ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 19, No. 38
October 6, 2000
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +Hurricane Net does double-time for Keith
* +Governor vetoes California PRB-1 bill 
* +Supreme Court hearing unlikely in KV4FZ case
* +FCC trims Tucker family club call signs
*  A whole new look for ARRL's Web site
* +Lorraine S. Matthew, N4ZCF, SK
* +Hams sought to track burrowing owls
*  Solar update
*  IN BRIEF: 
     This weekend on the radio
    +New Hampshire gets new Section Manager
     Georgia Tech ARC celebrates milestone
     New satellites being commissioned
     SUNSAT in parrot mode
     Broadcast pioneer Sanford T. Terry Jr, ex-W3AGH, SK

+Available on ARRL Audio News

==>HURRICANE WATCH NET ACTIVATES TWICE FOR HURRICANE KEITH

The Hurricane Watch Net and W4EHW at the National Hurricane Center 
reactivated for most of the day October 5 for Hurricane Keith, 
which made landfall just north of Tampico, Mexico. The Net, on 
14.325 MHz, gathers real-time weather information that is relayed 
via W4EHW to hurricane forecasters.

Downgraded to a tropical depression earlier in the week, Keith 
regained Category 1 hurricane status October 5 with winds near 90 
MPH.

Hurricane Keith wreaked havoc on Belize. So far, 14 deaths have 
been attributed to the storm. An unconfirmed report indicates that 
a US Amateur Radio operator sailing off Ambergris Cay died while 
attempting to help locate some fellow sailors in another vessel. 
Reports indicate that many boats may have been destroyed. 

The Hurricane Watch Net first activated for Keith last Saturday 
and continued in operation until midday October 3. At the request 
of National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield the Net 
remained up longer than usual to help collect damage reports. 
Since the storm came ashore in Belize, weather forecasters and the 
news media have made extensive use of information provided by 
Amateur Radio operators.

"Ham radio reports indicate that more than 22 inches of rain has 
fallen to the west of Belize City since Saturday," the Weather 
Service indicated October 3. As the storm moved north into Mexico, 
possible storm surge flooding was forecast. Heavy rains caused 
heavy flooding in Belize, Nicaragua, Guatemala and the Yucatan 
Peninsula.

The Hurricane Watch Net has been a primary source of storm 
information in Mexico, where an AM broadcast station in the 
Yucatan Peninsula was airing information gathered via Net 
participant Fidelio, XE3AFC.

The Salvation Army's SATERN net handled relief and health and 
welfare traffic on 14.265 MHz continuously until October 5, but 
remained available if needed and will maintain a daily 1400 UTC 
schedule. SATERN Director Pat McPherson, WW9E, said SATERN took 
more than 120 health-and-welfare messages and was still awaiting 
the outcome on a number of them at week's end. SATERN and the 
Hurricane Watch Net cooperated in handling reports from the 
affected area. 

Amateur Radio reports from Belize, the hardest hit area, indicate 
considerable property damage, with flooding, collapsed roofs, and 
downed utility lines. The Salvation Army was providing emergency 
relief in the form of clothing and shelter.

SATERN continues handling health and welfare traffic via the Web 
at http://www.qso.com/satern . Information received was being 
automatically forwarded to a SATERN team headed by Quent Nelson, 
WA4BZY, for processing via the Internet and HF Amateur Radio 
contact with the affected area.

For more information, visit the Hurricane Watch Net site, 
http://www.hwn.org.

==>CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR VETOES PRB-1 BILL

California Gov Gray Davis has vetoed a proposed Amateur Radio 
antenna bill. The measure, SB-1714, had passed both houses of that 
state's legislature. Davis had until September 30 to sign the 
bill. ARRL Pacific Division Director Jim Maxwell, W6CF, and 
Southwestern Division Director Fried Heyn, WA6WZO, expressed 
extreme disappointment at Davis' action.

"We are disappointed, to say the least, by this decision of the 
governor," Maxwell said in a statement on behalf of Heyn and 
himself. "We are also puzzled, for SB-1714 was passed unanimously 
by both the Senate and Assembly, and to the best of our knowledge 
had no organized opposition."

Maxwell said the "1714" Steering Committee would be reviewing the 
decision and deciding on a course of action over the next few 
weeks. The California legislature has adjourned and will not be 
back in session until next January 3.

