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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 23, No. 29
July 23, 2004


* +League to launch volunteer grassroots lobbying effort
* +ARRL Board encourages enhanced ARES communication system development
* +ARRL announces award winners
* +Astronaut promotes international space cooperation
* +Florida power blackout brings out best in hams
* +John Kraus, W8JK, SK
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration
     Dave Bowker, K1FK, wins QST Cover Plaque Award
    +AMSAT asks patience as Echo AO-51 checkout continues
     Wireless Institute of Australia pushes ahead on 5 MHz proposal
     First western Canada LF QSO reported

+Available on ARRL Audio News



The ARRL Board of Directors has formalized a grassroots congressional
lobbying program with an initial focus on BPL. Acting July 16 during its
second meeting of 2004 in Windsor, Connecticut, the Board acknowledged the
need to "immediately begin a BPL grassroots lobbying campaign." Hudson
Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, who headed the Ad Hoc Committee on
Grassroots Lobbying, sees the creation of a national "political machine"
as a practical way to protect Amateur Radio spectrum.

"We're really, in essence, changing the culture of how we operate," Fallon
said after the meeting. "We're going to use our members as constituents to
talk to key legislators." While the campaign will zero in on BPL in the
near term, it eventually could expand to support bills dealing with
spectrum protection and with and deed covenants, conditions and
restrictions (CC&Rs) and their impact on amateur antennas.

"It can be more effective for two or three constituents to walk into a
lawmaker's office to pitch their cause," Fallon said. Such contacts, he
pointed out, also can pave the way for subsequent meetings between League
officials and members of Congress or their staff members.

To establish a coordinating structure, the Board created the positions of
Division Congressional Action Chair, Congressional Action Coordinator and
Congressional Action Assistant. The Board authorized the League's 15
division directors to appoint qualified volunteers to these positions.

Under the plan the Board adopted, the Division Congressional Action Chair,
one in each ARRL division, would be a cabinet-level volunteer with some
experience in lobbying activities. There would be at least one
Congressional Action Coordinator in each state, ideally selected in
consultation with section managers. These volunteers also would be members
of the director's cabinet. Working with the director, the Congressional
Action Coordinator will designate and develop a number of Congressional
Action Assistants to "accomplish the mission of getting the ARRL message
to legislators," the ad hoc committee's report explained.

Fallon said the grassroots lobbying effort will fold into a comprehensive
broadband over power line strategy, which the Board discussed at length
but did not make public. The Board expressed the hope that the lobbying
effort could be up and running by fall.

In other business, the Board:

* approved a system to automatically recognize long-term League membership
and to express appreciation of that support through a system of awards.

* designated the next Dayton Hamvention as ARRL National Convention 2005.
Hamvention will take place May 20-22 at Hara Arena near Dayton, Ohio.

* directed the filing of an application with the FCC for an experimental
license authorizing low-frequency operation for specified Amateur Radio

* directed the filing of a petition with the FCC to permit security of
data for computer-to-computer communications on domestic transmissions
above 50 MHz.

* established as policy that ARES groups and any group using the ARES logo
shall formally acknowledge ARES as an ARRL program, including in their
bylaws or other organizational documents, and agree to abide by all rules
and guidelines the League establishes. Since both ARES and Amateur Radio
Emergency Service are registered ARRL service marks, ARES groups are to
utilize the R symbol in any printed or electronic media and note that the
logo is used by permission. All ARES records, membership rosters and other
data pertaining to the ARES program, wherever located, are the property of
the ARRL.

* resolved to have President Haynie appoint a study committee to recommend
effective means of promoting "constructive relations and open lines of
communication" between the League and the Amateur Radio industry. The
committee will solicit input from the Industry Advisory Council and report
to the Board at its January 2005 meeting.

* recognized and thanked ARRL Chief Operating Officer Mark Wilson, K1RO,
for his longstanding service and dedication to the League and wished him
well in his future endeavors. Wilson has announced that he'll be leaving
ARRL in September to move to New Hampshire. He's been a member of the ARRL
Headquarters staff for 24 years.

