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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL

Douglas J. Renze (N0YVW) on September 19, 2003
View comments about this article!


For what it's worth in the fight against BPL, I have recently sent the following letter to my Congressman and both my Senators electronically from their websites. You can electronically submit the same (or similar) letter to your Congressman and/or Senators by going to their sites through www.house.gov and www.senate.gov. If you like, you can even do a cut-and-paste of this letter in its entirety - just be sure to do any necessary customization to YOU and YOUR particular state.

Please also note... I do not vouch for the accuracy of this letter. It is based on MY understanding of the issues, technologies, and regulations involved, nobody else's.

Enjoy.

[LETTER FOLLOWS]

As a licensed member of the Amateur Radio Service (YOUR CALLSIGN) and a concerned citizen, I respectfully request that your office examine the Notice of Inquiry currently before the Federal Communications Commission, ET Docket 03-104, regarding expanded limits on Power Line Current (PLC) systems for the purpose of deploying Broadband over Power Line (BPL) systems.

PLC is a technology which utilizes the existing power grid as a conductor of low-power radio emissions for the purpose of transmitting data. PLC is regulated under FCC Part 15.209, and is currently used in a limited fashion by utility companies to transmit control signals to remote equipment and also in some in-home devices, such as wireless intercom systems and wireless phone jacks. One such device is marketed under the name of HomePlug. Under current power limits and regulations, PLC serves a useful niche and is relatively harmless.

On 6 February 2003, Current Technologies, LLC filed a request for waiver of existing limits on PLC for the purpose of deploying Broadband over Power Line (BPL) systems, a method of bringing high-speed data services into currently non-serviced areas by using PLC technology. This would allow utility companies to provide services, such as high-speed Internet, to rural areas with relatively little additional investment in infrastructure. While this is a meritorious goal on the surface, it is, in fact, a hazardous goal.

Under FCC Part 15.209, which Current Technologies' request for waiver seeks to modify, PLC systems are allowed to operate between frequencies of 1.7 and 30 Megahertz. Radio frequencies below 30 Megahertz are unique, in that they are capable of worldwide propagation with no infrastructure other than a transmitter, a receiver, and an antenna at each end. Above 30 Megahertz, a man-made infrastructure is necessary to retransmit radio signals. Examples of such a man-made infrastructure are the cellular telephone network, communications satellites, and repeaters for radios in both the Amateur Radio Service and the General Mobile Radio Service. As has been so clearly demonstrated in recent weeks, man-made infrastructure can and will fail, if only for so prosaic a reason as a power failure, such as recently happened in the Northeast.

Because of the ability for radio signals in this frequency range to propagate world-wide, the Federal Communications Commission was formed to safeguard this precious resource. Currently, many licensed radio services have frequency allocations in this portion of the radio spectrum including the Amateur Radio Service, which has nearly a century of history of providing public service communications, including communications with American soldiers stationed overseas through the Military Amateur Radio Service (MARS) and support of disaster recovery efforts for agencies, such as the Red Cross, as we did after Hurricane Andrew and in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Another radio service, which has been allocated space in this portion of the radio spectrum is the Citizens' Band Radio Service (CBRS), which operates at approximately 27 Megahertz. The CBRS is vital to interstate commerce and is a lifeline to thousands of travelers annually.

A third radio service, which has been allocated space in this portion of the radio spectrum is the Maritime Mobile Service (MMS), which has various allocations between 2 and 27 Megahertz for ship-to-shore use. These allocations are vital to international trade and to the safety of the United States Merchant Marine and the Merchant Marine of other nations. Furthermore, these frequency allocations are safeguarded from interference under international treaty obligations.

Finally, according to reply comments to this matter filed by National Telecommunications Infrastructure Administration (NTIA) on 20 August 2003, the military has more than 18,000 frequencies allocated on a primary basis in this portion of the radio spectrum, many of which transmit encrypted data, which is sensitive to disruption.

Increased power limits for PLC emissions, as called for in the request for waiver, will deliver harmful interference to these radio services, resulting in disruption. Such disruption will result in hazard to the life and property of American citizens. Furthermore, because of the great number of military frequencies, which inhabit this portion of the radio spectrum, there may very well be an exploitable hazard to national security due to such interference. That such harmful interference to licensed radio services will take place from increased power limits for PLC emissions is a given. One independent agency, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) of Newington, CT, an organization representing members of the Amateur Radio Service, has already found harmful interference in the relatively few locations where BPL has already been deployed. Furthermore, the government of Japan, as well as the governments of several members of the European Union also found there to be high levels of harmful interference to licensed radio services as they considered and discarded similar proposals for expanded PLC systems for BPL.

Furthermore, there is the grave risk for interference to be generated by BPL systems on frequencies as high as 80 Megahertz, which would create harmful interference in portions of the radio spectrum, which are allocated to civilian law enforcement and rescue agencies. This will create a definite hazard to life and limb for the average citizen.

Furthermore, because of the high sensitivity needed in PLC equipment, it is extremely susceptible to interference from licensed radio services, which, under FCC Part 15.209, it is required to accept, since it is unlicensed equipment. In fact, the manufacturers of the previously mentioned HomePlug product were forced to initiate a product recall and do a complete redesign of their product for that exact reason. Even with the redesign, however, it is still possible for a nearby radio signal of as little as 5 Watts to render the HomePlug useless. As a comparison, a CB Radio transmits a signal of 4 Watts and an Amateur Radio Transceiver may emit as much as 1500 Watts. This would be enough to render BPL service completely useless over a broad area -- but under 15.209, it would be incumbent upon BPL service providers to accept that interference.

As an Iowan, I am well aware of the economic boost to our state's economy that widely-available high-speed data access would provide. Proponents of BPL will state that BPL is the best way to achieve this.

They are incorrect.

The FCC recently allocated radio spectrum at approximately 5 Gigahertz for the Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (UNII). The UNII is a less expensive and more advanced alternative to BPL. The advantages of UNII over BPL numerous -- higher power levels, wider bandwidth (which equals more and faster data throughput), low power consumption (it could be solar-powered), relays only need to be stationed at distances between four and ten miles (as opposed to every mile or two for BPL systems). And the major advantage is that it exists today. There are already commercially-available UNII systems, such as the Motorola Canopy system.

Furthermore, whereas the costs and benefits of BPL systems are currently theoretical (currently only test systems have been deployed), there are currently UNII systems operating in the real world. I would respectfully direct your attention to one such system, using the Motorola Canopy UNII system, which has recently been deployed in Republic, MO, as an example.

[YOUR CONGRESSMAN OR SENATOR], for the reasons above, I respectfully request that you contact the Federal Communications Commission and make your opposition to this waiver, filed by Current Technologies, LLC, known.

Respectfully submitted,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR ADDRESS]

[CITY], [STATE] [ZIP]

[YOUR PHONE NUMBER]

[YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS]

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by W8OB on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Doug, This letter is a excellant template for others to use. I have already written my reps over this but I am sure there are tens of thousands who have not. Its nice to see a article on here that has a positive content for a change.
 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by N0EW on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Doug,

Your template to congress is a very well written letter. There are many good points, but I what I like best is it concludes with a proposed solution to the problem!

This is important. Whinning without offering a solution is not of great value, however, presenting a structured criticism with a proposed solution (and in this case a commercially viable one already being deployed) is a meaningful commentary.

Had I not already written my congressmen I would adopt your letter. Thank you for the time and thought you obviously put into its writing, and for posting it to the rest of the world.

I also gained personal information in that I had not been aware of the UNII system, nor that one such system existed the perverbial stone's throw away from me!

