*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 20, No. 24 June 15, 2001 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +Ham radio hot at "Big Project" pilot school * +ARRL classroom emergency communications course available * +Oregon students enjoy ARISS QSO * +Hams wade in to help in flooding's aftermath * +New Mexico ARES/RACES does fire duty * +WWV survey available on Web * +Jan Carman, K5MA, joins HQ staff * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio Kid's Day is Saturday! ARRL seeks QST technical editor QRZ.com is for sale ARRL RF Safety Committee chair named to FCC Technological Advisory Council Ten-Tec Inc adds Doug Smith, KF6DX, to staff Call issued to help with New York antenna bill Hurricane Center hams honored YU1RL takes up duties as Yugoslav ambassador to Brazil +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>HAM RADIO IS HOT AT "THE BIG PROJECT" PILOT SCHOOL The Texas elementary school serving as a pilot school for the ARRL's "The Big Project" educational initiative already boasts more than a dozen new hams--including the teacher who's spearheading the program--and a lot of enthusiasm. Now, thanks to The Big Project, it's got some new ham gear. The Everette Lee DeGolyer Elementary School in Dallas (http://www.degolyer.com) recently received some $2600 worth of equipment paid for through the ARRL Education Project Fund to equip its ham radio club station, K5DES. Plans call for establishing similar programs at other schools across the US, after The Big Project--formally The ARRL Amateur Radio Education Project--is fully in place and under way. "Once we get a coordinator--an educational professional--at Headquarters, we'll begin to develop additional curriculum and coordinate with additional schools across the country," said ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP. Haynie proposed The Big Project shortly after taking office last year. The ARRL Board has adopted it as a League program, but it's still under development. The ARRL Education Project supplied a Yaesu FT-847 HF/VHF/UHF multimode transceiver plus Cushcraft HF, VHF and UHF antennas as well as other accessories for K5DES. As a bonus, the club station recently benefited from the generosity of Keith Pugh, W5IU, who donated an ICOM IC-706MkIIG that he'd won at the recent HamCom convention. Pugh is AMSAT-NA vice president for operations. DeGolyer teacher Sanlyn Kent, KD5LXO, says that, so far, 14 youngsters--ranging from 10 to 12 years old and in grades 4 through 6--have become licensed. Kent, an art teacher at the school, got her Technician ticket only last fall and says she's been learning along with the kids. The DeGolyer students plan to be active during Kid's Day this weekend from K5DES. Kent said the school has been able to integrate ham radio into nearly all aspects of the DeGolyer curriculum, from geography and social studies to science and math. In the art classroom, youngsters have been designing their own QSL cards. While the program was initially intended to be aimed at middle school students, Kent says she believes it works better at the elementary level. She said older youngsters often find themselves involved in too many other activities by the time they reach middle school. "One of the greatest things is that ham radio gets kids used to talking to other people," she said. "We keep finding ways every day to make it fit in." With a group of largely Technician class operators at this point, Kent said she and the other K5DES members are looking forward to upgrading, so they can chat more readily with stations in other countries and learn more about different cultures. Under the guidance of ARRL Vice President Kay Craigie, WT3P, the ARRL Amateur Radio Education Project will work directly with teachers who use Amateur Radio as a teaching strategy in the classroom. "The goal is to improve the quality of education for kids by providing educationally valid techniques involving Amateur Radio for teaching all sorts of subjects--science, geography, languages, speech," Craigie said. "Kids get the hobby of a lifetime and preparation for good careers--that's the ultimate goal." For information on donating to The ARRL Amateur Radio Education Project, contact ARRL Chief Financial Officer Barry Shelley, N1VXY, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; firstname.lastname@example.org; 860-594-0212, to discuss details. The ARRL is a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations are tax-deductible. ==>ARRL OFFERS CLASSROOM EMERGENCY COMMS COURSE The ARRL "Introduction to Amateur Radio Emergency Communications" on-line course (EC-001) now is available in a classroom version. Instructors and examiners are being sought. The Level I class--the first of three emergency communications training levels offered through the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education program--already has been offered in a small-group setting in South Carolina and for a much larger group in Texas, where ARRL Public Service Specialist Steve Ewald, WV1X, and certified examiner Joe Dorn, W5VEX, led 60 people through the classroom course at Ham Com, June 9-10. The Level II (Intermediate) and Level III (Advanced) classes will be added in the future. In-person classes may be organized and sponsored by any interested group. At least one