ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 22, No. 26
June 27, 2003
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +ARRL becomes Citizen Corp affiliate
* +Morse treaty requirement on the way out
* +Hams help fire fighting efforts in US Southwest
* +California antenna bill passes Senate
* +Oregon's Section Manager recalled
* +Bogus QST solicitor on the loose
*  First Cuba-US Field Day operation announced
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF:
     This weekend on the radio
     Attention clubs participating in Field Day 2003!
     New Field Day Class F still attracting questions
    +Western Washington gets new Section Manager
     No joy for New York ham antenna bills
     ARRL's 2002 Annual Report is available
     Correction

+Available on ARRL Audio News

===========================================================
NOTE: ARRL Headquarters is closed on Independence Day: ARRL Headquarters
will be closed Independence Day, Friday, July 4. There will be no W1AW
bulletin or code practice transmissions on July 4 nor any editions of The
ARRL Letter or ARRL Audio News. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Monday, July
7, at 8 AM EDT. The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News will return Friday,
July 11. Have a safe and enjoyable Independence Day holiday!
===========================================================

==>AMATEURS "FIRST OF THE FIRST RESPONDERS," DHS OFFICIAL SAYS

ARRL now is an official affiliate program of Citizen Corps
<http://www.citizencorps.gov>, an initiative within the Department of
Homeland Security <http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/> to enhance public
preparedness and safety. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, signed the
formal Statement of Affiliation between DHS and ARRL during the ARRL 2003
National Convention June 21. Chief Operating Officer of the Emergency
Preparedness and Response Directorate (FEMA) Ron Castleman represented
Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response Michael D. Brown
at the signing. Citizen Corps Liaison to the White House Liz DiGregorio
called ham radio operators the "first of the first responders."

"You are there. You are part of that very, very first response when it
happens locally," especially in the initial stages of an emergency or
disaster, DiGregorio told an overflow audience. She urged amateurs to
explore ways to expand their role in the community beyond being the last
resort when other communication systems fail. "You need to show your
community that you're engaged," she said. "They need to know as a
community that ARRL is there."

Castleman said his agency really needs Amateur Radio's help. "Hams have a
long and distinguished history of assisting and cooperating with FEMA," he
said. He said FEMA wants to continue to work with Amateur Radio operators
as partners and expand hams' community safety role. "We also want to help
prepare every citizen across our country before disaster strikes,"
Castleman said.

The League joins the National Safety Council, Points of Light Foundation,
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, National Volunteer
Fire Council, National Fire Protection Association, Save A Life Foundation
and The Jaycees as Citizen Corps affiliate programs.

The SoA calls on DHS and ARRL to raise public awareness of Amateur Radio
as a safety resource. "That's what you are all about, and we need a safer
America," DiGregorio said.

In addition, DHS and ARRL will cooperate in providing training and
accreditation for Amateur Radio emergency communications. They also will
work together to promote the formation of local Citizen Corps councils and
assist them with education, training and volunteer service opportunities
"that support first responders, disaster relief organizations and
community safety efforts." As an affiliate, ARRL will be linked from the
FEMA and Citizen Corps Web sites.

"We need you, and you need us, and we want to work together with you to
make this all happen," DiGregorio concluded, "because we all share the
same goal, and that goal is a better, stronger, more secure America."

The ARRL National Convention 2003 was held in conjunction with Ham-Com
<http://www.hamcom.org> in Arlington, Texas. FEMA announced the SoA
signing on its Web site <http://www.fema.gov/nwz03/nwz03_138.shtm>.

==>NO MORSE CODE CONTROVERSY AT WRC-03

Whatever else happens at World Radiocommunication Conference 2003
(WRC-03), there's no mystery about the delegates' direction regarding the
Morse code requirement. Morse code proficiency will disappear as a treaty
obligation for high-frequency access when the International
Telecommunication Union (ITU)-sponsored gathering under way in Geneva
concludes July 4.

