Friday, July 19, 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1875 - July 19 2013

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)



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

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

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,


You can find out more about the Solar Cycle at and
to mention only two.  (, others)



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)



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



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)



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.




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)



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)



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.



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

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  (Times Free Press)



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

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
(Kenebec Journal, Southgate)


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



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  (W9DXCC)



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 (JARL



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 and being relayed by
the volunteer services of the following radio amateur:

(5 sec pause here)



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
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)



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

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)



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
(WIA, GB2RS, Southgate)



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.



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.



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.



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

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

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  (RW)



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 Jim Davis, W2JKD, on Florida's treasure coast saying 73
and we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio NewslineT is Copyright 2013.  All rights

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