ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 28, No. 9
March 6, 2009
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* + FCC Special Counsel Laura Smith Visits ARRL HQ 
* + FCC Has Done "Literally Nothing" to Comply with Court Ruling 
* + Julius Genachowski Nominated as Next FCC Chairman 
* + April QST on the Way to Your Mailbox 
* + ARRL Soliciting Nominations for 2008 Hiram Percy Maxim Award 
* + ARRL Membership Newsletters, Bulletins and Notifications 
*  Solar Update 
*  IN BRIEF: 
      This Week on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + Rick Campbell, KK7B, Wins February QST Cover Plaque Award 
    + US ARDF Championships Registration Now Open 
      Get on the Air for the ARRL International DX Phone Contest this
Weekend 
      "Hints and Kinks" 
      Get Youth Involved in Amateur Radio 

+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
<k1sfa@arrl.org>;
===========================================================

==> FCC SPECIAL COUNSEL LAURA SMITH VISITS ARRL HQ 

Laura Smith visited ARRL Headquarters on March 5 and 6, her first
official visit as Special Counsel. Smith was named to the position
earlier this year, filling the vacancy created when Riley Hollingsworth,
K4ZDH, retired in 2008; Hollingsworth served in that position for more
than 10 years as the Commission's enforcement watchdog over the Amateur
Radio Service <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/07/03/10198>.

While at Headquarters, Smith visited with various departments, such as
the Lab, the Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC), the Regulatory
Information Branch and Membership and Volunteer Programs (MVP).

Spending all Thursday afternoon with ARRL Lab staff, Smith discussed
power line noise and how it can affect Amateur Radio. "Since Riley had
retired last year, very little had been done at the FCC with regard to
the power line noise enforcement," said ARRL Laboratory Engineer and
power line noise expert Mike Gruber, W1MG. "The Lab staff discussed the
status of the ARRL-FCC Cooperative Agreement on power line noise with
Laura and how best to proceed forward
<http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2002/07/26/3/?nc=1>. While the ARRL is
not in the enforcement business, the Cooperative Agreement was an
attempt to help the FCC focus its limited resources in the area where
they are most needed -- enforcement. The ARRL's goal is to help resolve
as many of these cases as possible with technical and other help before
they ever get to the FCC."

Gruber also briefed Smith on some power line noise basics, including a
demonstration of some professional grade locating equipment. Using a
Model T spark coil as a noise source, Gruber was able to show Smith how
a utility can locate power line noise - in many cases, without too much
difficulty.

According to ARRL Regulatory Information Branch Manager Dan Henderson,
N1ND, the FCC committed to Smith visiting the ARRL once she accepted the
position. "I think this visit has been a very productive two days. We
are getting to know Laura, and she is getting to know our organization
and what we, as the ARRL, can do to help her make her job easier to help
the amateur community as a whole," Henderson said. "I just kind of
played tour guide and facilitated the visit, introducing her to all the
departments here at Headquarters."

Smith, a lawyer, is no stranger to the FCC or Amateur Radio. She began
her legal career with the Commission, working in the Mass Media Bureau
and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB), working with Senior System
Analyst Bill Cross, W3TN; she also served as Deputy Division Chief of
the Public Safety and Private Wireless Division. Smith also knew
Hollingsworth through her father-in-law Richard M. Smith, former Chief
of the Field Operations Bureau, at the time responsible for all FCC
field engineering and enforcement activities. Richard Smith led many
investigations of illegal uses of the radio spectrum, including the
successful apprehension of "Captain Midnight" who overrode a satellite
television broadcast signal
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Midnight_%28HBO%29>. Smith also
served as Chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET).

"Riley worked for my father-in-law for years," Smith said. "My
father-in-law was the Chief of the Field Operations Bureau at the FCC
for 25 years. So enforcement is actually something that is a
long-standing family tradition. A member of my family -- the Smith
family -- has worked at the FCC continuously since 1964: Myself, my
husband and my father-in-law."

Calling Hollingsworth "irreplaceable," Smith said what he did for the
Commission and for the amateur community was "amazing. He volunteered
for that job. He stood up and said, 'I'm an amateur. I love this
community and I want to give back to it.' This position needs to be
filled by somebody who is interested in doing it long-term. This [job]
is not a stepping stone; it's not a short term process. This wouldn't
work if I were trying to be Riley. I'm not going to be Riley. We're very
different people. But we both have the same goal: To make the amateur
community better."

