Register Account

Login Help

ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 22, No. 50
December 19, 2003


* +More power to ya! ISS gets initial Phase 2 gear
* +ARRL "Antenna Design and Construction" on-line course to debut
* +German vocational students interview ISS commander
* +Kid's Day is just ahead!
* +Albania no longer a "rare one"
* +ISS to join Santa in Christmas sky
* +Scholarships abound for radio amateurs
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     VO1MRC announces 60-meter experiments
     Wireless Institute of Australia to host "Welcome to HF QSO Party"
     High school program yields dozens of new hams
     Ham radio payloads on high-altitude balloons focus of NASA-TV airing
     Radio Amateurs of Canada announces 2004-2005 executive officers
     Steffie Nelson, KA1IFB, SK

+Available on ARRL Audio News

NOTE: This is the final edition of The ARRL Letter for 2003. ARRL
Headquarters will be closed for the holidays Thursday, December 25,
Friday, December 26 and Thursday, January 1. There will be no W1AW
bulletin or code practice transmissions on those days. ARRL Headquarters
will be open Monday-Wednesday, December 22-24, and Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday and Friday, December 29, 30, 31 and January 2. The ARRL Letter
and ARRL Audio News will return Friday, January 2, 2004. We wish everyone
a safe and enjoyable holiday!--Rick Lindquist, N1RL


Ham radio in space has reached another milestone with the successful
installation and checkout of the first Amateur Radio on the International
Space Station (ARISS) Phase 2 equipment. The ISS now sports a new Kenwood
TM-D700E dualband transceiver in the Zvezda Service Module--the crew's
living quarters. ISS Expedition 8 Commander Mike Foale, KB5UAC, set up the
new transceiver at NA1SS earlier this month. Only official approval is
needed to begin operations. Activation of the new gear will mean a power
boost for the NA1SS downlink signal, which could prove especially helpful
in school group contacts. The additional equipment--which soon will
include a slow-scan television (SSTV) system--also opens up new
operational possibilities.

"Clearly, we've got multiop, multi-station capability," ARISS
International Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, told ARRL. The ARISS Japan
Team donated the Kenwood radio and made certain hardware and firmware
modifications--including limiting its power output to a maximum of 25
W--to prepare it for flight, he said. Bauer and the ARISS US Team recently
returned from Russia following successful ground testing of Phase 1 and
Phase 2 equipment using a set of flight-identical ARISS antennas as well
as testing of a slow-scan TV (SSTV) system.

The Phase 2 gear will use the four antennas installed on the Service
Module during space walks in 2002 specifically to support Amateur Radio
operations. Addition of the new antennas, which will cover from HF to
microwave frequencies, opened the door to deploying the two separate ham
stations aboard the orbiting outpost. Waiting in the wings is a Yaesu
FT-100 HF/VHF/UHF transceiver that could go into space in January along
with the new SSTV gear.

Bauer says the second ham station with the Kenwood transceiver is near the
Service Module's dinner table and the window. "This prime location will
allow the crew to more conveniently use the ISS ham radio system," he
said. "They'll be able to look out the window while operating from the
Service Module" Complementing the Kenwood TM-D700E will be an Ericsson
70-cm handheld.

"Our intention is to operate SSTV on 70 cm with the Ericsson equipment,"
Bauer said, while the crew will use the Kenwood transceiver for ARISS
school group contacts as well as for casual QSOs on 2 meters. The Kenwood
radio also incorporates a TNC and can support the RS0ISS packet system,
not yet back in operation.

The Phase 1 "initial station" Ericsson 2-meter handheld, which has served
as the only NA1SS gear for more than three years, will remain in place in
the ISS Zarya Functional Cargo Block (FGB).

Details of the ARISS Phase 2 gear is available on AMSAT's ARISS Web page


If there's one thing that all radio amateurs have in common it's the need
for an antenna. The ARRL Certification and Continuing Education program
(C-CE) <> will open registration Monday, December
22, for its new "Antenna Design and Construction" (EC-009) on-line course.
Signup begins at 12:01 AM Eastern Time (0501 UTC). Registration for
"Antenna Design and Construction" will remain open until Sunday, December
28. The class will begin Tuesday, January 13, 2004.