The official minutes of the July 2004 meeting of the ARRL Board of
Directors are available on the ARRL Web site


The ARRL Board of Directors has adopted a resolution encouraging further
development and expansion of an inaugural network to enhance the emergency
communications capability of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES).
The action came during the Board's meeting July 16-17. The Board had
charged an ad hoc committee, dubbed "ARESCOM," with developing an
augmented ARES telecommunications system that would include rapid and
accurate handling of long-range emergency communications. ARESCOM
recommended deployment of a digital e-mail system based on Winlink 2000
software. The Board encouraged the deployment of e-mail via Amateur
Radio--"as exemplified by Winlink 2000"--to meet the needs of served
agencies and others involved in providing disaster communications.

"The digital network will provide a value-added service for ARES and will
continue to be viewed very positively by our served agencies," the
committee said in its report to the Board. "This allows ARES to be viewed
as modern and necessary instead of antiquated and invasive."

The committee, chaired by Great Lakes Division Vice Director Dick Mondro,
W8FQT, said situations arise when ARES must "pass message traffic across
the nation quickly and accurately." It also said the need for such a
nationwide ARES capability is likely to increase in light of the ARRL's
Citizen Corps partnership with the Department of Homeland Security.

Winlink 2000--a worldwide Amateur Radio digital radio e-mail
system--already is widely used by the blue water boating and recreational
vehicle communities. Members of the ARRL Programs and Services Committee
witnessed a Winlink 2000 demonstration at ARRL Headquarters the day before
the board meeting.

The ARRL Board extended the committee's charter until its January 2005
meeting so ARESCOM can complete an implementation plan that ensures that
ARES has "the prominent role" in managing the national network and that
ARES officials and appropriate ARRL Headquarters staffers have an chance
to critique the network's operation to ensure it meets the requirements of
ARES and its served agencies.

A two-part series appearing in the August and September 2004 issues of
QST, "Winlink for ARES," by ARRL South Texas Section Emergency Coordinator
Jerry Reimer, KK5CA, outlines an enhanced ARES network that would include
e-mail capability over HF links.


For the first time ever, the ARRL Board of Directors named two young
amateurs to receive the prestigious Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award for
2003. Selected as winners in equal standing were Andrea L. Hartlage,
KG4IUM, and Jay Thompson, W6JAY. The Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award goes
annually to an amateur under age 21 who has contributed in an exemplary
manner to both the Amateur Radio community and the local community. Facing
a difficult choice in deciding among several talented and dedicated
nominees, the Board said Hartlage and Thompson stood out as the best of
the best.

Nominated by Georgia Section Manager Susan Swiderski, AF4FO--who has
designated Hartlage as Assistant Section Manager/Youth, and Bill Carter,
KG4FXG, Hartlage, 15, is well known to visitors of the ARRL Web site as
the editor of the monthly column Youth@HamRadio.Fun
<>. "Andrea is one of ham radio's best
ambassadors and a strong leader," the Board said. She's active in her
community through her participation in Amateur Radio Emergency Service
(ARES) activities, and she recently completed the ARRL Amateur Radio
Emergency Communications Level II course. She also mentors aspiring young
amateurs at a local middle school.

Hartlage said she was honored to be selected. "Thank you to the American
Radio Relay League and to the many hams who have taught, encouraged and
helped me along the way," she said. She expressed special gratitude to her
dad, Scott Hartlage, KF4PWI, for introducing her to ham radio.

This has been an honor-filled week for Hartlage. In addition to the ARRL
award, Amateur Radio Newsline this week named her as its 2004 Young Ham of
the Year.

Thompson, an ARRL Life Member who turns 19 this month, was nominated by
his father, Richard Thompson, WA6NOL. The 2003 Amateur Radio Newsline
Young Ham of the Year, Thompson is active in Amateur Radio direction
finding and has won numerous ARDF medals, including three in the IARU
Region 2 competition. He'll compete in September in the ARDF 12th World
Championship in the Czech Republic. Thompson also has taught DFing to
Scouts. In addition, he serves as a net control station for his local ARES
net and for the Hospital Disaster Support Communications System.

