FCC Revisions Affect Part 95 Devices

In a lengthy Report and Order (R&O) in a proceeding (WT Docket No. 10-119) dating back 7 years, the FCC has announced rule changes affecting the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), the Family Radio Service (FRS), the Citizens Band Radio Service (CBRS or “CB”), as well as other applications that fall under the FCC’s Part 95 Personal Radio Services (PRS) rules and regulations.

Part 95 devices typically are low-power units that communicate over shared spectrum and, with some exceptions, do not require an individual user license from the FCC. As the R&O explains, common examples of PRS devices include “walkie-talkies;” radio-control cars, boats, and planes; hearing assistance devices; CB radios; medical implant devices; and Personal Locator Beacons.

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— Courtesy ARRL.org

The Transistor (1953 Promotional Film)

If we cast our minds back to the early years of the transistor, the year that is always quoted is 1947, during which a Bell Labs team developed the first practical germanium point-contact transistor. They would go on to be granted the Nobel Prize for their work in 1956, but the universal adoption of their invention was not an instantaneous process. Instead there would be a gradual change from vacuum to solid state that would span the 1950s and the 1960s, and even in the 1970s you might still have found mainstream devices on sale containing vacuum tubes.

Watch the Bell Labs promotional film, and read more!

— courtesy Hackaday.com, author Jenny List

And, when you’re done with that, here’s another essay and AT&T promotional film on the Genesis of the Transistor from Hackaday’s Kristina Panos.

EmComm Driving Increase in Amateur Radio Operators

More Americans than ever have been licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as amateur radio operators, and those in the know say that emergency communications is driving their passion to be “hams.”

“There has been a tremendous amount of interest in emergency preparedness since 9/11 and Katrina, and this is true for the amateur radio community as well,” said Mike Corey, the emergency preparedness manager for the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). “Emergency communications is a gateway into amateur radio, and many join our ranks through an interest in being better prepared themselves and as a way to serve their community.

Read more!

— Courtesy James Careless, Emergency Management Magazine

Shakes, Cones, and Salvation

The order for the Mister Softee ice cream trucks specified that they be built on a 1-ton Ford commercial truck chassis, and utilize their heavy duty 262 cubic inch inline six cylinder engine.

The trucks would eventually be fitted with a stainless counter, functional sink with potable water, a generator, and soft serve / freezer machine. The mobile kitchen would be able to serve several hundred people with fresh food without having to replenish supplies back at headquarters.

It was this capability that made the Mister Softee appealing to Civil Defense coordinators during the cold war era. Mister Softee, it appears, would soon roll up his sleeves and help make America safer.

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