ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 20, No. 34
August 24, 2001
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +Vice Director candidates vie in three divisions
* +FCC invites comments on reallocation proposals
* +AO-40 testing "momentum wheel" attitude control
* +New section managers take office October 1
* +SMs enjoy HQ workshop session
* +24-GHz moonbounce contact is a first
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF: 
     This weekend on the radio
     Sign up for ARRL Level II Emergency Communications on-Line course
    +Nominations invited for 2001 ARRL Professional Media Award
     WRTC 2002 names judging committee co-chairs
     Kodiak Star Amateur Radio payloads get new launch date
     Merle B. Parten, K6DC, SK
     New Mexico proclaims Amateur Radio Week
     QST editor addresses South African hams
     VE3GLN named 2000 Canadian Amateur of the Year
     New county for Colorado

+Available on ARRL Audio News

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

==>CANDIDATES VIE FOR VICE DIRECTOR IN THREE ARRL DIVISIONS

There will be one new director on the ARRL Board in January. Southwestern
Division Vice Director Art Goddard, W6XD, will move up from the back bench
to succeed outgoing Director Fried Heyn, WA6WZO. A director since 1984, Heyn
has decided to not seek another term. The only real suspense in this fall's
ARRL director-vice director balloting will be the outcome of contested races
for vice director in three divisions.

In the Pacific Division incumbent Vice Director Bob Vallio, W6RGG, faces a
challenge from Gerald D. Griffin, K6MD. In the Southeastern Division, West
Central Florida Assistant Section Manager Paul J. Toth, NA4AR, and Georgia
SM Nelson E. "Sandy" Donahue, W4RU, will contend for the seat being vacated
by Vice Director Evelyn Gauzens, W4WYR, who is not seeking a new term after
22 years of service. In the Southwestern Division, Edward J. Stearns, AA7A,
and San Diego SM Tuck Miller, NZ6T, will face off for the seat Goddard is
vacating.

In addition to Goddard, those unopposed for directors' seats are incumbents
Jim Maxwell, W6CF, in the Pacific Division; Walt Stinson, W0CP, in the Rocky
Mountain Division, Frank Butler, W4RH, in the Southeastern Division and Coy
Day, N5OK, in the West Gulf Division. Unopposed for vice directors'
positions are incumbents Warren G. "Rev" Morton, WS7W, in the Rocky Mountain
Division; and David Woolweaver, K5RAV, in the West Gulf Division.

The ARRL Election Committee has declared all candidates eligible to hold
office. Ballots go out by October 1 to ARRL members on record in the
affected divisions as of September 10. The completed ballots are due back at
ARRL Headquarters by November 16.

==>FCC ACCEPTING COMMENTS ON REALLOCATION PROPOSALS

The FCC is accepting comments on its proposals to reallocate some spectrum
in the 2390 to 2400 MHz amateur segment as well as in the non-amateur 1.9
and 2.1 GHz bands for unspecified mobile and fixed services. The 2390-2400
MHz band is a primary Amateur Service allocation. The FCC has proposed
including the band and others to support the introduction of advanced
wireless services, including third-generation (3G) mobile systems.

The FCC approved its Memorandum Opinion and Order and Further Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking August 9 and released it for comment this week.
Interested parties may comment on the proposal via the Internet or e-mail
using the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS)
<http://www.fcc.gov/e-file/ecfs.html>;. The FCC says that Electronic Comment
Filing System users must submit a separate filing for each proceeding
listed--in this case ET 00-258, ET 95-18 and IB 99-81. The filings may be
identical.

In January 2000 the FCC proposed a number of bands for new, advanced
wireless services. The FCC said this month's further proceeding would
"supplement the record by providing new allocation options" not included in
its January 2000 NPRM.

In the case of 2390-2400 MHz, the FCC notes that, while unlicensed Part 15
devices already share the band with hams, the band has been kept free of
services that might be incompatible with amateur use. The FCC now wants to
know if these sharing concerns still hold and if they would preclude
allocating the band for advanced wireless services.

Noting that Amateur Radio previously shared the band with the federal
government, the FCC invited comment on reinstituting such a sharing
arrangement. "We also seek comment on the impact on the amateur services of
further shared use," the FCC said. The FCC hinted that it might consider
again lumping relocated federal government users with amateurs on 2390-2400
MHz, should it reallocate 1755-1850 MHz--now occupied by federal government
users--for advanced wireless services.

