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WEAVER'S WORDS -- Watch for Goblins

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  • Tom VanderMel KB8VEE
    - From: ARRL GL Division To: kb8vee@comcast.net Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 2:17:20 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern Subject:
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 22, 2009
      From: "ARRL GL Division" <memberlist@...>
      To: kb8vee@...
      Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 2:17:20 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
      Subject: WEAVER'S WORDS -- Watch for Goblins

      (Reply to ki8je@...)

      - FCC Clarifies Section 97.113 Regarding Drills
      - Online Seminar will Discuss Section 97.113
      - Publicity for Amateur Radio
      - ARRL to FCC:  'tain't so McGee
      - Region 3 IARU Conference ends
      - Hamfest Sponsors, You Own Part of the Agreement
      - Humanitarian Award:  Nominations Wanted
      - Canadian Mobiles must become Hands Free
      - Great Lakes Division in Print
      - The 2010 Handbook -- Wow!
      - Travel & Hamfest Schedule

      +++ FCC Clarifies Part 97.113 Regarding Drills +++

      FCC Issued Public Notice DA 09-2259 on October 20 to resolve the
      confusion concerning 47CFR97.113 of its rules governing Amateur Radio.
      There are two aspects of this Public Notice as I see it.  The first is
      that the wording of 47 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Part 97.113
      says precisely what the FCC has said it says all along.  In today's
      phraseology, "read my lips."

      The second aspect of the Public Notice adds a new wrinkle to the issue.
       This is simply that FCC recognizes there may be individual instances
      when it may be appropriate for employees with Amateur Radio licenses to
      use Amateur Radio to communicate on behalf of their employers during
      drills.  The critical learning here is that these instances relate to
      government-sponsored drills and the use of employee ham operators is to
      be cleared on a case-by-case basis through a waiver process the
      Commission has instituted.

      In other words, one does not decide a day or two before a drill that
      employee amateurs can be used or that the employer-employee
      relationship is OK to operate on a continuing basis.

      Everything stated in "Words" last month as well as everything stated in
      the position statement we ARRL Directors issued about the
      commercialization of Amateur Radio applies today as much as it did 20
      years ago.  The only difference between what we discussed is FCC's
      addition of the waiver process for occasional government-sponsored

      The bottom line as this Director sees it is:

      - Under no circumstances may Amateur Radio operators conduct
      communication via Amateur Radio on behalf of their employers on a
      continuing basis.  As just one example, an Emergency Management
      Director may not use Amateur Radio to communicate with employees who
      are licensed amateurs in the conduct of the routine business of the
      emergency management department.  Regular conduct of weather training
      nets by employees of the NWS or an EM Department as part of their
      duties would appear to represent another form of prohibited activity.
      Period, end of discussion per the FCC Public Notice.

      - Any use of Amateur Radio by an employer to communicate with employees
      occur during individual, government-sponsored drills and only then if
      prior waiver for this communication has been obtained in writing from
      the FCC.  The drill may not be repeated without repeating the waiver
      process.  In addition, the drill may not be a continuing operation.
      Again, period, end of discussion per the FCC Public Notice.

      To beat a dead horse, FCC rules regarding this issue have not changed
      for many years.  As proof of this, all one needs to do is to read the
      Public Notice
      http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-2259A1.pdf and
      Part 97.113.  Focusing on the current issue, Part 97.113 reads:

      "(a) No amateur station shall transmit:

            "(2) Communications for hire or for material compensation, direct
      or indirect, paid or promised;

            "(3) Communications in which the station licensee or control
      operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf
      of an employer. Amateur operators may, however, notify other amateur
      operators of the availability for sale or trade of apparatus normally
      used in an amateur station, provided that such activity is not
      conducted on a regular basis;

            "(5) Communications, on a regular basis, which could reasonably
      be furnished alternatively through other radio services."

