*************** 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 <firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com. 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, firstname.lastname@example.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, email@example.com. * 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. 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 <http://www.arrl.org> for the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRLWeb Extra <http://www.arrl.org/members-only/extra> offers 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. 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