Friday, August 17, 2012
Amateur Radio NewslineT Report 1827 - August 17 2012
Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1827 with a release
date of August 17 2012 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.
The following is a QST. Hams respond as flooding hits the
Philippines; e-mail from a net saves a sailors life; a new
source of interference to the H-F bands is discovered, WWVB
to begin Phase Modulation test broadcasts on August 21st and
Morse code is now on Mars. Find out the details are on
Amateur Radio NewslineT report number 1827 coming your way
(Billboard Cart Here)
RESCUE RADIO: HAMS RESPOND AS FLOODING HITS THE PHILIPPINES
The Philippine Amateur Radio Association known as PARA
activated its Ham Emergency Radio Operations on two meters
and 40 meters passing essential traffic during the
widespread flooding that recently hit the capital city of
Manila and surrounding areas. Amateur Radio Newsline's Norm
Seeley, KI7UP, has more:
Nearly two weeks of monsoon rains across the Philippines
main island of Luzon peaked with a 48 hour deluge that
battered Manila and surrounding regions on August 6th and
7th. This was the worst rain to hit Manila since Tropical
Storm Ketsana killed 464 people in 2009. .
Eddie Valdez DU1EV, is the Chief Operating Officer of the
Philippines Amateur Radio Association. He said that members
of the Ham Emergency Radio Operations group were on air from
Monday the 6th through Thursday the 9th as the flood waters
rose and then receded.
Through the organizations website DU1EV had warned the ham
radio community of the pending rains. He asked those radio
amateurs involved in emergency communications to be prepared
by monitoring the emergency frequencies of 7.095 MHz and
DU1EV said the sun finally, but only partially, showed up on
the Thursday, August 9th with the flood waters receding in
most areas. He said tones of garbage litter roads, parks
and drains in Manila and surrounding provinces.
A big clean-up is under way. In the worst affected areas
like Marikina City, the Metro Manila Development Authority
said it would take about a month to clean and clear the
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Norm Seeley, KI7UP, in
According to news media reports 66 people died in the
torrential rain and officials estimated 300,000 fled their
homes in the capital city of Manila. According to DU1EV,
during the storm one of the volunteer radio operators had to
leave his home after two days because of the intense
flooding. (VK3PC, DU1EV)
RESCUE RADIO: E-MAIL FROM NET SAVES SAILOR IN DISTRESS
The Coast Guard with the aid of amateur radio coordinated
the rescue of a mariner in distress approximately 287 miles
northeast of Hilo, Hawaii on Friday, August 10th.
Duty officers at Joint Rescue Coordination Center in
Honolulu received an e-mail report from a member of the
Amigo Net. It said that a mariner aboard the Australian
flagged sailing vessel the Q-Wave was disabled and
According to news reports, the sailor reportedly had less
than one liter of water and no food. The vessel's motor was
disabled, it had lost its dingy, its communications
equipment was unreliable and it had sustained a tear in its
A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air
Station Barbers Point was launched and located the disabled
vessel. The crew dropped emergency supplies, including
food, water and a VHF radio to the disabled sailboat. The
Good Samaritan vessel Fifth Wife was in the area, overheard
communications with the disabled vessel and responded to
escort it back to Hilo. (Published news reports)
PRO-ACTIVE ENFORCEMENT: CALGARY CANADA FORMS COPPER THEFT
Anyone thinking of being a copper thief in Calgary Canada
may want to think again. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim
Davis, W2JKD, has the reason why:
Calgary Canada police have created a special unit to target
copper wire thieves. This, as the number of thefts in that
nation and world-wide continue to rise.
With the price of this metal on the upswing so are the
number of crooks hoping to cash in. Offenders see the crime
as extremely high reward as they can easily steal copper and
turn it around for cash. In other words there seems very
low risk of getting caught.
But that changed in June after the Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation was hit when $50,000 worth of copper wire was
stolen from its transmitter site in southwest Calgary. Now
police are watching very carefully for any signs that metal
thieves may be about to strike.
I'm Jim Davis, W2JKD.
Calgary police hope that this new initiative will help deter
copper thefts in that area. (WIA)
EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: EARLY WARNING QUAKE DETECTION
DEMONSTRATED AT CAL TECH
Earthquake prediction may be on the verge of becoming a
reality. This, following media reports that a pair of
temblors centered near Yorba Linda, California were detected
by a new earthquake warning system that's being developed at
the California Institute of Technology.
