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Default Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1415 Â* September 24, 2004

Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1415 Â* September 24, 2004

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1415 with a release date of
Friday, September 24th, 2004 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a Q-S-T. Shortwave broadcasters say no to B-P-L,
big money awarded to put a pair of truly rare D-X locations on the air
and a satellite broadcaster joins the rescue radio cause. Find out
the details on Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1415 coming your
way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here)



Amateur Radio has another friend in its fight to stop the world-wide
rollout of Broadband over Powerline technology. This, as a European
short-wave broadcaster say that B-P-L and digital radio will have a
lot of trouble co-existing. Fred Vobbe, W8HDU, is here with an update
on digital radio and an explanation of why the two do not mix.


Jacob Freedman, N2MPN, found an interesting story on BBC News Online
and thought he would share this news with A.R. Newsline listeners. In
the link to the story, titled "Fears for new digital radio system"
written by By Chris McWhinnie of BBC Monitoring in Amsterdam, the
warning came from Peter Senger, the chair of the Digital Radio
Mondiale (DRM) at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam.

DRM is a standard agreed by world broadcasters for a completely new
short wave radio system. The new internet power line distribution
system has been evaluated by engineers, including the BBC, and has
been found to affect short wave in particular.

Short wave is mainly used to broadcast internationally and the AM
bands have been used since radio first started in the 1920s. The DRM
system uses existing AM broadcast frequencies to deliver near-FM
quality digital sound. It uses compression to squeeze clear digital
sound into the narrow radio channels that currently carry crackly
analogue signals.

The DRM technology has the potential to make digital radio available
in places that Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) radio or even FM will
probably never reach. As for the hardware required to hear these
stations, there will be a new consumer DRM radio in the shops by
Christmas 2005 and a tiny PC-only DRM set is already on sale.

DRM is not being used by many radio stations yet. However a number of
radio stations have seen the potential for new cross-border radio

A Germany-based music station is believed to be in the planning
stages. BBC World Service and its counterparts abroad already have
some regular DRM programmes and are backing the system.

DRM is being seriously considered in many countries where the FM radio
band is full. China sees DRM as the answer to pushing digital radio
across its vast territory.

The UK is not planning to use DRM for domestic radio. The UK has
pinned its digital hopes instead on DAB, which offers stations like
BBC 1Xtra, 6 Music, Oneword and Core. More digital radios have been
sold in the UK than any other country.

Switching-off analogue FM and AM may take years and making millions of
much-loved analogue radio sets useless will no doubt be controversial.
If power line internet transmission is introduced, then international
broadcasting on shortwave may also be consigned to history due to the
interference from data travelling over mains electricity cables.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Fred Vobbe, W8HDU


As we go to air, the proponents of Broadband Over Powerline have not
yet challenged the Digital Radio Mondiale findings. (W8HDU, N2MPN)



Meantime, the ARRL has kicked off its 2005 Spectrum Defense Fund
campaign and its slogan id that this is a lot more than just BPL.
Amateur Radio Newsline's Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, has mo


ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, appears to be the point man in this
important effort to preserve our operating bandspace. He says that
while interference from broadband over power line technology is the
most prominent and immediate threat to amateur spectrum, donations
from ARRL members and supporters make it possible for the League to
face it and other spectrum challenges as well.

According to the ARRL Letter, in 1985, the League spent perhaps
$200,000 on advocacy and spectrum defense. Today the annual outlay is
close to $900,000.

Haynie says that he is aware that this work is something that hams
cannot see, touch or feel, but it's just as important as those things
that they can. This is because we would not have all those other
things if it were not for the fact that we have a place to operate.

Haynie notes that not all of the ARRL's advocacy efforts necessarily
involve taking defensive measures, such as with BPL, but all of them
are essential. The popular ARRL leader says that, as he sees it, the
League's job is to look out for the best interests of all of Amateur
Radio. This includes making sure that we have places in the ether to
go on the air.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, in Los Angeles.