The ARRL has petitioned the FCC to upgrade the adjacent Amateur Radio
allocation at 2400-2402 MHz from secondary to primary status, mainly to
protect satellite operations in this band. AO-40 has been successfully using
that band for downlink telemetry and transponder operation, and AMSAT plans
a similar downlink for its next satellite project. The Amateur Service
already is primary at 2402-2417 MHz and secondary at 2417-2450 MHz. The ARRL
has re-petitioned the FCC for primary status at 2300 to 2305 MHz.

==>AO-40 ATTITUDE CONTROL SYSTEM APPEARS FUNCTIONAL

The commissioning of the AO-40 satellite recently took another giant step
forward as ground controllers reported success in testing the spacecraft's
momentum wheel attitude control system. AO-40 controllers hope to use the
momentum--or "reaction"--wheel attitude control system to aim its antennas
and, eventually, its solar panels. The testing paves the way for possible
deployment of the solar array and better signals on the ground.

"We can say with some caution that we have a working three-axis control
system!!!" enthused AMSAT-DL President and AO-40 team member Peter Guelzow,
DB2OS, in a posting to the AMSAT bulletin board. Until now, AO-40's attitude
has been under "spin control," and that remains an option. The three-axis
control offered by the momentum wheels will mean much more positive attitude
control from the ground anywhere in the satellite's orbit.

After preliminary tests, ground controllers Stacey Mills, W4SM, and James
Miller, G3RUH, ran the momentum wheels up to more than 100 RPM August 16 and
left them at that speed for about a half-hour. Telemetry before and after
the spinup inidicated the system was working properly. The momentum wheels
are designed to run at a nominal operating speed of 1000 RPM.

"More tests will be done over the next few weeks, before we will transfer
the spacecraft from spin stabilization into three-axis stabilization,"
Guelzow said.

Correct operation of the momentum wheels is considered essential to solar
panel deployment. Ground controllers say the three-axis control system will
be tested extensively before any decision is made to deploy AO-40's solar
panels.

AMSAT reported last week that the 2.4 GHz "S1" transmitter aboard AO-40
suddenly went silent August 13 and appears lost. The "S2" transponder
continues to operate normally.

For more information on AO-40, visit the AMSAT-DL Web site,
http://www.amsat-dl.org/ or the AMSAT-NA Web site, http://www.amsat.org.

==>WEST VIRGINIA MEMBERS ELECT NEW ARRL SECTION MANAGER

ARRL members in West Virginia have chosen a new Section Manager in one of
two contested races. After ballots were counted this week, Hal L. Turley,
KC8FS, narrowly defeated incumbent Olie Rinehart, WD8V, 252 to 235. Rinehart
has served as SM since 1994. Turley, of S Charleston, has been licensed 35
years. An Official Observer since 1995, he's an active DXer and holds an
Amateur Extra ticket.

In the only other contested race, incumbent San Francisco SM Leonard Gwinn,
WA6KLK, outpolled former SM John Wallack, W6TLK, 374 to 126. Gwinn had been
appointed to complete Wallack's term following Wallack's resignation in
November 1999.

Colorado also is getting a new SM. Jeff Ryan, N0WPA, was the only candidate
to replace Tim Armagost, WB0TUB, who did not run for re-election. An Amateur
Extra class licensee from Colorado Springs, Ryan holds appointments as an
Official Emergency Station and Assistant Section Manager.

Incumbent section managers ran unopposed in six other ARRL sections.
Re-elected were Kyle Pugh, KA7CSP, Eastern Washington; Sandy Donahue, W4RU,
Georgia; Phineas J. Icenbice Jr, W6BF, Los Angeles; Jerry Boyd, K6BZ,
Sacramento Valley; E. Ray Taylor, N5NAV, South Texas; and Harry Lewis,
W7JWJ, Western Washington.

Votes were counted August 21 at ARRL Headquarters. All terms are for two
years beginning October 1, 2001.

