ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 42
October 25, 2002
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +ARRL, American Red Cross renew cooperative agreement
* +FCC withdraws advisory notices concerning 146.52 MHz operation
* +Astronauts help Dutch scouts celebrate Jamboree On The Air
* +New tower in New York demonstrates the power of PRB-1
* +HPM II talk enthralls ham club members
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF:
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
    +JOTA participants requested to complete ARRL survey
    +DXCC digging out
     Former ARRL staffer returns to the fold
     QCWA's W2MM Memorial Station on the air
     Missouri clubs to field Halloween special event
     Former ARRL West Gulf Director Grady Payne, W5ETA, SK
     International symposium issues call for papers
     Correction

+Available on ARRL Audio News

===========================================================
NOTE: To accommodate vacation schedules, the November 1 editions of The
ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News will be distributed Wednesday, October 30.
The Solar Update will be available via the ARRL Web site Friday, November
1. See you in the ARRL November Sweepstakes (CW)!
===========================================================

==>ARRL REAFFIRMS CLOSE TIES WITH THE AMERICAN RED CROSS

The ARRL and the American Red Cross have renewed and updated the Statement
of Understanding (SoU) between the two organizations, last visited in
1994. Formal cooperative arrangements between the ARRL and the American
Red Cross date back to before World War II.

"Both ARRL volunteers and American Red Cross workers will work
cooperatively at the scene of a disaster and in the disaster recovery,
within the scope of their respective roles and duties," the agreement
provides.

ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, said no significant changes resulted
from the consultations leading up to the new SoU, and the updated document
reaffirms the spirit of cooperation that has existed all along between the
two organizations.

"In the wake of 9/11 and all the wonderful work that was done in New York
City and Washington, DC," Haynie said, "this agreement has rekindled our
enthusiasm." Amateur Radio Emergency Service and Red Cross volunteers
worked side-by-side following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In the document, the ARRL recognizes the American Red Cross as "having
primary responsibility for responding to domestic disasters" and expresses
the League's desire "to maintain a harmonious and cooperative
relationship" with the ARC in providing emergency communication services
to communities affected by disasters.

Among other things, the SoU calls for "close liaison" between the American
Red Cross (ARC) and the ARRL and for each organization to "share current
data" regarding disasters and disaster declarations. If amateurs are
required to carry ARC identification while supporting the Red Cross during
a disaster, the ARC is to provide operators' names if ARRL requests them.

With some exceptions under the SoU, amateurs would at all times be
considered ARRL volunteers. In addition, the SoU says, amateur licensees
supporting the ARC "shall at all times exercise sole and exclusive control
over the operation of their radio stations. Such control cannot be
surrendered or delegated, in accordance with federal law."

The new agreement also characterizes the ARRL Amateur Radio emergency
communications courses <http://www.arrl.org/cce/> as a mutually beneficial
training program. "Volunteers holding valid ARRL Emergency Communications
Certification credentials will be recognized for this knowledge," the SoU
stipulates.

The newest SoU will remain in force for the next five years, although one
provision calls for representatives of American Red Cross Disaster
Services and ARRL to "jointly evaluate" progress in implementing the SoU
and to "revise and develop new plans or goals as appropriate" annually. It
was ratified in September by Haynie and ARC Disaster Services Executive
Vice President John McDivitt.

In a letter marking the first anniversary of the September 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks, the ARC's Jay Ferron, N4GAA, wrote Haynie to express
appreciation for Amateur Radio's support for Red Cross activities over the
years. An ARC disaster telecommunications partner, Ferron helped
coordinate ARES and Red Cross activities at the World Trade Center.

According to Ferron, the American Red Cross encourages municipalities and
homeowners' associations to employ regulations that will not impinge on
the needs of Amateur Radio operators. "In emergencies, the American Red
Cross and the people we serve need what radio amateurs provide--effective
communications through existing equipment and antenna systems," he
concluded.

A copy of the September 2002 Statement of Understanding between the
American Red Cross and the ARRL is available on the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/mou/redcro.html>.

==>FCC RESCINDS 146.52 MHz ADVISORY NOTICES

FCC Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth has told five
amateurs in Ohio and Michigan to disregard his earlier admonitions to
avoid lengthy QSOs on 146.52 MHz. That's the generally recognized national
simplex calling frequency and is endorsed as such by the ARRL's 2-meter
band plan. Acknowledging, however, that some confusion exists within the
amateur community as to whether 146.52 is a national calling channel or
just another simplex frequency, Hollingsworth decided to simply rescind
the five advisory notices he'd sent October 15.

