Friday, June 7, 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1869 - June 7 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1869 with a release
date of June 7th 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST.  A ham radio operator severe weather
researcher looses his life in an Oklahoma tornado; the FCC
sets commentary date for comments on RF exposure
reassessment; new life for ham radio in Ghana; the
government seizes an unlicensed broadcast station near
Boston and some long missing moon dust is found in a
California warehouse.  All this and more on Amateur Radio
NewslineT report number 1869 coming your way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here)



A ham radio operator, his son and an associate who chased
severe weather to help science better understand Mother
Nature's wrath has been killed by a tornado in Oklahoma.
Amateur Radio Newsline's Burt Hicks has the sad details:


Professional storm chasers Tim Samaras, WJ0G, his son Paul
and fellow investigator Carl Young lost their lives on May
31st when a tornado that they were trailing unexpectedly
changed paths and rammed their vehicle near El Reno,

According to news reports it all happened so suddenly that
the three severe weather investigators were unable to escape
the storms wrath. Tim Samaras was found dead in his vehicle
still strapped in his seat belt.  Paul Samaras and Carl
Young had apparently been pulled from the vehicle by the
tornado with the remains of one found almost a half mile

Tim and Paul Samaras and Carl Young were not your average
storm chasers.  The three were a part of a scientific field
study called TWISTEX or the Tactical Weather Instrumented
Sampling in or Near Tornadoes Experiment.  This is a
scientific field research program that had been originated
by Tim Samaras.  Its purpose is to better understand the
origin, maintenance and decay of tornadic activity in the
hope of gaining insight and knowledge of the seldom sampled
near surface internal tornado environment. The experiment
was well known in the meteorology community and had been
featured on The Discovery Channel's television program Storm

In a public statement honoring the three, the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated that Tim
Samaras was a respected tornado researcher and friend of
NOAA who brought to the field a unique portfolio of
expertise in engineering, science, writing and videography.
The NOAA statement went on to say that Samaras work was
documented through an extensive list of formal publications
and conference papers.  News reports said that Tim Samaras
held the Guinness World Record for recording the greatest
pressure drop ever measured inside a tornado and was the
only person to ever record video from the interior of a
tornado using special technology that he had developed.

Terry Garcia is the Executive Vice President of the National
Geographic Society.  He said that his organization had
provided 18 grants to Tim Samaras for research over the
years for field work like he was doing in Oklahoma at the
time of his death.  Garcia added that tornadoes were not Tim
Samaras' only interest and that his work on lightning was
featured in the August 2012 issue of National
Geographic magazine.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Burt Hicks, in Los


We know that you join us in sending condolences to the
families of these three valiant severe weather researchers.
(ARNewslineT from various news sources)



The ARRL report the deadlines have been set for comments and
reply comments in an FCC proceeding to reassess the limits
and policies governing exposure to radio frequency (RF)
electromagnetic fields

On March 27, the FCC released a First Report and
Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of
Inquiry in ET Docket Nos. 13-84 and 03-137.

Publication in the June 4, 2013 Federal Register  started
the clock on a 90-day period for comments, the deadline for
which is September 3rd.  There is an additional 60-day
period for reply comments, i.e. until November 1st.

The unusually long period for comments reflects the
complexity of the proceeding and underscores the
Commission's desire for specific information on the costs
and benefits related to the RF exposure issue.

While the FCC proposals do not change the existing RF
exposure limits, they include the deletion of existing
special exemptions from evaluation in the Amateur Radio
Service in Section 97.13(c) of its rules.  Minor rules
changes adopted in the Report and Order section of the
document take effect on August 5.

A summary of the document is at
comment   (ARRL)



If you are a ham or other hobbyist who produces a podcast,
listen up.  The White House says that its time to end what
the legal world calls patent trolling.  And it's taking the
first steps by issuing five executive actions and seven
legislative recommendations designed to protect U.S.
companies and their products from spurious litigation from
Patent Assertion Entities that are more commonly called
Patent Trolls.  Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather Embee,
KB3TZD, reports:


According to the National Economic Council and the Council
of Economic Advisors, Patent Trolls are entities that
threaten to sue thousands of companies at once, without
specific evidence of infringement against any of them.  They
may also create shell companies that make it difficult for
defendants to know who is suing them and assert that their
patents cover inventions not imagined at the time they were

Information made public by the two councils say that suits
brought by patent trolls have jumped by nearly 250% in just
the last two years, rising from 29% of all infringement
suits to 62% of all infringement suits.  Estimates suggest
that patent trolls may have threatened over 100,000
companies with patent infringement last year alone.

