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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 25
June 21, 2002


* +President greets ham radio operators
* +Florida CBer convicted of interfering with hams
* +ARRL, United Technologies announce emergency communications initiative
* +Ham radio has essential role in rocket quest
* +FCC invites comment on new band proposals
* +WRC-03 rescheduled for Geneva
* +ARES fire support continues in Colorado
*  ARRL to offer satellite communications course
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     AMSAT Field Day info
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     New York PRB-1 bill passes Senate
     Continuing Legal Education seminar set for New England Division
     ARRL to host power-line interference workshop
     ARRL Outgoing QSL Service tops one million cards for 2002

+Available on ARRL Audio News



President George W. Bush has sent his greetings to all Amateur Radio
operators, acknowledging their role in emergency communications and in
generating international goodwill. The White House letter came as hams in
the US marked Amateur Radio Week June 17-23 and got ready to participate
in ARRL Field Day--an emergency preparedness exercise.

"I salute amateur radio operators for your work on behalf of public safety
officials," the President said. "I also commend your interest in
communicating with persons in other parts of the world and learning about
other cultures and countries. Your involvement builds understanding and
goodwill around the globe."

For the first time, Field Day will be open to participation by amateurs
throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.

The President's letter acknowledged ham radio's "important role in
emergency communications, assisting law enforcement personnel and other
emergency services as they carry out their responsibilities."

ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, expressed his delight at the
presidential communication. "I'm extremely pleased that the president has
decided to recognize the accomplishments of Amateur Radio operators
throughout America," he said. "Amateur Radio is a real asset to America,
and even more so after September 11."

President Bush said First Lady Laura Bush "joins me in sending our best

Governors in several states have issued proclamations designating Amateur
Radio Week or Amateur Radio Month.


A Florida CBer accused of jamming Amateur Radio operations and
transmitting without a license was convicted in federal court June 19 on
eight misdemeanor counts. Willam Flippo of Jupiter was found guilty of
four counts of operating without a license and four counts of deliberate
and malicious interference. The jury deliberated about 30 minutes.

Federal District Court Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley noted that, while the
charges were misdemeanors, it was important that the amateur airwaves be
free of interference in the event of an emergency. He ordered that Flippo,
60, remain in custody and undergo a psychiatric evaluation prior to

The prosecutor in the case, Neil Karabdil, credited members of the Amateur
Radio community with bringing Flippo to justice. The list included 1999
ARRL International Humanitarian Award winner Ed Petzolt, K1LNC, who helped
the FCC gather evidence in the case; Bert Morschi, AG4BV; Palm Beach
County Emergency Coordinator Dave Messinger, N4QPM; and Chuck Mulligan,

"This is a very good day for Amateur Radio, and a very good day for
justice," Petzolt said following the trial. "Let the word go out that we
will not tolerate this sort of thing on our frequencies, and you will be
caught." Petzolt cited local amateurs and the efforts of the FCC,
including Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth "and
everyone else who kept the faith," for helping to bring the case to a
successful conclusion.

"Never give up and never surrender," Petzolt advised those facing similar
malicious interference situations. "If you do, they win."

According to Petzolt, who testified in the trial, Flippo primarily had
targeted the Jupiter Tequesta Repeater Group for jamming and regularly
interfered with amateur operations, especially on 10 and 2 meters, over an
approximately three-year period. Following up on the amateurs' complaints,
personnel from the FCC's Tampa District Office visited the Jupiter area at
least twice in 1999 and reported tracking the offending signals to
Flippo's residence.

Known as "Rabbit Ears" within the CB community, Flippo was arrested by
federal authorities in July 2000. He already faces a $20,000 fine levied
in 1999 for unlicensed operation, willful and malicious interference to
Amateur Radio communications, and failure to let the FCC inspect his radio

The six-and-a-half-day trial was anything but routine. A day after
attempting to fire his court-appointed attorney, Robert Adler--who
countered that Flippo was trying to undermine his own trial--Flippo, then
still free on $100,000 bond, drove himself to the hospital June 13
claiming he'd suffered a stroke. He was released the following day. Hurley
recessed the trial but took the unusual step of revoking Flippo's bond
June 17 after a physician told the judge that medical tests determined
that Flippo had not had a stroke.

Hurley said he was concerned that Flippo might not return to court for his
sentencing hearing and ordered him returned to jail. Flippo reportedly
hung his head after the jury returned a guilty verdict on the second
count. He had no comment for a reporter as he was led back to jail.

