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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 25, No. 13
March 31, 2006


* +ARRL sponsoring five free Teachers Institutes in 2006
* +Ham club has role in getting BPL "out of Dodge"
* +Students take part in the space program via ham radio
* +FCC imposes $21,000 in fines on Maine amateur licensee
* +Cost of vanity call sign application to drop slightly
* +New Mexico funds emergency communication network
* +Miner Randy McCloy, KC8VKZ, returns home
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     Low-frequency experimenters seek reports, crossband skeds
    +TAPR/ARRL Digital Communications Conference issues call for papers
    +Cubesats get OSCAR numbers
     DXCC Desk approves operations for DXCC credit

+Available on ARRL Audio News <> 

==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL,


Gifts from generous donors will help the ARRL Education and Technology
Program (ETP--also known as "The Big Project") to expand the number of
Teachers Institutes (TIs) it's offering this year. Now in their third year,
the free, weeklong workshops provide educators with hands-on experience in
electronics and wireless technology. ETP Coordinator Mark Spencer, WA8SME,
says the five Teachers Institutes will expand upon what he learned during
the 2004 and 2005 sessions.

"I was hands-on before," Spencer says. "I'm just going to make it even more
hands-on." Those participating in this year's TIs will get to use various
pieces of test equipment and electronic devices early in the class session.
In past years, students first built the project boards from kits, then used
them in experiments.

"They still will leave the institute with the boards in kit form," Spencer
explained. "I think it's important for the teachers to smell rosin smoke in
their faces. They need to build the boards." That do-it-yourself aspect, he
said, "is a basic part of learning about electronics, but they already will
have used the completed boards in the classroom."

The 2006 classes also will place a greater emphasis on space-related
technology including Amateur Radio satellites. "My slant on that is you
don't need to have thousands of dollars of sophisticated equipment to
operate the satellites today," Spencer said. "You can use the current
generation of satellites with some very simple equipment." The curriculum
also includes material on weather satellites.

Two of the 2006 Teachers Institutes will be held at ARRL Headquarters. The
other three will take place in New Jersey and California (see schedule
below). The program hopes to serve 60 educators this year, about twice as
many as in 2005.

The 12 seats available for each institute are filled on a first come, first
served basis. The ETP TI scholarship grant includes travel, room and board,
and a modest per diem stipend to help out with incidentals. Attendees also
leave with instructional resources for the electronics, microcontroller and
robotics segments and a resource library of relevant ARRL publications.

ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, says the Teachers
Institutes have been beneficiaries of the Brandenburg Life Foundation
established by David Brandenburg, K5RQ, and his wife Diana. Other donor
partners wish to remain anonymous. For 2006, appeals went out to additional
donors to fund the added course sessions.

"The TI program has become a keystone of ARRL's invigorated commitment to
education," said Hobart. "These have been universally well-received, and
there's been a lot of positive feedback from the teachers who attended." 

Hobart and Spencer point out that the impact of the sessions on each teacher
ultimately will touch thousands of their students. "It's an ooze," Spencer
described the process. He says his experience has shown that teachers who
attend the TIs don't necessarily start applying what they learned until well
after the institutes have adjourned. 

"Because there's a lot of material, it takes them a good nine months to see
where it fits and start feeding it into the curriculum," he said, "but it's

The deadline to apply for an Education and Technology Program Teachers
Institute grant is May 15, 2006. Contact ETP Coordinator Mark Spencer,
WA8SME, 530-495-9150 (Pacific Time zone) or via e-mail <>;
for more information.

Teachers Institutes 2006 schedule: June 19-23, Parallax Inc, Roseville,
California; July 24-28, ARRL Headquarters, Newington, Connecticut; July
31-Aug 4, ARRL Headquarters, Newington, Connecticut; August 7-11, Liberty
Science Center, Jersey City, New Jersey; August 14-18, Moorpark High School,
Moorpark, California,


A BPL field trial in Cottonwood, Arizona, that drew complaints from Amateur
Radio operators from 2004 until earlier this year apparently has shut down
for good. The small system, which Mountain Telecommunications Inc (MTI)
operated under an FCC Part 5 Experimental license WD2XMB, went silent in
early March. The Part 5 license stipulates that the company "establish and
maintain" a relationship with the Verde Valley Amateur Radio Association
(VVARA), which called for the system's shutdown as recently as last
December. According to VVARA BPL Committee Chair Bob Shipton, K8EQC, MTI
initially took the system down for a firmware upgrade but subsequently told
him that it was discontinuing the experiment in Cottonwood and moving it,
possibly to the Phoenix area, where MTI is headquartered.

