*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 22, No. 17 April 25, 2003 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +FCC "Broadband over Powerline" inquiry has ham interference implications * +UN World Food Program Iraq team includes several hams * +New two-ham ISS crew ready to launch * +FCC alleges Michigan ham deliberately interfered, made threats * +Two states' ham antenna bills head for governors * +Hamvention announces 2003 award winners * +Former W1AW chief op Chuck Bender, W1WPR, SK * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration Ham-pianist looking for company, support during run Hams assist stranded sailboat Temporary permission granted for YA1CQ operation W1AA/MSC will be on the air for Marconi event K6KPH on the air for International Marconi Day +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>"BROADBAND OVER POWER LINE" POSES HF INTERFERENCE THREAT The FCC soon will invite public comment on the concept of using existing electrical power lines to deliver Internet and broadband service to homes and offices. The Commission initiated a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in ET Docket 03-104 when it met April 23. What the FCC calls "Broadband over Power Line" (BPL) is a form of carrier-current technology typically known as power line communication (PLC). Whatever its name, the technology is raising serious interference concerns within the Amateur Radio community, since BPL would apply high-frequency RF to parts of the power grid. One aspect of the NOI is to gather information on potential interference effects on authorized spectrum users. "Entire communities will be affected, so every amateur in that community could have part of the radiating system 'next door' on the power wiring on his or her street," cautioned ARRL Lab Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI. Hare chairs the PLC Work Group of the IEEE C63 Accredited Standards Committee on Electromagnetic Compatibility <http://c63.ieee.org/>. The complete NOI has not yet been released, and until that happens, the FCC will not formally accept comments in the proceeding. The ARRL will be among those expected to submit detailed comments in ET 03-104. So-called "access BPL" would use medium-voltage (1 kV to 40 kV) power lines to deliver Internet and broadband applications. Hare says access BPL is likely to be a more significant interference source than in-building PLC technology "because overhead electrical wiring is a much better antenna than the electrical wiring within a building." ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, editorialized on the subject of PLC in "It Seems to Us . . ." in the October issue of 2002 QST. "Is it possible to do power line communications without causing interference to over-the-air communications?" Sumner asked. "Count us among the skeptics. What may be a fine transmission line at 60 Hz looks more like an antenna at HF." Hare said his own computer analyses of interference potential from access BPL/PLC suggest "a significant increase in noise levels" from deployed systems. The FCC appears enthusiastic about BPL, however, saying it has the potential to "provide consumers with the freedom to access broadband services from any room in the house without adding or paying for additional connections." The Commission also touted BPL as "a competitive alternative to digital subscriber line and cable modem services." New digital power line designs use multiple carriers spread over a wide frequency range--from 2 MHz up to 80 MHz--and capable of high data rates--up to 20 MB/s, the FCC said. In addition to viewpoints on interference potential, the FCC also has requested comments on the current state of high-speed BPL technology, test results from BPL experimental sites, appropriate measurement procedure for testing emission characteristics for all types of carrier-current systems, changes that may be needed in Part 15 technical rules, and the equipment approval process to foster the development of BPL. Tests of BPL are under way in several states, including Alabama, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Hare says ARRL Lab personnel will visit some of the test cities this spring to take field measurements to quantify the potential for interference to Amateur Radio operations. BPL/PLC technology already has been deployed in some European countries, and amateurs there have complained about interference. Japan--responding in part to concerns expressed by its amateur community--decided last year not to adopt the technology because of its interference potential. ==>HAMS ABOUND ON UN WORLD FOOD PROGRAM'S IRAQ "FAST INTERVENTION TEAM" Several radio amateurs--including some of the world's top operators--are among United Nations World Food Program (WFP) "Fast Intervention Team" (FITTEST) personnel already in Iraq or poised nearby and expected to be inside the war-ravaged country very soon. FITTEST is responsible for building technical infrastructure to ensure WFP can move relief food supplies rapidly and safely. Any ham radio operations would be secondary to the WFP's efforts in Iraq, however. Peter Casier, ON6TT--who's