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Default Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) Report 1548 - April 13, 2007

Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1548 - April 13, 2007

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1548 with a
release date of Friday, April 13th, 2007 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a Q-S-T. A space adventurer is
on the air from the International Space Station
and we have the audio. Also, President Bush
honors a California ham for his volunteerism and
the FCC issues a possible record fine is issued
for selling illegal C-B gear. Find out the
details on Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1548 coming your way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here)



It cost him an estimated 20 million dollars to
get there, but Space tourist Charles Simonyi,
KE7KDP, is on the air from the International
Space Station Amateur Radio Newsline producer
Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, is in our Los Angeles
newsroom with the audio of some of his first contacts:


Simonyi: "November Alpha One Sierra Sierra. CQ, CQ, CQ."


As we go to air space tourist Charles Simonyi,
KE7KDP, has only been on the International Space
Station for a few days. No matter because he
seems to have really taken to the idea of talking
to people back on mother Earth using Amateur
Radio and does it like a pro. Take a listen:


Simonyi: "Kilo Echo 7 please repeater your
callsign…Kilo Echo 7 Mike Henry George this is
Charles. I hear you loud and clear. And a big
73 for you. Thanks for the contact. QRZ.

The Whiskey 6 stand-by. Whiskey 6 Mike Echo
Uniform, my name is Charles and I hear you loud and clear. 73 to you. "


One of the first stations contacted by KE7KDP was
Scott Avery, WA6LIE, in Salinas, California.
Avery had his recorder running as KE7KDP sent a
message of thank you to the ham community which
worked with him to get him licensed in time for the flight:


Simonyi: "Well I just want to congratulate the
(ham radio) community for the great job that they
are doing in performing their charter. As we
learned about it (in training) and to thank
everybody who helped me to get into the community
and helping me along. It is not easy for me and
I do the best that I can. So, thanks a lot guys,
and I hope I can talk to as many people as possible. Over."


We also got the chance to ask Avery what it was
like to talk to Charles Simonyi and relay his message to the ham radio world:


Avery: "Being one of the first to talk to
Charles on the International Space Station was
definitely an honor and a surprise. I feel very
lucky to have had this opportunity and I hope
that others enjoy their contacts as much as I
did. Its pretty awesome and a once in a lifetime experience."


After they chatted for about a minute, KE7KDP
said 73 to Avery and went on to work station
after station, almost as if he was on a
DX-pedition. In some ways he was and Avery kept
tape rolling until the I-S-S faded from view:


Audio of KE7KDP making rapid-fire contacts. Hear
it in the MP3 version of this newscast downloadable from


KE7KDP has since gone on to make numerous of
random QSO's using the call sign NA1SS. Most U-S
hams report that they heard him on 145.8 MHz and
made contact by calling him split frequency on
the 144.490 I-S-S uplink channel. The
frequencies used in other parts of the world
vary. Most of the information you need and a
blog by those who have made contact with Simonyi
can be found on-line at

Charles Simonyi will be on board the I-S-S until
April 20th. That’s when he returns to Earth with
Expedition 14 crew members of Michael
Lopez-Alegria, KE5GTK, and Mikhail Tyurin, RZ3FT,
both of whom who have been in space since last
September. So until then, keep an ear open for
Charles Simonyi, KE7KDP, operating mainly as NA1SS from space.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bill
Pasternak, WA6ITF. I'm at the studio in Los Angeles.


You can follow KE7KDP's space and ham radio
adventure on-line at (ARNewsline™ with audio supplied by WA6LIE)



President Bush has recognized a Victorville,
California ham with a volunteer award. Randy
Hatfield, AG6RH, has been presented the
President’s Volunteer Service Award in
recognition of his helping 350 others obtain
their amateur radio licenses. Amateur Radio
Newsline's Jeff Reinhardt, AA6JR, has mo


The award presentation to Randy Hatfield, AG6RH
by President Bush took place on Wednesday, April
4th. This, during a stopover of Air Force One at
the Southern California Logistics Airport.

According to a White House press release, in
addition to his work in training new radio
amateurs, Hatfield was also honored for more than
500 hours he has volunteered to the city of
Victorville's Emergency Communications Service.

Randy Hatfield is with the City of Victorville
Community Emergency Response Team and the local
Emergency Communication Service. He began
volunteering with the Victorville team about 18
months. His group trains volunteers in basic
response skills such as fire safety, light search
and rescue, disaster preparedness and emergency communications.

