ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 28, No. 13
April 3, 2009
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

*   ARRL Comments on FCC's Proposed Establishment of Rural Broadband
Plan 
*   New Videos Promoting Field Day, Amateur Radio Technology, Available
from ARRL 
*   Hams Still on Alert as Red River Flood Danger Lessens 	
*   FCC Denies New York Ham's Request for PRB-1 Ruling 
*   German AMSAT Team Transmits, Receives Signals from Venus 
*   Australian, British RTTY Contests to Merge 
*   ARRL Releases 2009-2010 Repeater Directory 
*  Solar Update 
*  IN BRIEF: 
      This Week on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
      Byron Black, W4SSY, Wins March QST Cover Plaque Award 
      2009 National Hurricane Conference Has Amateur Radio Focus 
      ARRL to Close in Observance of Good Friday 

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

NOTE: There will be no ARRL Audio News April 3 or April 10. The ARRL
Letter will be distributed one day early on Thursday, April 9, as ARRL
HQ is closed Friday, April 10 in observance of Good Friday.

===========================================================
==>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>;
===========================================================

==> ARRL COMMENTS ON FCC'S PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF RURAL BROADBAND
PLAN 

On March 10, 2009, the FCC invited comments via a Public Notice
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-561A1.pdf>
concerning the establishment of a comprehensive rural broadband strategy
as part of the Department of Agriculture's Food, Conservation and Energy
Act of 2008, commonly known as the 2008 Farm Bill. Per the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), Congress required
the FCC to develop a "comprehensive national broadband plan." According
to the FCC, they, Congress, and the Secretary of Agriculture "have
repeatedly recognized the importance of ensuring access to advanced
telecommunications and information services to all Americans, with a
special focus on rural and hard-to-serve areas." The proceeding provided
an opportunity for the ARRL to express its concerns about broadband over
power lines (BPL) <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/> that the FCC
has yet to satisfactorily address.

In the comments submitted by ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD
<http://www.arrl.org/news/files/09-29_Rural_Broadband_Comments_03_2009.p
df>, the ARRL reaffirms its support of broadband opportunities in rural
areas. "ARRL is in agreement that broadband is critical to the health of
agricultural and other businesses, and to the educational interests of
Americans who live in rural areas," Imlay stated. Imlay commended the
FCC in looking for broadband solutions on both the short and long term,
as well as identifying how Federal programs "might overcome obstacles
that currently impede rural broadband development."

Imlay pointed out that while the FCC and various power utilities have
touted BPL as a promising means of providing rural broadband service,
the ARRL contends that there are "prohibitive limitations (notable among
these being the large number, and the cost, of repeaters and couplers
required on overhead, medium voltage power lines for what amounts to a
limited number of subscribers' homes in rural areas)."

The ARRL maintains that before BPL could ever be considered as a
long-term source of broadband in rural America, the FCC must adopt rules
that provide against BPL interference to the licensed radio services.
Imlay said that studies have pointed out that BPL systems cause
interference to licensed radio services in "certain configurations,"
such as international broadcasting, aeronautical, maritime, disaster
relief, military and the Amateur Radio Service. "Of particular concern
in rural areas is that low-band VHF radio systems are still common among
state police, volunteer fire departments and other 'First Responder'
public safety agencies," Imlay told the Commission, adding, "BPL systems
using this frequency range can and would, without additional rules,
likely block communications between dispatch centers and emergency
response vehicles."

Imlay said that Amateur Radio is a "continuous, intensive user of the
high-frequency bands in residential areas," and as such, "is arguably
the most pervasively affected" by deployment of BPL in rural areas.
"Amateur mobile operation is a particularly notable victim of BPL
interference, since medium-voltage power lines run parallel to
roadways." The Commission's BPL rules "include no effective protection."

