ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 22, No. 46
November 21, 2003
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* +FCC denies ARRL request in 5-GHz unlicensed spectrum expansion
* +ARRL president promotes ham radio at homeland security gathering
* +The ISS turns five!
* +N2FF wins Hudson Division race
* +New Section Managers elected in Tennessee, Alabama
* +Australia to drop code requirement
* +ROHN announces asset purchase deal
*  ARRL invites nominees for Hiram Percy Maxim Award
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF:
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     Correction
     Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award nomination deadline
looms
     AMSAT-NA announces appointments
     National Radio Emergency Network to debut

+Available on ARRL Audio News

===========================================================
NOTE: ARRL Headquarters will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 27
and 28, for the Thanksgiving holiday. There will be no W1AW bulletin or
code practice transmissions on those days. The week's editions of The ARRL
Letter, ARRL Audio News and the DX and propagation bulletins will be
distributed Wednesday, November 26. ARRL Headquarters will reopen Monday,
December 1. We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday!--Rick
Lindquist, N1RL
===========================================================

==>FCC DENIES ARRL REQUEST IN ADDING 5-GHz PART 15 SPECTRUM

The FCC has amended its Part 15 rules to make another 255 MHz of spectrum
available in the 5.470-5.725 GHz band for unlicensed National Information
Infrastructure (U-NII) devices, including Radio Local Area Network (RLAN)
devices. In a Report and Order (R&O) in ET Docket 03-122 released November
18, the FCC said it was taking the action to alleviate crowding in
existing allocations and to align U-NII bands in the US with bands
elsewhere in the world. The FCC turned down an ARRL request to keep U-NII
devices out of the 5.650 to 5.670 GHz segment to avoid interference with
the Amateur Satellite Service. Amateur Radio has a secondary allocation
from 5.650 to 5.925 GHz.

"We are not persuaded that we should either add or modify our proposed
rules as requested by ARRL," the FCC said, adding that its dynamic
frequency selection (DFS) and transmitter power control (TPC) requirements
"will in fact protect amateur operations," although they're not
specifically designed to do so.

Commenting in the proceeding September 3, the ARRL expressed concerns
about "potential aggregate interference" from U-NII devices to Amateur
Radio space stations in the 5.650-5.670 GHz band. The League did support
other elements of the FCC's proposals, however, including a power
limitation of 1 W EIRP, and said hams were willing to cooperate with the
RLAN industry on other sharing-related issues.

In its comments, the League said the amateur allocation at 5.650 to 5.925
GHz "has been subject to 'death by a thousand cuts.'" The FCC's most
recent action leaves Amateur Radio with "relatively uncompromised access"
to a 25-MHz segment at 5 GHz--5.825 to 5.850 GHz, the ARRL said. That
includes a 20-MHz-wide satellite downlink segment, 5.830 to 5.850 GHz.
Federal government users are primary over the entire band.

The Commission said that because of the large amount of spectrum it's
adding to the 300 MHz of spectrum already available for U-NII devices, it
expects the density of devices to be relatively low. "We believe that this
low density of devices coupled with our technical requirements will
provide adequate protection to all incumbent systems in the band,
including amateur satellite uplink systems," the FCC said.

The FCC said it would treat the U-NII devices like other unlicensed
intentional radiators that operate on a non-interference basis under
ß15.15(c) of the rules.

The R&O culminated a 2002 Petition for Rule Making from the Wireless
Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA), now known as the Wi-Fi Alliance,
to allocate an additional 255 MHz of spectrum for use by U-NII devices in
the 5.470-5.725 GHz band. The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rule
Making last June. A copy of the R&O is on the FCC Web site
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-287A1.doc>.

==>HAYNIE PROMOTES HAM RADIO AT HOMELAND SECURITY CONFERENCE

ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, this month used the Amateur Radio Today
<https://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=8861> CD presentation to promote the
potential of Amateur Radio as a part of homeland security at the community
level. Haynie served on a panel of national Citizen Corps affiliates
during a Volunteers in Homeland Security Conference November 4-6 in
Austin, Texas. ARRL became an affiliate of Citizen Corps
<http://www.citizencorps.gov/>--an initiative within the Department of
Homeland Security <http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/>--in June during the ARRL
2003 National Convention. Haynie said Amateur Radio Today turned out to be
the proverbial picture worth 1000 words for the crowd of some 300
conference attendees.

"When it was finished and they turned the lights back up, everybody
applauded," he said. "I didn't have to say another word." Haynie said
several public officials on hand at the event also praised the
capabilities of their local Amateur Radio communities in providing
assistance during emergencies and disasters.