In accepting the award Hatfield noted that he
became involved in Amateur Radio and the
Community Emergency Response Team because he
knows the day will come where volunteers will be
needed to support the infrastructure of every
city that might be affected. AG6RH says -- and
we quote: "If you don’t have communications, you can’t recover."

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jeff Reinhardt, AA6JR.


Hatfield was nominated for the award by his
co-workers. Since March 2002, President Bush has
met with almost 600 individuals around the
country to present similar accolades. (CGC, San Bernardino News, others)



An interesting story with a ham radio twist out
of New Mexico. That’s where two men from the
Gulf Coast found themselves stuck overnight on
March 15th in the mountains just East of Albuquerque.

According to news reports, 19 year old Nathan
Gerber and his companion Hunter Welch, 21 of
Corpus Christi, Texas were visiting the
area, The two were attempting to descend from
Sandia Crest but found themselves stuck on a
sheer rock face, unable to proceed down and
confronted with loose rock that stopped them from
retracing their steps back up.

The two were not properly dressed for the
overnight temperatures that occur at 10,000-plus
feet in mid March. The only thing that they had
going for them was a two-way radio. And
according to the news report it was that radio that likely saved their life.

It seems a local radio amateur heard their pleas
for assistance. He in turn alerted the state
police which dispatched a rescue crew.

The two men were plucked from the mountain face
at about 4 a.m. on the 16th . Officials say they
were exhausted but otherwise okay.

No information was provided in the K-Oh-B news
story as to who the ham was that picked up the
rescue call was or what type of radio Gerber and
Welch were carrying. Neither of their name
appear in the FCC database as being licensed
radio amateurs. (KOB TV News, others)



A small group of antenna rights activists has
petitioned the FCC to reconsider the agency's
denial of their request to override deed
restrictions that preclude Amateur Radio antennas.

Hams for Action filed its initial request back on
July 31st of 2006. In it, the group urged the
FCC to establish reasonable regulation of outdoor
ham antennas by Homeowners' Associations and
other private land use regulators. This, in
place of the total antenna bans which currently
prevail in many neighborhoods across the United States.

Currently the FCC has PRB-1 which precludes
states, cities and other local governments from
banning ham radio antenna installations. It has
no such rule governing land use agreements which
the agency considers to be a private matter between buyers and sellers.

The Hams for Action request was turned down by
the FCC this past February 28th. The group has
now filed its Petition For Reconsideration which
is in effect, an appeal for the 5 FCC
Commissioners to review and reverse the decision of the Commission's staff.

More is on-line at the Hams for Action
website. Its in cyberspace at (Press release)


Break 1

This week from Auckland, New Zealand and from the
United States of America, we are the Amateur
Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around
the world including the W2CNY repeater of the
Central New York Amateur Radio Fellowship serving Syracuse, New York.

(5 sec pause here)



Possibly one of the largest fines ever for
selling non certified C-B sets under the guise of
it being ham radio gear has been issued to Ramko
Distributors Inc. of Toledo, Ohio. It’s a
massive $150,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for
alleged marketing of 17 models of non-certified
radio transceivers that the FCC say are all
capable of easily being converted to the 11 meter
band. Amateur Radio Newsline's Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, has the details


Back on November 26, 2001, the FCC Enforcement
Bureau's Dallas, Texas Field Office issued a
Citation to Ramko Distributors for allegedly
marketing 41 models of non-certified "10-meter"
CB radio transceivers. The Dallas Office noted
that the Commission had evaluated devices similar
to those in the past and had concluded that the
devices marketed by Ramko were not only Amateur
Radio transceiver but could easily be altered for
use as C-B devices. The Dallas Office further
noted that the Commission has concluded that such
devices fall within the definition of a C-B
transmitter and therefore cannot legally be
imported or marketed in the United States.

The Citation warned Ramko of the possible
consequences of continued marketing of these
devices in violation of the rules, including
monetary forfeitures and criminal sanctions.

On November 30, 2001, Ramko submitted a follow-up
letter to the Citation. The company not only
disputed all of the legal and factual
contentions in the document. It also demanded
that the FCC withdraw the citation within 30 days.

