ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 26, No. 23
June 8, 2007
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* + ARRL, DoD, FCC try to come to terms with Pave Paws
* + ARRL/IARU team to represent Amateur Radio at ITU meeting in Geneva
* + FCC announces enhancements to ULS License Archive
* + It's KD5PLA in for KD5PLB on International Space Station
* + League staffers crisscross the country promoting Amateur Radio
* + ARISS milestone: 300th contact
*   Solar Update
* IN BRIEF: 
    This weekend on the radio
    ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
   +New England ham honored for work with Handiham program
   +Local radio club to honor John Hennessee, N1KB (SK)
    ARRL staff Relays for Life
    ARISS warns of pirate activity
    ARRL seeks new assistant editor 
   
   +Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/>


===========================================================
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==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane,
<k1sfa@arrl.org>;
===========================================================

==> ARRL, DoD, FCC TRY TO COME TO TERMS WITH PAVE PAWS

The ARRL has sent out more than 100 letters to repeater owners/trustees
who have repeaters affected by the "Pave Paws" radars (PPR). Citing an
increasing number of interference complaints, the US Air Force has asked
the FCC to order dozens of repeater systems to either mitigate
interference to the Pave Paws radars or shut down. The ARRL is working
with the US Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a plan to mitigate
alleged interference from 70 cm ham radio repeaters to this military
radar system on both coasts. 

The situation affects 15 repeaters within less than 100 miles of Otis
Air Force Base on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and more than 100 repeaters
within some 140 miles of Beale Air Force Base near Sacramento,
California. 

ARRL Regulatory Information Specialist Dan Henderson, N1ND, stresses
that the Defense Department acknowledges Amateur Radio's value in
disasters and emergencies and is being extremely cooperative -- and a
wholesale shutdown of US 70 cm Amateur Radio activity is not on the
table.

The Amateur Radio Service is a secondary user in the 420-450 MHz band,
both by the Table of Frequency Allocations and the FCC Part 97
regulations. As such, Amateur Radio licensees, jointly and individually,
bear the responsibility of mitigating or eliminating any harmful
interference to the primary user, which in this case is the Government
Radiolocation Service that includes the DoD Pave Paws systems.

The letters sent to affected repeater owners/trustees give them an
up-to-date briefing on the ongoing negotiations with the US Air Force,
as well as outlines the DoD's plan. The DoD has indicated a willingness
to try a mitigation proposal, but they have also indicated their need is
for these issues to be resolved sooner rather than later. With that
expediency in mind, the proposed mitigation strategy is as follows:

* All repeaters on the DoD list in the affected areas will immediately
reduce power to 5 W transmitter power output (TPO). Each repeater
licensee/trustee should contact Henderson to confirm this once this has
been done for their system. Confirmation of this being done is needed
from each repeater owner by Friday, June 15, 2007. 

* The ARRL will provide the Longley-Rice calculations for each repeater
to the DoD by June 15, 2007. The DoD will provide engineering data to
the ARRL and FCC by June 15, 2007. These studies will be reviewed by the
DoD, the ARRL Lab and the FCC to determine the amount of mitigation
necessary for each repeater. Based on this review by the DoD, additional
mitigation proposals for individual repeaters (including further power
reductions, lowering of antenna heights, use of more directive antennas
and other possible mitigation techniques) will be provided by the ARRL
as needed to individual repeater owners. If there is a disagreement on
the conclusions, a conference call will be held to resolve any
outstanding issues.

* All interference must be resolved no later than August 1, 2007.

* Beginning in August 2007 (and continuing on a periodic basis), the DoD
will have a follow-up engineers study at each PPR site to ensure
corrective actions have been taken and the interference and to ensure
that successful mitigation continues.

According to the DoD, the in-band interference from Amateur Radio fixed
FM voice repeaters has increased to an unacceptable level. Pave Paws
radars are used for national security functions, including early
detection of water-launched missiles. They are critical to our national
defense and are in use 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

The goal of the ARRL has been to develop and implement a plan that would
mitigate the interference, and at the same time to permit the repeaters
to continue operation and to operate on as liberal a basis as possible.
To do so, the League has offered to work closely with the two involved
repeater coordinating groups, as well as the individual repeater owners,
sharing information and dealing with this issue on a coordinated basis
with all stakeholders.

