EVARC Events/Announcements

July 27, 2014
Vol 14, No 20




EVARC Upcoming Events/Announcements
Test Sessions
From the ARRL Letter - July 24, 2014
     Centennial Convention Provides Springboard for "Amateur Radio Parity Act," HR.4969
     FEMA and ARRL Sign Agreement; FEMA Administrator Calls Ham Radio "Resilient"
     FCC Proposes Substantial Fines for Two Radio Amateurs Alleging Deliberate Interference, Failure to Identify
     ARRL VEC Conducts Remote Exam Session with Applicants in Antarctica
     Radio History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL
In Brief
Education and Training
Closing Items



EVARC Upcoming Events/Announcements

Next September meeting of the Elkhorn Valley Amateur Radio Club
Date:  Saturday, August 9, 2014
Time:  08:30 AM
LocationBailey's Bistro & Lounge
                 1201 S 13th St

Minutes from the June 2014 meeting are available and can be read on the EVARC Web page

Visitors are always welcome to the meeting.
Bring a Guest to the Meeting

For more Information see the EVARC Web Page

Midwest Division News

The Midwest Division ARRL Newsletter for August 2014 is available on the EVARC Web site.


Nebraska Section News

The Nebraska Section news for June 2014 is available on the EVARC Web site.



Test Sessions within 100 miles of Norfolk, NE

For more testing locations see the ARRL Testing Web page



     Sponsor: AksarbenARC/Omaha Area VE Team
     Date: Jul 29 2014
     Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: William H. Jackson
                     (402) 571-7540
     Location: American Red Cross
                      2912 S 80th Ave
                      Near 84th and Center
                      Lower Level West Side
                      Omaha NE 68124-3250



     Sponsor: Lincoln ARC
     Date: Aug 07 2014
     Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: John P. Hauner
                     (402) 486-1400
     Location: Northside Cafe
                      2701 N 48th St.
                      Lincoln NE 68504-1425



     Sponsor: Bellevue ARC
     Date: Aug 09 2014
     Time: 1:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: Robert F. McCoy
                     (402) 871-5077
     Location: Alegent Health Midlands Hospital
                      11111 S 84 Street
                      McArdle Suite
                      Papillion NE 68046-3920



     Sponsor: Siouxland ARA
     Date: Aug 15 2014
     Time: 7:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: Gary L. Johnson
     Location: American Red Cross
                      4200 War Eagle Dr
                      Sioux City IA 51109-1700



l Hamfests/Conventions
  Heartland Hams Hamfest

     Start Date: 08/02/2014
     End Date: 08/02/2014
     Location: Indian Creek Museum
                   59256 380th Street
                   Emerson, IA 51533
     Website: http://www.heartlandhams.org
     Sponsor: Heartland Hams ARC
     Type: ARRL Hamfest
     Talk-In: 145.290-
     Public Contact: Donald Brown ,W0AF
                            53243 260th Street
                            Glenwood, IA 51534
     Phone: 712-526-2080
     Email: don_jean_2000@yahoo.com


  3900 Club Hamboree 2014

     Start Date: 09/27/2014
     End Date: 09/27/2014
     Location: Bellevue Volunteer Fire Department Hall
                   2108 Franklin Street
                   Bellevue, NE 68005
     Website: http://www.wd0bfo.com/hamboree-2014.html
     Sponsor: 3900 Club
     Type: ARRL Hamfest
     Talk-In: 147.06 (PL 131.8)
     Public Contact: Tom Huber ,WD0BFO
                            7518 Chandler Hills Drive
                            Bellevue, NE 68147
     Phone: 402-990-5135
     Email: wd0bfo@cox.net



For a complete listing of Hamfests go to the ARRL Hamfest Search page http://www.arrl.org/hamfests-and-conventions-calendar



From the June 24, 2014 ARRL Letter


Centennial Convention Provides Springboard for "Amateur Radio Parity Act," HR.4969

The just-concluded ARRL National Centennial Convention in Hartford, Connecticut, helped to infuse some energy into efforts to line up co-sponsors for "The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014" -- HR.4969.

The measure, introduced in the US House of Representatives with bipartisan support in late June, calls on the FCC to apply the "reasonable accommodation" three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy to private land-use restrictions regarding antennas. The bill's primary sponsor is Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). It received initial co-sponsorship from Rep Joe Courtney (D-CT). An additional four co-sponsors have since signed aboard the bill. Courtney visited the ARRL Centennial Convention on July 19 to speak with League officials and those attending the event. At present PRB-1 only applies to state and municipal land-use ordinances, and the FCC has indicated that it will not act to provide the same legal protections from private land-use agreements -- often called covenants, conditions, and restrictions (or CC&Rs) -- without direction from Congress.

