*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 22, No. 11 March 14, 2003 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +Hams help save young burn victim * +FCC beefs up requirements to submit truthful statements * +Astronaut fits in same-day ham radio chats on both sides of the Atlantic * +Will ham radio have to shut down in the event of war? * +FCC probes Michigan repeater * +Legislative hearing set on California ham antenna bill * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration ARRL to sponsor emergency communications course seminar in Colorado +Amateur high-speed Internet link used during shuttle debris recovery Florida ARES/RACES groups takes part in simulated plane crash exercise Missionary killed in Philippines blast was a ham Bill Pierpont, N0HFF, SK Digital Communications Conference issues first call for papers Space symposium issues call for papers New York antenna bill reported out of Senate committee +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>HAMS HELP SAVE YOUNG BURN VICTIM IN HONDURAS Had it not been for quick action on the part of a group of US ham radio operators, an eight-year-old Honduran girl who was seriously burned late last month might not be alive today. Larry Strain, N7DF, credits radio operators and volunteers at the International Health Service clinic in a remote village in southeastern Honduras and stateside amateurs with making the dramatic rescue possible. "The girl was given a good chance of recovering and eventually returning to her village," said Strain, who at the time of the incident was a volunteer in Honduras with the International Health Service <http://www.ihsofmn.org>, a private group of health professionals. "Without the immediate care and evacuation made possible through the IHS team and the Amateur Radio operators, her chances of survival would have been zero." The rescue began February 24 on an otherwise-routine evening in the remote Miskito Indian village of Auka. An Indian man arrived at the clinic seeking help for his young daughter--identified by IHS as Barbiluz Coper--who had fallen into a cooking fire and suffered some severe burns. Strain said the clinic's medical staff sprang into action, starting intravenous fluids and pain medication. Strain, IHS volunteer Lou Linden, KI5TD/HR3, and Strain's 16-year-old foster son Justin Radford got a generator running and strung lights. "Within 20 minutes the girl's burns had been cleaned, medicated and bandaged and she was resting comfortably, but it was critical that she be gotten to advanced medical care as soon as possible," Strain said. The nearest town with medical facilities was 20 minutes away by air, but Auka had no communication facilities other than ham radio. Strain quickly got N7DF/HR3 on 40 meters and was able to get a response from Ed Williams, KN4KL, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, who, in turn, contacted Ernie Zimmerman, N0GDY, the International Health Service liaison in Minnesota. N0GDY did not have propagation to Honduras, so Jim Dunbar, K4PV, in Milton Florida--who had been ragchewing with Williams--telephoned the IHS administrative office in La Ceiba, Honduras, Strain said. Williams also called Strain's brother, John, K0HGW, to get him on the air from his Larry Strain's well-equipped contest station in New Mexico. With ham radio to coordinate the move, Barbiluz was evacuated via air to Puerto Lempira--the nearest town with a hospital--and from there to the capital city of Tegucigalpa, where the University of Honduras medical center has a burn trauma unit. "Under normal circumstances," Strain said, "an injury like this would have gone untreated and the girl forced to die a slow and painful death. Her chances of survival are now about fifty-fifty." Word was unavailable this week on the girl's condition. ==>FCC SAYS STRENGTHENED RULE WILL HELP ENFORCEMENT The FCC has revised its rules to strengthen the requirements for the submission of truthful statements. The Commission has amended §1.17, which prohibits written and oral statements of fact that are intentionally incorrect or misleading. The revised rule also covers written statements of fact made without reason to believe that a statement is true and accurate. "The new rule is a clearer, more comprehensive, and more focused articulation of the standards for truthful statements than the old rule," the FCC said in a Report and Order released March 10. "The new rule will also enhance the effectiveness of our enforcement efforts." The FCC says its amended rule applies to "investigatory and adjudicatory" matters and to tariff proceedings. It does not apply to general rulemaking or declaratory ruling proceedings. "The new rule prohibits written and oral statements of fact that are intentionally incorrect or misleading and written statements that are made without a reasonable basis for believing that the statement is correct and not misleading," the FCC said. The FCC says its old rule, which applied only to written submissions, "was less precise in defining the standard of care required." The FCC also broadened the scope of individuals affected beyond applicants and licensees. The new rule also applies to any person undertaking an activity that requires Commission authorization, even if the activity is not authorized, and to any recipient of a citation or a letter of inquiry from the FCC or who is the subject of a Commission investigation--including an informal investigation. The revised rule also applies to anyone expressing interest in a proceeding to amend