*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 20, No. 4 January 26, 2001 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +Ham radio giant Bill Orr, W6SAI, SK * +ARRL Board okays dues hike, new Morse position * +Year 2000 Humanitarian, Leonard award winners announced * +Michael Powell tapped to head FCC * +Ex-ham gets jail, probation for unlicensed operation * +Indiana latest state to go after PRB-1 law * Reciprocal licensing info is on the Web * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio +Next ARISS school awaits a date with KD5GSL West Central Florida hams plan Super Bowl XXXV net ARRL Foundation elects officers Hearing set for Washington PRB-1 expansion bill Virginia ARRL-logo license plate deposits being refunded S21YV is QRV from Bangladesh Belgium to join the 5 WPM fold +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>AMATEUR RADIO GIANT BILL ORR, W6SAI, SK Another Amateur Radio legend is gone. William I. "Bill" Orr, W6SAI, of Menlo Park, California, died in his sleep January 24. He was 81. An ARRL member, Orr was best known for his numerous amateur radio books and reference works, many aimed at beginners. His titles include The Radio Handbook, The Beam Antenna Handbook, The Quad Antenna Handbook, The VHF-UHF Manual and The W6SAI HF Antenna Handbook, some written in collaboration with Stu Cowan, W2LX. Ironically, friends say, the lack of an antenna in recent days had kept Orr off the air. Licensed in 1934 at age 15 as W2HCE in New York, Orr graduated in electrical engineering from the University of California in the early 1940s. In his younger years, Orr was a well-known DXer and DXCC Honor Roll member. He also was involved in DXpeditions to various exotic locations, including St Pierre and Miquelon and Monaco, among other locales. From the 1940s through the 1980s, Orr was a frequent contributor to QST, writing about tube-type amplifiers, Project OSCAR, and other topics. Orr constructed some of the amplifiers once used at ARRL Maxim Memorial Station W1AW. For many years Orr worked with tube manufacturer EIMAC. Orr's application notes for EIMAC products were favorite reading within the amateur community. In later years, Orr penned columns for Ham Radio magazine and, more recently, for CQ, where he edited "Radio Fundamentals." In 1996, Orr was named the Dayton Hamvention Technical Excellence award winner. Chip Margelli, K7JA, of Yaesu, called Orr "one of the technical giants in Amateur Radio." Margelli said a hallmark of Orr's talent was that he always published information for designs that had actually been proven in the field. "He also was a true gentleman, and I shall miss him greatly," Margelli said. Long-time friend Willard "Tiff" Tiffany, W6GNX, said Orr had a knack for making technical topics easy to follow and understand. He remembered Orr as "a friendly, helpful guy who wrote from the heart because he enjoyed doing it." Another friend, Marv Gonsior, W6FR, says Orr "had a great sense of humor, a lot of wit about him." Orr owned a condominium in Maui, Hawaii, and operated from there two or three times a year as KH6ADR. Orr's wife, Sunny, died about five years ago, and he lived alone. He is survived by four daughters and a son. Arrangements are incomplete at this time. ==>ARRL BOARD APPROVES DUES INCREASE, ALTERS MORSE POSITION Meeting in Irving, Texas, January 19 and 20, the ARRL Board of Directors voted to increase membership dues from $34 to $39 annually for full members younger than 65, and from $28 to $34 for full members 65 and older. The dues hike goes into effect July 1, 2001. The last ARRL dues increase was in July 1997. The dues increase resulted from a need to fund initiatives to expand the League's advocacy activities on behalf of Amateur Radio--including the defense of amateur spectrum--and to enhance ARRL Headquarters' abilities to serve members during a period of projected deficits. The Board okayed a $1 greater increase for seniors in an effort to narrow the dues gap, as more and more ARRL members fall into the senior category. At the same time, the Board approved the hiring of development and sales and marketing professionals on the Headquarters staff as part of an overall plan to augment revenues. "The ARRL carries out a lot of activities that no longer can be fully funded by dues or publication sales revenues," ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, explained. While voluntary contributions towards Amateur Radio advocacy are helping greatly, "we need to professionalize these activities if we are going to sustain them," he said. Sumner said putting more emphasis on voluntary contributions was "the only route to financial security" for the ARRL. Among ARRL programs that will rely heavily on voluntary contributions is "The Big Project" educational