ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 20, No. 2
January 12, 2001
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +AO-40 optimism reigns
* +ARRL among Club Station Call Sign Administrator designees
* +Who's jamming whom on 40?
* +Public Service Honor Roll revisions eyed
* +WW II Navy ship with ham radio aboard completes journey
* +Canada proposes reduced Morse requirement
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF: 
     This weekend on the radio
     Correction
    +Third ARISS school QSO set for January 16
    +ARISS packet system to be activated
     Paul Kokoszyna, KA1TRF, SK
     Darlana D. Mayo, N2DB, SK
     J. W. McLeland, W9ATK, SK
     Unopposed section managers continue new terms
     Interactive newsletters for teachers and volunteer instructors debut
     ARRL Foundation scholarships deadline is February 1
     Monitoring for Texas prison escapees
     Texas all-service MARS team heads off problems for stranded soldiers
     West Central Florida anniversary special event set

+Available on ARRL Audio News

===========================================================

==>AO-40 PROJECT LEADER "OPTIMISTIC" ABOUT SATELLITE'S FUTURE

AO-40 Project Leader Karl Meinzer, DJ4ZC, has expressed confidence that,
despite its problems, the satellite will be functional in the
future--although its mission likely will be different from the one planned
prior to launch. "Personally, I am optimistic, and I believe that the
command and engineering team stands a good chance of turning AO-40 into an
extremely useful Amateur Radio satellite," Meinzer said this week in a
posting made available via AMSAT News Service.

AO-40 went silent December 13 while ground controllers were testing the
onboard 400-newton propulsion system. A computer reset command Christmas Day
brought the satellite back to life, but telemetry data indicate some systems
were damaged or lost. 

Since Christmas, the AO-40 ground team has been analyzing telemetry sent via
the 2.4 GHz beacon--the only transmitter now operating--to determine the
status of AO-40's onboard systems.

While current data indicate that some onboard systems have been lost or
compromised, "there has been no further deterioration after the second
incident," he said. Meinzer said that especially if the ATOS arcjet and the
three-axis stabilization systems still work, "AO-40 will still be able to
produce a large fraction of the Amateur Radio service expected from it."

The AO-40 ground team has determined that, in addition to the 2.4 GHz
transmitter, the 2-meter, 70-cm and 1.2 GHz receivers and high-gain antennas
are operational. He said the 70 cm and 1.2 GHz omnidirectional antennas do
not work, but the status of the 2-meter omnidirectional antenna has not been
established.

The 2-meter transmitter was tested briefly, but unsuccessfully "It
demonstrated a marked temperature increase, but no signal was heard,"
Meinzer said.

AO-40 team member Peter Guelzow, DB2OS, and Meinzer said additional tests of
the 2-meter transmitter were pending, but Meinzer said they would have to
wait. Meinzer said ground controllers first want to reduce the spacecraft's
spin rate "to ensure that the satellite's heat-pipes will be able to handle
the dissipation for extended periods."

Neither Guelzow nor Meinzer mentioned the possibility--raised last
week--that a leak of some sort on AO-40 might be contributing to the
enhanced spin rate. Meinzer said this week that magnetorquing--attitude
control--was begun in order to reduce spin. Meinzer said ground controllers
hoped to return the attitude control system to full functionality. 

==>ARRL DESIGNATED AS ONE OF THREE CLUB STATION CALL SIGN ADMINISTRATORS

The FCC has designated the ARRL-VEC, the W5YI-VEC and the W4VEC Volunteer
Examiners Club of America as Club Station Call Sign Administrators. Starting
January 22, 2001, the FCC will accept new, modification and renewal
applications for Amateur Radio club and military recreation stations only
from a designated CSCSA.

Applications for administrative updates or modifications of Radio Amateur
Civil Emergency Service--or RACES--licenses also must be filed via a CSCSA
after January 22, but the FCC no longer issues or renews RACES licenses.

"We anticipate that the new CSCSA program will be faster, more convenient,
and more user friendly," said ARRL-VEC Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ.

The new CSCSAs will receive and process hard-copy applications and submit
the information electronically to the FCC. The CSCSAs have been authorized
by the FCC to develop their own forms and collect necessary information as
they deem appropriate. All three entities have successfully completed a
pilot autogrant batch filing project, the FCC said.

Uniform filing procedures are expected to be worked out among the three
entities this week. Until such procedures are in place, the filing of a
NCVEC Form 605 by mail to one of the three administrators is expected to be
the standard filing mechanism.

