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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 27, No. 24
June 20, 2008


* + Ham Radio Volunteers Provide Support during Santa Cruz Fire 
* + Hams Ready to Respond to Iowa Floods 
* + California Hands-Free Law to Go into Effect July 1; Ham Radio Not
Affected Says Counsel 
* + German Ham Claims First DXCC on 432 MHz 
* + World Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) Championships Fast
* + W1AW Announces 2008 Field Day Bulletin Schedule 
*  Solar Update 
      This Weekend on the Radio 
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration 
      ARRL to Close in Observance of Fourth of July 
    + First Image from CUTE-1.7 +APD II Satellite 
    + Howard Shepherd, W6US (ex-W6QJW), SK 

+Available on ARRL Audio News <> 

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


Ham radio volunteers from Santa Cruz ARES
<> provided a vital layer of
communications to support firefighters, law enforcement, Red Cross and
even animal control during the Martin fire in the hills above Santa Cruz
over Father's Day weekend. As of Tuesday, June 17, the fire, which
covered more than 500 acres, was completely contained. Four people were
injured in the fire. Three homes were destroyed and another one was
damaged, while eight outbuildings burned down. Santa Cruz, home to
University of California, Santa Cruz, is a town of about 55,000 people
located on the northern edge of Monterey Bay.

During the blaze, ARRL Santa Clara Valley Section Public Information
Coordinator Bill Moffitt, AE6GS, said the radios in the Santa Cruz
County Emergency Operations Center were "crackling with traffic as hams
across the area transferred information, made requests and made sure the
various agencies -- from the California Department of Forestry and Fire
Protection (CAL FIRE) to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's department --
were kept abreast of the progress in fighting the fire and the needs
that arose in the area." Yet, Moffitt said, even with all this going on,
"ARES volunteers remained completely professional, ensuring the accuracy
and effectiveness of the flow of traffic."

"Our group got some valuable practice during the Summit fire a few weeks
ago," said ARRL Santa Cruz County District Emergency Coordinator Cap
Pennell, KE6AFE, who manned the radio room in the Santa Cruz EOC. "Our
people were much more ready for this fire, and the quality of the
response shows." The Summit fire burned more than 4200 acres in both
Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties, destroying 31 homes and 63
outbuildings. Both the Martin and Summit fires remain under

Helping to evacuate people in the fire's path was an immediate priority,
and the ARES teams facilitated communications between the various
agencies who were notifying people about their evacuation status. But
pets and livestock, including a multi-hundred pound pig, also needed to
be moved from harm's way. That's when Santa Cruz County Animal Control
organized volunteers from Equine Evacuation, a local animal evacuation
organization, to help transport animals out of the fire zone. Several
hams are also members of the group, and with their help, Equine
Evacuation safely and efficiently removed more than 50 animals,
including horses and other livestock, to safe locations.

"I slept about four hours last night," said Hap Bullard, KQ6YV, as he
stood next to his ham radio-equipped pickup hooked up to his empty horse
trailer at the staging area for the animal evacuation. Bullard is a ham
radio operator who also serves with Equine Evacuation. "I'm here to
ensure the animal control people can stay in touch with the Emergency
Operations Center, but I'll be going to pick up horses if I'm needed,"
he said. -- ARRL Santa Clara Valley Section Public Information
Coordinator Bill Moffitt, AE6GS


News of the flooding in Iowa has been leading the nightly newscasts for
days. But according to ARRL Iowa Section Emergency Coordinator Jim
Snapp, NA0R, "While flooding here in Iowa is a disastrous event to
individuals and business affected, only a very small percentage of
Iowa's land mass is directly affected by actual river flooding. Thanks
to advance warnings from government agencies, loss of life has been very
low." Only one fatality has been reported in the Iowa floods.

Snapp said that Iowa amateurs were active in SKYWARN events over several
weeks prior to the start of flooding events. On the morning of June 12,
the Iowa State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) requested activation
of the Amateur Radio station in the SEOC (KC0EEC) to provide alternate
communications with Linn County EOC (Cedar Rapids area) and Jones County
EOC. KC0EEC was manned around the clock, but Snapp said he knows of only
one piece of traffic that was passed.