"There's no definitive statement from Arizona Public Service or Mountain
Telecommunications that they have stopped BPL in the state of Arizona
entirely," Shipton told ARRL this week. "It's just that they pulled out of
the Cottonwood area." 

Not only did the VVARA determine the system was generating interference on
the high end of 20 meters and elsewhere, Shipton said, the club demonstrated
that it could "break" the system's datastream while running as little as 65
watts from a mobile station.

"I think that was a bit of a surprise to them," allowed Shipton, who noted
that MTI remained helpful and lived up to its agreement to keep the VVARA in
the loop. At the same time, he said, MTI learned everything it wanted to
learn in the Cottonwood area, "and they know we're not going to let this
thing go."

According to club measurements made in cooperation with MTI, the BPL
interference in the vicinity of the system on the upper end of 20 meters was
20 dB over S9, Shipton said, and even in the middle of the band, it was S7
to S9. "On 17 meters, from 18.059 to 18.180 they were S9, on the 15 meter
band they were S7," he added.

In support of the VVARA effort, the ARRL twice asked the FCC to shut down
the Cottonwood BPL field trial for interfering with Amateur Radio
communication. The League's own testing of the Cottonwood system in the
summer of 2004 indicated "extremely high" levels of radiated RF energy on
amateur HF allocations--well in excess of the FCC Part 15 levels.

Beyond the mere fact of the RF interference, Shipton continued, was the
nature of the interference itself. "With the high-speed chipsets, the sound
is so obnoxious that you don't necessarily have to have a lot of RF strength
on an S meter to cause interference when you're trying to listen to a
station--even if it's stronger," he said, describing it as an annoying
"raspy, buzzing" noise.

In December, the VVARA filed with the FCC what Shipton characterized as an
"informal" interference report of ongoing interference on 20, 17 and 15
meters and reiterated its request that the FCC shut down the system. While
MTI's interactions with the VVARA may not have been the primary factor in
its decision to take its BPL pilot elsewhere, Shipton believes his club at
least played a role.

"We feel at least we got 'em out of Dodge--they're out of Cottonwood," he
said. "What they do in Phoenix will have to be taken up by the Phoenix
amateur operators, if they do anything."

Shipton said he believes efforts like those of the VVARA to raise the
interference issue and keep it before the public are prompting the BPL
industry to take a harder look at how to avoid the problem altogether. "The
issue of ham interference was one issue on their plate out of many, many
issues," he said.


Tuesday, March 21, was a banner day for schools in Italy, Canada and the US,
when students got the rare opportunity to hook up via Amateur Radio with the
commander of the International Space Station. The Amateur Radio on the
International Space Station (ARISS) program arranged contacts between NA1SS
and IZ7EVR at the Giuseppe Settanni School in Rutigliano, Italy, and VE6AFO
at Sir James Lougheed Elementary School in Calgary, Alberta, in advance. A
couple of contacts the same day with KG4EDK at Coloma Junior High School in
Michigan came about through luck and happenstance. During the Rutigliano
contact, ISS Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, predicted that
humans one day will settle elsewhere in the universe.

"I think that is the destiny of mankind to leave the earth and colonize and
settle other planets, and we will start by learning how to settle and live
on the moon," McArthur said. In a similar vein, McArthur hypothesized in
response to another question that the universe is larger than humans can
fully understand. "And there are so many other stars and so many planets
that the probability of life elsewhere in the universe is very, very high. I
do not think we have ever met any however."

McArthur said he believes humans can remain in orbit as long as they have
food, water and air and can get regular exercise, and he said he feels
wonderful living in space.

