This week, Surfin' finds a Woodstock connection to ham radio.
The July/August issue of QEX is coming soon, and it is full of theoretical and practical technical articles that you don't want to miss.
On August 12, ARRL DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, announced that after more than eight years, the 7O1YGF operation in 2000 from Yemen has been approved for DXCC credit. Moore cited a review of "recently received information," as well as "additional dialogue" with the leader of the 7O1YGF DXpediton, as reasons for the approval.
ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, on behalf of the ARRL, filed comments on August 11 regarding a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), ET Docket 09-36, issued by the FCC in March 2009. In the NPRM, the FCC proposed to allocate spectrum and adopt service and technical rules for the utilization of new implanted medical devices that operate on 413-457 MHz (70 cm). According to the Commission, these devices -- called implanted neuromuscular microstimulators -- would greatly expand the use of functional electric stimulation to restore sensation, mobility and function to those persons with paralyzed limbs and organs; they would be implanted in a patient and function as wireless broadband medical micro-power networks (MMNs). These devices would be used on the 70 cm band on a secondary basis as part of the Medical Data Radiocommunication Service in Part 95 of the FCC rules. The Amateur Radio Service has a secondary allocation in the 70 cm band.
Last month, the FCC posted a list of enforcement actions. Four RFI-related letters to energy providers were sent between July 1-27, 2009; four warning letters to individuals were sent between July 17-22, 2009.
Mickey Hicks, WO6T -- known to many amateurs and their children as Santa Claus -- passed away Sunday, August 9. He was 79. For the past 38 years, Hicks, a ham for almost 50 years and a long-time Amateur Radio instructor, would get on the air for 10 days each December as W6S (Whiskers-6-Santa). ARRL Youth Editor Duncan MacLachlan, KU0DM, profiled Hicks in December 2008: "The Amateur Radio community has been quick to embrace the W6S operation. Mickey says that the first year operating as W6S was 'a hit with the operators of all ages and their children.' Mickey noted that most children are a bit apprehensive of talking over the radio, let alone to Santa! He said one of the most challenging parts of operating is when he hears 'This one is shy and won't talk.' That's not a problem for Mickey -- he says after a few warm-up questions (such as 'Can you say hello to Rudolph?'), he can strike up a conversation that lasts a few minutes. He has even heard back that the parents weren't able to get the microphone away from the kids afterward!" Hicks told the ARRL in 2001 that his Santa's Workshop has been a great ham radio recruiting tool. One of his most memorable experiences was when a young girl he'd once spoken with on the air as Santa came by with her ham ticket in hand to thank him in person for getting her interested. "I had tears in my eyes, of course," he said. Mark Slater, WI6J --Hicks' QSL manager -- said Hicks was an avid DXer, contester and rag chewer: "He had a passion for radio and making new friends through the hobby he enjoyed so much. Mickey will be greatly missed." Slater said that he will continue to confirm WO6T/W6S QSL requests "indefinitely." Hicks, of Bakersfield, California, was a member of the ARRL A-1 Operator Club and a long-time member of the ARRL, the Northern California DX Foundation, the Central Valley DX Club and the Kern County Central Valley Amateur Radio Club. -- Thanks to The Daily DX for providing some information for this story
On August 11, the FCC announced that the cost of an Amateur Radio vanity call sign will increase $1.10, from $12.30 to $13.40. Now that notice of the increase has been published in the Federal Register, the increase will take effect in 30 days, September 10, 2009. The FCC is authorized by the Communications Act of 1934, As Amended, to collect vanity call sign fees to recover the costs associated with that program. The vanity call sign regulatory fee is payable not only when applying for a new vanity call sign, but also upon renewing a vanity call sign for a new 10 year term. The notice in the August 11, 2009 Federal Register, entitled “Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2009,” includes regulatory fees; these fees are expected to recover a total of $341,875,000 during FY2009, encompassing all the Services the FCC regulates. For more information, see the recent ARRLWeb article, "FCC Looks to Raise Vanity Call Sign Fees for Second Consecutive Year."
In July 2009, the ARRL Executive Committee reviewed grant applications for the ARRL's Education & Technology Program (ETP), awarding nearly $9000 to eight schools. More than 370 schools across the country have received support from the ETP in the form of grants for equipment, curriculum and resources, as well as teacher in-service training through the Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology. The Executive Committee reviews applications for equipment and resource grants twice each year.
On August 10, the FCC issued a Citation to Future Hobbies for marketing unauthorized radio frequency devices in the United States that operate on restricted frequencies. According to the Commission, these devices were in violation of the Communications Act of 1934, As Amended and the Commission's Rules.
WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Florida, is featured in a 60 second radio spot for Duracell batteries. The commercial, which begins airing this month, highlights the efforts of an all-volunteer army of ham radio operators for WX4NHC. Narrated by actor Jeff Bridges, it describes the important role that radio amateurs play during severe weather conditions -- enabling communications with emergency medical teams, police and fire departments -- when the power goes out. The narration underscores the importance of a reliable battery to power the portable ham radios, which are crucial to WX4NHC's work.