ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 20, No. 29
July 20, 2001
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +ARRL Board of Directors meets
* +AO-40 transponders return
* +Novice Spectrum survey draws heavy response
* +In-flight special event set from vintage plane
* +Ham radio is high-profile at National Jamboree
* +Ten-Ten International enjoys New England convention
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF: 
     This weekend on the radio
     Correction
    +Missing August QST "Section News" pages available on the Web
     Hams erect a repeater for the National Weather Service
     Iowa ham loses appeal in tower bid
     James E. "Jake" McHendrix, WD4PBF, SK
     REACT invites David Clark, KB6TAM, to address international convention
     Vote on QST Cover Plaque Award

+Available on ARRL Audio News

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

==>ARRL BOARD MEETS IN CONNECTICUT

Members of the ARRL Board of Directors have gathered in Rocky Hill,
Connecticut, for the Board's July meeting. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP,
will preside at the meeting July 20 and 21.

The Board is expected to hear a Membership Services Committee report that
firms up details of the "Logbook of the World" project. The project,
described as a secure electronic alternative to traditional QSLing, has been
under development for several months at the Board's request. As conceived,
once the Logbook of the World is implemented, ARRL would become the
repository of QSO information used to automatically confirm contacts among
participants. Confirmation data also could automatically update ARRL awards
programs, such as DXCC, and possibly programs sponsored by organizations
other than ARRL.

The report of the ad hoc 160-Meter Band Plan Committee will be among the
other topics up for discussion at the mid-year session. The Board also will
hear an interim report from the Novice Spectrum Study Committee that's been
collecting comments from members on possible future refarming of current
Novice/Technician Plus HF subbands.

Prior to the Board meeting, the Administration and Finance, Membership
Services and Volunteer Resources committees met. The Board will receive
reports from those panels as well as from others.

The Board will consider nominees for the Hiram Percy Maxim Award as well as
for Instructor of the Year, the Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna
Award, the Doug DeMaw, W1FB, Technical Excellence Award, and other technical
excellence awards.

Bill Cross, W3TN, of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau met
informally with Board members and with ARRL Headquarters staff members prior
to the meeting.

Radio Amateurs of Canada Vice President Ken Pulfer, VE3PU, is attending the
Board meeting as a guest.

==>AO-40 TRANSPONDERS BACK ON THE AIR!

AO-40's transponders are back on the air, following an orbital shift that
put the Amateur Radio satellite into an orbit that AMSAT says should be good
for many years to come. Transponders have 435 MHz and 1.2 GHz uplinks and a
2.4 GHz "S band" downlink.

The transponders have been off since late May, when preparations began to
shift AO-40's orbit at perigee. That operation was completed earlier this
month, and ground controllers have been readjusting the spacecraft's
attitude since then.

Ground controller Stacey Mills, W4SM, said the transponders would operate
from orbital positions MA 10 through MA 99. Uplink frequencies (without
taking Doppler into account) are 435.495-435.780 MHz and 1269.211-1269.496
MHz, and the downlink passband is 2401.210-2401.495 MHz. The transponders
are inverting, so a downward change in uplink frequency results in an upward
frequency shift in the downlink. 

Mills emphasized that earthbound ops should not use any more uplink power
than necessary. He also noted that the transponders could be switched off to
accommodate additional testing.

AMSAT Awards Manager Bruce Paige, KK5DO, in Houston, was among the first
stations to get on AO-40 after the transponders were reactivated. "It sounds
awesome," Paige said. "I am transmitting with 25 watts up, and it sounds
great!" In addition to some domestic contacts, he and his daughter, Mahana,
W5BTS, worked EA8/DJ9PC in the Canary Islands.

Michael Mims, K4IZN, in Alabama says he's on AO-40 with a discarded TV
satellite dish and a "bean can" feed horn. His downconverter is a modified
Drake 2880 with no preamplifier. "This is going to be a good bird!" he
declared.

