Friday, April 26, 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1863 - April 26 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1863 with a release
date of April 26 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST.  Ham radio rallyes to assist in the
wake of a killer quake that hits China; another loss in the
ongoing fight against B-P-L; a number of new hamsats are now
on-orbit; the latest news on Hamvention 2013; a new D-Star
repeater where few might expect it and a new book to
interest the new ham and non ham alike.  All this and more
on Amateur Radio NewslineT report number 1863 coming your
way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here)



Amateur radio was there to provide emergency relief
communications after a powerful earthquake killed more than
185 people and injured several thousand in China's rural
south-west on Saturday, April 20th.  Graham Kemp, VK4BB, of
the WIA News has more:


Fan Bin, BA1RB, reported that amateur radio operators swung
into action to provide emergency communications and
coordinate parts of the disaster response.  With toppled
houses everywhere, rescuers frantically began their search
of the rubble for survivors, while medical staff treated
those hurt on the ground and in make-shift hospitals.

Panic was evident with survivors sheltering in cars and
tents.  Badly hit Lushan County is now like a large refugee
camp with volunteers providing meals.

Fan Bin, BA1RB, has recently reported that public
communication was back to normal in the disaster area and
the local repeater systems continued to work.

He said the Chinese Radio Sports Association, also known as
the Chinese Radio Amateur Club, no longer required emergency
communication frequencies.  It expressed thanks for the
support from IARU member societies and others.

A role for some radio hams was maintaining traffic control,
with emergency supplies arriving including tents, water,
food and medicine.

Rain hampered search and rescue efforts in the quake zone,
and added to fallen trees and landslides making progress
slower in some areas.  After-shocks also occurred.

The Sichuan provincial government reported that 3,000
kilometres of road and 327 bridges had been damaged.  The
total repair bill from the earthquake was put at $3 billion.

The central government of China, local officials, rescuers,
relief workers and radio amateurs are much better prepared
to deal with disasters, than has been the case in the past.

Neighboring Russia sent rescue teams, and the Red Cross from
Hong Kong with an embedded radio amateur, are helping the on-
going effort.

For the Amateur radio Newsline, I'm Graham Kemp, VK4BB, of
the WIA News in Australia.


Five years ago a massive quake hit the same area.  The 2008
disaster killed tens of thousands and left some five million
people homeless.
(WIA News, VK3PC,BA1RB, QRZ, BBC, others)



Back here in the United States, word that the FCC rejected
an appeal from ARRL and has upheld its current Broadband
over Power Line rules.  In denying the ARRL appeal the FCC
said that the League had raised no new arguments, nor proved
previous that FCC B-P-L related decisions contained

The FCC went on to say that its previous decisions regarding
B-P-L strike what it calls the right balance between the
need to provide Access Broadband over Power Line technology
while protecting incumbent radio services against harmful

In a related story on the ARRL website ARRL Chief Executive
Officer Dave Summer, K1ZZ,  said that he wasn't surprised at
the decision.  However he also noted that some of the
rhetoric used by the agency in continuing to defend what he
termed as its wrong-headed promotion of the flawed BPL
technology is disappointing.  (ARRL)



The twice-delayed maiden flight of the Orbital Sciences
Corporation Antares rocket carrying three CubeSats with
amateur radio payloads has been called an overwhelming
success as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline's Bill
Pasternak, WA6ITF, is in the newsroom with the details:


After a pair of delays due to technical and weather related
problems the Antares rocket lunged skyward at 5 p.m. Eastern
Daylight Time Sunday afternoon April 21st from a launch pad
at NASA's Wallops Island Virginia Flight Facility.  On board
were three ham radio cubesats dubbed Phonesats because they
were built using off the shelf smart phones.

All three of the Phonesat based cubesats carries an amateur
radio payload downlinking on 437.425 MHz. Each cubesat will
transmit during individual time slots using AFSK modulation
at 1200 bps, AX.25 packet coding and have vertical linear

The two PhoneSat 1.0 satellites code named Graham and Bell
transmit with a period of respectively 28 seconds and 30
seconds. The PhoneSat 2.0 beta satellite, Alexander,
transmits with a period of 25 seconds.   All of the tiny
birds are using the callsign KJ6KRW.

