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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 20, No. 44
November 2, 2001


* +Sharing bands a ham radio reality
* +"Band threat" proceeding now accepting e-comments
* +Texas youngsters enjoy "ARISS adventure"
* +Georgia to host next USA ARDF championships
* +Ham radio's senior sailor on his way home
* +A random act of kindness in Florida--compliments of hams
     This weekend on the radio
     VY1JA to be QRV during November CW Sweepstakes
     ARISS establishes European QSL service
    +Dayton Hamvention awards deadline looms
     Les Belyea, N7AIK, SK
     Texas hams assist flag run
     Morse Code to be featured on upcoming X-Files episode

+Available on ARRL Audio News

Editor's note: Due to a scheduled vacation, the November 2 editions of The
ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News are being distributed on October 31. There
will be no editions of The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News for Friday,
November 9. ARRL solar/propagation bulletins will be posted on the ARRL Web
site. Breaking news will be posted on the ARRL Web site
<>, as an ARRL Bulletin or as a Special Bulletin to
Letter subscribers. The ARRL Letter and ARRL Audio News will return Friday,
November 16.--Rick Lindquist, N1RL


Amateur Radio operators can get mighty territorial when they perceive that
some other radio service is intruding upon "their" turf. What many hams
often don't understand, however, is that Amateur Radio is a secondary
service in the US on several popular bands or subbands. As such, it's
subject to interference from primary radio service occupants and, by law,
must avoid interfering with them. And, of course, ham bands are not all the
same everywhere in the world.

Hams share most of their spectrum--especially the UHF and microwave
allocations--with other users, typically the US Government and Fixed and
Mobile services. The popular 70-cm band, 420-450 MHz, is a good case in
point, says ARRL Field and Regulatory Correspondent Brennan Price, N4QX. 

"Amateur use of the 70-cm band is secondary to government radiolocation services in the US, so hams must tolerate interference from the primary service and may not QRM it," Price explained. No operation in the 420-430 MHz band is permitted north of Line A which extends just south of the Canadian border from Maine to Washington state. 50-W output power limitationjs apply to operations near certain US military installations as documented in Section 2.106, US Footnote 7 and mentioned in The ARRL's FCC Rule Book.

