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ARRL and AM. minute #64, July 19-20, 2002

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W0TDH, Aug 15, 2002.

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  1. mackinac

    mackinac Banned

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (ae4mr @ Aug. 22 2002,12:25)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Most of the posts here seem to not understand exactly what is being proposed by the ARRL.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    On the contary, I think most do understand what is being proposed.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">It is not about the old beloved modes such as CW and AM.  They are not mentioned or threaten.  They will be able to continue to live on hopefully forever.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    CW and AM are not mentioned.  But they do occupy bandwidth.  There is definitely a potential threat. Whether or not they live on forever depends on what changes to the regulations get enacted.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">What it IS about is new modes in the CW/digital portions of the band.  Such modes as Clover 2000 and Pactor 3.  It is refered to here as the subbands.  The subband for 20 meters, as an example, is between 14.0 MHz and 14.150 MHz.  It is has nothing to do with the phone sections of the bands.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    The &quot;data&quot; subband is 14.0 to 14.150.  The &quot;phone&quot; subband is 14.15 to 14.35MHz.  Read the minutes posted on the ARRL web site.  There is no adjective in front of subband.  As written the statement refers to all subbands: data, phone, General, Extra, whatever.  If they intended it to only refer to data subbands, they should have said so.

    We might also ask: why should any proposal for regulation changes be restricted to the data subband.  It might be appropriate to allow for wider bandwidth digital voice and picture modes in the phone subbands, too.

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Now if you have some objection to using new modes such Clover 2000 or Pactor 3 WITHOUT eliminating ANY old modes then flame away.  I for one am listening, if we can get back to the topic.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    There hasn't been much objection to new modes.

    While it has been good to see ARRL officials participating in this discussion, they are acting like politicians and seem to be trying to obfuscate the issue rather than clarify it.
  2. AE4MR

    AE4MR Ham Member QRZ Page

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">
    There hasn't been much objection to new modes.
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Good, perhaps we are back to the topic and reason for a change then.

    ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, writes (and he was at the board meeting):
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">
    Our interest is in digital. Presently the popular standard is RTTY at 300 baud. There is some new technology such as Clover 2000 and Pactor 3 that are a bit wider. We think that this requires some expermentation and use, thus the motion.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Part 97 talks about modes rather then band width.  I think most hams do not object to new modes and would want to encourage developement of new modes.  Yet most probably also agree that we do not want to open the gates and let anyone do anything on the subbands regardless how wide the signal is.  One signal could effectively wipe out a significant portion of the band.

    How do we allow more expermentation as Jim suggests and yet still protect it from abuse?  Band width seems like a good way to do this.  But the ARRL does not have a monopoly on good ideas and if you have a better one please bring it to the table.

    Dave Armbrust - AE4MR
    ARRL Section Manager
    West Central Florida
  3. KA1OGM

    KA1OGM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Dave, nice to see more discussion on this topic.

    The bandwidth issue here has been over Ed Hare's posts, which explicitly mentioned AM and a 6kHz maximum, in his opinion... And while I find the whole idea of defining emissions by bandwidth instead of mode an interesting one on the surface, it is opinions such as Ed's that make it start appearing to be a threat to existing practice on the air.

    It is also hi-fi SSB that would suffer from this kind of limiting definition. I'm sure that &quot;Experimental modes&quot; as new language in part 97 would suffice, rather than re-defining or adding limitations to any existing modes by defining bandwidth limits.

    The other side of this issue is that the motion by Tom Frenaye has begun the process to petition the FCC to define sub-bands by bandwidth, rather than mode. It isn't a motion to explore the possibility of doing so, which would indicate a desire to find out if any of the membership might be opposed to it, and the possibility that this might actually have an impact on whether the ARRL petitions the FCC on this at all. Instead, we are invited to participate in the &quot;process&quot; of making our opposing case to the FCC, once the petition is made.

    Where is the &quot;process&quot; within ARRL? Why does the discussion have to go before the FCC? Don't the opinions and desires of the membership count in these matters? I suspect that they don't, otherwise there would be a bulletin board (like this one) on the ARRL website!

