[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

RE: Need some help . . .

I had sent this answer earlier this month.  Perhaps it got lost into the bit 

Hello, Jeff,

It sounds like they do not fully understand amateur radio.  Dave offered a 
number of excellent suggestions.  They are taking a "just in case" approach 
that will ensure that there is no risk that either your transmitter may emit 
spurious signals or their receiver may be subject to overload.

There is not anything "illegal" about an overloaded receiver.  OTOH, it is 
still a deficiency in the reciever that is would be the root cause of a 

If it were me, I would do the following:

As technical info, obtain the test data on the equipment you intend to use. 
 The ARRL Lab files contain more info than is published in the Produt 
Review, so we should be able to help.  I do note that your ARRL membership 
expired a few months ago, but perhaps now that you are interested in being 
active again, you would like to rejoin.  If you would like to, I will 
arrange to send you photocopies of the ARRL Lab's test data as a thank you 
for joining. This test data would include the results of our measurements of 
harmonics and other spurii.

Obtain a copy of the FCC Rule Book.

Then, approach the Person In Charge of These Things to discuss this.  You 
can explain about the long history of cooperation between Amateur Radio and 
the US military, discussing MARS, the National Traffic System, the 
cooperation between the FCC and NTIA.  You can even use the Rule Book to 
demonstrate that Amateur Radio shares a number of bands with the military!

You can then point out that we share frequencies with the military on a 
secondary basis and that you do indeed understand their concerns about 
possible interference.  Miltitary receiving equipment is rather well built 
and it is very unlikely that legal amateur operation would cause problems -- 
otherwise, most of our potential foes would probably  give all of their 
military permission to operate ham radio. :-)

Let them know that the FCC regulates amateur radio and that no special 
pemission from them is needed to operate, so only the necessary 
administrative approval of the base is needed.  Then, offer to 
demonstrate,perhaps with a handheld, that no harmful interference will 
result.  Offer further that, if interference does occur, even if it their 
recievers instead of your transmitters, you are fully prepared to stop 
operating immediately on whatever frequencies cause problems.  You could 
also offer that the Person In Charge of These Things approve any and all 
equipment, antennas, frequencies, modes, etc., and that any changes to your 
station be authorized by him/her.

You can point out, too, that althoug FCC regulations permit 1500 watt 
operation by hams, your operation is well below that limit.

These are a bit extreme, and would not be necessary (or appropriate) in a 
civilian environment, but under the circumstances, I would presume that a 
military command structure has absolute authority.  In these cases, I have 
generally found that by demonstrating to them that they still have complete 
control, you will increase the likelihood that they will let you do what you 

