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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — July 21, 2017 — Issue No. 764

Welcome Back To
The Wireless Messaging News

I love this time of the year in Southern Illinois even though it is very hot (95° Fahrenheit, 35° Celsius today). You can drive down a country road until you come to a farmer's house with a table sitting out by the road. On the table will be an assortment of home-grown vegetables. The prices are marked and there is a wooden box labeled “honor system” where you can deposit your money. I can think of several places where this honor system wouldn't work.

Here is my last haul from this week. The only exception is the Vidalia Onions, they only come from Georgia.

I am going to a pot-luck supper this evening, and I think I will make a salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. Wish you were here. It will be good.

I almost didn't publish the RCR Wireless “Throwback Thursdays” article from 2001 about the demise of the Paging Industry. It brought back many painful memories.

It's easy to look back and point out some of the serious management errors that needlessly wasted a lot of money but that doesn't matter anymore.

The growing popularity and ubiquity of cellphones was unstoppable. I reminds me of the word juggernaut — i.e. a literal or metaphorical force regarded as mercilessly destructive and unstoppable.

On a personal level, it was a shock. We thought Paging would continue its rapid growth for many years into the future. The forecast was a for a transition from one-way paging into two-way paging, but with continued strong growth in subscriber penetration.

The expected popularity of text messaging was spot on, but alas, it was to happen on cellphones instead of on two-way pagers.

I had lots of money for retirement.

Unfortunately it was imaginary money in the form of stock options. They soon became worthless. Like the trite phrase “not worth the paper they were printed on.”

Corporate bankruptcy is a very unpleasant process to go through.

So my beautiful yuppie condominium in Dallas went back to one bank and my new Corvette went to another one.

I went from being a “big shot” one day to being a “nobody” the next.

I have since learned not to define myself by what it says on my business card.

So am I saying that Paging is over—or obsolete—or even in its death throes?

Absolutely not.

Regular readers already know my opinions as to Why is paging the BEST technology to use when it is necessary to alert many people in a short time?

And if if you haven't read Jim Nelson's excellent article, you should do so.

“Is Paging Going Away?”

Paging continues to fill an important need in many different markets, with both public and private paging systems. As reported in last week's newsletter, “Pagers may make a comeback in Japan as emergency lifelines during disasters.”

Surplus Paging Inventory

Here is another reminder that this may be your last chance to obtain critical replacement paging infrastructure equipment. Rick McMichael of Preferred Wireless, will be closing his business by July 31st.

Rick had what was one of the largest stocks of paging infrastructure equipment in the world. An updated list of what is left of his inventory follows.

He has been a loyal supporter of this newsletter since the beginning, and I want to do all I can to help him clear out his remaining inventory.

Remember: “One is none — two is one.”

Now on to more news and views.

Wayne County, Illinois

Wireless Messaging News

  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Two-way Radio
  • Technology
  • Telemetry
  • Science
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
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This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.

About Us

A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.

I spend the whole week searching the Internet for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.

Editorial Policy

Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my opinions.



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If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter just fill in the blanks in the form above, and then click on the “Subscribe” button.

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

Frank McNeill
Founder & CEO
Communications Specialists
Jim Nelson
President & CEO
Prism Systems International
Kevin D. McFarland, MSCIS
Sr. Application Systems Analyst
Medical Center
Paul Lauttamus, President
Lauttamus Communications & Security
R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Wireless Consultant
Barry Kanne
Paging Industry Veteran
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer
Allan Angus
Consulting Engineer

The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.



Can You Help The Newsletter?

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You can help support The Wireless Messaging News by clicking on the PayPal Donate button above. It is not necessary to be a member of PayPal to use this service.

Reader Support

Newspapers generally cost 75¢ $1.50 a copy and they hardly ever mention paging or wireless messaging, unless in a negative way. If you receive some benefit from this publication maybe you would like to help support it financially?

A donation of $50.00 would certainly help cover a one-year period. If you are wiling and able, please click on the PayPal Donate button above.

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Advertiser Index

Easy Solutions
Hark Technologies
Ira Wiesenfeld & Associates a/k/a IWA Technical Services
Leavitt Communications
Preferred Wireless
Prism Paging
Product Support Services — (PSSI)
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC — (Ron Mercer)
RF Demand Solutions
STI Engineering
WaveWare Technologies

STI Engineering

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Text-to-911 Now Available to Klamath Emergency Communications District

Tuesday, July 18th 2017, 1:10 pm CDT by Newswatch 12 Staff

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — People can now text 911 messages to the Klamath 9-1-1 Emergency Communications District. Officials say the new service is to benefit people that may not be able to make a voice call because of an emergency such as a home invasion or domestic violence situation. The feature can also be used for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities.

The district says to “call if you can, text if you can't.” They say the first message should include the location and the type of emergency help needed, such as police, fire or medical.

They say to keep messages brief and concise and to use full words. Authorities say that photos, videos and emojis cannot be sent at this time. Trying to send these will corrupt the text message. You also can't include a 911 text message in a group text or while roaming. For more information, visit






WaveWare Technologies

Enhancing Mobile Alert Response
2630 National Dr., Garland, TX 75041

Contact Us for OEM Requests

BluTrac (Bluetooth Tracking and Control)

  • Monitor and Report Bluetooth Beacon Signals via Wi-Fi
  • Autonomous or Networked Applications
  • Audible/Visual Annunciation and Output Switching
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    • Mobile Asset Tracking
    • Mobile Resident Call and Wandering Resident Tracking (MARS Only)
    • Access Control
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MARS (Mobile Alert Response System)

  • Paging Protocol Monitoring and Wireless Sensor Monitoring (Inovonics and Bluetooth LE)
  • Improves Mobile Response Team Productivity using Smartphone App
  • Low-Latency Alerts using Pagers, Smartphones, Browsers, and Digital Displays
  • Automated E-mail Based Alert Response and System Status Reports
  • Linux Based Embedded System with Ethernet and USB Ports
  • Browser Based Configuration
  • Mobile Resident Call and Wandering Resident Tracking with Bluetooth Beacons
  • SMTP and SIP Inputs and XMPP Output in Development

STG (SIP to TAP Gateway)

  • Monitors Rauland Nurse Call SIP Protocol
  • Outputs TAP protocol to Ethernet and Serial Port Paging Systems
  • Linux Based Embedded System
  • Browser Based Configuration

WaveWare Technologies


“Is Paging Going Away?” by Jim Nelson

  • Click here for English.
  • Click here for German. (Berlin Revision: November 8, 2016)
  • Click here for French.

Volunteers needed for translations into other languages.


