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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 23, No. 40
October 8, 2004


* +NTIA edges closer still to FCC's BPL stance
* +IARU Administrative Council okays three-year plan, BPL resolution
* +ISS crew hails private space venture's success
* +500 kHz amateur allocation sought down under
* +Nominations open for 2004 ARRL International Humanitarian Award
* +Astronaut Carl Walz, KC5TIE, to be AMSAT Symposium speaker
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course registration
    +Radio Amateurs of Canada President, First VP resign
    +Sputnik I anniversary noted
     EMA getting new Section Manager; six incumbents gain new terms
     Deadline is December 31 for ARRL WAS/90 Award
     Van Field, W2OQI, wins September QST Cover Plaque Award
     DXCC Desk accredits DX operation
     Larry Kayser, VA3LK/WA3ZIA, SK

+Available on ARRL Audio News

NOTE: To accommodate travel schedules, The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News
for Friday, October 8, are being distributed a day early. The Solar Update
will be available via the ARRL Web site and as a W1AW bulletin.


The position of the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) with respect to BPL appears to be a moving target.
From expressing "broad concerns" about BPL in August 2003 to claiming BPL
could help alleviate power line noise this past June, the NTIA now has
aligned its position even more closely with that of the FCC--already an
unapologetic BPL proponent. At the same time, the agency's recently
amended recommendations recognize the reality of BPL's interference
potential and suggest a "not-in-my-backyard" attitude toward BPL
deployment near government radio systems.

In a cover letter to one of two separate filings last month, NTIA Office
of Spectrum Management Associate Administrator Fredrick R. Wentland says
the agency believes its "less burdensome proposals" will "adequately
protect federal radio communication systems from locally generated BPL
emissions while minimizing restrictions on BPL."

An agency of the US Department of Commerce, the NTIA now says it "fully
supports" the FCC's proposed method to extrapolate the level of BPL
emissions from power lines. It's also dropped its call for a "height
correction" for measurements below 30 MHz. Based on the NTIA's own earlier
studies, the method the agency now supports could result in measurements
that fail to accurately reflect actual emission levels by as much as 20

Additionally, the NTIA says it now prefers the FCC's proposal to measure
BPL field strength "at various specific locations along a power line"
instead of along the length of the line. "NTIA's extensive further
analysis shows that the overall peak field strength that would be found in
an exhaustive search along the power line would not significantly exceed
the peak level measured using the streamlined approach proposed in the
NPRM [Notice of Proposed Rule Making]," the agency said. In its earlier
comments, however, the NTIA had advised determining field strength by
tracking the entire line because its modeling demonstrated that interval
measurements "may not consistently reveal the peak level of radiated

The NTIA also has reconsidered its earlier proposals to exclude certain
frequency bands and geographical zones and to provide for voluntary
coordination to prevent BPL interference to critical government radio
systems. Since filing its comments on the BPL Notice of Proposed Rule
Making (NPRM) last June, Wentland said, the NTIA has narrowed the scope of
specific bands and areas where "special protection mechanisms" regarding
BPL should apply.

"Federal radio communications not specifically addressed in the proposed
restrictions should be, for the most part, adequately protected in the
near term by the baseline interference prevention mechanisms specified in
the NPRM (eg, field strength limits, compliance measurement guidelines,
and the prohibition of harmful interference)," Wentland concluded in a
cover letter.

The NTIA says its revised recommendations would exclude Access BPL
operation nationwide from some 2.2 percent of the HF and low-VHF spectrum
and from a minuscule portion--0.0007 percent--of the HF spectrum "in
limited geographic areas." That's less than half the spectrum the NTIA
initially suggested protecting from BPL interference.

The NTIA says excluded bands primarily should be those used for safety
communications "in situations where co-channel emissions from numerous BPL
devices may be received via line of sight and ionospheric interfering
signal paths." Exclusion zones would include "sensitive radio astronomy
sites," generally located in remote, sparsely populated areas where there
would be "little or no actual constraint on Access BPL market
penetration," NTIA said.

