Senate Passage of Amateur Radio Parity Act

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I think we are at the last chance for passing the Parity Act in this Congress.   Everyone needs to act now, even if you have already contacted your Senator, do it again.  It's the 4th quarter and our team is down.

If not passed before they adjourn we start over with the next Congress.

Here is a partial quote from the ARRL Bulletin:

"Urging your US Senators' support is simple: Go to our Rally Congress
page at,
https://arrl.rallycongress.net/ctas/urge-us-senate-to-pass-amateur-radio-parity-act
, enter your ZIP code, fill in your name and address, press enter,
and e-mails will go directly to your Senators. Members may do this
even if they have already contacted their US Senators for support.

There are no guarantees, Lisenco has pointed out. "In order to have
a chance at overcoming political obstacles that have little or
nothing to do with the legislation, we need our voices to be heard,"
he said. "And we need that input today!""

Apparently Senator Nelson of Florida has put a hold on the House bill effectively preventing it from coming to a vote in the Senate.  You Florida hams need to contact your Senator Nelson and ask that he release the hold, which apparently has nothing to do with our actual legislation.

This needs to be done now.
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N5LB - Lionel B

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Posted 2 years ago

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Brent Parker

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The ARRL reply button rejected my click, as I'd already done that.

I instead logged into Senator Bill Nelson's web site and wrote a personal message. I believe these personal messages are more effective, than the canned ones. Also being in Florida helps.

I encourage all Florida hams to write Bill, directly on his web page.

I reminded him that hams spurred much of the technology and communications that we now take for granted now and him having been is space, he should be fully aware of that. 

I also told him that both "sides" of this legislation have come together and now support this non-controversial legislation, and for him to hold it hostage, for other purposes is just not acceptable.

We'll see.

Florida hams, we need your help

Thanks

Brent Parker W8XG


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Walt - KZ1F

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Isn't this already done and is now part of the reconciled Communication Act of 2016? This was reported on a few weeks ago.
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Moose

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I live in Florida and I just called Senator Nelson's office in DC and asked that he remove the hold on the bill. I asked why the hold was there to begin with and the person I spoke to was not able to answer that for me.

73 Chris AK4SK
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Walt - KZ1F

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Why it was held or or if it was held?
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Moose

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The aid said he didn't know.
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W7NGA

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His neighbor has a 20-meter log periodic on a 100' tower.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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It is being held because i it's part if an omnibus bill that has other parts that Nelson does not like or more likely it's being used by Nelson as a lever to get some Pork.
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Walt - KZ1F

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It's all about the sausage making.
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k3Tim

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It appears to be on hold due to a purely partisan reason:
"On the Democratic side, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and many others focused on the failure of the Senate GOP to confirm FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to a second term. This GOP reluctance to move on reconfirming her has resulted in a hold being placed on all telecommunications related bills coming up before the Senate."

source: 
https://www.neca.org/article.aspx?listid=26972&id=13431

In which case you can forget about it till next year.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I believe the issues are bigger than that with Senator Nelson. Florida is basically HOA-ville, home to The Villages, a gigantic retirement community with lots of CC&Rs, among others. He probably owes the Florida RE industry a huge amount of favors. 

Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, ARRL Hudson Division Director and a major champion of the Amateur Radio Parity Act (and a long time friend of mine) explained the whole thing today. We really don't have much of a choice because Senator Nelson holds the cards right now and isn't up for re-election for 3 more years. 

So,keep calling, keep writing, keep emailing and keep on keeping on. 
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Larry - WA7LZO

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I'm not sure this bill, even if passed, will realistically do much of anything at all for erecting a decent HF antenna, even a simple dipole. The compromised language essentially says the HOA must make "...reasonable accommodations..."  As that infamous politician would say, It depends upon the meaning of "reasonable." Translation: The HOA may approve a toothpick. If the Ham decides to fight them for a modest dipole (let alone a very small beam), good luck draining your bank account on attorney fees. I am convinced HF enthusiasts living in a deed restricted or HOA environment must be prepared to pay big $'s (and accept the horrible realities of living with a septic system and well) to acquire acreage in some place like NW Idaho, N or S Dakota, or Montana to be allowed to put up a nice HF antenna.
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Walt - KZ1F

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I suspect nobody is going to see a tower or yagi come out of it. Frankly, that is one reason people buy into HOA developments as they don't want to see neighbors laundry and or rusted out cars leaking oil on their front lawn up on cinder blocks, lawns turned to weeds thru neglect. All of which we had in an HOA development when we lived in Reston VA.
(Edited)
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Michael Coslo

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Agree. The HOA has to accomodate you, which means at best, a wire doublet, or a vertical. As well, you'll be dealing with people in the HOA who are now pretty PO'ed at ya, since you'd be using the force of law to make them accomodate you, so I suspect they'll accommodate you as little as they have to. 

