ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 11
March 15, 2002
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +ARRL DC visit "best yet" for ham radio
* +Routine vanity processing may be ready to resume
* +Astronaut chats via ham radio with students in Italy
* +ARRL calls RLAN petition "fatally flawed"
* +YT1AD vows no more P5 attempts
* +World Amateur Radio Day celebrates technological innovation
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF: 
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     Contributing to ARRL made easier
     DXpedition progress reports
    +Hamvention to host a wedding
     W6DPD appointed San Joaquin Valley SM
     DXCC Honor Roll deadline approaching
     CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame 2002 nomination deadline near

+Available on ARRL Audio News

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

==>PRESIDENT HAYNIE CALLS DC VISIT "BEST YET" FOR HAM RADIO

ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, says Amateur Radio got a positive
reception during his fourth official visit to Washington, DC. Haynie headed
a contingent of ARRL officials and staff members February 26 to March 1 that
included stops at the FCC and on Capitol Hill.

"In my mind, it was the best trip we ever had," Haynie said. "This was more
of a working trip than any of the previous." Haynie's entourage included
ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD; Hudson Division Director Frank
Fallon, N2FF; Legislative and Public Affairs Manager Steve Mansfield, N1MZA;
and Technical Relations Specialist Jon Siverling, WB3ERA.

Haynie and Imlay met with FCC Office of Engineering and Technology Chief
Edmond J. Thomas and OET staffers. The stop included a second ex parte
presentation to OET staff members by ARRL to address concerns raised by a
SAVI Technology proposal to deploy Part 15 RF identification tags in the
vicinity of 433 MHz at much greater field strengths and duty cycles than
those now permitted for such devices. Also discussed were the ARRL's pending
petitions for low-frequency allocations at 136 kHz and 160-190 kHz, and for
a new, 5 MHz domestic allocation.

The centerpiece of the series of Washington visits was ARRL's participation
in a National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) brainstorming
session, chaired informally by Gene McGahey, AL7GQ, of the National Law
Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center. The February 27 meeting
considered improved means to incorporate Amateur Radio into public safety
and homeland security planning. 

Topics included further upgrading the level of professionalism among Amateur
Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
(RACES) volunteers. Discussion focused on the possibility of forming a
highly trained first-response cadre of Amateur Radio volunteers who would
undergo ongoing training and accreditation. "We will be going to ARES and
RACES to recruit the best and the brightest," Haynie said. The session also
touched on the need for a universally recognized identification card for
amateur volunteers.

Representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the
American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, the FCC and the Association of
Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) were among those on hand for
the session. A follow-up meeting will be held this spring at ARRL
Headquarters. 

The ARRL party also touched bases with several members of Congress to
explore the possibilities of legislation concerning private deed covenants,
conditions and restrictions--CC&Rs--as they affect the ability of radio
amateurs to erect outdoor antennas. Haynie and ARRL officials also discussed
Amateur Radio's role in the aftermath of September 11. On the list were
meetings with Rep Steve Israel on New York, whose father, Howard, is K2JCC;
Mike Iger, legislative assistant to Rep Maurice Hinchey of New York; Sharon
Tucker, legislative assistant to Rep Jerry Kleczka of Wisconsin; Rep Greg
Walden, WB7OCE, of Oregon; and Rep Pete Sessions of Texas and Jeff Koch,
NU5Z, his legislative assistant.

"I was encouraged," Haynie said after the round of meetings. Since September
11, he said, he's perceived a greater level of awareness in Washington as to
what role Amateur Radio might play in homeland security and increased public
safety. "The reception we got was extremely cooperative and very friendly,"
he said.

During the Washington visit, the ARRL renewed its Memorandum of
Understanding with FEMA, which sponsors RACES. The MOU calls on FEMA to
encourage state and local emergency management officials to establish
cooperative relationships with ARRL field volunteers, the inclusion of
Amateur Radio in developing state and local emergency operating plans, and
the use of those plans to support exercises.

==>VANITY PROCESSING MAY BE BACK ON TRACK

Following a dry spell of several days, the FCC has issued 37 new vanity call
sign grants but doesn't plan to process any more vanity applications until
early next week. A Private Wireless Division Licensing and Technical
Analysis Branch staff member told ARRL that the FCC does not anticipate any
problems with the latest grants but will "continue to check things just in
case." The latest processing run included vanity applications received by
the FCC through last December 14.

