Warm Holiday greetings from the ARRL Northwestern Division team! For me,
this has been a VERY busy month, with the HF Digital Band Planning
Committee wrapping up its work on separating allocations for wide and
narrow band digital, and preparations underway for upcoming meetings for
various other Board committees prior to the full January Board meeting.
Also, work will soon begin in earnest with the 2020-2021 ARRL
Foundation, sorting through the many scholarship applications and
matching them up with available scholarships. Lots of work ahead!
The latest controversy to hit my desk is one related to an apparent
threat to our 5.9 GHz (5 cm) amateur band allocation. NW Division
Assistant Director Steve Aberle, WA7PTM, recently sent me a link to a
press release put out by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai:
What’s interesting in this press release is the following:
“Specifically, I’m proposing to make available the lower 45 MHz of
the band for unlicensed uses like Wi-Fi and allocate the upper 20 MHz
for a new automotive communications technology, Cellular Vehicle to
Everything, or C-V2X. I’m also proposing that we seek public input on
whether to allocate the remaining 10 MHz in the band to C-V2X or DSRC
(ed note: “Digital Short Range Communications”). The Commission
will vote on this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at our December 12
meeting.” (C-V2X is a technology product of the Ford Motor Company,
related to autonomous vehicles, and for reference, the FCC Docket number
is 19-138.) Nowhere in this release does it mention amateur radio
allocations that are already in use on that band. Over time, this will
greatly increase activity in the same range of frequencies used by
HamWAN and the Amateur Radio Emergency Digital Network (AREDN),
currently active in many of the states in our Division. Note that while
amateur radio is a secondary user of this band, the greatly increased
use of these frequencies may threaten amateur activities there. When I
notified ARRL Counsel David Siddall, K3ZJ, about this issue he was
already well versed with it. He quickly provided me the following
response: “On the spectrum sharing point, Ford Motor Company wrote FCC
Chairman Pai: “Ford has always been willing to share the spectrum if
it’s conclusively demonstrated that non-safety applications will not
degrade the performance of C-V2X or jeopardize the availability of
spectrum in the future.” At least for now, the FCC seems disinclined to
discuss removing our secondary allocation. But I am keeping close watch
At issue is the 5.850 – 5.925 GHz portion of the amateur secondary
allocation, which is the top 75 MHz of the amateur 5.650-5.925 GHz
secondary band. However, the primary allocation for 5.850-5.925 would
also change, which is to the non-federal service(s) to which amateur is
already secondary. The remaining lower 45 MHz (5.850-5.895 GHz) would be
added to the spectrum used for unlicensed Part 15 (WiFi), so their band
would expand from 5.150-5.850 GHz (with coordination procedures and
limitations in some portions), to 5.150-5.895 GHz. (The rules would be
the same as now exist below 5.850 GHz, it is being proposed as an
expansion.) Note that the FCC is NOT proposing to delete or otherwise
amend the current amateur allocation. As presented to the
Commissioners, the amateur allocation would continue secondary as-is.
That said, we are all to be reminded of current FCC Part 97.303 (r)
rules regarding our secondary allocation on the 5 cm band:
(1) Amateur stations transmitting in the 5.650-5.725 GHz segment must
not cause harmful interference to, and must accept interference from,
stations authorized by other nations in the mobile services, (except
aeronautical mobile services).
(2) Amateur stations transmitting in the 5.850-5.925 GHz segment must
not cause harmful interference to, and must accept interference from,
stations authorized by the FCC and other nations in the fixed-satellite
(Earth-to-space) and mobile services and also stations authorized by
other nations in the fixed service. In the United States, the use of
mobile service is restricted to Dedicated Short Range Communications
operating in the Intelligent Transportation System.
More information on the Ford C-V2X system can be found here:
The ARRL recently put out a press release related to this issue, and
will be monitoring FCC actions closely. I urge those that might be
affected by this Docket provide comments to the FCC at the appropriate
time. Stay tuned on this one!
Congratulations to David Stevens, KL7EB for his recent election as
Section Manager (SM) for the Alaska Section. Stevens served previously
as Alaska’s SM, from 1984 until 1985; from 1998 until 1999, and from
2002 through 2007. Stevens takes over as Section Manager from Ray
Hollenbeck, KL1IL, of Wasilla, who has led the Alaska Section for the
past 4 years, and decided not to run for re-election. It’s interesting
to note that David’s brother, Daniel, KL7WM, serves as an Assistant
Director for the Northwestern Division, so it runs in the family!
