*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 27, No. 50 December 19, 2008 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + Restrictive Local Zoning Ordinance Proposed as Court Date in California Antenna Case Nears * + Hams Stand By to Help as New England Recovers from Ice Storm and Prepares for More * + 75th Sweepstakes Mug, Pin Orders Accepted Through January 31, 2009 * + ARISS Finalizes Plans for Silver Anniversary of Amateur Radio from Space * + Frequency Change for Canadian Time Transmission Station CHU * + New Section Manager Appointed in Arkansas * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Week on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + ARRL Headquarters Closed for Christmas, New Year's Holidays + The January/February NCJ Hits the Streets +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> REMINDER: There will be no ARRL Letter or ARRL Audio News on Friday December 26, 2008 or January 2, 2009. Both the Letter and the Audio News will return on Friday, January 9, 2009. =========================================================== ==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/faq.html#nodelivery>, then e-mail <email@example.com> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane, <firstname.lastname@example.org> =========================================================== ==> RESTRICTIVE LOCAL ZONING ORDINANCE PROPOSED AS COURT DATE IN CALIFORNIA ANTENNA CASE NEARS As his February 2009 court date approaches, Alec Zubarau, WB6X, of Palmdale, California, gets ready to battle his town after being ordered to dismantle his previously approved antenna system. The City of Palmdale has widened its opposition to Amateur Radio antennas by proposing an ordinance written to thwart the installation of antenna support structures throughout the city <http://www.arrl.org/news/files/Palmdale_Antenna_Ordinance_DRAFT.pdf>. In 2005, Zubarau applied for a building permit to erect an antenna support structure on his property. The City approved his request, and building permit in hand, Zubarau installed a 22 foot tall crank-up tower (with an ultimate height of 55 feet), but did not place an antenna atop the structure. He also installed a 23 foot tall mast on his house, for a total mast height of 43 feet; he installed an inverted-V on the mast. In January 2007, he placed a 4 element 20 meter SteppIR antenna on the crank-up tower, and the neighbors started complaining to the City. ARRL Southwestern Division Vice Director Marty Woll, N6VI, said that the neighbors' assertions consisted of what he called "the typical complaints: Aesthetic impact, diminution of property values and RF interference. The RFI complaints were general in nature; no direct evidence was shown of actual RFI, but the City's Planning Commission staff took the position that based on anecdotal evidence presented by the homeowners, the transmissions occurring from the antenna are causing interference with electrical equipment in the surrounding neighborhood." Woll said that after Zubarau installed the StepIR in 2007, the City of Palmdale, acting on a petition signed by almost 70 of Zubarau's neighbors, voted to revoke Zubarau's original building permit after he had relied on it in putting up his tower. "In order to gain a continuance, Zubarau told the Planning Commission he would remove the SteppIR, in essence, reverting his antenna configuration back to the way to it was before he installed the antenna" said Len Shaffer, WA6QHD, Zubarau's attorney. "At the next hearing, he was ordered to remove not only the antenna, but the support structure, as well." The City's planning staff also pointed out that Zubarau's recently erected horizontal array extends three feet into the required 10 foot sideyard setback, and that the active array exceeds thirty feet in height beyond the limit in the ordinance. "Because Zubarau's permit referred to the support structure as 'an antenna with cage (the base)' and the Planning Commission called it a tower antenna, everyone assumed it was indeed an antenna," Shaffer recalled. "When I pointed out to the Planning Commission that it was nothing more than a support structure and did not radiate, they were surprised. They asked if the support structure functioned as an antenna without the horizontal element. I told them it did not. Judy Skousen, Palmdale's Assistant City Attorney, told the Commission did not matter -- the permit and application was for a tower antenna and that is what it was. It did not matter if the nomenclature was added by city employees rather than Zubarau." "After exhausting his administrative remedies, Zubarau challenged the action in the courts, aided by Shaffer," Woll said "The court date has been set for early February 2009." Woll continued, saying that the planning staff is placing the burden on Zubarau, saying that he has not submitted a site-specific engineering study showing that the operation or transmission from his house is not interfering with residential uses. The staff also notes that the FCC has failed to resolve RFI complaints in this matter, inferring that the City must act to solve them. * Palmdale Proposes Rewrite of Amateur Radio Antenna Ordinance Shortly after issuing the permit revocation order, ARRL Southwestern Director Dick