Sincere regards & 73,
Erik, n0ew
 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KG4YJR on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I guess you don't pay attention to the news when representatives are on. Each congressman/senator gets over 2 - 4 thousand emails a day thanks to these so-called fill in the blank emails. In their own words they are USELESS. Mailing a letter to your representatives local/state office, not Washington (this is what they recommend) usually gets a response from someone personally on their staff. But if you like wasting your time and their staff who has to delete all the obvious scripted emails go ahead. Really, who made you think they'd read the same email over and over.

73
Dave
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by K0BG on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with Dave on this. Fact is, if your handwriting is good enough that's the way to go. It'll make a much better impact than a typed one or an e-mail.

Alan, KBG
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KD5ING on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
My recommendation is to use their website, mail them a letter or fax them a copy.

They do read what comes in over their websites. I sent my thoughts on this to Wash. and I received letters that responded to specific points in my letter. At least someone in the office read it.

Tim Lewallen
KD5ING
 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by FJGH on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I disagree that this is a good template. Its too long, too technical, too self-serving. No member of Congress is ever going to spend the time to read this kind of a letter. Make letters short and use common English instead of technical jargon.
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by BUBBA4CW on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Yo... BUBBA here...
I think we should all get in our "big rigs" and go down and pay them a friendly visit.
When the see all them there antennas and beefy hardware, they might get the message.
I should even bring my lin-e-ar... show 'em I'm a "big strapper"....

10-4?...
 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KG5JJ on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Good letter. I would remove references to the Citizens Band radio service, however. We don't want our representatives to equate Amateur Radio with the unregulated mayhem on CB, or its illegal spill-over into our amateur bands.

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KG5JJ on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Oh. BTW. I emailed my congressman and got a personal letter, in just a few days, complete with his personal signature (I checked, the ink ran!)

It is ridiculous to think that emails are round-filed.

YMMV, but I was thoroughly surprised at the prompt reply.

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KZ9G on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Yes-

Please remove the reference to the Citizen's Band. Let's not confuse the non-technical staffers, or have them group us with the CB'ers. That would not be good...

73.
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by N2NZJ on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
THIS LETTER IS VERY WELL WRITTEN AND SHOULD BE COPIED BY AS MANY AMATEUR RADIO LICENSEES AS POSSIBLE and sent to their local congressman. BTW they have a C.O.S.and many asst.CHF.OF STAFFS who delegate these letters and you will be heard.HAND WRITTEN LETTERS ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE.all radio amateurs should PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THIS ARTICLE RATHER THAN THE JUNK ARTICLES that are just TROLLING FOR THREADS.we are not out of the woods on this BPL THREAT YET!!!!!!!. BTW you will get an answer from your local congressional office STATING THEY HAVE RECIEVED YOUR LETTER.so to all best 73 and GOOD LUCK with your letters (i will DO THE SAME.)N2NZJ TOM.
 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by N7BUI on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Nice job Doug. I plan on sending a version of it to our Reps here in Oregon. Thank you.
 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KL7EDK on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Doug,
Excellent, well written letter!! I hope many hams will tune in on this subject and speak up.
Jerry
 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by VA2ADB on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
N0YVW certainly has his heart in the right place and more of us should show his commitment to engaging our governments.

If the U.S. government is anything like the Canadian offices I'm familiar with, e-mail is taken just as seriously as hard copy. A note from a citizen is a note from a citizen.

Unfortunately, a lot of the points he raises will never be read. The letter is far too long and technical. If you want someone to read your text, you'd better keep it short and to the point.

With that said, the rest of us should be busy at the keyboard... ;-)

Alan VA2ADB
 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by K0OOK on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
It's a well worded letter and I'm going to be sending copies off to my Congress critters tomorrow. But, there is one mistake in it. PLC stands for Power Line Carrier, not Power Line Current.

73
Pat, K0OOK
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KB0GU on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I am considering sending this one myself with the appropriate changes in place. Excellent letter.
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by N0YVW on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KG4YJR -- Don't like the letter, then don't use it. Just write a d---ed letter. In fact, I agree with you: A personalized letter directly from you to your Congressman or Senator is very definitely superior to a boilerplate letter. Just make sure that it's more than "I want you to stand against BPL, because it's a bad, bad thing."

But a boilerplate letter is better than no letter at all.

Also, my decision to mention CB was based on the following rationale: There are more of them than us. If Congressman Joe looks into it, he'll find out that there are only 600,000 or so licensed hams...and that only a fraction of them are active. However, he definitely knows that there are a heckuva lot of CB'ers out there.

Frankly, I believe we're being self-serving if we don't mention other radio services -- including the CB allocations. That kind of Elitist attitude in this matter is what's going to get us BPL'd right out of our HF.

Off on a rant...in the BPL commentary phase, we hams came off looking bad. Go to the FCC site and look up the comments. Most comments from hams are along the lines of "Please don't do BPL. What are we going to do about national security?" (BTW, near as I can remember, that is one comment that I read quoted word for word). Unfortunately, that was the norm.

However, we have it in our power to make the difference with a well-orchestrated letter-writing campaign to our Congresscritters, as long as we hit points that they (allegedly) care about -- public safety, economic impact, and national security. If, and only if, we hit those points, will they listen to our plea for help for ourselves, 'cause frankly, for the most part, they don't give a damn about the Amateur HF allocations. But they might...just might...listen if we start reminding them about their consituents who use CB on a daily basis, or the lives of their consitutents that will be inevitibly lost if public safety freqs are jammed by BPL.
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KG5JJ on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
N0YVW wrote:
Also, my decision to mention CB was based on the following rationale: There are more of them than us. If Congressman Joe looks into it, he'll find out that there are only 600,000 or so licensed hams...and that only a fraction of them are active. However, he definitely knows that there are a heckuva lot of CB'ers out there.

Frankly, I believe we're being self-serving if we don't mention other radio services -- including the CB allocations. That kind of Elitist attitude in this matter is what's going to get us BPL'd right out of our HF.

KG5JJ writes:

With all due respect, you are dead wrong on mentioning the CB service, trust me on this one. Elitist attitude? You have got to be kidding! It is called self-preservation. Big difference.

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by W7KEW on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Look sending spam to Congress is not going to make Congress step in to stop a industry that is worth billons of dollars. I think hams will need to switch to spread sprectrum or digital voice modes to survive on HF. Even if the FCC decides to stop a billon dollar industry other countries in the thrid world will be allowing BPL/PLC and they will not care about polluting the ham bands. Computers, digital and cellular services is the wave of the future. We will do better by adopting digital technology in ham radio. I'm not talking about PSK31, but digital voice and other similiar technologies.
Trying to save Morse Code or stop BPL is like trying to save the horse and buggy methods of communications. 21 years ago when I got my ham radio license I could make phone calls on my little HT and impress my friends by talking to people in far away places. Today people hope on the internet to find information, type and chat to each other all over the world. The Internet user is the future and ham radio operators are acting like the Amish that want to stop technology and inovation for some belief that they have been anointed by the Great One.
I believe that the end is near for ham radio and we let it happen by being stubborn.
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by N0YVW on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KG5JJ wrote:

>With all due respect, you are dead wrong on mentioning
>the CB service, trust me on this one. Elitist attitude?
>You have got to be kidding! It is called
>self-preservation. Big difference.

...and with all due respect to you, when it's tantamount to sticking a gun to our collective heads and pulling the trigger, then it's an elitist attitude. When it's protecting our band allocations from freebanders, then it's self-preservation.

BPL has nothing to do with the latter, but CB is a point, which might sway a Congressman on the former.
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by N0YVW on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
AC7XC wrote:

>Look sending spam to Congress is not going to make
>Congress step in to stop a industry that is worth
>billons of dollars....

