Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Fw: The ARRL Letter, Vol 25, No 08 (Feb 24, 2006)

Expand Messages
  • Tom VanderMel
    ... From: ARRL Letter Mailing List To: Sent: Friday, February 24, 2006 6:04 PM Subject: The ARRL Letter, Vol 25,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 24, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "ARRL Letter Mailing List" <letter-dlvy@...>
      To: <kb8vee@...>
      Sent: Friday, February 24, 2006 6:04 PM
      Subject: The ARRL Letter, Vol 25, No 08 (Feb 24, 2006)


      > ***************
      > The ARRL Letter
      > Vol. 25, No. 08
      > February 24, 2006
      > ***************
      >
      > IN THIS EDITION:
      >
      > * +ARRL wants FCC to order halt to BPL database access limits
      > * +Regulation-by-bandwidth petition "a reasonable middle ground," League
      > says
      > * +Space station commander educates, inspires via ham radio
      > * +SuitSat-1 now QRT
      > * +New ARRL Section Managers start April 1 in four sections
      > * +Revised ITU recommendation on ham radio in disasters in effect
      > * +Lifetime licenses established for hams in Great Britain
      > * Solar Update
      > * IN BRIEF:
      > This weekend on the radio: The North American QSO Party (RTTY)!
      > ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
      > +3Y0X DXpedition logs more than 87,000 contacts
      > Dayton Hamvention® announces theme for 2006 show
      > Revised, corrected Element 2 question pool released
      > DXCC Desk approves operation for DXCC credit
      > Correction
      >
      > +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/>
      >
      > ===========================================================
      > ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
      > letter-dlvy@...
      > ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, n1rl@...
      > ===========================================================
      >
      > ==>LEAGUE TO FCC: ORDER AN END TO ARBITRARY ACCESS LIMITS TO BPL DATABASE
      >
      > The ARRL has demanded that the FCC order the United Telecom Council (UTC)
      > to
      > "cease its arbitrary limits" on access to the public BPL Interference
      > Resolution Web site <http://www.bpldatabase.org/>. UTC administers the
      > site,
      > which FCC Part 15 rules require to be "publicly available." In a complaint
      > <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/files/BPL-Database-Access-Complaint-0
      > 2-06.pdf> filed February 23 with the FCC Office of Engineering and
      > Technology, the FCC Enforcement Bureau and UTC, the League charged UTC
      > with
      > "arbitrarily and unlawfully" preventing some individuals and
      > organizations--including ARRL--from utilizing the BPL database.
      >
      > "Quite simply, UTC's 'management' of this database has in a very short
      > time
      > proven a shambles," ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, wrote on the
      > League's behalf. "The Commission has taken no action in response to any
      > BPL
      > interference complaints, but UTC's restricting access to the database is
      > directly and overtly contrary to the specific language of both the Report
      > and Order (R&O) and §15.615 of the Commission's rules."
      >
      > According to the complaint, ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, found himself
      > locked out of the BPL database February 14 after attempting to search a
      > particular ZIP code. An "error" message warned: "The System has determined
      > that this line of searching constitues [sic] unauthorized use of the
      > database. Cease operations immediately."
      >
      > "There was no unauthorized use of the database," Imlay said, adding that
      > an
      > ARRL staff member got the same message after trying to search two ZIP
      > codes
      > from an "arrl.org" domain address. "It was apparent thereafter that anyone
      > using an 'arrl.org' domain name was unilaterally shut out of the database
      > by
      > UTC for an indeterminate amount of time," the complaint continued.
      >
      > Imlay also cited the experience of Gary Zabriskie, N7ARE, the secretary of
      > the Dixie Amateur Radio Club in Utah. On February 15, he attempted a
      > search
      > covering several ZIP codes in his club's membership area to report any BPL
      > trials or rollouts to members. After entering the third ZIP code, he
      > received the same "error" message. The next week, Imlay noted, a member of
      > the ARRL Laboratory staff conducted a series of searches to determine if
      > previously noted discrepancies in the database had been corrected. After
      > entering his seventh ZIP code search, he received a message indicating
      > that
      > he had exceeded his search limit, "though you may try again later," it
      > added.
