ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 28, No. 30
July 31, 2009
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* + Nevada Hams Coordinate Roadside Medical Rescue 
* + Local Hams Aid Rescue Squad to Solve Public Safety Interference
Issue 
* + Baker, Clyburn Confirmed by Senate: FCC at Full Slate 
* + FCC Issues Citation to Part 15 Marketer 
* + Space Shuttle Endeavour Deploys Student-Built Satellites 
*   FUNcube Cubesat Project Announced 
*  Solar Update 
*  IN BRIEF: 
      This Week on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + Amateurs Provide Communications Support During Gas Leak 
    + FCC Expands ARRL's 500 kHz Experimental License 
      International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend 

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

==> NEVADA HAMS COORDINATE ROADSIDE MEDICAL RESCUE 

On the afternoon of July 16, ARRL Elko County (Nevada) Emergency
Coordinator Greg Barker, K7CWL, was making his way home on Nevada
Highway 278 when a van sped past him. About 60 miles later into his
trip, he saw the van slow down and pull over to the side of the road.
Barker, a physical therapist, pulled over and asked if he could assist.
An elderly couple, their daughter and granddaughter were on the way to
the hospital in Elko -- another 60 miles -- as the grandmother was
experiencing what they believed was a series of mini-strokes.

The daughter told Barker that their van kept losing power and wouldn't
run. Barker assessed the grandmother and tried to call 911 on his cell
phone, but there was no coverage in that area. "I put out a call on my
mobile radio, requesting immediate assistance, using the 146.850
repeater located about 55 miles away, part of a wide-area linked
repeater system maintained by the Elko Amateur Radio Club," he told the
ARRL. "Kent LeBart, K6IN, club president and a radio technician for the
Nevada State Highway Patrol, was monitoring the system and responded
immediately, asking how he could be of assistance."

Using the crossband repeat mode on his mobile radio, Barker was able to
stay with the family at the van. He also used his handheld transceiver
to tell LeBart that the grandmother needed to get to the emergency room.
"Kent contacted central dispatch and relayed the information I gave him
and asked me questions from the dispatch about the patient's situation
and condition," he said. "Based on that information, they sent a medivac
helicopter from Elko and an ambulance from Carlin."

Barker said that Highway 278 has no mile markers: "I relayed information
to dispatch about the location using the closest ranch name and mountain
pass turn-off as landmarks. With this information, volunteer fire
fighters and first responders were on scene in about 20 minutes and the
helicopter was on scene in about 30 minutes, followed by the ambulance
at about 35 minutes."

Another local ham, Joe Sasgen, AD7OO, was able to offer useful
information about approximate arrival times of the helicopter and
ambulance. "Joe was monitoring central dispatch out of Elko," Barker
said. "This information was reassuring to the family."

Flight paramedics assessed the grandmother and determined that a flight
was justified based on her condition, Barker told the ARRL. "I was able
to take her husband into the hospital in Elko to meet his wife. This is
another testament to the value and utility of Amateur Radio,
particularly on the lonely highways of rural Northern Nevada."

==> LOCAL HAMS AID RESCUE SQUAD TO SOLVE PUBLIC SAFETY INTERFERENCE
ISSUE 

When you live on a remote island with numerous mountains and valleys,
communications can be tricky. Add interference that blocks the main
communications frequency used by the local emergency rescue squad and
you've got a disaster waiting to happen. That's what responders and
residents on St John in the US Virgin Islands recently found themselves
facing.

On June 12, the primary repeater output frequency for St John Rescue
<http://www.stjohnrescue.org/> was completely blocked by a 2-tone AFSK
signal that continued for more than a week. Because St John Rescue uses
the frequency to dispatch, monitor and provide two-way communications
during emergency calls, it was vital that the cause of the problem be
detected and corrected.

According to Phyllis Benton, NP2MZ, a Public Information Officer in the
ARRL US Virgin Islands Section, some members of St John Rescue are also
members of ARES. With some additional help from the FCC, three hams --
Paul Jordan, NP2JF, Mal Preston, NP2L, and George Cline, KP2G -- set out
to find the source of the interference.

The interference was not directly affecting operation of a second rescue
repeater, Benton told the ARRL. "St John Rescue Chief Gilly Grimes and
Paul Jordan, NP2JF, used handheld Yagi antennas to 'fox hunt' for the
source of interference," she said. "To their surprise, the signal was
being received off the back of the antennas and coming in very strong."