      Whether you or I agree with an FCC rule does not change the fact that
      it is the current rule with full, legal status.  It applies regardless
      of any well-meaning rationalization anyone may try to use to justify
      ignoring it.

      While I'm in the opinion-offering mood, let me suggest that the FCC has
      done everything it can do to get Amateur Radio and us out of a thorny,
      community relations, rock-and-hard-spot with served agencies.  Giving
      copies of Part 97.113, the new FCC Public Notice and the ARRL
      Commercialization of Amateur Radio discussion should give any sincere
      manager at a served agency a clear understanding of what can and cannot
      be done using Amateur Radio.  Add to this a discussion by a
      knowledgeable member of your ARES, club or other ham group on how you
      can fit in to emergency plans and the picture of how you can assist our
      communities should come into focus.

      Instead of telling an agency, we do what you want, try saying, "Federal
      regulations do not permit us to do exactly what you have requested, but
      here is what we can do to help . . ."  Discussing the situation openly
      and honestly should then be useful.

      Keep in mind that this discussion relates to drills.  The FCC rules
      (47CFR97.403) still also state "No provision of these rules prevents
      the use by an amateur station of any means of radiocommunication at its
      disposal to provide essential communication needs in connection with
      the immediate safety of human life and immediate protection of property
      when normal communication systems are not available."  Training for
      such an eventuality by employees of served agencies must be done
      following FCC rules, however.

      FCC rules and regulations are published for anyone to study.  Don't
      have a copy?  You can go to
       They are also posted on the web at

      Incidentally, "except as otherwise provided in these rules" in (2),
      above, refers to the ruling that allows operators of W1AW and certain
      other stations to be paid for transmitting material such as relevant
      news bulletins, propagation information, code practice on the ham bands
      to amateurs.

      +++ Online Seminar Will Discuss Section 97.113 +++

      As stated in a special announcement to Great Lakes Division members,
      ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, will lead an online seminar
      about Section 97.113 of the FCC rules.  Provided there is still room in
      the "webinar," any GLD member is invited to participate.  The seminar
      will be by Internet with presentations on your computer screen and
      audio using VOIP or telephone.

      The seminar is at 9 PM, Wednesday, October 28.  To register:
      https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/326759760.  You will be able to
      submit questions when you register.

      +++ Publicity for Amateur Radio +++

      A recent poll on the ARRL web site asked visitors to it if they were
      familiar with the league's new training course, PR-101.  The result was
      that only about 10% of those who took the poll said they knew anything
      about this course.  This is an unfortunate statistic.

      PR-101 is a series of lessons on CD that covers the how's, why's and
      what's of getting print or broadcast media coverage for services we
      hams provide to the public and for Amateur Radio activities.

      I've lost count of the number of times members have asked why ham
      public safety and public service events fail to receive coverage by the
      news media.  PR-101 provides amateurs with the knowledge needed to get
      this coverage.

      PR-101 was put together under the guidance of ARRL Media Relations
      Director Allen Pitts, W1AGP to provide us gals and guys in the field
      with the tools we need to promote hamming locally.

      To be honest, hams indeed have a problem getting the press coverage our
      works deserve.  We can sit back and complain about this problem or we
      can act to do something to correct it as have many of our fellow
      amateurs.  If you, too, wish to become part of the solution, please
      contact Allen at apitts@... and ask what you can do to improve
      press coverage in your community.  For information about PR-101,
      specifically, go to

      PR-101 is a must-read for club Public Information Officers (PIOs) and
      anyone else interested in getting good publicity for Amateur Radio.
      Your club doesn't have a PIO?  It should.  Nearly wherever there is an
      active PIO knowledgeable in how to obtain publicity, ham radio receives

      +++ ARRL to FCC:  'tain't so McGee +++

      In a filing with the FCC, the IBEC corporation provided technical data
      showing that the general electrical noise floor in the US has risen
      considerably.  The point of the submission was that any ambient noise
      added by BPL and similar systems was relatively negligible --
      justifying radiation from BPL.  ARRL recently filed comments that
      strongly rebut the IBEC argument.