the FM or Television Table of Allotments (§73.1015) and to any cable operator or common carrier (§73.939). The FCC said it received comments and reply comments from several sources, including the Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA). ARRL did not comment in the proceeding. "The revised rule would simply enable the Commission to impose sanctions more effectively in those instances where people intentionally or negligently submit incorrect or misleading information," the FCC said. The Commission acted in the proceeding on March 4. Its vote was unanimous. ==>ASTRONAUT FITS IN SAME-DAY CHATS WITH STUDENTS ON BOTH SIDES OF ATLANTIC It was an Amateur Radio two-for-one special March 7 when International Space Station Science Officer Don Pettit, KD5MDT, spoke with students at technology-oriented schools in Italy and in Texas. The contacts with NA1SS on board the ISS were arranged as part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. Questions from students at the Malignani Technical-Industrial High School (IV3FLG) in Cervignano-del-Friuli, Italy, covered many topics. "Don Pettit explained that the space station uses a variety of radio frequencies, from VHF to microwave communication via satellite," reported ARISS Mentor Peter Kofler, IN3GHZ. "He enjoys taking pictures of different areas of Earth. He also explained that it takes about eight and a half minutes to get from the surface of the earth into orbit, and it takes about another day and a half to reach the space station." Kofler said the ISS 2-meter downlink signal was "absolutely clear and loud" for the entire 10-minute QSO, dropping out just as Pettit was answering the 14th question. Maurizio Grendene, IV3ZCX, served as operator at the school station. A team from a local Amateur Radio club set up the necessary antennas as well as two 23-cm amateur television links with two other area schools in the area. "This increased the audience from the 100 students at Malignani to a total of about 600," Kofler said. A TV station and several newspapers covered the ARISS event, Kofler added. That same morning, aerospace students in Texas also were able to quiz an aerospace professional in space via Amateur Radio. Ten sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Krueger Middle School of Applied Technologies <http://www.neisd.net/ksat/ksat.htm> in San Antonio asked two questions apiece of Pettit via the school's club station, KD5OMG. "It couldn't have gone better!" exclaimed Coordinating Teacher James Goslin, KJ5QB. Student Daniel Sheehan described the 10-minute ARISS QSO as "pretty cool!" Pettit fielded questions such as, "How do you maintain breathable air?" and "Once you're done with your solar panels, how much energy will you be pulling in?" Students also wanted to know what the crew was attempting to grow in its plant experiments and how they were turning out. Putting technical issues aside, student Brooklynne Jackson asked the now almost-inevitable food question: "Does the food taste gross up there?" Pettit laughed and assured her that the food was "great." He told her that he was looking forward to his next meal in a couple of hours and that chili stew was on the menu. The late-morning QSO was over much too quickly for the students, but teacher Goslin, who is Krueger's applied radio-satellite communications teacher, continued the culinary theme by making sure that pizzas, ordered earlier, were still on the way. Goslin teaches ham radio to five classes per day, and in the past two years, he's helped 52 students get their ham tickets. Reporters and camera crews from two local television stations covered the ARISS contact. ARISS is an international program with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA.--Peter Kofler, IN3GHZ; Gene Chapline, K5YFL ==>WILL HAM RADIO BE SHUT DOWN IF WAR IS DECLARED? Some amateurs have been wondering if the FCC will shut down Amateur Radio in the event that war breaks out in the Middle East. The short answer is "no." Just prior to the Gulf War, §214.4(b)(4) of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations was deleted. This section had mandated the closing of all Amateur Radio stations except Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) stations in the event that the president proclaimed a war or national emergency. The last time Amateur Radio was shut down was during World War II, although the FCC continued to give Amateur Radio examinations. While the Amateur Radio Service will not automatically be shut down if the president invokes the War Powers Act, Amateur Radio licensees must continue to observe any directives the FCC may issue in the interests of national security and of making spectrum available for government use. The FCC is directed to work in coordination with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to issue "appropriate rules, regulations, orders and instructions" for use of the spectrum "as may be necessary to ensure the effective use of those portions of the radio spectrum shared by government and non-government users." Amateurs share most UHF allocations with the US government. ==>FCC PROBES ALLEGED MICHIGAN REPEATER VIOLATIONS The FCC has ordered a Michigan Amateur Radio repeater to cease operating under automatic control while the agency's Enforcement Bureau investigates allegations of various FCC rule violations. FCC Special Counsel Riley Hollingsworth sent a Warning Notice February 24 to the repeater's co-owners, Sheri A. Gilbert, K5YHA, and William E. Gilbert, K5EKP, of Lupton. The repeater now is