Archive for February, 2011

2011 Severe Weather Conference Amarillo Volunteers Needed

We are currently seeking a volunteer to coordinate a booth at the conference on Saturday March 18th 9:30-12:30. We need to demonstrate a UHF / VHF station, a packet station, and an APRS station. We have some literature available and also a large banner with the club logo. I have a power supply if needed and also some reflective ARES vests. Please contact me, Chris Seright, at 806-231-4227 to volunteer to be the coordinator for this event.


Spectrum Management Bill Threatens Amateur Frequencies

2/17/2011–Article originally posted on the ARRL official website

http://www.arrl.org/news/spectrum-management-bill-threatens-amateur-frequencies

On February 10, Representative Peter King (R-NY-3), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, introduced HR 607, the Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011. The bill has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which handles telecommunications legislation. HR 607 addresses certain spectrum management issues, including the creation and maintenance of a nationwide Public Safety broadband network. As part of that network, the bill provides for the allocation of the so-called “D-Block” of spectrum in the 700 MHz range for Public Safety use.

The D-Block consists of two, 5-megahertz-wide segments of spectrum (758-763 and 788-793 MHz) that became available when the FCC ended analog television broadcasts in June 2009 and reallocated the 698-806 MHz band for Public Safety and commercial broadband. It was anticipated that the D-Block would be auctioned for commercial use. There are several bills in Congress providing for the allocation of the D-Block for Public Safety use, and HR 607 is one of those. But HR 607 uniquely provides for the reallocation of other spectrum for auction to commercial users, in order to offset the loss of revenue that would occur as the result of the allocation of the D-Block to Public Safety instead of commercial auction. HR 607 lists the paired bands of 420-440 MHz and 450-470 MHz among the bands to be reallocated for commercial auction within 10 years of its passage.

“Of serious concern to the ARRL is the inclusion of the 420-440 MHz amateur allocation in the list of frequencies to be cleared for auction,” said ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. “The ARRL and the Amateur Radio community certainly support the work of public safety agencies and understand their desire for an interoperable network; however, the inclusion of most of the amateur 70 cm spectrum as one of the replacement bands is illogical and unacceptable. The 420-440 MHz band is not Public Safety spectrum and should never have been included in any spectrum swap of Public Safety allocations.”

Saying that the ARRL Washington team has already begun meeting with key Congressional staff on Capitol Hill, Henderson noted that Amateur Radio already shares the 70 cm band on a secondary basis with the governmental radiolocation services, such as the PAVE PAWS radar systems: “The 70 cm band is a critical and irreplaceable resource for Amateur Radio public service and emergency communications. The specification of the 420-440 MHz band in this legislation is ill-conceived. To be sure, the ARRL will vigorously oppose this legislation in its present form. It is, as evidenced by other legislation, completely unnecessary to the creation of a nationwide Public Safety broadband network or the use by Public Safety of the D-Block for that purpose. The role of the Amateur Service as a partner to Public Safety in the provision of public service and emergency communications necessitates the retention of full access to the entire 420-440 MHz band.”

HR 607 is presently cosponsored by the Homeland Security Committee’s Ranking Member, Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS-2) as well as Representatives Shelley Berkley (D-NV-1), Yvette Clarke (D-NY-11), Billy Long (R-MO-7), Candice S. Miller (R-MI-10), Laura Richardson (D-CA-37), Mike Rogers (R-AL-3), and Michael Grimm (R-NY-13).

“As we continue to track the progress of HR 607, I urge ARRL members to watch for further information about the bill on the ARRL website,” Henderson said. “When that additional information is released, it will include a request to contact your representative and express opposition to HR 607, as long as it includes a provision to auction off any Amateur Radio spectrum for commercial use. ARRL members may also sign up for the ARRL Legislative Update Newsletter and automatically receive information as it becomes available. Sign up by logging onto the ARRL website and select the ‘Edit Your Profile’ link located at the top of each page. Once on that page, select the ‘Edit Email Subscriptions” tab and click on the box for ARRL Legislative Update.” The ARRL Legislative Update is prepared on an “as needed” basis to those who have opted-in to receive it. A new edition addressing HR 607 will be forthcoming soon.

(continue reading…)


2011 Top Ten Club Membership Contest

The West Gulf Division Announces the 2011 Top Ten Club Membership Contest

Increasing ARRL Membership is paramount to the successful implementation of new programs, stability in member dues and the ARRL’s ability to garnish legislative attention at all levels. Membership growth is also vital to a local club’s success and survival.

Recognizing that organizations complement each other, the WGD Leadership has invited all ARRL Affiliated and Special Service clubs, to participate in the second annual Top Ten Club Membership Contest. This contest is based on the successful recruitment of new ARRL members and two year lapsed members as of December 10, 2010.  Membership
applications must be submitted to HQ through your affiliated club during the contest period of January 17th to May 1st.

There are significant financial advantages for affiliated clubs which secure new ARRL memberships. The club can retain $15 for each new membership and $2 for each renewal submitted to ARRL HQ.  Additionally, great prizes are available to the Top Ten Club Membership Contest winners that produce the highest PERCENTAGE increase of ARRL  membership during the contest period.  Affiliated clubs of any size are encouraged to participate.  Again, it is the PERCENTAGE of increase and not the raw number of new or 2-year lapsed memberships.

Contest prizes will be award by ARRL President Kay Craigie N3KN, during HamCom 2011 the ARRL National Convention in Plano, Texas.

Club representatives that were identified in the ARRL Club database have already been sent an E-Mail  notification of the contest. Recognizing that HQ might not have the most current E-Mail information, we ask that you contact your club’s President and ask him/her if your affiliated club is participating in the Top Ten Club Membership Contest.

Additionally, a webinar will be held for affiliated club’s Presidents (or the President’s appointed representative) on Wednesday, February 16th.. Contest details and rules will be fully explained during the webinar.  If you are a club President and have not received information regarding the Top Ten Club Membership Contest, please contact Director Woolweaver at K5RAV@arrl.org or Diane Petrilli, ARRL Membership Manager, at DPetrilli@arrl.org immediately.  Registration is required for the webinar.

Note to all club Presidents:  If you are unable to attend the webinar, please let us know so that we can issue an invitation to your appointed representative.   Remember, each participant must register in advance to access the webinar.

Good luck to all clubs.  Let the contest begin!

————————————–

ARRL West Gulf Division

Director: David A Woolweaver, K5RAV

k5rav@arrl.org


February ARES/SKYWARN Postponed

Due to the pending Winter Storm Watch, the ARES meeting and SKYWARN training scheduled for February 8th 2011 have been postponed. We have rescheduled the SKYWARN training to coincide with our next regularly scheduled ARES meeting on Tuesday, March 8th at 1930 CST at 1900 Line Avenue in Amarillo, TX. If you are unable to attend the SKYWARN training at our ARES meeting, there are many more opportunities posted at the NWS AMA website.


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