A 4.5-magnitude quake struck one mile northeast from Yorba
Linda at 11:23 p.m. Tuesday, August 7th. About ten hours
later another a 4.4 magnitude shaker struck two miles from
the same location.
News reports quote Douglas Given from the U.S. Geological
Survey as saying that in the case of the first event Cal
Tech received about nine to ten seconds warning before the
strongest shaking was felt at the facility. In regard to
the second quake the warning time was in the area of four
seconds. Cal Tech is located in Pasadena California which
is about 60 air miles from the two quakes epicenter.
Seismologists say that once the technology advances, they
should be able to quickly determine a quake's magnitude and
send that information out to the public before the strongest
shaking waves reaches a given location. In its current
incarnation, the early warning system sounds an audible
alert, shows a countdown timer and estimates the intensity
of an earthquake.
Experiments in quake detection have been going on for well
over five decades but experts say that this new prototype
system is the first to ever pick up quakes before the ground
started shaking at its location. (Published news reports)
RADIO INTERFERENCE: NEW RADIO BURST HEARD ON THE HF BANDS
The IARU Monitoring System Region 1 newsletter reports on a
new burst radio system that is affecting the amateur radio
operations in the 80, 40, 20 and 15 meter bands.
Writing in the newsletter Wolfgang Hadel, DK2OM, says that
he discovered a new burst system operating on 3.5, 7, 14 and
21 MHz, daily.
Hadel who is the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System Coordinator
says that the system is active every full hour at plus 1,
plus 2 and plus 3 minutes with 10.4 sec. bursts of 20 kHz
width. Also, the signals appear to come from France.
DK2OM adds that audio frequency analysis seems to pin this
as being similar to CODAR signals. Their real purpose is
unknown but DK2OM says that perhaps this is a new kind of
over the horizon radar or Ionosonde. As we go to air,
Germany's Department of Post and Telecommunications has
filed a complaint with its French counterpart. (IARU-R1)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: NROL-36 CUBSAT LAUNCH DELAYED AGIN
The launch of the NROL-36 mission carrying several new
amateur radio micro-satellites has once again been
postponed. According to Spaceflight Now, the United Launch
Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, its classified payload and the ham
radio cubesats remain poised for liftoff at Vandenberg Air
Force Base in California. Now, officials say that the twice
delayed launch will likely take place on September 6th.
The flight was scrubbed during the initial countdown on
August 2nd due to Range Instrumentation problems at the
Vandenberg launch complex.
Spaceflight Now says that engineers are on a path to
resolution and hope to have corrective actions implemented,
tested and certified by late August. The latest
developments on this pending launch can be followed at
We will have more ham radio space related news later on in
this weeks Amateur Radio Newsline report.
From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio
Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world
including the KC3MM repeater serving Ransom, Pennsylvania.
(5 sec pause here)
RADIO LAW: HAM IN WALES USES UNUSUAL APPROACH TO WIN TOWER
A ham in Wales has won a tower dispute with the town he
lives in by taking a very different approach. He accused
the town's community council of bordering on racism and won
an appeal to erect a fourth tower in his garden. We have
more in this report:
Michael Butler, GW0MNP, had his planning application for a
21 foot antenna mast rejected three times in under a year
but he did not give up. In what may best be called an
unprecedented three-pronged attack, Butler not only accused
the city council of racism but also wrote letters accusing
the Gazette newspaper of being "biased and sarcastic" and
calling borough Mayor councilor Marlene Thomas "an idiot".
According to Wales dot com, Butler, of Green Meadow, sent a
stinging letter to Cefn Cribwr Community Council last month.
In it he claimed that their "prejudice" against his antenna
mast installation ideas "bordered on racism".
In March, Bridgend County Borough Council planners denied
Butler's request to erect the mast in his garden to further
his amateur radio hobby. Those opposed to his installation
compared the proposed antennae to "a flying bedstead". A
bedstead is a British term for the metal framework that
holds a mattress, pillows and the rest of the bedding.
But in the end, Butler's interesting approach succeeded.
This when Welsh planning inspector Rebecca Phillips upheld
his appeal against the council planners initial decision.
Her decision means he can now keep the three towers already
has and erect a fourth. The only proviso is the new tower
is only at its full height for three hours a day.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF,
mulling this one over here in the newsroom in Los Angeles.
