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FWD: The ARRL Letter, Vol 18, No 2

>Subject: The ARRL Letter, Vol 18, No 2
>Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 15:55:31 -0500 
>From: "ARRL Letter distribution list" <letter-dlvy@p1k.arrl.org>
>The ARRL Letter
>Vol. 18, No. 2
>January 8, 1999
>=>To subscribe, unsubscribe, or change your e-mail delivery address:
> see "How to Get The ARRL Letter," below
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>* +ISS ham gear inches closer to space
>* +ARRL Field Services, Educational Activities merge
>* +South Africa to launch satellite with ham package
>* +ARRL drops Spring VHF/UHF Sprints
>* +K9JF appointed Northwestern Division Vice Director
>*  Ham balloonist to sit out around-the-world trip
>*  Ham helps nab road-rage suspect
>*  Solar update
>*  IN BRIEF: This weekend on the radio; 
>*  Correction; Vanity update; FCC assigns 
>*  RM number to ARRL petition; Thomas departs 
>*  ARRL; JY1 completes cancer treatment; 
>*  New video includes 1935 ARRL HQ tour; 
>*  QST Cover Plaque Award
>+Available on ARRL Audio News
>The first Amateur Radio gear to be used on the International Space Station
>has moved a bit closer to its rocket ride into space. Although the
>inauguration of Amateur Radio aboard the International Space
>Station--ARISS--is at least a year away, the so-called Phase 1 ham gear is
>on a tight proveout and delivery schedule and is due at Kennedy Space Center
>in Florida by January 20.
>Delays in the ISS program have put off the first crew deployment until next
>January. The first crew will consist of US astronaut William M. Shepherd, as
>the expedition commander. Shepherd is studying for his ham ticket.
>Accompanying him will be Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei
>Krikalev, U5MIR. All three have previous space flight experience. The crew
>has been training for their launch on a Soyuz vehicle and a planned
>five-month mission on the ISS.
>The interim ISS ham gear package will consist of Ericsson 2-meter and 70-cm
>hand-held transceivers set up for FM voice and packet operation, plus power
>supplies, cables, and accessories. Ericsson donated the commercial
>transceivers for the project, while the Italian ARISS team is providing the
>external antennas.
>At this point, the equipment and accessories have been checked out in an
>end-to-end integration. Additionally, the transceivers have undergone EMI
>testing to ensure that they will not cause problems for other ISS onboard
>equipment. The radios also still must be programmed and labeled in
>accordance with NASA procedures and protocols for space flight. AMSAT
>members who happen to work for NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center have been
>doing the EMI testing.
>Preparing to carry Amateur Radio gear for use aboard the ISS involves
>careful attention to detail all along the way. Crew safety is the primary
>consideration, but cost and crew time--and aggravation--also are important.
>"Because of the high cost of space travel, it's critical that hardware be
>thoroughly tested and documented," said Will Marchant, KC6ROL, AMSAT's human
>spaceflight hardware manager. "Flight crews frustrated by buggy hardware are
>also less likely to want to participate in Amateur Radio operations." 
>The qualification process also requires multiple versions of the same
>equipment. In this case, six complete hardware systems will be fabricated
>and configured. The complement includes one flight system, a flight spare,
>systems for training both in the US and in Russia, one for development and
>testing, and one spare. 
>ARRL Educational Services Manager Rosalie White, WA1STO, a member of the
>Space Amateur Radio EXperiment (SAREX) Working Group, said she was pleased
>that NASA was taking no chances during the qualification testing of the ham
>gear. "I think it's great that they're taking the time to do a detailed
>examination," she said. 
>Getting Amateur Radio a permanent berth in space aboard the ISS has involved
>efforts in several countries. The primary players include the US, Russia,
>the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan. "The ARISS team is truly
>an international, democratic, organization and is cooperating to provide
>human spaceflight Amateur Radio operations to the entire ham community well
>into the next decade," said Marchant.
>Amateur Radio has been manifested aboard the ISS as "necessary crew
>equipment." The cost of providing just the interim Phase 1 amateur gear for
>use aboard the ISS is expected to exceed $60,000. The total cost of putting
>Amateur Radio aboard the ISS is expected to approach $700,000, with funds
>coming from the ARRL and AMSAT as well as from NASA.