Jahnke reminded applicants that the FCC requires them to obtain and use an
Alternate Taxpayer ID Number--or ATIN--on their club license applications,
unless the club has its own IRS-issued Taxpayer ID Number that can be used.
To obtain an ATIN, call FCC Tech Support weekdays at 202-414-1250.

Until the FCC begins accepting applications from the three CSCSAs, the FCC
requires club station applications to be filed on the old FCC Form 610-B,
via mail to FCC, 1270 Fairfield Rd, Gettysburg PA 17325-7245. The ARRL will
develop a Web page in the coming weeks that will provide detailed
procedures, Jahnke said.

==>WHO'S JAMMING WHOM? GETTING THE STORY STRAIGHT

It turns out that the 40-meter "wobble-and-buzz jammers" heard by many in
the US over the past year or so are Iranian stations that are attempting to
block Iraqi stations--not the other way around as recently reported (see
"Mother of All Jammers Continues to Plague 40 Meters" in The ARRL Letter,
Vol 20, No 1). Several members of the monitoring community had questioned
the earlier ARRL report, which was based on information from typically
reliable sources.

"I began to doubt our information on January 8, when I received second-hand
reports from SWL DXers that the jammer and jammee were backwards," said ARRL
Monitoring System Coordinator Brennan Price, N4QX. "Further investigation
confirms their reports."

Larry Van Horn, N5FPW, the assistant editor of Monitoring Times, forwarded
several SWL reports to ARRL that suggested the jamming signals definitely
were coming from Iran and already were well-known within the monitoring
community. SWL reports indicated that the signals typically operate in the
range from 7020 to 7090 kHz.

The ARRL's sources said this week that the object of the jamming is an Iraqi
pirate station--which several SWLs identified as The Voice of the
Mojahadin--broadcasting in Persian into Iran on various 40-meter frequencies
as well as in the Aeronautical Band. The pirate station operates on a
specific frequency--or frequencies--until it's spotted by the Iranians, who
then attempt to jam the signal. The broadcaster then hops to another
frequency to avoid the jamming, which explains why the jammer will suddenly
pop up on a frequency for several minutes at a time and then disappear.

IARU Region 2 Monitoring System Coordinator Martin Potter, VE3OAT, concurs
with the ARRL's latest information. He says the jammer often puts "a
thundering great signal into my antenna."

The jamming signals are broad and noisy. They typically land on multiples of
10 kHz and occupy some 10 kHz of bandwidth.

The Iranian and the Iraqi governments are reported to have ignored
complaints by the US and the United Kingdom. Price says that in light of the
strained relations between the US and both Iran and Iraq, there's not much
hope that the problem will be resolved anytime soon. 

==>QUESTIONNAIRE TARGETS POSSIBLE PUBLIC SERVICE HONOR ROLL REVISIONS

The ARRL is seeking comments from members that could lead to changes in
Public Service Honor Roll membership criteria. Responding to League members'
comments, the ARRL Volunteer Resources Committee now is looking into
revising the Public Service Honor Roll and possibly broadening the criteria
for earning PSHR points.

The ARRL Public Service Advisory Committee last revised the PSHR criteria a
decade ago. A questionnaire that includes current PSHR criteria has been
posted on the ARRL Web site
(http://www.arrl.org/forms/field/pshr/index.html). It seeks members'
opinions on present PSHR criteria and categories.

Published each month as part of the QST Public Service column, the Public
Service Honor Roll recognizes amateurs who demonstrate exemplary public
service performance each month. Public Service Specialist Steve Ewald, WV1X,
explains that PSHR membership is based on earning at least 70 points within
a given month for such activities as checking into a public service net,
acting as a net control, serving as an ARRL field appointee, taking part in
a public service event, and originating or delivering formal message traffic
to a third party. 

"The Public Service Honor Roll is a great way to recognize the public
service efforts of operators," says Ewald, who coordinates PSHR submittals
from Section Traffic Managers and Section Managers. He says some 250 call
signs are listed on the PSHR each month.

The PSHR survey begins by asking participants to explain how hams today
define "public service," but it also wants to know if certain off-the-air
activities should be included among PSHR categories, and if there are
certain forms of public service not yet addressed within the PSHR categories
that possibly should be.

Ewald says the data collected from the questionnaire will go to the
Volunteer Resources Committee. The Committee will review the responses and
make any recommendations for revisions to the ARRL Board of Directors.

The deadline to complete the PSHR questionnaire is April 2, 2001. For more
information, contact Steve Ewald, WV1X, sewald@arrl.org.

