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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 22, No. 21
May 23, 2003


* +Operation on 60 meters to require prudence, caution
* +Good time had by all at Hamvention 2003
* +Malicious interference yields $12,000 fine
* +FCC proposes more 5-GHz spectrum for unlicensed use
* +Incumbent SMs returned in eight ARRL sections
* +QRP at "WARC Speed"
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
    +National Hurricane Center's WX4NHC announces 2003 on-the-air test
     California ham antenna bill clears Senate committee
     Distracted driver legislation raising ham hackles in New Jersey
     Hams wanted for new wildlife tracking projects
     Ed Bissell, W3AU, SK
     John H. Joseph, K3ISR, SK

+Available on ARRL Audio News



When the five channels of the new 60-meter amateur allocation become
available later this year, Amateur Radio operators will have to learn some
new operating habits and adopt some new on-the-air attitudes. The limited
spectrum and stringent bandwidth requirements will mean amateurs will have
to demonstrate their best behavior and operating skills if the Amateur
Service ever hopes to get an actual band segment at 60 meters.

"In terms of Amateur Radio spectrum, we usually say, 'Use it or lose it,'"
said ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. "The watchword for 60-meter operators
should be, 'Misuse it and lose it.'"

The channelized scheme--similar to the 5-MHz experimental operation under
way in the United Kingdom <> --puts
unfamiliar technical compliance demands on US hams who have, until now,
not had to worry much about frequency stability or transmitted audio
bandwidth. The FCC has granted amateurs 5332, 5348, 5368, 5373, and 5405
kHz--the last channel common to the UK experimental operation's band plan.
These are all "channel center frequencies," the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said in a March
13 letter to FCC Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) Chief Edmond
J. Thomas. The NTIA, which administers federal government spectrum,
opposed allocation of an actual ham band citing the ongoing spectrum
requirements of federal licensees with homeland security responsibilities.
The channels will be available to General and higher class licensees.

The NTIA says that hams planning to operate on 60 meters "must assure that
their signal is transmitted on the channel center frequency." In general,
the NTIA has advised, users should set their carrier frequency 1.5 kHz
lower than the channel center frequency. According to the NTIA:

Channel Center           Amateur Tuning Frequency
5332 kHz                 5330.5 kHz
5348 kHz                 5346.5 kHz
5368 kHz                 5366.5 kHz
5373 kHz                 5371.5 kHz
5405 kHz (common US/UK)  5403.5 kHz

ARRL Technical Relations Manager Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, says the assignment
of these channels implies that amateurs now must adhere to certain
frequency tolerances for their use. While the international Radio
Regulations don't list these for the Amateur Service, he notes, they do
stipulate tolerances on the order of 20 to 50 Hz for other services.

"We haven't been told anything specific about frequency tolerances for
these channels but would probably annoy federal regulators if we strayed
any more than 50 Hz from the assigned carrier frequencies," Rinaldo

Keeping one's audio within the 2.8-kHz wide channel to comply with the
2K8J3E emission specification is another important issue. ARRL Laboratory
Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, believes prudence calls for not having baseband
audio below 200 Hz nor greater than 2800 Hz--for a total bandwidth of 2.6
kHz. "That will probably keep us out of trouble," he said. Noting that the
high-frequency response "can vary a lot from radio to radio," however,
Hare recommended that amateurs play it conservatively.

Additionally, the FCC has restricted operation to USB only, with a maximum
effective radiated power (ERP) of 50 W. The USB-only requirement stemmed
from NTIA interoperability concerns. The NTIA wanted to make sure that
federal users could copy and, if necessary, identify any amateur station
using one of the 60-meter channels. As a result, the 60-meter frequencies
will become the only ones available to the general amateur community that
do not permit CW operation.

For the sake of this particular grant, the FCC said it would consider a
half-wave dipole to have a gain of 0 dBd. In its letter to the FCC, the
NTIA stipulated that radiated power should not exceed "the equivalent of
50 W PEP transmitter output power into an antenna with a gain of 0 dBd."

"Although this is less spectrum than the American Radio Relay League
petition requested, this is the best we can do pending a definition of
Homeland Security HF requirements," concluded Fredrick R. Wentland in the
NTIA's letter to the FCC's OET.

Sumner has predicted that, over time, amateurs can and will "develop a
record of disciplined, responsible use of the five channels in the public
interest that will justify another look at these rather severe initial

Just when amateurs will get their first crack at 60 meters is not yet
clear. The changes to Part 97 go into effect 30 days after publication of
the Report and Order (R&O) in The Federal Register, which has not yet
happened. Publication could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few
months. ARRL will announce a specific date as soon as it's known.

