Amateur / Ham Radio Licence Status

The ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) Manager Maria Somma AB1FM has reported another successful year, increasing the number of Amateur / Ham Radio Licences issued.

New licence issues were up by 1% compared to 2015 - a third year of increases. In 2016, 33,552 licences were granted.

Since the removal of the requirement to pass a morse code exam in 2007, the number of amateur’s in the US has continued to rise. Since 2007, the net rise of Ham Radio Operators is nearly 87,000.

The FCC database shows the number of US licence holders currently stands at 742,787.

Full ARRL Story -

Potential Changes to US Entry Exam

The ARRL are currently consulting members in relation to possible changes to the US entry level exam.

For consideration is to either make changes to the existing Technician licence, or to introduce a new entry level exam before the Technician level.

An online member survey has been created to gather feedback -

Declines in Australia and Germany

To counter the success of the increase of operators in America, worrying statistics show a decrease in operators in Germany and Australia.

In Australia, the total number of licences is 14,617, a decline of nearly 1%. To counteract this decline, the WIA is looking to modernise the hobby to recruit more members.

Germany has shown a decline in operators, losing 4,000 operators since 2010.

VHF/UHF DX Book Replica Edition

'The VHF/UHF DX Book' was written in the early to mid-1990s by a team of experienced VHF/UHF DXers and equipment developers, in an effort to pass on our knowledge and stimulate further developments.

But eventually the book went out of print, and information of lasting value became trapped on the printed pages.

To keep that information alive for future generations of VHF/UHF DXers, a digital replica of the Second Printing (1995) has now been released as a free download, by kind permission of the copyright owner TR Publishing and its proprietor Trevor Preece.

As with all older books, the challenge for the reader is to separate the parts that are of lasting value from other parts that have become dated. But we make no apology for that; even the outdated parts remain an accurate snapshot of VHF/UHF DXing in its heyday.

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NOSintro Book

Ian Wade G3NRW has made available as a free PDF his classic book NOSintro TCP/IP over Packet Radio 

First published in 1992 NOSintro is an introduction to the KA9Q Network Operating System, the forerunner to JNOS, which is still in use today. 

Although the book was written 25 years ago, much of the material is still relevant.

Download NOSintro -

Up-to-date discussions on JNOS -

ACMA Reverses CB Decision

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has reversed its decision to make 40 channel UHF CB radios illegal from June 2017 

It is estimated there are thousands of UHF, or citizens band (CB) radios on farms and in trucks, caravans and businesses throughout Australia. Upgrading to 80 channel radios was going to cost some businesses tens of thousands of dollars.

The manager of spectrum licensing policy at ACMA, Dominic Byrne, said the two systems are working well alongside each other so the authority had decided to remove the requirement to upgrade to 80 channel UHF sets.

These changes were introduced to manage congestion and interference in the CB radio channels.
— Dominic Byrne - ACMA

Truck drivers around the country were taken by surprise by the original decision to make the 40 channel radios illegal, according to Rod Hannifey from Dubbo in NSW.

ABC Story -

Online UK Advanced Exam

The RSGB have posted an article to their website, outline a pilot for an online advanced UK amateur radio exam.

The document includes more detail regarding timing of the pilot phase of the project and also includes an FAQ section that hopefully answers most of the questions that exam secretaries and candidates are likely to raise.

Download -