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PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:

Steven E. Matda (KE4MOB) on May 5, 2003
View comments about this article!

Imagine the following: You walk over to your HF and turn it on. On 80 meters, there is static interference kind of like spark plug RFI. So you go to 40 meters. It's still there. On to 20. Still there, too. And 10 meters is noisy as well. So you turn the radio off and decide to wait until the noise level drops. You come back in a few hours, but it's still there. It's there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can't hear anything on any band except for the the ratt-a-tatt-tat-ratt-tatt of some sort of signal. You decide to get in the car and try to DF it. No luck, it's everywhere.

Congratulations (or condolences)... you have found PLC.

PLC is short for Power Line Communications... a new way to provide broadband internet over the existing power lines. Unfortunately, it also has the potential to render wide swaths of HF spectrum useless due to RFI. It poses perhaps more of a threat to the future of ham radio communications than any other in recent memory. Basically, it superimposes a broadband (up to 80 MHz) signal along side the standard 60 Hz power line signal. Now think about it... how many times have you looked up thought "If I could only use the power company's line as an antenna" and you can see the possibilities that emerge. Antennas that are miles long, mounted high in the air, radiating RF all the way up to 80 MHz. Not a fun possibility for ham operators, is it?

One would think that other users of the HF spectrum (the US government in particular) would object to such interference and that saner heads would prevail. However, in a recent ARRL article it was reported:

"The FCC has declared BPL [FCC shorthand for PLC] as a top priority for its Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) in 2003. [Michael] Powell, who recently witnessed a BPL demonstration, calls its potential "immense." As the [FCC] chairman sees it, BPL "can offer consumers freedom to access broadband services from any room in their home without need to pay for additional wiring, by simply plugging an adapter into an existing electrical outlet."

Currently, the FCC is investigating the feasibility of PLC in the US, but the aforementioned quote leads one to believe the FCC is more attuned to the PLC companies than they are to the incumbent users of the spectrum. In Japan, where PLC systems have been in operation, amateurs complained so much about the RFI that the PLC companies were forced to place 30 dB notches in the PLC frequencies to protect the amateur allocations. Perhaps this is an avenue that bears investigation in the US. When (and if) a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is issued by the FCC, I would urge all amateurs on HF to make their voices heard... before ours are silenced by PLC.

73 to all,
Steve Matda, KE4MOB

Editor's note:

More information on PLC can be found at:
http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/

The complete NOI is now available on the FCC Web site. The FCC now is accepting electronically filed comments via its Electronic Comment Filing System ECFS Express page. This can be accessed via: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. Specifically, http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/upload_v2.cgi Then type 03-104 on line 1. -- ed

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by AB5XZ on May 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have read some of the material on PLC, and it worries me. Here's why:
a. The demonstrations (in UK, Japan, Scandinavia) have been consistently bad for weak-signal (ham) reception.
b. The demonstrations of PLC have been conducted during a Solar Minimum, without consideration for what HF communication will sound like during a Solar Maximum (say 6 years from now).

I predict that the FCC will protect AM MW broadcast (550-1600 KHz) from interference due to PLC.

I also predict that HF ham radio and SW broadcasting will die a slow and painful death. SW broadcasters can increase power by many KW, but 30-40 dB? I think not.
Hams (in the US) are stuck with a limit of 1500W PEP, and we'll be sunk. Hams in countries with lower power limits will sink even sooner.

When we have a lot of sunspots, you can sometimes (figuratively) hear a pin drop around the world on HF.
Imagine what that will be like with the industrialized nations using their power grids for unintentional radiators in the spectrum 1.8-80 MHz!

We (technology users) ignore the sunspot cycle at our peril. Consider the Third Reich's nifty 28 MHz communication system, used in North Africa by Rommel. The system was designed and tested during a solar minimum, and it worked well for localized communications. Unfortunately, it was deployed in North Africa during a solar maximum, and hams in the US easily overheard the communications - and passed them on to the Pentagon!

I understand Mr. Powell's urge to deregulate everything in sight, open up competition, etc.; they are very progressive. But in a technical sense, this PLC approach is definitely regressive. It will make things worse, not better, for users of frequencies below 80 MHz.

The only blessing I can see is that perhaps PLC will get the power companies to clean up their sloppy power lines and keep their RF to themselves.

73TomAB5XZ
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KC4EOE on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Once in the past, while trying to locate the source of a constant interfering noise, I found it using a common Radio Shack frequency counter. It was the transformer at the pole near my QTH. I could actually walk 30 yards away from it and still detect 60 hertz on the counter and even showed the local Power Company the readings. They replaced the xfmr and problem solved, but this brings up the idea of radio frequencies transmitting constantly over power lines that will surely be a pain in the rear for SWL's and QRP enthusiasts. Going mobile will not solve the problem as long as you are driving and can look out and see power lines. If ALL power lines could be buried underground, that may be a viable solution, but who pays for that? Thats right, you and me, on the next big increase for electricity. All said and done, the big money corporations that want to utilize this new form of commmunications, will do so with the cost being diverted to those who did not want it in the first place. Viva La Revolution
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by PE2URL on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
We had the same threat in The Netherlands.
There has been a test-project and....for local HAM's it wasn't fun at all (and the power lines are underground in residential area's !!).
The good news is that the project has ended and the power-company won't continue PLC (for now).
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by ZS5WC on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If we all complain loud enough and prove our point,
someone has to listen!.
We know it will wipe out all HF comms.-PLEASE US hams-stand together and be counted!.
Otherwise it would spell the end of HF hamming as we know it.
I am, and I am sure many other US hams are too-prepared to fight this Idiotic idea at all cost!.

Voice your complaint to the relative authorities today!.

73 de ZS5WC!
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by K3UD on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting potential situation.

There has been talk at various government levels over the last 12 years concerning universal access to the internet for every household in the United States. The major problems identified early on involved cost, connectivity, and technical complexity.

The main idea was that the more services that local, state, and federal governments could move to the internet and use very high levels of automation, the more they could cut costs and actual human personnel associated with the programs or services.

Concerning cost: Newt Gingrich while he was Speaker Of The House once proposed subsidizing computers, software, and online service for the poor, and some kind of tax credits on these for more middle class people. It never got beyond the talking stages, but a seed was planted.

Concerning technical complexity: This has largely been addressed by the software and hardware manufacturers. While not near the level of present television ease of use, it is approaching the ease of use levels television enjoyed in the late 50s to early 70s when one had to be somewhat technical to cope with adjusting the set, testing and replacing tubes, and dealing with antennas, but it is still not at the level of a consumer appliance.

Concerning connectivity: This has been the main problem. modems are frustrating and slow. Cable and DSL is expensive and limited in access. There seems to be more frustration that only about 45-50% of US households are actually connected to an ISP. It could be that PLC is being seen as the near term solution to the universal high speed connectivity envisioned by those in government who still harbor such thoughts.

Unfortunately, if it causes problems to existing services, well, there is the larger picture to look at, the greater good for the largest number of people.

I don't know if this can be stopped. It seems that the only way might be some legal challanges that tie it up in court before it can be deployed, long enough for a better system to be developed that does not wipe out existing services at HF. In the end, this could be WIFI technology, but bandwidth requirements may impose constrictions at existing services located at the upper end of the spectrum.

Of course, there is always internet coupled worldwide communications via vhf/uhf repeaters using I-link, Echo-link etc. But somehow, not as satisfying.

73
George
K3UD
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W5HTW on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Our voice is relatively small in the grand scheme of things for, despite efforts by ARRL and others to increase ham population dramatically, we remain at roughly three-quarters of a million. In a nation with 200 plus million homes that are potential PLC users, we are a penny in a million bucks. Currently, around half the licensed hams in our nation are restricted from HF anyway, so our effective voice becomes smaller.

There are other factors, too. We (and CB) are the prime users of HF from homes. We could count CAP and MARS but the total users are very small. Government and commercial users of HF will be able to isolate themselves from PLC completely.

There is also the push to move ham radio to the internet. The ARRL's "Hinternet." This PLC scheme fits into that nicely, as it not only makes radio via the internet more feasible, it opsns ham radio to virtually every household in America.

Finally, money talks. Who has the most money? You and I? Or the computer and power companies?

One option, as someone has said, once an NOI is published, is to get a class action suit going. As hams, we are a class, and while we may not could win, we could stall it for a while. This may wind up being our only open course of action.

We should not, though, be resting on our lawyers and waiting. Electronic comment filing is relatively easy and we should all do so. We have that freedom and that right, and we need to exercise it. We can hope, too, that the ARRL will act as a concerted voice and vigorously oppose this as well, for they are our lobby in Washington. I doubt any of our congressional reps will pay much attention to us, for their money comes from the industry, the big contributors, which we cannot be.

Of course, with our congressional folk we can stress our emergency activities, but if we are pressed for details we will learn that "since you're above 80 mhz anyway with all that, why the fuss?"

Turning to AM broadcasting for a moment. The majority of broadcasters maintain AM radio only because they are required to do so under the terms of their licenses. The money-maker is FM, and for some, the sister AM station is a drag on assets. There are a few AM stations, mostly clear channel ones, that make money, but most are automated, with the absolute minimum expenses. This could, in the long run, spell the death of the AM radio band, and to be honest, most broadcasters would welcome that.

As to short wave broadcasters, the majority of US SW stations are not aimed at the US; they are targeting other nations, primarly with religious programming. SWLing could just about cease to exist, but gosh, would the FCC care?!

As someone said, a positive note would be that the power companies would have to clean up their lines. In this rural area line noise is frequently S6 or better, for days in a row, until a very rare rain washes some of the dust off the insulators. A day later it returns to S6 plus. But cleaning the lines up would be useless if they were cleaned up so they could transmit an S9 signal! Like getting a shiny quarter for a dull dollar.

Write and complain. Clubs can carry a bit more weight with your state representative, perhaps, but we have an individual voice, albeit a small one, in the FCC's commentary section. Sitting by and letting George do it will only result in another - and major - nail in the amateur radio coffin.

73
Ed
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by K0BG on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This has ceased to be a marketing decision by some money-hungry utility, and is soon to be a full fledged war. Except, the first battle will be the only one we can fight, because once this thing gets started, it'll be all but impossible to get rid of. In other words, start writing those letters now!

Alan, KØBG
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by K3IVB on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I know that after having FIVE (5) solid years of 20dB over line noise with calls to every government official in my reach, having relief only when it rained, I will put my radios away forever if PLC comes true. It simply will not be fun to play radio anymore. The power company never did find the noise problem, a ham friend of mine did with a am radio and luck. Turns out it was a grounding strap that was arching over in dry weather, took the power company about ten minutes to fix the problem by simply increasing the distance between the ground brand and the transformer holding brackets! If the power company couldn't or wouldn't fix that problem, this PLC is our undoing for sure!
 
HF is doomed  
by KF6IIU on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I think a lot of the equipment will be run by an additional, new company with its own new dstribution network, with the internet brought onto the secondary (the low volatge side of the transformer) for the "last quarter mile". My power company doesn't even have the staffing level or expertise to solve routine RFI problems. This is PG&E, where 10,000 lose service in a 1/4" rain storm. I can't imagine them running an internet company.

Even if only 1/10th of the houses in the neighborhood subscribe, it will be a disaster, even now the light dimmers in a house three doors down, which is unfortunately on the same secondary as I am, interfere with me at S3 to 5 levels. During the day, it's S5 to S9 from a arcing, leaning PG&E pole across the street. I cannot operate except at night, when the people in the house with the dimmers are asleep.

I was planning to buy a new rig to update my old FT-101 boat anchor, but why bother, HF is doomed.
 
RE: HF is doomed  
by KA4KOE on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I want to know what would happen if someone just happened to fire up a 1.5 KW transmitter with a beam and point it at the nearest distribution line?

P
 
RE: HF is doomed  
by WB2WIK on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think there's anything technically prohibiting an amateur experimenter from using the power lines for our own purposes -- or if there is, it's little-known.

I'd be very tempted to put 1500W RF into my local power lines, via my own service panel and a big high-pass filter that passes 1.8 MHz+ and has great attenuation at 60 Hz. Might be kind of fun to say, "antenna here is 3000 miles of wire, with all sorts of stuff hanging off it..."
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N3NL on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This technology can be a giant problem for short wave
listeners, CB operators, amateur radio astronomers, as
well as amateur radio operators. Take for example,
the Radio JOVE project where students listen to
Jupiter emissions on 20 MHz with radio receivers they
build from kits. This project will be jammed by the
PLC/BPL technology.
The best answer to this problem is to write your own
comments to the FCC in ET Docket No. 03-104. Write
several pages of details about the technical problems
with BPL. Go to www.fcc.gov and communicate your
comments. Also contact your ARRL director and ask
for vigorous action by them to protect ham radio.
73, Nickolaus E. Leggett, N3NL
nleggett@earthlink.net
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by WA0ZZG on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
One person had the right idea. Inteference will
be a two-way street. PLC should be controlled under
part-15. Amateur Radio is still a licenced service
and takes priority over part-15 devices. We, unfortunately, may have to force an issue with the
subscribers.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W0JOG on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The pity is, friends, that when you begin to hear about such a "proposal," it is likely already al done deal. Particularly when it involves the clout of the Utilities Industry and the compromised regulatory powers of an FCC with Colen Powell's son as chair, thanks to the Republican administration.

Likely there is nothing left to do but watch the wheels turn and the government fill the boxes, dot the "i"s, cross the "t"s and enjoy the perks.

Alas, this is how The Brave New World works. Been there, watched it happen.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by G3SEA on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

The first paragraph scenario quoted by KE4MOB is already being experienced by many hams from interference sources other than PLC.

If this PLC problem becomes prevalent the option may be the old maxim : " If you can't beat em' then join em ' resulting in a subsequent mass exodus to EchoLink :)
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KA4KOE on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
A question: If the Amateur Radio Spectrum Protection bill becomes law, how will it tie in with PLC rendering that spectrum useless?

Philip
 
Just think "positive"  
by OK1FOU on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This PLC stuff sounds seriously dangerous.

Instead of complaining (which turns complainers unpopular), why not write a nifty article overexaggerating the freedom of access to broadband in a way like "power lines, not designed to carry high frequency signals, are very good transmitting antennas; just imagine: you could receive signals of any broadband network in your vicinity distributed by PLC, you could read anyone's emails transferred over these lines without any need for password..." etc.

Give this idea enough publicity and I bet, in the recent paranoic atmosphere, someone will be afraid enough to go and stop it!

If you felt your arguments were not strong enough, look for articles describing real-time GSM decoding by brute force attack (unauthorized, that is), requiring only 73 GB disk and 1 GHz CPU (I recall one written around 1998, but have no idea any more in which magazine it was).



73 Jindra
OK1FOU
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KG6AMW on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I just checked out the comments filed under Docket 03-104, there are 60 comments, 59 against PLC and 1 for. Most of the comments are about a paragraph in length. I submitted about a page and a quarter this morning. The process is not difficult, just go to http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/ and do it.

KG6AMW
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KC4EOE on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
w0jog wrote "The pity is, friends, that when you begin to hear about such a "proposal," it is likely already al done deal. Particularly when it involves the clout of the Utilities Industry and the compromised regulatory powers of an FCC with Colen Powell's son as chair, thanks to the Republican administration."

>>Since you choose to make this a political forum, I believe that it is the Democratic Liberals who are behind this whole scheme, since you guys are always whining about wanting everything YOUR way. Just look who is behind the anti-gun, pro-choice and other lame thought legislation.<<

 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by WA4MJF on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
NTIA is not for it, if a way for HF
radio to co-exist is not found.

Remember, Mike's father heads the Dept of State
which uses a LOT of HF.

So the Executive Branch has come out, in a nutshell,
It is ok as long as it does not interefere with
existing HF comms.

See the NTIA's web site www.ntia.gov for
further info.

73 de Ronnie

 
Facts please!  
by K5DVW on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Can someone please cite an engineering study where this PLC was demonstrated to interfere with HF radio and to what degree. Before I blindly write a letter to the FCC I'd like the facts one way or the other.
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by AD7DB on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I just checked at www.arrl.org. This thing should be front page news over there. I don't see a thing about it. Where's the ARRL when you need them? I'm sure this can't be something they like at all.
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N3NL on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
For K5DVW: ARRL web site has engineering data on
this issue. Also there are numerous overseas web
sites (including those in Japan) which have detailed
data. For a listing of these sites access 03-104 on
the FCC Electronic Comment Filing System and click
the second "brief comment" button at this comment:
Proceeding: 03-104 Type Code: CO Date Received/Adopted: 05/05/03 Date Released/Denied:
Document Type: COMMENT Total Pages: 9
File Number/Community: DA/FCC Number:
Filed on Behalf of: Zachary D Little
Filed By:
Attorney/Author Name: Document Date:
Complete Mailing Address:
1624 Bell Hollow Road

Hillsboro, OH 45133
Brief Comment Brief Comment
Mr. Little's second "Brief Comment" lists numerous
web sites with detailed engineering data. The ARRL
data is at the URL:
http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/
Have a good day and best DX while it lasts.
Nickolaus E. Leggett, N3NL
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio: Reply
>by AD7DB on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
>I just checked at www.arrl.org. This thing should be
>front page news over there. I don't see a thing about >it. Where's the ARRL when you need them? I'm sure >this can't be something they like at all.

The ARRL information on this subject has been featured in several stories on its web page. The resource page is at:

http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc

This page is intended as a general resource that will get the amateur studies into the hands of the PLC industry. They have been claiming that there have been no reports of interference from the PLC field trials.

When you need them, ARRL is there and, IMHO, this is the big one! :-)

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N6AJR on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Lets get those annoying home owners associations in on this. It will degrade the neighborhoods and there are restrictions on antennas in most new neighborhoods so these cease becoming power lines and now become illegal antennas.

I think the power company should stay in the power business and the radio folks should do radio. There is satilite tv and radio, and cable and over the air and who know what else. now we are going to intentionally modulate hi power with hi frequencies, that should cause the folks who worry about gene damage from 60 cycle power line to line up in droves for rf modulated power lines. Wow, you can get irradiated with 220 KV at 80 mhz , that ought to cook your brain..

I hope some one out there has some sense. They got rid of Cfc's for the ozone, lets get rid of this for internal human warming, and it will probably cause problems with the ozone too.. 73 tom N6AJR
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W2VD on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The author writes:
"You can't hear anything on any band except for the the ratt-a-tatt-tat-ratt-tatt of some sort of signal. You decide to get in the car and try to DF it. No luck, it's everywhere."
Hmm, sounds like hamming and SWLing here in NYC!
73 de Mike, W2VD
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by WS4V on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
But the question is will our HF transmissions affect these broadband connections in the households? If someone is using a BPL connection using an adaptor to be on the internet wouldn't a local, strong HF signal from a ham/CB/etc. completely disrupt or "QRM" the incoming BPL signal off the powerline?
If so, then both cannot exist. So many would complain about their sporadic internet connections that the system would fail.
And, as licensed radio operators, we have every right to transmit.
Also, I'd imagine AM broadcast would be majorly affected. The AM stations would protest this..believe me.
Also, many places still use 49mhz intercoms systems. The baby monitor business would cause an uproar as most of them use 40-50 mhz.
What about X10 systems where one can control the lights in the house using a signal over the existing house electrical system. These would be useless.
Alarm systems..would they also not be completely interfered with? Major companies like First Alert and burglar protection companies like ADT would be furious.
The atomic clock industry would be in an uproar since most of these rely on WWV transmissions from Colorado.
If I'm off track or missing the boat here please, someone, correct me.
But, the way I see it, there is too much spectrum usage already. If something is there to threaten it there would be major disruption in many facets of communication...not only ham.
If Japan apparently nixed the idea due to problems then perhaps the same will happen here, too.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KE4MOB on May 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To WS4V Et. Al.:

I might be wrong on this (W1RFI set me straight if I'm off the mark) but our HF transmissions may not make a hill of beans to PLC. Remember, PLC uses HUGE bandwidths..and our 2.3 kHz SSB signal (even though it might be 1.5 kW) might temporarily blind the modem and render some spectrum unavailable, but I'm sure the modem would adapt quite nicely and move the information to a more useable frequency.

Come to think of it...what happens when you have a lightning strike inside of PLC territory (or on the line itself)? That would be high intensity broadband RF and could probably fry a PLC modem. And another thing...I've seen hi-tension lines crackle with static when the air is dry and the wind blows (or glow blue in a fog)...wonder how they are going to get by that?

Interesting, no?

Steve, KE4MOB
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by K9KJM on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"Aim your beam with 1500 watts at the nearest power
line and transmit" to see what happens...... With
over 200 million users, and less than 1 million licensed hams, This will result in a total loss of
all ham frequencies that interfere with the "system"!!!
Once they figure out what is causing the trouble, High
power ham RF (And other services also) will be restricted or shut down completly.
Complain loudly, And often! To the right people,
The FCC! AND your elected federal representatives!
AND your state officials who are involved with emergency amateur radio communications (RACES etc)
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KU4QD on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KC4EOE wrote: >>Since you choose to make this a political forum, I believe that it is the Democratic Liberals who are behind this whole scheme, since you guys are always whining about wanting everything YOUR way. Just look who is behind the anti-gun, pro-choice and other lame thought legislation.<<

Actually, Michael Powell and the majority of the FCC Commissioners are Republicans. Newt Gingrich, a big proponent of this, is also a Republican. I think you'll find most of the oppostion to this is going to come from the Democratic side of the aisle. Whining is not limited to Liberals. You are very good at whining yourself.

Oh, and yes, I am pro-choice. I just checked. You're male. You will never have to face an unwanted pregnancy. You will not become pregnant after being raped, will you? IMHO, you have no right to tell a woman what to do with her own body. When you can carry a child for nine months and go through giving birth I will believe you are qualified to have a say in the abortion issue, but not before then. Oh, and if you want unwanted children to be born, how about some funding for day care, neo-natal care, and all the other things you wonderful non-whining conservatives oppose for poor women?
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KU4QD on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Steve, thanks for posting this. My thanks to the editor for providing links for filing comments as well. I have just filed my comment, stressing the impact on emergency communications and homeland security. Do I think it will make a difference? Honestly, no, I think Mr. Powell and the other Commissioners have their minds made up already. It certainly can't hurt, though, and I hope that I am wrong and my comments and those of other hams will help. I urge everyone to file appropriate comments.

My next step: letters to my representatives in Congress. If nothing else, I am going to make my voice heard.
 
Why I/We shouldn't be worried about this...  
by KD7USN on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Please forgive the nievete of a new technician... but if I understand some of what I'm reading correctly, I don't think we have anything to worry about.

