ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

The ARRL Letter

Volume 19, Number 33
September 1, 2000

IN THIS EDITION:

+Available on ARRL Audio News

HOLLINGSWORTH SUGGESTS STEPS TO BRIGHTER AMATEUR FUTURE

Looking "beyond enforcement," FCC Special Counsel for Amateur Radio Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, has offered his ten personal suggestions to secure a sound future for Amateur Radio.

Speaking at the ARRL New England Division Convention August 26 in Boxboro, Massachusetts, Hollingsworth recapped the nearly two years since he took over Amateur Radio enforcement. Hollingsworth proclaimed the Amateur Service "fundamentally sound" today and said complaints now are decreasing.

With some major enforcement issues out of the way, Hollingsworth encouraged amateurs to "seize the moment" to ensure a bright future for Amateur Radio. "Look beyond enforcement," he urged, "because if I do my job right, in five years you won't even remember my name." Hollingsworth said that while no one can predict the future, amateurs must invent theirs in an era of converging digital and RF technology.

And he reiterated a phrase that has become a Hollingsworth mantra: "There is no reason why our Amateur Radio Service can't be the envy of the rest of the world." Getting there, he suggested, comes with each amateur's taking responsibility for his or her behavior on the air. Amateurs should encourage arrogant, negative operators to "take their anger and hate to the Internet," he said. "Every minute they are on the Internet is a minute they aren't on Amateur Radio."

Among other suggestions, Hollingsworth said hams should be proud of what they have accomplished. "Let the public know what you are, what Amateur Radio is, and why it's valuable," he said. He also urged hams to "operate as if the whole world is listening" and to never let ham radio "become the audio version of the The Jerry Springer Show."

He also called upon veteran hams to take newcomers under their wing and teach them "all you know" about the hobby.

Hollingsworth also expressed his support for the ARRL, which has backed his enforcement initiative on behalf of the FCC. "Take care of the one voice you have," he advised. "You must never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world. They just did."

"Enjoy ham radio," Hollingsworth told his audience. "Celebrate it. But realize it comes with responsibility."

The complete list of Riley Hollingsworth's ten suggestions is available here.

BALLOTING SCHEDULED IN THREE ARRL DIVISIONS

Members in five ARRL divisions have nominated candidates for the positions of ARRL Director and Vice Director, and balloting is set for contested positions in three divisions. The ARRL Election Committee has reviewed the nominations and declared all of the candidates to be eligible. All unopposed candidates have been declared elected. All terms are for three years beginning at noon January 1, 2001.

Balloting for Director will occur in the Central and Northwestern divisions; balloting for Vice Director in the Northwestern and Hudson divisions.

There's a three-way race for the Director's seat in the Central Division. Running are incumbent Director Edmond A. Metzger, W9PRN, and challengers Richard David Klatzco Jr, N9TQA, and George R. Isely, W9GIG. Vice Director Howard Huntington, K9KM, is unopposed for reelection.

In the Northwestern Division, incumbent Director Greg Milnes, W7OZ, will face Mary E. Lewis, W7QGP. Milnes defeated Lewis for the Vice Director's slot in 1998, then moved up to Director following the death of Director Mary Lou Brown, NM7N. Incumbent Northwestern Division Vice Director James E. Fenstermaker, K9JF, is being challenged by Edward W. Bruette, N7NVP.

In the Hudson Division incumbent Vice Director J.P. Kleinhaus, W2XX, faces a challenge from former ARRL First Vice President and Hudson Division Director Stephen A. Mendelsohn, W2ML. Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, is running unopposed.

Also without opposition are New England Division Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI, and Vice Director Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, and Roanoke Division Director Dennis Bodson, W4PWF, and Vice Director Leslie J. Shattuck, K4NK.

ARRL full members of record in the Central, Hudson and Northwestern divisions as of September 10, 2000, will be sent ballots by October 1. The deadline to receive completed ballots at ARRL Headquarters is noon Friday, November 17, when the votes will be counted.

