ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 29
July 26, 2002
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +"Section News" and contest scores moving from QST to the Web
* +Changes at the top in the ARRL Great Lakes Division
* +ARRL names Maxim and McGan Memorial award winners
* +ARRL announces educational, technical award winners
* +FCC to toughen stance on offending power companies
* +UK to mount 5 MHz experiment
* +KB3GWY is 2002 YHOTY Award winner
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF:
     This weekend on the radio
     Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     ARRL 2001 Annual Report copies being mailed
     Minnesota teenage ham wins IEEE Presidents' Scholarship
     SATERN volunteer honored for WTC, Flight 587 assistance
     Review under way of unlicensed 2.4 GHz systems

+Available on ARRL Audio News

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

==>"SECTION NEWS," CONTEST LINE SCORES MOVING FROM QST TO WEB

Starting next January, "Section News" and contest line score results will
appear on the ARRL Web site rather than in QST. Meeting July 19-20 in
Windsor, Connecticut, the ARRL Board of Directors voted 9-6 to approve a
resolution formally relocating "Section News" to the ARRL Web site.
"Section News" has appeared in the League's official journal at least
since 1919. The "Section News" Web sites--already in place--will provide
the officials of each ARRL section "the capability of an up-to-date
information resource that can be tailored to the needs of their section,"
the resolution said.

The space freed up by relocating "Section News" will allow more in-depth
coverage of general news, public service activities and "how-to" articles.
Members unable to use the Web can request their section's reports in
hard-copy format.

The Board first considered the issue at its January meeting but postponed
action until July to give members the opportunity to better understand the
reasons for relocating "Section News," to discuss alternatives and to
better understand and see the advantages of the expanded content available
on the Web site.

Voting for the change were Directors Dick Isely, W9GIG (Central); Jay
Bellows, K0QB (Dakota); Frank Fallon, N2FF (Hudson); Wade Walstrom, W0EJ
(Midwest); Tom Frenaye, K1KI (New England); Dennis Bodson, W4PWF
(Roanoke); Walt Stinson, W0CP (Rocky Mountain), Art Goddard, W6XD
(Southwestern); and Coy Day, N5OK (West Gulf).

Directors Bernie Fuller, N3EFN (Atlantic); Rick Roderick, K5UR (Delta);
George Race, WB8BGY (Great Lakes); Greg Milnes, W7OZ (Northwestern); Jim
Maxwell, W6CF (Pacific); and Frank Butler, W4RH (Southeastern), voted
against the change.

In a separate resolution approved by voice vote, the Board agreed that the
ARRL Web site now provides a better medium to report the results of
ARRL-sponsored contests. As a result, contest line scores no longer will
appear in QST. The change does not affect ARRL Field Day results, which
will continue to be published in the magazine. QST coverage of
ARRL-sponsored contests will continue with expanded writeups, photos and
soapbox submissions. QST also plans to carry more feature articles about
contesting.

A contest Web site established earlier this year now includes, among other
features, a searchable database of line scores for members and the ability
to easily analyze individual and club scores. There's also an on-line
Soapbox to post comments and photos immediately after a contest, as well
as an expanded narrative for each event. The ARRL also now offers members
the free Contest Rate Sheet newsletter
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/rate-sheet>, which focuses specifically on
contesting.

The minutes of the July 19-20 ARRL Board of Directors meeting have been
posted on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/announce/board-0207/>.

==>GREAT LAKES DIVISION LEADERSHIP CHANGES

George Race, WB8BGY, of Albion, Michigan, unexpectedly stepped down as
Great Lakes Director during the ARRL Board of Directors meeting on July
20. Race, 66, had served on the Board for 12 years. Prior to that, he'd
held numerous other field organization positions over the years, including
several terms as Michigan Section Manager.

Great Lakes Vice Director Gary Johnston, KI4LA, was declared the new Great
Lakes Division Director.