Citizen Corps is a federal volunteer effort aimed at enhancing public
preparedness and safety by bringing together volunteers and first
responders. In some localities, ham radio is being incorporated into a
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
<http://www.citizencorps.gov/programs/cert.shtm>, a Citizen Corps program.
Haynie says the Citizen Corps affiliation is "part of the bigger picture
of getting emergency communications aligned with what our government
needs."

"Amateur Radio stands ready to serve the country as needed in times of
emergency," he said.

Citizen Corps Liaison to the White House Liz DiGregorio, headed the
three-day gathering and provided an overview of Citizen Corps. She has
urged Amateur Radio operators to explore ways to expand their role in the
community beyond being a last resort when other communication systems
fail.

Those attending the conference primarily represented agencies and
organizations serving Federal Emergency Management Agency
<http://www.fema.gov/> Region VI. FEMA now is a part of the Department of
Homeland Security <http://www.dhs.gov/>. They included representatives of
volunteer organizations as well as FEMA officials and members of local law
enforcement.

==>INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION MARKS FIVE YEARS IN SPACE

As of this month, the International Space Station has been in space five
years and has had Amateur Radio and a permanent crew onboard for three
years. The first component of the unique orbiting laboratory complex--home
to the first permanent Amateur Radio station in space, NA1SS--was launched
November 20, 1998. Since attaining orbit, the ISS has grown from a lone,
uninhabited module into a continuously staffed, house-sized research
facility. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
program has been a part of the ISS since November 2000, when the
Expedition 1 crew of William Shepherd, KD5GSL, Yuri Gidzenko, and Sergei
Krikalev, U5MIR, arrived on board for a four-month tour.

"Together with our international partners we have learned how to build,
operate and maintain a very complex spacecraft, through the good times and
the bad," NASA Space Station Program Manager Bill Gerstenmaier said in
marking the ISS's fifth birthday. "With this experience to guide us, we
look forward to the future, with a vast expansion of the station on the
horizon." The US, Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe have cooperated in
making the ISS a reality as well as with making ARISS a success.

The first ISS element, the Russian Zarya functional cargo block (or FGB),
was launched in 1998 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The shuttle Endeavour
delivered the second element, the US connecting module called Unity, two
weeks later.

The ARISS initial station gear went into space in September 2000. A month
later, the FCC granted vanity call signs NA1SS and NN1SS (the official
ARISS Earth station at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland) to the
International Space Station Amateur Radio Club for US ARISS operations.
Russia has issued the call signs RZ3DZR and RS0ISS for ISS use.

Using the initial ham station gear, Shepherd--who dubbed the ISS "Space
Station Alpha"--made the first ARISS school group contact on December 21,
2000, answering questions posed by students at Luther Burbank Elementary
School near Chicago. Some 200 youngsters, teachers, parents and news media
representatives were on hand to witness the event.

So far, 22 crew members have staffed the ISS. The current Expedition 8
crew of Commander Mike Foale, KB5UAC, and Alex "Sasha" Kaleri, U8MIR,
arrived at the ISS earlier this month and has been settling in aboard the
spacecraft. Residents have conducted research in a wide range of
disciplines, and the ISS remains the largest and most complex
international space research project in history. The February 2003 shuttle
Columbia tragedy and the subsequent grounding of the NASA shuttle fleet at
least for another year has slowed construction and trimmed crew
complements from three members to two. The ISS' scientific capacity will
triple with components awaiting the space shuttle's return to flight.

"At five years old, the ISS continues to grow," NASA says. "More than 80
tons of equipment and hardware are in the Space Station Processing
Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, being prepared for launch."

The capabilities of NA1SS also are slated to expand in the near future.
During the recent AMSAT-NA Symposium and Annual Meeting in October, ARISS
International Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, outlined the delivery of the
so-called Phase 2 ham equipment to the ISS. Already on board is a Kenwood
TM-D700E VHF/UHF transceiver. The unit will mean a significant boost to
the power output of the ARISS initial station gear--from 5 W to 25 W.
Additional gear, including SSTV hardware, tentatively is set for transport
in January.

For more information on the ISS, visit NASA's Human Spaceflight Web site
<http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/home/index.html>.--information from NASA was
used in this report

==>FALLON RETAINS HUDSON DIVISION DIRECTORSHIP

In an ARRL election battle that pitted director against vice director,
Frank Fallon, N2FF, prevailed to retain his seat as Director of the
League's Hudson Division. He beat back a challenge from his Vice Director
Steve Mendelsohn, W2ML, 1933 to 1470. Ballots were counted November 21 at
ARRL Headquarters. The Hudson Division's was the sole contested seat in
the current director/vice director election cycle. For his nearly 500-vote
margin Fallon, who's retired, credits his ability to devote full time to
ARRL as well as to Hudson Division members' apparent appreciation for what
he's been able to accomplish.