PHASE 3D LAUNCH CAMPAIGN POISED TO BEGIN


The Ariane 5 launch vehicle. [Arianespace photo]

The launch campaign for Phase 3D will begin September 11, according to AMSAT-DL Vice President Peter Guelzow, DB2OS. If current schedules hold, the next-generation Amateur Radio satellite is expected to go into space in late October or early November. With the recent hospitalization of Phase 3D Project Manager Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, Guelzow has been tapped to serve as mission director and project manager during the launch campaign. He'll be assisted by Chuck Green, N0ADI.

The Phase 3D satellite remains at the European Spaceport in Korou, French Guiana, South America. During the launch campaign, some two dozen members of the Phase 3D team will be on site at various times to make final preparations to put the satellite aboard an Ariane 5 rocket for its journey into orbit.

Satellite launch contractor Arianespace says the launch campaign for the next Ariane 5 mission--Flight 130, the sixth Ariane flight--now is back on track following a postponement earlier this summer. As a result of the thruster problem, the mission's original July 25 launch date now has been reset to September 14. Arianespace changed out all six Ariane 5 attitude control system thrusters for Flight 130 after a similar thruster failed during bench testing in Europe.

Two thruster modules like this one consisting of three thrusters each are integrated into the vehicle equipment bay of the Ariane 5 launch vehicle. [Arianespace photo]

The hydrazine propellant system ensures "roll control" during the flight of the Ariane 5's main and upper stages. In addition, the attitude control system provides three-axis control during satellite positioning maneuvers critical to the success of missions such as Phase 3D.

The Ariane 5 flight that is supposed to carry Phase 3D into space will follow this fall. That mission, which previously had been designated as Flight 132, presumably will be issued a new flight number once it's on the launch schedule. A launch contract accepting Phase 3D as a payload for the first suitable Ariane 5 launch vehicle was signed last October.

Arianespace is expected to publish an updated launch manifest with a specific launch date for the Phase 3D flight once the next Ariane 5 flight has gone into space. For more information about Phase 3D, visit the AMSAT-NA Web site.

CONVENTION TAKES BACK SEAT TO SEARCH AND RESCUE

Members of the New Mexico Search and Rescue Support Team--most of them amateurs--found themselves called away from the recent ARRL New Mexico Section Convention to help a fallen rock climber in the Sandia Mountains.

"The Amateur Radio community is very strongly involved in search and rescue throughout the year," says New Mexico Search and Rescue Support Team President Bob Rieden, WD5IDL, an ARRL member. Rieden's team has 35 members, nearly all of them licensed.

Rieden says the rescue mission on August 26 was a bit more complicated than most. A man--part of a party of four climbers--had been attempting to scale a very steep rock wall known as "The Shield" and was about halfway up the 1200-foot face when he fell about 25 feet suffering serious injuries. It wasn't until 3 o'clock Sunday morning that rescuers were able raise the victim to the top of the rock wall. From there he was whisked off to a hospital by a National Guard helicopter.

Rieden says a lot of the communication and coordination was handled by Amateur Radio operators. One of the incident commanders, John Maio, WB2ARS, also was an amateur, as was Operations Officer Don Stone, N5DRS. With thunderstorms reported in the area, hams also were involved in collecting weather information.

While raising the injured rock climber to the top of the rock wall, Rieden says, some rocks that were kicked loose struck another member of the original climbing party. She also had to be evacuated.

"This was a biggie," Rieden said of the rescue operation. He estimated that the mission involved more than 100 people, including 16 from the New Mexico Search and Rescue Support Team, who logged some 210 work hours.

RF SAFETY RULES NOW IN FORCE FOR ALL AMATEURS

The time has come! Starting Friday, September 1, every US amateur was required to fully comply with the FCC's RF exposure guidelines.

