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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 20, No. 41
October 12, 2001


* +SATERN support marks a month in New York City
* +Ham radio reports detail hurricane's devastation
* +ARRL encourages letters to boost CC&R awareness 
* +FCC says it expects band plan compliance
* +IARU Region 2 Conference wraps up in Guatemala
* +IARU Administrative Council resolves to end Morse testing
* +AMSAT-NA Symposium attracts upbeat crowd
* +ARRL welcomes chief development officer
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     Sign up for Emergency Communications Level I on-line course!
     Novice Spectrum Survey deadline is October 15
     Wisconsin amateur antenna bill, AB-368, advances to Senate
     Elmer stories wanted
     ARRL not soliciting for affinity credit cards
     DXCC credit now approved for TT8DX operation
     Noted DXer Pete Billon, K6JG, SK

+Available on ARRL Audio News



One month into its disaster relief support operation in New York City,
Salvation Army Team Emergency Response Network (SATERN) volunteers are
holding up well. SATERN Amateur Radio Liaison Officer Jeff Schneller, N2HPO,
says the operation could run for several more weeks.

"Our current team of Amateur Radio operators is doing a fantastic job,"
Schneller said. "The operation is going great!"

SATERN is now "making do" with at least six Amateur Radio volunteers per
day, from about 9 AM until 11 PM, primarily to support the Salvation Army
World Trade Center canteen operations, although Schneller said an even dozen
for the two daily shifts would be ideal. SATERN last week eliminated its
overnight shift of radio operator volunteers. Operators have come from all
over, including New Hampshire, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and Missouri.
Schneller said he even had offers of help from England and Canada.

One operator, Janet Stonecipher, KC0IET, arrived on her own from Missouri
three weeks ago. "Janet seems to want to stay for the duration but is
overdue for rotation out," Schneller said. Another Missourian, Anna Balmer,
arrived with a REACT team and stayed on. "She is here working with us under
extreme circumstances," Schneller explained. "Her brother was killed in the
Pentagon attack." He said two local groups--the Broadcast Employees Amateur
Radio Society (BEARS) and the Electchester VHF Club have been providing
exclusive use of their repeaters since Day One.

Schneller, who's in the fire alarm and sprinkler business, also has been
involved from the start, and--with the understanding and support of his
customers--has been logging some long hours. Carlos Varon, K2LCV, has been
Schneller's backup and has taken over as scheduling coordinator for
volunteers. Recently, however, Schneller has had to start paying more
attention to his business again. Even so, he said, "most work days get cut
short to resolve problems." Most employers seem to be supporting the
volunteers, he added.

SATERN radio volunteers have been handling base station duties at Salvation
Army Headquarters on 14th Street in Manhattan, working on roving patrols to
check up on various Salvation Army canteen sites to see what might be
needed, and providing communication at key field sites, aboard supply trucks
and at the distribution warehouse. Along with physical nourishment, The
Salvation Army is supplying emotional and spiritual sustenance at the World
Trade Center disaster site through its two prayer centers. 

"Thanks to all the Amateur Radio operators who have come to assist and made
this a successful operation," Schneller said, adding that he also
appreciated the many other offers to help. SATERN now is limiting its fresh
volunteers to those available from the Greater New York City area.

Schneller strongly advised all Amateur Radio operators to prepare for the
future by first getting acquainted with and joining their local ARES or
SATERN teams, then by taking the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
Course <;. More information about SATERN is available
on the SATERN Web site <>;.


Amateur Radio reports this week told of severe damage from Hurricane Iris,
as the storm struck the Central American nation of Belize. Reports gathered
via the Hurricane Watch Net by W4EHW operators at the National Hurricane
Center say Iris--subsequently downgraded to a tropical depression--destroyed
houses and claimed more than a dozen lives.

After passing through the Caribbean as a Category 1 storm, Iris built into
an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 140 MPH.
Iris made landfall October 8 on the southern coast of Belize.

According to W4EHW Deputy Amateur Radio Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4JR, the
net received reports via Bruce Miller, V31JU, of severe damage to the
Placentia and Big Creek villages. Ripoll said the reports cited severe
structural damage to all of the houses in Placentia and Big
Creek--well-known as diving and fishing destinations for tourists and having
a local population of about 1500 people. "Many houses are completely blown
away," Miller was quoted as saying. "Most houses that had concrete block
walls, had no roofs." No lives were lost, however. 

Charter boats moored off Placentia fared much worse. Ripoll said the
120-foot Wave Dancer, a vessel that takes scuba enthusiasts on diving
excursions, had capsized. Belize authorities later recovered the bodies of
19 victims, including 17 members of a Richmond, Virginia, diving club.

