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The EARS WA4IWLetter



Believe it or not, but this will finally be my last President's Message. I've been debating whether to be mild-mannered, thought-provoking, inspirational, or whatever for my long-awaited swan song. Maybe a little bit of this and a little bit of that?

American postal rates increased 07 January but we still have among the cheapest rates in the world. An Indonesia will pay about 50 cents to mail a 1/3 oz. letter to the USA, but that 50 cents represents about two hours' labor by a garment worker over there. Our Canadian friends will pay $3.50 + 15% Goods & Services Tax for an International Reply Coupon that costs $1.75 in the USA. Over in Australia, the Queensland Division of the Wireless Institute of Australia now charges 10 cents for every outgoing QSL card, up from 2 cents per card. The ARRL charges its members $6 per pound of cards, which is about 2 cents per card for the cards I send. So, count our blessings--at least for now.

Florida attained worldwide notice for more than just beaches and bikinis while the Algoristas were doing their best to evade Florida and federal laws with a selective recount, recount, recount, ad infinitum. Many DX stations were abreast of the news, and once I gave my QTH as Florida, numerous questions/comments would often follow. I was most intrigued when Bob, AP2JZB, over in Karachi told me on 07 December he had been getting his news from the Fox News Channel and that he especially enjoyed "The O'Reilly Factor". I commended Bob on his wise choice of FNC over the Clinton News Network, due to their balanced reporting vs. CNN's creation of news. I assured Bob that all would work out for the best over here, and such was the case. Maybe it's because I also prayed a lot!

Not to be outdone by the election tomfoolery in selected precincts of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, the ARRL Board of Directors held a special meeting 09 December 2000, approving a recommendation by the ARRL's DX Advisory Committee. Based on the complaint of Inoah Worktim, G0RE, of Dorking, England, a new method has been created for awarding DXCC credits.

The Rule (No. 58), which has been called the G0RE Rule, was adopted after extensive efforts by G0RE, an active DXer, complained to the DXAC when his QSL card for working the African DX country, Chad (TT) was disallowed. The ballpoint pen with which the Chad operator, TT4U, wrote on G0RE's QSL card made only a light indentation on the card. Careful examination by holding the TT4U card up to a light, by a team of judges, resulted in the decision that it would not be accepted. However, G0RE's appeal resulted in a recount of his QSL cards and, during an extraordinary meeting, testimony was heard that he did call the Chad station and thought he worked TT4U.

The so-called G0RE Rule will allow amateurs who can show they were confused by instructions given by a DX or DXpedition operator during a pileup, or whose calls were drowned out by "frequency police", to receive special consideration by those who verify DXCC applications and endorsements. In testimony, other amateurs said they, too, were confused by TT4U's instructions and they planned to lodge a massive protest in the matter.

Under the G0RE Rule, an operator who believes he actually worked a new entity can demand that DXCC checkers recount all QSLs which were initially not counted. An improperly or weakly marked QSL will still be counted if the submitting operator says he intended to work the entity in question.

DXAC members and those who field-check QSLs said they expect the manual recounts could result in a wholesale change in the number of DXers presently on the DXCC Honor Role. The G0RE Rule became effective 08 November, 2000

(Via Duke, W4DK, on the QCWA E-mail Reflector)

73 de Jack, W4JS


Local hams, especially those who knew him from the Snowbird Net and the Tuesday breakfast, were shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Ken, VE3CME, on 02 January at his home in Englewood Isles. His sense of humor will always be remembered. Our condolence to Lois, KE4NOT, on our loss.


The next EARS meeting will be held 19 January at the Englewood United Methodist Church, 700 East Dearborn St. The business meeting will start at 7:30 pm in Room 400, Fellowship Hall. This will be our Annual Meeting for the election of officers for 2001, submission of the Treasurer's Annual Report, presentation of the President's Report on the State of the Society, filing of committee reports, and the transaction of such other business as is usual.

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Minutes of the Meeting

December 15, 2000

President Jack Sproat, W4JS, called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. There were no new members nor guests present. A total of 27 members were present.

