*************** The ARRL Letter Vol. 27, No. 33 August 22, 2008 *************** IN THIS EDITION: * + ARRL Responds to Concerns Raised by California Repeater Owners Affected by PAVE PAWS * + ARRL Director and Vice Director Elections Set for November * + Hams Ready for Fay * + New Tower, Antenna Modifications for W1HQ * + Reunion Island, South Africa Connect on 2 Meters * + New Section Managers to Take Office October 1 * Solar Update * IN BRIEF: This Weekend on the Radio ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration + No ARRL Audio News August 29 + Amateur Radio Exams, Licensing Return to Bangladesh +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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> ==>Editorial questions or comments only: S. Khrystyne Keane, <email@example.com> =========================================================== ==> ARRL RESPONDS TO CONCERNS RAISED BY CALIFORNIA REPEATER OWNERS AFFECTED BY PAVE PAWS Earlier this week, the ARRL responded to a series of concerns raised by repeaters owners regarding the ongoing PAVE PAWS interference mitigation project at Beale Air Force Base near Sacramento, California. In a lengthy e-mail dated August 20, ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, addressed a series of concerns raised by Tom Naso, N6MVT, of Lafayette, California; Naso is owner or trustee to several involved repeaters. Naso's letter can be found here <http://www.arrl.org/news/files/pavepaws_querry_2008aug20.pdf>. Henderson's reply can be found here <http://www.arrl.org/news/files/pavepaws_response_2008aug20.pdf>. "Tom raised a series of thoughtful, valid concerns," Henderson stated. "The ARRL's response to his queries, though lengthy, attempts to address them in detail. With Tom's permission, we are releasing both his original e-mail and the ARRL's response in order to get the most accurate and full information out to repeater owners and users as possible. It also gives us the opportunity to make sure a couple of other issues relating to the PAVE PAWS situation that have arisen are brought to the public's attention." Henderson said that the biggest challenge the ARRL -- and through them the affected repeater owners -- continues to face is "the balance between not being able to know full technical details of the interference and the testing techniques and the desire/need to know information. It's a tough challenge. And while there have been a few errors in identifying call signs (because of errors in databases being used by the Air Force), there were actual measurements made of signals identified by the Air Force testing group." Henderson pointed out that the ARRL continues to pursue valid concerns that can be based on fact and backed up with solid data that are raised by repeater owners. "We will continue to expect the FCC to perform its responsibilities. If a permanent shut-down order comes from the FCC, we expect that the licensee is given their full rights for due process." ==> ARRL DIRECTOR AND VICE DIRECTOR ELECTIONS SET FOR NOVEMBER Responding to solicitations in the July and August issues of QST, ARRL members in the Atlantic, Dakota, Delta, Great Lakes and Midwest Divisions have nominated 14 candidates for the ten positions of Director and Vice Director of each of the five divisions. Seven incumbents have been re-elected without opposition, while there will be balloting for Director and Vice Director of the Delta Division and for Vice Director of the Great Lakes Division. Those elected will serve three-year terms beginning at noon on January 1, 2009. The ARRL Ethics and Elections Committee has reviewed and confirmed the eligibility of all 14 candidates and has declared the following re-elected: Atlantic Division Director Bill Edgar, N3LLR, and Vice Director Tom Abernethy, W3TOM; Dakota Division Director Jay Bellows, K0QB, and Vice Director Greg Widin, K0GW; Midwest Division Director Bruce Frahm, K0BJ, and Vice Director Cliff Ahrens, K0CA; and Great Lakes Division Director Jim Weaver, K8JE. The rules state that if a candidate is running unopposed, he or she shall be declared the winner without balloting. Members in the Great Lakes Division will elect a Vice Director, while Delta Division members will elect a new Director and new Vice Director. Delta Division Director Henry Leggette, WD4Q, decided not to seek another term. Nominated to succeed him are current Vice Director Karl Bullock, WA5TMC, and former Louisiana Section Manager Mickey Cox, K5MC. Seeking the post of Vice Director are Ariel Elam, K4AAL, of Tennessee, and Arkansas Section Manager David Norris, K5UZ. In the Great Lakes Division, incumbent Vice Director Gary Johnston, KI4LA, is being challenged by former Kentucky Section Manager John Meyers, NB4K, and Michigan Section Affiliated Club Coordinator Daniel Romanchik, KB6NU. The policies of the League are established by 15 Directors who are elected to the Board on a geographical basis to represent their divisions and constituents. These 15 Directors serve three year terms, with five standing for election each year. Vice Directors, who succeed the Director in the event of a mid-term vacancy and serve as Director at any Board meeting the Director is unable to attend, are elected at the same time. Full members of the ARRL in the Delta and Great Lakes Divisions will be mailed ballots in late September. To receive a ballot you must be a member as of September 10. To be counted, ballots must be returned so as to be received at ARRL HQ no later than noon Eastern Standard Time on Friday, November 21. The count will be conducted on that date under the supervision of three tellers and a certified public accountant. 