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ARRL Letter


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 21, No. 39
October 4, 2002


* +Hams activate as Lili pays a visit
* +ARRL announces The Diamond Club
* +Whitson wows kids in Canada, California
* +ARRL surveying members on future continuing ed courses
* +Ham radio represented at ITU Plenipotentiary conference
*  Solar Update
     This weekend on the radio
     All 58 counties to be active during California QSO Party
    +ARRL VEC welcomes Perry Green, WY1O
    +Monitors needed to track burrowing owl migration
     ARRL to sponsor legal seminar at Pacificon
     Vote on QST Cover Plaque Award
     P5/4L4FN postpones plans to work teen hams

+Available on ARRL Audio News



Hurricane Lili made landfall October 3 on the western edge of Vermillion
Bay, Louisiana. A Category 2 storm packing winds of around 90 MPH with
higher gusts, Lili was the first hurricane to hit the US since Hurricane
Irene in 1999. Lili soon was downgraded to a tropical depression, but not
before pounding the state with heavy rain and high winds and leaving
thousands without power.

At week's end, an FCC-declared communications emergency remained in effect
for Louisiana and Texas. The declaration requires amateurs to refrain from
using 7285 kHz (daytime) and 3873 kHz (nighttime), plus or minus 3 kHz,
unless they are taking part in the handling of emergency traffic. The FCC
declaration supports operation of the West Gulf Emergency Net. It remains
in effect until rescinded.

"A number of Red Cross and other types of shelters have been opened across
Louisiana, including Shreveport, Monroe, and Ruston in the northern part
of the state," ARRL Louisiana Section Manager Mickey Cox, K5MC, reported
not long after the storm struck. "Lots of Louisiana stations are checking
in on the HF emergency nets with weather reports and information on
shelters." Cox said operators from the Ozone Amateur Radio Club, W5SLA,
were staffing the National Weather Service in Slidell and have been active
on the HF emergency nets.

According to Cox, ARES activated in Calcasieu Parish, in the southwestern
corner of the state. In addition, he said, Ouachita Parish ARES deployed
hams to the Office of Emergency Preparedness in W Monroe as well as to a
Red Cross shelter in Monroe, where other operators plan to handle
health-and-welfare traffic.

South Texas SM Ray Taylor, N5NAV, said a daytime HF net would likely be
kept going until the Baptist Men's Kitchen gets situated and has telephone
service operational. Hams also began handling health-and-welfare traffic
(on 7.285 MHz) when not supporting relief agencies there. "We were very
fortunate that Lili lost strength before making landfall," Taylor said.
"There was a lot of damage, but it could have been worse."

The Hurricane Watch Net <> officially reopened on 14.325
MHz shortly before the storm hit the coast, and shut down about eight
hours later. "Lots of data was collected during and after the storm made
landfall," said Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, who's filling in this week for HWN
Manager Mike Pilgrim, K5MP.

Graves also noted that the hurricane season still has another couple of
months to go. "Even though this is the first of October, we better not let
down our guard as the hurricane season continues until November 30," he

Operators at W4EHW at the National Hurricane Center
<> in Miami also were active and cooperated
with the HWN effort. "With this storm we established another milestone in
W4EHW's history," said W4EHW Amateur Radio Coordinator John McHugh, KU4GY.
"Using the Palmetto Radio Club repeater that was connected to similar
repeaters in Louisiana via IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Protocol), we were
able to collect weather reports from stations in the affected area that do
not have HF radios."

By week's end, Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) ham
operators dropped back to an SA Level I alert.


The ARRL has introduced The Diamond Club as a way to increase member
involvement, support the League and offer valuable membership benefits
above and beyond those already available. The program was approved by the
ARRL Board of Directors at its July meeting and introduced this month.

"This is a donor recognition program, to acknowledge member loyalty," said
ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. "We're excited to be
able to thank our members in ways we've never been able to do previously
and, at the same time, to raise critical additional resources to sustain
ARRL in the future."

Hobart said the program has a first-year goal of $150,000 "to support
those ARRL-sponsored programs amateurs enjoy." She compared the program to
those already offered by other non-profit organizations across the US.

"We did a membership sample survey in 2001 to gauge interest in specific
benefits and types of benefits," Hobart explained. "The Diamond Club
program was crafted to be consistent with the results of that survey."