Easy Solutions

easy solutions

Easy Solutions provides cost effective computer and wireless solutions at affordable prices. We can help in most any situation with your communications systems. We have many years of experience and a vast network of resources to support the industry, your system and an ever changing completive landscape.

  • We treat our customers like family. We don’t just fix problems . . . We recommend and implement better cost-effective solutions.
  • We are not just another vendor . . . We are a part of your team. All the advantages of high priced full time employment without the cost.
  • We are not in the Technical Services business . . . We are in the Customer Satisfaction business.

Experts in Paging Infrastructure

  • Glenayre, Motorola, Unipage, etc.
  • Excellent Service Contracts
  • Full Service—Beyond Factory Support
  • Contracts for Glenayre and other Systems starting at $100
  • Making systems More Reliable and MORE PROFITABLE for over 30 years.

Please see our web site for exciting solutions designed specifically for the Wireless Industry. We also maintain a diagnostic lab and provide important repair and replacement parts services for Motorola and Glenayre equipment. Call or e-mail us for more information.

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119

Easy Solutions

Revised FCC Form 605 Will Ask Applicants “the Felony Question”

07/19/2017 A revised FCC Form 605 — Quick-Form Application for Authorization in the Ship, Aircraft, Amateur, Restricted and Commercial Operator, and General Mobile Radio Services — going into effect in September will ask all applicants to indicate if they have been convicted of or pled guilty to a felony. The Communications Act obliges the Commission to ask “the felony question,” as it did on the old Form 610 and still does on other applications. This action will correct its omission on Form 605, which has existed for years. Applicants’ responses and explanations will be used to determine eligibility to be a Commission licensee. The FCC told ARRL that it’s still deciding whether to issue a public notice on the change.

“The Commission is revising the basic qualifications section of the form to include a question regarding whether an application has been convicted of a felony in any state or federal court,” the Office of the FCC Secretary explained in a May filing with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which must okay the revision. “Applicants answering YES must provide an explanation regarding the conviction. This item enables the FCC to determine whether an applicant is eligible under sections 310(d) and 308(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, to hold or have ownership interest in a station license.”

The revision also will apply to NCVEC Form 605 — the unofficial Amateur Radio-specific version of the application that is completed and filed at volunteer examiner coordinator (VEC) examination sessions. VECs will have to start using the revised form on September 7. Responding to VECs’ questions, the FCC offered some guidance, with a particular focus on NCVEC Form 605.

ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM. [Rick Lindquist, WW1ME, photo]

ARRL VEC Manager and NCVEC Vice-Chair Maria Somma, AB1FM, thanked the FCC for honoring a request to amend the effective date of the change, initially in early August. “At the urging of the NCVEC leadership, the FCC took into consideration the undertaking to change and distribute all affected forms and update software and agreed to push back the execution date by 1 month,” she said. The NCVEC will create a revised NCVEC Form 605 and release it to VE teams before September 7.

Once the Form 605 update has been implemented, assuming all other information is correct, negative felony question responses will result in a license grant, the FCC said. A YES will place the application in the “pending file for review” category. Applicants answering YES would have to, within 14 days, provide the FCC with a statement explaining the circumstances, and a statement “giving the reasons why the applicant believes that grant of the application would be in the public interest, notwithstanding the actual or alleged misconduct,” the revised Form 605 instructions state. The FCC said an applicant’s answer to the felony question and explanation will be public via ULS, unless a separate request is made to the FCC that the applicant’s explanation be kept confidential. The FCC will review applications on which the felony question has been answered in the affirmative and decide whether to grant them or designate them for hearing.

“The applicant must provide sufficient information for the FCC to determine whether there exists any material and substantial question of fact regarding whether the applicant has the character qualifications to be a Commission licensee,” the FCC said. There is no set checklist of items, but useful information would include such information as details regarding the conduct that resulted in the conviction or guilty plea, including time and place; the date of the conviction or guilty plea; the penalty imposed and whether it has been satisfied, and “any efforts taken to remedy the wrongs committed and ensure that the applicant will not engage in such conduct in the future,” the FCC said.

The FCC said the only additional information that VECs will have to collect is the response to the felony question; any explanatory exhibits and confidentiality petitions will go directly to the FCC, and VECs will have no information as to the status of such applications.

The FCC said the felony question must be answered every time — even if previously answered — for New, Modification, Renewal/Modification, and Amendment applications. “Assuming that nothing has changed, the attachment to the subsequent applications can simply reference the file number of the application where the complete explanation was given, rather than having to set forth the complete explanation each time,” the FCC memo said. “Clubs are not exempt from the felony question. The question applies to the club as an entity and to the trustee, but not to any other individual officers.”

Individuals convicted of a felony and later pardoned or whose record has been sealed should answer YES, and include information regarding the pardon, “as that will be relevant to whether the conviction still presents any material and substantial question of fact regarding whether the applicant has the character qualifications to be a Commission licensee,” the FCC told VECs. “An overturned conviction need not be disclosed — but a conviction still on appeal must be disclosed.”


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Product Support Services, Inc.

Repair and Refurbishment Services

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pssi pssi

Product Support Services, Inc.

511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
(972) 462-3970 Ext. 261 left arrow left arrow

PSSI is the industry leader in reverse logistics, our services include depot repair, product returns management, RMA and RTV management, product audit, test, refurbishment, re-kitting and value recovery.

Throwback Thursdays—paging markets plummet . . . this week in 2001

By RCR Wireless News on JULY 20, 2017

Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

WebLink Wireless Inc., Arch Wireless Inc. and Metrocall Inc. are the three largest independent paging and messaging companies in the country, and it seems their fates are intricately entwined. They are all facing subscriber losses in the hundreds of thousands and are weighted down by massive debt and interest payments. And since no outside investor or company has shown any interest in financing or acquiring one of these players, it seems that the three are on their own.

Moreover, for the past several months all three have been quietly laboring away, working to maintain their own financial health, while the nationwide paging and messaging industry seems to be slowly sliding into bankruptcy.

WebLink is perhaps in the worst situation. In May, the company filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring after an ambitious, last-ditch-effort merger with Metrocall fell through. WebLink has remained virtually silent since the filing until Friday, when it announced it won $15 million in debtor-in-possession financing. The money comes from two of the company’s principal lenders, and is secured by a lien on almost all of the company’s assets.

“We have our financing approved by banks, bondholders and the courts,” said Topper Pardoe, WebLink’s senior vice president of marketing.

In WebLink’s announcement, the company said it is considering a variety of options to get out of bankruptcy.

First, the company said it is searching for a new line of financing to support a graceful exit from bankruptcy on its own, without merging with another company or selling itself. While this may be the most preferable way out of bankruptcy, it’s not very likely, most industry watchers agree.

