ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

The ARRL Letter

Volume 19, Number 25
June 30, 2000

IN THIS EDITION:

+Available on ARRL Audio News

FCC'S HATFIELD TELLS HAMS TO "WALK THE WALK"

FCC OET Chief Dale Hatfield, WØIFO

The FCC's Dale Hatfield, W0IFO, predicts a bright future for Amateur Radio. But the Office of Engineering and Technology chief says that amateurs "will be under a certain amount of pressure" to justify their free use of the radio spectrum. As a result, he said, it will be more important than ever that hams actually fulfill their service, good will and educational roles--not just talk about them.

Hatfield offered his observations as keynote speaker for AMRAD's 25th anniversary dinner June 17 in Virginia. Hatfield told the gathering, "the key issue for the amateur service is maintaining access to an adequate amount of spectrum." While emphasizing that he was not suggesting any immediate threat, Hatfield said hams will have to do a better job of justifying their current allocations.

Hatfield said hams should actually engage in experimentation to advance the state-of-the-art, provide communication and train operators for emergencies, encourage international cooperation and good will, and offer an important technical educational outlet. "Or, to use a bit of slang, it seems to me that it will be even more important for all segments of the amateur community to 'walk the walk' not just 'talk the talk'," he said.

Hatfield encouraged his audience to explore advanced techniques that conserve spectrum, especially digital techniques. As the rest of the telecommunications world transitions to digital techniques, Hatfield said, "the amateur service will look antiquated if it is not making progress in that direction as well."

Hatfield also said software defined radios could facilitate "a new era of amateur experimentation" and, in many ways, represent "a final merger" of radio communications and computers.

The text of Hatfield's prepared remarks is available on the FCC Web site.

FLORIDA TOWER RULING DISAPPOINTS LEAGUE

The ARRL is expressing disappointment at a recent US Appeals Court ruling in a four-year-old Florida Amateur Radio tower case. The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on May 31 affirmed a lower-court ruling against Lenard Persin, WB4HZQ, in his efforts to erect an 80-foot repeater and HF remote base tower in his side yard in Seminole County.

"We are disappointed with the Court's ruling, which runs contrary to the clear and unambiguous meaning of the FCC's PRB-1 preemption decision," said ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ. The Eleventh Circuit ruling was doubly troubling because the ARRL had agreed to fund Persin's appeal in the case.

In a six-page, unpublished decision, the Eleventh Circuit decided that the US District Court had not erred by applying "a balancing test rather than the reasonable accommodation test required by PRB-1."

Sumner said that by letting stand the US District Court's reliance on the "balancing of interests" approach, the Appeals Court took a regulatory direction that the FCC has expressly labeled "not appropriate." He called it "incomprehensible" that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals could have failed to follow the lead of the Eighth Circuit, which reaffirmed the "reasonable accommodation" and "minimum necessary regulation" principles of PRB-1 in a landmark 1994 case.

Seminole County's ordinance restricts Amateur Radio towers to 35 feet without a special exception. The lower court agreed with Seminole County that Persin's request for a taller structure would be detrimental to the character and not consistent with the development trends of his neighborhood. Persin said one neighbor in particular fought his application on that basis. In District Court, Persin had presented--to no avail--expert testimony that a 35-foot tower would be ineffective and that the taller tower he requested would not change the character of the neighborhood nor affect property values.

Persin says he believes the decision dealt "a fatal blow" to PRB-1 and that other jurisdictions will copy Seminole County's approach to dealing with Amateur Radio towers "since they now know it will hold up in court." The county's ordinance, Persin says, "was particularly designed to thwart PRB-1." He called for protection stronger than that offered by PRB-1.

Sumner and ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, note, however, that, because the Eleventh Circuit opinion was not published, it will not serve as a precedent in future cases. Sumner says that, under PRB-1, municipalities continue to have "an absolute obligation" to reasonably accommodate Amateur Radio communication and to impose "the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish its legitimate purpose."

This week, Persin applied for and was granted permission by Seminole County to erect a 35-foot tower on his property.