As there were no changes to the minutes of the November meeting, the Secretary's motion to accept was seconded by Don Dold-KD9SJ and passed.

As Treasurer Howard White-KD4MMY was not present, his e-mailed report was read by the Secretary. The ending balance was $4626.09, resulting from income of $629.00 and expenses of $348.59. A motion to accept the Report was made by Don Spencer-WA4IWL and seconded by Bob Carstens-KG4IAW. The motion was approved.


EARS Christmas Party - A total of 33 members and spouses attended this event at Beacon Bay Restaurant located at Uncle Henry's Resort on Gasparilla Island. Food was good and the camaraderie was even better. We thank Mickey maren for helping with the Christmas Party arrangements.

Address Changes - All members, and especially Snow Birds were asked to keep either Al Parmentier-KF4JIL or Jack apprised of their current addresses so the newsletter can be mailed to the correct address. With some members moving either north or south every few months, it is hard keeping up with their whereabouts.


SUNSHINE - A card was sent to Gertrude Kahn, widow of our late member Danny Kahn-WB2QEB, who passed away August 3rd. Vic Emmelkamp-KF4VHX reported that new member Vin Therieau-KG4IAV is recovering very quickly from triple bypass surgery.

TESTING - Test sessions the third Saturday of each month by appointment only.

RACES/ARES - Frank Maren, W4VV, reminded all that the monthly RACES drill is scheduled for 9 AM the last Thursday of each month at the San Casa County Administration Annex. All members are encouraged to attend.

Charlotte County Fire Station Four, located at Boundary Rd. and Rotonda Circle has ben equipped with a new 2-meter antenna as the result of the efforts of Frank-W4VV, Bill Stevens-W1AMU, Vic-KF4VHX, Jerry Meckenberg-K4JWE and Dave Hansen-W0EVM. Charlotte County Emergency Management provided the equipment and supplies for the installation. When complete, this will be an additional emergency management site for the RACES team to man.

GOVERNMENT LIAISON - Jerry-K4JWE had nothing new to report regarding new Charlotte County ordinances or statutes, however, he was pleased to report that Vic-KF4VHX had a applied for and received a building permit for his new tower foundation. This was the first such permit Jerry was aware of since the new ordinance took effect two years ago.


ARRL Library Book Set - This matter was first discussed at our October meeting and approved at our November meeting. The ARRL offers a special package of 17 books for $170 vs. their $300 retail value. We have not yet ordered the first set of books for the Englewood-Charlotte County Library, but we intend to do so in the near future.

Hamfest - HamFest 2001 has been cancelled by mutual agreement for lack of interest and leadership. No one was willing to take the position of Hamfest Chairman this year. This has been an important club event over the past five years but it takes a lot of effort and coordination, beginning many months prior to the March date. It was agreed by those involved in planning past HamFest events that it was now too late to start and complete all the necessary activities to ensure continued success.

Operation Big Stick and ARRL Frequency Defence Fund - Both of these matters involve donation of unbudgeted monies over $50.00 and, therefore, are subject to our by-laws, which requires 30 days notice of such proposed expenditures to the general membership prior to voting on them. Since it had not been 30 days since such notification, the matter was tabled until the January meeting.


Nominating Committee Report - Jerry Meckenberg-K4JWE presented the slate of candidates for the 2001 term, namely: Vic Emmelkamp-KF4VHX, President; Marty Henry-KE4UFS, Vice President; Ken Blackshaw-W1NQT, Secretary; and Bruce Robideau-K2OY, Treasurer. For Trustees: out going president Jack Sproat-W4JS, Ken Anderson-W4JQT, and Don Spencer-WA4IWL. Further nominations may be made from the floor at the Annual Meeting in January.

DXCC QSL Field Checker - Bruce-K2OY has received his appointment as an official DXCC Field Checker of QSL cards. If anyone wishes to apply for, or upgrade, their DXCC he can assist you. There are certain restrictions, such as QSLs over 10 years old, from deleted entities or for 160 meters, which cannot be field checked.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 PM.

PROGRAM - The new video "FO0AAA - Clipperton Island 2000" was shown

Respectfully submitted,

Vic Emmelkamp, KF4VHX



The Snowbird Net meets daily at 10 AM on 14.278, and at 7:00 PM on 7.230.

