*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 21, No. 04 January 25, 2002 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +ARRL Board okays modified refarming plan * +Vanity processing slowly resuming * +ARISS gets new HF antenna * +FCC modifies California ham's sanction * +Wisconsin in line to be next PRB-1 state * +ARRL award winners announced * +Hams help sailboat in distress * RACES members aid nursing home residents * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course registration Reminder: Continuing Legal Education Seminar set KK5DO joins AMSAT-NA Board of Directors New Jersey call sign license plates to bear "Amateur Radio" legend Shiro Nomura, JA1CB, SK Call for papers for Southeastern VHF Conference +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>ARRL BOARD ADOPTS MODIFIED NOVICE BAND REFARMING PLAN The ARRL Board of Directors has adopted a modified proposal to refarm the Novice bands, now that the FCC no longer issues Novice licenses. The Board met January 18-19 in Fort Worth, Texas. The ARRL Novice Spectrum Study Committee had proposed allowing Novice and Tech Plus (or Technician with Element 1 credit) licensees to operate CW on General-class 80, 40, 15 and 10-meter CW segments at up to 200 W output. The panel recommended refarming the current Novice/Tech Plus CW subbands, in part to allow expansion of phone allocations on 80, 40 and 15 meters. The Board approved a modified plan that would leave in place or slightly trim the amount of additional phone spectrum the committee had recommended for 75 and 15 meters. The amended plan would drop the US phone band to 3725 kHz on 75 meters but leave it at 21,200 kHz on 15 meters. The original plan called for dropping both by 25 kHz. The 75-meter proposal would expand the phone band by 50 kHz for Generals over the present allocation and by 25 kHz for Advanced and Extra licensees. On 15 meters, Generals would get another 25 kHz of phone spectrum, but phone privileges for Advanced and Extra class operators would stay the same. The Novice Spectrum Study Committee's original recommendations for 40 and 10 meters were accepted. The ARRL plans to propose the modified refarming plan to the FCC later this year along with other regulatory requests. The Board also deferred until its July meeting a decision on whether to cut "Section News" and contest "line scores" from QST and move them to the ARRL Web site as part of an effort to stem ARRL operating losses. Before deciding to relocate the QST content, the Board said, it wants members to be "aware of the reasons for the proposed relocation and the enhanced capabilities available on the Web site." The Board said it also wants to evaluate "variations and alternatives" to the proposal. The Board did decide to eliminate the minutes of its own meetings--published as "Moved and Seconded"--from QST. Minutes already are posted on the ARRL Web site and will be made available via alternative means to members lacking Internet access. In other business, the Board accepted the Volunteer Resources Committee's recommendations to change several field organization rules. The new rules state that a section manager "is accountable for carrying out the duties of the office in accordance with ARRL policies" and "shall act in the best interests of Amateur Radio." Among other changes, the revised rules will prohibit a section manager removed from office from running in the next SM election following removal. Anyone removed by action of the Executive Committee would have to get that committee's consent to be eligible to run again. The Executive Committee also will have the power to cancel any field organization appointment "whenever it appears to be in the best interest of the ARRL to do so." The changes were prompted in part by the Executive Committee's declaring the office of Virginia Section Manager vacant last May. The rules changes will not affect the current Virginia SM election process, already under way. The Board also modified the ARRL by-laws to say that anyone removed from office by recall won't be eligible to be a candidate for director or vice director for three years following removal from office. The Board resolved to petition the FCC in order to elicit "a clear statement from FCC acknowledging the limit of its statutory jurisdiction to authorize the manufacture and sale of unlicensed Part 15 devices." The Board further resolved to extend the ARRL's "most sincere condolences to the families and friends of the radio amateurs who lost their lives on September 11, 2001." The Board also commended and honored amateurs who volunteered during the subsequent rescue and recovery efforts. