*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 21, No. 39 October 4, 2002 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +Hams activate as Lili pays a visit * +ARRL announces The Diamond Club * +Whitson wows kids in Canada, California * +ARRL surveying members on future continuing ed courses * +Ham radio represented at ITU Plenipotentiary conference * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio All 58 counties to be active during California QSO Party Correction +ARRL VEC welcomes Perry Green, WY1O +Monitors needed to track burrowing owl migration ARRL to sponsor legal seminar at Pacificon Vote on QST Cover Plaque Award P5/4L4FN postpones plans to work teen hams +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>A DIMINISHED HURRICANE LILI COMES ASHORE IN LOUISIANA Hurricane Lili made landfall October 3 on the western edge of Vermillion Bay, Louisiana. A Category 2 storm packing winds of around 90 MPH with higher gusts, Lili was the first hurricane to hit the US since Hurricane Irene in 1999. Lili soon was downgraded to a tropical depression, but not before pounding the state with heavy rain and high winds and leaving thousands without power. At week's end, an FCC-declared communications emergency remained in effect for Louisiana and Texas. The declaration requires amateurs to refrain from using 7285 kHz (daytime) and 3873 kHz (nighttime), plus or minus 3 kHz, unless they are taking part in the handling of emergency traffic. The FCC declaration supports operation of the West Gulf Emergency Net. It remains in effect until rescinded. "A number of Red Cross and other types of shelters have been opened across Louisiana, including Shreveport, Monroe, and Ruston in the northern part of the state," ARRL Louisiana Section Manager Mickey Cox, K5MC, reported not long after the storm struck. "Lots of Louisiana stations are checking in on the HF emergency nets with weather reports and information on shelters." Cox said operators from the Ozone Amateur Radio Club, W5SLA, were staffing the National Weather Service in Slidell and have been active on the HF emergency nets. According to Cox, ARES activated in Calcasieu Parish, in the southwestern corner of the state. In addition, he said, Ouachita Parish ARES deployed hams to the Office of Emergency Preparedness in W Monroe as well as to a Red Cross shelter in Monroe, where other operators plan to handle health-and-welfare traffic. South Texas SM Ray Taylor, N5NAV, said a daytime HF net would likely be kept going until the Baptist Men's Kitchen gets situated and has telephone service operational. Hams also began handling health-and-welfare traffic (on 7.285 MHz) when not supporting relief agencies there. "We were very fortunate that Lili lost strength before making landfall," Taylor said. "There was a lot of damage, but it could have been worse." The Hurricane Watch Net <http://www.hwn.org> officially reopened on 14.325 MHz shortly before the storm hit the coast, and shut down about eight hours later. "Lots of data was collected during and after the storm made landfall," said Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, who's filling in this week for HWN Manager Mike Pilgrim, K5MP. Graves also noted that the hurricane season still has another couple of months to go. "Even though this is the first of October, we better not let down our guard as the hurricane season continues until November 30," he said. Operators at W4EHW at the National Hurricane Center <http://www.fiu.edu/orgs/w4ehw/> in Miami also were active and cooperated with the HWN effort. "With this storm we established another milestone in W4EHW's history," said W4EHW Amateur Radio Coordinator John McHugh, KU4GY. "Using the Palmetto Radio Club repeater that was connected to similar repeaters in Louisiana via IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Protocol), we were able to collect weather reports from stations in the affected area that do not have HF radios." By week's end, Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) ham operators dropped back to an SA Level I alert. ==>ARRL ANNOUNCES DIAMOND CLUB DONOR RECOGNITION PROGRAM The ARRL has introduced The Diamond Club as a way to increase member involvement, support the League and offer valuable membership benefits above and beyond those already available. The program was approved by the ARRL Board of Directors at its July meeting and introduced this month. "This is a donor recognition program, to acknowledge member loyalty," said ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. "We're excited to be able to thank our members in ways we've never been able to do previously and, at the same time, to raise critical additional resources to sustain ARRL in the future." Hobart said the program has a first-year goal of $150,000 "to support those ARRL-sponsored programs amateurs enjoy." She compared the program to those already offered by other non-profit organizations across the US. "We did a membership sample survey in 2001 to gauge interest in specific benefits and