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HF High Power Trial

Purpose of the trial

The purpose of the trial is to allow a period of time for the ACMA and the WIA to evaluate any likely impacts from the use of high powers on the Amateur Service HF Bands before considering any possible long term arrangements.

This page is provided by the WIA for the benefit of members as guidance for those Advanced licensees considering whether to apply for a high frequency high power authorisation.

On the 31st August the trial was concluded and the ACMA report can be found at the following link.
Link

High Power Trial Update - July 2013

The ACMA conducted an audit over early 2013 of stations documentation for those Amateurs who participated in the trial. The ACMA and the WIA worked together to improve the EMR calculator developed by Doug McArthur VK3UM, which has now been upgraded. Participants in the trial are advised to see the WIA News Release, which can be accessed by clicking this Link

What is the trial period

The trial commenced on 1 March 2012 and will conclude on 31 August 2013 which allows Advanced amateur licensees to vary their conditions of licence to permit use of higher power.

The 18 month authorisation is intended to provide the ACMA with time to evaluate the success of the trial after a 12 month period and to consider permanent regulatory arrangements, if warranted, while avoiding dead air between the evaluation time and the implementation of permanent arrangements if appropriate. It is important to remember the success of this trial will require all licensees to act responsibly.

The ACMA information in respect of the trial can be found on its website at Link

The WIA is providing some additional information which it hopes will assist amateurs considering taking advantage of the opportunity to vary their licence conditions to allow the use of higher output power.

Who can participate in the trial

Any Advanced station licensee may apply for a variation to their licence to participate in the trial.

In agreeing to the WIA's request, the ACMA has for the purpose of the trial period has imposed a number of conditions which places the onus on Advanced licensees.

These are:

  the condition only applies to the Australian Amateur Primary Service HF bands 3.5 to 29.7 MHz,
  to comply with the ARPANSA standard requirements in respect the electromagnetic radiation,
  transmissions are limited to the specified locations,
  up to a maximum power of 1000 watts peak envelope power, having regard to the emission mode employed, and that
  EMI interference is not caused to other devices - including but not limited to domestic consumer devices.

The process of applying is straight forward.

Advanced licensee may apply for a variation of their licence conditions to their existing licence, or apply for a new licence (and callsign), using the ACMA Apparatus Licence Application form R057 that can be down loaded from the ACMA website, or from the list of documents below. Information such as client number can be found on your station licence certificate.

If an applicant wishes to operate their station at a fixed location(s) other than their 'home' location this should be requested in the section on the form. If there is not enough space for listing locations, addition pages can be attached to the form. The form should be sent to the ACMA postal address indicated on the R57 together with the once only administrative fee which is currently $49. The ACMA only accepts cheques or money orders it does not accept credit cards at this time.

In considering whether to apply for a high power authorisation a number of factors should be considered. One important one is the ACMA will not issue an authorisation if a station is located in an ACMA 'Defined Trial Location' for other technologies. Location of trial areas will be placed on the ACMA website.

Should a new technolgoy trial commence during the trial, licensees within an exclusion zone will be notified of the commencement of the LTE trial. Upon receiving notification, licensees must return to using the transmitter output power levels specified in the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination No. 1 of 1997.

There are no current technology trials in place and the last LTE trial in Midland W.A. has ceased.

Another consideration is what are the chances of causing interference (EMI)or excess EMR exposure limits as defined in the ARPANSA standard? Applicants will not be required to demonstrate compliance with the ARPANSA standard at the time of application. However, at any time during the trial the ACMA may request a licensee demonstrate compliance with the standard.

Well, if you live on an average suburb house block, or a high density housing estate, you probably will cause problems. If you are located in a rural or semi rural area you have the best chance of gaining an authorisation, bearing in mind the onus is on the licensee.

Once you have obtained your authorisation your obligations don't end there. In granting the authorisation the ACMA expects that any interference issues will be immediately resolved between the affect parties. The ACMA has limited resources and will not provide assistance. The sorts of devices that may be affected include, but not limited to, domestic radios and televisions, audio systems, computer PC speakers, landline telephones including answering devices, security alarms, garage door openers.

It is important to remember the success of this trial will require all licensees to act responsibly and react accordingly to resolve any problems using a range of techniques published in amateur radio reference material. A log of high power transmission times may assist in this regard to eliminate other sources of interference.

The ACMA Licence Conditions

These are the additional conditions that will be placed on a licence to allow the use of higher power:

The Higher Power Licence Conditions

1. The further licence conditions set out in this Notice take effect on [insert date] and expire on 31 August 2013.

2. The licensee may, subject to clauses 3 to 6 below, operate an amateur advanced station at a Permissible Output Power Level.

3. The licensee must not operate an amateur advanced station using a transmitter output power of more than 1000 watts pX with any emission mode.

4. The licensee must only operate an amateur advanced station at a Permissible Output Power Level on a frequency that is in one of the following frequency bands:

(a) 3500 to 3700 kHz;
(b) 3776 to 3800 kHz;
(c) 7000 to 7100 kHz;
(d) 14000 to 14350 kHz;
(e) 18068 to 18168 kHz;
(f) 21000 to 21450 kHz;
(g) 24890 to 24990 kHz; or
(h) 28000 to 29700 kHz.

