ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 27, No. 21
May 30, 2008
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* + Hams Heed the Call When Tornadoes Sweep Through Colorado 
* + Amateurs Assist with Florida Fires 
* + Chinese Officials Give Kudos to Amateur Radio Operators 
* + ARRL Files Comments in Two Matters Before FCC 
* + Get Ready for the Upcoming ARRL June VHF QSO Party 
* + First ARRL Book Published in China 
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF: 
      This Weekend on the Radio
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + IARU Officials Meet in Newington 
    + New Name, Look for ARRL Contest E-Letter 
      National Hurricane Center's WX4NHC Sets On-The-Air Station Test 
      US Power Squadron to Hold Special Event at W1AW 
      New Russian Satellite in Orbit 

+Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> 

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==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane,
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==> HAMS HEED THE CALL WHEN TORNADOES SWEEP THROUGH COLORADO 

On Thursday, May 22 at approximately noon MDT, a large tornado touched
down in northern Colorado near the town of Windsor. Windsor, with a
population of nearly 19,000, is located approximately 10 miles southeast
of Fort Collins, and 50 miles north of Denver. According to ARRL
Colorado Section Manager Jeff Ryan, K0RM, initial reports indicated that
there was the possibility of extensive damage. Ryan said that Colorado
ARES District 10 was activated and David Markham, W0CBI, the Colorado
Section Emergency Coordinator, monitored the situation.

The funnel cloud, accompanied by golf-ball sized hail, blackened the
skies over Windsor as it knocked down power lines, shredded crops in
fields outside the city and blasted whole neighborhoods; the southeast
side of town was hit the worst by the storm. "It will be a long time
before the town recovers from this," Windsor Mayor John Vasquez said.

Ryan said reports indicated the Windsor tornado was just one of several
that swept across northern Colorado and part of Wyoming: "The storm
resulted in one fatality, and more than 100 people were treated on the
scene for some type of injury with another 18 people treated at area
hospitals. Damage is widespread and includes homes and business in Weld
and Larimer Counties. We also received damage reports from the smaller
towns of Gilcrest and Platteville."

The Weld County Sheriff's Office reported that the lone fatality, Oscar
Manchester, 52, a US Marine and Vietnam veteran, was killed in a
recreational vehicle that was destroyed in the storm at a campground
west of Greeley, about 60 miles north of Denver.

Colorado ARES District 10 Emergency Coordinator Randy Long, W0AVV,
reported that 31 operators provided communications service to the
Emergency Operations Center and Fire Department in Windsor, the Weld
County Emergency Operations Center, the Larimer County Emergency
Operations Center, the City of Loveland Emergency Operations Center, the
Loveland Mobile Command post and two Red Cross shelters.

"On Friday, the town was still without power and remained so until local
utilities could complete a survey of electrical transmission lines in
the affected area that is expected to take up to 48 hours," Ryan said.
"A mandatory evacuation for sections of Windsor is in effect due to gas
leaks and downed power lines. The National Guard is on duty and is
responsible for escorting emergency responders in and out of the area."

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter ordered the National Guard to aid rescue
and cleanup efforts. He visited the town Thursday evening, saying the
number of homes damaged was "significant" and declared a state of
emergency for Weld County. Representatives from FEMA were on the scene
conducting damage assessments. On Monday, President Bush approved
Colorado's request for federal disaster aid to help with the costs of
the storms and tornadoes, and declared Weld and Larimer Counties federal
disaster areas.

On Friday, Markham placed an additional 15 Amateur Radio operators in
Larimer and Weld County on standby in anticipation of an overnight
shift; he also requested adjacent districts to prepare in support of the
ongoing operations if necessary.

Windsor, Fort Collins and Loveland lie in the shadow of the Rocky
Mountains, where the Great Plains give way to steep hills. "It's very
unusual to see [a tornado like] this by a mountain range. It's kind of a
freak thing," said Captain Steve Fleming of the Poudre Fire Authority.

