Statewide Amateur Radio Networking in Florida

Yes, I know this is not Ohio, buit I did find it interesting – Travis.

SARNet FL

WHAT IS SARNET?
The Statewide Amateur Radio Network (SARnet) is a network of linked UHF voice repeaters that serves the State of Florida. The repeaters are operated by their local trustees and the network that connects them together does not interfere with the local use of the repeaters. These UHF repeaters were specifically chosen in part because the voice traffic on them is light. This helps ensure that long conversations and rag-chews are rare on SARnet since any SARnet traffic brings up ALL of the repeaters on the network. But always remember when using these UHF frequencies that the government has primary use of the amateur spectrum near 440MHz. See this discussion on the government use of the band.

The key to what makes SARnet work so well is that this network uses dedicated bandwidth that is separate from the internet. Statewide connectivity is achieved without the use of any commercial telecommunications services. SARnet does not use the internet, cellular telephones, or land lines.

How SARnet Works…
A SARnet local UHF repeater in your area is connected to other SARnet sites using a microwave radio network operated by the Florida Department of Transportation. The key to why SARnet works so well is that instead of using the internet, it uses dedicated bandwidth on a private microwave network.

Ohio ARES to Sponsor “NVIS Antenna Day”

Ohio Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) will sponsor “NVIS Antenna Day” on Saturday, April 25. The idea, said Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator Stan Broadway, N8BHL, is to determine if the sometimes-vaunted near-vertical incidence skywave — or NVIS — concept really works as an antenna for emergency communication on HF. NVIS, is a technique that allows using HF for highly reliable short-range communication.

“We are encouraging groups in every Ohio county to devise several portable NVIS antennas that they think will perform, and then actually test them on the air,” Broadway said. The program grew out of an annual antenna party in Ashtabula Count that has been both operating event and early spring picnic, Broadway said. Participants “found a vast difference in actual antenna performance, and have been able to narrow down their choices for a real emergency setup,” he explained. Ashtabula County Amateur Radio Club-ARES is sponsoring NVIS Antenna Day.

Ohio ARES NVIS Antenna Day will begin at 1400 UTC with operation on both 40 and 80 meters at 100 W, “as you might during a real emergency,” Broadway said. “While a typical session might go through the afternoon, there is no official closing time.” He pointed out that those taking part in NVIS Antenna Day don’t have to set up completely portable or remote stations, the location should offer sufficient space for several antennas and be in a fairly quiet RF environment.

Suggested frequencies are 7240, 7244, 7248, and 7250 kHz, and 3850, 3870 and 3930 kHz on SSB and 3585 and 7072 for digital modes, all plus or minus existing activity.

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Updated Radio Frequency Exposure Rules Become Effective on May 3

The FCC has announced that rule changes detailed in a lengthy 2019 Report and Order governing RF exposure standards go into effect on May 3, 2021. The new rules do not change existing RF exposure (RFE) limits but do require that stations in all services, including amateur radio, be evaluated against existing limits, unless they are exempted. For stations already in place, that evaluation must be completed by May 3, 2023. After May 3 of this year, any new station, or any existing station modified in a way that’s likely to change its RFE profile — such as different antenna or placement or greater power — will need to conduct an evaluation by the date of activation or change.

“In the RF Report and Order, the Commission anticipated that few parties would have to conduct reevaluations under the new rules and that such evaluations will be relatively straightforward,” the FCC said in an April 2 Public Notice. “It nevertheless adopted a 2-year period for parties to verify and ensure compliance under the new rules.”

The Amateur Service is no longer categorically excluded from certain aspects of the rules, as amended, and licensees can no longer avoid performing an exposure assessment simply because they are transmitting below a given power level.

“For most amateurs, the major difference is the removal of the categorical exclusion for amateur radio, which means that ham station owners must determine if they either qualify for an exemption or must perform a routine environmental evaluation,” said Greg Lapin, N9GL, chair of the ARRL RF Safety Committee and a member of the FCC Technological Advisory Council (TAC).

Full Article