ARRL

ARRL Letter

 

***************
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 27, No. 3
January 25, 2008
***************

IN THIS EDITION:

* + Air Force Adds More Repeaters to California PAVE PAWS Problem List
* + Harrison Re-elected ARRL President at January Board Meeting 
* + ARRL Foundation Scholarship Applications Due February 1 
* + ARRL Teachers Institute Dates Announced 
* + ARISS Team Looking for Ground Stations 
* + Satellite Serves as Voice Repeater -- Uplinks on FM, Downlinks on
Sideband 
*  Solar Update
*  IN BRIEF: 
      This Weekend on the Radio
      ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration
    + Field Day Packets Coming Soon 
    + 500 kHz Distance Record Set 
      From the DXCC Desk 
      Jet Propulsion Lab's Amateur Radio Club Marks 50 Years in Space 
      Recipients of First-Ever Yasme Excellence Awards Announced 
      British Ham Falls to Death While Working on Antenna 

+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>;
===========================================================

==> AIR FORCE ADDS MORE REPEATERS TO CALIFORNIA PAVE PAWS PROBLEM LIST

A second round of testing by US Air Force engineers has resulted in the
identification of an additional seventy-five 70 cm repeaters in Northern
California that must adjust their operations to eliminate harmful
interference to the PAVE PAWS Updated Early Warning Radar (UEWR) located
at Beale Air Force Base near Sacramento. As a result of these additions,
new strategies for handling the situation are being put into place by
the ARRL and the FCC. 

"While ARRL knew that there was the possibility of additional repeaters
being added in the follow-up list of those requiring mitigation, we are
surprised by the large number of additions to the list," said ARRL
Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. "After our
discussions with FCC officials, they are becoming actively involved in
ensuring that the correct repeaters have been identified and that the
mitigation being required is what is actually needed to resolve the
ongoing problem in each case." 

Henderson continued: "From the discussions with the Air Force, it is
clear that the PAVE PAWS issue is going to be a continuing process. The
ARRL needs to be involved since there can be additional repeaters
identified as the Department of Defense continues testing at their radar
sites." 

To expedite any new mitigation actions needed due to the enlarged list,
the FCC has now taken on the lead role of making initial contact with
the owners of these newly identified repeaters. "The FCC has asked the
ARRL to continue its work of aiding affected repeater owners with
suggested mitigation actions," Henderson stated. "However, since any
mandatory enforcement action would have to come from the FCC, it makes
sense for them to take the lead at this point in time." 

The ARRL will continue to provide information to individual repeater
owners on specific mitigation techniques as well as information to the
general amateur population. "We are committed to continuing to work with
the Department of Defense, FCC and the Amateur Radio community to meet
the amateurs' responsibilities as secondary users. But we are not an
enforcement agency. Our goal to ensure that the impact on amateurs in
the 70 cm band is the least possible, consistent with those
responsibilities," Henderson said. 

A teleconference was held between representatives of the DoD, FCC and
ARRL on Thursday, January 17 to assess the status of the repeaters on
the initial DoD list, as well as discuss the strategies for working with
repeater owners on the new, second, follow-up DoD list as quickly as
possible. 

During this conference call, Riley Hollingsworth of the FCC confirmed he
had been in contact with repeater owners from the first DoD list who had
not indicated their compliance with mitigation numbers provided by the
ARRL in early Fall 2007. Hollingsworth reported he has had a positive
response from each owner with whom he had spoken so far. There were
several who had to be contacted via regular mail (instead of e-mail or
telephone) who have not yet responded. 

Hollingsworth also planned to start making contact with the owners of
repeaters on the second list and begin the process towards amateur
compliance within a short period of time. "Once a repeater owner has
been contacted, the ARRL is ready to support their efforts in meeting
the mitigation requirement," said Ed Hare, W1RFI, ARRL Laboratory
Manager. 

ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, pointed out that any specific
enforcement action or shut-down order from the FCC involving amateurs
also provides for due process in those proceedings. He emphasized that
even though amateurs have a secondary allocation status in the band, the
DoD has the burden of proving that specific repeaters are causing
harmful interference on a case-by-case basis.

==> HARRISON RE-ELECTED ARRL PRESIDENT AT JANUARY BOARD MEETING 

The ARRL Board of Directors held its Annual January meeting January
18-19 in Houston, Texas. One of the first items on the agenda was the
election of ARRL officers and members of the Executive Committee.
Members of the Administration and Finance Committee and Programs and
Services Committee were selected Saturday morning. 

