*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 20, No. 30 July 27, 2001 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +ARRL petitions FCC for new HF band * +ARRL Board calls for Congress to act on deed restrictions * +ARRL 2000 award winners are announced * +AMSAT provides more details for new satellite * +Susan Helms, KC7NHZ, "thrilled" to get Field Day pin in space * +Boy Scouts National Jamboree scores ARISS contact * +Ham radio helps save stranded Alaskan rafters * Turkish Amateur Radio leader Bahri Kacan, TA2BK, SK * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio July registration opens for Level II emergency comms course Clarification Congo operation questioned DXCC approves operations for credit Donald "Rusty" Crooks, KD5SY, SK W9DXCC convention set for September +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>ARRL PETITIONS FOR NEW 60-METER AMATEUR BAND A petition filed this week by the ARRL could result in a new high-frequency band for US amateurs. The ARRL has asked the FCC to allocate 5.250 to 5.400 MHz to the Amateur Service on a domestic (US-only), secondary basis. The League told the FCC that the new 60-meter band would aid emergency communication activities by filling a "propagation gap" between 80 and 40 meters. "There are times on certain paths when a frequency in the 80-meter band is too low, and a frequency in the 40-meter band is too high for reliable ionospheric propagation," the ARRL said in its petition. The ARRL said the propagation gap can hamper communication between the US and the Caribbean during severe weather emergencies. The ARRL Board of Directors approved the proposal at its July 20-21 meeting. The FCC has not yet invited public comments on the petition. Even if the petition finds favor with the FCC, it's likely to be several years before the new band actually becomes available. As proposed by the ARRL, amateurs General class and higher would be permitted to operate phone, CW, data, image and RTTY on the new band running maximum authorized power. No mode-specific subbands were proposed. The ARRL said a new 150-kHz allocation at 5 MHz also could relieve substantial overcrowding that periodically occurs on 80 and 40. If the new band is approved, hams would have to avoid interfering with--and accept interference from--current occupants of the spectrum, as they already do on 30 meters. The band 5.250 to 5.450 MHz now is allocated to Fixed and Mobile services on a co-primary basis in all three ITU regions. The ARRL's petition cites the success of the League's WA2XSY experimental operation in the 60-meter band, carried out since 1999, which confirmed its communication reliability. "An amateur allocation in this band would improve the Amateur Service's already exemplary record of providing emergency communications during natural disasters when even modern communications systems typically fail," the ARRL concluded. A copy of the ARRL petition is available on the ARRL Web site, <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/5MHz>. ==>ARRL BOARD CALLS FOR CONGRESSIONAL ACTION ON CC&RS Meeting July 20-21 in Connecticut, the ARRL Board of Directors adopted a goal of legislative action to provide amateurs the same protections from real estate covenants, conditions and restrictions now enjoyed under FCC rules by home satellite dish owners and others receiving over-the-air broadcast signals. Board members felt that amateurs should be granted the right to install an antenna having a visual impact similar to that of a home television satellite dish or other antenna that falls under the FCC's Over the Air Reception Devices (OTARD) policy. The FCC reaffirmed the OTARD rule in 1999. It prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming. The Board also adopted a revised band plan for 160 meters based on a proposal from the ad hoc 160-Meter Band Plan Committee. Among other details, the plan adopted sets aside a segment for digital modes from 1.800 to 1.810 MHz, maintains CW operation for the entire 1.8 to 2.0 MHz band, recommends a lower limit of 1.843 for SSB operation, and offers QRP CW and SSB calling frequencies at 1.810 and 1.910 MHz. Gone is the 1.830 to 1.850 MHz "DX window." The committee recommended that contest sponsors "consider the use of DX windows as necessary." The plan accommodates established AM calling frequencies on 160. The ARRL Board of Directors also endorsed the Logbook of the World. An electronic alternative to collecting traditional QSLs for awards, the project goes beyond simply replacing printed cards with electronic versions. Logbook of the World will make use of electronic confirmations within a giant repository of QSO information maintained by ARRL. Digital security methods will ensure data integrity and authenticity. The Board also approved a new QRP DXCC award. Applications likely will be accepted starting early next year. No QSL cards would be required, and there would be no time limits or endorsements. The Board approved a plan to invite all International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 countries to take part in Field Day starting in June of 2002. This would expand participation in the popular annual event to