*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 20, No. 41 October 12, 2001 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +SATERN support marks a month in New York City * +Ham radio reports detail hurricane's devastation * +ARRL encourages letters to boost CC&R awareness * +FCC says it expects band plan compliance * +IARU Region 2 Conference wraps up in Guatemala * +IARU Administrative Council resolves to end Morse testing * +AMSAT-NA Symposium attracts upbeat crowd * +ARRL welcomes chief development officer * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio Clarification Sign up for Emergency Communications Level I on-line course! Novice Spectrum Survey deadline is October 15 Wisconsin amateur antenna bill, AB-368, advances to Senate Elmer stories wanted ARRL not soliciting for affinity credit cards DXCC credit now approved for TT8DX operation Noted DXer Pete Billon, K6JG, SK +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>SATERN OPERATION MARKS ONE MONTH IN NEW YORK CITY One month into its disaster relief support operation in New York City, Salvation Army Team Emergency Response Network (SATERN) volunteers are holding up well. SATERN Amateur Radio Liaison Officer Jeff Schneller, N2HPO, says the operation could run for several more weeks. "Our current team of Amateur Radio operators is doing a fantastic job," Schneller said. "The operation is going great!" SATERN is now "making do" with at least six Amateur Radio volunteers per day, from about 9 AM until 11 PM, primarily to support the Salvation Army World Trade Center canteen operations, although Schneller said an even dozen for the two daily shifts would be ideal. SATERN last week eliminated its overnight shift of radio operator volunteers. Operators have come from all over, including New Hampshire, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and Missouri. Schneller said he even had offers of help from England and Canada. One operator, Janet Stonecipher, KC0IET, arrived on her own from Missouri three weeks ago. "Janet seems to want to stay for the duration but is overdue for rotation out," Schneller said. Another Missourian, Anna Balmer, arrived with a REACT team and stayed on. "She is here working with us under extreme circumstances," Schneller explained. "Her brother was killed in the Pentagon attack." He said two local groups--the Broadcast Employees Amateur Radio Society (BEARS) and the Electchester VHF Club have been providing exclusive use of their repeaters since Day One. Schneller, who's in the fire alarm and sprinkler business, also has been involved from the start, and--with the understanding and support of his customers--has been logging some long hours. Carlos Varon, K2LCV, has been Schneller's backup and has taken over as scheduling coordinator for volunteers. Recently, however, Schneller has had to start paying more attention to his business again. Even so, he said, "most work days get cut short to resolve problems." Most employers seem to be supporting the volunteers, he added. SATERN radio volunteers have been handling base station duties at Salvation Army Headquarters on 14th Street in Manhattan, working on roving patrols to check up on various Salvation Army canteen sites to see what might be needed, and providing communication at key field sites, aboard supply trucks and at the distribution warehouse. Along with physical nourishment, The Salvation Army is supplying emotional and spiritual sustenance at the World Trade Center disaster site through its two prayer centers. "Thanks to all the Amateur Radio operators who have come to assist and made this a successful operation," Schneller said, adding that he also appreciated the many other offers to help. SATERN now is limiting its fresh volunteers to those available from the Greater New York City area. Schneller strongly advised all Amateur Radio operators to prepare for the future by first getting acquainted with and joining their local ARES or SATERN teams, then by taking the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course <http://www.arrl.org/cce;. More information about SATERN is available on the SATERN Web site <http://www.satern.org>. ==>AMATEUR RADIO REPORTS TELL OF HURRICANE IRIS' DAMAGE Amateur Radio reports this week told of severe damage from Hurricane Iris, as the storm struck the Central American nation of Belize. Reports gathered via the Hurricane Watch Net by W4EHW operators at the National Hurricane Center say Iris--subsequently downgraded to a tropical depression--destroyed houses and claimed more than a dozen lives. After passing through the Caribbean as a Category 1 storm, Iris built into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 140 MPH. Iris made landfall October 8 on the southern coast of Belize. According to W4EHW Deputy Amateur Radio Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4JR, the net received reports via Bruce Miller, V31JU, of severe damage to the Placentia and Big Creek villages. Ripoll said the reports cited severe structural damage to all of the houses in Placentia and Big Creek--well-known as diving and fishing destinations for tourists and having a local population of about 1500 people. "Many houses are completely blown away," Miller was quoted as saying. "Most houses that had concrete block walls, had no roofs." No lives were lost, however. Charter boats moored off Placentia fared much worse. Ripoll said the 120-foot Wave Dancer, a