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Default Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) Report 1618 - August 15, 2008

Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) Report 1618 - August 15, 2008

Note: Do to staff travel to the Huntsville Hamfest for the 2008 YHOTY
presentation, this newscast is being released about 20 hours early this
week -- WA6ITF


Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1618 with a release date of Friday,
August 15th, 2008 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a Q-S-T. Two Nebraska hams are murdered in a senseless
act of violence, a Tennessee town threatens to arrest a pair of FCC
inspectors but backs away and the story of an elderly ham who goes to the
store to buy a new radio. Wait until you find out how he got there. All
this and more on Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) report number 1618 coming your
right now.

(Billboard Cart Here)



Authorities in Nebraska have a 34-year-old homeless man in custody who they
believe was involved in the weekend deaths of a ham radio couple living in
rural Lancaster County. Amateur Radio Newsline's Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF,
has the details of the arrest following a rather horrific crime:


Lancaster County Nebraska Sheriff Terry Wagner says that Brandon
Christopher Crago has been arrested on suspicion of robbery and vehicle
theft. He is also being held in connection deaths of Steven Baily, N0US
and his wife Carolyn, N0LAL.

According to the Sheriff's Office, its deputies were called to the Baily
residence around noon on Sunday August 10th at the request of a
neighbor. That's when authorities found the remains of the two murdered
radio amateurs. Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB, lives in Lincoln. He knew N0US and
N0LAL. He tells Newsline that the local ham radio community is in
horrified by what happened to their friends::


Eisenberg: "The first reaction is total and utter shock and disbelief that
something like this could happen right here in Lincoln, Nebraska, let alone
to two such wonderful people and totally at random. Its just a total shock
to us and there is great sadness and heavy hearts amongst all of us here."


According to news reports, the story began to unfold early Sunday
morning. At about 7:20 a.m. Central time, Lincoln police were called to a
robbery in the Northeast area of the city. That's where a armed man
entered a home and demanded the keys to a 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

An hour later, deputies found the Jeep idling at an area Southwest of
town. The residents of the property reported their blue and silver 2005
Toyota Camry was missing.

Later on Sunday, detectives were able to connect the Bailys' deaths to the
robbery as well as the two vehicle thefts. Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB, says that
Crago was a wanted man before the alleged Sunday crime spree:

Eisenberg: "He lived here in town as a homeless person and was in and out
of drug rehabilitation and was being sought by the Feds on multiple drug
charges. In fact, he was just about to be arrested by the Federal
authorities on drug distribution charges."


Police also believe Brandon Christopher Crago may have been involved in an
additional crime on Sunday morning. A man matching his description broke
into a home between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m.. The suspect assaulted a
46-year-old man who was sleeping on a couch and stole about $80 cash.

According to a police report, Crago attempted suicide at a motel where he
was staying before being taken into custody. He allegedly stabbed himself
in the chest in an attempt to peace his own heart, but the injuries were
not life-threatening.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bill Pasternak, in the newsroom in Los


Authorities say that Crago has had several local arrests for drugs and
assault dating back to 1994. They are still looking into whether he had an
accomplice this time or if he acted alone.



And what about the victims of this seemingly senseless crime? According to
Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB, both Steve Baily, N0US and Carolyn Baily, N0LAL, were
in their early 60's and were well liked. They were also heavily involved
in the local ham radio community:


Eisenberg: "They were very nice people. They would go out of their way to
help out. He was an active storm spotter and they were active members of
the Ashland Amateur Radio Club and helping to put on the annual hamfest,
and they were always very supportive of their club and of amateur radio."


K0NEB says that he and Steve Baily, N0US, had something in common. Like
Eisenberg, Baily was a computer service technician by trade. Both traveled
the region and quite often chatted on the air:


Eisenberg: "Almost every day we would talk with him and hi wife over the
Ashland Radio Club repeater or the Lincoln repeater. Sometimes we wound
even talk on .52 simplex because I would run across his car as we were
driving along down the Interstate and I would wave hi."


As to Carolyn Baily, N0LAL, her other interest was dogs. A longtime 4 H
leader, she served a number of terms as an officer with the Cornhusker
Kennel Club. Her favorite breed were Boxers and she had two as pets.

