delara newsDelaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH VOL 36 NUMBER 3
Ham Radio News
...because we don’t live in a vacuum.
We Get New Bands!
The Amateur Service will officially get two new bands in the near future. The FCC has adopted rules that will allow Amateur Radio access to the 630 and 2,200-meter bands, with minor conditions. A Report and Order (R&O) was released on March 29. The new rules become effective 30 days following publication in The Federal Register. The R&O, which also addresses several non-Amateur Radio issues, allocates the 472-479 kHz band (630 meters) to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis and amends Part 97 to provide for Amateur Service use of that band as well as of the previously allocated 135.7-137.8 kHz band (2,200 meters). The R&O also amends Part 80 rules to authorize radio buoy operations in the 1900-2000 kHz band under a ship station license."It's a big win for the Amateur community and the ARRL," ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, said. "We are excited by the FCC's action to authorize Amateur Radio access for the first time on the MF and LF spectrum."The FCC said the Amateur Radio service rules it has adopted for 630 meters and 2,200 meters allow "for co-existence with Power Line Carrier (PLC) systems that use these bands." Utilities have opposed Amateur Radio use of the MF and LF spectrum, fearing interference to unlicensed Part 15 PLC systems used to manage the power grid.Amateurs operating on 472-479 kHz would be permitted a maximum equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) of 5 W, except in parts of Alaska within 800 kilometers (approximately 496 miles) of Russia, where the maximum would be 1 W EIRP. Amateurs operating in the 135.7-137.8 kHz band could run up to 1 W EIRP.The FCC is requiring a 1-kilometer separation distance between radio amateurs using the two new bands and electric power transmission lines with PLC systems on those bands. Amateur Radio operators will have to notify UTC of station location prior to commencing operations.The FCC also placed a 60-meter (approximately 197 feet) above-ground-level (AGL) height limit on transmitting antennas used on 630 meters and 2,200 meters. The bands would be available to General class and higher licensees, and permissible modes would include CW, RTTY, data, phone, and image. Automatically controlled stations would be permitted to operate in the bands. More details soon, on the ARRL website.-ARRL letter
The Search for Amelia Earhart’s Aircraft
(Real Article)One of the enduring mysteries of the 20th century was the 1937 disappearance of famed aviator Amelia Earhart and her flight companion and navigator Fred Noonan, while she was attempting to circle the globe. It appeared that Earhart's plane went down in the South Pacific in the vicinity of Howland Island; her last-known radio transmission came from there. On February 18, a team from Nauticos -- with stratospheric explorer Alan Eustace and aviation pioneer Elgen Long, W7FT -- departed Honolulu for the vicinity of Howland Island, some 1,600 miles to the southwest, to complete the Eustace Earhart Discovery deep sea search for Earhart's lost Lockheed Electra. Nauticos provides ocean technology services to government, science, and industry.The team has been conducting a sonar survey of about 1,800 square miles of sea floor where it's believed the aircraft may rest, and Amateur Radio has provided a means to link the crew of the research vessel Mermaid Vigilance with youngsters following the expedition, as well as with the International Space Station (ISS) crew.Among those involved in the Earhart search is ARRL Midwest Division Director Rod Blocksome, K0DAS, of Iowa. Earhart was born and raised in Kansas and lived in Iowa and Minnesota. Bryan McCoy, KA0YSQ, of Iowa, also is on the Mermaid Vigilance, which is carrying out the deep-water sonar search for the lost aircraft. The team is using autonomous underwater technology provided by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to image the ocean floor nearly 18,000 feet below. On March 17, the team launched the REMUS vehicle to search the depths of the Central Pacific.On March 20, another Midwesterner -- Tom Vinson, NY0V, of Minnesota -- joined other crew members in making contact with US Astronaut and ISS Commander Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, who was at the controls of NA1SS aboard the ISS. A couple of Russian-speaking crew members also had the opportunity to speak with one of the cosmonauts on board the ISS.Earlier, on March 15, Vinson assumed Kimbrough's role to host a question-and-answer session of his own, with Virginia fifth graders in the classroom of teacher Kathy Lamont, KM4TAY, an alumna of ARRL's Teacher Institute. The contact was routed over 20 meters from the vessel to Hawaii, and then via EchoLink to Virginia. "My kids had a lot of fun," she recounted later. Vinson said that promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education "is what we're all about," with support from Rockwell Collins.According to The Daily DX, Vinson has been on 7.027 and 7.165 MHz around 0600 UTC "and whenever I am up on the sunrise across the US." Blocksome will join him in Majuro, where they will operate April 5-7 using the V73 prefix with their home call signs.-ARRL Letter
Motorola Sues Hytera over DMR
Motorola Solutions has filed complaints in federal court (US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois), alleging that Hytera Communications' digital mobile radio (DMR) products employ techniques and systems that infringe on Motorola Solutions' patents and trade secrets. Already known for its Land Mobile Radio Service products, Hytera entered the Amateur Radio DMR market last year. Motorola alleges that proprietary and patented information was taken illegally by three former company engineers who now work for Hytera, as "part of a deliberate scheme to steal and copy" its technology."Motorola Solutions believes that Hytera is intentionally infringing its intellectual property and misappropriating its trade secrets, which has enabled Hytera to compete unfairly by bypassing investment in innovation," Motorola said in a March 14 news release. Motorola Solutions General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer Mark Hacker characterized the copying as brazen, blatant, and willful.The three former Motorola engineers all signed non-disclosure agreements, agreeing to treat all Motorola trade secrets as confidential, when they left the company to assume similar positions with Hytera. According to the lawsuit, none of the three disclosed beforehand that they intended to go to work for Hytera.Motorola contends that its digital radio products were rendering Hytera's analog systems obsolete, and rather than develop its own digital products, Hytera stole Motorola's ideas, its attorneys allege. Motorola said technology features it developed started showing up in Hytera products soon after Hytera began hiring engineers who had left Motorola in 2008, according to the lawsuit.In a statement, Hytera, headquartered in Shenzhen, China, said it adheres to high ethical standards and complies with "the laws and regulations in markets where we operate," and "firmly believes that its business practices and operations will be fully vindicated." -- Thanks to IWCE's Urgent Communications, The Chicago Tribune, and Motorola Solutions for information used in this story