For now, FCC personnel are cautiously optimistic about restarting routine
processing. "If everything ran properly last night, I expect we will run
another batch on Monday night," the FCC staff member said March 15. "From
there, we'll just have to see how the system holds up. If it continues to
work properly, we will process daily." After initially restarting routine
processing March 6 and issuing some 600 vanity grants, the FCC stopped the
system again after the March 8 run. Other Amateur Service applications have
continued to be processed normally.

FCC Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, staffers have spent this week sorting out the
vanity application processing anomaly that led them to again put vanity
processing on hold. A staff member explained that the Licensing Branch
experienced a problem that involved the improper dismissal of a vanity
application--a glitch apparently related to the processing software. A
decision was made to halt vanity processing and fix the problem now rather
than risk having to call back grants later, she explained.

The latest amateur grants should be available via Internet call sign servers
sometime on March 16, but they are available immediately via the Universal
Licensing System (ULS) <http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls>.

A substantial backlog of vanity applications that were delayed as a result
of anthrax-related mail problems last October remains to be processed. The
FCC database indicates some 1700 pending applications--most of them
vanities--some 500 of which still are within the FCC's typical 18-day vanity
processing window.

Vanity applicants were advised to be patient and to refrain from repeated
inquiries to the FCC. In addition to the Amateur Service, Licensing Branch
staffers in Gettysburg also handle applications for certain commercial and
public safety wireless services.

Amateurs with pending applications may take advantage of the FCC Call
Center's toll free number, 888-CALL FCC (888-225-5322) or may initiate an
application search via the FCC's Universal Licensing System Web site
<http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/>.

==>ASTRONAUT SPEAKS WITH STUDENTS AT SCHOOL IN ITALY

Students at the Peter Anich Oberschule fŁr Geometer in Bolzano, Italy, this
week enjoyed what was described as "a wonderful contact" with astronaut Dan
Bursch, KD5PNU, at NA1SS on the International Space Station. The March 14
contact--sponsored by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
(ARISS) program--was the 50th in a series of scheduled school QSOs since the
first ISS crew came aboard in November 2000.

During the 10-minute contact, 10 students put 18 questions to Bursch on a
wide variety of topics. Students asked about electrical power consumption
and oxygen production aboard the ISS as well as about ultraviolet and cosmic
ray exposure. 

The contact was conducted in English, although Bolzano is located in the
alpine region of South Tirol, a German-speaking enclave in northern Italy.
The Peter Anich school is a post-secondary institution that focuses on
geometric specialties and prepares students for careers in surveying,
architecture, and planning and design as well as for the building and
construction trades.

The regional German-language television station ORF-SŁdtirol Heute (Austrian
Broadcasting-South Tirol Today) covered the event for the evening news. A
major regional newspaper also dispatched a reporter.

During the contact, Bursch and his ISS crewmates, Yury Onufrienko, RK3DUO,
and Carl Walz, KC5TIE, were passing over Australia, where Tony Hutchison,
VK5ZAI, served as the ground station. Two-way audio was distributed via a
WorldCom teleconferencing circuit. Teacher Peter Kofler, IN3JHZ, prepared
the students for the ARISS contact and handled telebridge audio at the
school. ARISS mentor Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, in Brussels moderated the
session.

ARISS is an international project with US participation from the ARRL, AMSAT
and NASA. For more information, visit the ARISS Web site
<http://ariss.gsfc.nasa.gov>.--Gaston Bertels, ON4WF/ARISS

==>RADIO LOCAL AREA NETWORK SPECTRUM PETITION "FATALLY FLAWED," ARRL SAYS 

The ARRL says a petition from the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance
(WECA) for additional 5-GHz spectrum is "fatally flawed." WECA, an industry
coalition, wants more room for radio local area network (RLAN) systems and
other unlicensed Part 15 devices. It's seeking to extend the available 5-GHz
spectrum to include 5.470 to 5.725 GHz. The Amateur Service now occupies
5.650 to 5.925 GHz on a secondary basis with government and nongovernment
radars and nongovernment fixed satellite uplinks. The ARRL asked the FCC to
deny the petition.

In comments filed February 28, the ARRL said WECA's petition fails to
establish any current need to supplement 300 MHz of 5-GHz spectrum that the
FCC made available for the same purpose in 1997. The ARRL also said that
WECA is asking the FCC to make a decision prior to the 2003 World
Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-03), where RLAN globalization is an
issue.

