Amateur Radio Newsline" Report 1606 - May 23, 2008
Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1606 with a release date of Friday,
May 23rd, 2008 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.
The following is a Q-S-T. The Red Cross says lifestyle checks will no
longer be required of ARES volunteers, hams in China continue their post
earthquake lifesaving communications, Hollingsworth says he will retire
this summer and Dayton 2008 is a fun success. Find out the details on
Amateur Radio Newsline" report number 1606 coming your way right now.
(Billboard Cart Here)
RESCUE RADIO: THE RED CROSS SAYS NO MORE LIFESTYLE CHECKS ON HAM VOLUNTEERS
In a surprise move, the American Red Cross has acquiesced to the demands of
the ham radio community and will no longer perform so-called lifestyle
background checks on hams who want to provide communications to the relief
agency. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, of the ARRL Letter says that the
announcement came at a most apropos time and place:
Keane: "We had a big announcement yesterday in the ARES forum. The Red
Cross has announced that it will no longer conduct as part of its
background checks, mode of living checks or credit checks. And now, all
that remains to be done is for the ARRL and the Red Cross to hammer out an
MOU and get this thing going.
The MOU that K1SFA reefers to is the Memorandum of Understanding between
the League and the Red Cross. A fancy term that really means an agreement
where-in the ARRL and the American Red Cross agree to work together in
those situations where volunteer ham radio communications are needed.
Such an agreement was in place for many years but the League was hesitant
to renew it after members complained about background checks initiated back
in 2006. Nobody minded criminal background checks but a lot of folks
objected to the extent the Red Cross was going to. Its background checks
included, among other things, a credit check and a mode of living check for
its staff and volunteers. This included ARES volunteers providing services
to the Red Cross during times of disasters.
The ARRL and a lot of hams not associated with the League considered the
extent of the Red Cross background check as unneeded and inappropriate for
communications volunteers. So in November 2007, ARRL President Joel
Harrison, W5ZN, wrote to the American Red Cross regarding concerns voiced
by the nations ham radio community.
But until a few weeks ago the American Red Cross was hanging tough and
refusing to use hams who refused to permit the full background check
program. That all changed on May 8th when Armond Mascelli, who is
American Red Cross Vice President for Disaster Response Services finally
replied to W5ZN with word that his organization had reconsidered its
position. Mascelli's letter stated that the portion of the background
checks that the ARRL and seemingly all of ham radio objected to had been
eliminated. At least eliminated for communications volunteers
involved through the ARRL-sponsored ARES program.
According to Mascelli, a new background consent form will be used by all
Red Cross chapters for ARRL members and other partner organizations. The
form and related process is limited to the name and social security number
verification of the individual, and a criminal background check. References
and suggestions to other related investigative possibilities have been
stricken from the form. (ARRL, ARNewsline")
RESCUE RADIO: 40 AND 20 METERS BEING USED IN CHINA QUAKE RESCUE
According to news reports, China is in mourning for the estimated 50,000
people killed in the earthquake on May 12th and radio amateurs in that
nation are still asking that three frequencies be kept clear for emergency
rescue and relief operations
According to the Chinese Radio Sports Association 7.050 and 7.060 and
14.270 MHz. have been designated for use only by hams involved in emergency
services and post quake in the rescue. Michael Chen, BD5RV, reports that a
group of radio amateurs is transmitting on 14.270 MHz from
Wenchuan. That's not far from the epicenter of quake. During one contact
with BY8AA in Chengdu, messages were sent asking for raincoats, water,
tents, and outdoor living facilities. BY8AA has also been helping many
others with communication and during one week had an operational log in
excess of 300 pages.
Meantime the Chinese Radio Sports Association has reported that long
distance telephone services have been congested in the Chengdu area. This,
presumably due to a heavy demand and damage.
Because of this it was asked to set up and man a High Frequency station in
Chengdu. That station is currently on the air using the call BT8RC and is
the dedicated channel for the Chinese Red Cross Foundation in Beijing to
Chengdu providing communications to enable the relief agency to more
effectively carry out its work.
