into the voice of the Association,
kHz at 2300Z
"The purpose of this event is to test Amateur Radio Station equipment, antennas, and computers prior to this year's Hurricane Season, which starts June 1 and runs through November 30," said WX4NHC Amateur Radio Assistant Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R. "This event is good practice for ham radio operators worldwide as well as National Weather Service (NWS) staff to become familiar with Amateur Radio communication available during times of severe weather." The station also takes advantage of the test to perform operator training.
The annual Station Test is not a contest or simulated hurricane exercise. WX4NHC will make brief contacts with participating stations to exchange signal reports and basic weather data. For example, stations may report "sunny" or "rain" or "cloudy" in describing the conditions at their locations.
Ripoll said WX4NHC will be active with various modes on HF, VHF, and UHF, as well as 2 meter and 30 meter APRS, and it will be available via Winlink (subject line must contain "//WL2K"). "We will try to stay on the Hurricane Watch Net frequency of 14.325 MHz most of the time," he said.
WX4NHC also plans to be on the VoIP Hurricane Net from 2000 until 2100 UTC (IRLP node 9219; EchoLink WX-TALK Conference node 7203). In addition, the station will be active on South Florida VHF and UHF repeaters.
Supports" Petition to Drop 15 dB Restriction for Amateur Amplifiers
"The Petition proposes relief that is in the nature of eliminating unnecessary regulatory underbrush, and it continues an effort started by the Commission on its own motion in 2004...to do precisely that," the ARRL said in its comments. "The rule proposed to be eliminated is outdated; it constituted overregulation when it was adopted long ago, and it now substantially limits the flexibility of Amateur Radio operators to experiment with the current generation of software-defined Amateur Radio equipment."
The 15 dB provision came into the rules during an era when the FCC initiated various actions to rein in a major interference problem resulting from the use of illegal 11 meter amplifiers during the Citizens Band radio boom of the 1970s. "In its effort to address that problem, the Commission enacted a series of largely redundant and overlapping regulations that, in their overall effect, unnecessarily (and inappropriately) penalized the wholly innocent Amateur Radio operators," the League asserted. "There was created a plethora of restrictions on manufacturers of external RF power amplifiers."
The ARRL noted that while the FCC eliminated some of the unnecessary regulations in 2004, others remain, including the 15 dB gain restriction. The rules adopted in 1978 also called for type acceptance (certification) of manufactured RF power amplifiers operating below 144 MHz, including a 50 W minimum drive power requirement and a ban on amplifiers capable of operation between 24 and 35 MHz.
"Indeed, precisely the same rationale for elimination of the 50 W minimum drive power rule in 2006 applies to the elimination of the 15 dB gain rule for amateur amplifiers," the ARRL said in its comments. "There is no continued justification for retaining the 15 dB gain limitation." Read more..
History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL
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