Ripoll said ham radio reports came from many V31 stations and from vessels
trying to ride out the storm. One regular reporting station was Allison
Barton, KF6HYJ/mm, aboard the 42-foot sailboat Dreamer near New Haven,
Belize, with her husband, Mike. As Iris approached landfall, KF6HYJ/mm came
on the air to report that the vessel had broken free of all four anchors and
run aground. Although the sailboat sustained damage, the couple was reported
to be safe and unharmed, Ripoll said. 

Over the weekend, the Hurricane Watch Net and W4EHW's Amateur Radio Group
received many live surface-weather reports from Jamaica, the Cayman Islands,
Honduras, Roatan Island and Belize, as Iris tracked through the Caribbean,
Ripoll said.

W4EHW and the Hurricane Watch Net first activated Saturday, October 6,
and--with some breaks--stayed on the air through the early hours of Tuesday,
October 9, on the HWN's 14.325 MHz frequency. W4EHW also received reports
via the Internet. Forecasters use the real-time surface reports to help them
predict a storm's path, intensity and damage potential.


ARRL is encouraging members to write their members of Congress in an effort
to build awareness in Congress that private land-use regulations have become
a real problem for many Amateur Radio operators. ARRL Legislative and Public
Affairs Manager Steve Mansfield, N1MZA, says support from the amateur
community will help to backstop the League's efforts to meet with elected
representatives and staffers on Capitol Hill to discuss possible

"In the meantime, we continue to prowl the halls of Congress in search of
supporters!" Mansfield said.

As condominium complexes and planned communities proliferate, covenants,
conditions and restrictions, or CC&Rs, have become a growing obstacle to
amateurs who want to erect antennas. At its July meeting, the ARRL Board of
Directors adopted a goal of legislative action to help overcome the
restrictions that CC&Rs impose on Amateur Radio antennas.

Amateurs who are affected by CC&Rs--or who know someone in their
Congressional district who is--are invited to adapt the ARRL's sample letter
to their own situations and consider sending it to their Congressional
representative. A sample of the letter is on the ARRL Web site

To find a Senator's mailing address, visit the US Senate Web site
<>;. To find a Representative's
mailing address, visit the US House of Representatives Web site,

Those writing are requested to share their correspondence with Steve
Mansfield, N1MZA, Legislative and Public Affairs Manager, ARRL, 225 Main St,
Newington, CT 06111;


The FCC recently asked three amateurs to respond to complaints alleging that
they deliberately transmitted SSB on top of CW stations operating in the
vicinity of 1820 to 1825 kHz. The FCC has never designated mode-specific
subbands in the 160-meter amateur band. Instead, operators are asked to
voluntarily adhere to the ARRL band plan, revised this past summer, which
recommends a lower limit of 1843 kHz for SSB operation.

In the wake of the complaints, FCC Special Counsel for Amateur Radio
Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth wrote George Wehrung, W5TZ, and Dennis
Clauder, KT5S--both of Texas--and Derrick Vogt, WA4TWM, of Kansas in
mid-September. Hollingsworth asked each to respond to allegations from
several other operators that their SSB transmissions deliberately interfered
with attempts by others to operate on CW between 1820 and 1830 kHz. Copies
of the complaints were sent to all three operators. 

"Band plans are voluntary in nature," Hollingsworth acknowledged in each of
the similarly worded letters. He said the FCC depends upon voluntary
compliance because it minimizes the necessity for the Commission to be
called in to resolve amateur problems. "Where interference results from band
plans not being followed," Hollingsworth continued, "the Commission expects
substantial justification to be shown by the operators ignoring the band

Hollingsworth requested that Wehrung, Clauder and Vogt each reply to the
complaints within 20 days.


The International Amateur Radio Union, Region 2, held its 14th General
Assembly in Guatemala City, October 1-5. Twenty-one IARU member-societies
from throughout the Americas were represented.

Heading the ARRL delegation was President Jim Haynie, W5JBP. He was assisted
by First Vice President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, and staff members David Sumner,
K1ZZ, Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, and Jon Siverling, WB3ERA.

Among other actions, the conference:

* Endorsed the objective of a worldwide allocation of at least 300 kHz for
the amateur service at 7 MHz, while maintaining a 300-kHz allocation for
Region 2 amateurs as "an essential and non-negotiable requirement." The
conference emphasized that other objectives being sought by international
broadcasters "should not be permitted to detract from reaching" these goals.

* Asked the IARU Administrative Council to study other ways to reduce
interference from the users of CB radio equipment, particularly in the 10
and 12 meter bands.