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, who was elected to another two-year term during the Board meeting reported that he felt the League's relationship with the FCC had improved and that he was very pleased with the Amateur Radio Day at the FCC held last September. ==>VANITY PROCESSING RAMPING UP SLOWLY Vanity call sign processing is resuming, but not exactly apace. On January 23 and 24, the FCC processed 70 vanity grants from applications received October 16, 17 and 18. Additional vanity grants are expected to follow as FCC personnel assemble all applications--paper and electronic--received on a given date. Prior to January 9--when the FCC processed 27 vanity applications received from October 15 filers--the Commission had not issued any vanity grants since last October 30. The holdup got its start when a batch of mail containing some 100 vanity applications received during the first two weeks of October apparently was mislaid in the process of dealing with the anthrax scare and mail decontamination. FCC policy gives equal priority to paper and electronic vanity applications, so the mail snafu has affected all vanity processing. All vanity fee payments have been recorded and deposited or charged to credit card holders' accounts. The FCC has been using vanity fee payment data from the FCC's fiscal agent, Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh to contact applicants directly to have them resubmit their applications. Since October, the FCC has been urging all of its customers to avoid using the mails to conduct business with the agency and to use electronic means to file comments or applications. The FCC has been acting on amateur renewals and administrative updates filed on-line via the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau's Universal Licensing System <http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls>. All applicants now must include an FCC Registration Number (FRN) when filing any application. ==>NEW HF AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA INSTALLED ON ISS Amateur Radio on the International Space Station gained a new HF antenna January 25--although there's no HF gear aboard the ISS as yet. The antenna--the second of four slated for installation aboard the Service Module--was put into place during a spacewalk--or EVA--conducted by Expedition 4 Crew Commander Yuri Onufrienko, RK3DUO, and astronaut Dan Bursch, KD5PNU. The antenna is a flexible-tape design--similar to, but longer than, a VHF-UHF antenna installed during a January 14 EVA by Onufrienko and astronaut Carl Walz, KC5TIE. ARISS Board Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, said the antenna would be installed at the end of the Service Module in the 2 o'clock position (6 o'clock is pointing toward Earth). The HF antenna is a 2.5-meter (8.2-foot) long flexible tape. Bauer thinks it will definitely work on 10 meters and speculated that it might work on 15 or 20 too. Bauer added that he did not know when HF gear would be transported to the ISS nor when it might be made available for use by a future crew. The EVA lasted several hours and also involved attaching six thruster plume deflectors on the ISS as well as the ham antenna work. Installation involved not only the mechanical deployment of the antenna but routing cables, establishing the RF connection and even photographic documentation. A paper entitled "2001: an Amateur Radio Space Odyssey on the International Space Station," which details the development of ARISS and discusses the four new ARISS antennas is available via the ARISS Web site <http://ariss.gsfc.nasa.gov/EVAs/amsat01.pdf>. The Expedition 4 crew is tentatively scheduled to speak with students at Butte High School in Montana the week of January 28. The contact was being arranged either via Tony Hutchison, VK5ZAI, in South Australia or via WH6PN at Sacred Hearts Academy in Honolulu. ==>FCC MODIFIES SANCTION IN CALIFORNIA REPEATER CASE The FCC has reduced a sanction imposed last year against a California amateur who had been banned from using repeaters on the 144, 222, or 440-MHz bands for three years. The case involved allegations that Ted R. Sorensen III, KC6PQW, of Agoura Hills, California, and Gregory S. Cook, ex-KC6USO, of Chico, California, had conspired in making late-night one-way transmissions on the W6NUT 147.435 MHz repeater that originated from Sorensen's station. Last March the FCC accepted Cook's voluntarily surrendered license. Although he did not dispute the allegations, Sorensen got a lawyer and protested his lengthy banishment. In his initial response to the FCC, Sorensen offered to accept a suspension from talking on the W6NUT repeater for a year "as fair punishment." After reviewing Sorensen's case, the FCC decided to accept that less-stringent settlement of the case, rather than get involved in a hearing. Because Sorensen already has been off the repeater for more than two months, the prohibition expire next September 15. The FCC review into the operation of the W6NUT repeater continues, following complaints of jamming by users, broadcasting, playing music and "a plethora of other violations," the FCC said. ==>WISCONSIN AMATEUR ANTENNA BILL HEADED FOR GOVERNOR'S DESK Wisconsin is poised to be the next state to incorporate the language of the limited federal preemption known as PRB-1 into state law. ARRL Wisconsin Section Manager Don Michalski, W9IXG, said the antenna bill--Assembly Bill 368, "Amateur Radio FCC PRB-1 Amateur Radio Antenna Protection Act"--passed the State Senate this week on a voice vote. The bill now goes to Gov Scott McCallum for his signature. "We would like to acknowledge this victory due to the tireless efforts of Jim Romelfanger, K9ZZ, SK," Michalski said. "Without his hard work over many years, it would not have been possible. This is a tribute to Jim, and we should all be grateful." Romelfanger, a Wisconsin Amateur Radio activist, ARRL Public Information