*************** 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 email@example.com. * 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, firstname.lastname@example.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 interest to active amateurs. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise, and readable. Visit ARRLWeb at http://www.arrl.org for the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRLWeb Extra at http://www.arrl.org/members-only/extra offers ARRL members access to informative features and columns. Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. 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