Hudson Division Beacon – October 2003

ARRL Hudson Division
October 2003
Hudson Division Beacon – e-mail edition
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/

* ELECTIONS IN HUDSON DIVISION  – Please vote!

Most ballots for the Hudson Division Director election have been
received at this point.  As ballots are sent bulk mail some may take
weeks to dribble out to you.  If you have not received your ballot by
October 20th please contact Lisa Kustosik, 860-594-0245, at ARRL HQ for
a replacement ballot.

Please make your decision and send you ballot back in time to be
counted.   The message from both candidates:  Please vote and return the
ballot.  Ballots will be counted on November 21st at HQ and must be
received by noon that day.

* HUDSON DIVISION AWARDS DINNER November 8th in Paramus

There is still time to get a ticket, take and ad in the journal or
sponsor a plaque.  You will find information on the 10-70 web site at
http://www.10-70.org/   Simply scroll down to “Upcoming Events” and
click on “Hudson Dinner.”

We will have some nice door prizes and a contributory drawing for an
Icom HT and a Vertex Marine HT.  But you need to be present to
contribute and to win.  All monies will be sent to the ARRL Spectrum
Defense Fund for BPL.

Remember the Hudson Division Awards Dinner is again being sponsored by
the 10-70 Repeater Association and will be held on November 8th in
Northern New Jersey at Biaggio’s Resturante in Paramus, NJ by popular
request.  The food is good, the camaraderie is great and there are
plenty of door prizes for all.  Tickets are limited to the first 100 at
$38 per person.  Send ticket requests to 10-70 Repeater Association,
Inc., 235 Van Emburgh Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ  07450-2918.  A form is
available at http://www.10-70.org/

2003’s Technical Achievement Award winner is Len Signoretti Jr, N2LEN,
of Brooklyn, New York.  The specific achievement Len was recognized for
was the unique Echolink repeater/internet linking system he has
implemented, one of the first in the New York City area.

The 2003 Grand Ole Ham is Jim Joyce, K2ZO, of Washington Township, New
Jersey.  A 30 year member of the Bergen Amateur Radio Club, Jim has
devoted most of his free time to the club and to making Amateur Radio
operators more knowledgeable in the hobby.  He has spent two decades as
an Elmer, founding the club’s “kit night” in which hams could learn the
basics of building electronic equipment, how to solder, or how to
troubleshoot and repair their own equipment.

The 2003 Hudson Division Amateur of the Year is Bruce Lordi, N2XP, of
Flanders, New Jersey. A well rounded Amateur, Bruce has been described
as “Mr. Fixit”.  From HTs to Mobile equipment to repeaters, Bruce is
always ready to help hams with their technical problems.  Bruce gives
countless hours to helping hams and teaching others about technology.
He Elmers local Amateurs on the technology behind packet, PSK31, APRS,
HF, VHF and UHF techniques.

Please join with us to honor these outstanding Hudson Division hams.
You will also have a good time and perhaps take home a door prize.  Plan
on being with us on November 8th in Paramus.

* ON THE BPL FRONT

The following Hudson Division clubs are on the honor roll as of
September 24, 2003:

Radio Club of America, Knickerbocker ARC, Technology Society of New
Jersey, Splitrock ARA Inc.,  Ocean Monmouth ARC, and Orange County
ARC.

Thanks for your generosity.  You can see a listing of all the clubs who
contributed to the fund on page 10 of  the November QST.  Clubs that
contributed after September 24th will be listed in a later issue.

Implementation of BPL technology in the US continues to be a real
threat.  Here are a few developments and interesting sites with
information:

Read Dave Sumner’s, K1ZZ, “Who Needs BPL?” in the Novermber issue of QST
twice and then frame it.

