*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 26, No. 48 December 7, 2007 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + Northwest US Pounded by Storms, Floods; Hams across Region Activated * + Misleading and Incorrect Rumors Surround IARU Region 2 Band Plan * + FCC Commissioner Adelstein to be Re-nominated for Third Term * + The Annual Vintage issue of QST Is on Its Way to Your Mailbox * + The Doctor Is IN * + ARRL 10 Meter Contest This Weekend * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Weekend on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + The 2007 ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund Needs You! + The December Issue Of CONTACT! Is Out Sunair Electronics and FlexRadio Working Together Eddy Pollock, W6LC (SK) Joseph Gellings, WB9WOL (SK) HQ Staff Travels +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: S. Khrystyne Keane, <email@example.com> =========================================================== ==> NORTHWEST US POUNDED BY STORMS, FLOODS; HAMS ACROSS REGION ACTIVATED For the past week, the wake of fierce storms have ravaged the Pacific Northwest, killing at least seven people and leading to widespread flooding and mudslides that shut down roads and highways, including Interstate 5; other infrastructure, such as telephone lines and electricity, have been obliterated. The latest of three storms slammed into the state on Monday, December 3, hitting hardest on the Olympic Peninsula, Kitsap County and the southwestern corner of Washington state as well as the northwest corner of Oregon, leaving at least 73,000 residents without power; more than 50,000 were still in the dark Tuesday. Pacific Power said that nearly 36,000 of its customers were still without power on Thursday. The storm overwhelmed a number of sewage treatment plants, allowing tons of raw sewage to spew into Puget Sound. National Guard troops evacuated residents in Vernonia, Oregon on Tuesday, December 4, and tens of thousands of residents remained without power after the storms struck that state; Vernonia, a mountain timber town of about 2200 residents on the Nehalem River, is about 35 miles northwest of Portland. The town had been largely cut off by landslides that blocked roads into the community, but Guard trucks with high clearance were able to get in late Monday. The governors of Washington and Oregon declared states of emergency, which could speed relief efforts in flood-hit areas. Throughout it all, Amateur Radio operators were there to help. In Oregon, after a visit Tuesday to Vernonia, Governor Ted Kulongoski said, "I'm going to tell you who the heroes were from the very beginning of this...the ham radio operators. These people just came in and actually provided a tremendous communication link to us." The Oregon Office of Emergency Management said the radio operators were tireless in their efforts to keep the systems connected. When even state police had difficulty reaching some of their own troops, ham radio worked, setting up networks so emergency officials could communicate and relaying lists of supplies needed in stricken areas. Amateur Radio's role in again providing communications when other systems were destroyed or overloaded was not missed by the media. Many TV, radio and newspaper items have appeared, praising the hams and noting their service to the communities. ARRL Oregon Section Public Information Coordinator Steve Sanders, KE7JSS, has been responding to many media requests, including an article distributed via the Associated Press. Portland's KATU Channel 2 spotlighted the role Amateur Radio played throughout the storms <http://www.hello-radio.org/video/oregon2.wmv>. In Oregon, ARES is still providing communications to the coast, with more than 60 volunteers working at the coast and many more at points in between. The District One Emergency Radio Network was activated at 8 AM Monday morning and was still in operation as of Thursday, December 6; District One ARES serves Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Multnomah, Tillamook and Washington counties -- the northwest corner of the state. According to Sanders, "We are working closely with the American Red Cross as well as the major hospitals, Heartnet radio network and district-wide emergency managers, including the Oregon Office of Emergency Management in Salem." ARRL Oregon District One Emergency Coordinator David Kidd, KA7OZO, said, "The Red Cross has set up two shelters in Tillamook County and four in Columbia County. The Columbia County Emergency Center reported that Astoria is without phone service and the outage is expected to remain so for the rest of the week. Columbia County will continue to provide 911 service and relays for Clatsop County. The ham station continues to be operational at the Vernonia Fire Department and has contact with Clatsop and Columbia Counties and is relaying traffic as needed and will support the Red Cross resupply operation in progress." According to Sally Jones, Administrator for the Columbia 911 Communications District, "The 911 lines that would normally be answered in Seaside and Astoria for callers in Clatsop County were diverted by the phone company to the Columbia 911 Communications Center on a temporary emergency basis. The emergency phone calls are being