Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1875 with a release date of July 19 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1. The following is a QST. Researchers say that this solar cycle will likely remain poor and Cycle 25 could be worse; The 2013 National Scouting Jamboree takes to the air and the web from Mount Hope West Virginia; ARRL CEO K1ZZ writes about Spectrum Pressure in the August QST magazine; a new beacon in Perth Australia trying to prove a path to Africa exists on 2 meters; yet another move by Congress to try to streamline the FCC may fail due to partisan politics and a look at radio in Nepal where FM reigns supreme. All this and more on Amateur Radio NewslineT report number 1875 coming your way right now. (Billboard Cart Here) ** RADIO RESEARCH: HERE COMES THE SUN - THERE GOES THE SUN While the sun is currently at the projected peak of its 11 year solar cycle, our home star has been relatively quiet in the area of sunspots and their affect on radio propagation here on planet Earth. Amateur Radio Newsline's Norm Seeley, KI7UP, takes a look at what scientists believe is happening: -- Researchers say that this year's solar maximum is shaping up to be the weakest in some 100 years and the next one could be even quieter. This according to scientists who study the solar cycle as it affects our home planet. One of these is David Hathaway of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. In an early July teleconference Hathaway told reporters that we are witnessing the smallest solar maximum we have seen in the Space Age. Also that the next one, cycle 25 could be even quieter. About every 11 years, the sun goes through a cycle defined by an increasing and then decreasing number of sunspots. The current cycle known as Solar Cycle 24 has been underway since 2011. Its peak was expected in 2013 but there have been fewer sunspots observed this year compared with the maximums of the last several cycles. Sunspots are the dark temporary regions on the surface of our home star that are thought to be caused by interaction between the sun's plasma and its magnetic field. They are also the source of the solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections that in turn send charged particles into space. Those that hit Earth hold the potential of causing damage to satellites and producing surges in power grids. But they also affect radio propagation by causing short-term High Frequency blackouts while at the same time producing some dazzling auroras above the planet's poles that radio amateurs and others have long used for propagation experimentation. Ham radio operators on 6 meters and above have been known to make some amazing DX contacts by bouncing signals off auroral trails. Giuliana de Toma, a scientist at the High Altitude Observatory in Colorado says that the sunspots occurring during a calm maximum have the same brightness and area as the ones observed during a more turbulent peak. The only difference is that there are fewer of them and that's why this is why low cycles like this one are considered as being weak. Scientists seem to agree that a small Cycle 24 also fits in with a 100 year pattern of building and waning solar cycles. They say that they don't know yet the exact cause of this trend, but they note that there were weak solar cycles in the beginning of the 19th and 20th centuries as well as now in the 21st. For ham radio this means that while the various bands are far from dead, that their full potential may not come about during this solar cycle. For the Amateur Radio Newsline. I'm Norm Seeley, KI7UP, where the sun is keeping us rather warm in Scottsdale, Arizona. -- You can find out more about the Solar Cycle at tinyurl.com/weak-cycle-24 and tinyurl.com/not-many-sunspots to mention only two. (Space.com, others) ** RADIO SCOUTING: THE 2013 NATIONAL SCOUT JAMBOREE GOES LIVE Weak sunspots or not, one group having a lot of fun with ham radio this week is the Boy Scouts of America who are holding their 2013 National Scout Jamboree from July 15th to the 25th. Amateur Radio Newsline's Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, has the details: -- Approximately 40,000 Scouts have converged on Mount Hope West Virginia for this years National Scout Jamboree being held at the nearby at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. While there are a lot of high impact events for scouts to participate in at this years Jamboree, the K2BSA ham radio station enjoys a high profile location nestled in between the AT&T Summit Stadium, Summit Center, and the landing pad for one of the many Zip Line adventures. The purpose of K2BSA is to introduce the science, technology, and fun of amateur radio to Scouts and Scout leaders. It's also there to help scouts to earn their Radio Merit Badges and to serve as the amateur radio voice of the Jamboree via two-way radio contacts worldwide. -- K2BSA off air audio: ".We have some updates on K2BSA operations. Today we have completed 25 Radio Merit Badges, We've had 41 Scouts go through the Amateur Radio Direction Finding program; we have given 418 Scout demos and completed