==>SECTION MANAGERS GET FINE TUNING AT ARRL HQ

Seventeen of the ARRL's newest section managers turned out at League
Headquarters over the August 18-19 weekend for an in-service workshop. The
session was aimed at helping the new section leaders feel more comfortable
in their roles.

"It was a pleasure to meet and welcome this group of Section Managers to
Newington," said ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Rosalie White,
K1STO, who led the workshop. "They are enthusiastic, smart, well-spoken
representatives of their sections and offer a broad background within
Amateur Radio." White says the ARRL is always on the lookout for similar
individuals who are willing to assume ARRL field organization leadership
positions.

A workshop for Section Managers elected or appointed to office in the past
12 months typically is an annual affair. This year's bumper crop--which
included a couple of SMs who already have been in office for more than a
year--resulted from the fact that last year's session couldn't be scheduled
because of conflicts.

This group of SMs voted to hold the workshop in Newington so that they could
have the opportunity to meet the Headquarters staff and tour the building
and Maxim Memorial Station W1AW. Some even got to town early enough to
operate from W1AW.

Section Managers are the top ARRL officials in each of the 71 sections they
represent. They serve two year terms and may stand for re-election.

Veteran SM Joe Knight, W5PDY, of New Mexico came to share some of his
expertise and experience. "Be careful in your appointments, and then be
patient," advised Knight, who has been an SM for 24 years.

Among other things, SMs learned techniques to efficiently handle section
business, work with volunteers, handle "difficult" situations, and tout the
many ARRL membership benefits to the members in their sections. The SMs
participated in idea-sharing sessions, met some of the ARRL HQ staff, and
familiarized themselves with the League's organizational structure. They
also discussed mutual cooperation in emergency situations.

Nevada SM Jan Welsh, NK7N, called the workshop a once-in-a-lifetime
experience. "So much camaraderie and goodwill came out of it," she said. "I
don't think there was anyone who didn't have something useful to relate to
us, and the exchange of ideas awakens you to what you could do easier or
differently." 

Louisiana SM Mickey Cox, K5MC, said he enjoyed the SM Workshop more than his
first trip to the Dayton Hamvention this past spring--high praise indeed. "I
have always wanted to see HQ and W1AW, and I was not disappointed," he said.

For information about becoming an ARRL Section Manager, visit the ARRL Web
site <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/org/smterms.html>;.

==>AMATEURS COMPLETE FIRST 24-GHZ EARTH-MOON-EARTH QSO

Here's another one for the Amateur Radio record books. On Saturday, August
18, hams in Texas and Manitoba completed the first 24-GHz Earth-Moon-Earth
(EME) QSO. The contact followed by several months the first documented
echoes from the moon on 24 GHz.

Noted microwave enthusiast Al Ward, W5LUA, of Allen, Texas (EM13), says his
QSO with Barry Malowanchuk, VE4MA, in Winnipeg, Manitoba (EN19), was a
result of several years of effort in trying to optimize antenna gain and
receiver sensitivity, and to obtain adequate power to make the roughly
half-million mile path to the moon and back. 

"Signals were weak but easily copied at both ends," Ward said. The August 18
QSO took place at 1417 UTC on 24,192 MHz. Malowanchuk said the two exchanged
"M" reports.

After many failed attempts, Ward succeeded last March in hearing 24 GHz EME
echoes and documenting them for the first time. Such accomplishments on 24
GHz are particularly significant because water-vapor absorption of signals
peaks at around that frequency.

VE4MA used a 2.8-meter offset-fed dish and a travelling wave tube amplifier
producing 70 W. W5LUA has a 3-meter prime focus dish and a TWT amp producing
80 W. A fixture in the VHF-UHF and microwave standings, Ward was the
recipient of the 2000 ARRL Microwave Development Award.

Additional details are on the North Texas Microwave Society Web site,
<http://www.ntms.org>;.

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Heliophile Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Thanks to K9LA for
writing last week's bulletin. Average daily sunspot numbers dropped 21
points from the first week of the month to the second, then rose 13 points
this week. Average daily solar flux has been nearly flat for the past few
weeks, at 150.5, 156.3 and 154.1. Flux values are currently rising, and are
expected at 175 for Friday and around 180 for Saturday through Wednesday.
Geomagnetic conditions are expected to be unsettled to active, with
planetary A indices of 12 on Saturday and Sunday and 20 on Monday and
Tuesday.