Authored by Ward Silver, N0AX, "Antenna Design and Construction" joins
"Antenna Modeling" (EC-004) as the C-CE program's second antenna-related
course. It will use the ARRL publication Simple and Fun Antennas for Hams
<> by Chuck Hutchinson,
K8CH, and Dean Straw, N6BV, for its textbook. Students must have a copy
before starting this class, which takes 20 to 25 hours to complete.

Students who take "Antenna Design and Construction" must hold an Amateur
Radio license to be able to complete some of the course's practical
activities. They will become familiar with--and experience--antenna design
and construction techniques. Optional antenna construction projects and
experiments involving HF and VHF/UHF antennas of various types are
available for the more adventuresome.

The registration fee for EC-009 is $65 for members and $95 for nonmembers,
exclusive of textbooks and materials.

To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education
(C-CE) <> Web page and click on EC-009. For
additional information, contact the Certification and Continuing Education
Program staff <>;.


Sixteen students at Germany's Berufliche Schule des Kreises Nordfriesland
(North Frisian District Vocational School) enjoyed a successful ham radio
contact December 12 with astronaut Mike Foale, KB5UAC, aboard the
International Space Station. The QSO was the second with a German
vocational school in as many weeks. The direct 2-meter linkup between
NA1SS and the school was arranged via the Amateur Radio on the
International Space Station (ARISS) program. Foale, the commander of the
Expedition 8 crew, has been in space since October with cosmonaut and
flight engineer Sasha Kaleri, U8MIR. He said he most misses hugging his
children. He also said he's not worried that the ISS is in danger from

"Asteroids are a potential danger," Foale said in response to one
student's question, "although I do not believe they are a very likely
danger for the safety of the ISS." A space veteran who earlier this month
became the new US space endurance record holder, Foale also discussed how
the crew members bathe aboard the ISS and what they eat each day. Foale
says he starts his day with a meal of cottage cheese with nuts, which he
described as a Russian dish. The rest of the crew's cuisine also has an
international flavor, despite the fact that about half of it comes from
the US and half from Russia.

A native of England and a Cambridge graduate, Foale explained that he has
contact with his family and friends via e-mail and the space station's
communications system. He says he spends part of his approximately five
hours of free time each week making videos for those on Earth or looking
out the window at the stars and Earth.

The school--in the extreme northwestern German town of NiebŁll--has an
enrollment of some 2600 students and focuses on professional education in
the fields of economics, computer science, health and nutrition,
agriculture, social science and education. It has an Amateur Radio
station, DL0NIB. Coordinating teacher GŁnter Jannsen, DF3LG, used the
club's educational call sign, DN0BSN, for the ARISS contact. He also
prepared students beforehand with lessons on space technology and managed
the installation of the amateur satellite station.

"A big success in every respect!" proclaimed ARISS mentor Peter Kofler,
IN3GHZ. There's more information (in German) about the ARISS contact on
the school's Web site

ARISS <> is an international educational outreach
program with US participation from ARRL, NASA and AMSAT.


For the first time, Kid's Day will occur on a Sunday. The first 2004
running of this popular operating event will be Sunday, January 4 (the
second Kid's Day in 2004 will be Saturday, June 19). Intended to encourage
young people--licensed or not--to enjoy Amateur Radio, Kid's Day offers a
"mentoring opportunity" for experienced amateurs while giving youngsters
some firsthand hamming experience and perhaps sparking a lifelong

"Kid's Day is an opportunity to introduce your own youngsters,
neighborhood kids and nieces and nephews to participate in the magic of
ham radio," suggests Jean Wolfgang, WB3IOS, of ARRL Field and Educational
Services. Originated by the Boring Amateur Radio Club
<>, Kid's Day now is sponsored and administered by
the ARRL with BARC's cooperation and assistance. Now entering its tenth
year, each running of Kid's Day typically attracts more than 1000

Kid's Day is not a contest, and patience is the byword on both sides of
each contact. The role of the licensee and control operator is to help
youngsters with the basics, keep an eye on the technical aspects of the
operation, observe third-party traffic restrictions
<> when
making DX QSOs and ensure station identification at proper intervals. In
this event, it's quality of the contacts that counts, not quantity.

