Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1876 with a release date of July 26 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1. The following is a Q-S-T. Ham radio will share a ride to space on a pair of joint mission satellites; a pico balloon remains aloft for over 70 hours; Massachusetts looks to enact an anti pirate radio law and Lithium battery safety is once again a major concern. Find out the details are on Amateur Radio NewslineT report number 1876 coming your way right now. (Billboard Cart Here) ** RADIO NEAR SPACE: HAM RADIO TRACKED PICO BALLOON ALOFT MORE THAN 70 HOURS A possible new record for the flight of a ham radio tracked pico balloon. Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, is in the Newsroom with more: -- Flying pico balloons appears to be the latest interest by ham radio operators and other near-space explorers. A pico balloon is essentially one of those silverized party balloons fitted with an ultra-light-weight amateur radio payload and designed for long distance medium altitude flight. And now comes word that a pico balloon launched in the United Kingdon managed to stay aloft for some 70 hours while it floated across the English Channel, made several north to south round trips in France before its signal was lost about 80 miles North-East of Paris. Dubbed simply B 6 the tiny craft was launched from Silverstone in the UK at 18:40 UTC on Sunday, July 14th. It initially headed south approaching Paris before it changed direction and headed north again. On the evening of July 16th it was still aloft and transmitting over northern France, at an altitude of about 11,000 feet. It then turned south once again, before doing yet another loop and then going East and passing just North of Paris before radio contact was lost. The B 6 payload weighed in at just 20.2 grams. It contained a GPS receiver along with the 10 milliwatt transmitter on 434.500 MHz running the amateur radio Domino EX 16 data mode. Power was supplied by a single AA size battery which in itself may also prove to be an endurance record of sorts for a single cell powering a long distance flight. But for that we will have to see what those who keep the record books have to say. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, in the Newsroom in Los Angeles. -- Leo Bondar who launched the pico balloon tells Amateur Radio Newsline that he is not himself a radio amateur but has long been an avid shortwave listener. He adds that ballooning has rekindled his interest in ham radio and radio equipment building so he just press ahead and get a license after all those years spent just listening. Also, a posting on the balloon flight website indicates that he did work with some four dozen hams from the U-K, France and several other European nations who were involved in tracking the flight in real time. More information on its epic voyage including any late updates is on the web at tinyurl.com/balloon-b6. (Southgate, Leo Bondar) ** HAM RADIO IN SPACE: JOINT SCIENCE AND HAM RADIO TRANSPONDER PAYLOADS TO LAUNCH 2014 A consortium headquartered in the United Kingdom plans to launch a set of shared purpose ham radio and scientific research cubesats early next year. Amateur Radio Newsline's Norm Seeley, KI7UP, reports: -- It was announced during the QB 50 presentation at the recent AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium that two CubeSats, carrying SSB, CW and FM voice transponders could be launched into a 600 km or 370 mile orbit in the first half of 2014. The QB 50 project team says that on July 19th, it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AMSAT-UK, AMSAT- Francophone, and AMSAT-NL to enable two amateur radio payloads to fly on a pair of CubeSats. These are mission precursor mini-satellites which whose purpose is to permit the testing of key satellite and payload components ahead of the full QB 50 mission. The primary objective of the QB 50 mission is the study the temporal and spatial variations of a number of key parameters in the Earth's lower thermosphere doing so with a network of about 40 double CubeSats. These mini-birds will be launched into a 320 kilometer or 210 mile high circular orbit. They will be separated by a few hundred feet and carry identical science sensors. These will monitor parameters that will greatly increase our knowledge and understanding of this little explored region of the E and F layers of the Ionosphere. QB 50 will also study the re-entry process by measuring a number of key parameters during re-entry and by comparing predicted and actual CubeSat trajectories and orbital lifetimes. At the beginning of the mission, the various payloads onboard the spacecraft will be operated in an alternating fashion. Later on the amateur radio transponders will be operated as the primary mission once all QB 50 related experimentation has been concluded. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Norm Seeley, KI7UP, watching the nighttime sky from Scottsdale, Arizona. -- By combining the ham radio and scientific missions together it means that both will reach orbit at a cost affordable. More information about the QB 50 project can be found at www.qb50.eu (AMSAT UK, Southgate) ** HAM RADIO IN SPACE: UKUBE ONE GIVEN TENTATIVE OCTOBER LAUNCH DATE In a related story the Amsat News Service reports that the UKube-1 CubeSat carrying an amateur radio transponder as a part of its payload could launch in late October. As previously reported, UKube-1 will carry a set of AMSAT-UK designed FUNcube-2 boards. These will provide the ham radio community with a 70 centimeter up and 2 meter downlink linear transponder for SSB/CW operation along with a 1200 bps BPSK telemetry beacon on 145.915 MHz. The actual satellite is being constructed in Scotland by Clyde Space with its launch to take place from Kazikstan on-board a Russian Soyuz 2 orbital booster. (ANS) ** RADIO POLITICS: BI-PARTISAN REQUEST TO NTIA TO ASSURE THE FREEING UP SPECTRUM In a rare bi-partisan move, Senators Mario Rubio of Florida and Mark Warner from Virginia have asked National Telecommunications and Information Agency chief Larry Strickling for answers on what the agency is doing to free up government spectrum. This in light of President Obama's June 14th memo on motivating wireless innovation and in light of a Government Accounting Office study from April 2011 that concluded NTIA cannot ensure that spectrum is being used efficiently by federal agencies and has limited ability to monitor federal spectrum use. In a letter to Strickling dated July 19th, a copy of which was supplied to the press by Warner's office, the two wanted that question and severa others answered. The letter also notes that - and we quote: "without effective NTIA management and oversight, we have serious reservations about the agency's ability to maximize spectrum efficiency and relinquish portions of federal spectrum." The FCC is preparing to auction as much as 120 MHz of commercial spectrum reclaimed from broadcasters but this is likely to be reduced to 80 MHZ or less given Canadian and Mexican border issues. This matter is also of importance to the ham radio community because much of the spectrum it has at 420 MHz and above is on a secondary basis and is shared with government and military users. (Published news reports) ** RADIO LAW FOLLOW-UP: DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS AT STANDOFF ON FCC REFORM A follow-up to last weeks report on another congressional attempt to streamline the FCC The House Communications Subcommittee wrapped up its FCC reform hearing Thursday, July 11th, but continuing partisan politics seem still be standing in the way of any meaningful change. Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather Embee, KB3TZD, has the details: -- The subject of the hearing was Republican backed draft measures similar to legislation that passed in the House last year only to fail to get Senate attention. On one side of the bills were Republican legislators who argued that they were necessary to speed FCC decision making, tie it to a cost-benefit analysis of any new regulations, improve transparency and limit the FCC's ability to impose merger conditions that they suggest are a vehicle for backdoor regulations. On the other side are Democrats who in effect said the committee was wasting its time debating bills similar, and even more burdensome, than ones that had failed to get a legal toehold in the past. Committee ranking Democrat Henry Waxman was quoted as saying that the legislation was a way to undermine the FCC's ability to adopt new rules and protect consumers. He said that the only thing it would efficiently speed up would be endless legal challenges. Waxman also noted that the dozen new mandates in the proposed law would, among other things, would remove the public interest standard and slow the FCC process to a crawl. For the Amateur Radio Newsline. I'm Heather Embee, KB3TZD, in Berewick, Pennsylvania. -- Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, W7EQI, is the one who called the hearings. He said that the communications sector is one of the few that is firing on all cylinders, but that the current FCC process threatens the health of this segment of the economy. That said, in this congressional session there is little sign that Republicans and Democrats can come together to reach an accord. (Connect2.com and other published news reports) ** BREAK 1 We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the W0EF repeater serving Minneapolis, Minnesota. (5 sec pause here) ** HAM TECHNOLOGY: BROADBAND-HAMNETT SOFTWARE WINS INTERNATIONAL AWARDS An interesting ham radio communications concept developed mainly by hams in Texas interested in automated emergency communications has been awarded a pair of important prizes. Jim Davis, W2JKD, has the story: -- Broadband-Hamnet, formerly HSMM-MESH firmware, developed by amateur radio operators to provide hams with a high-speed digital wireless communication mesh network, has won both US and global awards from the International Association of Emergency Managers. The USA Council of the designated Broadband Hamnet as a Division 2 Technology and Innovation Award winner. It then went on to win the International Association of Emergency Managers Global Technology and Innovation Award in the same division. Broadband-Hamnet as "a high-speed, self-discovering, self- configuring, fault-tolerant, wireless computer network. It has very low power consumption and a focus on emergency communication. The firmware itself is available at no charge via the project website hsmm-mesh.org