The California measure carried a price tag of between $70,000 and 
$100,000 to fund studies and a model ordinance that lawmakers 
required. In a statement to the California Senate, Davis said he 
declined to sign the bill because funds for the studies were not 
included in his budget. 

In his statement, Davis also said the topic of amateur antennas 
was "a local rather than a state issue."

Amateur Radio operators in California had been urged in recent 
weeks to write Davis to encourage him to sign the measure into 
law. The bill was aimed at incorporating the language of the 
limited federal preemption known as PRB-1 into state law. SB-1714 
would have required any ordinance regulating Amateur Radio antenna 
structures to "reasonably accommodate amateur radio service 
communications" and "constitute the minimum practicable regulation 
to accomplish the legitimate purpose of the city or county."

So far, 10 states currently have incorporated PRB-1 wording into 
their statutes.

Gov Davis' statement is available 
http://www.governor.ca.gov/briefing/pressreleases/oct00/sb1714101.
html

==>SUPREME COURT HEARING UNLIKELY IN KV4FZ RENEWAL CASE

The US Supreme Court has put the license renewal case of Herbert 
Schoenbohm, KV4FZ, on its docket for possible consideration during 
its current term, which began this week. Schoenbohm says he's not 
optimistic that his petition will ever be heard, however, since 
the high court already has chosen most of the cases it intends to 
hear this term.

In a last-ditch effort to retain his Amateur Radio license, 
Schoenbohm--who lives in , the US Virgin Islands--petitioned the 
US Supreme Court in August to request the record of his case from 
the US Court of Appeals for review. The Supreme Court can accept 
the case for hearing or decline to hear it with or without any 
comment. 

Schoenbohm may continue to operate while his petition is pending. 
If, as expected, the Supreme Court declines to hear his case, 
Schoenbohm's interim operating authority immediately disappears 
without further notice from the FCC. His call sign no longer 
appears in the FCC database.

The high court hands down about 100 decisions each year. 
Schoenbohm says the Court will select "a few dozen" more cases for 
hearing over the next few months, but he concedes that his chances 
are "between slim and none."

Following Schoenbohm's 1992 felony conviction on federal fraud 
charges, the FCC set his Amateur Radio renewal application for a 
hearing in 1994. The FCC subsequently turned down his application, 
citing his conviction and character issues. Schoenbohm contends 
that he's arbitrarily being singled out for especially harsh 
treatment on the issue of character. The US Appeals Court turned 
down Schoenbohm's request for a rehearing by the full bench after 
it rejected his appeal of the FCC's decision in February.

Losing his US Amateur Radio privileges will not necessarily put 
Schoenbohm off the air entirely. He holds licenses on three of the 
Caribbean Leeward Islands as well as in Brazil. He may not use his 
foreign call signs on US soil, however.

==>FCC TRIMS TUCKER FAMILY CALL SIGNS

Hoping to put an end to another club station call sign 
controversy, the FCC has reduced the overall number of call signs 
held by members of California's Tucker family from 41 to 22--
including personal and club station call signs.

FCC Special Counsel for Amateur Radio Enforcement Riley 
Hollingsworth outlined the call sign allocation plan in a 
September 29 letter to the Tuckers' attorney. It's identical to 
what the Commission had proposed last November 3. 

According to the FCC plan, family patriarch Roy Tucker, N6TK, 
would be allowed to keep three of seven club call signs granted 
November 4, 1996, and Kathryn Tucker, AA6TK, Kent Tucker, AA6KT, 
and Eric Tucker, AA6ET, each would be allowed to retain three of 
eight club call signs granted to each November 4, 1996. Nancy 
Tucker, W5NAN, would be permitted to retain the two club station 
call signs assigned to her January 9, 1998. All family members 
would retain their personal call signs as well.

Hollingsworth said the FCC plans to take back the subsequent 
grants of K6ANT to Roy Tucker and of WW6TXB and WX6XX to Kathryn 
Tucker. He said the FCC would let the family members retain the 
three earliest call signs granted, unless they specify three 
others.

"It games the system," Hollingsworth said of the practice of 
collecting multiple club station call signs, "and we're not going 
to let anyone game the system." He said club station call sign 
applications must be on behalf of bona fide clubs.