Smith emphasized that an Amateur Radio license is "a privilege, not a
right. When you come to the FCC and you sign up for a license and you
get that license, you have agreed to abide by those Rules. That is
inherent in the application process. As an applicant and a licensee, you
have said, 'I will hereby comply with the Rules that have been enacted
by the FCC.' So you have said, 'I will adhere to that.' And if you
choose not to, then you are subject to losing that privilege."

Smith is not yet a licensed amateur. She said that she will get her
license "someday," but that she did not want to get her license just
because her job involves Amateur Radio: "I didn't want to come into this
job and become a ham, saying, 'I'm getting this job so I'm going to be a
ham -- not because I'm interested in being a ham, but because it looks
better on paper.' So ultimately I will become a ham." Smith said that
her father-in-law, when stationed in the FCC"s Field Office in Los
Angeles, used to administer the Morse code test to prospective
licensees: "So he has challenged me that before I can become an amateur
on any level, I must learn Morse code and I must past the test with him
administering the Morse code. So I have a challenge. I am going to begin
learning Morse code this summer. He is going to start teaching me, so
once I have sufficient proficiency, then he will let me take the
[Technician] test."

==> FCC HAS DONE "LITERALLY NOTHING" TO COMPLY WITH COURT RULING 

On February 25 -- 10 months to the day that the US Court of Appeals for
the District of Columbia Circuit released its decision on the ARRL's
Petition for Review of the FCC's Orders adopting rules governing
broadband over power line (BPL) systems
<http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/04/25/10064/?nc=1> -- ARRL
General Counsel, Chris Imlay, W3KD, sent a letter to FCC Acting Chairman
Michael Copps, requesting that the Commission "revisit the BPL rules
without further delay, and to comply with the obligations placed on it
by the Court"
<http://www.arrl.org/news/files/Feb2509_Letter_to_Copps.pdf>. In its
April 2008 decision, the Court agreed with the ARRL on two major points
and remanded the rules to the Commission. According to Imlay, "to date,
literally nothing has been done by the Commission to comply with these
instructions."

In its 2008 ruling, the Court did not vacate the Commission's 2004 BPL
rules. Imlay said that the ARRL did not request the Court do so, as the
current Part 15 rules governing BPL, "inadequate though they are, were
slightly preferable to the general application of the Part 15 rules to
BPL systems in terms of interference prevention." Imlay said that the
FCC's "inaction" since the remand has "served neither BPL deployment,
nor Amateur Radio, well."

Imlay pointed out to Copps that without such rules protecting the
Amateur Radio Service, Amateur Radio operators have no protection from
the interference from BPL systems: "While there are configurations of
BPL systems which can adequately reduce the probability of interference
ex ante and without significant constraints on BPL deployment, the
current BPL rules do not mandate the use of these interference
prevention mechanisms."

The Court demanded two things from the FCC in its ruling: release the
redacted studies that the Commission relied on for its BPL findings, and
provide a "reasoned justification" for an extrapolation factor of 40 dB
per decade, or adopt another factor and provide a reasoned explanation
for it.

Regarding the redacted studies, the Court ordered the Commission to
"make available for notice and comment the unredacted 'technical studies
and data that it has employed in reaching [its] decisions' [with respect
to BPL]...and shall make them part of the rulemaking record." The FCC
used five substantially redacted field studies that the Commission's
Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) staff conducted of BPL field
trials. To date, these unredacted studies have not been released.

The Court also ordered the FCC to "either provide a reasonable
justification for retaining an extrapolation factor of 40 dB per decade
for access BPL systems sufficient to indicate that it has grappled with
the 2005 studies, or adopt another factor and provide a reasoned
explanation for it." The 2005 studies refer to those conducted by the
Office of Communications, the FCC's counterpart in the United Kingdom.
The ARRL submitted these studies to the Court, along with the League's
own analysis showing that an extrapolation factor closer to 20 dB per
decade was more appropriate, as part of the record in its petition for
reconsideration of the FCC's BPL Order. The Court said that the FCC
"summarily dismissed" this data in a manner that "cannot substitute for
a reasoned explanation." The Court also noted that the record in the FCC
proceeding included a study by the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration that "itself casts doubt on the Commission's
decision."