      >
      > A advisory on the BPL Interference Resolution Web Site page states:
      > "Access
      > via scripted or automated programs is prohibited. Each individual is
      > allowed
      > to search a limited number of times. Individuals are advised not to
      > conduct
      > random searches of the database, or their access to the database may be
      > further restricted."
      >
      > "The limits placed unilaterally and apparently variably on searches of the
      > database are each and all improper," the ARRL complaint asserted. "There
      > is
      > nothing in any Commission document that authorizes UTC to limit access to
      > the database whatsoever. Worse, UTC has decided to limit public access
      > arbitrarily by IP address or by domain name, and apparently as few as
      > three
      > ZIP code searches trigger the cutoff mechanism." The League said there is
      > no
      > technical reason to limit the search function.
      >
      > The League maintains that the design of the database and the restricted
      > access are "clearly intended to frustrate the Commission's purpose" in
      > requiring the database in the first place and "to inhibit complaints of
      > interference" from BPL systems. As a result, the ARRL says, the FCC should
      > immediately rescind UTC's appointment as the BPL database administrator or
      > order UTC to end its arbitrary limits on access to the database.
      >
      > ==>REGULATION-BY-BANDWIDTH PETITION "A REASONABLE MIDDLE GROUND," LEAGUE
      > SAYS
      >
      > The ARRL says its Petition for Rule Making (RM-11306) to regulate the
      > amateur bands by necessary bandwidth rather than by mode represents "a
      > reasonable middle ground in a difficult regulatory area." In reply
      > comments
      > filed with the FCC February 21, the League said it was gratified to see
      > more
      > than 900 commenters responded to the admittedly "controversial" petition
      > and
      > noted that many "show the investment of a good deal of thought about the
      > proposal." ARRL said it would have been concerned if the amateur community
      > had not responded with a loud voice on all facets of the League's
      > regulation-by-bandwidth proposal.
      >
      > "ARRL continues to believe that its petition is a measured response to
      > progress in digital telecommunications technology and successfully
      > balances
      > the interests of all, regardless of which of the polarized opinions in
      > this
      > proceeding, if any, constitutes a 'majority' view," the League's reply
      > comments said. "To the extent that the success of this philosophy
      > necessitates the participation and cooperation of all amateurs in the
      > development of, and increased reliance on, modernized voluntary band
      > plans,
      > ARRL is optimistic that such participation and cooperation will be
      > available" as it has in past "transitional phases" in Amateur Radio's
      > history.
      >
      > The ARRL is asking the FCC to replace the table at §97.305(c) with a new
      > one
      > that segments bands by necessary bandwidths ranging from 200 Hz to 100
      > kHz.
      > Unaffected by the ARRL's recommendations, if they're adopted, would be 160
      > and 60 meters. Other bands below 29 MHz would be segmented into subbands
      > allowing maximum emission bandwidths of 200 Hz, 500 Hz or 3.5 kHz, with an
      > exception for AM phone.
      >
      > The ARRL says the changes it's proposing constitute a balance "between the
      > need to encourage wider bandwidth, faster digital communications and the
      > need to reasonably accommodate all users in crowded bands."
      >
      > The League's reply comments countered criticism that its petition
      > represents
      > "overregulation wrapped in a different cloak," that increased
      > reliance--and
      > confidence--in the ability of voluntary band plans to substitute for
      > subband
      > regulation by emission mode is misplaced, or that the ARRL's proposal
      > caters
      > to a small minority of digital enthusiasts and experimenters. Many of
      > those
      > who commented expressed a desire to leave things as they are, some because
      > they feel the advent of digital technology may threaten their favorite
      > mode.
      >
      > "They are comfortable with the status quo, because the current regulations
      > are not encouraging toward digital modes and, therefore, the current
      > regulatory scheme, they feel, 'protects' them," the League said. "The
      > comfort level with the status quo is high for these licensees, and they
      > have
      > not hesitated to tell the Commission so."
