Federal Communications Commission DA 22-1011

Federal Communications Commission DA 22-1011

Before the
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
Emergency Request for a Temporary Waiver of Section
97.307(f) of the Commission’s Rules


Adopted: September 27, 2022 Released: September 27, 2022

By the Deputy Chief, Mobility Division,
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau:

1. Introduction. We have before us a request filed by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) for a temporary 60-day waiver to permit amateur data transmissions at a higher symbol rate than currently is permitted by section 97.307(f) of the Commission’s rules, in order to facilitate hurricane relief communications within the United States and its territories. (1) For the reasons set forth below, we grant the waiver request.

2. Background. Section 97.307(f) limits the symbol rate (also known as the baud rate)—the rate at which the carrier waveform amplitude, frequency, and/or phase is varied to transmit information (2)—for high frequency (HF) amateur radioteletype (RTTY)/data transmissions as follows to 300 bauds for frequencies below 28 MHz (except the 60 meter band), and 1200 bauds in the 10 meter (28- 29.7 MHz) band.(3) The digital code used to encode the signal being transmitted must be one of the codes specified in section 97.309(a) of the Commission’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.(4)

3. ARRL seeks this waiver for those licensed radio amateurs who are directly involved with Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) and other communication support groups working with Federal, state and local emergency management officials. (5) ARRL requests a 60-day waiver, subject to extension. ARRL states that Section 97.307(f) of the Commission’s Rules prevents the use of certain protocols capable of higher data rate emissions in the High Frequency (HF) bands that many Amateur stations active in emergency communications preparedness are capable of using. ARRL also points out that the past FCC temporary waivers have allowed such protocols in similar events including Hurricanes Maria, Dorian, Laura, and Ida, Typhoon relief communications in Hawaii, and wildfires in the western areas of the United States.

4. ARRL’s request also states that trained amateur radio operators are working with emergency management officials and relief organizations to assist with disaster relief communications in anticipation of the arrival on the Gulf Coast of Hurricane Ian. ARRL states that equipment they plan to use exceeds the 300 baud symbol limit and that the higher data rates are critical in sending relief communications. (6) ARRL’s request states these stations must be able to communicate with similar stations in the United States, possibly with Caribbean-based stations that are directly involved with hurricane relief efforts, and also with Federal stations on the five channels in the 5 MHz band involved with the SHARES network and other interoperability partners on those frequencies. ARRL proposes to limit the use of the higher-speed emissions to hurricane-related messages transmitted by radio amateurs in the United States and its territories that are directly involved with the relief efforts.

5. Discussion. To obtain a waiver of the Commission’s rules, a petitioner must demonstrate either that (i) the underlying purpose of the rule(s) would not be served or would be frustrated by application to the present case, and that a grant of the waiver would be in the public interest; or (ii) in view of unique or unusual factual circumstances of the instant case, application of the rule(s) would be inequitable, unduly burdensome, or contrary to the public interest, or the applicant has no reasonable alternative. (7) We conclude that ARRL’s request should be granted.

6. ARRL is preparing to assist areas impacted by Hurricane Ian to conduct disaster relief communications. (8) While certain radio modems with higher data capabilities are downward-compatible with slower speed versions of modems operating under similar protocols, ARRL asserts that the higher data rates offered by the newer protocols are critical to sending hurricane relief communications. (9)

7. We conclude that granting the requested waiver is in the public interest. Puerto Rico was recently hit by Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian is predicted to cause significant damage, including disruption to electricity and communications services. Thus, to accommodate amateur radio operators assisting in the recovery efforts, we grant the ARRL’s waiver request for the period of 60 days from the date of this Order to operate in any parts of the United States and it territories impacted by hurricanes. The waiver is limited to amateur radio operators in the United States and its territories using publicly documented data protocols that are compatible with FCC rules, with the exception of the data rate limit waived here, for those directly involved with HF hurricane relief communications.

8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that pursuant to section 4(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 154(i), and section 1.925 of the Commission’s rules, 47 CFR § 1.925, the Emergency Request for a Temporary Waiver of Section 97.307(f) of the Commission’s Rules filed by the American Radio Relay League on September 25, 2022, IS GRANTED as set forth above.

(1) E-mail from David Siddall, Counsel to ARRL, to Thomas Derenge, Deputy Chief, Mobility Division, FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and Roger Noel, Chief, Mobility Division, FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (September 25,2022 21:32 EDT) (Waiver Request); see 47 CFR § 97.307(f).