The extrapolation factor pertains to the rate at which radiated
emissions from power lines carrying access BPL decay with distance from
the power lines, and therefore the extent to which the radiated energy
from the lines can interfere with licensed radio services, such as
Amateur Radio.

Imlay said that since its 2004 rulemaking in Docket 04-37
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-04-245A1.pdf>,
BPL technology has "evolved," and the opportunity now presents itself to
craft revised BPL rules that address the "actual interference potential
of BPL systems while enabling BPL as a broadband delivery or grid
management technology." He reminded Copps that eight months ago, ARRL
President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, and ARRL Chief Executive Officer David
Sumner, K1ZZ, met with representatives from the FCC's OET with a plan
for BPL. "The revised regulations suggested by ARRL would be sufficient
to reduce the potential interference to the point that it would be
practical to address such instances on a case-by-case basis," Imlay
said. "Compliance is achievable with present BPL technology without
significant limitation on BPL deployment."

Calling the Commission "long overdue" in complying with the Court's
"very clear and specific" instructions, Imlay said that the Commission's
inaction "cannot be allowed to continue. It is necessary to commence
further proceedings in ET Docket 04-37 after making the requisite
disclosures, and we respectfully urge the Commission to do so without
further delay."

Imlay reminded Copps that on his inauguration day earlier this year,
President Barack Obama placed a series of goals on the White House Web
site. "Among these," Imlay said, "was the following: 'Restore Scientific
Integrity to the White House: Restore the basic principle that
government decisions should be based on the best-available,
scientifically valid evidence and not on ideological predispositions.'
The Commission has the opportunity to implement this goal in this Docket
proceeding."

==> JULIUS GENACHOWSKI NOMINATED AS NEXT FCC CHAIRMAN 

On Tuesday, March 3, President Barack Obama nominated Julius Genachowski
as FCC Chairman <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/01/13/10561/>.
Genachowski, 46, is a technology executive and a former classmate of
Obama's from Harvard Law School. Upon Senate confirmation, Genachowski
will replace Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps; Copps took over the
Commission on January 20, 2009, when then-Chairman Kevin Martin
resigned. Genachowski has been widely praised by industry executives and
consumer-activist groups -- two groups often at odds -- for his
wide-ranging experience and intimate knowledge of technology issues.

"I can think of no one better than Julius Genachowski to serve as
chairman of the Federal Communications Commission," said President
Obama. "He will bring to the job diverse and unparalleled experience in
communications and technology, with two decades of accomplishment in the
private sector and public service. I know him as the son of immigrants
who carries a deep appreciation for this country and the American dream;
and as the proud father of three children working with his wife Rachel
to be responsible parents in this digital age."

According to the Wall Street Journal, speculation has been rife as to
why President Obama had not put forth Genachowski's name before now,
saying that "his nomination has centered on the administration's efforts
to find at least one more nominee -- more likely two -- to fill other
open spots on the FCC's five-person board. Agency nominations tend to
move through the Senate more quickly if a Democratic nominee is paired
with a Republican nominee"
<http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/03/03/genachowskis-fcc-nomination-en
ds-weeks-of-speculation/>. 

The Wall Street Journal said that a number of Republicans -- including
FCC Deputy General Counsel Ajit Pai -- have been mentioned as a possible
replacement for the seat left vacant by Republican Deborah Taylor Tate
when she left the Commission in January
<http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/01/05/10541/>. "On the Democratic
side, speculation is growing that FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein
may not be renominated for the seat he currently holds. South Carolina
public utilities commission official Mignon Clyburn (daughter of
[Democrat Representative] Jim Clyburn) has been most often mentioned by
people close to the Obama team as a candidate for that seat," the
Journal reported. "Adelstein could be up for a job elsewhere in the
Obama administration, insiders say, possibly at the Agriculture
Department, which is going to have $2.5 billion in economic stimulus
money to give away for broadband infrastructure."