The source of the interference turned out to be 32 miles away from a
tower on Mount St Georges on the island of St Croix. "The carrier
frequency was just 7.5 kHz above the rescue frequency of 158.7525 MHz,"
she explained. "Upon closer inspection, the problem was isolated to a
repeater that is part of the new US Virgin Islands territory-wide MPT
1327 trunking system. This transmitter was licensed for and was putting
out 120 W with a pass band of 50 kHz and was being tested as the control
channel."

Benton said that the second, unaffected repeater operates at an output
frequency of 159.660 MHz, far enough away from the trunking frequency
being tested to avoid being affected: "This second repeater serves areas
not covered by the primary repeater. So, until the problem was resolved,
a large part of St John was left without reliable rescue emergency radio
communications. Once the source of the problem was identified, the
interference was turned off on June 19."

To head off any future interference problems, the trunking system
promoters have asked St John Rescue to change its current repeater
frequencies to frequencies that theoretically would not receive
interference from the trunking system. Benton said that St John Rescue
is considering this request.  -- Information provided by PIO Phyllis
Benton, NP2MZ

==> BAKER, CLYBURN CONFIRMED BY SENATE: FCC AT FULL SLATE 

On Friday, July 24, the Senate confirmed the nominations of Meredith
Attwell Baker and Mignon Clyburn as FCC Commissioners. Both nominees
appeared before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and
Transportation on July 15 to be vetted by the 25 members of the
committee. Baker and Clyburn were nominated by President Barack Obama on
June 25; no date has been set for their swearing in.

Clyburn will fill the unexpired term of Republican Deborah Taylor Tate,
whose tenure as a Commissioner came to a close on January 3, 2009 when
the Senate failed to confirm her nomination; Clyburn's term will expire
June 30, 2012. Baker will fill the unexpired term of fellow Republican
and former Chairman Kevin J. Martin who resigned in January 2009; her
term will expire June 30, 2011. Baker will join Robert McDowell as a
Republican on the Commission. Current Commissioner Michael Copps is a
Democrat, as are Chairman Julius Genachowski and Clyburn. Only three
sitting Commissioners may be members of the same political party.

For much of this year, the FCC has been operating with just three
commissioners. Once Genachowski was sworn in as chairman, Commissioner
Jonathan Adelstein, a Democrat, left the FCC. He was confirmed by the
Senate as the Administrator for the United States Department of
Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS), also on July 24. Chairman
Genachowski said that he is looking forward to "forging a strong
partnership with Jonathan as the FCC and RUS collaborate to extend the
benefits of broadband to all corners of the country."

Meredith Baker Attwell
Baker, the daughter-in-law of former Secretary of State James Baker,
served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Communications and
Information and the Acting Administrator of the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) from 2007 to
January 2009. Named as Deputy Assistant Secretary in February 2007,
Baker first joined NTIA as a Senior Advisor in January 2004, and also
served as Acting Associate Administrator for the Office of International
Affairs and on detail to the White House, Office of Science and
Technology Policy.

Baker spearheaded the coupon program for digital-to-analog converter
boxes to help facilitate the transition to digital television (DTV). She
has served on delegations representing the United States at major
international telecommunications conferences and engaged in bilateral
discussions with senior level officials from countries around the world.
Before joining NTIA, Baker was Vice President at the firm of Williams
Mullen Strategies where she focused on telecommunications, intellectual
property and international trade issues. From 2000-2002, she held the
position as Senior Counsel to Covad Communications. Before that, she was
Director of Congressional Affairs at the Cellular Telecommunications
Industry Association (CTIA) from 1998-2000. In the 1990s, Baker worked
at the US Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit in Houston and later at the law
firm of DeLange and Hudspeth. From 1990-1992, she worked in the
Legislative Affairs Office of the US Department of State in Washington,
DC.

In her opening statement at her confirmation hearing, Baker spoke of the
need for broadband technology. "Chairman Genachowski, who is off to a
great start at the FCC, gave an inspirational introductory speech to the
FCC staff on the day of his arrival," she said. "He stated that the
promise of technology has never been brighter and consequently, the
obligations of the Commission have never been greater. I share that
view. The FCC holds the keys to unleashing the power of broadband, the
new media landscape and true public safety interoperability. That
responsibility is challenging but the rewards will truly make a
difference in the life and future of every American"
<http://commerce.senate.gov/public/_files/BakerStatement.pdf>. 

