The Conejo Valley Amateur Radio Club is a not-for-profit international organization of amateur radio enthusiasts. We provide education forums, publications and peer interaction opportunities that enhance the knowledge, skill and professional growth of our members.
Andy Ludlum – K6AGL
There are a lot of ham radio issues in the news today. The 2017 version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act legislation (H.R. 555) has already been approved by the House of Representatives and has been sent to the Senate. The bill is identical to the measure that won House approval late last summer but failed to clear the Senate last fall before the 114th Congress ended. Supporters are encouraged as they believe the bill has arrived in the Senate with ample time, almost two years, to mount an education campaign and win approval. Last year’s bill stalled in the Senate due to the intervention of only one member, Senator Bill Nelson (D) of Florida. The bill must get out of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and then be approved by the full Senate and finally signed by the President. If approved, the law would make it so that certain land use restrictions could not be used to prohibit amateur radio operations. However, amateur operators would still need to obtain prior approval from homeowners’ associations and the HOAs would still be allowed to enforce community aesthetic requirements.
ARRL Southwestern Division Director Dick Norton-N6AA recently wrote about a new California law that took effect January 1st. It states, “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or an electronic wireless communications device unless the wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation, and it is used in that manner while driving . . . For the purposes of this section, ‘electronic wireless communications device’ includes, but is not limited to, a broadband personal communication device, a specialized mobile radio device, a handheld device or laptop computer with mobile data access, a pager, or a two-way messaging device.” Norton says interpretations of vague language have varied from applying to all mobile communications to excluding mobile radios. Some believe the law was intended to apply to smartphones and not to Amateur Radio. But the ARRL has lawyers attempting to get clarifying language entered into the official record. There is now a petition effort aimed at clearing up the vagaries or repealing the law.
The Projects Committee (Eric Peterson-WB6PYK, Adrian Jarrett-K6KY, Dean Nedelman-K6DIN, David Arata-KA9WMI and Andy Ludlum-K6AGL) had its first meeting. We’d like to do two or three club projects this year. We discussed a number of interesting projects including:
- Low power, 40m single side band transceiver
- Tri-band J-pole
- Simple halo antenna for the 2m band
- Loop antenna
- Field strength meter
- Shortwave regenerative receiver
- Arduino-based antenna analyzer
- APRS tracker
Most of these projects would cost less than $75. Our plan is to put together more details on the suggested projects and get your feedback in a club survey. Once we know your interest, we’ll do the final planning for the projects.
Thank you for responding to last month’s club survey on the CVARC Holiday Party. As you can see from the results it was well received. About 68% of members responding said they would be “very likely” to attend the club party this year and 24% would be “somewhat likely” to attend. In order to keep the ticket prices low, the club paid for about half the cost of the party. Seventy four per cent of the respondents said it was a good use of club funds. But 26% were opposed. I have heard some member’s thoughts, but I’d like to hear more, especially if you feel strongly about this issue. Please share your ideas with me or any of the Board members. Now, early in the year, is the best time to consider any changes on how we handle the CVARC Holiday Party.