ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 24
June 14, 2002
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +Industry assails ARRL's Part 15 stance
* +Venezuela rescinds invitation for WRC-03
* +ARES aids Colorado fire response
* +FCC dismisses EMP shielding petition
* +Missionary killed in rescue effort was an amateur
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF:
     This weekend on the radio
    +ARRL inaugurates "Logs Received" page
     Certification and Continuing Education course registration
    +2003 ARRL National Convention set for Texas
     ARRL, United Technologies Corporation to announce joint initiative
     ARRL Contest Rate Sheet offers timely news for active and casual
contesters
     ARRL VEC loses key team member to retirement
     Connecticut proclaims Amateur Radio Week
     New Hampshire governor declares June Amateur Radio month
     ISS Expedition 5 crew chief active on air
     K1D means it's Kid's Day again for W1DAD and K1MOM
     New Extra class question pool effective July 1
     Solar eclipse data document drop in sun's microwave intensity

+Available on ARRL Audio News

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

==>ARRL PART 15 STANCE DRAWS INDUSTRY FIRE

An ARRL challenge to the FCC's authority to permit Part 15 unlicensed
operation of radio devices that may interfere with licensed services has
drawn heavy fire from industry. The list of those filing opposition
comments includes several unlicensed device makers and other industry
giants, including Apple Computer and Microsoft. Some industry opponents
are claiming that the ARRL wants to undo Part 15 altogether and would
require individual licensing of such unlicensed devices as garage door
openers and cordless telephones. ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD,
says the industry commenters have it all wrong.

The industry assault came in direct response to an ARRL Petition for
Reconsideration in a proceeding (ET Docket 98-156) to amend Part 15 rules
to allow certification of unlicensed, Part 15 equipment in the 24.05 to
24.25 GHz band at field strengths up to 2500 mV/m. The FCC first proposed
permitting the 24-GHz Part 15 devices at the elevated field strengths in
1998 in response to a Petition for Rule Making from Sierra Digital
Communications.

The ARRL wants the FCC to reverse a portion of its Order that addresses
the Commission's jurisdiction to authorize unlicensed RF devices that pose
significant interference potential to licensed services. The League has
made similar points in two other recent rulemaking proceedings, arguing
that the FCC is expanding the concept of unlicensed devices far beyond
what the Communications Act ever had in mind.

Citing the "staggering" implications of ARRL's position, opposition
comments filed on behalf of Agere Systems, Apple Computer, Bluetooth
Special Interest Group, Cisco Systems, Microsoft and VoiceStream Wireless
asserted that potentially every user of devices that radiate
RF--intentionally or otherwise--"would be required to obtain an individual
license from the Commission" if ARRL's position prevails. Part 15 has "a
long, accepted and successful history," the commenters said, urging
rejection of ARRL's petition.

Comments submitted on behalf of the Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802 Local and Metropolitan Area Network
Standards Committee <http://ieee802.org> echoed a similar refrain. "To
'pull the rug out from under' Part 15, as the ARRL would do, would
devastate the industry and do great harm to the users of the technologies
that Part 15 has enabled," its comments declared.

In its comments in opposition, the Information Technology Industry Council
(ITI) said it did not believe the types of unlicensed devices of concern
to ARRL "have significant potential for interference to licensed radio
services." Line-of-sight systems using highly directional antennas "should
not pose any undue or significant threat to amateur satellite operation,"
ITI said in supporting their operation and deployment. ITI argued that
ARRL was misinterpreting the Communications Act.

ARRL's Imlay says the industry commenters are missing the point and, he
adds, responding to arguments that ARRL never made--such as individual
licensing of Part 15 devices. "This is a perfect example of where the FCC
went too far," he said of the Order issued last December in the 24-GHz
proceeding. "There's a threshold. The trick is where to draw the line
between licensed and unlicensed devices." The League contends the FCC has
failed at distinguishing between what should and should not be licensed
and, in so doing, has violated the Communications Act.

In its Petition for Reconsideration filed in February, the League said the
issue was not whether the FCC has jurisdiction to enact reasonable
regulations concerning RF devices. "Rather," the League said, "it is
whether or not a device which has substantial interference potential to
licensed radio services must be licensed." The ARRL argues that the limit
of FCC's jurisdiction is reached when it's concluded that operation of
such devices "has a substantial interference potential" to a licensed
service.

"Any way you look at it, this ought to be a licensed radio service," Imlay
said of the 24-GHz devices at issue. He believes the proceeding provides a
good opportunity to test the theory that a license is required for any
application that "poses substantial likelihood of interference." Amateurs
and Part 15 devices can co-exist on the same spectrum, Imlay says,
"provided there are reasonable power levels that, on a whole, do not pose
an interference threat."