The Baily's are survived by their grown daughters Jennifer Baily of New
York and Heather Burns in Washington along with her husband Greg, and their
two children. At airtime funeral arrangements for N0US and N0LAL are
pending. (ARNewsline, K0NEB, published news reports)



Charges won't be filed against two Federal Communications Commission
who allegedly told Church Hill, Tennessee police they were with the states
Bureau of Investigation Meth Task Force this past June. Burt Hicks,
WB6MQV, has the details:


The TimesNet dot com electronic newspaper says that arrest warrants had
been written but not served against two FCC investigators who were in
Church Hill, Tennessee, on an undercover mission last spring. The FCC
agents were in the town on June 10th investigating complaints made by the
neighboring Mount Carmel Police Department that someone was continually
"keying over" radio transmission made between one of its officers and
Hawkins County Central Dispatch.

The TimesNet story says that the FCC agents decided to use a cover story
that they were part of a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Meth Task
Force. The on-line newspaper quotes a Church Hill Police Department report
that says that on June 10th about 11 p.m. Officer Danny Depew stopped an
SUV with Alabama license plates. This, after it pulled onto Main
Boulevard from a parking lot without its headlights on.

According to the report, the two male occupants of the SUV stated they were
"state Meth Task Force agents" although they didn't have
credentials. Mount Carmel Fire Chief and Police Officer Chris Jones, who
actually is a member of the states Meth Task Force came to the scene to
vouch for them.

In his report Officer Depew stated that he later talked about the traffic
stop with Officer Chip Whitaker. They discussed the possibility that the
men in the SUV were not what they claimed and were only impersonating

Depew and Whitaker then stopped the SUV in the Food City parking lot
shortly after midnight and spoke again to the undercover FCC
investigators. Again they identified themselves as Meth Task Force agents,
and again Chief Jones arrived on the scene to vouch for their identity.

The FCC agents were released, but the incident was later turned over to the
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. On Friday, August 1st the Church Hill
police received confirmation that the men in the SUV were not Meth Task
Force agents or any other type of local, state or federal law enforcement
officers. Instead they were FCC employees who were in the area working on a
radio complaint.

The Church Hill Police Department prepared warrants charging both men with
multiple counts of impersonating police officers but held off serving them
after Tennesese Judicial District Attorney General Berkeley Bell advised
against it. Bell told the TimesNet dot com that he was leaving the
decision whether or not to charge the FCC investigators to Church Hill, but
he was very much against it.

Also, as others observed, there was also the possibility that the FCC might
go into Federal Court and charge the Church Hill Police Department or its
officers with impeding a federal investigation. Either way, for now the
case has been shelved.


The jamming problem had been ongoing for several months prior to the
arrival of the FCC agents. It reportedly ended suddenly after the incident
with FCC investigators in Church Hill on June 10th. The complete story is
on-line atÉ07575 (,



Two unnamed amateur radio enthusiasts in the Ulyanovsk region of Russia
whom authorities say were the source of unintentional interference to U.K.
Air Force pilots have been ordered off of a formerly secret radio
frequency used in Russia.

About a month ago United Kingdom telecommunications officials complained
to Russian radio authorities that from time to time airborne communications
was hindered by some Russian citizens using the same
frequency. The British were able to establish that the signal came from
the Volga district. Russian telecommunications personnel found the
culprits to be a pair of amateur radio enthusiasts aged 25 and 50.

The pair of hobbyists were not charged with any crime. However they were
advised to register with the local ham radio club and toi use only official
amateur radio frequencies.

There has been no further complaints from U.K. pilots according to the
telecommunications spokesman. (Adapted from Interfax on-line report)



From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline,
heard on bulletin stations around the world including the VE6AFP and VE6JNT
repeaters serving Edmonton Alberta Canada.

(5 sec pause here)



Some breaking news in the world of D-X. Information has surfaced that the
very rare Desecheo Island will be activated this fall. The dates being
mentioned are November 12th to the 26th. The DX Newsletter in its edition
1585 says that the callsign for the operation will be K5D. The newsletter
adds that further details will be published in the shortly before K5D comes
on the air. (DXNS)



Amateur Radio operators seeking to experiment with High Frequency Digital
transmissions now have a new option. EchoLink users may now access club
station W6AOR dash L via the internet. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeff
Reinhardt, AA6JR, says it's a member of the ham radio supply industry
that's making this service available:


The W6AOR Echolink High Frequency ham radio station is located at AOR USA
headquarters in Torrance, California. AOR is a leading supplier
of receivers and digital voice modems.

