*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 22, No. 08 February 21, 2003 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +Amateur Radio Spectrum Protection Act of 2003 introduced * +Leadership changes announced in Pacific Division * +ARISS QSO first since Columbia tragedy * +Hams tackle snowstorm, flooding * +New SMs elected in four sections * +FCC proposes huge fine for Iowa ham * +New York takes third stab at ham radio antenna bill * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration Correction Indiana amateur antenna bill passes Senate ARRL to sponsor emergency communications course seminar ARRL seeks assistant technical editor +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>AMATEUR RADIO SPECTRUM PROTECTION ACT REINTRODUCED IN US HOUSE The Amateur Radio Spectrum Protection Act has again been introduced in the US House of Representatives. The measure is an ARRL legislative initiative. Florida Rep Michael Bilirakis put the latest version of the bill, HR 713, into the legislative hopper on February 12. It has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. When last introduced in 2001, the measure was known as HR 817. The House bill already has two cosponsors, Reps John Boozman, Arkansas, and Patrick Tiberi, Ohio. Both cosponsored last year's bill. HR 713 is aimed at ensuring the availability of spectrum to Amateur Radio operators. It would protect existing Amateur Radio spectrum against reallocations to or sharing with other services unless the FCC provides "equivalent replacement spectrum" elsewhere. Bilirakis, a Florida Republican, has twice before sponsored similar legislation at the League's recommendation. A Senate version of the bill is pending. The measure would amend the Communications Act to require the FCC to provide "equivalent replacement spectrum" to Amateur Radio and the Amateur-Satellite Service in the event of a reallocation of primary amateur allocations, any reduction in secondary amateur allocations, or "additional allocations within such bands that would substantially reduce the utility thereof" to amateurs. The 2001 version of the measure attracted 53 cosponsors in the House but last spring became one of many pieces of legislation caught up in the so-called "Enron logjam," during which the Internet and Telecommunications Subcommittee did not meet, although its full committee, Energy and Commerce, held numerous hearings concerning Enron. The ARRL is urging members of the Amateur Radio community to contact their representatives in Congress and request that they cosponsor HR 713. Experience has shown that, while most members of Congress understand and appreciate the benefits of Amateur Radio, some may be reluctant to sign onto a technical piece of legislation without some indication of support from their own constituents. A sample letter is available on the ARRL Web site. The text of HR 713 is available via the Thomas Web site <http://thomas.loc.gov/>. Enter "HR713" in the "Bill Number" window. ARRL asks that members soliciting their members of Congress to cosponsor this legislation to copy their correspondence to the League via e-mail to email@example.com. ==>N6AJO APPOINTED PACIFIC DIVISION VICE DIRECTOR ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, has appointed East Bay Section Manager Andy Oppel, N6AJO, to become Pacific Division Vice Director. The appointment February 20 fills the vacancy in the Pacific Division leadership created when former Vice Director Bob Vallio, W6RGG, acceded to Pacific Division Director upon the death of Director Jim Maxwell, W6CF, on February 6. Oppel's appointment is for the balance of Vallio's term, which expires January 1, 2005. "I've been working with Bob Vallio for more than 20 years," said Oppel, who lives in Alameda and took over the East Bay Section Manager's position from Vallio in January 2000. Prior to that, he was an Assistant SM in East Bay for eight years under Vallio's section leadership. Oppel said their long-term working relationship would definitely be an asset as he and Vallio take on their new leadership roles in the Pacific Division. A ham since 1977 and a General-class licensee, Oppel, 50, said his interest in emergency communications work is what helped to get him into ham radio. He serves as a mentor for the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level I course. ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Rosalie White, K1STO, has appointed Dennis Franklin, K6DF, of Fremont to take over the reins from Oppel as East Bay SM. As the new Pacific Division Director, Vallio greeted Oppel's appointment enthusiastically and said he planned to continue the agenda he and Jim Maxwell had begun together three years ago. "Jim wasn't done with the things that he wanted to do, and I wasn't done trying to help him do them," Vallio said. Before becoming a Vice Director, he had served for more than two decades as East Bay Section Communications Manager and Section Manager. As a Vice Director, he served on the ARRL Board of Directors' Membership Services Committee. First licensed as a Novice in 1952, Vallio says he's been active on HF, VHF and UHF for almost his entire 51-year tenure as an amateur licensee. He also serves as a director and secretary of the Yasme Foundation and is a member of the Northern California DX and Northern California Contest clubs as well as of the Alameda County Sheriff's Communications Team (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service--RACES). He