over 460 QSO's." -- With equipment furnished by Icom America, this year's K2BSA station is providing scouts with a very wide ranging exposure to amateur radio. Mentors are on hand to explain what it is, how it is relevant to them, and providing them an opportunity to try as many aspects of the hobby as possible. It will also be providing demonstrations to at least 4,000 Jamboree participants. This includes stations operating High Frequency SSB and PSK-31 as well as VHF and UHF FM. Hidden transmitter hunting classes will be available and on-site Amateur license testing will available as needed. APRS will be active and K2BSA will be on the air with CW as time permits. Even if you are not able to attend the 2013 Scouting Jamboree you can still help support the event with a contact or two. K2BSA will be on the air throughout the event operating SSB and PSK-31 on 75 through 10 meters. They also have an Echolink demonstration station on Node 4566 signing K2BSA-R and D-Star contacts are available via the WV8BSA repeater and Reflector 033A. This means that hams anywhere with or without the best of propagation can tune in. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, in Los Angeles. -- Other activities include high altitude ham radio carrying balloon launches on July 18, 20, and the 23rd. Also an International Space Station contact has also been scheduled. All in all a full ten days of fun for scouts at the jamboree and for the ham radio community that's supporting it with contacts world-wide. (KC5FM, N9JA, others) ** RADIO LAW: WEST VA GRANTS HAM RADIO EXEMPTION TO NEW DISTRACTED DRIVING LAW Amateur radio has been granted an exemption from a new West Virginia law that bans most distractions while operating a motor vehicle in hat state. The new distracted driving law took effect on Monday, July 1st. Under its terms it is no longer legal to text and drive nor use a cellular telephone that is not operated hands free. But amateur radio operators are still allowed to operate their two-way radio gear while behind the wheel as long as they are properly licensed by the FCC. Also, for ham radio operators, portable radio devices such as hand-helds are not considered distracted driving implements under the new law. Emergency officials like police, fire and Emergency Management Services are also exempt and will continue to be allowed to use radios while driving. (Published news reports) ** BREAK 1 With you 52 weeks a year, every year, we are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the W0EF repeater serving Minneapolis Minnesota. (5 sec pause here) ** RESTRUCTURING: ARRL CEO DAVE SUMNER K1ZZ ON SPECTRUM PRESSURE Spectrum Pressure is the title of an editorial appearing in the August issue of QST magazine. One that details the reasons that ham radio must remain vigilant as pressure grows to make more spectrum available to other services. The article was penned by ARRL Chief Executive Officer Dave Sumner, K1ZZ. In it, Dave talks about last June's Presidential Memorandum representing the next stage in making more spectrum available for commercial wireless broadband. It also covers the implications this has for current users of the bands from 400 MHz through 6 Gigahertz including radio amateurs. Unlike other articles and news stories we have seen on this topic, this is not a piece meant to convince the reader that the sky is falling. Rather it is an honest and very easy to understand kook at the needs of wireless communications in the years that lie ahead. This in itself makes it a must for every ham regardless of personal interest to read and share through discussions at club meetings and elsewhere. Dave Sumner's article is on page 9 of the August issue of QST. If you have the magazine but have not yet taken the time to read it, we suggest that you make doing so a priority. As many scholars say, knowledge and understanding are always the first line of defense. (ARNewslineT) ** RADIO LAW: W7EQU AGAIN LEADING MOVE TO STREAMLINE THE FCC Another attempt in Congress to modernize the operation of the FCC is taking place on Capitol Hill. Jeff Clark, K8JAC, has the details: -- Oregon Representative Greg Walden, W7EQI, is once again looking at ways to streamline the operation of the FCC. Slated for last Thursday, July 11th, the chairman of the House Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology was to have members review drafts similar to bills those passed the House of Representatives last Congress to streamline the FCC's reporting obligations and hasten the agency's decision making process while reducing regulatory burdens on the companies it regulates. In 2012, the Republican controlled House approved the FCC Process Reform Act and the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act. Taken together, the bills would consolidate the number of reports the agency needs to submit to lawmakers each year on the industries it regulates, as well as establish more shot clocks for proceedings and publishing the full text of a rule for public comment before a commission vote. The effort went nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate. For the amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jeff Clark, K8JAC -- Reports coming out of the hearings say that Democrats and Republicans remain at odds over numerous points and as of this moment there appears to be very little room for compromise. (RW, others) ** RADIO LAW: FCC EXTENDS INDECENCY REPLY COMMENT PERIOD DEADLINE The FCC has granted a request from College Broadcasters, Inc. asking that the reply comment deadline on General Docket No. 13-86 the FCC be pushed back by 15 days. This rule making procedure is the latest inquiry in the subject of broadcast indecency. It turned out that by the commentary cutoff date over 100,000 comments had been filed and the petitioner claimed more time was needed to evaluate the material. As such the deadline for reply comments has been pushed back from July 18 to August 2nd. (Inside Radio) ** RADIO LAW: FCC SAYS NO TO CAP DELAY WAIVER REQUESTS The FCC has denied several petitions asking that its rules regarding the installation of Common Alerting Protocol or C- A-P gear be installed by a number of broadcasters and cable delivery services. The petitioners had sought the delay on the basis that they could not meet the original June 30, 2012 deadline due to vendor delay. Section 11.56 requires that Emergency Alert System Participants to have installed operational equipment that can receive and process E-A-S alerts in the Common Alerting Protocol by June 30, 2012. In its report and order the FCC simply stated that it found that the petitioners failed to show special circumstances to justify departure from this requirement of the Commissions' rules, and that it is not in the public interest to grant such a waiver. The Common Alerting Protocol is an XML-based data format for exchanging public warnings and emergencies between alerting technologies. It allows a warning message to be consistently disseminated simultaneously over many warning systems to many applications. As such, it is said to increase warning effectiveness and simplify the task of activating a warning for those with authority to do so. (FCC) ** ELECTRONICS BUSINESS: WESTERN ELECTRIC AND THE 300B TRIODE RETURN The Western Electric name has been resurrected for a new vacuum tube manufacturing venture here in the United States. With its headquarters are in Rossville, Georgia operation will make vacuum tubes mainly for use in high-end audio components. While tubes or valves as they are known in Europe were once the mainstay of the world's electronics, they were eventually supplanted by transistors and integrated circuits. Soon afterward most United States based manufacturers deserted the manufacture of tubes to follow the solid state trend. In recent years vacuum tube manufacturing has become the domain of specialty companies mainly in Russia and China, but even they only manufacture the most popular tubes like the venerable 12AX7 and 6L6. These are used in high end specialty audiophile gear and portable amplifiers preferred by some musicians. The new incarnation of Western Electric is headed by Charles G. Whitener Jr.. Initially it will sell only a handful of different tube types that are exact reproductions of Western Electric "classics," such as the 300B. The latter was a power triode audio output tube that was originally designed to be used in movie theaters sound installations. You can read the entire story of the return of Western Electric tube manufacturing on the web at tinyurl.com/western-electric-lives. (Times Free Press) ** NAMES IN THE NEWS: HAM RADIO OPERATOR DEVELOPS AIRPORT SAFETY DEVICE Maine's Kennebec Journal reports Ron Cote, N1SVC, and John Guimond have developed a unit that could eventually help prevent aircraft accidents at small and regional airports The newspaper says that G.A.R.D, which stands for the General Audio Recording Device, was created and developed by Guimond's business partner, Ron Cote, of West Gardiner, through their new commercial venture, Invisible Intelligence LLC. The device's purpose is to assist in the investigation of crashes by providing a recording of all radio traffic at smaller general aviation airports, without control towers. Those are airfields where currently no mechanism for recording exists. More about this device and how it was developed is on the web at tinyurl.com/small-airport-safety. (Kenebec Journal, Southgate) ** HAM HAPPENINGS: 2013 CENTRAL STATES VHF SOCIETY CONFERENCE 26-28 JULY On the ham radio social colander, the 2013 Central States VHF Society Conference takes place the weekend of July 26th through the July 28th. The venue is the Elk Grove Village Holiday Inn located in Elk Grove Village. Illinois. Activities begin Friday morning the 26th at 9AM with antenna range gain measurements and pre-amp noise figure measurement contests. Technical Programs will be held Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. Full information including a detailed agenda can be found at tinyurl.com/central-states-vhf. (CSVHFS) ** HAM HAPPENINGS: W9DXCC BANQUET TO FEATURE JOE TAYLOR K1JT Nobel laureate Joe Taylor, K1JT, will be the featured banquet speaker at the 61st annual W9DXCC Convention and