Updated Radio Frequency Exposure Rules

Updated Radio Frequency Exposure Rules Become Effective on May 3

“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 FCC has announced that rule changes detailed in a lengthy 2019 Report and Order (R&O) 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 antennas or placement, or greater power — will need to conduct an evaluation by the date of activation or change.

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 R&O 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 Lab 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 for free download from ARRL. ARRL also has an RF Safety page on its website.

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.

The April 27, 2021 RF Exposure Rules Zoom Discussion by Eastern MA Technical Coordinator Dan Brown, W1DAN, has been posted to the Eastern MA ARRL website at: <https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1_qIGZhHyMrha-axJt87Dcu0UZuJO0t8F>. 


World Amateur Radio Day: April 18

Sunday, April 18, 2021, 0000 UTC thru Monday, April 19, 2021, 0000 UTC

ARRL wishes all of our members and friends a very happy World Amateur Radio DaySunday, April 18! Join us in celebrating the global community of radio amateurs who explore, develop, and enjoy radio communication. Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station W1AW will be on the air on April 18 from ARRL Headquarters in Connecticut. World Amateur Radio Day celebrates the 1925 founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), which has chosen “Amateur Radio: Home but Never Alone” as its theme for this year’s anniversary.

World Amateur Radio Day, held on April 18 each year, is celebrated worldwide by radio amateurs and their national associations which are organized as member-societies of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). It was on this day in 1925 that the IARU was formed in Paris. American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim was its first president.

Amateur radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short-wave spectrum could support long-distance radio signal propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, amateur radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to promote the interests of amateur radio worldwide and to protect and enhance its spectrum privileges. Today, the IARU is a federation consisting of more than 160 national amateur radio organizations in as many countries and separate territories. The International Secretariat of the IARU is ARRL, the national association for amateur radio® in the United States.

On World Amateur Radio Day, all radio amateurs are invited to take to the airwaves to enjoy our global friendship with other amateurs, and to show our skills and capabilities to the public.

IARU has chosen “Amateur Radio: Home but Never Alone” as the theme for World Amateur Radio Day, Sunday, April 18, 2021. The theme acknowledges that during our physical distancing to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, amateur radio stands out as welcome respite for its variety of activities and opportunities – even helping overcome online fatigue and social isolation. The amateur radio community has organized “wellness nets” to keep amateurs in touch and check on those who may be higher risk or elderly, “stay safe” special event stations across the globe, and has encouraged generally higher levels of on air activity.

For its part, ARRL has accelerated new opportunities for its members to connect and learn through the ARRL Learning Network webinar series, and temporary rule changes to popular on-air events to encourage greater individual and at-home participation. Over the last year, many ARRL-affiliated radio clubs and in-person ham radio events moved their activities online. These efforts have all ensured that radio amateurs remain active and involved throughout our common pursuit of skill, service, and discovery in radio communications and radio technology.

How: World Amateur Radio Day is not a contest but rather an opportunity to “talk” about the value of amateur radio to the public and our fellow amateur colleagues. It is also a great opportunity to talk about your radio club and amateur radio in local media as a lead-up to ARRL Field Day (held each year during the fourth full weekend in June) and another ham radio related activity in your community – such as volunteers who serve in local emergency communication readiness including the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service®.

Here are just a few ways to participate in, and promote, World Amateur Radio Day:

  • Get a station on the air! Create your own personal “event” to talk about amateur radio to others, including family and friends.
  • Find out more about World Amateur Radio Day by checking the IARU website and other Resources listed below.
  • Create and hold a special net or on-air event on World Amateur Radio Day to raise the level of attention for the celebration, and to encourage other hams to talk about our hobby. Consider creating and offering a commemorative certificate for contacting your special activation. It can be an electronic one as these are cost effective.
  • ARRL Rookie Roundup SSB is also Sunday, April 18, 2021 from 1800 to 2359 UTC. The contest is aimed at hams licensed for three years or less. Use the opportunity to wish participants “Happy World Amateur Radio Day 2021” on the air.
  • Get the word out! If you are an ARRL Public Information Coordinator, Public Information Officer, or responsible for radio club publicity, send a press release and conduct some public relations outreach to highlight the day and/or events. Use the IARU theme for 2021 to create a relevant, powerful, and contemporary message. Talk about all of the activities radio amateurs have continued to support during the pandemic, and how amateur radio serves our communities. Find recent examples of amateur radio in-the-news at www.arrl.org/media-hits.
  • Promote your personal World Amateur Radio Day activity(ies) on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook by using the hashtag #WorldAmateurRadioDay. Make sure you send it to various clubs, reflectors, and media.