(2) Amendment of Part 97 of the Commission’s Amateur Radio Service Rules to Permit Greater Flexibility in Data Communications, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 31 FCC Rcd 8485, 8485, para. 1 (2016) (Baud Rate NPRM).

(3 ) 47 C.F.R. § 97.307(f)(3), (4). In the 60-meter (5.3305-5.4064 MHz) band, there is no maximum symbol rate, but bandwidth is limited to 2.8 kilohertz for data and 60 hertz for RTTY. See id. § 97.307(f)(14).

(4) Id. §§ 97.307(f)(3), (4), 97.309(a)(4). CLOVER, G-TOR, and PACTOR are different techniques used to increase the efficiency of digital communications. Baud Rate NPRM, 31 FCC Rcd at 8486, n.18.

(5) See Waiver Request. Federal Communications Commission DA 22-1011 2

(6) See Waiver Request.

(7) 47 CFR §§ 1.925(b)(3).

(8) See Waiver Request.

(9) See id.

Gaffney Hamfest

Date: October 22, 2022
Location: 204 West Oneal St. Gaffney, SC
Hours: 7:00 AM-3:00 PM
Sponsor: Carolina Amateur Radio Emergency Services (CARES)
Talk-In: 145.430(-) Tone 162.2 
Admission: 5.00
VE Testing: No
For more information contact Jim Fagan, KI4MJK, c/o CARES PO Box 8006 Gaffney, SC 29340, (864) 490-6369 or KI4MJK@gmail.com

Lake Hartwell Hamfest

Date: October 15 2022
Location:   Darwin Wright Park, 106 Anderson Beach Blvd, Anderson SC.
Coordinates: 34 -34-26.68 N 82-41-16.01 W
Hours: 8:00 AM- ?
Sponsor: Anderson Radio Club
Talk-In: 146.790 (-) Tone 127.3
Admission: Free
Fox Hunt: 11:00 am
VE Testing: 1:00 pm
Website: www.andersonradioclub.com
For more information contact Margie Spangenberg, KK4AGN, 200 Lacustrian Lane Central, SC 29630, (864) 654-1352 days, (864) 637-9159 evenings, email: margiespang@att.net

SC Military Museum Fall Swapfest

Date: October 8, 2022
Location: SC Military Museum, 1 National Guard Road, Columbia, SC (across from Williams-Brice Stadium)
Hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Sponsor: Columbia Amateur Radio Club
For more information, check www.w4cae.com

Rock Hill Hamfest

Date: November 12, 2022
Location: Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1830 Celanese Rd, Rock Hill, SC 29732
Hours: 8:00 AM-2:00 PM
Sponsor: York County Amateur Radio Society (YCARS)
Talk-In: 147.030(-) Tone 88.5 
Admission: 5.00
VE Testing: No, but VE testing will be held on October 1, 2022 at YCARS, 2051 Squire Road, Rock Hill, SC 29732 ( 34.909700245, -81.070946067 )
Website: www.ycars.org
For more information contact John Gendron, NJ4Z, NJ4Z@yahoo.com

DEC/EC Contact List


County         Name                                   Call Sign               E-mail Address
Anderson     Anson Hawkins               KN4UPY         kn4upy@gmail.com
Beaufort      Jim Campbell             KB9LX            KB9LX@arrl.net
Berkeley        Linda Selleck                  KJ4EVV           kj4evv@gmail.com
Calhoun        Robert Bogan                  AE3RB            rbogan.sc@gmail.com
Charleston   Rick Valentine            N8BKN           n8bkn@arrl.net
Cherokee     Randell Phillips              N4JRP             jrphillips69@gmail.com
Chesterfield  Andy Jasiewicz              KD2LQA          jaswcz559@gmail.com
Clarendon     Preston Tobias                W4GSR           cueball910@gmail.com
Darlington   Lloyd Mitchell              KO4L              imitchell@gmail.com
Dorchester    Beverly Boyd                   W3BRB    Beverly.boyd30@gmail.com
Edgefield      Donald  Zupon                W3MIF           W3MIF@YAHOO.COM
Florence       David Milligan              N4URR            1proinv@gmail.com
Georgetown John Costa                    W1OJ              km4kym@gmail.com
Greenville      Robert  Webster             WR8RW    robert.webster@ares-sc.org
Horry              Henry Harrison              AC2LB            ac2lb@outlook.com
Kershaw        Jim Lathan                   W4JLP            jim.lathan@gmail.com
Lee                 David McGlothlin           W4EPD           fcems25@yahoo.com
Marion          Jim Dedonis                KD4VH          jdedonis@gmail.com
Marlboro     Scott Thompson            KG4HIE   scothompson@bellsouth.net
Oconee         Doug     Patterson            N4AHO                 drpatt@gmail.com
Pickens         Mandell Rigdon                 WR4XM                864-878-7980
Richland       Steve    Nixon                    KC4UAL      Radio.KC4UAL@gmail.com
Saluda          Dewey  Willis                    W4DEW                w4dew@arrl.net
Spartanburg Pokey   Burnett                KK4UCE                kk4uce@hotmail.com
Sumter           John Hartwick                KC5RDA johnhartwick911@yahoo.com
York                Daniel Boyer                   WD2DW   Danielboyer1940@gmail.com

