Hudson Division Beacon – March 2007

March  2007
Hudson Division Beacon – e-mail edition  – # 72
FROM THE HUDSON DIVISION ARRL TEAM
Frank Fallon, N2FF, Director, Hudson Division, ARRL
30 East Williston Avenue, East Williston, NY 11596
(516) 746-7652            n2ff@arrl.org
Joyce Birmingham, KA2ANF, Vice Director, Hudson Division, ARRL
235 Van Emburgh Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450-2918
(201) 455-5924   ka2anf@arrl.org  and  http://www.ka2anf.com
Hudson Division Home Page – http://www.hudson.arrl.org

ARRL Members

Please continue to spread the word to others that 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

Cherryville hamfest this weekend see listing at the bottom.

Please start thinking about who you would like to nominate for a Hudson
Division Award in 2007.  Forms will be posted shortly.  Awards dinner
in November

===> THE BIG STORY…….

ARRL releases statement on Red Cross background check policy (Mar 9,
2007) — ARRL — the National Association for Amateur Radio, has
released a position statement regarding the implementation of a
background check procedure by the American Red Cross.  See:
http://www.arrl.org/announce/ARRL-ARC-bg-check.html  The statement was
released to address ARRL members’ concerns prior to a March 31, 2007,
compliance deadline the Red Cross has set. The application of the
background check policy to Amateur Radio operators providing
communication services to the Red Cross — either as Red Cross
volunteers or as Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) members — is
the subject of continuing discussions between the ARRL and the Red
Cross. Therefore, the position statement is subject to change. The ARRL
will announce any such revisions and updates on this Web site.

(N2FF comment: The bottom line is that the Red Cross still does not
have it right. So think very carefully before you decide to comply with
their current version of the security check.)

===> ARRL VEC still “busy, busy, busy!” (Mar 15, 2007) — The ARRL
Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) reports business continues to be
brisk following the FCC’s deletion of Morse code as a ham radio
licensing requirement. “Busy, busy, busy!” is how ARRL VEC Manager
Maria Somma, AB1FM, described the situation in her department. She says
nearly 800 exam sessions are on the schedule for March with another 600
for April, “and it doesn’t look like test session activity will be
slowing down any time soon,” she added. ARRL VEC hosts 450 exam
sessions in a typical month. Despite the hectic pace, Somma says
personnel have been able to process most test session paperwork
promptly. “The majority of our VE teams are returning the sessions in
good order and with all the needed forms,” she noted. “Thank you!” Even
so, processing times are down a bit. Somma advises applicants to allow
15 days from the testing date before checking on application status. To
follow up, first use the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS) at
http://wireless.fcc.gov/uls/index.htm?job=home
“Search Licenses” tab, or check the ARRL Web license search engine at
http://www.arrl.org/fcc/fcclook.php3
To contact the FCC, call toll-free during business hours 888-225-5322.
Applicants who tested at http://www.arrl.org/fcc/fcclook.php3

ARRL VE  sessions whose applications have not been granted within 15
days may call ARRL VEC, 860-594-0300.

===> So, Do You Know What Happened On February 23rd 2007 at Midnight?

Answer: The FCC modified the Amateur Radio Service rules by eliminating
the Morse code exam requirements…that’s what happened!

The FCC has acted to drop the Morse code test requirement for all
Amateur Radio license classes. The Commission adopted the long-awaited
“Morse code” proceeding (WT Docket 05-235), and released it December 19
2006. The FCC’s action will eliminate the Morse code test as a
licensing requirement to operate on HF.  With this news, Technicians
will gain new operating privileges on HF frequencies.
With all of this in place, many clubs across the country have sponsored
special VE Sessions and Operating Events to welcome the newcomers to
HF! In the Hudson Division, several clubs in New York and New Jersey
report an increase in the number of candidates at their VE Sessions.

Here are some of the highlights:

February 24th  Hall of Science ARC (HOSARC), New York
They held a VE session and they had 38 applicants attend.  “It was a
regular mad house.  There were only 3 VE’s there, and we banged out the
entire session out in about 2 hours.  Out of all the testing we granted
11 Technicians, 20 Generals, and 4 Extras” These good words come from:
Rob Smith AB2UV.Thank you Rob and the VE team at HOSARC!

