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Fw: The ARRL Letter, Vol 25, No 09 (Mar 3, 2006)

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  • Tom VanderMel
    ... From: ARRL Letter Mailing List To: Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 6:46 PM Subject: The ARRL Letter, Vol 25, No
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3, 2006
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "ARRL Letter Mailing List" <letter-dlvy@...>
      To: <kb8vee@...>
      Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 6:46 PM
      Subject: The ARRL Letter, Vol 25, No 09 (Mar 3, 2006)

      > ***************
      > The ARRL Letter
      > Vol. 25, No. 09
      > March 3, 2006
      > ***************
      > ===========================================================
      > This weekend: The ARRL International DX Contest (SSB)!
      > ===========================================================
      > * +Ham Aid funds disaster communication "Gear Ready to Go"
      > * +Federal post-Katrina reports favorable to Amateur Radio's role
      > * +ISS commander continues his record-breaking streak of school QSOs
      > * +ARRL National Emergency Response Planning Committee named
      > * +ARRL "Hello" campaign to kick off in April
      > * +Recovering mine tragedy survivor making progress
      > * Solar Update
      > * IN BRIEF:
      > This weekend on the radio: THE ARRL INTERNATIONAL DX CONTEST (SSB)!
      > ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
      > +Hams help following mud slide
      > +W1AW 160-meter frequency change put on hold
      > David A. Rosenthal, N6TST, wins February QST Cover Plaque Award
      > Dayton 2006 Contest Dinner tickets now available
      > Tim Chen, BV2A, SK
      > DXCC Desk approves operations for DXCC credit
      > +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@...
      > ===========================================================
      > When another disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina comes along, the
      > League will be able to deploy "ham gear ready to go," thanks to
      > manufacturers' donations of Amateur Radio gear, ARRL members' generous
      > monetary contributions and a federal grant. The ARRL Ham Aid-sponsored "Go
      > Kits" now being assembled at League Headquarters are the third leg of a
      > program that's already reimbursed certain out-of-pocket expenses for ham
      > radio hurricane zone volunteers and helped restore Amateur Radio backbone
      > infrastructure along the US Gulf Coast.
      > "To me, this is a first step in ramping up ARRL's ability to support
      > Amateur
      > Radio volunteers in the field before the next big disaster hits," says
      > ARRL
      > Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. "It won't replace or
      > supplant
      > anything that's already on the ground and working well, but it will
      > strengthen it and add flexibility to Amateur Radio's overall response
      > capabilities." The equipment and cash donations, coupled with a grant from
      > the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), will mean
      > Amateur
      > Radio Emergency Service (ARES) field volunteers will never go without in
      > terms of equipment. Hobart says $25,000 in Ham Aid funds have been set
      > aside
      > for the Go Kits.
      > The Go Kits will enable the League to loan out needed equipment on a
      > moment's notice. Emergency Communications Specialist Harry Abery, AB1ER,
      > spends his days at ARRL Headquarters securely stowing various equipment
      > complements in rugged, waterproof Pelican 1650 containers.
      > "The idea is that this makes it easy to ship," explains Abery, "and since
      > they're less than 50 pounds apiece, they'll be able to go by air if
      > necessary." Flooding won't be an issue. "You can throw them in the water,
      > and they'll float," he adds.
      > So far, Abery says, there's an HF Kit, a VHF/UHF Kit, a Handheld
      > Transceiver
      > Kit and a Support Kit--seven of each, and more on the way. He and other
      > League staffers consulted with volunteers who'd been in the field during
      > Hurricane Katrina to find out what gear served them best or what they
      > wished
      > they'd had but didn't.
      > The HF Kit contains a 100-W HF transceiver, a microphone and a power
      > supply.
      > The VHF/UHF Kit includes a dualband mobile transceiver, power supply,
      > headset, 10 handheld transceivers and a supply of alkaline batteries. In
      > the
      > Handheld Transceiver Kit are eight dualband handheld transceivers and
      > antennas plus a stock of extra batteries. The Support Kit includes a
      > length
      > of BuryFlex 213 coaxial cable, rope, 15-foot jumper cables with battery
      > clamps at one end and an Anderson Powerpole on the other. The kit includes
      > various fittings and adapters to connect to the power distribution unit
      > and
      > to make RF feed line connections. All kits contain any necessary manuals.