But it does not end there.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office says that there is yet another new aspect to this
situation   This is where Patent Trolls are increasingly
targeting retailers, consumers and other end-users of
products containing patented technology especially software.

Among the initial steps being taken by the Obama
administration is having the Patent and Trademark Office
begin a rulemaking to require patent applicants and owners
to regularly update patent ownership information when they
are involved in patent proceedings before that agency,
specifically naming who controls the patent.  Its also will
give more training to its patent examiners on scrutiny of
functional claims and develop strategies to improve claim
clarity.  This in areas where stakeholders remain concerned
about patents with overly broad claims.

Possibly more important to all U.S, citizens is the White
House statement that says end users should not be subject to
lawsuits for simply using a product as it was intended.  It
says that citizens need an easier way to know their rights
before entering into costly litigation or settlements with
Patent Trolls.

For the amateur Radio Newsline, I;m Heather Embee, KB3TZD,
in Berwick, Pennsylvania.


The Obama Administration says it stands ready to work with
Congress to enact legislation to curb this type of patent
abuse.  This could be particularly important to a growing
sector of hams that are producing and posting amateur radio
oriented podcasts to the World-Wide-Web.  This is especially
true of the teens and pre-teens whose ham radio oriented
podcasts appear to be the fastest growing segment of all.
(RW, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)



Some good news out of Ghana.  The first Amateur Radio
Administration meeting aimed at bringing together operators,
industry experts and other relevant bodies to exchange
experiences and best practices in the field was recently
held in that nation.  Amateur Radio Newsline's Stephan
Kinford, N8WB, reports:


The weeklong workshop was organized by Ghana's National
Communication Authority in partnership with the
International Telecommunication Union and the International
Amateur Radio Union.

Paarock VanPercy is the Director General of Ghana's National
Communication Authority.  Speaking at the opening session of
the gathering he said amateur radio needs to be regulated to
ensure that the frequencies used by these operations did not
interfere or impact on the operations of commercial and
professional radio users.  However he then underscored the
importance of amateur radio operations, saying they had
contributed immensely in the fields of science, engineering,
industry and social services.

VanPercy advised Senior High Schools, polytechnic schools
and universities to apply for licenses from the National
Communication Authority to expose students to amateur radio
operations for research.  He also announced that his agency
would soon publish the syllabus for amateur radio
examinations in that nation.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Stephen Kinford, N8EWB,
in Wadsworeth, Ohio.


You can read the full story at
ghana.  (, Southgate)



Hams in Spain have been granted an extension of the 160
meter band along with a new 630 meter allocation.  This with
word that Spanish radio amateurs have been authorized to use
a new segment from 1810 to 1830 kHz on secondary basis.  The
new frequencies are in addition to their primary allocation
of 1830 to 1850 kHz.  Spanish radio amateurs  are also now
allowed to use the band of 472 to 479 kHz also on secondary
basis.  (EA7SB, Southgate)



Radio amateurs in Germany have had their 6 meter band
extended until at least the end of the year.  The latest
allocation is from 50.03 to 51MHz and the bottom 30 kHz ties
up with where the new 6 meter Synchronized Propagation or
Synced Beacons are planned.  German radio amateurs may use
all modes with a bandwidth up to 12 kHz but must not cause
interference to the primary user of the band which is the
German the military.  (GB2RS)



From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio
Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world
including the KB5UJM repeater serving San Antonio, Texas.

(5 sec pause here)



It does not happen very often, but in this case the U.S.
Attorney's Office for Massachusetts has seized transmission
equipment from an unlicensed broadcaster operating in the
Boston area.  This after the FCC received interference
complaints from a licensed station and tracked the
unauthorized transmissions to the neighborhood of Roslindale
last January.  Amateur Radio Newsline's Norm Seeley, KI7UP,
picks up the story:


According to the court documents, upon finding the
transmitters location agents from the commission's
Enforcement Bureau went to the building and posted Notices
of Unlicensed Operation on the station door.  These
contained a warning the operator to stop transmitting
without a license.  When the agents returned, the notices
were gone, and the station was still putting out a signal on
88.5 MHz.

The FCC escalated the case into a forfeiture action and
that's when the office of the U.S. Attorney for
Massachusetts became involved.  And on May 21st Federal
agents raided the station and seized the transmission

Carmen Ortiz is a U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts.  In a
press statement she said that it is a potential hazard to
public safety for pirate radio stations to broadcast
illegally and interfere with critical radio communications.
She added that the U.S. Attorney's Office will work in
conjunction with the FCC to identify and seize equipment
from these pirate broadcasters.