It's seriously best to live in a place where you are allowed to put up whatever you want. Otherwise it's going to be an uphill battle to get at best something mediocre. I don't even want to live around those people.

Flamesuit on, I've been roasted, toasted,  and cursed a lot for my opinion.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Mike, the xyl and I were looking for a place with no deed restrictions for two years before settling on this qth and one can check out the tower and LP on qrz and the Google earth app.
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Michael Coslo

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I live in a development, and a nice one, that the only restrictions on antennas are that if I have a tower, it must pass the pencil drop test. Not that any tower is likelt to ever fail that way, but I'm okay with that. The only issue with the neighbors is they like to come out to see whatever odd thing I'm doing. 

Even then, I have a trick up my sleeve. I stay on real good terms with the neighbors. I also belong to an RFI listing where there are more than a few that want to go in guns-a-blazin' (figuratively of course) when they have an issue. But it's amazing what sharing a beer, or using the snowblower on their sidewalks will do for PR.
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Mark WS7M

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I hit it again!  I've emailed, called and done what I can.
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Larry - WA7LZO

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Yup, looking for a nice acre or two with no CC&R's, HOA's, etc. The biggest hurdle is I absolutely will NEVER again live with the horrible realities of a septic system, and/or a well.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Well, not on the east coast. I can't speak for the western US.

And, as Mike said above, there will be a good number of very unhappy hams if and when it does pass. If you really want a tower and no well and septic, there is always RHR.
(Edited)
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Larry - WA7LZO

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No way RHR. Prefer CXG.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I have lived with a septic system nearly all my life. A well is really no big deal either. We've had 2 failures (pumps, one septic, one well) but as long as you maintain it and keep oil, grease, laundry lint (use a filter) and feminine hygiene products out of it, it should last a long time. I have seen a lot of nightmares of sewer lines filling up and overflowing into the streets, no thanks. I think either has its disadvantages. 

Before I go to RHR I may just get an unmanned building somewhere and then run a remote to it. I have to resolve within myself my own ethics of using RHR before I actually decide to use it. 
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N5LB - Lionel B

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In Texas, near Houston, it is pretty much impossible to buy a home that is NOT in an HOA.   Ours does allow me some flexibility and I have a vertical with a large radial field that works okay.   I'd like a high wire antenna, but that's out of the question.  After a decade we're bugging out of Texas very soon; property is up for sale. 

We're returning to MN and we have a realtor on board and I have made contact with relevant city departments for zoning and permits related to ham antennas.  It turns out that they have virtually no objections unless you want a tower that can fall on your neighbor.   It can be done., and apparently within 30 minutes of the Twin Cities, and no HOA.  We won't even look at an online picture of a house in an HOA. 

And, even better, for me anyway, once nested in the new QTH an already XYL approved new Flex 6500 will be added.

That said, the Parity Act is not all of what we want or need but the reality is we better take what we can get. Chip away at every chance. Or do nothing.  I prefer doing something and if it only takes a chip out of the HOA wall, so be it.  Every chip helps.

So not everyone agrees. That's okay. Those who do need to apply what pressure they can.
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Larry - WA7LZO

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We're looking at some acreage properties nearby Austin, TX with no HOA, no CC&R's. We cannot EVEN believe how inexpensive land and homes are in Austin and the surrounding areas, juxtaposed to Seattle prices.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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That's cool! I like Austin and Texas in general as well. As a bonus you'll be close to the mothership. :) 
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Mark WS7M

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I live in a restrictive HOA.  So far I've slid by with a tree hidden antenna and a wire that is difficult to see from the road.

Burt, who may no longer be on this forum gave many of us a hard time about wanting to "break" our covenant agreements that we signed when we bought our properties.  I had issues with this because I think that many covenants, including ours are too restrictive. 

I don't seek to "break" but rather to modify.  IE if the parity act passes I expect that it will make it more possible to modify covenants.  Yes it will take time, piss people off, cost money but I think for me that will not really be the case. 

I'm looking for the parity act as a fall back that if some day someone spots my wire and says what the hell?  I will have something to back me up even in the slightest.

