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Amateur Radio NewslineT Report 1805 - March 16 2012
Audio available at http://www.arnewsline.org/
Amateur Radio NewslineT Report 1805 - March 16 2012
Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1805 with a release
date of March 16th, 2012 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.
The following is a QST. More on ham radios role in the wake
of a recent tornado outbreak; FEMA asks the FCC to permit
text to speech EAS transmissions; interference from ocean
buoys discovered on 10 meters and a DXpedition to Mali is
cancelled due to political unrest in that nation. Find out
the details are on Amateur Radio NewslineT report number
1805 coming your way right now.
(Billboard Cart Here)
RESCUE RADIO: ARES HAMS FILL MULTIPLE ROLES DURING KENTUCKY
SEVERE WEATHER OUTBREAK
Amateur Radio operators in Hardin and surrounding Kentucky
counties provided critical communications during and after
the severe weather outbreaks on February 29th, and again on
Saturday March 3rd. Amateur Radio Newsline's Cheryl Lasek,
K9BIK, is here with the details:
Members of the Hardin County Kentucky Amateur Radio
Emergency Service were activated initially by the National
Weather Service. This as a resource to relay significant
weather information directly to their office in Louisville.
Hardin County ARES provided weather spotting, logistics,
disaster assessment, and shelter coordination assistance.
Throughout the severe weather, they were busy maintaining
communications with served agencies, with hams in adjacent
counties, other ARES units, and to amateur radio station
WX4NWS which is located at the Louisville National Weather
Knowing in advance the high probability for dangerous
weather, several of the volunteer radio amateurs took
personal time off from work in order to perform this public
In the aftermath of these deadly storms, Hardin County
Amateur Radio operators continued to serve with agencies in
affected areas in Southern Indiana and Eastern Kentucky,
providing communications, disaster assistance, and support
for ongoing search, rescue and recovery operations.
Fred Jones, WA4SWF, is the Region 4 Assistant Section
Emergency Coordinator for the ARES in Eastern Kentucky. He
e-mailed Newsline that as of March 11th there were Amateur
Radio emergency Service nets still in operation on 8
repeaters in Eastern Kentucky. Whether or not these nets
have been secured is unknown as we go to air.
For the amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, in
According to Shelby Ennis, W8WN, who is the Emergency
Coordinator of the Hardin County ARES, 20 operators were
active during the emergency on February 29th and 27
volunteered on March 3rd. (WA4SWF, KE4EK)
RESCUE RADIO: FEMA WANTS FCC TO ALLOW CAP TEXT TO SPEECH
The Federal Emergency Management Agency better known by the
acronym FEMA has asked the FCC to reconsider portions of its
latest EAS Report and Order. Specifically in the area
dealing with message standards.
In its filing, FEMA told the commission that portions of its
5th Report and Order on EAS limit the ability of local
emergency management officials to obtain all of the benefits
of Common Alerting Protocol messaging standards for EAS.
Especially those that deal with text to speech conversion .
The FCC had put off the text-to-speech conversion issue for
a separate rule making proceeding. But FEMA claims that one
possible consequence of not allowing such conversions now is
that Common Alerting Protocol messages supplied without
audio content could cause a C-A-P equipped EAS device to
interrupt a stations normal programming and only convey an
EAS header tone. Or it might only transmit an alert signal
and an end-of-message notification.
FEMA says that for radio stations this would mean that no
information usable by the public would be conveyed. As
such, FEMA is urging the FCC to reconsider and to allow
speech-to-text technology to support EAS radio operations
(RW, Radio Today, Observer)
COMMUNICATIONS LAW: HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
APPROVES TWO FCC REFORM MEASURES
The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 31 to 16 on
Tuesday March 6th to approve an FCC reform bill that puts
shot clocks on FCC decisions, requires disclosure of items
before votes, and limits on merger conditions.