include stations in both North and South America. The Board also resolved to encourage hamfest and convention sponsors to offer free admission to anyone under 16 years old and accompanied by a paying adult. The Board also recognized ARRL Southeastern Division Vice Director Evelyn Gauzens, W4WYR, for her 22 years of service. Gauzens has announced that she will not seek another term. ==>ARRL BOARD OF DIRECTORS ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNERS A 19-year-old community college student is the 2000 Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award winner. He is ARRL member Thaddeus W. Huff, KC0AQG, of Clarence, Missouri, who attends Moberly Area Community College and majors in criminal justice. The award to Huff was one of several the ARRL Board of Directors announced during its summer meeting July 20-21 in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. The Hiram Percy Maxim Award goes each year to a radio amateur under the age of 21 whose accomplishments and contributions are of the most exemplary nature within the framework of Amateur Radio activities. The award was established in 1936. Formal nominations come from section managers. "Thaddeus is a bright and hardworking young man and has earned the respect of all who come to know him," said ARRL Missouri Section Manager Dale Bagley, K0KY. An Extra class licensee, Huff is active in community development and has spearheaded several programs to benefit his community, including an exhibit at the Clarence Community Resources Exposition to demonstrate Amateur Radio and emergency communications. A member of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, he has organized severe weather spotting courses for Macon and Shelby counties. Perhaps most important, he encourages those attending to become ARES members. For the past two years, he's organized and led simulated emergency tests in three counties. The winner of the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award receives a cash award of $1000, an engraved plaque, and travel and accommodations to attend a formal presentation. William Morine, N2COP, of Wilmington, North Carolina, is the winner of the 2000 Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award. The annual award honors an amateur who demonstrates outstanding volunteer public relations success on behalf of Amateur Radio, and who best exemplifies the volunteer spirit of the award's namesake, journalist Philip J. McGan, WA2MBQ--the first chairman of the ARRL's Public Relations Committee. As an ARRL PIO and the PIO for the Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club,he has been racking up the media hits in television, radio, and print since 1997. A former TV news writer and producer, Morine has been licensed for nearly 30 years. George Tranos, N2GA, of Bellport, New York, is the 2000 Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year. Tranos has been organizing, recruiting, teaching and demonstrating ham radio since 1992. Tranos is serving his third term as ARRL Section Manager for the New York City/Long Island Section, a post he's held since April 1998. He is also a key player in the success of Ham Radio University, an annual educational convocation that started in 2000. Tranos has also organized eight separate Amateur Radio courses since 1997 as one and two-day Technician licensing classes. Allan Cameron, N7UJJ, of Chandler, Arizona, is the 2000 ARRL Educator of the Year. A teacher at the Carl Hayden Community High School in Arizona, Cameron co-founded the Carl Hayden Amateur Radio Club nine years ago with Alex Reyes, KC4UFM. This club regularly demonstrates Amateur Radio to students, and many of them become licensed. Other ARRL award winners included: * Dick Flanagan, W6OLD--Excellence in Recruitment Award. * Dave Benson, K1SWL (ex-NN1G), and Howard "Skip" Teller, KH6TY--Doug DeMaw, W1FB, Technical Excellence Award. * Paul Wade, W1GHZ--Microwave Development Award. * Peter Martinez, G3PLX, and Bob Larkin, W7PUA--Technical Innovation Award. * Steven Strauss, NY3B,--Technical Service Award. ==>AMSAT DETAILS NEW SATELLITE PROPOSAL, KICKS OFF FUND DRIVE AMSAT has begun to flesh out details of its next Amateur Radio satellite. Preliminary plans call for the new bird to have capabilities similar to those now offered by AO-40, plus a digital transponder that will be different from anything now available in Amateur Radio satellites. A campaign was begun to fund the new satellite project--dubbed "Project JJ" and now planned to launch in 2004. AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, has promised an open design process and invited comments and suggestions. Twenty of AMSAT-NA's designers and officers were on hand at a planning meeting July 14-15 in Denver to hammer out some project parameters. In a President's Letter this week, Haighton said current plans call for the satellite to offer SSB uplinks on 435 MHz (U band) and 1.2 GHz (L band) and a downlink on 2.4 GHz (S band). It also will have a digital time-domain multiple-access (TDMA) L-band uplink with an S-band downlink; a 145 MHz (V band) telemetry beacon; gain antennas for U, L, and S-bands; and omnidirectional antennas for initial