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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 23, No. 37
September 17, 2004


* +Ham radio volunteers again aid hurricane relief, recovery
* +ARRL kicks off 2005 campaign for Spectrum Defense
* +No shower, no bath, no problem, astronaut tells students
* +ARRL plays role in Maryland antenna victory
* +FCC swaps ham's license for big fine
* +Registration opens for new ARRL Propagation course
* +Mike Anuta, W8HKY, SK
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course registration
     ARRL seeks Community Education Program Coordinator
    +Cayman Islands emergency traffic exempt from third-party traffic

+Available on ARRL Audio News



Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) teams were ready and waiting as
Hurricane Ivan devastated entire sections of the US Gulf Coast early
September 16. Packing 115 MPH winds as it made landfall, Ivan zeroed in on
the Mobile Bay area of Alabama, but because of its huge girth, the storm
wrought widespread death and destruction in the Florida Panhandle and also
affected Mississippi. Below-sea-level New Orleans was spared major
flooding, however. Alabama Section Emergency Coordinator Jay Isbell,
KA4KUN, said ham radio has been helping relief agencies, especially in the
hard-hit southernmost counties.

"Right now the adrenaline's still up," he said September 16 of volunteers
staffing a statewide ARES communication network--an HF net with liaisons
to local repeaters and including all of the state's emergency operations
centers. "Most everybody south of us is operating on emergency power."

In Baldwin and Mobile counties--which straddle Mobile Bay--telephone
service was out, so ham radio was providing a substantial communication
link, Isbell said. "We're giving their messages priority." Most traffic
has been logistical--requests for shelter cots, tarpaulins and
generators--"but they've also asked for three four-wheel drive vehicles
and a helicopter for search and rescue as well as damage assessment," he

ARES teams along the Gulf have been providing communication support for
the Red Cross, The Salvation Army and the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
organization. ARES already is assisting with damage assessment activity,
for the first time using Global Positioning System units and computerized
mapping as an aid.

ARRL Alabama SM Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, praised Isbell's efforts and said
he's proud of Alabama's radio amateurs. "Many amateurs stepped up to
provide communications and assistance," he said. "Several amateurs
traveled to Southern Alabama before Ivan to help get ready for the
hurricane." He said others traveled to the Mobile area to help emergency
managers "and people they don't even know."

In Northern Florida, Western Panhandle ARES District Emergency Coordinator
Bill Hayden, WY8O, reported damage assessment was under way in Okaloosa
County, where the storm took out several repeaters and telephone service.
In southern Santa Rosa County, massive flooding and several fatalities
were reported, and refugees were forced to take shelter. In Escambia
County, five shelters and four hospitals sustained storm damage, and
several people died. The hurricane destroyed the Interstate 10 bridge
connecting Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, cutting off residents and
relief workers alike.

At week's end, Northern Florida Section Traffic Manager Dale Sewell,
N4SGQ, was working up a list of relief personnel and waiting on how to get
them into the affected area. "Having lived in Pensacola for 35 years, I
know the complications of being surrounded on so many sides by water,"
Sewell said. "I just never imagined that all the routes would be cut off
simultaneously." He said Escambia County was left virtually without power,
which utilities say could take three weeks to restore.
In Mississippi, ARRL SM Malcolm Keown, W5XX, reported that outside of some
"significant interference" the West Gulf ARES Net operation went smoothly.
Most traffic was tactical, he said, to help the Red Cross with needed
equipment and supplies. The net, on 7285 and 3873 kHz, operates in
accordance with a memorandum of understanding among the ARRL Louisiana,
Mississippi and South Texas sections.

Keown says ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, stepped in to restore the
fallen dipole antenna of West Gulf ARES Net National Traffic System
Coordinator Carolyn Womack, KC5OZT, who's also North Texas Section Traffic
Manager. "He went over and fixed it, and by 4 o'clock she was back on the
air, so chalk one up for the ARRL president!" Keown said.

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) <> on 14.325 MHz secured
operations for Hurricane Ivan September 16, but only to take another
breather before an anticipated reactivation for Hurricane Jeanne in a few
days. The nearly continuous activations over the past four weeks have
taken a toll on HWN members, HWN Manager Mike Pilgrim, K5MP, told ARRL,
and several were affected by storm-related damage.

The HWN coordinates its activities with WX4NHC <> at
the National Hurricane Center to gather real-time ground-level weather
data and damage reports from Amateur Radio volunteers in a storm's path
and relay these to forecasters. This hurricane season WX4NHC has been
taking advantage of IRLP and EchoLink via the new VOIPWX Net
<>, which also provides streaming audio.

