*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 22, No. 21 May 23, 2003 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +Operation on 60 meters to require prudence, caution * +Good time had by all at Hamvention 2003 * +Malicious interference yields $12,000 fine * +FCC proposes more 5-GHz spectrum for unlicensed use * +Incumbent SMs returned in eight ARRL sections * +QRP at "WARC Speed" * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration +National Hurricane Center's WX4NHC announces 2003 on-the-air test California ham antenna bill clears Senate committee Distracted driver legislation raising ham hackles in New Jersey Hams wanted for new wildlife tracking projects Ed Bissell, W3AU, SK John H. Joseph, K3ISR, SK +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>60-METER OPERATION TO REQUIRE OPERATOR PRUDENCE, CAUTION When the five channels of the new 60-meter amateur allocation become available later this year, Amateur Radio operators will have to learn some new operating habits and adopt some new on-the-air attitudes. The limited spectrum and stringent bandwidth requirements will mean amateurs will have to demonstrate their best behavior and operating skills if the Amateur Service ever hopes to get an actual band segment at 60 meters. "In terms of Amateur Radio spectrum, we usually say, 'Use it or lose it,'" said ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. "The watchword for 60-meter operators should be, 'Misuse it and lose it.'" The channelized scheme--similar to the 5-MHz experimental operation under way in the United Kingdom <http://www.rsgb-hfc.org.uk/5mhz.htm> --puts unfamiliar technical compliance demands on US hams who have, until now, not had to worry much about frequency stability or transmitted audio bandwidth. The FCC has granted amateurs 5332, 5348, 5368, 5373, and 5405 kHz--the last channel common to the UK experimental operation's band plan. These are all "channel center frequencies," the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said in a March 13 letter to FCC Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) Chief Edmond J. Thomas. The NTIA, which administers federal government spectrum, opposed allocation of an actual ham band citing the ongoing spectrum requirements of federal licensees with homeland security responsibilities. The channels will be available to General and higher class licensees. The NTIA says that hams planning to operate on 60 meters "must assure that their signal is transmitted on the channel center frequency." In general, the NTIA has advised, users should set their carrier frequency 1.5 kHz lower than the channel center frequency. According to the NTIA: Channel Center Amateur Tuning Frequency 5332 kHz 5330.5 kHz 5348 kHz 5346.5 kHz 5368 kHz 5366.5 kHz 5373 kHz 5371.5 kHz 5405 kHz (common US/UK) 5403.5 kHz ARRL Technical Relations Manager Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, says the assignment of these channels implies that amateurs now must adhere to certain frequency tolerances for their use. While the international Radio Regulations don't list these for the Amateur Service, he notes, they do stipulate tolerances on the order of 20 to 50 Hz for other services. "We haven't been told anything specific about frequency tolerances for these channels but would probably annoy federal regulators if we strayed any more than 50 Hz from the assigned carrier frequencies," Rinaldo cautioned. Keeping one's audio within the 2.8-kHz wide channel to comply with the 2K8J3E emission specification is another important issue. ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, believes prudence calls for not having baseband audio below 200 Hz nor greater than 2800 Hz--for a total bandwidth of 2.6 kHz. "That will probably keep us out of trouble," he said. Noting that the high-frequency response "can vary a lot from radio to radio," however, Hare recommended that amateurs play it conservatively. Additionally, the FCC has restricted operation to USB only, with a maximum effective radiated power (ERP) of 50 W. The USB-only requirement stemmed from NTIA interoperability concerns. The NTIA wanted to make sure that federal users could copy and, if necessary, identify any amateur station using one of the 60-meter channels. As a result, the 60-meter frequencies will become the only ones available to the general amateur community that do not permit CW operation. For the sake of this particular grant, the FCC said it would consider a half-wave dipole to have a gain of 0 dBd. In its letter to the FCC, the NTIA stipulated that radiated power should not exceed "the equivalent of 50 W PEP transmitter output power into an antenna with a gain of 0 dBd." "Although this is less spectrum than the American Radio Relay League petition requested, this is the best we can do pending a definition of Homeland Security HF requirements," concluded Fredrick R. Wentland in the NTIA's letter to the FCC's OET. Sumner has predicted that, over time, amateurs can and will "develop a record of disciplined, responsible use of the five channels in the public interest that will justify another look at these rather severe initial restrictions." Just when amateurs