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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 26, No. 47
November 30, 2007


* + Hams and the National Weather Service: Working Together for SKYWARN
Recognition Day 
* + Five New and Five Returning Section Managers Take Office January 1 
* + New Mexico Hams Assist with Thanksgiving Week Wildfire 
* + ARRL 160 Meter Contest (CW) This Weekend 
* + FCC Revokes Amateur License of California Ham 
* + ARISS Antennas Set to Launch on NASA Mission in December 
*  Solar Update
      This Weekend on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
    + The Ninth Edition of the ARRL Operating Manual Hits the
    + FCC Clears Florida Ham 
      Plan Today For Your School to Have an ARISS Contact 
      500 kHz Experiment Charting New Territory 
      Developer of Hurricane Intensity Scale Dies at 90 
      Nominations Close December 31 for the 2007 ARRL International
Humanitarian Award 
      Leonard Award Nominations Due December 7 

+Available on the ARRL Audio News

==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ
<>, then e-mail
==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane,


The Ninth Annual SKYWARN Recognition Day recognizes Amateur Radio
operators for their commitment to help keep communities safe.
Co-sponsored by the ARRL and the National Weather Service (NWS), the
event is scheduled for Saturday, December 1. During this 24 hour special
event, Amateur Radio operators, working together with their local NWS
offices, will activate Amateur Radio stations and work as a team to
contact other hams across the world. 

"This is a fun event," said ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager
Allen Pitts, W1AGP. "For 364 days of the year, hams aid in providing the
NWS offices with real-time information on severe weather when people and
property are at risk. But this one day is for fun, friendship and
recognition of the critical services given to communities by the hams." 

Scott Mentzer, N0QE, organizer of the event and Meteorologist-In-Charge
at the NWS office in Goodland, Kansas, concurred. "Radio amateurs are a
tremendous resource for the National Weather Service. These folks are
dedicated, and the assistance they provide throughout the year is
invaluable. SKYWARN Recognition Day is our way of saying thank you." 

In 2006, 90 NWS offices across the country participated and logged more
than 16,000 radio contacts, according to Goodland's Warning Coordination
Meteorologist David Floyd, N5DBZ. In typical SKYWARN operations during
severe weather, direct communication between mobile spotters and local
NWS offices provides critical "ground truth" information for
forecasters. In summer, spotter reports of hail size, wind damage and
storm rotation in real time greatly assist the radar warning operator,
since that information can be correlated with Doppler radar displays. In
winter, snow nets are held, where reports of snow totals, ice
accumulations and whiteout conditions in blowing snow help NWS
forecasters assess the extent and severity of winter storms. In recent
years during wildfire situations, Amateur Radio operators have reported
the precise locations of thick smoke and zero visibility, allowing
forecasters to provide crucial weather updates to fire fighters. 

"NWS offices utilize the real-time reporting of weather events to assist
in warning operations, but certainly hurricanes Katrina and Rita have
shown us that ham radio operators are equally important during the
recovery phase of large-scale natural disasters," Floyd pointed out. He
also cited the example of the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN). He notes that
the HWN, organized in 1965 during Hurricane Betsy, started out as an
informal group of amateurs but has since developed a formal relationship
with the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami via its Amateur Radio
station WX4NHC. Ham radio operators and volunteers at Miami work
together when hurricanes threaten to provide real-time weather data and
damage reports to the Hurricane Center's forecasters. 

For more information on SKYWARN Recognition Day, including a list of
participating NWS offices, QSL card and certificate information, please
see the NWS Web site <>. 


Five new Section Managers will take office January 1, 2008 in Alabama,
Alaska, East Bay, New Mexico and Tennessee. The Kansas, Western
Massachusetts, Delaware, Santa Barbara and Michigan Sections will
continue with their current leadership. Ballots were counted November 20
at ARRL Headquarters. 

In Alaska, Jim Larsen, AL7FS (ex-WA0LPK), of Anchorage, was declared the
winner with 180 votes. He outpolled incumbent Section Manager David
Stevens, KL7EB, who received 54 votes. Larsen is active with the
Anchorage Amateur Radio Club where he is Vice President. He has also
served as the club's President for three years and as newsletter editor
for four years. Larson is also founder of the Alaska QRP Club and is a
member of the A-1 Operator Club. 

