Permission to copy is granted provided that credit is given to "W6VIO Calling."
Sept 6 Angeles Crest 100 Bike Ride Sept.10 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543 Sept 12-14 [ARRL SW Division Convention, Riverside, CA] Sept 20 [Pomona Swapmeet, DeVry Institute] Sept 24 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227 Sept 27 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach] Sept 27 AC100 Endurance Run, Wrightwood to Pasadena October 8 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543 October 18 [Pomona Swapmeet, DeVry Institute] October 22 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227 October 25 [TRW Swapmeet, Redondo Beach] November 12 General Meeting, Noon - 238-543 November 26 Board Meeting, Noon - 301-227
The next regular JPL Amateur Radio Club meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 10, at noon in building 238, room 543. Club Board of Directors meetings are held at noon on the fourth Wednesday of each month in 301-227. Everyone is welcome at both meetings; bring your lunch. n
By Randy Hammock, KC6HUR
I am very curious to know what the reasons are for joining an organization such as the JPL Amateur Radio Club. Is it camaraderie, sharing technical know-how, emergency preparedness/operations, special event operations, access to club resources, a desire to help others, a need for help, community involvement? If your answer was that you joined for access to the cheapest autopatch in town, then you joined for the wrong reason. According to the rules, you cannot use amateur radio to avoid paying for phone service if the phone service is available. Which means, not using the autopatch to avoid cell phone charges if you have a cell phone (and service) readily available.
How about emergency preparedness and operation? How many members do more than check into the Monday noontime net? This is where many of the community service events come in. Besides providing a useful service at the time of the event, these events service good practice for actual emergencies. Most of the elements of emergency operations are present: working in a networked environment, passing traffic and information, working in field conditions. Community service events are one of the best ways to work on your operating skills, serve the community and have fun with some your other ham buddies.
The club has some pretty nice resources in the form of HF equipment. Granted, our antenna system leaves a bit to be desired, but there is work already in progress to remedy that situation and when completed, will provide fairly impressive capabilities. All we need are able-bodied persons to help install this equipment when it arrives. I just sorry we were not able to provide any special event operations during the Mars landing in July. Many people probably think how could we compete with the worldwide coverage of the news and Internet? We can't compete, but we can complement. Even in this modern day of computers and ISP's, many people are still not on the Internet and being able to receive pictures via amateur radio is a big thrill for them. I'm just surprised I never heard even one person within the JPLARC ask about or mention a Mars Landing special event operation. I think this was a first. I'm sure there are thousands of disappointed hams around the world.
All who attended the August General meeting where made aware of what the JPLARC role will be in the event of an emergency. Eric Fuller told us that we will be in the forefront of communications when the time comes and that the Lab is fully behinds what we are doing to keep our systems upgraded and operational. Because of the Lab's level of preparedness and their involvement with the radio club, NASA feels that JPL is the standard for emergency preparedness for all NASA centers.
Don't just send in your renewals and think, "I've done my part." Get involved! Answer those requests for assistance with a resounding "Yes, I'd be glad to help!" rather than, "Oh I don't have time. Let someone else do it." You've got to make your own time. No one else can make it for you.
Until next month, 73. n
August Club Meetings
By Chris Zygielbaum, N6WEI
The August General Meeting was held on Wednesday August 13, 1997. Randy Hammock (KC6HUR) called the meeting to order.
Bob Polansky (N6ET) reported on the progress made installing the HF antenna on the Mesa. Facilities personnel helped to complete the site preparation for the base and anchors. The rest of the materials will be ordered and the antenna can be completed.
Bob Polansky briefed the group on the decision by TMOD to set up an emergency control center at Goldstone. The center will allow JPL to conduct mission operations, albeit in a degraded mode, if JPL is out of commission for any reason. The plan is to use JPL ARC link between JPL and the high desert. Bob has secured funding for two transceivers for JPL and Goldstone. More information to come.