types of benefits," Hobart explained. "The Diamond Club program was crafted to be consistent with the results of that survey." Recognition for increased annual support in The Diamond Club includes all current ARRL membership benefits plus pins and certificates at every membership level plus special Diamond Club car window decals, publication discounts, new QST delivery options and donor recognition opportunities. "You select the contribution level that fits your budget, and ARRL will do the rest," Hobart said. Members of The Diamond Club can start out small--with an annual contribution as little as $75 a year ($50 a year for ARRL Life Members)--or large, with a yearly gift of $5000 or more. In addition to a subscription to QST, access to members-only pages on the ARRL Web site, and other member benefits, Diamond Club donors at the introductory level will receive a Diamond Club pin, a personalized Diamond Club certificate and two Diamond Club vehicle window decals. The Diamond Club offers additional benefits for larger contributions at the Brass, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Director levels. For instance, at the Platinum level--available for contributions of from $2500 to $4999 annually--members also will receive 10 percent off direct ARRL publications purchases, first-class delivery of QST, unlimited free use of DXCC, Outgoing QSL Service and awards, an invitation to all ARRL donor recognition events and an annual voluntary listing in the ARRL Annual Report and on the ARRL Web site. Donations to the ARRL Diamond Club are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law and are not refundable. Hobart emphasized that The Diamond Club contributions are annual. Details on The Diamond Club are spelled out on the ARRL Web site <https://www.arrl.org/diamondclub/> ==>WHITSON WOWS 'EM FROM CANADA TO CALIFORNIA Continuing a successful string of Amateur Radio on the International Space Station school contacts, US astronaut Peggy Whitson, KC5ZTD, during the past week answered questions from youngsters in northern Canada to southern California. At the controls of NA1SS on September 27, Whitson spoke with youngsters at Joamie Iuniarvik, a kindergarten through grade 5 school in Iqaluit, the capital of Canada's newest territory, Nunavut. She followed up October 2 by answering questions posed by youngsters at St Mark's Lutheran School in Hacienda Heights, California. The Joamie youngsters spoke to Whitson via a teleconferencing circuit that included ARISS veteran Earth station operator Gerald Klatzko, ZS6BTD, in South Africa. Whitson told the Joamie pupils that working in a zero-gravity environment makes doing a lot of things easier than on Earth. But if you need to apply some force, she said, "it's difficult to find the appropriate foothold to hold yourself into place." Another youngster asked about meteor showers. "From here, we can actually see some of the meteors as they enter Earth's atmosphere," Whitson said, "and we hope to not run into any of them at all." Whitson also explained that velocity is what keeps the ISS in space but about every three months the crew needs to do an orbital boost. "The ISS travels at 17,500 MPH," Whitson said. "That's what keeps us in orbit." Whitson expounded on the importance of space exploration. "The human species will always be exploring new frontiers," she said, "and I think it's important that we go to space for lots of different reasons, some on a more practical level--for the science and technology that we learn--but mostly I think it is most important to go into space to continue exploration." Sharing the experience with the Iqaluit students were youngsters at a school in Ottawa, Ontario. The two schools were connected via a two-way videoconferencing link. "The event proved to be a huge success both in Iqaluit and Ottawa," said ARISS mentor Steve McFarlane, VE3TBD. A total of 800 people--including news media representatives and various dignitaries--were in attendance at both schools. McFarlane initially approached the Nunavut school at random because he wanted more isolated communities involved in the ARISS program. Whitson told students at St Mark's Lutheran School in Hacienda Heights, California, on October 2 that the most challenging thing she had to do in preparation for her space flight was to learn how to speak Russian. The ISS crew consists of American and Russian members. "It's not one of my skills, and so learning Russian was very difficult for me," Whitson said. "It made learning about guidance and navigation seem easy." Her biggest thrill was being able to go on a space walk and enjoying the experience of "flying like a bird." Being in the spacesuit for a space walk "is just like being in our own space capsule," she said. Being able to do her scientific experiments aboard the ISS was the most worthwhile of her activities during her tour of duty as part of the Expedition 5 crew. Developing better superconductor and zeolite crystals are some of the more beneficial pieces of research, she said. The lack