Friday, April 5, 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1860 - April 5 2013


The following is a closed circuit advisory and not
necessarily for air.  With the latest on Amateur Radio
Newsline's fiscal situation here's our producer Bill
Pasternak, WA6ITF:


I want to thank all of you who have donated so far to our
spring fund raising.  While we set no monetary goal, we can
say that things are looking better.  However things are far
from great.  So we need your continued support to help keep
threes newscasts coming your way.  The easiest way to donate
is via Pay Pat at our website at or you
can mail a donation to the address you will hear at the end
of this weeks newscast.  Which ever way you choose, we say
thank you.

Im Bill Pasternak WA6ITF and now here is this weeks newscast
with Skeeter Nash, N5ASH.


Thanks Bill.

Now, Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1860 with a
release date of April 5 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST.  The FCC says it is reviewing RF
exposure limits in all radio services; a look at the
possible candidates to be the next FCC Chairman; a UK ham's
signal is heard 2000 Kilometers away with only 10 milliwatts
from a Raspberry Pi transmitter; the tiny Baofeng HT becomes
a paradise for makers and hackers and the story of how ham
radio help to stop a civil war.  All this and more on
Amateur Radio NewslineT report number 1860 coming your way
right now.

(Billboard Cart Here)



Amateur Radio operations on all levels may be impacted by an
FCC decision to review the agency's R-F exposure policies.
Amateur Radio Newsline's Bruce Tennant, K6PZW explains:


The FCC is re-evaluating its RF exposure policies.  This as
the agency says that it wants to update its guidelines and
make sure they comply with the National Environmental Policy
Act or N-E-P-A requirements for environmental reviews.
Especially those related to health and safety of RF
emissions from just about all types radio transmitters.

To accomplish this, the commission has released a Report and
Order and a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in ET
Docket 13-84, and a Notice of Inquiry named ET Docket 03-

In the Report and Order the commission concludes several
technical and semantic issues initiated in 2003 that revise
and update its regulations implementing the National
Environmental Policy Act.  In the Further Notice the agency
proposes to update and revise its procedures and treat all
services equally.  And in the inquiry the FCC seeks public
input to determine whether its RF exposure limits and
policies need to be reassessed including those that pertain
to amateur radio.

The overall inquiry focuses on the propriety of existing
standards and policies, possible options for precautionary
exposure reduction,  possible improvements to the FCC's
equipment authorization process and policies as they relate
to RF exposure.  The commission proposes to revise and
harmonize the criteria for determining whether single or
multiple fixed, mobile, or portable RF sources should be
routinely evaluated for compliance with the RF exposure
limits or exempted from such evaluations.

No matter the outcome, ham radio installations appear likely
to be included in any final action.  This is because the
agency says that it will codify in its rules the extent to
which occupation controlled RF exposure limits apply to
amateur radio licensees.  This policy was established in the
RF Report and Order of 1996, but was not incorporated in the
rules at that time.

More specifically the FCC says that amateur radio operators
are knowledgeable about the appropriate use of their
equipment and as such that separation distances are likely
to be maintained to ensure compliance with the agency's
exposure limits.  However, since the existing amateur
exemptions are based only on transmitter power and do not
consider separation distance or antenna gain, exempt
transmitting antennas that are unusually close to people
could potentially lead to non-compliant exposure levels.

As one example the FCC cites that a separation distance of
at least 24 feet would meet its proposed exemption criteria.
This, considering a currently-exempt 50-watt transmitter at
VHF in accord with section 97.13(c) and assuming an antenna
gain of 6 dBd.  The FCC adds that the existing
classification of amateur exposure as occupational is
consistent with use of its proposed general exemption
criteria based on general population exposure limits because
awareness of exposure greater than the general population
limits is required in all occupational settings, including
amateur radio households.

The FCC goes on to state that the application of the general
exemptions proposed to amateur radio installations would
preclude the possibility of overexposure and require further
evaluation only when necessary, giving guidance for both
fixed and mobile transmitting antennas.  As such it invites
comment as to the impact of this proposal on the amateur

Parties that support maintaining the current exemption based
on power alone are requested to explain how it provides
adequate assurance that the public is protected against
exposure to RF energy in excess of FCC limits and the extent
of the burden imposed by this proposal.  The FCC is also
encouraging interested parties to comment on the relative
costs and benefits of the proposed changes as well as those
of alternative approaches.

