*************** 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, firstname.lastname@example.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, email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 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. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): email@example.com ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, firstname.lastname@example.org ==>ARRL News on the Web: http://www.arrl.org ==>ARRL Audio News: http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/ or call 860-594-0384 ==>How to Get The ARRL Letter The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail delivery: ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site, http://www.arrl.org/members/. 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