off the air. "The Commission is aware of numerous rule violations on the repeater and of interference caused by the repeater to the K8GER repeater system," Hollingsworth said. "Violations on the repeater have consisted of failure to identify by users, use of false or misleading call signs by users and failure to have a control operator for the repeater." Hollingsworth told ARRL that an apparent spur on 144.615 MHz was interfering with the input of the K8GER system at 144.65 MHz. He said the Gilberts have notified the FCC that they've shut down their repeater and are looking into the problem. The order removing automatic control privileges means a repeater must have a live control operator present at the machine's control point whenever it's in operation. Hollingsworth also said that sometime in January, the couple apparently turned the operation of the repeater over to a car rally and rule violations such as he'd described occurred for more than 12 hours during a two-day period. "The decision to operate a repeater is a totally voluntarily one. Repeaters are a convenience in the Amateur Radio Service, not a necessity," Hollingsworth said, reprising a refrain he's used in dealing with other repeater cases in recent months. "You must prevent recurring and deliberate violations on your repeater by locking rule violators out, using tones, warning users, limiting its operation or taking whatever steps necessary commensurate with your responsibility as the licensee of the station," Hollingsworth advised the Gilberts. The consequences of not heading off violations on the K5YHA/K5EKP repeater could be fines and even license suspension or revocation proceedings, he said. In addition to asking the Gilberts to describe what actions they've taken to resolve complaints of interference to the K8GER repeater, Hollingsworth also asked for information on how the repeater identifies and any steps taken to ensure that users of the repeater properly identify. He also asked the couple to detail how the repeater was controlled during the January car rally and to list by name, address and telephone number any users during that event who did not use call signs. ==>HEARING SET ON CALIFORNIA AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA BILL A legislative committee hearing has been set for March 26 on California's latest attempt to pass an Amateur Radio antenna bill, Assembly Bill 1228. The measure, introduced February 21 by Assemblyman Bob Dutton (R-63rd), has been referred to the Committee on Local Government. ARRL Pacific Division Director Bob Vallio, W6RGG, and ARRL staffer and antenna expert Dean Straw, N6BV, are among those scheduled to testify on behalf of AB 1228 later this month before the committee. In 2000, the California Legislature passed a bill incorporating the essence of the limited federal preemption known as PRB-1, but Gov Gray Davis vetoed the measure. Davis said at the time that he turned down the bill, then known as SB-1714, because funds for required studies were not included in his budget and because he considered amateur antennas "a local rather than a state issue." ARRL Southwestern Division Director Art Goddard, W6XD, says AB 1228 addresses Gov Davis' objection to the 2000 bill by eliminating the need for a study at taxpayer expense. Goddard says the committee also is addressing concerns already raised by The League of California Cities. Goddard said he and the late Pacific Division Director Jim Maxwell, W6CF, were involved in reviving the Amateur Radio antenna bill during the current legislative session. But he cited Mike Mitchell, W6RW, as "the sparkplug" of the 2003 PRB-1 bill committee. The committee is composed of Northern and Southern California hams, since California spans two ARRL divisions. The new bill would incorporate the language of PRB-1 into California's statutes. AB 1228 would require any ordinance regulating Amateur Radio antenna structures to not preclude Amateur Radio Service communications, to "reasonably accommodate" amateur communications, to allow amateur station antenna structures "at heights and dimensions sufficient to accommodate Amateur Radio Service communications," and to constitute "the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the legitimate purpose of the city or county." So far, 16 states have incorporated the essence of PRB-1 into their laws. An Amateur Radio antenna bill awaits the governor's signature in Utah, and similar measures are pending in several other states. A copy of the proposed legislation is available on the California Legislature Web site <http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/bill/asm/ab_1201-1250/ab_1228_bill_20030221 _introduced.html>. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Propagation prophet Tad "Sunshine Superman" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Average daily solar flux and sunspot numbers were up again this week. Average daily sunspot numbers, which were up nearly 50 points last week compared to the previous week, rose this week by nearly 70 points compared to last week. Average daily solar flux was up 30 points last week and more than 7 points this week. Solar flux is expected to decline to just above 100 from March 20-24, around the time of the solar equinox. There is a large coronal hole responsible for a solar wind stream heading our way. It could result in some active geomagnetic conditions this weekend. So far only unsettled conditions are predicted through Sunday, with planetary A index around 15. Sunspot numbers for March 6 through 12 were 132, 191, 203, 224, 214, 142 and 109, with a mean of 173.6. The 10.7-cm flux was 150.3, 149.9, 148.3, 152.7, 143.7, 141.5 and 138, with a mean of 146.