Walt Diem (WA6PEA) reported that there has been no progress on the installation of the new cabinet for WB6IEA repeater. The current cabinet is too small and the repeater is not readily accessible in the cabinet. A larger replacement cabinet is on Lab with doors that need to be installed. However, Walt is unable to lead the work of installing the cabinet. Unless someone is willing to take on the project of installing the cabinet at Cerro Negro, he sees no point in having the doors installed. Since the new cabinet needs to be moved from its current storage location by mid-September, it will be sent to the Cheli Warehouse unless someone volunteers to lead the project.
Chuck Sarture (KG6NF), club Treasurer, reported that the difference between the expenses and receipts (income) from this year's Field Day is only $50.
There was discussion about the weekly toll call charge to retransmit the Newsline report during the Monday emergency net. It has been recommended that we set up a work-around to avoid the toll call, but the effort involved in the work around is less attractive than the simplicity, low maintenance, reliability, and relatively low cost of continuing the current method.
Eric Fuller, the Lab's Emergency Operations Coordinator, provided the program for the meeting. Eric's first day at JPL was January 6, 1997 (the day of the high winds). Luckily, nothing quite as exciting has happened since then. Eric has been in the rescue business for 24 years, including the Montrose Search and Rescue Team.
Eric used the opportunity to make some announcements. Reinforced by his experience with the high winds, he is convinced that JPL emergency personnel need scanners to monitor local forestry, police, and sheriff activities. He has securing the necessary funding and five scanners are on order.
A new Fire Department building has been approved. It will be built east of the "Mars Yard," and it will house Medical Services, Emergency Operations, Plant Protection, the Fire Department, and the Radio Club. Eric feels that the Radio Club plays an extremely important role in emergency operations. On a personal note, Eric is committed to get his amateur radio license.
Recently the NASA Annual Emergency Preparedness Meeting was held at JPL. The consensus of the attendees was that JPL is the "state of the art" for emergency preparedness and has set the NASA standard. JPL's plan includes the Carpenter Shop, Facilities, the radio club, etc. The NASA Center representatives were extremely impressed.
Eric is following the international trend to take anti-terrorism training. He understands that JPL is attractive to terrorists because it represents national pride, generates international interest, and can attract a large contingent of the media.
The club was reminded of the availability of diesel generators on Lab. Eric has just acquired two (used) 30-Kilowatt generators. It was interesting to note that generators with more than 35 Kilowatt require a $7200 annual permit for preventative maintenance. Generators with less output require no permit at all.
Board of Directors Meeting
The BOD meeting was held on Wednesday, August 27. Randy Hammock, Walt Diem, Jay Holladay (W6EJJ), John Norris (KE6QEZ), Bob Dengler (NO6B), Jan Tarsala (WB6VRN), Bill Wood (WB6FXJ) via telephone, and Chris Zygielbaum, were in attendance.
Randy Hammock called the meeting to order.
Club members using W6VIO (224.08) are again experiencing interference from the Santa Barbara Radio Club repeater K6TZ (224.08) along the coast and in the South Bay area. To eliminate such interference, the 220 SMA coordinates a different CTCSS (PL) tone for each repeater sharing the same frequency. Although the Santa Barbara repeater responds to its assigned PL (131.8 Hz), the interference is caused by it also responding to our assigned PL (156.7 Hz). Their use of dual-PL defeats the purpose of using PL. It results in W6VIO users keying up both machines, making W6VIO unusable in overlapping coverage areas. It was agreed that Jan Tarsala will send a letter to the station trustee, with a copy to the 220 MHz Spectrum Management Association, requesting that they permanently disable the conflicting PL.
The Emergency Operations Center that TMOD is planning is dependent on a reliable amateur radio link between JPL and Goldstone. Bill Wood reported that since the recent fires in the San Gabriel Mountains, the signal has been degraded. Bill is planning to work with Walt Diem to run some tests on the repeater that is located at the City of Industry's Sheriff Station. If there is a problem with the site, then Bill will investigate other locations, such as the Cheli Warehouse (located in Bell). Chris Zygielbaum will inform Bruce Troutman (Logistics and Materiel Services Section Manager) that the club may want to run some tests and install a repeater at the Cheli Warehouse.