Recognition for increased annual support in The Diamond Club includes all
current ARRL membership benefits plus pins and certificates at every
membership level plus special Diamond Club car window decals, publication
discounts, new QST delivery options and donor recognition opportunities.
"You select the contribution level that fits your budget, and ARRL will do
the rest," Hobart said.

Members of The Diamond Club can start out small--with an annual
contribution as little as $75 a year ($50 a year for ARRL Life
Members)--or large, with a yearly gift of $5000 or more. In addition to a
subscription to QST, access to members-only pages on the ARRL Web site,
and other member benefits, Diamond Club donors at the introductory level
will receive a Diamond Club pin, a personalized Diamond Club certificate
and two Diamond Club vehicle window decals.

The Diamond Club offers additional benefits for larger contributions at
the Brass, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Director levels. For instance, at
the Platinum level--available for contributions of from $2500 to $4999
annually--members also will receive 10 percent off direct ARRL
publications purchases, first-class delivery of QST, unlimited free use of
DXCC, Outgoing QSL Service and awards, an invitation to all ARRL donor
recognition events and an annual voluntary listing in the ARRL Annual
Report and on the ARRL Web site.

Donations to the ARRL Diamond Club are tax-deductible to the extent
allowed by law and are not refundable. Hobart emphasized that The Diamond
Club contributions are annual. Details on The Diamond Club are spelled out
on the ARRL Web site <>


Continuing a successful string of Amateur Radio on the International Space
Station school contacts, US astronaut Peggy Whitson, KC5ZTD, during the
past week answered questions from youngsters in northern Canada to
southern California. At the controls of NA1SS on September 27, Whitson
spoke with youngsters at Joamie Iuniarvik, a kindergarten through grade 5
school in Iqaluit, the capital of Canada's newest territory, Nunavut. She
followed up October 2 by answering questions posed by youngsters at St
Mark's Lutheran School in Hacienda Heights, California.

The Joamie youngsters spoke to Whitson via a teleconferencing circuit that
included ARISS veteran Earth station operator Gerald Klatzko, ZS6BTD, in
South Africa. Whitson told the Joamie pupils that working in a
zero-gravity environment makes doing a lot of things easier than on Earth.
But if you need to apply some force, she said, "it's difficult to find the
appropriate foothold to hold yourself into place."

Another youngster asked about meteor showers. "From here, we can actually
see some of the meteors as they enter Earth's atmosphere," Whitson said,
"and we hope to not run into any of them at all." Whitson also explained
that velocity is what keeps the ISS in space but about every three months
the crew needs to do an orbital boost. "The ISS travels at 17,500 MPH,"
Whitson said. "That's what keeps us in orbit."

Whitson expounded on the importance of space exploration. "The human
species will always be exploring new frontiers," she said, "and I think
it's important that we go to space for lots of different reasons, some on
a more practical level--for the science and technology that we learn--but
mostly I think it is most important to go into space to continue

Sharing the experience with the Iqaluit students were youngsters at a
school in Ottawa, Ontario. The two schools were connected via a two-way
videoconferencing link. "The event proved to be a huge success both in
Iqaluit and Ottawa," said ARISS mentor Steve McFarlane, VE3TBD. A total of
800 people--including news media representatives and various
dignitaries--were in attendance at both schools. McFarlane initially
approached the Nunavut school at random because he wanted more isolated
communities involved in the ARISS program.

Whitson told students at St Mark's Lutheran School in Hacienda Heights,
California, on October 2 that the most challenging thing she had to do in
preparation for her space flight was to learn how to speak Russian. The
ISS crew consists of American and Russian members.

"It's not one of my skills, and so learning Russian was very difficult for
me," Whitson said. "It made learning about guidance and navigation seem
easy." Her biggest thrill was being able to go on a space walk and
enjoying the experience of "flying like a bird." Being in the spacesuit
for a space walk "is just like being in our own space capsule," she said.

Being able to do her scientific experiments aboard the ISS was the most
worthwhile of her activities during her tour of duty as part of the
Expedition 5 crew. Developing better superconductor and zeolite crystals
are some of the more beneficial pieces of research, she said. The lack of
gravity on the ISS is one of the advantages that contribute to scientific

In response to a question about what she missed on Earth in addition to
her family and friends, Whitson replied "food!" She told the students that
she's "tired of eating out of cans" and having to rehydrate all her food.

