The ARRL participated in a teleconference call on Wednesday, September 19, with the Department of Defense (DoD) regarding Amateur Radio repeaters interfering with the Air Force’s PAVE Paws radar system.
According to ARRL Regulatory Branch Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, “The DoD acknowledges that it has seen changes at some repeater sites, but not all of them.” He said the DoD has revisited the Massachusetts repeaters, located near Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod, to “remeasure the numbers. Some Massachusetts repeater owners have volunteered to completely turn off their systems and some others have made changes, but more is needed at both PAVE Paws radar sites.”
The DoD, Henderson continued, has identified additional sources of interference in Massachusetts. “This was not really unexpected and is part of what has become an ongoing project. The ARRL will begin working with these repeater owners as soon as the DoD provides us with specific information,” he said.
In California, where more than 100 repeaters are being scrutinized by the DoD, Henderson said the majority of repeaters have not been mitigated: “The Air Force has not had a chance to revisit Beale Air Force Base for new measurements, but it will be happening soon.”
Reports have circulated that a number of California repeater owners have decided to take no further action about mitigating the interference unless they receive official notice from the Federal Communications Commission. “If these reports are true,” Henderson said, “it is unfortunate. The FCC has stayed abreast of the discussions between the League and the DoD, and they are prepared to act appropriately if they are contacted by the DoD.”
He continued: “The DoD has indicated they are willing to allow the ARRL to continue its attempts to mitigate the interference; however, they have expressed a sense of urgency that this must come to a conclusion. Those waiting for FCC action may find it coming sooner rather than later.”
–The ARRL Letter Vol. 26, No. 38 September 21, 2007
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