expected in Baghdad as early as next week--says the WFP will have a critical role in the post-conflict era in Iraq "where 60 percent of the population is dependent on external food aid." In ham radio circles, Casier may be better-known as a top contester and one the operators of Afghanistan's YA5T after the US-led military action there in 2001. Other YA5T alumni expected to soon be in Iraq as part of the WFP effort include Robert Kasca, S53R--the last UN international staff person evacuated from Iraq before the conflict--Mark Demeuleneere, ON4WW, and Mats Persson, SM7PKK. Casier and Demeuleneere paired up at World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC) events in 2000 and 2002. Kasca was director of competition for WRTC 2000. Casier says he, Kasca and Dane Novarlic, S57CQ, were on the air from Iraq until just before the war broke out. Casier reports that Diya Sayah, YI1DZ--one of the primary operators at the Baghdad Radio Club's YI1BGD and the WFP's Baghdad telecommunications officer--is safe and well in Iraq. FITTEST also has a mandate to install or build basic technical networks, Casier said, including such systems as VHF repeaters, satellite communications and HF fixed and mobile stations. The team also will set up radio rooms, rework administrative procedures, and assign call signs for all UN humanitarian-aid workers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)--other international aid organizations. Others ready to go include Ed Giorgadze, 4L4FN, who's in Turkey. Until last November Giorgadze had operated from North Korea as P5/4L4FN while on a WFP assignment in Pyongyang. Patrick Pointu, F5ORF, and Mark Tell, VK4KMT, among several other FITTEST team members who are radio amateurs. The Daily DX <http://www.dailydx.com> reported this week that Willie Mohney, YI/KV4EB, has been operating daily on 15 meters at or around 21.270 MHz, moving to 20 meters--perhaps around 14.255. ==>TWO-HAM CREW SET TO FLY TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION Space veterans Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP, and NASA astronaut Ed Lu, KC5WKJ, were scheduled to head into space this weekend to assume the reins of the International Space Station (ISS) as its Expedition 7 crew. Crew commander Malenchenko, 41, and NASA Space Station Science Officer Lu, 39, will be the first two-person ISS crew increment and the first primary crew to travel to the space station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Their Soyuz TMA-2 vehicle is scheduled to launch April 26, at approximately 0354 UTC from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They'll arrive aboard the ISS April 28. The two crews will spend six days together on the ISS. Originally scheduled to return in March aboard the space shuttle Atlantis STS-114 mission, Expedition 6 Commander Ken Bowersox, KD5JBP, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin, RV3FB, and NASA Space Station Science Officer Don Pettit, KD5MDT, will return to Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-1 craft that's now attached to the space station. They're scheduled to land on May 3 in Kazakhstan. Bowersox, Budarin and Pettit have been in space since November 23. NASA says that with the arrival of the Expedition 7 crew just days away, the Expedition 6 crew has been preparing for "handover" activities this week. On April 23, the crew conducted a motion control system test in the Soyuz TMA-1 that Expedition 6 crew will use to return to Earth. Malenchenko and Lu will remain in space until October. NASA has said that until the space shuttle returns to flight-ready status pending the outcome of the Columbia accident investigation, Russian Soyuz vehicles will handle ISS crew rotations. NASA Chief Sean O'Keefe said this week, however, that he expects the shuttle fleet to be space-ready by year's end. NASA continues to investigate the February 1 shuttle Columbia tragedy that claimed the lives of seven astronauts, three of them Amateur Radio licensees. Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, says NASA has okayed a schedule of one or two ARISS school group contacts per week, despite the reduction in crew size. The grounding of the shuttle fleet could put a crimp in plans to deliver new ham radio gear to the ISS this year, however. ==>FCC ALLEGES MICHIGAN HAM ENGAGED IN DELIBERATE INTERFERENCE, THREATS The FCC alleges that a Michigan ham engaged in deliberate interference and broadcasting and threatened other amateurs, and it's sending Michael Guernsey Sr, ND8V, of Parchment a tape recording to back up those assertions. Since late 1998, Guernsey has been the recipient of seven letters from FCC Special Counsel Riley Hollingsworth, including two warning notices. In 2000, the FCC threatened to designate Guernsey's license for a revocation and suspension hearing. Guernsey subsequently agreed to a nine-month suspension of his HF privileges in 2001. "The operation of your station over the last several years raises questions about your qualifications to remain a Commission licensee," Hollingsworth wrote Guernsey on April 7. The latest flap primarily involves complaints