The cable, phone and broadcast industries all supported the
FCC reform efforts as outlined in HR 3309, while House
Democrats said the measure will needlessly tie the FCC's
hands and could lead to endless litigation. Democrats have
vowed to defeat the measure.
At the same time the House also passed a second, non
controversial FCC reform bill. HR 3310 that simply requires
the FCC to conduct a biennial survey of the state of
competition in the marketplace that will be published online
and submitted to Congress. (B&C)
ON THE AIR: IRLP TOPIC CHANNELS INAUGURATED
The long-awaited Internet Radio Linking Project or IRLP
Topic Channels have now gone live. IRLP- users are now able
to log onto reflector channels allocated for interests
ranging from DX'ing to music, media, history, the upcoming
2012 election and many others.
For those not aware, the Internet Radio Linking Project was
the result of research and development by Dave Cameron,
VE7LTD, back in 1998. This as a way of using the Internet
to interconnect repeaters world-wide. With the advent of
IRLP Topic Channels the concept has developed into a global
discussion real-time forum on almost any topic of interest
to those signed on.
For up-to-date information on the IRLP Topic Channels please
visit www.irlptopics.net. To locate an IRLP node near you
go to status.irlp.net on the world-wide-web. (W7RAT,
INTRUDER WATCH: BUOYS ON 10 METERS
The source of some mysterious weak signals on 29.684 MHz
with an 81.9 Baud and 130 Hz shift have been located.
According to the February IARU Region One newsletter, the
signals came from the Spanish coastal area and were audible
across all of Europe but only during band openings and only
by directional antennas.
It turns out the source of transmissions by Datawell buoys.
These buoys, produced in the Netherlands are used for
measuring water temperatures and wave heights. They are
designed to transmit with 75 milliwatts on frequencies
between 27 and 40 MHz.
Dick Van Empelen, PA2GRU, of Heemstede in the Netherlands
has since visited the Datawell Company and has informed them
that the buoy transmissions on the amateur service 10 meter
band are illegal. The operations chief promised to inform
all Datawell offices about the situation. (IARU-R1)
BREAKING NEWS: PLANNED MALI DXPEDITION ON HOLD DUE TO
Some breaking news in the world of DX. This with word that
political unrest has led to a planned DX operation to Mali
being put on indefinite hold.
Two weeks ago members of the "Italian Dxpedition Team"
announced that they were planning to be active as TZ5T from
Mali between April 12th to the 27th. However, their Pilot
station Art Lorenzo, IK7JWY, has now issued a statement that
the situation of civil war in Mali between the government
and Tuareg insurgents is worsening. Because of this and
other concerns Mali authorities will not issue licenses to
radio amateurs who may be targeted because of radio
For this reason the DXpedition has been postponed until a
yet to be determined later date. For updates please check
in regularly at www (dot) i2ysb (dot) com on the World-Wide
Web. And we will have more DX news later on in this weeks
From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio
Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world
including the Echo Repeater System serving Mt. Prospect
(5 sec pause here)
PROPAGATION: YET ANOTHER CME HEADS TOWARD EARTH
Spaceweather reports that the sun has again erupted in a way
that will likely affect radio propagation here on Earth for
several days. Especially on the High Frequency bands. We
have more in this report:
Sunspot AR1429 unleashed another strong flare on March 13th.
The category M 7.9 explosion produced a significant Coronal
Mass Ejection or CME that solar forecasters predicted would
reach Earth at 06:20 UTC, plus or minus 7 hours, on March
15th and whose effects on propagation could last for several
As a result, geomagnetic storms are possible when the
charged cloud arrives that could produce auroral displays in
the Northern-most latitudes. This in turn could lead to
aurora propagation at 50 Mhz and above.
Ironically, a bright comet is at the same time diving into
the sun. The comet was recently discovered NASA's Solar and
Heliospheric Observatory SWAN instrument. As such its been
named "Comet SWAN."
The comet's death plunge or "swan dive" as some astronomers
are calling it comes just as the sun has unleashed the
strong flare. Because of this some of the SOHO images of
the comet are confused to some degree by energetic protons
striking the camera's imaging sensor.