In Tennessee, Glen Clayton, W4BDB, of Cleveland, garnered 795 votes, and
Jack R. Green, AD4LP, had 188 votes. Clayton has been licensed since
1962, and is a founding member and President of the Cleveland Amateur
Radio Club. He participates in emergency communications and training and
is also active in Army MARS. 

Alabama, East Bay, and New Mexico will also have new Section Managers
starting on New Year's Day. Jay Isbell, KA4KUN, of Bessemer, Alabama, is
taking over the reins as Section Manager from Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, who
was recently elected as the Southeastern Division Director. 

James Latham, AF6AQ, of Livermore, California, will be the new East Bay
Section Manager. He takes over from Ti-Michelle Connelly, NJ6T, who did
not run for another term of office; Connelly has been Section Manager
since July 2003. 

Donald Wood, W5FHA, of Albuquerque, succeeds Bill Weatherford, KM5FT, as
the New Mexico Section Manager. Weatherford has served as Section
Manager since July 2003. 

The following incumbent ARRL Section Managers did not face opposition
and were declared elected for their next terms of office beginning
January 1, 2008: Kansas -- Ron Cowan, KB0DTI; Western Massachusetts --
Ed Emco, W1KT; Delaware -- Frank T. Filipkowski, Jr, AD3M; Santa Barbara
-- Robert Griffin, K6YR, and Michigan -- Dale Williams, WA8EKF. 


A 7500 acre wildfire erupted on Ojo Peak, part of the Manzano Mountains
in the Cibola National Forest, southeast of Albuquerque, on Monday,
November 19. Two days later, five New Mexico County ARES Groups were
activated in support of the Torrance County Emergency Management Agency.
Hams assisted by providing emergency communications for the American Red
Cross evacuation shelters, Torrance County Dispatch and the County's
fire units in the rugged terrain. 

Arlene Perea, Fire Information Officer for the Cibola National Forest,
said the cause has not been determined but that authorities have ruled
out lightning. She said officials have not determined if the fire was
intentionally set or the result of negligence, but they're trying to get
some information about people who came off of trailheads. According to
reports, approximately 90 families were forced to evacuate from their
homes and seven structures were burned, including three homes. A few
outbuildings suffered major damage. 

Torrance County Emergency Manager John Cordova, KE5RNB, activated ARES,
along with ARES Emergency Coordinator for Torrance County Daryl Clutter,
NX5W. Socorro County ARES provided their communications trailer and
Sandoval County ARES brought their mobile command unit. The Tapia Mesa,
Sandoval County and Upper Rio FM Society 2 meter repeaters were utilized
for this event. 

In addition to providing emergency communications to Torrance County,
ARES personnel assisted a portable kitchen that was sent by a church
group to the American Red Cross evacuation center in Mountainair, 10
miles from the fire. 

It started to snow in the Manzano Mountains early on Thanksgiving Day.
This snow, along with water tankers from California and efforts of the
fire fighters in difficult terrain, helped to contain the fire.
According to the US Forest Service, the fire is 60 percent contained.
Since a major part of the fire is in wilderness areas, it won't be fully
contained until what Perea calls "a good snowfall" comes. 


Have you ever thought about working 160 meters? This weekend will give
you a great opportunity to do just that, during the ARRL 160 Meter
Contest. This contest, which is CW-only, is great for both new and
experienced General and Extra class licensees, as Generals have
privileges on the complete 160 meter band. US and Canadian stations, as
well as all US territories in the Caribbean and Pacific, will try to
work as many US states, Canadian provinces and DX as they can! In this
contest, Alaska and Hawaii are considered US states, and not DX (in some
contests, Alaska and Hawaii are considered DX).

While it certainly helps to have a big antenna, you'd be surprised what
you can work with smaller antennas. ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean
Kutzko, KX9X, said, "I've worked hundreds of stations (including some
DX) on 160 meters from my old location in Illinois with just 100 W and a
40 meter dipole run through an antenna tuner!"

ARRL Contributing Editor H. Ward Silver, N0AX, might have an antenna
solution for your 160 meter woes. He says you don't have to have a
250-foot dipole 300 feet in the air to have fun on 160. There are a
number of tricks you can do with antennas cut for higher frequency
bands. If you have an antenna for 80 meters or 40 meters, he recommends
tying both conductors of the feedline together and connecting them to
the ungrounded terminal of an antenna tuner output. The ground of your
station can act as the counterpoise. This is an old and useful trick to
get on Top Band for a weekend.

