ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 27, No. 49
December 12, 2008
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* + Congressional Committee Members Release Report Lambasting FCC
Chairman Kevin Martin 
* + ARRL 10 Meter Contest Means HF Fun for Technicians, Too! 
* + "The Doctor Is IN" the ARRL Letter 
* + FCC Calls on Amateur Radio Service for Assistance with Digital TV
Conversion
* + FlexRadio Donates Software Defined Radio to W1AW 
  + ARRL Thanks Donors with Publication Gift Certificates 
* + ARRL Membership Newsletters, Bulletins and Notifications 
*  Solar Update 
*  IN BRIEF: 
      This Week on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + ARRL Headquarters Closed for Christmas, New Year's Holidays 
      Former Wisconsin Section Manager Roy Pedersen, K9FHI (SK) 
      Former Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager Allen Breiner Sr, W3TI
(SK) 

+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>;
===========================================================

==> CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS RELEASE REPORT LAMBASTING FCC
CHAIRMAN KEVIN MARTIN 

On Tuesday, December 9, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce --
the congressional committee that oversees the Federal Communications
Commission -- released its majority staff report "on the bipartisan
investigation of the FCC's regulatory processes and management
practices." The report -- "Deception and Distrust: The Federal
Communications Commission under Chairman Kevin J. Martin" -- stated that
the investigation was prompted "by allegations to the effect that [FCC]
Chairman Kevin J. Martin has abused FCC procedures by manipulating or
suppressing reports, data and information"
<http://www.arrl.org/news/files/FCC_Report120908.pdf>. 

"Our investigation confirmed a number of troubling allegations raised by
individuals in and outside the FCC," said Representative Bart Stupak
(D-MI), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
"The Committee staff report details some of the most egregious abuses of
power, suppression of information and manipulation of data under
Chairman Martin's leadership. It is my hope that this report will serve
as a roadmap for a fair, open and efficient FCC under new leadership in
the next administration."

Representative John D. Dingell (D-MI), Chairman of the Committee on
Energy and Commerce echoed Stupak's concerns: "Any of these findings,
individually, are cause for concern. Together, the findings suggest
that, in recent years, the FCC has operated in a dysfunctional manner
and Commission business has suffered as a result. It is my hope that the
new FCC Chairman will find this report instructive and that it will
prove useful in helping the Commission avoid making the same mistakes."

The report said that "in an investigation of this nature," the Committee
would usually hold hearings "to receive testimony from witnesses and to
further examine the issues." But due to what the Committee called "the
climate of fear that currently pervades the FCC," the report said the
Committee found that key witnesses "were unwilling to testify or even
have their names become known." For that reason, they issued a report in
place of a hearing "to protect the many honest people who came forward
under a promise of protection or anonymity." Chairman Martin was invited
to meet with the Committee to discuss matters addressed by the
investigation, but the report said he "ignored [the Committee's]
invitation," as did his Chief of Staff Daniel Gonzalez and Chief of
Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Derek Poarch.

In its 110-page report, the Committee described 12 allegations, ranging
from retaliation against FCC employees who differed with the Chairman's
policies to enhanced 911 wireless services to broadband over power lines
(BPL). To go along with the 12 allegations, 22 exhibits were attached to
the report, such as internal e-mails, e-mails from FCC commissioners to
their staff, statements made by FCC commissioners and letters to and
from commissioners (including Chairman Martin). Not all 12 allegations
were substantiated by the Committee.

* Broadband over Power Lines

Concerning BPL, the report alleges that FCC officials "ignored
complaints of radio frequency interference caused by BPL high-speed
Internet technology, delayed an enforcement investigation for two years
and improperly withheld engineering data regarding BPL from the public."

The report found that in October 2004, as then-Chairman Michael Powell
issued his final rule "defining BPL access and setting technical and
administrative requirements to protect licensed radio operators from
harmful interference," the FCC "withheld from the public certain
engineering reports on which it relied in promulgating the rule" from
the final rule and order.

Even though the BPL rules were adopted during Powell's tenure, the
report found that "it was under Chairman Martin that the Enforcement
Bureau and the General Counsel continued to withhold the redacted
engineering reports and insisted on doing so in the course of the
ensuing litigation [with the ARRL]"
<http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/04/25/10064/>. 