For the amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF,
in the Newsroom in Los Angeles.
For updates on this and other solar activity we suggest that
you check spaceweather.com for the latest information.
ENFORCEMENT: FCC AFFIRMS $25000 FINE FOR UNLICENSED SAN JOSE
CA FM BROADCAST OPERATIONS
The FCC has affirmed a $25,000 Notice of Apparent Liability
issued to Gabriel A. Garcia of San Jose, California. This
for a 2010 series of unlicensed radio transmissions heard on
92.9 MHz, 93.7 and 104.3 MHz all traced to Garcia
Garcia was issued four notices of unlicensed operation from
the FCC before being issued the proposed fine in 2011. The
base penalty in such cases is $10,000 but the agency has
said that Garcia operated on multiple frequencies, on
multiple occasions, and called his behavior particularly
egregious. This because his transmissions allegedly
interfered with the Aviation Radio Services band.
Garcia never responded to the proposed fine. Having not
heard an appeal from him since issuing the NAL last March,
the FCC now has finalized the $25,000 fine and given him the
customary 30 days to pay. If he fails to do so the case may
be referred to the Department of Justice for collection.
COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATION: FREQUENCY COORDINATION FOR
2012 POLITICAL CONVENTIONS COMMITTEE FORMED
Broadcast engineers have formed a committee to coordinate
spectrum use at the Democratic and Republican conventions
this summer. According to member Ray Benedict PolComm 2012
was formed in an effort to head off radio and TV personnel
who may show up at the conventions and then try to use their
wireless mics and two-way radios without first going through
the frequency coordination process.
The Republican convention is Aug. 27th to the 30th in Tampa,
Florida and the Democratic convention is September 3rd to
the 6th in Charlotte, North Carolina. The committee says
that it will seek a temporary rules waiver to allow TV
Channels 14, 16 and 17 to be used as communication channels
in Tampa and TV Channels 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 in
Broadcast engineering consultant Louis Libin is the PolComm
2012 chairman. Libin has chaired frequency coordination
committees for past seven national political conventions.
NEW PRODUCTS: THE TALENT POD FROM HENRY ENGINEERING
A fascinating new piece of merchandise has come along that
while not meant for ham radio, deserves a mention.
Henry Engineering, the California-based company owned by
Hank Landsberg, WB6MEU, has come out with a broadcast
product that could also be of interest to contesters, DX'ers
as well as dedicated multi-operator stations such as during
Field Day. Called the Talent Pod, the unit is a desktop
local host controller for microphones and headphones that
the company says solves audio problems often encountered
when doing remote broadcasts.
Talent Pod is a mini-console made for use by an announcer.
It gives that person full control of his or her mic and
headphones. It lets the announcer turn the mic on and off
and create a mix of local and return audio in the
headphones. The mic button is illuminated and is visible in
outdoor settings. A cough button momentarily mutes mic
There are also two separate inputs for local and return
audio, with a volume control for each. The operator can
control the volume level and mix of the headphone audio.
To prevent confusion between the local and return audio,
Talent Pod also has two pan switches, so the announcer can
independently position the local and return audio in the
center, left or right channel of the headphones.
As most hams involved in contesting and multi-op DXing will
note, all of these functions could easily be adapted to use
in an amateur radio multi operator station environment. All
it takes is a bit of imagination. More information on the
Talent Pod is on line at www.henryeng.com. (RW)
HAM RADIO HONORS: ARRL OPENS NOMINATIONS FOR SEVERAL AWARDS
The nomination period is now open for a number of ARRL
awards that are designed to recognize educational and
technological pursuits in Amateur Radio, as well as an award
to honor a young Amateur Radio operator. These include the
Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award for educators and
the Hiram Percy Maxim Award is for a licensed radio amateur
under age 21 to name only two. In all there are a half a
dozen awards this year. For more information take your web
browser to tinyurl.com/arrl-awards-2012 or contact Steve
Ewald, by e-mail to wv1x (at) arrl (dot) org. (ARRL)
HAM HAPPENINGS: INTERNATIONAL MUSEUMS WEEKEND REGISTRATION
The International Museums Weekend special event operations
will take place on the weekends of June 16th through the
17th and again on June 23rd and 24th. Radio amateurs are
encouraged to participate in this event by setting up
stations in their local museums.