Ryan said that at the peak of the ARES operation, "Colorado ARES
District 10 had 55 operators supporting emergency response and relief
efforts in the aftermath of the tornado that touched down near Windsor."

==> AMATEURS ASSIST WITH FLORIDA FIRES

Amateur Radio operators in Brevard County, Florida responded in a
support role during a recent spate of wildfires that ravaged the towns
of Palm Bay and Malabar. The fires, all of which were deemed
"suspicious" by fire authorities, began on Sunday, May 11. Dubbed the
"Mother's Day Fires," they burned close to 13,000 acres in southern
Brevard County. Located about 25 miles east of Orlando, Brevard County
is home to Kennedy Space Center, site of NASA's space shuttle launch
area.

John Weatherly, AB4ET, and Clayton Bennett, KA4NHW, manned a 2 meter
station in a shelter set up by the American Red Cross. Additionally, the
Brevard Emergency Amateur Radio Services (BEARS) donated the use of
their mobile command center to public safety agencies. The command
vehicle, dubbed BEARS-I, was obtained through a $100,000 grant from the
State of Florida. The interior was designed and built by a group of
Amateur Radio operators from local Brevard County clubs that are members
of BEARS. BEARS-I is outfitted with Brevard County 800 MHz public safety
radios and amateur equipment.

BEARS-I was used as a command post in the weeklong operation. The Palm
Bay Fire Department, the Palm Bay Police Department, ARES and Florida
Power and Light manned the four operating positions. The unit was put in
place at Bayside High School when the fires started; it was relocated
the next day to the US Air Force tracking station that became the new
command center, as well as the staging area for trucks and teams from
other counties. BEARS-I was used as a self-contained command center
around the clock for over five days

According to official sources, the Mother's Day fires destroyed more
than 30 homes with an estimated value of $5.6 million, and damaged
almost 250 residences. A man is in custody on three counts of
intentional burning of lands after witnesses reported seeing him light
several small fires one night that were quickly extinguished. According
to authorities, the investigation continues into whether the suspect set
all the fires, or if others were involved. -- Some information provided
by Jan Heise, K4QD, and Dan Fisher, AI4GK

==> CHINESE OFFICIALS GIVE KUDOS TO AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS 

As disaster recovery efforts continue following the earthquake in the
Wenchuan area of China's Sichuan province on May 12, China's Information
Office of the State Council reports that the death toll has reached more
than 67,000 persons as of May 27. Communications in some of the
surrounding areas were cut off, and communications in some other areas
experienced network congestion due to drastically increased traffic.
According to the Chinese Radio Sports Association (CRSA) -- the Chinese
IARU Member-Society -- Chinese government officials and the news media
have recognized that when communications failed after the earthquake,
Amateur Radio operators stepped in to provide vital links.

CRSA designated 14.270, 7.050 and 7.060 MHz for emergency communications
use during the quake, but these frequencies are now no longer restricted
for this use; should a severe aftershock occur, CRSA said it will make
the call for them to be kept clear again.

On Monday, May 26, China Central Television (CCTV) reported that, "When
all other communication means failed, Amateur Radio operators came out!
An Amateur Radio emergency communication network was set up, and one of
the commanders, Liu Hu [BG8AAS], called for Amateur Radio operators on
air to provide services for disaster relief."

Fan Bin, BA1RB, on behalf of CRSA, said, "Thankfully, one main repeater
survived during the earthquake. This repeater provided 100 km coverage
to Mianyang. Amateur Radio operators from Chengdu, Shenzhen, He'nan went
to the center of the disaster area, set up repeaters in Beichuan County
and provided various valuable first hand information from the center."