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


Both the Report and order and the proposed changes can be
read in their entirety in .pdf format at
standards-2013. Comments on Docket item 03-137 will be due
90 days after publication in the Federal Register.  (FCC,



President Obama will likely face some difficult political
decisions over who should replace Federal Communications
Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski.

The reported front-runner, Tom Wheeler, faces opposition
from some consumer groups over his former ties to the cable
and mobile industries, while junior FCC member Jessica
Rosenworcel, a favorite of 37 Democratic senators, could
prove problematic.  This is because the President would have
to bypass senior FCC member Mignon Clyburn who is  the
daughter of Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina's
6th District.

Karen Kornbluh, ex-ambassador to the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development, and Larry Strickling,
the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration chief, are seen as possible compromise
candidates.  Even so, no matter whom the President picks
will likely not have an easy confirmation process other than
Clyburn or Rosenworcel who are already seated Commissioners.

For a deeper look at the decision that t President Obama
faces in making his decision on who will replace Julius
Genachowski as head of the FCC please take your web browsers
(The Hill)



Eddie Bennett, G3ZJO, of Northampton in the United Kingdom
is not making any claims.  Even so he may now hold a Q-R-P
distance record for a micro power transmission using a
Rasberry Pi microcomputer as a transmitter.

Bennett reportedly used the 10 milliwatts of RF that can be
generated from the Raspberry Pi computer board to be heard
at over 2000 km on the 7 MHz band.  The Raspberry Pi board
can be made to operate as a WSPR mode transmitter covering
Low, High and VHF frequencies up to 250 MHz.  G3ZJO
connected the board via a low pass filter to a dipole for
the 7 and 14 MHz bands.  A small Marconi inverted L at a
height of only 6 meters was used on 472 kHz.

Among the stations who received his WSPR signal on 40
merters was LA9JO in grid square JP99 at a distance of 2124
km.  On 20 meters he was heard by LY2BOS in grid KO24 at a
distance of 1736km.  472 kHz did not fare anywhere near as
well.  Even so he was heard some 80 kilometers away by
G4KPX in grid JO02.

If you want to give micro power Raspberry Pi DXing a try,
the PE1NNZ code and binary to turn the mini computer into a
super QRP signal emitter is available at  And we will have some
more traditional DX news later on in this weeks newscast.



From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio
Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world
including the Catalina Repeater Association serving Los
Angeles and Orange County California from 26 miles across
the sea.

(5 sec pause here)



If a group representing investment holders in United States
broadcast properties has its way then we could see major
foreign investment and there-by control of broadcasting here
in the United States.  Amateur radio Newsline's Stephan
Kinford, N8WB, tells us what the broadcast investors want
and how the FCC is reacting:


The idea of loosening the FCC's restrictions on foreign
investment in United States media holdings and vice versa
has taken another step.  This with the issuance of MB Docket
13-50 by the FCC.

MB Docket 13-50 is based on a letter to the regulatory
agency from the Coalition for Broadcast Investment.  It says
Congress intended the current 25% limit on foreign
investment to be a flexible benchmark, not a rigid cap.
They also claim that in this age when consumers can get
their media from a numerous sources that the restriction is
too severe.

The Coalition for Broadcast Investment had previously asked
the commission to clarify its policies that restrict foreign
ownership and voting interests in entities that hold
commission licenses to no more than 25% in the parent
company of a broadcast licensee.

This restriction on foreign investment in United States
broadcast properties was enacted some 80 years ago.  It
dates to a time when the Congress believed allowing too much
foreign control over a U.S. broadcaster posed a threat to
national security.  The big question that the FCC must now
decide if foreign interests controlling U-S broadcast
properties are in the best interest of national security or
if they are the same or possibly worse then when the
ownership limit was put in place eight decades ago.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Stephan Kinford, N8WB,
in Wadsworth, Ohio.