The International Museums Weekend organizer Harry
Bloomfield, M1BYT in Leeds in the U-K. He asks that all
those intending to take part in the event to register their
museum operation at www.ukradioamateur.co.uk/imw.
This is not only a fun event but one that permits you to
showcase amateur radio to non-hams world wide. (WIA News)
HAM HAPPENINGS: CELEBRATING THE MORSE CODE
New York's QSY Society Amateur Radio Club will be hosting a
special event station at the Samuel F. B. Morse Estate at
Locust Grove in the city of Poughkeepsie. This in
celebration of his creation of the Morse Code in 1832. The
operation will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern
Daylight Time on Saturday April 14th using the special event
callsign K2QS. Transmissions will be centered on 7.034 on
40 meters and 14.034 MHz on 20. Hams making contact with
K2QS will be eligible for a special commutative QSL card.
QSL requests go to David Ruth at 48 Hoof Print Road,
Millbrook, New York, 12545. ((KB2VJP)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: STEVE FLETCHER G4RFC NAMED RSGB OLYMPIC
Some names in the news. The Radio Society of Great Britain
has announced that Steve Fletcher, G4RFC, has been appointed
as the U-K national society's Olympic Facilitator.
According to a press release, Fletcher will be drawing
together all the information on radio amateur special events
associated with the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in
the UK. S As such he wants to hear about any individual
plans so the RSGB website can show who is doing what, when
and where. Fletcher can be reached by e-mail to g4rfcinfo
(at) yahoo (dot) co (dot)uk. (GB2RS)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: G6LVB TO SPEAK AT AMSAT-NA - TAPR
Howard Long, G6LVB will be the featured speaker at the 2012
AMSAT/TAPR Hamvention Banquet on Friday night, May 18th in
Dayton, Ohio. Long will be talking about his FUNcube Dongle
and the 64 to 1700 MHz Software Defined Receiver. Banquet
tickets will not be sold at the AMSAT booth during the
Hamvention therefore reservations must be made ahead of time
through the AMSAT Store. Its located in cyberspace at
tinyurl.com/amsat-na-store. Tickets are priced at $30 each.
NAMES IN THE NEWS: K9EID UK AUDIO TALK POSTED TO YOUTUBE
And a talk about improving audio on the ham radio bands
given by Bob Heil, K9EID, has been posted on-line by M3XYP.
Recorded at the United Kingdom 2011 National Hamfest, the
video is in five parts and can be found at
This is ham radio news for today's radio amateur. From the
United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline
with links to the world from our only official website at
www.arnewsline.org and being relayed by the volunteer
services of the following radio amateur:
(5 sec pause here)
THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD: PACIFIC DXER RON WRIGHT ZL1AMO
Another of those sad changing of the guard moments. This
with word that the ham radio community has lost legendary
Pacific DX'er and DXpeditioner Ron Wright, ZL1AMO.
Word went out two weeks ago that Wright had been admitted to
the North Shore Hospital in New Zealand because of a
collapsed lung but recovered. The last medical update noted
that ZL1AMO was in stable condition.
According to reports, Wright was still in the hospital at
the time of his death on March 6th. Services for ZL1AMO were
to be held at the Morrison Fuenral Home in Henderson, New
Zealand on Saturday March 10th. At the time of his passing
Ron Wright, ZL1AMO, was age of 75. (OPDX, NZ Herald)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: CALL FOR SPEAKERS AT 2012 AMSAT UK
A call has gone out for speakers for the AMSAT-UK 2012
International Space Colloquium. This years gathering will
take on the weekend of September 15th to the 16th at the
Holiday Inn, Guildford, England. Also being sought are
papers for subsequent publishing on the AMSAT-UK web site.
