ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 17
April 26, 2002
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +"Big Project" inspires big response to fundraising appeal
* +Second "space tourist" heads for the ISS
* +Florida kids, French teacher log successful ARISS contacts
* +Fatal train wrecks prompt ARES activations on both coasts
* +IMAX "Space Station" film lauded
* +ARRL in prime time at NAB
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF:
     This weekend on the radio
     KM1CC sets International Marconi Day special event
     ARRL added to 2002 Combined Federal Campaign
    +ARRL will process members' license renewals, address changes
     YHOTY nomination deadline nears
     Kolibri-2000 satellite transmitting on 2 meters, 70 cm
     Thor Heyerdahl of Kon-Tiki fame dies at 87

+Available on ARRL Audio News

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

==>BIG RESPONSE TO "BIG PROJECT" CAMPAIGN

Thanks to the generosity of the amateur community, the ARRL Education and
Technology Program--"The Big Project"--is better than one-quarter of the
way to its 2002 Phase I funding goal. The program already has signed on 18
pilot schools. Several already sport new ham stations, paid for by
donations to the program. A curriculum now under development will be ready
for beta testing this fall.

"The strength of the membership campaign is vitally important to our
corporate and foundation grant appeals," said ARRL Chief Development
Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. "It sends a message that the membership
supports this initiative." Hobart said members already have contributed
$70,000 during the membership appeal that began in March with a goal of
$252,000--much of that expected to be in the form of individual
contributions.

The ARRL Education and Technology Program--the educational initiative of
ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP--is aimed at providing a turnkey Amateur
Radio curriculum, station equipment and classroom resources to schools.
Program Coordinator Jerry Hill, KH6HU, says the experiences of the pilot
schools will help to shape the ultimate project design.

As the current school year winds down, Hill has turned his attention to
curriculum development. Initially aimed at the middle school classroom,
the planned curriculum--to be embodied in The Radio Lab Handbook--will
offer educators a lot of flexibility in choosing how to use it (the
finished curriculum will be posted on the ARRL Web site). Hill says it
will be able to serve as a half-semester standalone unit of classroom
study, but teachers will be welcome to use the material in whole or in
part as it works best for them.

"We want schools to make this their own program," Hill said. "We want
teachers to look at this as a way to supplement or support what they're
already doing in the classroom--not replace it." Most schools, he
predicted, will use the ARRL Education and Technology Program as an
enrichment program--perhaps outside of regular classroom hours--or as a
separate ham radio licensing class.

The wide-ranging, multidisciplinary curriculum will dovetail information
on Amateur Radio within the broader topic of wireless technology.
Discussion will include devices that youngsters might more readily
recognize such as pagers, cellular telephones, GPS and wireless Internet
access devices. Amateur Radio rules and regulations, operating and
procedures will be covered in separate units, "since licensing is not the
main focus of what we're trying to do here," Hill said. Several pilot
schools already have a few students licensed, however, and others have
classes under way.

Hill said a strong focus will be hands-on activities, such as building a
simple crystal radio or conducting experiments that demonstrate
wave-propagation theory. "These are types of activities that require the
student to physically do something and take some responsibility for their
own learning," Hill said.

Hill would like to see pilot school participants share ideas, experiences
and activities, but he also wants the schools to establish ties with the
local Amateur Radio community--as some already have done. "We're asking
the schools to partner up with a local ham club," he said. "The idea is to
build a relationship between the school and the club and provide some
technical assistance."

Hill says he's open to ideas and suggestions from both educators and
amateurs "so we can involve more than just the schools." He wants to see
the ARRL Education and Technology Program involved in communities, not
just schools.

"They're the next generation," Hill said of Big Project participants,
present and future. "We're going to need these people to take our places."
For more information, contact Jerry Hill, KH6HU, jhill@arrl.org. Donations
are welcome too, via the ARRL Amateur Radio Education and Technology
Program Web site <http://www.arrl.org/education>.

==>SECOND "SPACE TOURIST" EN ROUTE TO ISS; AMATEUR CONTACTS PLANNED

Space tourist and amateur researcher Mark Shuttleworth this week journeyed
to the International Space Station. The South Africa native, who now lives
in London, and his two crewmates--Russian cosmonaut and ISS veteran Yuri
Gidzenko and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori, IZ6ERU,
blasted off April 25 from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Soyuz
vehicle. They were scheduled to arrive at the ISS April 27. During their
eight-day stay, Shuttleworth and Vittorio are scheduled to speak via
Amateur Radio with youngsters at schools in South Africa and Italy.