Acting Chairman Copps said President Obama "made an excellent choice in
announcing his intent to nominate Julius Genachowski to be the next
Chairman of the FCC. Julius has the knowledge, experience and dedication
to lead this Agency forward as we tackle the many challenges confronting
the country -- and the Commission. I look forward to the prospect of
working with him on a communications agenda focused on serving consumers
and the public interest. He will find here a talented and energized team
of public servants committed to precisely this goal. I wish him a
successful Senate confirmation."

Commissioner Adelstein also added his congratulations: "I warmly
congratulate my friend Julius Genachowski on his nomination by President
Barack Obama to be Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He
is the right person at the right time for the job. His leadership,
experience and intelligence will serve him and the American people well
as he takes the helm of the FCC during this pivotal time for our country
and the agency. By designating a Chairman with such a strong strategic
vision, striking talents, wealth of experience inside and outside the
Commission, and practical understanding of technology, President Obama
once again demonstrates his commitment to the transformational power of
communications technology and innovation."

Commissioner Robert McDowell congratulated Genachowski on his
nomination, saying he "will bring a valuable perspective to the
Commission with his experience not only in government, but in the
private sector. I look forward to working closely with Mr Genachowski on
the many important communications challenges that lie ahead for the
American people."

After graduating from law school, Genachowski clerked for federal judge
Abner Mikva; he also clerked for Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
Genachowski later served as chief counsel to Reed Hundt, chairman of the
FCC from 1993-1997. After leaving the FCC, Genachowski was a senior
executive at IAC/InterActiveCorp, Barry Diller's e-commerce and media
company. He went on to found an investment and advisory firm for digital
media companies and co-founded the country's first commercial "green"
bank. According to Obama's campaign Web site, Genachowski raised at
least $500,000 for Obama during the presidential election campaign.

Early in the Obama presidential campaign, Genachowski urged
then-candidate Obama to capitalize on the organizing power of the
Internet. The New York Times called Genachowski "a prolific fund-raiser
and chairman of the campaign's group of technology-policy advisers, who
produced a report advocating an open Internet, diversity in media
ownership and a nationwide wireless system for emergency personnel"
<http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/julius_gen
achowski/index.html?inline=nyt-per>. The Washington Post, which
described Genachowski a "local venture capitalist," credited him with
"spearheading Obama's online campaign strategy, which used social
networking and other tools to spread Obama's campaign message and raise
record campaign contributions"
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/12/AR20090
11203417.html>. 

Genachowski explained in his Obama campaign blog
<http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/blog/juliusgenachowski> that
he "was fortunate to chair the group
<http://www.barackobama.com/issues/technology/> that advised Senator
Obama and the [Presidential] campaign on the tech & innovation plan, a
large and hardworking group that generated terrific ideas, rooted in the
great work that the Senator and his strong Senate staff have been doing
in this area for quite some time."

==> APRIL QST ON THE WAY TO YOUR MAILBOX

The April issue of QST is jam-packed with all sorts of things today's
Amateur Radio operator needs. From product reviews to experiments to
contesting, the upcoming issue of QST has something for just about
everyone. 

Paul Stone, KQ6RJ, discusses how to make your station truly portable in
his article "A Removable HF/VHF/UHF Mobile Installation." ARRL News
Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, takes a look at the first 2009 meeting
of the ARRL Board of Directors in her article "ARRL Board Sets
Legislative Agenda, More, at 2009 Annual Meeting." Michael Keane, K1MK,
tells about the MIT Wireless Society in "'Rah for Technology: America's
Oldest College Radio Club Turns 100." Stephen Warrillow, VK3SN, and
Gerard Warrillow, VK3GT, take readers to Australia's alpine region in
their cover article, "VK Alpine Winter Mini-expedition."

In his monthly column "This Month in Contesting," ARRL Contest Branch
Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, talks about how to prepare for the contest
season by training during what he calls the "off-season." Using his
tips, he says, will get you on the path to a larger score during the
2009-2010 contest season -- and increase your enjoyment of Amateur
Radio. Read about the results of the 2008 ARRL International EME
Competition and go ahead and start planning for the 2009 IARU HF
Championship, scheduled for July 11-12. Find out about other upcoming
contests in this month's Contest Corral. 

