ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 26, No. 34
August 24, 2007
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* + Dean Downgraded to Tropical Depression, Hurricane Watch Net
Deactivated 
* + ARRL Director Elections in November 
* + The 2007 ARRL National Convention -- Gone, but Definitely not
Forgotten 
* + GAREC-07 Celebrates Emergency Communications in Huntsville 
* + ARES Teams Activated for Northwest Ohio Near-Record Flooding 
* + FCC Enforcement Actions 
*   Solar Update 
*  IN BRIEF: 
      This Weekend on the Radio
      ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Course Registration
    + Section Manager Elections Results Announced 
    + Malaysia to Send Astronaut to ISS 
      Communications Museum Comes Back to Life 
      On-line Course Developer Needed 
      QST Wants You! 
      Let Us Know What You Think


+Available on ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> 

===========================================================
==>Delivery problems: First see FAQ
<http://www.arrl.org/members-only/faq.html#nodelivery>, then e-mail
<letter-dlvy@arrl.org>;
==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane,
<k1sfa@arrl.org>;
===========================================================

==> DEAN DOWNGRADED TO TROPICAL DEPRESSION, HURRICANE WATCH NET
DEACTIVATED 

The remnants of Hurricane Dean, now Tropical Depression Dean, have
dissipated over Mexico and the heavy rain threat has diminished. The
Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) secured activation for Dean on Wednesday
afternoon at 1915 UTC after commencing operations last Friday. Despite
experiencing very poor propagation and noisy conditions on 20 meters,
the net managed to provide the latest storm advisories from the National
Hurricane Center (NHC) to amateurs and listeners in Dean's path. 

As the storm powered through the Windward Islands, scraped Jamaica,
threatened the Cayman Islands, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and finally
crossed into Mexico, HWN was in frequent contact with the affected areas
to collect real-time weather data from local hams, passing it to the NHC
forecasters and informing the affected areas about what to expect next
via official bulletins. 

On Tuesday, Dean made landfall near Costa Maya or Majahual at 0830 UTC
as a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane. Earlier in the week,
the storm slammed Jamaica as the eye passed within 50 miles of the South
Coast of Jamaica as a Category 4 hurricane. The VoIP Hurricane Net
solicited reports from any stations in the affected area or any stations
that have contact with the affected area. 

"We received numerous reports of estimated winds over 100 MPH in
Corozal, Belize, with roofs off homes, power, electricity and phone
service out in many areas. Similar damage was reported in Chetmual,
Mexico from a relay from Connie, NH7IE, from a friend who lives in
Chetmual, Mexico," said Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Director of Operations of the
VoIP Hurricane Net. 

WX4NHC Assistant National Hurricane Center Amateur Radio Station
Coordinator, Julio Ripoll, WD4R, worked to get reports via the VoIP
Hurricane Net and liaison was established with Spanish speaking Mexican
stations on the XE2MCC EchoLink conference node: 255469. Ripoll received
reports directly from that conference via Spanish, and Francisco
Diaz-Gonzalez, NP3OD, from the VoIP Hurricane Net Control team, is
monitoring that conference for reports. "We've received reports of trees
down, power outages from the Telum and Campeche, Mexico, area as relayed
via the XE2MCC conference and from other amateurs," Macedo said. 

A report of 16 fishermen being stranded in the Middle Keys on Jamaica
was confirmed by Julien Dedier, 9Z4FZ,from Trinidad, by making contact
with the Trinidad Coast Guard who then verified the report with the
Jamaican Coast Guard. All 16 fishermen took shelter in a Coast Guard
building on the keys and were safe. Dedier relayed numerous other
damage, storm surge and wind estimate reports from Jamaica to the net.
"Thanks for the update on the fishermen and were glad to know they are
safe," said Ripoll. 

Ray Weber, KA1JJM, from Western Massachusetts SKYWARN, and Dave Taylor,
KI4YIK, from Rock Hill, South Carolina, both were instrumental in
relaying measured wind data reports. Ray had a contact in Lionel Town,
Jamaica, who was a mariner, and Dave had a contact with a missionary in
Jamaica that had wind instrumentation that clocked sustained wind
speeds. "This is an example of gathering disaster intelligence
information by all means possible which is a huge role for our net. If
we don't have direct contact with the affected area, getting stations
that can relay from other sources from both within the Amateur community
and from other contacts that Amateurs may have in the area can be of
great help," Macedo said. 

Between the *WX-TALK*/IRLP 9219 reflector system and the listen-only
conferences, there were more than 150 connections from EchoLink PC
users, as well as EchoLink and IRLP links and repeaters where people
that were interested in Dean's impact on Jamaica monitored. This
included relief agencies that monitored, such as the Salvation Army and
the Southern Baptist Relief organization. 

The Hurricane Watch Net activates on 14.325 MHz when a hurricane is
forecast within 300 miles of landfall.  - Information provided by HWN
Manager Dave Lefavour, W7GOX, and Director of Operations of the VoIP
Hurricane Net Rob Macedo, KD1CY

==> ARRL DIRECTOR ELECTIONS IN NOVEMBER

ARRL Chief Executive Officer and Board Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ,
announced that the Ethics and Elections Committee of the ARRL Board of
Directors has completed its review of the candidates' eligibility and
has found all of them to be eligible. Ballots will be counted at ARRL HQ
on November 16. The Divisions holding elections this year are Pacific,
Rocky Mountain, Southeastern, Southwestern and West Gulf. 

