TO: Northwestern Division ARRL Members
Subject: January 2007 Newsletter
Happy New Year to ARRL Northwestern Division members. I hope you are enjoying the first few days of 2007 in spite of the ugly weather we are experiencing here in the Pacific Northwest. Just think, we could be in
I work for a company that manufactures rocket engines for NASA and other aerospace firms. Earlier this week, I attended a presentation by an Astronaut (a licensed ham) who talked about his training. He noted that the most important attribute of the astronaut corps is teamwork.
I hope that we, as licensed Amateur Radio operators, can work together as a unified team on behalf of the Amateur Radio Service and our wonderful avocation.
Division Website URLa fter the Division newsletter was distributed in October, I received feedback requesting information about the URL for the Division website.
This web site can be accessed via the ARRL.org URL (follow the links to the Division) or direct via http://mysite.verizon.net/~res0nuqa/ .
Thanks again to Rodger KK7LK and Michael KG7HQ for their able assistance with development and maintenance of the website.
FCC Actions As you undoubtedly know, the FCC implemented the Report and Order which restructuring some of our bands. The most controversial aspect is the
80-meter expansion of the phone band to 3600 KHz. Following review and input from members, the ARRL requested a modification of the R&O to allow digital from 3600 to 3635 KHz. The FCC maintained their confused logic and extended the digital section from 3600 to 3585 KHz. It appears they didn't think about or even realize that nets and other activities occur in this range. But, given the logic (?) applied by the FCC during the past few years, I guess we really shouldn't be surprised. During the holidays, I listened on these new frequency allocations and heard only a few US signals. Time will tell if and how this new phone allocation will be used.
Then, in December, the R&O eliminating the CW equirement was issued. This new policy should go into effect in January. I preferred maintaining a CW requirement for the Extra Class License and voted as
such a few years ago when the ARRL filed its comments. But, in its quest to simplify most aspects of the Amateur Radio, the FCC determined it was in the "public interest" to eliminate CW entirely as a
condition for all classes of license. Soon there will be a number of new licensees on the bands without having experienced the CW requirement. Please welcome them to Amateur Radio and assist them as they learn to participate in our hobby the same manner most of us were welcomed when we first started as hams. Remember, they took the time to study and pass the various exam elements to reach a class of license and thus, they have an interest in joining our ranks. Consider how much you learned from the time you first became licensed to the present. Be an ELMER.
Finally, the FCC dismissed the complaint from Kanassas, VA hams using the logic that the BPL system there complied with current interference criteria. If you have been following this issue, you know that complaints weren't even notified about technical tests and locations from which the FCC based their decision. This is one of the first times the FCC allows unlicensed entities to legally interfere with licensed services! Because of this and other similar issues, the ARRL
Board determined an appeal in the Federal Appellate court is justified.
As you might imagine, this is a very costly appeal process. I believe this filing shows that we disagree with their possibly illegal action. Please consider donating to the Save Our Frequencies Fund, coordinated
by the ARRL's Development Department. ARRL Foundation Scholarships and Teachers' Summer Workshops The ARRL Foundation (were I also serve as a Board Member) just announced the scholarship program for 2007 along with the requisite deadlines for application. See http://arrl.org/arrlf . There are
thousands of dollars of scholarships available to young college and tech-school bound licensed hams. It was both gratifying and an honor to review the applications last year and recommend scholarship awards to many talented young people. Do you know that a teachers' workshop was conducted for the last five years, helping teachers integrate electronics and ham radio studies into their classrooms? This is a wonderful program that has seen many positive results for young people.
You can participate in these programs by donating or creating a request to fund these and other programs. Visit http://arrl.org/development for further information.
Legislative Action Program
In past newsletters, I referred to the Legislative Action Program (LAP) that will be implemented by the Board as a coordinated program to both forestall actions by the FCC and other Federal agencies as well as to introduce legislation favorable to Amateur Radio and licensees. This program is now ready for implementation in the ARRL divisions. The February issue of QST will describe the recommendations and organization of this process as defined by members of the ad hoc LAP
members. There are three levels of coordination in each division.
