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The EARS WA4IWLetter


DECEMBER 2000

-- PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE --

Relocating the Tampa Bay Hamfest to the Manatee Civic Center in Palmetto was quite a positive step for that event. Compared to the old Fairgrounds site, the paved, marked tailgate area; warm, well-lit interior; clean, "free" restrooms and reasonable food prices were most welcome. The attendance seemed up, but there weren't as many commercial vendors this year. This was considered a "do-or-die" year by the sponsors.

If you're coming to the EARS Christmas Dinner 11 December, please pay attention to the important announcement following this item. This issue of The WA4IWLetter will be in everyone's hands in adequate time to note the unforeseen change of venue.

Whew, if a baseball game was played like one person wants the election run, can you imagine the reaction?. Let's picture the Bushmasters one run ahead of the Algoristas in the ninth inning. When an Algorista pitch is called "Ball Four", the pitcher protests that he intended to throw a strike, so he should be able to keep on pitching until he got that strike. Later in the inning, the Bushmaster right fielder snags a long fly ball that would have cleared the fence. The Algoristas protest that the batter intended that to be a home run. When the third out comes, the Algoristas claim the scorekeeper didn't count the innings right and ask for extra innings so they can tie the score or get a lead. Boy, those bozos would be booed out of the park in nothing flat! What a "ball game" this one has been!

73 de Jack, W4JS
NOTICE!!!

Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, the EARS Christmas Dinner will be held at Beacon Bay Restaurant, in the Uncle Henry's Resort near the north end of Gasparilla Island. SEE PAGE 3 FOR DETAILS.


-- DECEMBER MEETING --

The next EARS meeting will be held 17 December at the Englewood United Methodist Church, 700 East Dearborn St. Officers' meeting will be held in the church's library at 6 pm. The business meeting will start at 7:30 pm in Room 400. The Nominating Committee will present it's slate of candidates for 2001 officers. The program will be the new video "FO0AAA - Clipperton Island 2000". It's a good one!

-- PROJECT BIG STICK FUND --

Project "Big Stick" is an ambitious effort to install and operate 2-meter and 70-cm repeaters that will provide coverage over the entire 10-county West Central Florida Section. Cox Broadcasting has offered permission to WCF to install these antennas on its 1600' tower just north of SR 70 between Bradenton and Arcadia--about 32 miles NNE of Merchants Crossing in downtown Englewood. With 200-watt output and antennas at 1000 feet above ground, these repeaters will enable hams to participate in Section-wide ARES, NTS and SKYWARN Emergency Communications Nets. This far-reaching facility will enable hams from all corners of the Section to participate in discussions of mutual interest and benefit. Most importantly, Big Stick will bring the WCF hams closer together, enabling our hobby to grow and prosper.

While sizeable contributions of equipment and materials have been made, funds are needed for professional installation, operation and future maintenance of the equipment.

A motion for EARS to donate $500 to Project Big Stick was made at the November meeting. However, as non-budgeted items in excess of $50 requires approval by a two-thirds vote at a meeting after 30 days advance notice. That motion will be raised again for discussion and vote at the December meeting.

Individual members, however, who wish to make contributions to the fund may send check payable to:

Finkelstein & White, P.A., Attorney Trust Account, and mail to: Project Big Stick Fund

c/o Finkelstein & White, P.A.

27 Fletcher Avenue

Sarasota, FL 34237

-- EARS AT BOCA BOP --

EARS participation in the Englewood Optimist Club's Boca Bop Triathlon 12 November in Boca Grande was an enjoyable experience. This was the second year EARS provided communication assistance towards this event's success. EARS members participating were Vic Emmelkamp, KF4VHX; Bill Stevens, W1AMU; JR House, K9 HUY; Jerry Meckenberg, K4JWE; Bob Benkovich, KF4 YOW; and Jack Sproat, W4JS.

Approximately 185 athletes participated in the event that involved swimming a quarter-mile, bicycling 13 miles and running 5 miles.

(Thanks to Vic Emmelkamp, KF4VHX, for the write-up.)


Page - 2


ENGLEWOOD AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY

Minutes of the Meeting

November 17, 2000

President Jack Sproat, W4JS, called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. There were 33 members present and three guests: Assistant Section Manager Paul Toth-NA4AR, Section Manager Dave Armbrust-AE4MR, and Sabina Armbrust-KE4YIO.