will get their first crack at 60 meters is not yet clear. The changes to Part 97 go into effect 30 days after publication of the Report and Order (R&O) in The Federal Register, which has not yet happened. Publication could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. ARRL will announce a specific date as soon as it's known. The FCC Report and Order in ET Docket 02-98 is available on the FCC's Web site <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-105A1.doc>. ==>ARRL ADDRESSES CONCERNS, UNVEILS "LOGBOOK OF THE WORLD" AT HAMVENTION One day of rain failed to dampen spirits at Hamvention 2003, and the weekend was full of friendship, new products, haggling, learning and fun. An estimated 25,000 attendees inhabited the Hara Arena complex near Dayton, Ohio, for the largest gathering of hams in the Western Hemisphere. The ARRL's concession buzzed with activity throughout the long weekend, as members took advantage of the chance to meet with League officers, field volunteers and Headquarters staff members, ask questions, buy books and other products, and, of course, to offer comments. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, said many questions centered around two topics: the new 5 MHz allocation and broadband over power line (BPL). ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, addressed a large audience attending the ARRL forum May 17. Haynie fielded questions that centered on the health and future of Amateur Radio and homed in on youth recruitment in particular. Haynie gave an overview of the ARRL Amateur Radio Education and Technology Program <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/tbp/>, which puts ham radio resources, equipment and a curriculum into classrooms at no cost to schools. He also touched on League activities regarding BPL and spectrum defense <https://www.arrl.org/forms/fdefense/fdefense.html>. Wielding stacks of QSLs, more than 150 applicants took advantage of the on-site the ARRL DXCC card-checking booth. ARRL Membership Services Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG, estimated that checkers reviewed more than 16,000 cards in just over two days' time. ARRL volunteers and staff also participated in a number of special-interest forums, with topics including DX, regulations, contesting, digital modes, youth education, RFI, and advanced technologies. At the DX forum May 17, Mills formally introduced the long-awaited Logbook of the World (LOTW) <http://www.arrl.org/lotw> to the amateur public. The secure server system allows participating operators to upload logs and confirm contacts for ARRL operating awards such as DXCC and WAS. The system will remain open for public beta testing through July 15, Mills said. New product announcements are a big part of the Dayton experience, with 2003 proving no exception. Among the scores of offerings, ICOM unveiled the feature-filled IC-7800, heir apparent to its high-end IC-781. The IC-7800 is expected to be available by year's end. Elsewhere, Ten-Tec showed off its new Titan III amplifier, while Elecraft introduced its new series of VHF transverters. At the TAPR Digital Forum, Gerald Youngblood, AC5OG, peered into the future of ham transceivers when he presented a fully software-defined radio that puts out 1 W of RF from the LF range to 60 MHz. Programming defines nearly every aspect of the radio, opening up the possibility of customizing the operating experience for different combinations of bands, modes and conditions. ==>OHIO HAM HIT WITH $12,000 FINE IN MALICIOUS INTERFERENCE CASE Cooperation between Canadian and US amateurs has resulted in a $12,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) from the FCC to an Ohio amateur. The FCC has alleged that Ronald E. Sauer, WE8E, of Bedford Heights violated Part 97 rules prohibiting deliberate and malicious interference, transmission of music and failure to identify. The case involved daily interference to the Trans Provincial Net <http://www.tpn7055.ca/>, a Canadian net that operates on 7.055 MHz. "This was no small task and was accomplished with the help of many people from the US and Canada working together," said ARRL Great Lakes Vice Director Dick Mondro, W8FQT, who expressed thanks to all involved. In addition to TPN members, that included Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) <http://www.rac.ca> officials, Industry Canada, the FCC, ARRL Michigan <http://www.arrl.org/sections/?sect=MI> and Ohio <http://www.arrl.org/sections/?sect=OH> Section officials, ARRL Official Observers and members of the Cuyahoga Amateur Radio Society <http://www.cars.org/>. "This was indeed an example of teamwork in action and proves again that the FCC does care and continues to work with us to stop interference," Mondro added. TPN Assistant Manager Jim Taylor, VA3KU, said the interference to the net had gone on for several months. He says a break in the case came when a person suspected of being jammer began sending e-mails to some TPN members. The Canadian amateurs were able to determine that the e-mails had come from a public library terminal in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. Taylor contacted CARS President Bob Check, W8GC, for