Socorro Amateur Radio Association

SARA Newsletter ----- "All the news that fits, we print" ----- May, 1997


... was held on April 9th with 21 members in attendance. Twenty-one proxies were in hand so that a quorum was achieved. The proposed articles of incorporation and revisions to the bylaws were voted on and adopted. The Officer Nominating Committee (consisting of Dave Finley, Jon Spargo and Dave Johnson) gave its report. The committee was been unable to secure a nomination for the office of President, but will attempt to do so before the scheduled annual meeting. Nominations will be closed before election of officers at the annual meeting scheduled for May 14th. Proxies are again requested from those who do not plan on attending (see Annual Meeting below).


Notice of Annual Meeting

With the adoption of SARA's new bylaws, the association will henceforth hold its annual meeting on the day of the regularly scheduled meeting in the month of May each year. The first annual meeting is scheduled for 7:30 pm, on May 14, 1997, in the SARA clubhouse (704 5th Street, between Manzanares and Abeyta, and behind the chain link fence). The business to be conducted includes election of officers and directors (see "Officer Nominations" below) for the coming year.

Once again, it is important that we have a quorum so that we can conduct the election and other business. If you believe that you may not attend that meeting, you are strongly encouraged to assign your proxy to another member. You may either complete the attached proxy and assign it to the president (Howard Peavey) or you may assign it to any member who will be attending. You may provide the assignee with instructions on how to exercise your proxy. Under the new bylaws, no proxy may be voted after one year from its date. Be sure to note an earlier expiration if you wish to limit the proxy further. Proxies should be mailed to: SARA, 325 McCutcheon St. W, Socorro, NM 87801 or via campus mail to: Dave Johnson, Dept. of Earth and Envr. Sci., MSEC or given to a member who will attend the meeting. Thank you.

Officer Nominations

The Officer Nominations Committee submits nominations as follows: President/Director - Al Braun (AC5BX); Vice President/Director - Bill Brundage (K8HUH); Secretary/Director - Agnes Halls (KA5KIE); and Treasurer/Director - Tom Frawley (KA0YYP). SARA's current President, Howard Peavey (K9PV), will become Past President and a director under the provisions of the bylaws.

SARA Members

Aguilar, Joyce
Aguilar, Luis
Applegate, Charles
Barreras, Mary Grace
Barreras, Jr., Felix
Bateman, Jean
Bateman, Monte
Baudoin, Louis
Bauman, Jeri
Bauman, Tom
Blamey, Nigel
Braun, Al
Braun, Sandy
Braun, Trever
Broadwell, Brenda
Broadwell, Chuck
Brundage, Bill
Chaves, Eliseo
Combs, Frank
Combs, Jan
Finley, Dave
Fitch, Michael
Fitch, Polly
Fitch, Tom
Frank, Matthew
Frawley, Tom
Greenberg, Joseph
Halls, Agnes
Halls, Ray
Harden, Paul
Harrison, James
Hase, Neil
Janes, Clint
Johnson, David
Junor, Bill
Lareau, Jim
Lareau, Vinita
Lilie, Paul
Mathews, Chauncey
Mauger, Glenn
McMahon, Dennis
Mills, James
Mills, Vivian
Olinger, Miles
Oravecz, Kalman
Oty, Alice
Oty, Gary
Oty, Jim
Padget, Karl
Peavey, Howard
Rader, Al
Reasner, Ray
Rehnert, Tom
Reiss, Rebecca
Rhodes, Gayle
Rhodes, Paul
Romero, David
Roy, Alan
Ryan, Kevin
Ryan, Pat
Schumacher, Mike
Seagraves, Clarence
Shannon, Cathy
Sittler, Arthur
Sittler, Benjamin
Snyder, Ryan
Spargo, Jonathan
Sparks, Bob
Sparks, Norma
Staley, Doug
Standefer, Ralph
Thurber, Ron
Weinman, Jimmy
Weinman, Kathy
West, Doug
White, Thurman
Wilson, Elizabeth
Wilson, John
Wolf, Ken

Thank you, SARA

At the February SARA meeting, members presented Rainford Halls (KC5TU) with a cake on the occasion of his birthday. Soon thereafter, I received a very nice card in which Ray said "Thank you" to SARA members for the cake. Mention was omitted from the March Newsletter due to an oversight.