Imlay says the ARRL will prepare a reply for filing by the June 28
deadline in the proceeding.

Amateur Radio is primary at 24.0 to 24.05 GHz and secondary on the rest of
the band.

==>WORLD RADIOCOMMUNICATION CONFERENCE 2003 LOOKING FOR A NEW SITE

World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 is looking for a new location.
Citing economic concerns, the Venezuelan National Commission of
Telecommunications (CONATEL) has advised International Telecommunication
Union (ITU) Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi that it will be unable to host
WRC-03.

The conference had been scheduled to be held in Caracas next June and
July. Whether it can be held on the scheduled dates in some other location
is not yet known.

"It is our understanding that the ITU had an option on conference space in
Geneva, but that the option has expired," said ARRL Chief Executive
Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. Sumner serves as administrative officer for
the delegation that will represent the International Amateur Radio Union
at the conference.

"Planning for a conference of this size and scope generally takes two or
three years," Sumner said. "It is a formidable challenge for the ITU staff
to work with potential host administrations to find a suitable facility
for a conference that is supposed to open less than one year from now."

Several issues of importance to radio amateurs are on the conference
agenda, including harmonization of the 7-MHz amateur and broadcasting
allocations. Other Amateur Radio-related issues on the WRC-03 agenda
include the revision of Article 25 of the international Radio
Regulations--the basic rules for the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite
services. Among other issues, this includes the issue of whether to retain
the treaty requirement to demonstrate Morse code proficiency for access to
amateur bands below 30 MHz.

"Amateurs may rest assured that wherever and whenever the conference is
held, the IARU team will be there for them," Sumner said.

==>DOZENS OF HAMS AIDING RESPONSE TO HUGE COLORADO FIRE

ARRL Colorado Section Manager Jeff Ryan, K0RM, reports that more than 70
Amateur Radio Emergency Service team members this week provided front-line
support in the face of the Hayman Fire--now being called the largest fire
in Colorado's history. Hundreds of firefighters aided by aerial tankers
and helicopters continue to battle the blaze that, by the end of the week,
had scorched some 100,000 acres of the Colorado mountains southwest of
Denver.

"This is Amateur Radio at its finest," Ryan said. "Operators are working
shifts in sometimes harsh conditions, driving many miles home to rest,
then turning around to pull another shift, often in a completely different
location."

Both mandatory and voluntary evacuation decrees affected more than 15,000
people. Ryan said at week's end that some 5500 residents actually were
evacuated. For the first time in its history, the Pike National Forest was
closed to the public. Authorities blamed an illegal campfire with starting
the blaze.

Ryan says many hams in Colorado were able to stand down by the end of the
week as the primary served agencies--various sheriff's offices--turned
over responsibility for fighting the fire to the federal government.
Served agencies had included the sheriff's offices in Douglas, Arapahoe,
Jefferson and Teller counties as well as the Jefferson County Incident
Management Team; West Metro (Denver) 911 Center; and the Federal Type 1
Wildland Fire Incident Management Team command centers. More than two
dozen amateurs remained on duty by week's end, Ryan said, to provide
round-the-clock support for the Mile High and Pikes Peak chapters of the
American Red Cross and The Salvation Army. Amateurs from the Jefferson,
Douglas, Park, Arapahoe, Pikes Peak, Boulder, Denver, Adams, Fremont and
Pueblo ARES groups have been participating.

Offers of assistance have been received from individual hams outside of
the state. Colorado Section Emergency Coordinator Mike Morgan, N5LPZ,
said, "Since the different groups have drilled together in the past,
coordination and cooperation between groups is seamless."

Ryan said light rain by the end of the week provided welcome relief,
although the Hayman Fire was only about 5 percent contained.

Meanwhile, some 150 miles west of Denver, the Coal Seam Fire near Glenwood
Springs has burned 10,000 acres and destroyed 28 homes. Most evacuated
residents were allowed to return home as cooler temperatures and
decreasing winds allowed firefighters to gain ground against the blaze,
Ryan said. Eleven hams from Garfield and Eagle ARES groups supported Red
Cross shelters in the area.

==>FCC DISMISSES EMP SHIELDING PROPOSAL

The FCC has dismissed a petition that would have required all electronic
equipment subject to the Commission's jurisdiction--possibly including
amateur gear--to be shielded against electromagnetic pulse (EMP) damage.
The petition, filed last fall by Don Schellhardt and Nick Leggett, N3NL,
was put on public notice in December and designated as RM-10330.