Norton, N6AA, said that the City of Palmdale began drafting an amended antenna ordinance that placed severe restrictions on all Amateur Radio antennas. "The draft was released just before Thanksgiving, and a hearing was scheduled for December 4," Norton said. "Prior to that hearing and at the request of Vice Director Marty Woll, N6VI -- who attended the Palmdale Planning Commission meeting along with about a dozen local hams and supporters -- ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, wrote a lengthy letter to the City Attorney pointing out numerous flaws in the proposed ordinance and explaining why many of its provisions are void or unenforceable, being pre-empted by federal or state law." In his letter, Imlay explained to the City that it is without authority to resolve RFI complaints; the jurisdiction is solely that of the FCC, as stated in the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. "The Federal Communications Commission has exclusive jurisdiction over radio frequency interference (RFI) matters, and technical matters specifically," he said. Imlay pointed out that the "first specific concern in the draft ordinance is the statement that 'an Amateur Radio antenna, the operation of which causes unreasonable interference with electrical equipment in the surrounding neighborhood, is not compatible with that neighborhood.'" This is "patently false," Imlay said, stating "there is no correlation between the presence of an outdoor Amateur Radio antenna, its height, configuration or placement and radio frequency interference (RFI) to home electronic equipment. As a matter of technical fact, the higher an antenna, the lower the electrical field in the horizontal plane of the home electronic equipment, and the less the likelihood of RFI in that equipment. Furthermore, the 'cause' of RFI is not the power of an Amateur Radio station, or the presence of an antenna, but rather the inability of home electronic equipment to reject unwanted signals. FCC regulations clearly obligate most home electronic equipment to accept any interference from licensed radio services as a condition of the permitted marketing and operation of that equipment." Furthermore, in a Conference Report from the 97th Congress in 1982, Imlay explained that Congressional report "...is further intended to clarify the reservation of exclusive jurisdiction to the Federal Communications Commission over matters involving RFI. Such matters shall not be regulated by local or state law, nor shall radio transmitting apparatus be subject to local or state regulation as part of any effort to resolve an RFI complaint. The Conferees believe that radio transmitter operators should not be subject to fines, forfeitures or other liability imposed by any local or state authority as a result of interference appearing in home electronic equipment or systems. Rather, the Conferees intend that regulation of RFI phenomena shall be imposed only by the Commission." Saying that the Conference Report went on to clarify "that the exclusive jurisdiction over RFI incidents (including preemption of state and local regulation of such phenomena) lies with the FCC," Imlay told the City of Palmdale that "Obviously, state or local regulations based on interference from one radio service to another would directly frustrate the intention and goals of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended." Imlay said that in 1985, the FCC said that the "federal power in the area of radio frequency interference is exclusive; to the extent that any state or local government attempts to regulate in this area, [its] regulations are preempted." Imlay explained that the FCC concluded that the Federal regulatory scheme is so pervasive that it is reasonable to assume that Congress did not intend to permit states to supplement it. According to Shaffer, the City of Palmdale does not think antenna support structures are "compatible" with the town's image: "The Mayor told the Council that while, if a house was built that was not compatible with the neighborhood, they would not bulldoze it to the ground, this is 'just an antenna,' and they can get rid of it if they want to," Shaffer said. * Going to Court Norton said that the ARRL's Amateur Radio Legal Defense and Assistance Committee has voted to contribute $5000 toward the cost of Zubarau's lawsuit against the City of Palmdale. "More than $1500 has already been contributed by clubs and their members from throughout the Southwestern Division, and this contribution from the League-managed Antenna Defense Fund will further help defray the expenses of preparing for the February 2009 court date," Norton said. "Len Shaffer is performing the legal work pro bono, but even just compiling the record to present in court can be costly." ARRL Defense Committee Chair Jay Bellows, K0QB, said that although the case has not yet reached the appellate level, "The egregious nature of Palmdale's actions -- including ordering removal of a previously approved antenna tower -- the potential impact on a large number of amateurs and the existence of substantial local financial support from the ham community were significant factors in the Committee's decision to provide support for this case." Bellows said he has participated in nearly 