Although AO-40's attitude still is not optimal at this point, ground
controllers had to suspend operations to adjust it after an onboard sensor
lost its view of the sun. Without data from the sun sensor, ground
controllers cannot be certain of the satellite's attitude. 

Mills said now that the ground team has "a very good fix" on the spacecraft,
they'll do nothing to change its attitude for several weeks, while the solar
angle decreases. Once the sensor regains its view of the sun, efforts to
adjust the spacecraft's attitude will resume, so that AO-40's antennas are
pointing toward Earth.

Mills said ground controllers will use the interim period to see if they can
re-calculate the so-called "mystery effect" that had been impacting AO-40 at
perigee under its former orbit.

==>NOVICE SPECTRUM SURVEY DRAWS HEAVY RESPONSE

As of this week, more than 1700 ARRL members have expressed their opinions
on possible ways to optimize use of the present Novice and Technician Plus
allocations on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters. Survey results ultimately might
form the basis of an ARRL petition for rule making before the FCC, and
members still have an opportunity to participate. A copy of the Novice
Spectrum Study survey remains available to members on the ARRL Web site,
<http://www.arrl.org/members-only/NoviceSurvey.html>;. Members may complete
and submit the survey only once.

Appointed by President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, the Novice Spectrum Study
Committee is chaired by ARRL International Affairs Vice President Rod
Stafford, W6ROD. The panel wants to determine what changes, if any, might be
needed now that the FCC no longer issues new Novice licenses. The membership
survey is part of the Board's mandate to the committee. A final report is
due at the annual meeting next January.

In addition to the survey responses tallied, several dozen more comments
were filed by members and nonmembers alike via e-mail to
<novicesurvey@arrl.org>;. "The written comments for the most part have been
thoughtful and reasoned and are highly appreciated by the committee," said
Dave Patton, NT1N, who's Headquarters staff liaison for the panel.

Patton urged those who have not yet done so to fill out a survey. "Please
make sure to read the entire text of the survey to help understand some of
the assumptions made by the committee regarding what questions to ask and
what band segments and modes to offer as predefined options."

Generally speaking, the committee's predefined options propose retaining
Extra class CW subbands on the affected bands, setting aside expanded CW
reserves for all license classes except Technicians who have not passed
Element 1, and dividing the remaining spectrum into expanded phone segments
for General, Advanced and Extra class operators.

Many have offered separate opinions on the process. "Although I operate and
prefer CW over phone, I welcome the expansion of the phone bands for Extra
class operations, especially on 75 meters," one member wrote. "And I am glad
to see that Extra class CW bands remain in place."

Other comments recommended no change or expansion in privileges for Novice
or Technician Plus operators on the affected bands--an option that the
survey provides. Not all commenters were happy. "By handing Novices
significant amounts of additional bandwidth 'free of charge' you remove one
of the key motivators to upgrading, namely access to additional bandwidth!"
one said about the predefined choices.

No license class would lose privileges under any of the proposed refarming
schemes. The Committee has suggested that Novice/Tech Plus CW band
restrictions on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters be changed to match those of the
General class CW/RTTY/data band segments, with the caveat that Novice/Tech
Plus operators only run CW on 80, 40, and 15 at up to 200 W. Novices already
may operate RTTY and data on 10 meters. Novice refarming also would restore
full privileges to higher-class operators in the 80, 40, and 15-meter Novice
bands, where all license classes are limited to 200 W output.

==>IN-FLIGHT SPECIAL EVENT SET FROM RESTORED PAN AM STRATOLINER

A restored Pan American Airways Boeing B-307 Stratoliner with ham radio
aboard will take off next week from Seattle. A group of retirees from Pan Am
and Boeing, and some current Boeing workers--hams among them--restored the
antique aircraft to flight status. Chuck Driskell, W7ZIR, will conduct an
in-flight special event operation on HF as the plane heads for the
Experimental Aircraft Association Fly-In in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The plane--Flying Cloud, NC 19903--now is being prepared for the multi-hop
flight to Oshkosh starting July 23 and arriving in Oshkosh the next day. The
return flight is scheduled to take off July 30 or 31. Driskell is expected
to be on the air during the return trip as well.

