Friday, August 10, 2012
Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1826 - August 10 2012
Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1826 with a release
date of August 10 2012 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.
The following is a Q-S-T. Curiosity is now on Mars and
there may be a way to hear its signal; hams respond to a
massive power outage in India; B-P-L is once again a problem
in the UK and guess who is thinking of running for Congress.
Find out the details are on Amateur Radio NewslineT report
number 1826 coming your way right now.
(Billboard Cart Here)
ULTIMATE DX: LISTENING FOR THE MARS RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER
Want to try your hand at some truly out of this world DX
listening? With the successful lading of NASA's rover
Curiosity on Mars, some hams are thinking of trying to catch
signals from the new rover directly or those from the Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter circling the Red Planet. Is it
possible? Amateur Radio Newsline's Bruce Tennant, K6PZW
takes a look at the communications aspect of the mission:
Thanks to some research by the Southgate News, it turns out
the Curiosity rover transmits on frequencies around 401 MHz
but the transponder on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter or
MRO has a CCSDS Forward Frequency in the 437 MHz Amateur
Satellite Service band. This is because 435 to 438 MHz is
shared with the Military and 432 to 438 MHz is also a Space
Surveillance Radio Band. In fact, general space usage
extends beyond that.
So how does it all work? Well the Mars Reconnaissance
Orbiter has a UHF transponder known as MELACOM that operates
between 401 to 437 MHz. It also has a pair of patch
antennas to communicate with any landed asset on Mars
surface supporting the CCSDS Proximity-1 protocol. And with
it all working the way it has throughout this mission,
signals from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are being
received back on Earth.
While NASAs Deep Space Network has no problem in hearing the
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the question might be if a ham
radio station with its simple equipment might be able to do
the same. If you want to give it a try there are two papers
from NASA that might be of assistance.
The first describes the operation of the Mars Reconnaissance
Orbiter. It can be found at tinyurl.com/mro-operations.
The other is titled Mars Express and the NASA landers and
rovers on Mars - Sustaining a backup relay in an
interplanetary network. Its URL is tinyurl.com/space-
communications. Both of these documents are in Adobe .PDF
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I,m Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, in
Oh, if you are successful in hearing either the lander or
the orbiter please be sure to record any audio you hear
along with the story of how you accomplished it. We will be
happy to share it with our listeners, world wide.
RESCUE RADIO: HAMS RESPOND TO MASSIVE INDIA POWER FAILURE
Back here on planet Earth, ham radio was called out after
the world's worst blackout in recent times cut power to 700
million people in India on July 31st.
Jayu Bhide VU2JAU is the National Coordinator for Disaster
Communication in India. He reports that the North-East grid
failed due to a fault in the plant and 20 states were
affected by the power failure.
VA2JAU said that hams in and around the affected areas
provided emergency communications during the outage. He
noted that all voice repeaters in the areas hit by the
blackout remained in operation despite the heavy duty back-
up power that was required.
Up to 20 of India's 28 states were plunged into darkness as
suppliers failed to meet the growing demand caused by heavy
demands. The blackout halted hundreds of trains, took out
traffic lights were out and caused surgical procedures to be
cancelled. Several miners were trapped underground when
their elevators failed. The blackout raised concern about
India's infrastructure. (VK3PC, VU2JAU)
RESCUE RADIO: GAREC 2012 PUTS OUT CALL FOR PAPERS
Delegates representing their amateur radio emergency
communications services, national societies or clubs are
being invited to submit proposals information papers and
reports. This for the 8th Global Amateur Radio Emergency
Conference or GAREC which will be held November, 12 to
14th in Port Dickson, Malaysia.
Of primary interest will be information regarding the
activities of any given group in regard to any emergency or
disaster relief operations that it may have actively
participated in from September of 2011 onwards.
The closing deadline of submission to the GAREC Secretariat
is this coming September 31st. Documents should be
submitted electronically in Microsoft Word format to
secretariat (at) mygarec2012 (dot) com. (IARU)
RADIO RECOGNITION: UNESCO RECOGNIZES IRESC WITH SPECIAL
A major coup for a relatively new ham radio emergency
communications radio group. This as the United Nations
Economic and Social Council known by the acronym UNESCO
adopts the recommendation of the Committee on Non-
Governmental Organizations to grant Special Consultative
Status to the International Radio Emergency Support
Coalition. A group better known by its initials of IRESC.
For those who may have never heard of it, the International
Radio Emergency Support Coalition bills itself as a global
coalition of volunteer communicators, with dedicated members
spread around the world providing assistance to those in
need at all times of day or night. The main objectives of
IRESC are to foster efficient collaboration between radio
amateurs, extending friendships across the world and
providing international emergency communication in times of
need when all else fail.
