Information Net for April 1

CERT Members are Qualified, Not Certified

From the March 20, 2013 Edition of the ARRL E-Letter


CERT kit v1

CERT kit v1 (credit: nick)

In your last issue, a writer said “pleased to see your article The Future of ARES is CERTain in January 2013 QST. I am CERT trained and certified along with being a licensed operator. In our group, . . .”

CERT members are “qualified” after taking certain specified courses (IS-317), not “certified.” This is a small point but may have legal ramifications. – Tom Ponte, WB1CZX, EC, Perquimans County, North Carolina

Visit the New Citizen Corps and CERT Web Pages

The Citizen Corps website and CERT web page have relocated to new homes. FEMA has consolidated all of its online content, including content currently on the Citizen Corps website, into two websites: and In addition to reducing costs, this website migration provides an opportunity to increase the visibility of our programs to an entirely new audience and to recruit new volunteers. The new website locations also give you easy access to more resources than ever and an updated look and feel for online content.

Now when you try visiting the original Citizen Corps website, you should be automatically redirected to the new page at Likewise, if you try visiting the original CERT website, you should be automatically redirected to its new page at

The new web pages should have all of the functions of the original Citizen Corps and CERT websites, including program registration and profile updates. We also intend to build out State-specific pages to drive more traffic to the State websites. If anything is missing or does not work properly, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at

Be sure to check out the new Citizen Corps and CERT web pages today for the latest program news and updates! — FEMA

Tips: Batteries at the Heart of Portable Communications

From the March 20, 2013 Edition of the ARRL E-Letter


Back about 20 years ago, NiCd batteries were notorious for having a pronounced memory effect caused by a special type of crystal formation within the battery. This particular mechanism has been eliminated in current NiCd cells but our memory of it, so to speak, is long.

Today’s batteries all have some kind of memory in which the capacity of the battery changes with patterns and depths of discharge. Each type of battery chemistry exhibits this effect for different reasons – some types stronger than others. Unfortunately, it’s also referred to as a “memory effect” which is confusing to those of us who remember the old “memory effect.” Nothing like calling two different things by the same name to generate a lot of confusion!


Because this effect varies with battery type, blanket statements about it are unwise. Isidor Buchmann’s *excellent* and very readable book, Batteries In a Portable World, and its sibling website,, tackle the full spectrum of battery types and how to apply them. On the website, I highly recommend taking the opportunity to read the section “How to Prolong Battery Life.” The book is available from the ARRL Store and other book sellers. Both should put a charge into your understanding of this important energy source that is crucial to effective emcomm operation. Good luck and may your batteries live long and prosper! — Ward Silver, N0AX, Contributing Editor, QST; ARRL Contest Update Editor; St. Charles, Missouri

[Club Note: Sue Woods KI4HJT is the club librarian, she can most likely get these books if anyone is interested.]

FCC Grants ARRL’s Request for Temporary Waiver for TDMA Systems

Read by:ED KE4JWS

Acting upon a subsequent request by the ARRL, the FCC issued an Order (WT Docket No, 12-283) on March 25, granting a temporary waiver to transmit communications on amateur service channels above 30 MHz using single time-slot Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) systems. The temporary waiver was granted pending the resolution of a related rulemaking proceeding (RM-11625).


Currently, amateur stations are authorized to transmit messages using telephony and data emissions. The ARRL noted in its request that Amateur Radio Service licensees have recently established numerous narrowband repeater facilities using multiple time-slot TDMA repeaters and single-slot TDMA handheld digital transceivers in the 70 centimeter (420-450 MHz) band, but Part 97 as it currently stands does not permit amateur stations to transmit single-slot TDMA emissions on Amateur Radio Service channels above 30 MHz.


The FCC stated in its Order that the purpose of specifying emission designators for the Amateur Radio Service “is to relegate the transmission of certain inharmonious emission types to different segments of the frequency bands, while still allowing great flexibility in the types of emissions that may be transmitted by amateur stations.” In granting the temporary waiver, the FCC agreed with the ARRL, noting that the digital systems that radio amateurs have recently implemented are “compatible with existing amateur repeater channelization plans.”


The FCC also noted that allowing FXE and F7E as phone emissions and emission type FXD as a data emission “is unlikely to result in inharmonious emission types being used in the same segments of the frequency bands. We also conclude that allowing amateur stations to transmit these emission types is consistent with the basis and purpose of the amateur service, specifically to continue to contribute to the advancement of the radio art. We conclude that good cause has been shown for temporary waiver of Section 97.3(c)(5) to allow amateur stations to transmit emission types FXE and F7E as a phone emission and Section 97.307(f)(8) to allow amateur stations to transmit emission type FXD as a data emission. We therefore waive these rules accordingly, conditioned on the outcome of the pending rulemaking proceeding.”

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