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Default Amateur Radio Newsline" Report 1599 - April 4, 2008

Amateur Radio Newsline" Report 1599 - April 4, 2008

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1599 with a release date of
Friday, April 4tht, 2008 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. KiwiSAT goes green, unlicensed devices play
havoc with U-K repeaters, some good news on the ham radio numbers
front and we ask how far you will drive to a hamfest if gasoline
climbs to $4 a gallon or more. Find out how to answer the question on
Amateur Radio Newsline" report number 1599 coming your way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here)



The planned New Zealand KiwiSAT ham radio satellite will also be a ham
radio environmental research bird as well. Amateur Radio Newsline's
Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, is in Auckland with mo


Late word from AMSAT New Zealand is that the KiwiSAT ham radio
satellite will now carry an additional special beacon available for
use by radio amateurs around the world. This, to collect data on
atmospheric aberrations and to assist with information collection
directly associated with global warming concerns and carbon balance

Details have yet to be finalized however the KiwiSAT structure has
been modified to incorporate a second 70cm monopole antenna and a high
level of filtering has been incorporated to minimize any desensitizing
of the on-board 70 centimeter receivers. Once in space, the beacon
will be switched as required but will normally be "on" for a given
whole orbit to provide for data collection

Meantime, the KiwiSAT linear flight transponder is currently
transmitting from the Whangaparaoa area with beam antennas pointing
South. This transponder is inverting type to compensate for Doppler
shift when in orbit. Its transmit Power is 2 Watts PEP. Its uplink
is Uplink is from 435.265 to 435.235 MHz on lower sideband and the
downlink 145.850 to 145.880 MHz on upper sideband. The inverting
transponder is used to correct for Doppler shift.

Reporting from Auckland, I'm Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, for the Amateur
Radio Newsline.


KiwiSAT is currently planned for launch in mid to late 2009. Its
planners say that KiwSAT is designed for low duty cycle modes and the
use of FM wile not outright banned will be discouraged. Further
information is on-line at and we will have more ham
radio space related items later on in this weeks news. (AMSAT ZL)



Unlicensed low power devices are creating a problem for some UHF
repeater operations in the U-K. And its all quite legal. Jeramy
Boot, G4NJH, explains:


A concern to both the amateur radio services and the MoD is the
growing proliferation of Short Range Devices (SRDs) that are operating
in the 70 cm band and raising the noise floor. A recent trial that
used 433MHz channels as inputs for D-Star equipment tests proved to be
unsuccessful due to the high noise floor.

According to an EU Directive the official SRD sub-band within 70cms is
433.05-434.79MHz using a maximum of 10mW ERP. This includes handheld
Low Power Devices (LPDs) permitted to use FM voice on channels that
include a number of repeater inputs.

I'm Jeramy Boot, G4NJH, and you are listening to the Amateur Radio


What if anything can be done by U-K hams to elevate this situation is,
at airtime, unknown. (Adapted from GB2RS story)



Still in the U-K, an electronic petition to Great Britain's Prime
Minister's office titled "70 cmsband", has generated what is being
described by the Radio Society of Great Britain as a "lemming like"
response from the U-K amateur radio community. And from the society's
public response, the petition also seems to have more than just
annoyed the political leaders at the RSGB.

According to a notice posted at the Radio Society of Great Britain's
website, the petition which originated just before the recent Easter
break and has no foundation in truth. While the text of the petition
could not be found on the web, it appears to have been derogatory in
some way toward the RSGB. This because in its own posting the U-K
national society asserts that it currently enjoys a good working
relationship in negotiations with both telecommunications regulator
Ofcom and the Ministry of Defense in regard to the 70 centimeter and
other shared bands.

This RSGB says that the type of dis-information as that contained in
the mysterious petition could undermine the relationship between the
society and government policy makers. It also strongly advised all
U-K hams to check the facts with the society before adding their name
to such petitions.