* Urged Region 2 member-societies to support a coordinated approach to
secondary allocations to the amateur service in the low-frequency bands
135.7-137.8 kHz and 160-190 kHz.

* Requested the Region 2 Executive Committee to study the possibility of an
amateur allocation near 5 MHz, similar to the domestic allocation recently
requested by the ARRL in the United States.

* Expressed appreciation for actions by the administration of Guatemala to
preserve and improve the amateur allocation at 430-440 MHz.

* Expressed concern about unauthorized operation in the amateur VHF and UHF
bands and encouraged member-societies to take appropriate action,
particularly against continuing commercial interference to amateur satellite
uplinks in the 2-meter band.

* Supported the revision of Article S25 of the international Radio
Regulations, as proposed by the IARU Administrative Council, including the
incorporation by reference of Recommendation ITU-R M.1544. This would permit
the Recommendation concerning operator qualifications in the Amateur Service
to be updated in the appropriate ITU-R Study Group rather than being drafted
in a World Radiocommunication Conference.

Elected as president of Region 2 for a three-year term was past president
Pedro Seidemann, YV5BPG. Outgoing president Tom Atkins, VE3CDM, declined to
seek re-election after two terms. Elected as vice president was Dario
Jurado, HP1DJ. He replaces Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AMH, who declined to seek
re-election. ARRL International Affairs Vice President Rod Stafford, W6ROD,
was elected secretary. Noel Donawa, 9Y4NED, was re-elected treasurer and Ron
Szama, LU2AH, was re-elected to the Executive Committee. Newly elected to
the Executive Committee were Tim Ellam, VE6SH, Pedro Rodriguez, CO2RP, Marco
Tulio Gudiel, TG9AGD, and Gustavo de Faria Franco, PT2ADM.


Saying that it was "setting aside any previous relevant decisions," the
International Amateur Radio Union Administrative Council this week resolved
that IARU policy supports "the removal of Morse code testing as an ITU
requirement for an amateur license to operate on frequencies below 30 MHz."
The Council further resolved to urge member societies--as an interim
measure--to seek Morse code testing speeds "not exceeding five words per

The resolution was adopted during the IARU Administrative Council meeting
October 6-8 in Guatemala City, Guatemala, which followed the 14th General
Assembly of IARU Region 2.

The Council's Morse resolution took into consideration the approval--without
opposition--of ITU-R Recommendation M.1544. That document sets out the
minimum qualifications of radio amateurs. The Council also said it
recognizes that Morse code "continues to be an effective and efficient mode
of communication used by many thousands of radio amateurs" but that Morse
code proficiency as requirement for an HF amateur license "is no longer
relevant to the healthy future of Amateur Radio."

The principal business at the Administrative Council session was to review
the status of IARU preparations for WRC-2003. Agenda items of concern to
amateurs include, among others, the harmonization of amateur and
broadcasting allocations near 7 MHz, the adequacy of HF broadcasting
allocations below 10 MHz, and possible revisions to Article S25 of the
international Radio Regulations. 

Among other things, Article S25 spells out Amateur Radio operator
qualifications. It now provides that Amateur Radio license applicants
demonstrate the ability "to send correctly by hand and to receive correctly
by ear, texts in Morse code signals" for operation below 30 MHz. The IARU
Administrative Council supports the revision of Article S25 and the
incorporation by reference of Recommendation M.1544. 

The IARU Council selected the theme of the next World Amateur Radio Day,
April 18, 2002, as "Amateur Radio: Continuing Innovation in Communication


Amateur Radio satellite enthusiasts from around the US--and a few from
abroad--converged in Atlanta October 5-8 for the 19th AMSAT-NA Symposium and
Annual Meeting. The event attracted approximately 150 amateurs, who heard
presentations on a wide range of amateur satellite-related topics.

The problem of interference from non-amateur intruders on VHF and UHF
satellite bands was a topic raised in more than one forum during the
weekend. The majority of the interference--particularly on 2 meters--has
been blamed on taxicab operations in Mexico. "This particular source is
Mexico," Soifer said. "It's been pretty well documented." Some conference
participants said individuals using amateur gear as a personal communication
service also are to blame.

Soifer, who chaired a VHF-UHF committee during the just-completed
International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 Conference in Guatemala, said the
issue got "quite a bit of attention" during conference. He advised a "use it
or lose it" approach to combating interference. All agreed that reporting
any intruders promptly to the IARU Monitoring System <>; would
be beneficial. 

