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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 23, No. 28
July 16, 2004


* +ARRL Board of Directors is in session
* +BPL team organized in Ohio
* +Space campers speak with ISS via ham radio
* +AO-51 commissioning continues
* +Amateur Radio antenna bills vetoed in Hawaii
* +FCC orders huge fine for California licensee
*  Girl Scouts activate K0S special event
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course registration
    +New vanity fee goes into effect August 6
    +FCC Chairman reaffirms support for BPL
    +Actor Marlon Brando, KE6PZH/FO8GJ, SK
     ARRL receives Citizen Corps grant
     Field Day fun leads to ISS ragchews
     Museum ships and submarines taking to the airwaves
     Scout special event station on the air from Turkey
     DXCC Desk accredits DX operations

+Available on ARRL Audio News



ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, is wielding the gavel as the League's
Board of Directors meets Friday and Saturday, July 16-17, in Windsor,
Connecticut, for its second meeting of 2004. Prime among the discussion
topics will be broadband over power line (BPL) and strategic planning.
Board members will review the current status of BPL and discuss any
additional actions the League may wish to take to address potential
interference. They also will hear a status review and revision of the
ARRL's Strategic Plan and select strategies to implement in 2005.

A significant portion of the agenda will be given over to hearing and
considering reports from committees and coordinators. Among others, Great
Lakes Division Vice Director Dick Mondro, W8FQT, will speak for the Ad Hoc
Committee on ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) Communications, which
he chairs.

The Board also will hear briefings on the status of current Amateur
Radio-related legislation and on the progress of various regulatory
issues. Recent proposals now before the FCC, including one from ARRL,
would further restructure Amateur Radio licensing.

Bestowing certain honors on several members of the Amateur Radio community
is a traditional part of each July Board session. The Board is expected to
name winners of the Hiram Percy Maxim, the Herb S. Brier Instructor of the
Year, the Professional Educator of the Year, Technical Service, Technical
Innovation and Microwave Development awards. A recipient of the Philip J.
McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award--for exemplary public relations
achievement--also is expected to be announced.

Special guest at the July Board session will be Radio Amateurs of Canada
President Daniel Lamoureux, VE2KA, who greeted the opening session July


Amateur Radio operators in the Cincinnati area are organizing a Broadband
Over Power Line (BPL) team to monitor a planned BPL deployment. In
announcing the move, ARRL Ohio Section Manager Joe Phillips, K8QOE, says
the group will study the effects of a BPL rollout in two neighborhoods by
utility Cinergy Corp. The new group, consisting of a half dozen
engineering professionals and some 20 others, will operate as a
subcommittee of the Greater Cincinnati Local Interference Committee (LIC).
Kirk Swallow, W8QID, will head the BPL/LIC effort.

"Kirk has been operations manager for several electronics cellular and
satellite firms," said Phillips, "and his experience with directing
professional engineers makes him well qualified to handle this
assignment." Phillips says the Greater Cincinnati LIC has a long and
successful record of handling repeater interference problems. "This BPL
problem, however, represents new and special challenges in interfering
with the spectrum," he added.

In March, articles in The Wall Street Journal and the Cincinnati Enquirer
announced the BPL rollout by Cinergy and its BPL partner Current
Technologies. Cinergy and Current said they hoped to offer the service to
between 60,000 and 1.5 million Cincinnati-area customers by year's end and
eventually to some 24 million potential customers elsewhere who are served
by smaller utilities. Cinergy has been charging $40 a month for BPL
service, but Philips says many current subscribers are utility employees
who get the service at no cost.

The new BPL/LIC team will work with Phillips and ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director Jim Weaver, K8JE, to serve as a clearing house for BPL
suggestions, comments and information from the Amateur Radio community.
"We in Cincinnati are getting lots of calls and notes from all sections of
the US, as this city has the biggest BPL offering from the largest
utility," Phillips noted. The team also will cooperate with the ARRL
Laboratory to monitor and investigate BPL in the affected area using "the
highest professional standards," Phillips said.