"One matter on which there appears to be no disagreement is the Morse
requirement," said International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Secretary (and
ARRL CEO) David Sumner, K1ZZ, in a report
<http://www.iaru.org/rel030623.html> on the second week of activity at
WRC-03. "It is clear that the outcome will be to leave it to
administrations' discretion whether or not to have a Morse receiving and
sending requirement." He said no administration participating in the
sub-working group spoke in favor of retaining the Morse code treaty
requirement.

The modification of Article 25.5 of the international Radio Regulations
cleared Working Group 4C on June 24. Working Group 4C is dealing with this
and other proposals relating to Article 25. The modified text says,
"Administrations shall determine whether or not a person seeking a license
to operate an amateur station shall prove the ability to send and receive
texts in Morse code signals."

It's possible but unlikely that the text would be tinkered with further at
the committee level or even in the Plenary, which considers items for
adoption. Sumner said delegates continue to wrangle over other aspects of
Article 25, which defines Amateur Radio operation.

Adoption of the Article 25.5 modification would not mean the immediate
disappearance of the Morse requirement to operate on the amateur bands
below 30 MHz. Each administration, including the FCC, would then decide
whether or not to drop the requirement from its domestic regulations. Some
countries have indicated a desire to retain a Morse code requirement.

Sub-working groups this week funneled their reports to larger working
groups assigned to tackle various pieces of the huge WRC-03 agenda. More
than 2600 delegates and other participants are attending the four-week
conference. For WRC-03, the IARU has fielded its largest team of observers
at an ITU conference in more than a decade.

There's less consensus on efforts to secure a "harmonized" 300-kHz-wide
amateur allocation at 7 MHz. Sumner said initial discussions in
Sub-Working Group 4C1 "were spirited and reflected sharp differences of
opinion" between those advocating realignment and those favoring no change
out of deference to the disruption that any realignment would cause
broadcasting services now occupying 7.1 to 7.3 MHz in Regions 1 and 3, and
the fixed services above 7.3 MHz that would be affected by any upward
shift in broadcasting. Amateurs in the US and the rest of Region 2 enjoy a
300-kHz allocation from 7.0 to 7.3 MHz, but hams in the rest of the world,
Regions 1 and 3, have only 7.0 to 7.1 MHz.

Three alternative proposals have been passed on to Working Group 4C. "The
largest group favored realignment in two stages," Sumner explained. That
group included the US, CEPT, CITEL and the African Telecommunications
Union. The two steps would expand the band in Regions 1 and 3 by 100 kHz
in 2007 and add the remaining 100 kHz in 2015. Other plans put forth
contained longer time lines. By week's end, Sumner said, the issue could
be passed on to Committee 4 and then to the Plenary, where items need two
readings for ultimate WRC-03 approval.

The issue of an allocation for satellite-borne synthetic aperture radars
(SARs) in the 70-cm band (432-438 MHz) also appears well on the way to
resolution. "While it appears very likely that there will be an
allocation, it will be secondary," Sumner explained.

Full reports on WRC-03 activities are available on the IARU Web site
<http://www.iaru.org/news-releases.html>.

==>AMATEURS RESPOND TO SOUTHWESTERN FIRES

Amateurs in the vicinity of Sandoval County, New Mexico, had just wrapped
up an activation to support emergency communication for personnel fighting
the Virgin Mesa fire about 50 miles north of Albuquerque when they were
notified to stand by for yet another fire right in the city. Meanwhile,
hams in Arizona remain ready to aid the fight to douse the huge Aspen Fire
north of Tucson. The Arizona fire is considered too dangerous for amateur
volunteers, however.

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers in New Mexico activated
to assist in the Virgin Mesa fire were released at midday June 24 and
replaced by a Type 2 Forest Team, said Sandoval County District Emergency
Coordinator Mike Scales, K5SCA. Hams could be called back in, however, if
the fire blows up again. Fire officials in New Mexico have ruled the
Virgin Mesa fire--burning since June 22--to have been human-caused. Some
200 firefighters were working the blaze, and no homes or developments were
threatened.