Here are some of my references:

Introduction to Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum -
http://www.maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/appnote_number/1890

The Myth of Radio Spectrum Interference -
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/03/12/1320211&mode=thread&tid=193

The Illusion of Spectrum Scarcity -
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/06/02/1251233&tid=95

There are alot of old SSB and CW Trancievers out there, but if we just switched to other modes that weren't so vulnerable to RFI but operate on the same bands... wouldn't we be just fine?

Again, please forgive a young and not so seasoned amateur. I'm learning more everyday.

-- Joshua Hayworth, KD7USN
 
RE: Why I/We shouldn't be worried about this...  
by KA1EEC on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
if they truly operate as a spread spectrum device, then all we will notice is an increase in the noise floor by five or 10 DB (in other words a huge amount). In theory, if we migrate to spread spectrum type modes, we shouldn't have a problem except for the fact that we don't have enough bandwidth in our HF bands to move to spread spectrum. Some of the digital modes using ODFM modulation techniques might be able to compensate for the noise increase at the expense of running higher power. It would sort of be like yelling louder to overcome the noise in the room at a party which makes other people yell louder until everyone is losing their voice and going deaf.

The articles you refer to about spectrum use assume a set of cooperating, low-power radios. If you assume dumb, high-powered radios, it doesn't work.

It's more appropriate to say that the FCC's fixation with Powerline data service comes out of desperation. They have screwed up competition by buying into the vertically integrated data network model of the phone companies and the cable companies. If instead they had moved to a structural separation model with infrastructure was independent of the service providers, they would not be in this fix today where they're so desperately trying to create competition by infrastructure.

Fortunately, I do believe we have economics in our favor. No amount of wrangling at the FCC is going to change the fact that last mile is a natural monopoly. This means that as you increase the number of competitors, you increase the per subscriber costs. for a given service area, if you sum up the infrastructure costs for each service provider and divide it by the total number of subscribers, you will see that as you increase competitors, the per subscriber cost increases. This is counter to normal economic behavior of increasing competitors results in decreasing costs. What this means is that either costs go up for everybody or someone goes out of business. Let's hope it's the power company's Internet division.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W0JOG on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KC4EOE fires a salvo of assumptions and labeling without getting the point. To be an effective changer of things, you must get out in front of the public announcements. That is, use your head, get and stay informed as to what might happen and get your ducks in a row before the other drake does. Such things as this PLC idea don't happen in an instant. The Utility Industry has been preparing itself to make such things happen for a very long time -- a couple of decades in this technology that I know of. They, by the way, have been using their own lines as a carrier current communications system for a half-century or more. If amateur radio is to earn back the stature it once had on The Hill in the days of Barry Goldwater and other strong presences and advocates, we must find or grow leadership and an organization that is up to the very time consuming, energy sapping and complex job.

Now, I'm not taking a shot at ARRL here either, before you get cranked up again "EOE," just trying to move thought past this "gee, maybe we oughta' send a e-mail," bunch of replies to such messages and see if something effective can grow from it.
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by K6LDX on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If one reads the entire NOI and the Commissioners' individual statements, the original poster's point is right on track: PLC (or BPL as the FCC calls it) IS coming. The commissioners' statements fairly froth with enthusiasm for it.

This NOI does NOT concern a yes/no policy decision on PLC implementation - that decision, in the affirmative, has already been made. The NOI deals mostly with technical questions on how (not whether) to implement it.

I only hope that the burden of proving and implementing noninterference with established licensed services will be placed on the PLC proponents, instead of on the licensed services to prove the opposite. But money talks, and "little guys" like the Amateur Radio Service often wind up trampled upon.

I urge everyone to file comments with the FCC, but make them thoughtful and cogent. Incoherent ranting and unsubstantiated "facts" ("you'll kill HF communications!") will only hurt our case.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N8FVJ on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Proposals like this is the reason I have not removed the obsolete 12' satelite dish in my backyard. I may need it someday.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by ZS5WC on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KD7USN says we have nothing to worry about..
Depends what you want from HF operation-I construct my own rigs-QRP SSB/CW, and would like to remain doing so..
Very few home constructors will be able to throw together digital interfaces for their QRP sets-Is this another commercial ploy perhaps?..
Radio is about weak signal work-signal/noise ratios', IMD-do we all want to operate a Modem with a big brand name on the front-I do not think so!.
Josh, PLC wipes out HF-read the article on the ARRL web page-The commercial guys WILL make believe that it does not interfere-sales talk..
How come no-one has involved the ARRL in independent field trials..-I think they have something to hide and want to sneak it through the legislature-when it has been passed-well then the fat lady has sung!..

Fight with all you can against PLC!.
73 de ZS5WC
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N4DFP on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
There is one comment I don't see here, at least not in expanded detail. What about DSL? DSL has the same potential as PCL, but the phone compampanies won't get off there collective duffs and bring their infrastructure up to speed. The existing local telco infrastructure is on average about 30 years old. Fiber optics have been around for about 30 years. Why are local telcos still using twisted pairs for their distribution network? I asked my local telco about DSL and was told not to plan on it. In cities, 802.11 would work very well under the cellular model, but no one seems to be developing it. There are other options available too, I am sure. PCL is NOT the only game in town.
 
PLC... Maybe one Day the only Sig you RX from EU  
by OE5OHO on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
PLC does harm hamradio operation! either system MAINnet from 4X-land or ASCOM from HB9-land (which both are used in OE-land) is an awful threat to your signal2noise-ratio - you only hear signals stronger than the PLC-noise! OEVSV (austrian amateurradio league) did record the noise ON VIDEO!! Take a look at http://www.powerline-plc.info and go to downloads. Unfortunately the page is written in German, but you sure can listen to and watch the videos... After watching the videos you won´t say anymore "PLC doesn´t hurt us" - i bet!
One day maybe you US-guys will only hear PLC from 160m to about 12m but no ham-sigs from EU.... 73 Oliver, OE5OHO.
 
RE: Why I/We shouldn't be worried about this...  
by W9WHE on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W5HTW writes:

"One option, as someone has said, once an NOI is published, is to get a class action suit going"

This is NOT an option. As hams, we have no vested right to a clear spectrum. The FCC could, at any time, drasticly limit spectrum reserved for the amateur service.

Where there is no "vested protectable right" there can be no class action. Litigation will not work and is NOT the answer.

W6AJR suggests that Home owner associations that prohibit antennas could oppose the Feds and PLC based upon antenna restrictions. Your local HOA generally does not own the power lines, has granted an "easement" to all utillity companies and most importantly, has no power over the Federal government!

Once again, the solution is not litigation!

PLC ***MAY** be the impetus for.....dare I say it...digital HF communications. (Gasp!) PLC and Ham signals could have imbeded markers that EACH can recognize and discriminate against. And nobody gets sued!!!!!

Look to technological solutions...NOT litigation solutions!
 
RE: Why I/We shouldn't be worried about this...  
by KK6DP on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W9WHE writes:

"PLC ***MAY** be the impetus for.....dare I say it...digital HF communications. (Gasp!)"

And because of the noise floor, we could always claim we really do need that 1.5kW to close the link on 10M PSK31! This could be fun!

Don November-Alfa-Six-Zulu (nee KK6DP)
 
RE: Why I/We shouldn't be worried about this...  
by WA4MJF on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Buddy,

Tnx for postin' the NTIA letter.

As all y'all can see they make TWO
references to non-interference to
existin' HF users.

Heck, they don't even won't hams to get
secondary use of 200 kHz on 60 Meters.
NTIA is now very protective of thier
spectrum. Under the previous administration,
they were givin' spectrum to the FCC left and right!

73 de Ronnie
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by K0RGR on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have already filed my brief comments on this matter. Based on the fine work of W1RFI and his counterparts in Europe and Japan, we have a pretty good idea of the potential impact of this. It may not completely wipe out HF operation for everybody, but it will be a serious problem for those of us living in urban and suburban areas where it is not possible to achieve significant physical separation between our antennas and the house or the power lines.

Those with towers greater than 50 feet high should be able to achieve enough separation from the house and powerlines that the effect of a properly installed and operating system would be minimal on the higher HF bands - 40, 80, and 160 would likely still be a problem for all but those blessed with large acreages.

I am an Echolink booster, but never as a replacement for HF! We all need to register our comments. This needs to be seen as just another form of pollution - but instead of drilling for oil in wildlife refuges, they are polluting the public shortwave spectrum.

In my comments, I suggested that they restrict PLC to the 30-50 Mhz. range. Why do they even need to go down into the HF spectrum?

I hope we get a fair hearing, but if we are fighting the energy companies on this, I don't see much hope. The powers that be were put in place by voters who were greatly influenced by money from those energy companies. Anybody remember Enron? They have a broadband Internet business too... Worldcomm? Global Crossing? Somebody is going to try to make billions in the stock market even if this technology never flies.






 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by K0RGR on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I have already filed my brief comments on this matter. Based on the fine work of W1RFI and his counterparts in Europe and Japan, we have a pretty good idea of the potential impact of this. It may not completely wipe out HF operation for everybody, but it will be a serious problem for those of us living in urban and suburban areas where it is not possible to achieve significant physical separation between our antennas and the house or the power lines.

Those with towers greater than 50 feet high should be able to achieve enough separation from the house and powerlines that the effect of a properly installed and operating system would be minimal on the higher HF bands - 40, 80, and 160 would likely still be a problem for all but those blessed with large acreages.

I am an Echolink booster, but never as a replacement for HF! We all need to register our comments. This needs to be seen as just another form of pollution - but instead of drilling for oil in wildlife refuges, they are polluting the public shortwave spectrum.

In my comments, I suggested that they restrict PLC to the 30-50 Mhz. range. Why do they even need to go down into the HF spectrum?

I hope we get a fair hearing, but if we are fighting the energy companies on this, I don't see much hope. The powers that be were put in place by voters who were greatly influenced by money from those energy companies. Anybody remember Enron? They have a broadband Internet business too... Worldcomm? Global Crossing? Somebody is going to try to make billions in the stock market even if this technology never flies.






 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W7JOD on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Any consideration of consumers over big business went out the window when the Supreme Court installed the current administration in office in 2000. It will only get worse...
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This set of calculations should shed some light on this. The present FCC Part 15 limits set a peak limit of 30 microvolts/meter at 30 meters distance from the source, measured in 9 kHz bandwidth. Let's assume that we have a PLC system generating that level signal, an amateur receiver of 2500 Hz bandwidth, a dipole antenna at a reasonable height above ground and the power line is at -20 dBi. If that dipole is located 30 meters from the radiating source, that 30 uV/m level will result in a received signal of -64 dBm -- S9 + 9dB!

These systems WILL radiate at at least a 30 uV/m at 30 meters level, and the laws of physics says that an antenna of 6 dBi gain, reasonable for a dipole over ground, WILL pick up that level signal if it is in a 30 uV/m field. It could be a few dB less, if the pattern of the dipole and the radiation pattern of the power lines don't couple with each other very well, but the ham with a dipole up at a height higher than the power lines will not see any reduction due to patterns.

These are relatively simple calculations, but more sophisticated calculations using NEC-4 give results that are within a dB or so.

There is no doubt that a system operating at the "legal limit" will cause harmful interference to nearby HF users.

For those with a techncial bent, here are the numbers:

Frequency = 7.15 MHz
Receiver bandwidth = 2500 Hz
Peak transmit power in 2500 Hz = -31.2506 dBm
Peal transmit power in 1 Hz = -65.23 dBm/Hz
Transmit spread = 9000 Hz
Transmit antenna gain = -20 dBi
Receive antenna gain = 6 dBi
Distance to receiver = .03 km
Free-space pathloss = -19.1 db
System loss (path loss +/- antenna gains) = -33.1 dB
Total loss (path loss +/- antenna gains - spreading loss) = -38.6 dB
Total peak E field = 30.00 uV/m
Total peak E field = 29.54 dBuV/m
Receive system Noise Figure = 12 dB (includes external noise estimate)
Calculated receive system sensitivity in 2500 Hz bandwidth = -128.0 dBm
Received noise in receiver bandwidth = -64.32915 dBm
Received noise in receiver bandwidth = S9 + 8.7 dB
Receive system noise floor increase in dB = 53.7 dB

Press any key to continue

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Lab
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> Those with towers greater than 50 feet high should be
> able to achieve enough separation from the house and
> powerlines that the effect of a properly installed
> and operating system would be minimal on the higher
> HF bands - 40, 80, and 160 would likely still be a
> problem for all but those blessed with large
> acreages.

Acreage will do it, but with the expected signal levels from PLC being S9 at distances of about 100 feet, one would have to get quite some distance away. That antenna at 50 feet may actually be a bit worse than a lower antenna, because the power lines tend to radiate energy upward.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Lab
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by WS4V on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I had to re-read this article and do some internet searching on this, as well. It worries me to the point that I almost feel like selling all my equipment and forgoing any idea of buying any new equipment.
However, the one or two sentences in the article was read more closely:

"In Japan, where PLC systems have been in operation, amateurs complained so much about the RFI that the PLC companies were forced to place 30 dB notches in the PLC frequencies to protect the amateur allocations. Perhaps this is an avenue that bears investigation in the US"


Perhaps if this does go into effect there will be enough complaints and concerns that the "30 db notches" would be implemented for the amateur frequencies, as well. Does anyone know the fate of Japanese hams today?
I don't know what this really involves but at least there's a potential cure. How much a cure it is I don't know.
Also, I wonder if some additional "filtering" "band pass" etc. technology could be used to reduce the possible interference.
I still believe there would be a great deal of ruckus created by the AM broadcast stations, shortwave stations and other services that use HF over this. Even though the AM band is below 1 Mhz I would imagine it would be close enough to receive interference from BPL.
Has anyone addressed the concern over harmonics produced by this system and the impact that would have on "further frequencies" up the spectrum, as well?
Also, the cost to implement this would be astronomical..would it not? Would all power lines need to replaced or "refined?"
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KA1KI on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If the frequency of PLC extends to 80mhz, what about six meters? Don't forget vhf.
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by K3NG on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KC4EOE wrote: "Since you choose to make this a political forum, I believe that it is the Democratic Liberals who are behind this whole scheme, since you guys are always whining about wanting everything YOUR way. Just look who is behind the anti-gun, pro-choice and other lame thought legislation."

KC4EOE, I'm sad to see this turn into a political debate as well, but it is a fact that the Republican administration is very pro big business and will do little for us amateurs. This is hardly about having it "your way" and has nothing to do with gun or abortion issues.

Here's the commissioners:

Michael Powell, Republican
Kevin Martin, Republican
Kathleen Abernathy, Republican
Michael Copps, Democrat
Jonathan Adelstein, Democrat

Powell (R) has made a statement enthuisiatically supporting this, hinting about the need for light regulation. Michael Copps (D) in his statement actually mentions interference issues and the need to protect existing devices. In Martin's (R) statement, he's seen this work and basically wants to fast track it. Adelstein (D) likes the technology but mentions interference as a concern. Looks like the Democrats have more of a clue regarding interference that the Republican commisioners.

You better work on making the Republican commisioners aware of the interference issues and not just follow the dollars. And where do you think Rush Limbaugh (who I presume you listen to) will weigh in on this issue, with amateur radio operators who (in his eyes) contribute little to the economy, or big business utilities that spur growth and prosperity ? Think about it :-)
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by WD5KCA on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KU4QD "If nothing else, I am going to make my voice heard."

Can you help us understand your methods for having your voice heard so we all can do the same?

-Harold
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KU4QD on May 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Hi, Harold, WD5KCA, and everyone else:

How am I going to make my voice heard? Here are some of my ideas:

1) File cogent, well reasoned arguments with the Commission. I believe I've already done so.

2) Write my Congressman and Senators and express my concerns to them. The FCC can be overruled by legislation.

3) Contact anyone I know who may be potential allies in fighting PLC/BPL who have more clout than amateur radio operators. For examples:

-- I am going to talk to our local EC to see if the county and municipal officials responsible for emergency preparedness are aware of this and the potential impact on their planning and work.

-- I have friends who are conservative Christians. I am going to ask them if they are aware of the potential impact on missions work and international religious broadcasting. Most domestic shortwave broadcasters are religious broadcasters. Missionaries use amateur radio as a lifeline. Conservative Christians are an important base of support for the current administration. If we can generate significant opposition in churches across the country it may well have a strong impact.

-- I am going to contact people I know in the commercial fishing industry. The impact on marine and ship to shore communications (on the shore end) should be of concern to them.

The big thing right now is to find allies who have more influence than we hams do on our own. Look at all the commercial and governmental users of the HF spectrum and see where we can find people whom the administration cannot ignore. It is VERY easy to ignore me, one Democrat who is unlikely to vote for this adminstration. It is VERY hard to ignore the people who put President Bush in office if they get angry enough about this. I am going to pass information, factul information, not hype and hyperbole, on to as many as will listen and be interested in doing something about it.

Now... what can YOU do to make YOUR voice heard?
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by G4PCI on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
one thing you all seem to be missing is that fact the at HF you have long range propagation
so given 1000's of miles of wire carring PLT even at very low power would mean the whole world noise level will rise so if the USA ran PLT very likely that Europe would get QRM fromPLT and also the other way

try the following http://www.rsgb/org/emc/pltnew.htm
George
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W8OB on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
You know guys and girls in spite of all the talk and worry about this, checking the FCC's comment site I see only 89 comments filed on this so far. All but one against it. If some of you guys are just going to sit on your backside and let everybody else do the work ( this is not a repeater were talking about) then if BPL does come to exist, you have nothing to cry about.It only takes 5 minutes or less to file a comment. Go to the ARRL website and get the comment url fill in the short form and enter 03-104 for the doc # and type in your comments. This proposal has the potential of becoming the greatest threat to ham radio ever, and its time to fight back a little for the hobby so many of us enjoy.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> "In Japan, where PLC systems have been in operation,
> amateurs complained so much about the RFI that the
> PLC companies were forced to place 30 dB notches in
> the PLC frequencies to protect the amateur
> allocations. Perhaps this is an avenue that bears
> investigation in the US"

This may be mixing countries a bit. In Japan, the government decided to shelve PLC, at least for now, because they worked with JARL on joint studies and determined that the levels necessary to make access PLC work would cause widespread harmful interference.

After working with ARRL, HomePlug chose to put 30-dB notches in their product specification, to minimize the likelihood of harmful interference. This will NOT eliminate all interference, but will limit it in scope. If your neighbor operates a HomePlug device, you will hear it, probably at S2 to S4, but if the guy up the street gets one, you will not. This is not ideal, but getting them to do 30 dB better than the FCC rules require was a pretty important step.

Does this work out? Actually, it does. In order for you to experience harmful interference from a HomePlug device, an immediate neighbor has to have one and be using it while you want to receive very weak signals. If you are the guy who traditionally exchanges S9+ signal reports, you won't even know it is there. Statistically, most HomePlug devices aren't near hams, and, at least for now, most hams don't have a nearby HomePlug device. With hundreds of thousands of HomePlug systems deployed, we don't have any reports of interference, although one may have just come in. See:

http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/files/HomePlug_ARRL_Dec_2000.pdf

for information about ARRL's work with HomePlug.

So what is different with access PLC? First, there is no standard industry specification, so those notches don't exist. Even if they do put in 30 dB notches, what works for single devices installed in single homes does not work for a system that will be present "next door" to every ham -- on those overhead power lines. Rather than being a local problem, access PLC will occupy entire communities, and more.

There is another difference in kind -- if interference from a single device in a home results from its use, there is a solution: it can be turned off. If a ham experiences interference from an access PLC feeding an entire neighborhood, is this still a practical solution? Will the FCC require that the operator of that unlicensed device do what the rules say and stop causing harmful interference? Would the FCC really want to put itself in that position?

So, will 30-dB notches work to mimimize harmful interference from access PLC? I don't believe so. A simple calculation based on the 30 uV/m field strength permitted to these systems -- and we can be certain that they will be right at the "legal limit" will result in S9+ noise levels to amateur antennas placed 100 feet or so away. Dropping that by 30 dB would still give about a 20-30 dB increase in noise level over the ambient noise. I am not convinced that the level of notching to protect amateur radio is achievable.

And that still leaves all the rest of HF. It is interesting, but a read of the studies on the ARRL web page will show that the ONLY accomodation made by industry (HomePlug, Home Phone Networking Alliance, VDSL) was to notch Amateur Radio. No other service had an organizational approach to try to ensure that their interests were protected. ARRL has worked with each of these industries in turn, ensuring that they put in as much protection for Amateur Radio as we could persuade them to do. I once would have believed that industry would have no regard for Amateur Radio at all, but these experiences, and others, lead me to believe that working productively with industry, with reasonable expectations and demands, is worthwhile.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Lab
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> You know guys and girls in spite of all the talk and
> worry about this, checking the FCC's comment site I
> see only 89 comments filed on this so far. All but
> one against it. If some of you guys are just going
> to sit on your backside and let everybody else do
> the work ( this is not a repeater were talking
> about) then if BPL does come to exist, you have
> nothing to cry about.It only takes 5 minutes or less
> to file a comment. Go to the ARRL website and get
> the comment url fill in the short form and enter
> 03-104 for the doc # and type in your comments. This
> proposal has the potential of becoming the greatest
> threat to ham radio ever, and its time to fight back
> a little for the hobby so many of us enjoy.

I am NOT an alarmist, but I agree wholeheartedly. THIS is the big one, and we should not expect that ARRL can carry this entire ball alone. Every ham has a vested interest here, because even the ham who lives on the mountain and runs his house electrical off solar has something to lose, because he or she will have far fewer folks to talk to.

I am writing an article that will tell hams how to file, and give all the necessary background so they can make informed comments. Expect to see this on the ARRL web page, and reposted on forums like this, sometime next week.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N3NL on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I am NOT a lawyer. Would it be possible to litigate
this issue on the following aspects?
- Impact on severely handicapped amateur radio
operators and shortwave listeners
- Impact on the radio services defined by international
treaties and agreements
- Relative privileges of Part 15 versus licensed
radio services
I suspect that numerous parties will want to litigate
this subject in various ways.
Nickolaus E. Leggett, N3NL
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KE4MOB on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks Ed for the clarification.

While everyone is busy writing letters to thier congressional representatives, be sure to include mention of the "Amateur Radio Spectrum Protection Act" (HR713/S537) which is currently making its way through Congress. This piece of legislation will put hard protections in place for our bands. So write the FCC and voice your opinion on the NOI, and then write your congresspeople and ask that they support HR713/S537.

I think in basketball terms this would be a "full court press"!!

