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Default Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1369 – November 7, 2003

Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1369 – November 7, 2003

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1369 with a release date of Friday,
November 7, 2003 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a Q-S-T. Rain brings the California wildfires under control
but ham radio stays on the job. A report from the scene on Amateur Radio
Newsline report number 1369 coming your way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here)



The Southern California wildfires are on their way to full control. This as
the winter rains come early to the region. As a result, many hams who had been
full time fire communications volunteers have gone back to their regular jobs
and ham radio emergency communications efforts are winding down. Others are
still on the front lines and now its time for assessment. Gordon West,
W-B-6-N-O-A, spent most of last week at a Red Cross Shelter in the city of
Fontana. He takes a look at the contributions made by the regions Amateur
Radio communicators:

Audio report only. Hear it by downloading this weeks audio newscast file at

Emergency service officials agree that having ham radio made a big difference
in successfully handling this disaster situation. (ARNewsline(tm))



We all heard the grim statistics of the homes and businesses were destroyed by
this years California wildfires over a million acres of land has been scorched.
But there is one total that the mass media won’t report. That’s the
number of ham radio repeaters knocked off the air by the blazes. While exact
call signs are not yet available, we did ask reporter Matt Lechleiter, W6KGB,
to find out which radio sites were most affected.

It's estimated that close to 30 repeater or remote base systems have been
affected by the recent Southern California firestorm. These systems are either
off-air, were before switching to backup power, or were destroyed by the fires.
The number of systems actually destroyed by the fires is unknown - we'll follow
up on this in a subsequent report.

Communications sites affected include Oat Mountain just north of Los Angeles,
Sunset Ridge and Heaps Peak to the East, and Mount Otay near San Diego to name
a few. Each of these major sites lost power due to one of the fires. News
reports say that it could be over a month before power is restored to these
locations. Until then, battery and generator power are keeping the commercial
and amateurs two-way systems on the air.

There are also several repeaters that are believed to be safe but which are
still off the air. This is because they live at more remote mountaintop sites
that also lost electrical service to the flames. And just like the more
accessible sites that I mentioned, it might be a quite a while before
commercial power is returned.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Matt Lechliter, W6KGB reporting.


If you are a Southern California repeater operator whose system was affected by
the firestorms, or if you know of one that was, please send the details to us.
We will include it in an upcoming report. Our address in cyberspace is



Radio gear from some well known ham radio manufacturers is in space. This, as
the group known as Amateur Radio on the International Space Station announces
the delivery of the so-called Phase 2 ham equipment to the ISS. Norm Seeley,
KI7UP, has the details in this report:

A Russian Progress supply rocket has delivered a Kenwood TM-D700E, dual band
transceiver to the International Space Station. The installation of this new
radio will mean a significant boost to the power output of the ARISS station
from 5 watts to 25 watts.

The Chairman of Amateur Radio on the International Space Station is Frank
Bauer, KA3HDO. He says that the software for the D700 has been programmed for
five modes of operation. These are for standard F-M phone, crossband repeater,
APRS, packet and an emergency mode. Bauer predicted that APRS probably will be
the default mode when a crew member is not actively using the ham station.

Next up will be gear from Vertex-Standard, the Yaesu brand folks. Bauer says
that a Yaesu FT-100D, some SSTV equipment, along with new headsets, will be
taken to the space outpost on Progress Flight 14P. Look for it to launch in

But says Bauer, that will be the endof the transport of any more ham radio gear
for quite a while. At least until the space shuttle returns to flight in
September 2004.

But that in itself could be a blessing in disguise. KA3HDO says that the
equipment still on the ground will be tested this month at the Service Module
facility in Moscow. This will permit making sure that the Phase 1 and 2
systems are compatible. RF testing will also take place.

According to Bauer, current plans call for the current Expedition 8 crew of
Mike Foale, KB5UAC, and Alex Kaleri, U8MIR, to install the new hardware after
ground tests are complete. Previous crews already installed four Amateur Radio
antennas to cover HF, 2 meters, 70 cm and microwave frequencies.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Norm Seeley, KI7UP.


What about hams on the ground getting more chances to talk to the crew on the
ISS? Bauer says he's been working with U-S and Russian space officials to
have them dedicate a few additional hours each month for operation and amateur
station maintenance. (ANS, ARISS K7CCC)



Still with news of ham radio on board the International Space Station, word
that the Ourense, Spain school contact on October 23 was very successful. 75
children and 25 parents gathered at Ceip Seixalbo school as European Space
Agency astronaut Pedro Duque answered sixteen questions in Spanish using the
ARISS radio system. All nationwide radio, TV broadcasters, and newspapers were
present. Duque has since returned to Earth along with the Expedition 7 crew.


