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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 26
June 28, 2002


* +Hams support Arizona wildfire response
* +FCC advisory panel recommends phased-in worldwide 40-meter allocation
* +AO-7 is back from the dead
* +Meeting discusses enhanced public safety, security role for ham radio
* +FCC initiates inquiry into Tennessee exam session
* +Second all-ham crew now aboard space station
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     CC&R bill attracts additional cosponsors
     Petition for Reconsideration follows FCC's denial
    +Dayton Hamvention attendance dips again in 2002
     Field Day turns tragic for Alabama club
     Nevada ARES team supports fire response
     SKYWARN activates for busy night in Minnesota

+Available on ARRL Audio News

NOTE: ARRL Headquarters will be closed Thursday and Friday, July 4 and 5,
so staff members may enjoy an extended Independence Day holiday weekend.
There will be no W1AW bulletin and code practice transmissions Thursday
and Friday, July 4 and 5, and no editions of The ARRL Letter or ARRL Audio
News Friday July 5. ARRL Headquarters will reopen and W1AW bulletin and
code practice transmissions will resume Monday, July 8. The ARRL Letter
and ARRL Audio News will return Friday, July 12. We wish all a safe and
enjoyable holiday!--Rick Lindquist, N1RL


Amateur Radio support of the Arizona wildfire response has continued this
week. Arizona ARRL Section Manager Cliff Hauser, KD6XH, reports that there
are enough Amateur Radio operators on hand to support the fire-fighting
efforts. President Bush this week declared parts of the state federal
disaster areas.

In addition to VHF and UHF repeaters, amateurs are maintaining HF nets on
3990 and 7265 kHz. An FCC communications emergency has put both HF
frequencies, plus or minus 3 kHz, off limits to anyone not involved in
handling emergency traffic. The ban will remain in effect until lifted.
W1AW has suspended its bulletin transmissions on 3990 for the duration of
the ban.

The combined Rodeo-Chediski Fire now has scorched more than 420,000 acres
of Arizona woodlands. Upwards of 600 homes and businesses have been
destroyed, and some 30,000 Arizona residents have been evacuated as a
result of the fire.

The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) has taken on the
job of coordinating communications during the emergency. SATERN Western
Area Coordinator Warren Andreason, K7CWA, reports SATERN has stations and
operators at six locations in Arizona, including one in the threatened
community of Show Low, where the National Guard asked The Salvation Army
to set up a kitchen operation. Another has been set up at The Salvation
Army's Camp Ponderosa near Heber, which is serving as a FEMA incident
command post as well as a responder staging area.

SATERN Coordinator Pat McPherson, WW9E, said the HF network has been very
effective in smoothing the flow of goods and supplies coming into the
affected area. At one point, McPherson said, an on-the-air conference of
Salvation Army principals established procedures and refine supply-chain
logistics. "This only occurred due to the opportunity for all the
principals to be on the air via Amateur Radio," he said. McPherson said
that, so far, SATERN has had a good supply of volunteer reinforcements
from the amateur community.

Hauser said other amateurs are supporting Red Cross facilities in
Flagstaff, Holbrook and Phoenix. Operators from the Arizona Amateur Radio
Club's W7IO are staffing the Arizona Emergency Operations Center in
Phoenix. Cris McBride, KB7QXQ, told ARRL that about 30 radio amateurs from
the Show Low area--including members of the Kachina Amateur Radio
Club--have been helping to maintain contact between the Navajo County EOC
and the state EOC. McBride, who lives five miles from Show Low, was among
those evacuated June 19.

Hauser reports that Dave Epley, N9CZV, remains in Show Low, whose 8000
residents have been largely evacuated. Epley has been handling
health-and-welfare traffic for town residents who chose not to leave.
Hauser said he plans to spend next week in Show Low to help out. Epley has
requested that users not attempt to connect with his N9CZV IRLP node 336
in Show Low, which is being used for the fire emergency.