Keep sending those comments and letters!!!

Steve, KE4MOB
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by AB5XZ on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is part of the Department of Commerce. Here are excerpts from a letter that Nancy J. Victory, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, wrote to the FCC Chairman.

"I also urge the Commission to promptly adopt any subsequent rule changes that may be appropriate to facilitate broadband PLC deployment, while ensuring that those rules prevent harmful radio frequency (RF) interference to other communications mediums."

"... The Commission must provide all communications stakeholders with adequate protections against broadband PLC emissions that may cause harmful RF interference."

NTIA also offers to collaborate with FCC in testing and evaluation.

You can find the entire letter at NTIA's web site.

http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/fccfilings/2003/plbletter_04232003.html
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KA1KI on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
An additional comment. If you need to know something of the history (and politics) of the idea, check out this old "Wired" article at http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.11/media.html.

A preemptive piece of legislation was filed, earlier this year, by Rep. Bilirakis (R-FL) to ensure the Amateur Bands remained free of interference. It is HR 713 and is currently languishing in committee due to the "overwhelming support" currently being voiced by the Amateur community.

It seems to me that filing a response with the FCC is akin to rushing to close the barn door after the horse got out. We may have lost our best chance to stop this thing well before comments were asked for.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
N3NL seems to want to litigate. He wonders whether litigation would be successful as to:

#1 "Impact on severely handicapped amateur radio
operators and shortwave listeners". Once again, no vested, protectable interest. Also, no discrimination against a protected handicap. Nope, a looser!

#2 Impact on the radio services defined by international treaties and agreements. So Canada sues the USA in the "world court"? I don't think so.

#3 Relative privileges of Part 15 versus licensed
radio services. Once again, we as hams, have no vested right to a "clear spectrum". Where there is no vested, protectable right, there can be no **successful** litigation.

I WILL SAY THIS AGAIN.
LITIGATION IS ***NOT*** THE ANSWER. YOU CAN'T SUCCESSFULLY SUE MCDONALDS BECAUSE YOU GET FAT. YOU CAN'T SUCCESSFULLY SUE A CASINO BECAUSE YOU LOST YOUR MONEY. STOP THINKING LITIGATION EVERY TIME YOU DON'T LIKE SOMETHING. LIBERAL THINKING LIKE THAT IS JUST WRONG HEADED AND KILLING OUR ECONOMY!

"I suspect that numerous parties will want to litigate
this subject in various ways". I suspect that you are right. I also suspect that ALL such litigants will loose their money!

 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N3NL on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Response to W9WHE. Are you a lawyer? If so, are you
practicing communications law?
I am asking these questions about litigation because
I am NOT a lawyer and need to know authoritative
answers.
Please be assured that I am not very liberal. Indeed,
I belong to the NRA and have voted conservative for
many years. However, I do have the impression that
litigation is sometimes useful.
73, Nickolaus E. Leggett, N3NL
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by K3NG on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
It's great that people are filing comments on the FCC site, but many of these are rather poorly worded one or two sentence comments, with little thought or content. A lot of the comments make us look like uneducated alarmists that haven't actually read the NOI and are responding to a lobbyist flyer.

Please, people, put some effort into this if you're going to file comments. Make it something worthwhile, quote some statements from the NOI, supply some counterpoints, and quote some technical information if you can. Opinions are fine, but elaborate and write eloquently. Filings like "This will wreck my ham radio" do little for our cause. Don't write anything that resembles a silly political stab or resort to name calling. We need to look better than the people filing "Yo, I need better 'net access, dudes" comments.

This isn't intended as a flame troll post -- the quality of our comments filings directly affects our cause. Yes, I haven't filed comments yet, because I'm still writing mine, two pages and counting.....


72/73
Goody
K3NG

 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by HL2KA7OUM on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Two things I note, having read the main article re: PLC..

1) The bandwidth is supposed to be 80 MHz. This sounds like a lot, but it really is not, in comparison to what they are trying to service. Think about this. It would mean a total of 80 Megabit bandwidth. This would cover only 8 subscribers with a 10 Mb connection (I currently have a 10Mb cable connection, and an 8Mb ADSL). The provider would have to have a distribution hub every few blocks to provide better than dialup connection speeds.

2) In the alloted bandwidth, assuming it began above the AMBCB, not only ham and hf SW frequencies are involved, but also the low VHF public service band (30-50 MHz), the 6m ham band, and television channels 2-5, plus the 72-76 MHz business band and the 49 MHz band (I know, technically it's included above) used by many cordless phones, baby monitors, walkie talkies, etc. This thing cuts a pretty wide swath into existing comms. Are they going to trap out all those band segments? I think not.

 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by HL2KA7OUM on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To G4PCI:

The PLC system would not be on the entire power grid, only on small localized neighborhood sections of it. It would need to operate like a telephone exchange (but on a smaller basis due to bandwidth restrictions) or cable TV hub. It would not be on HV distribution lines (I doubt it would ever be on the supply end of a substation).

For one thing, the power losses over any distance would be difficult to overcome. If a signal usable over such a bandwidth were to travel even a mile along bare wire, it would have to start out at a considerable power level. That level would then have to be attenuated to various degrees according to the distance of the customer from the origination point.

In other words, the interference would be localized in nature, though the fact there would be many such distribution hubs would mean that most anywhere you would be, there would be the interference. A little like 100,000 Volkswagon Beetles parked strategically about your town, all emitting their characteristic spark noise.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N1OL on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
We need a help page on how to file comments on BPL, below are some examples;
http://home.wi.rr.com/n9uur/filinghints.html
http://www.ctcnet.org/policy/erate_nprm_faq.htm
http://www.democraticmedia.org/getinvolved/ownershipAction_FCCFiling.html
73s
David
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by K3NG on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
HL2KA7OUM writes : "1) The bandwidth is supposed to be 80 MHz. This sounds like a lot, but it really is not, in comparison to what they are trying to service. Think about this. It would mean a total of 80 Megabit bandwidth. This would cover only 8 subscribers with a 10 Mb connection (I currently have a 10Mb cable connection, and an 8Mb ADSL). The provider would have to have a distribution hub every few blocks to provide better than dialup connection speeds. "

You need to take into account oversubscription, something all ISPs do. This is the practice of overselling the bandwidth, assuming that not all users will be using their alloted bandwidth all the time. The oversubscription ratio for business customers can be up to around 7:1, residential could be anywhere from 20:1 to 50:1. The quality of service obviously gets worse with higher ratios. So, 80 Mb could conceivably serve 1000 residential customers at 1 Mb each, typical cable modem speeds. YMMV applies.

Also, I would imagine they are getting better than 1 bit/hertz.. or perhaps not after they have to deal with all the interference from us :-)

 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by K5NT on May 7, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I'd bet that the Dept. of Homeland Security would be concerned about a possible degrading of our HF communications capability, especially coming when our country is facing the possibility of other terrorist acts.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> 1) The bandwidth is supposed to be 80 MHz. This
> sounds like a lot, but it really is not, in
> comparison to what they are trying to service. Think
> about this. It would mean a total of 80 Megabit
> bandwidth. This would cover only 8 subscribers with
> a 10 Mb connection (I currently have a 10Mb cable
> connection, and an 8Mb ADSL). The provider would
> have to have a distribution hub every few blocks to
> provide better than dialup connection speeds.

Power lines are excellent transmission lines at 50-60 Hz. They are fair transmission lines in the LF region where the utility company uses PLC to control its equipment. They are poor transmission lines at HF and by the time you get to 80 MHz, I would be amazed if the system could work reliably at all.

> 2) In the alloted bandwidth, assuming it began above
> the AMBCB, not only ham and hf SW frequencies are
> involved, but also the low VHF public service band
> (30-50 MHz), the 6m ham band, and television
> channels 2-5, plus the 72-76 MHz business band and
> the 49 MHz band (I know, technically it's included
> above) used by many cordless phones, baby monitors,
> walkie talkies, etc. This thing cuts a pretty wide
> swath into existing comms. Are they going to trap
> out all those band segments? I think not.

It depends. There is no industry standard for access PLC, so some systems use multi-carrier techniques, as does the related HomePlug specification, while others use spread spectrum. After working with ARRL, HomePlug chose to notch Amateur frequencies to avoid the likelihood of harmful interference.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Lab
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W8OB on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
On the QRZ.com forum page there is a link to information about the PLC. Sorry I don't have it right here but anyway...They have a cute little online movie that explains the greatness of PLC. The super salesman dude that is the star of this movie is I think the CEO of some utility organization. If you watch this movie recommended gear is a tall pair of hipboots to prevent getting buried in this dude's BS. He paints a very rosey colored picture of this proposed system while skirting around the RFI issue completely and get this He sez PLC will enable the utility companies to provide faster repair service in the event of outages. He also goes on to say PLC is alive and well in many areas right now. Did I miss something here? Anybody know what areas in the USA are currently running PLC? I thought the whole idea of this proposal to the FCC was to get approval from them to run this system. As usual this movie is simply big business/fat wallet BS. I will say one thing I sure would not want to be at the receiving end of this system if one of the MV interfaces somehow fails and ends up sending 46-78 KV on my line.
This reviewer rates this movie a dozen thumbs down.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To N3NL (Nick):
Yes. But since you don't like my conclusions, why not shell out a few bucks of your own and get a second opinion? Then, come back here and tell us what you find out! We are all eager to learn the results of your efforts.

To: K5NT: I wouldn't count on the Dept. of Homeland Security to rescue Hams from PLC. Our **relative value** is less than many think. The Government has multiple communications networks that are immune to PLC, FAR more reliable than HF, have wider bandwith and are encrypted! In short, they no longer need Hams as much as many Hams think.

The solution is technological. Push to make sure that PLC (if adopted) is imbeded with a marker that DSP can recognize and remove with digital HF phone. Obstructing progress is a looser's game. What we need to do is find ways to co-exist.

If you think that a small minority of government resource users (Hams) can stand in the way of a huge benifit to the great masses....think again. Do you really think that internet providers and their 200 million customers will be forced to spend Billions on duplicating infrastructure (for high speed internet) so that 200,000 Hams can enjoy hobby chit-chat?

We, as hams, have a license to use the government owned spectrum. We DO NOT own the spectrum. The owners (the American people VIA their elected representitives) decide who, when, and how that resource is used.

Killing PLC is a longshot because of the huge economic benifits to the vast majority. Efforts to kill PLC are fine, but SHOULD NOT BE TO THE EXCLUSION OF EFFORTS TO FIND WAYS TO CO-EXIST. Putting all your eggs in one basket (killing PLC) is foolish. So, if you want to oppose PLC, fine. March on Washington, arrange sit-ins, write your elected officials, throw temper-tantrums. My advice is that you ALSO spend some of your efforts on finding ways to co-exist. A little insurance is a good thing.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KE4MOB on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Everybody's argument (either accomodation or the outright banishment of PLC) makes sense. In a worst case scenario of rulemaking, it's sort of like asking a 1000-pound gorilla to move out of your way in a crowded theater. He doesn't have to let you do anything, nor does he have to accept any concessions you may want to make.

In this instance however, there is an opportunity to influence the rules by which the gorilla operates before he even comes in the theater door. If we are lucky, when the gorilla says "no", we will be able to still figuratively "kick the regulatory crap" out of him, and make it prohibitively expensive for PLC deployment, or force accomodation. If we say nothing, then we have to take whatever the FCC gives us.

We can hope that the FCC does not significantly alter the Part 15 rules. My read of the rules (and I'm no attorney) is that if they interfere, we can complain, and they have to solve the problem. We don't have to accomodate them at all under the current Part 15.

So far, I think most hams only talk about PLC without actually knowing what it sounds like. We need to begin educating ourselves to what PLC RFI sounds like when using various modes and bandwidths. This way, when we encounter it, we can say "I'm being interfered with!!" rather than "Gee, it sure is noisy!!" We can then force compliance. Take a look at the FCC enforcement letters..quite a few of them are directed at power companies. If PLC does go into wide scale deployment, Riley may want to hire some additional help!!

Steve, KE4MOB

***FYI***

The pertinent FCC Part 15 citations are as follows:

TITLE 47--TELECOMMUNICATION

CHAPTER I--FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

PART 15--RADIO FREQUENCY DEVICES--Table of Contents

Subpart B--Unintentional Radiators

Sec. 15.113 Power line carrier systems.

Power line carrier systems, as defined in Sec. 15.3(t), are subject
only to the following requirements:
(a) A power utility operating a power line carrier system shall
submit the details of all existing systems plus any proposed new systems
or changes to existing systems to an industry-operated entity as set
forth in Sec. 90.63(g) of this chapter. No notification to the FCC is
required.
(b) The operating parameters of a power line carrier system
(particularly the frequency) shall be selected to achieve the highest
practical degree of compatibility with authorized or licensed users of
the radio spectrum. The signals from this operation shall be contained
within the frequency band 9 kHz to 490 kHz. A power line carrier system
shall operate on an unprotected, non-interference basis in accordance
with Sec. 15.5 of this part. If harmful interference occurs, the
electric power utility shall discontinue use or adjust its power line
carrier operation, as required, to remedy the interference. Particular
attention should be paid to the possibility of interference to Loran C
operations at 100 kHz.
(c) Power line carrier system apparatus shall be operated with the
minimum power possible to accomplish the desired purpose. No equipment
authorization is required.
(d) The best engineering principles shall be used in the generation
of radio frequency currents by power line carrier systems to guard
against harmful interference to authorized radio users, particularly on
the fundamental and harmonic frequencies.
(e) Power line carrier system apparatus shall conform to such
engineering standards as may be promulgated by the Commission. In
addition, such systems should adhere to industry approved standards
designed to enhance the use of power line carrier systems.
(f) The provisions of this section apply only to systems operated by
a power utility for general supervision of
the power system and do not permit operation on electric lines which
connect the distribution substation to the customer or house wiring.
Such operation can be conducted under the other provisions of this part.

[54 FR 17714, Apr. 25, 1989; 54 FR 32339, Aug. 7, 1989]

Sec. 15.5 reference above states:

Sec. 15.5 General conditions of operation.

(a) Persons operating intentional or unintentional radiators shall
not be deemed to have any vested or recognizable right to continued use
of any given frequency by virtue of prior registration or certification
of equipment, or, for power line carrier systems, on the basis of prior
notification of use pursuant to Sec. 90.63(g) of this chapter.
(b) Operation of an intentional, unintentional, or incidental
radiator is subject to the conditions that no harmful interference is
caused and that interference must be accepted that may be caused by the
operation of an authorized radio station, by another intentional or
unintentional radiator, by industrial, scientific and medical (ISM)
equipment, or by an incidental radiator.
(c) The operator of a radio frequency device shall be required to
cease operating the device upon notification by a Commission
representative that the device is causing harmful interference.
Operation shall not resume until the condition causing the harmful
interference has been corrected.
(d) Intentional radiators that produce Class B emissions (damped
wave) are prohibited.


 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KE4MOB says:

"My read of the rules (and I'm no attorney) is that if they interfere, we can complain, and they have to solve the problem. We don't have to accomodate them at all under the current Part 15".

My reading of the rules is a little different. But then again, I'm not the final authority!

First off, in an interference situation, the parties are required to cooperate. The burden is NOT soley on the alleged cause. A ham cannot simply stany by and say..."its your problem, you fix it". Some solutions require technical solutions on BOTH sides. All problems require cooperation.

Second. To the extent that anyone thinks that the rules grant an abosolute right to interference free spectrum, I see no such protections.

Third. The FCC can, if it chooses, impose (gasp) quiet hours on any Ham if he or she causes interference to a part 15 device. Read the rules! Thus, to the extent that anyone believes that Hams can cause interference to PLC with immunity, think again!




 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KE4MOB on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
First off, in an interference situation, the parties are required to cooperate. (Where is this in the FCC rules? I think that's more of a common courtesy rather than regulatory.)

The burden is NOT soley on the alleged cause. A ham cannot simply stany by and say..."its your problem, you fix it". (In some instances, yes it is. If hams interfere with other services in which we are secondary users, it is our sole burden to remedy the situation. Similarly, if a power company interferes with an amateur because of defects in the power grid, it is the power companies sole responsiblity to alleviate the problem).

Some solutions require technical solutions on BOTH sides. (agreed, but only in a situation where both parties are equal, and/or agree to accomodation)

All problems require cooperation. (It depends. Sometimes it pays to be nice..other times it's best to beat the offender over the head with the FCC rulebook. Remember the old saying "Good guys finish last"?)

Second. To the extent that anyone thinks that the rules grant an abosolute right to interference free spectrum, I see no such protections. (Ok, I'll give you this one...We are guaranteed the right to not have harmful or malicious interference while we use the spectrum we are allocated. That's what the rules are for.)

Third. The FCC can, if it chooses, impose (gasp) quiet hours on any Ham if he or she causes interference to a part 15 device. Read the rules! Thus, to the extent that anyone believes that Hams can cause interference to PLC with immunity, think again! (It depends on how the rulemaking goes on this. The relevant section of Part 97 is 97.121. Subsection (a) is aimed at domestic broadast service, which PLC is not. Subsection (b) is for other services. I suppose PLC could fall under subsection (b), but to regulatorially (is that a word?) make sense it would basically render the Amateur service (which is a primary service on most HF amatuer bands) subservient to Part 15 users on those bands.) In other words, the whole primary/secondary user structure would be turned on its head.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Well Steven (KE4MOB) then what are you so worried about?

If you are right, and PLC causes you any trouble, then you can simply "beat them over the head with FCC rule book"! You have nothing to fear! Everyone posting here has nothing to fear. The whole issue is moot! No need to fret.






 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KE4MOB on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
What I am worried about is that the FCC will remove some of the Part 15 protections that are in place. If these protections are removed, PLC becomes the de facto primary user of the spectrum in which it occupies--the proverbial 1000-pound gorilla in the theater. Meaning that PLC doesn't have to make *any* accomodation for *anyone* due to interference. If this occurs:

A) What is the point of having rules to prevent interference when the rules promote (rather than punish) interfering stations?

B) It raises the interesting question of user precedence. Shouldn't all primary and secondary users of spectrum be afforded equal protection under the rules as far as responsibilities of thier user class? Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought:

Primary wasn't supposed to interfere with Primary,
Secondary wasn't supposed to interfere with Primary,
Secondary wasn't supposed to interfere with Secondary,
and Part 15 wasn't supposed to interfere with anyone.


 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Well, if you can't count on the rules, then why did you cite to them?
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N1OL on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This is an excerpt from the submission to the FCC by a PLC lobby group;

“Preliminary indications are that these products and services would comply with the existing limits in Part 15. However, the PLCA has had indications from its member utilities and PLC technology suppliers with whom they are in discussions that some adjustments to the Rules may facilitate deployment of PLC systems with greater through put and with greater distances between system amplifiers or fiber taps. This may allow greater flexibility in designing network topology in all service areas, and may improve the ability of PLC operators to serve rural and other less dense areas, than would be possible without such operational flexibility.”

The translation from “lobby speak” is that under part 15 these systems are marginal and they want to turn the power up. If you believe that the PLC operators will turn down the power when not needed – I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale!

Full text is here;
http://www.plca.net/website/PLCA%20Comments%20(3).PDF

73s

David
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N3NL on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To W9WHE Do you represent the utility companies that
are pushing for BPL?
The problem with the approach of using a digital
"smart radio" to extract the BPL interference is that
it leaves the following user groups out of the
picture:
1. Kids and beginners building and using simple short
wave receivers such as regenerative receivers etc.
2. Shortwave crystal set builders such as the members
of the Crystal Set Society
3. Ham radio QRP operators
4. Ham radio CW operators
5. Boat anchor operators
6. Students building and using decameter radio
telescope kits in the NASA-backed Radio JOVE project
7. CB Radio Class D operators
8. Radio astronomers in the decameter bands
9. Experimenters and inventors working with analog
electronics and HF radio
In addition, there is the problem of amateur radio
interference to the BPL system due to fundamental
overload. The digital "smart radio" won't correct
that problem.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
N3NL:

No, I have nothing to do with PLC or its advocates. But I have a lot to do with litigation, and even more to do with reality.

Some posters here need a reality check. So here it is. PLC (in some form) is comming because it is cheap & efficent. It will benifit 300 million internet users by providing cheap, high speed internet access. And that is a very good thing.

The fundimental problem, as I see it, is this:
On one hand you have progress, and the saving of hundreds of millions of dollars in needless internet infrastructure. On the other hand, you have 200,000 hobbyists that like to chit-chat and produce nothing of significant value in return for the spectrum we use. Now, don't get me wrong, I count myself as among the chit-chatters!

In the middle is the FCC. They are charged by congress to "manage" communications in the US for the benifit of the public. Do you really think its in the public's best interest to kill a project that has the potental to provide cheap, universal high speed internet access to 300 Million users because it might cause irratation to some of the 200,000 chit-chatters?

If you answered yes, then I have one question. What makes one ham's chit-chatting mre important than cheap, high speed internet for more than 1,000 people? And if your answer is "but we hams provide emergency communications", you need another reality check!

 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KE4MOB on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
!!!!!!!

"produce nothing of significant value in return for the spectrum we use"

!!!!!!!

Jon, why don't you make your feelings known to the FCC..I don't see your comments on the responses yet.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Steven (KE4MOB):

"What makes one ham's chit-chatting more important than cheap, high speed internet for more than 1,000 people?

See there is the problem. My own personal feelings aside, I can't come up with a legitimate answer. I'm just not smart enough. And, by your silence, I take it you can't come up with one either.

Come up with a legitimate answer, and you will have a great way to kill PLC! I'm all ears. I would love to have a stellar answer....I just can't think of one. Since you are so smart, why don't you come up with one!
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W8OB on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Wow whats with the gloom and doom here? Me dumb comment or not I am going to go down fighting not back up and take it. History shows big business and fat pocketbooks don't always get their way.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by K8DIT on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Thank you for participating in this melodrama. Do hams responded to emotionionly based suppositions the same as the greater population. They do.
Jerry Springer and Oprah are correct in presuming that if something is threatened to be taken away, all hell will break loose and people will act as if the sky is falling. Not only that but you can sell them just about anything to prevent this supposed calamity from happening. Just who benefits from proposing a removal of benefits? Is it political? mineral? vegetable?
Are there those amongst us who are able to think for themselves and spot a scam? Im sure.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N1OL on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
When I have finished studying the NOI the words below with be part of my response.

The Amateur radio community since the very first days of radio have experimented, developed and put into use many of the technologies that are in everyday use today. A typical example is SSB which was the mainstay of Military communications in the cold war era. In fact if you take almost any communication technology in use today and trace it back you will find it started with an Amateur radio operator with an idea in a garage.