    Jeff Barnard
  4. W8FAX

    W8FAX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Personally, I believe this is just a back door approach to getting CW and AM moved to their own little narrow places on the bands. I think it is worth our notice that the ARRL says it's about digital, but doesn't mention that in the minutes. It's been pointed out that it's not a proposal, but they say it's what they are proposing. Over the last few years we have seen the ARRL take polls on what members want and then do the opposite or less than they promised. Instead of straight answers we get political rhetoric trying to confuse and divert attention from what was actually said. If the ARRL represented the majority of hams that would be one thing, but it is too often obvious that they don't even listen to their own members, and seem to have their own &quot;agenda&quot; on many issues. It has also been noted that the FCC often does not listen to the ARRL. They(the ARRL) get the pot stirred, and what comes down from the mountain is completely different and arbitrary from what was proposed or hoped for. We can't enforce the laws we have now. I don't believe we need more rules to dirty up the water. What if you want to have a QSO with different modes??? Are we going back to &quot;cross banding&quot; like the XTAL control days of a bygone novice era????
  5. W0TDH

    W0TDH Ham Member QRZ Page

    More thoughts on this issue from e mail sent to me this morning - name with held;

    ARRL may file Petition for Rulemaking against enhanced audio

    If you are among the enthusiasts for improved audio quality on the shortwave
    ham bands, you should know that the League's Board of Directors in July
    accepted a resolution to pursue with the Federal Communications Commission the
    idea of using bandwidth rather than mode to determine the placement of
    operating activities.

    Although the resolution was in the context of finding a place for digital
    communications technologies, chances are good that a bandwidth-defined
    protocol could directly affect your ability to continue using enhanced audio
    on the HF bands.

    If the proposal fails to include adequate specifications to allow the option
    of improved transmitted quality for traditional analog voice signals, it could
    render useless much of the labor and equipment you and others may have spent
    in the interest of achieving human-sounding communications as a specialty in
    the hobby.

    Please consider emailing your region's director and vice-director to
    discourage them from supporting such a Petition, should it ever come to
    fruition. I encourage you to act early to preclude rather than have to later
    defend against any formal proposal reaching federal regulators.

    The FCC in 1976 developed a similar bandwidth proposal as part of Docket
    20777. It failed to win popular support, and was voted down by the Commission
    in 1977. The League has indicated no willingness to examine why the proposal
    was unsuccessful, but the fact remains 25 years later: Operating coordination,
    not technical constraint, is the best way to share our allocations among all
    the modes and activities we enjoy.

    Your thoughts need to be sent to ARRL es the FCC about these important matters NOW........

    Tom - K0PJG
    Life Member A.R.R.L.
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Tom said:

    &quot;ARRL may file Petition for Rulemaking against enhanced audio.&quot;

    Where do you guys come up with this stuff?

    I am not aware of any such proposal and I think I would know.


    Jim Haynie, W5JBP
    President, ARRL

  7. W0TDH

    W0TDH Ham Member QRZ Page

    More interesting thoughts from an e mail from the other day; Name with held.......

    Another point to consider...

    From the looks of Rinaldo's letter, the ARRL may be considering petetioning
    the FCC for specific bandwidth limits of 3 kc for SSB and 6 kc for AM.

    I see a couple of problems with that idea, besides the fact that it would
    limit phone signals to telephone-like &quot;communications quality&quot; audio. Even
    the SSB'ers are getting away from that, with the current interest in &quot;HI-FI&quot;
    SSB (an oxymoron?)

    First, even if you wanted to limit the upper high frequencies to 3 kc, it
    would be IMPOSSIBLE to maintain a flat response that high, without
    transmitting a signal bandwidth of at least 4 kc for SSB and 8 kc for AM,
    due to the rolloff characteristics of even the best filters. There is no
    such thing as an audio or rf filter with vertical skirts. Even the famous
    Collins mechanical filters are rated at -3/-30 dB points. Usually the -30 dB
    point is nearly twice the -3 dB point. To limit the significant bandwidth of
    a phone signal to 3 or 6 kc would require the audio to start rolling off at
    2 kc or less.

    Secondly, this would render most presently-used vintage AM rigs and many
    older SSB rigs obsolete. Most AM rigs simply use a mic driving an audio
    amplifier which in turn drives the modulator. There may be some bypass
    capacitors across an audio transformer or two, and/or across the plate
    resistors of some of the low level audio stages, but this generates, at best
    (or worse, depending on what you think of the idea), a gradual rolloff of
    highs. Extremely sharp audio filters are possible (I have one), but not
    generally available, and to install them would require what would
    undoubtedly be difficult and expensive modifications to existing rigs. If
    this becomes mandatory, I suspect that many AM'ers will simply give up and
    say hell with it. So maybe the bandwidth proposal would not immediately
    kill AM as Docket 20777 would have, but in the long run it would have the
    same effect.