The FCC did not withdraw. In fact it did a
number of follow-ups. By letter dated January
28, 2002, the Dallas Office again explained that
the subject devices were CB transmitters and
warned Ramko to stop marketing the equipment
immediately. But in its response Ramko again
disputed the Citation's conclusions and again
asked the Dallas Office to withdraw the
Citation. In April 2002, Ramko filed a third
letter which asserted that in the absence of a
response to its February letter, it assumed that
the Dallas Office agreed with its position and would withdraw the Citation.

Surprise. Not only did the FCC not withdraw the
citation, it continued to let the matter hang
fire until July 2005 when it acquired a Ramko
flyer which advertised substantially the same
equipment that was the subject of the 2001
Citation. Because it appeared to the FCC that
Ramko may have continued to market CB
transmitting devices as Amateur Radio equipment
after receiving the 2001 Citation, on April 17,
2006, the Division issued a First Letter of
Inquiry to Ramko concerning these units.

On May 22, 2006, Ramko filed a late response to
the Letter of Inquiry. In it, Ramko stated that
it neither manufactured nor imported the subject
devices. But it also failed to provide responses
to questions concerning the length of time it
marketed each device, the total number of units
sold, and the identity of its retailers and distributors.

Instead, the company argued that it only has a
two-year document retention policy and that most
documents dated before 2004 have probably already
been destroyed. Also, that it was unable to
conduct a computerized search for the number of
units sold before April 1, 2006, when new
computer software was installed and that matching
customers to products before then would be
limited to the existing paper invoices. It also
claimed that it is unable match customers with
products under the current computer
system. Ramko did concede that it sent out
catalogs or price lists which were "substantially
similar" to the contents of its web
page. Further, Ramko admitted that none of the
subject devices received Commission authorization prior to marketing.

On July 20, 2006, the Division issued a Second
Letter of Inquiry to Ramko. It once again
requested that Ramko provide information
concerning certain devices that it was marketing
as amateur radio equipment. In view of Ramko's
statement that it had a two-year document
retention policy, the Division directed Ramko to
provide the requested information for the most recent two-year period.

On August 23, 2006, Ramko filed a response. In
its response, Ramko provided data on the total
number of units sold for certain of the subject
devices for the five-month period from April 1,
2006, to August 17, 2006. In answer to a
question as to whether the subject devices were
capable of operating, or of being modified to
operate, on any frequencies beyond the Amateur
Radio Service, Ramko stated that "every Amateur
radio is capable of being modified to work out of
band." Ramko also said that information on how
to modify almost every brand of Amateur radio to
work out of band is freely available on the Internet."

Subsequently, in September 2006, the FCC observed
that Ramko was still advertising several models
of 10-meter radios in a flyer on its website. Of
these 17 models, 16 models were specifically
identified by the FCC in the 2001 Citation as
devices that could easily be altered for use as
CB devices and therefore could not be lawfully marketed in the United States.

And says the FCC, under Section 503(b)(1)(B) of
the Communications Act, any person who is
determined by the Commission to have willfully or
repeatedly failed to comply with any provision of
the Communications Act or any rule, regulation,
or order issued by the FCC shall be liable to the
United States for a forfeiture penalty. In this
case the FCC has set the amount of Ramko's fine at $150,000.

In simpler terms, this is one of the biggest
fines ever issued for what amounts to selling
illegal C-B radios under the guise of it being
ham radio gear. It also may be a sign of things
to come to others who sell the same type of easy
to convert to 11 meter pseudo ham radio gear.

For the amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, reporting.


In case you are wondering, the radio gear in
question carry brand names like Conex, Magnum,
General models Jackson and Lee and Galaxy. Ramko
was given the usual amount of time to pay the fine or to file an appeal. (FCC)



Another unlicensed broadcaster has been dinged
for $10,000 by the FCC. This time the recipient
of the order to pay is Junior Lahens Charles of Tampa, Florida.

The FCC says that Charles failed to respond to a
Notice of Monetary Forfeiture issued to him on
February 2nd for operation of an unlicensed radio
transmitter. As a result of his ignoring the FCC
and based on the information the FCC has before
it, the agency has ordered Charles to pay the
full within 30 days of the orders April 2nd release. (FCC)



The FCC has accepted for cancellation the
Technician ticket of a licensee. One who has
been the target of inquiries and warnings from
the Commission's Enforcement Bureau dating back
to 2005. Amateur Radio Newsline's Paul Vinoski,
KR8ZZY, has the rest of the story:


The ARRL Letter says that the FCC's Special
Counsel Riley Hollingsworth wrote Brandon Duke,
KC0UWS, on March 6th. This, to confirm receipt
of Duke's Amateur Radio license for cancellation.