Race said that while a Board vote to shift "Section News" from QST to the
Web did play a small part in his decision to resign, it was not the
primary factor and he harbors "no bad feelings" that the vote went the
other way. "My wife Barb and I just decided we needed some time for
ourselves," said Race, who resigned in a letter to ARRL Chief Executive
Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, the Board secretary. "There's life beyond the
League," Race added.

Legendary within the ARRL field organization for his travels around the
Great Lakes Division, Race said he's spent some 45,000 to 50,000 miles a
year on the road on the League's behalf and "wore out three cars."

"I've enjoyed so much working with the membership and with the Board,"
said Race, who is the technical services supervisor at Albion College,
where he's worked for nearly 35 years.

ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, has appointed Michigan Section Manager
Dick Mondro, W8FQT, to be the new Great Lakes Vice Director.

ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Rosalie White approved the
appointment of Debbie Kirkbride, KA8YKK, of Bay City to replace Mondro as
Michigan SM. An Extra class licensee, Kirkbride served as an Assistant SM
under Mondro and was Section Emergency Coordinator from 1997 until 2001.

==>ARRL BOARD NAMES HIRAM PERCY MAXIM, McGAN WINNERS

The ARRL Board of Directors has named Tamara M. Stuart, KF6RIV, of Palm
Springs, California, as the winner of the prestigious Hiram Percy Maxim
Memorial Award for 2001. Established in 1936, the award goes each year to
a radio amateur under the age of 21 whose Amateur Radio accomplishments
and contributions are of the most exemplary nature.

A recent graduate of Palm Springs High School, Stuart is active in the
Desert Radio Amateur Transmitting Society of Palm Springs ("Desert RATS"),
the Southwest Remote Radio Club, the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service
(RACES) and the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) United States Air Force Auxiliary.
She's a Technician licensee and an ARRL member.

For the past four years Stuart has experimented with radio wave
propagation and antenna design, compiling a praiseworthy her list of
science fair projects. Her 2001 entry was "Radio Frequency (RF) Radiation
Propagation and Polarization of One-Wavelength Loop Antennas." She also
has made presentations about her radio experiments to youth and community
service groups, and she has encouraged young women to pursue
nontraditional careers in science and engineering.

A ham since 1998, Stuart enjoys operating on VHF and UHF. She remains
active in school and community activities and was selected as Miss Palm
Springs 2002. She's also a 2001 National Discover Card scholarship winner.
While in high school, she maintained a 3.91 grade point average while
participating in an advanced placement program. In the fall, she plans to
attend Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. As the Hiram Percy
Maxim Memorial Award winner, Stuart will receive a cash award of $1500 and
an engraved plaque.

The Board picked Sharon T. "Sherri" Brower, W4STB, of Vero Beach, Florida,
as the winner of the 2002 Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award.
Established in 1993, the McGan Award honors an amateur who demonstrates
outstanding public relations success at the local, state or national level
on behalf of Amateur Radio.

A ham since 1989, Brower has been an ARRL Public Information Officer since
1995. She holds an Extra ticket, is an ARRL Life Member and is active in
ARES and RACES.

ARRL Southern Florida Section Manager Phyllisan West, KA4FZI, nominated
Brower for the McGan Award. "Rather than being a single, loud
thunderstorm, Sherri's public relations contributions are a refreshing and
encouraging yearlong rain that keeps Amateur Radio in view of the public
throughout her three-county district and spills over into other parts of
the Southern Florida Section," West said. While Brower makes a special
effort to aim her public relations activities at youth, West said, she's
also helped educate local governmental officials about ham radio and its
benefits. In addition, she said, Brower's presentations have helped in the
fight against antenna restrictions in Florida.

The award's namesake--the late journalist Philip J. McGan, WA2MBQ, the
first chairman of the ARRL's Public Relations Committee--was an
enthusiastic Amateur Radio booster. As this year's winner, Brower will
receive an engraved plaque.