Baker reminded the Committee that Congress has directed the FCC to
develop and implement a National Broadband Plan by February 2010. "This
directive holds great promise for our nation," she said. "Not only do
many aspects of our children's education and opportunities for lifelong
learning depend on this directive, but so too does the next generation
of health care delivery, smart energy grid development, and public
safety interoperability. The FCC will play an important role in making
sure that the right regulatory environment exists to incent companies to
build out infrastructure faster, to reward innovation and investment and
to encourage competition."

She also spoke about the Radio Spectrum Inventory Act that was
introduced in March in the Senate; a companion bill was introduced in
the House in early July
<http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/07/15/10964/>: "I believe we can
reap great benefits from a spectrum policy that unlocks the value of the
public airwaves in more efficient, transparent and flexible ways. The
Spectrum Inventory bill that this Committee marked up last week shows
important leadership and is a first step to increasing wireless
broadband use in innovative ways such as secondary markets, leasing, and
testbeds."

Chairman Genachowski congratulated Baker on her confirmation. "Meredith
is a distinguished public servant who will bring unique insight and
expertise to bear in the agency's policymaking process," he said. "I
enthusiastically await Meredith's arrival at the FCC and the opportunity
to collaborate with her on advancing our shared goal of improving the
lives of all Americans. With the full slate of Commissioners on board, I
look forward to working with all of my colleagues on policies that
advance innovation, investment, competition and consumer interests."

Mignon Clyburn
Clyburn, the daughter of House Majority Whip Representative James
Clyburn (D-SC), has served on the Public Service Commission of South
Carolina since 1998. The Public Service Commission regulates South
Carolina's investor owned public utilities, including providers of
telecommunications services. Before her election to that body, she spent
14 years as the publisher and general manager of The Coastal Times, a
weekly newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina.

In 1998, Clyburn was elected by the South Carolina General Assembly as a
Commissioner to represent the Sixth Congressional District; she has been
re-elected three times, chairing the Commission from 2002-2004. She is a
past chair of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility
Commissioners, and is presently the chair of the Washington Action
Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility
Commissioners (NARUC). Clyburn also serves on NARUC's Audit Committee
and Utilities Market Access Partnership Board.

Clyburn told the Committee that she will "work with each member of [the
Commerce, Science and Transportation] Committee to ensure that the FCC
is fair, open and transparent and that it protects consumers, encourages
robust competition in the marketplace and champions technological
innovation."

In her opening statement, Clyburn emphasized that "We also must ensure
that all Americans have access to and can make productive use of the
communications tools essential to making the American Dream a reality.
Most notably, by providing universal, high-speed, high-quality
affordable access to broadband we can establish the essential
underpinnings for enduring national prosperity"
<http://commerce.senate.gov/public/_files/ClyburnStatement.pdf>. 

In speaking to the Committee, she said she was "a strong believer in the
value of collaboration within and among levels of the government," and
has "witnessed first-hand the benefits of and necessity for cooperation
among local, state and federal governmental agencies. These partnerships
are essential to achieving a uniform and predictable regulatory
environment in which technological innovation can thrive."

Clyburn said that network operators should have "reasonable tools" to
control what goes over their networks. She said that whether network
neutrality regulations were needed would depend on whether the market
was competitive. If so, there might be no need, but if not, it warranted
consideration.

"It is with great pleasure that I congratulate Mignon L. Clyburn on her
Senate confirmation," Chairman Genachowski said. "Mignon's deep
commitment to public service, experience in state government, and
entrepreneurial expertise will be invaluable assets to this agency. I
enthusiastically await Mignon's arrival at the FCC and the opportunity
to collaborate with her on advancing our shared goal of improving the
lives of all Americans through communications. With the full slate of
Commissioners on board, I look forward to working with all of my
colleagues on policies that promote innovation, investment, competition
and consumers."

==> FCC ISSUES CITATION TO PART 15 MARKETER 

On July 28, the FCC issued a Citation to Hobby Lobby International (HLI)
<http://www.hobby-lobby.com/> for marketing non-compliant radio
frequency devices
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-1626A1.pdf>.
According to the Commission, these devices were in violation of the
Communications Act of 1934, As Amended and the Commission's Rules, as
well as United States Customs and Border Patrol regulations.