All officers were re-elected to another two-year term without
opposition: Joel Harrison, W5ZN, ARRL President; Kay Craigie, N3KN,
First Vice President; Rick Roderick, K5UR, Vice President; Rod Stafford,
W6ROD, International Affairs Vice President; David Sumner, K1ZZ,
Secretary, and James McCobb Jr, K1LU, Treasurer. 

As ARRL President, Harrison also serves as Chairman of the Executive
Committee; its members are Directors that are elected by their fellow
Board members. The Executive Committee members for 2008 are Coy Day,
N5OK, West Gulf; George Isely, W9GIG, Central; Tom Frenaye, K1KI, New
England; Bill Edgar, N3LLR, Atlantic, and Henry Leggette, WD4Q, Delta.
Sumner and Craigie also sit on this committee. 

Members of the Administration and Finance Committee and Programs and
Services Committee are appointed by the ARRL President. The
Administration and Finance Committee members for 2008 are Chairman Jim
Fenstermaker, K9JF, Northwestern; Jim Weaver, K8JE, Great Lakes; Jay
Bellows, K0QB, Dakota; Dennis Bodson, W4PWF, Roanoke; Brian Mileshosky,
N5ZGT, Rocky Mountain, and Cliff Ahrens, K0CA, Vice Director, Midwest.
Members of the Programs and Services Committee for 2008 are Chairman
Bruce Frahm, K0BJ, Midwest; Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, Southeastern; Dick
Norton, N6AA, Southwestern; Frank Fallon, N2FF, Hudson; Bob Vallio,
W6RGG, Pacific, and Howard Huntington, K9KM, Vice Director, Central. 

Three members were also selected to sit on the Ethics and Elections
Committee: Coy Day, N5OK; Frank Fallon, N2FF, and Greg Sarratt, W4OZK.
Members of this committee are Directors not up for re-election in 2008.
Per the ARRL By-Laws, this committee applies guidelines for ethical
conduct by ARRL officials, determines eligibility of candidates for
Director and Vice Director, certifies a nominee's eligibility to fill a
Vice Director vacancy and supervises the balloting for Director and Vice
Director. 

Further details on the 2008 Annual Meeting will soon be available on the
ARRL Web site and in the April 2008 issue of QST. 

==> ARRL FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS DUE FEBRUARY 1 

The deadline for ARRL Foundation scholarship applications is February 1,
2008. Applications must be postmarked on or before February 1 and must
include the student's most recent transcript. The Foundation continues
to grow every year as new awards are added -- four new scholarships have
been added for 2008. This year, the Foundation expects to award up to 60
general scholarships ranging in amounts from $500 to $2500. 

The most prestigious Foundation scholarship is the William R. Goldfarb
Memorial Scholarship, awarded to one high school senior each year. After
the student has received all financial aid he or she is qualified for,
other scholarships and awards and family contributions, the Goldfarb
Scholarship will cover any remaining expenses (room and board, tuition,
fees and books) for a four-year undergraduate curriculum at an
accredited university in one of the following courses of study:
business-related computers, medical or nursing fields, engineering or
sciences. This award to an active radio amateur is based on outstanding
qualifications, need and other funding sources. The Goldfarb Scholarship
is the result of a generous endowment from the late William Goldfarb,
N2ITP. Before his death in 1997, Goldfarb set up a scholarship endowment
of close to $1 million in memory of his parents, Albert and Dorothy
Goldfarb. The 2007 recipient was Andrea Hartlage, KG4IUM, of Grayson,
Georgia <http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2007/04/12/101/>. Hartlage,
majoring in aerospace engineering, is in her freshman year at Georgia
Tech. 

ARRL Chief Development Officer and Foundation Secretary Mary Hobart,
K1MMH, said, "Providing scholarships to young hams who pursue higher
education is one of the most rewarding activities of the ARRL
Foundation. The expressions of gratitude from scholarship winners and
their families make it clear that the awards are contributing directly
to their success and to the future of Amateur Radio." 

All the information about the ARRL Scholarships for FCC licensed radio
amateurs, including descriptions, application forms and instructions,
can be found on the ARRL Foundation Web site <http://www.arrlf.org/>. 