100 tower and antenna matters, from working with local hams and municipalities on tower ordinances to individual tower issues including litigation at the local and appellate level over the past 20 years. "If I've learned anything," he said, "I learned that a simple, clear explanation of who we are, what we do and why the antenna is needed are essential. Even if those steps are perfectly executed, the local authority (in this case, the City of Palmdale) has to be convinced that: 1. Federal law trumps the local zoning interests either generally or in the particular case; 2. The amateur is going to be politely persistent despite opposition from the locality; 3. The cost to the locality in time and treasure will exceed any political benefit in 'protecting its citizens from the scourge and despoliation of ugly Amateur Radio antennas.' Still, the single most important factor is that the amateur should always be the guy in the 'white hat,' no matter how reprehensible or offensive the actions of the locality or the opposing neighbors." Norton went on to say that Woll has met with Palmdale hams and the management of the Palmdale Public Safety Department, who he described as "supportive of hams." Woll and Keith Hoyt, K6GXO, will meet with Palmdale's Planning Department and Assistant City Attorney in early January. "The proposed ordinance has been the subject of considerable discussion in Amateur Radio circles," Norton said. "Local hams, [as well as] Division and National League representatives are devoting considerable time and effort toward resolving the issue." ==> HAMS STAND BY TO HELP AS NEW ENGLAND RECOVERS FROM ICE STORM AND PREPARES FOR MORE The major ice storm that hit New England December 11 has pretty much gone away <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/12/15/10506/?nc=1>, but with forecasters calling for more winter weather in the next few days, hams are still on the job. During the storm, Amateur Radio operators from all over the area responded to calls for assistance from various served agencies, and local leadership does not expect the need for the hams to lessen anytime soon. According to Eastern Massachusetts Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY, almost 400,000 customers in Massachusetts lost power at the height of the storm. Phone service, particularly landline service, was disrupted in some areas. Crews have been working hard to restore power to residents, Macedo said: "As of late Sunday evening, almost 140,000 were without power in Massachusetts with over double that number in New Hampshire. On Wednesday, the number of homes without power had dropped to 45,000-50,000 in both states." Southern New England received 2-4 inches of rainfall; isolated higher amounts caused river, stream and urban flooding. Strong winds in the region resulted in tree and wire damage, as well as coastal flooding along the shoreline. In Western Massachusetts, Section Emergency Coordinator John Ruggerio, N2YHK, reported that ARES units in his Section responded to calls for assistance from local EOCs. "EOC operations in Worcester were secured on Monday evening, as the shelters were closed and power was restored to most areas at that time," Ruggerio said. "Amateur Radio operators from the North and South Shore of Eastern Massachusetts assisted with operations in Western Massachusetts, fulfilling needs from Saturday night into Monday morning," Ruggerio recounted. "ARES units in the Western Massachusetts Section provided support during the day on Monday for the town of Gardner in Franklin County. An additional team from Eastern Massachusetts -- including one ham from the Rhode Island/Massachusetts border -- came in on Monday evening. That team helped out in Gardner until 12:30 Tuesday afternoon when the shelters and communications for the local hospital were no longer required, as power was restored to much of the area." Ruggerio said that the local hospital in Gardner lost phone service for much of the day starting Monday morning. "They got service back later that evening, but until then, Amateur Radio was the only means of two-way communications between the hospital and EOC." Message traffic on prescription fills and other priority, but non-emergency traffic, were fulfilled during that timeframe, he said. "The Gardner operation was the largest Amateur Radio Emergency Services Mutual Aid Team (ARESMAT) that Eastern Massachusetts ARES has supplied since the September 11 terrorist attacks," Macedo said. "Including the one amateur provided for the Worcester EOC, a total of 16 hams assisted for all the ARESMAT needs in Western Massachusetts." Macedo said the ARES unit in Franklin County completed its support in the town of Heath on early Monday Morning: "Many of the Franklin County ARES team also assisted with Gardner, providing an additional seven hams to the operation. More than 200 man-hours were logged just in the Gardner ARESMAT alone -- this does not include State Emergency Operations Center operations or the National Weather Service response phase operations." Support for the Massachusetts State Emergency Operations Center also continues, Macedo said. "Massachusetts State RACES Radio Officer Tom Kinahan, N1CPE, told us that support was required at least through Wednesday evening