One correction was made to the October minutes: Dan Kerrigan's callsign was corrected to KG4GFT. As there were no other changes, the Secretary's motion to accept the October minutes was seconded by Don Spencer-WA4IWL and passed unanimously.

Treasurer Howard White-KD4MMY gave his report for the period 9?15/00 through 11/17/00, with an ending balance of $4345.68. Larry Yacobelli-W4ERN seconded the Treasurer's motion to accept, and the motion passed unanimously.

PRESIDENT'S COMMENTS

Jack-W4JS commented on EARS participation in the Englewood Optimist Club's Boca Bop Triathlon held November 12 in Boca Grande.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

SUNSHINE - Gene Fowler-KA1GCU reported cards were sent to Bob Benkovich-KF4YOW and Charlie Fox-KD4YHZ. New member Vin Therieau-KG4IAV will go in for heart surgery December 1.

TESTING - There will be an exam session tomorrow.

EOC - Frank Maren-W4VV reminded all of the monthly RACES drill; 9 a.m. the last Thursday of each month at the San Casa County Administration Annex

DX - Bruce Robideau-K2OY was not present.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LIAISON - Gerry Meckenberg-K4JWE had nothing to report.

OLD BUSINESS - Jack-W4JS announced that due to unforeseen circumstances the EARS Christmas Dinner had to relocate to the Beacon Bay Restaurant at Uncle Henry's Resort on Gasparilla Island.

ARRL Library Book Set - As discussed at the October meeting, ARRL offers a 17-book library package to donors at the reduced price of $170 vs. their $300 total value on an individual basis. EARS intends to donate a set of these books to both the Elsie Quirk and Englewood Charlotte County libraries. As Elsie Quirk is now in temporary quarters due to remodeling, that donation will be delayed until the facility reopens. Jim Hanushek-N4JBZ moved to proceed with the donation to the Englewood Charlotte County Library. Bob Benkovich-KF4YOW seconded the motion. A voice vote followed and carried unanimously. Arrangements will be made to order the first set of books as soon as possible.

Hamfest - When the membership was polled to see if there was interest in having Hamfest 2001 this coming March, about 50% of the attendees showed an interest. At present we do not have a Hamfest Chairman and, unless someone volunteers soon, it is doubtful that we will be able to proceed with the event.

NEW BUSINESS - Jerry Meckenberg-K4JWE, Ken Anderson-W4JQT and Don Spencer-WA4IWL were named as the Nominating Committee. They will give their report at the December meeting. Jack-W4JS urged all in attendance to consider volunteering.

Tee-Shirt Transfers - Vic Emmelkamp-KF4VHX reported that the Peace River Repeater Association has offered to come to an EARS meeting to make tee-shirt transfers for our members with a logo of our choosing. Cost would be around $5 per transfer with the member furnishing their own shirt. Vic will contact PRRA for further information.

ARRL Frequency Defense Fund - JR House-K9HUY moved that EARS donate $100 to the ARRL's fund for defense of endangered Amateur Radio frequencies. Jerry Meckenberg-K4JWE seconded the motion. The motion carried by voice vote but was later rescinded when the Bylaws requirement of 30-day advance notice prior to approval of non-budgeted expenditures over $50. The matter will be taken up at the December meeting.

Project Big Stick - Assistant West Central Florida Section Manager Paul Toth-NA4AR gave a presentation and requested support for a new 2-meter/70-centimeter antenna/repeater installation proposed in southern Manatee County. Jerry Meckenberg-K4JWE moved that EARS contribute $500 to Project Big Stick; seconded by Bob Benkovich-KF4YOW. In discussions following the motion, Treasurer Howard White-KD4MMY reminded all that the Bylaws require 30-day advance notice prior to approval of non-budgeted expenditures over $50. The matter will be taken up at the December meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

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


Page - 3


BACKSCATTER

-- LIGHTNING PROTECTION TIPS --

To be protected from a lightning discharge, you must provide a low-impedance path to ground for the lightning energy. There are a few things we can do to prevent lightning damage to our radio equipment.

Connect each tower leg to separate 8-ft ground rods. Where good moist soil exists, an 8-ft ground rod will provide a resistance of some 20 to 50 ohms. Two such rods will drop the resistance to 10 to 25 ohms, and three will drop it even more.