from other amateurs of deliberate interference on 20 meters. The recorded transmissions were made on March 26, 2003. In his letter, Hollingsworth noted that some of the interference apparently sprang from on-the-air personal disputes or from what Guernsey perceived as deliberate interference to his transmissions. Even so, Hollingsworth said, Guernsey has apparently ignored the Commission's written and verbal warnings to not retaliate with similar behavior. Hollingsworth advised Guernsey that the alleged deliberate retaliatory threats and transmissions on top of other QSOs are contrary to FCC rules "and indicate that the numerous warnings to date have little, if any, effect in regarding to bringing your operation into compliance with Commission rules." Hollingsworth requested that Guernsey review the tape recording and respond in writing and in detail within 20 days. He said the FCC will use the information Guernsey submits to decide whether to designate Guernsey's license for a suspension and revocation proceeding or to lift voice privileges from Guernsey's license for the remainder of his license term, which ends in 2012. In a related letter, Hollingsworth issued similar words of caution to George Zardecki, N9VTB, of Chicago, with whom, he says, Guernsey has squabbled on the air. While Hollingsworth indicated that he would review and take action regarding Zardecki's deliberate interference complaints, he advised Zardecki that "in several instances, your own conduct was as bad or worse than the party about whom you complained." He cautioned Zardecki against retaliatory interference, slander and name calling. ==>INDIANA, TENNESSEE AMATEUR ANTENNA BILLS HEADED FOR GOVERNORS' DESKS Amateur Radio antenna bills in Indiana and Tennessee need only their respective governors' signatures to eventually become law. In both cases, the measures would incorporate the wording of the limited federal preemption known as PRB-1 into the laws of each state. "A stunning reversal of fortune" is how ARRL Central Division Director Dick Isely, W9GIG, described the passage of Indiana's bill, SB 109, which at one point had been shelved in committee. ARRL Indiana Section Manager Jim Sellers, K9ZBM, and others convinced lawmakers to resurrect SB 109. Isely and Sellers credited the efforts of former ARRL State Government Liaison Dave Spoelstra, N9KT, in the successful passage of SB 109. "He was able to provide Jim Sellers and me with a lot of valuable insight into the various legislative moves," Isely said. Favorably voted out of committee, the measure went on to pass the Indiana House of Representatives April 14 on a 97-2 vote but without the 75-foot minimum regulatory antenna structure height the Senate version of the bill had contained. A House-Senate conference committee, convened to iron out the differences, left out the 75-foot minimum, and the Senate passed the stripped-down measure on a 39-9 roll-call vote. SB 109 now goes to Indiana Gov Frank O'Bannon. If he signs the measure, it will become effective July 1. In Tennessee, the Senate voted 31-0 on April 14 to accept a previously passed House bill, HB 1010, to replace the Senate's PRB-1 measure, SB 0365. The House vote was 97-0. The bill now goes to Gov Phil Bredesen. "Many thanks for this progress goes to the teamwork of our State Government Liaison Ingrid Klose, KD4F, Local Government Liaison Jimmy Floyd, NQ4U, and the many Tennessee hams who contacted their senators and representatives to solicit their votes and support," said ARRL Tennessee Section Manager Terry Cox, KB4KA. At the request of Tennessee Section leadership, lawmakers eliminated language from the original Senate bill that would have incorporated minimum regulatory height limits, below which localities could not regulate. The Senate bill had asked for an up to 200 foot minimum regulatory height for low population density areas and either a 65 or 75-foot regulatory minimum in more densely populated areas, depending on lot size. "We realized there was a very slim chance of getting the original wording, including height limitations, approved after the resistance we received from the Tennessee Municipal League in last year's effort," Cox explained. The bills approved in both states prohibit localities from enacting or enforcing ordinances, resolutions or orders that do not comply with the PRB-1 limited federal preemption (ß97.15). Both measures also would require ordinances involving the placement, screening or height of Amateur Radio antennas based on health, safety or aesthetics to "reasonably accommodate" Amateur Radio communications and represent the minimal practicable regulation to accomplish a municipality's or county's legitimate purpose. The Indiana law also would permit municipalities or counties to act to protect or preserve historical or architectural districts established under local, state or federal law. So far 17 states have incorporated the essence of PRB-1 into their laws, but only a handful--Oregon, Virginia, Alaska and Wyoming--include minimum regulatory height limits in their Amateur Radio antenna laws based on PRB-1. ==>HAMVENTION ANNOUNCES 2003 AWARD