      > Packed in a separate container, appropriate antennas and antenna
      > accessories
      > will accompany a given kit.
      > More than two dozen members of the Amateur Radio industry and individual
      > radio amateurs contributed equipment last year for use in the Hurricane
      > Katrina relief effort <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/09/09/105/>.
      > Citing Amateur Radio's favorable treatment in recent US House Subcommittee
      > and White House reports on the Hurricane Katrina response (see below),
      > Hobart said it's imperative to sustain and enhance ham radio's emergency
      > communication capabilities for the future. "Disasters happen to be one
      > place
      > Amateur Radio can shine," she pointed out. "We need to maintain a high
      > level
      > of readiness to do those things that are second nature to ARES members but
      > that the public is just coming to recognize."
      > Making the Go Kits available to ARES teams, Hobart says, will help to
      > cement
      > Amateur Radio's position as a community resource. "We want to be able to
      > ensure that we have the personnel and the equipment," she said. "With a
      > disaster of this magnitude we need to be ready."
      > ARRL continues to solicit Ham Aid donations to help maintain and sustain
      > the
      > League's ability to support Amateur Radio volunteers in the field. League
      > members can contribute to Ham Aid via the secure ARRL Development Office
      > donation Web site
      > <https://www.arrl.org/forms/development/donations/basic/>.
      > Simply click "Ham Aid" and complete the on-line form.
      > Ham radio received positive mentions in post-Katrina reports from the US
      > House of Representatives and the White House. References to the Amateur
      > Radio Emergency Service (ARES), the Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS)
      > and the HF digital e-mail system Winlink 2000 appear in "A Failure of
      > Initiative"--the final report of the Select Bipartisan Committee to
      > investigate the preparation for and response to Hurricane Katrina (see
      > <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2006/02/17/2/>).
      > "Like all levels of government," noted the 364-page report released
      > February
      > 15, "the National Communication System (NCS) "was not able to address all
      > aspects of the damage to the communications infrastructure of the Gulf
      > States."
      > MARS was cited for its role as part of the Shared Resources High Frequency
      > Radio Program (SHARES), a federal emergency communication system. The
      > report
      > says that "within days" of Katrina's landfall, NCS called upon more than
      > 430
      > SHARES stations across the US to, among other things, assist first
      > responders conducting search-and-rescue missions by relaying information
      > to
      > government agencies, by relaying logistical and operational information
      > among FEMA EOCs in Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana, and by handling
      > health-and-welfare messages between volunteer agencies in Georgia and the
      > American Red Cross national headquarters.
      > "Additionally, the NCS coordinated the frequencies used by the nearly 1000
      > Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers across the nation who
      > served in the Katrina stricken area providing communications for
      > government
      > agencies, the Red Cross and The Salvation Army," the report continued.
      > "Emergency communications were conducted not only by voice, but also by
      > high-speed data transmissions using state-of-the art digital
      > communications
      > software known as Winlink."
      > The report further noted, "In Mississippi, FEMA dispatched Amateur Radio
      > operators to hospitals, evacuation centers, and county EOCs to send
      > emergency messaging 24 hours per day. Cited were comments by Bay St Louis
      > Mayor Eddie Favre that Amateur Radio volunteers "were especially helpful
      > in
      > maintaining situational awareness and relaying Red Cross messages to and
      > from the Hancock County EOC."
      > According to the report, radio amateurs at airports in Texas and Louisiana
      > "tracked evacuees and notified families of their whereabouts," while the
      > Red
      > Cross "deployed Amateur Radio volunteers at its 250 shelters and feeding
      > stations, principally in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida."
      > The Salvation Army, the report pointed out, operates its own system of
      > Amateur Radio volunteers known as SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency
      > Radio Network). "During the Hurricane Katrina response and recovery
      > effort,
      > SATERN joined forces with the SHARES program and received over 48,000
      > requests for emergency communications assistance utilizing federal
      > frequencies made available via the SHARES program," the report noted.