These ground rods should be separated from each other by at least six feet. Bond the three tower legs together with #6 or larger welding cable forming a ring around the base of the tower.

Placing a "drip-type" water system at the ground rod will keep the soil moist and the resistance low. Drill a very small hole in a gallon jug--just large enough that will let the water drip out--and keep it filled, especially in hot dry weather.

If you can control the dissipation of lightning energy before the strike, you are ahead of the game. Unwind and flare out the wires from a short length of copper welding cable and attach this "brush" to the topmost part of the mast on the tower. (A stainless steel "Porcupine" is available from The Wireman.)

Be sure that the mast is properly grounded to the tower. To protect the rotator, a bonding strap should be connected between the mast above the rotator and the tower legs. A flat-type automotive battery cable will stand up better to repeated flexing than other types.

The shields of all coax feedlines should be bonded to the tower at the top and bottom. This is accomplished by using UG-363 bulkhead connectors mounted on plates and bolted to the tower at the top and bottom levels. Amy excess feedline and rotator cable should be wound into a coil before entering the radio room as this further increases the impedance presented to lightning.

A good lightning protection system for the station equipment requires the use of quick disconnects for all wires entering the radio room, thereby avoiding entry of lightning charges via service entrances. It is a must to install a copper or aluminum entrance panel on the outside wall of your radio room for your feedlines, rotator control cable, telephone lines, power lines, etc. Install a heavy copper strap from the outside of this panel direct to your station ground.

Install protective devises. Gas Discharge type lightning arresters will be of little help if you encounter a direct strike, however, they help bleed off static and current encountered in "near miss" situations.

(These and other lightning protection tips are in the article "Lightning protection for the amateur station" by Vernon Gibbs, W4JTL, December 2000 Worldradio)

--K8ONV REPEATER STATUS --

The K8ONV 146.865 Repeater, located in Grove City is fully operational. A new cable has been installed, which appears to have corrected the noisy signal condition that had existed for some months. The Autopatch and speed dial systems are working, as are the NOAA weather radio and the Time function.

To access the NOAA weather, bring up the repeater and then enter 55011. Upon completion of the weather message, enter 55010 to turn it off.

To access the time, enter 400.

If you experience any problems with the repeater, please contact Bruce Robideau, K2OY.

(Thanks to Vic Emmelkamp, KF4VHX, for the write-up.)

-- EARS CHRISTMAS DINNER RELOCATED! --

Just after the November WA4IWLetter was mailed, Mickey Maren was advised that the Food Service contractor at the Hills Country Club was leaving there 30 November. We decided to "move" with the contractor, who had served us last year, to their new location. This was a good decision for the new contractor at Hills CC would not honor any existing party schedules.

The 11 December EARS Christmas Party will be held at the Beacon Bay Restaurant located in the "Uncle Henry's Resort" near the north end of Gasparilla Island.

After paying your toll, cross over three bridges before entering Gasparilla Island. There is a condo development on your left. Continue on Gasparilla Road past this development, with the road curving to the left. Uncle Henry's is after the condos, on the left at 5800 Gasparilla Rd. It is well marked. Enter the driveway at the sign. The Beacon Bay Restaurant (Tel #964-1196) is on the second floor, straight ahead beyond the open courtyard. The doorway to the restaurant stairway is adjacent to the motel office.


Page - 4


MORE BACKSCATTER

-- THE FIRST WALKIE-TALKIE --

(The following are highlights from "Walkie-talkie inventor hides brilliance in buffer of modesty" by Pete McMartin in the 18 January 2000 Vancouver Sun and submitted by EARS members Ed and Christine Watson, VE3SYW and VA3CMW/KF4HSG, respectively)

"To a very few people in this province and country (British Columbia, Canada), (Donald Lewis) Hings is famous for inventing, among other things, the first true walkie-talkie.

"Never a self-promoter, he is slow to make this claim himself. He prefers to say his model can only be seen as part of a progression of the existing technology. encyclopedias might concur--American encyclopedias, anyway: They say the walkie-talkie was invented in 1933, by a team of U.S. Army technicians in Monmouth, N.J.

