ARRL Letter extracts - 11/15/96

frenaye at frenaye at
Sat Nov 16 00:23:40 EST 1996

Full details can be found at
(including several items about vanity calls...)

The ARRL Letter
Electronic Update
November 15, 1996

* Some Gate 2 applicants in limbo
* Hams in the hot zone
* Satellite aficionados met
* DOVE-OSCAR 17 update
* Solar manic depression
* Ham-suspect arrested in McKim murders
* Tiago Frederico, CT1WW, SK
* In Brief: W1AW schedule change; Vanity connections;
   Identifying former call sign holders; Happy Birthday!;
   Photos from space


Solar prognosticator Tad Cook, KT7H, in Seattle, Washington, reports a rise 
in solar activity over the past few days, with solar flux moving steadily 
above the three-month average of 70. It is expected to top out in the 
mid-70s by November 16, drop to 70 by the middle of next week, and to 68 by 
December 1. After that, flux values are expected to rise above 70 again 
after December 7.

Geomagnetic disturbances are rising and should peak today and again around 
November 19. Perhaps this period of days with solar flux above the recent 
averages is a sign that the cycle is about to take an upward turn from the 
bottom. When we start seeing weeks of solar flux numbers that are above the 
previous 90-day average, we will know that the wait is over.

A packet message from Dick Farman, K2QR, ARRL Technical Coordinator from 
Western New York, points out that while present HF propagation is not 
particularly exciting, anything can happen on VHF. The astute VHF DXer 
usually ignores the reported solar flux and concentrates on the A and K 
indices, he says. Geomagnetic field disturbances may be sufficient to cause 
aurora, and the aurora can be reflective at VHF. As pointed out in an 
earlier report, the A and K indices provide an indication of geomagnetic 
activity and, therefore, can tip off VHF operators to possible band 
openings. When the A index is about 20 and the K index is 4 or 5 (or 
greater!), conditions are often good for VHF aurora. Hollow-sounding signals 

on 80 meters mean it's time to fire up on VHF and point the antenna north. 
Phase variations in signals reflected from the auroral curtain make this 
propagation mode suitable for CW and sometimes for SSB, but not for FM, 
which becomes too distorted. Contacts are most likely on 10, 6, and 2 
meters. As the intensity of the geomagnetic storm increases, higher 
frequencies are affected. As electrons trapped in Earth's magnetic field 
spin down and lose energy, they emit photons, and the aurora becomes 
visible--sometimes as streaks of light, sometimes as "curtains." It's often 
a tough decision whether to work the bands or go outside to watch the light 

Sunspot numbers for November 7 through 13 were 0, 0, 11, 11, 14, 27 and 14, 
respectively, with a mean of 11. The 10.7-cm flux was 68.5, 69.1, 70.2, 71, 
71.5, 72.2 and 73.1, respectively, with a mean of 70.8. The planetary A 
indices for the same period were 5, 4, 11, 6, 3, 8, and 11, respectively, 
with a mean of 6.9.

Sunspot numbers for October 31 through November 6 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 and 
0, respectively, with a mean of 0. The 10.7-cm flux was 69.7, 70, 69, 69.5, 
69, 68.3 and 69.2, respectively, with a mean of 69.2. The planetary A 
indices for the same period were 8, 2, 2, 2, 9, 6, and 7, respectively, with 

a mean of 5.1.


Well-known DXer Tiago Frederico, CT1WW, of Sao Joao da Pesqueira, Portugal, 
died October 31. He was 52 years old.--Jose de Sa

In Brief:

* Happy Birthday! Wilbur E. "Bip" Bachman, W6BIP, of San Francisco, 
California, celebrates his 85th birthday tomorrow (November 16). "Bip" 
remains an active CW operator, and his is a familiar call sign in the ARRL 
November Sweepstakes and other contests. Bill Haddon, N6ZFO, who's been 
acquainted with W6BIP since the 1950s, says, "Bip's kindness, 
professionalism, expertise, and perseverance at CW communication have always 
been an inspiration to me."

* Photos from space: A new book cowritten by astronaut Jay Apt, N5QWL, has 
more than a casual ham radio connection. The book on photographs of the 
Earth taken from space, Orbit: NASA Astronauts Photograph the Earth, was 
coauthored with Michael Helfert and Justin Wilkinson, two Earth-observation 
scientists at the Johnson Space Center. Space writer and consultant Philip 
Chien, KC4YER, reports the book was written during the team's personal time, 
evenings and weekends, while Apt was in training for the STS-49 mission. He 
says the book contains "incredible-quality photos, with an innovative 
computer digitizing method to retain the original image quality." Apt wrote 
the introduction to each chapter. In the section on Australia, he said "I 
recall many conversations at night with hams in Australia and New Zealand 
who had gotten up in the wee hours just to talk to us as we flew overhead. 
I've been surprised by a call from a ham from Hilo, Hawaii, using a tiny 
radio in his car. I have seen the lights of the Palmer Research Station at 
the tip of Antarctica, and called the scientists there on our ham set. All 
of these conversations make me feel more connected to the people and the 
lands we are flying over." Apt wrote how Maggie "Rita" Iaquinto, VK3CFI, in 
Australia "relayed my ham radio signals at two in the morning her time so I 
could talk from Endeavour to a doctor aboard the Russian Mir station." Orbit 
is published by the National Geographic Society and distributed by Random 
House (ISBN 0-7922-3714-5). It retails for $40.

E-mail: frenaye at 
Tom Frenaye, K1KI, P O Box 386, West Suffield CT 06093 Phone: 860-668-5444

>From w0mu at (Mike Fatchett)  Sat Nov 16 00:42:40 1996
From: w0mu at (Mike Fatchett) (Mike Fatchett)
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 17:42:40 -0700
Message-ID: <01BBD31C.67107F20 at>

Glad to see them mailed.  I was told by the FCC that they had not been mailed as of the 13th. <rest of comments deleted>


Sent: 	Thursday, November 14, 1996 5:00 PM
To: 	cq-contest at; don at

With others also asking when they would arrive I'm surprised at this 
date that others had not been reported any earlier, but my writen 
hardcopy of the vanity callsign change arrived today November 15, 

The envelope was postage metered on 11/12 and routed through the 
local Lancaster, PA Postal Center that night at 0014 EST on 11/13/96.


 73,   Bob Reed,  W2CE,  ex WB2DIN
       1991 Route 37 West - Lot 109
       Toms River, New Jersey  08757

>From ki4hn at (Jim Stevens)  Sat Nov 16 00:45:10 1996
From: ki4hn at (Jim Stevens) (Jim Stevens)
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 19:45:10 -0500
Subject: Hardcopy licenses
Message-ID: < at>

>Since someone asked if anyone had received the actual hard copy of a 
>vanity call in the mail from the FCC, the answer is yes.  The Club Call 
>(N6UI) for which I am trustee arrived today.
>KG6LF (maybe going to change this one too!)

Got my hard copy today also.

Two others things of note.

1. My Web Page with vanity info is currently unavailable
   due to the Web Server being down.  Trying to get it
   fixed ASAP.

2. The AT6A call that everyone commented was not a valid
   US call was reissued yesterday to that individual as KV6A.

73, Jim Stevens, K4MA (ex KI4HN)
email -- ki4hn at
WWW   --  -> vanity call info

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