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From: Dick Powell AD5CS / N5VA Trustee January 2, 2106

To: General Public Distribution as needed.


The Albuquerque VA Ham radio station, call sign N5VA, is a club station sponsored by the Albuquerque Amateur Radio Club (AARC) in Albuquerque, NM. See AARC web site for pictures of the N5VA operation.

Amateur Radio Station N5VA provides support for the ABQ VA Medical Center with Amateur radio communication facilities and related technical support for recovering patients, veterans, VA emergency operations, and interested general public. N5VA station has an operator ~1000 to 1200 most weekdays as operators are available. The ABQVA EM can call operators as needed to support EM or other VA operations. Access to the Ham Shack (HS) located in the ABQVA SCI Court Yard is controlled to prevent loss of equipment and prevent unauthorized operation of the radio equipment. The ABQVA EM has Government owned radio equipment installed in the HS which supports the Nationwide VA SHARES Radio and VHA Resilient HF Radio Network system.

The ABQ VA Medical Center and EM group have supported the N5VA station with facilities, limited equipment, and minor financial support. Most of the equipment, installations, and operation has been provided by the AARC, Zia Chapter Paralyzed Veterans of America (ZIAPVA), and regional ham volunteers.

Station Access Requirements

Full 24/7 Access

  • 1 - Have a current and valid Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Ham license. Operation of equipment is per class of Amateur Radio license.
  • Either
    • 2(a) - Be a VA Voluntary Services (VAVS) member with VA Issued badge and be approved as a Ham operator by VAVS.
  • or
    • 2(b) - Be an ABQ VA Badged employee and approved by the ABQ VA EM Group for operation during ABQ VA drills or emergency operations as permitted by 47 C.F.R. Part 97 Section 97.113 (a)(3)(i). See appendix A below.
  • 3 - Be approved as a N5VA Control Operator (CO) by N5VA station Trustee.
  • 4 – Be listed on Access Sheet located at VA Police Station key location. Access list is provided by N5VA Trustee.

General Access

  • 1 – General public access to N5VA Station requires an approved CO present at the N5VA Station.
  • 2 - Operation of radio equipment is dependent on class of Amateur Radio License Amateur license in possession of person accessing station or under direct supervision of N5VA CO present.
  • 3 – Non hams can operate radio equipment under direct supervision of the N5VA CO present.

SHARES and VHA Resilient HF Radio Network Radio Equipment

  • 1 – Access and operation of the VA SHARES and VHA Resilient HF Radio Network Radio equipment is under direct control of the ABQ EM Group.
  • 2 – SHARES and VHA Resilient HF Radio Network Radio operators are not allowed to operate N5VA Station Amateur radios unless a N5VA CO is present.
  • 3 – SHARES Radio and VHA Resilient HF Radio Network operation will be limited to ABQVA SHARES License frequencies or as permitted by the license in possession of the government operator.

Appendix A - Prohibited transmissions

§ 97.113 Prohibited transmissions. (a)(3) Communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer, with the following exceptions:

  • (i) A station licensee or control station operator may participate on behalf of an employer in an emergency preparedness or disaster readiness test or drill, limited to the duration and scope of such test or drill, and operational testing immediately prior to such test or drill. Tests or drills that are not government-sponsored are limited to a total time of one hour per week; except that no more than twice in any calendar year, they may be conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours.
  • (ii) An amateur operator may notify other amateur operators of the availability for sale or trade of apparatus normally used in an amateur station, provided that such activity is not conducted on a regular basis.
  • (iii) A control operator may accept compensation as an incident of a teaching position during periods of time when an amateur station is used by that teacher as a part of classroom instruction at an educational institution.
  • (iv) The control operator of a club station may accept compensation for the periods of time when the station is transmitting telegraphy practice or information bulletins, provided that the station transmits such telegraphy practice and bulletins for at least 40 hours per week; schedules operations on at least six amateur service MF and HF bands using reasonable measures to maximize coverage; where the schedule of normal operating times and frequencies is published at least 30 days in advance of the actual transmissions; and where the control operator does not accept any direct or indirect compensation for any other service as a control operator.