"That's what made the difference," Fallon said. "I'm real happy with the
way the vote turned out." He said work already is under way to secure
Amateur Radio antenna bills in New York and New Jersey. Parts of both
states fall within the Hudson Division.

A resident of East Williston, New York, Fallon has served as director
since 1997. A former high school English teacher and a ham for 41 years,
Fallon is an ARRL Life Member.

During his tenure as Hudson Division Director, he's been a member of all
standing committees and now sits on the Administration and Finance
Committee, which oversees the League's programs and budget. In addition,
Fallon has served on the ARRL Executive Committee for four years and is on
the ARRL Foundation Board.

The election result leaves Mendelsohn--a veteran ARRL officeholder who
once served as Hudson Division Director and as ARRL First Vice
President--again without a League leadership role. Joyce Birmingham,
KA2ANF, was the lone candidate for the vice director's seat that
Mendelsohn vacated to run for the division's top spot.

Incumbents running unopposed and declared elected are: Director Dick
Isely, W9GIG, and Vice Director Howard Huntington, K9KM, in the Central
Division; Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI, and Vice Director Mike Raisbeck,
K1TWF, in the New England Division; Director Greg Milnes, W7OZ, and Vice
Director Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, in the Northwestern Division; and
Director Dennis Bodson, W4PWF, and Vice Director Les Shattuck, K4NK, in
the Roanoke Division.

Three-year terms of office for successful director and vice director
candidates begin at noon on January 1.

==>TENNESSEE, ALABAMA GETTING NEW SECTION MANAGERS

New ARRL Section Managers will take the reins in Tennessee and Alabama,
while incumbent SMs will continue in seven other ARRL sections. Ballots in
contested races were counted November 18 at ARRL Headquarters. Two-year
terms for successful candidates begin January 1, 2004.

In Tennessee, Larry W. Marshall, WB4NCW, of Fayetteville beat back a
challenge from Mark T. Wills, AG4OA, 664 to 191. An Extra class licensee
and ARRL Net Manager since 2000, Marshall served from 1996 until 2001 as
an Emergency Coordinator. He'll replace Terry Cox, KB4KA, Tennessee's SM
since 2002, who decided not to run for another term.

In Alabama, Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, of Harvest, was the only nominee for SM
and was declared elected. He now serves as ARRL Alabama Technical
Coordinator. Sarratt will replace Bill Cleveland, KR4TZ--Alabama SM since
1999--who did not stand for re-election.

In the only other contested race, incumbent Kansas SM Ron Cowan, KB0DTI,
outpolled Steve Hamilton, KB0JYL, 430 to 122. Appointed Kansas SM last
January, Cowan has been completing the term of Orlan Cook, W0OYH, who
stepped down.

Six incumbent ARRL Section Managers ran unopposed and were declared
elected. They are David Stevens, KL7EB, Alaska; Randall Carlson, WB0JJX,
Delaware; Ti-Michelle Connelly, NJ6T, East Bay; Bill Weatherford, KM5FT,
New Mexico; Rob Griffin, K6YR, Santa Barbara; and Bill Voedisch, W1UD,
Western Massachusetts.

ARRL will re-solicit for candidates for the position of Michigan SM, a
post now held by Dale Williams, WA8EFK. Williams was appointed in June to
replace Debbie Kirkbride, KA8YKK, who stepped down.

==>AUSTRALIA WILL DROP MORSE REQUIREMENT JANUARY 1

Australia is the latest country to announce it's dropping Morse code
testing as a licensing requirement. The Australian Communications
Authority (ACA) <http://www.aca.gov.au/> says it will eliminate the Morse
testing requirement starting January 1.

"This decision was made considering public comments at the meetings and
initial analysis of submissions to the discussion paper," the ACA said,
adding that it would make interim changes to its rules to allow immediate
access to privileges previously available only to those satisfying the
Morse proficiency requirements. The change will give holders of
Intermediate and Limited Amateur licenses access to the same frequency
bands as Unrestricted Amateur licensees, and holders of the Novice Limited
Amateur license access to the same frequency bands as Novice licensees.

The Wireless Association of Australia <http://www.wia.org.au/> says
dropping the Morse requirement will mean no changes in existing licenses
or call signs. WIA President Ernie Hocking, VK1LK, urged hams in Australia
who don't yet enjoy HF privileges not to get on the air ahead of schedule.
There's more information on the ACA Web site <http://www.aca.gov.au/>
(Click on "Review of Amateur Service Regulation.")

Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, the UK, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands,
Austria, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Singapore and Papua-New Guinea have
already dropped their Amateur Radio Morse testing requirements or have
announced an intention to do so.

Radio Amateurs of Canada asked Industry Canada to drop the Morse
requirement at the 21st Industry Canada-Radio Amateurs of Canada Amateur
Radio Advisory Board meeting October 23 in Ottawa. US amateurs have
commented on 14 petitions calling for outright deletion of the Morse
requirement or changes in existing requirements. The FCC is not expected
to act on the matter until 2004 at the earliest.

==>ROHN ANNOUNCES ASSET PURCHASE AGREEMENT

Amateur Radio and telecommunications industry tower manufacturer ROHN
Industries <http://www.rohnnet.com/> has announced that it's entered into
an asset purchase agreement with SPX Corporation <http://www.spx.com/>, a
global, multi-industry company. ROHN filed September 16 for Chapter 11
(debtor-in-possession) relief in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of Indiana. The deal will include ROHN subsidiaries that are
party to the bankruptcy proceeding.

"The asset purchase agreement provides for the sale of certain assets of
the company and the affected subsidiaries to SPX Corporation for the
amount of $5,450,000," ROHN said in a news release.

Through its Broadcast and Communication Systems and Services division, SPX
provides analog and digital TV and FM systems, high-frequency and
medium-frequency antennas, transmission lines, towers and radio frequency
filter systems for the broadcast market. SPX also is a major site
developer for the PCS/cellular industry.

The bankruptcy court must approve the ROHN-SPX agreement. ROHN filed an
amended motion with the court November 13 seeking the court's approval of
the asset sale and authority to sell the assets "after an opportunity is
provided for competitive bidding." A hearing to consider proposed bid
procedures is scheduled for November 25, and the bidding auction is set
for December 8. The bankruptcy court is to consider approval of the asset
sale December 9.

In addition to its other products and services, ROHN manufactures towers,
antenna support structures and "infrastructure equipment" for the
telecommunications industry. Horace Ward is ROHN's chief executive
officer. The company consolidated its manufacturing operations in
Frankfort, Indiana, earlier this year.

More information on the proposed deal with SPX is available on the ROHN
Industries Web site <http://www.rohnnet.com/> (click on "Press Releases").

==>ARRL INVITES HIRAM PERCY MAXIM MEMORIAL AWARD NOMINATIONS

The ARRL invites nominations of exceptional young Amateur Radio operators
for the ARRL Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award. Nominations are due to ARRL
section managers by March 31, 2004. The HPM Award goes each year to an
enthusiastic and active amateur licensee aged 21 or younger whose
contributions to Amateur Radio and to the community are of the most
exemplary nature.

An ideal nominee may be involved in recruiting new hams through
demonstrations as well as by example to his or her peers; on the air
and/or public service activities; employing technical ingenuity to further
Amateur Radio; public relations activities; and organizations on a local,
state or national level.

The HPM Award winner receives an engraved plaque and a check for $1500.

Details are available on the ARRL Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award Web
page <http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/awards/hpm.html>, which includes a
link to the nomination form. Those nominating HPM Award candidates should
include their contact information and forward the form to their ARRL
Section Manager <http://www.arrl.org/sections/>. Section managers also may
nominate young hams for this award.

For additional information, contact Jean Wolfgang, WB3IOS
<jwolfgang@arrl.org>;.

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Solar seer Tad "You Are the Sunshine of my Life" Cook, K7RA, Seattle,
Washington, reports: The three sunspots that raised so much havoc at the
end of October are back after journeying across the sun's far side. The
planetary A index of 117 on Thursday, November 20 indicates a very strong
geomagnetic storm. The mid-latitude A index was 67, and Alaska's College A
index was 161. Average daily sunspot numbers for the week rose to 63 from
32.6 last week. Average daily solar flux rose from 94.8 to 117.7, and
average daily planetary A index went from 23.4 to 31.7.

Over last weekend, a solar wind disturbed Earth's magnetic field.
Conditions were disturbed until November 19, when the planetary and
mid-latitude A indices were in a normal range. The day before, Tuesday,
November 18, sunspot 486 pushed a coronal mass toward Earth. This was the
event that caused all the upset two days later on November 20.

Rough conditions should subside over the weekend. Current projection shows
the planetary A index from Friday to Monday, November 21-24, at 45, 35, 20
and 20. Predicted solar flux values over the same period are 180, 190, 200
and 210. High sunspot and solar flux levels are expected to remain through
Thanksgiving, November 27.