vessel that takes scuba enthusiasts on diving excursions, had capsized. Belize authorities later recovered the bodies of 19 victims, including 17 members of a Richmond, Virginia, diving club. Ripoll said ham radio reports came from many V31 stations and from vessels trying to ride out the storm. One regular reporting station was Allison Barton, KF6HYJ/mm, aboard the 42-foot sailboat Dreamer near New Haven, Belize, with her husband, Mike. As Iris approached landfall, KF6HYJ/mm came on the air to report that the vessel had broken free of all four anchors and run aground. Although the sailboat sustained damage, the couple was reported to be safe and unharmed, Ripoll said. Over the weekend, the Hurricane Watch Net and W4EHW's Amateur Radio Group received many live surface-weather reports from Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Honduras, Roatan Island and Belize, as Iris tracked through the Caribbean, Ripoll said. W4EHW and the Hurricane Watch Net first activated Saturday, October 6, and--with some breaks--stayed on the air through the early hours of Tuesday, October 9, on the HWN's 14.325 MHz frequency. W4EHW also received reports via the Internet. Forecasters use the real-time surface reports to help them predict a storm's path, intensity and damage potential. ==>ARRL MEMBERS' HELP NEEDED WITH CC&R EFFORT ARRL is encouraging members to write their members of Congress in an effort to build awareness in Congress that private land-use regulations have become a real problem for many Amateur Radio operators. ARRL Legislative and Public Affairs Manager Steve Mansfield, N1MZA, says support from the amateur community will help to backstop the League's efforts to meet with elected representatives and staffers on Capitol Hill to discuss possible legislation. "In the meantime, we continue to prowl the halls of Congress in search of supporters!" Mansfield said. As condominium complexes and planned communities proliferate, covenants, conditions and restrictions, or CC&Rs, have become a growing obstacle to amateurs who want to erect antennas. At its July meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors adopted a goal of legislative action to help overcome the restrictions that CC&Rs impose on Amateur Radio antennas. Amateurs who are affected by CC&Rs--or who know someone in their Congressional district who is--are invited to adapt the ARRL's sample letter to their own situations and consider sending it to their Congressional representative. A sample of the letter is on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/govrelations/ccr-sample-letter.html>. To find a Senator's mailing address, visit the US Senate Web site <http://www.senate.gov/contacting/index.cfm>. To find a Representative's mailing address, visit the US House of Representatives Web site, <http://www.house.gov/writerep/>. Those writing are requested to share their correspondence with Steve Mansfield, N1MZA, Legislative and Public Affairs Manager, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; email@example.com. ==>FCC SAYS BAND PLANS DO MATTER The FCC recently asked three amateurs to respond to complaints alleging that they deliberately transmitted SSB on top of CW stations operating in the vicinity of 1820 to 1825 kHz. The FCC has never designated mode-specific subbands in the 160-meter amateur band. Instead, operators are asked to voluntarily adhere to the ARRL band plan, revised this past summer, which recommends a lower limit of 1843 kHz for SSB operation. In the wake of the complaints, FCC Special Counsel for Amateur Radio Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth wrote George Wehrung, W5TZ, and Dennis Clauder, KT5S--both of Texas--and Derrick Vogt, WA4TWM, of Kansas in mid-September. Hollingsworth asked each to respond to allegations from several other operators that their SSB transmissions deliberately interfered with attempts by others to operate on CW between 1820 and 1830 kHz. Copies of the complaints were sent to all three operators. "Band plans are voluntary in nature," Hollingsworth acknowledged in each of the similarly worded letters. He said the FCC depends upon voluntary compliance because it minimizes the necessity for the Commission to be called in to resolve amateur problems. "Where interference results from band plans not being followed," Hollingsworth continued, "the Commission expects substantial justification to be shown by the operators ignoring the band plans." Hollingsworth requested that Wehrung, Clauder and Vogt each reply to the complaints within 20 days. ==>IARU REGION 2 CONFERENCE CONCLUDES The International Amateur Radio Union, Region 2, held its 14th General Assembly in Guatemala City, October 1-5. Twenty-one IARU member-societies from throughout the Americas were represented. Heading the ARRL delegation was President Jim Haynie, W5JBP. He was assisted by First Vice President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, and staff members David Sumner, K1ZZ, Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, and Jon Siverling, WB3ERA. Among other actions, the conference: * Endorsed the objective of a worldwide allocation of at least 300 kHz for the amateur service at 7 MHz, while maintaining a 300-kHz allocation for Region 2 amateurs as "an essential and non-negotiable requirement." The conference emphasized that other objectives being sought by international broadcasters "should not be permitted to detract from