Driskell expects to operate CW on or about 3.545, 3.680, 7.040, 7.050 and
7.060 MHz, and AM on or about 3.875, 3.885, 7.285 and 7.290 MHz. The
aircraft's 75-W transmitter feeds a fixed antenna mounted on a mast above
the radio position and extending back to the aircraft's tail.

One of only two known remaining pre-jet Pan American Airways planes, the
restored B-307 is in virtually the same condition as when delivered to PAA
in 1939. The B-307's inaugural post-restoration rollout at Boeing-Seattle on
June 23 was a big success and attracted a crowd of onlookers that included
TV reporters and aviation-magazine writers.

During last month's shakedown flight, Ralph Conly, N6VT, made a nostalgic
in-flight QSO with Craig Stewart, K7SKP, using the plane's original Pamsco
communications equipment. Conly had last used the same radios in the fall of
1941. The crew operated the plane's original radio gear on 80 and 40 meters
while in flight, using CW and AM.

Former Pan Am flight engineer Bob Stubbs started refurbishing the plan more
than 12 years ago. Later, Boeing took over the project and decided to
restore the plane to flying condition. "It is due to Bob's early work that
we have her today," said Conly.

The plane is owned by the Smithsonian Institution and will eventually be
displayed at the new museum facility at Dulles Airport in Virginia. For more
information, contact Ralph Conly, <etconly@aol.com>;.

==>AMATEUR RADIO GETTING GOOD VISIBILITY AT 2001 NATIONAL JAMBOREE

Amateur Radio will have a high profile during the Boy Scouts of America 2001
National Jamboree that opens July 23, at Fort A.P. Hill in Northern
Virginia, and continues through August 1. An estimated 40,000 Scouts and
leaders are expected to turn out, and some 45 Amateur Radio operators at
K2BSA/4 will be among those on hand to greet them. ARRL Headquarters staff
member Larry Wolfgang, WR1B, will attend this year's Jamboree.

This marks the 15th National Jamboree, which dates back to 1937. During this
year's event, K2BSA hopes to complete a ham radio contact with the crew of
the International Space Station as part of the Amateur Radio on the
International Space Station--or ARISS--project.

At this year's Jamboree, K2BSA will have four HF operating positions for
general operation on 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters, plus a VHF station with
a 2-meter multimode rig. Licensed Scouts will be encouraged to operate, with
staff members standing by to help as needed, or to serve as control
operators for unlicensed Scouts. Most K2BSA operation will be on voice, but
there will be some CW operation, especially in the evenings or during the
night. K2BSA/4 will operate on or near the established world Scout
frequencies: 3.940, 7.290, 14.290, 21.360, 28.360 and 28.990 MHz on SSB and
3.590, 7.030, 14.070, 21.140, and 28.190 MHz on CW. Operation on satellites,
digital modes and SSTV also is anticipated.

A special commemorative K2BSA QSL card has been designed. To receive a QSL
card for your contact, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your
card to K2BSA Amateur Radio Association, 303 Westover Dr, Euless, TX 76039.

Hams at the Jamboree will be teaching Radio merit badge and Technician
license classes. ARRL/VEC coordinated exams will be given. Wolfgang plans to
help with Radio merit badge classes and handle other duties at the Jamboree.


Wolfgang encourages all to look for K2BSA/4 on the bands and spend some time
talking with Scouts at the Jamboree. "If you ask them what they've been
doing, be ready for some enthusiastic responses about all kinds of outdoor
adventures!" he said. "The fun never stops at a Jamboree!"

For additional information, visit the K2BSA Ham Radio Web site,
<http://www.bpmlegal.com/k2bsa.html>;.