WECA has told the FCC that the additional spectrum and proposed rule changes
were needed to "accommodate the inevitable explosion of demand for broadband
mobile wireless data systems." In its Petition, designated as RM-10371, WECA
said the spectrum extension could be accomplished easily and "without
harmful interference to other primary users."

The ARRL countered that the 5-GHz amateur band already has suffered enough
from earlier FCC actions. In 1997, the FCC allocated 5.150 to 5.350 GHz and
5.725 to 5.825 GHz for so-called Unlicensed National Information
Infrastructure (U-NII) wireless local area network devices. In 1998, the
Commission allocated 5.850 to 5.925 GHz for dedicated short-range
communications (DSRC) systems in the Intelligent Transportation System.

The ARRL said that, while it does not dispute the utility of RLAN devices,
WECA's petition "is devoid of any justification for expansion of the 300
MHz-wide U-NII band now." The League said WECA's petition "is based on pure
conjecture," and said it should take its forecasts for future demand for
5-GHz unlicensed RLAN devices to the ITU for consideration at WRC-03.

For the third time in recent months, the ARRL admonished the FCC not to
routinely authorize unlicensed Part 15 intentional radiators "without
technical evidence allowing it to conclude that the devices so authorized
will not interfere with incumbent licensed radio services." The ARRL said
that since the FCC cannot conclude that granting the petition would not
interfere with amateur operation at 5 GHz, "it cannot allow the marketing
and deployment of unlicensed Part 15 devices without violating Section 301
of the Communications Act of 1934."

ARRL's comments are available on the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/rm-10371/arrl-comments-rm-10371.htm
l>. 

==>YT1AD SAYS "NEVER AGAIN!" TO FUTURE P5 DXPEDITION ATTEMPTS

The Daily DX this week reported additional details about the recent aborted
effort by noted DXer Hrane Milosevic, YT1AD, to operate from North Korea.
Milosevic described his visit there as "a thrill," but said the DXpedition
was thwarted when military personnel intervened. He indicated that he would
not make any further attempts to operate from North Korea--now the second
most-wanted DXCC entity after the soon-to-be-activated Ducie Island.

Accompanied by Voja Kapun, YU7AV, Milosevic said he arrived in the North
Korean capital of Pyongyang March 5 and was welcomed by representatives of
the Ministry of Telecommunications and Foreign Affairs.

"We were stationed in Yangakdo Hotel, on the bank of the river with the same
name," he said, according to a translation of e-mail communications provided
Nenad Stevanovic, VE3EXY, provided to The Daily DX. "The hotel has 47
floors, and we were on the 40th floor, with almost ideal conditions for
work. All our equipment was put together, and we were about to start our
operation with the previously assigned call sign, P5A." 

The P5A team reportedly had the nod to operate from civilian authorities in
North Korea. Milosevic said a uniformed official appeared unexpectedly and
imposed a ban on the operation until the team got permission from military
authorities as well. That permission was supposed to arrive March 8, "but
nobody showed up, possibly because of a holiday," Milosevic speculated,
adding that he and YU7AV did not want to risk starting up an unauthorized
operation.

"Meanwhile," he added, "we had fun listening to all the pirates pretending
to be us, when we did not make a single contact."

When a military official finally showed up last Sunday, March 10, he simply
said, "No transmission until further notice." At that point, Milosevic said,
he and Kapun had no other choice but to leave North Korea. "After landing in
Beijing, our only comment was, never again!!!" Milosevic said.

North Korea is not out of reach for DXers, but DXCC credit remains elusive.
Ed Giorgadze, P5/4L4FN, of the Republic of Georgia continues to operate from
there as his schedule permits. Giorgadze--who is with the UN World Food
Program--has obtained oral permission to operate, but his operation has not
yet been approved for DXCC credit. More information on P5/4L4FN is on the
AMSAT Net Web site operated by Bruce Paige, KK5DO. P5/4L4FN has been active
on SSB and RTTY.

==>WORLD AMATEUR RADIO DAY TO CELEBRATE TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION

World Amateur Radio Day this year will provide an opportunity to reflect on
radio amateurs as an important source of innovation in communication
technology. Observed each year on April 18, World Amateur Radio Day
commemorates the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union in Paris
on that date in 1925. The IARU is the worldwide federation of national
Amateur Radio organizations representing amateurs in 153 countries.