    Hopefully, knowledge of what is presently going down is not limited to
    members the AM Reflector and those who monitor the AM Window BB. There are
    still many members of the AM community who don't have computers or internet
    access. Also, I think many in the SSB community would be allied with us on
    this issue, if they were aware of what may be about to happen.

    Tom - K0PJG
    Life Member A.R.R.L.
  8. AE4MR

    AE4MR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tom, K0PJG, writes:

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">...this would render most presently-used vintage AM rigs and many older SSB rigs obsolete... Also, I think many in the SSB community would be allied with us on this issue, if they were aware of what may be about to happen.
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Now once again let's read the excert from the board minutes:

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"> the next practical opportunity the ARRL shall petition the FCC to revise Part 97 to regulate subbands by signal bandwidth instead of by mode.
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Come on Tom, give us a break.  Now I have heard about &quot;Conspiracy Theory&quot; but this is really getting riduculous.  This is not about phone, phone is not even mentioned.  In fact it is specifically excluded.  It is only about the subbands (which should clearly be understood to be the CW/digital portion of the bands).  The league is not looking to pull a fast one the eliminates AM and SSB, old radios, etc., while everyone is sleeping!  Now if you want to take your old radio and play with AM in the CW portion of the band then YES this may affect you!  So may the FCC!

    Now if you want to talk about the excert, as written, then great, let's go.  Now if you want to talk &quot;Conspiracy Theory&quot; I would rather join Bob Hare and watch the movie!

    Dave Armbrust, AE4MR
    ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager
  9. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    ARRL Pres Clarifies Bandwidth Idea; Rules Out ANY Effect on Phone Activity

    In a telephone call Wednesday, Aug. 28th 2002, lasting more than 20 minutes, ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP has told me that the Board eventually hopes to consider a Petition for Rulemaking that would limit its scope to dividing up only the non-Phone segments of our HF allocations.

    If successful, this would create what I interpret to be an &quot;overlay&quot; system whereby the existing CW-only segment of any given band would be further divided by bandwidth. Narrower modes of all flavors would be situated in one part of the CW area, with less narrow modes in another part of the CW area.

    Curiously, others with knowledge of the Board's Minutes have also said the (&quot;Minute 64&quot;) proposal had nothing to do with phone allocations.  But no one ever backed it up by describing specific boundries to allow us to conclude there could not be additional impact on other modes and activities.

    I told Mr. Haynie that the controversy is a direct result of the unanswered question of whether any bandwidth-based proposal would be comprehensive or specialized.  

    I am among those who presumed, for the sake of defending against potential consequences to AM, that operating protocols defined by bandwidth would indeed apply to the entire segment of a given amateur allocation. No one with whom I communicated told me that this was an incorrect presumption, so I certainly pressed ahead.

    My working theory until today was that a bandwidth-based proposal would be a substitute for, and a successor to, what presently is a mode-based system of coordinating operating activities. Mr. Haynie today specifically said this is not the case.

    He affirmed my fresh understanding as I restated it to him in this phone call that the League is instead looking at a &quot;hybrid&quot; (my word) approach establishing selected bandwidth-defined divisions, while leaving untouched the traditional mode-based definition of areas now authorized for &quot;phone.&quot;

    The ARRL president told me he was curious to know my view as to what constituted &quot;acceptable AM bandwidth.&quot;  I said there is no specification and we wish to keep it that way.  He countered whether I thought someone running 20Kc on 20 meters was acceptable, and I responded that the regulatory mandate of &quot;good amateur practice&quot; suggests we are responsible for tailoring our occupied bandwidth to conditions.

    In the give and take, Mr. Haynie said there was no plan, at present, to change the open-ended (undefined) bandwidth specification for AM.

    I further stated, in my response, that the key is retaining the ability to be flexible in tailoring our operating, and that we (collectively) would continue to be on guard against rigid constraints that do more overall harm than any occasional good.  

    This, by the way, is consistent with my advocacy against mandatory, full-time frequency reservations and my support for an open band protocol of voluntary coordination to minimize friction among the various modes and activities.