The PhoneSat web page at www dot phonesat dot org provides
access to the "Dashboard" allowing hams to track the
location of the satellites in real time. Detailed
information on the downlink packet telemetry format can be
found on this page as well.

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


The orbit of the PhoneSat satellites is very low and are
expected to only remain on-orbit for two weeks.  The
satellites are battery powered with no additional charging
from solar cells or any other source.  (ANS, NASA, others)



The OSSI-1 CubeSat along with three other satellites were
launched to orbit from the Bikenour  Cosmodrome in Kazikstan
on Friday, April 19th.  Also on-board the Soyuz-2-1A launch
vehicle were some research and commercial satellites.

Korean artist Hojun Song, DS1SBO has spent 7 years
developing his Open Source Satellite Initiative satellite
that he named OSSI-1.  He has designed and built it from
scratch using readily available components rather than
expensive space qualified hardware.  The launch reportedly
cost him a cool $100,000 and is believed to be the first one
person privately constructed and launched ham radio bird.

We will have more ham radio space related news later on in
this weeks Amateur Radio Newsline report.  (ANS, Southgate)



Neither the Federal government nor any Massachusetts state
agency or the Boston police ordered a shutdown of cellular
telephone service in the Boston area following the terrorist
bombing of the Boston Marathon on Monday, April, 15th.  The
systems simply failed of their own accord because too many
people trying to use them at the same time.  Amateur Radio
Newsline's Norm Seeley, KI7UP, explains:


On April 18th outgoing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said
the FCC would follow up on cellular service issues at the
Boston Marathon.  This while emphasizing that broadband
services had not been shut down after the bombings.

Genachowski conceded that the event again raised issues of
communications and public safety like those the FCC has been
working on for some time.  However he went on to acknowledge
that wireless networks were so overwhelmed by the temporary
surge in traffic, that there were incorrect media reports
that mobile services had actually shut down when they had
not been.

What appears to be a fact is that most cellphone subscribers
erroneously believe that the phone in their pocket should
function perfectly 100 percent of the time.  The reality is
that the no cellular system currently in use can handle 100%
of all of its subscribers at any one time.  Or even 50% for
that matter.

Most experts say that when most cellphone systems reach
between 15 to 20 percent of its subscribers simultaneously
using the service that it is at a point of limited network
density.  In other words it cannot handle any more
subscribers more until those on-line hang up.

And that's what appears to have happened in Boston after the
two bombs at the marathon finish line went off.  It's also
why the autonomous  Boston Marathon ham radio communications
networks continued to function flawlessly even when the
cellphones failed.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Norm Seeley, KI7UP, in
Scottsdale, Arizona.


Genachowski said that the FCC will certainly pursue this
issue along with other agencies.  He called it an
institutional imperative for the FCC.  Meantime an excellent
reference guide on what you can really expect from your
cellphone including in emergency situations has been
published on-line by the FCC.  You can find it on the web at  (FCC, Wikipedia, published
news reports)



From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio
Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world
including the KB5ELV repeater serving Erie, Pennsylvania.

(5 sec pause here)



Emergency Alert System expert Richard Rudman, W6TIA, says
initial feedback from the Boston area indicates emergency
officials did not use the EAS to issue shelter-in-place
warnings when authorities were looking for the bombing

According to Rudman, if reports from the greater Boston area
show that EAS was not used to issue the shelter-in-place
warning, it's time for the entire emergency management
community to take to heart and put in practice FEMA's still
new protocol known as the Integrated Public Alert and
Warning System or IPAWS.

If you happen to know for certain whether or not Boston
officials did or did not utilize the Emergency Alert System
for public notification in the aftermath of the marathon
bombings or to issue the shelter in place order, please let
us know.  We in turn will be happy to pass along the
information to W6TIA.

More on this story is on-line at
alerts  (RW)



The FCC has adopted rules requiring that emergency
information provided in video programming be made accessible
to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.  It's
also mandating that that certain apparatus be capable of
delivering video description and emergency information these

Specifically, the rules clarify that the new emergency
information requirements apply to video programming provided
by entities that are already covered by Section 79.2 of the
Commission's rules along with  any other distributor of
video programming for residential reception that delivers
such programming directly to the home and is subject to the
jurisdiction of the Commission.