Phillips said being able to produce "credible" technical data and
information is key to any effort to convince Cinergy of BPL's harmful
interference potential and that the technology won't boost the company's
bottom line. Several technical companies in the area already have offered
the BPL/LIC team the use of state-of-the-art spectrum measurement
equipment, he said.


NASA astronaut Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, onboard the International Space
Station, answered questions from students at Space Camp Turkey via Amateur
Radio on July 5, as the ISS orbited some 250 miles over the Pacific Ocean.
Some 130 students, aged 12 to 16, took part in the two-way Earth-space
contacts via the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)
equipment. Students hailed from several countries including Turkey,
Greece, Bulgaria, Israel and the US. One camper's question, "What do your
children think of you being gone for so long?" really hit home with
Fincke, whose wife recently gave birth to a daughter whom he has not yet

"You know, this is almost my favorite question of all of them," Fincke
responded, "because I have a boy who's three years old and a baby who was
born while I was up here, so my little boy misses me very much, and my
little girl doesn't even know who I am yet." He said he gets to talk with
his wife and his son, Chandra, every day by telephone, and, he added,
"that makes a big difference to me."

Fincke said he also misses the variety of food available on Earth. "The
food up here is really good, except we just have pretty much the same kind
of food--we can't cook anything, we don't have a microwave oven even, much
less a real stove or anything." Fincke said he was looking forward to
enjoying different kinds of food when he gets back on Earth.

Located in Izmir, Turkey, the space camp was linked to the ISS ham
equipment through an MCI-donated telephone bridge, similar to a phone
patch, to Earth station WH6PN in Honolulu. Dick Flagg, AH6NM, served as
control operator. Aziz Sasa, TA1E, served as control operator on the
Turkey end of the contact. Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, moderated the contact.

In addition to Sasa, the students and their two American teachers,
attendees included many spectators and news media.

ARISS is an international educational outreach with participation by ARRL,


Work continues to commission AMSAT-NA's recently launched "Echo"
satellite--now known as AO-51--for general amateur use. Primary tasks this
week have involved uploading new computer code, testing the S-band
downlink and the UHF "B" transmitter.

"The Command Team is carefully checking off the tests and measurements
that are part of the commissioning process," Jim White, WD0E, told AMSAT
News Service. "They ask everyone to be patient." Since AO-51 is not yet
open for general use, the Command Team cautions that any transmissions
aimed at the satellite by other than ground control stations could delay

Opening the satellite for general amateur use could take up to a month or
possibly longer, although AMSAT says it will be available "shortly." AMSAT
will issue a bulletin when that happens.

AMSAT said this week that AO-51's second UHF transmitter, TXB, has been
moved to 435.300 MHz and was on as of July 16. TXA is on 435.150 MHz, but
it was off as of July 16. AMSAT says that as testing continues, "there
will be occasions that either or both transmitters may be on."

White said that after looking over initial whole orbit data, the Command
Team adjusted the solar panels to a more optimal setting. "It resulted in
nearly double the peak power input from the panels on the following
orbit," he said. The panels now produce nearly 20 W peak and 15 W average
when exposed to the sun.

The AO-51 Command Team continues to invite telemetry downloads to the new
Echo telemetry archive Web page <>.
The TlmEcho program may be downloaded from the Decoding Echo Telemetry Web
site <>.

The AO-Echo satellite project remains slightly more than $9000 short of
the $110,000 that was needed to launch the spacecraft. AMSAT guaranteed
the full fare by borrowing from its dedicated funds, which now must be
repaid. AMSAT--a 501(c)(3) organization--welcomes additional donations to
bridge the funding gap. Visit the AMSAT AO-Echo Web page
<> for additional details.--AMSAT News


Hawaii Gov Linda Lingle has vetoed two Amateur Radio antenna bills. Both
pieces of legislation would have provided limited opportunities for
amateurs living under private deed covenants, conditions and restrictions
(CC&Rs) to erect antennas. HB 2773 would have opened the door for amateurs
living in condominiums to make arrangements with the homeowners'
association board to install an antenna without having to change the
CC&Rs--often a more difficult process. HB 2774 would have granted similar
rights to the relatively few amateurs who live under CC&Rs in
agricultural-zoned property. Lingle, a Republican, invoked the same reason
for refusing to sign both bills into law.