Sentencing could take place in about a month. According to the FCC, Flippo
faces a maximum penalty of eight years in prison--one year on each count.
He also could be fined up to $80,000.


A generous donation from United Technologies Corporation will help to
boost the emergency communication expertise of Connecticut's Amateur Radio
volunteers. A $33,000 grant from UTC will provide ARRL Emergency
Communications Course Level I training for 250 Connecticut amateurs, and
the ARRL-UTC initiative could be expanded nationwide. The joint initiative
was announced June 18 during a press conference at ARRL Headquarters.

"This joint partnership is sure to make a difference in communities across
the state and act as a model for other states to showcase the important
role Amateur Radio operators play during times of emergency," said UTC
Contribution and Communication Services Director Jacqueline Strayer.

The partnership is the first of its kind for both organizations.

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner told the gathering that ARRL was
very fortunate to receive the grant to benefit Connecticut's 8000
amateurs. "We're confident that a significant number will be interested in
taking UTC's challenge to complete the course and put their skills to the
test, if and when called upon," he said.

Approximately 1000 Amateur Radio operators across the US have completed
the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level I course. The
on-line instruction, offered as part of ARRL's Certification and
Continuing Education Program, is made possible through the Connecticut
Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC). The introductory Level I course is
designed to raise awareness and provide additional knowledge and tools for
emergency communications volunteers.

During the press conference, guest of honor Connecticut Lt Gov Jodi Rell
thanked both ARRL and UTC for pairing up to provide the training
opportunity for the state's radio amateurs. "Having hundreds, if not
thousands, of Amateur Radio operators trained for emergency communications
can only enhance our communications skills and our progress here," she
said. "Frankly, I hope that we never need your expertise."

Connecticut Emergency Management Director John Wiltse said partnerships
like the one between UTC and ARRL are important to the activities he
oversees. "Government cannot do it all," he said. "This is how
preparedness happens, by forming this partnership and moving forward." The
UTC-ARRL initiative emphasizes "how essential communication is to
emergency preparedness," he said.

In addition to area amateurs, others on hand for the announcement included
ARRL New England Division Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI; ARRL Connecticut
Section Manager Betsey Doane, K1EIC; and Connecticut Section Emergency
Coordinator Jim Ritterbusch, KD1YV. Doane said she was "thrilled" about
the UTC grant and welcomed the opportunity for Connecticut amateurs to
obtain emergency communications training. "Communicating is an art," she
said. "It's not just speaking into a microphone."

Based in Hartford, Connecticut, United Technologies Corp provides
high-tech products and services to the building systems and aerospace
industries worldwide through its Otis Elevator, Carrier Corp, UTC Fuel
Cells, Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky Aircraft and Hamilton Sundstrand


If all goes as planned, a group of Amateur Radio operators and amateur
rocket enthusiasts is poised to make aerospace history this summer by
putting the first amateur rocket into space. The Civilian Space Xploration
Team (CSXT) is hoping the suborbital vehicle will carry its Amateur Radio
payloads to an altitude of more than 60 nautical miles.

"Amateur Radio is central to the whole flight," said Eric Knight, KB1EHE,
of Unionville, Connecticut--one of the hams involved. He explained that
the rocket's Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS), amateur TV and
packet telemetry gear will enable the team to document its success.

"Space" is defined as 50 nautical miles. The team is aiming to attain an
altitude of 62 nautical miles with its rocket--the Primera Spaceshot 2002.
(Primera Technology is a primary sponsor for the project and is helping
with support and materials, Knight says.)

Other Connecticut amateurs involved include Rod Lane, N1FNE--whose garage
and basement workshop have been largely given over to rocket construction
and integration--and Don Skinner, N1HWR. Assisting in the project for the
past three years has been high school senior Julia Cohn, KB1IGU. Licensed
since April, Cohn has been involved in constructing and programming some
of the sequencing electronics that will go aboard the vehicle. Her
electronics instructor and mentor at West Hartford's Hall High School is
Chet Bacon, KA1ILH. Other students in Bacon's electronics classes also
have contributed to the project.

In all, Knight says, 16 "key people"--including spouses--have immersed
themselves in the rocket project. Among them is a real rocket scientist,
Jerry Larson, an "almost ham" and an engineer with Lockheed Martin in
Colorado. The team has built the vehicle itself, right down to the
solid-rocket propellant grain.

