Hudson Division Beacon – June 2004

ARRL Hudson Division
June 2004
Hudson Division Beacon - e-mail edition  - # 39
By Frank Fallon, N2FF, Director, Hudson Division, ARRL
30 East Williston Avenue, East Williston, NY 11596
516) 746-7652
n2ff@arrl.org

Hudson Division Home Page - http://www.hudson.arrl.org

ARRL Members

Please continue to spread the word to others who may wish to receive
this information that they will need to access the ARRL members only 
web site.  After becoming a member they must edit their profile and 
elect to receive bulletins from the Section Manager and Director.  
If you are already a member on the ARRL site (http://www.arrl.org) 
from the "Members Only" box click on "members data page" and then 
under email notification options set "Division/Section notices" to 
YES.  You will receive the next bulletin sent.  Past Bulletins are 
available at http://www.hudson.arrl.org

While having a great time at Field Day please take some time out to
lobby for ham radio - our Spectrum Protection Bill, CC&R Legislation,
BPL, and our antenna bills all need help.  Please have the BPL handouts
available at your Field Day site for any visitors who may show up.  See
below.

BUT MOST important have a great safe time!

* HOW I SPENT MY TIME AT DAYTON

http://hamgallery.com/dayton2004/d04022.htm  in company of contesters
and DXers

No dinner and forums this year, but plenty of time spent wandering
around the flea market and inside vendors.  No major purchases.  I spent
time at the NJDXA hospitality suite and the Contest hospitality room at
the Crowne Plaza talking to folks.  I also discovered a few good
restaurants thanks to W2LK.  All are on Fifth Street east of the Crowne
Plaza. 

* FIELD DAY JUNE 26 and 27th

Does your club have directions to Field Day on your web page?  Suppose
someone wants to visit?

See http://www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/fd/  if you need form,
rules, pins or tee shirts.

Field Day is a great time to have fun but it may also be an opportunity
to get the word out about the struggle we are having with BPL.  You may
want to get some copies of this document made up to hand out to visitors
at your Field Day site -
http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/cta/BPL-leave-behind.pdf   It's a
very informative and professional one page piece.  Please use these BPL
handouts at your Field Day.

Have a great safe time at Field Day 2004.

* GETTING YOUR LEGISLATOR INVOLVED WITH HAM RADIO ISSUES

http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/06/14/1/Senator-Crapo-clip.mpg 

Take a look at this video.  Senator Crapo is the sponsor of our Spectrum
Protection Bill.  Have you written or contacted your representatives? 
See http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/06/14/1/?nc=1 

NEWINGTON, CT, Jun 14, 2004--If radio amateurs want to get their
concerns on the congressional radar screen, they need to let their
elected senators and representative know about them, says the US Senate
sponsor of the Amateur Radio Spectrum Protection Act of 2003. Idaho
Republican Michael Crapo notes that the hundreds of topics lawmakers
face each day--from the Iraq war to the budget and health care--already
make it an uphill battle to get ham radio matters noticed. Amateurs, he
suggests, have to take a little initiative. 

* DID YOU WRITE TO WASHINGTON ABOUT BPL?

I know many of your did as you sent me copies of the letter.  Thanks. 
This will help us get some protection or "notching" when the technology
is implemented.  It's important that the President and legislators hear
from you on the issue of BPL interference to our emergency
communications.

If you did not check these sites for info:
http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/cta/
http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/cta/grassroots.html

Sample letter can be accessed from the sidebar on the above page. 
Please personalize your letter.

Also, the following report from the NTIA regarding BPL needs to be read
by all:
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/fccfilings/2004/bpl/index.html

KEEP THE ARRL INFORMED

* NYSERDA FUNDS BRIARCLIFF BPL/PLC EFFORT

On  June 10, 2004 Dave Sumner wrote a letter to Mr. Peter R. Smith,
President of the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority
(NYSERDA) in Albany objecting to the organization's awarding funding for
the enhancement of a Power Line Communications (PLC) trial by Ambient
Corporation in Westchester County. PLC is also referred to as Broadband
over Power Line, or BPL.  Sumner stated, "We believe this is the
installation in Briarcliff Manor, New York, that for months has been the
source of ongoing harmful interference to radio communication in
violation of  15.5(b) of the Federal Communications Commission Rules.
Documentation of this interference, complaints filed, and failures to
immediately eliminate the interference may be found at
http://www.columbia.edu/~alan/bpl/."  

Sumner continued, "Please note ..., the BPL installation is acknowledged
to be the source of interference. However, despite the clearly stated
requirement of  15.5(b) that operation is subject to the condition that
no harmful interference is caused, the operator of the BPL installation
failed to terminate the test immediately and allowed the interference to
continue. Clearly, this constitutes willful interference in violation of
Section 333 of the Communications Act of 1934 as amended.