reaching" these goals. * Asked the IARU Administrative Council to study other ways to reduce interference from the users of CB radio equipment, particularly in the 10 and 12 meter bands. * Urged Region 2 member-societies to support a coordinated approach to secondary allocations to the amateur service in the low-frequency bands 135.7-137.8 kHz and 160-190 kHz. * Requested the Region 2 Executive Committee to study the possibility of an amateur allocation near 5 MHz, similar to the domestic allocation recently requested by the ARRL in the United States. * Expressed appreciation for actions by the administration of Guatemala to preserve and improve the amateur allocation at 430-440 MHz. * Expressed concern about unauthorized operation in the amateur VHF and UHF bands and encouraged member-societies to take appropriate action, particularly against continuing commercial interference to amateur satellite uplinks in the 2-meter band. * Supported the revision of Article S25 of the international Radio Regulations, as proposed by the IARU Administrative Council, including the incorporation by reference of Recommendation ITU-R M.1544. This would permit the Recommendation concerning operator qualifications in the Amateur Service to be updated in the appropriate ITU-R Study Group rather than being drafted in a World Radiocommunication Conference. Elected as president of Region 2 for a three-year term was past president Pedro Seidemann, YV5BPG. Outgoing president Tom Atkins, VE3CDM, declined to seek re-election after two terms. Elected as vice president was Dario Jurado, HP1DJ. He replaces Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AMH, who declined to seek re-election. ARRL International Affairs Vice President Rod Stafford, W6ROD, was elected secretary. Noel Donawa, 9Y4NED, was re-elected treasurer and Ron Szama, LU2AH, was re-elected to the Executive Committee. Newly elected to the Executive Committee were Tim Ellam, VE6SH, Pedro Rodriguez, CO2RP, Marco Tulio Gudiel, TG9AGD, and Gustavo de Faria Franco, PT2ADM. ==>IARU ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL CALLS FOR END TO MORSE REQUIREMENT Saying that it was "setting aside any previous relevant decisions," the International Amateur Radio Union Administrative Council this week resolved that IARU policy supports "the removal of Morse code testing as an ITU requirement for an amateur license to operate on frequencies below 30 MHz." The Council further resolved to urge member societies--as an interim measure--to seek Morse code testing speeds "not exceeding five words per minute." The resolution was adopted during the IARU Administrative Council meeting October 6-8 in Guatemala City, Guatemala, which followed the 14th General Assembly of IARU Region 2. The Council's Morse resolution took into consideration the approval--without opposition--of ITU-R Recommendation M.1544. That document sets out the minimum qualifications of radio amateurs. The Council also said it recognizes that Morse code "continues to be an effective and efficient mode of communication used by many thousands of radio amateurs" but that Morse code proficiency as requirement for an HF amateur license "is no longer relevant to the healthy future of Amateur Radio." The principal business at the Administrative Council session was to review the status of IARU preparations for WRC-2003. Agenda items of concern to amateurs include, among others, the harmonization of amateur and broadcasting allocations near 7 MHz, the adequacy of HF broadcasting allocations below 10 MHz, and possible revisions to Article S25 of the international Radio Regulations. Among other things, Article S25 spells out Amateur Radio operator qualifications. It now provides that Amateur Radio license applicants demonstrate the ability "to send correctly by hand and to receive correctly by ear, texts in Morse code signals" for operation below 30 MHz. The IARU Administrative Council supports the revision of Article S25 and the incorporation by reference of Recommendation M.1544. The IARU Council selected the theme of the next World Amateur Radio Day, April 18, 2002, as "Amateur Radio: Continuing Innovation in Communication Technology." ==>AMSAT-NA SYMPOSIUM DRAWS A CROWD IN ATLANTA Amateur Radio satellite enthusiasts from around the US--and a few from abroad--converged in Atlanta October 5-8 for the 19th AMSAT-NA Symposium and Annual Meeting. The event attracted approximately 150 amateurs, who heard presentations on a wide range of amateur satellite-related topics. The problem of interference from non-amateur intruders on VHF and UHF satellite bands was a topic raised in more than one forum during the weekend. The majority of the interference--particularly on 2 meters--has been blamed on taxicab operations in Mexico. "This particular source is Mexico," Soifer said. "It's been pretty well documented." Some conference participants said individuals using amateur gear as a personal communication service also are to blame. Soifer, who chaired a VHF-UHF committee during the just-completed International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 Conference in Guatemala, said the issue got "quite a bit of attention" during conference. He advised a "use it or lose it" approach to combating interference. All agreed that reporting any intruders promptly to the IARU Monitoring System <firstname.lastname@example.org> would be beneficial. During the Symposium's IARU