of gravity on the ISS is one of the advantages that contribute to scientific research. In response to a question about what she missed on Earth in addition to her family and friends, Whitson replied "food!" She told the students that she's "tired of eating out of cans" and having to rehydrate all her food. Two dozen St Mark's students took part in the ARISS QSO. Principal Barbara Clark said the students' questions evolved from a schoolwide competition to select the best questions from each grade level. Whitson was impressed. "I think they did an excellent job," she said. "These were some of the best questions I've had and actually got more to the point of asking what it really feels like to be here." Located approximately 80 miles east of Los Angeles, St Mark's has an enrollment of some 800 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The St Mark's contact was handled via ARISS Earth station veteran Tony Hutchison, VK5ZAI, in Australia. Audio for both the Joamie and St Mark's QSOs was handled via a WorldCom teleconferencing circuit. ARISS is an international project, with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>ARRL SURVEYING MEMBERSHIP ON FUTURE CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSE PREFERENCES The ARRL is surveying its membership regarding which future on-line ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (C-CE) courses hams would be most likely to take. The list of possibilities ranges from antennas to VHF and UHF operation. The Web-based survey <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/cce/ccesurv.html> is now open for input. The survey period will end October 27. "The C-CE program has been very successful," said C-CE Program Coordinator Howard Robins, W1HSR, who notes that thousands of hams have registered for ARRL's on-line classes since the C-CE program began in late 2000. The C-CE program's first offering--selected as a result of membership input--was the Level I Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course (EC-001). The League now offers three levels in emergency communications and expanded course offerings to include Antenna Modeling, HF Digital Communication and Satellite Communication. "Our plans are to make several additional courses available in 2003," Robins said. "The survey results will guide the C-CE program in providing courses of demonstrated interest to ARRL members." Members will be asked to rank the various possibilities in terms of the likelihood that they would take the course if it were offered. The list includes Antennas 101, Basic Electronics, Trouble Shooting, Test Equipment, Radio Propagation, VHF and UHF Beyond the Repeater and Contesting 101. 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 Howard Robins, W1HSR, firstname.lastname@example.org. ==>TIMOFEEV ELECTED TO HEAD ITU RADIOCOMUNICATION BUREAU Valery Timofeev has been elected director of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radiocommunication Bureau. Timofeev, who is Russia's deputy minister for communications and informatization, has extensive experience in radio frequency spectrum management at both the national and international levels. Timofeev replaces Robert Jones, ex-VE3CTM, now VE7RWJ. Jones has served two four-year terms and could not run again. Timofeev's election means that for the first time in at least three decades, an Amateur Radio licensee will not head the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. The election took place during the 16th ITU Plenipotentiary Conference now under way in Marrakesh, Morocco. A former ITU staff member, Timofeev promised to dedicate himself to serving the needs of the ITU "at this very important time in the history of radiocommunications." He noted the very difficult and complex tasks facing the bureau, including the issue of satellite filings. He told the delegates that "building the future information society can't be done without effective radiocommunication and broadcasting." More information on Timofeev is available on the ITU Web site <http://www.itu.int/newsroom/pp02/media_information/cv_timofeev.html>. A day earlier, ITU Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi and Deputy Secretary-General Roberto Blois were re-elected for second terms. Also this week, Houlin Zhao of China and Hamadoun Tourť of Mali were elected for second terms as directors of the ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau and Telecommunication Development Bureau, respectively. For the first time, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has observer status at an ITU "Plenipot." IARU President Larry Price, W4RA, represented the organization in Marrakesh from September 23 until September 30. IARU Region 2 Executive Committee member Tim Ellam, VE6SH, now is participating on behalf of the IARU. ARRL Technical Specialist Jon Siverling, WB3ERA, is a member of the US delegation to this global conference. IARU earned observer status during the 1998 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference held in Minneapolis. Observer status gives the IARU an opportunity to network with delegates of member-states to support the IARU's goal of a 300-kHz worldwide allocation at 7 MHz. As ARRL Technical Relations Manager Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, explains, although the 40-meter issue is not on the Plenipot's agenda, many of the people attending also will go to the World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 preparatory meeting this year and to WRC-03 itself next year. Amateur Radio special event station CN8UIT is on the air from the convention site with Roberto Cabanillas, LU3HAK, as one of the primary operators. Ellam says CN8UIT has been active mostly on 10 and 15 meters. QSL via CN8MC. The Plenipot concludes October 18. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Subbing for Tad Cook, K7VVV, sun watcher Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, Ft Wayne, Indiana, reports: Geomagnetic field activity during the period ranged from quiet to severe storm. Several coronal mass ejections around the first of the week caused elevated K and A indices beginning mid-week, along with the resultant geomagnetic storms as the interplanetary magnetic field turned south. Auroral displays, degraded propagation on the higher HF bands and some interesting 6-meter openings were noted during the stormy times. There were no significant proton events during the period. X-ray flare activity during the period ranged from low to moderate. The largest X-ray flares were M2 events on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday. These flares did not cause any significant radio blackouts. As K7VVV has mentioned in previous bulletins, the higher bands (15, 12 and 10 meters) will offer excellent worldwide openings as we progress through fall and into winter. Now is the time to enjoy these bands--before Cycle 23 gets too far down its inevitable decline. Daily data for September 26 through October 2 follows. Sunspot numbers were 157, 185, 140, 146, 94, 105 and 99, with a mean of 132.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 149.9, 151.6, 148.6, 138.1, 139.7, 139.8 and 135.8, with a mean of 143.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 8, 8, 6, 26, 60 and 44, with a mean of 22.9. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The SARL 80-Meter QSO Party is October 3. The TARA PSK31 Rumble, the Oceania DX Contest (SSB), the EU Autumn Sprint (SSB), the California QSO Party, the QCWA QSO Party, the Pro CW Contest and the RSGB 21/28 MHz Contest (SSB) are the weekend of October 5-6. JUST AHEAD: The YLRL Anniversary Party (CW), the 10-10 Day Sprint, the Oceania DX Contest (CW), the EU Autumn Sprint (CW), the Pennsylvania QSO Party, the FISTS Fall Sprint , the Iberoamericano Contest, and the North American Sprint (RTTY) are the weekend of October 12-13. 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. * All 58 counties to be active during California QSO Party: All 58 California counties are scheduled to be active on the air for the California QSO Party (CQP) <http://www.cqp.org/>, October 5-6. The event has been sponsored since 1974 by the Northern California Contest Club (NCCC). A list of CQP stations officially registered is available on the CQP Web site <http://www.cqp.org/Counties-Plan-2002.html>. Ken Widelitz, K6LA, sponsors a "First to 58" plaque <http://www.cqp.org/Awards.html>, awarded to the first non-California station to contact all 58 California counties. The NCCC also offers the Worked All California Counties (WACC) award <http://www.nccc.cc/wacc.html> to anyone working all 58 California counties anytime.--Mark Ziegler, W6ZZZ * Correction: The story "Amateurs Assist in Isidore Response" in The ARRL Letter, Vol 21, No 38 (Sep 27, 2002) should have said that the Amateur Radio Red Cross Net for the first time enabled all five Red Cross chapters on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to keep in touch with each other as well as with the Red Cross Emergency Operations Center in Jackson, which had only one shelter.--Ben Jones, AC5SU * ARRL VEC welcomes Perry Green, WY1O: ARRL Headquarters on September 20 welcomed Perry Green, WY1O, to the staff of the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (ARRL VEC). Green will serve as assistant to ARRL VEC Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, a position vacated by the retirement of Wayne Irwin, W1KI. A Connecticut native, he has lived for the last 25 years in Winsted. Green says that as a child living in the greater Hartford area, he often passed the "unusual little brick building"--W1AW. "Now to be working here is a thrill," he said. Green became interested in Amateur Radio in the early 1960s but didn't get licensed until the 1980s after some ham radio friends at work invited him to a club meeting. Not long afterwards, he took the club's course and successfully passed his Novice exam to become KA1VFK. "The nurturing provided by the ham club motivated me to attain the Extra-class license and to become a volunteer examiner," he