Break 1

From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on
bulletin stations around the world including the N5LEZ linked repeaters serving
Wichita Falls and Vernon Texas.

(5 sec pause here)



The ham who is accused of breaching airport security has gotten some unexpected
congressional support. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Mark Abramovich, NT3V, has
the rest of the story:

Leading Democrats have openly criticized federal authorities for prosecuting
Nathaniel Heatwole, W-Zed-3-A-R. Hes the ham who admits to planting banned
items on airliners, allegedly to show flaws in airport security. And some in
congress think he is almost a hero for pointing out the Transportation Security
Authority's inability to properly protect airline travelers.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is quoted in print as saying: " "I don't think he
had criminal intent. I think what he was trying to do was to show how exposed
we are and what our vulnerability was, and he tried to tell TSA and he gave a
trail to them."

Pelosi said that if theres any penalty imposed, it should be some kind of
community service. And Representative Ed Markey, a powerful Democrat from
Massachusetts agrees. In fact, Markey says that any community service sentence
imposed on Heatwole should be with the TSA. And Markey adds that TSA
officials should listen to him so that they know exactly how to prevent a
terrorist from doing the very same thing.

And even the Republicans are getting into the act. Representative John Mica of
Florida is chairman of the House aviation subcommittee. He said that
prosecutors should concentrate on people who actually pose a threat, adding
that Heatwole should not be the fall guy.

None of the politicians are not trying to excuse Heatwole’s action, but they
more and more are beginning to agree with Pelosi and Markey who apparently
believes that the punishment should fit the crime.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Mark Abramowicz, NT3V, in Philadelphia.


Heatwole is headed back to court on November 10th for a preliminary hearing.
What was not expected is the level of support of some in congress and the
obvious pressure that puts on prosecutors working on the case. (From published
news reports)



The ARRL has put officials in Manassas, Virginia, on notice that the League
will act on behalf of its members. This, to ensure full compliance with FCC
regulations when the city's Broadband over Power Line system starts up in a
few months.

Manassas is a suburb of Washington, DC. The League said that it was responding
to media reports that Manassas has approved plans for a citywide B-P-L rollout
in the near future. As such, ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ,
has faxed the Mayor of Manassas to point out the potential for RF interference
from and to any Broadband over Power Line data distribution system. (ARRL)



Meantime, the FCC has proposed issuing the second largest fine ever for on a
broadcast indecency issue. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Bruce Tennant, K6PZW,
has the details:

The FCC wants to force Infinity Broadcasting to pay a fine of $357,000. This,
for airing a shock jock radio segment in which a couple was said to been
involved in the most intimate of human experiences in New York City’s famed
St. Patrick's Cathedral.

According to news reports, the FCC proposed record forfeiture is in response to
complaints from the public following an August 2002 broadcast of the "Opie and
Anthony" show and aired over thirteen Infinity owned radio stations. The
nationally syndicated show was canceled a week later and hosts were fired.

Four commissioners voted for the fine. The fifth said the agency should have
taken even stronger action. He said that the FCC should have gone after
Infinity's radio licenses and taken their stations off the air.

Infinity has 30 days to pay the fine or appeal. The company has indicated that
it will use the legal recourse.

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


If upheld the amount paid would be second only to the $1.7 million dollars
Infinity paid in 1995 to settle several cases against shock-jock Howard Stern.



Users and not the operator of a repeater are responsible for interference
problems to another New Jersey repeater system. This is the gist of a
September 12th letter to Andrew Woerner, K2ETN, who operates a repeater bearing
his callsign.

Back on July 7th the agency notified Woerner that it had received complaints
that his repeater, operating on the 146.355/146.955 MHz channel pair, was
causing interference to the coordinated W2RAP repeater on the same frequencies.
The complaints alleged that Woerner’s repeater was previously coordinated
but that it has relocated since the coordination was issued.

The FCC requested that Woerner provide information in response to the
complaints. He did, and in a follow-up letter, the FCC said that it has
reviewed his information as well as detailed reports provided by the
Metropolitan Coordination Association and the Area Repeater Coordination

The FCC says that coordination does not appear to be an issue in this case.
Rather, the interference problem seems to result from users of the K2ETN
repeater, which is located in Northern New Jersey, attempting to access that
repeater from locations in Southern N/ew Jersey. As such its repeater users
who are interfering with the W2RAP repeater and not the person running the
K2ETN machine.

