Topics

ARRL Recommended new Band Plan


WB5NHL
 

ARRL approved a new band plan at their board meeting on the 24th. Some interesting provisions for automatic digital controlled stations (ACDS) and technician privileges. Certain to stir up the masses, of course.

--
Dave,  WB5NHL
Treasurer,  NABRC


Jerry Crawford
 

Thanks Dave.  It will be interesting what stirs up the masses. I’m not stirred up yet, but maybe I don’t know enough yet as to why I should.  

73,
Jerry

On Jul 31, 2020, at 9:01 AM, WB5NHL <dave@...> wrote:

ARRL approved a new band plan at their board meeting on the 24th. Some interesting provisions for automatic digital controlled stations (ACDS) and technician privileges. Certain to stir up the masses, of course.

--
Dave,  WB5NHL
Treasurer,  NABRC <Doc 25A Band Plan Final-1b.pdf>


James F. Boehner, MD
 

A few comments by someone who was previously on the “inside”.

 

First, you cannot please everyone all of the time, and after a while you feel you cannot please anyone anytime.

 

Second, this band plan will require significant changes to our sub-bands by the FCC, and I would feel very surprised if this will happen.  RM-11759 has been out since at least January 2016.  There was a Notice of Inquiry by the FCC.  Rather than hearing from CW and digital enthusiasts (who would have benefited from this RM), many of the comments  were from extra class hams who did not want to give up their 3600-3650 kHz SSB privileges.  Nothing has been done since then.

 

Third, this was interwoven with the request for deletion of the 300 baud symbol rate.  There was a very strong and vocal group against this, as they were convinced that allowing modes like PACTOR-4 would destroy CW and the narrow digital modes.  In the proposed bandplan, this problem would not exist.  Additionally, the ACDS modes (that the narrow band digital enthusiasts constantly complained about) would be moved out of their main segment.  Provided the FCC would act on changing the sub-bands, this would be a win-win for all sides.

 

As far as the controversy about the Technician Enhancement, the ARRL put out an initial press release that totally missed the mark.  It sounded like a wholesale giving-away of spectrum to Technicians who did not want to make the effort to upgrade.  Truthfully, it came out due to the high numbers of Technicians who got bored with repeaters, and then just left amateur radio entirely.  Why give away something that they should work for?  We would never know, as they left amateur radio entirely.  It was thought that if they had a taste of usable HF privileges (i.e. 10 meters SSB is not exactly usable), that they would want to upgrade rather than leave the hobby entirely.  The proposed band segments were chosen to allow Techs to join nets involved with HF emergency communications, as many joined amateur radio for that as their main interest.  Controversial?  Yes.  But extrapolating what we have with an aging demographic isn’t exactly a good picture either.  And no, the ARRL was not in league with manufacturers to sell more products, far from it.  I was there.

 

I’m sure that there are some glitches in this bandplan, but in general it is well thought out and solves a number of problems, either real, imagined or based on conspiracy theories.

 

Since I no longer represent the ARRL except personally as a member, I have my own opinions:

 

-The 300 baud symbol rate needs to be abolished.  It is outdated and constrains hams from advancing the radio art.

-The FCC needs to “DO THEIR JOB” and take action on all of the RM’s that they have ignored for the last 6 years.

-The band plan as presented needs to be given a chance to work, provided that the FCC does its job. If problems occur, the ARRL can take steps to correct them.

-Should the Technician Enhancement see the light of day, it will require extensive Elmering (now called Mentoring) to keep those with new privileges to stay on track.

 

I appreciate all for indulging me.  When I was in the middle of this, the frustration was overwhelming.  It doesn’t appear like much has changed in the last two years, though.

 

’73 de JIM N2ZZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: nabrc@groups.io [mailto:nabrc@groups.io] On Behalf Of WB5NHL
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2020 9:02 AM
To: nabrc@groups.io
Subject: [nabrc] ARRL Recommended new Band Plan

 

ARRL approved a new band plan at their board meeting on the 24th. Some interesting provisions for automatic digital controlled stations (ACDS) and technician privileges. Certain to stir up the masses, of course.

--
Dave,  WB5NHL
Treasurer,  NABRC


Jerry Crawford
 

Jim,
Thanks for your insight and perspective.  You gave me additional information to ponder and wish I could do something about it.