==>TEN-TEN HOLDS INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION IN MASSACHUSETTS

More than 200 members of Ten-Ten International representing 39 chapters from
the US, the UK, Germany and Canada attended the eighth biennial Ten-Ten
International Net Inc convention July 12-14 in Worcester, Massachusetts. The
Battle Road Chapter hosted the event, and Ken Harmon, K1IEQ, served as
convention manager. 

Ten-Ten International was formed in 1962 to promote activity and good
operating practice on 10 meters. Members exchange membership numbers over
the air. More than 70,000 10-10 numbers have been issued worldwide. 

ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ--a long-time 10-10 member
with the membership number of 4852--addressed the Ten-Ten Board of Directors
to affirm the common interest of both organizations in ensuring that 10
meters remains an active amateur band. "10-10 and ARRL share a lot of common
ground," Sumner said later. "Both organizations want to encourage activity
on 10 meters and to preserve the allocation. It was a great personal
pleasure for me to welcome the 10-10 Board and convention to New England."

Other League officials on hand included ARRL New England Division Director
Tom Frenaye, K1KI, and Southwestern Division Director Fried Heyn, WA6WZO,
and his wife Sandi, WA6WZN.

At a social gathering Friday following the directors' meeting, Ten-Ten
President Chuck Imsande, W6YLJ, presented The President's Plaque--for
exemplary service--to Jean Henderson, the widow of past Ten-Ten president
Tom Henderson, K4CIH, who died March 4. Harmon, speaking on behalf of the
Battle Road Chapter, presented a check for $1000 to be added to the Ten-Ten
International Scholarship Fund. The Fund awards four $1000 scholarships
annually to children of Ten-Ten members.

For more information, visit the Ten-Ten International Web site
<http://www.ten-ten.org/>;.

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Solar sage Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Last week's update
stated that the next peak in solar flux would probably be near 170 around
July 20-22. Based upon current readings, this now appears to have been a bit
optimistic. Solar flux and sunspot numbers have been up this week, but flux
values probably reached a peak on Monday when the noon reading was 149.8.
Current forecasts show flux values slowly drifting downward over the next
week, with values around 140 from Friday through Monday, then between 135
and 140 until around the end of the month.

During the past week, the average daily solar flux was up nearly 17 points
and average sunspot numbers increased by more than 63 points, when compared
with the previous week's report.

Due to a persistent solar wind, geomagnetic conditions became unsettled to
active this week. The most active days were Monday and Tuesday, when
planetary A index was 17.

Sunspot numbers for July 12 through 18 were 119, 146, 161, 142, 179, 191 and
193, with a mean of 161.6. The 10.7-cm flux was 133.9, 133.3, 140.8, 142.1,
149.8, 145.6 and 143, with a mean of 141.2. Estimated planetary A indices
were 9, 9, 13, 11, 17, 17 and 11 with a mean of 12.4.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The Colombian Independence Day Contest, the
Pacific 160-Meter Contest, the AGCW QRP Summer Contest, the North American
QSO Party (RTTY), the Georgia QSO Party and the Six Club Sprint are the
weekend of July 21-22. JUST AHEAD: the Venezuelan Independence Day Contest
(CW), the Russian RTTY WW Contest, and the IOTA Contest are the weekend of
July 28-29. See the ARRL Contest Branch page,
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/; and
<http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/weeklycont.html>; for more info.

* Correction: The call sign of Kevin W. Cellini, N1KGM, was incorrectly
reported in a news item, "FCC Probes Discrepancies at ARRL VEC Exam
Session," in The ARRL Letter, Vol 20, No 28 (Jul 13, 2001).

