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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 27, No. 10
March 14, 2008


* + 2008 Global EmComm Conference to Be Held in Friedrichshafen, Germany

* + Idaho Amateurs on Hand for Special Olympics Invitational Winter
* + Texas to Host USA's ARDF Championships 
* + Michigan Amateurs Team Up with State 
* + FCC Slams Pennsylvania Ham with Forfeiture Order 
* + FCC Fixes Typographical Errors in Part 97 
*  Solar Update
      This Weekend on the Radio
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration
    + ARRL to Close in Observance of Good Friday
    + KH6 Incoming QSL Bureau Address Change 
      "Spirit of Knoxville" Sees Successful Launch 
      Exhibit Kits Now Available for Field Day 
      Amateur Radio Exempt from California's New "Hands Free" Law 
      Notes from the DXCC Desk 
      Snake Update 

+Available on ARRL Audio News <> 

Reminder: Next week, the ARRL Letter will be posted on Thursday, March
20, one day earlier than usual. There will be no ARRL Audio News on
Friday, March 21. 

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


The fourth annual Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (GAREC)
Conference <> is
scheduled for June 26-27, 2008 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, just prior
to HamRadio 2008 <>. That
event, called "the Dayton of Europe," is scheduled for June 27-29.
GAREC's schedule is continuously being updated and is subject to change.

Dr Hamadoun Toure, HB9EHT, Secretary General of the International
Telecommunication Union (ITU), is scheduled to present the opening
remarks at GAREC-08; Dr Toure received his Amateur Radio license in
2007. Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, President of IARU Region 1, is scheduled to
participate in the opening remarks, too. 

GAREC will take a look at the state of EmComm preparedness in each of
the IARU regions, as well as discuss experiences of the 2006 and 2007
EmComm Parties-on-the-Air and the future of the Global Simulated
Emergency Test (SET). Delegates will also discuss implementation of the
WRC-03 modifications to Article 25 of the Radio Regulations, in respect
to third-party traffic during emergencies and exercises. The part of
Article 25 concerning Emergency Communications says "Amateur stations
may be used for transmitting international communications on behalf of
third parties only in case of emergencies or disaster relief. An
administration may determine the applicability of this provision to
amateur stations under its jurisdiction" (RR 25.3), and "Administrations
are encouraged to take the necessary steps to allow amateur stations to
prepare for and meet communication needs in support of disaster relief"
(RR 25.9A). 

GAREC delegates will also have the opportunity to look at and discuss
the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the International Amateur
Radio Union (IARU) and the International Federation of Red Cross Red
Crescent Societies (IFRC), as well as the MOU between the IARU and the
ITU. IARU Vice President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, with assistance from IFRC
Secretary General Markku Niskala and IARU International Coordinator for
Emergency Communications Hans Zimmermann, HB9AQS/F5VKP, will lead the
discussion. A representative from the ITU will also be on hand. 

Each of the three IARU Region Presidents will speak on the status of
EmComm in their respective region. Seppo Sisatto, OH1VR, and Juha
Hulkko, OH8NC, will present on the possibility of Emergency
Communication Centers around the world. There will also be a talk on
D-STAR in emergency communications. Case studies of emergency
communication practices will also be presented. 

Those wishing to attend GAREC-08 are encouraged to register online
<>. For those registering prior to June
12, the fee is 55 euros; after June 12, the fee is 75 euros. GAREC will
take place in the Conference Center of the Friedrichshafen Messe in the
Oesterreich Room. Travel and lodging information for GAREC and HamRadio
2008 is available online at the HamRadio 2008 Web page. 


More than 20 Amateur Radio operators wrapped up technical and
operational support for the 2008 Special Olympics Invitational Winter
Games in Boise, Tamarack and Sun Valley, Idaho the last week in
February. Approximately 365 athletes from 10 countries competed in five
sports -- Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Floor Hockey,
Snowboarding and Snowshoeing. The Invitational Games were seen as the
practice run for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games to be held
in Idaho February 6-13, 2009. 

The Department of Defense provided Motorola VHF analog and P25 handheld
radios and temporary repeaters to support the Games. Covering all of
Southwestern Idaho, the ARES VHF repeater was instrumental in providing
Games radio communications and critical communications for athlete
transportation to and from Bogus Basin and Boise. Crossband links were
used to coordinate and provide communications to the KX7ID Boise ARES
repeater from the Tamarack Snowboarding venue near the Cascade/Donnelly
area, about 100 miles north of Boise.