The ARRL says that the Spectrum Defense Fund depends on membership
support and is essential to the League's continued success in this
AREA. Contributions can be made on-line at the ARRL's secure donor
Website. You will find it at Those contributing
at or above the $50 level may request a gift as a token of the
League's appreciation. (ARRL)



Some big news in the world of DX. This as the Northern California DX
Foundation announces some big money sponsorship grants for the 2005
D-Xpedition season.

The awards were announced at the recent W9DXCC DX Convention in
Illinois. The recipients are the upcoming Kerguelen Islands FT stroke
X and the Peter One 3YZ0X operations. These are two of the rarest and
most wanted locations on every hams most wanted list.

Northern California DX Foundation president Len Geraldi, K6ANP, says
that that these awards are substantially higher than normal amounts
provided to aid major D-Xpeditions. Together they exceed $100,000,
and represent the largest made in the foundations history.

Geraldi noted that these exceptional grants made in light of the
rarity of operations from these locations and the significant
individual contributions being made by the participants. He also
noted the very high cost of mounting D-Xpeditions to such remote

The Northern California DX Foundation not only funds DX operations.
In cooperation with the IARU, the organization also maintains a
worldwide network of high-frequency radio propagation beacons that
help amateurs estimate the current condition of the ionosphere.

The Northern California DX Foundation was founded in 1972 to assist
worthwhile amateur radio and scientific projects with equipment and
funding. More about the group is on-line at and we will
have more D-X news later on in this weeks newscast. (N4GN)


Break 1

Its time for you to identify your station. Cue the announcer. Dick
Tyler, WA2EHL if you please:

"From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline,
heard on bulletin stations around the world including WA2EHL on Live
365 from Burlington, New Jersey."

(5 sec pause here)



A reincarnated tropical storm Ivan has made landfall a 2nd time.
This, near the Texas-Louisiana line on Thursday evening, September
23rd. The one-time hurricane was expected to dump up to ten inches
of rain over the coming weekend.

The 22-day-old former hurricane broke apart after hitting the U-S, but
a piece spun back out to sea and reformed as a separate tropical
storm. It them made its way back into the Gulf of Mexico before again
making landfall.

Forecasters say Galveston, Houston and College Station Texas will be
under a flood alert. C-Q Magazine's Bob Josuweit, WA3PZO quoting
sources at the ARRL says the Texas Office of Emergency Management has
requested activation of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service Net. The
net will switch between 7.285 and 3.873 MHz depending on propagation
and time of day for as long as its needed.

Meantime, along the Eastern seaboard, ham radio operators are
preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Jeanne. This as the killer
storm appears to be zeroing in on the southeast U.S. coast, with
forecasts putting Florida firmly in the storm's sights with landfall
possible on September 24th or 25th. The Hurricane Watch Net on 14.325
MHz announced plans to begin operations Friday, September 24, 2004 at
10:00 a.m. Eastern and continue till until 11:00 p.m. or until the 20
meter band closes .

As we go to air news reports say that Jeanne is responsible for at
least 1,100 deaths in Haiti. 1,250 are still missing and the toll
continues to rise. More ham radio storm coverage next week. (WA3PZO,
CQ, ARRL, ARNewsline(tm), others)



Hurricane Ivan left its mark all along the Eastern U-S before it
finally disappeared from that area. From the Carolina's through New
England, there were daily news stories about Ivan spawning tornadoes
and severe flooding. One area hit by the remnants of the storm was
the state of New Jersey which is the home on Amateur Radio Newsline's
Henry Feinberg, K2SSQ.


Mercer County, New Jersey, ARES and RACES was activated at about 5 PM
on Saturday, September 18th. This, to staff the radio room at the
Mercer County Emergency Operations Center.

Heavy rainfall caused by Hurricane Ivan remnants in the Catskill and
Pocono Mountains Friday night was forecast to cause the Delaware River
to reach flood stage in Trenton at 6 AM Sunday and to crest at record
levels Sunday night.

