ARRL East Bay Section

Archive for the 'Spectrum Defense' Category

ARRL Seeking Assistance on FCC Public Notice

Posted by af6aq on 3rd April 2012

Do you live in a CC&R- restricted community or participate in EmCom activities?  Have deed restrictions / HOA covenants prevented you from erecting amateur radio antennas? Have these restrictions prevented you from full participation in emergency communications activities during disasters?

If your answer is “Yes”, ARRL needs to hear about your experience.

As you are probably aware, Congress has directed the FCC to conduct a study of the uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio Service communications in emergencies and disaster relief.  The FCC was directed to identify “impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio Service communications, such as the effects of unreasonable or unnecessary private land use restrictions on residential antenna installations.”  Finally, the study is to make “recommendations regarding the removal of such impediments.”

The FCC has issued a Public Notice – DA 12-523- soliciting input from the public as part of their study.  The ARRL is gathering comments from the Amateur Radio community to present as part of its comments on the public notice.

The ARRL is looking specifically for input in two specific areas:
•     Recent Amateur Radio involvement in actual emergency communications and disaster relief;
•     Specific details about how CC&Rs and other private land use restrictions have impaired licensed Amateurs to participate fully in these disaster relief communications.

If your ability to participate in ARES, RACES, SKYWARN, CERT, or other emergency and disaster relief communications has been limited because the inability to have adequate antennas due to CC&Rs, you are asked to provide that information to the ARRL.

First, we recommend that you prepare a narrative of your exact situation, in as much detail as practical. Some areas for you to consider in writing your story might be:
•     Were there alternative properties without CC&Rs in the area you wished to reside?
•     What exactly does your CC&R allow / prohibit (please include a copy of the specific wording)
•     Have you applied for a waiver of the CC&R with the Home Owner’s Association / Architectural Review Committee but were denied?  If so, what was the reason?

To assist you in sharing your information with the ARRL, please visit the special ARRL website built to allow you to readily provide the pertinent information at

This page will present you with an overview of what we are asking and have links to the two forms for you to complete.  Please be as factual as you can with the information you provide and please provide only information about events and activities in which you were directly involved.

If you wish to write out the details of your situation in advance, please do so.  Then, they can be either uploaded from the website or they can be sent as an email attachment to an email sent to

Keep in mind that the FCC study does not apply to ordinances and zoning laws implemented by the government – such as towns, cities or counties.  PRB-1 covers those situations.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!  Congress directed that the FCC provide the report back within 180-days and that clock is already counting.  The FCC is only accepting comments for a 45-day period, which will end May 17, 2012.  In order for the ARRL to collate your information in a common report, we ask that you send in your information no later than WEDNESDAY APRIL 25.  If you need more information, please contact   The time to act is NOW!

Dan Henderson, N1ND
Regulatory Information Manager
ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio

Posted in Emergency Communications, Spectrum Defense | Comments Off on ARRL Seeking Assistance on FCC Public Notice

ARRL Board Adopts Guidelines and Recommendations on the Appropriate Use of Amateur Radio

Posted by af6aq on 25th September 2009

Attention All Amateurs…

ARRL Board Adopts Guidelines and Recommendations on the Appropriate Use of Amateur Radio (Sep 25, 2009) — On Friday, September 25, the ARRL Board of Directors adopted guidelines on the appropriate use of Amateur Radio on behalf of commercial, non-profit and government entities, as well as recommendations for additional steps to be taken by the ARRL to educate radio amateurs and others on how to prepare and train for public service and emergency communications while complying with the current FCC Rules.
Full Story

Posted in Emergency Communications, Press Release, Spectrum Defense | Comments Off on ARRL Board Adopts Guidelines and Recommendations on the Appropriate Use of Amateur Radio

ARRL Seeks Member Support for HR 2160

Posted by af6aq on 12th May 2009

To support HR 2160The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009 — the ARRL is asking its membership to contact their members of the US House of Representatives with a request to become co-sponsors of this significant piece of legislation.

