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Default Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) Report 1689 - December 25 2009

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1689 with a release date of
Friday, December 25th 2009 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a Q-S-T. Congress may force the FCC to have engineers
as advisors to the Commissioners, the Emergency Communications
Enhancement act gets a nod from the U-S Senate, a power company is told
to turn off part of its system due to alleged interference to aircraft,
hams worldwide welcome the XW-1 ham-sat to the airwaves and a visit with
an all grown up Veronica Harrington, KC6TQR. All this and more an our
Christmas week Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) report number 1689 coming your
way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here)



Engineers may soon be advising FCC Commissioners if the United States
Congress has its way. Amateur Radio Newsline's Bruce Tennant, K6PZW,


United States Senator Olympia Snowe, of Maine, has introduced a bill
that would potentially add one electrical engineer or computer scientist
to the staffs of each commissioner of the Federal Communications
Commission. Known as S. 2881, the bi-partisan measure co-sponsored by
Senator. Mark Warner of Virginia would create the new position of Staff
Engineer and would require that the person have a degree in electrical
engineering or be a computer scientist.

According to the Society of Broadcast Engineers, if eventually passed
into law the new authorization would effectively undo a loosening of
requirements for technical staff at the highest level of the FCC that
began more than 25 years ago. SBE President Vinny Lopez said the bill
will go a long way toward returning technical expertise to the FCC
commissioners' offices.

This creation of the mandatory Staff Engineer would be an additional
position. The bill does not seek to replace any of the current three
authorized staff assistants in each commissioner's office. The Society
of Broadcast Engineers says that it will seek to get a companion bill
introduced in the House.

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


The previous attempt to add technical expertise to the FCC
commissioner's offices took place way back in 1991. That's when
Representative Don Ritter introduced HR. 3501, which would have required
that at least one member of the commission be skilled in the engineering
sciences. It went down to defeat. (RW)



The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009 has
been passed the Senate by unanimous consent and now goes to the House of

S 1755 was cosponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and
Susan Collins of Maine. The measure if passed and signed into law would
direct the Department of Homeland Security to undertake a study on
emergency communications and the role played by radio amateurs.

S 1755 points out that there is a strong Federal interest in the
effective performance of Amateur Radio Service stations. As such that
performance must be given support at all levels of government; and
protection against unreasonable regulation and impediments.

More on this bill is on-line at the ARRL Website at (ARRL)



Australia's Yarra Valley Amateur Radio Group will be setting up a field
station with the call VI3KIAH at Kinglake. This in commemoration of the
work done by hams at the Black Saturday bush fires. Kinglake was one of
the worst affected areas in the Australian 2009 fire season. Jim Linton
VK3PC picks up the story from he


This commemorative operation is using a callsign that has the suffix
KIAH. Thats an Australian Aboriginal word meaning 'beautiful place' or
'from a beautiful place'.

The purpose of the amateur radio activity is to acknowledge the efforts
of all who fought and were involved the Black Saturday fires on the 7th
of February this year, and the services provided by radio amateurs.

VI3KIAH will be at the Frank Thompson Reserve Kinglake 2pm to 8pm local
time on Sunday the 7th of February.

It's first 173 contacts will qualify for a "From the Black" QSL card the
significance of 173 is that number of people died in the disaster.

On the day VI3KIAH will be operating both VHF and HF from the club's new
emergency communications caravan that has replaced the vehicle destroyed
by fire at Healesville.

The Yarra Valley Amateur Group invites those who were involved in the
Black Saturday disaster and others to visit the station at Kinglake and
to look for it on air.

Well done to the group for its planning of this respectful commemorative
activity to occur on a day when all Victorians are asked to pause for a
minute's silence for the first anniversary of the Black Saturday
bushfire disaster.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Linton, VK3PC.


No doubt that the world of amateur radio will be listening on February
7th for the callsign VI3KIAH. (VK3PC)



Meantime, across the Atlantic pond the CEPT Electronic Communications
Committee Working Group RA2, which deals with Radio Amateur issues, has
published the results of a questionnaire. This, on the procedure for a
country joining CEPT Recommendations.

The survey sought the views of CEPT member administrations on the
appropriate procedure for a country to join in using these CEPT
Recommendations in relation to an acceptable universal Amateur Radio
license and on a harmonized or universally accepted Amateur Radio
Examination Certificate. It also sought input on the need for public
consultation in case of amendment of national information in the
relevant annexes to these recommendations.

