US FCC AND ARRL Sign a Memorandum of Understanding April 2019.

The ARRL has issued the following bulletin

ARLB014 ARRL and FCC Sign Memorandum to Implement New Volunteer
Monitor Program

ARRL and the FCC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
that paves the way to implement the new and enhanced Volunteer
Monitor program. The memorandum establishes the Volunteer Monitors
as a replacement for the Official Observers (OO) program. Current
OOs have been encouraged to participate in the new program.

“We are excited by the opportunity to codify our partnership with
the FCC and to work together to achieve our mutual interests of
protecting the integrity of our Amateur Radio bands,” said ARRL
President Rick Roderick, K5UR. “This Memorandum of Understanding
will serve as the foundation for a new level of partnership on this
very important issue.”

ARRL has contracted with retired FCC special counsel and former
Atlantic Division Vice Director Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, to
oversee the ARRL’s role in the development and implementation of the
Volunteer Monitor program.

Approved by the ARRL Board of Directors at its July 2018 meeting,
the new Volunteer Monitor program is a formal agreement between the
FCC and ARRL in which volunteers trained and vetted by the ARRL will
monitor the airwaves and collect evidence that can be used both to
correct misconduct or recognize exemplary on-air operation. Cases of
flagrant violations will be referred to the FCC by the ARRL for
action in accordance with FCC guidelines.

The intent of this program is to re-energize enforcement efforts in
the Amateur Radio bands. It was proposed by the FCC in the wake of
several FCC regional office closures and a reduction in field staff.

“Under this program, the FCC will give enforcement priority to cases
developed by the Volunteer Monitor program, without the delay of
ARRL having to refer cases through the FCC online complaint
process,” Hollingsworth said.

Hollingsworth has identified three phases to the program:
Development, Solicitation and Training, and Implementation.

* The Development phase will include drafting a mission statement,
clearly defining the ARRL’s and FCC’s requirements and needs as part
of the program, writing a job description for volunteer monitors,
and developing a training manual for volunteers.

* The Solicitation and Training phase will involve identifying the
geographic locations where volunteer monitors will be most needed,
soliciting applications and guidance from Section Managers in
reviewing applicants. (Those currently volunteering as Official
Observers are invited to apply for appointment as Volunteer

* The Implementation phase will involve having the volunteers
provide field reports to ARRL, with staff offering guidance to
volunteers to ensure that the information collected meets
requirements for FCC enforcement action.

Hollingsworth has committed to FCC and ARRL officials to ensure the
adequacy of training for the new positions, to review the quality
and utility of Volunteer Monitor submissions to the FCC for
enforcement actions, and to advocate for rapid disposition of cases
appropriately submitted to the FCC.

ARRL officials estimate that within 6 to 9 months the first
Volunteer Monitors will be in place and ready to begin their duties.

[RAC-Bulletin] First Amateur in Space, Skylab and Space Shuttle Astronaut, Owen Garriott, W5LFL, SK.

Owen_Garriott astronaut.jpg

The following news item is courtesy of AMSAT:

April 17, 2019 – 

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS International Chair
AMSAT VP for Human Spaceflight Programs

It is with great sadness that the ARISS team recognizes the passing of our great friend and colleague Astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL (SK). Owen Garriott died at his home in Huntsville, Alabama on April 15, 2019.

A passionate Amateur Radio operator and ionospheric physics researcher, Owen inspired the Amateur Radio community to reach for the stars. His multi-decade vision to bring Amateur Radio with him as part of his journey in space was realized in 1983 on the STS-9 Space Shuttle Columbia mission, where hams the world over for the first time heard a fellow ham call CQ from space.

