ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 23
June 7, 2002
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +Sponsor calls CC&R bill "the right and fair thing"
* +FCC issues short-term renewals in enforcement cases
* +FCC modifies Part 15 rules
* +New trial date is set in interference, unlicensed operation case
* +QPC releases Technician syllabus, invites candidate questions
* +Kid's Day is June 15!
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF:
     This weekend on the radio
     Certification and Continuing Education course registration
    +New York legislature honors Amateur Radio's September 11 response
     Colorado amateurs respond to serial wildfires
     Florida governor declares Amateur Radio month
     Host selected for third USA direction-finding competition
     League Lab Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI, attends RFI committee session
     ARRL staffer is an honor grad

+Available on ARRL Audio News

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

==>CC&R BILL "THE RIGHT AND FAIR THING," SPONSOR SAYS

The sponsor of a bill aimed at providing relief to amateurs faced with
private deed covenants, conditions and restrictions--CC&Rs in erecting
antennas--says he introduced the measure because "it's the right and fair
thing to do." Freshman Rep Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced the "Amateur
Radio Emergency Communications Consistency Act" on May 14. The
measure--H.R. 4720--would require private land-use regulators--such as
homeowners' associations--to "reasonably accommodate" Amateur Radio
communication consistent with the PRB-1 limited federal preemption. PRB-1
now applies only to states and municipalities.

H.R. 4720 has been assigned to the Telecommunications and Internet
Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Israel, whose father, Howard, is K2JCC, told amateurs in his home district
recently that he's already hearing from Commerce Committee members who
have been contacted by their Amateur Radio constituents regarding H.R.
4720. His remarks May 29 during a special meeting of the Great South Bay
Amateur Radio Club in Long Island, New York, marked his first public
effort to drum up support for the measure within the amateur community.
Members of other Long Island clubs also were on hand for Israel's visit.

Israel says the FCC currently does not apply the PRB-1 limited federal
preemption policy consistently, a situation he called "patently unfair" to
those living in developments, where they face antenna restrictions or even
outright prohibitions. H.R. 4720, Israel explained, would require entities
imposing private land-use restrictions--such as homeowners'
associations--to enter into good faith negotiations with amateurs in an
effort to "reasonably accommodate" Amateur Radio communication--just as
they do now with public land-use regulators."

"In America, we are fair and consistent," Israel said.

Rep Greg Walden, WB7OCE (R-OR)--the only Amateur Radio operator in
Congress--and Rep Pete Sessions (R-TX) have signed on as original
cosponsors of H.R. 4720. Since its introduction, the bill also has
attracted two additional cosponsors--Rep J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) and Rep
Patrick Tiberi (R-OH).

The measure, which ARRL assisted in drafting, contains a single sentence:
"For purposes of the Federal Communications Commission's regulation
relating to station antenna structures in the Amateur Radio Service (47
CFR 97.15), any private land use rules applicable to such structures shall
be treated as a state or local regulation and shall be subject to the same
requirements and limitations as a state or local regulation."

The ARRL encourages its members to contact their congressional
representatives and urge them to sign on as co-sponsors and to support
H.R. 4720. Visit the US House of Representatives "Write Your
Representative Service" Web page <http://www.house.gov/writerep/> for
information on how to contact your representative.

The League requests those writing or e-mailing members of
Congress--whether or not they are supporting this legislation--to copy
ARRL on their correspondence--via e-mail to ccr-bill@arrl.org or via US
Mail to CC&R Bill, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Correspondents
should include the bill number, H.R. 4720, as well as their name and
address on all correspondence.

==>FCC CITES "ENFORCEMENT ISSUES" IN SHORT-TERM LICENSE GRANT

The FCC has okayed a Pennsylvania amateur's application to upgrade to
Extra class, but due to "previous enforcement issues," the FCC granted
only a two-year license term. The normal license term is 10 years.

The FCC acted April 9 in the case of Sam W. Jacobs, K3SAM, of Latrobe.
Terms of the arrangement were spelled out in a May 20 letter to Jacobs
from FCC Special Counsel Riley Hollingsworth. The "issues" in question
related to Jacobs' July 2000 application for a club station license in
which there were "discrepancies in your listing of officers,"
Hollingsworth said.

