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The EARS WA4IWLetter


AUGUST 2000

-- PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE --

The following words to think about come to us courtesy of Vic Emmelkamp, KF4VHX.

73 de Jack, W4JS

"A THOUSAND MARBLES"

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time-to-time. Let me tell you about it.

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind--he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whoever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles".

I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say. "Well, Dave, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure glad they pay you well, but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet.

"Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital", he continued. "Let me tell you something, Dave--something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities".

And that's when he began to explain his theory of "a thousand marbles". "You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know some live more and some live less but, on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me Dave; I'm getting to the important part.

"It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that, if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.

"So, I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack, next to my gear. Every Saturday since then I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.

"I found that, by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your life here on this Earth run out to help get your priorities straight.

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday, I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.

"It was nice to meet you Dave. I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again."

You could have heard a pin drop on the radio when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon Honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."

"What brought this on?", she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special--it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND AND MAY ALL YOUR SATURDAYS BE SPECIAL.

73 DE KF4VHX

-- AUGUST MEETING --

The next EARS meeting will be at 7:30PM, 18 August in Room 400, Friendship Hall of the Englewood United Methodist Church, 700 East Dearborn St. The program will be a video of a "1935 Tour of ARRL Headquarters" unless something more up-to-date surfaces! Come on out.

---ooo---


Page - 2


ENGLEWOOD AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY

Minutes of the Meeting

July 21, 2000

President Jack Sproat, W4JS, called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. There were no guests present. Twenty-one (21) members were present. Introductions by call sign followed.

Ken Anderson, W4JQT, made a motion to accept last month's minutes. The motion was seconded by Don Dold, KD9SJ, and the motion carried.

Ken Anderson gave the Treasurer Report in lieu of Howard White, KD4MMY, who was away on vacation. Our balance as of July 8th was $4651.12, which is $208.92 less than last month's balance. Most of the expenses were for Field Day and the newsletter. Both good causes and worth the money! A motion was made to accept the Treasurer's Report by Art Komarek, WB9VQD. It was seconded by Jim Hanushek, N4JBZ, and the motion carried.

PRESIDENT'S COMMENTS

A "thank you" e-mail was sent to Erin Bryce, reporter for the Sun-Herald for her coverage of Field Day. Jack also intends to send a thank you to Chris Crook, the reporter who also did a fine job of covering our Field Day activities.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

SUNSHINE - One illness was reported: Larry Yacobelli, W4ERN, apparently suffered a heart attack and has undergone heart surgery. We wish him a speedy recovery.

If you know of any member who should be sent a card, please advise Gene or Marcia Fowler. Their number is 475-3299.

TRAINING - No report.

TESTING - Test sessions the third Saturday of each month by appointment only.

One upgrade was reported: Vic Emmelkamp, KF4VHX, passed his General Class test.

EOC - Frank Maren, W4VV, reported that the 146.865 MHz K8ONV repeater is out of service. The controller is undergoing repair. Charlotte County is responsible for these repairs and expects to have them completed later this week.

For our informal Friday roundtables, we will use the 146.700 MHz WB0GUX repeater at 7:30pm, and then switch to the 146.865 MHz K8ONV repeater to conduct coverage tests as appropriate.

All members are invited to attend the general RACES membership/organizational meeting at their new location at the Charlotte County Airport. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 25th.

RACES members should remember to come to the West Charlotte County Administration Building on San Casa Drive the last Thursday of each month at 9 a.m. and to participate in the monthly RACES drill.

FIELD DAY - Jim Hanushek, N4JBZ, and Ken Anderson, W4JQT, reported the final figures: 132 CW and 266 Phone QSOs, of which 77 were on 6 meters. The family picnic was well attended and was captured in living color by the video camera of Bruce Robideau, K2OY.

OLD BUSINESS - None

NEW BUSINESS - Jim Hanushek, N4JBZ, inquired as to whether the club would provide 2-meter event coverage for the Suncoast Humane Society's "Furry Scurry", which will be held March 31, 2001 in Venice. Since this would be an excellent public service activity for the club, our President and the members present indicated their support. More information will follow at the appropriate time.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00p.m..

PROGRAM - Bruce Robideau, K2OY, showed his videos of this year's Field Day activity, including short coverage of the 1996 and 1999 Field Days.

Vic Emmelkamp, KF4VHX

Secretary

-- AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS --

The EARS VE Team offers ARRL VEC license exams at 9:30 am the 3rd Saturday of each month at the Chamber of Commerce building, 601 South Indiana Avenue, Englewood. Two-day advance reservation is required--no walk-ins.

