SCARS Newsletter February 2, 2018

Why You Should Be An ARRL Member /
FCC End-run
Dates To Remember
The Doctor Is In / 
This Week’s ARRL Letter
ARRL DX Bulletin / 
Amateur Radio Newsline / 
Ham Nation / 
Odds and Ends / 
Upcoming Hamfests within 250 miles  _…_._

Why You Should Be An ARRL Member

Okay. I had my say in last week’s Newsletter about the 3-ring circus that is currently on display in Newington (ARRL HQ). This week, I’m going to say why I think that you should be a Dues Paying Member of the American Radio Relay League. If your mind is already made-up, then you can go about your business.

ARRL’s Vision Statement (
As the national association for Amateur Radio in the United States, ARRL:

  • Supports the awareness and growth of Amateur Radio worldwide;
  • Advocates for meaningful access to radio spectrum;
  • Strives for every member to get involved, get active, and get on the air;
  • Encourages radio experimentation and, through its members, advances radio technology and education; and
  • Organizes and trains volunteers to serve their communities by providing public service and emergency communications.

While all 5 of the above items are important to ARRL’s mission, I’m going to focus on the second.

I’ve been an Amateur for over 40 years. I’ve not always been a member of the ARRL – sometimes I just didn’t have the money (I borrowed radios for a long time just to be on the air – thanks to several Amateurs for that!), I was “busy” with careers early in my life, or school, or (you name it), but I’ve been a member for far more years than not. There have been many regulatory changes that I may not have always agreed with 100% that the ARRL advocated for, but way more often than not, they were regulatory items which had a positive effect on this great hobby. Through the years there have been nay-sayers about many of the actions of The League. The “death of Amateur Radio” was forecast when “incentive licensing” was introduced, wailing, gnashing of teeth, wearing of sackcloth and ashes all occurred when Morse Code was removed from license requirements, etcetera, ad nausem. Yet, here we are.

Has Amateur Radio growth kept pace with population? No, not at all. But in the face of all the other things that a person can do in their spare time, Amateur Radio continues to be a favorite pastime for many of us. But … let’s talk about “Life Without The League”.

  • Without the ARRL as an advocate, who will speak as a representative of U.S. Amateurs in Congress about the importance of Amateur Radio?
    (see ARRL Letter, Item One below)
  • Without the ARRL as an advocate, who will consult with International Amateur Radio organizations regarding the life and health of RF spectrum for Amateurs? Newer Amateurs have never experienced 40 meters at night while competing with International Broadcasters throughout the entire band. With international cooperation, those broadcasters were removed from the lower 2/3s of our allocation in 40 meters. Without the ARRL, would that have happened? Not likely.
  • Without the ARRL, who would advocate with the Federal Communications Commission regarding U.S. regulations and technical minutiae? Or for the Experimental Bands, such as the new ones recently received? 
  • Without the ARRL, who would sit in Regulatory hearings and testify on behalf of Amateur Radio when large companies with very deep pockets, such as Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, want large swaths of the spectrum?

I’ve barely scratched the surface. In my opinion, without the ARRL, our Hobby would be a mere shadow of what we enjoy today, if it even existed at all.

Yup. Membership burns-up most of $50 each and every year. For most of us, that is less than 10 trips to Starbucks. For us Senior Citizens, it’s two rounds of golf. It’s less than one trip to Cattlemen’s for Linda and myself. But it’s also OUR HOBBY.

Below, after Tom Gallagher’s column, you will find three “important” things that the ARRL is doing for you, whether or not you are a member:
– The ARRL Hudson Div Director advocating For You in a Senate hearing in support of the Amateur Radio Parity Act (ARRL Letter: first bullet)
– ARRL Filing with regards to TAC recommendations (ARRL Letter: second bullet)
– ARRL Filing with FCC going around Congress with regards to the Parity Act , and other issues, (immediately below Tom Gallagher’s column  -“End-run”)

Without the ARRL, there would be NO advocate for Amateur Radio in Washington. With all its warts, it is worthy of your support.