      Studies done by ARRL's Ed Hare, W1RFI, totally demonstrated the
      incompetence of the investigative approach used by IBEC.  Using more
      sophisticated and accepted methodology, the ARRL study clearly supports
      the continued validity of data previously provided earlier by such
      organizations as the United Nations' International Telecommunications
      Union (ITU) and NATO.

      +++ Region 3 IARU Conference ends +++

      Region 3 of the International Amateur Radio Union held its triennial
      conference in Christchurch, New Zealand October 12-16.  Major actions
      taken by the delegates included affirming obtaining allocation of an
      amateur 500 kHz band during WRC-12.  The conference also firmly stated
      its dedication to strengthening its protection of amateur frequencies
      against intruders by strengthening the Region 3 Intruder Watch.

      Ten member national societies sent delegates.  Three more were
      represented by proxy.  ARRL represents amateurs in US territories and
      possessions in the Region III.  These include American Samoa (KH8) and
      Guam (KH2).

      The conference accepted the invitation of the Vietnam ARC to hold its
      15th Triennial Conference in Ho Chi Minh City in 2012.

      +++ Hamfest Sponsors, You Own Part of the Agreement +++

      ARRL is happy to sanction qualified hamfests as "ARRL Hamfests."  The
      benefit to clubs and the hamfests they sponsor is free publicity in QST
      and on the ARRL web site.  Free gift certificates usable to purchase
      ARRL publications are also given to use as prizes.

      In return, hamfests that are sanctioned agree to a quid pro quo deal
      for ARRL.  In return, ARRL hamfests agree to ". . . make space
      available for an ARRL display, and those ARRL hamfests which include
      formal speaking programs will schedule time for an ARRL meeting if so
      requested by the Director or another elected League official."

      In my opinion, mutual courtesy between ARRL and the hamfest sponsors
      should include each one promoting the appearance of an ARRL official at
      a sanctioned hamfest when this appearance is known sufficiently in
      advance.  This is precisely the reason behind the Travel Schedule
      published at the end of each of these issues of Words.

      I hope that hamfest committees that do not plan formal speaking
      programs will still make time available for an ARRL Forum provided that
      space is available for it and the time is requested.  Additionally,
      sanctioned hamfests "shall make every effort to use the ARRL diamond .
      . .  on the front of all advertising and program materials."

      Obviously, a sanctioned hamfest can promote itself as being an ARRL
      Hamfest.  This is encouraged, in fact.

      For the complete rules regarding sanctioning of hamfests and
      conventions, please see

      +++ Humanitarian Award:  Nominations Wanted +++

      The ARRL Humanitarian Award is given to individual or groups of
      amateurs that provide outstanding work in areas of international
      humanism and the furtherance of world peach.  Nominations for this
      award are open through December 31.

      Information on the award and submitting nominations for it are at

      +++ Canadian Mobiles must become Hands Free +++

      According to an alert from the Radio Amateurs of Canada (the Canadian
      National organization), a new law in the Province of Ontario requires
      all two-way radios in nearly all vehicles on Canadian roadways to be
      hands free.  The requirement applies to all commercial, CB and amateur
      equipment.  The only exception to the rule is gear in emergency
      response vehicles.

      We can only assume at this time that the law applies to vehicles
      operated by visitors from the US as well as Canadian amateurs.  The new
      law became effective October 26.  Tickets for infractions will begin to
      be issued effective February 1.

      +++ Great Lakes Division in Print +++

      Page 20 of the November 2009 QST was nearly taken over by Great Lakes
      Division clubs.  The left column covers a needed antenna replacement at
      the Bluegrass Amateur Radio Service club station in Lexington, KY.  In
      the lower right, there is a nice "art" photo of antennas and a hot-air
      balloon above Findlay Radio Club antennas in Findlay, OH.

