Single Sideband Association
Serving Amateur Radio since 1960
into the voice of the Association,
kHz at 2300Z
History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL
Also in 1979, the FCC issued a Notice of Inquiry on the subject of radio frequency interference (RFI). The great expansion of consumer electronic gear that was susceptible to RFI had led an increase in complaints of interference from hams, largely through no fault of the hams or their equipment.
In the March 1980 issue of QST, VE2AEJ's article, "Observance of Long-Delayed Echoes on 28 MHz" concluded that long-delayed echoes are a result of transmitted signals getting into a natural duct, probably between the E and F layers of the ionosphere, and circling the globe many times before re-emerging. After the explanation of LDEs was set forth, scientists asked for hams to help with reports of their LDE experiences, to better understand the details of the propagation.
As QST articles in the 1980s reflected, the main topics of interest to the amateur community were new antenna ideas -- from simple and inexpensive to large, complex, and very expensive -- the use of new solid state technology in the ham shack, VHF/UHF/microwave equipment and activities, 2 meter FM and repeaters, DXing, contesting, and moonbounce communication.
When microprocessors and microcomputers emerged in the early 1980s, hams began putting them to work. Later, stand alone computers began to be integrated into the stations of hams who were pushing the state of the art. Another area where digital technology helped amateurs was the construction of frequency synthesizers.
In the late 1970s, the Soviet Union's "woodpecker" over-the-horizon (ionospheric) radar had started its strong and annoying peck-peck-peck that slowly swept through the HF amateur bands as well as the allocations of other radio services.
In 1980 the ARRL Board of Directors established a Long-Range Planning Committee, to look far into the future and plan for Amateur Radio to remain strong enough to weather the efforts of other radio services to chip away at our frequency allocations. The LRPC was also tasked to find ways to strengthen the cooperation between Amateur Radio and governmental agencies at all levels.
The Amateur Radio space effort
suffered a huge disappointment in May 1980, when the first attempt to
launch a Phase 3 (OSCAR 9) satellite was unsuccessful. The Ariane launch
vehicle failed right after liftoff, and Phase 3 landed in the Atlantic
Ocean. The AMSAT-OSCAR community regrouped and went to work building
another Phase 3 unit. The ARRL Foundation launched a fund-raising drive
for building the new Phase 3 satellite that was highly successful.
-- Al Brogdon, W1AB
MARS Mulls Adopting New Training Approach, Upping Its Recruitment Game
A new take on training and a growing role in global disaster relief were primary discussion topics at the Army Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) leaders' workshop August 24-26 in Arizona. Behind the official agenda, however, loomed an understated theme: MARS is seeking younger tech-oriented hams -- or potential hams -- and recently retired members of the military to join its corps of seasoned volunteer communicators. Army MARS Headquarters introduced a new national staff officer from the business world to head up that effort -- Kurt Edelman, KF7PDV, of Willcox, Arizona, who holds the title of planning officer.
"We discussed difficult issues, explored new ideas, and shared our successes and shortcomings," Army MARS Program Officer Paul English, WD8DBY, said in summarizing the meeting. "At the end of the day we are stronger and more cohesive than ever."
An official auxiliary within the US Department of Defense, MARS is formed of Amateur Radio operators who volunteer their time and equipment to support emergency communication in the event the Internet and telephone services are disrupted by natural or manmade disaster. The Army, Navy, and Air Force each have branches.
During the August gathering at Army MARS Headquarters station in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, 11 region directors plus national staff officers discussed an innovative instructional methodology, debated eliminating membership qualifications based solely on hours on the air, and pondered marking the auxiliary's 90th anniversary next year with a vigorous recruiting drive.
It wasn't all policy and planning, though. Juanita Portz, the senior contract operator, guided attendees through the battery of military-standard transceivers that continuously monitor MARS and regular Army frequencies for contingency traffic. The leaders checked into an Arizona net and got familiar with military radio models that may turn up on MARS nets down the road.
Edelman briefed leaders on an advanced instructional system that MARS now is eyeing as a possible replacement for current training and participation requirements. Known in the active Army as METL (for Mission-based Essential Task Lists), it replaces traditional generalized basic training with instruction in the specific tasks associated with an individual's duty assignment, and only those. METL could require annual qualification in tasks rather than simply requiring personnel to accumulate a minimum number of hours served. A former vice president in charge of new technology at a Fortune 500 financial firm, Edelman leads a workgroup of region directors and trainers drafting a preliminary METL program, which he expects to deliver as early as 2015.
Wrapping up the meeting was
preliminary discussion on commemorating the 90th anniversary of the
Army's invitation to the ARRL to partner in disaster communication.
Although hams had collaborated with the Army and Navy during World War
I, the Army-Amateur Radio System, launched in August 1925, was the first
permanent amateur-government accord in the US. It became Army MARS after
World War II, and independent Air Force and Navy-Marine Corps branches
soon followed. Read
"The bump in co-sponsors is a direct result of two things: ARRL's letter-writing campaign and the efforts by many ARRL members to meet with their members of Congress and their staffs in person," said Henderson, who has spent the past few weeks collecting additional letters of support from League members to forward to US House members by next week.
Letters directed for forwarding to US House of Representatives members via ARRL Headquarters will be printed beforehand. Henderson explained that this approach speeds delivery, since individual pieces of mail to members of Congress are scanned for threats.
"We have received more than 3000 letters since the bill was introduced," Henderson said, adding that he was not sure how many more might arrive by week's end. "The more noise we make, the better our chances for the bill's passage," he said. Henderson emphasized that a successful outcome requires as many co-sponsors as possible, and letting House members hear from ARRL members in their role as voters and constituents can contribute to making that happen. The current campaign in support of H.R. 4969 only targets members of the US House, since the bill has not yet reached the Senate.
While Congress was on break in August, the League encouraged members to meet with their representatives while they were home on break in their districts, and urge their support for H.R. 4969, Henderson said.
In addition to a list of current co-sponsors, the League's H.R. 4969 page contains information and guidance for clubs and individuals promoting efforts to gain co-sponsors for the measure by contacting their members of Congress. The web page includes a sample letter to a member of Congress and a list of "talking points." Direct letters to H.R. 4969 Letter Campaign, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. If e-mailing your letter as an attachment, include the bill's number, H.R. 4969, in your subject line. Letters may also be faxed to 860-594-0259.
The bill, which was introduced
in the US House of Representatives with bipartisan support in late June,
would call on the FCC to apply the "reasonable accommodation"
three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy to private land-use
restrictions regarding antennas. The bill's primary sponsor is Rep Adam
Kinzinger (R-IL), and it received initial co-sponsorship from Rep Joe
the new Buzzard Roost Certificate
Georgia Cracker Radio Club Newsletters from the past Provided by WA4IQU and ND4XE
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