For those not aware, CEPT is an acronym that stands for the European
Conference of Postal and Telecommunications. The actual name comes from
the French pronunciation of the group which is the Conférence
européenne des administrations des postes et des

CEPT was established on June 26, 1959 as a coordinating body for
European state telecommunications and postal organizations. The results
of the survey are on line at (Southgate)



United Kingdom hams involved in 500kHz experimentation have had their
license Notices of Validity extended to 2012. This to permit the
continued evaluation of that band.

On Wednesday December 16th, UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom
announced that following requests made by the Radio Society of Great
Britain, the period of validity for all 501 to 504 kHz Notices of
Validity is to be extended. This, follows negotiations with the
Maritime and Coastguard Agency which lead Ofcom to extending the
validity period to February 29, 2012.

The Notices of Validity, which are the UK equivalent of the FCC's
granting of a Special Temporary Authority, were originally planned to
expire at the end of February 2010. (RSGB)



This week coming to you from warm and sunny Auckland, New Zealand, where
its mid-summer, we are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin
stations around the world including the W9DUP repeater serving DuPage

(5 sec pause here)



A United Kingdom consumer electronics magazine has taken on the
Broadband over Powerline interference issue.

Author Mike Richards, G4WNC, visited the recent E-M-C U-K trade show and
found that powerline telecommunications and the problems they are
causing were the hot topics there. His report can be read on pages 32
through 35 of the January issue of Radio User magazine.

The article suggests that if readers think they are suffering from
interference then they should complain to telecommunications regulator
Ofcom. It also explains how to properly address the issue with Ofcom
and refers readers to the United Kingdom radio interference website at

(Radio User Magazine: (GB2RS)



Its not BPL this time, but Duke Energy, which is an electric utility
serving North Carolina, has been ordered to cease operating a small
portion of its power grid. This, because of its inability to remedy RFI
on 111.7 MHz. that the FCC deems to be a hazard to flight safety. Frank
Haas, KB4T has more in this report:


The story goes this way. In response to a complaint of interference, on
November 25th an agent of the FCC's Norfolk Office inspected power line
facilities belonging to Duke Energy located near the Falls Lake
Reservoir in Durham and Wake Counties, North Carolina. During the
examination the agent observed the facilities radiating energy on
frequencies including 111.7MHz. This FCC says this caused harmful
interference to air navigation aids used by pilots flying into nearby
Raleigh-Durham International airport.

Later the same day, the agent notified the call center for Duke Energy
of the harmful interference and of the need to cease operations at the
affected locations. The call center supervisor stated someone would
contact the agent about the interference in a few days. So the FCC
waited the few days but as of December 2nd Duke Energy has not contacted
the FCC about the interference or notified it that operations had been
turned off at the affected locality.

So on December 3rd the FCC got tough. It notified Duke Energy that
operation of the power-line facilities was causing interference in
violation of Section 15.5(b) of the Commission Rules. It directed Duke
Energy to cease operations at the affected locations immediately and
keep that part of the grid shut down until repairs had been made. It
also told Duke that failure to comply could subject the company to
additional enforcement action against it.

According to the regulatory agency violations of the Communications Act
or the FCC Rules could subject the violator to substantial monetary
forfeitures, or seizure of equipment. It could also lead to criminal
sanctions, including imprisonment.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Frank Haas, KB4T, in Holly Hill,
Florida, reporting.


At airtime its not yet known if Duke Energy has complied with the FCC
directive to take down its power grid in the geographic area where the
interference to aviation communications has been taking place. The
complete text of the Official Citation is on line at (FCC, CGC)



A measure to permit the FCC to create more Low Power FM broadcast
stations has begun its trek through the United States Congress. By a
voice vote on December 18th the House of Representatives passed a bill
to drop third-adjacent channel protections for most full-power FM
broadcasters in order to fit more low-power FM's on the band.

House Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, of California says that
HR 1147, the Local Community Radio Act, removes a statutory barrier to
the creation of potentially thousands of new low power stations. The
bill now moves to the Senate, where so far no action is yet scheduled.



Senator Russ Feingold's "Spotlight on Spending" series has taken aim at
Radio and TV Marti. Feingold, a member of the Senate Budget Committee
calls Radio and TV Martí are a relic of Cold War attempts to
broadcast radio and TV signals into Cuba that virtually no one tunes in
to anymore.

