*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 21, No. 26 June 28, 2002 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +Hams support Arizona wildfire response * +FCC advisory panel recommends phased-in worldwide 40-meter allocation * +AO-7 is back from the dead * +Meeting discusses enhanced public safety, security role for ham radio * +FCC initiates inquiry into Tennessee exam session * +Second all-ham crew now aboard space station * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio Certification and Continuing Education course registration CC&R bill attracts additional cosponsors Petition for Reconsideration follows FCC's denial +Dayton Hamvention attendance dips again in 2002 Field Day turns tragic for Alabama club Nevada ARES team supports fire response SKYWARN activates for busy night in Minnesota +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== NOTE: ARRL Headquarters will be closed Thursday and Friday, July 4 and 5, so staff members may enjoy an extended Independence Day holiday weekend. There will be no W1AW bulletin and code practice transmissions Thursday and Friday, July 4 and 5, and no editions of The ARRL Letter or ARRL Audio News Friday July 5. ARRL Headquarters will reopen and W1AW bulletin and code practice transmissions will resume Monday, July 8. The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News will return Friday, July 12. We wish all a safe and enjoyable holiday!--Rick Lindquist, N1RL =========================================================== ==>AMATEURS SUPPORT ARIZONA WILDFIRE RESPONSE; ARES STANDS DOWN IN COLORADO Amateur Radio support of the Arizona wildfire response has continued this week. Arizona ARRL Section Manager Cliff Hauser, KD6XH, reports that there are enough Amateur Radio operators on hand to support the fire-fighting efforts. President Bush this week declared parts of the state federal disaster areas. In addition to VHF and UHF repeaters, amateurs are maintaining HF nets on 3990 and 7265 kHz. An FCC communications emergency has put both HF frequencies, plus or minus 3 kHz, off limits to anyone not involved in handling emergency traffic. The ban will remain in effect until lifted. W1AW has suspended its bulletin transmissions on 3990 for the duration of the ban. The combined Rodeo-Chediski Fire now has scorched more than 420,000 acres of Arizona woodlands. Upwards of 600 homes and businesses have been destroyed, and some 30,000 Arizona residents have been evacuated as a result of the fire. The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) has taken on the job of coordinating communications during the emergency. SATERN Western Area Coordinator Warren Andreason, K7CWA, reports SATERN has stations and operators at six locations in Arizona, including one in the threatened community of Show Low, where the National Guard asked The Salvation Army to set up a kitchen operation. Another has been set up at The Salvation Army's Camp Ponderosa near Heber, which is serving as a FEMA incident command post as well as a responder staging area. SATERN Coordinator Pat McPherson, WW9E, said the HF network has been very effective in smoothing the flow of goods and supplies coming into the affected area. At one point, McPherson said, an on-the-air conference of Salvation Army principals established procedures and refine supply-chain logistics. "This only occurred due to the opportunity for all the principals to be on the air via Amateur Radio," he said. McPherson said that, so far, SATERN has had a good supply of volunteer reinforcements from the amateur community. Hauser said other amateurs are supporting Red Cross facilities in Flagstaff, Holbrook and Phoenix. Operators from the Arizona Amateur Radio Club's W7IO are staffing the Arizona Emergency Operations Center in Phoenix. Cris McBride, KB7QXQ, told ARRL that about 30 radio amateurs from the Show Low area--including members of the Kachina Amateur Radio Club--have been helping to maintain contact between the Navajo County EOC and the state EOC. McBride, who lives five miles from Show Low, was among those evacuated June 19. Hauser reports that Dave Epley, N9CZV, remains in Show Low, whose 8000 residents have been largely evacuated. Epley has been handling health-and-welfare traffic for town residents who chose not to leave. Hauser said he plans to spend next week in Show Low to help out. Epley has requested that users not attempt to connect with his N9CZV IRLP node 336 in Show Low, which is being used for the fire emergency. Meanwhile in Colorado, Amateur Radio Emergency Service support for the Hayman Fire concluded June 25. Several Colorado ARES teams spent the past few weeks volunteering their services as needed to local governments and to relief organizations, including the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army. ARRL Colorado SM Jeff Ryan, K0RM, reports that most evacuated residents have been allowed to return home. ==>FCC WRC-03 ADVISORY PANEL RECOMMENDS PHASED-IN WORLDWIDE 7-MHZ BAND The FCC is requesting comments on the draft recommendations of its World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 Advisory Committee (WAC). Among the panel's recommended draft proposals