The FCC is taking public comments on the letter from the
coalition as MB Docket 13-50. Comments are due April 15th
and replies by April 30th.  And you can read an interesting
view on this entire matter on the Comm Law Blog.  Its in
cyberspace at



And a follow-up in the case of Florida resident Pierre Nixon
Jean who was issue a monetary forfeiture of fifteen thousand
dollars on June 14th of 2012.  This, for his alleged
operation of an unlicensed radio station on the frequency
92.5 MHz in the city of West Palm Beach.

According to the FCC, Jean never filed any form of response
to the proposed fine.  Therefore, based on the information
at hand the FCC affirmed the forfeiture on February 28th and
gave Jean the customary 30 days to pay.  At airtime it's not
known if this forfeiture has or has not been collected.



A follow-up to our recent story about an unlicensed radio
station in Brockton, Massachusetts that interfered with
aviation communications in the greater Boston area.  A
warrant has been unsealed in U.S. District Court that
details the seizure of radio transmission equipment.  We
have more in this report:


As reported two weeks ago, the seizure by federal officials
on March 1st occurred at the unlicensed station's last known
address on Rutland Street in the city of Brockton,
Massachusetts.  The station is alleged to have been using
frequency 91.7 MHz without a license from the FCC.  A civil
action was brought seeking forfeiture of the equipment
because it was allegedly being used in violation of federal

According to an affidavit filed with the civil complaint,
the unlicensed FM radio station was causing interference to
a Federal Aviation Administration frequency of 120.6 MHz.
This is one of the primary frequencies used by pilots to
communicate with FAA controllers when flying in the Boston
metropolitan area.  The FCC had previously issued verbal and
written warnings to the residents of the Rutland Street
address on several occasions, but the radio station
continued to broadcast.

Now the government appears to have decided to pursue the
matter further.  United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz and FCC
Enforcement Chief Michele Ellison jointly made the
announcement that the case is being prosecuted by Assistant
U.S. Attorney Christine Wichers of Ortiz's Civil Division.
Exactly what form this prosecution will take is  unknown as
we go to air.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF,
in the newsroom in Los angeles.


The Communications Act of 1934 prohibits the operation of
radio broadcasting equipment without a license issued by the
FCC. The Act also authorizes the seizure and forfeiture of
any electronic or radio frequency equipment used to
broadcast without such a license.  More on this latest
development is on-line at
(DoJ, FCC)



The tiny and very inexpensive Baefong (PRON BAY FONG) dual
band H-T has developed a big following among the makers and
hackers in ham radio.  So much so that the DIY site Hack A
Day reports on how you can write new firmware for the UV-3R
to make it do things that its developers likely never
thought of.  You can see for yourself what's going on with
this tiny set as the hackers and makers have a literal field
day with it at  (Hack A Day)



Radio Club of America members please take note that the
organizations Awards Committee is asking you to nominate
those among you whom you feel deserves Fellow status in the
group.  Please download the nomination package in .PDF
format at, fill it out and
return it.  The deadline for accepting nominations is April
15 and they can be emailed to pat (at) radioclubofamerica
(dot) org or faxed to 973-838-7124. According to Wikipedia,
Fellows are the highest grade of membership of
most professional or learned societies.  (RCA)



Some names in the news.  First up is Terry Zivney, N4TZ, who
has been named Director of the CQ World Wide WPX Contests,
effective immediately.  Licensed since 1961, Zivney has had
numerous top-five USA finishes in the single-operator all-
band low power category of various CQ and ARRL DX contests.
He also competed in the 2010 World Radiosport Team
Championship in Russia, and has had three articles published
in the National Contest Journal.  Zivney succeeds Randy
Thompson, K5ZD, who has been WPX Contest Director since
2008.  (CQ)



Bill Carmichael has launched a website to provide
information on the latest handheld radio technology.  The
site includes product reviews and articles from radio
enthusiasts globally discussing what they consider their own
best handheld radio gear.  Ham radio wise the quad band
Yaesu VX-8DR and the dual band Yaesu FT-60R handhelds are
among the radios featured on the site.  You can read for
yourself at  (Southgate)



Andy Hunter, G6LBQ, says that he is releasing the MKII
version of his multi-band transceiver through a partnership
with Adrian Lane, 2E0SDR.  The two have formed a company
called DX KITS that will operate on-line from their new website that Andy says is operational but still
in the development stage.  DX Kits will be the sole
worldwide supplier for the G6LBQ MKII and all of Andy's
future developments.  You can follow developments on at as well as the G6LBQ Yahoo group at  (G6LBQ, 2E0SDR)



