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VUCC proof

Hey folks,

Has anyone seen, anywhere, an official notice from ARRL about updated VUCC rules being posted on the League's Web site? If so, please let me know when and where that notice was posted.

Sometime last month, ARRL posted a new PDF of the VUCC rules, superceding those that had been available in PDF form with a 5/08 date at the bottom. This new PDF has 9/08 at the bottom. In this new version, Rule 4 (e) reads:

"(e) Stations who claim to operate from more than one grid locator simultaneously (i.e., from the boundary between two 
grid locators or from the intersection of four grid locators) must be physically present in all locators to give multiple 
locator credit with a single contact. These stations should be prepared to validate their claim. For a mobile station, this 
means parking the vehicle exactly on the line or corner. For a portable station, this means that the total area occupied 
by the station's physical setup, including operating position(s), power source(s), and antenna(s), must occupy some 
portion of each of the two/four grid squares simultaneously. Operators of boundary/corner stations should be prepared 
to provide evidence of meeting the simultaneous occupation test if called upon to do so. Two photographs -- one 
showing the placement of the GPS receiver in the station setup, and a close-up legibly showing the GPS reading – 
are typically needed as evidence of compliance. Video footage showing an overview of the operating site and then, 
uncut and in real time, zooming in on the GPS display coordinates is even better." 

For comparison, here is that same rule, 4 (e), as published in the PDF I downloaded from the ARRL Web site on August 2:

"(e) Stations who claim to operate from more than one grid locator simultaneously (such as from the intersection of 4 grid
locators) must be physically present in more than one locator to give multiple locator credit with a single contact. This
requires the operator to know precisely where the intersection lines are located and placing the station exactly on the
boundary to meet this test. To achieve this precision work requires either current markers permanently in place, or the
precision work of a professional surveyor. Operators of such stations should be prepared to provide some evidence
of meeting this test if called upon to do so. Multiple QSL cards are not required. GPS readings are acceptable."

I have been notified (by a certified checker) that I have been denied some claimed grids from confirmed grid-border contacts that occurred before this new rule was posted, even though the operator involved provided photographic evidence to meet the "GPS readings are acceptable" language. That was the rule in effect at the time of these contacts, and nobody involved could have predicted that a second photograph might be required as evidence of specific location. I'm disappointed by all this, but it didn't cost me Satellite VUCC - thank goodness. 

That being said, I thought it appropriate to alert others who might be planning what I call "griDXpeditions" to keep the new rules regarding verification of precise location in mind. On September 15th, I worked a pass of AO-51 from the EN38/EN28 border while on a business trip. Not aware this rule change was about to be posted, and based on the PDF I downloaded on August 2nd, I shot a photo showing my GPS unit with coordinates out to 5 decimal points to prove I was precisely on the grid border. I quickly and easily could have taken the additional photo(s) showing the GPS sitting with my handheld satellite station in the rental car. At that time, however, I had no idea such a photo would be required. I followed the letter of the rules as I knew them. I'm disappointed that the stations I worked on that pass - the only one I was able to work from the grid border - could be denied the ability to claim those grids from their contacts with me because of this. My apologies to them if this proves to be the case. 

If any of you saw a notice that updated VUCC rules had been posted, please contact me. I would like to know the precise date they first appeared on the ARRL Web site.

Thanks, and 73 to all,

Tim - N3TL
AMSAT Member No. 36820
Athens, Ga. - EM84ha
Sent via AMSAT-BB@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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