And less we forget, the encyclopedia describes a lemming as a
mouse-like rodent living in arctic or northern regions. The Norway
lemming is the best known because of its spectacular periodic swarming
that sometimes leads the migrating rodents to jump from cliffs into
bodies of water as they migrate. (Adapted from GB2RS story)



Some moderately good news regarding growth in numbers of FCC licensed
radio amateurs. In his latest posting of license statistics to QRZ
dot com, George Mc Couch, K3UD, says that it looks like overall
Amateur Radio Service numbers have increased by 912 from January
through March 2008.

According to George, the Technician and Technician Plus category had
large increases while General had small increases. As expected.
Novice and Advanced declined.

According to George, it appears as if the Technician license is still
the most popular entry to the hobby for newcomers, making good gains
over the last 2 quarters. Also, the movement to upgrade to Extra
class is continuing. On the downside, it seems like the large
movement from hams upgrading to General after the last round of
restructuring has slowed to trickle over the last 6 months.

The bottom line. George says that this is the largest quarterly
increase he has seen in a long time. You can read the good numbers on
the news pages at www dot qrz dot com under the title Amateur Radio
Growth in the 1st Quarter 2008: A look at the numbers. And our thanks
to George Mc Couch, K3UD, for his ongoing volunteer effort to keep the
ham radio public so well informed.

A direct link to article:
(K3UD via



From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline,
heard on bulletin stations around the world including the KA9EKG
Repeater serving the Amateur Radio community of Delavan, Wisconsin.

(5 sec pause here)



Ham radio has once again proven it can provide emergency
communications to the outside world when cellphones can't. Amateur
Radio Newsline's Don Carlson, KQ6FM, is in Reno with mo


You can see the entire KSL report that includes interviews with both
K7OGM and KE7THE at (N9MSM)



Turning to enforcement news, word that selling electronic parts that
might wind up being used for illegal purposes can get you in trouble
in the United Kingdom. Witness the case of two directors of a U-K
radio parts supplier who recently pleaded guilty of supplying gear to
what we in the U-S-A call pirate broadcasters.

The pleas were recently entered in Croydon Magistrates Court by the
Broadcast Warehouse, which is a Croydon area radio and component
supplier. According to a report in the London Register, the firm
pleaded guilty to the charges after Broadcast Warehouse components
were found in transmitters seized by U-K telecommunications regulator
Ofcom from unlicensed stations.

The paper says that the company and the directors were each fined
10,000. An additional 90,000 was also assessed in court fees. The
full story is on-line at (Southgate)



The Federal Communications Commission has issued a o$17,000 monetary
forfeiture to Craig Watkins for operating an unlicensed radio
transmitter on the frequency 106.3 MHz in Bronx, NY and willfully
violating the Communications Act by refusing an inspection of the
station. Amateur Radio Newsline's Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, has the details:


On March 7, 2007, the FCC New York Office received a complaint from an
engineer representing FM station WFAF, which operates on 106.3 MHz in
Mt. Kisco, NY. The engineer reported that an illegal broadcast
station operating on 106.3 MHz in Bronx, NY was causing interference
to WFAF.

Three days later FCC Commission agents, using a mobile direction
finding vehicle, monitored 106.3 MHz. The agents observed a
broadcast on 106.3 and identified the source of the transmissions as
an FM broadcasting antenna on a roof on East 229th Street in the Bronx..

Commission agents then conducted an investigation on the roof and
observed an FM broadcast antenna mounted to the chimney of the
building that was connected to a coaxial cable leading into a window
of an upstairs apartment. The agents then knocked on the door to the
upstairs apartment of the two-family house. When the man who answered
the door was asked about the radio station, he stated that he was a
visitor and that he knew nothing about the radio station. When agents
asked him to turn off the transmitter, he did so. The man also
advised the agents that the apartment's resident was not at home.