During numerous science fairs, Thompson has demonstrated his grasp of the
technical side of ham radio. He designed and built a new type of quad
antenna--the fractal quad--for a regional science fair, making him an
"honored participant." He also mentors other youth through his active
participation in the Boy Scouts' radio merit badge program.

Thompson said he was surprised to be named the 2003 HPM Award winner. "I
was thrilled that there were two winners, because it lets me know that
there are other young hams with major accomplishments," he said. "I
congratulate Andrea, KG4IUM, on winning this award also."

Both are Amateur Extra class licensees. Each will receive a $1500 stipend
and engraved plaques.

There were multiple winners as well of the 2003 Doug DeMaw, W1FB,
Technical Excellence Award. Created to honor the late Doug DeMaw, W1FB--a
former ARRL staffer and one of the most widely published technical authors
in Amateur Radio history--the award goes to the author or authors of the
best QST or QEX technical article during the prior year.

The 2003 Technical Excellence Award will go to two sets of authors. The
Board recognized Bob Larkin, W7PUA, Larry Liljequist, W7SZ, and Ernest
Manly, W7LHL, for their July/August 2003 QEX article, "Microwave
Propagation in the Upper Troposphere." The Board also recognized ARRL Life
Member Robert Sommer, N4UU, for his August 2003 QST article "Optimum
Radial Ground Systems."

Donald P. Wright Jr, AA2F, is the winner of the 2003 ARRL Herb S. Brier
(W9AD) Instructor of the Year Award. Named for the late, long-time CQ
"Novice" column editor, the award honors an individual who represents the
spirit of Brier's effective and caring Amateur Radio instruction. The Lake
County Amateur Radio Club of Crown Point, Indiana, cosponsors the award.
Wright has been active in Amateur Radio education for more than 20 years
and has taught hundreds of individuals to prepare for their license

Nick Lance Jr, KC5KBO, is the recipient of the 2003 ARRL Professional
Educator of the Year Award. This award goes to a teacher who uses Amateur
Radio within the curriculum. The Lambda Amateur Radio Club of Philadelphia
is the award cosponsor. Lance is solely responsible for assisting numerous
members of the astronaut corps and 29 of NASA's aerospace education
specialists to get their ham tickets. He also teaches a ham class to
middle schoolers and inspires them to pursue careers in technology.

Michael J. Duff, KG4SLH, is the recipient of the 2004 Philip J. McGan
Memorial Silver Antenna Award, honoring an amateur who demonstrates
outstanding Amateur Radio public relations success at the local, state or
national level. An ARRL Life Member, Duff has helped build public
awareness for Amateur Radio via radio, television and print and has
reached out to the public through informational displays and speaking
engagements, continually demonstrating his success as a public relations

"Mike has the uncanny ability of successfully obtaining media and
community exposure," said Jack Jackson, N4JJ, who nominated Duff for the
award. "He has reached the youth through Boy Scouts and school programs as
well as the general community through library displays and public event
information booths."

The Board also honored two recipients with the 2003 ARRL Microwave
Development Award, which recognizes contributions to microwave equipment
design and development. Named were Brian D. Justin Jr, WA1ZMS, and John
Champa, K8OCL.

The Board recognized Justin for his pioneering work in developing the
Amateur Radio microwave bands above 30 GHz. In February, the ARRL Life
Member claimed a new world and North American DX record for the 241 GHz
band--49.35 miles. Champa, also an ARRL Life Member, was honored for his
leadership as chairman of the ARRL High Speed Multimedia Committee and for
the development of practical IEEE 802.11 "WiFi" technology for Amateur


It was a truly international Earth-space Amateur Radio contact July 13
when International Space Station astronaut Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, spoke with
students at Meizen High School in Japan. Fincke, who's fluent in Japanese,
answered most questions in both Japanese and English. During the Amateur
Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact between NA1SS in
space and 8N6A in Japan, one questioner wanted to know what Fincke saw for
the future of space development.