The FCC Report and Order in ET Docket 02-98 is available on the FCC's Web
site <>.


One day of rain failed to dampen spirits at Hamvention 2003, and the
weekend was full of friendship, new products, haggling, learning and fun.
An estimated 25,000 attendees inhabited the Hara Arena complex near
Dayton, Ohio, for the largest gathering of hams in the Western Hemisphere.

The ARRL's concession buzzed with activity throughout the long weekend, as
members took advantage of the chance to meet with League officers, field
volunteers and Headquarters staff members, ask questions, buy books and
other products, and, of course, to offer comments. ARRL CEO David Sumner,
K1ZZ, said many questions centered around two topics: the new 5 MHz
allocation and broadband over power line (BPL).

ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, addressed a large audience attending the
ARRL forum May 17. Haynie fielded questions that centered on the health
and future of Amateur Radio and homed in on youth recruitment in
particular. Haynie gave an overview of the ARRL Amateur Radio Education
and Technology Program <>, which puts ham
radio resources, equipment and a curriculum into classrooms at no cost to
schools. He also touched on League activities regarding BPL and spectrum
defense <>.

Wielding stacks of QSLs, more than 150 applicants took advantage of the
on-site the ARRL DXCC card-checking booth. ARRL Membership Services
Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG, estimated that checkers reviewed more than
16,000 cards in just over two days' time. ARRL volunteers and staff also
participated in a number of special-interest forums, with topics including
DX, regulations, contesting, digital modes, youth education, RFI, and
advanced technologies.

At the DX forum May 17, Mills formally introduced the long-awaited Logbook
of the World (LOTW) <> to the amateur public. The
secure server system allows participating operators to upload logs and
confirm contacts for ARRL operating awards such as DXCC and WAS. The
system will remain open for public beta testing through July 15, Mills

New product announcements are a big part of the Dayton experience, with
2003 proving no exception. Among the scores of offerings, ICOM unveiled
the feature-filled IC-7800, heir apparent to its high-end IC-781. The
IC-7800 is expected to be available by year's end. Elsewhere, Ten-Tec
showed off its new Titan III amplifier, while Elecraft introduced its new
series of VHF transverters.

At the TAPR Digital Forum, Gerald Youngblood, AC5OG, peered into the
future of ham transceivers when he presented a fully software-defined
radio that puts out 1 W of RF from the LF range to 60 MHz. Programming
defines nearly every aspect of the radio, opening up the possibility of
customizing the operating experience for different combinations of bands,
modes and conditions.


Cooperation between Canadian and US amateurs has resulted in a $12,000
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) from the FCC to an Ohio
amateur. The FCC has alleged that Ronald E. Sauer, WE8E, of Bedford
Heights violated Part 97 rules prohibiting deliberate and malicious
interference, transmission of music and failure to identify. The case
involved daily interference to the Trans Provincial Net
<>, a Canadian net that operates on 7.055 MHz.

"This was no small task and was accomplished with the help of many people
from the US and Canada working together," said ARRL Great Lakes Vice
Director Dick Mondro, W8FQT, who expressed thanks to all involved. In
addition to TPN members, that included Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC)
<> officials, Industry Canada, the FCC, ARRL Michigan
<>; and Ohio
<>; Section officials, ARRL Official
Observers and members of the Cuyahoga Amateur Radio Society
<>. "This was indeed an example of teamwork in action
and proves again that the FCC does care and continues to work with us to
stop interference," Mondro added.

TPN Assistant Manager Jim Taylor, VA3KU, said the interference to the net
had gone on for several months. He says a break in the case came when a
person suspected of being jammer began sending e-mails to some TPN
members. The Canadian amateurs were able to determine that the e-mails had
come from a public library terminal in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. Taylor
contacted CARS President Bob Check, W8GC, for assistance in zeroing in on
the interference.

Tracking down the signal source involved mobile direction-finding work by
three CARS members, who passed along their findings to the FCC's Detroit
Office late last January. Already alerted to the situation, the FCC's
Detroit Office had called on the Commission's High Frequency Direction
Finding (HFDF) facility in Maryland. The HFDF group monitored jamming and
the playing of music and narrowed down the search to an area near the
intersection of Interstates 480 and 77 in the Cleveland area.