Today much of the experimental focus is on digital techniques (such as PSK) that enable long distance data communication using low power. Another area that is attracting amateur radio experimentation is Software Defined Radios. In addition to developing technology, Amateur radio also develops people with communication technology skills. Many of these people have gone on to make major contributions to the wealth of our country, a good example is David Packard of Hewlett Packard and there are many others. The Amateur radio population of the US at 700,000 is the second largest in the world, the country with the most Amateur radio operators is Japan with 1,300,000, this goes a long way to explaining the Japanese dominance of electronics.

When tragedy strikes our country and communications are needed, the Amateur radio community steps up to the plate and provides the emergency communications that are critical to delivering help. When we lost the Shuttle and needed to coordinate the search and rescue in areas without cell phone coverage, it was the Amateur radio community that stepped up to the plate.

The value that Amateur radio contributes in technology, the training of professional engineers and the companies established by Amateurs is immense and we should work to encourage the development of Amateur radio so that we continue to develop contributors such as David Packard.

73s

David
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KU4QD on May 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To W9WHE:

You asked Steve for a legitimate answer. I have one for you: Emergency Communications. Amateur radio operators are part of almost every disaster recovery and emergency plan in the country at the state, county, and municipal level. I am a member of my county ARES group, and I know we are considered "essential" by county planners and officials (their words, not mine) and our local EC has received numerous "thank you"s for work done by the county's hams during everything from hurricanes to ice storms to floods.

We also live in a time when man-made disasters are far more likely due to the "War on Terrorism". The terrorists can and will fight back. I expect, if and when that happens, hams will play a valuable role that benefits all Americans. That is, if we have ham radio and it is stil effective.

We are far more than "hobbyists". Amateur radio is called a "service" for a reason, and we need to continue to demonstrate that service to the community is our raison d'etre. It is why we deserve to have our spectrum, and we present far more value to the people of this country than another method for delivering broadband internet service to urban and suburban areas. Heck, I live in a rural area and I guarantee you I am not typing this on a dial-up connection.

Think I am blowing smoke? Ask the Congressional Representatives and Senators who have, year after year, cosponsored laws to protect our spectrum. They know our value. It is a pity that you, a ham, do not.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on May 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
So. How do we build an interface so that we can use the free multiple wave length wire running to our houses?

Bob
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KD7EFQ on May 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
There is one thing that is overlooked when our value
to emrgency communications is mentioned. We are not
reliant upon the very existing infrastructure that
is trying to force PLC down our throats. People are
duped into thinking cell phones and the Internet have
made Amateur Radio obsolete. And the profiteers and
corporations hate the fact that they cannot control our access to and charge us fees for airtime. I guarantee that if you think your cell phone or PC's
are going to be of much use when the lines are down
or overloaded due to a tornado or terrorist, then
maybe you need to live with the ostriches and bury
your head in the sand too. DON'T JUST WASTE YOUR
EFFORTS HERE..WRITE THE FCC AND YOUR REPRESENATIVES!

We should bundle these replies from all the Comment
sites and send them to the FCC too! 73's Todd
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
In theory, I totally agree. However, in reality, what most hams do at a disaster is work communications for the Salvation Army and Red Cross. This form of "service" is really noting more than what I call "doughnut and coffee" communications, NOT the essential communications to which I think you refer.

We all would like to think that we play some vital role. And, in truth, occasionally we do! Unfortunately, reality is that the actual number of times that we are the only available form of cummunications is very, very few. And, as technology advances, and multiple networks of cellphones spread, redundant systems abound. We are no longer the ***only*** alternitive system. Times have changed. If only hams view of reality would follow!

Now some will be outraged. How dare he say that! Go ahead, shoot the messenger. But reality is that Ham radio is not nearly as "vital" as many think. Our actual contribution to "vital" communications ...THAT MEANS LIFE AND SAFETY...is rare. Come now...let's be honest. While everybody has a "story" about somebody else...the actual number of instances is low.

Now, like any hobby, we do have our share of "wannabees" that have an inflated self image and magnified view of self importance. They see Ham radio is the world savior following nuclear holocost.

Now, I am not suggesting that Ham radio has no value. Fact is, it does have value and does provide a service. What I am saying is that the actual value is not as high as many might think. What I am advocating is realistic self-assessment.


MY POINT, once again, is this: DO NOT OVERESTIMATE OUR VALUE. Your hobby chit-chat may not be worth low-cost, high speed internet access to 1,000 people. Make your attack on PLC two pronged. 1) Oppose PLC if you want. BUT 2) try to make sure PLC is implemented with techological features that make it compatable with HF SSB. And if that means digital HF SSB, so be it. Be a facillitator, not an obsticle.

Now...those that lack the maturity to entertain opposing views will most assuredly launch personal attacks. They only reveal their limited intellect. Stalin, Hitler & Saddam all shot the messinger.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
AE7G has a great idea!
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KD7EFQ writes:

"We are not reliant upon the very existing infrastructure that is trying to force PLC down our throats".

In reality, most of us plug our power supplies into the power grid. So we are reliant on the PLC advocates. A deep cycle battery won't keep you on the air for very long.
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N9GL on May 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I'm disturbed by the responses I'm seeing to this issue. This is also true of the replies to the FCC NOI.

We hams are supposed to be the technical ones yet most of what I've been seeing is not responsive to the questions asked in the NOI.

Read the NOI - It's well written by people who clearly understand the potential problems: the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology staff. On the other hand, the FCC Commissioners do not seem to understand the technical aspects at all and must rely on these staffers to lead them in the right direction. To date they have been wowed by the hype and need to be shown the entire picture.

Case in point: Chairman Powell lauds the ability to have Internet at every power plug in the house. This has nothing to do with Access PLC. You could bring Internet to the house with cable, DSL or wireless and then distribute it through the house with HomePlug and achieve the same thing.

For the politicians in the crowd, one of the Democrats (Adelstein) did mention interference, but only to say:
"while we must be mindful of harmful interference, we cannot let unsupported claims stand in the way of such an innovation as BPL systems." So far, most of the comments from hams fall under the "unsupported claims" category.

For the social scientist in the crowd, PLC is not for the rich; they already have cable and DSL. PLC has been touted as broadband access for everyone, something that will help bridge the digital divide.

We need to fight this correctly or not at all. To OET we have to give cogent technical replies that directly respond to their questions.

To the politicians (Congress and FCC Commissioners) we have to counter the hype of this industry and tell the real facts. They are:

1) 90-95% of homes in the US already have the capability of cable or DSL broadband access.

2) The cost of installing PLC is roughly the same per home as cable or DSL, once the infrastructure is in place.

3) The trends in broadband are toward higher speeds and 10 MBit/s will be considered the norm in 5 years. PLC tops out at 1 MBit/s.

4) PLC creates high levels of interference to HF radio, both theoretically and by example from countries where it has been tried (Japan, Netherlands, Austria).

Regarding the rest of the comments, if they don't make sense then drop them! Whether or not our emergency service is crucial to Homeland security, when was the last time you emergency service providers used HF?

Don't confuse the power companies with the PLC industry. The PLC industry is making the devices and hopes to sell them to the power companies. Many of the power companies are treading softly so far because have already been burned by Part 15 and have been made to clean up their noisy transformers. Take a look at the recent list of FCC Enforcement letters. They are not going to get involved in anything that could lead to more enforcement.

Our relative value to society is not at issue here. For the time being, we are the licensed service and they are the interlopers. They know that they will cause interference and lie about it. They could go on-line right now under current Part 15 rules but do not because of the non-interference provision of Part 15. They are looking for a change in the rules that will give them a status that is higher than licensed services. This is what we must stop right here and now.

Finally, we are not alone. NTIA controls much of the HF spectrum and has already chimed in about wanting protection from inteference. A scan of frequency use, apart from HF broadcasters, shows the following licensed users:

The following cities have licenses for numerous HF repeaters: Anapolis MD, Seattle WA, Rogers City MI, Hollywood FL, Jupiter FL, Miami FL, Galveston TX, Boston MA, San Pedro CA, Republic WA, New York NY, Corpus Christi TX, Point Harbor NC, Wilmington DE, Coos Bay OR, Charleston SC, New Orleans LA, Mobile AL, San Francisco CA, Lorain OH, Pin Oak NJ, Auburn WA, South Dayton FL, Palo Alto CA, San Luis Obispo CA, Rock Hill SC, Friday Harbor WA.

San Francisco CA and Riverhead NY have many frequencies assigned as "Air Stations"

HF frequencies have been assigned to FEMA, DEA, CAP, FAA and NIST.

The Coast Guard is loaded with HF frequencies in San Francisco CA, Portsmouth VA, Boston MA, New Orleans LA, and Miami FL.

HF Freqencies have been assigned to one Navy base and five USAF bases.

With the right response we can stop PLC before it becomes the "gorilla that we could not push out of the way."

73 Greg N9GL
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N7BUI on May 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
As an employee of a public utility I see alot of the driving force of PLC. My employer presently isn't looking at it, but as needs for revenue increase, I'm sure they will.

The UTC (United Telecom Council), which is a members only trade organization for utilities, is driving this PLC idea full force.

Here are several links to some utility oriented productions on PLC.

www.uplc.utc.org

www.utc.org/file_depot/0-10000000/0-10000/1013/conman/Industry+Intelligence+4-10.html


www.utc.org

It isn't going to go away easily. The utilities see this as their way to a whole new revenue stream without investing much money.

George
N7BUI
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KE4MOB on May 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Home run Greg! Let's not forget MARS and RACES--MARS being directly under control of the Pentagon and RACES by FEMA.

I just realized something. In certain portions of the HF spectrum (such as 30 meters) amateurs are not allowed to interfere with govermental stations (such as radiolocation, fixed service etc.) Since amateurs are not allowed to interfere with those stations, I wonder if PLC will be allowed to interfere with them?

The central question of the whole debate is this: what type of regulatory protection from PLC-caused interference should current users of the spectrum enjoy?

None (essentially converting the HF spectrum into a soup of occupants with privledges of Part 15?)

Partial (use of PLC in the HF spectrum on a non-interference basis)?

Full (no transmission by PLC allowed in the HF spectrum)?

That is the decision that the FCC will be making.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by PD1ALD on May 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KU4QD: if you make comments about abortion and believe men cannot have any say about this, please consider this:

1. it is his child, too!

2. if I were missing both arms, so could not use a gun, do you feel I would be entitled to have an opinion about guns, killings etc.? You probably don't think I would be entitled!

You are discriminating on gender, madam!
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KD7EFQ on May 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
TO: W9WHE
Just Who's side are you on? Do you even give a hoot about Amateur Radio, or do you work for the PLC companies? All I see you posting is nay saying and shooting Amateur Radio in the foot. Who cares if it is only a few times that we are the only communications source available! IF IT SAVES JUST 1 LIFE, THEN IT JUSTIFIES OUR EXISTENCE 110%. I STRONGLY disagree that
Organizations like Red Cross, Salvation Army etc are just doughnut and coffee services. Obviously, you do not contribute your time and effort to any of these services, or you would know otherwise. I am a member of SATERN, RACES, and will train for CERT soon which will qualify me for "HOT ZONE" activities. Service agencies such as these help the general public in many ways while the main emergency services have their hands full on the front lines. Helping families with health and welfare and location information is just as important as the immediate front line activities.
And my remark about not being reliant upon an existing
infrastructure is true. Any ham can grab a battery from a car, find some wire and get his station on the
air when services are down. The Internet and cell phones don't work that way.

I suggest that if your attitude is as bad as your previous posts indicate, then sell all your equipment, get out of Amateur Radio, and donate the money from your gear to Salvation Army, Red Cross or whatever agency you choose. Then you will have done something positive for a change.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> I just realized something. In certain portions of the
> HF spectrum (such as 30 meters) amateurs are not
> allowed to interfere with govermental stations (such
> as radiolocation, fixed service etc.) Since amateurs
> are not allowed to interfere with those stations, I
> wonder if PLC will be allowed to interfere with
> them?

Under Part 15, PLC would not be allowed to interfere with anyone. But will the FCC have the resources -- and the will -- to address harmful interference if it happens? It is one thing to expect the FCC to tell someone to fix their broken electric fence, but if the overhead lines are radiating the combined PLC signals of a neighborhood, and there is no technical solution, what action would the FCC take? Tell the utility operator to shut down the neighborhood?

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> Third. The FCC can, if it chooses, impose (gasp)
> quiet hours on any Ham if he or she causes
> interference to a part 15 device. Read the rules!
> Thus, to the extent that anyone believes that Hams
> can cause interference to PLC with immunity, think
> again!

Absolutely not! Part 15 is crystal clear that Part 15 devices are offered no protection from interference. As far as the FCC is concerned, if the legitimate operation of an amateur station causes interference to Part 15 systems, there is no rules violation.

There may be some social reasons not to cause interference to unlicensed devices, but there are no regulatory reasons.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by WA4MJF on May 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ed, in a letter to a power company, not the
first one, but a later one where their mouthpiece
was tellin' RH that one ham does not a service
make, RH told them to fix it or shut down
the offendin' power grid.

I did not see any more letters posted on the ARRL
web site, so I guess they decided to fix it.

So it can happen!

73 de Ronnie
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> Some posters here need a reality check. So here it
> is. PLC (in some form) is comming because it is
> cheap & efficent. It will benifit 300 million
> internet users by providing cheap, high speed
> internet access. And that is a very good thing.

Let's give you a reality check right back, OM.

We already have:
o Broadband over cable
o Broadband over telephone lines
o Broadband over satellite
o Broadband over cell phone
o Broadband over commerical wireless
o Broadband over Part 15 wireless
o Broadband over UWB wireless

Is is REALLY worth trashing all of HF to provide one more noisy pipe?

>The fundimental problem, as I see it, is this:
> On one hand you have progress, and the saving of
> hundreds of millions of dollars in needless internet
> infrastructure.

PLC is NOT efficient. It is probably the most prone to noise (to and from) and possibly the most expensive broadband solution of all. Yes, it can be done, but it is a "last mile" solution that really isn't generally good for a mile. A single noisy power-line insulator takes it out; it is yet to be proven what happens when you run that old vaccum cleaner and the power company has to fiber, cable or wireless links to conduct those signals back to the central office. They are working on "repeaters" that may hold some promise, but that would mean that all of the bandwidth would be run through a repeater -- those 10 Mb/s links would be divided equally betweeen MANY users. They have to install couplers that couple the signals around the transformers, and all of this has to be able to survice the power surges and lightning strikes that occasionally send sparks jumping out of my outlets at home.

Less expensive? To use your words, I think you need a reality check yourself.

> In the middle is the FCC. They are charged by
> congress to "manage" communications in the US for
> the benifit of the public. Do you really think its
> in the public's best interest to kill a project that
> has the potental to provide cheap, universal high
> speed internet access to 300 Million users because
> it might cause irratation to some of the 200,000
> chit-chatters?

In the first place, to continue your lesson in reality, we are not talking "irritation" here, if PLC is deployed without protection for amateur radio, we are talking serious degradation of our communications capabilities.

More reality for you -- amateur radio is NOT the only use of HF. We have a few small segments, but there are a larger number of other users.

IMHO, the reality here is that is is simply ill advised to trash all of HF to provide an 8th internet pipe that will not, IMHO, be as reliable as the ones that we have right now.

If PLC is widely deployed, it may become the only practical use of all of HF while it is active.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI

 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N4UJW on May 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Greetings to all,
Just checked the stats on the total number of comments on file with the FCC about our "battle".

To date, 05-10-03, ONLY 230 have been filed since April 30, 2003. Mine will be active as of Monday according to the message on the form after I filed.

Where are the rest of you out there that MUST get your feelings known to the FCC?
I know that there must be at least one or two more of you that have an opinion!
The FCC can't read your mind....YET!
Don't put your head in the sand like that big bird!
Get off your well intentions and get online with your comment. Time is not on our side....only we are!
N4UJW
www.hamunivere.com/plc.html This link will take you to a page with all the info. 73 Don
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KE4MOB on May 10, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I wonder what is the harmonic generating potential of a PLC system? Are those spectrum occupants above 80 Mhz really safe from RFI?
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W8OB on May 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
N4UJW That is what I have been saying. Ham Radio has to contain the biggest bunch of "let somebody else do its" in the world. If this great I-net service should come in being and cause interference to 100,000 hams rest assured you will hear them squalk right here on this forum. I guess then we can ask them why the hell they did not take 5 minutes to file a comment. This is pretty much the same thing you see when installing a repeater. It reminds me of placing a fish shanty out on the frozen river, except with the shanty you have a dozen guys there to help haul er out and set up, but come time to take it off for the year your by yourself. Oh a comment hear on a local repeater," I guess that new internet service thats coming won't be a bother to us" Don't bet on it. come on guys get busy here. Even you guys that want to stay on vhf/uhf have a great chance of getting clobbered by this one.
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KD7EFQ on May 11, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I wonder what several shots of double O buckshot to
plc interface boxes on the power poles would do. Hi Hi,
I wouldn't do it of course, but it's nice to dream
sometimes. 73's
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!


Gentlemen: If there was not a HUGE, profitable market for the service, why do you think companies are prepaired to spend big bucks on it? To turn a phraise, "are you just way smart and them way stupid"?

I guess you arm chair QBs know a lot more about making money than the CEO's that actually do it. Could it be that your love for the hobby is effecting your judgement? Naaahhhhh! You arm chair QBs know more about everything than the guys that actually do it! Oops! Wait! I forgot.....this is Ham radio! Hams allways knows more about everything than the guys that actually do it!

And Ed (W1RFI) for a guy that makes his living on technical solutions, I'm surprised you are so pessimistic about technical solutions to PLC. Do you make your living saying that RFI can't be solved? Funny, I didn't get that impression from your book. Oh well, I guess I'm just off base again. Silly me.

Well gentlemen, thanks for the reality check. You have made it very clear that:

1) there can NEVER be a technical solution to a problem;

2) There is no need for competition in the high-speed internet sector to force prices down;

3) Politics and economics don't run the FCC;

4) Hams know more about busines, economics, polotics & marketing than anyone else!

Thanks again for the education. I can't tell you how much I value your "reality check".




 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!


Gentlemen: If there was not a HUGE, profitable market for the service, why do you think companies are prepaired to spend big bucks on it? To turn a phraise, "are you just way smart and them way stupid"?

I guess you arm chair QBs know a lot more about making money than the CEO's that actually do it. Could it be that your love for the hobby is effecting your judgement? Naaahhhhh! You arm chair QBs know more about everything than the guys that actually do it! Oops! Wait! I forgot.....this is Ham radio! Hams allways knows more about everything than the guys that actually do it!

And Ed (W1RFI) for a guy that makes his living on technical solutions, I'm surprised you are so pessimistic about technical solutions to PLC. Do you make your living saying that RFI can't be solved? Funny, I didn't get that impression from your book. Oh well, I guess I'm just off base again. Silly me.

Well gentlemen, thanks for the reality check. You have made it very clear that:

1) there can NEVER be a technical solution to a problem;

2) There is no need for competition in the high-speed internet sector to force prices down;

3) Politics and economics don't run the FCC;

4) Hams know more about busines, economics, polotics & marketing than anyone else!

Thanks again for the education. I can't tell you how much I value your "reality check".




 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Well gentlemen, you sure have "educated" me. I now understand that:

1) There is no need for competition to drive down the cost of high-speed internet access, because the service is already universally available and dirt cheap;

2) The CEO's of corps. making millions of dollars are stupid. There is no market for, and they cannot make money at, offering high-speed internet access through PLC;

3) There can be no technological solution. I guess there is no point in buying Ed's book on RFI because technical solutions to RFI are impossible;

4) The FCC is not guided by politics and enconomics, it was formed for the benifit and sole protection of Ham radio. 220 Mhz & UPS being prime examples;

5) The rules will protect Ham radio. IF PLC becomes a problem, all we need do is "hit them over the head with the rule book". After all, nice guys finish last; and

6) If all else fails, Hams can sue because we have a vested, protectable right in a clear Ham spectrum. After all, if you can sue McDonalds for making you fat, you can sue PLC because it raises your noise level.

I cannot tell you how valuable your "education" has been! You have reminded me that Hams really are smarter than everyone else, especially the CEO's, the inventers, regulators, economists, and marketing guys. Thank goodness you have given me a reality check. Now, you gentlemen must pardon me, but I really need to go join the Flat Earth Siociety. I've been re-educated by Hams.







 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by AB5XZ on May 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I've read some PLC related web sites that talk about how nifty PLC is, and how the current trials are going (yes, there are trials going on right now). What I have seen are little testimonials ("It didn't interfere with my stereo", "Wow it is fast", etc.). The web sites that discuss the trials tell which states they're in, but little else.

It would be a good idea if every ham who sees this list would volunteer to try out PLC in his/her home.
Two reasons:
1. We would be able to provide our own testimonials, and back them up with some real small-signal experience.
2. We would let the power companies know that we are interested in a good solution, if there is one (I would like to have cheaper broadband internet if it wouldn't interfere with my HF reception (including SWLing).

Be aware that the power companies may not actually be conducting the trials - it may be equipment manufacturers.

I'm going to try this with Reliant Energy and Centerpoint Energy, who are my suppliers.

73TomAB5XZ
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by VE3GXR on May 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This PLC tech is a transient technology. The power lines lack the bandwidth to handle a wideband connection for every houe.
What they should do is go fiber along the utility corridors and then go into the houses via fiber within the ground wire.
This mature method places a fiber line inside the ground wire and it is pulled out at the house into a wideband box for the house and on the pole it is pulled into a concentratot that adds all the fiber lines fro each house into the main lines(there will be many fibers since they are so thin and it is as easy to lay a 1/4" rope of 100 fibers as it is to lay one fiber.
The long view will show that power line transmission is totally useless for wide deplyment of wideband. After all how many can you get into an 80 meg spread signal. 20 people?
Fiber had cheap limitless capacity and the electric company already has all the cable stringing rights it needs from waaay back. Only they can compete with the bell systems in bringing wideband to every house.

Bill
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by AC0X on May 12, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Mr Gunn (I refuse to refer to him by callsign) says:
"Well gentlemen, you sure have "educated" me."

You obviously refuse to be educated, even in spite of all the studies done on PLC and the statements done by people here with more education that you on this topic.

"1) There is no need for competition to drive down the cost of high-speed internet access, because the service is already universally available and dirt cheap"

Stupid comment. Of course cheap high speed internet would be wonderful. But so would a cure for cancer. That doesn't mean that every quack cure you find on the internet for cancer is a good thing. And that doesn't mean a questionable technology is the cure for high speed internet.