As the representative of the interests of 680,000 licensed radio
amateurs in the United States, whose stations (both mobile and fixed)
are entitled to absolute protection from harmful interference from
unlicensed emitters such as PLC/BPL systems, we respectfully suggest
that this violation of federal law is relevant to the question of
whether such a grant of funding is in the public interest."

N2FF COMMENT:  This is New York State taxpayer's money controlled by
Governor Pataki and we believe that we should let the governor know how
we feel about our money being used against amateur radio operators.  I,
N2FF, plan to send the following letter to Governor George Pataki,
Governor: Governor George E. Pataki State Capitol Albany, NY 12224 or
telephone 518-474-8390.   To Email The Governor:
http://www.state.ny.us/governor/form.htm

Dear Governor Pataki,

As a former ham radio operator you understand what S nine interference
can do to ham radio operations.  It makes it nearly impossible. 
Therefore I was shocked to learn that NYSERDA is in the process of
providing $200,000 to Ambient Corporation for its BPL/PLC test site in
Briacliff Manor, Westchester County.  The harmful interference from
these unlicensed emitters has already been documented but the site has
yet to be shut down.

Hams are not against broadband internet access as many of us already use
and see its benefits, but we are opposed to a technology with causes
pollution in the radio spectrum a precious national resource.  PLC or
BPL is not the technology that should be encouraged.

Please stop this allocation of New York State tax money.

Sincerely,

Perhaps you might want to send a similar message before Field Day.

* ARRL Hudson Division Awards Dinner set for November 12th 

The North Jersey DX Association has agreed to sponsor the Hudson
Division Awards Dinner in November.  Save the date and plan to attend.

* Iowa Ham is BPL Interference "Poster Child"

NEWINGTON, CT, Jun 15, 2004--The ARRL has weighed in on behalf of Iowa
amateur and ARRL member Jim Spencer, W0SR, of Cedar Rapids, who has
suffered severe broadband over power line (BPL) interference for more
than two months. A formal complaint to FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief
David H. Solomon calls on the Commission not only to order Alliant
Energy's BPL field trial system to shut down but to fine the utility
$10,000 for violating the Communications Act of 1934 and FCC Part 15
rules. Alleging "ongoing harmful and willful interference to one or more
licensed radio stations," the ARRL asked Solomon to intervene "on an
emergency basis." ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, who signed the letter of
complaint, said Alliant Energy has been aware since March 30--the date
it installed Amperion BPL equipment in Spencer's neighborhood--that the
BPL system was causing harmful interference. While Sumner acknowledges
that the utility has been cooperative, mitigation efforts have been only
marginally successful, and the BPL system continues in operation,
despite repeated requests to eliminate the interference or shut the
system down. 

See http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/06/15/2/?nc=1  for more
details.

==>BPL INDUSTRY OFFICIAL DISPUTES NTIA REPORT IN CONGRESSIONAL HEARING

A BPL industry witness this week told a House Subcommittee on
Telecommunications and the Internet hearing that the extensive National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) broadband over
power line interference study draws "generalized conclusions," some of
which are "inaccurate." Jay Birnbaum, vice president and general counsel
of BPL provider Current Communications Group LLC
<http://www.currentgroup.com/> was among those answering lawmakers'
questions during the May 19 hearing, "Competition in the Communications
Marketplace: How Convergence Is Blurring the Lines Between Voice, Video,
and Data Services." ARRL CEO David Sumner called it "interesting" that a
BPL spokesperson would try to downplay the significance of the NTIA's
findings.

"Clearly, the report has the BPL industry worried--as well it should,"
Sumner said. "Anyone who gets past the introduction and actually reads
the body of the NTIA study can only conclude that NTIA's findings are
devastating to the case for BPL."

Among other observations, the NTIA acknowledged that BPL signals
"unintentionally radiate" from power lines, but said there's
"substantial disagreement as to the strength of the emissions and their
potential for causing interference to licensed radio systems."

The subcommittee members questioning Birnbaum included Oregon Republican
Greg Walden, W7EQI, one of two amateur licensees in the US House. Walden
asked Birnbaum to address the BPL interference issues that the NTIA
report and the amateur community have raised.

Birnbaum responded that he thinks interference concerns about BPL are
unfounded and that the FCC agrees. BPL emissions from power lines, he
asserted, are at very low levels and dissipate very quickly with
distance.  Current Technologies is field testing a BPL system in
Potomac, Maryland and has a 50-50 partnership with Cinergy to deploy a
full-blown BPL system in the Cincinnati area. The Maryland system
employs the HomePlug Alliance standard, which notches all HF amateur
bands except 60 meters.

The ARRL documented a visit to the Potomac test area on its Web site
<http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/#Video>. The Potomac site is
identified as "Trial Area #1" under "Video showing results of ARRL
testing in MD, VA, PA and NY." BPL interference heard outside amateur
bands at the Potomac site sounds like severe, irregular pulse-type
noise.