>Still unclear at this point are the actual frequencies and the call signs
>the crew will use from the ISS. The ultimate ISS ham radio complement--Phase
>3--will include equipment to operate from HF through the microwave bands
>with SSB, CW, FM, packet, ATV, compressed ATV, and SSTV capabilities. The
>German team will supply a digitalker and full duplex repeater. Once aboard
>the ISS, Amateur Radio will serve as an educational tool through worldwide
>school contacts and as an outreach to the general public.
>The sound of moving furniture, books, and equipment punctuated the holiday
>season at League headquarters as two ARRL departments prepared to merge into
>one entity. Effective January 4, the Field Services and Educational
>Activities departments consolidated to become Field and Educational Services
>ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, explained that the new
>department brings together staff members with similar missions and
>functions--primarily supporting ARRL volunteers who, in turn, support ARRL
>objectives and promote ham radio on a local and regional level. Working
>within a single department, Sumner said, HQ staffers could more easily share
>expertise, ideas, and resources. The move also was designed to reduce
>expenses in the face of a decline in both ARRL membership and overall
>Amateur Radio licensing and activity over the past year or so.
>"The primary reason is efficiency," Field Services Manager Rick Palm, K1CE,
>explained in a letter to ARRL section managers. Palm will continue as the
>main contact person for section managers. He will focus on representing the
>League to the outside agencies it serves and on promoting and supporting the
>field organization. 
>Former Educational Activities Department Manager Rosalie White, WA1STO, has
>assumed the title of Educational Services Manager. She will oversee
>day-to-day operation of the combined department and will continue as the
>primary staff contact for Amateur Radio in space issues. "We expect the
>greater efficiency of the combined departments to benefit our members by
>putting related resources in the same place," White said of the move.
>To accommodate the change, employees from the former Educational Activities
>Department moved into quarters adjacent to the former Field Services
>Department, trading places with the ARRL Book Team headed by Joel Kleinman,
>N1BKE. Now that the two departments are in the same location, staff members
>have begun to settle in and work as a team. Telephone and e-mail addresses
>for individual staff members remain the same.
>South Africa will launch its first satellite, SUNSAT, January 14 from
>Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The satellite will carry an Amateur
>Radio package, a high-resolution imager, precision attitude control, and
>school experiments as well as other payloads, including NASA experiments.
>SUNSAT was built by students at the University of Stellenbosch, and its name
>is an acronym for Stellenbosch UNniversity SATellite. 
>Professor Garth W. Milne, ZR1AFH, heads the SUNSAT team, which has been in
>the US for several weeks preparing the satellite for launch aboard a Delta
>II rocket. The launch had been planned for today, but it was rescheduled.
>SUNSAT will piggyback on the Advanced Research and Global Observation
>Satellite (ARGOS) built by Boeing. The ARGOS carries nine high-tech
>experiments that Boeing says "will demonstrate next-generation satellite
>Members of the Satellite Amateur Radio Club will be involved in control and
>monitoring of the satellite immediately after it's deployed. Eric Lemmon,
>WB6FLY, and Paul Fee, N6YCC, both of SARC, are on the Boeing Delta II launch
>crew. Lemmon says it's a matter of history repeating itself. "The Satellite
>Amateur Radio Club was founded more than 30 years ago for the express
>purpose of supporting the launch of OSCAR-1, the first Amateur Radio
>satellite," he said.
>The satellite will have digital store-and-forward capability on VHF or UHF.
>Telemetry beacons will be on 436.25 or 436.30 MHz. SUNSAT also will have a
>voice store-and-forward capability that will be used for school
>demonstrations, according to SUNSAT team member Jan Koekemoer. He says the
>satellite carries two VHF and two UHF transmit and receive systems to
>maximize flexibility.
>For more information on SUNSAT, visit http://sunsat.ee.sun.ac.za.
>The launch will be carried live on shortwave and on various Amateur Radio
>frequencies by ZS6SRL. The shortwave broadcast will air January 14 1000
>until 1130 UTC. on 31 meters (9525 kHz), 16 meters, (17870 kHz), and 13
>meters (21530 kHz). The transmission will carry background interviews and
>live coverage from the launch site. QSL to SARL, PO Box 1942, Hillcrest 3650
>South Africa; e-mail sarlnews@intekom.co.za.