to next year's international gathering is a plan--still subject to change--that would create a worldwide amateur allocation at 7.0 to 7.3 MHz by 2010. The deadline for comments on the proposals is July 12. The draft proposals "may evolve as we approach WRC-03 and during the course of interagency discussions," the FCC noted in a Public Notice. "Therefore, they do not constitute the final national position on these issues." While US amateurs already enjoy a 7.0 to 7.3 MHz allocation, only 7.0 to 7.1 MHz is available to amateurs in all three International Telecommunication Union regions, with 7.1 to 7.3 MHz available to broadcasting in much of the rest of the world. The draft proposal for WRC-03 agenda item 1.23 dealing with possible realignment of the 7-MHz amateur allocation calls for making 7.1 to 7.2 MHz available worldwide by April 1, 2007, and the 7.2 to 7.3 MHz segment by April 1, 2010. Broadcasting allocations would shift upward by 100 kHz at the same time--to 7450 kHz by 2007 and to 7550 by 2010. The intervening periods would permit time for international broadcasters and other services to adjust their operations accordingly. The International Amateur Radio Union already is on record in favor of the approach. An earlier suggestion to shift the 40-meter allocation down by 100 kHz came off the table earlier this year to avoid affecting Fixed Service operations between 6765 and 7000 kHz. In other draft proposals affecting the Amateur Service, the FCC's WRC-03 Advisory Committee has recommended no change to the table of allocations in the band 420 to 470 MHz. Agenda item 1.38 will consider providing up to 6 MHz of spectrum to the Earth exploration-satellite service (EESS) in the band. So-called synthetic aperture radars (SARs) are used to measure soil moisture, tropical biomass and Antarctic ice thickness, and to document geological history and climate change. At issue is whether the EESS allocation could be established without interfering with incumbent services, including radiolocation and amateur. Agenda item 1.5 will consider spectrum requirements and regulations for new and additional allocations to the mobile, fixed, EESS and space research services at 5.15 to 5.725 GHz. The FCC expressed reservations about WAC proposals for this frequency range, citing concerns expressed by the ARRL and others. Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services allocations could be negatively affected by new mobile allocations. The full texts of the FCC WRC-03 Advisory Committee draft proposals are available on the panel's Web site <http://www.fcc.gov/wrc-03>. Commenters should submit an original and one copy to the Office of the Secretary, FCC, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554 and provide a courtesy copy to Alex Roytblat, FCC WRC-03 Director, Room 6-B505. Comments should refer to specific proposals by document number. World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from June 9 until July 4, 2003. ==>IT'S ALIIIIIVE! AMSAT-OSCAR 7 SATELLITE RETURNS FROM THE DEAD After being declared dead more than 20 years ago, the AMSAT-OSCAR 7 satellite suddenly came back to life this month. First heard June 21 by Pat Gowan, G3IOR, AO-7 subsequently has been monitored--and used again--by several other amateurs. AO-7 was launched November 15, 1974. It remained operational for more than six years before succumbing to battery failure in 1981. "I'm blown away," was the reaction of AO-7 Project Manager Jan King, W3GEY. "So, this old war horse of a spacecraft seems to have come back from the dead if only for a few moments." Exclaimed satellite enthusiast and AMSAT Vice President for User Services Bruce Paige, KK5DO, "This is really awesome!" Paige said the latest turn of events makes AO-7 the oldest amateur satellite that's still working. AMSAT-NA has now listed AO-7 as "semi-operational." AMSAT says it seems certain the satellite is running only off its solar panels, not from the onboard batteries, so it will be operational only while it's in sunlight. King speculates that the batteries, which shorted as they failed two decades ago, now are "un-shorting" and causing the satellite to come back to life. For those attempting to use AO-7, Mode A (2 meters up/10 meters down) is not a problem, but Mode B (70 cm up/2 meters down) is. Because of changes in the international Radio Regulations that went into effect in the 1970s as AO-7 was under construction, the 432.1 MHz uplink frequency is no longer authorized for space communications. AMSAT advises potential users that when uplinking to a satellite, they are operating in the Amateur-Satellite Service. AMSAT says uplinking to AO-7 "is possibly illegal since the Amateur Satellite Service is not permitted at 432.1 MHz." The current band plan earmarks the 432.1 MHz range for weak signal work. Sections 97.207(c)(2) and 97.207(b)(2) of the FCC's rules authorize space station and earth station operation only in the 435-438 MHz segment. Built by a multinational team under the direction of AMSAT-NA, AO-7 carries Mode A (145.850-950 MHz uplink; 29.400-500 MHz downlink) and Mode B (432.180-120 MHz uplink; 145.920-980 MHz downlink) linear transponders plus beacons on 29.502 and 145.972 MHz. A 2304.1 MHz beacon was never turned on because of international treaty constraints. AMSAT has additional information on AO-7 on its Web site <http://www.amsat.org>. ==>ARRL HQ MEETING EXPLORES ENHANCED PUBLIC SAFETY ROLE FOR AMATEUR RADIO Exploring an enhanced post-9/11 public safety and homeland security role for Amateur Radio was the focus of a National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) Amateur Radio Working Group meeting June 25. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, hosted the daylong session at ARRL Headquarters which included participation by several ARRL staff members. "It's our goal to increase the credibility of the Amateur Radio Service, especially after 9/11," Haynie said. "We know we have a great service that we can offer, and the resources are at no cost to the taxpayer, and it just makes good sense to us to use the Amateur Radio operators of America to help with homeland security and defense." ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Rosalie White, K1STO, briefed the gathering on ARRL's Amateur Radio Emergency Communications on-line training course series <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html>. Copies of the Level I emergency communications course were distributed to meeting participants for their suggestions and comments. Chairing the session was Gene McGahey, AL7GQ, who is deputy manager of Communications Technology Technical Assistance for the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center. NPSTC <http://www.npstc.org/>--pronounced "nipstick"--is a coalition of organizations involved in public safety communications. ARRL is a NPSTC participant. This week's meeting was a followup to a brainstorming session last February in Washington, DC, in which ARRL took part. McGahey said discussion this week included the public safety aspects of the proposed secondary domestic amateur allocation at 5 MHz; the relevance of accreditation and training programs and their role in validating Amateur Radio's participation in public safety communications support; the potential of 4.9 GHz to relieve public safety pressure from 2.4 GHz; and proposed research involving Amateur Radio's public safety role. Two surveys are under consideration for sometime within the next 12 months. One would determine Amateur Radio's specific emergency resources and capabilities. A second would assess the utilization and need for Amateur Radio resources by public safety officials. Haynie said after the meeting that he's optimistic about Amateur Radio's greater involvement in public safety and homeland security communications. "It's a whole new mindset since September 11," he said, "and we now need to pay attention to how all Americans--whether they're in public safety or Amateur Radio--can cooperate to make this a safer nation." ==>FCC INITIATES INQUIRY INTO TENNESSEE ARRL-VEC EXAM SESSION The FCC has asked two ARRL VEC volunteer examiners to explain why they took part in administering amateur exams to their family members. The inquiry involves a December 14, 1999, test session in Cookeville, Tennessee, at which the wife of VE Bobby A. Raymer, N2BR, and the brother of VE Steven G. Hunter, KF4FAV, were among the candidates. Kathy J. Raymer, KG4FWO, and Gary E. Hunter, KG4FRN, successfully passed exam elements at the session. An FCC rule--ß97.509(d)--prohibits a VE from administering an examination to a close relative. The FCC also wants to know how Steven Hunter could have been both a VE and an exam candidate at the same session. The ARRL VEC has suspended its accreditation of both volunteer examiners, which is standard operating procedure in such cases. According to FCC Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth, Kathy Raymer already has agreed to forfeit her Technician license as a result of the FCC inquiry. In separate letters May 30, Hollingsworth asked Bobby Raymer and Steven Hunter to "explain in detail the justification, if any" for administering Amateur Radio examinations to close relatives. In addition, the FCC wants to know how Steven Hunter was able to serve as a VE at a session during which he also upgraded to Extra class. Hollingsworth pointed out that the rules prohibiting VEs from testing their own kin are in place "to help insure the integrity of the volunteer testing process." ==>ANOTHER ALL-HAM CREW SETTLES IN ABOARD THE ISS The International Space Station Expedition 5 crew of US astronaut Peggy Whitson, KC5ZTD, Russian cosmonaut and crew commander Valery Korzun, RZ3FK, and cosmonaut Sergei Treschev, RZ3FU, is settling in aboard the space outpost. The increment 5 crew is the second all-ham crew to serve a duty tour aboard the ISS. The Expedition 5 team will be in space for 4-1/2 months. Scheduled Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contacts are set to resume in early July, when QSOs have been penciled in with the Progymnasium Rosenfeld in Rosenfeld, Germany, and the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago. Other contacts with schools and educational institutions in the US and abroad are pending. Although school contacts have been on hold during the crew transition, all has not been silent on the ARISS front. Korzun occasionally has been active on 2 meters as RS0ISS and even made a few contacts during Field Day. Among those reporting QSOs was Huntsville, Alabama, AMSAT Area Coordinator Tim Cunningham, N8DEU. He worked Korzun from the K4BFT Field Day setup, where he managed the satellite station. Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, of New Mexico, also reported a quick Field Day QSO with Korzun while using only a 5 W handheld transceiver and an Arrow antenna. On June 12, Lonny Kelly, W7LGK, struck up a casual QSO with Korzun after he heard some activity on the ARISS downlink frequency (145.800 MHz ) and put out a call. "Man, what an exciting moment!" he said afterward. "I had been trying for a little over a year to talk to one of the astronauts aboard the ISS, and I had finally made it." The Expedition 5 crew officially began its duty tour June 7, arriving aboard the shuttle Endeavour. Since coming aboard, the crew has been unpacking gear and familiarizing itself with the station and its systems. A Progress supply rocket is scheduled to dock with the ISS June 29. Still undetermined is the effect on the ISS schedule resulting from the grounding of the NASA shuttle fleet while it looks into possible fuel line cracks. Missions are scheduled for July, August and October, when the Expedition 6 team is scheduled to arrive, and the current crew returns home. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Rabid propagationist Tad "I wanna soak up the sun" Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: There has been very little activity on the sun to speak of. Average solar flux this week was about the same as last, up by less than six points. Average sunspot numbers declined a little more than 10 points. The prediction for the near term is absolutely flat, with solar flux at 140 for the next week. This is a little too far out to predict with great accuracy, but the projected solar flux is expected to drop below 140 in the period July 9-12. All of this is well below last week's prediction, which indicated a rise to 170 by the end of June. There is a possibility of an eruption from sunspot 8, but it is not directly facing Earth and will continue to rotate away from us. Sunspot numbers for June 20 through 26 were 122, 113, 102, 144, 133, 127 and 102, with a mean of 120.4. The 10.7-cm flux was 145.1, 139.6, 142, 142.8, 150.3, 144.7 and 143.8, with a mean of 144. Estimated planetary A indices were 10, 8, 9, 14, 10, 11 and 8, with a mean of 10. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: There are no Amateur Radio operating events on the calendar for the June 29-30 weekend, so it's a great time to work on the antennas. The RAC Canada Day Contest is July 1. The Michigan QRP July 4th CW Sprint is July 4-5. JUST AHEAD: The Venezuelan Independence Day Contest (SSB) and the Kentucky QSO Party are July 6-7. The IARU HF World Championship (and World Radiosport Team Championship 2003), the FISTS Summer Sprint and the QRP ARCI Summer Homebrew Sprint are the weekend of July 13-14. 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) will open on Monday, July 1. Registration for Level II Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course (EC-002) and for the Antenna Modeling Course (EC-004) opens Monday, July 8. Registration for the Level III Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course (EC-003) and for the HF Digital Communications course (EC-005) opens Monday, July 15. Registration for the Satellite Communications Course (EC-007) opens Monday, July 22. 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. * CC&R bill attracts additional cosponsors: The bill now in Congress aimed at providing relief to amateurs faced with private deed covenants, conditions and restrictions--CC&Rs--in erecting antennas has gained additional cosponsors. Freshman Rep Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced the "Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Consistency Act" on May 14. The measure--HR 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. Rep Greg Walden, WB7OCE (R-OR) and Rep Pete Sessions (R-TX) signed on as original cosponsors of HR 4720. Since its introduction, the bill also has attracted additional cosponsors--Rep J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), Rep Patrick Tiberi (R-OH), Rep Patsy Mink (D-HI), Rep Ken Calvert (R-CA), Rep Rick Boucher (D-VA), Rep Joseph Hoeffel (D-PA) and Rep John Duncan Jr (R-TN). 