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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 47
December 6, 2002


* +Options for 40 meters expand at WRC-03 prep meeting
* +First transatlantic amateur HF digital voice QSO reported
* +All-ham ISS crews swap places
* +North Korea shuts down only active amateur
* +Ex-KV4FZ returns to Amateur Radio
* +Question Pool Committee releases new Technician question set
* +ARRL Humanitarian Award deadline looms
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     Radio Club of America makes donation to "The Big Project"
     Dave Hassler, K7CCC, joins ARRL Headquarters staff
     2003 Spectrum Defense Fund well under way
     FCC seeks public comments on Spectrum Policy Task Force report
     RS-20 is newest Russian Amateur Radio satellite payload

+Available on ARRL Audio News



Paul Simon sang of 50 ways to leave your lover, but participants at the
just-ended Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) for World
Radiocommunication Conference 2003 heard just five ways to fix 40 meters,
plus a sixth that would just leave things as they are.

"The five options for change all represent improvements in the amateur
band, although two fall short of fulfilling the 300-kHz worldwide
requirement," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. He
attended the Geneva gathering in his role as International Amateur Radio
Union (IARU) secretary. "All six options maintain the existing 300-kHz
exclusive amateur allocation in Region 2."

The objective of the CPM was to complete work on a 700-plus page extensive
technical CPM Report, which outlines methods to address the more than
three dozen items that are on the WRC-03 agenda. As for amateur issues,
Sumner says 7-MHz realignment or harmonization "is one of the most
difficult issues facing WRC-03." As he explains the situation, three major
interests--amateurs, shortwave broadcasters, and users, mainly military,
of the fixed and mobile services--have a stake in the outcome.

The IARU is on record as supporting a 300-kHz worldwide amateur allocation
in the vicinity of 7 MHz. Sumner said achieving this would require the
fixed and mobile services to make room for broadcasters and for the
broadcasters to change their operating frequencies. The five methods for
change the CPM Report describes include a variety of transition schedules
to ease the impact on these other services.

* Method A would shift Region 1 and 3 broadcasters up by 200 kHz to
7300-7550 kHz in two stages and would provide the same band for
broadcasting in Region 2.

* Method B is similar but would have amateurs in Regions 1 and 3 sharing
the upper 100 kHz of their newly expanded band with fixed and mobile.

* Method C would provide just 200 kHz for amateurs in Regions 1 and 3.
Amateurs in Region 2 would continue to contend with broadcasting
interference from Regions 1 and 3 in the 7200-7300 kHz segment.

* Method D, proposed by Canada at the CPM, would provide 300 kHz worldwide
for amateurs by shifting broadcasters in Regions 1 and 3 up by 200 kHz but
would not expand the Region 2 broadcasting allocation. This plan would
minimize the impact on fixed and mobile services in Region 2.

* Method E, proposed by the Republic of Korea at the CPM, would provide
amateurs in Regions 1 and 3 with an additional 100 kHz shared with fixed
and mobile (7100-7200 kHz). As with Method C, however, Region 2 amateurs
would continue to face broadcasting interference from Regions 1 and 3 in
the 7200-7300 kHz segment.

* Method F, proposed by Australia at the CPM, would simply maintain the
status quo. This plan reflects concerns about the impact of realignment on
military and national security communications capabilities.

"There is no guarantee that proposals will be limited to the six methods
described in the CPM Report," Sumner said.

Amateur Radio was well represented at the CPM. Chairing the CPM was
Eberhard George, DL7IH, of Germany. A three-member IARU team was headed by
President Larry Price, W4RA, and included Sumner and Wojciech Nietyksza,
SP5FM. ARRL Technical Relations Manager Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, served as a
member of the US delegation. He also was named to chair the ad hoc group
that dealt with the substance of the 7-MHz text. Several other amateurs
were on their national delegations, some of them specifically to represent
Amateur Radio and others in professional capacities. IARU Vice President
David Wardlaw, VK3ADW, was on the Australian delegation.

Sponsored by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the CPM drew
more than 1000 participants to Geneva during the last two weeks of
November. Over the next three months, regional telecommunications
organizations and groups (CEPT, CITEL, and Asia-Pacific Telecommunity, the
African Telecommunications Union, and Iran and the Arab States) as well as
individual administrations will be developing their proposals for WRC-03,
which takes place in Geneva next summer.


Radio communication pioneers Ten-Tec and Thales have announced that
they've used an Amateur Radio linkup to span the Atlantic on HF digital
voice for the first time. Ten-Tec's Doug Smith, KF6DX, and Thales' Didier
Chulot, F5MJN, successfully transmitted and received HF digital speech
signals November 22 between Paris, France, and Ten-Tec's Sevierville,
Tennessee, headquarters.