      >
      > The League emphasized, "All should be accommodated by the regulatory
      > structure of amateur subbands, and technology changes demand regulatory
      > changes in this instance." Its plan, the League said, "attempts to segment
      > emission modes of similar bandwidths in a manner that accommodates the
      > varied needs and interests of all, while insuring compatibility by
      > grouping
      > like-bandwidth emissions together."
      >
      > Citing repeated efforts to gather input from the Amateur Radio community
      > at
      > large and from its members since its regulation-by-bandwidth concept was
      > first aired in 2002, the League called the petition "the most thoroughly
      > vetted regulatory proposal" it's ever developed.
      >
      > "The ARRL petition does not favor one mode at the expense of another," the
      > League reiterated in concluding its reply comments. "It merely allows
      > expansion of the repertoire of options that amateurs may pursue
      > compatibly."
      >
      > The ARRL petition is available on the FCC Web site
      > <http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/retrieve.cgi?native_or_pdf=pdf&id_docume
      > nt=6518181567>. The League's reply comments are on the ARRL Web site
      > <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/bandwidth/Bandwidth-Petition-Reply-
      > Comments-2-6.pdf>.
      >
      > ==>NO LOLLIES ON SPACE STATION, COMMANDER TELLS YOUNGSTERS IN SPACE QSO
      >
      > International Space Station Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR,
      > this month educated and inspired youngsters in Florida and the Australian
      > outback during separate Amateur Radio contacts. McArthur spoke from NA1SS
      > with youngsters attending Collier County, Florida, public schools on
      > February 8, and at the Charleville Cosmos Centre in Queensland on February
      > 17. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program
      > arranged both events. Students at Florida's Pine Ridge and Immokalee
      > middle
      > schools posed several questions on the subject of robotics aboard the ISS,
      > and McArthur discussed use of the space station's robotic arm, Canadarm 2.
      >
      > "We use the robotic arm only occasionally onboard the ISS," McArthur
      > explained. "It's used to either relocate people or equipment on the
      > outside,
      > which happens only occasionally. Also, we will sometimes use the cameras
      > installed on the robotic arm to do video surveys of the exterior of the
      > station."
      >
      > McArthur told the students that it took extensive training to learn how to
      > properly manipulate the Canadarm 2, used mostly to move equipment and
      > cargo
      > that's too large for the astronauts to handle during space walks.
      >
      > Twice during the contact, McArthur offered some words of inspiration and
      > encouragement to those contemplating careers as astronauts. "Do not be
      > afraid to follow your dreams," he advised. "Reach high, because even if
      > you
      > fall a little bit short you will have accomplished so much more than if
      > you're afraid to even try."
      >
      > Members of the Amateur Radio Association of Southwest Florida (ARASWF) set
      > up and operated the equipment necessary for the direct VHF contact between
      > NA1SS and K4YHB at Pine Ridge Middle School, a NASA Explorer School.
      > Coordinating Teacher Sharon Lea, who once met McArthur, took a moment at
      > the
      > end of the QSO to express gratitude on behalf of the schools for making
      > the
      > contact possible. "This was a wonderful experience for us all," she said.
      >
      > Some 150 school officials, teachers, parents and students were on hand,
      > and
      > two TV stations, a local radio station and the Naples Daily News reported
      > on
      > the space contact.
      >
      > Nine days later, youngsters attending the Charleville School of Distance
      > Education gathered at the Cosmos Centre in the Australian outback to hook
      > up
      > with McArthur via ham radio and a Verizon Conferencing teleconferencing
      > link
      > from WH6PN at Sacred Hearts Academy in Honolulu to the Queensland
      > facility.
      >
      > McArthur told the students that he's been an astronaut for 15 years, and
      > his
      > duty tour aboard the ISS marked his fourth flight into space. "Prior to
      > this, my longest mission was 14 days--two weeks," McArthur responded to
      > one
      > question, noting that he enjoyed being in space very much. "This one will
      > be
      > a little more than a half-year, and, to me, it's the difference between
      > visiting a wonderful place and living there."