initiative proposed last year by ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP. The Board also revised its position on whether Morse code proficiency should continue to be an international licensing requirement for operation below 30 MHz. The Board approved a resolution that "recognizes and accepts" that the Morse requirement likely will be dropped from Article S25 of the international Radio Regulations at the 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference. But the Board held the line on retaining a domestic Morse requirement, saying that each country should be allowed to determine for itself whether it wants to have a Morse requirement. The Board declared that Morse code deserves continued support as "an important operating mode" as well as in terms of spectrum and "should be retained as a testing element in the US." The resolution also calls on ARRL Headquarters staff to "develop a program designed to promote the use of Morse." The resolution supersedes all previous Board policy statements regarding Morse code and Article S25. The Board also established a committee to solicit membership input to update the ARRL's position on refarming the HF Novice bands "in light of the 1999 FCC license restructuring Report and Order." The five-member panel will be named by President Haynie. It will report to the board in one year. Attending their first ARRL Board meeting were new Rocky Mountain Vice Director Director Warren "Rev" Morton, WS7W, and new Central Division Director Dick Isely, W9GIG. Returning as Hudson Division Vice Director was former ARRL First Vice President Steve Mendelsohn, W2ML. In other action, the Board: * called on the Volunteer Resources Committee to study the ARRL field organization and recommend possible changes. The yearlong study will be the first in the two decades. * adopted the ARRL's official legislative program during the 107th Congress, including a resolution urging Congressional support to clarify the FCC's limited preemption policy PRB-1 governing Amateur Radio antennas to incorporate private land-use preclusions such as deed restrictions and restrictive covenants. * named former Central Division Director Ed Metzger, W9PRN, an ARRL Honorary Vice President. Metzger served as Central Division Director from 1981 until this year and has 44 years of service as an ARRL elected official. ==>ARRL BOARD NAMES YEAR 2000 HUMANITARIAN, LEONARD AWARD WINNERS The Hurricane Watch Net and net manager Jerry Herman, N3BDW, have been named to receive the 2000 ARRL International Humanitarian Award. The award is dedicated to those amateurs who, through Amateur Radio, are devoted to promoting human welfare. The Hurricane Watch Net (http://www.hwn.org) activates on 14.325 MHz whenever a hurricane is within 300 miles of landfall in the western Atlantic, the Caribbean or the eastern Pacific. Working with the operators of W4EHW at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Hurricane Watch Net participants relay weather data from isolated islands, marine assets and other areas that are not part of the Center's routine communication network. This allows the Center's forecasters to more accurately prepare advisories and predict the movements and size of storms. Since 1965, Amateur Radio participants on the HWN have provided critically needed hurricane information. In addition to real-time weather data reports--typically wind speed, wind direction and barometric pressure--the net relays damage reports that can aid forecasters in evaluating a storm's intensity. The Net also relays important weather advisories and information back to the affected areas, broadcasting storm advisories to remote islands, mariners, and others. On many occasions, this information is only available via the Hurricane Watch Net. Operators at W4EHW work with the HWN to provide hurricane weather communication for the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic coastal states as well as emergency communications for the Center and local agencies. The winner of the 2000 Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award is Marjorie Wertz, a staff writer for the Standard Observer, a twice-weekly insert in the daily Tribune-Review newspaper in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. This award goes each year to a professional journalist--or group--for outstanding coverage of Amateur Radio in TV, radio, print or multimedia. The winner receives an engraved plaque and a check for $500. Wertz was cited for her entry, "There's more to this hobby than meets the eye," which appeared in the September 2, 2000, edition of the Standard Observer. "For the most part, they are almost invisible," Wertz's article begins. "But, in an emergency, this network of ordinary folks springs into action." Her article focuses