"This live communication represents a major turning point for the image of
South African education," Shuttleworth said in a statement released by a
South African marketing firm he's hired, "and puts a group of our school
learners uniquely into the global spotlight of space exploration."
Shuttleworth, 28, has been issued a "temporary, honorary Amateur Radio
station license" by the Independent Communications Authority of South
Africa. The license, good for three months, bears the call sign ZS
RSA--not an amateur configuration.

If successful, the contacts will mark the first ARISS QSOs with schools in
Africa. The initial contact is set for Monday, April 29, with
Shuttleworth's alma mater, Bishops in Cape Town. Students in three South
African provinces submitted questions, the best of which will be posed by
winners of a nationwide competition. Additional contacts are on the ARISS
roster with three other South African schools. Vittorio is scheduled to
attempt a direct 2-meter ARISS contact with a school in Italy on May 4.

Shuttleworth's adventure, which NASA calls "a private commercial agreement
with the Russian Aviation and Space Agency," is costing him an estimated
$20 million. After the visit of the first space tourist, businessman
Dennis Tito, KG6FZX, almost a year ago, NASA, Russia and the other
international partners established some guidelines for future visits of
this type. As did Tito, Shuttleworth says space travel has been a lifelong
dream.

According to media accounts, Shuttleworth has rankled at being described
as a "space tourist." He points out that he's trained eight months for the
mission. In addition, Shuttleworth says, he and Gidzenko have been trained
by Russian and South African biologists in how to carry out genetic
engineering studies using animal stem cells while aboard the ISS.

The crew's primary mission is to deliver a fresh Soyuz spacecraft to the
ISS, where a Soyuz craft remains available as a lifeboat. The trio will
return to Earth in early May aboard the Soyuz spacecraft now attached to
the station. Gidzenko, a veteran of the ISS's first resident crew, will
become the first former resident to revisit the complex.

==>FLORIDA YOUNGSTERS, FRENCH TEACHER QUIZ ASTRONAUT VIA HAM RADIO

Youngsters at Shenandoah Elementary School in Orlando, Florida, and a
teacher in Arles, France, this week chatted via Amateur Radio with
astronaut Carl Walz, KC5TIE, operating NA1SS aboard the International
Space Station. The contacts were arranged by the Amateur Radio on the
International Space Station (ARISS) program.

On April 23, 15 Shenandoah Elementary pupils were able to talk with Walz
about life aboard the ISS. One youngster, Alessandra Patteson, wanted to
know if Walz was able to communicate with his family while in space and,
if so, how often. Walz explained that he speaks with his family almost
daily using an Internet telephone system.

Another student, Charles Babir, asked Walz if he had time to read while
aboard the ISS and, if so, what he enjoyed reading. Walz said that he
reads several electronic newspapers, including the New York Times.

Austin Gentry posed an out-of-the ordinary question: "What would you do if
your ship went out of control because of a black hole?" Walz allowed that
such an unlikely occurrence would be scary, since the ISS would not be
able to escape a black hole. He went on to explain that the ISS did
experience control problems some time ago because of computer problems,
and that the controllers in Houston and Moscow helped the crew to regain
control of the spacecraft.

Kimberly Campbell, KG4IZR, did double duty as both the organizing teacher
and the control operator at Shenandoah. Assisting were local amateurs Joe
Singer, N4IPV, who provided a lot of the equipment; Ed Cox, K3SWJ; and Lou
McFadin, W5DID.

On April 25, schoolteacher Christophe Candebat, F1MOJ, at the Louis
Pergaud Primary School in Arles, France, got a chance to interview US
astronaut Walz as his young charges and students from a second school
observed. Invited to the demonstration were students of the nearby Lycee
Jeanne d'Arc. During the contact, Walz answered 16 questions as
Jean-Pierre Roux, F1EVQ, operated the station for the direct contact.

Walz answered questions in English. To overcome the language barrier, two
teachers translated his answers into French and displayed them on a
computer screen so the pupils could better understand what was being said.

ARISS-Europe representative Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, called the Arles
contact "a splendid success" that culminated a longstanding educational
project. Bertels said that for the past two years, the class has been
involved in projects centered on space science. The youngsters' studies
incorporated mathematics, French, history, astronomy, geography,
physiology, botany and radio-wave propagation.

"They observed the apparent movement of the sun, built models and sundials
as well as a meteorological station," Bertels explained. The pupils also
participated in the Starshine 2 and Starshine 4 projects
<http://www.azinet.com/starshine/index.html> by polishing aluminum mirrors
for the satellites.

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

==>ARES TEAMS ACTIVATE FOLLOWING FATAL TRAIN WRECKS

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) teams in California and Northern
Florida activated recently to assist in the wake of separate train wrecks.