"It was a privilege to work with the Idaho State Police, Boise Police,
Ada County Sheriff, Ada County EMS, Blaine County Sheriff and others
within the Public Safety community," said Chuck Robertson, KX7ID,
Technical Director for Games Radio Communications. "We are grateful for
the relationships built during these test Games which will improve
cooperation and teamwork as we work together toward support of the 2009
Games and public service initiatives beyond the Games." 

The 147.380 MHz ARES repeater was the primary system used for the event,
but the KX7ID UHF repeater, D-Star VHF simplex and P25 VHF simplex were
also used. In addition, D-Star VHF low speed data using D*Chat
<> was tested from the Boise
National Weather Service to Boise area hospitals.

"Communications are a vital component to any successful event,
especially one as complex as the 2008 Special Olympics Invitational
Winter Games and the upcoming 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games,
which are both multi-sport and multi-venue events with a lot of moving
parts," said Kirk Miles, 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games Chief
Operating Officer. "We are grateful to all the Amateur Radio operators
that have worked or will be working to make the 2009 Games a great

The 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games
<> will be held in Idaho, February 6-13,
2009 and will include up to 3000 athletes from as many as 85 countries
and 6000 volunteers. Competition will take place in seven winter sports
-- Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Figure Skating, Floor Hockey,
Snowboarding, Snowshoeing and Speed Skating. Competition and activities
will be in communities and venues throughout Idaho, including Bogus
Basin, Boise State University, Qwest Arena, Idaho Ice World, Sun Valley
Resort and Tamarack Resort.


Bastrop State Park in Central Texas will be the site for this year's USA
championship of on-foot hidden transmitter hunting. Fans of this
international sport -- also called foxhunting or Amateur Radio Direction
Finding (ARDF) -- are making travel plans now. 

Interest and participation in ARDF has been growing every year since
stateside hams first competed at the World Championships in 1998.
Beginning in 2001, there has been an annual national championship to see
who is best at the sport and to select team members for the World
Championships. The Texas ARDF group and the Houston Orienteering Club
are combining to host this year's events, to be held the second weekend
of May.

Thursday, May 8 is scheduled for arrival and equipment testing; 2 and 80
meter transmitters will also be on the air near the event headquarters.
There will also be a get-acquainted meeting and drawing for the starting
order. The 2 meter contest will take place Friday morning. Competitors
will start in small groups made up of different age and gender
categories, in the drawn order.

The 80 meter event will be early Saturday morning with starts in reverse
order, highest numbers first. After everyone returns from the woods and
the results are tallied, medals will be presented for first, second and
third place in each category. There will be ample time for everyone to
return home in time for Mother's Day activities.

On both bands, each of the five foxes transmits for 60 seconds at a time
in numbered order on one frequency, and then the cycle repeats. Fox #1
continuously sends "MOE" in Morse code, then #2 sends "MOI," #3 sends
"MOS" and so forth. Knowledge of Morse code isn't necessary, because the
number of dits reveals which fox is on. Find your required foxes in any
order and then head for the finish, following your map or the continuous
beacon transmitter on a second frequency.

As always, the USA ARDF Championships are open to anyone of any age who
can safely navigate the woods. A ham radio license is not required, so
encourage your unlicensed-but-athletic friends and family members to
join in. Each person competes as an individual; there is no teaming or
person-to-person assistance allowed on the courses. Using GPS as a
navigation aid is also forbidden.

The annual ARDF championships are an ideal opportunity to watch and
learn from the best radio-orienteers in the country, as well as visitors
from around the world. Previous USA championships have drawn experts
from Australia, China, the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary,
Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Registration for the 2008 USA championships is now open. A $70-per-
person package includes the practice session, both competitions, Friday
dinner and a T-shirt. Check out the Texas ARDF Web site
<> for detailed schedules, frequencies, lodging
information and registration forms. An e-mail reflector
<> is available for
Q&A, as well as for coordinating transportation and arranging equipment

If you have never participated in an international-style transmitter
hunt, you will find all the basics at ARRL Amateur Radio Direction
Finding Coordinator Joe Moell's, K0OV, Web site
<> including the rules and signal
parameters. You will get equipment ideas for 2 meters and 80 meters. You
can also determine your own age category. The pages of photos from our
previous championships will help you decide what gear to carry (the
lighter, the better) and what to wear.  -- Information provided by ARRL
ARDF Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV


ARRL Michigan Section Manager Dale Williams, WA8EFK, and Michigan
Section Emergency Coordinator John McDonough, WB8RCR, have been working
with the Homeland Security Division of the Michigan State Police
Emergency Management to align the capabilities of the Amateur Radio
Public Service Corps (ARPSC) more closely with the communications needs
of the state's public service agencies. 