Other cities in the earthquake area have setup or restored VHF and UHF
repeaters and amateur radio communication teams to assist with communication.
The quake hit at about 06:30 UTC on Monday, May 12th. It registered at a
magnitude 7.8 earthquake and was centered near Sichuan. In addition to
those known to have perished, more than 245,000 were injured and at least 2
million are homeless.
Again the Chinese Radio Sports Association continues to request that hams
world wide stay clear of 7.050, 7.060 and 14.270 MHz so that they can be
used for emergency communications that can and will save lives. (CQ,
QRZ.com, Southgate, others)
RESCUE RADIO: NO HAM RADIO IN MYANMAR TYPHOON
Meantime in Myanmar where tens of thousands of people were killed by a
recent typhoon, CQ Public Service Editor Bob Josuweit, WA3PZO, passes on a
report from G4HPE of the International Radio Emergency Support Coalition
that there currently is no amateur radio relief activity taking place
there. The UN has finally been permitted to set up both HF and VHF
communications based in the capital city of Yangon. This is for use by the
entire humanitarian community, but none of the frequencies in use are in
the Amateur bands. (CQ)
RADIO LAW: FCC SAYS NO TO DIGITAL OPERATIONS PETITION
Back at home the FCC has dismissed a petition for rulemaking filed by Mark
Miller, N5RFX, requesting amendment of the Commission's Amateur Radio
Service rules. This, to revise the operating privileges for amateur radio
service stations that transmit data emission types.
Specifically, the Petition requested that several Sections of the Amateur
Service rules be amended to revise various definitions and frequency
privileges. While Millers petition covered a number of issues regarding
digital operations, the most controversial dealt with unattended digital
operations on the High Frequency bands. And while Miller never named
Winlink 2000 as the target of his petition, that's the way the FCC seemed
to see it. And according to the FCC's Bill Cross, W3TN, speaking at last
weeks Dayton Hamvention, there was an important reason for the denial of
this portion of the Miller rules change request:
Cross: "Winlink as a communications system seems to have become the
Brussels sprouts of ham radio: You either love it or you hate it. And
trying to bury it under ketchup or hollandaise sauce hasn't changed the
basic like or dislike for Winlink.
"Most of the controversy here seems to swirl around how certain licensees
"Some use it for a radio e-mail system.
"Others use it for getting weather maps while they are on sailboats in
places the brave dare not go.
"Others use it for their personal business activities, such as buying and
"These uses are really a Section 97.113, a 'prohibited communications'
question, not a technology question. The rules apply to the Control
Operator of the station transmitting the message, not the Winlink system.
"As we have said until we are blue in the face, in the Amateur Service we
do not license or regulate systems. We license stations. And it is the
station licensee that is responsible for the proper operation of the station.
"Its your callsign on the transmission. It is your responsibility."
In other words, whether a transmission is analog or digital really does not
matter. What is important is that all hams obey the rules that the
Commission has set out to guide the service. It also can be read as the
FCC saying that it will not re-regulate a service that its worked very hard
to free from burdensome regulations just to placate the needs, wants or
claims of any one group of hams regarding another.
There more to be covered regarding the Miller petition and its being
totally denied. Listen for it in future Amateur Radio Newsline reports.
(ARNewsline - Dayton Hamvention FCC Forum)
From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline,
heard on bulletin stations around the world including the WA3AOP repeater
serving the great state of Pennsylvania
(5 sec pause here)
THE YHOTY AWARD: NOMINATIONS CLOSE MAY 30
As of the release of this weeks newscast we have not received any valid
nominations for this years Young Ham of the Year Award. Well, the
nominating period for this years award ends at midnight on Friday May
30th. Due to the mechanics of preparing for the award presentation
ceremony it is impossible to extend beyond that date. Any nomination
received electronically after midnight May 30th or postmarked after
midnight on May 30th will be deemed ineligible. And if no valid
nominations are received by that cutoff date and time the award program for
2008 will be cancelled.
