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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 22, No. 29
July 25, 2003


* +ARRL Board seeks post-WRC-03 policy guidance
* +ARRL award winners for 2002 named
* +Turkey space campers chat with ISS via ham radio
* +Morse code requirement eliminated in two countries
* +League urges FCC to improve RFI immunity standards for consumer
* +Amateur Radio licensees are among recent war casualties
* +ARRL re-soliciting 2003 McGan Award nominees
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     ARRL to sponsor emergency communications course seminar in Huntsville

+Available on ARRL Audio News



The ARRL Board of Directors has called on ARRL Chief Executive Officer
David Sumner, K1ZZ, General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, and the ARRL
Executive Committee to develop ARRL policy recommendations for an FCC
filing to implement the results of World Radiocommunication Conference
2003 (WRC-03) in the amateur rules. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP,
chaired the July 18-19 Board session in Windsor, Connecticut.

"The League, as the Amateur Radio representative in the United States,
will, through its democratic process, review input from its members as to
the impact and implementation of these results to the Part 97 rules," a
Board resolution declared. A report on the policy recommendations is due
next January. The Board expressed gratitude to the IARU and ARRL WRC-03
team for its "tireless and dedicated efforts in promoting Amateur Radio"
and congratulated it for achieving the IARU's goals at the month-long
international conference, which wrapped up in Geneva July 4.

Delegates to WRC-03 reached a compromise on a 200-kHz worldwide
allocation--7000 to 7200 kHz--effective in 2009, with no change to the
existing 300-kHz allocation in the US or elsewhere in Region 2. The
conference also eliminated the requirement that amateur applicants prove
Morse code proficiency to operate below 30 MHz, leaving it up to
individual administrations to retain or drop Morse as an exam element.
WRC-03 decisions also resulted in changes affecting international
third-party traffic, guidelines for standards of competence of amateur
licensees, and recognition of the licenses of visiting amateurs.

The Board also implemented some recommendations of the wide-ranging Final
Report of the Volunteer Resources Committee to the ARRL Board of
Directors--an Evaluation of the ARRL's Field Organization. The committee,
chaired by ARRL Midwest Division Director Wade Walstrom, W0EJ, concluded
that the state of the ARRL Field Organization is "fair," but not
sufficient to meet the League's obligation to provide emergency
communications, especially at the national level.

In light of the report, the Board called for a comprehensive system to
enhance the communications capabilities of the Amateur Radio Emergency
Service (ARES). There are situations, the Board said--especially given the
League's new Citizen Corps partnership with the Department of Homeland
Security--when ARES "must have the capability to pass traffic across the
nation quickly and accurately."

The Board also called on all Section Emergency Coordinators to develop,
implement and maintain a comprehensive Section Emergency Plan by year's
end. Additionally, the Board asked Sumner to formally establish leadership
training courses as a part of routine Section Manager orientation.

In response to the so-called "Minute 56" report initiated at last July's
meeting, the Board voted to initiate a process to revise ARRL band plans
for amateur allocations between 902 MHz and 24.25 GHz. "New band plans
will be developed using as a goal the full amateur deployment of each
band," the Board said. The Board voted unanimously to authorize President
Haynie--with assistance from Imlay and Technical Relations Manager Paul
Rinaldo, W4RI, "to explore specific terms of expanded partnering plans
with the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC). Such
cooperation could involve greater integration of amateur operation in the
bands from 902 MHz to 24.25 GHz in public safety and homeland security

Citing the Amateur Radio tradition of Elmering (mentoring) new and
prospective amateurs, the Board okayed a resolution instructing the VRC to
develop two or more viable options for an ARRL Volunteer Mentor program
that would provide for "the promotion, support and growth of mentoring in
Amateur Radio." The VRC is to present its options at the Board's January

Additional details are on the ARRL Web site. The minutes of the July ARRL
Board of Directors meeting will be posted on the ARRL Web site.


The ARRL Board of Directors has announced its list of 2002 award winners
to recognize excellence, achievement or innovation in several areas. The
Board also created two new awards--the Knight Distinguished Service Award
and The President's Award--and it named ARRL New Mexico Section Manager
Joe T. Knight, W5PDY as the first recipient of the award bearing his name.

Knight, who served as New Mexico's SM for 27 years, "has distinguished
himself as a leader among leaders" who often has "gone above and beyond
the call of duty" by volunteering to train and orient new SMs, the Board
said. He stepped down recently for health reasons. Knight received an in
absentia standing ovation.