Aided by three members of the Los Alamos ARES team, Sandoval County hams
set up at the Incident Command post at the La Cueva Fire Station, said
Sandoval County ARES member Jay Miller, WA5WHN. Traffic was coordinated
through a 2-meter repeater in Rio Rancho. A number of hams were deployed
as fire-spotters and to support operating fire units.

On June 24, a fire that broke out in a wooded area--called the Bosque--in
the Albuquerque area caused some 600 residents to be evacuated and left an
estimated 16,000 people without power. Some 20 Sandoval County ARES
members stood by to assist Bernalillo County ARES if needed, Miller said.
The City of Albuquerque was able to handle the blaze, which destroyed an
upscale home under construction.

North of Tucson, Arizona, progress was made this week to contain the Aspen
Fire, which has destroyed more than 250 homes--and possibly more-since it
broke out June 17. At mid-week, fire officials said the blaze was 25
percent contained. More than 1200 firefighters and support personnel are
at the scene.

ARRL Arizona Section Manager Cliff Hauser, KD6XH, said that Arizona ARES
and RACES teams remain on-call, but that there is currently no organized
Amateur Radio effort to support of the firefighters.

"Fire fighting officials indicate that at this point it is still too
dangerous in the fire's vicinity for Amateur Radio operators or other
untrained volunteers to assist," Hauser explained. Hauser also pointed out
that high winds have been causing the massive fire to spread in sporadic
and unpredictable ways.

Chuck Smallhouse, W7CS, reports that he and several other amateurs
supported the Type I fire team brought in to contain and control the Aspen
Fire. In addition to Smallhouse, the team included Chuck Michels, KB7RFI;
Norm Martin, K7OLD; John Henderson, K7FCC; and John Glenn, K7RJR. "These
hams took off their Amateur Radio caps at the door and donned fire team
ones," Smallhouse said. He said the hams were needed to provide vital
communications support to the just-arrived skeleton crew until the
professionals showed up.

Lost in the Arizona forest fire was the Cactus Intertie System's repeater
equipment. The towers and repeaters were located very close to where the
fire got its start atop Mount Lemmon. Also burned was the Zia Connection
site, some 150 yards up the ridge from the Cactus site.

==>CALIFORNIA ANTENNA BILL MOVES CLOSER TO GOVERNOR'S DESK

California's latest effort to pass an Amateur Radio antenna bill--Assembly
Bill 1228--this week passed the state Senate on a unanimous 38-0 vote.
Sponsored by freshman Assemblymember Bob Dutton (R-63rd), the bill
received unanimous approval April 10 in the California Assembly on a 67-0
vote. It now returns to the Assembly for its approval of minor wording
changes made in the Senate. Given the prior unanimous vote, Dutton's
office expects Assembly approval to be routine, however.

"Certainly the people seem to be speaking here," said ARRL staff member
and antenna expert Dean Straw, N6BV, who lives in San Francisco. "Perhaps
Gov Davis should be alerted that there are 100,000 Amateur Radio operators
in California--and that we are also voters, should there be a recall
campaign." An effort under way to recall Gov Gray Davis, a Democrat, is
said to be gaining ground.

The California legislature approved a nearly identical PRB-1 measure three
years ago, but Davis vetoed it, because funds for required studies were
not included in his budget. The new bill carries no price tag.

ARRL Southwestern Division Director Art Goddard, W6XD, expressed elation
at the measure's unanimous California Senate vote. "That's a vote of
appreciation and confidence for Amateur Radio in California," he said.
ARRL Pacific Division Director Bob Vallio, W6RGG, spoke at an April 2
Assembly hearing on AB 1228. Dutton's office has recommended that amateurs
who urge Davis to sign the bill stress its emergency communication
benefits to the state, which has, by far, the largest number radio
amateurs of any other state and nearly 15 percent of US total.