And when we say valid nomination we mean one for a youngster age 18 or
younger who has made a major contribution in some way to the betterment of
Amateur Radio. This can be through public service, technical development,
contributions to the state of communications sciences, recruitment of new
hams or whatever seems to be an accomplishment worth honoring.
What is not acceptable are nominations that say something like .. "my 7
year old just passed his tech test so give him a radio."
And if you think that we do not get our share of these, guess again. About
one in three nomination form we have received over the years reads
something like that because people do not read the rules and think that the
Young Ham of the Year Award is some form of contest or prize drawing. Its
neither. Its an award program now trying to enter its 22nd year and aimed
specifically way honoring the accomplishments of the younger members of ham
radio society. As recipient, the person selected is given a free trip to
the Huntsville Hamfest in August along with a piece of Yaesu brand ham
radio gear from corporate underwriter Vertex Standard Corporation. He or
she also gets to spend a week at Spacecamp Huntsville courtesy of corporate
underwriter CQ Magazine.
The Young Ham of the Year Award is open to any ham age 18 or younger living
in the 50 United States, plus Puerto Rico and all Canadian Provinces. A
full set of rules along with a downloadable nominating form is on line at
Just slick on the tab marked 2008 nominations and follow
the instructions that say "Download the nominating form as a PDF by
clicking here. Then, fill it out, attach the required substantiating
material and mail it to Amateur Radio Newsline - YHOTY, 28197 Robin Avenue,
Santa Clarita, California, 91350. Again that address is Amateur Radio
Newsline - YHOTY, 28197 Robin Avenue, Santa Clarita, California, 91350.
If for some reason you cannot retrieve the form from the website, e-mail us
to newsline (at) arnewsline (dot)org. Include your return e-mail and we
will return a form to you electronically.
Once again, the cutoff for nominations for the 2008 Amateur Radio Newsline
Young Ham of the Year Award is midnight on Friday, May 30th 2008. If we do
not receive any valid nominations by that date the award program for this
year will be cancelled.
The bottom line is that whether a worthy young ham is honored this year, or
not, is literally up to you. (ARNewsline / YHOTY)
HAMVENTION 2008: ITS ALL OVER FOR ANOTHER YEAR
The 2008 Dayton Hamvention is over, but its left a lot of good memories and
thankfully only one that's was good one with some attendees. The ones who
will remember the bad are those who arrived early to set up Flea Market
spaces only to find that a computer glitch would have them waiting in
line. In some cases for several hours. Ron Moorefield, W8ILC, has been
associated with the Hamvention since the very beginning. He says that this
will be one of the items taken under advisement when the committee holds
its critique of Hamvention 2008 in a few weeks:
Moorefield: "Well, we will have our critique early next month and from
there we are going to hold a meeting every month and get this going. The
word is that we are going to get a lot of things going way ahead of time in
Moorefield says that moving things up a few months should insure enough
time to cure problems early on so that they do not become last minute
The good news is that with this one exception it was a show that everyone
seemed to really enjoy. This includes Ray Arndt, SM5LBR, who flew over
from Sweden. Ray writes for several European amateur radio magazines. He
says that those who showed up were ready to deal:
Arndt: "I've talked to a couple of dealers here and (other) people. They
are all very satisfied and they all say the same thing. (That is) the
people who came here really bought. The people who normally came here and
do not buy, they stayed at home this time. So, obviously it was very
Arndt did note that it was not a big year for the introduction of new high
end gear. Definitely not like it was just a year ago:
Arndt: "You know: Last year was absolutely exciting. There were so many
new things that I couldn't actually cover everything. Every large company
had something new out. This year you really have got to look around to
find a few new things.
"This in the middle. A sort of in-between year because they cannot bring
out expensive new radios. There were some new things out here but it was a
more normal year, I would say."