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


The warrant in this case was only recently unsealed in U.S.
District Court.  Whether or not it signals a change in
tactics on the part of government enforcement action against
unlicensed broadcasts remains to be seen.  (FCC, RW)



A clerical error by a Volunteer Examination Coordinator will
likely lead to a license downgrade for a California ham.
This after the FCC releases an order proposing to modify the
license of James H. Schofield, KI6JIM, from General to
Technician due to no fault of his own.

On November 29, 2012, the W5YI Volunteer Examiner
Coordinator sent an electronic data file to the Commission
requesting that Schofield's operator license for amateur
station KI6JIM be modified to upgrade to General Class
amateur radio operator privileges.  Based on this
application, the Commission granted Schofield a General
Class license on November 29, 2012.

On May 30, 2013, the W5YI VEC notified the Commission that
it had made a typographical error in the November 2012 data
file and that a licensee other than Schofield had qualified
for a General Class operator license.  W5YI VEC noted that a
correction was filed, resulting in the other licensee
receiving the operator license for which he had qualified
but that Schofield's operator privileges had not been
returned to Technician Class operator privileges.  The W5YI
VEC urged the FCC to modify Schofield's license to correct
the operator privileges.

Now in a June 4th Order Proposing Modification the FCC says
it believes that the grant of General Class operator
privileges to Schofield was erroneous because he did not
pass the examination necessary to qualify for that class of
operator license.  Rather, he appears to be currently
authorized to operate with General Class operator privileges
due to a typographical error made during the application
process.  As such it believes that a modification of the
license for amateur station KI6JIM to replace General Class
operator privileges with Technician Class operator
privileges is appropriate.   It also notes that if Schofield
opposes this action that he has 30 days to submit a written
statement with sufficient evidence to show that the
modification would not be in the public interest.  (FCC)



The FCC has issued a waiver specifically for a new series of
on the air Public Service Announcements or PSA's which
include a simulated Wireless Emergency Alert or EAS
Attention Signal.

The new PSAs are called "Wireless Alerts - Sounds of Your
Life."  Normally airing live EAS tones is prohibited.
However in this case, the Ad Council confirmed to Radio
World that FCC says the attention signal in the PSA does not
mislead the listening or viewing public into erroneously
concluding that an actual emergency message is being

The Alabama Broadcasters Association had previously
suggested that broadcasters not to air these new PSAs from
the Ad Council because they contained actual EAS tones.
However in an updated memo issued to members late Friday,
May 31st, the association said that the tone sounds the same
as the EAS alert tone, but has a different set of codes.  As
such, it will not trigger a stations EAS receiver.

The new English and Spanish language PSAs are being
distributed as part of Hurricane Preparedness Week.  This is
an annual effort by FEMA, the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security and the National Hurricane Center to inform the
public about hurricane hazards and help citizens prepare and
take action.  (RW, FCC)



A Small Satellite Developer Workshop featuring Amateur Radio
is now slated for July 8th to the 13th in Chennai, India.
The amateur radio segment is being conducted by the National
Institute of Amateur Radio with topics to be discussed to
include Software Designed Receiver design and Basics of
Spacecraft Technology among others.  Further details are on
the web at  (NAIR)



The International Amateur Radio Union's Region
1 Electromagnetic Compatibility Working Group has invited
its members as well as observers from all national societies
to attend the meeting.  This to take place in
Friedrichshafen, Germany on Friday, June 28th.

The meeting will be held from 12:00 to 13:30 local time at
the same venue as last year. Details of how to find the
meeting room can be obtained from the Deutscher Amateur
Radio Club or IARU booths in the main convention hall or
from the convention's operations personnel.  More including
a group of EMC Working Group members is on line at  (IARU Region 1)



Meantime on this side of the Atlantic, if you are a 2 meter
SSB user looking to meet others, listen up.  The Southern
California 2 Meter BOZO Net meets on 144.240 MHz Upper
Sideband at 8:00 P.M. Pacific every Sunday evening.  Net
organizers invite anyone within rage to sign in and join in
the discussions.  More information can be found at  (N6EQ)



Rotary International which holds the distinction of being
the worlds first Volunteer Service Organization is holding
it's annual convention this year in Lisbon, Portugal from
June 22nd to the 26th.  To help celebrate this event
Rotarians Of Amateur Radio which is a fellowship of
Rotarians, is activating a special event station CR6RI
during the Convention's exhibition hours from 09:00 to 18:00
UTC daily.  Frequencies to be used will be 14.287, 14.293
and possibly 21.293 MHz.  More information will be made
available on  About 30,000 Rotary members are
expected to attend this year's convention gathering.



