All posts by ARRL.org

Letters to Members of Congress Offer Biggest Boost to Amateur Radio Parity Act

ARRL.org
06/09/2015

ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, has told Section Mangers that while promotion and positive publicity about the Amateur Radio Parity Act (HR 1301) are always helpful, the most useful action radio amateurs can take is to contact their members of Congress, urging them to sign on as a bill cosponsor. As of June 9, 72 members of the US House in both parties were listed as cosponsors to the proposed legislation, which would direct the FCC to extend its rules relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications to private land-use restrictions. Craigie told the SMs that the grassroots campaign supporting HR 1301 needs more letters.

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FCC Eliminates Amateur Radio Vanity Call Sign Regulatory Fee

ARRL.org
May 22, 2015

The FCC is eliminating the regulatory fee to apply for an Amateur Radio vanity call sign. The change will not go into effect, however, until required congressional notice has been given. This will take at least 90 days. As the Commission explained in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Report and Order, and Order (MD Docket 14-92 and others), released May 21, it’s a matter of simple economics.

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USNA APRS/PSK31 CubeSats Offer Something Different

ARRL.org
May 28, 2015

The APRS/PSK31-equipped US Naval Academy satellites appear to be operating, with one exception, according to Bob Bruninga, WB4APR. The CubeSats were launched on May 20 from Cape Canaveral. The launch included a pair of 1.5U CubeSats — the PSAT APRS/PSK31 satellite and BRICsat, a propulsion/PSK31 satellite — as well as a 3U CubeSat, USS Langley (Unix Space Server Langley). The launch also included The Planetary Society’s LightSail-1.

PSAT, a student satellite project named in honor of USNA alum Bradford Parkinson, of GPS fame, contains an APRS transponder for relaying remote telemetry, sensor, and user data from remote users and Amateur Radio environmental experiments or other data sources back to Amateur Radio experimenters via a global network of Internet-linked ground stations.

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Got Grids? ARRL June VHF Contest is June 13- 15

ARRL.org
May 27, 2015

Summer is nearly here, and that means it’s time for the ARRL June VHF Contest, June 13-15! Participants in the US and Canada (and their possessions) work stations in as many different 2 × 1° Maidenhead grid squares as possible, using the bands above 50 MHz. Stations outside the US and Canada may only work stations in the US and Canada (and their possessions). Stations in KH0-9, KL7, KP1-KP5, CY9, and CY0 count as W/VE stations and may be worked by DX stations for contest credit.

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Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 Introduced in Congress

ARRL.org
March 5, 2015

“The introduction of H.R. 1301 with so many original co-sponsors, so early in this session of Congress, is very encouraging,” said ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN. “Several additional members of Congress already have agreed to be co-sponsors. This bill has momentum, but introduction is only the first step. Many of the next steps will be taken as ARRL members contact their US Representatives urging co-sponsorship and thanking them as they sign on to the bill.”

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FCC Proposes to Permit Amateur Access to 2200 and 630 Meters

ARRL.org
April 28, 2015

Amateur Radio is poised to gain access to two new bands! The FCC has allocated a new LF band, 135.7 to 137.8 kHz, to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis. Allocation of the 2.1 kHz segment, known as 2200 meters, was in accordance with the Final Acts of the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07). The Commission also has proposed a new secondary 630 meter MF allocation at 472 to 479 kHz to Amateur Radio, implementing decisions made at WRC-12. No Amateur Radio operation will be permitted in either band until the FCC determines, on the basis of comments, the specific Part 97 rules it must frame to permit operation in the new bands. Amateur Radio would share both allocations with unlicensed Part 15 power line carrier (PLC) systems operated by utilities to control the power grid, as well as with other users. In addition, the FCC has raised the secondary Amateur Service allocation at 1900 to 2000 kHz to primary, while providing for continued use by currently unlicensed commercial fishing vessels of radio buoys on the “open sea.”

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AMSAT: Amateur Radio Payload Could Share Space on Geosynchronous Satellite

ARRL.org
April 26, 2015

[UPDATED 2015-04-27 1803 UTC] There is big news on the Amateur Radio satellite front. AMSAT-NA has announced that, if all goes according to plan, an Amateur Radio payload will go into space on a geosynchronous satellite that’s planned for launch in 2017. As opposed to the more typical low-Earth-orbit, a geosynchronous orbit would permit an earthbound ham at a given point within its footprint to access the satellite at approximately the same time each day. According to AMSAT Vice President-Operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, the satellite’s potential footprint would extend over the US from the Mid-Pacific to Africa. AMSAT said it’s accepted the opportunity to be a “hosted payload” on a spacecraft that Millennium Space Systems (MSS) of El Segundo, California, is under contract to design, launch, and operate for the US government. Past AMSAT Director and former Vice President-Engineering Bob McGwier, N4HY, said the Amateur Radio payload must be delivered for testing and integration by the spring of 2016.

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House Committee Asks FCC for Documents Related to Proposed Enforcement Bureau Closures

ARRL.org
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.

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Comments Due by April 6 on 76-81 GHz Radar Sharing Proposals

ARRL.org
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.
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FCC Seeks Comment on Radar Sharing Schemes that Could Displace Amateur Radio at 76-81 GHz

ARRL.org
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.

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