Friday, June 15, 2012
Amateur Radio Newsline T Report 1818 - June 15 2012
Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1818 with a release
date of June 15, 2012 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.
The following is a Q-S-T. Hams in Colorado and New Mexico
go on high alert as wildfires rage in both states; new
problems for a South African ham radio satellite; Brunei
says that it is cracking down unlicensed use of ham radio
gear; a verdict in the case of Greece vs. DJ6SI and ARRL
Field Day 2012 is right around the corner. Find out the
details are on Amateur Radio NewslineT report number 1818
coming your way right now.
(Billboard Cart Here)
RESCUE RADIO: COLORADO AND NM HAMS STAND BY AS FLAMES RAGE
Ham radio operators in Colorado and New Mexico are on high
alert as wildfires whip across areas of both states. Bill
Pasternak, WA6ITF, is in the newsroom with what we have so
Amateur radio emergency operators in Colorado and New Mexico
are on standby alert and a number are already involved in
coordinated relief efforts as wildfires rage across mainly
wilderness areas of both states.
In Colorado, the best information came on Tuesday night the
12th from Amanda Alden K1DDN. Alden and her husband Jeff,
K0JSC, live in Carson City, Colorado. She reported on the
Ham Nation Internet TV show that hams further North in the
Ft. Collins area are very much involved in providing various
types of communications, with APRS markers for the fire
areas being one of the major resources.
Alden said that she has been in contact with Eugene Bentz,
KI6MPA. He is the EOC operator and resource net control.
He told Alden that about 25 assistants are providing
communications to the Forrest Service, the Colorado State
Patrol, the Larimer County Sheriff, the Red Cross as well as
county officials. Also, APRS information regarding fire
locations is being posted to both AGW Tracker and APRS.fi.
The makers show fire locations as well as EOC's, Incident
Command Post and shelter markers. At the time of K1DDN's
report that fire was about 15 miles west of the city of Ft.
Moving south into New Mexico, Jay Miller, W5WHN, in
Albuquerque has been in monitoring the work of the hams
involved in the Little Bear Fire that erupted on Saturday
the 9th. He tells Newsline that Joe Kenmore, K5FBK was in
the Lincoln County EOC when this blaze was first discovered.
As this newscast is prepared, Gerald Minor, N5RKE, is at the
Shelter in Ruidoso and Ed Meyer, WK7ED, is active at the
shelter in Capitan.
Currently, the W5BI system at Rio Rancho has been linked
receive only at this time the 449.3 to 146.98 on Buck
Mountain. This allows Albuquerque and Santa Fe to talk
directly to the affected area, if needed. Also the 146.66
MHz NM5ML repeater at Capitan has performed well linking
back to all parts of the State.
As we go to air, there has not yet been any mass call-out of
hams in either state, and hams involved in emergency
communications groups were told on the 13th not to self
deploy. But the word is to have their go kits ready and to
be ready to provide assistance as is needed.
More information as we get it.
For the amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF,
in the Newsroom in Los Angeles. Jim.
According to fire officials it will be some time before
these fires are contained and controlled. We will have
updates in future Amateur Radio Newsline reports.
(ARNewslineT, TWIT.TV, W5WHN)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: BATTERIES FAIL ON SUMBABDILLASAT
More problems for the South Africa built SumbabdilaSat ham
radio satellite. Amateur Radio Newsline's Norm Seeley,
KI7UP, tells us the latest on the seemingly problem prone
South Africa Amsat reports that the satellites batteries on
SumbandilaSat have failed which means that the satellite is
only active when the solar panels are illuminated.
The report from SA-Amsat says that the satellite recovery
team at SunSpace is still incrementally reading back the
program code from the nine power modules. This, in an
effort to determine the extent of the problem. But with
SumbandilaSat going through eclipses, the satellite is not
available for as long each day as the team would like.
According to Johann Lochner, ZR6CBC, because of the shorter
illumination of the solar panels in the Southern hemisphere
winter and poor orientation of the satellite with respect to
the sun, progress is much slower than originally
anticipated. Lochner said that there where three passes to
work with in January but this month they currently have one.
That said, ZR6CBC says that SumbandilaSat is responding when
it is in full sunlight. As such, the recovery team is
confident that some operations will be restored. He says
that it may even be possible to do some imaging and have the
amateur radio transponder back in operation. However, no
one will speculate as to when.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Norm Seeley, KI7UP, in
Updates on the condition of SumbandillaSat can be found on-
line at www.amsatsa.org.za (SA AMSAT)
ENFORCEMENT: BRUNEI GOING AFTER UNLICENSED MOBILE OPERATORS
The Brunei government says that it is cracking down on
anyone found operating amateur radio gear without government
authorization. Members of that nation's citizenry who are
convicted of illegal use of amateur radio equipment without
a license from the Authority for Info-communications
Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam or AITI will face a
maximum fine of 10,000 Brunei dollars, up to three years
imprisonment, or both.
