April 24, 2015
The US House Committee on Energy and Commerce has given the Federal Communications Commission a May 7 deadline to produce documents related to FCC Enforcement Bureau proposals to close two-thirds of its field offices and eliminate nearly one-half of its staff of field agents. In an April 23 letter, Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) told FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that his panel wants the Commission to provide all documents relating to the proposed closures.
Continue reading House Committee Asks FCC for Documents Related to Proposed Enforcement Bureau Closures
March 6, 2015
Comments are due by April 6 on an FCC proceeding that could lead to expanded spectrum for various radar applications in the 76-81 GHz band, which Amateur Radio shares with other services. The band 77.5-78 GHz is allocated to the Amateur and Amateur Satellite services on a primary basis, and to the Radio Astronomy and Space Research services on a secondary basis. The FCC released a detailed Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Reconsideration Order(NPRM&RO) in ET Docket 15-26 on February 5. The Commission said the proposals include allocation changes as well as provisions “to ensure that new and incumbent operations can share the available frequencies in the band.”
The ARRL will file comments in the FCC proceeding. Reply comments (ie, comments on comments filed by the April 5 deadline) are due by April 20.
Continue reading Comments Due by April 6 on 76-81 GHz Radar Sharing Proposals
February 9, 2015
The FCC is seeking comment on issues involving expanded use of various radar applications in the 76-81 GHz band, which Amateur Radio shares with other services. The band 77.5-78 GHz is allocated to the Amateur and Amateur Satellite services on a primary basis, and to the Radio Astronomy and Space Research services on a secondary basis.
Continue reading FCC Seeks Comment on Radar Sharing Schemes that Could Displace Amateur Radio at 76-81 GHz
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.
Continue reading Amateur Radio Payloads Share Ride into Space with Soil Moisture Monitoring Satellite
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.
Continue reading FCC “Paperless” Amateur Radio License Policy Goes into Effect on February 17
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
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.
Continue reading Japanese Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads are Launched into Deep Space
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.
Continue reading ARRL Seeks Input on Initial VHF+ Contest Rule Changes
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.
Continue reading Amateur Radio Payloads Lost in Launch Explosion
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.
Continue reading Radio Amateurs Report Hearing 4M Moon Orbiter JT65B Signal