SOUTH CAROLINA SECTION  District Emergency Coordinators Serving Counties Lacking an EC  

County                 DEC Name                           Call Sign               E-mail Address

Abbeville    Mike Oakley             N9GSX               omjoakley@aol.com
Aiken                     Eddie King               N4HEK             n4hek@arrl.net
Allendale             Eddie King                 N4HEK             n4hek@arrl.net
Bamberg              Eddie King                 N4HEK            n4hek@arrl.net
Barnwell              Eddie King                 N4HEK             n4hek@arrl.net
Chester                Bob Grudzein             KE7LJ               ke7lj@yahoo.com
Colleton               Eddie King                  N4HEK            n4hek@arrl.net
Dillon                    Donald Bryant          KB4RRC          kb4rrc@yahoo.com
Fairfield                Earl Dean                 W4ESD           earlsc@sc.rr.com
Greenwood        Mike Oakley              N9GSX              omjoakley@aol.com
Hampton             Eddie King                N4HEK             n4hek@arrl.net
Jasper                   Eddie King                N4HEK             n4hek@arrl.net
Lancaster             Bob Grudzein          KE7LJ               ke7lj@yahoo.com
Laurens                Bob Grudzein          KE7LJ               ke7lj@yahoo.com
Lexington            Earl Dean                  W4ESD            earlsc@sc.rr.com
McCormick         Mike Oakley             N9GSX             omjoakley@aol.com
Newberry            Earl Dean                  W4ESD            earlsc@sc.rr.com
Orangeburg        Steve Sweetman       K6TAZ             k6taz@yahoo.com
Union                    Bob Grudzein           KE7LJ              ke7lj@yahoo.com
Williamsburg      Steve Sweetman      K6TAZ             k6taz@yahoo.com

Multi-band Dipole Dimensions


                                     TWO-BAND DESIGNS
Bands Radiator    Ladder Line      Lower Resonance     Upper Resonance
            Length (ft)  Length (ft)        Freq (MHz)  SWR    Freq (MHz)  SWR       
                                  VF = 0.9
75/40    144.83          89.50               3.87                1.8       7.25                1.6
30/17       54.75         36.17              10.12               1.8     18.12                1.3
20/17       77.67         76.17              14.13               1.7     18.11                1.6
20/15       51.00         50.67              14.17               1.1     21.27                1.2
20/12       68.00         46.67              14.15               1.7     24.92                1.5
17/12       28.58         46.67              18.11               1.6     24.95                1.5
17/10       33.33         62.50              18.08               1.8     28.42                1.8
15/10     102.00         70.50              21.25               1.0     28.32                1.3
10/6         16.50          33.42             28.40               1.4    50.10                 1.3

Bands     Radiator Ladder Line      First Res       Second Res.    Third Res.
                 Length           Length           Freq  SWR Freq   SWR      Freq SWR
                   (ft)             (ft, VF=0.9)      (MHz)             (MHz)            (MHz)
40/20/10   93.17              40.67              7.08   1.1         14.08   1.3      28.57   1.5
40/17/10   78.00              51.50              7.09   1.7         18.11   1.7      28.60   1.1
40/15/10   61.00              68.50              7.07   1.0         21.11   1.1      29.41   1.3
20/15/10   44.75              51.67            14.30   1.3         21.26   1.0      28.21   1.3
20/10/6     45.83              19.63            14.25   1.1         28.40   1.0      50.20   1.3


JTAlert Intro/Tutorial

JTAlert is a great program that works with WSJT-X with a ton of features for a small application. Automate your FT8 logging into your favorite electronic log from WSJT-X and help keep up with your DXCC, WAS, WAC, WAZ, and many others at a glance and get alerts when something you need us on.

FT8 Intro/Tutorial with WSJT-X

A Video from our Technical Coordinator on WSJT-X and the new and exciting mode of FT8!