You can read the entire story of this fascinating tower
appeal, including commentary by some of Butler's neighbors
on-line at tinyurl.com/wales-antenna-win. (Wales.com,
RADIO LAW: VANITY FEE GOES TO $15 ON SEPTEMBER 4
Mark September 4th as the day that getting a vanity call
sign will go to $15 for a full 10 year term. On August 3,
the previously approved increase of 80 cents was printed in
the Federal Register. The new charge take effect 30 days
after publication making September 4th the first day it is
in effect. (FCC)
ENFORCEMENT: FCC TELLS SPY SHOP TO STOP SELLING JAMMING
A California electronics retailer has been ordered to stop
selling products designed to jam radio communications
equipment. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jeff Clark, K8JAC,
The FCC has issued an official Citation and Order to Spy
Shop of Sherman Oaks, California that also does business as
IQ Tronics, Inc., SpyShopOne.com, and SpyGadgetsShop.com.
This, for marketing cell phone, and Global Positioning
System and other signal jamming devices in violation of
Section 302(b) of the Communications Act, and Sections 2.803
and 15.201(b) of the Commission's rules.
In its July 18th Citation the FCC ordered that the Spy Shop
should take immediate steps to come into compliance and to
avoid any recurrence of this misconduct, including actions
such as removing illegal signal jamming devices from
displays and declining to sell signal jamming devices in the
United States. The FCC said that if after receipt of the
Citation, Spy Shop violates the Communications Act or the
FCC Rules by marketing unauthorized radio frequency devices
within the United States or its territories the Commission
may impose monetary forfeitures of up to $16,000 for each
such violation. In the case of a continuing violation, the
Commission may impose monetary forfeitures of up to $16,000
for each day of such continuing violation up to a maximum
forfeiture of $112,500 for any single act or failure to act.
In addition, violations could also can result in seizure of
equipment as well as criminal sanctions, including
Im Jeff Clark, K8JAC.
As we go to air, a check of the company website shows that
all of the gear that the FCC says is illegal to sell has
been removed from the company website. (FCC)
PUBLIC SERVICE: JIMMY FUND WALK VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Ham radio volunteers are needed in support of the Sunday,
September 9th Jimmy Fund Walk in the greater Boston
Massachusetts area. This event is on the Boston Marathon
course but most of its activity is on the last half. All
communications will be on 2 meter FM with volunteer
communicators assigned to buses and first aid Stations along
the route from 5 AM to 7 PM. Some half day assignments will
also be available. If you wish to volunteer please contact
Steve Schwarm by e-mail to w3eve (at) arrl (dot) net and be
sure to put Jimmy Fund in the subject line, (W3EVE)
RADIO BUSINESS: HAM RADIO DELUXE UPDATED
HRD Software announces an updated release of Ham Radio
Deluxe version 5.24.36. This update includes fixes for cross
band contacts in Logbook and some PTT issues hams have run
into with DM780.
Meanwhile the Ham Radio Deluxe development team continues
work on HRD Version 6.0. The specific date release date
will be announced in a future press release.
For those who are unfamiliar wit it, Ham Radio Deluxe or HRD
is an integrated suite of software products for amateur
radio. The five modules provide rig control, logging,
digital communications, satellite tracking, and rotator
control. More about it is on-line at www.ham-radio-
NAMES IN THE NEWS: AUTHENTIC RADIO AUDIO NEEDED FOR
Some names in the news. Steve Wystrach who is working on
the production of a documentary film about Robert Manry and
his 1965 single-handed Atlantic crossing says that he is in
seed of two pieces of audio to help complete the project.
First he needs an authentic recording of a WWV time signal
from that era. It needs to be legible, but it can have a
bit of static or hash, just as long as it's clear enough to
Steve also needs a recording of the sound of a Gibson Girl
distress transmitter. Manry demonstrates this unit at one
point in the film but the actual signal it produced was not
receded with a local receiver.
For those not aware, the Gibson Girl was the predecessor of
the modern E-L-T or Electronic Location Transmitter but sent
out an S-O-S signal on the old International Distress
Frequency of 500 KHz. Many of these hit the surplus market
in the 1950's and 1960's and were a popular as a parts
supply for hams and other radio experimenters of that era.
If you have either of these audio tracks please e-mail Steve
Wystrach to info (at) robertmanryproject (dot) com. More
information about the documentary film is on line at
www.robertmanryproject.com/about-us/. (Steve Wystrach)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: NEW RAC ONTARIO SECTION MANAGERS NAMED
With the break-up of Radio Amateurs of Canada's Ontario
Section, there are now four newly named Section Managers.