Past FCC communications to Duke have cited
information before the commission as well as
Duke's own admission to indicate he had been
operating on 10 and 20 meter frequencies not
available to him as a Technician class
licensee. Also in the past Hollingsworth had
taken Duke to task for allegedly ignoring
requests to stop using certain repeaters in his area.

Back in 2006, an apologetic Duke had pledged in a
letter to Hollingsworth to change his on-the-air
behavior, noting that he'd destroyed an audio CD
containing apparently objectionable material he'd
been accused of airing. He also said he'd
refrain from jamming, interfering and even using any repeaters.

In January of this year Hollingswotrth sent Duke
a "last warning." It was mailed to Duke at a
Colorado address, but came back as undeliverable.
At the time of the license cancellation letter
Duke had a Minnesota address on file with the FCC

For the amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Paul Vinoski, KR8ZZY


Duke applied for W0BMD last fall. In his letter,
Hollingswoth noted that his office had forwarded
Duke's license to the Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau for cancellation and for dismissal of his
application for a vanity call sign. (ARRL, FCC)



Hams down-under have released a second BPL video
on DVD and streaming. One that depicts the
interference potential of Broadband Over Powerline Internet access.

The show is a 4 minute virtual tour of the North
Hobart B-P-L trial area. This is an installation
that has been the scene of complaints back to
telecommunications regulator ACMA. The video
contains commentary about the trial, technology,
issues and background information on BPL. The
interference that can be seen on the S-Meter and
heard in the soundtrack remains for most of the video at S9 and above.

This video is similar to the Mt. Nelson tour but
has one disturbing difference. Its on-line at (WIA)



And Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell has declared
June 17th to the 23rd as Amateur Radio Week in
that state. In the proclamation Governor Rell
noted that the state recognizes and appreciates
the diligence of radio amateurs who serve in
SKYWARN as weather spotters and the efforts of
the many radio amateurs who volunteer their time
in crisis situations. The governor also made
note that Connecticut is the home of the American
Radio Relay League which represents the interests
of radio amateurs and also acts to interest young
people in the sciences by performing as an educational gateway. (ARRL)



Former ARRL 1st Vice President Steve Mendelsohn,
W2ML, has been tapped as this years speaker at
the Quarter Century Wireless Association's
Hamvention Banquet. Mendelsohn, who is with the
ABC Television Network will talk about the 2003
Superbowl's High Definition TV coverage and the
technology that went into making it happen.

The QCWA Hamvention Banquet will be held at
Alex's Continental Restaurant in the Dayton
suburb of Miamisburg Ohio on Friday, May 18th at
7:30 PM. Advanced reservation required. Send
request to Jerry Ragland, WA8BOB, 409 Park Av. Franklin Ohio, 45005. (QCWA)



This is ham radio news for today’s radio
amateur. From the Auckland New Zealand and
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)



One of the worlds richest men now owns a company
that services the needs of hams who still like to
homebrew their own gear. This with word that the
Berkshire Hathaway Company headed up by
billionaire Warren Buffett has acquired T-T-I
Incorporated and its new affiliate Mouser Electronics.

As most listeners are aware, Mouser Electronics,
is a component distributor which advertises in
most ham radio magazines and is noted as a parts
source in most electronic construction
articles. The company ships globally to over
280,000 customers in 170 countries from its
432,000 square foot state-of-the art facility in Mansfield, Texas.

Its new parent company, Berkshire Hathaway is
located in Omaha, Nebraska. Its core business is
insurance, including property and casualty
insurance, reinsurance and specialty nonstandard
insurance. According to Wikipedia dot com,
Berkshire Hathaway averaged a phenomenal 25%+
annual return to its shareholders for the last 25
years while employing large amounts of capital and minimal debt.

Both TTI and Mouser’s management will remain in
place. This ownership change should be invisible to customers and suppliers.

For more information about Mouser Electronics,
please visit (VHF Reflector and other published reports)



A vulnerability in Microsoft Windows operating
system apparently allowed a computer virus to
penetrate the computer systems at WSAZ television
in Charleston, West Virginia, almost taking the stations news off the air.

It was discovered early Saturday, March
31st just before the 6 a.m. newscast was to go
on the air . Information technology personnel at
WSAZ believe it was a "zero day attack" that
affected some of the station's critical systems
including those dealing with the station's
graphics, closed captioning, and many other
applications that help bring a newscast to air.

