*************** 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 <email@example.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, firstname.lastname@example.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, email@example.com. 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, updated as it happens. 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