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FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur Radio Service Rules:

from The ARRL Letter, Vol 23, No 16 on April 16, 2004
View comments about this article!

FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur Radio Service Rules:

The FCC has released an "omnibus" Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that seeks comments on a wide range of proposed Amateur Service (Part 97) rule changes. The FCC also denied several petitions for rule making aimed at altering portions of the Amateur Radio regulatory landscape and ordered minor changes in Part 97. The NPRM is a result of a dozen petitions for rule making, some filed more than a year ago and a few dating back as far as 2001. Comments on the proposals put forth in WT Docket 04-140 are due by Tuesday, June 15, with reply comments by Wednesday, June 30. Among other changes, the FCC has recommended adopting the ARRL's "Novice refarming" plan

"Because the ARRL petition addresses the operating privileges of all classes of licensees on these Amateur Service bands, we believe that the ARRL petition provides a basis for a comprehensive restructuring of operating privileges," the FCC said in its NPRM. "We note that, as proposed, no licensees would lose any spectrum privileges and that General, Advanced, and Amateur Extra Class licensees would gain spectrum for phone emissions, one of the most popular operating modes on the HF bands."

The ARRL referenced its Novice refarming proposal in its recent Petition for Rule Making, RM-10867, which, along with three other petitions (see "FCC Invites Comments on Amateur Radio Restructuring Plans," remains open for comment until April 23.

The FCC also has proposed essentially eliminating its rules prohibiting manufacture or marketing of Amateur Radio Service power amplifiers capable of operating between 24 and 35 MHz. Originally put on the books in 1978 to keep high-powered amateur amplifiers out of the hands of CBers, the rules now "impose unnecessary restrictions on manufacturers of Amateur Radio equipment and are inconsistent with the experimental nature of the Amateur Service," the FCC said.

The FCC additionally proposed a rule change that would make Kenwood's Sky Command system legal for operation within the US. The proposed amendment to 97.201(b) of the rules would permit auxiliary operation on 2 meters above 144.5 MHz--with the exception of the satellite subband 145.8 to 146.0 MHz--in addition to frequency segments already authorized. The Sky Command system permits the user to operate certain Kenwood equipment remotely via a VHF/UHF handheld transceiver.

In response to an ARRL petition, the FCC proposed extending the bands available for spread spectrum experimentation and use to include 222-225 MHz. On its own initiative, it also recommended including 6 and 2 meters as well. Current rules limit SS emissions to frequencies above 420 MHz.

Among other changes, the FCC also proposed to prohibit acceptance of more than one application per applicant per vanity call sign; permit retransmission of communications between a manned spacecraft and its associated Earth stations, including the International Space Station; allow current amateurs to designate a specific Amateur Radio club to acquire their call sign in memoriam; eliminate 97.509(a) of the rules, which requires a public announcement of volunteer examiner test locations and times; and add to 97.505(a) to provide Element 1 (5 WPM Morse) credit to any applicant holding a Technician license granted after February 14, 1991, and who can document having passed a telegraphy examination element.

The Commission ordered some changes in Part 97 without requesting comment. It ordered, among others, the revision of the definition of an "amateur operator" in 97.3(a)(1) to reflect that entry in the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS), not a license document, determines whether a person is an Amateur Radio operator.

The FCC also adopted a technical change--in line with a recent amendment to the international Radio Regulations--to specify that the mean power of any spurious emission from a new amateur station transmitter or amplifier operating below 30 MHz be at least 43 dB below the mean power of the fundamental emission, 3 dB greater than the current requirement.

The FCC turned down a petition would have established distinct CW and phone segments in the 160-meter band. Although a majority of commenters supported the proposal, the Commission said the current voluntary band plan "adequately accommodates the operating interests of all licensees who use the 160-meter band because it was based on input from those who use this spectrum."

Among several others, the FCC turned down petitions that would have imposed restrictions on the time, length or transmission frequencies of bulletins or informational transmissions directed at the amateur community. Also denied was an ARRL request to add to the special event call sign system certain call sign blocks that designate territories and possessions that have no specified mailing addresses. The FCC suggested using self-assigned indicators instead.

The FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making in WT Docket 04-140 is available on the FCC Web site.

As soon as the document has been posted, comments on the NPRM may be filed via the FCC Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) Click on "Submit a filing." To view filed comments, click on "Search for filed comments." In either case enter the NPRM number in the "Proceeding" field as "04-140" (without the quotation marks).


The ARRL Letter Vol. 23, No. 16 April 16, 2004

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur Radio  
by N4QA on April 17, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The Element 1 requirement stands!

