ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 22, No. 02
January 10, 2003
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +ARRL Board of Directors to meet in Connecticut
* +FCC threatens amateur with revocation hearing
* +French youngsters rendezvous with astronaut via ham radio
* +New Jersey lawmakers honor Amateur Radio's 9/11 role
* +KD5MDT to replace RV3FB on spacewalk
* +New satellite gets OSCAR designation
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF:
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
    +ARRL seeks Repeater Directory listings from coordinators
    +Special event from former WCC to celebrate Marconi centennial
     FCC to hold open commission meeting
     California RACES team responds to gas leak
     Maritime Mobile Service Network celebrates 35th anniversary
     K6ZT elected president of engineering honor society

+Available on ARRL Audio News

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

==>ARRL BOARD TO TAKE STRATEGIC TACK AT JANUARY MEETING

The ARRL Board of Directors will mull options for the next cycle of League
activities and deal with fiscal issues when it gathers January 17-18 in
Windsor, Connecticut. With ARRL and International Amateur Radio Union
(IARU) positions established for most pending FCC and legislative issues
and for the upcoming 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-03),
the Board is poised to tackle strategic planning for the next three to
five years as one of its top agenda topics.

"We need to look at our basic assumptions," said ARRL Chief Executive
Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "We will do what we have to do to ensure that
Amateur Radio and the ARRL will be healthy 20 years from now." At the
January meeting, the Board will consider recommendations regarding how
strategic planning should be conducted later this year.

Sumner said ARRL Board members also are interested in how the ARRL can
stimulate the entry of prospective amateurs from among the adult
population. Board members also want to explore ways to entice previously
licensed individuals who have left the hobby to return to Amateur Radio.
"There are a lot of new things out there, like PSK-31 and Internet linking
that didn't exist a few years ago," he said. "We want to find a way to
effectively get the word out to those who don't know that there are 28
flavors of Amateur Radio now, not just vanilla, chocolate and strawberry."

He pointed out that the ARRL Education and Technology Program--"The Big
Project"--and the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
program emphasize radio and science instruction for schoolchildren. Both
activities are designed to yield long-term benefits for Amateur Radio from
within the younger generation.

The Board also will be asked to ratify the ARRL budget for 2003, which is
expected to be the last year in a three-year period of planned deficit
spending. With the League's Development Office firmly established and
tapping into nontraditional revenue sources, the plan for 2003 is to
greatly reduce the deficit compared to 2002 and to look toward again
presenting a balanced budget in 2004, Sumner said.

The Board also will hear from invited guests, including IARU President
Larry Price, W4RA, and Radio Amateurs of Canada President Bill Gillis,
VE1WG. In addition to reports from ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, other
ARRL officers and standing committees, the Board is expected to hear from
technical, ad hoc and advisory committees.

Prior to the Board meeting, newly elected Great Lakes Division Director
Jim Weaver, K8JE, and Vice Director Dick Mondro, W8FQT, will be at ARRL
Headquarters January 14-15 for an orientation program.

==>FCC THREATENS NEW YORK AMATEUR WITH HEARING

The FCC has told a Technician-class operator from New York to stay off 20
meters or risk having to defend his license at a hearing. FCC Special
Counsel Riley Hollingsworth wrote Alexander Sandbrand, N2NNU, of Yonkers
December 12 notifying him that the FCC plans to designate his ham ticket
for revocation and suspension proceedings if it learns of additional
incidents of out-of-band operation.

"This serves as notice that if you engage in any additional incident of
out-of band operation, the Enforcement Bureau intends to designate your
Amateur station license N2NNU for a revocation hearing before an
Administrative Law Judge," Hollingsworth wrote, "and, further, that we
intend to designate your Technician-class operator license for suspension
for the remainder of the license term, August 26, 2011."

An initial Warning Notice regarding alleged operation on the 20-meter
phone band went out to Sandbrand in August 2001, but the FCC has reports
that Sandbrand has operated on HF phone since then.

"Information before the Commission indicates that on at least nine
occasions subsequent to receipt of that warning letter, you operated out
of band," Hollingsworth wrote. He cited reports that N2NNU had operated at
various times on 20, 17, 15 and 10 meters between September 2001 and June
2002.

Hollingsworth told ARRL that after the first Warning Notice, Sandbrand
called him to complain that it wasn't fair that he had to pass additional
examination elements to operate on HF phone. "I told him if he wants to
operate on HF, he has to take the test like everybody else," Hollingsworth
said.