"We view this as a significant accomplishment," said Smith. "Amateur Radio
has long been at the forefront of technological development. It's nice to
be able to show that our legacy is alive and well." Tests are being
conducted under the auspices of ARRL's Digital Voice Working Group, which
Smith chairs. A written report on the tests is due in January.

Calling it "a major breakthrough," a Ten-Tec news release said the two
amateur stations "demonstrated the advantages of digital audio during the
conversation, including noise-free, FM-like reception and the potential
for simultaneous voice and data." The feat was accomplished on 15 meters
using Ten-Tec transceivers and Thales Communications Skywave 2000 digital
audio software. Operating as F8KGG, Chulot spoke with Smith for several
minutes over the HF digital link, operating within a 3-kHz bandwidth.

Smith said he and F5MJN used unmodified Ten-Tec transceivers in
upper-sideband mode, although AM or FM mode also would work. No additional
hardware was required beyond the cables connecting the transceiver and the
microphone to the PC sound card. Smith said audio quality was roughly the
same as a conventional telephone circuit. An Amateur Radio version of the
Thales system is expected to appear on the market early next year. "At
this stage, the system is experimental-only for ham radio, but it looks
like it's going to take off," Smith predicted.

In terms of Amateur Radio, Alinco was the first manufacturer to come out
with a digital voice option for some of its transceivers. ICOM debuted its
D-Star digital "concept radio" system last May at the Dayton
Hamvention--where Smith chaired the Digital Voice Forum--and demonstrated
it at the ARRL-TAPR Digital Communications Conference in September. The
unit, which operates on 1.2 GHz, was scheduled to hit the ham radio market
this fall.

Technical details of the Thales system will appear in an article
"International Digital Audio Broadcasting Standards: Voice Coding and
Amateur Radio Applications" in the January/February issue of QEX, which he
edits. The article is available on the ARRL Web site
<>. He also has authored two
articles on digital voice in QST: "Digital Voice: The Next New Mode?"
<> in the January 2002 issue,
and "Digital Voice: An Update and Forecast"
<> in the February 2002 issue.

Additional images and background are available on the TAPR Web site
<>. Look for the Digital Voice Forum page and the
presentation by Cédric Demeure.--Ten-Tec news release; Doug Smith, KF6DX


With this week's departure of the space shuttle Endeavour from the
International Space Station, one all-ham crew has replaced another onboard
the ISS. This time around, however, no female voices will grace the
amateur airwaves between the space outpost and Earth. The new crew is
entirely male. The crew change also marks the first time since Expedition
3 that a US astronaut will serve as crew commander.

The Expedition 6 crew--Commander Ken Bowersox, KD5JBP; Flight Engineer
Nikolai Budarin, RV3FB, and NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit,
KD5MDT--lifted off November 23 on its four-month scientific mission. The
team replaces the all-amateur Expedition 5 crew of Commander Valery
Korzun, RK3FZ; Sergei Treschev, RK3FU, and Peggy Whitson, KC5ZTD. The
Expedition 6 team is the third all-ham crew to serve aboard the ISS.

In space since June 5, Whitson, Korzun and Treschev ended up staying in
space a bit longer than they'd expected. The launch of the Endeavour and
the new ISS crew was delayed--first by an onboard oxygen leak and later by
weather problems in possible emergency landing zones. Subsequently,
inclement weather on Earth frustrated the Endeavour's efforts to return
home. By week's end it appeared they might not be back home until December
6 or 7. The shuttle launch was the last one for the year 2002. In addition
to the replacement crew, it also carried a truss segment for the ISS.

The next scheduled Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
(ARISS) school contact is December 16 with students at Adler Planetarium
and Astronomy Museum in Chicago. A light ARISS school contact schedule is
planned over the next three weeks or so, however, as the crew settles in
and takes care of initial duties, including a spacewalk this month by
Bowersox and Budarin.

ARISS <> is an international project with US
participation by NASA, ARRL and AMSAT.


The only Amateur Radio station active from North Korea has been ordered
off the air. Ed Giorgadze, 4L4FN, had been operating for the past year as
P5/4L4FN from Pyongyang. The ARRL subsequently accredited SSB and RTTY
operation of P5/4L4FN for DXCC.