Below is the text of Tom Gallagher’s “Second Century” article about ARRL’s response to proposals which would affect ALL Amateur Radio. Serious stuff.

The following is from February QST, reprinted with permission, copyright ARRL, 2018

[Note: you can download this as a pdf file here:]

Second Century

Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, ARRL Chief Executive Officer,

“ARRL has a reputation for protecting every kilohertz of amateur spectrum from reallocation and from harmful interference. We mean to keep doing that. These days, the issue isn’t so much the threat of loss of our spectrum, but rather the addition of incompatible, forced-sharing partners. Kind of like arranged marriages.”

On December 1, the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology called for comment on some very far-reaching spectrum policy recommendations. For years, the Commission has been wrestling, sometimes unsuccessfully from our perspective, with interference issues arising from multiple sources.

The first is interference caused by Part 15 devices (unlicensed emitters), which do not comply with field strength limits and whose interference we are currently not required to accept. The best example is grow lights.

The second is co-channel and adjacent channel interference from licensed sources.

A third, and possibly most troublesome for amateurs, is “spectrum overlay,” the resulting interference caused by allegedly compatible licensed services occupying the same spectrum. Closest to home: the PAVE PAWS program allows us to use certain 440 MHz spectrum where we don’t interfere with that vital Air Force program.

To address and hopefully minimize these interference issues, the FCC is considering a sea change in emphasis. The policies under consideration shift the primary focus from transmitters and RF emitters to include the ability of receivers to reject interference. It also suggests the upgrade of legacy modes (pay special attention if you operate analog SSB) to avoid interference and permit greater sharing opportunities. In plain language: to allow more sharing of spectrum — including amateur spectrum — with other services.

From here on in, this gets complicated, so bear with me because it’s important for all of us to understand fully, and respond appropriately to, this FCC interrogatory.

Behind all the broad spectrum policy actions now on the table is the work of the FCC’s Technical Advisory Council (TAC), a private sector group. (ARRL’s delegate to the TAC is Greg Lapin, N9GL.) The council recommendations are supported by three white papers developed over the past several years, and the TAC believes that a fair and efficient allocation of spectrum in congested RF environments requires striking a balance between the rights and responsibilities of transmitters and those of receivers. From a procedural standpoint, the comments called for in the December 1 notice, along with the TAC recommendations, will help the FCC formulate a policy statement informing spectrum management guidance and principles.

What principles? Well, to begin with, according to the TAC, (1) receivers must be designed properly to reject out-of-band signals in present and future use; (2) receiving systems must be designed to manage as much interference as possible; (3) interference regulations, which establish entitlements to protection, should be premised on “acceptable levels of risk” of interference, and (4) interference and interference protection thresholds should be established. Reading between the lines, I see some disquieting assumptions.

It’s obvious both transmitter and receiver characteristics determine the impact of interference; but by introducing the notion that receiver performance as a co-factor when it hasn’t been featured in the past, the burden of resolving interference begins to shift toward the victim. Moreover, the TAC suggests that the FCC may set interference thresholds below which no protection from interference is available. Or in other words, there is some acceptable level of interference to be tolerated, which modern receiver technology can overcome. What’s an appropriate threshold? What’s an acceptable level of interference or noise? This action could pose a significant threat to our service because it is possible that, for non-commercial, non-safety of life services, the FCC could set the threshold very high, allowing high levels of interference based on some perceived value metric. Amateurs could need to measure the field strength of noise to be able to prove harm, even if a reasonable interference threshold is established. And of course, there is no assumption that FCC enforcement resources would be available evenly among radio services to enforce whatever threshold is established.

The difficulty here is that Amateur Radio, essentially an experimental radio service, doesn’t have standardized operating parameters, making interference limits difficult to determine. The Notice argues that operators and services seeking protection from interference must disclose to the Commission the operating characteristics of the system before expecting protection. This is difficult conceptually for Amateur Radio. Amateur Radio uses many operating modes, including experimental modes. The danger is that the FCC could utilize this principle to (1) demand very specific operating parameters and hypothetical reference circuits to define and limit those amateur uses that are entitled to interference protection, or (2) determine that a given radio technique or emission type does not include sufficient interference rejection techniques in receivers to mitigate interference, and so deny interference protection arbitrarily.