February 24th  Raritan Valley Radio Club, New Jersey
They held a VE session and there were 19 candidates, 27 exams given.
There were 5 CSCE upgrades. 3 new licenses for Tech. 11 upgrades.
Participating VE’s included: WA2F, N2NQE, K2VHW, KB2JSG, KB2NIF, WJ2Z,
N2VM,  W2RBL, KB2SFE Thanks John Manna, WA2F, for the report!

February 24th  Symbol Technologies Amateur Radio Club (STARC) New York
“We did not perform any testing on the 24th; we only processed
paperwork for people that had valid CSCE’s from earlier sessions and
needed a session for their upgrade.

We also brought our trailer with an HF rig installed so that as the
paperwork was completed the candidates were able to make their first HF
contact and sign /AG.  We also hosted some newbies that are currently
enrolled in our Tech Class and they made first contacts on 20m using
the club call.

On the south-side parking area (the sunny-side !!!) of Bald Hill we had
an RV and our trailer.  It was a cold windy morning and we had a line
right from the start. One guy showed up straight from being released
from the hospital for a gall-bladder operation to have his upgrade to
General processed.

After the initial “rush” it was pretty quiet except for the visitors
that came by to find out more about Amateur Radio and we did make some
contacts mostly to the south on 20m.”

Thanks to Jay, KA2UGZ and the team of VE’s and mentors!  Great Job!

February 24th East Coast DX Association/Ramsey NJ OEM New Jersey
The East Coast DX Association joined with the Ramsey NJ Office of
Emergency Management to offer an examination and upgrade day, at the
Ramsey NJ Ambulance Corps Headquarters, in Ramsey, NJ.  A special added
surprise was the Special Event Station set up inside the Ambulance
Squad buidling, with several members of ECDXA operating off-site as
K2VK, the Club Callsign, giving those signing /AG or /AE with their
callsigns from the Ambulance Squad their first opportunity to operate
and make a contact on HF! In addition to the local HF contacts,
additional contacts were made with stations in France and Germany
welcoming the new upgrades to a new world of DX!

The results of East Coast DX Association/Ramsey NJ OEM sponsored VE
Session/Special Operating Event were very successful. We had 1 new
Technician – 18 new Generals – and 2 new Extra’s.  11 of the new
Generals took and passed an Element 3 General Test as opposed to 7
“paper” upgrades. The VE teams for each session consisted of members
from 7 area clubs.
Thanks to George Sabbi, KC2GLG for setting up of the Special Event
Station.  Also, thanks to our “On-the-Air Mentors”, Lou Janicek, N2CYY
and Dick Galbraith, K2ZB for their participation as the local HF
contacts. Great job, VE’s!!! Thanks!

Joyce, KA2ANF

February 25th LIMARC Hamfest, New York
Al, W2QZ writes:
“I haven’t seen such a turnout since 1993, when pre-3/87 Techs were
upgraded to Generals.  We had 50 test takers.  The results: 10 new
Techs, 25 new Generals and 2 new Extras.  Hamfest results are usually
not that good, but this one was. 73, Al”

March 3rd Splitrock Club’s Hamfest, New Jersey

At the Hamfest, they held a test session with the following results:
9 new Techs, 15 new Generals, 6 new Extras (with only 4 “no wins”)
and on: March 12th at their regular monthly VE session:
1 new Tech, 4 new Generals, 2 new Extras, (with zero “no wins”)
Thanks, Sid, K2GG for this report!  (By the way, Split Rock reported a
record crowd at their Hamfest!)

