SM Newsletter – Dec 2020

Even though we are still under COVID-19 restrictions, clubs are still
meeting. This past month I had the privilege of meeting with the Okaw
Valley Amateur Radio Club, Stateline Amateur radio Club, Peoria Amateur
Radio Club, Moultrie Amateur Radio Klub (Yes, Klub.), River Bend
Wireless Operators Club, Southern Counties Amateur Network, Shawnee
Amateur Radio Association and the ARRL W1AW whose station manager, Joe
Carcia, provided a virtual tour of W1AW. I have been doing an Earthquake
presentation,  a Winlink presentation as well as meet and greets.
December is already being filled with online club meetings. If you would
like me to meet with your club please contact me at w9ry@arrl.org.

Now, as I am writing this, I’m preparing for the Skywarn Recognition
Day when I, along with KD4CAE and N9RRM, will be operating as W4W
National Weather Service Paducah KY. Look for us on 80, 40 and 20
meters. Lately propagation has been good and we are hoping it will
remain so on December 5.

The ARRL has offered the FCC their opposition to the proposed $50
amateur fee. Whether for or against, I hope you sent your comments to
the FCC. Along the same vein I just received word that the FCC voted on
November 18 to open up a small amount of additional wireless spectrum
for unlicensed indoor use, which should help to improve speeds and
reduce congestion on 5GHz Wi-Fi networks. The new swath of spectrum
(which falls around 5.9GHz) was previously reserved for
vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications — but
since being set aside two decades ago, the auto industry hasn’t done
much with it. So now the FCC is taking away a little more than half of
the airwaves it reserved and offering them up to the public for use as
Wi-Fi.

Just a short time ago they also gave away the 3.4 GHz band. The FCC
proposed to end amateur activity on the band. The ARRL has provided
comments and argued radio amateurs be allowed to continue shared
operation in the 3.4 GHz band until 5G licensees are actually being
used. In the FCC proposal they wanted to begin amateur restrictions when
new licenses are issued rather than when the new licensees begin to use
the spectrum. 

If you haven’t been on the air lately, blow the dust off your rig and
join us. If we have more use on our bands perhaps we will not lose
anymore spectrum.

The Dayton Hamvention 2021 is slated to be held May 21–23 at the
Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. It is hoped
that travel and get together restrictions will allow the Hamvention to
happen. Stay tuned.

This past month I sent out over 40 letters to amateurs who had let their
ARRL membership lapse. I’ve also asked our cabinet members to join me
in the effort. I received several thank you’s from hams who were glad
they received the letter as they had forgotten to renew.

This year has not been pleasant for many of us. I am hoping 2021 will be
a better year for all. So in closing I wish each of you Happy Holidays
and a better new year.

Thom W9RY