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RADIO LAW: ARRL WORKS WITH CONGRESS TO INTRODUCE BILL TO EXTEND PRB-1 TO INCLUDE CCR’S

RADIOSPORTS: WORLD TEAM RADIOSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP JULY 12-13

RADIO LAW: COCONINO COUNTY AZ AMMENDS CONTROVERSIAL DIRSTRACTED DRIVING LAW

FCC Alleges Oregon Radio Amateur Interfered with Others, Aired Music, and Failed to Identify

RADIO LAW: ARRL WORKS WITH CONGRESS TO INTRODUCE BILL TO EXTEND PRB-1 TO INCLUDE CCR’S

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From arnewsline.org:

The ARRL reports that a bill with bipartisan support has been introduced in the US House of Representatives.  A bill that calls on the FCC to apply the reasonable accommodation three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy to private land-use restrictions.

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014 also known as HR.4969 was introduced on June 25th at the request of the American Radio Relay League which worked with House of Representative staffers to draft the proposed legislation. The bill’s sponsor is Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and it has initial co-sponsorship from Representative Joe Courtney of Connecticut.

If the measure is approved by the 113th Congress, it would require the FCC, within 120 days of the bill’s   passage, to amend the Part 97 Amateur Service rules to apply PRB-1 coverage to include homeowners’ association regulations and deed restrictions.  These are often referred to as covenants, conditions, and restrictions and presently PRB-1 only applies to state and local zoning laws and ordinances.

HR.4969 has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  Representative Greg Walden, W-7-E-Q- eye of Oregon chairs that panel’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee, which will consider the measure.

kb5wck @ July 9, 2014

RADIOSPORTS: WORLD TEAM RADIOSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP JULY 12-13

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From arnewsline.org:

The World Radiosport Team Championship 2014 operating event will take place on Saturday, July 12th beginning at 1200 UTC and concluding Sunday the 13th at 1200 hours UTC.

WRTC2014 pits fifty-nine two-operator amateur radio teams, representing 32 countries, in a battle of operating skill and strategy from identical locations and using identical antenna systems. Competing teams were selected from 29 qualifying regions around the world based on scores in a series of 55 qualifying events over a 3 year period.  The team with the best score during the 24 hour operating competition will claim the gold medal and earn the distinction of being the best in the world.

Live video streaming of some of the social events surrounding WRTC2014 will begin on Wednesday July 9th. These include the welcoming BBQ Dinner, the opening ceremony as well as the closing ceremony.

The World Radiosport Team Championship is held every four years.  This year’s venue is in and around the city of Westborough, Massachusetts.  Previous events have been held in Seattle, San Francisco, Slovenia, Finland, Brazil and most recently in Russia.  More about this years happening is on the web at www.wrtc2014.org

kb5wck @ July 9, 2014

RADIO LAW: COCONINO COUNTY AZ AMMENDS CONTROVERSIAL DIRSTRACTED DRIVING LAW

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From arnewsline.org:

On June 26th the Coconino County Arizona Board of Supervisors approved changes to ordinance regulating the use of communication devices while driving.  Before the changes were approved, anyone caught with a hand-held push to talk microphone while their vehicle was in motion and they were behind the steering wheel was subject to be issued a citation.

Among several new exemptions is one that applies to those who holds a valid amateur radio operator license issued by or any license issued by the Federal Communications Commission or the driver who uses two-way radio such as a CB.

Matt Ryan is the Coconino Board Chairman.  He stated that the Board and other county officials remain dedicated to enhancing public safety by reducing injuries and fatal crashes on our roadways.  However, it was brought to their attention that the originally approved ordinance created hardships for specific segments of drivers, such as truckers, amateur radio operators and bus drivers.

Ryan added that while the overall goal is to curb distracted driving, that the Board still feels the ordinance as revised does exactly that.

kb5wck @ July 9, 2014

FCC Alleges Oregon Radio Amateur Interfered with Others, Aired Music, and Failed to Identify

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From arrl.org:

07/08/2014

In a Notice of Violation (NoV) released June 5, the FCC has alleged that Thomas Ryan Price, W7WL, of Sweet Home, Oregon, caused malicious interference to other radio communications on 3908 kHz, transmitted music on the same frequency, and failed to properly identify. The FCC said agents from its Portland, Oregon, office on May 13, 2014, used radio direction-finding techniques to pinpoint the source of the interfering signal to Price’s residence and, further, observed that Price was transmitting music and did not identify at the end of each communication, as required.

