ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 45
November 15, 2002
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +ARES and SKYWARN spend holiday weekend on tornado duty
* +ARRL members choose directors, vice directors
* +Belgian astronaut completes two school contacts
* +IARU Administrative Council continues WRC-03 preparations
* +CPM will give WRC-03 issues first worldwide airing
* +Groups hope to use meteor scatter on VHF to span Atlantic
* +ARRL VEC to up exam fee in 2003
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF:
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     JOTA reports show 10,000-plus Scouts took part in 2002 event
     ARRL honors MFJ founder
     Worldradio magazine changes editors

+Available on ARRL Audio News

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

==>KILLER TORNADOES RALLY ARES, SKYWARN TEAMS

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and SKYWARN teams in several
eastern states activated November 10 following an outbreak of severe
weather that claimed nearly three dozen lives. Characterized as the worst
rash of tornadoes in the US in years, the twisters also caused dozens of
injuries and widespread property damage. Tennessee, Alabama and Ohio were
among the states hardest hit. Hundred of amateurs in the affected states
turned out to assist.

"SKYWARN nets were running across the state as the severe weather
approached," said ARRL Tennessee Section Emergency Coordinator Sheila
Tallent, KB4G. "The accuracy of the forecasted path of funnel clouds and
tornadoes saved the lives of many, including an amateur camping in the
path of the tornado."

Among affected counties was Montgomery, where a couple died after winds
picked up their mobile home and dropped it nearly 200 feet away. Following
the tornadoes, ARES members in Coffee County--where at least more two
fatalities occurred--got help from Rutherford County ARES. At least one
shelter was open in the county.

Tallent said ARES operators were on the roll within minutes of a tornado
that struck Morgan County, where three people died. "Because of the
training and experience of the amateurs in eastern Tennessee, we were able
to continue the SKYWARN net on the regular frequency, begin an emergency
operation on a second frequency and begin a resource net on a third
frequency," she said. "These three nets were run from three different
counties to provide aid in yet a fourth county." ARES teams were on duty
from November 10 through November 13 serving the National Weather Service,
Morgan County Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross, and
rescue squads in several counties.

While Coffee County was most affected, Warren, Franklin, Bedford and
Cumberland counties in Tennessee also sustained damage, and crews worked
through the night to assist in damage assessment and initial cleanup.

Eastern Tennessee Assistant Section Manager David Bower, K4PZT, credited
Tallent with "a fantastic job" coordinating emergency nets. CNN
interviewed Tallent at her home station November 12 (The segment is
scheduled to air on CNN's "Next at CNN program Saturday, November 16, at 1
PM EST and Sunday, November 17 at 4 PM EST). A report in the Knoxville
News-Sentinel cited Incident Commander Jody Durham as calling hams
absolutely essential. "They've done a wonderful job," Durham said. An
Associated Press report noted that emergency crews in Wartburg, Tennessee
"relied on ham radio operators for communication since phone lines were
knocked out by the storm."

In Alabama, the Alabama Emergency Response Team (ALERT)
<http://www.alert-alabama.org> played a major role in weather-spotting
activities. Alabama suffered a dozen fatalities as a result of the
November 10 tornado outbreak--10 of them in Carbon Hill, some 70 miles
northwest of Birmingham. A junior high school also was demolished.

"Our SKYWARN communicators were able to relay several severe weather
reports, assisting other spotter groups around Alabama in getting their
information to NWS forecasters," said David Black, KB4KCH, ALERT's NWS
liaison and training officer. The group had held an orientation and
refresher course October 26. ALERT has an amateur station, K4NWS, in the
main forecasting area of the Birmingham NWS office.

In Ohio, ARRL SM Joe Phillips, K8QOE, reported emergency nets up and
running in Van Wert, Ottawa and Senaca counties, which suffered the most
extensive damage in the Buckeye State. ARES organizations in two other
Ohio districts stood by. Two Lucas County (Toledo) units promptly
responded with an emergency communications trailer to Tiffin in Senaca
County and an emergency communications van to Port Clinton in Ottawa
County. Meanwhile, Ohio traffic nets, including the Ohio Single Side Band
Net (OSSBN), took to the airwaves.

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency has a temporary station set up in Van
Wert County on the OSSBN frequency to facilitate communication in and out
of the region most devastated by the November 10 tornadoes, Phillips said.
Among the houses destroyed was that of former Ohio District 2 EC Ralph
Shields, WB8YIH, in Van Wert.