Price notes, however, that military use of the band is not confined to these areas, and the band is utilized aboard aircraft. "We occasionally receive inquiries from amateurs who complain of 70-cm disruptions when military planes fly overhead," said Price, who also serves as the ARRL Monitoring System coordinator. "We have every reason to believe that the current spate of widely heard disruptions is due to high-altitude airborne operations by the band's legal, primary occupant--the US Government." The 420-430 MHz segment is allocated on a primary basis worldwide to the Fixed and Mobile (except Aeronautical Mobile) services. Two meters--144 to 148 MHz--is an exclusive allocation in ITU Region 2, which includes North and South America. US hams who have taken along an H-T while vacationing in Europe or elsewhere in Region 1, however, know that the 2-meter band in that part of the world is 144-146 MHz. In Region 3, hams have exclusive access to 144-146 MHz and share 146-148 MHz on a co-primary basis with Fixed and Mobile Service stations. Six meters--50 to 54 MHz--is an exclusive ham allocation in Regions 2 and 3, but the band is allocated exclusively for broadcasting in Region 1--although certain countries do allow limited 6-meter operation. The sharing news is much better on the higher HF bands. The 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10-meter bands are allocated to the Amateur Service on an exclusive basis worldwide--with a few minor exceptions for the high end of 20. On other HF bands, some sharing occurs. On 30 meters--10.1 to 10.15 MHz--hams are secondary to non-US Fixed Service stations throughout. Amateurs must avoid harmful interference to these stations. The 40-meter band is currently the focus of an effort supported by the International Amateur Radio Union and ARRL to obtain a 300-kHz worldwide exclusive allocation. Most of the world does not have access to the 300 kHz-wide swath from 7.0 to 7.3 MHz that US hams enjoy. In the rest of the world, the upper two-thirds of 40 is dominated by broadcasters. This issue is on the agenda for the 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference <>. One suggested remedy would shift the allocation downward to create a 300-kHz worldwide band at 6.9 to 7.2 MHz. The 80/75-meter band--3.5 to 4.0 MHz--is exclusive to the Amateur Service in the US. Elsewhere in Region 2 hams have exclusive status from 3.500 to 3.750 MHz and share the rest of the band with foreign Fixed and Mobile services on a co-primary basis. Amateurs in Regions 1 and 3 share parts of the band with Fixed and Mobile. There is no amateur operation allowed above 3.8 MHz in Region 1, which includes Europe. The 1.8 to 1.9 MHz segment of 160 meters is exclusive to US amateurs. Hams in the US are secondary on 1.9 to 2.0 MHz to the primary Radiolocation Service (government and non-government). A table of US Amateur Radio allocations is available on the ARRL Web site <>. The "Considerate Operator's Frequency Guide" details band plans for Amateur Radio <>. ==>"BAND THREAT" PROCEEDING NOW AVAILABLE FOR E-COMMENTS The FCC conceded this week that it had failed to properly post the Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Order in ET Docket 01-278 on its Web site. As a result, those hoping to voice their opinions in the proceeding--which poses a potential threat to Amateur Radio--were unable to find the document to add their electronic comments. An FCC spokesperson blamed human error. The ARRL contacted the FCC earlier this week in an effort to rectify the problem. The NPRM&O now is available on the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System Web site <>. When searching, enter "01-278" in the "Proceeding" box in the "Search for Filed Comments" window. The ET 01-278 proceeding deals in part with a potential band threat to the popular 70-cm band from a Part 15 RF identification device proposed for deployment by SAVI Technology (see the Threats to our Amateur Bands page <> for details). The ARRL has argued that the FCC lacks authority under the Communications Act of 1934 to permit unlicensed devices with substantial interference potential and that such devices must be licensed. The ARRL also is looking into the interference potential posed to 20 meters by a proposal to increase the maximum emission levels permitted in the 13.56 MHz Industrial, Scientific and Medical band as well as the maximum level of out-of-band emissions. Commenters are advised to read paragraphs 20-27 of the NPRM&O (also available on the ARRL Web site <> before commenting. The proceeding incorporates two earlier rule making petitions, RM-9375, and RM-10051, which had existing document lists for the addition of comments. The FCC told ARRL that those wishing to file comments need only reference ET Docket 01-278, however. Comments need not be copied to the existing RM-9375 and RM-10051 lists. Members of the Amateur Radio community may file comments using the ECFS <>. Commenters should include their full name, US Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rule making number--in this case ET 01-278. It's also possible to e-mail comments via the ECFS. To obtain e-mail filing instructions, commenters should send an e-mail to and include the words "get form <your e-mail address>" in the body of the message. A sample form and directions will be sent by reply e-mail. ==>TEXAS ELEMENTARY SCHOOLERS ENJOY ARISS ADVENTURE Fifteen youngsters in grades three, four and five used ham radio to interview International Space Station Expedition 3 Crew Commander Frank Culbertson, KD5OPQ, from the McWhirter Elementary School in Webster, Texas--not far from Johnson Space Center. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, or ARISS, contact October 23 was handled via a teleconferencing linkup with ZS6BTD in South Africa. Operating as NA1SS, Culbertson recognized some of the youngsters and asked them to convey his regards to their families. The contact occurred shortly after the Soyuz "taxi" crew had arrived at the ISS, bringing aboard three additional crew members. In answering the dozen or so questions posed, Culbertson pointed out that the ISS includes protection to break up small meteors. The ISS can be maneuvered from the ground to avoid large objects spotted in advance by radar, he explained. To a question about how his two dogs would fare aboard the ISS, Culbertson replied that he thought dogs would have a difficult time in space because they don't have hands to hold onto the handrails. "They'd have a hard time staying in one place and would probably get disoriented and would probably try to run in the middle of the module," he said. "So I don't think they would enjoy it very much unless they had some way of staying on the floor, like a lot of Velcro on their feet." Another student asked about the September 11 attacks. Culbertson said he and his two Russian crewmates were able to see the result of the attacks from the ISS and were very troubled. "It seems strange to me that people would want to attack our country when we do so much good for the rest of the world," he said, "and we're trying to do good things with other countries up here and I hope that sets a good example for the future." "I think all the kids had a great time. This was a great learning experience for each of us," said McWhirter Elementary Principal Cindy Stamps. Gene Chapline, K5YFL, was the ARISS mentor for the contact. On Tuesday, October 30, Kolling Elementary in Schererville, Indiana, had a successful ARISS contact with Culbertson, operating NA1SS on the ISS. The control op was John Gianotti, W9WY. Seventeen students had their questions answered. More information on the ARISS program is available on the ARISS Web site, <>. ==>GEORGIA TO HOST 2002 USA ARDF/RADIO-ORIENTEERING CHAMPIONSHIPS ARRL Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, has announced that the Georgia Orienteering Club will host the second USA ARDF/Radio-Orienteering Championships. The event will take place April 19-21, 2002, at F. D. Roosevelt State Park near Pine Mountain. The USA ARDF/Radio-Orienteering Championships are open to all, from beginners to experts from the US and elsewhere, and no Amateur Radio license is needed to compete. The 2002 competition will feature 2-meter and 80-meter ARDF events. Participants will compete in age/gender categories with awards given for first, second and third-place finishes in each. Awards will be presented in two divisions, Overall and USA-Only. Details, including rules and registration forms, are on the Georgia Orienteering Web site, <>. Click on the "Radio-O Champs" link (under Special Events). The GAOC site includes information on lodging options. The next ARDF World Championships in fall 2002 will be held in Slovakia, and positions on Team USA for that event will be determined by individual performances at Pine Mountain and at the USA Championships in Albuquerque that were held this past August (see "The 2001 USA ARDF Championships are a Winner!" <>). For additional information on Amateur Radio direction finding, visit Joe Moell's Homing In Web site, <>.--Joe Moell, K0OV ==>HAM-SAILOR SETS SAIL FOR HOME Ham radio's senior sailor David Clark, KB6TAM, set sail this week from Trinidad to complete the final leg of the adventure of his lifetime. Clark, who is 77, is attempting to become the oldest person to sail solo around the globe. He plans to arrive back in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, on December 7. Clark has been using Amateur Radio aboard his vessel to keep in touch with his family and friends. His immediate goal is St Croix in the US Virgin Islands, said his wife, Lynda, but if the weather cooperates and everything goes well he may proceed directly to Great Inagua in the Bahamas. "This is technically the completion of the goal, since his outgoing and incoming paths will cross again--where he checked out and will check in again," Lynda Clark said. "However, we will feel he has finished the goal when he reaches Ft Lauderdale where we all said good-bye to him two years ago." Accompanied by his dog, Mickey, Clark departed South Florida in December 1999 in the 44-foot steel-hulled sloop, the Mollie Milar--named for his mother. Mickey was lost and Clark himself nearly died after the vessel sank last February off the coast of South Africa. Not one to give up that easily, Clark was able to purchase another sailboat--a smaller one that he named Mickey--and resumed his quest in April. He's been sitting out the Atlantic hurricane season in Trinidad, where he arrived in July. Clark was expected to be checking in on the 20-meter Seafarer's Net on 14.313 MHz. The final leg from Trinidad to Fort Lauderdale is approximately 1500 miles. For more information on Clark's journey, visit these Web sites <> and <>. ==>HAMS UNDERTAKE A RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS IN FLORIDA It had very little if anything to do with ham radio Saturday, September 21, when the Dade County Amateur Radio Public Service Corps organized a group of active hams in Southern Florida to spruce up the Flight 592 Memorial. Many of the hams involved had helped provide communication in the aftermath of the 1996 ValuJet crash in the Everglades. The amateur volunteers put in some 40 work hours pulling weeds and grubbing out their roots, killing ant colonies, applying herbicides, cutting grass, sweeping, refilling missing sand, re-leveling brick walkways and piling up the debris--mostly natural overgrowth. About a dozen hams participated in the effort. "These folks do this kind of thing without request, but because there is a need to care," said ARRL Southeastern Division Vice Director Evelyn Gauzens, W4WYR. "This group of amateurs are very special people with hearts as big as the whole world." Family members of Flight 592 victims also expressed their appreciation for the effort. This comment was typical of several posted on the Flight 592 Memorial Web site <>: "I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you did. It was a wonderfully selfless act and greatly appreciated. Those of us who live too far away and are unable to see to the care of the memorial are greatly touched by the generosity of strangers. Thank you again and God bless you." Additional information and photographs are available on the South Florida FM Association Web Page <>. Said Ray Vaughan, KD4BBM "To everyone who helped, we did make a difference. Let's do it again." __________________________________ ==>IN BRIEF: * This weekend on the radio: The ARRL November Sweepstakes (CW), the ARCI Running of the QRP Bulls and the North American Collegiate ARC Championship (both in conjunction with SS), the IPA Contest (CW/SSB), the Ukrainian DX Contest, and the High-Speed Club CW Contest are the weekend of November 3-4. JUST AHEAD: the Japan International DX Contest (SSB), the Anatolian ATA PSK31 Contest, the WAE DX Contest (RTTY), the ARRL International EME Competition, the OK/OM DX Contest (CW) and the CQ Western Electric Contest are the weekend of November 10-11. See the ARRL Contest Branch page, and for more info. * VY1JA to be QRV during November CW Sweepstakes: With thanks and appreciation to J Allen, VY1JA, Rick