"But there was nothing 'walkie' or 'talkie' about the early U.S. model, Hings says: It relayed only Morse code, and was mobile only in that it drew its power from the battery of the motorcycle on which it was mounted.

"Hings' model, which he invented in 1937 while working for Cominco in Trail, could be carried on the back, and sent and received voice messages. He gave company pilots and miners the ability to converse with each other, without benefit of telephone lines, over vast distances.

"He called it the 'Packset.'

It was a Toronto reporter that came up with 'walkie-talkie.'

"'The sensitivity (of his model) was greater than anything they could have dreamed of,' Hings said of the U.S. prototype. 'And for the first time, you had voice.'

"'Anyway,' he allowed, shrugging, as if it weren't worth speaking of, 'it was a new method of transmission.'

"The Canadian and British governments thought so, too. He patented it, and offered it to the government and the British high command without royalties, as his contribution to the war effort. About 18,000 (C-58) walkie-talkie units of Hings' design were manufactured during the Second World War. It would be safe to say their effect on the war was profound, saving untold lives and providing soldiers with a reliable means of battlefield communication they wouldn't have had otherwise."

(Hings was honored by a 12-foot wide by 12-foot long by 16-foot tall ice sculpture at the Canada Snow Sculpture Contest in February 2000. The sculpture depicted a Red Cross soldier from World War II talking into a C-58 walkie-talkie--the one invented by Hings.)

"An armed society is a polite society" - Robert Heinlein

-- LICENSE CONFUSION --

There is some confusion regarding certain privileges inherent to the various Amateur Radio license classes. Hopefully, the following will provide clarification.

Since the restructured Amateur Radio Service began 15 April 2000, no new Novice or Advanced Class licenses have been issued, for there are no longer any examination elements for these licenses. However, existing Novice and Advanced Class licenses may be indefinitely renewed, AND the Advanced Class segments of certain HF bands are still out-of-bounds for all except holders of Advanced and Extra Class licenses.

The No Code Technician Class began 14 February 1991. Anyone holding a Novice or Technician license before 14 February 1991 always retain their 5 wpm code credit. The ARRL Certificate of Successful Completion of examination (CSCE) shows, under New License Class Earned, "Technician w/HF". Who exactly qualifies as a Technician w/HF privileges? According to Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, Manager of the ARRL VEC:

1) Any current Technician licensed before 14 April 1991.

2) Any current Technician who passed a code test anytime since 14 April 1991, and has proof of same.

3) Any current or former Technician Plus licensee currently licensed as a Technician.

4) Any Novice who upgrades to and is a current Technician.

5) Any current Technician who passes a 5 wpm code exam. However, that 5 wpm code credit is valid for only 365 days towards a General Class upgrade, even though HF operation is valid as long as the Technician license is valid.

6) Any current Technician who has evidence of formerly being a Novice.

Those Technician w/HF operating privileges are specified in Section 97.301(e) of the FCC rules (Novice, Tech+ HF segments of 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters).

-- UPCOMING FLORIDA HAMFESTS --

09 Dec Lake City ARC Hamfest, Florida Sports Hall of Fame, Exit 82 off I-75, west to US 90. TI: 145.490

12/13 Jan Ft. Myers ARC Hamfest, Shady Oaks Community Center, 3280 Marion St, off SR 80. TI: 146.880, Info: Earl, K4FQU (941)332-1503

27 Jan DeSoto ARC Hamfest, DeSoto County Fairgrounds, US 17, 1/2 mi south of SR 70. TI: 147.075 , Info: Doug, KN4YT (941)494-5070

(October 2000 CyberSKIP Digest; November 2000 QST)


Page - 5


UPCOMING CONTESTS AND ACTIVITIES
Contest/Special Event Times/Dates Bands/Modes QSO With Exchange
ARRL 10-Meter Contest 0000 GMT 09 December

2400 GMT 10 December

10 Meters Only

SSB/CW

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/(T) + State
Croatian CW Contest 1400 GMT 16 December

1400 GMT 17 December

160 - 10 Meters

CW Only

DXCC Entities R/S/T + Serial Number
OK RTTY Contest 0000 GMT 16 December

2400 GMT 16 December

80 - 10 Meters

RTTY Only

DXCC Entities R/S/T + CQ Zone
RAC Winter Contest 0000 GMT 30 December

2400 GMT 30 December

160 - 2 Meters

SSB/CW

Canadian Stations Only R/S/(T) + Serial No.
ARRL Straight Key Night 0000 GMT 01 January

