Category Archives: ARRL

ARRL Posts Amateur Radio Parity Act FAQs

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 is now in the US Senate (S. 1534). ARRL has developed and posted a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), “The Amateur Radio Parity Act: Setting the Record Straight,” to explain and to clarify what the passage of the legislation would accomplish — as well as what it would not.

“There has been so much misinformation floating around on forums, blogs, podcasts, etc. regarding the Amateur Radio Parity Act, that we realized a listing of facts as to what the bill is and what it does was long overdue,” said ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, who chairs the ARRL Board’s ad hoc Legislative Advocacy Committee.

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Band Plan Proposed for Eventual 472-479 kHz Use

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).”

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FCC Issues Amateur Radio Licensee a Notice of Violation for Pirate Broadcasting

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.

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FCC Personal Radio Service Revisions Will Affect GMRS, FRS, CB, Other Part 95 Devices

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.

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ARRL Weighs In on New California ‘Driving While Wireless’ Statute

ARRL is recommending that Amateur Radio be specifically excluded from a California statute prohibiting the use of “wireless communication devices” while driving. ARRL Southwestern Division Vice Director Marty Woll, N6VI, is taking point on the effort to revise the statute, known by its legislative bill number AB 1785. It was signed into law last September, and it took effect on January 1, amending §23123.5 of the state’s Vehicle Code.

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What’s the buzz? Pot-growing lights vex ham radio operators

By MARINA VILLENEUVE, ASSOCIATED PRESS AUGUSTA, Maine — Feb 28, 2017, 9:38 AM ET

Retired Coast Guard officer Roger Johnson sometimes notices a harsh buzz when he turns on his amateur radio, and he blames high-powered lighting used to grow pot.

Amateur radio operators say the legalization of marijuana is creating a chronic nuisance thanks to interference caused by electrical ballasts that regulate indoor lamps used to grow pot. The American Radio Relay League wants the Federal Communications Commission to take a stand against devices that give off much more interference than federal law allows in homes.

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ARES Volunteers Support Evacuation, Shelters, in Wake of Oroville Dam Crisis

Sacramento Valley ARES Section Emergency Coordinator Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT, reports that Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) volunteers are now actively involved in supporting communication for the evacuation and sheltering of nearly 200,000 people living below the damaged Oroville Dam in rural California. The dam, on the Feather River east of Oroville, is the tallest in the US. Following a period of heavy rain, a section of the earthfill-embankment dam’s spillway eroded, and authorities issued an evacuation order for residents living below the dam, in case it should fail. Crews have been attempting to fill the eroded area with rock transported by helicopter.

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Alaska’s HAARP Facility Once Again Open for Business

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Gakona, Alaska, will soon undertake its first scientific research campaigns since the facility was taken over by the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Geophysical Institute 18 months ago. Among the investigators is UAF Researcher Chris Fallen, KL3WX, who will be working under a National Science Foundation grant, “RAPID: Spatiotemporal Evolution of Radio-Induced Aurora.” Fallen says the HAARP transmissions will take place within the facility’s transmitter tuning range of 2.7 to 10 MHz and should be audible outside of Alaska and may even produce visible effects within the state.

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January VHF Rover Review

Participating in a radio contest actively was something I had yet to do before the VHF / UHF contest in January. With some inspiration from Rick (W6KKO) who was at the time actively preparing his home station to participate as single operator came the discussion of driving to the different grid squares and making contact. It was at that time I was told about rover stations. I decided that with all the stations in the area putting forth the effort and improving their stations, I would add two more radios to my truck and at least help them get more points. I never intended on keeping my score, as I was working solo and some of the contacts may come while I was moving. You never know, an operator from the Central Valley may be recognized as the winner, I thought.

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“Mysterious Foghorn” is Chinese Over-the-Horizon Burst Radar

A waveform of the Chinese OTH radar “foghorn.” [Courtesy of Wolf Hadel, DK2OM]
The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU-R1) Monitoring System (IARUMS) newsletter reports a mysterious “foghorn” — a Chinese over-the-horizon (OTH) burst radar — is operating in Amateur Radio bands.

“We observed the mysterious foghorn on 7, 10, and 14 MHz,” the newsletter recounted. “This is a Chinese OTH radar, which is often jumping, and sounding like a foghorn.” The signal is frequency modulation on pulse (FMOP) with 66.66 sweeps-per-second bursts.

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