CRSA officials said they hoped to report more detailed information on
the role of Amateur Radio emergency communications in the big earthquake
at a later date. In the meantime, Fan said, CRSA acknowledged that the
main organizer of local Amateur Radio traffic, Luo Minglin, BY8AA,
"continuously coordinated VHF/UHF communications for a 100 km radius
from Chengdu, the capital of southwest China's province of Sichuan. More
repeaters were set up in both Beichuan and Mianyang -- among the worst
hit areas outside the epicenter -- to form an effective Amateur Radio
communication network."

Zhang Zhen, BG8DOU, said that right after the earthquake, "Two ham radio
operators drove to the center of the earthquake area and had a repeater
set up by the morning of May 13. This repeater enabled the transmission
of rescue instructions and status reports, and was a main communication
channel for public use. The repeater carried communications for the
Mayor of Mianzhu City who gave orders to those on the front line rescue
and recovery activity."

The CRSA said it appreciates the support given by the Amateur Radio
community in helping to keep clear the emergency communication
frequencies of 7050 kHz, 7060 kHz and 14270 kHz during the critical
period after the earthquake: "Thanks for the cooperation and efforts
made by all Amateur Radio societies." The CRSA also acknowledged having
received inquiries and the "warm concerns" of Amateur Radio societies
worldwide. -- Information provided by Fan Bin, BA1RB, on behalf of CRSA,
via IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee Chairman Jim Linton
VK3PC

==> ARRL FILES COMMENTS IN TWO MATTERS BEFORE FCC 

On Tuesday, May 27, ARRL filed electronic comments concerning two
matters that the FCC has under consideration. The first set of comments
concerns a company that filed a request for a waiver of Part 90 of the
FCC rules; ReconRobotics, an electronics manufacturer, wishes to sell,
and for its public safety customers to use, a robotic device that
operates in the 430-448 MHz band. The primary allocation in that portion
of the spectrum is United States government radiolocation (military
radars). The Amateur Service has an allocation on a secondary basis. The
second matter deals with GE Healthcare and their request for allocation
of spectrum (as a secondary user) in the 2300 MHz band; the Amateur
Service has a primary allocation in a portion of the requested band.

On January 11, 2008, ReconRobotics filed a request with the FCC for a
waiver of Part 90 of the Commission's Rules with respect to the Recon
Scout, a remote-controlled, maneuverable surveillance robot designed for
use in areas that may be too hazardous for human entry. This device can
be thrown, dropped or launched into hazardous areas and can provide an
operator located a safe distance away with video and audio, along with
infrared, biological, chemical, heat, radiation or other data. According
to the FCC, ReconRobotics seeks a waiver to permit equipment
authorization of the Recon Scout, and its use by state and local law
enforcement and firefighting agencies and by security personnel in
critical infrastructure industries.

The FCC said a waiver is required to permit licensing of the Recon Scout
because "the device operates in the 430-448 MHz band." ReconRobotics
asserts that because the Recon Scout operates with 1 W peak power, it is
"unlikely to cause interference to these services."

The ARRL contends that "Because [this device] operates on a channelized
basis, each of the three channels being six megahertz wide, the
necessary bandwidth of the device is apparently close to 6 MHz.
[ReconRobotics] asks that it be granted an unspecified series of
permanent waivers to allow the marketing and sale to, and use of this
device by law enforcement and fire department personnel for public
safety applications. The Amateur Service, which has a heavily occupied,
secondary allocation in the 420-450 MHz band...would be potentially
substantially impacted by grant of these waivers."

The ARRL's comments also state that ReconRobotics "fails to establish
that the 420-450 MHz band is the only viable choice and that no other
band would be suitable; an obligation of the Petitioner in order to
entitle it to a waiver." In requesting the waiver, ARRL asserts that
ReconRobotics only claimed, but did not show, prove or demonstrate, that
other bands were not suitable for its purposes. In other cases before
the FCC as recent as 2006, the Commission denied such waivers, saying,
"We do not believe that the public interest requires grant of a waiver
merely to accommodate a manufacturer's choice of a specific frequency
when others are available."

