July 2019 NABRC Monthly Newsletter

North Augusta Belvedere Radio Club

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July Meeting

WHEN: Monday, July 8, 2019
6:30 PM - Fellowship
7:00 PM - Meeting

WHERE: North Augusta Public Service Station #2
Five Notch Road
North Augusta, SC

TALK-IN: 146.730 Mhz (-)

Program: Two videos! K5D Desecheo Island DXpedition 2009 ....so rare, so near, yet so far. They made 115,787 QSO's!

Desecheo is a small, mountainous island in the Mona Channel, approximately 14 miles or 21 km west of Punta Higüero, Puerto Rico. The island lies outside the 100 fathom depth boundary used to define the Puerto Rican Bank. However, it's considered to be part of the Río Culebrinas Formation, which extends from Desecheo through northwestern Puerto Rico, indicating that the two islands were connected at one time.

Although the Taino Indians named the island, there is no evidence of habitation on Desecheo. Early naturalists reported it to be a major rookery for seabirds, resulting in its being set aside as a preserve and breeding ground by President Taft in 1912. Despite this protected status, Desecheo has been subject to considerable disturbance and modification. In the 1920's farming was attempted. There is no information as to the length of time that the settlers were on the island, but their impact is noteworthy. Cattle were pastured in Long Valley and the mouths of both West and Long Valleys were dammed to trap water. The forest on the southwest part of the island was cleared for cropland and the red-footed booby rookery was displaced about 500 feet to the east. The former cultivated area reverted to grassland that was maintained by visiting fishermen, who burned it periodically to maintain it as land crab habitat.

In 1937 President Roosevelt transferred the island to the insular government of Puerto Rico for use as a forest and bird preserve. With the outbreak of World War II, the island was transferred back to the federal government for use as a bombing and gunnery range. It was used as such until 1952. Between 1952 and 1964 Desecheo was used for survival training by the U.S. Air Force. In 1965 the island was declared as surplus property by the military, and in July 1966 it was acquired by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, under whose direction a colony of rhesus macaques was introduced in 1967. In December 1976, Desecheo was transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is now responsible for its management as a wildlife refuge. Desecheo has been closed to all visitors.

The second video Is a short 10 minute video about the INDEXA organization.


Upcoming Events

July 15, 2019 - 6:00 PM - Aiken County ARES at Aiken Regional Medical Center in the Cafeteria.


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Petition for Rulemaking Asks FCC to Create a New 8-Meter Amateur Band

The FCC has put on public notice for comment a Petition for Rulemaking (RM-11843) that seeks the creation of a new 8-meter Amateur Radio allocation on a secondary basis. The Petition suggests the new band could be centered on an industrial-scientific-medical (ISM) segment somewhere between 40.51 and 40.70 MHz. The spectrum between 40 and 41 MHz is currently allocated to the Federal Government and, as such, within the purview of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). ARRL member Michelle Bradley, KU3N, of Maryland, filed the Petition in May on behalf of REC Networks, which she founded and described in the Petition as "a leading advocate for a citizen's access to spectrum," including Amateur Radio spectrum.

"REC feels that the time is right for the Commission to open a Notice of Inquiry and eventually a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and in cooperation with the NTIA, this new band opportunity can be realized to spark the next generation of 'makers' in the fields of science, technology, education, and math (STEM), especially women and girls," Bradley told the FCC in the Petition. "The more opportunities we give to make things, the more opportunities we have to build a pool of experts in STEM, right here at home."

The Petition said the objective of a new band would be "an effort to foster experimentation into the propagation characteristics of this band midway between the 10- and 6-meter bands." An allocation in the 8-meter band is available to radio amateurs in Ireland, where the Irish Radio Transmitters Society has developed a band plan for 40 - 41 MHz.

"REC perceives this spectrum can be used for weak signal experimentation and eventually general amateur use, especially along transatlantic paths using CW, SSB, digital modes such as FT8 and digital voice," the Petition said. "As no radios are mass-produced for this band at this time, this opens up new opportunities for 'makers' to construct transmitters, receivers, and antenna systems that can be used in this spectrum."

REC anticipates "very low" usage of the new band, "with peak usage around sporadic-E episodes, operating events such as ARRL Field Day, and VHF contests, as well as during the peak of sunspot cycles," Bradley told the Commission. "[W]e feel that the sharing of 40 MHz can be accomplished in a manner that serves the needs of the Amateur Radio Service while meeting the organizational missions of Federal Government agencies that utilize this spectrum."

Interested parties may file short comments on RM-11843 via the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing Service (Express).

From the ARRL Letter - June 27, 2019


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