"The future of space development is very important to everyone on the
planet," Fincke replied. "We need to work together, and we can go to the
moon, we can go to Mars, we can go to the stars."

Speaking of stars, Fincke told another student that he hasn't been able to
view any of the constellations from space because the ISS ports face
earthward. "The constellations are above us, and so far, I've only looked
down on the Earth, and the Earth is very bright," Fincke said.

The astronaut also noted that the ISS inhabitants could see pollution on
Earth from space. "Yes, we can see a little bit of environmental
pollution," Fincke said in response to a student's question. "We must keep
our planet clean."

Regarding his newborn daughter Tarali, Fincke said he's only seen her via
a computer linkup.

Ten elementary pupils and seven junior high and high schoolers
participated in the event, which attracted attention from local and
national news media. An audience of 50 elementary, 20 junior high and 250
high school students plus some 80 parents also was on hand.

The nearly nine-minute contact was marred by occasional signal dropout
from NA1SS. In all, Fincke answered 16 of the students' questions before
he got out of range. Osamu Nakamura, NH7TA, who attends Meizen High
School, served as control operator for the direct 2-meter contact.
Nakamura received his General class FCC license last November specifically
for this event.

"All preparations for this contact were made by the Meizen High School
students themselves," said ARISS Japan mentor Satoshi Yasuda,
7M3TJZ/AD6GZ. "This was a first for Japan and a very successful event for

The next ARISS school group contact also will be with students in Japan.
On Thursday, July 29, fifth and sixth graders attending Habikigaoka
Elementary School in Habikino will have the opportunity to question

ARISS is an international educational outreach program with US
participation by ARRL, AMSAT and NASA.


Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) teams and local amateurs in the
Tallahassee, Florida, area volunteered to assist after electrical power
went out in about half of the capital city July 13. The region was
affected for about three hours before power was restored. More than a
dozen amateurs participated in the blackout response.

"We have a very active ARES group here in the Capital District, and all
the local hams as usual responded immediately," said Gadsden County
Emergency Coordinator Bill Mapoles, KG4LFT. At the request of local
authorities, hams helped during the blackout by reporting traffic
difficulties, non-operating traffic signals and other power
failure-related problems, he said. The 2 PM blackout during hot, humid
weather, killed air conditioning, snarled traffic and led Florida A&M
University to close for the rest of the afternoon.

Former Capital District EC Kent Hutchinson, KC4TOC, started up an informal
Tallahassee blackout net, subsequently picked up by Paul Eakins, KJ4G.
Amateurs staffed the local emergency operations center and also assisted
the American Red Cross, which opened a shelter and three aid stations.

"I'm proud to be a part of our local ARES group," Mapoles said, "and I can
say that we, in the Capital District, are prepared for anything."


Radio astronomer, antenna designer, cosmic explorer and author John D.
Kraus, W8JK, of Delaware, Ohio, died July 18. He was 94. While he enjoyed
a worldwide reputation, Kraus is perhaps best known in Amateur Radio
circles for his bi-directional wire beam antenna--often dubbed the '8JK
array. Other important Kraus designs include the corner reflector and
helix antennas.

The Michigan native was a pioneer of radiotelescope design and the father
of the "Big Ear" radiotelescope. Following an early fascination with
radio, Kraus first became licensed as 8AFJ. He later was granted the
now-famous W8JK call sign. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he
joined the faculty of the Ohio State University 1946, serving as a
professor of electrical engineering and astronomy and founding and
directing the OSU Radio Observatory. In that capacity, Kraus designed and
oversaw construction of the Big Ear on land owned by Ohio Wesleyan

In 1978, after the "Big Ear" detected the still-unidentified "Wow!" signal
that suggested the possibility of intelligent life elsewhere in the
universe, Kraus launched Cosmic Search, a magazine devoted to the search
for extraterrestrial intelligence. The Big Ear fell victim to development
pressures and was torn down in 1998.