In the latest Warning Notice, Hollingsworth informed Sandbrand that the
FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will not process any upgrade
applications from him until the matter is resolved. He said this week that
he has not heard anything further from Sandbrand.

==>FRENCH STUDENTS RENDEZVOUS WITH ASTRONAUT VIA HAM RADIO

Students at the Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Brest, France,
spoke January 8 via Amateur Radio with US astronaut Don Pettit, KD5MDT. A
member of the Expedition 6 crew, Pettit is the chief science officer on
board the International Space Station. The contact was arranged by the
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program.

Some 30 schoolchildren, their teachers and parents gathered in the room
where the local Amateur Radio club had set up the satellite station. Once
contact was established between NA1SS and ground station F6KPF and
season's greetings exchanged, Pettit began answering questions, which
included one asking if the crew celebrated Christmas in space. Other
youngsters wanted to know about how the ISS was supplied with food and
where the crew's drinking water came from. Pettit and his fellow crew
members commander Ken Bowersox, KD5JBP, and Nikolai Budarin, RV3FB, will
remain in space until March.

"The signal was strong, and Don's voice sounded as if he was addressing
the audience from the floor," said ARISS Vice Chairman Gaston Bertels,
ON4WF. By the end of the pass, 18 questions had been asked and answered.
Those on hand for the early-morning contact included the mayor of Brest.
The event received radio, TV and print media coverage.

Bertels reports that the 10 and 11-year-old pupils--students of Anne
Jaouen--have been studying radio telecommunications throughout the school
year with support from the Brest Amateur Radio Club. "Hands-on experience
consisted of building a crystal radio set, and the children also have
communicated from their classroom with French Amateur Radio stations,"
Bertels said.

The youngsters also were actively involved in preparing the questions for
the ARISS contact. "They studied some basics of astronomy, made models of
the solar system, showing lunar phases, the sky, the sun and the earth,"
Bertels explained. "They also saw pictures taken on board the ISS and
transmitted on television."

In addition to the scientific side of space study, the children wrote
poems on the theme and illustrated these with paintings--now decorating
the walls of the school--that represent the adventure of space exploration
and the planets, Bertels said.

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

==>NEW JERSEY LEGISLATURE HONORS AMATEUR RADIO'S 9/11 ROLE

The New Jersey Legislature has honored the role of Amateur Radio operators
in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. On hand in
Trenton to witness a joint proclamation December 12 were ARRL Hudson
Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, Hudson Division Vice Director Steve
Mendelsohn, W2ML, Northern New Jersey Section Manager Bill Hudzik, W2UDT,
and Bergen County District Emergency Coordinator Mike Adams, WA2MWT, who's
also a member of the New Jersey PRB-1 Task Force.

"I would like to take this opportunity to commend you for your hard work
and efforts," said Assembly Speaker Albio Sires. "During times of
disaster, your group has displayed superior service and dedication to the
safety of our citizens. I applaud the efforts of the independent radio
operators and thank you for your selfless actions on September 11, 2001.
Allow me to express my sincere gratitude for your participation with the
New Jersey General Assembly on this day, December 12, 2002."

On behalf of the amateur contingent, Hudzik thanked the 80 members of the
Assembly. Among the cosponsors of the resolution was Assemblyman Matthew
Ahearn, KB2PNN, a Democrat from Fair Lawn and sponsor of an Amateur Radio
antenna bill, Assembly Bill 3065, in the Garden State.

While in the state capital, the ham radio delegation took the opportunity
to promote A3065, "The Amateur Radio Antenna Bill." The measure would
codify the limited preemption known as PRB-1 into New Jersey's statutes.
In addition, it would preclude local ordinances or regulations that
effectively prohibit an antenna support structure of 70 feet or less above
ground level exclusive of any antenna upon the structure. The measure has
been assigned to the Housing and Local Government Committee chaired by
Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-Plainfield). The text of the proposed
legislation <http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/> is available on the New Jersey
Legislature Web site. Search on "A3065" in the "Bill Search" engine.

