FCC Approves Two New Ham Bands

FCC Approves New MF/LF Ham Bands

Hams in the U.S. will soon have two new bands on which to operate, experiment and contribute to the collective knowledge of “the radio art.” In a Report and Order issued on March 30, the FCC approved creation of secondary amateur allocations at 135.7-137.8 kHz (2200 meters) and 472-479 kHz (630 meters), the first amateur bands with wavelengths above 200 meters since the dawn of radio regulation.

The new bands come with lots of strings attached, since they will be shared with “PLC” systems used by electric utilities to control the nation’s power grid. Hams will be limited to fixed station operation, antennas no higher than 60 meters (196 feet) above ground and radiated power limits of 1 watt effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) on 2200 meters and 5 watts EIRP on 630 meters (1 watt in some parts of Alaska). Plus, operation on these bands will not be allowed within one kilometer of electric transmission lines using PLC and advance notice of all planned operation to the PLC network coordinator will be required. Access to the bands will be open to all hams holding a General Class or higher license, and any mode may be used as long as it fits within the bands’ very narrow bandwidths.

An effective date was not announced since additional government approvals will be required before the rules can be finalized. CQ will have more about the order and its implications in the next “MF & LF Operating” column in the July issue (the column debuts in the upcoming April issue). The complete text of the Report & Order (which is over 60 pages long) may be found at <https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-17-33A1.docx>.

KG5AXF.net is Under Construction!

I am in the process of turning up one of my domains, kg5axf.net, on a virtual private server (VPS). I wanted someplace to be able to publish my weather station data and a few other projects. I currently have a Raspberry Pi 2+ running Raspbian that is using WeeWx to collect data from an AcuRite personal weather station (PWS). WeeWx has a built in web server that publishes the weather station data. It also has the capability to publish to an external server. I am working on enabling that functionality which will be served by the VPS using the domain wx.kg5axf.net and ktxhoust1920.kg5axf.net. KTXHOUST1920 is the Wunderground ID for my PWS.

Book Review – Learning the Art of Electronics: A Hands-On Lab Course 1st Edition

Learning the Art of Electronics: A Hands-On Lab Course 1st Edition

Paperback: 1150 pagesart-of-electronics-lab
Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (March 2, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0521177235
ISBN-13: 978-0521177238
Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.6 x 10 inches
Shipping Weight: 4.7 pounds

If you are an electronics hobbyist or student you are likely to already be familiar with the textbook The Art of Electronics. The Art of Electronics is the current academic standard in teaching the principals of electronics at a college level. Last year they added this hands-on lab course. What I found most useful is that the lab book can actually stand on it’s own. You do not have to have or have-read the textbook.

This lab course book seems to have been written with self-study in mind. In fact, the lab course even explains basic principals. Through the book you will have many hands-on labs with full parts lists. Not only does the book cover principals, but it includes techniques and troubleshooting. You learn how to do diagnostics with oscilloscopes, multi-meters, and other tools.

I’d say this book is a must have for beginners/students and will easily be useful and fun for up to intermediate hobbyists. Advanced and Expert hobbyists may want this book for teaching or simply as a review reference.

Finally Fixed the Site

The menu at the top of the page is supposed to have dropdowns. Well I had been struggling with them for several weeks. I finally found another blog post about my issue; tried their fix…TA-DAAA! It works! Looks like I’ll have to reorganize them a little bit, but they are finally working.

So, as you can see, I have actually been busy writing pages, but they were not easy to find. I hope people will find the dropdowns easier to use than searching through the blog.

73, KG5AXF

All Moved!

I had been in the process of finding a new place, shack space my consideration; but not the XYL’s. Well we found a place within the same HOA as we had before and completed our move this past weekend. I’m getting settled into my new shack/home office. It’s going to take some time, but I should be back on the projects soon enough.

73, Anthony, KG5AXF