The complete text in PDF format is on-line at  (CGC, FCC)



Two businesses have been told that they will have to pay
some heavy duty fines for importing and using cellphone
jamming devices.  Amateur Radio Newsline's Steffen Kinford,
N8WB, reports:


On April 9th the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent liability
in the amount of $144,000 to The Supply Room in Oxford,
Alabama.  On the same day a $126,000 N-A-L was imposed on
Taylor Oilfield Manufacturing in Broussard, Louisiana.

In both cases the FCC received anonymous tips that cell
phone jamming was occurring at both businesses.  Using
direction finding FCC agents discovered strong wideband
emissions in the cellular bands that they determined to be
one or more signal jammers at each site.  On inspection,
both the Supply Room and Taylor Oilfield Manufacturing
admitted to the agents that they had each purchased a number
of cellphone signal jammers off of the Internet from
overseas sources.

And here's where it really gets interesting.  Not only did
each business freely admit to purchasing and using the
cellphone jammers but their excuses were interesting as
well.  In the case of the Supply Room, it's general manager
admitted that the jammers were in place to prevent its
employees from using their cellular phones while working.
Not only that, but that the devices had been in operation
for more than two years before they were caught.

Meantime, managers at Taylor Oilfield Manufacturing told FCC
that the devices were also being utilized to prevent its
employees from using their cellular phones while working,
but in this case following a near-miss industrial accident.
One that the company alleges was partially attributable to
employee cell phone use.

While both companies voluntarily surrendered their jammers
to the FCC, that did not help mitigate the penalties that
have been imposed.  In fact, the FCC told both companies
that they must submit payment in full by May 9th or file a
written appeal.

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


Both businesses were also directed by the FCC to file a
statement to be signed under penalty of perjury no later
than May 9th that would provide the source or sources from
were each purchased or received the jamming devices.  (FCC)



The FCC has issued an Official Citation1issued to Ruben D.
Lopez, Jr. of Pomona Park, Florida.  This for operating an
incidental radiator and causing harmful interference in
violation of Section 15.5(b) of the Commission's rules.  In
this case the incidental radiator was of all things a well
pump that was putting out a signal at 1800 Kilohertz and
interfering with ham radio operations.

On July 15, 2010 and February 28, 2011, in response to
complaints of interference to Amateur Radio Service
reception of medium and high frequency radio signals, the
Enforcement Bureau issued Lopez two letters informing him of
the complaints.  The letters summarized the relevant rules,
instructed him to resolve any interference, and suggesting
he install new AC line filters for his well pump.

On October 23, 2012, in response to another complaint of
interference to Amateur Radio Service reception, agents from
the Commission's Tampa Office of the Enforcement Bureau used
direction finding techniques to identify Lopez's well pump
as the source of transmissions on the frequency 1800 kHz.
The agents from the confirmed that Mr. Lopez's well pump was
the source of the interference by conducting on/off tests.
The interference ceased when the well pump was turned off.

At that time the agents informed Lopez that he must cease
operating his well pump until the interference could be
resolved.  After the October 23, 2012 inspection, the Tampa
Office received information that Lopez tried to eliminate
the interference by replacing the AC line filter for the
well pump, but the new filter did not resolve the

Now, in its April 23rd Citation the FCC has instructed Lopez
to take immediate steps to come into compliance by repairing
or replacing his incidental radiator and eliminating all
harmful interference.  It also directed Lopez to confirm
within thirty calendar days after the release date of the
Citation that he has ceased operating his incidental
radiator or taken steps to eliminate all harmful
interference.  If he fails to do so, the FCC says that he
could be subject to substantial monetary penalties, seizure
of the offending equipment, and criminal sanctions. The
entire text of the Citation is on-line as a PDF file at  (FCC)



Tony Bond, EI9GMB, says he is again operating Radio Foxtrot
100.  Foxtrot 100 is an internet radio station dedicated to
ham radio and short wave listeners that has topics related
to ham radio in addition to its music programming.  More is
on the web at  (EI9GMB)



Outgoing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (PRON: GEN A COW
SKEE) will likely become a fellow at the Washington D.C.-
based Aspen Institute when he steps down from his current
position.  The move makes Genachowski the fifth former FCC
Chairman in a row to become a Senior Fellow of the
institute, following Kevin Martin, Michael Powell, William
Kennard and Reed Hundt.