Imlay reminded the Commission that the ARRL, as well as broadcast
industry representatives, challenged the adequacy of the FCC's BPL
interference rules: "On appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for
the District of Columbia, the Court remanded the ET Docket 04-37
proceeding to the Commission
<http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/04/25/10064/?nc=1> with some very
specific instructions, including reconsideration of assumptions relating
to interference mitigation and disclosure of studies that had previously
only been released in redacted form." Imlay pointed out that almost a
year after the Court's decision, the Commission has done "literally
nothing" to comply with the mandated instructions
<http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/03/04/10685/>.

In the six years that the BPL rules have been on the Commission's
docket, Imlay said that there has been "continuous and extensive debate
about the interference potential of BPL." This, he told the FCC, has
created "some uncertainty" amongst the various utilities and
municipalities that have been eyeing BPL as a broadband delivery
mechanism, with the Commission's inaction since the Court's decision
contributing to the uncertainty and "creating a dampening effect on the
marketplace's interest in BPL." Before the FCC can implement a BPL
policy for rural America, Imlay said that this "regulatory uncertainty"
would need to be resolved.

The cost of implementing interference resolution must be considered by
any rural broadband provider, Imlay said. While there is nothing in the
FCC rules concerning this, Imlay reminded the Commission that the ARRL,
"some eight months ago, offered a plan to the Commission's Office of
Engineering and Technology in this regard
<http://www.arrl.org/?artid=8341>. The revised regulation suggested by
ARRL would be sufficient to reduce the potential interference from BPL
to the point that it would be practical to address such instances on a
case-by-case basis. Compliance is achievable with present BPL technology
without significant limitation on BPL deployment, rural or otherwise.
However, the absence of such rules is an obstacle to any consideration
of BPL as a rural broadband mechanism and makes an evaluation of
interference mitigation difficult or impossible." The deployment of a
BPL system with a high potential for interference would require
expensive mitigation afterwards, whereas if the potential is reduced to
an acceptable level at the time of deployment, the need for mitigation
-- and therefore the cost -- will be greatly reduced.

Imlay told the FCC that more than four years ago, the Department of
Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) <http://www.usda.gov/rus/>
recognized "the need and willingness to utilize agency resources to
remove interference concerns as an obstacle to rural broadband rollout
(at least via BPL)." In a January 2005 letter from then-RUS
Administrator Hilda Gay Legg to ARRL Chief Executive Officer David
Sumner, K1ZZ, regarding the RUS's Community Connect Grant Program
<http://www.usda.gov/rus/telecom/commconnect.htm>, the RUS acknowledged
that the cost of interference mitigation from BPL systems was a
"significant" issue, and told the ARRL that "whenever a loan or grant
application proposes broadband service delivery via BPL, the RUS will
'consider the cost of interference mitigation in [its] financial
analysis.'" On March 20, current FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein was
nominated by President Barack Obama
<http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/03/23/10716/?nc=1> to become the
next Administrator of the RUS.


Imlay told the Commission that "[i]f the means by which a grantee would
comply with the Commission requirements for interference avoidance are
not clear (which as of now they are not), it is unlikely that any
applicant for a grant for broadband service using BPL could address the
RUS's concern about interference." Therefore, Imlay said that it is
necessary for the FCC to address the BPL interference issues on remand
from the Court of Appeals "in order to remove this additional obstacle
to an assessment of rural broadband opportunities via BPL."

The ARRL is "constrained" to note that the FCC has, over the past six
years, "acted not as a dispassionate technical agency in the evaluation
of certain broadband mechanisms, including BPL," Imlay noted, "instead
acting as a self described 'cheerleader' for certain technologies, also
including BPL." By these actions, Imlay said that the Commission "has
ignored technical evidence that is contrary to its predisposition," and
urged the FCC that "those same mistakes" not be repeated here.

Imlay reminded the Commission that President Barack Obama, on his
inauguration day earlier this year, placed a series of goals on the
White House Web site. "Among these," Imlay said, "was the following,
obviously laudable goal: '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."