Lindquist, N1RL, will be at the helm of VY1JA, Yukon Territory, for the 2001 ARRL November CW Sweepstakes <>, November 3-4. J reports the antennas and the amplifier are working (the latter thanks to the prompt and courteous attention of Ameritron and Martin Jue, K5FLU), and--aurora permitting--VY1JA will be QRV to help complete those clean sweeps. Some post-contest operation as N1RL/VY1 also is possible and may include UO-14 and FO-27 activity from CP20. The five-day forecast for Whitehorse calls for snow and temperatures no warmer than freezing. * ARISS establishes European QSL service: The ARISS Europe QSL service now is prepared to handle European requests for NA1SS QSL cards. Requests for ARISS QSL cards go to ARISS-Europe QSL Bureau, AMSAT-France, 16 rue de la Vallťe, 91360 Epinay Sur Orge, FRANCE. Requestors should include a self-addressed envelope and two International Reply Coupons (IRCs) to cover the handling cost. * Dayton Hamvention awards deadline looms: The Dayton Hamvention now is accepting nominations for its Amateur of the Year, Special Achievement, and Technical Excellence awards. The deadline for nominations is January 31, 2002. All amateurs are eligible. The Amateur of the Year Award goes to an individual who has made a long-term, outstanding commitment to the advancement of Amateur Radio. The Technical Excellence Award is for the person who has made an outstanding technical advancement in the field of Amateur Radio. The Special Achievement Award honors someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of Amateur Radio, usually someone who has spearheaded a significant project. The Hamvention Awards Committee makes the decision on all awards based in part upon the information it receives--and not on the number of nominations submitted. Documentation that informs the Awards Committee of a candidate's accomplishments may include magazine articles, newsletters, newspaper clippings, and even videos (these materials become the property of Hamvention and will not be returned). Nominations may be submitted by mail to Hamvention Awards, PO Box 964, Dayton, OH 45401-0964, or by completing the e-form on the Dayton Hamvention Web site <>. Click on the "Award Nominations" link. * Les Belyea, N7AIK, SK: Former ARRL Montana Section Manager Leslie C. "Les" Belyea, N7AIK, of Belgrade, Montana, died October 22. He was 65. Belyea served as Montana's SM from 1981 until 1987. Montana Section Manager Darrell Thomas, N7KOR, said Belyea was active in emergency communications and as manager of the Montana Net. "He will be greatly missed," Thomas said. An ARRL member and an Extra class licensee, Belyea taught theory and Morse code classes for prospective hams. A native of Michigan, he had served in the US Marine Corps and later worked for Frontier and Continental Airlines and for Sunbird Aviation--never missing a day of work. Upon retiring, he restored vintage farm machinery and was an avid golfer. Survivors include a daughter, a son and a brother. Many of Belyea's Amateur Radio friends attended a service held October 28. Memorial contributions in Belyea's memory are invited to ARRL, 225 Main St , Newington, CT 06111.--some information supplied by Bozeman Daily Chronicle * Texas hams assist flag run: Members of the Irving (Texas) Amateur Radio Club supported the Americans United Flag Across America event October 27-28, as the US flag passed through their community on its way to the West Coast. The grass roots effort, sponsored by American Airlines and United Air Lines employees, is seeking help from the Amateur Radio community to provide short-range communications as the run progresses across the US along a southerly route. "The event is to honor the crew and passengers who died September 11, to show the American Spirit and to raise money for established relief funds, said American Airlines Captain Bill Lokes. Runners started in Boston on October 11 and are scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles November 11. IARC helped with communication and transportation during the Irving segment of the run. "Our help was really needed and was greatly appreciated by the local run organizers and participants," said IARC Secretary Bill Byrom, N5BB. Dave Finley, N1IRZ, reports that the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro, New Mexico, will host the runners and support personnel of the Americans United Flag Across America when it reaches New Mexico Novembe 4. More information is available on the Americans United Run Across America Web site. Amateur Radio clubs or groups interested in assisting are invited to contact Bill Lokes, 610-767-9246;, or Gene Atwell at 215-348-1594; * Morse Code to be featured on upcoming X-Files episode: Rob Ginkowski, WA6CW, of Hollywood, California, served as a technical adviser to The X-Files star Robert Patrick for an upcoming episode. Patrick's character, John Doggett, was in a hospital bed, paralyzed, and was required to send a Morse code message by tapping his index finger. WA6CW (who also works as an actor) taught Patrick how to tap out the message at about 5 WPM. "He was a fast learner," Ginkowski commented. No word on what the message was, but it might be, "The truth is out there." The episode, entitled "4-D," is scheduled to air Sunday, December 9, on the Fox TV Network. =========================================================== 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!): ==>Editorial questions or comments: Rick Lindquist, N1RL, ==>ARRL News on the Web: ==>ARRL Audio News: 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, 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 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, (NOTE: The ARRL Letter will be posted each Friday when it is distributed via e-mail.) * The listserver, thanks to volunteers from the Boston Amateur Radio Club: Send e-mail to (no subject needed). The body of the message should say "subscribe letter-list" to subscribe or "unsubscribe letter-list" to unsubscribe. (NOTE: The ARRL cannot assist subscribers who receive The ARRL Letter via this listserver.)


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.

Back issues published since 2000 are available on this page. If you wish to subscribe via e-mail, simply log on to the ARRL Web site, click on Edit Your Profile at the top, then click on Edit Email Subscriptions. Check the box next to The ARRL email newsletter, the ARRL Letter and you will receive each weekly issue in HTML format. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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