Birnbaum also told Walden that BPL is "literally undetectable" tens of
meters away, although he indicated that there's disagreement on the
issue.  Walden said he just wants the interference addressed
technically--"especially driving under power lines."

The NTIA, which conducted measurements at three different BPL field
trial sites, said that while radiated power "decreased with increasing
distance," the decay was not always predictable. At one measurement
location with a number of BPL devices, the NTIA said, "appreciable BPL
signal levels (ie, at least 5 dB higher than ambient noise) were
observed beyond 500 meters from the nearest BPL-energized power
lines."

The NTIA study further calculated that interference "is likely" to
mobile stations in areas extending to 30 meters and to fixed stations in
areas extending to 55 meters from a single BPL device and the power
lines to which it's connected. Interference to systems with "low to
moderate desired signal levels," such as those common in ham radio, is
likely within areas extending to 75 meters for mobiles and 460 meters
for fixed stations, the NTIA study said.

Responding to a question from New Hampshire Republican Charles Bass,
Birnbaum said the BPL industry would be pleased if Congress could
provide tax or financial incentives, especially for improving the power
grid.

Birnbaum suggested that while utilities have been slow to act on BPL,
they will begin to deploy BPL systems over the next year or two. The
biggest issue, he said, is the incentive for utilities to invest in
broadband technology.

* 10-70 DOES ITS PART TO STOP BPL INTERFERENCE

At tonight's 10-70 Repeater Association Meeting (Wednesday, May 5,
2004), we had our own "Call to Arms", so to speak. The Officers and
Committee members of the 10-70 Repeater Association, Inc. called this
meeting a half hour earlier to give it's members an opportunity to
participate in a "letter-writing" campaign to support ARRL President Jim
Haynie's request for the White House to withdraw their support for BPL
technology. Using the ARRL information Package supplied, we were able to
draft several letters to our Congressional representatives and senators.

In attendance were 55 club members and guests of 10-70 along with (me)
Joyce Birmingham, KA2ANF, ARRL Hudson Division Vice Director. Also, our
Guest Speaker for the evening, Mitch Kosofsky, W2MSK and Bergen Amateur
Radio Association - President, Jim Jackson, NS2K were on hand as well.

Thanks to 10-70's President, Paul Beshlian, KC2CJW, 10-70's Secretary,
David Kozinn, K2DBK and 10-70's Newsletter Editor, Howie Holden, WB2AWQ
for working hard at the last minute to pull this together. The 7-Oh even
supplied envelopes and postage! Way to go!

* FCC Chairman Responds to Request to Support ARRL Restructuring Plan 

(May 25, 2004) -- FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell has assured US
representatives Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), and Mike Ross, WD5DVR (D-AR),
that the Commission will act "as expeditiously as possible" on Amateur
Radio restructuring. Walden and Ross wrote Powell a month ago to urge
adoption of the ARRL's restructuring Petition for Rule Making (RM-10867)
"in its entirety" along with rules changes needed to put it into place.
Powell said the League's petition was one of many.  

See: http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/05/25/1/?nc=1 for details.

* NEW PROVIDENCE CLUB RECEIVES ARRL GRANT

In response to our request to ARRL, made a few months ago, I've been
notified that a Grant of $375 is being made for the purpose of
constructing and distributing the Morse Code Oscillator Kits at the Salt
Brook School.

This, with the $100 we previously rec'd from the PTA, will more than
cover the direct costs of the 50 kits which we have made, and will
reimburse the Club for all cash advances on the ARISS Project to date.

This is only the beginning. A grant of $1000 has been requested from a
New Providence bank, and I am confident that it will also show up. This
Grant is for tee shirts and ARISS antenna construction.

Those NPARC members who are on this mailing list, but who have not
really taken an active part in the Salt Brook Statics Radio Club or in
the ARISS Project are urged to "get with the program!" We have a very
small Cadre who are carrying the whole load. We will soon start
designing the School Program for next year which may be more specific 
for the ARISS activities. There will probably be more meetings of 
smaller groups of kids next year, so there will be plenty of 
opportunity for all of us to get directly involved.

73/88 de Barry G. Cohen K2JV

HAMFESTS: 

19 Jun 2004 + Raritan Valley Radio Club
http://www.w2qw.org
Contact:Marty Ficke, KD2QK
455 Longfellow Avenue
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Phone: 732-968-6911 
Email: kd2qk@aol.com
Piscataway, NJ
Div: Hudson
Sect: Northern New Jersey 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

11 Jul 2004 + Sussex County ARC
http://sussexhamfest.org
Contact:Dan Carter, N2ERH
8 Carter Lane
Branchville, NJ 07826
Phone: 973-948-6999 
Email: hamfest@scarcnj.org
Augusta, NJ
Div: Hudson
Sect: Northern New Jersey
--------------------------------------------------------------------
ARRL Hudson Division
Director: Frank Fallon, N2FF
n2ff@arrl.org

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