Richmond Amateur Radio Club

ARRL Seeks Member Input on Draft HF Band Plan Proposals

40m ARRL draft band plan Feb 2015

40m ARRL draft band plan Feb 2015

“The ARRL is asking members to comment by April 19 on possible changes to the League’s HF Band Plans suggested by the HF Band Planning Committee. The survey is part of the committee’s efforts to tweak the band plans for the RTTY/data/CW portions of 80 through 10 meters — excepting 60 meters. The committee developed its suggested revisions to the voluntary band plans after reviewing some 400 member comments in response to a March 2014 solicitation that sought suggestions for using the spectrum more efficiently so that data modes may coexist compatibly,” ARRL Letter, Feb 2015

ARRL President: H.R. 1301 is All About Fairness

KM4HI tower from QRZ

KM4HI tower from QRZ

The push is on to convince Congress to pass The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 — H.R. 1301, which was introduced in the US House early this month with bipartisan support and now has 22 cosponsors. The full text of the bill now is available. If approved and signed by President Obama, the measure would direct the FCC to extend its rules relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications to private land use restrictions — also known collectively as “deed covenants, conditions, and restrictions” or CC&Rs. In the March issue of the ARRL Legislative Update, ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, said the bill is “simple and sensible,” and she urged all radio amateurs — whether or not they are affected by CC&Rs — to join the effort to gain cosponsors for the measure. A regularly updated H.R. 1301 page on the ARRL website includes key “talking points” and other information for Amateur Radio delegations or individuals to use when approaching US House members for their support.

“Private land use restrictions that prohibit antennas are growing at an alarming rate all over the country,” President Craigie said in stressing the urgency of the current campaign. “This is not just a problem in cities, suburbs, and gated communities. It is everywhere.” Part of the problem, she explained, is the uneven application of Amateur Radio antenna regulation from the public to the private sphere. While President Craigie’s Virginia county has what she called “a very satisfactory antenna ordinance,” similar accommodations do not extend to developments where homeowners associations and private land-use regulations hold sway.

“In our rural and small-town county, every new development must have a homeowners association, and they all prohibit antennas with cookie-cutter language,” she said.

As President Craigie sees it, H.R. 1301 is all about fairness. “H.R. 1301 seeks regulatory parity — not a blank check, not the heavy hand of the federal government, but simply the opportunity to negotiate reasonable accommodation,” she said. “It seeks a level playing field.”

President Craigie said she successfully reached out to her Member of Congress to support H.R. 1301, and she encouraged other radio amateurs to do the same.

“If private land-use restrictions do not affect you, please stand up for your fellow amateurs,” she urged. “Please stand up for the youth we all want to attract into Amateur Radio. What is the point of helping youth get their licenses if they cannot go on to develop the skills of Amateur Radio because they cannot have antennas in their neighborhoods?”

At present, PRB-1 only applies to state and local zoning laws and ordinances. The FCC has been reluctant to extend the same legal protections to private land-use agreements without direction from Congress.

H.R. 1301 has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Rep Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), chairs that panel’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee, which will consider the measure.

Reported by Ken Leidner, WV0L


Event support 2015

runner Spring has sprung and walks, runs, and bike event are starting.  Some need ham radio as their primary communications support.  Contact the ham in the link to sign up.

Instant Classic Half Marathon March 21 7:45am Brad Price Pocahontas State park

Instant Classic Full Marathon March 21 8am Brad Price Pocahontas State park

Powhatan Historic Bike Tour April 26 8am Mike Hackett

Ashland Railroad Run April 18 Jerry Williams

Powhatan Historic Bicycle Tour April 26 Mike Hacket

March for Babies May 17 8am Roy Shultz Innsbrook Northshore Commons

MS Bike Ride June 6 & 7 Mike Hacket

Special Olympics State setup June 11 1pm Brad Price University of Richmond

Special Olympics State June 12 & 13 7am Brad Price University of Richmond


RARC Radio School recognized in ARRL publication

RadioWaveWinter2015“Like many organizations of its kind, the Richmond Amateur Radio Club, in Richmond, Virginia, offers licensing classes for new and upgrading hams. But RARC has developed a robust core teaching team that also allows it to provide enrichment instruction to help radio amateurs enjoy their
hobby to the fullest,” began an article in the winter edition of Radio Waves.

The publication is distributed to instructors who are registered with the ARRL.  It’s a means to give other club schools ideas on how to teach and what to teach.

What brought the RARC Radio School to the attention of the ARRL are all the classes we teach in addition to the usual license prep classes.  Classes like “Electronics for Hams,” “Morse Code,” “DStar Setup,” “HF & DX Setup and Operations,” and “Antenna Modeling” caught their attention.

The article included photos taken at the classes by Richmond Times-Dispatch photographer and ham Joe Mahoney, KI4GAP.

Classes start February 24th

ClassCollageFeb2015The twice-a-year classes start with registration Tuesday, February 24th, 7 to 8pm at our teaching site, Bon Air United Methodist Church.  The license preparation classes run 10 Tuesday nights.  The optional classes are Thursday nights with some on Saturday mornings.

Check out the schedule from the links on the right.  That has class information, dates and times, tuition, textbook and exam fees and a map to the site.

Photos by Joe Mahoney, KI4GAP, from Fall 2014 classes.

Newly Elected RARC Officers and Directors Installed

RARCofficers2015cOutgoing president Joe Palsa, K3WRY, holds the Wouff Hong while administering the oath of office to incoming president David Robinson, KJ4LHP, secretary Maylon Pearman, KG4RPQ, treasurer Richard Arnold, WA4FEH, registered agent Marshall Ervine, N4XBP, and directors Tim Farrell, KJ4NPB, and George Golding, W3PPY. Incoming vice president Ken Leidner, WV0L, was not present.

The November 2014 RARC meeting featured the installation of the newly elected officers and directors.  The ceremony included passing on the gavel and the Wouff Hong to the new president.  To see the stories on the Wouff Hong and the related Rettysnitch – the instruments of ham radio discipline – click here.  The RARC received its coveted Wouff Hong from the ARRL in 1938.  It does not possess at Rettysnitch.

RARC at first RVA MakerFest

The first RVA MakerFest at the Science Museum of Virginia was a very busy time. Since this was about “making” we emphasized how hams have been making things for abRVAMakerSept14 compout a century.  On one side of the table was a Panavise, a prototype board, oscilloscope, DMM, soldering station, parts, etc.  On the other side were tiny SDR receivers connected to computers like the tiny Raspberry Pi and Windows and Linux laptops.

At mid-day over 4,000 people had visited. I’ll find out later how large it really got. All I know that those of us staffing the Richmond Amateur Radio Club table hardly had time to sit down. We had 100 cards printed and had 17 left at the end, I was knee-walking by the end!

Bruce MacAlister, W4BRU

RVA Maker Fest includes ham radio September 27 at the science museum

RVAMakerFest logo
The Richmond Amateur Radio Club will be at the RVA Maker Fest at the Science Museum of Virginia September 27th, 10am to 5pm.  “Makers” are people leasing a shared workshop space and equipment where they make stuff.  Sometime it’s a prototype product they plan to sell, sometimes it’s offering to make things as craft, sometimes it’s just for fun.

Hams have been making stuff – building kits, scratch-building from designs, designing entire circuits – since sometime around 1900.  We’ll be showing our making from cobbling together SDR gear to melting solder.  Come visit and see what this maker movement is all about.

The RVA Maker Fest has Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can check it our there.