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The EARS VE Team offers ARRL VEC license exams at 9:30 am the 3rd Saturday of each month at the Chamber of Commerce building, 601 South Indiana Avenue, Englewood. Two-day advance reservation is required--no walk-ins.

Candidates must bring:

(1) Original license and a copy of that license.

(2) Original CSCE's and a copy of each CSCE.

(3) FCC Licensee ID No. or Social Security card.

(4) Photo identification.

(5) A check in the amount of $10.00 payable to "ARRL VEC", or cash in the above amount.

For further information and reservation, contact VE Team Liaison Jack Sproat, W4JS, at 475-1929


12-13 Jan Ft. Myers ARC Hamfest, Shady Oaks Community Center, 3280 Marion St, off SR 80. Friday: 4-9 PM; Saturday: 9 AM-3 PM TI: 146.880

20-21 Jan Sarasota ARA 22nd Annual 2001 All Radio Jamboree, Robart Sports Arena, Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd (Fruitville Rd), 4 mi. west of I-75, Exit 39. Saturday: 9 AM-5 PM; Sunday: 9 AM-3 PM TI: 146.910

27 Jan DeSoto ARC Hamfest, DeSoto County Fairgrounds, US 17, 1/2 mi south of SR 70, Arcadia. TI: 147.075

03-04 Feb Dade Radio Club "Tropical Hamboree", Dade County Expo Center, SW 112 Ave & Coral Way. TI: 146.760, Info: Evelyn, W4WYR (305)642-4139

09-11 Feb Orlando ARC "HamCation", Central Florida Fairgrounds, 4603 W. Colonial Way (SR 50), 3 mi. W of I-4. TI: 146.760, Info: Ken, KD4JQR (407)961-2465

17 Feb Brooksville Hamfest & Computer Show, Hernando County Fairgrounds, US 41 just 2 miles south of SR 50, Brooksville. TI: 146.115(+) Info: WB4NOD

(From December 2000 CyberSKIP Digest and others)


A reminder that all officer candidates must have paid their 2001 dues prior to the election 19 January. If you ane an EARS member who hasn't yet paid for 2001, please pay your dues ($15 individual, $18.50 family) at the January meeting or mail EARS

Englewood Amateur Radio Society

P. O. Box 572

Englewood, FL 34295-0572


Joe Fox, KD4MS, trustee of the Panama City ARC station W4RYZ has been given 30 days to explain their operation on 29.600 MHz. This station "...is automatically identifying every nine minutes and causing interference to other Amateur communications..." This frequency is used for repeater and as an FM simplex calling frequency.

Jorge Bermudez, KP4IQ, of Deltona, has been warned by the FCC that it has monitoring information that he has been causing deliberate interference to communications in progress on 20 and 40 meters as recently as 03 November. He was ordered to respond within 20 days.

The attorney for Joe Keller, W8WW, has been notified by the FCC that they've not yet received a response to their previous request for information concerning the operation of W8WW. An additional complaint has been received about Ol' Joe's operation, and the FCC wants a response within 20 days.

(From 15 December 2000 W5YI Report)


Until recently, the cost to take an Amateur Radio license exam was tied to the Consumer Price Index, with the 2000 fee being $6.65 A few years ago, the ARRL suggested to the FCC that the license exam fee was inadequate due to high costs. The FCC has now said that, after reviewing recent legislation, it appears that VECs will now be able to set their own fees.

Effective 01 January 2001, the ARRL VEC test fee for the new year became $10.00 (this is up from $6.65 in 2000). This fee will allow the ARRL VEC to come close to breaking even in 2001, where in past years the fees collected fell well short of operating costs

The higher fee reflects the fact that the ARRL VEC is doing more of the work on behalf of the FCC than was envisioned at the time Congress set the original cap. Originally the VECs just reviewed and organized the paperwork and the FCC staff did the data entry. Now the VECs are doing the data entry for all new and upgrade license applications. It is anticipated that the W5YI-VEC will also adopt the $10 exam fee.