As to the size of the crowd? Some say it was about the same as last
year. Others say it was definitely a smaller group and blamed the near $4
dollar a gallon for gasoline as the reason folks may have stayed away. Ron
Moorefield tends to disagree:
Moorefield: "I think that the weather was perfect. This brought people
out who were feeling possibly with rain, they would not come.
"The gas prices as they were, really surprised me. Yet I believe that if
people really want to come to the Dayton Hamvention, that they will be here
no matter what the economics are. We had a good weekend."
Moorefield may be correct. According to Ray Arndt, gas prices in the
United states are still a bargain as compared to what radio amateurs shell
out to drive to a hamfest in Europe:
Arndt: "We have now (in Europe) $7 to $8 a U.S. gallon. But that's a
higher octane at 95.
"I recently saw an article in a newspaper in Sweden that Sweden is trying
to go to the forefront of being environmental. It says that if we meet the
constraints that Sweden has taken in the European Union, then in 2020 a
gallon will be up at $20.
Bottom line, it's a lot more expensive to hit a hamfest there than it is
here in the USA.
And no Dayton Hamvention would be complete without the views of a sales
representative and DX'er who has attended a lot of them. Of coarse we are
talking about Chip Margelli, K7JA, who now is with Heil Sound
Limited. Chip says from behind the sales counter, this was truly a banner
Margelli" "Boy, what a great Dayton. The weather turned out to be much
better than we expected it to be. It was moderately cool with partly
"Business was brisk. We had our best year ever at Heil Sound. It was a
very up-beat crowd this year. We didn't know what to expect with sunspots
down but the crowd was very up-beat and interested in getting new
technology into their ham stations.
"We just think it was a great weekend in Dayton, Ohio."
Lots more happened at Hamvention 2008 and we will continue our coverage
next week. (ARNewsline")
NAMES IN THE NEWS: RILEY HOLLINGSWORTH TO RETIRE IN JULY
According to ARRL, Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, who is Special Counsel in
the FCC Spectrum Enforcement Division plans to retire on July
3rd. Hollingsworth reportedly told the ARRL that his to head out in July,
assuming the results of the second round of the PAVE PAWS 440 repeater
monitoring in California present no complications.
Hollingsworth is quoted as saying that it has been a privilege to work with
and for the Amateur Radio licensees and the land mobile frequency
coordinators. He says that he was extremely fortunate to work for two
wonderful groups of people referring to those at FCC headquarters in the
Enforcement Bureau, and for those holding licensees in amateur radio.
As previously reported, Hollingsworth had planned to retire earlier this
year, but changed his mind. At that time he said that there were several
issues on the table that he wanted to continue to work through with the
A full report on Hollingsworth's pending retirement can be found on the
ARRL news pages at www.arrl.org
. (ARRL, Handi Hams, others)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: K5ZD NAMED DIRECTOR OF CQ WPX CONTESTS
Contesting luminary Randy Thompson, K5ZD, has been named Director of the CQ
World Wide WPX Contests, effective immediately. Thompson succeeds Steve
Merchant, K6AW, who has been WPX Contest Director since 2002 and who needed
to step aside due to business obligations.
Randy Thompson has been a contester for more than three decades and has
multiple wins to his credit in the single-op, all-band categories of both
the CQ World Wide DX Contest and the CQ WPX Contest, in both CW and SSB
modes. He is also a past editor of the "National Contest Journal" and a
co-founder of the eHam.net website. He is a longtime member of the Yankee
Clipper Contest Club and an instructor at K3LR's Contest University. In the
past year, Randy has been working with Steve Merchant behind the scenes on
the WPX contests, so he is already familiar with the program from the
administrative side. (CQ)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: CQ ANNOUNCES INDUCTEES TO ITS HALLS OF FAME
CQ magazine has announced its 2008 Hall of Fame inductees, welcoming 14 new
members into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame, three new members of the CQ
DX Hall of Fame and two new members of the CQ Contest Hall of Fame.
