*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 22, No. 29 July 25, 2003 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * +ARRL Board seeks post-WRC-03 policy guidance * +ARRL award winners for 2002 named * +Turkey space campers chat with ISS via ham radio * +Morse code requirement eliminated in two countries * +League urges FCC to improve RFI immunity standards for consumer electronics * +Amateur Radio licensees are among recent war casualties * +ARRL re-soliciting 2003 McGan Award nominees * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration ARRL to sponsor emergency communications course seminar in Huntsville Corrections +Available on ARRL Audio News =========================================================== ==>ARRL BOARD REQUESTS POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPLEMENT WRC-03 RESULTS The ARRL Board of Directors has called on ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, and the ARRL Executive Committee to develop ARRL policy recommendations for an FCC filing to implement the results of World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) in the amateur rules. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, chaired the July 18-19 Board session in Windsor, Connecticut. "The League, as the Amateur Radio representative in the United States, will, through its democratic process, review input from its members as to the impact and implementation of these results to the Part 97 rules," a Board resolution declared. A report on the policy recommendations is due next January. The Board expressed gratitude to the IARU and ARRL WRC-03 team for its "tireless and dedicated efforts in promoting Amateur Radio" and congratulated it for achieving the IARU's goals at the month-long international conference, which wrapped up in Geneva July 4. Delegates to WRC-03 reached a compromise on a 200-kHz worldwide allocation--7000 to 7200 kHz--effective in 2009, with no change to the existing 300-kHz allocation in the US or elsewhere in Region 2. The conference also eliminated the requirement that amateur applicants prove Morse code proficiency to operate below 30 MHz, leaving it up to individual administrations to retain or drop Morse as an exam element. WRC-03 decisions also resulted in changes affecting international third-party traffic, guidelines for standards of competence of amateur licensees, and recognition of the licenses of visiting amateurs. The Board also implemented some recommendations of the wide-ranging Final Report of the Volunteer Resources Committee to the ARRL Board of Directors--an Evaluation of the ARRL's Field Organization. The committee, chaired by ARRL Midwest Division Director Wade Walstrom, W0EJ, concluded that the state of the ARRL Field Organization is "fair," but not sufficient to meet the League's obligation to provide emergency communications, especially at the national level. In light of the report, the Board called for a comprehensive system to enhance the communications capabilities of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES). There are situations, the Board said--especially given the League's new Citizen Corps partnership with the Department of Homeland Security--when ARES "must have the capability to pass traffic across the nation quickly and accurately." The Board also called on all Section Emergency Coordinators to develop, implement and maintain a comprehensive Section Emergency Plan by year's end. Additionally, the Board asked Sumner to formally establish leadership training courses as a part of routine Section Manager orientation. In response to the so-called "Minute 56" report initiated at last July's meeting, the Board voted to initiate a process to revise ARRL band plans for amateur allocations between 902 MHz and 24.25 GHz. "New band plans will be developed using as a goal the full amateur deployment of each band," the Board said. The Board voted unanimously to authorize President Haynie--with assistance from Imlay and Technical Relations Manager Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, "to explore specific terms of expanded partnering plans with the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC). Such cooperation could involve greater integration of amateur operation in the bands from 902 MHz to 24.25 GHz in public safety and homeland security communications." Citing the Amateur Radio tradition of Elmering (mentoring) new and prospective amateurs, the Board okayed a resolution instructing the VRC to develop two or more viable options for an ARRL Volunteer Mentor program that would provide for "the promotion, support and growth of mentoring in Amateur Radio." The VRC is to present its options at the Board's January meeting. Additional details are on the ARRL Web site. The minutes of the July ARRL Board of Directors meeting will be posted on the ARRL Web site. ==>ARRL BOARD NAMES AWARD WINNERS The ARRL Board of Directors has announced its list of 2002 award winners to recognize excellence, achievement or innovation in several areas. The Board also created two new awards--the Knight Distinguished Service Award and The President's Award--and it named ARRL New Mexico Section Manager Joe T. Knight, W5PDY as the first recipient of the award bearing his name. Knight, who served as New Mexico's