Coordination areas, the NTIA says, should apply to receivers "at known
locations that must operate with very weak desired signals and where
harmful interference must be prevented" beforehand with a high degree of
certainty rather than "after discovery."

Prior coordination of BPL deployment using certain frequencies, the NTIA
now says, should apply "in limited geographic areas wherein BPL deployment
will not necessarily be constrained, depending on details of the planned
BPL deployment." The NTIA also said it could no longer support a
requirement for BPL systems to transmit identification codes.

The agency does not appear to have backed away from its recommendation
that the FCC apply its more stringent certification, rather than
verification, procedures, to authorize BPL systems that, NTIA's comments
said, "pose relatively high interference risks."

The ARRL also supports certification, which would require independent
testing or review of test results, as opposed to having a BPL operator
merely attest that its system complies with FCC rules. The League asserts
that certification offers a higher degree of confidence that deployed BPL
systems will not continue to exceed Part 15 limits.

The FCC is expected to consider a Report and Order in the BPL Proceeding,
ET Docket 04-37, when it meets Thursday, October 14.

For additional information, visit the "Broadband Over Power Line (BPL) and
Amateur Radio" page on the ARRL Web site <>. To
support the League's efforts in this area, visit the ARRL's secure BPL Web
site <>.


The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Administrative Council has
adopted a three-year plan to develop support for Amateur Radio frequency
allocations. The plan provides for the IARU to maintain and increase
contact with regional telecommunications organizations through its own
regional organizations. Meeting October 2-4 in Port of Spain, Trinidad &
Tobago, the Council also adopted positions on agenda items for World
Radiocommunication Conference 2007 (WRC-07). The IARU will seek an a
future WRC agenda item looking toward a worldwide amateur allocation at 50
MHz. Six meters is not now available in all parts of the world. The
Council meeting followed the IARU Region 2 Conference in Port of Spain.

The Council also adopted a resolution calling attention to the obligation
of telecommunication administrations "to take all practicable and
necessary steps to avoid harmful interference to radiocommunication
services from power and telecommunication distribution networks, including
so-called Broadband over Power Line (BPL) systems that use the HF

The Council also received a report from ITU Development Sector Study Group
2 outlining progress toward revising a Recommendation concerning effective
utilization of Amateur Radio in disaster mitigation and relief. Amendments
to the international Radio Regulations at World Radiocommunication
Conference 2003 placed additional emphasis on this role. The Council also
agreed to rename the position of IARU disaster communications adviser to
IARU international coordinator for emergency communications. Hans
Zimmermann, HB9AQS, will continue to serve the IARU in this capacity.

Focusing primarily on WRC-07, the Council worked up a list of
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) meetings during the coming
year at which IARU representation will be required and reviewed plans for
staffing them.

The Council also charged the IARU leadership with drafting a "white paper"
to scope the environment and develop options for the IARU's long-term role
and structure. Council members also discussed issues relating to the
constitutions of the IARU and its regional organizations and agreed to
further consider these matters when the white paper was further developed.

The International Secretariat--ARRL--presented the 2005-2007 budget, which
includes provision for financial contributions from the three regional
organizations to defray a portion of the expenses, in accordance with
previously adopted policy.

In other action, the IARU Administrative Council:

     * selected "Radio Amateurs Expanding the World of Wireless
Communications" as the theme for World Amateur Radio Day 2005. Celebrated
each April 18, World Amateur Radio Day marks the anniversary of the
founding of the IARU in 1925 and provides an opportunity to present a
positive image of Amateur Radio to the general public.

     * reviewed and updated a working document describing the requirements
for radio spectrum allocations to the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite

     * received reports on successful IARU participation in ITU
telecommunication exhibitions in Europe, Africa and Asia and noted initial
preparations by IARU Region 2 to participate in the upcoming Americas
Telecom in Brazil.

