Hudson Division Beacon – May 2004

ARRL Hudson Division
May 2004
Hudson Division Beacon - e-mail edition  - # 38
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

* BARA HAMFEST THIS SATURDAY - May 29th

* HUDSON DIVISION CABINET AND PRESIDENTS MEETING SET FOR JUNE 12th

Saturday June 12th there will be a joint Hudson Division Cabinet and
Club Presidents Meeting starting at 9:30 at the Paramus Congregational
Church.   Bagels and coffee will be served at 9 AM.  Assistant Directors
and Club Presidents or their representatives are invited to attend. 
Please let Joyce Birmingham, KA2ANF, Hudson Division Vice Director know
you are coming.  Send e-mail to:  ka2anf @arrl.org 

Coffee and bagels will be provided and I plan to start the meeting
promptly at 9:30.  We will provide pizza for lunch. The meeting will end
by 2 PM.  Please bring your ideas and input.  If you have any items for
the agenda please send me an e-mail at n2ff@arrl.org

All division affiliated clubs should send a representative if the
president is unable to attend.

Paramus Congregational Church   Entrance is the basement on the side of 
the church.205 Spring Valley Road Paramus, NJ 07652

1)  From New York City  GWB to NJ.  Take Route 4 West to the Paramus
area. Exit at the Spring Valley Road Exit (go right, toward
Oradell/River Edge).  Go through the light and the church is the second
one on the left almost across from the Middle school. Entrance is the
basement on side of the church.

2) From Route 17 North and South, Take the Century Road Exit and go East
toward River Edge.  Go up hill through light, down hill to next light
and turn Left. Paramus High School is on your left.  Go to second church
on the left.  

* 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

* ARRL Hudson Division Awards NOMINATIONS EXTENDED TO JUNE 15th 

We have not received enough nominations so far and the deadline is near.
Here is a chance to nominate a deserving Hudson Division member.
Official Hudson Division Special Award Nomination Form AVAILABLE at
http://hudson.arrl.org 

Awards applications are still be accepted for AMATEUR OF THE YEAR, GRAND
OLE HAM and TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT.   Please let us know if you have a
candidate.  We do not keep a file of past nominations, so please file
again if your candidate did not make it in past years.

* WHITE HOUSE GIVES ARRL DELEGATION ASSURANCES ON BPL INTERFERENCE

ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, headed an ARRL delegation during a May
20 White House visit to discuss concerns about broadband over power line
(BPL). Haynie, ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, and Chief
Technology Officer Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, met with Richard Russell, the
White House associate director for technology in the Office of Science
and Technology Policy. The ARRL officials asked the Bush administration
to heed its own experts at the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration (NTIA) and back away from its support of BPL
in favor of less troublesome technologies. The NTIA's Phase 1 BPL study
acknowledged BPL as an interference source. Haynie said the meeting was
both revealing and encouraging.

"He assured us that based on the NTIA report, the interference issues
would be addressed," Haynie said. "That was one of our main purposes for
being there." Haynie said, however, that he remains "absolutely"
convinced that a political agenda is driving the BPL proceeding. Russell
told the ARRL contingent that the administration is "very excited" about
BPL and is committed to finding ways to make it work.

Imlay said the League's problems were not with broadband access but with
the "rush-to-judgment" approach the FCC seems to be taking in the BPL
proceeding. As one example, he cited the timing between the release of
the extensive NTIA study and the comment deadline on the BPL proceeding
just a few days later. The Commission denied requests from the ARRL and
others to extend the comment deadline. While somewhat  sympathetic,
Russell suggested that his office was in less of a position to influence
the FCC than it was the NTIA.

After Rinaldo presented some of the ARRL's BPL interference test
findings, Russell asked the League to provide a breakdown of the BPL
systems and providers manifesting both lesser and greater degrees of
interference.

Rinaldo also told Russell that representatives of the BPL industry have
been double-talking their way around interference claims. Imlay pointed
out that the FCC has yet to address dozens of BPL-related interference
complaints from amateurs.

The administration does not want a flawed technology to result from the
BPL proceeding, Russell said at the session's conclusion, and he offered
assurances to the League visitors that the NTIA would work to address
the interference.

"We did get listened to," Haynie said afterward. "Did I leave there
feeling euphoric? No, I didn't, but at least I have a better feeling now
of the overall big picture, of where BPL's coming from, and I hope that
I can take to the bank the fact that they're going to address and
continue to address aggressively the interference issues."

The ARRL already has asked the FCC to put its BPL proceeding on hold to
allow more thorough research of its interference potential. The League
contended in its comments on the February 23 Notice of Proposed Rule
Making in ET Docket 03-47 that the FCC's "overly aggressive timetable"
to proceed with BPL deployment will effectively preclude the development
of cooperative interference avoidance and resolution mechanisms.

==>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

==>LOGBOOK OF THE WORLD TO INAUGURATE DXCC CREDITS SYSTEM MAY 5

The ARRL's Logbook of the World (LoTW) <http://www.arrl.org/lotw> secure
contact database debuts its DXCC credits system Wednesday, May 5. As of
week's end, the credits system was undergoing some final testing. ARRL
Membership Services Manager Wayne Mills, N7NG, says the long-awaited
LoTW component will permit users to apply contact "matches" in Logbook's 41.4
million QSO and growing database to their DXCC records. To date, Mills
reports, more than 2.5 million QSO matches already exist in the
system.

"It's a pretty straightforward process," Mills said of crediting LoTW
QSO matches to DXCC. "What participants need to do first is go to the
LoTW site and read the instructions." Information available will include
a list of frequently asked questions--FAQs.

