*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 22, No. 05 January 31, 2003 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +ARRL comments on FCC's Spectrum Policy Task Force Report * +Extraordinary gift funds new "full-ride" scholarship * +"Hybrid" emergency communications classes offer advantages * +Wisconsin utility gives $40,500 to ARES groups * +FCC warns unlicensed ops, threatens fines * +Comments invited on amateur-related petition * +Utah antenna bill on fast track * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Emergency Communications course registration Kathy Capodicasa named ARRL Customer Service Manager Position opening at ARRL Headquarters ARRL supports AMSAT-NA petition Hams provide assistance following plane crash Prompt action by Amateur Radio operators helps save lives AA6JR appointed to head PR Committee +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>ARRL EXPRESSES MIXED FEELINGS ON SPECTRUM POLICY TASK FORCE REPORT The ARRL has registered some mixed feelings about the FCC's Spectrum Policy Task Force Report issued late last November. In comments to the FCC this week, the League called the report "a positive first step" in developing a comprehensive national spectrum management approach. At the same time, the ARRL said, the SPTF Report "fails to address the needs and goals" of the Amateur Service and urged the FCC to not abandon longstanding allocation policies based on engineering. "Overall, ARRL asks that the Commission not adopt the SPTF Report in toto, but rather use it as a basis for future planning on an ongoing basis," the League said January 27 in its comments in ET Docket 02-135. "Spectrum policy reform should be viewed as an ongoing process, not as a wholesale paradigm shift to be accomplished in half a year." The ARRL said the report's orientation toward commercial services makes it not wholly applicable to the Amateur Service. Among other factors, the League said, services such as public safety and Amateur Radio cannot pay for spectrum access. Cautioning the FCC to not continue an apparent "rush to judgment," the ARRL said there's not been enough time to study the report's recommendations thoroughly, much less deploy them immediately. The League also warned against basing allocation policy on anticipated advances in technology. The ARRL again called on the FCC to consider greater use of "negotiated rulemaking" to expedite allocation decisions. "Instead of acting as the judge and jury, the Commission could act as more of a facilitator among competitors for spectrum," the League said. In terms of sharing schemes, the ARRL said it supports "to a limited extent" the concept of "interference temperature" calculations and measurements. But, it pointed to the 2400-2450 MHz band as "an example of a failing attempt at inter-service sharing" that some predictive calculations might have alleviated. The ARRL said the explosion of Part 15 devices coupled with relaxed rules on power, antenna gain and duty cycles of high-powered unlicensed devices "has rendered the band unusable in some areas." Once again asserting that the FCC "has pushed the Part 15 concept beyond the point that it works," the ARRL took advantage of the comment opportunity to again express its view that unlicensed devices "cannot be authorized by the Commission under current statutes" without first determining that they do not pose a significant interference potential to licensed radio services. The ARRL's comments on the FCC's Spectrum Policy Task Force Report in ET Docket 02-135 are available on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/et02-135/arrl-comments.html>. The report itself is available from the FCC Web site <http://www.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2002/db1115/DOC-228542A1 .doc> ==>$1 MILLION GIFT FUNDS NEW SCHOLARSHIP The ARRL Foundation <http://www.arrl.org/arrlf/> has announced the Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship, a full, four-year undergraduate scholarship that will go to a meritorious young Amateur Radio operator about to graduate from high school. The new award is the result of a generous endowment from the late William Goldfarb, N2ITP. ARRL Foundation Secretary Mary Lau, N1VH, said the Goldfarb scholarship marks the first Foundation scholarship that funds a complete undergraduate education. Before his death in 1997, Goldfarb set up a scholarship endowment of close to $1 million in memory of his parents, Albert and Dorothy Goldfarb, Lau explained. Each year, to the extent of the funds available, the Foundation will select a deserving young Amateur Radio operator to receive a "full ride" for his or her undergraduate studies at an accredited baccalaureate degree-granting institution. The successful applicant must major in computers, engineering, the sciences, medical/nursing or a business-related area. Also, financial need must be demonstrated via submission of a copy of the applicant's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) <http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/>. The grant will cover all conventional educational expenses--including tuition, room and board and textbooks. A close friend of Goldfarb's--Richard Goldstein--characterized Goldfarb as "a wonderful person" who was genuinely interested in other people. "He placed a high value on education, and he saw this scholarship as a way to perpetuate the memory of his parents," he said. Goldfarb grew up in Brooklyn, and his parents died while he was a teenager. After a stint in the US Air Force, he