Kid's Day will run from 1800 to 2400 UTC, and there's no limit on
operating time. The suggested exchange is name, age, location and favorite
color. Stations may work the same station again if an operator has
changed. Call "CQ Kid's Day."

Suggested frequencies are 14.270-14.300, 21.380-21.400 and 28.350-28.400
MHz plus 2 meter repeater frequencies, with permission from the repeater's
sponsor). Guidelines for this event are available on the ARRL Web site

All participants are eligible to receive a colorful certificate. Visit the
ARRL Kid's Day Survey page
<> to complete a short
survey and post your comments. You will then have access to download the
certificate page. Or you can send a 9x12 SASE to Boring Amateur Radio
Club, PO Box 1357, Boring, OR 97009.

Kid's Day participants are invited to post logs and comments on the
Internet <>.


Once a "rare one," Albania (ZA) now will be a lot easier to work thanks to
a program that incorporated Amateur Radio training into a university
curriculum. The first-of-its-kind initiative has effectively doubled the
ham radio population of the Balkan nation. Project Goodwill Albania 2003
<> also staged an international operating event that
made thousands of contacts to provide the students with the chance to see
Amateur Radio in action. (QSL via Project Goodwill Albania 2003, PO Box
73, 02380 Espoo, FINLAND.)

During the course, ZA1A--the station of the Albanian Amateur Radio
Association--was on the air to demonstrate Amateur Radio to local
telecommunications and education administrators as well as to the
students. The program wrapped up with some fanfare December 12 as the
Polytechnic University of Tirana students took the full license--the
European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations
(CEPT) <> Class A--Amateur Radio examination under the
 auspices of Albania's licensing authority.

When all was said and done, nearly every one of the fourth and fifth-year
students managed a passing grade. The result was 39 new Albanian
licensees. The university has said it plans to continue the program.

International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Chairman Ole Garpestadt, LA2RR,
congratulated the new licensees and welcomed them to the bands. He also
participated in final negotiations with Albanian authorities for the
country's membership in CEPT and to bring Albania's amateur licensing
regime into line with CEPT. This would provide amateurs visiting Albania
and Albanians visiting abroad with paperwork-free reciprocal operating

A group of ARRL instructors took the reins during the second week of the
project's Amateur Radio training. The five-week-long course used an
advanced Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) study package as a
reference. Some 50 professional educators from the US, the United Kingdom,
Albania, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Macedonia, Spain
and Sweden taught components of the course. Most were from the DXing and
contesting communities.

Project organizer Martti Laine, OH2BH, was honored at the graduation
ceremony as a Senior Fellow of Polytechnic University of Tirana. Laine
first activated Albania in 1970. He returned in 1991 with the ZA1A
combined training course and DXpedition.

Among those supporting the educational effort were IARU Region 1, the
Associazione Radioamatori Italiani (ARI), ARRL, RSGB, Israel Amateur Radio
Club, Uniůn de Radioaficionados EspaŮoles (URE) and the Northern
California DX Foundation, as well as ham manufacturers Vertex-Standard
(Yaesu) and Fluidmotion.

For more information, visit the ZA1A Web site <> and
click on "Project Goodwill Albania 03."--Martti Laine, OH2BH/Project
Goodwill Albania 2004 provided information for this report


Santa Claus will have company in the sky above most US cities on Christmas

"The International Space Station will be visible, weather permitting, with
its two crewmen snug in sleeping bags secured to the walls, with visions
of dehydrated turkey dancing in their heads," NASA says. The ISS will pass
over cities from New York to Los Angeles and most points in between. It
will be easily visible at various times December 23-26.