==> ARRL 2008 TEACHERS INSTITUTE DATES ANNOUNCED 

Sponsored by the ARRL Education and Technology Program and funded by
ARRL members, the ARRL Teachers Institute is building on five years of
success, offering 72 teachers the opportunity to explore and experience
wireless technology basics, teaching of basic electronic concepts
integral to micro controllers and robotics, bringing space technology
into the classroom, radio astronomy basics, building a radio telescope,
building and programming a robot and more. 

Six sessions will be offered this year: April 7-10, Tampa, Florida,
Museum of Science and Industry; June 16-19, Rocklin, California,
Parallax Facility; June 25-28, Tucson, Arizona, Pueblo Magnet High
School; July 14-17, Dayton, Ohio, P&R Communications; July 28-31 and
August 4-7, Newington, Connecticut, ARRL Headquarters. 

Enrollment in these four-day expenses paid sessions is limited to 12
participants each. Application deadline is May 15, 2008. Applicants must
be an active teacher at elementary, middle or high school level, or hold
a leadership position in an enrichment or after-school program; an
Amateur Radio license is not required. 

For more information, please visit the Teachers Institute Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/FandES.tbp/ti.html>. 

==> ARISS TEAM LOOKING FOR GROUND STATIONS

Do you want to be part of the international network of ground stations
that help support Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
(ARISS) operations? ARISS is looking to add numerous ground stations
capable of relaying ISS Amateur Radio sessions with schools and also
serve as back-up communications relays should they be needed. Locations
all over the world will be considered, but the greatest need for
stations is in Central America, South America, Falkland Islands, Western
Australia, Canada and Alaska. 

The following are guidelines for stations wanting to be considered:
Third Party agreement with United States or waiver from their telecom
agency; ability to speak and understand English; minimal horizon
obstructions; 24/7 access and availability of station; operator(s)
willing to support scheduled contacts at various times; phone patch;
AZ/EL tracking satellite system, preferably an auto tracking system with
the capability for manual override; multi-element Yagis for 2 meters and
70 cm (circular polarization preferred); pre-amps and transmit output
greater than 70 W. If you can specify your station's EIRP and receive
sensitivity (thereby taking into account cable losses, pre-amps and
antenna gain), it would be greatly appreciated. 

Stations that can support the following will be given special
consideration, but these items are not required: Auto Doppler adjustment
of frequencies; ability to speak and understand languages other than
English; 1.2 and 2.4 GHz satellite hardware; Packet; SSTV; Digital ATV;
redundant power system, and high-speed Internet. 

If you or your club would like to be considered for selection as one of
the new ARISS ground stations, send an e-mail
<ARISS-telebridge@amsat.org>; to ARISS with details about your station
and contact information. -- Information provided by Frank Bauer, KA3HDO,
ARISS International Chairman 

==> SATELLITE SERVES AS VOICE REPEATER -- UPLINKS ON FM, DOWNLINKS ON
SIDEBAND 

Launched in January 1990, AMSAT-OSCAR 16 (AO-16) -- a digital satellite
-- has been unavailable for use while the command team dealt with a
serious computer problem. The satellite has since been recovered, and is
now a voice repeater, at least for an unspecified "test period" using FM
voice on the uplink, but transmits DSB voice on the downlink (best
received on SSB). 

Since AO-16 was recovered approximately six months ago, the command team
-- Bruce Rahn, WB9ANQ, Jim White, WD0E, and Mark Hammond, N8MH --
attempted to reload the satellite software almost a dozen times without
success. The team performed a series of memory tests that pointed toward
a hardware failure that prevented the spacecraft software from
restarting successfully. 

AMSAT Vice President of Operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, said, "After
concluding that the spacecraft computer system was damaged, and as
discussions about decommissioning were taking place, Jim recalled a
series of low-level commands that Tom Clark, K3IO, included in the
spacecraft design during construction. One of these commands allows an
uplink receiver to be directly tied to a downlink transmitter. The twist
is that the uplink is regular FM, but the downlink via the BPSK
transmitter is DSB (Double Sideband). Mark placed the satellite in this
mode early this week and did some testing." 