"This bill is objectionable because it amounts to an inappropriate and
unacceptable governmental intrusion into the contractual affairs of the
property owners," Lingle said July 13 in her veto messages to HB 2773 and
HB 2774. "This measure would allow the installation of antennas in an
owner's unit, notwithstanding objections by other owners."

The two measures, sponsored by Rep Ken Hiraki (D-28), had undergone
substantial changes in wording from that proposed in the original
legislation. Following lengthy negotiations and a House-Senate conference,
HB 2773 passed the Senate May 3 on a 25-0 vote and the House 37-14. On the
same day, HB 2774--essentially completely reworded from its original
text--also received unanimous Senate approval, while House members okayed
the measure 35-16.

ARRL Pacific Section Manager Kevin Bogan, AH6QO, said that while the two
pieces of legislation represented only incremental improvement in the
antenna situation for Hawaiian amateurs living under CC&Rs, they also
could have provided a basis for further gains later.

Both measures would have required homeowners' association boards to
provide a written explanation if they denied permission to install an
amateur antenna, and Bogan called the final versions "a nudge toward
reasonable accommodation" by homeowners' association boards.

Lingle said in her essentially identical veto messages that purchasers of
property in planned communities should be able to rely upon CC&Rs when
deciding whether to buy a unit and "not have to worry about subsequent
legislative bills that trump the governing documents by permitting certain
people to erect antennas on property within the subdivision."


The FCC has ordered Daniel Granda, KA6VHC, to pay an $11,000 fine for
alleged "willful and repeated" violations of the Communications Act of
1934 and Amateur Service (Part 97) rules. The Commission's July 9
Forfeiture Order followed a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) issued
March 31. Granda did not respond to the NAL nor to earlier FCC
correspondence, and the FCC said it was affirming the forfeiture based on
the information it had before it.

"The noted violation involves Mr Granda's failure to respond to official
Commission correspondence and causing intentional interference to Amateur
Radio communications," the FCC Order said.

In its earlier NAL, the FCC asserted that on at least eight occasions,
Granda, 58, "willfully and maliciously caused interference to other
stations and conducted activity in an effort to obtain exclusive use" of a
1.25 meter repeater pair. The Whittier, California, licensee was the
recipient of a December 2002 Warning Notice from the FCC Enforcement
Bureau alleging that he deliberately interfered with two repeaters, KD6ZLZ
and WA6NJJ, and requiring him to provide a detailed plan to prevent
interference. Granda failed to respond to that and to subsequent notices,
the FCC said.

In late 2002, the FCC dismissed Granda's complaint against the KD6ZLZ and
WA6NJJ repeaters. Granda had told the FCC that he'd been using the two
frequencies "continuously for over 25 years." In January 2003, the FCC's
Los Angeles Field Office issued a Warning Notice to Granda alleging that
his station was transmitting improperly and causing interference to other
stations. It ordered Granda to cease automatic control of his repeater.

Agents from the Los Angeles field office used direction-finding techniques
to track interfering signals to Granda's residence and inspected his
station, the FCC said. According to the NAL, Granda "orally admitted" that
he had received the warning notices, and he told the FCC agents that he
was "trying to prevent anyone from using 'his' frequency by
re-transmitting 147.49 MHz signals on 222.24/223.84 MHz to 'keep the
channel occupied.'"

Last August, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau set aside the renewal
of Granda's Amateur Extra class license, which expired last November. His
renewal application has reverted to "pending" status.