In the Pacific Division, Bob Vallio, W6RGG, of Castro Valley,
California, was named Director for another three year term; Vallio was
running unopposed. The rules state that if a candidate is running
unopposed, he or she shall be declared the winner without balloting.
Vallio has been Pacific Division Director since February 2003, when he
assumed the position upon the death of Jim Maxwell, W6CF. For Vice
Director in the Pacific Division, incumbent Andy Oppel, N6AJO, of
Alameda, California will face Rob Brownstein, K6RB, of Santa Cruz,
California. 

Current Rocky Mountain Vice Director Division Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT,
of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is running for Director against Jeff Ryan,
K0RM, of Westminster, Colorado. Current Director Warren G. "Rev" Morton,
WS7W, of Casper, Wyoming, is not seeking re-election. Vice Director
candidates for the Rocky Mountain Division are Dwayne Allen, WY7FD, of
Devil's Tower, Wyoming, and Chris Howard, W0EP, of Fort Collins,
Colorado. 

Due to the retirement of ARRL Southeastern Division Director Frank
Butler, W4RH, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, after 50 years of elected
service to the ARRL, the Southeastern Division Director's seat is open.
Candidates are Sherri Brower, W4STB, of Vero Beach, Florida; Rudy
Hubbard, WA4PUP, of Milton, Florida; Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, of Harvest,
Alabama, and Carl Zelich, AA4MI, of Chuluota, Florida. Candidates for
Vice Director of the Southeastern Division are incumbent Sandy Donahue,
W4RU, of Dothan, Alabama, and Jeff Beals, WA4AW, of Loxahatchee,
Florida.

Current ARRL Southwestern Division Director Dick Norton, N6AA, of
Topanga, California, will face challenger Carl Gardenias, WU6D, of
Perris, California. Current Vice Director for the Southwestern Division
Edward J. "Ned" Stearns, AA7A, of Scottsdale, Arizona, is not seeking
re-election; four candidates have stepped forward to seek that position:
Tom Fagan, WB7NXH, of Tucson, Arizona; Joseph Madas, AE6JM, of Banning,
California; Tuck Miller, NZ6T, of National City, California, and Marty
Woll, N6VI, of Chatsworth, California. 

Current ARRL West Gulf Division Director Coy Day, N5OK, of Oklahoma
City, Oklahoma, will face Ed McGinley, W5ETM, of Fort Worth, Texas, for
that position. Incumbent Vice Director for the West Gulf Division, Dr
David Woolweaver, K5RAV, of Harlingen, Texas, will face John Teer, AK5Z,
also of Harlingen. 

Ballots will be sent to all full members of the League in that Division
who are of good standing as of September 10, 2007 (you must be a
licensed radio amateur to be a full member). The ballots will be mailed
not later than October 1, 2007 and, to be valid, must be received at
ARRL HQ by noon Eastern Time on Friday, November 16, 2007. 

Absentee ballots are available to those ARRL full members licensed by
the FCC but temporarily residing outside of the US. Members overseas who
arrange to be listed as full members in an appropriate Division prior to
September 10, 2007, will be able to vote this year where elections are
being held. Even within the US, full members temporarily living outside
the ARRL Division they consider home may have voting privileges by
notifying the ARRL Secretary prior to September 10, 2007, giving their
current QST address and the reason another Division is considered home. 

==> THE 2007 ARRL NATIONAL CONVENTION -- GONE, BUT DEFINITELY NOT
FORGOTTEN 

The 2007 ARRL National Convention, held August 18-19 in conjunction with
the Huntsville Hamfest, lived up to its promise to be 'chock-full of
activities and exhibits.' The centerpiece of the Convention was ARRL
EXPO -- an entire exhibit area showcasing many ARRL programs and
services. According to Charlie Emerson, N4OKL, vice president of the
Huntsville Hamfest Association, more than 5000 people enjoyed the
National Convention and hamfest.

ARRL Sales and Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, led the team
that organized ARRL's exhibit and convention activities. "The Huntsville
Hamfest Committee rolled out the red carpet for ARRL members and
friends. We were delighted to sign up more than 150 new and renewing
members throughout the event. But the greatest measure of this event's
success was in the relationship-building that took place throughout
these days. GAREC, the Huntsville Hamfest and the ARRL National
Convention brought together the very best of our Amateur Radio Service."


Just prior to the hamfest, the 2007 Global Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Conference (GAREC-07), sponsored by the IARU, was
Thursday and Friday, August 16-17. GAREC-07 registrants participated in
emergency communications-themed presentations, discussions and
demonstrations.

ARRL staff and volunteers ran booths and tables at the Convention,
showcasing the services and programs offered by the League.
Representatives from various ARRL departments were in attendance,
including the ARRL Lab, Public Relations, Publications, DXCC and Awards,
and the ARRL VEC. The big ARRL Bookstore offered hundreds of books and
other ARRL publications and merchandise, as well.

ARRL Officers and Directors were on hand, too, including President Joel
Harrison, W5ZN and CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, as well as Vice Presidents
Rick Roderick, K5UR, and Rod Stafford, W6ROD. Representatives from the
IARU, including President Larry Price, W4RA, and Vice President Tim
Ellam, VE6SH, made the trek to Alabama, as well.