The swath of violent weather and the tornadoes it spawned also affected
Mississippi, Kentucky and Pennsylvania as well as parts of the Virginias.
"Twice in the same day, amateurs activated for severe weather," said ARRL
Kentucky SEC Ron Dodson, KA4MAP. Dodson called the early morning session
"minor" compared to the one that followed at around 5 PM--which began with
a tornado warning. "Torrential rains with hail--pea to dime-size--and
winds up to 67 MPH were reported," Dodson said. A tornado funnel indicated
by radar was never visually verified by spotters, however.

Damage in Kentucky occurred mostly in Meade and Breckenridge counties and
was largely limited to downed trees and power lines.

Ironically, amateurs in Mississippi had held that state's Simulated
Emergency Test (SET) just a day before two tornadoes struck Columbus.
Damage to Mississippi University for Women and along Highway 50 was
extensive, and one person died in the Crawford community, according to Bob
Ray, K5VVA, editor of the Lowndes County Amateur Radio Bulletin, which
published a special "Tornado Edition" November 12.

Meteorologists have blamed the severe storms on a combination of a strong
jet stream moving toward the east colliding with strong surface winds from
the Gulf of Mexico.

==>GREAT LAKES MEMBERS CHOOSE NEW DIRECTOR; INCUMBENTS RE-ELECTED
ELSEWHERE

Members of the ARRL's Great Lakes Division have elected Jim Weaver, K8JE,
of Mason, Ohio, to lead their division for the next three years. Weaver,
with 2295 votes, topped the field in a three-way race. Incumbent Gary
Johnston, KI4LA, got 1629 votes, and Paul Daley, WT8S, picked up 783.
Incumbents were re-elected in contested races in the Atlantic, Delta and
Midwest divisions.

"I will seek opinions and fully represent the division," Weaver said
during the Great Lakes campaign. "I will not forget that ARRL is its
members." An ARRL Life Member and an amateur licensee for 40 years, Weaver
also pledged--among other things--to seek ways to improve recruitment,
promote increased awareness of League services and join the fight against
restrictive antenna laws, ordinances and deed covenant, conditions and
restrictions (CC&Rs).

Weaver served as a Great Lakes Assistant Director under four directors.
He's active in traffic nets, DXCC and 10-10 International as well as in
local clubs, and he once wrote a newspaper column on ham radio.

The former Great Lakes Vice Director, Johnston had been seeking election
in his own right to the director's position he gained following the
surprise resignation of George Race, WB8BGY, during last July's ARRL Board
of Directors' meeting. Former Michigan Section Manager Dick Mondro, W8FQT,
was unopposed for Great Lakes Vice Director.

The only other director's seat up for grabs was in the Atlantic Division,
where incumbent Bernie Fuller, N3EFN, handily won re-election over
challenger Anthony Gargano, N2SS. The vote was 3115 to 1948.

In the Delta Division, incumbent Henry Leggette, WD4Q, was re-elected as
Vice Director over Nicholas Smith, W4GKM. The final tally was 1520 to 629.
Delta Division Director Rick Roderick, K5UR, had no opposition.

In the Midwest Division, incumbent Vice Director Bruce Frahm, K0BJ,
overcame a challenge from Bill Wheeler, K0DEW, 1231 to 1036. Midwest
Division Director Wade Walstrom, W0EJ, also was unopposed for re-election.

Dakota Division Director Jay Bellows, K0QB, and Vice Director Twila
Greenheck, N0JPH, also faced no opposition in their bids for re-election.
Candidates running unopposed were declared elected.

Ballots in the four divisional races were counted November 15 at ARRL
Headquarters. New terms of office begin January 1, 2003.

==>ESA ASTRONAUT WRAPS UP SUCCESSFUL ARISS SCHOOL CONTACTS

European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Frank DeWinne, ON1DWN, took
advantage of his short tour of duty aboard the International Space Station
to speak to two schools on Earth via Amateur Radio. DeWinne was part of a
three-man Soyuz taxi crew that included crew commander Sergei Zalyotin and
cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov, both of Russia. The ham radio contacts via NA1SS
were arranged as part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space
Station (ARISS) Program.

On November 3, DeWinne spoke with students at the Royal Technical School
for Petty Officers of the Belgian Army, located in his hometown of Sint
Truiden. The school's Amateur Radio club installed a satellite station for
the scheduled contact with DeWinne, a flight colonel in the Belgian Air
Force.

ARISS Vice Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, said 20 selected students lined
up in the radio room for the contact with NA1SS. Valery Korzun, RZ3FK,
first answered the call and gave the mike to DeWinne. During the 10-minute
contact, DeWinne answered 17 questions.

