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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 22, No. 06
February 7, 2003


* +Amateur community mourns lost shuttle crew
* +Hams assist in Columbia debris search
* +Loss of shuttle having impact on ham radio in space
* +ARRL Pacific Division Director Jim Maxwell, W6CF, SK
* +ARRL Field Day gets a new entry class
* +Six-year old qualifies for her General
* +Indiana gives antenna bill another try
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
    +School Club Roundup 2003 is February 10-14
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     DXCC Honor Roll deadline looms
     Viewing and commenting on petitions the FCC puts on public notice
    +Yugoslavia becomes Serbia and Montenegro

+Available on ARRL Audio News



The flags of the United States, the ARRL and the International Amateur
Radio Union (IARU) are flying at half staff at ARRL Headquarters as the
Amateur Radio community has joined the rest of the world in mourning the
loss of the seven shuttle Columbia astronauts. Through the Space Amateur
Radio EXperiment (SAREX) and, more recently, the Amateur Radio on the
International Space Station (ARISS) programs, amateurs have enjoyed a
special relationship with the astronaut corps, many of whom are licensees.
Three of the Columbia astronauts were Amateur Radio operators, and the
ARISS program is a joint effort of ARRL, AMSAT and NASA.

"The ultimate in public service was just given by these astronauts," said
ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP. "It's a sad thing that's occurred, and
our thoughts are with the families of the astronauts who died doing what
they loved. They were part of us."

Haynie, who was in Florida last weekend for the Miami Tropical Hamboree,
said the news of the Columbia incident cast a pall over the festivities.
"You could feel it in the crowd," he said. Haynie led those attending the
ARRL forum in a moment of silence in remembrance of the lost crew members.

The STS-107 crew, headed by Commander Rick Husband, included Pilot Willie
McCool, Mission Specialists Kalpana "KC" Chawla, KD5ESI; David Brown,
KC5ZTC; Laurel Clark, KC5ZSU, Michael Anderson, and Payload Specialist
Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut.

"The world has lost seven great heroes," said ARISS International Chairman
Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, a NASA employee, in extending condolences to the
families and friends of the STS-107 crew. Bauer said the Columbia
catastrophe "clearly demonstrated the challenging and sometimes sobering
aspects" of human spaceflight.

"Our quest for space must continue despite these tragic losses," he said.

ARRL and the ARISS Team received condolences from all over the globe.
AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH--one of two Canadian ARISS
representatives--expressed his great sadness at learning of the Columbia
disaster. "AMSAT has always been a strong supporter of the shuttle program
and of ARISS," he said "Their understanding of the risks taken on this and
other missions did not prevent them from performing at the highest level
and, unfortunately, paying the ultimate price," he said of the lost crew.

Ken Pulfer, VE3PU, the other Canadian delegate to the ARISS International
Team, said he was overwhelmed by the tragedy, both in sympathy for his US
friends and because he had met so many of the astronauts himself. It was
Pulfer who convinced the Canadian government to establish an astronaut
corps of its own. "My condolences go out to all Americans at this time."
he said, calling February 1 "a sad, sad day indeed."

ARISS International Secretary Rosalie White, K1STO, recalled meeting "KC"
Chawla at an ARISS meeting at Johnson Space Center. "Kalpana was
intelligent, quiet--a professional scientist with a genuine smile," she
said. She also noted that Laurel Clark had done some "terrestrial SAREX
QSOs" from W5RRR at Johnson Space Center with students in Kansas and New
Mexico. The "terrestrial" SAREX QSOs took place at a time when the demand
from schools for radio contacts with astronauts was high but the number of
scheduled shuttle flights was very low.

Built in 1981, Columbia was the oldest shuttle in NASA's fleet and was the
first to carry Amateur Radio. Retired astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL,
became the first ham to operate from space in November 1983. Thousands
heard W5LFL, and hundreds had direct QSOs with him on 2 meters.
Refurbished in 1999, Columbia was on its 28th space mission. Columbia
carried no Amateur Radio gear on its last mission into space, however.


In Texas this week, Amateur Radio Emergency Service and SKYWARN volunteers
have been assisting federal, state and local officials and relief
organizations in their search for shuttle Columbia debris and remains of
the crew members.

"Ham radio has proven to be the only reliable communications options
during the recovery effort," said Public Information Officer Tim Lewallen,
KD5ING, of the Nacogdoches Amateur Radio Club. "The communications systems
used by other federal and state organizations cannot penetrate 'The Pine
Curtain' as we know it in East Texas," he said. He said even local
authorities were having problems with their radio gear.

