*************** 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 für 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-Südtirol 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, email@example.com. * 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, firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com. * 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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 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. 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Click on "Modify membership data," check or uncheck the appropriate boxes, and click on "Submit modification" to make selections effective. (NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You must do this yourself via the Members Only Web Site.) The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources: * ARRLWeb, http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/. (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will be posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.) * The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur Radio Club: Visit http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/letter-list. (NOTE: The ARRL cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this listserver.)
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