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>.

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

CQ CQ CQ KE5RY

CQ CQ CQ KE5RY CQ CQ CQ KE5RY….

KE5RY went silent key a few days ago, I just found out last night. Kerry Friddell was a regular on the Saltgrass Link Network. He was my first contact on Saltgrass. I happen to be going to the airport late at night to pickup my daughter who was coming home from a summer job. I turned on my HT, put out my Monitoring call, and back came Kerry. I spoke to him pretty regularly, but then again he was happy to talk to anyone on the air. He did a lot for the hobby by not being discriminate on who he talked to or what about. He was an interesting person to just have some ragchew with. He will be missed.

Final call, CQ CQ CQ KE5RY…73 Kerry, KG5AXF, clear.

Software: CadSoft EAGLE

I’ve used Microsoft Visio for many years to create flow charts, diagrams, maps, etc and started to use it to design circuits. I quickly discovered that Visio has it’s limitations. Off I went to find an application that I could use to design my circuits and circuit boards. Everything I found was very expensive, considering I don’t like to pay for any software these days, or if it was free it didn’t have the functionality that I liked.

Enter CadSoft EAGLE. Continue reading