==>WW II LST WITH HAM RADIO ABOARD COMPLETES TRANSATLANTIC TRIP

World War II Tank Landing Ship LST-325 this week completed its 4200-mile
journey from the Greek island of Crete to Mobile, Alabama. Executive Officer
Jack Carter, KC6WYX, using the WW2LST call sign of the USS LST Amateur Radio
Club, has operated an onboard 100 W rig on 20-meter SSB throughout the
voyage and worked several stations in the US and elsewhere along the way. 

According to a report in Stars and Stripes, 29 sailors--men in their 60s,
70s and older--signed on, determined to deliver this ship to a permanent
berth in Mobile to be used as a floating museum. Most of the sailors are US
Navy retirees. Each paid $2100 for the privilege of reliving some of the
excitement of their Navy years. Carter, a 71-year-old retired electrical
engineer, told Stars and Stripes he's feeling better now than he has in 12
years. He also expressed the hope that he and his crew might serve as a
motivation for other seniors to embark on their own journeys. 

The group received more than $70,000 in private donations to repair the
ship. British Petroleum and Phillips Oil Company donated a substantial
amount of fuel and money toward the venture. Additional details of the
voyage are on the US LST Memorial/Museum Ship Web site,
http://www.palosverdes.com/lst887/lst325.html .

==>CANADA PROPOSES REDUCED MORSE REQUIREMENT

Industry Canada--the Canadian equivalent of the FCC--has proposed to
discontinue that country's 12 WPM Morse code requirement in favor of a 5 WPM
requirement for full HF operating privileges. Radio Amateurs of Canada
sought the action last year, urging IC to drop the 12 WPM requirement. IC
says it has received "a number of petitions" from those who contend there's
no longer any justification for a 12 WPM Morse requirement.

RAC President Kenneth Oelke, VE6AFO, last year wrote the IC to recommend
that full HF operating privileges be granted to amateurs who have passed a 5
WPM Morse test. At the same time, he requested that the IC consider beefing
up written tests and to include more questions on modern modes of
communication employed by radio amateurs.

Industry Canada has invited comments on its proposal--preferably via
e-mail--from interested parties in Canada addressed to "Chief,
Authorization" at dospaa@ic.gc.ca. Comments also may be sent by mail to
Chief, Authorization, Spectrum Management Operations Directorate, Room
1588D, 300 Slater St, Ottawa, ON K1A0C8. Comments are due within 60 days.
Comments received will be available for public viewing on Industry Canada's
Web site, http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/spectrum .

The RAC has said that a move to a uniform 5 WPM Morse requirement for HF
access would "be in harmony with what is happening in other parts of the
world and would simplify the negotiation and implementation of reciprocal
operating agreements." 

RAC says the proposal would give Canadian radio amateurs operating
privileges similar to those currently accorded to US amateurs who
successfully pass a 5 WPM Morse test. "Industry Canada is aware that a
review of the international regulations governing the Amateur Services will
take place at the next World Radio Conference currently scheduled for 2003,"
the RAC has said.

For more information, visit the IC "Radiocommunication Act" page,
http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/sf05327e.html.

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Solar seer Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Average sunspot
numbers were up over the past week, and solar flux was down, probably
reaching a low on Wednesday. The predicted solar flux for January 12-15 is
170, 175, 180 and 185. Solar flux is expected to peak below 200 around
January 17, but not drop back to 180 until January 25. Very quiet
geomagnetic conditions are forecast through the end of the month, the
exception being this weekend, with a slightly unsettled planetary A index
around 12. Otherwise, look for A indices in the low single digits.

The unsettled conditions are predicted because of a full-halo coronal mass
ejection on Wednesday, but the effect is uncertain.

Sunspot numbers for January 4 through 10 were 180, 158, 172, 183, 167, 140
and 139 with a mean of 162.7. The 10.7-cm flux was 174.6, 176.3, 179.4,
176.7, 167.1, 166.3 and 162.8, with a mean of 171.9. The estimated planetary
A indices were 10, 6, 6, 5, 10, 5 and 4 with a mean of 6.6.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The Japan International DX Contest (CW), the
North American QSO Party (CW), and the Hunting Lions in the Air Contest are
the weekend of January 13-14. JUST AHEAD: The ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes
is the weekend of January 20-22; the CQ Worldwide 160-Meter DX Contest (CW)
is the weekend of January 26-28. See January QST, page 99, for details.
[NOTE: Dates for the Japan International DX Contest are incorrect in QST.