The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN)
<> on 14.265 MHz has been handling health-and-welfare
inquiries in the wake of the recent round of hurricanes. The net also
handles emergency communications from storm-affected areas. SATERN also
takes health-and-welfare inquiries via its Web site.

The National Weather Service was warning areas still in the path of the
remnants of Hurricane Ivan that they could be in for heavy rainfall and
possible tornadoes.


The ARRL this week kicked off its 2005 Spectrum Defense Fund campaign with
the slogan "more than just BPL!" ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, says
that while interference from BPL--broadband over power line--technology is
the most prominent and immediate threat to amateur spectrum, generous
donations from ARRL members and supporters make it possible for the League
to face it and other spectrum challenges. Haynie says that not all of
ARRL's advocacy efforts necessarily involve taking defensive measures,
such as with BPL, but all of them are essential.

"Forty meters, Little LEOs some years back, the work that the League's
Technical Relations Office in Washington does--all this makes the spectrum
available to us," Haynie said. "And without spectrum, the license that we
have in our pocket or hanging up on the wall is pretty much useless."

Haynie says that, as he sees it, the League's job is to look out for the
best interests of Amateur Radio and make sure that we have spectrum to
operate on. "And that's a big job, it's a huge job that we've undertaken.
It becomes very important because spectrum is so precious."

It's also a job whose cost and complexity have risen considerably in the
past decade, as new technology-driven demand for spectrum has put
increasing pressure on Amateur Radio frequencies. World Radiocommunication
Conferences, at which ARRL and International Amateur Radio Union personnel
represent Amateur Radio's interests, now occur every two or three years
instead of once a decade. As ARRL CEO David Sumner pointed out in a
fundraising letter <> to League
members, in such an environment, the League no longer can cover the cost
of its operations and advocacy efforts with dues revenue and the sale of
publications and QST advertising.

"The whole philosophy of spectrum management is being rethought, with the
objective of easing access for new products for consumers and industry,"
Sumner wrote. "But as the rules for their introduction and use are
developed, we in the Amateur Radio Service need an advocate to ensure that
our interests are safeguarded. With your help, the ARRL will continue to
be that advocate, for ourselves and for future generations of radio

In 1985, the League spent perhaps $200,000 on advocacy and spectrum
defense. The League's Washington office at the time consisted of one staff
member. As 2005 looms, it's a much different picture.

"Today we spend close to $900,000, and I know it's something that hams
can't see, touch or feel, but it's just as important as those things that
they can--like QST and the Handbook," Haynie said, "because we would not
have all those things if it were not for the fact that we have a place to

The 2005 Spectrum Defense Fund depends on membership support and is
essential to the League's continued success. Radio amateurs may contribute
online via the ARRL's secure donor Web site
<>. Those contributing at
or above the $50 level may request a gift as a token of the League's

For more information about the 2005 Spectrum Defense Fund or to discuss
other ways you can support the ARRL's continuing work on behalf of Amateur
Radio, contact ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH.
<>;; 860-594-0397.


NASA astronaut Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, told students at Kingston Community
School in South Australia that keeping oneself clean in space is not that
much of a problem, despite the lack of a shower or bathtub. During a
September 10 Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
school group contact, Fincke suggested that no one will run the other way
when he and ISS Expedition 9 Commander Gennady Padalka, RN3DT, return to
Earth--even though neither will have had a real bath or shower during
their six-month stay. The ISS crew washes up instead using wet towels and
special shampoo, Fincke explained.

"We have some special space shampoo that doesn't require water, and it
does a pretty good job," Fincke said. "So at the end of the mission, even
though it's six months without a bath, we're still pretty good, and we
don't smell too bad." Fincke said keeping clean is important, but the crew
doesn't really get that dirty to start with. He also said he keeps his
hair very short to make it easy to shampoo.

As for space food--it's "pretty good," he said, responding to another
favorite question. But the astronauts can't just pop into the kitchen when
they feel hungry and grab a cold drink from the fridge or whip up
something on the stove. "Now, we don't have a refrigerator, and we don't
have any kind of oven or a microwave, but we can warm up our food," he
explained. Meals--there's both American and Russian cuisine aboard--come
dehydrated, and the astronauts just add water and wait a few minutes for a
food warmer to do its job. Fincke said he and Padalka also take advantage
of mealtime to discuss their activities.

"We certainly enjoy three meals a day, and that's the time when the
commander and I, we have a chance to talk about our day and go over our
plans," Fincke said, "so mealtime is one of my favorite times."