==>ARRL NAMES EDUCATIONAL, TECHNICAL AWARD WINNERS

At its meeting July 19-20, the ARRL Board of Directors named the winners
of various ARRL educational and technical awards.

William Dumond, W7QT, is the 2001 ARRL Professional Educator of the Year.
This award is presented to a teacher who uses Amateur Radio within the
curriculum. The Lambda Amateur Radio Club of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
is an award cosponsor. A third-grade teacher at Stillwater Elementary
School in Carnation, Washington, Dumond in 1994 initiated a ham radio
program known as "Radio Experience." To date, more than 700 students have
participated.

Thomas Henderson, WD5AGO, is the winner of the 2001 ARRL Professional
Instructor of the Year Award. This award is given to an individual who
teaches an Amateur Radio licensing class as a regular course in an
educational institution, such as a community college or vocational school.
Henderson has been incorporating Amateur Radio into his Wireless Design
class at Tulsa Community College for eight years. Students in Henderson's
classes build amateur transmitter and receiver projects as well as VHF and
UHF antennas, which can be tested on the college's antenna range. The
students get to keep their finished projects.

Richard W. "Rick" Crockett, W0PC, has been chosen to receive the 2001 ARRL
Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award. The award, named for the late,
long-time CQ Novice editor, honors an individual who represents the spirit
of Brier's effective and caring Amateur Radio instruction. Cosponsoring
the award is the Lake County Amateur Radio Club of Crown Point, Indiana.
Crockett, who's been teaching licensing classes for more than 25 years, is
an active member of the St Charles Amateur Radio Club. He enjoys SSTV, CW
and PSK31.

Dumond, Henderson and Crockett will receive engraved plaques.

John B. Stephensen, KD6OZH, is the recipient of the 2001 Doug DeMaw, W1FB,
Technical Excellence Award. The award recognizes the author whose article
in an ARRL periodical was judged to have the highest degree of technical
merit. Stephensen was selected on the basis of his article, "Reducing IMD
in High-Level Mixers," which appeared in the May/June 2001 issue of QEX,
the ARRL's technical journal. Established in 1975 as the ARRL Technical
Excellence Award, the name was changed in 1997 to honor the late Doug
DeMaw, W1FB, a former ARRL Headquarters technical editor and well-known
Amateur Radio author. The award consists of an engraved nine-inch pewter
cup.

The 2001 ARRL Technical Innovation Award will go to three amateurs. This
award is given to an amateur or group of amateurs whose technical research
and development accomplishments are of the most exemplary nature. Keith
Lamonica, W7DXX, Bob Arnold, N2JEU, and Stan Schretter, W4MQ, will share
the award. They were cited for their development of Internet control of
remote HF stations with new and unique software and a hardware interface.
Their efforts were recognized in an article, "Remote-Controlled HF
Operation Over the Internet," by Brad Wyatt, K6WR, which appeared in the
November 2001 issue of QST. The ARRL Technical Innovation Award carries a
cash award of $500 and an engraved plaque.

==>FCC TO GET TOUGH ON OFFENDING POWER COMPANIES

The FCC plans to get tougher on electric utilities that fail to fix
problems causing interference with Amateur Radio and other licensed
communications. Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth met
recently at ARRL Headquarters with Ed Hare, W1RFI, and John Phillips,
K2QAI, of the ARRL Lab staff to discuss various electromagnetic
compatibility (EMC) issues. As a result of that session, changes will be
made in the way ARRL and FCC cooperate on power-line cases.

"What we've done is to review all cases that the League has worked on
where we had no cooperation," Hollingsworth said this week. "In at least
three instances, the power company in question hasn't cooperated as it
should have." Hollingsworth said these cases will "go to the next step,"
which likely will entail involving the appropriate FCC field office for
additional investigation and appropriate enforcement. In the future,
initial letters from the ARRL and the FCC will impose a shorter compliance
window and will be more firmly worded. In addition, a follow-up letter
from the FCC will be sent to utilities that fail to respond appropriately
to the initial inquiry.