Further northeast of the Hudson Division, at ARRL HQ in Newington, CT –
ARRL VEC – Maria Somma, AB1FM writes:

“We had 24 candidates here at HQ in Newington !  Some came from Mass,
RI and CT (of course) but we also had candidates from NY, VT and NH and
even one from VA.
We had 2 candidates for code (before midnight), but unfortunately
neither passed. (they are also in the later group of paperwork only
upgrades) After midnight (12:01AM on Feb 23rd), we had 10 candidates
who wanted to test; 8 candidates passed the general test, one passed
the extra and we even had one new tech! We had 14 paper work only
upgrades; 11 were for General and 3 for Extra. Despite the weather, we
had a pretty good turn out and a very fun time!”
Busy, Busy, Busy!

The VEC received via mail nearly 450 test sessions the week of Feb 26
to March 2.  We received an additional 280 sessions the week of March 5
to March 9.  Usually we receive and process about 450 sessions a month
(112 sessions a week)!
Although we are extremely busy, we have been able to process and key
most of the test sessions rather quickly.  The majority of our VE Teams
are following our instructions and are returning the sessions in good
order with all the needed forms.  With close to 800 test sessions
registered for March and over 600 registered for April, it doesn’t look
like our activity levels will be slowing down any time soon.

The stats below show our accomplishments so far this year.  I included
information from the same period last year for a comparison.
ARRL VEC Stats for January 1 through March 13, 2007:
1.541 Test Sessions held this year – 1,178 – same time, 2006
12,872 Candidates Served January 1 through March 13, 2007 – 5.988 –
same time, 2006
14,646 Exam Elements Taken – 7,327 – same time, 2006
463 VE’s Accredited – 172 – same time, 2006
7,986 New and Upgrade License application forms transmitted to FCC –
last year -3,490
73, Maria – AB1FM

*Thanks to all the clubs/or VE teams, for their efforts during this
time and a BIG Thank You to all our friends at the ARRL/VEC for their
hard work!*
Did your club or VE team participate or host a Special VE Session or
Operating Event?  If so, let me hear from you!    73, Joyce – KA2ANF –
ARRL Vice Director, Hudson Division

===> NEW AMATEUR RADIO REQUIREMENTS PROMPT TESTING SESSION IN RAMSEY

The Federal Communications Commission has recently changed the
requirements to obtain an Amateur Radio license and a large influx of
applicants was anticipated for testing sessions held after the February
23 changeover.  The East Coast DX Association joined with the Ramsey
Office of Emergency Management to offer an examination and upgrade day,
at the Ramsey Ambulance Corps Headquarters, in Ramsey, NJ.

Joyce Birmingham, KA2ANF, Vice-Director of the Hudson Division, ARRL,
and  Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC), stated, “The results of our
East Coast DX Association/Ramsey NJ OEM sponsored VE Session/Special
Operating Event were very successful..  We had one new Technician
Class, 18 new General Classes, and two new Extra Classes.  11 of the
new Generals took and passed an Element 3 General Test as opposed to
seven “paper” upgrades.

“The VE teams for each session consisted of members from 7 area clubs.
Thanks to Don Younger, W2JEK, who also acted as a VE liaison, for his
expertise and hard work.

“Also, a big thank you to Mike Adams, WA2MWT, and the Ramsey, NJ Office
of Emergency Management, for their assistance. The Ramsey, NJ Ambulance
Corps and Mayor Christopher Botta, KA2CQH, provided the coordination,
public relations and facilities to make for an easy set-up and a smooth
running day.  Also, much appreciation to Lou Janicek, N2CYY, Ramsey
RACES Officer and ECDXA member, for being “on the air” for Ramsey’s HF
contacts.  Lou operated on 20m where several of our new A/G operators
had the opportunity to make their first ever HF contacts.

“And a special thank you to George Sabbi, KC2GLG, who brainstormed the
idea to set-up and coordinate the ‘ECDXA-K2VK Make your First Contact
Operating Event’ station, in the ambulance corps’ room, next to the VE
session.  In addition to speaking with N2CYY, additional contacts were
made from Ramsey with Germany, France, and Sweden.

“I would be remiss if I did not mention Gene Niemiec, K2KJI, from KJI
Electronics, and John Phillips, of Advanced Specialties, for helping to
promote the event.  Also, thanks to Maria Somma, AB2FM, ARRL/VEC
Manager and her fine staff, in Newington, CT for their technical and
personal support.”