"We made an error in issuing that Advisory Notice, and you may disregard
it," Hollingsworth wrote October 23 in letters to the affected amateurs.
Commenting to ARRL, Hollingsworth was blunt yet good-natured. "I goofed,"
he said. "If I were worried about making a fool of myself from time to
time, I never would have become a lawyer in the first place."

Amateurs commenting to the FCC and on various newsgroups reportedly were
bewildered by the FCC advisory notices. An ARRL error apparently
contributed to the confusion. Hollingsworth did not find 146.52 MHz
singled out as the national simplex calling frequency in his edition of
The ARRL's FCC Rule Book (12th edition, 1st printing). The designation
does appear in subsequent printings of the Rule Book, however, as well as
in recent editions of The ARRL Operating Manual and The ARRL Repeater
Directory 2002/2003.

Hollingsworth says that operation that does not comply with a generally
accepted band plan such as ARRL's is not illegal. He points out, however,
that band plans--to the extent that they're followed--do help to keep down
friction among various users and make his job a lot easier.

"I don't consider it a big deal. I was just trying to raise awareness," he
said, adding that the FCC has no intention of making band plan compliance
mandatory.

Hollingsworth told ARRL this week that he had initially written four
amateurs in Ohio and one in Michigan on the basis of complaints about
lengthy contacts on 146.52 MHz in late September and early October. Those
QSOs, he said, averaged 45 minutes and in some cases lasted up to an hour.
Two of the amateurs who had received the October 15 advisories already
have contacted Hollingsworth and agreed to cooperate with the original
requests, now rescinded.

"In an ideal world, stations making initial contact on 146.52 MHz probably
should move off to another accepted simplex channel to continue their
conversation," Hollingsworth said. "The main thing is, we're all in this
together, and the goal is to make Amateur Radio last 1000 years."

All ARRL band plans are available on the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/bandplan.html>.

==>PEGGY WHITSON HELPS NETHERLANDS' SCOUTS CELEBRATE JAMBOREE ON THE AIR

US Astronaut Peggy Whitson, KC5ZTD, made Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) a very
special occasion this year for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in The
Netherlands. One of the International Space Station's Expedition 5 crew
members and the only woman, Whitson on October 20 answered questions posed
by the scouts via Amateur Radio. The direct, 2-meter contact with PA3HGQ
was arranged as part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space
Station (ARISS) program.

"The scouts were very impressed by the quality of the radio link and
delighted to have an astronaut joining the Jamboree On The Air right from
the International Space Station," said ARISS Vice Chairman Gaston Bertels,
ON4WF. On hand for the official opening of the JOTA in The Netherlands was
Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers, who congratulated the Ascanen scouting
group of Lelystad for their ARISS QSO with Whitson.

More than 100 scout groups from all over The Netherlands listened in on
the downlink while Whitson answered about a dozen questions. At the
contact site, parents and friends of the 20 youngsters selected to take
part assisted with the space chat, and local radio and TV stations covered
the event.

Several of the questions the Dutch youngsters asked mirrored those often
put to crew members by their American counterparts. One Scout asked about
how the ISS crew prepared its meals. Whitson explained that meals in space
are pre-cooked and stowed in foil packages or cans. "It's just a matter of
warming it up or adding water," she said.

Whitson told another questioner that the crew can see weather from space.
"It's beautiful up here," she said, noting that the crew can recognize
such systems as hurricanes. "At night, we can even see thunderstorms," she
added. Whitson said the crew can see the aurora borealis (northern lights)
too. "They're beautiful from here!" she declared.

Bertels said the NA1SS downlink also was monitored at Flanders Expo in
Ghent, Belgium, where a science exhibition for youth drew a big audience.
At a booth set up by the Royal Belgian Amateur Radio Union (UBA) and
devoted primarily to ARISS, visitors--mostly youngsters, parents and
teachers--followed the pass of the ISS on a screen showing the world map.

"The UBA also was very pleased to use this opportunity to demonstrate
Amateur Radio at its best to the public visiting a popular scientific and
technological event," Bertels remarked. He said many amateur stations all
over Western Europe tuned into the downlink and reported excellent copy.