Currently, IRESC has members in at least 40 countries. Most
are also affiliated with national organizations such as the
International Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the United
Kingdom's RAYNET, the Israel's Magen David Adom, local
amateur radio clubs, and many other groups the world over.
The decision to grant the International Radio Emergency
Support Coalition this status was made at the recently
concluded UNESCO session held in July. More about this
important milestone for the IRESC can be found on-line at
THE BPL WAR: RSGB CONCERNED OVER PUSH TO LEGITIMIZE PLT
Broadband over Powerline called PLT in Europe is once again
raising its noise generating head and that's of special
concern to ham radio operators in the UK.
Now, the Radio Society of Great Britain has issued a
statement expressing grave concern at what it calls the
continuing headlong rush to legitimize high levels of
emission from various Broadband over Powerline devices.
This, in direct contravention of the Essential Requirements
of the nations EMC Directive.
You can read the full statement on the RSGB website at
www.rsgb.org. Simply click on Update on Draft PLT Standard.
RADIO POLITICS: RAC ANNOUNCES NEW STRUCTURE FOR ONTARIO
Radio Amateurs of Canada has announced that as of September
1st that its current Ontario Section will be replaced by
four new Sections. These are Ontario North, Ontario East,
Ontario South, and the Greater Toronto Area. A map
depicting the new section boundries is available for viewing
Meantime, word that the American Radio Relay League has
already recognized the four new sections and they will be
effective for the ARRL November Sweepstakes contest.
Radio Amateurs of Canada adds that several vendors of
logging and contest software have also announced changes to
coincide with the new make-up of the Ontario sections.
Unfortunately, some of these will not available or effective
until January of 2013. (RAC)
HAM HAPPENINGS: EUROPE YOUTH ON THE AIR AUGUST 19 To 26
Two European national amateur radio societies are teaming up
to give young people a chance to find out what ham radio is
all about first hand. Called Youngsters on the Air from
Belgium and the Netherlands 2012, many young radio amateurs
from nine different European countries will be participating
in contesting, direction finding competitions, a Field Day
like operation and much more.
Youngsters on the Air will be held the week of August 19th
to the 26th at a location in Belgium adjacent to the Dutch
border. The sponsors are Belgium's U-B-A Youth Commission
and the Dutch national amateur radio socirty society VERON.
For more information please contact Tommy Degrande, ON3TD,
by e-mail to tommy (at) uba (dot) be or Lisa Leenders,
PA2LS, to pa2ls (at) veron (dot) nl (ON5CFG)
BREAKING DX NEWS: CY9M ST. PAUL OPERATION SHUTS DOWN EARLY
The long anticipated CY9M St. Paul Island DXpedition was
forced to go QRT earlier then expected at the request of
their transport ships skipper due to a forecast of poor
weather conditions. As a result they departed from St. Paul
at about 1900 UTC on July 31st.
The good news is that in the short four and a half days of
operating, the team made over 33,000 QSO's. All contacts
will be verified electronically via Logbook of the World
once the operators return home.
Those in need of paper cards should QSL to Tim Beaumont,
M0URX. Meantime their logs are now available for viewing on
ClubLog, and we will have more DX related news later on in
this weeks Amateur Radio Newsline report. (OPDX)
From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio
Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world
including the W0BZN repeater serving Newton, Kansas.
(5 sec pause here)
RADIO TECHNOLOGY: NXDN DIGITAL AUDIO SPEC TO BE MADE PUBLIC
Another Digital protocol will soon be available. Amateur
Radio Newsline's Jim Davis, W2JKD, has more:
The Southgate news reports that the technical specification
for NXDN which is an FDMA digital voice technology supported
by Icom and Kenwood, is being opened to the public domain.
According to a press release the chair of the NXDN Forum has
announced that the Forum Steering Committee has decided to
open the NXDN technical standards to the telecommunications
For the past 5 years both ICOM and Kenwood have been
producing VHF/UHF mobiles, handhelds and repeaters to the
NXDN standard. The equipment has a transmitted bandwidth of
4.0 kHz and is typically used in 6.25 kHz channel spacing
systems. NXDN Digital products are deployed throughout the
world in hundreds of thousands of professional radio
The specification is currently available in response to an e-
mail request but the NXDN Forum indicates it will be
available for direct download later in the year. Interested
companies can obtain the information for the NXDN technical
standards by following the instructions on the forum web
site at www.nxdn-forum.com/instructions
For the amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Davis, W2JKD
The NXDN Forum says that it will continue to accept new
members after opening the technical specifications and will
govern the NXDN specification and related interoperability
testing and certification. (Southgate)
ENFORCEMENT: FCC AFFIRMS $11000 TOWER VIOLATION FINE
The FCC says Ely Radio, licensee of KWNA - AM of Winnemucca,
Nevada must pay an $11,000 fine for various tower
violations. Amateur Radio Newsline's Norm Seeley, KI7UP, is
here with the details:
The case began in 2008 when the San Francisco office of the
Enforcement Bureau originally fined Ely Radio $13,000
because its red obstruction lights were out and the licensee
had not notified the Federal Aviation Administration of the
outage. The commission also found that Ely had apparently
and repeatedly failed to notify the FCC about a change in
ownership information for the tower.