      >
      > Looking ahead to longer-duration space flights, one student wanted to know
      > how long it would take to get to Mars. "It would take somewhere between
      > six
      > and nine months depending on the technology used and also depending on how
      > the planets are aligned," McArthur replied.
      >
      > "Do you eat chocolate bars and lollies?" another student wanted to know.
      > "Well, we have no lollies," McArthur answered, "but that's only because
      > Valeri [Tokarev] and I didn't ask for them. Yes, we do have chocolate
      > bars,
      > chocolate candy, other candy, and if a crew wanted lollies they could ask
      > for them, and they would have them up here."
      >
      > Beyond that, McArthur said, the cuisine aboard the ISS largely consisted
      > of
      > foods familiar on Earth, although all meals come already prepared and
      > usually dehydrated.
      >
      > The school waited nearly two years for its contact to be scheduled, and
      > just
      > 12 hours before the event a thunderstorm knocked out telephone service
      > throughout the town. Earth station operator and ARISS veteran Tony
      > Hutchison, VK5ZAI, said a repair crew managed to get the telephone system
      > back up with only two hours to spare.
      >
      > National TV and radio and local media joined the audience on hand to
      > report
      > on the contact. The Charleville Cosmos Center is an observatory in outback
      > Queensland some 800 km west of Brisbane.
      >
      > ARISS <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach
      > with US participation from ARRL, AMSAT and NASA.
      >
      > ==>ARISS MAKES IT OFFICIAL: "TREMENDOUSLY SUCCESSFUL" SUITSAT-1 IS SK
      >
      > SuitSat-1 is now a confirmed "Silent Key." So says its sponsor, the
      > Amateur
      > Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. In operation for
      > more than two weeks, SuitSat-1--designated AO-54--easily outlasted initial
      > predictions that it would transmit for about one week. ARISS International
      > Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, says the mission captured imaginations
      > around
      > the world, despite a much-lower-than-expected signal strength.
      >
      > "The outreach, press requests and visibility of SuitSat were absolutely
      > amazing and appear to be unprecedented for a ham radio event," Bauer said.
      > "While the press requests are just now starting to wane, we expect that
      > you
      > will continue to see SuitSat status reports and pictures in magazines, Web
      > sites and other literature over the next few months." The more than nine
      > million hits at the SuitSat Web site attest to the level of interest in
      > the
      > SuitSat-1 experiment, Bauer noted, calling the tally "quite impressive
      > indeed!"
      >
      > Bob King, VE6BLD, in Alberta posted the last confirmed reception of
      > SuitSat-1's voice audio, Saturday, February 18, at 0332 UTC. Richard Crow,
      > N2SPI, in New York received the last confirmed telemetry, which indicated
      > the battery voltage dropping precipitously to a low of 18.3 V before the
      > novel satellite ceased to transmit.
      >
      > Hearing SuitSat-1's puny signal strength generally required gain antennas,
      > but Bauer says he heard SuitSat with a 3-element Arrow antenna and a
      > handheld radio. Bauer's daughter Michelle recorded the English-language
      > voice identification. Another challenge to signal reception, he said, was
      > the very deep fading due to the suit's rotation in orbit.
      >
      > "One great positive that came from these issues is that it challenged the
      > ham radio community worldwide to improve their station receive
      > capabilities
      > so that they could pull every bit of signal from SuitSat," Bauer remarked.
      >
      > Bauer says reports that SuitSat-1 was non-operational and that the battery
      > was frozen shortly after deployment are false. "This never occurred," he
      > stressed. "As the telemetry has shown, temperatures within the suit were a
      > somewhat comfortable 12-16 degrees C during the entire mission."
      >
      > So, he adds, is the tale of SuitSat-1's early demise and resurrection. "It
      > was alive and operated flawlessly, except the signal strength issue, from
      > the time the crew flipped the switches until the battery power was used
      > up,"
      > he said.