Ahearn will be seeking cosponsors in the New Jersey General Assembly and
Senate. Interested New Jersey amateurs may contact him via e-mail
<asmahearn@njleg.org>;. Amateurs may contact their state lawmakers to
express their opinions on the bill or to urge their cosponsorship. Visit
the New Jersey Legislature page <http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/> and look
under "Members--Find Your Legislator."--Michael Adams, WA2MWT

==>PETTIT TO SUB FOR BUDARIN DURING SPACEWALK

International Space Station astronaut and Science Officer Don Pettit,
KD5MDT, will fill in for Russian cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Nikolai
Budarin, RV3FB, on a January 15 spacewalk or extra-vehicular
activity--EVA. Pettit and Expedition 6 mission commander Ken Bowersox,
KD5JBP, will spend more than six hours in space working on the ISS.

"Pettit replaced Budarin because on-orbit medical data raised concerns
among US flight surgeons responsible for medical certification of
spacewalk activity," NASA said this week in a statement. "This decision
does not affect Budarin's other on-orbit duties. Both NASA and the Russian
Aviation and Space Agency have agreed to the personnel change for the
EVA." NASA said that because of privacy concerns, no further information
would be made public. Associated Press has quoted Russian space officials
as saying that Budarin failed to meet US standards in tests on a
stationary bicycle. Budarin, 49, is a veteran of eight spacewalks.

AP quoted Russian officials as saying that they were aware of the
"peculiarities" of Budarin's cardiovascular system and that he is healthy
enough to do the spacewalk. Until US flight surgeons delayed it, the EVA
was scheduled to take place last month.

Pettit, 47, himself was a last-minute fill-in for Don Thomas, KC5FVF, who
was pulled from the Expedition 6 crew because flight surgeons worried
about his exposure to radiation in space. During the EVA, Bowersox and
Pettit will continue outfitting the newly delivered Port One truss
segment. Expedition 6 was launched aboard space shuttle Endeavour last
November 23. The crew will remain aboard the ISS until March.

The Expedition 6 crew also will be the first to not host any
guests--either from Soyuz taxi missions or the space shuttle. Pettit has
been filling some of his free time conducting casual QSOs from NA1SS on 2
meters.

==>NEW SAUDISAT GETS OSCAR DESIGNATION

A third satellite in the SaudiSat series has earned an OSCAR designation
from AMSAT. SaudiSat-1C now will be known as SO-50. The Amateur Radio
payload was successfully placed into orbit December 20 from Russia's
Baikonur Cosmodrome by a modified Soviet-era ICBM. The German-made SAFIR-M
Amateur Radio payload
<http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2002/12/24/3/#German> went into orbit
during the same launch, as part of the RUBIN-2 scientific satellite.
SAFIR-M has been designated as AO-49. SaudiSat-1C is a project of the
Space Research Institute of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and
Technology (KACST) <http://saudisat.kacst.edu.sa/>, an independent
scientific organization of the Saudi Arabian government.

"On behalf of AMSAT-NA I wish to congratulate you and your associates at
Space Research Institute of KACST on the successful culmination of this
project and hope that amateurs all over the world will have an opportunity
to use SO-50," said AMSAT-NA Board Chairman Bill Tynan, W3XO, in making
the announcement this week.

SaudiSat-1C follows by a little more than two years the launch of
SaudiSats 1A and 1B. Now in a 650-km (400 miles) orbit, SaudiSat-1C
carries several experiments, including a new Mode J FM amateur repeater.
The downlink frequency is 436.775 MHz. The uplink frequency is 145.850
MHz. A 67.0-Hz CTCSS tone is required for on-demand access to the
satellite, which shares the same frequencies as AO-27 and SaudiSat-1A.

Space Research Institute Director Turki Al Saud reports that the
SaudiSat-1C repeater was activated and tested this past week. Its
receiving antenna is a quarter-wave whip atop the spacecraft. The 250-mW
UHF transmitter is coupled to a quarter-wave antenna on the bottom of the
spacecraft. He said the repeater will be available to amateurs worldwide
as power permits.

AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, has pointed out that
SaudiSat-1C will require activation on each pass by a designated control
operator. "A worldwide network of designated control operators is now
being developed so that radio amateurs may begin using the satellite
immediately," he said.

For tracking, the NORAD identifier for two-line Keplerian elements is
27607.

According to a report in Arab News
<http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=21335>;, the new satellite is
equipped with capabilities to provide "vital data" concerning weather
conditions and oil exploration as well as to monitor the movement of
vehicles in remote regions of Saudi Arabia.

