ARLB011 Updated Radio Frequency Exposure Rules Become Effective on May 3



ARRL Bulletin 11 ARLB011

From ARRL Headquarters

Newington CT April 13, 2021

To all radio amateurs


ARLB011 Updated Radio Frequency Exposure Rules Become Effective on May 3

The FCC has announced that rule changes detailed in a lengthy 2019 Report and Order governing RF exposure standards go into effect on May 3, 2021. The new rules do not change existing RF exposure (RFE) limits but do require that stations in all services, including amateur radio, be evaluated against existing limits, unless they are exempted. For stations already in place, that evaluation must be completed by May 3, 2023. After May 3 of this year, any new station, or any existing station modified in a way that's likely to change its RFE profile - such as different antenna or placement or greater power - will need to conduct an evaluation by the date of activation or change.

The Report and Order can be found online in PDF format at, https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-19-126A1.pdf .

"In the RF Report and Order, the Commission anticipated that few parties would have to conduct reevaluations under the new rules and that such evaluations will be relatively straightforward," the FCC said in an April 2 Public Notice. "It nevertheless adopted a 2-year period for parties to verify and ensure compliance under the new rules."

The Amateur Service is no longer categorically excluded from certain aspects of the rules, as amended, and licensees can no longer avoid performing an exposure assessment simply because they are transmitting below a given power level.

"For most amateurs, the major difference is the removal of the categorical exclusion for amateur radio, which means that ham station owners must determine if they either qualify for an exemption or must perform a routine environmental evaluation," said Greg Lapin, N9GL, chair of the ARRL RF Safety Committee and a member of the FCC Technological Advisory Council (TAC).

"Ham stations previously excluded from performing environmental evaluations will have until May 3, 2023, to perform these. After May 3, 2021, any new stations or those modified in a way that affects RF exposure must comply before being put into service," Lapin said.

The December 2019 RF Report and Order changes the methods that many radio services use to determine and achieve compliance with FCC limits on human exposure to RF electromagnetic fields. The FCC also modified the process for determining whether a particular device or deployment is exempt from a more thorough analysis by replacing a service-specific list of transmitters, facilities, and operations for which evaluation is required with new streamlined formula-based criteria. The R&O also addressed how to perform evaluations where the exemption does not apply, and how to mitigate exposure.

Amateur radio licensees will have to determine whether any existing facilities previously excluded under the old rules now qualify for an exemption under the new rules. Most will, but some may not.

"For amateurs, the major difference is the removal of the categorical exclusion," Lapin said, "which means that every ham will be required to perform some sort of calculation, either to determine if they qualify for an exemption or must perform a full-fledged exposure assessment. For hams who previously performed exposure assessments on their stations, there is nothing more to do."

The ARRL Laboratory staff is available to help amateurs to make these determinations and, if needed, perform the necessary calculations to ensure their stations comply. ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, who helped prepare ARRL's RF Exposure and You book, explained it this way. "The FCC did not change any of the underlying rules applicable to amateur station evaluations," he said. "The sections of the book on how to perform routine station evaluations are still valid and usable, especially the many charts of common antennas at different heights." Hare said ARRL Lab staff also would be available to help amateurs understand the rules and evaluate their stations."

RF Exposure and You is available in PDF format for free download from ARRL at, http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Technology/RFsafetyCommittee/28RFSafety.pdf


ARRL also has an RF Safety page on its website at, http://www.arrl.org/rf-exposure .

The ARRL RF Safety Committee is working with the FCC to update the FCC's aids for following human exposure rules - OET Bulletin 65 and OET Bulletin 65 Supplement B for Radio Amateurs. In addition, ARRL is developing tools that all hams can use to perform exposure assessments.



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March 22, 2021

Hello, everyone!

Here is a brief rundown of the March 2021 meeting of Triple A for those who were unable to make the meeting last Thursday night.

1. We had 25 members logged in to our meeting; it was awesome to see everyone that could attend. Hope to see even more next month!

2. We are now up to 44 members and growing!!

3. The first and second readings of the proposed by-law changes were read. The third and final reading, as well as the vote, will be held next month.

4. There will be a meeting of the Executive Board in April; a date and time will be announced shortly.

5. There will be a special program at the April meeting; more to come!!

6. There was a work party at the Dawson Ridge repeater site; the new amplifier was installed, there was maintenance work done to all the repeaters, and the cabinets were rearranged for better efficiency. The next project will be to finalize improvements at the Heritage Valley repeater site.

7. There has been an interest in ordering T-shirts; Lee, N3IAL, will be gathering information on what is available and pricing.

As always, I thank you all for your continued support; I appreciate everyone’s input and we’re going to keep moving upward and onward!!


Dom, N3EJL

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TAARA Club Meeting Update

February 19, 2021

Hello, everyone!

I just wanted to give everyone that was unable to make the February meeting of TAARA a brief rundown on what was discussed:

1. By-Law amendments- during the first reading of the proposed by-laws, a discussion arose concerning the dues structure and the initiation fee that has been on the books for a long time. The consensus after discussion was to remove that fee, because it has not been collected for some time. So, the readings were suspended at that time, and an updated proposed change is being prepared for reading at next month’s meeting.

2. VE Team- Discussion was opened again on the creation of an in-house VE team to give exams to members or prospective hams that are being mentored by a member. We have at least 2 VE’s at this time, and Mick, N3OJP has submitted his paperwork to the ARRL to be accredited. Matt, N3NWV is going to be submitting paperwork as well, shortly, Tim, K2EA is going to get his credentials renewed, and a few other members have expressed an interest in getting theirs as well. I believe we’re going to have a VE team shortly!

3. There was also discussion about memorials for members that pass away. Several ideas were discussed, including sponsoring a prospective ham through class and testing in a member’s name, and possibly donating amateur radio books to the local library. More ideas are requested to be discussed and enacted next month.

After the meeting, a large group remained in the Zoom session to chat, and a discussion began about public relations/ education and recruiting new hams/ members. One idea that took hold was a possible combination of a Field Day type activity and Parks On the Air. While a full fledged Field Day may still be a little ways away, a good compromise might be a tied to Parks on the Air; we could have operating positions, some PR people to explain what ham radio is and how someone could get licensed, and spend enough time to enjoy operating and have a hot dog/ hamburger type cookout for those that come out and support the event and enjoy some club fraternity.

Also- a little hint for an upcoming meeting- we’re going to have a special program at the April meeting! Now, I’m not going to divulge it just yet, but I’ll tell you that the topic is one of the most popular in field operations today! More to come!!

And for those who may not be aware, our numbers are growing! We’re now up to 42 members, and we’re looking to add more. If you hear a new call on the repeater, I encourage you to answer that call and make that person feel welcome. That’s a potential new member you’re talking to!

I thank everyone for their support, ideas, opinions and discussion; this is everyone’s club, and with your help, we’re going to get bigger and better!!



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