There's been no information from the Amateur Radio on the International
Space Station (ARISS) <> team to indicate that
NA1SS will be active, but it might be a good idea to monitor the
145.800-MHz downlink frequency just in case (the North American uplink
frequency is 144.49 MHz). More information is available on NASA's
Satellite Sighting Information page

ISS Expedition 8 crew commander Mike Foale, KB5UAC, and cosmonaut and
flight engineer Alex "Sasha" Kaleri, U8MIR, now are more than a third of
the way into their six-month ISS duty tour. For the holiday, they will
enjoy as traditional a Christmas as possible while in orbit some 230 miles
above Earth. NASA says the crew has saved a special ration of smoked
turkey just for the occasion. They also have Velcro ornaments and a
space-saving NOMEX <> Christmas tree.

"The crew has special Christmas stockings, filled by Santa before they
left Earth, with special treats and gifts from family and friends," NASA
says. On Christmas Day, they will see and speak with their families via a
two-way video linkup. Back on Earth, teams of flight controllers and
experiment investigators in Houston, Texas, Huntsville, Alabama, and
Moscow will spend Christmas with the crew as well.

"Keeping the station operating well is a 24/7 job," said NASA Flight
Director Jeff Hanley. "We are sharing our holiday with our crew in


The Foundation for Amateur Radio Inc (FAR), a non-profit organization
headquartered in Washington, DC, plans to administer 59 scholarships for
the 2004-2005 academic year to assist radio amateurs. Comprised of more
than 75 area Amateur Radio clubs, FAR fully funds seven of these
scholarships with income from grants and its annual hamfest. The
foundation administers the remaining 52 without cost to the donors.

FAR invites Amateur Radio licensees planning to pursue a full-time course
of study beyond high school and now enrolled in or accepted for enrollment
at an accredited university, college or technical school to compete for
these scholarships. Awards range from $500 to $2500. Preference in some
cases goes to residents of specific geographical areas or to those
pursuing certain programs of study.

FAR encourages Amateur Radio clubs--especially those in Delaware, Florida,
Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin--to announce
these scholarship opportunities at meetings, in newsletters, during
training classes, on nets and on Web pages.

Additional information and an application form is available by sending a
letter or QSL card postmarked prior to April 30, 2004, to FAR
Scholarships, PO Box 831, Riverdale, MD 20738.

The Foundation for Amateur Radio is an exempt organization under Section
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. It is devoted exclusively
to promoting the interests of Amateur Radio and those scientific, literary
and educational pursuits that advance the purposes of the Amateur Radio


Propagation prognosticator Tad "Sunshine Superman" Cook, K7RA, Seattle,
Washington, reports: Considering the stage of this solar cycle, HF
conditions are good and have even improved over the past few days.

This week, sunspot numbers have risen (42, 71, 92 and 114 for December
15-18). Over the same four days, the planetary A index has dropped (25,
11, 10, 8) along with the mid-latitude A index (18, 9, 4, 2). We don't
often see this combination. With the modest rise in sunspots, we have
declining geomagnetic indices, a welcome combination.

Over the next few days conditions are likely to change. By Sunday,
December 21, Earth should meet a solar wind generated by a coronal hole.
Predicted planetary A index for this weekend is between 15 and 20, but it
should quiet down in the following days. Solar flux for this weekend is
predicted at around 135, and flux values should rise to a peak around 140
by December 22-23. Solar flux may drop below 100 by the New Year.

If geomagnetic indices go low after the weekend and sunspots increase, we
should see improved HF conditions. A forecast from the Prague Geophysical
Institute shows December 24-25 as the quietest geomagnetic days over the
next week.