This new anti pirate operating campaign appears aimed
primarily at those unlicensed individuals who use mobile
gear on the VHF and UHF amateur bands. It was announced by
the AITI during a briefing on the first of several joint
operations with the Berakas Police to crack down on illegal
use of radio equipment. The operations involved a dedicated
corps of sixteen police personnel and seven AITI officials.
RADIO LAW: DJ6SI VS. GREECE - THE COURT DECISION
A court decision in the case of DXer Baldur Drobnica, DJ6SI,
who stood trial last week in Greece on three charges
involving his operation of an amateur radio station on the
vacation island of Kos. The three crimes he was eventually
charged with were conducting radio traffic without
permission from the Greek Government. Operating a
transceiver that covered more spectrum than just the ham
radio bands permitted by Greece and his refusal to surrender
his equipment to the officer who investigated the incident.
According to a note posted to the Internet by his attorney,
Drobnica was acquitted on counts 1 and 2 after the court
ruled that he was a properly licensed radio amateur.
However he was convicted on the third count of refusing to
surrender his equipment to the arresting officer.
No word of what penalties if any were imposed on the single
count conviction. However his lawyer is reported to already
have filed an appeal on count three and the court is
expected to hold a separate trial on this issue at a later
Please keep in mind that this report is based on multiple
language translations beginning in Greek with some of it
electronic. As you all know, the latter have been known to
leave you wondering if the translation is completely
accurate. One report in translated English is on-line at
WORLDBEAT: RADIOSPORT FEDERATION OF AZBERAIJAN APPLIES FOR
The Federation of Radiosport of Azerbaijan has applied for
International Amateur Radio Union membership. The IARU
Region 1 website reports that the application has found to
be in order and a proposal that organization be elected as
an IARU member has been put out to vote. Member Societies
have been requested to return their vote forms not later
than November 1st. The Federation of Radiosport of
Azerbaijan was founded back in December of 2001. (IARU
From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio
Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world
including the WB6VVV repeater serving Lancaster, California.
(5 sec pause here)
HAM HAPPENINGS: POWER OUTAGE AFFECTS HAM-COM PLANO TEXAS
If you are old enough, you may remember 1970's Bobby Russel
southern the folk song titled The Night the Lights Went Out
in Georgia. Well this time it wasn't a song and it took
place in Texas when the lights and the air conditioning went
out at the Plano Center on Saturday, June 9th. This during
the annual Ham Com gathering. Chip Margelli, K7JA, of CQ
Magazine was there and gave a brief synopsis of what
K7JA: "Well, early in the afternoon the lights in the Plano
center went out. They had gone out the previous day and
stayed off for about 30 seconds so it was no big deal. But
on Saturday they stayed off for quite a while and folks that
got onto the Internet to the Plano power company were told
it would be 4 hours that the power would be out. S a lot of
exhibitors along about 2 o'clock and 2:30 began packing up
because it appears as if power was not going to come back
on. It came back at about 3:30 or 4 - somewhere in there -
but by then some of the crowd had gone. So it really was
quite an impact. The lights were bad enough but the lack of
air conditioning really impacted on everyones willingness to
Unlike most ham radio shows that are full weekend events,
Ham-Com is held Friday and Saturday that closes both days at
6 p.m. local time. Even so, K7JA says that it was
"interesting" to have the lights come back on and discover
that many of the other exhibitors had already packed up and
left. Not to mention the attendees:
K7JA: "At the CQ booth we were quite fortunate because we
were by an exit, so there was a little bit of light there.
We were doing `candle light specials' to entice people to
stop by our booth.
"But if was definitely a downer for everybody in the exhibit
area. The dealers and especially the manufacturers who'se
radios are so dependant on their displays. A lot of the
transceiver manufacturers were just stopped dead in the
water because they couldn't get their displays to show off
all of the neat things that the radios could do."
At airtime the reason for the power failure has not been
announced. According to Chris Boone, WB5ITT, the outage
appeared to affect only the convention facility. In a e-
mail to Newsline Boone said that all the stores around the
convention center were ok and the street lights still worked
as well. (ARNewslineT)
RADIO POLITICS: FCC ANNOUNCES TWO SPECTRUM-SHARING
AGREEMENTS WITH MEXICO
A new spectrum sharing agreement between the United States
and Mexico for the 800 Mhz and 1 point 9 Gigahertz bands has
been negotiated by the FCC.