The report goes on to say that on April 25, 2008, the US Court of
Appeals for the DC Circuit found that the FCC, in the case filed by the
ARRL, "violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it played 'hide
and seek' with engineering data used in its support of the order and
'cherry-picked' a study on which it had relied"
<http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/common/opinions/200804/06-1343-1112979.p
df>. 

"The fact that the FCC withheld the required engineering reports in this
matter," the report concluded, "indicates poor judgment and an attempt
to hide critical weaknesses in its decision. Ironically, the FCC's
attempts to hide this information only served to provoke suspicion and
its handmaiden, litigation. This case [filed by the ARRL] illustrates
the extent to which a culture of secrecy has developed at the FCC that
is as counterproductive as it is unnecessary." The report states that
this "particular situation" has been corrected by the courts and
technological issues arising from BPL have been "rendered largely moot
over time due to improvements" in BPL technology.

"It is distressing, but unfortunately not surprising," said ARRL Chief
Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, "to read that the FCC's
mishandling of the BPL issue was simply a part of a broad pattern of
dysfunction at the Commission. This is a relatively recent development
and is unprecedented in the ARRL's long experience with the FCC -- an
association that dates back to the very creation of the agency, 20 years
after the founding of the ARRL. While the marketplace failure of BPL and
the steps taken voluntarily by the few companies that have deployed BPL
systems have combined to minimize interference, the regulatory issue is
by no means moot. The rules remain inadequate."

Sumner continued: "More than seven months after the Court remand, the
FCC has done nothing to correct its errors, nor has it complied with the
very specific instructions from the United States Court of Appeals.
These instructions included the disclosure of the studies that it
intentionally withheld from the public, but upon which it relied in
adopting its rules. Indeed, the only step the Commission has taken since
the Court's remand order is to mount an unsuccessful effort to oppose
our claim for reimbursement of the printing costs for the briefs in the
case -- a small fraction of the expenses incurred by the ARRL in our
appeal -- expenses that would not have been necessary had the Commission
followed the law in the first place" <http://www.arrl.org/?artid=8338>. 

* Other Findings by the Committee

The report also showed instances of where Chairman Martin "manipulated,
withheld or suppressed data, reports and information," and said Martin's
"manipulation [of another report] may have damaged the credibility of
the Commission, and certainly undermined the integrity of the staff.
Moreover, it was done with the purpose of affecting the congressional
decision-making, in that it was issued as a report to Congress."

Saying that FCC matters have not been handled in an "open or transparent
manner," the report said the FCC "rais[ed] suspicions both inside and
outside the Commission that some parties and issues are not being
treated fairly." The report stated that the Committee's impressions were
"confirmed" when it discovered that Chairman Martin made a "preemptory
reversal" of [a report's] conclusions and that Martin did not seek
"further public comment or conduct further studies" thus giving the
impression "that the issue was not handled fairly or openly."

The report also found that Chairman Martin's "heavy-handed, opaque and
non-collegial management style has created distrust, suspicion and
turmoil among the five current Commissioners." The report states that
Martin does not afford his fellow Commissioners "direct and unfettered
access to the Commission staff and their expert advice, thereby
hindering the ability of other Commissioners to carry out the duties of
their offices and the work of the Commission."

The report also found that Commission staff have not been "effectively
managed." When Martin first became Chairman, he "imposed a major
reshuffling of FCC staff throughout the agency." While the report said
that a "certain amount of reorganization is not unprecedented" when a
new Chairman begins his term, the reorganization "was highly unusual in
both its breadth (nearly every senior position at the agency changed
hands) and its depth (even a number on non-management line staffers
found themselves inexplicably reassigned)." Calling it a "waste of
resources, the report pointed out that senior employees with "extensive
experience and expertise" were reassigned to junior-level positions; as
a result, "it appears that some important Commission proceedings were
delayed."

* Committee Methodology

Over the course of its investigation, the Committee staff reviewed
"several hundred thousand documents, including 95 boxes of paper
documents; conducted 73 interviews of current and former FCC employees
and individuals associated with the telecommunications industry;
solicited and received e-mails from FCC employees and contractors at a
secure e-mail address established for this purpose, and reviewed dozens
of allegations." The report pointed out that since the investigation,
Chairman Martin has taken "some small steps" to address some of the
problems outlined in the report.