The regulations, which went into effect January 1, 1998, require US Amateur Radio operators to read and understand the rules and, where necessary, perform technical evaluations to determine that their stations are compliant with the new regulations. Up until now, only hams who have had to file an Amateur Radio application with the FCC have had to certify compliance with the RF exposure rules. As of September 1, all amateurs must comply.

Under the regulations, an amateur station must not exceed the maximum permissible exposure limits for transmitter operation. MPEs are both frequency and power-dependent.

"These regulations are not a major burden on the Amateur Radio Service," said ARRL Lab Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI, the League's point man on RF exposure issues. "Most hams are already in compliance with the MPE requirements; some hams will need to conduct a simple station evaluation."

By and large, the FCC has put hams on the honor system, but compliance with the RF exposure rules is not optional.

"Even aside from the fact that every US amateur is required to follow the RF safety regulations, amateurs owe it to themselves, their families, their neighbors, and the general public to follow the FCC guidelines to the letter," said ARRL Pacific Division Director Jim Maxwell, W6CF, in urging compliance.

A complete description of the rules is available on the ARRL Web site. The site also contains resources to make your station evaluation quite painless.

The topic of RF exposure and safety also has been covered extensively in QST (see "FCC RF-Exposure Regulations--the Station Evaluation" by Ed Hare, W1RFI, January 1998 QST). Hare also wrote the standard Amateur Radio reference on the topic of RF exposure, RF Exposure and You, published by the ARRL. The book is aimed at answering all questions about meeting the FCC RF exposure regulations. It includes simple step-by-step worksheets for hams to use to help determine if their stations comply with the rules--and, if not, how to correct the problem. (RF Exposure and You is $15. Order item #6621 from ARRL.)

Address questions about RF safety and the FCC exposure guidelines to ARRL Lab Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI, ehare@arrl.org.

OOOPS! ARRL DX CW CONTEST LOGS INCORRECTLY SCORED

ARRL Contest Branch Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, says contest-scoring software glitches led to the publication of incorrect scores for CW participants in the 2000 ARRL International DX Contest. The erroneous scores, which will appear in the October issue of QST, already had been posted to the ARRL Members' Only Web site. They were removed August 31.

"We have discovered there is a problem with the counting of multipliers in the software used to check logs for the ARRL International DX CW Contest," Henderson said this week. He emphasized that the problem affects only the results of the CW contest and will not affect the results of the phone event.

Henderson apologized for the error on behalf of the volunteers involved in the log-checking process and the ARRL Contest Branch.

For domestic logs, Henderson said, the scoring algorithm failed to count the last multiplier made on each band. For foreign logs, the software was incorrectly set up to count ARRL sections rather than individual provinces or territories, Henderson explained. For example, the software counted the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island as all being the ARRL "Maritime" section, instead of as individual multipliers. "Newfoundland and Labrador were counted as one instead of two," he said. In addition, the District of Columbia was scored as the ARRL Maryland-DC section instead of as a separate mult.

Henderson said it was the first time the ARRL has used the particular software, and the problem didn't become apparent until it was brought to the League's attention by Bruce Sawyer, N6NT, on the contest reflector. Henderson said the author of the software has corrected the algorithm.

Henderson says that once recalculated results are available, the QST article reporting them will be re-posted in Adobe PDF format on the ARRL Members Only Web site. He stressed that the recalculated scores will be used to determine all awards and any new records established by any participants. There are no plans to reprint the corrected contest results in QST.

For more information, contact ARRL Contest Branch Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, n1nd@arrlorg; 860-594-0232.

ITVA PRODUCES YOUTH-ORIENTED AMATEUR RADIO TV SPOT

The San Francisco Chapter of the International Television Association has produced a 30-second TV public service announcement designed to assist the amateur community in recruiting more young people to the hobby. Copies of the TV spot are being made available to Amateur Radio clubs for distribution to local television outlets at nominal cost.

The ITVA Amateur Radio spot aims for youth appeal.

Each year ITVA volunteers produce a public service announcement for a charitable or nonprofit organization. This year, they focused on Amateur Radio.

