Site Map

[EMARC]

Volume 26, Number 12 December, 1996

Copyright © 1996 by EMARC

----------

DECEMBER MEETING

AMATEUR RADIO REPEATERS

At the meeting December 13, Take a tour of Palo Alto's 145.230 repeater. Find out what makes repeaters work, what the legal/political constraints are involved in setting up a repeater in the Bay Area. See close-up pictures of the 523 hardware, understand why when PG&E goes down the repeater still operates. How does the S meter operate? The digital voice recorder? This slide-illustrated talk is the next best thing to an actual site tour. In a way it is even better, as many of the covers of the hardware have been removed to facilitate photography. This inside view is not possible on the operating repeater.

Our speaker will be W6APZ, Rich Stiebel, the repeater trustee, who worked for Space Systems/Loral for 27 years prior to his retirement. He has earned his BSEE from Illinois Institute of Technology and an MSEE from San Jose State University and holds an extra class ham license. He has been involved in the SPARK repeater since the first sanction was obtained to operate on 146.73 MHz. Rich participated in preparing the licensing documentation for the original WR6AIS repeater, the building of the prior repeater hardware years before he became trustee as well as building, upgrading, maintaining, and repairing the present repeater.

While normally the free autodial codes are handled by mail only via the P. O. Box ( address: 523 Repeater, P.O. Box 391288, Mt. View, CA 94039-391288) and require a self-addressed-stamped-envelope (SASE) and a copy of your ham license) you will be able to save $0.32 by bringing a copy of your ham license to the meeting and exchanging it for a copy of the autodial codes.

Everything you always wanted to know about the 523 repeater but did not know whom to ask will be addressed at this meeting. After the presentation, questions will be answered. You will come away with a better under-standing of this interesting and challenging aspect of amateur radio.

    de Rich, W6APZ

EMARC Holiday Banquet

The banquet will be held at The Blue Pheasant on Sunday evening, January 12, 1997, starting at 6:00 p.m. Cost per person (complete dinner as usual, with wine for each table) will be $25.00, and there will be a no-host bar.

Please fill out the form on the last page and get it in early. The more people we have confirmed early, the easier it is to make final arrangements.

NEW CLUB OFFICERS

The EMARC club officers for 1997 are:

President		Mikel Lechner, KN6QI
Vice President		(Open)
Secretary		(Open)
Treasurer		Shel Edelman, N6RD
Radio Officer		(Open)
Training Officer	Bill Ogilvie, KQ6FY
Newsletter Editor	David Wilkes, KD6WRG
Directors		Dick Baldwinson, N6ATD
			Herb Davidson,  KF6BKL
			Martin Liberman, KD6WJW
			Alan Margot,  W6FZA
			Hans Neumann, KE6TGA
			Eddie Quinn, KE6YPI

Just about every culture has a holiday at this time of year. There are at least five among our membership. In order to include everyone:

Happy Holidays

EMARC announcement mailing list is moderated, so you cannot reply directly to the list. To subscribe, send the word "subscribe" to: emarc-request@ham.yak.net; For help, send the word "help" to majordomo@ham.yak.net; For human assistance, email to: human@ham.yak.net.

The EMARC Relay is the official monthly newsletter of the Electronics Museum Amateur Radio Club. Club meetings are held at 7 PM on the fourth Friday of each month except January (Winter Banquet); and 3rd Friday in June, Nov. & Dec. Annual membership $20; family $25. Visitors are always welcome! Directions on the back page. Talk-in: W6APZ (145.23-, 100Hz) or W6ASH repeater (145.27- or 224.36-).

Contributions to the newsletter from members, family, and guests are earnestly solicited! Contributions subject to editing and/or compression. ASCII files via packet, Internet or diskettes preferred; but all readable forms welcome. Here are the various ways to reach the editor:

    Packet: KD6WRG@N0ARY.#NOCAL.CA
    Internet: dwilkes@svpal.org
    AOL: davewilkes
    VHF voice: KD6WRG on W6APZ, 145.23- (100Hz PL) 10AM net weekdays; EMARC net Thursdays 8 PM; Various other times.
    Mail: 1093 Kelly Drive, San Jose CA 95129-3222
    Voice: 408-996-1613 (Until 9 PM); Fax: 408-725-1036
    Eyeball: at EMARC meetings.
I don't care who you are wise guy. You are messing up the SWR of my vertical and your reindeer are tangled in the groundplane. Get off my roof!