on how hams in her community are involved in both public service and recreational activities. It also touches on the requirements to get a ham ticket and mentions the role of the ARRL and the volunteer examination program. Wertz told ARRL that she got the idea to do the story after seeing the award program publicized in her newspaper. She consulted the ARRL Web site and located two hams in her area to interview for her feature. Members of ARRL's Public Relations Committee judged the 13 nominations received. A broadcast journalist, Bill Leonard died in 1994. He was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 1996. ==>WHITE HOUSE NAMES MICHAEL POWELL TO CHAIR FCC As expected, President George W. Bush this week named Michael K. Powell to become FCC chairman. Powell, a Republican and an FCC member since 1997, is the son of Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell. Since Powell already sits on the FCC, the nomination is not subject to Senate confirmation. "I am deeply honored and privileged to have received President Bush's designation to be Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission," Powell said in a statement. Powell succeeds William Kennard, who stepped down as the head of the FCC on January 19. A Democrat and a Clinton appointee, Kennard was the first African-American to serve as FCC chairman. Earlier this month, Powell voted with the majority to approve the AOL-Time Warner mega-merger, which he called "unquestionably one of the most significant mergers in history" and said he was pleased to support it. FCC Special Counsel for Amateur Radio Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth says Powell has a solid relationship with the Enforcement Bureau. "I'm delighted," Hollingsworth said of Powell's appointment. "He's a very sharp guy." Powell came to the FCC from the Department of Justice, where he served as the chief of staff of the Antitrust Division. He has appointed FCC veteran and former Walt Disney Company vice president Marsha J. MacBride as the agency's Chief of Staff. The other members of the FCC are Susan Ness, Harold W. Furchtgott-Roth, and Gloria Tristani. Among names mentioned as possible Bush appointees to the FCC is that of Texas Public Utilities Commission Chairman Pat Wood. ==>EX-HAM GETS JAIL, PROBATION FOR UNLICENSED OPERATION Former amateur Richard Allen Burton this week was sentenced to three months in jail and one year's probation for unlicensed operation of a radio transmitter. Burton also must undergo psychological treatment. Burton was sentenced January 22. The FCC says he'd been operating without a license on repeaters in Southern California. Burton is scheduled to report to the US Marshal's office on February 26 to begin serving his jail term. He has been free on $20,000 bond. Formerly WB6JAC, Burton, lost his General ticket in 1981 as a result of unspecified violations. Since then, he's racked up a lengthy history of alleged unlicensed operation, most or all of it on amateur frequencies. He has served jail time and probation as a result of earlier convictions. Burton was arrested last August 5 following his indictment by a federal grand jury in California. He faced six felony counts of violating the Communications Act of 1934. ==>PRB-1 BILL INTRODUCED IN INDIANA Indiana lawmakers will deal with an Amateur Radio antenna bill in the upcoming 112th General Assembly session. A bill has been introduced to incorporate the limited federal preemption known as PRB-1 into Indiana state law. Senate Bill 331 would prohibit Indiana municipalities or counties from enacting ordinances, resolutions or orders that do not comply with PRB-1. The proposed law also seeks to prohibit localities from "restricting Amateur Radio antennas to less than 75 feet above ground level. It would not prohibit communities from taking action to "protect or preserve a historic or an architectural district." In general, the PRB-1 FCC policy requires that local regulations involving the placement, screening or height of antennas based on health, safety or aesthetic considerations "must be crafted to reasonably accommodate amateur communications" and that such local regulations "represent the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the local authority's legitimate purpose." Senators Rose Ann Antich and Marvin D. Riegsecker are cosponsors of the proposed legislation. ARRL member Jerry Suhrheinrich, WD9EDE (email@example.com), has been promoting the bill from within the amateur community. Ten states have incorporated the essence of PRB-1 into their laws. So far, only three states--Oregon, Virginia, and Wyoming--include minimum regulatory height limits in their Amateur Radio antenna laws based on PRB-1. A PRB-1 bill recently introduced in the State of Washington seeks a 70 