The Aspen Institute is an international nonprofit
organization founded in 1950 and  dedicated to fostering
enlightened leadership, the appreciation of timeless ideas
and values, and open-minded dialogue on contemporary issues.
The institute and its international partners promote the
pursuit of common ground and deeper understanding in
a nonpartisan and non-ideological setting through regular
seminars, policy programs, conferences, and leadership
development initiatives.

(Published reports)



The 18th VHF Weak Signal Group dinner to be held on Friday
evening May 17th at the Dayton Grand Hotel in Dayton, Ohio.
This, concurrent with the 2013 Dayton Hamvention.

The cash bar opens at 6:15 PM with dinner to be served at
approximately  7:15 PM.  This years guest banquet speaker is
VHF Contester Jeff Klein, K1TEO.

Reservations are required with seating is limited to 125.
Tickets are $40 per person from Tony Emanuele WA8RJF, 7156
Kory Court, Concord Township, Ohio 44077.  For more
information contact WA8RJF (at) arrl (dot) net.  (WA8RJF)


HAMVENTION 2013:  D-STAR TRAINING ON MAY 17 and the Georgia D-STAR group will again
conduct training for beginning and intermediate D-STAR users
during 2013 Dayton Hamvention.  The three hour instruction
will be held Friday, May 17th at the Drury Inn Ballroom,
conveniently located in the Hamvention hotel area at 6616
Miller Lane.

The class will begin promptly at 8:00am.  This training will
provide the basics for new D-STAR users guiding them through
the registration process, getting on the air and get the
most out of handhelds or mobiles.

Class size is limited and pre-registration is required at   The cost of the class is $15.00
and attendees will receive all course materials.  For more
information please e-mail info (at) dstarinfo (dot) com.



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)



D-Star is bringing some unexpected placed to the VHF and UHF
bands.  This with word that the first repeater using this
mode has come on the air in the Canary Islands.  Amateur
Radio Newsline's Heather Embee, KB3TD, has the details on
this one:


Sponsored by Radio Club Vecindario, the ED8ZAB D-Star
machine is located on the island of Gran Canaria at an
altitude of about 4,000 feet above average terrain covering
most of the group's 7 islands.

The system currently runs 10 watts out on 438.4625 MHz and
listens for signals on its input that is 7.6 MHz below. It
has been reported as having been heard by stations in both
Portugal and Spain during two recent tropospheric openings;
a distance of more than 1,400 kilometers.

And for those who are not world travelers or DXers, the
Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago located just off
the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the
border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. They are one
of Spain's seventeen autonomous communities and an outermost
region of the European Union.

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


If by any chance you happen to hear the ED8ZAB D-Star
machine outside of its local coverage area, please send a
report by e-mail to ed8zab (at) yahoo (dot) es. (EA8EE)



South Africa AMSAT will hold its annual space symposium on
Saturday, May 18th. The venue is the Innovation Hub in the
city of Pretoria with McLean Sibanda, the CEO of the Hub as
its keynote speaker.

The symposium is sponsored by South Africa Telkom and
features an agenda that is packed with interesting
presentations and demonstrations.  Full details and the
registration form are available on the web at  (SA-AMSAT)



A web-based Software Defined Radio for the 5, 7 and 14 MHz
bands is now available on the new Radio Society of Great
Britain website.  The "Web SDR receiver" link can be found
under the "My RSGB" drop-down menu.  Also on the new site
are "Live DX Cluster" and "Live solar data" pages under the
"News" drop-down menu.  Go to for more.



The honor of being the 200th registrant for this years
International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend goes to the
Whitby High Light in England.

Built in 1858 the Whitby High Light helped ships avoid the
Whitby Rock, on the North Yorkshire coast. Its well known as
the place Captain James Cook became a seaman before leading
his epic voyages of discovery.

The special event call GB2WHL will be operated from the
lighthouse by the Denby Dale Radio Club.  A special QSL card
is available on request.