Lewallen says federal authorities have requested that every survey team
have at least one Amateur Radio operator along to help keep the recovery
efforts coordinated and organized.

Lewallen also cited the reliability of EchoLink connections among the
various groups as key to getting the operation up and running and keeping
it running smoothly. He suggested that prospective volunteers visit the
North Texas Section Web site <>; for
additional information.

Alan Hayes, NE5AH, in the ARRL South Texas Section said February 6 that
hams were urgently needed to assist in the search and recovery effort in
the San Augustine County area east of Lufkin, site of the debris search
command center at the Department of Public Safety. Hayes said a
substantial amount of the debris recovery yet to be done--he estimates 50
percent--is in San Augustine County, which has few active hams. Debris
from the Columbia has been recovered in more than three dozen Texas
counties, and the search now has moved into parts of Arizona and

"We currently have the infrastructure and portable repeaters in place,
thanks to all of the volunteer efforts from outside of our area," Hayes
said. Volunteers have been making use of a portable repeater donated by
the Garland Amateur Radio Club and set up at in San Augustine.

"To date, Amateur Radio has proven to be the only reliable communications
in this area of operations, and approximately 25 operators per day have
been needed," Hayes concluded. "Thus far, alternative communications from
sources other than Amateur Radio have not been successful."

Hayes says that two dozen or more operators are needed each day, and he
expects that need to continue for the next three weeks. Prospective
volunteers may get in touch with South Texas Section Emergency Coordinator
Bob Ehrhardt, W5ZX <>;.

Other agencies involved in the effort include the Texas Department of
Public Safety, Texas Department of Transportation, the FBI, local law
enforcement and fire departments and National Guard units from Texas and
elsewhere. Relief organizations include the American Red Cross, The
Salvation Army and the Texas Baptist Men's Kitchen. The Salvation Army
also has been using Amateur Radio for its communication needs.

Hams also assisted students and staffers from the Humanities Undergraduate
Environmental Sciences (HUES) Geographic Information Systems and Forestry
Resources Institute labs at Stephen F. Austin State University.

Several amateurs in Texas reported hearing a reverberating, rumbling sound
as the Columbia broke up above them and debris began to rain down on the
landscape. "Very scary," said Ralston Gober, W5ZNN, of Corsicana, Texas.
"It shook the heck out of my house and shack!"


The future of Amateur Radio in space--at least in the near term--could
depend on how fast NASA pins down the cause of the February 1 shuttle
Columbia disaster and fixes the problem. With the shuttle fleet grounded
until it does--and further International Space Station construction on
hold as a result--attention is turning to the well-being of the all-ham
ISS Expedition 6 crew of Commander Ken Bowersox, KD5JBP, Don Pettit,
KD5MDT, and Nikolai Budarin, RV3FB. Three of the Columbia astronauts also
were Amateur Radio operators.

Under normal circumstances, a shuttle mission next month would have
brought a fresh crew to the ISS and returned Bowersox and his crewmates to
Earth. With a Progress 10 cargo rocket delivery February 4, the Expedition
6 team now has sufficient supplies to sustain the crew until late June or
early July if necessary, NASA said this week.

What happens beyond that remains up in the air, although NASA has said it
would not mothball the ISS and leave the spacecraft without a crew. The
extended stay could have an unintended consequence for Amateur Radio,
however, since the temporarily stranded crew would be likely to have more
spare time on its hands.

NA1SS onboard the ISS represents the first permanent Amateur Radio station
in space. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
International Team recently announced plans to expand NA1SS to include,
among other things, separate stations for 2 meters and 70 cm and SSTV
capabilities. ARISS is an international program with participation by

An ARISS contact set for February 6 with students at a high school in
Germany was postponed, although the ARISS contact schedule is expected to
resume later this month. "The German school QSO was postponed because of
the Columbia accident and the re-planning taking place for ISS," said
ARISS International Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO. Bauer said the crew's
having to unload a ton of equipment from the Progress rocket also was a
factor. He said he's expecting further clarification from NASA regarding
future ARISS school QSOs.

NASA reports that Bowersox, Budarin and Pettit paid a private tribute
February 4 to Columbia's astronauts. NASA ISS flight controllers radioed
the crew an audio feed from the memorial ceremony at the Johnson Space
Center in Houston.

Additional information on the crew's activities aboard the ISS is
available on NASA's Human Spaceflight Web site

The crippling of the US shuttle fleet has shifted formerly unanticipated
demands on Russia and its meagerly funded space program, since Russian
supplies the Soyuz capsules that now serve as emergency escape vehicles
for the ISS crew.