SM for 27 years, "has distinguished himself as a leader among leaders" who often has "gone above and beyond the call of duty" by volunteering to train and orient new SMs, the Board said. He stepped down recently for health reasons. Knight received an in absentia standing ovation. The President's Award will recognize an ARRL member or members who "have shown long-term dedication to the goals and objectives of ARRL and Amateur Radio" and who have gone the extra mile to support individual League programs and goals. Eighteen-year-old Ben Schupack, NW7DX, is the winner of the 2002 ARRL Hiram Percy Maxim Award. The HPM Award recognizes an exceptional amateur under age 21. An avid CW operator and ARRL member, Schupack is the Northwest Division manager for the League of Young Radio Amateurs (LYRA) and belongs to several Western Washington radio clubs. He enjoys QRP radio construction and recently designed an HF bicycle mobile station. An accomplished musician, he's also involved with athletics and community service. In May, Schupack became the first recipient of the William R. Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship. He will attend Whitman College this fall. As the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award winner, Schupack will receive a cash award of $1500 and an engraved plaque. Edmund Weiss, W1NXC, will receive the ARRL Herb S. Brier (W9AD) Instructor of the Year Award. Named for the late, long-time CQ Novice column editor, the award honors an individual who represents the spirit of Brier's effective and caring Amateur Radio instruction. Weiss's past students credit his positive attitude, dedication to ham radio and upbeat, attentive and encouraging style. He'll receive an engraved plaque. Bruce Watson, AA3LX, is the ARRL Professional Educator of the Year. This award goes to a teacher who uses Amateur Radio within the curriculum. A seventh-grade science teacher at Mars Area Middle School in Pennsylvania, Watson "actively involves students in hands-on activities and incorporates many activities in interdisciplinary units," said the school's principal, Richard Cornell. Watson will receive an engraved plaque. Joseph Giraudo, N7JEH, is the recipient of the ARRL Excellence in Recruiting Award. The award is presented to an Amateur Radio operator for outstanding volunteer work in recruiting newcomers to Amateur Radio. "Joe has done more to recruit new hams and ARRL members in Eastern Nevada than anyone else," said ARRL Nevada Section Manager Dick Flanagan, W6OLD. He will receive a $100 ARRL gift certificate and an engraved plaque. Gerald Youngblood, AC5OG, is the recipient of the Doug DeMaw, W1FB, Technical Excellence Award in recognition of his groundbreaking articles, "A Software-Defined Radio for the Masses," in the July/August and September/October 2002 issues of QEX. The articles describe the developmen t of the SDR-1000, one of the first multimode software-defined transceivers with HF capability. Youngblood is a member of the ARRL SDR Working Group. The DeMaw Award consists of an engraved nine-inch pewter cup. Jonathan Taylor, K1RFD, is the winner of the ARRL Technical Innovation Award. Taylor is the developer of the EchoLink <http://www.synergenics.com/el/> voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) Amateur Radio repeater linking system. EchoLink boasts more than 94,000 registered users in 136 countries. Registration is free, and 1500 stations typically are on-line enjoying 300 QSOs at the same time. The ARRL Technical Innovation Award carries a cash award of $500 and an engraved plaque. Danny Hampton Jr, K4ITL, is the recipient of the ARRL Technical Service Award. Hampton is the architect of the Piedmont Coastal Repeater Network, established in the early 1970s. Today the network sports more than 40 machines in North Carolina. The system is heavily used for public service work. He'll receive a $100 ARRL gift certificate and an engraved plaque. Barry Malowanchuk, VE4MA, is the winner of the ARRL Microwave Development Award. The award recognizes his many contributions to microwave equipment design and development. On August 18, 2001, after several years of hard work, Malowanchuk and Al Ward, W5LUA, completed the world's first 24-GHz Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) contact (see "The Journey to EME on 24 GHz," Oct 2002 QST). He'll receive a $100 ARRL gift certificate and an engraved plaque. At the recommendation of the ARRL Public Relations Committee, the Board granted a Lifetime Achievement Award to well-known DXer and filmmaker Dave Bell, W6AQ. The Board cited the Emmy and Peabody award winner's many significant contributions to the ARRL, including his recent work as director on the recent Amateur Radio Today CD-ROM presentation and his production work on several films promoting Amateur Radio. Bell is a past chairman of the ARRL Public Relations Committee. ==>ED LU IS "THE PIANO MAN" ABOARD THE ISS With apologies to singer Billy Joel, US astronaut Ed Lu, KC5WKJ, is "The Piano Man" in space. During a July 14 contact arranged as part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program, Lu told students at Space Camp Turkey--home of YM3SCT--that one of the things he enjoys doing in his off-hours is playing the piano. "We have a small piano