The team that was assembled to run the VE sessions, in addition to
Joyce, KA2ANF, and Don, W2JEK, consisted of Matthew Ryffel, K2NUD,
Bergen Amateur Radio Association; Kane ZuHone, WA2DAX, Bill Stagg,
KC2BLN, Dave Kamilkof, W2DEK, and Howard Bratt, WA2PPI, East Coast DX
Association; Jon Burchfield, KJ2N, Tom Bennett, W2TAB, Armand Lucchesi,
WA2SHA, and Walter Lange, AE2AA, Metroplex Amateur Radio Club; Kathy
Thee, KT2F, Morris Amateur Radio Club; and Bob Antoniuk, N2SU, Nutley
Amateur Radio Club.
Submitted by Michael Adams, WA2MWT

==> BPL News:  The good news is that there is no BPL in New Jersey.

==> Westchester County Legislature Holds Hearing on BPL in Briarcliff

Hams had a chance to voice their complaints about BPL interference in
Westchester, NY.

On Monday March 5th the Westchester County Legislature’s Public Service
Committee held a hearing about interference complaints caused by the
Con Edison BPL test in Briarcliff, NY.  The hearing was a result of
many months of work by Hudson Division Assistant Director Dan Moses,
K2YM, of Armonk, NY with legislator Bill Burton.  A number of amateurs
were preset at the hearing but the bulk of the testimony came from Alan
Crosswell, N2YGK of Briarcliff who had experienced interference for the
past three years.  Alan was able to detail his interference problem and
the lack of response from Con Edison and the continuance of the
interference to this day.  Alan is the ARES EC or Emergency Coordinator
for Westchester County.  At the request of Hudson Division Director,
Frank Fallon, N2FF Ed Hare, W1RFI, of the ARRL Lab was on hand to
testify in detail about BPL before the board.  Alan and Ed spoke for
nearly a half hour and answered questions from the committee members.
Their testimony was impressive in both its detail and professionalism.
Representatives from Con Edison were on hand to answer questions from
committee members.  In addition, a staffer from the NYS PSC came down
from Albany for the hearing and pointed out that in other instances
where there were interference complaints such as with cable television
the PSC had levied fines for untimely compliance.

Also on hand were Hudson Director, Frank Fallon plus Tom Raffaelli,
WB2NHC, Westchester County Radio Officer, Jerry Agliata, W2GLA, Hudson
Division Legislative Action Coordinator, and Assistant Director Dan
Moses, K2YM.

The county committee was well aware of the great job that Amateur Radio
had done in their county over many years and was quite sympathetic
about our BPL interference complaints against Con Edison.  At this
point we do not know what recommendations or legislative remedy or
conditions their might place on BPL implementations within the county.

===> LIPA BPL Test in Commack-Hauppague NOT Yet underway

LIPA has not yet started it BPL test on LI in the ten plus square mile
test site the Commack Industrial site.  There have been a number of
staff changes and a new person is slated to take over as head of the
organization.  Also the state has not yet given its okay for the
project.  Rumors are that it will be another 90 days at least before
the start.  It could be much longer.  With a new governor its possible
it might never happen.  Meanwhile the LI BPL team headed by Rich
Rosner, N2STU, is assembling a team to make noise level measurements in
the area BEFORE the test begins.  If you are interested in helping out
please contact Rich at n2stu@arrl.net

===> W2QSL Bureau Rate Increase   (Also in last month’s issue.  In case
you missed it!)

The W2 QSL Bureau, run by the North Jersey DX Association, will be
increasing its subscriber rates. Effective April 1st the minimum credit
purchase will be ten postage credits for $6.00. The bureau has kept
rates flat for several years absorbing four postage rate increases by
cutting expenses and streamlining its operations as much as possible.
Based upon news of more postage increases due this spring the Bureau
felt it could no longer absorb rate increases without a change. In
spite of the increase using the bureau
option is still the best dollar value around as evidenced by the amount
of QSL cards still handled. More information can be found on the NJDXA
webpage: www.njdxa.org. It also lists meeting and program dates as well
as other DX news and links.