So far there are registrations from 29 countries.  To read
the guidelines for the International Lighthouse and
Lightship Weekend slated for August the 17th and 18th or to
register a lighthouse, lightship or maritime beacon on-line,
please visit (VK3PC)



The final results of the 2012 New York QSO Party have been
published.  You can read them on-line by taking your web
browser to

This year's plaque winners will be receiving the awards in
the mail as soon as they are completed.  Participants can
also download and print their own paper awards and
participation certificates or have the New York QSO Party
print them for you.  The latter requires a $3 donation sent
via PayPal to

Please include your name, callsign and mailing address with
any on-line orders.  (NYQP)



On the air, VUCC grid hunters who need Canadian grid E-Oh-40-
ud may want to listen for WB8BZK Stroke VE3 who will be on
the air from Seseganaga Lake in Ontario Province between May
26 and the 31.  He will be operating only on 6 meters
primarily on 50.135 MHz running SSB and CW only.  Operating
times are tentatively each morning at 12:30 UTC and then
again between 22:30 and 23:00 UTC each evening.  If you make
contact, please QSL with a self addressed stamped envelope
to WB8BZK at his address on  (WB8BZK)



The special event call PD13MILL will be on the air May 10th
to the 12th in honor of the Dutch Windmill and Waterpump
weekend.  Operators will be PD5JFK , PD0ME and PD7BZ and
they will have three Stations active at the same time on 40,
20 and 10 meters using SSB and the digital modes.  A 2 meter
station for local contacts will be operational as well.  QLL
via PD7BZ,direct, via the bureau or electronically on
Logbook of the World or eQSL.  Information about Mills on
the Air is on the web at  (Southgate)



In DX, a multi-national, multi-operator, DXpedition to
Vientiane, Laos, is being planned for September 6th to the
16th.  They plan to operate five stations from 160-6 meters
using CW, SSB and RTTY.  A Web site is currently under
construction and will be available soon.  The callsign and
more details will be announced later.

The Malaysian Special Expedition Team operating as 9M2SE
will be activating Perhentian Besar Island from May 1st to
the 3rd.  The group will use a pair of 100 watt transceivers
on 40 through 10 meters running CW, SSB and some digital
modes.  For QSL information please check 9M2SE carefully on

VU2PAI and W4VKU are on the air from Bodu Finolhu Island as
8Q7KP through April 30th.  Their operation is using two
stations on the various High Frequency bands.  QSL
electronically via OQRS, eQSL or Logbook of the World.

DL6JGN and DL2AWG should be operational as Zed-K-3-N from
Nukunonu Atoll until April 30th.  Modes being used are CW,
SSB and RTTY.  This one counts as OC-048 for the Islands on
the Air Award.  QSL as directed on the air.

Lastly, M0HLT will soon be off to the Falkland Islands on a
2 year work contract.  Arrangements have been made to
acquire a VP8 callsign and he will be operating from VP8LP
when work commitments allow. QSL via his home call.

(Above from various DX news sources)



And finally this week, the story of a new book for new and
potential hams.  Amateur Radio Newsline's Cheryl Lasek,
K9BIK, tells us all about it:


Riding the Shortwaves:  Exploring the Magic of Amateur Radio
is a new book by author Don Keith, N4KC, that contains
material of special interest to newcomers to ham radio and
those thinking of joining its ranks.  This includes easy-to-
understand chapters on antennas, choosing a first station,
and a tour of the amateur radio high-frequency bands.  There
are also short fictional and satirical pieces that use humor
or drama to show the various facets of the hobby. According
to Keith, that's why he too the approach that he did:


N4KC:  "I felt there was a need for a book for people who
were just on the verge of either committing to ham radio or
walking away from it.  So I had to think about whats keeping
people from entering the hobby and what would it take to
push them over the cliff."


Keith also notes that it's just a matter of being in the
right place at the right time and in the right situation for
ham radio to become a part of someone's life:


N4KC:  "That was my case.  My dad was not a ham.  He was a
television repair  and he had a shortwave receiver.  We used
to sit around and listen to hams; to Sputnick and all sorts
of things line that and the bug bit."


Keith's book also counters the notion that Facebook, the
web, Twitter, smart phones and other new technology have
made amateur radio obsolete.   On the contrary, the author
maintains, in its 100th year, the hobby is more vibrant and
exciting than ever.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, in
Zion, Illinois.


Riding the Shortwaves:  Exploring the Magic of Amateur Radio
is available in both paper and electronic release from
booksellers everywhere including

You can hear more from Don Keith, N4KC, talking about this
new book and his other writings on this weeks RAIN Report.
Just take your web browser to and tune
in.  (Press release)



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  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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