ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 03
January 18, 2002
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +ARRL Board re-elects President Haynie
* +New ham radio antenna installed on ISS
* +Mississippi youngsters talk to NA1SS
* +Texas man fined $10,000 for unlicensed operation
* +ARRL offers "How To" chart on antenna restrictions
* +Competitors sought for 2002 ARDF World Championships
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF: 
     This weekend on the radio
     Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course January registration
     New ARRL section pages debut
    +ARRL Foundation scholarship deadline looms
     Help available for viewing and filing FCC comments
     ARRL Vice Director Receives Distinguished Service Award
     CQ VHF to return as a quarterly
     Articles sought for ARRL's Ham Radio . . . Planning for the Future
     RSGB elects a new president

+Available on ARRL Audio News

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

==>PRESIDENT HAYNIE RE-ELECTED; ARRL BOARD TACKLES CHALLENGING AGENDA

As expected, the ARRL Board of Directors has unanimously re-elected
President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, to a new two-year term. Haynie said defining
Amateur Radio's role in homeland security will top his list of initiatives
for his second term. 

"We have a great role we could play in homeland security," Haynie said. "The
problem we have is getting Amateur Radio introduced to the proper agencies."
He said federal agencies "need a big education on what Amateur Radio does." 

Meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, January 18 and 19, the Board also elected
former Southwestern Division Director Fried Heyn, WA6WZO, as Third Vice
President. Heyn will replace incumbent Third VP (and former Roanoke Division
Director) John Kanode, N4MM, who also was a candidate. All other ARRL
officers were re-elected unanimously. 

The Board elected Rick Roderick, K5UR, to replace Heyn on the ARRL Executive
Committee. Former Southeastern Division Vice Director Evelyn Gauzens, W4WYR,
was elected as an ARRL honorary vice president. 

The Board was expected to review a wide range of FCC proceedings and
regulatory issues. The list includes consideration of the
possibility--raised again recently by Haynie--that the ARRL work toward
getting a bill introduced in Congress on the issue of CC&Rs--deed covenants,
conditions and restrictions. "We're going to be talking about that at length
and what strategy we're going to use as far as congressional support,"
Haynie said. The League has been unsuccessful in efforts to get the FCC to
incorporate CC&Rs under its limited federal preemption policy known as
PRB-1.

Also up for discussion is the band threat posed by SAVI Technology's
plan--and now tentatively agreed to by the FCC--to deploy unlicensed
transient RF identification devices between 425 and 435 MHz in the 70-cm
band. The League maintains that deploying such devices under the
Commission's Part 15 rules could result in significant interference to
amateur operations. Comments on the proposal are due February 12 (for more
information, see "Threats to Our Amateur Bands"
<http://www.arrl.org/news/bandthreat/>).

Haynie said the Board also will be considering the controversial topic of
whether to eliminate "Section News" and contest results from QST and move
these to the ARRL Web site as a cost-saving measure. "That's being debated
at great length," Haynie said. Section News pages have been available on the
Web site since January 1 (see "New ARRL section pages debut," below).

The Board also will hear a formal report from the Novice Spectrum Study
Committee and consider action based on its recommendations. The committee
last month advised eliminating the CW Novice/Technician Plus subbands, as
such, and permitting Novice and Tech Plus (or Technician with Element 1
credit) licensees to operate CW on General-class 80, 40, 15 and 10-meter CW
allocations at up to 200 W output. The committee proposed refarming the
current Novice/Tech Plus subbands, in part to allow expansion of phone
allocations on 80, 40 and 15 meters.

Attending for the first time as a new director will be Southwestern Division
Director Art Goddard, W6XD, who succeeded Heyn. Newcomers to the back bench
at this session include incoming ARRL Southwestern Division Vice Director
Tuck Miller, NZ6T, and Southeastern Division Vice Director Sandy Donahue,
W4RU. All took office January 1.

==>ONE UP, THREE TO GO: NEW AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA INSTALLED IN SPACE!

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station got a new antenna it can
call its own, thanks to a  January 14 spacewalk by Expedition 4 crew members
Yuri Onufrienko, RK3DUO, and Carl Walz, KC5TIE. ARISS Board Chairman Frank
Bauer, KA3HDO, says another of the four new ARISS antennas could be
installed January 25.