      > "A Failure of Initiative" asserted that the loss of power and the failure
      > at
      > various levels of government "to adequately prepare for the ensuing and
      > inevitable loss of communications" hindered the hurricane response "by
      > compromising situational awareness and command and control operations."
      > "Despite the devastation left by Katrina, this needn't have been the
      > case,"
      > the report stressed. "Catastrophic disasters may have some unpredictable
      > consequences, but losing power and the dependent communications systems
      > after a hurricane should not be one of them."
      > The White House report, "The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina:
      > Lessons
      > Learned" <http://www.whitehouse.gov/reports/katrina-lessons-learned.pdf>
      > released February 22 also cast Amateur Radio in a favorable light--in its
      > Appendix B, "What Went Right."
      > "Amateur Radio Operators from both the Amateur Radio Emergency Service and
      > the American Radio Relay League monitored distress calls and rerouted
      > emergency requests for assistance throughout the US until messages were
      > received by emergency response personnel," the report said. "A distress
      > call
      > made from a cell phone on a rooftop in New Orleans to Baton Rouge was
      > relayed, via ham radio, from Louisiana to Oregon, then Utah, and finally
      > back to emergency personnel in Louisiana, who rescued the 15 stranded
      > victims."
      > The report also points out that Amateur Radio volunteers were on duty at
      > the
      > National Hurricane Center, the Hurricane Watch Net, Waterway Net, SKYWARN
      > and the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN).
      > The report's Appendix B cites specific reports in the general news media
      > about Amateur Radio activities following Hurricane Katrina and points to
      > several news stories that appeared on the ARRL Web site.
      > Sixteen youngsters attending the Discover Engineering Family Day event
      > February 18 in Washington, DC, had the rare opportunity of talking to
      > International Space Station Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, via ham
      > radio.
      > Operating from the space station's NA1SS a few days later, McArthur also
      > answered a series of questions from pupils at Itaki Elementary School in
      > Japan. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
      > program
      > arranged both events. During the Engineering Day contact, one participant
      > wanted to know if the Expedition 12 crew had "learned anything really
      > cool"
      > during its science experiments.
      > "One of the biggest experiments is just the crew members on board, just
      > the
      > human beings on board, so we learn how our bodies change in space,"
      > McArthur
      > said, noting that ISS research centers on finding out what's needed for a
      > journey to Mars. On other fronts, he's growing crystals in space, while
      > crewmate Valeri Tokarev is growing seeds.
      > As for the really cool stuff: "I think the coolest thing I've learned is
      > that living in space is a very pleasant, very nice thing to do," McArthur
      > added.
      > For the Discover Engineering Family Day contact, Verizon donated a two-way
      > teleconferencing link between the Sacred Hearts Academy WH6PN Earth
      > station
      > operated by Dick Flagg, AH6NM, in Honolulu, and the National Building
      > Museum
      > in Washington. Children and questions for the contact were solicited via
      > the
      > museum's Web site.
      > McArthur told the Engineering Day participants that it's possible to get
      > headaches in space, especially when the carbon dioxide level gets too
      > high.
      > Crew members sometimes sneeze, too, he said, and the result in
      > microgravity
      > can illustrate Newton's Third Law.
      > "I think a good sneeze really feels good, and it feels really good in
      > space!" McArthur enthused. "Of course, if you're not holding yourself
      > securely when you sneeze, y'know, just that kind of violent motion can
      > send
      > you spinning off in a strange direction."
      > The contact got some publicity in the Washington Post and on local TV
      > stations. Some 7000 people turned out for Discover Engineering Family Day,
      > and an AMSAT team supported an ARISS booth during the event.
      > On February 20, youngsters at the Itaki Elementary School Fathers' Club
      > took
      > part in a direct VHF contact between NA1SS and 8J4I in Japan. McArthur
      > told
      > them that he became an astronaut because he's an aerospace engineer and a
      > pilot, "and being an astronaut seemed to be the most interesting way of
      > doing both things." He said his current stint as commander of ISS
      > Expedition
      > 12 marked his fourth--and by far his longest--trip into space.