I agree. However, my stated goal is that every ham will write *some* sort of letter to his Congressmen and Senators regarding this matter. The idea for my letter to my Congresscritters came from reading a letter to Congressman Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado(?) from one of his constituents, which he forwarded to the FCC with a query into the matter during the commentary stage re 03-104. Enough letters to Congresscritters from people who know the issue does make a difference. It's not spam -- it's participating in the government of the Republic at the most basic level. The only way to participate at an even more grassroots level is by moving to California...

>I think hams will need to switch to spread
>sprectrum or digital voice modes to survive on
>HF. Even if the FCC decides to stop a billon
>dollar industry other countries in the thrid world
>will be allowing BPL/PLC and they will not care
>about polluting the ham bands....

Most third-world countries will go with the 5 Gigahertz system, a la the Motorola Canopy system. The reasons being that (A) they don't have either a comprehensive or reliable-enough power grid to support PLC-based systems, (B) the 5 GHz systems do not require any direct connection (you can sink a pole and mount 'em with a solar panel, and they will run), and (C) industrialized nations are not going to PLC-based systems (and who else is going to sell a system in the third world)?

>The Internet user is the future and ham radio
>operators are acting like the Amish that want to
>stop technology and inovation for some belief that
>they have been anointed by the Great One.

You'll be surprised to hear that I tend to agree with these statements, although I would've called us a group of Luddites, rather than Amish. However, the fact is that BPL will not even serve the ultimate purposes that it's proponents want it to, and that there is also bandwidth currently allocated to the end that BPL is supposed to obtain.

>I believe that the end is near for ham radio and
>we let it happen by being stubborn

...and again, I agree. If it were only the Amateur Radio Service, which would be impacted by BPL, I would probably be on the pro-BPL bandwagon, rather than the anti-BPL bandwagon. However, there are also important radio services, which will be impacted, including frequencies allocated to the U.S. Military, which does have an effect on National Security (a cause I've been onboard with since well before 9/11), it does have an effect on Public Safety (police, fire, and rescue bands exist at various areas on up to 80MHz), it does have potential to impact commercial broadcasting (FM Radio starts at 88MHz and AM Radio is at 1.705 on down). Then there's MMS and (yes, I will say it again), CB.

And once more -- the HF spectrum is unique in that it is capible of worldwide propagation at relatively low frequencies with just a transmitter and an antenna. It is criminal to pollute this portion of the spectrum with the trash that BPL will put out there.
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by W3JJH on September 19, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I'm fortunate to have a Congressman with a PhD who is on the House Science Committee and the Subcommittee on Energy. He is capable of understanding the issues envolved with BPL, and he shows up at events in the District and is readily accessible. I plan to lobby him personally on this issue.

Of course, I've sent him an email on the subject, but face-to-face time is much more effective. I strongly urge each of you to find out when you can meet your Representative when he's home and personally let him know that the BPL issue exists and is important to you.
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by KG5JJ on September 20, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
N0YVW wrote:

...and with all due respect to you, when it's tantamount to sticking a gun to our collective heads and pulling the trigger, then it's an elitist attitude. When it's protecting our band allocations from freebanders, then it's self-preservation.

BPL has nothing to do with the latter, but CB is a point, which might sway a Congressman on the former.

KG5JJ writes:

Perhaps you don't get "the big picture" or are uninformed. The Citizens Band Service has degenerated into a den of scofflaws, who have ruined worldwide allocations for radio spectrum between 26 to 28 Mhz, and beyond. During peak years of solar activity, their out-of-band operation, illegal amplifiers and foul mouths lay waste worldwide the spectrum that international users use, or have used, and are now displaced because of the effluent. Add to this the solicitation of prostitution at truck stops by hookers using CB radio, and other atrocities, (scum-bags preying on those who are broken-down, and ask for help with their CB radio)you should get the sense that ANY reference to that service while trying to trumpet the needs of Amateur Radio, is a liability, not an asset.

Believe me, lots of our representatives in Washington or locally are not stupid.

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KD6NXI on September 20, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Let's just say there are around 150 million computer users in the US and many of them without broadband or the means to get it,, meaning too far from a telco switch or no cable where they are. Now contrast that to 800,000 cranky old hams complaining of their right to ham radio being taken away. Remember now, think of the advertising that will be targeted at those 150 million, the revenue from their broadband monthly fees and all of the 'stuff' that they will buy online or services they will subscribe to. Now do you really think amateur radio stands much of a chance?
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KG4YJR on September 20, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
150 million vs. 800,000 oops, make that 799,999 now, silent keys keep adding up these days.

That plus the fact that you don't have to take let's say a 20wpm typing exam (whether you will ever use it or not) to upgrade from a dial-up internet access account to a high speed broadband account. Gee..who would use a stupid idea like that to filter/chase people away?

The strength IS in the numbers.

73
Dave
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by WO5I on September 20, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Your letter is well written and contains the necessary supporting material to make it stand.

However:

The concept of BOTTOM-LINE BUSINESS WRITING is absolutely necessary when writing to a government official who must read dozens of pieces of correspondence daily.

My points:

1) put your ACTION ITEM in the first paragraph. There is a good chance someone reading this will read the first paragraph, then set it aside for consideration later. Later might never come. If you make your action item the first thing they read, they may be more willing to read on and get the details.

2) Shorten your supporting points to BULLETS and include your more lengthy technical descriptions as an APPENDIX for later reference. This will get your points across in more effective fashion.

3) Delete ANY reference to CB. This service, right or wrong, is widely disregarded as RF wasteland by anyone who has ever heard it in use. Only a devoted CBer would care to save it, and many would gladly see it go away. Keep your focus on Hams, Maritime, Government, and other users who are kept in fairly high regard.

4) Feel free to ADD EMPHASIS (such as my use of all caps in certain words and phrases) to your important concepts. This adds conviction to what you are trying to say. All caps is one technique that is easy in an email, however, italics, underlining, or bolding (all found in any word processor program) will work as well.

These points will help communicate more effectively a technical (and, therefore boring to many) issue.

Good luck and God Save Ham Radio.

David, WO5I
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by AE6IP on September 20, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> N0YVW wrote:
> Also, my decision to mention CB was based on the
> following rationale: There are more of them than us.
> If Congressman Joe looks into it, he'll find out
> that there are only 600,000 or so licensed
> hams...and that only a fraction of them are active.
> However, he definitely knows that there are a
> heckuva lot of CB'ers out there.

I wonder if this is true. I've tried to find accurate numbers on the # of CBers, but have had no luck at all. I've found out that there were about 10 million licenses at the peak, and some numbers about how much money is spent each year, such as that at http://www.ontheroadmag.com/articles/1002/citizen-band-radio-history.html

If their number of 'about one million dollars a year' is accurate, then a reasonable SWAG is that there are now between 100-200 thousand CBers these days.

If anyone has better numbers, I'd really like to see them.

marty
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KC8VWM on September 20, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

Here's another good template. Are you reading this ARRL?

I saw the videos on the ARRL website recently and one concern I had with respect to BPL was obviously in the fact that it hindered amateur radio communications very seriously.

If that is the case, then it would be neccesary for amateur radio operators to increase their output power levels perhaps to the permissable 1500 watts in order to compensate for the reception problems.

The FCC maintains that Amateur Radio operators use the power output level required to establish comminications.

The fact is that many Amateur Radio operators presently only use a few watts in order to achieve communications.

Stations running the permissable 1500 watts in their communities on a full time basis to combat communication problems will undoubtedly radiate much undesireable RF energy into the community as a result of BPL implementation. This in itself, will cause a wave of interference problems.