registered and qualified certification instructor is required to teach the class. Two registered and qualified certification examiners are required to conduct the certification exam. ARRL provides course materials, exams, and answer sheets. Those interested in becoming certification instructors or certification examiners should review the ARRL C-CE Course Administration Criteria, available on the ARRL Web site (http://www.arrl.org/cce/ccecriteria2.html). Qualified individuals may sign up on-line using the CE/CI Registration Application (http://www.arrl.org/cce/ciceapp.html). More information on the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (C-CE) Program is on the ARRL Web site (http://www.arrl.org/cce/faq.html) or from Certification and Continuing Education Program Coordinator Dan Miller, K3UFG, email@example.com. ==>OREGON YOUNGSTERS ENJOY SPACE CHAT Youngsters at Henley Middle School in Klamath Falls, Oregon, spoke this week via Amateur Radio with astronaut Susan Helms, KC7NHZ, aboard the International Space Station. Using the NA1SS call sign, Helms answered a dozen questions from the students--several of them also amateurs--during the June 12 QSO. The Henley Middle School schedule, bumped from last week, was handled via a telebridge with Tony Hutchison, VK5ZAI, in South Australia. In Oregon, teacher Walter Jones Jr, KC7HEX, coordinated a group of 11 youngsters in grades three through 10 from the Henley Elementary, Middle and High schools. Many of the youngsters belong to the Klamath County Schools Amateur Radio Club, KC7VWW. Jones said all 400 middle school students got to listen in via the school's public address system. Helms told the students that the Expedition Two crew has been conducting an "unofficial experiment" growing onion plants aboard the ISS. She said the onions arrived aboard a recent Russian supply ship. The crew wrapped the vegetables in wet wash cloths and attached them to the wall of the space station where they're now sprouting, she said. She also addressed a question about the possibility that the ISS might encounter another object in space. "There is a lot of space stuff out here," she said. "We just have not seen it." She speculated that most of the space debris was in a higher or lower orbit than the ISS, and it has not yet presented a problem. Helms also said that ISS crew members no longer had to suck their meals through tubes. "We actually have fairly civilized food," she said, "like you could get at the grocery store." Jones said most of the participating students had taken a class at the middle school, "Introduction to Amateur Radio," and have earned their ham tickets. He said response to the successful contact was extremely positive. "Everybody was ecstatic," he said. "Everybody had butterflies at first, but it went off perfectly." The Henley Middle School has a Web site, http://www.jones-clan.com/amateur_radio/Klamath_County_Schools_ARC.htm ==>GULF REGION HAMS WADE IN TO HELP IN ALLISON'S WAKE Amateur Radio continues to support relief agencies in the wake of heavy flooding in Texas, Louisiana and parts of Mississippi. South Texas ARRL Section Manager Ray Taylor, N5NAV, said June 15 that several dozen more volunteers were needed to help provide communication support for Salvation Army, Baptist Mens' Kitchen and Red Cross relief operations. An FCC-declared general communications emergency in Texas and Louisiana for 3873 and 7285 kHz was rescinded at 2300 UTC on June 15. The region suffered some of the worst flooding in decades after Tropical Storm Allison moved ashore last weekend and stalled. The storm claimed more than a dozen lives. Although the initial flooding was receding, additional rainfall this past week--and more predicted--created an uncertain situation in the region. Taylor said hams had been using HF links between their field volunteers and their regional headquarters operations in the Dallas area to support Salvation Army and Baptist Mens' Kitchen feeding efforts in the stricken area. Cellular telephone service was made available, however. Other links were made using Amateur Radio VHF. Hams also have been using VHF and UHF repeater nets to provide emergency communication and to coordinate relief activities on the local level, including at Red Cross shelters. Taylor said he expected hams would be needed for the next couple of weeks. Amateur Radio volunteers with VHF capability--either an H-T with extra batteries or a mobile and portable antenna--were needed to help relief agencies with conventional and cellular systems still knocked out due to flooding. Prospective volunteers should contact Taylor via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; South Texas Section Emergency Coordinator Bob Ehrhardt Sr, W5ZX, email@example.com, or Jeff Salmons, N5ECP, firstname.lastname@example.org. Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service member Bruce Paige, KK5DO, in Houston said telephone service was lost in most of downtown area in the immediate aftermath of the flooding. Several hospitals and the medical center also lost power and water, he said. In some cases, basement flooding prevented emergency generators from taking over. Paige said hams provided a link between the Medical Center and local hospitals and were stationed at a triage center set up at the Houston Astrodome. He reports that hams assisted at local Houston fire stations last Saturday when the dispatch system went down. Hams helped to direct emergency calls for service to the station best-equipped to handle the call. Amateur Radio also handled health-and-welfare messages from the affected area to the outside. Amateurs also provided vital links between the Austin Emergency Operations Center and Houston and Fort Bend EOCs after Houston and Fort Bend lost telephone service. Paige said ham radio was a communications mainstay at one point as other systems fell victim to the flooding or power outages. In Louisiana, East Baton Rouge Parish EC Karl R. Sandstrom, K5MAN , reports that ARES and RACES were activated June 7 to assist the Red Cross in the Baton Rouge area following upwards of two feet of rain during the weekend. The Red Cross opened shelters in Baton Rouge and Denham Springs and hams provided communication. Hams were able to stand down from duty when the Red Cross was able to re-establish its normal communication infrastructure. "Communications Coordinator Joe Ross and the Red Cross extended their very sincere appreciation for the time and effort put forth by local ham operators helping to fill communications gaps," Sandstrom said. Taylor said many hams in the Gulf region have volunteered to help out in the aftermath of the flooding, but he did not yet have an accurate head count. ==>NEW MEXICO ARES/RACES ACTIVATES IN WILDFIRES' WAKE New Mexico ARES/RACES members responded earlier this month to Red Cross calls for communication assistance. The activation came after wildfires in Lincoln County caused several evacuations as they threatened Ruidoso. Hams also provided supplementary communication for the firefighting efforts. American Red Cross official Arthur Hoopes, KD5NDK, put out the call for amateur assistance June 1 to Pat Chappelle, WA5HOK, JP Kenmore, K5FBK, and Lincoln County ARES Emergency Coordinator and RACES Officer Rick Sohl, K5RIC. Amateurs responded and worked steadily over the next four days. They set up communication between the Red Cross Office in Ruidoso, a shelter and command post, a canteen and five mobile radio units that were taking people and equipment to many areas of the fire. They also moved food and supplies to the Homestead fire suppression team. A second fire developed the following day near the Inn of the Mountain Gods. As a precaution, commercial power was shut down, putting the Sierra Blanca Amateur Radio Club and the Buck Mountain repeaters off the air. Hams were forced to improvise. They reverted to simplex operation--just as they had rehearsed in training sessions. Sporting his brand-new K5RIC call sign issued the same day, Sohl set up a relay station at his home. HF was used to communicate with other New Mexico ARES/RACES units and with the state EOC in Santa Fe. A secondary net was activated using a solar-powered repeater on Captain Mountain. ARES/RACES members in Rio Rancho set up a remote base to hit the Captain Mountain repeater and to keep in contact with members of the Lincoln County ARES/RACES team. ARRL Section Manager Joe Knight, W5PDY, and New Mexico ARRL SEC and RACES Officer Bill Kauffman, K6YEJ, provided communication support and information to local ARES members. Sohl said the extended power failure was excellent training for Amateur Radio VHF/UHF operations without the use mountaintop repeaters. "This event highlighted one of the main reasons that Amateur Radio stations can provide reliable radio communications during major disaster events," he said. "They can improvise and set up special radio networks without repeaters or commercial power and still provide local and statewide coverage." Sohl said many of the Lincoln County ARES/RACES members who pitched in for the fire emergency had only recently become licensed and undergone emergency response training. More than a dozen amateurs assisted in the fire emergency. ==>WWV SURVEY NOW AVAILABLE ON THE WEB The National Institute of Standards and Technology survey seeking information on how WWV and WWVH listeners use the standard time and frequency broadcast services now is available on the Web. The survey is posted at http://www.timesurvey.nist.gov/. It's also available as a printable PDF or HTML file. The survey has been available as a hard-copy, mail-in version and promoted via WWV broadcasts. WWV Station Manager John Lowe says that more than 4000 completed surveys have been received so far by mail. "This proves the radio community is large and very active," he said. NIST says the survey should take just a few minutes to complete. The survey deadline is September 30. According to Lowe, the last WWV-WWVH user survey was done in 1985. He confirmed that the data collected ultimately could be used to determine whether WWV and WWVH remain on the air--especially given the popularity of NIST's other outlets, including its Web-based time server that gets in excess of 3 million hits a day. Lowe strongly encouraged WWV and WWVH users to send in a survey, but he has suggested that more weight will be given to survey responses from corporate and institutional users of the radio service than to individuals. WWV in Ft Collins, Colorado, and WWVH on Kauai, Hawaii, broadcast continuous time and frequency information to millions of listeners worldwide. Information broadcast includes