The League has also been in contact with representatives of the FCC.
They have the ultimate responsibility for enforcing any mitigation plan,
up to and including ordering specific repeaters to shut down operations.
The FCC is aware of the complex nature of this problem and the
mitigation strategy being proposed by the DoD.

Since Amateur Radio operators are secondary users on the band, the ARRL
has few options, and all options involve cooperation with the DoD. It is
hoped the Longley-Rice calculations from the ARRL and the DoD's
engineering studies will provide enough data to allow as many of the
repeaters in the affected areas as possible to remain on the air at
reasonable power levels. 

It is entirely probable that even with extreme mitigation techniques,
some repeaters in close proximity to the PPR sites may have to be shut
down permanently. If that happens, official notice would come from the
FCC. It is also possible that some repeaters might be required to
operate permanently at a lower power level in the areas near these Air
Force bases. In those cases, the League will be in contact with the
individual repeater owners with that information and the FCC will be
notified.

Henderson requests that all repeater owners/trustees affected by this
issue immediately implement the 5 W TPO for your repeater/s; please
contact his office by June 15 indicating if you have implemented the
power reduction. This will allow the ARRL to have voluntary compliance
on hand that can be used to show the cooperation of the amateur
community. 

Henderson stresses that it is to each repeater's long-term advantage to
implement the power reduction as soon as possible. The DoD indicated
they will be collecting engineering data during June. This presents the
opportunity to assess a repeater's actual impact at the lower power
level and a more honest determination of its continued potential for
harmful interference to the PPR sites. If any repeaters are running at
higher power levels, then the determinations can only be based on
assumptions rather than on actual data.


==> ARRL/IARU TEAM TO REPRESENT AMATEUR RADIO AT ITU MEETING IN GENEVA 

ARRL Chief Executive Officer and IARU Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ, will
be representing the IARU at a meeting of ITU-R Working Party 1A next
week in Geneva, Switzerland. WP 1A is responsible for spectrum
engineering techniques within Study Group 1 (spectrum management) and
will be working on a document that may eventually become what's called a
"preliminary draft new report" on the impact of power line
telecommunications (PLT, what we call BPL on this side of the Atlantic)
on radiocommunication systems operating below 80 MHz. Of course, the
IARU's interest is in ensuring that the report accurately reflects the
sensitivity of the amateur services to interference from this source.
Jon Siverling, WB3ERA, of the ARRL Technical Relations Office is on the
US delegation.

Also meeting at about the same time (June 12-20) is ITU-R Working Party
8A, which is responsible for most of the land mobile services, plus the
amateur and amateur-satellite services. WP 8A hopes to complete work on
a "draft new handbook for the amateur and amateur-satellite services" to
be published by the ITU. This isn't competition for The ARRL Handbook --
it is simply an overview of the activities of the amateur services along
with existing ITU texts that relate to the two services, and is intended
to be a helpful guide for administrations that may not be familiar with
Amateur Radio. IARU President Larry Price, W4RA, will represent the
IARU, and Sumner will assist as time permits. ARRL Chief Technology
Officer Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, is on the US delegation and is chairman of
the working group that will deal with the amateur handbook.

After these meetings, Sumner, Price and Rinaldo will travel via train to
attend the Friedrichshafen convention in Germany the following weekend.


==> FCC ANNOUNCES ENHANCEMENTS TO ULS LICENSE ARCHIVE 

The FCC has announced a redesign of the Universal Licensing System (ULS)
License Archive Search. Users can access this new functionality via the
"Archives" button under "SEARCH" on the ULS page. 

"Each time a license is acted upon, the current version is captured
within ULS," the FCC explained this week in a public notice. "The
License Archive allows users to view the current and prior versions of a
license." 

In the redesigned License Archive, the search interface, results screen
and detail pages will use the same display as ULS License Search. On the
detail pages, users now will be able to directly access license
information. 

"There will be no need to 'drill down' -- follow link after link -- to
reach the information you need," the FCC noted. "This enhancement
increases functionality and improves compliance with Section 508 of the
Americans with Disabilities Act." 

The redesigned License Archive search interface allows a user to search
using most of the criteria available in ULS Advanced License Search
except for Radio Service Group, Licensee City, State and ZIP Code and
Frequencies. Users will have the same ability to sort and restrict their
archive search results that they have in ULS License Search, the FCC
said. Licensee ID no longer will be available as a License Archive
Search criterion, however. Users should now search by the Licensee's FCC
Registration Number (FRN). 

