*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 21, No. 21 May 24, 2002 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +Dayton Hamvention marks 50th anniversary * +Haynie predicts passage of CC&R bill "not going to be easy" * +FCC role in Amateur Radio "minimal," Hamventioneers are told * +Nobel winner Joe Taylor, K1JT, highlights donor reception at Dayton * +Expedition 5 ISS crew to launch May 30 * +New Section Managers take office July 1 * +Air Force, ARRL cooperate in APRS experiment * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio HQ job opportunity ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration Atlantic Division names 2002 award winners Lys Carey, K0PGM, SK New Mexico amateurs called in to help following air crash French picosats transmitting Kolibri-2000 microsat re-enters Earth's atmosphere W0DX/VP2VI memorial service held +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>DAYTON HAMVENTION 2002 CROWD RISES ABOVE "THE BIG CHILL" Exuberance and enthusiasm at Dayton Hamvention 2002 by and large overcame the rainy, then unseasonably chilly, weather during the three-day event. Pre-Hamvention speculation about a considerably smaller turnout in this post-September 11 era, also seemed to have been off the mark--although the official head count won't be available for another week or so. Hamvention typically draws between 25,000 and 30,000 visitors. Although Hamvention typically provides a suitable occasion to debut the latest equipment, many attendees agreed that there were fewer new major items on display than in some past years. There was no shortage of ham radio accessories, however. Among the highlights: Yaesu showed its new "portable base station" FT-897 HF/VHF/UHF transceiver--a pumped-up version of the highly popular and diminutive FT-817--as well as its FT-8900R four-band FM transceiver and VX-7R hand-held. Ten-Tec displayed a prototype of its new top-of-the-line Orion transceiver, which is replacing the OMNI. Ten-Tec says the Orion will be available later this year. The Tennessee company also showed its new Argonaut V IF-DSP 20 W transceiver for HF. ICOM debuted its new IC-2720 dual-band mobile and had its D-Star digital "concept radio" system on display. Elecraft showed its new 100 W K2 HF transceiver as well as the 100 W internal integration kit for existing K2s (which completes the K2 as a K2/100). Kenwood broadcast the Hamvention proceedings via the Internet. The manufacturer also honored former ARRL Southeastern Division Vice Director Evelyn Gauzens, W4WYR--an ARRL Honorary Vice President--and New York City-Long Island Section Emergency Coordinator Tom Carrubba, KA2D, with its 2002 Top Gun Award. This year's event marked Hamvention's 50th anniversary--and the 51st show. Serving his third and final year as Hamvention General Chairman was Jim Graver, KB8PSO. The RAIN Report's Hap Holly, KC9RP, was Dayton Hamvention's Amateur of the Year. In a Hamvention first, Mark Elliot, N8WZW, and Cyndi Krieger were married at Hamvention Saturday, May 18. ==>PRESIDENT HAYNIE FOCUSES ON LEAGUE'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS AT ARRL FORUM President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, took the podium at the Hamvention ARRL Forum to thank those attending for being League members. "Thank you for letting us do the things we do," he said. Those activities, he added, focus on keeping Amateur Radio's frequencies and serving ARRL members. In the spirit of the Hamvention's theme of emergency communications, Haynie--in response to a question--noted that hams are resourceful in emergency situations. "It's what you know through your experience of becoming a ham radio operator," he said, "not just providing communications." Haynie ticked off a list of recent ARRL accomplishments, including the recent FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making in response to League petitions to give amateurs a new HF band at 5 MHz and a new LF band at 136 kHz in addition to elevating amateurs to primary at 2400-2402 MHz. He also urged support for H.R. 4720, which would apply the PRB-1 limited federal preemption to private deed covenants, conditions and restrictions--CC&Rs--just as it now applies to public land-use regulations. "Now, that's going to be a tough row to hoe," Haynie conceded in assessing the bill's chances. "We feel like it has a chance, but it's not going to be easy." But Haynie suggested that the time might be right for such a bill to be successful. "If there was ever a time in Amateur Radio's history that, in my view, we can do this, it's now," he said, referring to Amateur Radio's role after the