Saying that rural broadband opportunities should be "evaluated in terms
of the scientific realities of the technologies on the table, and not on
the basis of what the Commission wants to believe about them," the ARRL
asked the FCC to fulfill "without further delay the obligations placed
upon it by the United States Court of Appeals in ET Docket 04-37, and
adopt such revised and additional rules for BPL so as to eliminate the
extant interference potential of the technology." With the regulatory
uncertainty and unresolved interference issues that continue to surround
BPL, the resolution of ET Docket 04-37 is a "prerequisite for the
development" of a plan for a complete evaluation of rural broadband
opportunities and the development of a rural broadband plan.

==> NEW VIDEOS PROMOTING FIELD DAY, AMATEUR RADIO TECHNOLOGY, AVAILABLE
FROM ARRL 

Two new video Public Service Announcements (PSAs) -- one promoting ARRL
Field Day and another showing the technical side of Amateur Radio -- are
now available from the ARRL Web site. "These videos are great for PIOs
<http://www.arrl.org/pio>, clubs and hams in general to use in promoting
the fun side of Amateur Radio," said ARRL Media and Public Relations
Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP.

"The Field Day PSA is meant to be posted on Web sites, added to e-mails
and shared via the Internet," Pitts explained. "While not broadcast
quality resolution, it was intentionally made small enough to go through
almost all e-mail systems and able to be seen on almost every computer.
The PSA spotlighting Amateur Radio technology is meant for broadcast and
cable TV; it is more general than the Field Day video and media outlets
can use it all year long. This video complements the WeDoThat-Radio
campaign <http://www.wedothat-radio.org/> and the Technology Pillar, one
of the ARRL's five pillars."

Pitts said that the Field Day video is the League's first experiment in
"viral" video. "We've seen how a good video can spread quickly via the
Web and reach people. So we created a special Field Day Internet video
for this year. Let's see what happens." Amateurs can download the video
from the Field Day Web page <http://www.arrl.org/fieldday> and then send
it to friends, e-mail lists, Web sites -- just about anywhere!

"Please do not modify it or change the ending!" Pitts requests. "Since
the files can go all over the country -- and world -- the ending needs
to be able to direct anyone, anywhere to the closest Field Day site near
them. Just be sure your local group is listed on the ARRL Field Day
Locator <http://www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/fd/locator.php> and
they will find you." Since the technology PSA is targeted for commercial
TV uses, it is a high resolution, 43 meg, MOV type file; it can be
downloaded from the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/pio/videos/ARRL30secPSA2009.mov>. Because this
version is meant for professional use, it has a formal 60 second lead-in
followed by the 30 second PSA. A very low resolution preview version
(not meant for distribution) is also available
<http://www.arrl.org/pio/videos/LowRes2009.wmv>.

To get a copy of the technology video on a disc, please send Pitts an
e-mail <mailto:apitts@arrl.org>;, letting him know which TV stations or
cable systems will be showing the video, and which format is needed.

Special thanks go to the volunteers of the national ARRL PR Committee
who took the concept and helped bring it to reality. For the Field Day
video, Kevin Pauley, KB9WVI, did the excellent video editing (right down
to synchronizing shots with the music); Don Carlson, KQ6FM, did the
voiceover work. Staff creativity came from Pitts -- who produced and
created the video -- and ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X,
who did the music. The Delta DX Association in Louisiana, W5RU, with Bob
McBride, AE5RN, and Albert DuPont, W5AFD, were a major help, providing
action video clips and permissions from their last Field Day. The
technology video was also designed by Pitts with extensive volunteer
help. Special thanks go to Matt Aaron, KG4WXX, who guided the extensive
video editing and to Don Carlson, KQ6FM, who did the audio work.

==> HAMS STILL ON ALERT AS RED RIVER FLOOD DANGER LESSENS

Since March 22, a group of ham radio volunteers has been providing
communications during the Red River flood emergency that continues to
threaten Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota and surrounding
areas. Hams from those cities, as well as surrounding areas, have been
manning hospitals, Emergency Operations Centers and Salvation Army
shelters. 

Mark Johnson, KC0SHM, President of the Red River Radio Amateurs (RRRA),
reports that operations have wound down as water levels continue to
recede. The ham volunteers remain on alert, however, as flooding still
threatens the area. As of April 3, the Red River was at 35.4 feet in
Fargo. Flood stage is 18 feet. 