Submissions should be sent via e-mail to david dot johnson
at blackpepper dot co dot uk or to the postal address for
G4DPZ found on QRZ dot com. More information on this event
is on-line at www (dot) uk (dot) amsat (dot)
This years Colloquium will take place only a few weeks prior
to the planned launch of AMSAT-UK's FUNcube-1 ham radio
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: AMATEUR RADIO SATELLITE COORDINATION
Hans van de Groenendaal, ZS6AKV, reports that the Amateur
Satellite Frequency Coordination request form has been
updated and is available for download from
www.iaru.org/satellite. Also on the IARU satellite web page
are a number of guideline documents which will assist
satellite builders, including a document on the ITU
requirements for amateur radio satellites. ZS6AKV is the
IARU Satellite Advisor. (ZS6AKV)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: AMSAT-NA RECEIVES OKJ TO RE-DISTRIBUTE
AMSAT's Ray Hoad, WA5QGD has announced that the
organizations request to re-distribute US Air Force Space
Command Keplerian elements from SpaceTrack has been approved
for the period April 1, 2012 to April 1, 2013. AMSAT's
request to distribute the orbital element data was approved
on March 1st. (ANS, WA5QGD)
WORLDBEAT: RNW MEDIA NETWORK WEBLOG TO END MARCH 22
The Radio Netherlands Media Network Weblog will be closing
for good at the end of the winter shortwave broadcast season
on Saturday March 24th. This as the result of a new mandate
by the the Holland-based broadcaster that effective on
January 1, 2013, it will no longer be possible to provide
coverage of international media news.
The Weblog is written and edited by Andy Sennitt and
contains over 15,000 media news items published since
October 2003. Sennitt says that it will remain online as a
searchable archive. To prevent spam, it will no longer be
possible to add comments, but the nearly 14,000 comments
already received will still be available for viewing.
The last Media Network newsletter will be e-mailed to
subscribers on March 22nd. (Media Network)
WORLDBEAT: GREECE TURNS OFF 11 MEDIUM WAVE TRANSMITTERS
The Administrative Board of the Greek Public Broadcaster has
ordered the switch-off of eleven medium wave transmitters.
This as a result of new austerity measures due to the
financial situation being faced by that European nation.
This leaves only nine medium wave transmitters with their
respective Greek Public Radio programs in operation. The
action was adopted by the Administrative Board after a
meeting on February 17th. (GreekRadio.com)
RADIOSPORT: 2012 CQIR CONTEST CELECRATES IRTS 80TH
From the radiosports file, word that the CQIR contest is
taking place at not long after this newscast goes to air.
That being from mid-day on Saturday March 17th to mid-day on
This years contest will be the international showpiece event
for the Irish Radio Transmitters Society`s 80th anniversary
celebration. Paul O'Kane, EI5DI, advises that his contest
logger will be free and unrestricted for the contest. Also
that his SD may be downloaded from ei5di.com.
CQIR entrants should be aware that the Russian DX contest
overlaps with it. You can easily tell the difference
between the two in that Russian stations will send a 2
character district code instead of a serial report as used
in the CQIR competition.
Full rules for the CQIR contest are available on-line at
2E1EUB, will once again be active as from Eastern Scotland
as 2M1EUB for 7 days beginning March 24th. He will be
located in the Cairngorms National Park operating on 160 and
80 meters and several ham satellites. QSL as directed under
2M1EUB on QRZ.com.
The current XW1A and XWOZJZ operations from Laos have been
approved for DXCC credit. Bill Moore, NC1L, who heads up
the DXCC Desk at ARRL headquarters made the approval
official on Tuesday, March 13th.