In its appeal, Ely denied owning the tower and said it
wasn't responsible for the structure's upkeep. As a result,
the FCC sent a Letter of Inquiry to KWNA's former owner,
Sheen Broadcasting Company. In its reply Sheen confirmed
it's no longer a commission licensee. Sheen told the
commission the company sold all of the equipment used to
operate the station, including the tower, to Ely in 2006.
In its appeal, Ely urged the FCC to reverse its decision,
arguing that it's really a tenant, not an owner. It is said
was because it leases the station building and land from
Sheen. But the commission did not find that argument
credible, saying in its decision that at best, it appears
that Ely and Sheen may have a continuing disagreement about
how each of them interprets their sale agreement. That said
the FCC says that it has determined that Ely is indeed the
tower owner and that it's the only licensee using the
structure. It also claims that Ely's personnel actually
improperly extinguished the tower lights that resulted in
Because of Ely's past history of good compliance with
commission rules, the agency lowered the original fine by
$2,000 bringing the amount to $11,000. But it says Ely
Radio must pay the fine.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, Im Norm Seeley, KI7UP, in
Ely Radio was given the customary 30 days to pay or to file
a further appeal. (RW, FCC)
HAM HAPPENINGS: DIGITAL ATV PARTY AUGUST 24 - 25
The World QSO Digital Amateur Television Party takes place
on Friday August 24th and Saturday the 25th. This years
event will involve California and Arizona in the United
States, plus Australia and the British Amateur Television
Club website in the U-K.
Here in North America, Bob Minnick W8ARZ and Lee Weitzel
K0CCU, both in Arizona, will use the resources of linked ATV
repeaters. Also, K0CCU has Skype video of very high quality
and tested through the VK3RTV Digital A-T-V repeater.
The first such QSO Party organized by Peter Cossins VK3BFG
occurred during the Centenary celebrations of Amateur Radio
Victoria last year. (VK3PC)
HAM HAPPENINGS: NCDXF RECEIVES $4000 FUNDING BOOST
The Northern California DX Foundation is the recipient of a
$4000 donation from the Northern California DX Club. This
is said to be the largest donation ever received by the
group from a club.
Of late more and more DX oriented clubs are making donations
to the Northern California DX Foundation. The organization
thoroughly analyzes the financial needs of planned
DXpeditions and helps provide critical funding to operations
high on the DX'ers Most Wanted List. Its been said that
without support many DXpeditions would not be possible.
HAM HAPPENINGS: FLORIDA RADIO CLUB SEEKS TO EXPAND MUSEUM
The Florida-based West Palm Beach Amateur Radio Group Inc.
has announced the start of what it calls an ambitious
project to expand the WS4FSM exhibit at the South Florida
Science Museum. This is an exhibit that it calls "Lasting
Moments of First Excitement."
According to the group, the exhinit combines technology
available over the Internet with the world wide
communications offered by Amateur Radio. This, to lead to a
new generation of creativity and scientific advancement.
To help raise funding for the expansion the group has
launched a project on KickStarter to take its story to the
world. You can more about it on-line at tinyurl.com/palm-
The West Palm Beach Amateur Radio Group bills itself as the
largest amateur radio club in Palm Beach County with a
history that dates back to the 1930's. More about the group
is on the World Wide Web at www.wpbarc.com (AJ4XM)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: YU1YU ELECTED PRIME MINISTER OF SEREBIA
Some names in the news. Former Serbian Internal Affairs
Minister Ivica Dacic, YU1YU, was elected as that country's
newest Prime Minister on July 27.
Dacic is the leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia. From
2008 until his election as Prime Minister he served as First
Deputy Prime Minister, as well as Minister of Internal
Affairs. In March 2012, Serbia became a candidate for
membership in the European Union.
In the world of amateur radio Dacic is a member of the
Amateur Radio Union of Serbia which is Serbia's IARU Member
Society. He is said to be a member of his local club known
by its call letters as YU1AAV.
