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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 22, No. 17
April 25, 2003


* +FCC "Broadband over Powerline" inquiry has ham interference
* +UN World Food Program Iraq team includes several hams
* +New two-ham ISS crew ready to launch
* +FCC alleges Michigan ham deliberately interfered, made threats
* +Two states' ham antenna bills head for governors
* +Hamvention announces 2003 award winners
* +Former W1AW chief op Chuck Bender, W1WPR, SK
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     Ham-pianist looking for company, support during run
     Hams assist stranded sailboat
     Temporary permission granted for YA1CQ operation
     W1AA/MSC will be on the air for Marconi event
     K6KPH on the air for International Marconi Day
+Available on ARRL Audio News



The FCC soon will invite public comment on the concept of using existing
electrical power lines to deliver Internet and broadband service to homes
and offices. The Commission initiated a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in ET
Docket 03-104 when it met April 23. What the FCC calls "Broadband over
Power Line" (BPL) is a form of carrier-current technology typically known
as power line communication (PLC). Whatever its name, the technology is
raising serious interference concerns within the Amateur Radio community,
since BPL would apply high-frequency RF to parts of the power grid. One
aspect of the NOI is to gather information on potential interference
effects on authorized spectrum users.

"Entire communities will be affected, so every amateur in that community
could have part of the radiating system 'next door' on the power wiring on
his or her street," cautioned ARRL Lab Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI. Hare
chairs the PLC Work Group of the IEEE C63 Accredited Standards Committee
on Electromagnetic Compatibility <>.

The complete NOI has not yet been released, and until that happens, the
FCC will not formally accept comments in the proceeding. The ARRL will be
among those expected to submit detailed comments in ET 03-104.

So-called "access BPL" would use medium-voltage (1 kV to 40 kV) power
lines to deliver Internet and broadband applications. Hare says access BPL
is likely to be a more significant interference source  than in-building
PLC technology "because overhead electrical wiring is a much better
antenna than the electrical wiring within a building."

ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, editorialized on the subject of PLC in "It
Seems to Us . . ." in the October issue of 2002 QST. "Is it possible to do
power line communications without causing interference to over-the-air
communications?" Sumner asked. "Count us among the skeptics. What may be a
fine transmission line at 60 Hz looks more like an antenna at HF." Hare
said his own computer analyses of interference potential from access
BPL/PLC suggest "a significant increase in noise levels" from deployed

The FCC appears enthusiastic about BPL, however, saying it has the
potential to "provide consumers with the freedom to access broadband
services from any room in the house without adding or paying for
additional connections." The Commission also touted BPL as "a competitive
alternative to digital subscriber line and cable modem services."

New digital power line designs use multiple carriers spread over a wide
frequency range--from 2 MHz up to 80 MHz--and capable of high data
rates--up to 20 MB/s, the FCC said.

In addition to viewpoints on interference potential, the FCC also has
requested comments on the current state of high-speed BPL technology, test
results from BPL experimental sites, appropriate measurement procedure for
testing emission characteristics for all types of carrier-current systems,
changes that may be needed in Part 15 technical rules, and the equipment
approval process to foster the development of BPL.

Tests of BPL are under way in several states, including Alabama, Maryland,
Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Hare says ARRL Lab
personnel will visit some of the test cities this spring to take field
measurements to quantify the potential for interference to Amateur Radio

BPL/PLC technology already has been deployed in some European countries,
and amateurs there have complained about interference. Japan--responding
in part to concerns expressed by its amateur community--decided last year
not to adopt the technology because of its interference potential.


Several radio amateurs--including some of the world's top operators--are
among United Nations World Food Program (WFP) "Fast Intervention Team"
(FITTEST) personnel already in Iraq or poised nearby and expected to be
inside the war-ravaged country very soon. FITTEST is responsible for
building technical infrastructure to ensure WFP can move relief food
supplies rapidly and safely. Any ham radio operations would be secondary
to the WFP's efforts in Iraq, however.

Peter Casier, ON6TT--who's expected in Baghdad as early as next week--says
the WFP will have a critical role in the post-conflict era in Iraq "where
60 percent of the population is dependent on external food aid." In ham
radio circles, Casier may be better-known as a top contester and one the
operators of Afghanistan's YA5T after the US-led military action there in

Other YA5T alumni expected to soon be in Iraq as part of the WFP effort
include Robert Kasca, S53R--the last UN international staff person
evacuated from Iraq before the conflict--Mark Demeuleneere, ON4WW, and
Mats Persson, SM7PKK. Casier and Demeuleneere paired up at World
Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC) events in 2000 and 2002. Kasca was
director of competition for WRTC 2000. Casier says he, Kasca and Dane
Novarlic, S57CQ, were on the air from Iraq until just before the war broke

Casier reports that Diya Sayah, YI1DZ--one of the primary operators at the
Baghdad Radio Club's YI1BGD and the WFP's Baghdad telecommunications
officer--is safe and well in Iraq.