In the meantime, the FCC received the CARS report, which alleged that the
interference was coming from Sauer's residence. On January 31, an FCC
agent also used direction-finding techniques to track the source of the
interference on 7.055 MHz to Sauer's home and conducted an inspection. The
FCC said Sauer "admitted that he had been playing music and deliberately
jamming the frequency of 7.055 MHz." Sauer "further admitted to jamming
and playing music on this frequency on previous days," the FCC said in the

Based on its findings, the FCC concluded that the $12,000 fine was
justified. The FCC ordered Sauer to pay the fine within 30 days or to file
a written statement seeking a reduction or cancellation of the proposed


The FCC has proposed making another 255 MHz of 5-GHz spectrum available
for unlicensed use at 5.470 to 5.725 GHz. Amateur Radio has a secondary
allocation at 5.650 to 5.925 GHz, which it shares with government and
nongovernment radars and--in part of the band--nongovernment fixed
satellite uplinks. In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in ET Docket
03-122--approved May 15 but not yet released--the FCC suggested that the
additional spectrum be made available for use by unlicensed National
Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices, including Radio Local Area
Networks (RLANs), operating under Part 15 of the FCC's rules.

"Our action today furthers twin goals of the Spectrum Policy Task Force:
promoting spectrum access and furthering development of unlicensed
technologies," said FCC Chairman Michael Powell in a separate statement.
"Once the backwater of baby monitors and cordless telephones, the
unlicensed sector has developed into a hotbed of growth and innovation."
The other four commissioners echoed Powell's enthusiasm in their own

The FCC's action comes in response to a petition for rule making from the
Wi-Fi Alliance--an industry coalition formerly known as the Wireless
Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA). If the FCC goes through with the
proposal--and it appears likely that it will--Amateur Radio will be left
with a 25-MHz segment at 5 GHz--5.825 to 5.850 GHz--that's not already
earmarked for unlicensed services.

The ARRL has opposed previous WECA petitions for additional 5-GHz
spectrum. The League plans to comment on the latest NPRM once the full
text has been released.

The Commission said its action advances the policies set forth in last
fall's Spectrum Policy Task Force Report that specifically recommended
making available additional spectrum for unlicensed use.


Incumbent section managers will keep their offices for another two years
in eight ARRL sections. Three current SMs handily won re-election in
contested races. Ballots were counted May 20 at ARRL Headquarters.

In the Maryland/District of Columbia Section, Tom Abernethy, W3TOM, turned
away a challenge from Vic Curtis, WA3YUV, 826 to 266 votes. Abernethy has
been MDC SM since July 2001.

In the San Joaquin Valley Section, Charles McConnell, W6DPD, topped
challenger Thomas M. "Mike" Zane, N6ZW. The final vote tally was 304 to
251. McConnell became SJV SM in 2002 when he was appointed to succeed Don
Costello, W7WN. McConnell previously served as SJV Section Communications
Manager/SM from 1976 until 1989, when he became Pacific Division Vice
Director. He served as Pacific Division Director from 1990 until 1993.

In New Hampshire, Al Shuman, N1FIK, defeated Russell J. Santos, K1TSV, 478
to 95. Shuman previously served as NH SM from 1992 until 1999. His current
term began in 2001.

Sitting ARRL section managers in five other sections were unopposed for
election or re-election and were declared elected. They are Dick Flanagan,
W6OLD, Nevada; Bill Hudzik, W2UDT, Northern New Jersey; Bob Beaudet,
W1YRC, Rhode Island; Mel Parkes, AC7CP, Utah, and John Dyer, AE5B, West

All new terms of office begin July 1.


Danny Eskenazi, K7SS, Ward Silver, N0AX, and the Western Washington DX
Club--with the assistance of Bruce Horn, WA7BNM--have announced the
year-long QRP "WARC-Speed DX Challenge." The objective is to work as many
DXCC entities as possible using low power (QRP) on the so-called "WARC
bands," 30, 17 and 12 meters.

The Challenge starts at 0000 UTC June 1, 2003, and ends at 2359 UTC May
31, 2004. For the purposes of the Challenge, QRP is defined as 5 W or less
output on digital modes or CW and 10 W PEP on SSB. (AM or FM operators
also are welcome.)

Certificates will be awarded for the top three totals from each CQ Zone in
each of several categories for working 100 entities on any single band.
Results will be posted monthly in the following categories: 17-meter CW,
17-meter phone, 17-meter digital, 17-meter total, 12-meter CW, 12-meter
phone, 12-meter digital, 12-meter total, 30-meter CW, 30-meter digital,
total CW, total phone, total digital, total overall. Participants may
enter as many or as few categories as they wish.