foot minimum (see Hearing set for Washington PRB-1 expansion bill, below). ==>RECIPROCAL LICENSING INFORMATION IS ON THE WEB US amateurs planning to vacation in a foreign country this year will find it easier to obtain permission to operate there. Amateur Radio operation from several countries is now a reasonable goal--even for short trips. The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administration--or CEPT--Amateur Radio licensing system requires that you carry only three documents. You'll need a copy of FCC Public Notice DA 99-2344 (available at http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/io/cept-ral.pdf), proof of US citizenship, and your FCC-issued Amateur Radio license. The CEPT instant reciprocal privileges apply only for travel by US hams to those European countries that recognize US participation in the CEPT protocols. As a reciprocal system, hams from CEPT-participating European nations have similar privileges while touring the US and Canada. For a list of countries that recognize US participation in the CEPT reciprocal system, visit the CEPT countries page on ARRLWeb, http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/io/cept-list.html. The International Amateur Radio Permit is another special licensing arrangement. It applies to certain countries in the Americas, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Peru, US, Uruguay, and Venezuela, who are signatories of the CITEL Amateur Convention. US amateurs may use the IARP to operate only in those countries. An IARP is not a license, but it certifies the existence of a license. The CITEL Convention provides that IARPs may be issued by a country's government or by its International Amateur Radio Union member-society, and the ARRL is the sponsoring society in the US. To obtain an IARP or for more information on operating from a CEPT or CITEL (IARP) country, visit the ARRL International Operating page, http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/io/. Obtaining a license to operate in a country that is neither a CEPT nor a CITEL Amateur Convention signatory or participant requires more paperwork and some advance planning. Delays of a month or longer are common. Licensing and operating requirements for all other countries are available on the "Operating Permit Information by Country" page on ARRLWeb, http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/io/recip-country.html. Another source for reciprocal licensing information is the "Information on licensing abroad for radio amateurs" Web site of Veikko "Veke" Komppa, OH2MCN, http://www.qsl.net/oh2mcn/license.htm. OH2MCN and the ARRL share information to assure that both sites are as accurate as possible and that the information is suitable for their respective audiences. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Substitute solar sage Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, Fort Wayne, Indiana, reports this week for Tad Cook, K7VVV, who's on vacation: Solar activity over the past seven days, January 19-25--was mostly moderate due to C7 and M1 flares produced by Regions 9311, 9313, and 9325. The highest activity was seen on January 21, when Region 9313 produced an M7 flare. The 10.7-cm solar flux, following the sun's 27-day rotation period, gradually rose from 153 at the beginning of the period to around170 at the end of the period. The planetary A index was 11 or less for most of the period, with a jump to 18 on January 21 and 24. The most recent smoothed sunspot number data for Cycle 23 indicates we may be seeing the peak of Cycle 23. The last four month's of data (March, April, May, and June 2000) shows the SSN to be hovering around 120. Only time will tell if this is just a plateau toward a slightly higher peak or indeed it's the peak. Historically the SSN of a solar cycle of this magnitude will remain somewhat constant for a couple more years (as Cycle 20 did). So take advantage of the excellent worldwide propagation opportunities on the higher bands, 15, 12, and 10 meters, while you can. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The CQ Worldwide 160-Meter DX Contest (CW), the REF French Contest (CW), and the UBA Contest (SSB) are the weekend of January 26-28. JUST AHEAD: The North American Sprint (SSB), the Minnesota, Delaware, Vermont and New Hampshire QSO parties, the FYBO Winter QRP Field Day, the Ten Ten International Net Winter Phone QSO Party, the YL-OM Contest (CW), and the Delaware Valley 2 meter FM simplex contest are the weekend of February 3-4. See the ARRL Contest Branch page, http://www.arrl.org/contests/ for more info. * Next ARISS school awaits a date with KD5GSL: Students at the George West Elementary School in George West, Texas, will be the next in line to speak via Amateur Radio with Space Station Alpha Commander William "Shep" Shepherd, KD5GSL. The contact is being arranged under the auspices of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station--or ARISS--program. The contact will be during the week of January 29, but a specific date and time have not been set. Successful ARISS contacts have been completed so far with schools in Illinois, Virginia, and New York. A contact with a school in Canada is being arranged. For more information on ARISS, visit http://ariss.gsfc.nasa.gov/ .