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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 23, No. 03
January 16, 2004


* +Haynie wins third term as ARRL president
* +FCC chairman promotes BPL in Press Club talk
* +Ham-Congressman asks FCC to wait for NTIA studies
* +ISS air leak causes cancellation of ARISS school group QSO
* +It's Chiao in for McArthur on next ISS crew
* +AMSAT-NA auctions AO-40 sculpture as ECHO fundraiser
* +ECHO, VUsat set to launch this year
*  ARRL seeks multimedia presentations, videos
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Emergency Communications course registration
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     ARRL Foundation scholarship deadline looms
     Pacific Section Manager change takes place early
     ARRL to sponsor emergency communications seminar in Oklahoma
     AO-7 turns 30!
     Certificates for Roy Neal, K6DUE, commemorative event
     Bennett R. "Ben" Adams Jr, K4EZ, SK

+Available on ARRL Audio News



ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, has been elected to a third two-year
term. There were no other nominees, and the ARRL Board of Directors
expressed its confidence in Haynie January 16 with a unanimous vote. The
Board was scheduled to meet January 16 and 17 in Windsor, Connecticut.
Haynie, who lives in Dallas, Texas, succeeded Rod Stafford, W6ROD, as the
League's volunteer leader in 2000.

The Board also voted unanimously to re-elect ARRL First Vice President
Joel Harrison, W5ZN, of Judsonia, Arkansas, and Second Vice President Kay
Craigie, N3KN, of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Board members agreed with a
proposal to eliminate the third vice president's position being vacated by
Fried Heyn, WA6WZO.

Major discussion at the weekend session will involve draft proposals to
implement changes in US Amateur Radio rules in the wake of World
Radiocommunication Conference 2003. Among other significant changes,
WRC-03 delegates agreed last summer to leave up to individual countries
whether to require a Morse code test for access to amateur high-frequency

The ARRL Board is expected to discuss in detail recommendations in
response to WRC-03 that were developed during last November's ARRL
Executive Committee meeting. Board members also will review Amateur
Radio-related matters still in the FCC pipeline, including the League's
2002 "omnibus" Petition for Rule Making that called for elimination of the
current Novice bands and "refarming" the spectrum. The subject of
Broadband over Power Line (BPL) also is on the Board's agenda.

The Board also was scheduled to elect members to the Executive Committee
and appoint three directors to the ARRL Foundation Board.


FCC Chairman Michael Powell has cited the Commission's promotion of
Broadband over Power Line (BPL) technology as an example of a government
policy that supports expansion of broadband technology to all Americans.
At the same time, Powell said, the FCC needs to ensure BPL doesn't
interfere with licensed radio services. In his January 14 speech before
the National Press Club, Powell mentioned BPL among "new emerging
platforms" for broadband delivery.

"With BPL you theoretically reach every American with broadband to every
power plug in America," Powell said. "Our goals of universal service will
be substantially advanced if that service were fully deployed." Powell
also acknowledged interference concerns that have been dogging BPL and
raised by the Amateur Radio community and by at least two federal
agencies: the Federal Emergency Management Agency--now a part of the
Department of Homeland Security--and the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration (NTIA), which manages spectrum allocated to
government users.

"We will continue to explore ways to support this technology while
protecting services from interference," Powell pledged.

In the next breath, Powell pointed out that the FCC also is looking to
increase the feasibility of broadband delivery via satellite. "Because
satellite technology has the ability to reach the entire country," he
said, "it holds tremendous potential as an effective Internet solution for
many parts of the nation, especially rural and remote areas, at affordable

When it issued its BPL Notice of Inquiry (NOI), ET Docket 03-104
<>, last
April, the FCC suggested that BPL technology would be one way to provide
broadband service to rural dwellers. Some technology experts suggest that,
because of the equipment needed to deliver BPL broadband to rural
customers, BPL would not be cost-effective for such residents.

