Information Net for November 4

Regulatory: FCC Turns Away Petition to Expand Technician 10 Meter Privileges

Read by: MARTHA KJ4RIQ

The FCC has dismissed a Petition for Rule Making that sought to expand Technicianprivileges in the 10 meter band. The Toledo Mobile Radio Association (TMRA) had asked the Commission last June to expand the spectrum available to Technician licensees on 10 meters to include operating privileges in the FM portion of the band, from 29.520 to 29.700 MHz. Novice and Technician licensees now may operate on 10 meters from 28.000 to 28.500 MHz.”We conclude that TMRA has not presented grounds for the Commission to revisit the question of operating privileges for Technician class licensees,” the FCC said October 17 in denying the petition. The FCC said that Technicians may transmit through repeaters licensed to a General class or higher licensee that have an output channel in the 29.5 to 29.7 MHz segment, as long as the repeater has a 2 meter or 70 centimeter input.

Read by: RANDY KJ4TFU

Further, the FCC pointed out that the current licensing structure was developed “with the expressed desire of the amateur community to provide an incentive, ie, additional frequency privileges, to motivate Amateur Radio operators to advance their communication and technical skills.” The FCC noted that it increased Technician privileges in 2006 to include Novice and Technician Plus privileges. “A Technician class licensee can upgrade to a General class operator license and receive significantly more frequency privileges (including those at issue here) by answering correctly a minimum of twenty-six questions on a thirty-five question written examination,” the FCC said. TMRA, the Commission concluded, had submitted no evidence that the FCC should depart from its “long-standing policy of providing additional frequency privileges as an incentive” for license advancement.

TMRA had asserted that amending §97.301(e) of Part 97 would extend Technician voice privileges on 10 meters to “coincide with today’s technical advancement of the Amateur Radio Service.”

All Aboard! Freight Rail Giant Testing Natural Gas-Powered Locomotives

by ANGA

Read by: LARRY KC4ZOA

Just how flexible is natural gas? Beyond powering your home heating systems, daily commute vehicles, long-haul trucks and ships at sea, America’s own abundant natural gas is now being tested on the rail tracks. BNSF Railway Co., the largest railroad in the U.S. and a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, will begin testing liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a locomotive fuel.Matthew Rose, BNSF’s Chairman and CEO, announced the plans at CERAWeek earlier this year. “The use of liquefied natural gas as an alternative fuel is a potential transformational change for our railroad and for our industry… potentially reducing fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions, thereby providing environmental and energy security benefits to our nation.”Businesses and municipal fleets across the country have already found enormous cost savings by converting their vehicles to natural gas, and the same will soon be said for the railroads.

Read by: NICKI KF4DHK

According to Dow Jones Newswires, BNSF estimates that, after the Navy, it is the second largest consumer of diesel in the U.S. With diesel prices at nearly $4 per gallon compared to just over $2 per gallon for large volume LNG users, the cost savings are game-changing.Preliminary tests by General Electric and Caterpillar, which are developing the locomotives, indicate that trains powered by natural gas could also travel farther between refueling and have equivalent towing power to diesel. And because trains, like fleet vehicles, travel on fixed routes, building a fueling infrastructure for freight rail makes good economic sense.Beyond the corporate balance sheet, using natural gas is significantly better for our nation’s air quality than conventional alternatives, with fewer nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (Sox) emissions and no diesel particulates.Thanks to decisions by BNSF and other industrial users to power with natural gas, the journey to a cleaner energy future may be just down the tracks. Think about it.

Regulatory: FCC Fines Former Radio Amateur for Unlicensed Operation on 20 Meters

Read by: PAUL KJ4WQN

The FCC has fined Jared A. Bruegman, ex-KCØIQN, of Bolivar, Missouri, $500 for transmitting on 14.312 MHz without a license. Last February, the FCC told Bruegman in a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) that it intended to impose a $10,000 fine, but in a Forfeiture Order released October 23, the FCC reduced the fine.

“Based on the financial documents provided by Mr. Bruegman,” the FCC said in its Forfeiture Order, “we find that there is a sufficient basis to reduce (but not cancel) the forfeiture to $500.” Responding to the earlier NAL, Bruegman had claimed the $10,000 forfeiture would “bankrupt” him, and he requested the FCC cancel the sanction altogether.

The FCC cautioned Bruegman that inability to pay is only one factor in its forfeiture calculations. “In this regard, we have previously rejected inability to pay claims in cases of repeated or otherwise egregious violations,” the Commission said. “Therefore, future violations of this kind may result in significantly higher forfeitures that may not be reduced due to Mr. Bruegman’s financial circumstances.”

Read by: ED KE4JWS

The FCC said it affirmed the finding outlined in the earlier NAL that Bruegman had violated Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934. FCC agents in December 2012 observed an unlicensed radio transmitter operating on 14.312 MHz from a residence in Bolivar. Bruegman, the only person at home at the time, admitted to owning the radio transmitting equipment. “Based on the record evidence, which Mr. Bruegman does not dispute, we conclude that Mr. Bruegman willfully violated Section 301 of the Act by operating radio transmission equipment without the required Commission authorization,” the FCC concluded.

The FCC gave Bruegman 30 days to pay or make arrangements to pay the fine or have his case referred to the US Department of Justice for enforcement.

Bruegman had held a Technician class license from 2000 until 2010, when it expired. Bruegman did not renew the license, and it was deleted in 2012.

Media: New E-Pub to Take Up Where Monitoring Times Leaves Off

Read by:RICK N9GRW

When Monitoring Times publishes its final issue in December, a new electronic publication, The Spectrum Monitor, will follow in its footsteps. Monitoring Times announced earlier this year that it was ceasing publication after a 33 year run and the retirement of its publisher, Bob Grove, W8JHD.

Monitoring Times Managing Editor Ken Reitz, KS4ZR, will helm The Spectrum Monitor, which will debut in January and, as he explained in announcing the new publication, “will carry virtually all of the current Monitoring Times columnists and feature writers.” Reitz said The Spectrum Monitor will be available only in Adobe PDF format, which may be read on any desktop, laptop, iPad™, Kindle Fire™ or any other device capable of opening a PDF file.

The Spectrum Monitor promises to cover radio listening and monitoring, from Amateur Radio and Amateur Radio satellites to scanning; aeronautical, utility, and government monitoring; Amateur Radio astronomy; long-wave monitoring; short wave broadcasting; antennas, and radio restoration.

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