WRTC-2000 COMPETITORS HEAD FOR SLOVENIA

The World Radiosport Team Championship 2000 countdown clock is ticking. More than 100 competitors from around the world are making final preparations for WRTC-2000, and many already are on their way to Slovenia to take part in the event. WRTC-2000--akin to the Olympics in the sports world--gets under way next week.

The international Amateur Radio competition will be held in Bled, Slovenia. The on-the-air portion of the competition will be July 8-9, concurrent with the IARU HF World Championship event. WRTC-2000 events begin July 5 with a welcoming and organizational meeting and conclude July 11 with the awards ceremony.

"Few will return with a medal--all will return with memories of excitement, camaraderie and passion that will be with them forever," says National Contest Journal Editor Dennis Motschenbacher, K7BV, who's also a contestant in WRTC-2000.

This third WRTC will test the mettle of world-class contest operators at relatively modest stations running 100 W on CW and SSB on 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. The WRTC-2000 Organizing Committee is providing all sites with equivalent antennas--three-element triband Yagis for 10, 15, and 20 meters, and a Windom antenna for 80 and 40 meters, both mounted approximately 12 meters (just under 40 feet) above ground.

The top-scoring team from the last WRTC in 1996--Jeff Steinman, N5TJ (ex-KR0Y) and Dan Street, K1TO--will defend its title in this year's WRTC as one of two special teams. WRTC-96 was held in the San Francisco Bay area.

ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, will be the Chief Referee at WRTC-2000. The WRTC-2000 Organizing Committee President is Tine Brajnik, S50A, of the sponsoring Slovenia Contest Club.

National Contest Journal will offer complete coverage of WRTC-2000. Starting July 3, the new NCJ Web site http://www.ncjweb.com will provide on-the-spot coverage. Daily reports and photos will be posted on the NCJ WRTC special coverage pages.

For more information on WRTC-2000, visit http://wrtc2000.bit.si/ or contact the Organizing Committee at scc@bit.si.

VAN TUIJL FAMILY STARTS JOURNEY HOME

The van Tuijl family: Jannie, Willem, and Jacco. [ARRL photo]

The van Tuijl family has left Dallas, Texas, on its way back to the Netherlands. Their departure this week came just a month after 13-year-old Willem van Tuijl--wounded by gunfire during an attack by pirates off the coast of Honduras last March--was released from a Dallas hospital. Doctors cleared him for travel last Friday.

Willem, the son of Jacco and Jannie van Tuijl, KH2TD and KH2TE, was seriously injured in late March after he was shot by pirates that attacked the family while they were sailing off the coast of Honduras. He was left paralyzed from the waist down as a result of his injuries. After the pirate attack, the family was aided by Amateur Radio operators who called the Coast Guard and provided medical advice during the family's trip to shore with the gravely injured youngster. Other hams later provided communication assistance and other help. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, was instrumental in getting the boy and his family from Honduras to the US for medical attention.

The first stop on the van Tuijls' journey home will be in Miami. The family will spend approximately a week there so that Willem can be evaluated by the Miami Project, a research program specializing in spinal cord injuries.

In May, Jacco van Tuijl piloted the family's sailing vessel, Hayat, from Honduras to South Florida. The boat will remain docked there through the generosity of friends. During their Miami stopover, the family plans to visit the boat, which had been their home for the past seven years.The family also will visit Miami-area amateurs who assisted in the rescue.

The family plans to return to the US within one year, possibly on a permanent basis, so that Willem can complete his education here. Willem had attended sixth grade in Alaska and speaks English fluently.

The family's pet cat, Ketchikat, will remain in Dallas at the home of Bob Jones, W5BJ, until the van Tuijls return.

EUROPEAN WORKING GROUP SUPPORTS 5 WPM MORSE STANDARD

The Wireless Institute of Australia's Morse Code Watch reports that the EUROCOM Working Group of radio societies has voted to support the introduction of a 5 WPM Morse code requirement for full HF access. The European radio societies' vote came June 23 during the EUROCOM Working Group meeting in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

Morse Code Watch predicts that a decision by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) to universally adopt 5 WPM could come within a month.

