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Archive for the ‘Amateur Radio News’ Category

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM N6CIZ – LOOKING FOR NET CONTROL STATIONS

For more than 10 years I have been doing the weekly Net on Thursday nights, taking over the LAUSD Net started by Gary Franks, W6NVY, more than 20 years ago.

Well, I’ve decided it’s time to move on and give up my Net Control duties.

Steve, K6CRW, has been a great help by volunteering to do the nets every other week and, recently more often than that, when I have been tied up by “real life” events.

But, the time has come for me to pass the torch and let someone else take over as Net Control for these nets. I will continue through the end of the year, but will not do any nets after that.

If anyone would like to volunteer to help Steve out and take over Net Control duties on a semi-regular basis, please let us know. You can contact me via email at N6CIZ@ARRL.NET and let me know that you are interested. Steve and I can help you out and show you the ropes.

FCC Eliminates Vanity Call Sign Fee

VanityFees-300x165The FCC has found that it costs the agency more to process the regulatory fees for amateur radio vanity call signs and other services such as GMRS than the fees themselves cover. Rather than increasing the rate, the FCC has decided to eliminate them altogether. This change will not go into effect until the required congressional notice has been given, which typically takes at least 90 days. Any fees paid prior to the institution of the change will not be refunded. This is great news and a welcome change from the tedious fee recovery process that has been normal.

From the ARRL:

The FCC is eliminating the regulatory fee to apply for an Amateur Radio vanity call sign. The change will not go into effect, however, until required congressional notice has been given. This will take at least 90 days. As the Commission explained in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Report and Order, and Order (MD Docket 14-92 and others), released May 21, it’s a matter of simple economics.

“The Commission spends more resources on processing the regulatory fees and issuing refunds than the amount of the regulatory fee payment,” the FCC said. “As our costs now exceed the regulatory fee, we are eliminating this regulatory fee category.” The current vanity call sign regulatory fee is $21.40, the highest in several years. The FCC reported there were 11,500 “payment units” in FY 2014 and estimated that it would collect nearly $246,100.

In its 2014 Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) regarding the assessment and collection of regulatory fees for FY 2014, the FCC had sought comment on eliminating several smaller regulatory fee categories, such as those for vanity call signs and GMRS. It concluded in the subsequent Report and Order (R&O) last summer, however, that it did not have “adequate support to determine whether the cost of recovery and burden on small entities outweighed the collected revenue or whether eliminating the fee would adversely affect the licensing process.”

The FCC said it has since had an opportunity to obtain and analyze support concerning the collection of the regulatory fees for Amateur Vanity and GMRS, which the FCC said comprise, on average, more than 20,000 licenses that are newly obtained or renewed, every 10 and 5 years, respectively.

“The Commission often receives multiple applications for the same vanity call sign, but only one applicant can be issued that call sign,” the FCC explained. “In such cases, the Commission issues refunds for all the remaining applicants. In addition to staff and computer time to process payments and issue refunds, there is an additional expense to issue checks for the applicants who cannot be refunded electronically.”

The Commission said that after it provides the required congressional notification, Amateur Radio vanity program applicants “will no longer be financially burdened with such payments, and the Commission will no longer incur these administrative costs that exceed the fee payments. The revenue that the Commission would otherwise collect from these regulatory fee categories will be proportionally assessed on other wireless fee categories.”

The FCC said it would not issue refunds to licensees who paid the regulatory fee prior to its official elimination.

Late Breaking News: TRW Swap Meet

The TRW swap meet located at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach will continue to be in Redondo Beach through December 2014.

Check W6TRW website for more details

Amateurs Must Protect New Radars in 23 cm Band

FAA LogoThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is deploying a new generation of Common Air Route Surveillance Radar (CARSR) that has some implications for the use of the 1240-1300 MHz (23 cm) band by amateurs. The Amateur Service allocation in this band is on a secondary basis, with aeronautical radionavigation and several other services primary in the United States Table of Frequency Allocations. The FCC rules require that amateur stations operating in the 23 cm band may not cause harmful interference to stations in the radionavigation-satellite service, the aeronautical radionavigation service, the Earth exploration-satellite service (active) or the space research service (active). One case of harmful interference in Southern California has been reported.

CARSRs are being installed in several dozen locations throughout the country and will use various frequencies in the 1240-1350 MHz range with an occupied bandwidth of about 3 MHz. In the vicinity of the radars, amateur operation may be precluded in a portion of the 23 cm band. The ARRL is in contact with FAA engineers. We anticipate that the constraints on amateur use of the band will be limited to those necessary to protect aviation safety, which of course cannot be compromised.

Source: ARRL

The DIY Magic of Amateur Radio

ARRL’s new video, “The DIY Magic of Amateur Radio,” is an 8-minute video that follows some of the innovative, imaginative and fun ways “hams” use radio technology in new and creative ways. The presentation is directed toward the DIY (do it yourself) movement, which is inspiring a new generation of creators, hackers and innovators. The message should be helpful for existing members to shape the ways they understand and talk about ham radio. For more information and related resources, visit http://www.arrl.org/wedothat-radio-org.

A Ham’s Night Before Christmas

Earthquake Exercise on Thursday, October 20

The Great California ShakOutIn 2010, more than 7.9 million Californians practiced Drop, Cover, and Hold On to practice how they will protect themselves during earthquakes, and increased their overall preparedness.

On Thursday, October 20th at 10:20 a.m. millions of people will participate in the 2011 Great California ShakeOut!

The Los Angeles Emergency Repeater Association will also take part, with a check-in net between 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM.  All licensed Amateur Radio Operators are encouraged to call Net Control on the W6NVY UHF repeater – 449.700 MHz (PL 131.8) – and report your first name, call sign, location, and what radio bands you can operate on.  In addition, Net Control will be monitoring the output frequency of the W6NVY VHF repeater – 147.195 MHz – and logging simplex check-ins there.

Please take a minute sometime between 10 and 11 AM to take part in the LA-ERA ShakOut Net on October 20th.

Click the link for more information about the Great California ShakeOut.

Note:  We will also have the regular Thursday night net at 7:30 PM!