"2) The CEO's of corps. making millions of dollars are stupid. There is no market for, and they cannot make money at, offering high-speed internet access through PLC"

Since when does being rich guarantee intelligence? And maybe, just maybe they see that just implementing this is a way for them to make lots of money, since there's no need to add any new infastructure. If it actually works after the fact, who cares.


"3) There can be no technological solution. I guess there is no point in buying Ed's book on RFI because technical solutions to RFI are impossible"

Uh, well, not the solutions you keep talking about. You keep saying "HF digital SSB, HF digital SSB" as a cure to this problem. But, buddy, let me 'splain something to you. PLC with an appreciable number of users will generate a continous stream of signal all over the HF bands. HF digital SSB, if it's going to aproximate anything near real time transmission requires large packets of digital transmission to work, or some sort of way to coordinate with other signals on the channel to avoid "collisions". There is no way that there is going to be enough time in all that PLC noise for a packet of voice digital data to get through, and of course the PLC noise isn't going to "coordinate" with any RF user on the same channel.


"4) The FCC is not guided by politics and enconomics, it was formed for the benifit and sole protection of Ham radio. 220 Mhz & UPS being prime examples"

What the (*&* does that have to do with PLC? If anything, saying that it IS driven by politics and economics instead of technical reality shows how something as bass-ackward as PLC could be widely implemented.

"5) The rules will protect Ham radio. IF PLC becomes a problem, all we need do is "hit them over the head with the rule book". After all, nice guys finish last; and"

See my above comment

"6) If all else fails, Hams can sue because we have a vested, protectable right in a clear Ham spectrum. After all, if you can sue McDonalds for making you fat, you can sue PLC because it raises your noise level."

You talk about "raises your noise level" as if it's going to add an occasional S-unit or two to the noise floor on occasion. If you actually let yourself be "educated", you'd see the problem is much bigger than that.

"I cannot tell you how valuable your "education" has been! You have reminded me that Hams really are smarter than everyone else, especially the CEO's, the inventers, regulators, economists, and marketing guys. Thank goodness you have given me a reality check. Now, you gentlemen must pardon me, but I really need to go join the Flat Earth Siociety. I've been re-educated by Hams."

Well, someone has to re-educate you.

There are only three possible reasons to support PLC.

1) You're misinformed, and after everthing that's been posted here you must be taking English as a third (not even second) language if you've missed it.

2) You have an economic interest in PLC that you've kept from us.

or

3) You have a sick mind, a mind that gets a joy out of destroying a hobby/service that so many have enjoyed for so long.

 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> And Ed (W1RFI) for a guy that makes his living on
> technical solutions, I'm surprised you are so
> pessimistic about technical solutions to PLC. Do you
> make your living saying that RFI can't be solved?
> Funny, I didn't get that impression from your book.
> Oh well, I guess I'm just off base again. Silly me.

Being pessimistic doesn't mean that the potential PLC RFI problem can't be solved. Why would you think that? If the industry is willing to ensure that its radiated emissions are 60 dB weaker than what is permitted by the FCC Part 15 rules and the utility companies that will run these systems are willing to promptly take care of any isolated cases of interference that happen anyway, there would be no need for pessimism.

If you think that these are both going to happen, I agree; you are indeed being silly.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> Ed, in a letter to a power company, not the
> first one, but a later one where their mouthpiece
> was tellin' RH that one ham does not a service
> make, RH told them to fix it or shut down
> the offendin' power grid.

> I did not see any more letters posted on the ARRL
> web site, so I guess they decided to fix it.

> So it can happen!

You are right, it happens, and I know that to be true because I saw it on a bumber sticker. :-)

Even before the FCC utility letter goes out, ARRL has taken a shot at each of the cases. About 40% of the ones ARRL contacts resolve the problem directly in response to ARRL's similar letter and the information we provide to the electric utility company to help them correct the problem. Behind every FCC letter is from 5 to 50 hours of ARRL staff time. (I have over 1000 emails in my PG&E folder alone!)

A number of the utility companies do respond to the FCC letter and correct the noise problems, but without ARRL and FCC intervention, the majority of utility companies do not seem to be poised to routinely find and correct RF noise from their lines.

There is another difference in kind -- power-line noise is almost always caused by a defect. A bad insulator, a loose span -- these are things that can be easily fixed. Access PLC systems need to use about 100 milliwatts total power, spread out over tens of MHz, in order to propagate any distance down lossy lines (and the loss is primarily by radiation!). Physics says that a particular conductor configuration will have a particular gain, and that power put onto that "antenna" will radiate a specific field strength. An amateur antenna placed in that field will pick up a specific level of PLC signal, and if that signal is stronger than the signal the amateur is trying to hear, there will be harmful interference.

If that happens, the solution is NOT as clear cut as changing a bad insulator. The power level can't be reduced; the power line antenna will still be an antenna and the ham can't filter the signal at his/her station.

Just how would you propose harmful interfence be fixed if it occurs?

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> by KE4MOB on May 10, 2003
>
> I wonder what is the harmonic generating potential
> PLC system? Are those spectrum occupants above 80
> Mhz really safe from RFI?

First, congratulations on a well-written article that started this thread. It is wonderful to see a ham willing to take an active role in doing something about problems. If all 700,000 of us were as pro-active, ham radio would be unstoppable! :-)

The "intermod" problem is real, too, although at least it does have a viable technical solution. Every power-line arc and spark is a non-linearity and mixing will occur. Those harmonics are just another form of intermod, after all.

The harmonics coming from the equipment can be adequately controlled. After all, we can supress harmonics from our 1500-watt transmitters operating into excellent antenans, so a 100 milliwatt transmitter and a poor antenna should be a lot easier.

The non-linearities in the power grid are also correctable, and in this case, probably self correcting. A bad power-line arc will take down the system handily.

That could be the one saving grace in this. Electric utilities that deploy PLC will have to clean up their electrical-noise act, so the industry may become more adept at finding and fixing noise.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> Well gentlemen, you sure have "educated" me. I now
> understand that:

> 1) There is no need for competition to drive down
> the cost of high-speed internet access, because the
> service is already universally available and dirt
> cheap;

Nobody said that, so you either need to improve your reading skills or should stop your "creative" interpretations of what is said. If that is your idea, say so; don't try to attribute what wasn't said to others. Broadband is quite available, though, and this service has no potential to be cheaper than the existing broadband alternatives. The Current Technologies system in MD had to run fiber to the neighborhood to provide a backbone link to the internet. They had to install neibhborhood hubs that were PLC modems connected to those fiber lines and each home has to have a modem, just like every other broadband and, unlike other services, the utility company had to make changes to the line that jumpered the signals past the pole-pig transformers in order to service a reasonable number of homes from a single hub.

Other systems are known to use the medium-voltage lines as conductors for great distances, but having to install digital repeaters every 2000 feet or so. Some systems even interface this whole thing with the house using IEEE 802.11 equipment.

The industry is touting that the infrastructure for this already exists, but that is no more true than it is for other broadband technologies such as DSL and cable. Having to run glass fiber or install repeaters in the overhead wiring carrying 100s of kW/h of 60-Hz energy is not exactly ready-to-go, is it?

> 2) The CEO's of corps. making millions of dollars
> are stupid. There is no market for, and they cannot
> make money at, offering high-speed internet access
> through PLC;

Some other CEOs think exactly that, so great minds can differ. And I have seen plenty of really stupid decisions made by industry; the bankruptcy courts address the fruits of that stupidity on an ongoing basis.

> 3) There can be no technological solution. I guess
> there is no point in buying Ed's book on RFI because
> technical solutions to RFI are impossible;

That is ridiculous on its face, although I will be very clear that the solutions to PLC RFI problems are NOT in the ARRL RFI Book. Taking an extreme interpretation like that does not strengthen your point, such exaggeration only makes you appear extreme.

> 4) The FCC is not guided by politics and enconomics,
> it was formed for the benifit and sole protection of
> Ham radio. 220 Mhz & UPS being prime examples;

Nobody said that, either, so making things up to "prove" your case is really kind of pointless...

> 5) The rules will protect Ham radio. IF PLC becomes
> a problem, all we need do is "hit them over the head
> with the rule book". After all, nice guys finish
> last; and

I didn't get that from anyone's post, and certainly not from mine. The rules do indeed say that unlicensed devices are not permitted to interfere, but I, and several others, have expressed grave concern that the FCC will not be able to do anything about interference other than tell the utility company to shut it down, and most of us don't believe they would do so. I presume that you are reading all of the posts, to selectively ignoring the majority view to try to make your point is really kind of transparent, wouldn't you say?

> I cannot tell you how valuable your "education" has
> been! You have reminded me that Hams really are
> smarter than everyone else, especially the CEO's,
> the inventers, regulators, economists, and
> marketing guys. Thank goodness you have given me a
> reality check.

From the points you made in this post, I don't believe that your education is complete. How many CEOs have we seen do really stupid, ill-conceived things that didn't work and cost their companies billions? Homw many inventors have touted technology that just never got off the ground? I haven't seen a single economist post here, and economists can't seem to agree on near-about anything. We all know what marketers do -- their job is to market something that some engineer has to figure out later how to make. As to the regulators, rather than being impartial regulators of conflicting interest, the FCC is acting like cheerleaders for one side before the game has even begun.

And, in this case, there is no doubt at all in my mind that all of those on your list have NOT properly considered the interference implications of this, and right now, ONLY amateur radio is even asking the right questions. From a technical point of view, this is among the more valuable contributions that amateur radio is making.

No one is saying the things you have interpreted except for you. To hams, his question is not about economics or marketing; it is about interference. This technology may work, although it will not work as well as the marketers say it will, and it will not be as cheap as the FCC and you are being led to believe. It would foster competition, but the end result will NOT be much cheaper than any other form of broadband.

> Now, you gentlemen must pardon me, but I really need
> to go join the Flat Earth Siociety. I've been re-
> educated by Hams.

The real question is not whether PLC has value, but whether that value is worth the cost. I have identified at least 7 ways that broadband can be delivered to homes right now. Is adding an 8th pipeline worth the cost of trashing HF for amatuer radio and other HF users?

When you can answer that question, your education will be complete. . .

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI




 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> This PLC tech is a transient technology. The power
> lines lack the bandwidth to handle a wideband
> connection for every house. What they should do is
> go fiber along the utility corridors and then go
> into the houses via fiber within the ground wire.

The system in MD was halfway there; they had to run fiber to the neighborhood to provide the connection to the internet. They used the power-line-wiring as the last quarter mile or so.

I agree; the limiting factor here is bandwidth. Right now, 1-10 MB/s seems pretty fast, but that will be slow 5 years from now, I would imagine. The capabilities of glass fiber are faster than I think we will ever need, and ultimately, I think that fiber may well win the speed battle hands down.

However, how important IS speed? I could buy a cable modem connection right now for $40.00 a month, but I am quite content with my AOL dialup. From home, I do a bit of web browsing and post on forums a bit, but the speed issue just doesn't bother me.

I don't want to decide this issue on the value of PLC; I want to decide this issue on the interference costs.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N3NL on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I see lots of interesting discussion of this threat
here on eham. This is great. Is the ARRL going to
present this type of information on their web site?
At the present time, this issue seems to be buried
out of sight.

73, Nick Leggett, N3NL
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by WA4MJF on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I don't know how it can be fixed, if they
alter the Part 15 rules.

I filed a note opposing it. I told them to
pay special heed to Victory's letter, which
reflects the Administration's position.

I knew Mike's father when he was a young Captain
on MACV Advisory Team, maybe an
appeal to him might help, as DOD and his own
Department of State makes a lotta use of HF.
Helps keep Harris and B&W in buisness :-)

Sometimes fathers can get through, better than other people.

73 de Ronnie
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N1OL on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ed,

If they have fiber to the last quarter mile, why don’t they use Wi-Fi? They would get instant coverage and no need to put a bridge on every transformer.

73s

David

 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by AB5XZ on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I haven't been able to find any documentation of this statement, which I made in an earlier post to this topic:

"Consider the Third Reich's nifty 28 MHz communication system, used in North Africa by Rommel. The system was designed and tested during a solar minimum, and it worked well for localized communications. Unfortunately, it was deployed in North Africa during a solar maximum, and hams in the US easily overheard the communications - and passed them on to the Pentagon!"

Please don't use it in any comment to the FCC, because it can't be verified as accurate.

73TomAB5XZ
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> If they have fiber to the last quarter mile, why
> don’t they use Wi-Fi? They would get instant
> coverage and no need to put a bridge on every
> transformer.

Because the power company wiring needs to be involved in this somehow. :-) Some companies run fiber, then use the electrical and house wiring as the last mile. Others approach it from other directions and use the power company medium-voltage distribution wiring as the backbone (with repeaters every 2000 feet or so), then actually DO use 802.11 as the last mile. Etc.

I think that fiber from first to last mile is the way to go, with its virtually unlimited bandwidth.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N1OL on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
As any realtor will say, location, location, location.

Transformer station - equipment housing (exists and paid for)
Power – (they are the power company)
Poles – great location for Wi-Fi antennas
Billing – exists and everyone is already a customer

Ultimately, if assets are turned into a revenue stream the shareholders won’t care – who else will?

73s

David
 
RE: Why I/We shouldn't be worried about this...  
by K4KEP on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
JOSHUA KD7???
WOULD YOU LIKE TO VOLUNTEER TO PAY FOR REPLACMENTS FOR OUR OLD SSB HERE. THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF HF RIGS WHICH WILL NOT OPERATE AS SPREAD SPECTRUM DEVICES. I HAVE 5 HF SSB RIGS YOU CAN BUY.

THERE ARE HUNDRES OF THOUSANDS OF HF RIGS IN THIS COUNTRY ALONE THAT WOULD BE OBSOLETE OVERNIGHT IF PLC WERE TO BE APPROVED.

HOW ABOUT THE THOUSANDS OF RIGS BEING OPERATED SOLELY ON MARS AND SHARES. WILL YOU HELP REEMBURSE THE OWNERS FOR THEM SO WE CAN THEN WAIT FOR YEARS UNTILL RIGS ARE DESIGNED TO COUNTERACK THE PLC QRM.

NO. I DON'T THINK YOU WOULD. APPARENTLY YOU HAVE NOT THOUGHT PAST THE HAM BAND. HOW ABOUT BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF MILITARY HF THAT WOULD BE UN-USABLE. NOW YOUR TAX BRACKET JUST JUMPED TO 80 %.

SPENCE
K4KEP AND MILITARY AND OTHER GOVERNMENT CALLS
OVER 50 YEARS OF VOLUNTEER GOVERNMENT SERVICE
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
ED, let me refresh your memory:

On May 10, 2003, YOU SAID:

"We already have:
o Broadband over cable
o Broadband over telephone lines
o Broadband over satellite
o Broadband over cell phone
o Broadband over commerical wireless
o Broadband over Part 15 wireless
o Broadband over UWB wireless"

The CLEAR message in your post is that we don't need any more "pipes" as you call them. That's the clear thrust of your post. Of course, it does depend on what your definition of what the word "IS' is....

Those were YOUR words, ED, not mine. Run from them if you will, but fact IS fact.



 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
ED, let me refresh your recollection again:

On May 8, 2003 KE4MOB said:

"other times it's best to beat the offender over the head with the FCC rulebook. Remember the old saying "Good guys finish last"?"

Those are KE$MOB'S words. Not mine.



 
RE: Why I/We shouldn't be worried about this...  
by KD7USN on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To: K4KEP "Spence"

WTF? Why are you picking on me? I'm a licensed technician operator who just got his license a MONTH ago. With the exception of an 802.11b PCMCIA card for my laptop, I haven't even bought my first radio yet! What's a matter with you?

I'm just trying to make some lemonaid out of some lemons here by comming up with an idea. I'm thinking of a contingency instead of whining about it.

Forgive my technician ignorance, but can't you hack a SSB radio to do PSK31? As I understand it, isn't PSK a digital mode that can cut through interference just like CW can? Maybe even a little bit better than CW can?

<quote>
THERE ARE HUNDRES OF THOUSANDS OF HF RIGS IN THIS COUNTRY ALONE THAT WOULD BE OBSOLETE OVERNIGHT IF PLC WERE TO BE APPROVED.
</quote>

I'm not neccesarily sure that's true. If I understand this topic correctly, PLC will be considered governed under part 15. Part 15 devices can't cause "Harmful" interference. Even if it does, it will be only in the areas in which it is used. I don't think it will be implemented all over the United States overnight.

<quote>
NO. I DON'T THINK YOU WOULD. APPARENTLY YOU HAVE NOT THOUGHT PAST THE HAM BAND. HOW ABOUT BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF MILITARY HF THAT WOULD BE UN-USABLE. NOW YOUR TAX BRACKET JUST JUMPED TO 80 %.
</quote>

My tax bracket is governed by how much income I make. Since I am a student, I don't think my tax bracket will be changing any time soon.

-- Joshua Hayworth, KD7USN
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Finally, ED, since YOU and others are SO SURE of the utter futillity and hopelessness of PLC, why do you fret so much? Why fear it? WHY?

1) If the rules protect Hams from PLC induced RFI, why worry?

2) If there is no need for PLC, nobody will buy it and those pushing it will go bankrupt, FAST.

3) If PLC is not technically feasable, why is it a threat in the first place?

4) IF the FCC cares more about Ham radio than 300 million internet users, they will protect Ham radio from PLC (Which can't work anyway).

BOTTOM LINE, if you and KE4MOB are right...why get your undies in such a bundle? Why so much hand-wringing? WHY?



THE ANSWER is, deep down everyone knows that all 4 of my assertions are right. That's why so much emotion and so little logic. IF you really believed your own BS (PLC is not doable and the rules protected Hams) you would not be in such an uproar. Actions speak louder than empty arguments.

But ED, since YOU know more than everyone else....THERE IS NO NEED to post any response to the proposal...its doomed to failure one way or another! RIGHT ED? ....RIGHT?

Now, ever wonder why the 1,000 or so Ham/attorneys don't get involved? (yes I know there a few VCs around) Answer....Read up.

ED, YOU SURE HAVE TAUGHT ME A LESSSON:
a) Don't give advice to hams.
b) Don't help Hams refine an argument.
c) Don't suggest a strategy.
d) Don't tell Hams what they don't want to hear.


Once again, thanks for the education, ED.



 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by NN6EE on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Boy Steve you really got some action here from the number of replies, Congrats!!!

But in essence everyone is right here in stating that "PLC" would certainly spell the DOOM of HF Amateur Radio as we know it today!!!

It is truly a Gawd-Awful idea, and it's a shame that no matter who's in power in Washington D.C they ALL worship the almighty Dollar instead of using INTELLIGENT LOGIC in thinking matters through, especially with something like the deployment of "PLC", and all the other Telecommunications services that will be just as greatly affected by it's RF garbage as our service will be!!!

Un-Believeably "Bad News"!!!
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Jim:

You have it all wrong!

If you read the above posts, you will realize that PLC is doomed to failure from both economic and technical perspectives. Don't you believe W1RFI?

Don't you beleve KE4MOB when he says you can hit PLC over the head with the rule book if you get PLC induced RFI?

Don't you believe that the FCC cares more about hams then 300 million internet users and will protect Hams?

You mean you don't believe posting by W1RFI and KE4MOB? Gosh! I can't believe it!
 
RE: Why I/We shouldn't be worried about this...  
by W9WHE on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Josh (KD7USN) congrats on your license. Welcome to ham radio! However, you need to learn an additional lesson they did not have in that license manual you studied:

DON'T EVER TELL A HAM SOMETHING HE DOES NOT WANT TO HEAR....OR IT GETS PERSONAL! OOOps! I forgot, you have already learned THAT lesson!

 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
ED, further, you need to get out of the lab and get a grip on the BIG picture. You criticize by saying:

"To hams, his question is not about economics or marketing; it is about interference"

ED, wake UP! The question of PLC is NOT UP TO HAMS. Its up to the FCC. It does not matter how Hams ****percieve**** the issue (economics, marketing or otherwise), as YOU say because neither Hams nor the ARRL make the decision! The FCC does. Hello...are we on the same frequency here????

Wake up! How hams ****percieve**** the issue is not relevent because Hams DO NOT MAKE THE DECISION. If you want to win this battle (and we all do) you have to unbderstand how THE DECISIONMAKER (THE FCC) PERCIEVES THE ISSUE.


SHEESH!
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Oh and ED, the next time you suggest that the FCC can't impose license restrictions and quiet hours, I suggest you read the rules:

§97.27 FCC modification of station license grant.
(a) The FCC may modify a station license grant, either for a limited time or for the duration of the term thereof, if it determines:

(1) That such action will promote the public interest, convenience, and necessity; or
(2) That such action will promote fuller compliance with the provisions of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, or of any treaty ratified by the United States"

Now that a B R O A D authority.

ED, I got that from the ARRL website...ever hear of it? Next time, leave lawyering to lawyers.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
ED, here is another provision regarding imposition of quiet hours:

"§97.121 Restricted operation.
(a) If the operation of an amateur station causes general interference to the reception of transmissions from stations operating in the domestic broadcast service when receivers of good engineering design, including adequate selectivity characteristics, are used to receive such transmissions, and this fact is made known to the amateur station licensee, the amateur station shall not be operated during the hours from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., local time, and on Sunday for the additional period from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., local time, upon the frequency or frequencies used when the interference is created"

No such power, think again! This one applies to recievers. Not as B R O A D as the other one, but sure does sound like "quiet hours" to me.

Next time ED, leave lawyering to lawyers.

 
RE: Why I/We shouldn't be worried about this...  
by KE4MOB on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Josh. What you state is essentially correct...PLC is currently governed under Part 15. However, the systems currently used only operate up to about 490 Khz.

The systems envisioned requires regulatory changes. If these changes are well thought out by the Commission, then we (or other HF users) have nothing to fear...we can still "hit PLC over the head with a rulebook" if we receive interference. If they are poorly thought out, then we (among other users) are just outta luck. That is why our input is important. Government, historically, has never been able to avoid the cow-patties...they have always had to have someone out in front pointing them out.

I suppose I bristle at the idea that we should just "roll over and play dead" and not voice our concern, and be forced to adapt to whatever comes our way under the guise that we would lose anyway. Under that logic, everything over 6 meters would have been sold off long ago, 10 meters would become a freebanders heaven, and PLC would rule supreme on the low bands. There would be no more new hams like yourself, no equipment for the elmers to give to their newbies, and the hobby (or service, or whatever you want to call it) would die.