"If we have the money, we can build new [Soyuz] capsules," Russian space
official and former cosmonaut Valery Ryumin assured this week. But, more
money or no, Soyuz vehicles cannot carry cargo or experiments. The
Russians also have temporarily scrapped their "space tourist" program,
which they had been promoting to raise much-needed additional funds.
Businessmen Dennis Tito, KG6FZX, and Mark Shuttleworth each paid an
estimated $20 million to fill the third Soyuz seat and spend a week aboard
the ISS. 'N Sync pop singer Lance Bass, KG4UYY, had been considered a
possible candidate for an April Soyuz taxi flight.

Now, the Soyuz could become the principal crew transport vehicle for the
ISS, although no decision has been made on whether the April taxi flight
now will be used to carry out the crew change.


ARRL Pacific Division Director Jim Maxwell, W6CF, died February 6 at his
home in Redwood Estates, California. He was 69 years old.

Maxwell joined the ARRL Board of Directors in 1994 after being elected
Pacific Division Vice Director; he became Director in January 2000.
Pacific Division Vice Director Bob Vallio, W6RGG, takes over immediately
as Director; ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, will appoint a new Vice
Director. Maxwell, a Life Member of the League, also previously served as
Section Manager for the Santa Clara Valley section.

"Jim Maxwell was a gentle giant of a man," Haynie said. "He was one of the
best assets Amateur Radio could have in a leadership position."

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, said, "Jim Maxwell was
one of the most brilliant people I have ever had the privilege to know. He
was also one of the most unselfish and one of the most modest. Putting
them all together, he was truly in a class by himself. To say he will be
missed is a gross understatement."

Maxwell was an avid DXer--belonging to many DX and contest clubs and
organizations, including the Northern California Contest Club--and he was
also an accredited ARRL Volunteer Examiner. Maxwell served as an ARRL
Emergency Coordinator from 1991 to 1999 and he was on the DX Advisory
Committee from April 1988 through 1993. Maxwell previously held the call

His interest in radio and electronics history was well known, with Maxwell
and his wife Trudy, KC6NAX, both helping to spearhead archiving efforts at
ARRL Headquarters.

Professionally, Maxwell held doctoral degrees in aeronautical engineering
and biomechanics. He retired from Lockheed as a Technical Consultant in
1992 and from Scitor Corp. in 1998.

Information on memorial services was unavailable at press time.


Field Day will gain another entry class for the 2003 running of this
highly popular operating event June 28-29. "Class F" stations will operate
at emergency operations centers--or EOCs. The change renews the emphasis
of Field Day's 1933 origins as an emergency preparedness exercise as
opposed to a routine contest--what former ARRL Communications Manager F.
E. Handy, W1BDI, called "a test of the emergency availability of portable
stations and equipment." In Handy's view, Field Day would focus attention
"on the subject of 'preparedness' for communications emergencies."

ARRL Contest Branch Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, says the League last year
received a record 2110 Field Day entries from groups and individuals. That
represented a total of almost 35,000 participants who joined in what
Henderson called "a great tradition."

Given the increased emphasis on emergency communications since September
11, 2001, Henderson says, the ARRL Board's Membership Services Committee
asked that the Contest Branch come up with a way to accommodate stations
wanting to operate from the local EOC. The new Class F station, operating
from an EOC, is the result.

"This is a major change," Henderson said. "Class F has been established to
encourage groups to test and further their working relationships with
established emergency operations centers." The updated rules and a list of
frequently asked questions in the new 2003 Field Day Packet
<> spell out the details.

A Class F entry station must set up at an "established EOC" activated by a
club or non-club group. An EOC is defined as a facility established by a
federal, state, county, city or other civil governmental agency or
administrative entity or by a chapter of a national or international
served agency. The latter could include the American Red Cross or The
Salvation Army, with which the Field Day group "has an established
operating arrangement." Class F EOC operation must take place in
cooperation with the EOC staff. Class F stations are eligible for the same
bonus points as Class A stations.

There's also been what Henderson called "some tweaking" in the rules for
Field Day 2003. Among the highlights, the rules reduce from 400 to 100 the
number of QSOs that the "Get On The Air" (GOTA) station needs to make to
claim a 100-point bonus. "GOTA stations still may work up to a maximum of
400 QSOs to go towards the main station's score," Henderson said.

In addition, the 2003 rules enhance the bonus for having an invited
official visit the Field Day site. There are now two separate bonus
categories--100 points for the elected official and another 100 points for
a visit by a representative of a served agency.

