65, OCTOBER 1988
Scanned, OCR'ed, and proofed by Bob "Bacon" Bruhns WA3WDR
FCC's 17 Metre Proposal Includes AM
The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on September 14, 1988, to open the 17 metre band to the amateur service. The Commission proposes to permit amateur operation over the entire 18.068-18.168 MHz allocation, with a CW (telegraph/digital) subband 18.068-18.110 MHz, similar to the one in "12 metre" band. There are no special power restrictions proposed for this band. In the 18.110-18.168 MHz "phone" subband, proposed emissions include A1A, A3E, F3E, G3E, A3C, F3C, A3F, and F3F -- this includes full carrier double sideband AM!
The comment period closes October 31, 1988, so time is running short. Since others may submit comments opposing the inclusion of AM (A3E) on this band, it would be well in our interest to drop the Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, Washington, D.C. 20554 an original plus nine photocopies, in reference to PR Docket 88-467, urging that A3E emission be retained as now proposed, in the final allocation for this new band. Remember, it was largely through the efforts of SPAM that AM was approved in the 12 metre band, overriding efforts by a group of influential hams who had originally petitioned for SSB only.
Just as we are going to press, we just received word that following the release of the above NPRM, ARRL has asked the FCC for "interim operating authority" to allow amateurs to have immediate temporary use of 18.068-18.168 MHz before the FCC adopts a final order on Docket 88-467. The League argued that amateurs in at least 66 countries already have access to this band, and pointed out that the FCC allowed hams the interim use of the 30-metre band before the U.S. ratified the WARC-79 treaty.
- W5YI Report
How Time Flies!
Speaking of WARC-79, Do you realize that nearly TEN YEARS have passed since that international frequency allocations conference was concluded?
The Satellite TV Underground
In recent years, hams and other radio/electronics hobbyists are finding themselves increasingly threatened by governmental policy and action. For more than a decade, AM'ers have had to constantly defend our position and struggle for our very survival in face of hostile proposals and decisions by the FCC, which would have done everything from eliminating AM from the ham bands altogether, to reducing our transmitting power. Shortwave listeners and scanner enthusiasts now feel Big Brother breathing down their backs as the U.S. Congress, without seriously debating the issue, decided to break with the longstanding tradition in the U.S. that the government regulates radio transmission but not RECEPTION, and assumed governmental jurisdiction over what we may receive in the privacy of our own homes using our own privately owned receiving equipment, with the passage of the infamous piece of legislation called the Electronic Communication Privacy Act (ECPA). Local governments are even trying to get in on the act. The city of Nashville, TN has just passed a city ordinance requiring special police authorization to legally be able to operate a "portable scanner." Nationwide, hams are being threatened by the growing number of zoning laws, as well as "private" covenants and deed restrictions, prohibiting outdoor antennas altogether or restricting them to ridiculously low heights. With the cooperation of the FCC, commercial interests continue to chip away at amateur radio spectrum allocations, the most recent grab being 220-222 MHz by the land mobile service, following by only a couple of years our partial loss of 1900-2000 kHz to the radiolocation industry.
There is yet another facet to this confrontation, which has so far received negligible coverage in the major "establishment" news media -- satellite TV reception and "black box" descrambling. As soon as the major satellite broadcasters decided to "protect" their programming by scrambling the signals, individuals began to develop their own technology to unscramble. The "bootleg chip" market has grown into a multi-million dollar industry. It is estimated that anywhere from 50% to 80% of the descramblers in use today in private homes are "illegal," that is, they have been modified so as to receive the programs without the necessity of subscribing to the services.
The conflict here is more one of philosophy than mere dollars and cents. The industry maintains that its signals are private property offered to the public for sale at a reasonable price, and that users of "black box" descramblers are committing an act of theft by receiving this entertainment without paying for it. On the other hand, the users of "pirate" descramblers maintain that the government lacks the jurisdiction to regulate and control what an individual receives in the privacy of his/her own house and his/her own receiving equipment. Furthermore, satellite technology was developed at public expense through taxpayer-supported research, and now the industry is making the fictitious claim that the public airwaves (the electromagnetic spectrum) are privately owned property, accessible to the individual only by specific authorization. A central theme of this viewpoint is that if the industry can devise a scrambling system, which is impossible to crack, then more power to them. But if individuals are clever enough to defeat these scrambling techniques, then they are within their rights as Americans under our Constitutional way of life to enjoy the programs free of charge in the privacy of their own homes. This does not include the right to go into business for profit off bootlegged material, and the government probably does have some control over the commercial sale of chips and other "black box" descrambling devices. But for the private individual who has managed to defeat the scrambling for his/her own private use, the industry's only recourse is to devise a more secure scrambling system. Americans must not be led to accept a "video police" mentality in our society.