On March 5, the Spectrum Enforcement Division of the Commission's
Enforcement Bureau sent HLI a Letter of Inquiry, initiating an
investigation. The FCC wanted to know if the Tennessee-based company was
marketing an unauthorized radio frequency device, specifically, the
Pilot View FPV 2400 video transmitter
<http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=858566>. According to
the Citation, the FCC observed that the device was marketed on the
retailer's Web site.

HLI responded to the Letter of Inquiry on May 7, telling the FCC that
they began selling the Pilot View FPV 2400 video transmitter on May 12,
2008; they have sold 109 units of the device in the United States. In
its reply, the company told the FCC that the manufacturer of the
transmitter, Intelligent Flight, an Australian company, represented to
them that the device was FCC compliant. HLI admitted they imported the
transmitters, but did not file any FCC Form 740s for the imported units
(before radio frequency devices may be imported to the United States, an
FCC Form 740 [or the electronic equivalent] must be filed with the
United States Customs and Border Patrol). According to the Citation, HLI
stated that the last date that a transmitter was received was November
17, 2008, which is around the time that HLI's contact at Intelligent
Flight stopped responding to their requests for further information
concerning the device.

The FCC noted that HLI sent a unit to a test lab prior to receiving the
Letter of Inquiry. "After receiving the Letter of Inquiry, HLI contacted
the test lab to inquire about the test results and learned, for the
first time, that the device is not FCC compliant," the Citation said.
"HLI provide[d] a copy of the test results, which indicate that the
device substantially exceeds FCC radiated emission limits. HLI state[d]
that [they] discontinued selling this device as soon as it became aware
that the device was not FCC compliant."

The FCC said "it appears that HLI violated Section 302(b) of the Act and
Sections 2.803 and 15.209 of the Rules by marketing in the United States
the Pilot View FPV 2400 transmitter. It also appears that HLI violated
Section 2.1203 of the Rules by importing the Pilot View FPV 2400
transmitter without making the required import declaration."

HLI was warned that "if, after receipt of this citation, you violate the
Communications Act or the Commission's Rules in any manner described
herein, the Commission may impose monetary forfeitures not to exceed
$16,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing violation."
The company was given 30 days to respond to the Citation either through
a personal interview at the Commission's Field Office nearest to your
place of business or a written statement. HLI was advised that any
response should specify the actions that they are taking to ensure that
they do not violate the Commission's Rules governing the marketing and
importing of radio frequency equipment in the future.

==> SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR TO DEPLOY STUDENT-BUILT SATELLITES 

The space shuttle Endeavour returned to Earth on Friday, July 31, but
before it left orbit, it deployed four student-built satellites, all
with telemetry downlinks in the 2 meter (70 cm) amateur bands.

The twin spherical satellites -- named Castor and Pollux -- were
designed by students in cooperation with the Naval Research Laboratory
as part of the Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment (ANDE)
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/science/experiments/STP-H2-AN
DE.html>. Both satellites will transmit 1200-baud packet radio telemetry
on 145.825 MHz. Hams are encouraged to submit telemetry reports with
special QSLs and mission patches planned (check the ANDE Web site for
updates).

Castor and Pollux carry an FX.25 experiment that adds Forward Error
Correction to standard AX.25 packets. The hope is that FX.25 will
improve communication efficiency while still being compatible with
existing packet equipment. The satellites also occasionally run
GMSK/FX.25 modulation experiments at 9600 baud.

In addition to Castor and Pollux, Endeavour also deployed student
satellites from the University of Texas and Texas A&M. The tiny
picosatellites, christened BEVO-1 and AggieSat2, respectively, are part
of an ambitious experiment that will ultimately culminate in autonomous
docking of picosats in orbit. For this mission, however, BEVO-1 and
AggieSat2 launched as one unit and then separated to collect position
data and test a new NASA Global Positioning System receiver known as
DRAGON.

BEVO-1 transmits Morse code beacons (20 WPM) or packet radio data
telemetry at 437.325 MHz. AggieSat2 beacons at 436.250 MHz. The
satellites primarily transmit 9600-baud packet telemetry when over the
United States. As with Castor and Pollux, reception reports are welcome
<http://paradigm.ae.utexas.edu/ops/>.

