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Default Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) Report 1550 - April 27, 2007 - Prefeed - Final

Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) Report 1550 - April 27, 2007

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1550 with a
release date of Friday, April 27th, 2007 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a Q-S-T. Hams down-under
prepare to face another BPL trial as radio
amateurs in the United States North East respond
as the skies open up. Find out the details on
Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1550 coming your way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here)



Another BPL trial has been announced in
Australia. If this one proves out it could grow
into one of the biggest access BPL installations
down-under and be a major problems for that
nations hams. Felix Scerri, VK4FUQ, is in New
South Whales not far from where the test will be run:


Full details have now emerged about the latest
BPL trial in Queanbeyan, NSW. The trial was
announced by Country Energy on the 15th March and
is expected to be operational for at least 6 months from May this year.

The BPL trial plans to pass 300 households in the
Queanbeyan CBD and Jerrabomberra areas, and will
provide both access broadband and electricity network management

Freshtel will provide an Internet Telephony
service to participating customers who, in
addition to receiving a modem and access to the
broadband service, will receive a free Binatone
cordless phone and $30 per month of Freshtel call
credit. Country Energy have been "trialling" BPL
in Queanbeyan for several years using the older
generation 45Mb/s DS2 chipset based Mitsubitishi
equipment, producing emission levels
measured up to 55dB above the expected ambient
noise levels on the 7MHz amateur band. This new
trial will use Schneider Electric (Ilevo)
equipment using the later generation 200Mb/s chipset, as used in the Mt
Beauty BPL trial.

Country Energy, which is owned by the NSW State
Government, has around 195,000 kilometres of
powerlines and 1.4 million power poles, and
offers retail electricity in five states and
territories. It employs more than 3,900 employees
serving more than 870,000 customers.

I'm Felix, VK4FUQ


The results of this latest Australian BPL trial
hopefully will be known by the end of the year. (WIA News)



The weekend of April 14th were a couple of dark
days for the North East. That's when the worst
rainstorm in over 100 years hit the tri-state
area of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and
then worked its way up into New England. And in
many cases hams associated with the Amateur Radio
Emergency Service were called out as city's and
towns prepared to face Mother Natures wrath. No
place was the pre planning more apparent that in
the New York City and Long Island areas. Mike
Lisenco, N2YBB, is the areas Section Emergency Coordinator:


Lisenco: "At 8 a.m., New York City ARES was
asked to staff 9 shelters. The District
Emergency Coordinator for New York City, John
Healy, KA2ABV, got in touch with his 5 Emergency
Coordinators -- one for each Borough -- and
within the city they were able to staff for the
next 24 hours the 9 shelters. They actually put
together a staff of about 30 people working in shifts throughout the day."


As the storm intensified, over 8 inches of rain
fell in New York City. As luck would have it,
the expected 50 mph wind gusts did not
materialize and the danger to the City passed by
midnight. At that time, New York City District
ARES was able to stand down and secure.

In Nassau County New York the District Emergency
Coordinator Jim Mezey, W2KFV. He said that
Nassau ARES ramped up for the storm on with a
check of its communication systems at the Nassau
Red Cross Chapter. Members were asked to double
check their equipment and make sure their "Go
Bags" were ready. Rain totals were three to five
inches in Nassau County and wind speeds estimates
were up to 40 mph sustained with higher gusts.
There was a good amount of coastal flooding
causing roadway damage and many trees came down.
There were also scattered power outages but
normal communications were not interrupted.

But New Jersey and upstate New York were not as
lucky. According to Lisenco, there was some
fairly severe damage in those regions:


Lisenco: "Unfortunately, New Jersey and some of
the counties in upstate New York were hit very
hard with flooding. In fact a number of people
were displaced in those regions and the (ham
radio) operations was ongoing for a number of days."


Meantime, the ARRL Letter reports that in
Massachusetts winds gusting between 60 and 75 MPH
brought down trees and power lines, leaving some
45,000 customers without power. Trees and tree
limbs also fell on cars and houses, in some
instances causing significant damage.