A century has passed since Marconi spanned the Atlantic and excited the
imaginations of the first generation of amateur wireless experimenters.
Amateurs were the first to discover and to exploit the remarkable properties
of the ionosphere, the IARU noted.

Amateurs also were the first to make widespread use of single-sideband voice
communication to conserve power and precious radio spectrum. Amateurs
applied microprocessors to data communication, popularizing packet radio and
developing protocols that are now in widespread use in public safety and
other services.

As we enter radio's second century, amateurs continue to lead the way in
numerous areas. Radio amateurs are the leading developers of new digital
techniques for high-frequency (HF) data and text communication, such as
PacTOR. Disaster relief agencies have adopted it for use from remote
locations where no telecommunications infrastructure is available.

PSK31, another amateur innovation, is a user-friendly mode that provides
live keyboard-to-keyboard communication at low power levels. PSK31 has
become the most popular amateur digital mode in less than two years. Other
amateur developers, building on the success of PSK31, are using sound cards
to explore a wide range of other digital modes tailored for the challenging
HF environment. 

Amateurs also are contributing in the arena of software defined radios
(SDRs). An outstanding example of a DSP radio designed for experimental use
is the DSP-10, a transceiver for the 144-MHz amateur band designed by Bob
Larkin, W7PUA, of Corvallis, Oregon. Working with Larkin, a team of amateur
software developers is refining a family of programs tailored to explore a
wide range of VHF, UHF, and microwave propagation media, including
moonbounce and extended-range tropospheric scatter.

The IARU cites these as but a few examples of what is happening in Amateur
Service of the 21st century.

The IARU is a sector member of the International Telecommunication Union and
is the recognized representative of the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite
Services at the ITU.--IARU

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Propagation maven Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Wednesday,
March 20, is the vernal equinox--the first day of spring--when Earth's
position relative to the sun makes daylight equal over the northern and
southern hemispheres. This is also a great time for HF DX. 

Conditions on 10 and 12 meters recently have undergone seasonal improvement,
but worldwide DX on these bands should decline after the equinox. With equal
sunlight in both hemispheres, neither band experiences seasonally low MUFs,
and neither has the problem of shorter band openings due to shorter days.

Solar flux and sunspot numbers have been flat, and there haven't been any
big geomagnetic upsets this week. Average daily sunspot numbers were lower
this week by 38, and solar flux was down nearly four points. There was an M5
class solar flare on March 14, but there is little chance of its affecting
us. The current outlook is for solar flux staying about the same, but
gradually rising over the next week to around 200. Currently the short term
peak in activity is predicted for March 23-25.

Sunspot numbers for March 7 through 13 were 152, 133, 107, 114, 153, 139 and
154, with a mean of 136. The 10.7-cm flux was 179.7, 176.8, 184, 179.3,
182.3, 178.4 and 184.3, with a mean of 180.7. Estimated planetary A indices
were 10, 4, 5, 9, 9, 10 and 5 with a mean of 7.4. 

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The YLISSB QSO Party (SSB), the BARTG Spring
RTTY Contest, the Russian DX Contest, the AGCW VHF/UHF Contest, and the
Virginia QSO Party are the weekend of March 16-17. JUST AHEAD: The Oklahoma
QSO Party and the Spring QRP Homebrewer Sprint are the weekend of March
22-23. The CQ WW WPX Contest (SSB) is the weekend of March 30-31 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.

* ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration:
Registration for the Level III Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course
(EC-003) opens Monday, March 18, at 4 PM Eastern Time. Registration for the
Level II ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course (EC-002) and for
the Antenna Modeling Course (EC-004) remains open through Sunday, March 17,
or until all available seats are filled. April registration for Level I
opens Monday, April 1, at 4 PM. Emergency Communications 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. 

* Contributing to ARRL made easier: When you make a contribution to ARRL,
your generosity supports the League's work on behalf of Amateur Radio to
promote public service, to inspire the next generation of amateurs, to
preserve ARRL's history and traditions and to defend the amateur spectrum
you enjoy. Making a contribution to ARRL now is easier than ever! Just click
the "Make a Contribution to ARRL" link
<https://www.arrl.org/forms/development/donations/basic/> on the ARRL secure
Web site. You may earmark a donation for a specific project or program or
you may make an unrestricted donation. If your employer will match your
contribution, you can double its effectiveness. All ARRL needs is a
completed matching gift form from your employer, and we'll do the rest. For
more information on contributing to the work of ARRL, contact Chief
Development Officer Mary Hobart, KB1HYD, mhobart@arrl.org; 860-594-0397.