Randy and Jay reported that all of the HF antenna parts have been ordered and are expected to arrive early the week of September 1. Bob Polansky will be scheduling a work party to assemble the parts and erect the antenna on the Mesa.
Jay reminded the board members that the club is in need of computers. He has an excess 386 MHz PC with a 17-inch monitor that he is donating to the club. Other club members, especially in light of the implementation of the Desktop and Network Services (DNS) contract, are requested to direct excess computers (386 or higher) to Jan Tarsala for club use. As soon as the procedure for identifying exemptions to the DNS contract is published, Jay will prepare the necessary paperwork for the club's computers. Chris Zygielbaum will contact the Property Representatives and ask that they inform Jan when excess computers are going to Cheli.
Randy is looking forward to next year and will be putting together a nominating committee to select a slate of radio club officers for 1998. n
By Bob Polansky, N6ET
Another month has gone by and the solar flux has continued to build ever so slightly. With any luck, 10 and 12 meters will be showing signs of life by the end of the century! There's lots of good DX coming soon according to the 59(9) DX Report. A brief summary follows.
LIBYA - 5A28 will be active from this rare Zone 34 location from 31 August to 7 September. All band, all mode operation is planned. For frequencies, see the 1 August bulletin in the shack. In addition, 5A will also be activated by a number of German hams from 25 November to 4 December. I believe the call for that operation will be 5A1A, but I don't have that info on hand at this time.
MONTSERRAT - Look for the now-rare VP2MGG, on 17,20,and 80 meters, primarily operating SSB. He's still dodging volcanic rocks! He's now the only active DXer on this volcanic dust-covered island.
TANZANIA - 5H3/G3SWH will be active from here from 16 to 22 September. He then moves to Zanzibar (still counts for Tanzania unless you're an IOTA operator) from 22 to 29 September signing 5H1/G3SWH. His operation will be 80 through 10 meters, CW only.
TOGO - Look for 5V7A (and eleven other 5V calls) from a major operation from Togo just prior to and during the CQ WW CW contest on 29 and 30 November. All band operation is planned.
UGANDA - 5X1T, 5X1C, 5X1P, 5X1Z, and 5X4F are all currently active from here. Lots of chances for a 5X QSO at present. I even heard one on 10110 kHz a few weeks back at about 0400Z.
WILLIS ISLAND - From 11 to 21 September a multinational contingent will put this rarely visited island on the air. Calls have not yet been assigned. We should have no trouble working them on all bands. If you need this one, check in the shack for operating frequencies in the 8 August bulletin. n
TMO Repeaters Aid in "Narrows" Fire
By Bill Wood, WB6FXJ
All three JPL ARC Table Mountain repeaters were used to provide emergency communications during the recent Narrows fire in the San Gabriel Mountains. Starting on August 15 and continuing for the next week, both the San Bernardino County Emergency Communications Group and the California Highway Patrol amateur radio auxiliary made use of the repeaters for communications in the area near Wrightwood. Radio amateurs from both groups were dispatched to the area to provide backup communications for state and county officials in areas where the official radio circuits were marginal.
The 223.96 MHz repeater provided a reliable path between Wrightwood and the San Bernardino County Emergency Operations Center in Rialto and was cross-linked to the 145.28 MHz repeater so that team members who did not have 220 radios could stay in contact. The CHP communications auxiliary used the 447.325 MHz repeater to maintain communications between CHP units that were controlling traffic in and around the fire area.
While the fire was turned back from Wrightwood by aggressive work by the 2400-plus fire fighters, aerial tankers and helicopters, it was necessary to evacuate a number of scout camps in the Jackson Lake area to shelters in Phelan, located just north of the Wrightwood area.
Ron McGuire, KN6NB, Chief Radio Officer of the San Bernardino Communications Group, said in a letter of thanks that: "your system truly proved its worth when it was needed to provide vital communications from the Wrightwood Fire Station to various other facilities such as the County EOC. Although there were other frequencies that may have been utilized, knowing your system overlooks the Wrightwood area, it enabled our group to remain in contact and plan a strategy. I was able to remain constant communications with both the EOC in Rialto and the Advance Team in Wrightwood through the use of your system." n
Special Event Communications
Via ARNS Bulletin, September 1997
Public service through providing special event communications has become an important part of amateur radio. But providing communications is more than just grabbing an HT and heading out to the event. To do it well, there are a number of rules and procedures that should be followed. The following is part one of a two part series taken from a handbook prepared by the Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club (SBARC).