* Correction: A news item "New section managers take office January 1" that
ran in The ARRL Letter, Vol 19, No 50, and on ARRLWeb, contained incorrect
information about the South Carolina section manager election. Incumbent
South Carolina Section Manager Patricia Hensley, N4ROS, was elected in
November 2000 with opposition from two challengers.--Rosalie White, K1STO 

* Third ARISS school QSO set for January 16: Students from the Attica
Central School District will gather at Sheldon Elementary School in
Varysburg, New York, January 16, hoping to chat via Amateur Radio with the
crew of Space Station Alpha. Students from schools in Illinois and Virginia
recently completed successful contacts as part of the Amateur Radio on the
International Space Station--or ARISS--program. Located in Western New York,
Sheldon Elementary enrolls students in kindergarten through grade 4. Fred
Gephart, WA2CAM, is handling the Amateur Radio arrangements at the school.
The entire school has been busy preparing for the event. Students from the
high school, middle school and the two elementary schools will represent the
entire Attica District, participating as a team. The ISS mission and the
space program have been incorporated into all aspects of the curriculum. The
approximately 10-minute pass is expected to begin January 16 at around 1457
UTC and conclude at around 1507 UTC.

* ARISS packet system to be activated: The ISS Expedition 1 crew was
expected to turn on the packet system sometime this week. The Amateur Radio
on the International Space Station packet system will identify as RZ3DZR-1.
It will uplink on 145.99 MHz and downlink on 145.80 MHz. When the system is
activated and the ISS is within view, Earth stations can expect to hear a
periodic beacon every two minutes. Earth stations may send unformatted
informational (UI) packets to the ISS (ie, it should be operational for APRS
beacons). Earth stations are asked to refrain from using the Packet Mailbox
System at this time, however, since the crew does not have the computer
hooked up to read messages. Do not transmit on the packet uplink until you
have heard the packet beacon. If you copy the packet system, let ARISS know
and save your information for a future QSL card. For more information on
ARISS, visit the ARISS Web site, http://ariss.gsfc.nasa.gov/ .--Frank Bauer,
KA3HDO 

* ARRL staff member Paul R. Kokoszyna, KA1TRF, SK: ARRL Headquarters staff
member Paul Kokoszyna, KA1TRF, of Southwick, Massachusetts, died January 11.
He was 35 and had recently been hospitalized with pneumonia. An ARRL member,
Kokoszyna joined the HQ staff as Web applications developer in the
Electronic Publications Branch last June. "In the short time he was here,
Paul proved himself to be dedicated, conscientious, friendly, and supportive
of his fellow staff members," said ARRL Executive Vice President David
Sumner, K1ZZ. "He was proud to have upgraded to Extra in November. In short,
his loss is a shock to us all and he will be greatly missed." ARRL Webmaster
Jon Bloom, KE3Z, said, "During his too-brief time at ARRL, Paul made
significant contributions to our new Web design. He was a pleasure to work
with and will be sorely missed." Paul Kokoszyna's wife, Andrea, and their
young son, DJ, survive. A funeral service will be held January 15, 10 AM, at
Southwick Congregational Church.

* Darlana D. Mayo, N2DB, SK: Darlana D. Mayo, N2DB, of Mt Vernon, New York,
died December 16. She was 36. An ARRL member prominent and active in the
Westchester Emergency Communications Association, Mayo was the SKYWARN
coordinator for Westchester County, manager of the Southern District Net, an
active RACES and ARES member, and involved with the Red Cross emergency
communications program as well as other aspects of Red Cross relief
programs. Alessandro Sicilia, N2TWN, manager of the Southern District Net
and a close friend of Darlana Mayo's, wrote, "She was unique, a lady full of
grace and wonderful harmony. She taught me so much, not just in traffic
handling and radio operations."

