Monthly Archives: February 2015

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB008 (2015)

ARLB008 ARRL Warns Experimental Licensee to Avoid Interference to HF
Ham Activity

ARRL Bulletin 8 ARLB008
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT February 17, 2015
To all radio amateurs

ARLB008 ARRL Warns Experimental Licensee to Avoid Interference to HF
Ham Activity

The ARRL has asked a Massachusetts company that plans to conduct
experimental transmissions over wide portions of the HF spectrum
either to avoid Amateur Radio allocations or to announce the times
and frequencies of their transmissions in advance. The FCC last fall
granted MITRE Corporation of Bedford, Massachusetts, a 2-year Part 5
Experimental License, WH2XCI, to operate 21 transmitters at 10 fixed
New York and Massachusetts sites. MITRE plans to test wideband HF
communication techniques on a variety of bands between 2.5 MHz and
16 MHz.

t will not be possible for MITRE to operate these transmitters
within the Amateur Radio Service allocations…without causing
harmful interference to a large number of Amateur Radio operators on
an ongoing basis,” ARRL Chief Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, said in a
February 12 letter to MITRE.

Imlay said that if MITRE does not agree to avoid ham radio bands or
to announce times and frequencies of transmissions ahead of time, it
will ask the FCC to rescind the company’s Experimental License or to
impose a prior notification requirement “in real time for each and
every use of the transmitters authorized at each site.”

The WH2XCI Experimental License authorizes maximum bandwidths of 5
kHz, 500 kHz, and 1 MHz at effective radiated power levels of 6 W,
24 W, or 122 W. MITRE has indicated that most bandwidths would be
between 100 and 300 kHz.

“At these power levels with the operating parameters proposed, it
will be impossible to conduct your tests at any time within the
Amateur Radio allocations and, at the same time, avoid harmful
interference,” Imlay said. He noted that MITRE already conceded this
point in a technical exhibit submitted to the FCC with respect to
its 1 MHz bandwidth mode.

Imlay said that when interference from MITRE’s wide-bandwidth
transmitters “inevitably occurs in the narrow-bandwidth, sensitive
receivers” hams use, amateur licensees will have no way to determine
the source of the interference or know to whom they might complain.
“Thus, your assurance of operation on a ‘non-interference basis’ is
meaningless under the circumstances, and yet that is both a special
condition of operation” of the WH2XCI license and under FCC Part 5
regulations, Imlay told MITRE.

“It is ARRL’s intention to ensure that this experimental
authorization, improvidently granted to the extent that it includes
heavily used Amateur Radio allocations, is not permitted to cause
interference to ongoing Amateur Radio HF communications,” Imlay

MITRE obtained the Experimental License to investigate high data
rate wideband HF communication systems that exploit polarization
diversity multiple input, multiple output concepts to expand the
bandwidth of the communication channel.

Hams Encouraged to Hit the Water for New US Islands Awards “One-Day Getaway”

Fans of portable ham radio are encouraged to grab their equipment and head for the water as part of the new “One-Day Getaway,” sponsored by the US Islands Awards Program. The annual event will debut on Saturday, May 9, from 0000 UTC through 2359 UTC (Friday evening to Saturday evening in the continental US). Founded in 1994, US Islands promotes portable ham radio operation from islands in all bodies of water — lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and coastal islands in US territorial waters.

“US Islands is a great way to go on a mini-DXpedition without spending a lot of money,” said US Islands Awards Manager Jay Chamberlain, NS4J. “Discovering islands in your own backyard and setting up a station outdoors is always a good time. If hams have only operated outdoors during Field Day, we offer another route to get outside and enjoy portable ham radio in a different way.”

The One-Day Getaway is an on-air activity, not a contest. No scores are tallied, and no prizes are awarded. Participation from all radio amateurs, regardless of experience level, is encouraged. Contacts may be made with any station. US Islands offers achievement awards for both island activators and island chasers, including a certificate for your first US Islands activation.

While there are some 2800 islands on the US Islands list, there are more than 17000 islands within the US. Participants can use Google Earth to locate new islands and be the first to operate ham radio from that location.

Complete information on the US Islands Program, a how-to guide for One-Day Getaway participants and a list of currently qualified islands is available on the group’s website.

Courtesy of the ARRL