Over the past couple of weeks the most active day was Friday, August 17,
when the planetary A index was 29 and the K index rose to 6. Alaska's
college A index was 60, and the college K index was 7 for more than nine
hours.

Sunspot numbers for August 9 through 15 were 157, 119, 151, 196, 141, 133
and 155 with a mean of 150.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 163.3, 160.3, 165, 159.8,
151.5, 147.3 and 146.7, with a mean of 156.3. Estimated planetary A indices
were 10, 11, 6, 14, 19, 12 and 9, with a mean of 11.6.

Sunspot numbers for August 16 through 22 were 171, 158, 148, 142, 172, 169
and 183 with a mean of 163.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 142.6, 144.9, 156.1,
157.5, 156.1, 160.2 and 161.5, with a mean of 154.1. Estimated planetary A
indices were 8, 29, 14, 12, 10, 14 and 17, with a mean of 14.9.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The Ohio and South Dakota QSO parties, the TOEC
WW Grid Contest (CW), the SCC RTTY Championship, the W/VE Island Contest,
and the BUBBA Summer QRP Sprint are the weekend of August 25-26. JUST AHEAD:
The All Asian DX Contest (SSB), the CCCC Contest (23 Hz RTTY), IARU Region 1
Field Day (SSB), and the Michigan QRP Labor Day CW Sprint are the weekend of
September 1-2. NOTE: The dates indicated in September QST ("Contest Corral")
for the CQ WW RTTY Contest are incorrect. The contest is September 29-30
weekend. See the ARRL Contest Branch page, http://www.arrl.org/contests/ and
http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/weeklycont.html for more info.

* Sign up for ARRL Level II Emergency Communications on-Line course:
Registration for the ARRL Intermediate (Level II) Emergency Communications
on-line course (EC-002) opens Monday, August 27, at 4 PM Eastern Time. Visit
the ARRL Course Registration Page <https://www.arrl.org/forms/cce>; to take
advantage of this continuing education training. Each class is limited to
50. New classes open every four weeks. Additional information is available
at the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/cce>;. Be sure to check out the links in the box at the
right. Level II course manuals (order item 8519) now are available through
the ARRL catalog <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/;. To learn more, contact
Certification and Continuing Education Coordinator Dan Miller, K3UFG,
cce@arrl.org. 

* Nominations invited for 2001 ARRL Professional Media Award: Nominations
are open for the annual Professional Media Award, a tribute to the late CBS
President Bill Leonard, W2SKE. The award goes each year to a professional
journalist whose outstanding coverage in TV, radio, print or multimedia best
reflects the enjoyment, importance and public service value of Amateur
Radio. The deadline for entries is December 14, 2001. The ARRL Public
Relations Committee reviews entries and recommends a winner to the Board of
Directors. The winner receives a plaque and a cash award of $500. Leonard
was an avid Amateur Radio operator and was most active on the air during the
1960s and 1970s. In 1958, Leonard's contribution to Sports Illustrated, "The
Battle of the Hams," covered the "sport" of DX contesting. Bill Leonard was
inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1996. To obtain a nomination
form and more information, contact Media Relations Manager Jennifer Hagy,
N1TDY, jhagy@arrl.org; 860-594-0328.

* WRTC 2002 names judging committee co-chairs: WRTC 2002 has named ARRL
Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, and Pekka Lšnsman of Finland to
co-chair the judging committee for the international Amateur Radio
competition. Lšnsman is chairman of the CEPT project team responsible for
preparing key European proposals for World Radiocommunication Conference
2003. Sumner also serves as secretary of the International Amateur Radio
Union. WRTC 2002--described as the "Olympics of Amateur Radio"--is jointly
organized by Contest Club Finland <http://www.qsl.net/ccf/>; and the Finnish
Amateur Radio League--SRAL <http://www.sral.fi>; and will take place from
July 9-16, 2002. The on-air competition will be held in conjunction with the
International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) HF World Championship. During WRTC
2002, 50 two-person teams representing top operators from more than 30
countries will vie for gold, silver and bronze medals in both on and
off-the-air events. Sumner served as the chief judge for the last WRTC
event, held last year in Slovenia. WRTC 2000 winners Dan Street, K1TO, and
Jeff Steinman, N5TJ, are expected to defend their title at WRTC 2002 in
Finland. Street and Steinman also topped the field at WRTC-96.

