*************** 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 <firstname.lastname@example.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, <email@example.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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>.--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 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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