OK, so now that the FCC has finally released the "omnibus," which will take effect sometime around the middle of November... where do things stand?
You can't really get a good handle on that by reading the posts on eHam and especially QRZ, as the code/no-code and the pro/anti-ARRL groups have sharpened their metaphorical hatchets and are going at each other again. Here's my thoughts on some of the high points: (1) Expanded the phone sub-bands in the 75 and 40 meter bands Needed because the phone sub-bands on both 75 & 40 where often very crowded during "prime time," between fighting off the BC'ers on 40 and the established "I own the frequency *burp*" bubba-nets on much of 75. I hadn't expected that big a change on 75, but I think it will pay off in the long run. How this affects the digital modes remains to be seen. It also removes the N/T+ CW subbands. I havent seen the explicit language specifying what Novice & Tech+ ops are allocated as of the effective date, but it appears that they will have the same CW-only allocations as Generals and Advanced. I dont see this as a bad thing, as the days of the Novice band as a learning ground have passed -- this is not to say we dont need to help train new hams we do. We just dont need a special slow code segment to do so (insert obligatory wise crack about slow code here). (2) permitted auxiliary stations to transmit on portions of the 2 meter band Looks like Kenwood finally gets to implement SkyCommand! (3a) permitted amateur licensees to designate a specific Amateur Radio club to receive their call sign in memoriam (3b) prohibited an applicant from filing more than one application for a specific vanity call sign There have been some creative end-runs around the intent, if not the letter, of the Vanity program. These changes are needed and should be welcome. Now, if you want someone to get your call after you QSY to a higher frequency, you at least have some say in the matter. And the days of filing 100+ applications by one individual for a particular vanity call thats not an exaggeration, its happened to throw the lottery in his/her favor are over. About time! (4) eliminated certain restrictions on equipment manufacturers The end of the 10 meter amplifier ban at last! Well, almost. (5) deleted the frequency bands and segments specified for RACES stations Never understood why they did that in the first place, a long overdue technical correction (6) deleted the requirement for public announcement of test locations and times Makes it easier to schedule a test session on the fly without resorting to public announcements to meet the legal requirements. So who loses? On paper, certain CW and digital ops have less exclusive spectrum to deal with. But in reality, most of the frequency spectrum reallocated to phone on 40 & 75 have been virtually vacant for years. Yes, the CW bands will be a little more crowded, but I suspect not that much. After all, there hasnt been that much use by those in the N/T+ segment as it is. Some may become more active when moved in with the mainstream, at long last, but I suspect will continue to (not) operate as they have been prior to the change. If theres any other downside, I fail to see it. Im sure someone will, though Thoughts? 73, ron w3wn Subscribe/unsubscribe, feedback, FAQ, problems http://njdxa.org/dx-chat To post a message, DX related items only, firstname.lastname@example.org This is the DX-CHAT reflector sponsored by the NJDXA http://njdxa.org