Although I may be considered one of those Extra Class dinosaurs in some ways I am in favor of doing more to open up capabilities to encourage more participation, especially by younger folks.  It is ridiculous that Technician class Hams do not have more HF capability.  On the other hand, with all the help available how hard is it to get to General class these days?

The 300 baud symbol rate is ridiculous with today’s technology available.  And if someone had a nefarious purpose for using a higher symbol rate they would do it regardless of the rules.

73,
Jerry



On Jul 31, 2020, at 9:02 PM, James F. Boehner, MD via groups.io <jboehner01@...> wrote:

A few comments by someone who was previously on the “inside”.
 
First, you cannot please everyone all of the time, and after a while you feel you cannot please anyone anytime.
 
Second, this band plan will require significant changes to our sub-bands by the FCC, and I would feel very surprised if this will happen.  RM-11759 has been out since at least January 2016.  There was a Notice of Inquiry by the FCC.  Rather than hearing from CW and digital enthusiasts (who would have benefited from this RM), many of the comments  were from extra class hams who did not want to give up their 3600-3650 kHz SSB privileges.  Nothing has been done since then.
 
Third, this was interwoven with the request for deletion of the 300 baud symbol rate.  There was a very strong and vocal group against this, as they were convinced that allowing modes like PACTOR-4 would destroy CW and the narrow digital modes.  In the proposed bandplan, this problem would not exist.  Additionally, the ACDS modes (that the narrow band digital enthusiasts constantly complained about) would be moved out of their main segment.  Provided the FCC would act on changing the sub-bands, this would be a win-win for all sides.
 
As far as the controversy about the Technician Enhancement, the ARRL put out an initial press release that totally missed the mark.  It sounded like a wholesale giving-away of spectrum to Technicians who did not want to make the effort to upgrade.  Truthfully, it came out due to the high numbers of Technicians who got bored with repeaters, and then just left amateur radio entirely.  Why give away something that they should work for?  We would never know, as they left amateur radio entirely.  It was thought that if they had a taste of usable HF privileges (i.e. 10 meters SSB is not exactly usable), that they would want to upgrade rather than leave the hobby entirely.  The proposed band segments were chosen to allow Techs to join nets involved with HF emergency communications, as many joined amateur radio for that as their main interest.  Controversial?  Yes.  But extrapolating what we have with an aging demographic isn’t exactly a good picture either.  And no, the ARRL was not in league with manufacturers to sell more products, far from it.  I was there.
 
I’m sure that there are some glitches in this bandplan, but in general it is well thought out and solves a number of problems, either real, imagined or based on conspiracy theories.
 
Since I no longer represent the ARRL except personally as a member, I have my own opinions:
 
-The 300 baud symbol rate needs to be abolished.  It is outdated and constrains hams from advancing the radio art.
-The FCC needs to “DO THEIR JOB” and take action on all of the RM’s that they have ignored for the last 6 years.
-The band plan as presented needs to be given a chance to work, provided that the FCC does its job. If problems occur, the ARRL can take steps to correct them.
-Should the Technician Enhancement see the light of day, it will require extensive Elmering (now called Mentoring) to keep those with new privileges to stay on track.
 
I appreciate all for indulging me.  When I was in the middle of this, the frustration was overwhelming.  It doesn’t appear like much has changed in the last two years, though.
 
’73 de JIM N2ZZ
 
 
 
 
 
 
From: nabrc@groups.io [mailto:nabrc@groups.io] On Behalf Of WB5NHL
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2020 9:02 AM
To: nabrc@groups.io
Subject: [nabrc] ARRL Recommended new Band Plan
 
ARRL approved a new band plan at their board meeting on the 24th. Some interesting provisions for automatic digital controlled stations (ACDS) and technician privileges. Certain to stir up the masses, of course.

