The FCC has proposed to revise the Amateur Service Part 97 rules in response to the ARRL's so-called "Symbol Rate" Petition for Rule Making (RM-11708), filed in late 2013, and it has invited comments on its recommended changes. The Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in WT Docket 16-239, released on July 28, had been making the rounds at the FCC since May. ARRL had asked the FCC to change the Part 97 rules to delete the symbol rate limit in §97.307(f) and replace it with a maximum bandwidth for data emissions of 2.8 kHz on amateur frequencies below 29.7 MHz.
"We believe that the public interest may be served by revising the Amateur Service rules to eliminate the current baud rate limitations for data emissions, consistent with ARRL's Petition, to allow Amateur Service licensees to use modern digital emissions, thereby furthering the purposes of the Amateur Service and enhancing the usefulness of the service," the FCC said in its NPRM. "We do not, however, propose a bandwidth limitation for data emissions in the MF and HF bands to replace the baud rate limitations, because the rules' current approach for limiting bandwidth use by amateur stations using one of the specified digital codes to encode the signal being transmitted appears sufficient to ensure that general access to the band by licensees in the Amateur Service does not become unduly impaired."
The ARRL staff was still reviewing the NPRM at publication deadline, and we will report further on this proceeding.
Published with permission of the ARRL. Copyright 2016 Amateur Radio Relay League, Inc.
Recently, the FEMA Region IV RECCWG members formed an auxiliary communications working group to improve the relationship between agencies at all levels and its auxiliary communications volunteers. Steve Waterman, K4CJX, a RECCWG member, was asked to chair this working group. Although the FEMA Region IV RECCWG working group has only recently formed, its members have already identified the following objectives:
Provide a model plan of action for agencies at all levels who wish to enhance their staff by adding non-paid, qualified auxiliary communications (AuxComm) volunteers. This would include mainly, but not exclusively, interested Amateur radio operators local to these civil organizations, and their critical infrastructure partners. It would include sample county and State operations plans that includes ongoing participation of these volunteers in a meaningful way.
Promote the education of auxiliary communication volunteers through inclusion of FEMA on-line NIMS courses, specific agency “101” training, and relevant classroom courses such as ICS-300, COML, the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) AuxComm course, and periodic exercises. The objective is to familiarize the auxiliary communications volunteer with the NIMS Incident Command System (ICS) process, and how the supported agency/office works within the ICS framework.
Define productive ways in which AuxComm volunteers may interact with agencies, including County “Reserve” groups, ARRL ARES groups, Ham Clubs, and others that can be brought into the methodology of the soliciting agency. In other words, define common processes that can be devised to enhance a smooth working relationship between AuxComm groups and the organizations they wish to support. Establishing and maintaining relationships between agency personnel and the AuxComm Volunteers is the key to effective support;
Define obligation and liability issues for both Agencies and AuxComm volunteers.
Define services needed by the agency wishing to utilize AuxComm support. There are several pathways in which these groups may be able to provide effective communications transport layers for these agencies where and when needed. Example: deploying the use of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Communications Coordinating Shared Resource program (NCC SHARES), MARS, use of the Amateur Radio Spectrum under Part 97, and the agency’s own FCC Public Safety spectrum, etc.
Determine an effective method of disseminating the findings and material resulting from the working group's efforts, which will benefit those who are not now deploying AuxComm personnel.
Seek out examples of successful statewide and regional amateur radio programs in order to incorporate best practices and improve standardization nationally.
This RECCWG Working Group has a diverse membership including representatives form State emergency agencies, ARRL leadership, FEMA Regional staff, AuxComm instructors, Statewide Interoperable Communications coordinators (SWIC0, I.T and Tribal representatives. As this FEMA Region IV RECCWG Working Group progresses, it will provide further information. If you would like information about this group or the FEMA Region IV RECCWG please contact Donnie Monette, [email protected].
Republished with permission from the FEMA Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Group (RECCWG) Newsletter.
If you use Winlink, or correspond regularly with someone who does, please donate to ARSFI. By giving $25 each year you will do your part to keep this important system running. Donations are tax-deductible by US federal taxpayers. A donation is always the best way to say "thank you" to Winlink volunteers!
The Winlink radio email system and software are built, maintained and supported entirely by volunteers.
Victor D. Poor, W5SSM (SK)
Rick Muething, KN6KB
Lee Inman, K0QED
Phil Sherrod, W4PHS
Steve Waterman, K4CJX
Tom Lafleur, KA6IQA
Lor Kutchins, W3QA
Neil Hughes, VE1YZ
Don Trotter, VE1DTR
Phil Sutherland, VK6KPS
Scott Miller, K6SKM
Mike Burton, XE2/N6KZB
Kevin Hedgepeth, NB7O
Tom Whiteside, N5TW
Gerhard Kmet, OE3ZK
Michael Kastelic, OE1MCU
Don Moore, KM0R
The entire Winlink system is dedicated to the volunteer Gateway Station Sysops who support and run the thousand-plus stations around the world. Without them, Winlink would not exist. Be sure to write with generous thanks to the sysops who provide your service ([email protected]).
Volunteers attend daily to the Winlink web site, e-mail groups, tutorial groups, nets, user registrations, access rights, RMS servers, catalog and bulletin updates, and much more. The Winlink Team also receives generous technical input and contributions from authors and developers. We thank the following outstanding contributors for their dependable, invaluable and prominent services and superior work products. Bravo!
Don Felgenhauer, K7BFL
David W. Barrow III, N9UNR
Bud Thompson, N0IA
John Wiseman, G8BPQ
Ron Knaggs, N1GYX (SK)
Rick Frost, K4REF
Bill Kuechler, N9ACQ
The 2015-16 Platinum Club Gateway Sysops on-air in 2000, on-air today!
Martin Spreng, HB9AK
Grady Williams, K6IXA
Eric Simmons, KB6YNO
California Yacht Club Radio Amateur Group, K6CYC, and Eric Oistad, KF6DZT
Jerry Curry, KL7EDK
Joel Michello, KQ4ET
Bud Thompson, N0IA
Rudi Wendrinsky, OE4RYC (SK) Operated RMS OE4XBU
John Burke, W7BO
San Diego Yacht Club Amateur Radio Group, W6IM, and Rod McLennan, W6MWB