 The FCC has called on Price to submit within 20 days a written statement explaining each violation, stating specific actions taken to correct each violation and preclude their recurrence, and include a time line to complete any pending corrective actions.

The FCC said issuance of the NoV “does not preclude the Enforcement Bureau from further action if warranted, including issuing a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for the violations cited.

kb5wck @ July 9, 2014

Young Ham Elected to Office

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On June 3rd, Tim Goodrich, K6TW, was elected to the Torrance, California City Council (pop. 145,438). Originally licensed as KC2DDS at the age of 17, Goodrich, now 34, is an Extra Class ham.

In those 17 years between Technician and Extra class, Goodrich kept busy. At 18, he enlisted in the active duty Air Force, where he served as a communications, navigation, and cryptological technician on the E-3 AWACS. During his time in the military, he deployed to the Middle East on three occasions; in support of the no fly zones over Iraq, Afghanistan, and the pre-war Iraq bombing. Interestingly enough, it was only after Goodrich finished his time in the Air Force that he found out his late grandfather, a WW2 veteran, was a radio mechanic. When asked about this coincidence, Goodrich said, “It’s almost like radio is in my blood. I could have chosen any career field and to end up doing the same thing my grandfather did, what are the chances of that?”

After finishing his three deployments and seeing conditions in third world countries, Goodrich decided not to take life for granted and went back to school, earning his Masters in Public Administration from USC. He also became active in his community, especially as a volunteer with the Torrance Police and Fire Departments, doing communications and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) work, respectively.

And now that Goodrich has been elected to office, he’s not about to slow down. When asked about his goals as an elected official, Goodrich replies, “I’d like to see Torrance improve our public safety by securing a dedicated Emergency Operations Center. When a disaster strikes, we can’t afford to take time setting up our equipment- it needs to be ready to go from the outset.”

In his spare time, Goodrich enjoys operating CW on the HF bands and Summits on the Air (SOTA) operations. For more information, go to www.goodrichforcouncil.com

kb5wck @ June 19, 2014

FCC Decides Not to Adopt New Rules Affecting 902-928 MHz Band

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06/10/2014

The FCC has terminated a longstanding proceeding involving the 902-928 MHz (33 centimeter) band. In 2006, the FCC, in WT Docket 06-49, proposed rule changes to encourage development of the Multilateration Location Monitoring Service (M-LMS) — a terrestrial service for location of objects and tracking. Amateur Radio is secondary in the band to federal radiolocation systems, industrial, scientific and medical devices, federal fixed and mobile systems, and the M-LMS. This week, the FCC, with little fanfare, concluded that proceeding.

“Based on the record before us, and on recent developments pertaining to M-LMS operations in the 902-928 MHz band, we conclude that the various proposals for wholesale revisions of the applicable rules do not merit further consideration at this time,” the FCC said.

Commenting on the 2006 proposal, the ARRL expressed concern about increasing noise levels in the band. “This ‘kitchen sink’ of allocations is acceptable from ARRL’s perspective, provided that the noise floor is regulated, in terms of aggregate noise levels from unlicensed devices,” the League said. “The high power levels permitted in this band in particular bear careful watching, lest the allocated radio services, including federal systems, suffer decreased utility of the band.”

After the FCC last June gave consent to Progeny LMS to begin commercial operation of its M-LMS in the upper portion of the 902-928 MHz band, the ARRL worried that a portion of the band could become less useful to radio amateurs in urban areas. “Progeny is deploying a wide-area positioning system to provide more precise location services in areas where Global Positioning System (GPS) and other existing services may not work effectively, particularly indoors and in urban canyons,” the FCC explained at the time. Progeny’s location service is designed to operate on approximately 4 megahertz — about one-half of the M-LMS portions of the band between 919.750 and 927.750 MHz — where Progeny holds licenses.

While M-LMS operations, at least on paper, have a higher priority than unlicensed Part 15 devices on the band, Progeny had to demonstrate through field testing that its network would not cause “unacceptable levels of interference” to such Part 15 devices as cordless telephones and baby monitors. This was a result of an FCC policy to promote “co-existence” in the band, while not elevating Part 15 devices to co-equal status with M-LMS systems.

In his June 2012 “It Seems to Us…“ editorial in QST, ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, pointed out that effectively setting unlicensed services such as Part 15 at a higher priority than licensed services “is the reverse of the usual situation in which Part 15 devices are at the bottom of the pecking order.” Federal (military) radiolocation and ISM Part 18 devices are at the top of the 902-928 MHz food chain. Sumner predicted that operations such as Progeny’s “will pose some new challenges for amateurs in a band that is already impacted by other users.”