Join us in celebrating World Amateur Radio Day and all the ways amateur radio brings us together!

Wayne Kingsley, WA1CCM (SK)

Wayne, WA1CCM

Wayne Kingsley, WA1CCM died in Plymouth, MA: April 19, 1934 – February 28, 2021. Wayne was originally licensed as KL7BFY. According to the “History of the Association, 1932 – 1999,” by Bill Miller, K1IBR, Wayne became a member of SEMARA in 1965.

He served as a club officer in 1971, first as Vice President and then as Secretary.
In 1977, he participated in the ground breaking ceremony for the new club house that was attached to the Quonset hut.

Ground Breaking
Wayne in the 80s

In the 1980s, Wayne worked at Commonwealth Electric, He was in the radio shop, Mike Ponte, W1BXJ was next door in the relay shop. They both worked for Bill Miller, K1IBR.

Member for 67 years

All the members send their condolences to his friends and family.

VE Session Results — April 3, 2021

Arthur BalthazarKC1PBLTechnician
Henry DeMello, JrKC1PBMTechnician
Matt MailletKC1PBNTechnician
Eric BoucherKC1CBRGeneral
Christopher StenningKC1ODMGeneral
Edward VachaKC1KPWGeneral
Don SanfordKV4DNExtra
April 9, 2021 update

Congratulate these radio amateurs who passed their exams at the April 3, 2021 VE Session.

Enjoy your new and or upgraded privileges!

Need help to get on the air?
Email us @ W1AEC [at] semara [dot] org with your questions.
We’ll try to find someone to answer them for you.

W1AW 2021 Spring/Summer Operating Schedule

Morning Schedule:

Time Mode Days
1300 UTC (9 AM ET) CWs Wed, Fri
1300 UTC (9 AM ET) CWf Tue, Thu

Afternoon/Evening Schedule:

2000 UTC (4 PM ET) CWf Mon, Wed, Fri
2000 UTC (4 PM ET) CWs Tue, Thu
2100 UTC (5 PM ET) CWb Daily
2200 UTC (6 PM ET) DIGITAL Daily
2300 UTC (7 PM ET) CWs Mon, Wed, Fri
2300 UTC (7 PM ET) CWf Tue, Thu
0000 UTC (8 PM ET) CWb Daily
0100 UTC (9 PM ET) DIGITAL Daily
0145 UTC (9:45 PM ET) VOICE Daily
0200 UTC (10 PM ET) CWf Mon, Wed, Fri
0200 UTC (10 PM ET) CWs Tue, Thu
0300 UTC (11 PM ET) CWb Daily

Frequencies (MHz)

CW: 1.8025 3.5815 7.0475 14.0475 18.0975 21.0675 28.0675 50.350 147.555
DIGITAL: – 3.5975 7.095 14.095 18.1025 21.095 28.095 50.350 147.555
VOICE: 1.855 3.990 7.290 14.290 18.160 21.390 28.590 50.350 147.555


CWs = Morse Code practice (slow) = 5, 7.5, 10, 13 and 15 WPM
CWf = Morse Code practice (fast) = 35, 30, 25, 20, 15, 13 and 10 WPM
CWb = Morse Code Bulletins = 18 WPM

CW frequencies include code practices, Qualifying Runs and CW

DIGITAL = BAUDOT (45.45 baud), BPSK31 and MFSK16 in a revolving schedule.

Code practice texts are from QST, and the source of each practice is given at the beginning of each practice and at the beginning of alternate speeds.

On Tuesdays and Fridays at 2230 UTC (6:30 PM ET), Keplerian Elements for active amateur satellites are sent on the regular digital frequencies.

A DX bulletin replaces or is added to the regular bulletins between 0000 UTC (8 PM ET) Thursdays and 0000 UTC (8 PM ET) Fridays.

Audio from W1AW’s CW code practices, and CW/digital/phone bulletins is available using EchoLink via the W1AW Conference Server named “W1AWBDCT.” The monthly W1AW Qualifying Runs are presented here as well. The CW/digital/phone audio is sent in real-time and runs concurrently with W1AW’s regular transmission schedule.

All users who connect to the conference server are muted. Please note that any questions or comments about this server should not be sent via the “Text” window in EchoLink. Please direct any questions or comments to w1aw@arrl.org .