Good luck,

73 from ARRL HQ,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
>From: Dave Finley
>To: n8vna
>Cc: ehare; dfinley
>Subject: RFI
>Date: Wednesday, March 04, 1998 9:51AM
>------------------Internet Headers------------------
>Received: from arana.aoc.nrao.edu by mgate.arrl.org [451] with smtp
>    for <ehare@arrl.org>
>    id m0yAHP4-000Zn2C; Wed, 4 Mar 98 11:52 EST
>X-MailAuth: arana.aoc.nrao.edu, arana.aoc.nrao.edu, dfinley@aoc.nrao.edu,
>X-MailAuthTo: ehare@arrl.org
>X-Authenticated-Timestamp: 11:52:22(EST) on March 04, 1998
>Received: from orion.aoc.nrao.edu (orion.aoc.nrao.edu []) by
>arana.aoc.nrao.edu (8.6.12/8.6.10) with ESMTP id JAA22257; Wed, 4 Mar 1998
>09:51:59 -0700
>Received: (from dfinley@localhost) by orion.aoc.nrao.edu (8.7.3/8.6.10) id
>JAA10983; Wed, 4 Mar 1998 09:51:57 -0700 (MST)
>Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 09:51:57 -0700 (MST)
>From: Dave Finley <dfinley@aoc.nrao.edu>
>Message-Id: <199803041651.JAA10983@orion.aoc.nrao.edu>
>To: n8vna@gte.net
>Subject: RFI
>Cc: ehare@arrl.org, dfinley@aoc.nrao.edu
>X-Sun-Charset: US-ASCII
>Hi, Jeff:
>I'm a bit unclear on just who is objecting to your transmitting.
>Is it the NW Security Group Activity, the USCG or the USN?  What
>type of receiving activity will you supposedly interfere with?
>And I presume that your problem is that you reside on base and need
>permission of the base CO and these objections are preventing your
>getting that permission.  As you probably know, transmitting of any
>kind from a military base requires permission of the CO, so you won't
>get around that.
>Still, I wonder what basis they (whomever they may be) have for objecting.
>Is it based on experience from transmissions coming from you or some
>other ham, perhaps in the past?  If it's based on the past, do they
>know whether or not the equipment in use actually met FCC standards?
>Are they objecting just on "general principle," without any actual
>technical basis?
>Without knowing the answers to these questions, I would suggest that
>doing the following would probably help your case.
>If you're using homebrew equipment, you may have to find someone with
>a lab and spectrum analyzer to prove you are "clean."
>I'll presume, however, that you're using commercial equipment.  The
>manual for the equipment probably has a certification somewhere that
>it meets FCC specs for the Amateur bands.  Part 97 will tell you what
>those specs are for the frequencies in use.  Combined, these two
>documents serve as proof that any out-of-band emissions are below
>levels which can be calculated, knowing the distance from your
>transmitting site to the receiver in question.  These levels probably
>are even lower, since, for working satellites, you're probably using
>antennas aimed in a different direction than the receiving antennas
>they're using.  After going through this calculation, you can show
>just how weak any potentially interfering signals would be.  This will
>almost certainly assure them that you won't interfere.  They might still
>insist on some power limits for you.
>You might also contact the manufacturer(s) of the equipment you're using
>to get more detailed information.  Your equipment may well have far
>lower levels of out-of-band emission than the FCC specs require.  That
>would make your case even better.
>Even with all this, you might still have to put your equipment to a lab
>test to prove beyond all doubt that your calculations are correct.
>You could offer to do an on-the-air test to show that you won't
>In sum, I think your best chance lies in showing just how unlikely it
>is that your ham-band transmissions will interfere with their activity.
>Now, if they are actually trying to monitor the ham bands, that's
>another story...
>If all this fails, you may indeed have to buy the off-base property
>and operate from there.
>I'm sending a copy of this to Ed Hare at ARRL Headquarters, who may
>have some further suggestions.
>I hope this helps.
>Dave Finley, N1IRZ
>----- Begin Included Message -----
>From n8vna@gte.net Tue Mar  3 18:20:32 1998
>Date: Tue, 03 Mar 1998 20:17:51 -0500
>From: Jeffrey S Austin <n8vna@gte.net>
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>To: dfinley@NRAO.EDU
>Subject: RFI
>Content-Type: multipart/mixed; 
>Content-Length: 1814
>X-Lines: 50
>Status: RO
