*************** 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, firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com, 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, firstname.lastname@example.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 <email@example.com>. 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 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!): firstname.lastname@example.org ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, email@example.com ==>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/. You'll have an opportunity during registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW bulletins, and other material. 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