ARRL Contributing Editor Howard Robbins, W1HSR, reviews five dc to ac
power inverters. Robbins said that "Modified sine wave (MSW) type
inverters offer the most power capability for the money, but we found a
wide variation in RF interference generated by the three units tested.
The more expensive pure sine wave (PSW) units tested were both RF-quiet
and generated a nice sine wave." ARRL Technical Advisor Ken Stuart,
W3VVN, reviews the Maha MH-C9000 battery charger, saying this piece of
equipment "can help you manage your collection of AA and AAA
rechargeable batteries and keep them ready for emergency use. It can
also help evaluate those mystery cells from the flea market." 

Of course, there are the usual columns you know and expect in the April
QST: Hints & Kinks, The Doctor Is IN, How's DX, Old Radio, Hamspeak and
more. Look for your April issue of QST in your mailbox. QST is the
official journal of ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio.
QST is just one of the many benefits of ARRL membership. To join or
renew your ARRL membership, please see the ARRL Web page
<http://www.arrl.org/join>. 

==> ARRL SOLICITING NOMINATIONS FOR 2008 HIRAM PERCY MAXIM AWARD 

The ARRL invites nominations for the 2008 Hiram Percy Maxim (HPM)
Memorial Award <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/awards/hpm.html>. The
League's premier youth recognition, the HPM Memorial Award goes annually
to a radio amateur under age 21 in recognition of the recipient's
accomplishments and contributions "of the most exemplary nature" to both
the Amateur Radio community and the local community during the previous
calendar year -- 2008 in this instance.

Nomination criteria may include:

* Participation or leadership in organizational affairs at the local or
national level (for example: Local radio club, ARES, Net control or
participation in civic groups). 
* Technical achievement (for example: Building radios or putting up an
antenna). 
* Operating record (for example: Nets, disaster drills, contests, ARRL
November Sweepstakes). 
* Recruitment and training of new amateurs (for example: Helping to
teach a license class or participation in Jamboree on the Air).
* Public relations activities (for example: Creating a ham radio Web
page). 

To nominate a deserving candidate, submit a completed nomination form
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/awards/hpm.html> to your ARRL Section
Manager, along with any supporting information and endorsements of
ARRL-affiliated clubs and elected or appointed League officials. Section
Managers make the formal nominations. There is no limit to the number of
nominations an individual or club may submit to a Section Manager, and
Section Managers may nominate more than one individual. Section Managers
need to have all information in sufficient time to submit a formal
nomination to ARRL Headquarters by March 31. A list of Section Managers
is available on page 16 of any issue of QST or on the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/org/smlist.html>.

Nomination forms and supporting information should document as
thoroughly as possible the Amateur Radio achievements and contributions
of the nominee during the previous calendar year. ARRL must receive all
supporting documentation by April 15. An award panel reviews the
nominations and selects the winner.

HPM Memorial Award winners receive a cash award of $1500 and an engraved
plaque. For more information, contact Steve Ewald, WV1X <wv1x@arrl.org>;,
tel 860-594-0265.

==> 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 green field sleeps in the Sun" Cook, K7RA, this week reports:
There have been no new sunspots since the recent brief three-day
appearance of quickly fading sunspot 1013 on February 24-26. It was
another Solar Cycle 24 sunspot, but this is not too encouraging,
considering how brief and weak it appeared. There are no predictions for
new sunspots, but these events tend to occur suddenly. Sunspot numbers
for February 26-March 4 were 12, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 1.7.
The 10.7 cm flux was 69.9, 68.9, 70.6, 69.4, 69.2, 69.1 and 69.7 with a
mean of 69.5.The estimated planetary A indices were 2, 8, 5, 3, 2, 5 and
7 with a mean of 4.6. The estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 7, 4,
2, 0, 5 and 5 with a mean of 3.6. For more information concerning radio
propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation
page <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>. To read this
week's Solar Report in its entirety, check out the W1AW Propagation
Bulletin page <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/prop/>. This week's "Tad
Cookism" brought to you by William Wordsworth's "Written in March"
<http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/written-in-march/>. 

