Hudson Division Beacon – August 2006

August 2006
     Hudson Division Beacon - e-mail edition  - # 65
   Frank Fallon, N2FF, Director, Hudson Division, ARRL
   30 East Williston Avenue, East Williston, NY 11596
     (516) 746-7652  
  Joyce Birmingham, KA2ANF, Vice Director, Hudson Division, ARRL
   235 Van Emburgh Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450-2918
 (201) 455-5924  and
  Hudson Division Home Page -

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===>  Ramapo Mountain ARC Hamfest this Sunday, the 19th of August, in
Oakland NJ  see for details.

===> Boxboro August 25, 26 and 27

The ARRL New England Division Convention in Boxboro is New England's
largest ham radio event, featuring thousands of hams, dozens of
vendors, over 30 talks and seminars, and a two-day fleamarket!  While
it is not a Hudson Division event you may be interested in attending.
It's a great hamfest.  See details at


Order you tickets for the Amateur Radio Social event of the year at

The Bergen Amateur Radio Association will host the 2006 Hudson Division
Awards Dinner at the Holiday Inn in Saddle Brook, New Jersey on a
Saturday night, November 11th ,  at 7 PM.  We will have a very good
view from the 12 floor.  Some attendees may want to work a little HT
DX.  The location is at the junction of Route 80 and the Garden State
Parkway.   Ticket price will be the same as last year, $48 per person.
Please join us to honor all those receiving a division award.  Ticket
and ad applications will soon be available on the division web site.
BARA President Tony Izzo, K2AMI promises that tickets will be sold at
the BARA Hamfest.  No tickets will be sold the night of the event.
Ticket sales will close October 27th.  Please don't leave it to the
last minute!

This year's awardees are:

Amateur of the Year - Barry Cohen, K2JV  (from NNJ) nominated by:
K2AL, WW2OLF, KC2KMK, N2VI, W2FMI and KC2ONP (New Providence ARC/Salt
Brook School ARC)

Grand Ole Ham - Bob Raffaele, W2XM (from ENY) nominated by: K2XA Saul

Technical Achievement:  Elmer Sharp, WA2YSM (from ENY) nominated by:
KB2ZE - Donald Hitt

Special Recognition for Public Service Excellence:  Jeff Schneller,
N2HPO (NLI) nominated by:  Mike Lisenco, N2YBB and Charles Gallo, KG2V

The awards will be presented at the 2006 Hudson Division Awards Dinner
hosted by the Bergen Amateur Radio Association at the Holiday Inn in
Saddle Brook New Jersey just off Route 80 on Saturday night, November
11th at 7 PM.   Please attend to help us honor these outstanding
Amateur Radio operators who truly make us all proud to be part of the
Amateur Radio Service.  Tickets are $48 and an application form is
available at

We hope to see you there.

==> Notes From the Vice Director, Joyce Birmingham, KA2ANF
As I write this, Field Day 2006 is in the ARRL history books and the
very evidence of great Field Day successes can be found on the ARRL
Website under ARRL Field Day 2006 Soapbox. Although it was a very rainy
time on the East Coast, clubs and club members still came out in full
force to set up and participate in some very impressive Field Day
Operations.  If you haven't taken the opportunity to peruse the Soapbox
to see how everyone did in Field Day, I urge you to do so. Who knows,
you might find some new things to try at your next Field Day!

While I did receive a number of Field Day invitations, (my original
plans were to visit clubs in Eastern New York, New York Long Island and
Northern New Jersey), I did not get the opportunity to visit many Field
Day sites, due to the weather, I did get to travel locally to Metroplex
ARC operating 5F at the Ramsey, NJ EOC, Bergen ARA was also operating a
class F station in Paramus, NJ and Fair Lawn ARC was in their new home
at the Fair Lawn Recreation Center, also operating a class F station.
Congratulations to Fair Lawn on their new location and congratulations
to all the Field Day participants for braving the elements and
providing a successful demonstration to the public of what Amateurs can
do when called upon.
I did have the opportunity to work Field Day with members of the East
Coast DX Association. Doing this did afford me the opportunity to work
many of the clubs in the Hudson Division.

