Friday, October 6, 2017

FCC Grants Waiver for High-Speed PACTOR in Puerto Rico Recovery Communications

The FCC has granted an ARRL request to temporarily allow PACTOR-3 and -4 transmissions at higher baud rates than is currently permitted under Part 97 as part of the League's communications efforts on Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The waiver notes that the Commission is already considering the elimination of current baud-rate restrictions, and that most of the comments in that proceeding have been positive. The waiver is valid for 60 days and applies only to stations participating in relief communications for Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, the ARRL is reminding amateurs of ongoing emergency communications out of Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean on 14.265 MHz (+/- 3 kHz) and other frequencies, and requests that stations not participating in these communications keep these frequencies clear.

Frank Perry Named CQ Advertising Manager

    (Hicksville, NY) October 6, 2017 – CQ magazine Publisher Dick Ross, K2MGA, today announced the appointment of Frank Perry of Wantagh, New York, as CQ's Advertising Manager, effective Monday, October 9, 2017.
A Marine Corps veteran, Perry has two decades of sales experience, mostly in the advertising industry itself. Among his goals is to grow CQ's advertising beyond its traditional base, raising the profiles of both CQ and amateur radio itself in the process. "I hope to bring a new set of advertisers and awareness to CQ and the amateur radio world," he says, while continuing to help our longtime advertisers communicate most effectively with CQ readers.

"Frank has spent the last 20 years selling advertising to the advertising industry," notes Ross, "so he is on top of all the latest trends and techniques to most effectively connect merchants and manufacturers with current and prospective customers, using a blend of print advertising, digital advertising and social media."

A traveler and photographer, as well as dog lover and gardener, Perry says he is looking forward to learning about the amateur radio hobby and industry, explaining that he wants "to learn more about something I'm not that knowledgeable about and have that enthusiasm move me forward."

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Senate Commerce Committee to Vote Wednesday on Amateur Radio Parity Act

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee will take up the Amateur Radio Parity Act, S. 1534, tomorrow (Wednesday), October 4. If approved by the committee, the bill will be ready to be voted on by the full Senate. 
The committee hearing begins at 10 A.M. eastern time and will be streamed live. A Link will be available tomorrow morning at: . (Tnx K3ZJ)

[Update: It appears that no action was taken on the bill during the committee's October 4 meeting. We will keep you updated on future developments.]

Monday, October 2, 2017

630/2200-Meter Bands Open for Amateur Use (With Strings Attached)

Chart in the June 2017 issue of CQ magazine
shows the new 2200 and 630-meter bands in
relation to nearby allocations.

Our long-promised new bands at 630 meters (472-479 kHz) and 2200 meters (135.7-137.8 kHz) are finally open for use by U.S. hams with General Class or higher licenses.

At least for now, these will be bands primarily for experimenters, as there are significant obstacles to getting a station set up and on the air, including a requirement for prior approval by the electric power industry.

For additional information, see our updates here in the CQ Newsroom (scroll down), as well as a more detailed review of the FCC's Report and Order on pages 20-24 of our June issue.

Early Reports Suggest Solar Eclipse DID Impact HF Propagation

The solar eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017 at totality.
(Photo by Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB)

Preliminary reports from both citizen scientists and professional researchers indicate that August's total eclipse of the sun had a brief but measurable impact on HF propagation.

Dr. Phil Jackson, W1PJE, at MIT's Haystack Observatory, told the ARRL Letter that researchers there saw "a 2x reduction" in electron density for 45 minutes to an hour during the peak eclipse period.

The Letter also reported on a ham in Montana who said 20-meter propagation dropped to almost nothing during the eclipse but then recovered. Conversely, K1EHZ, in an article scheduled for the December issue of CQ, says propagation on the nighttime bands of 160 and 80 meters spiked during the eclipse and then returned to normal daytime levels.