For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Davis, W2JKD. -- The awards will be presented to Broadband-Hamnet in October at the International Association of Emergency Managers annual conference in Reno, Nevada. A demonstration of how it works can be seen in the ARRL video The DIY Magic of Amateur Radio. It's on the web at tinyurl.com/ham-radio-diy- magic (ARRL) ** RADIO LAW: MASSACHUSETTS LOOKS TO ENACT ANTI PIRATE RADIO LAW Massachusetts is the latest state to follow the lead of Florida, New York and New Jersey to enact laws that would permit the prosecution of unlicensed broadcast radio station operators. This with word that State Representative Steven Walsh has introduced H.R. 1679, which would give the state attorney general the power to seek action against radio pirates, including seizing equipment and seeking heavy money damages. Specifically, the measure would prohibit any unauthorized radio telecommunication or emission to, or interference with, a public or commercial radio station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. The key to excluding other services such as police, fire and even amateur radio from inclusion under the proposal seems to be the words licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. As previously reported, last January the U.S. Attorney's Office for Massachusetts seized transmission equipment from an unlicensed station operating in the city of Roslindale. The FCC then escalated the case into a forfeiture action and that's when the office of the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts became involved. (RW, Broadcast Daily, others) ** ENFORCEMENT: BROADCAST TRANSMITTER CREATES SPURS IN AVIATION BAND IN NEW ZEALAND A recent investigation of interference to communications between pilots and the control tower for aircraft approaching Auckland airport in New Zealand, highlights the risk of unintended signals being generated as an unwanted side effect of radio broadcasting. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Meachen reports from down-under: -- The investigation took several weeks to complete because of the low signal level and intermittent observations of the interference. Locating it involved considerable staff resources from the New Zealand Radio Spectrum Management agency as well as their renting an aircraft and pilot to locate the source from the air. When found the problem proved to be an unwanted spurious emission from an FM broadcast transmitter in a community to the north of Auckland. The problem was quickly repaired by the broadcaster. In this case the interference was not considered to be an immediate safety risk because of the availability of alternative aircraft radio communications channels. It did however present a significant annoyance and distraction to pilots flying into and out of the city. A recent study by the New Zealands's neighbor across the Tasman Sea confirms the same problem exists in VK land. According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority about 28% of the transmitters it checked showed the production of unwanted emissions with many radiated in the aeronautical radio-communication band. As such these spurs do hold a potential risk to the safe operation of aircraft. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, in Nelson, New Zealand. -- Auckland Airport is a major airline hub in New Zealand. It serves domestic airline flights as well as a transfer point for passengers going on to other locations. (Southgate, ARNewslineT) ** RESCUE RADIO: GOV.DELIVERY TO DISCONTINUE DISSEMINATING NWS WEATHER ALERTS If you are involved in emergency communications activities and use the GovDelivery e-mail service service listen up. GovDelivery has announced that it will discontinue disseminating National Weather Service weather alerts effective July 31, 2013. GovDelivery is a self-subscription service used to deliver e- mail and SMS/text notifications to the general public and has contracts with many government agencies. The National Weather Service began using GovDelivery in 2008 but terminated its contract with GovDelivery in November of 2012, due to budget constraints. At the time of the National Weather Service contract termination GovDelivery continued distribute weather alert information using a similar e-subscription service. NWS subscribers were notified about the change and offered the opportunity to subscribe to GovDelivery's free service as well as to other third party weather alert services. However, due to the substantial costs of providing a high reliability messaging service at this scale GovDelivery cannot continue the free service. More information on the discontinuance of GovDelivery NWS alerts and several free alternatives to it are on the web at tinyurl.com/gov-delivery-ends. (NOAA) ** RADIO BUSINESS: ALINCO NOW REPRESENTED BY REMTRONIX George Howard, NW4G, who is the Amateur Radio Division Manager at GigaParts says that he has received word that Alinco is back up and running and its products began shipping on July 17th. In a posting to QRZ.com, Howard says that distribution is now being handled by a company called Remtronix Incorporated with a website at www.remtronix.com. A web search shows Remtronix to be located in Hayward California not that far from San Francisco. Howard also says that he has received word of several price