While speaking to the man at the upstairs apartment door, the agents
were approached by the building owner. The agents advised the owner
that an unauthorized radio station was being operated by someone in
the upstairs apartment. He phoned the resident, Craig Watkins, and
asked him to return to the residence. When Watkins arrived, the
agents questioned him about the radio station and he admitted that
there was radio equipment in his apartment, but he stated that no
radio station existed. Watkins refused to allow the agents to inspect
the equipment. The agents issued Watkins a Notice of Unlicensed Radio
Operation for operating an unlicensed radio station on 106.3 MHz and
for refusing to allow inspection of the radio equipment. After
returning to the vehicle, the agents monitored 106.3 MHz and noted
that the station was off the air.

But it did not stay off. On March 14th, a Commission agent, observed
a radio broadcast on 106.3 MHz and identified the source of the
transmissions as an FM broadcasting antenna on the roof of the same
East 229th Street building. The agent took field strength
measurements and determined that the signals being broadcast exceeded
the limits for operation under Part 15 of the Rules and therefore
required a license. So on July 27th the Commission's New York Field
Office issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in the
amount of $17,000 to Watkins for operating an unlicensed radio
transmitter and refusing to allow an inspection of the radio station

Watkins filed a response to the NAL on August 25, 2007. In his
response, Watkins did not deny that there was radio station equipment
in his apartment and he did not claim that the equipment was there
without his permission. He did however claim that he did not know
anything about the operation of a radio station. He indicated that he
questioned his brother-in-law and his brother-in-law's friends about
the radio station equipment and the antenna on the roof, but he was
not able to obtain any information from them. Watkins did not address
his refusal to allow the agents to inspect the equipment.

In affirming the fine, the FCC says that Watkins was identified by the
building owner as the resident of the upstairs apartment and in his
response to the Notice of Apparent Liability, Watkins states that he
does resides at that address. Although Watkins does not admit to
operating the radio station, he confirmed that there is radio station
equipment in his apartment. Watkins does not state that such
equipment was there without his permission. As a result, they found
that Watkins provided services and facilities incidental to the
transmission of communications by radio occurring on 106.3 MHz from
his home.

The FCC says that it has previously held that liability for unlicensed
operation may be assigned to any individual taking part in the
operation of the unlicensed station, regardless of who else may be
responsible for the operation. This is because Section 301 of the
Communications Act says that no person shall use, or operate, radio
transmission equipment without an FCC license.

Taken together, the FCC finds that Watkins's actions amounted to
willful and repeated violations of the Communications Act and that the
$17,000 fine is affirmed.

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


Watkins was given the customary 30 days to pay or to file an appeal.



The Federal Communications Commission says it is seeking applications
from engineering school graduates with superior academic credentials
and an interest in communications engineering. This, for its 2008
Engineer-in-Training Program.

The Engineer-in-Training Program helps the commission recruit new and
recent engineering school graduates to the agency and the field of
communications. Recent engineering grads and candidates for
graduation this spring are invited to apply for openings in the
program's 2008 class.

Additional information is available on the FCC's EIT Program page at, or by contacting the FCC's Human Resources
Office at area code 202 -418-0130. You can also e-mail for more
information to . (FCC)



Now here's one that should catch the attention of a lot of you. Erik
Weaver N0EW sent along a note to tell us about the upcoming K Zero-S
Strange Antenna Challenge slated for Memorial Day weekend, May 24th to
the 26th.

What is a strange antenna challenge you ask? According to Erik, its
an event where antennas are not permitted to be constructed of wire or
metal pipe. Rather, those taking part must use their imagination to
design radiators that are untraditional. Erik says that past antennas
have included such items as metal folding chairs, chicken wire,
fences, ladders, and even a trampoline.

If this sound like a fun way to spend Memorial Day weekend, you can
get more information on-line at (N0EW)



The A-T-V Newsletter is putting together a World Wide ATV Open House .
In this case ATV means Amateur Television and it will be a virtual
open house aimed at getting more members for Amateur Television groups
and clubs while making all radio amateurs aware of ATV.

