Thursday, March 1, 2018

ARRL to FCC: Time to Legalize PACTOR 4

Commenting in the same proceeding as noted in the previous story, the ARRL also urged the FCC to
act on its 2013 petition to eliminate the current restrictions on "symbol rate" for data transmissions below 29.7 MHz. That petition also called for allowing HF data signals to occupy up to 2.8 kHz of bandwidth, the same as a single sideband signal. The League's main goal in this petition is to get the FCC to legalized the use on HF of PACTOR-4, the mode that is at the heart of the WinLink data transmission system. The FCC granted a temporary waiver to permit its use last fall in connection with hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean.
There is some controversy about the use of WinLink on the amateur bands, as some critics claim it is used by boaters to send and receive e-mail which may include business communications. In addition, the system relies on automatically-controlled relay stations, which some claim will cause interference because they are unable to listen before transmitting to be sure a frequency is not already in use.