FITTEST also has a mandate to install or build basic technical networks,
Casier said, including such systems as VHF repeaters, satellite
communications and HF fixed and mobile stations. The team also will set up
radio rooms, rework administrative procedures, and assign call signs for
all UN humanitarian-aid workers and non-governmental organizations
(NGOs)--other international aid organizations.

Others ready to go include Ed Giorgadze, 4L4FN, who's in Turkey. Until
last November Giorgadze had operated from North Korea as P5/4L4FN while on
a WFP assignment in Pyongyang. Patrick Pointu, F5ORF, and Mark Tell,
VK4KMT, among several other FITTEST team members who are radio amateurs.

The Daily DX <> reported this week that Willie
Mohney, YI/KV4EB, has been operating daily on 15 meters at or around
21.270 MHz, moving to 20 meters--perhaps around 14.255.


Space veterans Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP, and NASA
astronaut Ed Lu, KC5WKJ, were scheduled to head into space this weekend to
assume the reins of the International Space Station (ISS) as its
Expedition 7 crew. Crew commander Malenchenko, 41, and NASA Space Station
Science Officer Lu, 39, will be the first two-person ISS crew increment
and the first primary crew to travel to the space station on a Russian
Soyuz spacecraft. Their Soyuz TMA-2 vehicle is scheduled to launch April
26, at approximately 0354 UTC from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
They'll arrive aboard the ISS April 28. The two crews will spend six days
together on the ISS.

Originally scheduled to return in March aboard the space shuttle Atlantis
STS-114 mission, Expedition 6 Commander Ken Bowersox, KD5JBP, Flight
Engineer Nikolai Budarin, RV3FB, and NASA Space Station Science Officer
Don Pettit, KD5MDT, will return to Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-1 craft
that's now attached to the space station. They're scheduled to land on May
3 in Kazakhstan. Bowersox, Budarin and Pettit have been in space since
November 23.

NASA says that with the arrival of the Expedition 7 crew just days away,
the Expedition 6 crew has been preparing for "handover" activities this
week. On April 23, the crew conducted a motion control system test in the
Soyuz TMA-1 that Expedition 6 crew will use to return to Earth.

Malenchenko and Lu will remain in space until October. NASA has said that
until the space shuttle returns to flight-ready status pending the outcome
of the Columbia accident investigation, Russian Soyuz vehicles will handle
ISS crew rotations. NASA Chief Sean O'Keefe said this week, however, that
he expects the shuttle fleet to be space-ready by year's end. NASA
continues to investigate the February 1 shuttle Columbia tragedy that
claimed the lives of seven astronauts, three of them Amateur Radio

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Chairman Frank
Bauer, KA3HDO, says NASA has okayed a schedule of one or two ARISS school
group contacts per week, despite the reduction in crew size. The grounding
of the shuttle fleet could put a crimp in plans to deliver new ham radio
gear to the ISS this year, however.


The FCC alleges that a Michigan ham engaged in deliberate interference and
broadcasting and threatened other amateurs, and it's sending Michael
Guernsey Sr, ND8V, of Parchment a tape recording to back up those
assertions. Since late 1998, Guernsey has been the recipient of seven
letters from FCC Special Counsel Riley Hollingsworth, including two
warning notices. In 2000, the FCC threatened to designate Guernsey's
license for a revocation and suspension hearing. Guernsey subsequently
agreed to a nine-month suspension of his HF privileges in 2001.

"The operation of your station over the last several years raises
questions about your qualifications to remain a Commission licensee,"
Hollingsworth wrote Guernsey on April 7. The latest flap primarily
involves complaints from other amateurs of deliberate interference on 20
meters. The recorded transmissions were made on March 26, 2003.

In his letter, Hollingsworth noted that some of the interference
apparently sprang from on-the-air personal disputes or from what Guernsey
perceived as deliberate interference to his transmissions. Even so,
Hollingsworth said, Guernsey has apparently ignored the Commission's
written and verbal warnings to not retaliate with similar behavior.
Hollingsworth advised Guernsey that the alleged deliberate retaliatory
threats and transmissions on top of other QSOs are contrary to FCC rules
"and indicate that the numerous warnings to date have little, if any,
effect in regarding to bringing your operation into compliance with
Commission rules."