      >
      > Bauer says he's also not ready to buy into an AMSAT calculation that the
      > transmitter may have been putting out between 1 and 10 mW. "It is entirely
      > possible that the radio output could have been at 500 mW, and the feed
      > line,
      > connector or the antenna caused the problem," he said, adding that the
      > SuitSat team has only just begun studying what might have caused the weak
      > signal.
      >
      > The AMSAT/ARISS team already is looking forward to a SuitSat-2.
      > "Correcting
      > the signal strength issue would be a top priority for this flight," Bauer
      > said. "So would be a longer-term power generation device, like solar
      > arrays."
      >
      > Although no longer transmitting, SuitSat-1 could continue orbiting Earth
      > for
      > another 70 to 120 days, depending on atmospheric drag, Bauer said.
      >
      > More information on the SuitSat-1 project, including QSL information, is
      > available on the AMSAT Web site <http://www.amsat.org/> and on the SuitSat
      > Web site <http://www.suitsat.org/>.
      >
      > ==>VIRGINIA MEMBERS ELECT NEW SECTION MANAGER IN CONTESTED RACE
      >
      > In the only contested Section Manager race this winter, Glen Sage, W4GHS,
      > outpolled incumbent Virginia SM Carl Clements, W4CAC, 720 to 656. Ballots
      > were counted February 21 at ARRL Headquarters. Clements has served as
      > Virginia's SM since May 2001.
      >
      > Sage, who lives in Hillsville, has been licensed since 1976 and has a
      > strong
      > interest in--and commitment to--emergency communication, teaching
      > licensing
      > classes and serving as a volunteer examiner.
      >
      > Three other ARRL sections are getting new SMs. In North Carolina, Tim
      > Slay,
      > N4IB, of Mooresville, was the only candidate to succeed John Covington,
      > W4CC, who decided not to run for another term after serving for six years.
      >
      > Bob Schneider, AH6J, of Keaau, Hawaii, will return to the Pacific SM post
      > when he takes over the reins from Kevin Bogan, AH6QO, who did not seek a
      > new
      > term. Schneider has served three separate, earlier terms as Pacific SM,
      > beginning in 1992.
      >
      > Tuck Miller, NZ6T, will once again become San Diego SM, a post he'd held
      > previously for nearly two terms. Incumbent Pat Bunsold, WA6MHZ, decided
      > not
      > to run again.
      >
      > Four incumbent ARRL SMs faced no opposition and were declared re-elected.
      > They are Pete Cecere, N2YJZ, Eastern New York; Eric Olena, WB3FPL, Eastern
      > Pennsylvania; Mickey Cox, K5MC, Louisiana, and Richard Beebe, N0PV, South
      > Dakota.
      >
      > New two-year terms for all successful candidates begin April 1.
      >
      > ==>REVISED ITU RECOMMENDATION ON USE OF AMATEUR RADIO IN DISASTERS IN
      > EFFECT
      >
      > A revised International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecommunication
      > Development Sector (ITU-D) Recommendation is now in force to promote
      > "effective utilization of the amateur services in disaster mitigation and
      > relief operations." Initially developed in 2001, the document, known as
      > Recommendation ITU-D 13, was brought up to date last year through the
      > efforts of an ITU-D study group and circulated to administrations around
      > the
      > globe for adoption.
      >
      > "This is an updated version of a Recommendation that administrations
      > include
      > the amateur services in their national disaster plans, reduce barriers to
      > effective use of the amateur services for disaster communications, and
      > develop memoranda of understanding with amateur and disaster relief
      > organizations," explained ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. ITU-D 13 further
      > advises cooperation among all parties in making available model agreements
      > and "best practices" in disaster telecommunications.