Overseeing the CSXT effort is Project Director Ky Michaelson of Minnesota,
a semi-retired stuntman and veteran hobby rocket enthusiast who holds
dozens of rocket speed records. "It was his inspiration that led to the
project," Knight said. He's also the project's primary personal financier.
Michaelson serves as president of the National Experimental Rocketry

To say that the project has become nearly all-consuming would be an
understatement. "We're passionate about it," Knight said, estimating that
the team members--whom he describes as "people with a love of
rocketry"--easily have spent hundreds of hours apiece over the course of
the five-year mission. At this point, they've been working almost
around-the-clock, he said.

Funding for the project has come from team members' pockets. Knight
estimates the costs to date are approaching $100,000. Machining for the
nose cone alone cost on the order of $5000. "A lot of our vacation money
goes into this," Knight said. "We've convinced our wives that the desert
is a good place to spend a couple of weeks."

Knight says the rocket was to have flown last September 26, "but then
September 11 happened." The team lost its Federal Aviation Administration
authorization to launch; it was only reinstated this spring. The team also
has made the necessary FCC notifications.

Once at the launch site, the rocket will undergo a full day of testing
followed by a full day of launch simulation exercises. If everything is a
go, the big launch would take place the following day. The team is not
releasing the launch date or location because of limitations on the number
of visitors allowed at the US government-owned site. Once the vehicle
attains maximum altitude, it will be split into two pieces, and parachutes
will deploy to carry them back to Earth. "It will come back, one way or
the other," Knight said.

There used to be a $250,000 prize to put the first amateur rocket into
space, but it expired in 2000. "There's no prize or reward whatsoever,"
Knight said, "only the historic recognition of being the first amateurs to
build and launch a rocket into space." More information on the rocket
project is on Knight's "Spaceshot 2001/Spaceshot 2002" Web site
<>.--Jennifer Hagy, N1TDY, assisted in the
preparation and editing of this report


Public comments on FCC proposals to create two new amateur bands and to
upgrade an Amateur Service allocation at 2.4 GHz to primary are due July
29, and reply comments are due by August 12. In response to an ARRL
petition, the FCC last month released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ET
Docket 02-98) that proposed to create a new 5-MHz HF allocation and a new
low-frequency band in the vicinity of 136 kHz in addition to elevating
amateurs from secondary to primary at 2400 to 2402 MHz.

The FCC adopted the NPRM May 2 on a unanimous vote. The NPRM was published
June 14 in The Federal Register. A copy of the petition is available on
the ARRL Web site <>.
Interested parties may file comments via the FCC's Electronic Comment
Filing System (ECFS) <>. To view filed
comments, click on "Search for Filed Comments;" to file a comment, click
on "Submit a filing." In either case, enter "02-98" in the "Proceeding"
field. More than 130 parties--most of them individual amateurs--already
have filed comments.

If the proposals eventually are approved, amateurs would gain a new,
secondary, domestic (US-only) HF allocation at 5.25 to 5.40 MHz and a new
LF "sliver band" at 135.7 to 137.8 kHz.

The FCC has recommended permitting amateurs to operate at full legal limit
on a new 5-MHz allocation, but it left open for further discussion whether
to restrict band access to certain license classes. The FCC also has
invited further comment on whether the band should be broken down into
mode-specific subbands.

On 136 kHz, the FCC has proposed limiting output to 1 W effective
isotropic radiated power (EIRP)--or 100 W PEP maximum transmitter
output--and with a transmission bandwidth of only 100 Hz. The ARRL had
asked for 2 W EIRP and a maximum transmitter power of 200 W PEP. The FCC
has asked whether its proposed power limits are appropriate. The FCC
proposed to limit access to the band to General and higher-class


ARRL has learned that World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 will take
place in Geneva, Switzerland, next June and July. The conference was set
to be held in Caracas, Venezuela, but the Venezuelan National Commission
of Telecommunications (CONATEL) rescinded the invitation earlier this
month, citing economic concerns. The International Telecommunication Union
(ITU) is expected to issue a formal announcement regarding the new WRC-03
venue in the near future.

"The ITU staff has managed to arrange suitable meeting space in Geneva for
the dates that were originally agreed," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer
David Sumner, K1ZZ, who will serve as administrative officer for the
International Amateur Radio Union delegation to the conference. "It is
quite an accomplishment for them to have achieved this on such short
notice, and those of us who will be attending the conference appreciate
the uncertainty being removed." Sumner said that while the new WRC-03
arrangements have not yet been formally ratified, planning for the global
gathering will be able to go forward in the meantime.