commands. The new satellite will be placed into an orbit akin to that of AO-40, providing hours of daily access. Haighton told ARRL that Project JJ planners still were looking at the possibility of including a U band transponder for Mode U/V work. "It hasn't been ruled out and hasn't been ruled in," he said. Haighton's especially enthusiastic about the proposed TDMA digital transponder, which would handle digital voice-mode communication. "I liken it to the introduction of SSB back in the days of AM," he said. "I think it's going to be a lot of fun." The new satellite will incorporate a propulsion system "only if absolutely necessary," Haighton's letter said. More information and a copy of Haighton's President's Letter is available on the AMSAT-NA Web site, <http://www.amsat.org/amsat/news/ans.html#02>. ==>SUSAN HELMS, KC7NHZ, WEARING FIELD DAY PIN PROUDLY ABOARD ISS International Space Station Expedition 2 crew member Susan Helms, KC7NHZ, is proudly wearing her ARRL Field Day 2001 pin in space. The pin was ferried up to the ISS on the recently completed shuttle Atlantis mission and presented to Helms by crew member Jim Reilly. Helms not only has been an outstanding participant in the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station school contacts, she also took it upon herself to run the first Field Day operation from space. "We were so impressed with Susan's abilities on the air that we wanted to give her a little recognition for her efforts," said ARISS International Board Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO. The pin came with a formal letter of presentation that cited Helms' "pioneering efforts as a Field Day contester." Carolyn Conley, KD5JSO, of NASA reports Helms was "thrilled" to get the Field Day pin and glad to learn that her participation was appreciated. Using the ISS US Amateur Radio call sign NA1SS, Helms joined in the annual ARRL Field Day fray June 23-24, working several dozen stations. ARRL Contest Branch Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, has said that NA1SS contacts will count for Field Day credit, but they will not count for satellite bonus points. ==>SCOUTS TALK TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION FROM NATIONAL JAMBOREE They were happy campers indeed July 25 at the Boy Scout National Jamboree at Virginia's Fort A.P. Hill. That's because several of them got to speak directly with astronaut Susan Helms, KC7NHZ, operating NA1SS aboard the International Space Station. The approximately eight-minute 2-meter contact was arranged as part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program. Various K2BSA youth staff members took turns handling the radio gear for the contact. An audience of about 200 Scouts and Scout leaders was on hand at K2BSA for the early morning contact. About a dozen Scouts elicited answers from Helms to their questions about life aboard the ISS, such as whether weightlessness affects eating or sleeping. "It doesn't affect it at all up here as far as we're concerned," Helms replied. "We still eat like pigs and sleep like babies." The answer elicited a hearty laugh from the earthbound Scouts. Among other things, Helms told the Scouts that the newly installed airlock will allow crew members to do space walks directly from the ISS as required and not have to wait for a shuttle mission. She also answered a question from a Florida Scout about the effects of microgravity on blood flow. Helms said that on Earth, the heart is used to fighting against gravity to pump blood to the brain. "But, without the effects of gravity up here, the heart doesn't have to work so hard." The blood is distributed "a little bit differently than it is on Earth because it doesn't have to counteract the effect of gravity," she explained. Helms said microgravity also affects your sense of direction. "It's very easy to become confused if you close your eyes, move around, then open your eyes again, you can be upside down or right side up," she said. The astronauts orient using visual cues, she explained. Helms said life aboard the ISS requires crew members able to "adapt to unusual environments and also work well with other people, and not everybody has that skill." She said her particular jobs aboard the ISS have involved operating the robotics and serving as computer network administrator for the ISS. Following the contact, ARISS Operations Chairman Will Marchant,KC6ROL, who was among those observing, delivered the first International Space Station QSL card to the K2BSA staff. The QSO with NA1SS marked the second time K2BSA has managed to complete a contact with a space station from the National Jamboree, which is attended by an estimated 40,000 Scouts. In 1997, Scouts spoke with the crew of the Russian Mir space station. The Jamboree wraps up August 1. ARISS is a cooperative venture of ARRL, NASA and AMSAT. For more information, visit the ARISS Web site <http://ariss.gsfc.nasa.gov>. ==>AMATEUR RADIO HELPS SAVE FOUR LIVES Just four weeks after exercising their emergency communications skills during ARRL Field Day, members of the Northern Southeast Amateur Radio Emergency Services and Juneau Amateur Radio Club in Alaska put those skills