ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 20, No. 46
November 23, 2001
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +Vanity processing falls victim to FCC mail troubles
* +Ducie Island DXpedition is aborted
* +FCC lets warning stand in deliberate interference case
* +Section Manager election results announced
* +Culbertson does first space walk; new crew in the wings
* +FAR announces scholarships
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF: 
     This weekend on the radio
    +Reminder: Be sure to identify properly when operating digital modes
     International Humanitarian Award nominations due December 31
     New microwave column to debut in January QST
     ARRL test fee to remain at $10
     W1AW schedules transatlantic, OSCAR celebrations in December
     ARRL HQ gains another ham
     Southeastern Division Convention is December 1-2
     New York City-Long Island to host Ham Radio University 2002
     WRTC 2002 announces remaining national team pairings
     FCC announces Homeland Security Policy Council

+Available on ARRL Audio News

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

==>MAIL DISRUPTIONS LEAD TO VANITY PROCESSING SUSPENSION

Recently announced changes in how the FCC's Gettysburg office is receiving
and handling mail have effectively halted processing of Amateur Radio vanity
call sign applications. The ARRL has learned that the FCC has processed
vanity applications received through October 14 and that vanity applications
received after that date remain on hold for the time being.

"We understand that mail directed to the FCC Gettysburg office beginning
October 15 was being held pending the start of special handling precautions
to address any biohazard contamination concerns," said ARRL VEC Manager Bart
Jahnke, W9JJ. On a positive note, Jahnke said, the FCC is tracking the
receipt date for each piece of mail.

Because the FCC gives equal priority to paper and electronic vanity
applications, Jahnke explained, all vanity processing was being suspended
until the mail situation is resolved. Citing a need for heightened security
measures, the FCC announced November 14 that it had moved the Gettysburg
office's mailroom offsite, to the rear entrance of 35 York St, Gettysburg,
PA 17325. 

The FCC did not announce, however, that mail received at Gettysburg starting
October 15 had not yet been opened, pending arrangements to handle it
without the possibility of endangering personnel. Jahnke said vanity
processing should resume once the FCC begins to open its mail backlog. Just
when that might happen is not yet known. Vanity processing typically takes
18 days.

The Gettysburg office is where the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
processes Amateur Radio applications and issues licenses. It's also where
Special Counsel for Amateur Radio Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth has his
office.

Jahnke said the mailroom situation also could affect some Amateur Radio
renewals. He said amateurs who filed timely renewal applications may
continue to operate beyond a license's expiration date, if the mail delays
cause the license to lapse before the renewal occurs. "For persons filing
for renewal near the end of their two-year grace period, their applications
will be accepted for processing if they arrive at FCC before the grace
period expires."

The FCC said the US Postal Service will continue to accept and will divert
all mail addressed to 1270 Fairfield Road, Gettysburg--the office's physical
location--to the off-site mailroom. Until November 30, the FCC itself will
divert overnight courier deliveries for 1270 Fairfield Road to the off-site
mailroom.

==>DUCIE ISLAND DXPEDITION IS CANCELED EN ROUTE

High seas this week forced the Ducie Island DXpedition team to abandon its
already-delayed effort to reach the newest DXCC entity, located in the South
Pacific. Kan Mizoguchi, JA1BK, announced November 19 that the DXpedition was
cancelled and that the team--aboard the tri-hull sailing vessel Temarama and
at that point some 80 nautical miles from its destination--was turning
around and heading back to Pitcairn Island.

"This obviously is a big letdown for the team and DXers around the globe,"
said The Daily DX and QST "How's DX" Editor Bernie McClenny, W3UR, "however
the Ducie Island operators were concerned for their safety." McClenny called
on DXers around the world to support the Ducie team's decision to turn back
in the interest of safety.

Ducie pilot station Bill "Dr Bill" Avery, K6GNX, said JA1BK and the Ducie
team were scheduled to leave Pitcairn November 22 to return to the Gambier
Islands for their flights home. But before they left, Mike McGirr, K9AJ, an
emergency room doctor, and Vince Thompson, K5VT, a surgeon, fielded medical
questions from island residents. There is no doctor on Pitcairn. Avery said
that JA1BK has donated the team's antennas and masts and two generators to
the Pitcairn Island Amateur Radio Association for use by a future
DXpedition.