assistance in zeroing in on the interference. Tracking down the signal source involved mobile direction-finding work by three CARS members, who passed along their findings to the FCC's Detroit Office late last January. Already alerted to the situation, the FCC's Detroit Office had called on the Commission's High Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) facility in Maryland. The HFDF group monitored jamming and the playing of music and narrowed down the search to an area near the intersection of Interstates 480 and 77 in the Cleveland area. In the meantime, the FCC received the CARS report, which alleged that the interference was coming from Sauer's residence. On January 31, an FCC agent also used direction-finding techniques to track the source of the interference on 7.055 MHz to Sauer's home and conducted an inspection. The FCC said Sauer "admitted that he had been playing music and deliberately jamming the frequency of 7.055 MHz." Sauer "further admitted to jamming and playing music on this frequency on previous days," the FCC said in the NAL. Based on its findings, the FCC concluded that the $12,000 fine was justified. The FCC ordered Sauer to pay the fine within 30 days or to file a written statement seeking a reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture. ==>FCC PROPOSES ADDITIONAL 5-GHZ SPECTRUM FOR UNLICENSED USE The FCC has proposed making another 255 MHz of 5-GHz spectrum available for unlicensed use at 5.470 to 5.725 GHz. Amateur Radio has a secondary allocation at 5.650 to 5.925 GHz, which it shares with government and nongovernment radars and--in part of the band--nongovernment fixed satellite uplinks. In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in ET Docket 03-122--approved May 15 but not yet released--the FCC suggested that the additional spectrum be made available for use by unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices, including Radio Local Area Networks (RLANs), operating under Part 15 of the FCC's rules. "Our action today furthers twin goals of the Spectrum Policy Task Force: promoting spectrum access and furthering development of unlicensed technologies," said FCC Chairman Michael Powell in a separate statement. "Once the backwater of baby monitors and cordless telephones, the unlicensed sector has developed into a hotbed of growth and innovation." The other four commissioners echoed Powell's enthusiasm in their own statements. The FCC's action comes in response to a petition for rule making from the Wi-Fi Alliance--an industry coalition formerly known as the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA). If the FCC goes through with the proposal--and it appears likely that it will--Amateur Radio will be left with a 25-MHz segment at 5 GHz--5.825 to 5.850 GHz--that's not already earmarked for unlicensed services. The ARRL has opposed previous WECA petitions for additional 5-GHz spectrum. The League plans to comment on the latest NPRM once the full text has been released. The Commission said its action advances the policies set forth in last fall's Spectrum Policy Task Force Report that specifically recommended making available additional spectrum for unlicensed use. ==>INCUMBENT SECTION MANAGERS RETURNED IN EIGHT ARRL SECTIONS Incumbent section managers will keep their offices for another two years in eight ARRL sections. Three current SMs handily won re-election in contested races. Ballots were counted May 20 at ARRL Headquarters. In the Maryland/District of Columbia Section, Tom Abernethy, W3TOM, turned away a challenge from Vic Curtis, WA3YUV, 826 to 266 votes. Abernethy has been MDC SM since July 2001. In the San Joaquin Valley Section, Charles McConnell, W6DPD, topped challenger Thomas M. "Mike" Zane, N6ZW. The final vote tally was 304 to 251. McConnell became SJV SM in 2002 when he was appointed to succeed Don Costello, W7WN. McConnell previously served as SJV Section Communications Manager/SM from 1976 until 1989, when he became Pacific Division Vice Director. He served as Pacific Division Director from 1990 until 1993. In New Hampshire, Al Shuman, N1FIK, defeated Russell J. Santos, K1TSV, 478 to 95. Shuman previously served as NH SM from 1992 until 1999. His current term began in 2001. Sitting ARRL section managers in five other sections were unopposed for election or re-election and were declared elected. They are Dick Flanagan, W6OLD, Nevada; Bill Hudzik, W2UDT, Northern New Jersey; Bob Beaudet, W1YRC, Rhode Island; Mel Parkes, AC7CP, Utah, and John Dyer, AE5B, West Texas. All new terms of office begin July 1. ==>QRP WARC-SPEED DX CHALLENGE ANNOUNCED Danny Eskenazi, K7SS, Ward Silver, N0AX, and the Western Washington DX Club--with the assistance of Bruce Horn, WA7BNM--have announced the year-long QRP "WARC-Speed DX Challenge." The objective is to work as many DXCC entities as possible using low power (QRP) on the so-called "WARC bands," 30, 17 and 12 meters. The Challenge starts at 0000 UTC June 1, 2003, and ends at 2359 UTC May 31, 2004. For the purposes of the Challenge, QRP is defined as 5 W or less output on digital modes or CW and 10 W PEP on SSB. (AM or FM operators also are welcome.) Certificates will be awarded