-- 
Dave,  WB5NHL
Treasurer,  NABRC 



James F. Boehner, MD
 

Jerry,

 

This is a new world.  When I was a teenager, I grew up right next to GE Electronics Park in Liverpool, NY.  Most of my friends were Electrical Engineers, or kids of EE’s.  I saw Amateur Radio as a very worthy endeavor, and I aspired to be an Amateur Radio Operator.  I went through the multiple exams as you, and I was very proud that I could “make the grade” and be a part of a group that I admired.  Not so these days.  It’s hard to even get someone’s attention.  Once we do get their attention and they get their foot in the door (Such as someone who took and passed the Tech exam), we certainly did not want to lose them;  hence the Tech Enhancement proposal.  On the surface, though, it did appear like a wholesale giving away of privileges to those who did go through the entire  process of testing and licensing.  So, a lot of angst was generated. 

 

Sometimes I really thought that forward thinking was more trouble than it was worth, as I got complaints for virtually any change that we (the ARRL) suggested.

 

Do I think it is hard to pass the General Exam? Certainly not.  However, you wouldn’t believe the amount of grief we received by asking hams to just take the four basic ICS courses!  It was unbelievable.

 

Oh well, I really do not have to defend the ARRL anymore, but it is important for hams to know the thinking within the board that went on before the proposal was made.

 

Thanks all!

 

’73 de JIM N2ZZ

 

 

 

 

 

From: nabrc@groups.io [mailto:nabrc@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jerry Crawford via groups.io
Sent: Monday, August 03, 2020 10:40 AM
To: nabrc@groups.io
Subject: Re: [nabrc] ARRL Recommended new Band Plan

 

Jim,

Thanks for your insight and perspective.  You gave me additional information to ponder and wish I could do something about it.

 

Although I may be considered one of those Extra Class dinosaurs in some ways I am in favor of doing more to open up capabilities to encourage more participation, especially by younger folks.  It is ridiculous that Technician class Hams do not have more HF capability.  On the other hand, with all the help available how hard is it to get to General class these days?

 

The 300 baud symbol rate is ridiculous with today’s technology available.  And if someone had a nefarious purpose for using a higher symbol rate they would do it regardless of the rules.

 

73,

Jerry

 

 



On Jul 31, 2020, at 9:02 PM, James F. Boehner, MD via groups.io <jboehner01@...> wrote:

 

A few comments by someone who was previously on the “inside”.

 

First, you cannot please everyone all of the time, and after a while you feel you cannot please anyone anytime.

 

Second, this band plan will require significant changes to our sub-bands by the FCC, and I would feel very surprised if this will happen.  RM-11759 has been out since at least January 2016.  There was a Notice of Inquiry by the FCC.  Rather than hearing from CW and digital enthusiasts (who would have benefited from this RM), many of the comments  were from extra class hams who did not want to give up their 3600-3650 kHz SSB privileges.  Nothing has been done since then.

 

Third, this was interwoven with the request for deletion of the 300 baud symbol rate.  There was a very strong and vocal group against this, as they were convinced that allowing modes like PACTOR-4 would destroy CW and the narrow digital modes.  In the proposed bandplan, this problem would not exist.  Additionally, the ACDS modes (that the narrow band digital enthusiasts constantly complained about) would be moved out of their main segment.  Provided the FCC would act on changing the sub-bands, this would be a win-win for all sides.

 

As far as the controversy about the Technician Enhancement, the ARRL put out an initial press release that totally missed the mark.  It sounded like a wholesale giving-away of spectrum to Technicians who did not want to make the effort to upgrade.  Truthfully, it came out due to the high numbers of Technicians who got bored with repeaters, and then just left amateur radio entirely.  Why give away something that they should work for?  We would never know, as they left amateur radio entirely.  It was thought that if they had a taste of usable HF privileges (i.e. 10 meters SSB is not exactly usable), that they would want to upgrade rather than leave the hobby entirely.  The proposed band segments were chosen to allow Techs to join nets involved with HF emergency communications, as many joined amateur radio for that as their main interest.  Controversial?  Yes.  But extrapolating what we have with an aging demographic isn’t exactly a good picture either.  And no, the ARRL was not in league with manufacturers to sell more products, far from it.  I was there.

 

I’m sure that there are some glitches in this bandplan, but in general it is well thought out and solves a number of problems, either real, imagined or based on conspiracy theories.

 

Since I no longer represent the ARRL except personally as a member, I have my own opinions:

 

-The 300 baud symbol rate needs to be abolished.  It is outdated and constrains hams from advancing the radio art.

