20180930 - VK6WIA NewsWest for Sunday, 30 September 2018 - Amateur Radio News Edition
Post date: Sep 29, 2018 5:01:15 AM
In the news this week, the FCC appears to ban the operation by amateurs of all unlicensed radios that are capable of being used outside amateur bands, closer to home we have an update from the Ham Feast, the Platinum VKFF Hunter Award, an update on the Golden Globe Yacht Race where radio amateurs are providing weather and net control services to sailors traversing the globe.Foundations of Amateur Radio looks at the idea of man-made noise being vertical, the Oceania DX contest, an update from the WA VHF group, the Radio Amateur Society of Australia, the Helpline, the Radio Amateur Old Timers Club of Australia, Bob looks at privacy and we sneak in some other news and updates along the way.On Monday September 24th the FCC issued a Public Notice Enforcement Advisory that sent the Amateur community into a tail spin. The notice specifically targets two-way VHF/UHF radios that are not authorized in accordance with the Commision's rules.The notice states that "Equipment that does not comply with the technical requirements cannot be certified and thus cannot be imported, advertised, sold, or used."
It goes on to say, and I quote: "There is one exception to this certification requirement: if a device is capable of operating only on frequencies that the FCC has allocated for use by Amateur Radio Service licensees, it does not require FCC equipment authorization, and an amateur licensee may use his or her license to operate such radios."
"However, many two-way radios that purport to operate on amateur frequencies also operate on frequencies that extend beyond the designated amateur frequency bands. If a two-way VHF/UHF radio is capable of operating outside of the amateur frequency bands, it cannot be imported, advertised, sold, or operated within the United States without an FCC equipment certification."
Various amateurs have been in direct contact with the FCC and responses appear to be inconsistent. One statement appears to allow radios that can be used within the amateur bands by amateurs, regardless of its ability to transmit outside of amateur bands, another, from a different FCC representative states that this is incorrect.
Further discussion around building, homebrew kits and modifications appear to have been caught in this same notice, either intentionally, or not.
If you want to read the notice you can find it on the VK6.net website. There is a lively debate on social media including the amateurradio subgroup of reddit regarding this. Suffice to say, this is developing news and time will tell how this plays out and what, if any, impact this has across the rest of the global amateur community.
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