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Email Robots are coming to RTTY and CW!

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KH6TY, Mar 21, 2007.

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  1. KH6TY

    KH6TY Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Email robots are coming to the RTTY and CW activity areas of the bands!

    Having failed to convince the FCC to allow ARRL/Winlink email robots to operate anywhere in the phone bands, the ARRL is trying again, through a special meeting with the FCC, to modify Part 97.221 to allow them to cover the RTTY/Data/CW bands anywhere at will, which will cause serious harm to RTTY and CW contesting, DXing, and ragchewing. You can read about the special meeting here:

    Special meeting

    You only need ask a PSK31 operator, and some CW operators, what it is like to have an automatic Pactor station suddenly pop up on the frequency in use and completely destroy the QSO.

    In case you do not know it, ARRL has officially adopted Winlink 2000 as "their" nationwide messaging system, so Winlink and ARRL can now be considered to be essentially one and the same.

    The current Part 97.221 reads as follows:

    97.221 Automatically controlled digital station.

    (a) This rule section does not apply to an auxiliary station, a beacon station, a repeater station, an earth station, a space station, or a space telecommand station.

    (b) A station may be automatically controlled while transmitting a RTTY or data emission on the 6 m or shorter wavelength bands, and on the 28.120-28.189 MHz, 24.925-24.930 MHz, 21.090-21.100 MHz, 18.105- 18.110 MHz, 14.0950-14.0995 MHz, 14.1005-14.112 MHz, 10.140-10.150 MHz, 7.100-7.105 MHz, or 3.585-3.600 MHz segments.

    © A station may be automatically controlled while transmitting a RTTY or data emission on any other frequency authorized for such emission types provided that:

    (1) The station is responding to interrogation by a station under local or remote control; and

    (2) No transmission from the automatically controlled station occupies a bandwidth of more than 500 Hz.

    ARRL has petitioned the FCC to change Part 97.221 as follows:

    97.221 Automatically controlled stations transmitting RTTY or data emissions.


    "( c ) A station transmitting a RTTY or data emission may be automatically controlled on any other frequency authorized for such emissions provided that the station is responding to interrogation by a station under local or remote control.

    "( 1 ) (Deleted)

    "( 2 ) (Deleted)"

    What does this mean to you?

    It means that Winlink Email robots, already widely hated for randomly destroying CW and PSK31 QSO's with 500 Hz-wide signals, would be allowed to destroy as many as six (6) RTTY QSO's, twenty (20) CW QSO's or the entire PSK31 activity segment of the band with a single wideband Pactor-III signal, killing your chance to complete that rare DX or contest exchange just so the less-then-one-percent of U.S. hams that use Winlink will never have to wait for a clear frequency within the current subbands.

    What can you do about this?

    You can file a comment on RM-11306 with the FCC by clicking on this link, filling out the comment form, and telling the FCC you do not agree with allowing automatic operations of any kind to operate outside the current subbands:

    Here is an example of how to fill out the form: Be sure to type RM-11306 in all caps, and also fill in your state and zip code..


    Be sure to fill in the state and zipcode fields and press the Submit button when finished.

    Just click here to file a comment:

    Please help by filing a comment and encouraging every ham you meet on the air to do likewise.

    73, Skip KH6TY
  2. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    This posting builds on several threads that have been quietly underway the past few weeks discussing concerns among active and interested hams in the greater Amateur community.

    The conversations you will find below have not been revealed in any of the ARRL publications, daily, weekly and monthly, that have gone to press in the time since the group's volunteer and paid leadership asked to make their latest pitch to try to save RM-11306 before several FCC officials in Washington.

    Please consider the opinions expressed, form your own views, and let the FCC directly know how you feel by using the helpful comment filing guide Skip has supplied..

    It is very obvious that the handful of digital buffs in Newington who hatched this scheme several years ago have learned NOT to again seek input from those who overwhelmingly voted last year that they are opposed. So before the League apologists urge everyone to "write your director," please note that this latest move has already happened, without the support nor consent of those who subscribe to their group.