up here. It's an electronic piano, and I like to play the piano in my spare time," Lu explained to the 124 space campers at Space Center Turkey in Izmir. Twenty of the youngsters--who were from the US, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Azerbaijan--got to ask questions of the astronaut during the ham radio/teleconference linkup. An MCI teleconference line handled two-way audio between the space camp in Turkey and the International Space Station Amateur Radio Club, NN1SS, in Maryland, where ARISS Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, sat at the controls. The ARISS contact kicked off a week of activities at Space Camp Turkey. ARISS Vice Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, in Belgium served as mentor and moderator for the contact, while Aziz Sasa, TA1E, managed arrangements at the Space Camp. Responding to a question about where the ISS crew gets its water, Lu told the space campers that water arrives in huge containers aboard Progress supply rockets from Russia. The water, he said, serves two purposes: it's used to drink, and it's used to generate oxygen to breathe. "I do want to say that I do pass over Turkey very often, and it is a very beautiful country," Lu said as a coda to the contact. "I've looked down, and I've taken a number of nice photographs of the cities there, and I can tell you live in a wonderful place. It's quite beautiful." Sasa, who is president of TRAC, Turkey's International Amateur Radio Union member-society, said he thought the contact had made a big impression on the youngsters and hoped some of them would become interested in Amateur Radio as a result of the experience. Nearly 200 others attended the event, including news media. ARISS is an international program with participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA. ==>WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE MORSE REQUIREMENT POST-WRC-03? World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) made optional the requirement to prove the ability to send and receive Morse code to operate below 30 MHz. While Morse exam elements remain on the books in the US, Canada and elsewhere, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have apparently become the first countries to delete their Morse requirements for HF operation. In the US, however, the FCC is unlikely to act on its own motion to simply make the Morse testing requirement go away. "There isn't an exception in the Administrative Procedures Act that I am aware of that would permit the Commission to issue an administrative fiat changing the license structure or exam-requirement rules," said an FCC staffer who's closely involved with Amateur Service rules. Other countries can do this because they have different laws and procedures, the FCC staff member observed, adding that even if it could be done here, "that still leaves unanswered the fundamental question: What do you want the new rules to be?" In its December 1999 Report and Order restructuring Amateur Radio licensing, the FCC stopped short of revising the rules to sunset the Morse requirement automatically if WRC-03 deleted Morse proficiency from the international Radio Regulations. The FCC also acknowledged "a clear dichotomy of viewpoints" on the Morse code issue within the amateur community. The ARRL's policy for several years has been that Morse should be retained as a testing element in the US. At its July 18-19 meeting in Connecticut, however, the Board said it would solicit and review input from members on the Morse testing requirement and other possible revisions to Part 97 arising from WRC-03. The first move on the Morse code question in the US is for someone to file a Petition for Rule Making with the FCC seeking a rule change. No Code International (NCI) <http://www.nocode.org/> has spearheaded the battle to eliminate the Morse requirement and would be a likely organization to file such a petition. NCI Executive Director Carl Stevenson, WK3C, said late last week that NCI was still studying the matter and had not yet made a final decision on a plan of action. An ARRL member, Stevenson says he hopes personally that the League would join NCI in actively encouraging the FCC to eliminate the Morse exam element as soon as possible. Hopes for a quick resolution to the Morse question could be wishful thinking, however. Once a petition to drop the Morse exam element is filed, the FCC will put it on "public notice" by assigning an RM number and soliciting comments. If more than one such petition is filed, the FCC is obliged to invite comments on each. When that process is completed, the FCC may determine that a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) is in order. The Commission at that point could incorporate all Morse-related rule making petitions into a single proceeding. The NPRM would get a docket number, and the comment process would begin anew. Further complicating and extending the process, the FCC most likely would incorporate other pending Amateur Radio-related issues into the same NPRM. At the end of the comment and reply comment periods, the FCC would issue a Report and Order (R&O) that includes its decision on the Morse code requirement and any other issues incorporated into the proceeding. The whole process could