Taka Nakayama KW6I, is the trustee for W6AOR. He said the suggestion to
create an EchoLink accessible station came from a number of different
sources. He says that putting the station together was just a matter of
assembling a few spare parts, a Kenwood transceiver, a digital modem and
then hooking up internet access.

W6AOR transmits and receives on 14.236 USB through a digital modem using
the G4GUO digital protocol through a "barefoot" Kenwood transceiver into
vertical antenna. The W6AOR EchoLink HF station will allow hams who do not
yet have their own digital modem to make contacts with digitally-equipped
stations. Taka Nakayama adds that the station can also be used to
participate in digital nets and to verify the correct installation or
operation of a similarly-equipped digital station.

KW6I says that the station was put on the air for the enjoyment of all
radio amateurs. He also says that it is a way to give the ham radio
community the ability to experiment with the emerging world of High
Frequency amateur radio digital voice communications.

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


Echolink use of W6AOR is open to all properly licensed operators at no
cost. Those in need of information on how to use EchoLink are encouraged
to visit (AoR)



A follow-up to our recent story regarding a complaint filed Wednesday, July
16th, by the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition. It charged that
manufacturers of wireless microphones use deceptive advertising in the way
they market them. Also, that they sell high end, wireless microphones to
people who the coalition claims are not legally permitted to use them.

Now comes word that the Federal Communication Commission's Office of
Engineering and Technology is currently field testing the performance of
prototype White Space Devices which use the same free broadcast television
spectrum as the theatrical wireless microphones. These so-called TV white
spaces have been used for years to support microphones for sporting events,
stage shows, live TV broadcasts and church services and other events.

FCC spokesman Alan Stillwell said that these tests were to examine the
ability of white space devices to detect the signals of TV stations and
wireless microphones. They are also looking at the potential for a
transmitter operating in the white spaces to interfere with TV reception
and wireless microphone operations.

As we reported two weeks ago, the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition is
recommending that the FCC immediately act to halt sales of wireless
microphones that operate between TV channels 52 and 69. It also wants the
FCC to require microphone manufacturers replace all the older units now in
use. It also recommends that the government agree to a general amnesty for
unauthorized microphone users. Where this latest FCC move leaves the
Public Interest Spectrum Coalition and its demand that all wireless mics
stop using this same spectrum is very hard to say. (RW, others)



In the first quarter of 2009, the Department of Homeland Security's
Emergency Management Agency intends to adopt an alerting protocol in line
with Common Alerting Protocol 1.1. This, as the standard for the
Integrated Public Alert and Warnings System.

The Integrated Public Alert and Warnings System or I-PAWS is a network of
alert systems through which FEMA is upgrading the Emergency Alert
System. FEMA says EAS participants, including broadcasters and state and
local emergency managers, must be in compliance with the CAP 1.1 standard
within 180 days of its formal adoption.

FEMA's partners in developing the CAP 1.1 profils include the National
Weather Service; the Federal Communications Commission; DHS Science &
Technology Directorate's Command, Control and Interoperability Division;
Emergency Interoperability Consortium; Organization for the Advancement of
Structured Information Standards; and the International Association of
Emergency Managers. (FEMA, RW)



Still with rescue radio news, Reno Nevada's Emcommwest emergency
communications ham radio conference now has a namesake some 2300 miles to
the East. Its called the EmComm East Convention and Conference and it will
be held September 20th in Rochester, NY.

EmComm East is billed as an ARRL sanctioned amateur radio emergency
communications conference, where amateur radio operators involved in EmComm
can attend training sessions on technical topics. Experts in various
special interests will be discussing such communications systems as APRS,
WinLink and a new open source web-based dispatching technology. Attendees
will also be able to purchase equipment and supplies from vendors, learn
from served agencies, obtain license upgrades, and interact with other
emergency communications operators from all over the area.

Army MARS and the National Registry of Certified EmComm Volunteers will be
in attendance. Dennis Dura, K2DCD, the Emergency Preparedness and Response
Manager for the ARRL will be the days keynote speaker.

A $30 pre-registration fee required and seating at the sessions is
limited. For more information, please visit othe or
request it by e-mail to (Repeater Reflector)



The FCC has fined the alleged operator of a New York City area unlicensed
radio station $10,000. Feeling the FCC's sting this time is Jean Idalbert
who is accused of operating an unlicensed radio transmitter on the
frequency 90.9 MHz in the borough of Brooklyn.