time announcements, standard time intervals, standard frequencies, UT1 time corrections, a BCD time code, geophysical alerts, marine storm warnings, and Global Positioning System status reports. For more information, contact John Lowe, email@example.com. ==>JAN CARMAN, K5MA, JOINS ARRL HEADQUARTERS STAFF Jan Carman, K5MA, has joined the ARRL Headquarters staff. Carman will supervise the Headquarters' Book Team. He replaces Joel Kleinman, N1BKE, who is now QST managing editor. Carman's career has spanned the fields of aerospace, oil-field equipment, industrial control and instrumentation, underwater acoustics, communication systems, manufacturing automation and consulting. "Jan Carman will be an outstanding addition to the ARRL publications staff," said QST Editor and ARRL Production and Editorial Department Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY. "He brings decades of management experience and a fresh perspective." Carman holds bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. His Amateur Radio interests include contesting, DXing and VHF/UHF weak signal work. He is a member of the DXCC Honor Roll and the First Class CW Operators Club (FOC). He's also a member of the Yankee Clipper Contest Club. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Sun watcher Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Sunspot numbers and solar flux rose this week. Average daily sunspot numbers were up nearly 75 points and average daily solar flux was up more than 26 points. The daily sunspot number peaked on Saturday at 250, dipped, and rose again to 249 on Monday. Daily sunspot numbers have not been that high since the big jump in activity around the end of March. Disturbed days were Saturday and Sunday, when planetary A indices were 20, and the planetary K index was five over two three-hour reporting periods. Solar flux rose to 194.7 on Thursday, but is expected to dip below 170 this weekend. Predicted planetary A index is 10 for Friday and Saturday and 15 for Sunday. On Wednesday a strong solar flare propelled a coronal mass ejection pointed away from earth. There is a possibility of more flare activity on Friday. Sunspot numbers for May 31 through June 6 were 93, 120, 141, 143, 125, 160 and 170, with a mean of 136. The 10.7 cm flux was 132.8, 133, 134, 145.3, 153.8, 153.4 and 157.7, with a mean of 144.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 7, 11, 21, 11, 11, 9 and 10 with a mean of 11.4. Sunspot numbers for June 7 through 13 were 163, 179, 250, 217, 249, 193 and 221, with a mean of 210.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 164.8, 180.2, 177, 163, 162.4, 166.4 and 181.4, with a mean of 170.7. Estimated planetary A indices were 12, 8, 20, 20, 10, 7 and 14 with a mean of 13. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The All Asian DX Contest (CW) the SMIRK QSO Party, Kid's Day and the West Virginia QSO Party are the weekend of June 16-17. JUST AHEAD: ARRL Field Day, the Marconi Memorial HF Contest, and the ARCI Milliwatt Field Day are the weekend of June 23-24. The RAC Canada Day Contest is July 1. See the ARRL Contest Branch page, http://www.arrl.org/contests/ and http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/weeklycont.html for more info. * Kid's Day is Saturday! Kid's Day is Saturday, June 16, 1800 to 2400 UTC. There's no limit on operating time. The suggested exchange is name, age, location and favorite color. Invite a youngster to operate from your shack. Participants are encouraged to work the same station again if an operator has changed. Operating details are on the ARRL Web site, http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/kd-rules.html. * ARRL seeks QST technical editor: The ARRL Publications Group is seeking a full-time QST technical editor. The position is located at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. The QST technical editor will provide leadership to the technical Amateur Radio community by developing and promulgating a vision of the state of the Amateur Radio art through the pages of QST. Responsibilities include: soliciting and preparing QST technical material for publication; working cooperatively with authors during the development, writing, editing and production of QST technical articles; working effectively and cooperatively with other QST editors, production staff and other in-house staff; editing QST technical manuscripts for technical accuracy, grammar, style and usage; ensuring that technical manuscripts and graphics are prepared for publication in a polished and professional manner, and by deadline; evaluating QST technical manuscripts and recommending whether or not they should be accepted for publication. Qualifications include a broad knowledge of and experience with Amateur Radio and electronics; design and construction of Amateur Radio equipment, antennas and accessories; and Amateur Radio software. Applicants should possess a college degree, preferably in a technical field; a minimum of three years of writing or editing experience; demonstrated ability to work effectively and productively with a variety of people; proficiency with Microsoft Office, especially Word and Excel; and an Amateur Extra Class license. To be considered for this position, send a resume, cover letter and salary expectations to QST technical editor