The FCC first inquired into the Tucker family's 36 club station 
call sign holdings in the summer of 1999, requesting that 
individual family members justify their need for the call signs. 
The Commission requested club meeting times and dates, proposed 
meeting times, and copies of minutes taken at club meetings within 
the previous three months. 

The Tucker family has declined to provide membership information 
for each club or even the number of members of each club, 
Hollingsworth said. "The Tuckers also claimed to have 
organizational documents, but none were submitted with their 
response." 

The Tuckers had proposed last fall to consolidate their club call 
signs in a manner that would result in a total of 27 rather than 
36 club call signs granted to family members. Hollingsworth said, 
however, that the Tucker family's proposal "was unclear as to the 
club call signs that Roy and Kathryn Tucker sought to retain in 
their individual names and in their joint names." He said that the 
Commission received no clarification, despite subsequent letters 
in May, July, August and September, so the FCC has imposed its own 
solution.

Hollingsworth said this week that the FCC continues to be 
interested in club call sign cases "where there is no legitimate 
interest in a club, but where they were applied for in bad faith, 
merely to acquire or hoard club call signs."

==>IT'S A WHOLE NEW LOOK FOR ARRLWEB

Visitors to the ARRL Web site this week were greeted by a whole 
new look plus instant access to the latest Amateur Radio news. The 
makeover, which went "live" October 2, includes much easier site 
navigation and quick access to the most-visited ARRL pages.

The last major overhaul of the site page design and navigation was 
done in 1997. This latest, more extensive revision has been in the 
works for several months. 

"This site update reflects changes in the Internet over the past 
few years," said ARRL Electronic Publications Manager Jon Bloom, 
KE3Z. Bloom said most site users now employ "fourth-generation" 
Web browsers that are much more capable than those in common use a 
few years ago. "It makes sense to leverage the capabilities of 
those browsers in ways that make browsing the ARRL site easier," 
he said. Bloom says the ARRL remains committed to maintaining 
compatibility with older browsers and to ensure site accessibility 
to all users.

Among other things, the new page design makes site navigation 
easier by providing three means of finding information on the 
site--a site search engine, an alphabetical site index, and a new 
drop-down menu system. It also includes improved support for 
printing and scrolling pages.

The redesigned ARRL Web site also includes support for cookie-
based ARRL member login. This makes login easier and allows 
members to log into and out of the site at will and to maintain 
their log-in from one visit to the next.

Perhaps the most noticeable change is that the latest Amateur 
Radio news now has "gone public" and is available to all readers. 
ARRLWeb Extra feature articles will continue to be available only 
to ARRL members. While ARRL Amateur Radio news now is available to 
the public, it also continues to be copyrighted and may not be 
copied and republished elsewhere without permission. Other Amateur 
Radio sites are welcome to link to stories and information on the 
ARRL site.

As a result of the site changes, the on-line edition of The ARRL 
Letter now will simply replicate the edition e-mailed to 
subscribers each Friday. News that appears in the weekly edition 
of The ARRL Letter and in W1AW/ARRL bulletins continues to be 
available for republication--provided credit is given to ARRL--
with no special permission required.

Bloom invited comments on the ARRL Web site makeover. 

==>LORRAINE S. MATTHEW, N4ZCF, SK

Army Military Affiliate Radio System Public Relations Coordinator 
Lorraine S. "Lori" Matthew, N4ZCF and AAA9PR, of Kingman, Arizona, 
died September 29 of complications from cancer. She had just 
turned 68 the day before.

An ARRL member, Matthew for 10 years authored "The MARS Corner" 
column that appeared in Worldradio magazine and in The Florida 
Skip. Her last column appeared in the September issue of 
Worldradio.

In August, Army MARS presented Matthew with a Certificate of 
Appreciation for her decade of work on behalf of the program. The 
certificate praised Matthew for her "continuing support, 
outstanding service and loyalty" to the MARS program and expressed 
appreciation for "the countless hours which you have dedicated to 
representing Army MARS in a positive fashion as the Army MARS 
Public Relations Coordinator."

"You are the best example of the dedicated MARS member," the 
certificate concluded. "It is our honor, pleasure and blessing to 
be your colleague on the MARS Team. Thank you for opening the eyes 
of the world about MARS. You make Army MARS Proud, Professional 
and Ready."