Before doing anything else, LoTW newcomers will have to obtain a Logbook
of the World digital certificate and download the software. Since LoTW
launched last September, it has validated nearly 10,000 digital
certificates from approximately 7000 individual users. Obtaining a
digital certificate, which authenticates each user under a particular
call sign, is free.

The Logbook of the World database is a repository of individual contact
records submitted by users in the US and abroad. When both QSO
participants submit matching contact records to LoTW, the result is a

"virtual QSL" that--while it bears little resemblance to a paper QSL
card--is good for DXCC credit. LoTW accommodates Windows, MacOS and
Linux RPM users, and several logging software developers have
incorporated LoTW components into their programs.

DXCC is the first and only award for which LoTW users will be able to
apply their credits. Mills says plans already are in the works to make
the system available to apply LoTW credits to other ARRL and possibly
some non-ARRL awards.

Getting the DXCC credits system up and running has involved a
considerable amount of programming--much of it by ARRL Web/Software
Development Manager Jon Bloom, KE3Z--followed by extensive testing.

LoTW users already holding digital certificates just need to click on
the "Awards" menu tab to access the new system that lets them apply QSL
credits to their DXCC records.

While the software and obtaining a digital certificate are free, it will
cost users to apply LoTW QSL credits to DXCC. The application fee for a
basic DXCC certificate remains the same, however, and users will only be
charged on the Logbook side of the system. Individual credits can cost
as much as 25 cents apiece, but users can save money by buying credits
in bulk. Purchasing more than 500 credits will drop the per-QSL cost to
just 15 cents, Mills pointed out. "The fees are much more economical
than the postage and other costs associated with collecting traditional
paper QSL cards," he added.

The application fee for a basic DXCC Award is $10 and includes up to 120
card credits. Applicants pay 15 cents per each additional card applied.
A similar fee structure applies for those going the LoTW route, Mills
says, and you won't have to pay any additional fees on the DXCC side.
The site provides for secure payment via credit card.

One first: LoTW will be able to query the DXCC system and display an
individual's DXCC record. In the past, members have had to request their
DXCC records via e-mail. "This was actually an unintended consequence of
offering the DXCC credits system," Mills said.

For more information, contact the Logbook of The World staff
<lotw-help@arrl.org>.

MT BEACON HAMFEST  
See  http://www.qsl.net/mbarc/gallery/fest04.htm  for some 36 pictures
of the event.  You may want to be there next year

The weather was great. It was a great day for a drive. The site was
beautiful - Tymore Park in Lagrangeville, New York.  And there were
loads of friendly people and things to buy.  Take a look at the site
above and see the pictures taken at the event.  One tailgater had a
truck full of wavegides and another had some solid state Techtronics
dual trace scopes which I almost bought.  It was very tempting.   

New York City SATERN, ARES cooperate in major disaster drill: With the
help of local Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) operators, New York
City Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) members on
March 14 participated in the largest NYC Office Of Emergency Management
drill in the city's history. "This was a multi-agency drill involving
almost every agency in the metropolitan area, along with 50 hospitals,"
said SATERN Liaison for Greater New York Jeff Schneller, N2HPO. "The
scenario was an explosion and fire in Shea Stadium while a ballgame was
in progress, resulting in multiple casualties and a power failure."
Schneller said some of the "injured" had been instructed to purposely
obstruct rescuers to make the drill seem as realistic as possible. "The
stadium parking lot looked like a used emergency vehicle lot with over
100 emergency vehicles, mostly large trucks," he said. Calling in ARES
members as operators allowed SATERN and ARES teams to get to know each
other better, Schneller explained. Salvation Army Emergency Disaster
Services was active with two canteens and two support vehicles
throughout the day-long drill. "We always simulate a communications
problem and use Amateur Radio for drills as the main source of
communication," he said. Schneller thanked NYC ARES for its support and
the Electchester VHF Club for the use of its repeater. Seven ARES and
two SATERN operators participated in the drill. 

See picture at :
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2004/04/21/102/?nc=1#New2

Here is another idea for a grab and go, radio in a box. I personally
think it is impressive, yet do not care for it for a few reasons. There
is a lot of things (components) to go wrong (I like to keep it simple),
it is not water tight, I think the carry handle may fail with the weight
as built, and there are things popping out of the front and back that
may get damaged (antenna, power connectors, the radio face).

Take a look, we can always learn and improve on our "ORANGE BOXES" at 
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/wx2nj/aresbox.html   Submitted by Jeff
Schneller N2HPO of SATERN

HAMFESTS: 

29 May 2004 + Bergen ARA
North Washington Township
http://www.bara.org
Contact:Jim Joyce, K2ZO
286 Ridgewood Blvd. 
North Washington Township, NJ 07676
Phone: 201-664-6725 
Email: k2zo@arrl.net

6 Jun 2004 + Hall of Science ARC
Quenns, NY
http://www.qsl.net/hosarc
Contact:Stephen Greenbaum, WB2KDG
85-10 34th Avenue, Apt. 323
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Phone: 718-898-5599 
Email: wb2kdg@arrl.net

13 Jun 2004 + Long Island Mobile ARC
Bethpage, NY
http://www.limarc.org
Contact: Brian Gelber, WB2YMC
PO Box 392
Levittown, NY 11756
Phone: 631-286-7562 
Email: hamfest@limarc.org

11 Jul 2004 + Sussex County ARC
Augusta, NJ
http://sussexhamfest.org
Contact: Dan Carter, N2ERH
8 Carter Lane
Branchville, NJ 07826
Phone: 973-948-6999 
Email: hamfest@scarcnj.org

--------------------------------------------------------------------
ARRL Hudson Division
Director: Frank Fallon, N2FF
n2ff@arrl.org

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