worked for the New York City Department of Finance. An on-line application for the Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship is available on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/arrlf/Goldappl.html>. The application deadline for the 2003 Goldfarb Scholarship is March 15. For additional information, contact Mary Lau, N1VH, email@example.com. ==>"HYBRID" AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS CLASSES BEST OF ALL WORLDS You've heard of hybrid tomatoes and hybrid ham radios. Now, some "hybrid" ARRL Level I Amateur Radio emergency communications (EC-001) classes offer a mix of on-line and on-campus instruction. "This marriage of teaching has been absolutely perfect," said ARRL Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan Miller, K3UFG. "Previously, these classes were either all on-line or anything but on-line. The implementation of hybrid classes offers the best of all available worlds." Miller says each Level I hybrid course is a little different, as instructors take advantage of their particular strengths, access to varying materials and local interests. Since the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) grant-sponsored Amateur Radio emergency communications classes began last September, 1277 students have signed up for the Level I course. To date, 723 have graduated and been reimbursed for their tuition. Miller hopes the hybrid classes will help to boost graduation rates. Under the first year of the nearly $182,000 CNCS grant, students can be reimbursed for the $45 registration fee after they successfully complete the course. "When each student has a financial stake in completing the course, each dollar of the grant will have maximum impact," Miller explained. The ARRL is strongly encouraging older amateurs to take advantage of the emergency communications training since they're a target of the CNCS grant. "Senior hams bring a wide variety of experience and knowledge to the program," Miller said. "When they become active participants, they add more insight which then yields a better learning experience." Miller said successful implementation of the grant-funded training program already has had some positive effects, including an increased awareness of Amateur Radio as a resource by government; the formation of new ARES/RACES groups; stronger ties between existing amateur emergency communication groups and local emergency operations centers; and an influx of new hams to emergency communication teams. To learn more about the Amateur Radio emergency communications courses and other ARRL Certification and Continuing Education classes, visit the C-CE Course Listing Web page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html>. ==>WISCONSIN UTILITY MAKES AWARD TO ARES/RACES GROUPS We Energies, a Wisconsin gas and electric utility, has given ARES/RACES organizations <http://wi-aresraces.org> in 17 Wisconsin counties a total of $39,000 to enhance their emergency communication capabilities. A ceremonial check presentation was held January 21. "We are excited about this timely award, which will bring needed equipment to several of our counties," said Wisconsin Section Emergency Coordinator Dr Stan Kaplan, WB9RQR, who also serves as RACES Chief Radio Officer in the Badger State. "We thank We Energies for their forethought and generosity." Kaplan said the grant would help to build an effective statewide packet network for use during emergencies. He also said he hopes the idea will "snowball" and inspire other companies to follow suit. Last November, PA Consulting Group--the energy industry's largest management consulting firm--honored We Energies by presenting the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability in the Midwest during 2001. "In planning how we wanted to celebrate this award, including what we could give to our employees as recognition, we decided that we could put these dollars to better use," said Charles Cole, We senior vice president of distribution operations. "We are proud that we were able to take this award, take it one step further, and share it with a worthwhile organization such as ARES." EC Resources, a 501(c)3 group established 10 years to fund Outagamie County ARES, will accept the donation from We, solicit written requests from each county's EC for equipment and disburse the funds to buy the needed gear. Counties picked to receive funds were those with at least 5000 We customers, and funds were apportioned according to the number of customers it serves in county. The top grant of $9000 went to Milwaukee County, while Waukesha County got $6000 and Racine County $3000. ARES/RACES organizations in 14 other Wisconsin counties plus one We-served county in Michigan got $1500 each. ==>FCC WARNS UNLICENSED OPS, RESCINDS REPEATER'S AUTOMATIC CONTROL AUTHORITY The FCC has sent warning notices to 10 individuals--eight of them Amateur Radio licensees--for operating without a license in the 11-meter band. All but one of the operators live in the Greater New York City area. "Such operation will subject you to fine or imprisonment, as well as an in rem seizure of radio transmitting equipment, in cooperation with the United States Attorney for your jurisdiction," FCC Special Counsel Riley Hollingsworth wrote January 15. He cited "monitoring information before the Commission" indicating that the individuals were transmitting on 26.540 and/or 26.555 MHz, frequencies allocated for government use. Fines for unlicensed operation can run as high as $10,000. In other enforcement