-The FCC needs to “DO THEIR JOB” and take action on all of the RM’s that they have ignored for the last 6 years.

-The band plan as presented needs to be given a chance to work, provided that the FCC does its job. If problems occur, the ARRL can take steps to correct them.

-Should the Technician Enhancement see the light of day, it will require extensive Elmering (now called Mentoring) to keep those with new privileges to stay on track.

 

I appreciate all for indulging me.  When I was in the middle of this, the frustration was overwhelming.  It doesn’t appear like much has changed in the last two years, though.

 

’73 de JIM N2ZZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: nabrc@groups.io [mailto:nabrc@groups.io] On Behalf Of WB5NHL
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2020 9:02 AM
To: nabrc@groups.io
Subject: [nabrc] ARRL Recommended new Band Plan

 

ARRL approved a new band plan at their board meeting on the 24th. Some interesting provisions for automatic digital controlled stations (ACDS) and technician privileges. Certain to stir up the masses, of course.

-- 
Dave,  WB5NHL
Treasurer,  NABRC 

 


DAVE MILLHOUSE
 

Jim,
Here, here! Well said!

Dave, N6YMM



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: "James F. Boehner, MD via groups.io" <jboehner01@...>
Date: 8/3/20 20:02 (GMT-05:00)
To: nabrc@groups.io
Subject: Re: [nabrc] ARRL Recommended new Band Plan

Jerry,

 

This is a new world.  When I was a teenager, I grew up right next to GE Electronics Park in Liverpool, NY.  Most of my friends were Electrical Engineers, or kids of EE’s.  I saw Amateur Radio as a very worthy endeavor, and I aspired to be an Amateur Radio Operator.  I went through the multiple exams as you, and I was very proud that I could “make the grade” and be a part of a group that I admired.  Not so these days.  It’s hard to even get someone’s attention.  Once we do get their attention and they get their foot in the door (Such as someone who took and passed the Tech exam), we certainly did not want to lose them;  hence the Tech Enhancement proposal.  On the surface, though, it did appear like a wholesale giving away of privileges to those who did go through the entire  process of testing and licensing.  So, a lot of angst was generated. 

 

Sometimes I really thought that forward thinking was more trouble than it was worth, as I got complaints for virtually any change that we (the ARRL) suggested.

 

Do I think it is hard to pass the General Exam? Certainly not.  However, you wouldn’t believe the amount of grief we received by asking hams to just take the four basic ICS courses!  It was unbelievable.

 

Oh well, I really do not have to defend the ARRL anymore, but it is important for hams to know the thinking within the board that went on before the proposal was made.

 

Thanks all!

 

’73 de JIM N2ZZ

 

 

 

 

 

From: nabrc@groups.io [mailto:nabrc@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jerry Crawford via groups.io
Sent: Monday, August 03, 2020 10:40 AM
To: nabrc@groups.io
Subject: Re: [nabrc] ARRL Recommended new Band Plan

 

Jim,

Thanks for your insight and perspective.  You gave me additional information to ponder and wish I could do something about it.

 

Although I may be considered one of those Extra Class dinosaurs in some ways I am in favor of doing more to open up capabilities to encourage more participation, especially by younger folks.  It is ridiculous that Technician class Hams do not have more HF capability.  On the other hand, with all the help available how hard is it to get to General class these days?

 

The 300 baud symbol rate is ridiculous with today’s technology available.  And if someone had a nefarious purpose for using a higher symbol rate they would do it regardless of the rules.

 

73,

Jerry

 

 



On Jul 31, 2020, at 9:02 PM, James F. Boehner, MD via groups.io <jboehner01@...> wrote:

 

A few comments by someone who was previously on the “inside”.

 

First, you cannot please everyone all of the time, and after a while you feel you cannot please anyone anytime.

 

Second, this band plan will require significant changes to our sub-bands by the FCC, and I would feel very surprised if this will happen.  RM-11759 has been out since at least January 2016.  There was a Notice of Inquiry by the FCC.  Rather than hearing from CW and digital enthusiasts (who would have benefited from this RM), many of the comments  were from extra class hams who did not want to give up their 3600-3650 kHz SSB privileges.  Nothing has been done since then.