On November 5, ON1DWN again took the controls of NA1SS to speak with high
school students and their teachers gathered for a space camp at the Euro
Space Center Amateur Radio club station, ON4ESC, in the mountainous
Belgian Ardennes. "They had won the space oriented-competition launched by
the Euro Space Foundation, chaired by Belgian astronaut Dirk Frimout,
ON1AFD," Bertels said of the students.

Of the group, 20 students were picked to ask their questions of DeWinne.
"The radio contact was perfect, and all 20 questions were precisely and
appropriately answered by the astronaut," Bertels reported.

For his part, DeWinne called the QSO "really good fun" and said he enjoyed
it a lot. DeWinne said that given the decision between looking out the
window at his home country below and talking to the scientists and
engineers of tomorrow, "the choice was quickly made."

ARISS is an international program with support and participation from
ARRL, NASA and AMSAT.

==>IARU ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL CONTINUES WRC-03 PREPARATIONS

Preparations for next year's World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-03)
dominated discussions during the annual meeting of the International
Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Administrative Council. The gathering, November
7-8 in San Marino, reviewed WRC-03 agenda items of importance to amateurs,
including harmonization of amateur and broadcasting allocations in the
vicinity of 7 MHz. Several of those attending the San Marino session will
head directly to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Conference Preparatory Meeting in Geneva November 18-29 (see below).

The Administrative Council reviewed and refined IARU strategy for WRC-03.
Other WRC-03 agenda items of concern to the amateur community include
possible revision of Article 25 of the international Radio Regulations.
Article 25 includes the current requirement to demonstrate Morse code
proficiency. In San Marino, the Council reaffirmed its policy supporting
the removal of Morse code testing as an ITU requirement to obtain an
amateur license to operate on frequencies below 30 MHz.

In other business, the IARU Administrative Council noted the growing use
of power lines for high-speed data communications and expressed concerns
that radiation from power line communications--sometimes called PLC or
PLT--could interfere with Amateur Radio reception. The Council resolved to
urge member-societies to recognize the importance of studies now under way
and to share information on investigations conducted in their respective
countries.

The Council also reviewed and updated a working document on the present
and anticipated future Amateur and Amateur-Satellite spectrum
requirements. The document reflects progress made by member-societies in
achieving amateur access in the low-frequency bands--135-200 kHz.

The Council adopted the theme "Amateur Radio supporting technology
education in the classroom" for World Amateur Radio Day. World Amateur
Radio Day, April 18, 2003, marks the anniversary of the founding of the
IARU in 1925.

Attending the Council meeting were IARU President Larry Price, W4RA; Vice
President David Wardlaw, VK3ADW; Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ; regional
representatives Lou van de Nadort, PA0LOU, Tim Hughes, G3GVV, Ole
Garpestad, LA2RR, Pedro Seidemann, YV5BPG, Rod Stafford, W6ROD, Fred
Johnson, ZL2AMJ, Peter Naish, VK2BPN, and K. C. Selvadurai, 9V1UV; and
recording secretary Paul Rinaldo, W4RI.

The Council recognized van de Nadort, who's retiring as Region 1 Chairman,
and Hughes, who's stepping down as secretary, for their long and devoted
service to their region and as Administrative Council members. The next
IARU Administrative Council will be September 6-8 in Taipei, Taiwan,
following the IARU Region 3 Conference.

==>WRC-03 ISSUES TO GET FIRST WORLDWIDE AIRING AT CPM

Amateur Radio will be represented as preparations for World
Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) take a big step forward
November 18. That's when the WRC-03 Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM)
<http://www.itu.int/ITU-R/study-groups/rcpm/index.asp> convenes for two
weeks in Geneva.

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, described the CPM as "a
mini-WRC-03."When we come out of the CPM, we'll have a good idea of where
things stand in terms of Amateur Radio issues," Sumner said. Both events
are sponsored by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
<http://www.itu.int/home/index.html>.

As he did at WRC-2000, Sumner will represent Amateur Radio interests at
the CPM as International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) <http://www.iaru.org/>
secretary. IARU President Larry Price, W4RA, will lead an IARU team that
includes Wojciech Nietyksza, SP5FM, in addition to Sumner. Among amateurs
serving on national delegations will be ARRL Technical Relations Manager
Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, and IARU Vice President David Wardlaw, VK3ADW, of
Australia.

The CPM represents the first worldwide airing of the various agenda items
that will come up at WRC-03 next June and July. At the CPM, Sumner
explained, approximately 1000 delegates from around the world will pore
over some 500 pages of a draft CPM Report.

