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March 2015
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NEWS FROM YOUR COLORADO SECTION MANAGER 

w1aw-jack
Jack Ciaccia, WMØG

ARRL CO Section Manager

PO Box 21362

Boulder, CO   80308-4362

303-587-0993  (Cell)  

Email: wm0g@arrl.org

WMØG Bio 

ARRL Section Manager Responsibilities

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colorado-map

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5 Year old passes Technician Class Exam

Recently, 5 year old Colton Ragsdale became the youngest ham in Colorado… He is now officially licensed as KEØCRD. He also has become a Life Member of the ARRL!! Check out this video from our local NBC News Affiliate KUSA, Channel 9 in Denver…

Colton Ragsdale KEØCRD Interview

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BREAKING NEWS!!!

2/20/2015: Colorado’s PRB-1 Bill – SB 15-041 presented by Senator Chris Holbert and Rep. Kevin Van Winkle, passed House and Senate Government committee unanimously without amendments. The Bill went on to a second and third reading and again passed unanimously without amendments. The Bill will now be signed into Law on March 13, 2015 by Governor Hickenlooper. Special thanks to Robert B. Wareham NØESQ, our ARRL Colorado State Government Liaison for getting the Bill written and introduced by Seators Holbert and Van Winkle as well as testifying in committee. 

Summarized History for Bill Number SB15-041

(The date the bill passed to the committee of the whole reflects the date the bill passed out of committee.)

01/07/2015 – Introduced In Senate – Assigned to Local Government
01/20/2015 – Senate Committee on Local Government Refer Unamended – Consent Calendar to Senate Committee of the Whole
01/23/2015 – Senate Second Reading Passed – No Amendments
01/26/2015 – Senate Third Reading Passed – No Amendments
01/26/2015 – Introduced In House – Assigned to Local Government
02/12/2015 – House Committee on Local Government Refer Unamended to House Committee of the Whole
02/18/2015 – House Second Reading Laid Over Daily – No Amendments
02/19/2015 – House Second Reading Passed – No Amendments
02/20/2015 – House Third Reading Passed – No Amendments
03/04/2015 – Sent to the Governor

sb-041

Here is the bill formulated by our ARRL Colorado Section Government Liaison, Robert Wareham, NØESQ that has been passed by the Colorado Senate and recommended without amendments and will now be presented shortly to the House for their approval. Thanks to Senator Chris Hobart (R) and Rep. Kevin Van Winkle (R) House District 43. The ARRL Legal Counsel, Chris Imlay has also presented legal case precedents to be introduced as well. This should help hams considering tower installation to have the state adoption of PRB-1 pre-empt onerous local city and county antenna rulings. This will allow PRB-1 to be introduced and decided at County Court proceedings versus having to be brought before the much more expensive Federal Court to be argued. Similar bills like this have been passed in 31 other states, so far.

First Regular Session
Seventieth General Assembly
STATE OF COLORADO
INTRODUCED
LLS NO. 15-0339.01 Gregg Fraser x:4325
SENATE BILL 15-041
Senate Committees House Committees
Local Government
SENATE SPONSORSHIP
Holbert,
HOUSE SPONSORSHIP
Van Winkle,
A BILL FOR AN ACT CONCERNING A REQUIREMENT THAT LOCAL GOVERNMENTS REGULATE
AMATEUR RADIO COMMUNICATIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH AN EXISTING FEDERAL PREEMPTION ESTABLISHED BY THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION.
Bill Summary
Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced and does not reflect any amendments that may be subsequently adopted. If this bill passes third reading in the house of introduction, a bill summary that applies to the reengrossed version of this bill will be available at http://www.leg.state.co.us/billsummaries.
The federal communications commission (FCC) currently limits the authority of local governments to regulate amateur radio communications. Any local government regulation must be based on health, safety, or aesthetic considerations, must be crafted to reasonably accommodate amateur radio communications, and must represent the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish a legitimate purpose of the local government. This federal preemption is contained in a memorandum opinion and order from the FCC known as “PRB-1″. The bill specifies that no local government shall enact or enforce an ordinance or resolution regulating amateur radio antennas that fails to comply with the restrictions contained in the PRB-1.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. In Colorado Revised Statutes, add 29-20-109 as follows:
29-20-109. Local government regulation of amateur radio antennas.
NO LOCAL GOVERNMENT SHALL ENACT OR ENFORCE AN  ORDINANCE OR RESOLUTION REGULATING AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNAS THAT FAILS TO CONFORM TO THE LIMITED PREEMPTION SET FORTH IN THE  MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER PRB-1 ENTITLED “FEDERAL PREEMPTION OF STATE AND LOCAL REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO AMATEUR RADIO FACILITIES”, 101 FCC 2d 952 (1985), ISSUED BY THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION AND FURTHER CODIFIED IN 47 CFR 97.15 (b). AN ORDINANCE OR RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY A LOCAL GOVERNMENT THAT REGULATES AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNAS SHALL CONFORM TO THE LIMITED FEDERAL PREEMPTION WHICH PROVIDES THAT LOCAL GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS INVOLVING THE PLACEMENT, SCREENING, OR HEIGHT OF ANTENNAS MUST:
 (a) BE BASED ON HEALTH, SAFETY, OR AESTHETIC CONSIDERATIONS;
(b) BE CRAFTED TO REASONABLY ACCOMMODATE AMATEUR COMMUNICATIONS; AND
(c) REPRESENT THE MINIMUM PRACTICABLE REGULATION
REQUIRED TO ACCOMPLISH THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT’S LEGITIMATE PURPOSE.
SECTION 2. Act subject to petition – effective date. This act takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the  ninety-day period after final adjournment of the general assembly (August 5, 2015, if adjournment sine die is on May 6, 2015); except that, if a referendum petition is filed pursuant to section 1 (3) of article V of the state constitution against this act or an item, section, or part of this act within such period, then the act, item, section, or part will not take effect unless approved by the people at the general election to be held in November 2016 and, in such case, will take effect on the date of the official declaration of the vote thereon by the governor.
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FEMA Citizen Corps 2014 National Community Preparedness Award Presented to Boulder County ARES (BCARES)

