K3NG announces a new online logging service with some odd characteristics. Quite funny, so check it out.
Now this is really interesting: Mark AF6IM did a parachute jump during the June VHF QSO party and made some contacts during his descent. The ARRL rules do not allow aeronautical mobile contacts for the contest but apparently they consider parachuting to be in a different class. (I call it “jumping out of a perfectly good airplane for no reason” ) Read the Southgate ARC article for more information. It seems that ham radio plus skydiving is turning into a niche sport (see parachutemobile.org ). I like this kind of crossover activity for amateur radio!
The technical powerhouse nation of France has decided that D-STAR is illegal in that country. See the article on the Southgate Amateur Radio Club site. Quoting from that site:
A report on the French digital ham radio website (DR@F) says that the regulator, the ARCEP, has said the D-STAR protocol specifications could allow ham-radio operators to connect their station to Internet and that is prohibited.
K3NG has something to say about D-STAR: Announcing D-STAR Illegal in the US and Now France.
The FCC recently got the idea that they should update the General Mobile Radio Service rules. They are proposing to remove the licensing requirements for GMRS along with some other changes. This looks to me like the last nail in the coffin for a useful GMRS service. The FCC already screwed up by intermingling Family Radio Service channels with GMRS channels. (An unlicensed service on the same frequencies as a licensed service? Brilliant.) So now the world is filled with these “bubble pack” FRS/GMRS radios used by unlicensed and largely radio-clueless users. I am tempted to file comments on the NPRM but it feels like the ship already sailed.
The new Apple iPhone apparently has a problem with its antenna design. Something about leaving the antenna elements exposed means that the user can detune/obstruck the antenna by holding it in his hand. Gee, who would have thought of that (other than thousands of qualified RF engineers worldwide)? No worries, it now appears that Apple is looking for a few good antenna engineers. Good idea.
And the rumors pursist that the iPhone is coming to other US mobile phone providers (besides AT&T). USA Today says the iPhone will be on Verizon next January. This seems inevitable to me, but I am not sure I care. The Android phones are coming on strong with a more open system. It’s even possible that my life will continue to be fullfilling without carrying a smart phone around 24/7. Maybe.
– 73, Bob K0NR