The Committee also emphasized that not everything they found is included
in its report: "A few allegations were received so recently that they
have not been investigated and are not included [in the report]. We have
also excluded matters that seemed trivial per se. Still, other
allegations have not been adequately investigated because the FCC has
not yet produced all of the records requested by the Committee."

==> ARRL 10 METER CONTEST MEANS HF FUN FOR TECHNICIANS, TOO! 

This weekend brings an opportunity for Technician licensees to exercise
their HF privileges and have fun at the same time. The ARRL 10 Meter
Contest is set to begin at 0000 UTC on Saturday December 13 (this is
Friday evening in the US) and runs through 2359 UTC on Sunday, December
14 <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2008/10-meters.html>. 

"Anyone having tuned across 10 meters lately might think the band is
uninhabited," said ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, "but
on Friday afternoon, activity will increase dramatically. We're at the
bottom of the solar sunspot cycle, so the worldwide band openings of a
few years ago won't be happening, but the 10 Meter Contest brings
hundreds -- or more! -- of stations to the band."

Kutzko said that the contest "concentrates the activity, so all sorts of
interesting contacts take place via local line-of-sight, sporadic-E and
all kinds of scatter modes -- even meteor scatter!"

If you would like to try your hand at HF operating, Kutzko recommends a
radio that can operate SSB (and CW, if you know Morse code) from 28.000
to about 28.500 MHz, as that's where most of the contest activity takes
place; SSB activity will be between 28.300-28.500 MHz (listen to beacon
stations located between 28.200-28.300 MHz to check for band openings).

If you need an antenna for 10 meters, ARRL Contributing Editor H. Ward
Silver, N0AX, suggests using a full-size CB mobile whip trimmed to about
98 inches in length, but a dipole is also easy to make, he explains:
"Cut two pieces of wire (any size from #12 to #20) to a length of 98
inches and strip the end of a piece of RG-8X or RG-213 coax. Solder the
shield braid to one length of wire and the center conductor to the
other. Stretch out the wires and attach each free end to an insulator,
such as a piece of PVC pipe or Plexiglass. You've just made a dipole!"
You should then attach some thin cord or rope to the opposite side of
each insulator and then hoist the dipole up in the air between a couple
of trees or whatever supports you have -- it doesn't have to be very
high. Check out this article on how to make dipoles on the ARRL Web
site.

Once you tune into the contest, Kutzko said, you'll hear stations
calling "CQ Contest" and giving their call sign. Another station will
call them and they'll transmit a short message called the exchange. US
and Canadian amateurs give a signal report (just "59" will do fine) and
their state. If you hear a DX station, likely to be from South America
or the Pacific -- they'll give the signal report and the sequential
serial number (starting with 001) of the QSO in this contest (if you are
their 187th QSO, you will receive "187" as part of their exchange to
you). For example, if K7CEX hears W5KFT, the sequence might go like
this:

CQ Contest from W5KFT
W5KFT from K7CEX
K7CEX you are 59 in Texas
W5KFT from K7CEX you are 59 in Washington
Thanks, CQ Contest from W5KFT

"Your best chances of making a contact are during the middle daylight
hours of Saturday and Sunday, due to propagation considerations," Kutzko
advises. "But I do have to warn you -- this simple contest can keep you
busy for hours as you chase new states and even different countries!
There is no need to sit on the sidelines for this fun event -- get on
the air and enjoy your Technician license to the fullest!"

==> "THE DOCTOR IS IN" THE ARRL LETTER 

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:

Dave Wright, KB9MNM, of Montgomery, Illinois, asks: I would like to try
CW using my PC. I have an all mode 2 meter radio with VOX (voice
operated transmit switching) How would I wire this up to the sound card
of a computer? Can I use the same configuration for low power radio
projects, such as the Tuna-Tin 2 transmitter or the SoftRock receiver,
or will I need a special interface device?

The Doctor Answers -- The radio-to-sound card interconnect requires two
audio connections: A pair out of the radio (speaker or line out) to the
sound card mic (or line in), and a pair from the sound card speaker or
line out to the radio mic in, (or line in if it has one).

In both cases, the line level connections are preferred (if they are
available) because they don't change in level every time you adjust your
volume control. If you get tired of listening to the data tones, you can
turn down your speaker volume and still have enough signal from your
line out to drive the sound card.

In addition, you need to have a way of switching the radio from receive
to transmit. That can be using the VOX (but be careful of strange
computer voices (You've Got Mail!) that can also go out over the air. In
the absence of VOX, you could even use a manual switch on your push to
talk (PTT) line, but that would get cumbersome.