The search results display will be similar to the search results in
License Search, with a few minor exceptions: There will be no display of
a "Pending Applications" icon, a column titled "Version" will display
"Archived" or "Current" depending on the version of the license and a
"Last Action Date" column will be used instead of "Expiration Date." 

In general, the License Archive Search details will look similar to
License Search details. However, the following additional fields will be
displayed for all archived licenses: Last Action Date, Version, Licensee
ID, and Sub-Group Identification Number (SGIN). 

Also, other License Search functions that previously were not available
in the License Archive have been added, including a "Printable Page"
link that allows the user to print the contents of the page
pre-formatted for most common printers. A "Reference Copy" link now
allows the user to print an unofficial copy of the license. A link to
view "Related Applications" from the current version of the license has
been added, as has the ability to view attachments and automated letters
in a PDF file. 

License Archive will display termination pending components similar to
the manner in which they are currently displayed in License Search.
Additionally, License Archive will display all terminated components of
a license, regardless of when it was terminated. These components will
indicate a status of "Terminated" on the component's summary and detail
pages. Under the previous License Archive system, terminated components
were not displayed unless the license itself was terminated as well. 

For additional information or assistance, visit the FCC's at
<http://esupport.fcc.gov/index.htm> or call the FCC Support Center,
(877) 480-3201 or 717-338-2888 (TTY 717-338-2824) and select Option #2,
Forms or Licensing Assistance. Hours are weekdays, except federal
holidays, from 8 AM until 6 PM Eastern Time.


==> IT'S KD5PLA IN FOR KD5PLB ON INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

NASA has given the go-ahead for the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis
Friday, June 8. The STS-117 mission will carry US astronaut Clay
Anderson, KD5PLA, to the International Space Station to succeed Suni
Williams, KD5PLB, as ISS Expedition 15 Flight Engineer. Anderson will
join Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, RN3FI, and Flight
Engineer Dr Oleg Kotov. 

Williams will return to Earth aboard the Atlantis. She arrived on the
ISS last December and has been among the most active ISS crew members on
Amateur Radio. NASA originally planned the astro-swap for the STS-118
shuttle mission, now targeted for an August launch. 

Atlantis Commander Rick Sturckow and his six crewmates will spend 11
days in space and take part in three spacewalks. Work planned for this
mission will increase the ISS's power capability in preparation for the
arrival of new science modules from the European and Japanese space
agencies. 

Joining Sturckow and Anderson on STS-117 will be Pilot Lee Archambault
and mission specialists Patrick Forrester, Steven Swanson, John "Danny"
Olivas and Jim Reilly. 


==> LEAGUE STAFFERS CRISSCROSS THE COUNTRY PROMOTING AMATEUR RADIO

ARRL Membership Manager Katie Breen, W1KRB, was in Rochester, New York
for the Atlantic Division Convention and Rochester Hamfest May 31-June
3. ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN; Atlantic Division Director Bill
Edgar, N3LLR, and Vice Director Tom Abernethy, W3TOM, were there as
well. Katie reports that both attendance and spirits were high at the
event, especially on Saturday morning with long lines and
standing-room-only for the VE test sessions. More than 100 test elements
were given with over 70 passes. Many excited new hams came to share
their good news at the ARRL Booth and have their pictures taken with
President Harrison. Katie gave a forum on Saturday afternoon that
included a tour of HQ, highlighting the Special Event blogs and videos
on youtube.com.

ARRL Regulatory Information Specialist Dan Henderson, N1ND, attended the
Georgia State Convention in conjunction with the Atlanta Hamfest on June
2. Dan spoke about the changing face of Amateur Radio since the
2006-2007 rules changes.

ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, attended the
Northwestern Division Convention led by Division Director Jim
Fenstermaker, K9JF, and Vice Director Bill Sawders, K7ZN. The event,
held in Seaside, Oregon last weekend, attracted about 2500 people from
Oregon, Washington, Montana, Alaska, Idaho and California. The special
event stations, W1AW/7 was operational for the duration of the
convention, which also offered flea market opportunities and key ham
radio vendors. More than 300 people attended the Saturday night banquet
where Steve Johnson, N7VIC, received a scholarship. The ARRL table saw
brisk business as publications and Field Day T-shirts and other
paraphernalia flew off the table.


