The following is a Q-S-T.
Ham radio responds to a Nor-Easter that hits the U-S-A and Canada;the IARU to do a review of the Region 2 High Frequency bandplan; a Utah Medical Center adds ham radio as a major back-up; the STRAND
One ham radio phone-sat to launch late this month and a Charlotte North Carolina TV station accomplishes what hams have been doing for over a decade. Find out the details are on Amateur Radio NewslineT report number 1853 coming your way right now. (Billboard Cart Here) ** RESCUE RADIO: HAM RADIO RESPONDS TO NORTH-EAST BLIZZARD NEMO Ham radio was ready when a severe winter storm hit the North- East. Amateur Radio Newsline's Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, reports: -- Amateur radio operators in the North-East were kept busy as a gigantic midwinter storm nick named Nemo buried the Northeast in snow on Saturday, February 9th. The storm left behind a geographic region digging out of heavy white drifts and reeling from gale-force winds. And ham radio severe weather spotters were on the job as well. Take a listen: -- Taunton Skywarn audio. -- That was the sound of the Taunton Skywarn Amateur Radio Club's emergency activation network in Massachusettes as the network passed along snow levels to the National Weather Service while the mega storm continued on its Northward trek. During the storm WX1BOX was also tweeting flooding information down on the coast and reported that Martha's Vinyard had suffered some storm related damage. In all, more than three feet of snow fell on parts of Connecticut, and more than two feet accumulated on New Yorks Long Island. The storm also caused coastal flooding that forced evacuations of some Massachusetts low-lying communities. This as waves off the south shore of Boston and parts of Cape Cod measured as high as 20 feet. According to news reports, hundreds of thousands of people were without power as wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour cut power lines and toppled trees. More than 400,000 customers were reported without power in Massachusetts and at least another 180,000 in Rhode Island. Also lost in some areas was both wireline and cellular telephone service. For some it was several days before utilities were restored. Meantime, hams involved in Skywarn and other severe weather spotting services did their best to keep the National Weather Service and through it the public informed on the very latest in information regarding this bitterly cold Nor- Easter as it played havoc with those in its path. With thanks to Lloyd Colston, KC5FM, for supplying the WX1BOX audio clip, I'm Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, in the newsroom in Los Angeles. -- (KC5FM) ** RESCUE RADIO: CANADIAN HAMS READY WHEN STORM HITS But the United States North-East was not the only region affected by Nemo. The storm then moved North into Canada and Stefan Kinford, N8WB, has that part of the story: -- After several days of warnings, a major winter storm moved into the Canadian Maritimes. Messages from Bob Robichaud, VE1MBR, at the Atlantic Storm Prediction Centre in Dartmouth were being sent out to all CANWARN members to prepare them in case of activation. Information was also being posted on the Maritime Amateur website. On Friday morning the call was made to activate CANWARN in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island on Saturday February 9th beginning at 8am Atlantic Time. A message went out to all CANWARN members to let everyone know of the net and that information Environment Canada would be looking for. At 8 a.m. Saturday Morning, Net Control began operations by linking up 13 repeaters throughout Nova Scotia through the MAVCOM system, IRLP, Echolink and HF operations on 80 meters 3.770 MHz. CANWARN spotters were asked to record snowfall amounts each hour, visibility, wind speed, direction and storm surge. Notes would also be kept for any changeover from snow to freezing rain, ice pellets, rain, flooding and any other damage reports. Starting at 11 a.m. damage reports starting coming in of trees down, roofs being blown off, flooding in coastal areas and roads being breached. Power outages were reported all over the province. Over the next 12 hours Net Control recorded close to 200 messages. As darkness approached hams were told by Environment Canada that hams could close the net for the evening after the high tide at 10 pm in case of any reports of storm surge. The net activated again Sunday morning for only one hour to record any damage reports. At that time the net was terminated. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, Im Stephan Kinford, N8WB, reporting. -- More information about CANWARN Atlantic can be found on The Maritime Amateur website at www.maritimeamateur.ca (VE1JBL) ** RESCUE RADIO: UTAH MEDICAL CENTER ADDS HAM RADIO EMCOMM BACKUP Utah's Intermountain Healthcare Southwest Region's Dixie Regional Medical Center has completed installation of two special antennas. Both will serve as a part of its backup communications system powered by amateur radio. Bob Vosper, AE7HY, is the Technical Manager for Washington County Amateur Radio Emergency Service. He notes that much of Intermountain's communications system is Internet-based. He notes that if the web connection goes down, that a possible communications blackout could occur. To cope with this potential situation, the hospital arranged for Washington County Amateur Radio Emergency Service to install an amateur radio system as a back up that can function without the aid of the Internet or local radio repeaters. The system will also be able to transmit large blocks of data over amateur radio bands. According to Vosper, other backup systems were already in place but adding ham radio is just an added redundancy. (StGeorge.com) ** WORLDBEAT: IARU TO REVIEW REGION II HF BABDPLAN THIS YEAR The ARRL reports that the International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 High Frequency bandplan will be a topic of discussion at a conference will be held later this year in Mexico. According to the League, the Region 2 conference is held every three years and is attended by delegations from the national Amateur Radio societies in the western hemisphere that are members of the IARU. The ARRL is the IARU Member Society for the US. It notes that IARU band plans are voluntary guidelines. It adds that they do not have the force of FCC regulations and that for radio amateurs in the US, IARU band plans are informational, not regulations. However most other countries do not have the detailed sub-band regulations as are in place here in the United States, so for radio amateurs in those nations the voluntary IARU band plans may offer the only guidance on frequency usage. Hams living in Region 2 can find the current bandplan on- line at www.iaru-r2.org/band-plan. The Region 1 and Region 3 band plans are also posted there as well. (ARRL, IARU) ** HAM RADIO IN SPACE: STRAND-1 AMATEUR RADIO SMARTPHONE CUBESAT TO LAUNCH FEBRUARY 25 The BBC says that the world's first 'smartphone-sat' project called STRAND-1 will be ready to launch at the end of February. The STRAND-1 CubeSat will carry a Google Nexus One Android smartphone into space to demonstrate the feasibility of using cheap smartphone's electronics to control a spacecraft. Also included will be a software-based speech synthesizer to commemorate the U-O-SAT family of amateur radio satellites that were launched in the 1980's. There will also be an amateur radio AX.25 packet radio downlink on 437.575 MHz. The STRAND-1 satellite was built in Guildford in the United Kingdom by volunteers from the Surrey Space Centre and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited in their spare time. It is planned to be launched on February 25th into a 785 km orbit by the Indian Space Research Organization rocket. More is on-line at www.amsat-uk.org and we will have more ham radio space related news later on in this weeks Amateur Radio Newsline report. (AMSAT-UK) ** BREAK 1 From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the N3EVW repeater serving Scranton Pennsylvania. (5 sec pause here) ** ENFORCEMENT: CONTINUED UNLICENSED OPERATION BRINGS NEW $25000 FINE The FCC has affirmed a second $25,000 proposed fine to Whisler Fleurinor for unlicensed operation and this one it says its going to collect in full. Amateur Radio Newsline's Norm Seeley, KI7UP, has more: -- You may remember back to October of 2011. That's when the South Central Region of the Enforcement Bureau issued a Forfeiture Order to Whisler Fleurinor affirming its findings in a 25,000 Notice of Apparent Liability for unlicensed operation of a radio transmitter. At that time the agency agreed to reduce the forfeiture amount to $500 based solely on his inability to pay claim. Fleurinor then paid the $500 forfeiture and that was supposed to be the end of the matter. But it turned out to be just the tip of a much larger unlicensed radio iceberg. On several dates in late 2011, agents from the Miami Office used direction-finding to locate the source of radio frequency transmissions on the frequency 99.5 MHz. Once again the signal was traced it to Whisler Fleurinor's commercial property in Fort Lauderdale. As a result, the Miami FCC Office issued Fleurinor a second Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture on February 1, 2012, which proposed a $25,000 forfeiture. This included a $15,000 upward adjustment because of the deliberate nature of the violation and given that Fleurinor had already been fined and issued multiple Notices of Unlicensed Operation for the same infringement. In his response to the proposed fine Fleurinor denied that he violated the Communications Act or any FCC order. He asserted that there had been no radio transmission of any kind for at least 6 months, and that there is no radio equipment at this location. Fleurinor also asserted that the only remnant of any radio equipment is a roof antenna which has been disconnected