All posts by ARRL.org

Amateur Radio Payloads Share Ride into Space with Soil Moisture Monitoring Satellite

ARRL.org
February 2, 2015

Amateur Radio Payloads Share Ride into Space with Soil Moisture Monitoring Satellite

Four NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNA-X) CubeSats carrying Amateur Radio payloads launched successfully January 31 from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. The primary payload for the Delta II launcher was the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite. SMAP’s onboard radar will share Amateur Radio spectrum at 1.26 GHz. Amateur Radio is secondary on the 23 centimeter band, which covers 1240 to 1300 MHz.

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FCC “Paperless” Amateur Radio License Policy Goes into Effect on February 17

ARRL.org
January 29, 2015

Starting February 17, the FCC no longer will routinely issue paper license documents to Amateur Radio applicants and licensees. The Commission has maintained for some time now that the official Amateur Radio license authorization is the electronic record that exists in its Universal Licensing System (ULS), although the FCC has continued to print and mail hard copy licenses. In mid-December the FCC adopted final procedures to provide access to official electronic authorizations, as proposed in WT Docket 14-161 as part of its “process reform” initiatives.

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Revised ARRL HF Contesting Guidelines Now Available

ARRL LogoARRL.org
December 29, 2014

Revised ARRL HF Contesting Guidelines Now Available

The ARRL HF Contesting Guidelines have been revised, and the latest edition now is available. The latest guidelines, updated by an ARRL Contest Advisory Committee (CAC) team, address changes in technology that have affected contesting in recent years — including remote station operation — and present a current understanding of contesting standards and practices. Some sections also have been rewritten and reorganized to improve readability. George Wagner, K5KG, a member of the CAC team that undertook the update, said the goals of the revised ARRL HF Contesting Guidelines are to provide guidance and advice — especially for new contesters — and to encourage contest operation that advances the spirit and integrity of radiosport. Continue reading Revised ARRL HF Contesting Guidelines Now Available

Japanese Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads are Launched into Deep Space

ARRL.org
December 3, 2014

Japanese Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads are Launched into Deep Space

Japan has successfully launched its Hayabusa 2 asteroid sample-return mission into deep space, and with it, two satellites carrying Amateur Radio payloads. A Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) rocket lifted off on schedule early on December 3 (UTC), carrying the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft on the first leg of its journey to Asteroid 1999 JU3. Along for the ride into deep space are two Amateur Radio satellites, Shin’en 2 (Abyss 2) and ARTSAT2: DESPATCH. The launch had been postponed twice owing to unfavorable weather conditions. Shin’en 2 will identify as JG6YIG, while ARTSAT2:DESPATCH will use the call sign JQ1ZNN.

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ARRL Seeks Input on Initial VHF+ Contest Rule Changes

Dear fellow Amateurs,

The Programs & Services Committee of the ARRL Board recognizes the need to review and update various aspects of the League’s contest program for our VHF and higher bands. To this end, it recently formed an Ad Hoc Subcommittee on VHF and Above Revitalization. You can help us by providing additional insights and ideas for our consideration.
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Amateur Radio Payloads Lost in Launch Explosion

K6ARP.org
October 28, 2014

Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Among Those Lost in Launch Explosion

The GOMX-2 and RACE CubeSats were among more than 2 dozen satellites that were lost after an unmanned Orbital Space Sciences (OSC) Antares 130 vehicle exploded spectacularly shortly after launch at 2222 UTC on Tuesday, October 28, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Both satellite packages carried payloads that operated on Amateur Radio frequencies. The Antares is a new medium-class launch vehicle developed by OSC. The rocket exploded about 6 seconds after launch, sending a huge ball of fire hurtling toward the ground, which set a massive fire at the NASA launch site.

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Radio Amateurs Report Hearing 4M Moon Orbiter JT65B Signal

ARRL.org
October 24, 2013

Radio Amateurs Report Hearing 4M Moon Orbiter JT65B Signal

[UPDATED 2014-10-24 1942 UTC] A Chinese Long March 3C/G2 rocket carried the Manfred Memorial Moon Mission (4M) lunar flyby experiment into space at 1759 UTC on October 23, on its way to a lunar transfer orbit and a return to Earth in about 9 days. Radio amateurs in Oceania and Europe have reported hearing the JT65B from the onboard Amateur Radio payload. Lunar flyby is to occur, nominally, on October 28, and the Amateur Radio package will transmit continuously throughout the voyage. During the lunar flyby, the spacecraft will be about nearly 248,000 miles from Earth and between 7440 and 14,480 miles from the Moon. The 4M Amateur Radio payload is transmitting a WSJT JT65B beacon and telemetry on 145.980 MHz. Roland Zurmely, PY4ZBZ, in Brazil, was reported to be the first to receive telemetry from the JT65B beacon at 1918 UTC.