So I agree with chipping away.  I certainly don't expect to put up a massive tower and beam but an almost invisible wire should be acceptable and I hope the parity act makes it possible for me to stand up to our HOA if it ever comes up. 

On the flip side, one reason I'm sticking with FlexRadio is that I still have this dream of a true remote station.   In my ideal world I'd buy or lease a small piece of land in a nice elevated location.  Build a nice brick structure, put up a tower and a beam, set up line-of-slight LAN connection to my house and be able to run my station completely remotely.

This is a ways off both financially and practically but it is a dream and I think flex offers the best options at this.

I have found some rather nice mountain top properties for sale.  I've found one owner that was interested in leasing out a piece of his large land.  I didn't get into pricing but he didn't seem to mind when I suggested leasing a small square plot to build a building and mount a a tower and beam.

What would be even better would be to find a ham that want to share the expense of building and putting up a tower and we could pool resources for equipment.  If this person lived in a good area then it might be a good way to go.   

I'm waiting for Flex to really nail the WAN version of SSDR before I go to something like this but I do think this is how I will end up someday.  My gear will be some miles away.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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The problem with CC&Rs is that they are nearly impossible to modify. They run with the land. When you buy the home you can't negotiate the CC&Rs. They're usually passed by the HOA or the developer and you have zero say. That's the very definition of one-sidedness.

I generally don't have a problem with HOAs as long as they are voluntary. However I'm seeing more cities, towns and municipalities mandate them for plat approval. It gets them off the hook for things like snow removal and upkeep, but the developer gets to slap restrictions, some of which are just ridiculous - eg no pickup trucks in driveways, no open garage doors.  
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Mark WS7M

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No argument there.   I'm lucky that our CC&Rs are in violation of Colorado laws otherwise everyone here is right... I'd never be able to modify them.
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Walt - KZ1F

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@Mark, How many semester hours do you have in contract law? If you'd like I can lend you one of my law books on contracts.
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Mark WS7M

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Walt... Zero.    My point seems to be missed.   If our CC&R's were "normal" and in compliance you bet your butt you are spot on right.  One-sided modification pretty much impossible.

However our CC&R's are in violation in about 6 different areas of a recent (approx 4 years ago) law and we are in the process of re-writing sections to be compliant.

When this came up our HOA sought resident volunteers to work on and review the laws.  Of course I jumped in.  We are not lawyers and none of us wish to be lawyers and our HOA is taking the approach that "we" will write the sections and pay our HOA lawyer to review and approve for finalization.

We went over the entire CC&R.  When we got to the section on Antennae I was surprised that some of the people on the panel I thought would object were suddenly very much for allowing certain kinds of antennae mainly due to the fact that we have City WiFi coming in and we wanted to prepare our neighborhood to allow network antennas to work on the city WiFi.  

I sat in this meeting with a pile of paperwork that I almost never had to open and start pushing.   We re-wrote our CC&R antenna section to allow satellite dishes, and small footprint antennae up to 25 feet in height if placed on the roof of the home.  

One neighbor at the bottom of our canyon, not even a ham, said, 25 was not enough for her home to get line of sight to town.  So we wrote in a section allowing up to 50 feet as long as it was designed to look natural.  Of course this is vague on purpose as some of the oldsters on the board want the ability to simply say "nope", not natural enough.

But I was shocked.  Without evening mentioning parity act we now how in our CCR's the ability to mount a 25 foot small foot print antenna on our homes.  a vertical would qualify.  If you want to go to 50' you have to submit a design.

The sad thing is after all of this work we had the lawyer review it and presented it for approval to our residents for our annual meeting.  We didn't have enough people show up to pass it.  So we have to try again.

So my point is simply that I'm in a unique situation where I was able to get things changed.  Once we get it passed then it will open up a bunch of opportunities.   Without a doubt there will be no Texas Tower erected in our neighborhood but you'd be surprised....

Our CC&R's also prohibit "out buildings" like small sheds, yet we have some 12 of them in the neighborhood.  At least 3 of these were erected by people that just blew off the CC&Rs.  When the subject came up it was decided it would be too expensive to fight so we just let it go.  This probably would have been different if there had been just 1.  But with 12 we were fighting a losing battle.