Meanwhile in Colorado, Amateur Radio Emergency Service support for the
Hayman Fire concluded June 25. Several Colorado ARES teams spent the past
few weeks volunteering their services as needed to local governments and
to relief organizations, including the American Red Cross and The
Salvation Army. ARRL Colorado SM Jeff Ryan, K0RM, reports that most
evacuated residents have been allowed to return home.


The FCC is requesting comments on the draft recommendations of its World
Radiocommunication Conference 2003 Advisory Committee (WAC). Among the
panel's recommended draft proposals to next year's international gathering
is a plan--still subject to change--that would create a worldwide amateur
allocation at 7.0 to 7.3 MHz by 2010. The deadline for comments on the
proposals is July 12.

The draft proposals "may evolve as we approach WRC-03 and during the
course of interagency discussions," the FCC noted in a Public Notice.
"Therefore, they do not constitute the final national position on these

While US amateurs already enjoy a 7.0 to 7.3 MHz allocation, only 7.0 to
7.1 MHz is available to amateurs in all three International
Telecommunication Union regions, with 7.1 to 7.3 MHz available to
broadcasting in much of the rest of the world. The draft proposal for
WRC-03 agenda item 1.23 dealing with possible realignment of the 7-MHz
amateur allocation calls for making 7.1 to 7.2 MHz available worldwide by
April 1, 2007, and the 7.2 to 7.3 MHz segment by April 1, 2010.
Broadcasting allocations would shift upward by 100 kHz at the same
time--to 7450 kHz by 2007 and to 7550 by 2010. The intervening periods
would permit time for international broadcasters and other services to
adjust their operations accordingly.

The International Amateur Radio Union already is on record in favor of the
approach. An earlier suggestion to shift the 40-meter allocation down by
100 kHz came off the table earlier this year to avoid affecting Fixed
Service operations between 6765 and 7000 kHz.

In other draft proposals affecting the Amateur Service, the FCC's WRC-03
Advisory Committee has recommended no change to the table of allocations
in the band 420 to 470 MHz. Agenda item 1.38 will consider providing up to
6 MHz of spectrum to the Earth exploration-satellite service (EESS) in the
band. So-called synthetic aperture radars (SARs) are used to measure soil
moisture, tropical biomass and Antarctic ice thickness, and to document
geological history and climate change. At issue is whether the EESS
allocation could be established without interfering with incumbent
services, including radiolocation and amateur.

Agenda item 1.5 will consider spectrum requirements and regulations for
new and additional allocations to the mobile, fixed, EESS and space
research services at 5.15 to 5.725 GHz. The FCC expressed reservations
about WAC proposals for this frequency range, citing concerns expressed by
the ARRL and others. Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services allocations
could be negatively affected by new mobile allocations.

The full texts of the FCC WRC-03 Advisory Committee draft proposals are
available on the panel's Web site <>. Commenters
should submit an original and one copy to the Office of the Secretary,
FCC, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554 and provide a courtesy copy
to Alex Roytblat, FCC WRC-03 Director, Room 6-B505. Comments should refer
to specific proposals by document number.

World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 will take place in Geneva,
Switzerland, from June 9 until July 4, 2003.


After being declared dead more than 20 years ago, the AMSAT-OSCAR 7
satellite suddenly came back to life this month. First heard June 21 by
Pat Gowan, G3IOR, AO-7 subsequently has been monitored--and used again--by
several other amateurs. AO-7 was launched November 15, 1974. It remained
operational for more than six years before succumbing to battery failure
in 1981.

"I'm blown away," was the reaction of AO-7 Project Manager Jan King,
W3GEY. "So, this old war horse of a spacecraft seems to have come back
from the dead if only for a few moments."

Exclaimed satellite enthusiast and AMSAT Vice President for User Services
Bruce Paige, KK5DO, "This is really awesome!" Paige said the latest turn
of events makes AO-7 the oldest amateur satellite that's still working.
AMSAT-NA has now listed AO-7 as "semi-operational."