EMARC BADGES

    NEED A BADGE?
    New member or old member...
    For a new or replacement EMARC badge,
    Contact Shel N6RD

SECRETARY'S REPORT

The EMARC Board of Director's meeting was held at Shel's on Wednesday night, Dec. 4. Present were: Mikel, KN6QI; Shel, N6RD; Bill KQ6FY; Dave, KD6WRG, Hans, KE6TGA; and Martin, KD6WRG.

The first item on the agenda was what to do about EMARC's lack of a Vice President for 1997. This position is very important to the survival of the club because, without a good program the membership could loose interest and the club would fall apart. Mikel, as president, suggested that we form a committee in place of the Vice president, to continue the club's programs and speaker engagements. Several suggestions were made about potential speakers, and how to contact them.

The second item on the agenda was the club banquet. A speaker has still not been selected for the banquet, but it was expected that one would be found in time for the Dec. Relay. A motion was brought to approve the expense of $400.00 for Banquet door prizes. This was approved unanimously. Shel, N6RD gave a brief report on the club's bank balance and it was agreed that EMARC was in good shape financially.

The last item on the agenda was a discussion of the club's goals and calendar for the first part of the new year. It was decided to have an informal board meeting, to welcome new board members and club executives, on January 29.

This will be my last reporting of the BOD minutes on this go-around. Next year I will be the club training officer and will likely regret taking on so demanding a task. Steve Whitt, KE6YQP has done an excellent job in the past year; introducing over 50 people to Amateur Radio. My goal is to offer a more leisurely course format, stretched out over several weeks; so that the students can get exposed to more of the history and culture of Amateur Radio. This will also make it possible to include Morse code instruction. Any suggestions, or offers of help would be appreciated.

    de KQ6FY, Bill Ogilvie

EMARC Calendar of Events

Regularly-scheduled events:

EMARC Monthly Meeting: Fourth Friday of the month (except for possible changes in June, Nov. & Dec.) at 7 PM; Business Meeting, 7:30 PM; Program starts 8 PM. At the Covington School in Los Altos; directions on last page. See specific date listings above . EMARC events are also listed on packet (to EMARC@allscv); on the N0ARY event bulletin board (type EVENT or List Clubs); and on the automatic enunciator on the W6APZ repeater (145.23-). Note: The 4th Friday is not necessarily the last Friday.

The Station Open House program for 1996 is expanding! Omri, AA6TA, will host open houses on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 PM local time on an "as available" basis. The emphasis in the Tuesday open houses will be satellite operations and HF digital modes (RTTY, AMTOR, etc.). Please check with Omri (he is available virtually anytime on the W6APZ repeater, 145.230-, 100PL before coming. The Wednesday open houses, typically hosted by Bob, KD6VIO. The station open houses are for EMARC members and their invited guests only. Please do not discuss on the air the exact location of the station.

EMARC NET is held Thursdays at 8 PM on the W6APZ repeater, 145.230-; the 100 Hz PL is off for the net.

9 AM net. Weekdays at 9 AM on W6APZ, 145.23- (100Hz PL). A very informal rag chew net with mostly EMARC members. This used to be the 10 AM net.

Foothill Flea Market: 2nd Saturday (starts pre-dawn), March thru September. Bring 4 quarters for the parking meters. At Foothill College, just west of I-280 at the El Monte/Moody Rd. exit in Los Altos. Talk-in: 145.27-

Project OSCAR meets following each Foothill Flea Market about 11 AM at Harry's Hofbrau in Mt. View, 399 El Camino Real at Bonita St., north of Grant and south of Castro, on the west side of the street.
No formal program - just get to know each other and (if you wish) have lunch together

PS There is a Project OSCAR / AMSAT net every Wednesday evening at 19:30 local time on the W6APZ repeater, 145.230-, 100 Hz PL. All hams welcome - you do not need to be active on the satellites to participate.

Livermore Flea Market: 1st Sunday (starts 7 AM) year round, rain or shine. At Las Positas College, Airway Blvd. exit off I-580 just west of Livermore. Talk-in 147.120+ or 145.35-(100Hz PL). Parking is free.