Candidates must bring:

(1) Original license and a copy of that license.

(2) Original CSCE's and a copy of each CSCE.

(3) FCC Licensee ID No. or Social Security card.

(4) Two forms of identification.

(5) A check in the amount of $6.65 payable to "ARRL VEC", or cash in the above amount.

For further information and reservation, contact Jack Sproat, W4JS, at 475-1929

-- SNOWBIRD NET --

The Snowbird Net meets daily at 10 am on 14.278, and at 7:00 pm on 7.230. Upwards of a dozen stations have been checking in, so join the action.

-- WCF SECTION SSTV NET --

As Ed Cronk, W9ATV, demonstrated to us last year, getting on SSTV "ain't like it used to be". Nowadays, all it takes is a computer sound card, in/out connections to your transceiver, some shareware from the web, some photos, and you can be on SSTV. Much of the RTTY software also supports SSTV.

Locally, the WCF SSTV Net holds forth every day at 9:00 am around 7.171 and after the 9:00 pm WCF Net around 3.960. If you've the wherewithal, why not try SSTV for a change of pace?

(From "Slow Scan Television" by Jack, KE4IM, The Experimenter, July/August 2000)


Page - 3


BACKSCATTER

-- LIGHTNING PROTECTION TIPS --

The following should prove useful to anyone with an outdoor antenna.

1. Disconnect equipment when not in use, AND reconnect coax to a ground. The transient voltage, even with plenty of ground rods, will jump many feet.

2. Nearby lightning hits, or cloud-to-cloud strokes overhead, are much more common than direct hits. These can cause an induced transient in your wiring sufficient to damage equipment. Surge protectors are effective for protection.

3. Space ground rods approximately as far apart as they are long. Closer spacing makes a better ground, but is not cost effective; longer spacing reduces grounding effectiveness, as the inductance of the wire between rods becomes increasingly significant.

4. Ground wires with large size wire are good if you can afford it. Use at least #10 wire. Just one #10 wire will handle 90% of all lightning strokes without melting.

5. Parallel wires, spaced about 6 or more inches apart, reduce inductance over a single wire. Multiple small wires (e.g., #10), are more effective than one big wire (e.g., #4).

6. Six inch, or wider, ground "straps" are best--if one can afford it!

7. Tie all ground points together with low inductance connections (i.e., multiple wires). Included in "ground points" are telephone, cable, satellite, and power.

8. Install surge protectors on power panel as well as at equipment (transients can be generated between the power panel and equipment outlet). Note: The best surge protectors provide telephone, cable and power in one box.

9. Don't forget your antenna rotator. An induced transient can easily spark-over a winding, ruining the motor. Surge protectors for rotators are available, or make one (save a bundle) using a MOV between each lead and a common ground.

10. Ground the coax at the tower base. Place a coax surge protector at the tower base.

11. Route wires down the middle of the tower--not the outside. The tower legs and braces afford some shielding.

12. Bring tower coax into shack at ground level. Worst: Coax angles in from high on the tower, entering shack near the ceiling.

13. Use as many ground rods as you can afford. Arrange them to divert current away from shack and spread out.

14. Grounded antennas help. For example, the driven element of a J-pole is a direct short to ground, except for the frequency to which it is tuned. For antennas where the driven element is not inherently grounded, use a 1/4-wave line, shorted and grounded at one end and connected to the antenna at the other end. If the 1/4-wave line is resonant at the antenna frequency, then it has virtually no effect on the operation of the antenna. The 1/4-wave line can be coax or balanced line; match it to the type of driven element.

15. Faraday shield the house. Make a skeleton of a cage by running wires over the house roof and connecting them to a ground wire that encircles the house, connecting to the ground rod at the power service entrance.

16. Vertical antennas tend to be struck more often than horizontal antennas because the electric field is more concentrated at the tip--which causes air ionization sooner, which in turn makes the air more conductive. View a vertical antenna on top of the house as a lightning rod asking to be hit. Ground by running multiple ground wires down all sides of the house to form a skeleton shield around the house.

17. Insulation doesn't mean much to lightning. An 1/8" of insulation is nothing for a voltage sufficient to jump several miles! Think in terms of paths to ground--not insulation.

18. View the antenna coax as another ground wire, and such large diameter will likely carry more current than a #10 or #4 ground wire.

