Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Microwave Projects =/ ARRL

It was very sad to read the passing of John Champa, K8OCL. He was former Chairman of the ARRL HSMM (High Speed Multimedia) Working Group. He was also the High Speed Multi-Media Radio Contributing Editor for CQ VHF Magazine.

Unlike most hams he had a high level of energy and ambition for his work on HSMM and in other areas of the hobby not well explored.

I am beginning to sound like Wayne Green with my ARRL critical comments.

But hey, they led me on, to think there was some sort of Microwave Bandplan changes in the midst. Truth is, I am not sure of the status if this, and can't get any real answers from the league.

Regardless if these jokers want to live in the past or not, here is an interesting thing to consider:

Amateur Allocations - Little known fact

Did you know in the US amateurs have access to approximately:
3.75 MHz of HF (160m-10m) spectrum
67 MHz of VHF/UHF (6m-33cm) spectrum
24.095 GHz of microwave (23cm-300GHz) spectrum

Of the above, over 99% of hams use a tiny fraction (0.3%) of the total ham frequency allocations while the remainder of our available ham allocation is essentially ignored. By the way, ARRL said that as of 4/2010, there were about 688,500 personal ham radio licenses in the USA. If only one percent of these were microwave users, that would be 6885 hams. We often hear that the majority of licensed hams are inactive. How many microwave experimenters do you know?


The realization occurred I was just a Technician over 10 years ago was that wow, there is a lot to explore and learn in the Microwave arena.

Since then I have learned a lot and found it absolutely critical to have that under your belt.

I remember reading the HSMM partnership with the North Texas Microwave Society when John, K8OCL moved to Texas. And have to concur that is a great idea.

Since the ARRL has been so quiet, I have decided I need to do the same. But I will be supplementing my blog space with more technical microwave experimentation articles in hopes of helping spur others on.

Since the mid-90's when I got into the hobby I have been connected to a then- high-school technology club. Ever since the same basic group of now 30's aged guys get together to shoot-the-shit, complain about the ARRL :-) and most importantly see what we can build.

What you will notice from my future blogs is that there have been few HF related projects, and many microwave. As it should be.

It's a shame the ARRL doesn't understand simple math. There is far more to lose in our microwave spectrum than HF. Because there is tons more of it, and hardly any hams use it, and the commercial squatters actually see it as useful spectrum.

Hmm, if only we could do more than throw money to protect spectrum. Perhaps the following microwave projects could be QST material to help foster so actual use? Naa.. that is right we don't want to make anyone smarter. I am a believer that if ham radio is to evolve, then QST needs to. The concept that QST needs to continued to be watered down just doesn't stick with me.

The Proposed NTIA "Fast Track" Spectrum Reallocation shows that our 2.3 and 3 GHz allocations may be endanger. So to start off here is a 4 watt power amplifier for 2 GHz.