Again, all the best for the Holidays from the entire ARRL NW Division
team. We all hope Santa brings you something that will enhance your
enjoyment of the hobby. (Dear Santa: A new FTDX-101 would be just nice
Mike Ritz, W7VO
ARRL Director, Northwestern Division
Now the latest from Vice Director Tharp, KB7HDX!
Happy Holidays Northwestern Division!
I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was full of fun, family, and friends.
Perhaps you found some time to be on the radio? November is a busy month
with a multitude of contests including the very popular ARRL Sweepstakes
both CW and SSB, and CQWW CW to name three. You can find out which
contests are on the air, ARRL and others, at
http://www.arrl.org/contest-calendar. For those who don’t participate
in contests, I apologize for those of us who do in taking up most of the
80, 40 and 20 meter bands for two days a week. I did notice lots of room
on the other bands, granted we had little to no propagation on those
bands, but I digress.
The ARISS committee met on November 21st via teleconference and reviewed
activity over the last year. The 2020 budget was submitted to the A and
F committee and will be sent to the full board in January for final
approval. I don’t know if you caught it or not, but a short notice
(like 5 hours) was given on December 5th for a contact at Council Rock
High School in Pennsylvania that was livestreamed. It was on the
schools Facebook page, and should still be an active link.
www.facebook.com/pg/crsouthradio will get you to that page and you can
After our meeting on the 21st, I can share the following ARISS
statistics from the first 10 months of this year.
Students reached direct: 33,632
Direct indicates they were physically present during the contact such as
being in the gym, or auditorium.
Students reached indirectly: 33,156
Indirect indicates the contact was streamed, or otherwise broadcast to
the rest of the school or facility.
Educators reached Direct, and indirect: 3,538
Public reached direct, and indirect: 41,634
ARRL supports the ARISS program in many ways, such as banners and
displays to use at various events along with helping to fund travel
expenses that Rosalie White, K1STO incurs as the league representative.
ARISS is a great program and if you want to help out directly you can
donate here: https://www.ariss.org/donate.html
The LDAS (Legal Defense & Assistance) committee has had no recent
The PSEWG held a phone meeting on 27 November. We discussed a number of
items, including ARES® connect, NTS, the ARES plan that has now been in
place for close to a year and a few other housekeeping items.
January is right around the corner and with that, Mike and I are making
our plans to “head East” for the ARRL Board meeting in Connecticut.
A portion of that meeting is set aside to hold a moment of silence to
recognize our fellow Amateurs who have become Silent Keys. If you would
like to have a recent SK honored, and included in the minutes, please
send me the name and callsign.
318 new licenses issued and 80 upgraded licenses. (October actually had
48 upgrades; I made a typo)
12,437 ARRL members in Division (+ 0.8% from 2018)
146 Active ARRL affiliated clubs.
“The Membership Challenge”, my monthly plug…
Out of all the amateur radio folks you know who are not league members,
get one of them to join, just one, not 20, but one. This challenge
started after the Northwestern Division Convention, also known as
SEA-PAC. That event is now 6 months away. More than enough time to
recruit one more member, grow our league, and make our voice in
Washington that much stronger. To sweeten the deal, I’ll ask that when
you do get another person to join ARRL, send me an email with your name,
and the person who joined. Next July, all those names will go into a
drawing for “A Major Award”. (Yes, that is a reference to “A
Christmas Story”) If you love the league, or take issue with the
league, it’s still our number one voice for retaining our spectrum,
privileges and continued ability to enjoy this fabulous hobby. This is
not a fund-raising challenge, it’s a membership challenge. Membership
numbers matter when we go to Washington (the East coast one) and work to
enhance our hobby and maintain our spectrum. Let’s work together to
make the league the best it can be. (Thanks to Dave KJ7KEP, Stan
KF7OJA, Jo KA7LJQ, and Scott KJ7AVQ, who all stand a pretty good chance
of winning something out of this. Seeing how they are the only four
currently in the pool)
If you have any questions or input, an email to email@example.com is the
best way to contact me.
73 for the rest of this Holiday season, and will “see you” again in
Mark J. Tharp, KB7HDX
ARRL Vice Director
ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: Michael T Ritz, W7VO