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Old July 31st 09, 07:47 PM posted to,,
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THE AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLINE Editorial Office 28197 Robin Avenue Santa
Clarita California Tel/Fax: (661) 296-7180 E-Mail:


For Immediate Release (July 30, 2009)

Contact: Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) / Amateur Radio Newsline(tm)
661-296-7180 /
Dennis Motschenbacher (K7BV) /
Vertex-Standard Corp. 714-827-7600 /
Moseson, (W2VU) / CQ Communications, Inc. 516-681-2922 /


"Wow! Oh, my God. All my friends here at Seabase are going to be really
impressed. Oh, my God!"

And, that's how it sounded when we caught up with Andrew Koenig, call
letters KE5GDB, by cellphone at the Boy Scouts of America Seabase in
Key West, Florida, where he had just arrived with members of Troop 848
from Houston for a week of scuba diving adventures.

The Life Scout, who is just shy of his 16th birthday, is working to
earn the Eagle rank and was ecstatic to learn he had been chosen for
special recognition by the Amateur Radio Newsline. Before telling him
he had been selected as the Young Ham of the Year, we asked Andrew how
he might feel if he were to receive such an award. He said it would be
a nice honor to share with his mentors, including his award nominator
Nick Lance, call letters KC5KBO, who has helped several NASA astronauts
earn their ham tickets.

"Young Ham of the Year would probably go in the book of things that
I've done in ham radio that they are really impressed with," Andrew
said. "It would just mean a lot to me.

"Nick Lance, he hasn't really been pushing me to do anything. A lot of
the stuff I discover on my own. But, he's one of the big roles, one of
the key aspects in ham radio and it would give him a really good
feeling to know that one of his students went on to get youth ham of
the year."

Andrew holds a General class license and passed the test for his first
ticket back in 2005 while a sixth-grader at the Westbrook Intermediate
School in Houston where Lance - who is retiring in August from the
Johnson Space Center - teaches an amateur radio license class.

Andrew is the son of Joe and Lauri Koenig of Houston. Joe holds the
call letters KE5JQA and got licensed as a result of Andrew's interest.
Andrew also has a younger brother, Kyle.

Among the achievements Andrew has accomplished is helping with an
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact at the
Westbrook Intermediate School.

"I actually helped test a lot of the equipment for the contact, since
it was a telebridge contact," Andrew recalled. "The station that was
actually contacting the ISS was in California, I believe.

"And, we were in Clear Lake, Texas. So, for some reason the phone patch
wasn't working properly. So, I had to actually go into one of the
school phones and test that - I think about 15 minutes worth of testing
before the contact started. And, finally right on time, we got it going
again and everything was working just fine."

The contact with Astronaut Clay Anderson, who holds the ham radio call
sign KD5PLA, was a success - thanks to Andrew.

Andrew also helped facilitate a terrestrial contact between Astronaut
Chris Hadfield (ham radio call letters KC5RNJ and VA3OOG) and students
at two Canadian schools using an Internet Repeater Linking Project
(IRLP) node he had built and placed in his bedroom closet.

Andrew, who enjoys VHF and UHF operations, tried and tried and was
finally successful in making his own contact with the space station
using his handheld radios and portable directional antenna. He also
has participated in training astronauts at the Johnson Space Center on
ARISS contacts with schools, conducting simulated contacts with them,
playing the role of the school students.

Andrew has also been quite active with public service events through
the Clear Lake Amateur Radio Club in suburban Houston where he is
immediate past vice president. He is also a member of the Seabrook
Citizen's Emergency Response Team.

Among his other achievements is creating his own bicycle mobile setup:

"I had tried putting a handi-talkie on my bike and I wasn't impressed
with the results because the rubber duck just didn't get out as far as
I wanted to," Andrew recalled. "A couple months before, I had ordered
my first mobile rig (radio), the FT-7800.

"And, actually a couple weeks before I decided to put it all together
on the bike, I had bought a brand new gel cell battery. So, I thought,
you know, hey I've got this remote that came free with the radio, I've
got the battery, I've got an antenna, I got everything I need to make
it happen. So, I just mounted it all on the bike with zip ties and I
had 50 watts mobile on a bike for VHF and UHF."

That attracted some attention from CQ magazine, which was looking for
photo ideas for its 2008 calendar. Photographer Larry Mulvehill
(WB2ZPI) visited Houston and Andrew's bicycle mobile became the
calendar photo for September 2008. He and his bedroom-closet IRLP node
will be featured the cover of the September 2009 issue of CQ magazine.

Andrew is going into his sophomore year at Clear Lake High School where
he is a member of the school's marching band. He is also into
computers and creating websites and he maintains his own website
started when he was in middle school. Check out It
offers kid-friendly information about ham radio, along with a jokes
page and a lot more about Andrew's activities in amateur radio -
including his working satellites.

His mentor and nominator for this award, Nick Lance, KC5KBO, summed it
up best when he said: "Andrew has truly been an outstanding student of
amateur radio.....He is an inspiration both to his fellow students and
to hams of all ages."