The NorCal QRP Club meets following the Livermore flea market at 11 AM at the California Burger in Pleasanton, about. 2 miles from the flea market.

10-10 Net. The local net for 10 meters enthusiasts meets every Monday at 8 PM on 28.475 MHz; net control: Neal, WA6OCP.

[Advertisement]

DeLong Consulting
Internet - Firewalls - EMail - UNIX

Bridging the gap - Your net <--> Internet

Owen DeLong
Consultant

3251 Firth Way, San Jose, CA 95121
408-322-3741 - Fax: 408-532-9362
Email: Owen@DeLong.COM

[Advertisement]

Fee-only
Investment Services
(No Commissions)

14 Years Industry Experience
Individuals, Trusts, Retirement Plans
No-Load Mutual Funds
Personal Account Statements
Peter W. Johnson, Jr., PFP (KN6MO)
Registered Investment Advisor
408-747-1222

www.greenjungle.com


ARRL PACIFIC DIVISION

ARRL PACIFIC DIVISION UPDATE
DECEMBER, 1996

by Brad Wyatt, K6WR, Director
Pacific Division, ARRL
18400 Overlook Rd. #5
Los Gatos CA 95030-5850
(408) 395-2501 (Phone and FAX)
Packet: K6WR@N0ARY.#NOCAL.CA
Internet: K6WR@arrl.org
Web: www.pdarrl.org/

Pacificon'96 a Great Success:-

Pacificon'96 is now history. The award highlights included the 1995 Field Organization Volunteer of the Year for 1995 to Jim McCauley, AB6EU, and for 1996 to Randy Foutch, KE6HCI; 1996 QST Cover Plaque Awards to Patty Winter, N6BIS, and Dave Hersberger, W9GR. There were sessions updating us on Washington DC developments, antenna classes and meetings for ARRL Volunteer Counsels. The vendor exhibitions were always jammed. Pacificon'96 was produced by the Mount Diablo ARC. Thanks to Dick Brown, KT6X, and Greg Estep, KE6VTA, co-chairs, and their team for a great convention! See you in 1997 at Pacificon'97 in Concord - October 17-19, 1997!

New RF Safety Rules Effective Jan. 1, 1997:-

As has been reported widely, new RF safety rules go into effect for US hams effective Jan. 1, 1997. Thus far little information has been released which provides guidance to the amateur community regarding exactly what must be done to comply with the new regulations. The FCC stated in its Order, announcing the new rule, that a revised version of FCC OET Document 65 would be released well before the first of the year, and that it would contain guidelines suitable for amateur use. Unfortunately, that revised OET Document 65 has been slow in coming. A preliminary revision was released for review in late September, but it provided little explicit guidance for the amateur. Because the deadline is rapidly approaching, the ARRL Board of Directors, at their meeting in late October (see details below), asked that the FCC be petitioned to delay the implementation date by one year. Meanwhile, as the FCC considers the request for delay (which was also requested by commercial interests), the ARRL, together with a group of volunteer experts, is working with the FCC to expand and improve the Document 65 coverage for hams. There will be a summary report in January QST. For more information, see Oct. 1996 QST, page 9, for the K1ZZ editorial, and pages 78 et seq. for details on the Docket. See also Pacific Div. Update for Nov. 1996 and QST for Dec. 1996. The text of this Docket can be found on the FCC web site at www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineering_Technology/Orders/fcc96326.txt. Also, see the ARRL WWW site at www.arrl.org/news/rfsafety/ for current information.

TAPR Receives FCC Approval for Spread Spectrum STA:-

The Tucson Amateur Packet Radio Assoc. (TAPR) received approval from FCC in early November to begin experiments with Spread Spectrum techniques, on a non-interference basis, on bands from 50 MHz and up including 219 MHz. Essentially, the rules are the same as the existing K6KGS Spread Spectrum STA. The details on experiments to be performed as to timing, frequency bands, and geographic locations are being developed.

ARRL Board Actions at the Oct. 24 and 26 Meeting:-

On ET Docket 93-62, the RF safety docket (see above), the Board of Directors directed staff to seek an extension of the compliance date to January 1, 1998. The request has been submitted. Responding to the continuing problem of minimal FCC enforcement activity, the ARRL will petition the FCC to create procedures to allow submission of private sector complaints of serious rule violations directly to the FCC's Chief Administrative Law Judge, hurdling bureau processing delays.