Unfortunately, the FCC seems to have taken the side of the industry in this controversy. During a press conference held in Washington, D.C. on July 21, 1988, the FCC reportedly released the following opinion: Section 705(a) of the Communications Act and Title 18 U.S. Code Section 2511(1) prohibit the unauthorized interception and use of satellite and other radio communications, even if done by individuals in the privacy of their homes. Violators can be imprisoned. Because the theft of signals is increasing, the FCC has recommended that Congress raise the civil and criminal penalties for this misconduct.
If you wish more information on these FCC opinions, or if you wish to discuss the issue directly with FCC personnel, you may reach the FCC by telephone at the following numbers: FCC Main Office - 1-(202)-632-7000; FCC Public Relations Department - 1-(202)-632-5050; FCC News Media Operations - 1-(202)-632-5050 (Sally Lawrence); FCC Field Operations Bureau: Contract - 1-(202)-632-6345 (Rick Engleman); Home Satellite Piracy - 1-(202)-634-1624.
Readers who wish to keep up with the latest news about satellite reception and descrambling may subscribe to a monthly "satellite underground" publication entitled The Blank Box Newsletter. Each issue is approximately 50 8-1/2 x 11" pages in length; the first 14 pages or so are filled with news items and opinion concerning the satellite TV industry, descrambling and piracy, government and constitutional issues, the latest "descrambling chips", and much more. The remaining 35 or so pages are packed with advertisements for almost any device imaginable of interest to satellite TV and "black box" enthusiasts. Even if you do not own a satellite receiving system or have any interest in "pirating" programs, this material makes fascinating reading, and you can quickly learn the terminology used within this facet of the electronics bobby. A one-year subscription costs $24.95, and you may order by calling (501) 321-1845, or by sending check or m.o. to The Blank Box Newsletter, 100 Bridge Street #27, Hot Springs, AR 71901. Single issues may be ordered for $5.00 each.
HOW TO WRITE A COMMENT TO THE FCC
(Place a heading at the top of the page)
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20554
(legal format here)
P.R. Docket No. 88-139
(Subject of docket here)
Reorganization and Deregulation of
Part 97 of the Rules Governing the
Amateur Radio Service
COMMENTS by John J. Doe, licensee of Amateur Radio Station K9XXX
SUBJECT: 97.403 - Maximum Transmitting Power
(Write your specific proposal, opinion or comments on the subject here. It is best to treat each different subject in a separate paragraph for clarity and ease of understanding by the FCC.)
BACKGROUND: (Here you write all your facts and arguments, and other material that you have. This is material to back up your specific proposal, opinion or comments stated in the above paragraph.)
John J. Doe
1184 Highland Blvd.
Chicago, Ill. 60655
Date: October 9, 1988
(Send 5 copies minimum, or preferably 11 copies - more officials will get to read it.)
(It is helpful if you make a preliminary rough draft of what you want to say. Then, your final document will be produced more easily.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: As we reported last month, the FCC has extended the comment period for the Rewrite of Part 97 (PR Docket 88-139) until November 29, 1988, with reply comments due January 31, 1989. Also, if you are submitting "Reply Comments", be sure to include a statement, "This is to certify that (name of person to whose comments you are replying) has been served with a copy of this document." All readers are strongly urged to inform themselves on this proposal to make sweeping changes in the amateur regulations, and to submit well thought out comments from an AM perspective. Be especially on the lookout for clauses that might affect AM, which may have been overlooked by others reporting on this Docket.
Norm Scott, WB6TRQ
P.O. Box 27, Potrero, CA 92063
Results from the SPAM AM Questionnaire
ARRL Director election will be held from October 1, 1988 to November 21, 1988. Back in August 1988, I mailed out a SPAM AM questionnaire to all candidates. This year SPAM will provide representation to the AM community.