The Open House will run for 24 hours on a date somewhere between
September and the first part of December yet to be finalized and will
be open to all radio amateurs that want in on the fun. By taking
advantage of the Voice over I P technology and the Internet and using
streaming communications via Skype, Echolink, and the like, numerous
virtual QSO can be made. For more information please e-mail
world-wide-atv-repeater-network at hotmail dot com (N6IFU)



If you are a ham licensed as a pilot, a student pilot or just
interested in aviation, you might want to consider joining the Flying
Hams User Group. Formed by Daniel Hileman, N9WX, in Peru, Indiana,
the group currently meets only in cyberspace using a yahoogroups
remailer. Topics discussed range from technical issues to flight
training to discussions of aircraft and the social aspect of both
hobbies. To join just send a blank e-mail to
mailto:Flying_Hams-subscribe%[email protected]
(Flying Hams)



The Texas-based Lone Star DX Association has announced that Eric
Scace, K3NA, will be the keynote speaker for the organizations DX
Dinner Banquet at HamCom 2008. Eric Scace was the co-leader of the
recent record breaking VP6DX Ducie Island operation. His presentation
is long awaited. HamCom is slated for June 13th and 14th at the Plano
Center, north of Dallas. More information about the DX dinner and the
convention is on line at (LSDXA)



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)



"Digital Voice for Amateur Radio" is a new DVD designed as a club
meeting program to introduce hams to the various digital voice modes
now coming to both the High Frequency and VHF bands.

Produced by well known documentary film maker Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, the
60 minute show highlights High Frequency systems such as those from
AOR and WinDRM. It also delves into the emerging worlds of APCO P25
and D-Star that are in growing use in the VHF and UHF spectrum.

"Digital Voice for Amateur Radio" is being distributed by the North
Carolina-based Amateur Radio Video Network. A free 8 minute preview
along with pricing and ordering information is on-line at Questions go to Gary Pearce by e-mail to kn4aq at
arvidnews dot com. (ARVIDNEWS)



An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) training
session has been planned for astronauts Bob Thirsk, VA3CSA, and Chris
Hadfield, KC5RNJ. Hadfield is dual licensed as VA3OOG. The session
will take place on Thursday, April 17. Thirsk is a scheduled crew
member on Expedition 19 and Hadfield is his back-up. (ARISS)



Ham radio is an integral part of the Wings Over The Rockies Air and
Space Museum. Amateur Radio, using the call K0WAR has a prominent
place in the Denver, Colorado museum with working stations located in
the Avionics Room as well as the Space Station module exhibit.

The museum is Denver's newest historical and educational facility, and
is dedicated to education, science, mathematics, technology and the
rich history of flight in the Rocky Mountain region. One of its
primary missions is to teach the younger generation about the science
of aviation and space travel.

With 165,000 square feet in a 1930's-era Air Force hangar, 30 aircraft
and special exhibits including Amateur Radio, Wings Over The Rockies
is not only Denver's first aerospace museum, it is also the official
air and space museum of the State of Colorado. More information about
the museum and the part played in it by ham radio is on line at (KB6CC)



Hitting the worldbeat, effective as of 23:00 U-T-C on March 21st, hams
in Bosnia-Herzegovina were told to begin using their new E7 callsigns.
Boris Knezovia, E73TW, says that the country's Communications
Regulatory Agency has issued only two and three letter callsigns
suffixes. Applications for one letter suffixes can be applied for
starting April 14th and hopefully will be issued in late May. The
International Telecommunications Union announced last August 8th that
they replaced the callsign series prefix block of Bosnia-Herzegovina
from T9 to E7. (Southgate)



If you operate on the Magic Band, listen up. A 6-meter DXpedition to
Sable Island scheduled to take place from June 25th through July 7th.
The Ohio Penn DX Newsletter reports that VE3IKV, K5AND and W3CMP will
be active from the rare enclave using the callsign CY0X on both CW and

Their fixed location 6 meter station will be in grid square FN93. The
group will also try to activate rare grid GN03 using the callsign
CY0RA if there is a solid opening. For this they are totting along a
portable station with a 5 element yagi. In both cases the operators
will be transmitting on 50.117 MHz and requests that those they might
make contact with not send their grid square as it consumes valuable
time during a DX opening.