The Challenge involves no QSL cards or cumbersome paperwork. At the end of
each month, WA7BNM will post a score submittal form on the 3830 Score
Submittal Web page <>. Participants
will enter their totals and updated totals will be posted to the 3830
contest score reflector and CQ-contest reflectors (and be forwarded to the
DX and QRP reflectors, as well). At the end of the year, participants will
be able to download a nice certificate! The honor system rules, Silver
said, and he notes the Challenge is not a contest.

For more information, contact Ward Silver, N0AX,


Heliophile Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, Fort Wayne, Indiana, substitutes this
week for Tad Cook, K7RA: During the reporting period--Friday, May 16,
through Thursday, May 22--solar activity was low. Geomagnetic field
activity was generally quiet to unsettled during the first half of the
period, then increased to active to minor storm at the end of the period
due to increased solar wind from coronal hole activity that reached Earth
on May 21.

Solar activity is forecast to be low for the next three days. Geomagnetic
field activity for the next three days is forecast to have roughly a
40-percent probability of being active, with slightly quieter conditions
as we move into the weekend.

Sunspot numbers for May 15 through 21 were 97, 97, 81, 79, 75, 77 and 79,
with a mean of 83.6. The 10.7-cm flux was 99.2, 102.6, 102.4, 109, 114.7,
117.1 and 119.3, with a mean of 109.2. Estimated planetary A indices were
23, 9, 9, 10, 12, 12 and 20, with a mean of 13.6.



* This weekend on the radio: The CQ Worldwide WPX Contest (CW), the VK-ZL
Trans-Tasman Contest (SSB) and the QRP ARCI Hootowl Sprint are the weekend
of May 24-25. The Michigan QRP Memorial Day CW Sprint is May 26-27. JUST
AHEAD: The Six Club World Wide Contest and the Great Lakes QSO Party are
the weekend of May 31-June 1. 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, May 26, 12:01 AM EDT (0401
UTC). Registration will remain open through Sunday, June 1. Classes begin
Tuesday afternoon, June 3. Registration for the ARRL HF Digital
Communications (EC-005) and VHF/UHF--Life Beyond the Repeater (EC-008)
courses remains open through Sunday, May 25. 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,

* National Hurricane Center's WX4NHC announces 2003 on-the-air test: The
National Hurricane Center's Amateur Radio station, WX4NHC (formerly
W4EHW), will conduct its 2003 hurricane season on-the-air station test
Sunday, June 1, 1300-2200 UTC. The event will mark the first time the NHC
uses its new WX4NHC call sign. WX4NHC Amateur Radio Coordinator John
McHugh, KU4GY, says the purpose of the annual station test is to check out
all of the WX4NHC radio, computer and antenna equipment using as many
modes and frequencies as possible. Some RFI monitoring also will be done.
"We will also be testing some new antennas and equipment that are being
installed for this coming season," McHugh said. "A few new operators will
receive hands-on training." WX4NHC will operate on HF, VHF and UHF. HF
operation will use this schedule: 1300 UTC--3.911 and 7.268 SSB and
VHF/UHF FM; 1400 UTC--14.325 MHz SSB, VHF 147.000 repeater/UHF 442.350
repeater; 1500 UTC--144.200 MHz SSB, 14.070 MHz PSK31; 1700 UTC--14.325
and 21.325 MHz SSB, VHF/UHF IRLP Node 9210; 1800 UTC--21.325 and 28.525
MHz SSB; 2000 UTC--14.325 and 144.200 MHz SSB. CW operation will be on
14.035, 21.035 and 28.035 MHz (times will vary). Stations working WX4NHC
are asked to provide a signal report, location and brief weather report.
Non-hams are invited to submit their actual weather using the On-Line
Hurricane Report Form <>. QSL
cards are available via W4VBQ. Include an SASE with all requests.