      > "To me, space represents the ultimate challenge for mankind, to show that
      > we
      > can grow and eventually leave our home planet," McArthur told another
      > young
      > questioner.
      > Asked which star was the most beautiful, McArthur replied, "our sun." But,
      > he went on to say, he thinks all the stars in the sky are beautiful. "They
      > are no bigger for us than they are for you," he explained, "but we do not
      > have clouds or dust in the air to look through, so they are very clear."
      > At the 8J4I controls was Kei Fujimura, JJ4RJE. In all, 13 students
      > participated in the event, and McArthur answered 19 of their questions
      > before the ISS went over the horizon and signal was lost. The event
      > attracted media coverage from TV and newspapers. An audience of about 100
      > people was on hand for the occasion.
      > McArthur has completed 29 ARISS school contacts during his five months in
      > space--far more than any previous ISS crew member. ARISS
      > <http://www.rac.ca/ariss> is an international educational outreach, with
      > US
      > participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA.
      > ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, has appointed 13 individuals to serve
      > on
      > the ARRL National Emergency Response Planning Committee. The League's
      > Board
      > of Directors resolved to establish the panel during its annual meeting in
      > January "to appropriately prepare for future large-scale disasters." The
      > committee will develop a comprehensive recommendation for ARRL responses
      > to
      > regional, national and international disasters.
      > "This group reflects a nationwide assembly of individuals with direct
      > field
      > experience in all aspects of emergency communications at various levels
      > with
      > disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, floods and terrorist
      > activity to name a few," Harrison said. "There were many excellent
      > recommendations for this committee, which is quite encouraging in itself
      > and
      > speaks highly of Amateur Radio's productive involvement in emergency
      > communications."
      > ARRL First Vice President Kay Craigie, N3KN, will chair the ad hoc
      > committee. Appointed to serve on the committee were:
      > Delta Division Director Henry Leggette, WD4Q, (Programs and Services
      > Committee liaison); Pacific Division Vice Director Andy Oppel, N6AJO;
      > Atlantic Division Vice Director Tom Abernethy, W3TOM; Alabama Section
      > Manager Greg Sarratt, W4OZK; Western Washington Section Manager Ed
      > Bruette,
      > N7NVP; South Texas Section Emergency Coordinator Jerry Reimer, KK5CA;
      > Southern Florida Section Emergency Coordinator Jeff Beals, WA4AW; NYC-Long
      > Island Section Emergency Coordinator Tom Carrubba, KA2D; Mississippi
      > Section
      > District Emergency Coordinator Karl Bullock, WA5TMC; Colorado Net
      > Manager/State Government Liaison Gene McGahey, AL7GQ; IARU Region II
      > Emergency Coordinator Rick Palm, K1CE, (IARU liaison) and ARRL Field and
      > Educational Services Manager Dave Patton, NN1N (ARRL staff liaison).
      > Harrison said the committee will begin its work immediately under
      > Craigie's
      > direction. Among other things, the National Emergency Response Planning
      > Committee will thoroughly evaluate the responses and actions of ARRL and
      > the
      > Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) during Hurricane Katrina as well as
      > lessons learned.
      > The Board's resolution establishing the committee noted that the emergency
      > communications resources and organization needed for national and
      > international disasters "are markedly different" from what's required at
      > the
      > regional and local levels. Given the unprecedented scope and devastation
      > of
      > the 2005 hurricane season in general and of Hurricane Katrina in
      > particular,
      > ARRL Headquarters was placed into a leadership coordination role through
      > national-level requests for help from served agencies such as the American
      > Red Cross.
      > The ARRL Board will consider the committee's recommendations at its 2007
      > annual meeting next January.
      > A new ARRL public relations campaign set to launch this April will cast
      > Amateur Radio in the light of the 21st century and focus on its universal
      > appeal, even in today's already technology-rich society. At the same time,
      > the "Hello" campaign will note the 100th anniversary of what many
      > historians
      > consider the first voice radio broadcast in 1906 by Reginald Fessenden.