Turki Al Saud told AMSAT-NA that SaudiSat-1A (SO-41) recently has been
used to conduct some tests and will return to service soon. SO-41 has been
configured for FM voice repeater operation. SaudiSat-1B (SO-42) still is
being used to conduct some experiments but could be made available for
amateur use in the future.--AMSAT News Service; King Abdulaziz City for
Science and Technology

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Heliophile Tad "You Might As Well Be Walkin' on the Sun" Cook, K7VVV,
Seattle, Washington, reports: After last week's big drop in activity,
sunspots are back. The average sunspot number for this week was more than
twice what it was last week, and average daily solar flux was up by more
than 32 points. Solar flux is expected to rise over the next few days to
190 on Saturday and 195 on Sunday, peaking on Monday around 200. But
helioseismic images show no major spots on the sun's far side.

Right now we are inside a weak solar wind, and geomagnetic indices have
been quiet since last Friday and Saturday. The planetary A index has been
in the single digits, but is expected to rise slightly to 15 on Friday,
and then drop back again.

The recent variation in solar activity shows that there is still life in
this sunspot cycle, although over time we should expect a downward trend.
We have passed the longest night of the year, and this is a good season
for lowband work on 160 and 80 meters, particularly when K and A index
values are low. As the days get longer, the higher bands will improve as
we head toward the spring equinox.

Sunspot numbers for January 2 through 8 were 74, 108, 117, 128, 141, 199
and 198, with a mean of 137.9. The 10.7-cm flux was 118.3, 137.6, 143,
148.1, 162.1, 163.2 and 173.7, with a mean of 149.4. Estimated planetary A
indices were 8, 13, 13, 9, 7, 9 and 7, with a mean of 9.4.
__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The North American QSO Party (CW), Hunting
Lions in the Air, the East Asia 160/80 DX Contest, the Midwinter Contest
(CW), the NRAU-Baltic Contest (CW and SSB are separate events), the
Midwinter Contest (SSB) and the DARC 10-Meter Contest are the weekend of
January 11-12. JUST AHEAD: The North American QSO Party (SSB), the ARRL
January VHF Sweepstakes, the LZ Open Contest (CW), the Michigan QRP
January CW Contest, and the Hungarian DX Contest are the weekend of
January 18-19. 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 II Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
(EC-002) and Antenna Modeling (EC-004) courses opens Monday, January 13,
12:01 AM Eastern Standard Time (0501 UTC). Registration will remain open
through Sunday, January 19. Classes begin Monday, January 20. A new
service now allows those 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. To be included, send an e-mail
to prereg@arrl.org. On the subject line, include the course name or number
(eg, EC-00#) you'd like to take. In the message body, provide your name
and call sign and the month you want to start the course. 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. [C-CE logo]

* ARRL seeks Repeater Directory listings from coordinators: The deadline
for repeater coordinating entities to submit repeater listing information
for the 2003 edition of The ARRL Repeater Directory is Friday, February 7.
According to League policy, the ARRL only accepts repeater listings from
recognized frequency-coordinating bodies. "All information on repeaters
intended for The ARRL Repeater Directory must come through a recognized
repeater coordinating body," said Brennan Price, N4QX, who compiles and
edits the annual publication for the League. "With the exception of the
Pacific Insular Territories, the Canadian Territories, and Nunavut, there
is currently a coordinator serving all parts of the US and Canada." Price
urges repeater owners to provide their coordinators with updated
information as soon as possible for inclusion in the 2003 edition. For
more information, contact Brennan Price, N4QX, n4qx@arrl.org.

* Special event from former WCC to celebrate Marconi centennial: Special
event station WA1WCC will be on the air during "Marconi Week," January
11-19, from the former WCC Marconi-RCA-MCI shore station operations center
in Chatham, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. Look for WA1WCC on or about 7.040
and 14.040 MHz on CW and 7.260 and 14.285 MHz SSB. The event, sponsored by
the WCC Amateur Radio Association, marks the 100th anniversary of
Guglielmo Marconi's first successful wireless transmission between the US
and Europe. A message was sent by the Marconi station in Wellfleet,
Massachusetts, on January 18, 1903. By 1914, Marconi had built a new safer
and more up to date station in nearby Chatham. The former WCC facility
will be open to the public from 9 AM until 5 PM Eastern Time. Plans are
under way for Marconi's daughter, Princess Elettra Marconi, to visit
Chatham January 16. She is scheduled to visit another special event,
KM1CC, at the former Eastham Coast Guard station on January 18. At one
time, WCC was described as the busiest ship-to-shore station on the US
eastern seaboard. The Chatham Marconi Maritime Center is sponsoring a
series of educational events for the public during Marconi Week.--Chatham
Marconi Maritime Center Inc newsletter