During the EUROCOM Working Group session, the Deutscher Amateur-Radio Club successfully proposed a modification to CEPT Recommendation TR 61-02, to lower the Morse code examination speed from 12 to 5 WPM. Working Group delegates agreed to support 5 WPM "as an interim measure in recognition that the Morse code requirement is likely to be removed at the ITU World Radicommunication Conference in 2003," Morse Code Watch said. The Hungarian Amateur Radio society--Magyar Radioamator Szovetseg (MRASZ)--was alone in its support for a 12 WPM requirement for CEPT licensing.

Morse Code Watch said a modification to the CEPT recommendation to implement 5 WPM "will result in a virtual worldwide adoption of the lower speed."

For more information, click on "Morse code watch" on the WIA home page.--Jim Linton, VK3PC/WIA

MUSEUM SEEKS DONATIONS FOR GOLDWATER HAM EXHIBIT

The late Sen Barry Goldwater, K7UGA, at the mike of his famous ham station.

The Arizona Historical Society Museum is seeking donations to reconstruct the well-known Amateur Radio station of the late Sen Barry Goldwater, K7UGA. Goldwater's amateur equipment, memorabilia and furnishings were donated last year to the Society's museum in Papago Park in Tempe.

Director Reba Wells Grandrud said the museum will need $77,000 to set up a "high-quality exhibit" of the massive station console and equipment "as the late Senator used it." The museum's display designers likely will use digital photographic techniques to replicate the interior of the original room as well as the desert views seen from the windows, "to make it feel like you're walking into Barry Goldwater's ham shack, Grandrud said.

It's not likely the Goldwater museum station will be operational, but Grandrud said the museum might "simulate" an operating setup for the sake of visitors. Grandrud said the museum will be putting the exhibit together between now and February.

The K7UGA station equipment and console were removed in May from the Goldwater home in Paradise Valley, Arizona, which has been sold. Before it was dismantled, museum personnel photographed the setup and inventoried and cataloged all of its components.

Goldwater's station and massive antenna system were used to complete thousands of phone patch messages for troops during the Vietnam War. Goldwater died two years ago. The K7UGA antennas since have been sold to private buyers and will not be a part of the museum exhibit in Tempe.

Donations in support of the Goldwater station exhibit are welcome to Reba Wells Grandrud, Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park, 1300 N College Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281.

ICOM'S PRESIDENT DONATES IC-756PRO TO W1AW

ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ (left), spins the tuning knob on W1AW's newest transceiver, just donated by ICOM President Tokuzo Inoue, JA3FA, right. [Rick Lindquist, N1RL]

ICOM President Tokuzo Inoue, JA3FA, has donated a new IC-756PRO HF+6 Meter transceiver to Maxim Memorial Station W1AW. Inoue and a small delegation from ICOM delivered the unit in person June 23. The IC-756PRO--an updated fully-DSP design of the popular IC-756--will be installed in one of the visitor operating suites at W1AW.

Accompanying Inoue to Newington were ICOM America President Hiro Nakaoka, JK3UZC, and ICOM America District Sales Manager John Dunker, W9UR. Accepting the donation on behalf of the ARRL was Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, who expressed the League's gratitude for the gift.

Inoue, who got interested in Amateur Radio during his high school days in the 1940s, holds a Level 1 Amateur Radio ticket in Japan. He is an ARRL Life Member and a former president of the Japan Amateur Radio League. After working in radio assembly, Inoue developed a pioneering all-transistor Amateur Radio product and established INOUE Electrical Company in 1964 to sell it. The following year, he also produced a 6-meter amateur hand-held transceiver with a VFO that enjoyed worldwide popularity. He became a specialty producer and retailer of amateur products in 1967.

Inoue credits a meeting two decades ago with the late Art Collins, W0CXX, with being a major inspiration. He says Collins gave him this advice: "No matter what, always keep perfecting your technology. If you perfect your technology, and make good products, you will always get business. Forget about unnecessary things, and strive to exist by your technology." Inoue says he's still motivated by Collins' words.