==> ARISS MILESTONE: 300TH CONTACT

On Thursday, May 31, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
(ARISS) made its 300th contact since its inception back in December
2000. This milestone QSO was to the NASA Teacher Conference in Houston,
Texas. The first contact was on December 21, 2000 to Burbank School in
Burbank, Illinois.

The United States leads in the number of ARISS contacts with 153. Japan
is next with 25; Australia has 18, Canada has 16, Belgium has 10, the
United Kingdom and Germany have 8 and France has 7 contacts. A total of
28 countries have made contact with the ISS through ARISS.

For schools interested in setting up an ARISS contact, first check with
your local school! See if the school's Amateur Radio school station is
sufficiently equipped to enable a successful contact (i.e., general
technical level, transceiver + power, steerable antenna, tracking
programs and such). Please take into account the expected level of
deployment of the Amateur Radio equipment operated onboard ISS. Next,
carefully fill out the application form (this can be found at
<http://www.rac.ca/ariss/arissapp.htm>. Please make sure to include the
school's educational proposal. The educational proposal should include
answers to these questions: How will you: a) integrate this activity
into the school curriculum and b) involve as many grade levels as you
can, participating through essay contests, poster drawing, letter
writing and so on? How will you get as much media coverage as possible?
For US schools, e-mail your completed application to ariss@arrl.org.

For more information on the ARISS program, please see
<http://www.rac.ca/ariss/faqariss.htm.>


==> SOLAR UPDATE

Tad "There's a Little Black Spot on the Sun Today" Cook, K7RA, Western
North Carolina, this week, reports: 

After five days of no sunspots from May 24-28, spots returned on May 29,
and have increased since in number and size. There are currently several
sunspots visible, and the sunspot number for the past five days (Sunday
through Thursday) was 58, 58, 63, 47 and 59. Coupled with quiet and
stable geomagnetic indicators, this is good for HF propagation. Our
reporting week for this bulletin (the numbers reported at the end) runs
from Thursday through Wednesday, and the average daily sunspot number
for May 31 to June 6 rose nearly 43 points to 46.1 when compared to the
prior seven days. Average daily solar flux rose nearly 15 points to
83.7.

Last week the latest projection looked like no sunspots around Field Day
with a declining geomagnetic disturbance, but this week the forecast
looks a little better. Including the Friday before (the event doesn't
begin until Saturday) the projected solar flux last week for June 22-24
was 65 for all three days, with a planetary A index of 20, 12 and 5.
This week's prediction for those dates shows the same A index, but a
solar flux 10 points higher, at 75 for all three days. 

A check of recent sunspot numbers alongside solar flux values on the
same dates at <http://www.sec.noaa.gov/ftpdir/indices/DSD.txt> shows no
sunspots when the solar flux was down around 65, but at 75 the sunspot
number can be in the forties. 

For the next few days expect continued quiet geomagnetic activity, with
the same moderate (for the low point of the sunspot cycle) sunspot
count.

Sunspot numbers for May 31 through June 6 were 11, 41, 45, 58, 58, 63
and 47 with a mean of 46.1. 10.7 cm flux was 74.6, 79.4, 83.2, 87, 85.7,

88.8, and 87.1, with a mean of 83.7. Estimated planetary A indices were
4, 6, 7, 10, 8, 3 and 2 with a mean of 5.7. Estimated mid-latitude A
indices were 2, 5, 5, 7, 8, 2 and 2, with a mean of 4.4.

For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL
Technical Information Service Propagation page
<http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>.

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This weekend on the radio: The ARRL June VHF QSO Party is June 9-11.
On June 8, it's the NCCC Sprint Ladder and the Digital Pentathlon. The
ANARTS WW RTTY Contest, Portugal Day Contest, the Asia-Pacific Sprint
(SSB), the GACW WWSA CW DX Contest and the REF DDFM 6 Meter Contest are
all on June 9. Coming up on June 13 is the SKCC Sprint, the NAQCC
Straight Key/Bug Sprint, the RSGB 80 Meter Club Championship (CW) and
the NCCC Sprint Ladder. Next weekend plays host to the Digital
Pentathlon, the All Asian DX Contest (CW), the SMIRK Contest, SARL Youth
for Amateur Radio, the West Virginia QSO Party, the AGCW VHF/UHF
Contest, Kids Day, DIE Contest, Run for the Bacon QRP Contest and the
RSGB 80m Club Championship (SSB). 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 remains open through Sunday June 17 for these online
courses beginning on Friday July 6; Technician License Course (EC-010),
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level 1 (EC-001), Radio Frequency
Interference (EC-006), Antenna Design and Construction (EC-009), Analog
Electronics (EC-012) and Digital Electronics (EC-013). These courses
will also open for registration Friday May 15, for classes beginning
Friday July 3. To learn more, visit the CCE Course Listing page
<http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the CCE Department
<cce@arrl.org>;.