Upcoming events

Over the Horizon ---


Gatherings, gatherings


From the ARRL

Little Leo Battle Moves To Next Level - Proposals by the low-Earth-orbiting satellite industry--the so-called "Little LEOs" - to share spectrum with Amateur Radio at 146, 220 and 440 MHz were among those turned in this week to the FCC advisory committee that's planning for WRC-97. But the Little LEO proposals were not scheduled for inclusion in the committee's recommendations, because the working group involved did not agree to do so. The various informal working groups that have been sorting out numerous proposals for possible consideration at World Radiocommunication Conference 97 offered their reports March 5 to the FCC's WRC-97 Industry Advisory Committee. The report of Informal Working Group (IWG) 2A, which wrangled with proposals involving mobile-satellite services, includes the Little LEO's controversial "flexible allocation" plan to share spectrum with amateurs and others - but only as an annex to the report that also includes the objections raised by other participants, for consideration and disposition at a higher level.

As part of their flexible allocation strategy, Little LEO interests last month proposed including 219-225 MHz in their list of desired allocations for the nonvoice, nongeostationary (NVNG) mobile-satellite service. Little LEO targets now include 146 to 148, 219 to 225 and 430 to 450 MHz. The ARRL and AMSAT were among those objecting. The Little LEO flexible allocation strategy for WRC-97--submitted as IWG-2A/86 (Rev. 6)--is to propose broad allocations. The apparent theory is that most administrations would find reasons to oppose Little LEO use of specific bands in the crowded spectrum below 1 GHz, but that a broad allocation would permit different implementations in different countries, depending on local circumstances. At a February 13 IWG-2A meeting, a coalition of spectrum interests--including land mobile, amateur, broadcasting, and military--opposed the flexible allocation concept on several grounds.

IAC Chairman Scott Harris told participants at the March 5 meeting that the committee was only advisory, and that the government will make the final decision on its ultimate WRC-97 positions. The Final Report of the Industry Advisory Committee is expected to go to the FCC in about two weeks (ARRL Letter Vol. 16, No. 10 March 7, 1997).

Ham Radio Volunteer Services Bill Introduced - Good news for ham radio volunteers: the amateur radio volunteer services act of 1997 (HR 1013)--introduced this week by US Rep Anna Eshoo of California. If enacted, the bill would place volunteers in the volunteer examination program and the amateur auxiliary under the protections of the federal tort claims act by affording them the same legal protections as employees of the federal government while they're carrying out such volunteer duties. "This bill would help protect the personal liability of volunteer amateur radio operators while performing duties on behalf of the federal government," Eshoo said in introducing the measure. As she explained it on the house floor, it's simply a question of fairness for volunteers, who risk damaging lawsuits while saving the government time and money. the bill was introduced with 21 cosponsors hailing from both parties.

HR 1013 is nearly identical to a bill introduced last year but not enacted and similar to a unanimously accepted amendment to the FCC reauthorization bill that Eshoo herself offered last year in the commerce committee.

On the house floor, Eshoo outlined the rationale behind the Amateur Radio Volunteer Services Act of 1997 in these words, and urged her colleagues to support the bill: "amateur radio operators are self-regulated, with volunteer operators monitoring the airwaves for violations and administering licensing exams. This volunteer corps saves countless hours of staff time and resources for the federal communications commission; however, because they are not federal employees, they put their personal assets at risk in the event of actions taken against them as a result of their volunteer service to the government."

"It is simply unfair that these volunteers who are saving the government time and resources should have to risk their personal assets in carrying out their service. the amateur radio volunteer services act would classify those individuals donating their time and expertise to maintaining the quality of the amateur radio airwaves as federal employees only for the purpose of actions taken against them in the performance of their duties as self-regulators. this action will ensure the continued viability of the amateur radio community and continue to save the FCC and the federal government time and money that would otherwise need to be expended." (The ARRL Letter vol. 16, no. 11 March 14, 1997)

Ham radio excluded from CB enforcement bill - At the request of the ARRL, Amateur Radio has been specifically exempted from a bill submitted April 17 by US Sen Russell Feingold (D-Wisconsin) that would give states and municipalities authority to enforce the FCC's CB regulations. Feingold's bill, designated as Senate Bill 608, originated with efforts by the Beloit, Wisconsin, City Council--responding to long-standing CB interference complaints--to pass an ordinance allowing local authorities to enforce FCC regulations. The bill is aimed at reducing radio frequency interference stemming from the use of unauthorized equipment or frequencies by CBers.