The ARRL contends, in its comments, that "nothing in the four corners of
[ReconRobotics'] request indicates anything that would verify the
factual conclusions offered. The waiver request boils down to 'trust us,
we have checked into this.'"

The ARRL points out in its comments that there are differing amateur
operations throughout the 420-450 MHz band. One of the channels
ReconRobotics is requesting use of -- 442-448 MHz -- is used by amateur
repeaters (with band plans varying by locality) and also for Amateur
television repeater inputs. "These repeater inputs, both for voice and
video, are at high locations where line-of-sight to [ReconRobotics]
devices should be expected anywhere in the United States. Repeaters in
this band are routinely used for emergency communications via amateur
Radio for numerous served agencies including FEMA, and so at times when
[ReconRobotic's] device may be expected to be used, the repeaters may be
expected to be in operation in the same areas," ARRL comments state.


For this reason as well, the ARRL maintains that interference to [the
Recon Scout] device may be expected on a regular basis from Amateur
Radio operations: "While it is all well and good for [ReconRobotics], a
manufacturer, to suggest that it understands that operation of the
device would be subject to interference received from licensed users in
the band, such interference is not a comforting thought for licensed
radio amateurs who could very easily be perceived to be, or held
responsible for the failure or malfunction of these analog devices in a
given application and the danger to public safety officers who are
relying on them. It is also too much to expect that a Public Safety
licensee will understand that the use of the device is unpredictable
because interference to the device is unpredictable. [ReconRobotics] is
correct about one thing: Amateur Radio operators take their relationship
with First Responders very seriously. Creating fundamental
incompatibility between Public Safety communications and Amateur Radio
operations serves no one well at all, and for this reason,
[ReconRobotics] should reconfigure its device to operate in a different
allocation."

The ARRL urges the FCC to deny the waiver request, "either permanently
or even temporarily," and calls on the Commission to require
ReconRobotics to "initiate a rulemaking proceeding if it feels that the
Part 90 or Part 15 rules governing analog devices are not sufficiently
accommodating and should be changed, and could be changed consistent
with interference avoidance. Repeatedly granting waivers for analog
devices which do not meet the fundamental interference avoidance
requirements of the existing rules is bad spectrum management and
ill-serves the Amateur Service."

In December 2007, GE Healthcare filed ex parte comments in response to a
Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in the pending "MedRadio" proceeding, proposing
that the band 2360-2400 MHz be allocated on a secondary basis for "Body
Sensor Networks" (BSNs). These systems are apparently to be used for
wireless patient monitoring. They are very short-range networks
consisting of multiple body-worn sensors and nodes, connected via
wireless to nearby hub stations at medical facilities and in homes. The
Amateur Radio Service is currently allocated 2390-2400 MHZ on a primary
basis.

In its comments, the ARRL states that it does not expect a "significant
amount of harmful interference to Amateur operations at 2390-2400 MHz
from BSNs." GE Healthcare's proposal, however, makes "erroneous
assumptions about Amateur uses in these bands, and the interference
potential of the devices to Amateur Radio stations in residential areas
is not known." 

According to GE Healthcare, they propose an allocation of the entire
2360-2400 MHz band for use of the BSN devices, but the ARRL contends
that "in any given area, only 20 MHz of that band would be used. [GE
Healthcare's] proposal specifically mentions Amateur Radio and claims
that, because the band 2390-2400 MHz is 'designed [sic] for fast scan
video, high rate data, packet, control and auxiliary applications' and
not weak signal communications, it is well-suited for sharing with the
BSN systems."

The ARRL argued that this is a misconception on GE Healthcare's part:
"The fact is that there are no limitations on the type of Amateur uses
to be made in these bands. The band may in fact be used in some areas
for weak signal communications, on a completely unpredictable basis. The
uses of this band by radio amateurs, though guided overall by a national
band plan, are very much subject to local variation dictated by custom
and usage. Weak signal Amateur communications utilize long propagation
paths, very low received signal levels, and very high transmitted signal
levels. The band is also used for long distance data, voice and
television communications using relatively weak received signal levels."