“There ain’t no strategic money out there,” quipped Michael Gill, executive vice president and director of research with Tejas Securities Group Inc.

If there were any financing angels available, they would have made themselves know by now, he said. As the situation now stands, Arch, WebLink and Metrocall have likely tapped every possible source for money and have so far come up dry. The reason, most agree, is that lenders are extremely wary of the current paging and messaging industry.

In the United States, the number of paging and messaging customers has been dropping like a stone over the past year. Most observers expected a drop, but the one they got blew all predictions out of the water. The decline has driven infrastructure provider Glenayre Technologies Inc. out of the business, and paging carriers TSR Wireless L.L.C., PNI Technologies Inc. and WebLink into bankruptcy. And the situation in the United States seems to be reflected across the world, with major paging countries like China, Taiwan and Thailand losing millions and millions of paging subscribers. In South Korea alone, the number of paging subscribers has dropped from close to 3 million to about 500,000 in less than a year.

However, the situation doesn’t seem to be as grim for some of the nation’s smaller paging companies. Many have loudly stated that they are doing just fine and are not suffering under the enormous debt load of the nationwide players. The one-way paging market is still a viable business, these companies argue.

WebLink would likely not agree. Besides a standalone restructuring, the company’s other option is a sale or merger, an alternative WebLink explicitly addressed in its release Friday as a means of getting out of bankruptcy.

“We are continuing to look at various partnerships-mergers, acquisitions, etc.,” WebLink’s Pardoe said.

That option also presents some difficult challenges.

Outside messaging companies such as WorldCom’s SkyTel Communications Inc. or SBC Communication’s Ameritech Paging could potentially move to merge with or purchase WebLink. However, neither of these companies nor any other has made the slightest move to do so — Motient Corp. executives made sure to quickly squelch a rumor several months ago about a merger with Metrocall.

So, for WebLink, that leaves fellow carriers Arch and Metrocall.

“The question is, how will they merge?” Tejas’ Gill said. “Nobody’s got any cash.”

Arch recently filed a complicated and detailed restructuring plan to reorganize its capital structure. Under the plan, Arch hopes to both cut its interest payments as well as eliminate a substantial amount of debt. Arch also included a potential pre-packaged plan for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy to indicate the severity of its position.

Gill said the plan will likely be modified over the course of the year-and praised it as a good pre-emptive tactic-but said it means Arch likely will be tied up in its own reorganization and unable to merge or acquire another company.

“Anyone trying to merge with them (Arch) is in limbo,” Gill said. The reorganization “has too many moving parts” to entertain a merger.

This assumption also repudiates current rumors about a merger between Arch and WebLink. Officials for both companies had no comment about a potential merger.

All of which leaves Metrocall.

Officials for Metrocall did not immediately return requests for comment, and the company has been virtually silent since the planned merger with WebLink fell through. The company has missed a variety of interest payments over the past few months, and most industry watchers are holding their breath in anticipation of a filing for bankruptcy-a move the company has repeatedly hinted at in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Whether WebLink and Metrocall could merge remains to be seen. Talks between the two companies broke down in May after Metrocall pulled out of its planned merger with WebLink because WebLink was forced to cut 15 percent of its work force and close the last seven of its field sales offices. Metrocall officials said the plan was to enter into bankruptcy conducting business as usual, and WebLink’s moves were anything but. Other unofficial reasons insiders have considered include WebLink’s possible inability to come up with additional financing to continue operating through a bankruptcy merger and arguments over whether the new company should be split evenly or by some other ratio.

Regardless, a merger between Metrocall and WebLink could still be in the works, but if it is still possible or whether it will ever happen is anyone’s guess.

So the situation in the independent paging and messaging industry is an interesting one: All of the players seem to be stuck in molasses. A merger or acquisition between any of the three players most likely is needed to break the current stalemate, but none of the companies are in a position to make such a move.

Will the nationwide paging industry slowly slip into lonely bankruptcy, where it could remain indefinitely?

“It’s a question that people have been asking for a couple of months now,” said Robert Hegblom, a senior analyst with the Strategis Group.

The companies that will survive, Hegblom said, are those that manage to move their business from the low revenues of one-way paging into the more profitable two-way messaging business. They also will need to continue expanding into telemetry and machine-to-machine communications.

“Those are the good markets to be in,” he said.

However, Hegblom asked, “is there room for all those companies?”

Source: RCRWireless  

RF Demand Solutions

Codan Paging Transmitters

  • The smart choice for Critical Messaging
  • Proven performance in extreme conditions
  • Trusted by the World's largest mission critical security, military, & humanitarian agencies

Flexible Modern Design:

  • Analog & Digital
  • VHF, UHF & 900 MHz
  • WB, NB, & Splinter Operation
  • Multiple Frequencies & Protocols
  • High Power Output Configuration available
  • Integrates with Motorola & Glenayre Simulcast
  • Compatible with most popular Controllers


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Leavitt Communications


Specialists in sales and service of equipment from these leading manufacturers, as well as other two-way radio and paging products:

UNICATION bendix king

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

COM motorola red Motorola MOBILITY spacer
Philip C. Leavitt
Leavitt Communications
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Web Site:
Mobile phone: 847-494-0000
Telephone: 847-955-0511
Fax: 270-447-1909
Skype ID: pcleavitt


Disaster-Proven Paging for Public Safety

Paging system designs in the United States typically use a voice radio-style infrastructure. These systems are primarily designed for outdoor mobile coverage with modest indoor coverage. Before Narrowbanding, coverage wasn’t good, but what they have now is not acceptable! The high power, high tower approach also makes the system vulnerable. If one base station fails, a large area loses their paging service immediately!

Almost every technology went from analog to digital except fire paging. So it’s time to think about digital paging! The Disaster-Proven Paging Solution (DiCal) from Swissphone offers improved coverage, higher reliability and flexibility beyond anything that traditional analog or digital paging systems can provide. 

Swissphone is the No. 1 supplier for digital paging solutions worldwide. The Swiss company has built paging networks for public safety organizations all over the world. Swissphone has more than 1 million pagers in the field running for years and years due to their renowned high quality.

DiCal is the digital paging system developed and manufactured by Swissphone. It is designed to meet the specific needs of public safety organizations. Fire and EMS rely on these types of networks to improve incident response time. DiCal systems are designed and engineered to provide maximum indoor paging coverage across an entire county. In a disaster situation, when one or several connections in a simulcast solution are disrupted or interrupted, the radio network automatically switches to fall back operating mode. Full functionality is preserved at all times. This new system is the next level of what we know as “Simulcast Paging” here in the U.S.