ARPSC -- Michigan's integrated ARES/RACES program -- also participates
in the Michigan State Department Emergency Management Coordinators
Quarterly meetings at the State Emergency Operating Center. It is here,
Williams said, that discussion of the Public Safety communications
grants are discussed and their investment justifications are detailed.
"We have been afforded the opportunity to discuss Amateur Radio's
involvement with communications interoperability, as well as our ability
to fill gaps in disparate networks and outages. As a result of these
conferences, I was asked to include a list of ARPSC's needs for the next
three years."

To further that end, Williams told the ARRL that they have been
successful in incorporating the ARPSC Program into the Michigan State
Preparedness Priorities. Michigan intends to develop the ARPSC into a
fully integrated communications team operating under common standards
and procedures, including maintaining and enhancing the statewide
Amateur Radio communications system; establishing suggested standards
for Amateur Radio capabilities in local Emergency Operations Centers,
and developing a public awareness and education program to bolster the
ranks of Amateur Radio participants. The hope, Williams said, is to have
all this implemented by 2010.

Williams said, "Since the early 1980s, Michigan has operated an
integrated ARES, RACES and NTS program referred to as the Michigan
Amateur Radio Public Service Corps. By combining the forces of these
normally separate structures, these valuable resources are pulled
together to form an active trained and unified organization. The Section
Emergency Coordinator also holds the positions of Section Traffic
Manager and RACES Radio Officer. Membership in ARPSC is open to all
amateurs and is structured to allow a beginning ham to progress from an
entry-level position to a RACES-qualified operator by meeting specific
training milestones." 

"There is no doubt that by presenting a unified organization, the
Michigan ARPSC has demonstrated the effective use of resources, training
and our unique capabilities so that we have become a well respected
public service organization in the state," Williams said.


On March 6, the FCC announced that it has issued a "Forfeiture Order"
<> in
the amount of $4300 to Ronald Mondgock, KA3OMZ, of Honeybrook,
Pennsylvania, "for willfully and repeatedly violating Section 301 of the
"Communications Act of 1934, as amended" (Act), by operating radio
transmitting equipment on the frequencies 439.850 MHz and 147.560 MHz
without a license." Section 301 states a federal license is required to
"operate any apparatus for the transmission of energy or communications
or signals by radio." Mondgock's Amateur Radio license expired in
December 2005. 

Mondgock, who held a Novice class license, first received an "Advisory
Notice" in February 2001 warning that he had been heard operating on the
75 meter band. He was told that he was not authorized to use that
portion of the band and to review the Commission's rules relating to
Amateur Radio Service frequencies. 

In July 2004, Mondgock, received a "Citation" from the FCC's
Philadelphia Field Office "related to failure to identify, transmissions
involving obscenity and indecency and operating on a frequency not
authorized for your Novice Class license." He was issued a "Warning
Notice" in November 2004 for not replying to the "Citation" within the
20-day period. In the Warning Notice, Mondgock was warned by the
Commission that if "a reply is not received by December 15, 2004, a
'Notice of Apparent Liability for Monetary Forfeiture' will be issued
against you. We note also that your license expires December 14, 2005.
No renewal or upgrade will be granted until this matter is resolved." 

Also in July 2004, Mondgock received a letter from the FCC stating that
the Commission "received an anonymous complaint alleging that several
operators on the Amateur Radio Service frequency 146.55 MHz were using
profane or obscene words or language and were failing to transmit their
amateur license call signs. On June 2, 2004, between 7:30 p.m. and 8:45
p.m., an FCC agent with the Philadelphia Office investigated the
complaint and monitored radio communications on the frequency 146.550
MHz allegedly between William Chapman (KB3IXS) and you. Based on your
alleged radio communications that the FCC agent monitored, you may have
violated the following FCC rules: Failing to transmit an amateur license
call sign, in violation of Section 97.119(a) of the rules; Transmitting
obscene and indecent words and language, in violation of Section
97.113(a) of the rules, and Operating on an unauthorized frequency, in
violation of Section 97.301(e) of the rules. (A Novice class amateur
licensee does not authorize operation on any frequency in the 2-meter
Amateur Radio Service frequency band, 144-148 MHz, including 146.55
MHz." Mondgock was given 20 days to respond and told that his response
"must address each alleged violation and include a statement of the
specific actions taken to preclude a recurrence." 