(From 15 December 2000 W5YI Report and 26 December 2000 Notice to ARRL VE Team Liaisons)


ARRL members can list a classified ad to buy or sell ham gear at no cost. These listings can be viewed by anyone but only members may post ads containing up to 100 words. Ads will be shown for 30 days unless canceled. ARRL members must first register for access to the ARRL members-only pages. Go to:


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Effective 07 January 2001, domestic and international postal rates are as follow:

Domestic -

Postcard 20 cents

1-oz. domestic letter 34 cents

Additional ounces 21 cents

1-lb priority mail $3.50

2-lb priority mail $3.95

International Airmail -

Postcard to Canada/Mexico 50 cents

Postcard to rest of world 70 cents

1-oz to Canada/Mexico 60 cents

1-oz to other countries 80 cents

Note that the basic international rate is now for 1 oz., whereas the old 60-cent rate was for 1/2 oz. (and $1 for 1 oz.). The rate for 2 oz. varies from $1.55 - $1.70, dependent on destination. IRCs (formerly $1.05) will cost $1.75 each. "Recycled" IRCs are being offered by some QSL Managers for 85 cents each.

-- "BIG STICK" IS A GO! --

WCF Section Manager Dave Armbrust announced at the Tampa Bay Hamfest that construction on K4WCF/ Repeater would begin shortly. The two "Big Stick" repeaters, 145.430 and 442.950 (both with a PL of 100.0) are expected to be on the air in early 2001. The K4WCF repeaters will provide voice coverage to the WCF Section from the 1010-ft level of the Cox Broadcasting tower in southern Manatee County. (From 11 December 2000 West Central Florida Section Update)


The Foundation for Amateur Radio, Inc. plans to administer 67 scholarships for the academic year 2001-2002 to assist licensed Radio Amateurs. Licensed Amateurs planning to pursue a full-time course of studies beyond high school, or are presently enrolled in or have been accepted for enrollment at an accredited university, college or technical school are eligible for consideration. Awards range from $500 to $2500.

Additional information and an application form may be requested by letter or QSL card postmarked prior to 30 April 2001 from:

FAR Scholarships

P. O. Box 831

Riverdale, MD 20738


"There never was yet a people who must not have somebody or something to represent the dignity of the state." - John Adams


EARS member Lois Marlatt, KE4NOT, has recently started up an "e-book" publishing company dedicated to showcasing the work of new authors while protecting their copyrights. An e-book is an electronic version of an edited manuscript that can be downloaded to a personal computer or to a hand-held e-book reader, allowing the book to be read directly from the desk-top computer or carried in a purse or briefcase. The name of the new company is Books for Pleasure, and you can find more detail at <http://www.booksforpleasure.com> or contact Lois locally at 474-1275.


The QCWA e-mail reflector has been busy with comments and suggestions since 05 January after Tony Petersen, N7QVC, received a letter from a Delaware law firm representing the TV shopping channel QVC. Tony uses the Internet site N7QVC.COM for a web page registered to his company Mystiblue Computing, located in Caldwell, ID.

The lawyers feel the use of N7QVC.COM is an infringement of the QVC trademark, and it is likely to cause the public to believe he are sponsored or approved in some way by QVC. Furthermore, they claim he could be liable for statutory damages in the amount of up to $100,000 under the Anticybersquatting (whew!) Consumer Protection Act of 1999. Tony has until 31 January to respond.

William Chapman, W5YJB, a retired federal arbitrator suggested Tony seek legal advice. He should inform the law firm that the site represents his amateur radio call sign, issued by the FCC, it's his and his alone and that QVC's contention that they have a claim on N7QVC, either expressed or implied, is at the very least improper and perhaps quite illegal. Hopefully this dispute can be resolved once the lawyers receive the facts.

However, it makes one wonder as to how freely we can express ourselves anymore. Along that line, Los Angeles radio personality Larry Elder has written a book, The Ten Things You Can't Say in America. Just how free are we in the "Land of the Free"? Apparently "someone" is always looking for a complaint.