One topic they've likely been discussing the past few days has been
recurring problems with the space station's primary oxygen-generation
system. Russian engineers on the ground spent last weekend analyzing the
intermittent problem. NASA says the crew is in no danger, however. The
Elektron oxygen system initially shut down September 8. It works by
separating water into oxygen for ISS use and hydrogen, which is vented

International Space Station Amateur Radio Club NN1SS in Greenbelt,
Maryland, served as the Earth station for the contact with NA1SS in space.
A two-way teleconference link, donated by MCI, made it possible for the
students to ask questions and hear Fincke's replies. Dave Taylor, W8AAS,
served as the control operator at NN1SS. ARISS International Chairman
Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, and Mark Steiner, K3MS, assisted. ARISS veteran Tony
Hutchison, VK5ZAI, worked with Kingston Community School to make
arrangements for the contact.

ARISS is an international educational outreach with US participation from


ARRL member John Evans, N3HBX, says he'll go forward with plans to erect
four 192-foot towers on a 44-acre farmland tract he owns near Poolesville,
Maryland. ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, testified as an expert
witness on Evans' behalf September 9 when a Montgomery County Circuit
Court judge denied a request for a preliminary injunction brought by
Evans' neighbors in an effort to have his building permits for the
structures rescinded.

"Thank you for your sterling support today!" Evans e-mailed Imlay after
the ruling by Circuit Court Judge DeLawrence Beard. "I am sure it made a
difference." While another court proceeding to deal with the
interpretation of Montgomery County's zoning ordinance lies ahead, Evans'
attorney, Steve Van Grack--a former Rockville mayor--has told him he's
free to put up his towers--even at the risk that they might have to come
down later if the courts ultimately rule against him. "And that is what I
plan to do," Evans said.

Imlay says Judge Beard was not convinced by the assertions of Evans'
neighbors that installing the four antenna support structures would result
in irreparable harm, and he declined to grant an injunction to stop the
project until its legality could be established in court. "The issue was
whether or not a special exception--like a conditional use permit--is
required or just the building permits that were issued by the County,"
Imlay explained. A conditional use permit would have required a public
hearing. "Evans is not out of the woods yet, but this allows him to put up
the towers," he said.

Judge Beard ruled only on the preliminary injunction request, however. The
neighbors earlier had attempted to get a temporary restraining order, but
that was denied by the Circuit Court August 30. In turning down the
injunction request, Judge Beard said the towers could come down just as
they went up--if that was his final decision--so any harm to the neighbors
would not be irreparable.

The county granted Evans a building permit to construct the towers as
accessory use structures on June 23. Evans reportedly paid just over $1
million for the property in March on the condition that a building permit
for the towers be approved. He's also built a house on the property, which
is within Montgomery County's agricultural reserve.

Evans' neighbors have strenuously opposed the DXCC Honor Roller's plans to
put up the towers for his new contest station, and they told reporters the
latest setback will not halt their efforts. Contending the tower project
will destroy the "rural character of the area," more than 200 area
residents signed a petition requesting a public hearing.

According to The Gazette newspaper, Evans has met with delegations of
neighbors in an effort to accommodate their complaints--including an offer
to plant trees to obscure the view of the towers. He also offered to
remove the towers in 15 years when he'll be in his mid-80s and "probably
no longer interested in pursuing the hobby," the news report said.

The Washington Post this week reported that neighbors didn't learn of
Evans' plans until construction trucks began showing up at the site.
Several neighbors have ceded their own development rights to the county to
keep the area as agricultural open space. They suggest that Evans' tower
project makes a mockery of the agricultural easements.


The FCC has agreed to write off a $12,000 fine it levied against an Iowa
man in exchange for his giving up his Amateur Radio license for five
years. The FCC last year affirmed a $12,000 fine against Technician
licensee Scott E. Kamm, N0UGN, of Sioux City. Kamm later filed a Petition
for Reconsideration that proposed the license-for-fine quid pro quo. The
Commission formally granted his petition in a September 7 Memorandum and
Order (M&O).

"In support of his petition, Mr. Kamm offers to immediately withdraw his
pending application for renewal of his license for amateur radio station
N0UGN, and to refrain from applying for any other license for a period of
five years," the M&O said. "Accordingly, we conclude that cancellation of
the $12,000 forfeiture is warranted."

The FCC said its Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) would process
the withdrawal of Kamm's license renewal application concurrently with its
order. FCC Enforcement Chief David Solomon signed the M&O, which was
released September 9.