You can also extend any antenna by simply clipping a length of wire to
it near the end. For a dipole, attach the wire or wires at the end
insulators. For verticals, clip the wire on at the top of the antenna -
you can make a dandy inverted-L this way. A random-wire stretched out
over the bushes and trees will probably play a lot better than you
expect. Use an antenna analyzer or your transmitter set to very low
power levels to adjust your tuner. If you can't get the SWR very low,
just reduce power output from your transmitter. Modern transmitters can
output 10 W or so at high SWR and SWR losses in the feed line are very
low on 160 meters.

Use your ham ingenuity to get on the air this weekend and start
collecting QSOs for your 160 meter Worked All States Award. The best
times for stations using low-power and compromise antennas is probably
after 10 or 11 PM (local time) when the regional activity is at its
peak. There will also be a "dawn enhancement" just before sunrise when
stations to the west, where the path is in darkness, become quite strong
for 30 minutes or so. Here at the bottom of the solar cycle, conditions
will probably be quite good. See what you can accomplish -- you will
probably be quite pleasantly surprised!

The ARRL 160 Meter Contest begins Friday November 30 at 2200 UTC and
runs until Sunday, December 2 at 1600 UTC. Get on the air and work some
stations on one of the most enigmatic bands used in Amateur Radio.


The FCC issued an Order of Revocation to Robert D. Landis, N6FRV, on
Tuesday, November 20. The Commission said that "[b]ased on the evidence
of his convictions for child molestation, we conclude that Mr. Landis
lacks the basic requisite character qualifications to be and remain a
Commission licensee." Landis was convicted on two felony counts in 1991,
fined $10,000 and sentenced to 11 years in prison. He received his call
sign April 1, 1999; it was set to expire on November 1, 2006. According
to the ARRL VEC, Landis filed for an address change and a renewal of his
license on August 6, 2007, still within the two year grace period; the
application was withdrawn on September 27. 

In August 2006, the FCC issued an Order to Show Cause (OSC) to determine
whether Landis would be allowed to continue to hold his Advanced class
license. The Order was in response to a complaint pointing out Landis's
conviction for lewd behavior involving a minor. For several years now,
the FCC has applied character standards once reserved for broadcast
licensees to Amateur Radio licensing and renewal cases. 

The FCC received a complaint against Landis on October 5, 2005, alleging
he had been convicted of child molestation and was now living in a
mental hospital; after Landis had served his sentence, he was confined
to a mental hospital by the State of California "pursuant to a civil
commitment," the Order of Revocation stated. Based on this information,
the FCC began an investigation and confirmed that on October 28, 1991,
the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside, convicted Mr.
Landis of two counts of a lewd act with a child under the age of
fourteen years old. The Court sentenced Mr. Landis to a term of eleven
years in state prison and fined him $10,000. On January 11, 2001, Mr.
Landis reported a change of address from 313 E. Francis Street, Corona,
California to 10333 El Camino Real, Atascadero, California. The latter
address is the locale of the Atascadero State Hospital. At all times
while Mr. Landis was an amateur licensee, the Commission has required
that such licensees adhere to certain standards that are set forth in
the Commission's character policy statement," the OSC said. 

Section 312(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,
provides that the FCC may revoke any license if "conditions com[e] to
the attention of the Commission which would warrant it in refusing to
grant a license or permit on the original application." The character of
the applicant is among those factors that the FCC considers in its
review of applications. In assessing character qualifications in
broadcast licensing matters, the FCC considers, as relevant, "evidence
of any conviction for misconduct constituting a felony." The Commission
has found that "[b]ecause all felonies are serious crimes, any
conviction provides an indication of an applicant's or licensee's
propensity to obey the law" and to conform to provisions of both the Act
and the agency's rules and policies. In addition, certain felonies
involving egregious misconduct "might, of its own nature, constitute
prima facie evidence that the applicant lacks the traits of reliability
and/or truthfulness necessary to be a licensee." The Order of Revocation
said that the sentencing court in California found Landis to be "a
sexually violent predator who is a danger to others." 