"We have access to the SEOC e-mail program, since that is where we would
enter messages coming in by Amateur Radio," Snapp said. "Many, many
requests came in and were handled by SEOC staff. Jones County closed
their EOC Saturday and the Linn County EOC dismissed the Amateur Radio
operations late on Saturday, June 14 and the KC0EEC station was closed."

Snapp said that on June 16, Iowa SEOC requested information on Amateur
Radio communication abilities in southeastern Iowa "in case of
communication breakdown in that area. Currently, there is no widespread
Amateur Radio activity in Iowa dealing with the floods."

About 20 years ago, Snapp said that Iowa installed a fiber optic
backbone to all 99 Iowa counties: "This system has been updated and
refined over the years, and is very robust redundant system. All the
Iowa County Homeland Security and Emergency Management coordinators have
e-mail access directly to the Iowa SEOC for requests or to get questions

The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency at the SEOC
has supplied the amateur community with ham equipment: an HF
transceiver, an HF/VHF transceiver and tri-band VHF/UHF and dual band
VHF/UHF transceiver. "If the Iowa SEOC needs Amateur Radio
communications, they will contact us," Snapp said.


A new California hands-free cellular telephone law goes into effect July
1, 2008. It, like many others around the country, prohibits using mobile
telephones while driving, unless a hands-free device is utilized. ARRL
has received numerous questions about its application to the use of
mobile Amateur Radio stations by licensed amateurs. The law, in relevant
part, states as follows:

"23123. (a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a
wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and
configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in
that manner while driving."

ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, advises that "The definition of
prohibited behavior in California's recent statute does not include a
prohibition of operating a mobile, licensed Amateur Radio station while
driving, because Amateur Radio transceivers are not telephones. While
ARRL cannot guarantee that this statute will not be interpreted by law
enforcement officers or the courts of California more broadly than that,
it is our view that a fair reading of the statute excludes mobile
operation of Amateur Radio equipment by licensed radio amateurs.

"That said, it is obvious that drivers should pay full time and
attention to driving. To the extent that operating their amateur
stations while mobile is a distraction to them, they should consider, if
possible, pulling over safely to the side of the road and conducting
their amateur communications while stationary."

ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, adds that while
the statute on its face does not apply to Amateur Radio mobile
operation, problems could still arise: "Law enforcement officers are not
telecommunications experts and may not understand or be concerned about
the difference between a cellular telephone and a ham radio. If you do
get stopped, be polite and state that you were operating a mobile
Amateur Radio transmitter as specifically authorized by the FCC and not
a wireless telephone. Don't engage in an argument if the officer issues
a citation -- that won't help your cause. If cited, you will need to
follow the instructions about contesting the citation in traffic court.
As ARRL General Counsel Imlay notes, the language of the statute does
not appear to include amateur mobile operation. Unfortunately, you could
have to go through the inconvenience of appearing in court to contest a

ARRL will continue to monitor the application of this statute relative
to radio amateurs.


The world of Amateur Radio DXing has passed a new milestone: On Friday,
June 6, Jan Bruinier, DL9KR, of Niedernhausen, Germany, worked his 100th
country on 432 MHz (70 cm) via moonbounce (EME) and CW.

Samek Zdenek, OK1DFC, and Hofbauer Zdenek, OK3RM, were getting ready to
go on an EME DXpedition to Macedonia. Before they left, Samek asked
Bruinier to help test out the equipment; Bruinier gave him a beacon,
aiming a signal off the moon. According to VHF guru and conductor of
QST's "World Above 50 MHz" column Gene Zimmerman, W3ZZ, this is done by
transmitting a series of CW dashes and then stopping to listen for the
signal to return a little more than a second later. The moon averages
384,000 km from the Earth; radio waves travel at ~300,000 km/sec.

After one of these transmissions, Bruinier was excited to hear Samek
appear on frequency with a 549 signal. Thus, after an exchange of calls
and reports, Bruinier's 100th country on 432 MHz was in the log. Once
his QSL cards are confirmed in the near future, he will become DXCC #1
on 70 cm.