In a bit of unintended irony, Powell's speech, "The Age of Personal
Communications," bore the subtitle "Power to the People."

Since BPL applies high-frequency RF to parts of the power grid, one aspect
of the NOI was to gather information on potential interference to
authorized spectrum users. To date, the NOI has attracted nearly 5150
comments, many from the amateur community.

The FCC has indicated that providers of BPL equipment "are free to
continue to deploy their networks in conformance with existing Part 15
rules." BPL providers already are setting up BPL systems in several

NTIA Acting Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information Michael
D. Gallagher recently told a gathering of the Power Line Communications
Association <> that the risk of interference to
government or other spectrum users provides an incentive to BPL operators
to "design and operate their systems to avoid such interference." He said
the NTIA has been studying interference risks and the potential "for
making risks more tolerable." He said the objective is "to accommodate BPL
with acceptable risk."

The ARRL anticipates completing an independent BPL engineering evaluation
early this year. The study will explore how BPL might affect HF and
low-VHF amateur operation as well as how Amateur Radio operation could
affect BPL systems.

Additional information about BPL and Amateur Radio is on the ARRL Web site
<>. To support the League's efforts
in this area, visit the ARRL's secure BPL Web site


US Representative Greg Walden, WB7OCE, has called on the FCC to put off
any further action in its Broadband over Power Line (BPL) proceeding until
the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
releases the results of its BPL study and the public has had a chance to

"I feel that it is important to give the NTIA study thorough consideration
before proceeding further with BPL technology, in view of the importance
of avoiding interference to federal government HF communications," Walden
said in a January 15 letter to FCC Chairman Michael Powell. An Oregon
Republican, Walden is one of two Amateur Radio licensees in the US House.

The FCC released a BPL Notice of Inquiry in ET Docket 03-104
<> last

In comments
> filed last August, the NTIA expressed "broad concern" about BPL. The
agency--which administers spectrum allocated to federal government
users--has said the FCC "must ensure that other communications services,
especially government operations, are adequately protected from
unacceptable interference."

The NTIA, which is part of the US Department of Commerce, subsequently
undertook evaluations of BPL field test sites, in part to gauge the
technology's interference potential. Walden noted that the NTIA's field
work was scheduled to wrap up this month, and that its observations and
conclusions would be released sometime during the first quarter of this

Walden told Powell that, given its interference potential to federal and
nongovernment radio services in the HF and low-VHF range, the issue of BPL
is "of great concern to me." He did not indicate in his letter that he was
an Amateur Radio licensee.

"It is important that the commission give serious consideration to both
the NTIA study and the subsequent round of public comment on the study
results," Walden asserted. While agreeing with the goal of increased
competition in broadband delivery, Walden encouraged the FCC to "give
sufficient attention" to concerns raised regarding BPL's potential to
interfere with other radio services. He also asked Powell to respond
outlining how the FCC intends to proceed in the matter.


NASA this week postponed an Amateur Radio on the International Space
Station (ARISS) <> school group contact as the
space agency and the station crew continued efforts to pin down what was
causing air pressure to decay aboard the ISS. Students at Armstrong Middle
School in Flint, Michigan, had been scheduled to speak with Expedition 8
commander Mike Foale, KB5UAC, at NA1SS early on January 12. Space agency
officials now believe the culprit was an air leak in the US Destiny Lab

"The pressure loss was traced to a braided flex hose on an observation
window in the Destiny module," NASA said. The hose reportedly helps keep
air and condensation out of the Destiny module's Earth-facing window.
Foale and flight engineer Alex "Sasha" Kaleri, U8MIR, detected the hose
leak using ultrasound equipment, and Foale reported the hissing sound
stopped after the hose was disconnected. As of January 15, air pressure
aboard the ISS continued to hold steady.