Out of the 14 amateurs running for ARRL directors, SPAM received 7 responses.
In the Central Division, W0PRN was unopposed and did not reply.
In the Northwestern Division, W7RM and W7RWG both did not reply.
In the Rocky Mountain Division, K2NA did not reply.In the West Gulf Division, N5TC and WB5JPB did not reply.It seems that the above candidates were not interested in filling out the questionnaire.
WB2EZG did not fill out the questionnaire, but provided a letter stating that if elected he would put to the membership binding referendums on major issues.
1. Would you support a change to the F.C.C. rules that would allow the operation of a 1 KW A.M. transmitter past 1990?
2. Do you believe that A.M. operation on the HF bands should be outlawed?WA6WZO...NO
3. Would you support a change in the F.C.C. rules that would let Novices operate A.M. phone on the 10 meter band?
4. Do you feel that the amateur community would be better off if all amateurs operated only commercial equipment?
5. Would you support an ARRL Worked All States award for A.M. phone?
6. Would you support changing the ARRL amateurs handbook so that it would again include a chapter on AM phone?
7. Do you believe the ARRL should provide representation in legislative matters for all radio amateurs?
WA2DHF...For members only
8. How would you rate the ARRL's services over the past 10 years in dealing with matters of interest to the AM community?
9. Do you operate equipment which you have built yourself?
WA6WZO is running unopposed and is a SPAM member.
In the New England Division, the race is between K1KI the incumbent and AG1F. Based on the voting record of the incumbent and the questionnaire, SPAM will support AG1F for Director.
In the Hudson Division, the race is between WA2DHF the incumbent and WB2EZG. After looking over the voting record of the incumbent and the letters from both the candidates, SPAM will support WB2EZG for Director.
In the Roanoke Division, the race is between W3ATQ and N4MM, the Vice-Director. SPAM did not receive a reply from N4MM, but in light of the questionnaire filed by W3ATQ, SPAM will support N4MM for Director.
In the Rocky Mountain Division, we did not receive any response from K2NA. Based on the voting record of the incumbent, SPAM will support AG0X for Director.
In the Northwestern and the West Gulf Divisions, we did not receive any responses to our questionnaire, so you can take it for what it is worth.
THE SUPER MODULATION AUDIO PROCESSING GROUP
Society for the PROMOTION of ADVANCED MODULATION
QUESTION: WHAT IS ADVANCED MODULATION???
ANSWER: ADVANCED MODULATION is AM with DOUBLE SIDEBAND-REDUCED CARRIER.
ADVANCED MODULATION is the circuit introduced by W6QYT in 1947 and very successfully used by W3PHL for over 10 years, and by W4CJL since 1970.
ADVANCED MODULATION is the application of additional POSITIVE side-band power limited only by the UNDISTORTED power output of the modulators and the FCC power limitations of 2 KW PEP in each sideband.
ADVANCED MODULATION will allow POSITIVE PEAKS to reach 150 to 300% without any distortion produced by the transmitter and when received with a sync. detector or product detector.
ADVANCED MODULATION which incorporates NEGATIVE CYCLE LOADING - negative peak clipping, the Taylor super-modulated circuit, the ultra-series modulated circuit or the ultra-modulation circuit - allows control of the NEGATIVE PEAK to reach only 100% but allows the POSITIVE PEAKS to reach 150 to 300% depending on the UNDISTORTED output of the MODULATORS.
ADVANCED MODULATION is the simple addition of a low-level negative cycle attenuator. In standard broadcasting the FCC allows 125% positive peaks with less than 1% distortion. All of these circuits can be supplied by W4CJL - the key SPAM station - for the cost listed below.
ADVANCED MODULATION in the elementary stage is the simple art of talking close to your mike and across it to eliminate "breath" noises. This eliminates room noises and gives your voice a "PRESENCE" effect. Please POLARIZE your mike to allow more energy in the POSITIVE PEAKS.
The SOCIETY for the PRESERVATION of AMPLITUDE MODULATION as a QUALITY COMMUNICATION MEDIUM and the PROMOTION of ADVANCED MODULATION recommends to all AM stations to use the above modifications to give your station a LOUDER SOUND. Remember only AM stations that use ADVANCED MODUIATION will be in a position to meet the competition of SSB for band-space.
WHY DON'T YOU TRY ADVANCED MODULATION --- YOU'LL LIKE IT!!!