Princess Elettra Marconi, the youngest daughter of the wireless pioneer, was
on hand for the event and greeted McArthur. "My father was also very keen to
share his inventions with school children," she said in part. "I am sure
that it will inspire these young adults to follow a path of scientific

Responded McArthur: "We are able to do such grand things as explore space
because of the inventions of your father. We are very grateful for the
wonderful scientific work he did and are very honored to speak with you."

In January 2003, Elettra Marconi greeted ISS Expedition 6 Commander Ken
Bowersox, KD5JBP, during events marking the 100th anniversary of Marconi's
first transatlantic wireless message.

Later that day, a dozen pupils at Sir James Lougheed Elementary School in
Alberta, Canada, quizzed McArthur on a variety of topics related to living
in space. McArthur told the youngsters he believes there will be commercial
space travel in their lifetimes, and the space station is one key to making
that a reality.

"We think we need a space station because people want to explore, they want
to learn new things, and many people would like us to go to other planets
such as Mars," McArthur said. "And so, on the space station, we can learn
how people can live and work in space and stay healthy."

Becoming an astronaut involves a lot of schooling, he advised the
youngsters. "I never stopped studying to be an astronaut," he said. "Part of
being an astronaut is you never stop learning."

The Lougheed kids asked 14 questions before the ISS slipped over the horizon
and out of radio range. Past Radio Amateurs of Canada President Ken Oelke,
VE6AFO, loaned his call sign for the occasion, while a team of radio
amateurs coordinated through QCWA Wild Rose Chapter 151 set up the Earth

Not long after the Lougheed QSO, teacher Matt Severin, KG4EDK, at Coloma
Junior High School lucked out by briefly contacting McArthur while his earth
science students listened in. McArthur told the class that earth science is
an important topic. "We live it everyday as we observe the earth, and it's
truly spectacular," he said.

On a subsequent pass, Severin reports, 13 somewhat better-prepared Coloma
students had the opportunity to question McArthur themselves. Responding to
a question, McArthur described the crew's work in space. 

"Our activities can range from anything from doing experiments--most of our
experiments are on ourselves--or we can do maintenance around the space
station, replace components or take them apart and repair," McArthur said.
"We also may spend several hours a day just cleaning the space station."

Said Severin afterward: "Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be able
to provide this opportunity to my kids. This was the ultimate teachable
moment. I couldn't let it pass by." Severin's classroom station is
remarkably modest--a handheld VHF transceiver and a homemade "copper cactus
antenna stuck in a bucket of sand on the roof of the school," he said.

ARISS is an international educational outreach, with US participation by


The FCC has affirmed a total of $21,000 in fines it proposed last year to
levy on Glenn A. Baxter, K1MAN, of Belgrade Lakes, Maine. The FCC's
Forfeiture Order (NoF), released March 29, comes nearly 10 months after a
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) in the case. The FCC has
alleged that Baxter violated several sections of the Part 97 Amateur Service

"The noted violations of the rules involve interference with the ongoing
communications of other Amateur Radio stations, failure to exercise station
control, transmission of communications in which Baxter had a pecuniary
interest, and transmission of communications that constituted impermissible
broadcasting," the FCC said. The NoF reiterates specific allegations
outlined in the NAL last June.

The FCC also has concluded that Baxter "apparently willfully and repeatedly"
failed to file required information pursuant to an Enforcement Bureau
directive. In two warning notices in 2004, FCC Special Counsel in the
Enforcement Bureau Riley Hollingsworth directed Baxter to provide
information on how K1MAN was controlled and the identity of the station's
control operator.

"The Boston [FCC] Office found that Mr. Baxter's statements that '[n]o
correction actions are necessary' and '[n]o changes are needed with regard
to station control' failed to comply with the Bureau's demand for station
information, the FCC said in the NoF.

Replying to the June 2005 NAL, Baxter denied any liability for the
forfeiture amount, the FCC said. According to the Commission, Baxter cited
the fifth and sixth amendments to the US Constitution and requested "all
documentation regarding the alleged apparent liability" and "a trial like
hearing before the full Commission." Baxter did not submit "any substantive
responses" to the alleged violations recited in the NAL, the Commission

The FCC denied Baxter's request for a hearing. According to the
Communications Act, the FCC said, providing a hearing is at the Commission's
discretion, and a hearing is "not normally utilized when only monetary
forfeiture matters are involved."