Henderson reminds Field Day participants that stations do not get
additional bonus points for contacting stations through additional
satellites. As of the 2002 event, Field Day opened up to stations
throughout the Americas, not just in the US and Canada.

Henderson encourages participants to post their Field Day experiences and
photographs to the Field Day Online soapbox


A six-year-old girl from Roseburg, Oregon, has upgraded from Technician to
General. Mattie Clauson, KD7TYN--a fourth-generation Amateur Radio
operator in her family--could be the youngest General-class operator in
the US. Her new ticket was granted January 13.

Mattie allowed that the Element 3 test "was pretty hard" and she had to
study for a long time before passing it on her third attempt. "The Element
3 test was a lot harder than the Tech test," she said. She was ambivalent
about the 5 WPM Element 1 Morse code exam, characterizing it as "not too
hard, just a little, but kind of easy too."

Her parents, Tim and Charlotte Clauson, AC7SP and KD7QZB, say Mattie
became interested in Amateur Radio when she was five. The Clausons
discovered "a kid-friendly study book," Ride the Airwaves with Alpha and
Zulu by John Abbott, K6YPB (no longer in print--Ed). The Clausons say
Mattie, who already knew how to read, dove into it right away. Her mom and
dad helped her to study, explained the "hard questions" and encouraged her
to take practice tests at various Web sites. She obtained her Technician
license last July and became KD7SDF.

The Clausons said Mattie learned Morse code using several different
computer programs, and they helped her practice by tapping out
letters--and later words--for her. In the end, she passed her code exam on
the very first try. For the time being, Mattie says, she's sticking with
phone operation but plans to give CW a try in the future. Mattie says she
prefers HF over VHF "because I can talk to people in other countries."

Homeschooled with her sisters, Mattie loves to read, and that may
contribute to her precocity. Among her favorites books are those by
Cynthia Wall, KA7ITT, Encyclopedia Brown, and Nancy Drew. Her parents say
ham radio has been a very useful tool in homeschooling--in terms of letter
recognition, spelling, science, geography and other subjects.

The Clausons say Mattie doesn't consider herself "someone special" since
passing her General test, and neither do they. "We do not feel that Mattie
has any abilities above any other child," Charlotte Clauson said.

For her part, Mattie says she hopes that she can be an inspiration to
other youngsters her age to get involved with Amateur Radio. "I think that
since I got my license, whether Tech or higher, other kids can do it
also," she said. Mattie's late great grandfather, S.A. "Sam" Sullivan, was
W6WXU; his daughter, Joan Brady--Mattie's grandmother--now holds his
former call sign.

"The ham community has also been very supportive, especially in the
Roseburg area," said Charlotte Clauson. "Their enthusiasm has made
Mattie's experience with ham radio very positive." A article on Mattie
Clauson appeared February 3 in the Statesman Journal of Salem, Oregon

Tim, Charlotte and Mattie Clauson all are ARRL members. Mattie and her mom
now are working on their Amateur Extra tickets.


An Amateur Radio antenna bill has been introduced in the Indiana State
Senate. State Sen Rose Ann Antich is the sponsor of Senate Bill 109,
"Regulation of Amateur Radio Antennas." The bill parallels PRB-1 but also
specifies a minimum regulatory height of 75 feet for amateur antennas.

"I believe this legislation deserves the support of all Indiana amateurs,"
said Indiana ARRL Section Manager James Sellers, K9ZBM, who urged everyone
in the section to contact their state lawmakers and get behind the bill.
"We need to get this bill passed by both the Indiana Senate and House and
onto the governor's desk!" Sellers said. "Do it today!" A 2001 effort to
get a similar Amateur Radio antenna bill through the Indiana General
Assembly failed.

SB 109 declares that if a municipality or county adopts an ordinance,
resolution or order involving the placement, screening or height of an
Amateur Radio antenna that's based on health, safety or aesthetics, the
measure must "reasonably accommodate Amateur Radio communications" and
"represent the minimal regulation practicable to accomplish the
municipality's or county's legitimate purpose."

Such a local ordinance, resolution or order also could not restrict the
height of an Amateur Radio antenna to less than 75 feet above ground
level. The bill would not prohibit a municipality or county from taking
action to protect or preserve historical or architectural districts
established under state or federal law.

The legislation got its first reading January 7 and has been referred to
the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs and Interstate Cooperation.
No hearings have been scheduled.