* California ham antenna bill clears Senate committee: California's
pending Amateur Radio antenna bill, AB 1228, this week got a thumbs up
from the California Senate Local Government Committee. The panel voted 7-0
in favor of moving the legislation to the Senate floor. The measure
already has passed the California Assembly. ARRL staff member and antenna
expert Dean Straw, N6BV, credited excellent preparation by the bill's
sponsor, Assemblyman Bob Dutton, and his staff. "Several of the senators
made special mention about how they appreciated the efforts of radio
amateurs over the years, and how valuable the Amateur Radio Service was,
particularly in these dangerous times," said Straw, who testified on
behalf of the measure. The effort now will shift to Senate passage and
ensuring that Gov Gray Davis signs the legislation. Davis vetoed an
earlier measure in 2000 citing its cost to taxpayers for conducting
required studies and preparing a model ordinance for localities. Straw
says AB 1228 mirrors the wording of PRB-1 and does not carry any
additional costs to the taxpayers this time around.

* Distracted driver legislation raising ham hackles in New Jersey: An
effort by some New Jersey lawmakers to amend that state's current laws
regarding distracted driving has some hams upset and worried that the
revisions could affect Amateur Radio mobile operation. Assembly Bill 2798,
introduced last September by Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski of Middlesex
County, would clarify that a "distracted driver may be charged with
reckless, careless or unsafe driving" for engaging in what many motorists
would consider routine activities, such as listening to the radio or a CD
or cassette player. Wisniewski's bill would amend three laws already on
the books and give police the authority "when so warranted" to charge a
person for engaging in "distracting behavior." The list includes, but is
not limited to, "the use of communications technology" as well as "locator
devices, AM/FM radios, compact disc players, audio cassette players, video
players, Citizens Band radios and dispatch radios." The list also includes
engaging in personal grooming, eating or drinking, reading or "tending to
unsecured pets." A statement with the bill declares that "a substantial
number of drivers in our fast-paced, multi-tasking society are utilizing
communications technology and engaging in non-technological distractions
while operating motor vehicles." The statement says that "various studies"
have concluded that engaging in these activities while driving
"contributes to motor vehicle accidents." ARRL Hudson Division Director
Frank Fallon, N2FF, whose territory includes Northern New Jersey, calls
the measure "a very bad idea." Fallon says he's been encouraging ARRL
members to write, telephone, fax or personally contact their New Jersey
Assembly members to let them know how they feel. "The bottom line is that
New Jersey ARRL members have to get involved," Fallon said. Contact
information for New Jersey lawmakers is available on the New Jersey
Legislature Web site <>.

* Hams wanted for new wildlife tracking projects: ARRL Amateur Radio
Direction Finding Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, says ham radio assistance
is needed for three new wildlife tracking projects. Moell says a biologist
at the University of South Florida at Tampa (USF) is studying Florida
burrowing owls, thought to range in Florida and the Florida Keys. Some
Florida burrowing owl chicks are being radio-tagged, and USF wants
volunteers throughout the Southeast to listen for the VHF radio tags in an
attempt to determine the owls' routes and final destinations. The second
project involves Mexican long-nosed bats. For about a month beginning in
mid-June, Bat Conservation International wants volunteers to join a team
that will track the bats' movements in and around Big Bend National Park
in Texas. Project three involves a study of orphaned great horned owls
conducted by the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary and
the University of North Texas. After being raised at the sanctuary, up to
two dozen of these owls will be released into the wild this summer with
radio tags attached. Volunteers are needed to monitor for the radio tags,
especially in the Denton and Collin county areas. Moell's Homing In Web
site <> has details and contact information on all
three projects.

* Ed Bissell, W3AU, SK: Well-known contester Ed Bissell, W3AU (ex-W3MSK),
of Brooksville, Florida, died May 10. He was 83. The Daily DX
<> reports that in his heyday Bissell, an ARRL
Charter Life Member, ran the world's top multi-multi contest station on
the shore of the Potomac River just south of Washington, DC. Many of the
top contesters in the US got their start in serious contesting at
W3MSK/W3AU. Photos of the station are available on the Potomac Valley
Radio Club Web site <>.

* John H. Joseph, K3ISR, SK: John H. Joseph, K3ISR, died May 10 of an
apparent heart attack. He was 60. Since 2000, Joseph served as president
of the University of Maine at Machias (UMM) <>.
He was stricken just as graduation exercises were getting under way at the
branch campus in down east Maine, although students were not informed of
his death until after the ceremony. Prior to his arrival at UMM, Joseph, a
Pennsylvania native, served in top administrative positions at Penn
State--his alma mater--and at Roosevelt University. Joseph is credited
with helping to raise the enrollment at UMM during his relatively short
tenure. A memorial scholarship is being established at UMM. Contributions
may be sent to the Advancement Office, UMM, 9 O'Brien Ave, Machias, ME

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.

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