Thanks W2UDT for the info…..

===> LOG BOOK OF THE WORLD

If you are not aware of ARRL’s LOTW visit  http://www.arrl.org/lotw/
It is a great way to cut down QSL and postal expense if you are using
computer logging.  It is certainly an example of how the Internet helps
ham radio.

From the Contest Rate Sheet comes the following tid bits of
information:

Lots and lots of readers wrote to let me know about the database of
LOTW users at http://www.hb9bza.net/lotw  There is a searchable
version of the same database at
http://www.baseportal.com/cgi-bin/baseportal.pl?htx=/billbeggs/main
and this utility does the query for you – http://bbcyber.com/luq.htm.
There is a Yahoo users group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ARRL-LOTW/ and last, but not least,
using the command “Show LOTW” on some varieties of DX clusters adds a
“+” next to any call recognized as an LOTW user.

=====> DIVISION NEWSLETTER OF THE MONTH

The March  2007 award goes to “Up-Link” the newsletter of the
Cherryville Repeater Association for their March issue.  The editorial
team consists of Glenn Bukowsk, KC2NXZ; Marc Lees, KC2MTR, and Charles
Seymour NJ3A.  They do a great job with pictures and layout for the
club.  Members should give them a nice pat on the back for a job well
done.  I especially liked the pictures of the February meeting.
http://www.hudson.arrl.org/pages/newsletterawards.htm
===> SKYWARN Spotter Training Classes for 2207 Now Being Scheduled

Both the NWS Mt Holly NJ and the NWS Upton NY are now in the process of
setting up SKYWARN Spotter Training Classes throughout the ARRL Hudson
Division for 2007.

Included in these Classes will be important information on the new
Enhanced Fujita Scale for rating Tornado Strength and the soon to be
implemented move to Storm Based Polygon type Severe Weather Warnings
from the current setup of full County Wide Warnings for Severe Weather.
These are just 2 of the new items SKYWARN Spotters need to know about
and as such are included in the updated for 2007 SKYWARN Spotter
Training Classes.

Already on the books are 2 SKYWARN Spotter Training Classes in Northern
New Jersey. The first is on Saturday, March 24th 2007 in Hunterdon
County NJ at the Cherryville Hamfest starting at 10:00 AM and another
is in Sussex County NJ on Saturday, April 28th 2007 at the Hopatcong
High School also starting at 10:00 AM.

Spotters from any location (note: you do not have to attend a Class in
your County or CWA of residence) can attend a class offered by either
NWS Forecast Office and their Class Credit can be forwarded to the
appropriate NWS Forecast Office and SKYWARN Program. Please make sure
that you indicate this on your Registration/SKYWARN Class Attendance
Form when you take the Class, so that the NWS is aware to send your
data to the proper NWS location where you reside.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If its been more than 3 years since you last attended a
SKYWARN Spotter Training Class, now is the time to be re-trained so
that you can be added back onto the NWS’s list of Active SKYWARN
Spotters in the ARRL Hudson Division. Both the NWS Mt Holly NJ and the
NWS Upton NY are purging old Spotter data from their databases of
Active Spotters!

Additional SKYWARN Spotter Training Classes will be scheduled in the
upcoming weeks throughout the ARRL’s Hudson Division and you can keep
up with these additions, as well as get information on each Class, by
using these Websites:
NWS Mt Holly NJ SKYWARN Classes:
http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/phi/skywarn/training.html
NWS Upton NY SKYWARN Classes:
http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/okx/Skywarn/spottertraining.html

