FCC Rule Making Regarding Digital Communications Needs your Review and Comments– IMPORTANT

There is a proposed FCC Rulemaking, RM-11831, which if implemented would basically eliminate most if not all of our digital radio communications modes and capabilities including but not limited to Winlink, P25, DMR, and C4FM.  The potential negative impacts to both amateur radio, and to emergency communications, are huge.

We encourage all ACS members to do the following:

  1. Read the proposal, Petition for Rulemaking RM-11831. First you need to understand what is being proposed before you can comment for or against.
  2. Reviews articles about the issue in these linked publications:
    1. Article from Mission Critical Communications
    1. Article from NYU Wireless
    1. Winlink’s response to Petition RM-11831
  3. Follow this link and read some of the other comments, both for and against the proposed rulemaking.  Consider the various points of view.
  4. Look at these two linked responses, which have already been filed by Seattle OEM/ACS:  Mark Sheppard and Carl Leon.  Please do not simply copy or quote these but read them to perhaps get ideas of what you might want to say. But say it in your own words.
  5. Compose your own thoughts on a piece of paper, in Word or in a text file. Set them aside for a bit, then go back and read them again. Fine tune until what you want to say is concise and clear.  Save it.
  6. Go to this link: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings  and post your own comment.  The page looks intimidating, but it really isn’t. Fill in the boxes that clearly apply to you and leave the rest blank. Some are required.  You do need to indicate RM-11831 in the first box, and that you are the filer. No need to enter anything in for author, or law firm, or any other fields that clearly don’t apply.  When you have completed all the necessary boxes, at the bottom of the form is a place to upload a file.  Upload the file with your comments (that you saved in step 5 above).
  7. Submit the form. And thank you for taking the time to consider this matter and to submit a response.

Thank you, ACS Leadership

Statewide EOC-to-EOC Communications Exercise

On Saturday March 30, thirty-five Seattle ACS team members participated in the Washington State Emergency Management Division’s (EMD) Statewide Communications Exercise to test communications with state and tribal emergency operations centers (EOCs) using two-way radio and email over radio to simulate a statewide emergency where commercial communications are interrupted. 

Additionally, Seattle activated teams of radio operators at the EOC and in six geographic sectors of the City to practice its capability to send and receive messages using a variety of wireless technologies including the high band-width HamWAN IP network which enables voice over IP telephone, video image transfer and email messaging.  In a disaster these systems will be available to support City operations, back-up for 911 services and provide messaging to the community.  ACS used RapidTag to sign-in and track all participants during the exercise.

Joan and Bob at Central East Sector

ACS also staffed a table at a Girl Scouts event at Magnuson Park and incorporated that site into the exercise with the opportunity to demonstrate emergency communications.

Thank you to Dave Wilma for organizing the exercise and to George Thornton for coordinating the sector support as well as a special thanks to the COMT team for all their prep work in helping team members setup and test HamWAN prior to the event.  It was a great exercise – thank you all for being there, an after action report is being written and you can view photos of the event by following this link.

Work Party at Capitol Park – 3/10/19

It was another chilly, but beautiful day to be outside. We accomplished our primary goal of raising the new VHF antenna. There is still a bit of work to be done to cap it off, but it was the last big project to complete here. Big thanks to Randy and Doug for spending time devising a simple and safe way to hoist and mount the antenna and also thanks to Mark, Carl, Bod, Casey, Alan, Todd, and Barry for all the help.

Antenna Construction
Interior Work
Hoisting the antenna | Final mounting position