     * reappointed Monitoring System International Coordinator R. E.
Knowles, ZL1BAD; International Beacon Project Coordinator Peter Jennings,
AB6WM/VE3SUN; Satellite Adviser Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV; and EMC
Adviser Christian Verholt, OZ8CY, for new three-year terms.

Attending the Port of Spain meeting were IARU President Larry Price, W4RA;
Vice President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA; Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ;
regional representatives Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, Don Beattie, G3BJ, Panayot
Danev, LZ1US, Pedro Seidemann, YV5BPG, Rod Stafford, W6ROD, Noel Donawa,
9Y4NED, Peter Naish, VK2BPN, and Yoshi Sekido, JJ1OEY; and recording
secretary Paul Rinaldo, W4RI.

The next IARU Administrative Council meeting is set for September 17-18,
2005, in Switzerland following the IARU Region 1 Conference.


The International Space Station (ISS) crew this week congratulated the
SpaceShipOne team on its third successful flight of a private human
spacecraft and for winning the $10 million X Prize competition. NASA ISS
Science Officer Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, and Russian Cosmonaut Gennady
Padalka, RN3DT, noted that for a few moments Monday morning, they were
joined in space by SpaceShipOne pilot Brian Binnie.

"From Gennady and myself and the International Space Station team,
congratulations on a job well done, and we're really glad SpaceShipOne
returned safely," Fincke said. He also discussed the private space flight
during an earlier news teleconference called to sum up their stay in
space, which is fast drawing to a close.

"For the most part," Fincke told reporters, "Gennady and I are pretty
lonely up here--just the two of us--and when somebody else comes up here,
even if it's 100 km, that still brings another person off of the planet,
and that's special, and we believe in the space program."

Fincke said he and Padalka were "really impressed" when they got to see
uplinked video of last week's successful SpaceShipOne flight to the edge
of space by test pilot Mike Melvill.

The news teleconference October 4 came as the Expedition 9 crew is
wrapping up its six-month stay aboard the ISS and getting ready to turn
over the reins to a new crew. Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao, KE5BRW,
and Flight Engineer and cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov are scheduled to
launch on October 13 from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They'll
arrive at the ISS two days later to begin their own tour of duty.

On other topics, Fincke and Padalka expressed confidence in the Russian
Elektron oxygen-generating system aboard the ISS. The system has
experienced some problems in recent weeks, but Fincke said he and Padalka
are optimistic that the repairs will hold. The ISS has spare oxygen on
board and "plenty of margin," Fincke added, if the Elektron were to
malfunction again. The system works by extracting oxygen from water and
venting off the hydrogen.

The Expedition 9 crew members also agreed that while efforts to make the
ISS work environment a lot quieter, they continue to wear hearing
protection to preserve their hearing from the constant thrum of equipment
and air circulation fans. "In the future, though, we should build quieter
spacecraft," Fincke recommended. Padalka allowed that the ISS is
"definitely more quiet than Mir," the former Russian space station on
which he served a duty tour in the 1990s.

Padalka this week attained a milestone of sorts by racking up a total of
one year in space. He's been aboard the ISS for 169 days. That time,
coupled with his Mir mission, put him over the 365-day mark.

Fincke said his family "is the reason why I'm returning to the planet"
later this month. He said the first thing on his agenda once he's back on
Earth will be to spend some time alone with his wife and son and an infant
daughter born while he was in space and whom he's never met. "My family
and I are going to go on another kind of ship," he said, suggesting an
ocean cruise was in the offing.

Fincke also said he and Padalka were looking forward to the arrival of the
Expedition 10 crew. They'll depart the ISS and return to Earth October 23,
accompanied by Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Shargin, who will travel to the ISS
with the Expedition 10 crew.