taken by Columbia 911 staff who are relaying the information via Columbia County and Clatsop County Amateur Radio Emergency Services volunteers to the police fire and emergency medical dispatchers in Clatsop County, who then are activating Clatsop County first responders." Clatsop County's 911 service also went down in the storm, but officials there relied on ham radio operators to transmit messages, including information about people in need. The National Weather Service reported that flood warnings were issued earlier in the week but cancelled a bit after midnight (PST) Thursday for the Nehalem River near Foss, affecting Clatsop and Tillamook Counties and South Yamhill River at McMinnville, affecting Yamhill County. Flood warnings are still in effect Friday morning for the Tualatin River at Farmington, affecting Washington County. Most rivers across Washington and Oregon have crested and are falling below flood stage. Flooding does continue on a few rivers with record flooding on the Chehalis River in Washington and on the Tualatin River in Oregon. According to ARRL Oregon Section Manager Bonnie Altus, AB7ZQ, telephone and electric services were slowly coming back as of Thursday evening. "It sounds like some telephones were starting to be restored in the worst hit areas last night and today. Clatsop County got some phones back for a few prefixes last night, and Vernonia started getting some phones back this morning," she said. "A medical clinic in Vernonia had to be relocated due to flood damage and there are some medically fragile people in the Red Cross shelters there," Altus said. "Where they had this shelter set up, landlines are not readily available and cell phones are not always reliable, so the net is continuing to support them." She said that the ARES net is operating from 6 AM-9PM daily. ARRL Western Washington Section Manager Jim Pace, K7CEX, said, "The Washington and Oregon Coast and inland areas of Western Washington were struck by extreme winds (maximum gusts of over 100 miles per hour) and torrential rains. Although none of Western Washington was spared, the counties of Grays Harbor, Pacific and Lewis seemed to be hit the hardest. In Lewis County, where I live, dikes broke allowing three rivers to flow over Interstate 5; most of the cities of Centralia, Chehalis, and Adna were almost completely under water." Rescue operations are being handled with helicopters from the US Coast Guard, National Guard, Navy, King County Sheriff and Air Lift Northwest, Pace said. "On Tuesday, the ham station at Thurston County EOC reported 60 people had been picked off of roof tops so far. Lewis County reported similar situations with nearly 200 folks. Rescue operations will go through the night again tonight." Pace said that Southwest Washington has been "hit pretty hard. In fact, the flooding has trapped me in my neighborhood. There are several teams working to support assessment and rescue. Sheriff, Coast Guard and Navy helicopters are picking folks off of rooftops and out of destroyed homes. The water has closed Interstate 5 for about 20 miles -- at one point the depth is 9 feet over the pavement." In Washington, some 130 people had to be rescued from flooded areas by Coast Guard helicopters. Mudslides and floods blocked roads, and Interstate 5, the principal north-south route along the West Coast, was closed near Centralia because of about 10 feet of water over the road. Many schools and government offices were closed for a second day. Mudslides also halted Amtrak passenger train service between Portland and Vancouver, British Columbia. Mudslides blocked numerous roads and forced an undetermined number of residents to evacuate condominiums, apartments and houses in Seattle, at least nine houses in suburban Burien and several mobile homes in Shelton. Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, who toured the ravaged region by helicopter Tuesday, touched down at a high school shelter in Chehalis and offered encouragement to the roughly 40 people staying there. She also ordered a plane to deliver food and emergency supplies to the high school in Pe Ell, about 25 miles to the west, because the roads were blocked by water. "It's hard to comprehend 5-10 feet under until you see those houses," Gregoire said. The governor also flew to the water's edge on Interstate 5, which has been shut down since Monday at Centralia because of flooding. On Tuesday, officials said a three mile section of the road was under as much as 10 feet of water from the surging Chehalis River. Pace said that in Pacific County ARES members have been manning the County Emergency Operations Center at South Bend "almost 24/7. Ham radio has been the only reliable means of communications in the county since the landline and cell phones have been out of service." The Thurston County Department of Emergency Management activated ARES on Tuesday, December 4 to support ongoing flood evacuation operations in southwest portion of the county. The team staffed the County Emergency Operations Center's radio room in Olympia and manned sites at the Rochester Fire Station, various evacuation centers as well as landing zones for the helicopter rescue teams. "They used Amateur Radio to coordinate resources and limited tactical traffic between sites," Pace