ARRL Headquarters staff and Field Organization leaders gave more than a
dozen short mini-forums on the ARRL Stage during the Convention in
ARRL's big exhibit area. Presentations on the ARRL Stage included an
update on Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) given by Ed Hare, W1RFI;
suggestions for energizing young -- and potential -- hams, presented by
ARRL Youth Contributing Editor and Georgia Assistant Section
Manager/Youth Andrea Hartlage, KG4IUM; a "how-to" session on writing for
QST, presented by ARRL News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA; an
introduction to ARRL Operating Awards and the ARRL QSL bureau with ARRL
DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L; tips for contesting with QST Contributing
Editor and ARRL author Ward Silver, N0AX, and an overview of Amateur
Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) presented by Rob Suggs,
KB5EZ, NASA Space Environments Team Lead from the Marshall Space Flight
Center. 

ARRL staff presented forums at the hamfest, as well as on the ARRL
Stage. ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, moderated the ARRL Membership
Forum. ARRL Education Services Manager Debra Johnson, K1DMJ, led the
ARRL Education Forums which included an overview of the ARRL's new
Education Services Department. She also covered topics on the new ARRL
mission statement on education, new licensing materials, enrichment
courses and an update on ARRL outreach activities through the Education
and Technology Program and Amateur Radio on the International Space
Station (ARISS). 

ARRL Membership Manager Katie Breen, W1KRB, took visitors on a virtual
ARRL Headquarters tour, sharing stories of ARRL special event activities
aimed at encouraging on-air activity among new and newly active hams,
including real-time Web blogs and videos, Hello-Live! and the W1AW HF
Open House. ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP,
talked about ARES and the media, and discussed ways to help public
service activities capture the attention of the media. ARRL DXCC Manager
Bill Moore, NC1L, and ARRL Web and Software Development Manager Jon
Bloom, KE3Z, presented ARRL's Logbook of the World (LoTW) and the DXCC
award program. 

More than 8000 copies of the 2007 Public Relations brochure, "Getting
the Message Through" were distributed at the Convention, as well as 200
copies of the revamped "Hello!" brochure, according to Pitts. 

Another activity offered at the Convention this year was the ARRL
Passport. While this activity was a smaller version of the one offered
at the Dayton Hamvention, it provided the same excitement and thrill as
its counterpart. Billed as the ultimate Convention scavenger hunt, those
taking part this year searched the ARRL EXPO area and attended ARRL
Forums to acquire special Passport codes that, once entered in the
Passport, qualified the hunters to win one of two prizes. Out of nearly
500 entries, Richard Pavalonis, KE5ORR, of Santa Fe, Texas, won an Icom
IC-7000 HF/VHF/UHF all-mode mobile transceiver, and Tim Shipman of
Owensboro, Kentucky, son of Walter, KI4OHY, will have fun with the Yaesu
FT-8577D HF/VHF/UHF all-mode mobile transceiver. Congratulations to the
winners and thanks to all who participated.

For those who couldn't make it to Huntsville, Keane and Bloom together
contributed to a Convention Weblog
<http://www.arrl.org/blog/Huntsville%202007> that posted news and
happenings direct from the ARRL EXPO area (and beyond!).

One of the busiest places at the ARRL EXPO was the Youth Lounge. Young
people, ranging from ages of about 7 to 17 were all over the Convention
and hamfest, exploring all that Amateur Radio has to offer. There were
many foxhunts throughout the two days, as well as scavenger hunts, a ham
radio quiz show, crafts, prizes and more.

Other hamfest forums covered contesting, emergency communications such
as D-STAR, public service, education and many technical issues.

After the hamfest closed on Saturday, the ARRL Alabama Section held a
reception for retiring ARRL Southeastern Director Frank Butler, W4RH.
Butler is retiring after more than 50 years of elected service to the
ARRL. He began his elected service as Section Communications Manager for
the Western Florida Section. Butler plans to stay involved with the
ARRL, attending the IARU Region 2 Committee Meeting in Brasilia, Brazil
as a member of the ARRL delegation next month, and the ARRL Executive
Committee Meeting in October, before his term ends January1, 2008.

Emerson said that Convention and hamfest attendance reached
unprecedented levels. "The hamfest is getting into the 'unreal'
category. We have reports of people coming in from everywhere." Both
official hotels, the Embassy Suites (connected to the all
air-conditioned Von Braun Center, site of the Convention and Hamfest)
and the Holiday Inn (across the street) sold out before the hamfest. 

When asked where the next ARRL National Convention would be held,
Inderbitzen said, "We're glad to help evaluate National Convention
applications, but the ultimate decision is made by the elected officials
of the ARRL Board of Directors. In the meantime, we hope that all of our
members can someday enjoy attending an ARRL National Convention."

==> GAREC-07 CELEBRATES EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS IN HUNTSVILLE 

The third event of its kind, and the first ever held in the United
States, the Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference
(GAREC-07) took place August 16-17 in Huntsville, Alabama, just prior to
the 2007 ARRL National Convention and Huntsville Hamfest.

Almost 100 people from all over the world came to Huntsville, making
this truly a global event. GAREC's prevailing theme, how to apply
advanced technologies to emergency communications, was echoed throughout
the two-day event. From presentations to discussion groups to emergency
vehicle displays to information about the latest in hardware, GAREC
attendees had a sampling of just about everything pertaining to the
Emergency Communications arena.