* J. W. McLeland, W9ATK, SK: Jack McLeland, W9ATK, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
died January 2, 2001. He was 63. McLeland was active in Milwaukee County
ARES for 40 years, and pioneered ARES in that area by putting the first
2-meter FM repeater in Wisconsin on the air. W9ATK also held office in
Navy-Marine Corps MARS, and engineered and oversaw the installation and
operation of a five-repeater, linked VHF repeater system. He also was a
regular member of the Great Circus Train communications team each
July.--Nels Harvey, WA9JOB, and Jim Romelfanger, K9ZZ 

* Unopposed section managers continue new terms: The following incumbent
ARRL section managers ran unopposed in their respective races last spring,
were declared elected and began new two-year terms on July 1, 2000. We
apologize for the belated announcement of these facts and wish to recognize
these ARRL section managers: Bruce Boston, KD9UL, Illinois; Peggy Coulter,
W9JUJ, Indiana; William Woodhead, N1KAT, Maine; Rudy Hubbard, WA4PUP,
Northern Florida; William Sawders, K7ZM, Oregon; Glenn Thomas, WB6W, Santa
Clara Valley; Donald Michalski, W9IXG, Wisconsin. After nominating petitions
were resolicited for the Vermont Section Manager election in July 2000,
incumbent SM Bob DeVarney, WE1U, ran unopposed and was declared elected.

* Interactive newsletters for teachers and volunteer instructors debut: The
ARRL will debut two new Web newsletters to support Amateur Radio educational
activities. The first, Amateur Radio In the Classroom, is a forum for
teachers who use Amateur Radio as a teaching tool. The second, Educational
Activities Forum, is intended for instructors teaching Amateur Radio
licensing courses. The forums are open to all who are interested, but
contributions will be accepted only from ARRL Registered Teachers, and ARRL
Registered Volunteer Instructors. To access these newsletters on ARRLWeb,
visit the F&ES Interactive Newsletters page,
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/newsletters . To learn how to become an
ARRL-registered teacher or volunteer instructor, visit the School Teacher
Support Page on ARRLWeb, http://www.arrl.org/FandES/eas/teacher/ .

* ARRL Foundation scholarships deadline is February 1: Through the
generosity of many individuals and Amateur Radio clubs, the ARRL Foundation
offers at least 26 academic scholarships ranging from $500 to $5000. Each of
these scholarships is intended exclusively for educational use, to provide
assistance with costs of tuition, room, board, books and/or other fees
essential to the advanced education of the recipient. All ARRL Foundation
scholarships are listed on ARRLWeb, http://www.arrl.org/arrlf/scholgen.html.
The site includes information on eligibility requirements, award amounts,
the sponsoring club/individual and more, plus an application form. Completed
applications and transcripts are due to The ARRL Foundation Inc Scholarship
Program, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 postmarked by February 1, 2001.
There are no exceptions! For more information, contact the ARRL Foundation,
foundation@arrl.org or 860-594-0230. 

* Monitoring for Texas prison escapees: We recently reported that Amateur
Radio operators were being asked to monitor 2-meter, Family Radio Service,
and Business Radio Service frequencies for possible communications among the
seven Texas prison escapees. These fugitives are believed to have shot and
killed Irving, Texas, police officer Aubrey Hawkins, KC5USI, during a
robbery on Christmas Eve. They also are alleged to have stolen several
portable transceivers. An official of the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice has requested that hams not publicize their monitoring activities to
the general media, in order to avoid alerting the fugitives that their radio
communications may be overheard. Amateurs contacted by the media should
refer inquiries to the Texas DCJ. Monitors should report any suspicious
radio communications immediately to their local authorities or to the Texas
DCJ command center, 936-437-6735.

* Texas all-service MARS team heads off problems for stranded soldiers: It
certainly wasn't among the more serious incidents during the year-end
weather onslaught in the southwest, but this story does typify the ingenuity
and dedication of ham radio operators in an emergency. MARS Public Awareness
Coordinator Bill Sexton, N1IN/AAA9PC, says a number of soldiers on leave
from Ft Hood in Texas found themselves among the 100,000 people cut off by
ice storms during the Christmas holiday without transportation or
communication. Army Military Affiliate Radio System member Jerry Keisler,
WA5KZA/AAR6KR, took time out from relaying emergency situation reports to
inform Fort Hood of the soldiers' predicament, saving them from being listed
as "absent without official leave" or AWOL. Sexton reports that members of
Air Force, Navy-Marine Corps and Army MARS worked with ARES and RACES
operators to maintain communication in and out of the ice storm area. For
more information on MARS visit http://www.hqasc.army.mil/mars .--Bill
Sexton, N1IN/AAA9PC 

* West Central Florida anniversary special event set: The ARRL West Central
Florida Section celebrates its first anniversary January 14, 1700-2300 UTC,
with a special event. Club station K4WCF will operate on five bands CW, SSB
and PSK-31. A first anniversary QSL card will be available. For details,
visit the WCF Web site, http://www.wcfarrl.org .--Paul J. Toth, NA4AR

=========================================================== 
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,
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Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or
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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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