The Sussex Hamfest is always well attended, and this year was no
exception. It turned out to be a beautiful day and it was great to see
so many enjoying the event. While I did not buy anything, I did take
the opportunity to gather a few signatures for my Petition for ARRL
Hudson Division Vice Director. I appreciate your support and I know
that Frank does as well. I think we make a great team for the Division
and I would like to see that continue.
In July, Frank, N2FF and I attended the ARRL Board Meeting in
Newington, CT. We did not have a large agenda planned, but did continue
our focus in the areas of Grassroots and Education. There was a very
exciting presentation made by our new Membership Manager, Katie Breen,
W1KRB. Katie and I have been working together to explore new ideas on
how to promote membership. She will be traveling to the LIMARC Hamfest
in September to meet the members of the Hudson Division.

There are a number of new events being planned by the ARRL, like the
On-line Auction. News and information on these things can be found on
the ARRL Website

While at the ARRL Board Meeting, the Directors and Vice Directors were
also able to take part in a Strategic Planning Initiative. This was
certainly enlightening and I was pleased to be able to work with my
fellow Directors and Vice Directors as we look ahead into the future of
Amateur Radio and the ARRL.

As I mentioned in my last column, the ARRL Public Relations Committee
is in full swing promoting the "HELLO" Campaign. We are planning an
end-of-year Special Operating Event as we prepare to launch a new
Campaign in 2007. Stay tuned for more details!

As a part of the Education Task Force, I was pleased to help with the
re-write of "Now You're Talking" now called "The ARRL Ham Radio License
Manual". Being a part of the ARRL VE Program, I was able to bring a
different perspective to the Education Taskforce Committee by providing
a different view of licensing. Hopefully, much of what the new
candidates for the Technician License face will be addressed by this
new material. As with all new material, this too, will be refined and
hopefully improved for the future.

Getting feedback from other VE teams, newly licensed Technicians and of
course our ARRL Instructors is going to help this process. I encourage
all clubs who teach a Technician Course using the new material, to
share your experiences with me. For those of you who are registered
instructors with the ARRL, you should have received an email regarding
an ARRL Education Survey to participate in. I hope you took that
opportunity. The ARRL is now in the process of reviewing all

Traveling being light during the summer months has afforded me some
operating time on VHF/UHF and also on the HF bands. How about that
opening on Six Meters! I hope many of you, were as fortunate as I was,
to add to my Six Meter counts by contacting Idaho, Montana, Washington
and Wyoming as well as Louisiana and Texas.

Of course, since I do enjoy DXing, the addition of two new DXCC
entities has certainly added some excitement! Not that I have worked
them both, as of yet, but it's nice to hear the pile-ups on the bands.
Outside of chasing DX, I've also had the opportunity to enjoy some
contesting as well as just casual operating, in particular contacts
with the numerous Special Events Stations on the air.

One evening in July, Stephen Cass from the IEEE-"Spectrum Online" came
over from New York City to interview me about my involvement with
Amateur Radio, the HELLO campaign and the ARRL. We had a great time, as
I was able to make contacts with stations on the air, working
Montenegro, Germany and England to name a few while he was here. He was
truly amazed at how far the signals went and I think he's a good
candidate for this hobby! Stay tuned for a link to listen to his
PODCAST about Amateur Radio on the IEEE website.

Well, I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the summer. Frank and I will
be making the rounds, visiting as many Hamfests and club meetings that
we can. The fall is packed with so many opportunities, but one of the
premier events in the Hudson Division is the ARRL Hudson Division
Awards Dinner on Saturday, November 11, 2006. This year, BARA is
hosting the dinner. Folks are starting to send in their money for
tickets as I write this and we are also selling space for Ads in the
Dinner's Journal. Please plan to lend support to this event as we come
together to honor 4 very special people. Ticket forms are available on
the BARA website: and also on

Remember seating is limited! I look forward to seeing you there!

I'm also looking forward to the cooler weather, mainly for the Upcoming
Fall Contesting Season. Some of my favorite operating events are: the
ARRL September VHF Contest, CQWW SSB/CW Contest, and the ARRL November
Sweepstakes both CW and SSB. These are excellent operating
opportunities to practice our public service skills, improve our
country counts, experiment with new modes/equipment/antennas and, in
general, to be good ambassadors in this great hobby! I am still
learning everyday and am excied by working the newer modes, like PSK31
and of course, I'm having fun trying to figure out how Frank, N2FF and
Jerry, NO2T makes so many contacts in those RTTY contests! Please look
for me on the air during many of the upcoming contests, as I'd love to
work all of you!