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Radio Amateur is Among Nobel Prize in Chemistry Winners

ARRL.org
October 8, 2014

Radio Amateur is Among Nobel Prize in Chemistry Winners

A California radio amateur and ARRL member was among the three winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry. William Moerner, WN6I, of Los Altos, a chemistry professor at Stanford University, will share the prestigious award equally with two other researchers — Eric Betzig and Stefan Hell — for their work in high-resolution microscopy or nanoscopy. For many years scientists had believed that an optical microscope could never yield better than 0.2 micrometer resolution. The three scientists overcame that limitation through what the Nobel panel called “the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.”

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ARRL Asks FCC for 2300 MHz Primary Allocation

ARRL.org
October 1, 2014

ARRL Again Asks FCC to Elevate Amateur Service 2300-2305 MHz Allocation to Primary

In comments filed in response to an AT&T Mobility Petition for Rule Making seeking a new air-to-ground communications system on 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service (WCS) spectrum, the ARRL has once again asked the FCC to elevate the Amateur Service allocation at 2300 to 2305 MHz from secondary to primary. The Petition (RM-11731) asked the Commission to authorize an LTE-based in-flight connectivity service in the WCS “C” and “D” blocks (2305-2315 MHz and 2350-2360 MHz, respectively) for airlines and airline passengers. AT&T has asserted that restrictions on out-of-band emission and power limits to protect adjacent-band users make the use of the C and D blocks problematic. The wireless provider asked the FCC for rule changes to permit deployment of its service “using currently fallow spectrum” while also “preserving adequate interference protection to users of adjacent bands.”

“Notwithstanding this broad and nebulous claim, there is no showing anywhere in the four corners of the Petition that the proposed rule changes would permit anycontinued Amateur Radio operations on a secondary basis in the shared A block (2305-2310 MHz),” the ARRL commented on September 22. More to the point, the League said, there is no showing in the Petition that Amateur Radio operations in the adjacent 2300-2350 MHz band would be protected from increased out-of-band emissions, if the FCC were to implement the changes requested.

The League asserted in its comments that the FCC has, to date, “failed to protect Amateur Radio operations at 2300-2305 MHz from WCS out-of-band emissions.” The ARRL said the band is “regularly and substantially utilized by radio amateurs” for weak-signal, long-distance communication and, only by circumstances — a lack of a primary occupant — has it been able to enjoy that segment as a de factoprimary user.

“The Commission’s rules are quite clear that WCS licensees enjoy no entitlement to disrupt adjacent-band radio service operations,” the ARRL commented. But, the League pointed out, previous FCC actions to expand mobile broadband devices left 2300-2305 MHz vulnerable to increased out-of-band interference that would be difficult or impossible to mitigate. The ARRL said amateur stations operating in the 2300-2305 MHz band would be unable to avoid interference from AT&T Mobility’s proposed system, and that the FCC has refused to clarify the obligation of WCS mobile providers to avoid interference to Amateur Radio operations there.

The ARRL objected to what it called the FCC’s “practice of making allocation decisions which place incompatible uses in close proximity to amateur stations and then place on the amateur licensees the burden of avoiding the interference.”

“It is obvious that the result of the AT&T Petition will be a virtual preclusion of amateur access to the 2305-2310 MHz segment,” the ARRL’s comments continued. “A ubiquitous air-to-ground system which operates at and above 2305 MHz will clearly render the secondary allocation status of that segment a virtual nullity.”

The ARRL asked the FCC to recognize Amateur Radio’s “de facto primary status” at 2300-2305 MHz and to elevate that segment from secondary to primary for amateurs. It further called on the Commission to “clarify the obligation of WCS licensees in all contexts to protect the adjacent-band Amateur Service operations at 2300-2305 MHz from harmful interference.” Finally, the League requested that AT&T provide “a complete technical compatibility showing and interference analysis” that would demonstrate compatibility between its proposed service and amateur operations at 2300-2305 MHz.