for the aftermath of the storm. We will continue to provide support for as long as requested to support the State EOC." Eastern Massachusetts ARES supplied three Amateur Radio operators to support the state EOC during the storm. Throughout the storm, Section leadership from across the region met in twice-daily conference calls with ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD. In a call on Tuesday, New Hampshire Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator David Colter, WA1ZCN, told Dura he had just got his power back early that morning. "I spoke to the ECs for Hillsborough and West Rockingham Counties last night," Colter said, "and they continue to staff two shelters and EOCs. Apparently, neither site has an available landline. There is cell service in the area, but it's spotty. The Milford animal shelter folks have been using ham radio for coordination in a limited way for several days as they retrieve chilly animals. The temporary animal shelter is co-located at the Milford people shelter." According to American Red Cross Communications Volunteer Tom Carrigan, NE1R, the Disaster Operations Center (DOC) at the Central Massachusetts Chapter of the American Red Cross is a "beehive of activity trying to cover all the demands for services from the many towns still operating shelters and for mobile feeding operations throughout the affected area. We are still sending cots and blankets, as well as water, heater meals and snacks to New Braintree, and other towns. Nearly every Worcester County town north of Worcester and west of the Wachusett Reservoir has received services from the ARC. Mobile feeding has continued in Worcester, Paxton, Rutland, Gardner, Leominster and many other communities where utility workers and public safety workers have been working long hours outdoors. Several shelters have been supported by Red Cross volunteers during the over-nights, as well as days, and Red Cross volunteers from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have joined the effort." Carrigan said that as "thousands of people remain without electric power as the weather turns colder and messier, we expect that some who have been toughing it out at home may give in and come to a shelter." Macedo noted that the bad weather is just beginning for New England, as the active storm pattern shows no signs of abating: "Another major winter storm is expected on Friday that could dump a significant amount of snowfall on the region. Another major storm is also possible Sunday night into Monday. We have been advised that the State EOC could be back in operation on Friday and we are preparing staffing for those needs. We will leave ARES on standby status through Monday, pending the impact of these storms on our region, as well as the weakened infrastructure that remains from the impact of the ice storm." ==> 75TH SWEEPSTAKES MUG, PIN ORDERS ACCEPTED THROUGH JANUARY 31, 2009 The dust has settled from the 2008 ARRL November Sweepstakes and the log submission deadline has passed. How did you do? If you submitted a log with more than 100 QSOs, you qualify for a Sweepstakes Participation pin! If you submitted a log with a Clean Sweep -- working all 80 ARRL/RAC sections -- you qualify for a Clean Sweep coffee mug! According to ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, pins and mugs have a long-standing tradition as trophies in the November Sweepstakes. "This year's participation pin will feature the colorful 75th year logo," he said. "They are stamped with either CW or SSB, so be sure to tell us what mode you want in your order. The Clean Sweep mugs this year are quite special indeed; for the 75th running, this year's mugs are fine etched glass and will really stand out on your shelf or operating desk. We won't be offering etched glass mugs again anytime soon, so these are truly collector's items." If you would like to order a Sweepstakes pin or mug, you can either send a copy of your Sweepstakes summary sheet (if you filed a paper log) or a copy of the first page of your Cabrillo file (if you submitted an electronic log via e-mail) with your check for the correct amount by January 31, 2009. You can also call Kutzko at 860-594-0232 and he can take your credit card information over the phone. Sweepstakes Participation pins are $6; Clean Sweep mugs this year are $16. All costs include shipping charges. Kutzko advises that these items are not in stock. "We will make our order to our supplier once we know how many requests we have," he explained. "Mugs and pins will likely be shipped in late March. The 75th running of the November Sweepstakes was a great event, with lots of participation and fun! Be sure to commemorate your effort with a pin or mug this year. All orders for Sweepstakes mugs and pins must be received by January 31, 2009." ==> ARISS FINALIZES PLANS FOR SILVER ANNIVERSARY OF AMATEUR RADIO FROM SPACE The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) <http://www.rac.ca/ariss/oindex.htm> team is currently celebrating the silver anniversary -- 25 years -- of Amateur Radio operations from space. According to ARISS International Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, the crew on the International Space Station (ISS) has configured the radio to support cross-band