>The VHF/UHF Spring Sprints--traditionally held during April and May--have
>been dropped from the ARRL contest schedule. ARRL Contest Branch Manager Dan
>Henderson, N1ND, cites a lack of participation for the change.
>"Participation in the VHF/UHF Spring Sprints has never reached the level of
>a healthy national event," he said. "In 1998 only 200 individuals submitted
>logs spread across the seven frequency bands covered by the Sprints." 
>Henderson said budgetary constraints were another factor. "With the soaring
>costs and limited space available in QST and NCJ, the 1998 Sprint results
>were moved and made available to all on ARRLWeb,"" Henderson said. "We hate
>to drop the contest and would be willing to work with another group who
>would like to pick up sponsorship and running the sprints." But he said the
>League could not justify a decision to continue to devote staff time to a
>small event when it already sponsors several other more significant VHF/UHF
>Many VHF/UHF events remain on the ARRL Contest schedule. These include the
>January VHF Sweepstakes, the June VHF QSO party, the August UHF Contest, and
>the September VHF QSO Party, plus two 10 GHz And Up weekends in August and
>September and the popular EME contest weekends each fall. Also, Field Day
>offers opportunities for VHF/UHF participation, Henderson pointed out.
>For more information contact, Dan Henderson, N1ND, ARRL, 225 Main St,
>Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0232; e-mail n1nd@arrl.org.
>James E. Fenstermaker, K9JF, of Vancouver, Washington, is the new
>Northwestern Division Vice Director. ARRL President Rod Stafford, W6ROD,
>announced the appointment January 6, following the recommendation of
>Northwestern Division Director Greg Milnes, W7AGQ, and certification of
>eligibility by the Election Committee. 
>Fenstermaker, 53, fills the position left vacant when Milnes, the former
>vice director, succeeded Mary Lou Brown, NM7N, as director. Brown died
>suddenly December 3. Fenstermaker's term expires January 1, 2001.
>"I am excited to have the opportunity to serve the US Amateur Radio
>community as the Northwestern Division Vice Director," Fenstermaker said. 
>A ham since 1959, Fenstermaker was first licensed as KN9TZH. A DX
>enthusiast, he's also operated as DL5JF, OJ0SUF, and VP2V/K9JF. He's on the
>DXCC Honor Roll with 354 countries, 5BWAZ, 5BDXCC, and 160 Meter DXCC, as
>well as numerous contest honors. He's past president of the Clark County
>Amateur Radio Club and the Willamette Valley DX Club.
>On the professional side, Fenstermaker is director of business services for
>the Parkrose School District in Portland, Oregon. He's a graduate of
>Anderson University and Indiana University and holds an accounting
>certificate from Portland State University.
>Fenstermaker hopes to attend his first ARRL Board meeting in Houston, Texas,
>January 15-16. Members may contact him via e-mail at k9jf@arrl.org.
>Bob Martin, KC5LHL, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, will sit out an
>around-the-world balloon attempt that he was instrumental in planning.
>Martin, a TV science reporter and helicopter pilot, said this week that he
>will stay behind when the Team ReMax balloon leaves Earth. The team had
>planned to make some use of Amateur Radio during its effort to circle the
>Unlike previous attempts, the Team ReMax balloon will travel near the outer
>edges of the earth's atmosphere at an altitude of approximately 24 miles.
>Martin told reporters that he originally felt the team could fly the mission
>safely with three people aboard. However, it was later determined that the
>balloon will need to carry additional ballast aboard to safely reach its
>cruising altitude, so one of the three crew members had to remain behind.
>Martin, who has worked on the project for more than a decade, elected to be
>the one.
>The launch from Australia has been delayed by weather and technical
>problems. Still planning to make the attempt are Denver real estate
>developer Dave Liniger and Australian co-pilot John Wallington. The team has
>until approximately January 20 to take advantage of the right wind patterns.
>The voyagers will ride in a pressurized capsule suspended beneath the huge
>balloon. The crew is equipped with spacesuits from Russia. The trip is
>expected to take up to three weeks.
>For more information on the flight, see http://www.remax.com.
