Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spread-Spectrum Question to be Dropped from Extra Class Question Pool - New Rules Effective April 29


New Rules regarding amateur radio Spread-Spectrum communications will take effect April 29, by which time one question in the Extra Class exam pool will need to be removed.

The National Council of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) has advised all VECs and volunteer examiners who design their own tests to drop question number E1F13 from the Amateur Extra Class question pool. The question deals with the maximum power permitted on amateur radio Spread-Spectrum transmissions, and the FCC has just changed the answer!

Earlier this month, the FCC finally ruled on a petition filed five years ago by the ARRL, agreeing to drop the requirement for automatic power control on Spread Spectrum transmissions, but also dropping the maximum permitted S/S output power from 100 to 10 watts PEP. The new rule was published in the Federal Register on March 30, meaning that it takes effect 30 days later, on April 29. At that point, the answer to the exam question above will no longer be correct.