Allan Boyd, VE3AJB, has been named as Section Manager
Ontario North. Michael Hickey, VE3IPC, takes the reins for
Section Manager of Ontario East. The Section Manager for
the Greater Toronto Area is George Duffield, VE3WKJ, with
Ian Snow, VA3QT, as Section Manager Ontario South. These
appointments are effective immediately, and will be merged
into the normal election process at the end of a two year
HAM HAPPENINGS: W9DXCC DX CONVENTION SEPT 14 - 25 IN ELK
On the social scene, a reminder that the 60th annual W9DXCC
DX Convention will be held September 14th to the 15th at the
Holiday Inn in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove, Illinois.
W9DXCC is very much a fun gathering with presentations
focused on DXing. Also available will be on site QSL card
checking for CQ and ARRL awards. An optional Friday
afternoon class will help get aspiring DX'ers up to speed.
For more information and on-line registration for this
gathering please take your web browser to www.w9dxcc.com.
HAM HAPPENINGS: WESTERN STATES VHF - UHF WEAK SIGNAL 75M
The Western States VHF/UHF Weak Signal 75 meter net meets
every Sunday night from 5:30 to 6:30 pm Pacific time. This
net is an informal opportunity to discuss recent operating
activity, future plans for contests, rovers, and a wide
variety of topics for the non repeater folks who inhabit the
world above 50 MHz. The frequencies used are 3.920 MHz
Lower Sideband region wide and 144.200 MHz Upper Sideband in
Southern California. Anyone with an interest in weak signal
communications is invited to take part. (VHF Reflector)
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)
EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: WWVB PHASE MOD TEST STARTS AUGUST 21
The National Institute of Stands and Technology radio
Station WWVB will be conducting a test of a phase-modulated
broadcast format beginning at 1800 UTC on Tuesday, August
21st and ending at 1800 UTC on Friday, August 24th. During
the test period the broadcast will be randomly switching
between the normal WWVB broadcast and the new phase-
modulated broadcast format.
According to WWVB Radio-controlled clocks and watches will
not be affected by the test. However phase-locking 60 kHz
timing and frequency standard receivers may lose lock during
this period. However, they will restore during the normal
For more information, e-mail WWVB broadcast manager John
Lowe at john.lowe (at) nist (dot) gov (CGC, John Lowe)
EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: PRINTABLE HF TRANSMITTER DEVELOPED
The British Broadcasting Corporation reports that a new
science has been developed to permit high frequency radio
transmitters for 13.560 MHz to be printed using electronic
inks at a cost of that cost just a penny each.
The transmitters use Near Field Communication technology and
are seen as a replacement for Quick Response Codes. The
latter consists of black square dots arranged in a square
pattern on a white background. The story of this new
technology is on-line at
tinyurl.com/printed-transmitter. (BBC, Southgate)
WORLDBEAT: CHRISTIAN VISION LEAVING SOUTH AMERICA TARGETED
Yet another shortwave broadcaster is cutting back on over
the air operations. This time it's the U-K based Christian
Vision that has announced that it will cease its shortwave
service to Latin America, likely by the time this newscast
has gone to air.
According to its announcement, the main reason for
abandoning this targeted shortwave operation is the shifting
emphasis to media that reach younger listeners. It says it
has about 413 affiliates in 23 countries and is using
Internet, mobile and social platforms to increase
consumption by those in the important 18 to 35 year-old
demographic many of whom are not shortwave listeners.
In 2010 the Christian Vision closed two other shortwave
sites. One was in Darwin, Australia, and had served
audiences in Asia. The other was sited in Juelich,
Germany, that aired Russian, Arabic and English programs.
Christian Vision is not completely abandoning the shortwave
bands. It says that it will continue to use shortwave in
India and parts of Africa, where audiences continue to be
WORLDBEAT: TWO RADIO STATIONS LOOSE TRANSMITTERS DOWN UNDER
North Queensland, Australia radio stations Hot FM and
4RFM have both had their transmitters stolen. Southern
Cross Austereo had its 91.3 MHz HOT FM transmitter stolen
from its site at the Carborough Range. The 91.3 MHz
transmitter taken consisted of a Crown Broadcast FM30
Exciter, PA1000 Power Amplifier, and PS1000 Power Supply.