However, we would be operating according to the law under these circumstances and without any chioce in the matter.

Is the FCC considering this as a potential interference problem caused and initiated by BPL?

BLP not only creates interference problems to Amateur Radio Operators, but we will also see the trickle down theory occur in our neiboring communities.

Who will get the blame for that? The power companies?


KC8VWM
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by AE6IP on September 20, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> KG5JJ writes:

> Perhaps you don't get "the big picture" or are uninformed. The
> Citizens Band Service has degenerated into a den of scofflaws, who
> have ruined worldwide allocations for radio spectrum between 26 to
> 28 Mhz, and beyond. . . .

Your mileage definitely varies.

A couple of weeks ago, We started what would become a 3000 mile, 7
state two week trip. We started it with a 2m rig, an FRS/GMRS radio,
and a CB radio. We traveled from the San Francisco bay area through the
central valley and across Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho, finally arriving
in Montana. After spending 10 days in Montana, we went through Idaho,
Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, finally returning to my QTH.

In that time, we spent 60 hours on the road and many more hours in
various places with those radios on and scanning. When I got back I
spent another 10 hours scanning, and periodically scanned 10m.

In all that travel, over all that time, I heard a lot of FRS, GMRS,
CB, and Amateur traffic. All of it was friendly, all of it was
polite. Heard exactly one curse word. We were first on the scene at an
auto accident with injuries where we used a cell phone to call for
emergency services. We got advice on where to eat and how to get
around wild fires from CBers and amateurs alike.

Fortunately, the ARRL is aware of REACT, and doesn't share the
pessimisms of some hams towards CBers.
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by KG5JJ on September 20, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
AE6IP wrote:

Your mileage definitely varies.

A couple of weeks ago, We started what would become a 3000 mile, 7
state two week trip. We started it with a 2m rig, an FRS/GMRS radio,
and a CB radio. We traveled from the San Francisco bay area through the
central valley and across Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho, finally arriving
in Montana. After spending 10 days in Montana, we went through Idaho,
Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, finally returning to my QTH.

In that time, we spent 60 hours on the road and many more hours in
various places with those radios on and scanning. When I got back I
spent another 10 hours scanning, and periodically scanned 10m.

In all that travel, over all that time, I heard a lot of FRS, GMRS,
CB, and Amateur traffic. All of it was friendly, all of it was
polite. Heard exactly one curse word. We were first on the scene at an
auto accident with injuries where we used a cell phone to call for
emergency services. We got advice on where to eat and how to get
around wild fires from CBers and amateurs alike.

Fortunately, the ARRL is aware of REACT, and doesn't share the
pessimisms of some hams towards CBers.

KG5JJ Writes:

Let's see; FRS/GMRS/10 meters...where do you mention listening to 11 meters? DID you listen to 11 meters?
Do you think, just maybe, because of waning propagation conditions, and wide-open spaces, you didn't hear much on 10 or 11 meters?

Fortunately, there are those of us who have been hams and communications industry professionals for years, and don't make snap judgements and assertions based on "60 hours on the road and many more hours in various places". FRS, GMRS, and 10 meters are not the issue here, don't drag them into the fray thinking they will bolster your position.

Perhaps, in 30 years, come back with your observations and assertions...they might achieve some modicum of relevance.

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by AE6IP on September 21, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I wrote, among other things:

>> We started it with a 2m rig, an FRS/GMRS radio, and a CB radio.

KG5JJ replied:

> Let's see; FRS/GMRS/10 meters...where do you mention listening to 11
> meters? DID you listen to 11 meters?

Which part of 'CB' are you having trouble understanding?

> Do you think, just maybe, because of waning propagation conditions,
> and wide-open spaces, you didn't hear much on 10 or 11 meters?

Exactly how much propagation does it require for "solicitation of
prostitution at truck stops by hookers using CB radio, and other
atrocities, (scum-bags preying on those who are broken-down, and ask
for help with their CB radio)"?

I heard plenty on CB. None of it, however, matched your outrageous
description of CB, however. On a few occassions, propagation was right
so that I could hear CBers from as far away as Oklahhoma.

Not a single bad apple. Head more cursing on 40m tonight in an hour
than I heard on the entire trip.

> Fortunately, there are those of us who have been hams and
> communications industry professionals for years, and don't make snap
> judgements and assertions based on "60 hours on the road and many
> more hours in various places".

What did you make your snap judgement based on? Evidence and logic
don't seem to be involved. My guess is that you happen to have a few
CB bad apples in your neighborhood and you've made the common mistake
of extrapolating from that sample to an erroneous conclusion about all
CBers.

But you are right, those of us who have been professionals for
decades, including the ARRL, don't agree with your position, which is
why the ARRL president is a REACT member, and ARRL ARES cooperates
closely with REACT.

> FRS, GMRS, and 10 meters are not the issue here, don't drag them
> into the fray thinking they will bolster your position.

The anti-CB crowd tends to make these three claims:

1) CB is a mess
2) illegal CBers are invading 10 m

and

3) FRS is becoming just as big a mess as CB.

If any of those things were true, than in 60 hours over 3000 miles,
one would expect to hear more than one swear word. (You do know, I
hope, enough of statistics to understand how sampling works and why
it's relevant.)

> Perhaps, in 30 years, come back with your observations and
> assertions...they might achieve some modicum of relevance.

> 73 KG5JJ (Mike)

In 30 years, I'll have had 45 years of industry experience and nearly
50 years of CB and HF listening experience. And you'll still be more
interested in your prejudgement than in the evidence on the ground.

73
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by KC8VWM on September 21, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
AE6IP..

Excellent Article.

We need to debunk the "myths" if we intend to be respected by individuals operating outside but in "similar" radio services.

73
KC8VWM
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by N6AJR on September 21, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I need to move where you live ( funny, I live with in about 50 miles of you) because every time I have the opportunity to listen to 11 meters ( an old ham band by the way) all I hear is constant cussing, rude people, roger beeps , echo chambers and such.

Nuttin but garbage. I also know that it is illegal to talk more than 250 miles on CB, in the rules ya know.

so why is Copper electronics selling antennas for mobiles that will handle 15000 watts, yes, fifteen thousand watts, and you can order for "export use, not legal on 11 meters" amplifiers putting out 5000 watts amd more. Sent to a US address of course for "reshipment " to overseas...hi hi..

I actually had an aquaintence who was both a ham and cb'er and he ran 15000 watts plus on his mobile, with 3 100 amp alternators and 2 110 volt alternators on his Bronco. the back end was filled with batteries, and he went to Los Angles quite often, for "shoot outs" where they went up by the hollywood sign, and see who had the strongest signal.. now that is a fine use of spectrum.

You can buy a 10-11-12 meter radio lots of places, chicken lips cb shop in sacramento, truck stops etc. there is no big secret, and not much enforcement. I don't know who you were listening to on the CB but it sure wasn't on the same 40 channels I quit listening to for just that reason years ago. I go listen every now and then and nothing has changed.....

73 tom N6AJR
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by KG5JJ on September 21, 2003 Mail this to a friend!

AE6IP wrote:

Which part of 'CB' are you having trouble understanding?

KG5JJ writes:

The part where you didn't mention specifically 11 meters. Many "newbies" mention FRS as "CB".

AE6IP wrote:


Exactly how much propagation does it require for "solicitation of
prostitution at truck stops by hookers using CB radio, and other
atrocities, (scum-bags preying on those who are broken-down, and ask
for help with their CB radio)"?

KG5JJ writes:

You DO know the meaning of propagation, no?