The ARRL, in its comments, said it "is far more concerned" about
potential interference to BSNs from licensed Amateur Radio operation in
the 2390-2400 MHz band: "The ramifications of radiofrequency
interference (RFI) to these systems in terms of danger to medical
patients are obvious, and potentially severe." The ARRL contends "that
the potential for interference from Amateur Radio operations, which are
in this band occasionally itinerant and mobile, but most often fixed in
residential areas, to BSNs operated at a patient's residence would
be...a problem."

In light of the possibilities of harmful interference, the ARRL
requested that the FCC "not proceed with the proposal of GE Healthcare
as proposed in the 2390-2400 MHz band."

==> GET READY FOR THE UPCOMING ARRL JUNE VHF QSO PARTY 

June is just about here, and according to ARRL Contest Branch Manager
Sean Kutzko, KX9X, that means the VHF bands are starting to get some
steam. "If you've never experienced the fun of VHF+ operating, the ARRL
June VHF QSO Party is a great place to start. With many HF radios now
offering at least 6 meter SSB/CW capabilities -- and some offering 2
meters and 70 cm as well -- any amateur with a Technician class license
or higher can experience long-haul communication on the VHF bands," he
said.

Known as the "Magic Band," 6 meters can be quiet for days at a time, and
then suddenly explode with signals when the E layer of the ionosphere
cooperates. There's no guaranteed way to predict when 6 meters opens,
which is why the propagation mode is called "Sporadic-E." When 6 meters
opens, contacts several hundred miles away can be made with relatively
modest equipment; 50 W and a simple dipole antenna can do wonders during
a good opening.

When operating on VHF, Kutzko said that your Maidenhead grid square is
the common geographical information exchanged. For complete information
on grid squares and how to tell what grid square you are in, visit the
ARRL's web site <http://www.arrl.org/locate/gridinfo.html>. 

Kutzko advises that there are a few things to know about operating on 6
meters: In the US and Canada, there is a "calling frequency" on 50.125
MHz USB. Many stations monitor this frequency to listen for band
openings. Stations can call CQ on the calling frequency, and if somebody
answers, the stations will find a new frequency on which to conduct
their QSO. It is considered poor etiquette to monopolize the calling
frequency for QSOs.

Most SSB activity will take place between 50.125 MHz and 50.250 MHz. If
conditions are exceptional, Kutzko said you may hear signals above
50.250: "CW signals can be found from 50.100 MHz to 50.080 or so. The
frequencies between 50.100 and 50.125 MHz are a 'DX Window,' meaning it
is reserved for QSOs between W/VE and DX stations. Please do not make
stateside-to-stateside QSOs in the DX Window."

Kutzko said that getting on 6 meters is easy: "A dipole for 6 meters is
only 9 feet, 4 inches long and is an easy construction project. Try to
get the dipole in the air as high as possible, but even 15 feet off the
ground will make some QSOs. If you have an antenna tuner that can handle
6 meters, you can try loading up another of your antennas on 6 meters
with reasonable success."

Because VHF+ antennas are relatively small, Kutzko said that many
amateurs operate from portable locations, such as a hilltop or a
campground. Others operate the contest as a "rover," operating from
their car or truck while transmitting from multiple grid squares over
the contest period. "Tracking rovers during the contest is almost as
much fun as the contest itself," he said.

The ARRL June VHF QSO Party runs from 1800 UTC Saturday, June 14-0300
UTC Monday, June 16. Be sure to use those extra bands on your
transceiver and get in on the fun you've been missing on 6 meters and
up! For more information on this contest, please be sure to check out
the Contest Rules
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2008/june-vhf.html>. 