According to IARU International Coordinator for Emergency Communications
Hans Zimmermann, F5VKP/HB9AQS, "Compared to the first two GAREC
conferences [held in Tampere, Finland], the number of international
participants was considerably lower. Region 1 [Europe, Africa, the
Middle East], was represented by Ireland, France, Bulgaria, Finland, The
Netherlands and South Africa. Region 2 [the Americas] had
representatives from Brazil, Canada, the United States and Trinidad and
Tobago. Region 3 [Asia and Oceania] submitted a detailed report, but
sent their regrets due to a collision of dates with a major regional
event."

ARRL Alabama Section Manager Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, said many large and
essential organizations that work with Emergency Communications sent
representatives to GAREC. "We saw representatives from the IARU, ARRL,
Army MARS, American Red Cross, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief,
Department of Homeland Security, The Salvation Army, industry and
others." Sarratt said that organizations weren't the only attendees.
"Many Section Emergency Coordinators (SEC), District Emergency
Coordinators (DEC) and Emergency Coordinators (EC) from the ARRL field
organization attended GAREC."

In addition to those ARRL volunteers and Southeastern Division Director
Frank Butler, W4RH, CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ; Chief Technology Officer
Paul Rinaldo, W4RI; Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts,
W1AGP, and Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Dennis Dura,
K2DCD, attended GAREC on behalf of the ARRL. 

Both Pitts and Dura gave presentations. Pitts spoke about the need for a
Public Information Officer (PIO) to be in the Joint Information Center
(JIC) at any ARES deployment. "We lose far too many good stories because
no one is in the right place speaking to media at the time of the
incident. With a 24 hour news cycle, even a few hours later is too
little too late. This idea was well received, and while many of the
region's groups have recently added this to their action plans,
approximately a dozen other groups stated that they will be adding this
component to their activities. This information was also well received
by some of the international representatives who asked for copies of our
PR materials and permission to translate and modify them for use in
their home countries," Pitts said.

Dura talked about using VoIP, EchoLink and IRLP for establishing and
maintaining communications during hurricanes. The session discussed the
methods of combining RF links to the Internet to establish a cohesive
network. The VoIP Hurricane Net is another tool that Amateur Radio
operators, the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center
and emergency managers use to gather detailed information on local
conditions.

Other presentations included the use of new technologies and modes in
Emergency Communications, such as ALE, EchoLink/IRLP, D-STAR, Winlink
2000 and TSSG, an advanced system being developed in Ireland.

Outside of the conference venue, various Emergency Communications
agencies brought their vehicles. Sarratt said, "An impressive fleet of
emergency communications vehicles added a perfect hands-on hardware feel
to GAREC. The vehicles were on display and tour for visitors to learn
about serious mobile communications." These vehicles, hosted by Alabama
Homeland Security, Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief, American Red Cross,
The Salvation Army and the Tennessee Emergency Communications
Association, were very popular, drawing large crowds. "Luckily, no
emergencies occurred to take the vehicles away from us this weekend,"
Sarratt said.

While GAREC is not a decision-making body, its ideas and proposals will
be submitted to the IARU to be included for discussion at their next
Administrative Council meeting, scheduled for June 2008. These ideas may
also be discussed at each of the three IARU Regions' upcoming meetings.

The conference made the recommendation to introduce the call sign suffix
"/D." This suffix would be used by those in the Amateur Radio Service
who handle traffic related to emergency and disaster situations.
According to Pitts, this recommendation, made by Willem Visch, PG9W,
would let anyone listening immediately know there was emergency traffic
and lessen the chances of someone unintentionally breaking in on an
emergency net.

Another recommendation included the extension of "EmComm Party
on-the-Air." These are Emergency Communications exercises already in
place in Region 1. Seppo Sisatto, OH1VR, Region 1 representative,
proposed holding two annual international drills, lasting only 4 hours,
beginning November 11. This, he said, recognizes that major calamities
can and do cross international borders, and hams need to practice for
such eventualities.

GAREC suggested that the IARU initiate studies in cooperation with its
Member Societies and with specialized emergency communication groups.
These studies would focus on the development and possible introduction
of standard codes for use in international emergency communications, as
well as on the need for the development of a list of standard resource
types.

The conference announced its support of the IARU's Administrative
Council decision to collect information from all Member Societies about
the status of implementation and application of the revisions to Article
25 of the ITU Radio Regulations (RR) resulting from WRC-03. The part of
Article 25 concerning Emergency Communications says, "Amateur stations
may be used for transmitting international communications on behalf of
third parties only in case of emergencies or disaster relief. An
administration may determine the applicability of this provision to
amateur stations under its jurisdiction" (RR 25.3), and "Administrations
are encouraged to take the necessary steps to allow amateur stations to
prepare for and meet communication needs in support of disaster relief"
(RR 25.9A).

GAREC appealed to all of the IARU Member Societies, as well as
specialized emergency communications groups, encouraging the accession
to and ratification of the Tampere Convention on the Provision of
Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Response
Operations
<http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/emergencytelecoms/doc/tampere/S-CONF-ICET-2001
-PDF-M07.pdf> by their respective national authorities. The US has not
yet ratified this document, but word was received during GAREC that
Ireland announced their accession to Tampere. There are currently 37
countries that have adopted Tampere.