During the storm, SKYWARN operations at the
Taunton Ntional Weather Service office's WX1BOX,
were active from 8 AM Sunday through midnight
Tuesday. The SKYWARN team provided some 500 to
600 reports of snowfall, rainfall, flooding, wind
damage and wind-speed measurements. More than a
dozen repeaters served as formal and informal SKYWARN gathering spots.

Meantime, at the Massachusetts State Emergency
Operations Center, RACES' was activated from 6 PM
Sunday through 7 PM Monday. Mot only were they
monitoring the storm but the Boston Marathon as
well. That race went on despite the rough weather
with over 200 Amateur Radio volunteers deployed
to keep it moving along. Even as Eastern
Massachusetts ARES went on standby to support storm related operations.

Similar support operations were also reported in
portions of Connecticut, New Hampshire and
adjoining states. (NYC ARES, ARRL, ARNewsline(tm))



Space tourist Charles Simonyi, KE7KDP, and two
members of the Expedition 14 crew have returned
to Earth. Dr. Simonyi along with Expedition 14
Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, KE5GTK, and
Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin, RZ3FT, landed
safely southwest of Karaganda in Kazakhstan at
8:31 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, April 21st.

The world's fifth space tourist paid around $25
million for pre-flight training and his scheduled
14 day stay on the International Space
Station. During his time on-orbit he took to the
airwaves using the NA1SS station and made
numerous individual and school contacts like these:


Actual Contact Audio - Hear it in the audio
version of this newscast downloadable at


The return to Earth of the Expedition 14 crew
members was originally scheduled for Friday,
April 20th. Inclement weather at the primary
landing site meant the date and location had to
be changed. This effectively gave KE7KDP a free extra day in space.

After landing, KE7KDP was quoted as saying that
it had been a terrific trip and that he felt
fine. Russian space chief Anatoly Perminov
echoed those remarks by saying that all three of
the returning space travelers were feeling well
but Dr. Simonyi clearly feels the best of
all. Welcome home. (ARNewsline and various published reports.)



The automated ham radio packet system on board
the International Space Station will remain in a
state of limbo for a while longer. The ARISS
control team had been hopeful that space tourist
Charles Simonyi, KE7KDP, would have been able to
restore the Kenwood radio system to full
functionality after an accidental reprogramming
of the radio occurred near the end of Expedition 13.

To accomplish this, the ARISS team worked with
the Simonyi people to get him prepared to perform
the Kenwood reprogramming. Unfortunately, a few
weeks before the launch it was learned that
additional software certification steps were
required to allow the reprogramming software to
be used on the I-SS computers. This
certification was completed only a few days
before KE7KDP returned from space. As a result,
there was insufficient time for him to complete the restoration.

The ARISS team says that at this point in time,
it appears as if a full restoration will require
a concerted effort with full cooperation from the
Russian and US space agencies. This will likely
take several months to accomplish. In the
meantime, requests for some investigative
analysis by the crew will be made. This will
enable the ARISS team to determine if the radio
can be partially restored to provide some of the
unattended operations that it once provided. (ARISS)



Celebrating our 30th year of service to the
worlds Amateur Radio community. From the United
States of America, we are the Amateur Radio
Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the
world including the WB2DRK repeater serving Suffolk county, New York.

(5 sec pause here)



Some good news about license fees courtesy of the
ARRL. It reports that the FCC has proposed
reducing the regulatory fee to obtain or retain
an Amateur Radio vanity call sign by more than 40
percent starting later this year.

In a Notice of Proposed Rule Making released
April 18th, the Commission is proposing to cut
the fee from its current $20.80 to $11.70. If
ultimately adopted, that would mark the lowest
fee in the history of the current vanity call sign program.

The actual designation of the proposal is
titled "Assessment and Collection of Regulatory
Fees for Fiscal Year 2007." In it, the FCC
proposes to collect a total nearly $290.3 million
in Fiscal Year 2007 from all of its combined regulatory fees. (ARRL)



Turning to enforcement news, the FCC has fined
Jean-Harry Pierre-Francois $10,000 for operating
an unlicensed broadcast transmitter in the Tampa,
Florida area. Back on February 13th the
Commission's Tampa Office of the Enforcement
Bureau issued Pierre-Francois a Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in the amount
of $10,000. Pierre-Francois never filed a
response to the N-A-L. The FCC has now affirmed
the forfeiture making it a fine that has to be
paid within 30 days of the April 23rd release
date unless Pierre-Francois decides to file an appeal. (FCC)



A report developed by the Regional Conference on
Disaster Relief and Management is now available
for on-line viewing. The Power Point
presentation is from an address given by the IARU
Region 1 Emergency Communications Coordinator Seppo Sisatto, OH1VR.