The routine FCC letter to a power company cites the requirement to rectify
problems with their equipment "if the interference is caused by faulty
power utility equipment." FCC Part 15 rules classify most power-line and
related equipment as "incidental radiators." This means the utility
equipment does not intentionally generate any radio-frequency energy but
may create it as an incidental part of its intended operation. The FCC
urges a utility to locate sources of any interference caused by its
equipment and make necessary corrections "within a reasonable time."

Typical was a recent letter from the FCC's Consumer Information and
Governmental Affairs Bureau to Commonwealth Edison of Chicago citing radio
frequency interference complaints from five Illinois amateurs. According
to the FCC, the amateurs had attempted without success to work through the
utility's complaint resolution channels.

Utilities that appear unwilling to abide by Part 15 rules regulating
unintentional radiation are in the minority, Hollingsworth said. By and
large, utilities contacted by ARRL as a result of power-line noise
complaints from amateurs have been extremely cooperative, and he had high
praise for the League's role in resolving complaints in the early going.
Only a handful of cases--perhaps a dozen in all--have ended up being
forwarded by the ARRL to the FCC for action.

"The League's record is outstanding here," Hollingsworth said. Cases
necessitating FCC follow-up action have been minimal, he said, and most of
those stem from the utility's failure to understand its obligations under
Part 15.

Over the past year, the League has worked with amateurs on behalf of the
FCC to handle 72 complaints of suspected power-line interference. Hare,
the ARRL Lab supervisor, says that the effort has had its successes, some
cases may require more than an advisory letter from the FCC.

"Having the FCC field offices investigate those cases where a power
company is not willing or able to assume its responsibilities is a good
next step," Hare said. "The League and the FCC both hope that continued
cooperation will bring these cases to a satisfactory end without having to
resort to drastic enforcement measures."

==>UK TO AUTHORIZE 5-MHZ EXPERIMENTAL OPERATION

Amateur Radio experimental operation on 5 MHz in the United Kingdom could
begin as soon as early August. The Radio Society of Great Britain has
announced that the Radiocommunications Agency (RA) and the UK's Ministry
of Defence have granted permission to allocate five frequencies in the
range 5250 kHz to 5450 kHz. The announcement opens up the possibility of
the first Amateur Radio transatlantic contacts on 60 meters.

Earlier this year, the FCC, responding to an ARRL petition, proposed
allocating 5250 to 5400 kHz to US amateurs on a secondary basis.
ARRL-sponsored experimental operation under the call sign WA2XSY
continues.

The RSGB said the purpose of what it's calling "The Fivemegs Experiment"
is to carry out propagation and antenna investigations aimed at improving
the understanding of near zenithal radiation or near-vertical incidence
skywave (NVIS) propagation. Frequencies to become available are 5260,
5280, 5290, 5400 and 5405 kHz. "These will be made available in the form
of 3-kHz bandwidth channels by way of a Notice of Variation (NoV) to
individual Amateur Radio licence holders," the RSGB announcement said.
Applications will be accepted starting July 29.

According to the RSGB, NoVs will only be issued to Full Class-A license
holders. As a "controlled experiment," UK amateurs authorized to operate
on 5 MHz will be required to report their findings and results to the
RSGB.

The Radiocommunications Agency is expected to issue the first NoVs on or
around August 1, with experimental operation getting under way a day or
two later. The RSGB anticipates that the experiment will run for up to
four years, terminating around August 2006.

An application form for UK amateurs and further details are available via
the RSGB RSGB Web site <http://www.rsgb.org> or via e-mail
ar.dept@rsgb.org.uk.

An amateur allocation in the vicinity of 5 MHz has long been an objective
of the International Amateur Radio Union. The IARU's Administrative
Council has approved a long-term goal of "a narrow allocation, even on a
shared basis in the vicinity of 5 MHz."