If you’ve read this far, I thank you for your patience.

While there appears no cause for outright alarm, at this point, vigilance is the best posture. In the League’s circles, the FCC Notice was sufficiently concerning that the ARRL Electromagnetic Compatibility Committee, chaired by Board member Kermit Carlson, W9XA, is gathering for an unscheduled meeting in Newington even as I write this piece in mid-December. Working together with ARRL Lab Manager, Ed Hare, W1RFI, and his staff; Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, and General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, the team will spend the weekend beginning the process of formulating a persuasive set of comments for the Board to review in January.

In the meantime, I ask all of you to remain informed on this process. To repeat: it’s important for all of us to understand fully, and respond appropriately to, these FCC spectrum policy proposals. Please read ARRL’s comments and let your ARRL Board representative know your thoughts.

FCC End-Run

ARRL petitions the FCC in a number of areas:

–  HOA Antenna restrictions
– “symbol rate” modifications allowing PACTOR 4 (among others)
– and use rights in the 5GHz band

Worthy of your time. 

Dates To Remember

Some VERY important events are scheduled in the near future which you need to put in your planner:

ARES Net *NEW TIME* – 7:30PM, Each Tuesday, 147.06 repeater

February 6 – SCARS Tech/General Class BEGINS –

February 10 – SCARS Monthly Meeting –

The Doctor Is In

The Doctor’s Latest Podcast is titled
Automatic Gain Control

The Doctor sez:
“This little-discussed receiver feature preserves your sanity, and so much more!

Listen to it here-> The Doctor Is In Podcast

The Doctor’s Homepage is here: The Doctor Is In

This Week’s ARRL Letter

Most Recent Headlines:

Read it all here: ARRL Letter

ARRL DX Bulletin

DX Bulletin 6 ARLD006
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT February 1, 2018
To all radio amateurs

ARLD006 DX news

This week’s bulletin was made possible with information provided by
WB0TEV, The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest
Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites.
Thanks to all.

VIET NAM, 3W. Chuck, W0DLE is QRV as 3W9DLE from Ho Chi Minh City
until April 30. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB and FT8.
This includes being entries in the upcoming ARRL DX and Russian DX
contests. QSL direct to home call.

BOUVET, 3Y. A group of operators will be QRV as 3Y0Z until February
28. Activity will be on 160 to 2 meters with multiple stations
using CW, SSB, RTTY, and FT8, with EME on 6 and 2 meters. QSL via

SAMOA, 5W. Dick, AD7AF will be QRV as 5W0LR from February 4 to 22.
Activity will be on 40 to 15 meters, and possibly 80 meters, using
primarily CW and FT8 with some SSB, depending on band conditions.
This includes being active in the upcoming ARRL DX CW contest. QSL
direct to home call.

BAHAMAS, C6. Operators Tim, N4UM, Bob, N4BP and Mike, K4RUM will be
QRV as C6ARU, C6AKQ, and C6AUM, respectively, from Great Abaco
Island, IOTA NA-080, from February 6 to 20. Activity will be on 160
to 6 meters with a focus on CW, and the upcoming CQ WPX RTTY and
ARRL DX CW contests. QSL direct to home calls.

COMOROS, D6. Giovanni, IK5BCM, Giuseppe, IK5CBE and Giovanni,
IK5CRH are QRV as D68I until February 10. Activity is on 80 to 10
meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via IK5CRH.

PHILIPPINES, DU. Chris, F4EBK is QRV as DU3/F4EBK from Baliuag on
Luzon, IOTA OC-042, during the month of February. Activity is on
20, 15 and 10 meters using SSB. QSL to home call.