The conference also appealed to the IARU to "further encourage the
development and the application of new modes and technologies in
emergency communications," and to support the development of training
aids. This includes the handbook on emergency communications, initiated
by the 2005 and 2006 GAREC conferences, "and the development of a
handout to inform the public, in particular during major conferences
such as the forthcoming WRC-07
<http://www.itu.int/ITU-R/index.asp?category=conferences&link=wrc-07&lan
g=en>, as already decided by the IARU Administrative Council in 2005."
GAREC also asked the IARU to "continue its support to the continuation
and further development of the GAREC concept and process."

GAREC also asked Amateur Radio contest organizers to include a provision
in their rules that contest participants avoid frequencies in the
immediate vicinity of the Center of Activity frequencies (as proposed at
GAREC-05); these frequencies are 14.300, 18.160 and 21.360 MHz.
According to Pitts, "This would minimize interference to weak or distant
stations which may be passing emergency traffic, but not heard in the
contest din." Region 2, of which the US is a part, has not adopted the
Center of Activity frequencies, but they will be discussed at the Region
2 meeting in Brazil next month.

Zimmermann said, "With the conference in Region 2, GAREC has established
itself in a major event in the field of Emergency Communications. What
started in Region 1 as an independent event, has in 2006 found wider
attention due to its combination with the International Conference on
Emergency Communications (ICEC-06) and now with the ARRL National
Convention in 2007. It is, however, only thanks to the hosts of these
conferences, that they can fulfill the purpose set out from the
beginning. 

"Only the actual implementation and application of the recommendations
made by GAREC can be the ultimate criteria for the success of these
conferences, as a tool for the further development of the role of the
Amateur Radio Service in the provision of emergency communications. The
appreciation expressed by numerous participants following each one of
the so far three events, and the increasing interest demonstrated by the
number of participants must be taken as an obligation to work even
harder on the subject, rather than being considered a cause for
satisfaction with what has been achieved. The statement of GAREC-07
shows that much remains to be done. In addition to new proposals, it
reiterates some still pending issues raised in 2005 and 2006."

Sumner said GAREC stressed interoperability. "In explaining how they are
applying specific advanced technologies to emergency communications,
speaker after speaker identified interoperability with other
technologies and networks as a key objective. It was a joy to share the
GAREC experience with nearly 100 dedicated, committed Amateur Radio
volunteers who were as intent on cooperating as on explaining and
advocating their favorite technologies. This spirit of cooperation and
the recognition of the need to preserve our interoperability bode well
for the future of Amateur Radio emergency communications, and for our
ability to continue to serve our local, national and global
communities."

Sarratt agreed. "This was truly a successful conference. The knowledge
gained on technology, networking, organizations and hardware exceeded
our expectations. This knowledge and the relationships developed will
pay many dividends during disaster relief efforts."

Tying it all together was a call that came in right as GAREC was
closing. Beepers went off, text messages were received, radios echoed
throughout the hall as the National Weather Service and SKYWARN issued
an alert to North Alabama due to high winds and oncoming storms. Pitts
said, "The alert and call for ham radio helped underscore the dedication
and need for those volunteers better than any final speech could have
done. It was like, 'The party's over - we go back to work!'"

==> ARES TEAMS ACTIVATED FOR NORTHWEST OHIO NEAR-RECORD FLOODING 

Heavy rains over the past week began taking their toll on Northwest Ohio
communities as near record flood levels peaked on Wednesday. Ohio
Amateur Radio Emergency Service District 1 was especially hard-hit in
the Hancock and Seneca County areas, and a command post at the Seneca
County Emergency Operations Center was activated.

The city of Findlay experienced catastrophic flooding; according to Karl
Erbland, K8ARL, District Emergency Coordinator for ARRL Ohio Section -
District 1, this is the worst flooding in the area since 1913. Hancock
County ARES Emergency Coordinator Bill Davis, N8PTJ, activated Hancock
Emergency Radio Services ARES to provide support to numerous agencies,
including the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency, area fire
departments, American Red Cross, the Sheriff and health district
departments. Two shelters were set up, with the largest taking around
250 displaced persons.

The flooding affected every area of the city. The Blanchard River's
almost-100-year-old record of 18.5 feet was nearly broken by a crest
reading of 18.46 feet on Wednesday afternoon.

The Hancock County hams even had to be resourceful for their own
services. A few days before the major flooding began, lightning struck
the Findlay Radio Club repeater site during another severe storm. Radio
communication during the flood was conducted on a simplex frequency,
with additional support through their 440 MHz repeater.

Reports of cell phone failures and some problems with the state's 800
MHz digital system set the stage for Amateur Radio networks help to
relieve some of these shortcomings. At an information meeting held on
Thursday, EMA Director Garry Valentine, N8GIL, noted that agencies
should learn to count on the Amateur Radio operators in emergencies to
provide communication support, and that Amateur Radio has many
capabilities for communicating. "Our amateurs are always there to
assist," Davis said. "We can count on them in times like these."

Communications activities included the following: relayed from Emergency
Operations Center to fire departments; facilitated delivery of food and
water to Jenera, Ohio residents; assisted in the rescue of two elderly
ladies and two people in wheelchairs; kept County Sheriff aware of road
closures; tracked rescue operations for the Red Cross; tracked displaced
persons being transported to Red Cross shelter; on standby for Water
Command Center and City Command Operations; relayed Health and Welfare
traffic; provided telephone service to some without home phone service;
relayed between Seneca County and Hancock County EMA directors, and
relayed between District Emergency Coordinator and Hancock County
Emergency Coordinator.