==> FCC DENIES NEW YORK HAM'S REQUEST FOR PRB-1 RULING 

On March 27, the FCC notified Thomas Morrison, AB2PP, of Yonkers, New
York, that it was denying his petition concerning an Amateur Radio
antenna support structure Morrison had installed at his home
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-680A1.pdf>. In
his December 2008, petition, Morrison requested the Commission rule that
the City of Yonkers did not provide "reasonable accommodation" in its
building permit requirements per PRB-1 with regard to the installation
of the support structure
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/PRB-1_Pkg/prb-1.pdf>.

This is the second time Morrison has sought assistance from the FCC in
this matter. In 2006, he filed a request with the Commission asking for
a declaratory ruling regarding the tower; the FCC denied his request in
January 2007. "In that letter [denying your request]," the FCC reminded
Morrison in its 2009 letter, "we explained that the Commission's PRB-1
decision requires that local regulation of Amateur Radio facilities must
be the minimum practicable to accomplish the local authority's
legitimate purpose, but permits the local authority to determine in the
first instance what constitutes a 'reasonable accommodation' based on
the its [sic] legitimate purposes, policies and concerns."

The Commission's 2007 letter also noted that the FCC does not have the
resources to review all state and local laws that affect Amateur Radio
operations and that local tribunals have authority to review local
zoning decisions.

In his 2008 letter, Morrison told the Commission that since the FCC
failed to act in his favor in his earlier petition, the Yonkers City
Planning Board denied his request for a special use permit for his
antenna support structure. The City of Yonkers has also indicted him for
installing a tower without a building permit, a misdemeanor. Morrison
also told the FCC that he has filed litigation in US District Court,
requesting that it delay his criminal trial.

"We conclude that these intervening events do not affect our conclusion
that, under the Commission's PRB-1 decision, you have not presented an
appropriate matter for Commission involvement," the FCC told Morrison.
"Because your dispute with the City fundamentally involves whether its
building code complies with PRB-1, and PRB-1 recognizes that local
tribunals have the authority to handle appeals of local decisions
regarding antenna structures, we believe that the matter you inquire
about is in the appropriate forum. We therefore decline to act upon your
petition."

==> GERMAN AMSAT TEAM TRANSMITS, RECEIVES SIGNALS FROM VENUS 

On March 25, a group from AMSAT-DL bounced radio signals off the surface
of Venus, marking the first time Amateur Radio operators have bounced
radio signals off another planet
<http://www.amsat-dl.org/pic/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem
&g2_itemId=7561>. According to AMSAT-DL President Peter Guelzow, DB2OS,
the Earth-Venus-Earth (EVE) transmission is another step in preparing
for a mission to Mars. According to an AMSAT-DL press release, the
team's transmitter was generating about 6 kW CW on 2.4 GHz.

Guelzow said that signals were sent from a ground control station at the
IUZ Sternwarte observatory in Bochum: "After traveling almost 100
million kilometers and a round trip delay of about 5 minutes, they were
clearly received as echoes from the surface of Venus. This was the first
German success to receive echoes of other planets. In addition, this is
the farthest distance crossed by radio amateurs, over 100 times further
than echoes from the moon (EME reflections)."

The EVE experiment was repeated on March 26 for several hours with "good
echoes" from Venus, Guelzow said. "Morse code was used to transmit the
well-known 'HI' signature known from the AMSAT OSCAR satellites."

For receiving the EVE reflections, Guelzow said that the team used a
fast Fourier transform (FFT) analysis with an integration time of 5
minutes. "After integrating for 2 minutes only, the reflected signals
were clearly visible in the display," he said. "Despite the bad weather,
signals from Venus could be detected from 1038 UTC on until the planet
reached the local horizon."