A Handbook for Amateur Radio Operators
By Lou Dartanner, N6ZKJ.
What is Event Communications? SBARC works cooperatively with local non-profit organizations in their events by providing communications to insure the safety of all participants. Each event in which we participate has been reviewed for appropriateness by our Vice President of Operations. The event sponsor is required to provide insurance for the SBARC members participating. This insurance provision is the main reason why event communicators must be SBARC members.
The FCC's interpretation of public service assistance that Amateur radio operators can render is keyed around safety issues, such as providing communications to notify event officials of medical emergencies or logistical requirements. But we are specifically prohibited from engaging in communications regarding the event itself, such as the number or name of the lead runner to released to the public. We can take no compensation for our participation in an event, but can accept T-shirts or meals provided to other helpers and/or participants.
Of course, you need a radio! A 2-meter HT will suffice, but there are some accessories for your HT you will really need if you will be doing event communications. The "rubber duck" that comes with your radio is OK under most conditions. You should have with you a 5/8 wave telescoping or a 1/2 wave "loaded" whip for areas with a marginal path to the repeater. Earphones are a must. An inexpensive set used for portable AM/FM radios is OK. It's best to have a set that covers both ears and you can buy a mono to stereo adapter to put audio in both sides. A speaker mike or headset (combination of earphones and mike) is handy. Headphones can be plugged into your speaker mike. This enables you to take your radio off your belt and hold it in the air to get the antenna up for a better shot at the repeater in marginal areas.
A word of caution about speaker mikes. It's tempting to clip your radio to your belt and hang your speaker mike over your shoulder, but remember your antenna is around your waist and you're transmitting more signal to your kidneys than to the repeater!
Buy an alkaline battery pack and put in fresh batteries before the event and carry a spare set. Nicads are really unreliable; you never quite know their charging status and they fail at the most inopportune times. It's not easy to recharge Nicads in the middle of the triathlon! It's also handy to have a magnetic-mount antenna. If you are assigned to a SAG wagon or other vehicle you'll have an outside antenna for your HT. Also, if you're way out in the "boonies" you can put the mag-mount on your own vehicle and stand near your station and have much a much better signal to the repeater.
The next consideration is what you will take with you to make your job safe and comfortable. You can usually put your radio and personal supplies in a "fanny pack" or small backpack. Of course, wear comfortable clothing and shoes and bring a hat. It's best if you wear an SBARC Event Communicator or Club T-shirt to help identify your position. You should try to be self-sufficient and not rely on anyone else. Some things to bring: water or juice, a snack, sunscreen, a few Band-Aids, hand wipes, and tissue. Also, bring a copy of your FCC license, a notepad and pen, a map, and your instruction sheet from the SBARC event organizer.
Working The Event:
Before leaving home, be sure you have everything. Program primary and alternate frequencies in your radio. Select high power. Lock the keypad. (It's an awful feeling to hear "beep-boop" and not know what your HT did so you can get it back to normal!) Be sure to be on-station on time! This usually means allowing extra time to find a parking place and get things together. Check in to the net. Locate your assigned position or find your official and introduce yourself.
Your job is to "shadow" or stay beside that official and pass information to him or her as necessary. We do not provide communications for the public; you may be asked when the parade will start or where a particular runner is, but politely say you are not in a position to know and can't interrupt the net to find out.
When your official wants to send traffic to another official, consider putting them on the radio as third-party traffic. Just identify after they are finished talking. Remember, your job is communications. We are not supposed to help the event personnel. You may miss an important message if you're out directing traffic or handing out water cups.