The President's Award will recognize an ARRL member or members who "have
shown long-term dedication to the goals and objectives of ARRL and Amateur
Radio" and who have gone the extra mile to support individual League
programs and goals.

Eighteen-year-old Ben Schupack, NW7DX, is the winner of the 2002 ARRL
Hiram Percy Maxim Award. The HPM Award recognizes an exceptional amateur
under age 21. An avid CW operator and ARRL member, Schupack is the
Northwest Division manager for the League of Young Radio Amateurs (LYRA)
and belongs to several Western Washington radio clubs. He enjoys QRP radio
construction and recently designed an HF bicycle mobile station. An
accomplished musician, he's also involved with athletics and community
service. In May, Schupack became the first recipient of the William R.
Goldfarb Memorial Scholarship. He will attend Whitman College this fall.
As the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award winner, Schupack will receive a
cash award of $1500 and an engraved plaque.

Edmund Weiss, W1NXC, will receive the ARRL Herb S. Brier (W9AD) Instructor
of the Year Award. Named for the late, long-time CQ Novice column editor,
the award honors an individual who represents the spirit of Brier's
effective and caring Amateur Radio instruction. Weiss's past students
credit his positive attitude, dedication to ham radio and upbeat,
attentive and encouraging style. He'll receive an engraved plaque.

Bruce Watson, AA3LX, is the ARRL Professional Educator of the Year. This
award goes to a teacher who uses Amateur Radio within the curriculum. A
seventh-grade science teacher at Mars Area Middle School in Pennsylvania,
Watson "actively involves students in hands-on activities and incorporates
many activities in interdisciplinary units," said the school's principal,
Richard Cornell. Watson will receive an engraved plaque.

Joseph Giraudo, N7JEH, is the recipient of the ARRL Excellence in
Recruiting Award. The award is presented to an Amateur Radio operator for
outstanding volunteer work in recruiting newcomers to Amateur Radio. "Joe
has done more to recruit new hams and ARRL members in Eastern Nevada than
anyone else," said ARRL Nevada Section Manager Dick Flanagan, W6OLD. He
will receive a $100 ARRL gift certificate and an engraved plaque.

Gerald Youngblood, AC5OG, is the recipient of the Doug DeMaw, W1FB,
Technical Excellence Award in recognition of his groundbreaking articles,
"A Software-Defined Radio for the Masses," in the July/August and
September/October 2002 issues of QEX. The articles describe the developmen
t of the SDR-1000, one of the first multimode software-defined
transceivers with HF capability. Youngblood is a member of the ARRL SDR
Working Group. The DeMaw Award consists of an engraved nine-inch pewter

Jonathan Taylor, K1RFD, is the winner of the ARRL Technical Innovation
Award. Taylor is the developer of the EchoLink
<> voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP)
Amateur Radio repeater linking system. EchoLink boasts more than 94,000
registered users in 136 countries. Registration is free, and 1500 stations
typically are on-line enjoying 300 QSOs at the same time. The ARRL
Technical Innovation Award carries a cash award of $500 and an engraved

Danny Hampton Jr, K4ITL, is the recipient of the ARRL Technical Service
Award. Hampton is the architect of the Piedmont Coastal Repeater Network,
established in the early 1970s. Today the network sports more than 40
machines in North Carolina. The system is heavily used for public service
work. He'll receive a $100 ARRL gift certificate and an engraved plaque.

Barry Malowanchuk, VE4MA, is the winner of the ARRL Microwave Development
Award. The award recognizes his many contributions to microwave equipment
design and development. On August 18, 2001, after several years of hard
work, Malowanchuk and Al Ward, W5LUA, completed the world's first 24-GHz
Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) contact (see "The Journey to EME on 24 GHz," Oct
2002 QST). He'll receive a $100 ARRL gift certificate and an engraved

At the recommendation of the ARRL Public Relations Committee, the Board
granted a Lifetime Achievement Award to well-known DXer and filmmaker Dave
Bell, W6AQ. The Board cited the Emmy and Peabody award winner's many
significant contributions to the ARRL, including his recent work as
director on the recent Amateur Radio Today CD-ROM presentation and his
production work on several films promoting Amateur Radio. Bell is a past
chairman of the ARRL Public Relations Committee.


With apologies to singer Billy Joel, US astronaut Ed Lu, KC5WKJ, is "The
Piano Man" in space. During a July 14 contact arranged as part of the
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program, Lu told students
at Space Camp Turkey--home of YM3SCT--that one of the things he enjoys
doing in his off-hours is playing the piano.