Barry Gose , W9FIZ, has announced over the Dayton Hamvention
reflector that he will be providing a number of really
needed services at this year Hamvention gathering.  Barry
says that he has rented a pair of Flea Market spaces where
he will have available free of charge access to both 110
volts AC line and 12 volts DC for testing newly purchased
gear along with a watt meter and dummy load to test the
output of HF, VHF and UHF transmitters.  He does state that
linear amplifiers are excluded.

But that's not all. Barry's booth will also have a vacuum
tube tester to check purchased tubes and he also plans on
running a paging service on 147.525 MHz simplex in the 2
meter band.  Last but by no means least will be access to
free advertisement boards for those looking to buy or sell
radio gear.  He says that you can e-mail him your ads in
advance to w9fiz (at) arrl (dot) net or just drop them by
his booth on standard 3 inch by 5 inch file cards.  Photos
are also OK and will be posted if he has room on the board.

There is no charge for any of these services but W9FIZ says
that he will graciously accept donations to offset the cost
of doing it again next year.

Gose says that the reason he decided to provide this service
is that from hearing year after year from other hams that go
to Dayton and who ask why someone has not done something
like this.  Well this year it is going to happen at Flea
Market spaces FW 3976 and FW 3977 located along the north
fence of the Hara Arena near gate E thanks to Barry Gose,
W9FIZ. (Hamvention remailer)



This is ham radio news for today's radio amateur.  From the
United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline
with links to the world from our only official website at and being relayed by the volunteer
services of the following radio amateur:

(5 sec pause here)



A new upgrade to FreeDV has been released.   Amateur Radio
Newsline's Heather Embee, KB3TZD has the details:


FreeDV is a part of a ham radio developed digital audio
system that should eventually allow just about any SSB radio
and any computer operating system to be teamed together.
This to enable transmission and reception of what developers
call high quality narrow-band digital audio for the High
Frequency amateur radio bands.

To make this happen speech is compressed and then modulated
onto a 1100 Hz wide QPSK signal which is sent to the
microphone input of a SSB radio.  On receive, the signal is
demodulated and decoded by the FreeDV software.

The new upgrade called version dot 96 became available on
March 23rd.  It provides a 1600 bit-per-second mode that
communicates at much lower signal levels than previously
envisioned.  As such, signals should be readable down to a 2
dB Signal to Noise Ratio, and long-distance contacts have
already been reported using only 1 to 2 watts power. A
compatibility mode for communication with the older dot 91
version is included.

Developers say that an executable program for Windows is
presently available.  Also that Linux and other platforms
will follow shortly.

FreeDV was brought into being by an international team of
radio amateurs working together on coding, design, user
interface and testing.  It is open source software, released
under the GNU Public License version 2.1.  The FDMDV modem
and Codec 2 Speech codec used in FreeDV are also open

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Heather Embee, KB3TZD,
in Berwick, Pennsylvania.


The new version of FreeDV for Windows along with
documentation and a demonstration video is available
from  (VK2JI)



Turning to international news, the final set of
VHF/UHF/Microwave papers for presentation at the
International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Interim meeting
have been released.  Included are such topics as Increased
Amateur-Satellite Service 144MHz Usage; Recommendations for
DATV Transmission; a Region 1 Satellite Coordinator Report;
New Narrow-Band working frequencies in the 2300-2450 MHz
band and 2400MHz Amateur Satellites.  The meeting will be
held in Vienna, Austria, on April 20th to the 21st.  You can
download these papers for your own reading at  (IARU-R1)



The 2013 "Youngsters On The Air" European youth radio camp
will be held near Tartu, Estonia from August 5th to the

This year there will be 10 teams participating from
different member societies of Region One of the
International Amateur Radio Union.  During the week long
event the young radio amateurs will be participating in
different activities including contesting, visiting radio
station installations, a radio observatory and much more.