After the news conference, Fincke called on ground controllers to help him
identify what he called an "unidentified floating object" aboard the ISS.
The piece--apparently a machined block of metal with rounded edges on both
sides and two protruding pins--was found in a plastic bag and lacks any
identifying marks.

"It's up to you guys to make it an IFO--an identified floating object,"
Fincke told the ground crew as he allowed the object to float within view
of the ISS camera.


The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) has announced plans to request
the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) to establish an experimental
amateur allocation at 500 kHz.

"The best way to do this is to establish a small slice of spectrum around
500 kHz--probably 495 to 510 kHz--as an Amateur Radio band," said WIA
Director Glenn Dunstan, VK4DU. "The band would also provide a unique
opportunity for experimentation with antennas, propagation, advanced
narrowband modulation techniques and receiver digital signal processing."

A former shipboard radio officer, Dunstan noted that 500 kHz was the
international maritime Morse code distress frequency for most of the 20th
century. Following the introduction of the Global Maritime Distress and
Safety System (GMDSS) in 1999, 500 kHz use has declined rapidly, Dunstan
said. China, the last official user of the frequency, plans to discontinue
operation there next year.

Dunstan concedes that since 500 kHz remains allocated to the Maritime
Service, gaining a permanent amateur foothold there is "some way off," but
the WIA is hoping that Australian authorities will grant access to some
spectrum there in the meantime for experimental use.

The ARRL and the RSGB have expressed some interest in a 500 kHz Amateur
Radio allocation. The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 1
and various US amateur long-wave groups also are actively pursuing
experimental use of 500 kHz. Additionally, the IARU favors a worldwide
Amateur Radio band at 135.7 to 137.8 kHz and is seeking support for such
an allocation at World Radiocommunication Conference 2007.


Nominations are open for the 2004 ARRL International Humanitarian Award
<>. The award is
conferred upon an amateur or amateurs who demonstrate devotion to human
welfare, peace and international understanding through Amateur Radio. The
League established the annual prize to recognize Amateur Radio operators
who have used ham radio to provide extraordinary service to others in
times of crisis or disaster.

The ARRL Board of Directors named Mike Young, KM9D, and Jan Heaton,
KF4TUG, of Naples, Florida, as joint winners of the 2003 Humanitarian
Award. In April of last year, Young and Heaton sailed from Kiribati
carrying medical supplies for a 16-year old girl--unconscious and bleeding
and in desperate need of medical attention--aboard a vessel adrift without
power some 100 nautical miles away. Along the way, they maintained Amateur
Radio contact with amateurs in the Seattle area. One of them notified the
US Coast Guard, which subsequently was able to intercept the drifting ship
to render additional assistance and take the injured party aboard.

A committee appointed by the League's President recommends the award
recipient(s) to the ARRL Board, which makes the final decision. The
committee is now accepting nominations from Amateur Radio, governmental or
other organizations that have benefited from extraordinary service
rendered by an Amateur Radio operator or group.

Amateur Radio is one of the few telecommunication services that allow
people throughout the world from all walks of life to meet and talk with
each other, thereby spreading goodwill across political boundaries. The
ARRL International Humanitarian Award recognizes Amateur Radio's unique
role in international communication and the assistance amateurs regularly
provide to people in need.

Nominations should include a summary of the nominee's actions that qualify
the individual (or individuals) for this award, plus verifying statements
from at least two people having first-hand knowledge of the events
warranting the nomination. These statements may be from an official of a
group (for example, the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, a local or
state emergency management official) that benefited from the nominee's
particular Amateur Radio contribution. Nominations should include the
names and addresses of all references.

All nominations and supporting materials for the 2004 ARRL International
Humanitarian Award must be submitted in writing in English to ARRL
International Humanitarian Award, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 USA.
Nomination submissions are due by December 31, 2004. In the event that no
nominations are received, the committee itself may determine a recipient
or decide to make no award.

The winner of the ARRL International Humanitarian Award receives an
engraved plaque and a profile in QST and other ARRL venues.