Kraus's classic textbook Antennas, now in its third edition, has been an
engineering school staple for decades. Among his other titles are
Electromagnetics, Radio Astronomy, Big Ear, Big Ear Two and Our Cosmic
Universe. Kraus also wrote several articles for QST. He did a "recap and
update" of his W8JK antenna in the June 1982 issue. An article in the July
1970 edition describes a "W8JK 5-Band Rotary Beam Antenna." A 1934 QST
article by Kraus highlights "Amateur Radio in the Soviet Union."

Kraus was a fellow of the IEEE and a member of the National Academy of
Engineering. In 1996, Dayton Hamvention honored Kraus as the recipient of
its Special Achievement Award. In 2001, CQ named Kraus to the inaugural
class of its Amateur Radio Hall of Fame.


Solar sage Tad "I Wear My Sunglasses At Night" Cook, K7RA, Seattle,
Washington, reports: Rising solar activity is in the news this week.
Sunspot 652--a really big one--is currently looking straight at Earth. We
are also experiencing effects from a coronal mass ejection from this spot.
Early Thursday, July 22 (Wednesday night in the Americas) geomagnetic K
indices were at zero at all latitudes--even above the Arctic Circle. The
effects of the coronal mass ejection itself were unimportant, but there
was a strong solar wind behind it and the interplanetary magnetic field
pointed south, which makes Earth vulnerable. By Thursday night K indices
were at five and six.

This week's average daily sunspot numbers, compared with the previous
week's, rose more than 72 points. Average daily solar flux rose nearly 48
points. When the daily sunspot number reached 176 on Monday July 19, it
was the highest reading of this index since November 30, 2003. The solar
flux at 175.2 on July 20 was the highest flux value since November 24 of
last year.

Of course, this doesn't signal any sort of upward trend in the solar
cycle, but at this point there is still enough variation to provide some
excitement and interest.

For July 23-26, Friday through Monday, the predicted planetary A index is
25, 15, 10 and 10. Predicted solar flux for those same dates is 170, 160,
160 and 150. For HF, we generally want sunspot counts to be high for
several days with stable geomagnetic conditions. Often the two don't
arrive together.

Sunspot numbers for July 15 through 21 were 146, 142, 165, 169, 176, 147
and 162, with a mean of 158.1. The 10.7 cm flux was 145.7, 146.5, 149.2,
155.1, 170.2, 175.2 and 172.2, with a mean of 159.2. Estimated planetary A
indices were 9, 12, 24, 9, 9, 9 and 6, with a mean of 11.1. Estimated
mid-latitude A indices were 7, 8, 13, 6, 8, 6 and 5, with a mean of 7.6.



* This weekend on the radio: The RSGB IOTA Contest and the ARS Flight of
the Bumblebees are the weekend of July 24-25. JUST AHEAD: the RSGB RoPoCo
2 and the SARL HF Phone Contest are August 1. The ARS Spartan Sprint is
August 3. The North American QSO Party (CW), the ARRL UHF Contest, theTARA
Grid Dip Contest, the 10-10 International Summer Contest (SSB), National
Lighthouse Weekend QSO Contest and the European HF Championship are the
weekend of August 7-8. 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 HF Digital Communication (EC-005), ARRL
VHF/UHF--Beyond the Repeater (EC-008) and ARRL Technician Licensing
(EC-010) courses remains open through Sunday, July 25. Classes begin
Tuesday August 3. Students participating in VHF/UHF--Beyond the Repeater
will enjoy exploring some of the lesser-used and more intriguing aspects
of VHF/UHF operation. HF Digital Communication students will learn to use
a variety of HF digital modes. With the assistance of mentor students in
Technician Licensing will learn everything they need to know to pass the
FCC Technician class amateur license test. To learn more, visit the ARRL
Certification and Continuing Education Web page <>
or contact the ARRL CCE department <>;.