Any one or all of the above circuits with instructions for their use can be supplied by writing to W4CJL and enclosing $2 for each article to cover cost of printing and mailing. Order all five modifications for only $5.00.
STATE OF THE ART AM
Society for the PROMOTION of ADVANCED MODULATION
"HOISY" HOISINGTON - W4CJL
Don "Hoisy" Hoisington
Amateur Radio W4CJL
202 Baker Drive
Florence, AL 35630
MAKING AM THE GREAT NEW GUY ON THE BLOCK
HOW YOU CAN GREATLY OVERCOME
POWER LIMITATIONS ON AM
Copyrighted, 1988, by George A. H. Bonadio, W2WLR
Watertown, NY 13601-3829
This is a first in a series to show you how you can upgrade your AM signal, as economically as possible, for many more "readability decibels". With these techniques, altogether, the total power gain that you will realize will put you in direct competition with SSB, usually winning. Remember, dB's add up.
How can I convince you? I am told that my two meter W2WLR repeater, at 2,000' A.S.L., is the only one "on" the air of two in New York State which have rating of "Wide Area". The other one, often off, as I write, is at 1,200' higher, but does not have our range. Another possible candidate, at 1,750' higher, does no better, either. Our repeater uses all our possible decibels. So can you, on AM.
It is much cheaper to buy dB by know-how rather than by buying merchandise. If you study decibel tables in engineering handbooks, you will understand how important dB are compared to dollars.
However, if your publications make money by advertising for dollars revenue, instead of the best way to get good reports, then -- well, I don't find any Table of Decibels in certain amateur handbooks. Take a look for yourself.
Never mind, these little reports will show you how to accumulate decibels (2dB + 2dB = 4dB) without doing that math. If you use "too many" of these techniques, you won't be spending big bucks for big gear that you don't need, "how awful!"
Actually we don't need to worry that any publication living off from SSB will usurp our techniques because $ is $. However, just to satisfy you worrisome ones, we are copyrighting the whole series. I will even hang my name on the parts where I can, to encumber those of your friends who "knew it all the time" but who did not publish it, for reasons best known only to themselves.
Here are a few subjects which the Editor will publish, or not, in any order he sees fit.
-Saving about 2dB by a simple Bonadio wire in the right place in the ground under your flattop. It makes 100 watts act like 160 watts both in and out. Real cheap dB.
-Correcting sharp corners with simple Bonadio's jumpers to fix your SWR power factor problems that your instruments lie to you about. Wide range of almost cost-free dB.
-Speech preemphasis at a natural curve (which SSB's can't use) with the Bonadio formula of 220 microseconds. Here is +10 to +20dB of better readability against noise on your spectrum. It even keeps most SSB 2 to 3 KHz farther away. Both cheap and rich ways to do it. Even your friends will be jealous.
-Bonadio's Chart of Antenna Signal Strengths vs. Elevations. This "takes the rag off the bush". You can calculate how many dollars to spend for how many dB. Much cheaper than big bucks gear and it helps receiving while big bucks don't.
-Antenna tuner Bonadio-discovered invisible power factor dB losses while reading your SWR as 1:1. This is why honorable E.F. Johnson discontinued their Matchboxes, but the ARRL has not discontinued their equally troublesome styles of tuners. Think about it. For shame!
-Reduction of the very common distortions of the needed linearity of modulated stages, by Bonadio's (B) formulas. Better readability. Clean signal.
-Testing your transmitter for capabilities of percentage of modulation at all your audio frequencies. Don't be surprised at how very poorly commercial rigs were originally designed for you. How to widen your frequency and percentages ranges.
-Bonadio's 707 formula for the balancing of voice audio. With a "communication" range like on SSB, readability is only 95%. At 200 words per minute, SSB can have 10 mistakes per minute, 600 mistakes per hour. We depend upon airplanes with 99%, or two mistakes per minute. A 707 formula can give you 99.9% or only one mistake in five minutes of solid talk. "Phoneticless Phone".
-Bonadio's Pi Tuner, for Coax Fed Antenna Systems, matches rather terrible mismatches down to 1:1, eliminating reflections of signals either way, any frequency between 1.8 and 30 MHz. You don't need to re-cut your flattop. Real dB on some frequencies. Make it yourself.