(From "Tips on Lightning Protection", Don Hasselwood, W4DH, The Experimenter- The Official Technical Newsletter of the ARRL West Central Florida Section, Issue #2-July/August 2000)

-- EARS ROUNDTABLE SCHEDULE --

EARS holds an informal roundtable session, open to anyone, on the WB0GUX Repeater, 146.700(-) every Friday except meeting nights at 7:30pm. Stop by to say "hi" and update those on board as to what's new and/or exciting in your life.

-- UPCOMING FLORIDA HAMFESTS --

26 Aug Fort Pierce Hamfest at Indian River Community College on SR 70. TI: 147.345, Info: Bill, N4XEO, (561)461-7275

09-10 Sep Platinum Coast ARS 35th Annual Melbourne Hamfest, Melbourne Auditorium, 625 E. Hibiscus Blvd, Melbourne. TI: 146.85, Info: Tim, KI4TG, (321)724-9339

(From June 2000 CyberSKIP Digest)


Page - 4


MORE BACKSCATTER

-- OLD GLORY --

(When Dave Hanson, KB0EVM, spoke at our June meeting, he mentioned the emotion he feels from the Pledge of Allegiance, due to his living overseas for many years. The love of Our Flag is a feeling every American should sense, but too few do anymore. The following is taken from "Burn that Flag! Just ask permission", by Tom Adkins, Executive Editor, The Common Conservative, as printed in the June 2000 Edgewater Club, Inc. Newsletter, Lemon Bay Isles, and furnished to us by Don Dibello, KF4WJW.)

Does the First Amendment give us the right to desecrate the American flag? Or is the flag a sacred symbol of our nation, deserving protection by law? Tough Call?

I think I've got the solution.

For those who want to light Old Glory on fire, stomp all over it, or spit on it to make some sort of "statement", I say let them do it. But under one condition: They must get permission from three sponsors.

First, you need permission of a war veteran. Perhaps a Marine who fought at Iwo Jima.

The American flag was raised over Mount Surabachi upon the bodies of thousands of dead buddies. Each night spent on Iwo meant half of everyone you knew would be dead tomorrow; a coin flip away from a bloody end upon a patch of sand your mother couldn't find on a map.

Or maybe ask a Vietnam vet who spent years tortured in a small, filthy cell unfit for a dog. Or a Korean War soldier who helped rescue half a nation from communism, or a Desert Storm warrior who repulsed a bloody dictator from raping and pillaging an innocent country.

That flag represented your mother and father, your sister and brother, your friends, neighbors, and everyone at home.

I wonder what they would say if someone asked them permission to burn the American flag?

Next, you need a signature from an immigrant. Their brothers and sisters may still languish in their native land, often under tyranny, poverty and misery. Or maybe they died on the way here; never to touch our shores. Some have seen friends and family get tortured and murdered by their own government for daring to do things we take for granted every day.

For those who risked everything simply for the chance to become an American.....what kind of feelings do they have for the flag when they pledge allegiance the first time? Go to a naturalization ceremony and see for yourself the tears of pride, the thanks, the love and respect for this nation, as they finally embrace the American flag as their own.

Ask one of them if it would be OK to tear up the flag.

Last, you should get the signature of a mother. Not just any mother. You need a mother of someone who gave their life for America. It doesn't even have to be from a war. It could be a cop. Or a fireman. Maybe a Secret Service or NSA agent. Then again, it could be a common foot soldier as well. When that son or daughter is laid to rest, their family is given one gift by the American people: an American flag.

Go on. I dare you. Ask that mother to spit on her flag.

I wonder what the Founding Fathers thought of the American flag as they drafted the Declaration of Independence? They knew this act would drag young America into war with England, the greatest power on Earth. They also knew failure meant more than just a disappointment. It meant a noose snugly stretched around their necks. But they needed a symbol, something to inspire the new nation. Something to represent the seriousness, the purpose and conviction that we held for our new idea of individual freedom. Something worth living for. Something worth dying for.

I wonder how they'd feel if someone asked them permission to toss their flag in a mud puddle?

Away from family, away from the precious shores of home, in the face of overwhelming odds and often in the face of death, the American flag inspires those who believe in the American dream, the American promise, the American vision.

Americans who don't appreciate the flag don't appreciate this nation. And those who appreciate this nation appreciate the American flag.

Those who fought, fought for that flag.

Those who died, died for that flag.

And those who love America love that flag. And defend it.