Honorable Mention – Technical Innovation

fema bcares award
This honor was paid to BCARES for their construction and implementation of the Mountain Emergency Radio Network (MERN) that they funded and installed prior to the devastating floods that hit the mountain communities above the City of Boulder. The MERN VHF repeater network was instrumental in saving the lives of a number of individuals during the flood by providing a constant link to communities where communications was non-existent but for ham radio.
BCARES utilized Fast Scan ATV and broadcast their live ATV pictures of air rescue operations from the disaster area to national, state, county and city government agencies around the USA via uStream. During the Disaster Assessment stage, BCARES utilized APRS and broadcast the live location of DAT team vehicles from their remote locations in the mountains via APRS.FI on Google Maps to the Red Cross and Boulder County officials. The gathered location info and mapped results proved very useful throughout the assessment effort to keep DAT teams from covering areas previously surveyed. Above is a copy of the FEMA Award Certificate signed by Craig Fugate, FEMA Administrator.

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H.R. 4969, the “Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014″

Greetings –

As you may know, ARRL recently worked with members of the United States House of Representatives to successfully introduce a bipartisan bill that would extend PRB-1 coverage to homeowners’ association regulations and deed restrictions (also known as “covenants, conditions, and restrictions”, or CC&Rs). Presently, PRB-1 only applies to state and local zoning laws and ordinances. The next crucial step for H.R. 4969, the “Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014″, is to gain co-sponsors (*not* votes) in the US House.  The more co-sponsors, the more support the legislation has, and the better the chances of its passing.

Details about this development can be found at:
http://www.arrl.org/news/house-bill-would-require-fcc-to-extend-prb-1-coverage-to-restrictive-covenants

This is a call to action for all ARRL members in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District to contact your Congressman — Rep Jared Polis
–, inform him of this bi-partisan legislation, and kindly request that he sign on to it as a co-sponsor.  Please cut and paste the sample email below (or compose a similar one of your own, if preferred) —
FIRST MAKING SURE THAT YOU ADD YOUR NAME TO THE SIGNATURE — and email it to Rep Polis using the Congressional email form at:

https://polis.house.gov/forms/writeyourrep/default.aspx

Within the page above, fill in the required fields and paste the letter in the “Message Text” field. If asked for the issue you’re writing about, select the “Science and Technology” category.  In the Subject box, enter “Please cosponsor H.R. 4969″.

Please forward a copy of your correspondence to me for my records and so I can summarize the level of response from members of the Rocky Mountain Division to ARRL’s  government relations firm on Capitol Hill who is advocating on our behalf within the halls of Congress (please do not CC me in your original email to your Congressman; forward me a separate copy afterwards).

The sample email below concludes by inviting questions your Congressman may have.  If you are contacted by your Congressman or his staff, and aren’t quite comfortable answering their questions about the legislation, please contact me and I will be happy to provide you with guidance.

Finally, if by chance you know your Congressman personally, or any of his/her staff, please contact me immediately.

Thank you and 73,
Brian Mileshosky
ARRL Director, Rocky Mountain Division

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

Dear Congressman Polis,

I am a constituent in your District and wish to bring an important issue to your attention.  I am a federally licensed Amateur Radio operator, one of over 3,350 whom reside in your District.  We provide wireless communications support for community events; provide public service, search-and-rescue, severe weather, and disaster communications for local governmental agencies and non-governmental agencies (NGO) such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army; provide communications support to the United States military through its Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS); for our neighbors when mainstream communications degrade or become inoperable; and contribute towards the advancement of wireless communications as developers and experimenters of new, novel, and further efficient means of communicating and transferring information.