The FCC has consistently applied these broadcast character standards to
applicants and licensees in the Amateur Radio Service. Thus, the FCC
believes, felony convictions -- especially those involving sexual
assault on children -- raise questions regarding an amateur licensee's

Before revoking a license, the FCC must serve the licensee with an Order
to Show Cause for the licensee to prove why the license should not be
revoked; the Commission must also provide the licensee with an
opportunity for hearing. "Consequently, we [the FCC] hereby designate
the matter for hearing before a Commission administrative law judge to
provide Mr. Landis with an opportunity to demonstrate why his license
should not be revoked," the OSC said. Landis was given 30 days (from
August 31, 2006) to respond to the OSC, filing a written appearance
stating he will appear for the hearing on the date specified by the FCC
and "present evidence on the issues specified herein." 

If Landis failed to "timely file a written appearance within the thirty
(30)-day period, or has not filed a petition to accept, for good cause
shown, a written appearance beyond the expiration of the thirty (30)-day
period, the right to a hearing shall be deemed to be waived. Where a
hearing is waived, the presiding administrative law judge shall, at the
earliest practicable date, issue an order terminating the hearing
proceeding and certifying the case to the Commission." A copy of the OSC
was sent via certified mail, return receipt requested, to Landis at the
Atascadero State Hospital. 

The Presiding Judge in the case determined that Landis did receive the
OSC, but had failed to file the written notice to appear. Landis,
however, sent "separate letters to the Chief of the Enforcement Bureau
and the Presiding Judge, stating that he could not appear for the
hearing due to his confinement in a mental hospital, and that he would
not retain an attorney." The Presiding Judge ruled these letters
insufficient to constitute a written appearance, but recommended that
they be considered "written statement[s]...denying or seeking to
mitigate or justify the circumstances or conduct complained of in the
[OSC]." Accordingly, the Presiding Judge concluded that Mr. Landis had
waived his right to a hearing, terminated the hearing proceeding and
certified the case to the Commission for disposition. 

According to the Order of Revocation, Landis "fully acknowledges his
felony child molestation convictions and confinement to a mental
hospital, but asserts that his record as a war veteran and an amateur
licensee demonstrate his good character. He further contends that his
conviction is old." The FCC disagreed, calling Landis's felony
convictions "heinous." The FCC continued, noting that even though
Landis's conviction was in 1991 and "[t]he 1986 Character Policy
Statement provides a ten-year limitation on considerations of
allegations of misconduct, it does not limit consideration of
adjudicated misconduct that has already been litigated. Consistent with
this precedent, the Commission previously has considered adjudicated
misconduct in its cases as appropriate in evaluating a Licensee's
character qualifications." 

The Order of Revocation went on to state that the FCC believes that
Landis's "correspondence does not deny or justify the misconduct
complained of in the OSC. Rather, his continued confinement as a
sexually violent predator demonstrates that neither his assertions
regarding his character nor the passage of time have sufficiently
rehabilitated him to mitigate his past misconduct. Thus, we find that
Mr. Landis does not possess the character qualifications required by
this Commission to be or remain a licensee...Accordingly, we conclude,
as a matter of law, that Mr. Landis's above-captioned license should be

Unless Landis files a petition for reconsideration or application for
review within 30 days of the release of the Order of Revocation
(released November 20, 2007, making the petition due December 20, 2007),
his revocation is effective December 30, 2007, 40 days after the release
of the Order of Revocation. 


Columbus , the laboratory built by the European Space Agency (ESA), is
now packed inside space shuttle Atlantis' payload bay. It is the
culmination of years of design and engineering work aimed at creating
Europe's primary component for the International Space Station (ISS). At
23 feet long and 15 feet in diameter, the cylindrical segment is
designed to host specialized experiments examining how humans react to
microgravity and the effect of space on various fluids and objects such
as crystals. Two Amateur-Radio-on-the-International-Space-Station
(ARISS) antennas have been installed on the nadir side of Columbus. NASA
is currently planning on a launch date of Thursday, December 6 for

According to ARRL ARISS Program Manager Rosalie White, K1STO, "The
ARISS-Europe Team is holding weekly meetings to determine what the ARISS
International Team should have for a station in the Columbus module. The
Europeans will need to begin fundraising for the multiple sets of
equipment, such as the on-orbit equipment, the required back-up on-orbit
equipment and the test equipment. Some portions of the equipment system
can be purchased, but much of it would need to be built. Once the team
purchases or builds the equipment, next comes the special testing
(individual equipment tests plus an end-to-end test) for space (probably
by ESA), getting the equipment certified (also probably by ESA) and
finally manifesting the system for launch. All of that will take many
months and help from ARISS volunteers from many countries." 