Glasbrenner said the satellite hears very well; the reduced bandwidth by
using either USB or LSB on the ground station receiver "allows for a
very robust downlink. Tuning the downlink is just like on a linear
transponder, meaning it is tight and with fast Doppler. Uplink tuning is
not required, just as with the FM mode V/U satellites. My personal
observations include being able to access and hear the satellite within
one degree of the horizon, much lower than any other current bird for my
location [in Florida]. This should be an easy satellite with omni
antennas and a 70 cm preamp." 

Glasbrenner said that he would like to open the satellite to general use
for a test period. The uplink is 145.920 FM, and the downlink is 437.026
SSB +/- Doppler shift. He asks that users restrict their uplink power to
a reasonable power level, and do not transmit without being able to hear
the downlink; all general single-channel guidelines apply. Please submit
reports via e-mail <ao16@amsat.org>;. "Enjoy this bird's new life!"
Glasbrenner said. 

==>SOLAR UPDATE

Tad "The Sunbeams Dance, Like Diamonds, on the Main" Cook, K7RA, this
week reports: Sixteen consecutive days with no visible sunspots and
still counting. This is the way it is at solar cycle minimum. Enjoy it
now, because there will be a time in the future when solar winds are
constant and the geomagnetic field active; although we will have many
sunspots, you may think back fondly on this time. Sunspot numbers for
January 17 through 23 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 0. 10.7
cm flux was 73.7, 71.1, 70.8, 70.2, 71.6, 70.3 and 70.6 with a mean of
71.2. Estimated planetary A indices were 10, 10, 9, 6, 4, 2 and 3 with a
mean of 6.3. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 7, 10, 6, 4, 3, 2 and
3 with a mean of 5. The US Air Force and NOAA predict solar flux to
continue around 70 through the end of this month, 75 for February 1, and
80 for February 2-3. Geophysical Institute Prague sees quiet conditions
January 25-30, and quiet to unsettled for January 31. For more
information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical
Information Service Propagation page
<http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/propagation.html>. To read this week's
Solar Report in its entirety, check out the W1AW Propagation Bulletin
page <http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/prop/>. 

__________________________________

==>IN BRIEF:

* This Weekend on the Radio: This weekend, the CQ 160 Meter Contest
(CW), the REF Contest (CW), the BARTG RTTY Sprint, the UBA DX Contest
(SSB) and the SPAR Winter Field Day are all January 26-27. Next weekend,
look for the Vermont QSO Party, the 10-10 International Winter Contest
(SSB), the AGCW Straight Key Party, the FYBO Winter QRP Sprint and the
Minnesota QSO Party on February 3. The Mexico RTTY International Contest
are February 3-4. The YLRL YL-OM Contest (CW) and the Delaware QSO Party
are February 3-5. The North American Sprint (SSB) and the ARCI Fireside
SSB Sprint are both February 4, while the RSGB 80 Meter Club
Championship (SSB) is February 5 and the ARS Spartan Sprint is February
6. 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 Continuing Education Course Registration: Registration remains
open through Sunday, February 3 for these online courses beginning on
Friday, February 15: 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). Each online course has been developed in segments -- learning
units with objectives, informative text, student activities and quizzes.
Courses are interactive, and some include direct communications with a
Mentor/Instructor. Students register for a particular session that may
be 8, 12 or 16 weeks (depending on the course) and they may access the
course at any time of day during the course period, completing lessons
and activities at times convenient for their personal schedule. Mentors
assist students by answering questions, reviewing assignments and
activities, as well as providing helpful feedback. Interaction with
mentors is conducted through e-mail; there is no appointed time the
student must be present -- allowing complete flexibility for the student
to work when and where it is convenient. 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>;.

* Field Day Packets Coming Soon: Get ready for ARRL Field Day, June
28-29, 2008. Packets will be available during the first week of
February. Packets include the complete rules (including changes for
2008). Other reference items that will be available include forms,
Section abbreviations, a kit to publicize your event with the local
press and more. 

* 500 kHz Distance Record Set: On January 17, Neil Schwanitz,
V73NS/WD8CRT, on Roi-Namur in the Marshall Islands, received a signal
from experimental station WD2XSH/20. This experimental station, operated
by Rudy Severns N6LF, is located in Cottage Grove, Oregon -- 4737 miles
away from the island in the Kwajalein atoll. The 13 words-per-minute CW
transmission was copyable by ear and also appeared in the Spectran
capture. During this same week, the Belgian BIPT (the equivalent of the
FCC) granted Belgian amateurs with full licenses access to 501-504 kHz
with up to 5 W ERP; this is the first general amateur allocation at 500
kHz. The ARRL 500 kHz experimental license, WD2XSH, was issued in
September 2006 and has 20 active stations. Fritz Raab, W1FR, of Vermont,
serves as experimental project manager for The 500 KC Experimental Group
for Amateur Radio <http://www.500kc.com/>. Additional information can be
found at the experiment's Web site and also in the July/August 2007
issue of QEX <http://www.arrl.org/qex/2007/07/raab.pdf>. 