As the first to operate Amateur Radio in space, Owen blazed a trail that has enabled countless people from around the world to experience what it is like to journey into space and explore our universe. As a result, he inspired the international Amateur Radio community to extend his modest ham station on STS-9 into an international human spaceflight ham radio program that has spanned the Space Shuttle, Mir Space Station, and International Space Station.
A member of the US Astronaut Hall of Fame, Owen Garriott was a pioneer and innovator in all his endeavours including Amateur Radio. Selected as a NASA scientist-astronaut in 1965, Garriott was the science-pilot for Skylab 3, the second crewed Skylab mission. Skylab was the first US space station, housing three different crew expeditions from May 1973 to February 1974. Owen spent approximately 60 days on Skylab doing solar physics research, human physiological research and conducting three spacewalks to repair Skylab and extend its research capabilities.

Owen’s next flight into space, as part of an international crew on the STS-9 Space Shuttle Columbia mission, cemented Amateur Radio’s future as part of the human spaceflight experience. STS-9 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on November 28, 1983.

Onboard Columbia was an internationally developed space laboratory, Spacelab-1, which pioneered international spaceflight research with over 70 separate experiments – a precursor to the research currently being accomplished on the International Space Station (ISS). Onboard also was a Motorola 2-metre handheld radio with a window-mounted antenna to facilitate Amateur Radio contacts between W5LFL and hams on the ground.

On December 1, the third day of his mission, Owen donned his headset and made history by communicating with Lance Collister, WA1JXN, in Frenchtown, Montana. In W5LFL’s own words, here is an excerpt of his first contact:

“W5LFL in Columbia is calling CQ and standing by. Go ahead. Hello WA1JXN, WA1 Juliet X‐ray November, this is W5LFL. I picked up your signals fairly weakly. I think our attitude is not really the best as yet, but you’re our first contact from orbit. WA1 Juliet X‐ray November, how do you read? Over.”

Owen’s ham contacts on STS-9 were trailblazing for many reasons. They represented the first Amateur Radio contact from a human in space to someone on Earth. They allowed the general public to directly listen and communicate with an on-orbit crew where, prior to this, only NASA mission control personnel or heads of State (US Presidents, etc.) could talk to astronauts from space. And the mission also demonstrated that a group of volunteers could successfully build an Amateur Radio station for a human spaceflight vehicle and get it formally approved by a space agency.

Owen spent decades attempting to carry out Amateur Radio on one of his missions, employing gentle assertiveness and steadfast patience to realize his dream. In 1965, when NASA was considering Owen for a planned lunar flight on Apollo 18, 19 or 20, Project MOONRAY was proposed by the Project OSCAR team. Project MOONRAY would support Amateur Radio operations from the surface of the moon. This initiative was scuttled when Apollo lunar expeditions ended at Apollo 17.

Prior to his flight on Skylab, AMSAT submitted a proposal to NASA called SKYLARC (Skylab Amateur Radio Communications). Unfortunately, this proposal was turned down. But, as they say, the third time was a charm on STS-9 and Amateur Radio is now a human spaceflight reality. Also, it should be noted that an AMSAT/ARISS International team is pursuing Owen’s plans to fly Amateur Radio to the moon via several lunar proposal initiatives, including the Lunar Gateway.

Owen inspired legions of Amateur Radio operators, worldwide, to support human spaceflight Amateur Radio endeavours and for countless individuals to become Amateur Radio operators. This includes his son, Richard, W5KWQ, who together with Owen became the first multi-generational American Amateur Radio operators to communicate from space.

On behalf of the ARISS International Team, we would like to extend our sincere condolences to the Garriott family, including Owen’s son Richard, W5KWQ and Owen’s wife Eve. As Owen has inspired the Amateur Radio community to reach for the stars may we wish Owen Garriott Godspeed and a wonderful journey amongst the stars.

Ad Astra!

73, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS International Chair
AMSAT VP for Human Spaceflight Program

Alan Griffin
RAC MarCom Director

Radio Never Leaves You..

World War ll vet returns to his ship and his radio room. He is 97 and served on the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier. More positive media for morse code and radio. The two minute clip with show you some vintage radio equipment