"It was beautiful to watch," Bauer told ARRL. "It went like clockwork,
everything deploying just as it was supposed to."

While crewmate Dan Bursch, KD5PNU, monitored and videotaped the
spacewalk--or EVA--from inside the ISS, Onufrienko and Walz first relocated
a Russian cargo crane used to maneuver equipment and spacewalkers. Then,
they installed the flexible-tape VHF-UHF Amateur Radio antenna on a handrail
at the end of the Zvezda Service Module--the crew's living quarters. The
ARISS initial ham station gear--single-band hand-held transceivers for 2
meters and 70 cm--is installed in the Zarya Functional Cargo Block. NA1SS
currently uses antennas that were installed to aid docking operations and
EVAs. The new VHF-UHF antenna is the first one designed for and dedicated
specifically to support ARISS operations. 

Bauer said no decision has been made yet on which of the remaining three
ARISS antennas will be mounted during the scheduled January 25 EVA. Three of
the antennas are for VHF-UHF, while the fourth will support HF, although no
HF gear is aboard the ISS at this point. Installation of the new antenna on
Zvezda paves the way for two separate ham stations aboard Space Station
Alpha.

"It was pretty exciting to see the unfurled ISS ham antenna system
permanently mounted on the outside edge of the Service Module," Bauer said.
"The antenna system looked breathtaking from the videos we witnessed while
supporting the EVA."

ARISS ARRL representative Rosalie White, K1STO, said she, too, was pleased
to see this phase of the project coming together. "We started all this in
1998--and now we have a permanent antenna on the outside of the station.
Pretty cool!"

Bauer credited Lou McFadin, W5DID; Mark Steiner, K3MS; Ken Nichols, KD3VK;
and Mark Clausen with providing support for the antenna installation from
the NASA Goddard/ISS Ham-Goddard Control Center. He said Carolynn Conley,
KD5JSO, provided antenna installation support at NASA's Johnson Space Center
Mission Control Center.

"Congratulations team on a job well done. We have taken our ideas, concepts
and vision and transformed them into reality," he said.

The antenna installation got top billing in several high-profile media
outlets covering the space walk.

==>MISSISSIPPI YOUNGSTERS HELP INITIATE EXPEDITION 4 CREW TO ARISS

Thirteen elementary school students in Mississippi fired off 18 questions
January 16 to ham-astronaut Carl Walz, KC5TIE, who responded from the
International Space Station during a pass over North America. As crowd of
about 200 students and 50 parents looked on, youngsters at St Clare School
in Waveland quizzed Walz for about 10 minutes. The contact with NA1SS was
the first Amateur Radio on the International Space Station school QSO for
the Expedition 4 crew, which has been aboard the ISS for just over a month.

"These students are going to have a very slow time of landing back on Planet
Earth, and the parents are still on Cloud Nine!" Coordinating teacher Mary
Bartholomew commented afterwards. Bartholomew said that her students have
been studying the electromagnetic spectrum and space travel in preparation
for this week's contact, which was facilitated by ARISS--a joint effort of
ARRL, NASA and AMSAT.

As the contact began, ARISS mentor and control operator Tim Bosma, W6ISS,
relayed congratulations to Walz from ARISS Board Chairman Frank Bauer,
KA3HDO, for Monday's successful installation of the new VHF-UHF ham antenna.
Bosma contacted the ISS via W6SRJ in Santa Rosa, California. Audio was
relayed to and from the school via a WorldCom teleconferencing circuit. 

Walz mentioned ham radio in two of his answers to the students. He said ham
radio was one of the ways that he communicated with family and friends while
on board the space station (an onboard e-mail system and a telephone are
others). In response to a question about improvements to the NA1SS station,
Walz noted Monday's ham antenna installation. The new antenna was not used
for the January 16 contact, however.

In response to other questions, Walz reported that he and his crewmates,
Commander Yuri Onufrienko, RK3DUO, and Dan Bursch, KD5PNU, were conducting
experiments with algae, and had done research on lung function during the
January 14 spacewalk. He told the students that on Christmas Day he
unwrapped a few presents that he'd carried up and that he received books,
CDs and pictures.

Walz said that the Mercury and Gemini project astronauts of the
1960s--especially John Glenn--were his role models in deciding to become an
astronaut himself.