Award Ceremony

The 2009 Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) "Young Ham of the Year Award" will
be presented to Andrew Koenig, KE5GDB, on Saturday, August 15th, 2009
at the Huntsville Hamfest in Huntsville, Alabama. As the 2009 "Young
Ham of the Year," Andrew will receive -- courtesy of Vertex-Standard --
an expense-paid trip to the Huntsville Hamfest, along with a gift of
Yaesu brand ham radio equipment. CQ magazine will treat him to an
expense-paid week at Spacecamp Huntsville, and will present Andrew with
a variety of CQ products. Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) will provide
Andrew with a commemorative plaque at the award ceremony. Once again,
the cost of year's plaque has been underwritten by Dave Bell (W6AQ),
President of DBA Entertainment Inc., Hollywood California. Heil Sound
Ltd. will also be presenting Andrew with a ham radio related gift.

The presentation of the award as a regular feature of the Huntsville
Hamfest has been made possible through the generosity and kindness of
the event's Planning Committee and the good offices of Huntsville
Hamfest Association Vice President Charlie Emerson, N4OKL. (See

This year's award ceremony will be hosted by Don Wilbanks (AE5DW) of
Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) along with representatives of corporate
underwriters Vertex-Standard and CQ Communications, Inc.

Award Program Background

The Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) "Young Ham of the Year" award (formerly
the Westlink Report Young Ham of the Year Award ) has been presented
annually since 1986 to a licensed radio amateur (Ham) who is 18 years
of age or younger and who has provided outstanding service to the
nation, his/her community or the betterment of the state of the art in
communications through the Amateur Radio hobby/service. It maintains a
website will full information on the award program and background
material located at

Award Sponsors

The award program is jointly sponsored by the Los Angeles,
California-based Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) with corporate support from
Vertex-Standard Corporation of Cerritos, California and CQ Magazine of
Hicksville, NY.

Since 1976, the Southern California-based Amateur Radio Newsline(tm)
and its predecessor, the Westlink Radio Network, have been providing
radio amateurs around the world with up-to-the-minute news at no cost
to them. Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) also co-sponsors with the Quarter
Century Wireless Association the "Roy Neal, K6DUE, Amateur Radio
Mentoring Project" that serves as a clearinghouse to match radio
amateurs in need of educational assistance on the hobby with those able
to aid them. (See

The award's two corporate underwriters are world leaders in their
respective areas of Amateur Radio product support.

Vertex-Standard Corporation is considered the trailblazer in the
design, manufacture and distribution of high quality Vertex-Standard
commercial two-way radio, monitoring and air-band communications
equipment along with its Standard Horizon marine electronics line and
Yaesu brand Amateur Radio equipment. The Yaesu name is known world-wide
among ham radio aficionados and is synonymous with premium quality ham
radio gear. (See

CQ Magazine and its sister publications, CQ VHF, Popular Communications
and WorldRadio Online, are published by CQ Communications, Inc., and
are considered the trend-setting publications serving today's modern
radio amateur. (See

Past Recipients

Past recipients of the "ARNewsline Young Ham of the Year Award" include
Shawn Alan Wakefield, WK5P, of Bartlesville, OK (1986); David Rosenman,
KA9PMK, of Muncie, IN (1987); Jonathan Binstock, NK3D, of Potomac, MD
(1988); Erin McGinnis, KAOWTE, of Topeka, KS (1989); Mary Alestra,
KB2IGG, of Staten Island, NY (1990); Richard S. "Sammy" Garrett, AAOCR,
of St. Louis, MO (1991); Angela (Angie) Fischer, KBOHXY, also of St.
Louis (1992); Kevin Boudreaux, N5XMH, of New Orleans, LA (1993);
Allison Daneen Zettwoch, KD4CKP, of Louisville KY (1994); Adam
Weyhaupt, N9MEZ, of Alton IL (1995); Toby Metz, KB7UIM, of Boise ID
(1996); Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, of Albuquerque NM (1997); Richard
Paczkowski, Jr., KF4BIA, of Edgewater, FL (1998); Michelle Swann,
KE4EZI, of Warner-Robins, GA (1999); Christopher Arthur, KT4XA, of
Russelville, AL (2000); Patrick Clark, KC8BFD, of Elkwood, WV (2001);
Josh Abramowicz, KB3GWY, of Reading, PA (2002); Jay Thompson, W6JAY, of
Santa Ana, CA (2003); Andrea Hartlage, KB4IUM, of Grayson, GA (2004),
Rebekah Dorff, WG4Y, of Hoover, AL (2005), Catherine Ferry, NC8F, of
Streetville, OH. (2006), Grant Morine, W4GHM, of Wilmington, NC (2007)
and Emily Stewart, KC0PTL, of Leavenworth, KS. (2008).

Note: Attached photo courtesy of CQ Magazine - Larry Mulvehill,


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