So if you want to desecrate the American flag, before you spit on it or before you burn it....I have a simple request: Just ask permission. Not from the Constitution. Not from some obscure law. Not from the politicians or the pundits.

Instead, ask those who defended our nation so that we may be free today. Ask those who struggled to reach our shores so that they may join us in the American dream. And ask those who clutch a flag in place of their sacrificed sons and daughters, given to this nation so that others may be free.

For we cannot ask permission from those who died wishing they could, just once--or once again--see, touch or kiss the flag that stands for our nation, the United States of America...the greatest nation on Earth.

-- NOTABLE QUOTE --

"Do your duty in all things...You cannot do more; you should never wish to do less." (General Robert E. Lee)

---ooo---


Page - 5


UPCOMING CONTESTS AND ACTIVITIES
Contest/Special Event Times/Dates Bands/Modes QSO With Exchange
European DX Contest 0000 GMT 12 August

2359 GMT 13 August

80 - 10 Meters

CW Only

European Countries Only R/S/T + Serial Number
Maryland-DC QSO Party 1600 GMT 12 Aug to 0359 GMT 13 Aug, and

1600-2359 GMT 13 Aug

80 Meters - UHF

SSB/CW/RTTY/

FM

Maryland and District of Columbia Stations Only QTH + Category: Single Op, YL, QRP
Canadian and American Islands Contest 1600 GMT 12 August

2359 GMT 13 August

160 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Canadian and American Islands Only R/S/(T) + QTH
International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend 0001 GMT 19 August

2359 GMT 20 August

80 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Lighthouse/Lightship Stations around the World Name, QTH
North American QSO Party 1800 GMT 19 August

0600 GMT 20 August

160 - 10 Meters

SSB Only

States, Provinces and other North American Countries Name, QTH
SARTG RTTY Contest 0000-0800 GMT 19 Aug

1600-2400 GMT 19 Aug

0800-1600 GMT 20 Aug

80 - 10 Meters

RTTY Only

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/T + Serial Number
South East Asia Net (SEANET) Contest 1200 GMT 19 August

1200 GMT 20 August

160 - 10 Meters

SSB Only

SEANET Countries Only R/S + Serial Number
Ohio QSO Party 1600 GMT 26 August

0400 GMT 27 August

80 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Ohio Stations Only QTH + Serial Number
All Asia DX Contest 0000 GMT 02 September

2359 GMT 03 September

160 - 10 Meters

SSB Only

Asian Stations Only R/S + Age (00 for YL Ops)
European DX Contest 0000 GMT 09 September

2359 GMT 10 September

80 - 10 Meters

SSB Only

European Countries Only R/S + Serial Number
ARRL VHF QSO Party 1800 GMT 09 September

0300 GMT 11 September

6 Meters and Up

SSB/CW

Anyone, Anywhere Grid Square
North American Sprint 0000 GMT 10 September

0400 GMT 10 September

80 - 20 Meters

SSB Only

States, Provinces and other North American Countries Serial #, Name and QTH

From August 2000 Worldradio, August 2000 CQ and August 2000 QST.

-- W1AW/4 IN 2000 IARU HF CONTEST --

The Florida Contest Group operated the ARRL Headquarters callsign W1AW/4 during the 2000 IARU HF Championships 08-09 July. W1AW/4 operated from six locations over the state of Florida. In this 24-hour event, 11,379 QSOs were made, with a score totalling 13,975,752 points. Host stations were K4XS, N4TO, N4PN, N8PR, W1CW/ W1YL and the facilities of broadcast station WEAG in Starke. (From WCF Bulletin 17, July 21 2000)

-- LIGHTHOUSE/LIGHTSHIP WEEKEND --

As noted above, 19-20 August is International Lighthouse Weekend, and the Englewood ARS will be activating K8ONV from the grounds of the Boca Grande Lighthouse on the south tip of Gasparilla Island for this event. Weather permitting, operating times will be from about 8 am until 7 pm both days from the pavilion in the picnic area. Come out to say "Hi" or look for K8ONV on your radio dial.

-- EUROPEAN DX CONTEST --

The Worked All Europe (WAE) or European DX Contest sponsored by the German DARC enjoys widespread participation by stations around the world. One interesting aspect of this contest is the request for "QTCs".

A QTC is a report of a confirmed QSO(s) that took place earlier in the contest and was later sent back to a European station. It can only be sent by non-European stations to European stations. The general idea is that after a number of Europeans have been worked, a list of these stations can be reported back during a QSO with another station.