A sound card interface provides transformer isolation on the mic line,
to help avoid hum pickup. Most importantly, it picks up the transmit
command from the PC serial port and switches the radio PTT line for you,
so you don't need to use the radio VOX function. Some allow you to
switch between mic and sound card, and also provide a separate gain
control, so you don't have to change everything every time you go back
to voice mode.

So you can start out with the simple connections, but if you use it a
lot, you will likely want an interface eventually. All of the above
applies to your 2 meter set, as well as most HF radios.

The tuna tin I'm thinking of is just a CW transmitter and thus doesn't
do sounds at all, so you're kind of stuck. The soft rock is a receiver,
so you can use a single cable from the receiver audio output to your
sound card input and monitor what's going on while you have a chance to
get used to the software choices. I recommend starting there, in any
case.

Do you have a question or a problem? Send your questions via e-mail
<doctor@arrl.org>; or to "The Doctor," ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT
06111 (no phone calls, please). Look for "The Doctor Is IN" every month
in QST, the official journal of the ARRL.

==> FCC CALLS ON AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE FOR ASSISTANCE WITH DIGITAL TV
CONVERSION

Earlier this month, the ARRL received a request from the FCC asking that
ARRL members provide technical educational assistance to their
communities concerning the FCC-mandated digital television (DTV)
conversion scheduled for February 17, 2009 <http://www.dtv.gov/>. 

According to ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP,
Amateur Radio clubs across the country are being asked to develop and
implement plans to provide information throughout January and February
about the DTV conversion in their areas. The FCC is leaving it up to the
clubs to decide how to do this, as local groups understand the
communities in ways that the FCC does not. Each community is a little
different, Pitts said, so plans carried out by the clubs will vary from
community to community. Interested groups should contact their ARRL
Section Manager.

Pitts stressed that hams should not make "house calls," sell any
equipment or do actual installations; the request is only to distribute
technical information and FCC materials. He commented: "As we all know,
some folks just never get the message until too late. Materials for
presentations, education and many other activities are available online
<http://www.dtv.gov/outreach.html>. Beginning early January, FCC staff
will contact Section Managers and leaders of interested clubs and, where
possible, arrange to meet to share even more information, audio, visual
and printed materials, as well as training aids, with the clubs involved
this effort. We know the time is short, but your aid in this now will be
appreciated."

In early January, Pitts said that the FCC will ask Section Managers for
the names and contact information of the volunteering groups. The FCC
staff will then make contact with the groups, learn their plans and
provide them with the media, brochures or other materials groups may
need in this effort. FCC regional staff members may even come and visit
with larger groups to aid in implementation of the group's plans.

"I really appreciate the willingness of the ARRL to actively participate
in helping Americans with the transition to DTV and your helpful
suggestions," said George Dillon, FCC Deputy Bureau Chief for Field
Operations. "The DTV transition will be an historic moment in the
evolution of TV. Broadcast television stations can offer viewers
improved picture and sound quality and new programming choices.
All-digital broadcasting also will allow us to significantly improve
public safety communications and will usher in a new era of advanced
wireless services such as the widespread deployment of wireless
broadband. Our goal is to engage the amateur community on a cooperative
basis to help with the DTV outreach and to educate consumers."

Dillon continued that local Amateur Radio clubs might consider offering
technical advice to consumers via telephone to those consumers who may
encounter difficulty with the installation and setting up of their
converter box. "Any assistance...will greatly help in the efforts of the
FCC to ensure a smooth transition to DTV on February 17, 2009."

Pitts advises interested groups to keep in mind that they are to provide
technical educational help only: "At no time should the hams enter
someone else's home or install equipment. They should not broker or sell
conversion boxes in any way. Clubs can provide such things as a call-in
telephone number for technical help, make presentations at meetings, do
demonstrations at malls or give talks to other groups -- whatever works
in their community."

==> FLEXRADIO DONATES SOFTWARE DEFINED RADIO TO W1AW 

Thanks to the generosity of the crew at FlexRadio Systems
<http://www.flex-radio.com/>, W1AW, the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial
Station, now boasts a software-defined radio (SDR) -- a FLEX 5000A
<http://www.flex-radio.com/Products.aspx?topic=F5Ka_details>. FlexRadio
Vice President John Basilotto, W5GI, visited ARRL Headquarters on
December 8 to present the radio.