      >
      > The revised Recommendation takes into account changes adopted at World
      > Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) to Article 25 of the
      > international Radio Regulations. One change provides that Amateur Radio
      > stations may be used to transmit international communications on behalf of
      > third parties in case of emergencies or for disaster relief. Another
      > encourages administrations "to take the necessary steps to allow amateur
      > stations to prepare for and meet communication needs in support of
      > disaster
      > relief." The FCC recently adopted changes to its Part 97 Amateur Service
      > rules to reflect these and other WRC-03 actions.
      >
      > The revised Recommendation ITU-D 13 recognizes that effective Amateur
      > Radio
      > disaster communication depends "largely on the availability of amateur
      > operators located throughout a country," and that post-disaster
      > international humanitarian assistance "often includes the provision of
      > amateur operators and of equipment from an assisting country."
      >
      > It further acknowledges that barriers in terms of gaining permission to
      > operate and to move equipment and operators into a disaster zone "in many
      > cases hindered the full use of telecommunications capabilities available
      > from outside an affected country."
      >
      > "The Tampere Convention on the Provision of Telecommunications Resources
      > for
      > Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations," adopted in 1998 by the
      > Intergovernmental Conference on Emergency Telecommunications in Tampere,
      > Finland, established a framework for the reduction and/or removal of such
      > barriers. Revised in 2003, ITU-Radiocommunication Sector Recommendation
      > M.1042-2, "Disaster Communications in the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite
      > Services," encouraged "the development of such services and of making such
      > networks robust, flexible and independent of other telecommunication
      > services and capable of operating from emergency power."
      >
      > The revised Recommendation ITU-D 13 is expected to be available soon--in
      > several languages and in MS-Word and PDF formats--from the ITU Web site
      > <http://www.itu.int>.
      >
      > ==>GREAT BRITAIN TO INSTITUTE LIFETIME AMATEUR RADIO LICENSES
      >
      > Telecommunications regulator Ofcom has unveiled plans to reform Amateur
      > Radio licensing in Great Britain. The main change is that Amateur Radio
      > licenses will be issued for life, although licensees will have to confirm
      > their license details every five years. The Radio Society of Great Britain
      > (RSGB) says it welcomes the Amateur Radio licensing reforms.
      >
      > "The RSGB are reasonably comfortable with Ofcom's recent announcement,"
      > RSGB
      > General Manager Peter Kirby, G0TWW, told ARRL. "We never had an argument
      > with electronic delivery. We had a big argument with regards to a
      > 'lifetime'
      > license with no checks and balances. Our concerns have been satisfied
      > inasmuch as it is a lifetime license that has to be effectively renewed
      > every five years or it lapses."
      >
      > Paper licenses are going away too, for all intents and purposes, and Ofcom
      > instead will provide an on-line service to issue electronic licenses.
      > Hard-copy licenses will remain available for those lacking Internet
      > access,
      > but there will be an administrative charge. Starting October 1, Ofcom will
      > take over from the Royal Mail the role of issuing, renewing and amending
      > Amateur Radio licenses.
      >
      > The RSGB's Kirby notes that while Ofcom announced it was deregulating the
      > Amateur Radio license, the RSGB is quick to point out that the changes to
      > the licensing system "do not add up to deregulation" of ham radio. "Ofcom
      > continue to shoot themselves in the foot with the liberal use of the word
      > 'deregulate'," Kirby said. "Every time it appears they get deluged with
      > letters from angry hams and Members of Parliament, and even our Patron,
      > the
      > Duke of Edinburgh, has taken them to task in recent months."
      >
      > The RSGB last year went on record as being "strongly opposed" to any steps
      > by Ofcom to deregulate Amateur Radio in Great Britain, fearing that it
      > could
      > lead to the elimination of amateur licensing altogether. "There is no
      > doubt
      > that the RSGB's robust stand last year influenced Ofcom's change of mind
      > in
      > a number of areas," Kirby said. "However, these are early days yet, and I
      > have serious doubts that they will be able to provide the electronic
      > option
      > in the time scale they have laid down."
      >
      > Ofcom said its new approach to Amateur Radio licensing will "reduce
      > unnecessary bureaucracy." Additional details are on the Ofcom Web site
      > <http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/aradio/statement/>.