-Understanding the three conductors of all coax and what to do about the fastest one, so that it doesn't make a mess of a system. Could be dB and anti-TVI.
-Figuring dBs vs. $ in your decisions. Go for the cheaper dBs first. After you get all the economical ones, are the expensive dBs worth the big bucks (as advertised)?
With all these you can make, probably, a +20DB improvement. That is, to read you as clearly and as accurately -- well, you are not ready for this -- you would need only 1% of your old wattage. (We've done over 26dB on the 147.255 repeater and get reports like, "Hey! This is the only repeater that is perfect copy when it doesn't even move the S meter -- some of the repeaters nearby have to be half scale to do that!")
With most of these, with about 375 output watts in one (AM) sideband, and a non-beam antenna under 30' up, I jumped on top of an "everyone's doing it" pileup for a New Zealander, on twenty meters, after he said the East Coast was all gone and the West Coast was going, and although he complained bitterly of the QRM, he never misunderstood a word in a five minute QSO.
by Donald Chester, K4KYV
Readers who are League members may have noticed that the October 1988 issue of QST is particularly interesting from the AM perspective. A special insert was included, on the subject of the 220-222 MHz reallocation, which makes the statement that "Early analysis confirms selective use of facts by FCC to buttress reallocation decision." These are strong words for QST, which is usually very non-sensational in its reporting of FCC matters, a long observed policy which has led many AMers and others to charge that the League is reluctant to "rock the boat." Of course "selective use of facts" by the FCC is nothing new to AMers who have struggled with the FCC rule makers for the very survival of the AM mode, beginning in the mid seventies with Dockets 20282 and 20777. We could retort a cynical "we told you so" in reference to the League's lukewarm effort to support the AM community on the power limit issue; undoubtedly, that docket had to be one of the most blatant examples of "selective use of facts" ever turned out by a Federal agency.
On a more positive note, page 12 contains a color photo of W6RNC's "Kelvinator kilowatt." The caption beneath the picture even informs readers that the rig is a "1-KW AM transmitter." Beginning on page 15 is an article about open wire feedline tuning, lamenting the commercial unavailability of RF ammeters, and describing a homebrew substitute which measures "relative" RF line current. On page 36 is a very interesting technical article describing techniques to cure parasitic oscillation in higher power tube type homebrew finals. This article goes beyond the traditional data found in older handbooks -and describes special problems encountered with newer super-high mu triodes such as the 572B, 3-500Z and 8874. These newer techniques should be useful with stubborn cases involving older type tubes in class-C operation, as well.
Finally, nostalgia buffs will find an interesting article on the history of the ARRL headquarters station, describing it even before it used the call letters W1AW. Many photos are included, and the article even gives some details of the AM transmitters built in 1938 for high power coverage of 160 through 20.
Get pro-AMers on the ARRL Board of Directors! See S.P.A.M. Report this issue. Do not let W3ATQ get elected in the Roanoke Division. If you are a League member be sure to vote. All AMers: many AMers do not subscribe to AM P/X and will not see this report. Please make it a point to lobby for the pro-AMers over the air and at ham meetings. The AM community is strong enough to influence ARRL Board decisions!
AM in the Northwest
Byron H. Kretzman W2JTP/7
As the result of Bill Wolf's mention in the September 1988 issue of the AM P/E of our move to the Seattle area, one of the local AMers K7YIR telephoned me at the suggestion of W6RNC to acquaint me with the SPAM activity on 75. This group meets every Wednesday at 9 PM on 3870.
Stations subsequently heard or worked include KF6EA, W6HDU, KD6MSS, W6RNC, KD6UFO, WA6ZJC, W7JKY (Oregon), and K7YIR. There doesn't seem to be any daytime activity.
The California stations are about 700-800 miles away so they are not too strong. The ssb QRM is very heavy at 9-10 PM, as is the electric fence noise. (This is horse country.) It is noted that the ssb QRM decreases after 10:30 p.m. I guess the rice box ssb operators go to bed early. A heavy rain results in the absence of the electric fence noise. Maybe they take in the horses when it rains at night?
After 11 p.m. PDT, on 3880, I enjoy listening to WA3PUN, Harrisburg, PA, WB8MLA near Cleveland and K5SWK in Texas. I have also heard KA1SI and W2LYC. These are all high power stations. (My 250 watts doesn't make it.)