      > "It is quite simply the largest PR campaign that ham radio has ever
      > attempted," says ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts,
      > W1AGP.
      > Built around the word "Hello," the coordinated campaign will set "a
      > positive, upbeat tone that highlights the international capabilities of
      > Amateur Radio," he explained.
      > One aim of the "Hello" campaign will be to reframe Amateur Radio within a
      > contemporary context. "ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, was correct in
      > stating that the Main Street of today is not the same as the Main Street
      > of
      > yesteryear," Pitts went on to say. "To reach out today, the very first
      > requirement is that Amateur Radio operators be perceived as friendly and
      > trustworthy. That's a true public relations goal and the prime focus of
      > the
      > campaign."
      > Pitts says it's not helpful to lament the time in decades past when
      > Amateur
      > Radio grew pretty much on its own, without too much effort on the part of
      > clubs and individuals. "Only our combined, effective action will do that
      > today," Pitts says. "This campaign will give hams the tools they need to
      > reach out in their communities to non-hams and influence their perception
      > of
      > Amateur Radio."
      > The national "Hello" campaign can bring curious people into contact with
      > ham
      > radio groups, but it will be up to local radio amateurs to make them truly
      > welcome, Pitts maintains.
      > The "Hello" campaign is designed to gain momentum as the year progresses.
      > Components will include the release of public service announcements for
      > use
      > by radio and TV broadcasters and a video for meetings, presentations and
      > even broadcast. Other highlights will include a "Hello" campaign Web site
      > and special operating events. The high point of the "Hello" campaign will
      > come in December on the centennial of Fessenden's first radio broadcast.
      > History recalls that the Canadian-born and educated Fessenden, using an
      > early alternator, transmitted the first audio radio broadcast from his
      > laboratory in Brant Rock, Massachusetts. Radio operators aboard ships at
      > sea--tipped off in advance to be listening for something special--were
      > astounded to hear Fessenden's broadcast that included the scientist and
      > inventor playing "O Holy Night" on the violin and reading a Bible passage.
      > The campaign will show that despite the Internet and other technologies,
      > the
      > possibility of being able to talk with everyday people around the world
      > and
      > sometimes in exotic locales--coupled with the surprise, art and
      > uncertainty
      > of DXing--remains a major attraction for Amateur Radio. The "Hello"
      > campaign
      > also will take advantage of likely FCC action this year to drop the Morse
      > code requirement at least for General class applicants.
      > "We all say we want to make a change for the better for Amateur Radio and
      > get others interested," Pitts said. "This is the time, this is the chance.
      > Stay tuned! More to come!"
      > Randy McCloy, KC8VKZ--the lone survivor of the January 2 Sago Mine
      > disaster
      > in Upshur County, West Virginia--is continuing to recover. Speaking on The
      > Early Show on CBS TV March 2, McCloy's wife Anna told co-anchor Hannah
      > Storm
      > that her husband is talking again and even telling jokes.
      > "He'll listen to jokes and understand," Anna McCloy told Storm. "He'll
      > talk
      > to me and the kids--just regular conversation."
      > She also said McCloy has told her he remembers "bits and pieces" of the
      > mining disaster that left 12 of his co-workers dead of carbon monoxide
      > poisoning. McCloy, 26, who's been in a rehabilitation facility since
      > January
      > 26, also answers questions appropriately, recognizes his family and can
      > "move quite well," Anna McCloy said. She has remained at her husband's
      > side
      > since his rescue.
      > McCloy eats with assistance and has expressed distaste for institutional
      > cuisine, instead preferring the restaurant and fast food fare his wife
      > supplies.
      > Anna McCloy says she's "not quite sure" if her husband realizes he was the
      > only survivor of the mine mishap. "I don't question him about it. When he
      > wants to talk about it, I listen to him, but I don't push him, and I don't
      > question him," she said.
      > One of Randal McCloy's physicians, Dr Julian Bailes, told Storm that
      > McCloy
      > has "improved beyond our expectations" during rehabilitation. "I think we
      > see his old personality coming back."