is retired from Pacific Bell. Franklin, a retired federal employee, was first licensed in 1965. An ARRL Life Member, he's is an Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course mentor and a volunteer examiner. An ARRL Life Member, Franklin is an Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course mentor and a volunteer examiner. ==>ARISS CONTACT WITH JAPANESE SCHOOL FIRST SINCE COLUMBIA TRAGEDY Pupils at an elementary school in Japan have been the first youngsters to speak to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station since the shuttle Columbia tragedy. The contact took place February 18 between 8N3HES at the Hirano Elementary School and astronaut Don Pettit, KD5MDT, at the controls of NA1SS. The direct 2-meter contact was arranged by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program, which has been on hold since the shuttle catastrophe. No one asked any questions about the Columbia tragedy during the approximately 10-minute contact that was marred by some communication difficulty. An audience of approximately 180 people--essentially the entire school plus several reporters--was on hand for the ARISS contact. Pettit managed to answer eight of the nine questions put to him by the fifth and sixth graders One student wanted to know what Pettit would bring with him if he had to live in space for the rest of his life. "I would hope to bring my whole family," Pettit responded. "I would bring my wife and my children and we would live in space together." Because of the Columbia disaster, the mission of the Expedition 6 crew members already has been extended until at least June. It had been scheduled to end next month. Other students asked questions relating to everyday life aboard the space station, including how the crew gets rid of its trash. Pettit explained that after putting the trash into airtight bags, it's loaded on an empty Progress cargo supply rocket and sent back into Earth's atmosphere. "It's the ultimate means of recycling your garbage," he said. Pettit told the youngsters that it's "nice and warm" aboard the space station--about 22 degrees Centigrade--but that the crew could set the temperature to whatever they desired. One student asked what the crew would do if someone became ill. "Fortunately no one has become sick on our mission, so we haven't had to worry about that," Pettit replied. He said that in the case of sickness among the crew, the crew would contact flight surgeons on Earth to get advice. He also explained that the crew has a medical kit on board for those kinds of situation. ARISS is an international project with participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>HAMS TAKE ON SNOWSTORM, FLOOD DUTY IN EASTERN US Amateurs in the Eastern US this week responded after heavy snow in some regions and icy conditions and flooding in others knocked out and disrupted communications in several states. In Kentucky, Section Emergency Coordinator Ron Dodson, KA4MAP, reported that northern and central Kentucky was under ice and snow February 17 as a result of precipitation over the weekend. Dodson said the City of Lexington and Fayette County were hardest hit. At one point, some 65,000 customers were reported without power after ice-laden tree branches felled utility lines. At week's end, Dodson reported that work was continuing on power restoration in Lexington and Fayette County, where about 30,000 remained without power. Lexington-Fayette County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) teams activated February 16 to provide communication support for road crews, power crews and at four shelters set up at American Red Cross and Salvation Army offices for those without heat due to the power outages. Dodson said Amateur Radio was providing links on VHF and UHF between all field operations and the local Emergency Operations Center in Lexington as well as with the state EOC in Frankfort, Kentucky's capital. "We have flooding occurring in southern and eastern portions of the state where all the precipitation fell as rain," Dodson said earlier this week. Many area highways were closed due to high water. Paintsville-Johnson County Emergency Coordinator John Hager, N4KJU, reported that ARES activated February 16 after meeting with local emergency managers. Fifteen ARES members responded, and activation on VHF provided communication for the fire department and rescue squad when commercial power was interrupted for about five hours. Hams were deployed at all 10 county fire departments and at the EOC. Dodson said the ARES response gave the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government "an up-close-and-personal look at Amateur Radio and how they can benefit from it." Dodson praised amateurs who participated despite having troubles of their own at home that included no power, frozen pipes and trees covered with ice. In the Washington, DC, area--which received more than two feet of unwelcome and unusual snowfall--virtually all travel was reported paralyzed. Prince George's County, Maryland, Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) was activated to assist in picking up and delivering dialysis patients to and from local facilities as well as providing other needed transportation assistance. Murray Green, K3BEQ, reports that the county EOC was activated, and Deputy Radio Officer, Frank Scott, K3HDM, took the reins as net control station. Primary communication was