Convention visitors began sporting League-supplied "Get Behind HR 4969" stickers as the event shifted into high gear. Behind the stickers is a grassroots effort to encourage members to contact their congressional representatives to seek their support as co-sponsors for HR.4969. The effort at the Convention to entice visitors to sign letters to lawmakers yielded some 1400 constituent letters that will be hand delivered to members of Congress, a July 19 Convention Legislative Update Forum was told.

ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, said there already is precedent for the FCC to act. He explained that the Commission's so-called Over-the-Air Receiving Device (OTARD) rules currently preempt private land-use agreements to permit the installation of television antennas and satellite dishes. He suggested that making the leap to reasonably accommodating outdoor Amateur Radio antennas is within the FCC's regulatory scope, given the established strong federal interest in effective Amateur Radio communication.

"People don't always get to choose where they live," Imlay said. CC&Rs enforced by homeowner's associations may or may not permit antennas or may only permit them with approval. He said that by 1990, some 29 million US residents were affected by private land-use agreements. "In 2011, that number changed to 62.3 million people," Imlay said. The goal, he explained, is to compel homeowner's associations to negotiate "reasonable accommodation" with an affected radio amateur. That could mean an outdoor wire antenna or something more elaborate; Imlay said it's not the intent of the bill to specify any particular type of antenna.

HR.4969 has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Rep Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), chairs that panel's Communications and Technology Subcommittee, which will consider the measure. The League had approached Walden, who helped to engineer the current legislation.

"All [the bill] says is, take PRB-1, and apply it to all land-use regulation," Imlay said. "This couldn't be any simpler."

Imlay said the bill faces opposition from the Community Associations Institute and an organization called Associa, which has suggested to Kinzinger that he "re-think" the bill.

"We need to get a lot of co-sponsors for this bill," Imlay said.

A principal proponent of HR.4969 is ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB. "We are the ones who are responsible for our own future. The way to get things done is to be active on a grassroots level -- small scale," he told the gathering of about 50 interested radio amateurs. "This way you're dealing with your representatives as a constituent." Several forum attendees left early so they could visit the ARRL exhibit on the convention floor to obtain the necessary materials.

ARRL Regulatory Affairs Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, pointed out that the League has opened a HR.4969 page on the ARRL website. It contains information and resources for clubs and individuals wishing to support efforts to gain co-sponsors for the measure by contacting their members of Congress. It includes a sample letter to a member of Congress and a list of "talking points." Lisenco recommended organizing small teams of knowledgeable and articulate radio amateurs to approach lawmakers one to one to plead their case.

Just prior to the Convention, ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, released a video appeal to all radio amateurs to get behind a grassroots campaign to promote co-sponsorship of HR.4969.



FEMA and ARRL Sign Agreement; FEMA Administrator Calls Ham Radio "Resilient"

The ARRL and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have announced a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that will enhance cooperation between the League and FEMA in the area of disaster communication. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, and ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, signed the agreement July 18 during the ARRL National Centennial Convention in Hartford, Connecticut.

"Radio is one of the most resilient communications technologies we have," Fugate said. "When the power is out and telecommunications are down, the Amateur Radio community can serve as a vital resource in support of emergency responders and survivors during a disaster. This MOA will strengthen FEMA's partnership with ARRL and build upon our work to expand emergency communications capabilities and the use of Amateur Radio in emergency management."

The new agreement will allow FEMA and ARRL to work together to provide resources, services and personnel, as available, in order to strengthen capacity in areas of emergency communications, mass care and emergency assistance, disaster preparedness, response and recovery, while also raising public awareness about the use of Amateur Radio as a public safety resource. The pact also outlines the ways in which FEMA and ARRL will cooperate to carry out their respective responsibilities, with respect to disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery operations in the event of a natural or manmade disaster.

Craigie said that from radio's earliest days of experimentation to the present, ham radio volunteers have combined a passion for technology with a devotion to assisting agencies that respond to disasters. "This combination of inventiveness and service has saved lives for a century," she said. "We look forward to working with FEMA to further develop opportunities for trained, equipped and prepared Amateur Radio operators to serve the public interest whenever and wherever disasters affect our country and its communities."

Fugate echoed his afternoon remarks as the keynote speaker at the ARRL National Centennial Convention Banquet Friday evening. He said that before he even became FEMA administrator, it became clear to him that Amateur Radio could support ad hoc communication without relying on conventional communication systems. "The more sophisticated our systems become, the more fragile they become," he told the gathering of some 900 dinner guests. He again emphasized the need for resiliency in communication systems, and asked, "How many public safety networks can come close to ham radio's bandwidth?"