According to a June 11th press release by the FCC, the new
800 MHz Protocol allots band segments between the United
States and Mexico, specifies the technical parameters for
operation on these band segments within 68 miles of the
common border. It also creates a bi-national Task Force to
support the transition of incumbent operators along the
border to the new allotment plan.
The new protocol for 800 MHz replaces a previous agreement
and paves the way for completion of 800 MHz re-allocation or
re-banding by U.S. public safety and commercial licensees
operating along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Higher up in frequency, a new protocol for the 1 point 9
Gigahertz band allows the Sprint Nextel Corporation to
deploy C-D-M-A service along the border with Mexico. Sprint
obtained access to the 1 point 9 Gigahertz band in 2004.
This, as compensation for vacating its spectrum holding in
the lower segment of the 800 MHz band in accordance with the
The FCC ordered re-banding will alleviate interference to
public safety licensees in the band caused by commercial
cellular licensees. The relevant documents are available on
the International Bureau web site at tinyurl.com/border-
RADIO LAW: FCC RULES THAT STATE COURT CANNOT ORDER RADIO
STATION LICENSE TRANSFER
The FCC has ruled that a license issued by that agency
cannot be used by a local court to satisfy a debt.
In its finding the commission ruled that a court in Puerto
Rico exceeded its authority in ordering a broadcaster to
turn over the license of WEGA-AM to help satisfy a financial
The FCC had been asked to approve the involuntary assignment
of the WEGA-AM license to Carmelo Santiago Roman, owner of
VI/MAN Broadcasting System Corporation, This, after the
local court ordered station owner A Radio Co. to turn over
cash, the license and other property to a court-appointed
holder pending a final court order in their financial
dispute. Both sides then presented arguments to the FCC
explaining their legal views about the involuntary license
Now in issuing a decision, Peter Doyle, who is Chief of the
FCC's Media Bureau's Audio Division, stated that his agency
retains exclusive authority to license broadcast stations.
He noted that when a state court's decision is contrary to
commission policy, the commission is neither bound by the
state court order nor need take action to allow the order to
be carried out.
Doyle continued that a license, unlike a station's physical
assets, is not subject to a mortgage, security interest,
attachment or similar property right. What's more, licenses
are subject to the FCC's consent before any transfer. As
such the decision of the court in Puerto Rico to "attach"
the license of WEGA-AM is invalid from the outset. (FCC, RW)
HAM HAPPENINGS: RFINDER NOW FULLY SUPPORTS D-STAR LISTINGS
The world wide on-line repeater directory known as RFinder
now supports D-Star. This, as a direct result of its
editorial staff attending the D-Star forum at the recent
According to a press release by the publication, it became
apparent that there was a lack of D-Star repeater locating
options to the vastly growing population of D-Star user
base. As a result, as of May 24th RFinder fully supports D-
Star in the directory.
RFinder is available in the Apple App Store for iPhone and
Android devices. The web version can be found at
HAM HAPPENINGS: INTERNATIONAL EME CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN
The 15th International Earth-Moon-Earth or EME conference
will be held at Churchill College, Cambridge, between 15 and
19 August. This is the first time that this conference will
be held in the United Kingdom and its planners say that this
will provide an opportunity to learn about this most
technically challenging aspect of the hobby.
The event will be hosted by the UK Microwave Group. In
addition to EME-specific lectures there will be
presentations on radio astronomy and deep space
communications, as both these subjects have much in common
Two Nobel Physics Laureates from the world of radio
astronomy will be present at the conference. Joe Taylor,
K1JT, is a keen EME enthusiast and will be presenting a
paper on the MAP65 digital mode. His fellow-Laureate
Professor Antony Hewish is the speaker at the conference
gala dinner on Saturday August 18th.
All those wishing to attend must pre-register for this
conference before August 1st. Day passes and a range of
accommodation packages from one to four nights are
available. See www.eme2012.com for full details. (Amsat-UK)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: DARA ANNOUNCES 2012 - 2013 LEADERSHIP
Some names in the news. The Dayton Amateur Radio
Association, sends word from Ron Moorefield, W8ILC, that Ron
DuBon, N6JRL, has been re-elected as the organizations
President. This at the organizations meeting on Friday,
Also retaining their seats on the DARA Board are Secretary
Nancy Krodel, KC8RMT; Treasurer Jon Thuermer, KB8SRQ; Senior
Trustee Jerry Miller WD8QAI and Junior Trustee Scott Meyers,
Others elected to the DARA board for 2013 are Vice Pesident
Reuben Meeks, W8GUC, Meeks had previously served as Dayton
Amateur Radio Association President back in 2001 and 2002.