During the Symposium's IARU forum, Soifer reported that Region 2 IARU
member-societies were urged to report such interference to their national
administrations. In Mexico, complaints already have been registered with
COFETEL--the Mexican Federal Telecommunications Commission--and AMSAT has
been prompting the amateur community to report such interference when they
monitor it. "The idea is to keep the pressure up on Mexico," Soifer said.

AMSAT Treasurer Art Feller, W4ART, agreed. "The more noise that gets made .
. . the more likely it is to get attention," he said. "So, report, report,

IARU Satellite Adviser Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, said keeping the
bands active and reporting and documenting intruders help to keep
interference away and lessen demands on amateur spectrum. "It adds to the
ammunition that the IARU can use at the various conferences," he said. 

Symposium attendees also packed presentations on the progress of the AO-40
satellite, the planned "Project JJ" satellite AMSAT-NA announced earlier
this year, the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station effort, and
various technical topics relating to amateur satellite work. Steve Diggs,
W4EPI, chaired the conference.

At the AMSAT-NA Board meeting, AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH,
was re-elected without opposition to another term. Haighton told the annual
business meeting that AMSAT-NA now has more than 5000 members "and continues
to grow."

Proceedings of the AMSAT-NA 19th Space Symposium and AMSAT-NA Annual Meeting
are available from ARRL for $20. Visit the ARRL Products Catalog,
<>. Audio of the 2001 AMSAT Symposium
and Annual Meeting sessions will available in RealAudio format via the
Houston AMSAT Net Web site operated by Bruce Paige, KK5DO

The 2002 AMSAT Symposium and Annual Meeting will take place November 8-11 in
Fort Worth, Texas.


The ARRL has a new chief development officer. Mary Hobart of Wethersfield,
Connecticut, officially assumed her new duties at ARRL Headquarters on
October 1. 

"We are all deeply impressed by her depth and breadth of knowledge and
particularly by her energy," said ARRL Executive Vice President David
Sumner, K1ZZ.

Hobart's primary job will be to create fund-raising strategies, garner
philanthropic support for ARRL programs and provide leadership in support of
program development, advocacy and ongoing operations.

Prior to coming to the League, Hobart served as vice president for
development at Connecticut Public Television and Radio in Hartford, where
she managed a comprehensive $6.8 million development program. She has been a
development professional for 17 years with a career focus on public
broadcasting membership organizations. A native of Washington, DC, Hobart
holds a BA in history and has completed work toward an MBA. 

Hobart's two main passions are gardening and international travel. Among
other accomplishments, she has led several safaris in Kenya.


Propagation prognosticator Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports:
All indices were down this week. Average daily sunspot numbers were off 87
points from last week and nearly 133 points below the week before. Average
daily solar flux has dropped nearly 57 points from last week and 82 points
from the week before. 

Geomagnetic conditions were relatively stable this week, with the average
daily planetary A index down 18.8 points. October 4 was fairly active, with
a planetary A index of 19 and K indices as high as five. October 8 and 9
were unsettled with planetary A indices of 15 on both days, and planetary K
index as high as four.

The latest forecast shows solar flux at 170 on Friday through Sunday, then
rising to 185 by Wednesday. Holographic images of the far side of the sun
show a large sunspot region that should appear around Monday or Tuesday.
Look for a big jump in solar flux by next Friday, October 19, when the
sunspot group moves toward optimal position for influencing Earth.

Sunspot numbers for October 4 through 10 were 231, 160, 181, 154, 130, 99
and 133, with a mean of 155.4. The 10.7-cm flux was 186.5, 176.9, 180.4,
172.7, 171.2, 176.4 and 178.7, with a mean of 177.5. Estimated planetary A
indices were 19, 9, 8, 4, 15, 15 and 8 with a mean of 11.1.



* This weekend on the radio: The ARRL International EME Competition, the 902
MHz and Above Fall Sprint, the Oceania DX Contest (CW), the EU Autumn Sprint
(CW), the Pennsylvania QSO Party, the FISTS Fall Sprint, the Iberoamericano
Contest, and the North American Sprint (RTTY) are the weekend of October
13-14. See the ARRL Contest Branch page, and for more info.

* Clarification: A report in The ARRL Letter, Vol 20, No 40, mentioned the
SmartBeaconing feature in conjunction with the Tiny Trak II, a miniature TNC
designed for portable applications. Steve Bragg, KA9MVA, points out that the
SmartBeaconing algorithm comes from HamHUD, another APRS device he and Tony
Arnerich, KD7TA, invented. For more information, see "How SmartBeaconing
Works" on the HamHUD Web site, <>;. 