The original crest forecast was for 8 feet above flood stage which is
18 feet above normal river level. That was later reduced to 3 feet
but was still the highest level on the Delaware River since the
catastrophic floods of 1954.

In Mercer County, Amateur Radio Operators staffed the E-O-C radio room
continuously in four hour shifts until Monday morning. The radio room
is licensed as W2MER and has H-F, 2 meter, 220, 440 and APRS ham gear
permanently installed. It also has capability on all public safety
and Red Cross frequencies used in the county. Extra radio amateurs
were on call over the W2ZQ Mercer County ARES and RACES 146.67 Mhz.
repeater. This, if additional communications was needed at shelters
and other locations.

Hams used the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management's statewide
NJ2EM 220 MHz repeater and the statewide 2 meter APRS digital
messaging network to maintain links with the Hunterdon County and
Warren County EOC's further up the river. Per the Mercer County EOC
protocol, the hams also were the operators of the public safety radios
in the EOC to maintain contact with the sheriff officers coordinating
the evacuations along the river.

Amateurs participating as EOC Radio Officers included N2GJ, N0YMV,
K2GW, W2SRH, W2QOB, N2JV-P, and WA2KM.

For he Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Henry Feinberg, K2SSQ, in New Jersey.


Gary Wilson, K2GW, is the Section Emergency Coordinator for Southern
New Jersey Section. He says some 1500 people including 180 residents
of a nursing home were evacuated to near-by shelters and hotels on
Sunday the 19th. (K2GW)



There will soon be yet another source of emergency alert information,
and you might say that this one is out of this world. Well kind of.
Norm Seeley. KI7UP, has the details:


X-M Satellite Radio says that its getting into the emergency alert
business. This by making available the X-M Emergency Alert channel to
its more than 2.1 million subscribers, nationwide.

According to a September 10th press release the satellite radio
provider will dedicate its Channel 247 to what it calls X-M Emergency
Alert. The service will be dedicated to providing updated critical
information before, during and after natural disasters, weather
emergencies and other hazardous incidents to listeners across the
country. The channel will also provide key survival information such
as evacuation routes, shelter locations and updated weather emergency
information for impacted areas.

Information sources of the broadcasts will include the Federal
Emergency Management Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, the National Weather Service, the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services and the American Red Cross. Also included
will be local police and fire departments and eyewitness reports
making the service about as all encompassing and up to the minute as
it can get.


X-M hopes to have this new service fully operational fairly soon. (XM)



The FCC has some questions for a Missouri ham who claims to be running
Morse Code Practice on 40 meters. And in a September 2nd letter to
Paul D. Westcott, KC0OAB, the regulatory agency also sets some pretty
tough ground rules for him to carry on. Amateur Radio Newsline's
David Black reports from our South-East bureau in Birmingham Alabama:


The FCC contacted Paul D. Westcott, KC0OAB, on June 21st of this year.
The Commission told Westcott it was receiving complaints about high
speed one way Morse code transmissions from his station on the 40
meter band. The Commission says it has complaints alleging that the
ongoing transmissions interfere with normal amateur communications.

Westcott replied July 11th, saying his transmissions are indeed code
practice, and he indicated that they are computer controlled. But the
Commission now says Westcott's code transmissions are sent at an
unvarying speed of about 30 words a minute. That they are sent
continually, 24 hours a day, on 7.030 MHz. The Commission says the
constant speeds casts doubt on Westcott's claimed motive for sending
the code transmissions.

The Commission reminds Westcott about amateur radio service rules
requiring that a station be under the direction of a control operator
during all transmissions. That means a control operator must be on
duty at all the times Westcott's station is transmitting...and that
he's responsible for preventing harmful interference to other stations.

The Commission tells Westcott to provide the dates, times and
frequencies of all code practice sessions. And the FCC says that
information is to be furnished by Westcott by either telephone or FAX
at least one week in advance of any given transmission.