The mission, STS-122, will bring seven astronauts to the ISS: Commander
Stephen N. Frick, KD5DZC; Pilot Alan G. Poindexter; Mission Specialist
Rex J. Walheim; Mission Specialist Stanley G. Love; Mission Specialist
Leland D. Melvin; Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel of Germany, and
Mission Specialist/Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts,
KE5FNO, of France. 

Earlier this week, ISS Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Dan
Tani, KD5DXE, installed the Centerline Berthing Camera System that will
be used for visual cues in the installation of the Columbus module to
the Harmony connecting node. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP,
is also on board. Tani is due to depart the ISS when Atlantis returns to
Earth; Eyharts will take his place. 

Earlier this year, the ARISS antennas successfully passed electrical and
SWR tests, with one of the two antennas, Antenna 42, going through a
final test -- a thermal test under vacuum. Based on modeling, engineers
have no fear the antenna will pass with flying colors. Columbus will
house an additional Amateur Radio station, including the first digital
Amateur Radio TV (DATV) station in space, as well as a ham radio
transponder. The yet-to-be-built Columbus amateur gear will facilitate
operation on new frequencies that will make it possible for ARISS to
establish wideband and video operations for the first time and allow
continuous transponder operation. 

At the ARISS International conference last year in San Francisco, Graham
Shirville, G3VZV, speaking on behalf of ARISS-Europe, outlined plans for
a mode L/S ham radio transponder as well as a DATV downlink on S1 band
(2.4 GHz). "So, future ARISS contacts could have pictures as well as
sound," Shirville told the delegates. ARISS-Europe is looking at a 10 W
transmitter and a signal bandwidth of from 4 to 8 MHz. Since the
Columbus module will be some distance from the other two ARISS stations,
parallel operation will be possible.

Atlantis' mission to the ISS is scheduled to last 11 days. On flight day
4, Walheim and Schlegel's main task will be to prepare the Columbus
module for installation on Harmony. They will install the Power Data
Grapple Fixture on Columbus, which will allow the space station's
robotic arm to grab the module and move it from the shuttle's payload
bay to Harmony. On flight day 8, Walheim and Love will install two
payloads on Columbus' exterior: SOLAR, an observatory to monitor the
sun, and the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF) which will
carry eight different experiments requiring exposure to the space

Funding to finish and install ham radio antennas on Columbus has been
uncertain; however. ARISS Vice Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, says
donations from various sources covered a payment of 9000 Euros
(approximately $12,000) in March. Donations already have come in from
the ARRL Foundation, AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-UK, among other organizations,
as well as from many individual donors. According to Bertels, there is
still a funding shortfall of 14,000 Euros (approximately $20,000 USD).
To help out, PayPal donations are being accepted.


Tad "I Don't Wanna Holiday in the Sun" Cook, K7RA, this week reports:
Sunspots appeared over several days in the past week. November 24-27 had
daily sunspot numbers of 15, 12 and 11. Otherwise, the sun has been
blank. In the previous reporting period, November 15-21, there were only
two days with sunspots and the daily sunspot numbers on both days were
13. The result is the average daily sunspot number from the previous
reporting period to the current (November 22-28) reporting period rose
from 3.7 to 5.4. Sunspot numbers for November 22 through 28 were 0, 0,
15, 12, 11, 0 and 0 with a mean of 5.4. The 10.7 cm flux was 69.7, 70,
71.3, 70.7, 71.5, 71.4 and 71.2 with a mean of 70.8. Estimated planetary
A indices were 13, 10, 12, 11, 8, 4 and 3 with a mean of 8.7. Estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 6, 8, 8, 8, 6, 5 and 3 with a mean of 6.3.
There were no days with geomagnetic storms, and geomagnetic conditions
should be quiet over the near term. The next recurring solar wind stream
is expected December 17. Expect more weeks of no sunspots, with
occasional appearances for a few days at a time. The US Air Force
predicts a planetary A index of 5 for the next 10 days. For the week,
Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet geomagnetic conditions for
today, November 30, quiet to unsettled December 1 and back to quiet
conditions for December 2-6. For more information concerning radio
propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation
page <>. To read this
week's Solar Report in its entirety, check out the W1AW Propagation
Bulletin page <>. 