Two dozen St Mark's students took part in the ARISS QSO. Principal Barbara
Clark said the students' questions evolved from a schoolwide competition
to select the best questions from each grade level. Whitson was impressed.
"I think they did an excellent job," she said. "These were some of the
best questions I've had and actually got more to the point of asking what
it really feels like to be here." Located approximately 80 miles east of
Los Angeles, St Mark's has an enrollment of some 800 students in
kindergarten through eighth grade.

The St Mark's contact was handled via ARISS Earth station veteran Tony
Hutchison, VK5ZAI, in Australia. Audio for both the Joamie and St Mark's
QSOs was handled via a WorldCom teleconferencing circuit.

ARISS is an international project, with US participation by ARRL, AMSAT
and NASA.


The ARRL is surveying its membership regarding which future on-line ARRL
Certification and Continuing Education (C-CE) courses hams would be most
likely to take. The list of possibilities ranges from antennas to VHF and
UHF operation. The Web-based survey
<> is now open for input.
The survey period will end October 27.

"The C-CE program has been very successful," said C-CE Program Coordinator
Howard Robins, W1HSR, who notes that thousands of hams have registered for
ARRL's on-line classes since the C-CE program began in late 2000. The C-CE
program's first offering--selected as a result of membership input--was
the Level I Amateur Radio Emergency Communications course (EC-001). The
League now offers three levels in emergency communications and expanded
course offerings to include Antenna Modeling, HF Digital Communication and
Satellite Communication.

"Our plans are to make several additional courses available in 2003,"
Robins said. "The survey results will guide the C-CE program in providing
courses of demonstrated interest to ARRL members."

Members will be asked to rank the various possibilities in terms of the
likelihood that they would take the course if it were offered. The list
includes Antennas 101, Basic Electronics, Trouble Shooting, Test
Equipment, Radio Propagation, VHF and UHF Beyond the Repeater and
Contesting 101.

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,


Valery Timofeev has been elected director of the International
Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radiocommunication Bureau. Timofeev, who is
Russia's deputy minister for communications and informatization, has
extensive experience in radio frequency spectrum management at both the
national and international levels.

Timofeev replaces Robert Jones, ex-VE3CTM, now VE7RWJ. Jones has served
two four-year terms and could not run again. Timofeev's election means
that for the first time in at least three decades, an Amateur Radio
licensee will not head the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau. The election
took place during the 16th ITU Plenipotentiary Conference now under way in
Marrakesh, Morocco.

A former ITU staff member, Timofeev promised to dedicate himself to
serving the needs of the ITU "at this very important time in the history
of radiocommunications." He noted the very difficult and complex tasks
facing the bureau, including the issue of satellite filings. He told the
delegates that "building the future information society can't be done
without effective radiocommunication and broadcasting."  More information
on Timofeev is available on the ITU Web site

A day earlier, ITU Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi and Deputy
Secretary-General Roberto Blois were re-elected for second terms. Also
this week, Houlin Zhao of China and Hamadoun Tourť of Mali were elected
for second terms as directors of the ITU's Telecommunication
Standardization Bureau and Telecommunication Development Bureau,

For the first time, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has
observer status at an ITU "Plenipot." IARU President Larry Price, W4RA,
represented the organization in Marrakesh from September 23 until
September 30. IARU Region 2 Executive Committee member Tim Ellam, VE6SH,
now is participating on behalf of the IARU. ARRL Technical Specialist Jon
Siverling, WB3ERA, is a member of the US delegation to this global

IARU earned observer status during the 1998 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference
held in Minneapolis. Observer status gives the IARU an opportunity to
network with delegates of member-states to support the IARU's goal of a
300-kHz worldwide allocation at 7 MHz. As ARRL Technical Relations Manager
Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, explains, although the 40-meter issue is not on the
Plenipot's agenda, many of the people attending also will go to the World
Radiocommunication Conference 2003 preparatory meeting this year and to
WRC-03 itself next year.