ESTONIA, ES. A number of amateur radio operators are active with an
ES100 prefix until March 31 to mark the 100th birthday of the
Estonian Republic.

SOLOMON ISLANDS, H4. Bernard, DL2GAC is QRV as H44MS until May 2.
QSL to home call.

ITALY, I. Various members of the Amateur Radio Club of United
Nations Global Service Centre are QRV as 4U13FEB from Brindisi until
March 31 to promote United Nations World Radio Day. Activity is on
various HF bands. QSL via 9A2AA.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA, P2. Haru, JA1XGI is QRV as P29VXG from New
Britain Island, IOTA OC-008, until February 7. Activity is on 160,
80, 40, 30 and 20 meters. QSL to home call.

PALAU, T8. Mitsuhiko, JL3WXS is QRV as T88XS from Koror Island,
IOTA OC-009, until February 5. Activity is on 160 to 6 meters using
CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL to home call.

MALI, TZ. Youma is now QRV as TZ5YL. She has been active on 17
meters using CW. QSL to home call.

BELIZE, V3. Victor, WB0TEV and Scott, KK7JS will be QRV as V31VP
and V31CQ, respectively, from Blackman Eddy from February 8 to 12.
Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters. This includes being active as
V31VP in the upcoming CQ WPX RTTY contest. QSL to home calls.

ST. KITTS AND NEVIS, V4. Bernie, W3UR is QRV as V47UR from St.
Kitts, IOTA NA 104, until February 12. Activity is holiday style on
160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and some FT8 from grid square FK87.
QSL via NR6M.

CANADA, VE. Pierre, VE3KTB and Alex, VE1RUS will be QRV as VY0ERC
from Nunavut, Ellesmere Island, IOTA NA-008, from February 4 to
April 1. Activity will be in their spare time mostly on 40 and 20
meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via M0OXO.

KOSOVO, Z6. Station Z60A is QRV on the HF bands. In addition,
Z61DX has been active on 20 meters using CW and SSB at various
times. QSL via OH2BH.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO. The AM Rally, NRAU 10-Meter Activity
Contest, NCCC RTTY Sprint, QRP 80-Meter CW Fox Hunt, NCCC CW Sprint,
Vermont QSO Party, 10-10 International SSB Winter Contest, Mexico
RTTY International Contest, Black Sea Cup International, F9AA CW
Cup, Minnesota QSO Party, FYBO Winter QRP Sprint, AGCW 80-Meter CW
Straight Key Party, British Columbia QSO Party, FISTS Winter Slow
Speed CW Sprint and North American CW Sprint will certain keep
contesters busy this upcoming weekend.

The RSGB 80-Meter Club SSB Championship is scheduled for February 5.
The ARS Spartan CW Sprint is scheduled for February 6.

The CWops Mini-CWT Test, UKEICC 80-Meter SSB Contest, Phone Fray and
QRP 40-Meter CW Fox Hunt are scheduled for February 7.

The ARRL International Grid Chase runs during all of 2018.

Please see February 2018 QST, page 87, and the ARRL and WA7BNM
Contest Web Sites for details.

Always Latest version at the top here:  ARRL DX Bulletin

Amateur Radio Newsline




NOTE: The “SCRIPT” and “AUDIO” above are hotlinks. Click to either to “read” or “listen”!

Live links, Script, and Audio here: Amateur Radio Newsline – Latest News

Ham Nation


Episode 336’s highlights:

“QuartzFest 2018,
Pineboard diagrams,
how Alexa can help you in this hobby,
dealing with interference,
and more!”

The last half-dozen or so episodes are linked right here: Ham Nation

Go watch!

 Odds and Ends

Upcoming Hamfests within 250 miles

Link below lists all the ARRL-related hamfests within a 250 mile drive of Norman for about the next 5 months. Lots of good ones close to Norman.

As always, News, Links, Repeater Info, Hamfests, Licensing, General Help & more linked from the sidebar at the SCARS Homepage – W5NOR.ORG !!!

73 de Gary, WB5ULK …_._

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