==>KB3GWY IS 2002 AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLINE YOUNG HAM OF THE YEAR

Josh Abramowicz, KB3GWY, of Reading, Pennsylvania, has been named the
Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year (YHOTY) for 2002. The YHOTY
Award is presented annually to a radio amateur age 18 or younger who has
provided outstanding national or community service or improved the state
of the art in communications through Amateur Radio. An Eagle Scout,
Abramowicz, 17, was honored for promoting Amateur Radio to young people
through his activities in the Boy Scouts of America
<http://www.bsa.scouting.org/>.

"Amateur Radio and scouting have always had a close relationship, with
many of today's most successful scientists, engineers and professionals
beginning their careers as both Scouts and radio amateurs," said Award
Administrator Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, who edits and produces Newsline
<http://www.arnewsline.com>, a weekly Amateur Radio news program.
Nominating Abramowicz for the YHOTY award was ARRL Senior Assistant
Technical Editor Larry Wolfgang, WR1B, who's very active in the scouting
program. Wolfgang became acquainted with Abramowicz at the National Scout
Jamboree last summer.

A General licensee and an ARRL member, Abramowicz is a rising senior at
Central Catholic High School in Reading. He credits both the Boy Scouts
and his parents with getting him interested in ham radio. His father,
Mark, is NT3V, and his mother, Suzanna, is NZ3G.

Not long after getting licensed, Abramowicz served on the K2BSA staff at
the National Scout Jamboree in Virginia last summer and helped demonstrate
ham radio to many of the 35,000 Scouts attending the event. He also helped
to train some 400 Scouts who earned Radio Merit Badges at the gathering.
Abramowicz later convinced the Frankford Radio Club to sponsor a Venture
Crew--a scouting program for older youth. He then convinced the BSA Hawk
Mountain Council leadership to use space in its new science center for a
permanent Amateur Radio station.

The Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year Award will be presented
to Abramowicz August 17 at the Huntsville Hamfest. Corporate underwriters
for the award include Vertex Standard USA (Yaesu) and CQ Magazine.

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Propagation prophet Tad "That Lucky Ol' Sun" Cook, K7VVV, Seattle,
Washington, reports: Active sunspot regions have been coming into view,
with a resulting rise in solar flux and sunspot numbers. Average daily
sunspot numbers were up nearly 30 points, and solar flux up about the same
amount when compared to the previous week. Wednesday had a very high
sunspot number of 270--the highest since May 4 and 5, when it reached 271
and 317.

On July 23 sunspot 39 emitted a strong flare, but it didn't cause any
major upset. Planetary K indices on July 25 were running between two and
three, but earlier in the week the geomagnetic field was quite unsettled,
with planetary K indices of four from July 20-23. On July 22 the planetary
K index reached five, and Alaska's high-latitude college K index went to
six.

Sunspot numbers are expected to remain fairly high, continuing above 200
over the next few days. As long as there aren't any geomagnetic storms,
this is good for HF propagation. The current outlook for Friday through
Monday is solar flux at 220, 220, 225 and 225, and a mild geomagnetic
outlook with predicted planetary A index values of 15, 10, 10 and 8.

Sunspot numbers for July 18 through 24 were 166, 148, 136, 131, 176, 226
and 270, with a mean of 179. The 10.7-cm flux was 180.7, 182.3, 184.8,
182.8, 189.7, 198.3, and 208.4, with a mean of 189.6. Estimated planetary
A indices were 8, 12, 18, 19, 20, 18, and 12, with a mean of 15.3.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The Venezuelan Independence Day Contest (CW),
the Russian RTTY World Wide Contest and the IOTA Contest are the weekend
of July 27-28. JUST AHEAD: The North American QSO Party (CW), the ARRL UHF
Contest, the 10-10 International Summer Contest (SSB), and the European HF
Championship are the weekend of August 3-4. 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 Satellite Communications (EC-007) course remains open through the
July 27-28 weekend. Registration for the Level I Emergency Communications
course (EC-001) opens Monday, August 5. 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,
dmiller@arrl.org.