Back this past April 29, the Commission's New York Field Office issued a
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in the amount of $10,000 to
Idalbert. Despite evidence that Idalbert received the notice, Idalbert has
not filed a response.

Based on the information before it the FCC affirmed the forfeiture on
August 6th. Idalbert was given the usual 30 days to pay or to file an
appeal. If Idalbert fails to pay the fine the matter would likely be sent
to the Department of Justice for collection and other possible punitive
actions. (FCC)



The Southeast Louisiana Amateur Radio Club will commemorate the landfall of
hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This, when special station K5R takes to the
airwaves from 14:00 to 20:00 hours UTC on Saturday, September 13th in
remembrance of those tragic events.

K5R will operate SSB 7.250 and 14.250 MHz plus or minuus any QRM. QSL's go
to Scott Hernandez, K5R, 957 Nancy St.,Mandeville, LA 70448. More
information is on-line at This is the third year that this
on the air commemorative operation is being held. (Press Release)



Joe Giraudo, N7JEH, has been appointed Section Manager of the Nevada
Section effective August 15. ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs
Department Manager Dave Patton, NN1N, made the appointment after Dick
Flanagan, K7VC, announced his resignation for health related reasons.

Joe Giraudo, who lives in Spring Creek, will complete Flanagan's current
term of office that continues through June 30, 2009. A Professional
Engineer and graduate of the University of Nevada, Giraudo is an
experienced licensing instructor and ARRL Volunteer Examiner. He is
currently Nevada Assistant Section Manager, as well as a District Emergency
Coordinator; he also holds appointments as Net Manager, Public Information
Officer and Official Emergency Station within the Nevada Section. Giraudo
served as Nevada Section Emergency Coordinator from 1994-2000.

Outgoing Section Manager Dick Flanagan, K7VC, is from fMinden, Nevada has
served as Nevada Section since January 2003. He was also a driving force
behind the creation and success of the Emcommwest convention held annually
in Reno.

Prior to his relocating to Nevada, Flanagan lived in Los Angeles,
California where he held the call W6OLD. During his years in the L.A. area
he helped to establish the Southern California Repeater Association (SCRA)
and served a number of terms as the organizations chairman. Some of his
work with the SCRA lead to the FCC deregulating repeaters in the latter
1970's. That in turn brought on the boom in repeater growth that continue
unabated to this day. (ARRL, ARNewsline(tm))



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 ham radio social scene, word that Pacificon will take place
October 17th through the 19th at the San Ramon Marriott Hotel in San
Ramon, California. Sponored by the American Radio Relay League's Pacific
Division and the Mt. Diablo Amateur Radio Club, Pacificom is the premiere
ham radio show for Northern California and neighboring states. This years
gannd banquet speaker is Dr. Jill Tarter, the director of the Center for
SETI Research at the SETI Institute in Mountain View California. More
information about the convention and the banquet is on line at (Pacificon)



BARCFest 2008 sponsored by the Boulder Amateur Radio Club takes place on
September 28th at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont,
Colorado. Doors open to public at 8 a.m. Mountain time with talkin on the
146.70 repeater. Children age 12 and under are admitted free when
accomp[anied by an adult. More information is on-line at (Press Release)



The Northern Illinois DX Association will once again sponsor the W9DXCC
Convention and Banquet. This year the date is September 20th with the
venue being the Ho1iday Inn in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. QSL card
checking for various awards, an ARRL forum and a Grand Banquet are all
planned. For more information please contact , Bill Smith, W9VA, by e-mail
to w9va at ao1 dot com. (Press Release)



More than 380 lighthouses in more than 51 countries from Argentina to Wales
will be on the air for the 2008 International Lighthouse and Lightship
Weekend. The event is organized by the Ayr Amateur Radio Group and will
take place as this newscast goes to air the weekend of August 16th and 17th.

International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend is more of a QSO Party and
amateur radio demonstration than it is a contest. Participating
lighthouse/lightship stations do not have to be inside the structure or on
the vessel itself. The sponsors say that a Field Day-type station at or
adjacent to the light is more than sufficient to be a part of this fun
event. (Southgate, others)



Digital high-definition radio is hitting some key milestones in terms of
pricing and features. To date, nearly 1,750 AM/FM stations covering 83% of
the United States are broadcasting digitally. Another 800 offer original
formats and content on HD on ansulary channels. This is according to
iBiquity Digital which is the developer and licensor of HD radio technology.