"We have a small piano up here. It's an electronic piano, and I like to
play the piano in my spare time," Lu explained to the 124 space campers at
Space Center Turkey in Izmir. Twenty of the youngsters--who were from the
US, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Azerbaijan--got to ask questions of
the astronaut during the ham radio/teleconference linkup. An MCI
teleconference line handled two-way audio between the space camp in Turkey
and the International Space Station Amateur Radio Club, NN1SS, in
Maryland, where ARISS Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, sat at the controls.

The ARISS contact kicked off a week of activities at Space Camp Turkey.
ARISS Vice Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, in Belgium served as mentor and
moderator for the contact, while Aziz Sasa, TA1E, managed arrangements at
the Space Camp.

Responding to a question about where the ISS crew gets its water, Lu told
the space campers that water arrives in huge containers aboard Progress
supply rockets from Russia. The water, he said, serves two purposes: it's
used to drink, and it's used to generate oxygen to breathe.

"I do want to say that I do pass over Turkey very often, and it is a very
beautiful country," Lu said as a coda to the contact. "I've looked down,
and I've taken a number of nice photographs of the cities there, and I can
tell you live in a wonderful place. It's quite beautiful."

Sasa, who is president of TRAC, Turkey's International Amateur Radio Union
member-society, said he thought the contact had made a big impression on
the youngsters and hoped some of them would become interested in Amateur
Radio as a result of the experience. Nearly 200 others attended the event,
including news media.

ARISS is an international program with participation by ARRL, AMSAT and


World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) made optional the
requirement to prove the ability to send and receive Morse code to operate
below 30 MHz. While Morse exam elements remain on the books in the US,
Canada and elsewhere, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have apparently
become the first countries to delete their Morse requirements for HF
operation. In the US, however, the FCC is unlikely to act on its own
motion to simply make the Morse testing requirement go away.

"There isn't an exception in the Administrative Procedures Act that I am
aware of that would permit the Commission to issue an administrative fiat
changing the license structure or exam-requirement rules," said an FCC
staffer who's closely involved with Amateur Service rules. Other countries
can do this because they have different laws and procedures, the FCC staff
member observed, adding that even if it could be done here, "that still
leaves unanswered the fundamental question: What do you want the new rules
to be?"

In its December 1999 Report and Order restructuring Amateur Radio
licensing, the FCC stopped short of revising the rules to sunset the Morse
requirement automatically if WRC-03 deleted Morse proficiency from the
international Radio Regulations. The FCC also acknowledged "a clear
dichotomy of viewpoints" on the Morse code issue within the amateur

The ARRL's policy for several years has been that Morse should be retained
as a testing element in the US. At its July 18-19 meeting in Connecticut,
however, the Board said it would solicit and review input from members on
the Morse testing requirement and other possible revisions to Part 97
arising from WRC-03.

The first move on the Morse code question in the US is for someone to file
a Petition for Rule Making with the FCC seeking a rule change. No Code
International (NCI) <> has spearheaded the battle to
eliminate the Morse requirement and would be a likely organization to file
such a petition. NCI Executive Director Carl Stevenson, WK3C, said late
last week that NCI was still studying the matter and had not yet made a
final decision on a plan of action. An ARRL member, Stevenson says he
hopes personally that the League would join NCI in actively encouraging
the FCC to eliminate the Morse exam element as soon as possible.

Hopes for a quick resolution to the Morse question could be wishful
thinking, however. Once a petition to drop the Morse exam element is
filed, the FCC will put it on "public notice" by assigning an RM number
and soliciting comments. If more than one such petition is filed, the FCC
is obliged to invite comments on each. When that process is completed, the
FCC may determine that a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) is in
order. The Commission at that point could incorporate all Morse-related
rule making petitions into a single proceeding. The NPRM would get a
docket number, and the comment process would begin anew.

Further complicating and extending the process, the FCC most likely would
incorporate other pending Amateur Radio-related issues into the same NPRM.
At the end of the comment and reply comment periods, the FCC would issue a
Report and Order (R&O) that includes its decision on the Morse code
requirement and any other issues incorporated into the proceeding. The
whole process could take a couple of years, perhaps longer.