forum, Soifer reported that Region 2 IARU member-societies were urged to report such interference to their national administrations. In Mexico, complaints already have been registered with COFETEL--the Mexican Federal Telecommunications Commission--and AMSAT has been prompting the amateur community to report such interference when they monitor it. "The idea is to keep the pressure up on Mexico," Soifer said. AMSAT Treasurer Art Feller, W4ART, agreed. "The more noise that gets made . . . the more likely it is to get attention," he said. "So, report, report, report!" IARU Satellite Adviser Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, said keeping the bands active and reporting and documenting intruders help to keep interference away and lessen demands on amateur spectrum. "It adds to the ammunition that the IARU can use at the various conferences," he said. Symposium attendees also packed presentations on the progress of the AO-40 satellite, the planned "Project JJ" satellite AMSAT-NA announced earlier this year, the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station effort, and various technical topics relating to amateur satellite work. Steve Diggs, W4EPI, chaired the conference. At the AMSAT-NA Board meeting, AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, was re-elected without opposition to another term. Haighton told the annual business meeting that AMSAT-NA now has more than 5000 members "and continues to grow." Proceedings of the AMSAT-NA 19th Space Symposium and AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting are available from ARRL for $20. Visit the ARRL Products Catalog, <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=8535>. Audio of the 2001 AMSAT Symposium and Annual Meeting sessions will available in RealAudio format via the Houston AMSAT Net Web site operated by Bruce Paige, KK5DO <http://www.amsatnet.com/>. The 2002 AMSAT Symposium and Annual Meeting will take place November 8-11 in Fort Worth, Texas. ==>ARRL WELCOMES CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER The ARRL has a new chief development officer. Mary Hobart of Wethersfield, Connecticut, officially assumed her new duties at ARRL Headquarters on October 1. "We are all deeply impressed by her depth and breadth of knowledge and particularly by her energy," said ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ. Hobart's primary job will be to create fund-raising strategies, garner philanthropic support for ARRL programs and provide leadership in support of program development, advocacy and ongoing operations. Prior to coming to the League, Hobart served as vice president for development at Connecticut Public Television and Radio in Hartford, where she managed a comprehensive $6.8 million development program. She has been a development professional for 17 years with a career focus on public broadcasting membership organizations. A native of Washington, DC, Hobart holds a BA in history and has completed work toward an MBA. Hobart's two main passions are gardening and international travel. Among other accomplishments, she has led several safaris in Kenya. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Propagation prognosticator Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: All indices were down this week. Average daily sunspot numbers were off 87 points from last week and nearly 133 points below the week before. Average daily solar flux has dropped nearly 57 points from last week and 82 points from the week before. Geomagnetic conditions were relatively stable this week, with the average daily planetary A index down 18.8 points. October 4 was fairly active, with a planetary A index of 19 and K indices as high as five. October 8 and 9 were unsettled with planetary A indices of 15 on both days, and planetary K index as high as four. The latest forecast shows solar flux at 170 on Friday through Sunday, then rising to 185 by Wednesday. Holographic images of the far side of the sun show a large sunspot region that should appear around Monday or Tuesday. Look for a big jump in solar flux by next Friday, October 19, when the sunspot group moves toward optimal position for influencing Earth. Sunspot numbers for October 4 through 10 were 231, 160, 181, 154, 130, 99 and 133, with a mean of 155.4. The 10.7-cm flux was 186.5, 176.9, 180.4, 172.7, 171.2, 176.4 and 178.7, with a mean of 177.5. Estimated planetary A indices were 19, 9, 8, 4, 15, 15 and 8 with a mean of 11.1. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The ARRL International EME Competition, the 902 MHz and Above Fall Sprint, the Oceania DX Contest (CW), the EU Autumn Sprint (CW), the Pennsylvania QSO Party, the FISTS Fall Sprint, the Iberoamericano Contest, and the North American Sprint (RTTY) are the weekend of October 13-14. See the ARRL Contest Branch page, http://www.arrl.org/contests/ and http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/weeklycont.html for more info. * Clarification: A report in The ARRL Letter, Vol 20, No 40, mentioned the SmartBeaconing feature in conjunction with the Tiny Trak II, a miniature TNC designed for portable applications. Steve Bragg, KA9MVA, points out that the SmartBeaconing algorithm comes from HamHUD, another APRS device he and Tony Arnerich, KD7TA, invented. For more information, see "How SmartBeaconing Works" on the HamHUD Web site, <http://hh2.hamhud.net/smartbeacon.html>. * Sign up for Emergency