repeater operations. They have also supported some SSTV downlinks and participated in a special test of 9600 baud packet radio operations on the simplex frequency of 145.825 MHz. After December 19, Bauer said he expects the ISS ham radio system to be on the 145.825 MHz frequency supporting 1200 baud packet. If PCSAT is configured during the week, he said double hop APRS is possible. "During the week of December 21-26, we plan to support the cross-band repeater mode with a twist," Bauer said. "Our intent is to configure the radio for 145.99 MHz uplink -- including CTCSS tone of 67.0 and 437.80 MHz down. This will be performed in low power mode. We should also note that an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) is planned for that week -- Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, and Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov, RA3DT, plan to perform a spacewalk on December 22. As per standard procedure, the ISS ham radio system will be turned off for the EVA." Bauer said that from December 28-January 3, the cross-band repeater will be reconfigured for what he called "a special experiment. This will be a test of our L-Band uplink capability, which, to date, has not been proven out. Plan for an uplink of 1269.65 MHz and a downlink on the standard frequency of 145.80 MHz, using low power," he said. "Given the substantial cable losses of the L-band system, we hope some 'big guns' are able to penetrate through, keep up with Doppler and make the connection." A special certificate is being developed for those who communicate with the ISS from November 30, 2008 to January 15, 2009. This certificate will be awarded to those who have had two-way communications with the ISS on voice, packet (APRS) or through the voice repeater. Those who hear the ISS from space in any of the ARISS operations modes -- voice, SSTV, school contact, voice repeater or digital - will also be eligible to receive a certificate. To receive the certificate, Bauer said to note the ARISS mode of operation (such as SSTV, voice or school) on your QSL and whether the contact was one-way (receive only) or two-way. "You should send your self-addressed, stamped envelope to the normal ARISS QSL volunteer distributor in your area of the world," he explained. "On the outside of the QSL envelope, please include the words '25th Anniversary Certificate.' Make sure your envelope is big enough to accept an 8.5 x 11 inch certificate and includes the proper postage." If you do not know where to send your QSL, check the ARISS Web site <http://www.rac.ca/ariss/oindex.htm#ARISS_Update--25th_Anniversary_of_Ha m_Radio_in_Space> to find the one that serves your part of the world. "We will be sending your certificate to the volunteer distributors in bulk after the event is over," Bauer said. "This saves workload and money. So do not expect to see it until 1-2 months after the event closes on January 15." Bauer reminded hams that due to ISS flight requirements related to spacewalks and vehicle activity, the radio onboard the ISS may be off for some portion of this schedule. School contacts and general QSO opportunities by the crew will also preempt this schedule for short periods of time. "But remember that if you hear these," he said, "you still qualify for a commemorative certificate. Enjoy the ARISS ops on ISS!" ==> FREQUENCY CHANGE FOR CANADIAN TIME TRANSMISSION STATION CHU After 70 years of broadcasting Canada's official time, the National Research Council's shortwave station CHU <http://inms-ienm.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/time_services/shortwave_broadcasts_e.ht ml> will move the transmission frequency for the 7335 kHz transmitter to 7850 kHz. The change goes into effect at 0000 UTC on January 1, 2009. Broadcasting 24 hours a day, CHU is a part of NRC's system for disseminating official time throughout Canada. Listeners hear tones to mark the seconds, a voice to announce the time in French and English and digital data to set computers. The atomic clocks at CHU are part of the ensemble of clocks in the time and frequency research laboratories at the National Research Council Canada in Ottawa. The NRC clocks are used in conjunction with clocks in the time laboratories of other countries to construct the internationally accepted scale of time, UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). Time transmissions on 3330 and 14670 kHz are not affected and will continue as before. In April 2007, the ITU reallocated the 7300-7350 kHz band from the fixed service to the broadcasting service. Since then, the NRC said there has been a lot of interference on the 7335 kHz frequency from many information broadcasters around the world. "CHU listeners in Canada and around the world who have for so long considered the 7335 kHz frequency exclusively for time signals, are very vocal about this interference," said Raymond Pelletier, Technical Officer at the NRC-Institute for National Measurement Standards, who oversees the CHU facility. "We have heard from Amateur Radio operators, watchmakers, astronomers and navigators who use the tones and voice signals. We also received comments from those who use the carrier as a calibration source at a distance for their equipment." Pelletier noted that a leap second <http://inms-ienm.