The Commission also wants Westcott to submit the name, address and
telephone number of the control operator for all operation of KC0OAB
when sending code practice. The FCC says the telephone number Westcott
provides must be one at which the Commission can reach the control
operator during the transmissions.

Finally, the Commission warns Westcott that enforcement action against
him is coming if there are valid complaints that his transmissions
continue to interfere with ongoing communications.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm David Black, KB4KCH, at the
South-East bureau in Birmingham Alabama.


Westcott was given twenty days from the date of the FCC's letter to
respond with the required information. (FCC)



And that strange unidentified signal that Bob Gonsett W6VR reported to
us on two weeks ago. The one being heard by hams in Western states on
7 point 238 Mhz? Well guess what. It has disappeared as mysteriously
as it showed up and nobody is very sure of exactly what it was.

According to several Newsline listeners and our own monitoring, the
last time the raspy buzz saw was heard it was late on Wednesday
September 15th. By the 16th it was gone without a trace and has yet
to pay the 40 meter phone band -- or any other ham band for that
matter -- a return visit. (ARNewsline(tm) from listener reports)



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 and being
relayed by the volunteer services of the following radio amateur:

(5 sec pause here)



Turning to the social scene. the 2004 Radio Fest gathering of SWL's is
slated for Saturday, October 16th. This, in the Community Room of
the F&M Bank in Seal Beach, California.

Radio Fest is sponsored by the Southern California Area DX'ers group.
Doors open at 9:30 Pacific Coast time. This years speaker list
include Radio School's Gordon West, WB6N0A, plus representatives from
the broadcast and short-wave sectors of the listening hobby.

Interested? Well, for more information please contact Stewart
MacKenzie by e-mail to or phone 714-846-1685
during normal business hours on the U-S west coast. (SCADS)



And the Handihams have announced that the 2005 California Radio Camp
will be the week of February 27th through Sunday, March 6th. If you
are a member with a disability and want to attend, please contact
Handiham headquarters for a camp application package. You may either
call the office toll-free at 1-866-426-3442, or e-mail
. (HandiHams)



And a quick note on the highly successful ARRL sponsored first
Education and Technology Program Teachers Institute held the second
week of August. During the week long program Mark Spencer involved
the teachers in hands-on activities for integrating wireless
technology, Amateur Radio, Amateur Radio on the International Space
Station and other space-related activities into their math and science
classroom curriculum. And word is that at the end of the week the
teachers had enjoyed themselves so much that some said they weren't
ready to go home. (ARRL, ANS)



An update to our story three weeks ago about a fire bug who seems to
hate radio. A $25,000 reward is now being offered information leading
to the arrest and conviction of the person setting fire to radio
towers in the Clark County and Portland, Oregon during the past six
weeks including a blaze that burned down a ham radio operators home.

The most recent fires, set close together occurred on September 9th in
Portland. This, only 12 hours after a federally led task force asked
for the public's help in finding the man they think might be a serial
arsonist working alone.

John W. McMahon, a supervisor with the federal Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told the press that a task force was
offering a top reward of $10,000 for information leading to the
suspect's conviction. Comcast, whose service was interrupted by one
of the fires, added $15,000 to the reward. This raises the bounty on
the fire bugs head to $25,000.

The fifteen member task force investigating the incidents has
concluded they were linked to 12 communications tower fires set since
July 29th. The most recent fires will raise the estimated damage done
by the arsonist to more than $250,000. The 11 previous fires had
targeted communications towers or equipment and one private Amateur
Radio tower.

As previously reported, the ham-radio tower fire, which was set August
20th. At that time it was the seventh incident and spread to an
adjacent rental house, leaving it badly damaged. The resident, John
Stein, AB7F, cut his hand trying to put out the blaze before
firefighters arrived.