According to Feingold, government studies show that Radio and TV
Martí are riddled with problems, and fall short of journalistic
standards. He also says that as the United States progresses toward a
more modern and constructive relationship with Cuba, that Radio and TV
Martí no longer have any real diplomatic or fiscal purpose.

Backing him up is a January 2009 report by the Government Accountability
Office. It found that Radio and TV Martí broadcasts continue to face
jamming by the Cuban government. According to the GAO, the best
available research suggests that the audience for Radio and TV Martí
is small, and its effectiveness uncertain. (Source: Media Network,
Press Release by Senator Russ Feingold)



The ARRL is looking for an Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager.
The Primary Objective of this headquarters staff position is to develop
and maintain ARRL's emergency communications and emergency preparedness
functions, both internally and externally. To apply, please e-mail your
resume to Monique Levesque at ARRL headquarters at mlevesque (at) arrl
(dot) org. (ARRL)



The Dayton Hamvention will be staying at its home at the Hara Arena at
least another three years. According to planners the Hamvention
Committee has inked a deal with the Hara covering 2011, 2012 and 2013 in
addition to the one already in place for 2010. The planning committee
has also reached an agreement with the close in Salem Mall for parking
and with the local bus service for transportation to and from the mall
parking site. Hamvention 2010 is slated for May 14th to the 16th which
is less than 6 months away. (DARA)



Some names in the news. Dr. Lee-Anne McKinnell, ZS2LAW, has been
appointed as acting Managing Director of South Africa's Hermanus
Magnetic Observatory. This during the absence of Sandile Malinga who
has been appointed by the Minister of Science and Technology to serve as
caretaker Chief Executive Officer of the South African Space Agency for
a period of 18 months beginning January 1st, 2010.

Dr. McKinnell is well known for her participation in the South African
Radio League's Radio Technology in Action program where she has made
many presentations over the past three years. Despite her busy
schedule, will again be joining the program in 2010.

The Hermanus Magnetic Observatory is a South African research facility
of the National Research Foundation which is an autonomous science
council responsible for research and human resources development in
South Africa More about it is on-line at / (NZART)



And a ham radio operator working a tow vehicle driver is a big hero to
one of his clientele. This as Craig Goldbeck, N9ETD, and his father
Gerald recover missing money for a local business.

The two were calling on customers of their Goldbeck Towing business in
Onalaska, Wisconsin, when they noticed something strange on Highway 16.
That something was money.

According to the La Crosse Tribune, earlier in the day an employee of an
area business had driven off with a bank bag containing $3,000 on the
vehicle's hood. It broke free and scattered its contents across the

The men started picking up $20 bills, some of them in stacks of four or
five. They then called police and an officer joined the money hunt. In
all the trio recovered $2,860 that was returned to its rightful owner.

The Goldbecks' were rewarded for their honesty and sharp eyes. The
business owner sent them a box of steaks. (, KC9ECI)



This is ham radio news for today's radio amateur. This week coming to
you from Auckland, New Zealand where we celebrate Christmas on the
beach, 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)



Amateur satellite operators worldwide have reported receiving strong
signals on the telemetry beacon of China's XW-1 satellite that was
launched on December 15th. The satellite is currently being
commissioned but all three amateur radio modes, which include an VHF to
UHF FM repeater, a VHF to UHF linear transponder and a crossband AFSK
packet system have been tested and appear to be operating to their
design specification. Also strong is its Morse beacon on 435.7900 MHz.

During the checkout Michael Chen, BD5RV/4 reported that he managed to
operate the special event station BT3WX to work several E2, BY, VR2, XX9
stations throughout on an evening pass using the FM transponder. AFSK
packet operations were active over Japan with JA0CAW receiving the
downlink on 435.675 MHz at 1200bps. As to the linear transponder? It
was also busy with JE1CVL, JH1EKH, BD4SY, JF2CTY, JH1BCL, JA5BLZ
succeeded in a QSO over Japan.

The first activation of the XW-1 linear transponder over North America
took place in the early hours of December 20th and Drew Glasbrenner,
KO4MA, produced a spectragram of the event showing the 50 kHz passband
full of SSB signals. KO4MA says that right after XW-1 came on he called
CQ and was answered by K8YSE. After moving up in the passband he worked
W4DFU at the University of Florida followed by HK4MKE in Columbia.