Matthew and her husband Matt, KC4RKJ, who died earlier this year, 
launched MARS "Operation Holidays." The program encouraged the use 
of MARS message services to contact military personnel who were 
unable to return home during the holiday period from mid-November 
until after New Year's Day each year.

Army MARS has retired Matthew's AAA9PR MARS call sign. In addition 
to her deep involvement and dedication to the MARS program, 
Matthew was a member and secretary of the Hualapai Amateur Radio 
Club in Kingman.

==>HAMS SOUGHT TO TRACK RARE MIGRATING OWLS

The fall burrowing owl monitoring project is now under way. 
Amateur Radio operators and others with appropriate VHF radio 
monitoring equipment are invited to help in tracking their 
migration.

"I just got e-mail from a biologist that the last of the Regina 
Plains juvenile owls headed out southward last night," ARRL 
Amateur Radio Direction Finding Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, said 
this week. "Now is the time to monitor!"

The owls soon should be passing over the area stretching from 
Montana and North Dakota to Oklahoma, Texas and beyond. Scientists 
believe the birds fly all the way from Saskatchewan and Alberta to 
southern Texas and northern Mexico, but accurate data are scarce 
and difficult to obtain.

For the third year, hams and other spectrum-monitoring enthusiasts 
within the migration flight path are requested tune 172 to 173 MHz 
for the milliwatt-level pulsed transmissions from radio tags on 
these threatened birds. Amateur reports may help professional 
biologists to determine exactly where the owls spend the winter.

Unlike other owls, burrowing owls don't roost in trees. They 
prefer to roost in cavities on the ground in treeless grasslands. 
The best time to monitor is at night when the birds are on the 
wing or foraging.

Visit the burrowing owl page on the site of ARRL ARDF Coordinator 
Joe Moell, K0OV, http://www.homingin.com, for details. This site 
also tells how to join a new e-mail list for rapid dissemination 
of tag-heard reports and for coordination of direction-finding 
efforts.--Joe Moell, K0OV

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Solar whiz Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Average 
solar flux and sunspot numbers were off for the week, while 
geomagnetic indices were up--the result of coronal mass ejections 
and the subsequent solar wind. Average sunspot numbers were off by 
nearly 43 points, and solar flux was down nearly 28 points.

Effects are expected to fade over the next few days, with the 
planetary A index predicted for Friday through Wednesday at 35, 
15, 10, 10, 12 and 12. Solar flux is expected to reach a minimum 
during this period with a 10.7-cm flux value at 150. Predicted 
flux values for Friday through Wednesday are 170, 160, 150, 150, 
150 and 160. Solar flux is expected to rise above 200 again after 
October 16, and peak around 215 from October 18-22.

Sunspot numbers for September 28 through October 4 were 211, 164, 
155, 157, 190, 196 and 216, with a mean of 184.1. The 10.7-cm flux 
was 202.3, 192, 193.6, 201.6, 202.6, 192 and 184.1, with a mean of 
195.5. The estimated planetary A indices were 12, 7, 45, 13, 11, 
37 and 45 with a mean of 24.3.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The California QSO Party, the 
VK/ZL/Oceania Contest (phone), the RSGB 21/28 MHz Contest (phone), 
the YLRL YL Anniversary Contest (CW), and the TARA PSK31 Rumble 
are the weekend of October 7-9. Just ahead: the Ten-Ten Day Sprint 
is October 10. The Pennsylvania QSO Party, the FISTS CW Fall 
Sprint, and the ARRL International EME Competition are the weekend 
of October 14-15. See October QST, page 100, for details. 

* New Hampshire gets new Section Manager: Former New Hampshire 
Section Manager Al Shuman, N1FIK, of Goffstown is the Granite 
State's new SM. Shuman--who had served as SM from 1992 until 1999-
-agreed to step back into the volunteer position following the 
resignation of Michael Graham, K7CTW, this past weekend. Shuman's 
appointment by ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Rosalie 
White, K1STO, was effective October 4. Members may e-mail Shuman 
at n1fik@arrl.org.