and was not operational. Finally, Fleurinor states that he is unable to pay the forfeiture and urged cancellation on that basis as well. However, in its February 8th decision, the FCC says it's not buying Fleurinor's explanation or defense. It notes that agents from the Miami Office determined that unlicensed radio transmissions on the frequency 99.5 MHz weew transmitted from the antenna located on top of Fleuronior's commercial property on several occasions during 2011. Also that he admits that the antenna at issue was his, but denies that he was operating the unlicensed station on the specified dates. This says the FCC says it does not find credible because its agents collected their evidence over several months. As to his inability to pay the proposed fine, the FCC says that hes going to have to find a way to do so. This is because in an individual's inability to pay a forfeiture is just one of the factors we consider in determining the appropriate forfeiture penalty. In this case the FCC says that the record evidence in this case shows that Fleurinor is a repeat offender, having already received and paid a forfeiture for the very same violations at issue and has been in violation, either continuously or intermittently since at least 2008. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Norm Seely, KI7UP, watching this one from out here in Scottsdale, Arizona -- The bottom line is that the $25,000 fine stands and Fleurinor was given the customary 30 days to pay it, or the matter may be turned over to the Department of Justice for further action. And Norm adds that the other voice - er - bark you heard in his report is that of Henry J who wants a bit of credit too. (FCC) ** RADIO CRIME: COPPER THEFT TAKES NWS RADIO SITE OFF THE AIR National Weather Service Coordination Meteorologist Hector Guererro reports that a case of vandalism at the Coleman National Weather Service transmission site in Texas. One that took the Weather Radio station transmitter temporarily off the air. Guererro said that county authorities reported that vandals broke into the transmitter building north of Coleman and stole the copper data feed lines that come from the city of San Angelo. The weather alert transmitter, which identifies as WXN-89, operates at 162.475 MHz. News reports say that many area Weather Alert radios and scanners are tuned to that frequency. The lines are being replaced and the transmitter should be back on the air by the time you hear this report. Federal officials as well as Coleman county authorities are investigating the break-in and vandalism that damaged the federal government transmitting facility. (Nuizer.com, Brownwooid News) ** RADIO CRIME: KWWK KNOCKED OFF THE AIR BY COPPER THIEF Rochester Minnesota police are investigating a recent copper theft that took a local radio station off the air. Early Monday, February 4th, someone broke into the KWWK radio transmitter and tower site. The thief made off with both copper transmission line and a motor. An engineer found the crime when he went into work around 4 a.m.. Damage to the property is estimated at $550. (KTTC, others) ** DELIVERY NOTICE: USPS TO SUSPEND SATURDAY MAIL DELIVERY Receiving a QSL card could soon take a little bit longer. This with word that the United States Postal Service has announced that effective the week of August 5th, it will stop Saturday delivery of most mail first-class and standard mail, periodicals and direct-mail advertising. The only exceptions will be packages, mail-order medicines, priority and express mail which will still be delivered six days a week. At least for the time being. (USPS, others) ** HAM RADIO BUSINESS: HARBACH TO DISCONTINUE PETER DAHL TRANSFORMER LINE The famed Peter Dahl line of transformers used in many ham radio power amplifiers is going away. According to an announcement on the Harbach Electronics website, the company says that producing these transformers in these hard economic times is simply no longer cost effective. According to Jeff Weinberg, W8CQ, of Harbach, he is in negotiations with other entities for someone else to take over the manufacture of Peter Dahl transformers and other components in that product line but as of airtime nothing has been decided. Harbach will discontinue the Peter Dahl product like effective February 14th. More is on-line at harbachelectronics.com. (Harbach Electronics) ** HAM HAPPENINGS: HEIL SOUND TO AGAIN HOST NAB HAM RADIO RECEPTION IN LAS VEGAS Heil Sound has once again signed on as a major sponsor of the Amateur Radio Operators Reception at this years National Association of Broadcasters Convention. The gathering is slated for Wednesday, April 10 from 6 to 8PM Pacific at the LVH Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. This will be Heil Sound's eighth year as a sponsor and, according to company president Sarah Heil, there will be a "pile of Heil" with prizes being awarded throughout the evening. Company founder Bob Heil, K9EID, will be on hand to help