An XW-1 CW Telemetry Decoder by Mike Rupprecht, DK3WN, can be downloaded
at (ANS)


And this just in. AMSAT-NA OSCAR Number Coordinator Bill Tynan, W3XO,
has informed Alan Kung, BA1DU, Amateur Satellite Project Manager and
Chief Executive Officer of AMSAT-China that XW-1 is now designated as
Hope OSCAR 68, or HO-68. More can be found on-line on the AMSAT-China
web page at (W3XO)



Monday December 14th saw the launch of Pegasus High Altitude Balloon
from Cambridge in the UK.

Because of restrictions imposed by the UK Amateur Radio license it was
not possible to use an amateur transmitter on the balloon, so instead a
GSM cell-phone was fitted along with a License Exempt 434.075 MHz 10
milliwatt transmitter running 50-baud RTTY.

While the GSM phone doesn't work above about 3000 feet it is extremely
reliable once the payload has landed while the License Exempt
transmitter allowed the payload to be tracked throughout the flight.

Further information on the project is at
(Pegasus Project)



Tiny radio transmitters on skis are helping competitive skiers analyze
their technique. These units can be attached to an athlete's skis and
transmit through small antennas located to the front and the back of the

Receiving stations placed alongside a slope in regular intervals pick up
the signals and analyze the time a signal needs to travel from the
antenna to a station, thus accurately determining an antenna's position
within three centimeters. A computer attached to the receiver
calculates the position of the skis every millisecond and displays their
exact path on a monitor.

The Austrian firm Abatec developed the system. It says that its
adaptable to just about any sport that requires a close study of athlete
performance and event timing. (Science OnLine)



The 'DX World of Ham Radio' web page is conducting a online survey to
see which expedition warrants the title DXpedition of the Year 2009.
Special engraved trophies will be shipped to the top three. To
participate in the survey, go to (Ham Spirit)



In DX, word that UT6UE and UT6UF are on board a ship headed to the
Ukrainian Antarctic Research Centre's Vernadsky Base. They have with
them a Yaesu H-F transceiver, an antenna tuner and a folded dipole for
80, 40 and 20 meters. They hope to be active on 80, 40 and 20 meters
between 2200 and 0100 UTC. They have already been reported on the
Packet-Clusters signing UT6UE/MM. QSL as directed on the air.

W2CG will be active as either P40C or P40CG from Aruba from the 5th to
the 26th of January 2010 primarily CW and RTTY on 80 through 6 metres.
Listen out for him between 1200 to 1400 and 2000 to 2400 UTC. QSL via
W2CG, direct or bureau.

The Hellenic Amateur Radio Association of Australia will be active as
VI2BI from Broughton Island on February 5th, 6th and 7th. The team
plans to operate CW, SSB and RTTY on 160 through 6 meters. QSL direct
to VK2CL.

JQ1LCW is now active from Mauritania as 5T5YL. Recent reports say she
has been heard on 17 meter SSB working mainly Europe and East Coast
North American stations. QSL via JQ1LCW.

Lastly, VE6LB says via the Ohio Penn DX Newsletter that he will be
active portable A6 from Dubai between January 8th and February 8th. His
operation will be holiday style with low power using wire antennas
mainly on 40 through 15 meters CW. QSL direct via his home callsign or
Logbook to the World.

(Above from various DX news sources)



And finally this week, a question. A rhetorical one that asks whatever
happened to Veronica Harrington, KC6TQR? You know, the cute little 6
year old ham from Long Beach, California. The one who captivated the
nation with her appearance demonstrating ham radio on the Late Night
with David Letterman program back in March of 1992.

Well the truth be known, Veronica is still a ham but she is now all
grown up, married and out in the business world. The Rain Report's Hap
Holly, KC9RP, recently had a long chat with Veronica and she told him
what has happened in her life over the past 17 years:


KC6TQR: "Throughout my life I have done a lot. When I was 8 I actually
got my FCC Commercial License. When I was 11 I got my Parliamentarian
License and I became an E.M.T. when I was 18 while out volunteering with
the Sheriff's license out here in Los Angeles.

"Professionally I do investment banking.

"I like going to Disneyland.

"I really like exploring the area. I actually live in downtown Los Angeles
and love all the old architecture down here. There are so many things to


That's just a small sample of the Veronica Harrington Myers, KC6TQR,
story. To hear more just tune into this weeks RAIN Report. You will
find it on-line at or on your telephone at
773-358-7845. (RAIN)



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 WIA 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), 28197
Robin Avenue, Santa Clarita California, 91350

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk, I'm Jim
Meachen, ZL2BHF, and the entire world-wide all volunteer Amateur Radio
Newsline team wishing you a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, 73
and we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

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