Reporters from a Biloxi TV station and three newspapers witnessed the ARISS
contact. ARISS mentor Randy Becnel, W5UE, helped the staff and students
prepare for the event. 

Several more ARISS school contacts are set for this month and next. Bursch
reportedly made several casual contacts last week while the ISS passed over
the US. For more information, visit the ARISS Web site
<http://ariss.gsfc.nasa.gov>.--Gene Chapline, K5YFL/ARISS

==>FCC AFFIRMS $10,000 FINE IN AMATEUR-BAND PIRATE CASE

The FCC has fined a Texas man $10,000 for transmitting without a license on
an Amateur Radio band. Following a Notice of Apparent Liability issued in
September, the FCC affirmed the $10,000 fine in a December 26 Forfeiture
Order to David Edwin Merrell of Wichita Falls. The FCC said Merrell did not
respond to the NAL.

In its earlier NAL, the FCC said it was acting on "numerous complaints" from
the amateur community that an unidentified station operating on 7235 and
7238 kHz in the 40-meter band was causing "intentional interference to
authorized communications." The FCC's High Frequency Direction Finding
network determined that the signal was located in the Wichita Falls area.
Last June, agents in the FCC's Dallas office monitored an unidentified
station on 7220 kHz and determined that the transmission was coming from
Merrell's residence. "The station did not identify and transmitted only
one-way broadcasts," the FCC said.

During as station inspection, Merrell "admitted to the transmissions and
stated that he did not have a station operator license," the FCC said.
Unconfirmed reports to the FCC indicate that Merrell may have continued to
occasionally transmit on 40 meters following the FCC visit. 

"Considering the entire record and applying the statutory factors listed
above, this case warrants a $10,000 forfeiture," the FCC concluded. Merrell
has 30 days from the date of the Order's release to pay the fine. If not
paid, the matter could be referred to the Department of Justice for
collection.

==>ARRL OFFERS ON-LINE "ANTENNA RESTRICTIONS 'HOW TO' CHART"

The ARRL Regulatory Information Branch has made available a "triage center"
of sorts for amateurs facing the prospect of dealing with various roadblocks
to erecting an antenna system at their residence. The new "Antenna
Restrictions 'How To' Chart" page
<http://www.ARRL.org/FandES/field/regulations/ant-how-to-charts.html> offers
three separate outlines that help users to logically work through issues
involving local government zoning restrictions; deed covenants, conditions
and restrictions (CC&Rs); or rental/lease restrictions relating to antenna
structures.

The prime focus is on dealing with Local zoning restrictions to putting up
an antenna structure and how to make the best possible case at a local
regulatory board hearing. Some of the advice there applies to CC&Rs and
rental/lease situations too. 

"Remember: at the hearing, your presentation will be 80% of the battle, and
100% of the basis for any record, if the case ends up going to court," the
"Important Notice" on the page advises.

Each "how to" outline is structured around a series of questions--much like
a logic or flow chart. Depending on the answer, the user is referred to
specific information or additional resources. The page also offers some
step-by-step suggestions. For example, the local government zoning outline
suggests 10 steps to those seeking to change an overly restrictive local
amateur antenna ordinance. One of them is to obtain the ARRL book Antenna
Zoning for the Radio Amateur ($49.95; order Item 8217 from ARRL via the
Online Store <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?category=&words=8217> or order by
calling toll-free 888-277-5289). Written by attorney Fred Hopengarten, K1VR,
the book offers detailed information on working with local governments and
describes proven techniques and strategies that amateurs can employ in
efforts to obtain an antenna-structure permit. 

As the page emphasizes up front, however, neither this book nor the outlines
on the "Antenna Restrictions 'How To' Chart" page are intended as
substitutes for advice from an attorney.

The local government zoning outline also offers suggestions and information
for amateurs who would like their legislature to incorporate the limited
federal preemption known as PRB-1 into their state's laws. So far, only 13
states have done so, but bills are still in the works in a few others.

The page offers limited guidance to those confronting CC&Rs--an issue facing
more and more amateurs these days--and to those who rent or lease their
homes and still want to be able to install an antenna--a situation where
PRB-1 does not apply. In both instances, affected amateurs are advised to
develop and present logical and persuasive cases for being allowed to
install an antenna system--much as they would have to do when dealing with a
local government.