The bottom line. The regulatory agency says that this situation does not
appear to warrant its intervention. Instead its calling on everybody to work
together to minimize any interference to the W2RAP machine. (FCC)



Meantime, its the fine of all fines for radio tower violations. This, as the
Federal Communications Commission releases a Notice of Apparent Liability on
October 31st. One proposing a $120,500 forfeiture against SpectraSite
Communications, Inc., of Cary, North Carolina for safety-related violations of
the Communications Act and the Commission’s antenna structure rules.

Specifically, the FCC is going after SpectraSite for its failure to register
and light its antenna structures following an investigation conducted by the
Commission’s Norfolk, Virginia Field Office.

The FCC says that the amount of the proposed fine represents the statutory
maximum available. The Commission says that it decided to propose a
significantly higher forfeiture than generally used in such cases because
SpectraSite has a prior history of antenna structure rules violations. It
says that SpectraSite has received three previous forfeitures in less than
three years for at least 13 instances of failure to comply with the antenna
structure rules. (FCC)



Emergency responders are concerned that MIRT, or mobile infra red transmitters
are falling into the wrong hands. Mainly, into the hands of people not willing
to obey traffic laws.

A mobile infra red transmitter allows personnel aboard emergency vehicles
responding to emergency calls to quickly change specially-equipped traffic
signals in their favor. That was fine until Internet websites began offering
the same devices for use by the public for around $300 a pop.

Unlike radar jammers and certain laser detectors that emit radio signals, the
mobile infra red transmitter and other signal changers send out a beam of
invisible light. Since light is not controlled by the FCC the devices do not
run afoul of the agency’s rules.

Needless to say that this is causing concern for those who rely on the
technology for legitimate needs. Don’t be to surprised if states begin
enacting their own laws to control the sale and purchase of the units.

More on the situation and the device is in cybrspace at and (CGC, others)



Microsoft and other technology giants have launched an industry alliance to
thwart identity theft and boost confidence in e-commerce. The Coalition on
Online Identity Theft will campaign to improve e-commerce record-keeping, beef
up Internet security and enforce penalties against identity thieves. The
formation of this group comes in response to growing concern over the growing
tine of identity theft crimes and government pressure on industry to help to
thwart it. (Published news reports)



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)



If you are into hidden transmitter hunting, listen up. This one is for you.
Keeping track of over 300 migrating radio tagged birds. Joe Moell, K0OV, is
here with the details.


Since 1998, you've heard me reporting on hams and scanner fans tracking
Burrowing Owls that migrate from Canada to southern states and Mexico.
Researchers are so impressed by the capabilities of hams to do this sort of
thing that they are asking for help with other critters. Right now, we're
starting our biggest ever project, with more birds and more states involved.
Nick Myatt of the Arkansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research unit has
radio-tagged 360 American Woodcock in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and
he wants hams to help him find out where they're going. They're heading out
now, and the list of possible stopover and destination states is big, including
Southern Minnesota, Southern Wisconsin, Southern Michigan, Iowa, Illinois,
Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Eastern Kansas, Eastern Oklahoma, Arkansas,
Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Eastern Texas. If that's where
you live or travel, please check my Web site for the list of active
frequencies, all between 150 and 152 MHz.

Also at this time, Dave Sherman, a Biologist with the Ohio Division of
Wildlife, is looking for help in keeping track of two radio-tagged Sandhill
Cranes that should be leaving Ohio about the time you hear this. More
information, including the frequencies, is on the Web. Go to

Besides the frequencies, you'll learn how to identify the special
characteristics of a radio tag signal, and you can subscribe to an e-mail list
for fastest notification of these studies. That's homingin -- one word --

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


Again, more information is at Joe’s website. Its in cyberspace at And remember: homingin is one word. (K0OV, ARNewsline(tm))



In other news, word that Jim Walsh, W7VLN is resigning as the General Manager
of the Quarter Century Wireless Association and the groups Board of Directors
is looking for a replacement. Among the responsibilities are attending all
meetings of the QCWA board, keeping full records for the organization and
conducting the general correspondence. A solicitation for nominees is on line.
You will find it in cyberspace at (QCWA)



The 30th Annual Eastern VHF/UHF conference will be held next April 16th to the
18th, at the Radisson Hotel in Enfield, Connecticut. Planners say that the
conference has been moved to the spring time to help alleviate numerous
conflicts with other ham radio activities and vacation schedules in August.
Guest speakers, proceedings, articles and overall volunteers are being
solicited to help out. Prize donations are also being solicited from vendors
and members. More information is available from conference chairman Bruce
Wood, N2LIV, by e-mail to (VHF Reflector)



Steve Rutledge, N4JQQ says over the VHF Reflector that the C6AFP beacon in grid
square FL16, should be operational soon. This, thanks to W4WSR who rebuilt
the old one that WZ8D originally supplied.