Swissphone offers high-quality pagers, very robust and waterproof. Swissphone offers the best sensitivity in the industry, and battery autonomy of up to three months. First responder may choose between a smart s.QUAD pager, which is able to connect with a smartphone and the Hurricane DUO pager, the only digital pager who offers text-to-voice functionality.

Bluetooth technology makes it possible to connect the s.QUAD with a compatible smartphone, and ultimately with various s.ONE software solutions from Swissphone. Thanks to Bluetooth pairing, the s.QUAD combines the reliability of an independent paging system with the benefits of commercial cellular network. Dispatched team members can respond back to the call, directly from the pager. The alert message is sent to the pager via paging and cellular at the same time. This hybrid solution makes the alert faster and more secure. Paging ensures alerting even if the commercial network fails or is overloaded.

Swissphone sets new standards in paging:

Paging Network

  • It’s much faster to send individual and stacked pages digitally than with analog voice.
  • If you want better indoor coverage, you put sites closer together at lower heights.
  • A self-healing system that also remains reliable in various disaster situations.
  • Place base station where you need them, without the usage of an expensive backhaul network.
  • Protect victim confidentiality and prevent unauthorized use of public safety communications, with integrated encryption service.


  • Reliable message reception, thanks to the best sensitivity in the industry.
  • Ruggedized and waterproof, IP67 and 6 1/2-feet drop test-certified products.
  • Battery autonomy of up to three months, with a standard AA battery.
  • Bluetooth enables the new s.QUAD pager to respond back to the dispatch center or fire chief.


  • Two-way CAD interfaces will make dispatching much easier.
  • The new s.ONE solution enables the dispatcher or fire chiefs to view the availability of relief forces.
  • A graphical screen shows how many of the dispatched team members have responded to the call.

Swissphone provides a proven solution at an affordable cost. Do you want to learn more?
Visit: or call 800-596-1914.

Leavitt Communications

We can supply alphanumeric display, numeric display, and voice pagers.

We also offer NEW and refurbished Alphamate 250s, refurbished Alphamate IIs, the original Alphamate refurbished, and new and refurbished pagers, pager repairs, pager parts, and accessories. We are FULL SERVICE in Paging! Outstanding service is our goal.

E-mail Phil Leavitt ( ) for pricing and delivery information, or for a list of other available paging and two-way related equipment.

Phil Leavitt

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Preferred Wireless

preferred logo

Rick McMichael, President

About Us:

is a Missouri corporation in good standing since 1995. Personally I have been in the wireless industry since 1982. Originally working at Quintron and then with regional and national paging carriers until I made the leap into entrepreneurship in 1995. We began as a pager repair facility but quickly grew to a paging provider and equipment reseller.

Rick McMichael
Telephone: 888-429-4171 (If you are calling from outside of the USA, please use: 314-575-8425)


Surplus Paging Equipment Inventory

1 Powerware UPS Model 5119 (new batteries)  $250.00
3 Glenayre Universal Exciter, VHF  $100.00
2 Glenayre Hot Standby Panel - Old Style w/antenna relay  $25.00
4 Glenayre Hot Standby Panel - New Style  $45.00
1 Motorola  Motorola UDS RM16M Modem Shelf Includes (10) V.3225 & (1) 202T Modem Cards   $100.00
3 Motorola  UDS Modems, Model 103 LP  $25.00
10 Electrorack 46" Cabinet - New Front & Rear hinged doors, Exhaust Fan  $25.00
1 Electrorack 72" Cabinet - New Front & Rear hinged doors, Exhaust Fan  $45.00
6 Glenayre  Auxiliary Power Supplies, 16-29VDC used w/ancillary equip. such as TCC or RL900 Rx.  $20.00
2 Glenayre GL-AC2825 28VDC Power Supply 100-120/200-240 VAC, 50/60Hz input,  28VDC @ 25A output  $150.00
6 Motorola ASC-1500 Chassis  $250.00
32 Motorola ASC-1500, ATC Card NRN9232  $50.00
8 Motorola ASC-1500, Memory Card  $50.00
3 Glenayre DCU II Controllers  $75.00
9 Zetron Model 66 Link Controllers P/N: 901-9435  $50.00
6 Zetron  Model 66 Transmitter Controllers  P/N: 901-9094  $50.00
16 Zetron  Multi-Site Option Board - for model 66 P/N: 702-9156  $5.00
2 Zetron  Delay Board - for model 66 P/N: 702-9157  $15.00
7 Glenayre QT-4201, 25W, Midband, Link Transmitter 25W Midband Link - Complete  $40.00
9 Glenayre QT-4201, 25W, Midband, Link Transmitter 25W Midband Link - Missing Osc.  $25.00
1 Glenayre QT-7505, 250W, TCC 250W, TCC, RL72, currently on 158.10  $500.00
1 Glenayre QT-8505, 500W, C2000 500W, RL72, currently on 152.48  $500.00
3 Quintron QT100C, 100W, VHF 100W VHF Transmitter, with Universal Exciter  $150.00
3 Glenayre GLT-5340, 125W, UHF Exciter, PA, PS, Complete TX  $500.00
1 Motorola Nucleus UHF 100W, NAC Controlled  $500.00

preferred logo

Rick McMichael
Preferred Wireless, Inc.
Telephone: 888-429-4171
(If you are calling from outside of the USA, please use: 314-575-8425) left arrow

Preferred Wireless

Friday, July 21, 2017

Volume 5 | Issue 142

911 Outsourcing: A Hot Button Issue with Firefighters Thirty Hancock County firefighters in Waltham opposed the outsourcing of 911 calls this week, especially those made from cell phones, citing public safety reasons, reported The Ellsworth American.

Orland Fire Chief Bob Conary who is also a dispatcher for the Hancock County Regional Communications Center said the majority of 911 calls today are made from cell phones. Dispatchers rely on location information from carriers for emergency response but information is not always available. Some towers in the area aren’t yet providing information about where the caller is located or information is inaccurate.

Conroy went on to note his fears of outsourcing to a larger Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). “They’re busier than we are,” he said. “Their calls rotate off their screens faster.”

Hancock County RCC Director Renee Wellman cited the Kimball Report, which addresses PSAP reconfiguration in Maine. One of the results of call center consolidation is response time delays which can range from sic to 30 seconds or three to five minutes. “That six-second delay or human error in transferring the call or technological delay — that’s my biggest concern,” she said. “I’m a county employee. I have to look at what’s best for the county.”

