*************** 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.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, email@example.com. * 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 Ca˝on 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 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. 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Click on "Modify membership data," check or uncheck the appropriate boxes, and click on "Submit modification" to make selections effective. (NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You must do this yourself via the Members Only Web Site.) The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources: * ARRLWeb, http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/. (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will be posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.) * The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur Radio Club: Visit http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/letter-list. (NOTE: The ARRL cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this listserver.)
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