In February 2006, the Commission sent Mondgock a letter telling him that
his application for renewal of his Amateur Radio license "cannot be
routinely granted and has been referred to the Enforcement Bureau for
review." He was advised that this was because he had never submitted
responses to the Commission's correspondence or never claimed a letter
sent via certified mail. Mondgock was given yet another 20 days to
respond to this letter, and warned that if he chose not to do so that
"your application for renewal will be dismissed and a 'Notice of
Apparent Liability for Monetary Forfeiture' will be issued against you."

In December 2006, the FCC's Field Office in Philadelphia sent Mondgock
another "Letter of Inquiry" to "follow up on a recent investigation, of
the operation of your Amateur Radio Service station, on the frequencies
147.560 MHz and 439.850 MHz. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As discussed
more fully below, agents determined the operation of your Amateur Radio
Service station on the frequencies 147.560 MHz and 439.850 MHz violates
Section 1.903(a) of the Rules and your operation on those frequencies
must cease immediately. In addition, you are required to submit a
detailed written response to the questions below regarding the operation
of your station." 

The FCC received information that Mondgock was operating radio
transmitting equipment on the frequencies 147.560 MHz and 439.850 MHz.
In response, the Philadelphia Field Office conducted an investigation
between August-October 2006. "An agent used direction finding techniques
to determine that you apparently operated radio transmitting equipment
on the frequency 439.850 MHz from your residence on September 19, 2006,
between 8:45 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and from your vehicle on October 24,
2006, between 5:30 p.m. and 6:02 p.m. In addition, on September 12,
2006, the agent used direction finding techniques to determine that you
apparently operated a repeater station on the frequency 147.560 MHz from
One Commerce Square in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania." 

The FCC asked Mondgock 11 detailed questions concerning his operations,
directing him to "provide a complete explanation to the following
questions and should provide copies of any relevant documents." He was
told that his answers must be accompanied by a signed, sworn statement
attesting to the truth and accuracy of the response. He was given 20
days to respond with answers to the questions and provide the sworn

On August 15, 2007, the Commission's Philadelphia Field Office issued a
"Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture" (NAL) to Mondgock in the
amount of $10,000 for operating radio transmitting equipment on the
frequencies 439.850 MHz and 147.560 MHz without a license. Mondgock
responded to the NAL and did not dispute the findings of the Commission,
but requested a cancellation of the Forfeiture based on his inability to

In examining Mondgock's response, Section 503(b) of the "Act" requires
that the Commission take into account "the nature, circumstances, extent
and gravity of the violation and, with respect to the violator, the
degree of culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability to pay,
and other such matters as justice may require." When considering
someone's inability to pay a fine, the FCC has determined that, in
general, gross revenues are the best indicator of an ability to pay a
forfeiture. The FCC examined Mondgock's financial documentation that he
provided. The Commission declined to cancel the forfeiture but reduced
the amount from the original $10,000 to $4300, based on Mondgock's
demonstrated inability to pay the full forfeiture amount. 


On March 12, in an effort to correct typographical errors in the
Commission's Rules (including rules affecting Part 97, the Amateur Radio
Service), the FCC released a Memorandum Opinion and Order (MOO)
According to the FCC, these changes in the MOO are "non-substantive
editorial revisions" and do not introduce new rules or change old rules
applicable to Amateur Radio operators. 

In this MOO, the FCC is updating the Allocation Table and service rules
for the Amateur Radio Service with regard to the band 75.5-81 GHz. In
2003, the Commission released a Report & Order (R&O)
commonly called the "70/80/90 GHz R&O," that adopted a transition plan
for the amateur use of the segment 75.5-76 GHz. The Commission concluded
that moving Amateur Radio operations out of the 75.5-76 GHz band would
not pose a major inconvenience to the Amateur Radio Service, but would
"substantially benefit future fixed services, because it would eliminate
the possibility of harmful interference from amateurs." Accordingly, the
primary allocations to the Amateur and Amateur Satellite Services in the
75.5-76 GHz band were downgraded from primary to secondary status, with
secondary use ceasing on January 1, 2006. After that date, the band
75.5-76 GHz was no longer available for use by the Amateur Service or
the Amateur Satellite Service. 