Several issues of importance to radio amateurs are on the conference
agenda, including harmonization of the 7-MHz amateur and broadcasting
allocations. Other Amateur Radio-related issues on the WRC-03 agenda
include the revision of Article 25 of the international Radio
Regulations--the basic rules for the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite
services. Among other issues, this includes the issue of whether to retain
the treaty requirement to demonstrate Morse code proficiency for access to
amateur bands below 30 MHz.

WRC-03 will take place in Geneva from June 9 until July 4, 2003.


Amateur Radio support continues in Colorado as firefighters attempt to
gain the upper hand in against the Hayman Fire--the state's largest ever.
ARRL Colorado Section Manager Jeff Ryan, K0RM, reports that the Pikes
Peak, Douglas and Arapahoe Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) teams
have been providing coverage in at least two shifts since June 9. They now
are supporting Salvation Army canteens for fire responders as well as at
the Salvation Army's Colorado Springs headquarters. Amateurs also have
been filling communications gaps as needed.

"Phone service at one of the forward area fire stations in Westcreek has
been intermittent," Ryan said, "and when service is out, Pikes Peak ARES
provides operators to relay traffic between Westcreek and the Teller
County Sheriff's office."

At week's end, Ryan said the more than 2500 firefighters were being aided
by lower temperatures, higher humidity and some rain, although less
favorable conditions were predicted. The fire has so far destroyed 79
homes and 413 other structures and prompted the evacuation of more than
8900 people. Some 700 residents were allowed back to their homes in
Douglas and Jefferson counties June 20, however, as a shift in wind and
cooler temperatures removed the immediate threat.

While the Hayman Fire was nearly 50 percent contained, Ryan says strong
winds earlier in the week blew smoke and ash to the southeast of the fire
extending over Colorado Springs. The fire jumped containment lines in
north central Teller County and southwestern Douglas County, and new
evacuations were ordered in area along the fire's edge in Douglas County.

The Hayman Fire has scorched nearly 140,000 acres in the Pike National


The ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Program has announced its
newest on-line course-Satellite Communications (EC-007). Registration for
the new course opens Monday, June 24. This is the sixth course in a
growing list of continuing education offerings from ARRL.

QST Editor and satellite enthusiast Steve Ford, WB8IMY, developed the
curriculum. The course contains material from Ford's articles, as well as
new material. Resources were also provided by AMSAT-NA. Ford has written
many QST articles on amateur satellites and is the author of ARRL's HF
Digital Handbook.

"Steve's extensive knowledge of satellites as well as other digital
communications has proven invaluable. This is his second course for C-CE,"
said ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Program Coordinator Dan
Miller, K3UFG.

The ARRL Satellite Course is intended for amateurs who have never operated
satellites before. The course opens with a review of amateur satellite
history. Students will move on to a study of satellite tracking, orbiting
relay stations, FM repeater satellites and the International Space
Station. It continues with lessons and exercises on FM satellites, the
Fuji Sats, AMSAT-OSCAR 40 setup and operation. The final lessons cover
store-and-forward digital satellites, APRS and future satellites.

Registration for the first on-line class opens Monday, June 24, at 4 PM
EDT. There's a 50-seat class limit for July classes. As with most of the
other ARRL on-line classes, students will have up to eight weeks to
complete the course.

Tuition for Satellite Communications (EC-007) is $65 for ARRL members and
$95 for nonmembers. More course information is available at the C-CE
Course Listing Page <>. Details about
the ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Program are on the ARRL
Certification and Continuing Education Web page


Sun watcher Tad "But, Mama, that's where the fun is" Cook, K7VVV, Seattle,
Washington, reports: Solar flux and sunspot numbers declined again this
week. The daily average for sunspot numbers dropped by more 38 points and
average daily solar flux was down by 14 points compared to the previous
week, June 6-12. Solar flux reached a short-term minimum last Friday at
131.4 and is now on the rise. Current projections show it peaking around
170 by the end of this month. The predicted flux values for Field Day
weekend, Friday through Sunday are 150, 155 and 155.

What we hope for this weekend are high solar flux and low geomagnetic
activity. Currently Earth sits in a solar wind stream coming from a
coronal hole on the sun. This could possibly trigger high-latitude aurora,
but the current prediction for Saturday and Sunday is for stable
geomagnetic conditions.