Communications Level I on-line course! October registration for the Level I--Introduction to Amateur Radio Emergency Communications on-line course (EC-001) will open Monday, October 15, at 4 PM Eastern Time. Two classes of 50 students will be processed during the week, and on-line classes will begin the week of October 22. After 4 PM Monday--and until all seats are filled--the registration form can be found on the ARRL Course Registration page <https://www.arrl.org/forms/cce/>. Answers to most questions are on the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Home page <http://www.arrl.org/cce> and via the links found in the small box on the right-hand side of that screen. To learn more, contact ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Coordinator Dan Miller, K3UFG, email@example.com. Registration for Level II--Intermediate Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (EC-002) will re-open Monday, October 29. * Novice Spectrum Survey deadline is October 15: The deadline is Monday, October 15, to express your opinion 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. The Novice Spectrum Study Committee--chaired by ARRL International Affairs Vice President Rod Stafford, W6ROD--has been examining the status and usage of the present Novice HF bands with an eye toward determining what changes might be needed now that the FCC no longer issues new Novice licenses. More than 4000 responses have been filed to date. The Novice Spectrum Study survey is available to ARRL members on the Web <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/NoviceSurvey.html>. Members may complete and submit the survey only once. Comments from members and non-members alike also are invited via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Those completing the survey are asked to first read through the entire text of the survey to understand some of the committee's assumptions regarding what questions to ask and what band segments and modes to offer as predefined options. * Wisconsin amateur antenna bill, AB-368, advances to Senate: Following passage on a voice vote earlier this month, the Wisconsin Amateur Radio antenna bill, Assembly Bill 368, is now in the Wisconsin Senate. AB-368 would codify the FCC's doctrine of limited pre-emption, PRB-1, into state law and require localities to "reasonably accommodate" Amateur Radio communication. Opposition to the measure has come from the League of Municipalities and the City of Milwaukee. The bill is now in the Senate Committee on Universities, Housing and Government Operations, chaired by Sen Mark Meyer. Meyer recently indicated in correspondence with a bill supporter that he understands the bill's importance to Amateur Radio operators. "In fact, I myself grew up with ham radio and fully support the bill," he said. Meyer said AB-368 would definitely be among the measures he plans to schedule for further committee action. Meyer could hold another public hearing before his committee votes on whether to send the measure before the full Wisconsin Senate. Information on how to contact Wisconsin lawmakers is available via the Badger State Smoke Signals Web site, <http://www.bsss.org.>. A copy of the pending legislation is on the Wisconsin Legislature Web site, <http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2001/data/AB-368.pdf>--Badger State Smoke Signals *Elmer stories wanted: Attention, clubs! Is there someone in your club who is especially good at Elmering (mentoring) new hams? Write and tell us what that person does that goes above and beyond the ordinary. A Web feature--"Elmers: A Guiding Ham" (similar to "Club Spotlight")--has debuted on ARRLWeb and awaits your story. Now's the chance to put your Elmer in the spotlight! Send your information to Margie Bourgoin, KB1DCO, ARRL Field and Educational Services, email@example.com This is your time to publicly praise that special mentor! * ARRL not soliciting for affinity credit cards: The ARRL is not telemarketing amateurs to sign up for an affinity credit card. Some ARRL members have reported being solicited for such products that were said to be offered in connection with an Amateur Radio organization. The ARRL is not sponsoring these solicitations and has no plans to do so in the future. * DXCC credit now approved for TT8DX operation: Through the help of recent inquiries on the Internet, the ARRL DXCC Desk has received and accepted documentation for TT8DX (Chad). Those who submitted TT8DX previously and were denied credit may contact DXCC <firstname.lastname@example.org> and have their records updated without having to resubmit cards.--DXCC Desk * Noted DXer Pete Billon, K6JG, SK: John P. "Pete" Billon, K6JG, of Arroyo Grande, California, died October 7 following a long illness. He was 80. A member of ARRL a ham for more than 40 years, Billion was an A-1 Operator Club and DXCC Honor Roll member. He achieved #1 DXCC Honor Roll on Mixed (366) and Phone (363). He also was a charter member of the California Central Coast DX Club. A pilot during World War II, he later flew for United Air Lines. A memorial service was scheduled for Saturday, October 13, at the Lady Family Mortuary, 555 Fairoaks Ave, Arroyo Grande, California. Survivors include his wife, Jessie, K6GJ.--W6KFV via The Daily DX =========================================================== 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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