathon in 1983 and served as the Marine Corps Marathon Amateur Radio
liaison from 1997-2001. From 2001-2005, he served as the lead Amateur
Radio operator, coordinating all aspects of ham radio support to the
marathon. Azlin has been licensed since 1990. He first volunteered with
the Marine Corps Marathon in 2001 and, since 2004, has been the Amateur
Radio operator responsible for coordinating all aspects of aid station
ham radio support. 

Voted "Best Marathon for Families," the Marine Corps Marathon continues
a combined tradition of dedication, sportsmanship and patriotism.
Runners from all walks of life have participated in the world's largest
marathon to not offer prize money, deservingly earning the nickname "The
People's Marathon." The 32nd Marine Corps Marathon will be held on
Sunday, October 28, 2007 in Arlington, Virginia and Washington, DC. 


==>SOLAR UPDATE

Tad "When the Sun Goes Down We'll be Groovin'" Cook, K7RA, this week
reports: Zero, zero, zero sunspots for 18 straight days now.  A single
sunspot appeared briefly October 6-7, no sunspots for four days prior,
one sunspot for the final few days of September, and none for the three
whole weeks prior to that. 

Sunspot numbers for October 18 through 24 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0
with a mean of 0.  10.7 cm flux was 68.2, 67.3, 66.9, 67.2, 66.7, 67.1,
and 67.5 with a mean of 67.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 10, 15,
12, 4, 5, 7 and 3 with a mean of 8. Estimated mid-latitude A indices
were 11, 11, 8, 5, 3, 6 and 2, with a mean of 6.6.

For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL
Technical Information Service Propagation page
<http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>. To read this week's
Solar Report in its entirety, check out the W1AW Propagation Bulletin
page <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/prop/>. 

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This Weekend on the Radio: This weekend, the ARRL International EME
Competition is October 27-28. The NCCC Sprint (CW) is October 26. The CQ
Worldwide DX Contest (SSB) and the 10-10 International Fall Contest are
October 27-28. The SKCC Weekend Sprintathon is October 28. The ARRL
Sweepstakes (CW) is November 3-5. The IPARC Contest (CW).The Ukrainian
DX Contest and the NA Collegiate ARC Championship (CW) are November 3-5.
The IPARC Contest (SSB), High Speed Club CW Contest and the DARC 10
Meter Digital Contest are November 4. The ARS Spartan Sprint is November
6. See the ARRL Contest Branch page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/>, the
ARRL Contester's Rate Sheet <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rate-sheet/>
and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/index.html> for more info.

* ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration: Registration remains
open through Sunday, November 4 for these online courses beginning on
Friday, November 16: 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). To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page
<http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the Continuing
Education Program Coordinator <cce@arrl.org>;.

* New Mexico Ham Falls to Death from Tower: ARRL Member Greg Molyneaux,
N5CLM, of Roswell, New Mexico, fell to his death Saturday, October 20,
as he was climbing his tower, according to the Office of the Medical
Investigator for the State of New Mexico. Friends said that Molyneaux
was climbing up the tower to make antenna adjustments and had just
passed the guy wires at 90 feet when he fell; according to reports, his
climbing belt was not hooked properly. Molyneaux was a member of the
Pecos Valley Amateur Radio Club, F.I.S.T.S., ARRL, Straight Key Century
Club, Roadrunner Amateur Radio Club, Public Service Net and the
Southwest Traffic Net. The family will be holding a private service at a
later date. Friends may pay their respects online
<http://www.lagronefuneralchapels.com/>. 

* New Section Manager Appointed in Western Pennsylvania: John Rodgers,
N3MSE, of Butler, Pennsylvania, has been appointed Section Manager of
the Western Pennsylvania Section, announced Dave Patton, NN1N, ARRL
Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager, effective October 24. He will
complete the term of office of Larry O'Toole, K3LBP, of Mount Pleasant,
who stepped down due to health reasons; K3LBP has served as Section
Manager since April 2006. Rodgers is returning to Section's top position
where he served as Western Pennsylvania Section Manager from January
2000-September 2003. He also served as an Assistant Section Manger
starting in 1995. Rodgers' term of office continues through December 31,
2008

* Tornado Touches Down in Michigan, Three Dead: On October 18, a strong
low pressure system centered over Minnesota touched off supercell
thunderstorms throughout Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois,
Kentucky, and Tennessee -- all the way down to the panhandle of Florida.
These storms produced about 35 tornados. Two people died in an EF-2
tornado that touched down in Williamston, Michigan around 10:30 PM EDT.
Three people died as a result of the Michigan tornados. A total of seven
tornado warnings issued for Ingham County with the one confirmed
touchdown near Williamston. These storms also resulted in an EF3 tornado
devastating the city of Nappanee, Indiana, causing extensive damage to
more than 100 homes and businesses. The authorities declared a state of
emergency for the city of Nappanee. 