Orbiting at a relatively low altitude of 185 miles, these satellites
should be easy to receive with standard FM transceivers and
omnidirectional antennas. They should enjoy an operational life of 3-6
months and will likely re-enter the Earth's atmosphere within a year.

==> FUNcube CUBESAT PROJECT ANNOUNCED

AMSAT-UK <http://www.uk.amsat.org/> has announced a new amateur
satellite project -- FUNcube <http://www.funcube.org.uk/> -- an
educational single cubesat project that features a 435-145 MHz linear
transponder for SSB/CW operation. According to AMSAT-UK, FUNcube will
"enthuse and educate" young people about radio, space, physics and
electronics. "The idea of FUNcube is to combine an educational project
to excite young people with a simple linear transponder for radio
amateurs to use with either legacy modes like CW and SSB, or, still to
come, digital ones," said IARU Region 1 Satellite Coordinator Graham
Shirville, G3VZV. Shirville is also affiliated with AMSAT-UK and
ARISS-Europe <http://www.ariss-eu.org/>.

FUNcube's target audience consists of primary and secondary school
students. The new satellite will feature a 145 MHz telemetry beacon that
will provide a strong signal for the pupils to receive. "A simple
receiver board is being developed," Shirville explained. "This can be
connected to the USB port of a laptop to display telemetry in a fun way
for the kids to learn. FUNcube will contain a materials science
experiment, from which the school students can receive telemetry data
that they can compare to the results they obtained from similar
reference experiments in the classroom." FUNcube is the first cubesat
designed to benefit this age group and is expected to be the first
British cubesat to reach space.

According to Shirville, FUNcube would be launched into a Sun Synchronous
Low Earth Orbit (about 600-700 km above the Earth) using one of the many
launch opportunities that exist for cubesat missions. According to QST
Editor and satellite expert Steve Ford, WB8IMY, since FUNcube will be in
a low orbit, amateurs from all around the world, including North
America, should be able to access it.

FUNcube will carry a UHF-to-VHF linear transponder that will have up to
1 W and that can be used by radio amateurs worldwide for SSB and CW
communications. Measuring just 10x10x10 cm and with a mass of less than
1 kg, it will be the smallest ever satellite to carry a linear
transponder. The choice of frequencies will enable radio amateurs to use
their existing VO-52 or DO-64 station.

A key feature of the satellite is the absence of an on-board computer.
For reliability and maximum power efficiency, Shirville explained that
the design has been kept as "straight-forward as possible," with
satellite control being achieved using simple commands.

Shirville said the project should take less than a year to build: "Then
we need to find a cubesat launch opportunity. We believe that this is an
achievable mission with a relatively short timescale."

AMSAT-UK teams have provided hardware for more than 10 satellites over
the past 35 years, including SSETI Express in 2005. They are presently
involved with the development of hardware and software for a number of
satellite projects, including the European Student Earth Orbiter (ESEO),
P3E, SuitSat2 <http://suitsat2.org/>, the Columbus module on the
International Space Station and also the GENSO Ground Station Network.
"We hope that ESEO and SuitSat2 might have data formats with VHF
downlinks that are also compatible with FUNcube-- this would make the
educational potential even greater," Shirville said.  -- Information
provided by Graham Shirville, G3VZV

==>SOLAR UPDATE 

Tad "Speckled by the mid-day Sun" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: No
sunspot activity this week, and if no sunspot appears today, July 31,
the average sunspot number for July will be 5.1; this is down from
June's average of 6.6. The monthly average of the daily sunspot number,
January-July 2009, is 2.8, 2.5, 0.8, 1.3, 4, 6.6 and 5.1. The
three-month averages for October 2008-June 2009 were 4.5, 4.4, 3.6, 2.2,
2, 1.5, 2, 4.2 and 5.2. This takes into account all the daily sunspot
numbers for September 2008-July 2009, and those numbers are for the
center months of each of those three month moving average periods.
Sunspot numbers for July 23-29 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean
of 0. The 10.7 cm flux was 67.8, 68.3, 69.1, 67.6, 68.4, 68.7 and 68.3
with a mean of 68.3. The estimated planetary A indices were 8, 6, 7, 3,
4, 4 and 2 with a mean of 4.9. The estimated mid-latitude A indices were
8, 5, 5, 1, 2, 3 and 2 with a mean of 3.7. Geophysical Institute Prague
predicts unsettled conditions July 31, quiet to unsettled August 1,
quiet August 2-4, quiet to unsettled August 5 and unsettled August 6.
For this weekend, the planetary A index is predicted at 7, which is
slightly more active than it has been lately. A solar wind from a
coronal hole would be the cause. We are hoping for a return of a recent
sunspot group, but only a weak sunspot was spotted from European
observatories this morning (July 31). 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 Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "This
Lime-tree Bower My Prison"
<http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=173248>. 

