ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
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 peaprs@rl.af.mil 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, rwhite@arrl.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,
cce@arrl.org.

* 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
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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.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

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