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).

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April Meeting 4/12/21

Tonight’s meeting will still be at the Fairgrounds, but we will be in the old furniture building (building closest to the track).
Please pass along to those you know that might not get the email.
Thanks,
Elizabeth, KE8FMJ