Overall coordination in each division will be accomplished by an appointed Division Legislative Action Chair (DLAC). Each state will have a Legislative Action Coordinator (LAC). In the various locales,
Legislative Action Assistants (LAA's) will be recruited. The LAA's are generally the folks who will contact and meet with Federal legislators and/or their aides to both inform them about Amateur Radio and to request support for specific legislation that affects us. A training package has been developed which both explains the overall process. In addition, a training DVD is available to exhibit the way to meet and
explain our issues and concerns and ask for support. I envision at least one LAA team (comprising of 2-3 members) in each Federal Congressional District in the Northwestern Division as well as a team targeting each Senator. This means that at least 28 teams are
Alaska 1 team for a legislator and 2 teams for a senators = 3
Idaho 2 teams for legislators and 2 teams for senators = 4
Montana 1 team for legislator and 2 teams for senators = 3
Oregon 5 teams for legislators and 2 teams for senators = 7
Washington 9 teams for legislators and 2 teams for senators = 11
To see who your Federal legislator is, click the following URL: http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml#top
For a list of Senators, see:
I realize that many hams are not comfortable participating in the political process, but it is a real learning experience and has potential benefits for us far into the future. If you do have an interest in participating or need further information, please contact
me. Northwestern Division members have been extremely proactive when asked for assistance with similar issues. I look forward to your participation and work with a team in your legislative district or at the senatorial level. Again, I emphasize this initiative is focused on Federal issues. At the upcoming board meeting, we will determine one or more initiatives on which to focus.
Hamfest and Convention Season:
The first hamfest of the New Year is in Rickreal, OR on February 17. Remember the Northwestern Division Convention will be in Seaside, OR on June 1 through 3. This promises to be a fantastic convention and will
have a few new formats. I met with the coordinating committee last month and am excited about the venue. We just received approval to host W1AW/7. Mary Hobart, ARRL Development Manager, will be in
attendance. Mary is a great spokesperson for the ARRL and Amateur Radio in general. The Communications Academy dedicated to Emergency Communications and coordination will be held in Seattle on March 31 and
April 1. Harold Kramer, WJ1B, ARRL COO, will be a keynote speaker at this event. See the Northwestern Division web site for other Hamfest dates, times and places.
The Idaho QSO party is schedule for March 10-11, 2007. This is a great way to work some of those elusive Idaho Counties. To see the rules, link to: http://www.nt4tt.com/main_page_link/rules.htm . On May 5-6, the 7th District QSO party will be held. Get on the air work the world from the rare 7th area! For further information, link to:
It has been a pleasure to serve the ARRL Northwestern Division during 2006. Both Vice Director Bill Sawders K7ZM and I look forward to our next three years of service to you.
We'll forward the next installment of this newsletter following the upcoming Board meeting in Newington. Both my wife Shirley, KE7CBH, and I wish each of you the best of health and good hamming in 2007.
Jim Fenstermaker K9JF
Now some thoughts from our Northwestern Division Vice Director, Bill
It's the beginning of a new year with new challenges. I have heard very little feedback on the FCC decision to increase the size of the phone bands. The dropping of the code requirement came as no surprise as most
countries had already led the way in doing so. The big challenge will be our ability to protect our frequencies from pollution produced by BPL, Broadband over Power Lines. With the FCC staffed by "political liberals" with an "anything goes"
attitude, Amateur Radio, as we know it, could certainly be on the decline. The ARRL is standing up to these "from bad to worse" Commissioners and will do whatever is possible to protect our spectrum.
The FCC is heading in the wrong direction and our hobby is at risk. You can help with a generous contribution to the ARRL Spectrum Defense
Fund. On a "brighter" side, Dr. David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Center announced at the American Geophysical meeting in San Francisco, that solar cycle 24 might be the most intense cycle in
the 400 years of monitoring. When I was first licensed, in 1957 (50 years ago!), I can remember working Europe on 10 meters with a dipole in the attic! Solar cycle 24 is supposed to "peak" in the year 2010 or 2011. My wife, Vicki, K7VKI and I are looking forward to
seeing and meeting you at the various hamfests and swapmeets in the year ahead. And again, please help all Amateurs, by supporting the ARRL in protecting our frequencies. By doing so, we can all look forward to
the enjoyment that Amateur Radio provides... for years to come!
ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: James Fenstermaker, K9JF