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This Week on the Radio: This week is the ARRL International DX Contest
(SSB) on March 7-8. The NCCC Sprint is March 6. The Wake-Up! QRP Sprint
is March 7 and the Open Ukraine RTTY Championship is March 7-8. Look for
the SKCC Weekend Sprint, the UBA Spring Contest (CW), the DARC 10 Meter
Digital Contest and the NSARA Contest on March 8. The CLARA HF Contest
is March 10-11 and March 14-15. Next week, look for the AGCW QRP
Contest, the SOC Marathon Sprint and the ARCI HF Grid Square Sprint on
March 14. The EA PSK31 Contest and the Idaho QSO Party are on March
14-15. The North American Sprint (RTTY) and the UBA Spring Contest (6
meters) are March 15. The Wisconsin QSO Party is March 15-16. On March
16, be sure to check out the Run for the Bacon QRP Contest and the
Bucharest Contest. The NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint and the RSGB 80
Meter Club Championship (SSB) are March 19. 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, March 22, 2009, for these online course sessions
beginning on Friday, April 3, 2009: Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Level 1, Radio Frequency Interference, Antenna Design and
Construction, Ham Radio (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 <cce@arrl.org>;.

* Rick Campbell, KK7B, Wins February QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner
of the QST Cover Plaque Award for February is Rick Campbell, KK7B, for
his article "Designing and Building Transistor Linear Power Amplifiers."
Congratulations, Rick! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award -- given
to the author or authors of the best article in each issue -- is
determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web
page <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/QSTvote.html>. Cast a ballot for
your favorite article in the March issue by Tuesday, March 31.

* US ARDF Championships Registration Now Open: Registration is now open
for the next USA Amateur Radio Direction Finding Championships, June
5-7, 2009, in Boston, Massachusetts <http://www.bostonardf.org/>.
Radio-orienteers of all skill levels will gather for a practice day,
followed by two days of intense competition -- first on 2 meters and
then on 80 meters. This year's USA Championships will be combined with
the IARU Region 2 championships. The events are open to everyone, with
or without a ham license. The contest will be at the Blue Hills
Reservation <http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/metroboston/blue.htm>, a 7000
acre open space, about 10 miles south of downtown Boston. To encourage
first-timers and foreign visitors, the competition fee will be waived
for persons who have never participated in the USA ARDF Championships
and for competitors coming from outside North America. Learn more about
ARDF here <http://www.homingin.com/>.  -- Information provided by ARRL
ARDF Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV

* Get on the Air for the ARRL International DX Phone Contest this
Weekend: With the 2009 ARRL International DX CW Contest now history
<http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/02/11/10644/?nc=1>, the first
full weekend in March brings the next round of competition: The 2009
ARRL DX Phone Contest
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2009/intldx.html>. Like its CW
predecessor, this event focuses on DX station working all US states and
Canadian provinces, while US and Canadian amateurs try to work as many
DX countries as possible over the 48 hour contest period. Just as in the
CW contest a couple of weeks ago, US and Canadian stations send a signal
report and their state or province, while DX stations send a signal
report and their transmit power. Remember that for this contest, Alaska
and Hawaii are considered DX stations -- this means stations in KH6 and
KL7 focus their efforts on working Stateside and Canada. The ARRL
International DX Phone Contest runs from 0000 UTC Saturday, March 7 to
2359 UTC Sunday, March 8. Complete rules and forms are available online
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/forms/>. Why let all this DX pass you by?
Get on the air and have some fun!

* "Hints and Kinks": Do you have an idea or a simple project that has
improved your operating? Maybe you've taken something commonly found
around the home and developed a ham radio use for it? Why not share your
hints with fellow hams in "Hints and Kinks," a monthly column in QST. If
we publish your hint, you will receive $20. Send your hints via e-mail
to <h&k@arrl.org>;; or to ARRL Headquarters, Attn: "Hints and Kinks," 225
Main Street, Newington, CT 06111. Please include your name, call sign,
complete mailing address, daytime telephone number and e-mail address.
Items in "Hints and Kinks" have not been tested by QST or ARRL unless
otherwise stated. Although we can't guarantee that hints published will
work for every situation, QST makes every effort to screen for harmful
information. 

* Get Youth Involved in Amateur Radio: Have you thought about how to
convey the allure of Amateur Radio to today's teens? The group at Radio
Arcala, OH8X, in Finland, is challenging the world's amateur community
to write an essay of no more than 250 words explaining Amateur Radio in
young people's terms. For complete information visit
<http://www.radioarcala.com/> and click on "Young People Terms."

=========================================================== 
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 2009 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, ...