"This really hits the ham community hard," QSL manager Bruce Paige, KK5DO,
said in a news release. "I, for one, was looking forward to a satellite
contact on AO-40. I know that many of you were still awaiting your first

Paige said that on Friday, November 22, Giorgadze was called into a
meeting with the "Radio Regulation Board" without any explanation, and he
was politely asked to quit all transmissions and pack all his radio
equipment. "Saturday, he spent all day on the roof disassembling his
antennas and packing boxes." Paige said North Korean government officials
later came by and sealed all of the boxes. When Giorgadze leaves North
Korea on December 10 for two weeks of vacation, "he is to take everything
with him out of the country," Paige indicated.

Giorgadze had tried for more than two years to obtain permission to
operate Amateur Radio in North Korea and finally was given the okay in
2001 to bring an ICOM IC-706MkIIG into the country. In the intervening
months, he's been slowly upgrading his antenna system. He's made more than
16,000 contacts during his stint in North Korea, and earlier this year
attained the first DXCC ever from that country.

Paige said the P5/4L4FN logs should be 100% complete on his Web site < > (click on "P5 North Korea").

Giorgadze, who's from of the Republic of Georgia, had been operating on
the basis of oral permission from North Korean authorities, but ARRL
Membership Services Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG, said the League was
satisfied on the basis of written information submitted that the P5/4L4FN
operation conformed with DXCC rules and cards would continue be accepted
for credit.


After nearly two years off the air, Herb Schoenbohm, ex-KV4FZ, of
Kingshill, Virgin Islands, has made good on his promise to one day return
to the Amateur Radio ranks. The FCC on December 4 issued Schoenbohm a new
call sign, NP2MJ, as a General-class licensee, and it acted December 5 on
his subsequently filed Amateur Extra-class application.

In 1994, the FCC put Schoenbohm's renewal application for KV4FZ up for
hearing following his 1992 felony conviction on federal fraud charges. The
Commission finally turned down his renewal application in 1998, the US
Appeals Court upheld the FCC's decision in 2000, and the US Supreme Court
declined to hear the case later that same year. After losing his renewal
bid, Schoenbohm applied for a new license in 2001, first passing the
General and then the Extra exams. The FCC subsequently designated
Schoenbohm's General application for hearing on the basis of character
issues stemming from his 1992 conviction as well as his alleged lack of
candor during subsequent FCC hearings on the matter.

Following a hearing last spring, Administrative Law Judge Arthur I.
Steinberg in October cleared the way for Schoenbohm's return to ham radio
by declaring that Schoenbohm appeared rehabilitated and qualified to again
become a Commission licensee. Schoenbohm plans to apply for KV4FZ as a
vanity call sign.

Schoenbohm was dubious about getting on the air for the ARRL 160-Meter
Contest December 7-8. "I will try to get on, but the station is still
dismantled," he told ARRL. "I don't have any antennas up either except for
the 70-foot tower, which needs the beam on top to work properly on 160."
His amp also is on the fritz, so if he does manage some Top Band operation
during the contest, it will be at the 100-W level. "Since my license has
been granted, I have not even made one contact on 2 meters!" Schoenbohm


The Question Pool Committee (QPC) of the National Conference of Volunteer
Examiner Coordinators has released a revised and expanded Amateur
Technician class (Element 2) question pool into the public domain. The new
question pool becomes effective July 1, 2003, and must be used to generate
all Technician written examinations administered on or after that date.

"The newly revised pool released this week by the QPC includes significant
efforts to present the pool in a more friendly and understandable fashion
for beginners while maintaining appropriate emphasis on safety, rules and
operating procedures," said ARRL VEC Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ. "The
Technician syllabus was completely revised during 2002 to allow for the
revamping of the new question pool."

The new Element 2 question pool contains 511 questions--up from 385 in the
April 2000 release that occurred around the time of Amateur Radio

The new question pool, available on the Amateur Exam Question Pools Web
page <>, includes all questions and
answers as well as graphics related to the questions for Element 2.

The FCC rules (§97.523) require each question pool to contain at least 10
times the number of questions required to appear on any examination drawn
from that pool. QPC Chairman Scotty Neustadter, W4WW, says the QPC has
attempted to apply that same "10 times" principle to each subelement.

Neustadter said "insignificant changes" to the Element 2 syllabus were
made as they became obvious, although they were not specifically
highlighted in this week's release.

VECs have a certain amount of flexibility with the format of their
examinations. Outside of the fact that questions, answers, distracters and
related graphics must appear as they do in the question pool itself, "the
manner of presentation is not interpreted to be of impact to Amateur Radio
as long as clarity of presentation is preserved," Neustadter said.