Bruinier's 70 cm EME operations began in 1977. He had followed the
exploits of the early EME pioneers in QST, operators like KH6UK, W4HHK,
W3GKP and W1FZJ who was conductor of the "World Above 50 Mc" during much
of the 1960s. Jan and his family moved to a semirural location in
Germany in 1976 where he could put up decent VHF antennas. Working
initially on his own, he built an array of 16 ten-element quagis
(antennas with single quad loop driven elements and reflectors and 8
Yagi directors) following the design described in QST by Wayne Overbeck,
K6YNB (now N6NB). After a few false starts with other tubes, he obtained
an Eimac 8938 and built a near-legal limit amplifier. The station
exciter was a set of Drake twins as an IF strip using homebrew
transverters with an increasingly sensitive group of GaAsFET
preamplifiers, always working at the state-of-the-art.

As time progressed, Bruinier built a bigger amplifier capable of running
1500 W continuously to deal with the high duty cycle found in EME
operation -- long, slow CW with two minute transmissions at a time --
and receiver systems that yielded noise temperatures of 60 kelvins that
could detect 7 dB of noise when he pointed his array into the ground. He
eventually transitioned from the quagis to an array of DL6WU design
Yagis fed with 1-5/8 inch Heliax, currently having a gain of 28.4 dBd.
For comparison, this is slightly more gain than the 28 foot Kennedy
parabolic dish has at 432 MHz.

According to Zimmerman, the range of contacts covered by the 70 cm band
is less than 1000 km; even under the most enhanced conditions, it is
less than double that. "To work the 100 entities needed for DXCC, EME
communications are essential. EME is the most demanding form of
operation there is in Amateur Radio," he said. "Every single aspect of
the station must be optimized: The equipment, the antennas, the feed
lines and most particularly, the talent of the operator. Even 1 dB may
make the difference between a contact and no contact. Bruinier's
achievement was accomplished the old fashioned way -- by dint of hard
work, excellent equipment, big antennas and many, many hours on the air
looking for new countries and not missing many, if any, DXpeditions to
the many countries where there is no 432 MHz EME activity."

Bruinier told Zimmerman that many people going to many countries on all
continents made this award possible: The Five Bells Group, the Yota Sawe
Group, Michale Kohla, DL1YMK, and Monica; Bernd Mischlewski, DF2ZC; Mark
De Munck, ON5FF (now EA8FF); Bernhard Dobler, DJ5MN; Mart Sakalov,
SM0ERR; Dimitris Vittorakis, SV1BTR; Gudmund Wannberg, SM2BYA; Frank
Hobelmann, DL8YHR; Joachim Werner, DL9MS, and Allen Katz, K2UYH, among
others, as well as groups from Russia, Spain, France and Denmark.

If you would like to read more details about Bruinier's career as an
EMEer, please look for his story in his own words in the "World Above 50
MHz" column in the September 2008 issue of QST.


Have you ever thought about competing on the world stage? ARRL Amateur
Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, reports that
there are some openings available to compete for the USA this September
at the ARDF World Championships in Korea. "All of this year's USA gold
medalists plus those from last year and other competitors who did well
have been offered positions on ARDF Team USA for the 14th ARDF World
Championships," he said. "Many are unable to go this year for a variety
of reasons, so at this time there is at least one opening remaining in
every category except M50 (males age 50-59). This makes it possible for
relatively inexperienced radio-orienteers to join the team. It is also
possible to attend as a non-competing visitor, but all visitors must be
listed on the national team roster." 

Moell notes that those interested in traveling to the 2008 ARDF World
Championships as a member of Team USA (or a USA visitor), to please
contact him immediately via e-mail <>;. Do not contact
the Korean organizers directly. If you have not been on Team USA before,
please include your full name, call sign, mailing address, home phone
number and date of birth in your e-mail. If you wish to participate as a
citizen of another North or South American country (non-USA), please
e-mail IARU Region 2 ARDF Coordinator Dale Hunt, WB6BYU
<>;. Canadians should also contact RAC ARDF Coordinator
Joe Young, VE7BFK <>;.

To be safe at the World Championships, Moell said participants must be
capable of solo navigating with a map and compass in the forest for
several miles. IARU rules limit Team USA membership to US citizens and
legal residents. Each member is responsible for his or her own travel
arrangements and entry fees. For more information, go to the
Championship Foxhunting News page of Moell's Web site
<> where prospective
participants can get team status reports and download the latest
bulletins from the organizers.