Although the leak may now be fixed, NASA has announced that Foale and
Kaleri--along with flight controllers--will carry out an ISS air pressure
test over the weekend. "The crew will close the hatches to divide the
space station into three separate sections for leak checks and to gather
data on air pressure fluctuations," NASA said. Foale and Kaleri will
remain in the Zvezda Service Module from the evening of January 16 until
the morning of January 18.

The space agency said the earlier decline in air pressure had amounted to
only a few hundredths of a pound per square inch each day and did not
endanger the crew.

ARISS team member Scott Lindsey-Stevens, N3ASA, said ARISS "looks forward
to the ISS crew's resumption of their inspiring conversations with the


Veteran NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao will replace William McArthur Jr,
KC5ACR, as the commander of Expedition 9, the next mission aboard the
International Space Station. NASA says the change in crew assignment
resulted from "a temporary medical issue" related to McArthur's
qualifications for the long-duration flight. Chiao will join Russian
cosmonaut and flight engineer Valery Tokarev for the six-month mission.

"Because we are very cautious in our approach to crew health, we train
backups for this kind of situation," said Astronaut Office Chief Kent
Rominger. He indicated that NASA plans to assign McArthur to another ISS
crew increment.

For his part, McArthur expressed disappointment in the turn of events but
said he understood the necessity of the medical criteria in place for
long-duration space flight. "I know that Leroy will ensure all of the
Expedition 9 objectives are met," McArthur said, "and I look forward to
flying soon on another space station mission."

As a member of the Expedition 9 backup crew, Chiao has been training with
McArthur for months. He will also serve as NASA ISS Science Officer.

Since the switch would leave the ISS without an Amateur Radio licensee
aboard during the next crew's tour, it's anticipated that Chiao will
become licensed before he goes into space. The Expedition 9 crew is
scheduled for launch aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in April.

European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers of the Netherlands will
round out the three-member Soyuz crew. He will return to Earth a week
later with the Expedition 8 crew of Mike Foale, KB5UAC, and Alex "Sasha"
Kaleri, U8MIR.

An astronaut since 1990, Chiao, 43, has had prior flight experience aboard
space shuttle missions in 1994, 1996 and 2000. On his last shuttle flight,
Chiao helped to prepare the ISS for its first resident crew.

Tokarev, 51, has been a cosmonaut since 1987. He flew on a 1999 shuttle
mission that delivered four tons of logistics and supplies to the ISS in
preparation for the arrival of the Expedition 1 crew.--NASA


The bidding begins January 21 on a handsome original sculpture of the
AO-40 satellite as AMSAT-NA auctions off the work of art on eBay to help
fund the AMSAT-OSCAR ECHO (AO-ECHO) satellite launch campaign. The auction
will run for 10 days, and the winning bid will be recognized as a donation
to the launch campaign.

"This bronze is one of only four pieces, created by long time AMSAT member
Floyd Thorn, N5SVP, now a Silent Key," said AMSAT Marketing Manager Jim
Jarvis, N2EA. "It has been donated to AMSAT by his family to support the
AO-ECHO launch campaign."

Jarvis said the sculpture measures 11x4 inches and weighs just over a
pound. The wooden base bears a brass plaque with the sculptor's name and
call sign. Visit the AMSAT-NA Web site <> for details
and to link to the auction.

The AO-ECHO fund currently stands at nearly $49,000. AMSAT-NA says it will
need $110,000 for the launch--currently scheduled for March 31, although
the launch window remains open until May.

Visit the AMSAT AO-ECHO Web page
<> for additional details.


AMSAT-NA President Robin Haighton, VE3FRH, says he's looking forward to
the 2004 launches of AMSAT-NA's ECHO satellite
<> and AMSAT-India's VUsat
(also known as "HAMSAT"). In his last President's Letter for 2003,
Haighton reported that ECHO is passing final integration and testing with
flying colors.