      > Well-wishers have been sending cards and QSLs to McCloy at PO Box 223,
      > Philippi, WV 26435. A fund has been set up to accept donations for
      > McCloy's
      > benefit: The Randal McCloy Jr Fund, c/o Clear Mountain Bank, 1889 Earl
      > Core
      > Rd, Morgantown, WV 26505.
      > ==>SOLAR UPDATE
      > Solar sage Tad "Fall Out Boy" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports:
      > Low
      > activity continues with another string of zero-sunspot days. Average daily
      > sunspot numbers for this week were down by 4 points from the prior week to
      > 3.1. Average solar flux declined by 1 point to 76.4.
      > Average sunspot numbers plummeted in February--far below any other month
      > in
      > the second half of Cycle 23.
      > This weekend is the ARRL INTERNATIONAL DX CONTEST (SSB)
      > <http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2006/intldx.html>. Although solar
      > activity is low, geomagnetic conditions should remain quiet, which is
      > good.
      > Sunday, March 5, could see some unsettled activity. The predicted
      > planetary
      > A index for March 3-7 is 8, 5, 12, 5 and 5. Sunspot and solar flux levels
      > should remain very low.
      > Sunspot numbers for February 23 through March 1 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 11, 11
      > and
      > 0, with a mean of 3.1. 10.7 cm flux was 75.1, 76, 76, 76.5, 77, 77.1, and
      > 77, with a mean of 76.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 3, 6, 1, 5, 3,
      > 5
      > and 7, with a mean of 4.3. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 4, 4, 1,
      > 3,
      > 2, 2 and 5, with a mean of 3.
      > __________________________________
      > ==>IN BRIEF:
      > * This weekend on the radio: 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. JUST AHEAD: The North American Sprint
      > (RTTY),
      > the RSGB Commonwealth Contest, the Idaho, Oklahoma and Wisconsin QSO
      > parties, the AGCW QRP Contest, the UBA Spring Contest (CW) and the NSARA
      > Contest are the weekend of March 11-12. 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 19, for these ARRL
      > Certification and Continuing Education (CCE). Program on-line courses:
      > Amateur Radio Emergency Communication Level 1 (EC-001), Radio Frequency
      > Interference (EC-006), Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009),
      > Technician
      > Licensing (EC-010), Analog Electronics (EC-012) and Digital Electronics
      > (EC-013). Classes begin Friday, April 7. To learn more, visit the CCE
      > Course
      > Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE
      > Department <cce@...>.
      > * Hams help following mud slide: The RSGB reports that radio amateurs
      > helped
      > coordinate rescue operations after a devastating mud slide on the
      > Philippine
      > island of Leyte buried an entire village February 17. More than 1800
      > people
      > are believed to have died when the village of Guinsaugon was engulfed by
      > mud
      > following a week of torrential rain and a small earthquake. The
      > International Radio Emergency Support Coalition (IRESC)
      > <http://www.iresc.org/> supported the relief effort by providing
      > communication links between the disaster scene and the International Red
      > Cross. The IRESC specializes in connecting traditional ham radio
      > systems--HF
      > transceivers and VHF/UHF repeaters--with Voice over Internet Protocol
      > (VoIP)
      > technology via EchoLink. The EchoLink net set up for the Leyte disaster
      > reportedly went on the air within hours of the mudslide, and Philippine
      > amateurs used it to pass lists of missing people and survivors. Other
      > messages included requests for food, water, mats, clothing, stretchers,
      > medical kits and digging tools.
      > * W1AW 160-meter frequency change put on hold: QRX on that W1AW QSY! W1AW
      > has rescinded plans to change its 160-meter CW frequency and will remain
      > on
      > 1817.5 kHz for the time being. An announced change to 1807.5 kHz was aimed
      > at reducing the possibility of interfering with DX stations that have
      > begun
      > showing up in the vicinity of 1817.5 kHz. "Lately we have received more
      > complaints about W1AW interfering with weak DX signals," said ARRL CEO and
      > W1AW Trustee David Sumner, K1ZZ. "After what we thought was due diligence
      > we
      > decided that it made sense to shift below 1810 kHz, since that is the
      > lower
      > band edge in Region 1 and would pretty much eliminate the conflict with
      > DXers." Monitoring showed that 1807.5 appeared to be generally clear.