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, 2008, 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, 2008, giving their current QST address and the reason another Division is considered home. ==> HAMS READY FOR FAY While Tropical Storm Fay made landfall over Key West, Florida at 3 PM EDT on August 18, Amateur Radio operators throughout Florida were prepared "just in case." As Fay crossed Key West, Florida Emergency Management officials noted that while "Fay is no Hurricane Charley," it is following the same general path as 2004's Charley, a Category 4 hurricane and one of the most destructive hurricanes in recent history for the area; at least 13 people were killed in that storm. All three of Florida's ARRL Section Managers are working cooperatively as Fay tracks through the state. After sweeping through the Keys, Fay next made landfall in Cape Romano at approximately 4:45 AM on Tuesday, August 19. Landfall on Florida's mainland was initially expected to hit more to the north.. Fay is edging west-northwestward and is about to make its third landfall at Flagler Beach, Florida and then will continue to migrate west-northwestward across northern Florida. The National Weather Service reports that Fay continues to produce torrential downpours and states flooding is the major concern now. Locations on Florida's eastern coast from Cocoa Beach to Melbourne to Fort Pierce have picked up 8 to 26 inches of rain as of August 21; a report of 26.2 inches of rain has been received near Melbourne, resulting in numerous reports of flooding around the area. According to Julio Ripoll, WD4R, of WX4NHC <http://www.wx4nhc.org/>, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Fay came close to reaching hurricane strength "several times in her track through Cuba and Florida. The surface reports collected via ham radio continue to be very important, no matter how high or low the wind speed. They fill in gaps between governmental weather stations and give the hurricane forecasters a better idea of the wind field range and local flooding." Plans are in place for several shelters to be opened and responses ready for issues relating to the flooding. ARRL HQ staff are following events closely and are in contact with members and ARES leaders in the affected areas. ==> NEW TOWER, ANTENNA MODIFICATIONS FOR W1HQ On August 13, XX Towers installed a new 40 foot tower on top of the ARRL Headquarters building for use at W1HQ, the Laird Campbell Memorial HQ Operators Club. This new tower supports the 3 element SteppIR 20-6 meter Yagi antenna that was moved from the old tower; the antenna was placed on the old tower in November 2007. The antenna also received modifications, allowing operations on 30 and 40 meters. Both the antenna and the 30-40 meter modification kit were donated by Mike Mertel, K7IR, of SteppIR. According to ARRL Test Engineer Bob Allison, WB1GCM, XX Towers visits the League twice a year to inspect both the W1AW and W1HQ antenna systems: "This past May, XX Towers inspected the tower and found it was approaching poor condition due to its age and harsh environment. The new tower supports our 3 element SteppIR Yagi with a newly installed 40-30 meter Dipole Kit, recently donated by SteppIR Antenna Systems. HQ staff can now enjoy these additional bands and have peace of mind with the new tower." ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, president of the W1HQ club, said, "I am pleased to report that the W1HQ tower replacement and installation of the 40-30 meter dipole element on the SteppIR antenna was successful. HQ hams may now enjoy a rotating dipole for these bands at the push of a button on the SteppIR controller. The crew from XX Towers did a fine job; thanks to his regular inspections, we were able to avoid a more costly removal of the 50 foot, 35 year old tower. ARRL Building Manager Greg Kwasowski, W1GJK, assisted with and arranged for the roofing company to remove part of the roof for the tower base and replacement after tower installation. ARRL Lab Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, saved the day with the needed metric hardware. Many thanks to all involved for the successful replacement of the tower. Having a rotatable dipole on 30 and 40 meters is a very welcome addition to the station." W1HQ provides ARRL employees who do not have an amateur station of their own a place to get on the air. "I'm thrilled to have this station here," said Kutzko. "I live in