The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honors those individuals, whether
licensed hams or not, who have made significant contributions to amateur
radio. Also honored are those amateurs who have made significant
contributions either to amateur radio, to their professional careers or to
some other aspect of life on our planet.
For a complete list of this years inductees please visit the news pages 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)
ENFORCEMENT: SF CB-ER'S FINED FOR OUT OF BAND OPERATION
Turning to enforcement news, Citizen Radio operators Martha S. and Miguel
G. Campos, San Jose, California have been fined $800. This, for operating
a modified CB radio station on a frequency not authorized for this
use. Amateur Radio Newsline's Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, has the details:
In a May 21st release the FCC says that back on April 7, 2006, the
Enforcement Bureau's San Francisco Office received a complaint alleging
intentional interference to CB radio communications on 27.055 MHz. The
complaints alleged that the source of the interference was located at the
residence of CB radio operators, Martha and Miguel Campos in San Jose.
On August 24, 2006, after subsequent complaints, the San Francisco Field
Office issued a Warning Letter to Miguel Campos. The letter informed him
that, pursuant to Section 95 of the Commission's Rules he must operate his
CB station only on the 40 channels allocated to the CB service. Mr. Campos
was also warned that if the transmissions continue, and if an investigation
indicated that he had violated the Communications Act or any FCC Rules, he
could be subject to severe penalties, including substantial monetary
forfeitures. On August 31, 2006, Mr. Campos replied to the letter
acknowledging that he was a CB operator and detailing the CB equipment that
On September 29, 2006, in response to continued complaints, the San
Francisco Office issued a similar Warning Letter to Martha S. Campos. On
October 27, 2006, Martha and Miguel Campos came to the San Francisco Office
to discuss the warning letters they had received. A San Francisco agent
clarified some of the CB Rules to them and again warned them about the
consequences of not following them. None-the-less, during the period of
November 2, 2006, to February 2, 2007, the San Francisco Office
continued to receive complaints alleging interference by the Campos. So on
March 16, 2007, San Francisco agents, using mobile direction finding
techniques, located the source of the alleged interfering signal on 27.675
MHz to the Campos' residence in San Jose,. The agents also conducted an
inspection of the Campos' CB station. By conducting on/off tests, the
agents confirmed that one of the transmitters had been modified to operate
on frequency 27.675 MHz. This is a frequency that is not authorized for
use by CB stations. The agents further determined that the transmitter set
up in the Campos' residence was capable of operating in excess of the
four-watt power limitations.
From April 10, 2007, to September 10, 2007, the San Francisco Office
continued to receive complaints alleging interference by the Campos. On
October 31, 2007, the San Francisco Office issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability or NAL in the amount of $10,000 to the Campos. It charged that
they had apparently willfully violated Section 301 of the Communications
Act by operating a modified CB radio station on a frequency not authorized
for Citizens Band radio use.
On January 16, 2008, the Campos filed a response claiming that they did not
have the ability to pay the forfeiture. They also argued that did not
comprehend the severity of the situation, in part because they were not
able to read English. However, from the earlier meeting with the FCC it
was obvious to the Commission that Miguel Campos was able to understand
English in spoken form. Because of this, that part of the Campos defense
However, to support this claim that they could not afford to pay the
$10,000 the FCC was trying to assess, Mr. And Mrs. Campos supplied tax
returns for the three years prior to the N-A-L being issued. In analyzing
this financial hardship claim, the FCC reviewed the data supplied by the
Campos. In the end the FCC concluded the claim to be valid and that
reduction of the forfeiture from $10,000 to $800 is warranted.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, in Los Angeles.
The Campos' were given the customary 30 days to pay the fine or to file a
further appeal. (FCC)
D-STAR NEWS: WY1U SAYS TO NOT USE CLONED D-STAR INFO SITE
Tim Mik, WY1U, says over the D-Star re-mailer that the D-Star Search Page
that he created and updates daily has been copied. This, without his
approval by another group or individual in the United Kingdom who has
placed it on the World-Wide-Web using its own URL.