That one took a lightning hit last summer. Rutledge says that he was able to
salvage the RF board but that was it.

Rutledge thanks C6AGN, whose Q-T-H the beacon now lives at. This is in Coco
Bay, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, The Bahamas. He says that Bill should be back on
the island on or about the time this newscast hits air. Hopefully we will hear
the beacon sometime later this month. (VHF Reflector)



On the intruder watch scene, VK6XW in Albany Australia reports over 130 of
them in the ham bands in recent days. The majority are foundd on 20 meters and
appear to be Indonesians, with the rest being Asian Intruders including a
number of fishing boats. VK6XW says that the boats also use Amateur Radio VHF
frequencies for ship-to ship communication.

Meantime, Chris Wright, VK2UW in Lighthouse Beach New South Wales Australia
reports on other pirates in the Pacific. This group is using Amateur Radio
calls such as VK4ZLY, several Zed L calls and American calls -- portable VK.
These are also on 20 meters and Chris says that they have become a major
headache to a number of regularly schedule ham radio nets. (Q-News)



In D-X, word that XV9DT is active as 3W22S now until the 31st of December. The
special callsign is to celebrate the 22nd South East Asian Games, hosted by
Vietnam. (GB2RS)

Also, HB0/HA0HW/P and two other stations will be operating from a location 1350
meters above sea level in Liechtenstein through the 10th of November. The
three operators will be active on 160 to 10 meters, with an emphasis on the low
bands. Modes used will be CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL as directed on the air.



Kenya again ruled the New York City Marathon but it was ham radio that kept the
race running. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Henry Feinberg, K2SSQ, takes a look
at the November 2nd event and the radio amateurs who kept it moving along:


Steve Mendelsohn, W2ML: “When people say ‘why do you do it’ my answer is
always the same. I’m in it for the T-shirts.”


And after 27 years as Communications Director for the New York City Marathon,
Steve Mendelsohn W2ML, has to have quite a collection. But Mendelsohn is also
the first to tell you that he is only a small part of a big ham radio
organization that keeps all the races within the New York City Marathon moving.
And 2003 was no exception:

Mendelsohn: “At about 8 o’clock we went to the actual starting line at the
Verrazno Narrows Bridge and Alan fired the air-horn that’s starts the race
for the athletes with disabilities. And, 15 minutes after that it was the
start of the wheel-chair race; and 15 minutes after that was the start of the
hand-cranked race and fifteen minutes after that the elite women. And finally,
at 10:07 our operators climbed into vehicles -- because we maintain control of
all of the vehicles on the course for safety purposes -- and we use Amateur
Radio to do it -- and down the course we went.

At the other end, we climbed out of the vehicles; everyone went to do their
next assignment and from the time that the male winner cross the finish line at
roughly 12:15 p.m. until the time that we closed down the Family Reunion at
6:30 at night and started to tear down, 411 hams worked with the other 12,000
volunteers to make this the smoothest, best marathon ever.”

The Alan that Steve referred to is Race Director Alan Steinfeld, W-2-T-N. They
were but two of the 400 plus Amateur Radio volunteers who came out this year.
And Mendelsohn says that the hams were kept very busy, especially in assisting
in medical communications as runners fell by the wayside:


Mendelsohn: “We had people went down virtually everywhere on the course.
The hams were there with the doctors to help and provided a great deal of
medical communications back to the Family Reunion area. This allowed the
families to know that a runner had dropped out: That they may have been taken
to a hospital or that they were simply going home.”


Mendelsohn says that between 800 to 900 pieces of health and welfare traffic
was passed between 10:07 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. He also says that 2003 was the
years of APRS at the New York City Marathon. Ill have that part of the story
next week.

With part of the course of the New York City Marathon in sight, I’m Henry
Feinberg, K2SSQ, reporting for the Amateur Radio Newsline.


As for the race results. Kenya’s Martin Lel, running his first ever marathon
won the Mens division. He timed in 2:10:30 beating out defending champion
Rodgers Rop. Meantime Margaret Okayo smashed the course record. She won the
race for the second time after crossing the line in 2 hours, 22 minutes, 31
seconds, shattering her own record by almost two minutes.



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 and
Australia's Q-News, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline(tm). Our e-mail
address is newsline 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.

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk, I’m Jim Damron,
N6TMW, and I’m Jeff Clark, K8JAC, saying 73 and we thank you for listening.
Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.

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