    I directly asked him about what participation he envisions in the crafting of this proposal, and he said that no ad hoc planning committee is planned.  I noted that we felt left out of the 160m voluntary band plan committee, populated by contesters and weak-CW specialists, which led to a Petition for Rulemaking by two such operators.

    I'm sorry to report he offered neither an apology nor an explanation.

    We then moved the discussion elsewhere, and he advised us that &quot;you don't kick a sleeping dog,&quot; explaining that the Board had no intention of considering issues beyond digital compatibility in the CW-only segments, &quot;but,&quot; he said, referring to those of us who have been raising an alarm, &quot;now that they're talking about AM, maybe we'd better take a look at it.&quot;

    I saw this as posturing for my benefit, but I restrained myself, because it was clear he had made an overture in calling me. I did say something to the effect that if AM were to face an unintended consequence, I am delighted that the issue has come up as something to be addressed and resolved.

    Regarding letters we write to League officials, he said that a region's Director is solely responsible for answering complaints or inquiries from that ham's area (League member or not), and that it is established protocol for other Directors and Vice-Directors to defer to the region matching the ham's location for any requested response.

    I said there would still seem to be advantages to seeking a consensus of Director opinions on what would become a national, not local, ARRL action. To that, he said that the League president is the one who handles such inquiries, to speak on behalf of the Board as a whole; hence his phone call.

    I asked Mr. Haynie a little about himself -- whether he dated back to the days when AM was what you meant when you said &quot;Phone.&quot; Turns out he has been licensed only as long as myself (30 years), but he said he firmly believes there could be another version of the &quot;AM versus sideband&quot; wars in the future, This time it could involve old-fashioned analog communications versus newer digital technologies whose users would also wish a place to operate.

    After a bit more small talk, I concluded by asking whether I could quote him and the information we had discussed, and he said fine. He also said that he reads the AM Window BBS and others but contributes only to because the moderator has agreed to keep a handle on the discussion.

    He had no significant response to the earlier posting by his Technincal staffer Ed Hare on, nor the flames that greeted him. But he did address my question of whether Mr. Hare's view of AM bandwidth was anything floating around as a working mentality.  Mr. Haynie said that for years he believed the rule of thumb in good operating practice called for a &quot;6kc&quot; bandwidth.

    He also acknowledged, as he did earlier in the conversation, that we have the option, under favorable band conditions, to use enhanced bandwidth. I didn't get that he would endorse such enhanced audio, but he did agree that years ago, the big &quot;phone&quot; stations emulated the sound of the major broadcast stations of the era. And he was not critical of those of us who choose to maintain that legacy today.


    (and drop the anti-spamming double dash to respond)
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    OK, before all the CW ops get on my case, nothing was said about &quot;dividing up the sub-band&quot; all would remain as it is. Just some new technology introduced.

    Let me relate a visit I had with the FCC last year.

    Dale Hatfield who, at that time, was the Chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology called me into his office and more or less took me to the wood shed. He said that hams need to take another look at part 97.1&copy; and get some new &quot;stuff&quot; going. His interest at the time was SDR's (software defined radios) but he did mention some other items.

    Since that meeting the League has established several ad-hoc working groups of experts from all over the world. They are working with digital voice, digital multi-media, and software defined radios. Several programs were done at Dayton. I hope that some of you were there.

    Here it is in a &quot;nut shell.&quot; Amateur radio was not created just for something to do in ones spare time. Get a rule book and look at all the points of 97.1. We must contribute to the art of communications or die. We can each do this in our own way, but fighting change and the introduction of new technologies is not the way to do it.

    On another thread, the League was bashed because we had not responded to the use of European FRS radios in the U. S. Well, we are responding. We will also respond to the petition to remove what is left of the 220 band and give it to industry. Look it up! It is filed as a comment to WT Docket No. 02-224. The pressures for our spectrum has never been greater than it is today!

    This &quot;nit picking&quot; about turf has to stop and we need to all start working together if we want to have any bands at all in 20 years.

    While I am on my &quot;soap box&quot; I will be sending out a survey soon to a random number of amateurs that choose not to support the ARRL. The purpose of the survey is to find out what we can do better and or what more we can do that will entice membership. So, before you say you did not get one, here is your chance. I would think that QRZ would rather you send your comments to me directly (W5JBP@ARRL.ORG) instead of posting them all here, but what ever.


    Jim Haynie, W5JBP
    President, ARRL
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