"I am looking forward to the end of March, when we expect the ECHO launch
to take place," he said. With less than three months until the anticipated
launch, AMSAT-NA still needs to raise more than $60,000 for the launch

The new microsat-class satellite is undergoing integration and testing at
SpaceQuest in Fairfax, Virginia. Jim White, WD0E, and Mike Kingery,
KE4AZN, are heading up the integration process. Among its other
capabilities, AO-ECHO will enable satellite voice communication using
handheld FM transceivers.

The satellite will incorporate two UHF transmitters, each running from 1
to 8 W and capable of simultaneous operation, four VHF receivers and a
multiband, multimode receiver capable of operation on the 10 meter, 2
meter, 70 cm and 23 cm bands. ECHO will feature V/U, L/S and HF/U
operational configurations, with V/S, L/U and HF/S also possible. FM voice
and various digital modes--including PSK31 on a 10-meter SSB uplink--also
will be available.

Haighton reported that VUsat
<> experienced some problems
in testing but these are being resolved. A VUsat launch could come as soon
as late summer. VUsat will incorporate two linear transponders, with a UHF
uplink and VHF downlink and CW, USB and FM capabilities.

"An exciting year is ahead," said Haighton, who's already announced that
he does not intend to seek another term at the AMSAT-NA helm when his
current term expires in October. By then, he said, ECHO should be in
orbit, but, paraphrasing Yogi Berra, he added, "It ain't up and working
till it's up and working."


ARRL Field and Educational Services (F&ES) continues to seek Amateur Radio
presentation programs or slide shows that utilize Microsoft PowerPoint or
similar slide-viewing software. F&ES also is interested in VHS and digital
video programs for the ARRL Video Series

Topic choice can be any Amateur Radio subject of interest to hams or
targeted for a non-ham community, including demonstrations and tutorials
on various topics. The ARRL Web site's Multimedia Frequently Asked
Questions page <> has
further information. The League's video library needs media in forms that
are easily portable, easily presented and up-to-the-minute. As file size
and download speed may be an issue for downloading submissions from the
ARRL Web site, F&ES wants to offer the best submissions by topic
collection in CD-ROM format.

Presentations and slide shows submitted should be placed on disc or
CD-ROM. Videos should be in VHS or DVD format and not exceed 20 minutes in
length. Submissions must contain original material and should not use
music, video clips or copyrighted materials owned by others without
appropriate permissions. Submissions should include a cover sheet
describing the program, system requirements and file sizes and noting any
use of materials used with the permission of others. ARRL will require a
signed release form provided by ARRL. CDs selected for distribution would
be made available to clubs and interested individuals for the cost of
duplicating, shipping and handling.

Send presentations or slide shows on disc, CD-ROM, VHS tape or DVD to:
Multimedia Project, c/o Mary Lau, N1VH, ARRL Field and Educational
Services, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Contact Lau <>;
for additional information.


Sun gazer Tad "Let the Sunshine In" Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington,
reports: Both average daily sunspot numbers and solar flux were up just a
few points this week over last. Average daily planetary A index--a measure
of geomagnetic stability--dropped from 23.4 to 15.9. HF radio operators
prefer conditions when the A index is low, and the solar flux and sunspot
numbers are high. Solar flux has been around 118 to 120, but it's expected
to rise over the next few days. Solar flux for Friday through Sunday,
January 16-18, is predicted to be 125, 130 and 135. Solar flux values
should peak around 140 from January 19 until January 21 before dropping

As of January 15, there were only two sunspot groups visible, and
helioseismic imaging showed only a small sunspot group on the sun's far
side. When the daily sunspot number reached 118 on January 8, it marked
the first time the number had risen above 100 since December 23, and it
hasn't been above 100 since.

Earth is moving into a solar windstream from a coronal hole, and
geomagnetic conditions could become active. Predicted planetary A index
for January 16-19 is 18, 25, 18 and 15. Conditions on January 17 may be
similar to those of January 10, except the hours of daylight will be
slightly longer, and the solar flux and sunspot count should be slightly

Sunspot numbers for January 8 through 14 were 118, 88, 66, 53, 77, 53 and
58, with a mean of 73.3. The 10.7 cm flux was 120.1, 118.4, 119.2, 118.5,
118.3, 117.9 and 121.1, with a mean of 119.1. Estimated planetary A
indices were 9, 21, 24, 17, 10, 18 and 12, with a mean of 15.9.