Amateurs in Seneca County were put on standby Tuesday, August 21 when
word came that the Ruffing Family Care Center (south of Tiffin, Ohio)
might be in danger from the rising Sandusky River, which runs near the
center's property. County Emergency Coordinator Mike Klaiss, KC8BUJ, and
EMA Director Dan Stahl, KC8PBU, held an on-the-air meeting with ARES
officers and the McCutchenville, Ohio fire chief to review the reports
and predictions from the National Weather Service in Cleveland. ARES
officers remained ready through the evening and Wednesday morning.
Seneca County activated the Emergency Operations Center around 7 AM on
Wednesday as the Sandusky River continued to rise and affect additional
areas in the county.

Seneca County EMA Director Dan Stahl said: "Hams play a big part in the
emergency operations plan and in the communications center at the EOC.
We intend to use all the amateurs in Seneca County during disasters like
these. They provide a trained and reliable pool of communicators capable
of assisting us."

Thursday brought a little relief from the rising waters but then came
the rising temperatures and humidity levels. Disaster assessment was a
hot job as temperatures rose to 91 degrees and similar levels of
humidity. "There is a lot more to do across the entire affected area,"
said Erbland. "Our communities are extremely blessed to have such
dedicated Amateur Radio operators. Our emphasis on ARRL communications
training and the different FEMA courses such as Incident Command System
and National Incident Management System is paying off. We're standing by
for any needed communications as our communities recover."

ARRL Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator Frank Piper, KI8GW, said, "I am
extremely proud of how well the Amateur Radio operators in Hancock,
Seneca and all other counties affected by the weather this past week in
the Ohio Section. This is why we plan and test our communication skills
and equipment on a regular basis."  -- Information provided by Karl
Erbland, K8ARL, District Emergency Coordinator for ARRL Ohio Section -
District 1; Bob Copas, K8OIL, Hancock County Liaison/Net Control
Operator, and Bill Davis, N8PTJ, Hancock County ARES Emergency
Coordinator

==> FCC ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS 

On August 23, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau released new Amateur Radio
enforcement actions. Norman Ball, KE6VWN, of Sunland, California, and
Richard Martin, KE6RJI, of Maywood, California, both received Warning
Notices informing them that the FCC had received written complaints
concerning the K6GE repeater and cited their "failure to follow rules
set forth by the licensee/control operators of the repeater system for
its users." They were told that they had been told to refrain from using
this repeater system, "but have apparently ignored both verbal and
written requests" to do so. Both Ball and Martin were informed by the
FCC that if they use the repeater again after receiving their letters
from the FCC, "[the FCC] will initiate enforcement action against your
license, which may include revocation, monetary forfeiture (fine) or a
modification proceeding to restrict the frequencies on which you may
operate." The FCC warned Ball and Martin that fines "normally range from
$7500 to $10,000."

Mark F. Hubeny, N9ZHW, of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, received notification
from the FCC informing him that he never responded to their Warning
Notice concerning the operation of his amateur station on non-amateur
frequencies sent June 1 of this year. He was told he had 20 days to
respond. The letter said, "Failure to respond appropriately to this
letter of inquiry may constitute a violation of the Communications Act
and our rules. We will afford you an additional 20 days from the date of
this letter to respond."

Romeo C. Valdez, K6RMY, of San Jose, California, received notice from
the FCC about a complaint filed against the operation of his station.
"The complaint alleges that you are operating an unidentified repeater
on 147.735 MHz," the letter said. Valdez was directed to "review and
fully address the complaint within 20 days of receipt of this letter.
Failure to respond to this letter would be a separate violation of the
Commission's rules."

Smith Trucking, Inc, of Smithfield, Pennsylvania, was cited by the FCC
for "operating radio equipment without a license on the frequency 28.
535 MHz and causing interference to licensed stations in the Ten Meter
Amateur Band. The drivers were observed operating unlicensed in April
and May 2007 on Route 19 between the Fairmont, West Virginia area and
the Haywood power plant near Shinnston, West Virginia." The FCC
admonished Smith Trucking to "[p]lease advise your drivers that
operation of radio transmitting equipment without a license is a
violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934...and subject
them to a fine or imprisonment, as well as in seizure of any
non-certified radio transmitting equipment."

James T. Ogden, N7KPU, of Prescott Valley, Arizona, was advised by the
FCC of a complaint from "the licensee of a coordinated repeater system,
with supporting documentation, alleging that your N7KPU repeater is
operating without coordination on 447.350/442.350 MHz and causing
harmful interference. The complaint indicates that you have been
contacted numerous times about this problem but have declined to address
it." The FCC requested information from Ogden concerning the
coordination, if any, of his repeater, and asked that he forward any
complaints he might have received. The FCC also wants Ogden to describe
in detail how his repeater is configured, "including all sites, IRLP
links and addresses, using diagrams where necessary. Detail any changes
in location since the coordination, if any, was issued." Ogden was
informed that any information he provided will be used to determine
what, if any, action the FCC might take in this matter.