Coordinator and editor of the Badger State Smoke Signals ham radio newspaper, died December 22. Wisconsin ARRL State Government Liaison Jim Lackore, AD9X, said AB 368 passed the upper chamber January 22 with no expressed opposition. AB 368 would require that ordinances or resolutions affecting the placement, screening or height of Amateur Radio antennas or support structures have a "reasonable and clearly defined aesthetic, public health or safety objective." Such an ordinance or resolution also must represent "the minimum practical regulation" necessary to accomplish the locality's objectives and must reasonably accommodate Amateur Radio communication. Lackore and Michalski were encouraging Wisconsin amateur to contact Gov McCallum and urge him to sign AB 368 into law. Lackore noted that e-mail can be sent to McCallum's e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the governor's Web site <http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us>. Messages also may be sent via fax (608-267-8983) or by mail to The Office of the Governor, 115 East State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702. Michalski thanked everyone who has supported the bill. "Your letters have obviously had an impact," he said. "This is the last step to passage so your help is appreciated one more time." To date, 13 states have incorporated PRB-1 language into their statues, and measures are pending in a few other states. Some states, such as Alaska and Virginia, have taken PRB-1 another step, passing laws that include schedules of minimum antenna structure heights, below which municipalities may not further regulate. A copy of the pending legislation is available on the Wisconsin Legislature Web site, <http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2001/data/AB-368.pdf>. ==>ARRL BOARD NAMES AWARD WINNERS The ARRL Board of Directors has named the winners of the 2001 ARRL International Humanitarian Award and the Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award. The Board made its selections during its meeting in Fort Worth, Texas January 18-19. The 2001 ARRL International Humanitarian Award winner is Dr Jim Hirschman, K4TCV, of Miami, Florida, "in recognition of a lifetime of medicine and public service communications that has touched so many lives and put our Service in such a positive light," the Board said in making the award. The Board's resolution naming Hirschman said he "combines his Amateur Radio and medical skills to give on-air advice on a moment's notice." Hirschman's skills were put to the test on two occasions when individuals were injured as a result of pirate attacks on sailing vessels in the Caribbean Sea. In March 2000, marauders fired upon Jacco van Tuijl, KH2TD, and his son, Willem, and attempted to commandeer the family's sailboat while it was moored off the coast of Honduras. Willem was severely injured. Following van Tuijl's radio calls for help, Hirschman provided live on-the-air medical assistance for approximately nine hours until the youngster could be evacuated to medical facilities. Hirschman also provided critical medical advice in the wake of a subsequent and similar incident a year later, when Bo Altheden, SM7XBH, of Sweden, was shot by pirates who boarded his vessel. Altheden's wife put out a call for help on 20 meters that attracted the attention of the Maritime Mobile Service Net. The Board said the incidents were "but two examples of a lifetime of dedication to public service that has made him well-known internationally." Hirschman will get an engraved plaque, and his accomplishments will be the subject of an article in a future edition of QST. The winner of the 2001 Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award is Michaelangelo Conte, a staff writer for The Jersey Journal in Jersey City, New Jersey. This award is given annually to a professional journalist (or group) for outstanding coverage of Amateur Radio in TV, radio, print or multimedia. The winner receives an engraved plaque and a check for $500. Conte's winning submission, "Radio operators took to air--Aided rescue at Ground Zero," covered the communications activities of the Jersey City Amateur Radio Club following the World Trade Center attack last September. The club, which is affiliated with the Hudson County chapter of the American Red Cross, focuses on emergency communications, was just being formed and had not even held its first meeting prior to September 11. Several club members were interviewed about their roles in providing a needed communications link between Jersey City and emergency units in lower Manhattan. Conte was nominated by the club's president Rich Krajewski, WB2CRD, who subsequently renamed the new organization the Cirri Memorial Radio Club in honor of Robert D. "Bob" Cirri Sr, KA2OTD, a Port Authority police officer and ARRL Hudson County District Emergency Coordinator who died in the WTC attack while helping to evacuate the buildings. In Amateur Radio circles, Bill Leonard, a former president of CBS News, is remembered for his 1958 contribution to Sports Illustrated, "The Battle of the Hams," which describes the "sport of DXing." In November of 1996, Leonard was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. Leonard became a Silent Key in 