The vulnerability was announced on Wednesday,
March 28. According to Microsoft, a "hole" in
certain versions of Microsoft Windows could allow
an attacker to remotely run programs on some
computers if the user accesses certain websites that contain malicious code.

A Zero-day attack is described as a targeted time
threat that exposes computer application
vulnerabilities. Zero-day attacks are considered
extremely dangerous because they take advantage
of computer security holes for which no solution is currently available.

At airtime, Microsoft has not released a patch to
fix this latest vulnerability found in its Windows software. (Science On-Line)



In news from around the world, the Miami Herald
reports that a congressional committee now led by
Representative William Delahunt of Massachusetts
plans oversight hearings into Radio and TV
Martí. This, amid allegations of mismanagement of taxpayer money.

The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of
the House International Relations Committee will
hold the hearings according to the news
account. Radio and Television Marti are United
States propaganda stations that beam news and
other information to communist dominated Cuba. (Published reports)


A pair of Israeli hams have teamed up to create
what they call a unique approach to Q-S-L'ing
with real cards over the Internet. Called Global
QSL, it was developed by Azar Hami, 4X6MI and
Paul Gross to permit hams with web access a way
to design and send out QSL's to other hams and SWL's.
It works like this. First you register with
Global QSL. That costs you nothing. Then you
download their graphic editing tool to design
their own QSL cards and upload their finished work to Global QSL's server.
Once the QSL design is in place, users can then
upload the QSO information using either the
standard ADIF format found in most electronic log
programs or, by manually uploading the QSO
information. QSL cards are then printed sorted
and forwarded to the respective QSL bureaus around the world.
More information on Global QSL, how it works and
the cost of printing and mail-out is on-line at (Global QSL)

In D-X, word that DL6UAA, will be active as 3B8MM
from Mauritius for the next few weeks. He will
operate mostly CW, but will also give SSTV a
try. More information including how to QSL is
on-line at

And DL9MWG will be active from Malta as
9H3RT. This, from April 18th through May
11th. Activity will be on HF, mainly CW. QSL
this one as directed on the air.

Lastly, PA5CW will be active portable YB9 from
Bali from April 25th to the 10th May. QSL direct via his callbook address.

(Various DX sources)



And finally this week, another of those stories
where necessity is the mother of invention. This
one happened down-under in Australia where a new
T-V station wanted to get on the air but did bot
have the cash on hand for a studio to transmitter
link antenna. So instead an engineer turned to a
Chinese cooking utensil for a solution. WIA News
Anchor Graham Kemp, VK4BB, has the rest of the recipe:


Ken Jones asked himself "Why pay $20,000 for a
commercial link to run your television station
when a $10 kitchen wok from the Warehouse is just as effective?"

This is exactly how North Otago's newest
television station "45 South"is transmitting its
signal from its studio to the top of Cape Wanbrow, in a bid to keep costs down.

45 South volunteer Ken Jones designed the wok
transmitter in his spare time last year. Along
with friend Murray Bobbette they worked out
mathematical equations to prove the curved metal
face of a wok would have the same effect as a small satellite dish.

"We have spent a lot of time getting it right --
the first time we installed one we had it up a
pole with the handle still on the end of the wok," he said.

"$20,000 for a commercial link was just money we
didn't have, so we bought several woks from The
Warehouse instead which was convenient and cheap."


And this story makes us wonder if the station
might decide to hold a celebration cook out using
the rest of the unused woks. We hope they invite us if they do. (WIA News)



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
Newsline™. Our e-mail address is
. More information is
available at Amateur Radio Newsline's™ 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.

Two reminders before we go. First about our
on-line poll regarding your position on the
concept of Regulation by Bandwidth. To take
part, take your web browser
to Scroll down and watch for
the word "Polls" on the left hand side of the
page. Then click on the box that is closest to
your view. As soon as you cast your vote you will see the current results.

Also, the nominating season for this years
Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year
Award is now open. Any radio amateur age 18 or
younger residing in all 50 United States, plus
Puerto Rico and all 13 Canadian Provinces can
qualify. Full details and nominating forms are
on our special website at www, Also
see the Vertex-Standard sponsored ad on page 8
of the March issue of QST Magazine.

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the
editors desk, I’m Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF reporting
from Auckland, New Zealand, saying 73 and we
thank you for listening. Amateur Radio Newsline™
is Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

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