said. "Hams were also primary operators on several county radio systems. One ham was stationed at the Rochester helicopter landing zone all day Tuesday, even though he knew his own business was in trouble from the high water and will have to be rebuilt." Other hams, Pace said, who were not activated, helped in other ways. "At the request of local agencies, some filled sand bags while some manned phones to take damage reports at Seattle's Office of Emergency Management." Some teams have been activated but have not had an opportunity to report. "Others, such as the Lewis County Team -- the area hardest hit by the flood -- were cut off from traveling; however, when the local 147.06 repeater failed, Lewis County hams got on simplex and HF frequencies to check on each other and put themselves on standby for deployment when roads became passable," he said. Pace praised the amateurs in the Western Washington Section: "They train the way they're going to respond, and they respond the way they are trained. Some will report to duty and never see a microphone, but will make copies, log data, empty wastebaskets, direct vehicle traffic and fill sand bags -- whatever needs to be done -- and never complain once." The ARRL will update this story on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> as more information becomes available. The main priority of the Oregon and Western Washington Section leadership is assisting their served agencies. As they update the ARRL, the information will be posted online. ==> MISLEADING AND INCORRECT RUMORS SURROUND IARU REGION 2 BAND PLAN Misleading and incorrect rumors are surrounding the recently revised band plan of IARU Region 2 <http://www.iaru-r2.org/band-plan/>, adopted at its triennial conference in Brazil in September. The following statement was authorized by ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN. During the conference, held September 10-14 in Brasilia, representatives from IARU Region 2 societies met in committees prior to a final plenary session and adopted recommendations concerning a number of items important to Amateur Radio in the region. These included plans to improve emergency communication, enhance education and reduce interference to national emergency nets, as well as revising the Region 2 HF band plan. The revised Region 2 band plan for 160-10 meters takes effect January 1, 2008. The band plan is based on the band plan adopted by IARU Region 1 <http://www.iaru-r1.org/Spectrumbp.htm> at its conference in Davos, Switzerland in September 2005. IARU regional band plans have been in existence for many years. They are developed, reviewed and approved at regional conferences of the IARU Member-Societies. The band plans provide voluntary guidelines and recommendations for good operating practice that are intended to assist amateurs in making the most effective use of our limited frequency allocations. They are not restrictions and carry no regulatory authority. Unlike the US, where the FCC's Part 97 rules regulate the frequencies allocated to the Amateur Radio Service by emission designator, many countries do not have government-regulated sub-bands within their amateur allocation. Because of this, the national Amateur Radio societies in these countries look to a band plan to provide guidance for the location of operating preferences. In such cases, these countries are urged to promote incorporation or recognition of a band plan into their regulations. In the United States, however, ARRL's band plans will continue to provide guidance for recommended operating preferences including the 160 meter band <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/bandplan.html#160m> plan that was revised in 2001 on the basis of membership input. One virtue of voluntary band plans is that they are more flexible and can be amended more easily than the FCC rules; writing them into the rules would be counterproductive. As voluntary guidelines, the band plan cannot by definition be "more severe" than regulations; however, if the band plan did not suggest an operating pattern that is a subset of the regulations, it would serve no purpose. There is also a mistaken assumption that the new IARU Region 2 band plan is an ARRL initiative seeking regulation by bandwidth. It is not, nor is it in any way a vehicle to achieve regulation by bandwidth. It happens that the ARRL's "regulation by bandwidth" petition, the now-withdrawn RM-11306, also drew on the Region 1 band plan. This is acknowledged on page 10 of the petition <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/rm-11306/RM-11306-asFiled.pdf>. The similarities between RM-11306 and the Region 2 band plan are the result of having some common roots, but the two are not otherwise related. While a number of Amateur Radio organizations and publishers support and agree with the ARRL on the concept of regulation by bandwidth as an essential element to the orderly introduction of new digital modes into the HF bands, ARRL will not be pursuing a rulemaking until some degree of consensus can be achieved in the amateur community. ARRL has conducted an open process of soliciting input regarding matters of importance to the Amateur Radio Service. That will continue prior to the submission of any proposals for future regulatory