In a communications emergency, monitor W1AW for special bulletins as follows: Voice on the hour, Digital at 15 minutes past the hour, and CW on the half hour.

Daily Visitor Operating Hours:

1400 UTC to 1600 UTC – (10 AM to 12 PM ET)
1700 UTC to 1945 UTC – (1 PM to 3:45 PM ET)
(Station closed 1600 to 1700 UTC (12 PM to 1 PM ET))

FCC licensed amateurs may operate the station from 1400 UTC to 1600 UTC (10 AM to 12 PM ET), and then from 1700 UTC to 1945 UTC (1 PM to 3:45 PM ET) Monday through Friday. Be sure to bring a reference copy of your current FCC amateur radio license.

Please note that because of current COVID-19 restrictions, W1AW is not open for visitor operations at this time.

The weekly W1AW and monthly West Coast Qualifying Runs are sent on the normal CW frequencies used for both code practice and bulletin transmissions. West Coast Qualifying Run stations may also use 3590 kHz.

The complete W1AW Operating Schedule may be found on page 77 in the March 2021 issue of QST or on the web at,
http://www.arrl.org/w1aw-operating-schedule .

Reminder — 10-meter Nets

Typical Tribander

Thought you’d might like to take advantage of the increase in propagation on this band. It is a great time to get on HF.
73 de Bob, K1KVV

Evenings at 8:00pm ET
28.490 MHz (USB

  • Tuesday: Dick, K1AHA, Net Control
  • Wednesday: Paul, K1PGS, Net Control
  • Friday: Paul, K1PGS, Net Control

2021 Virtual SKYWARN Training Sessions

Due to COVID-19 concerns, 2021 SKYWARN Training classes will again be held virtually. The SKYWARN Training sessions will occur on 3 weeknights and 2 weekends. The weeknight sessions will be taught by NWS forecasters and the weekend sessions taught by Amateur Radio Operators.

Dates and registration information can be seen at NWS Boston/Norton Virtual SKYWARN Training link:

All are welcome to attend the training sessions. New individuals who are interested in becoming a SKYWARN Spotter can take an optional quiz and will get their SKYWARN spotter number. These sessions count as refreshing their SKYWARN Training for existing spotters.

We hope as many individuals as possible can attend these training sessions. We thank all SKYWARN Spotters for their continued support of the NWS Boston/Norton SKYWARN program!

Robert Macedo, KD1CY
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
rmacedo [at] rcn [dot] com
March 4, 2021

VE Session Results — February 6, 2021

Congratulations to these hams who passed their exams at the February 6, 2021 VE Session:

  • Jeffrey Brodeaur, KC1OSE, Technician + General
  • Christopher Fowler, KC1NZM, General
  • Timothy Milbert, KC1OSF, Technician
  • Kenneth Mingola, KC1GCN, General
  • Anthony Moniz, KC1OIL, General
  • Nick Riquinha, KC1OSG, Technician
  • Andrew Shaw, KC1OSH, Technician + General

Enjoy your new/upgraded privileges!

Need help to get on the air? Email us @ W1AEC [at] semara [dot] org with your questions and we’ll try to find someone to answer them for you.

Nancy Smith, N1VOA (SK)

Nancy Smith, N1VOA

Nancy Smith, N1VOA, of Wareham, MA died at age 76 in her home on January 13, 2021. A lifelong resident of eastern Massachusetts, she was the mother of SEMARA member, Scott Smith, KE1CN. Nancy always supported his amateur activities, driving him to meetings and had joined him at the last SEMARA club dinner.

She made her way toward becoming licensed as N1VOA by first being a CB operator and assisting those in need. Until the end of her life, she remained active in several ham radio clubs and contributed to communications at charity events.

She nurtured her spirituality and celebrated her love of music through the Ferry Beach Retreat and Conference Center Circle of Music Program. A celebration of her life will be held at Ferry Beach in August 2021.

In lieu of flowers, charitable donations may be made to a scholarship set up in her name, The Nancy Smith Ferry Beach Circle of Music Scholarship at www.ferrybeach.org/NancySmithScholarship

Our sincere sympathy to Scott and his family for their loss.




     2021 President Marcel Dumont, W1MLD would like to welcome you to the official website of SEMARA – The Southeastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association, Inc. We are an amateur radio club established in 1932 that owns its own property in Dartmouth, Massachusetts and has over 400 members.

     If you would like to contribute to this website, please contact the Web Committee. For all other questions or issues, please contact the appropriate Officer or Committee Chair by using the “Contact Us” link.