In 2000, the FCC first set aside then dismissed the club station license
grant of KB3FGX for the "J and D Club" in the wake of complaints that the
club's real purpose "was to harass other amateur operators," Hollingsworth
wrote at the time. In addition, three amateurs whom Jacobs had listed on
his application as club officials claimed not to be affiliated with the J
and D club or to have resigned from the club.

Hollingsworth told ARRL this week that Jacobs agreed to the short-term
sanction. If Jacobs keeps a clean record for the next couple of years,
he'll be able to renew his ticket routinely for a 10-year term in 2004. If
any violations of the FCC's rules occur, Hollingsworth warned, Jacobs'
renewal application could be designated for hearing.

The club license application was not the only enforcement issue to involve
Jacobs. In January 2000, the FCC sent a Warning Notice to Jacobs to advise
him that broadcasting is not allowed on the Amateur Radio service. The FCC
cited information that the licensee "apparently" had appropriated a
40-meter frequency--7.262 MHz--before the start of the "PLC Net" and was
engaged in "broadcasting, talking to no one in particular, making
non-serious CQ calls, and filibustering the frequency in order to hold it
for the start of net operations."

Hollingsworth advised the licensee at the time that such activities are
"not only against the amateur rules, but constitute poor amateur practice
and will jeopardize your Amateur Radio license."

Hollingsworth also applied the short-term renewal sanction in the case of
a California amateur--Peter M. Figueroa, N6IWH, of Berkeley. In April, the
FCC sent Figueroa a Warning Notice because his license had expired but he
was continuing to operate. Figueroa told the FCC he'd neglected to file a
renewal application because of the illness of an out-of-state family
member and had since filed for renewal. Hollingsworth said the FCC
accepted his explanation, but he noted that Figueroa had operated on at
least 31 occasions after expiration of his license.

"In view of that, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has granted your
application for renewal of N6IWH for a two-year period," Hollingsworth
wrote May 21. "If there are no violations of Commission rules during this
two year period, you may routinely renew your license."

==>FCC MODIFIES PART 15 RULES TO FACILITATE HIGH-SPEED WIRELESS SERVICES

The FCC has amended its rules to promote the introduction of new digital
transmission technologies for high-speed wireless communications. The
action came May 16 in a Second Report & Order in ET Docket 99-231,
Amendment of Part 15 of the Commission's Rules Regarding Spread Spectrum
Devices.

"These actions will foster the development of new products and increase
consumer choice," the FCC said in a Public Notice.

Specifically, the Commission has modified Part 15 of its rules to permit
new digital transmission technologies to operate in the 902-928 MHz,
2400-2483.5 MHz and 5725-5850 MHz bands under the current rules for spread
spectrum systems. All three segments incorporate Amateur Radio
allocations, but the changes are not expected to affect amateur operations
in those bands.

"The bottom line is that the new rules do not change the permitted power
levels of spread-spectrum devices," explained ARRL Lab Supervisor Ed Hare,
W1RFI. "They just allow them to use higher data rates in the same
bandwidth limitations they had under the old rules."

The Commission said it had determined that because new digital modulation
technologies have spectrum characteristics similar to direct-sequence
spread spectrum (DSSS) systems, they can operate under the same rules as
DSSS devices in the three bands "without posing additional risk of
interference." The decision removes a rule that limits systems in these
bands to only DSSS and frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS)
technology.

Part 15 rules now permit DSSS and FHSS systems to operate on an unlicensed
basis. FCC rules offer no protection to unlicensed Part 15 devices from
Amateur Radio operations that might interfere, and Part 15 devices must
not cause interference to licensed operations.

In August 2000, in a First Report & Order, the FCC amended its rules to
allow FHSS systems in the 2.4 GHz band to use wider hopping channels. The
FCC says the most recent changes also provide flexibility in the design
and operation of FHSS systems in the 2.4 GHz band and eliminate the 10 dB
processing gain requirement for DSSS systems--something that ARRL had
opposed.

In comments in the proceeding, the League had expressed concern that
eliminating the processing gain requirement would reduce Part 15
receivers' immunity to interference from narrowband amateur signals. The
FCC disagreed, however, concluding that manufacturers have market-driven
incentives to design products that can withstand interference from other
radio frequency devices. Likewise, the FCC said, amateur receivers should
see no increase in narrowband interference.

Additional actions taken by the FCC will permit the use of as few as 15
hopping channels for FHSS in the 2.4 GHz band. These systems will be able
to use channel bandwidths of up to 5 MHz, but they must reduce their
output power to 125 mW if fewer than 75 hopping channels are used.