In a nearly unanimous vote, the association “strongly opposed” moving the PSAP. Sedgwick Fire Chief David Carter noted that opposition from the public and town management is the key to persuading the commissioners to keep the 911 operations in Hancock County.

Source: InsideTowers

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A Problem

The Motorola Nucleus II Paging Base Station is a great paging transmitter. The Nucleus I, however, had some problems.

One of the best features of this product was its modular construction. Most of the Nucleus' component parts were in plug-in modules that were field replaceable making maintenance much easier.

One issue was (and still is) that two of the modules had to always be kept together. They are called the “matched pair.”

Motorola used some tricks to keep people in the field from trying to match unmatched pairs, and force them to send SCM and Exciter modules back to the factory for calibrating them with precision laboratory equipment.

The serial numbers have to match in the Nucleus programing software or you can't transmit . Specifically the 4-level alignment ID parameter contained in the SCM has to match the Exciter ID parameter.

Even if someone could modify the programing software to “fudge” these parameters, that would not let them use unmatched modules effectively without recalibrating them to exact factory specifications.

So now that there is no longer a Motorola factory laboratory to send them to, what do we do?

I hope someone can help us resolve this serious problem for users of the Nucleus paging transmitter.

Please let me know if you can help. [click here]

[Thanks to Tom Harger Chief Engineer at Contact Wireless for the correction above in ]


BloostonLaw Newsletter

Selected portions [sometimes more — sometimes less] of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section of The Wireless Messaging News with the firm’s permission. Contact information is included at the end of the newsletter.

BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 20, No. 30 July 19, 2017

REMINDER – Incumbent 3650-3700 MHz Grandfathered Protection Zone Filings Due August 7, 2017

As reported in our June 14, 2017 BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC has opened a filing window for eligible 3650-3700 MHz licensees to request grandfathered protection zones for existing facilities. In order for a registered facility to be eligible, the FCC must have accepted the registration application on or before April 17, 2015 and the facility must have been constructed, providing service and fully compliant with the FCC’s rules no later than April 17, 2016. An 18 km protection zone can be obtained if you have registered customer premise equipment (CPE); otherwise a 5.3 km zone will be granted around each base station. If you are seeking to protect registered CPE that is located more than 18 kilometers from a base station or is outside the “beam” of the base station antenna, a special showing will be required which demonstrates how the base station is capable of providing service to that customer. A separate filing will be required for each base station location that is to be registered.

We have developed a questionnaire to facilitate the gathering of the information necessary to complete the filings. Those clients who would like are assistance in completing the protection filing should contact our office promptly.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.


FCC Issues Tentative Agenda for August Open Meeting

On July 13, the FCC issued the tentative agenda for its next Open Meeting, currently scheduled for August 3. At the Open Meeting, the FCC is planning to consider the following items:

  • Connect America Fund Phase II Auction (Auction 903): a Public Notice to initiate the pre-auction process for the Connect America Fund Phase II auction which will award up to $198 million annually for 10 years to service providers that commit to offer voice and broadband services to fixed locations in unserved high-cost areas. (AU Docket No. 17-182)
  • Mobility Fund Phase II Challenge Process: an Order on Reconsideration and Second Report and Order that lays out a robust challenge process that will enable the FCC to direct Mobility Fund Phase II support to primarily rural areas that lack unsubsidized 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) service. (WC Docket No. 10-90; WT Docket No. 10-208)
  • Form 477: a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that takes a focused look at the FCC's Form 477 to improve the value of the data the FCC continues to collect. (WC Docket No. 11-10)
  • Expanding Flexible Use in Mid-Band Spectrum Between 3.7 GHz and 24 GHz: a Notice of Inquiry that explores opportunities for next generation services—particularly for wireless broadband—in the 3.7 GHz to 24 GHz spectrum range and asks about how the FCC can increase efficient and effective use of this spectrum for the benefit of all services and users. (GN Docket No. 17-183)
  • Wireless License Renewal and Service Continuity Reform: a Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would adopt unified construction, renewal, and service continuity rules for the Wireless Radio Services, while seeking comment on a range of additional possible actions to increase the number of Americans with access to wireless communications services. (WTB Docket No. 10-112)
  • Transmitter Identification Requirements for Satellite Digital Video Uplink Transmissions: a Memorandum Opinion and Order that waives the requirement that satellite news trucks, and other temporary-fixed satellite earth stations transmitting digital video, comply with the Digital Video Broadcasting-Carrier Identification (DVB-CID) standard if the earth station uses a modulator that cannot meet the DVB-CID standard through a software upgrade. (IB Docket No. 12-267).

As a continuing part of Chairman Pai’s transparency pilot program, a draft text of each of the items expected to be considered at the Open Meeting are available on the FCC’s website, except for drafts of items under consideration that involve specific, enforcement-related matters. One-page cover sheets are included in the public drafts to help summarize each item. The draft for each item is can be found by following the links included in the short summaries above.

The Open Meeting will be webcast live at

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

House Energy and Commerce Committee to Hold Hearing on FCC Oversight

On July 18, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), announced a hearing for Tuesday, July 25 entitled, “Oversight and Reauthorization of the Federal Communications Commission.”

At the hearing, the Subcommittee will discuss “the agency’s efforts to facilitate broadband deployment and streamline regulations to reflect the realities of the internet age,” as well as the Lifeline program and the improvements identified recently by the Government Accountability Office. The Subcommittee will also consider legislation that will reauthorize the FCC while at the same time implementing a number of reforms aimed at improving the agency’s processes and practices. Some of these reforms include:

  • Reports on Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) inquiries and complaints, and improving small business participation in FCC proceedings;
  • Publication of items on circulation in advance of FCC votes, and in a timely fashion after adoption;
  • Identification and description of items to be decided on delegated authority;
  • An independent Inspector General for the FCC;
  • Elimination of the daily newspaper cross-ownership rule; and
  • Creation of an Office of Economics and Data.

“I look forward to having FCC Chairman Pai and Commissioners O’Rielly and Clyburn join us to testify before the subcommittee next week,” said Chairman Blackburn. “This hearing is an opportunity for our members to discuss and provide input on priorities for the agency, most importantly, creating the right conditions for expanding broadband’ s reach across America. I’m hopeful that this hearing will also allow for a robust discussion regarding efforts to modernize the FCC’s structure and build on the steps Chairman Pai has already taken toward transparency and accountability.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

Law & Regulation

House Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2018 Agricultural Bill

On July 12, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee approved on a voice vote the fiscal year 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill. As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the annual Agricultural Appropriations bill funds rural electrification and telecommunications, as well as various agricultural and food programs and services, including food and medical product safety, animal and plant health programs, rural farm services, agricultural trade, financial marketplace oversight, and nutrition programs. The legislation provides $6.94 billion for rural electric and telephone infrastructure loans, the same level as fiscal year 2017.