Some names in the news this week This with word that ARRL
Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, has accepted the
position of Media and Public Relations Manager for the

Sean Kutzko joined the ARRL as the Contest Branch Manager in
October 2007.  An enthusiastic operator in contests and VHF
weak-signal work as well as a backpack QRPer, Kutzko holds a
Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of
Illinois at Springfield and has worked at several National
Public Radio affiliates in the Midwest.

Kuzko replaces former Media and Public Relations Manager
Allen Pitts, W1AGP who officially retired earlier this year
but had stayed on until a replacement could be found.  Pitts
will remain as a consultant on the planning of the ARRL's
2014 centennial celebration.

Taking over as Contest Branch Manager is Mike DeChristopher,
N1TA.  DeChristopher started at ARRL last year as a Logbook
of The World Specialist and Awards and Programs Assistant.
He resides in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts and is very
active in contesting from that location.

Kutzko and DeChristopher will begin their new positions on
June 17th.



Acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn has named Bob Ratcliffe
acting chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau.  Ratcliffe
moves over from the Media Bureau, where he had been had been
deputy chief.  Ratcliffe has been at the commission for more
than 35 years. He's had stints as acting chief of the Media
Bureau during the final phases of the digital television
transition in 2009 and as deputy chief of the Enforcement
Bureau from 2006 to 2009. Previously, Ratcliffe held various
positions in the former Mass Media Bureau. The move was
prompted because Clyburn recently named the previous chief
of the Enforcement Bureau, Michele Ellison, as her chief of
staff.  (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)



The changing of the guard in ham radio continues.  This with
word of the passing of longtime veteran Los Angeles newsman
Harry Birrell, KM6WX, at age 85.

A native of Steubenville, Ohio, Harry Birrell started his
broadcasting career at WBVP in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania in
1949.  From there he moved to WEIR West Virginia and held
positions at several other stations before moving West.  He
joined KFWB the then Group W Westinghouse station in Los
Angeles before moving to KNX Newsradio in 1968.  There
Birrell was hired as a news anchor and spent the next 25
years as one of the best known radio voices in Southern
California.  He partially retired from KNX in 1993 but spent
the next 5 1/2 years working from his home studio.  From
there he sent in daily reports of Ventura County news that
were heard on the station.  He went into full retirement in

During his long career Harry Birrell was honored with nine
Golden Mikes awarded by the Radio and Television News
Association of Southern California for his excellence in
broadcasting.  He has also been recognized repeatedly by the
Greater Los Angeles Press Club, the Valley Press Club, the
Associated Press and United Press International.  Perhaps
his highest tribute was being named recipient of the Dupont-
Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism given
to him by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia

According to his bio on, Harry Birrell and his wife
Emily had been married over 57 years when she passed away in
2007.  He is survived by his two children and five grand-
children.  At airtime, funeral arrangements had not yet been

(KNX Newsradio, and other published news reports)



A radio that is able to change the context of a broadcast
depending on where you are and what you are doing, has been
demonstrated by the BBC.  The Perceptive Radio, created by
Ian Forrester of the corporation's Future Media division, is
thought to be a world first.

For its initial showing the team produced a computer-
generated radio drama where the script altered depending on
factors such as weather.  This proof-of-concept drama used a
computer generated voice for one of the characters and could
adapt on the fly according to data pulled from external
sources.  For instance, it could make reference to local
places which would differ from the script depending on where
in the world a listener is.

If you want to read more about this latest in almost
senescent computer technology you will find it on the web at

(BBC, Southgate)



The South African Radio League reports that the first
scientific paper based on observations performed with South
Africa's new KAT-7 radio telescope, has been accepted for
publication by the prestigious journal Monthly Notices of
the Royal Astronomy Society.

Using the new KAT-7 telescope and the existing 26 meter
radio telescope at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy
Observatory, South African and international astronomers
have observed a neutron star system known as Circinus X-1.
This as it fires matter from its core in extensive, compact
jets that flare brightly.

The details of the flares are visible only in radio waves.
The full story and a brief video are on line at  (AMSAT-SA)


HAM RADIO IN SPACE:  Fox-1 Ham Radio CubeSat frequencies

The International Amateur Radio Union Frequency Coordination
Panel has announced coordinated frequencies for the AMSAT-
NA Fox-1CubeSat.   The uplink will be on 435.180 MHz for FM
voice and the downlink on145.980 MHz with FM voice and an
optional sub audible FSK digital carrier channel.

Fox-1a is a one unit cubesat that will serve as a
communications relay for radio amateurs worldwide via the
onboard FM repeater system.  It will also carry an
experiment consisting of a 3-axis gyro developed by Penn
State University. The communications and scientific
experiment missions will run concurrently. (AMSAT)



The frequencies of 2422.0 MHz and 2437.0 MHz have been
announced for a new ham radio Digital TV transmitter that
will operate as an educational adjunct from the
International Space Station.