an apartment and can't put up antennas outside at home. W1HQ gives me a way to chase DX and be active in contests on both HF and VHF." W1HQ boasts an IC-756PROIII for HF work and an IC-746PRO for 6 and 2 meters, recently donated by ICOM. Bob Heil, K9EID, of Heil Sound donated two new Pro Set 4 mic/headsets, a PR781 Proline microphone and a topless boom to the station. Nemal Electronics Inc and Times Microwave Systems jointly donated two 500 foot rolls of LMR-400. ==> REUNION ISLAND, SOUTH AFRICA CONNECT ON 2 METERS On Thursday, August 14, Phil Mondon, FR5DN, on Reunion Island had a successful QSO with Glen Kraut, ZS2GK, in South Africa on 2 meters <http://www.astrorun.com/%7Efr5dn/radio/tropo/14aout2008/zs2gk_14august2 008.html>. According to Dave Pedersen, N7BHC, this contact is "very likely the longest 2 meter QSO via tropospheric propagation for either country." The 2008 ARRL Handbook <http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=1018> defines tropospheric propagation as "radio waves [that] are refracted by natural gradients in the index of refraction of air with altitude, due to changes in temperature, humidity and pressure. Refraction under standard atmospheric conditions extends the radio horizon somewhat beyond the visual line of sight. Favorable weather conditions further enhance normal tropospheric refraction, lengthening the useful VHF and UHF range by several hundred kilometers and increasing signal strength. Higher frequencies are more sensitive to refraction, so its effects may be observed in the microwave bands before they are apparent at lower frequencies." "Ducting takes place when refraction is so great that radio waves are bent back to the surface of the Earth. When tropospheric ducting conditions exist over a wide geographic area, signals may remain very strong over distances of 1500 km (930 miles) or more. Ducting results from the gradient created by a sharp increase in temperature with altitude, quite the opposite of normal atmospheric conditions. A simultaneous drop in humidity contributes to increased refractivity. Useful temperature inversions form between 250 and 2000 meters (800-6500 feet) above ground. The elevated inversion and the Earth's surface act something like the boundaries of a natural open-ended waveguide. Radio waves of the right frequency range caught inside the duct will be propagated for long distances with relatively low losses. Several common weather conditions can create temperature inversions." Kraut said that on the evening of August 13, he "went to bed at about 08:30 UTC leaving the rig on and antennas pointing toward Reunion. I woke up at 00:15 UTC and heard the beacon from my shack. I went over and saw that signals were low, even with the Masthead pre-amp on. I was running CWGeT to confirm hard copy of the signal, but it was not decoding. I switched off the pre-amp and returned to bed. About an hour later, I heard the beacon again but much stronger, so I went to the shack and saw the signal at almost 1 on the S-meter. Perfect hard copy from CWGeT. I contacted Phil on his cell phone, switched the linear and pre-amp on and we logged an SSB QSO and FM QSO on 144.200 and 144.400 at 01:39 UTC on August 14 with signal reports of 5/6 both ways." Mondon added: "At 0135 UTC on August 14, Glenn is calling me on my cell phone. That means the beacon is heard strong enough to allow a QSO. It's 0535 local time here; I speak low and run into the shack, switch off the beacon and call on 144.200 to see Glenn's signal at 55/56 with the preamp. We decide to try FM and I have clear copy on him. Time goes fast -- we stop the QSO some 20 or 30 minutes later, but the band was still nicely open! The signal was crystal clear, almost no fading, if any on my side. Whooaaaa! The first bridge is now there between South Africa and Reunion Island." Pedersen said that trans-oceanic ducting has long been suspected around South Africa: "While operating there as ZR2BI in the late 1970s, I heard an unidentified South American station on 2 meters. Since then, having moved to the US, I was not able to pursue it any further. This last January, I started e-mailing a lot of people in Southern Africa and St Helena, but found little activity pursuing the potential tropo. Resorting to my old ways of using FM broadcast stations as beacons, I asked John Turner on St Helena Island to listen for African stations. Within days, he reported stations from Angola, then Namibia and eventually as far south as Cape Town. One February day, he logged 25 South African FM broadcasters in 30 minutes. And that was with his car radio." Pedersen said that Ian Coverdale, ZD8I, on Ascension reported that he can occasionally hear Cape Town Harbor radio on 156 MHz, 2770 miles away; Sted Stroud, ZD8S, reported that it is fairly commonplace for Ascension Islanders to listen to Brazilian FM stations. "All those reports led to Phil Mondon putting up the beacon," Pedersen said. According to VHF guru and conductor of QST's "World Above 50 MHz" column Gene Zimmerman, W3ZZ, VHF amateurs have long