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This Week on the Radio: This week, there is an NCCC Sprint on August
1. The ARRL UHF Contest, the 10-10 Summer QSO Party and the North
American QSO Party (CW) are August 1-2. Next week, there is an NCCC
Sprint Ladder on August 7. The WAE DX Contest (CW) and the Maryland-DC
QSO Party are August 8-9. The SKCC Weekend Sprint is August 9. The
MMMonVHF/DUBUS 144 MHz Meteorscatter Sprint Contest and the NAQCC
Straight Key/Bug Sprint are August 12. 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, August 23, 2009, for these online course sessions
beginning on Friday, September 4, 2009: Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Level 1; Antenna Modeling; Radio Frequency Interference;
Antenna Design and Construction; Ham Radio (Technician) License Course;
Propagation; 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>;.

* Amateurs Provide Communications Support During Gas Leak: On Friday,
July 23 at 2 PM, Sacramento City CERT <http://www.sacramentocert.net/>
activated Sacramento City Fire CERT and Sacramento County ARES for a
large natural gas leak in South Sacramento. According to ARRL Sacramento
Valley Section DEC and CERT Communications Manager Frank Reshke, N6SNO,
a two block area was evacuated due to the leak. "Around 30 people came
to a shelter that had been set up at a local church," he said. "This is
where the CERT and ARES amateurs established a communications network
with the Unified Command of Sacramento City Fire and Police and the Red
Cross." Reshke said the incident lasted for four hours: "At 6:05 PM, the
Unified Command allowed the evacuees back into the neighborhood."  --
Information provided by Frank Reshke, N6SNO 

* FCC Expands ARRL's 500 kHz Experimental License: On July 28, the FCC
approved a modification that expands the ARRL's 500 kHz experimental
license WD2XSH
<https://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/els/GetAtt.html?id=100140&x=.>. According to
Experiment Coordinator Fritz Raab, W1FR, the expansion allows for more
frequencies, more stations and portable operations. "We can now operate
between 495-510 kHz," Raab said. "We were previously limited to 505-510
kHz. We will not be using 500 kHz itself so as to ensure that there is
no conflict with the heritage stations on that frequency. The expansion
also gives us the opportunity to expand the number of participating
stations. We can now have 42 stations, where before we were limited to
23." Raab said that the expansion will now let participants operate
within 50 km of their designated stations. This was not allowed under
the previous terms of the experimental license. "Some stations have
reduced operating bands to ensure that they do not interfere with nearby
non-directional beacons (NDB). The FCC's Office of Engineering and
Technology granted the WD2XSH experimental license to the ARRL in
September 2006 <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2006/09/15/104/>. Find
out more information on the ARRL's 500 kHz Experiment in the July/August
2007 issue of QEX <http://www.arrl.org/qex>. 

* International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend: More than 300 lighthouses
in more than 51 countries -- from Argentina to Wales -- will be on the
air for 2009 International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend (ILLW)
<http://illw.net/> organized by the Ayr Amateur Radio Group (AARG) in
Scotland <http://www.gm0ayr.org/>. The event, held for the 11th year in
a row, takes place Saturday, August 15 0001 UTC-Sunday, August 16 2359
UTC. While not a contest, the ILLW is more of a QSO Party and Amateur
Radio demonstration. The ILLW aims to raise public awareness of
lighthouses and lightships and the need for their preservation and
restoration, promote Amateur Radio and foster international goodwill.
Stations at more than 40 US lights are expected to be on the air for the
event, and several stations will identify with special event call signs.
Participating lighthouse/lightship stations do not have to be inside the
structure or on the vessel itself; a Field Day-type setup at or adjacent
to the light is sufficient. More information about the event, including
a registration form, is available on the ILLW Web site
<http://illw.net/2009_list.htm>. 

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