Banquet. This event is slated for Saturday, September 21st, at the Holiday Inn, Elk Grove Village, Illinois and will also host presentations by such prominent names as Eric Hall, K9GY, on his Afghanistan operations; Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, who will discuss solar Cycle 24 propagation and many more. The W9DXCC is an annual event sponsored by the Northern Illinois DX Association and has become a mainstay for DX operators throughout the mid-West. More is on-line at www.w9dxcc.com. (W9DXCC) ** HAM HAPPENINGS: JARL HAMFAIR - AUGUST 24 - 25 IN TOKYO Japan's Amateur Radio Festival, also known as JARL Hamfair, will be held at the Tokyo Bigsight Exposition Center on August 24th and 25th. Billed as one of the world's largest and most impressive amateur radio gatherings, the event features displays by industry and radio clubs; internationally known guest speakers and many other activities to satisfy the needs of the Pacific Rim amateur radio community. In addition, the Region 3 Directors of the International Amateur Radio Union will be meeting on the Monday and Tuesday following the Hamfair. They plan to discuss and act on items relevant to the Region 3 as it is now and in the future. More is on the web at www.jarl.or.jp. (JARL Hamfair) ** BREAK 2 This is ham radio news for today's radio amateur this is 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) ** RADIO RESEARCH: HAARP RESEARCH FACILITY IN ALASKA SHUTTERED The ARRL and the Southgate News report that the High Frequency Active Auroral or HAARP Research Program facility has been shuttered due to a lack of funding. Amateur Radio Newsline's Stephan Kinford, N8WB, reports: -- According to the ARRL, its information is from HAARP program manager, Dr. James Keeney at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. He says that the thirty-five acre ionospheric research facility in Gakona, Alaska, has been shuttered since early May. He said that no one is on site, access roads are blocked, buildings are chained and the power turned off. Also that HAARP's website through the University of Alaska no longer is available. According to Dr. Keeney, HAARP had put out a notice two years ago that it would be shutting down. It also did not submit a budget request for the 2015 Fiscal Year. But says Dr. Keeney but no one paid any attention until the shutdown occurred. Since it did, people are complaining noting that he's already had inquiries from Congress and from universities that depended upon HAARP research grants. The in-depth ARRL story says that the Air Force has taken possession of the HAARP facility for now, but if no other agency steps forward to take over its operation that this unique facility will be dismantled. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Stephen Kinford, N8WB, in Wadsworth, Ohio. -- You can read the ARRL story at tinyurl.com/haarp-shuttered. Other than it and the Southgate story, we cannot find any other mention of the closure of this research facility in the mainstream media. (ARRL, Southgate) ** RADIO EXPERIMENTATION: NEW BEACON WILL ATTEMPT TO PROVE THE PERTH TO SOUTH AFRICA PATH A new 2 meter special service beacon on 144.950 MHz is being established in Perth, Western Australia. This by the Northern Corridor Radio Group in an attempt to prove that a Perth to South Africa path actually exists. The beacon call will be VK6RIO. The beacon will run 100 watts into four 8 element yagis directed towards South Africa. It will use digital Chirp modulation which can be detected some 50dB below the noise floor in a 2 kHz bandwidth. With the processing gain from using Chirp modulation the Effective Radiated Power is close to 100 Megawatts. The VK6RIO beacon will be GPS locked both in frequency, time and Chirp synchronization. Tests across Australia have already proven the effectiveness of Chirp modulation for detecting very weak signals. Anyone interested in more details regarding the new beacon should contact Keith Bainbridge to vk6rk (at) wia (dot) org (dot) au. (WIA) ** RADIO DEVELOPMENTS: FORTY DOLLAR SDR RECEIVER A Software-Defined Radio costing only $40 is the subject of an IEEE article that describes how, with some cheap hardware and free software, you can listen-in on digital and analog signals across a wide range of radio spectrum. The author is Stephen Cass KB1WNR, who used a Freeview P250 dongle, an indoor TV antenna and a Model B Raspberry Pi microcontroller to make it all happen. You can read the entire article and watch a video of the device on line at tinyurl.com/inexpensive-sdr (WIA, GB2RS, Southgate) ** RADIO FROM SPACE: NEW RADIO TELESCOPE DOWN-UNDER TO EXPLORE THE UNKNOWN Prepare for a wave of astronomical revelations with the $51 million Murchison Widefield Array or MWA radio telescope in Western Australia now in full operation. WIA Newsman Graham Kemp, VK4BB, has the details: -- The MWA is part of the growing Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in a remote part of the Western Australia where radio frequency interference is virtually non-existent. It is also a precursor to the $2 billion international Square Kilometer Array project and comprises 2048 antennas that capture low frequency radio waves. It will step up observations of the sun to detect and monitor massive solar storms and will also investigate a unique concept - seeing if stray FM radio signals can be used to track dangerous space debris. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Graham Kemp, VK4BB, of the WIA News reporting from Brisbane, Australia. -- Once both of these new radio astronomy tolls are in day to day use, mans knowledge of the final frontier of space will be greatly enhanced. (WIA) ** ON THE AIR: SPECIAL EVENT STATION PA1813A CELEBRATES THE LIBERATION OF ARNHEM On the air PA0FA will be operating special event station PA1813A through August 13th celebrating the twice liberated city Arnhem, Holland. Arnhem is a city and municipality located in the eastern section of that nation. It is well known that Arnhem was freed back at the end of World War 2 in 1945 but it was liberated once before in 1813 from the French. Hence the PA1813A call for this operation which will be mostly using CW with some SSB and digital modes. The latter two modes will depend on the available time and other possibilities. QSL to PA0FAW either direct or bureau or electronically using or eQSL. (ICPO) ** DX In DX, CT2HPM will be on the air from Angola as D2CT from until July 26th. Activity will be 20 through 10 meters using mostly PSK31 and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign. ON4LO will be active stroke DL stroke p from Fehmarn Island until July 25th. His operation is reported to be holiday style on the HF bands. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau. PY2DY will be active as SY8APQ from Lesvos Island until July 31st. His operations are on 20 and 15 meters but no modes or times on the air are specified. QSL via PY2DY, either direct or electronically using Logbook of the World. Sorry, but this station will not accept cards via the bureau or eQSL. Lastly, DL5KUD will be active from Ruegen Island during the RSGB Islands on the Air Contest that takes place July 27th and 28th. He will be on as a Single-Operator, CW only low power entry. QSL via DL5KUD. ** THAT FINAL ITEM: NEPAL - A KINGDOM OF FM RADIO And finally this week Nepal which years ago modernized its broadcast radio in a way that the isolated nation is now a place where FM radio is king is facing new challenges from the Internet. Amateur Radio Newsline's Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, tells us why: -- A recent Radio World story quotes Santosh Devkota who says that when it comes to the penetration of FM radio stations, Nepal is one of the most successful broadcasters in the world. Devkota is managing director of DigiMed. This is an FM radio consultancy and training firm located in Katmandu. He says that to date, over 300 FM stations are on air, with 435 licenses having been issued so far. One of the most thriving stations is Radio Kantipur on 96.1 FM which received its license in October 1998. The station is part of the Kantipur Media Group, which also operates a national TV network, newspapers and websites. Radio Kantipur has its central station located in Pulchowk, Lalitpur with seven relay operations outside Katmandu valley in major cities all over that nation. Radio Kantipur is what Nepal calls a front rank radio stations group, but there are hundreds of smaller stations with far less in the way of resources. These are operating either as commercial or community broadcasters. Devkota says that the result is that the number of FM stations has grown faster than the nations economy's ability to support them. And now there're are new challenges. Television is starting to cut into Nepal's radio listening audience. So is streaming media via the Internet. In this latter the growing popularity of broadband Internet at home and via smartphones is fueling the growth of homegrown online radio stations similar to those in the West. Devkota says that at the end of March 2012, there were already about 250 Nepalese online radio stations. That is approximately 150 more than could be found back in 2009 and 2010. An amazing growth rate to say the least. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, in Zion, Illinois. -- Nepal's population is just under 30 million who live in an area slightly larger than the state of Arkansas. Despite its reputation as a Himalayan refuge, only the northern part of Nepal is mountainous. As you move south, into the area of rivers that feed the Ganges, the mountains give ways to hills, and then a flat plain where its economy is based mainly on agriculture. Only about a fifth of its population lives in urban areas. You can read this very interesting article about radio in this emerging nation's broadcasting prospects on-line at tinyurl.com/nepal-radio-future. (RW) ** 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 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 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 Jim Davis, W2JKD, on Florida's treasure coast saying 73 and we thank you for listening. Amateur Radio NewslineT is Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.