via VHF repeaters. In Northern New Jersey, ARES and SKYWARN activated 15 SKYWARN nets that garnered 173 checkins during the storm, said Section Emergency Coordinator Steve Ostrove, K2SO. In all, reports were logged from nine New Jersey counties as well as two in New York and one in Pennsylvania. Hams put in nearly 70 work-hours. In Ohio, Section Manager Joe Phillips, K8QOE, reports that hams responded to weather emergencies throughout the day February 16. Phillips said the Ohio Single Side Band Net (OSSBN) was called into an emergency session by Assistant Section Manager Connie Hamilton, N8IO, and Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator Larry Rain, WD8IHP. "Icy streets and falling snow clogged roads and ice covered trees striking power lines caused power outages throughout Ohio," Phillips said. "The OSSBN moved emergency traffic and kept Ohio hams in constant contact with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency." He said in the Dayton area, Amateur Radio operators with four-wheel drive vehicles stood by to transport essential personal such as medical personnel to their jobs. In New England, which is much more used to heavy snowfalls, the newly formed Worcester Emergency Communications Team (WECT) in central Massachusetts activated a net at the request of Worcester emergency management officials. The net ran most of Presidents' Day--when the majority of the snow fell in the region. "The activation gave us a chance to test our capabilities and explore both our strengths and weaknesses in terms of emergency communications," said Worcester ARES EC and City RACES Officer Mark Rubin, WB1ARZ. Rubin said the team set up a VHF station at the Worcester EOC. At one point, he and another WECT member were atop the EOC roof in blizzard conditions setting up a 5/8-wave antenna. More than two feet of snow fell in some parts of Southern New England. ==>NEW ARRL SECTION MANAGERS ELECTED IN FOUR SECTIONS Roy Rabey, AD5KZ, will become the new North Texas Section Manager this spring after he topped a field of three candidates that included the incumbent. Rabey, who lives in Bedford, outpolled first-term North Texas SM Larry Melby, KA5TXL, and Glenn Warnstaff, K5CPD. Rabey received 576 votes to Melby's 499 and Warnstaff's 303. New SMs also will be taking office in Montana, Wyoming and Oklahoma. Incumbents were re-elected without opposition in five other ARRL sections. Votes cast in all contested races were counted February 18 at ARRL Headquarters. In Montana, Doug R. Dunn, K7YD, defeated James Fuller, N7VMR, 234 to 73 votes. Dunn will take over the reins from current Montana SM Darrell Thomas, N7KOR, a 10-year veteran who decided not to run for another term. In Oklahoma, John Thomason, WB5SYT, of Edmond, topped Melvin Miller, K5KXL, 520 to 148 votes for the section's top job. Thomason will take over the job being relinquished by Charlie Calhoun, K5TTT, who decided not run again. Calhoun has been Oklahoma SM since 1999. In Wyoming, Jay E Ostrem, W7CW, of Gillette, was unopposed for election and was declared elected. Ostrem will succeed outgoing Wyoming SM Bob Williams, N7LKH, who did not run for another term. Williams has served as SM since 1997. Incumbent ARRL SMs in five other sections were unopposed for re-election to new two-year terms and were declared elected. They are John Meyers, NB4K, Kentucky; Cliff Hauser, KD6XH, Arizona; Malcolm Keown, W5XX, Mississippi; Joe Brown, W6UBQ, Orange; and Jim Lasley, N0JL, Iowa. All new terms of office begin on April 1. ==>FCC PROPOSES FINE FOR HAM ACCUSED OF INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE The FCC has proposed fining a Nebraska Technician-class Amateur Radio operator, Scott E. Kamm, N0UGN, of Waterbury, $12,000 for alleged willful and repeated interference, broadcasting of music and failing to identify with his call sign. The FCC's Kansas City office released the Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) on January 24. Responding to complaints of continuing interference on the input of a 2-meter repeater, FCC agents monitored the frequency last December 9. They observed "very strong signals on the frequency 146.31 MHz consisting of music, sound effects and unmodulated carriers" and no station ID. The FCC said the transmissions were "interfering with existing communications in progress" between other amateur stations. The FCC said it used direction-finding techniques to determine that the source of the signals was Kamm's residence in Waterbury. The next day, an FCC agent monitored the same sorts of transmissions, tracked the source to Kamm's residence, and inspected Kamm's amateur station. "The agent found an amateur radio transceiver capable of operating on 146.31 MHz," the FCC said. Kamm claimed no transmissions were made from his station and that he used the unit to receive only. Based on its evidence, however, the FCC Kansas City office determined that Kamm "willfully and repeatedly" violated FCC Part 97 rules "by causing intentional interference, broadcasting music and failing to identify with his station call sign." The FCC determined that the appropriate fine was $12,000 and ordered Kamm to pay the fine within 30 days unless Kamm seeks a reduction or appeals the proposed forfeiture. Kamm already has come to the attention of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau. He was the target of several letters and an FCC Warning Notice from Special Counsel Riley Hollingsworth during 