2400 GMT 01 January

160 - 10 Meters

CW Only

Anyone, Anywhere, using Straight Key "SKN", R/S/T + "whatever"
ARRL RTTY Roundup 1800 GMT 06 January

2400 GMT 07 January

80 - 10 Meters

RTTY Only

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/T + QTH
Japan International Low Bands DX Contest 2200 GMT 12 January

2200 GMT 14 January

160 - 40 Meters

CW Only

Japanese Stations Only R/S/T + Serial Number

From December 2000 Worldradio and December 2000 QST.

-- WCF FIELD DAY ACTION --

December's QST tabulates the results of the 2000 Field Day entries. A total of 2,043 log entries were received, however, the total number of QSOs dropped 3.3% from 1999. Nationally, W3AO in Class 30A (!!) ran up 9908 QSOs for a score of 31,534 points. Of the eight Class 2A entries in the West Central Florida Section, EARS came in sixth with 398 QSOs and 1660 points. The following are the leading WCF club/group scores in each Class:

1A KB4VC - Clear Channel Communicators - 1000 QSOs, 2988 points

K4QXX - Looped Group - 904 Qs, 1908 pts

WA4GDN - Gulf Coast ARC - 205 Qs, 810 pts

2A K4WCF - Sarasota ERC - 2405 Qs, 8030 pts

N4TP - Tampa ARC - 1651 Qs, 6188 pts

K4LKL - Lakeland ARC - 1010 Qs, 3726 pts

3A AA4G - Florida West Coast DX Ring - 1492 Qs, 5046 pts

W4MIN - DeSoto ARC - 149 Qs, 998 pts

5A W4C - METRO/SPARC/CARS/Boy Scouts - 1507 Qs, 4550 pts

-- 31 ON 31 AWARD --

Worldradio is now offering the new "31 on 31 Award" for those who work 31 countries on PSK 31. Rules are:

1. The 31 countries must be sovereign nations; not possessions of another country. Worldradio's list of nations is to be used.

2. Submit a list of the PSK31 QSOs, by callsign, date, time and band. QSLs are not required.

3. Enclose $3.10 for an 8x11 unfolded certificate suitable for framing.

4. Send QSO list and fee to:

Worldradio

Attn: 31 on 31

2120 28th Street

Sacramento, CA 95818

The Worldradio List of Nations can be obtained from the same address by submitting a business-size SASE with 55 cents postage. Worldradio will send the list and a log sheet to keep track of the QSOs.

It looks like Worldradio will soon be offering an "All 50 on 31 Award", apparently for WAS on PSK31.

Who will be first locally to earn the "31 on 31 Award"?

(From December 2000 Worldradio)

-- PHASE 3D SATELLITE FINALLY UP --

The long-delayed Phase 3D Satellite, now known as AO-40, finally went into space aboard Ariane Flight 135 around 8:07 PM EST 15 November from the French Guyana launch site. At this time, the satellite is in a transfer orbit used for geosynchronous satellites. It will be another 270 days before AO-40 is established into its elliptical orbit ranging from 4000 km to 47,714 km above the earth's surface. Early reports, however, indicate that the 440 MHz transmitter is inoperative, which could be a big blow to its usefulness.

AO-40 is intended to provide a means for those who lack the wherewithal for HF arrays to work DX on the UHF bands in both digital and analog modes

(From Amateur Satellite Report 15 November 2000 plus 22 November 2000 CQ News Page update)

-- NOTABLE QUOTE -

"The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth" - Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson


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
Bhutan - A52UD

Niue - ZK2VF

Fernando da Noronha - PY0ZFO

Macquarie Is - VK0MM

Nauru - C21JH

Fiji - 3D2CQ

South Cook Is - ZK1PEQ

Belau - T88TU

Comoros - D68BT & D68WL

Now to 12 Dec

Now to 10 Dec

Now to 13 Dec

Now to 15 Dec

10 - 22 December

16 - 20 December

20 Dec - 06 Jan

27 - 31 December

13 - 28 January

8

252

115

220

279

258

246

306

84

1130

07 .12

00 .08

--

08>12

08>12

07>12

10>12

00>03

11>12

05>13

22>09

--

07>13

06>13

05>13

08>13

22>04

13>17

13>02

12>00

04>07

13>23

13>19

13>01

13>18

17>00

1330

14>01

13>23

--

18>00

18>00

16>00

14>17

13>23

NO

17>23

13>22

--

19>23

19>23

17>23

14>17

14>18

NO

19>22

14>21

--

19>21

20>22

20>22

1530

14>17

NO

20>22

15>19

--

20>21

21>22

20>21

1530

15>16

Updated 02 December 2000, based on 04 December 2000 QRZ DX, 01 December 2000 The 59(9) DX Report, and North Jersey DX Reflector.

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

Solar Flux assumed at 160 and F-Index at 2 for all forecasts.

-- K5K, KINGMAN REEF SUMMARY --

From the first QSO on 22 October to the 80,799th one at 1848 GMT on 31 October, the Kingman Reef DXpedition operators did a great job putting K5K on all bands from 160 to 6 meters. The QSO total ranks this operation third among all-time DXpeditions and the highest for any pure boat-and-tent operation.

Amongst the EARS DXers, W2OJ worked K5K on 20 SSB, W4VV got them on 20, 15, 12 and 10 SSB and 40 CW, K9HUY had QSOs on 17, 15, 12 and 10 SSB plus 20, 17 and 12 CW, and W4JS had QSOs on 7 bands, 10 to 75-Meter Phone (of course!). There's a great K5K web site at <http://www.qsl.net/krpdxg/krlog.html>.

-- DUMBING DOWN DXERS --

In keeping with the dumbing down of American voters--especially Palm Beach County Bingo Players--the web site of Alan, VK0MM, on Macquarie Island for the past year, shows it's an international trend. The following quotes from actual VK0MM QSOs prove the point:

1) "...Thanks for the contact, you are 59. What is your callsign?"

2) "VK0MM, what is your QTH..??" (Although Alan gives his QTH at least once per minute.)

3) From a US station: "What is your QTH?"

"Macquarie Island"

(US station) "Where is that?"

"About 15 hundred kilometres south of New Zealand"

(US station) "Where is New Zealand?"

4) "Please, this IK0***; I need VK0 for my DXCC"

5) "Thank You, Domo Arigato Mr. Alan" (Courteous Japanese station--not found during American and European QSOs)

6) "VK0MM, this is G4*** running 10 Watts" (S9+40)

-- DECEMBER PROPAGATION --

November's Solar Flux averaged 178.8, with the A-index being < 10 for 20 days. The National Geophysical Center in Boulder, CO and the Royal Observatory of Belgium believe Cycle 23 peaked in mid-2000 with SSN +125. As the smoothed sunspot numbers lag the monthly mean numbers by six months, we will not know the facts until early next year. While 2000 was a good year for HF propagation, it did not match the great years of 1979 (peak SSN 165) and 1989 (peak SSN 159).

The December propagation forecast ("Propagation" by George Jacobs, W3ASK, December 2000 CQ) follows:

Excellent daytime DX propagation to all areas of the world should be possible on 10 through 20 meters. Also expect exceptional conditions on the 6-meter band.

From sundown to midnight, look for DX openings towards the south and west on 15, 17, 20 and 30 meters, and to most other areas of the world on 40 and 80 meters. Fairly good 160-meter DX openings should be possible towards the north, east and south.

From midnight to sunrise, the best DX bands should be 30, 40 and 80 meters, with openings also possible on 20 and 160 meters. Remember that optimum conditions occur on 40, 80 and 160 about the time when the sun begins to rise at the easternmost terminus of the path.

Probable best DX days for remainder of month: 12, 22 and 26 December should be "Above Normal"; 13-14, 21, 23 and 25 December should be "High Normal".

-- LONG-PATH PROPAGATION --

Bob Brown, NM7M has a new book available, Long-Path Propagation, Revisited in Year 2000, which studies the long-path phenomenon on 10 - 160 meters. The 9-chapter book sells for $15, postpaid. For details, send e-mail to Bob at <bobnm7m@cnw.com>.


