Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1862 with a release date of April 19 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1. The following is a Q-S-T. Ham radio takes the point position after a terror attack on the Boston Marathon; the SARL gets two frequencies at 5 MHz to do a propagation study; the FCC says that the 2011 national EAS test is considered to be a success; a special event station in May will honor the Native American Code Talkers and will everyone in the world be on-line by 2020? All this and more on Amateur Radio NewslineT report number 1862 coming your way right now. (Billboard Cart Here) ** RESCUE RADIO: HAM RADIO RESPONDS TO BOSTON MARATHON TERRORIST ATTACK Some 250 ham radio operators were providing communications for the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15th, when a pair of bombs believed planted by a terrorist went off killing three onlookers and sending scores to local hospitals. Some with very serious and life threatening injuries. Amateur Radio Newsline's Mark Abramowicz, NT3V, is here with what's known about the attack and the role played by the hams on scene: -- It is a day Paul Topolski, W1SEX, will never forget. Topolski tells Newsline he was working with radio operators close to the finish line of the Boston Marathon and things were going well. And then, there was the first blast.. "I was in the net control trailer about 400 feet from where the blast was," he recalls. "Things were going pretty smooth and we had and were commenting all of the operations that we had were up and running and no real issues. "And, within a couple of minutes my assistant and I just happened to be looking at each other out of the corner of our eye and then that blast hit and shook the trailer and we knew it wasn't good." Topolski says then the second blast went off and they knew things were going to be brought to a halt. He says their big concern, operators at the medical tents at each mile along the route... "Net control immediately started doing a roll call and finding out where all our people were - exact locations and their condition, making sure that they were okay. And, as it turns out everyone was just fine and continuing operations." Just before that roll call began, Topolski told his counterpart overseeing net-control on the course to reach out to him on a secure line.. Steve Schwarm, W3EVE, who also spoke with Newsline about the events of that day, was on the receiving end of that call and was a bit surprised... "He calls me on the radio and says, 'Call me on my cell phone.' And, I know something's got to be wrong because he'll only talk to me on the cell phone when it's something he doesn't want anybody else to hear," Schwarm says. "So, I called him on the cell phone and that's when he told me that two bombs had gone off in downtown and said I don't know what's going to happen next, but thought you'd like to know and I said thanks. "So, I stoppped all the activity in my net control and announced it to everybody there and I said that we don't know what's going to happen next, but I'm quite sure the race is probably over." Topolski, who was at the medical tent close to the finish line, says once it was established all those close to the bomb locations were okay, there was general agreement among the operators to stay at their posts and assist... "It was a kind of a mindset, 'Okay, we did have a problem and let's continue to do our jobs,' and everybody did just that until we were finally sent on our way by the Boston Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police because we were literally right in the "ground zero" area," Topolski says. "We were in the crime scene so we had to bug out." But, before they were sent out, Topolski says the operators were busy helping medical personnel... "Instead of taking care of runners, we were no working with the medical people who were serving casualties from the incident itself," Topolski says. "We had medical coverage, or coverage in the medical tents and we started receiving reports of those injuries and the types of things that were going on and then we were relaying that information to the public safety people via WebEOC and other means." Topolski estimates those closest to the blast zones were there for about 35 minutes afterward until they got sent out because of concerns among authorities about other possible devices. Back to Schwarm at course net control, who in the minutes after the blasts was now working with operators still out on the course. "Police were ordering people to stop," Schwarm says. "So runners tended to congregate at the first aid stations and the water-fluid stations along the course. And all of them had ham radio operators. "So, as soon as that happened, we told everybody on the frequency what was going on. The event had stopped and they would start to organize those people. And, then we started to use some of our medical sweep buses to take the runners to some pre-determined shelters. "The original thought was that if we had something like a thunderstorm come through and had lightning and things like that we wouldn't want all these people on the course. So, that was the original intended use for the shelters but they found out that they could be used for this as well." Schwarm says for the operators close to the blast zones, it was a hectic time.... "They supplied communications for the medical tents and that was where a lot of the initial triage of the runners