As noted in the December meeting minutes, Bruce Robideau, K2OY, has been certified as a DXCC Field Representative. Under the revised program that went into effect 01 April 2000, Bruce can field check QSLs from any existing DXCC entity. However, 160-meter, QSLs older than 10 years and QSLs from Deleted Entities must still be sent to ARRL Headquarters for checking. See Bruce and keep your cards at home.

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Contest/Special Event Times/Dates Bands/Modes QSO With Exchange
North American QSO Party 1800 GMT 13 Jan

0600 GMT 14 Jan

160 - 10 Meters CW North American Entities Only Name + QTH
West Central Florida Section


1700 GMT 14 Jan

2300 GMT 14 Jan

160 - 2 Meters


Special Event Station for 1st Anniversary of WCF R/S/(T) + County
ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes 1900 GMT 20 Jan

0400 GMT 22 Jan

6 Meters and Up


Anyone, Anywhere Grid Square
North American QSO Party 1800 GMT 20 Jan

0600 GMT 21 Jan

160 - 10 Meters SSB North American Entities Only Name + QTH
CQWW 160-Meter DX Contest 2200 GMT 26 Jan

1600 GMT 28 Jan

160 Meters Only


Anyone, Anywhere R/S/T + QTH
REF French DX Contest 0600 GMT 27 Jan

1800 GMT 28 Jan

80 - 10 Meters


France and French Overseas Possessions R/S/T + Serial No.
UBA Belgian DX Contest 1300 GMT 27 Jan

1300 GMT 38 Jan

80 - 10 Meters


Anyone, Anywhere R/S + Serial No.
North American Sprint 0000 GMT 04 Feb

0400 GMT 04 Feb

80 - 20 Meters


States, Canadian Provinces, North American Entities Serial No., QTH, Name
PACC Dutch DX Contest 1200 GMT 10 Feb

1200 GMT 11 Feb

160 - 10 Meters


Dutch Stations Only R/S/(T) + Serial No.

From January 2001 QST and January 2001 Worldradio.


In an effort to encourage personal communications among amateurs around the world, Worldradio offers the Worked 100 Nations Award to those confirming two-way amateur communications with permanent stations in 100 distinct countries having a permanent population. The W-100-N is not a radio sport award as such, but a token of achievement in communication. At the same time it offers several features not found in other awards.

W-100-N Rules

1. The Worked 100 Nations Award is available to any licensed Amateur Radio operator who can prove confirmation of two-way communications with government-authorized Amateur Radio stations in at least 100 different nations of the world.

2. No contacts with stations using reciprocal calls will count toward this award, such as N6JM/UL7.

3. All contacts must be with land-based stations. Contacts with ships, at anchor or otherwise, and aircraft cannot be considered.

4. All contacts must be made from the same country.

5. Only contacts made on or after 01 January 1978 will count.

6. The application shall include the following:

a. Letter requesting W-100-N.

b. List of contacts in alphabetical order by prefix showing nation, station call, date, band and mode.

c. A signed statement by two other licensed radio amateurs, General class or above, that they have inspected the required QSL cards.

d. A fee of $5 to cover the cost of the award.

7. All applications and requests shall be addressed to:

W-100-N Award Manager


2120 28th Street

Sacramento, CA 95818

8. There are no special endorsements to this award; however, endorsements may be made if the achievement bears such recognition. All modes and bands may be used.

Upon approval of an application for W-100-N, a certificate will be issued and the issuance of the award will be noted in a future issue of Worldradio. To date, 584 W-100-N certificates have been issued.

(From "Awards", John Minke III, N6JM, January 2001 Worldradio)


To celebrate the First Anniversary of the ARRL West Central Florida Section, K4WCF will be on the air on Sunday 14 January 2001. From 1700 - 2300 GMT look on 146.730, 7.271, 14.271, 18.151, 21.271 and 28.371, plus 71 kc up from the lower band edge on CW. A special QSL card is being designed for the event. Also see the WCF web site <http://www.wcfarrl.org/>

(From WCF Section Update, 01 January 2001)


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(Band/GMT for best chance of S5 or better signal)



BEARING 80 40 20 17 15 12 10
Bouvet Is - 3Y0C

Bhutan - A52GJ & A52MJ

Maldives - 8Q7RR

Comoros - D68BT & D68WL

Syria - YK9A

St Peter & Paul - PY0S

Now to March

Now to February

12 - 27 January

13 - 28 January

03 - 12 February

07 - 15 February

















































Updated 06 January 2001, based on 08 January 2001 QRZ DX, 05 January 2001 The 59(9) DX Report and NJDXA Reflector

Notes: NO = No opening forecast. ??? = Callsign not yet known. Long path bearings and opening times (if any) are underlined.

