*************** 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 email@example.com. 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, firstname.lastname@example.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, email@example.com; 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 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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