The conference was held April 14th to thr
16th in Alexandria, Egypt. The report is
on-line at
(IARU Region 1 News via Southgate News)



Cell Antenna Corporation, of Florida has filed
suit against the FCC claiming rules that prohibit
the sale of radio frequency jamming devices to
state and local governments impair first
responders' ability to fight terrorism. The
suit, filed in the US District Court of the
Southern District of Florida challenges a law
enforced by the Federal Communications Commission
to prohibit the use of cellular and radio
frequency jamming equipment by state and local governments.

Cell Antenna argues that several sections of the
Communications Act of 1934 violate the 14th
amendment of the Constitution and conflict with
both the public interest and the wishes of
Congress. Additionally, the suit claims that the
FCC rules put at risk the lives of first
responders and the public in the event of a
terrorist attack using a remote controlled improvised explosive device.

In support of its argument, Cell Antenna claims
that with increasing regularity, insurgent groups
in Iraq and terrorist cells abroad have begun to
turn to cellular-triggered explosives as a means
of attacking civilian and military targets. The
company says that the FCC is responsible for the
commercial licensing of radio waves, and should
not be responsible for the determination of
whether state and local officials can use technology to fight terrorism.

It should be noted that one of Cell Antennas
primary products is signal jamming devices that
are sold to federal government agencies
throughout the world. The complete press release
detailing this law suit is on line at
(CGC, Cell Antenna Website)



A 15-day Patriotic Ride Across America is being
planned as part of the May 2007 National Military
Appreciation Month. Organizers would like
Amateur Radio support for communications along the route.

The 6000 mile round trip ride begins on May 20th
in Sacramento, California and goes cross country
to Washington D.C. before returning to the
California state capital. More information is
on-line at Just click on the
Capital Ride Across America graphic at the top of the page.

Also, as reported last week, the next "Ham It Up
For The Troops" operating event takes on May 26,
beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern time . Its also a
part of National Military Appreciation Month but
sponsored by the Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day organization.

ARMAD as it is better known has conducted this
special event for the past three years. It's
primary purpose is to let those that sacrifice
know that we support them. More about ARMAD and
the "Ham It Up For The Troops" event is on line at (ARMAD)



Some names in the news. First to the United
Kingdom where Giles Read, G1MFG, has been named
Managing Editor of Radio Communications
Magazine. He succeeds Alex Kearns who left the magazine back in January.

Read previously served as Rad Com's Technical
Editor. In his new position, G1MFG will be
responsible for overall editorial control and
technical content of the monthly U-K publication.

The RSGB which publishes Rad Com has also
announced that Tracey Treanor has joined the
staff. She is taking on the job in bringing to
members the most up to date news as well as in-depth features. (GB2RS)



Back on this side of the Atlantic, the Dayton
Hamvention and ARRL have announced that Space
shuttle veteran and International Space Station
Expedition 12 commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR,
will be attending the 2007 Dayton Hamvention.

McArthur will be the League's guest
Hamvention. He will first be the featured
speaker during a private ARRL reception on
Thursday, May 17th. He will be on hand all day
Friday, May 18th to greet and talk with visitors
to ARRL EXPO 2007 area at the Hamvention.

Hamvention 2007 takes place May 18th to the 20th
at Hara Arena near Dayton, Ohio. More about the
event and what's happening this year is on-line
at (Dayton Hamvention, ARRL)



And congratulations to the Salem Area Amateur
Radio Operators club of Salem, Ohio, which
celebrates its 20th anniversary in May. The
group describes itself as an association of radio
amateurs organized for the promotion of amateur
radio communication and experimentation that
provides communications during disasters, emergencies and community events.