been aware of long distance tropospheric ducting across stable ocean waters. "The best known such duct is the Hawaiian duct which links the West Coast of the US, especially California with the Big Island of Hawaii. But we have also known that other such ducts exist in different places around the world, although the ham populations in these areas are often so low that we hardly ever experience two way communications. The Indian Ocean is one such place. This outstanding contact between Phil Mondon, FR5DN, on Reunion Island and Glen Kraut, ZS2GK, in South Africa confirms the existence of a path between the mainland and islands in the Indian Ocean. It follows the detection of FM broadcast stations on similar paths in the South Atlantic Ocean between the island of St Helena and Angola, Namibia and Cape Town on the mainland, and reports of reception of Brazilian FM stations on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic." Pedersen agreed: "Now that the path is proven, many South African hams are gearing up to increase the distance over the coming southern summer." ==> NEW SECTION MANAGERS TO TAKE OFFICE OCTOBER 1 On August 19, members of the ARRL's Membership and Volunteer Programs Department counted ballots for contested Section Manager races in Idaho and Western New York. Section Managers serve two year terms. In Idaho, Edward Stuckey, AI7H, of Post Falls, was elected Section Manager of Idaho with 155 votes; Chuck Robertson, KX7ID, of Nampa, received 150 votes. Stuckey will be stepping into the office that has been held by Doug Rich, W7DVR, of Boise, since the fall of 2003; Rich decided not to run for another term of office. Stuckey, licensed since 1957, is a member of ARES/RACES organizations. He is currently active in the Kootenai Amateur Radio Society in Coeur d'Alene of which he is a past president. In Western New York, current Section Manager Scott Bauer, W2LC, of Baldwinsville, was re-elected with 639 votes; challenger Kevin Romer, KC2MLC, of Trumansburg, received 273 votes. Bauer has served as Western New York Section Manager since 2000. He is active in many areas of Amateur Radio including the National Traffic System, ARES and SKYWARN, and serves as a volunteer examiner. The ARRL North Dakota Section will also get a new Section Manager come October 1. Lynn Nelson, W0CQ, of Minot, will be taking over from Kent Olson, KA0LDG. Olson, who has served as Section Manager since 2001, did not run for another term of office. The following incumbent ARRL Section Managers did not face opposition and were declared elected for the next two year terms of office beginning October 1, 2008: Betsey Doane, K1EIC (Connecticut); Skip Jackson, KS0J (Minnesota); Joe Phillips, K8QOE (Ohio); John Thomason, WB5SYT (Oklahoma); Roberto Jimenez, KP4AC (Puerto Rico); Sherri Brower, W4STB (Southern Florida), and John Ellis, NP2B (Virgin Islands). Lee Anne Allen, WY7DTW, of Devils Tower, has been appointed Section Manager of the Wyoming Section to complete the term of office that has been held by Chris Pritchard, WX7B, of Green River. Pritchard is moving out of the Section to take a new job. The present term of office continues through March 31, 2009. Dave Patton, NN1N, Manager of the Membership and Volunteer Programs Department, made the Section Manager appointment effective August 15 in consultation with Rocky Mountain Division Director Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT. Allen has been the Assistant Section Manager for Wyoming since the first of the year; she also serves as a local ARRL Emergency Coordinator. Allen served as the Wyoming Public Information Coordinator (PIC) for almost three years until earlier this year. ==>SOLAR UPDATE Tad "I carry the Sun in a golden cup" Cook, K7RA, this week reports: Another week of quiet Sun, but on Wednesday and Thursday -- August 20-21 -- a new spot seemed to be emerging, but there is no sign that it is anything other than an old Solar Cycle 23 spot. Sunspot numbers for August 14-20 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 0 with a mean of 0. The 10.7 cm flux was 65.9, 65.3, 66.2, 66.5, 66.2, 67.3 and 65.9 with a mean of 66.2. Estimated planetary A indices were 5, 4, 5, 7, 23, 8 and 6 with a mean of 8.3. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 4, 3, 4, 5, 15, 7 and 5 with a mean of 6.1. 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/>. This week's "Tad Cookism" brought to you by William Butler Yeats' "Those Dancing Days Are Gone." __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This Weekend on the Radio: This weekend, the NCCC Sprint is August 22. The Hawaii QSO Party and Ohio QSO Party are August 23-24. The SKCC Sprint is August 27. Next weekend is the NCCC Sprint on August 29. The ALARA Contest, the SCC RTTY Championship and the YO DX HF Contest are all August 30-31. The SARL HF CW Contest is August 31 and the MI QRP Labor Day CW Sprint is September 1-2. All dates, unless otherwise stated, are UTC. See the ARRL Contest Branch page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/>, the ARRL Contest Update <http://www.arrl.org/contests/update/> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar <http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/index.html> for more info. Looking for a Special Event station? Be sure to check out the ARRL Special Event Station Web page <http://www.arrl.org/contests/spev.html>. * ARRL Continuing Education Course Registration: Registration remains open through Sunday, August 24, 2008 for these online course sessions beginning on Friday, September 5, 2008: 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). 