This transition plan was codified in footnote US387 and in Section
97.303(r)(3) of the Commission's Amateur Service rules. Because the
transition period has concluded, the Commission "removed expired
footnote US387 from the list of U.S. footnotes and we are amending Part
97 of the Commission's Rules to reflect this allocation change by: (1)
revising the entry "75.5-81.0" GHz in Section 97.301(a) to read "76-81"
GHz; (2) removing paragraphs (r)(2) and (r)(3) from Section 97.303; and
(3) renumbering paragraph (r)(1) as paragraph (r)." 

In October 2006, the FCC released another Report & Order (R&O)
the "Amateur Phone Band Expansion R&O," that expanded the phone bands.
With the release of the MOO, the FCC is making two changes. 

The first change to the October 2006 R&O is simply a correction of a
typographical error in the Rules for the General phone allocation on 15
meters. In the Amateur Phone Band Expansion R&O, the Commission revised
21.30-21.45 MHz to read 21.275-21.45 MHz, but the current codification
of the rule does not reflect this change. All the Commission did was to
bring the Rules into alignment with the R&O. 

The second change fixed an omission in the Novice/Technician allocation
on 40 meters. The FCC found that when the Amateur Phone Band Expansion
R&O was released, "the Commission expanded the frequency segment
authorized for amateur voice communications within the 40 meter band by
correspondingly reducing a band segment used for narrowband emission
types by 25 kHz, from 7.100-7.150 MHz to 7.100-7.125 MHz." The revised
frequency table in Section 97.301(e) of the FCC's Rules that lists
authorized frequency bands for Novice and Technician Class inadvertently
omitted 7.100-7.125 MHz from Regions 1 and 3. "Because the Amateur Phone
Band Expansion R&O addressed the division of amateur frequencies among
permissible emission types and not between geographic ITU Regions, we
must further amend Section 97.301(e), as set forth in Appendix C, to
implement the Commission's decision. Specifically, we are revising the
40 meter band by reinserting the segment '7.100-7.125' MHz in the Region
1 and Region 3 columns." 

The FCC also took the opportunity to remove a double negative from
Section 97.303(b). Before the release of the MOO, this Section read: "No
amateur station transmitting in the 1900-2000 kHz segment, the 70 cm
band, the 33 cm band, the 23 cm band, the 13 cm band, the 9 cm band, the
5 cm band, the 3 cm band, the 24.05-24.25 GHz segment, the 76-77.5 GHz
segment, the 78-81 GHz segment, the 136-141 GHz segment, and the 241-248
GHz segment SHALL NOT cause harmful interference to, nor is protected
from interference due to the operation of, the Federal radiolocation
service." The FCC chose to take out the word "NOT" to bring the rule's
words in line with the spirit of the rule. 


Tad "Saw in the Sun a mighty angel stand" Cook, K7RA, this week reports:
With just a few scattered sunspots in the past two weeks -- February
28-March 12 -- it isn't meaningful to ponder the change in weekly
averages. There were just four days with sunspots during that time:
February 28, March 5-6 and March 10. Sunspot numbers for March 6 through
12 were 12, 0, 0, 0, 12, 0 and 0 with a mean of 3.4. The 10.7 cm flux
was 70.3, 70.5, 69.8, 69.5, 70.3, 70.2 and 69.4 with a mean of 70.
Estimated planetary A indices were 2, 3, 11, 25, 18, 12 and 14 with a
mean of 12.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 2, 1, 6, 14, 12, 7
and 9 with a mean of 7.3. 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, the NCCC Sprint is March 14.
The AGCW VHF/UHF Contest, Feld Hell Sprint and the 10-10 International
Mobile Contest are on March 15. The Russian DX Contest is March 15-16
and the Virginia QSO Party is March 15-17. The UBA Spring Contest (6
meters) and the 9K 15 Meter Contest are both March 16. On March 17, look
for the Run for the Bacon QRP Contest and the Bucharest Contest. The
NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint and the RSGB 80 Meter Club Championship
(SSB) are scheduled for March 20. Next weekend is the ARLHS Annual
Spring Lites QSO Party from March 21-30. Another running of the NCCC
Sprint is March 21. The BARTG Spring RTTY Contest is March 22-24. The
UBA Spring Contest (2 Meters) is March 23 and the SKCC Sprint is March
26. 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, March 23, 2008, for these online course sessions
beginning on Friday, April 4, 2008: Technician License Course (EC-010);
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1 (EC-001); Radio Frequency
Interference (EC-006); Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009); Analog
Electronics (EC-012), and Digital Electronics (EC-013). Each online
course has been developed in segments -- learning units with objectives,
informative text, student activities and quizzes. Courses are
interactive, and some include direct communications with a
Mentor/Instructor. Students register for a particular session that may
be 8, 12 or 16 weeks (depending on the course) and they may access the
course at any time of day during the course period, completing lessons
and activities at times convenient for their personal schedule. Mentors
assist students by answering questions, reviewing assignments and
activities, as well as providing helpful feedback. Interaction with
mentors is conducted through e-mail; there is no appointed time the
student must be present -- allowing complete flexibility for the student
to work when and where it is convenient. To learn more, visit the CCE
Course Listing page <> or contact
the Continuing Education Program Coordinator <>;.