"The relevancy of ham radio only grows," he asserted. "Amateur Radio is taking that hobby and turning it into saving lives."



FCC Proposes Substantial Fines for Two Radio Amateurs Alleging Deliberate Interference, Failure to Identify

The FCC Enforcement Bureau came down hard on two radio amateurs this week, proposing substantial fines for alleged deliberate interference with other Amateur Radio communications -- in one case by transmitting music and animal noises -- and failure to properly identify. In similar Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NALs) released July 22, the Commission proposed fining Michael Guernsey, KZ8O (ex-ND8V), of Parchment, Michigan, $22,000, and Brian Crow, K3VR, of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, $11,500. In both cases, the FCC said the evidence indicated that the transmissions at issue were aimed at interfering with other radio amateurs with whom each "has had a long-standing and well-documented dispute" that had spilled out onto the air.

The FCC in both instances responded last March to "several complaints of intentional interference" on 14.313 MHz. Commission agents used radio direction-finding techniques to pin down the source of the transmissions. According to the NAL issued to Guernsey, the FCC agents monitored transmissions from his station for approximately 40 minutes on March 7, 2014, "and heard him transmit a pre-recorded song and various animal noises on the frequency."

According to the NAL issued to Crow, FCC agents monitored transmissions from his station for approximately 3 hours on the morning of March 14, 2014, and heard him transmit slow-scan television (SSTV) signals and "a pre-recorded voice transmission of another amateur station on the frequency."

"These transmissions prevented other amateur licensees from communicating over the frequency," the NALs said, adding that neither Guernsey or Crow transmitted their assigned call signs while the agents were listening.

The FCC agents later the same day visited Crow's residence and asked to inspect his station, which they confirmed was capable of operating on 14.313 MHz. Crow denied operating his station that morning, however, and claimed that he was not at home when the interfering transmissions occurred.

The Enforcement Bureau has warned both Guernsey and Crow in the past regarding interference to other Amateur Radio operators. In Crow's case, the FCC said the fact that he subsequently interfered with other amateur operators "demonstrates a deliberate disregard for the Commission's authority," and warranted an upward adjustment of $3500 to his proposed base forfeiture. Guernsey first came to the Enforcement Bureau's attention in the late 1990s and, the FCC said in the NAL, "has a history of causing interference to the communications of other Amateur Radio operators and has been warned repeatedly in writing." Guernsey's lengthy history with the Commission warranted an upward adjustment of $14,000 to his proposed base forfeiture.

The Commission gave both licensees 30 days to pay their fines or to file written statements "seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture."

The NALs to Guernsey and Crow came in the wake of a June 5 Notice of Violation (NoV) alleging that Thomas Ryan Price, W7WL, of Sweet Home, Oregon, caused malicious interference to other radio communications on 3908 kHz, transmitted music on the same frequency, and failed to properly identify.



ARRL VEC Conducts Remote Exam Session with Applicants in Antarctica

The ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) administered several Amateur Radio examination elements to applicants at Amundsen-South Pole Station in Antarctica — the home of KC4AAA. The examination was administered under new FCC rules which became effective on July 21, permitting VECs to administer Amateur Radio examinations remotely.

“All six candidates earned a new or upgrade license,” said ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM. There were three new Technicians, two upgrades to Amateur Extra, and one candidate who went from unlicensed to Amateur Extra.”

Joe Musachia, W5FJG, served as the volunteer examiner at the South Pole, while Penny Harts, N1NAG, and Rose-Anne Lawrence, KB1DMW, were the VEs at ARRL Headquarters.

“Chet Waggoner and Bartley Davis are the first at the South Pole and possibly on continent to pass the General exam,” Musachia said, naming a couple of the candidates in a posting on the ARRL Facebook page. He said two previous exam sessions were held at the South Pole, but they had to get special permission from the FCC to conduct them.

The logistics were somewhat daunting, since the video link required a satellite connection and clearance from NASA, and it was subject to possible last-minute changes, should the International Space Station require additional Satcom time. Musachia, who is the satellite engineer at the station, said NASA was aware that the VEs had requested a large block of time to perform the exam session, and they did not change it.

Somma said the video exam session went ahead as scheduled on July 22 at 8 AM EDT, which was 8 PM in Antarctica. “The summer day was a pleasant 80° here at Headquarters in Newington, while in Antarctica it was 80 below!” she pointed out.

“All of us here at the South Pole want to extend our thanks to you and the VEC team at the ARRL for making this license exam session happen,” Musachia said in an e-mail to ARRL Headquarters. “We all just finished a bottle of champagne to celebrate the newly licensed and upgraded Amateur Radio operators. We wish you all could have joined us.”