Guelzow explained that with the EVE reflections, the high power
amplifier "has therefore passed this crucial test as a final key
component for the planned P5-A Mars mission. By receiving generated
echoes from Venus, the ground and command station for the Mars probe has
been cleared for operational use and the AMSAT-DL team is now gearing up
for building the P5-A space probe. AMSAT-DL wants to show that
low-budget interplanetary exploration is possible with its approach."

Development, design and construction of this first German Mars mission
have been achieved by AMSAT-DL and its partner organizations, Guelzow
explained. "Already a third of the total project costs were performed.
More work shall follow during the mission. AMSAT-DL would like to
demonstrate that their approaches to low-cost space missions are
feasible."  -- Information provided by AMSAT-DL

==> AUSTRALIAN, BRITISH RTTY CONTESTS TO MERGE 

John Barber, GW4SKA, of the British Amateur Radio Teledata Group (BARTG)
<http://www.bartg.org.uk/index.htm>, announced that 2009 will be the
last running of the Australian National Amateur Radio Teleprinter
Society (ANARTS) RTTY Contest <http://www.anarts.com.au/index.htm>.
Citing the failing health of ANARTS Secretary and Contest Manager Pat
Leeper, VK2JPA, Barber said that BARTG, with help toward expenses from
ANARTS, will manage June's 2009 ANARTS Contest.

"BARTG have had close links with ANARTS over the years," Barber said,
"and we felt that we should help in some way. After discussions between
Pat and the BARTG committee, we have decided on a course of action."

Barber said that he briefly considered moving the BARTG HF Contest from
the third weekend in March to the second weekend in June, the date
ANARTS held their RTTY contest, but based on input from the RTTY contest
community, decided against the move. "The general opinion seems to be
that moving to a June date would be a bad idea, both for propagation and
because there are better things to do in June," he said. "The contest
calendar is very crowded and there are few options open if we were to
consider a new date at the beginning or end of the year." Saying that
the Russian DX Contest is also the third weekend in March, Barber said
that "The RDXC contesters will just have to work round us and be
tolerant if space gets tight, as we are to them."

Barber said that Leeper had "made every effort to find someone else in
Australia to take over the contest, but with no success. My thanks go to
Pat for her cooperation and hard work in running the previous contests."

Calling the BARTG HF Contest "a well liked and supported contest,"
Barber said that the March 2009 BARTG HF Contest attracted "around 2500
participants. I have no wish to change the character by messing around
with the rules, so they will remain the same for next year." The ANARTS
rules <http://www.anarts.com.au/rules2009.htm> will not change, but logs
must be submitted to BARTG <mailto:anarts@bartg.org.uk>;. The rules are
currently on the ANARTS Web site, but he said they will be posted to the
BARTG Web site soon.

BARTG runs two contests each year
<http://www.bartg.org.uk/contests.htm>. The BARTG Sprint Contest is in
January and the BARTG HF Contest is in March.

==> ARRL RELEASES 2009-2010 REPEATER DIRECTORY 

With more than 20,000 listings for VHF/UHF repeaters across the US and
Canada, "The ARRL Repeater Directory 2009-2010" is a must have. Once
again, the ARRL is offering two sizes of the "Repeater Directory"
--pocket size <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=1288> and desktop
<http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=1318>. 

The pocket-sized Repeater Directory boasts a larger font size, making
for easier reading. Both editions feature handy indexing tabs on the
cover, easier to read listings and a "Key to Repeater Notes" located
right up front in the Directory. Along with these new features, both
editions have the features you know and enjoy from prior years: Repeater
operating practices, repeater lingo and hints for newly licensed hams;
Frequency Coordinator contact information; listings for D-STAR and APCO
25 repeaters; a guide to using CTCSS tones and Digital Coded Squelch
(DCS); VHF/UHF band plans and a 2 meter channel-spacing map; IRLP
(Internet linked) nodes; tips for handling interference; listings for
IRLP, WIRES-II and EchoLink (Internet linked) nodes; emergency message
handling procedures, and a transceiver memory log. 

Order your copy of "The ARRL Repeater Directory 2009-2010" today at the
ARRL Online Store
<http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?category=What%27s%20New>. 