==>TEAM USA FORMING FOR 2002 ARDF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Slovak Amateur Radio Association (SARA) will host the 11th World
Championships of Amateur Radio Direction Finding September 2-7 in the Slovak
Republic. Participants are divided into five categories for men and four
categories for women, in accordance with newly approved ARDF rules of the
International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). Each country may have up to three
members per category on its team. ARRL and IARU Region 2 ARDF coordinator
Joe Moell, K0OV, says he needs a preliminary head count of interested
radio-orienteers as soon as possible.  IARU societies for each participating
country must submit a Letter of Intent with tentative team size by January
31.

The US$300 per-person entry fee includes hotel accommodations (double
occupancy), meals, local transportation to the Championships events, and
fees for the cultural program. The fee is US$150 for entrants arranging
their own camping accommodations and providing their own meals.

Those interested in competing as part of Team USA at the 2002 ARDF World
Championships should notify Moell via e-mail <homingin@aol.com>; immediately.
Include full name and mailing address, home telephone number, and date of
birth. Entry fees are due in full to the organizers by July 15, 2002. 

Team member selection will be based on performances in the first USA ARDF
Championships last August and in the second USA ARDF Championships in
Atlanta this April. For more information, visit the World Championships Web
site <http://www.ardf.sk>. For more information on Team USA,
radio-orienteering in the USA, and the upcoming USA Championships near
Atlanta, visit Moell's "Homing In" Web site <http://www.homingin.com>. 

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Solar scribe Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Last week, we
talked about a rising solar flux, with a peak around Thursday of this week.
Instead the visible solar disk has few sunspots, and solar flux is almost 50
points lower than predicted. Geomagnetic conditions were unsettled last
weekend, but not stormy. Instead of planetary A indices of 30, 20 and 15 for
Friday through Sunday, they were 21, 15 and 11.

On Friday the planetary K index was at four most of the day. Higher latitude
geomagnetic indices were greater. Alaska's College A index for Friday was
37, and the day prior was even higher at 45. The College K index went as
high as 7 on Thursday, indicating a geomagnetic storm and absorption for
radio signals traveling over the polar path.

Average daily solar flux was about 18 points higher than the previous week,
and average daily sunspot numbers were more than 9 points lower.

The latest prediction for the next few days shows no geomagnetic upsets,
with solar flux at 215 for Friday and Saturday and 220 for Sunday. Projected
average solar flux for the whole week looks to be similar to this week,
unless some new sunspots emerge. Holographic images of the sun's far side
show a large active region, but it won't face Earth until some time after
next week.

Sunspot numbers for January 10 through 16 were 179, 195, 174, 190, 191, 155
and 131, with a mean of 173.6. The 10.7-cm flux was 224.6, 228.9, 233.3,
240.7, 229, 218.3 and 216.1, with a mean of 227.3. Estimated planetary A
indices were 17, 21, 15, 11, 8, 6 and 4 with a mean of 11.7.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes, the North
American QSO Party (SSB), the 070 Club PSKFest, the LZ Open Contest (CW),
the MI QRP January CW Contest, are the weekend of January 19-20. JUST AHEAD:
The CQ 160-Meter Contest (CW), the REF Contest (CW), the BARTG RTTY Sprint,
the UBA DX Contest (SSB) and the Kansas QSO Party are the weekend of January
26-27. See the ARRL Contest Branch page, http://www.arrl.org/contests/ and
the WA7BNM Contest Calendar,
<http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/index.html> for more info.

* Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course January registration:
Registration for the Level III Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course
(EC-003) will open on Monday, January 21. January registration for the Level
II ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course (EC-002) will remain
open over the January 19-20 weekend (or until the 50 seats are filled).
February registration for Level I will open Monday, February 4. Courses must
be completed in order, starting with Level I. To learn more, visit the ARRL
Certification and Continuing Education Web page <http://www.arrl.org/cce>
and the C-CE Links found there. For more information, contact Certification
and Continuing Education Coordinator Dan Miller, K3UFG, cce@arrl.org. 