Three amendments were also adopted at the same time, but none of them affected the rural telephone infrastructure loans.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

FCC Fines Robocalling Platform Nearly $3 Million

On July 13, the FCC issued a $2.88 million fine against a New Mexico-based company, Dialing Services, for facilitating unlawful robocalls. Specifically, Dialing Services’ calling technology platform was used by robocallers to make millions of illegal robocalls to mobile phones without express prior consent from consumers.

According to a Press Release, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau formally warned Dialing Services that it could be held liable for robocalls its customers were making in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The TCPA prohibits autodialed phone calls, robocalls, or texts to wireless phones in most instances unless the caller has the prior express consent of the called party. Following the citation, the Bureau investigated and determined that Dialing Services’ platform was still being used to make unlawful robocalls. The fine reflects the FCC’s determination that Dialing Services was involved in making 180 unlawful robocalls after being warned to stop.

The Press Release further stated that the FCC has made clear that a third party, such as a platform provider, may be liable under the TCPA if the platform provider is so involved in the placement of a call that it essentially made the call. The FCC determined that Dialing Services played a significant role in the illegal robocalls, and thus should be held liable for violating the TCPA. For example, Dialing Services’ platform automatically blocks the originating telephone number and enables caller ID spoofing.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell, and Sal Taillefer.


Scientists Design Smartphone App to Combat Diabetes

In a recent study published in Science Translational Medicine, researchers were able to remotely control the release of glucose-lowering hormones by engineered cells with a smartphone app. From the abstract of the study:

Using a multidisciplinary design principle coupling electrical engineering, software development, and synthetic biology, we have engineered a technological infrastructure enabling the smartphone-assisted semiautomatic treatment of diabetes in mice. A custom-designed home server SmartController was programmed to process wireless signals, enabling a smartphone to regulate hormone production by optically engineered cells implanted in diabetic mice via a far-red light (FRL)–responsive optogenetic interface.

It layman’s terms, the smartphone was used to control an implanted LED, which in turn triggered the engineered cells to produce the glucose-reducing hormone, thereby bringing new meaning to the term “cell phone.”


JULY 31: FCC FORM 507, UNIVERSAL SERVICE QUARTERLY LINE COUNT UPDATE. Line count updates are required to recalculate a carrier's per line universal service support, and is filed with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This information must be submitted on July 31 each year by all rate-of-return incumbent carriers, and on a quarterly basis if a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC) has initiated service in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area and reported line count data to USAC in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area, in order for the incumbent carrier to be eligible to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). This quarterly filing is due July 31 and covers lines served as of December 31, 2013. Incumbent carriers filing on a quarterly basis must also file on September 30 (for lines served as of March 31, 2014); December 30 (for lines served as of June 30, 2014), and March 31, 2015, for lines served as of September 30, 2014).

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

JULY 31: CARRIER IDENTIFICATION CODE (CIC) REPORTS. Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Reports must be filed by the last business day of July (this year, July 31). These reports are required of all carriers who have been assigned a CIC code by NANPA. Failure to file could result in an effort by NANPA to reclaim it, although according to the Guidelines this process is initiated with a letter from NANPA regarding the apparent non-use of the CIC code. The assignee can then respond with an explanation. (Guidelines Section 6.2). The CIC Reporting Requirement is included in the CIC Assignment Guidelines, produced by ATIS. According to section 1.4 of that document: At the direction of the NANPA, the access providers and the entities who are assigned CICs will be requested to provide access and usage information to the NANPA, on a semi-annual basis to ensure effective management of the CIC resource. (Holders of codes may respond to the request at their own election). Access provider and entity reports must be submitted to NANPA no later than January 31 for the period ending December 31, and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. It is also referenced in the NANPA Technical Requirements Document, which states at 7.18.6: CIC holders must provide a usage report to the NANPA per the industry CIC guidelines. . . The NAS must be capable of accepting CIC usage reports per guideline requirements on January 31 for the period ending December 31 and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. These reports may also be mailed and accepted by the NANPA in paper form. Finally, according to the NANPA website, if no local exchange carrier reports access or usage for a given CIC, NANPA is obliged to reclaim it. The semi-annual utilization and access reporting mechanism is described at length in the guidelines.

BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

AUGUST 1: LIVE 911 CALL DATA REPORTS FOR NON-NATIONWIDE PROVIDERS. Non-Nationwide Providers that do not provide coverage in any of the Test Cities must collect and report aggregate data based on the largest county within its footprint to APCO, NENA, and NASNA on the location technologies used for live 911 calls in those areas. Carriers should obtain spreadsheets with their company’s compliance data from their E911 service provider (e.g., Intrado / West). This is a recurring report due every six months—on first business day of second month after the six month period for which data is reported.

BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell.

AUGUST 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its recent decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual form (Form 499-A) that was due April 1.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

AUGUST 1: FCC FORM 502, NUMBER UTILIZATION AND FORECAST REPORT: Any wireless or wireline carrier (including paging companies) that have received number blocks—including 100, 1,000, or 10,000 number blocks—from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or from another carrier, must file Form 502 by August 1. Carriers porting numbers for the purpose of transferring an established customer’s service to another service provider must also report, but the carrier receiving numbers through porting does not. Resold services should also be treated like ported numbers, meaning the carrier transferring the resold service to another carrier is required to report those numbers but the carrier receiving such numbers should not report them. Reporting carriers file utilization and forecast reports semiannually on or before February 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending December 31, and on or before August 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending June 30.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

AUGUST 3: E911 Indoor Location Accuracy — Initial Implementation Plan and First Progress Report. All CMRS service providers must prepare and submit to the FCC an Initial Implementation Plan which describes their company’s plans for meeting the FCC’s improved indoor location accuracy requirements, as well as a related First Progress Report which describes their efforts to date toward meeting the plan. The FCC has not specified a particular format for these filings, so we are preparing a template that will combine both into a single report. Please contact us if you want us to prepare these filings on your company’s behalf.

BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell.

AUGUST 29: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS. The Copyright Statement of Accounts form plus royalty payment for the first half of calendar year 2014 is due to be filed August 29 at the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office by cable TV service providers.

BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.