Forecasts at the time of the decision to turn back called for at seas of at
least 3 meters (approximately 10 feet) around the newest DXCC entity. Avery
said that, between the rough seas and having to shut down the diesel engines
to clean the fuel filter every few hours, it was just too risky to attempt a
landing. Earlier, poor weather and a container ship in the Pitcairn harbor
had delayed efforts to load passengers and equipment aboard the vessel. The
team had hoped to arrive on Ducie in time to begin operation last weekend,
using the call sign VP6DI.

Ducie Island became the 335th DXCC entity last week. Ducie contacts made on
or after November 16, 2001, will be eligible for DXCC credit as a result of
a favorable vote to accept the Pitcairn Island Amateur Radio Association as
an International Amateur Radio Union member-society
<http://www.iaru.org/rel011116.html>. Ducie Island has been activated
previously for the Islands On The Air program (it's IOTA OC-182), but those
earlier contacts will not count for DXCC.

==>FCC LETS DELIBERATE INTERFERENCE WARNING NOTICE STAND

FCC Special Counsel for Amateur Radio Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth will
let stand a Warning Notice sent to a Pennsylvania licensee following
accusations of deliberate interference. The complaint--which arose in part
from split-frequency contest operation--alleged that K3NM failed to shift
frequency after being notified that the station's signal was interfering
with an ongoing contact.

The FCC Warning Notice and its routine publication by ARRL and other media
ruffled some feathers within the contesting community. Some worried that
"both sides of the story" were not being told; others complained about the
public airing of unproven allegations.

John King, K5PGW, of Louisiana complained to the FCC after the September 9
incident, which occurred while K3NM was operating split mode on 40-meter SSB
during the Worked All Europe Contest. Following up, Hollingsworth sent a
Warning Notice September 12 to K3NM licensee Joseph Brue Jr.

King--an attorney--asserted that he was operating mobile and in QSO with Roy
Ezell, K9ROY, in Kentucky when K3NM came on frequency without asking if it
were in use and began calling "CQ contest." King told the FCC that he and
K9ROY attempted to alert the K3NM operator--Matt Vanni, LU9AY/W1--but were
unable to do so, because K3NM was listening on 7.083 MHz, outside the US
phone band.

King said that Ezell twice telephoned Brue, letting him know his station was
interfering and asking him to move. King maintained that the interference
continued, even after the second telephone call.

Vanni subsequently told the FCC that he could not hear K5PGW or K9ROY, even
after the telephone calls, so he continued operating. Vanni told the FCC
that K3NM's two-element beam at 112 feet was on the opposite heading from
the complainant's location. He also said that he always uses the
transceiver's "dualwatch" feature to monitor his transmitting frequency when
working split on 40 SSB.

Brue also wrote the FCC, confirming Vanni's version of events to the FCC and
adding that Vanni had asked several times if the frequency--7.210 MHz--was
in use before transmitting. Brue also verified receiving the two phone calls
from the complainants.

After deliberating over the various assertions, Hollingsworth said in an
October 30 letter to Brue that he was standing behind his Warning Notice and
said it would remain in the licensee's file.

"You could not be expected to protect communications you could not hear, and
it may be normal that with such an efficient antenna system you may not have
heard certain stations from the back of the beam antenna," Hollingsworth
allowed. "The fact remains, however, that both you and Vanni had notice,
directly from the complainant operator in two separate telephone calls, that
your station was indeed interfering with specific ongoing communications."

Hollingsworth said that, given the two telephone calls, "it was not good
Amateur practice to merely ignore the protests of the complainant and
continue operating the station without a good faith attempt at compromise or
corrective action."

==>SECTION MANAGER ELECTION RESULTS

Section manager election results have been announced for Tennessee, Alaska
and Alabama. It was a squeaker in Tennessee, where Terry Cox, KB4KA, of
Collierville, edged out David Bower, K4PZT, 540 to 538. Cox and Bower were
vying for the honor of succeeding O.D. Keaton, WA4GLS, who decided not to
run for another term. Keaton had served two stints as SM in the Volunteer
State--from 1971 until 1979 and from 1992 until the present. 