1994. ==>AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS HELP SAILBOAT IN DISTRESS Amateur Radio played a role in the rescue of two people aboard the sailing vessel Antigone that ran aground off Honduras January 24. Ed Petzolt, K1LNC, of Hobe Sound, Florida, reports that, despite some apparently deliberate interference, members of the Intercontinental Net on 14.300 MHz helped relay communications from the vessel, which was equipped with an HF marine radio. David Walz, AG4LI/HR6, in Honduras was in contact with the vessel and passed traffic from the stranded mariners to the Net. Petzolt said he was able to patch the US Coast Guard in Miami through to AG4LI/HR6, so the Coast Guard could obtain additional information and coordinate with Honduran authorities. Petzolt said the two passengers aboard the 40-foot vessel were safe, and the boat was on the beach. Amateurs, he said, stood by in case serious problems arose during the rescue effort. The registry of the vessel and the nationalities of the passengers were not known. The FCC was alerted to investigate the source of the interference. ==>PENNSYLVANIA RACES MEMBERS ACTIVATE FOR NURSING HOME FIRE Hams responded December 15, 2001, after fire broke out at Cedarbrook County Home in South Whitehall Township and soon was upgraded to a four-alarm fire. Emergency Management Agency Coordinator James Kelly, KA3UQP, began opening temporary shelters in anticipation of the evacuation of the 515 residents. He notified the South Whitehall EMA team that included Jeff Kelly, N3MFT, who is the Township EMA Communications Officer, Lehigh County Emergency Coordinator and RACES Radio Officer. It was agreed that RACES would be activated to staff the shelters and provide additional support. A net was established, and Deputy RACES Officer Bruce Bobo, KB3FIH, directed operations from the county's mobile command center at the fire scene. RACES members were deployed to the scene as well as at shelter locations and the local trauma center. Over the next 24 hours, more than two dozen RACES members helped to provide communications until temporary shelters had shut down and residents transported to appropriate care. On December 17, Lehigh County EMA contacted Kelly for RACES to assist in coordinating the return of patients to the facility, which received smoke and water damage. Bobo said RACES was called back in to help because it was determined that the amateur system had the best communications coverage over the four-county area where patients had been sheltered temporarily. More than 20 RACES members from Lehigh and Northampton counties provided support for the safe return of all 515 residents. Authorities expressed appreciation to the RACES teams and for use of the W3OI 146.94, W3OK 146.70 and N3MFT 448.775 MHz repeaters.--Jeff Kelly, N3MFT ==>SOLAR UPDATE Solar seer Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Average sunspot numbers rose more than nine points this week, and average solar flux dropped nearly eight points, so solar activity was about the same as last week. There weren't any days with big geomagnetic upsets. Saturday was slightly unsettled, with the planetary K index at four over two of the three-hour reporting periods. Because of lower indices earlier, the planetary A index for the day was only 11. Latest projections show stable geomagnetic conditions well into next month, with planetary A indices in the low and mid single digits. This is generally good for HF operators because of lower absorption. Predicted solar flux for Friday through Sunday is 225. NASA reported this week that the previous two solar cycles were double-peaked, and the current one is also. At one time we believed that Cycle 23 peaked in mid-2000, but then a larger peak emerged in late 2001. No doubt this explains all that fabulous F2 layer propagation on 6 meters last fall. You can read NASA's story on the Science@NASA Web site <http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2002/18jan_solarback.htm>. Sunspot numbers for January 17 through 23 were 122, 156, 153, 212, 187, 178 and 272 with a mean of 182.9. The 10.7 cm flux was 211.8, 210.5, 213.7, 222.2, 224.5, 228.7 and 226.5, with a mean of 219.7. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 5, 11, 7, 9, 6 and 6 with a mean of 7.1. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: 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. JUST AHEAD: The North American Sprint (SSB), the Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Delaware QSO parties, the 10-10 International Winter Contest (SSB), the FYBO Winter QRP Field Day, and the Mexico RTTY International Contest are the weekend of February 2-3. 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 registration: Registration for the Level III Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course (EC-003) will remain open over the January 26-27 weekend--or until the 50 seats are filled. February registration for Level I will open Monday, February 4, at 4 PM Eastern Time. 