Sumner says that only a small portion of the paper pile--such as the
question of a worldwide 300-kHz allocation in the vicinity of 7
MHz--directly affects Amateur Radio, however. The CPM is held, Sumner
explained, so that administrations "won't be starting out with a blank
sheet of paper" when WRC-03 rolls around. A separate agenda item at WRC-03
that's not entirely unrelated to the 7-MHz issue is the consideration of
allocations for international broadcasting in the vicinity of from 4 to 10
MHz.

Other amateur issues include a request to allocate up to 6 MHz of spectrum
for so-called synthetic aperture radars (SARs) from 420 to 470 MHz to be
operated under the Earth Exploration Satellite Service (Active). The ARRL
and the IARU oppose SARs in the most active portions of the amateur 70-cm
band. CPM delegates also will deal with the amateur allocation in the
vicinity of 5 GHz, which is facing growing competition from so-called
Radio Local Area Networks (RLANs) and other unlicensed services.

Article 25, which--among other things--deals with the requirement to
demonstrate proficiency in Morse code to operate below 30 MHz, has been
another high-profile issue for amateurs. It's virtually certain that a
Morse examination will no longer be a requirement. But the updated Radio
Regulations could include language making clear that administrations may
continue to require code tests if they wish.

Meanwhile, volcanic activity in Ecuador has led to the postponement of the
Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) PCC.II meeting that
was set to take place November 11-14. ARRL Technical Relations Specialist
Jon Siverling, WB3ERA--on the US delegation for the event--said volcanic
ash had closed the airport. An IARU delegate also will attend the session,
once it's rescheduled.

"It's a very important meeting to prepare for WRC-03, and we hope they
reschedule it as soon as possible." Siverling said this week, adding that
CITEL now hopes to hold the meeting in mid-December.

==>GROUPS TO AGAIN ATTEMPT TRANSATLANTIC VHF CONTACT

From November 17 through November 21, two groups of amateurs from Germany,
Canada and Ireland will attempt to make two-way transatlantic contact
using VHF in conjunction with the Leonid meteor shower. The effort will be
in accordance with the quest for the Brendan Trophies
<http://www.irts.ie/brendan.htm> offered by the Irish Radio Transmitter
Society.

The Brendan Trophies will go to each of the operators of the two Amateur
Radio stations that first establish two-way communication between Europe
and North or South America on 2 meters. One group will be based at Kells
on the Irish coast (using a call sign not yet announced), while the other
will operate from Admiralty House Museum and Archive in Mt Pearl,
Newfoundland, some eight miles west of St John's and use the call sign
VO1BZM.

The two teams will attempt to use the ionized meteor trails to reflect
FSK441 signals across the Atlantic. Traveling to Ireland will be Nicolas
Exner, DK5DQ, and Volker Muehlhaus, DL5DAW. They will collaborate with
Tony Baldwin, EI2FSB/EI8JK, and Tony Moore, EI7BMB. On the Canadian side,
Harry Schleichert, DL2DAO, will join a team from the Society of
Newfoundland Radio Amateurs (SONRA) <http://www.sonra.ca/>.

The Newfoundland site is not far from Signal Hill National Historic Site
of Canada, where Marconi received the first transatlantic signal in 1901.

The Leonids occur when Earth passes through the orbit of comet
Tempel-Tuttle. The resulting meteor shower is expected to peak November
18-19. A 1999 effort to complete a transatlantic 2-meter contact between
Newfoundland and Scotland on CW was unsuccessful. Additional information
will be posted on the VHF Transatlantic Experiment 2002 Web site
<http://www.dx144.de>.--Paul Piercey, VO1HE

==>ARRL VEC EXAMINATION FEE TO RISE

Starting January 1, 2003, the fee charged all applicants at ARRL
VEC-coordinated Amateur Radio test sessions will increase from $10 to $12
for the year 2003. This fee is charged to anyone applying for a new
amateur license or upgrading their operating privileges.

"While the number of examinees has remained relatively unchanged in the
past 24 months, our cost of doing business--and the expenses incurred by
ARRL VEs--continues to rise," said ARRL VEC Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ. "An
adjustment was needed in the 2003 test fee if we intended to maintain the
same level of service that our VEs and VE teams have come to expect."

Applicants failing an exam element at ARRL sessions where examiners permit
retesting on the same exam element also must submit a retest fee of $12.
Additionally, the maximum reimbursement ARRL VEC allows ARRL volunteer
examiner (VE) teams to retain to directly offset their "prudently
incurred" out-of-pocket expenses will go up from $4 to $6 in 2003 (this
fee has remained at $4 per person served since 1991).

Jahnke said that adjusting the reimbursement level for ARRL VEs also was
past due. For more information, contact ARRL VEC, vec@arrl.org.