Moell also reports that he is looking for hosts and organizers for 2009
ARDF events. "USA ARDF Championships have taken place in New Mexico,
Georgia, Ohio, California, North Carolina and Texas so far. Almost every
state has an area of forest that is suitable for the sport. Excellent
orienteering maps may already be available, because there are US
Orienteering Federation clubs in 40 states. Besides maps, these clubs
can assist with scoring systems, flags, site acquisition, insurance and
so forth," he said.

"Don't worry too much about the transmitters," said Moell. "There are
plenty available for loan from active groups. Instead, concentrate on
the site and the hospitality aspects, such as where people will stay,
what they will eat and how they will get from place to place. If your
club or ham group has put on a big hamfest or ARRL convention, you
probably have the skills and resources to organize the USA ARDF
Championships. The optimum months will be July and August." If you or
your club is interested, please contact Moell via e-mail


Stations active during ARRL Field Day -- June 28-29 -- are eligible to
receive 100 bonus points for copying the special Field Day bulletin
transmitted by W1AW (or K6KPH on the West Coast) according to the
schedule below. You must include an accurate copy of the message in your
Field Day submission. The Field Day bulletin must be copied via Amateur
Radio; it will not be included in Internet bulletins sent out from
Headquarters and will not be posted to Internet BBS sites.

W1AW will operate on the regularly published frequencies. The special
PSK31 bulletin will be transmitted on the regular W1AW teleprinter
frequencies. CW frequencies: 1.8175, 3.5815, 7.0475, 14.0475, 18.0975,
21.0675, 28.0675 and 147.555 MHz. Teleprinter frequencies (includes
PSK31): 3597.5, 7.095, 14.095, 18.1025, 21.095, 28.095 and 147.555 MHz.
Phone frequencies: 1.855, 3.990, 7.290, 14.290, 18.160, 21.390, 28.590
and 147.555 MHz.

Teleprinter: 6 PM PDT, 7 PM MDT, 8 PM CDT, 9 PM EDT
Phone: 6:45 PM PDT, 7:45 PM MDT, 8:45 PM CDT, 9:45 PM EDT
CW: 8 PM PDT, 9 PM MDT, 10 PM CDT, 11 PM EDT

Phone: 8 AM PDT, 9 AM MDT, 10 AM CDT, 11 AM EDT
Teleprinter: 6 PM PDT, 7 PM MDT, 8 PM CDT, 9 PM EDT
Phone: 6:45 PM PDT, 7:45 PM MDT, 8:45 PM CDT, 9:45 PM EDT

Phone: 8 AM PDT, 9 AM MDT, 10 AM CDT, 11 AM EDT
PSK31: 9 AM PDT, 10 AM MDT, 11 AM CDT, 12 PM EDT

The Maritime Radio Historical Society's K6KPH
<> will transmit the 2008 W1AW Field Day
message for the benefit of West Coast stations on 3.5815, 7.0475,
14.0475 and 21.0675 MHz, CW only. The frequencies for K6KPH Teleprinter
(RTTY and FEC AMTOR) will be 7.095 and 14.095 MHz. The K6KPH schedule is
accurate as of June 17, 2008.

CW: 7:30 AM PDT, 8:30 AM MDT, 9:30 AM CDT, 10:30 AM EDT
CW: 5:30 PM PDT, 6:30 PM MDT, 7:30 PM CDT, 8:30 PM EDT
Teleprinter: 6:30 PM PDT, 7:30 PM MDT, 8:30 PM CDT, 9:30 PM EDT

CW: 7:30 AM PDT, 8:30 AM MDT, 9:30 AM CDT, 10:30 AM EDT
Teleprinter: 9:30 AM PDT, 10:30 AM MDT, 11:30 AM CDT, 12:30 PM EDT

More information on ARRL Field Day is available on the ARRL Field Day
Web site <>. 