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, email@example.com. * REMINDER: Continuing Legal Education Seminar set: ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, will conduct a Continuing Legal Education Seminar on February 1 in Doral, Florida, in conjunction with the Miami Tropical Hamboree. The session will be held at the Doral Hampton Inn from 1 to 5 PM. The $75 cost of the seminar includes a copy of Antenna Zoning for the Radio Amateur by Fred Hopengarten, K1VR--a $49.95 value. Those who have already purchased Hopengarten's book may attend for $25. The seminar will cover in-depth state and local antenna regulation, with a focus on amateur issues and other legal topics affecting Amateur Radio. Advance registration is required. Contact Linda Mullally, KB1HSV, 860-594-0292, firstname.lastname@example.org, to register. More information on Miami Tropical Hamboree 2002 is available on the Hamboree Web site <http://www.hamboree.org/>. * KK5DO joins AMSAT-NA Board of Directors: Bruce Paige, KK5DO, is the newest member of the AMSAT-NA Board of Directors. Paige, a first alternate, acceded to the Board upon the resignation of Andy MacAllister, W5ACM, who stepped down because of a heavy professional workload. Paige will serve out the remainder of MacAllister's term, which runs through September. AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, has appointed Paige to also replace MacAllister as vice president of user services. "I thank Andy for his many years of service to AMSAT and his active role as vice president of user services," said Haighton, who expressed his regrets at MacAllister's resignation but said he looked forward to MacAllister's "wise counsel" on future AMSAT matters. In a teleconference January 17, the AMSAT Board appointed AMSAT-NA's immediate past president Keith Baker, KB1SF, as executive vice president of AMSAT. "I welcome Keith, with his past experience and working knowledge of AMSAT," Haighton said. Paige will continue as AMSAT-NA's awards manager. * New Jersey call sign license plates to bear "Amateur Radio" legend: Starting in February, New Jersey amateurs will be able to request call sign license plates bearing the legend "Amateur Radio," thanks to an amendment to the state's existing call sign license plate statute. The amendment was signed December 28, 2001, by then-acting Gov Donald DiFrancesco. The DMV is not yet ready to process new plates at this point, however. Northern New Jersey Section Manager Bill Hudzik, W2UDT, said the amendment now allows hams with leased vehicles to apply for plates, includes the words "Amateur Radio" on the plates, and increases the fee to $15. "Many New Jersey hams have worked over the years to make this happen," said Hudzik, who credited ASM John Hults, K2WJ, with started the ball rolling on the amendment some eight years ago. The measure also got help over the years from then-Hudson Division Director Steve Mendelsohn, W2ML--now Hudson Division Vice Director--as well as past Northern New Jersey SM Jeff Friedman, K3JF; the bill's original sponsor, Assemblyman Nick Felice, W2YGM; Frank Terranella, N2IGO, who drafted the bill's text; and Northern New Jersey State Government Liaison Ray Makul, K1XV. "This was a true team effort!" Hudzik said. * Shiro Nomura, JA1CB, SK: Retired Kenwood executive and chief engineer Shiro Nomura, JA1CB, of Tokyo, Japan, died January 18. He was 70. An ARRL and Japan Amateur Radio League member, Nomura was a Kenwood Communications Corporations chief engineer and research-and-development manager prior to his retirement. He also was the designer of the popular TS-930S transceiver. Between 1989 and 1997, he directed Kenwood USA operations in California. Nomura was a DXCC Honor Roll member (352 mixed) and was active on the air until shortly before he died. Survivors include his wife and the couple's son and daughter. A service was held January 22 in Tokyo. Friends may express condolences to the family via e-mail, email@example.com.--Junji Saito, JA7SSB * Call for papers for Southeastern VHF Conference: The Southeastern VHF Society has issued its first call for papers for the sixth annual Southeastern VHF Conference. The conference will be held April 26-27 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Registration, program details, hotel and travel information is available on the Society's Web site <http://www.svhfs.org/>. The conference will include presentations from accomplished VHF-UHF Amateur Radio enthusiasts. In addition, the program will include antenna gain measurements, pre-amp gain and noise figure measurements, the Friday evening flea market with vendor displays, the Saturday afternoon auction and the Saturday evening banquet. To submit a paper for inclusion in the Conference Proceedings, contact Skip Coppola, KG4QDZ, firstname.lastname@example.org. The submission deadline is March 1, 2002. Proceedings of the 2002 Southeastern VHF Society Conference will be available from ARRL. =========================================================== 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. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): email@example.com ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, firstname.lastname@example.org ==>ARRL News on the Web: http://www.arrl.org ==>ARRL Audio News: http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/ or call 860-594-0384 ==>How to Get The ARRL Letter The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail delivery: ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site, http://www.arrl.org/members/. 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