ARISS is an international project with US participation by NASA, ARRL and
AMSAT.--Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, provided information, photographs and
audio-video for this report

==>"THE TOWER IS UP!" ANTENNA BATTLE FINALLY PAYS OFF

A New York amateur who credits both the limited federal preemption PRB-1
and the ARRL with helping him win approval for an antenna support
structure on his property, now reports his new tower is up. Fred Fitte,
WA2MMX, spent months trying to gain the necessary approvals from the Town
of Kinderhook. He saw his new tower become reality in late September--more
than a year after his zoning battle began.

"I was finally able to erect my 50-foot self-supporting tower with the
help of my local ham buddies who have supported me through the fight,"
Fitte said recently. Some VHF and UHF antennas already are up on the
tower, and an HF tribander is in the offing.

The Town of Kinderhook would not allow a ham radio antenna support
structure in excess of 35 feet without a variance. "PRB-1 is what saved my
bacon," said Fitte. PRB-1, spelled out in the FCC Amateur Service rules
under ß97.15(b), requires municipalities to "reasonably accommodate"
amateur communication. Fitte finally got a building permit last May after
what he called "a really ugly battle"--winning approval of his request to
erect a 50-foot tower on a 3 to 1 vote of the town's Zoning Board of
Appeals.

Among those who had helped Fitte in his battle with the town was ARRL
Hudson Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, who says WA2MMX's situation
"was not your run-of-the-mill ham tower case." As Fallon explains it,
Fitte ran into problems after he moved approximately 300 feet into a new
development and filed for a building permit for a tower 10 feet shorter
than his old one.

"His first hearing, only days before the 9/11 attack on the World Trade
Center, did not go well," Fallon said, adding that Fitte "was shocked at
the hostile response from his new neighbors."

What followed was a series of seven hearings over nine months, during
which he confronted several hostile neighbors, aided by a local attorney
and a medical doctor. The neighbors attacked the proposed support
structure as a health and safety hazard and an aesthetic blight that would
lower property values. Their attorney also wanted the town to require
WA2MMX to move his antennas outside the development.

"Fred, with a lot of help from his friends, finally prevailed," Fallon
said. Fitte and his wife, Terry, hosted a celebratory "thank you" picnic
over the September Labor Day weekend for friends and expert witnesses who
had helped. Only his attorney, Al Millus, WB2EQR, was unable to attend.

In addition to Fallon, among those who did turn out was ARRL Lab
Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI, who voluntarily attended five of the hearings
to present testimony. Dr George Wilner, K2ONP, the head of the Hematology
Department at Albany Medical Center, attended one hearing session to
debunk the issue of potential biomedical hazards. One friendly neighbor--a
real estate appraiser--came forward to put to rest the claim that Fitte's
antenna would lower property values.

==>TALK BY HIRAM PERCY MAXIM'S GRANDSON ENTHRALLS HAMS

Hiram Percy Maxim II held members of Connecticut's Newington Amateur Radio
League (NARL) spellbound October 7 with tales of his famous grandfather,
Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW, also known as HPM. As most ARRL members know,
Hiram Percy Maxim co-founded the ARRL in 1914 with Clarence Tuska, and he
became its first president.

"HPM II"--who bears a strong resemblance to his grandfather--was around a
year old when the elder Maxim--who often referred to himself in QST as
"The Old Man" or simply "TOM"--passed away in 1936. "What he knows of our
founder was gleaned from family stories and the films and writings that
were passed down to him," said Joe Bottiglieri, AA1GW, an ARRL staffer and
a NARL member who attended the talk.

HPM was an amateur film buff, and a highlight of his grandson's
presentation was a short 16-mm film that showed the elder Maxim and some
of his friends working, relaxing and frolicking on the grounds of the
family's summer home in Lyme, Connecticut, where HPM II now lives.

"No evidence of radio activity appeared on that clip," Bottiglieri said,
"but 'The Old Man' comes across as a real cutup!" The elder Maxim also
founded another "League"--the Amateur Cinema League--in 1926.

Not a ham, HPM II says he doesn't feel he shares the inventive talents of
his grandfather and great-grandfather, who held many patents between them.
HPM II told the club audience that his grandfather took on radio and
filmmaking as diversions from inventing--an endeavor he considered
extremely hard work. He also thought of Amateur Radio as a means to "bring
together" individuals from distant locations and believed that
communication was a key to better understanding other people and cultures.