Anyway, I am for the parity act if for no other reason than to open peoples eyes to the fact that things can and often should be changed.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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One of my colleagues lives in a HOA neighborhood. He lives just outside of Tampa, FL. He wanted to convert his garage to a home office since he works from home. This is inside his home not visible from the street. The HOA told him no. Apparently the developer sold higher end homes that had space for a home office and didn't want people buying the cheaper model and upgrading on his own. He did it anyway and who's really going to notice.

As much as I like decorating and stuff some of the restrictions are a bit much. Drapes have to be a certain color, colors have to be approved and styles of doors and windows. We live in a non HOA neighborhood (obviously) now and I haven't seen much out of the ordinary except for one guy who painted his door pink, but it doesn't really bother me or anyone else.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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In California it's impossible to buy any new home without a HOA unless you are very wealthy and even then it is quite difficult.
(Edited)
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Michael Coslo

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That is prety sad. Wouldn't it be a better fight at the state level then? I apparently cannot live in Cali, because I was in an HOA once, and would jump off a bridge before dealing with those devils again. 
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KM6CQ - Dan

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"Do not sacrifice your hobby for the right house."  I will not buy a new house because I can not have the antenna system that I want. But it does not stop there, they will make a violator out of you with their laundry of list elitism. No thanks, I done that more than once and never again. I'd rather live (and I do) in a older place and enjoy my hobbies. CC&R's and HOA's are a group of people you pay to tell you what to do.
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Historically CC&R's were created by lawyers at banks who made construction loans to developers and needed consistency of product so that they could package the loans for resale ...it had nothing to do with maintaining property values.


External Antenna Resstrictions started to appear in the 1960's when cable companies PAID developers to ban TV antennas so that they could force homeowners to buy cable TV.


OTARD - over the air receiving devices came into effect in 1995 when Direct TV paid off congress to allow external satellite. Dishes.


Since lawyers are lazy, they normally just copy the last set of CC&R with no thought whatsoever.


In California it is virtually impossible to buy a house without CC&R. This is made worse because cities insist on CC&R as part of a development plan and they love the Franchise Fees from cable TV.


FOLLOW THE MONEY


One consequence of CC&R's in California is that the few properties without them are significantly more valuable than those that have them


My street's CC&R expired in 1997 which resulted in a huge construction boom of mega mansions that.were illegal before plus my tower. Our property values have soared 400%

BTW. The price boom on my street puts a lie to the claim that antennas hurt property values.
(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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RRR on follow the money and lazy lawyers and legislatures...
It is easy to claim "it will destroy property values." In order to justify "aesthetic" snobbery.
While I would not want someone opening up a junkyard or creating "rusty car sculpture" next to me, many CC&R's, HOA's, zoning boards, and planning commissions have replaced science and data with their own snobbery and private power trips.

Many of these restrictions are state or contractual enforcement of paid monopolies. Forcing someone to purchase a product (TV or radio reception) that is freely obtainable via the public airways, seems to me to be an unconstitutional infringement of individual rights in order to support crony capitalism. Just because you were able to convince or bribe public officials or contractors to support it doesn't make it right.

Luckily, I live in the Midwest where there are still some communities that have more reasonable restrictions. Though this is changing as the trend for greater conformity to the prejudices and control of others seems to continue.
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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This is an ugly subject for a product forum. The Parity Act is well advertised in more general forums where devolving into unrelated subjects is more acceptable. I say this as an apology for joining in at this point knowing full well my opinion is off topic and maybe not well accepted.

HOAs are evil.

They turn neighbors against neighbors. They invade the sanctity of land and home ownership. They contribute to the collective (or maybe just a few) in the one place where being somewhat selfish should be acceptable. They take freedoms away. They are unavoidable in many cases and exclusive in all cases. And we pay money to them to fund their control. Just another tax.

HOAs are evil.
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N5LB - Lionel B

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Contact by Sen. Cornyn (TX) this morning.  They are wordsmithing in the Senate Commerce and Technology Committee.  It may never get out of committee as they debate how broad "reasonable accommodation" will be interpreted by the FCC.  Feels like dilution coming...if it survives in committee.

Let me apologize for posting the subject initially but decisions such as these in DC directly impact my enjoyment of the hobby and dampens my motivation to spend many thousands on new gear; it's depressing on so many levels.  May be for others as well. 

Ok, that's what I know this morning and now y'all know.

Enough of this use of bandwidth, I have done what I can. 

Back to Flex tech talk, always useful and interesting.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@LIonel

Thank you very much for keeping us up to date on this very important topic that affects perhaps a majority. Of hams

Please do not feel the need to apologize as many of us are interested.