WINNERS Hamvention has named the winners of its 2003 Amateur of the Year, Special Achievement and Technical Excellence awards. Well-known contester Larry "Tree" Tyree, N6TR, will receive Hamvention's 2003 Amateur of the Year Award. Tyree is the creator, organizer, and promoter of the successful Kid's Day <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/kd-rules.html>--now administered by the ARRL. Kid's Day is an operating activity designed to give young people a chance to experience Amateur Radio firsthand and possibly inspire them to become licensees. Tyree also developed the popular TR-LOG contest logging software. A ham since 1967, Tyree lives in Boring, Oregon, with his wife and three daughters. "I hope to be able to use this to help encourage others to encourage young people to join our hobby," Tyree commented. "Obviously the help the ARRL has given me by taking over the event has been part of the success that enabled this [award]." The award to Tyree is in line with Hamvention's 2003 theme, "Year of the Youth." The show, May 16-18 at Hara Arena near Dayton, Ohio, will be on young hams and on attracting 12 to 18-year olds into Amateur Radio. Jonathan Taylor, K1RFD, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, is the winner of Hamvention's 2003 Special Achievement Award. Taylor developed the Internet-linking program called EchoLink and the repeater-control program called EchoStation. EchoLink allows amateur stations to connect with each other via the Internet to expand repeater and simplex coverage and to provide Amateur Radio operators with access from their PCs. Hamvention's 2003 Technical Achievement Award goes to Dr Steve Dimse, K4HG, of Cudjoe Key, Florida. Dimse was behind the development of the global Automated Position Reporting System (APRS) Internet network <http://www.aprs.net/> that links more than 20,000 APRS operators around the world. Dimse also wrote the findU global database software <http://www.findu.com>, and he helped form the Citizens Weather Service (CWS). Awards will be presented at an award winners' reception at Hara Arena May 17. Hamvention 2003 also recognized the contributions of several Silent Keys to Amateur Radio. Those recognized include the crew of the shuttle Columbia STS-107 mission, which included three Amateur Radio licensees. Other Silent Keys honored included ham radio author Joe Carr, K4IPV; inventor Al Gross, W8PAL; ham radio author Bill Orr, W6SAI; and ham radio volunteer and Elmer Ernie Hudson, KI8O. ==>FORMER W1AW CHIEF OPERATOR CHUCK BENDER, W1WPR, SK Former W1AW staff member and chief operator Charles R. "Chuck" Bender, W1WPR, of West Hartford, Connecticut, died April 17. He was 79. Bender served as an operator at Maxim Memorial Station W1AW for more than 37 years--from 1952 until his retirement in 1989--the last 17 years as chief operator. "Chuck was a fixture at W1AW," said ARRL Chief Operating Officer Mark Wilson, K1RO. "For many League members, he was the visible, human face of ARRL Headquarters as he greeted visitors to the station during his tenure." Bender's photo also graced W1AW's QSL card for a number of years, making him probably one of the most recognized hams in the country. ARRL Archivist Perry Williams, W1UED, was a long-time colleague of Bender's. "He was a private man who liked to read, and he enjoyed playing chess," Williams recalled. "He loved baseball, and he also bowled a lot with his wife, Arline." The Benders met while both were on the Headquarters staff and got married on Field Day in 1968. Arline Bender, WA1VMC, died last December. W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, remembered that Bender "was proud of being the W1AW chief operator and that he really liked Amateur Radio." A Pennsylvania native, Bender saw action during World War II. Before moving to Connecticut in 1952, he held the call sign W3ODU. Survivors include a daughter, Susan Lyhne. At Bender's request, no public memorial service will be held. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Solar sage Tad "You Are My Sunshine" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: -Sunspot numbers and solar flux rose over the past week. Average daily sunspot numbers were up more than 44 points to 100.4, and solar flux was nearly 17 points higher to 118.6. Solar wind and the resulting geomagnetic instability that has been prevalent for the past few weeks continued, and is expected to last at least through this weekend. The current outlook has the Friday through Monday planetary A index for April 25-28 at 20, 25, 25 and 20. Current projections forecast quiet conditions for May 3-5, but higher just before that period and for nearly two weeks following. The reason for the unsettled to active geomagnetic forecast for this weekend is because of an ongoing solar wind, and an active sunspot that released two solar flares on April 23. Predicted solar flux is 128 and 130 for Friday and Saturday, April 25-26, and then around 135 through the next week. Sunspot numbers for April 17 through 23 were 37, 51, 69, 93, 154, 147 and 152, with a mean of 100.4. The 10.7-cm flux was 101, 107.8, 112.1, 118.5, 125.8, 132.4 and 132.8 with a mean of 118.6. Estimated planetary A indices were 30, 20, 18, 16, 21, 22 and 18, with a mean of 20.7. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The SP DX RTTY Contest, the Helvetia Contest, the QRP to the Field, and the Florida and Nebraska QSO parties are the weekend of April 26-27. JUST AHEAD: The AGCW QRP/QRP Contest is May 1. The New England QSO Party, the Indiana QSO Party, the MARAC County Hunters Contest (CW), the IPA Contest (CW/SSB), the 10-10 International Spring Contest (CW), the Microwave Spring Sprint, and the ARI International DX Contest are the weekend of May 3-4. 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, April 28, 12:01 AM EDT (0401 UTC). Registration will remain open through Sunday, May 4. Classes begin Tuesday, May 6. Registration for the ARRL HF Digital Communications (EC-005) course remains open through Sunday, April 27. 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. To take advantage, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. On the subject line, indicate the course name or number (eg, EC-00#) and the month you want to start the course. In the message body, provide your name, call sign, and e-mail address. Please do not send inquiries to this mailbox. 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. * Ham-pianist looking for company, support during run: Internationally known pianist Martin Berkofsky, KC3RE, has made it into Kansas on his 860-mile run to Chicago. A cancer survivor, Berkofsky is celebrating his recovery and raising money for Tulsa's Cancer Treatment Research Foundation (CTRF) <http://www.ctrf.org/> with his CelebrateLifeRun <http://www.celebrateliferun.com/>. Berkofsky left Tulsa April 8, his 60th birthday. "Holding up wonderfully," Berkofsky reports. "The best day was 12.9 miles." He said he's now out of range of the Oklahoma UHF "Super System," where he enjoyed many nice QSOs and had some stations checking in with him daily as the run progressed. Joni Shulman, CTRF's director of programs, said Berkofsky still needs places to stay and spotters to watch out for him along his route. He also enjoys having others run with him. Berkofsky is using APRS to radio his position at least on a daily basis, and he can be tracked on the Web via the findu.com site <http://www.findu.com>. * Hams assist stranded sailboat: Amateur Radio operators on the Intercontinental and Maritime Mobile Service nets (14.300 MHz) responded to a call from a sailboat stranded between Key West and the Dry Tortugas. Ed Petzolt, K1LNC, in Florida, reported that a power failure aboard the 42-foot sailing vessel Follie a Deux out of Toronto left the boat adrift in calm winds and seas. "They did a pan pan on 14.300 MHz," Petzolt reported April 22. He contacted the US Coast Guard in Key West, which responded. "They attempted to repair the engine without success," Petzolt said later. The sailboat, with two passengers aboard, was towed to Dry Tortugas to await a commercial repair/towing vessel. * Temporary permission granted for YA1CQ operation: The Daily DX <http://www.dailydx.com> reports that Hiro Nakanishi, JA1CQT, is back in Kabul, Afghanistan, as part of the Basic Human Needs (BHN) contingent. He has been granted temporary permission to operate as YA1CQ until the end of May, although he expects to be in Afghanistan for 12 months. BHN is a nongovernmental organization--or NGO--that's helping with humanitarian relief efforts. Others associated with the BHN team include Ito "Dan" Sadao, JA1PBV. YA1JA is the BHN club call sign. * W1AA/MSC will be on the air for Marconi event: Members of the Marconi Radio Club <http://www.qsl.net/w1aa/w1aa_1001.htm> will operate on International Marconi Day, Saturday, April 26, as W1AA/MSC. "W1AA/MSC will represent the 1901 Marconi Nantucket Station MSC," said club president Whitey Doherty, K1VV, who explained that the actual W1AA/MSC operation will take place on the mainland, not from Nantucket itself, since the original MSC site is now a residential area. The station remained in operation from 1904 until 1918. US stations QSL W1AA/MSC with a SASE to Whitey Doherty, K1VV, PO Box 1193, Lakeville, MA 02347. DX QSL via the W1 QSL Bureau. * K6KPH on the air for International Marconi Day: The Maritime Radio Historical Society's K6KPH will participate Saturday, April 26, in the annual International Marconi Day commemorative event. International Marconi Day takes place each year on a weekend close to the birthday of wireless pioneer Guglielmo Marconi. The event is organized by the Cornish Amateur Radio Club, which will offer awards to stations in various categories. Details are on the club's Web site <http://www.gb4imd.co.uk/>. K6KPH uses the original transmitters, receivers and antennas of famous former RCA coast station KPH on the West Coast. Operating frequencies will be 7050, 14,050 and 21,050 kHz and possibly 3545 kHz. Operations begin April 26 at 1700 UTC. QSL to Denise Stoops, PO Box 381, Bolinas, CA 94924-0381. =========================================================== 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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