A QTC contains the time, callsign, and QSO number of the station(s) being reported, e.g., 1300/DL2DN/134, which means at 1300 GMT you worked DL2DN and received #134 from him. A QSO can only be reported once and not back to the originating station. A maximum of 10 QTCs to a station are allowed. (From "Contesting", John Dorr, K1AR, August 2000 CQ)


Page - 6


CURRENT/PENDING DX ACTIVITY AND PROPAGATION FORECASTS
CURRENT and/or SCHEDULED DX ACTIVITY

(Band/GMT for best chance of S5 or better signal)

COUNTRY - CALLSIGN ACTIVITY

PERIOD

BEARING 80 40 20 17 15 12 10
Macquarie Is - VK0MM

Jan Mayen - JX7DFA

Mayotte - FH/TU5AX

U.N. Headquarters - 4U1UN

Malawi - 7Q7HB

Mozambique - C91DC

Palmyra Is - KH5/N4BQW

Tromelin Is - FR/F6KDF/T

Aland Is - OH0???

Christmas Is - VK9XY

Cocos Keeling - VK9CQ

Bhutan - A5???

Tristan da Cuna - ZD9ZM

Until December

Now Active???

Now to 20 August

Now to 20 August

Now to 25 August

Now to Sept

Now to October

Now to 16 August

10 - 13 August

13 - 25 August

26 Aug to 01 Sept

01 - 15 Sept

04 - 25 Sept

220

21

85

25

90

101

267

84

31

334

154

3

183

8

132

--

NO

02>03

01>10

01>04

02>04

06>11

0200

0200

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

01>06

--

00>04

00>04

23>12

00>04

00>05

04>12

00>03

00>04

1100

NO

NO

1100

NO

23>07

23>08

00>24

20>07

00>24

18>06

20>10

00>24

20>06

19>15

10>15

00>03

11>01

10>12

11>05

20>09

--

00>24

16>23

13>03

16>00

15>18

00>24

17>23

15>22

12>20

01>05

13>02

12>13

12>18

00>03

12>22

--

00>24

17>23

12>02

14>22

14>17

17>07

16>22

15>18

15>19

01>04

14>20

1300

13>17

01>02

13>21

--

16>18

17>00

NO

16>20

15>17

18>04

14>21

NO

12>15

02>03

16>20

NO

1600

13>19

--

NO

13>18

NO

NO

14>16

17>05

18>22

NO

16>19

01>02

NO

NO

NO

14>18

Updated 06 August 2000, based on 07 August 2000 QRZ DX and 28 July 2000 The 59(9) DX Report.

Notes: NO = No opening forecast. ??? = Callsign not yet known. Long path bearings and opening times (if any) are underlined.

Solar Flux assumed at 170 and K-Index at 2 for all forecasts.

-- TROMELIN IS UP AND RUNNING!! --

Tromelin Island, which ranks No. 9 on the 1999 ARRL's Most Wanted List was activated 31 July by four French operators until 16 August. Three stations were set up, with two stations on the air 24 hours/day. Beams on 20/17/15/12/ 10 and verticals on other bands. A special callsign was not granted by the authorities, so the rather unwieldy callsign FR/F6KDF/T is being used. Operation will be on RTTY, Phone and CW. (They put in an excellent 20-meter long path signal around 1200 GMT, and have been worked here on 12 meters.) QSL via F6KDF, the Radio Club de la Gendarmerie. (From 14 July The 59(9) DXReport and 07 August QRZ DX)

-- AUGUST PROPAGATION --

July's Solar Flux averaged 201.4, however the A-index was < 10 for only 14 days. According to NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center in Boulder, CO, Sunspot Cycle 23 will peak during August with a predicted SSN of 116. (The cycle is based on smoothed sunspot numbers. These are 12-month averages of monthly mean values, centered on the middle month--in this case, August. Therefore we will not be able to confirm the cycle peaked during August for another 6 months.) Meanwhile, on 20 July the Sunspot Number hit 401, the highest value since 23 August 1991 when it hit 478. On the down side, geomagnetic storms, which are more prominent during periods of high sunspot intensity, frequently caused the HF bands above 14 mc to close down. On 15 July the Planetary A-Index hit 152!! (An excellent day to read a book.)

August begins the transition period from Summer to Fall propagation conditions. During daylight hours, good DX should be possible on 10, 12, 15, 17 and 20 meters, with 15 being the best of the five bands--especially during afternoon hours. Peak signals on 17 and 20 meters are expected during a 2-hour window following sunrise and again during the late afternoon. During the daylight hours, 10 and 12 meters should open along an arc extending across central Africa, Latin America, and into the far Pacific area.