HAM TRACKS TAUNTING TEENS

According to news accounts, a group of Ohio teenagers have a local ham to thank for helping to land them in juvenile detention. Authorities report the youths used a pilfered police radio to taunt police over the air June 17, then bragged that they'd never be caught.

With help from a local amateur, however, police in Amherst and Vermillion, Ohio, tracked down the young miscreants. The towns share a public safety communications network. The interference came while the two departments were dealing with a fish festival crowd in Amherst and a search for a burglary suspect in Vermillion.

Authorities report that one of the youths--all between 14 and 16 years old--had stolen three hand-held radios from the public works department, where he had a summer job. Using two of the transceivers, the teens reportedly commenced to badger the police over the air with obscenities and threats, at times calling the officers by name. The cops tried to enlist the aid of the FCC's Detroit field office, but Commission personnel reportedly said they couldn't get direction-finding gear out there until the next day.

Enter Todd Dunlap, KC8EDS, of Amherst, who was able to track the signals to a basement recreation room in his own neighborhood, a police spokesperson said. Within a few minutes, police were knocking on the door of the house, awakening the sleeping grandmother of the teenager who lived there and getting permission to search. According to news reports, authorities found the youths and two of the stolen radios. They later recovered the third at the home of the teenager who had allegedly stolen it. In addition to theft and harassment, the teenagers also were charged with possession of marijuana and disruption of public services.--from news reports

ANTENNA DESIGNER LOUIS VARNEY, G5RV, SK

Louis Varney, G5RV. [Bob D'Imperio, N4XAT]

The Amateur Radio world is mourning the loss of R. Louis Varney, G5RV, who invented the world-famous G5RV antenna. Varney died June 28, at his home in West Sussex. He was 89 and had recently been reported in failing health.

The G5RV multiband wire antenna for HF--typically 102 feet on the flattop section--is among the most popular of all antenna designs. Varney first described the G5RV in the November 1966 issue of the RSGB Bulletin. While models fed with coaxial cable have proliferated, Varney's personal recommendation was to use a balanced feed line and a matching network for bands other than 20 meters. (The G5RV dipole is discussed in Chapter 7 of The ARRL Antenna Book.) Varney had a full-size and a double-size G5RV, both fed with open-wire feeders, at his own station.

Varney was an RSGB member for 74 years, and he served as life president of the Mid-Sussex Amateur Radio Society. His wife Nelida is among his survivors. Services were set for July 4 in Brighton, England.--thanks to Bob D'Imperio, N4XAT, and RSGB for this information

SOLAR UPDATE

Sun watcher Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar flux and sunspot numbers were down this week, with average solar flux off over 14 points and average sunspot numbers down by over 46 points compared to the previous week.

The predicted solar flux for Friday through Tuesday is 165, 165, 170, 175 and 180, and planetary A index for those days is forecast to be 8, 8, 12, 10 and 8. It still appears that solar flux should begin rising around July 1. Current projections show solar flux peaking around 200 from July 10-13. Unsettled to active geomagnetic conditions are expected around July 11-12.

Sunspot numbers for June 22 through 28 were 187, 182, 190, 177, 180, 206 and 166 with a mean of 184. The 10.7-cm flux was 179.7, 175.2, 168.3, 175.1, 177.4, 178.6 and 175.3, with a mean of 175.7. The estimated planetary A indices were 8, 23, 17, 8, 33, 18 and 14, with a mean of 17.3.

In Brief:

  • This weekend on the radio: The Canada Day Contest is July 1. Just ahead: The Canada Day Contest is July 1. The IARU HF World Championship, the QRP ARCI Summer Homebrew Sprint, and the CQ WW VHF Contest are the weekend of July 8-9. See July QST, page 100, for more information.

    The Alexanderson alternator at SAQ, installed in 1924.