AMSAT says it seems certain the satellite is running only off its solar
panels, not from the onboard batteries, so it will be operational only
while it's in sunlight. King speculates that the batteries, which shorted
as they failed two decades ago, now are "un-shorting" and causing the
satellite to come back to life.

For those attempting to use AO-7, Mode A (2 meters up/10 meters down) is
not a problem, but Mode B (70 cm up/2 meters down) is. Because of changes
in the international Radio Regulations that went into effect in the 1970s
as AO-7 was under construction, the 432.1 MHz uplink frequency is no
longer authorized for space communications.

AMSAT advises potential users that when uplinking to a satellite, they are
operating in the Amateur-Satellite Service. AMSAT says uplinking to AO-7
"is possibly illegal since the Amateur Satellite Service is not permitted
at 432.1 MHz." The current band plan earmarks the 432.1 MHz range for weak
signal work. Sections 97.207(c)(2) and 97.207(b)(2) of the FCC's rules
authorize space station and earth station operation only in the 435-438
MHz segment.

Built by a multinational team under the direction of AMSAT-NA, AO-7
carries Mode A (145.850-950 MHz uplink; 29.400-500 MHz downlink) and Mode
B (432.180-120 MHz uplink; 145.920-980 MHz downlink) linear transponders
plus beacons on 29.502 and 145.972 MHz. A 2304.1 MHz beacon was never
turned on because of international treaty constraints.

AMSAT has additional information on AO-7 on its Web site


Exploring an enhanced post-9/11 public safety and homeland security role
for Amateur Radio was the focus of a National Public Safety
Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) Amateur Radio Working Group meeting
June 25. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, hosted the daylong session at
ARRL Headquarters which included participation by several ARRL staff

"It's our goal to increase the credibility of the Amateur Radio Service,
especially after 9/11," Haynie said. "We know we have a great service that
we can offer, and the resources are at no cost to the taxpayer, and it
just makes good sense to us to use the Amateur Radio operators of America
to help with homeland security and defense."

ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Rosalie White, K1STO, briefed
the gathering on ARRL's Amateur Radio Emergency Communications on-line
training course series <>. Copies of
the Level I emergency communications course were distributed to meeting
participants for their suggestions and comments.

Chairing the session was Gene McGahey, AL7GQ, who is deputy manager of
Communications Technology Technical Assistance for the National Law
Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center. NPSTC
<>--pronounced "nipstick"--is a coalition of
organizations involved in public safety communications. ARRL is a NPSTC
participant. This week's meeting was a followup to a brainstorming session
last February in Washington, DC, in which ARRL took part.

McGahey said discussion this week included the public safety aspects of
the proposed secondary domestic amateur allocation at 5 MHz; the relevance
of accreditation and training programs and their role in validating
Amateur Radio's participation in public safety communications support; the
potential of 4.9 GHz to relieve public safety pressure from 2.4 GHz; and
proposed research involving Amateur Radio's public safety role. Two
surveys are under consideration for sometime within the next 12 months.
One would determine Amateur Radio's specific emergency resources and
capabilities. A second would assess the utilization and need for Amateur
Radio resources by public safety officials.

Haynie said after the meeting that he's optimistic about Amateur Radio's
greater involvement in public safety and homeland security communications.
"It's a whole new mindset since September 11," he said, "and we now need
to pay attention to how all Americans--whether they're in public safety or
Amateur Radio--can cooperate to make this a safer nation."


The FCC has asked two ARRL VEC volunteer examiners to explain why they
took part in administering amateur exams to their family members. The
inquiry involves a December 14, 1999, test session in Cookeville,
Tennessee, at which the wife of VE Bobby A. Raymer, N2BR, and the brother
of VE Steven G. Hunter, KF4FAV, were among the candidates. Kathy J.
Raymer, KG4FWO, and Gary E. Hunter, KG4FRN, successfully passed exam
elements at the session.