The local community station 4RFM also had its transmitter
stolen at the same time from a nearby site. Its gear was
The thieves used a crow bar to get through the door of the
91.3 MHz site and an angle grinder through the door of the
community radio location. Both thefts seem targeted as none
of the two-way radio equipment was taken from either
Matt Paton is a Southern Cross Austereo Engineer. He has
asked that those involved in radio to keep a look out for
the stolen equipment. Paton notes that the market for
broadcast transmitters isn't massive in Australia. As such,
if anybody gets offered a black market deal for such
equipment could they please call the Moranbah Australia
Police at 07 4941 6200. (WIA News)
WORLDBEAT: LONDON OLYMPIC OVER BUT COMMEMORATIVE STATION
The summer 2012 Olympics may be over but operations at
2o12L, the flagship station celebrating the Olympic and
Paralympic Games continues. Further information about the
station can be found on the website at www.2o12L.com.
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: 2012 OLYMPICS ON THE HAM-SATS
Meantime, another Olympic Special Event Station, 2o12W has
been active on the amateur radio satellites working stations
in the USA and across Europe. The 2o12W satellite station
is being operated by Ken Eaton, GW1FKY, using a Kenwood TS-
2000 feeding a 5-element dual-band Elk antenna mounted on a
rotator on the portable cabin. For details of his operation
please check out www.rsgb.org/operating/ and click on London
Olympics 2012. (RSGB)
RADIO IN SPACE: RUSSIA LAUNCHES NON-HAM RS-40
A Russian research satellite called RS-40 carrying
experiments built by students and research staff of the
Siberian State Aerospace University was launched on July 28.
Signals from the new bird have been heard on 435.365 MHz and
were first reported by Maik Hermenau on the AMSAT-DL mailing
While the new satellite uses amateur 70 cm band downlinks it
does not appear to include an amateur radio mission. In
fact, as we go to air details of the downlink signaling
protocol have not been made available. About the only thing
certain is that systems aboard this 65 kilogram satellite
includes testing advanced technological solutions to be
incorporated into future missions. More about RS-40 is on-
line at tinyurl.com/99ryrw8 (PE0SAT, ANS)
In DX, preparations for the ZL9HR DXpedition to Campbell
Island are on schedule for activation from November 28th to
December 9th. The containers to carry all required
equipment are currently being prepared and loaded, ready to
be shipped out of Sydney around September 15th. More
information is on-line at ZL9HR dot com.
IZ2WMW will be on the air stroke 9Afrom Krk Island between
August 18th to the 25th. Activity will be holiday style on
the HF bands. QSL via hs home callsign, direct or by the
W9XY will be active from the Bahamas as C6AXY between
November 4th to the 9th. His operation will be holiday
style on 40 through 10 meters using mostly CW and SSB,with
maybe some RTTY or PSK31. QSL via W9XY.
AA5UK will be operating stroke EA6 froma in the Balearic
Islands between October 20th and the 31st. Activity will be
holiday style on 80 though 6 meters using SSB, RTTY and
PSK31. QSL direct via his home callsign, by the bureau or
electronically using Logbook of the World or eQSL.
4F2KWT will be active as DX0N from the rare Bongao Island
located in the province of Tawi-Tawi, Philippines, sometime
in September. Look for more details o be forthcoming at
Lastly, a group of Polish radio amateurs will be operational
as from Mauritania as 5T0SP between November 24th and
December 10th, from Mauritania. Activity will be on all HF
bands, 160-10 meters using CW, SSB an RTTY. There will be a
focus on Japan and the Far East.
(Above from various DX news sources)
THAT FINAL ITEM: MORSE CODE ON MARS
And finally this week, the story of Morse code on Mars.
When the Mars rover Curiosity moves around the red planet it
leaves a series on dots and dashes on the surface. These
dots and dashes are a part of Curiosity's wheels and are
made by square and rectangular imprints on the rovers
According to Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mars Rover
Mechanical Engineering Team, these holes or imprints
actually have a purpose as odometer markers. JPL Engineers
are looking at the tread marks to verify that Curiosity has
traversed the distance it expects.
So what pattern did JPL choose to put on Curiosity's wheels?
The holes are in a pattern of short squares and longer
rectangles as in the ancient and honorable Morse code. And
what does it spell out in C-W? Simply the three letters
The full story of this Morse code on Mars is on-line at
tinyurl.com/cw-on-mars. And less we forget, you can follow
Curiosity on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarsCuriosity.
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 WIA 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
For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk,
I'm Skeeter Nash, N5ASH, saying 73 and we thank you for