"We are delighted that FlexRadio's generosity makes it possible for
visitors to W1AW to experience the exciting direction in which SDR
technology is taking radio communication," said ARRL Chief Executive
Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. The radio, located in one of the three W1AW
operating suites, will be available for guests to use when they visit
W1AW.

According to Basilotto, the 5000A at W1AW is the first prototype (or
beta unit) of the radio. Although the hardware in current production
units is nearly the same as the first unit, Basilotto said that the beta
5000 is "a much better performer because of a continued stream of
software updates."

W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, said he is excited to receive
this new piece of equipment: "I really want to thank John and all the
folks at FlexRadio for donating this nifty rig to W1AW. I know those
hams who make the trek here to Newington will be lining up to use this
new radio, especially when they can see what it is capable of doing. It
will definitely be used a lot and I know our visitors will enjoy using
the latest in ham radio technology."

Basilotto said that in recognition of what he called the ARRL's
"considerable influence on Amateur Radio," FlexRadio Systems felt that
W1AW should be equipped with the latest in software defined radio
technology. "We believe that the FLEX 5000A will provide an enjoyable
experience for the ARRL staff and guest operators for many years to
come," he said.

==> ARRL THANKS DONORS WITH PUBLICATION GIFT CERTIFICATES 

It's that time of year when we remember those people and organizations
that are important to us all year long. "The generosity of members who
support the ARRL with contributions to fund programs not covered by
member dues are vital to the financial strength of the ARRL," said ARRL
Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. "Thank you if you've made
a recent contribution. If you've already made a contribution in 2008, I
hope you'll consider making an additional gift before December 31."

"When you make a contribution of $25 or more to any ARRL fund before
December 31, we will express our thanks and appreciation with a $10 ARRL
Gift Certificate* that you can apply toward your next publication sales
purchase," Hobart said. She noted that in these final weeks of 2008, a
contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more will have a significant impact on
the ARRL. 

Place your contribution on our secure Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/donation>, by mail or phone at 860-594-0397, and
we'll send your $10 ARRL Gift Certificate right away; you can also click
on the "Donate Today" button, located on the ARRL home page
<http://www.arrl.org/>. However you choose to make your donation, you
can designate your contribution to be allocated to any of the following
ARRL funds: 
* The ARRL Diamond Club <http://www.arrl.org/diamondclub> 
* The Spectrum Defense Fund 
* The Education and Technology Fund 
* The Lab Fund 
* The Historic Preservation Fund 
* The ARRL General Fund 

If you have any questions or require more information, please contact
Hobart via e-mail <k1mmh@arrl.org>; or by phone at 860-594-0397.

* About ARRL Gift Certificates: After making your contribution of $25 or
more, your $10 ARRL Gift Certificate will be promptly mailed to you.
Certificates must be redeemed by April 30, 2009. It is easy to redeem
your certificate online, by mail or phone! This offer is valid on all
sale and regular-priced ARRL publications.

==> ARRL MEMBERSHIP NEWSLETTERS, BULLETINS AND NOTIFICATIONS 

Did you know the ARRL offers more newsletters than just The ARRL Letter?
One of the many ARRL membership benefits includes other newsletters,
such as the ARRL Contest Update (a bi-weekly contest newsletter), the
ARES E-Letter (sent monthly, containing public service and emergency
communications news), the ARRL Club News, the ARRL Instructor/Teacher
E-Letter and the VE Newsletter, just to name a few. 

You can also elect to receive news and information from your Division
Director and Section Manager (keep in mind that not all
Divisions/Sections send notices), as well as W1AW bulletins that relate
to DX, propagation, satellites and Keplerian reports. The ARRL also
offers a free notification service to members, letting them know when
their membership and license are due to expire. 

Sign up for these newsletters, bulletins and notifications on the Member
Data page of the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/members-only/memdata.html>.

