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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB025 (2002)

ARLB025 Comments invited on Novice Band, field-reparable gear petitions

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 25  ARLB025
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  April 18, 2002
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB025 Comments invited on Novice Band, field-reparable gear petitions

Comments are due by May 16 on two Amateur Radio-related Petitions
for Rule Making put on public notice this week by the FCC. The ARRL
petition, designated RM-10413, would eliminate the 80, 40 and
15-meter Novice/Technician Plus CW subbands and reuse the spectrum
in part to expand the 80 and 40-meter phone allocations. Another
Petition for Rule Making filed by Nick Leggett, N3NL, designated
RM-10412, would require most commercially manufactured Amateur Radio
transmitters and transceivers to be field-repairable ''in some

Amateurs may view and comment on these proposals via the FCC's
Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), (Click on ''Search for Filed
Comments.'' In the ''Proceeding'' field enter the rulemaking number,
with ''RM'' in upper-case and the hyphen included.)

The ARRL's petition, filed in March, asks the FCC to eliminate the
Novice and Technician-Plus CW bands and reapportion these
''inefficiently deployed segments'' to alleviate overcrowding
elsewhere. If the FCC goes along, current Novice and Technician Plus
(ie, Technician with Element 1 credit) licensees would be permitted
to operate on the 80, 40, 15 and 10-meter General-class CW
allocations at up to 200-W output. For General and higher class
operators, the ARRL plan would implement changes in the 80, 40 and
15-meter phone bands, expanding phone segments for many amateurs.

The League's petition also seeks FCC permission to use spread
spectrum on 222-225 MHz; to expand the pool of special event call
signs beyond the 1x1 format to include identifiers for US
territories and possessions that do not provide for mailing
addresses; to clarify rules to indicate that modulated CW (MCW) is
permitted for repeater station identification; and to incorporate
into the rules a 1990 FCC waiver authorizing amateurs in certain
areas of Colorado and Wyoming to operate on certain segments of the
33-cm band.

The Leggett petition was filed in February. ''Field repair is
important to the Amateur Radio Service because it enhances emergency
communications preparedness and the growth of technical knowledge in
the Amateur Radio Service,'' Leggett said in his petition.

Leggett suggests that the FCC consider mandating easily replaceable
modules or circuit boards, minimum component spacings on circuit
boards, removable integrated circuits mounted in sockets and other
requirements for commercially made amateur transmitters and
transceivers. He would exempt ham radio receivers.

Leggett concedes that some manufacturers may drop out of the amateur
market if the FCC were to adopt his recommendations, but he suggests
that they would be replaced by other manufacturers, such as those
making QRP equipment.  


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