ARRL President Rodney Stafford, KB6ZV, was authorized to sign a formal agreement with the National Frequency Coordinators' Council, effecting the so-called single point of contact concept. In view of the congressional mandate imposed on the FCC to auction the 2305-2320 MHz band for commercial purposes, ARRL will seek an increase in the amateur service allocation status, from secondary to primary, in the remaining 2300-2305 MHz Amateur segment.

Effective July 1, 1997, ARRL dues of Full and Associate Members will increase to 34 dollars annually. The senior dues rate will be increased to 28 dollars. This action was required by overall increased costs.

The Board directed staff to inform the FCC that the ARRL supported the TAPR Spread Spectrum STA then before the FCC for approval. Many other significant actions were taken, but are not reported here due to space limitations in this Update. A full report will appear in January QST.

Vanity Calls Extra Class Gate 2 Opened Sept. 23:-

Gate 2 for Extra Class opened on Sept. 23, 1996. Approximately 4,500 calls were issued on Nov. 5, 1996. The calls issued for Pacific Division hams should appear on the Pacific Division Website (www.pdarrl.org) shortly. ARRL has established a one-stop vanity call sign page at www.arrl.org/fcc/vanity.html.

For those receiving new calls, the ARRL/QST membership records will be updated automatically. To obtain new official ARRL appointee call-sign badges for your new call, send a photocopy of your current call-sign badge with the new call information to your badge engraver. They are receiving instructions from HQ to make new badges with-out the usual forms. Special VE badges will be replaced in accordance with the procedure that has already been sent to all ARRL VEs.

Five (5) VHF, UHF and Microwave Bands Are Now Under Active Challenge:-

2m/70cm Band Threats:-

The site of this continuing struggle shifted to Geneva for WRC97 preparation meetings of delegations from all over the world from Oct. 29 to Nov. 8. It appears that the Little LEO folks have garnered some support from some of the U. S. delegates. An example, Warren Richards of U. S. State Dept., was seated as Chief U. S. Delegate, in a surprise move, to Working Party 8 D (remember him from the email campaign in July) and made a plea for added spectrum below 1 GHz for Little LEO. In the spirited discussion among delegates from many countries which followed, there was agreement and disagreement. It is clear that the discussions will continue in 1997. It should also be noted that the Little LEO folks have a satellite to be launched in 1996 to collect data to use in their study of frequency sharing possibilities below 1 GHz. They were able to obtain permission to submit data from this satellite at two key meetings in 1997 bypassing this round of meetings. ARRL and IARU are working hard to learn more about this satellite and its capabilities. We are not safe from this threat!!! So WHAT do we do now?

  1. Monitor the progress of this unfolding drama!

    For the latest news on this volatile issue, read QST, ARRL Letter, Pacific Division Updates in hard copy. Read ARRL Letter, Pacific Division Updates on email; visit Pacific Division WWW site. Visit the ARRL home page at www.arrl.org and select "Band Threat News."

  2. Join ARRL!

    The ARRL is the only effective national organization fighting for YOUR 2 meter and 70 cm. hand held operating privileges. It is easy to join and help us win this battle to preserve our privileges.

  3. Contribute to the Fund for the Defense of Amateur Radio Frequencies! (See page 76 of October QST for all the details.)

  4. Then write. Right now--and continue through 1997!

    Comments by email should be sent to: wrc97@fcc.gov. Hard copy written comments, with an original plus one copy, should be sent to: Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC 20554. Each comment should include at the top, "Reference No. ISP-96-005" and "Advisory Committee Informal Working Group 2A." We must keep up this activity consistently through 1997. Unfortunately, the prediction of an attempted end-run of the preparatory process seems possible. We won't be able to breathe easily about WRC-97 issues until the final gavel, more than 12 months from now.

    1296 MHz Band Threat --

    There may be a ray of hope -- in a recent series of government meetings it appears that in addition to the originally proposed 1258.29 MHz frequency another powerful group favors 1207.14 MHz and yet another powerful group favors 1309.7 MHz. A decision was due by Oct. 31, but, unfortunately, there is no further news to report as this issue is being written in mid November. We must always remember, however, that amateur radio is secondary to radiolocation and navigation systems in the 23 cm band.