actions, the FCC rescinded the automatic control authority of a repeater operated by Daniel Granda, KA6VHC, of Whittier, California. The action means a control operator must be present at all times at the control point of the KA6VHC repeater. FCC Los Angeles District Director Catherine Deaton wrote Granda January 13 to say the action was being taken because Granda's repeater was under review by the Enforcement Bureau for apparent violations of the FCC's rules. Alleged violations include obscene and indecent communications, inadequate station control and deliberate interference. Deaton told Granda that--under threat of fines and revocation proceedings--he may not operate his repeater under automatic control until the enforcement allegations are cleared up. Last October, the FCC dismissed Granda's complaint against the KD6ZLZ and WA6NJJ repeaters on 223.82 and 223.84 MHz. The FCC told Granda that his 16-year-old coordination document "was insufficient to establish coordination" and that he bears primary responsibility for preventing interference to the two repeaters because he cannot show current coordination. Granda has told the FCC that he's been using the two frequencies "continuously for over 25 years." Hollingsworth told Granda, however, that, even if he were properly coordinated 16 years ago, "coordination is not a lifetime grant" nor a de facto frequency assignment. The FCC said it continues to receive complaints about deliberate interference from Granda's station to the two repeaters as well as allegations of obscene and/or indecent speech. It's asked Granda to respond to the complainants. In addition, the Commission wants Granda to provide "a detailed plan" to prevent interference to the KD6ZLZ and WA6NJJ repeaters or risk enforcement action. Noting that Granda's license expires next November 9, Hollingsworth said the FCC would not act upon a renewal application until the enforcement issues were resolved. The FCC also wrote a Florida amateur, John S. Gregory, W3ATE, letting him know that the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau had set aside his General-class upgrade on December 4. As a result, Gregory reverts to a Tech Plus licensee. The action, the FCC said, was based on complaints that Gregory--on more than one occasion in 2002--had operated his station on 20 meters while still licensed as a Technician. The FCC issued Warning Notices to Gregory last May and June but said both were returned as "unclaimed." The FCC gave Gregory 20 days to explain the alleged operation. "Failure to respond will result in the dismissal of your application," Hollingsworth concluded. ==>FCC INVITES COMMENTS ON AMATEUR-RELATED PETITION Comments are due February 28 on another Petition for Rulemaking filed by Dale Reich, K8AD, of Seville, Ohio. Reich has petitioned the FCC to require sellers of two-way voice or data equipment to keep on file a buyer's name, address, telephone number and "any future information when selling a radio that required licensing under the current FCC rules." Information collected would remain private, available only to the FCC or law enforcement. Reich said in his petition that, under his proposal, any retail vendor would be able to ask local police to investigate if the retailer suspected that the radios were not going to be used in compliance with the law. A separate petition would require "ownership and license tagging" for gear operating under Parts 5, 15, 18, 74, 80, 90, 95 and 97, including call sign, owner's name and address and any FCC file number. It would include CB, Family Radio Service, Multi-Use Radio Service and General Mobile Radio Service gear. In his petition, Reich said such tagging used to be an FCC requirement and that his proposed change was long overdue as a needed tool for local law enforcement. The FCC has lumped both petitions into one, designated as RM-10641. The full text of Reich's petitions is available on the FCC Web site. In an earlier petition, designated RM-10620, Reich had asked the Commission to upgrade Novice and Advanced license holders to the "next" license class if the licensee has 20 or more years of operating experience. Reich said such test-free upgrades would compensate for "the previous tougher exam that was past administered" and give credit for violation-free service records. Before the comment window for Reich's earlier petition closed January 17, it attracted more than 150 comments from the amateur community. ==>UTAH AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA BILL PASSES HOUSE Utah's Amateur Radio antenna bill appears to be on the fast track. Just 11 days after its introduction, the bill made it through the Utah House of Representatives. The vote January 31 was 65 to 8 (with two members not voting). ARRL Utah Section Manager Mel Parkes, AC7CP, has been encouraging Utah amateurs to get behind the new measure, House Bill 79, which was introduced January 20. Sponsored by Rep Neal B. Hendrickson, HB 79, "Regulation of Amateur Radio Antennas," received a favorable recommendation from the House standing committee on political subdivisions earlier this month. HB 79 would prohibit municipalities and counties in Utah from enacting ordinances that fail to comply with the limited federal preemption known as PRB-1. The measure would require that local ordinances involving placement, screening or height of an Amateur Radio antenna that are based on health, safety or aesthetics "reasonably accommodate amateur radio communications" and "represent the minimal practicable regulation to accomplish the municipality's purpose." The bill now moves to the Utah Senate. A copy of the proposed legislation is available on the Utah State Legislature Web site <http://www.le.state.ut.us/~2003/bills/hbillint/hb0079.htm>. So far, 16 states have incorporated the essence of PRB-1 into their statutes. Bills are pending in several other states. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Solar guru Tad "Sunshine Superman" Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Again this week the solar numbers were lower, with average daily solar flux down more than 9 points and average daily sunspot numbers down more than 25. Solar flux has probably reached a minimum for the short term at about 125, and it should slowly rise over the next 10 days. There aren't any large clusters of sunspots visible, but a holographic image of the sun's far side shows a complex of spots which eventually will rotate into view. Over the past week the quietest geomagnetic day was January 27, when K and A indices at all latitudes were quiet low. Other than January 27, conditions have generally been unsettled to active, indicating higher absorption on higher latitude paths. The latest prediction is for unsettled to active conditions on Friday, with a planetary A index around 20, then a drop back to quieter conditions on Saturday, followed by active geomagnetic conditions on Sunday and Monday. For more information about propagation and an explanation of the numbers used in this bulletin, see the ARRL Web site Propagation page <http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>. Sunspot numbers for January 23 through 29 were 123, 129, 103, 133, 134, 133 and 173, with a mean of 132.6. The 10.7-cm flux was 135.9, 129.8, 128.9, 125, 121.3, 125.6 and 124.4, with a mean of 127.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 19, 15, 28, 17, 8, 12 and 14, with a mean of 16.1. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The North American Sprint (SSB), the 10-10 International Winter Contest (SSB), the Delaware and Minnesota QSO parties, the FYBO Winter QRP Field Day and the Mexico RTTY International Contest are the weekend of February 1-2. JUST AHEAD: The North American Sprint (CW), the Six Club Winter Contest, the CQ/RJ WW RTTY WPX Contest, the Asia-Pacific Sprint (CW), the Dutch PACC Contest, the YL-OM Contest (CW), the FISTS Winter Sprint, the OMISS QSO Party, the RSGB 1.8 MHz Contest (CW) and the QRP ARCI Winter Fireside SSB Sprint are the weekend of February 8-9. The ARRL School Club Roundup is February 10-15. 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 Emergency Communications course registration: Registration opens Monday, February 3, at 12:01 AM Eastern Time (0500 UTC) for the on-line Level I Emergency Communications course (EC-001). Registration remains open through the February 8-9 weekend or until all available seats have been filled--whichever comes first. Class begins Tuesday, February 18. Thanks to the federal homeland security grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service, the $45 registration fee paid upon enrollment will be reimbursed after successful completion of the course. During this registration period, approximately 200 seats are being offered to ARRL members on a first-come, first-served basis. Senior amateurs are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. 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 Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan Miller, K3UFG, firstname.lastname@example.org; 860-594-0340. * Kathy Capodicasa named ARRL Customer Service Manager: Kathy Capodicasa, N1GZO, has been promoted to ARRL Customer Service/Circulation Manager, overseeing the distribution of QST, QEX and NCJ. She takes over the reins from Debra Jahnke, who was named ARRL Sales Manager several months ago but has continued to oversee the Circulation Department. "As manager, I want to maintain the high standards of the department and the excellent record of customer service the staff has had over the years," Capodicasa said. "I want to continue that tradition." The Circulation Department is integrating a new computer system to help manage distribution of the three publications. She's also getting acquainted with the large number of forms and tracking statistics it takes to make sure members get their periodicals in the most efficient and timely manner. An ARRL HQ employee since 1987, Capodicasa most recently served as Senior Fulfillment Supervisor and Circulation Supervisor. A Connecticut native, she holds a bachelor's degree in management from Central Connecticut State University. * Position opening at ARRL Headquarters: ARRL seeks a state-certified teacher with classroom experience--preferably several years at the middle-school level--to coordinate ARRL's Amateur Radio Education and Technology Project, "The Big Project," and handle other duties as needed. The candidate should be an Amateur Radio operator, preferably with experience in a wide range of ham activities. The position is at ARRL Headquarters in Connecticut. For information on skills required and job responsibilities, contact ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Rosalie White, K1STO, email@example.com, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Please, no telephone calls. The ARRL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. * ARRL supports AMSAT-NA petition: The ARRL has commented in favor of an AMSAT-NA Petition for Rulemaking that seeks to change an FCC rule regarding pre-space notifications for Amateur Satellite