Following up on Amateur Radio complaints in the fall of 2002, agents from
the FCC's Kansas City field office tracked interfering signals to Kamm's
station--which was in Waterbury, Nebraska, at the time. Several months
earlier, however, the FCC had granted Kamm's application to change his
mailing address to a location in Sioux City. In January 2003, the FCC
issued a Notice of Apparent Liability to Kamm alleging willful and
repeated interference to ongoing amateur communications, broadcasting of
music, and failure to identify by call sign while operating on a 2-meter

During 2002, Kamm was the target of several letters and an FCC Warning
Notice from FCC Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth. In
the fall of that year, the WTB set aside Kamm's renewal application based
upon complaints about the operation of his station and questions regarding
his qualifications to be a licensee. Kamm's license expired September 29,
2002, and his renewal application reverted to pending status while the
matter was referred to the Enforcement Bureau.


A new course, "Radio Frequency Propagation" (EC-011), is the latest in the
League's catalog of Certification and Continuing Education (CCE) courses.
Registration for the propagation course will remain open through Sunday,
September 26, and the first class will begin Friday, October 15.

The course curriculum was written by Ian Poole, G3YWX, and edited by Carl
Luetzelschwab, K9LA, and Terry Dettmann, WX7S. A noted DXer, Luetzelschwab
writes the "Propagation" column for WorldRadio magazine and occasionally
fills in for Tad Cook, K7RA, to write the weekly ARRL propagation report.
Dettmann is the CCE program's mentor coordinator and also a propagation

Those signing up for EC-011 will study the science of RF propagation,
including the properties of electromagnetic waves, the atmosphere and the
ionosphere, the sun and sunspots, ground waves and sky waves, and various
propagation modes--including aurora and meteor scatter.

Over the course of 15 learning units they'll also engage in various
listening and logging activities and visit several Web sites that deal
with solar phenomena related to radio wave propagation. The course runs 12
weeks and students can earn 2 Continuing Education Units.

Tuition for the course is $65 for ARRL members and $95 for nonmembers.

RF Propagation students will need to have an HF receiver to complete the
various course-related activities. All on-line CCE courses also require
access to a computer with an Internet connection as well as e-mail and Web
navigational skills.

Poole's text, Radio Propagation--Principles & Practice, is the optional
reference manual for the course. Published by the Radio Society of Great
Britain, the 112-page book offers a practical understanding of radio
propagation and serves as a guide to choosing the right band at the right
time for the desired communication path.

To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Web
page <> or contact the ARRL Certification and
Continuing Education Program Department <>;.


One of the oldest radio amateurs in the US has become a Silent Key.
Michael J. "Mike" Anuta, W8HKY, of Marinette, Wisconsin, died September 9.
He was 103. After leaving school following the eighth grade and working as
a Western Union delivery boy and a railroad telegrapher, Anuta went on to
become an attorney and enjoyed a 67-year legal career in Michigan.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of Mike's passing," said Wisconsin Section
Manager Don Michalski, W9IXG. "He was truly a fine gentleman, and we'd
like to think that Amateur Radio contributed to his long and happy life."

First licensed as WN8HKY in 1952 during the early days of the Novice
program, Anuta quickly upgraded to General and remained active through the
1970s. When he moved into a retirement apartment, he sold his ham gear but
kept his ticket current. After reading a newspaper account of the 50th
anniversary of the Marinette and Menominee Amateur Radio Club in 2000, he
decided to get back into ham radio. He rejoined the club, bought a 2-meter
hand-held and--until his failing eyesight and hearing prevented him from
doing so about a year ago--he regularly checked into the club's Sunday
night 2-meter net. Anuta also rejoined the ARRL, and in 2001, when he
turned 100, the League sent a special greeting to Anuta and congratulated
him on attaining centenarian status.

Survivors include Anuta's wife of nearly 83 years, Marianne. A service
will be held September 21, 11 AM, at First Presbyterian Church in

The family invites memorial contributions to the Presbytery Point Camp,
c/o Presbytery Point Board, G. Christopherson, Ishpeming, MI 49849, or to
the Bay-Lakes Council, Boy Scouts of America, PO Box 267, Appleton, WI


Sol man Tad "Let the Sunshine In" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington,
reports: Solar flux and sunspot numbers rose over the past week. The
average daily sunspot number--at 77.6--was more than 20 points higher than
the average for the previous week. The highest sunspot count was 87 on
September 10 and 11. The daily solar flux averaged 13 points higher at

Predicted solar flux for the near term is 110 for September 17-19 and down
to 100 by September 21-22. Predicted planetary A index for the next few
days is 20 and 15 for September 17-18, then around 10 for September 19-21.
September 22-23 is supposed to be quieter. The higher A index predicted
for September 17 is because of a weak coronal mass ejection. The high A
index on September 14 was from a solar flare coming out of sunspot 672 on
September 12. Currently sunspot 672 is squarely facing Earth.

