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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Ham Radio Rail Adventure

On June 17th, 2018 there will be a trip to Harrisburg and back on Amtrak Pennsylvania #42. Contact   kristoff@nidhog.net or WA3VXJ@hotmail.com for more info. Also a E-Mail has been sent to W3KWH club members with info for a discount rate. It’s your chance to work TRAIN MOBILE and view the Horseshoe curve and Rockville bridge.

 

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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