changes to improve the Amateur Radio Service. As one of the 39 Member-Societies of IARU Region 2, the ARRL will, as always, continue to openly work to improve the Region 2 band planning process prior to the next conference and give its members ample opportunity to offer comments and suggestions. Members may provide input to their elected representative (identified on page 15 of QST), or to our Ad-hoc Band Plan Committee and e-mail address that was established in 2006 at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. ==> FCC COMMISSIONER ADELSTEIN TO BE RE-NOMINATED FOR THIRD TERM President George W. Bush has announced his intention to re-nominate Jonathan S. Adelstein for a third term on the Federal Communications Commission; this will be his second full five-year term. Adelstein was first sworn in as Commissioner in 2002, filling the unexpired term of Gloria Tristani. Before joining the FCC, Adelstein served for 15 years as a staff member in the US Senate. For the last seven years, he was a senior legislative aide to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), advising Daschle on telecommunications, financial services, transportation and other key issues. Previously, he served as Professional Staff Member to Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman David Pryor (D-AR), including an assignment as a special liaison to Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), and as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr (D-MI). Prior to his service in the Senate, Adelstein held a number of academic positions, including: Teaching Fellow in the Department of History, Harvard University; Teaching Assistant in the Department of History, Stanford University, and Communications Consultant to the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Adelstein received a BA with Distinction in Political Science from Stanford University, an MA in History from Stanford University, studied at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and is a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society. Adelstein said he was "deeply honored that the President has announced his intention to nominate me to serve another term as Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission. I would also like to express my deep appreciation to Majority Leader Harry Reid for his support and faith in me. If confirmed by the Senate, it would be a privilege to continue working to ensure that the American public has access to the best possible communications opportunities in the world." FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said, "I congratulate my good friend and colleague, Jonathan Adelstein, on the news that the President intends to re-nominate him to the Commission. Jonathan and I have traveled the country together to learn directly from the American people about how the FCC's communications policies are serving them. I know him to be a smart, dedicated and courageous advocate for bringing communications technologies to all Americans. I look forward to continuing to work with Jonathan on the many important issues before the Commission in the coming months and years." Adelstein was born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota. He now lives in the Washington, DC area with his wife Karen, son Adam and daughter Lexi. ==> THE ANNUAL VINTAGE ISSUE OF QST IS ON ITS WAY TO YOUR MAILBOX The January issue of QST is jam-packed with everything today's Amateur Radio operator needs. From product reviews to experiments to contesting to new regular features, the January issue of QST has something for just about everyone Our annual vintage issue features an article by Richard Bitzer, WB2ZKW, "Modifying the Collins KWM-2 for Serious CW Operation." This sideband radio, originally marketed as a mobile transceiver, had serious CW limitations. The author transformed the KWM-2 into a radio that does well on CW while maintaining its original SSB capabilities. If you've ever wanted to build your own vintage radio, be sure to check out "Building the Tinker Box" by Jerry Fuller, W6JRY, and Lee Hutchins, KA6IRL. The article describes how the authors built a replica of a 1938 British clandestine radio transmitter used in World War II. A new QST feature beginning in the January issue is "Getting on the Air" by Joel R. Hallas, W1ZR. This will take the place of the semi-monthly "Getting to Know Your Radio" column. This column is intended to help newly licensed amateurs get their stations up and running, as well as knowing how to use them, so they can join us on the air. The January issue features an article about your first HF or 6 meter antenna. We all want an antenna that lets us make contacts both regionally and worldwide. Hallas says that "virtually any antenna will enable you to make some contacts. It is also true that no single antenna is likely to enable you to do everything you will want to do. This argues for starting simple and getting your feet wet with something you can easily change." With this in mind, Hallas focuses this month's column on the horizontal wire dipole, and promises to discuss other options in future columns. If you're in the market for a new receiver, you don't want to miss January's Product Review of the ICOM IC-R9500 Communications Receiver. Reviewed by