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 25, 14, 9, 11, 16, 13 and 9, with a mean of 13.9. Your editor traded in his K7VVV call sign for a new model, K7RA, which was issued via the vanity call sign program on March 11. The call sign once belonged to the late Homer Spence, a close friend. _______________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The Pesky Texan Armadillo Chase is March 13. The YLISSB QSO Party (SSB), the 10-10 Mobile Contest, the BARTG Spring RTTY Contest, the SARL VHF/UHF Contest, the Russian DX Contest, the AGCW VHF/UHF Contest and the Virginia QSO Party are the weekend of March 15-16. JUST AHEAD: The Oklahoma QSO Party, the CLARA and Family HF Contest, the 9K 15-Meter Contest and the Spring QRP Homebrewer Sprint are the weekend of March 23-24. The CQ World Wide WPX Contest (SSB) is the weekend of March 29-30. 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 opens Monday, March 17, 12:01 AM EST (0500 UTC), for the on-line Level III Emergency Communications course (EC-003). Registration remains open through the March 22-23 weekend or until all available seats have been filled--whichever comes first. Class begins Tuesday, April 1. Registration for this month's Level II class is closed. Thanks to a recent grant, the $45 registration fee paid upon enrollment will be reimbursed after successful completion of the emergency communication course. During this registration period, all emergency communications course seats are being offered to ARRL members on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration for HF Digital Communications (EC-005) opens Monday, March 17, 12:01 AM Eastern Standard Time (0501 UTC) and remains open through Sunday, March 23. Class begins Monday, March 24. Registration for Antenna Modeling (EC-004) remains open through Sunday, March 16. Those interested in taking an ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (C-CE) course in the future can sign up to be advised via e-mail in advance of registration opportunities. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. On the subject line, indicate the course name or number (eg, EC-00#). In the message body, provide 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 Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan Miller, K3UFG, email@example.com; or Certification and Continuing Education Program Coordinator Howard Robins, W1HSR, firstname.lastname@example.org * ARRL to sponsor emergency communications course seminar in Colorado: The ARRL will offer a free Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course (ARECC) seminar Friday, May 30, in conjunction with the 2003 Rocky Mountain Division Convention in Estes Park, Colorado. 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. The seminar will be held Friday, May 30, from 10 AM to 2 PM in the Lake Estes Room at the Holiday Inn in Estes Park, Colorado. Seating may be limited. Contact Dan Miller, K3UFG, email@example.com; 860-594-0340; fax 860-594-0259, if you plan to attend. Seminar attendance does not include admission to the convention. For more information on the 2003 Rocky Mountain Division Convention, visit the convention Web site <http://www.hamconcolorado.org>. * Amateur high-speed Internet link used during shuttle debris recovery: Amateurs involved in the Texas search for debris from the shuttle Columbia used a 802.11b high-speed Internet link, using equipment provided by Michael Willett, KD5MFM. Others involved in the system installation were Robert Judy, KD5FEE; James McLaughlin, KD5POY; and Tim Lewallen, KD5ING. The link utilized a mix of directional antennas to provide a robust connection through the intense radio traffic in the area. The 2.4-GHz radio cards were set to produce 100 mW of power and utilize direct sequence spread spectrum encoding. A 24-inch parabolic dish was installed on one end of the link. On the other end, an 11-element shrouded Cushcraft antenna was mounted on a temporary mast. Net control utilized the link to look up call signs and for quick e-mail communication, weather-radar monitoring and weather tracking. "This application and installation of the 802.11b link was one of many examples demonstrating the extensive capabilities of volunteer ham operators, government authorities and local businesses teaming together to help during a crisis event," said Doug Kilgore, KD5OUG. Pictures of the link as well as other operations are available on the Richardson Wireless Klub, K5RWK, Web site <http://www.k5rwk.org/Shuttle/index.html>. * Florida ARES/RACES groups takes part in simulated plane crash exercise: Seminole County, Florida, ARES/RACES group participated February 25 in a simulated airplane crash at the Sanford, Florida, airport. "This simulation is required by the FAA every three years to test local first responders," said Bud Thompson, N0IA, who adds that the ARES/RACES group supplied both voice and digital communications. The ham radio group's task was to provide communications from incident command in the field to and among the emergency rooms at three local hospitals. The plan was to have both voice and digital messaging capability at all four locations. Voice communications utilized both VHF and UHF repeaters. Digital communications utilized 1200-baud packet. "This was a good test and successful demonstration of how modern digital messaging works--and it did," Thompson said. More