Hollingsworth requested that Guernsey review the tape recording and
respond in writing and in detail within 20 days. He said the FCC will use
the information Guernsey submits to decide whether to designate Guernsey's
license for a suspension and revocation proceeding or to lift voice
privileges from Guernsey's license for the remainder of his license term,
which ends in 2012.

In a related letter, Hollingsworth issued similar words of caution to
George Zardecki, N9VTB, of Chicago, with whom, he says, Guernsey has
squabbled on the air. While Hollingsworth indicated that he would review
and take action regarding Zardecki's deliberate interference complaints,
he advised Zardecki that "in several instances, your own conduct was as
bad or worse than the party about whom you complained." He cautioned
Zardecki against retaliatory interference, slander and name calling.


Amateur Radio antenna bills in Indiana and Tennessee need only their
respective governors' signatures to eventually become law. In both cases,
the measures would incorporate the wording of the limited federal
preemption known as PRB-1 into the laws of each state.

"A stunning reversal of fortune" is how ARRL Central Division Director
Dick Isely, W9GIG, described the passage of Indiana's bill, SB 109, which
at one point had been shelved in committee. ARRL Indiana Section Manager
Jim Sellers, K9ZBM, and others convinced lawmakers to resurrect SB 109.
Isely and Sellers credited the efforts of former ARRL State Government
Liaison Dave Spoelstra, N9KT, in the successful passage of SB 109. "He was
able to provide Jim Sellers and me with a lot of valuable insight into the
various legislative moves," Isely said.

Favorably voted out of committee, the measure went on to pass the Indiana
House of Representatives April 14 on a 97-2 vote but without the 75-foot
minimum regulatory antenna structure height the Senate version of the bill
had contained. A House-Senate conference committee, convened to iron out
the differences, left out the 75-foot minimum, and the Senate passed the
stripped-down measure on a 39-9 roll-call vote. SB 109 now goes to Indiana
Gov Frank O'Bannon. If he signs the measure, it will become effective July

In Tennessee, the Senate voted 31-0 on April 14 to accept a previously
passed House bill, HB 1010, to replace the Senate's PRB-1 measure, SB
0365. The House vote was 97-0. The bill now goes to Gov Phil Bredesen.

"Many thanks for this progress goes to the teamwork of our State
Government Liaison Ingrid Klose, KD4F, Local Government Liaison Jimmy
Floyd, NQ4U, and the many Tennessee hams who contacted their senators and
representatives to solicit their votes and support," said ARRL Tennessee
Section Manager Terry Cox, KB4KA.

At the request of Tennessee Section leadership, lawmakers eliminated
language from the original Senate bill that would have incorporated
minimum regulatory height limits, below which localities could not
regulate. The Senate bill had asked for an up to 200 foot minimum
regulatory height for low population density areas and either a 65 or
75-foot regulatory minimum in more densely populated areas, depending on
lot size.

"We realized there was a very slim chance of getting the original wording,
including height limitations, approved after the resistance we received
from the Tennessee Municipal League in last year's effort," Cox explained.

The bills approved in both states prohibit localities from enacting or
enforcing ordinances, resolutions or orders that do not comply with the
PRB-1 limited federal preemption (ß97.15). Both measures also would
require ordinances involving the placement, screening or height of Amateur
Radio antennas based on health, safety or aesthetics to "reasonably
accommodate" Amateur Radio communications and represent the minimal
practicable regulation to accomplish a municipality's or county's
legitimate purpose.

The Indiana law also would permit municipalities or counties to act to
protect or preserve historical or architectural districts established
under local, state or federal law.

So far 17 states have incorporated the essence of PRB-1 into their laws,
but only a handful--Oregon, Virginia, Alaska and Wyoming--include minimum
regulatory height limits in their Amateur Radio antenna laws based on


Hamvention has named the winners of its 2003 Amateur of the Year, Special
Achievement and Technical Excellence awards. Well-known contester Larry
"Tree" Tyree, N6TR, will receive Hamvention's 2003 Amateur of the Year
Award. Tyree is the creator, organizer, and promoter of the successful
Kid's Day <>--now administered
by the ARRL. Kid's Day is an operating activity designed to give young
people a chance to experience Amateur Radio firsthand and possibly inspire
them to become licensees. Tyree also developed the popular TR-LOG contest
logging software. A ham since 1967, Tyree lives in Boring, Oregon, with
his wife and three daughters.