Our ability to conduct the above public services is hindered by prohibitions that disallow the placement of even the simplest antenna on our property.

Recently a bi-partisan Bill, H.R. 4969 (the “Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014″), was introduced by Rep Kinzinger (R-IL) and Rep Courtney (D-CT) which would extend the ability to properly negotiate with developments that have restrictions which routinely preclude Amateur Radio operators from putting up even a barely visible wire antenna in a tree.  We already have this ability with local zoning ordinances; however an extension of similar reasonable accommodation to federally licensed individuals residing under land use restrictions remains sorely needed.

As your constituent, I am asking that you support H.R. 4969 by signing on to it as a co-sponsor. Please contact Rep. Kinzinger’s office to do so.

Should you have any questions about Amateur Radio or the importance of this legislation, please contact me.  Thank you.

Sincerely,

(*** Add your full name here ***)

——————————————————————–
ARRL Rocky Mountain Division
Director: Brian P Mileshosky, N5ZGT
n5zgt@arrl.org

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Youth in Amateur Radio

The August issue of WorldRadio Magazine has a great article featuring Carole Perry’s (WB2MGP) Youth in Amateur Radio Forum this year at the Dayton HAMvention. This was Carole’s 25th year of presenting the Youth Forum and for that I congratulate her. Once again, one of the Youth Forum presenter’s was from the BARC Juniors (Boulder Amateur Radio Club). Gary Bailey, KDØTRO, age 10 was the youngest speaker at the Forum and he WOW’d them with his presentation on “Radio’s and Components I have built and tested”. See the link below on this year’s Youth Forum and the talented young hams.

 World Radio Magazine – August 2013

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The Internet hasn’t buried amateur radio, but some wonder:

Will young people keep the hobby alive?

Ham radio alive and well in Boulder County

By: Tony Kindelspire – Longmont Times-Call 

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AN EXCELLENT HOMEBREW BOOK

There is an excellent book called “From Crystal Sets to Sideband” written by long time Boulder Amateur Radio Club member, Frank Harris, KØIYE in 2002 and last updated in 2011. It’s a wonderful work of more than 400 pages starting with basic electricity working all the way up to design considerations for homebrew sideband rigs and beyond. Full of great photos, diagrams and humorous cartoons, it’s an entertaining read as well as a great reference sourcebook…and it’s FREE! KØIYE graciously and generously donated it to the public. Thanks to Four State QRP and QRPARCI it’s available to be downloaded and printed freely at http://www.wa0itp.com/crystalsetsssb.html 

A very nice write up about the author, Frank, KØIYE appeared in this World Radio Magazine Article in May 2011

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2014/2015 ARRL HAMFESTs and CONVENTIONS                     

Links to websites belonging to the above events are found on the Rocky Mountain Division site: http://www.RockyMountainDivision.org 
If you’re organizing a Hamfest, convention, or tailgate we encourage you to apply for ARRL-sanctioning. Sanctioning contains many benefits, and details can be found at http://www.arrl.org/hamfest-convention-application

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DENVER RADIO CLUB COLORADO NET LIST 
is on line

The DRC posts a complete list of local ham nets on their site. The link is: http://www.w0tx.org/netlist.htm

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CURRENT SOLAR PREDICTIONS

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In case you were wondering….

The Boulder A-Index Explained:

The geomagnetic A-index is derived from the K-index, which quantifies disturbances in the horizontal component of earth’s magnetic field, using a 0-9 integer scale.  K and A indices are indicators of ionospheric radio propagation conditions.

A value of 1 on the K-index indicates calm and 5 or more indicates a geomagnetic storm.  The K-index is derived from the maximum fluctuations of horizontal components observed on a magnetometer, during a three-hour interval.

The A-index provides an average level for geomagnetic activity.  Because K scale magnetometer fluctuations are non-linear, quasi-logarithmic, it is not meaningful to take averages for a set of K-indices.  Instead, each K is converted back into a linear scale called the equivalent three hourly range “a”-index (lower case “a”).  The daily A-index is an average of eight “a”-indices.

For many years, local hams had access to an A-index published for Boulder, Colorado.  Although the formal “Boulder A-Index” is no longer officially published, the magnetometer used to provide it is still operational.  Below, are web links to current Boulder A-index data.

12-Hour Boulder Magnetometer Monitor (USGS)

Planetary K index

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One Response to Home

  1. Ulrich Hauser says:

    Thanks Jack for all the help. Especially in crisis but also throughout the year as a steady companion of knowledge.
    Ueli HB9TTI

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