And according to published news reports, the prices on some radio models
have tumbled below $100. About 60 HD receiver models are now available in
the, including table-top units and car radios from such leading consumer
and audiophile brands as Panasonic, Yamaha, Denon, Polk and Harman
Kardon. Among the manufacturers breaking through the $100 price point is
Radiosophy, which specializes in HD radio receivers. The company's portable
HD100 radio, which includes a clock radio and an input jack for an MP3
player, costs $49.95 after a $50 rebate. Also, more auto manufacturers are
offering HD radio as a factory or dealer-installed option.

U.S. HD radio sales totaled about 300,000 units in 2007, with about 1
million more units expected to be sold before the end of 2008, iBiquity
president Bob Struble remains optimistic that falling prices will finally
jump-start the HD market. (RW)



Todd Carpenter, N9YSQ, has started a new discussion group in honor of the
Allied Radio Knight Kit T-50 transmitter. That was Allied Radios answer to
the famed Heathkit DX 20 and used very similar circuitry.

Carpenter says that the new group is for rekindling memories about the
T-50, gathering information for restoring these rigs, and creating a venue
for users to make contacts with the T-50 based stations.

If you used one of these radios as a novice, use one now, or just love old
gear, come check out the new group. The web address is You can also make contact at



Turning to news from around the world, word, RSGB High Frequency Awards
Manager, John Dunnington, G3LZQ, has now also taken on the administration
duties of the society's VHF awards as well. These were previously handled
by Bill Salt, M0CBQ. The change of leadership is being taken as an
opportunity to bring the rules for VHF and HF RSGB awards into line. In
particular, all awards will be credited to individuals rather than a
callsign. (GB2RS)



In DX, word that DO7ZZ will be active from Croatia operating as VE3ZIK
portable 9A until the 23rd of August. Activity will be on the High
Frequency bands only, using CW, SSB, RTTY, PSK31, PSK63 and 10m FM. QSL
to DO7ZZ via the bureau.

IK8VRH portable 5Z4 will be active from Kenya during the month of
August. Operations are on 40, 20 and 17 meters using CW, SSB and
RTTY. QSL as directed on the air.

Meantime, IK2RZP will be active stroke VP9 from Bermuda from through August
24th. Listen out for him mainly on SSB and the digital modes on 17 and 12
metres. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the bureau.

F8ATM will be active from Senegal as 6V7L through August 22nd. His
operation will be on all of the High Frequency bands using SSB and RTTY.
QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the bureau.

(Above from various DX news sources)



And finally this week, the story of a United Kingdom ham who only wantred a
new radio but in trying to buy it he caused traffic chaos and sparked a
police hunt to find him. Amateur Radio Newsline' Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, has


An unidentified 81-year-old United Kingdom radio amateur was eventually
pulled-over by police. This, after they received a number of calls from
worried motorists who had spotted him driving his 8 mph mobility scooter
along the road separation median adjacent to the busy, 70 A-27 highway near
the city of Portsmouth on Monday, August 4th. But not they could not find
him until he was on his way back home. Here's the rest of the story.

..The intrepid senior citizen radio amateur had set off from his home near
Havant some time before 11a,m... His destination was the well-known
amateur radio retailer Nevada Radio. That's a trip of about seven miles
to the town of Farlington on the outskirts of Portsmouth.

Reportedly, trucks and cars using the 70 MPH motorway were forced to
swerve out of the way as the elderly ham and his scooter crawled along the
middle median at what seemed to be a snails pace.

Mike Devereux is the Managing Director of Nevada Radio. He told the
Southgate News that those in the store were amazed when the elderly ham
turned up at the showrooms in his slippers and driving his motorized
buggy. Devereux said that the he told store employees that he was getting
back in to Amateur radio and wanted to buy an Icom 7400 and a power supply.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, he could not remember his credit card
pin number and ended up leaving Nevada empty handed. Police finally caught
up with him shortly after 1 p.m. on his journey home. Reportedly they gave
him some stern road safety advice after which he and his battery powered
scooter were driven back home in a police van.

Only one question remains. Some wonder if the ham on the scooter had any
plans to operate scooter mobile. Chances are that none of us will ever

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


Although his four-mile trip on the roads median caused bumper to bumper
chaos, under United Kingdom traffic regulations he was not breaking the
law. This is because he was not on the motorway itself. (Southgate)



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
Arcadia, California 91066.

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk, I'm Don
KQ6FM, saying 73 from Reno, Nevada. and we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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