information is available on the Florida Amateur Digital Communication Association Web site <http://www.fadca.org/n0ia_6.html>. * Missionary killed in Philippines blast was a ham: A Southern Baptist missionary who was among 21 people killed as a result of a terrorist bomb blast in the Philippines was an avid Amateur Radio operator. Bill Hyde, KB0KUB, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died March 4 in Davao City--the second largest city in the Philippines. He was 59. Hyde and his wife, Lyn, worked extensively with the Southern Philippines Baptist Missionary Seminary. Hyde suffered fatal injuries when he went to retrieve luggage while picking up fellow missionaries at the Davao City airport. According to reports, a backpack carrying a bomb exploded. Hyde died shortly afterwards after surgery for severe head and leg injuries. One of the other missionaries and her infant son were injured. In addition to his wife, the couple's sons, Steven and Timothy, survive. A friend, Larry Greene, N7LG, said Hyde maintained a ham station at the couple's remote outpost because it was their only reliable means of contact with the rest of the world. Hyde, a Vietnam veteran and a former music teacher, had served as a missionary since 1978. * Bill Pierpont, N0HFF, SK: William G. "Bill" Pierpont, N0HFF, of Wichita, Kansas, died February 20. He was 88. An ARRL member, Pierpont may be best known in Amateur Radio circles for having written The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy, now available in several languages and considered by some as the definitive guide to radiotelegraphy. The fourth edition, published by the FISTS CW Club <http://www.fists.org>, will be available at Hamvention 2003 in Dayton. The third edition remains available for download from the Web site of Mike Dinelli, N9BOR, <http://www.qsl.net/n9bor/n0hff.htm>. Although ill with cancer, Pierpont remained active on the air until March 2002. His brother, Ken, KF4OW, says Bill Pierpont was licensed at age 15 as W9BLK in 1930, and he enjoyed CW for much of his on-air activity. His first edition of The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy came out on computer disk in 1992. Survivors include his wife, Enid, and a daughter. * Digital Communications Conference issues first call for papers: TAPR and ARRL have issued the first call for papers for presentation at the 2003 Digital Communications Conference. The 22nd annual conference will be September 19-21 at the Marriott Hartford Windsor Hotel near Hartford, Connecticut. Paper topics could include software defined radio, digital voice, digital satellite communications, GPS, APRS, DSP, HF digital modes, Internet interoperability, spread spectrum and 802.11 technologies, using Linux in Amateur Radio, updates on AX.25 and other wireless-networking protocols. Presentation at the conference is not required for publication. The deadline to submit papers for consideration is August 5. Submissions may be sent either by e-mail or postal mail to Maty Weinberg, KB1EIB, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. The DCC is designed for all levels of technical experience, not just for the expert, and is meant to be a weekend of fun and learning for all who have more than a casual interest in any aspect of amateur digital communications. For more information on the DCC, visit the TAPR Web site <www.tapr.org/dcc/index.html>. * Space symposium issues call for papers: The 2003 AMSAT-NA Annual Symposium has issued a first call for papers to presented at the conference, set for October 17-19 in Toronto, Ontario. Authors may present their papers during the symposium or simply offer them for inclusion in the symposium Proceedings. Subject matter should be of general interest to Amateur Radio operators involved in satellite communications. Suggested topics include operating techniques, antenna design and construction, spacecraft design and construction, current mission status, proposed satellite missions, and telemetry acquisition and relay. The deadline to submit abstracts is June 15. Copy-ready papers are due by August 15. Electronic submittal is preferred in MS-Word format to Wayne Chandler, VE3WHC <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * New York antenna bill reported out of Senate committee: An e-mail and letter-writing campaign in New York has resulted in that state's pending Amateur Radio antenna Senate legislation, S 63, being reported out of the Senate Local Government Committee March 5. The measure now is on the Senate calendar for a vote. A parallel bill, A 2662, is pending in the New York Assembly, where it's in the Assembly Local Government committee. ARRL Hudson Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, and Atlantic Division Director Bernie Fuller, N3EFN, urge all New York amateurs to let their state senators know how they feel about the bill. The New York Senate approved the same legislation last year, but it died in an Assembly committee. In addition to incorporating the wording of the limited federal preemption known as PRB-1 into New York statutes, the bill would set a 90-foot statewide minimum regulatory height standard. Contact information on legislators is available via the New York State Resources on the Legislature, Assembly and Senate Web site <http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/ils/legislature/legis.html>. =========================================================== 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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