--ARISS * West Central Florida hams plan Super Bowl XXXV net: A stand-by Amateur Radio Emergency Net will be activated in the Tampa, Florida, area on Super Bowl Sunday, January 28, from noon until midnight. West Central Florida Assistant Section Manger Paul Toth, NA4AR, says the net participants will be ready "just in case" any emergencies arise during the annual sports spectacular that's expected to attract 100,000 or more visitors to the city. "Tampa is center stage on Sunday," Toth said. "Anything and everything is possible. We'll be there, in place and ready to go if the situation warrants it." Toth says that a number of hams--among them several Hillsborough County law enforcement officers--will operate a voice and digital net from several sites, including Raymond James Stadium, Hillsborough County's 911 center, St Joseph's Hospital near the stadium and the National Weather Service station WX4TBW in Ruskin, Florida, 20 miles to the south. "Several repeaters and APRS will be used during the operation," Toth said.--Paul Toth, NA4AR * ARRL Foundation elects officers: The ARRL Foundation Inc held its annual meeting via teleconference on January 23 and elected a new slate of officers. The new officers are New England Division Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI, President; Dakota Division Director Jay Bellows, K0QB, Vice President; retired investment banker Roger Franke, K9AYK, Treasurer and ARRL Field and Educational Services Projects Supervisor Mary Lau, N1VH, Secretary. All officers are elected for one-year terms. ARRL Hudson Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, was appointed by the ARRL Board of Directors as a new Foundation Board member; ARRL Southeastern Division Director Frank Butler, W4RH, and ARRL Honorary Vice President and former Central Division Director Ed Metzger, W9PRN, were reappointed to the Foundation board. The term of office for directors is three years. * Hearing set for Washington PRB-1 expansion bill: Proposed Senate Bill 5002 that would set a 70-foot minimum regulatory height for Amateur Radio antennas in the State of Washington is set for January 29, 8:30 AM, in Senate Hearing Room 2, Cherburg Bldg, Olympia, Washington (on the Capitol campus). The proposed amendment would specify that local governing bodies could not restrict antenna height to less than 70 feet without a clearly defined health, safety, or aesthetic reason. * Virginia ARRL-logo license plate deposits being refunded: An arrangement with the Commonwealth of Virginia to make available ARRL diamond logo license plates for League members there has been terminated due to lack of interest. ARRL members who made deposits will get them back. The Commonwealth of Virginia required at least 350 orders before it would begin manufacturing the special plates, but the minimum number was never attained. Refund checks were sent the week of January 22. ARRL Roanoke Division Director Dennis Bodson, W4PWF, expressed appreciation to those ARRL members in Virginia who supported the effort. * S21YV is QRV from Bangladesh: ARRL member John Core, KX7YT, is on the air until February 1 as S21YV from Dhaka, Bangladesh, 20 meters only, SSB, PSK31, MFSK16, and possibly CW and RTTY, looking stateside 0100-0200 and 1500-1700 UTC. He's been alternating days on 14.195 MHz SSB and 14.071 MHz on PSK31. QSL via KX7YT. Core says he will apply for an extension of operating authority and hopes to be back in Bangladesh in April as well. (For information on other current DX operations, see the ARRL DX Bulletin page, http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/dx/ . You can sign up to receive the ARRL DX Bulletin via e-mail each week by logging into the Web site and visiting the Member Data page at http://www.arrl.org/members-only/memdata.html .--Ed) * Belgium to join the 5 WPM fold: The Belgian Minister of Telecommunications has signed a new decree on Amateur Radio that, among other things, reduces the Morse code requirement for HF access to 5 WPM. The decree will go into effect after official publication, which is expected to take a few weeks.--Gaston Bertels, ON4WF =========================================================== 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. 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