* Georgia Tech ARC celebrates milestone: Georgia Tech ARC 
celebrates 90 years of operation October 7-8 weekend with a 
special event station. Hams--especially Georgia Tech alums--are 
invited to work W4AQL on 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. The Georgia 
Tech club got its start in 1910 when several senior class students 
at the then Georgia Institute of Technology began playing around 
with wireless. The government eventually assigned the call sign 
4XG to these experimenters (4 for the call district, X for 
experimental and G for Georgia) until the outbreak of World War I, 
when all stations were shut down. Details can be found at the 
W4AQL Web site, http://cyberbuzz.gatech.edu/w4aql. 

* New satellites being commissioned: Ground controllers are 
commissioning the new Saudi and Malaysian Amateur Radio satellites 
launched September 26 from Kazakhstan. Over the past weekend, 
controllers have been detumbling the Malaysian TIUNGSAT-1 
satellite to prepare it for nadir stabilization. The first payload 
was activated September 29. The CEDEX payload for gathering 
radiation data is very similar to the CEDEX developed for Phase 
3D--the TiungSat CEDEX is the next revision. Once the attitude is 
stabilized, further payload testing will be completed. The 
downlink frequency is 437.325 MHz. A number of reports have been 
received from Amateur Radio operators who copied signals from 
TIUNGSAT-1 shortly after launch. The satellite was heard 
transmitting telemetry at 9600 baud using FSK and the AX.25 
protocol. For more information on TiungSat-1, visit the Malaysian 
Microsatellite page at 
http://www.yellowpages.com.my/tiungsat/tiung_main.htm . Both 
SAUDISAT-1A and 1B have been turned on and are running their 
initial housekeeping tasks. Downlinks are on only when the 
spacecraft are over ground stations participating in the 
commissioning process. Downlinks are: SAUDISAT-1A, 436.775 MHz; 
SAUDISAT-1B, 437.075 MHz, and 9600 baud FSK transmissions are 
currently taking place on these frequencies. Reception reports are 
invited to Jim White, WD0E, wd0e@amsat.org.--Chris Jackson, G7UPN, 
and Jim White, WD0E, via SpaceNews

* SUNSAT in parrot mode: SUNSAT (SO-35) will be in parrot repeater 
mode for voice passes during UN World Space Week, October 4-10. In 
this mode SUNSAT continuously cycles through a 10-second recording 
(a single tone indicates the start) and playback (double tone) 
period. The up and downlinks are 145.825 MHz. At all other times, 
SUNSAT will digipeat AX.25 UI packets in Mode B. The uplink for 
both 1200 bit/s and 9600 bit/s data is 436.291 MHz. Data from both 
uplinks are digipeated at 9600 bit/s on the 145.825 MHz downlink. 
Set your UNPROTO paths to SUNSAT or APRSAT. The complete voice 
schedule for the next few weeks can be found on the SUNSAT Web 
page at http://sunsat.ee.sun.ac.za/ham.htm. Voice passes just 
prior to the parrot operations may be changed to Mode B (uplink 
436.291 MHz; downlink 145.825 MHz).--Johann Lochner, ZR1CBC

* Broadcast pioneer Sanford T. Terry Jr, ex-W3AGH, SK: Sanford T. 
"Sandy" Terry Jr, ex-W3AGH, of Richmond, Virginia, died September 
28. He was 87. First licensed in 1928, Terry was a founding member 
of the Richmond Amateur Radio Club. As a member of the US Army 
Signal Corps during World War II, Terry was assigned to Gen 
Douglas MacArthur's headquarters staff in the Pacific. One of his 
assignments was to design a shipboard 10-kW shortwave transmitter 
and studio facility for the news service. The transmitter 
installation aboard the Apache, completed after the ship had been 
ordered back to sea, was used to broadcast live reports of the 
battle of Leyte Gulf to the US as well as MacArthur's "I have 
returned" speech. Terry was awarded a Bronze Star for his efforts. 
In 1956 he built WRVA-TV (now WWBT, channel 12) in Richmond 
essentially from the ground up as the station's first employee. He 
retired as vice president of engineering for WWBT in 1978. He let 
his Amateur Radio license lapse in the 1960s; his son, Tom Terry, 
N4THA, says his father earlier this year expressed an interest in 
getting his license back, but his failing health prevented him. 
Visit the WWBT site at http://www.wwbt.com/inside/history.htm for 
additional details. 

===========================================================
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. Jim Haynie, W5JBP, President

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential news of 
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Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in 
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The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

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