Amateur Radio special event station CN8UIT is on the air from the
convention site with Roberto Cabanillas, LU3HAK, as one of the primary
operators. Ellam says CN8UIT has been active mostly on 10 and 15 meters.
QSL via CN8MC.

The Plenipot concludes October 18.


Subbing for Tad Cook, K7VVV, sun watcher Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, Ft
Wayne, Indiana, reports: Geomagnetic field activity during the period
ranged from quiet to severe storm. Several coronal mass ejections around
the first of the week caused elevated K and A indices beginning mid-week,
along with the resultant geomagnetic storms as the interplanetary magnetic
field turned south. Auroral displays, degraded propagation on the higher
HF bands and some interesting 6-meter openings were noted during the
stormy times.

There were no significant proton events during the period.

X-ray flare activity during the period ranged from low to moderate. The
largest X-ray flares were M2 events on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday. These
flares did not cause any significant radio blackouts.

As K7VVV has mentioned in previous bulletins, the higher bands (15, 12 and
10 meters) will offer excellent worldwide openings as we progress through
fall and into winter. Now is the time to enjoy these bands--before Cycle
23 gets too far down its inevitable decline.

Daily data for September 26 through October 2 follows. Sunspot numbers
were 157, 185, 140, 146, 94, 105 and 99, with a mean of 132.3. The 10.7 cm
flux was 149.9, 151.6, 148.6, 138.1, 139.7, 139.8 and 135.8, with a mean
of 143.4. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 8, 8, 6, 26, 60 and 44,
with a mean of 22.9.



* This weekend on the radio: The SARL 80-Meter QSO Party is October 3. The
TARA PSK31 Rumble, the Oceania DX Contest (SSB), the EU Autumn Sprint
(SSB), the California QSO Party, the QCWA QSO Party, the Pro CW Contest
and the RSGB 21/28 MHz Contest (SSB) are the weekend of October 5-6. JUST
AHEAD: The YLRL Anniversary Party (CW), the 10-10 Day Sprint, the Oceania
DX Contest (CW), the EU Autumn Sprint (CW), the Pennsylvania QSO Party,
the FISTS Fall Sprint , the Iberoamericano Contest, and the North American
Sprint (RTTY) are the weekend of October 12-13. See the ARRL Contest
Branch page <> and the WA7BNM Contest
Calendar <> for more info.

* All 58 counties to be active during California QSO Party: All 58
California counties are scheduled to be active on the air for the
California QSO Party (CQP) <>, October 5-6. The event
has been sponsored since 1974 by the Northern California Contest Club
(NCCC). A list of CQP stations officially registered is available on the
CQP Web site <>. Ken Widelitz,
K6LA, sponsors a "First to 58" plaque <>,
awarded to the first non-California station to contact all 58 California
counties. The NCCC also offers the Worked All California Counties (WACC)
award <> to anyone working all 58 California
counties anytime.--Mark Ziegler, W6ZZZ

* Correction: The story "Amateurs Assist in Isidore Response" in The ARRL
Letter, Vol 21, No 38 (Sep 27, 2002) should have said that the Amateur
Radio Red Cross Net for the first time enabled all five Red Cross chapters
on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to keep in touch with each other as well as
with the Red Cross Emergency Operations Center in Jackson, which had only
one shelter.--Ben Jones, AC5SU

* ARRL VEC welcomes Perry Green, WY1O: ARRL Headquarters on September 20
welcomed Perry Green, WY1O, to the staff of the ARRL Volunteer Examiner
Coordinator (ARRL VEC). Green will serve as assistant to ARRL VEC Manager
Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, a position vacated by the retirement of Wayne Irwin,
W1KI. A Connecticut native, he has lived for the last 25 years in Winsted.
Green says that as a child living in the greater Hartford area, he often
passed the "unusual little brick building"--W1AW. "Now to be working here
is a thrill," he said. Green became interested in Amateur Radio in the
early 1960s but didn't get licensed until the 1980s after some ham radio
friends at work invited him to a club meeting. Not long afterwards, he
took the club's course and successfully passed his Novice exam to become
KA1VFK. "The nurturing provided by the ham club motivated me to attain the
Extra-class license and to become a volunteer examiner," he said. Green
serves as president of the Wireless Operators of Winsted, and the CQ Club.
He also is active in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service and involved in
local community organizations and projects. Green comes to ARRL after 23
years at Waring Products Div of DCA, where he worked in inventory control
and shipping. He also enjoys motorcycling, photography, genealogy and
computers. Welcome aboard, Perry!