* New ARRL section pages debut: Section News pages for all ARRL sections now
are available on the ARRL Web site. Hams can log on to read the latest news
from their section as well as keep up with what's happening in other
sections around the country. The pages include ARRL section leadership
contact information, links to hamfest and club listings, and a handy section
boundary map. These new pages provide section managers with the means to
communicate rapidly and efficiently with their constituents. ARRL members
who are logged on to the site as members will find their section page link
on the right-hand side of the screen--in the box just above the one that
says "Current Feature Articles." Non-members will find a link to a page that
lists all section pages. "Alert" messages tell hams of late-breaking
section-related news, urgent events, or last-minute changes to publicized
activities. To contribute news or photos, contact your section leadership
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/org/smlist.html>.

* ARRL Foundation scholarship deadline looms: The deadline is fast
approaching to apply for ARRL Foundation-sponsored scholarships. Individual
awards range from $500 to $5000. Don't delay! Send scholarship applications
with academic transcripts to The ARRL Foundation, 225 Main St, Newington CT
06111. The February 1, 2002, postmark deadline is firm--there are no
exceptions! For an application, visit the ARRL Foundation Scholarship
Programs Web page <http://www.arrl.org/arrlf/scholgen.html>. 

* Help available for viewing and filing FCC comments: The ARRL Web site now
offers help for those planning to file comments electronically with the FCC
on petitions for rulemaking and other FCC proceedings that invite public
comments. Visit the "How to File Comments on FCC Proceedings" page
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/news/filing_hints.html>.
Information on the page explains about the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing
System (ECFS) <http://www.fcc.gov/e-file/ecfs.html> and includes practical
tips on how to use it. The page also decodes some of the FCC's acronyms,
such as NPRM, NOI and R&O, and explains their purpose in the regulatory
process.

* ARRL Vice Director Receives Distinguished Service Award: ARRL Southwestern
Division Vice Director Tuck Miller, NZ6T, of National City, California, has
received the Distinguished Service Award of the San Diego Trolley system.
While operating his trolley last October, Miller was asked to help a
passenger who was unable to breathe. Immediately recalling his first aid
training, Miller applied the Heimlich maneuver and successfully dislodged
food blocking the passenger's airway. This act saved the passenger's life
and earned Miller the highest civilian award conferred by the City of San
Diego. Miller's actions were recognized at a ceremony at San Diego Trolley
Headquarters on December 6, 2001. 

* CQ VHF to return as a quarterly: CQ VHF will resume publication this
spring as a quarterly magazine, publisher Richard Ross announced today. The
magazine ceased publication in 1999. Longtime CQ magazine "VHF-Plus" Editor
Joe Lynch, N6CL, will be editor of the new quarterly. The first issue is due
out in May. In announcing the publication's return, CQ Communications noted
that the "overwhelming majority" of US hams have license privileges that
primarily permit operation above 50 MHz. "However, the prime focus of the
current ham magazines remains HF," CQ Communications said in a news release
announcing the change. CQ Communications said the revived CQ VHF was
designed with marketplace realities in mind and "will rely primarily on
subscription revenues to meet expenses." CQ Communications said CQ VHF "will
retain the friendly, conversational, look and feel of the original, but its
technical content will be somewhat higher-level." A subscription will be $25
per year in the US.

* Articles sought for ARRL's Ham Radio . . . Planning for the Future: ARRL
Field & Educational Services is seeking original articles for the next
edition of its publication Ham Radio . . . Planning for the
Future--Proceedings of the ARRL National Educational Workshop. The annual
publication is a compilation of articles written by hams that will be of
interest to teachers, instructors, club members and ham/Scout leaders.
Typical articles detail club activities and events, licensing classes, and
general ham radio information and can provide a "springboard" for your radio
club activities or licensing class. Submit articles by e-mail to Jean
Wolfgang, WB3IOS, jwolfgang@arrl.org. Articles must be received by March 31,
2002.

* RSGB elects a new president: Bob Whelan, G3PJT, is the new president of
the Radio Society of Great Britain, effective January 1. Whelan succeeds Don
Beattie, G3BJ; he will serve a two-year term. Whelan said he was looking
forward to the challenges ahead in raising the awareness of the value of
Amateur Radio as a way of interesting the next generation of radio engineers
and scientists. There are 58,000 amateurs in the UK. The Radio Society of
Great Britain is an International Amateur Radio Union member-society. 

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