Its procedures, the FCC noted, do not deprive Baxter of his right to due
process, because the Communications Act provides that any forfeitures issued
in accordance with its procedures are "ultimately subject to a trial de novo
in federal district court" should Baxter not pay the fine beforehand. A
licensee's decision to forego presentation of arguments and evidence in
response to an NAL "does not create a right to a hearing," the Commission
contended in the NoF.

The FCC further noted that the fifth and sixth amendments to the US
Constitution "address the rights of defendants in criminal cases" and said
Baxter's reliance on those amendments to support his hearing request "is

"Baxter received notice regarding the legal and factual bases for the
apparent violations and proposed forfeiture and has been afforded an
opportunity to respond 'why no such forfeiture penalty should be imposed,'"
the FCC said. According to the NoF, Baxter, while denying any liability,
"has chosen not to present any specific exculpatory arguments or evidence in
response to the violations set forth in the NAL." 

Baxter has 30 days from the release of the order to pay the $21,000 or
appeal. If the forfeiture is not paid within that time, the FCC can refer
the case to the US Department of Justice for collection. A copy of the NoF
is on the FCC Web site

Baxter's Amateur Radio license expired last October 17, but according to the
FCC, he has continuing operating authority since he filed a timely renewal.
His renewal application remains under review based on complaints filed and
on FCC correspondence regarding the operation of his station. The forfeiture
action is separate.


The FCC wants to reduce the Fiscal Year 2006 regulatory fee to obtain an
Amateur Radio vanity call sign by $1.80 to $20.10 for the 10-year license
term. The current vanity call sign fee is $21.90. The Commission proposed
the new fee in a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), "Assessment and
Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2006, in MD Docket 06-68,
released March 27. If ordered as proposed, the new vanity fee would become
effective in August or September. The FCC is obligated to collect nearly
$289 million in regulatory fees during FY 2006 to fund its operations.

"Consistent with our established practice, we plan to collect these
regulatory fees in the August-September 2006 time frame in order to collect
the required amount by the end of the fiscal year," the FCC said in its
NPRM. Comments on the proposed fee schedule are due Friday, April 14. Reply
comments are due Friday, April 21. The FCC has projected collecting $171,188
in vanity call sign fee receipts from 8500 applications in FY 2006.

The vanity call sign fee has assumed somewhat greater significance this year
as the renewal window is about to open for the first Amateur Radio vanity
call sign licenses granted in 1996. Applicants wishing to keep their
post-1995 vanity call signs must pay the regulatory fee in effect at the
time the renewal application reaches the FCC, currently $21.90. Any Amateur
Radio renewal application may only be filed within 90 days of the license
expiration date. 

Vanity call sign holders are not obliged to keep their current call signs,
however, and can request that it be changed to a sequentially assigned call

Amateur Radio licensees holding vanity call signs granted prior to 1996 do
NOT have to pay a regulatory fee when renewing. This is because Congress did
not begin requiring the FCC to annually recover its regulatory costs until
1993. Additionally, such licensees are not specifically tagged as vanity
call sign holders in the ULS.

To renew via the Universal Licensing System (ULS)
<>, licensees should log into ULS License
Manager Online Filing (click on "Log In") using their FCC Registration
Number (FRN) and Commission Registration System (CORES) password. Anyone
doing business with the FCC must supply an FRN on any application.

Licensees wishing to keep a vanity call sign should select "Renew" under the
"Work on this License" option. Fees for electronically filed applications
may be paid online or mailed to Federal Communications Commission,
Regulatory Fees, PO Box 358835, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-5835.

The ARRL plans to inaugurate a vanity call sign renewal service for its
members in the near future.


New Mexico has allocated $500,000 to design, construct and install a
statewide Amateur Radio emergency communication network. Rep Tom Anderson
(R-Bernalillo), KB5YSG, sponsored the funding bill in the 2006 New Mexico
legislative session. 