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/faq_time_e.html> will be added at the end of December 2008; this will be indicated in the digital code until the time of the leap second. DUT1 will go from -0.6 to +0.4 seconds and will be indicated by double tones near the start of the minute and in the broadcast code <http://inms-ienm.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/time_services/chu_e.html>. ==> NEW SECTION MANAGER APPOINTED IN ARKANSAS J.M. Rowe, N5XFW, of Hot Springs, has been appointed as the new ARRL Arkansas Section Manager with a term to begin on December 22, 2008. Rowe is taking over the Section Manager reins from David Norris, K5UZ, who was elected Vice Director of the ARRL Delta Division in November; Norris assumes his office on January 1, 2009. When Norris announced that he was stepping down from the Section Manager post he has held since April 2005, he recommended Arkansas Section Emergency Coordinator Rowe for the position. Rowe was already scheduled to become Arkansas Section Manager on April 1, 2009, since he was the only nominee for the next term of office when the petition deadline passed on December 5. According to the Rules and Regulations of the Field Organization, when a vacancy in the office of Section Manager occurs between elections, the position is filled by appointment by the Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager, in consultation with the Director. MVP Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, consulted with outgoing Delta Division Director Henry Leggette, WD4Q, and with Mickey Cox, K5MC, the incoming Delta Division Director; Cox, like Norris, will begin his term January 1, 2009. Rowe has been Arkansas Section Emergency Coordinator for nearly four years. He was first appointed Emergency Coordinator in 2000 and was promoted to District Emergency Coordinator in 2001, a position he continues to hold. Rowe also served as an Assistant Section Manager from 2002-2005. Rowe's term of office as Section Manager continues through March 31, 2011. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "We twa hae paidl'd in the burn frae morning sun till dine" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: Last week's sunspot group was only visible for three days, December 10-12. The average daily sunspot number for all of 2007 was 12.8; if we see no sunspots for the rest of 2008, the average for this year will be 4.7. By comparison, the yearly averages of daily sunspot numbers during the last solar minimum (1995-1997) were 28.7, 13.2 and 30.7. This solar minimum is much lower than the one about 12 years ago. Sunspot numbers for December 11-17 were 12, 14, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 3.7. The 10.7 cm flux was 70.2, 71, 69.7, 68.8, 68.9, 69.4 and 68.8 with a mean of 69.5. The estimated planetary A indices were 3, 2, 1, 0, 1, 4 and 5 with a mean of 2.3. The estimated mid-latitude A indices were 4, 2, 1, 1, 1, 4 and 3 with a mean of 2.3. 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 Robert Burns' "Auld Lang Syne" <http://www.rabbie-burns.com/the_poems/auldlangsyne.cfm.html>. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This Week on the Radio: This 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. Next week, the DARC Christmas Contest is December 25 and the RAC Winter Contest are December 26. On December 27-28, look for the Stew Perry Topband Challenge and the Original QRP Contest to be on the air. The RAEM Contest is December 28. The SARTG New Year RTTY Contest and the AGCW Happy New Year Contest are both on January 1. Looking ahead, the ARRL RTTY Roundup and the EUCW 160 Meter Contest are on January 3-4. The Midwinter Contest (CW) is January 10 and the Hunting Lions in the Air Contest, the MI QRP January CW Contest and the North American QSO Party (CW) are all on January 10-11. The SKCC Weekend Sprintathon, the NRAU-Baltic Contest (CW), Midwinter Contest (Phone), the NRAU-Baltic Contest (SSB) and the DARC 10 Meter Contest are scheduled for January 11. 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 <email@example.com>. * 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. * The January/February NCJ Hits the Streets: The current issue of NCJ is loaded with everything today's contester needs. After you check out a solution for a vertical array for your next DXpeditions, take a peek inside the files of the N3HBHX antenna case in Maryland. Discover why nylon rope can be a contester's best friend and how an inexpensive gain antenna can help. We're all getting older -- how is your age affecting your score? When will propagation allow US amateurs to get to Europe on 10 meters? All this and more in the January/February issue of NCJ. NCJ is published by the ARRL and is a bi-monthly publication; it is edited by Al Dewey, K0AD. Subscribe at <http://www.arrl.org/ncj/>. =========================================================== 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. 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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.
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.
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Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, K1SFA@arrl.org.