      >
      > ==>SOLAR UPDATE
      >
      > Sol Man Tad "Who Let the Spots Out?" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington,
      > reports: More zeroes! A string of zero-sunspot days reappeared this
      > week--a
      > pattern we'll likely see repeated over the next year, but for longer
      > periods. Average daily sunspot numbers compared to last week dropped by
      > nearly two points to 7.1. On February 20 and 21 a gust of solar wind hit
      > Earth, causing a moderate rise in geomagnetic indices and visible aurora
      > way
      > up north. A small coronal hole on our sun's equator was the source.
      >
      > Over the next week don't expect sunspot numbers to rise. A solar wind from
      > a
      > coronal hole is expected to cause unsettled conditions for Friday and
      > Saturday, February 24-25. Geophysical Institute Prague expects unsettled
      > conditions for February 24, quiet to unsettled on February 25, quiet
      > February 26-27, and quiet to unsettled on February 28-March 2.
      >
      > Sunspot numbers for February 16 through 22 were 27, 23, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0,
      > with a mean of 7.1. 10.7 cm flux was 79.2, 79.2, 78.5, 76.5, 76.2, 75.9,
      > and
      > 76, with a mean of 77.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 4, 2, 6,
      > 20,
      > 17 and 12, with a mean of 9.9. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 7, 2,
      > 2, 5, 9, 15 and 11, with a mean of 7.3.
      >
      > __________________________________
      >
      > ==>IN BRIEF:
      >
      > * This weekend on the radio: The North American QSO Party (RTTY), the CQ
      > 160-Meter Contest (SSB), the Russian PSK Worldwide Contest, the REF
      > Contest
      > (SSB), the UBA DX Contest (CW), the Mississippi and North Carolina QSO
      > parties, the CZEBRIS Contest, the High Speed Club CW Contest and the CQC
      > Winter QSO Party are the weekend of February 25-26. JUST AHEAD: The ARRL
      > International DX Contest (SSB), the Wake-Up! QRP Sprint, the Open Ukraine
      > RTTY Championship, the DARC 10-Meter Digital Contest are the weekend of
      > March 4-5. The ARS Spartan Sprint and the AGCW YL-CW Party are March 7.
      > See
      > the ARRL Contest Branch page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/> and the
      > WA7BNM
      > Contest Calendar <http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/index.html> for
      > more
      > info. JUST AHEAD: See the ARRL Contest Branch page
      > <http://www.arrl.org/contests/> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
      > <http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/index.html> for more info.
      >
      > * ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration:
      > Registration remains open through Sunday, March 5, for these ARRL
      > Certification and Continuing Education (CCE) Program on-line courses:
      > Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 2 (EC-002), Amateur Radio
      > Emergency Communications Level 3 (EC-003), Antenna Modeling (EC-004), HF
      > Digital Communications (EC-005), VHF/UHF Beyond the Repeater (EC-008) and
      > Radio Frequency Propagation (EC-011). Classes begin Friday, March 17. To
      > learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page
      > <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE Department
      > <cce@...>.
      >
      > * 3Y0X DXpedition logs more than 87,000 contacts: This month's 3Y0X
      > DXpedition to Peter I Island managed to put 87,034 contacts into its
      > logbook
      > during two weeks of operation before it shut down February 19 at 1813 UTC.
      > The lucky last contact was with K8LTG. The 3Y0X DXpedition surpassed the
      > 82,000 QSOs achieved by A52A (Bhutan), but it fell a bit short of the
      > 96,000
      > contacts logged by K1B (Baker Island). The 22-member 3Y0X team, headed by
      > led by Ralph Fedor, K0IR, and Bob Allphin, K4UEE, now is safely aboard its
      > ship, the DAP Mares and plans a stop in the South Shetlands on the way
      > home.
      > Because of its remote location in the Bellinghausen Sea near Antarctica
      > and
      > the severe weather conditions, Peter I has been activated but rarely and
      > remains one of the most-wanted DXCC entities. For additional information,
      > visit the Peter I DXpedition Web site <http://www.peterone.com/>.