 

Third, this was interwoven with the request for deletion of the 300 baud symbol rate.  There was a very strong and vocal group against this, as they were convinced that allowing modes like PACTOR-4 would destroy CW and the narrow digital modes.  In the proposed bandplan, this problem would not exist.  Additionally, the ACDS modes (that the narrow band digital enthusiasts constantly complained about) would be moved out of their main segment.  Provided the FCC would act on changing the sub-bands, this would be a win-win for all sides.

 

As far as the controversy about the Technician Enhancement, the ARRL put out an initial press release that totally missed the mark.  It sounded like a wholesale giving-away of spectrum to Technicians who did not want to make the effort to upgrade.  Truthfully, it came out due to the high numbers of Technicians who got bored with repeaters, and then just left amateur radio entirely.  Why give away something that they should work for?  We would never know, as they left amateur radio entirely.  It was thought that if they had a taste of usable HF privileges (i.e. 10 meters SSB is not exactly usable), that they would want to upgrade rather than leave the hobby entirely.  The proposed band segments were chosen to allow Techs to join nets involved with HF emergency communications, as many joined amateur radio for that as their main interest.  Controversial?  Yes.  But extrapolating what we have with an aging demographic isn’t exactly a good picture either.  And no, the ARRL was not in league with manufacturers to sell more products, far from it.  I was there.

 

I’m sure that there are some glitches in this bandplan, but in general it is well thought out and solves a number of problems, either real, imagined or based on conspiracy theories.

 

Since I no longer represent the ARRL except personally as a member, I have my own opinions:

 

-The 300 baud symbol rate needs to be abolished.  It is outdated and constrains hams from advancing the radio art.

-The FCC needs to “DO THEIR JOB” and take action on all of the RM’s that they have ignored for the last 6 years.

-The band plan as presented needs to be given a chance to work, provided that the FCC does its job. If problems occur, the ARRL can take steps to correct them.

-Should the Technician Enhancement see the light of day, it will require extensive Elmering (now called Mentoring) to keep those with new privileges to stay on track.

 

I appreciate all for indulging me.  When I was in the middle of this, the frustration was overwhelming.  It doesn’t appear like much has changed in the last two years, though.

 

’73 de JIM N2ZZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: nabrc@groups.io [mailto:nabrc@groups.io] On Behalf Of WB5NHL
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2020 9:02 AM
To: nabrc@groups.io
Subject: [nabrc] ARRL Recommended new Band Plan

 

ARRL approved a new band plan at their board meeting on the 24th. Some interesting provisions for automatic digital controlled stations (ACDS) and technician privileges. Certain to stir up the masses, of course.

-- 
Dave,  WB5NHL
Treasurer,  NABRC 

 


Kevan Nason
 

Good points Jim.

Although I have been critical of the ARRL in the past, I find it easy to support this plan. The big thing about earlier proposals that I found objectionable was the push for allowing automated traffic handling stations unfettered access to the bands. It is clear to me that expanding the use of those stations is essential to maintaining Amateur Radio's relevance in the modern age, but the word that has recently become the embodiment of evil - compromise -- is needed to satisfy the needs/wants of the ham community. The frequencies available to those types of stations should be limited. This proposal seems to be a good compromise. Encouraging entry level licensee's to upgrade by giving them a taste by expanding HF privileges seems an overall good thing too.

Here's an old curmudgeons viewpoint against expanded HF access though. It's a variation of "A No-Code or Multiple Guess earned license will destroy Ham Radio", which by the way I did not believe to be true back then when those were being discussed. However, I've been listening quite a bit to VHF/UHF FM communications and there truly has been an increase in activities reminiscent of "operating" styles from other radio services in the past couple years. Perhaps this is more of a comment about how society has changed, but the amount of disrespect towards other people and ham radio traditions that I hear on a daily basis (primarily from newer licensees) has risen to the level that I have begun to follow Riley Hollingsworth's advice to exercise the big VFO knob. Only in this case I have begun blocking certain repeaters from my FM radio's scanning list. Sometimes I can't help myself and voice my opinion to them, but usually the response from the other stations is... let's say not very accommodating towards the wishes of others. I am finding myself becoming so disgusted with what I hear that I often turn the 2 meter rig off and retreat to HF or a non-radio activity. I'm afraid that allowing a larger number of less committed people expanded access to the HF bands will only encourage even more poor HF operation than already exists. I envision that happening in the same way that Facebook, Twitter, CNN/MSNBC or Fox News cliques has divided our society. By "less committed" I am not referring to everyone. I am talking about those people did the minimum amount of work necessary to get a license, but not enough work to strain themselves by learning enough to pass a multiple guess General or Extra class test AND that seem to enjoy talking for hours trashing other people rather than encouraging the Amateur Radio principle of promoting good will Greater audience area (HF propagation geographies vs. VHF localized repeater networks) means the few folks who are instigators can band together easier and cause more problems than are already happening. I'm selfish enough to wish that old time values can hold on for a few more years, but it doesn't appear like that is going to happen -- so I am a bit cautious about broad expansion of entry level licensees' HF privileges.