take a couple of years, perhaps longer. Ratification of the WRC-03 Final Acts by the US Senate does not appear to be necessary before the FCC can act or begin the rule making process. Following World Administrative Conference 1979 (WARC-79) which resulted in three new HF amateur bands, the FCC acted in 1982, prior to Senate ratification of the conference's Final Acts, not only to initiate the rule making process but to give amateurs limited access to 30 meters. Radio Amateurs of Canada has advised hams in that country that the Morse qualification requirement remains in effect for operation below 30 MHz, "pending a review by Industry Canada of the impact of the WRC-2003 regulatory changes on the Canadian radio regulations, policies and procedures." ==>ARRL URGES IMPROVED RFI IMMUNITY STANDARDS FOR CONSUMER ELECTRONICS The ARRL has told the FCC that improved interference standards for consumer electronic devices is the most pressing need as the Commission considers the interference immunity performance of receivers. The League this week filed comments in response to an FCC Notice of Inquiry (NOI), "Interference Immunity Performance Specifications for Radio Receivers" (ET-03-65), released last March to gather input on the issue. While recommending "either mandatory receiver immunity standards or at least guidelines" in most other services, the ARRL said no receiver immunity standards are necessary or practical in the "essentially experimental" Amateur Service. "The real need for receiver immunity specifications is in the area of consumer electronics," the ARRL said. "With the current explosion of consumer electronics and unlicensed devices, the Commission must--concurrently with consideration of receiver immunity standards in licensed radio services--establish interference rejection standards for unlicensed home electronic equipment and systems as well." At the same time, the ARRL said, development of any receiver immunity standards or guidelines "should not be used as a means of justifying the overlay of otherwise fundamentally incompatible spectrum sharing partners." The League said the FCC has had the authority to require improved RF interference immunity of consumer electronics and systems for many years "and has failed repeatedly to exercise it." The result has been "many thousands of instances of complaints against Amateur Radio operators and, in some cases, civil and criminal actions being filed," the League said. In its 21-page reply to the NOI, the ARRL recited the recent history of legislative and regulatory efforts to come to grips with interference from RF sources, including amateur stations, to receivers used in other services, such as TV and radio broadcasting, and to consumer electronics. "ARRL continues to believe that receiver immunity should be on the order of 3 V/m for receivers that might be in the near field of an Amateur Radio station," the League said. At that distance, a receiver would be immune to an approximately 100-W ham radio transmission into a 0 dBd antenna 100 feet away. The League conceded, however, that such a standard would not address the interference immunity of telephones, computers, alarm systems, audio systems and other consumer electronics that "constitute the bulk of the instances of interference involving Amateur Radio operators." The ARRL suggested the FCC mandate a standard for all consumer electronics or adopt a labeling or grading system that allows consumers to make their own choices about the importance of interference immunity and its value in terms of increased product cost. The League also said software-defined radio (SDR) technology offered the best opportunity to deal with receiver immunity. The ARRL advised the FCC against relying exclusively on manufacturers to agree on how to deal with interference immunity. The ARRL also urged the FCC not to make interference susceptibility of unlicensed devices a determining factor in whether a licensed radio service should be given an allocation in bands in where unlicensed--and unprotected--devices are deployed. As an example, the League cited the FCC's recent refusal to allocate a sliver band in the vicinity of 136 kHz "because of the ill-conceived prior deployment of unlicensed power line carrier [PLC] systems." The FCC, in effect, "refused to make an allocation based on interference susceptibility of unlicensed and unprotected RF devices and systems," the League said. "This is improper spectrum management and the policy should be revisited." The ARRL's comments on the NOI are available on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/et03-65/ARRL-ET-03-65-cmts.pdf>. ==>TWO RECENT IRAQ WAR CASUALTIES WERE AMATEUR LICENSEES Two of the most recent casualties of the war in Iraq were Amateur Radio licensees. According to an Associated Press report, Specialist Jon Fettig, KC0HSQ, of Dickinson, North Dakota, died July 22 in an ambush on a road some 50 miles north of Baghdad. Another soldier from Fettig's Army National Guard unit was wounded in the attack. Both belonged to the 957th Multi-Role Bridge Company based in Bismarck. Fettig, 30, a member of an engineering unit in Dickinson, had volunteered to fill a vacancy in the Bismarck company to bring it up to full strength. A Guard member for some 11 years, Fettig