* ARRL 2001 Annual Report copies being mailed: Demand has been brisk for
copies of the ARRL 2001 Annual Report, and requests now are being honored.
While ARRL invites requests via e-mail, these will not be routinely
acknowledged. Requests should include your full name, call sign and
mailing address. Copies will be sent as soon as possible. ARRL members can
obtain a free copy of the ARRL 2001 Annual Report with a request to Media
Relations Manager Jennifer Hagy, N1TDY, jhagy@arrl.org; 860-594-0328. The
Annual Report also is available for viewing via the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/announce/annualreport/01ar.pdf>.

* Minnesota teenage ham wins IEEE Presidents' Scholarship:
Eighteen-year-old James J. Jefferson, KB0THN, of Winona, Minnesota, has
won the $10,000 IEEE Presidents' Scholarship. For his winning project,
"Automatic packet reporting system (APRS): Building a large-scale
geospatial database," Jefferson collected and cataloged the entire APRS
Internet stream into a relational database. A ham since 1995 and an ARRL
member, Jefferson said it struck him that "something useful could come
from all this data, if it could be collected and analyzed." For the
purposes of the project, he concentrated on the Los Angeles freeway
system. The data are reported in a variety of ways, so Jefferson had to
write a program to translate the data into a common format. He also
developed software to analyze the position data and wrote another program
to search digital maps for the distance to the nearest road, in order to
offer options to people stuck in traffic. The project involved writing
some 10,000 lines of code, and Jefferson worked completely on his own. His
software collects more than 600,000 data points a day. A friend helped him
locate space for a series of computers he linked together called a Beowulf
cluster to work the data. The rest of the work he does in his basement.
Jefferson (who prefers to use his middle name instead of his legal
surname, Jarvis) plans to continue with his project, investigating the use
of neural networks to detect road anomalies such as traffic jams. For
relaxation Jefferson tends a weather station he built with a friend near
his home and enjoys hiking and biking. He plans to attend Iowa State
University in the fall and major in computer sciences.

* SATERN volunteer honored for WTC, Flight 587 assistance: Salvation Army
Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) volunteer Jeff Schneller, N2HPO, was
among the 17 recipients of the Mayor's Volunteer Service Award, presented
June 26 by the office of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in
recognition of Schneller's outstanding volunteer service to the City.
Schneller was honored for his efforts as part of SATERN following the
World Trade Center attack in New York City and during the rescue and
recovery operation two months later that followed the crash of Flight 587
in Belle Harbor, New York. The SATERN liaison for the Greater New York
City area, Schneller coordinates, supervises, schedules and trains
individual Amateur Radio operators for SATERN membership. Schneller was
cited for his outstanding leadership skills, excellent judgment and
expertise in emergency communications.

* Review under way of unlicensed 2.4 GHz systems: The AMSAT-NA Board of
Directors is reviewing the large number of unlicensed systems active in
the 2.4-GHz band. These systems are being used for high-speed digital
communications. Although these systems are not licensed, they are
permitted to operate under FCC Part 15 rules with low power (100 mW or 1 W
spread spectrum). AMSAT-NA and ARRL plan to develop a joint strategy
regarding S band, as both organizations anticipate that interference may
become a problem area as similar Part 15 unlicensed equipment
proliferates. Two amateur satellites, UO-11 and AO-40, now operate
transmitters in the 2.4-GHz band, and both OSCAR-Echo and OSCAR-Eagle--two
AMSAT-NA satellite projects now under development--will have S-band
transmitters. In addition, various ATV systems and other amateur
communication systems operate in the vicinity of 2.4 GHz. The FCC has
proposed making amateurs primary at 2400 to 2402 MHz. AMSAT-NA seeks
reports from amateurs who have experienced interference with 2.4-GHz
reception of AO-40 from a Part 15 device. Send details to
ve3frh@amsat.org.--AMSAT News Service

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