In Florida more than half the cars of an Amtrak "Auto Train" carrying 418
passengers and 34 crew members derailed April 18 near Crescent City.
Putnam County ARES established emergency communication from the site--on
the Putnam/Volusia county line--shortly after the wreck and also staffed a
shelter and two hospitals. Four people died as a result of the mishap and
more than 100 others were injured.

Billy Williams, N4UF, of Florida Crown District ARES, said the American
Red Cross responded in the accident's immediate aftermath. Red Cross
communications were set up on a VHF repeater with help from Duval County
amateurs. Other amateurs pitched in to staff a Red Cross shelter and the
Putnam County emergency operations center. ARES members also were deployed
at a local hospital as well as at hospitals in Jacksonville that were put
on alert to receive patients.

Within 15 minutes of the wreck, the Florida Crown Emergency Net activated
on a linked repeater system. A third repeater served as a base of
operation for Putnam County ARES, under the direction of Putnam County
Emergency Coordinator Mark Bradford, WF3F. That repeater was linked to a
Jacksonville repeater (W4IJJ) to handle Red Cross requests between the
Jacksonville Red Cross Headquarters and the scene of the wreck some 60
miles away, Williams said.

The shelter and triage center at Crescent City High School reported a peak
population of more than 300 via Amateur Radio--most believed to be
passengers who were able to walk away from the scene. Amtrak later bussed
remaining passengers from the shelter to hotels for the night, and the
amateur operation was able to shut down.

More than a dozen hams assisted in the ARES response. Additional details
are on the North Florida Amateur Radio Society Balanced Modulator Web site
<http://home.earthlink.net/~bfwillia/_wsn/page4.html>.

In California, a freight train collided head-on April 23 with a Metrolink
double-decker commuter train. Ironically, the mishap occurred just as
hospitals and emergency responders in Orange County were about to hold a
large-scale drill to test patient triage and transportation procedures for
mass casualty incidents.

Two dozen members of the Hospital Disaster Support Communication System
(HDSCS)-- a special ARES group that always participates in the drill--were
awaiting assignments when word came in of the train collision. Two
passengers were killed and more than 200 were injured--many seriously.
Orange County ARES Emergency Coordinator and HDSCS Net Control April
Moell, WA6OPS, immediately assigned the drill-ready hams to the 14
hospitals expected to receive crash victims. For the next 4-1/2 hours, 28
HDSCS members provided vital links among the hospitals, the county's
ambulance dispatch center and the county's emergency medical service
agency.

Net traffic included verifying victim dispatch and patient counts,
providing hospitals with information for inquiring family members, and
liaison with hams supporting the Red Cross. Within some hospitals, hams
provided direct communication among triage areas, emergency departments,
and command posts.

Moell is founder and Emergency Coordinator of the ARES group. More
information is available on the HDSCS Web site
<http://www.hdscs.org>.--thanks to Billy Williams, N4UF and Joe Moell,
K0OV

==>IMAX FILM SPACE STATION CALLED "BREATHTAKING

ARISS International Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, used the words
"fantastic" and "breathtaking" to describe the world premiere of the IMAX
film Space Station on April 16 and 17. The film, now showing (or scheduled
to show) in selected theaters nationwide, includes a segment on the
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program. ARISS set up a
display booth at the movie's opening at the National Air and Space Museum
in Washington, DC.

"It was pretty awesome to see Bill Shepherd [KD5GSL] talk to the Texas
students with our ARISS equipment in 3D," Bauer said afterward. "This is a
must-see movie." Space Station is the first 3D IMAX space movie. Made
possible by NASA, the film is presented by Lockheed Martin and narrated by
Academy Award nominee Tom Cruise.

Seabrook Intermediate School in Texas provided the earthbound setting for
ARISS' role in the IMAX production. Footage with Shepherd answering a
question during a school contact was shot in January 2001 during
Shepherd's tour of duty as Expedition 1 commander. The question segment
and the answer segment then were matched up during editing for the final
production.

Bauer said that seeing Space Station is the closest one can get to
experiencing space without actually going there. "It was spectacular from
the perspective that you really felt like you were there," he said.

The ARISS display at the National Air and Space Museum premiere attracted
visits from member of Congress, Bauer said, as well as officials from
NASA, IMAX and Lockheed Martin.

Among the special guests were Shepherd, the ISS Expedition 1 crew
commander; Yuri Usachev, the Expedition 2 commander, Brian Duffy, N5WQW,
an ardent SAREX/ARISS supporter on several shuttle flights; Toni Meyers,
the IMAX film producer; and Jack Dailey, the museum's curator.