In Alaska, incumbent SM L. Kent Petty, KL5T, beat back a challenge from
David W. Stevens, KL7EB. The final vote was 154 to 104. But despite his
victory, Petty--who has been Alaska's SM since January 2000--has decided
that he no longer wants the position. He plans to step down in January,
leaving ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Rosalie White, K1STO, to
appoint a successor.

In Alabama, incumbent SM Bill Cleveland, KR4TZ, defeated Chris Sells, AC4CS,
391 to 153. Cleveland has served as Alabama SM since March 1999.

Ballots were counted November 20 at ARRL Headquarters. Due to the closeness
of the Tennessee race, counters reviewed the ballots four times. Two-year
terms for successful candidates begin January 1.

In related news, White has appointed John J. Cline, K7BDS, to succeed
Michael Elliott, K7BOI, as Idaho SM, effective January 1. Elliott is
resigning because of increased career responsibilities. Cline lives in Boise
and is a former San Diego SM.

White now is considering possible replacements for Georgia SM Sandy Donahue,
W4RU, and San Diego SM Tuck Miller, NZ6T. Donahue and Miller recently were
elected as vice directors in the Southeastern and Southwestern divisions,
respectively. They assume their new offices January 1.

==>KD5OPQ DOES FIRST SPACE WALK; NEW ISS CREW IN THE WINGS

International Space Station Expedition 3 Commander Frank Culbertson, KD5OPQ,
and Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov conducted a five-hour space walk, or
extra-vehicular activity (EVA), as NASA calls it, on November 12. The
EVA--Culbertson's first, but the last for the current crew--completed the
external outfitting of the PIRS docking compartment on the ISS. Flight
Engineer Mikhail Tyurin monitored the activities from inside the ISS and
operated the robotic arm, providing television views for flight controllers
in Houston and Moscow. 

The ISS Expedition 4 crew of Commander Yuri Onufrienko and Flight Engineers
Dan Bursch, KC5PNU, and Carl Walz, KC5TIE, launches aboard the shuttle
Endeavour November 29. In addition to a new crew, new Amateur Radio antennas
are manifested aboard the shuttle for transport to the ISS. The new antennas
will be installed around the perimeter of the Service Module, allowing
future operation from HF to microwave frequencies. The HF antenna is made up
of a flexible tape that will work on 10-meters--and possibly 15 and 20
meters. 

The ISS is on orbit at an average altitude of 247 statute miles above Earth.
For more information about the ISS, visit NASA's Human Space Flight Web
site, <http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/>.--NASA, ARISS, via AMSAT News Service 

==>FAR ANNOUNCES 2002 SCHOLARSHIPS

The Foundation for Amateur Radio, a non-profit organization headquartered in
Washington, DC, plans to administer 62 scholarships for the 2002-2003
academic year. FAR--composed of more than 75 local area Amateur Radio
Clubs--fully funds seven of these scholarships using the income from grants
and its annual hamfest. The remaining 55 are administered by FAR without
cost to the donors. 

Amateurs Radio licensees may compete for these awards, if they plan to
pursue a full-time course of studies beyond high school and are enrolled in
or have been accepted for enrollment at an accredited university, college or
technical school. The awards range from $500 to $2500. Preference in some
cases goes to residents of certain geographical areas or to those pursuing
certain academic programs. FAR encouraged clubs--especially those in
Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and
Wisconsin--to announce and promote these scholarship opportunities. 

For more information or an application, send a letter or QSL card,
postmarked prior to April 30, 2002, to FAR Scholarships, PO Box 831,
Riverdale, MD 20783. The Foundation for Amateur Radio is an exempt
organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
It is devoted exclusively to promoting the interests of Amateur Radio and
those scientific, literary and educational pursuits that advance the
purposes of the Amateur Radio Service. For more information, visit the FAR
Web site <http://www.amateurradio-far.org/>. 

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Solar sage Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Because of the
short work week and ARRL Headquarters schedule (ARRL was closed Thursday and
Friday, November 22-23), this update was prepared November 21 and lacks the
usual solar flux, sunspot numbers and geomagnetic data.