International Space Station Expedition 4 crew member Carl Walz, KC5TIE,
will be the speaker at the AMSAT Symposium and Annual Meeting banquet
Saturday, October 9. Walz, who has flown four space missions, and
Expedition 4 Commander Yuri Onufrienko, RK3DUO, installed and deployed the
first of the four Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
antennas during a January 2002 space walk.

Walz is expected to discuss his experiences aboard the ISS as well as
NASA's new "Journey to the Moon, Mars and Beyond" initiative.

The 22nd AMSAT Symposium and Annual Meeting October 8-10 in Arlington,
Virginia, will also feature presentations on a variety of Amateur Radio
satellite-related topics, including the latest on Echo and ARISS, the
plans for Eagle and P3E and presentations on some of the university-built

This year's symposium will be held in conjunction with the ARISS
international delegates meeting October 10-13. ARRL Senior News Editor
Rick Lindquist, N1RL, will represent the League at the AMSAT Symposium and
attend the ARISS gathering as a member of the ARISS Public Relations

AMSAT says it hopes to retire the Echo "thermometer" on its Web site
<> during the weekend gathering. As of October 6, the
Echo launch fund was some $3000 shy of its $110,000 goal. Co-chairing this
year's AMSAT Symposium and Annual Meeting are Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, and
Janet Bauer.--AMSAT


* This weekend on the radio: The Pennsylvania QSO Party, the YLRL
Anniversary Party (CW), the Makrothen RTTY Contest, the Oceania DX Contest
(CW), the EU Autumn Sprint (CW), the FISTS Fall Sprint, the North American
Sprint (RTTY), the 10-10 International 10-10 Day Sprint and the UBA ON
Contest (CW) are the weekend of October 9-10. The YLRL Anniversary Party
(SSB) is October 13-15. JUST AHEAD: Jamboree On The Air (JOTA), the JARTS
World Wide RTTY Contest, the Microwave Fall Sprint, the Worked All Germany
Contest, the Asia-Pacific Fall Sprint (CW). the UBA ON 2-Meter Contest,
the RSGB 21/28 MHz Contest (CW) and the Illinois QSO Party are the weekend
of October 16-17. See the ARRL Contest Branch page
<> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<> for more info.

* ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration:
Registration for the Technician Licensing course (EC-010) remains open
through Sunday, October 10. Class begins Friday, October 22. With the
assistance of a mentor, EC-010 students learn everything they need to know
to pass the FCC Technician license class 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 II on-line
course (EC-002) opens Monday, October 11, at 1201 AM EDT and will remain
open through the October 16-17 weekend or until all available seats have
been filled. Class begins Friday, October 29. 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.
Amateurs aged 55 and older are strongly encouraged to participate. 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.

* Correction: The news brief "Santa Clara Valley gets new Section
Manager," The ARRL Letter, Vol 23, No 39 (Oct 1, 2004), contained
incorrect information regarding the tenure of new SM Kit Blanke, WA6PWW,
as SCV's Technical Coordinator. He has served in that volunteer position
since 1985. Our apologies for the error.

* Radio Amateurs of Canada President, First VP resign: Radio Amateurs of
Canada (RAC) has announced the resignations of President Daniel Lamoureux,
VE2KA, and First Vice President Bob Nash, VE3KZ. "Both officers have been
hospitalized with severe, heart-related problems," an RAC bulletin said
October 6. "The RAC Board of Directors and Executive thank them both for
their dedicated service to Amateur Radio and RAC and are confident that
all radio amateurs wish them a full recovery and fast return to the
amateur bands." Both resignations were effective immediately.
Lamoureux--who also serves as ARISS-Canada coordinator--was a guest at the
ARRL Board of Directors meeting in July. "We are distressed to hear this
news and wish Daniel and Bob rapid recoveries," said ARRL CEO David
Sumner, K1ZZ. The RAC Board will convene a special meeting as soon as
possible to deal with the vacancies.