* This Weekend on the Radio: This weekend, ARRL 160 Meter Contest (CW)
is November 30-December 2. The TARA RTTY Melee and the Wake-Up! QRP
Sprint are both December 1. The TOPS Activity Contest is December 1-2
and the ARS Spartan Sprint is December 4. Next weekend, the ARRL 10
Meter Contest is December 8-9. The SKCC Sprint and the NAQCC Straight
Key/Bug Sprint are both scheduled for December 12. See the ARRL Contest
Branch page <>, the ARRL Contester's Rate
Sheet <> and the WA7BNM Contest
Calendar <> for more

* ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration: Registration remains
open through Sunday, December 9, 2007 for these online courses beginning
on Friday, December 21, 2007: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
Level 2 (EC-002); Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 3
(EC-003R2); Antenna Modeling (EC-004); HF Digital Communications
(EC-005); VHF/UHF -- Life Beyond the Repeater (EC-008), and Radio
Frequency Propagation (EC-011). To learn more, visit the CCE Course
Listing page <> or contact the
Continuing Education Program Coordinator <>;.

* The Ninth Edition of the ARRL Operating Manual Hits the Bookshelves:
The ninth edition of The ARRL Operating Manual for Radio Amateurs is now
available for purchase. According to ARRL Publications Manager and QST
Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, "This flagship book has had a most extensive
update. About 80 percent of the book was completely rewritten." If
you're an active ham radio operator, you probably have a story about
your first radio contact. Many hams remember that experience even more
than their first license examination. That's because operating is fun
and exciting! This edition is the most complete book about Amateur Radio
operating. It was written to help guide hams, both expert and novice,
through the dozens of ways amateurs communicate with each other. It also
contains reference information that every ham needs. The Operating
Manual includes such topics as VHF/UHF -- FM, Repeaters, Digital Voice
and Data, SSB and CW; Emergency Communications; Traffic Handling; DXing;
Contesting; HF Digital Communications; Image Communications; Amateur
Satellites; FCC Rules and how they affect Amateur Radio operators;
Operating Awards, and References, including a call sign prefix list,
antenna bearing maps, abbreviations and much more.

* FCC Clears Florida Ham: On Monday, November 26, the FCC released a
letter clearing Raymond W. Czyzewski Jr, WA2SEI, of Interlachen,
Florida, of allegations he had caused interference and had sent
threatening communication. On September 14, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau
notified Czyzewski of a complaint alleging he "interfere[d] on the Six
Meter Amateur band on June 19, 2007. The complaint also enclosed a
threatening communication apparently from you to the complainant
subsequent to the incident." Czyzewski was given 20 days to respond and
was directed to "support your response with a signed and dated affidavit
or declaration under penalty of perjury, verifying the truth and
accuracy of the information submitted in your response." Czyzewski
replied on September 24, according to the FCC, "and fully explained the
operation on the date cited in the complaint." The Commission accepted
Czyzewski's response and found "that no enforcement action is

* Plan Today for Your School to Have an ARISS Contact: According to ARRL
ARISS Program Manager Rosalie White, K1STO, a record number of Amateur
Radio on the International Space Station school contacts have been made
in 2007 -- 74, to be exact. This is nearly twice the highest number of
school contacts the astronauts and the ARISS Team handled in previous
years. "Though the ARISS Team's expectations are a little lower for
being able to achieve this level of contact activity in 2008, this is a
good time to file an application and begin making preparations for your
school to have an ARISS contact," White said. The 2007 Amateur Radio
activity was led by the energetic participation of astronauts Sunita
Williams, KD5PLB, and Clay Anderson, KD5PLA. They have significantly
reduced the backlog of schools waiting for a contact. The ARISS Team
plans to award a Certificate of Appreciation to Anderson. The astronaut
set a new record for ARISS school contacts. White said, "A successful
ARISS contact with a school in Quebec was the 39th contact made by
Expedition 15 crew members, surpassing the record set by the Expedition
12 crew for the most contacts made during an ISS expedition." The ARISS
school application, as well as instructions for completing and
submitting all necessary materials, can be found at the ARISS Web site
<>. You will find that one portion
of the application asks for a few paragraphs about the robust
educational activities that you hope to complete revolving around the
school contact. These would be lessons the students would take part in
before, during and after the school contact. If you need ideas, you can
get lesson plans related to ham radio, technology and space from the
ARRL Web site <>, or you can contact
ARISS volunteer Rita Wright, KC9CDL, via e-mail
<>; for space-related lesson plans. 