ARRL Technical Advisor David Newkirk, AB2WH, this receiver, Newkirk says, "begins a new era in wideband receivers. Appropriately characterized as 'professional' in ICOM advertising, the 'R9500 delivers the widest dc-to-daylight frequency coverage we've seen teamed with strong-signal performance that rivals that of ICOM's flagship IC-7800 MF/HF transceiver in many respects...In this review, we'll cover [the] IC-R9500 highlights." If you've been waiting for the results of the 2007 ARRL UHF Contest, you're in luck! The results, as well as an article about the contest by John (J.K.) Kalenowsky, K9JK, is in the January issue. There is also an announcement about the School Club Roundup February 11-15. Of course, there are the usual columns you know and love in the January QST: Hints & Kinks, The Doctor Is IN, How's DX, Old Radio, Hamspeak and more. Look for your January issue of QST in your mailbox. QST is the official journal of ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. QST is just one of the many benefits of ARRL membership. To join or renew your ARRL membership, please see the ARRL Web page <http://www.arrl.org/join>. ==> THE DOCTOR IS IN This week, ARRL Letter readers are in luck! The ARRL's very own Doctor, author of the popular QST column "The Doctor Is IN," answers a question from his mailbag: Question: Bob, W0FES, asks: Can you settle a discussion from our radio club meeting last night regarding the FCC requirement for control of our 2 meter repeater? One position was that, as the result of a change in regulations, our repeater control requirement may be exercised on its input frequency. The other position was that the repeater control requirement must be via either land line or by RF above 222 MHz. Which side is correct? The Doctor Answers -- For this question we sought the expert opinion of Regulatory Affairs Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. Dan says neither side has it quite right. While some of the rules changed, the rules still require that you have to be able to control the repeater some way other than via its input frequency. An example of why this is a requirement is that the control operator is responsible to ensure that the repeater is being operated legally and shut it down if it isn't. If someone is violating the rules and has captured the input with their 1500 W signal, you won't be able to shut the repeater down by issuing commands on the input frequency. The rules change allowed auxiliary stations to operate on the 2 meter band rather than the previous requirement to operate above 222.15 MHz. The rules did not change as far as the ability to properly control the remote station -- in this case, the repeater. The control operator of the repeater must still be able to exercise control of the repeater. All that changed was the ability to use an auxiliary control link on a different frequency band. Look for "The Doctor Is IN" every month in QST, the official journal of the ARRL. ==> ARRL 10 METER CONTEST THIS WEEKEND Come one, come all to the ARRL 10 Meter Contest! Along with last weekend's 160 Meter Contest, the ARRL 10 Meter Contest is one of only two ARRL-sponsored contests devoted to a single band. Ten meters is available to ALL US licensed amateurs. While 10 meters is certainly more exciting during the peak of the 11-year solar cycle, contests have a way of opening bands and allowing contacts to be made. The East Coast of the US was working Africa and South America just two weekends ago, so anything is possible. Ten meters also has lots of sporadic-E propagation (E-skip), allowing good openings over a distance of several hundred miles. While usually associated with the summer months, sporadic-E propagation also has a minor peak around the winter Solstice in the US. Stations in the US (including Alaska and Hawaii) send a signal report and their state as the contest exchange; DX stations send a signal report and a consecutive serial number. If you happen to be operating from maritime mobile, you send a signal report and your ITU Region (R1, R2 or R3). You can choose to enter as a single operator or as a multi-operator team. If you are a single operator, you can choose from all SSB, all CW, or a mix of both. Multi-operator teams must enter using a mix of both modes. Certificates will be awarded to the highest-scoring entry in each entry category, including special awards for the Novice and Technician-class licensees. The ARRL 10 Meter Contest runs from 0000 UTC Saturday, December 8 to 2400 UTC Sunday, December 9. Get on the air and enjoy working all classes of US Amateur Radio operators and some interesting radio propagation! ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "The Sun Beams Down on a Brand New Day" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: More sunspots emerged this week, with every December day so far showing spots. In addition to the sunspot numbers listed below, Thursday, December 6 had a sunspot number of 29. The daily sunspot number has not been this high since mid-July. Two spots are now visible -- 977 and 978 -- and the total coverage of the solar surface by sunspots on Thursday is four times Wednesday's coverage. Average daily sunspot number for this report is over twice last week's, rising from 5.4 to 11.1. Sunspots will probably continue until at least December 13. Sunspot numbers for November 29-December 5 were 0, 0, 13, 26, 13, 13 and 13 with a mean of 11.1. The 10.7 cm flux was 71.2, 71.2, 71.9, 73, 72.6, 73.6 and 75.3 with a mean of 72.7. Estimated planetary A indices were 3, 2, 2, 2, 1, 2 and 2 with a mean of 2. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 1, 2, 2, 0, 0 and 1 with a mean of 1.1. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet conditions December 7-9, quiet to unsettled December 10, unsettled December 11-12 and quiet to unsettled December 13. 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 10 Meter Contest is December 8-9. The SKCC Sprint and the NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint are both scheduled for December 12. Next weekend, the OK DX RTTY Contest and the Feld Hell Sprint are December 15. The Croatian CW Contest and the International Naval Contest are December 15-16. On December 16, check out the ARCI Holiday Spirits Homebrew Sprint. The Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is December 17. 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, December 23, 2007 for these online courses beginning on Friday, January 4, 2008: Technician 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). To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the Continuing Education Program Coordinator <email@example.com>. * The 2007 ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund Needs You!: The annual Spectrum Defense Fund is arguably the most significant fund raising campaign that ARRL mounts each year. With funds dedicated to ARRL activities that defend Amateur Radio spectrum, all hams benefit from the efforts of ARRL in Washington and around the world. This year, the Defense Fund has been especially important in funding the ARRL legal action regarding BPL. While we await the decision of the Appeals Court in Washington, the legal bills still need to me satisfied. So in these final weeks of the year, all members are urged to consider what they can do to help ARRL reach its financial goal. As the nation's most effective voice on behalf of Amateur Radio, ARRL needs you -- now! Your contribution online <http://www.arrl.org/>, through the mail or by phone is vital to ARRL's continued success. Your contribution will be dedicated to this purpose -- and no other. ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, said, "I encourage you to consider a gift under the guidelines of the Pension Protection Act that sunsets on December 31, 2007. If you are 70-1/2 or older, you may request a contribution from your IRA directly to ARRL and designate that contribution to the Spectrum Defense Fund. Such a contribution may offer tax advantages for you." More information is available online at <http://www.arrl.org/development/ppa.html>. Thank you for standing with ARRL to preserve Amateur Radio Spectrum! * The December Issue Of CONTACT! Is Out: The ARRL is committed to public relations and has built a national PR program designed to represent Amateur Radio to government, the media and the public. The Newington Headquarters' national effort is supported, and greatly enhanced by, ARRL public information appointees and other interested volunteers who work to promote Amateur Radio on the local level. One of the tools to help these volunteers is CONTACT!, the monthly on-line newsletter designed to be a resource for ARRL Public Information Coordinators (PICs), Public Information Officers (PIOs) and anyone with an interest in Amateur Radio public or media relations activities. Each issue contains helpful articles and tips to help spread the good word about Amateur Radio. The December issue of CONTACT! was released earlier this week and is full of information that you can use. With the proliferation of blogs on the Internet, you might run across one that states untruths about Amateur Radio. How do you handle it? According to ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP: "Stay on message! Do not become embroiled in circular arguments, paranoias and suppositions. If possible, use direct quotes from the people actually involved in the topic at hand, never base your 'facts' on the commentaries and assumptions of others." There's more information in the December issue of CONTACT! You can read it, as well as other materials prepared specifically to promote Amateur Radio at the PIO Web page <http://www.arrl.org/pio/>. * Sunair Electronics and FlexRadio Working Together: Sunair Electronics, announced in November that it has finalized an agreement with FlexRadio Systems to purchase certain customized state-of-the-art software defined high frequency radios (SDR) and accessory items for sale to Sunair's government and military customers. A software defined radio is a major departure from traditional designs where all radio frequency functions and processing are accomplished with hardware. In an SDR, many of the processes are accomplished with high speed digital processors allowing for much simpler hardware designs and allowing for extreme flexibility with respect for filtering and user specified functionality. HF radios operate in the frequency range of 2-30 MHz and are designed for long range global communications circuits. Sunair President Mark Allen said, "FlexRadio has been refining their design for more than four years. FlexRadio has combined extremely innovative software and graphical interfaces with RF hardware to produce a product which is truly state of the art when it comes to high frequency (HF) radio. This product will help our customers with their critical national security communications requirements." Gerald Youngblood, President of FlexRadio, said, "SDRs represent the most significant change in communications technology in well over half a century, allowing flexibility and performance not practical with traditional analog approaches. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with Sunair." * Former W1AW Station Manager Eddy Pollock, W6LC (SK): Eddy Pollock, W6LC, W1AW station Manager from 1990-1991, passed away November 25 in Grants Pass, Oregon after a long battle with heart problems and diabetes. He was 72. Licensed since 1952, Pollock, an ARRL Life Member since 1972, came to the ARRL from California after retiring from a 30 year career of teaching electronics technology, computer science and industrial education at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, a suburb of Santa Cruz; after leaving the League due to health concerns in 1991, Pollock and his wife Marilyn returned to Santa Cruz, eventually retiring to Oregon in 2000. Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, current W1AW Station Manager said, "Eddy came here just after W1AW underwent its major renovation in 1989. What an honor it is to work in a place that he helped shape. Even though he was here a short time, I will always remember the legacy Eddy left to not only W1AW, but to the ARRL." While in California, Pollock served as trustee for the Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club, K6BJ, and as Emergency Coordinator for Santa Cruz County. He earned DXCC and WPX Honor Roll. Pollock retired in 1974 as a Lieutenant Commander after serving 20 years in the US Naval Reserve as a communications technician. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, of 47 years; son, David Pollock and daughter-in-law, Cindy Wright of Grants Pass; daughter, Deanna (Dee) Evans of Clovis, California; 7 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. * Joseph Gellings, WB9WOL (SK) -- Oversaw First Underwater Transatlantic Telephone Cable: Joseph Gellings, WB9WOL, a longtime electrical engineer for Bell Laboratories who helped develop microwave communications and lay the first transatlantic telephone cable to Europe, passed away November 29 due to heart complications; he was 89. According to relatives, Gellings acquired a ham radio in his early teens. "His parents needed to coerce him into going to bed, because he'd stay up all night communicating with people from around the world," daughter Ginny Cooney recalled. It was his passion for ham radio that later sparked an interest in electronics, she said. Gellings attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. He later received a master's degree in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University in Columbus. In 1944, Gellings began working for Bell Labs in Summit, New Jersey, where he initially helped develop microwave communication systems for use during World War II. "That technology aided both land-to-land and air-to-land communications within the military," said his son, Joe, also an electrical engineer. In 1955, Gellings was assigned by Bell Labs to oversee the laying of the first underwater transatlantic telephone cable, from Newfoundland to Scotland. That cable, nearly 3 inches wide at various points with about seven layers of insulation, was in use for 22 years, before being retired in 1978, Cooney said. In 1966, Gellings moved with his family to Oswego, Illinois after being transferred by Bell Labs to its Naperville offices. There, he participated in the development of solid-state digital switching for telephone calls, before retiring in 1976. Gellings is survived by two children, Joseph of Shawano, Wisconsin and Ginny Cooney of Wheaton, Illinois; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. * HQ Staff Travels: Membership Manager Katie Breen, W1KRB, attended the Tampa Bay Hamfest December 1-2. West Central Florida Section Manager Dee Turner, N4GD, was on hand to welcome local, regional and national visiting leadership. ARRL officials included retiring Southeastern Division Director Frank Butler, W4RH, and Vice Director Sandy Donahue, W4RU; IARU President Larry Price, W4RA; Southern Florida Section Manager Sherri Brower, W4STB and her Assistant Section Manager Jeff Beals, WA4AW. Current Wyoming Section Manager and Rocky Mountain Vice-Director Elect Dwayne Allen, WY7FD, was on hand as well. The hamfest was well attended with test sessions, forums, a D-Star open house and flea market. Breen gave her HQ Tour presentation, enjoyed meeting many members -- including a few that upgraded their license over the weekend. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, spoke at the South East Michigan DX Association on November 30 and the 75th Anniversary Dinner of the Motor City Radio Club (Detroit) on November 31. =========================================================== 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. 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