Help Us Keep the 440 MHz Band

I’ve been planning to blog about this for a while, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Thankfully, Jim Weaver, K8JE, our division director, has crafted a very nice explanation of the problem and has outlined an appropriate course of action.  I encourage everyone to send this letter. I’ve just sent mine…..73, Dan

Your prompt help to defend one of our amateur bands is urgently requested. Please read and follow through on the requested action.

You may have already heard that our 440 MHz band is being attacked by a bill introduced into the US House of Representatives. In its current form, HR 607 would take away the 420-440 MHz segment that is presently allocated to Amateur Radio on a secondary basis as our 70 cm band. Along with certain other segments not allocated to Amateur Radio, the 420-440 MHz segment would become part of a spectrum “give back” involved in allocating 758-763 and 788-793 MHz for a Public Safety broadband network.

The concept of this network has merit. Everyone wants first responders to have the radio systems they need in order to protect themselves and us. However, there is absolutely no need to take our 440 MHz band in making it happen. We need to let our US Representatives know we oppose the current form of HR 607.

To let your US Representative know you oppose the present bill, go to http://www.kd4pyr.net/hamletter.htm. Insert your call sign where indicated and follow the simple instructions. The name and address of your US Representative will automatically be put into the letter, as will your name and address. It will be ready to be printed and signed.

IMPORTANT: Please be sure to observe the following once you have printed your letter:

  • Be sure to sign it. Letters without a handwritten signature are not effective.
  • Signed letters can be sent by fax or postal mail. They can also be scanned into PDF format and e-mailed as a file attachment. Postal mail: John Chwat, Chwat & Co., Suite 103, 625 Slaters Lane, Alexandria, VA 22314. E-mail: john.chwat@chwatco.com. Fax number: (703) 684-7594.
  • Do not send this letter or any letter about HR 607 to your US Senators at this time. The bill is only in the US House of Representatives. Letters sent on HR 607 to US Senators will merely waste their time and demonstrate lack of knowledge of how our system of government works.

WHY SHOULD the letter be mailed to John Chwat? There are two reasons. First, all postal mail to members of the US House (and other government bodies) is delayed 6 to 8 weeks in being searched for hazardous materials that may be included in them. Second, Mr. Chwat will increase the value of your individual letter by combining it with others and delivering the stack of letters directly to your Representative’s office. This manner of delivery makes a particular impact on our Congressmen.

If you feel it necessary to mail your letter directly to your Representative, do it. However, please also send a signed copy of it to Mr. Chwat for the reasons outlined above.

For your information, the letter generating utility will be open for use by any US amateur for at least a couple of weeks.

Thanks for your help and support in this important effort. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

73,

Jim Weaver, K8JE, Director
ARRL Great Lakes Division
5065 Bethany Rd.
Mason, OH 45040; Tel. 513-459-1661
ARRL, The national association for Amateur Radio

PS: Thanks to Rick Haltermon, KD4PYR for developing the letter generating utility. He was aided by Trey Garlough, N5KO who wrote the initial program. Rick continues to add flesh to the program.

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