    Thread No. 1

    Thread No. 2

    Thread No. 3

    Thread No. 4
  3. KY5U

    KY5U Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks Skip for posting this. Please notice in the proposed rule change that 97.221 (b) (2) is an important part as well.

    The section now:

    (2) No transmission from the automatically controlled station occupies a bandwidth of more than 500 Hz.

    the proposed change:

    (2) Deleted

    The purpose is to allow the wideband modems to be used in the RTTY/Data subbands too. So not only does this proposal loose the automatic stations, it also allows increased bandwidth that may reach 3kHz. This means where individual PSK31 stations have been hammered by automatic stations in the past, under the change it may hammer more than one QSO at a time.

    And remember that in his comments about ARRL RM 11306, one Winlink developer clearly stated that wideband data stations do NOT belong in the same spectrum with keyboard type data applications. Having lost the battle to put these stations in the voice bands, now it (suddenly) is perfectly OK to put them with narrowband data apps?

    These people clearly do not have the best interest of Amateurs in mind! Please comment and say "NO!".
  4. KB9RDS

    KB9RDS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sent a reply as shown above. Took less then 5 min. Well worth the time. Even got instant confirmation. #2007321747725. all in less then 5 min.

    Steve Wendt
  5. NK0V

    NK0V XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Proof positive the ARRL does not give one d**n about CW. This bunch of misfits hates CW and will stop at nothing to try to push the mode off the airwaves. This is only the latest on a series of attempts this crew will make. The league hates CW, hates CW operators and wishes to rid the airwaves of all CW transmissions. Why else would they try to slip this one onder the table. They are hoping that this latest move will align them more with the new digital buffs and maybe even result in a few more memberships. The league is more than willing to sell out CW, RTTY and PSK 31 in order to get their dream.
  6. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page


    In the comments section, I suggest expanding the reason why said opposition is urged, such as the potential for unintentional and/or harmful interference to other Part 97 transmissions, that are monitored in real-time.
  7. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I also suggest that if you have an ARRL e-mail address, that you list it; this makes it clear that this meeting does not represent the aggregate views of the membership.

    Chip W1YW
  8. W6EM

    W6EM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Skip, Charley, and all for posting this.

    Since I learned of this about a week and a half ago, and was convinced the motive was to keep the ex-parte meeting a secret from rank and file hamdom, I wrote Bill Pasternak of AR Newsline.  Bill seemed quite taken by the tactic, and promised a write up in this week's Newsline.  For some reason, it didn't happen.  I'm puzzled as to why not.

    Sadly, this tactic by the leadership of the ARRL has done more to harm its credibility amongst its membership than almost anything I can think of.

    While its one thing for individuals to disagree with a League position, its entirely a different issue when the League itself sneaks behind its members without so much as a modest mention of the meeting and presentation to the FCC in any League publication or bulletin. And, they know from the opposing comments to RM-11306, that we overwhelmingly disagree with them with respect to wide bandwidth robots.

    For what its worth, I think the entire upper echelon in Newington should be fired for this.  The problem is, besides Newsline, this forum and eham, what other means have we to tell the rest of the amateur community about what they've done?

    I suspect their motive is again, "we know better the future of amateur radio than the average amateur." So, they go about setting the stage for an all-digital future for us, like it or not.
    And, when you think about their 'clients' (with whom they have contract-like MOU's such as the Red Cross, DHS, etc.) they have probably promised them a back-door HF WinLink email bridge, as it were, for use in emergency situations. Perhaps in the interest of obtaining more lucrative grant bucks.

    Well, I'll file an ex-parte objection as well. Got to think about it some, though, before I pen it.

  9. KC8FWD

    KC8FWD QRZ Member QRZ Page

    This is one reason I don't belong to the ARRL.They are out for the smal majority in their office not the majority that is members.I think the ARRL needs to get their heads out of their rear ends later and 73 de Mike KC8FWD
  10. W4BD

    W4BD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well I just sent another one tonight. I am not sure that the one I sent the other night went through as I never got a confirmation number. I got one tonight '2007321933341 '
    Date Received: Mar 21 2007
    Docket: RM-11306

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