Page - 7


WAVES AND REFLECTIONS

-- QCWA PETITIONS FCC --

(Those of us licensed prior to the mid-60s well remember the "Incentive Licensing" that was cast upon us. The idea behind the 1967 Incentive Licensing proceeding was to "provide motivation" for some 100,000 General and Advanced Class amateurs to upgrade their tickets. Adopted 24 August 1967, FCC Docket No. 15928 reestablished the Advanced Class license--which had not been available since 1951--and introduced choice "reserved frequencies" available only to the Advanced and Extra Class.

The "incentive" was new 25-Kc segments at the low end of the HF phone and CW bands--spectrum that was already available to the General and Advanced Class. To get this spectrum back, amateurs had to pass more comprehensive written exams and high speed Morse.

The Quarter Century Wireless Association believes no useful purpose is being served by continuing to deny the privileges withdrawn from those amateurs who still suffer from that action. [From 01 December 2000 W5YI Report.] Hence the following article.)

The Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA) has filed a petition with the FCC requesting rulemaking action to amend Section 97.505(a) of the Commission's Rules. This amendment would facilitate the restoration of those privileges withdrawn from the Advanced and General Class operator licenses on 22 November 1968. The amended rule would require administering Volunteer Examiners to give Element 4 credit to current Advanced and General Class licensees also holding an FCC-issued Advanced, General or Conditional Class license granted before November 22, 1968. The person would thereby become eligible for an Amateur Extra Class operator license, restoring the privileges lost on 22 November 1968.

On that date, amateurs holding Advanced, General and Conditional Class licenses lost significant operating privileges as a result of rules adopted by the FCC in implementing a system of incentive licensing. To regain the privileges withdrawn, a licensee had to upgrade to Amateur Extra Class by traveling to a FCC office and passing difficult high-speed telegraphy and written examinations.

It is the QCWA view that no useful purpose is being served by continuing to deny the privileges withdrawn to those amateur operators who still suffer from that action. The single issue addressed in the petition is the need to restore to these operators the privileges they have not enjoyed for some 32 years. In sharp contrast with the compassionate "grandfathering" provisions recently adopted for the amateur service, the transition to incentive licensing imposed an injustice on all amateur operators holding an Advanced, General or Conditional Class operator license on 22 November 1968. It brought serious disruption to the amateur service and created ill will within the amateur service community. Although many, if not most, of the licensees affected have since upgraded to a higher operator class, there is a widespread belief within the amateur service community that the abrupt withdrawing of privileges was unjust to all Advanced, General and Conditional Class operator licensees of that era.

There remains today, at most, a few thousand operators so affected who have not chosen to upgrade. Some do so as their statement in protest to having been affected so adversely. Clearly, these licensees lost significant privileges for which they had previously qualified by examination before FCC examiners. Moreover, for many years--in some instances for many decades--these licensees had been using those privileges at their amateur stations. Most certainly, they had proven conclusively their proficiency in operating an amateur station properly with those privileges.

The QCWA seeks a prompt ending of the injustice being suffered by those within its constituency. The QCWA is committed to promoting interest in the amateur service, making use of the knowledge and experience among its nearly 10,000 members.

(From 30 October 2000 QCWA Press Release)

-- FLORIDA ENFORCEMENT NEWS --

Joseph Mattern, WW4WJD, of Orlando appeared for re-examination but failed both the written and code portions of the Tech Plus exam. His license was cancelled. (From 15 November 2000 W5YI Report)

In Miami, Lazaro Duarte, KF4WSM, has had his Tech Plus license cancelled for failure to appear for re-examination prior to 15 October. (Ibid)

Jan S. Lepitak, KM4KC, of Spring Hill has had his Advanced Class license canceled for failure to appear for retesting by 20 October (From 01 December 2000 W5YI Report)

-- CHEAP PHONES JAM INDIAN REPEATERS --

Reporter Alen J. Mendonca writes in the 28 November Times of India that cheap cordless phones imported illegally from China are causing havoc on VHF frequencies in and around Bangalore, as well as interfering with amateur satellites.

These Chinese phones operate between 140 and 180 MHz and have long-range coverage--5 to 8 Km over land and up to 30 Km (18 miles) over water. Indian hams report these long-range cordless phones are jamming amateur repeaters, and getting into the uplinks of amateur satellites. (Posted 28 November on CQ News Page <http://news.cq-amateur-radio.com>)

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