*************** 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, firstname.lastname@example.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, email@example.com, 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, firstname.lastname@example.org. * 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 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/. You'll have an opportunity during registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW bulletins, and other material. 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