An FCC rule--ß97.509(d)--prohibits a VE from administering an examination
to a close relative. The FCC also wants to know how Steven Hunter could
have been both a VE and an exam candidate at the same session.

The ARRL VEC has suspended its accreditation of both volunteer examiners,
which is standard operating procedure in such cases. According to FCC
Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth, Kathy Raymer already
has agreed to forfeit her Technician license as a result of the FCC

In separate letters May 30, Hollingsworth asked Bobby Raymer and Steven
Hunter to "explain in detail the justification, if any" for administering
Amateur Radio examinations to close relatives. In addition, the FCC wants
to know how Steven Hunter was able to serve as a VE at a session during
which he also upgraded to Extra class.

Hollingsworth pointed out that the rules prohibiting VEs from testing
their own kin are in place "to help insure the integrity of the volunteer
testing process."


The International Space Station Expedition 5 crew of US astronaut Peggy
Whitson, KC5ZTD, Russian cosmonaut and crew commander Valery Korzun,
RZ3FK, and cosmonaut Sergei Treschev, RZ3FU, is settling in aboard the
space outpost. The increment 5 crew is the second all-ham crew to serve a
duty tour aboard the ISS. The Expedition 5 team will be in space for 4-1/2

Scheduled Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school
contacts are set to resume in early July, when QSOs have been penciled in
with the Progymnasium Rosenfeld in Rosenfeld, Germany, and the Adler
Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago. Other contacts with schools
and educational institutions in the US and abroad are pending.

Although school contacts have been on hold during the crew transition, all
has not been silent on the ARISS front. Korzun occasionally has been
active on 2 meters as RS0ISS and even made a few contacts during Field
Day. Among those reporting QSOs was Huntsville, Alabama, AMSAT Area
Coordinator Tim Cunningham, N8DEU. He worked Korzun from the K4BFT Field
Day setup, where he managed the satellite station. Brian Mileshosky,
N5ZGT, of New Mexico, also reported a quick Field Day QSO with Korzun
while using only a 5 W handheld transceiver and an Arrow antenna.

On June 12, Lonny Kelly, W7LGK, struck up a casual QSO with Korzun after
he heard some activity on the ARISS downlink frequency (145.800 MHz ) and
put out a call. "Man, what an exciting moment!" he said afterward. "I had
been trying for a little over a year to talk to one of the astronauts
aboard the ISS, and I had finally made it."

The Expedition 5 crew officially began its duty tour June 7, arriving
aboard the shuttle Endeavour. Since coming aboard, the crew has been
unpacking gear and familiarizing itself with the station and its systems.
A Progress supply rocket is scheduled to dock with the ISS June 29. Still
undetermined is the effect on the ISS schedule resulting from the
grounding of the NASA shuttle fleet while it looks into possible fuel line
cracks. Missions are scheduled for July, August and October, when the
Expedition 6 team is scheduled to arrive, and the current crew returns


Rabid propagationist Tad "I wanna soak up the sun" Cook, K7VVV, Seattle,
Washington, reports: There has been very little activity on the sun to
speak of. Average solar flux this week was about the same as last, up by
less than six points. Average sunspot numbers declined a little more than
10 points.

The prediction for the near term is absolutely flat, with solar flux at
140 for the next week. This is a little too far out to predict with great
accuracy, but the projected solar flux is expected to drop below 140 in
the period July 9-12. All of this is well below last week's prediction,
which indicated a rise to 170 by the end of June.

There is a possibility of an eruption from sunspot 8, but it is not
directly facing Earth and will continue to rotate away from us.

Sunspot numbers for June 20 through 26 were 122, 113, 102, 144, 133, 127
and 102, with a mean of 120.4. The 10.7-cm flux was 145.1, 139.6, 142,
142.8, 150.3, 144.7 and 143.8, with a mean of 144. Estimated planetary A
indices were 10, 8, 9, 14, 10, 11 and 8, with a mean of 10.



