Are you operating DMR/DSTAR/Wires on 70cm and breaking the law?
AMSAT, a large international organization that coordinates the operation and support of amateur radio satellites has reported that there appear to be people or groups that are operating digital modes within the 70cm satellite sub-band.
It should be noted that it is illegal to operate a repeater of any type (unless it's actually in space!) in the frequency range from 435.000 to 438.000 MHz, inclusive. While it may not be illegal, it's certainly frowned-upon to do ANY sort of operation in the 435-438 MHz frequency range that is directly related to Earth-Space operations.
In other words: NOT you should never operate on any frequency that begins with a 435, 436 or 437 unless you are trying to talk to someone via a spacecraft!
It is possible that several people are using the so-called dongles or "hot spots" in this frequency range and while these devices operate at very low power - a few 10s of milliwatts, it is likely that the radio being used with one of these hot-spots is not running such low power. It's worth remembering that in space, even a fraction of a watt of transmitted power can be easily detected even on a rubber duck type of antenna.
AMSAT has determined that these operations are occurring in the general area of Colorado or western midwest - but this doesn't necessarily exclude Utah. Over time they should be able to narrow down the location of these transmissions and possibly decode callsigns.
If you are operating your digital radio in the 435-437 MHz area, PLEASE STOP NOW. If you are in Utah, please contact Utah VHF Society Simplex manager for advice on a frequency on which you may "safely" operate and/or refer to the page Wasatch Front Simplex frequency usage.
For more information about AMSAT and other amateur satellite operations, please visit the AMSAT web page.
Thank you for attending the 2018 Utah VHF Society Swap Meet
The 2018 Utah VHF Society Swap Meet was be held on Saturday, Februrary 24, 2018at the Davis County Fairgrounds - the same location as the past several years. The general impression was that it was somewhat better-attended than in some past years, despite the recent snowstorm and impending weather. At the meeting a general election was held amongst the cacophony and the current officers were re-elected.
If you are a current Utah VHF society member (check the list on the "How to Join or Renew UVHFS Membership" page if you aren't sure) or have recently paid - but could not attend the Swap Meet to get your booklet - contact the UVHFS president, Mel Parkes, NM7P using the email address on the "Officers of the Utah VHF Society" page. . Over the next several months he'll be making his usual rounds of the various clubs, bringing some booklets with him and you may be able to get your booklet from him at that time.
See you next year!
Things to consider if you want to put up a repeaterAre you planning to put a repeater on the air for your group? Are you planning to do this along the Wasatch Front? Do you want this repeater to be on 2 meters or 70cm?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should know the following:
What if you and your group believe that you have a need for your own repeater - Before you go too much farther down that road, consider the following:
An important notice to users of the ARRL Repeater Directory and the "RF Finder" app - an updateThere is now a working agreement between the Utah Frequency coordinator and RF Finder (which also provides repeater data to the ARRL) in which it is now possible to make changes to the database. Because this update method is entirely manual (e.g. it is done online via forms and tables)it will take some time to go through the relevant Utah data and make the necessary corrections and updates, but recent attempts to do this have resulted in frustration due to the "old" and inaccurate data that had been corrected being restored, destroying hours of work. In the future, unless a means by which data may be synchronized is devised, the "Utah" data found at RF Finder will continue to be "dirty" (e.g. out of date, incorrect, and often redundant.)
Please note that the Utah VHF Society is responsible only for data related to Utah repeaters and that it will be up to other entities to keep their portions of the database current.
About the Idaho portion of the Intertie SystemThe Officers of the Utah VHF Society were approached by Vance Hawley, WA7FDR, to determine if it would be possible to obtain funds from Idaho hams the same way we do in Utah to help support the Idaho portion of the Intertie repeaters. After much discussion The Utah VHF Society Officers have agreed to begin an initial effort to ask the Idaho hams who would like to support the Idaho portion of the Intertie System to join the Utah VHF Society.
Any funds obtained through this effort or any donations we obtain from Idaho hams will be dedicated to Idaho Intertie System repeaters. We would like to thank all those who attended the Hamfest in Boise who made the initial effort to kick off this project by joining the Society and making generous contributions. Enough funds were raised via recent efforts to address some crucial needs, such as the purchase of new batteries for the Sawtell (West Yellowstone) repeater site and upgrade and maintenance for other projects. As more funds become available additional improvements will be made to the Idaho system.
Some time down the road it may be possible for our Idaho friends to create a self supporting entity similar to the Utah VHF Society, but for now we desire to do our best to help make good things happen in Idaho!
If you want to help with this effort you may do so through the Utah VHF Socity (contact information is here). Any
funds obtained through this effort or any donations we obtain from Idaho
hams will be dedicated to Idaho Intertie System repeaters. Please mark your membership and or donations for Idaho.
If anyone has any questions or suggestions please feel free to contact or email one of the Utah VHF Society Officers.
For more details about each of the Idaho Repeater Linked System repeaters please click here http://utahvhfs.org/other_rpt.html#jumpoff
DO NOT SEND
MEMBERSHIP QUERIES TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS! Questions
regarding your membership status may be directed to the
Treasurer of the
Utah VHF Society. For the status
of your UVHFS membership, check the "How to Join or Renew"