>I'm a Coastie stationed at CAMSLANT which is a tenant activity at
>Northwest Security Group Activity in Chesapeake VA. Our (USCG/USN)
>site is a receiver site, the Navy's transmitter is in Suffolk and
>ours is at Pungo. Both are approximately 15-25 miles away.
>My problem is that their claim is if I transmit on any of the ham
>bands I will interfere with their operation, they're not interested
>in the fact that the FCC says if they can receive my signal they have
>an illegal receiver. What I'm looking for is some very heavy duty
>technical info to blow them out of the water. My interest is in the
>satellites, currently FO-20 and 29. When P3D goes to space, then I'll
>be 1.2 up and 2.4 dn. The frequencies that we currently use are in
>the HF band and between 240 and 300MHz. If I can't reason with them,
>I'm prepared to purpose some land next to NSGA and put my antennas
>there, where they can't be touched. But I'd rather not have to go
>that extreme. Can you help?
>                                                            -73's de
>Jeff N8VNA
>----- End Included Message -----
>From: Jeffrey S Austin
>To: Bob Bruninga; AMSAT; Steven Bible; Butler, Frank (Southeast Dir); 
Martin Davidoff;
>Kanode, John (Roanoke Dir); Hare, Ed, W1RFI; Dave Finley; David
>Gordon; Michael Rupen; kp4ffw
>Subject: Need some help . . .
>Date: Saturday, March 21, 1998 1:19AM
>------------------Internet Headers------------------
>Received: from smtp1.mailsrvcs.net by mgate.arrl.org [976] with smtp
>    for <ehare@arrl.org>
>    id m0yGHdA-000ZnpC; Sat, 21 Mar 98 01:19 EST
>X-MailAuth: smtp1.gte.net, smtp1.mailsrvcs.net, n8vna@gte.net,
>X-MailAuthTo: ehare@arrl.org,w4rh@arrl.org
>X-Authenticated-Timestamp: 01:19:44(EST) on March 21, 1998
>Received: from gte.net (1Cust48.tnt2.princess-anne.va.da.uu.net
>    by smtp1.mailsrvcs.net  with ESMTP id AAA08181;
>    Sat, 21 Mar 1998 00:19:32 -0600 (CST)
>Message-ID: <35135BF3.E95574D3@gte.net>
>Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 01:19:32 -0500
>From: Jeffrey S Austin <n8vna@gte.net>
>Organization: N8VNA
>X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.04 [en] (Win95; U)
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>To: Bob Bruninga <bruninga@nadn.navy.mil>, AMSAT <amsat-bb@amsat.org>,
>        Steven Bible <srbible@gate.net>,
>        "Butler, Frank (Southeast Dir)" <w4rh@arrl.org>,
>        Martin Davidoff <AA65@catmus.cat.cc.md.us>,
>        "Kanode, John (Roanoke Dir)" <Jkanode@visuallink.com>,
>        "Hare, Ed, W1RFI" <ehare@arrl.org>, Dave Finley
>        David Gordon <dgordon@sadira.gb.nrao.edu>,
>        Michael Rupen <mrupen@aoc.nrao.edu>, kp4ffw@compuserve.com
>Subject: Need some help . . .
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>I need some help here. I've got a ham radio problem that's more
>political than technical but I'm going to win with a technical knock
>Here is what I wrote to Steve, N7HPR:
>>Just a quick QSO here, I'm active duty Coast Guard and currently
>>work/live at Naval Security Group Activity Northwest in Chesapeake
>>VA. The situation is that the base commander, based upon rules made
>>by the former base commander, feels that amateur radio is going to
>>interfere with the receivers here on base. The Navy's transmitters
>>are in Suffolk and the Coast Guard's are in Virginia Beach. What I'm
>>hoping to do is show her, with facts and figures generated within
>>Navy/Coast Guard, that her fears are unfounded. I believe she thinks
>>that ham radio will cause interference, especially to the satcom
>>units on base (CAMSLANT is one the units). My plan is to put my
>>eggbeaters up and use about 50 w eirp to hit the birds (FO-20/29 and
>>AO-27). Can you send me as much as you can, so that I can put
>>something in a "report" and send it to her. Otherwise, my 970 will
>>back in the box and I will not be a happy camper for the next four
>>Jeffrey S Austin
>>1021 Osprey Ct
>>Chesapeake VA 23322-4202
>>757 421 0138 home
>>757 421 6240 work
>>                                               -73's de Jeff N8VNA
>So, what I'm looking for is what guidance the Navy gives to it's base
>commanders in regards to amateur radio use on its bases, in terms of
>both MWR and technical considerations. If it helps you, you can send
>whatever you can to me as an HTML file.
>                                                 -73's de Jeff N8VNA