* ARRL to Close in Observance of Good Friday: ARRL Headquarters will be
closed in observance of Good Friday on March 21. There will be no W1AW
bulletin or code practice transmissions that day. "The ARRL Letter" will
be posted a day early on Thursday, March 20; there will be no "ARRL
Audio News" that week. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Monday, March 24 at
8 AM Eastern Daylight Time. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable
holiday weekend.

* KH6 Incoming QSL Bureau Address Change: As of April 1, 2008, Barbara
Darling, NH7FY, will assume management of the Hawaiian KH6 Incoming QSL
Bureau. All card shipments should now be sent to KH6 QSL Bureau, Big
Island ARC, Attn: Barbara Darling, NH7FY, PO Box 1938, Hilo, HI
96721-1938. Any concerns regarding this bureau's operation should be
directed via e-mail to Barbara Darling, NH7FY <>;. The
ARRL would like to thank former KH6 Incoming QSL Manager Wayne Jones,
NH6K, for his years of service. 

* "Spirit of Knoxville" Sees Successful Launch: The trans-Atlantic
balloon flight of the "Spirit of Knoxville IV"
<> launched into orbit on March 11 at
0200 UTC (10 PM EDT March 10). The balloon, designed to stay aloft for
more than 24 hours, was successfully inserted into the current jet
stream at normal flight altitudes of 30,000-40,000 feet. On Wednesday,
March 12, it had made two-thirds of its journey and crossed the tectonic
plate to Europe. Organizers hoped the balloon would make to Europe, but
after 40 hours and 3300 miles, the balloon lost altitude late Wednesday
and went into the ocean as it neared Ireland. Using radio frequencies,
the balloon transmitted data detailing its current location, distance
traveled, speed, height and health of the balloon. The balloon's payload
consisted of hand-made computers and radios, along with a GPS and
self-authored software. The onboard computer gathered such information
from the GPS as altitude, speed and temperature; the computer then
determined whether the balloon needed to drop weight to maintain its
altitude and sent this information, via Amateur Radio frequencies, to
volunteers around the globe. 

* Exhibit Kits Now Available for Field Day: Please visit our Field Day
information page <> for all the details on
Field Day rules, frequencies, forms, pins, logos and T shirts. The
complete Field Day packet can be downloaded from the site as well. If
you have unanswered questions about Field Day, contact ARRL Field Day
Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, via e-mail <>; or by phone at
860-594-0236. If you want to order exhibit kits containing printed
flyers about Amateur Radio, you may order these materials
<> on the ARRL Web site. The cost of the
exhibit kits ranges from $8-$12 depending on shipping. To make sure
you'll have the display material in time for Field Day, your order must
be received before June 13. 

* Amateur Radio Exempt from California's New "Hands Free" Law: On July
1, the State of California will have new laws on the books to deal with
the use of wireless telephones while driving. There has been some
confusion as to whether California amateurs who operate in their car
will be affected by the new law. According to the California Department
of Motor Vehicle's Web site
<>, "the
use of dedicated two-way radios such as walkie-talkies or Citizen Band
(CB) radios is not affected by the new law" for drivers 18 or older. 

* Notes from the DXCC Desk: ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, reports
that the 2007 ZL1GO/8 DXpedition to Kermadec Island has been approved
for DXCC credit. "If you had cards rejected for this operation, please
send an e-mail <>; to the ARRL DXCC Desk to have your DXCC
record updated," Moore said.

* Snake Update: E-mails to name the W1HQ snake
<> keep coming in to
ARRL HQ. According to ARRL News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, more
600 names have been submitted. "I am sorting through the names and soon
the W1HQ team will go through all of them and choose the name for our

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

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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

Copyright 2008 American Radio Relay League, Inc.
All Rights Reserved


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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