A subcommittee of an International Telecommunication Union (
http://www.itu.int/home/index.html ) panel of technical experts
responsible for terrestrial broadcasting issues has joined a growing
chorus of concern about the interference potential of power line
telecommunication (PLT)–better known in the US as Broadband over Power
Line (BPL).  See: http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2003/10/09/1/?nc=1

The ARRL has strongly objected to FCC Commissioner Kathleen Q.
Abernathy’s suggestion that Broadband over Power Line (BPL) technology
will contribute to what she described as “broadband Nirvana.”   See:
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2003/09/25/100/?nc=1

Additional information and video clips are on the ARRL “Power Line
Communications (PLC) and Amateur Radio” page at
http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/

“Broadband from the electric company? No thanks” by David Coursey on
ZDNet at  http://reviews-zdnet.com.com/4520-7297_16-5089730.html for
some interesting reading on the subject.

>  “Logbook of the World” is Off Like a Rocket and Still Rising   —
“Logbook of the World” (LoTW) –the League’s new QSL-cardless awards and
contact credit system–has proven to be a big hit in the amateur
community. LoTW opened September 15 to accept digital certificate
applications.  For more info see:
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2003/10/02/2/?nc=1 (from ARRL Web)

Here are the latest statistics as of October 15, 2003:

14,578,052 QSO records have been entered into the system.
181,402 QSL records have resulted.
3,156 Users are registered in the system
3,983 Certificates are active
9,446 User files have been processed

The database is growing very rapidly.

>  Haynie: Letters=Voters=Support on Amateur Radio Legislation (Oct 16,
2003) — ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, says the good news is that
the number of House cosponsors for the Amateur Radio Spectrum Protection
Act, HR 713, has topped 50. The Senate version of the legislation, S
537, now has eight cosponsors. The downside, Haynie says, is that the
Spectrum Protection Bill as well as the Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Consistency Act, HR 1478, will need many more cosponsors
if either is to succeed.  See details at:
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2003/10/16/2/?nc=1

>  THANKS FOR RESPONDING TO THE HUDSON DIVISION CW TESTING SURVEY

I have not yet begun to process the survey and come up with results. I
probably will not get to that until after the November 8 Awards Dinner.
I expect to print results in the December issue of “Beacon.”  I have
made hard copies of the responses.  I have had e-mail problems lately –
Msimm errors while running Outlook Express – which have resulted in lost
messages, fortunately none of them surveys, and the inability to send
message.  I am still slowly responding to those who sent in a survey.
At this point I still have not to been able to respond to everyone.  It
appears that I will probably have to reinstall Windows to cure my
problem as Norton did not find any problems with Outlook or any .DLL
files but I believe that one or more of them are “munged.”

Most Survey responders did not add comments but I found those who did
very interesting.  Below are two who wanted change.  Next month I will
plan to print two from the opposite viewpoint.

Here is number one:

I am a very enthusiastic CW user – 90% of my operations. I also collect
telegraph keys and paraphernalia so there are fewer true believers in
code than me. However I don’t think CW is necessary or appropriate any
longer for licensing purposes. I do believe the CW subbands must be
protected though.

Even the most ardent CW fans with the greatest communications skills are
severely challenged to make it’s case given the state of technology
(i.e. Internet, cellular phones, etc.) and the perception around it by
the general public. At best people will think strong advocacy to retain
CW as a license requirement is based on quaintness of a severely aging
group of people who are slowly fading into the sunset anyway. My fear is
ham radio may, in fact, be fading into sunset and the demographics of
the people becoming hams is showing alarmingly poor take-up among our
youth. If we are to keep ham radio going yet another century we will
need to embrace far more young people into our ranks – despite whatever
interest they may, or may not have in Morse code communication.

Don’t get me wrong, however, I do not advocate a no-brains class of
license or a “dumbed-down” ham radio. Quite the contrary.

Ham radio never had a wide appeal among the general public even in it’s
“hayday”. It appealed to people of a scientific bent. This NEVER meant
solely degreed engineers or Nobel laureates (although it always included
those types of people) but rather those with a technical curiosity or
inclination. And that’s how it should be now.

I am not suggesting sharply toughened technical exams in lieu of Morse
but rather better exams which will demonstrate knowledge of operating
conditions, modes, equipment types, rules, operating practice, ham radio
history. These should include internet questions, PC componentry,
digitized communications techniques, etc.