ITVA President Ken Alan, K6PSI, said he'd been hearing about the need to recruit "new blood" into ham radio, "so I suggested it to the PSA committee, and everyone loved the idea." ITVA recruited several San Francisco Bay area hams to consult on the development of the story line for the 30-second spot.

Spot producer Michelle Brown said ITVA "focused on the message on the two concepts that most appeal to that demographic: high technology and disaster preparedness."

Alan says the producers "wanted to show young people using H-Ts for socializing and in a disaster scenario." Referring to the "high tech world of Amateur Radio" and using rock music in the background, the announcement points out that hams can talk to people all over the world. The spot also depicts a simulated earthquake or explosion, where the things start to shake, lights flicker and go out and there's a cry for help. The young, female ham grabs her H-T to call for assistance.

The visual backdrop for local clubs to provide their contact information.
[TV screen grabs courtesy of ITVA]

The spot concludes with an invitation to "find out more about amateur radio" and provides a 10-second visual backdrop for a local sponsoring club to superimpose its name and contact information. The whole idea, Alan told ARRL, was to steer clear of ham radio stereotypes and "just show the hobby as contemporary, high-tech and fun."

Amateur Radio organizations may order a professional Betacam copy of the PSA to be used in their television markets at $20--which covers the cost of tapes, duplication, and shipping.--ITVA

SOLAR UPDATE

Solar activity was generally lower over the past week, with average solar flux down by more than seven points and sunspot numbers down by nearly 28 points, compared to the previous week.

Since we are at or near the peak of this solar cycle, there is some worry that we may have already passed the peak, and solar activity may be headed down. Of course we won't know this until many months after the peak, when we can look at running averages of the previous numbers. The latest projections from NOAA show the solar flux peaking in September and sunspot numbers reaching maximum around December.

For the next few days, expect geomagnetic indices to settle down, and conditions to be generally quiet. The next active period, based on the previous solar rotation is September 6-8. Another active period is possible around September 25-26. Look for solar flux to decline slightly over the next few days to around 161 on September 3-4, then rising to around 185 on September 8. Expect fairly good propagation for the All Asia DX Phone Contest this weekend, with fairly quiet geomagnetic conditions and progress toward the autumnal equinox.

Sunspot numbers for August 24 through 30 were 92, 101, 104, 124, 165, 175 and 187, with a mean of 135.4. The 10.7 cm flux was 130.6, 133.2, 137, 150.1, 160, 163.3 and 164.8, with a mean of 148.4. The estimated planetary A indices were 10, 7, 9, 9, 21, 31 and 13 with a mean of 14.3.

In Brief:

  • This weekend on the radio: The All-Asian DX Contest (SSB), and the Labor Day CW Sprint are the weekend of September 2-3. Just ahead: The ARRL September VHF QSO Party, the Worked All Europe Contest (SSB), the End of Summer PSK-31 Sprint, and the SOC Marathon Sprint are the weekend of September 9-10. See September QST, page 102, for details.

  • Amateur Radio to the rescue--again: Amateur Radio operators in the Dayton, Ohio, area sprang into action August 10 to assist in the search for a missing boy in the suburb of Huber Heights. Rob Taylor, KC8LNO, an avid scanner enthusiast, monitored a police dispatch for a missing eight-year-old mentally challenged boy who was in need of vital medication. The boy, named Zachary, had last been seen pursuing an ice cream truck near his home. Taylor called Jim Ebner, N8JE, a fellow member of the Huber Heights ARC, who, in turn, called local authorities to offer Amateur Radio assistance. Police accepted the offer, and other amateurs in the area were summoned to the scene via a local repeater and deployed to assist in the search. A mobile amateur communication command post was set up using a mini motor-home provided by Bob Beach, W8LCZ, and communication was conducted on the Huber Heights Amateur Radio Club's 442.95 MHz repeater and on 2-meter FM simplex. The three-and-a-half hour search ended happily when Zachary telephoned from a residence a half-mile from home. He soon was reunited with his family. The family and the Huber Heights Police Department thanked amateur operators who assisted in the search for their quick response and for a job well done.--Phil Thomas, W8RMJ