Tim says that the U-K site was not given permission to copy his page. He
says that he has asked the owners to place a link to the original page
instead, but they have ignored his request to do so. So Tim is instead
asking all D-Star user to ignore the U-K based clone and come directly to
his website for the latest D-Star operational information. It's a simple
URL at www.dstarsearch.org
. (D-Star Reflector)
EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: A POSSIBLE ROBOTIC THREAT TO 70 CM
Howard Gordon, W3CQH, reports over the VHF Reflector on a Public notice
posted by the FCC. This, on a proposal to use 430 to 448 MHz for
remotely-controlled surveillance robots for emergency use.
Gordon says that for the power proposed and the limited use, Ithat he does
not believe the device will cause any significant interference to the
amateur radio service. But he says that the real issue for the manufacture
is how to stop the hams from interfering with the surveillance device.
W3CQH says that the possible threat to ham radio may be that once the
manufacturer has its foot in the door on 440mhz, it could conceivably start
petitioning the FCC for channelization to be done and assigned to it citing
interference problems that have occurred in some future alleged emergency
You can read the full FCC release on this robot device at
via VHF Reflector)
PROPAGATION REPORT: SOLAR CYCLE DELAYED A YEAR
The next 11-year cycle of solar storms will most likely start next March
and peak in late 2011 or mid-2012. That's up to a year later than expected
according to a forecast issued today by NOAA's Space Environment Center in
coordination with an international panel of solar experts. (NOAA, QRZ.COM)
In D-X, word that DF1LON is going to spend his holidays on
Jersey Island. He will be there through May 28th but his main activity
will be as MJZ0LON in the upcoming WPX CW Contest. He will work both CW
and SSB before and after the WPX. QSLs via DF1LON, direct or via the bureau.
And listen out for LA5LJA, and LA7FJA, will be on from Svalbard using CW,
SSB and some digital modes on all the H-F bands. They will be signing the
calls JW5LJA and JW7FJA from May 25th to June 1st. QSLs to their home
calls via the bureau.
Lastly, JA1XGI has announced he will operate from East Kribati as T32XG
from May 27th through June 3rd. He plans to use CW, SSB and some digital
modes on 40 through 15 meters. QSL his operation to his home call, either
direct or via the bureau.
(Above from various DX news sources.)
THAT FINAL ITEM: WELCOME TO A NEW EXTRA
And finally this week we return to the Dayton Hamvention for an important
moment of a young ham. Meet Tiffini Ravitch, KC2TFO, of New Jersey. She
had come to Hamvention in the hope of going home with a General class
license. Instead she went home with the top of the line as an
Extra. Here's her story as she told it to our Producer Bill Pasternak,
WA6ITF and ham radio educator Gordon West, WB6NOA:
Audio only: Please download the mp3 audio version of this newscast at
And from all of us at the Amateur Radio Newsline congratulations we also
say congratulations to Tiffini Ravitch, KC2TFO, on getting her Extra to
take home as a lasting momento of Hamvention 2008. Needless to say we
could use a lot more like her in the hobby.
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 WIA News, that's all from the
Amateur Radio Newsline". Our e-mail address is
. More information is available at Amateur Radio
Newsline's" only official website located at www.arnewsline.org
. You can
also write to us or support us at Amateur Radio Newsline", P.O. Box 660937,
Arcadia, California 91066.
Before we go, another reminder that the nominating period for the 2008
Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year Award ends at midnight on May
30th. Nominations postmarked after that time or received electronically
after that time will not be considered. A nominating form as a dot pdf
file is available at our special Young Ham of the Year website at
. Download it, fill it out and send it to us by US mail or
For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk, I'm Don
Wilbanks, AE5DW, saying 73 and we thank you for listening.
Amateur Radio Newsline" is Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.