AE6IP wrote:

What did you make your snap judgement based on? Evidence and logic
don't seem to be involved. My guess is that you happen to have a few
CB bad apples in your neighborhood and you've made the common mistake
of extrapolating from that sample to an erroneous conclusion about all
CBers

KG5JJ writes:

My "snap judgement" is based on nearly 40 years of monitoring FCC Notices of Violation, and worldwide complaints of encroachment.

AE6IP wrote:

In 30 years, I'll have had 45 years of industry experience and nearly
50 years of CB and HF listening experience. And you'll still be more
interested in your prejudgement than in the evidence on the ground.

KG5JJ writes:

In 30 years, I'll have 60 years of professional industry experience and 63 years of, as you put it, "CB and HF listening experience". Prejudgement? 63 years worth.

From your comments, it is very apparent you have not a clue about the damage that bootleggers have done to displace worldwide users of their rightful spectrum. You are also apparently living "in your own little world, looking through rose-colored glasses". It is also apparent you haven't monitored 11 meters during cycles of peak solar activity, when CB radio operators render 26 to 28 Mhz (and more) useless for law-abiding citizens of the service, because of their illegal amplifiers and, as they so lovingly call, it, "shooting skip".

It is also apparent you haven't monitored the filth spewed forth in metropolitan areas, or even on the open road.

What is really sad, is the picture you paint of the Citizens Band service is one from someone who has only taken a "brief snapshot in time", and not from someone who has actually been there and monitored it.

Finally, your assertion that I've made an "erroneous conclusion about all CBers" are your words, not mine.

73 KG5JJ (Mike)






 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by AE6IP on September 21, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> KG5JJ writes:

> The part where you didn't mention specifically 11 meters. Many
"newbies" mention FRS as "CB".

Interesting. I've never encountered anyone who didn't know the
difference. Your mileage definitely varies. Especially since I
mentioned *both* CB and FRS/GMRS.

> KG5JJ writes:

> You DO know the meaning of propagation, no?

Well yeah, at least one of us has to, and since you're coming up with
examples that require limited propagation and then arguing that I
didn't hear them because of propagation, I'd guess that would have to
be me.


> KG5JJ writes:

> My "snap judgement" is based on nearly 40 years of monitoring FCC
> Notices of Violation, and worldwide complaints of encroachment.

Ah, I see. You've formed your picture of the entire CB community based
on information and rumor about the bad apples. Try monitoring actual
CB sometime.

KG5JJ writes:

> In 30 years, I'll have 60 years of professional industry experience
> and 63 years of, as you put it, "CB and HF listening
> experience". Prejudgement? 63 years worth.

Monitorinig FCC Notices of Violation is not CB listening experience.
It's like forming your opinion of a town entirely from reading the
police blotter. So yeah, 63 years worth of prejudgement.

> From your comments, it is very apparent you have not a clue about the
> damage that bootleggers have done to displace worldwide users of their
> rightful spectrum.

Now you're shifting the subject. Which is funny, since you chided me
earlier for bringing up the issue of 10 meters. But no, in all my time
on 10m I haven't encountered bootleggers, pirates or freebanders.


> You are also apparently living "in your own little world, looking
> through rose-colored glasses". It is also apparent you haven't
> monitored 11 meters during cycles of peak solar activity, when CB
> radio operators render 26 to 28 Mhz (and more) useless for
> law-abiding citizens of the service, because of their illegal
> amplifiers and, as they so lovingly call, it, "shooting skip".

You're living in the past. And apparently unaware that the CB radio
craze ended 25 years ago.

> It is also apparent you haven't monitored the filth spewed forth in
> metropolitan areas, or even on the open road.

I would say that 3000 miles across 7 states qualifies as open road. I
would also remind you that my QTH is situated on the San Francisco
penninsula between San Jose and San Francisco, across the bay from
Oakland, in an metropolitan area with 7 million people. I've got a CB
on right now, scanning away, and I'm not hearing any of the stuff you
claim exists. There are a couple of guys swearing at each other on one
of the 2m repeaters, but they're old friends and they're just kidding.

> What is really sad, is the picture you paint of the Citizens Band
> service is one from someone who has only taken a "brief snapshot in
> time", and not from someone who has actually been there and
> monitored it.

I've monitored CB since the early '70s. Saw the boom come and
go. Watched the decline. Saw the CB population go from 10 million
plus down to a few hundred thousand. Worked with REACT volunteers,
many of whom are also hams. Talked a lot to truckers on the road. And
you've formed your opinion from reading a handful of FCC notices and
listening to other misinformed people whining. The recent trip is
typical of dozens of trips I've made from here to Montana over the 20
years I've lived here.

You, on the other hand, have read FCC notices.

> Finally, your assertion that I've made an "erroneous
> conclusion about all CBers" are your words, not mine. 73 KG5JJ
> (Mike)

That's right. You've made an erroneous conclusion about all CBers and
now you've explained how you've done that. You really need to form
your opinions about a group based on experience with the whole group.
Imagine what ham radio would look like to an outsider who formed their
opinion of it entirely from reading FCC notices and eham chat.

73 Marty
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by AE6IP on September 21, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
N6AJR wrote:

> I need to move where you live ( funny, I live with in about 50 miles
> of you) because every time I have the opportunity to listen to 11
> meters ( an old ham band by the way) all I hear is constant cussing,
> rude people, roger beeps , echo chambers and such.

I don't get up your way very often. But I've got my CB scanner running
right now and I'm not hearing any trash. I'm sorry to hear that your
area isn't as clear. From here, I can hear traffic on 101, 280, 880
and 680, as well as local traffic.

> Nuttin but garbage. I also know that it is illegal to talk more than
> 250 miles on CB, in the rules ya know.

250 km, (95.413(9)) or about 155.3 miles.

> I actually had an aquaintence who was both a ham and cb'er and he ran
> 15000 watts plus on his mobile, with 3 100 amp alternators and 2 110
> volt alternators on his Bronco. the back end was filled with
> batteries, and he went to Los Angles quite often, for "shoot outs"
> where they went up by the hollywood sign, and see who had the
> strongest signal.. now that is a fine use of spectrum.

15kw or 1.5kw?

I've never said there weren't bad apples. I just think that the
percentage of CB bad apples is about the same as the percentage of ham
bad apples. In the 70s, when I was chief engineer at a college radio
station, I knew a guy who put a 1kw linear in his truck. But he took
it out when I explained things to him. Almost everyone I knew then
had an ordinary unmoded transceiver.

I have friends and family who are truck drivers, some of whom only use
CB some of whom use both CB and ham radio. They're all nice people who
play by the rules.

We have a very active REACT group here. Our section traffic manager is
involved in it. (Did you know that at the peak of the ham radio craze
REACT had 75,000 members, more than the number of amateurs involved in
EMCOMM at the time?)

Sure, there are bad apples, but they are, in CB as in ham radio, a
very small minority.
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by KG5JJ on September 21, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
AE6IP wrote:

> KG5JJ writes:

> The part where you didn't mention specifically 11 meters. Many
"newbies" mention FRS as "CB".

<text deleted ad nauseum, ad infinitum>

Marty, we could go on parsing/dissecting words and paragraphs, trying to make the other look "foolish" all day and night. This does nothing but waste bandwidth and make us BOTH look foolish.

I see from your call that you are a "newbie" to ham radio. You seem to be reasonably intelligent, right up to the point that you seem to have an obssesive, compulsive need to try to prove everyone wrong if they say something you don't particularly agree with, whether right or wrong.

Chalk-it-up to amateur radio newbie exuberance, whatever. The point is that many people have a far broader grasp of "the way things are" from actually being exposed to "issues" for much longer periods of time than even you...