SEPTEMBER 1: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION AND BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. Three types of entities must file this form. (1) Facilities-based Providers of Broadband Connections to End User Locations: Entities that are facilities-based providers of broadband connections—which are wired “lines” or wireless “channels” that enable the end user to receive information from and/or send information to the Internet at information transfer rates exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction—must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which the entity provides one or more such connections to end user locations. For the purposes of Form 477, an entity is a “facilities-based” provider of broadband connections to end user locations if it owns the portion of the physical facility that terminates at the end user location, if it obtains unbundled network elements (UNEs), special access lines, or other leased facilities that terminate at the end user location and provisions/equips them as broadband, or if it provisions/equips a broadband wireless channel to the end user location over licensed or unlicensed spectrum. Such entities include incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers (LECs), cable system operators, fixed wireless service providers (including “wireless ISPs”), terrestrial and satellite mobile wireless service providers, MMDS providers, electric utilities, municipalities, and other entities. (Such entities do not include equipment suppliers unless the equipment supplier uses the equipment to provision a broadband connection that it offers to the public for sale. Such entities also do not include providers of fixed wireless services (e.g., “Wi-Fi” and other wireless ethernet, or wireless local area network, applications) that only enable local distribution and sharing of a premises broadband facility.) (2) Providers of Wired or Fixed Wireless Local Telephone Services: Incumbent and competitive LECs must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide local exchange service to one or more end user customers (which may include “dial-up” ISPs). (3) Providers of Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Service: Interconnected VoIP service is a service that enables real-time, two-way voice communications; requires a broadband connection from the user’s location; requires Internet-protocol compatible customer premises equipment; and permits users generally to receive calls that originate on the public switched telephone network and to terminate calls to the public switched telephone network. Interconnected VoIP providers must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide interconnected VoIP service to one or more subscribers, with the state determined for reporting purposes by the location of the subscriber’s broadband connection or the subscriber’s “Registered Location” as of the data-collection date. “Registered Location” is the most recent information obtained by an interconnected VoIP service provider that identifies the physical location of an end user. (4) Providers of Mobile Telephony Services: Facilities-based providers of mobile telephony services must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which they serve one or more mobile telephony subscribers. A mobile telephony service is a real-time, two-way switched voice service that is interconnected with the public switched network using an in-network switching facility that enables the provider to reuse frequencies and accomplish seamless handoff of subscriber calls. A mobile telephony service provider is considered “facilities-based” if it serves a subscriber using spectrum for which the entity holds a license that it manages, or for which it has obtained the right to use via lease or other arrangement with a Band Manager.

BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

SEPTEMBER 30: FCC FORM 396-C, MVPD EEO PROGRAM REPORTING FORM. Each year on September 30, multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPDs”) must file with the FCC an FCC Form 396-C, Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributor EEO Program Annual Report, for employment units with six or more full-time employees. Users must access the FCC’s electronic filing system via the Internet in order to submit the form; it will not be accepted if filed on paper unless accompanied by an appropriate request for waiver of the electronic filing requirement. Certain MVPDs also will be required to complete portions of the Supplemental Investigation Sheet (“SIS”) located at the end of the Form. These MVPDs are specifically identified in a Public Notice each year by the FCC.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

Calendar At-A-Glance

Jul. 21 – Reply comments are due on BDS for Model Based RoR Carrier Petition for Rulemaking.
Jul. 24 – Reply comments are due on Local Service Rate Floor NPRM.
Jul. 31 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Jul. 31 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.
Jul. 31 – International Traffic Data Report is due.
Jul. 31 – Deadline for comments refreshing the record on Toll Free Calling Access Charges.
Jul. 31 – Reply comments are due on Robocall Blocking proceeding.

Aug. 1 – FCC Form 502 due (North American Numbering Plan Utilization and Forecast Report).
Aug. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Aug. 1 - Live 911 Call Data Reports for Non-Nationwide Providers due.
Aug. 3 – E911 Indoor Location Accuracy Initial implementation plan / first progress reports due.
Aug. 7 – Deadline to file for 3.65-3.7 GHz Grandfathered Protection Zone.
Aug. 15 – Deadline for reply comments refreshing the record on Toll Free Calling Access Charges.
Aug. 16 – Reply comments are due on Broadband Title I Reclassification NPRM.
Aug. 29 – Copyright Statement of Accounts is due.

Sep. 1 – FCC Form 477 due (Local Competition and Broadband Report).
Sep. 30 – FCC Form 396-C (MVPD EEO Program Annual Report).

This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm.


Harold Mordkofsky, 202-828-5520,
Benjamin H. Dickens, Jr., 202-828-5510,
Gerard J. Duffy, 202-828-5528,
John A. Prendergast, 202-828-5540,
Richard D. Rubino, 202-828-5519,
Mary J. Sisak, 202-828-5554,
D. Cary Mitchell, 202-828-5538,
Salvatore Taillefer, Jr., 202-828-5562,

Aircraft Tracking, FlightAware, and How You Can Be of Service

Use your ham radio skills to contribute to this global flight-tracking system.

Kevin Parmenter, KG5Q

Many readers are aware that many aircraft calculate their location and speed based on OPS, or similar technologies. An aircraft's altitude is measured by a pressure altimeter on board. Pitot tube pressure sensors can also provide speed data as a primary or secondary indication. Not only is this information used by the crew, aircraft with an ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast) transponder broadcast their identification and three-dimensional position (latitude, longitude, altitude) at 1,090 MHz (or 978 MHz for lower-altitude aircraft in the US, using a different technology), which can be received by a radio within line of sight of the aircraft (a maximum of approximately 250 miles/400 kilometers at cruise altitude).

Figure 1
- A FlightFeeder plug-and-play ADS-B receiver, available free of charge from FlightAware. These kits are only available to individuals living in locations that are not presently covered by FlightAware.

Thousands of ADS-B ground receivers around the world send this data over real-time connections to FlightAware,1 a global aviation software company that aggregates the data and provides flight tracking information to the public, as well as private customers and government agencies.

This information can be critical in situations where an aircraft is reported overdue and potentially lost. ADS-B tracking data can play a key role in recovery efforts by providing the plane's last reported position.

Approximately 70% of airliners around the world, and 10% of private aircraft, are currently equipped with ADS-B transponders, whereas nearly 100% have Mode-S transponders. Aircraft equipped with ADS-B emit their exact positions; Mode-S aircraft can be tracked via multilateration (MLAT). When a Mode-S signal is received by four or more receivers at the same time, FlightAware's multilateration system can derive the aircraft's position.

The FlightAware system is crowd-sourced, which is to say that it depends on data collected from thousands of individuals throughout the world who have set up ADS-B receiving stations. This is where we come in. With our communications knowledge, hams are prime candidates to join the FlightAware monitoring network as effective contributors.