==> FIRST ARRL BOOK PUBLISHED IN CHINA 

The first of several ARRL books has been translated and published by
Posts and Telecommunications Press (PTPress) of Beijing, People's
Republic of China. "Getting Started with Ham Radio" by QST Editor Steve
Ford, WB8IMY, will be available for purchase in China next month. Other
ARRL books to be translated and published in the PRC include "The ARRL
Handbook," "ARRL Antenna Book," "Experimental Methods in RF Design,"
"Understanding Basic Electronics" and "Ham Radio on the Move."

Posts and Telecommunications Press is one of the largest Chinese print
and electronic media publishers. It is a specialized publishing house
operating under the management of the Ministry of Information Industry.
At present, PTPress annually publishes 3600 book titles in 10 categories
such as communications, computers, electronics and electrical
engineering technology.

"Getting Started with Ham Radio" was translated and adapted for its
Chinese audience by Zhang Hong, BG1FPX.

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Tad "My Sun sets to raise again" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: This
week we saw only one sunspot, number 997, and only on Memorial Day, May
26. Alas, this was another sunspot left over from fading Solar Cycle 23
and its appearance was very brief. One day it weakly emerged, it quickly
faded from view. The previous five days were spotless; spots appeared on
the five days prior to that, and previous to those spotted days were 10
days of no spots. Sunspot numbers for May 22-28 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 12, 0
and 0 with a mean of 1.7. The 10.7 cm flux was 69.3, 67.8, 68.5, 68.3,
68, 67.9 and 67.8 with a mean of 68.2. Estimated planetary A indices
were 9, 10, 7, 6, 4, 3 and 12 with a mean of 7.3. Estimated mid-latitude
A indices were 7, 7, 4, 7, 3, 2 and 10, with a mean of 5.7. 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 is Kids Roundup on May 31-June
1 and the RSGB 80 Meter Club Championship (Data) is June 2. Next
weekend, the NCCC Sprint Ladder and the Digital Pentathlon are both June
6, and the Wake-Up! QRP Sprint is on June 7. On June 7-8, look for the
DigiFest, the SEANET Contest, the UKSMG Summer Contest, RSGB National
Field Day, IARU Region 1 Field Day (CW) and the Alabama QSO Party. The
SKCC Weekend Sprintathon is June 8. The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint
and the RSGB 80 Meters Club Championship (CW) are both June 11. All
dates, unless otherwise stated, are UTC. 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, June 8, 2008, for these online course sessions
beginning on Friday, June 20, 2008: 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). Each online course has been developed in
segments -- learning units with objectives, informative text, student
activities and quizzes. Courses are interactive, and some include direct
communications with a Mentor/Instructor. Students register for a
particular session that may be 8, 12 or 16 weeks (depending on the
course) and they may access the course at any time of day during the
course period, completing lessons and activities at times convenient for
their personal schedule. Mentors assist students by answering questions,
reviewing assignments and activities, as well as providing helpful
feedback. Interaction with mentors is conducted through e-mail; there is
no appointed time the student must be present -- allowing complete
flexibility for the student to work when and where it is convenient. 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>;.

* IARU Officials Meet in Newington: IARU President Larry Price, W4RA;
Vice President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, and Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ, with
assistance from ARRL Chief Technology Officer Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, met in
Newington this week. "We are preparing documentation to be discussed at
the annual Administrative Council meeting, which will be held in Germany
shortly before the Friedrichshafen Ham Radio exhibition in late June,"
said Sumner. ARRL staff members also took the chance to say goodbye to
Rinaldo who is retiring after 25 years on the ARRL staff. "I look back
on the great association over the past 25 years - in fact, earlier than
that as a volunteer - and I hope to still be around," Rinaldo said. "I'm
going to stay involved with the IARU and go to some meetings in Geneva
this October." 