  • Microwave Update 2000 reminder: The Mid-Atlantic States' VHF Conference--Microwave Update 2000--will be held September 28-30 at the Holiday Inn Select, Bucks County just north of Philadelphia, with the Mt Airy VHF Radio Club "Pack Rats" as hosts. The Microwave Update will include the traditional surplus tour and evening flea markets at the hotel (the Pack Rats' Hamarama hamfest follows on Sunday, October 1 at the Middletown Grange Fairgrounds in Wrightstown, Pennsylvania). Noise figure testing will be provided as well as an equipment tune-up clinic. Presentations are scheduled by such VHF-UHF luminaries as Al Ward, W5LUA, Dave Olean, K1WHS, and Steve Kostro, N2CEI. Activities are planned for nonamateur family members. Registration is $40 with forms available at the Packrats Web site. Send registration to Microwave Update, PO Box 682, Hatboro, PA 19040. Hamarama and dinner tickets will be available at the door. A block of 100 rooms is being held until September 7 for Microwave Update. Contact the Holiday Inn Select, Bucks County, 4700 Street Rd, Trevose, PA 19053; 215-364-2000; 800-HOLIDAY. For more information on Microwave Update 2000, contact John Sortor, KB3XG, johnkb3xg@aol.com or visit the Web site.--Harry Brown, W3IIT

  • Young ham receives award for antenna paper: Heather Cox, KB8VYQ, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, received an American Statistical Association Certificate of Recognition for her academic paper, "Which Ham Radio Antenna is the Best Choice for Point to Point Communication?" The paper, submitted to the 42nd annual Southeastern Michigan Science Fair 2000, is an experimental thesis that demonstrates how to determine the effectiveness of various antennas. The experiments were carried out on 70 cm, and the paper includes photographs, charts and graphs to document and support her findings. Her conclusion: The Yagi is the best-performing antenna of those she tested. Heather, 15, holds a Technician license. Now a high school junior, she drafted the paper during her sophomore year. A copy of her thesis appears on the ARRLWeb TIS page. The report is on the "Antenna Theory" page.--thanks to Al Alvareztorres, AA1DO

  • West Central Florida Section Emergency Coordinator appointed: West Central Florida Section Manager Dave Armbrust, AE4MR, has appointed David Colburn, K1YP, of Hudson to serve as Section Emergency Coordinator. Colburn replaces Allen Turk, KE4MPQ, who has stepped down. Contact Colburn via e-mail at k1yp@arrl.net or by telephone at 727-861-0779.--Dave Armbrust, AE4MR

  • SBE honors KG0KI: The Society of Broadcast Engineers has elevated ARRL member Fred Baumgartner, KG0KI, of Parker, Colorado, to a Fellow in the Society. Baumgartner, who's with the National Digital Television Center in Denver, has been a member of SBE for 27 years. SBE cites him "many valuable contributions to the advancement of broadcasting engineering and the Society of Broadcast Engineers." Baumgartner has authored more than 100 technical articles and several books including "Salvaging Waterlogged Gear" in the March 1999 issue of QST.--SBE press release

  • Finding ARRL Section, Division Web sites: Want to find your ARRL Section or Division Web site--or to learn if your Section or Division has a Web site? The quickest and easiest way is to visit the ARRL Section Managers page. This often-overlooked page on ARRLWeb contains links to all Section and Division pages, if available. This URL also appears on page 12 in every issue of QST, where you can find the names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of all ARRL Section Managers. Contact information for all ARRL Directors and Vice Directors as well as for various departments and individuals is found on page 10 of any issue of QST. And, oh, by the way: To submit news items from your Section or Division that might be of interest to ARRL members or to the general Amateur Radio community, send them to ARRL Senior News Editor Rick Lindquist, N1RL, n1rl@arrl.org.
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