Sunspot numbers for September 9 through 15 were 82, 87, 87, 85, 65, 70 and
67, with a mean of 77.6. The 10.7 cm flux was 131, 130, 116.4, 114.6,
117.7, 114.7 and 109.6, with a mean of 119.1. Estimated planetary A
indices were 4, 5, 6, 4, 8, 28 and 14, with a mean of 9.9. Estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 3, 1, 1, 1, 5, 17 and 9, with a mean of 5.3.


* This weekend on the radio: The North American Sprint(SSB), the ARRL 10
GHz and Up Contest, the SARL VHF/UHF Contest, the Scandinavian Activity
Contest (CW), the Collegiate QSO Party, the Mediterranean Islands Award
Contest, the South Carolina QSO Party, the QRP Afield event, the
Washington State Salmon Run and the QCWA QSO Party are the weekend of
September 18-19. The 144 MHz Fall Sprint is September 20. JUST AHEAD: the
CQ World Wide DX Contest (RTTY), the Tesla Cup (SSB), the Scandinavian
Activity Contest (SSB), the Arkansas, Texas and Alabama QSO parties, the
AGCW VHF/UHF Contest, the Tesla Cup (CW) and the UBA ON Contest (6 meters)
are the weekend of September 25-26. The Fall QRP Homebrewer Sprint is
September 27, and the 222 MHz Fall Sprint is September 28.See the ARRL
Contest Branch page <> and the WA7BNM Contest
Calendar <> for more info.

* ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration:
Registration for the ARRL Antenna Modeling (EC-004) on-line course remains
open through Sunday, September 19. Classes begin Friday October 1. This
course is an excellent way to learn the ins and outs of computerized
antenna modeling. Antenna expert and noted author L.B. Cebik, W4RNL, has
combined the expertise of his long career as a college professor with his
love and antennas and antenna modeling to offer a comprehensive, yet
practical, course of study. Registration for the Technician Licensing
course (EC-010) also remains open through Sunday, September 26. Classes
begin Friday, October 8. With the assistance of a mentor, EC-010 students
learn everything they need to know to pass the FCC Technician class
license examination. To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and
Continuing Education <> Web page or contact the
ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Program Department

* Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course registration: Registration
for the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level III on-line
course (EC-003) opens Monday, September 20, at 1201 AM EDT and will remain
open through the September 25-26 weekend or until all available seats have
been filled. Seniors (age 55 and older) are strongly encouraged to
participate. Class begins Friday, October 8. Thanks to our grant
sponsors--the Corporation for National and Community Service and the
United Technologies Corporation--the $45 registration fee paid upon
enrollment will be reimbursed after successful completion of the course.
During this registration period, seats are being offered to ARRL members
on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn more, visit the ARRL
Certification and Continuing Education Web page <>.
For more information, contact Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan
Miller, K3UFG,; 860-594-0340.

* ARRL seeks Community Education Program Coordinator: The ARRL has a
position opening for a Community Education Program (CEP) Coordinator. This
is a one-year, grant-funded position, and the individual hired need not be
based at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. The successful
candidate will be responsible for the development and execution of a pilot
program for community education on Amateur Radio. The overall objective is
the creation and presentation of an interactive forum on the basics of
Amateur Radio to Citizen Corps councils in 12 locales across the US. The
CEP Coordinator will be responsible for follow up and measurement to
ensure that the program's goals for Amateur Radio's inclusion in local
emergency planning are met. This position requires a broad knowledge of
Amateur Radio, especially of public service; at least five years
experience as an Amateur Radio licensee; excellent presentation, oral and
written communication skills and the ability to travel extensively. The
anticipated pay range is $35,000-$40,000. Send resumes to: Human
Resources, American Radio Relay League, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111;
e-mail: LouAnn Campanello <>;; fax 860-594-0298. Please
read the official job announcement
<> before applying. The ARRL is an
Equal Opportunity Employer.

* Cayman Islands emergency traffic exempt from third-party traffic rules:
Because of changes to the international Radio Regulations at World
Radiocommunication Conference 2003, the FCC will not enforce third-party
traffic rules contained in ß97.115 of the FCC Amateur Radio Service rules
for the passage of emergency and health-and-welfare traffic. The FCC
continues to evaluate necessary revisions to the wording of Part 97 to
reflect the WRC-03 changes, but Commission staff has assured ARRL that it
will not sanction amateurs passing appropriate emergency-related traffic
with stations in the Cayman Islands, with which the US has no third-party
traffic agreement.

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.

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==>How to Get The ARRL Letter
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The ARRL Letter

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

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.

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