10 Meter AM is coming alive. (No AM rig here, yet, for 10.) Stations heard in the daytime include W1VZR, N4OHE, WD5DNA, N5JBT, W5PYT, KL7CC, K7BIL, K7CNS, WB8THK, WB8ZKM and KA0VEQ. Everyone seems to hang close to 29.0 MHz, although WB8VKR was heard up around 29.150.
40 Meter AM activity seems to be completely missing. I check around 7190 and 7195 several times a day. Weak foreign broadcasters and jammers are heard in the afternoons.
AFRTS LEAVES SHORTWAVE!
By Rick Miczak, K8MLV/0
Just about everyone who knows me realizes that I listen to the international SWBC bands quite often. One of the most useful signals, that I valued highly, is that of the Armed Forces Radio & Television Service (AFRTS), which rebroadcasts the major U.S. radio networks' news & feature material, directed primarily to our troops overseas.
For many decades, unless there was a special program or ball game of some kind, (including sports events possibly blacked-out in your local area) I would tune in at the turn of the hour and catch AP network news, followed by ABC, NBC, CBS, and Mutual. At half past the hour, a 5 minute UPI newscast would end the network news-block. With my battery powered short-wave radio, I also listened to Paul Harvey's news commentary wherever I happened to be, with a greater reliability than the local radio station, which screwed-up quite often! Only 11 minutes long, without the commercials, too! AFRTS, along with my local radio station for regional news, kept me informed so I didn't have to waste time watching the evening news on the idiot box every day. Well, not any more!!!
AFRTS ceased short-wave broadcasting, with their many frequencies of 5x9++ signals, on October 1st, 1988, to the great dismay of many hams & SWLs worldwide. AFRTS plans to resume operations via satellite by the end of November, ending this valuable service to owners of SW radios.
Many hams, especially SWLs & SWL clubs & their memberships, worldwide, are upset enough to write letters, hoping to return this valuable service to short-wave. I urge everyone who is concerned to write your U.S. senators & congressmen, and officials in Washington, as I did.
(I think we are becoming much too dependent on computers & satellites, and one day we will pay dearly, as evidenced by computer viruses, "high tech" helicopter crashes, and digital gasoline pumps going crazy from RFI, as well as devices emitting RFI, while they increasingly proliferate.)
This is the ideal time to write, with many politicians up for re-election. We must flood Washington with mail, projecting the idea that we are an organized group of many citizens, who strongly object to AFRTS leaving short-wave, if we are to do any good! It is very important, when writing for your congressman's support, to ask if his party's presidential candidate supports AFRTS's return to short-wave! If the entire ham/SWL community participates, we can win! But, we will never know, unless we try. Writing to the bureaucracy can work, as I found out when I wrote to WWV, suggesting that their staff announcer record one propagation bulletin daily, until an equipment problem was resolved.
The text of a letter to my politicians follows. Please feel free to use any ideas you find.
The most painless way in just four easy steps...
1) Write or type your letter with a blank heading.
2) Indicate copies sent to four officials in Washington with "cc:" in the lower left of the letter.
3) Make seven photocopies.
4) Write or type in the date & headings for U.S. senators & congressman on the copies, sign and mail!
Dear Senator (or Congressman) Joe Blow:
I have been an avid short-wave listener for almost 40 years, along with a quite sizable minority of other U.S. citizens. One of my favorite and most useful signals is that of the Armed Forces Radio & Television Service (AFRTS). AFRTS has announced they will cease operations on short-wave, effective last September 30th. At this time they will continue operations via satellite, as a "cost cutting measure," while, at the same time, spending additional money unnecessarily, to electronically scramble the satellite signal. WHY scramble this signal? Don't the taxpayers who support this operation have a right to know what our troops are being told??
One important and advantageous aspect of short-wave, that AFRTS management should note, concerns the American serviceman on leave, or traveling somewhere in the world. He or she, obviously, would not have access to an earth satellite receiving installation. However, inexpensive small portable radios with short-wave capability are commonly available, and sold throughout the world! In their announcement, AFRTS refers to short-wave as "a substandard service with a very limited audience." Nothing could be further from the truth, and satellites will definitely limit the audience!