* This weekend on the radio: There are no Amateur Radio operating events
on the calendar for the June 29-30 weekend, so it's a great time to work
on the antennas. The RAC Canada Day Contest is July 1. The Michigan QRP
July 4th CW Sprint is July 4-5. JUST AHEAD: The Venezuelan Independence
Day Contest (SSB) and the Kentucky QSO Party are July 6-7. The IARU HF
World Championship (and World Radiosport Team Championship 2003), the
FISTS Summer Sprint and the QRP ARCI Summer Homebrew Sprint are the
weekend of July 13-14. See the ARRL Contest Branch page
<> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<> for more info.

* Certification and Continuing Education course registration: Registration
for the Level I ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course
(EC-001) will open on Monday, July 1. Registration for
Level II Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course (EC-002) and
for the Antenna Modeling Course (EC-004) opens Monday, July 8.
Registration for the Level III Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
Course (EC-003) and for the HF Digital Communications course (EC-005)
opens Monday, July 15. Registration for the Satellite Communications
Course (EC-007) opens Monday, July 22. All registrations open at 4 PM
Eastern Time. ARRL Emergency Communications courses must be completed in
order, starting with Level I. To learn more, visit the
ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Web page
<> and the C-CE Links found there. For more
information, contact Certification and Continuing Education Program
Coordinator Dan Miller, K3UFG,

* CC&R bill attracts additional cosponsors: The bill now in Congress aimed
at providing relief to amateurs faced with private deed covenants,
conditions and restrictions--CC&Rs--in erecting antennas has gained
additional cosponsors. Freshman Rep Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced the
"Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Consistency Act" on May 14. The
measure--HR 4720--would require private land-use regulators--such as
homeowners' associations--to "reasonably accommodate" Amateur Radio
communication consistent with the PRB-1 limited federal preemption. PRB-1
now applies only to states and municipalities. Rep Greg Walden, WB7OCE
(R-OR) and Rep Pete Sessions (R-TX) signed on as original cosponsors of HR
4720. Since its introduction, the bill also has attracted additional
cosponsors--Rep J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), Rep Patrick Tiberi (R-OH), Rep Patsy
Mink (D-HI), Rep Ken Calvert (R-CA), Rep Rick Boucher (D-VA), Rep Joseph
Hoeffel (D-PA) and Rep John Duncan Jr (R-TN). Visit the US House of
Representatives "Write Your Representative Service" Web page
<> for information on how to contact your
representative. The ARRL requests those writing or e-mailing members of
Congress--whether or not they are supporting this legislation--to copy
ARRL on their correspondence--via e-mail to or via US
Mail to CC&R Bill, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Correspondents
should include the bill number, HR 4720, as well as their name and address
on all correspondence.

* Dayton Hamvention attendance dips again in 2002: Dayton Hamvention
reports that attendance for this year's 50th anniversary event was
24,832--down about 5 percent from 2001's crowd of 26,151. The 2002 number
marks the second year in a row that Hamvention attendance has dipped. Over
the past five years, attendance numbers had climbed to 28,804 in 2000, the
year of the ARRL National Convention at Dayton. Hamvention attendance
peaked in 1993 at 33,669--before the event date changed from April to May.

* Petition for Reconsideration follows FCC's denial: Nick Leggett, N3NL,
and Don Schellhardt have asked the FCC to reconsider its staff-level
denial of their petition that would have required all electronic equipment
subject to the Commission's jurisdiction--possibly including amateur
gear--to be shielded against electromagnetic pulse (EMP) damage. In late
May, the FCC dismissed the petition, designated RM-10330, saying that
comments filed overwhelmingly favored that action. In their
reconsideration request, Leggett and Schellhardt noted that they now have
sent letters requesting the support of key congressional leaders as well
as members of the Executive Branch, including President George W. Bush.
"We will soon see which of these individuals, if any, are willing to
extend themselves on a matter of pressing national security: that is, the
need for mandatory shielding to protect vital civilian electronics
equipment from the possible hostile use of an Electromagnetic Pulse
(EMP)," the petitioners said in an emotional appeal. Among other things,
the petition accuses the FCC of breach of statutory duty for failing to
take steps to mitigate any EMP threat. The FCC said it saw no need to
intervene because industry already was developing its own voluntary EMP
standards, which Leggett and Schellhardt view as inadequate and