* 500 kHz Experiment Charting New Territory: The evening of November 13
saw the first transatlantic contact on 500 kHz between amateur
experimental stations. US experimental station WE2XGR/2 (Jay Rusgrove,
W1VD, in Connecticut) and GI4DPE (Finbar O'Connor, EI0CF, in Northern
Ireland) communicated by standard-speed CW for about 15 minutes. On that
same night, US experimental stations WD2XSH/12 (Mike Mussler, AI8Z, in
Colorado) and WD2XSH/20 (Rudy Severns, N6LF, in Oregon) made the first
contact in the western half of the USA. Two days later, WE2XGR/2 and
GI4DPE repeated their feat and WD2XSH/12 had contacts with WD2XSH/6 (Pat
Hamel, W5THT, in Mississippi) and WD2XSH/13 (John Oehlenschlager, K0JO,
in Minnesota). The ARRL 500 kHz experimental license, WD2XSH, was issued
in September 2006 and has 19 active stations. Fritz Raab, W1FR, of
Vermont, serves as experimental project manager for The 500 KC
Experimental Group for Amateur Radio <>. 

* Developer of Hurricane Intensity Scale Dies at 90: Herbert Saffir, an
engineer who created the five-category system used to describe hurricane
strength and warn millions of an approaching storm's danger, died
Wednesday, November 21. He was 90. A structural engineer, Saffir created
his scale in 1969 -- laying out for the first time what kind of damage
could be expected from an approaching hurricane. It has since become the
definitive way to describe intensity for storms that form in the
Atlantic and parts of the Pacific. Before the scale, hurricanes were
simply described as major or minor. Saffir's innovation was ranking
storm destruction by type, from Category 1 -- where trees and unanchored
mobile homes receive the primary damage, to Category 5 -- the complete
failure of roofs and some structures. The five descriptions of
destruction were then matched with the sustained wind speeds producing
the corresponding damage. Saffir's scale was expanded by former National
Hurricane Center director Robert H. Simpson and became known as the
Saffir-Simpson scale in the 1970s. Simpson added possible storm surge
heights for each category, and the hurricane center staff made a small
adjustment to the scale's wind speeds.  -- Some information from the
Associated Press

* Nominations Close December 31 for the 2007 ARRL International
Humanitarian Award: The ARRL International Humanitarian Award is
dedicated to an amateur or amateur group devoted to promoting 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 International
Humanitarian Award recognizes our unique role in international
communication, and the assistance we regularly provide to people in need
throughout the world. 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. A committee appointed by the League's President
recommends an award recipient to the ARRL Board of Directors, 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. Nominations must include a summary of the nominee's
actions that qualify the individual or group for this award plus
verifying statements from at least two individuals 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 2007 ARRL International
Humanitarian Award must be submitted in writing in English to ARRL
International Humanitarian Award, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 USA.
In the event that no nominations are received, the committee itself may
determine a recipient or decide to make no award. Please see the award's
Web page < > to
check the terms of reference and find the directions to follow for
nominations. The award winner receives an engraved plaque, and is
profiled in QST and other ARRL venues. 

* Leonard Award Nominations Due December 7: This annual award honors a
professional journalist whose outstanding coverage in TV, radio, print
or multimedia best reflects the enjoyment, importance and public service
value of Amateur Radio. The award was created as a tribute to the late
CBS News President Bill Leonard, W2SKE. He was an avid Amateur Radio
operator, and most active on the air during the 1960s and 1970s.
Nominations are judged by members of the League's PR Committee, and the
final decision is made during the ARRL Board meeting in January. The
winner receives an engraved plaque and a cash award of $500. For more
information, please see page 52 of the November issue of QST or visit
the Web page <>. 

The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the
American Radio Relay League: ARRL--the National Association for Amateur
Radio, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax
860-594-0259; <>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President.

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential and general
news of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site
<> for the latest Amateur Radio news and news
updates. The ARRL Web site <> also offers
informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News
<> is a weekly "ham radio newscast"
compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also available as a
podcast from our Web site.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole
or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be
given to The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League.

==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
==>Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA,
==>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 delivery: 
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, ...


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