The club has about 30 members from Salem and the
surrounding area. It is usually in attendance at
large public functions like parades and works
with the Patriotic Society on Memorial Day. The
club has assisted in many emergency operations
over the years, and has gained national
recognition as a Special Service Club. It's
well-known for its 24-foot long red trailer that
appears during emergencies and emergency drills
throughout the area. (



Thirty years and still going. 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)



Radio in general is still one of the most
dominant form of communication despite major
technological advancements. This, according to
the International Amateur Radio Union.

Commenting, Graham Hartlett, ZS6GJH, of the South
African Radio League notes that despite the
internet and cellular phones, Amateur Radio
continues to attract people world-wide. Hartlet
says that it does this by providing free
international communications and friendships and
because ham radio does not need pre-established
supporting infrastructure that all other services do. (SARL)



Australia's NERG News reports a program called
ElseeMore - EchoLink for Blind Operators has been
developed by Tony Wakefield, VK3ZTR. This
program assists Blind and Visually Impaired radio
amateurs in operating the popular EchoLink Internet linking program.

Normally EchoLink requires the use of the
keyboard and mouse, and the ability to read menus
and text displays. ElseeMore is simplifying the
user interface. Large screen fonts and
simplified text displays can be used by partially
sighted operators, while voice prompts are use by
totally blind operators to navigate through the
EchoLink controls. Amnd best of all, ElseeMore
can be configured by either locally or over the
Internet so that the blind operator can easily
access pre-set favorite EchoLink nodes.

According to its developer, ElseeMore the program
has been quite popular not only with blind
operators but also operators having 20-20
vision. They find the large font display and
speech announcements are great for monitoring
operations from across a room. More is on-line
at (WIA News)



The U.S. Department of Defense has named Intelsat
General Corp. to proceed with initial testing of
what is expected to lead to Internet Routing in
Space. In early 2009, a space-hardened Cisco
router will be launched into geostationary orbit
to support the voice, data and video needs of the
armed forces, first responders, and others who
need seamless and instant communications. You
can read more about it at (CGC)



The 2007 AMSAT-NA Space Symposium will be held at
the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott Hotel from
October 26 through the 28th. This years keynote
speaker is Sy Liebergot, a former NASA
spaceflight controller and part of the team that
guided Apollo 13 back to Earth following the
explosion which crippled the spacecraft.

AMSAT is also focusing efforts to attract local
middle and high school students to the Saturday
sessions by providing special programs. As part
of this there will be a fully operational
satellite station on site for demonstrations and use.

This years symposium is being hosted by the
Wireless Association of South Hills Amateur Radio
Club. More information is on-line on the
symposium page at (AMSAT)



In nrews from around the worls, word that the
Australian 6 meter propagation beacon on 50.295
MHz is back on air. This, with a 10 watt
horizontally polarized omni-directional CW signal.

The VK3RMH beacon was established to provide
signals to indicate band openings to and across
V-K land. It also provides signals necessary for
receiver alignment of stations within its local
groundwave coverage area. (WIA News)



If you are trying to hold a QSO on the 17 meter
band and you are suddenly trampled by two
shortwave stations fighting one another then you
have been jammed by a pair of broadcasters vying
for the minds of the people of China. More
accurately, one is trying to express its views to
listeners in the Peoples Republic of China while
the other is trying to jam it out. No matter as
neither the "Sound of Hope" which broadcasts from
Taiwan nor the music station jamming it from the
city of Hainan are supposed to be on 18.160 MHz
nor anywhere in the Amateur exclusive world wide
18 MHz allocation. But they are and its not the
first time that either has showed up in an
Amateur Radio allocation. And while several
nations Intruder Watch operations have logged the
stations and complaints have been filed, it
remains to be seen if anything can be done to
chase the interlopers away. (RN, Listener E-Mail)



On the air, word that Region 1 of the
International Amateur Radio Union will be
sponsoring its second EmCom Party on the Air on
Sunday May 5th. The IARU says that this is not a
contest but an emergency communications exercise.
The aim for participants is to contact I-A-R-U
Region 1 headquarters station OF3F in Finland and
also as many other national HQ and emergency
communication group stations as possible using
SSB. The information gathered will give the
sponsor a good idea as to range and accessibility of stations in the region.