Radio History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL

During the decade of the 1960s and subsequently, Gus Browning, W4BPD, traveled the world and operated from over 100 countries, many of them extremely rare ones and sometimes the first ham operation for that country. Gus was an ordinary guy, always a gentleman, and an unflappable pileup operator. He was the first DXer elected to the DX Hall of Fame.

On December 12, 1961, OSCAR 1, the first Amateur Radio satellite, was launched into orbit. OSCAR 2 followed on June 2, 1962. Both paved the way for the amateur satellites that followed.

By 1963, the US ham population had reached a quarter of a million, although at that time there were more CB operators than hams.

During the 1960s, repeater operation began on 2 meters. At first, there was a fair amount of confusion -- questions of legality had to be sorted out by the FCC, a lot of hams thought channelized operation wasn't a good thing, equipment had to be developed, etc. But eventually things settled down, and repeater operation on 2 meters took off, with repeater operation on other VHF/UHF ham bands and 6 meters soon to follow.

On March 27, 1964, a magnitude 9.2 earthquake and the resulting tsunami struck Alaska and caused extensive damages in many parts of the state. As in most natural and man-made disasters, hams were quick to put together emergency communication links to help with disaster relief.

Late in 1967, incentive licensing returned to ham radio. This had been an on-again/off-again issue with FCC for about 15 years. -- Al Brogdon, W1AB


  • Solar Update - Tad Cook, K7RA, in Seattle, Washington, reports: On Thursday, July 17, there were no sunspots at all! This serves a sobering reminder of how weak this solar cycle is. By July 23, new sunspot regions had emerged and the sunspot number was 55. Solar flux ranged from a low of 86.1 on July 19 to a high of 99.1 on July 23. Predicted solar flux for the near term is 100, 105, and 115 on July 24-26, 125, 140, and 155 on July 27-29, 170, 160, 150, and 155 on July 31 through August 2, 150 on August 3-5, then dropping to 85 on August 18, and rising to 150 on August 29. The planetary A index was quiet over the past week, and it's predicted to be at 5 on July 24, 8 on July 25-26, 5 on July 27-28, 12 and 10 on July 29-30, 5 on July 31 through August 4, 8 on August 5-6, 5 on August 7-9, 8 on August 10-11, then 5 on August 12-16, 8 on August 17-18, 5 on August 19-20, and 10 and 8 on August 21-22. This weekly "Solar Update" in The ARRL Letter is a preview of the "Propagation Bulletin" issued each Friday. The latest bulletin and an archive of past propagation bulletins is on the ARRL website. In tomorrow's bulletin look for an updated forecast and reader reports on 6 meters, HF conditions and the usual fear and loathing concerning weak solar activity. Send me your reports and observations.

  • India's VO-52 Satellite Goes Dark - Despite efforts to keep the flagging VUSat OSCAR-52 (VO-52) Amateur Radio satellite in operation for a while longer, ground controllers have yielded to the nearly decade-old spacecraft's failing technology and have permanently taken it out of service. Launched into low-Earth orbit in 2005, the VO-52 microsatellite carried two Amateur Radio transponders for SSB and CW. B.A. "Mani" Subramani, VU2WMY/KJ6LRS, of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that VO-52's lithium-ion batteries had failed, and the satellite was officially decommissioned on July 21. Read more.


l Education and Training
  • ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration - The ARRL has many ways to continue your education in things Amateur Radio.  For more information go to the ARRL Courses & Training web pagee.

  • FEMA Online Training - FEMA has numerous Independent Study Program courses available for Ham Radio Operators and others interested in emergency support and are recommended by ARES.  For a list of courses check the FEMA ISP training web site.  Look for the 100, 200, and 700 series courses.

  • Weather Spotter Training - To be a certified Weather Spotter in the State of Nebraska, you must attend a weather spotter training session, take two on-line courses, and pass a written exam provided by your local Emergency Coordinator.  The on-line courses can be found on the ucar.edu web site.

  • Did you know you can practice code on-line? The ARRL posts their code practice files on the web. These audio files can be played on line or downloaded for later play back on your own computer. Practice files are available for 5, 7.5, 10, 13, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 Words per Minute. To find the files click the following link: http://www.arrl.org/code-practice-filessss



    The EVARC weekly net meets every Monday evening at 7:30 PM on the club 2 meter repeater (146.73 -). Check-in to the net to hear an update on activities of other club members,  announcements of local interest, and any late breaking information. Everyone is welcome to check in.


    The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information to local hams with items of interest.  It is compiled from local, regional, and national sources an includes national, regional, and local news items and events.  Created by Monty Wilson, NRØA. Contact  NRØA with comments or questions.