>A California ham was instrumental in helping police to nab an angry motorist
>who had seriously injured another motorist after being cut off on the
>freeway in mid-December. 
>According to an account in The Orange County Register, the angry driver
>followed the other driver for miles "before confronting him on a busy city
>street, shoving him under an accelerating big rig, and kicking him even
>after he had been run over." The account says that the angry driver and his
>two co-workers drove off. But they were caught later in the morning when Ed
>Greany, KB6DOL, of Corona, heard a broadcast description of the vehicle and
>then saw the men pass by. He notified police via ham radio, and they
>arrested Richard Snyder, 28 and two others on suspicion of attempted murder.
>The newspaper said Snyder had a string of previous convictions, and his
>license had been suspended. The injured motorist was reported in serious
>According to the FCC database, the Greany household includes three hams:
>Roberta Greany, KC6AEP, and Michael Greany, KE6RDT. All are ARRL
>members.--thanks to Charlie Clifford Jr, W6QMY
>Sun watcher Tad Cook, K7VVV, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar activity
>was down this week--no surprise, since on one day the previous week the
>solar flux reached a new high for the current cycle. But the drop in solar
>was quicker than expected. Our last bulletin projected flux values above 150
>until January 12, but January 4-7 flux values were 146.9, 136.5, 125.8, and
>115.1. This represents a drop in flux values of nearly 70 points in a little
>over a week.
>For this weekend, the projected flux values for January 8-10 are 115, 120
>and 120, with a planetary A index of 12, 12 and 8. At least while solar
>activity has been dropping, there haven't been any disturbed days from solar
>flares or coronal holes.
>Beyond this weekend look for a rising solar flux, going above 130 by January
>16 and to 150 around January 20. Conditions are currently expected to peak
>around January 24 or 25 with solar flux under 155. This will be 27 days, or
>one complete rotation of the sun after the recent high in solar flux for
>this cycle.
>This week had some interesting VHF news. N5JHV in New Mexico worked several
>VK2 stations on 6 meters on January 2 after a long opening to the west coast
>of Mexico. On the same day CO2OJ worked a number of US stations on the same
>Sunspot numbers for December 24 through 30 were 93, 84, 100, 156, 177, 136,
>and 186, with a mean of 133.1. The 10.7-cm flux was 139.4, 144.4, 144.9,
>166.8, 184.4, 182.8, and 179, with a mean of 163.1. The estimated planetary
>A indices were 3, 11, 16, 3, 5, 16 and 6, with a mean of 8.6.
>Sunspot numbers for December 31 through January 6 were 135, 121, 107, 113,
>94, 87 and 70 with a mean of 103.9. The 10.7-cm flux was 174.6, 167.2,
>160.1, 154.5, 146.9, 136.5 and 125.8, with a mean of 152.2. The estimated
>planetary A indices were 3, 5, 7, 4, 7, 8 and 9, with a mean of 6.1.
>Here are some path projections to Japan for the JA International DX CW
>From Seattle: Check 80 meters around 0600-1800 UTC, with best conditions
>around 0830-1000 UTC. 40 meters should be good from 0600-1900 UTC. Check 20
>meters from 2100-0130 UTC, and 15 meters from 2230-0030 UTC. The best bet
>for 10 meters is 2300-2330 UTC.
>From Los Angeles: Check 80 meters around 0700-1600 UTC, 40 meters at
>0530-1700, 20 meters at 2100-0300 UTC, 15 meters from 2200-0130 UTC, and 10
>meters around 2230-0030 UTC.
>From the mid-US: 80 meters looks good from 0730-1430 UTC, 40 meters around
>0630-1530 UTC, 20 meters from 2100-0030 UTC, and 10 and 15 meters around
>2230 UTC.
>From Texas: 80 meters should open 0730-1400 UTC, 40 meters around 0700-1500
>UTC, 20 meters at 2100-0100 UTC, and 15 meters around 2200-2330 UTC.
>From Ohio: check 80 meters at 0700-1400 UTC, 40 meters at 0630-1500 UTC, 20
>meters around 1530-1730 UTC and 2100-2300 UTC, and 15 meters around 2200
>From Boston: 80 meters should be open 0730-1300 UTC, 40 meters at 2030-2300
>UTC and 0630-1430 UTC, and 20 meters around 1530-1700 UTC and 2100-2200 UTC.