Sometimes standing up and making your voice heard is the right thing to do, and I applaud W9WHE and his efforts to be an effective counterpart in the debate. It has been definitely spirited!!

I sincerely do hope that PLC is doomed to failure, but my comments have been filed on the matter, and are a matter of public record. I hope I've helped spur a few people on to increase their knowledge about such things. From the personal emails I've been getting, I know a few of the people who have filed comments were first time filers, and that's a good thing. I know I have learned a great deal about Part 15 in particular. So even if we lose this one, I'll walk away happy.

Oh, and by the way, I'm not a member of the ARRL.

Keep your chin up Josh. Hope to work you someday on the great wide expanses of PLC free HF!

Steve, KE4MOB
 
RE: Why I/We shouldn't be worried about this...  
by NN6EE on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
:-)))
W9WHE,

Do I believe Ed Hare??? Not really! As I sent him 2 Emails earlier and he never had the COMMON courtesy to answer EITHER of them!!!

Pissed-off? No not really!!!

But since I AM ARRL MEMBER you would think he'd be a little bit more attentive, my membership can be cancelled "Ed-W1RFI", not by you, BY ME!!!
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> §97.27 FCC modification of station license grant.
> (a) The FCC may modify a station license grant,
> either for a limited time or for the duration of the
> term thereof, if it determines:

> (1) That such action will promote the public
> interest, convenience, and necessity; or
> (2) That such action will promote fuller compliance
> with the provisions of the Communications Act of
> 1934, as amended, or of any treaty ratified by the
> United States"

> Now that a B R O A D authority.

Sure it is, and I know of not a single example, ever, of the FCC imposing quiet hours on a ham under this provision, essentially for no good reason. Neither do you.

> ED, I got that from the ARRL website...ever hear of
> it?

That is a pretty stupid question...

> Next time, leave lawyering to lawyers.

Are you an attorney, or is this one of those "do as I say, not as I do" sort of things? :-)

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI



 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> "§97.121 Restricted operation.
>(a) If the operation of an amateur station causes
> general interference to the reception of
> transmissions from stations operating in the
> domestic broadcast service when receivers of good
> engineering design, including adequate selectivity
> characteristics, are used to receive such
> transmissions, and this fact is made known to the
> amateur station licensee, the amateur station shall
> not be operated during the hours from 8 p.m. to
> <snip>

> No such power, think again! This one applies to
> recievers. Not as B R O A D as the other one, but
> sure does sound like "quiet hours" to me.

Yup, that is the rule the FCC has used to invoke quiet hours on hams. Maybe you need a bit more education about the meaning of the phrase "receivers of good engineering design" is intended to convey. To quote you, perhaps you need to get out a bit more. :-)

> Next time ED, leave lawyering to lawyers.

I do. It is you, not me, telling us what the FCC quiet hours rules mean. Are you an attorney?

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: Why I/We shouldn't be worried about this...  
by W1RFI on May 13, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> Hi Josh. What you state is essentially correct...PLC
> is currently governed under Part 15. However, the
> systems currently used only operate up to about 490 > Khz.

> The systems envisioned requires regulatory changes.

Actually, neither statement is correct. The type of PLC that operates below 490 kHz is intended only for electric-utility companies to control their equipment. It operated under Sec. 15.113. Other PLC can amd dp operate at higher frequencies as carrier-current devices. The principle rule governing carrier-current devices is Sec. 15.109(e):

" Carrier current systems used as unintentional radiators or other unintentional radiators that are designed to conduct their radio frequency emissions via connecting wires or cables and that operate in the frequency range of 9 kHz to 30 MHz, including devices that deliver the radio frequency energy to transducers, such as ultrasonic devices not covered under Part 18 of this Chapter, shall comply with the radiated emission limits for intentional radiators provided in Section 15.209 for the frequency range of 9 kHz to 30 MHz. As an alternative, carrier current systems used as unintentional radiators and operating in the frequency range of 525 kHz to 1705 kHz may comply with the radiated emission limits provided in Section 15.221(a). At frequencies above 30 MHz, the limits in paragraph (a), (b) or (g) of this Section, as appropriate, continue to apply."

> If these changes are well thought out by the
> Commission, then we (or other HF users) have nothing
> to fear...we can still "hit PLC over the head with a
> rulebook" if we receive interference.

The Commission has been very spotty in its enforcement of this aspect of the rules. Until recently, when ARRL worked out a cooperative program with Riley, they rarely got after power companies who had conventional power-line noise. Ask Riley what would happen if he, not the League staff, had to do all the work. The FCC would have essentially one alternative if a PLC system caused interference -- tell them to shut it off. I am not convinced they would actually do that.

> Sometimes standing up and making your voice heard is
> the right thing to do, and I applaud W9WHE and his
> efforts to be an effective counterpart in the
> debate. It has been definitely spirited!!

Spirited is the kindest word you can use. :-) I am not at all convinced he is an effective counterpart in this debate. His use of demeaning phrases and the very level of his "spirit" really do get in the way of his message. He certainly can help us understand that we don't know it all, but I sure would not want to see a single ham use the tone in their filings that he is using with most of us here.

> Oh, and by the way, I'm not a member of the ARRL.

I am curious; why not?

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W8OB on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KD7 Josh, you are thinking on the right line here but....If you have a constant broadband intererence level of say s9 or better it is not going to matter what mode you run psk31, cw or ssb, sure you will hear signals that are near and over your local noise level but you will likely go nuts staying on the air for any given period of time. The digital modes we have now are not able to ignore the broadband noise. Even if this new digital voice mode takes off there is no promise that the system used with BPL is going to be compatable with it. If your ears or the decoder card can not hear the signal you are not going to use ham radio. I mentioned in a earlier post even the guys that hang on 2 meters or above are not going to be immune from this. Imagine this you like to keep your 2 meter rig on for monitoring purposes, suspose this bpl or another type system comes on line all your going to hear is a constant background signal that only the stronger sigs are going to get over. Use the squelch forget it.
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by AB5XZ on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The amount of power company "spin" that's being applied to this subject (not here, but in the media) is incredible.

Use Google News (news.google.com) to search for "power line broadband" and you will see what I mean.

None of the glowing testimonials say a thing about the bad interference results obtained in Europe, Australia, and Japan with PLC. It's as if none of those tests ever happened.

If I read the documents right, the only *licensed* spectrum that would be protected from PLC interference is AM broadcast. This begs the question: are there other licensed services between 1.6 MHz and 80 MHz that should also be protected? The FCC is not asking that question in its NOI, and it should be.

Please add your comments to the FCC's NOI. It's important to you, whether you are an SWLer or an amateur radio operator. By the way, the Spectrum Protection Act won't help this situation.

Thomas P. O'Brien, PE
AB5XZ
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W1RFI on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> The digital modes we have now are not able to ignore
> the broadband noise. Even if this new digital voice
> mode takes off there is no promise that the system
> used with BPL is going to be compatable with it. If
> your ears or the decoder card can not hear the
> signal you are not going to use ham radio.

You are quite correct in that if the noise level is much greater than the signal, no mode will function. Digital operation offers two advantages. From my experience listening to PSK-31, with a pretty good "mental filter," I expect that I can manage to decipher a slow Morse-encoded on/off keyed (OOK) CW signal by ear that is just about at the level that PSK-31 can accurately decode. The difference is that I find the noise tiring and fatiguing and the digital decoder doesn't.

I give up and go away, or lose concentration, while the digital decoder chunks right along. A slow mode like PSK-31 decoding algorithm can really narrow up the bandwidth, effectively ignoring the noise level outside its necessary bandwidth. PSK offers some decoding advantage over product detection.

One could also add various forward error correction(FEC) to the process and manage to gain more dB. Putting it all together, digital operation can have a significant advantage over manually decoded modes such as SSB or AM voice and OOK CW.

> I mentioned in a earlier post even the guys that
> hang on 2 meters or above are not going to be immune
> from this. Imagine this you like to keep your 2
> meter rig on for monitoring purposes, suspose this
> bpl or another type system comes on line all your
> going to hear is a constant background signal that
> only the stronger sigs are going to get over. Use
> the squelch forget it.

From what I am reading, the current upper limit for any proposed or actual PLC system is 80 MHz or so -- right in the TV bands. The broadcasters should be screaming. :-) This is not apt to be a threat to 2 meters at this time, and as one gets into VHF, the line "losses" (primarily from radiation) go up pretty fast.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: Why I/We shouldn't be worried about this...  
by KE4MOB on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Why am I not a member of the ARRL?

I think you all in Newington do some great work, but that is tempered by what has gone on in the state here over the last few years.

I don't feel like supporting any ham radio organization here....other than my local club (or maybe MARS eventually).
 
RE: Why I/We shouldn't be worried about this...  
by N4GI on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W1RFI writes:
<< He certainly can help us understand that we don't know it all, but I sure would not want to see a single ham use the tone in their filings that he is using with most of us here.>>

Me neither... Makes me wonder: Do judges have to put up with that kind of hostile ranting in a courtroom?

Blake N4GI


 
Open note to Riley Hollingsworth  
by N6TZ on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
What is new about digital interference on our bands? I have not been able to use 3.510 - 3.590 mHz for several years now. Wireless modems are there and also 3.010 - 3.090 mHz. Do you think I could ever get the phone company to listen to my complaint? No way; have you ever been able to locate anyone with any technical savy at the phone company in recent years? Might as well try explaining it to a dog. This particular interference is well documented and was published in QST about 3 years ago.
So what is Riley doing to police our bands? Isn't this deliberate interference? HELLO RILEY!!! How about this issue instead of attacking the Hi-Fi SSB users? As empty as our bands are, what difference is another 4 or 5 kHz of use by a small group of Hi-Fi operators? That is a drop in the bucket of spectrum use compared to these data systems that massacre the spectrum. Something does not seem to make sense in the priorities there.
Hal, N6TZ@arrl.net
 
This is appalling  
by K3NG on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The FCC just released RM-9404 in which they denied a new Amateur allocation in 135.7 to 137.8 kHz and 160 to 190 kHz due to potential interference to Part 15 devices -- PLC in particular. While this PLC is the existing low bandwidth, telemetry and control style PLC which manages the power grid and not broadband Internet access, I think it sets a perhaps dangerous precedence -- a licensed service denied spectrum due to an incumbent Part 15 device.

The Commission notes that they do not want to jeopardize utility service. My question would be, why are utility companies depending on a traditionally non-protected Part 15 devices to manage critical power grids ? If licensed Amateurs could interfere with this and take down power, what's stopping the next well-funded Al Queda cell from doing it on a grand scale across the country simultaneously ?

Perhaps aviation, public safety, and government allocations should be moved to Part 15 ?
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by K0RGR on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Josh - I don't think it's quite time to be looking at alternatives yet, but even if this happens, it will not be the death of Ham Radio. They published a book "200 Meters and Down" many years ago about the exploits of early hams after the government tried to abolish them by restricting them to the "worthless" HF frequencies. If this happens, somebody will write a book "2 Meters and Down" about how hams used new technology to replace HF functionality with things like satellites and moonbounce.

MOB - sorry to hear you have a beef with the local ARRL bunch - I don't know your situation, but it seems to me that our best shot is not just individual voices, but strong authoritative voices, and ARRL can at least pull together a cadre of like-minded groups whose vital interests are at stake, and get them to do the right thing for us. We need all of those, Red Cross, Salvation Army, all the church organizations that depend on us for contact with their missionaries, all the groups that use us to help with their parades, etc.. If you don't want to join, send $$ to their frequency defense fund.

I think it is more likely that ARRL will be involved in these trials than we individuals are. So far, it sounds like Ed is not getting any real cooperation.

I'm interested in hearing more from those who posted here that they know hams in areas where this was tested with no interference. There seems to be a big discrepancy here between what you're reporting and what's come out of Europe and Japan.
 
RE: Open note to Riley Hollingsworth  
by NN6EE on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Bravo Hal M'Boy!!!

No one had mentiioned the "Wireless Modems" out here until your Posting and you're absolutely correct in that here in the SF Bay Area the frequencies on 80 between 3510khz to approx. 3565khz are USELESS because of the emitted RF from those non-descript devices!!! When we had complained about it to the local Carrier responsible for the noise in the first place DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, even after complaints from other Hams in our area!

So if this is any indication of what is to follow with the proposed implimentation of "PLC" by the Telecommunications Giants of Corporate America then I'd venture to say that "Yah, we're gonna have a lot of problems!!!"

Even the Chairman of the FCC, the Honorable Mssr. Powell, did I just say honorable, OOOPS, anyway he's all "GUNG-HO" on the idea, does'nt that scare you too???

Money and Government go hand in hand!!! :-(((

Jim/nn6ee
 
RE: Don't be so sure!  
by W9WHE on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Everyone assumes that PLC will be classified as a part 15 device that must not cause harmful interference. DON'T BE SO SURE. What if PLC advocates succeed at getting PLC classified as an entirely new device, which, so long as it emits less than a certain level of RFI, is IMMUNE from complaints?

YIKES! There will be no "hitting them over the head with the rule book" as some suggest.
 
RE: Don't be so sure!  
by N1OL on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W9WHE,

Think you may be right . . .
This is an excerpt from the submission to the FCC by a PLC lobby group;

“Preliminary indications are that these products and services would comply with the existing limits in Part 15. However, the PLCA has had indications from its member utilities and PLC technology suppliers with whom they are in discussions that some adjustments to the Rules may facilitate deployment of PLC systems with greater through put and with greater distances between system amplifiers or fiber taps. This may allow greater flexibility in designing network topology in all service areas, and may improve the ability of PLC operators to serve rural and other less dense areas, than would be possible without such operational flexibility.”

Full text is here;
http://www.plca.net/website/PLCA%20Comments%20(3).PDF

73s

David
 
RE: Don't be so sure!  
by W9WHE on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
N1OL:

If you suggest I'm right, you will make W1RFI and KE4MOB really mad! Want to know how mad? just scroll up!
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W8OB on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
NN6EE you got that right! That low end of 80 is useless here as well and this is a fairly small city of I guess 14,000. The funny thing is I know most of the neighbors for a couple of blocks and have been inside their homes and don't recall seeing them use one of these so called part 15 devices. I just gotta wonder how the hell far away these things are located from me? Part 15 my rear end!!!
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W9WHE on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
NN6EE, why don't you just "hit them over the head with the rule book" as KE4MOB suggests?
 
RE: Open note to Riley Hollingsworth  
by W1RFI on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> What is new about digital interference on our bands?
> I have not been able to use 3.510 - 3.590 mHz for
> several years now. Wireless modems are there and
> also 3.010 - 3.090 mHz. Do you think I could ever
> get the phone company to listen to my complaint? No
> way; have you ever been able to locate anyone with
> any technical savy at the phone company in recent
> years? Might as well try explaining it to a dog.

The wireless modem jacks you refer to are the model PX-421 wireless modem jacks manufacturered by Phonex. They are no more the phone company's responsibility than would be a problem with a wireless telephone bought and used by a subscriber. I will clarify right up front that the wireless *telephone* jack made by Phonex never did use amateur frequencies, so they do not pose an interference threat to amateur radio.

First, although we can all be disappointed that Phonex unwisely chose ~3.53 MHz for one of their frequencies, upon receiving reports of widespread interference, within a few weeks (!) they had redesigned the product to use other frequencies and a few weeks later, the first of the new product was air shipped into the country. Where we might have expected corporate America to try to roll all over us, or try to cover up the problem, they addressed it head on in a very responsible way. The current spate of Phonex wireless modem products do not pose an interference threat to amateur radio.

Better yet, in the long run, Phonex has carried their experiences to the industry groups and standards bodies on which they participate, and, IMHO, that input from Phonex served as a part of the ultimate success with groups like HomePlug, Home Phone Networking Alliance and VDSL committees to voluntarily put spectal notches in their product specifications to minimize the liklihood of harmful interference to amateur radio.

These products were sold in 3 principle ways. Some were sold retail through companies like Comp USA, etc. Some were purchased by satellite TV providers to use in their installations. The majority were purchased by TCI Cablevision, subsequently owned by AT&T, and now, Comcast.(This s somewhat complicated by the system swaps that occur often in the cable industry.) TCI used them in conjunction with their digital cable installations.

Phonex recalled the product that was in the pipe, and contacted their major customers. TCI agreed to handle all reports of acutal interference, but utimately undertook a reasonably successful system-wide recall of the products in the field, at a cost that we can only imagine. If you are in an area that was ever TCI or AT&T, I stil have contacts at Comcast (I hope; things did get shuffled a bit) and if you contact me at w1rfi@arrl.org with your interference report, I can try to expidite communcation with them. If not, perhaps we can work on DFing the worst of them. Hang tight, though, because the next couple of weeks are going to be 95% PLC for me.

> This particular interference is well documented and
> was published in QST about 3 years ago. So what is
> Riley doing to police our bands? Isn't this
> deliberate interference?

With the sequence of events I described, there hardly is anything to police. The Part 15 limits are set high enough that if a legal Part 15 device is near a sensitive radio receiver (that would be us), interference is to be expected. The PX-421 is an excellent case history of that. The manufacturer's sole responsibility is to meet those FCC limits. Phonex did so, but when presented with a problem, they VOLUNTARILY addressed it.

Under the rules, the operator of the device is responsible for harmful interference. Until that is reported, they haven't broken any rules, and technically, the way the rules are written, only have to do anything about it upon notification by a commission representative. But before getting to that stage, they admitted their responsibility and have done a fair job in most areas about addressing the interference. No police action there, either, I believe.

This is all documented at:

http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/rfiteljx.html

In this case, although the Commission WAS watching this case develop, we never did find out what they would have done. ARRL put about 500 hours a year for a couple of years into working the matter; would the FCC have spent those resources? I really don't think so. ARRL did, because it was important to ham radio. It really opened some doors to better cooperation with industry and as a case history, is valuable to this effort.

Yes, those devices were at the FCC limit, but they caused widespread interference anyway. They operate on a relatively narrow bandwidth, but they caused widespread interference anyway. The manufacturer and operator addressed it -- because they could. Now, multiple that by having these devices operating on every power in every community. That is what the industry wants. The same problem? Now, put that same signal level on every frequency from 2 to 20 MHz, or higher. Same problem? Now, ask what the electric utility will do if told that an amateur who is not their customer is experiencing harmful interference from the PLC signals on the overhead lines providing PLC to 100 of his or her neighbors. What CAN they do to correct the interference, should it occur?

Some of these systems being deployed and field tested us the HomePlug spec. Those systems have a lessened interference potential than those that are not notched in the ham bands. But this NOI is not about individual systems, it is about what is permitted under the rules. At least at this time, some systems are NOT notched, and, at this time, amateur radio doesn't know what impact they will have.

I have done calculations that estimate that the field strength at the FCC limit will cause S9+ level signals at amateur receivers. I have every technical justification for believing that this represents a worst-case scenario, and that, without specific protection for amateur radio, that will occur in some cases. How many? I don't know. How will real-world systems stack up against this? It should be close, but I am very interested in completing our field work to find out.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI


 
RE: Don't be so sure!  
by W1RFI on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> If you suggest I'm right, you will make W1RFI and
> KE4MOB really mad! Want to know how mad? just scroll
> up!

N1OL is exactly right; the industry wants to increase the Part 15 limits so their systems would work better.

Now, it is almost starting to look as if making folks mad is your purpose for posting here. Tell me it ain't so! :-)

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: This is appalling  
by W1RFI on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> The FCC just released RM-9404 in which they denied a > new Amateur allocation in 135.7 to 137.8 kHz and 160
> to 190 kHz due to potential interference to Part 15
> devices -- PLC in particular. While this PLC is the
> existing low bandwidth, telemetry and control style
> PLC which manages the power grid and not broadband
> Internet access, I think it sets a perhaps dangerous
> precedence -- a licensed service denied spectrum due
> to an incumbent Part 15 device.

I haven't looked at that one yet, but that would, IMHO, be a travesty. It is getting to the point where unlicensed users are expecting and being given more rights than licensed users. What is wrong with this picture?

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: Don't be so sure!  
by W1RFI on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> Everyone assumes that PLC will be classified as a
> part 15 device that must not cause harmful
> interference. DON'T BE SO SURE. What if PLC
> advocates succeed at getting PLC classified as an
> entirely new device, which, so long as it emits less
> than a certain level of RFI, is IMMUNE from
> complaints?

> YIKES! There will be no "hitting them over the head
> with the rule book" as some suggest.

That is a real possibility. The Commission is asking how PLC should be regulated. With all of the FCC talk about "interference temperature" and the need to make the receivers responsible for interference, the spectre you raise should not be discounted. The NOI puts the whole ball of wax on the table.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: This is appalling  
by K3NG on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
>> I think it sets a perhaps dangerous
>> precedence -- a licensed service denied spectrum due
>> to an incumbent Part 15 device.

>I haven't looked at that one yet, but that would, >IMHO, be a travesty. It is getting to the point where >unlicensed users are expecting and being given more >rights than licensed users. What is wrong with this >picture?

Exactly. Now any industry can slip under the radar under the guise of Part 15, develop a service quietly that eventually becomes a critical "national infrastructure" or "health and safety" service and then command protection under regulations meant to allow garage door openers. What happens when your local electric company sells their Part 15 compliant PLC based Internet access to the local 911 center and you complain about the interference ? Will the FCC make the utility resolve the interference which likely will result in service deactivation ?

Here's the link to RM-9404 : (copy 'n paste - eHam apperently doesn't allow html in posts) http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-105A1.pdf

Notable quote: "While unlicensed PLC operations have no protection status, they provide a vital public service. Therefore, we disagree with amateur comments that we should not consider the impact on unlicensed operations when making spectrum allocation decisions."
 
RE: Don't be so sure!  
by WB4FUR on May 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
All: I have read all the comments on this topic on this particular board. I am discouraged at what I am reading...no doubt about that. I have a few observations:

1. Let's stay focused on facts, and drop the emotions. The backbiting, namecalling, and associated nonsense helps nobody and dissipates energy that we need to try to deal with this. We are all legal adults, I believe; let's not be KIABs (kids in adult bodies).

=====================================================

2. While we are at it, it's important to remember that it is not automatically true that big money is the only thing that talks in Washington. I guarantee you that if that were the case the political landscape in Washington and elsewhere would look a LOT different than it does today. In other words, if all it took was money, a lot of your basic freedoms would have been curtailed a LONG time ago.

I have had the opportunity to observe at close range a number of attorneys working on an unrelated FCC action. I can tell you that almost to a person they are people of both intelligence and integrity (and no, I'm not an attorney--I'm an engineer) who are trying to make the system work as well as it can work. And, believe it or not, it DOES work.

