Updated Radio Frequency Exposure Rules Become Effective on May 3

This change has been on the books for a while, but the effective date is coming up soon. The ARRL has a new announcement:

The new rules do not change existing RF exposure (RFE) limits but do require that stations in all services, including amateur radio, be evaluated against existing limits, unless they are exempted. For stations already in place, that evaluation must be completed by May 3, 2023. After May 3 of this year, any new station, or any existing station modified in a way that’s likely to change its RFE profile — such as different antenna or placement or greater power — will need to conduct an evaluation by the date of activation or change.

Amateur radio licensees will have to determine whether any existing facilities previously excluded under the old rules now qualify for an exemption under the new rules. Most will, but some may not.

RF Exposure and You is available for free download from ARRL. ARRL also has an RF Safety page on its website.

Don Kramer — AAØBZ, SK

Another IRG member, Don Kramer — AA0BZ, passed away on Sept 22nd, 2020.

Don was an original member of IRG and other clubs. He was also an original
member that started the Red Cross Communicators for the Denver Chapter. He helped put together the amateur communication team for the State Of Coloroado Emergency Operations Center. He was a true VHF/UHF bands forerunner.

Kenneth Guthrie — KDØLZB, SK

We are sad to report the passing of Ken — KDØLZB, as stated by his wife, Betty:

This precious man slipped off to Heaven during the night. How I thank the Lord for this man of integrity and for 50 wonderful years as his wife. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints”. When Ken was diagnosed with mesothelioma 18 months ago he said, “I’m the lucky one…I get to go to Heaven first.”


Ken Guthrie’s celebration of life will be at The Crossing Church of the
Nazarene at 10 am on Thursday, September 24th. It will be held outdoors on the lawn so it will be open to any who would like to attend. Thank you for the many expressions of love to us.

FCC Application Fee Proposal Proceeding is Open for Comments

The FCC is proposing a new fee schedule for Amateur Radio Licensing.


Comments are being accepted on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD Docket 20-270 (PDF), which proposes application fees for radio amateurs. Formal deadlines for comments and reply comments will be determined once the NPRM appears in the Federal Register. Comments may be filed now, however, by using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), posting to MD Docket No. 20-270. The docket is already open for accepting comments, even though deadlines have not yet been set.

From the above-linked PDF filing:

RAY BAUM’S Act now requires the Commission to collect fees from several previously uncharged services. As such, several services in the personal licenses category will be subject to new fees. One such example is Amateur Radio Service licenses, which were not listed on the fee schedule in section 8 of the Act, but are now subject to fees under the broader mandate of the RAY BAUM’s Act.
27. Other applications for personal licenses are mostly automated and do not have individualized staff costs for data input or review. For these automated processes—new/major modifications, renewal, and minor modifications—we propose a nominal application fee of $50 due to automating the processes, routine ULS maintenance, and limited instances where staff input is required. Although there is currently no fee for vanity call signs in the Amateur Radio Service, we find that such applications impose similar costs in aggregate on Commission resources as new applications and therefore propose a $50 fee.

28. For administrative updates modifications, which also are highly automated, we find that it is in the public interest to encourage licensees to update their information without a charge. We thus propose no application fee for administrative updates modifications.

29. In instances where an applicant elects to receive a physical license by mail (including requests for a duplicate license), the Commission incurs costs for printing and mailing the duplicate authorization. The Commission has proposed to eliminate these services 31 —but to the extent the Commission does not do so, we propose a fee of $50 to cover the costs of these services.

It’s worth noting that the FCC is required by law to do this, however, it is apparently up to them to determine what the fees are. The ARRL has an explanation of the prosed fees for amateur radio licensing, and intends to file comments in opposition.

Final Band Plan Accepted today by the ARRL

As reported at QRZ:

The ARRL Board accepted the final band plan of the Band Planning Committee.




Final Band Plan:


Second Board Meeting July 2020/Doc 25A Band Plan Final-1b (PDF)

Major highlights:


80 Meters:

  • Bottom of Phone band moved from 3.600 to 3.650-WB (Wideband) and ACDS (Automatic Controlled Digital Station) defined – 3.600-3.650
  • Technicians given 3.900 – 4.000 phone and image

40 Meters:

  • WB/ACDS defined 7.100 – 7.125 (No more unwritten rule Novice CW segment!)
  • Technicians given 7.225 – 7.300 phone and image

30 Meters:

  • WB/ACDS defined 10.135 – 10.150

20 Meters:

  • WB/ACDS defined 14.105 – 14.150

18 Meters:

  • WB/ACDS defined 18.105 – 18.110

15 Meters:

  • WB/ACDS defined 21.150 – 21.200
  • Technicians given 21.275 – 21.350 phone and image
  • Novices given 21.025 – 21.200 RTTY/Data

12 Meters:

  • WB/ACDS defined 24.925 – 24.930

10 Meters:

  • WB defined 28.120 – 28.190 (All classes)
  • WB/ACDS defined 29.200 – 29.300 (Extra, Advanced, General)

Unlicensed QRM on the 449.525 Repeater

Recently, we’ve been having trouble with unlicensed operators using the output frequency of the 449.525 for simplex communication.

We tend to hear this most heavily in the early mornings, Mon-Sat, but sporadically in the afternoon and early evening as well. None of us who are monitoring this situation speaks Spanish, so we are unaware of what is being said, but we have yet to hear any call sign being transmitted. We have a suspicion of multiple mobile stations, and a base station.

As best we are able, we have transmitted warnings regarding this operation, but we can’t tell whether any of the operators are hearing us.

We are working on some RDF and triangulation. Here are some images showing an estimated bearing. We will update these images, and this post, as we learn more.

We have a report that the signals are very strong in the area of Faversham Park, 73rd and Ingalls. That is possibly the next location for an RDF trip.

If anyone can assist with RDF, speaking Spanish to communicate with these operators, and/or locating a place of business, please contact us. We would greatly appreciate the help. If you’re on QRZ, there is a discussion thread available.