"This action will allow new FHSS systems to better avoid interference than
today's systems by enabling them to avoid occupied channels," the FCC
said.

The Second Report & Order in ET Docket 99-231 is available on the FCC Web
site
<http://www.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2002/db0530/FCC-02-151A1
.doc>.

==>NEW TRIAL DATE SET IN FLORIDA INTERFERENCE, UNLICENSED OPERATION CASE

June 10, has been set as the newest federal trial date in the case of a
Florida man arrested two years ago for interfering with Amateur Radio
operations and for transmitting without a license. William Flippo, of
Jupiter, faces four counts of operating without a license and four counts
of deliberate and malicious interference to a licensed service.

Whether the trial actually will commence remains in question, however. The
case was to have gone to trial more than a year ago but was twice
postponed after Flippo argued successfully that serious health problems
would prevent him from participating. According to a source familiar with
the case, Flippo failed to persuade a US magistrate this week that he was
incapable of standing trial, and the trial date was set.

Flippo, 59, was taken into custody by federal authorities in July 2000. He
remains free on bond. As a condition of his release, Flippo has been
prohibited from making any radio transmissions and from contacting any
witnesses in the case. Criminal charges going to trial this month cover
violations allegedly committed between June 1999 and April of 2000. Each
count carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The case will be heard in US District Court in West Palm Beach.

Flippo already faces a $20,000 fine levied in 1999 for unlicensed
operation, willful and malicious interference to Amateur Radio
communications, and failure to let the FCC inspect his radio equipment. In
January 2000, the FCC gave Flippo 30 days to pay and referred the matter
to the US Attorney after he failed to do so and the interference
complaints continued.

A year ago in state court, Flippo was found guilty of criminal mischief in
a case related to his radio activities. Palm Beach County Judge Charles
Burton sentenced Flippo--known in CB circles as "Rabbit Ears"--to one
year's probation and ordered him to dispose of any radio equipment in his
possession. That case stemmed from a charge that Flippo had rammed his
vehicle into the car of a local amateur who was assisting an FCC agent in
tracking down the malicious interference attributed to Flippo.

Personnel from the FCC's Tampa District Office followed up on complaints
from amateurs that Flippo had regularly interfered with amateur
operations, especially on 10 and 2 meters. Commission personnel visited
the Jupiter area at least twice in 1999, and the FCC reports it was able
to track offending signals to Flippo's residence.

==>QPC RELEASES TECHNICIAN SYLLABUS, INVITES CANDIDATE QUESTIONS

The Question Pool Committee of the National Committee of Volunteer
Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) has released the newest Technician (Element
2) syllabus into the public domain. The syllabus will be used to develop
the new question pool for Technician examinations that become effective
July 1, 2003.

The QPC is encouraging all amateurs to submit candidate questions by
September 15. Candidate questions should be e-mailed to qpc@arrl.org.

All questions must be no more than 210 characters (including spaces and
punctuation) in length. All answers and distracters must be no more than
140 characters (including spaces and punctuation) in length. Those
submitting questions should identify the syllabus area (eg, T4B) and the
correct answer. If the question is rule-based, identify the specific Part
97 citation. For technical questions, a reference is highly recommended.

Examples of the question format may be found in any license manual. The
new syllabus has been posted on the Amateur Exam Question Pools Web page
<http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/pool.html>.

==>KID'S DAY IS JUNE 15!

Kid's Day, Saturday, June 15, from 1800 to 2400 UTC, is a chance to invest
in the future of Amateur Radio. Scheduled twice a year, in January and
June, Kid's Day is an opportunity for amateurs to introduce their own
youngsters, young relatives or neighborhood kids to the magic of Amateur
Radio and, in the process, to perhaps open the door to a lifelong hobby.
Activity is on 20, 15 and 10 meters as well as locally on VHF, including
repeaters. Suggested frequencies are 14,270-14,300; 21,380 to 21,400,
28,350 to 28,400 kHz and 2-meter repeaters (with permission from the
repeater sponsor).

Kid's Day is not a contest. It's more of a social event, where an
experienced operator facilitates getting the youngsters on the air so they
can enjoy the fun of ham radio. The licensee need only keep an eye on the
technical and legal aspects of the operation--including observing
third-party traffic agreements and identifying every 10 minutes--and lend
an Elmering hand as necessary. The idea is to help the kids find someone
they're comfortable talking with and to just let them enjoy themselves. In
Kid's Day, it's quality of the contacts, not quantity, that counts.