Who knows? You might even learn something by listening to old-timers.

73 KG5JJ (Mike)





 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by N6AJR on September 21, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
ae6ip.. yes he ran fifteen thousand watts mobile..15000 watts, I think he had a "dave built" amp. and yes if you go to AM mode and run up slowley from 27995 you will hear the cb'ers on our 28 mhz freqs up to 28500 sometimes. they use LSB, USB and mostly AM. spin the dial, they are there, cusing, making nasty comments about the Ladies and just being discusting in general.
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by AE6IP on September 21, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> KG5JJ writes:
>
> Marty, we could go on parsing/dissecting words and paragraphs, trying
> to make the other look "foolish" all day and night. This does nothing
> but waste bandwidth and make us BOTH look foolish.
>

Mike, is that what you were trying to do? Pity. I was trying to get
you to see the world more accurately. You really should stop forming
your opinion of CBers on FCC notices and actually get out and contact
some. You're missing a fine group of people, but that's your right.

> I see from your call that you are a "newbie" to ham radio. You seem to
> be reasonably intelligent, right up to the point that you seem to have
> an obssesive, compulsive need to try to prove everyone wrong if they
> say something you don't particularly agree with, whether right or
> wrong.

FWIW, 'obssesive compulsive' behavior only happens when the person
doing it is afraid of a dire consequence for failing to do so. The
only consequence of my not speaking up against bogus stereotypes is
tha a few people such as you will continue to misrepresent a different
group. The only loss is to you, since you're denying yourself
access to some pretty nice folks.


> Chalk-it-up to amateur radio newbie exuberance, whatever. The point is
> that many people have a far broader grasp of "the way things are" from
> actually being exposed to "issues" for much longer periods of time
> than even you...

What you're doing here is called "ad hominem". It is the typical last
resort of people who don't have anything of value to contribute to the
discussion. Being unable to address the arguments, you attack the
person arguing.

If you really had "a far broader grasp" then you should easily be able
to disprove my arguments. Yet you don't even try to address them,
preferinig instead to raise straw men and red herring and then to make
ad-hominem attacks.

> Who knows? You might even learn something by listening to old-timers.

Oh, I did. Back in the 70s when I was wet behind the ears. I
apprenticed with a pair of fine 1st phone engineers and ended up chief
engineer at a college radio station as a result.

And I still do, which is why I know about REACT/ARES relationships;
that the ARRL doesn't share your misconceptions about CBers; and that
real experience comes from being in the field and paying attention,
not from second hand evidence.

Oh, I've also learned that not all old-timers should be listened to,
because old-timers are as likely to hold on to wrong-headed ideas,
despite strong evidence to the contrary, as young people.

Your claims about CBers are true only about a small and diminishing
minority of the community who uses the band. A minority that is about
the same percentage of that community as the percentage of bad apples
among hams.

But your claims are wrong headed, because you wish to treat all users
of the service as if they were those bad apples. You deny the
legitimate good behavior of the vast majority of CB users so you can
maintain your anger against a few.

I think, other than this blind spot, you are a fine fellow, but you're far from the mark on this one.

73 Marty
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by KG5JJ on September 21, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
AE6IP wrote:

> KG5JJ writes:
>
> Marty, we could go on parsing/dissecting words and paragraphs, trying
> to make the other look "foolish" all day and night. This does nothing
> but waste bandwidth and make us BOTH look foolish.

<more newbie rantings/ravings/obsessions deleted>

Marty, step away from the keyboard! Breathe deeply! There now! Feel better? ;-}

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by BUBBA4CW on September 22, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Yo... BUBBA here...
I think the friendly "CB'r", who is always a law abiding citizen, should all come over to the ham band. Do away with all testing, and "Uncle Charlie" can open up all the bands for everyone. That way all you stuck up "ham" types, can get a life. Get out of your shack more and "get real"

"10-4" ??? I might have to flip some switches and swing my house around so you can hear what I'm sayin'.
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by BUBBA4CW on September 22, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I LOVE THE 10 Code !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10-1 Unable to copy, relocate 10-35 Current time
10-2 Signals good 10-36 Confidential information
10-3 Stop transmitting 10-37 Identify operator
10-4 Acknowledgement 10-38 Stopping suspicious vehicle
10-5 Relay 10-39 Current status
10-6 Busy, stand-by 10-40 Is____available for a call?
10-7 Out of service 10-41 Beginning tour of duty
10-7B Out, personal 10-42 Call doctor
10-7OD Off duty 10-43 Call doctor
10-7X Out on portable 10-44 Request permission to leave
10-8 In service 10-45 Condition of patient
10-9 Repeat 10-45A Condition good
10-10 Home 10-45B Condition serious
10-11 Dog case 10-45C Condition critical
10-12 Visitors present 10-45D Condition deceased
10-13 Weather and road report 10-48 Traffic standard repair
10-14 Report of prowler 10-49 Proceed on route to_______
10-15 Prisoner in custody 10-50 Traffic addicent - F, PI, PD
10-15X Female prisoner in custody 10-51 Drunk
10-16 Pick up 10-52 Drunk
10-17 Meet complainant 10-53 Person down
10-18 Complete assignment quickly 10-54 Possible dead body
10-19 Return to station 10-55 Coroner's case
10-20 Location 10-56 Suicide
10-21 Telephone 10-56A Attempt suicide
10-22 Disregard 10-57 HIt & Run -- F, PI, PD
10-23 Stand-by 10-58 Direct traffic
10-24 Assignment completed 10-59 Security check
10-25 Report in person to_______ 10-61 Personnel in area
10-26 Clear 10-62 Meet a citizen
10-27 Wanted 10-63 Copy a message
10-27V Vehicle code warrant 10-64 Message for local delivery
10-27M Misdemeanor warrant 10-65 Net message assignment
10-27F Felony warrant 10-66 Suspicious person
10-28 Vehicle registration 10-67 Person yelling for help
10-29 Warrant/wanted check 10-68 Dispatch information
10-30 Illegal use of radio 10-69 Message received
10-31 Crime in progress 10-70 Prowler
10-32 Man with gun 10-71 Shooting
10-33 Alarm sounding 10-72 Knifing
10-34 Open door/window 10-73 How do you copy
10-74 Negative
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by KA4KOE on September 22, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the template. Got letters in the mail today. Even sent one to Bush, but not a snowballs chance in hell that he'll ever see it.
 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KG4YJR on September 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Typical scenario/conversation in Washington, D.C.

Secretary:

Congressman______, you have two phone calls. On line one you have one of those major utility companies lobbying for BPL that wants to give you a tremendous campaign contribution on board their CEO's private yacht with the girls from Hooters catering while they film a commercial saying that with more choices for high-speed Internet access the prices for all consumers will drop significantly with the extra competition in the industry, on line two you have a couple of grumpy old men wanting to know if you got all their emails and they want to tell you about RF noise that may be caused by BPL. Which call would you like to take sir?
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by AE6IP on September 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> AE6IP wrote:
>
>> KG5JJ writes:
>>
>> Marty, we could go on parsing/dissecting words and paragraphs, trying
>> to make the other look "foolish" all day and night. This does nothing
>> but waste bandwidth and make us BOTH look foolish.
>
> <more newbie rantings/ravings/obsessions deleted>
>

More ad hominem, Mike?

I'm sorry you're hung up on trying to make people look
foolish. Shame, that, since I suspect you might be a nice guy
otherwise.

Good thing the real hams on the air aren't like you are here.

73

Marty
 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by KG5JJ on September 23, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
AE6IP wrote:

>More ad hominem, Mike?

>I'm sorry you're hung up on trying to make people look
foolish. Shame, that, since I suspect you might be a nice guy
otherwise.

