February 2020

Note from President Dave

Greetings to all!

I hope everyone is doing well and free from the all the ailments that are going around this time of year.

January has been a busy month for visits and programs. Thanks to Dave Cisco and Dee Haynes for presenting the radio history program to a group at Pell City Baptist Church. This program was so well received a man brought a radio to the shop for repair the next week. This shows you what advertising can do. We need to add another team to present the programs to other groups. If you would like to assist with this ongoing project, please contact Dave Cisco or Dee Haynes. They need help to meet the demand.

Recently two school groups visited the museum & shop, one large group of 55 student and teachers from Red Mountain School and another smaller group from a home schooling organization. Much interest was shown by both.  Another school group is scheduled for February 27. We also have requests from other groups for programs in the months ahead.

The February electronics class was well attended with our new instructor Boyd Bailey in charge. Thanks again to Joe Minor for his work with the class in the past and for working with Boyd as he transitions into the instructor role.

Work was steady in the shop last month and attendance was good.

We are now in a very busy time of year. The Birmingham Amateur Radio Club hamfest will be March 6th and 7th. We are preparing items to take for sale and for display. If you have anything you are interested in displaying, please let me know. Member Rick Curl is presenting the AHRS program for the forum on Saturday March 7th at 1:00 PM. He has named the program “Surface Mount PCB’s – the Easy Way”. This will be a very informative program.  We hope you will come and support Rick and the Society. Thanks to Rick for planning this event.

Remember the annual Legends of Broadcast event coming in April. We need help in contacting  the legends or anyone you may know who may be interested in the history of broadcast radio. Please make everyone aware of the date and time. If you can help with making a few calls please contact me and we will provide you a part of the list of names with contact info.

There have been many new items donated this year including vacuum tubes and parts. We are still in the process of sorting these tubes and other parts at the Saturday & Tuesday meetings. Thanks to all who have helped with this project. If you are interested in being involved in shop work, please see John Outland or Ray Giles. They would greatly appreciate your help. John is doing a great job in the tube room but they come in faster than they can be sorted.

If you have not paid your dues this year, please do so as soon as you can. You can bring a check or cash to a Saturday or Tuesday gathering or to the next monthly meeting. You can also mail a check to the Society P.O. box. Please support your Society by paying your dues and consider contributing some of your time and effort to the general operation and administration of the Society. Thanks to all members for the support you have given me and Society in the past.

That’s all for now!! See you at the shop.


What's Happening at the Society

President Signs PIRATE Act to Combat Illegal Broadcasting

On January 24, President Donald Trump signed into law the "Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act," or the PIRATE Act. The measure, which amends the Communications Act of 1934, authorizes enhanced penalties for violators. Under the new law, pirate radio broadcasters would be subject to a fine of not more than $2 million, and violators could be fined up to $100,000 for each day during which an offense occurs. The new law stipulates that the FCC "shall not decrease or diminish the regular enforcement efforts targeted to pirate radio broadcast stations for other times of the year."

The FCC is to submit to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation a report summarizing the implementation of this section and associated enforcement activities for the previous fiscal year. The new law also requires "annual sweeps," during which FCC personnel will be assigned to "focus specific and sustained attention on the elimination of pirate radio broadcasting within the top five radio markets identified as prevalent for such broadcasts." The Commission also "shall conduct monitoring sweeps to ascertain whether the pirate radio broadcasting identified by enforcement sweeps is continuing and whether additional pirate radio broadcasting is occurring."

Under the new law, the FCC will change its rules so that it proceeds directly to issuance of a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) without first issuing a Notice of Unlicensed Operation (NOUO).

The FCC will develop and publish a database of all licensed AM and FM broadcasters, accessible directly from the FCC home page. The FCC is also required to publish a list of "all entities that have received a Notice of Unlicensed Operation, Notice of Apparent Liability, or forfeiture order," as well as "each entity...operating without a Commission license or authorization."

The law defines pirate radio broadcasting as transmitting within the AM and FM bands without an FCC license, but excluding unlicensed operations in compliance with Part 15.

Boyd Bailey, Our New Class Instructor

Boyd Bailey (left) conducting his first class as our new instructor.
Dave Cisco instructing the students of Red Mountain School
Students from Red Mountain School
Student Ollie Hulsey and his mother from home schooling group
Ollie Hulsey at the AHRS Technology Display
AHRS Technology Display
Bod Friedman and Ken Smith working on audio transcription
Dave Johnson leading AHRS monthly meeting
Dave Cisco giving a radio history presentation at the Pell City Baptist Church
Dee Haynes giving a radio history presentation at the Pell City Baptist Church