      > "Unfortunately," Sumner continued, "we failed to pick up the fact that
      > PSK31
      > operators appear to have adopted 1807 kHz as their 160-meter frequency,
      > and
      > we don't want to conflict with any established activity centers." Under a
      > tight deadline to announce the W1AW operating schedule 30 days in advance,
      > the League has called off the frequency shift for now. The question will
      > be
      > revisited over the summer.
      > * David A. Rosenthal, N6TST, wins February QST Cover Plaque Award: The
      > winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for February is David A. Rosenthal,
      > N6TST, for his article "Polar Bear Portable." Congratulations, David! The
      > winner of the QST Cover Plaque award--given to the author or authors of
      > the
      > best article in each issue--is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the
      > QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page
      > <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/QSTvote.html>. Cast a ballot for your
      > favorite article in the March issue by Friday, March 31.
      > * Dayton 2006 Contest Dinner tickets now available: The North Coast
      > Contesters have announced that tickets now are on sale for the 14th annual
      > Dayton Contest Dinner. DX Engineering is sponsoring the tickets. The
      > dinner
      > will take place Saturday, May 20, 6:30 PM, in the Van Cleve Ballroom of
      > the
      > Crowne Plaza Hotel, Fifth and Jefferson streets, next to the Convention
      > Center in downtown Dayton. John Dorr, K1AR, will emcee the event, which
      > will
      > feature the 2006 CQ Contest Hall of Fame inductions. Tickets are $34. To
      > obtain Contest Dinner tickets, contact Craig Clark, K1QX
      > <jcclark@...>, Radioware and Radio Bookstore, PO Box 209, Rindge,
      > NH 03461; call weekdays, 10 AM until 6 PM Eastern, 800-457-7373;
      > 603-899-6957; fax (24/7) 603-899-6826. Credit card orders are welcome.
      > Include name and call sign. Tickets will be mailed no later than May 10.
      > No
      > tickets will be available at the door.--Tim Duffy, K3LR
      > * Tim Chen, BV2A, SK: Taiwan's first radio amateur, Tim Chen, BV2A,
      > founder
      > and first president of the Chinese Taipei Amateur Radio League (CTARL),
      > died
      > February 22. He was 92. ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, said Chen's
      > passing was sad news. "Tim was always kind, friendly and willing to allow
      > you to operate BV," said Harrison, who became acquainted with Chen when
      > traveling frequently to Taiwan in the late 1980s and early 1990s. "I'll
      > never forget our first meeting on a dark, rainy night in Taipei. Tim
      > didn't
      > know who I was, other than a fellow radio amateur, but he came out to meet
      > me at the BV2B station." ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Dave
      > Patton, NN1N, said Chen--for years the only radio amateur on the air from
      > Taiwan--was more famous than he knew. "He was the first BV QSO for most
      > DXers who got their start between 1970 and about 1990 and was a guy you
      > could count on to call in during contests--BV2A on CW and BV2B on phone,"
      > he
      > observed. A memorial service was held February 28 in Taipei. Chen was a
      > long-time ARRL member. E-mail condolence messages to Chen's family via
      > CTARL
      > <bv2a@...>.
      > * DXCC Desk approves operations for DXCC credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has
      > approved these operations for DXCC credit: TS3A, Tunisia, March 24-28,
      > 2005;
      > T6X, Afghanistan, current operation effective March 8, 2005; TT8PK, Chad,
      > December 27, 2005 through February 11, 2006; XW1A, XW1LLR5, XW1X and XW1M,
      > Laos, current operation effective October 29, 2005; D2DX, Angola, current
      > operation effective December 15, 2004 (a previous announcement accredited
      > the D2DX operation effective December 15, 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/>.
      > ===========================================================
      > 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
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