73, Joyce KA2ANF, ARRL Hudson Division Vice Director

==> League Calls Manassas BPL Interference Report "Flawed,"

Note:  The Manassas, VA BPL site uses hardware which is the
same company that LIPA has selected for their test on Long Island.
This despite our BPL team warning them about the perils of this
hardware.  We expect a rough ride with the LIPA test.
NEWINGTON, CT, Aug 3, 2006 -- The ARRL has told the FCC it has found a
radio interference report filed on behalf of the Manassas, Virginia,
BPL system "flawed in numerous respects." The League responded this
week to a July 17 letter and BPL interference study the FCC mandated
following repeated complaints from local radio amateurs.

"ARRL objects to the report because it is based on improper engineering
practice and contrary to the instructions provided by your office in
your letter dated June 16, 2006," ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay,
W3KD, wrote FCC Spectrum Enforcement Division Chief Joseph Casey on
August 2. In June, Casey had ordered the City of Manassas and BPL
provider COMTek to investigate complaints from several Manassas radio
amateurs of BPL interference to their mobile operations and report back
to the Commission on their findings. The League, and local amateurs,
contend the BPL system is still causing harmful interference to Amateur
Radio operations, despite the clean bill of health the engineering
report purports to present.

"It did so both before and after the tests conducted by COMTek; and
there is no doubt at all that the interference is from the COMTek BPL
system operated in the City of Manassas and not from any other source."
The League reiterated its demand that the system be shut down

"Unless the Enforcement Bureau is willing to do that, you are going to
have to send Commission staff to observe this interference and conduct
their own measurements in the presence of both COMTek and the local
Amateur Radio operators who are receiving the interference," Imlay
asserted. Manassas radio amateurs who have complained to the FCC about
the BPL interference also have suggested that the FCC must investigate
the problem firsthand.
The League maintained that COMTek "has filed incorrect and misleading
reports" and has "manipulated the BPL system to show false readings."
In particular, the ARRL -- and local radio amateurs -- suggest that the
BPL system was not operating at peak user loading during the testing,
as the FCC had ordered. Either that or COMTek and BPL equipment
manufacturer adjusted system power levels downward for the
testing, Imlay told the FCC.

In its August 2 letter, the ARRL pointed out that one complainant,
Dwight Agnew, AI4II, never stated during a post-testing demonstration
for Agnew and other Manassas radio amateurs that the BPL equipment was
no longer causing harmful interference. The League said "it is beyond
dispute" that BPL interferes with Amateur Radio, and it noted a 2005
Federal Computer Week article that quoted COMTek Vice President Walt
Adams conceding the point.

"The Commission is going to have to investigate this matter itself,
without advance notice to COMTek or the City, so that the system is not
powered down or otherwise manipulated to show other than peak loading
characteristics at the power levels typically used in Manassas," the
ARRL stated. The League said it's clear that the FCC can't rely on
reports from consultants hired by the system's operators while
excluding the victims of the interference.
"It is obvious that COMTek and have done testing in various
ways each time they go to the system," the ARRL said. "Their findings
are not in agreement with each other."

The League concluded that in its dealings with the Manassas BPL system,
the FCC has "completely ignored" Part 15 rules requiring a BPL
operator, upon learning of harmful interference, to investigate and
resolve it successfully within a reasonable time. "The recent
submission of COMTek and the City have produced no resolution of the
interference at all," ARRL said. "Rather, COMTek and the City have
shown a complete inability, and now, by their denials, the
unwillingness, to resolve the interference."


As we announced last month we are still waiting for the "official"
announcement that LIPA has chosen as their BPL hardware
supplier. BPL trade journals are reporting that LIPA has chosen as their equipment provider for the Copiague/Hauppauge test.

This is NOT good news.   This is the same company that has provided
equipment for the Manassas BPL implementation. At every test deployment
where DS2 or architectures are used, and therefore where HF is
used, there have been complaints. That is a telling statistic, given
that BPL systems have not been deployed extensively and where there are
650,000 Amateur Radio licensees of the FCC. My first reaction, on
hearing that LIPA had picked, was to ask myself if LIPA staff
have lost their senses? sent its US CEO to HQ to talk about interference, and although
they agreed that we needed to meet in Manassas, that never happened.
Apparently the meeting was just for show and intended mostly to buy
some time.  Meanwhile problems continue in Manassas.