"After hurricane Katrina, we've seen firsthand just how valuable Amateur
Radio can be in a disaster," Anderson said. "The Gulf Coast hurricanes
destroyed communications infrastructure and overwhelmed government
resources. It was Amateur Radio operators who helped to save the day." 

The state Department of Public Safety will pay for the equipment for Amateur
Radio volunteers to use in disasters and emergencies. All of the equipment
will be state-owned. Early plans call for the installation of strategically
located, interlinked VHF and UHF repeaters to handle both voice and digital

In New Mexico, the potential exists for disastrous wildfires, tornadoes and
floods. This year, when range fires broke out near Hobbs, Amateur Radio
Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers provided communication support. Over the
past several years, radio amateurs in New Mexico have been called upon to
support communication during fires, for severe weather spotting (SKYWARN),
during public service events and to assist Albuquerque with Hurricane
Katrina refugees.


Randy McCloy, KC8VKZ, the sole survivor of the January 2 Sago Mine disaster
in West Virginia, left a Morgantown rehabilitation center March 30 and
returned to his home on newly named Miracle Road in Simpson, West Virginia.

"I'd just like to thank everybody for their thoughts and prayers," McCloy
remarked on his departure. Neurologist Julian Bailes told reporters that he
believes McCloy, 26, has a great potential for "a possibly complete"
recovery. McCloy did require some assistance walking as he left the
Morgantown facility.

West Virginia Gov Joe Manchin announced the new street name at a press
briefing this week, and he presented McCloy with a Miracle Road street sign.
Earlier this month McCloy visited his home in for the first time since the
mine tragedy.

On March 2, McCloy's wife Anna told CBS The Early Show co-anchor Hannah
Storm that her husband has told her he remembers "bits and pieces" of the
mining disaster that left 12 of his co-workers dead of carbon monoxide
poisoning. McCloy this week told the Associated Press that he doesn't
understand why he was the only one to survive. He also said he will not go
back to work in the mines.

Well-wishers have been sending cards and QSLs to McCloy at PO Box 223,
Philippi, WV 26435. A fund has been set up to accept donations for McCloy's
benefit: The Randal McCloy Jr Fund, c/o Clear Mountain Bank, 1889 Earl Core
Rd, Morgantown, WV 26505.


Propagation maven Tad "Might As Well Be Walkin' on the Sun" Cook, K7RA,
Seattle, Washington, reports: Sunspots continue to be scarce, although
numbers have risen the past couple of days. March 25-27 had zero spots, but
then they rose over the next few days to 11, 31 and 35, respectively.
Geomagnetic conditions have been nice and stable and should continue that
way until April 6.

Sunspot numbers for March 23 through 29 were 36, 44, 0, 0, 0, 11 and 31,
with a mean of 17.4. The 10.7 cm flux was 76.6, 75.8, 75.6, 73.6, 74.3,
79.3, and 81.7, with a mean of 76.7. Estimated planetary A indices were 5,
4, 7, 7, 9, 6 and 6, with a mean of 6.3. Estimated mid-latitude A indices
were 2, 2, 4, 5, 8, 4 and 4, with a mean of 4.1.



* This weekend on the radio: Kids Roundup, the SP DX Contest, the EA RTTY
Contest, the QCWA Spring QSO Party and the Missouri QSO Party are the
weekend of April 1-2. JUST AHEAD: The ARS Spartan Sprint is April 4. The
YLRL DX-YL to NA-YL Contest (CW) takes place from April 4 until April 6. The
SARL 80-Meter QSO Party is April 6. The ARCI Spring QSO Party, the JIDX CW
Contest, the EU Spring Sprint (SSB), the Georgia and Montana QSO parties,
the Yuri Gagarin International DX Contest, the UBA Spring Contest (SSB), and
the SARL Hamnet 40-Meter Simulated Emergency Contest are the weekend of
April 8-9. The YLRL DX-YL to NA-YL Contest (SSB) runs from April 11 to April
13. See the ARRL Contest Branch page <> and the
WA7BNM Contest Calendar <>
for more info.

* ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration:
Registration remains open through Sunday, April 16, for these ARRL
Certification and Continuing Education (CCE) Program on-line courses:
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 2 (EC-002), Amateur Radio
Emergency Communications Level 3 (EC-003), Antenna Modeling (EC-004), HF
Digital Communications (EC-005), VHF/UHF Beyond the Repeater (EC-008),
Technician Licensing (EC-010) and Radio Frequency Propagation (EC-011).
Classes begin Friday, April 28. NOTE: Because Technician Licensing (EC-010)
courses beginning in April are based upon the current question pool,
students completing these April classes should take the FCC Technician class
(Element 2) examination by June 30. A new Element 2 question pool goes into
effect July 1. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page
<> or contact the CCE Department

* Low-frequency experimenters seek reports, crossband skeds: The next round
of LF transpacific testing between ZM2E, Quartz Hill, New Zealand, and
VA7LF, S Pender Island, British Columbia, will take place April 3, 4 and 5.
Testing will begin shortly after sunset at VA7LF (approximately 0630 UTC)
and will continue until sunrise (approximately 1400 UTC). The frequency will
be 137.7890 / 137.7886 kHz (0.4 Hz shift) using FSK90. Following a schedule
with VA7LF, ZM2E will continue with R6L until sunrise in New Zealand.
Reception reports via the reflectors are encouraged, and the VA7LF site will
be Internet equipped. "If we are able to get things set up smoothly, we may
be on the air for testing on Sunday night, April 2," said Steve McDonald,
VE7SL. "Since we will be at our maximum ERP limit, we hope to have some time
available to attempt some crossband HF-LF CW-CW QSOs or QRSS-CW contacts in
our early evening hours (0300-0600 UTC)." Interested stations should contact
McDonald via e-mail, <>;.

* TAPR/ARRL Digital Communications Conference issues call for papers: The
2006 TAPR/ARRL Digital Communications Conference (DCC) has issued a call for
papers. The event is slated for September 15-17 at the Clarion Airport Hotel
in Tucson, Arizona. This year's conference celebrates the 25th anniversary
of the founding of Tucson Amateur Packet Radio (TAPR) <>.
The deadline to submit conference papers is July 31. Authors do not need to
attend the conference to have their papers included in the conference
Proceedings. Submit papers and presentations via USPS or e-mail to Maty
Weinberg, KB1EIB, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 <>;.

* Cubesats get OSCAR numbers: AMSAT-NA has issued OSCAR designations for two
Japanese cubesat Amateur Radio satellites. XI-IV (pronounced "sai four"),
launched in 2003, will be known as CUBESAT-OSCAR-57 or CO-57. XI-V
(pronounced "sai five"), launched with SSETI Express in 2005, will be known
as CUBESAT-OSCAR-58 or CO-58. "AMSAT-NA and I wish to congratulate you and
your entire team for the successful construction, testing and launching of
these innovative spacecraft," said AMSAT's Bill Tynan, W3XO, in announcing
the designations. "Your pioneering work certainly inspires others to follow
your lead." The satellites were built and launched by the University of
Tokyo Cubesat Team. Both satellites have similar payloads. CO-57 has a CW
beacon on 436.8475 MHz and a 1200 bps AFSK packet downlink on 437.490 MHz.
CO-58 has a CW beacon on 437.4650 MHz and a 1200 bps AFSK packet downlink on
437.3450 MHz. 

* DXCC Desk approves operations for DXCC credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has
approved these operations for DXCC credit: 3Y0X (Peter I Island), February
8-19, 2006; 6O0N (Somalia), January 18-February 18, 2006; YI/OM2DX (Iraq),
July 27-September 21, 2003; YI3SRA (Iraq), commencing October 3, 2003. For
more information, visit the DXCC Web page
<>. "DXCC Frequently Asked Questions" can
answer most questions about the DXCC program. ARRL DX bulletins are
available on the W1AW DX Bulletins page <>.

* Correction: The article "Logbook of The World Now Supports Worked All
States Award" in The ARRL Letter, Vol 25, No 12 (Mar 24, 2006) contained an
error. Logbook of the World was inaugurated in 2003.

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;
<>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, 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,
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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
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==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL,
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==>ARRL Audio News: <> or call

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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.

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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, ...


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