The FCC released a Public Notice on January 6, reminding land mobile licensees, frequency coordinators and equipment manufacturers that they have less than one year to transition to narrowband operations in the 150-174 and 421-512 MHz bands. While the latter frequency range includes amateur service allocations, radio amateurs are not affected by the narrowbanding requirement. Land mobile operation is permitted in parts of the 421-430 MHz band in the areas around Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo, and land mobile licensees in these areas are among those who will have to migrate to narrowband (12.5 kHz or narrower) technology by January 1, 2013. Amateur operation is not permitted along the Canadian border (north of Line A as defined in the FCC Rules) in the band 420-430 MHz.
December 15, 2009:
Source: ARRL Website December 15, 2009
Amateur Radio Bill Passes Senate, Moves to the House
On Monday, December 14, S 1755 -- The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009 -- passed the Senate by unanimous consent; the bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. Sponsored by Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), S 1755, if passed, would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to undertake a study on emergency communications. S 1755 points out that "There is a strong Federal interest in the effective performance of Amateur Radio Service stations, and that performance must be given -- (A) support at all levels of government; and (B) protection against unreasonable regulation and impediments to the provision of the valuable communications provided by such stations."
Members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee considered S 1755 on December 10. After it passed through Committee, it was placed on the Senate's calendar to be voted on. "We are grateful to Committee Chairman Lieberman and Ranking Member Collins for sponsoring the bill and arranging for its swift consideration and passage by the Senate," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ.
Similar in language to HR 2160 (also called The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009 that was introduced this past April by Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee [D-TX-18]), S 1755 calls on DHS to undertake a study on the uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio Service communications in emergencies and disaster relief and then to submit a report to Congress no more than 180 days after the bill becomes law. The study shall:
- Include a review of the importance of Amateur Radio emergency communications in furtherance of homeland security missions relating to disasters, severe weather and other threats to lives and property in the United States, as well as recommendations for enhancements in the voluntary deployment of Amateur Radio licensees in disaster and emergency communications and disaster relief efforts and improved integration of Amateur Radio operators in planning and furtherance of the Department of Homeland Security initiatives.
- Identify impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio Service communications, such as the effects of unreasonable or unnecessary private land use regulations on residential antenna installations; and make recommendations regarding such impediments for consideration by other federal departments, agencies and Congress.
In conducting the study, S 1755 directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to "utilize the expertise of stakeholder entities and organizations, including the Amateur Radio, emergency response and disaster communications communities."
S 1755 makes note of the fact that Section 1 of the Joint Resolution entitled Joint Resolution to Recognize the Achievements of Radio Amateurs, and To Establish Support for Such Amateurs as National Policy -- approved October 22, 1994 (Public Law 103-408) -- included a finding that stated: "Reasonable accommodation should be made for the effective operation of Amateur Radio from residences, private vehicles and public areas, and the regulation at all levels of government should facilitate and encourage amateur radio operations as a public benefit." The bill also pointed out that Section 1805(c) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 757(c)) directs the Regional Emergency Communications Coordinating Working Group of the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate their activities with ham and Amateur Radio operators among the 11 other emergency organizations, such as ambulance services, law enforcement and others.
October 17, 2009:
Big Day for Boy Scout Troop 320 in Marshall.
On Saturday Oct. 17th the Marshall Boy Scout’s Troop 320, led by Lonny Sowden, held a JOTA [ Jamboree on the Air] event sponsored by Lyon County Ares EC Dan Starkenburg, AB0RE, and AEC Dave Parker, WB9WHG.
The event started with Dan and Dave setting up the vertical antenna and running coax for the HF radio that Dave brought [and Dan’s tuner] so that the Scouts could make contact with other Scouts around the nation. A 2-meter radio was also set up for local contacts using the local Tracy Repeater.
At 1 p.m. the Scouts arrived and were introduced to Dan, Dave and Arl Weinrebe, KD0BJW, District 5 EC. They broke into two groups, one group worked with Dave on CW while the rest of the Scouts worked HF with Dan. As they got more familiar with the radios and more comfortable talking they went to the 2-meter radio.
They had a good time talking with Rod Byam, N0GQM, Cottonwood County AEC on 2-meter along with Cal Neilsen, WB6AMY, Lincoln County EC, mobile at the time from Hendricks. Also making contact was Cody Hansen, KD0DFW, from Worthington and Kevin Haney, KC0YKX, Murray County EC.
The Scouts learned about was how to build an antenna and Dan explained the mathematical equation to figure out the length of the antenna. Arl had brought a 20-meter double bazooka and showed them the length of coax needed to build the antenna.
At 4 p.m. it was time to rap up the event for the day but the radios kept going till the last Scout had to leave, and Dan, Dave and Arl had as much fun demonstrating their hobby to the Scouts as the Scouts had working contacts on both HF and 2 meter.