Power, Location, and a Reliable Internet
The first thing you'll need is reliable power to keep your receiver system online continuously - 365 days a year. Power solutions include many of the things you probably employ during a typical Field Day: uninterruptible power supplies, battery backups, generators, or anything else that will keep your system running in the event of power failures.

Next, you will need a location for the ADS-B antenna that offers 360-degree coverage. This can be on a tower or rooftop. Your location doesn't have to be perfect (even a window will do), but for optimum results, the antenna needs an unobstructed line-of-sight to the sky and out to the horizon.

Finally, you need a reliable internet connection. This can either be wired or Wi-Fi. Because few home internet connections are 100% reliable, you right consider a special type of router that defaults to a 4G cellular backup connection if the primary home internet connection is lost. Cradlepoint2 is a prominent manufacturer, although there are others.

Setting up a Receiving station
At the heart of any FlightAware reception system is an ADS-B receiver. Most ADS-B receivers today are software-defined models, and you can often find them selling for about $100. There is a shopping list and instruction on FlightAware's website at https:/ / piaware/build.

Figure 2 - The author's DIY receiving station.

FlightAware also makes available complete kits that are provided free of charge to individuals who live in areas where there is little, or no, ADS-B monitoring taking place. FlightAware's free plug-and-play kits, called '“FlightFeeders,” (see Figure 1) can be requested from their website. However, most areas of the United States and Western Europe are already well-covered, so your odds of qualifying for a free kit may be slim.

Many enthusiasts like myself prefer to assemble their own ADS-B receiving stations. Along with the ADS-B receiver (see Figure 2), you will need an omnidirectional antenna, a coaxial feed line, and a computer (commonly a Raspberry Pi 3 dedicated to the purpose). Bear in mind that you're receiving microwave signals, so be sure to use low-loss coax if the antenna is located a substantial distance from the receiver. For many users, especially those in urban areas, a band-pass filter is also desirable to reject interference.

All of these items are available from FlightAware, as well as other sources, such as Amazon. Just search for “ADS-B.” You can also build your own ADS-B antenna. See “Virtual Radar from a Digital TV Dongle” by Robert Nickels, W9RAN, in the January 2014 issue of QST.

Finally, you'll need software to decode the ADS-B signals and feed the data to the FlightAware network. FlightAware makes their PiAware software available for free for Raspberry Pi devices. If you don't want to use a Raspberry Pi, FlightAware also offers PlanePlotter for Windows.

Receiving and Sharing Data
Once all the parts are assembled, it won't be long before you strut receiving ADS-B transmissions from aircraft in your area. The software should decode the data and verify that you are successfully uploading to the FlightAware network.

In my experience, the set-up process was simple, especially with the FlightAware system providing status updates to let me know everything was running smoothly. The finer details of the setup process include providing FlightAware with your receivers' location and elevation information. This, again, is a straightforward process.

For users building their own receiving stations, which are probably most of us, FlightAware provides a wealth of information on its website and through the worldwide community via its online discussion forums. FlightAware's FlightFeeders stations are remotely managed devices and technical support is provided via e-mail when needed.

Filling in the Coverage
The FlightAware team presently needs data from locations in specific parts of the world, including Alaska, northern Canada, eastern Europe, Russia, China, South America, Africa, Oceania, the Middle East, and much of southeast Asia. The current data coverage map can be viewed on FlightAware's website at coverage#data-coverage. You'll see that there are still some areas of the United States where coverage is needed.3

The map in Figure 3 shows ADS-B coverage in green and MLAT coverage on top of that in yellow. Data is aggregated across all altitude levels, and the map should be considered indicative of coverage of airliners at cruising altitudes. Coverage at lower altitude is generally less contiguous and benefits from fill-ins by additional receiver sites.

Installing an ADS-B receiving system is surprisingly easy. In my case, I'm monitoring signals in a location where the FlightAware team happened to need coverage. You can go to and view the activity from my station.

Becoming an ADS-B monitoring station is an educational and rewarding way to put our radio skills to work to support aviation safety.

Figure 3 - A FlightAware map showing ADS-8 coverage in green and MLAT coverage in yellow.




3 ADS-B reception may eventually move to satellites. ECN Magazine, 'This Space Radio Could Change How Flights are Tracked Worldwide," 2017 Advantage Business Media. https://www.ecnmag. com/news/2017/01/space-radio-could­change-how-flights-are-tracked­worldwide?et cid=5803885&et rid=650435438&type=headline&et_ cid=5803885&et rid=650435438&I in ki d=Featured+Headline

Kevin Parmenter, KG5Q, is Excelsys Tech­nologies' Vice President of Applications, USA. Kevin was previously Director of Advanced Technical Marketing (digital power products) for Exar. His over 30 years in the electronics and semiconductor industry includes positions at Freescale Semiconductor, Fairchild Semiconductor, ON Semiconductor, and Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector. Kevin is past president of the PSMA and was General Chair of APEC 2009. He is a long-time member of the IEEE. Kevin has a BSEE from Purdue University and BS from Colorado Technical University. He holds both an Amateur Extra class license, and an FCC Commercial Radiotelephone License. You can contact Kevin at

Source: QST® Magazine August 2017 pp. 41-43 ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio

Friends & Colleagues

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President • Principal Engineer

Cell: 214-707-7711
Toll Free: 844-IWA-TECH (844-492-8324)

Design  •  Installation  •  Maintenance  •  Training

Consulting Alliance

Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, Vic Jackson, and Ira Wiesenfeld are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects.

Click here left arrow for a summary of their qualifications and experience. Each one has unique abilities. We would be happy to help you with a project, and maybe save you some time and money.

Note: We do not like Patent Trolls, i.e. “a person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question.” We have helped some prominent law firms defend their clients against this annoyance, and would be happy to do some more of this same kind of work.

Some people use the title “consultant” when they don't have a real job. We actually do consulting work, and help others based on our many years of experience.

“If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it.”
— Chinese Proverb

Consulting Alliance

Wireless Network Planners

Wireless Network Planners
Wireless Specialists

R.H. (Ron) Mercer
217 First Street
East Northport, NY 11731

ron mercer
Telephone: 631-786-9359

Wireless Network Planners

The Wireless Messaging News

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Newsletter Editor
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Brad Dye
P.O. Box 266
Fairfield, IL 62837 USA

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If you are curious about why I joined Mensa, click here

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“Without music, life would be a mistake.”

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche


Dhwani • Rajhesh Vaidhya • Playing For Change • Live Outside

Published on Oct 13, 2016
We are proud to share a video from our Live Outside series featuring musicians from Chennai, India. Enjoy Rajhesh Vaidhya and friends performing the song, “Dhwani,” and let this beautiful music fill you with love and peace.

Source: YouTube  

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