    2300-2310 and 2400 MHz Band Threats --

    At the last minute before Congress adjourned, Congress passed and the President signed Public Law 104-208 to authorize the placing of 2305-2310 MHz of the Amateur Band plus other spectrum into the spectrum pool for auction to finance the 1997 Federal spending plan. This action is the first time Congress has involved itself in the specifics of frequencies to be auctioned. Many on the Hill expressed verbally and in writing that this was a bad precedent and violated various "rules" of legislation. While it is not likely that Congress, for political reasons, will reverse what was done in the closing days on this matter, the ARRL is still exploring what can be done. As noted in the Nov. Update, there are other threats to these bands, but there is no significant additional news to report.

    5800 MHz Band Threat --

    This threat is by NPRM ET Docket 96-102, based on the petitions from Apple Computer and WINForum, to grant access to the Amateur Radio Spectrum from 5725-5875 MHz band for the NII/SUPERNET proposal for free spectrum for very high data rate LANs and other activities for schools, libraries, hospitals. ARRL and many other Comments opposing the NPRM were filed on July 15, 1996, and were followed up by opposing Reply Comments on Aug. 14, 1996. It is very unclear what will happen in this NPRM as the FCC Commissioners want to grant something to this service, but how far they will go is unknown. Further, this matter is apparently linked to the Telecommunications Act concept of Universal Service -- a very difficult subject involving all aspects of the Telecommunications industry.

    AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLINE

    POLICE JAMMER GOES TO JAIL

    A ham who jammed police communications is now sitting behind prison bars. Bobby Lee Aguero, KE6VNU, who called himself "The Phantom" while interfering with police communications, was sentenced to jail for 120 days and fined over $1400 by a Placer County California Municipal Court on Friday, November 1st.

    Aguero is a Sacramento area radio amateur who admitted in a plea bargain to having interfered with Roseville, California Police communications. He also allegedly interfered with police communication at a ham radio convention in Seaside, Oregon on June 2nd.

    In the California plea bargain agreement, Aguero pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of the Placer County Penal Code on August 26th. These included interfering with communications, delaying a police officer, and destroying evidence.

    In sentencing Aguero, the judge considered the Parole Department concerns that Aguero showed little or no remorse regarding his offenses. The judge denied a defense request for electronic ankle bracelet monitoring of the defendant citing the Aguero's ability to utilize and alter electronic equipment. And despite a defense counsel request, the judge ordered that the time served be immediate and continuous. He also denied Friday through Sunday jail time in spite of the defendants current school schedule.

    Aguero was also ordered to continue rehabilitation by the probation department This means he prohibited from owning a radio transmitter or scanner or having one in his presence. He is also prohibited from being within fifty feet of any radio capable of transmitting signals. Failure to comply with the probationary terms would subject Aguero to an additional year in jail.

    Local hams familiar with the case were present at the sentencing. Some had presented the presiding judge with background information regarding the defendants behavior in the Amateur Radio community. One ham, a former prosecuting attorney, actually submitted a letter to the judge. It reportedly detailed Aguero's attitude and activity exhibited on the local VHF amateur frequencies. Observers say that Aguero left the courtroom with a grimace and in tears to began his 68 days in jail.

    Aguero's sentence of 120 days in county jail was reduced by 52 days by time served.

    OKLAHOMA V.S. SPOC

    The papers have not even been signed between the ARRL and National Frequency Coordinators Council, and already one of the nations coordinators is complaining. ORSI, the Repeater Coordination Council serving Oklahoma says it wants no part of a single point of contact at this time.

    According to information supplied to Tom Blackwell, N5GAR by ORSI and passed to Newsline, the council has recently had a change in board members and management. The message received by N5GAR says that the Oklahoma group has notified the FCC that its membership was not consulted prior to the old board giving its support to the single point of contact.

    Because of this, the ORSI is withdrawing any support previously given to the proposal. This, until such time that the appropriate study is done. After that, the membership will be informed about the pros and cons of the proposal and then polled to see what the groups position will be.