* Former North Texas Section Manager Don Mathis, KB5YAM (SK): Former
ARRL North Texas Section Manager Don Mathis, KB5YAM, passed away on
October 6 in Oak Point, Texas. He was 65 years old. Mathis served as
North Texas Section Manager from July 1999-February 2001. He also held
other Field Organization positions: Technical Coordinator, Bulletin
Manager and Net Manager. "Don was a great example and a tireless worker
for the National Traffic System (NTS) and Amateur Radio," Don Murray,
W9VE, said. "He was a life member of the Dallas Amateur Radio Club
(DARC) and respected ambassador for the ARRL. Don will be sorely missed
for a long time." Mathis was originally from Illinois, and worked for
Western Electric and AT&T for 25 years. After retiring from AT&T, he
established a contract instruction business. Mathis was also a dedicated
member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 59, and held staff
positions at the flotilla, division and district levels. Services for
Don Mathis were held October 10 in Denton, Texas. The family requests in
lieu of flowers, donations be made to: Coast Guard Auxiliary
Association, Attn Operation Life Ring, 9449 Watson Industrial Park, St
Louis, MO 63126.

* ARRL Participating in the 2007 Combined Federal Campaign: For each
year since 2002, the US Office of Personnel Management has designated
the ARRL to participate in its Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). In the
past, this campaign for federal government civilian employees, US Postal
Service workers and members of the military has generated more than
$100,000 for ARRL programs. The CFC provides an easy way to support
ARRL's effort to represent its members and all radio amateurs. Similar
to the United Way, the CFC encourages individuals to pledge by payroll
deduction to non-profit organizations of their choice. The ARRL
encourages eligible radio amateurs to consider the League when
designating campaign recipients. Those wishing to select the ARRL to
receive all or part of their payroll deductions should designate
organization 10099 when completing their CFC donor forms. Donations to
ARRL can be designated for Diamond Club contributions, the ARRL Spectrum
Defense Fund or the ARRL Education & Technology Program. Or, donors may
make unrestricted contributions to the League. One important note: Since
the CFC does not provide the ARRL with the names of individual donors,
the ARRL Development Office would appreciate a copy of the donor form to
ensure that each contribution is applied according to the donor's wishes
and that the contribution or pledge can be properly acknowledged. The
2007 CFC ends December 15. 

* Pension Protection Act Streamlines Charitable Donations from IRAs: The
ARRL Development Office notes that a provision of the Pension Protection
Act (PPA) of 2006 offers an opportunity for certain IRA holders to give
something back to Amateur Radio by donating to the Spectrum Defense
Fund, to the ARRL Education and Technology Fund or to the ARRL Diamond
Club -- which provides flexible funding for a variety of programs not
supported by member dues. "Individuals who are at least 70-1/2 and
support nonprofits of their choice may use IRA or Roth IRA assets as a
convenient, tax-efficient source to make contributions while conserving
non-IRA assets," ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH,
points out. "Contributions must be made directly from the IRA to the
organization, not to a donor-advised fund, gift annuity or trust."
Hobart says contributions of up to $100,000 may be made by December 31,
2007: "A direct contribution from an IRA to a qualified organization is
excluded from income," she emphasizes. "We have received significant
support through this program. I hope you are considering a year-end gift
to the ARRL." This two-year program expires December 31, 2007. Hobart
urges prospective donors to consult with a financial advisor before
taking advantage of this opportunity. Contact Hobart <mhobart@arrl.org>;
for more information or call 860-594-0397. You can also visit the ARRL's
PPA Web site <http://www.arrl.org/development/ppa.html#top> for more
information. 

* Let Us Know What You Think: What's your favorite part of The ARRL
Letter? What kind of stories would you like to see in the Letter? Would
you prefer the Letter in an HTML format? This is your Letter and your
chance to let your voice be heard. Please send your suggestions to ARRL
News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, at k1sfa@arrl.org, with the
subject line "ARRL Letter Suggestions." All messages will be read and
discussed, and we look forward to implementing positive suggestions into
the ARRL Letter.

=========================================================== 
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!):
letter-dlvy@arrl.org
==>Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA,
k1sfa@arrl.org
==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org/>
==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call
860-594-0384

==>How to Get The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly
from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for
e-mail delivery: 
ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site
<http://www.arrl.org/members/>. You'll have an opportunity during
registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW
bulletins, and other material. 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>. (NOTE: The ARRL
cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this
listserver.) 


 

The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

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 and The American Radio Relay League.

Back issues published since 2000 are available on this page. If you wish to subscribe via e-mail, simply log on to the ARRL Web site, click on Edit Your Profile at the top, then click on Edit Email Subscriptions. Check the box next to The ARRL email newsletter, the ARRL Letter and you will receive each weekly issue in HTML format. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): letter-dlvy@arrl.org

Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, WW1ME, at ww1me@arrl.org.

Plain-Text

The ARRL E-Letter e-mail is also available in plain-text version:

Outlook Express

1. From the Inbox view, select the Tools menu and the Options selection.

2. Click the Read tab

3. Check the Read All Messages In Plain Text box.  When you open the e-mail, it will be in plain text without images. Other e-mail programs may be able to make a Mail Rule for e-mail received from the address memberlist@www.arrl.org so that the plain-text-only display is selected automatically.

Outlook 2007

Use the same procedure as for Outlook Express, although the global option is under "Tools/Trust Center/E-mail Security".

Thunderbird

Use the menu item "View/Message Body As/Plain Text" or "View/Message Source" options.

OS X Mail (Mac)

Use the "View/Message/Plain Text Alternative" menu item.

GMail

Use the "Message text garbled?" link in the drop-down menu at the upper right of the displayed message block. pine, alpine Set "prefer-plain-text" in your ~/.pinerc configuration file: feature-list=..., prefer-plain-text, ...