reductions as well as announcement of the launch of the new Software Defined Radio based DX-SR9T high frequency transceiver. (NW4G via QRZ) ** NAMES IN THE NEWS: VE3CWP NAMED RAC CORPORATE SECRETARY Radio Amateurs of Canada has named Alvin Masse, VE3CWP, as its new Corporate Secretary. In making the announcement, Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW, who is the national society's President and Chairman said that Masse brings with him a wealth of organizational skills, history and wisdom and will be a great benefit to the organization. VE3CWP replaces Linda Friars, VE9GLF, who served as Acting Corporate Secretary until Masse's appointment. (RAC) ** HAM HAPPENINGS: SARL TO EXHIBIT AT ESKOM EXPO FOR YOUNG SCIENTISTS The South African Radio League will be an exhibitor at the 2013 Eskom Expo for Young Scientists. The event takes place from September 25th to 28th and will include both an operational High Frequency as well as a VHF station. The South African Radio League will also be sponsoring a special award at the Expo for best final entry in the field of RF and electronics. The Eskom Expo was founded by the late Dr. Derek Gray in 1980. Since then it has provided an opportunity for school students from primary to grade 12, who have an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to exhibit their projects and to be judged on their skills and enthusiasm for science. (SARL) ** HAM HAPPENINGS: MICROWAVE UPDATE 2013 SEEKS PRESENTERS Microwave Update or MUD 2013 which takes place October 18th and 19th at Morehead State Space Science Center in Moorehead, Kentucky. The planners have put out a call seeking papers to be presented at the event. Papers can be up to 10 pages in length. If you wish to be a presenter please send your proposal to mud (at) downeastmicrowave (dot) come before August 30th. (WA3ZKR) ** HAM HAPPENINGS: NEW FACEBOOK PAGE TO SCHEDULE SKEDS A new group has been formed on Facebook for hams wishing to schedule contacts with other amateurs world-wide. If you need a particular contact for an award, or just a chat, then go to facebook.com/groups/hamsked and have a look. (GB2RS) ** BREAK 2 With you 52 weeks a year, every year since 1977, we are 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) ** EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: LITHIUM BATTERY SAFETY Much of today's latest portable electronics including ham radio gear is powered by Lithium or Lithium Ion batteries. But these same batteries have also become a safety concern as we hear from Graham Kemp, VK4BB: -- Lithium batteries are undoubtedly popular going by their wide use in consumer products, and even higher powered models in electric vehicles. However they have been linked to fires, illicit drug makers and medical problems. The recent death of a toddler in Queensland, Australia and others injured after swallowing them, has again focused attention on the common power source. From January 2013 stricter regulations for the carriage of Lithium batteries by air travelers were introduced best check with your airline for the rules. A battery can also be a convenient source of lithium metal used in illegal methamphetamine laboratories. Sales of larger quantities are restricted for this reason in some areas. International industry standards for button batteries are soon to be introduced as an urgent safety measure. These are likely to include strengthened consumer education about the dangers and child-restraint packaging for the cell batteries. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Graham Kemp, VK4BB. Of the WIA News, in Australia. -- The bottom line is that when using these Lithium batteries as a source of power for anything electronic that it is important to think safety first. (VK3PC, WIA News) ** WORLDBEAT: 2ND INTERNATIONAL YOUTH MEETING FRIEDRICHSHAFEN IARU Region 1 reports that the 2nd International Youth Meeting was held on Saturday, June 29th. The event featured several lectures including one by Tommy Degrande, ON2TD. He is the Belgian Youth Coordinator of that nations national Amateur Radio Society the UBA. He spoke about youth activities in Belgium Other presenters included Remko Welling, PE1MEW, who servers as the Scouting Jamboree on the Air Coordinator in the Netherlands and Mari Nikkila, OH2FPK, who is the Finnish Amateur Radio Youth Coordinator. The International Youth Meeting was timed to coincide with the 2013 Ham Radio Convention held on the shores of Lake Constance in Friedrichshafen, Germany. More can be found on the web at www.iaru-r1.org (IARU Region 1) ** HAM RADIO IN SPACE: ISS CONTACT PLANNING SOFTWARE GETS UPDATE BY NASA INTERN The Amsat News Service reports that the ARISS software has been upgraded by a student named Nolan Replogle who interned with the Education Projects Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston from January to April of this year. During his stay his assignment was to update the planning software for the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station which is used to help schedule contacts and events. The original software's lack of a user interface meant that people needed to input data directly into text files, and then run the program to see if it worked. Replogle, a computer engineering major at Oklahoma State University used his programming skills