AMRAD CONTINUES LF EXPERIMENTS
Slow-speed beacon transmissions from the Washington, DC, area at 136.75 kHz under the call sign WA2XTF have been on the air continuously since May from the QTH of WB3KDU in Vienna, Virginia. The activity is being conducted under the Part 5 Experimental License issued to the Amateur Radio Research and Development Corporation to test the waters on 136 kHz. So far, reception reports have been received from amateurs near Washington, DC.
In March, the FCC granted a one-year experimental license to AMRAD to conduct tests using WA2XTF on 136.75 kHz from twelve sites in Northern Virginia. These experiments are to gain experience in anticipation that the FCC may allocate the low-frequency band 135.7-137.8 kHz to the Amateur Radio Service in the US. Several other countries already have an LF allocation at 136 kHz.
Last October, the ARRL petitioned the FCC to create two amateur LF allocations at 135.7-137.8 kHz and 160-190 kHz. The League asked for a 200 W PEP power limit (no more than 2W EIRP) and asked that the new bands be made available to those holding a General class or higher license. The League proposed permitting CW, SSB, RTTY/data, and image emissions. Its petition was designated RM-9404.
The installation at the WB3KDU experimental site has been a team effort using a ROPEX "The First" transmitter, a homebrew antenna system, and bits and pieces from various members' collections. After about a month of operation from this initial station, others authorized under the Part 5 license got serious about gathering the parts to put their own stations on the air. AMRAD participants were able to locate some large inductors and capacitors not normally part of HF/VHF junk boxes during the recent Dayton Hamvention.
While the list of stations is closed and new transmitting stations cannot be added, others are invited to join the project by listening and reporting results. Reception reports should be sent via e-mail to Andre Kesteloot, N4ICK, firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available about this experimental operation at the AMRAD Web site, http://www.amrad.org/.--AMRAD Newsletter