ARRL Asks FCC to Protect Amateur Radio Millimeter-Wave Bands

5/08/2018ARRL has asked the FCC to avoid authorizing developmental technologies in two Amateur Radio bands above 95 GHz that some radio amateurs may not be unaware of. The ARRL commented on May 2 in response to a Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Order (NPRM&O) in ET Docket 18-21, released in February. The so-called “Spectrum Horizons” proceeding seeks to make the bands above 95 GHz “more readily accessible for new innovative services and technologies.” ARRL said that, while it agrees that “regulatory flexibility is justified” in the millimeter-wave bands above 95 GHz, due to the extensive frequency re-use possibilities, the FCC ought to make two primary Amateur/Amateur Radio Satellite bands in that part of the spectrum unavailable for deployment of unlicensed Part 15 or Part 5 Experimental Spectrum Horizons devices. Amateur Radio has primary allocation status in the bands 134 – 136 GHz and 248 – 250 GHz, both shared with the Radio Astronomy Service, which is secondary.

“The amateur allocations require protection against increases in the noise floor due to aggregate radio frequency devices,” ARRL said. “The bands are used ubiquitously and unpredictably, typically, but not always, at high elevations for research and development purposes and propagation studies, for terrestrial point-to-point, satellite, and Earth-Moon-Earth communications experimentation.”

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ARRL asked to expand HF privileges for Techs

ARRL has asked the FCC to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and 15 meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. The FCC has not yet invited public comment on the proposals, which stem from recommendations put forth by the ARRL Board of Directors’ Entry-Level License Committee, which explored various initiatives and gauged member opinions in 2016 and 2017.

“This action will enhance the available license operating privileges in what has become the principal entry-level license class in the Amateur Service,” ARRL said in its Petition. “It will attract more newcomers to Amateur Radio, it will result in increased retention of licensees who hold Technician Class licenses, and it will provide an improved incentive for entry-level licensees to increase technical self-training and pursue higher license class achievement and development of communications skills.”

Specifically, ARRL proposes to provide Technician licensees, present and future, with phone privileges at 3.900 to 4.000 MHz, 7.225 to 7.300 MHz, and 21.350 to 21.450 MHz, plus RTTY and digital privileges in current Technician allocations on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. The ARRL petition points out the explosion in popularity of various digital modes over the past 2 decades. Under the ARRL plan, the maximum HF power level for Technician operators would remain at 200 W PEP. The few remaining Novice licensees would gain no new privileges under the League’s proposal.

ARRL’s petition points to the need for compelling incentives not only to become a radio amateur in the first place, but then to upgrade and further develop skills. Demographic and technological changes call for a “periodic rebalancing” between those two objectives, the League maintains.

“There has not been such a rebalancing in many years,” ARRL said in its petition. “It is time to do that now.” The FCC has not assessed entry-level operating privileges since 2005.

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Volunteers Are Needed

Image result for dicks pittsburgh marathon

Amateur Radio Volunteers Are Needed

It’s that time of year again! Since its return in 2009, the Pittsburgh marathon has grown to include over 35,000 runners. Amateur Radio has been an important part of the marathon since the beginning, and your help is needed again for this year’s event, which will run on May 6, 2018.

As in the past, we will be providing support to marathon medical staff. In keeping with the purpose of the Amateur Radio service, our main task is to provide emergency communications between the medical director and the various aid stations and other locations along the course, in the event regular communications channels fail. We also provide increased reliability for the most critical information and provide communications support to various medical officials. In order to accomplish this, we will staff many positions, including aid stations, mile markers, shadows for medical officials, and others. To fully cover all of these positions, we will need around 100 volunteer amateur radio operators, including you!

For more information or to volunteer click here

General Marathon Website

QCWA Chapter 6 Meeting Notice

The next meeting of the QCWA Chapter 6 will be held on Saturday, March 3, at 11:30 AM. Due to the closing of Sciulli’s Bar and Grill, we will have a  venue change to:

Kings Family Restaurant
5800 Grand Avenue
Neville Island,
Pittsburgh, PA

Update: Allegheny County Emergency Coordinator

This is from the
Allegheny County Emergency Coordinator:
Update: February 26, 2018

March 10, 2018: Message Handling Class (WACOM)
1696 E Maiden St
Washington, PA, United States
10:00 am start

April 14, 2018: Red Cross Drill

May 6, 2018: Pittsburgh Marathon

May 13, 2018: Race For The Cure
Schenley Park

July 14 and 15, 2018: Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

July 28 and 29, 2018: Westmoreland Air Show
Latrobe, PA – Arnold Palmer Regional Airport

September 15, 2018: ADA Tour De Cure

September 30, 2018: Pittsburgh Great Race

Details for these events are announced as they become available on the Allegheny County ARES/RACES Public Service Net on Wednesdays at 9:00 pm on the 147.09 repeater (pl 88.5).

Served Agencies and event sponsors seeking communications support from Allegheny County ARES/RACES can contact the ARRL Allegheny County Emergency Coordinator, Bob Timmins AB3ED via email: allegheny@wpa-arrl.org.  Event requests from outside Allegheny County will be referred to the appropriate emergency coordinator.

BUM O’ MONTH LOCATION CHANGE

Hello Bums o’ the Month–

Word has it that Sciulli’s Bar and Grill is closed. The doors are locked with no signs of life, and nobody answers the phone. With that in mind, thoughts are that the Kings Family Restaurant on Neville Island might be a suitable alternate. Kings is located at 5800 Grand Avenue right about where the I-79 bridge crosses over the Isle of Neville. With this being a civilized restaurant, perhaps showing up at 11:00 AM Feb.12 Monday might preclude conflict with the well mannered customers coming in for lunch at noon. Hope to see you there.

KQV-AM radio back on air

A month after Pittsburgh’s oldest all-news radio station went dark, KQV-AM has been snapped up by a new owner, pending approval by federal regulators.

Broadcast Communications Inc. — which owns several AM and FM stations in Western Pennsylvania — has agreed to buy the dormant station from Calvary Inc. for $55,000, free and clear of debt, Federal Communication Commission records show.

The final transaction hinges on the FCC’s approval.
KQV, whose roots dated to 1919, went off the air Jan. 1.

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