September 17, 2021

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine

Via the ARRL: FCC Grants 60-Day Waiver of Part 97 Data Rate Rules for Hurricane Relief Traffic

In an August 30 Order, the FCC granted a temporary waiver sought by ARRL to facilitate relief communications related to Hurricane Ida. The waiver also applies to relief communications directly related to any future hurricane within the next 60 days. The waiver permits radio amateurs handling hurricane relief communications on HF to use any protocol that would comply with the FCC’s rules but for the symbol rate limits.

In its request, ARRL said that Section 97.307(f) of the FCC’s Amateur Service rules prevents the use on HF of certain protocols capable of higher data rate emissions that many amateur stations are capable of using while active in emergency communications preparedness. ARRL asserted that higher data rates can be critical to timely transmission of relief communications, such as lists of needed and distributed supplies. ARRL noted that radio amateurs are working with federal, state, and local emergency management officials to assist in the communications efforts.

On August 28, the FCC orally granted ARRL’s request to immediately facilitate relief communications related to Hurricane Ida. The FCC has granted temporary waivers in the past to allow faster protocols to be used for disaster relief communications, including Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Maria, typhoon relief communications in Hawaii, and Hurricane Dorian.

The Commission noted that the waivers are necessary because Section 97.307(f) limits the symbol rate at which the carrier waveform amplitude, frequency, and/or phase is varied to transmit information for HF amateur radioteletype (RTTY)/data transmissions to 300 baud for frequencies below 28 MHz (except on 60 meters), and 1,200 baud on 10 meters: “The digital code used to encode the signal being transmitted must be one of the codes specified in section 97.309(a) of the FCC’s rules, but an amateur station transmitting a RTTY or data emission using one of the specified digital codes may use any technique whose technical characteristics have been publicly documented, such as CLOVER, G-TOR, or PACTOR.”

Read more – via American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources http://www.arrl.org/news/view/fcc-grants-60-day-waiver-of-part-97-data-rate-rules-for-hurricane-relief-traffic