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 ARRL 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, HR 4720, as well as their name and address on all correspondence. * Dayton Hamvention attendance dips again in 2002: Dayton Hamvention reports that attendance for this year's 50th anniversary event was 24,832--down about 5 percent from 2001's crowd of 26,151. The 2002 number marks the second year in a row that Hamvention attendance has dipped. Over the past five years, attendance numbers had climbed to 28,804 in 2000, the year of the ARRL National Convention at Dayton. Hamvention attendance peaked in 1993 at 33,669--before the event date changed from April to May. * Petition for Reconsideration follows FCC's denial: Nick Leggett, N3NL, and Don Schellhardt have asked the FCC to reconsider its staff-level denial of their 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. In late May, the FCC dismissed the petition, designated RM-10330, saying that comments filed overwhelmingly favored that action. In their reconsideration request, Leggett and Schellhardt noted that they now have sent letters requesting the support of key congressional leaders as well as members of the Executive Branch, including President George W. Bush. "We will soon see which of these individuals, if any, are willing to extend themselves on a matter of pressing national security: that is, the need for mandatory shielding to protect vital civilian electronics equipment from the possible hostile use of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)," the petitioners said in an emotional appeal. Among other things, the petition accuses the FCC of breach of statutory duty for failing to take steps to mitigate any EMP threat. The FCC said it saw no need to intervene because industry already was developing its own voluntary EMP standards, which Leggett and Schellhardt view as inadequate and incomplete. * Field Day turns tragic for Alabama club: Muscle Shoals Amateur Radio Club President Randy Newton, AF4TG (ex-KE4TZV) of Killen, Alabama, suffered a fatal heart attack during the club's W4JNB Field Day operation June 23. He was 43. "Randy had been doing his part to bring club members into the meetings, as well as making everyone feel welcome on the 146.61 club repeater," said club member Rick Ruhl, W4PC. Ruhl said attempts by trained individuals on site failed to revive Newton. "He did pass on doing what he loved, ham radio, which was some comfort to us," Ruhl said. The club terminated its Field Day operation after the incident. Newton was an ARRL member and a volunteer examiner. Survivors include his wife, Mary, KF4MEI. A funeral service was held June 25. * Nevada ARES team supports fire response: ARES Northern Nevada District Emergency Coordinator Matt Parker, N7TOD, reports that the Cannon Fire in northwestern Nevada prompted a request for communications support from the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross in Reno June 17. Members of the Northern Nevada Amateur Radio Services (NNARS), Douglas County Amateur Radio Team (DCART), and Lyon County ARES (LCARES) responded. Parker says Amateur Radio was used to set up a communication link between evacuation centers in Topaz and Coleville, California, and the chapter house in Reno. "Mountainous terrain and the 80-mile distance between Reno and the fire area made communications using the Red Cross radio system impossible," Parker explained. Two meters was used from Reno, while HF was used into the fire area. DCART members in the Minden/Gardnerville, Nevada, area provided relays between the two points. Support operations began on the afternoon of June 17 and ended at noon on June 19 when the fire moved away from populated areas and evacuation orders were cancelled. "Chapter personnel were most grateful for our services," Parker said. "The Red Cross was grateful as well for the assistance given by members of DCART and LCARES." An after-action report for NNARS' participation is on the Northern Nevada Amateur Radio Services Web site <http://www.qsl.net/nnars>. * SKYWARN activates for busy night in Minnesota: Amateurs in Central Minnesota had a busy night June 20 when severe weather was reported in several counties. Stearns County SKYWARN activated at about 7:40 PM local time with John Wetter, K0WDJ; Jack Maus, W0MBD; and Brian Wall, KC0IOG, handling net control duties and Stearns County Emergency Management Director Marvin Klug, KB0RRS, in the 911 dispatch center. At 7:58 PM, Bill Klundt, KG0DX, spotted a tornado about five miles southwest of Sauk Centre. The report was shared with the National Weather Service office in Minneapolis/Chanhassen, K0MPX, which issued a tornado warning for Stearns County. Spotters continued to watch the storm as it moved through the county, with a report of a funnel cloud near Freeport from Ron Kittelson, K0OS, and again near St Stephen. Funnel clouds were again spotted as a new storm formed and moved near St Cloud. A brief tornado was reported in Sauk Rapids at 9:18 PM, but no damage was confirmed. The SKYWARN net stood down at 9:45 PM as the storms weakened and moved out of the county.--John Wetter, K0WDJ =========================================================== The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American Radio Relay League--The National Association For Amateur Radio--225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; http://www.arrl.org. Jim Haynie, W5JBP, President The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential news of interest to active amateurs. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise, and readable. Visit ARRLWeb at http://www.arrl.org for the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRLWeb Extra at http://www.arrl.org/members-only/extra offers ARRL members access to informative features and columns. 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