* This weekend on the radio: The North American QSO Party (SSB), the 070
Club PSKFest, the LZ Open Contest (CW), the Michigan QRP January CW
Contest and the Hungarian DX Contest are the weekend of January 17-18.
JUST AHEAD: The ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes, the CQ 160-Meter Contest
(CW), the REF Contest (CW) and the BARTG RTTY Sprint are the weekend of
January 24-25. See the ARRL Contest Branch page
<> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<> for more info.

* ARRL Emergency Communications course registration: Registration opens
Monday, January 19, 12:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time (0501 UTC), for the
Level III Emergency Communications on-line course (EC-003). Registration
remains open through the January 24-25 weekend or until all available
seats have been filled--whichever comes first. Class begins Tuesday,
February 3. Thanks to our grant sponsors--the Corporation for National and
Community Service and the United Technologies Corporation--the $45
registration fee paid upon enrollment will be reimbursed after successful
completion of the course. During this registration period, approximately
50 seats are being offered to ARRL members on a first-come, first-served
basis. To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification and Continuing
Education (C-CE) Web page <>. For more
information, contact Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan Miller,
K3UFG,, 860-594-0340.

* ARRL Foundation scholarship deadline looms: The February 1 deadline is
fast approaching to apply for ARRL Foundation-sponsored scholarships.
Individual awards range from $500 to $5000 for single-year scholarship
awards and up to $10,000 annually for the multi-year William R. Goldfarb
Memorial Scholarship. Information and applications for all ARRL Foundation
scholarship awards is available on the ARRL Web site
<>. Don't delay! Send scholarship
applications with academic transcripts (and a Free Application for Federal
Student Aid Student Aid Report--FAFSA-SAR--<>for
the Goldfarb Scholarship) to The ARRL Foundation, 225 Main St, Newington
CT 06111. The February 1, 2004, postmark deadline is firm. There are no

* Pacific Section Manager change takes place early: Kevin Bogan, AH6QO, of
Honolulu, is the new ARRL Pacific Section Manager. Bogan replaces veteran
Pacific SM Bob Schneider, AH6J, who decided to step down two and half
months early. Bogan was the only nominee to succeed Schneider in the last
election cycle and was declared elected. His term normally would begin
April 1. ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Rosalie White, K1STO,
announced the appointment, which was effective January 15. Schneider
served three terms as SM--from 1992 until 1996 and from 2002 until the
present. Bogan has been an ASM since last October and an Amateur Radio
Emergency Service District Emergency Coordinator for Oahu since 2002. He's
also involved in the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service program on

* ARRL to sponsor emergency communications seminar in Oklahoma: In
conjunction with the Salvation Army Team Emergency Network (SATERN)
<> Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, ARRL will
offer a free Amateur Radio Emergency Communications seminar Saturday,
February 21. The seminar will not include the Level I course itself. A
PowerPoint presentation will include background information, group
discussion of multiple disaster scenarios as well as testimony from
emergency communications leaders, ARECC mentors and students, discussion
about the ARRL emergency communications courses and a quiz to determine
personal preparedness. Senior citizens are strongly encouraged to
participate. ARRL Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan Miller,
K3UFG, says the seminar will explain the importance of every team player
with emphasis on using lessons learned to effectively move Amateur Radio
emergency communications to the next level. All SATERN and ARES/RACES
volunteers, ARECC course participants, ARRL Field Organization leaders,
course participants at every ARECC level, mentors, certification
instructors and examiners and interested amateurs are invited to share
their experiences and ideas. "We will focus on coordination between ARECC
volunteers and students and their integration into the Field
Organization," Miller said. The seminar will be held at the Salvation Army
Citadel, 2808 SE 44th, Oklahoma City, from 9 AM until 1 PM. Seating may be
limited. Those planning to attend should contact Dan Miller, K3UFG,; 860-594-0340; FAX 860-594-0259. For more information on
the SATERN conference, contact ARRL Oklahoma Section Manager John
Thomason, WB5SYT,

