General Licensing Class Continues Wed at 7:00 PM

Each Wednesday night there is a class on preparing for the General Licensing exam.  This class is focused on not just learning test questions, but the practical aspects of using a radio.  Even if you passed the exam, join us on the “how to” of ham radio on each Wednesday at Glen Johnson’s office:

5123 North Royal Drive – Traverse City

FCC to Discontinue Paper-Printed Licenses

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FCC “Paperless” Amateur Radio License Policy Goes into Effect on February 17

Screenshot 2015-02-01 12.10.13 

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ARRL Bulletin 4  ARLB004
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  January 29, 2015

 

To all radio amateurs

Starting February 17, the FCC no longer will routinely issue paper license documents to Amateur Radio applicants and licensees. The Commission has maintained for some time now that the official

Amateur Radio license authorization is the electronic record that exists in its Universal Licensing System (ULS), although the FCC has continued to print and mail hard copy licenses. In mid-December the FCC adopted final procedures to provide access to official electronic authorizations, as it had proposed in WT Docket 14-161 as part of its “process reform” initiatives.

 

Under the new procedures, licensees will access their current official authorization (“Active” status only) via the ULS License Manager. The FCC will continue to provide paper license documents to all licensees who notify the Commission that they prefer to receive one. Licensees also will be able to print out an official authorization – as well as an unofficial “reference copy” – from the ULS License Manager.

 

“We find this electronic process will improve efficiency by simplifying access to official authorizations in ULS, shortening the time period between grant of an application and access to the official authorization, and reducing regulatory costs,” the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) said. According to the WTB, the new procedures will save at least $304,000 a year, including the cost of staff resources.

 

In comments filed November 5, the ARRL had strongly recommended that the FCC “give serious consideration to continuing a default provision for sending an initial paper license document to new licensees in the Amateur Radio Service, along with detailed, simple instructions for how to make the elections set forth in the notice relative to future modified or renewed licenses.”

 

The FCC said that applicants or licensees who include a valid e-mail address under “Applicant Information” in the ULS will receive an official electronic authorization via e-mail. New license applicants who do not provide a FCC Registration Number at the examination point will receive a printed license as well as an FRN and a temporary password to access the Commission Registration System (CORES).

 

The ARRL and other Amateur Radio commenters also worried that unlessa license document is printed on distinctive paper stock, its authenticity could be questioned in such situations as obtaining vanity call sign license plates. To address this, the FCC said the watermark “Official Copy” will be printed on each page of an official authorization that a licensee prints out from the ULS. The WTB recently stopped using distinctive paper stock to produce hard copy licenses and has been printing these on “standard, white recycled paper.” The Bureau noted that the distinctive paper stock it had used was six times more expensive than the plain recycled paper it now uses.

 

The ULS License Manager now includes settings that allow licensees to notify the WTB that they prefer to receive official authorizations on paper. Once the final procedures go into effect designating electronic access as the default, licensees can change the ULS License Manager setting so that the Bureau will print and mail a license document. Licensees also may contact FCC Support via the web at,http://esupport.fcc.gov/index.htm?job=contact_fcc_support , or via telephone or mail to request paper licenses.

 

The FCC rejected as “outside the scope of this proceeding” an ARRL argument that Section 97.23 of the Amateur Service rules be amended to replace “licensee mailing address” with other alternatives,

including e-mail, for use in Commission correspondence. The rule, which requires that any licensee mailing address be in an area where the licensee has US Postal Service access, has precluded FCC issuance of location-specific call signs in such areas as Navassa Island (KP1) and some Pacific islands.

NNNN

/EX

Streaming Audio from the Club Repeaters – Online Now!

Broadcastify - W8TCMIf you’re like me, sometimes your schedule is so busy that you just can’t get to the radio to check into the MESH Net, or maybe you are stuck in a basement or at work and wish you could listen to the repeater. Well – dread no more, I have a solution to your woes!

I was wondering what to do with some extra hardware that I was playing with after a repeater interfacing mock-up I was working on a couple of months ago. Without going into a lot of technical detail, I was able to reconfigure some older systems, repurpose a couple of scanning receivers that my wife will no longer allow me to set up in main rooms in our house, and configured it to stream audio from both repeaters live to the internet!

That’s right – if you have internet access, you can listen to the W8TCM Repeaters Live! Thanks to the folks at RadioReference.com (in partnership with broadcastify) you can listen for free, and I can stream it to their servers for free. You can search for “W8TCM” right from the main page and find it, or you can use this link: http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/17816

IOS app

IOS app

At the time of writing, from the webpage you are able to stream into Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, iTunes, or Winamp. There is also a Java player and a web-based player. There is an app called “Scanner Radio” in both the Android Google Play and IOS Apple App Stores

– for free!

So – enjoy the repeater audio, whether you’re stuck in a basement or miles away!

– 73 Joe N8CN