Filmmaking was an extension of that same philosophy, HPM II said. His
grandfather's interest in astronomy--he was fascinated by the planet
Mars--was born of similar motivations, and he died while on his way to
visit Lowell Observatory in Arizona.

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Mighty morphin' solar power ranger Tad "Ain't No Sunshine" Cook, K7VVV,
has morphed this week into Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, Ft Wayne, Indiana,
who reports: Geomagnetic field activity for the first five days of the
reporting period, October 18-24, was quiet to unsettled. This increased to
a major storm level at the end of the period, which was fueled by high
speed solar wind emanating from a large coronal hole in the western solar
hemisphere. There were no significant proton events during the period.

X-ray flare activity during the period ranged from low to moderate. The
largest flares were M1 events on Sunday and Tuesday. These flares did not
cause any significant radio blackouts.

The book Storms from the Sun by Carlowicz and Lopez--discussed in two
previous bulletins--is reviewed in the December 2002 issue of Sky &
Telescope.

Propagation is generally expected to be very good for the CQ World Wide DX
Phone contest the weekend of October 26-27. There is a chance of
geomagnetic field activity at the minor storm level at the start of the
contest, but it is expected to subside after that.

There is also a chance of an X-class flare from Region 162, which could
cause a short-term blackout on the daylight side of Earth. Remember this
is all a roll of the dice, so be sure to jump in and have fun working lots
of DX!

Sunspot numbers for October 17 through 23 were 215, 200, 156, 179, 139,
132 and 116, with a mean of 162.4. The 10.7-cm flux was 178.9, 172.6,
179.5, 180.3, 182.5, 169.4 and 163.6, with a mean of 175.3. Estimated
planetary A indices were 11, 13, 11, 10, 11, 12, and 10, with a mean of
11.1.

_________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The CQ Worldwide DX Contest (SSB), the ARRL
International EME Contest and the 10-10 International Fall Contest (CW)
are the weekend of October 26-27. JUST AHEAD: The ARRL November
Sweepstakes (CW), the IPA Contest (CW/SSB), the Ukrainian DX Contest, the
North American Collegiate ARC Championship (CW), the ARCI Running of the
QRP Bulls, the High Speed Club CW Contest and the DARC 10-Meter Digital
Contest are the weekend of November 2-3. See the ARRL Contest Branch page
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/index.html> for more info.

* ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration:
Registration for the ARRL Satellite Communications course (EC-007) opens
Monday, October 28, 4 PM Eastern Daylight Time (2000 UTC). Registration
will remain open through Sunday, November 3. Class begins on November 4.
Registration for the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level III
(EC-003) and HF Digital Communications (EC-005) courses remains open
through Sunday, October 27. If you have not yet let us know what you'd
like to see for future C-CE course offerings, visit the C-CE Course Survey
<http://www.arrl.org/members-only/cce/ccesurv.html> page on the ARRL Web
site through midnight, October 27. 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, hrobins@arrl.org.

* JOTA participants requested to complete ARRL survey: If you or your club
participated in JOTA 2002 over the October 19-20 weekend, we'd appreciate
your completing the ARRL JOTA Survey
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/jotalog/> on the ARRL Web site to let us
know about it. The Boy Scouts of America K2BSA call sign was on the air
from Camp Wisdom in Dallas, Texas, where members of Cub Scout Pack 591
talked to other Scouts on 15 meters while Dave Cummings, WA5TET,
supervised. Also on the air was ST2BSS from the Sudan (QSL to Magdi Osman
Ahmed, PO Box 2--Khartoum Airport, Khartoum, Sudan). Mike Cizek, W3MC,
headed up a JOTA group with 500 scout visitors near Ft Meade, Maryland. In
addition to certain detailed information, the survey seeks feedback on
your overall JOTA experience and on whether your club has scheduled any
follow-up ham radio classes. If you have JOTA photos to share, send them
via e-mail or USPS to ARRL Educational Programs Coordinator Jean Wolfgang
WB3IOS, jwolfgang@arrl.org, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.
Wolfgang reports that some 150 JOTA stations signed up on the Youth Skeds
page <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/youthskeds/> prior to the annual
Scouting-ham radio event. In addition to letting Scout groups know where a
JOTA station planned to be set up, the site also let JOTA groups set
schedules with one another.--some information from The Daily DX