And a group of Public Safety organizations that is trying to help
capture the serial arsonist has published a wanted poster complete
with pictures. You can find it as a PDF file of it at
(Portland SBE, others)



Yet another ham radio record has been set . On Saturday September
11th, Mike Fincke, KE5AIT became the first crew member of the
International Space Station to talk to all 7 continents using amateur
radio. This, when he made contact with Palmer Research Station
Amateur Radio station.

During the contact Fincke spoke with Chuck Kimball, N0NHJ, while a
packed radio room at the center listened in. Fincke and Kimball
compared life in the two stations, discussed time zone differences and
the experiments involving fluids that Fincke was working with.

Fincke is believed to be only the third astronaut to accomplish this
all continent feat. The last such occurrence was in 1992 aboard STS-45
when astronauts David Leetsma and Kathryn Sullivan also talked to
Palmer Station to complete their continent contact list.

Fincke will be finishing his tour in the middle of October when
Expedition 10 Astronaut Leroy Chiao, KE5BRW, and Cosmonaut Salizhan
Sharipov will come aboard. (Courtesy of Kenneth Ransom, JSC)



And word that Space News International on the Space dot com website
has honored a UK ham. This as it names Professor Martin Sweeting,
G3YJO, as one of the top space visionaries and innovators.

In a recent article the news service said that Sweeting turned Surrey
Satellite into the world's microsatellite builder. Also that under
his guidance this British company has trained a new generation of
spacecraft builders throughout the world helping countries like
Turkey, Thailand, Korea and Chile enter the space age. (GB2RS)



Attention East Coast hams. The first SimSat engineering test balloon
flights are targeted for launch on Wednesday, September 22, in the
Maryland and Virginia area. These two experimental exercises are
designated SimSat-1A and SimSat-1B. This is a good opportunity to show
a local students how to receive the balloon's simple telemetry beacon.



The Canadian national ham radio society Radio Amateurs of Canada has
submitted a proposal on Amateur Radio Call Signs to Jan Skora. He is
Industry Canada's Director Genera for the Radiocommunications and
Broadcasting Regulatory Branch.

The Proposal, as approved by the Radio Amateurs of Canada Board of
Directors, makes recommendations on changes to Call Sign Policy and
Special Event Prefixes. This, all comes as the result of the WRC-2003
decisions amending the ITU International Radio Regulations to permit
call signs in the Amateur Service to have up to four characters in the
suffix. (RAC)



In D-X word that HA0HW and HA4DX are active as J45HW and J45DX
respectively. This, from the isle of Rhodes through the 3rd of
October. Activity will be on 40 through 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY
and PSK31. QSL as directed on the air. (GB2RS)

And TA3J will activate the special callsign TC2K4J. This, from
September 24th to November 2nd in memory of 40 Turkish Radio Amateur
Silent Keys. Activity is on 160 to 2 meters using all modes. (GB2RS)



And finally this week it look as if a piece of radio history may be up
for grabs. This with word that part of the world renowned B-B-C World
Service is for sale.

The United Kingdom's publicly funded British Broadcasting Corporation
has reportedly approached Germany's Bertelsmann Corporation along with
U-S media giants Time Warner and the Walt Disney Company as potential
bidders for BBC Worldwide. BBC executives expect the division, which
includes BBC America, BBC Prime channels and 26 magazine titles could
be worth up to 3.5 billion dollars of needed revenue.

The U.K. government is currently reviewing the BBC's funding and
license. One report said that the broadcasters internal review of its
options appears to be timed to coincide with the government's
evaluation as well. (W8HDU, Bob Ulm, WDOH-FM)



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 and Australia's W-I-A News, that's all from the Amateur Radio
Newsline(tm). Our e-mail address is . More
information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's(tm) only official
website located at You can also write to us or
support us at Amateur Radio Newsline, P.O. Box 660937, Arcadia,
California 91066.

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk, I'm Jim
Davis, W2JKD, saying 73 and we thank you for listening." Amateur
Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.

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