Kevan N4XL


Jerry Crawford
 

Kevan,
Thanks for your perspective. 

You brought up something I had not considered as I have not had the same exposure. I have almost given up on repeaters because I was either not in range or not getting anything useful except for DSTAR. However I have heard far too much disgusting behavior on 75M so I quit using that band. So I can’t disagree with your concerns. 

Regarding the broader issue of encouraging more participation in Ham radio I think NABRC does a great job. The combination of school support, meetings with a program, Field Day, and community support for both activities and emergencies is a good mix.  If more clubs were to be so involved it would be a great step forward. 

Another activity that I think would be a great incentive is radiosport. Not enough people get to operate during Field Day and some are intimidated. It would be good to have some radiosport activities for beginners.  School Club roundup is great for the students and a similar activity for beginners would be interesting. 

73,
Jerry

On Aug 4, 2020, at 7:30 AM, Kevan Nason <knason00@...> wrote:

Good points Jim.

Although I have been critical of the ARRL in the past, I find it easy to support this plan. The big thing about earlier proposals that I found objectionable was the push for allowing automated traffic handling stations unfettered access to the bands. It is clear to me that expanding the use of those stations is essential to maintaining Amateur Radio's relevance in the modern age, but the word that has recently become the embodiment of evil - compromise -- is needed to satisfy the needs/wants of the ham community. The frequencies available to those types of stations should be limited. This proposal seems to be a good compromise. Encouraging entry level licensee's to upgrade by giving them a taste by expanding HF privileges seems an overall good thing too.

Here's an old curmudgeons viewpoint against expanded HF access though. It's a variation of "A No-Code or Multiple Guess earned license will destroy Ham Radio", which by the way I did not believe to be true back then when those were being discussed. However, I've been listening quite a bit to VHF/UHF FM communications and there truly has been an increase in activities reminiscent of "operating" styles from other radio services in the past couple years. Perhaps this is more of a comment about how society has changed, but the amount of disrespect towards other people and ham radio traditions that I hear on a daily basis (primarily from newer licensees) has risen to the level that I have begun to follow Riley Hollingsworth's advice to exercise the big VFO knob. Only in this case I have begun blocking certain repeaters from my FM radio's scanning list. Sometimes I can't help myself and voice my opinion to them, but usually the response from the other stations is... let's say not very accommodating towards the wishes of others. I am finding myself becoming so disgusted with what I hear that I often turn the 2 meter rig off and retreat to HF or a non-radio activity. I'm afraid that allowing a larger number of less committed people expanded access to the HF bands will only encourage even more poor HF operation than already exists. I envision that happening in the same way that Facebook, Twitter, CNN/MSNBC or Fox News cliques has divided our society. By "less committed" I am not referring to everyone. I am talking about those people did the minimum amount of work necessary to get a license, but not enough work to strain themselves by learning enough to pass a multiple guess General or Extra class test AND that seem to enjoy talking for hours trashing other people rather than encouraging the Amateur Radio principle of promoting good will Greater audience area (HF propagation geographies vs. VHF localized repeater networks) means the few folks who are instigators can band together easier and cause more problems than are already happening. I'm selfish enough to wish that old time values can hold on for a few more years, but it doesn't appear like that is going to happen -- so I am a bit cautious about broad expansion of entry level licensees' HF privileges.

Kevan N4XL