Wednesday, February 15, 2012

472-479 kHz Amateur Allocation Passes WRC-12


Amateur Radio Gets Secondary MF Allocation at WRC-12


It’s official -- delegates attending the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) have approved a new 7-kilohertz-wide secondary allocation between 472-479 kHz for the Amateur Radio Service. Agenda Item 1.23 had both its first and second readings in Plenary Session on Tuesday, February 14; to become part of the ITU’s Radio Regulations, each Agenda Item must be read twice in Plenary Session. While the Final Acts will be signed on Friday, February 17 at the close of the Conference, the new allocation will not take effect until it is entered into the Radio Regulations. No date has been set for this, but it is unlikely to be earlier than January 1, 2013. In any case, no amateur can use the band until his or her national regulations are revised to implement the allocation.


Agenda Item 1.23 originally called for a 15-kilohertz-wide spectrum in parts of the band 415-526.5 kHz, taking into account the need to protect existing services. But according to ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, this was in conflict with the Maritime Mobile Service. WRC-12 delegates approved Agenda Item 1.10, which called for a worldwide exclusive allocation to the Maritime Mobile Service of 495-505 kHz. Discussion of this allocation to Maritime Mobile "has been in the works throughout the conference preparation (i.e. since 2008)," Sumner explained, "and was the reason why the MF amateur allocation could not be made in this band as some amateurs had hoped. That’s why we had to look elsewhere and is what put us in conflict with aeronautical radionavigation."

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sigmira Fix Now Available

The updated features.dat file for Steven A. Harlow's popular (and good) Sigmira program can be obtained at his web site.  Instructions on where to put the updated file are there as well.

Friday, February 10, 2012

600-Meter Amateur Passes Committee, Goes to WRC-12 Plenary


On the afternoon of Tuesday, February 7 (Geneva time), Committee 4 of the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) approved Option 1 to satisfy Agenda Item 1.23, with minor editorial amendments to the text received from Working Group 4C. Option 1 calls for a worldwide secondary allocation to the Amateur Service at 472-479 kHz, with a power limit of 1 W EIRP, with a provision for administrations to permit up to 5 W EIRP for stations located more than 800 km from certain countries that wish to protect their aeronautical radionavigation service (non-directional beacons) from any possible interference. Option 2 was NOC (no change to the current rules).

In keeping with the rules of the Conference, Committee decisions must be read twice in Plenary session; the decision of the Conference is not final until after second reading in Plenary. According to ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, quite a few additional administrations -- mainly in the former Soviet Union and Arab states -- will be adding their country names to the Footnotes prior to consideration in Plenary.

(ITU footnotes number in the hundreds.  They are a means of achieving consensus on international radio regulations by allowing exceptions for countries with concerns which would otherwise force them to vote against an agenda item in Plenary Session.)

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Spectrum Lab Works Fine in 64-bit W7

I don't know why I thought it didn't.  It is installed in c:\radio\spectrum and it works just fine.  I also run it as an administrator with full permission set to its folder branch just to be sure.  So far, it's done everything it did in XP.

People might know that I really like Spectrum Lab, so it's nice to have it back.  Its window scales any size one would ever need it to be, and you can spend the rest of your life getting acquainted with all it can do.  I've even made digital art with it.