for the top three totals from each CQ Zone in each of several categories for working 100 entities on any single band. Results will be posted monthly in the following categories: 17-meter CW, 17-meter phone, 17-meter digital, 17-meter total, 12-meter CW, 12-meter phone, 12-meter digital, 12-meter total, 30-meter CW, 30-meter digital, total CW, total phone, total digital, total overall. Participants may enter as many or as few categories as they wish. The Challenge involves no QSL cards or cumbersome paperwork. At the end of each month, WA7BNM will post a score submittal form on the 3830 Score Submittal Web page <http://www.hornucopia.com/3830score/>. Participants will enter their totals and updated totals will be posted to the 3830 contest score reflector and CQ-contest reflectors (and be forwarded to the DX and QRP reflectors, as well). At the end of the year, participants will be able to download a nice certificate! The honor system rules, Silver said, and he notes the Challenge is not a contest. For more information, contact Ward Silver, N0AX, email@example.com. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Heliophile Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, Fort Wayne, Indiana, substitutes this week for Tad Cook, K7RA: During the reporting period--Friday, May 16, through Thursday, May 22--solar activity was low. Geomagnetic field activity was generally quiet to unsettled during the first half of the period, then increased to active to minor storm at the end of the period due to increased solar wind from coronal hole activity that reached Earth on May 21. Solar activity is forecast to be low for the next three days. Geomagnetic field activity for the next three days is forecast to have roughly a 40-percent probability of being active, with slightly quieter conditions as we move into the weekend. Sunspot numbers for May 15 through 21 were 97, 97, 81, 79, 75, 77 and 79, with a mean of 83.6. The 10.7-cm flux was 99.2, 102.6, 102.4, 109, 114.7, 117.1 and 119.3, with a mean of 109.2. Estimated planetary A indices were 23, 9, 9, 10, 12, 12 and 20, with a mean of 13.6. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The CQ Worldwide WPX Contest (CW), the VK-ZL Trans-Tasman Contest (SSB) and the QRP ARCI Hootowl Sprint are the weekend of May 24-25. The Michigan QRP Memorial Day CW Sprint is May 26-27. JUST AHEAD: The Six Club World Wide Contest and the Great Lakes QSO Party are the weekend of May 31-June 1. 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, May 26, 12:01 AM EDT (0401 UTC). Registration will remain open through Sunday, June 1. Classes begin Tuesday afternoon, June 3. Registration for the ARRL HF Digital Communications (EC-005) and VHF/UHF--Life Beyond the Repeater (EC-008) courses remains open through Sunday, May 25. 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. * National Hurricane Center's WX4NHC announces 2003 on-the-air test: The National Hurricane Center's Amateur Radio station, WX4NHC (formerly W4EHW), will conduct its 2003 hurricane season on-the-air station test Sunday, June 1, 1300-2200 UTC. The event will mark the first time the NHC uses its new WX4NHC call sign. WX4NHC Amateur Radio Coordinator John McHugh, KU4GY, says the purpose of the annual station test is to check out all of the WX4NHC radio, computer and antenna equipment using as many modes and frequencies as possible. Some RFI monitoring also will be done. "We will also be testing some new antennas and equipment that are being installed for this coming season," McHugh said. "A few new operators will receive hands-on training." WX4NHC will operate on HF, VHF and UHF. HF operation will use this schedule: 1300 UTC--3.911 and 7.268 SSB and VHF/UHF FM; 1400 UTC--14.325 MHz SSB, VHF 147.000 repeater/UHF 442.350 repeater; 1500 UTC--144.200 MHz SSB, 14.070 MHz PSK31; 1700 UTC--14.325 and 21.325 MHz SSB, VHF/UHF IRLP Node 9210; 1800 UTC--21.325 and 28.525 MHz SSB; 2000 UTC--14.325 and 144.200 MHz SSB. CW operation will be on 14.035, 21.035 and 28.035 MHz (times will vary). Stations working WX4NHC are asked to provide a signal report, location and brief weather report. Non-hams are invited to submit their actual weather using the On-Line Hurricane Report Form <http://www.fiu.edu/orgs/w4ehw/WX-form1.html>. QSL cards are available via W4VBQ. Include an SASE with all requests. * California ham antenna bill clears Senate committee: California's pending Amateur Radio antenna bill, AB 1228, this week got a thumbs up from the California Senate Local Government Committee. The panel voted 7-0 in favor of moving the legislation to the Senate floor. The measure already has passed the California Assembly. ARRL staff member and antenna expert Dean Straw, N6BV, credited excellent preparation by the bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Bob Dutton, and his staff. "Several of the senators made special mention about how they appreciated the efforts of radio amateurs over the years, and how valuable the Amateur Radio Service was, particularly in these dangerous times," said Straw, who testified on behalf of the measure. The effort now will shift to Senate passage and ensuring that Gov Gray Davis signs the