September 11 attacks and its potential role in homeland security. "We're very visible." Just back from World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 preparations in Geneva, Switzerland, ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, relayed the latest news regarding plans to establish a "harmonized" worldwide 300-kHz allocation at 40 meters. Sumner said it appears that an earlier proposal to move the lower band edge down to 6900 kHz "pretty much came off the table" a few months ago because of sensitive government operations below 7000 kHz by a number of countries. Sumner said a more current proposal eventually would shift broadcasting above 7300 kHz, leaving a 7000-7300 kHz worldwide amateur allocation. Outside of making no change at all, this was one of several options under discussion, "all of which represent varying degrees of improvement over the status quo," he said. ==>COMMISSION'S ROLE IN HAM RADIO "PRETTY MINIMAL," FCC FORUM IS TOLD At a well-attended FCC Forum at Dayton Hamvention, the FCC's Bill Cross, W3TN, attempted to dispel the myth that the Commission is at the center of Amateur Radio. Nothing could be further from the truth," he said. The reality is that thousands of amateurs are voluntarily self-training "simply because you want to learn more about something that is of interest to you," he said. Beyond enforcement, maintaining the licensee database and administering the rules, the FCC's role in Amateur Radio "is pretty minimal," Cross said. Cross also discussed various Amateur Radio-related petitions now before the FCC as well as the recent NPRM proposing new LF and HF bands and making Amateur Radio primary at 2400-2402 MHz. He repeatedly made the point that the FCC prefers not to "micromanage" the rules, and he cautioned against asking for rule changes that could have unintended consequences. FCC Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth said Amateur Radio operators "have a lot to be proud of." Amateurs have the "only fail-safe system" of communication, he said. But, Hollingsworth said, there still are too many amateurs "who want to screw around" on the air. "To the extent that you tolerate these violations, you contribute to the decline of Amateur Radio," he said. As he's done in the past, Hollingsworth also cautioned amateurs to be aware of how they might sound to others on the air. Paraphrasing the late radio journalist Edward R. Murrow, Hollingsworth pointed out that just because you can be heard halfway around the world doesn't mean you're any smarter than when you could only be heard "down at the other end of the bar." Behavior such as arguing and infighting on the air "will destroy Amateur Radio a lot faster than any specific rule violation or unidentified jammer on any band," Hollingsworth said. He asked rhetorically if getting in the last word in an on-air argument was "worth taking Amateur Radio one step closer to extinction." Even worse, he added, is that such behavior also distracts the FCC enforcement effort from more substantive situations, such as intruders on 10 meters. "We're on the verge of great things," Hollingsworth concluded, urging amateurs to not take the naysayers and detractors within Amateur Radio seriously. ==>ARRL DONOR RECEPTION FEATURES NOBEL LAUREATE JOE TAYLOR, K1JT A highlight of ARRL's Dayton Hamvention-related activities was the inaugural ARRL Major Donor Reception, hosted by Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. Nobel Prize laureate and QST author Joe Taylor, K1JT, was the guest of honor as the League recognized donors who have generously supported ARRL fund-raising campaigns. Now the dean of faculty at Princeton University, Taylor was first licensed at an early age, and he regaled the audience with tales of his formative years as a young amateur building gear with parts from cast-off TV sets. Inactive for several years as his professional endeavors burgeoned, Taylor got back into the hobby in 1999 and started applying his professional knowledge to Amateur Radio, making use of the same techniques successful in digging extremely weak signals from the stars. Taylor and Russell Hulse, ex-WB2LAV, won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the first orbiting pulsar. Taylor is most recently known in the amateur community for his development of the WSJT software for meteor-scatter and other weak-signal communication work. (See "WSJT: New Software for VHF Meteor-Scatter Communication," by Joe Taylor, K1JT, QST, Dec 2001.) A historical sidelight: The event was held in the rooms where the Dayton Peace Accord was signed. ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, and President Haynie included presentations of Education & Technology Fund gifts to Kay and Carter Craigie, WT3P and N3AO, and to David Brandenberg, K5RQ, to recognize their extraordinary generosity to the ARRL Education and Technology Program--"The Big Project." ==>SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR LAUNCHES MAY 30 WITH REPLACEMENT ISS CREW NASA says the launch of the shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station (ISS) is set for May 30. The flight will bring to a close the longest stay yet aboard the complex for a resident crew and transport a new crew to the ISS. The Expedition 4 crew of commander Yury Onufrienko, RK3DUO, and astronauts Carl Walz, KC5TIE, and Dan Bursch, KD5PNU, have been on the ISS since December 7. The Expedition 5 team of Crew Commander Peggy Whitson, KC5ZTD, Mir veteran Valery Korzun and cosmonaut Sergei Treschev will be coming aboard for a four-month stay. Whitson will be the first female crew commander on the space station. Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contacts are on hiatus at least until June 23. In addition to exchanging station crews, Endeavour's multinational mission will attach a Canadian-built mobile base system to the station that will enable the Canadarm2 robotic arm to move along a railway on the station's truss to build and maintain the outpost. The shuttle crew also will replace a faulty joint on the robotic arm and unload almost three tons of experiments and supplies. This week, Onufrienko, Walz and Bursch have been packing experiments and other gear in anticipation of Endeavour's arrival. With Onufrienko's assistance, Russian flight controllers recently were able to repair the Elektron system--one of several methods available to replenish oxygen aboard the ISS. The unit had been functioning only intermittently for the past two weeks. In the Destiny laboratory, the crew wrapped up work this week with an experiment that grew the first zeolite crystals, a key element of refining processes used in the petrochemical industry on Earth. Work continued on the biomass production system, a plant growth experiment. ==>NEW SECTION MANAGERS TAKE OFFICE JULY 1 IN FOUR SECTIONS ARRL members in Oregon have made their choice for a new Section Manager. Marshall D. Johnson Sr, KK7CW, of Albany defeated Lewis N. Williams, WB7NML, 582 to 417, in the only contested race in the current SM election cycle. Ballots were counted May 21 at ARRL Headquarters. Johnson replaces SM William Sawders, K7ZM, who did not seek another term. He'll be among four new ARRL Section Managers taking office July 1. The other three candidates ran unopposed, and incumbent Section Managers were re-elected in four other ARRL sections. In Indiana, James Sellers, K9ZBM, of Middlebury, will succeed Peggy Coulter, W9JUJ, who has held the office since 1990. An ARRL Life Member, Sellers has been Indiana's Section Emergency Coordinator since 1991. In Vermont, the new SM is Paul Gayet, AA1SU, of Colchester. He is the president of the Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont, an ARRL Special Service Club. Gayet will succeed Bob DeVarney, WE1U, who did not run for another term. In Illinois, Sharon Harlan, N9SH, of Rockford, takes the reins as Section Manager from Bruce Boston, KD9UL, who has served as SM since 1994. Harlan was SM from 1990 to 1994. Incumbent section managers re-elected without opposition were William Woodhead, N1KAT, Maine; Rudy Hubbard, WA4PUP, Northern Florida; Glenn Thomas, WB6W, Santa Clara Valley; and Donald Michalski, W9IXG, Wisconsin. ==>PRECISION EMERGENCY AUTOMATED POSITION REPORTING SYSTEM TEST SET The Air Force Research Lab, Rome (New York) Research Site, will conduct an experiment using Amateur Radio operators as an auxiliary line of defense against aircraft disasters. The Precision Emergency Automated Position Reporting System (PEAPRS) test will be carried out in conjunction with the annual Team Patriot exercise. The ARRL is co-sponsoring the test. The test will consist of two aircraft flights sometime between June 3 and June 8. During these flights the aircraft will transmit a distress message, using the call sign WA2ZXS. Amateurs wishing to participate in this exercise should, upon receipt of the distress message, send an e-mail message to email@example.com detailing the time, characteristics of the message received and the method they used for reception (direct, via digipeater, via wide relay, Web, etc). Those lacking e-mail capability may participate by calling their observation info into the PEAPRS Command Center at 315-330-7444. The objective of this exercise will be to measure the timeliness and accuracy of the reports received from the amateur community. Amateurs that participate in this program will qualify for a special certificate from ARRL recognizing their participation. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Solar sage Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Sunspot counts and solar flux reached a short-term minimum late last week, but both seem to be on the rise again. Average daily sunspot numbers were down nearly 35 points from last week. Average solar flux was down eight points. Predicted solar flux for this weekend is 175 for Friday and 170 for both Saturday and Sunday. Flux values are expected to rise to around 190 by month's end. Geomagnetic disturbances are the bigger news this week, with a geomagnetic storm on Thursday, May 23, caused by a series of three coronal mass ejections the previous day. The Planetary A index was 54 on Thursday, and the planetary K index reached seven over two three-hour periods. This means generally lousy HF radio conditions with enhanced absorption, especially at higher latitudes. Several sunspot groups in view offer the potential for more fireworks. Currently the predicted A index for Friday through Sunday is 30, 15 and 10. The high A and K values don't look good if they persist during this weekend's CQ Worldwide WPX CW Contest, but if there are no more coronal mass ejections or flares, the bands could recover. As this was being written on Thursday evening the planetary K index had dropped to three. So had the mid-latitude K index, as reported by WWV. Sunspot numbers for May 16 through 22 were 120, 134, 140, 155, 171, 185, and 217, with a mean of 160.3. The 10.7-cm flux was 158.4, 157.1, 163, 170.9, 171.3, 185.9, and 181.1, with a mean of 169.7. Estimated planetary A indices were 12, 10, 15, 18, 14, 14, and 14, with a mean of 13.9. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The CQ WW WPX Contest(CW), the QRP ARCI Hootowl Sprint, and the Michigan QRP Memorial Day CW Sprint are the weekend of May 25-26. JUST AHEAD: The WW South America CW Contest, IARU Region 1 Field Day (CW) and the QRP TAC Sprint are the weekend of June 1-2. 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. * HQ job opportunity: ARRL Field and Educational Services has an immediate, full-time opening in Newington, Connecticut, as a Field Organization Assistant. Areas of responsibility include the Official Observer program and its work with the FCC; the Volunteer Monitoring System (watches for non-ham intruders on our bands); assisting with questions on regulatory issues and Field Organization matters; and the AMTS program for 219-220 MHz. Salary is dependent on experience and qualifications. Candidates must hold a current Amateur Radio license. Requirements include excellent verbal and writing skills; good computer skills; ability to travel; experience in a customer service environment; and ability to handle multiple tasks with attention to detail. Forward a letter of application, resume, and salary requirements to Rosalie White, K1STO, firstname.lastname@example.org; fax 860-594-0259, or c/o ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. The ARRL is an equal opportunity employer. * ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration: Registration for the Level III Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course (EC-003) will remain open over the May 25-26 weekend or until all seats are filled. Registration for the Level I Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course (EC-001) opens Monday, June 3, at 4 PM. Registration for Level II (EC-002) opens Monday, June 10, at 4 PM. Emergency Communications courses must be completed in order, starting with Level I. Effective July 1, the fee for all on-line courses will increase $5 due to increased course provider costs. (In-person classroom course fees will remain the same.) To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Web page <http://www.arrl.org/cce> and the C-CE Links found there. Don't miss the ARRL Course Listing Web page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html>. For more information, contact Certification and Continuing Education Coordinator Dan Miller, K3UFG, email@example.com. * Atlantic Division names 2002 award winners: The Atlantic Division Awards Committee has announced that, on the basis of ballots received, the 2002 Atlantic Division Amateur of the Year Award will be jointly presented to the amateurs of the Maryland-District of Columbia Section, the Western Pennsylvania Section and the ARRL Hudson Division for their participation with disaster and emergency communications in the wake of the