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>. * No ARRL Audio News August 29: There will be no ARRL Audio News on Friday, August 29; ARRL Audio News will resume production on Friday, September 5. The ARRL Letter will be distributed as usual. * Amateur Radio Exams, Licensing Return to Bangladesh: Since 2004, Amateur Radio operators in Bangladesh have not been able to get an Amateur Radio license or sit for an examination. But thanks to the efforts of the Bangladesh Amateur Radio League (BARL) <http://www.barl.org/> -- that country's IARU Member-Society -- the Bangladeshi government will once again issue ham licenses; exams will also be given on a monthly basis beginning August 13, 2008. On July 21, representatives from BARL -- Belayet Robin, S21RB; Zahid Shipon, S21VA, and Saiful Huda, S21SH -- met with members of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) in what Robin called "a very fruitful meeting <http://www.btrc.gov.bd/>. BARL had finally been able to make the concerned authorities understand the significance of ham operators in a country with frequent natural disasters like floods and cyclones." The Bangladeshi government has only allowed ham radio operations since 1991, though amateurs have received special permission on a case-by-case basis to set up Emergency Communications infrastructures during natural disasters such as cyclones, tidal waves and flooding. BARL was formed in 1979 as a way to promote Amateur Radio, but on-air operations were banned due to the political climate of the region. BARL will offer a class to prepare for the exam. Exams will be computer based with 35 multiple choice questions. In order to receive an Amateur Radio license, examinees must achieve 18 correct answers. Examinees are given one hour to complete the test. =========================================================== 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 news of interest to active radio amateurs. Visit the ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> for the latest Amateur Radio news and news updates. The ARRL Web site <http://www.arrl.org/> also offers informative features and columns. ARRL Audio News <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> is a weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled and edited from The ARRL Letter. It's also available as a podcast from our Web site. Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League. ==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): email@example.com ==>Editorial questions or comments: S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, firstname.lastname@example.org ==>ARRL News on the Web: <http://www.arrl.org/> ==>ARRL Audio News: <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/audio/> or call 860-594-0384 ==>How to Get The ARRL Letter The ARRL Letter is available to ARRL members free of charge directly from ARRL HQ. To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your address for e-mail delivery: ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web Site <http://www.arrl.org/members/>. You'll have an opportunity during registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of The ARRL Letter, W1AW bulletins, and other material. To change these selections--including delivery of The ARRL Letter--registered members should click on the "Member Data Page" link (in the Members Only box). Click on "Modify membership data," check or uncheck the appropriate boxes and/or change your e-mail address if necessary. (Check "Temporarily disable all automatically sent email" to temporarily stop all e-mail deliveries.) Then, click on "Submit modification" to make selections effective. (NOTE: HQ staff members cannot change your e-mail delivery address. You must do this yourself via the Members Only Web Site.) The ARRL Letter also is available to all, free of charge, from these sources: * ARRLWeb <http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/>. (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will be posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.) * The QTH.net listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur Radio Club: Visit Mailing Lists@QTH.Net <http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/letter-list>. (NOTE: The ARRL cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this listserver.) Copyright 2008 American Radio Relay League, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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