Single Sideband Association
Serving Amateur Radio since 1960
into the voice of the Association,
kHz at 2300Z
History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL
By the 1980s, some towns
and neighborhoods had begun to impose very restrictive rules about antennas
and towers -- rules that would prohibit effective amateur antennas.
Many of these cases were fought through the legal system successfully
by the affected hams. As with so many issues that involve many hams
all over the country, ARRL joined the fight, providing legal assistance
through the League's general counsel and volunteer counselors who were
The ARRL introduced a new periodical in December 1981 -- QEX. Its purposes were (1) to publish articles that documented advanced technical work in areas that were not of wide general interest, and (2) to act as a catalyst for technical development in the Amateur Radio and Amateur-Satellite Services.
On May 21, 1981, at the request of the ARRL, the FCC restored 160 meters to exclusive Amateur Radio use. Before this, the FCC rules included an array of restrictions on 160 meter operation, to protect the LORAN (Long-Range Aid to Navigation) system. Now, hams could run a full kilowatt on 160, day and night, anywhere in the country!
In the 1980s, packet radio and packet repeaters -- digipeaters -- came into being. Numerous QST articles detailed this mode of operation, helping interested hams to get up and running on packet.
In 1982, cable TV systems expanded across the US, bringing with them the potential for CATVI -- cable TVI. Some cable channels were on 2 meter amateur frequencies, and because many poorly installed and maintained cable systems "leaked" TV signals, causing interference on the 2 meter band. Of course, if signals could leak out, other signals could leak in, and hams sometimes caused interference when their signals got into the cable TV system. Cable companies often blamed the problem on hams, rather than take the blame for their poor equipment and maintenance. In the meantime, the FCC was in a fiscal crisis, because of budget cutbacks. Although it was willing to enforce the regulations and bring the cable companies in line, it was unable to fund that enforcement effort. This problem continued for some time before it was corrected.
During the 1980s, the SKYWARN system was established and became affiliated with the National Weather Service, so hams could report dangerous weather events that they saw. To this day, SKYWARN members have proven extremely valuable for monitoring weather conditions and providing "ground truth" reports to the NWS. Much SKYWARN communication occurs via 2 meter repeaters.
Harry Dannals, W2HD, had been ARRL President for 10 years when he decided to step down in 1982. At the same time, ARRL Secretary and General Manager Richard Baldwin, W1RU, retired. At their first 1982 meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors elected Vic Clark, W4KFC, as the League's new president, and David Sumner, K1ZZ, as the new Secretary and General Manager.
On the afternoon of January
13, 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 took off from Washington National Airport.
But the Boeing 737 slowly settled toward Earth, clipping the 14th Street
Bridge (I-395) and destroying seven cars that were on it, before crash
landing in the ice-covered Potomac River. The area's ARES operators
and nets sprang into immediate action and provided much-needed communication
support among the various governmental agencies that had responded.
-- Al Brogdon, W1AB
According to CNNMoney, though, the retailer has been able to shutter only 200 of those shops -- because it costs a lot of money even to close locations, and RadioShack has none to spare. It's already bleeding cash -- some $149 million just this year --in its struggle to board up unprofitable locations and keep its head above the rising waters, and, as CNNMoney reported, credit rating agency Moody's expects the company's bank account to run dry within another 12 months. One Wall Street analyst already has warned of impending bankruptcy, and Forbes.com reported last week that the retailer itself has confirmed the likelihood of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, if it cannot find a buyer or restructure its debt.
RadioShack CEO Joseph Magnacca said in a statement on September 11 that while the company was making progress in its turn-around efforts, "we are actively exploring options for overhauling our balance sheet and are in advanced discussions with a number of parties."
A filing the retailer submitted
to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week was far more
blunt. In short, it said that if RadioShack cannot sell the firm, partner
with another company, or restructure its debt, "we may not have
enough cash and working capital to fund our operations beyond the very
near term, which raises substantial doubt about our ability to continue
as a going concern." And if Plan A does not work out, the retailer
told the SEC, "we would likely be required to liquidate under Chapter
7 of the Bankruptcy Code."
"The bump in co-sponsors is a direct result of two things: ARRL's letter-writing campaign and the efforts by many ARRL members to meet with their members of Congress and their staffs in person," said Henderson, who has spent the past few weeks collecting additional letters of support from League members to forward to US House members by next week.
Letters directed for forwarding to US House of Representatives members via ARRL Headquarters will be printed beforehand. Henderson explained that this approach speeds delivery, since individual pieces of mail to members of Congress are scanned for threats.
"We have received more than 3000 letters since the bill was introduced," Henderson said, adding that he was not sure how many more might arrive by week's end. "The more noise we make, the better our chances for the bill's passage," he said. Henderson emphasized that a successful outcome requires as many co-sponsors as possible, and letting House members hear from ARRL members in their role as voters and constituents can contribute to making that happen. The current campaign in support of H.R. 4969 only targets members of the US House, since the bill has not yet reached the Senate.
While Congress was on break in August, the League encouraged members to meet with their representatives while they were home on break in their districts, and urge their support for H.R. 4969, Henderson said.
In addition to a list of current co-sponsors, the League's H.R. 4969 page contains information and guidance for clubs and individuals promoting efforts to gain co-sponsors for the measure by contacting their members of Congress. The web page includes a sample letter to a member of Congress and a list of "talking points." Direct letters to H.R. 4969 Letter Campaign, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. If e-mailing your letter as an attachment, include the bill's number, H.R. 4969, in your subject line. Letters may also be faxed to 860-594-0259.
The bill, which was introduced
in the US House of Representatives with bipartisan support in late June,
would call on the FCC to apply the "reasonable accommodation"
three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy to private land-use
restrictions regarding antennas. The bill's primary sponsor is Rep Adam
Kinzinger (R-IL), and it received initial co-sponsorship from Rep Joe
the new Buzzard Roost Certificate
Georgia Cracker Radio Club Newsletters from the past Provided by WA4IQU and ND4XE
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