Category Archives: ARRL

National Geographic Channel Ham Radio Guide Supports Before MARS Prequel

The National Geographic has produced A Guide to Ham Radio to support its recently released digital short, Before MARS — a prequel to its upcoming MARS series. The 33-minute prequel, which has a heavy Amateur Radio theme, provides the back story of two principal characters in the upcoming MARS global event series.

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New Russian Arctic Over-the-Horizon Radars Set for 2017 Startup

According to media accounts, more long-range, new over-the-horizon (OTH) radars that can identify aerial and sea targets hundreds of miles away are scheduled to begin operation next year in the Russian Arctic. It’s doubtful, however, that the news heralds the return of interference on the level of that generated by the so-called “Russian Woodpecker” OTH radar, which plagued Amateur Radio HF bands in the 1970s and 1980s.

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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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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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ARRL Announces Club Competition Eligibility Changes

Earlier this year, following a challenge that resulted in the realignment of several club scores in the ARRL 10 Meter Contest, it became clear that the Club Competition rules were not being enforced as consistently as they should have been. In order to make sure club results are accurate and fair to all, the ARRL Contest Branch is renewing its effort to help clubs comply with the rules (See Section 8 of the “General Rules for All Contests.”) The Contest Branch has announced changes in three areas: Online uploading of club rosters, the use of six-character grid locators, and the deadline for submitting eligibility.

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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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