emcee and entertain the crowd with his stories from the Ham Radio world. Again that's The 2013 Amateur Radio Operators Reception, sponsored by Broadcast Supply Worldwide, Heil Sound, Ltd., and Turner Engineering, will be held on Wednesday, April 10th from 6 to 8PM at the L-V-H Hotel for the 2013 NAB Amateur Radio Operators Reception. This reception is open to all NAB badge holders and Bob and Sarah Heil say that they hope to see you there. (Heil Sound) ** HAM HAPPENINGS: CENTRAL STATES VHF CONFERENCE JULY 15 - 18 Conference registration is now open for the 2013 Central States VHF Conference that will be held July 25th to the 28th at the Elk Grove Holiday Inn in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. Conference features this year include an antenna test range, various talks and presentations as well as a special area for rover vehicles to be displayed. ARRL C-E-O Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, is slated as the banquet keynote speaker. More information is on-line at www.csvhfs.org/2013conference. (ANS, Central States VHF Society) ** NAMES IN THE NEWS: ALEX TARSHA, N0AMT JOINS QRZ.COM Alex Tarsha, N0AMT, has joined QRZ dot com as a full time staff member in its systems engineering department. Tarsha is a US Air Force veteran who comes to QRZ from the defense industry where he has recently been serving as a Lead Software Security engineer. At QRZ he will function as an Information Technology Engineer performing server maintenance and software development. Prior to Alex's arrival, and for the past 20 years, all of the software and engineering behind QRZ dot com has been done by site creator and owner Fred Lloyd, AA7BQ. (QRZ) ** NAMES IN THE NEWS: CHIP MARGELLI, K7JA JOINS INNOVANTENNAS And word that Chip Margelli, K7JA, has joined InnovAntennas. At Innov Margelli will manage sales and marketing activities in the Americas and will also contribute to the company's global strategic planning. For those of you who might not be aware, K7JA has been as a champion contester, DXer and DXpeditioner for over his five decades and was a 2008 inductee into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame. On the professional side Margelli has over 35 years experience in the amateur radio industry with stints at Yaesu, Heil Sound and CQ Communications. (InnovAntennas) ** BREAK 2 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) ** THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD: FORMER HAMVENTION CHAIRMAN WALLACE WRIGHT AD8N - SK The changing of the guard in ham radio continues with word of the passing of former Dayton Hamvention General Chairman Wallace Wright, Jr. AD8N, on Sunday, January 27th. According to Ron Moorefield, W8ILC, Wright, then WA8ZCA served in the Hamvention's leadership role in the 1977 year. Wallace Wright spent most of his career with Dayton Power and Light retiring after 32 years of service. He also provided spiritual leadership in several communities within Southwest Ohio for over 40 years as an AME pastor and pastoral assistant at Agape Bible Fellowship. Wallace Wright, AD8N, is survived by his wife of over 43 years, Sylvia and his two children. At the time of his passing he was age 73. (W8ILC) ** EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: SDR TOUCH TURNS TABLET OR PHONE INTO SDR RECEIVER Ham Radio Science reports on an interesting new app called SDR Touch. This is software that allows you to use your Android tablet or cell-phone along with a RTL2832U USB plug in thumb drive as a Software Defined Radio. All you need do is to plug the relatively inexpensive drive into your Android 4.0 devices USB port and load the SDR Touch app. The combination is reported to allow you to tune and decode the audio from it. Simple, easy and if we may add, cheap. More about the device itself is on-line at www.realtek.com.tw. A video showing it in action is at tinyurl.com/sdr-tablet. (Southgate, Ham Radio Science) ** HAM RADIO IN SPACE: ARISS SWITCHES TO ERICSSON RADIO AFTER EXPERIENCING PROBLEMS WITH THE KENWOOD D700 ARISS has switched radios. After experiencing issues with the Kenwood D700 on two consecutive school contacts, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station operations have announced plans to use the Ericsson radio on the Columbus module for all contacts until problems with the D700 are resolved. Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, is AMSAT's Vice President for Human Spaceflight Programs. He says that for some reason signals from the Service Module Kenwood D700 radio are much diminished. He notes that a recent contact with Israel had low audio levels. Another contact with the Hospital for Sick Children was even worse. Only one student was able to talk to Chris Hadfield before signals on the ground were lost even though the crew reports hearing the ground station well. It should be noted that both these contacts were with made using telebridge stations which have above average gear. Also astro-ham Hadfield used the space stations IP Phone, immediately after the hospital radio contact and answered all the student's questions so that all was not lost. A later contact with a school in Japan using the Columbus Module Ericsson radio proved very successful. (ANS, ARISS) ** ON THE AIR: CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF THE ALGERIAN AMATEUR RADIO ASSOCIATION On the air, listen out for members of a group of Algerian hams who will activate special event callsigns 7T9A and 7T50ARA. This to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Algerian Amateur Radio Association. QSL both callsigns by the Bureau or direct to: PO Box 1, Algiers RP 16000, Algeria. Sorry, but no International Reply Coupons will be accepted for this one. (Via e-mail) ** DX In DX, V47JA will again be operating from his Calypso Bay, St. Kitts, vacation home from February 20th until March 21st. Active will be on 160 throuhgh 6 meters and will include 60 meters. Jon also advises Amateur Radio Newsline that he plans to take part in the CQ 160 Meter Contest February 22nd through the 24th and the ARRL International DX Contest on March 2nd and 3rd, both on SSB. QSL's via W5JON either direct or electronically via Logbook of the World. VE3DZ will be on the air from Jamaica as 6Y2T until February 19th. He's reportedly operational on 160 through 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via VE3DZ. An international team will be on the air from Burundi through February 23rd. In total they will have 9 operators and four stations using the callsign 9U4U. Activity is on 160 through 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. The operations QSL Manager is M0URX W1VE will be active as 8P9RM from Barbados starting February 26th. His operation will be on 160 through 6 meters with a focus on CW and the lower bands. QSL via W1VE. An International group, along with the Tunisian Radio Amateurs and the Engineering University of Gabes, are planning another DXpedition to Djerba Island between April 29th and May 6th. The Tusisian Amateur Radio Society is expected to receive the callsign TS8TI on or about March 15th. Operations for this DX outing will be on all HF bands including the 30, 17 and 12 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY, AMTOR and PSK31. Late word is that they are looking for operators, sponsors and individual contributions to make this operation possible. Lastly, Bill Moore NC1L, the ARRL's Awards Branch Manager says that the current 5X8C operation from Uganda, along with the T6TJ and T6BP operations from Afghanistan have been approved for DXCC credit. If you've had cards declined except Logbook of the World applications please send an e- mail to bmoore (at) arrl.org to be placed on the list for an update. If your QSOs were confirmed only via Logbook of the World, they were not imported to DXCC since at the time of your application these were not yet approved. Moore says that Logbook of the World confirmed QSOs' can be reclaimed via your next submission only. Also from NC1L word that the Zed-81-A and Zed-81-D operations commencing back in 2012 from Republic of South Sudan have also been approved, ** THAT FINAL ITEM: TV STATION LAUNCHES BALLOON TO EDGE OF SPACE And finally this week, , Charlotte NBC affiliate WCNC, decided to do what ham radio operators have been doing for many years. That being to put some consumer grade video cameras inside a box, tie it to a helium filled balloon and launch it toward near-space. Amateur Radio Newsline's Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, has the story of this unexpected extended flight: -- Corrie Harding is WCNC's news director. He says that he saw a video on YouTube of two people launching a beer can toward space and wanted to see if his station could do the same thing. So with the help of Hackerspace Charlotte the station took two Go-Pro cameras, a lunchbox, a helium filled balloon, a 3D model of an astronaut with meteorologist Larry Sprinkle`s face attached and launched it to see how high it would reach. The balloon rose to an altitude of 102,457 feet before breaking and sending both the cameras and the astronaut model plummeting back toward Earth. The package took 3 1/2 hours to ascend and 45 minutes to fall back to Earth. The station says that the package was found 25 days after the balloon was found by an air search lying in several acres of briars 172 miles from where it launched. You can watch the video of the flight and the payload recovery at tinyurl.com/wcnc-balloon. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, in Zion, Illinois. -- According to Mark Garrett at least one ham radio operator was involved in the WCNC mission. Garrett identifies him as August Flassig, N6TYE, whose APRS call was used for the flight. (Media World) ** NEWSCAST CLOSE 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, near Houston, Texas, saying 73 and we thank you for listening. Amateur Radio NewslineT is Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.