Frank, the wireless industry is not only about radios any more. Hell,
radios are not only about radios anymore as the next generation will be
software based entirely – not just analog boxes with digital readouts.
Nearly every “wireless” device is not only processor based and software
controlled but what it “talks” to is likely to be software based and
processor controlled. Voice over IP is an emerging technology which
although already in widespread commercial service is in great need of
far more R&D to enhance voice quality and robustness ESPECIALLY in the
wireless environment. And who, but hams, are better suited to do this
work? Or to work in network deployment, maintenance, etc.

We are truly missing the boat IF we don’t embrace the new digitized
world or ILRP, EchoLink, Packet Clusters, software controlled rigs, etc.
Plenty of kids can play with PC’s and there are few school systems which
don’t support classes using computers. But how many have “wireless”
based instruction? I can tell you even in graduate engineering school
there is precious little practical wireless (radio) experimentation and
subsequent experience. ATTENTION HAM RADIO – the world is calling — we
need a place for young people with a technical inclination to experiment
and play with radios and computers — now is the time…

Pete Malvese, W2PM

And here is the second, which may also appear in QST:

Over the years I’ve thought a lot about the need for a CW requirement in
amateur radio licensing but until now haven’t put any ideas on paper
(virtual or not). Recently, the dropping of the requirement in
international regulation has renewed the debate. It’s always been an
emotional issue with hams; one look at the discourse in the on-line
forums will confirm that. Rather than getting nasty with each other,
let’s calm down a bit, take a deep breath and consider what’s really
involved in how we’re regulated by the FCC. Whether one is for or
against it, the issue reduces to a matter of what the FCC will accept in
arguments and what it won’t. So we need to be rational about it, not
emotional.

First, let’s recognize the difference between CW – the requirement, and
CW – the mode of operation. I operate HF almost exclusively, spending
about half my time on CW, half phone, have always been active on CW, and
am very good at it. I consider the license requirement to be separable
from whether or not CW will continue to be popular on HF. I believe it
will, no matter what happens in the requirements debate. The most
important thing is that the FCC as a regulatory body should retain band
segments restricted to CW and narrow digital modes only. There are
rational reasons, having to do with interference, why it’s necessary to
keep wide bandwidth modes away from narrow ones. That’s a very practical
thing, as opposed to the issue of licensing requirements which is mostly
emotional in my view.

The ARRL should not fight removal of the code requirement unless we, the
amateur radio community can come up with a rational reason as to why
every licensee must know it. The key word here is “rational”. The FCC
will not judge as valid any argument to keep a code requirement that has
anything to do with emotional reasons. For example, the argument can’t
be about tradition – it’s irrelevant. Spark was tradition at one point
but banned for practical reasons. No argument based on tradition holds
water. The argument can’t be about filtering applicants. Sure, a Morse
requirement is another hurdle that will disqualify some applicants. But
since there are other ways of “raising the bar” on applicants, such as
requiring more in-depth knowledge of communications technology in the
written test, the filtering argument will not fly with the FCC either.
The argument also can’t make the claim that elimination of the
requirement will cause CW to “die”. Horseback riding and biking are
alive and well even though people are not forced to learn how to do
either one, and there are cars. CW will continue to be widely used
simply because it’s the best non-machine-assisted way to communicate
under weak signal conditions. It’s flawed reasoning to suggest that
endorsing the removal of the code requirement is a vote to “kill” CW. So
the “cw will die” argument has no validity with the FCC as well. Lastly,
we can’t use the “slippery slope” argument in which we assert that
elimination of the code requirement is only the first step in lowering
standards and it will lead to a step-by-step, inexorable, decrease in
license requirements until we’re left with none at all. This can also be
referred to the “ham radio will become CB” argument and it too doesn’t
fly. A change in a specific license requirement does not imply a change
(or decrease in the need for) license requirements in general. It’s an
emotional argument and will not be considered otherwise by the FCC.

So unless the ARRL can come up with practical, rational, reasons why a
Morse requirement should be retained, it should not waste resources to
take up the issue. Only one such practical reason would suffice. I just
haven’t heard any yet. The last one may have gone away when the
international community decided to stop requiring knowledge of the code.