“Getting a bill successfully through Congress is a formidable task — one that is going to require the involvement of every ARRL member,” said ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. “Working with our Washington consulting firm Chwat & Co, we are laying a dynamic approach that will allow us to make our case most effectively. We have developed a strategy to maximize our impact when dealing with each member of Congress.”

Since the anthrax scare that followed the 9-11 attacks, all incoming mail to Congress is delayed anywhere from four to six weeks while it is screened. This means using normal US Mail is no longer an effective method of letting Congress hear your voice. While e-mail is convenient, it is not effective, due to the large volume of e-mail that each Congressional office receives.

“To ensure that ARRL members’ letters are quickly and expediently received by Congress, our strategy is to ask ARRL members send their letters directly to Chwat & Co,” said Henderson . “Chwat’s staff will sort the letters by Congressional district and hand-deliver them to the appropriate House offices, providing a direct point of contact with the Congressman and their staff. This personal contact gives us the chance to provide not only letters from constituents, but information from the ARRL on why this legislation is important.”

The ARRL has provided a sample letter for League members to personalize and send to their Congressional representative. “Personalized letters make a better impression than a standard form letter or petition,” Henderson explained. You can find the name and address for your Congressman on the ARRL Members Only Web page.

Once personalized, ARRL members should send their letter to Chwat & Co using one of three methods:

As a signed attachment to an e-mail

 As a signed fax to 703-684-7594

 As a regular letter to:

John Chwat,

Chwat & Co

625 Slaters Lane

Suite 103

Alexandria, VA 22314.


If you choose to e-mail your letter, please send it as an attachment to the e-mail instead of it being the text of the e-mail. This allows the letter to be easily printed and delivered. Should you decide to draft your own letter supporting HR 2160 instead of editing the sample, Henderson asked that you please remember a couple of things:

·          Identify the bill by number and title: HR 2160 — The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009

·          Keep the letter brief and on topic — one page at the most

·          Ask them to consider becoming a cosponsor

·          Thank them for their consideration

 “Simple is better when making this kind of request to a representative,” said Henderson . “They and their staff are looking to gauge interest and support for the Bill. A lengthy letter that strays off-topic can detract from the focus of asking for support for the legislation.”

Should you decide not to send your letter to Chwat & Co but directly to your Representative, it is still important that you send a copy of your correspondence to Chwat & Co. This allows them to discuss accurately with the Congressman and their staff the amount of support for the bill in each individual district. “There is strength in numbers,” Henderson added.

Besides bill sponsor Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18), the ARRL is fortunate to already have six additional members of Congress who have signed on as co-sponsors of HR 2160 — Madeleine Bordallo (Guam), Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15), Zoe Lofgren (CA-16), Blaine Luetkemeyer, (MO-9) and Bennie Thompson (MS-02).

“We congratulate ARRL Division Director Jim Weaver, K8JE, and his grassroots legislative action team in Kentucky for securing the support of Representative Guthrie — the first new co-sponsor of the bill,” Henderson said. “It shows that our grassroots effort can work!”

You may be asking yourself “What should I do if my Representative has already signed on as a co-sponsor for HR 2160?” The answer is simple: Thank them for their support. If your Congressman is one of those listed as a co-sponsor, please send them a letter thanking them for their support. Use the same contact information for Chwat & Co. “It is important to convey your appreciation to your Representative when they sign on as a co-sponsor or support the bill,” Henderson explained. “That simple ‘thank you’ may help open the door the next time their help is needed.”

Once you have prepared and sent your letter supporting HR 2160, your job is not over: Feedback is an important part of the process. “What your Congressman has to say in regards to your contact can provide the ARRL with important information as we try to push our bill forward,” Henderson noted. “This feedback can possibly help us identify potential new support for the bill or a weakness in the legislation we may need to address.”