* Sputnik I anniversary noted: The world changed this week 47 years ago
when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I on October 4, 1957.
The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a basketball
and weighed just over 180 pounds. Sputnik I took about 98 minutes to orbit
Earth on its elliptical path, and radio amateurs around the world
enthusiastically tuned in to monitor its 20 and 40 MHz beacons. The
satellite's 1 W transmitter fed four antennas deployed at 35ļ angles, and
three silver-zinc batteries powered it for three weeks. In addition to
ushering in a new era of political, military, technological and scientific
development, Sputnik's launch marked the start of space exploration and
gave rise to the birth of NASA.--NASA

* EMA getting new Section Manager; six incumbents gain new terms: Mike
Neilsen, W1MPN, will take over January 1 as ARRL Eastern Massachusetts
Section Manager. He'll succeed current SM Phil Temples, K9HI, who decided
not to run for another term. Neilsen, who lives in Hudson, has served as
Eastern Massachusetts Section Emergency Coordinator for three years. He
was the sole nominee for the position. Six incumbent SMs also had no
opposition at the end of the nomination period in September and have been
declared elected. SMs continuing in office for new two-year terms starting
January 1 are Dale Bagley, K0KY, Missouri; Rich Beaver, N3SRJ, Western
Pennsylvania; Jim Boehner, N2ZZ, South Carolina; Tom Dick, KF2GC, Northern
New York; Jean Priestley, KA2YKN, Southern New Jersey; Dale Williams,
WA8EFK, Michigan.

* Deadline is December 31 for ARRL WAS/90 Award: There's still time to
make your 50 contacts to qualify for the ARRL Worked All States in the
90th Award. No QSLs are necessary. Just fill out the application showing
the contacts you've logged. To be valid for the award, all contacts must
be made between 0000 UTC on April 3, 2004, and 2359 UTC on December 31,
2004. WAS in the 90th applications will be accepted through 2005. For more
information, visit the WAS in the 90th Web page

* Van Field, W2OQI, wins September QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of
the QST Cover Plaque Award for September is Van Field, W2OQI, for his
article "HF Antennas 101." Congratulations, Van! The winner of the QST
Cover Plaque award--given to the author or authors of the best article in
each issue--is determined by a vote of ARRL members. Voting takes place
each month on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page
<>. Cast a ballot for your
favorite article in the October issue of QST. Voting ends October 31.

* DXCC Desk accredits DX operation: The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved the
YV0D, Aves Island, DXpedition of August 1-4, 2004, for DXCC credit. (The
YV0D logs have been uploaded to ARRL's Logbook of the World
<>.) For more information, visit the DXCC Web page
<>. A new feature, "DXCC Frequently Asked
Questions <>," can answer most
questions about the DXCC program. Current ARRL DX bulletins are available
on the W1AW DX Bulletins for 2004 page <>.

* Larry Kayser, VA3LK/WA3ZIA, SK: Larry Kayser, VA3LK/WA3ZIA, of Westport,
Ontario, Canada, died unexpectedly October 5. He was 64. An ARRL
International Life Member, Kayser was widely known throughout the Amateur
Radio community for his technical expertise as well as his operating skill
and accomplishments. In February 2001, Kayser and Laurie Mayhead, G3AQC,
made ham radio history by completing the first two-way transatlantic
Amateur Radio exchange on 136 kHz. A consummate experimenter, Kayser in
recent years was very active in low-frequency work, but in earlier decades
he was involved in Amateur Radio satellites and contributed to the AMSAT
AO-7 project. A member of the First Class CW Operators Club (FOC), Kayser
for a time during the 1990s edited the "CW Today" column for The Canadian
Amateur, the journal of Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC). In addition to
ARRL and RAC, Kayser belonged to the Quarter Century Wireless Association.
He was retired from Bell Canada. Survivors include his wife, Joyce,

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
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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.

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