legislation. Davis vetoed an earlier measure in 2000 citing its cost to taxpayers for conducting required studies and preparing a model ordinance for localities. Straw says AB 1228 mirrors the wording of PRB-1 and does not carry any additional costs to the taxpayers this time around. * Distracted driver legislation raising ham hackles in New Jersey: An effort by some New Jersey lawmakers to amend that state's current laws regarding distracted driving has some hams upset and worried that the revisions could affect Amateur Radio mobile operation. Assembly Bill 2798, introduced last September by Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski of Middlesex County, would clarify that a "distracted driver may be charged with reckless, careless or unsafe driving" for engaging in what many motorists would consider routine activities, such as listening to the radio or a CD or cassette player. Wisniewski's bill would amend three laws already on the books and give police the authority "when so warranted" to charge a person for engaging in "distracting behavior." The list includes, but is not limited to, "the use of communications technology" as well as "locator devices, AM/FM radios, compact disc players, audio cassette players, video players, Citizens Band radios and dispatch radios." The list also includes engaging in personal grooming, eating or drinking, reading or "tending to unsecured pets." A statement with the bill declares that "a substantial number of drivers in our fast-paced, multi-tasking society are utilizing communications technology and engaging in non-technological distractions while operating motor vehicles." The statement says that "various studies" have concluded that engaging in these activities while driving "contributes to motor vehicle accidents." ARRL Hudson Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, whose territory includes Northern New Jersey, calls the measure "a very bad idea." Fallon says he's been encouraging ARRL members to write, telephone, fax or personally contact their New Jersey Assembly members to let them know how they feel. "The bottom line is that New Jersey ARRL members have to get involved," Fallon said. Contact information for New Jersey lawmakers is available on the New Jersey Legislature Web site <http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp>. * Hams wanted for new wildlife tracking projects: ARRL Amateur Radio Direction Finding Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, says ham radio assistance is needed for three new wildlife tracking projects. Moell says a biologist at the University of South Florida at Tampa (USF) is studying Florida burrowing owls, thought to range in Florida and the Florida Keys. Some Florida burrowing owl chicks are being radio-tagged, and USF wants volunteers throughout the Southeast to listen for the VHF radio tags in an attempt to determine the owls' routes and final destinations. The second project involves Mexican long-nosed bats. For about a month beginning in mid-June, Bat Conservation International wants volunteers to join a team that will track the bats' movements in and around Big Bend National Park in Texas. Project three involves a study of orphaned great horned owls conducted by the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary and the University of North Texas. After being raised at the sanctuary, up to two dozen of these owls will be released into the wild this summer with radio tags attached. Volunteers are needed to monitor for the radio tags, especially in the Denton and Collin county areas. Moell's Homing In Web site <http://www.homingin.com> has details and contact information on all three projects. * Ed Bissell, W3AU, SK: Well-known contester Ed Bissell, W3AU (ex-W3MSK), of Brooksville, Florida, died May 10. He was 83. The Daily DX <http://www.dailydx.com> reports that in his heyday Bissell, an ARRL Charter Life Member, ran the world's top multi-multi contest station on the shore of the Potomac River just south of Washington, DC. Many of the top contesters in the US got their start in serious contesting at W3MSK/W3AU. Photos of the station are available on the Potomac Valley Radio Club Web site <http://pvrc.org/W3AU/w3au.htm>. * John H. Joseph, K3ISR, SK: John H. Joseph, K3ISR, died May 10 of an apparent heart attack. He was 60. Since 2000, Joseph served as president of the University of Maine at Machias (UMM) <http://www.umm.maine.edu/>. He was stricken just as graduation exercises were getting under way at the branch campus in down east Maine, although students were not informed of his death until after the ceremony. Prior to his arrival at UMM, Joseph, a Pennsylvania native, served in top administrative positions at Penn State--his alma mater--and at Roosevelt University. Joseph is credited with helping to raise the enrollment at UMM during his relatively short tenure. A memorial scholarship is being established at UMM. Contributions may be sent to the Advancement Office, UMM, 9 O'Brien Ave, Machias, ME 04654. =========================================================== 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. 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