Granda has 30 days to pay the fine. If he fails to do so, the case could
be referred to the US Department of Justice for collection.


Girl Scouts and other volunteers will be on the air from special event
station K0S during the Minnesota Dreams Jamboree, sponsored by the Greater
Minneapolis Council, Girl Scouts of America (GSA). The gathering Friday
and Saturday, July 16-17, is expected to attract more than 1900
participants from 30 states.

During the Jamboree, 18-year-old Jean Arimond, KC0SAN, of St Louis Park,
Minnesota, will demonstrate Amateur Radio as part of the requirements to
earn her GSA Gold Award--similar to the Boy Scouts' Eagle rank. She
decided to feature ham radio in keeping with the jamboree's theme "Summer
Days, Starry Nights," reflecting the making of dreams into reality. Her
dream, she says, is to inspire more girls and women to become Amateur
Radio licensees.

"It just seems like such a natural fit," she said, "If girls do anything
well, it's finding ways to communicate; and that's what ham radio is all
about." She plans several hands-on displays showing repeater operation,
PSK31, CW and HF communication. Minnesota Youth in Amateur Radio Council
members also will have their equipment van available for viewing.

A fairly recent licensee, Arimond encourages all hams--and especially
women and girls of all ages, to contact her and the other volunteers
during the Jamboree special event. K0S will operate on or about 14.250 and
28.450 MHz.

Other participating operators include Janice and Janet Robidoux, K0JA and
K0JE, both 50-year ham radio veterans; ARRL Dakota Division Vice Director
Twila Greenheck, N0JPH; and Orcena Lyle, W0QT. Arimond says her father's
interest in Amateur Radio, particularly, in its community service aspects,
inspired her to get her ticket. Her dad is Tim Arimond, N0BYH.


Propagation guru Tad "Who can make the sun shine, on a cloudy day?" Cook,
K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Sunspot numbers and solar flux rose
this week. Average daily sunspot numbers were up 54 points above last
week's average. Sunspot 649, a big one, came around the sun's eastern limb
this week. Helioseismic holography shows more sunspots on the far side of
the sun, so the short-term trend for solar activity is up.

The big news is a huge X-class solar flare, detected July 15 at 0140 UTC.
If a coronal mass ejection is heading toward Earth, it could mean big
geomagnetic storms. The prediction made before the flare called for a
planetary A index of 12, 20, 12 and 10 for Thursday through Sunday, July
15-18. Predicted solar flux for the same period is 140, 140, 135 and 135.

Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, who often writes the Solar Update in my absence,
will speak on 160-meter propagation this weekend at the Pacific Northwest
DX Convention near Seattle. A new article by K9LA, "Propagation Planning
for DXpeditions," now is available on the Propagation page of the ARRL
Technical Information Service site

Sunspot numbers for July 1 through 7 were 26, 33, 31, 37, 26, 39 and 31,
with a mean of 31.9. The 10.7 cm flux was 81.3, 80.7, 79.5, 79.4, 78.2,
78.9 and 79.3, with a mean of 79.6. Estimated planetary A indices were 13,
9, 9, 6, 7, 7 and 5, with a mean of 8. Estimated mid-latitude A indices
were 9, 8, 5, 4, 5, 5 and 2, with a mean of 5.4.

Sunspot numbers for July 8 through 14 were 17, 32, 58, 98, 118, 129 and
149, with a mean of 85.9. The 10.7 cm flux was 81.8, 86.7, 93.3, 104.4,
125, 149.5 and 138.1, with a mean of 111.3. Estimated planetary A indices
were 5, 5, 8, 14, 13, 16 and 9, with a mean of 10. Estimated mid-latitude
A indices were 1, 4, 5, 13, 12, 11 and 6, with a mean of 7.4.