Th FCC will make decisions in this case according to the best engineering data it can gather, AND BASED ON THE COMMENT RECORD IT RECEIVES. It HAS to carefully not only consider the comments filed but it has to SHOW that it did so as part of its decision. The reason that this is the case is because any decision it renders CAN be challenged in court, and if the court believes that the FCC has acted capriciously or NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RECORD, a stay CAN BE SUCCESSFUL. This information comes from one of those attorneys I spoke of earlier. This is why it is HUGELY important that the record reflect YOUR views, as well as the PLC guys. Believe me, if there are large numbers of comments against this proposal in the FCC's record, and those comments have substance, it becomes very, very difficult for the PLC supporters to simply run roughshod over those comments. But those comments have to have MEAT--they can't be simply "I don't like this so make it go away".

====================================================

3. It is HUGELY important that the ARRL (as the ONLY entity that has the time and resources to focus real attention on this issue if it chooses) gather together and publish a set of briefing points on this topic that concerned hams can use as part of their own comments. We need more than to just say, as they did in the June issue, "We have a long fight in front of us"? Those of us that aren't in Newington need weapons to fight with. Here are some possible approaches:

a. Request under FOIA the approximate quantity of HF / VHF authorizations granted under NTIA auspices to Federal and non-Federal users in the HF spectrum (since this comes through the NTIA's Government Master File, and the GMF is classified). Request an extension of the comment period until that FOIA request is completed.

b. Combine this with the number of FCC licenses for HF/low-VHF users in the spectrum who will be adversely affected by this.

c. Socialize this data with the spectrum holders that can be adversely affected by this:

1. NTIA and associated Fed agencies (including Homeland Security)

2. National Guard (they use both HF and low-VHF tactical gear--how well will that work in this environment? What will it cost to either vacate the spectrum or change out all the gear? WHO PAYS?

3. Association of Public Safety Communications Officers / International Association of Police Chiefs / International Association of Fire Chiefs--all of these organizations have members who operate in 30-50 MHz and who stand to lose operational ability if this proposal goes through. What will the cost of relocation be? How long will it take? WHO PAYS?

4. MARS

5. CAP

Idea here is to work with these agencies and organizations to come up with a COST of allowing undisciplined PLC to be implemented. I suspect that the cost of replacing non-amateur systems will run into the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, if not BILLIONS. THIS is the king of thing that causes Congressmen, FCC commissioners, utilities, etc., to LISTEN. The "amateur radio tradition" is WORTHLESS HERE.

d. Crunch this data down into presentation material that we can (1) CRANK INTO COMMENTS and (2) PRESENT TO OUR LOCAL OFFICIALS, SO THEY CAN GET STIRRED UP AS WELL AND FILE THEIR OWN COMMMENTS!

e. Begin to USE the material thus generated to socialize this issue with the heads of the aforementioned agencies and organizations, so they can understand what this means to them and their memberships.

f. Explore the vulnerability of PLC to long-haul detection.

g. Explore the vulnerability of PLC devices to damage from all causes. Turn this into a reliability / system availability issue, particularly vs. fiber deployments.

h. Explore the bandwidth limitations of PLC, particularly vs. fiber / WIFI deployments.

We pay ARRL a princely sum every year (I sure do, and have for 20 years). Time for return on investment. GET US THIS DATA, AND QUICKLY!

=====================================================

4. Utilities may or may not view PLC ultimately as a revenue stream that they could enjoy. Remember, they are in the business of operating a 60 Hz power system. Only the most delusional among them will believe that their existing IT staffs will be sufficient to manage this service for them. They will have to hire staff and equip to be able to deploy and MAINTAIN PLC service on their lines. All the comments about existing line problems exacerbating the delivery of PLC services are, as far as I can tell, right on track. Add to that the need to be able to troubleshoot in a 6,900 volt-to-ground environment that MUST stay operational, and the maintenance of this becomes challenging, to say the least. Utilities are not stupid--if someone can show them the real costs compared to Wi-Fi or similar, they probably won't bite.

=====================================================

5. The comments about unlicensed services gradually expanding their priveleges are dead on track, but nobody should be surprised about this. I recommend that anyone interested in spectrum usage carefully reread the FCC Spectrum Task Force report, particularly those sections that deal with interference from one service to another, and the concept of "interference temperature" (I don't have the link handy--someone want to post it?). As far as I can tell from this and from other actions the FCC is completely committed (insofar as it is allowed to do so by the Congress) to do away with traditional licensing practices and restraints which basically operate against an unpolluted noise floor. Services will eventually have to specify how much noise they can tolerate, and other services will have to provide only that much protection. Services which by definition depend on an unpolluted noise floor (like ham radio) will probably have to have some sort of "safe havens" noise-wise. If the cost of those "safe havens" becomes too high, the services in question will simply get no protection.

====================================================

6. There is a basic societal issue that hasn't been discussed much in these comments: Does the United States (not the government, but the society) have a societal need or requirement to ensure data access at high speeds to all of its citizens? If we answer YES, then is PLC the best way to do this? If we answer NO, are we saying that we don't value all of our citizens equally? Is the need for PLC a result of the failure of the FCC to properly separate infrastructure and switching in the breakup of the Bells? Does this point to a need to revisit the ATT breakup before we implement this?

See how interesting (and how political) all of these questions get, and how quickly?

====================================================

7. IMHO, There is ENORMOUS pressure on the FCC to "stimulate technology" in order to recreate the financial movement of the late 1990s (what I call the "ya-ya 90s"). There are several reasons for this, but two are of particular significance to me: (a) the Congress desperately wants to be back in the position of having budget surpluses again, so that they don't have to be disciplined about spending, because they believe that SPENDING = ELECTORAL SUCCESS, and no amount of telling them otherwise (short of a massive recall effort focused on their lack of fiscal discipline) will ever convince them otherwise, and (b) this nation ripped through 3 TRILLION DOLLARS of 401K, etc., retirement funds during the ya-ya 90s, and those funds HAVE to be restored to at least some degree to mutual fund coffers before the large baby-boomer retirements start occurring a few years from now. The Congress and the Executive will do ANYTHING to restore some measure of fiscal health. If PLC will do this, they are going to find a way to do it.

====================================================

8. The concept of "digital HF" being able to work through this falls almost directly in line with the FCC's Spectrum Task Force plans. They PLAN on receiver "smarts" to be able to deal with raised interference levels. Technologies that can't do that (like straight HF SSB) may ultimately get no protection. Again, anyone interested in this should carefully read the Spectrum Task Force report.

These are the things I see from here. We need to focus on the economics of this relative to retuning / reallocation of existing services, and let emotions and "tradition" stay out of it, IMHO.

Just my comments. All replies welcome.

 
RE: Don't be so sure!  
by N1OL on May 15, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Dave,

After all of the doomsayers and negative comments your post shines like the sun on a summer morning.

You have made many excellent points and will pick up on a couple.

1. “The FCC will make decisions in this case according to the best engineering data it can gather, AND BASED ON THE COMMENT RECORD IT RECEIVES. It HAS to carefully not only consider the comments filed but it has to SHOW that it did so as part of its decision. The reason that this is the case is because any decision it renders CAN be challenged in court, and if the court believes that the FCC has acted capriciously or NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RECORD, a stay CAN BE SUCCESSFUL.”

>>> We need to focus on what these points are and how to express them, other interest groups have presented well thought through arguments. We must do the same.

2. “Crunch this data down into presentation material that we can (1) CRANK INTO COMMENTS and (2) PRESENT TO OUR LOCAL OFFICIALS, SO THEY CAN GET STIRRED UP AS WELL AND FILE THEIR OWN COMMMENTS!”

>>> There are 700,000 hams – who is getting the message out? Why is it buried on the ARRL web site? On the PLC web sites it is front page (to them it is important). The more input the better. We also need to motivate the SWL, Radio Astronomy and other HF users with clear concise arguments with a clear call to action (submit comments).
We need a web page like this one;
http://www.ctcnet.org/policy/erate_nprm_faq.htm
(Reminds me of building Heathkit equipment)

73s

David
 
RE: Why I/We shouldn't be worried about this...  
by W1RFI on May 15, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> If they truly operate as a spread spectrum device,
> then all we will notice is an increase in the noise
> floor by five or 10 DB (in other words a huge
> amount).

Spread spectrum does indeed spread its RF signal over a large bandwidth, so the effect on any single narrowband channel is less than if all that signal were on that channel. But it is NOT a panacea for interference. Right now there are various PLC systems, but most run from about 2 to 20 MHz or so, or 18 MHz wide.

Let's assume that the PLC system has a total power of 100 milliwatts, 0.1 watts, peak-envelope power. How much of that power can we expect to see in our channels? It is a simple ratio. Let's assume that we want to calculate the interference level in an SSB channel that is 2500 Hz wide on 3.8 MHz. First, we can determine the amount of PLC-system power being transmitted in that channel:

X:0.1 as 2,500:18,000,000
X=0.00014, or about 140 microwatts

This may not sound like much power, but if it is close, it can be rather loud. We can continue to work in watts, but this will be much easier in dB, so let's convert that power to dBW -- dB relative to a watt. 1 watt = 0 dBW.

dB = 10*log(power ratio)

dBW = 10*log(watts/1 watt)
dBW = 10*log(0.00014/1)
dBW = -38.5 dBW

The level of -38.5 dBW is the amount of power their transmitter is producing *in our bandwidth*, in this example. Real PLC power can be more or less, but not tens of dB less.

Will we hear it? Most receivers have a sensitivity of around -165 dBW. Just as a reference point, S9 is -103 dBW, just to put this in perspective. If all of that PLC signal got to the front end of your receiver, it would be 64.5 dB over S9. Of course, that isn't going to happen. Not all of their signal gets radiated, not all of it gets radiated in your direction ,not all of it will be picked up by your station antenna, and some of it will be lost in your feed line.

Fortunately, in dB, the math is prety easy. The factors that determine how much of that signal will get to your receiver are:
Transmitter power (dBW)
Transmit antenna gain (dBi)
Path loss (a distance/frequency thing)
Receive antenna gain
Receive system losses (feed line, tuner)

We know the transmit power as -38.5 dBW. Through a series of calculations a bit more complex, we can determine that if the power-line antenna has a gain of -37 dBi, that signal will produce a field strength right at the FCC legal limit of 30 microvolts/meter at 30 meters. I need to correct that for bandwidth, because the FCC limit is for a 9000 Hz bandwidth measurement, so let's add 10*log(9000/2500), or 5.6 dB to the -37 dBi and use -31.4 dBi for the transmit antenna gain. The receive antenna is a dipole, so its gain *over ground* will be about 6 dBi. Let's use 1 dB for feed-line, tuner or other losses.

That leaves path loss. This is an easy calculation in dB, too. The formula used most often for path loss is:

Path loss dB = 32.45 +20*log(FMHz)+20*log(Distancekm)

The figure for path loss would depend on the distance from the source. Let's assume the receive antenna is 30 meters, 0.03 km, from the power-line system antenna. We already decided we are on 3.5 MHz, so this means:

Path loss dB = 32.45 +20*log(3.8) + 20*log(0.03)
Path loss dB = 13.6 dB

Now we are ready to go. Our received signal level (RSL)in dBW will be:

RSL = transmit dBw+transmit antenna gain+receive antenna gain - path loss - other losses.

RSL = + (-38.5 dBW)
+ (-31.4 dBi)
+ ( 6 dBi)
- ( 13.6 dB)
- ( 1 dB)
RSL = -78.6 dBW

This is about 20 dB over S9.

Will it be that bad? Not quite. The PLC signal levels are measured for compliance in peak-envelope power, and in many cases, the average power in that bandwidth will be about 10 dB less. If we presume that the PLC signal will be at the FCC legal limit and cut them this 10 dB slack -- aw, heck, let's give them an extra 20 dB, just to be conservative.

RSL = -78.6 dBW - 20 dB = -98 dBW

This is 66 dB higher than our receive sensitivity. Now, in the real world, we can't hear signals at our receiver noise floors, because other external noise is present. At a reasonable "rural residential" location, ARRL has measured ambient noise floors in a 2500 Hz bandwidth at about -150 dBW or so. So, the signal received in this hypothetical example from a PLC system opeating at the legal limit will be 42 dB greater than what used to be a quiet location, after cutting them an extra 20 dB slack to presume peak/average and other factors.

Now, to me, THAT is a huge amount.

Now, there is a dim light at the end of this very dark tunnel. Some of the PLC systems use the HomePlug specification. A few years back, ARRL worked with HomePlug and the end result was that they voluntarily put a spectral mask in their product specificaiton that can give up to 30 dB notches in the ham bands. (Your dues dollars at work, or, at least someone's dues dollars at work!). That will help by 30 dB, which, in this example, would result in a 10 to 20 dB increase in noise. In a more noisy environment, a HomePlug spec PLC signal may be just audible in the ham bands, althogh in those areas, antennas are apt to be closer.

Clearly, more study is needed. I am trying to work with the industry to have joint testing of the field trials take place, but the last telconference call ended up with the decision that our lawyer needed to talk to their lawyer and my request to set a firm date was met with their request to study the test method ARRL wants to use. Naturally, I am making plans to strike out on my own again, although the last time I did that, I told them where I would be and the system was shut down that day for "regular maintenance."

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI



 
RE: Don't be so sure!  
by W9WHE on May 15, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
W1RFI says:

"Now, it is almost starting to look as if making folks mad is your purpose for posting here. Tell me it ain't so! :-)"

It ain't so Ed.

Fact is I pointed out a few overlooked realities (economics, politics, reality of technical solutions, and marketing) that, until recently, I alone thought needed consideration. Thereafter, I took wild incomming for suggesting that there IS another side to this issue and that hams may not have the upper (Part 15) hand. YOU attacked virtually every premise I raised. Goodness, you even suggested that the FCC lacked the power to impose "quiet hours" on a ham causing interference, totally ignoring 97.121 (Restricted operations) and 97.27 (Modification of License Grant).

Now, after some recognition of my points (and criticizum of you) your May 14 post suddenly agrees with my concern that PLC may not be classed as a Part 15 Device and thus the "hitting em over the head with the rulebook" solution might not work.

YOU suggest that MY purpose was to make people mad. I could suggest that your purpose was to make others mad at me, but I won't. But I do recognize another W1RF1 lesson learned. Can you say ARRL arrogance?




 
RE: Don't be so sure!  
by KE4MOB on May 15, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
"....my concern that PLC may not be classed as a Part 15 Device and thus the "hitting em over the head with the rulebook" solution might not work."

Uhh...John, very nice!! You've taken my argument and claimed it as your own. See my May 8 post where I said:

"In this instance however, there is an opportunity to influence the rules by which the gorilla operates before he even comes in the theater door. If we are lucky, when the gorilla says "no", we will be able to still figuratively "kick the regulatory crap" out of him, and make it prohibitively expensive for PLC deployment, or force accomodation. If we say nothing, then we have to take whatever the FCC gives us."

In fact, have you ever expressed "concern" that PLC *might* be a problem? The only thing that I have seen you express is that:

A) PLC is coming whether we like it or not.
B) Therefore, all attempts at comment making are useless because we don't provide a service "of any significant value." (Your words, not mine.)
C) We might as well just get used to it, and find a work around.

Have I classified your position correctly?
 
RE: Don't be so sure!  
by W9WHE on May 15, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Actually, No.

Because of the above, I advocated getting involved now, to influence the regs governing PLC. You overlooked that one! But given the volume of text here, its no suprise!
 
RE: Don't be so sure!  
by KE4MOB on May 15, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Agreed!
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by AB5XZ on May 15, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Once again:

Please do your very best to make a meaningful comment on the FCC's Notice of Inquiry. It won't help hams' case, or that of other HF users, if our comments are not written carefully and to the point.

The FCC has made it easy for us to file comments, and they have even given us a list of questions they'd like to have answered. The questions are spelled out in the Notice Of Inquiry. If many of us answer those questions clearly, we will have done the best we can.

The ARRL web site references earlier in this thread will get you the NOI and instructions for filing comments.

73TomAB5XZ
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by WD4LAM on May 15, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Guys, make a comment to the FCC. Steven has provided the link for you. Its easy.

Satellite internet is available and becoming cheaper. PLC is not needed verses the risks.
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N4UJW on May 15, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
There are over 600,000 licensed hams of all classes in the U.S.!
As of today 05-15-03, according to the FCC's records,
we have exactly 380 comments filed. Some may not be from licensed hams!

6000 comments from licensed hams would be 1 % of the 600,000.

HOW MUCH LONGER ARE YOU GOING TO WAIT AND WHY?
My comment is on file with the FCC....where's yours?
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N1OL on May 15, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
These are some of the questions that the FCC wants answers to in the NoI.
Please think through and come up with rational responses backed by data. There will be differences of opinion. Key is that the FCC is made aware of potential problems.
Post possible answers (together with the question), the more inputs the better everyone’s submission will be.

73s

David

- - - X

Is there a need to define frequency bands that must be avoided in order to protect the licensed users on the same frequencies as those used by Access BPL systems?

Are there mitigation techniques Access BPL systems can use to avoid possible interference with licensed users of the spectrum, such as mobile users or public safety and law enforcement users who may be traveling directly beneath the medium voltage lines?

What mitigation techniques are used by In-House BPL systems to avoid possible interference with licensed radio services, such as amateur radio, fixed, mobile and broadcast services?

Is there a need to define frequency bands that must be avoided in order to protect the licensed services that use the same frequencies as In-House BPL systems?

Since Access BPL equipment is installed on medium voltage lines that supply electricity to a residential neighborhood, should this equipment be treated as operating in a residential (Class B) or commercial (Class A) environment?

What are the probable interference environments and propagation patterns of Access BPL and In-House BPL systems?

Are there test results from field trials of Access BPL that may assist in the analysis of harmful interference?

Inasmuch as In-House BPL equipment is already on the market, are there any reports that may assist in the further analysis of harmful interference?

Are there specific issues of interference that we should address, e.g. an increase in the level of the noise floor?

What models are available for predicting radiated emissions from access BPL systems?

Are the existing Part 15 rules for low speed carrier current systems adequate to protect authorized users of the spectrum who may be affected by the new high speed BPL technology?

What changes to these rules, if any, are necessary to protect authorized radio services?

How should Access BPL systems be tested for compliance, given that they generally operate in an environment where signals travel on overhead medium voltage lines?

Could a standardized measurement method be developed for testing Access BPL in a laboratory or at an open area test site, using a specialized LISN or some characterized pole and wiring assembly? If so, how?

Would the new high speed Access and In-House BPL equipment pose a higher risk of interference to licensed radio services than the traditional carrier current systems?
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N4UJW on May 15, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Here I am again with more FCC "filed comment statistics" for those of you that may or may not be interested.
For your information, the FCC filed comments are on public record, to this Broadband situation, and can be searched using mostly names, addresses, states, etc.

Using the search criteria of (Connecticut), the home state of the ARRL, only 5 comments came up! Names and addresses are listed!
California had 39, Florida had 12, Alaska had 2!
My home state of Tennessee had 11, one being mine!

It appears to me, (using the FCC records), that some of you, even some of the more prominent "posters" here on eHam.net, got lost on the internet while attempting to give them your comments concerning our subject!
I checked several posters, (I will not identify you), you know who you are, with the search function on the FCC website. You are not there!

Stop reading these posts and go give your comment NOW to the FCC, not eham.net! Then please, please, find your way to the rig, phone, email or whatever method you choose and let your ham friends know that they should give them,(The FCC), their comments NOW! Let them know, in a nice way, that you will search for them on the FCC site later! All you need is their call, then search a ham call database to get their legal name, etc. Then come back to eHam.net!

Maybe this method will get some more of you off your, "I'm not concerned enough to comment to the FCC", attitude.
For you contesters out there....start a contest between states to see who gets the biggest percentage of the total ham population per state of Ham comments on the site! As I said above....the results are searchable and public record!

Some of you may not realize that posting your comments here, most likely, WILL NOT be seen by anyone at the FCC.
Also while I have the "mic", my hat's off to the great folks at eHam.net for being so kind to give their valuable "space" for our cause.
Thanks eHam!

73 Don N4UJW
P.S. If this made you "mad enough" to add your comment to the FCC, I'm Glad I could help in some small way!
NOW... MAKE ME "MAD" BY GETTING YOUR STATE A BIGGER PERCENTAGE THAN TENNESSEE! WHAT ABOUT IT CONTESTERS?
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by W8OB on May 16, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The previous posts are correct. You guys better get your heads out of the sand (or other places) and file some comments about this. Another good point where are all the gung ho contesters???? In case some of you are still missing the point this proposal not only is for the coming out of BPL but asking to rewrite the rules especially for it. want a preview of BPL, tune your rig to your favorite freq, then go set your nearby signal generator to the same freq. Happy hamming. This baby opens the door to give ham radio a ride in the back of the bus forever.
 
RE: Don't be so sure!  
by W1RFI on May 16, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> Now, after some recognition of my points (and
> criticizum of you) your May 14 post suddenly agrees
> with my concern that PLC may not be classed as a
> Part 15 Device and thus the "hitting em over the
> head with the rulebook" solution might not work.

"Suddenly" I wil tell you that PLC is a Part 15 device. Whether it will remain so after the FCC is done with all this is anyone's guess. Even if if does remain as a Part 15 device, I am not at all sure that the FCC would be willing to do what it takes to address a case of interference from a BPL system.

> YOU suggest that MY purpose was to make people mad.
> I could suggest that your purpose was to make others
> mad at me, but I won't.

Of course you won't... But I have some news for you; from some of the posts here, it doesn't appear that others need much prompting. If it comforts you to think that they are mad at you because of me, you are welcome to believe that, but it is my belief that the insults and condescending words you chose had something to do with it.

> But I do recognize another W1RF1 lesson learned. Can you say ARRL arrogance?

If you think the "lesson learned" is that someone who disagrees with you represents "ARRL arrogance" you may want to do some "extra credit" work. On what do you pin the blame for those who don't work for ARRL that disagree with you?

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by WA4MJF on May 16, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Don, did my comments make it in ok?

This is the first time I've ever done this.

Kinda neat, used to have to file 13 ? copies
of anything and it was to much of a pain.

Never really had anything I was passionate
enuff about to comment.

73 de Ronnie

 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N4UJW on May 16, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To Ronnie, WA4MJF,
YES, Ronnie,
Here's proof to you that I saw your comment on the FCC site today. This was at the end of your comment!
Major, SigC, USAR (Ret)

There were 18 comments filed from your state including yours! Total to date....only 395!

Maybe I can make some more of you "mad" enough to get your comments to Uncle Charlie! HI!