* FCC to hold open commission meeting: The FCC will hold an open meeting
Wednesday, January 15, at 9:30 AM in Washington, DC. The Meeting will
focus on presentations by senior agency officials regarding
implementations of the agency's strategic plan and a comprehensive review
of FCC policies and procedures. Presentations will be made in four panels:
Panel One consisting of the managing director. Panel Two consisting of the
chiefs of the Enforcement and Consumer and Governmental Affairs bureaus.
Panel Three consisting of the chiefs of the Office of Engineering and
Technology, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the International
Bureau. Panel Four consisting of the chiefs of the Wireline Competition
and the Media bureaus. The audio portion of the meeting will be broadcast
live on the Internet via the FCC's Internet audio broadcast page at
<http://www.fcc.gov/realaudio/>.--FCC

* California RACES team responds to gas leak: The Huntington Beach,
California, Fire Department called upon the Huntington Beach Radio Amateur
Civil Emergency Service (RACES) group <http://www.hbraces.org> December 11
after a natural gas leak occurred. Nine fire companies responded to the
alarm. The Huntington Beach RACES team established a controlled net and
initiated the RACES incident command system. Twenty RACES members
responded to the incident command center at the scene of the leak, to the
Huntington Beach emergency operations center and to a care and reception
center for displaced residents. Tim Sawyer, WD6AWP, served as net control
operator. Huntington Beach RACES Chief Radio Officer Steven Graboff,
W6GOS--a physician--responded to the care and reception center and
provided cellular, Amateur Radio, American Red Cross and fire department
radio communication. RACES communications were utilized exclusively
throughout the event, since as the city's cell phone system was not
functioning. "Between the RACES communicators and the CERT [Community
Emergency Response Team] shelter team, no additional city or Red Cross
personnel were needed, and the incident was handled very well," said
Huntington Beach Fire Department Emergency Services Coordinator Glorria
Morrison, KE6ATG. "This is an example of how volunteers can be utilized to
provide emergency services to the City of Huntington Beach at no cost and
no drain to city resources." Other RACES members maintained radio watch on
the net and prepared for a 12-hour deployment. Within 90 minutes, the fire
department advised RACES that the problem was under control and the
emergency was over, and residents were allowed to return to their homes.
No injuries were reported. The Huntington Beach Fire Department Emergency
Services Office administers the RACES team.

* Maritime Mobile Service Network celebrates 35th anniversary: The
Maritime Mobile Serice Network (MMSN) marked its 35th anniversary on
January 3. The net now operates on 14.300 MHz. According to Bobby Graves,
KB5HAV, the net's original purpose was to assist those serving in the US
military during the Vietnam War. In its early years, the MMSN saw a lot of
phone patch traffic. "Our primary purpose now is that of handling legal
third-party traffic from maritime mobiles, both pleasure and commercial,
and overseas deployed military personnel," said Graves, who serves as the
nets schedule coordinator and Webmaster. He said the net also helps
missionaries in foreign countries. The MMSN has grown from its original
nine founding members to nearly 60 net control stations and relief
operators. It's recognized by the US Coast Guard and has been instrumental
in handling hundreds of incidents involving vessels in distress. During
severe weather, the net also acts as a weather beacon for ships and relays
weather warnings and bulletins from the National Weather Service and the
National Hurricane Center. "The Maritime Mobile Service Network has a
legacy of serving people and will continue to do so," Graves said.

* K6ZT elected president of engineering honor society: ARRL Life Member
Tom Rothwell, K6ZT, of Los Alamitos, California, has been elected
president of Eta Kappa Nu <http://www.hkn.org/>, the national honor
society for electrical and computer engineering. Rothwell was elected to
membership in 1953 while attending the University of Southern California.
He is a retired Hughes Aircraft Company group vice president and division
manager. First licensed in early 1947, he spent three years in the US Air
Force, much of it in postwar Japan, where he held the call signs J5AAL,
J2AAL and JA3AA. (He won the CQ World Wide DX CW contest for Japan in 1948
and the ARRL International DX Contest--Phone and CW--for Japan in 1949.)
An Extra class licensee, Rothwell still enjoys chasing DX on CW. Founded
in 1904, Eta Kappa Nu has some 100,000 members and chapters at more than
200 colleges with accredited curricula in electrical or computer
engineering.

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