Way to go CW!
FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur Radio  
by CWTITAN on April 17, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
it is the beginning of the end. but i have had 41 years of fun. all of my equipment goes up for sale today, and believe me, the door won't slam my ass.
RE: FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur R  
by KE4MOB on April 17, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
CWTITAN...leaving is not the answer. We need to operate CW now more than ever to show that CW ops are alive and well. To leave is to hand the NCI crowd the spectrum on a silver platter.

In other words "You can take my key when you pry it out of my cold dead fingers."
FCC Proposal: Common Sense Changes to Amateur Radi  
by NE1Z on April 17, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Instead of reading the ARRL cliffnotes, read the 71 pages before you celebrate CW!

RADIO SERVICES, ET AL. Proposed to revise operating privileges for
amateur radio service licensees as well as to eliminate obsolete and
duplicative rules in the Amateur Radio Service. (Dkt No. 04-140).
Action by: the Commission. Comments Due: 06/15/2004. Reply Comments
Due: 06/30/2004. Adopted: 03/31/2004 by NPRM. (FCC No. 04-79). WTB

While celebrating, don't forget to find a new vocation to replace hunting linear amplifiers. I see a white flag from FCC on that failed hunt of 20 years?

RE: FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur R  
by AC0X on April 17, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Don't you people read? This has nothing to do with the restructuring proposals that are out there, this just addresses proposals from TWO YEARS ago.

Some of you people are so knee-jerk that the FCC could publish an NPRM written in Amaraic that translated into the first chapter of Moby Dick and you'd STILL say how it was "the beginning of the end" of amateur radio.

FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur Radio  
by W3ULS on April 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
No, people don't read, they just react. It would be too much trouble to: (1) actually read the FCC's NPRM and (2) think about it.

If people did, they would find that the cause of CW is advanced, not retarded, by this proposal. Much more CW spectrum is granted to Novices, Tech Pluses, and Technicians holding code certificates. This can only result in encouraging entry-level hams to give CW a try.

As it is, the meagre spectrum allotted to entry-level hams is in the Siberian portion of the HF bands and is not conducive to a meaningful, positive CW experience. Soon the newcomers will have access to very useful CW subbands and IMHO this will result in more of them taking up code.

I also do not understand the condescension bordering on contempt displayed toward newcomers by cranky older hams. The logic seems to be that "No one is deserving enough to follow in my footsteps; I will take my hobby with me when I die."

RE: FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur R  
by WA4MJF on April 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I think it strange the FCC
refused to specifically allow
MCW for repeater IDs. One
section of Part 97 seems to say that
you can use MCW and another
says flat out that you can't.
Maybe this is a sign of things to
come, no one knows code, so repeater
IDs will all be voice.

The rest of it sounds OK to me.
RE: FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur R  
by K1CJS on April 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
It seems that even those who read don't read far enough. Although the majority of changes is from proposals and requests for rulemaking from two years ago, some of the changes addressed are from the World Telecommunications Conference of 1997!

I just hope it won't take as long to act on the just completed conference changes, but I'm not holding my breath!!
RE: FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur R  
by W9RPE on April 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Everytime I hear this tired CW argument I think back to my years in the military. We had a saying. "Progress will never stand in the way of tradition". I'm a 20 wpm Extra and still see no reason for the test. Why not test us on SSB, RTTY, PSK31, etc, operation...????? I like CW and use it when I feel like it, just like any other mode. And for they CWTITAN who chooses to sell all before giving in I say...It makes as much sense as the disgruntled employee who walks into my office threatinng to quit if things don't change! Quitting their job or getting out of Amateur Radio is supposed to prove what exactly?? It's job and no hobby. Life goes on without ya! Dahhhh.

RE: FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur R  
by LISTENER on April 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I think CWTITAN is as worthless as the veins in pigs ass!!! Go ahead and run away with your tail between your legs you chicken!!
RE: FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur R  
by K3YD on April 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
W9RPE said, "I'm a 20 wpm Extra and still see no reason for the test."

Well, I'm a 20 wpm Extra, too, and if it hadn't been for THE TEST I probably would never have learned CW to that level of proficiency. Once an operator achieves the proficiency that comes at or beyond 20 WPM, CW becomes almost musical and a fun way of communicating.

Yes there are faster, more modern ways (than CW) of communicating huge amounts of data. However, I doubt if any of these methods can run off a pair of lantern batteries, from a sailboat, in the middle of a lake.

CW is like reading and playing music, or speaking a second language, or driving a car with manual transmission, or many other skill activities. Can you get by without it? Sure, but you are a less versitile, less capable person without those skills.