Jeff Hartley, N8II, in West Virginia (FM19) reported the best European
6-meter opening of this solar cycle on November 16. He reports working 117
Europeans from 1340 to 1728 UTC. He said British calls dominated, but he
also worked as far east as Poland and Bulgaria. Europeans were working as
far west as Ohio, Michigan, Arkansas and Texas.

It has been a quiet week, with no big geomagnetic upsets. The most active
day was Monday, when the planetary A index was 16 and K indices went as high
as four. Solar flux and sunspot numbers have been declining.

The latest projection calls for solar flux of 180, 175, 170, 170 and 175 for
Wednesday through Sunday, and planetary A indices of 10, 10, 10, 8 and 8 for
those same days. Although the forecast is for moderate A indices, there is a
chance that sunspot 9704 could emit some Earth-directed explosions.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The CQ Worldwide DX Contest (CW) is the weekend
of November 24-25. JUST AHEAD: The TARA RTTY Sprint, the TOPS Activity
80-Meter Contest, the Tennessee QSO Party and the QRP ARCI Holiday Spirits
Sprint are the weekend of December 1-2. The ARRL 160-Meter Contest is the
weekend of December 8-9. See the ARRL Contest Branch page,
http://www.arrl.org/contests/ and
http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/weeklycont.html for more info.

* Reminder: Be sure to identify properly when operating digital modes: The
ARRL reminds operators who are active on the digital modes, including RTTY,
PSK31, packet, PACTOR and AMTOR, to identify properly in accordance with FCC
Part 97 rules (Section 97.119). The rules require a station (except space or
telecommand stations) to transmit its assigned call sign on its transmitting
frequency at the end of each communication and at least every 10 minutes
during a communication. Part 97 also states: "No station may transmit
unidentified communications or signals, or transmit as the station call sign
any call sign not authorized to the station." Amateurs monitoring
unidentified or otherwise suspicious digital transmissions should report
details to FCC Special Counsel for Amateur Radio Enforcement Riley
Hollingsworth, <rholling@fcc.gov>;. Recordings of such transmissions also are
invited.

* International Humanitarian Award nominations due December 31: How many
"unsung heroes" are in the world today? December 31, 2001, is the nomination
deadline for the ARRL 2001 International Humanitarian Award. This award is
dedicated to those amateurs who, through Amateur Radio, are devoted to
promoting the welfare of mankind. Any radio amateur or group of amateurs
worldwide who has provided extraordinary service through their Amateur Radio
skills for the benefit of others in times of crisis or disaster is qualified
to receive the award. To nominate, send a brief description of the events
and actions as well as contact information for the nominee to Jean Wolfgang,
WB3IOS <jwolfgang@arrl.org>;. The 2000 winner of the International
Humanitarian Award was the Hurricane Watch Net and Net Manager Jerry Herman,
N3BDW <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2001/01/25/2/>.

* New microwave column to debut in January QST: QST is proud to present the
debut of a new bimonthly column, "Microwavelengths," starting in the January
2002 issue. The column editor is Tom Williams, WA1MBA. Williams holds a
graduate degree in computer science and directs the development of imaging,
software and millimeter-wave technologies as a consultant. His ham radio
interests are primarily VHF, UHF and microwaves, and he is active on all
bands from 144 MHz to 10 GHz from his home in Shutesbury, Massachusetts. He
has done some pioneering work in the EHF bands of 120 and 145 GHz.
Originally licensed as K1URO at the age of 15, Williams says he finds great
satisfaction in getting on a new band and making a tough microwave contact. 

* ARRL test fee to remain at $10: The ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator
Amateur Radio test fee will remain at $10 for 2002. The 2002 National Exam
Day dates are (spring) April 27-28 and (fall) September 28-29, 2002--the
last full weekends in April and September each year.

* W1AW schedules transatlantic, OSCAR celebrations in December: Maxim
Memorial Station W1AW will be on the air December 3-7 to honor the 80th
anniversary of the 1921 transatlantic tests. Listen for W1AW/80 on many HF,
VHF and UHF bands (including satellites). W1AW also will celebrate the 40th
anniversary of the first Amateur Radio satellite--OSCAR I--launched into
orbit on December 12, 1961. W1AW will be on the air as W1AW/40 December
10-14 on as many of the active satellites as possible. A special QSL will be
available for contacts or SWL reports on both events. QSL requests for
W1AW/80 and W1AW/40, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Include a
self-addressed, stamped envelope (or appropriate number of IRCs) with each
request. 