In addition to being Field Day weekend, this is also the first weekend of
summer. This is not a great time for 10 meters, but check 10 for possible
E-layer propagation rather than the better F-layer propagation we see on
this band in spring and fall. For close-in propagation less than 1000
miles, your best band around the clock will be 40 meters, and 80 meters
after sunset.

Sunspot numbers for June 13 through 19 were 126, 102, 137, 132, 116, 174
and 127, with a mean of 130.6. The 10.7 cm flux was 133.4, 131.4, 135.3,
136.7, 142.9, 142.9, and 145.8, with a mean of 138.3. Estimated planetary
A indices were 11, 7, 7, 11, 7, 11, and 16, with a mean of 10.



* This weekend on the radio: ARRL ARRL Field Day, His Majesty the King of
Spain Contest (SSB) and the QRP ARCI Milliwatt Field Day are the weekend
of June 22-23. See the ARRL Contest Branch page
<> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<> for more info.

* AMSAT Field Day info: AMSAT-NA reports that information on AMSAT Field
Day, concurrent with ARRL Field Day, is available on the AMSAT Web page
<>. Information includes
rules as well as forms to report your AMSAT Field Day Score.

* ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration:
Registration for the Level III ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
course (EC-003) and for HF Digital Communications (EC-005) remains open
through the June 22-23 weekend. Registration for the newest ARRL course,
Satellite Communications (EC-007), opens Monday, June 24. 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,

* New York PRB-1 bill passes Senate: ARRL Hudson Division Director Frank
Fallon, N2FF, reports that the Senate version of New York's Amateur Radio
antenna bill, S.2893, passed the upper chamber June 18 following approval
by the Senate Rules Committee. After some debate and discussion, the
measure was put to a vote and received an overwhelming 58-2 majority. An
identical measure, A.1565, still is pending in the New York Assembly as
the current legislative session heads for adjournment. Gov George Pataki,
a former Amateur Radio operator (K2ZCZ), has promised to sign the bill if
it passes. In addition to incorporating the "reasonable accommodation"
provisions of the PRB-1 limited federal preemption, the bills would
preclude localities from restricting the height of an antenna support
structure to less than 95 feet or restrict the number of antenna support
structures. Fallon asked members to refrain from further correspondence to
lawmakers and "keep our fingers cross and let our sponsors carry the ball
the rest of the way." The Hudson Division Web page
<> has a copy of the bill and other

* Continuing Legal Education seminar set for New England Division
Convention: An ARRL Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar will be held
in conjunction with the ARRL New England Division Convention, Boxboro,
Massachusetts, Friday, August 23, 1 to 5 PM. This is an intensive session
designed for attorneys and others concerned with the intricacies of
antenna law and the latest legal developments. Sessions will be taught by
ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, and Fred Hopengarten, K1VR, author
of the ARRL book Antenna Zoning for the Radio Amateur. Advance
registration is required. The $75 registration fee includes a copy of
Hopengarten's book (the fee is $25 for those bringing their own copies).
Auditing students will be accommodated if there is space. Copies of
Antenna Zoning for the Radio Amateur will be available at the session for
$49.95. CLE credit will be available for Massachusetts. To register,
contact Jo-Ann Arel,; 860-594-0292. Credit card payments
are accepted. If paying by check, include the note "ARRL CLE Seminar" and
send payment to CLE Seminar, c/o Jo-Ann Arel, ARRL, 225 Main St,
Newington, CT 06111. For full information on the New England Division
Convention, visit the convention Web site <>.

* ARRL to host power-line interference workshop: The ARRL will host a
workshop on power-line interference conducted by Mike Martin, K3RFI, of
RFI Services of Maryland. The two-day workshop, August 22-23 at ARRL
Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut, is intended for utility
professionals who are responsible for locating and dealing with power-line
related interference issues. "ARRL is providing a site for this workshop
to show that by working with the utility industry, with communication and
training, electrical noise problems can be fixed," says ARRL Lab
Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI, who will be among those taking the class. Hare
said he believes the course is well worth the $800 tuition fee in terms of
saving a utility a lot of time, money and frustration. For amateurs who
work in the utility industry, this course has the added benefits of being
held at ARRL Headquarters where participants will have a chance to operate
W1AW. For more information or a workshop application, visit the K3RFI Web

* ARRL Outgoing QSL Service tops one million cards for 2002: ARRL Outgoing
QSL Service Manager Martin Cook, N1FOC, reports that, as of June 14, the
bureau had mailed 1,016,100 cards to various incoming QSL bureaus in other
countries. Cook says the number represents an increase of 89,700 cards
over the date one year ago.

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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