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.
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.
The ARRL Board of Directors has unanimously adopted five legislative objectives for the 115th US Congress. The Board took the action when it met in Connecticut January 20-21. ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, chaired the session.
The first objective is to seek early congressional passage of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017, H.R. 555 and of any Senate companion bill that might be introduced. H.R. 555 cleared the House on January 23. The Board was told that specific instructions to the FCC on implementation of the bill would be included in the report language from Congress.
Just 10 days after being introduced, the 2017 Amateur Radio Parity Act legislation, H.R. 555, passed the U.S. House of Representatives this week on unanimous consent under a suspension of House rules. The bill’s language is identical to that of the 2015 measure, H.R. 1301, which won House approval late last summer after attracting 126 co-sponsors, but failed to clear the U.S. Senate last fall as the 114th Congress wound down. The new bill, again sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), was introduced on January 13 with initial co-sponsorship by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Rep. Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), who chairs the influential House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Several CubeSats carrying Amateur Radio payloads were placed into orbit on January 16 from the International Space Station (ISS). Six CubeSats delivered to the ISS in December were deployed from the Kibo airlock using the new JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD).
H.R. 555 — a new “Amateur Radio Parity Act” bill — has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill’s language is identical to that of the 2015 measure, H.R. 1301, which passed in the House late last summer but failed in the waning days of the US Senate to gain the necessary support. As with H.R. 1301, the new measure introduced on January 13 in the 115th Congress was sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), with initial co-sponsorship by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Rep. Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR). Walden now chairs the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, to which the new bill has been referred. H.R. 555 will get an initial airing in the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. When H.R. 1301 came up in committee, Walden spoke forcefully in favor of the measure, which ultimately attracted 126 House cosponsors.
The FCC has turned down two petitions filed in 2016, each seeking similar changes in the Part 97 Amateur Service rules. James Edwin Whedbee, N0ECN, of Gladstone, Missouri, had asked the Commission to amend the rules to reduce the number of Amateur Radio operator classes to Technician, General, and Amateur Extra by merging remaining Novice class licensees into the Technician class and all Advanced class licensees into the Amateur Extra class. In a somewhat related petition, Jeffrey H. Siegell, WB2YRL, of Burke, Virginia, had requested that the FCC grant Advanced class license holders Morse code operating privileges equivalent to those enjoyed by Amateur Extra class licensees.
The coordinator of the ARRL’s WD2XSH 600-Meter Experimental Group — Fritz Raab, W1FR — said in his latest quarterly report that 630 meters is becoming quite active, with both Amateur Radio and Part 5 Experimental stations taking advantage of the band, which is still not available in the US.
Your fellow amateur radio operators need your help. Three times a year the ARRL sponsors a VHF/UHF contest. These contest events are held in January, June, and September. All licensed operators may participate and they are not required to submit a log of their contacts, nor are they required to be a member of the ARRL. While some enjoy the competition and submit a log of their confirmed QSO’s, others enjoy making contacts to see how well their station setup is working. In order to participate, each operator must provide their callsign and grid square. A typical calling station may say, “CQ Contest W6KKO DM07” on standard FM simplex frequencies, and their call sign and grid square phonetically when calling on standard SSB frequencies.