* Correction: In the "In Brief" news item "Actor Marlon Brando,
KE6PZH/FO8GJ, SK," appearing in The ARRL Letter, Vol 23, No 28 (Jul 16,
2004), we erred in a statement regarding Brando's real name. He was born
Marlon Brando Jr, although he appears in the FCC database under the name
"Martin Brandeaux," an apparent pseudonym. His FO8GJ listing indicates
both names.

* Dave Bowker, K1FK, wins QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST
Cover Plaque Award for June is Dave Bowker, K1FK, for his article "A 75
foot Top Loaded Vertical Antenna." Congratulations, Dave! The winner of
the QST Cover Plaque award--given to the author or authors of the best
article in each issue--is determined by a vote of ARRL members. Voting
takes place each month on the QST Cover Plaque Poll Web page
<>. Cast a ballot for your
favorite article in the July issue of QST. Voting ends July 31

* AMSAT asks patience as Echo AO-51 checkout continues: AMSAT-NA says
"much more work and testing is yet to be done" before it can open the Echo
AO-51 Amateur Radio satellite for general use by the amateur community.
Commissioning continues for AO-51, with ground controllers checking out
the satellite's software on the ground and reloading and testing software
on the satellite, an AMSAT bulletin reported. When Echo is in the sun,
telemetry data also are being collected to work on attitude determination.
AMSAT says the command team also must ensure that the satellite's hardware
is working properly before making it available for use. At some point in
the AO-51 proveout, the satellite will become available for experimental
operation. "At the present time it is anticipated that Echo will be opened
initially in 9k6 digital mode, via the BBS system," AMSAT said. "After
running a few days in that mode, the FM repeater may be enabled." AMSAT
says all modes will start at low power and gather data while looking at
the overall health of the satellite--specifically the power consumption in
each configuration. Power will gradually be increased as ground
controllers monitor the data. "The command team asks at the present time,
that you continue to not transmit to Echo," AMSAT said. "Please continue
to show restraint, and you will be making your first contacts through Echo
soon." AMSAT-NA will issue a bulletin when AO-51 becomes available for
use.--AMSAT News Service via Mike Kingery, KE4AZN

* Wireless Institute of Australia pushes ahead on 5 MHz proposal: The
Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) plans to soon ask the Australian
Communications Authority (ACA) to consider establishing a set of Amateur
Radio channels in the 60-meter (5 MHz) band. "We have put together a list
of six proposed 5 MHz single-frequency allocations," said WIA Director
Glenn Dunstan, VK4DU. He said the WIA came up with the proposed
allocations--which WIA has not yet released--using the ACA's on-line
frequency database and a database of Pacific 5 MHz channels. "The 5 MHz
band is used heavily throughout the Pacific," Dunstan points out, "and
this would restrict any amateur activity to a series of spot frequencies,
with operation most probably confined to upper sideband, as is the case in
the US and the UK." He said having frequencies available in the vicinity
of 5 MHz would particularly enhance the capabilities of the Wireless
Institute Civil Emergency Network (WICEN)--Australia's equivalent of the
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES). The WIA, which has been undergoing
a restructuring, now has a national Web site <>.

* First western Canada LF QSO reported: British Columbia amateurs Steve
McDonald, VE7SL, Mayne Island, and Scott Tilley, VE7TIL, Vancouver
reportedly completed the first western Canadian contact on the 2200 meter
band on July 10. McDonald said the contact between the two stations on
137.754 kHz spanned a distance of approximately 50 km (about 31 miles).
"VE7TIL utilized slow-speed CW--QRSS3--mode, while VE7SL used normal CW,"
McDonald said. VE7TIL was running a homebrew transmitter that ran about 1
W output, while VE7SL was using a homebrew crystal-controlled exciter into
a single FET amplifier at 100W output. "Both of us used similar antenna
systems for transmitting--a loaded three-wire flattop T," McDonald said,
and small loop antennas for receiving. McDonald said he hoped their
efforts would stimulate more interest in LF in western Canada. For more
information about 136 kHz activity and equipment, visit The VE7SL Radio
Notebook <> and The Radio Beacon 'TIL' Web
sites. <>.

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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