Dacic succeeds Mirko Cvetkovic who served as Serbia's Prime
Minister from 2008 to 2012. (Southgate)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: WB4NWS REPLACES KG4IUM AS ARRL
SOUTHEASTERN VICE DIRECTOR
ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, has appointed James
Millsap, WB4NWS, of Acworth, Georgia appointed to the
position of ARRL Southeastern Division Vice Director,
effective August 1st. This after former Vice Director
Andrea Hartlage, KG4IUM, resigned because she has accepted a
job outside of the Division.
In a message sent to members of the Southeastern Division,
KG4IUM stated that while she is incredibly excited about her
new career and her future, it has not come without cost.
That because her move is to be outside of the division, that
she is no longer eligible to serve as Vice Director.
Hartlages replacement, Jim Millsap began his ham radio
career at age 12, operating 6 meter AM from Atlanta. Over
the years he has served as Assistant Emergency Coordinator
for Cherokee County Amateur Radio Emergency Service since
2002, was appointed ARRL Emergency Coordinator in 2010, and
has been the District Emergency Coordinator for Metro
Atlanta District since 2011. He was selected Georgia's "Ham
Operator of The Year" in 2010 for his volunteer work in
Georgia ARES. Millsap's appointment runs until noon January
And for those of you who many not remember, Andrea Hartlage,
KG4IUM, was the 2004 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the
NAMES IN THE NEWS: VE3LC APPOINTED TO CITIG 700
Norm Rashleigh VE3LC, has been appointed by Radio amateur of
Canada to serve on the Canadian Interoperability Technology
Interest Group or C-I-T-I-G 700 Mhz definition working
group. This group will help to define the network
architecture and technical interoperability requirements for
a Nation wide broadband mobile data network operating in the
700 Mhz band. VE3LC is currently on the RAC Radio Advisory
Board of Canada and has just completed a term as Vice
President Industrial Liaison. (VO1DTM/VO1DM)
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 RADIO IN SPACE: ECUADOR TO LAUNCH AN EDUCATIONAL
CUBESAT LOADED WITH FIRSTS
An upcoming launch of 17 amateur radio satellites will also
carry one with several firsts to orbit. Amateur Radio
Newsline's Don Wilbanks, AE5DW, reports:
Among the birds to be lofted this November will be an
innovative educational satellite built in Ecuador and known
as NEE-01 Pegasus. This tiny 1 Unit CubeSat has a large
fold-out solar array and carries a 902 MHz, 720 line
Progressive Scan High Definition camera and associated TV
transmitter. The latter will send video of the Earth to
school students in Ecuador.
The NEE-01 Pegasus engineering team was led by Commander
Ronnie Nader who was Ecuador's first astronaut. The
satellite was featured in the July 15 edition of Ecuador's
El Murcurio newspaper. That article in electronically
translated English is on-line at tinyurl.com/Ecuador-in-
Im Dom Wilbanks, AE5DW.
Cubesats are tiny satellites that are economical to both
build and carry to orbit making them attractive to
institutions of learning as well as to the ham radio
WORLDBEAT: NEW PORTUGAL REPEATER LIST AVAILABLE
A newly updated list of Portuguese analogue and digital
repeaters dated July 30th is available for download. The
listings are displayed in the Portugese language at
tinyurl.com/brhdbld courtesy of Joao Costa, CT1FBF.
WORLDBEAT: UK NATIONAL RADIO CENTRE OPENS
The United Kingdom's National Radio Centre is now officially
open This after Mr. Ed Vaizey, who is the Minister for
Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries
officially opened the National Radio Centre at Bletchley
Park in Milton Keynes.
After a tour of the new building and unveiling a plaque in
the entrance, Mr Vaizey stated that the Centre will do an
enormous amount to spread the knowledge about the history of
radio and its continuing importance in the 21st century.
The National Radio Centre is open Thursdays, Saturdays and
Sundays from 11.00 to 16:30 local UK time. More details,
and photographs of the event, can be found on-line at
RADIO HISTORY: MARCONI CHELMSFORD SITE TO BE RE-DEVELOPED
The BBC reports that the Marconi New Street factory in the
United Kingdom city of Chelmsford is to be redeveloped after
being left derelict for several years.
Marconi New Street was the world's first purpose designed
and built wireless factory. It was opened in June 1912 by
radio pioneer Guillermo Marconi and where he carried out his
research work and built a large electronics and
telecommunications business. It also provided housing for
many of those who were employed by Marconi.