* New Name, Look for ARRL Contest E-Letter: The ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
is getting a new look and name this week. Now known as the "ARRL Contest
Update -- News and Techniques for the Active Operator," the biweekly
e-letter geared toward contesters will be sent out in a combined HTML
and text-only format (readers who prefer text-only will still be able to
read it that way using most e-mail clients). The HTML format will
present a more attractive newsletter that is easier to read, and photos
and graphics will also be included for the first time. According to
Contest Update Editor H. Ward Silver, N0AX, "We're going to start slow
with a limited amount of HTML snazziness and a few photos. Please bear
with us during the growing pain period and soon the HTML version will
seem like the old friend that the text-only version has become." To
subscribe to the ARRL Contest Update, please visit the ARRL Contest
Update Web page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/update/about.html#get>. 

* National Hurricane Center's WX4NHC Sets On-The-Air Station Test: The
annual WX4NHC <http://www.wx4nhc.org/> On-the-Air Station Test from the
National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami takes place Saturday, May 31,
1300-2100 UTC. "The purpose of this annual Station Test is to test all
of our radio equipment, computers and antennas using as many modes and
frequencies as possible. This is not a contest or simulated hurricane
exercise. New equipment and software will be tested, and some operator
training will also be conducted," says WX4NHC Assistant Amateur Radio
Volunteer Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R. He adds that WX4NHC also will
be testing new computers and software as well conducting operator
training. WX4NHC will be on the air on HF, VHF and UHF, plus 2 and 30
meter APRS. Suggested SSB frequencies are 3.950, 7.268, 14.325, 21.325
and 28.525 MHz, +/-QRM; WX4NHC reports that they will mostly be on
14.325 MHz and will make announcements when they change frequencies.
WX4NHC also will be on the VoIP Hurricane Net 1700-1900 UTC (IRLP node
9219/EchoLink WX-TALK Conference) and on South Florida area VHF/UHF
repeaters and simplex. Stations working WX4NHC exchange call sign,
signal report, location and name plus a brief weather report, such as
"sunny," "rain" or "cloudy." Non-hams may submit their actual weather
using the On-Line Hurricane Report Form. QSL to WD4R and include a
self-addressed, stamped envelope. Do not send cards to the NHC. Due to
security measures, no visitors will be allowed at NHC during the test.

* US Power Squadron to Hold Special Event at W1AW: Members of the United
States Power Squadrons Amateur Radio Club will operate celebrate the
National Safe Boating Council's Safe Boating Week with a Special Event
at, W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station June 7 and 8, 8 AM-8 PM
(EDT) on both days. USPS operated from the station in 2006 and say they
enthusiastically anticipate this return to Amateur Radio's flagship
station. USPS plans on operating on or near W1AW's regular frequencies:
CW -- 1817.5, 3581.5, 7047.5, 14047.5, 18097.5, 21067.5 and 28067.5 kHz;
SSB - 1855, 3990, 7290, 14290, 18160, 21390 and 28590 kHz. A special QSL
card is in the works and can be received by mailing a self-addressed,
stamped envelope to W1AW.

* New Russian Satellite in Orbit: A Russian rocket launched from
Plesetsk on May 23 carried a number of payloads to orbit, including a
new Amateur Radio satellite named Yubileiny -- Russian for jubilee --
since christened Radio Sputnik 30 (RS-30). Operational details are vague
at this time. Amateurs throughout the world report receiving signals at
435.315 and 435.215 MHz; some report reception of CW telemetry while
others report what appear to be image transmissions from the satellite.
RS-30 is orbiting at a maximum altitude of 1500 km, creating a
substantial communications footprint below. The satellite will broadcast
audio and video about the history of the Soviet and Russian space
programs, as well as signals imitating those broadcast by Sputnik I in
1957. According to the satellite's launch team, "The motive for
development of the Yubileiny small spacecraft was the 50th anniversary
of the first space satellite. With the help of that satellite, the new
space systems and equipment are expected to get flight qualification,
and radio-amateurs all over the world will be able to receive
information on the history of space development and domestic
cosmonautics achievements." 

=========================================================== 
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.) 

Copyright 2008 American Radio Relay League, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

 

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, ...