Excerpts of interest to contesters from this week's ARRL Letter Update
The ARRL Letter
August 16, 1996
IN THIS UPDATE:
* League asks for time extension to revise exams
* FCC issues revised call sign table
* Local control over RFI sought
* First DATV QSO!
* Solar activity down, flux above average
* The W8VM Transoceanic DX Challenge
* New QRP book now available
* In Brief: JAS-2 launch; Vanity stats;
W3IWI honored; Pranghofer recovery fund;
FCC ISSUES REVISED CALL SIGN TABLE
Working up that list of favorite call signs as you await the opening of
vanity Gates 2, 3 or 4? Well, you should know that certain combinations of
letters are not assignable. According to the most recent information from
the FCC, these include: KA2AA-KA9ZZ, KC4AAA-KC4AAF, KC4USA-KC4USZ,
KG4AA-KG4ZZ, KC6AA-KC6ZZ, KL9KAA-KL9KHZ, KX6AA-KX6ZZ; any call sign having
the letters SOS or QRA-QUZ as the suffix. In addition, don't ask for any
call sign having the letters AM-AZ as the prefix; any 2x3 format call sign
having the letter X as the first letter of the suffix; any 2x3 format call
sign having the letters AF, KF, NF or WF as the prefix and the letters EMA
as the suffix; any 2x3 format call sign having the letters NA-NZ as the
prefix; any 2x3 format call sign having the letters KP, NP or WP as the
prefix and the numeral 0 , 6, 7, 8 or 9; any 2x2 format call sign having the
letters KP, NP or WP as the prefix and the numeral 0 , 6, 7, 8 or 9; or any
2x1 format call sign having the letters KP, NP or WP as the prefix and the
numeral 0 , 6, 7, 8 or 9.
The FCC will not assign any letter combinations that prior recipients have
found offensive. Also remember that 2x1 call signs having the single letter
prefix (K, N or W), a single digit numeral (0 , 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9)
and a single-letter suffix are reserved for the special-event call sign
FCC Form PR-5000 #206V, Amateur Station Vanity Call Sign System, outlines
all the procedures for the vanity call sign system. For more information,
call the FCC Consumer Assistance Branch, 800-322-1117 or 717-338-2500, or
write 1270 Fairfield Rd, Gettysburg, PA 17325-7245.
WISCONSIN SENATOR SEEKS LOCAL CONTROL OVER RFI
Acting in response to what he says are nearly 45,000 complaints to the FCC
every year, first-term Sen Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) as introduced S 2025,
which would give state, county and local governments the ability to regulate
interference from CB radios "when that interference results from a violation
of FCC rules." Saying his bill "simply allows common sense to prevail,"
Feingold reasons his measure would give states and localities the ability to
investigate and enforce Federal law, "thereby protecting the rights of their
residents." The bill would only affect unauthorized CB transmitters or
amplifiers. Municipalities could prohibit use of the equipment and levy
fines or other monetary sanctions.
Recently, the City Council of Beloit, Wisconsin--reacting to complaints from
local residents of interference to home electronic equipment--passed an
ordinance that would give that city the power to enforce FCC regulations on
CB interference. While the bill is an explicit reversal of the total Federal
preemption over telecommunications matters granted by the Communications Act
of 1934, it contains a provision reaffirming the continued Federal
preemption in handling other types of RFI.
Feingold said he's tried to enlist FCC help in investigating constituents'
RFI complaints without success. He said he was told the FCC no longer
investigates RFI complaints and offers "only a packet of self-help
information for the consumer to limit the interference on their own."
It's all a question of fairness, Feingold says: "It is not fair that
municipalities and their residents should be hamstrung by an outdated
Federal preemption of laws the Federal government no longer has the
resources to enforce." The bill has been referred to the Senate Commerce,
Science and Transportation Committee.
W8VM TRANSOCEANIC DX CHALLENGE
The West Park Radiops of Bay Village, Ohio, has announced the W8VM
Transoceanic DX Challenge. The idea is to become the first Amateur Radio
DXpedition team to establish a two-way QSO over the longest ocean path,
which the group estimates at up to 22,000 miles. The end points of the path
must be on continents or peninsulas that are part of DXCC countries. The
trick is that a line between the two points may not cross land, including
large islands or peninsulas.
Entry forms and complete rules are available for an SASE from the W8VM crew.
Write West Park Radiops Inc, 513 Kenilworth Rd, Bay Village, OH
44140.--Glenn Williams, AF8C
* Vanity call sign stats: As of August 6, the FCC's Larry Weikert reports
3545 applications have been filed with Gettysburg to take advantage of the
program, which began May 31. Still no word on when Gate 2 will open. Vanity
applicants should take note that the FCC has set aside some vanity grants
from individuals that it subsequently determined were not eligible for the
call signs they had requested. To avoid problems, make sure you're eligible
under the current gate(s) before you apply.