According the BBC that business dissolved in 2006 and the
building has stood empty since 2008. The new owners says
that it wants to build homes, offices, shops and community
facilities at the site, which covers about 10 acres near
Chelmsford city center but also retain and refurbish the
main 1912 Marconi building for office space.
You can read the entire story on-line at Read the BBC story
at tinyurl.com/marconi-factory. (WIA News)
In DX, the International Telecommunications Union has
updated its Table of International Call Sign to reflect a
call sign change for the island of Niue which will now have
the entire E6 prefix block. Prior to the change the island
used ZK2 callsign prefix.
On the air, word that a team of European operators will be
active as D64K from the Comoros Islands through August 20th.
Their license covers from 160 to 6 meters, so they hope to
be active on all bands and modes and were even considering
the possibility of working on 60 and 6 meters. They will
have four stations on the air using Elecraft transceivers,
amplifiers and at least two Spiderbeams and several vertical
antennas. The QSL Manager for this operation is IV3DSH.
DJ7RJ will once again be active stroke FR from Reunion
Island as between September 26th and October 21st. His
operation will be on 160 through 10 meters using, CW and
SSB, and he will pay special attention to the low bands for
United States and Japan. QSL direct to his home callsign.
DG5LAC will be active stroke P from Amrum Island between
August 11th and the 24th. His operation will be holiday
style on 80 through 10 meters SSB. Log will be uploaded to
Logbook of the World and eQSL when he returns home. QSL via
his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.
A team of Saudi operators will activate Al-Dhahrah Island as
7Z7AB between October 5th to the 11th. More details and a
Web page will be forthcoming. Meantime you can see their
logo on QRZ.com.
Lastly, listen out for an all Y L DXpedition to be active as
GB2YLS from Fair Isle between August 16th to the 22nd.
Their activity will be on the HF bands using CW and SSB.
They also plan to be operational as an entry in the
International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend scheduled for
August 18th and 19th from the Fair Isle South Lighthouse.
QSL via MM5YLO, either direct or via the bureau.
Above from various DX news sources
THAT FINAL ITEM: JOE WALSH WB6ACU SAYS HE IS THINKING ABOUT
RUNNING FOR CONGRESS
And finally this week, famed rock guitarist Joe Walsh,
WB6ACU, has joked about running for political office since
way back in 1980. That's when he ran a tongue in cheek
campaign for the presidency. Now it appears as if Joe has
decided to take politics more seriously, and according to a
new radio interview, he could run for Congress. Amateur
Radio Newsline's Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, has the details:
In a recent discussion aired over WASH-FM in Washington DC,
famed rock guitarist Joe Walsh, WB6ACU, said, and we quote:
"I think I would run seriously, and I think I would run for
Walsh went on to tell WASH that: "The root of the problem
is that Congress is so dysfunctional. We're dead in the
water until Congress gets to work and passes some new
legislation to change things."
Walsh believes he could represent the concerns of real
people better than politicians who live in a different world
to the rest of the country. He said that he thinks that if
you pay attention to Congress and vote for people from where
we're all from, and if we can elect people who are not
politicians that are from where we're from, that he thinks
we can get something done.
Walsh added - and again we quote: "So I might run for
Congress and see if I can stir up the hornets."
Meanwhile, WB6ACU is touring his new solo album "Analog
Man" at intimate venues nationwide. And of coarse you can
always hear his playing the opening theme at the beginning
of each episode of Ham Nation on TWiT.tv.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, in
For those interested in hearing all of what WB6ACU has to
say, take your web browser to ultimateclassicrock.com/joe-
walsh-to-run-for-congress. Then scroll down until you see
the window containing the actual interview and click the
arrow key to make it play.
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, Twit-TV, 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
www.arnewsline.org. You can also write to us or support us
at Amateur Radio NewslineT, 28197 Robin Avenue, Santa
Clarita California, 91350
Before we go this note to those of you who still receive
these newscasts over our 661-296-2407 dial in telephone line
rater than downloading the MP3 file from our website. Of
late we have noticed a major decline in the number of those
calling into it and as such we are giving consideration to
discontinuing it by years end. But before we do, we want to
know how many people are actually using 661-296-2407. If
you are one of those who call in each week on the phone,
please send us a note telling us who you are and the reason
you are using telephone access rather than simply
downloading the newscast from the Internet.
As we just said, our address is the Amateur Radio Newsline,
28197 Robin Avenue, Santa Clarita, California, 91350. Or
you can e-mail us at newsline (at) arnewsline (dot) org. We
look forward to hearing from you.
For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors' desk,
I'm Jeff Clark, K8JAC, saying 73 and we thank you for
Amateur Radio NewslineT is Copyright 2012. All rights