A copy of the proposed legislation is available on the Indiana General
Assembly Web site
<>. If approved
by both houses of the Indiana General Assembly, the measure would become
effective July 1. Information on contacting state legislators can be found
on the Indiana General Assembly Web site


Solar swami Tad "Let the Sunshine In" Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington,



* This weekend on the radio: The North American Sprint (CW), the Six Club
Winter Contest, the CQ/RJ WW RTTY WPX Contest, the Asia-Pacific Sprint
(CW), the Dutch PACC Contest, the YL-OM Contest (CW), the FISTS Winter
Sprint, the OMISS QSO Party, the RSGB 1.8 MHz Contest (CW) and the QRP
ARCI Winter Fireside SSB Sprint are the weekend of February 8-9. The ARRL
School Club Roundup is the week of February 10-15. JUST AHEAD: The ARRL
International DX Contest (CW) and the YL-OM Contest (SSB) are the weekend
of February 15-16. See the ARRL Contest Branch page
<> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<> for more info.

* School Club Roundup 2003 is February 10-14: School Club Roundup (SCR)
2003 takes place February 10-14. The event is sponsored by the Council for
the Advancement of Amateur Radio in the New York City Schools, the ARRL
and its Hudson Division Education Task Force. The idea of SCR is to foster
contacts with and among school radio clubs, and the annual operating event
is a great way for new or inexperienced operators to get on the air in a
low-pressure contest environment. Operators are encouraged to take some
time to chat beyond the contest exchange. Award certificates will be
issued for separate Elementary, Middle/Intermediate/Junior High School,
High School and College/University levels for USA and DX entries. SCR
rules are available on the ARRL Web site

* 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, February 10,
12:01 AM Eastern Standard Time (0501 UTC). Registration will remain open
through Sunday, February 16. Classes begin Monday, February 17. A new
service now allows those interested in taking an ARRL Certification and
Continuing Education (C-CE) course in the future to be advised via e-mail
in advance of registration opportunities. To be included, send an e-mail
to On the subject line, include the course name or number
(eg, EC-00#) you'd like to take. In the message body, provide your name
and call sign and the month you want to start the course. 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,

* DXCC Honor Roll deadline looms: The deadline for the next DXCC Honor
Roll list is rapidly approaching. DXCC Honor Roll applications must be
postmarked by March 31, 2003, for operators to appear in the next list,
which will appear in August QST. The DXCC Honor Roll list includes only
current entities; deleted entities do not count toward Honor Roll. With
the addition of Ducie Island in 2002, the minimum number of entities
required for Honor Roll is 326. For Number One Honor Roll, the total is
335 current entities. Plaques remain available for anyone currently or
previously on the Honor Roll. Order forms are available on the DXCC Web
site <>. On a related note, the DXCC Desk
has finished entering September DXCC applications, and all but a handful
(ones requiring special attention) are on their way back to members. "With
the 75,000 cards postmarked September 30 out of the way, we expect to make
a significant reduction in the processing time in the weeks ahead," said
ARRL Membership Services Department Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG.

* Viewing and commenting on petitions the FCC puts on public notice:
Members of the amateur community (and the general public) may comment via
the Web or e-mail on any Petition for Rulemaking that the FCC has put on
public notice and assigned a rulemaking (RM) number. Visit the FCC's
Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) page
<>, which includes detailed instructions. To
view a petition and/or any comments filed, click on "Search for Filed
Comments" on the right-hand side of the page and enter the RM number in
the "Proceeding" field. You must enter "RM" in upper-case letters and
include the hyphen followed by the appropriate five digits. To file
comments, click on "Submit a Filing" on the right-hand side of the ECFS
page or see the instructions on how to file comments via e-mail. A typical
comment period runs 30 days from the date the FCC puts a petition on
public notice.

* Yugoslavia becomes Serbia-Montenegro: Yugoslavia's parliament has voted
to formally abolish that nation and replace it with a new country called
Serbia-Montenegro, which were the two remaining Yugoslav republics. In
accordance with a deal arranged by the European Union and aimed at keeping
the two republics together, Serbia and Montenegro will continue to share a
capital--Belgrade--and a joint administration for defense and foreign
affairs. The new arrangement will have little immediate impact on Amateur
Radio. For DXCC purposes, Serbia and Montenegro will be considered a
single entity--at least for the time being--and amateurs there are
expected to continue using YU/YT prefixes. The situation could change in
three years when residents of the two republics would be allowed to vote
to stick together or go their separate ways. Yugoslavia was established in
1918 as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. DXCC criteria are
available on the ARRL Web site

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,
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the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRL Web site
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weekly "ham radio newscast" compiled from The ARRL Letter.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or
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==>How to Get The ARRL Letter
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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.

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.

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