All posts by K6IGY

Pearl Harbor Day Memorial Crossband Operation from Battleship IOWA’s NEPM

With operating authorization from the Navy’s 3rd Fleet Spectrum Manager, Battleship IOWA Amateur Radio Association, Inc. and the IOWA’s Innovation and Engineering Team will activate the ship’s legacy Navy call sign, NEPM, on December 7, 2021 in memory of Pearl Harbor Day. Operation will be from 1600 to 2359 UTC.

NEPM will TRANSMIT on 14781.5 KHz using J3E USB and listen on 14343.0 KHz J3E USB. Amateurs are reminded that they may NOT transmit on 14781.5 KHz. If there is traffic on 14343.0 KHz, the NEPM operator will advise of an alternate frequency where he is listening.

QSL’s will be available if a SASE is provided. NEPM, NI6BB. or NE6PM are all listed on QRZ.com and any route will get your request to the QSL manager. Please visit BIARA’s website at https://biara.org for more information about radio operations aboard the Battleship IOWA soon to be the home of the National Museum of the Surface Navy.

Updated Radio Frequency Exposure Rules Become Effective on May 3

From ARRL.org:

The FCC has announced that rule changes detailed in a lengthy 2019 Report and Order governing RF exposure standards go into effect on May 3, 2021. The new rules do not change existing RF exposure (RFE) limits but do require that stations in all services, including amateur radio, be evaluated against existing limits, unless they are exempted. For stations already in place, that evaluation must be completed by May 3, 2023. After May 3 of this year, any new station, or any existing station modified in a way that’s likely to change its RFE profile — such as different antenna or placement or greater power — will need to conduct an evaluation by the date of activation or change.

“In the RF Report and Order, the Commission anticipated that few parties would have to conduct reevaluations under the new rules and that such evaluations will be relatively straightforward,” the FCC said in an April 2 Public Notice. “It nevertheless adopted a 2-year period for parties to verify and ensure compliance under the new rules.”

The Amateur Service is no longer categorically excluded from certain aspects of the rules, as amended, and licensees can no longer avoid performing an exposure assessment simply because they are transmitting below a given power level.

“For most amateurs, the major difference is the removal of the categorical exclusion for amateur radio, which means that ham station owners must determine if they either qualify for an exemption or must perform a routine environmental evaluation,” said Greg Lapin, N9GL, chair of the ARRL RF Safety Committee and a member of the FCC Technological Advisory Council (TAC).

“Ham stations previously excluded from performing environmental evaluations will have until May 3, 2023, to perform these. After May 3, 2021, any new stations or those modified in a way that affects RF exposure must comply before being put into service,” Lapin said.

The December 2019 RF Report and Order changes the methods that many radio services use to determine and achieve compliance with FCC limits on human exposure to RF electromagnetic fields. The FCC also modified the process for determining whether a particular device or deployment is exempt from a more thorough analysis by replacing a service-specific list of transmitters, facilities, and operations for which evaluation is required with new streamlined formula-based criteria. The R&O also addressed how to perform evaluations where the exemption does not apply, and how to mitigate exposure.

Amateur radio licensees will have to determine whether any existing facilities previously excluded under the old rules now qualify for an exemption under the new rules. Most will, but some may not.

The ARRL Laboratory staff is available to help amateurs to make these determinations and, if needed, perform the necessary calculations to ensure their stations comply. ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, who helped prepare ARRL’s RF Exposure and You book, explained it this way. “The FCC did not change any of the underlying rules applicable to amateur station evaluations,” he said. “The sections of the book on how to perform routine station evaluations are still valid and usable, especially the many charts of common antennas at different heights.” Hare said ARRL Lab staff also would be available to help amateurs understand the rules and evaluate their stations.”

RF Exposure and You is available for free download from ARRL. ARRL also has an RF Safety page on its website.

The ARRL RF Safety Committee is working with the FCC to update the FCC’s aids for following human exposure rules — OET Bulletin 65 and OET Bulletin 65 Supplement B for Radio Amateurs. In addition, ARRL is developing tools that all hams can use to perform exposure assessments. 

FCC to Require Email Address with Applications and on File

From the ARRL Letter, January 7, 2021:
Effective on June 29, 2021, amateur radio licensees and candidates must provide the FCC with an email address on all applications. If no email address is included, the FCC may dismiss the application as “defective.” The FCC has already begun strongly encouraging applicants to provide an email address and will email a link to an official electronic copy of the license once it’s granted.

While many, if not most, amateurs already have provided an email to the FCC, this also will become a requirement. Under Section 97.21 of the new rules, as amended, the holder of a valid amateur radio station license “must apply to the FCC for a modification of the license grant as necessary to show the correct mailing and email address, licensee name, club name, license trustee name, or license custodian name.” For a club or military recreation station license, the application must be presented in document form to a club station call sign administrator who must submit the information to the FCC in an electronic batch file.

Under new Section 97.23, as amended, each license must show the grantee’s correct name, mailing address, and email address. “The email address must be an address where the grantee can receive electronic correspondence,” the revised rule will state. “Revocation of the station license or suspension of the operator license may result when correspondence from the FCC is returned as undeliverable because the grantee failed to provide the correct email address.”

Licensees can log into the ULS License Manager System with their FRN and password to update their FCC license record, including adding an email address. For questions or password issues, call the CORES/FRN Help Line, (877) 480-3201 (Monday – Friday, 1300 – 2300 UTC) or reset the password on the FCC website. 

Hamnation is moving

NI6BB and the US Iowa has been featured on HamNation many times in the past couple of years. But soon, HamNation will no longer be associated with the TWiT network.  The show is moving to the YouTube channel of Josh KI6NAZ, Ham Radio Crash Course. HamNation returns January 6, 2021 on the HRCC YouTube channel.

We will see you January 6, 2021, and every other week on the Ham Radio Crash Course YouTube channel!