Watch your background noise: Parades are particularly difficult to work because the noise is very loud. This is why earphones are helpful; they allow you to be able to hear the net through all but the loudest band. Be aware of background noise when you transmit, too. If a train is going by or a band playing, you might have to say "stand by" and respond when the noise subsides. Don't try to talk over the noise; you'll only cause your signal to distort and you won't be understood anyway. If possible, use a noise-cancelling microphone. Do NOT try to use a VOX (voice-actuated) attachment. A "stuck mike" can completely shut down event communications.
Never put your radio's or headset's transmit switch where it can turn the transmitter on without your knowing it. If you haven't heard anything from the net in a while, check your radio to make sure you're on receive and the right frequency. Check your instruction sheet for directions. You may also receive verbal instructions when you get in position, such as to notify Net Control when the first swimmer makes the transition to bicycle.
Tactical call signs (Check Point Three, SAG Wagon, etc.) are perfectly legal. Just ID with your FCC call sign after a communication exchange is completed. You may also use the suffix of your call sign as a tactical call, signing off with your complete call. When working events, you should make the transition from your ham radio hobby to an Amateur radio avocation. It's fine to be chatty and laugh with the mike open in ham radio, but it is unprofessional when we're at work.
Good Operating Practices:
Aim to project a professional image with proper operating practices, whether you're a net controller or a field unit. Keep traffic to a minimum. Say what you have to say then release the frequency. Silence is Golden - it allows someone else to use the channel when he or she needs it.
Some things to remember to help you be an efficient, professional-sounding, radio operator include: Pitch, tone, and volume of voice. A moderate tone and pitch are desirable. Too high a voice can be irritating, too low can be hard to decipher. While you can't go out and buy a new voice, you should deliberately lower your voice pitch slightly when using the radio unless you have an especially low voice. Try for an even modulation, but not a monotone. Don't trail your voice off at the end of your message - the last part is just as important as the first! Speed. Too slow and your listener may try to anticipate your next words or may not understand you because it's an unnatural speed. Too fast is worse! Make it a point to slow down slightly when talking on the radio. If you normally talk very fast, slow way down! When transmitting call signs, addresses, names, and other items that must be remembered, noted, or written down, be a bit more deliberate. The speed at which you transmit should be such that the listener can easily understand and/or take notes. Sending logical phrases at nearly normal reading speed followed by ample pauses to allow the receiving operator to finish writing and the results will be fast, error-free transmissions. You tend to talk faster when emotions run high and things get exciting, but that's just when your message MUST get through! Take a deep breath, get yourself under control, plan what you're going to say, and say it slowly. n
(to be continued in the October W6VIO Calling)
September 26 for the October issue of W6VIO Calling. Your articles, ads, photos, diagrams, letters to the editor, or technical material should be submitted to the editor via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or at the return address shown on the last page.
A 50-to-80-foot self-supporting/telescoping/tilt-over tower or towers. Can be either tubular or triangular. Need to be in good condition. Motorized would be a big plus. Will pay for packaging and shipping to Prescott, Arizona. Contact Brian (KW6J) at 714-896-3514 (M-F, 8 AM to 4 PM) or via Internet at email@example.com.
New or used (but in good condition) HF large mono-band beams which were designed for high gain/good front to back ratio/good directivity etc. Contact Brian (KW6J) at 714-896-3514 (M-F 8 AM to 4 PM) or via Internet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Icom IC-04AT 440 MHz HT. Call Joel Mosher KB6RXE at 818-791-1779 or email to email@example.com
US Tower (or Wilson) ROTATING BASE and RAISING FIXTURE for a 40 foot tubular telescoping tower. US Tower part number for the rotating base is MARB/40 and for the raising fixture is MAF-40. Please contact Brian Stapleton (KW6J) at 714-896-3514, M-F 8 AM - 4 PM.