Sunspot numbers for November 13 through 19 were 25, 34, 52, 54, 72, 90 and
114, with a mean of 63. The 10.7 cm flux was 102.1, 98.9, 97.8, 104.4,
121, 144.3 and 155.1, with a mean of 117.7. Estimated planetary A indices
were 42, 37, 40, 35, 34, 20 and 14, with a mean of 31.7.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The LZ DX Contest is the weekend of November
22-23. The CQ World Wide DX Contest (CW) is the weekend of November 29-30.
See the ARRL Contest 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 ARRL Radio Frequency Interference (EC-005) course
opens Monday, November 24, 12:01 AM Eastern Standard Time (0501 UTC).
Registration will remain open through Sunday, November 30. Classes begin
Tuesday December 2. Registration for the ARRL HF Digital Communications
(EC-005) and UHF-VHF Beyond the Repeater (EC-008) courses remains open
through Sunday, November 23. Those interested in taking an ARRL
Certification and Continuing Education (C-CE) course in the future can
sign up to receive advance notification of registration opportunities. To
take advantage, send an e-mail to prereg@arrl.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 (C-CE)
<http://www.arrl.org/cce/> Web page and the C-CE Links found there. For
more information, contact Certification and Continuing Education Program
Department <cce@arrl.org>;.

* Corrections: The story "FCC Mulls Responses to Complaints Alleging
Interference" in The ARRL Letter, Vol 22, No 45 (Nov 14, 2003),
incorrectly states the working status of two unnamed FCC agents. The FCC
employees were on duty at the time they monitored the alleged
interference. The same story contains an incorrect frequency for a
California repeater on which interference was reported. The correct
frequency is 145.23 MHz. In The ARRL Letter, Vol 22, No 44 (Nov 7, 2003),
the story "IARU, ARRL Support Amateur Radio Course at Albanian
University," incorrectly listed the call sign of Dan Brown, NA7DB.

* Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award nomination deadline looms:
The deadline is fast approaching to submit nominations for the 2003 Bill
Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award. The award goes to a professional
journalist whose coverage best reflects the enjoyment, importance and
public service value of Amateur Radio. It was named to honor the late Bill
Leonard, a former president of CBS News and avid Amateur Radio operator in
the 1960s and 1970s. Individual journalists may nominate themselves. The
winner will receive a plaque and a cash award of $500. All nominations
must be received at ARRL Headquarters by 5 PM EST, December 5, 2003. For
more information about the award, including the official rules of entry,
contact ARRL Media Relations Manager Jennifer Hagy, N1TDY, jhagy@arrl.org;
860-594-0328.

* AMSAT-NA announces appointments: AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton,
VE3FRH, has announced two volunteer appointments within the satellite
organization. Haighton has named Ed Long, WA4SWJ, of Peoria, Arizona, as
editor of The AMSAT Journal. "Ed is fully conversant with the software
which we use for the Journal. He is an electrical engineer and has been a
ham for over 30 years," Haighton said. Long holds a bachelor's degree in
electrical engineering from West Virginia University (he was formerly
WB8IKV) and an MBA from Duke University. An ARRL member, he is currently
employed by SPX Process Equipment. Articles for The AMSAT Journal can sent
to him via e-mail to <journal@amsat.org>;. Williams takes over his
editorial duties as of the November/December issue. Haighton also
announced the appointment of Jim Jarvis, N2EA, of Pasadena, Maryland, as
AMSAT manager of marketing. An ARRL member and fluent in English, French
and German, Jarvis has 20 years international business development
experience and a formal background in strategic marketing, much of it in
the engineering field. Haighton said Jarvis already has begun reviewing
the ECHO Launch Fund Campaign.--AMSAT News Service

* National Radio Emergency Network to debut: The National Radio Emergency
Network (NREN) <http://www.aa8vs.org/nren/> will commence operations
December 1. A cooperative effort of several US CW net managers, NREN hopes
to provide an alternative public service network geared to low-power,
portable and mobile stations. "Because CW provides significantly more
reliability for stations operating at low power levels (QRP) or with
compromise antennas, this will be a CW-based program," said an
announcement from Chuck Mabbott, AA8VS. NREN will work on the "radio
watch" principle, and member stations will maintain a watch on one or more
of three selected frequencies in the 40, 30, and 20-meter bands. A
detailed description of NREN, along standard operating procedures is
available on the NREN Web page <http://www.aa8vs.org/nren/>.

===========================================================
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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