The event runs from 11.00 to 15.00 UTC on the 40,
20 and 15 meter bands. More information on the
exercise can be obtained at (GB2RS)



In D-X, the international N8S DXpedition to
Swains Island led by Hrane Miloshevic,YT1AD of
Serbia and David Collingham, K3LP of the USA, is
over. Radio Bulgaria reports that racked up a a
record breaking 117,205 QSO's by operating around
the clock on all bands from April 3rd to the
15th. QSL cards is due to start after May
15th. Direct QSL's require a self-addressed
return envelope and proper funds to cover return
postage. Those go to Hrane Miloshevic, YT1AD,
36206 Vitanovac, Serbia. QSL's sent via the bureau require only your card.

On the air, keep your ears open for DL9MWG active
from Malta as 9H3RT through May 11th. Activity
will be on HF mainly using CW. QSL to DL9MWG at his callbook address.

Last but by no means least, word that DS4DRE, is
currently active slash 4 from Hong Island.
Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters on CW and
SSB. He plans to be there until June 30th. QSL as directed on the air.

(Above from various DX news outlets)



And finally this week, as the weather warms up,
it's time to think about taking ham radio
outside. Newsline's Joe Moell K0OV tells about
some opportunities for foxhunting fun in the coming months.


It's going to be a busy spring and summer for
fans of hidden transmitter hunting. May 12 and
13 is the annual CQ Worldwide Foxhunting
Weekend. You may have heard me call it the
National Foxhunting Weekend before, but the name
has changed because it's become an international
event. Fans of direction-finding contests will
take to the roads and to the forest to track down
hidden transmitters on two meters, and other
bands too, in cars and on foot. Start planning a
Foxhunting Weekend activity for your club. You
can get some ideas by reading about it in the
April and May issues of CQ Magazine.

Then a week later, a very special foxhunting
event takes place at Sinclair Park in Dayton on
the Sunday of Hamvention 2007. This will be the
first ARDF event just for the blind to be held in
the USA. It's being put on by the OH-KY-IN
Amateur Radio Club, headed up by Dick Arnett
WB4SUV and Bob Frey WA6EZV. Anyone who is blind
or sight-impaired can participate; no ham radio
license is required. How can one walk or run
through a park to find radio transmitters without
being able to see? Go to OH-KY-IN's special Web
site to find out. The URL is

While you're at the Hamvention, be sure to take
in the Foxhunt Forum, which will be Saturday at
1145 hours in Room 5 of Hara Arena.

The big finish for 2007 foxhunting activity will
be the ARDF Championships of the USA and IARU
Region 2, which will be September 14 through 16
in the forest near South Lake Tahoe,
California. That's near the Nevada border in the
Sierras. The championships are open to anyone of
any age, and even if you've never done this sort
of thing before, it's a chance to learn from the
best. Registration will open soon. Read all
about it, and other foxhunting news, at Spell HOMINGIN as one word.

From southern California, this is Joe Moell
K-zero-Oscar-Vicror for Amateur Radio Newsline.


Again, Joes website is (K0OV, ARNewsline(tm))



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(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(tm), 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.

And this final word. It was 1,550 weeks ago, in
the summer of 1977 that the Amateur Radio
Newsline was born. That was almost 30 years ago
and back then, we called ourselves the Westlink
Radio Network with our very first newscast
dedicated to reporting on repeater
deregulation. That was a hot topic back then and
there have been hundreds if not thousands of hot
topics since. And as we end our third decade of
service and head toward our fourth, we want to
pause for a moment and say thanks to all of you
who have listed to us all these years and who
have given us the financial support so that we can continue.

In reality, you are just as important as any of
us because without you the listener, we would
have no reason to exist. And as we say goodbye
for this week we renew our pledge first made 30
years ago to do our best to bring you the most
timely and up to date information that you need
to be a modern day radio amateur.

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the
editors desk, I'm Jim Davis, W2JKD, saying 73
from all of us here at the Amateur Radio Newsline
and we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

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