The FCC issued an Order of Dismissal and Termination against Jack R.
Sharples of Florida concerning the matter of his application for a new
Amateur Radio license. In May, in a Hearing Designation Order, the FCC
called Sharples "a convicted felon and registered sexual predator," and
said "Sharples's felony conviction for at least one sexual-related
offense involving children raises material and substantial questions as
to whether he possesses the requisite character qualifications to be a
Commission licensee. Although Sharples's felony adjudications occurred
more than seven years ago, the nature of the criminal misconduct, and
the fact that the Amateur Radio Service is particularly attractive to
children, call into serious question whether he should be permitted to
obtain an Amateur Radio authorization." Sharples had 20 days since the
release of the HDO to file a written appearance; on June 19, "he
submitted to the Presiding Judge a document in which he set forth
reasons for filing an [Amateur Radio license] Application,
notwithstanding his felony convictions [and] the document was received
as a good faith Notice of Appearance. "Sharples, in a telephone call
with the FCC requested more time to consider whether he would continue
to prosecute his Application. The request was granted without
objection." On June 27, Sharples sent a fax to the Presiding Judge
withdrawing his application for an Amateur Radio license. The FCC's
request to dismiss the application with prejudice and terminate the
preceding was granted, as was Sharples's application for an Amateur
Radio license, also with prejudice, on August 1.

On March 8, 2007, David O. Castle, WA9KJI, of Evansville, Indiana, was
first notified by the FCC to "refrain from using the repeater system
operating on 146.79/146.19 and 147.15/147.75 MHz," stemming from a
complaint by the trustee of the Tri-State Amateur Radio Society, W9OG.
In May, 2007, the FCC notified Castle that it was designating his
license renewal application for hearing in the wake of alleged
misconduct extending back several years and continuing at least until
earlier this year. In its Hearing Designation Order from May, the
Commission said, "Since 1998, Castle has been warned repeatedly to
refrain from intentionally interfering with radio communications;
broadcasting without communicating with any particular station; causing
interference on amateur repeaters; using amateur repeaters without
authorization, and using indecent, slanderous or harassing language. We
find that Castle's continuing course of conduct raises questions as to
whether he possesses the requisite character qualifications to remain a
Commission licensee." Castle was given 20 days to respond to the HDO,
but according to the Memorandum Opinion and Order released August 20,
2007, "to date [August 1, 2007], no written appearance has been filed
by, or on behalf of, Mr Castle. In addition, a prehearing conference was
held on August 13, 2007, in the Commission's Washington, DC offices. No
one attended or entered an appearance on behalf of Mr. Castle."

The Commission, however, did receive a number of communications by or on
behalf of Castle, one requesting that the contents of the HDO be sent to
him "'in an audible form (cassette or cd)"' because he has "'limited eye
sight.'" The MO&O said Castle told the FCC "Travel will not be possible
due to health and finances. Representation by an attorney is not in my
budget." The FCC complied with Castle's request and sent him a disc
containing audio files of all the documents released in his proceeding
to date. Castle's daughter, Donna J. Dill, sent the Presiding Judge a
fax on June 18 stating, among other things, that her father "'is not
able to travel or hire an attorney...He tells me that he has sent his
statement and this is all he is able to do as his eye sight is limited
and health poor."

It was concluded through Castle's and Dills' submissions to the FCC that
Castle did not intend to appear as directed, and "even assuming that
these documents can somehow be construed as 'pleadings,' as defined in
Section 1.204 of the Commission's Rules, they are procedurally deficient
and may not, therefore, be considered." As such, it was ordered that
Castle's application to renew his Amateur Radio license be dismissed
with prejudice.

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Tad "I Wanna Be the One to Walk in the Sun(spot)" Cook, K7RA, this week
reports: Conditions were quiet this week, with no geomagnetic
disturbances and most days had zero sunspots. For the past two days,
August 22-23, the sunspot number was 11 and 12, indicative of a single
sunspot group. Slightly unsettled conditions are expected this weekend,
with a planetary A index from August 24-30 expected at 8, 15, 15, 12, 8,
8 and 5. Sunspot activity is expected to remain low, as lone sunspot 969
moves across the sun. Geophysical Institute Prague predicts quiet
conditions for August 24; unsettled August 25; quiet to unsettled August
26; quiet August 27; unsettled August 28, and quiet again August 29-30.
Sunspot numbers for August 16 through 22 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 11 and 12
with a mean of 3.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 67.3, 67.6, 67.9, 67.8, 69.1,
69.3 and 70, with a mean of 68.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 7,
5, 4, 3, 2, 4 and 4 with a mean of 4.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices
were 6, 2, 1, 2, 2, 3 and 2 with a mean of 2.6. 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: This weekend, the CCC Sprint (CW) on August
24. The ALARA Contest, the Hawaii QSO Party, the SCC RTTY Championship,
the YO DX HF Contest and the Ohio QSO Party are all on August 25-26. The
SKCC Weekend Sprint and the SARL HF CW Contest are both August 26. Next
week, look for the NCCC Sprint (CW) on August 31. The Russian RTTY WW
Contest and the Wake-Up! QRP Sprint are on September 1. On September
1-2, check out the All Asian DX Contest (Phone), RSGB Field Day (SSB)
and IARU Region 1 Field Day (SSB). The DARC 10 Meter Digital Contest is
September 2, while the MI QRP Labor Day CW Sprint is  September 3-4 and
the ARS Spartan Sprint is September 4. See the ARRL Contest Branch page
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/>, the ARRL Contester's Rate Sheet
<http://www.arrl.org/contests/rate-sheet/> 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 September 9, 2007, for these
online courses beginning on Friday September 21: Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Level 2 (EC-002); Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
Level 3 (EC-003R2); Antenna Modeling (EC-004); HF Digital Communications
(EC-005); VHF/UHF -- Life Beyond the Repeater (EC-008), and Radio
Frequency Propagation (EC-011). To learn more, visit the CCE Course
Listing page <http://www.arrl.org/cce/courses.html> or contact the
Continuing Education Program Coordinator <cce@arrl.org>;.

