Content in the TECHNICAL category

Content (e.g. blog posts, information pages, and files/links) about the activities of the RRRA Technical Committee and the equipment/systems they maintain, along with technical topics of general interest.

FCC Formally Adopts Proposals to Remove Amateur 3-GHz Band

On December 17, 2019, the ARRL website reported in an article titled “FCC Formally Adopts Proposals to Remove Amateur 3-GHz Band, Invites Comments":

At its December 12 meeting, the FCC formally adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in WT Docket 19-348 and invited comments on its plan to remove “existing non-federal secondary radiolocation and amateur allocations” in the 3.3 - 3.55 GHz band and relocate incumbent non-federal operations. The FCC said it’s seeking comment on appropriate “transition mechanisms” to make that happen. ARRL has indicated that it will file comments in opposition to the proposal.1

This action by the FCC signals their intent to proceed with reallocation of frequency spectrum in compliance with the MOBILE NOW act which states “the Commission shall make available a total of at least 255 megahertz of Federal and non-Federal spectrum below the frequency of 6000 megahertz for mobile and fixed wireless broadband use”2 and, in Sec. 5.3(a), specifically requires review of the 3.1–3.55 GHz band for reallocation.

ARRL to Oppose Proposal to Eliminate 3.3-3.5 GHz Amateur Allocation

At its December 12 open meeting, the FCC will consider adopting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes to remove the amateur radio 9-centimeter allocation at 3.3–3.5 GHz. ARRL plans to comment in opposition to the proposed action.1

This NPRM, which threatens our use of the 24 non-shared channels on 3.4 Ghz in our RF mesh network (AREDN)—along with other Amateur Radio use of this band—is the result of the MOBILE NOW Act, reintroduced to the 115th congress by U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, on January 3, 2017, and ultimately signed into law by President Trump on March 23, 2018.

Build The Wouff Hang

An important part of hanging an antenna from a tree is a bearing, or pulley, to eliminate guy line friction and facilitate antenna repairs and adjustments.

The Wouff Hang—whimsically named after the infamous Wouff Hong from Amateur Radio history—is an easy to build bearing made from common PVC water pipe or electrical conduit found at any hardware or home supply store.

Author Roy Lewallen, W7EL, describes construction and use of The Wouff Hang in a well illustrated article which is (a free preview from the October 2019 issue of QST Magazine).

Enjoy FT8 From Almost Anywhere

Having the ability to experiment with operating your equipment in new ways is an aspect of Amateur Radio which sets our hobby apart from radio services such as CBRS, GMRS, FRS, and MURS.

In his Enjoy FT8 From Almost Anywhere article (a free preview from the August 2019 issue of QST Magazine), J. Robert Witmer, W3RW, writes:

Imagine hunting 6-meter DX at a restaurant while eating breakfast, or making an all-time new DX contact while waiting for a flight. I’ve found myself operating remotely in these types of situations, and many others, using nothing more than my smart phone. If you think this type of operating is complicated and expensive, prepare to be surprised1

ARRL Contest and DXCC Rules Now Prohibit Fully Automated Contacts

Following the direction of the ARRL Board of Directors, ARRL has incorporated changes to the rules for all ARRL-sponsored contests and DXCC, prohibiting automated contacts. These changes also apply to the Worked All States (including Triple Play and 5-Band WAS), VHF/UHF Century Club, and Fred Fish, W5FF, Memorial awards. The changes are effective immediately.1