died at the scene of the ambush. On July 23, Nadisha Yassari Ranmuthu, 4S7NR--an international Red Cross aid worker from Sri Lanka--was shot and killed and his Iraqi driver wounded after their vehicle, marked with the Red Cross emblem, came under fire south of Baghdad. Ranmuthu, 37, a communications engineer for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), reportedly died instantly. The Red Cross has 850 staffers now working from eight bases in Iraq. Ranmuthu was there to install communications equipment at Red Cross offices and to help train Iraqi operators to use it, news accounts said. ==>ARRL RE-SOLICITING 2003 McGAN AWARD NOMINATIONS During its July meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors voted to re-solicit nominations for the 2003 Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award. The ARRL Public Relations Committee has determined that none of the nominations submitted for this year's award adequately fit the award criteria. "All three nominees have achieved notable success in the area of public service," Committee Chairman Jeff Reinhardt, AA6JR, said, "but the committee did not feel that the nominations reflected the important volunteer public relations efforts for which the award is given." Those planning to nominate someone for the 2003 McGan Award are encouraged to read "Announcing the 12th Annual McGan Award" (QST Feb 2003) for more information. The article highlights the significant differences between public relations and public service. Public relations involves efforts specifically directed at bringing Amateur Radio to the attention of the general public and the news media in a positive light. Nomination forms are available on the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/pio/McGan-Nom-Form03.pdf>. Return completed entry forms and supporting materials to Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award, c/o Jennifer Hagy, N1TDY, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Nominations must be received at ARRL Headquarters by 5 PM Eastern Daylight Time on September 2, 2003. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Heliophile Tad "Sunshine of Your Love" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Geomagnetic activity settled down over the past week. The average daily planetary A index dropped by nearly half from the previous week, from 29.1 to 16.1. Average daily sunspot numbers went up from 140 to 195.3, and average daily solar flux rose from 125.6 to 147.7. Solar flux declined from Wednesday to Thursday, July 23 to 24, from 144.1 to 129.2. Predicted solar flux for Friday through Monday, July 25 to 28 is 120, 125, 125 and 130. Planetary A indices for those same days is predicted at 12, 15, 12 and 15 but is expected to rise next week to between 20 and 25. Sunspot numbers for July 17 through 23 were 189, 193, 178, 224, 219, 200 and 164, with a mean of 195.3. The 10.7-cm flux was 138.7, 139.7, 146, 157.3, 155.6, 152.5 and 144.1, with a mean of 147.7. Estimated planetary A indices were 22, 14, 26, 19, 12, 9 and 11, with a mean of 16.1. __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The IOTA Contest, the Russian RTTY World Wide Contest, the Kentucky QSO Party and the Black Sea 2-Meter VHF FM Contest are the weekend of July 26-27. JUST AHEAD: The North American QSO Party (CW), the ARRL UHF Contest, the TARA Grid Dip PSK-RTTY Shindig, the 10-10 International Summer Contest (SSB), the European HF Championship and the SARL HF SSB Contest are the weekend of Aug 2-3. 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, July 28, 12:01 AM EDT (0401 UTC). Registration will remain open through Sunday, August 3. Classes begin Tuesday afternoon, August 5. Registration for the ARRL HF Digital Communications (EC-005) and VHF/UHF--Life Beyond the Repeater (EC-008) courses remains open through Sunday, July 27. 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, firstname.lastname@example.org. * ARRL to sponsor emergency communications course seminar in Huntsville: The ARRL will offer a free Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course (ARECC) seminar August 15 in conjunction with the Huntsville Hamfest 2003 in Huntsville, Alabama. 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, August 15, 1-5 PM, in Forum Room 1. If you plan to attend, contact ARRL Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan Miller, K3UFG, email@example.com; 860-594-0340; fax 860-594-0259. Seminar attendance does not include admission to the hamfest, August 16 and 17. Visit the Huntsville Hamfest 2003 Web site <http://www.hamfest.org/index.htm> for more information on the event. * Corrections: The story "Cosmonaut-Ham Plans to Wed While in Space" in The ARRL Letter, Vol 22, No 28 (Jul 18, 2003) gave an incorrect call sign for ISS Expedition 7 commander Yuri Malenchenko. His call sign is RK3DUP. The story "California Governor Signs Amateur Antenna Bill," in the same issue contained an outdated Web link to the text of the legislation. The latest link is <http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/bill/asm/ab_1201-1250/ab_1228_bill_20030714_ch aptered.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. 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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