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Rule Making Petition to FCC Calls for Vanity Call Sign Rule Changes

The FCC is inviting comments on a Petition for Rule Making (RM-11775) from a Nevada radio amateur that seeks changes to the rules governing the Amateur Radio Vanity Call Sign Program. Christopher LaRue, W4ADL, of North Las Vegas, is proposing that any licensee obtaining a vanity call sign be required to keep it for the full license term. LaRue contends in his petition that excessive and frequent vanity call sign filings are hampering the ability of other qualified licensees to obtain vanity call signs in one of the more desirable 1 × 2 or 2 × 1 formats. LaRue said that since the FCC dropped the fee to file for a vanity call sign, some applicants are taking advantage by regularly obtaining new call signs, thereby keeping them out of circulation.

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Rule Making Petition to FCC Calls for Vanity Call Sign Rule Changes

The FCC is inviting comments on a Petition for Rule Making (RM-11775) from a Nevada radio amateur that seeks changes to the rules governing the Amateur Radio Vanity Call Sign Program. Christopher LaRue, W4ADL, of North Las Vegas, is proposing that any licensee obtaining a vanity call sign be required to keep it for the full license term. LaRue contends in his petition that excessive and frequent vanity call sign filings are hampering the ability of other qualified licensees to obtain vanity call signs in one of the more desirable 1 × 2 or 2 × 1 formats. LaRue said that since the FCC dropped the fee to file for a vanity call sign, some applicants are taking advantage by regularly obtaining new call signs, thereby keeping them out of circulation.

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Broadcasters, Jammers Wreak Havoc on Amateur Radio Frequencies

The battle continues between Radio Eritrea (Voice of the Broad Masses) and Radio Ethiopia, which is said to be jamming the Eritrean broadcaster with broadband white noise. The problem for radio amateurs is that the battle is taking place in the 40 meter phone band — 7.145 and 7.175 MHz — with the jamming signal reported by the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System (IARUMS) to be 20 kHz wide on each channel. The on-air conflict has been going on for years; Ethiopia constructed new transmitting sites in 2008 and is said to use two or three of them for jamming purposes. The interfering signals can be heard in North America after dark. According to IARUMS Region 1 Coordinator Wolf Hadel, DK2OM, Radio Eritrea is airing separate programs on each frequency. He said in the IARUMS September newsletter that telecommunications regulators in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have been informed, so they could file official complaints. Continue reading Broadcasters, Jammers Wreak Havoc on Amateur Radio Frequencies

Complete Sweepstakes Records Now Available, Operating Guide Updated

Complete sets of ARRL November Sweepstakes (SS) records for both modes are now available, thanks to the efforts of Trey Garlough, N5KO, and SS Manager Larry Hammel, K5OT. Records are available by category, by ARRL Division, and by ARRL Section. A complete list of winners by category — extending back to the first Sweepstakes in 1930 — also is provided. For statistics fans, the number of logs submitted each year and a cross-reference of call signs are also available.

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New Satellites with Amateur Radio Payloads Launched, Monitored

The AlSat-1N and Pratham satellites, both carrying Amateur Radio payloads, have both been heard and identified following the India Space Research Organization (ISRO) PSLV-C35 mission launch on September 26. Reports are requested. Reports on AMSAT-BB indicate the Pratham CW beacon on 145.980 MHz is active.

The 3U AlSat-1N CubeSat was built in collaboration with the Algerian Space Agency, the UK Space Agency (UKSA), Surrey Space Centre (SSC) staff, and Algerian students as a technology transfer and demonstrator for Algeria.

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ARRL Gauging Impact of Revised California Distracted Driving Law

California has upped its game in cracking down on distracted driving, and radio amateurs there are concerned that a recent revision to the state’s Motor Vehicle Code could affect Amateur Radio mobile operation. The old law, which included an Amateur Radio exemption, already prohibited motorists from using electronic wireless communication devices to write, send, or read a text-based communication while in motion, unless the device was configured for voice-operated and hands-free operation. The revised law does not exempt Amateur Radio.

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AT&T’s New “AirGig” Not Your Father’s BPL

bpl-imageRecalling the earlier efforts of the FCC and telecommunications and utility interests to roll out “Broadband over Powerline” (BPL), the Amateur Radio community has been buzzing with questions about AT&T’s just-announced “AirGig” BPL plan to make broadband available via apparently similar technology. ARRL’s earlier anti-BPL campaign, and market forces, eventually led to the demise of the prior BPL initiative. ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, who spearheaded the earlier effort to quantify BPL’s threat to Amateur Radio’s HF spectrum and remains the resident expert on the subject, said this newest BPL incarnation should not pose an interference issue for radio amateurs.

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FCC Updates Notice on Amateur Radio Operation in CEPT Countries

The FCC has updated its Public Notice on Amateur Radio operation in European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) countries that have adopted certain recommendations regarding the US. The updated notice, in English, German, and French, includes some additional countries where operation is permitted. Licensees operating in CEPT countries must have a copy of the Public Notice, proof of US citizenship, and evidence of an FCC Amateur Radio license grant. These must be shown to “proper authorities” upon request.

Subject to regulations in force in the country visited, a US citizen holding an FCC General, Advanced, or Amateur Extra Class Amateur Radio license grant “is authorized to utilize temporarily an Amateur Station in a [CEPT] country that has implemented certain recommendations with respect to the United States,” according to the notice.

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FCC Proposes Substantial Fine for Unlicensed Amateur Operation, False Police Call

A New York City man faces a fine of $23,000 for operating on Amateur Radio frequencies without a license and for transmitting a false officer-in-distress call on a New York City Police Department (NYPD) radio channel. The FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) on August 31 to Daniel Delise of Astoria. It details a history of complaints and alleged illegal radio operation on Delise’s part that dates back to 2012.

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DX Engineering’s Tim Duffy, K3LR: New Fairgrounds Venue “Perfect for Hamvention”

DX Engineering Chief Operating Officer Tim Duffy, K3LR, says he’s enthusiastic about the new Dayton Hamvention® venue at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio — both as a vendor and as an individual radio amateur. DX Engineering recently produced a short video tour of the new Hamvention location, which includes an interview with Hamvention spokesperson Mike Kalter, W8CI.

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