EI7CC will be on the air from Lesotho as 7P8PB through April
3rd. Activity will be holiday style and he will operate when
circumstances permit. QSL via EI7CC, either direct or via
the bureau. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of the World
immediately after his return to Ireland.
A large group from Germany and Poland plan to be active from
the Pacific island of Tonga until March 24th. They are using
the callsign is A35YZ. QSL via DL7DF.
Down the road a bit comes word that DK9FN will
once again return to Temotu Province be active
as H40FN between this December 22nd and January
7th of 2013. QSL H40FN via HA8DD. More details
will be forthcoming.
Lastly comes news that F4CYZ will be operational
from Morocco as CN2YZ through years end. His
activity will be from the city of Tangier and
especially on the weekends.
The Mediterraneo DX Club is supporting his
activities and is also providing a Web site with
a log-check. Its in cyberspace at
(Above from various DX news sources)
THAT FINAL ITEM: BILL BEFORE CONGRESS TO LET
ASTRONAUTS KEEP SPACE SOUVENIRS
And finally this week, a dispute between NASA
and some former astronauts over ownership of
space artifacts has led to a bill in Congress
that would give the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo
astronauts "full ownership rights." This, to
items such as checklists and personal logs from
their missions. Amateur Radio Newsline's Don
Wilbanks, AE5DW, has the rest of the story:
Known as H.R. 4158 the proposed legislation
grows out of an effort last year by Apollo 13
Commander Jim Lovell to sell the lunar module
activation checklist that had been used to
convert the moon lander into a space lifeboat on
the periled 1970 Apollo 13 mission. The sale
brought record-setting $388,375 but it was put
on hold after the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration demanded proof that the former
astronaut owned the item.
Now comes H.R. 4158 that was introduced by
Representative Ralph Hall of Texas. Hall is the
chairman of the House Science, Space and
Technology Committee. He measures cosponsor was
Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, also of
Texas. It has since amassed an additional
In a letter to heir congressional colleagues the
two key sponsors wrote that the legislation
would allow the first generation of astronauts
to retain spaceflight artifacts that have been
in their possession. In many cases for more than
Under the proposed measure, astronauts from the
Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs would be
allowed to keep items such as personal logs and
checklists. The only thing off limits would be
rock samples gathered on those early lunar
missions. The so-called ƒ_oMoon Rocks.ƒ__
After meeting with Lovell and several other
former astronauts last month, NASA Administrator
Charles Bolden said that these are American
heroes. He called them fellow astronauts and
personal friends who have acted in good faith.
As such, Bolden says that they are committed to
working together to find the right policy and
legal paths forward to address outstanding
H.R. 4158 has bi-partisan support and is
expected to make it all the way through the
Congressional rule making process.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Don
Wilbanks, AE5DW, in New Orleans.
This was not the first time that NASA has
challenged the sale by an astronaut of a piece
of space memorabilia. In 2010, NASA challenged
Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell's attempt to
sell a camera he took to the moon. Mitchell
eventually agreed to donate the camera to the
Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.
(collectspace.com; physorg.com, others)
With thanks to Alan Labs, AMSAT, the ARRL, the
CGC Communicator, CQ Magazine, the FCC, the Ohio
Penn DX Bulletin, Radio Netherlands, Rain, the
RSGB, the Southgate News and Australia's W-I-A
News, that's all from the Amateur Radio
NewslineT. Our e-mail address is newsline(at)
arnewsline (dot) org. More information is
available at Amateur Radio Newsline'sT only
official website located at www.arnewsline.org.
You can also write to us or support us at
Amateur Radio NewslineT, 28197 Robin Avenue,
Santa Clarita California, 91350
A reminder that the nominating period for the
2012 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the
Year Award is now open.
Full details and a downloadable nominating form
are on our website at arnewsline.org/yhoty.
For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the
editors desk, I'm Jim Davis, W2JKD, on
Florida's Sunshine Coast saying 73 and we thank
you for listening.
Amateur Radio NewslineT is Copyright 2012. All
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