Tom Frenaye, K1KI, P O Box 386, West Suffield CT 06093 Phone: 860-668-5444
>From firstname.lastname@example.org (Bob Patten) Sat Aug 17 00:31:27 1996
From: email@example.com (Bob Patten) (Bob Patten)
Subject: NAQP Exchange?
QST's Contest Corral states the exhcange in this weekend's NA QSO Party
as "RS(T) and state/province/DXCC country". Am I correct in assuming
this is in error and the actual exchange should be "name and state...."
as in past NAQP's?
Bob Patten, N4BP
>From dz@voa3.VOA.GOV (Dick Zwirko) Sat Aug 17 02:11:02 1996
From: dz@voa3.VOA.GOV (Dick Zwirko) (Dick Zwirko)
Subject: 160M test scoring
There have been a few new ideas recently introduced for discussion sake on
what might be done to level the playing field in Top Band contests. One
idea to modify contest exchanges and scoring, involved the sending of
a participant's Grid Square as part of the exchange. This would allow the
introduction of QSO point value determined by distance. As it was mentioned
earlier, this could be done with the assist of a computer. However not all
160M contesters have computers. If the computation method used could be kept
simple, these extra (dx) QSO points could be determined by a human Ham brain.
Complaints have been aired that it would be difficult to copy more than the
presently used exchange on long haul contest QSOs. Well, how about this idea?
Why not have the report consist of the present format plus an OPTIONAL four
character Grid Square. If only the presently used exchange is copied, the QSO
counts as one point. If the Grid Square is also copied, then additional
distance points might be earned. The introduction of distance related points
would help level the playing field in Top Band contests which are presently
dominated by stations in the northeastern USA.
For you folks who haven't operated VHF and exchanged Grid Squares, a little
explaination might be in order. The world have been divided into 2 degree by
1 degree grid squares which are identified by two letters and two numbers.
For example my Grid Square in Maryland is 'FM18'. For those desiring to pin-
point a QTH even more, each grid square is further broken down into an
additional 2 letters. The full Grid Square for my Glenn Dale, MD QTH is FM18ox.
The computation of distance related QSO points doesn't have to be complicated.
It simply might be the number of two-lettered grid blocks (1st 2 letters of a
Grid Square) between the stations working each other.
Working the same grid block (FM-to-FM) or adjacent (FM-EM) would gain no
multiplier for that QSO. However, a QSO between stations in 'DO' and 'FM'
blocks could gain one extra QSO distance point for distance since an 'E'
grid block is between them.
Working across the pond from W1 land (FN block) to England (IO block) would
gain 2 points (G & H blocks between). If a W6 in grid DMxx worked a 'G' in
grid IOxx both stations would gain 4 bonus points for that QSO since there are
four grid blocks between them. In the case of north-south DX QSOs, a similar
scoring QSO point scheme could be developed which could approximate the
method used for east-west QSOs.
If there is concern about copying a full grid square, then lets make the
rule say that you only need to log the first two letters of a grid square.
Is this proposal worth further discussion? Or should I go back to chasing DX?
73 de Rich - K1HTV
>From firstname.lastname@example.org (R.B. Vallio) Sat Aug 17 02:15:16 1996
From: email@example.com (R.B. Vallio) (R.B. Vallio)
On Fri, 16 Aug 1996, Al Gritzmacher wrote:
> My question is: was his Dad mad at him for scratching the car and was he old
> enough to drive?? My 10-year old writes and spells better than this guy.
> Maybe it's an English-as-Second-Language problem... I didn't see a callsign,
> so I can't tell.
> I think he should put the KEYS in the trunk when he puts the antenna on!!!
> Al Gritzmacher AE2T Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org
> WWW: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/ae2t/
> Liason: Alternate mail adresses:
> Lockport Amateur Radio email@example.com
> Volunteer Examiner Team firstname.lastname@example.org
> Radio Shack: You've got questions - We've got dumb looks.
> "Invisible airwaves crackle with life, Bright antenna bristle with the
> - Rush "The Spirit of Radio" (or if you prefer - Catherine Wheel)
I suggest to you that you should look seriously inward and determine
why you felt it necessary to publicly vilify the gentleman who
wrote to the members of this reflector for a suggestion to solve a
problem he had.
As a representative of your VE group, you must be greatly admired for
your dedication to amateur radio. It's too bad there is not a way
for your posting to be presented to each of the other members, so
they could have the opportunity to learn even more ways in which
you are to be admired.
Please do yourself, and the several thousand who read this reflector,
a favor; cancel your subscription.
Bob Vallio - W6RGG email@example.com
>From floydjr@Interpath.com (Jimmy R. Floyd) Sat Aug 17 11:40:35 1996
From: floydjr@Interpath.com (Jimmy R. Floyd) (Jimmy R. Floyd)
Subject: NAQP SSB 96
I will be compiling the scores for this contest this weekend. Please
send them to me or to the 3830 reflector. Do not send them to this
reflector as per instructions of the moderator of this reflector.
Do not send any attached files or logs!!!!!!
Also make sure scores are complete. Multiplied and added up.