Remember, please that Amateur Radio operators are not opposed to BPL
per se. They are opposed to interference and to the rules the FCC
adopted in 2004 that "did not do anything to prevent inevitable,
harmful interference from BPL systems" that employ HF spectrum on
unshielded, overhead medium-voltage lines.

I have asked ARRL Assistant Director, Richard Rosner, N2STU, to chair
our Division BPL effort.  Rich is a PE, an electrical engineer and a
master electrician who will coordinate the effort to monitor the
various test sites in the division and lead the teams which will work
with the various utilities to make sure they deploy systems that are
ham friendly.  While we are not out to stop BPL in its tracks, we do
want utilities to employ a technology that is not going to pollute our
precious RF spectrum.  If you think you can be of assistance in
monitoring interference in the project area, contact Rich at

If you are not sure what BPL is please visit the ARRL web site where
there is a wealth of information -

==> Emergency Communications Bill Includes Amateur Radio as
Interoperability Agent
 (Jul 27, 2006) -- A bill to enhance emergency communication at the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) includes Amateur Radio operators
as part of an overall effort to provide interoperability among
responders. The 21st Century Emergency Communications Act of 2006 (HR
5852), an amendment to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, passed the US
House this week on a 414-2 vote and has gone to the Senate. Its
sponsor, Rep David G. Reichert (R-WA) -- who chairs the Subcommittee on
Emergency Preparedness, Science and Technology -- says his legislation
is designed "to improve the ability of emergency responders to
communicate with each other" -- interoperability.  See  for more

==> Oliver Heaviside: Someone We All Should Know (Aug 3, 2006) --
Although not as well known as his contemporaries, Oliver W. Heaviside
is present in everything we do in Amateur Radio. He was a man who
defined terms that we as ham radio operators toss about, and changed
the face of mathematics and science for years to come.  Full story at

==> MS-100 Bike Tour, Morris and Somerset
Operators are needed for the Morris-Somerset MS-100 bike tour sponsored
by the NNJ  MS chapter in Bergen County.
The tour dates are September 16 and 17. Last year we had mutual aid
help from several ARES/RACES groups. We could not have done the comms
for the tour without this support. Please consider helping this year.
To volunteer, or for more information, please contact Kathy, KT2F at
Thank you.
73,  Bob WB2VUF,  DEC, Morris
Note de N2FF: The MS-100 has for many years used Amateur Radio
communications for support of their fund raiser. This is a two day
event that requires around 15-25 Amateur Radio Operators, EMT's, and a
host of other volunteers. Kathy, KT2F, one of our Assistant Directors
is running this year's event.  Kathy, KT2F and Karl, N2OYU have always
been there each and every year.


As many clubs do not meet or print a July and August newsletter our
next award will be made in September.

===> ARRL Contest Rate Sheet for August tips.

You might be interested in these tips which appeared in August Contest
Rate Sheet edited by Ward Silver, N0AX, which is free to ARRL members
via the web.  ARRL members first must register on the Members Only Web
Site, You'll have an opportunity during
registration to sign up for e-mail delivery of the ARRL Contest Rate
Sheet, W1AW bulletins, and other material. ARRL members may subscribe
to the ARRL Contest Rate Sheet by going to the Member Data Page at: Note that you
must be logged in to the site to access this page. Scroll down to the
section "Which of the following would you like to receive automatically
via email from ARRL?" Check the box for "ARRL Contest Rate Sheet
(biweekly contest newsletter)" and you're all set. Past issues of the
ARRL Contest Rate Sheet are available at Issues are posted to this page after

Today we usually think "DSP" or "op amps" when figuring out how to get
rid of noise and other "stuff" that we don't want to hear in our audio.
  Well, 'twas not always so!  Passive audio filters still do a fine job
in many areas and you never have to change the batteries.  One classic
reference about these filters is Ed Wetherold W3NQN's article "Passive
Audio Filter for SSB" in the Technical Correspondence section of Dec
1979 QST, page 50. Another is "The Crud-O-Ject" by Bob Myers, now W1XT,
in the Feb 1972 QST, page 11. (Thanks, John W0UN)

If you wish your noise-cancelling Bose headphones came with a boom
mike, Doug K1DG shows you how to "make it so" at  A bit of work with a drill and little, tiny
screws and there you are!