Sunspot numbers for December 11 through 17 were 35, 36, 40, 48, 42, 71 and
92, with a mean of 52. The 10.7 cm flux was 86.1, 87.2, 87.8, 92.4, 100.8,
106.3 and 117.5, with a mean of 96.9. Estimated planetary A indices were
40, 23, 28, 24, 25, 11 and 10, with a mean of 23.



* This weekend on the radio: The AGB Party Contest, the Russian 160-Meter
Contest, the OK DX RTTY Contest, the Croatian CW Contest and the
International Naval Contest are the weekend of December 20-21. JUST AHEAD:
The Deutscher Amateur Radio Club Christmas Contest is Dec 26. The Radio
Amateurs of Canada Winter Contest, the Stew Perry Topband Challenge, the
Original QRP Contest (CW) and the RAEM Contest are the weekend of December
27-28. The Holiday Milliwatt CW Contest runs December 28-31. ARRL Straight
Key Night, the AGB NYSB Contest and the SARTG New Year RTTY and the AGCW
Happy New Year Contest are January 1. The ARRL RTTY Roundup, Kid's Day,
and the EUCW 160-Meter Contest are the weekend of January 3-4, 2004. See
the ARRL Contest Page <> and the WA7BNM
Contest Calendar <> for
more info.

* VO1MRC announces 60-meter experiments: The Marconi Radio Club of
Newfoundland (MRCN) station VO1MRC will conduct a propagation experiment
on 60 meters Saturday and Sunday, December 20-21, 0000-2400 UTC both days.
During this period, a CW beacon will be in operation on 5269 kHz. The
station will be open briefly for two-way contacts with stations authorized
to transmit on 60 meters, starting 0000 UTC each of these days and will
operate simplex on 5260.5 kHz CW. Following this, VO1MRC will transmit on
5327.5 USB and receive on 5346.5 USB and 3807.5 kHz LSB. MRCN's Joe Craig,
VO1NA, says the experiment was proposed by the club, endorsed by Radio
Amateurs of Canada and authorized by Industry Canada.

* Wireless Institute of Australia to host "Welcome to HF QSO Party": On
New Year's Day 2004, all Australian radio amateurs--whether or not they've
passed a Morse code examination--will gain access to the high-frequency
(HF) bands. The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) invites the world's
Amateur Radio fraternity to join an on-the-air celebration to mark the
occasion. The WIA Welcome to HF QSO Party will begin at 0001 Australian
Eastern Daylight Time (1301 UTC December 31) and conclude at 2400 UTC
January 1, New Year's Day. VK radio amateurs appearing on HF bands for the
first time will have three-letter call sign suffixes beginning with H, T,
U, X, Y or Z. WIA stations joining the QSO Party will have two-letter "WI"
call sign suffixes or three-letter suffixes starting with "WI". Listen for
the call "CQ WIA Welcome to HF QSO Party." There's more information on the
WIA Web site <>.

* High school program yields dozens of new hams: An program of Amateur
Radio integrated into the physics curriculum at central Pennsylvania's
Trinity High School has yielded more than four dozen new hams. The school
is home to the Trinity High School Radio Club, KB3JAG, which now has 49
new members with call signs starting at KB3KLS and running through KB3KNO.
Harrisburg Radio Amateurs Club President Pete DeVolpi, K3PD, credits the
club's VE team, his "train the trainer" program and "a very good teacher
named Sean Barnes, N3JQ" for the successful outcome. DeVolpi says the
Harrisburg Radio Amateurs Club <>, an ARRL special
service club, has adopted a proactive stance in getting new blood into
Amateur Radio. He felt it would be more productive to teach a teacher
about the hobby, then let the teacher train the students each year.
According to Barnes, physics and Amateur Radio integrate well. The
school's radio club, which Barnes began, offers underclass students an
opportunity to get exposure to the hobby before attending his physics
class. Teachers interested in his curriculum may contact him via e-mail