  • Sweden's SAQ to transmit for jubilee: To mark the 75th anniversary of its inaugural transmission, the low-frequency SAQ Alexanderson alternator at station SAQ in Grimeton, Sweden, will be on the air for two 15-minute periods on Sunday, July 2. Transmission times are 0830 and 1245 UTC. SAQ transmits on 17.2 kHz. During the jubilee, special event Amateur Radio station SA6Q will be on the air with two stations to receive listening reports. SA6Q will operate on or about 3515, 7015, 14,035, 21,030, and 28,030 kHz on CW and 3740, 7050, 14215, 21,205, and 28,415 kHz on SSB. Sweden's King Gustaf V presided over the official inauguration of the Swedish transmitting station for wireless telegraphy to America on July 2, 1925, when he transmitted a message to US President Calvin Coolidge. Listeners lacking a low-frequency receiving antenna might want to see Chapter 13 of The ARRL Antenna Book for details on Beverage antennas. Commemorative QSL cards for reception reports are available. For more information, e-mail grimeton-radio@telia.se or visit the web.

  • California PRB-1 bill update: California's pending PRB-1 legislation, Senate Bill 1714, has been voted out of the California Assembly's Local Government Committee on a 9-0 vote. Pacific Division Vice Director Bob Vallio, W6RGG, and Sacramento Valley Section Manager Jerry Boyd, K6BZ, attended to support the bill at a committee hearing June 28. The bill's sponsor, Senate Republican Leader James Brulte spoke in favor of the measure. Three communities provided written opposition, but no one spoke against the bill. The bill already has passed the California Senate by a 39-0 vote. Once it clears the Appropriations Committee, it requires a vote by the full California Assembly before going to the governor for signature. California's 103,000 hams are being asked to contact their Assembly representatives to urge support for the measure. To find an Assembly member, visit http://www.assembly.ca.gov. For more information see http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/, click on "Senate Bills" and scroll down to "SB 1714".--thanks to Fried Heyn, WA6WZO

  • "Big Ride" seeks Amateur Radio communication support: The American Lung Association again has put out the call for Amateur Radio support for its annual "Big Ride Across America" bicycle event. Ham support is especially needed toward the end of the ride in late July and early August. Dick Anderson, KE7A (ke7a@yahoo.com) is serving as communications director for the event and is one of eight hams helping out. The "Big Ride" kicked off from Seattle, Washington, June 19. The 200+ bicycle riders and their support contingents will arrive in Washington, DC, on August 5. RadioShack has donated Amateur Radio, FRS and Business Band gear for the annual event. An APRS tracker providing GPS location data is being utilized on VHF and HF, with tracker reports automatically disseminated to the Internet. Contact the Big Ride headquarters at 877-BIG-RIDE (244-7433) or visit http://www.bigride.com.--Dave Dobbins, K7GPS

  • Youngsters hailed in radio rescue: Two young Oregon brothers are being credited with quick thinking after they intercepted a plea for help transmitted via a Family Radio Service UHF transceiver by some injured mountaineers more than 80 miles away. Fletcher and Parker Wold, ages 7 and 5 respectively, of McMinnville, heard the call for help put out by climbers Iain Morris, 23, and Jim Clark, 38. Morris and Clark had been caught in a rock slide on Mount Hood June 20, and Morris was seriously injured. The brothers immediately alerted their dad, Mike Wold, who contacted authorities, triggering a full-scale mountain rescue. Mike Wold says he gave the boys the hand-held transceivers to use when playing in the woods, so he could keep in touch with them. The hikers had tried their more-powerful VHF transceiver before giving up and using the FRS set they used to keep in touch with one another along the trail. In a related story, REACT International is suggesting adoption of FRS channel 1 (462.5625 MHz) with the CTCSS tone disabled as a national call channel. REACT says it came up with the idea after lost hikers in Southern California spent 40 minutes calling on 14 different FRS channels using 38 different tones. In that case, an 11-year-old boy, Kristofer Moore, heard the distress call on his FRS H-T while camping with his family.--thanks to Cindy Wall, KA7ITT; REACT

  • Today's youth represents the future of Amateur Radio! Don't wait for Kids' Day to roll around again! Get the kids on the air anytime. Register your youth group on our Youth Skeds Database at. Everyone will know how to contact your group, and you'll have a directory of youth skeds at your fingertips.

 

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