On behalf of the QPC, he also thanked all amateurs who assisted in the
effort to revise Element 2. In addition to Neustadter and Jahnke, members
of the Question Pool Committee are Fred Maia, W5YI, and John Johnston,

The Question Pool Committee now will turn its attention to developing an
outline for the General class (Element 3) question pool, which will be
revised during the fall of 2003. The QPC has put out a call for input by
January 31, 2003, to the Element 3 syllabus and question pool. Commenters
may address specific Element 2 questions as well as inputs to the Element
3 syllabus and question pool to the Question Pool Committee via e-mail


Nominations close December 31 for the 2002 ARRL International Humanitarian
Award. The award is dedicated to an amateurs or amateur group devoted to
promoting human welfare, peace and international understanding through
Amateur Radio. The League established the annual prize to recognize
Amateur Radio operators who have used ham radio to provide extraordinary
service to others in times of crisis or disaster.

The ARRL International Humanitarian Award recognizes the hobby's
international communication role and that hams regularly help people in
need throughout the world. Amateur Radio is one of the few
telecommunication services that allow people throughout the world to meet
and talk with each other and spread goodwill across political boundaries.

A committee appointed by the League's President recommends an award
recipient to the ARRL Board of Directors, which makes the final decision.
The committee now is accepting nominations from Amateur Radio,
governmental or other organizations that have benefited from extraordinary
service rendered by an Amateur Radio operator or group.

Nominations must include a summary of the nominee's actions that qualify
the individual or group for this award plus verifying statements from at
least two individuals having first-hand knowledge of the events warranting
the nomination. These statements may be from an official of a group (eg,
the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, a local or state emergency
management official) that benefited from the nominee's particular Amateur
Radio contribution. Nominations should include names and addresses of all

All nominations and supporting materials for the 2002 award must be
submitted in writing in English to ARRL International Humanitarian Award,
225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 USA. The award winner receives an
engraved plaque, and is profiled in QST and other ARRL venues.

The 2001 ARRL Humanitarian Award winner was Dr Jim C. Hirschman, K4TCV, of
Miami, Florida.--Jean Wolfgang, WB3IOS


Sun King Tad "The Sunny Side of the Street" Cook, K7VVV, Seattle,
Washington, reports: Average sunspot numbers were up a bit this week, and
average daily solar flux barely changed. Geomagnetic indices were quieter.

Now that December is here, let's review average daily solar flux and
sunspot numbers for November, and compare them with previous months. Here
are monthly averages for solar flux and sunspot numbers for this year.
From January through November, 2002 the average daily sunspot number for
each month was 189, 194.5, 154.3, 144.4, 146, 183.5, 191, 206.4, 153.9 and
159.8. Average daily solar flux for the same months was 227.3, 205, 179.2,
141.4, 148.7, 174.4, 183.9, 175.8, 167 and 168.7.

This weekend is the ARRL 160-Meter Contest. It would be good to have low
geomagnetic activity for this contest. Right now the predicted planetary A
index for Friday through Monday is 12, 15, 20 and 15. This indicates
unsettled to active conditions on Saturday and Sunday due to coronal hole
effects. There is a chance of moderate solar flare activity over the next
few days. Solar activity is likely to be low. Predicted solar flux for the
next few days is 160-175.

Sunspot numbers for November 28 through December 4 were 124, 107, 150, 97,
155, 135, and 144, with a mean of 130.3. The 10.7-cm flux was 139.7,
141.3, 146.2, 149.6, 146.1, 145.9 and 148.7, with a mean of 145.4.
Estimated planetary A indices were 15, 14, 16, 16, 11, 11 and 12, with a
mean of 13.6.



* This weekend on the radio: The ARRL 160-Meter Contest, the PSK31 Death
Match, the TARA RTTY Sprint, the TOPS Activity 80-Meter Contest are the
weekend of December 7-8. JUST AHEAD: The ARRL 10-Meter Contest and the
Great Colorado Snowshoe Run are the weekend of December 14-15. See the
ARRL Contest Branch page <> and the WA7BNM
Contest Calendar <> for
more info.

* ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration:
Registration for the ARRL Level II Amateur Radio Emergency Communications
(EC-002) and Antenna Modeling (EC-004) courses opens Monday, December 9, 4
PM EST (2100 UTC). Registration will remain open through Sunday, December
15. Classes begin Monday, December 16. Registration for the CNCS
grant-funded ARRL Level I Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (EC-001)
remains open through Sunday, December 15, or until all seats are taken. A
new service now allows those interested in taking an ARRL Certification
and Continuing Education (C-CE) course in the future to receive
notification via e-mail in advance of registration opportunities. Send an
e-mail to, and include the course name or number (eg,
EC-004) on the subject line. Include your name, call sign, and the month
you want to start the course in the message body. 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,

* Correction: A report "Great Lakes Members Chose New Director; Incumbents
Re-Elected Elsewhere" in The ARRL Letter, Vol 21, No 45 (Nov 15, 2002),
failed to note that ARRL Atlantic Division Vice Director Bill Edgar,
N3LLR, was elected without opposition to a full, three-year term.