>Good thing the real hams on the air aren't like you are here.

>73

>Marty

KG5JJ writes:

More obsessive/compulsive ranting, Marty?

73 KG5JJ (Mike)

 
RE: BPL is the future, Ham Radio is History.  
by KC8VWM on September 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!


>>>and yes if you go to AM mode and run up slowley from 27995 you will hear the cb'ers on our 28 mhz freqs up to 28500 sometimes. they use LSB, USB and mostly AM. spin the dial, they are there, cusing, making nasty comments about the Ladies and just being discusting in general. >>>>

Geez, guess you haven't been on 75 meters lately...

 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by N7QF on September 24, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Wonderful letter Doug ! I have used it per your permission. I have sent it to both senators and to my rep.
73 and thanks for sharing that with us !

John
N7QF
Utah
 
BPL Humor Warning  
by AB0OX on September 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Let the QRO contesting begin! Spend the weekend with a full gallon aimed through your nearest power line!

Another great use for CW and/or your favorite 100% duty cycle mode!

Also! Don't forget to remind your neighborhood hacker how much fun (and profit) there is to be had with a shortwave receiver and a packet sniffer!
 
I got a bad feeling about this...  
by KE6I on September 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
You guys see the arrl.org story. From an FCC commisisoner -- Digital Nirvana? I think this looks pretty grim. I don't believe the 'technical issues' are going to count for squat, in this situation.
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by KG5JJ on September 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Proving BPL is an RFI Trojan Horse isn't enough. Big money controls big government. If it comes to fruition, maybe the thousands (tens of thousands?) of complaints the FCC will be getting may just get them to remove their blinders long enough to act.

Then again...collectively, power companies have had a miserable track-record of cleaning up their own power-line noise complaints. BPL noise complaints may just be actively ignored.

My letters to my congressmen have prompted no responses to date on the BPL issue. My letters to my congressmen about the Amateur Radio Spectrum Protection Act were answered immediately. Makes one wonder how far the money-trail has gone up the political river...

73 KG5JJ (Mike)



 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by KE6I on September 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Do we know yet how well the system really worked, aside from ham radio inteference, in the test area? Or how much bandwidth did the test houses get, and how reliable was that? Wouldn't those powerlines be an unbalanced transmission line with tons of reflections, noise and other junk? Do we know if the test was done in an area with underground powerlines, or power poles?
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by KG5JJ on September 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Wow! The "packet-sniffing" reference just hit me like a ton of bricks! BPL will allow Big-Brother to monitor and gather data quite easily...not that they don't do that already with other means, but I can just hear the FBI/NSA/CIA pounding the table to convince the FCC that this is yet another way to monitor subversives and terrorists in the "dangerous, changed world".

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by KE6I on September 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
My understanding is that the US government already has packet monitoring equipment at most ISP's. Big brother is already listening. BPL won't affect this, either way. On cable modems your neighbor's internet traffic comes down your wire. BPL will be the same -- nothing new.
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by KG5JJ on September 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
That's the other means I was talking about. I wonder if those "hub" traffic nodes gather, compress and forward data to big-brother daily or weekly, or real time?

Any ideas?

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by KG5JJ on September 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
We should query big-brother about the real numbers of spam, they should know! ;-}

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by KE6I on September 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
http://www.fbi.gov/hq/lab/carnivore/carnivore.htm

All this is 3 years old, and before the 'war on terror.' Probably they've upgraded to a newer system by now.

Back on topic.

http://www.silicon.com/news/500016/1/5693.html

>However, the process of adapting the power grid to carry
>high-speed data signals has been hit by technical
>problems in the past - with electrical home appliances
>disrupting the service. There have also been issues with
>security, and interference from radio and TV signals.

http://www.itweek.co.uk/News/1143183

>But SSE is able to offer consumers a symmetrical
>digital subscriber line (SDSL), which means upload
>speeds are equivalent to the download speed of 1Mbps.

>Using Winchester as the base, SSE is building on an
>initial commercial trial launched in Stonehaven and
>two successful pilots in Crieff and Campbeltown in the
>north of Scotland.

This is all in the UK where it seems to be coming online right now. Don't think this looks too good for Ham Radio right now.


http://crn.vnunet.com/News/1143631


>Data-0ver-mains looks good -- Data-over-the-mains
>trials in Scotland have been successful and could lead
>to fast Internet access in many places where it is
>currently not available, the company running them
>says.

Not so easy to stop this, imo.
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by AB0OX on September 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Mike,

I'm not worried about Big Brother. He already has my W-2, so he really doesn't need my credit card number.

Yes, a cable modem and sniffer can also make for a profitable afternoon, but there is the minor physical detail of access.

With BPL, your hacker has Drive-Thru banking!

More to the point, I'd like to know what happens during a Saturday afternoon when somebody points a full gallon of CW directly at a power line.

Are consumers really interested in internet service that doesn't work well on weekends?

Field Day ought to be plenty of fun!

Jack
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by KE6I on September 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Field day will be fun as long as your just interested in transmitting, and not receiving. You know, if they bring this up in the US, hams should get, like a few billion dollars to build some satellites, to compensate us for the lost shortwave. That way we could still have some kind of hobby.
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by KG5JJ on September 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KE6I:

Thanks for the links and info...looks like that Emtron DX-2SP is looking better all the time. Last time I ran an amp was in 77-78, using 4 811As. My VHF/UHF stations still use high-power solid-state amps. May have to press them into service if they put a BPL hub near here. Could actually get into VHF/UHF/DX/Weak Signal work again if need be...it wouldn't be so bad to work ATV on UHF and maybe FM SSTV via some repeaters here, just to keep them active!

That should prompt some interesting comments! ;-}

Would rather not have any more HF interference. Have enough power-line noise here on HF as it is...BPL added RFI would probably put me in a letter writing frenzy.

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by KE6I on September 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Know what you mean. Here in Berkeley, I already have high noise levels, especially on the lower bands, so often I'll only barely hear the guys over in the central valley of California who don't use an amp on 80M. So, I do appreciate people who go through a little extra effort to be heard. I have an ALS-600, and like to turn it on. Seems to increase the chances of actually talking to someone. (I went for years of intermittently transmitting, but never actually talking to anyone on ham radio before I got an amp, and put a better antenna up. I assume maybe I was on at the wrong time or just wasn't persistent enough. Calling CQ endlessly without an answer can be kind of a demotivator, let the license laps for years back then.)

(And if I'm ever transmitting over you on 80, it's not because I'm jamming you, it's just that I can't hear you because of noise.)
 
Humor Warning 2  
by AB0OX on September 25, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Conspiracy Revealed!

The makers of linear amps are up to their elbows in it with the power companies.

Those amps don't just run on their own you know.

The power companies intend to jam our receivers so that we will have to buy linears that radiate our signals (and re-radiate theirs) back into the power lines, which then subsequently hum like a 10,000 kazoo orchestra right back into our receivers, so that we just can't run enough power out of the wall and back into the air.

This, of course, will make it financially feasible to drill for oil in the heretofore unprofitable region of ...

Starkville, MS.

Stop the Madness!!
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by W1RFI on September 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
> RE: I got a bad feeling about this... Reply
> by KE6I on September 25, 2003

> Do we know yet how well the system really worked,
> aside from ham radio inteference, in the test area?
> Or how much bandwidth did the test houses get, and
> how reliable was that? Wouldn't those powerlines be
> an unbalanced transmission line with tons of
> reflections, noise and other junk? Do we know if the
> test was done in an area with underground
> powerlines, or power poles?