* DXCC digging out: The ARRL's DXCC Branch is digging out following the
annual "September rush," says ARRL Membership Services Manager Wayne
Mills, N7NG. Applications postmarked by September 30 have been accepted,
and updates received by that date will be included in The DXCC Yearbook,
which will be published in the spring. "Although the DXCC Branch was able
to become current last summer, the September deadline has come again along
with its inherent increase in workload," Mills said. "We are currently
working on about 2400 applications which include more than 240,000 QSL
cards." This represents nearly half of all applications--and
cards--received each year. Mills said that as applications are logged into
the DXCC system, they are listed on the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/appstatus.html>. With new DXCC software
in place next year, the League hopes to be able to publish DXCC standings
on the ARRL Web site on a near-real-time basis, Mills said, eliminating
the need for the September deadline. "This will spread the workload
throughout the year and, along with the introduction of electronic DXCC
applications, minimize turnaround time for DXCC applications," he
predicted.

* Former ARRL staffer returns to the fold: Former ARRL Lab staff member
Mike Gruber, W1MG, rejoined the laboratory staff October 14 as the new
electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and radio frequency interference (RFI)
engineer/specialist. He replaces John Phillips, K2QAI, who is retiring.
"We are delighted to have him back," said ARRL Lab Supervisor Ed Hare,
W1RFI. During his previous stint at ARRL HQ--from 1990 until 1997--Gruber
focused mainly on product review testing. He also has written a number of
interesting articles for QST and QEX, including "QST Product Reviews: A
Look Behind the Scenes," which appeared in the October 1994 issue of QST
and "Synchronous Detection of AM Signals," which ran in the September 1992
issue of QEX. Members may address RFI concerns via e-mail to rfi@arrl.org.
Welcome back, Mike!

* QCWA's W2MM Memorial Station on the air: The Quarter Century Wireless
Association (QCWA) Memorial Station W2MM will be on the air October 25-27
from the site of the 2002 QCWA convention in Orlando, Florida. In view of
the CQ World Wide DX Contest (SSB) under way this weekend, the W2MM
operators may concentrate on 17 and 12 meters to avoid QRM. Serving as
hosts for this year's QCWA convention is Orlando's Citrus Chapter #45. For
more information, visit the QCWA Web site <http://www.qcwa.org/>.

* Missouri clubs to field Halloween special event: The Mid-Missouri
Amateur Radio Club and the Warrensburg (Missouri) Amateur Radio Club will
sponsor a Halloween special event "FunXpedition" to Frankenstein,
Missouri. Special event W0O (as in "Woooooo!) will be on the air from
approximately 2100 UTC October 31 until approximately 1500 UTC November 1.
The operation will be by several stations at two locations in
Frankenstein, CW and SSB, on 80, 40, 30, 20, 15 and 10 meters. QSL to Tom
Hammond, N0SS. Additional information is available on the Mid-Missouri ARC
Web site <http://www.mmccs.com/mmarc>.

* Former ARRL West Gulf Director Grady Payne, W5ETA, SK: Grady A. Payne,
W5ETA, of Cleveland, Texas, died October 6. He was 90. Payne served as
ARRL West Gulf Division Director from 1957 until 1961. Licensed in 1934,
Payne was a member of the ARRL and the Quarter Century Wireless
Association (QCWA) as well as a founding member of the Sam Houston Amateur
Radio Klub. He was active in public service. Early in his career, Payne
worked as a railroad dispatcher and telegraph operator in his home town of
N Zulch, Texas. Later, he was employed by the Humble Pipe Line, and,
following his retirement, he opened his own business repairing meters for
Humble. Survivors include his daughter, Sherry Taack, KC5VWJ. The family
invites memorial donations to the American Diabetes Association, Memorial
and Honor Program, PO Box 2680, N Canton, OH 44720.--ARRL thanks Sam Neal,
N5AF, and The Cleveland Advocate for this information

* Correction: The address provided for the new W5 incoming QSL bureau in
The ARRL Letter, Vol 21, No 40 (October 11, 2002), was incorrect. The
correct address is Claremore, OK 74018-2591

===========================================================
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
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Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or
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The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

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