Ratification of the WRC-03 Final Acts by the US Senate does not appear to
be necessary before the FCC can act or begin the rule making process.
Following World Administrative Conference 1979 (WARC-79) which resulted in
three new HF amateur bands, the FCC acted in 1982, prior to Senate
ratification of the conference's Final Acts, not only to initiate the rule
making process but to give amateurs limited access to 30 meters.

Radio Amateurs of Canada has advised hams in that country that the Morse
qualification requirement remains in effect for operation below 30 MHz,
"pending a review by Industry Canada of the impact of the WRC-2003
regulatory changes on the Canadian radio regulations, policies and


The ARRL has told the FCC that improved interference standards for
consumer electronic devices is the most pressing need as the Commission
considers the interference immunity performance of receivers. The League
this week filed comments in response to an FCC Notice of Inquiry (NOI),
"Interference Immunity Performance Specifications for Radio Receivers"
(ET-03-65), released last March to gather input on the issue. While
recommending "either mandatory receiver immunity standards or at least
guidelines" in most other services, the ARRL said no receiver immunity
standards are necessary or practical in the "essentially experimental"
Amateur Service.

"The real need for receiver immunity specifications is in the area of
consumer electronics," the ARRL said. "With the current explosion of
consumer electronics and unlicensed devices, the Commission
must--concurrently with consideration of receiver immunity standards in
licensed radio services--establish interference rejection standards for
unlicensed home electronic equipment and systems as well."

At the same time, the ARRL said, development of any receiver immunity
standards or guidelines "should not be used as a means of justifying the
overlay of otherwise fundamentally incompatible spectrum sharing

The League said the FCC has had the authority to require improved RF
interference immunity of consumer electronics and systems for many years
"and has failed repeatedly to exercise it." The result has been "many
thousands of instances of complaints against Amateur Radio operators and,
in some cases, civil and criminal actions being filed," the League said.
In its 21-page reply to the NOI, the ARRL recited the recent history of
legislative and regulatory efforts to come to grips with interference from
RF sources, including amateur stations, to receivers used in other
services, such as TV and radio broadcasting, and to consumer electronics.

"ARRL continues to believe that receiver immunity should be on the order
of 3 V/m for receivers that might be in the near field of an Amateur Radio
station," the League said. At that distance, a receiver would be immune to
an approximately 100-W ham radio transmission into a 0 dBd antenna 100
feet away. The League conceded, however, that such a standard would not
address the interference immunity of telephones, computers, alarm systems,
audio systems and other consumer electronics that "constitute the bulk of
the instances of interference involving Amateur Radio operators."

The ARRL suggested the FCC mandate a standard for all consumer electronics
or adopt a labeling or grading system that allows consumers to make their
own choices about the importance of interference immunity and its value in
terms of increased product cost. The League also said software-defined
radio (SDR) technology offered the best opportunity to deal with receiver

The ARRL advised the FCC against relying exclusively on manufacturers to
agree on how to deal with interference immunity.

The ARRL also urged the FCC not to make interference susceptibility of
unlicensed devices a determining factor in whether a licensed radio
service should be given an allocation in bands in where unlicensed--and
unprotected--devices are deployed. As an example, the League cited the
FCC's recent refusal to allocate a sliver band in the vicinity of 136 kHz
"because of the ill-conceived prior deployment of unlicensed power line
carrier [PLC] systems."

The FCC, in effect, "refused to make an allocation based on interference
susceptibility of unlicensed and unprotected RF devices and systems," the
League said. "This is improper spectrum management and the policy should
be revisited."

The ARRL's comments on the NOI are available on the ARRL Web site


Two of the most recent casualties of the war in Iraq were Amateur Radio
licensees. According to an Associated Press report, Specialist Jon Fettig,
KC0HSQ, of Dickinson, North Dakota, died July 22 in an ambush on a road
some 50 miles north of Baghdad. Another soldier from Fettig's Army
National Guard unit was wounded in the attack. Both belonged to the 957th
Multi-Role Bridge Company based in Bismarck. Fettig, 30, a member of an
engineering unit in Dickinson, had volunteered to fill a vacancy in the
Bismarck company to bring it up to full strength. A Guard member for some
11 years, Fettig died at the scene of the ambush.

On July 23, Nadisha Yassari Ranmuthu, 4S7NR--an international Red Cross
aid worker from Sri Lanka--was shot and killed and his Iraqi driver
wounded after their vehicle, marked with the Red Cross emblem, came under
fire south of Baghdad. Ranmuthu, 37, a communications engineer for the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), reportedly died
instantly. The Red Cross has 850 staffers now working from eight bases in
Iraq. Ranmuthu was there to install communications equipment at Red Cross
offices and to help train Iraqi operators to use it, news accounts said.