Your want ad or article for inclusion in a future issue of W6VIO Calling. Submit either to Bill Wood, Mail Stop DSCC-33; or via Internet (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Complete Heathkit HF Station. HW-5400 XCVR, HW-5400-1 Power Supply/Clock, SB-230 Linear Amp, SB-610 Station Monitor, SA-2060A Antenna Tuner, Desk Mic. $700.00 Call Bill Westphal WB6YPF at 213-633-3121 or e-mail to email@example.com
Test equipment. From Volt Meters to Oscilloscopes. Too much to list. Call for price list. Call Bill Westphal WB6YPF at 213-633-3121 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
TRI-EX HZ-354N 54 Foot Self Supporting Electric Crank-up Tower, CDR Rotor, Tri-Band (10,15,20) Beam and 5/8 Wave 2M Vertical. $800.00 Call Bill Westphal WB6YPF at 213-633-3121 or e-mail to email@example.com
Only $4,500 for a US Tower Model HDX-589-MDPL 89-foot self supporting triangular tower with heavy duty motor, pull downs, and limit switches (original cost, over $8,100!). Tower is in great condition and is only a few years old. Contact Brian (KW6J) for further details (work number M-F, 8 AM to 4 PM, 714-896-3514).
Yaesu FT-470 2m/440 mobile w/tone squelch, PA-6, FNB-12 batteries, charger and vinyl cases. Like new, $250 or best offer, + shipping. FT-212RH 2m mobile with mike, speakers, Diamond antenna. Like new, $195 plus shipping, or best offer. KC6CWA Geo Kendall (916) 383-1652. For more info contact W6MEO @ KJ6FY.#NOCAL or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. n
Via the ARRL Internet Home Page
Electronic Vanity Applications Flood Gate 3
ARRL Letter Online, Volume 16, Number 32
Gate 3 vanity filers flooded the FCC with nearly 1200 electronic and only around 300 paper applications Wednesday. The disparity was in apparent reaction to the FCC's announcement last month that it would give priority in processing to electronically filed vanity applications. But the actual number of electronic filers could be far less than the 1182 the FCC received on August 6. FCC officials in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, believe that many hams filed more than one electronic application.
Whatever the final tally, the number of first-day Gate 3 applications was far fewer than the more than 3600 that showed up on the opening day of Gate 2.
The FCC will not begin to process the applications until the 10-day deadline to receive the $30 application fee has passed. Only applications for which a fee has been paid will be processed.
To clear the decks in anticipation of processing the Gate 3 applications, FCC personnel in Gettysburg have been making nearly daily runs of vanity applications that arrived prior to the opening of Gate 3 on August 6. As of today (August 8), the FCC had processed vanity applications received through July 11.
The FCC is not expected to begin processing the Gate 3 applications until mid-month at the earliest.
The vanity application fee increases to $50 on September 15. The FCC has not announced when it plans to open Gate 4. n
FCC Poised For Gate 3 Grants
ARRL Letter Online, Volume 16, Number 33
Grants for first-day applicants under the FCC's vanity call sign program Gate 3 could start showing up soon. The FCC has been wading through the vanity applications it received prior to the opening of Gate 3 on August 6. On August 22, the FCC reported it had processed vanity applications received up through August 5 -- the day before Gate 3 opened-but was still dealing with apparently unsuccessful or problematic applications in the so-called "work in process" (WIPS) stack.
In a last-minute flurry of activity this week, the FCC granted 232 vanity call signs for applications received from July 17 through August 5. Another 325 applications from that period hit WIPS, and it is those applications the FCC will deal with next, before moving on to Gate 3 applications. The FCC says it received 1613 vanity applications between August 6 and August 20. n
FCC Revises RF Safety "Threshold" Levels
ARRL Letter Online, Volume 16, Number 34
The FCC has revised the power level thresholds to trigger a routine Amateur Radio station RF exposure evaluation, and the changes will be welcome news for most hams. When the FCC first decreed a year ago that ham radio stations would have to comply with RF exposure guidelines, it set a 50-W threshold level. The updated guidelines, announced August 25, increase that threshold level on all HF bands except 10 meters, where it remains at 50 W. The FCC made no changes in the RF exposure limits it announced last year.
The new RF safety guidelines are scheduled to become effective January 1, 1998, for Amateur Radio stations.