Between sundown and sunrise, 20 meters should be the best DX band. Until midnight good DX should be found on 15 and 17 meters from Latin America, the far Pacific and into Asia. Despite high static levels at times, fairly good DX openings are expected on 30, 40 and 80 meters. Conditions on these bands will peak as the sun begins to rise on the eastern terminus of a path.

(From "Propagation", George Jacobs, W3ASK, August 2000 CQ)

"What kind of room can no one enter?" "A mushroom" (From Wit and Witticism, Nat'l Fed of the Blind)


Page - 7


WAVES AND REFLECTIONS

-- INTERFERING FLORIDIAN ARRESTED --

William Flippo of Jupiter was taken into custody 20 July by Federal authorities and charged with interfering with Amateur Radio operations and transmitting without a license.

Flippo already faces a $20,000 fine levied last summer for unlicensed operation, willful and malicious interference to Amateur radio communications, and failure to let the FCC inspect his radio equipment. The matter was referred to the US Attorney in January after Flippo failed to pay the fine, and the interference complaints continued.

Armed with a search warrant, federal marshals and FCC and FBI agents, accompanied by local authorities, took Flippo into custody. FCC agents seized items related to the alleged offenses, including radio equipment.

Flippo was charged with four counts of transmitting without a license--each count carrying a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $10,000 fine--and four counts of interfering with the operations of licensed stations, which carry the same penalty.

Flippo was released on a $100,000 bond, with arraignment on the federal charges set for 31 July. One condition of release is that he is to stay off the air.

(From ARRL Bulletin 31, July 25 2000)

-- HAM RADIO STATISTICS --

What's happening in ham radio since the FCC's restructuring took effect, and where are hams living around the world?

More than half of all American hams live in just 10 states. With some 103,000 hams, California is the out-and-out leader. Following Texas, with over 41,000 hams, Florida ranks a close third with some 40,000 licensed hams.

The 30 June 2000 breakdown of American amateurs by license class:

Novice 48,441

Technician 208,834

Technician+ 112,046

General 128,644

Advanced 90,935

Extra 90,435

Total 679,235

According to the International Amateur Radio Union, there are about 3 million licensed amateur radio operators in the world. Although ham radio is an international pursuit and available in most countries, nearly 90 percent of all licensed hams reside in just ten (10) countries. Japan is the decided leader, with the USA a very distant second, however, there are some surprises in the list of the top ten:

Rank Country Operators/Stations

1. Japan 1,296,059 (stations)

2. USA 679,235

3. Thailand 141,241 (50,988 stations)

4. Rep. Korea 130,000 (51,172 stations)

5. Germany 80,336

6. Taiwan 68,692 (24,373 stations)

7. Spain 58,700

8. England 57,124

9. Canada 45,000

10. Russia 38,000

(From 01 July and 01 August 2000 W5YI Report)

-- 5 WPM SUPPORTED IN EUROPE --

The EUROCOM Working Group of European radio societies is supporting 5 wpm Morse code license exams as the qualification for full HF band access. Previously, the speed was 12 wpm. It is understood that, following the EUROCOM vote, the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administration (CEPT) will adopt 5 wpm as the top speed.

The EUROCOM WG delegates supported 5 wpm as an interim measure in recognition that the Morse code requirement is likely to be removed at the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference in 2003.

A modification to the CEPT regulations to implement 5 wpm will result in a virtual worldwide adoption of the lower speed.

(From 15 July 2000 W5YI Report)

-- ARRL CHANGES IN THE WIND --

Several positive steps were taken at the 21-22 July ARRL Board of Directors meeting--the first held under the leadership of President Jim Haynie, W5JBP.

Approval was given to move QST to a full-color format, with a minimum of 176 pages per issue. Publications Manager Mark Wilson, K1RO, said that a full-color magazine is something they've been looking forward to for some time. Lower costs for color now will make it possible. The change will be implemented by late this year.

The Board also approved the expenditure of up to $ 1,025,000 to develop a new information technology platform at ARRL Headquarters. The new computer software and hardware not only will enhance the ARRL's e-commerce capabilities but update membership and accounting systems. Eventually it will provide access to DXCC records, updates of DXCC listings and contest results. (From ARRL Bulletin 33, July 26, 2000)

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must....undergo the fatigue of supporting it." (Thomas Paine)

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