"The comments filed in response to the Public Notice overwhelmingly favor
dismissing the petition for rule making," the FCC told the petitioners by
letter May 24. "Contrary to your claim, several commenters point to
standards that the industry has adopted which address EMP protection."
Fourteen parties filed comments, and four separate parties filed replies,
the FCC said in turning down the petition. The ARRL did not comment on the
Schellhardt-Leggett proposal.

As drafted, the Schellhardt-Leggett proposals would have applied to both
new and existing equipment falling within its scope and would have
included at least some Amateur Radio equipment. In 1986, Schellhardt and
Leggett filed a similar petition with the FCC seeking a Notice of Inquiry
on possible shielding of electronics against EMP. They say the September
11 terrorist attacks motivated them to approach the FCC once more on the
topic.

EMP--a high-voltage wave of electromagnetic energy--already is known to be
a side effect of a thermonuclear explosion. But Schellhardt and Leggett
claimed that terrorists could initiate an EMP using other
technology--so-called "E bombs"--developed by the US military but, as yet,
untested on a major scale.

Leggett told the ARRL that the primary intention was to promote serious
discussion on the EMP issue.

The FCC noted that among the commenters was the Alliance for
Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), which argued that its
Committee T1 was developing standards to protect telephone switching
facilities from EMP. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
also indicated that it was developing voluntary EMP standards aimed at the
protection of commercial buildings and equipment.

A voluntary EMP standards development process, the FCC concluded, "is the
best method for developing guidelines and safeguards to address protection
of the communications infrastructure." In light of that activity, the FCC
added, "it appears that government intervention is not warranted."

==>MISSIONARY KILLED IN PHILIPPINES WAS AMATEUR LICENSEE

Martin R. "Ray" Burnham, the US missionary pilot held captive with his
wife for more than a year in the Philippines and killed during a military
rescue attempt June 7, was an Amateur Radio licensee, KC0DNB. Burnham, 42,
from Rose Hill, Kansas, near Wichita, held a Technician license issued in
1998.

The circumstances of Burnham's death still are not clear. Burnham's wife,
Gracia, was wounded by gunfire but was expected to recover. A Philippine
nurse, Ediborah Yap, also died. The Burnhams had been held hostage since
May 2001 by Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim extremist group. Several Philippine
soldiers and rebels also were said to have died in the rescue attempt.

A native of Wichita, Burnham was a graduate of Calvary Bible College and
Wichita Aviation Education Center. He also completed missionary training
with New Tribes Mission, with which he'd served for the past 17 years. He
was the son of missionary parents who have served in the Philippines since
1969.

The Burnhams have three children, Jeff, 15; Mindy 12, and Zach, 11. For
more information, visit the New Tribes Mission Web site
<http://www.ntm.org>.

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Mighty morphin' solar power ranger Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington,
reports: Solar activity has been fairly low recently--or at least it seems
low compared to the rest of the long peak of this solar cycle. On June 13
the NOAA SESC sunspot count was 126, the lowest in nearly a month.

This week sunspot numbers and solar flux were lower. Average daily Sunspot
numbers were down more than 33 points from last week's average, and
average solar flux was down more than 21 points.

No big upsets are predicted for the next few days, which is good for
participants in the All Asia DX CW Contest this weekend. Solar flux is
expected to rise over the next few days, to 135, 140 and 145 for Friday
through Sunday. Current projection shows a peak around 185 from June
23-25.

Sunspot numbers for June 6 through 12 were 190, 190, 181, 180, 177, 131
and 134, with a mean of 169. The 10.7-cm flux was 154.5, 158.3, 155.2,
157.1, 151.6, 147.8, and 141.7, with a mean of 152.3. Estimated planetary
A indices were 10, 9, 15, 15, 16, 12, and 10, with a mean of 12.4.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: Kid's Day, the All Asian DX Contest (CW), the
SMIRK Contest, the AGCW VHF/UHF Contest, the West Virginia QSO Party and
the Marconi Memorial HF Contest are the weekend of June 15-16. JUST AHEAD:
ARRL ARRL Field Day, His Majesty the King of Spain Contest (SSB) and the
QRP ARCI Milliwatt Field Day are the weekend of June 22-23. 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.