position, Robert Boucher, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111-1494; fax 860-594-0298; firstname.lastname@example.org. No telephone calls, please. ARRL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. * QRZ.com is for sale: The QRZ.com Web site is for sale. Owner and webmaster Fred Lloyd, AA7BQ, says he wants to retire. "After eight years work on this project, I've simply decided to pursue other interests," he said. "When I started QRZ, I also became a certified flight instructor. Now I would like to spend more time teaching people how to fly." Lloyd said the Web site is being offered as a running business. For details contact Fred Lloyd, email@example.com or visit http://www.qrz.com/qrz_sale.html . ARRL RF Safety Committee chair named to FCC Technological Advisory Council: The FCC has re-established its Technological Advisory Council, and several Amateur Radio operators have been asked to serve as members. Among those appointed was ARRL RF Safety Committee Chairman Greg Lapin, N9GL. Technology guru Dewayne Hendricks, WA8DZP, a charter member of the TAC, was appointed to another two-year term. Also reappointed was former FCC Office of Engineering and Technology Chief Dale Hatfield, W0IFO. Hatfield, now with the University of Colorado, started the TAC while he was still with the FCC. The list of amateurs on the TAC also includes Telegen CEO Jessica L. Stevens, KF6WMY. The TAC is comprised of a broad array of well-known technologists and chaired by Robert Lucky of Telcordia. The TAC helps provide technological insights that the FCC needs to stay abreast of innovations in technology. Additional information about the Technological Advisory Council is available via the FCC's Web site, http://www.fcc.gov/. * Ten-Tec Inc adds Doug Smith, KF6DX, to staff: Amateur Radio manufacturer Ten-Tec Inc of Sevierville, Tennessee, has announced that Doug Smith, KF6DX, will be joining the Ten-Tec engineering staff. Smith will start in his new position July 1. Previously employed by Kachina , Smith was lead designer for the Kachina 505DSP computer-controlled HF Amateur Radio transceiver. A respected author and editor, he serves as editor for the ARRL publication QEX/Communications Quarterly. He is also chairman of the ARRL Digital Voice Committee.--Ten-Tec news release * Call issued to help with New York antenna bill: ARRL Hudson Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, and Atlantic Division Director Bernie Fuller, N3EFN, are asking New York amateurs in their respective divisions to express support for the Amateur Radio antenna bills pending in The Empire State. Fallon and Fuller are urging telephone calls or e-mails to three key decision-makers: Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno of the Senate Rules Committee (518-455-3191; firstname.lastname@example.org); Assembly Ways and Means Chairman Herman D. Farrell Jr (518-455-5491; email@example.com); and Assembly Speaker and Rules Committee Chairman Sheldon Silver (518-455-3791; firstname.lastname@example.org). The suggested message: "Please bring these bills to the floor for a vote so New York State Amateur Radio operators can continue to serve their communities, at no cost to the state, in times of communication emergencies like those now taking place during the Texas and Louisiana floods." Senate Bill S.2893B is currently in the Rules Committee. Assembly Bill A.1565B is in the Ways and Means Committee. For additional information, visit the ARRL Hudson Division Web site, http://www.arrlhudson.org. * Hurricane Center hams honored: Amateur Radio operators at National Hurricane Center station W4EHW received the Volunteer of the Year award June 1 at the South Florida Hurricane Conference. The amateurs were recognized for 22 years of dedicated service at the National Hurricane Center, collecting weather and damage data for the NHC forecasters when tropical storms or hurricanes are within 300 miles of any land mass. Accepting the award on behalf of the many amateur volunteers were Amateur Radio Coordinator John Mc Hugh, KU4GY; Assistant Amateur Radio Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4JR, and volunteer operator and former Miami-Dade County RACES Officer Joel Kandel, KI4T. WD4JR and KI4T are founding members of the station. The conference, held for the seventh year at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft Lauderdale, is sponsored by the emergency management and public safety agencies of Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Collier, and Lee Counties. It addresses many hurricane preparedness and response issues of particular concern to South Florida. More than 600 attended the conference luncheon and award ceremony, held propitiously on the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season. * YU1RL takes up duties as Yugoslav ambassador to Brazil: Well-known contester and DXpeditioner Radivoje "Rasa" Lazarevic, YU1RL, has taken up his post as Yugoslav ambassador to Brazil. He arrived in Brasilia June 1. The 39-year-old Lazarevic has operated many times from Brazil and Fernando de Noronha. He says he likes Brasilia very much and hopes to be there for a long time. =========================================================== 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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