NAMES IN THE NEWS: TWO AWARDS CREATED TO HONOR THE LATE
EUGENE ZIMMERMANN, W3ZZ
To honor long-time VHF contester Eugene Zimmerman, W3ZZ, who
became a Silent Key on June 3, two new awards have been
introduced for the ARRL June VHF Contest in his memory.
First, the ARRL Contest Branch has renamed the plaque for
the Overall Winner for the Limited Multi-Operator the Gene
Zimmerman, W3ZZ Memorial Plaque. Zimmermann had been a very
active as part of the K8GP team in this category. At the
same time the League issued a special thank you to Jeff
Klein, K1TEO, who graciously relinquished his long-time
sponsorship of this plaque to allow this to happen.
In addition, a new award has been created, thanks to Tim
Duffy K3LR and Dave Zeph, W9ZRX. The W3ZZ Rookie Award will
be awarded to the top Single-Op, Low Power score on a
minimum of two bands by a "rookie" submitting a log in the
contest for the first time. This award is open to any
operator that has never submitted a log to the June VHF
Both of these awards were made available beginning with last
weekend's ARRL June VHF Contest. (KX9X, ARRL, VHF
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
www.arnewsline.org and being relayed by the volunteer
services of the following radio amateur:
(5 sec pause here)
HAM HAPPENINGS: ARRL FIELD DAY - JUNE 23 AND 24
For those few who are not yet aware, the annual ARRL Field
Day takes place each year on the 4th weekend of June. This
year the Field Day starts at 1800 UTC on Saturday, June 23rd
and runs through 2100 UTC on Sunday June 24th. And while
its billed as an emergency preparedness exercise, its also a
great chance for you to tell the world about your hobby and
the service it provides to the community. Allen Pitts,
W1AGP, is the Manager of Media and Public Relations for the
W1AGP: "Its also a chance for us to show off to various
legislators and government agencies to remind them that we
are here; that we need the spectrum. We provide emergency
services and most of all, we have fun doing it."
Again, these years ARRL Field Day takes place from 1800 UTC
on Saturday, June 23rd and runs through 2100 UTC on Sunday
June 24th. We hope to hear you on the air. (ARNewslineT)
RADIOSPORTS: AUSTRALIA VHF-UHF FIELD DAY JUNE 23-24
Meantime, down-under Australia's Winter VHF-UHF Field Day
will be held over the same weekend of June 23 and 24. The
event runs for 24 hours, but there are also 8 hour sections
for operators who may not be able to camp overnight. There
are also separate categories for single and multiple
operator stations. And if you don't like the cold weather
of the Southern hemisphere winter, there is also a separate
home station category. More details are on the contest page
at wia.org.au (VK3KM)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: PHONESATS SHOWN AT MAY MAKER FAIRE
Turning to ham radio in space related news, some new amateur
radio satellites based on cellphones were recently shown to
the public at the 2012 Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo,
California. Amateur Radio Newsline's Skeeter Nash, N5ASH,
Among the displays was one for the PhoneSat amateur radio
satellites. These are a pair of ham radio satellites both
of which run the Android operating system and will be
enclosed in a standard 1U CubeSat structure.
PhoneSat 1.0 cost about $3500 and is built around the Nexus
One smartphone. It will operate on battery power only with
a mission lifetime of approx 1 week. Its big brother called
PhoneSat 2.0 used a Nexus S smartphone and has solar panels
on each face for a mission lifetime that should last at
least two weeks when it will likely de-orbit.
The IARU has coordinated a frequency of 437.425 MHz for the
AX.25 AFSK downlink.
The first launch is scheduled for the third quarter of 2012
on the Antares-110 launch vehicle. It will carry two
PhoneSat 1.0 satellites and one PhoneSat 2.0. A second
PhoneSat launch is expected to occur sometime in 2013.
The 2012 Bay Area Maker Faire took place May 19th to the
20th. Several news reports estimate that 65,000 to 70,000
attended this ever growing West Coast event that was held
the same weekend as the Dayton Hamvention. (Phonesat Team)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: ARISS DIGIPETER MOVES TO 437.550 MHZ
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station or
ARISS digipeater has changed frequency from 145.825 MHz to
437.550 MHz. Packet operations were moved to the Columbus
Module UHF radio when the Kenwood D700 radio was recently
powered off due to needing an additional air purifier to
support the recently arrived Automated Transfer Vehicle or
Normally the air purifier is located in the ATV but recent
power support issues necessitated the system be relocated to
the Service Module. As a result the purifier is now using
the power outlet that the Kenwood radio normally uses.