    MORE ON LEOS V.S. HAM RADIO

    If other countries are working on sharing studies to permit Little LEO satellite to share the 2 meter and 70 centimeter ham bands, nobody outside those administrations knows about it. The proposals, if any, were expected to surface at a meeting of International Telecommunication Union Working Party 8D from October 29 to November 8 in Geneva, Switzerland.

    ARRL Technical Relations Manager Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, and ARRL International Affairs Vice President Larry Price, W4RA, attended the session. Rinaldo is a member of the U.S. delegation and Price represented the International Amateur Radio Union. The U.S. provided no input to the meeting to suggest possible sharing between Little LEOs and amateurs. The output of the Working Party goes to the Conference Preparatory Meeting in May of 1997. The report will provide the technical basis for WRC-97 decisions on the issue.

    Meantime, companies involved in the launch and operation of the Little Leo satellite constellations are moving ahead with their plans. Satellite Communications Magazine reports in its November issue that Iridium LLC has completed negotiating a 750 million dollar credit package. The Motorola led venture will orbit sixty six satellites in low earth orbit for global access to mobile telephone technology. This latest credit arrangement brings this one companies' war chest up to 2.65 billion dollars in instantly available funds.

    SALEM OREGON TOWER LAW

    An Oregon Society of Broadcast Engineers Newsletter says that the City of Eugene, Oregon has voted in a moratorium on accepting applications for towers and antennas but hams are excluded for the moment. In the September 16th action, the city feels it was going to be inundated with applications for conditional use permits for new tower construction. They even admit in the new ordinance that 15 new applications had been received as of September 16. As such, the city says that it has the right to declares an emergency and shuts down the permit office for tower and antenna applications.

    Broadcast station KMGE quickly mobilized the broadcasters into action and several hams led the fight to the Council Chamber. Instrumental to the exclusion of amateur antennas and structures was Kenton Sturdevant N7IXA. Broadcasters were exempted to the extent that would be needed to implement the new EAS within the next six months.

    ATWATER KENT TIME CAPSULE OPENED

    Some vintage radio collectors in the Philadelphia area got a treat on Friday October 25th. This, when Mr. A. Atwater Kent III -- the grandson of the famous radio manufacturer of the 1920s and 1930s -- opened a time capsule that had been sealed and buried at the Atwater Kent factory in Philadelphia in 1929 by his father and grandfather.

    Using a huge soldering iron, Ralph Williams, Atwater Kent collector and historian and Kent family friend, undid the soldered seals from the copper box after it was removed from the granite cornerstone. Inside were newspapers of the era plus notes from the senior Kent's speech at the dedication.

    But the real "prize" was an Atwater Kent Model 55 radio chassis and instruction manual, still in mint condition, in the bottom of the time capsule. The Model 55 -- a weighty, top-of-the-line set -- was installed in a number of different cabinet configurations in its day. The Model 55 used 10 Cunningham "globe" tubes and a separate speaker.

    The General Services Administration now owns the old factory, which is being razed to make way for a new building. The contents of the time capsule will initially be displayed in a new structure nearby, housing the Department of Veterans Affairs. Later, the artifacts are to be loaned to the Atwater Kent Museum.

    Several members of the New Jersey Antique Radio Club attended the historical event.

    FCC PROPOSES NEW SERVICE FOR REALLOCATED 2.3-GHZ

    The FCC has proposed a new Wireless Communications Service or WCS in the 2,305 to 2,320 and 2,345 to 2,360 MHZ bands and to award licenses on the basis of competitive bidding. The bands include a 5 MHZ segment that Amateur Radio shares with government services between 2,305 and 2,310 MHZ.

    Just before it adjourned in October, Congress approved a provision as part of the much larger appropriations bill. It directed the FCC to put the 30 MHZ of spectrum in the 2.3 GHz region up for competitive bidding to help balance the budget. It's believed to be the first time the Congress has ordered the reallocation of specific frequencies.

    The FCC says the new WCS service would allow licensees to provide any fixed, mobile or radiolocation service, or satellite Digital Audio Radio Services. This, consistent with the international frequency allocations for these bands. The Commission also proposed to adopt no restrictions on eligibility for a WCS license and to allow licensees to partition their service areas, to desegregate spectrum, and franchise portions of their spectrum or service areas on a leased basis.