The FCC went along in part with a request by the ARRL to establish a sliding scale for threshold levels, depending upon frequency. The revised thresholds are 500 W for 160 through 40 meters, 425 W on 30 meters (where the maximum legal power is 200 W), 225 W on 20 meters, 125 W on 17 meters, 100 W on 15 meters, 75 W on 12 meters and 50 W on 10 meters. The threshold for all VHF bands is 50 W. On UHF, the threshold level is 70 W on 70 cm, 150 W on 33 cm, 200 W on 23 cm, and 250 W on 13 cm and above. Stations operating at or below these respective power levels are categorically excluded from having to perform a routine RF radiation evaluation. However, all stations, regardless of power level, still must comply with the RF exposure limits.
Along with its August 25 Second Memorandum Opinion and Order announcing the changes, the FCC released the "core" text of its long-awaited Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) Bulletin 65, Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields. The bulletin contains generic equations that can be used to analyze fields due to almost all antennas, although the FCC warns that "the resulting estimates for power density may be overly conservative in some cases." Hams leery of formulas might opt to wait for the easier-to-use Supplement B to OET Bulletin 65, which will include information designed specifically for evaluating Amateur Radio installations. The supplement promises to detail how hams can determine more simply if their individual stations comply with the new regulations. The FCC says the supplement will contain "information on projected minimum exclusion distances from typical amateur antenna installations."
The FCC said it would issue Supplement B "as soon as a review of the current draft is complete." When it's ready, Supplement B will be available to download from the FCC's Web site, http://www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety. The FCC directed inquiries as to the availability of the supplement and other RF-related questions to its RF Safety Program, 202-418-2464; e-mail email@example.com.
Last year, the FCC established time-averaged maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits for RF fields in two tiers-for controlled environments (ie, a ham's immediate household, including visitors) and uncontrolled environments (ie, neighbors, the general public). If a routine evaluation of a ham station indicates that human exposure to RF fields could be in excess of the FCC's MPE limits, the licensee must act to correct the problem and ensure compliance. This could include changing operating patterns, relocating antennas, restricting access, changing frequency, output power or emission type or any combination of these and other remedies.
The FCC says that ham radio facilities "represent a special case for determining exposure, since there are many possible antenna types that could be designed and used for amateur stations."
The revised regulations categorically exclude most mobile installations, including those in the Amateur Radio Service, from having to comply with the RF-exposure or station evaluation guidelines. Since the FCC issued its guidelines, additional questions on RF safety have been added to the Amateur Radio examination question pool.
OET Bulletin 65 and the FCC Second Memorandum Opinion and Order are available at http://www.fcc.gov/oet/dockets/et93-62/. More details on the FCC's latest announcement on RF safety will appear in the October issue of QST. n
FCC Sequential Call Sign Update
The following is a list of FCC sequentially assigned call signs issued as of August 5, 1997.
District Group A Extra Group B Advanced Group C Tech/Gen Group D Novice 0 AB0GA KI0JM ++ KC0BTZ 1 AA1SO KE1IF N1ZQF KB1CET 2 AB2EB KG2MD ++ KC2CGN 3 AA3QA KF3AF N3ZUB KB3BUN 4 AF4EN KU4JD ++ KF4TOA 5 AC5NN KM5LF ++ KD5BYY 6 AD6CP KQ6QW ++ KF6NCP 7 AB7WE KK7JF ++ KC7YYH 8 AB8AZ KI8DJ ++ KC8IIB 9 AA9US KG9KZ ++ KB9RGMN Mariana Isl. NH0B AH0AY KH0GT WH0ABI Guam ++ AH2DD KH2SA WH2ANT Hawaii AH7V AH6PC KH7FV WH6DEF American Samoa AH8O AH8AH KH8DK WH8ABF Alaska AL0F AL7QU KL0KC WL7CUK Virgin Islnds ++ KP2CL NP2JR WP2AII Puerto Rico NP3M KP3BC NP3PY WP4NNK
++ All call signs in this group have been issued in this district. n
Upcoming VEC Examinations
The following test session information is provided by the ARRL/VEC for the upcoming two month period. For further information, please call the test session contact person at the telephone number listed.
Although the test session information presented here does not indicate whether walk-ins are accepted or not, most test sessions do allow walk-ins. We encourage you, however, to always call the contact person at the telephone number provided so that the VE Team is aware that you be attending the test.
By Rick Regent, K9GDH