==> SOLAR UPDATE 

Tad "The warm Sun thaws the benumbed Earth" Cook, K7RA, this week
reports: Our Sun is in the news again, unfortunately not due to any
hoped-for activity, but for the eerie quiet instead. The Sun is
surprisingly calm by several measurements, including the large number of
spotless days, with an average 10.7 cm solar flux and low solar wind
pressure. Right now there are no sunspots, but the 10.7 cm solar flux is
up a bit lately. The latest prediction has the usual quiet planetary A
index at 8 for April 3-4, then back to 5, then 15 and 10 for April 9-10.
Predicted solar flux is 71 for April 3-9, then back to 70 for April
10-22 then to 72 for April 23 and into May. Sunspot numbers for March
26-April 1 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 0. The 10.7 cm
flux was 69.1, 71.6, 70.6, 70.9, 70.9, 71.2 and 70.8 with a mean of
70.7. The estimated planetary A indices were 7, 4, 4, 5, 4, 4 and 4 with
a mean of 4.6. The estimated mid-latitude A indices were 6, 2, 2, 4, 3,
2 and 3 with a mean of 3.1. 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 Thomas Carew's "The Spring"
<http://www.poetry.com/greatestpoems/poem.asp?id=508>. 

__________________________________

==> IN BRIEF:

* This Week on the Radio: This week, the NCCC Sprint Ladder is April 3.
On April 4-5, check out the Montana QSO Party, the Missouri QSO Party,
the QCWA Spring QSO Party, the ARCI Spring QSO Party, the SP DX Contest
and the EA RTTY Contest. The 144 MHz Spring Sprint is April 6 (local
time). Next week is the NCCC Sprint Ladder on April 10 and the PODXS 070
Club PSK 31 Flavors Contest on April 11. On April 11-12, look for the
Georgia QSO Party, the Yuri Gagarin International DX Contest and the
JIDX CW Contest. The SKCC Weekend Sprint and the UBA Spring Contest
(SSB) are April 12. The Low Power Spring Sprint is April 13. The 222 MHz
Spring Sprint is April 14 (local time) and the NAQCC Straight Key/Bug
Sprint is April 15. 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, April 5, 2009, for these online course sessions
beginning on Friday, April 17, 2009: Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Level 2; Antenna Modeling, and Radio Frequency
Propagation.

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>;.

* Byron Black, W4SSY, Wins March QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of
the QST Cover Plaque Award for March is Byron Black, W4SSY, for his
article "The W4SSY Spudgun." Congratulations, Byron! 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 April issue by Thursday, April 30.

* 2009 National Hurricane Conference Has Amateur Radio Focus: The 31st
Annual National Hurricane Conference <http://www.hurricanemeeting.com/>
will take place April 6-10 in Austin, Texas. This annual event brings
together many disciplines in the Emergency Management field to address
tropical events that impact the United States. According to ARRL
Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura, K2DCD, the
conference will feature several Amateur Radio presentations catering to
Amateur Radio operators, Emergency Management and Non-Governmental
Organization (NGO) officials. "This will be Amateur Radio's most
significant presence at a National Hurricane Conference," Dura said. On
the afternoon of Tuesday, April 7, Dura said an Amateur Radio Training
Workshop will be offered free of charge to Amateur Radio operators,
Emergency Management and NGO staff and volunteers attending the
Conference. "This has been a yearly tradition at the conference," he
said. "In addition, on Wednesday morning, April 8, an Amateur Radio
Workshop on Situational Awareness and Disaster Intelligence, as well as
an Amateur Radio 'Rap Session,' will be held. For the Wednesday
presentation, the conference registration fee is required."

* ARRL to Close in Observance of Good Friday: ARRL Headquarters will be
closed in observance of Good Friday on Friday, April 10. There will be
no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions that day. "The ARRL
Letter" will be posted a day early on Thursday, April 9; there will be
no "ARRL Audio News" on April 3 or April 10. ARRL Headquarters will
reopen Monday, April 13 at 8 AM Eastern Daylight Time. We wish everyone
a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

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