* Field Day turns tragic for Alabama club: Muscle Shoals Amateur Radio
Club President Randy Newton, AF4TG (ex-KE4TZV) of Killen, Alabama,
suffered a fatal heart attack during the club's W4JNB Field Day operation
June 23. He was 43. "Randy had been doing his part to bring club members
into the meetings, as well as making everyone feel welcome on the 146.61
club repeater," said club member Rick Ruhl, W4PC. Ruhl said attempts by
trained individuals on site failed to revive Newton. "He did pass on doing
what he loved, ham radio, which was some comfort to us," Ruhl said. The
club terminated its Field Day operation after the incident. Newton was an
ARRL member and a volunteer examiner. Survivors include his wife, Mary,
KF4MEI. A funeral service was held June 25.

* Nevada ARES team supports fire response: ARES Northern Nevada District
Emergency Coordinator Matt Parker, N7TOD, reports that the Cannon Fire in
northwestern Nevada prompted a request for communications support from the
Sierra Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross in Reno June 17. Members
of the Northern Nevada Amateur Radio Services (NNARS), Douglas County
Amateur Radio Team (DCART), and Lyon County ARES (LCARES) responded.
Parker says Amateur Radio was used to set up a communication link between
evacuation centers in Topaz and Coleville, California, and the chapter
house in Reno. "Mountainous terrain and the 80-mile distance between Reno
and the fire area made communications using the Red Cross radio system
impossible," Parker explained. Two meters was used from Reno, while HF was
used into the fire area. DCART members in the Minden/Gardnerville, Nevada,
area provided relays between the two points. Support operations began on
the afternoon of June 17 and ended at noon on June 19 when the fire moved
away from populated areas and evacuation orders were cancelled. "Chapter
personnel were most grateful for our services," Parker said. "The Red
Cross was grateful as well for the assistance given by members of DCART
and LCARES." An after-action report for NNARS' participation is on the
Northern Nevada Amateur Radio Services Web site

* SKYWARN activates for busy night in Minnesota: Amateurs in Central
Minnesota had a busy night June 20 when severe weather was reported in
several counties. Stearns County SKYWARN activated at about 7:40 PM local
time with John Wetter, K0WDJ; Jack Maus, W0MBD; and Brian Wall, KC0IOG,
handling net control duties and Stearns County Emergency Management
Director Marvin Klug, KB0RRS, in the 911 dispatch center. At 7:58 PM, Bill
Klundt, KG0DX, spotted a tornado about five miles southwest of Sauk
Centre. The report was shared with the National Weather Service office in
Minneapolis/Chanhassen, K0MPX, which issued a tornado warning for Stearns
County. Spotters continued to watch the storm as it moved through the
county, with a report of a funnel cloud near Freeport from Ron Kittelson,
K0OS, and again near St Stephen. Funnel clouds were again spotted as a new
storm formed and moved near St Cloud. A brief tornado was reported in Sauk
Rapids at 9:18 PM, but no damage was confirmed. The SKYWARN net stood down
at 9:45 PM as the storms weakened and moved out of the county.--John
Wetter, K0WDJ

The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American
Radio Relay League--The National Association For Amateur Radio--225 Main
St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax 860-594-0259; Jim Haynie, W5JBP, President

The ARRL Letter offers a weekly e-mail digest of essential news of
interest to active amateurs. The ARRL Letter strives to be timely,
accurate, concise, and readable. Visit ARRLWeb at for
the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRLWeb Extra at offers ARRL members access to
informative features and columns.

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 and The American Radio Relay League.

==>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.

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 and The American Radio Relay League.

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