>* This weekend on the radio: The Japan International DX Contest (CW), Meet
>The Novices and Technicians Day, Hunting Lions in the Air Contest, the QRP
>ARCI Winter Fireside SSB Sprint, and the North American QSO Party (CW) all
>are on tap for this weekend. Just ahead: The North American QSO Party (SSB)
>is January 15-17. See January 1999 QST, page 84, for details.
>* Correction: The story "Educators 'Go the Grant Route' to Fund School Ham
>Stations, Programs" in The ARRL Letter, Vol 17, No 49 (Dec 11, 1998),
>misstated the location of Pajaro Middle School. The school is in Monterey
>County, California.
>* Vanity update: The FCC in Gettysburg is working its way through the last
>of the 1998 vanity applications. The FCC reported January 8 that it had
>processed applications received through December 18. In the latest
>processing run, it granted 210 applications and shunted another 205 into the
>work-in-process or WIPs stack. The FCC says it received 1465 vanity
>applications during December.--FCC
>* FCC assigns RM number to ARRL petition: The FCC has assigned a rulemaking
>petition ("RM") number to the League's petition for low-frequency
>allocations at 136 kHz and 160-190 kHz. The number is RM-9404. Those
>commenting on the petition should refer to this number when filing comments
>with the FCC. Among those commenting to date is Texas Instruments, which
>markets RF identification products such as the Mobil SpeedPass that operate
>in the 121-134.2 kHz range. 
>* Thomas departs ARRL: Brad Thomas, KC1EX, has resigned as ARRL Advertising
>Manager to accept a new position with another publisher. Thomas had served
>as the League's advertising manager for nine years and was a familiar face
>at hamfests and conventions across the US. We wish him good luck in his
>future endeavors.
>* JY1 completes cancer treatment: Jordan's King Hussein, JY1, left
>Minnesota's Mayo Clinic December 29 after months of cancer treatment.
>Jordanian officials said the treatments for the 63-year-old monarch were
>successful. Hussein was expected to spend a few days at his home in the DC
>suburbs before flying to London. Press accounts indicate that Hussein
>underwent six rounds of chemotherapy since last summer to treat non-Hodgkins
>lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic glands. Hussein took time from his
>treatments to help engineer the Wye Plantation agreement between Israel and
>the Palestinians. JY1 has been heard on the air several times during his
>stay in the US, mostly on 20 meters.--Newark Star Ledger/This Week in
>Amateur Radio via The Hudson Loop
>* New video includes 1935 ARRL HQ tour: Nostalgia buffs will certainly enjoy
>watching a 1935 tour of ARRL Headquarters--narrated by retired ARRL staffer
>George Hart, W1NJM, and included in the latest League video, Volume 9:
>Amateur Radio History. Also included are segments produced by the Antique
>Wireless Association about the early days of Amateur Radio. Relive the 1921
>transatlantic tests and see 1BCG--one of the earliest Amateur Radio
>stations. Maj Edwin Howard Armstrong, inventor and Amateur Radio pioneer, is
>depicted in slides with a commentary. All videos are $12. To order, contact
>Margie Bourgoin, KB1DCO, 860-594-0267, e-mail mbourgoin@arrl.org, or write
>her at ARRL EAD, 225 Main St, Newington CT 06111.
>* QST Cover Plaque Award: Joel Thurtell, K8PSV, is the winner of the
>November 1998 QST Cover Plaque Award for his article "Zenith's
>'One-and-Only' Ham Receiver." Congratulations, Joel!
>The ARRL Letter is published Fridays, 50 times each year, by the American
>Radio Relay League, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111; tel 860-594-0200; fax
>860-594-0259. Rodney J. Stafford, W6ROD, President; David Sumner, K1ZZ,
>Executive Vice President. 
>Delivery problems (ARRL member direct delivery only!): letter-dlvy@arrl.org
>Editorial, Rick Lindquist, N1RL, e-mail elindquist@arrl.org.
>Visit ARRLWeb at http://www.arrl.org.
>The purpose of The ARRL Letter is to provide essential news of interest to
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