      >
      > * Dayton Hamvention® announces theme for 2006 show: "Ham Radio is Public
      > Service" is the theme for Dayton Hamvention 2006--reflecting the renewed
      > awareness by the public of the service Amateur Radio operators provided
      > after the Gulf Coast hurricanes and other disasters. In announcing the
      > theme, Hamvention 2006 General Chairman Jim Nies, WX8F, said that it
      > serves
      > to remind the public and the ham radio community that one of the reasons
      > ham
      > radio exists is to provide communication in emergencies when all else
      > fails.
      > Several forum sessions are expected to deal with emergency
      > communication-related topics, including how Amateur Radio performed after
      > the hurricanes wiped out communications in a wide segment of the south.
      > For
      > more information, visit the Dayton Hamvention Web site
      > <http://www.hamvention.org>. More than 25,000 visitors are expected to
      > attend the three-day event Friday through Sunday, May 19-21. The ARRL has
      > announced that it will present ARRL EXPO 2006 during Hamvention
      > <http://www.arrl.org/announce/nc/2006/>.
      >
      > * Revised, corrected Element 2 question pool released: The Question Pool
      > Committee (QPC) of the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner
      > Coordinators (NCVEC) has announced the release of a revised and corrected
      > Element 2 (Technician) question pool. The new Element 2 question pool
      > becomes effective for all Technician-class Amateur Radio examinations
      > administered on or after July 1, 2006. Changes from the initial Element 2
      > question pool include elimination of some questions (T5D06, T6B09 and
      > T7A08)
      > and rewording of others to increase clarity. "We thank those users who
      > reported the errors and made other suggestions for ways to improve the
      > product," the committee said. "The QPC reviewed all submissions and
      > incorporated the changes that were appropriate." The QPC warned that only
      > the Element 2 question pool dated February 6, 2006, is valid. The new
      > Element 2 database is available for download from the NCVEC Web site as a
      > PDF, MS-Word, Rich Text Format (RTF) or ASCII text file
      > <http://www.ncvec.org/ama_news_article.php?id=82>. The QPC says subsequent
      > changes will be handled by deletion of the affected question. The QPC
      > invites additional input via e-mail <qpcinput@...>.
      >
      > * DXCC Desk approves operation for DXCC credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has
      > approved this operation for DXCC credit: K3LP/KP5 and N3KS/KP5, Desecheo
      > Island, December 16-17, 2005. For more information, visit the DXCC Web
      > page
      > <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/>. "DXCC Frequently Asked Questions" can
      > answer most questions about the DXCC program. ARRL DX bulletins are
      > available on the W1AW DX Bulletins page <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/dx/>.
      >
      > * Correction: The story "Onboard Fires, Safe Grounding Question Topics for
      > NA1SS School Contacts" in The ARRL Letter, Vol 25, No 04 (January 27,
      > 2006)
      > incorrectly identified Aquebogue Elementary School in Riverhead, New York.
      >
      > ===========================================================
      > The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American
      > Radio Relay League--The National Association For Amateur Radio--225 Main
      > St,
      > Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259;
      > <http://www.arrl.org>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President.
      >
      > The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential news of
      > interest
      > to active amateurs. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate,
      > concise,
      > and readable. Visit ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org> for the latest news,
      > updated as it happens. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> offers
      > access to news, informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News
      > <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast"
      > compiled from The ARRL Letter.
      >
      > 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.
      >
      > ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
      > letter-dlvy@...
      > ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, n1rl@...
      > ==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org>
      > ==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call
      > 860-594-0384
      >
      > ==>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
      > <http://www.arrl.org/members/>. 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
      > sources:
      >
      > * ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/>. (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will
      > be
      > posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.)
      >
      > * The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur
      > Radio
      > Club: Visit Mailing Lists@...
      > <http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/letter-list>. (NOTE: The ARRL
      > cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this
      > listserver.)
      >
      >
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.