* ARRL inaugurates "Logs Received" page: ARRL has inaugurated an automated
"Logs Received" Web page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/claimed/> starting
with entries for the ARRL June VHF QSO Party. All properly submitted
electronic logs that are issued a receipt by the contest robot are
automatically added to the page on an hourly basis. Logs that are returned
to the sender with a message citing problems that need correction are not
issued a receipt by the robot and will not appear on the list. Listings
will only appear once corrections are made by the participant and the
re-submitted log has been given a receipt by the robot. Paper logs that
must be manually entered by the ARRL Contest Branch staff also will not
appear on the list until after submission deadlines have passed for the
contest and all data entry for the paper logs has been completed. This
automated system will be utilized for all future ARRL-sponsored contests
that are supported by the Cabrillo format and the contest robot. Field Day
is not supported by the robot. Field Day logs will be posted once all
initial data entry for the event has been finished. For more information,
contact ARRL Contest Branch Manager Dan Henderson, n1nd@arrl.org;
860-594-0232.

* Certification and Continuing Education course registration: Registration
for the Level II ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course
(EC-002) and for Antenna Modeling (EC-004) remains open through the June
15-16 weekend. 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.

* 2003 ARRL National Convention set for Texas: In response to a proposal
from Ham-Com <http://www.hamcom.org>, the ARRL Board of Directors has
authorized an ARRL National Convention to be held June 20-22, 2003, in
Arlington, Texas, coinciding with the next Ham-Com. The Board's vote was
unanimous. "I'm extremely pleased that the 2003 national convention will
be held in the Dallas-Fort Worth area," said ARRL President Jim Haynie,
W5JBP, who lives in Dallas. Besides the honor of having the national
convention held in his home state, "it gives me an opportunity to at least
not spend the night in a hotel," Haynie quipped. ARRL West Gulf Director
Coy Day, N5OK, and Ham-Com organizers made a formal announcement at
Ham-Com the weekend of June 8-9. Additional details will follow.

* ARRL, United Technologies Corporation to announce joint initiative: ARRL
and United Technologies Corporation (UTC) will hold a joint press
conference June 18 to announce a UTC-funded initiative to significantly
enhance emergency service capabilities in the State of Connecticut. The
press briefing will take place on the grounds of ARRL Headquarters. The
two organizations hope that the work done with UTC's generous donation
eventually can serve as a model for other states. Connecticut Lt Gov M.
Jodi Rell has been invited join ARRL and UTC representatives, who will
explain the program and its significance to emergency communications and
homeland security. Connecticut Section Manager Betsey Doane, K1EIC, New
England Division Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI, and amateurs from around the
state also are expected to attend. A demonstration of Maxim Memorial
Station W1AW will follow the announcement.

* ARRL Contest Rate Sheet offers timely news for active and casual
contesters: The ARRL Contest Rate Sheet--a newsletter for those with an
interest in contests and contesting--is available for e-mail delivery
free-of-charge to ARRL members. (It's also posted on the ARRL Web site.)
Members can sign up now for delivery. The Rate Sheet editor is Ward
Silver, N0AX, who also edits "Contest Corral" in QST and is a regular
contributor to other QST departments as well as to National Contest
Journal. Each issue of the Rate Sheet includes news, announcements and
notices for a two-week period, plus contest tips and technical/technique
briefs. Silver invites suggestions for content and organization via e-mail
to rate-sheet@arrl.org. ARRL members can subscribe to the ARRL Contest
Rate Sheet by logging onto the ARRL Web site as a member, then going to
the Member Data Page
<http://www.arrl.org/members-only/memdata.html?modify=1>;. Under the
heading "Which of the following would you like to receive automatically
via email from ARRL?" check the box for "ARRL Contest Rate Sheet (biweekly
contest newsletter)."

* ARRL VEC loses key team member to retirement: Assistant to the Volunteer
Examiner Coordinator Manager Wayne Irwin, W1KI, retired June 12 after
seven years of service. An ARRL Life Member and Extra class licensee,
Irwin came to work at ARRL headquarters following a 25-year career as a
business machine technician with Xerox Corporation. Outside of ARRL HQ,
Amateur Radio is an important factor in his family. His wife, Louise,
W1LRI, and oldest daughter Laura, KA1TMJ, are ARRL family members. They
hope to soon be joined by youngest daughter Becky, who just completed
kindergarten and already wants to know when she can get her own call sign.
(Her dad tells her, simply, "As soon you can pass the exam.") Irwin plans
to resume service as a Volunteer Examiner as soon as he and his family are
established in their new home in Ocala, Florida. ARRL VEC Manager Bart
Jahnke, W9JJ, said he would miss Irwin's assistance and good counsel and
wished him a happy retirement.