* Sign up for Emergency Communications Level I on-line course! October
registration for the Level I--Introduction to Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications on-line course (EC-001) will open Monday, October 15, at 4 PM
Eastern Time. Two classes of 50 students will be processed during the week,
and on-line classes will begin the week of October 22. After 4 PM
Monday--and until all seats are filled--the registration form can be found
on the ARRL Course Registration page <>;.
Answers to most questions are on the ARRL Certification and Continuing
Education Home page <>; and via the links found in the
small box on the right-hand side of that screen. To learn more, contact ARRL
Certification and Continuing Education Coordinator Dan Miller, K3UFG, Registration for Level II--Intermediate Amateur Radio
Emergency Communications (EC-002) will re-open Monday, October 29. 

* Novice Spectrum Survey deadline is October 15: The deadline is Monday,
October 15, to express your opinion on possible ways to optimize use of the
present Novice and Technician Plus allocations on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters.
Survey results ultimately might form the basis of an ARRL petition for rule
making before the FCC. The Novice Spectrum Study Committee--chaired by ARRL
International Affairs Vice President Rod Stafford, W6ROD--has been examining
the status and usage of the present Novice HF bands with an eye toward
determining what changes might be needed now that the FCC no longer issues
new Novice licenses. More than 4000 responses have been filed to date. The
Novice Spectrum Study survey is available to ARRL members on the Web
<>;. Members may complete
and submit the survey only once. Comments from members and non-members alike
also are invited via e-mail to Those completing the
survey are asked to first read through the entire text of the survey to
understand some of the committee's assumptions regarding what questions to
ask and what band segments and modes to offer as predefined options.

* Wisconsin amateur antenna bill, AB-368, advances to Senate: Following
passage on a voice vote earlier this month, the Wisconsin Amateur Radio
antenna bill, Assembly Bill 368, is now in the Wisconsin Senate. AB-368
would codify the FCC's doctrine of limited pre-emption, PRB-1, into state
law and require localities to "reasonably accommodate" Amateur Radio
communication. Opposition to the measure has come from the League of
Municipalities and the City of Milwaukee. The bill is now in the Senate
Committee on Universities, Housing and Government Operations, chaired by Sen
Mark Meyer. Meyer recently indicated in correspondence with a bill supporter
that he understands the bill's importance to Amateur Radio operators. "In
fact, I myself grew up with ham radio and fully support the bill," he said.
Meyer said AB-368 would definitely be among the measures he plans to
schedule for further committee action. Meyer could hold another public
hearing before his committee votes on whether to send the measure before the
full Wisconsin Senate. Information on how to contact Wisconsin lawmakers is
available via the Badger State Smoke Signals Web site,
<>;. A copy of the pending legislation is on the
Wisconsin Legislature Web site,
<>;--Badger State Smoke

*Elmer stories wanted: Attention, clubs! Is there someone in your club who
is especially good at Elmering (mentoring) new hams? Write and tell us what
that person does that goes above and beyond the ordinary. A Web
feature--"Elmers: A Guiding Ham" (similar to "Club Spotlight")--has debuted
on ARRLWeb and awaits your story. Now's the chance to put your Elmer in the
spotlight! Send your information to Margie Bourgoin, KB1DCO, ARRL Field and
Educational Services, This is your time to publicly
praise that special mentor! 

* ARRL not soliciting for affinity credit cards: The ARRL is not
telemarketing amateurs to sign up for an affinity credit card. Some ARRL
members have reported being solicited for such products that were said to be
offered in connection with an Amateur Radio organization. The ARRL is not
sponsoring these solicitations and has no plans to do so in the future.

* DXCC credit now approved for TT8DX operation: Through the help of recent
inquiries on the Internet, the ARRL DXCC Desk has received and accepted
documentation for TT8DX (Chad). Those who submitted TT8DX previously and
were denied credit may contact DXCC <>; and have their records
updated without having to resubmit cards.--DXCC Desk

* Noted DXer Pete Billon, K6JG, SK: John P. "Pete" Billon, K6JG, of Arroyo
Grande, California, died October 7 following a long illness. He was 80. A
member of ARRL a ham for more than 40 years, Billion was an A-1 Operator
Club and DXCC Honor Roll member. He achieved #1 DXCC Honor Roll on Mixed
(366) and Phone (363). He also was a charter member of the California
Central Coast DX Club. A pilot during World War II, he later flew for United
Air Lines. A memorial service was scheduled for Saturday, October 13, at the
Lady Family Mortuary, 555 Fairoaks Ave, Arroyo Grande, California. Survivors
include his wife, Jessie, K6GJ.--W6KFV via The Daily DX

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.

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