To provide a little framework, it's suggested to have youngsters exchange
name, age, location and favorite color with other participants they meet
on the air. It's OK to work the same station more than once if the
operator has changed. Stations may call "CQ Kid's Day."

ARRL's Jean Wolfgang, WB3IOS, encourages having youngsters make drawings
during periods of slow radio activity which reflect their feelings about
Amateur Radio and Kid's Day. "We are collecting these drawings--they can
be done by computer or crayon--and we'll use some of them to design a new
Kid's Day certificate," she said. Submittals should include the child's
name and age as well as contact information (including e-mail, if
available) for the sponsoring amateur. Send the artwork to
jwolfgang@arrl.org or to ARRL, Kid's Day Artwork, 225 Main St, Newington,
CT 06111.

"The kid sitting beside you may or may not be a ham in the years to come,"
Wolfgang says, "but I'll bet that you will both have a good time--and who
knows what the future will bring?"

All participants are eligible to receive a colorful certificate. Visit
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/kids-day-survey.html to complete a short
survey and post your comments. You will then be able to download the
certificate page. Or, you can send a 9x12 self-addressed, stamped envelope
to Boring Amateur Radio Club, PO Box 1357, Boring, OR 97009.

Details on Kid's Day are available on the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/kd-rules.html>.

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Heliophile Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Sunspot numbers
and solar flux were both lower this week. Average daily sunspot count
dropped nearly 23 points, and average daily solar flux was down more than
11 points. Solar flux is expected to drop down to 150 on Friday and
Saturday then rise to near 185 around June 20-25.

Cycle 23 is still holding up! Last year during this same week the numbers
were all lower. This week's sunspot average is more than 66 points higher
and the average solar flux is up by more than 29 points compared to one
year ago.

The average daily sunspot number for the month of May was 204.1, and the
average solar flux was 178.4. The sunspot count for May was the highest
monthly average for 2002. Average monthly sunspot numbers for January
through May were 189, 194.5, 153.1, 194.9 and 204.1. Average solar flux
for January through May was 227.3, 205, 179.5, 189.8 and 178.4.

A coronal mass ejection June 5 is expected to cause some geomagnetic upset
on Friday. Currently the projected rise in planetary A index is moderate.

Sunspot numbers for May 30 through June 5 were 190, 202, 192, 189, 208,
217 and 218, with a mean of 202.3. The 10.7-cm flux was 180.1, 181.9,
178.8, 174.9, 170.4, 169.8 and 159, with a mean of 173.6. Estimated
planetary A indices were 9, 6, 8, 16, 12, 17 and 10, with a mean of 11.1.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The ARRL June VHF QSO Party, the ANARTS WW
RTTY Contest, the Portugal Day Contest, the RSGB Jubilee Contest, the
Asia-Pacific Sprint (SSB) and the TOEC WW Grid Contest (SSB) are the
weekend of June 8-9. 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.

* Certification and Continuing Education course registration: Registration
for the Level I ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course
(EC-001) remains open through the June 8-9 weekend. Registration for Level
II Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (EC-002) and for Antenna
Modeling (EC-004) opens Monday, June 10. Registration for Level III
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (EC-003) and for HF Digital
Communications (EC-005) opens Monday, June 17. All registrations open at 4
PM Eastern Time. ARRL Emergency Communications courses must be completed
in order, starting with Level I. To learn more, visit the ARRL
Certification and Continuing Education Web page <http://www.arrl.org/cce>
and the C-CE Links found there. For more information, contact
Certification and Continuing Education Program Coordinator Dan Miller,
K3UFG, cce@arrl.org.

* New York legislature honors Amateur Radio's September 11 response: The
legislature of the State of New York has formally recognized the more than
800 Amateur Radio operators from the Empire State who provided emergency
communications following the World Trade Center disaster of September 11.
The resolution notes that amateurs expended more than 15,000 work hours of
volunteer service for more than two weeks to served agencies across the
state that included the New York City Office of Emergency Management, the
American Red Cross and The Salvation Army. The resolution specifically
cites Amateur Radio's role in staffing more than 30 shelters set up to
house stranded air travelers and those displaced by the World Trade Center
destruction. Amateur Radio HF links also enabled New York City officials
to maintain contact with state agencies near the capital city of Albany
when conventional telephone service was unavailable. A copy of the
resolution was on display at the ARRL booth at Dayton Hamvention. The
resolution will be posted on the ARRL Hudson Division Web site
<http://www.hudson.arrl.org/>.