occurred and a lot of lives were probably saved because they had basically a first-class emergency room right there," Schwarm says. But the day was far from over for Topolski and his operators who were evacuated from the developing crime scene, Schwarm says.... "The roles actually got reversed because they were concerned about having another device in the area so they had a lot of people evacuated," Schwarm says. "Paul and his team evacuated and several of his operators came up to help me in case we were going to be doing an extended operation. "It wasn't clear how long it was going to take for us to get this thing cleaned up and they came up to help in case we needed some backup. I was very concerned about some of my net control operators getting exhausted, needing some backup. So I knew he had some good people and they came up to help out." So, where was net control for the course? Schwarm says the Boston area hams put it at a perfect location... "We're actually quite a distance from the course," Schwarm says. "We're about a mile or two from the course. It's at a facility, it's a private school in Brookline which is a suburb of Boston. "And, it's on top of a very high hill, which, if we had to, we could probably work every single repeater we use with a 100-milliwatt walkie-talkie because we can see them all - literally. And, it makes an ideal location for it and we also then have high-speed internet at our fingertips and several phone lines and a few things like that. It's a very nice facility." So what form of communications do the hams who work the Boston Marathon use? VHF frequencies only, Schwarm says... "The Boston Marathon is the only marathon that's run in a straight line," Schwarm explains. "And we plan on having HT- coverage for the entire course and the finish and the start. So, as a result, you tend to use a fair number of frequencies to make that happen. "We use five separate repeaters to cover five sections of the course. And, then we have a network of linked repeaters that we use to cover the entire course from beginnning to end just for things that need to be covered across that range." Topolski has been involved in the marathon amateur radio coverage for 20 years. For Schwarm, this was his 13th year and he says it won't be his last. "I think what you'll find is that next year we're going to have a bigger and better Boston Marathon and we're going to go on," Schwarm says. "I mean we went through a lot of planning and soul searching for these kinds of things after 9-11 and this was probably a wake-up call to re-think some of those." For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Mark Abramowicz, NT3V in Philadelphia. -- Our hearts go out to the families of those who lost loved ones and to those injured in this unprovoked and uncivilized attack against humanity. We will have more for you in upcoming Amateur Radio Newsline reports. (ARNewslineT and various other sources) ** WORLDBEAT: ICASA COUNCIL APPROVES TWO 5 MHZ FREQUENCIES FOR SARL The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has last approved two frequencies at 5 MHz for the South African Radio League to carry out propagation research. This is in response to the society's application to collect information about country wide propagation conditions in that spectrum. The South African Radio League had applied for access to 5 MHz in 2010, 2011 and again in 2012. In its application the society told the telecommunications regulator that while the propagation of signals are fairly well known for high power broadcasting, there is still quite a lot that can be learned by radio amateurs, especially away from the coastline. The licenses are being issued for an 8 month period but the regulator says that at the end of the period the South African Radio League can apply for an extension. (SARL) ** BREAK 1 From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the KA8HDY repeater serving Jackson, Michigan. (5 sec pause here) ** RESCUE RADIO: NATIONAL EAS TEST DEEMED A MODERATE SUCCESS The final results of the first National Emergency Alert System or EAS Test show that 83% of broadcasters successfully received the alert. Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather Embee, KB3TZD, reports: -- The first national EAS test was held on November 9th of 2011. Now, in a long awaited and very detailed review, the FCCs Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau says that while the test demonstrated EAS would generally perform as designed, it also shined a bright light on several areas that require improvement. The 19-page report says that of the nearly 14,000 radio and TV stations that submitted result data, only 2,300 failed to successfully receive and rebroadcast the alert. The number would likely have been lower however 3 of the 63 Primary Entry Point stations failed which meant a larger number stations further down the daisy-chain did not get the alert. While the majority of stations received the national EAS alert, results varied state-by-state. The report points out that while fewer than 2% of Texas stations didnt get the test on the air, nearly every Oregon station didnt broadcast the complete alert. The bottom line is that the FCC and FEMA have concluded that the nationwide EAS architecture is basically sound, but there is still room for improvement. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, Im Heather Embee, KB3TZD, in Berwick, Pennsylvania. -- The agencies involved say that they plan more national EAS tests in the future. You can read the FCC's in-depth report on the national EAS test at tinyurl.com/eas-results. (FCC, Inside Radio) ** RADIO LAW: FCC SEEKS COMMENTS ON BROADCAST INDECENCY The FCC is seeking public comment on a proposed regulatory change to limit complaints to the agency dealing with broadcast indecency. Amateur Radio Newsline's Norm Seeley, KI7UP, is here with the details: -- The FCC indicates that General Docket No. 13-86 has been issued because it has a backlog of complaints dealing with alleged broadcast indecency and no way for it to investigate and act on each one individually. It notes that after the Supreme Court's decision in FCC vs. Fox Television Stations, Inc in September 2012, Chairman Genachowski instructed Commission staff to begin a review of the Commission's broadcast indecency policies and enforcement to ensure they are fully consistent with vital First Amendment principles. In the interim, the Chairman directed the Enforcement Bureau to focus its indecency enforcement resources on egregious cases and to reduce the backlog of pending broadcast indecency complaints. Since September 2012, the Enforcement Bureau has reduced the backlog by 70%. That amounts to more than one million complaints. Most of these were simply beyond the statute of limitations or too stale to pursue, that involved cases outside FCC jurisdiction, that contained insufficient information, or that were closed by settled precedent. The FCC says that the Enforcement Bureau is actively investigating egregious indecency cases and will continue to do so. However it is now seeking comment on whether the full Commission should make changes to its current broadcast indecency policies or maintain them as they are. For example, the Commission wants to know if it should treat isolated expletives in a manner consistent with the way it currently does based on its decision in the Pacifica Foundation case of the 1960's, or should it instead maintain the approach to isolated expletives set forth in its decision in complaints against various broadcast licensees regarding their airing of the "Golden Globe Awards" program in 2004. It also wants to know if it should treat isolated non-sexual nudity the same as or differently than isolated expletives. The FCC says that commenters are invited to address these issues as well as any other aspect of the Commission's substantive indecency policies. It also notes that the issuance of General Docket No. 13-86 does not alter any of the Commission's current substantive indecency policies. That means acceptance of new complaints and ongoing enforcement action will continue as is until the issues in General Docket 13-86 have been decided. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Norm Seeley, KI7UP, in Scottsdale, Arizona. -- Comments on FC General Docket Number 13-86 will be due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register with reply comment due no later than 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. You can download and read the text of this proposed rule making at tinyurl.com/fcc-indecency- rules. (FCC) ** NEW PRODUCTS: FREE REPEATER LOCATOR FOR IPHONE/IPAD A free Repeater Directory App for the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South America and more is now available for iPhone and Android based smart devices. Repeater Locator enables the traveling ham to easily find repeaters across most populated areas of the world using GPS or a Locator to find repeaters. The app also makes available the complete database of United Kingdom analog, IRLP, Echolink and D-Star repeater and a growing world repeater database covering all but North America. Also the Android version supports the BlueCAT, FT-857 and FT-817 Bluetooth CAT interface that allow a user to simply touch a repeater to instantly his or her your radio. You can find Repeater locator by searching for ZBM2 at the Apple App Store or the Play store (M1HOG) ** HAMVENTION 2013: ROOMS AVAILABLE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON According to an April 13th posting to the Dayton Hamvention Yahoogroups Remailer from the University of Dayton, the campus housing had about 15 rooms each accommodating between 4 to 6 people available for Hamvention weekend. The posting by the University notes that it has been offering lodging to Hamvention attendees for over 15 years. If you are looking for a last minute place to stay for this years Hamvention try taking your web browser to tickets.udayton.edu. (Hamvention Remailer) ** HAM HAPPENINGS: IDXC 9TH ANNUAL DX CONVENTION IZ8EDJ reports that details of Italy's 9th International DX Convention to be held on April 28th, in Capaccio-Paestum are now available at tinyurl.com/italy-dx-meeting. The offical Web site for the convention itself is on the web at www.dxitalia.it (Southgate) ** NAMES IN THE NEWS: KJ4EMJ NAMED TO SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT TELECOM POST Back here in the USA, Julie N. Zoller, KJ4EMJ, has succeeded Richard C. Beaird at the Department of State. This in the role of Senior Deputy Coordinator of the Office of Multilateral Affairs, Communications and Information Policy Directorate, Economics and Business Affairs Bureau. The ARRL reports that in this position, she will serve as principal advisor to the United States Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy. More on her appointment is on-line at tinyurl.com/zoller- appointment. (ARRL) ** HAM