Our comments to them may not make "a hill of beans" difference, BUT, it sure does make you feel good to know that you've done a small part for the cause!
I think Ronnie can confirm this feeling!

Thanks Ronnie and all of you who have posted your comments on the FCC site, hopefully, your efforts won't be in vain!
If all of us who have posted our comment to the FCC persuaded just one more ham to comment, the numbers would double and if they did the same, they would double again, and again, and again, etc.
Come on guys and gals......your fellow hams are looking for your comment on the FCC site!
Don
N4UJW
 
Further Proof of a Big Business Oriented FCC  
by K3NG on May 16, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-234590A1.pdf

Powell has created a closed process to change media ownership rules.
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by K5UJ on May 17, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Everyone if you have not already done so, should take a look at and listen to the following streaming videos. Launch a viewer and take them in. Once you have seen these, any doubts about the seriousness of BPL will be changed into conviction:

Video Showing Effect of PLC on Over-the-Air Reception In Fulmpes, Austria
Internet: http://www.darc.de/referate/emv/plc/030103-PLC_Video_Fulpmes.wmv
Summary: This video with sound shows the strong levels of interference experienced to an HF receiver brought to Fulmpes, Tirol, Austria during PLC field trials.
Author: OVSV, Austrian Amateur Radio Society

Video Showing Effect of PLC in Linz, Austria
Internet: http://www.darc.de/referate/emv/plc/plc_video_linz.rm
Summary: This video with sound shows the strong levels of interference experienced to an HF receiver brought to Linz, Austria during PLC field trials.
Author: OVSV, Austrian Amateur Radio Society

Video Showing Effect of PLC in Tirol, Austria
Internet: http://www.darc.de/referate/emv/plc/plc_video_tirol.rm
Summary: This video with sound shows the strong levels of interference experienced to an HF receiver brought to Tirol, Austria during PLC field trials.
Author: OVSV, Austrian Amateur Radio Society

Please read the literature on this web page http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/ and take the time to READ the FCC's NOI before filing comments to the FCC. It is most important that comments be well informed. Those have the most effect.

Tnx & 73,

Rob Atkinson
K5UJ
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KY6R on May 18, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Wow - these Austrian demo video's are very good. It seems that there would be many services wiped out - I wonder who our allies would be - other larger, even corporate voices we can band together with to fight this?

We have a Nintendo Game Cube and a Sony Playstation in our house. When I transmit with more than QRP power, I interefere with these devices. When they are turned on, they emit weird spurs on many HF frequencies. They emit interference that sounds like a "wash" of white noise - its just as bad as what I saw in the Austrian videos.

I wonder if BPL will wreak havoc on these devices. I mention this because it seems like the ham community needs to find other services / electronic device manufacturers who will also be wiped out. I think we need allies, because the battle cry for ubiquitous internet access is all the rage. It seems that if the spread spectrum were contained to some "reasonable" spread of frequencies, then BPL can happen and we could still survive. Maybe there's a good compromise here. I also have faith that smart hams can and will find a way through this. Maybe game or other electronic manufacturers need the same solution we do - so maybe there is a set of technical solutions as well as spectrum compromises that can be worked out so we don't get blasted off HF.

Also - I wonder what kinds of filters can be designed to keep us immune from this mess? Is it possible?

And finally, I wonder what the hacker / pirate community will do with such a new open network - with so many easy access points . . . I wonder how much easier it will be for on line internet bandits to compromise the internet - and do so in an even more anonymous fashion.

Corporations will win - and politicians will continue to chase their windmills. So maybe there is a group of corporations who have the same problem that we will have. There are so many Part 15 devices that mention that they must allow interference - and BPL certainly must affect many more devices than ham radio equipment (right?).
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by KE4MOB on May 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks everyone for the discussion...now let's see what the FCC has to say....

Steve, KE4MOB
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by AB5XZ on May 20, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
My comment as filed today with FCC.

The Commission asks several questions in the Notice of Inquiry.

In this comment, I will respond to several of the questions, and I will also raise some questions that were not asked in the Notice.

Questions from the Notice:

1. "Is there a need to define frequency bands that must be avoided in order to protect the licensed users on the same frequencies as those used by Access BPL systems? Are there mitigation techniques Access BPL systems can use to avoid possible interference with licensed users of the spectrum, such as mobile users or public safety and law enforcement users who may be traveling directly beneath the medium voltage lines?"

The present standard for HomePlug has designated protected bands, specifically the amateur bands. As a minimum, I would expect that Access BPL specifications would protect those same bands. The problem I see is that there are other weak-signal users of HF and MF bands: short-wave broadcasters, radio-astronomers, and time/frequency services, for a few examples. Without some mitigation of the increased noise level from Access BPL, these services face a severely reduced level of usability.

2. "Since Access BPL equipment is installed on medium voltage lines that supply electricity to a residential neighborhood, should this equipment be treated as operating in a residential (Class B) or commercial (Class A) environment?"

Access BPL equipment must all be treated as Class B (residential) equipment. This is one case in which the FCC can and must stand firm. A lax enforcement of Class A vs. Class B equipment certification for Access BPL will make an already bad situation (personal computer equipment emissions) even worse.

3. What mitigation techniques are used by In-House BPL systems to avoid possible interference with licensed radio services, such as amateur radio, fixed, mobile and broadcast services? Is there a need to define frequency bands that must be avoided in order to protect the licensed services that use the same frequencies as In-House BPL systems?"

I do not know what mitigation techniques are used. As I stated above, in my response to question 1, I believe that all of the amateur, fixed, mobile, and broadcast users of licensed HF allocations must be protected.

4. "What are the probable interference environments and propagation patterns of Access BPL and In-House BPL systems? Are there specific issues of interference that we should address, e.g. an increase in the level of the noise floor? What models are available for predicting radiated emissions from access BPL systems?"

The noise floor for HF communications is naturally increased by geomagnetic storms, and the propagation of MF and HF signals (as well as noise from systems like Access BPL) is significantly enhanced by variations in the 11-year sunspot cycle. Any prediction of the effects of radiated emissions MUST take into account the long-term variation in HF propagation due to sunspot activity.

5. "Are there test results from field trials of Access BPL that may assist in the analysis of harmful interference? Inasmuch as In-House BPL equipment is already on the market, are there any reports that may assist in the further analysis of harmful interference?"

Results from field trials in Europe and Japan are available from ARRL. These reports indicate, for the most part, that Access BPL produces an unacceptable level of harmful interference to HF communications.

6. "How should the Part 15 rules be tailored both to ensure protection against harmful interference to radio services and to avoid adversely impacting the development and deployment of this nascent technology?"

Because of the potential wide deployment of Access BPL, the Commission should tailor the Part 15 rules to provide for an active regulation of the Access BPL environment, rather than the passive approach that the Commission has appeared to take in cases such as interference to RF-susceptible telephone instruments by licensed services.

7. "Given their different operating environment, is it necessary to tailor the rules to differentiate equipment used specifically in Access BPL and In-House BPL applications, or should one set of general limits be applied to both? What should such limits be and what is the technical basis for them?"

It is clear that the rules for Access BPL applications must account for propagation of their radiated emissions over long distances. In-House BPL applications should be subject to radiated/conducted emission limits that obviate the need for after-market filters we now see with DSL.

8. "Should the Part 15 rules specify both radiated emission limits and conducted emission limits for BPL systems, or would one type of limits be sufficient to control interference from both low speed and high speed BPL? Since all carrier current systems inject RF signals into the power line for communication purposes, would conducted emission limits be more appropriate to protect authorized radio services?"

It would be prudent for the Commission to specify both radiated and conducted emission limits for BPL systems, both Access and In-House. An inadequate approach to these limits would open the door for the destruction of HF communications.

Questions not asked in the Notice:

1. Are there long-term MF and HF propagation effects that should be considered in evaluating the interference potential of BPL operation?

There have been several studies conducted, and more are under way, that evaluate the interference effects of In-House BPL. The interference effects of "Access BPL" have been calculated, but not actually measured under heavy-use conditions, because the measurement of broadband interference is difficult. My main concern with this issue is that little or no measurement or evaluation has been done regarding the interference potential of "Access BPL" in periods of high sunspot activity. We are presently experiencing a normal Solar Minimum, in which HF propagation is naturally reduced. I expect that "Access BPL", in a Solar Maximum situation (in about six years) will produce noise that will be propagated all over our planet. That sort of propagation shift has produced surprises in the past (I have heard that Germany's tank commanders got some surprises during WWII). The effects of a propagation shift, combined with a boom in "Access BPL" in the US, could wipe out HF (short-wave) broadcast reception in many less-developed countries who depend on short-wave broadcasts for news and entertainment. In a Solar Maximum, an HF listener (especially an amateur radio operator) can virtually "hear a pin drop" anywhere on the globe. During a Solar Minimum, as we have today, the noise washes out weak signals. In summary, I believe that the long-range, long-term propagation effects must be taken into account in any balanced assessment of the interference effects of BPL, specifically "Access BPL".

2. Are Access BPL and In-House BPL users susceptible to interference from licensed services? What action should be taken in case of interference?

My opinion is that Access BPL and In-House BPL will both be susceptible to interference from the licensed services, spread-spectrum modulation notwithstanding. When such cases arise, there will be a hue and cry from the non-technical consumer for some immediate Commission action. I don't believe that the Commission's current "Part 15 must accept interference and must not cause interference" position will withstand that pressure. The worst case scenario, in my opinion, would be a repeat of the Commission's 11-meter/Citizen's Band regulatory debacle.

3. It appears that the U.S. AM Broadcast Service is already designated for protection against interference from Access BPL. Why would this service be protected, while the large number of services in the 1.8 MHz to 80 MHz range would not?

I suspect that the proposed protection of AM Broadcast is the BPL equipment manufacturers' idea. It is not obvious that AM Broadcast should get special treatment, nor is more susceptible to interference than other services in the 500 KHz - 80 MHz range.

4. In a recent FCC Report and Order, the allocation of spectrum around 130 KHz to the Amateur Service was denied on the basis of a suggested risk to the safety of the national Power Grid, if amateurs were allowed to transmit in that range. If the power grid is susceptible to such interference, is it also capable of radiating harmful interference?

The addition of high-pass filter devices to the power grid, specifically to permit transmission of revenue-producing services within the power grid, concerns me. It seems that the manufacturers and the power network owners are so anxious to get this technology deployed that they will not take a serious look at the impact of adding these new devices to the power grid. I have worked with electronic and computer systems for many years, and I understand the fundamental facts of complexity versus reliability. When complexity increases, reliability decreases, unless serious measures are taken to prevent it. I would rather the power companies not tinker with their working, reliable system in search of a new revenue stream, no matter how big they think it is. Those who now are "underserved" with broadband Internet service will enjoy their newfound access, but will not appreciate the financial and political nuances of a decision that leads to a failed power grid.

I have been involved in amateur radio since about 1960. I currently hold an Extra Class license, call sign AB5XZ.

My educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Telecommunications. I am a licensed Professional Engineer in Texas.

Respectfully,

Thomas P. O'Brien, P.E.
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N1OL on May 20, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Tom,

Thanks for posting your comment many excellent points, we must debate how best to respond to the NoI questions and position the issues.

One issue that we should raise is that as BPL is white noise, tracing the origin when the safety is at risk (such as interference with aircraft communications) may be very difficult. To help track interference, BPL signals should identify themselves every 10 minutes with an easy to understand ID such as 5 wpm Morse.

73s

David

 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by GOSTRYTER on May 20, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Bohemian Wizards of OZ

Who are the masked men behind the Power Line Communications plot (AKA Jamming)? Surely no one (corporation) would INTENTIONALLY kill off shortwave radio? Who would profit from such a crime?

Not unlike Clear Channel monopoly censoring a list of 150 pop songs in the wake of 9-11-2001. Apparently for dissing the performance of the White House to protect the safety of US citizens and the US economy.
http://geocities.com/wutk_censored

United We Stand! Gotta do it for The Fatherland and our Furher, er Father, er Homeland. Raise your right hand and repeat after me: Seig Heil!

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."
—President-Elect George "Texascutioner" Bush, CNN News, Aired December 18, 2000

The following news has been reported heavily via shortwave broadcasting, along with AM, FM, Pirate/Micro FM, TV, CATV, Internet streams and videotape sales. Connecting the dots quickly reveals motive for shutting up shortwave BCB, if not shutting down ham communications entirely (as performed during times of war, like WWs 1&2).
http://gcnlive.com/hosts.htm
http://infowars.com
http://thepowerhour.com

Scripps Howard multinational multimedia cartel owns COMCAST broadband ISP service, along with cable TV networks like Food Network and DIY Network. It controls email and website censorship via its ATT Worldnet ISP division. It owns monopolies in newspaper markets, like in its hometown HQ in Knoxville, Tennessee. It seeks, demands and wins hundreds of millions (if not billions) of taxdollars in corporate welfare, at the expense of home owners, renters and so-called "small" biz
owners (any company not a multinational... yet).

How do I know this communications intelligence? Because I live in Knoxville, read the news, I've performed $10,000s in legal research and because this corporation and its agents (and its masters) illegally censored and cancelled my website (that loudly complained of its corporate welfare and other dirty dealings), cancelled by ISP without notice, and censored by email. All for
daring to repost a newspaper article by Reuters News Service Corporation (AKA alleged "SPAM"). Scripps et al illegally conspired by Dreamhost.com webhosting to violate its contract with me and illegally cancel my website without notice, for daring to send an email via ATT telephone lines.

Perhaps these criminals did not appreciate my websites and emails reporting their public confessions of looting $20-million welfare from Knoxvillians to abandon their toxic waste dump downtown to win a free new HQ from the taxpayers? Or Scripps' plan to embezzle a billion dollar welfare check for demolition of downtown to build its Universe Knoxville theme park to the Scripps empire. This crime WILL be litigated for breach of contract and fraud. "Slam dunk", as the legal professionals call it. And I'll be transferring my monthly payments to the noncensored Infowars.net ISP/email/webhosting.

Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe is annexing Knox County every week to double taxes to fund Scripps' empire building, and preclaimed in city council, October 2000: "You will pay any tax increase I tell you to pay. You can afford it!"

Business reps and lawyers rebutted: "We won't pay $500,000 property tax increases to get zero improve in our current services. Not only will we abandon Knoxville first, but we will leave Tennessee and the USA!"

As city council member Carlene Malone told me and reported in the press: "It looks like a damn Habitrail with Rocky Top playing in the background. The people who designed it must be frigging brain dead—turning downtown into a theme park mall for Stepford Childs. Call in Disney and hoist the Mouse's Ears [a local mafia strip no-tease club]. The taxpayers will be paying for this fiasco for generations to come. It will never recover. Knoxville must be the most corrupt city on Earth. On city council with mayor Ashe, I was in the presense of evil."

Malone then proceeded to sue the mayor and city council for holding illegal secret meetings.

Scripps' illegal behavior is the legal definition of racketeering and orgainized crime. Codified RICO Acts specifically apply to corporations and GOVERNMENTAL agencies and employees. Government prosecutors routinely convict such criminals for their conspiracies.

Owners of Scripps-Howard empire are members of Bohemian Club, which hosts the annual presidential retreat at its 2,500 acre Bohemian Grove. Amongst the giant redwood trees, US presidents, world leaders, Pentagon generals (Colin Powell) and media moguls (FCC head is General Powell's son) romp nekked through the forests, hold bizarre pissing contests, and perform mock human sacrifiecs to their 50-foot-tall stone idol named Owl of Bohemia. All with the protection of Secret Service and Sonoma County sheriffs deputies (and their eyewitness video cams).

After a team of journalists from Austin Texas and England infiltrated with their own video cams, and eyewitnessed the annual Cremation of Care ceremony, under the full moon. And the human sacrifice burned screaming on the stone altar... Real TV from
HELL:
http://infowars.com/bg1.html
http://geocities.com/bohemian_grove_dirt
http://geocities.com/bohemian_grove_cult

New York Times attempted a 25-page hit piece on the videographer Alex Jones. The Simpsons producer made a Hollywood movie, Teddy Bear's Picnic, to attempt descreditation of Jones. Perhaps they didn't appreciate USA learning that Bill Clinton Blythe IV (Rockefeller) vacations every year with Sir George Bush Sr Knight of the British Empire, and George Jr 3rd cousin to
the German Queen Elizabeth of England (AKA Sax Coberg Gotha)?

Georges Bush, Senator John Kerry (D presidential hopeful in 2004) and Knoxville mayor Ashe are alumni of Yale Skull and Bones Senior Secret Society (AKA "Brotherhood of Death"), where they are initiated while stripped nekked in coffins while masterbating with their buddies (as reported on NBC TODAY Show, and get married the same way. New Yorker Magazine reported that one room of its tomb is adorned with NAZI paraphenalia, and that they eat of Adolf Hitler's silverware. Fox TV
broadcast Skull's ritual initiation in 2001, complete with the slitting of a screaming woman's throat with blood spurting out, and Little Devils helping Big Devils scream "DEVIL EQUALS DEATH! DEATH EQUALS DEATH!" While reenacting the "reaming of Al Gore's bumhole."
http://secretsofthetomb.com
http://www.bostonherald.com/HiasysTools/PrinterFriendly.bg/www2.bostonherald.com/news/national/bone05152003.htm
http://geocities.com/skull_and_bones_nazis
http://geocities.com/scarabbean_secret_society_ut
http://godandcountryclub.com

Fox News et al have reported "briefly" the fact that George Bush Jr et al are currently sued by the US Postal Service, FBI agents, Pentagon commanders, and families of victims of the 9-11-2001 terror massacre -- FOR PERPING THE 9-11-2001 AND ANTHRAX TERROR MASSACRES. (San Francisco Federal District Court, prosecuted by attorney Stanley Hilton, Bob Dole's former chief of staff, who also is seeking criminal arrests and prosecutions).
http://prisonplanet.com/audio.html
http://www.examiner.com/news/default.jsp?story=n.lawyer.0611w
http://geocities.com/sept911treason
http://judicialwatch.org (who also impeached President Clinton)
FREE 2.5-hour download of video, 911 Road To Tyranny:
http://www.c0balt.com/resources/911/download.shtml

Trillionaire Resident George Bush Jr is a confessed four-time convicted felon, in business with the Bin Laden family via Carlyle Group Pentagon contractor and recent purchaser of Universal Studios in Hollywood propaganda land. Granddaddy Senator Prescott Bush Esquire, a Wall Street trial lawyer, was arrested and handcuffed 3 times under Trading With The Enemy Act for
supplying Adolf Hilter with 50% of the steel the NAZIs used DURING World War 2 to help kill 55-million people. Prescott pled guilty and paid a $750,000 criminal fine:
http://awolbush.com
http://www.geocities.com/greenparty_dwi_jokes
http://www.geocities.com/prohibition_us/dui.html
http://www.prisonplanet.com/analysis_lavello_041403_bush.html

No wonder Bush et al's Homeland Security Police and anti-U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Acts threaten EVERY right that Americans wish they had - and grants elite criminals blanket immunity. No wonder 100s of cities and the entire State of Alaska has BANNED the so-called U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, and promise criminal prosecution for any cop who attempts to enforce its
illegal orders:
http://infowars.com/print_patriotact2_analysis.htm

Censorship and homicide of Shortwave Radio - who done it?

Could it be... SATAN?! Or just a bunch of superrich psycopaths running amok?

As one psychiatrist explained on shortwave news last week: "The higher you go in ANY organization, the more psychopaths you meet. To rise to the top (like scum), a person has to stab more and more people (competitors) in the back, thus killing one's own soul and conscience in the process."

To save shortwave from the broadband barons (according to Bob Dole's former chief of staff), Resident George Bush Jr and CIA Company must be arrested, imprisoned, prosecuted, convicted, sentenced to life in prison or summary execution under their own U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Acts. Anyone care to make a citizen's arrest...?

John Lee
former USAF nuclear bomb loader
(victim of Gulf War vaccines that killed 40,000 US veterans and disabled 400,000 denied benifits or treatment:
gulfwarvets.com)
Lee Paralegal Investigations
Winners Web Design (Y2K Collegiate State Champs)
IDIOTBOXWARS CATV NEWS
Thinking outside the Idiotbox
Knoxville, Tennessee
http://geocities.com/idiotboxwars
http://idiotboxwars.org (censored)
 
RE: PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by GOSTRYTER on May 21, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Broadband ISP also allows 2-way "videoconferencing" (AKA video monitoring of house-arrest "criminals" on parole). Broadband will allow inexpensive video monitoring of every room in every house. Homeland Security makes ALL crimes "terrorist" crimes, even traffic tickets and parking tickets. Peaceful demonstrators will ALL be sentenced to life in prison without parole if one person blocks traffic. Summary executions are authorized without the bother of arrest or trial (no pesky appeals). Pentagon's DARPA Total Information Awareness Network is now run by 5-time convicted felon Admiral John Poindexter (convicted and pardoned by Bush Sr's CIA narcoterrorism). Trust your government, if you dare...
http://darpa.mil
http://infowars.com
http://prisonplanet.com
 
Um, GOSRYTER...  
by KD4LEI on June 18, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
In all of your rambling on of your government conspiracy theories that you and many others view (The cooky cast and listeners of The Power Hour (More a liberal political hangout than the conservative views they claim to preach), Art Bell and whomever else). I have one big question:

What did the substance of your comments concerning PLC have anything to do with Amateur Radio or shortwave?

Honestly, you have waivered off-topic by going into something reserved for a general discussion. I am not trying to belittle a fellow war veteran, but frankly I don't prefer to read it about government conspiracies here.

I think a lot of people know there are things wrong and deeply evil about our government. Nor should we be living blindly either. But! Reading info about PLC does concern me a little. Especially since I am wanting to buy an HF rig and I do have the big powerlines within 400 yards of my home.

Have a good one!
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N2MWE on August 29, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I don't know...did the FCC remember that commercial aviation also uses to HF bands? It would be real interesting for New York Oceanic to send out a SelCall signal to a flight to tell them to change flight level, but have the SelCall signal be blocked by this radiation.
Now, of course, someone might say no way would this interfere, considering how high the aircraft are, and the control towers are more or less isolated.
Anyone like to bet on that? Commercial pilots, would you stake your passengers' lives on that?
 
PLC... An Emerging Threat to Ham Radio:  
by N5JOB on August 31, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Should PLC be implemented? NO?

But the F.C.C. is nothing but a WHORE to the companies. Just look at who's chairman! A know-nothing PUNK political appointee who happens to be Colin Powell's son.

What are you going to say to HIM to stop this insane PLC plan?
 
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