said. Green serves as president of the Wireless Operators of Winsted, and the CQ Club. He also is active in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service and involved in local community organizations and projects. Green comes to ARRL after 23 years at Waring Products Div of DCA, where he worked in inventory control and shipping. He also enjoys motorcycling, photography, genealogy and computers. Welcome aboard, Perry! * Monitors needed to track burrowing owl migration: For the fifth year in a row, volunteer monitors are needed to help determine the routes and winter destinations of the threatened burrowing owl. In past years, Amateur Radio operators have listened for tracking transmitters attached to the owls, which, as their name suggests, live in burrows in the ground rather than in trees. These efforts have helped scientists determine that owls hatching during summer months in the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta travel over the central states from North Dakota to Oklahoma and end up in southeastern Texas and northern Mexico. "They sometimes fly over 2000 miles to their winter homes," says ARRL Amateur Radio Direction Finding Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV. This fall the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona is asking hams to help track 53 transmitter-equipped owls from eastern Washington. "If you live in the western USA and can receive 150-MHz signals, you could help," Moell says. "Your scanner or extended-range hand-held Amateur Radio transceiver plus an outside antenna are all you need to join in. If you have radio-direction finding equipment for VHF, so much the better." Moell's "Homing In" Web site <http://www.homingin.com> has more information on this monitoring project, including frequencies and equipment and antenna suggestions. The site also tells how to join the BIOTRACKERS mailing list for the latest updates and discussions of wildlife-tracking topics. * ARRL to sponsor legal seminar at Pacificon: The ARRL will sponsor a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar in conjunction with Pacificon--the ARRL 2002 Pacific Division Convention. Pacificon takes place October 18-20. The seminar is designed for practicing attorneys who also serve as ARRL volunteer counsel, but it also is open to the general public. The seminar will cover recent developments affecting regulation of the Amateur Radio Service, including antennas, RFI, international regulation and licensing and possible future developments. This interesting and informative seminar will be held Friday, October 18, 2002, 9 AM until 1 PM, in the Sun Valley Room of the Airport Sheraton Hotel, 45 John Glenn Drive, Concord, CA 94527. Instructors will be ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, and longtime ARRL Volunteer Counsel Phil Kane, K2ASP. Attending attorneys who pay the necessary fee will be eligible for approximately four units of CLE credit. To insure adequate seating, notify John Hennessee, N1KB, at ARRL HQ (email@example.com; 860-594-0236; fax 860-594-0259) that you plan to attend. The cost for attorneys wishing CLE credit is $50. For all others, the seminar fee is $10 for ARRL members and $15 for non-members, payable before the seminar begins. The fee does not include admission to Pacificon. Required course material is the ARRL book Antenna Zoning for the Radio Amateur, available for $49.95 via the ARRL on-line catalog <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=8217>. For more information about Pacificon, visit the Pacificon 2002 Web site <http://www.pacificon.org/>. * Vote on QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award for September was Ian Poole, G3YWX, for his article "Understanding Solar Indices." Congratulations, Ian! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque award--given to the author of the best article in each issue--is determined by a vote of ARRL members. Voting takes place each month on the Cover Plaque Poll Web page <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/qstvote.html>. There's still time to cast a ballot for your favorite article in the October 2002 issue of QST. Voting ends October 31. * P5/4L4FN postpones plans to work teen hams: Because of poor propagation, Ed Giorgadze, P5/4L4FN, in North Korea has put off plans to work operators aged 16 or younger on October 5. "I was just informed by Ed that he has absolutely no propagation stateside--or just about anywhere else--on 10 meters," said Bruce Paige, KK5DO, the P5/4L4FN QSL manager. "Sorry about that, but we have no control over radio propagation." Paige says P5/4L4FN will reschedule the event until later this month or sometime in November. Giorgadze logged his 15,000th P5/4L4FN QSO on September 22. For more information, visit the Houston AMSAT Net Web site <http://www.amsatnet.com> and click on "P5 North Korea." =========================================================== 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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