From all indications, BPL does work, at least when it works. :-) I have seen it in action in Potomac, MD and Emmaus, PA and in both cases, the person I was working with was able to download large files easily. The trial areas appear to be both underground and overhead wiring.

One ham in Potomac is doing susceptibility testing. The AMRAD comments outlined their tests, showing that about 10 watts of transmitter power took down the HomePlug modems in their test bed. One BPL manufacturer is doing some susceptibility testing, using a TS-850 they borrowed from a Lab in Newington. :-) Ambient Technology notes that noisy insulators and such take the system down, too.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by KG5JJ on September 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the heads-up Ed! I used to live in Annapolis, MD and Hagerstown, MD, and know the area very well.

WB4APR (Bob Bruninga, of APRS fame) had a remotely controlled video camera on the Naval Academy grounds, and it was great fun to pan and zoom and look at the Academy from above.

Thanks for all you and everyone @ARRL are doing to stay on top of this.

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by KG5JJ on September 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
AB0OX:

Yes! I've heard rumors that power companies will use the powerful near-field RF radiation from legal-power ham stations. They will use their power lines as huge antennas, rectify the RF, use the DC to then charge their huge batteries powering AC generators to put power back in the grid.

Talk about sucking the life blood out of us! ;-}

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by AB0OX on September 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Mike,

You're clearly on to something. I just looked out back at the electric company's power meter, and wouldn't you know?

A dual cross needle meter with KWH on the left and Reflected Power on the right.

The real question this raises (and there's no denying the truth) is whether to bite the bullet and spring for a new heat sink to replace the existing roof, and then pray for snow during the contest season.

Jack
 
In all seriousness  
by AB0OX on September 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Joking aside, I've made my entry on the FCC's comment site and I hope others will too.
 
RE: In all seriousness  
by KG5JJ on September 26, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Yes...have sent comments on all applicable notices, as well as two separate issues with each of my congressmen in D.C.

Looks like we may have a tough fight ahead of us...

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: In all seriousness  
by KE6I on September 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
He, thanks for the reply. Good to hear from some actual Arrl-oids on this forum.

The tragedy of it all, is that anything less than fiber is just a waste. Really 1 or 2mbps SDSL is old news, and any big investment this speed of access is going down the drain when the next guy who puts in the fiber, because the bandwith will be hugely better.

If anything saves us, maybe it'll be the Worldcom disaster -- and that maybe Wall Street won't be so hot on making big investments for internet access. Is any company making huge bucks, right now, off of DSL or cable. Besides, wasn't the last company to be in both energy and telecommunications Enron? This combination doesn't seem like that great a 'synergy' to me. :)
 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by K7FD on September 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
More news of BPL tsunami approahing mainland HAMSVILLE:


<http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/ticker/article.asp?Feed=BW&Date=20030923&ID=2889747&Symbol=US:ABTG>


 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KE6I on September 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Oh oh. Sounds like BPL is getting fast tracked. Here it comes. Is our only hope left for HF ham radio is that this thing fizzles in the market?
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KG5JJ on September 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I hope the ARRL stays on top of these so-called "trials". Contacting Amateurs in those areas who are willing to help with RFI noise assessments. Even if they are actively ignored, at least it will be documented for the record.

From the looks of the BPL juggernaut, its implementation was already paid-for long ago.

Looks like Ed and others in Newington may not get much rest.

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KE6I on September 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
The thing is, isn't BPL still under part 15? Since we're licensed, what exactly happens if we complain about interference from a part 15 device? Don't they have to accomodate us? That's what I don't understand.
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KE6I on September 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
http://moneycentral.msn.com/scripts/webquote.dll?iPage=qd&symbol=US:ABTG

Did you guys check out the stock price of company doing the trials? The shares are valued at 26cents/share. Right now, it doesn't seem like Wall Street has much confidence in this technology. (Maybe not as much confidence as the FCC seems to have, unfortuantely.)
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KG5JJ on September 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
They do have to accept interference from licensed services. Seems like the crux of the biscuit in the matter assumes that the unlicensed service will not CAUSE any interference, but has to accept it.

What a dichotomy...

This may rewrite the rules concerning unlicensed services.
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KG5JJ on September 27, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If we may prove that BPL CAUSES interference to a myriad of services, and push for hearings to have the service licensed because of it, we may have some legal leg to stand-on.

It looks like we will have to prove that point after the genie has escaped from the bottle, however. If even some of the RFI allegations are borne, there are going to be lots of FCC commissioners and industry officials on the hot seat, and I hope heads will roll.

This whole BPL roll-out smacks of B.S. (blatant stupidity).

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by W1RFI on September 28, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
>http://moneycentral.msn.com/scripts/webquote.dll?iPage=qd&symbol=US:ABTG

> Did you guys check out the stock price of company
> doing the trials? The shares are valued at
> 26cents/share. Right now, it doesn't seem like Wall
> Street has much confidence in this technology.
> (Maybe not as much confidence as the FCC seems to
> have, unfortuantely.)

Ambient is one of 4 major BPL manufacturers doing trials in the US. The companies involved are:

Ambient
Amperion
Current Technologies
Main.net

Ambient is the only one of the companies that is working directly with amateur radio. Current Technologies said they wanted to, but when they learned I was going to look at one of their systems, they turned it off the day I was going to be there. Amperion said they wanted to work with ARRL, but never actually committed to doing anything specific.

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by WD8NBK on September 30, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I too, have to agree that this an excellent letter,and a good starting point for hams to use to fashion letters to their congresspersons and senators.It is good to point out what effect this will have on the other services using this spectrum range. Especially the military and life and safety forces. The commander of NATO as I recall, stated that BPL would do to the military communications that no enemy could possibly ever do.
If anyone caught the CBS Evening News on Suday, Sep, 28, there was a story about homeland security. It was stated in the news story that homeland security concidered amateur radio to part of the backbone in the nations communications network in time of national emergency. This might also be included in the letter. This is just my two cents worth. 73
 
An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by VE3WGO on October 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Hmm, I think some kind of letter in a similar vein to manufacturers of HF equipment might also be a good idea. After all, one can expect that Ten-Tec, Cushcraft, Drake, Harris, Eimac/CPI, and other American manufacturers of HF equipment, as well as importers like Kenwood, Icom, and Yaesu, and all the retailers, will be hugely impacted if HF operations by Amateurs, SWLs, CBers, and other consumers of their HF products stop buying them if HF becomes difficult to use because of BPL interference. That's in addition to HF military, shipping, and aeronautical users.


Maybe it's also time to start getting the telephone companies and cable companies, who already offer broadband services to many parts of the country (very wide coverage is already here in Canada), to help us campaign and lobby too, and open the eyes of the media on how bad BPL will affect the HF radio business, as well as our hobby.


Who knows,.. maybe there are even some health risks with these RF fields being radiated by entire neighbourhoods of homes with BPL running 24/7. Just like the high voltage power lines debate of a few years ago. Has anybody been able to make any field strength measurements in the BPL test areas yet?
 
RE: An Open Letter to Congress -- BPL  
by KA4KOE on October 8, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
I wrote my representative and just got a letter back, and HE expressed regret upon learning of it. Told me he'd look into it.

Still waiting for my senators to write me back. Many of our elected officials may NOT be aware of BPL. We need to educate them as necessary. I used this letter format and changed it somewhat, as it is VERY informative.

Keep the faith, and be staunch of courage.

Philip
KA4KOE
 
RE: I got a bad feeling about this...  
by WA3KYY on October 14, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Check out the reply comment filed by AMRAD.

http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/retrieve.cgi?native_or_pdf=pdf&id_document=6514683575

BPL will be knocked completely out by a typical amateur setup.
 
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