The latest FCC action will not affect Progeny’s M-LMS deployment. In terminating the 2006 proceeding, the Commission said it had concluded that Progeny could commence commercial M-LMS operations “within the framework that the Commission initially had established to promote the co-existence of M-LMS operations and unlicensed operations in the band.”

kb5wck @ June 12, 2014

FCC Okays Changes to Amateur Radio Exam Credit, Test Administration, Emission Type Rules

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In a wide-ranging Report and Order (R&O) released June 9 that takes various proceedings into consideration, the FCC has revised the Amateur Service Part 97 rules to grant credit for written examination elements 3 (General) and 4 (Amateur Extra) to holders of “expired licenses that required passage of those elements.” The FCC will require former licensees – those falling outside the 2-year grace period – to pass Element 2 (Technician) in order to be relicensed, however. The Commission declined to give examination credit to the holder of an expired Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) or to extend its validity to the holder’s lifetime.

The Report and Order may be found on the web in PDF format at: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0609/FCC-14-74A1.pdf

“Our decision to grant credit for written examination Elements 3 and 4 for expired licenses that required passage [of those elements] will provide some relief for former General, Advanced, and Amateur Extra class licensees,” the FCC said, “and is consistent with how we treat expired pre-1987 Technician class licensees who want to reenter the Amateur Service.” Pre-1987 Techs can get Element 3 credit, since the Technician and General class written examinations in that era were identical. The Commission said current rules and procedures that apply to expired pre-1987 Technician licenses “are sufficient to verify that an individual is a former licensee under our new rules.”

The Commission said that requiring applicants holding expired licenses to pass Element 2 in order to relicense “will address commenters’
concerns about lost proficiency and knowledge, because a former licensee will have to demonstrate that he or she has retained knowledge
of technical and regulatory matters.” The FCC said the Element 2 requirement also would deter any attempts by someone with the same name
as a former licensee to obtain a ham ticket without examination.

In 1997 the FCC, in the face of opposition, dropped a proposal that would have generally allowed examination element credit for expired
amateur operator licenses. In the past, the FCC has maintained that its procedures “provide ample notification and opportunity for license renewal” and that retesting did not impose an unreasonable burden. The issue arose again in 2011, with a request from the Anchorage Volunteer Examiner Coordinator.

The FCC pulled back from its own proposal to reduce from three to two the minimum number of volunteer examiners required to proctor an
Amateur Radio examination session. The ARRL, the W5YI-VEC and “a clear majority of commenters” opposed the change, the FCC said. The FCC said it found commenters’ arguments persuasive that that the use of three VEs “results in higher accuracy and lower fraud that would be the case with two VEs.” In a related matter, though, the Commission embraced the use of remote testing methods.

“Allowing VEs and VECs the option of administering examinations at locations remote from the VEs is warranted,” the FCC said. The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) in 2002 endorsed experimental use of videoconferencing technology to
conduct Amateur Radio testing in remote areas of Alaska. The Anchorage VEC has long pushed for the change, citing the expense to provide
Amateur Radio test sessions to Alaska residents living in remote areas.

The FCC declined to address “the mechanics” of remote testing, which, it said, “will vary from location to location and session to session.” The Commission said specific rules spelling out how to administer exam sessions remotely “could limit the flexibility of VEs and VECs.” The FCC stressed the obligation on the part of VECs and VEs “to administer examinations responsibly” applies “in full”
to remote testing.

The FCC amended the rules to provide that VEs administering examinations remotely be required to grade such examinations “at the
earliest practical opportunity,” rather than “immediately,” as the rule for conventional exam sessions requires.

Finally, the FCC has adopted an ARRL proposal to authorize certain Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) emissions in the Amateur Service. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau in 2013 granted an ARRL request for a temporary blanket waiver to permit radio amateurs to transmit emissions with designators FXD, FXE, and F7E, pending resolution of the rulemaking petition.

“Commenters strongly support amendment of the rules to permit these additional emission types,” the FCC noted. “The commenters assert that the proposed rule change ‘is consistent with the basis and purpose of the Amateur Service,’” and will allow repurposing surplus mobile relay equipment from other radio services in the Amateur Service, the Commission added.

The FCC said it also will make “certain minor, non-substantive amendments to the Amateur Service rules.” It is amending Part 97 “to
reflect that the Commission amended its rules to eliminate the requirement that certain Amateur Radio Service licensees pass a Morse
code examination,” the FCC said in the R&O. It also said it was correcting “certain typographical or other errors” in Part 97.