When you receive a response from your Congressman, please forward a copy to the Regulatory Information Office at ARRL Headquarters via e-mail or hard copy to Regulatory Information, ARRL, 225 Main St , Newington , CT 06111 .

“HR 2160 presents the Amateur Radio Service with a unique opportunity — but also carries with it the important responsibility of making your voice heard,” Henderson summarized. “HR 2160 stands as the first step in trying to address the long standing problem of extending the protections afforded Amateur Radio operators under PRB-1 to deed restrictions and covenants. To be clear, passing HR 2160 is not going to achieve that goal right away. But it will help lay the ground work by assessing the impact such restrictions have on our ability to train for and respond to disasters and other emergencies.”

Posted in Press Release, Spectrum Defense | Comments Off on ARRL Seeks Member Support for HR 2160

CA Hands Free Law – We are not out of the woods yet!

Posted by af6aq on 16th April 2008

I noticed a number of bulletins have passed around this link as proof positive that the hands-free driving law that will go into effect July 1st does not apply to amateur radio.  And in fact, when this page first went up on the DMV site, I recall passing it on to you as an indication that the matter was settled.  Unfortunately, there has been a turn of events that gives me pause.

At the time the page cited above was put up by the DMV, it was linked from this page (the link was named something on the order of “FAQs about the new hands-free laws” and if you searched on the DMV site you would find both pages.  Sometime subsequent to that, the FAQs were placed directly on page and the link to the old page ( was removed.  The text now on the main page says nothing about an exclusion for two-way radio use except for specific exclusion “for those operating a commercial motor truck or truck tractor (excluding pickups), implements of husbandry, farm vehicle or tow truck, to use a two-way radio operated by a “push-to-talk” feature”.  The page we have seen passed around is ***not*** linked to or from any other page on the DMV site and it does not show up when you search the DMV site (there is a search tool anchored in the upper right corner of every DMV page).  And the text on the published page reads to me like anything with a push-to-talk switch cannot be operated by the driver of a vehicle except for the exclusions for emergency workers, tow truck drivers, commercial truckers, and so forth.

So what happened?
*  Did a web developer at the DMV attempt to merge the two pages and inadvertently put the old text on the main page, and leave the old pdf out there for us to find (assuming we know the exact URL)?
                                                          — OR —
*  Was there an official change of interpretation and the result is this republication of the FAQs on the main page with the example that excluded two-way radios deliberately removed?

We don’t know!  And so far our attempts to find out have not yielded an answer.

The root of the problem is the law uses the term “wireless telephone” without defining it.  This leaves the definition up to the DMV and CHP and eventually to the courts when someone gets cited and starts the process of challenging it.  Changing the law is a 2 to 3 year process, so that’s not an immediate remedy.  Asking legal authorities such as the State Attorney General for a definition of “wireless telephone” is risky because there is no assurance we would get a favorable definition, and thus might get stuck with the unfavorable one.

We’re working the issue with our contacts in Sacramento.  In the meantime, I strongly advise against making any statements that the issue is resolved or pointing people to what amounts to an orphan document on the DMV web site.  It’s too bad, because this was so promising — now we just don’t know.  Bob and I will update you the minute we hear anything official.  And if you happen upon any developments, please share them with all of us.
Andy Oppel, N6AJO
Vice Director, Pacific Division
American Radio Relay League (ARRL)
The National Association for Amateur Radio

Posted in Section News, Spectrum Defense | Comments Off on CA Hands Free Law – We are not out of the woods yet!

YOUTUBE VIDEO: Broadband over Powerlines – A Radio Amateur’s Perspective

Posted by k6jeb on 20th November 2007

Here is a well-done and compelling video showing how BPL threatens not just the Amateur Radio Service, but wireless communications in general. Take a look, pass it on:

Posted in Spectrum Defense, Video | Comments Off on YOUTUBE VIDEO: Broadband over Powerlines – A Radio Amateur’s Perspective