"I hope to be able to use this to help encourage others to encourage young
people to join our hobby," Tyree commented. "Obviously the help the ARRL
has given me by taking over the event has been part of the success that
enabled this [award]." The award to Tyree is in line with Hamvention's
2003 theme, "Year of the Youth." The show, May 16-18 at Hara Arena near
Dayton, Ohio, will be on young hams and on attracting 12 to 18-year olds
into Amateur Radio.

Jonathan Taylor, K1RFD, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, is the winner of
Hamvention's 2003 Special Achievement Award. Taylor developed the
Internet-linking program called EchoLink and the repeater-control program
called EchoStation. EchoLink allows amateur stations to connect with each
other via the Internet to expand repeater and simplex coverage and to
provide Amateur Radio operators with access from their PCs.

Hamvention's 2003 Technical Achievement Award goes to Dr Steve Dimse,
K4HG, of Cudjoe Key, Florida. Dimse was behind the development of the
global Automated Position Reporting System (APRS) Internet network
<> that links more than 20,000 APRS operators around
the world. Dimse also wrote the findU global database software
<>, and he helped form the Citizens Weather Service

Awards will be presented at an award winners' reception at Hara Arena May

Hamvention 2003 also recognized the contributions of several Silent Keys
to Amateur Radio. Those recognized include the crew of the shuttle
Columbia STS-107 mission, which included three Amateur Radio licensees.
Other Silent Keys honored included ham radio author Joe Carr, K4IPV;
inventor Al Gross, W8PAL; ham radio author Bill Orr, W6SAI; and ham radio
volunteer and Elmer Ernie Hudson, KI8O.


Former W1AW staff member and chief operator Charles R. "Chuck" Bender,
W1WPR, of West Hartford, Connecticut, died April 17. He was 79. Bender
served as an operator at Maxim Memorial Station W1AW for more than 37
years--from 1952 until his retirement in 1989--the last 17 years as chief

"Chuck was a fixture at W1AW," said ARRL Chief Operating Officer Mark
Wilson, K1RO. "For many League members, he was the visible, human face of
ARRL Headquarters as he greeted visitors to the station during his
tenure." Bender's photo also graced W1AW's QSL card for a number of years,
making him probably one of the most recognized hams in the country.

ARRL Archivist Perry Williams, W1UED, was a long-time colleague of
Bender's. "He was a private man who liked to read, and he enjoyed playing
chess," Williams recalled. "He loved baseball, and he also bowled a lot
with his wife, Arline." The Benders met while both were on the
Headquarters staff and got married on Field Day in 1968. Arline Bender,
WA1VMC, died last December.

W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, remembered that Bender "was proud
of being the W1AW chief operator and that he really liked Amateur Radio."
A Pennsylvania native, Bender saw action during World War II. Before
moving to Connecticut in 1952, he held the call sign W3ODU.

Survivors include a daughter, Susan Lyhne. At Bender's request, no public
memorial service will be held.


Solar sage Tad "You Are My Sunshine" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington,
reports: -Sunspot numbers and solar flux rose over the past week. Average
daily sunspot numbers were up more than 44 points to 100.4, and solar flux
was nearly 17 points higher to 118.6. Solar wind and the resulting
geomagnetic instability that has been prevalent for the past few weeks
continued, and is expected to last at least through this weekend.

The current outlook has the Friday through Monday planetary A index for
April 25-28 at 20, 25, 25 and 20. Current projections forecast quiet
conditions for May 3-5, but higher just before that period and for nearly
two weeks following. The reason for the unsettled to active geomagnetic
forecast for this weekend is because of an ongoing solar wind, and an
active sunspot that released two solar flares on April 23.

Predicted solar flux is 128 and 130 for Friday and Saturday, April 25-26,
and then around 135 through the next week.

Sunspot numbers for April 17 through 23 were 37, 51, 69, 93, 154, 147 and
152, with a mean of 100.4. The 10.7-cm flux was 101, 107.8, 112.1, 118.5,
125.8, 132.4 and 132.8 with a mean of 118.6. Estimated planetary A indices
were 30, 20, 18, 16, 21, 22 and 18, with a mean of 20.7.



* This weekend on the radio: The SP DX RTTY Contest, the Helvetia Contest,
the QRP to the Field, and the Florida and Nebraska QSO parties are the
weekend of April 26-27. JUST AHEAD: The AGCW QRP/QRP Contest is May 1. The
New England QSO Party, the Indiana QSO Party, the MARAC County Hunters
Contest (CW), the IPA Contest (CW/SSB), the 10-10 International Spring
Contest (CW), the Microwave Spring Sprint, and the ARI International DX
Contest are the weekend of May 3-4. See the ARRL Contest Branch page
<> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<> for more info.

* ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration:
Registration for the Radio Frequency Interference (EC-006) and Satellite
Communications (EC-007) courses opens Monday, April 28, 12:01 AM EDT (0401
UTC). Registration will remain open through Sunday, May 4. Classes begin
Tuesday, May 6. Registration for the ARRL HF Digital Communications
(EC-005) course remains open through Sunday, April 27. Those interested in
taking an ARRL Certification and Continuing Education (C-CE) course in the
future can sign up to be advised via e-mail in advance of registration
opportunities. To take advantage, send an e-mail to On
the subject line, indicate the course name or number (eg, EC-00#) and the
month you want to start the course. In the message body, provide your
name, call sign, and e-mail address. Please do not send inquiries to this
mailbox. 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,

* Ham-pianist looking for company, support during run: Internationally
known pianist Martin Berkofsky, KC3RE, has made it into Kansas on his
860-mile run to Chicago. A cancer survivor, Berkofsky is celebrating his
recovery and raising money for Tulsa's Cancer Treatment Research
Foundation (CTRF) <> with his CelebrateLifeRun
<>. Berkofsky left Tulsa April 8, his 60th
birthday. "Holding up wonderfully," Berkofsky reports. "The best day was
12.9 miles." He said he's now out of range of the Oklahoma UHF "Super
System," where he enjoyed many nice QSOs and had some stations checking in
with him daily as the run progressed. Joni Shulman, CTRF's director of
programs, said Berkofsky still needs places to stay and spotters to watch
out for him along his route. He also enjoys having others run with him.
Berkofsky is using APRS to radio his position at least on a daily basis,
and he can be tracked on the Web via the site

* Hams assist stranded sailboat: Amateur Radio operators on the
Intercontinental and Maritime Mobile Service nets (14.300 MHz) responded
to a call from a sailboat stranded between Key West and the Dry Tortugas.
Ed Petzolt, K1LNC, in Florida, reported that a power failure aboard the
42-foot sailing vessel Follie a Deux out of Toronto left the boat adrift
in calm winds and seas. "They did a pan pan on 14.300 MHz," Petzolt
reported April 22. He contacted the US Coast Guard in Key West, which
responded. "They attempted to repair the engine without success," Petzolt
said later. The sailboat, with two passengers aboard, was towed to Dry
Tortugas to await a commercial repair/towing vessel.

* Temporary permission granted for YA1CQ operation: The Daily DX
<> reports that Hiro Nakanishi, JA1CQT, is back in
Kabul, Afghanistan, as part of the Basic Human Needs (BHN) contingent. He
has been granted temporary permission to operate as YA1CQ until the end of
May, although he expects to be in Afghanistan for 12 months. BHN is a
nongovernmental organization--or NGO--that's helping with humanitarian
relief efforts. Others associated with the BHN team include Ito "Dan"
Sadao, JA1PBV. YA1JA is the BHN club call sign.

* W1AA/MSC will be on the air for Marconi event: Members of the Marconi
Radio Club <> will operate on
International Marconi Day, Saturday, April 26, as W1AA/MSC. "W1AA/MSC will
represent the 1901 Marconi Nantucket Station MSC," said club president
Whitey Doherty, K1VV, who explained that the actual W1AA/MSC operation
will take place on the mainland, not from Nantucket itself, since the
original MSC site is now a residential area. The station remained in
operation from 1904 until 1918. US stations QSL W1AA/MSC with a SASE to
Whitey Doherty, K1VV, PO Box 1193, Lakeville, MA 02347. DX QSL via the W1
QSL Bureau.

* K6KPH on the air for International Marconi Day: The Maritime Radio
Historical Society's K6KPH will participate Saturday, April 26, in the
annual International Marconi Day commemorative event. International
Marconi Day takes place each year on a weekend close to the birthday of
wireless pioneer Guglielmo Marconi. The event is organized by the Cornish
Amateur Radio Club, which will offer awards to stations in various
categories. Details are on the club's Web site <>.
K6KPH uses the original transmitters, receivers and antennas of famous
former RCA coast station KPH on the West Coast. Operating frequencies will
be 7050, 14,050 and 21,050 kHz and possibly 3545 kHz. Operations begin
April 26 at 1700 UTC. QSL to Denise Stoops, PO Box 381, Bolinas, CA

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 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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