AFRTS has been listened to for decades by vast numbers of short-wave listeners, worldwide, promoting an in-depth, unbiased view of life in the U.S., the existence of free journalism, and the workings of a free democracy to the rest of the world. This is accomplished by their unedited and uncensored rebroadcasts of domestic news and feature programming from the major U.S. commercial radio networks.
Short-wave listening is much more popular in the rest of the world, than in the U.S. Worldwide short-wave listeners realize that it is these domestic broadcasts, meant for a country's own nationals, that give a more realistic account of a particular country than the government controlled external service, such as the Voice of America (VOA), in this case. Therefore, AFRTS, although intended primarily for U.S. troops overseas, greatly enhances VOA's role of spreading the message of democracy to the world. This advantage would be totally lost by the exclusive use of satellites and, accordingly, AFRTS should be retained on short-wave. Since AFRTS has already used spare transmitter time from VOA facilities, VOA monies could support the continuance of this vital service. AFRTS funds intended for electronic satellite scrambling should also be used.
History proves that the U.S. had much better results influencing other countries, (from falling under communism, for example) BEFORE "buying" other countries with costly foreign aid, and meddling in their internal affairs! We merely set an example, without exerting undue and expensive influence!!! (We can go broke under the present policy!)
The reversal of AFRTS's decision to cease short-wave broadcasting accomplishes this objective in an excellent manner, and could be funded from foreign aid monies, as well! This would surely be much more COST EFFECTIVE than "buying" other countries with expensive conventional foreign aid, that often produces opposite or ineffective results. This is certainly something to ponder, in light of the astronomical FEDERAL BUDGET DEFICIT!
Another important reason to retain AFRTS on short-wave is that communications satellites are quite vulnerable for a variety of reasons, and short-wave should be retained as a back-up system. Satellites have been performing quite well for many years, and people take this reliability for granted. Many services, such as radio & TV networks. Long distance phone carriers, weather services, and the military, which previously used short-wave and other terrestrial based means, are now dependent on satellites, without a back-up system.
Scientists have discovered a phenomenon known as electromagnetic pulse (EMP), which results from a nuclear detonation in the ionosphere. It is deadly to the solid state electronics of satellites, while harmless to the more rugged vacuum tube circuitry of the VOA short-wave transmitters used heretofore. EMP is not to be taken lightly, in view of the proliferation of nuclear weapons among countries where political stability is less than desirable.
Solar physicists are also predicting that this current 11 year sunspot cycle may be the most intense on record, based on data accumulated thus far into the cycle. Not only is there a relationship between solar activity and the weather on this planet, but streams of charged particles and ultra-violet radiation are also deadly to communications satellites. The charged particles can destroy the electronics and the UV radiation heats the upper atmosphere, making it more dense, creating friction with satellites. Thus the orbit decays much sooner, shortening the useful lifetime of the satellite.
Furthermore, there is the danger of debris from micro meteors and man made space junk. NASA has reported the unbelievable damage a particle, such as a grain of sand, has inflicted on the space shuttle, for instance. Retaining short-wave as a back-up system would solve this vulnerability of satellite systems, while tremendously augmenting VOA's role of disseminating democracy to the world.
AFRTS has also recently announced that this satellite system would not be available for the Atlantic Ocean area until next year, and even later for the Indian Ocean region.
I, therefore, respectfully urge your support for the retaining of short-wave by AFRTS. I strongly urge your opposition to the termination of short-wave broadcasting, and any electronic scrambling of the AFRTS satellite signal. Would your party's presidential candidate support this, as well?? Please reply before election day. Thank you.
John Q. SWL/ham
cc: Lt. Col. Thomas Hansen, Armed Forces Information Service.
Hon. Claiborne Pell, Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Hon. Dante B. Fascell, Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Mr. Charles Wick, United States Information Agency.
COPIES SENT TO THE FOLLOWING FOUR OFFICIALS WOULD BE VERY EFFECTIVE!!!
Lt. Col. Thomas Hansen
Armed Forces Information Service
601 N. Fairfax, Suite 360
Alexandria, VA 22314 The Honorable Claiborne Pell
Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
SR 335, RSOB Washington, D.C. 20510-3901 Mr. Charles Wick United States Information Agency
301 4th St., SW Washington, D.C. 20547 The Honorable Dante B. Fascell Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee
2354 RHOBWashington, D.C. 20515
Look under U.S. Government in your phone book, for the regional office of your senators & congressmen, or the Federal Information Operator, to obtain his address. If Congress is in recess by now, and you are really dedicated, ask for an address to write to, so your Congressman will receive your letter before leaving Washington. However, definitely use the Washington address, in case he forgets to bring it back.