    Competitive bidding for the two segments will begin no later than next April 15. Comments on the proposal are due at the FCC by December 4th and reply comments by December 16th.

    ADVANCED CLASS VE'S

    The ARRL has asked the FCC to change its rules to permit Advanced class volunteer examiners to administer the General class license examination.

    Under current rules, Advanced class VE's can administer only Novice, Technician and Technician Plus examinations. The League's filing says that allowing Advanced class VE's to administer General class examination elements will help to create additional opportunities for upgrading. It would also take some of the mounting pressure off Extra class VE's. The League estimates more than 15,500 additional elements could be administered each year if Advanced class VE's could administer exams up to the General class level.

    ELECTRONIC LICENSE PROCESSING

    A new license renewal benefit is now in place for ARRL members only. The ARRL VEC says that it will process FCC Form 610 applications for a renewal, address change, name change or call sign change for electronic submission to the FCC.

    There is no charge for this service but an original, signed Form 610 must be mailed or otherwise delivered to the ARRL VEC. Sorry, but Faxed in 610's are not acceptable. Any questions or transfers should be directed to the ARRL VEC at area code (860) 594-0300.

    TAPR SPREAD SPECTRUM STA

    Back home, the FCC has granted a Special Temporary Authorization to Greg Jones, WD5IVD, and Dewayne Hendricks, WA8DZP, on behalf of Tucson Amateur Packet Radio, Corporation regarding spread spectrum communications.

    Back on April 10th, TAPR requested a waiver of the rules and regulations governing Amateur Radio spread spectrum communications. This, in order to conduct an experimental program to test spread spectrum emissions over amateur radio facilities on different bands.

    A Special Temporary Authorization is the authority granted to a permittee or licensee to permit the operation of a broadcast facility for a limited period at a specified variance from the terms of the station authorization or requirements of the FCC rules applicable to the particular class of station.

    Full details on the TAPR spread spectrum STA are available on its web page at www.tapr.org in the Spread Spectrum area.

    AO-13 FAILS

    Amsat Oscar 13 appears to have died. According to Graham Ratcliff, VK5AGR of the AO-13 command team, the satellites Engineering Beacon ceased transmitting at 05:38 UTC on November 24th. This, shortly after completing Orbit Number 6480.

    Ratcliff confirmed this loss of signal with VK5ED who was also monitoring the telemetry when the transmission stopped. Further attempts to command AO-13 proved unsuccessful. From the empirical evidence and scientific projections, the Command Team has concluded that AO-13 is dead.

    Oscar 13 was launched on June 15th 1988 and has provided uninterrupted service ever since. But its demise came as no surprise either. Over the past few years, the satellite had been dipping more and more into the outer reaches of the earths atmosphere as its orbit continued to decay. Its believed that excessive heating finally destroyed the satellite's solar panels leaving it without power to operate. Heating may have caused the failure of other delicate internal components as well.

    The final chapter in the life Oscar 13 is still a few days away. Mathematical predictions are that AO-13 will fall from orbit before the end of November or early December and burn up on re-entry.

    As many morn the loss of Oscar 13 they way they would a close friend, the people who put it into space are hard at work getting its replacement ready for launch in 1997. According to Amsat North America, the satellites on-board computer was activated at 20:40 Eastern time on Wednesday, November 20th, bringing Phase 3D to life.

    IARU CONFERENCE

    The future of Amateur Radio is important. So say those who attended the recently concluded IARU Region 1 Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel.

    This conference was deemed so significant that it had observers from the International Telecommunications Union, the United Kingdom's Radiocommunications Agency, the ARRL and the licensing authorities of several nations looking on.

    There were three committees and their work accounted for the majority of the decisions made at the meeting. Discussed were a wide range of topics including a new Region one 2 meter bandplan with 12.5 Kilohertz spacing for all operations. Also considered was the establishment of high power 2 meter beacons for transatlantic propagation tests, guidelines for coordinating 10 meter repeaters, packet frequencies on 20 meters, packet to Internet connections, band plans for 160 meters, the possible expansion of the 7 and 10 Megahertz bands and a clear definition of ITU Zones. Matters dealing with contest organization and the IARU Monitoring system were also taken under study.