The new rules become effective 30 days after their publication in The Federal Register, which is expected to happen this week.

kb5wck @ June 11, 2014

FCC AFFIRMS $15,000 FINE AGAINST UNLICENSED TEXAS BROADCASTERS

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Fom arnewsline.org:

In a follow-up to an earlier story, the FCC has imposed a penalty of $15,000 against Walter Olenick and M. Rae Nadler-Olenick for operating an unlicensed FM radio station on 90.1 MHz in Austin, Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Olenick did not deny that they operated the unlicensed FM radio station after receipt of a written warning from the Enforcement Bureau that such action was illegal. Instead, the Olenick’s asserted without any supporting evidence that they are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission.

 But in its June 3rd order affirming the previously issued Notice of Apparent Liability, the FCC says that Section 301 of the Communications Act explicitly sets forth the Commission’s jurisdiction over all radio transmissions, both interstate and intrastate.

 The Olenick’s were given the customary 30 days from the release of the order affirming the fine to pay it or to file an appeal.

If you want to listen to the audio of this and other stories please go to http://www.arnewsline.org/storage/audio/nsln1921.mp3 .

kb5wck @ June 9, 2014

FCC RELEASES WARNING NOTICES TO SEVERAL RADIO

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From arnewsline.org:

The ARRL reports that the FCC Enforcement Bureau has made public several warning notices issued over the past few months to radio amateurs. A couple of the letters from Special Counsel Laura Smith involved alleged infractions on 20 meters.

This past April 15th, FCC Special Counsel Laura Smith wrote Larry S. King, KI8NGS, of Owosso, Michigan, regarding his alleged failure to properly follow station identification rules back on March 21st. Smith told King that he was monitored by staffers at the FCC High Frequency Direction Finding Center as operating his Amateur Radio on 14.313 MHz for 20 minutes without identifying in a timely manner. Smith went on to tell King that this incident constitutes a failure to properly transmit his assigned call sign in violation of the Commission’s regulations. She continued by noting that King’s operation is contrary to the basis and purpose of the Amateur Radio Service, as set out in Section 97.1 and is also a violation of Section 97.11(a) of the Commission’s rules.

On March 31, Smith sent a warning notice to Daniel G. Churovich, N9RSY, of Ripley, Tennessee. In it she alleged that N9RSY had engaged in an extended communication on 14.313 MHz with a station that may not have been operating in the Amateur Service.

To quote Special Counsel Smith: “On Friday, March 28, 2014, you were heard by staff at the Commission’s High Frequency Direction Finding Center communicating repeatedly on 14.313 MHz with an individual who you identify only as “cowboy”.  This individual failed to provide his call sign during your conversation, a fact that you were aware of as you repeatedly demanded that he provide his name, call sign, and location. Despite being aware of the rule violation on the part of this other individual, you continued communicating with him for an extended period of time.”

Smith also wrote to four other Amateur Radio licensees to note that they all had failed to comply with formal written requests not to use local repeater systems. Smith advised all four that the FCC expected them to abide by the request of the trustee and/or control operator that they stay off the repeater and any other similar requests to cease operations on any other repeaters by any other repeater licensees, control operators or trustees.

In her letters Smith advised all recipients that any recurrence of the alleged violation after receipt of the warning letter could subject them to severe penalties, including license revocation, monetary forfeiture, or a modification proceeding to restrict the frequencies upon which each may operate.

If you want to listen to the audio of this and other stories please go to http://www.arnewsline.org/storage/audio/nsln1921.mp3 .

kb5wck @ June 9, 2014

RADIO EDUCATION: UK 434 MHZ BALLOON RECOGNIZED IN SCIENCE EDUCATION

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From arnewsline.org:

The UK Department for Education has selected the Horizon balloon project to feature in the department’s Yourlife campaign to promote studies in math and science sometimes called STEM education.
Pupils at the Queen Mary’s Grammar School in Walsall built the payload which transmitted Frequency Shift Keyed RTTY telemetry data on 434.075 MHz. The students launched Horizon on a high altitude weather balloon which reached an altitude of close to 115,000 feet before bursting. The payload then safely parachuted back to Earth where the students were able to retrieve some stunning still images and video taken in near-space.

Ham radio wise, the telemetry transmitter could be received over most of the British Isles and radio amateurs were able to track the balloon’s progress from the transmitted GPS data. The Horizon team used a Yaesu FT-817 transceiver to receive the signal from the balloon and dl-fldigi software to decode it. Among those supporting the project were Yaesu and Essex-based Rapid Electrionics.

kb5wck @ May 28, 2014