* Missing August QST "Section News" pages available on the Web: A portion of
the "Section News" column inadvertently was omitted from the August 2001
QST, now being distributed. The missing pages are available on the ARRL Web
site <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2001/07/13/5/missing-sections.html>;.
The missing material also will be published as part of the September
"Section News." The affected sections include Illinois, Indiana and
Wisconsin in the Central Division; Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota
in the Dakota Division; Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee in
the Delta Division; and Kentucky and Michigan in the Great Lakes Division.
The ARRL Headquarters staff has taken steps to prevent this from happening
again. We apologize for any inconvenience to our members. 

* Hams erect a repeater for the National Weather Service: Eldon Kearl,
KB7OGM, and John Lloyd, K7JL, of Sandy, Utah teamed up to provide a
NOAA-Weather radio station, transmitting from a hilltop overlooking the
southern end of Bear Lake. In the course of building and maintaining Amateur
Radio repeaters in northern Utah, Kearl and Lloyd saw the need for a
stronger NWS signal into the Bear Lake Area. Because of mountain
interference, many locations in the area were not able to receive the
weather radio signal from Logan Peak. "Amateurs provided the site, a UHF
receiver, installation, and will provide power maintenance for the
transmitter site," said David Toronto, Warning Coordination Meteorologist
for the National Weather Service. NWS provided the UHF link transmitter, UHF
transmitter, maintenance, weather radio frequency, and a continuous signal
to the transmitter from the Salt Lake City office, he said. For additional
information, contact Dave Toronto <dave.toronto@noaa.gov>;.--David
Toronto/NWS 

* Iowa ham loses appeal in tower bid: The Hawk Eye newspaper in Burlington,
Iowa, recently reported that a Burlington ham lost an Iowa Court of Appeals
bid to gain approval for a 70-foot backyard tower. ARRL Life Member James
Sereda, K0TJ, had failed three times to get Zoning Board of Adjustment
approval and had gone to the Appeals Court. Sereda's efforts to erect the
tower have been going on since 1998. After two trips to the city board, he
prevailed in getting a three-judge Appeals Court panel to call the Board of
Adjustment's earlier ruling illegal. The court held that since the
Burlington board didn't put its reasoning in writing, the decision was
arbitrary and therefore illegal. The Board then voted in January 2000 to
deny Sereda's permit application a third time and provided a written
rationale. In a unanimous opinion, the Zoning Board of Adjustment reasoned
that Sereda's proposed tower would dwarf nearby homes and harm his
neighborhood's character. The Board said that to grant approval would set a
precedent of allowing such structures in a residential neighborhood.

* James E. "Jake" McHendrix, WD4PBF, SK: Jake McHendrix, WD4PBF, of
Florence, Kentucky died July 11. He was 72. McHendrix retired in April as
Boone County Emergency Coordinator after 23 years of service. "Jake was a
loyal and dedicated ham and he will be missed greatly by all of us who were
lucky enough to call him friend," said ARRL Great Lakes Division Vice
Director Gary Johnston, KI4LA.

* REACT invites David Clark, KB6TAM, to address international convention:
REACT has invited round-the-world sailor David Clark, KB6TAM, to be a guest
speaker during the REACT International Convention, July 25-29, in Trinidad
<http://www.reactintl.org/conventions/2001>;. Clark will regale the
conventioneers with tales of operating his Amateur Radio equipment while
sailing around the world. REACT will have special event stations operating
during the convention, thanks to the support of the Trinidad and Tobago
Amateur Radio Society, 9Y4TT. Stations will be set up for HF and VHF on
various modes. Special QSL cards will be mailed to all contacts requesting
them. The REACT station plans to participate in the IOTA contest the weekend
of July 28-29.--Lee Besing, N5NTG 

* Vote on QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award
for July was Ed Krome, K9EK, for his article "Getting Started with
AMSAT-OSCAR 40." Congratulations, Ed! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque
award--given to the author of the best article in each issue--is determined
by a vote of ARRL members. Voting takes place each month on the Cover Plaque
Poll Web page, <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/qstvote.html>;. As soon as
your copy arrives, cast a ballot for your favorite article in the August
issue of QST. Voting ends August 15. 

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

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