into the voice of the Association,
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It has been noted of late that this old style HTML webpage is way behind the curve when it comes to current modern webpages. While it served the purpose several years ago when I started it, it is old and dated now with very few modern features. There was an offer from a professional to do a modern, bells and whistles webpage for the Association, but it came with a price the Association could not afford. I am positive that someone out there is capable and willing to take up this project for the Georgia Single Sideband Association. The domain name costs me $25 a year, and I'll be glad to relinquish it to a new webmaster.
Anyone interested in polishing their webpage building skills can contact KE4VPD or KN4QJ, and thanks in advance!
ARRL HF Band Planning Committee Seeks Comments on Recommendations
The ARRL HF Band Planning Committee is seeking comments and suggestions from the amateur radio community on its report to the ARRL Board of Directors. At the Boards January meeting, the committee presented its specific recommendations in graphical form for each HF band and each US license class, with the goal of increasing harmony on the HF bands, particularly between CW and digital users.
In general, the committee is of the opinion that there is justification for additional space to become available for digital modes, as well as for the operation of digital stations under automatic control, the committee told the Board. The very changes in spectrum usage that have required our committees resurgence indicate that digital modes of communication are already increasing in popularity, and the trend is expected to continue or even accelerate. To this end, we have tried to ensure that digital allocations are sufficient for at least a modicum of growth.
The committee also anticipates an increase in automatically controlled digital stations (ACDS). The report further points to significant use of modern data modes in emergency communication and said its recommendations provide significant support for the evolution and continued relevance of amateur radio. Our failure to adapt to these needs could consign amateur radio to the technological scrap heap, the report said.
The committee was revived last summer to consider conflicts between FT and JT modes and other modes. The panels approach has been to designate distinct assignments for CW, narrowband (NB) data <500 Hz, wideband (WB) data <2800 Hz, and ACDS. For its work, the committee presumed approval of three ARRL petitions to the FCC: RM-11708 (WT Docket WT 16-239 symbol rate proceeding), RM-11759 (80/75 meter allocations), and RM-11828 (enhanced Technician privileges). The committee also assumed that users can agree to sharing arrangements within a given allocation narrowband versus wideband sharing within the ACDS allocation, for example. It also took into consideration how mode usage is regulated or planned elsewhere in the world.
In terms of mode classes, the committee agreed on CW, NB data, WB data, NB with ACDS, and WB with ACDS. The committee said it considered these mode classes incompatible and that they should not have overlapping allocations, with the exception of CW, which is authorized within any amateur radio allocation. The committees approach would maintain the existing low-end 25 kHz CW-only sub-bands for exclusive use by Amateur Extra-class licensees.
The panel encouraged CW identification and a listen-before-transmitting protocol for ACDS, if feasible. It also decided that a single allocation for ACDS without regard to bandwidth would be the best approach. We note that this will put responsibility on the digital community to hold an effective dialog on the issue and to then self-regulate the users of this segment to adhere to the eventual agreement. A need for flexibility in allocations is desirable, the committee said, and considered whether allocations might be time-of-day or time-of-week dependent, for example.
Modern amateurs must expect to adapt to this kind of fluid assignment of spectrum to incompatible uses, using time-based sharing, rather than only a single assignment, the committee said, expressing the hope that as band plan/sharing agreements are reached that they consider the advantage of non-simultaneous sharing possibilities.
Reiterating the position ARRL has taken in recent FCC filings, the committee said it sees encryption and open-source enforcement matters as being outside the scope of the Band Planning Committee.
The Committee would like comments by February 19.
Undersea Expedition Planned to Retrieve Titanics Radio Gear
The company with sole rights to salvage artifacts from the RMS Titanic has gone to court to gain permission to carry out a surgical removal and retrieval of the Marconi radio equipment on the ship, a Washington Post article reports. The Titanic sank in 1912 on its maiden voyage after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic. As the radio room filled with water, radio operator Jack Phillips transmitted, Come at once. We have struck a berg. Its a CQD, old man, and other frantic messages for help, using the spark transmitter on board. CQD was ultimately replaced with SOS which Phillips also used as the universal distress call. The passenger liner RMS Carpathia responded and rescued 705 of the passengers.
As might be expected, the deteriorating Marconi equipment is in poor shape after more than a century under water. The undersea retrieval would mark the first time an artifact was collected from within the Titanic, which many believe should remain undisturbed as the final resting place of some 1,500 victims of the maritime disaster, including Phillips. The wreck sits on the ocean floor some 2 1/2 miles beneath the surface, remaining undiscovered until 1985.
A just-signed treaty between the UK and the US grants both countries authority to allow or deny access to the wreck and to remove items found outside the vessel. This momentous agreement with the United States to preserve the wreck means it will be treated with the sensitivity and respect owed to the final resting place of more than 1,500 lives, British Transport and Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said in a statement.
The request to enter the rapidly disintegrating wreck was filed in US District Court in Eastern Virginia by RMS Titanic, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia, which said that it hopes to restore the Titanic radio transmitter to operating condition, if it is allowed to go forward.
The company plans to use a manned submarine to reach the wreck and then deploy a remotely controlled sub that would perforate the hull and retrieve the radio equipment.
History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL
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