The 2013 camp is organized by the Estonian Radio Amateurs
Union.  Two previous "Youngsters On The Air" events in
Romania and Belgium and the Netherlands have shown that it
will be a great experience for the Europe's young hams which
they will likely never forget.  (IRTS)



Australia's North Queensland Amateur Radio convention in
jeopardy and could be cancelled.  This as word that the
Charters Towers convention venue has had to close its doors
due to poor local patronage and mounting debts.

The Wireless Institute of Australia News Service reports
that moves are afoot to find another single locations or
combination of venues in Charters Towers area to house the
North Queensland ham radio outing.  More information will be
made public as it becomes available.  (TATC Inc., WIA)



A new 70cm beacon based upon the Next Generation Beacon
platform has come to the airwaves from Denmark.  The
OZ7IGY beacon on 432.471 MHz became operational on March
30th and is expected to remain very stable in frequency as
the transmitter is locked to a GPS receiver.

The transmission sequence is timed to start at 00 second
sending PI4 followed by a short pause then CW ID sending
callsign and locator.  Its then is in carrier only mode
until next cycle begins.

The OZ7IGY 70 centimeter beacon joins its counterparts on 6,
4 and 2 meters operating from the same location and running
the same ttransmission sequence.  All four use the PI4
digital modulation system which was specifically designed to
work with beacons and propagation studies in mind.  You can
download the PI-RX to decode PI4 at
software.  (DX News)



In DX, a team of 15 German operators will be active as 5W0M
from Le Lagoto, Samoa through April 18th.  Operation will be
on 80 through 6 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY plus 2 meter
EME.  They plan to have four stations active simultaneously.
QSL HF through 6 meters via DL4SVA, direct or by the Bureau
and EME QSOs to DL9MS.

CT1FTR is now active from the Sudan as ST2FT operating both
the HF and VHF bands using a Yaesu FT-857 and a loop
antenna.  Word is that he will be there until June.  QSL via

H3QFL and JH3AZC will be operational as V6H and V6S
respectively from Pohnpei Island beginning April 29th and
continuing through May 5th.  They will be active on 80
through 6 meters using SSB, CW, and RTTY and JT65.  QSL
direct to each operators home call.

2E1EUB will be operational from eastern side of Scotland in
the Cairngorms National Park as 2M1EUB through April 13th.
Activity will be on 160, 80, and several satellites  as well
as 2m SSB.  Check out under 2M1EUB for more

DL6JGN and DL2AWG will be on the air from Tokelau as ZK3N
between April 15th and the 30th and not April 23rd and May
8th as first announced.  The reason for the date change is
that the shipping service used has changed it boat schedule
from Samoa to the Tokelau Islands.  If you work this one QSL
as directed by the operators.

A group of at least fourteen operators and growing are
expected to be on the air from Amsterdam Island for 18 days
beginning on January 15th of 2014.  Further information will
be released as things progress toward the operations start-
up date.

Lastly, members of Mexico's Club de Radio Experimentadores
de Occidente are celebrating the 80th anniversary of the
founding of their organization using the special callsign
4A1TD.  Look for this call during various contests as
throughout the year.  The QSL Manager is XE1GZU.

(Above from various DX news Sources)



And finally this week the story of ham radios connection to
ending a war.  Heres Jason Law, VK2LAW:


To stem the flow of weapons from Mozambique into KwaZulu-
Natal, a two-man special operations team was inserted into
Mozambique for this mission.

One of those two persons was Anthony Turton, selected in
part because of his skills as a radio operator, which was
deemed to be a necessary element for the success of this
high risk but strategically important mission.

Anthony used these skills, honed to a high level of
technical competence as an active radio amateur, to gain
strategic access to the rebel group RENAMO.

Anthony has now authored a book "Shaking Hands with Billy'
which tells this story for the first time.

With international news, I'm Jason, VK2LAW.


The book that Jason mentions; Shaking Hands With Billy is
published by Just Done Productions in Durban, South Africa
but appears to only be available at the website That's where you will also
find more biographical information on the author as well.
(WIA News)



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  You can also write to us or support us
at Amateur Radio NewslineT, 28197 Robin Avenue, Santa
Clarita California, 91350

A reminder that the nominating period for the 2013 Amateur
Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year Award is now open.
Full details and a nominating form are on our website at

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 2013.  All rights

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