    Reports from several national ham radio societies say that this was probably one of the best planning sessions yet held in preparation for the next World Radiocommunications Conference, also known as WRC.

    More regional meetings like this are slated before the beginning of the next World Radiocommunications Conference.

    MIR FREQUENCY CHANGE

    An International Amateur Radio Union decision to move the operating frequencies of the ham station on board the Russian MIR space station is causing some dissension between hams involved in space communications and others who use terrestrial modes. At the recent Region 1 IARU meeting, a decision was made to move MIR and all subsequent European sponsored manned ham in space operations to a spacecraft to earth downlink on 145.200 MHZ with terrestrial stations uplinking on 145.800.

    This change has solved problems for Region 1 users where the 2 meter band only runs from 144 to 146 MHz. It has also angered Region 2 hams involved in the emerging Amateur Packet Reporting System technology. APRS users say that they are troubled by having the MIR operations only a few KHz away. At the same time, satellite users say that the APRS signals are interfering with their ability to contact the MIR. Both say that they have the right to be there. Each wants the other to go away.

    The frequency choice has also made communications with the MIR very difficult. This is because 145.19 and 145.21 are repeater output channels in most parts of the country. The weak signal from space is no match for terrestrial transmitters only 10 KHz away.

    Even more agonizing for space communications enthusiasts is that 145.20 MHZ is a repeater output channel throughout Southern California. While the MIR signal does not bother the repeaters, few can hear its call through the hundred watt mountaintop repeaters that dot the areas landscape.

    Many U.S. hams are now openly saying that they want the MIR to go elsewhere, but it not likely to happen. Rather, appears as if the new frequencies have been cast in concrete by the IARU, with the MIR and the most future manned ham radio space station operations are on those new frequencies to stay.

    You can write to us at: Newsline P.O.Box 660937 Arcadia, California 91066

    For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF at our editors desk, we at Newsline say 73 and we thank you for listening.

    Newsline is copyright 1996 & all rights are reserved.

    An Interesting Year

    It certainly has been an interesting year for EMARC. We started the year with Professor Antony Fraser-Smith at our winter banquet who described his research into ELF (extremely low frequency) radio wave emissions just before earthquakes. It was a very interesting presentation in spite of difficulties with the sound system.

    This was followed by more down to earth presentations on fox hunting by Don Ferguson, KD6IRE, and QRP equipment and operating by Wayne Burdick, N6KR. Fox hunting which can be an exciting activity is also very practical experience that can help track down some of these jokers on the repeaters. And Wayne's excitement and dedication to QRP was infectious.

    We had an interesting discussion on commercial digital radio technology from Katin Imes, KE6EFH of Metricom. This was followed by a world tour with Jim Treybig, W6JKV on his series of DXpeditions. Ever on the move, Jim has moved to Texas to start a new business venture.

    Of course, we must not forget our biggest club event of the year: Field Day. With a lot of support from many club members we had quite a good field day. In finals totals we ranked 5th in the state of California. This is quite good, and I'm sure we will improve on this next year. Many people to thank for their efforts, but especially: Paul AA6PZ; Dick, N6ATD; Omri, AA6TA; Bill, KQ6FY; Dennis, KC6PUN; Walt, W6ASH, and more.

    If you ever wondered about that big radio dish seen from I-280 near Stanford, John Larribeu told us all about it. He's been an operator there for many years and new quite a lot of the history of the place.

    And more on earthquakes with Dr. Alan Lindh, a seismologist from the USGS. Dr. Lindh is a respected scientist who has done a lot of research into understanding and predicting earthquakes. His presentation was very sobering on what we should expect from the next big earthquake.

    Then there was that flea market that scared Shel, N6RD (aka KM6GV). The August flea market started very slow and looked like it was going to be a failure. But later the crowds did show up and it turned out quite successful after all.

    The rest of the year was rounded out by a presentation on antennas by Del Fausey, WB6WLT; our ever popular home-brew contest (one of my personal favorites); an experimental member's night; and a talk by Allan Margot, K6FZA on ham radio in the 1930's.

    It really has been quite an interesting year for the club. I would like to thank the club officers and board members for really pulling together when needed to make this a very productive year.

      73's de Mikel, KN6QI


    ----------

    [Home]

    [Light Bulb Line]
    Copyright © 1996 by EMARC