* Ham radio payloads on high-altitude balloons focus of NASA-TV airing:
NASA-TV will air a program later this month dealing with Amateur Radio
payloads and high-altitude ballooning. Arizona Near Space Research (ANSR)
<> has announced that NASA-TV will air its program
Introduction to High-Altitude Ballooning Monday, December 29, as part of
its "Education File" program series. It will air at 8 AM, 2 PM, 5 PM, 8 PM
and 2 AM (December 30) Eastern Time. "We are one of three programs in the
hour-long time slot and are scheduled to start at 30 minutes past the
hour," says ANSR President Michael Gray, KD7LMO, who advises that the
schedule is subject to change and viewers should check the program
listings the day of the airing. NASA-TV is available through DirectTV
channel 376, Dish Network channel 213, on many cable systems,
non-encrypted C-Band (big dish) satellites and as streaming video from the
NASA-TV Web site <>. The
program covers a launch from preparation and liftoff through ascent to
more than 100,000 feet and touchdown. "The goal of ANSR is to promote
science and education through high altitude balloons and Amateur Radio,"
Gray says. The program demonstrates use of a voice repeater as a balloon
payload as well as Amateur Position Reporting System (APRS)
tracking and Amateur TV. "It also shows how we work with educational
groups to promote Amateur Radio," he adds. Visit Gray's Web site
<> for additional information.

* Radio Amateurs of Canada announces 2004-2005 executive officers: The
Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) <> Board of Directors has
announced the organization's executive officers for the 2004-2005 term.
The board elected Daniel Lamoureux, VE2KA (ex-VE2ZDL), to succeed William
Gillis, VE1WG, as RAC's president. Gillis decided not to run for
re-election. Lamoureux outpolled Robert Burns, VE1VCK--the only other
candidate for RAC president--by a 4-3 vote. An ARRL member, Lamoureux is
the longtime RAC Director from Quebec and has been an RAC delegate to the
past two International Amateur Radio Union <> Region 2
Conferences. In 2001 he qualified to teach the United States
Telecommunications Training Institute Amateur Radio Administration course
(see <>). He also has been
active with the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
<> program. Other executive officers elected
without opposition include Robert Nash, VE3KZ, first vice president; James
Dean, VE3IQ, vice president regulatory affairs; Pierre Mainville, VA3PM,
vice president field services and international affairs; and Noel Marcil,
VE2BR, secretary. The RAC says there were no eligible nominees for the
position of treasurer, which is declared vacant as of January 1.

* Steffie Nelson, KA1IFB, SK: Steffie Nelson, KA1IFB, of E Hartford,
Connecticut, died December 14 after a lengthy illness. She was 80. For
more than 20 years, Nelson served as the proofreader for much of the copy
that went into each issue of QST, NCJ and QEX, as well as manuscripts for
all other League publications. "Steffie was our sole proofreader," said
ARRL Production Supervisor Shelly Bloom, WB1ENT. "It took three people to
replace her. She was a great woman." Nelson had retired in the 1970s from
teaching elementary school but went on to a second career as a proofreader
for the Hartford Courant newspaper and in the same capacity for ARRL.
"Steffie was one of the best proofreaders in the history of the League,"
said QST Editor and ARRL Publications Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY. The
family invites memorial contributions to the Humane Society of
Connecticut, 701 Russell Rd, Newington, CT 06111.

The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American
Radio Relay League--The National Association For Amateur Radio--225 Main
St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259;
<>. Jim Haynie, W5JBP, President.

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential news of
interest to active amateurs. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely,
accurate, concise, and readable. Visit ARRLWeb <> for
the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRL Web site
<> offers access to news, informative features and
columns. ARRL Audio News <> is a
weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled from The ARRL Letter.

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.

==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL,
==>ARRL News on the Web: <>
==>ARRL Audio News: <> or call

==>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
ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site
<>. 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

* ARRLWeb <>. (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will
be posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.)

* The listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur
Radio Club: Visit Mailing Lists@QTH.Net
<>. (NOTE: The ARRL
cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this


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!):

Editorial questions or comments: John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, at


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 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".


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.


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, ...


Instragram     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     LinkedIn