I'm glad I had to pass THE TEST.
RE: FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur R  
by WB9NJB on April 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I think the most telling comment from the FCC is the acknowledgement of the fine work done by the ARRL. A great deal of thought went into the League's proposal, and it is clear that they have a true concern for a healthy hobby for the new century. Good job Newington. As for cwtitan, I don't see anything in the proposal that diminishes your right to operate and enjoy cw. Quitting after all of these years seems quite shortsighted, but then again, no loss for the rest of us. The download is 71 pages, and a good thought provoking read.
RE: FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur R  
by K7JBQ on April 21, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Exactly right. Another good reason is that the speed on the bottom 25 is a tad quick for your basic "5wpm extra."

RE: FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur R  
by K7JBQ on April 21, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Exactly right. Another good reason is that the speed on the bottom 25 is a tad quick for your basic "5wpm extra."

FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur Radio  
by CWTITAN on April 21, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I read the whole thing, twice to make sure I understood. I think 5 wpm is worthless, I think the proposal is as worthless as the "LISTENER". Why do I think I heard you say the same thing in person??? The entire proposal is geared toward the lazy, the gimmee, gimmee now, without effort or work crowd. Its not about CW, its about ham radio and the shoddy way the ARRL is ruining it. But, CW is not just another mode. It is ham radio. Just as experimenting, kit building are. I have another great hobby, flying and building airplanes, real airplanes. "LISTENER",, CARE TO GO FOR A RIDE???? HEEE HEEE HEEEA.
RE: FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur R  
by KG5JJ on April 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
What "other" countries are doing in regard to Morse matters not to me. What does matter is the
"you should be doing what all the other countries are doing" comments. If there are enough
amateur radio traditionalists who think enough of the 5 wpm token requirement to keep for Extra
class, then so be it. If there are not, then so be it.

Whether or not our vision (in this country) is brilliant, or misguided, that vision is tested publicly
by democratic process. The majority rules. We pride ourselves on that principle, not blindly
following like sheep toward "the flavor of the day" or "politically correct" behavior laid-out by those
with agendas.

My thoughts are; this country is great because collectively, we think outside the box. If that
breeds anti-American sentiment worldwide, then I have only one suggestion:

Before tearing-down your neighbors' barns, perhaps you should clean yours out first...

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur Radio  
by KA3TKZ on April 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
No code no license!! I am still working towards 13 WPM so I can upgrade to General from Novice. I want the code requirement to stay. To the gentleman from the EU, the United States does not follow, WE lead! Some of the HF bands sound very cb like, we should try to clean this up.
RE: FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur R  
by KD7ZIW on April 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
CWTITAN...Ham would be better off without you, so please do go. You're stuck on a symbol from the past and that's all it is today, a symbol.
Some people actually use the amateur service for more then chit chat or the entertainment of ego's. The transmitter I use is important to my very existence on the ocean. Currently I'm stuck with just the marine ssb frequencies but the proposed rules open up a whole network for me. This is very important for mariners. I spent 29 days last year farther then 200 miles from any coastline. I again plan to be on the ocean, at the end of May, for a single handed voyage from San Diego to Hawaii. Opening the ham network for communications opens a whole world of safety for me, but you probably don't understand anyone actually having a real use for this other then idle dot-dash chit chat.
I'm studying for the 5 wpm but I doubt I'll ever be good at it as I'm not musical. I have passed elements 2 and 3. I could easily pass element 4. I hold a General Radiotelephone with Radar endorsement. I've designed satellite systems for government and commercial use for 30 years. Things like Voyager, shuttle, Iridium and Hubble. Currently designing amps for cell phones (Motorola, Nokia, Samsung are my customers). I hold numerous patents for various circuits and have written and published too many times to count. I am considered an expert in high efficiency power amplifiers and rf systems. All this and a moron like you thinks I won't be an asset to HAM because I can't do code. You're just a slow speed cb'er and I can't see where you're a benefit. Good riddance.
RE: FCC Proposes Wide-Ranging Changes to Amateur R  
by CWTITAN on April 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KD7ZIW, Obviously we are from different generations. (possibly worlds) I spent many months more than 200 miles from any port and land, 32 years in the navy. I probably was a moron for doing that, but the checks each month are pretty handy. Keeps the gas in my Cessna 210m and my fishing boat. Oh yeah, I have a education from a accredited university, and I have NEVER BEEN A CBer, but I know lots of them, and like a lot of them. Most cb folks find it a educational experience to learn the code. They even feel proud of their accomplishment attained because of the hard work and dedication they put into it. But hey, we all have our camels to feed. Hope you take enough water, have following seas, and avoid typhoons or hurricanes in that puddle jumper. As far as ham radio, well, its not so bad being a no code extra. No dedication, work or pride....bye...
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