Many hams including myself will continue to use CW because we enjoy it
(emotional) but also because it’s the best way to work DX when the band
conditions are lousy (rational). As a separate issue the ARRL should
vigorously work to protect the existence of HF band segments for narrow
bandwidth modes including CW.

73,
Chris Codella, W2PA
w2pa@arrl.net

* Attention Clubs and Instructors — New DVD and Other Class Materials
Available!

— For the first time, ARRL is presenting the ARRL Technician Class
Video Course on DVD. The video, also available in VHS format, features
new material and the previous content has been revised to make the
course even more valuable. Also, ARRL is offering clubs and instructors
the popular and effective Ham University license instruction software,
with a license to put the programs on the CD-ROM onto five different
computers. Perfect for a club that wants to teach a classroom-based
course on any of the three license levels. There is support for
instructors, too, in the form of manuals and on-line resources.
Discounts for instructors on selected course materials are also
available.   (de ARRL Web)
See:  http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2003/10/16/3/?nc=1

* CQWW SSB CONTEST OCT. 24th through 26th

Here is a great opportunity to add some countries for you DXCC Award.
There will be a lot of activity and many of the multi-multi DX stations
will be looking for business on Sunday when their rates slow down.  If
you have low power and are antenna challenged, you will find that it is
possible on Sunday morning and afternoon to work some rare ones and up
your count.   Check Ten Meters.  It has been open in a few times in the
last week.  Last Monday, Columbus Day, I worked YI/KC0LEK, in Baghdad
with only 100 watts with very few other stations on the band.

I plan to be in Vermont with members of the Order of Boiled Owls as one
of the W2AX operators.

* ATTENTION CLUBS  – ARRL seeks opinions on Club Gazette

This is a must read for all club officers.  There is some very
interesting information here:

— Attention clubs and ARRL affiliated club coordinators! ARRL Field
and Educational Services (F&ES) is hoping to add a Club Gazette feature
to its Club Companion pages at  http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/club/.
The Gazette would feature the best stories, items and information
gleaned from the hundreds of club newsletters that hardworking
volunteers publish each month. Many clubs are justifiably proud of their
unique activities and active members, and being able to share their
successes and accomplishments may help other clubs to grow and prosper.
F&ES has put together a survey to help nail down the most useful
features of the Gazette. Questions were derived from items we’ve found
in hundreds of club newsletters. We’d like to know what you’d like to
see. To participate, click on the
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2003/10/10/4/gazette-survey.html and
follow the instructions. We appreciate your participation!   (from the
ARRL web pages)

> >>>>>APPROVED HAMFESTS:  There are none.  The next event will be:

HRU 2004 on Sunday, January 18, 2004 at Oyster Bay, New York Sponsored
by Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club.  The event will be held at the
East Woods School located at 31 Yellow Cote Road, Oyster Bay, NY

Although NOT a hamfest, this is a very worthwhile event being held for
the fourth year. Plan to be there. You will meet a lot of hams and learn
a thing or two at the forums.  Local clubs will be on hand showing off
their activities and the price is right at $2.00.

Directions: (The school is approximately 18 miles east of the
Queens/Nassau border in Nassau County) Take the Long Island Expressway
east to Exit 41 North (Rte 106/107). 106 and 107 will split about 1/2
mile north of the LIE, follow 106 north (to the right). Go about 4 miles
to Route 25A. Make a right and head east on 25A and go about 2 miles to
Yellow Cote Road (on your left). Look for the white sign which says
“East Woods School”. Go another 1/2 mile and the entrance to the school
will be on your left at another white sign. Go up the hill and park in
one of the three designated parking areas. Look for the HRU signs!

Special Features of Event: Ham Radio University 2004, forums on all
aspects of Amateur Radio, Special Event Station.  Exams being given:
ARRL Sponsored Exams

Talk-In Frequency: W2VL 146.850 -600 136.5 PL   Web URL:
http://www.hudson.org/nli/hru2004

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


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