* From the DXCC Desk: ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, reports that
there has been some confusion circulating regarding the current
processing time and how it is affecting the addition of St Barthelemy
(FJ) to the DXCC list and Logbook of The World. Before processing 2008
applications (containing St Barthelemy cards), DXCC must complete and
close out all 2007 applications. The pace of the current application
processing allows an estimated completion period of late March. Upon
completion of 2007 applications, we shut DXCC down for about a day while
we run all of the yearly lists. Only after these lists are completed can
we add FJ to the DXCC List and in turn, Logbook of The World. DXCC staff
is working hard to reduce the turnaround time, and we appreciate your
patience and understanding while we work to get caught up. You can help
by planning your submissions wisely and taking steps to make sure your
applications are prepared according to the instructions posted on the
DXCC application form and as noted in the FAQ
<http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/faq/>. There will be plenty of time for
everyone to have their Honor Roll submissions in place by December 31,
2008. For more information on the DX Century Club program, please see
the DXCC Web site <http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc/>. 

* Jet Propulsion Lab's Amateur Radio Club Marks 50 Years in Space:
Launch of the "Explorer 1" satellite on January 31, 1958 marked the dawn
of the Space Age for the United States, as well as the beginning of the
Jet Propulsion Laboratory's exploration of space. To celebrate the 50th
anniversary of this historic event, the JPL Amateur Radio Club will be
operating W6VIO from 1600 UTC January 28-0400 UTC February 4 using the
following frequencies: 3.535, 7.035, 7.185, 14.035, 14.240, 21.035 and
21.285 MHz. An "Explorer I" commemorative QSL card will be available.
QSL to JPL ARC, PO Box 820, La Canada, CA 91012-0820. More information
is available on W6VIO's Web site
<https://pitfall.org/jplarc/Station/ExplorerIAnniversary>. 

* Recipients of First-Ever Yasme Excellence Awards Announced: The Yasme
Foundation has announced the winners of the first-ever Yasme Excellence
Awards. These awards are given for service and dedication to Amateur
Radio as recognized by the foundation's Directors, and are in the form
of a plaque and a monetary award. Joseph L. Arcure, Jr, W3HNK, received
$2000 for his long service to DXers as a QSL manager, for his efforts on
behalf of DXers everywhere, promoting international goodwill by
facilitating cultural exchanges between operators that may never meet in
person, yet share a common bond of DX operation. Sheldon C. Shallon,
W6EL, received $2000 for his work with propagation prediction software.
By making propagation more accessible, he has done much to advance the
technical skills of HF operators in understanding the physical
environment of radio. James Brooks, 9V1YC, received $2000 for DXpedition
organization and videography. James' professional videos make the skills
and excitement of DX operating and expeditioning more accessible to hams
who haven't yet tried DXing and to non-hams alike. Jukka Salomaa,
OH2BUA, and Antti Kantola, OH5TB, will share $2000 for conceiving,
operating, and maintaining DX Summit, the first widely used Web-based
spotting network portal. They created a tool that fundamentally changed
the nature of HF operating, a true advancement of the radio art. The
Yasme Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation organized to conduct
scientific and educational projects related to Amateur Radio, including
DXing and the introduction and promotion of Amateur Radio in
underdeveloped countries.

* British Ham Falls to Death While Working on Antenna: Alan C. Wright,
9H1AW/GW3LDH, originally from Wrexham, Wales, fell to his death while
working on his antenna on Tuesday, January 22, dropping three floors
onto the roof of another residence. Wright, 71, lived in Rabat, a town
on the Mediterranean island of Malta. The British Foreign Office said an
investigation into the death is continuing. According to The Daily DX,
Wright was very active on 6 and 160 meters. He is survived by his wife
Maureen, 9H1JN.


=========================================================== 
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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Copyright 2008 American Radio Relay League, Inc.
All Rights Reserved


 

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.

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