to use to help to save a fellow ham operator and several companions. On July 22, Mark Griffith, KL0MO, was rafting down the Herbert Glacier River with three friends when their raft was severely damaged. The group was stranded on a small island in the middle of the raging river, swollen by heavy rainfall. Early that evening, Griffith used the KL7PF repeater phone patch to call 911, and search-and-rescue personnel were alerted. Meanwhile, Bob Dewey, WL7QC, overheard Griffith's transmission and set out for the trailhead to meet with the rescue personnel. He was able to contact Griffith on simplex, providing direct contact with rescue personnel. Rain hindered the rescue, and the river now covered the trail. The Juneau Mountain Rescue team had to cut its way through dense undergrowth to get to the stranded rafters. The weather prevented the use of a helicopter, and the river was too fast--and had too much debris--to use a rescue boat. The four huddled for the night beneath the remains of their raft. Although Griffith's battery was depleted, it retained enough power to receive Dewey's communications. A member of the SEADOGS search-and-rescue dog team located the rafters at around 1 AM, and they were airlifted off the island around 7 AM by the US Coast Guard. The four rafters suffered only mild hypothermia. "Ham radio really saved their lives," said incident commander Bruce Bowler. "It was a great help in finding out exactly where they were and what condition they were in. We were able to get updates throughout the night on how they were doing."--Nick Meacher, N3WWE ==>TURKISH AMATEUR RADIO LEADER BAHRI KACAN, TA2BK, SK The international Amateur Radio community is mourning the loss of well-known amateur and founding president of the Turkish Radio Amateur Association Bahri Kacan, TA2BK. Kacan, of Istanbul, died unexpectedly July 23. He was believed to have suffered a heart attack. ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, called Kacan "a friend and great Amateur Radio enthusiast" who was responsible for getting Amateur Radio recognized in Turkey. "The present status of Amateur Radio in Turkey--where there's formal recognition of its emergency communications role--stems from his efforts," Sumner said. A native of Yugoslavia, Kacan got his start in Amateur Radio in 1956 at the YU1BKL club station. When he moved to Turkey, he became one of the founders of TRAC in 1962. Although Kacan had used the TA2BK call sign for many years, the Turkish government did not formally recognize ham radio until 1984. Sumner said Kacan was instrumental in persuading Turkish government officials that Amateur Radio was a resource for the country and not the security threat some feared. An avid DXer, Kacan held DXCC Honor Roll status under his TA2BK call sign as well as his German call sign, DJ0UJ. In 1970 and 1971, he was a part of the ZA2RPS DXpedition which made Albania available to the DX community for the first time. During World Radiocommunication Conference 2000 in Istanbul, TA2BK helped organize the TA1ITU special event station. Citing Kacan's "wisdom, patience and personality," current TRAC President Asis Sasa, TA1E, said, "It's now our obligation to continue his phenomenal work in order to make him unforgettable," Survivors include Kacan's wife, Nermin, as well as a son and daughter. A funeral was held July 24. Condolence messages may be sent to TRAC via e-mail <email@example.com>. The Kacan family has expressed its gratitude for the outpouring of messages it has received already. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Propagation maven Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Not many sunspots are currently visible, and a holographic image of the far side shows no substantial sunspot groups. Average daily sunspot numbers over the past week dropped 10 points, and average solar flux was down just over two points. Solar flux values have been meandering, and this is expected to continue. Solar flux values over the next week should be flat, around 120 from July 28 through August 2. Solar flux could gradually rise after that, but not much of a peak is expected, unless new activity develops. We have recently been affected by a high speed solar wind emitted from a coronal hole. This accounts for the planetary A index of 15 and 22 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Current forecasts show the planetary A index dropping to around 12 on Friday and below 10 on Sunday, then possibly rising to around 15 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Sunspot numbers for July 19 through 25 were 180, 193, 153, 153, 143, 143 and 96, with a mean of 151.6. The 10.7-cm flux was 142.3, 142.6, 139, 140.4, 143.2, 132.5 and 133.3, with a mean of 139. Estimated planetary A indices were 9, 8, 8, 11, 12, 15 and 22 with a mean of 12.1. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The Venezuelan Independence Day Contest (CW), the Russian RTTY WW Contest, and the IOTA Contest are the weekend of July 28-29. JUST AHEAD: The ARRL UHF Contest, the QRP ARCI Summer Daze SSB Sprint and the YO-DX Contest are the weekend of August 4-5. See the ARRL Contest Branch page, http://www.arrl.org/contests/ and http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/weeklycont.html for more info. * July registration opens for Level II emergency comms course: Registration for the ARRL Level II--Intermediate Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course (EC-002) will open Monday, July 30, at 4 PM Eastern Time. Actual on-line classes will begin within a few days. This course is designed for people with previous experience and anyone who has already completed the Level I course (EC-001). Your skill and knowledge will be enhanced through a more in-depth look at emergency communications. Some of the topics covered are Human Resource Aspects for NCS, Net Manager Duties and Qualifications, Mutual Assistance and the ARESMAT Concept, FCC Emergency Frequency Declarations, Handling Hazardous Material Incidents, Working With Volunteers, and National Disaster Medical System Emergency Communications. The registration fee is $40 for ARRL members and $70 for nonmembers. To enroll, visit the ARRL Course Registration page <https://www.arrl.org/forms/cce> after 4 PM Eastern Time on July 30. ARRL Course Welcome letters will be sent later in the week to each enrolled student, once mentors have been assigned. Access codes will be sent shortly after that, so all students can begin. For more information about this or any Certification and Continuing Education Program, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education page <http://www.arrl.org/cce> and related links from there. For more information, contact Dan Miller, K3UFG, <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * Clarification: Regarding an item "REACT invites David Clark, KB6TAM, to address international convention" that appeared in The ARRL Letter, Vol 20, No 29 (7-20-01), Eric Mackie, 9Z4CP, says the Trinidad and Tobago Amateur Radio Club and 9Y4TT were not involved with Amateur Radio operation at the REACT International Convention held in Trinidad this week. REACT's Lee Besing, N5NTG, explains that the assisting club is the Central Amateur Radio Operators of Trinidad and Tobago. Besing reports he and his wife are on the air from Trinidad (and plan to operate for the IOTA event this weekend) as 9Y4/N5NTG and 9Y4/AD5BR. * Congo operation questioned: A letter issued June 28 by Secretary General Jean Philippe Monkonzi of the Postal and Telecommunications Ministry for the Democratic Republic of Congo has stated that no licenses were issued authorizing operation under the call signs 9Q5BQ and 9Q/CX2CC and called the stations "radio pirates." Pierre Petry, HB9AMO, was reported to be operating as 9Q5BQ but has since returned to Switzerland. During the recent International Amateur Radio Union HF Championship contest July 14-15, the Amateur Radio Association of the Democratic Republic of Congo obtained special permission to operate ARAC headquarter club station 9Q0AR. QSLs for this special operation are being handled by F2YT.--The Daily DX * DXCC approves operations for credit: The T5AR operation from Somalia, and the 3XY1B0, 3XY7A, and 3XY03A operations from Guinea have been approved for DXCC credit. Operators whose previous submittals for any of these operations were rejected may contact DXCC to update their records without having to re-submit the cards.--DXCC Desk * Donald "Rusty" Crooks, KD5SY, SK: A disaster volunteer and veteran member of the New Mexico Disaster Medical Assistance Team, Rusty Crooks, KD5SY, of Ramah, New Mexico, died June 5. He was 81. He became involved with the disaster team 16 years ago and spent much of his time providing communications for the team. A World War II veteran who served in the airborne infantry, he made four combat drops during the war, including during the Allied D-day invasion in 1944. "Rusty ran a two-hour net on the linked 146.94 and 146.64 repeaters, which covered about half of our state--he called it 'Rusty's Raiders' and always had at least 30 to 40 checkins each day," said New Mexico Section Manager Joe Knight, W5PDY. In addition to his DMAT work, Crooks also once served as an ARES Emergency Coordinator. Crooks had celebrated his 80th birthday by parachuting from an airplane; he'd planned another jump for his 81st earlier this year, but was too ill, according to his wife, Winnie, KB5PQX. At his request, no memorial service was held. * W9DXCC convention set for September: The 49th Annual W9DXCC convention will be September 14 and 15 at the Holiday Inn, Rolling Meadows, Illinois. ARRL RF Safety Committee Chairman Greg Lapin, N9GL, will discuss "RF Safey and Your Linear," and ARRL Central Division Dick Isely, W9GIG, and Vice-Director Howie Huntington, K9KM will lead the ARRL Forum, which will include former 9-Lander Dave Patton, NT1N, who is among those at HQ involved with the ARRL Logbook of the World project. Jim O'Connell, W9WU, will represent the ARRL DX Advisory Committee. Of course, there will be DXCC card checking. More details and registration is available at the W9DXCC Web site, <http://www.qth.com/w9dxcc> or via e-mail from Bill Smith, W9VA <email@example.com>. =========================================================== 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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