AB 1228 would incorporate the language of PRB-1 into the statutes of
California. It would require any ordinance regulating Amateur Radio
antenna structures not to preclude but to "reasonably accommodate" Amateur
Radio 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."

Senate-added language that the Assembly must now approve declares that the
Legislature's intent in enacting the bill is to "codify in state law the
provisions of specified federal regulations relating to amateur radio
station facilities."

To date, 19 states have incorporated the essence of PRB-1 into their laws.

==>OREGON SECTION MANAGER RECALLED IN RARE SPECIAL ELECTION

For only the third time in League history, an ARRL Section Manager has
been removed from office through a recall election. The audited vote to
oust freshman Oregon Section Manager Marshall D. Johnson, KK7CW, of
Albany, was 939 to 280, with eight invalid ballots. Members were asked to
vote "yes" to recall Johnson and "no" to retain him. Ballots were counted
June 24 at ARRL Headquarters, and the election tally was verified by a
certified public accountant. Oregon's SM since last July 1, Johnson was
recalled pursuant to the provisions of By Law 24 and Rule 5(g) of the ARRL
Field Organization. The position is now vacant until a successor is
appointed by ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Rosalie White,
K1STO.

According to the ARRL By Laws, a Section Manager removed through a recall
election or by action of the Executive Committee may not run in the next
election following removal from office.

The last time an ARRL Section Manager was recalled was just over five
years ago in 1998, when ARRL members in the New York City-Long Island
Section voted to recall Section Manager Leonard Buonaiuto, then KE2LE. The
first SM to be recalled was former Vermont SM Frank Suitor, W1CTM, in
January 1990.

==>LEAGUE WARNS OF BOGUS QST SOLICITATIONS

Someone has been attempting to sell "subscriptions" to QST, but it's not
the ARRL. ARRL Customer Service/Circulation Manager Kathy Capodicasa,
N1GZO, reports she's received several telephone calls and e-mails from
members reporting the scam.

"Apparently, there is some kind of bogus telephone solicitor out there
trying to get people's names, addresses and credit card numbers," she
said. "ARRL does not solicit for 'subscriptions' to QST." She warned that
under no circumstances should a member give out a credit card number to
someone trying to sell them QST over the telephone.

As the official membership journal of the ARRL, QST is not available to
the general public from a magazine distributor or outside publishing
house. Capodicasa advises those getting calls from the phony solicitor to
try to get the solicitor's name and to check the caller ID box, if they
have one, to obtain the caller's number. She requested that members share
any such information with her via e-mail to n1gzo@arrl.org or telephone,
860-594-0257.

==>FIRST JOINT CUBA-US FIELD DAY OPERATION SET

Members of the Piña Colada Contest Club (KP2AA) will join forces with the
Federación de Radioaficionados de Cuba in the first-ever joint Cuba-US
Field Day operation June 28-29. Operating as CO0US (and T42FD for the "Get
On The Air" newcomer station), the team will operate from a location near
Havana (Grid EL83) on 80 through 2 meters. Commemorative QSLs recognizing
the two countries' common interest in emergency communication preparedness
and international goodwill through Amateur Radio will be available via
K7JA (include an SASE or SAE and other return postage).

Participating Cuban operators will include Arnie Coro, CO2KK. Chip
Margelli, K7JA, will be among the US operators. "All the operators and
support people look forward to making as many QSOs as possible and testing
our ability to provide a wide-area emergency communications link
throughout the duration of Field Day," Margelli said.