During its July meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors voted to re-solicit
nominations for the 2003 Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award.
The ARRL Public Relations Committee has determined that none of the
nominations submitted for this year's award adequately fit the award

"All three nominees have achieved notable success in the area of public
service," Committee Chairman Jeff Reinhardt, AA6JR, said, "but the
committee did not feel that the nominations reflected the important
volunteer public relations efforts for which the award is given."

Those planning to nominate someone for the 2003 McGan Award are encouraged
to read "Announcing the 12th Annual McGan Award" (QST Feb 2003) for more
information. The article highlights the significant differences between
public relations and public service. Public relations involves efforts
specifically directed at bringing Amateur Radio to the attention of the
general public and the news media in a positive light.

Nomination forms are available on the ARRL Web site
<>. Return completed entry
forms and supporting materials to Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna
Award, c/o Jennifer Hagy, N1TDY, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.
Nominations must be received at ARRL Headquarters by 5 PM Eastern Daylight
Time on September 2, 2003.


Heliophile Tad "Sunshine of Your Love" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington,
reports: Geomagnetic activity settled down over the past week. The average
daily planetary A index dropped by nearly half from the previous week,
from 29.1 to 16.1. Average daily sunspot numbers went up from 140 to
195.3, and average daily solar flux rose from 125.6 to 147.7.

Solar flux declined from Wednesday to Thursday, July 23 to 24, from 144.1
to 129.2. Predicted solar flux for Friday through Monday, July 25 to 28 is
120, 125, 125 and 130. Planetary A indices for those same days is
predicted at 12, 15, 12 and 15 but is expected to rise next week to
between 20 and 25.

Sunspot numbers for July 17 through 23 were 189, 193, 178, 224, 219, 200
and 164, with a mean of 195.3. The 10.7-cm flux was 138.7, 139.7, 146,
157.3, 155.6, 152.5 and 144.1, with a mean of 147.7. Estimated planetary A
indices were 22, 14, 26, 19, 12, 9 and 11, with a mean of 16.1.


* This weekend on the radio: The IOTA Contest, the Russian RTTY World Wide
Contest, the Kentucky QSO Party and the Black Sea 2-Meter VHF FM Contest
are the weekend of July 26-27. JUST AHEAD: The North American QSO Party
(CW), the ARRL UHF Contest, the TARA Grid Dip PSK-RTTY Shindig, the 10-10
International Summer Contest (SSB), the European HF Championship and the
SARL HF SSB Contest are the weekend of Aug 2-3. See the ARRL Contest
Branch page <> and the WA7BNM Contest
Calendar <> for more info.

* ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration:
Registration for the Radio Frequency Interference (EC-006) and Satellite
Communications (EC-007) courses opens Monday, July 28, 12:01 AM EDT (0401
UTC). Registration will remain open through Sunday, August 3. Classes
begin Tuesday afternoon, August 5. Registration for the ARRL HF Digital
Communications (EC-005) and VHF/UHF--Life Beyond the Repeater (EC-008)
courses remains open through Sunday, July 27. 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 Howard Robins, W1HSR,

* ARRL to sponsor emergency communications course seminar in Huntsville:
The ARRL will offer a free Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course
(ARECC) seminar August 15 in conjunction with the Huntsville Hamfest 2003
in Huntsville, Alabama. The seminar will not include the Level I course
itself. This program is designed to explain in greater detail the duties
of volunteer certification mentors, instructors and examiners of the
Amateur Radio Emergency Communications courses and provide additional
information for those considering these volunteer positions. The seminar
will be held Friday, August 15, 1-5 PM, in Forum Room 1. If you plan to
attend, contact ARRL Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan Miller,
K3UFG,; 860-594-0340; fax 860-594-0259. Seminar attendance
does not include admission to the hamfest, August 16 and 17. Visit the
Huntsville Hamfest 2003 Web site <> for
more information on the event.

* Corrections: The story "Cosmonaut-Ham Plans to Wed While in Space" in
The ARRL Letter, Vol 22, No 28 (Jul 18, 2003) gave an incorrect call sign
for ISS Expedition 7 commander Yuri Malenchenko. His call sign is RK3DUP.
The story "California Governor Signs Amateur Antenna Bill," in the same
issue contained an outdated Web link to the text of the legislation. The
latest link is

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
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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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