* Monitors needed to track burrowing owl migration: For the fifth year in
a row, volunteer monitors are needed to help determine the routes and
winter destinations of the threatened burrowing owl. In past years,
Amateur Radio operators have listened for tracking transmitters attached
to the owls, which, as their name suggests, live in burrows in the ground
rather than in trees. These efforts have helped scientists determine that
owls hatching during summer months in the Canadian provinces of
Saskatchewan and Alberta travel over the central states from North Dakota
to Oklahoma and end up in southeastern Texas and northern Mexico. "They
sometimes fly over 2000 miles to their winter homes," says ARRL Amateur
Radio Direction Finding Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV. This fall the College
of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona is asking
hams to help track 53 transmitter-equipped owls from eastern Washington.
"If you live in the western USA and can receive 150-MHz signals, you could
help," Moell says. "Your scanner or extended-range hand-held Amateur Radio
transceiver plus an outside antenna are all you need to join in. If you
have radio-direction finding equipment for VHF, so much the better."
Moell's "Homing In" Web site <> has more
information on this monitoring project, including frequencies and
equipment and antenna suggestions. The site also tells how to join the
BIOTRACKERS mailing list for the latest updates and discussions of
wildlife-tracking topics.

* ARRL to sponsor legal seminar at Pacificon: The ARRL will sponsor a
Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar in conjunction with
Pacificon--the ARRL 2002 Pacific Division Convention. Pacificon takes
place October 18-20. The seminar is designed for practicing attorneys who
also serve as ARRL volunteer counsel, but it also is open to the general
public. The seminar will cover recent developments affecting regulation of
the Amateur Radio Service, including antennas, RFI, international
regulation and licensing and possible future developments. This
interesting and informative seminar will be held Friday, October 18, 2002,
9 AM until 1 PM, in the Sun Valley Room of the Airport Sheraton Hotel, 45
John Glenn Drive, Concord, CA 94527. Instructors will be ARRL General
Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, and longtime ARRL Volunteer Counsel Phil Kane,
K2ASP. Attending attorneys who pay the necessary fee will be eligible for
approximately four units of CLE credit. To insure adequate seating, notify
John Hennessee, N1KB, at ARRL HQ (; 860-594-0236; fax
860-594-0259) that you plan to attend. The cost for attorneys wishing CLE
credit is $50. For all others, the seminar fee is $10 for ARRL members and
$15 for non-members, payable before the seminar begins. The fee does not
include admission to Pacificon. Required course material is the ARRL book
Antenna Zoning for the Radio Amateur, available for $49.95 via the ARRL
on-line catalog <>;. For more
information about Pacificon, visit the Pacificon 2002 Web site

* Vote on QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the QST Cover Plaque Award
for September was Ian Poole, G3YWX, for his article "Understanding Solar
Indices." Congratulations, Ian! The winner of the QST Cover Plaque
award--given to the author of the best article in each issue--is
determined by a vote of ARRL members. Voting takes place each month on the
Cover Plaque Poll Web page
<>. There's still time to
cast a ballot for your favorite article in the October 2002 issue of QST.
Voting ends October 31.

* P5/4L4FN postpones plans to work teen hams: Because of poor propagation,
Ed Giorgadze, P5/4L4FN, in North Korea has put off plans to work operators
aged 16 or younger on October 5. "I was just informed by Ed that he has
absolutely no propagation stateside--or just about anywhere else--on 10
meters," said Bruce Paige, KK5DO, the P5/4L4FN QSL manager. "Sorry about
that, but we have no control over radio propagation." Paige says P5/4L4FN
will reschedule the event until later this month or sometime in November.
Giorgadze logged his 15,000th P5/4L4FN QSO on September 22. For more
information, visit the Houston AMSAT Net Web site
<> and click on "P5 North Korea."

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 at for
the latest news, updated as it happens. The ARRLWeb Extra at offers ARRL members access to
informative features and columns.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or
in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to
The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.

==>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!):
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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.

Much of the ARRL Letter content is also available in audio form in ARRL Audio News.

Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.

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