HAPPENINGS: SPECIAL EVENT STATION TO HONOR CODE TALKERS The Lawton Fort Sill Amateur Radio Club will be hosting a special event station from May 8th to the 11th at the Comanche National Museum in Lawton, Oklahoma. This to commemorate the work of the Comanche Code Talkers of World War II. According to Wikipedia, the Code talkers were people who used obscure languages as a means of secret communication during wartime. The term is now usually associated with the United States soldiers during the world wars who used their knowledge of Native-American languages as a basis to transmit coded messages. There were approximately 400 to 500 Native Americans in the United States Marine Corps whose primary job was the transmission of secret tactical messages. Code talkers transmitted these messages over military telephone or radio communications nets using formal or informally developed codes built upon their native languages. Their service improved communications in terms of speed of encryption at both ends in front line operations during World War II. (KC5FM) ** RADIO HAPPENINGS: CRYSTAL RADIO AWARDS PRESENTED AT NAB The recent National Association of Broadcasters annual Radio Luncheon provided the setting for the presentation of the 10 NAB Crystal Radio Awards. The event also featured a keynote address from famed composer, musician and program host John Tesh, the induction of Dave Ramsey into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame and a Crystal Heritage Award to radio station KNOM AM and FM of Nome, Alaska. The Crystal Radio Awards recognize radio stations for their outstanding year-round commitment to community service. The luncheon was sponsored by ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. For those not aware, John Tesh wrote and performed the music score for the 1986 ARRL video "The New World of Amateur Radio." (RW) ** 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) ** HAM RADIO IN SPACE: RADIO AMATEURS GET $25,000 FOR CUBESAT FROM JPL Two college professors who are also ham radio operators have received a substantial monetary grant from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to help them construct and launch a research satellite. Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, is in our newsroom with more: -- Professors Sharlene Katz, WB6FFE, and James Flynn, WB9AWX, are a part of a California State University at Northridge team that has received $25,000 from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a CubeSat research project. There is also an award of $30,000 for the project listed by The University Corporation. The April 15th edition of the campus newspaper The Sundial carried a report on the university's CubeSat project that has a mission of testing alternative power techniques for satellites and spacecraft. Measuring only 10 by 10 by 20 centimeters, the satellite will be packed with solar cells and special software to achieve this goal. In order to communicate with the CubeSat, the team is also building an automated ground station on top of a campus building. The station will not only help the team track university's CubeSat, but other satellites as well. This is because it will become part of the Global Educational Network for Satellite Operations. This is a community of universities around the world that track and communicate with satellites. Currently, the project is in phase one. Phase two is set to start during the fall semester of 2013, and the team is hoping to complete the satellite by December of 2014. Typically, it would cost another $45,000 just to launch the satellite, but thanks to the sponsorship from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory the satellite will be hitching a ride into orbit in just a few years. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bill Pasternak, in the newsroom in Los Angeles. -- You can read the full story of the creation of this new bird on-line at tinyurl.com/cal-state-northridge-satellite. (CSUN) ** RADIO AND SCOUTING: WASHINGTON STATE EVENT A MAJOR SUCCESS A ham radio related Youth Workshop on Saturday, April 13th at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology in Kirkland, Washington is being called a big success. This thanks to the hard work of the amateur radio support team at the event. According to planners, there were over 100 Electricity, Electronics and Radio Merit Badges completed by the 58 youngsters who were registered at the event. These are considered Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics or STEM Merit Badges and part of the STEM / NOVA Award sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America. There were 14 adults and 14 scouts that qualified for their amateur radio licenses. Five of the adults were Scout Masters. Some of the others were from scouting troops and the Lake Washington Ham Club. Another event of this type is in the planning stages for September 14th. (N7DRW, K7APS and AE7TD via K9JA) ** HAM RADIO PUBLICITY: PAPA SYSTEM AND PALOMAR ARC AT FRYS Southern California's PAPA System and the Palomar Amateur Radio Club will jointly host an Operating Day at Fry's Electronics in the city of San Marcos on Sunday April 28th. This will be a demonstration to educate the public about how amateur radio helps in the community. This operation will begin at 9:00 am and run though 4:30 pm Pacific Daylight time. Club members will be available to answer questions and encourage the public to try