September 11 attacks. The committee also named Bob Arnold, N2JEU, as winner of the 2002 Atlantic Division Technical Achievement Award. Arnold operates the "N2JEU's Web Controlled Shortwave Receivers" Web site <http://www.ralabs.com/webradio/>. * Lys Carey, K0PGM, SK: Former ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Director Lys Carey, K0PGM, of Lakewood, Colorado, died May 14. He was 77. An ARRL Life Member, Carey served as Vice Director in 1970 and 1980, Director from 1981-1986 and was elected Rocky Mountain Division Amateur of the Year in 1986. He was serving as an assistant director at the time of his death. During his tenure on the ARRL Board, he was chairman of its Membership Affairs (1983) and Membership Services Committees (1986). In addition to his ARRL positions, Carey was past deputy director of Air Force MARS, a member of the Board of Directors for Denver Civil Defense and chairman of the electricity/electronics advisory board for Denver public schools. Carey's wife, Virginia, N0MUT, is among his survivors. * New Mexico amateurs called in to help following air crash: John Strain, K0HGW, and his brother Larry, N7DF, of La Luz, New Mexico, were called in May 15 by the Burro Flats Volunteer Fire Department to assist in search and recovery efforts after a German Air Force Tornado fighter plane crashed in the mountains near Alamogordo. They used a DeLorme topographic computer map to chart the GPS coordinates of the search and rescue crews and coordinated Air Force, county sheriff and news media personnel. US Forest Service crews who were called in to fight the forest fire that developed were monitored on multiple scanners. Communications were relayed through the sheriff's dispatch office, since many on-site units could not reach their repeater stations from the canyon floor. Early on the morning of May 16, the welcome news was relayed that one crew member had been located and was being transported out with relatively minor injuries. Firefighters reaching the wreckage at daybreak discovered that the other crewman had failed to eject in time, however. During the following day, N7DF remained at the US Air Force Incident Command Post and helped pinpoint the major crash features with his portable computer and GPS. Maps were printed out and provided to the US and German Air Force for documenting the incident. Meanwhile K0HGW manned the Burro Flats Firehouse and provided support for the Forest Service firefighters. John Strain continued providing support into the weekend until the final crash recovery operations were assumed by the US Air Force.--submitted by Joe Knight, W5PDY * French picosats transmitting: The two IDEFIX AMSAT-France picosats launched successfully by Ariane 4 Flight 151 have been transmitting voice and 400 baud BPSK telemetry since May 10. The battery-powered payloads remain attached to the third stage of the Ariane launcher at an altitude of approximately 800 km. Downlink frequencies are 145.840 and 435.270 MHz. Both picosats should remain working for about 40 days.--Jean-Louis, F6AGR/AMSAT-France * Kolibri-2000 microsat re-enters Earth's atmosphere: The Kolibri-2000 (RS-21) Amateur Radio satellite--the Russian-Australian Scientific and Educational Microsatellite--fell from orbit May 4. That's the word from Alex Papkov at Kaluga Ground Control in Russia in a report to AMSAT News Service. The tiny RS-21 spacecraft had been in free fall for six weeks after being released by remote control from a Progress cargo rocket departing the International Space Station. Kolibri--which means "hummingbird" in Russian--had completed more than 700 orbits of earth before it re-entered the atmosphere and burned up over the Pacific Ocean. The microsatellite had been transmitting telemetry and digital voice recordings to students and hams on Earth on 2 meters and 70 cm. The project was a collaboration among Australian high school students, Russian high school students and Russian space scientists.--Tony Curtis, K3RXK * W0DX/VP2VI memorial service held: A memorial service for former ARRL President Bob Denniston, W0DX/VP2VI, was held May 23 in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Memorial donations are invited to Home Care Basics and may be mailed to Robert W. Denniston Memorial, c/o Else Blok, Box 330, Roadtown, Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Denniston, who was a DXpedition pioneer, died May 13 at his radio shack on Smugglers Cove on Tortola. He was 83.--Jim Livengood, W0NB =========================================================== 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. 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