Archive for the ‘BPL’ Category

Opposing HR 607 …

Friday, February 25th, 2011

For those of you who are ham radio operators, you’ve probably heard about HR 607 either from an ARRL email or from another ham.  In brief, HR 607 proposes to reassign portions of or the entire segment of the 420-440 MHz (70 cm) band. That’s just part of it. To find out more on the ARRL’s plan of action and for more information about HR 607, click here.

Now, before we as hams get all up in arms, let’s keep a few things in mind. There’s nothing wrong with being passionate about protecting and preserving “our” frequencies. I’m all for that. But like a lot of things in life, there’s a right way to do things, and a wrong way to do things. The best way to get somewhere is to represent yourselves in a respectful and non-hostile manner. You might be “the only ham” these representatives come in contact with. I’m sure most representatives have hard how hams have contributed to their community and country, but how many hams have written to or contacted them directly for the express purpose of “saving a band or frequency?” And since it is somewhat likely that you may have a new representative, the chances are likely that they may not be fully aware of what ham radio is and how it functions. Let’s educate them, but let’s do it in a respectful and genuine manner.

In the above link, you’ll find a link to a sample letter that you can send to your representative. (Follow the specific instructions regarding the sending of the letter). That’s cool to use, but please make sure you address it to the appropriate representative(s), and put your name and contact information on the bottom. I would also add a very brief personal note at the bottom of the letter. Make it a positive note. If you’ve participated in an emergency activation with ARES or RACES, briefly tell them that you participated, when you participated, and how positive the experience was for you. This looks good, and gets them thinking.

If you decide to draft your own letter, that’s fine too. But keep in mind, that the 70 cm band isn’t just “ours.” We have secondary privileges in the band. The government uses PAVE PAWS in the 70 cm band as a defense system for the United States. Depending upon where you live in the country, you may or may not have to worry about mitigating any interference your station may cause to this system. Keep in mind, however, that the government and hams have had a very good working relationship when it comes to mitigating interference between PAVE PAWS and ham stations and/or repeaters in the 70 cm band. If you remember, this was an issue in 2007. The outcome was favorable for both hams and the government because both sides decided to work with each other. In fact, I think the outcome turned out a lot better than the broadband over power lines (BPL) issue!

Last, but certainly not least, show support for your local public safety officials. Often times it seems as if they have a thankless job, and we don’t often acknowledge them until we have a situation that requires their assistance.

you’ve tested to get the license, and therefore you have the right to use the frequency(ies) that your license allows you to use. But it doesn’t stop there. You also have the freedom — and possibly an obligation — to let your representative know that you don’t want the band taken away.  If you don’t speak up and the band is reassigned to another radio service, don’t complain.

As for me, my letter will go in the mail tomorrow.