[AMRadio] IARU - VP ARRL contact by WD5BZO

D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Wed Nov 28 19:29:38 EST 2007

> From: "Todd, KA1KAQ" <ka1kaq at gmail.com>

> Lack of support for the power issue...

Let's give ARRL credit where credit is due.  They did support us on the 
power issue.  I spoke with Dave Sumner personally in the issue while the 
proceeding was still pending and he pretty well agreed with me.  After 
receiving a lot of mail from the AM community, the Board of Directors voted 
to petition the FCC to eliminate the 1990 "sunset" clause and permanently 
grandfather the old DC input power limit for AM.

The fly in the ointment was John Johnston, Chief of the Personal Radio 
Branch of the FCC's Private Radio Bureau. Johnston, a self-proclaimed 
"career civil servant" was a real pro at spin, deception and dodging the 
issue when confronted in any way regarding his agenda.  One of Johnston's 
ham radio buddies from Texas, a bloke named Prechtl with a 5th district 
callsign, had petitioned the FCC several years earlier to eliminate AM, 
apparently in response to a "frequency ownership" dispute with a late-night 
AM group that met regularly on 7160 kHz. Prechtl originally held a 3rd 
district callsign from near Washington DC, and Johnston publicly referred to 
him on a first name basis.  Johnston remained head of the amateur radio 
rulemaking division of the FCC, which went through several name changes each 
time the FCC "restructured", for over 25 years, and throughout that period 
had consistently shown bias against AM.

At the Dayton FCC Forum that year, Johnston gave a speech about how the 
amateur community was using their word processors to waste the FCC's time 
with a flood of superfluous petitions.  As an example, he used the AM power 
issue.  His words, to the best of my recollection went something like this: 
"Here we have two petitions regarding amplitude modulation.  One from the 
EVERYBODY ELSE.  Then we have another one from (Prechtl) who wants to 
eliminate AM altogether."  His deceptive tactic was to imply that the FCC 
would take the "sensible" approach and dismiss both petitions (which they 
did).  The Commission had set on that petition for over two years without 
taking any action, but as soon as they found it convenient, it suddenly 
appeared with an RM- number along side the ARRL's.

Don k4kyv 

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