Monday, November 28, 2011

FCC Releases New Rules for 60 Meters

ARLB024 FCC Releases New Rules for 60 Meters

ARRL Bulletin 24 ARLB024
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT November 23, 2011
To all radio amateurs

ARLB024 FCC Releases New Rules for 60 Meters

On November 18, the FCC released a Report and Order (R&O), defining new rules for the 60 meter (5 MHz) band. These rules are in response to a Petition for Rulemaking (PRM) filed by the ARRL more than five years ago and a June 2010 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). In the R&O, the FCC replaced one of the channels in the band, increased the maximum authorized power amateur stations may transmit in this
band and authorized amateur stations to transmit three additional emission designators in the five channels in the 5330.6-5406.4 kHz band (60 meters).

The Amateur Radio Service in the United States has a secondary allocation on 60 meters. Only those amateurs who hold General, Advanced or Amateur Extra class licenses may operate on this band. Amateur stations must not cause harmful interference to -- and must accept interference from -- stations authorized by any
administration in the fixed service, as well as mobile (except aeronautical mobile) stations authorized by the administrations of other countries.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE CHANGES HAVE NOT YET TAKEN EFFECT. These new rules will take effect 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register. The ARRL will announce on its website when the rules are published. Additional information can currently be found on the web at,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

BC125AT New Scanner Announcement

In early 2012, Uniden will start shipping its newest scanner, the BC125AT. Touting 500 channels in 10 banks, the BC125AT includes full VHF and UHF coverage (see the frequency chart below), including Air and Military Air channels, as well as full alpha tagging for all channels. PC programmability makes it simple to quickly program up for events such as air shows, auto racing, boat racing, and more.

Close Call® RF Capture including Do-Not-Disturb makes capturing those unknown frequencies a snap. Plus, Uniden has extended the Do-Not-Disturb functionality to include Priority channels, so annoying interruptions from priority or Close Call checks is a thing of the past.

The BC125AT includes all the feature enhancements you've come to expect from Uniden, including Temporary Lockout, CTCSS/DCS decoding, per-channel dropout delay, and complete search features, all in a compact, easy-to-carry chassis. Weather priority and weather alert will also keep you informed as to the latest weather and other hazard as announced by the National Weather Service.

FEATURE Highlights

10 Channel Storage Banks - You can store up to 50 frequencies into each bank for a total of 500 frequencies so you can more easily identify calls.

Close Call RF Capture Technology - you can set the scanner so it detects and provides information about nearby radio transmissions

Close Call Do-Not-Disturb - checks for Close Call activity in between channel reception so active channels are not interrupted.

Close Call Temporary Store - temporarily stores and scans the last 10 Close Call hits in the 'Close Call Hits' system.

PC Programming - you can download information into the scanner and control the scanner via your personal computer.

CTCSS and DCS Squelch Modes - rapid search for CTCSS/DCS tones/codes used during a transmission. You can identify up to 50 CTCSS tones and 104 DCS codes.

Direct Access - lets you directly access any channel.

Lock-Out Function - lets you set your scanner to skip over specified channels or frequencies when scanning or searching.

Temporary Lockout - makes it easy to temporarily lock out any channel or frequency. The lockout is cleared when you turn power off, then back on so you don’t have to remember to unlock the channels later.

Triple-Conversion Circuitry - virtually eliminates any interference from IF (intermediate frequency) images, so you hear only the selected frequency.

Text Tagging - you can name each channel, using up to 16 characters per name.

Service Banks - frequencies are preset in 10 separate Police, Fire/Emergency, Ham, Marine, Railroad, Civil Air, Military Air, CB Radio, FRS/GMRS/MURS, and Racing banks to make it easy to locate specific types of calls and search any or all of these banks.

Priority Scan with Do Not Disturb - lets you program one channel in each bank (10 in all) and then have the scanner check each channel every 2 seconds while it scans the banks so you don’t miss transmissions on those channels. Do-Not Disturb keeps the scanner from interrupting transmissions during receiving.

Priority Plus Scan - you can set the scanner so it scans only the priority channels.

Scan/Search Delay/Resume - controls whether the scanner pauses at the end of the transmission to wait for a reply. You can set the Delay time for each Channel, Close Call Search, Custom Search, and Service search. You can also set a negative delay where the scanner stops on transmissions for a set time then automatically resumes.

Custom Search - lets you program up to 10 Custom Search Ranges and search any or all of these ranges.

Quick Search - allows you to enter a frequency and start searching up or down from that frequency.

Turbo Search - increases the search speed from 100 to 300 steps per second automatically for bands with 5 kHz steps.

Search Lockouts - you can lock up to 200 search frequencies: 100 temporary frequencies and 100 permanent frequencies in Custom Search, Service Search, Close Call Search, or Quick Search Modes.

Weather Alert Priority - the scanner scans active WX channels every 5 seconds to check for the presence of a 1050 Hz Weather Alert Tone.

Weather Alert Standby - the scanner allows you to monitor for weather alerts broadcast on NOAA channels.

Display Backlight - You can turn on/off the LCD backlight, set it operate on squelch only, keypress only, or both.

Signal Strength Meter - shows the signal strength for more powerful transmissions.

Flexible Antenna with BNC Connector - provides adequate reception in strong signal areas and is designed to help prevent antenna breakage. Or, you can connect an external antenna for better reception.

Memory Backup - keeps the frequencies stored in memory for an extended time if the scanner loses power.

Two Power Options - let you power the scanner using the included two AA rechargeable or alkaline batteries or the supplied USB cable.

Built-In Charger - allows you to charge Ni-MH batteries in the scanner using a USB port on any computer and the supplied USB cable.

Key Confirmation Tones - You can turn on/off a tone that sounds when you perform an operation correctly or if you make an error.

Key Lock - lets you lock the scanner's keys to help prevent accidental changes to the scanner's programming.

Battery Save - works when there is no transmission for 1 minute in Scan Hold Mode and any Search Hold Mode (without Priority Scan). This feature turns off RF power for 1 second and turns on it for 300ms to extend the battery life.

Battery Low Alert - the icon will blink in the display and a tone warns you every 15 seconds when the battery power gets low

Frequency Coverage:
25-54 MHz
108-174 MHz
225-380 MHz
400-512 MHz

Since an FCC Grant has not yet been issued for this scanner, it may not be offered for sale. Nothing in this post should be construed as an offer to sell the product. Any such offering will be contingent on receipt of a FCC Grant.