* AO-7 turns 30! The oldest working satellite, AO-7, will mark its 30th
year in space during 2004. The satellite, which came back to life in
mid-2002, was launched November 15, 1974, and it remained operational
until 1981, when it went dark due to battery failure. It remained
dormant--and largely forgotten--until it suddenly and unexpectedly sprang
back to life. AO-7 is in a 1460 km orbit, and AMSAT-NA considers the
satellite "semi-operational." Jan King, W3GEY reports AO-7
<> is running solely from its
solar panels, so it will only work when in sunlight. It has a Mode A
uplink passband at 145.850 to 145.950 MHz and a downlink passband at
29.400 to 29.500 MHz (CW/USB). Beacons are at 29.502, 145.972, 435.1 and
2304.1 MHz. Ground controllers have only been able to activate some
command functions. It also contains a Mode B transponder. To mark the
satellite's 30th anniversary, AMSAT-NA will make available a special
commemorative QSL card. AMSAT-NA Board Member and Awards Manager Bruce
Paige, KK5DO, reports additional information will be available on the
AMSAT-NA Web site <>.

* Certificates for Roy Neal, K6DUE, commemorative event: Astronaut Mike
Foale, KB5UAC, was active from NA1SS on the International Space Station
during various weekend passes in December. The activity was part of the
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Roy Neal, K6DUE,
commemorative special event. Those who heard or worked NA1SS qualify for a
special ISS commemorative certificate. Here's how to get one: (1) Send a
9x12-inch (minimum) envelope with adequate return postage or international
reply coupons (IRCs). Smaller envelopes will result in your certificate
getting folded. (2) Include your name and call sign and indicate whether
you worked NA1SS or heard NA1SS. (3) Send QSL/SWL information with the
envelope to the ARISS QSL Manager for your area: US: ARRL Headquarters,
ARISS QSL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111-1494; Canada: Radio Amateurs
of Canada, ARISS QSL, 720 Belfast Rd, Suite 217, Ottawa, ON K1G 0Z5,
Canada; Europe: ARISS-Europe QSL Bureau, c/o AMSAT-France, 16, rue de la
Vallťe, 91360 Epinay sur Orge, France; Japan/ITU Region 3: ARISS QSL,
Mitsu Sugawara, JN1LQH, JARL International Section, Tokyo 170-8073, Japan.
ARISS says it could take several weeks to process certificate requests.

* Bennett R. "Ben" Adams Jr, K4EZ, SK: ARRL Headquarters has learned that
former ARRL Southeastern Division Director Ben Adams, K4EZ (ex-W4APU and
ex-W4EV), of Cincinnati, Ohio, died November 28, a few days shy of his
95th birthday. While living in Alabama, Adams served as Southeastern
Division Director from 1935 until 1940. First licensed as 4EV in 1926,
Adams attended Georgia Tech, where he was president of the school's
Amateur Radio club. After graduation, he worked for AT&T in a variety of
capacities. An ARRL Life Member, Adams in his younger years was a very
active DXer, contester and traffic handler. He served three terms as
president of the Birmingham Radio Club. Following service in World War II,
Adams moved to Decatur, Georgia, and subsequently was named a member of
the Southeastern DX Club's <> DX Hall of Fame. A DXCC
Honor Roll member, he had belonged to the ARRL for almost 70 years. In
1995 Adams moved from Georgia into a long-term care facility in
Cincinnati.--Some information from Dave Thompson, K4JRB, and Sandy
Donahue, W4RU

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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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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