* Kodiak Star Amateur Radio payloads get new launch date: Bob Bruninga,
WB4APR, has announced a new launch date of September 17 for the Kodiak Star
launch carrying the PCSat, Starshine 3 and Sapphire satellites. All three
carry ham radio payloads. They had been set to launch on or about September
1. PCsat is a 1200-baud APRS digipeater for H-Ts and mobiles. Following a
brief commissioning period, it will operate on 145.825 MHz. Starshine 3 is a
mirror ball with AX.25 9600-baud telemetry on 145.825 MHz, and Sapphire has
1200-baud AX.25 telemetry and a voice replay on 437.1 MHz. Bruninga notes
that Starshine 3 will be visible to the eye and will give thousands of
students the opportunity to participate in its primary mission of satellite
tracking. For more information, visit the PCSat Web site
<http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/pcsat.html>;, the Sapphire Web site
<http://ssdl.stanford.edu/aa/projects/squirt1/sapphire_overview.html>; and
the Starshine Web site <http://www.azinet.com/starshine/update012201.html>;.
The Athena I launch will be the first planned orbital mission from the
Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska.

* Merle B. Parten, K6DC, SK: Prominent West Coast DXer Merle Parten, K6DC,
of Santa Barbara, California, died August 2. He was 89. An ARRL and DXCC
Honor Roll member with 383 entities, Parten once was an amplifier design
engineer at Eimac. He won a QST Cover Plaque Award for his article "Custom
Design and Construction Techniques for Linear Amplifiers," which appeared in
the September 1971 issue of QST. He also was a member of the A-1 Operator
Club. 

* New Mexico proclaims Amateur Radio Week: In anticipation of the New Mexico
Section Convention August 25-26, New Mexico Gov Gary E. Johnson has
proclaimed August 20-26 as Amateur Radio Week in the Land of Enchantment.
The proclamation encourages residents to "recognize the hard work of the
Amateur Radio operators and great services they provide to the citizens of
our state." It cites the more than 3000 hams in New Mexico who have
"demonstrated their value in public service" through their work in
emergencies. 

* QST editor addresses South African hams: QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY,
recently engaged in a question-and-answer session with hams in South Africa.
Ford says the two-hour live, telephone interview was featured on the South
African Radio League's "Intechnet" for August 19 at 1800 UTC. The
interactive show, hosted by Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS5AKV, is
retransmitted on 75 meters and on a number of FM repeaters throughout South
Africa. "The topic of the show was the technological future of Amateur
Radio, with a particular focus on the latest technical innovations in the
amateur community," Ford explained. "During the program I fielded about 20
questions--most requiring detailed answers--concerning PSK31, MFSK16,
Internet repeater linking, the new WSJT digital software for meteor scatter,
the innovative WOLF software for LF and much more." 

* VE3GLN named 2000 Canadian Amateur of the Year: The Radio Amateurs of
Canada Board of Directors has elected Glenn McLeod, VE3GLN, of Ottawa, as
the Canadian Radio Amateur of the Year for 2000. An ARRL Life Member, McLeod
is a retired Canadian Armed Forces officer. He currently serves as logistics
officer at the Communications Research Centre. Licensed in 1978 as VO1DV and
later as VE3MPR, McLeod is active on all bands and modes from 160 meters
through to 70 cm with 270 DXCC entities confirmed. The RAC Board recognized
McLeod for conceiving of and organizing the record-breaking 35A 2000 Field
Day entry in the Ottawa-Hull region, which focused public attention on
Amateur Radio's public service role. An engraved silver tray will be
presented to Glenn McLeod by RAC Ontario North Regional Director Doug Leach,
VE3XK.--RAC 

* New county for Colorado: County hunters take note. The State of Colorado
is gaining a new county. Effective November 15, 2001, the City and County of
Broomfield will officially come into existence. Roy Wright, WA0SJQ--who
lives in Broomfield--reports that the new county was created to consolidate
the City of Broomfield into a single jurisdiction. At present, Broomfield
lies within four different counties.

=========================================================== 
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
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Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or
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The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

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