"We now have a permanent legacy in film," Bauer said. For more
information, visit the IMAX Web site
<http://www.imax.com/spacestation/>.--AMSAT News Service provided some
information for this report

==>ARRL GETS IN SOME PRIME FACE TIME AT NAB CONFAB

ARRL officials this month took advantage of the National Association of
Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas to promote Amateur Radio among
members of the broadcasting community--many of them already amateur
licensees themselves. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, this year became
the first League president to attend the annual NAB gathering since it's
been held in Las Vegas. While there, he also met with local amateur
leaders and spoke at the Las Vegas Amateur Radio Club meeting.

Other ARRL officials attending the April 8-12 convention included Pacific
Division Director Jim Maxwell, W6CF, and Vice President Fried Heyn,
WA6WZO--the former Southwestern Division Director. "President Haynie,
Director Maxwell and I covered a lot of ground," Heyn recounted.

The ARRL booth--larger than in years past--was managed by Bill and Carolyn
Cornelius, K8XC and K9XC, with help from volunteers who included Nevada
ARRL Section Manager Jan Welsh, NK7N. Heyn thanked NAB Vice President for
Science & Technology John Marino, KR1O, for hosting ARRL at the show,
which typically draws some 100,000 attendees.

Haynie also greeted those attending the popular Amateur Radio
reception--sponsored by Kenwood Communications and CQ Communications. The
reception drew an estimated 600 to 800 amateurs. Haynie briefly mentioned
ARRL's Amateur Radio Education & Technology Program ("The Big Project")
and said he hoped to be back again next year to promote it at the NAB
gathering.

Heyn said the ARRL contingent found several of the NAB convention programs
of particular interest. These included separate breakfast sessions hosted
by FCC Chairman Michael Powell and by Sen Conrad Burns of Montana and six
members of the US House. Heyn noted Burns' pronouncement that Congress
needs to provide better guidance in the radio spectrum allocation and
management arena. The Montana Republican told broadcasters he plans to
file a spectrum reform bill, and he predicted a two to three-year battle.
Burns sits on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee--the same
panel that now has the Amateur Radio Spectrum Protection Act bill before
it. He's the ranking minority member of the communications subcommittee.

The Senator also said he hopes to see the empty Democratic seat on the FCC
filled soon. The White House nomination of Jonathan Adelstein is tied up
in Senate political wrangling. Burns has said he backs Montana Public
Utilities Commission member Bob Rowe for the job.

Heyn said after the show, "My general impression was that 'the digital
age' is coming together."

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Helio-honcho Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: The big news
this week was the geomagnetic storms. Stormy conditions reigned
continuously from Wednesday through Saturday, and the geomagnetic indices
rose again on Tuesday.

A check of geomagnetic data from NOAA
<gopher://solar.sec.noaa.gov/00/latest/DGD> tells the story. Most HF
operators are comfortable when the A index is ten or lower and the K index
is three or below. Currently it looks like geomagnetic indices could rise
again on Saturday, but to a level indicating unsettled conditions rather
than a storm.

Looking at the numbers, both sunspots and solar flux were lower this week,
with average sunspot numbers down nearly 38 points and average daily solar
flux off by more than 28 points. Sunspot count and solar flux reached a
minimum on Monday and are on the way back up. Solar flux is expected to
return to 200 around May 1 and may peak around 215 May 4-5.

Sunspot numbers for April 18 through 24 were 160, 182, 185, 160, 155, 180
and 256, with a mean of 182.6. The 10.7-cm flux was 188.2, 179.7, 177.3,
173.4, 169.9, 175.3 and 176.9, with a mean of 177.2. Estimated planetary A
indices were 54, 44, 62, 7, 12, 22 and 7 with a mean of 29.7.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The SP DX RTTY Contest, the Helvetia Contest,
the QRP to the Field event, and the Florida and Nebraska QSO parties are
the weekend of April 27-28. JUST AHEAD: The AGCW QRP/QRP Contest, the IPA
Contest (CW May 4; SSB May 5), the MARAC County Hunters Contest (CW), the
10-10 International Spring Contest (CW), the Microwave Spring Sprint, the
Indiana QSO Party, the ARI International DX Contest and the New England
QSO Party are the weekend of May 4-5. 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.

* KM1CC sets International Marconi Day special event: Special event
station KM1CC will operate for International Marconi Day April 27 (UTC)
from Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts--not far from the Marconi
shore station site. Plans call for operation on 80-meter CW, 40-meter CW
and SSB and 20-meter SSB. Some 2-meter FM operation also make take place.
KM1CC trustee Barbara Dougan, KB1GSO--a park ranger and education
coordinator at Cape Cod National Seashore--says plans call for eventually
setting up a semi-permanent amateur station with grant funds.
International Marconi Day takes place each year on a weekend close to the
birthday of radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi.