* Radio Club of America makes donation to "The Big Project": The Radio
Club of America <> has announced that
it will give at least $6500 this year to the ARRL Education and Technology
Program--"The Big Project." The club said it hopes to give even more next
year. ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, who attended the
club's 93rd annual banquet November 22 in New York City, said she was
thrilled with the gift. "This means that we'll be able to add three more
schools to the project, serving up to 100 more children," she said. The
Radio Club of America, officially founded in 1909 in New York City as "the
world's first radio communications society," was involved with some of the
earliest defenses of Amateur Radio before Congress. One of its early
members, Paul Godley, was involved with the ARRL's 1921 Transatlantic
Tests. The RCA's most famous member may have been Edwin H. Armstrong, the
father of the regenerative circuit and frequency modulation. The ARRL
Education and Technology Program is aimed at putting Amateur Radio in
classrooms, enrichment programs and after-school activities. More
information on "The Big Project" is available on the ARRL Web site

* Dave Hassler, K7CCC, joins ARRL Headquarters staff: Dave Hassler, K7CCC,
has joined the ARRL Headquarters staff as an assistant news editor.
Hassler, 36, came aboard November 18. A native of Portland, Oregon,
Hassler will edit a new QST column, "ARRL in Action" as well as handle
routine news and feature stories for the ARRL Web site and The ARRL
Letter. Hassler has been licensed for two years and holds a General
ticket. He has a long interest in all things scientific. "Both of my
grandfathers were engineers (one was W7GER, SK), and they encouraged me to
explore and helped me build things," he said. Sidetracked by high school
activities, educational pursuits and careers as a guitar player,
volleyball coach and sportswriter, Hassler took advantage of his
recuperation from knee surgery a couple of years ago to study for his
Amateur Radio license. Hassler holds a bachelor's in English and an
associate's degree in journalism. He also has completed some graduate
courses. Most recently, he served as editor-in-chief of The Chronicle in
St Helens, Oregon. Hassler enjoys AM and SSB ragchewing and building
simple radios and station accessories. He's also getting his feet wet with
digital modes. Welcome aboard, Dave!

* 2003 Spectrum Defense Fund well under way: ARRL Chief Development
Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, says the ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund has
generated $190,000 in contributions from more than 4100 ARRL members. "If
you have already sent your contribution, thank you," Hobart said. "But if
you've not yet contributed to this vital ARRL program, please consider a
generous contribution before December 31." The goal is to raise $500,000
to support ARRL's work to protect the frequencies amateurs use every day.
Financial support from the amateur community funds representation in
Washington and the work of the ARRL Lab to support advocacy efforts as
well as representation for Amateur Radio at World Radiocommunication
Conference 2003 next summer. Contributions can be mailed to ARRL
Headquarters or made via the secure ARRL 2003 Spectrum Defense Fund Web
site <>.

* FCC seeks public comments on Spectrum Policy Task Force report: Public
comments are due January 9, 2003, on the recently released report of the
Spectrum Policy Task Force (ET Docket 02-135) <see>. Reply comments are due
February 10. The Task Force released its report to the FCC on November 15.
The FCC notes that the Spectrum Policy Task Force Report was drafted by
FCC staff and was neither voted upon nor approved by the Commission.
"Accordingly, neither the Report nor any of the recommendations contained
therein necessarily reflect the views of the Commission," the FCC added.
The text of the Report and other Task Force documents are available on the
Task Force Web site <>. Parties are encouraged to
file comments using the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS)
<>. Commenters should include full
name, US Postal Service mailing address, and the docket number, ET Docket

* RS-20 is newest Russian Amateur Radio satellite payload: On November 28,
the Russian Space Agency launched the Algerian AlSat-1 satellite along
with a new Russian bird known as Mozhayets--a navigational and scientific
satellite. One of its experimental payloads is an Amateur Radio telemetry
beacon that has been christened RS-20. Mozhayets orbits at an altitude of
720 km, completing a turn around Earth every 99 minutes. The Keplerian
elements for RS-20 are: 1 27560U 02054B   02332.86497891 -.00019965
00000-0 -47472-2 0    37; 2 27560  98.2411 217.5728 0044302  75.5447
285.0613 14.53325574    86. RS-20 is transmitting CW telemetry on 145.818
and 435.319 MHz. According to information provided by Alexander Zaitzev,
RW3DZ, each telemetry frame begins and ends with the beacon call sign,
RS-20. E-mail reports are welcomed at

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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Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or
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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.

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