* Connecticut proclaims Amateur Radio Week: Connecticut Gov John Rowland
has proclaimed June 16-23--the week leading up to ARRL Field Day--as
"Amateur Radio Week" in the State of Connecticut. The governor's official
statement notes that Connecticut is home to ARRL Headquarters and
acknowledges the League's "Big Project" educational initiative "to
interest school children in the sciences through the gateway of Amateur
Radio." Additionally, Rowland's proclamation cites the SKYWARN
weather-spotting program, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Amateur
Radio's role in the Connecticut Public Television Science Fair and Amateur
Radio's contribution of free communications to various public service
events. The proclamation also acknowledges Field Day as an "emergency
exercise encampment and demonstration of Radio Amateurs' skills and
readiness."

* New Hampshire governor declares June Amateur Radio month: New Hampshire
Gov Jeanne Shaheen has proclaimed June as "Amateur Radio Month" in the
Granite State. The proclamation salutes the volunteer emergency and public
service communications contributions of New Hampshire's 5000 Amateur Radio
operators. Each New Hampshire governor since 1985 has recognized by
proclamation the third week of June--leading up to Field Day--as Amateur
Radio Week. Gov Shaheen has elected to expand recognition from the single
week to the whole month of June, in part because of the exemplary response
by the state's Amateur Radio operators in the wake of the September 11
terrorist attacks. For more information on New Hampshire Amateur Radio
Field Day activities, visit the ARRL New Hampshire Section Web site
<http://www.nhradio.org/contents.html>.

* ISS Expedition 5 crew chief active on air: Stan Vandiver, W4SV, in
Indiana, reports he worked International Space Station Expedition 5 Crew
Commander Valeri Korzun June 10 on 2 meters at 0222 UTC. "He was using
call sign RS0ISS, and he complimented my Russian!" said Vandiver, who
sprinkled a few Russian words into his exchange. "I hope this is a sign of
things to come for this crew!" Vandiver said Korzun worked some other
stations before his contact, which he recorded and posted on his Web site
<http://stan.vandiver.com/space.html>.

* K1D means it's Kid's Day again for W1DAD and K1MOM: Kid's Day, Saturday,
June 15, from 1800 to 2400 UTC, is one way 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. Among regular
participants are Peter and Jeanne Schipelliti, W1DAD and K1MOM, and their
kids Geena, 7, and Luciano, 5. The Schipellitis once again will be on the
air from New Hampshire with special event call sign K1D through June 16.
Listen for K1D on 7230, 14,270, 21,380 and 28,380 kHz. Hams who plan to
put youngsters on the air for Kid's Day can get a free Amateur Radio
coloring book and youth-oriented operating aids from K1MOM with an e-mail
to k1mom@arrl.net. Details on Kid's Day are available on the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/kd-rules.html>. John Creel, WB3GXW,
advised the Silver Spring, Maryland, will have the 147.180 repeater linked
on Echolink to the *WASH_DC* Conference server for Kid's Day.

* New Extra class question pool effective July 1: Starting July 1, a new
Amateur Extra class (Element 4) question pool goes into effect for
examinations given on or after that date. The new pool contains more than
800 questions--up from the present 685. There is no change in the number
of questions or the passing grade for examinations derived from the new
question pool, however, and no other examination elements are affected. A
representative from ARRL VEC sits on the Question Pool Committee, which is
composed of representatives of four of the nation's Volunteer Examiner
Coordinator organizations. Question pools are revised and updated on a
timetable determined by the QPC, which is soliciting candidate questions
based on the recently released Technician (Element 2) syllabus. All
current question pools are available on the ARRL Amateur Exam Question
Pools Web site <http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/pools.html>.

* Solar eclipse data document drop in sun's microwave intensity: On June
11, a partial eclipse (technically, an annular eclipse) began just after
0000 UTC, covering roughly half of the sun at maximum, which occurred at
around 0120 UTC. For continental US viewers, the event was visible
primarily on the West Coast. The Solar Radio Burst Locator at Caltech's
Owens Valley Radio Observatory near Bishop, California, continuously
monitors the sun's microwave output over the entire solar disk. Caltech's
Brian L. Dougherty has provided graphs of the solar microwave eclipse. A
data plot shows a relative dip in intensity observed within three
frequency ranges. To prepare this plot, averages were calculated on the
day of the eclipse and the day before the eclipse within the 2-4, 4-8, and
8-16 GHz bands. Then the ratio of fluxes on June 11 versus those measured
on June 10 was formed. To view the graph, visit the microwave eclipse Web
page <http://srbl.caltech.edu/020610.html>.--thanks to Bob Gonsett, W6VR

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

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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.

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