* ARRL HQ gains another ham: ARRL Book Team Secretary Helen Dalton, KB1HLF,
is the latest addition to the roster of hams on the ARRL HQ staff. Dalton
received her Technician ticket November 19. The very next day she made her
first four contacts in rapid succession. Senior Assistant Technical Editor
Larry Wolfgang, WR1B, made the first lunch-time 2-meter contact from his
office to hers. That was followed in rapid succession by QSOs with Club and
Educational Correspondent Margie Bourgoin, KB1DCO, and Educational Programs
Coordinator Jean Wolfgang, WB3IOS. Dalton and 14 classmates graduated from a
recent Technician licensing class at which ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP,
signed each student's certificate of class completion. 

* Southeastern Division Convention is December 1-2: The ARRL Southeastern
Division Convention will be held December 1-2 at the Manatee County Civic
Center, Palmetto, Florida, in conjunction with the 26th annual Tampa Bay
Hamfest. Featured speaker is ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP. ARRL Lab
Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI, will offer five technical presentations. The full
slate of convention program topics includes the Amateur Radio Emergency
Service, the National Traffic System, low-power (QRP) operating, PSK31,
SKYWARN ARES, NTS, QRP, PSK-31, and SKYWARN. Amateur Radio examinations also
will be offered. For more information, visit the Tampa Bay Hamfest Web site,
<http://www.fgcarc.org> or e-mail info@fgcarc.org.--Paul Knupke, N4PK

* New York City-Long Island to host Ham Radio University 2002: The New York
City-Long Island Section Convention January 20, 2002, will include the third
annual Ham Radio University. HRU 2002, a technical education forum, will
feature 20 hour-long presentations, with forums geared to the nonham as well
as to the experienced amateur. The focus will be hands-on, with many
demonstrations including emergency communication techniques. An "Ask the
Experts" forum and an HF special event station will round out the day. The
convention, sponsored by the Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club, will be
held at the Babylon Town Hall Annex, Phelps Lane, North Babylon, Long
Island, New York. For more information on HRU 2002, contact NYC-LI Section
Manager George Tranos, N2GA, <n2ga@arrl.org>;.

* WRTC 2002 announces remaining national team pairings: The WRTC 2002
committee has announced that all national teams have now been selected for
next year's event in Finland. Czech Republic: Vojta Zeman, OK2ZU, and Karel
Karmasin, OK2FD; Spain: Eduardo Satrk, EA3NY, and Fernando Martines, EA3KU;
Belgium: Mark Demeuleneere, ON4WW, and Peter Casier, ON6TT; Poland: Bogdan
Chorazyk, SP3RBR, and Andrzej Jarzabkowski, SP8NR; France: Gerard Parat,
F6GFZ, and Laurent Blin, F5NLY; Japan: Koji Tahara, JM1CAX, and Satoshi
Nakamura, JE1JKL; Italy: Stefano Brioschi, IK2QEI, and Maurizio Panicara,
I4JMY. Team Asiatic Russia has changed. The new team is Mikhail Klokov,
RZ9UA, and Gennadij Kolmakov, UA9MA. The deadline for "wildcard" team
applications is November 30, 2001. Visit the WRTC 2002 Web site
<http://www.wrtc2002.org> for more information. 

* FCC announces Homeland Security Policy Council: The FCC has announced the
creation of a Homeland Security Policy Council. The Council's missions are
to assist the Commission in evaluating and strengthening measures for
protecting US communications services; to assist the Commission in ensuring
rapid restoration of communications services and facilities that have been
disrupted as the result of threats to, or actions against, our Nation's
homeland security; and to ensure that public safety, health and other
emergency and defense personnel have effective communications available to
them to assist the public as needed. The Homeland Security Policy Council
will consist of senior staff from each of the Commission's bureaus and will
be directed by FCC Chief of Staff Marsha MacBride. Deputy directors will be
Linda Blair and Brad Berry, both deputy chiefs in the Enforcement Bureau.
Peter Tenhula, Senior Legal Advisor to Chairman Powell, will serve as
Special Counsel.

=========================================================== 
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,
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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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