==>SOLAR UPDATE 

Tad "The Sun to me is dark and silent as the moon" Cook, K7RA, this week
reports: Finally! A sunspot group appeared this week, about three weeks
since the last group disappeared. The first spotless day after sunspot
group 1008's last appearance was Tuesday, November 18; the last spotless
day before group 1009 emerged was Tuesday, December 9. As expected, this
was another Solar Cycle 24 group, emerging far south of our Sun's
equator. Sunspot numbers for December 4-10 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 13
with a mean of 1.9. The 10.7 cm flux was 69.6, 68.8, 69.1, 69, 68.5,
68.7 and 70.8 with a mean of 69.2. The estimated planetary A indices
were 6, 10, 7, 6, 5, 0 and 2 with a mean of 5.1. The estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 4, 7, 14, 6, 1, 1 and 2 with a mean of 5.
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/>. This week's "Tad Cookism" brought
to you by John Milton's "Samson Agonistes"
<http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/samson/drama/index.shtml>
. 

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This Week on the Radio: This week, the ARRL 10 Meter Contest on
December 13-14. The NA High Speed Meteor Scatter Winter Rally is
December 11-15. The MDXA PSK DeathMatch is December 13-14 and the SKCC
Weekend Sprintathon is December 14. Next week, the AGB-Party Contest and
the Russian 160 Meter Contest are on December 19. The OK DX RTTY Contest
and the Feld Hell Sprint are December 20. On December 20-21, look for
the International Naval Contest and the Croatian CW Contest to be on the
air. The Lighthouse Christmas Lights QSO Party starts December 20 and
goes through January 4. The ARCI Holiday Spirits Homebrew Sprint is
December 21, the Run for the Bacon QRP Contest is December 22 and the
SKCC Sprint is December 24. All dates, unless otherwise stated, are UTC.
See the ARRL Contest Branch page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/>, the
ARRL Contest Update <http://www.arrl.org/contests/update/> and the
WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/index.html> for more info. Looking
for a Special Event station? Be sure to check out the ARRL Special Event
Station Web page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/spev.html>. 

* ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration: Registration remains
open through Sunday, December 21, 2008, for these online course sessions
beginning on Friday, January 2, 2009: Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Level 1, Radio Frequency Interference, Antenna Design and
Construction, Technician License Course, Analog Electronics and Digital
Electronics. 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/cep/student> or contact the Continuing Education
Program Coordinator <cep@arrl.org>;.

* ARRL Headquarters Closed for Christmas, New Year's Holidays: ARRL
Headquarters will be closed Thursday, December 25 and Thursday, January
1 in observance of Christmas and New Year's Day. There will be no W1AW
bulletins or code practice transmissions those days. There will be no
ARRL Letter or ARRL Audio News on Friday, December 26 or January 2.
Headquarters will be open during regular business hours on Friday,
December 26 and Friday, January 2. We wish everyone a safe and joyful
holiday season and a prosperous 2009. 

* Former Wisconsin Section Manager Roy Pedersen, K9FHI (SK): Former
Wisconsin Section Manager Roy A. Pedersen, K9FHI, passed away on
December 3 from lung cancer. He was 84. Pedersen served as Section
Manager from 1973-1984 and from 1996-1999. First licensed as KN9FHI in
1961, he loved camping and visiting hamfests and swapmeets around
Wisconsin and going to meetings of the Wisconsin Nets Association to
promote Amateur Radio and the ARRL. A QCWA member, Pedersen was active
on many Wisconsin phone nets and served as a Net Control and traffic
handler. He also served as Assistant Emergency Coordinator for the ARES
group in Dodge County, as well as an Official Relay Station, Official
Emergency Station and ARRL Volunteer Examiner. Pedersen is survived by
his wife Beryl, KA9BAC, and sons Gary, KA9BAE, and Michael, N9QMV.  --
Information provided by former Wisconsin Section Manager Richard Regent,
K9GDF

* Former Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager Allen Breiner Sr, W3TI
(SK): Former Section Manager in the ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Section
Allen R. Breiner Sr, W3TI, passed away on November 19, 2008. He was 88.
Breiner was first elected as Section Communications Manager -- as the SM
job used to be known -- in 1959 and held that post for 12 years. He was
elected as SM in 1995 and re-elected in 1998 and 2000, but stepped down
in December 2000. Breiner also served as EPA Public Information Officer
from 1999-2000, Official Observer from 2001-2002 and Official Emergency
Station from 1996-2000. "Allen was very active in Amateur Radio," said
current EPA Section Manager Eric Olena, WB3FPL. "His presence will be
missed by many." Breiner is survived by son Allen R Breiner Jr, W3ZRQ,
daughters, Sylvia Seely and Linda Kunkel, and brother Eugene. 

=========================================================== 
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, ...