This marks the second year that Field Day welcomes participation by
stations throughout International Amateur Radio Union Region 2--the
Americas. Operators outside the US and Canada exchange operating class and
"DX" as their "section" designator. No signal reports need be exchanged
during ARRL Field Day, which begins at 1800 UTC June 28 and ends 2100 UTC
June 29. Complete rules are on the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2003/rules-fd-2003.html>.--Chip
Margelli, K7JA

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Solar seer Tad "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" Cook, K7RA, Seattle,
Washington, reports:

This week had somewhat quieter geomagnetic conditions compared to the
previous week, but average daily solar flux was down a bit and average
daily sunspot numbers remained about the same.  Recent projections
anticipate no truly quiet periods ahead.

ARRL Field Day is this weekend, and I wish the geomagnetic conditions
could be better.  The predicted planetary A index for Friday through
Monday is 20, 25, 20 and 20.  Although an A index of 25 for Saturday
doesn't look very promising, this prediction is made several days prior,
and like weather forecasts, the real conditions could be different.  In
addition, a planetary A index of 20 or 25 doesn't guarantee a radio
blackout on the high frequencies.

Sunspot numbers for June 19 through 25 were 108, 121, 118, 94, 104, 131,
and 115, with a mean of 113. 10.7 cm flux was 122.9, 116.9, 115, 110.2,
113.5, 114.5, and 116.3, with a mean of 115.6. Estimated planetary A
indices were 18, 12, 23, 16, 20, 31, and 19, with a mean of 19.9.

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: ARRL Field Day
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2003/rules-fd-2003.html>, the Marconi
Memorial HF Contest, the QRP ARCI Milliwatt Field Day and the His Majesty
the King of Spain Contest (SSB) are the weekend of June 28-29. JUST AHEAD:
The RAC Canada Day Contest is July 1. The Michigan QRP July 4th CW Sprint
is July 4-5. The Venezuelan Independence Day Contest (SSB/CW), the DL-DX
RTTY Contest and the DARC 10-Meter Digital Contest are the weekend of July
5-6. 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.

* Attention clubs participating in Field Day 2003! ARRL asks clubs taking
part in ARRL Field Day 2003 June 28-29 to share their Field Day tips and
setup strategies with other clubs. Send items to Margie Bourgoin, KB1DCO
<kb1dco@arrl.org>;. This is your chance to claim bragging rights as well as
to confess the ways that Murphy has graced your carefully-planned efforts!
Also, visit the Club Companion Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/club/> and check out "Our Club's Field
Day" to see what other clubs are doing.

* New Field Day Class F still attracting questions: ARRL Contest Branch
Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, says he's still getting questions from clubs
and groups planning to operate under the new Class F category in Field
Day. The most popular of ARRL's operating events, Field Day takes place
June 28-29. Henderson advises that unless clubs and individual operators
have recently updated their logging software to accept Class F as a valid
class, they may run into problems. "If this happens to your group," he
said, "take manual notes about any problems and correct the log after
Field Day, but before submitting it the to the ARRL." Henderson says most
questions he's been getting already are covered in the Field Day rules
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2003/rules-fd-2003.html> and in the
list of frequently asked questions, which is part of the Field Day packet
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/forms/03fdpack.pdf> (scroll down to Class F
Station FAQs for information on that class). More than 1.4 million
contacts were logged during Field Day 2002. Class F stations operate from
an established emergency operations center (EOC) activated by a club or
non-club group. Class F operation must take place from an established EOC
site. Stations may utilize equipment and antennas temporarily or
permanently installed at the EOC. A station may not enter Class F if
operating from a mobile communications van deployed from an EOC, however.
Those entries will be Class A or Class C (mobile), depending on the
circumstances. An EOC is operated by a federal, state, county, city or
other civil government, agency or administrative entity or by a chapter of
a served agency (such as the Red Cross or Salvation Army) with which your
local group has an established operating arrangement. Class F operation
must take place in cooperation with the staff of the EOC being activated.
The W1AW Field Day bulletin schedule is available on the ARRL Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/forms/w1aw-fd-sked-2003.html>. For
additional Field Day information or questions contact the ARRL Contest
Branch <contests@arrl.org>; or call 860 594-0232.