* Submarines on the Air set for this weekend: More than 30 museum
submarines worldwide will participate in the Submarine Veterans Amateur
Radio Association <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SVARA/> Submarines On The
Air special event April 27-28. The Saratoga Club in Providence, Rhode
Island, will be on the air as W1S from the Russian Juliett Class Submarine
(No. 484), a new addition to the list of museum submarines. W2SUB aboard
the Lionfish, in Fall River, and WW2MAN, the Seehund U-5075 Amateur Radio
Association in Quincy, both Massachusetts, will be on 20 CW. The
International List of Museumships (including call signs) can be found on
the Web <http://www.marinefunker.de/eng/shiplist.html>. Contact Jim
Flanders, W0OOG, w0oog@arrl.net, for more information on SOTA.

* ARRL added to 2002 Combined Federal Campaign: The ARRL now is
participating in the 2002 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), a program that
supports and promotes philanthropy by federal employees. The CFC is the
only authorized solicitation of employees in the federal workplace on
behalf of charitable organizations. ARRL now appears in the listing of
"National/International Organizations" published in each local CFC
campaign brochure. Federal employee donors should use the CFC
identification number 9872 in designating their contributions to ARRL. For
more information, visit the Combined Federal Campaign Web site
<http://www.opm.gov/cfc>.

* ARRL will process members' license renewals, address changes: ARRL
members daunted by the FCC's Universal Licensing System
<http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls> can ask Headquarters to file their license
renewal or change-of-address applications free of charge. ARRL members
wishing to take advantage of this service should download Form NCVEC 605
(that's the form used by volunteer exam coordinators) from the ARRL Web
site <http://www.arrl.org/fcc/ncvec605c.pdf>, print it, fill it in and
mail it to ARRL VEC, 225 Main St, Newington CT 06111. The response of
those wanting ARRL to process renewals has been very positive. For the
first three months of 2002, ARRL handled 1721 applications for members--up
from 514 for the same period in 2001. The ARRL VEC staff now can process
any member's FCC license application request, except for a vanity call
sign application. Remember: Renewal applications may only be filed within
90 days of your license expiration date.

* YHOTY nomination deadline nears: Nominations close May 30 for the
Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year Award for 2002. Created in
1986, the award recognizes one young radio amateur under the age of 18 in
the continental US for his or her contributions to society through Amateur
Radio. Nominating forms and additional information are available at the
Amateur Radio Newsline Web site, <http://www.arnewsline.org>. All
nominations and materials required by the official rules must be received
by Amateur Radio Newsline by May 30, 2002.

* Kolibri-2000 satellite transmitting on 2 meters, 70 cm: The
Russian-Australian scientific-educational Kolibri-2000 microsat--has been
launched into space from the International Space Station (see
"Space&Beyond: Kolibri-2000 Shows Youngsters That Space is Vital to
Mankind," by Tony Curtis, K3RXK
<http://www.arrl.org/news/features/2001/12/16/1/>). Now known as RS-21,
the satellite has been sending telemetry on 435.835 and 145.825 MHz.
Scientific equipment aboard includes a ternary flux-gate magnetometer and
electric field and high-energy particle analyzers. The microsat was
delivered to the ISS aboard a Russian Progress cargo rocked launched last
November 27. Prior to jettisoning the rocket, ISS Crew Commander Yuri
Onufrienko, RK3DUO, positioned a transport/launch container holding the
satellite in the Progress vehicle's hatch. After the transport cargo
vehicle separated from the ISS March 20 and reached a specified distance,
the satellite was launched following a radio command from Earth. For
additional information, visit the Kolibri 2000 Web site
<http://www.kolibri2000.ru> (in Russian) or e-mail Aleksandr Papkov,
plis@kaluga.ru.

* Thor Heyerdahl of Kon-Tiki fame dies at 87: Noted Norwegian explorer and
ethnologist Thor Heyerdahl died April 18. He was 87. In 1947, Amateur
Radio played a critical role in the success and safety of Heyerdahl's
101-day Kon-Tiki raft expedition, which used the call sign LI2B on the
amateur bands. Heyerdahl was attempting to prove that it was possible for
South American tribes to have crossed the Pacific from east to west to
settle the Polynesian islands. Two former World War II Norwegian
underground radio operators, Kurt Haugland, LA3KY, and Torstein Raaby,
operated LI2B aboard the Kon-Tiki using tube gear powered mostly by dry
batteries. LI2B kept a schedule with W1AW and other US stations during the
historic voyage.

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