      A technical article by Mike Bryce, WB8VGE begins on p. 35.  The North
      Lawrence, OH amateur wrote "A Universal Frequency Calibrater."  Nice

      In addition, John Davis, WA8YXM of Davison, MI and Kevin Taylor,
      KD8TAY, of Loudonville, OH each had a letter-to-the-editor published.
      Finally, Bill Jones, K8CU (ex-NS8T) of Westerville, OH and Arnie
      Hayward, NS8T of Coldwater, MI were featured in a Stray that involved
      their mutual interest in NS8T.

      Did I miss anyone?

      +++ The 2010 Handbook -- Wow! +++

      I received my copy of the 2010 Handbook today, October 19.  All I can
      say is it is quite an improvement over an already-leading publication.
      It is billed as "The BIGGEST Handbook EVER!"  I think this is

      It is a packed, 32 chapters plus a CD of the entire book, plus an
      Advertisers Index and useful ads, plus a topic index, plus a project
      index, plus much more.  Having cut my ham radio teeth on the 1957
      Handbook, I can assure you this isn't your grandfather's or even you
      father's (may not even your son's or daughter's) Handbook.

      My copy is hardbound in a nice-looking blue with gold embossed type
      cover.  Soft back covers are also available.

      Did I say that many smaller countries of the world use the ARRL
      Handbook as their bible for radio communications and RF engineering?
      Well, they do and a look at the 2010 edition will immediately show you
      why.  It is complete, practical and easy to understand.

      For an introductory period the hard cover and the soft cover editions
      are $49.95 plus shipping.  After the introductory period, the hard
      cover edition will return to its regular $59.95.

      +++ Travel & Hamfest Schedule +++

      Beginning this month, all hamfests/swaps sanctioned by ARRL will be
      included in the monthly Travel and Hamfest Schedule.  Typically,
      hamfests will be listed three months in advance.  Events that will be
      attended by a Division representative will be noted.  Division
      Legislative Action Chair John Meyers, NB4K and 8th Area QSL Bureau
      Manager Jay Slough, K4ZLE may join Vice Director Gary Johnston, KI4LA
      and me on selected visits.

      Date......Event.......................Division Representative(s)

      7  Nov:  Georgetown OH Hamfest, Grant ARC -- Gary
      10-12 Nov:  Newington, CT, A&F Meeting -- Jim
      6  Dec:  Mt. Clemens, MI, L'Anse Cruise ARC Swap

      8  Jan:  Dayton, OH, Dayton ARA Meeting -- Jim
      13-14 Jan: Newington, CT, A&F Meeting -- Jim
      15-17 Jan: Newington, CT, ARRL Board Mtg. -- Gary & Jim
      17 Jan:  Hazel Park, MI, Hazel Park ARC Hamfest
      17 Jan:  Nelsonville, OH, Sunday Creek AR Fed. Hamfest
      31 Jan:  Strasburg, OH, TUSCO ARC Hamfest
      14 Feb:  Mansfield, OH, Hamfest, Inter-City ARC -- Jim
      21 Feb:  Livonia, MI, Swap n Shop
      6  Mar:  Cave City, KY, Mammoth Cave ARC Hamfest
      14-16 May: Dayton Hamvention(r), Dayton ARA -- Gary, Jim
      8  Jul:  Youngstown, OH, MVARA Meeting -- Jim

      NOTE:  Thanks to clubs that have already had their 2010 hamfests
      sanctioned by ARRL.  Don't know who these are?  Check out the Great
      Lakes Division hamfest schedules at
      http://www.arrl.org/hamfests.htmlfor 2010 to find them.

      Jim Weaver, K8JE, Director
      ARRL Great Lakes Division
      5065 Bethany Rd.
      Mason, OH 45040
      E-mail:  k8je@..., Tel.: 513-459-1661
      ARRL - The national association for Amateur Radio

      ARRL Great Lakes Division
      Director: James Weaver, K8JE
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