Please remember, if you hate to see this vital service leave short-wave, don't procrastinate like I do! The longer this short-wave service is terminated, the more difficult it will be to restore. If enough of the ham/SWL community write, we can win! We must flood Washington with mail if we are to be successful.
Updates on the status of AFRTS can be heard on the World of Radio program, which airs on WRNO-Worldwide, in New Orleans. The program first airs on Thursdays, 7PM ET on 13.760 mcs, and repeated at 8:30 PM ET on 7.355 mcs. Also Fridays at 11PM ET on 6.185 mcs, Saturdays at 7:30PM ET on either 13.760 or 7.355, and on Sundays at 4:30PM ET on 15.420 mcs. These times are approximate, so I usually tune in 5 or 10 min. earlier. Also, Thursdays are the most reliable, as the later broadcasts are likely to be preempted by a ding-dong ball game of some kind!!
Well... now that this project is finally out of the way, I guess I better start on my comments for the Part 97 docket, 88-139!!! Thank you to all who participate in the above, and good luck!
P.S. - A reminder to all who have not yet sent comments in defense of AM to the FCC. The 88-139 comment deadline has been extended to Nov. 29, 1988, with reply comments due by Jan.31, 1989.
ATTENTION! 7160 OPENS UP!
Since the BBC has vacated 7160 kcs, it is clear in Colo. daily, from before sunset to well past 2AM, unless occupied by W4CJL, W5JKD, WC7O, et al., with only minor QRM from vy weak SWBC.
(Names omitted - past copy.)
CB Crystals, HC18, CB2604V18 Rec: 6.6 mc, Transmit: 27 Mc, 23 channel. 200 @ $2 each. Also 2182 marine, $1.
WANTED: Owners manual for a Clegg Zeus transmitter. Good photocopy acceptable. Also looking to buy the companion receiver: Clegg Interceptor.
FOR SALE: Power supply components for small transmitters: Transformer - 1400 V.C.T. @ 350 m.a. 6.3 v @ 6 a. 5.0 v @ 6a. $12.50; swinging choke - 5 hy @ 350 ma., 30 by @ 35 ma. $5; electrolytic capacitor 1600 mfd. @ 450 W.V. $7.50. Various sizes of receiver transformers, (write for particulars), test equipment, receivers, etc. also available.
WANTED: T1 & T2 i.f. transformers, for HAMMARLUND HQ-110 -- part # K38985-1 and K38985-2, respectively. Would buy whole receiver for parts -- above are 455 & 3055 KCS. -- also want clock movement for same. All replies answered.
FOR SALE: Mint condition 75A4 - serial no. 3460, with 1.8, 3.1 and 6.0 kc filters, completely overhauled by K1MAN in 1984. Documents and manual. $400. US Navy TCK-4 transmitter - AM/CW in mint condition, complete, except for power supply - 2 813's in final, 2 807 modulators. 1.8 to 18 mc. Power supply consists of 1800 v.d.c. , 500 v.d.c., 110 v.d.c., 12 v.d.c. All manuals included. Pickup only. $175.
WANTED: My Hallicrafters final went out. Need used 7094's. Have 500 watt modulator, 2-810's for sale.
FOR SALE: T-368/URT with optional FSK exciter, both in very good condition. 1.5 to 20 MHz. AM, CW, FSK. With manual, $400.
WANTED: Audio transformers U.T.C. LS-49, Chicago BD-2.
FOR SALE: Viking Ranger $70.
FOR SALE: HQ170A Hammarlund Receiver $125, mint. Tubes, components, modulation transformers, power transformers, modulators. Late model Millen exciter, power supplies, inquire on your needs.
WANTED: Gonset G-76 AC power supply model 3349 for G-76 multiband transceiver model 3338. Must be in GOOD condition with all cables. Please state price, including shipping, in first letter.
Very few League members bother to vote in the ARRL Directors' elections. AMers can have a strong influence on League policy by voting for candidates who are friendly to the AM cause. Be sure to drop the anti-AM candidates a note to let them know why you voted against them.
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