The main mission of what's being called Ham TV is to perform
school contacts between the astronauts onboard ISS and
educational institutions on the ground.  This by providing
space station to ground video within ARISS program.

To accomplish this, the ISS will host a new S-Band video
transmitting station in addition to the existing VHF FM ham
band transceiver. The  new equipment will have the ability
to transmit images from orbit during the school contacts.
It will also be able to broadcast other pre-recorded video
images up to 24 hours a day to allow ground stations tuning.
More information on this new on-orbit service is on the Web
at  (IRTS)



On the air, listen out for Brazilian special event station
PS2013CCB to be active between June 15th to the 30th to
celebrate the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil event.
Operation will be on 40 through 10 meters using CW, SSB and
various digital modes. Operations are.  QSL via PS7AB, only
via the bureau or electronically using either Logbook of the
World or eQSL.  SWL card request are also welcome.  (OPDX)



In DX, F9IE, is now operational stroke CT7 from Portugal on
60 meters.  He is running 100 and should be there for about
another week.  He is said to be operating CW on 5405 and
5373 kHz with SSB on 5403.5 and 5371.5 kHz.  No QSL
information has been provided.

The VU7KV Lakshadweep Islands operation last month has been
approved for DXCC credit.   If anyone had this contact
rejected in a recent submission send an e-mail to bmoore
(at) arrl (dot) org to be placed on the list for an update
to your record.

VK3DAC is currently operational from Christmas Island as
He is active on 80 through 10 meters as time permits.  QSL
as directed by the operator.

DL1DI will be active as PJ4D from the island of Bonaire
between June 22nd and July 10th.  All that's known so far is
that he will be there on vacation.  More details to be

W1XP is currently active stroke P4 from Aruba.  Listen out
for him on the various High Frequency bands.  QSL's go via
his home call.

F5SWB will be on the air as TU5DF from the Ivory Coast from
June through October.  Activity will be on all of the High
Frequency bands.  QSL via F5SWB.

Lastly, word that ZS6EZ and ZS6P will be active from
Mozambique from October 15th to the 22nd as C92Z and C91P
respectively.  They will also be operational using the call
C82DX.  QSL C92Z via ZS6EZ.  Cards for C91P go via ZS6P



And finally this week, several vials of moon dust brought
back to Earth by the first men on the moon have been found
inside a lab warehouse in California.  This after sitting in
storage unnoticed for more than 40 years.  Amateur Radio
Newsline's Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, reports:


Many of you likely remember those fuzzy live pictures from
the moons surface when Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the
first human being to set foot on an alien world.   We also
watched as Armstrong and Apollo 11 crew mate Buzz Aldrin
collected samples from the Lunar surface before returning
with them to mother Earth.  Now some four decades later a
part of the samples that Armstrong and Aldrin brought back
with them were recently rediscovered by an archivist who was
going over artifacts tucked away at the Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory.

Karen Nelson, who made the surprising discovery, said in a
statement from the lab that they don't know how or when the
samples ended up in storage.  She says that she came across
about 20 vials with handwritten labels dated "24 July 1970,"
packed in a vacuum-sealed glass jar.

Accompanying the jar was an academic paper published in the
Proceedings of the Second Lunar Science Conference in 1971,
titled "Study of Carbon Compounds in Apollo 11 and Apollo 12
Returned Lunar Samples."  All of the authors of the paper
were from the University of California, Berkeley's Space
Sciences Laboratory.  This included Nobel Prize-
winning chemist Melvin Calvin, who worked with NASA on
efforts to protect the moon from contamination during the
first lunar landing, as well as planning on how to protect
those on Earth from unknown pathogens that might have been
lurking on the Moon's surface.

It turns out that the moon dust samples were supposed to
have been sent back to NASA after the Space Sciences
Laboratory team finished their research on them for some
unknown reason they instead ended up in storage.

After making the discovery Nelson then got in touch with
NASA officials.  They in turn permitted her to open the jar
to remove the vials before she returned them to the space
agency and making for a happy ending to a 4 decade old story
that began on the surface of the Moon.

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


In all, NASA's moon-walking Apollo astronauts brought 842
pounds of lunar samples back to Earth between 1969 and 1972,
and very little of it was thought to be unaccounted for
until Nelson's discovery.  More on this important find is on
the Web at

(TechMag7 and other published news reports)



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

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors' desk,
I'm Don Wilbanks, AE5DW, in Southern Mississippi saying 73
and we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio NewslineT is Copyright 2013.  All rights

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