* This weekend on the radio: The Mid-Summer Six Club Contest, the
VK/Trans-Tasman 160-Meter Contest, the North American QSO Party (RTTY),
the CQ Worldwide VHF Contest and the RSGB Low Power Field Day are the
weekend of July 16-17. JUST AHEAD: The RSGB 80-Meter Club Championship
(Data) is July 22. The RSGB IOTA Contest and the ARS Flight of the
Bumblebees are the weekend of July 24-25. See the ARRL Contest Branch page
<> and the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
<> for more info.

* ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration:
Registration for the ARRL Antenna Modeling (EC-004) on-line course remains
open through Sunday, July 18. Class begins Tuesday July 27. This course is
an excellent way to learn the ins and outs and nitty-gritty details of
antenna modeling. Computer-modeling expert and noted author L.B. Cebik,
W4RNL, has combined the expertise of his long career as a college
professor with his passion for antennas and antenna modeling to offer a
comprehensive, yet practical, course of study. Registration for the
Technician Licensing course (EC-010) also remains open through Sunday,
July 25. Class begin Tuesday, August 3. With the assistance of a mentor,
EC-010 students learn everything they need to know to pass the FCC
Technician license class test. To learn more, visit the ARRL Certification
and Continuing Education Web page <> or e-mail the
ARRL Certification and Continuing Education Program Department

* ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course registration:
Registration for the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Level II
on-line course (EC-002) remains open through the July 17-18 weekend.
Registration for the Level III on-line course (EC-003) opens Monday, July
19, at 1201 AM EDT and will remain open through the July 24-25 weekend or
until all available seats have been filled--whichever comes first. Class
begins Tuesday, August 3. Thanks to our grant sponsor--the United
Technologies Corporation--the $45 registration fee paid upon enrollment
will be reimbursed after successful completion of the course. During this
registration period, seats are being offered to ARRL members on a
first-come, first-served basis. To learn more, visit the ARRL
Certification and Continuing Education Web page <>.
For more information, contact Emergency Communications Course Manager Dan
Miller, K3UFG,; 860-594-0340.

* New vanity fee goes into effect August 6: The FCC has announced that the
new Amateur Radio vanity call sign regulatory fee of $20.80 for the
10-year license term will go into effect August 6, 2004. Applicants for
amateur vanity call signs will continue to pay the $16.30 fee per vanity
call sign application until the new fee goes into effect. All applications
received at the FCC on or after August 6 must be accompanied by the new,
higher fee.

* FCC Chairman reaffirms support for BPL: Speaking in Menlo Park,
California, July 15, FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell again asserted that
broadband over power line technology "holds the great promise to bring
high-speed Internet access to every power outlet in America." Powell's
statement followed a demonstration of BPL technology at AT&T Labs
co-sponsored by Pacific Gas and Electric Company and AT&T. "What I saw
today has the potential to play a key role in meeting our goals to expand
the availability and affordability of broadband," Powell said. "The future
is bright for powerline broadband. We'll continue at the FCC to explore
ways to support this technology while protecting other services from

* Actor Marlon Brando, KE6PZH/FO8GJ, SK: One of the best-known names in
cinema--Marlon Brando, KE6PZH/FO8GJ--died in Los Angeles July 1. He was
80. Brando appears in the FCC database under his real name, "Martin
Brandeaux," while his FO8GJ listing indicates both his real and his screen
names. Brando held a US General class ticket. He was on the air
occasionally over the years as FO8GJ from his private island in French
Polynesia. In a 1994 CNN interview with Larry King, Brando affirmed his
continued interest in Amateur Radio. In response to a caller's question,
he said ham radio provided him with the opportunity to just be himself.
Brando was best known for his roles as Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar
Named Desire," a dockworker in "On the Waterfront," and Vito Corleone in
"The Godfather." He was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won twice.