This CY0X operation will also operate on 20 meters and 40 meter CW and
SSB but the High Frequency operation will take lower priority over the
6 meters. QSL's go via VE3IKV and there is more on this upcoming
operation is on-line at (OPDX)



Jim Worsham, W4KXY, says that the results for the 2007 Fall Sprints,
sponsored by the Southeastern VHF Society, are now available for
viewing on line. Jim also says that all of the first, second and
third place winners are invited to attend the Southeastern VHF Society
conference in Orlando, Florida on April 25th and 26th to receive their
award certificates at the Saturday night banquet. Information on
attending the conference is available at (W4KXY)



In DX, word that ON5AX and ON3AX continue to be active from the
Pacific locations on their three month tour. Their next stop is
Australia with both operating portable V-K-4 through April 7th. QSL
direct to ON5AX or ON3AX.

And here's one that hams all along the North American East coast with
4 meter receive capability might want to listen out for. Sunday 6th
April between 09.00 and 12.00 UTC sees the RSGB 70MHz contest. All
modes are permitted and the exchange is the normal R-S-T, serial
number and locator. While hams this aide of the Atlantic cannot
transmit on 70 MHz, they can listen in and use the contest as a
propagation study of the 4 meter band.

Thanks to good weather conditions, the ship SA Agulhas has reached
Marion Island and Petrus Kritzinger, ZS8T, is now there for at least
12 months. According to announced plans, the science work for the
first few weeks will take precedence and ZS8T's activity won't start
earlier than the end of April. This means any station using that call
will be a pirate. Once operations are ready to start, an announcement
will be made on the website.

Lastly the 9-X-zero-R operation from Rwanda is now QRT. During the
operation The multi-national DXpedition team made just under 63,000k
QSO's. Of these about 31,000 of these were on CW, 26,000 on SSB and
4,900 on RTTY. If you worked this one, QSL via EA5RM.

Above from various DX news sources



Finally this week, the answer to the survey question that asked if
D-Star digital voice repeaters be restricted to operate in the same
designated subbands as traditional analog FM. The results were not at
all surprising.

83% of those responding wanting D-Star repeaters to be restricted to
existing repeater subbands. 17% said its OK for them to operate
wherever in a given band that the owner might desire. These results
seem to echo what's being read on various VHF and UHF remailers and
public posting websites.

There is one caveat to this survey. Of the tens of thousands of you
out there with web access, only 324 of you took the time to vote in
this one. We have no idea if this means a lack of interest in the
mode or that you are not that concerned about band planning. We do
thank those of you who took the time to go to to do
so. (ARNewsline")



Now, we are switching gears for our next on-line survey. According to
the Department of Energy, the national average retail price of a
gallon of regular grade gasoline now about $3.40. The DoE has also
long been hinting that the pre-tax cost could soon exceed $4 a gallon
or more. Now, add on federal, state and even local taxes and a gallon
could easily hit $4.50. With this in mind, we would like to know how
high will the pump price of a gallon of gasoline have to go to keep
you from driving that 50 or 60 mile round trip to your favorite
hamfest of convention?

Taking part in this survey is easy. Just take your web browser over
to Then scroll down the page until you see the
word polls on the left hand side. Then just click on the dollar
amount that's closest to the maximum you would bay for a gallon of gas
before leaving the car in your driveway and bypassing this years
event. The up to the minute results will be displayed once you have
cast your vote.

We will leave this survey on-line through the end of April. Again,
that's on the left side of the page under the word
polls to make your opinion known on this one. (ARNewsline")



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
mailto:newsline%[email protected] 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.

Before we go we want to remind you that the nominating period for the
2008 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year is now open. Any
licensed radio amateur age 18 or younger residing in the United States
or Canada is eligible for the award. Full details and both
downloadable and on-line nominating forms are in cyberspace at www dot
YHOTY dot org.

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk, I'm Jeff
Clark, K8JAC, saying 73 and we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline" is Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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