5. The licensee must not operate an amateur advanced station at a Permissible Output Power Level at any location other than a Nominated Location.

6. The licensee must not operate an amateur advanced station at a Permissible Output Power Level at a Nominated Location if the Nominated Location is within a 40 kilometre radius of a Designated LTE Trial Site.

7. Sections 10 and 16 of the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination No. 1 of 1997 do not apply with respect to the operation by the licensee of an amateur advanced station at a Permissible Output Power Level where the station is operated in accordance with these further licence conditions.

8. For the avoidance of doubt, subject to clause 7, the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination No. 1 of 1997 applies with respect to the operation by the licensee of an amateur advanced station at a Permissible Output Power Level.

9. For the avoidance of doubt, the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination No. 1 of 1997 applies with respect to the operation by the licensee of an amateur advanced station at a level of transmitter output power other than a Permissible Output Power Level.

10. In these further licence conditions:
amateur advanced station has the meaning given to that term in the Radiocommunications (Interpretation) Determination 2000.

Designated LTE Trial Site means the location of a scientific assigned station used for the trial of long term evolution technology, where the latitude and longitude of that location are:
(a) specified in the scientific licence issued in relation to that station; and
(b) published on the Australian Communications and Media Authority website for the purposes of this paragraph.

emission mode has the meaning given to that term in the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination No. 1 of 1997.

frequency band has the meaning given to that term in the Radiocommunications Act 1992.

Nominated Location means [insert fixed address] or [insert other nominated fixed addresses if applicable].

Permissible Output Power Level means a level of transmitter output power of more than 400 watts pX but not more than 1000 watts pX.

pX has the meaning give to that term in the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination No. 1 of 1997.
scientific assigned station has the meaning given to that term in the Radiocommunications (Interpretation) Determination 2000.

scientific licence has the meaning given to that term in the Radiocommunications (Interpretation) Determination 2000.

Nominated Location

The licence conditions only permit the use of higher power at a nominate location. Ordinarily this will be the station location specified in the licence, but the ACMA has agreed to allow amateurs who apply for the variation of their licence the opportunity to specify other fixed locations.

The WIA requested this to allow amateurs with additional fixed locations the opportunity to specify these locations or to specify a temporary location for a particular activity.

Station Log

The obligation on amateurs imposed by the regulator to keep logs of transmissions disappeared many years ago, but many amateurs do still keep logs.

The WIA strongly urges all amateurs who have obtained a variation of their licence to allow the use of higher power to keep a complete log of all transmissions, including those using higher power.

It is suggested that a logbook for this purpose should at least include the following information:

  The nominated location;
  The date;
  The time (local)
  The station worked or test signals;
  The emission;
  Frequency;
  Power output;
  Power mode PEP or Mean
  Antenna used;
  Time ended,

A log may be critical to refute the allegation of interference caused by the use of higher power.
A XL spreadsheet template is provided in the document below.

Permitted Maximum RF Power Levels for Amateur Emission Modes

To assist all amateur licensees, the WIA sets out the different RF power levels for the different classes of amateur licences using different modes, and its suggested methods of measuring those power levels. The following Link takes you directly to to the 'Power measurements" page on the WIA website. The page is also accessible by selecting the Technical Reference section under the 'For Members' drop-down menu.

Compliance with stipulated radiofrequency emission limits

It is essential that all Amateur stations, particularly stations participating in the High Power trial, ensure that the signal level from the station complies with the radiofrequency emission limits stipulated in the ARPANSA standard. Guidelines for complying with radiofrequency emission limits can be found on the ARPANSA website via this Link

The guide 'Human Exposure to EMR: Assessment of Amateur Radio Stations for Compliance with ACA Requirements' is the Guide referred to, and the WIA has arranged for the relevant calculations for 500 watts to be done and should be read in conjunction with this publication. Please note the Disclaimer on the first page of the document and in particular, that the additional information is also intended as a Guide only. View the page via this Link

Applicants should note that licensees who are granted a High Power authorisation may also need to comply with the Level 2 EMR Compliance arrangements. In effect, this means a licensee must have made an EMR exclusion zone assessment and retain those assessment calculations for inspection by the ACMA

The WIA website page "Amateur Radio and EMR Issues", provides background information and guidance as well as the EMR calculator developed by Doug McArthur VK3UM. The following Link will take you directly to the Amateur Radio And EMR Issues page, which is also accessible by selecting the Technical Reference section under the 'For Members' drop-down menu.

Can a Radio Club apply for a high power permit

Yes, A club who holds an Advanced Station licence may apply for a variation to the licence. The club's nominated person must be the holder of an Advance station licence and will be the responsible person during the periods of high power operation.

Files For Download

ACMA Apparatus Licence Application - R057
r057-application_for_apparatus_licence(s).pdf

Sample High Power Trial Log Sheet
High Power Authorisation Station Logbook_Ver1.xls

Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Apparatus Licence) Determination 2003 - May 2013
Radiocommunications Licnce Conditions (Apparatus Licence) Determination 2003 - May 2013.pdf


Page Last Updated: Friday 18 October 2013 at 13:33 hours