* Section Manager Elections Results Announced: In the only contested
Section Manager race this summer, Bill Hillendahl, KH6GJV, was
re-elected as the ARRL San Francisco Section Manager. He received 237
votes and his opponent, Warren "TR" Reese, WB6TMY, received 134 votes.
Election ballots were counted last week at ARRL Headquarters.
Hillendahl, of Santa Rosa, California, begins his third two-year term of
office on October 1, 2007. The following incumbent ARRL Section Managers
did not face opposition and were declared elected for their next terms
of office beginning October 1, 2007: Jeff Ryan, K0RM, Colorado; Mark
Tharp, KB7HDX, Eastern Washington; Susan Swiderski, AF4FO, Georgia;
Phineas Icenbice, W6BF, Los Angeles; Ray Taylor, N5NAV, South Texas; Ann
Rinehart, KA8ZGY, West Virginia. Jim Pace, K7CEX, of Centralia,
Washington, will become the Western Washington Section Manager on
October 1. Pace will take over the reins from Ed Bruette, N7NVP, who
decided not to run for a third term of office. Pace has moved up through
the section leadership ranks by previously serving as District Emergency
Coordinator, Section Emergency Coordinator and presently as an Assistant
Section Manager. Ron Murdock, W6KJ, who already had been declared
elected as the new Sacramento Valley Section Manager as of October 1,
began his term a little early on July 2. Murdock was appointed to fill
in for Casey McPartland, W7IB, who stepped down because of a planned
upcoming move out of the section. 

* Malaysia to Send Astronaut to ISS: According to ARRL ARISS Program
Manager Rosalie White, K1STO, earlier this month Malaysia announced that
two Malaysian doctors have become new hams; one will be chosen to travel
to the International Space Station under the Malaysian National
Angkasawan Programme with Russia. Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, 9W2MUS,
and Captain Dr Faiz Khaleed, 9W2FIZ, will make QSOs with students via
ARISS. The two doctors regularly publicize ham radio and ARISS on their
blog <http://www.angkasawan.com.my/blog/index.php?itemid=21>. For more
information on the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
project, check out their Web page <http://www.rac.ca/ariss/oindex.htm>. 

* Communications Museum Comes Back to Life: A generous individual who
wishes to remain anonymous donated $40,000 to the Vintage Radio and
Communications Museum of Connecticut, enabling the museum to pay off
their debt to the town of Windsor, Connecticut. The donation comes as
the museum plans to reopen this summer for the first time in more than
seven years. Since that time, the museum has acquired a 20,000 square
foot building in Windsor, and volunteers have been hard at work
restoring the building for public use. The town of Windsor extended the
museum at $35,000 loan that helped them pay insurance and other expenses
while the group worked to ready its new location. A $100,000 state grant
paid for major building upgrades, allowing the museum to plan for an
August opening. The Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of
Connecticut is dedicated to the preservation of old-time communications
equipment and to educating the public. The museum displays radios,
televisions, motion picture and telephone equipment, as well as vintage
advertising and memorabilia. Audio, video and paper libraries, along
with an extensive collection of schematics, are also available for
research. For more information, visit their Web site
<http://www.vrcmct.org/>. 

* Online Course Developer Needed: As a result of the success of the ARRL
Education Services' online Technician licensing course, and due to
increasing demand for General Class licensing instruction, ARRL is
looking for an experienced on-line course developer to create a General
Class licensing instruction course on a contract basis.  ARRL's current
learning management platform is WebMentor. If you are interested in
applying for this position, please send an e-mail <coursedev@arrl.org>;
describing your interest and experience. Please provide a daytime phone
number in your e-mail.

* QST Wants You!: Have you ever thought of writing an article for QST?
The official journal of ARRL, the national association for Amateur
Radio, QST is always on the lookout for articles that explore all the
possibilities of ham radio. We are looking for stories and articles that
present a project or idea that is useful and engaging to most hams. The
story you have had brewing in your head for months might be perfect for
QST or the ARRLWeb. For the Web, we're looking for short (1500 words
maximum), general-interest articles that tell a particularly interesting
story. At least one photo to accompany the story is mandatory. Send your
submissions to QST Managing Editor Joel Kleinman, N1BKE <qst@arrl.org>;. 

* Let Us Know What You Think: What's your favorite part of The ARRL
Letter? What kind of stories would you like to see in the Letter? Would
you prefer the Letter in an HTML format? This is your Letter and your
chance to let your voice be heard. Please send your suggestions to ARRL
News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, at k1sfa@arrl.org, with the
subject line "ARRL Letter Suggestions." All messages will be read and
discussed, and we look forward to implementing positive suggestions into
the ARRL Letter.

=========================================================== 
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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Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole
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==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
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The ARRL Letter

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.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

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