to create a more user-friendly interface for the software. Replogle named the upgraded software ARISS Assistant or ARRISA for short. With his updates, there is now a graphic user interface that allows users to click on buttons to enter information into text boxes. This automated feature is more intuitive and requires a lot less data entry. Replogle has not yet had the chance to speak with an astronaut on-orbit, but he says that he would like to. Now thanks in part to the work he did as a NASA intern, other students around the world will have a better chance to have live contacts with International Space Station and its ham radio astronauts. (ANS) ** HAM RADIO IN SPACE: INDIA HOLDS SMALL SATELLITE WORKSHOP India's National Institute of Amateur Radio was co sponsor of a Small Satellite Developer Workshop event organized by Dhruva Space held July 8th to the 13th. Satellite experts had engineering models on display to help participants understand the challenges found in designing and developing the subsystems of small satellites. A full report on this gathering can be found on the web at tinyurl.com/SmallSatelliteWorkshop2013. (NAIR) ** HAM RADIO IN SPACE: SCOTLAND PORTABLE SATELLITE OPERATION IN AUGUST Paul Robinson, 2E1EUB, will once again be on the air from Scotland as 2M1EUB for 14 days beginning August 5th. He will be driving around that nation while listening out for anyone looking for grid squares that they have not worked yet, especially on the satellites. His operation will be several ham radio birds including AO-7 running modes B to A as well as on 160, 80 and 2 meter SSB. Robinson says that he will arrange skeds to work him. To arrange one e-mail him at 2e1eub (at) amsat.org. Check out QRZ.com under 2M1EUB for more information and the latest updates. (ANS) ** DX In DX, word that the ARRL has announced several Colvin Award grants to help support three upcoming DXpeditions. The recipients are the K9W Wake Atoll operation scheduled for September through October and the T33A Banaba Island for November. Also named is the FT5ZM Amsterdam Island DXpedition planned for January through February of 2014. PH2M will be active as PJ4M from the island of Bonaire between September 13th to the 26th. Operations will be on the High Frequency bands. QSL via his home callsign direct or via the bureau\ N0TG, AA4VK and N1SNB will be active stroke FS from St. Martin between October 24th to the 31st. This operation will likely mirror probably their PJ7 DXpedition which was described as a suitcase operation on 40 through 10 meters using CW and SSB, with wire antennas and 100 watts. QSL all operators via AA4VK. IZ1DPS will be operational stroke HC from Ecuador through January 12th, 2014. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL via IK2DUW, direct, by the Bureau or Logbook of the World only. A team composed of six French DXers will be operating as TM2NOI from Noirmoutier Island from August 9th to the 11th. The team will try to be active from 160 through 10 meters using CW, SSB and several digital modes. Particular interest will be paid to the Islands on the Air calling frequencies. QSL direct or via the bureau to F4FVI. Lastly, Members from the F6KOP Radio Club team will be active as TO7CC from Reunion Island between February 5th to the 17th, 2014. Their operation will be on all bands and modes, with an emphasis on the lower bands and RTTY. The group says that more details will be forthcoming. (Above from various DX news sources) ** THAT FINAL ITEM: SEND A PERSONAL MESSAGE TO THE MOON And finally this week, have you ever thought of sending your own spacecraft to the Moon? Well until now such a trip was out of the reach of almost everyone here on planet Earth. But that's all changing thanks to a new citizen oriented space project as we hear in this report from the Wireless Institute of Australia: -- A new project to give thousands of people the opportunity to design, build and launch personalised spacecraft and send them to the moon has begun. Now anyone can become a citizen space explorer at a cost of USD159, explorers who back the project will be able to personalise their own spacecraft by adding a picture or message direct from their favourite social media or game profile or create their own unique design. Pocket Spacecraft are disks with flexible electronics, smaller than a CD and as thin as a piece of paper, that will be loaded into an Interplanetary CubeSat mothership to hitch a ride into space on a commercial rocket. The mothership will then set off to the moon and when it arrives many months later, the fleet of Pocket Spacecraft will be photographed as they are released to land on the moon to complete their mission. Anyone can take part in the mission via the crowd-funding site PocketSpacecraft.com The campaign ends on August 26, 2013. -- Anyone can take part in the mission via the crowd-funding web site PocketSpacecraft.com. And who knows? If this idea works as planned you could be the first ham radio operator on your block or in your community to vicariously make a trip to the Moon. Well at least, kind of. (WIA News) ** 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 Skeeter Nash, N5ASH, near Houston, Texas, saying 73 and we thank you for listening. Amateur Radio NewslineT is Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.