2002. Last fall, the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau set aside Kamm's amateur license based upon complaints about the operation of his station and questions regarding his qualifications to be a licensee. Kamm's license expired last September, and his renewal application has reverted to a pending status while the matter was referred to the Enforcement Bureau. ==>NEW YORK REINTRODUCES HAM RADIO ANTENNA BILLS For the third year in a row, Amateur Radio antenna legislation has again been introduced in the New York Legislature. ARRL Hudson Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, says the text for the bills--one in the General Assembly and the other in the Senate--is identical to previous measures. Last year's bill passed in the State Senate but died in the Assembly's Rules Committee. "We are off and running again with our tower bills," Fallon said this week. The bills, A2662 and S63, were introduced in late January with most of the same sponsors. Fallon said he expects the fact that the Senate passed an identical bill last year will be "a big advantage" to the 2003 efforts. Both bill have been referred to the respective Local Government committees. S63 is sponsored by Sen Dale Volker while A2662 is sponsored by Assemblymen Ron Tocci and Paul Tonko. In memoranda of support attached to their bills, Volker and Tocci said that Amateur Radio operators, "provide an emergency communications network that is disaster-tested and robust" free of charge to the citizens of New York. "A key element of a radio amateur's capability to communicate is a small radio tower that is high enough to ensure effective communication," they added. If the legislation is approved by the legislature and signed by Gov George Pataki, a former Amateur Radio operator, it would prevent passage of any political subdivision zoning ordinance by-law, rule, regulation, order or other local law or ordinance that would "prohibit or effectively prohibit the construction or use of an antenna support structure by a federally licensed Amateur Radio operator." The legislation also would require municipalities to adhere to the provisions of the limited federal preemption known as PRB-1, and their wording mirrors that preemption. Municipal ordinances impacting the placement, screening or height of antenna support structures "must reasonably accommodate effective operation of amateur radio antennas and shall impose the minimum regulation necessary to accomplish the political subdivision's legitimate purpose," the bills' texts read. But the New York bills go beyond simply incorporating PRB-1 into state law. They would prohibit municipalities from passing laws or ordinances to "restrict antenna support structure height to less than 95 feet above ground level or restrict the number of antenna support structures." More information on the New York antenna bills is available on the New York State Legislature Web site <http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menuf.cgi>. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Solar soulman Tad "You Give me Fever" Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports:Sunspot numbers were lower this week, into the double-digits below 100. The average daily number was about 54 percent lower than the previous week, and daily average solar flux was off by nearly 20 points, or about 14 percent. Earth has been affected by a high-speed solar wind since February 15, and this hurt conditions during the ARRL International DX Contest last weekend, at least in the higher latitudes. Both mid-latitude and planetary K indices were as high as 4 on Saturday and Sunday, and Alaska's high-latitude College K index was up to 6 on both days. This was especially detrimental to signals traveling over polar paths. But in a few days conditions improved, and on Wednesday evening during a visit to K7SS I had good signal reports into Kuwait running 100 W beaming over the pole using his new three-element continuously tunable Yagi. Geomagnetic conditions are expected to be unsettled on Friday, with a planetary A index around 20. Solar flux should rise, with predicted values of 120 for Friday and Saturday and 125 for Sunday and Monday. Current projections show solar flux peaking around 150 from March 6-8. Sunspot numbers for February 13 through 19 were 113, 113, 96, 41, 16, 51 and 57, with a mean of 69.6. The 10.7-cm flux was 130.6, 131.4, 123.6, 118.5, 112.1, 109.9, and 116.3, with a mean of 120.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 19, 18, 15, 11, 17, and 12, with a mean of 14.3. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The CQ 160-Meter Contest (SSB), the REF Contest (SSB), the UBA DX Contest (CW), the FYBO Winter QRP Field Day, the North American QSO Party (RTTY), the Russian PSK WW Contest, the High Speed Club CW Contest, the North Carolina QSO Party and the CQC Winter QSO Party are the weekend of February 22-23. JUST AHEAD: The ARRL International DX Contest (SSB), the Open Ukraine RTTY Championship and the DARC 10-Meter Digital Contest are the weekend of March 1-2. 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 Radio Frequency Interference (EC-006) and Satellite Communications (EC-007) courses opens Monday, February 24, 12:01 AM Eastern Standard Time (0501 UTC). Registration will remain open through Sunday, March 2. Classes begin Monday, March 3. No seats remain during this registration period for the ARRL Level III Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course (EC-003). Registration for the HF Digital Communications course (EC-005) remains open through Sunday, February 23. A new service now allows those interested in taking an ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (C-CE) course to be advised via e-mail in advance of registration opportunities. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. On the subject line of your message, include the name or number (eg, EC-00#) of the course you'd like to take. In the message body, include your name, call sign, e-mail address 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, email@example.com. * Correction: The story "Utah Amateur Radio Antenna Bill on its Way to Governor's Desk," in The ARRL Letter, Vol 22, No 07, contained some incorrect information on the Senate vote. The bill unanimously passed a third reading in the Utah Senate February 14 on a 23-0 vote. More information on this legislation is available on the Utah Amateur Radio Club's "News About UARC and Ham Radio in Utah" Web site <http://www.xmission.com/~uarc/anounce1.html#prb1bill>.--some information from Gordon Smith, K7HFV. * Indiana amateur antenna bill passes Senate: Indiana's Amateur Radio antenna legislation, Senate Bill 109, passed the Indiana Senate with a vote of 41-8. SB 109, The Regulation of Amateur Radio Antennas, would incorporates the essence of PRB-1 into the state's laws and prohibit any county or municipality from restricting the height of amateur radio antennas to less than 75 feet above ground. "This legislation would not likely have passed without the efforts of many Indiana amateurs who contacted their state senators and urged passage of SB 109," said ARRL Indiana Section Manager Jim Sellers, K9ZBM. "My thanks to every Indiana amateur who took the time to contact their state senators and urged passage of this Legislation." Sellers also thanked State Government Liaison David Spoelstra, N9KT, as well as the bill's author and sponsor State Sen Rose Ann Antich. The bill next goes to the Indiana House of Representatives. ARRL Central Division Director Dick Isely, W9GIG, congratulated Sellers and "all the Indiana amateurs that have been working long and hard to get the provisions of PRB-1 embedded into Indiana law." * ARRL to sponsor emergency communications course seminar: The ARRL will offer a free Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course (ARECC) seminar March 8, in conjunction with the 2003 Roanoke Division Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. The seminar will not include the Level I course itself. This program is designed to explain in greater detail the duties of volunteer certification mentors, instructors and examiners of the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications courses and provide additional information for those considering these volunteer positions. "With Level I emergency communications training being offered nationwide under the homeland security grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service, we hope to have all ARECC team players reading from the same page to ensure success under the federal grant guidelines," said ARRL Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan Miller, K3UFG. The seminar will be held Saturday, March 8, at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart, Independence and Freedom Halls, 2500 E Independence Blvd. Seating may be limited. Contact Dan Miller, K3UFG, firstname.lastname@example.org; 860-594-0340; fax 860-594-0259, at ARRL HQ if you plan to attend. For registered CMs, CIs and CEs who attend, mileage may be reimbursable up to a total of $35. Seminar attendance does not include admission to the convention, which is March 8 and 9. For more information on the 2003 Roanoke Division Convention, visit the sponsoring Mecklenburg Amateur Radio society Web site. < http://www.w4bfb.org/hamfest2003/hamfest.html>. * ARRL seeks assistant technical editor: ARRL has an opening for a full-time Assistant Technical Editor at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. The job has a wide range of responsibilities involving several ARRL publications. Primary responsibilities are as QST product review editor, National Contest Journal handling editor and editor of The ARRL Repeater Directory. Among other qualifications, the successful candidate will have a broad knowledge of and experience with Amateur Radio and electronics, especially the design and construction of Amateur Radio equipment, antennas and accessories; a college degree, preferably in a related field; a minimum of one year of writing or editing experience; an Amateur Radio license. The starting date for this position is on or around August 1, 2003. More information is available on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/announce/jobs/>. Send resume and cover letter to Robert Boucher, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111, or via e-mail email@example.com or fax (860-594-0298). No telephone calls, please. ARRL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. =========================================================== 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 ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> offers access to news, informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled from The ARRL Letter. 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/>. 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