amateur radio on site. They will be demonstrating HF through 70cm operations plus D-Star, Packet Radio and Winlink. Also available will be past copies of CQ and QST magazines, flyers from local clubs, and a public radio use flyer. For more information on this event please drop an email to admin (at) papasys (dot) com. (PAPA) ** HAM CELEBRATIONS: 40 YEARS OF THE CATALINA REPEATER And word of congratulations to the Catalina California 2 meter repeater. This as it celebrates of 40 years of continuous service to the regions ham radio community. On April 27, 1973, system came on the air with a 10-watt voice from Catalina Island and amazing 1,300 square mile coverage. Now in 2013 the system, operated by the Catalina Amateur Repeater Association remains one of the most popular in the region. And over the four decades of its operation there have been many improvements to both its coverage and the service it provides to the community. The complete story of the creation of this system located some 26 miles off the Pacific coastline was featured in the April 1974 cover story of 73 Magazine. Even though the magazine itself is long gone you can read the story or download it at from an on-line archive tinyurl.com/catalina- repeater-at-40 (CARA) ** DX In DX, listen out for special event station XR86PL to be active until April 30th to commemorate the 86th Anniversary of the Chilean Police. Operations are on all bands using SSB, RTTY and PSK. QSL via the operators home callsign or CE3ETE. CT1FTR will be in Khartoum, Sudan until June. He is signing ST2FT. QSL as directed on the air. AC6DD will be active stroke 9A from Sveti Nikola, Croatia. This during the RSGB Islands on the Air Contest on July 27th and the 28th. If you make contact QSL via AC6DD. KT3Y, K9VV and WP2XX will be active from the KP2M rental shack on St. Croix Island during the CQ World Wide WPX CW Contest from May 25th to the 26th as a Multi-Single entry. QSL direct only via AI4U or Logbook of the World. No QSL's will be accepted via the bureau. Lastly, ZL1GO and ZL3CW reportedly will use the callsign N8A during their American Samoa operation between November 12th and the 26th. More information on this upcoming operation as soon as it is made available. (Above from various DX news sources) ** THAT FINAL ITEM: GOOGLE EXEC PREDICTS EVERYONE IN THE WORLD ON-LINE BY 2020 And finally this week, do you believe what Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt says that everyone in the world will be on-line by the end of the decade? Amateur Radio Newsline's Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, has the rest of this rather interesting prediction. -- On Saturday April 13th Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt stated on his Google Plus blog that for every person online, there are two who are not. He went on to add that by the end of the decade, he predicted that everyone on Earth will be connected by 2020. A day later, Schmidt added - and we quote: "Think about how great the internet is now with 2 billion users. Now think about how amazing it will be when 5 billion come online in a decade." But can Schmid's prediction come true? As pointed out in one news article, Google itself supports a project called Geeks Without Frontiers. This is described as a nonprofit group that donates computers and related wireless access technology to poor areas around the world. The organization's current focus is to bring such wireless access to parts of Mexico, Central America and Africa. These are regions without any traditional form of wired Internet access. Also, back in 2011 Geeks Without Frontiers announced that it had developed its own low cost open source WiFi software. At that time it said that by driving down the cost of metropolitan and village scale Wi-Fi networks, millions more people will be able to reap the economic and social benefits of significantly lower cost Internet access The rise of the mobile access expected to play a role. In parts of Africa it's reported that more people have access to a mobile phones than have electricity. Google itself notes that in South Africa 25% of its searches during the week are made via mobile devices and that rises to 65% on the weekends. So will every man, woman and child be on-line by 2020? There's no way to be certain but Google leaders rarely make predictions that they know won't come true. So the bottom line is, don't rule this one out. And if it does happen it will likely be thanks to Wi-Fi which is in itself nothing more than a form of digital two-way radio. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, in Zion, Illinois. -- According to the International Telecommunication Union, at this time approximately 38% of the world's population is currently using the Internet in some way. That's up from about 35% who were on-line in 2012. But with poor and developing nations around the world isolated by nonexistent Internet infrastructures, and others hindered by government censorship, some wonder if Eric Schmidt's vision might be a bit overly optimistic. Then again as time has proven, Google is rarely wrong. (bizjournals.com, digitalspy.com, others) ** 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 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 For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors' desk, I'm Jeff Clark, K8JAC, saying 73 and we thank you for listening. Amateur Radio NewslineT is Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.