==> 2007 EASTERN VHF/UHF CONFERENCE  (Repeated from last issue.)
33rd Annual Eastern VHF/UHF Conference to be held April 20, 21 & 22,
2007 once again at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Enfield, CT. This year we
will sponsor a Saturday afternoon Microwave Workshop -mini conference
in addition to our regular 3 day conference activities. Friday night
hospitality suite, Saturday lectures, band session discussions, vendor
displays and noise figure measurements with an evening banquet. Sunday
morning (weather permitting) we will hold an Outdoor Flea Market
specializing in VHF and Up items.
Directions: take Interstate 91 take to Exit 49, bear right at end of
the ramp, and take your immediate right (at the Friendly’s) onto Bright
Meadow Blvd. The hotel will be on your left. See WWW.NEWSVHF.COM or
contact Bruce Wood, N2LIV, Conference Chairman at N2LIV@ARRL.NET or
(516) 938-0698 ext 210, (days) for further info.
If you interested in presenting a talk or preparing a paper for
inclusion in the Conference Proceedings please contact Bruce Wood,
N2LIV, Conference Chairman. Paper submittal deadline March 1, 2007.

================================
HAMFEST:  Now that Spring is here, get these dates into you ham
calendar for 2007

24 Mar 2007   +Cherryville Hamfest
Cherryville Repeater Association II
http://www.qsl.net/w2cra
Talk-In: 147.375+ (PL 151.4)
Contact:Cherryville Repeater Info Line, W2CRA
PO Box 308
Quakertown, NJ 08868
Phone: 908-788-4080
Fax: 908-788-9164
Email: cherryvillehamfest@earthlink.netClinton, NJ
North Hunterdon Regional High School
1445 State Route 31
Annandale, NJ
Div: Hudson
Sect: Northern New Jersey
=========================================
21 Apr 2007       +OMARC Tailgate Hamfest
Ocean Monmouth ARC
http://www.omarc.org
Talk-In: 145.110 ( -600 ) Pl 127.3 Hz
Contact:Jeff Harshman, N2LXM
5 The Arborway
Ocean, NJ 07712
Phone: 732-922-0816
Email: n2lxm@arrl.netWall Township, NJ
Inforage Learning Center, Project Diana Site
Marconi Road
Div: Hudson
Sect: Northern New Jersey
===============================================
22 Apr 2007     +Mount Beacon Amateur Radio Club Hamfest
Mount Beacon Amateur Radio Club
http://www.wr2abb.org
Talk-In: 146.97 (100 Hz, 123 Hz, and 118.8 Hz)
Contact:Janet Duffy, KC2LUR
52 Osborne Hill Rd, Lot 41; Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
Phone: 845 896-4721
Fax: 914-784-4803 (weekdays)
Email: kc2lur@arrl.netLaGrangeville, NY
Tymor Park
249 Duncan Rd.; LaGrangeville, NY
Div: Hudson
Sect: Eastern New York
==================================================
28 Apr 2007      +Orange County Amateur Radio Club Hamfest
Orange County Amateur Radio Club, Inc.
http://www.w2ho.org
Talk-In: 146.76 PL (100 Hz) Repeater
Contact:Edward J. Moskowitz, N2XJI
123 Harold Avenue, Cornwall, New York 12518-1701
Phone: 845-534-3492 After 8:30 P.M.
Fax: 845-534-3492
Email: n2xji@arrl.netWallkill, NY
Wallkill Community Center
2 Wes Warren Road, Wallkill, N.Y.
Div: Hudson
Sect: Eastern New York
=================================================
12 May 2007      +W2EGB 4th Annual Hamfest
East Greenbush Amateur Radio Association
http://www.w2egb.org
Talk-In: 147.270
Contact:Thomas Scorsone, KC2FCP
1310 10th Avenue
Watervliet, NY 12189
Phone: 518-272-1494
Email: kc2fcp@nycap.rr.comRensselaer, NY
Firehouse
Phillips Road
Div: Hudson
Sect: Eastern New York
==================================================
26 May 2007         +Annual Spring Hamfest
Bergen Amateur Radio Association
http://www.bara.org
Talk-In: 146.19/146.79 (PL 141.3)
Contact:James Joyce, K2ZO
286 Ridgewood Blvd. North
Township of Washington, NJ 07676
Phone: 201-664-6725
Email: k2zo@arrl.netTownship Of Washington, NJ
Westwood Regional Jr/Sr High School
701 Ridgewood Road
Div: Hudson
Sect: Northern New Jersey


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