* Western Washington gets new Section Manager: Veteran ARRL Western
Washington Section Manager Harry Lewis, W7JWJ, is stepping down as of July
1. Assistant Section Manager Ed Bruette, N7NVP, of Poulsbo--the only
candidate who had filed to succeed Lewis in the fall--will fill the
remaining three months of Lewis's term. ARRL Field and Educational
Services Manager Rosalie White, K1STO, announced Lewis's early departure
and Bruette's nomination June 26. "Your work as Section Manager for more
than a dozen years has touched many people for the good of Amateur Radio,"
White said in praise of Lewis's tenure as SM. A ham since the 1940s, Lewis
has served as Western Washington Section Manager since January 1991. Lewis
will continue as Technical Coordinator. He had indicated earlier this year
that he would not seek another term as SM, and Bruette was running
unopposed for the Section Manager's seat. Lewis's wife, former
Northwestern Division Director Mary Lewis, W7QGP, also is leaving her
current post as a Western Washington Assistant Section Manager. Bruette
has been an ASM since January 2003 and was Section Emergency Coordinator
from 1998 through 2002. He is also the Washington State RACES officer.

* No joy for New York ham antenna bills: ARRL Hudson Division Director
Frank Fallon, N2FF, reports no success in the third effort to get a ham
radio antenna bill through the New York Legislature. The current session
wrapped up June 19. "Thanks for your support, but we were not successful,"
Fallon said in a statement to his Division. "We have a very difficult
project here." The bills--A2662 in the Assembly and S63 in the
Senate--were introduced in January. The bills went beyond simply
incorporating the limited federal preemption, PRB-1, into state law. They
would have prohibited 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." Fallon
noted that other states have been able to get antenna bills enacted, but
very few of them include minimum regulatory heights. Fallon said the
Hudson Division leadership remains committed to securing passage of a bill
in both New York and New Jersey that specifies a height below which local
governments may not regulate. Fallon said this session's bills died for
lack of action, despite visits to the capital in Albany during the past
two weeks of the session to meet personally with key lawmakers. "The
legislature was very distracted this year with other issues and problems,"
Fallon said. That included the arrest of a key aide to Speaker of the
House Sheldon Silver days before the session ended. "We are disappointed
but not discouraged," Fallon concluded. "We will be working on gaining
additional support between now and next January, when the next session
opens."

* ARRL's 2002 Annual Report is available: The League's 2002 Annual Report
is currently available to members free of charge upon request. The report
offers an overview of League activities for the year, messages from ARRL
President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, and Chief Executive Officer David Sumner,
K1ZZ, along with ARRL's complete audited financial statements for 2002.
Send requests--including your name, call sign and mailing address--to
Media Relations Manager Jennifer Hagy, N1TDY, jhagy@arrl.org.  Due to the
large number of requests for the 2002 Annual Report, individual replies to
everyone who e-mailed may not be possible. All requests will be honored in
the order they were received at ARRL Headquarters. The report also is
available on-line as a PDF document
<http://www.arrl.org/announce/annualreport/02ar.pdf>.

* Correction: The story "Ham's Ticket Set Aside as FCC Investigates
Allegations of False Distress Calls" in The ARRL Letter, Vol 22, No 25
(Jun 20, 2003) contained some erroneous information. FCC Special Counsel
Riley Hollingsworth explains that the FCC Wireless Telecommunicaitons
Bureau set aside Michael V. Swift's license grant for KG6QOB was set aside
and his application has reverted to pending status while the investigation
continues. The WTB has a 30-day window to set aside a license grant on its
own motion, Hollingsworth explained, although the Universal Licensing
System indicates Swift's ticket was canceled May 29.

===========================================================
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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The ARRL Letter offers a weekly summary of essential news of interest to active amateurs that is available in advance of publication in QST, our official journal. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely, accurate, concise and readable.

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