The Russian team has agreed to briefly power the purifier
off for the scheduled ARISS school events but then will re-
activate the purifier right afterwards. This appears to be
a long term impact as ATV is currently scheduled to depart
from ISS in September. (ARISS, AMSAT, N5VHO)
RADIO IN SPACE: NASA SCRAPS GEMS X-RAY RESEARCH TELESCOPE
According to space.com, NASA has cancelled a project to
build an X-ray telescope designed to look for black holes,
neutron stars, and the remnants of dead star systems and
radio the results back to Earth. This due to cost overruns.
The GEMS telescope, short for Gravity and Extreme Magnetism
Small Explorer, had a budget of $105 million plus additional
costs associated with launching it into space. But what
have been termed as soaring development costs caused NASA to
scrap the project.
The telescope was reportedly still in the design stage and
no hardware had been built when the space agency pulled the
plug on the mission.
HAM HAPPENINGS: EFC 2012 ON THE AIR.
On the air keep your ears open for numerous special event
stations from the Ukraine and Poland to be active during the
2012 European Football Championship 2012 that runs through
July 5th. This is an on-the-air activity by Polish and
Ukrainian amateurs that are affiliated with PZK and UARL
national societies and will use special prefixes such as
3Z2012 from Poland and EM2012 from the Ukraine to mention
only two. Operations will be on all the amateur bands and
there are two awards which can be earned during this period.
More detailed information about their activities can be
found on the web at efc2012.pzk.org.pl. (Southgate)
In DX, word that F4EBT will be traveling in the French
of the Pacific until 24th June. He is using the callsign FO
stroke F4EBT from at least two different locations in the
Islands on the Air OC-046 group and at least four different
islands in the OC-067 group. QSLs go via his home call or
via the French bureau.
NK8O is working at Mwanza on Lake Victoria, Tanzania and
plans to be active as 5H3CP through June 22nd. Activity will
be in his spare time with QRP power on various HF bands
using CW. QSL direct to his home call.
Lastly, M0AEP under the call VP2MDD will be on the air from
Montserrat until August 6th. He says that he will
concentrate on 12, 10 and 6 meters. Please QSL this
operation as directed on the air.
(Above from various DX news sources)
THAT FINAL ITEM: SHORTWAVE NEWS: WASHINGTON DC GATHERING
FINDS NEW INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING INITIATIVES
And finally this week, a large number of the presentations
at the recent National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters
meeting centered on the idea how shortwave radio can find a
place in the 21st century. Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather
Butera-Howell, KB3TZD, has the details:
Dismissed by some as a relic of the Cold War era
disappearing under the shadow of emerging digital
communications, many of the conference's speakers argued
that the answer to shortwave's future may reside in
providing service to areas of the world with little electric
power. Also, that it remains an effective means of relaying
information to citizens of countries with repressive
regimes. It was noted that because shortwave radio is harder
to interrupt than the Internet, Radio Free Asia, the
conference host, broadcasts to the highly censored areas
like North Korea.
Presenting the results of a study on which audiences were
tuning into shortwave across the globe was Dr. Kim Andrew
Elliott. Elliott is an audience research specialist. He
pointed out that in countries like Nigeria and Zimbabwe,
people tended to own more radios than televisions.
According to Elliott. 32% of those surveyed face to face in
the impoverished, politically tumultuous nation of Zimbabwe
said that they own shortwave radios,
Another presenter was Thomas Witherspoon, who founded Ears
to Our World. This is a U-S based non-profit organization
that supplies shortwave radios to developing, conflict-
riddled nations like South Sudan. Witherspoon said he is
skeptical when people dismiss shortwave radio's future on
premises like the Internet is everywhere.
Witherspoon says that we can look at the reasons why radio
is on the decline, or instead the ways we can invest in
shortwave radio and why we should do that. He says that it's
affordable, and broadcasters are doing it pretty
One of the conference's attendees was Shahnaz Ghavami of the
United States FCC. She said that after that after spending
the day with the international broadcasters it makes you
think about shortwave as something new.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Heater Butera-Howell,
KB3TZD, in Berwick, Pennsylvania.
The National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters meeting
was held May 10th and 11th in Washington, D.C. (RW, B&C,
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 NewslineT. Our e-mail address is newsline(at)
arnewsline (dot) org. More information is available at
Amateur Radio Newsline'sT only official website located at
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at Amateur Radio NewslineT, 28197 Robin Avenue, Santa
Clarita California, 91350
For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk,
I'm Jim Davis, W2JKD, saying 73 and we thank you for
Amateur Radio NewslineT is Copyright 2012. All rights