Solar Flux assumed at 175 and F-Index at 2 for all forecasts.


Without any previous announcement, but obviously with a lot of planning, Astronaut Chuck Brady, N4BQW, fired up 3Y0C the week before Christmas. In the company of Norwegian and South African scientists, Chuck landed by helicopter on this 6x9 km frigid, ice-covered Norwegian possession in the South Atlantic.

Bouvet ranks No. 4 on the 2000 DX Magazine Most Wanted Survey; with the last operation there in 1990.

Although it's "summer" down there, the temperatures are well below freezing, accompanied by gale force winds. Consequently, Chuck has had extreme difficulty erecting any antennas other than a G5RV. A commercial vertical was taken out by the wind and erection of a yagi has been futile. Chuck has been on the air in his spare time, operating SSB on all bands 10 - 75 meters. He can run 700 watts output only when the generator is running (3 to 4 hours per night); otherwise he's barefoot, using batteries for power.

Check out <http://www.qsl.net/zr1dq> for updated info and photos from Bouvet. It's one desolate place!!

(From The Daily DX, 24 and 29 December; 01 January 2001 QRZ DX, 22 December The 59(9) DX Report and January/February 2001 The DX Magazine)


On 31 December the Cinco Nueve Contest Group and the Willamette Valley DX Club announced a DXpedition to Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government. The group will leave the USA 01 February and hope to operate for nine days from Damascus.

Four IC-756 PRO transceivers and three AL-811H amplifiers will be used on the HF bands and 6 meters. Daily online logs will be at <www.qsl.net/k7ar>. QSLs will be via K9LA


Stay abreast of Alan's QSL route by logging onto <http://www.geocities.com/vk0ld/QSLVK0MM.html>


On the assumption Cycle 23 peaked during July 2000 with a SSN of 121 and is now on its slow decline, a smoothed sunspot number of 120 is forecast for January 2001. Canada's Dominion Radio Astrophysical observatory at Penticton, BC forecasts a Solar Flux level in the order of 183 for January.

December's Solar Flux averaged 173.9 through 30 December, and the A-index was < 10 for 24 days.

The January propagation forecast ("Propagation" by George Jacobs, W3ASK, January 2001 CQ) follows:

It should be a toss-up among 10, 12 and 15 meters for DX propagation during daylight hours. Ten meters may have a slight edge before noon, with 12 and 15 being better after noon and becoming the optimum DX bands during the late afternoon hours.

Excellent propagation is expected on 20 meters, with DX conditions peaking an hour or two after sunrise, and again during the late afternoon and early evening hours. On many days the band should remain open well past midnight.

The optimum DX band during the hours of darkness should be 40 meters. Openings to most areas of the world are forecast from shortly before sundown, through the hours of darkness, and until shortly after sunrise.

Atmospheric noise levels should be minimum during January, resulting in peak conditions on both 80 and 160 meters. DX openings towards Europe should peak at about midnight.

Probable best DX days for remainder of month: 19-20 January should be "Above Normal"; 18, 29-31 January should be "High Normal".

-- 2000 DX HIGHLIGHTS --

Some very good DX was available during 2000, including FR/F6KDF/T from Tromelin Is., CE0ZY from Juan Fernandez, FO0AAA from Clipperton, several Bhutan and East Timor operations, BQ9P from Pratas Is., K5K from Kingman Reef, and TX0DX from Chesterfield Is.

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The 01 January 2001 issue of the W5YI Report offers a summary of what Fred Maia, W5YI, considered the major stories in Amateur Radio during 2000.