Tad "Blazon sky blue and endow the Sun with gold" Cook, K7RA, this week
reports: We are lucky to see sunspot activity this week, although it is
only one. Sunspot 999 is currently in its most geo-effective position --
near the center of the Sun -- as we see it. This is another old Solar
Cycle 23 spot. The sunspot number for the last few days has been 11,
which is the minimum non-zero sunspot number. A value of 10 is assigned
because there is just one cluster of sunspots, although in this case it
is a cluster of just one; a value of one is added to that for the single
spot. A week ago, the sunspot number was 13, which means one cluster,
three spots, although the judgment of the number of spots inside sunspot
999 is somewhat subjective. Sunspot numbers for June 12-18 were 13, 13,
0, 0, 11, 11 and 11 with a mean of 8.4. The 10.7 cm flux was 67.1, 66.5,
67.1, 66.5, 65.3, 65.9 and 65.4 with a mean of 66.3. Estimated planetary
A indices were 3, 3, 16, 20, 13, 9 and 9 with a mean of 10.4. Estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 2, 1, 16, 14, 10, 8 and 8, with a mean of
8.4. 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, look for the Digital
Pentathlon on June 20. The Feld Hell Sprint and the AGCW VHF/UHF Contest
are June 22. The All Asian DX Contest (CW) and the SMIRK Contest are
June 21-22. On June 25, be sure to check out the SKCC Sprint and the BCC
QSO Party. Next weekend is ARRL Field Day on June 28-29. The Digital
Pentathlon is June 27. The Ukrainian DX DIGI Contest, His Majesty King
of Spain Contest (SSB), the Marconi Memorial HF Contest and the ARCI
Milliwatt Field Day are all June 28-29. All dates, unless otherwise
stated, are UTC. See the ARRL Contest Branch page
<>, the ARRL Contest Update
<> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<> for more info.

* ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration: Registration remains
open through Sunday, July 6, 2008 for these online course sessions
beginning on Friday, July 18, 2008: 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). 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 Fourth of July: ARRL Headquarters will
be closed in observance of Independence Day on Friday, July 4. There
will be no W1AW bulletin or code practice transmissions that day. The
ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News will be posted a day early on Thursday,
July 3. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Monday, July 7 at 8 AM Eastern
Daylight Time. We wish everyone a safe and festive holiday weekend.

* First Image from CUTE-1.7 +APD II Satellite: The ground control
station at the Tokyo Institute of Technology has downloaded the first
color image taken by the CUTE-1.7 +APD II Amateur Radio satellite
<>. The
satellite was 620 km above the Earth at 28.905 degrees North and 146.040
degrees East when the image was captured. CUTE-1.7 +APD II was one of
several CubeSats carried to orbit this year in April by an Indian
PSLV-C9 rocket launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center
<>. The satellite
transmits packet radio data at 9600 baud at 437.475 MHz.  -- Our thanks
to Mineo Wakita, JE9PEL, for this story.

* Howard Shepherd, W6US (ex-W6QJW), SK: Former ARRL Southwestern
Division Director Howard Shepherd, W6US, passed away on Friday, June 13,
2008. He was 87. Shepherd, who served as Southwestern Division Director
from 1965-1967, when he held the call sign W6QJW, was active and
accomplished in many facets of Amateur Radio. According to current
Southwestern Division Director Dick Norton, N6AA, Shepherd was a
record-setting contester, an Elmer to countless up-and-coming young
hams, a volunteer leader and, and in his professional capacity as an
attorney, an adviser on antenna zoning issues and club incorporations.
Positions he held included Army Amateur Radio System DNC2, Los Angeles
Section Emergency Coordinator, Deputy Chief of LA County Disaster
Authority, California State Office of Emergency Management Net Control
Station, Chairman of Los Angeles Area Council of Radio Clubs, Volunteer
Instructor and Examiner, Explorer Scoutmaster, Radio Physics Instructor
at Yale University Technical School and Senior Instructor at USAAF
Technical Training Command. Shepherd was an Honorary Member of the
Southern California DX Club with 352 countries confirmed, member of the
San Diego DX Club, past chairman of the 50 Club and prime mover in the
Leisure World Radio Club of Seal Beach. An ARRL member for over 70
years, "Howard gave back to Amateur Radio, his community and his country
in many ways. We will miss him greatly," Norton said. Services will be
held on Saturday, June 21 at 11 AM at the Good Shepherd Presbyterian
Church in Los Alamitos, California.

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
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(NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You
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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.

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