Trying to get stuck hardware apart? Dino K6RIX gives this wholehearted
endorsement to PB Blaster. "Some products are rust removers and others
are penetrants and lubricants.  PB Blaster is BOTH! No need to climb
twice. Take it up with you and get the job done!" -

In this era of high copper prices, surplus lengths of enameled wire can
often be had for free or a small fee from electric motor rewinding
shops.  Lengths of dozens of feet aren't long enough for windings in
many cases and have to be discarded or carted to the scrap dealer.  If
there is such a shop in your town (and most
mid-sized and larger towns have at least one), it might be worth
stopping in to check. (Thanks, JC K0HPS)

Several folks in the construction business remind tower builders to
keep the surface of a concrete base wet during the first week of the
curing period.  This prevent cracks due to the surface hardening faster
than the inside.  Either keep the surface misted with water or place
old rugs or cloth on top of the concrete and keep them wet.   Don't be
hasty - it takes 28 days for concrete to cure to 90% strength!

There are a lot of times when we'd like to find out whether two
locations are line-of-sight. With the availability of highly detailed,
accurate mapping data in electronic form, the answer to this and other
similar questions isn't that far away. Kevan NS4T recommends MicroDEM
by Dr. Peter Guth of USNA.
It can do terrain mapping, overlay road maps, and similar useful
tricks.   And the price is right - free! Get the program at

Fans of "hollow state" technology (i.e. - vacuum tubes) will enjoy the
Fun With Tubes site -  There are quite a
few schematics, tutorials, projects, old parts catalogs and
more. In addition, Cardwell Condensers now owns the E.F. Johnson
capacitor line with information posted at (Thanks, Mike AE6WA and

Does the rumble of distant thunder make you nervous? Thomas KN4LF
contributed a couple of Web URLs for information about lightning
protection - 

Diamonds are a ham's best friend - L.B. Cebik, W4RNL has a short
article about rhombics on his web page
( in the series Antennas From The
Ground Up.  L.B. has also started a new series on Long Wire Antennas
( which will eventually have a detailed
analysis of the V-beam and rhombic. (Thanks, Henry K4TMC)

 HAMFESTS ==============  
19 Aug 2006
Ramapo Mountain ARC
Talk-In: 146.490 + 1 MHz & 446.175 - 5 MHz (both PL 107.2)
Anthony Cassera, N2KDZ
72 Smokey Ridge Road
Ringwood, NJ 07456
Phone: 973-839-3564

Oakland, NJ
American Legion
65 Oak Street
Sect: Northern New Jersey

9 Sep 2006
Saratoga County RACES
Talk-In: 146.40/147.00 & 147.84/147.24
Darlene Lake, N2XQG
314 Louden Road, #84
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Phone: 518-587-2385

Ballston Spa, NY
Saratoga County Fairgrounds
Prospect Avenue
Sect: Eastern New York

10 Sep 2006
Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club
Talk-In: 146.850 (PL 136.5)
Rick Bressler, K2RB
50 Lindbergh Street
Locust Valley, NY 11560
Phone: 516-526-6975
Fax: 516-756-2921

Bethpage, NY
Briarcliff College
1055 Stewart Avene
Sect: New York City-Long Island

30 Sep 2006
Annual Fall Hamfest
Bergen Amateur Radio Association
Talk-In: 146.19/.79 (PL 141.3)
Jim Joyce, K2ZO
286 Ridgewood Blvd. North
Township of Washington, NJ 07676
Phone: 201-664-6725

Township of Washington, NJ
Westwood Regional High School
701 Ridgewood Road
Sect: Northern New Jersey

1 Oct 2006
HOSARC Hamfest
Hall of Science ARC
Talk-In: 444.200 (PL 136.5) or 146.52 Simplex
Stephen Greenbaum, WB2KDG
85-10 34th Avenue, Apt. 323
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Phone: 718-898-5599

Queens, NY
New York Hall of Science Parking Lot (Flushing Meadows Corona Park)
47-01 111th Street
Sect: New York City-Long Island

7 Oct 2006
Ocean-Monmouth ARC
Talk-In: 145.110 -600 (PL 127.3) & 443.00 +5MHz (PL 127.3)
Jeff Harshman, N2LXM
OMARC, Inc.,
PO Box 267
Oakhurst, NJ 07755
Phone: 732-922-0816

Wall Township, NJ
InfoAge Project Diana Site
Marconi Road, Camp Evans
Sect: Northern New Jersey

ARRL Hudson Division
Director: Frank Fallon, N2FF

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