JANUARY - Without question, the biggest story was the FCC's streamlining and restructuring of the Amateur Service, what with the Report and Order being released the last working day of 1999. Effective 15 April 2000, exams would be given in only three license classes: Technician, General and Extra.

License exam elements were cut from eight to four: Element 1 (5 wpm Morse), 2 (Technician, 35 questions), 3 (General, 35 questions) and 4 (Extra Class, 50 questions). Responsibility for determining the written exam topics was transferred to the VECs from the FCC.

On 03 January the FCC invited organizations to apply to become ham club and military rec call sign administrators. Some applied but to date the FCC has taken no action on those applications.

At the 21 January Board Meeting, the ARRL elected Jim Haynie, W5JBP, of Dallas, TX as its new president.

FEBRUARY - There was much confusion in the ham community as news of the restructuring became more widely known. The new Technician class caused the most confusion since, over the years, there had been four different versions and each is accorded different examination credit.

On 01 February the VECs Question Pool Committee released new Technician, General and Extra Class exam questions that will be used on/after 15 April.

The UK began making plans to link Amateur Radio with the Internet.

MARCH - The AMSAT Phase 3D amateur satellite arrived at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, from Orlando, FL via Paris, France.

A Russian amateur call sign, RZ3DZR, was issued for the amateur station that will be installed on the International Space Station.

APRIL - Following the lead of the USA, many countries reduced their Morse exam requirements to 5 words per minute. Australia adopted a new policy supporting an end to mandatory Morse testing.

On 15 April American hams began upgrading to the General and Extra Class in big numbers. These were primarily applicants who had passed the old General and Extra written exams and already had 5 or 13 wpm Morse credit. Technicians who had their license prior to 21 March 1987 were able to upgrade to General without further testing.

MAY - VECs were overwhelmed with the number of license upgrade applications they received from their VE teams as a result of the new rules. Temporary help was hired to assist in the handling and electronic filing. Processing time lengthened to several weeks.

Some 30,000 amateurs attended the Dayton HamVention on 21 May. Many were interested to learn what the FCC had to say about the restructuring.

JUNE - Over 40,000 amateurs upgraded during the first three months under the new rules. While the upgrades surged, the total number of amateurs increased very little as about the normal number joined for the first time.

The ARRL and the FCC agreed to allow amateurs to assist the FCC by checking local broadcast TV signal levels. If the level is inadequate, a consumer could request satellite delivery of the networks.

JULY - The president of the RSGB, Don Beatie, G3OZF, notified all IARU Region 1 (Europe and Africa) member societies that it appeared the Region 1 Conference agreements were "manipulated" by the IARU (which is managed by the ARRL). Delegates to the 1999 Conference agreed "...mandatory Morse testing was not relevant for an HF license in the future..." A conference report, however, reflected that telegraphy was still a needed operating skill.

After the ARRL Board agreed to expand its relationship with the Boy and Girl Scouts, the homosexual Lambda ARC asked that the ARRL distance itself from the Boy Scouts.

The VECs agreed that multiple choice Morse exams would end by 01 July 2001.

AUGUST - The FCC created a new 2-meter VHF CB Radio Service officially known as MURS, an acronym for "Multi-Use Radio Service". This Part 95 service allows unlicensed 2-watt FM operation on five crystal-controlled channels previously allocated to the Part 90 business band. While intended for local/state governments, the voice/data/image service can be used for hobby purposes.

SEPTEMBER - Delegates to the IARU Region 3 (Asia and South Pacific) resolved to support immediate lowering of Morse requirements as a temporary measure, followed by removal when possible under international law.

OCTOBER - Launch of the AMSAT Phase 3D satellite was again delayed when the primary payload failed to arrive at the Kourou launch site.

NOVEMBER - Phase 3D was finally launched 15 November. Now known as OSCAR-40 the satellite was placed in a temporary geosynchronous orbit.

DECEMBER - In light of increasing numbers of countries looking ahead to amateur radio without a manual telegraphy requirement, the ARRL announced that its Board will be taking another look at the Morse requirement at their January 2001 Board meeting.

Total ham census increased only 3,000 during 2000.

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