Friday, April 19, 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1862 - April 19 2013

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)



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


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
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

"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

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


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)



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)



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)



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  (FCC,
Inside Radio)



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

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
rules.  (FCC)



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)



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
(Hamvention Remailer)



IZ8EDJ reports that details of Italy's 9th International DX
Convention to be held on April 28th, in Capaccio-Paestum are
now available at  The offical
Web site for the convention itself is on the web at (Southgate)



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



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)



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)



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)



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



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

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)



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)



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
repeater-at-40  (CARA)



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

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)



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.   (,,



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

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors' desk,
I'm Jeff Clark, K8JAC, saying 73 and we thank you for

Amateur Radio NewslineT is Copyright 2013.  All rights

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