The Amateur Radio Parity Act was introduced in the US Senate on July 12, marking another step forward for this landmark legislation. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are the Senate sponsors. The measure will, for the first time, guarantee all radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities governed by a homeowner’s association (HOA) or subject to any private land use regulations, the right to erect and maintain effective outdoor antennas at their homes. The Senate bill, S. 1534, is identical to H.R. 555, which passed the US House of Representatives in January.
The Pacific Islands Refuges and Monuments Office of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has selected the Dateline DX Association (DDXA) — the DXpedition group that activated Howland Island in 2009 and Wake Island in 1998 — to pursue a DXpedition to Baker Island. Dates have not yet been determined. Baker and Howland Islands (KH1) are part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM), created by former President George W. Bush in 2009. Baker and Howland is the fourth most-wanted DXCC entity on Club Log’s DXCC Most Wanted List.
ARRL 630-Meter Experiment Coordinator Fritz Raab, W1FR, has proposed an informal band plan for the pending 472-479 kHz band. Raab said that once US radio amateurs are granted access to 630 meters, he would move stations operating under the blanket WD2XSH FCC Experimental (Part 5) license to 461-472 kHz.
“This will clear the amateur frequencies, while allowing the experimenters to run unattended propagation beacons without using the limited bandwidth that will be available to amateurs,” Raab explained in his spring 630-Meter Experiment Project Status quarterly report. “The new 630-meter band will have a very limited amount of spectrum (7 kHz).”
Hundreds of Amateur Radio stations have reported receiving the WSPR signal being transmitted by CG3EXP on 20, 30, and 40 meters from the Canada C3 expedition. The expedition, which got under way on June 1 and will continue until October 28, is part of Canada’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. The Canada C3 vessel Polar Prince is sailing from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage. It’s currently in Cornwall, Ontario, before proceeding to Montreal for the final stop on the first of 15 planned legs of its journey. The 220-foot long Polar Prince, a former Canadian Coast Guard vessel, is a research icebreaker.
An Amateur Radio net has been activated in the aftermath of a magnitude 6.9 earthquake early this morning (June 14) some 10 kilometers from Malacatán.
According to information relayed by Dani Ardon, TG9AMD, of the Radio Amateurs Club of Guatemala (CRAG), “At the moment, neither major damage nor reports of any victims have been reported.” Ardon said the net has been monitoring 7.090 MHz as well as the 146.88 MHz CRAG Network frequency.
The Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP) onboard the Canadian CAScade Smallsat and Ionospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE) satellite will again support Amateur Radio citizen science by listening for signals during ARRL Field Day, June 24-25. The HamSCI citizen science initiative says that, from a radio science perspective, Field Day is an ideal time for e-POP to study the structure of Earth’s ionosphere using participants’ transmissions. HamSCI was started by ham-scientists who study upper atmospheric and space physics.
The FCC Enforcement Bureau has sent a California Amateur Radio licensee a Notice of Violation (NoV) alleging that he engaged in unlicensed — or “pirate” — radio broadcasting — on the FM band. The NoV to Lyle E. Hilden, KD6LUL, of Vista, was released on May 26. Depending on Hilden’s responses, the NoV could be a precursor to a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (fine).
According to the FCC’s Los Angeles Office, the Enforcement Bureau in March received a complaint of an apparently unlicensed FM broadcasting station on 93.7 MHz in Vista. The NoV does not indicate the origin of the complaint, but these sometimes come from legitimate broadcasters in the listening area. The NoV also does not recount the nature of the alleged pirate broadcasts nor indicate how long they had continued.
In a lengthy Report and Order (R&O) in a proceeding (WT Docket No. 10-119) dating back 7 years, the FCC has announced rule changes affecting the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), the Family Radio Service (FRS), the Citizens Band Radio Service (CBRS or “CB”), as well as other applications that fall under the FCC’s Part 95 Personal Radio Services (PRS) rules and regulations. Part 95 devices typically are low-power units that communicate over shared spectrum and, with some exceptions, do not require an individual user license from the FCC. As the R&O explains, common examples of PRS devices include “walkie-talkies;” radio-control cars, boats, and planes; hearing assistance devices; CB radios; medical implant devices; and Personal Locator Beacons.
It’s been a long time coming, but the Amateur Service will get two new bands in the near future. The FCC on March 28 adopted rules that will allow secondary Amateur Radio access to 472-479 kHz (630 meters) and to 135.7-137.8 kHz (2,200 meters), with minor conditions. The FCC Report and Order (R&O) spells out the details. It allocates 472-479 kHz to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis and amends Part 97 to provide for Amateur Service use of that band as well as of the previously allocated 135.7-137.8 kHz band. The R&O also amends Part 80 rules to authorize radio buoy operations in the 1900-2000 kHz band under a ship station license. Just when the new Part 97 rules will go into effect is difficult to determine just yet; more on that below.
Telecommunication regulators in The Netherlands have scaled back considerably the liberal 60-meter privileges announced for radio amateurs in that country just days after the conclusion of World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15). Since December 2015, amateurs in The Netherlands have had access to a 100-kHz wide amateur band at 5 MHz, with a maximum power of 100 W.