* ARRL receives Citizen Corps grant: The ARRL will receive a $3000 grant
from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) via the New
York State Citizen Corps to recognize Amateur Radio operators in the
Empire State who have been involved in emergency-related activities. The
funds will provide ARRL emergency communications vests to 200 New York ham
radio volunteers. The four ARRL New York Section Managers will select the
recipients. The grant will recognize ARRL members in New York who have
completed emergency communications training, participated in drills and
Simulated Emergency Test exercises and supported New York agencies during
emergencies such as the September 2001 terror attacks and the August 2003
power failure. Citizen Corps is coordinated nationally by the Department
of Homeland Security. DHS also works closely with CNCS to promote
volunteer service activities that support homeland security and community
safety. The ARRL has a Statement of Affiliation with Citizen Corps and is
a current recipient of a three-year Homeland Security training grant.

* Field Day fun leads to ISS ragchews: International Space Station
astronaut Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, enjoyed his time operating during the 2004
ARRL Field Day so much that during the July 4 holiday he got on the air
from NA1SS for ragchews. ISS Ham Radio Project Engineer Kenneth Ransom,
N5VHO, at Johnson Space Center, said Fincke made several QSOs after
calling CQ on 2 meters. "He logged 8 contacts with stations in Canada, the
US and Costa Rica," Ransom reported. "He said he had such a good time
during Field Day that he hopes to get on the air more often in his spare
time. He also hopes word will get out to hams that he will be more
active." South Carolina AMSAT Area Coordinator Al Lark, KD4SFF, monitored
Fincke speaking with US and Canadian stations and called him. After they'd
exchanged signal reports, Lark wished Fincke and ISS Commander Gennady
Padalka, RN3DT, a happy Fourth of July. "I asked Mike to pass along my
good morning (in Russian) to Gennady and to tell him about 17-year-old
Russian-born, Maria Sharapova's win at Wimbledon," Lark said.

* Museum ships and submarines taking to the airwaves: The 2004 Museum
Ships Special Event weekend Saturday and Sunday, July 17-18 (UTC), offers
operators a chance to work some rare and unusual stations and collect
unique QSL cards and certificates. More than 80 museum ships and subs
worldwide are expected to take part in the event, which is sponsored by
the USS Salem Radio Club. Club members will operate K1USN aboard the USS
Salem (CA-139), the world's only preserved heavy cruiser, and WW2MAN from
the Seehund U boat (U-5075) from their moorings at the US Naval
Shipbuilding Museum in Quincy, Massachusetts. There's more information,
including a listing of vessels planning to participate, on the K1USN Web
site<>. Stations working 10
participating vessels are eligible for a certificate by sending a copy of
log pages showing these contacts and a self-addressed, stamped envelope
large enough to hold an 8-1/2 x 11-inch certificate (or send $2) to Bob
Callahan, W1QWT, 56 Acorn St, Scituate, MA 02066.

* Scout special event station on the air from Turkey: Turkey Radio Amateur
Club President Aziz Sasa, TA1E, has announced that special event station
TC4JAM will be on the air as part of an international Scout camp in the
Koycegiz area along Turkey's Mediterranean coast. Some 3000 Scouts from
Turkey, Belgium, Egypt, Azerbaidjan, Holland, Pakistan, Greece, Macedonia,
Great Britain, Israel, China and Romania are expected to participate. The
station will be on the air from July 15 until July 24. Operation will be
on all HF bands except 160 meters (primary operating frequencies are 7.092
and 14.270 MHz). Some APRS and 2-meter activity also is planned. Schedules
may be arranged by e-mailing TA1E <>;.

* DXCC Desk accredits DX operations: The following DX operations have been
approved for DXCC credit: YA7X, Afghanistan, March 1-April 30, 2004;
HZ1AN, HZ1IZ, Saudi Arabia, all operations; 3DXQZ, Republic of Guinea,
April 20-30, 2004; YI9MC, Iraq, current operation effective March 23,
2004; 5V7AD, Togo, June 12-22, 2004. For more information, visit the DXCC
Web page <>. A new feature, DXCC FAQ
<>, can answer most of your questions
on DXCC program issues.

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,
accurate, concise, and readable. Visit ARRLWeb <> for
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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