In presenting his bill, Feingold told his Senate colleagues that he has received RFI complaints over the past several years from numerous Wisconsin communities ''in which whole neighborhoods are experiencing persistent radio frequency interference.''

If approved by Congress, Feingold's bill would amend the Communications Act to allow state or local governments to enforce regulations that prohibit the use of CB equipment not authorized by the FCC (such as high-power linear amplifiers). As it now stands, no license is required to operate on the 11-meter Citizens Band, but the FCC does have strict requirements on the type of equipment that CBers can legally use. Feingold's bill would preserve the federal preemption of all other telecommunications matters. It would exclude FCC-licensed services, including Amateur Radio, from state or local oversight.

Also at the ARRL's request, the bill calls upon the FCC to provide ''technical guidance'' to states and municipalities in detecting and determining violations. Those affected by a state or local enforcement decision would be able to appeal to the FCC. ARRL asked Feingold to add this provision as final safeguard for amateurs who might be erroneously prosecuted despite the bill's other exemptions for amateurs. Feingold's bill also would not preclude the FCC from enforcing its own regulations as they apply to CB.

Feingold called his bill ''a common-sense solution to a very frustrating and real problem which cannot be addressed under existing law (ARRL Bulletin 21; April 18, 1997).''

HAARP Test Results - Ed Kennedy, K3NS, reports that preliminary HAARP listening test results and reports are available at on the Web. The reports suggest that best reception of the 6.99-MHz signal was on the West Coast and in Alaska (The ARRL Letter, Vol 16, No 15; April 11, 1997).

From Newsline Radio

FCC Database Test - For a limited time, hams and others will have real-time access to the FCC's amateur database under a beta-testing program. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has made the three databases available to the public at no charge for approximately 30 days.
Among the information available is the amateur application. It allows real-time query capability of the Commissions ham radio database.

The other programs include a frequency search program for 929 and 931 MHz and the database transaction downloads. The three applications will be available until May the 12th at: (Amateur Radio Newsline #1027, 18 Apr 1997; Via FCC)

No More Date Of Birth - Want to find out how old a ham is? Well, the FCC has now made it a little bit harder. Effective February 21 the FCC no longer will distribute date of birth information as part of its Amateur Radio license data.

No reason has been given for the change, but the field has been physically removed from the data stream. At least some call Several call sign look up systems could be affected by this change (Via FCC Press Release; Amateur Radio Newsline #1020 28 Feb 1997).

New FCC Ham Phone - Also, the FCC has designated a new, toll-free number for Amateur Radio license inquiries. This includes inquiries about vanity and new call signs. The number is (888) 225-5322.

This number will actually connect you to the FCC National Call Center, handled by the FCC's Consumer Information Bureau. From there, you will be steered to the information that you need.

Again, that number is (888) 225-5322 and it is toll free (Via FCC release, ARRL; Amateur Radio Newsline #1021 07 Mar 1997).

Submissions to SARA Newsletter

Contributions related to amateur radio will be considered for inclusion in the SARA Newsletter. Text should be of general interest to readers, and on the order of 200 to 300 words. Each month ads from SARA members to buy, sell, or trade may be included. The usual caveat applies, items must be ham-related. Material will be included on a space available; first come, first served basis; and pretty much at the discretion of the editor. For information on the cost of advertising by nonmembers contact the editor. To be assured of consideration for the next newsletter, material must be received by the 25th day of the month. I would prefer to have submissions in the form of a DOS ASCII file. Email is ideal (to, snail mail to 325 McCutcheon St., Socorro, NM 87801, or you can FAX text to (505) 835-6436. Telephone queries will be received at 835-1432 AT hm, or 835-5771 AT wk. (D. Johnson - ed.)

Thank you

The Socorro Amateur Radio Association would like to thank the Albuquerque District office of Lanier Worldwide, Inc. for its generous support of the SARA Newsletter.