* Colorado amateurs respond to serial wildfires: Amateur Radio Emergency
Service teams in Colorado again have been called in to assist in the wake
of wildfires. "Just as one major wildfire in Colorado has been brought
under control, another one rages," says ARRL Colorado Section Manager Jeff
Ryan, K0RM. "Amateur Radio support of this incident has been nothing short
of outstanding." The latest wildfire--designated the Iron Mountain
Fire--burned more than 7000 acres in southeastern Colorado. It's being
called the most destructive fire on record in that state. More than 1000
residents were evacuated near CaŮon City in Fremont County; some 100 homes
and an additional 100 structures were destroyed. Five people were treated
for smoke inhalation. Some 400 firefighters battled the fire at one point.
Fremont County ARES was activated, and amateurs staffed a Red Cross
shelter set up to serve the evacuated residents in nearby Cotopaxi as well
as the incident command post and the Deer Mountain Fire Station. Hams from
Pikes Peak ARES staffed the Red Cross headquarters in Colorado Springs.
Dozens of hams remained on the scene at week's end, and amateur support
was expected to continue through June 8. The Fremont County Sheriff's
Office says it believes the fire was started by a charcoal grill.

* Florida governor declares Amateur Radio month: Florida Gov Jeb Bush has
declared June "Amateur Radio Month" in the Sunshine State. In a
proclamation issued May 22, the governor cited Amateur Radio's emergency
communications expertise, its role in developing international relations
and in rehabilitation of the disabled, Bush extended "greetings and best
wishes" to all recognizing Amateur Radio as "a valuable communications
resources" and paying tribute to Florida's amateurs.

* Host selected for third USA direction-finding competition: ARRL Amateur
Radio Direction Finding Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, has announced that
the OH-KY-IN Amateur Radio Society has been selected to host the third USA
national championships of on-foot hidden transmitter hunting competition
next summer. The event will take place July 30 until August 2, 2003, near
Cincinnati, Ohio. "Event venues are being mapped, the official jury is
being selected, and the registration period will begin soon," Moell says,
who says the long lead time will help ARDF enthusiasts from all over the
world to make advance plans for this important event. The championships
are open to anyone, at any ARDF skill level, from any country with an IARU
member-society. Co-chairing the planning are Bob Frey, WA6EZV, and Dick
Arnett, WB4SUV, of the OH-KY-IN ARS. "Both have a wealth of experience in
the sport, having competed at the first two USA national Championships,
the 1999 IARU Region 2 Championships, and the 2000 World Championships,"
Moell said. Additional support will be provided by the Cincinnati
Orienteering Group (OCIN). Group housing and local transportation will be
available. Additional information and updates are available at the 2003
USA ARDF Championships Web site <http://w3.one.net/~bfrey>. Information on
the sport of ARDF (radio-orienteering) and results of the 2002 USA ARDF
Championships near Atlanta are available on Moell's "Homing In" Web site
<http://www.homingin.com>.

* League Lab Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI, attends RFI committee session:
ARRL Lab Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI, attended the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI)/International Electronics/Institute of
Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) C63 RFI Committee
<http://c63.ieee.org > meetings May 7-9 in Chicago. This committee sets US
standards for radio frequency interference testing, emissions and
immunity. Hare says meeting participants discussed power-line
communications technology. In addition, a standard on testing immunity of
electronics devices is nearing final approval. Hare is on a subcommittee
studying ways to use hand-held transmitters to conduct on-site immunity
testing. He is also a member of the committee's power line carrier working
group. "This work may ultimately lead to a C63 recommendation or standard
on the best ways to measure these types of systems for compliance with the
FCC limits," Hare said.

* ARRL staffer is an honor grad: Congratulations to ARRL Marketing Manager
Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, who graduated from Central Connecticut State
University May 25. Inderbitzen graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor
of science degree in management and organization (not-for-profit
specialization). Inderbitzen enrolled in the CCSU School of Business in
1996 to complete a degree that he'd started before joining the ARRL staff
11 years ago.

===========================================================
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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Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or
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