Service stations. AMSAT-NA wants the rule changed to require a single, written pre-space notification (or information document) within 30 days after receiving a launch commitment. The current rule, ß97.207(g), requires two pre-space notifications--the first at 27 months before initiating space station transmissions and the second at five months prior, even if no information has changed. The ARRL said that because finding affordable launch opportunities can be difficult and often involves last-minute decisions, "the 27-month notice requirement imposes an unreasonable and practically impossible compliance burden." AMSAT must seek a waiver of the requirement for essentially every launch, and the FCC has routinely granted such waivers, the ARRL noted. The change to a 30-day requirement (with updates also required if any information changes) "reflects the realities of the Amateur Satellite Service, which is a model of the type of scientific accomplishment, educational opportunity and self-regulation that is a hallmark of the Amateur Radio Service," the League commented. AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, expressed his appreciation to ARRL for its support of its petition. * Hams provide assistance following plane crash: After two small planes collided and crashed January 24 over Denver's West Highland neighborhood, Amateur Radio operators were among those on hand to assist. Five persons onboard the two aircraft were killed, and seven on the ground were treated for minor injuries. One plane came down near an apartment complex occupied mostly by retired older adults. The other landed in a backyard. The Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) Metro Denver team was called in to provide canteen services. Metro Denver EDS Supervisor Mike Gelski, KB0PVD, contacted team volunteers to prepare two canteens. Gelski reports that during the response, nine members of the Denver Radio Club provided Amateur Radio communication between two feeding stations as well as with the Denver command post and the Salvation Army command post. Canteen services were concluded the following evening after aircraft debris was removed from both crash locations. * Prompt action by Amateur Radio operators helps save lives: As ARRL member Joe Giraudo, N7JEH, was on his long, daily commute to his office at a mining corporation outside Elko, Nevada, he came upon a car that had skidded on "black ice" and rolled over a number of times in isolated valley north of Carlin. A bus carrying emergency medical technicians to the mine had already arrived, and the EMTs were mobilizing to treat the three accident victims. Giraudo immediately called up the autopatch on the W7LKO 146.85 repeater to notify the Nevada Highway Patrol and the Carlin police and fire departments. He again used the autopatch so EMTs could relay situation reports to the responding emergency units. When the emergency units started arriving, they found they were unable to communicate using their own radios because of the local terrain. Again, the autopatch under Giraudo's control allowed them to communicate with their central dispatcher to coordinate other responding units, warn them of the black ice and request helicopter support. At one point the W7LKO autopatch went down, but Gene D'Asto, WA7BWF, immediately came up on the repeater and began relaying information via landline. After a 30 minute extraction effort, all three victims were taken by ambulance to the Elko Regional Medical Center.--Dick Flanagan W6OLD/Carson Valley Radio Club Carson Currents. * AA6JR appointed to head PR Committee: ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, has appointed Jeff Reinhardt, AA6JR, of Agoura Hills, California, as the 2003 chairman of the League's Public Relations Committee. A veteran committee member, Reinhardt, is also Public Information Coordinator for the ARRL Santa Barbara Section and Public Information Officer for his local club. He said his first order of business would be to schedule a committee conference call to discuss the group's priorities for 2003. Committee members provide advice and counsel to the League's media relations manager and handle other tasks as determined by the media relations manager or the ARRL Board. Reinhardt is a partner in Reinhardt & Reinhardt Advertising. In addition to a long list of accomplishments and community activities, he serves on the Agoura Hills City Council and was recently elected as mayor. =========================================================== 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. 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. To change these selections--including delivery of The ARRL Letter--registered members should click on the "Member Data Page" link (in the Members Only box). Click on "Modify membership data," check or uncheck the appropriate boxes and/or change your e-mail address if necessary. Then, click on "Submit modification" to make selections effective. (NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You must do this yourself via the Members Only Web Site.) The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources: * ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/>. (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will be posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.) * The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur Radio Club: Visit Mailing Lists@QTH.Net <http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/letter-list>. 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