* DXpedition progress reports: A couple of high-profile DXpeditions are
imminent. According to The Daily DX, the pilot station for the XR0X
DXpedition to San Felix, "Dr Bill" Avery, K6GNX, has announced that the
DXpedition team plans to take to the airwaves March 15 or 16. An on-line log
search is available along with the latest news at the DXpedition Web site
<http://cordell.vwh.net/SFX/>. QSLs go to N7CQQ. The DXpedition to Ducie
Island, the newest and most-wanted DXCC entity, expects to arrive at Ducie
March 16 and be on the air the following morning. The call sign will be
announced when operation commences. Located in the South Pacific, Ducie
Island became the 335th DXCC entity last November. The team, sponsored by
the Pitcairn Island Amateur Radio Association, has been operating /mm while
en route. An earlier DXpedition attempt last fall by many of the same
operators was scuttled when the team ran into bad weather. More information
is available on the PIARA's DXpedition to Ducie Web site
<http://www.qsl.net/wd4ngb/ducie.htm>. HF QSLs go via VE3HO, and 6-meter
QSLs go to JA1BK.

* Hamvention to host a wedding! For the first time in the history of the
Dayton Hamvention, a couple will exchange wedding vows at the show. Mark
Elliot, N8WZW, and Cyndi Krieger and will be married at Hamvention Saturday,
May 18, at 3 PM in Forum Room 3. Licensed in 1993, Elliot is a member of
OH-KY-IN Club and the Over 40 Club. Now a Technician, he's studying to
upgrade to General. He and Krieger met through a mutual friend, and Elliot
introduced her to Amateur Radio by taking her to a hamfest. Krieger now is
studying for her license and may take the exam before Hamvention weekend.
Why get married at Hamvention? The couple says they couldn't think of a
better place to share their love for Amateur Radio--and each other--than by
getting married at the world's largest Amateur Radio gathering. Dayton
Hamvention is May 17-19. For additional details, visit the Dayton Hamvention
Web site <http://www.hamvention.org>.

* W6DPD appointed San Joaquin Valley SM: ARRL Field and Educational Services
Manager Rosalie White, K1STO, has appointed Charles P. "Chuck" McConnell,
W6DPD, of Fresno, California, to replace Don Costello, W7WN, as ARRL San
Joaquin Valley Section Manager. Costello is stepping down for personal
reasons. McConnell will take office April 1. W6DPD served as SJV Section
Communications Manager/Section Manager from 1976 to 1989, as Pacific
Division Vice Director in 1989 and 1990 and as Pacific Division Director
until 1993--following the election of Rod Stafford, KB6ZV (now W6ROD), as
ARRL Vice President. He continues to serve as a Pacific Division Assistant
Director. Costello has served as SJV SM from January 1997.

* DXCC Honor Roll deadline approaching: The cutoff date for the 2002 DXCC
Honor Roll list is approaching. In order to be shown in this year's list,
submissions must be postmarked by March 31, 2002. The list is scheduled to
appear in July QST. The minimum Honor Roll number for the 2002 list is 325
current entities (deleted entities do not count toward Honor Roll). Engraved
Honor Roll plaques are available for $35 plus shipping ($8 US/Canada; $16
international). Order forms are available on the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc>. Orders also may be sent via e-mail to
dxcc@arrl.org. 

* CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame 2002 nomination deadline near: Nominations
for the 2002 class of the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame are due by March 31,
2002. The Amateur Radio Hall of Fame was established in January 2001 to
recognize those individuals--amateurs and nonamateurs alike--who
significantly affected the course of Amateur Radio and radio amateurs who,
in the course of their professional lives, had a significant impact on their
professions or on world affairs. CQ announced the inaugural group of 50
inductees into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame last May. Nominations are
invited from individuals, radio clubs or national organizations. Additional
details are in the January 2001 issue of CQ. Send nominations via e-mail to
<hall-of-fame@cq-amateur-radio.com>; or to CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame, 25
Newbridge Rd, Hicksville, NY 11801. 

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