* New England ham honored for work with Handiham program: Phil Temples,
K9HI, ARRL New England Assistant Director and Affiliated Club
Coordinator for the ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section, was recognized
by Boston College for his work with the Courage Center Handiham program
and participation in the Read Aloud program in the Boston school system.
Temples, an employee in the Boston College Computer Science Department
and a Handiham volunteer instructor, received BC's 2007 Community
Service Award at a recognition dinner in May. "You have been recognized
for your efforts in recruiting, organizing, teaching and mentoring at
the non-profit Courage HandiHam System Camp in Lake George, Minnesota
and Cupertino, California," wrote William R. Mills, Jr., Director of
Community Affairs at Boston College. "We know you consider yourself a
privileged man to be able to serve others because you believe that
people should have the right to live, work and learn in a community
based on abilities, not disabilities." 

* Local Radio Club to Honor John Hennessee, N1KB (SK): The Newington
Amateur Radio Club (NARL) will operate Field Day this year with call
sign W1H in honor of John Hennessee, N1KB (SK). John, a long-time ARRL
Headquarters staff member, died last year. He was 42. A Headquarters
employee since 1986, Hennessee was a regulatory information specialist
in ARRL Field and Educational Services. In addition, Hennessee was an
active member of NARL where he was a Field Day regular; he also belonged
to the Quarter Century Wireless Association. Over the years, he enjoyed
operating various bands and modes, often as a guest operator at W1AW or
at the Headquarters club station W1HQ. John enjoyed CW and low-power
operating (QRP). For more information contact E. Jonathan Hardy, KB1KIX,
NARL Field Day Chairman, at kb1kix@arrl.net. Field Day is June 23-24,
2007.

* ARRL Staff Relays for Life: Team ARRL joined in the American Cancer
Society's Relay for Life of Newington last weekend, raising almost $3500
to help find a cure for cancer, well over their goal of $3000. Team ARRL
remembered those who have lost their battle with cancer, and walked in
honor of our survivors. There are more than 4600 Relays this year
world-wide. To find a Relay near you, go to <http://www.cancer.org/>. You
can visit Team ARRL at <http://www.acsevents.org/relay/ctnewington>.

* ARISS warns of pirate activity: Amateur Radio on the International
Space Station (ARISS) reports a rumor that the ISS was making direct
contacts on the 40 meter band. ARISS stresses this is not happening, as
there is no HF radio equipment on board the space station, although the
HF antenna is mounted. Sometimes the Goddard Amateur Radio Club, WA3NAN,
retransmits shuttle audio.

* ARRL seeks new Assistant Editor: The ARRL is currently seeking
applicants for an Assistant Editor to join the publications group at
Headquarters in Newington. The successful candidate will fulfill a
variety of responsibilities related to preparing material for
publication. The primary responsibilities of the position include
preparing general interest and some technical material for publication
in QST and on the ARRL Web site; ensuring that manuscripts are well
written and engaging, conforming to the rules of grammar, spelling,
usage and ARRL style; taking photographs for publication in QST and on
the ARRL Web site and writing material for publication. Other
responsibilities as may be assigned, and include the possibility of some
weekday and weekend travel. Those interested in the position should send
a cover letter and resume to LouAnn Campanello at
<lcampanello@arrl.org>;.

* We stand corrected: The Contest Corral column in the July 2007 issue
of QST, which will be arriving in ARRL members' mailboxes soon, lists an
incorrect date for the IARU HF World Championship. It will be held July
14-15. 
* The resonance probe article listed on the front cover of the July 2007
issue (now being mailed to ARRL members) does not appear in that issue.
The article will appear in an upcoming issue. 

=========================================================== 
The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the
American Radio Relay League: ARRL--the National Association for Amateur
Radio, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax
860-594-0259; <http://www.arrl.org/>. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, President.

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential and general
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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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