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Heliophile Tad "SPF-15" Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar
flux and sunspot count increased modestly this week. Geomagnetic indices
were still somewhat unsettled, but the average daily A index for the week
dropped from 19.3 to 12.

This quieting of geomagnetic activity is nice for HF operators, but it
looks like we could be in for more upset this weekend. Currently the
predicted planetary A index for Friday through Monday is 20, 30, 25 and
15. (It would be nice to be able to predict better conditions for the ARRL
November Sweepstakes (Phone) event this weekend.)

Geomagnetic activity is likely to rise because there's a coronal hole
rotating into a position favorable for affecting Earth. Additionally,
sunspot regions 191 and 192 are potential sources of flares. Region 197
also has flare potential, and it is rotating into view.

Sunspot numbers for November 7 through 13 were 259, 252, 174, 219, 197,
155 and 182, with a mean of 205.4. The 10.7-cm flux was 189.8, 189, 190.6,
191.4, 184.7, 178.2 and 182.4, with a mean of 186.6. The estimated
planetary A indices were 14, 8, 9, 15, 12,

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The ARRL November Sweepstakes (SSB), the
North American Collegiate Amateur Radio Club Championship (SSB),  the RSGB
1.8 MHz Contest (CW) the LZ DX Contest (CW) and the All-Austrian 160-Meter
Contest are the weekend of November 16-17. JUST AHEAD: The CQ Worldwide DX
Contest (CW) and the ARRL International EME Contest are the weekend of
November 23-24 (NOTE: The CQ WW CW evemt typically takes place the weekend
after Thanksgiving, but Thanksgiving is late this year.) 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 Level III Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
(EC-003) and HF Digital Communications (EC-005) courses opens Monday,
November 18, 4 PM Eastern Standard Time (2100 UTC). Registration will
remain open through Sunday, November 24. Classes begin Monday, November
25. Registration for the ARRL Level II Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications (EC-002) and Antenna Modeling (EC-004) courses remains open
through Sunday, November 17. A new service now allows those who may be
interested in taking an ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (C-CE)
course in the future to be advised via e-mail in advance of registration
opportunities. Send an e-mail to prereg@arrl.org, and include the course
name or number (eg, EC-003) on the subject line as well as your name, call
sign, and the month you want to start the course in the body. 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 reports show 10,000-plus Scouts took part in 2002 event: ARRL
Educational Programs Coordinator Jean Wolfgang, WB3IOS, reports she's
received more than 150 Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) surveys so far for the
2002 running of the event. "The reports show that over 10,225 Scouts, 3000
visitors, and 770 hams participated," Wolfgang said. "This is a
substantial improvement over last year, when only 65 surveys were
returned." But Wolfgang is still waiting to hear from JOTA participants
and hosts in Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska,
North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. If you
participated in JOTA 2002 and have not yet completed the ARRL survey, have
a representative of your JOTA event complete and submit the form by
November 30. It's available on the ARRL Web site's JOTA page
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/jotalog>.

* ARRL honors MFJ founder: At the second annual MFJ ARRL Day in the Park
celebration October 5, ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, presented an ARRL
Commendation to MFJ Founder Martin Jue, K5FLU, in recognition of his 30
years of innovative development in the ham radio marketplace. More than
300 visitors turned out for the occasion, and some 700 contacts logged
during a special event station run in conjunction with the ARRL Day in the
Park. Haynie also toured the MFJ facilities while he was there. Jue, 58,
started his product line very modestly in 1972, offering some simple audio
bandpass filters. Today, his MFJ Enterprises, headquartered in Starkville,
Mississippi, is in the forefront of US Amateur Radio accessories and
equipment. The company <http://www.mfjenterprises.com> offers a product
line that includes everything from amplifiers and antenna-related items to
weather-monitoring systems and now includes the Hy-Gain, Ameritron,
Vectronics and Mirage brands in addition to MFJ.

* Worldradio magazine changes editors: Rick McCusker, WF6O, has stepped
down as editor of Worldradio magazine <http://www.wr6wr.com> to pursue a
law enforcement career with the Sacramento County, California, Sheriff's
Department. During his five-year tenure, McCusker--an ARRL member--is
credited with modernizing the magazine's appearance and improving its
content. Friends may continue to contact him via e-mail <wf6o@arrl.net>;.
Replacing McCusker at Worldradio's editorial helm is Nancy Kott, WZ8C--the
driving force behind FISTS <http://www.fists.org/>--The International
Morse Preservation Society--and editor of the magazine's "Positively CW"
column. Kott took over her new role on November 14.

===========================================================
The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American
Radio Relay League--The National Association For Amateur Radio--225 Main
St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259;
http://www.arrl.org. Jim Haynie, W5JBP, President

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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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