Friday, September 6, 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1882 - September 6 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1882 with a release
date of September 6 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a Q-S-T.  A trans-Pacific emergency
communications test is deemed a success; a ham radio
satellite band at 5 Gigahertz could be in jeopardy in
Europe; registration is now open for the Western
Hemisphere's biggest transmitter hunting event; a ham flies
a Presidential Medal to the International Space Station and
some very unexpected words at the wrong time from on high.
Find out the details on Amateur Radio NewslineT report
number 1882 coming your way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here)



A follow-up to our recent story on a planned joint MARS and
civilian trans-pacific emergency communications drill.  It
was called operation Pacific Endeavor-13 and it teamed the
United States Military Auxiliary Radio System with hams
across the Pacific in an ocean spanning emergency exercise.
Amateur Radio Newsline's Don Wilbanks, AE5DW, has the


Everything about the August 25th and 26th Pacific Endeavor-
13 simulated emergency response was staged except for one
unexpected occurrence.  Electric power actually did fail in
the pretend nation of Pacifica which was the supposed
disaster beaten Asian nation that a small band of ham radio
operators were trying to assist.

The power failure happened right at the start of the globe-
spanning exercise organized by the U.S. Defense Department.
At 9N1AA in Nepal, the real "Pacifica," operators kept going
on battery power with only 25 watts output.  But a stroke of
the other kind of luck provided a low-power digital link to
an amateur in Afghanistan. That was Tim McFadden, T6TM.  He
is a retired Army communicator now helping train Afghan
troops who had only joined Army MARS less than a month
before the exercise

Although the operation only lasted just under three hours,
months had gone into its planning.  The Pentagon and U.S.
Pacific Command set it up as a test of amateur emergency
support in Asia after Japan's tsunami catastrophe, using
procedures of the International Amateur Radio Union, the
Military Auxiliary Radio System, military stations and radio

When power was restored in Nepal there were some limited
voice contacts with Afghanistan and Germany.  Hawaii could
hear but not talk to Nepal because propagation lasted only a
few minutes.

But the real star of the exercise was the digital mode PSK31
that appeared to propagate well on low power.  This even in
the otherwise poor High Frequency band conditions
experienced during the exercise.

Only one negative note.  During rehearsals, messaging was
disrupted by hams seeking to contact Nepal, which is rarely
heard on the air.  That was alleviated by the use of
abbreviated call signs plus the dependence on digital
communications during the actual exercise itself.

One unique feature of the event was use of the Defense
Department's open bulletin board for civil emergencies
called the All Partners Access Network or APAN.  Army MARS
Operations Chief David McGinnis coordinated information flow
via APAN to the Department of Defense and U.S. Pacific

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Don Wilbanks, AE5DW, in
New Orleans.


A preliminary account had a total of 60 stations logged at
MARS headquarters at Fort Huachuca and to the station in
Germany of MARS region director Daniel Wolff.  (N1IN /
AAR1FP via



After a five year wait the Bangladesh Telecommunication
Regulatory Authority has announced that an amateur radio
licensing exam session will be held on November 9th.  The
test will be made up of 50 multiple choice questions
covering the fundamentals  of radio engineering, basic
electronics, that nations amateur radio rules, and several
other topics.  An applicant must score at least 50% to pass.
More information is on the Bangladesh Telecommunication
Regulatory Authority website at (S21SM,



The California Rim Wildfire continues and so does the
volunteer communications support provided by radio amateurs.
Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, has been following this story and
has the latest:


As we go to air, there's good news.  Shifting weather
patterns have brought some level of moisture to the fire
ravaged area.  This together with massive firefighting
efforts means that at airtime that the Rim fire is about 80%
contained.  That does not mean the fire is under control,
but rather its not expected that the blaze will be able to
move past those areas of the containment line.

With the 80 percent containment the sheriff's offices in
Tuolumne and Mariposa counties have been able to lift
evacuation advisories for several communities.  This
includes those with several thousand structures that were in
the fire's path.  It also means that after some sixteen days
of continuous duty that volunteer ham radio operators with
Tuolumne County ARES and RACES were able to stand down and
return to their normal lives.

As previously reported, ham radio was first asked to assist
back on August 19th.  That was when communications
assistance was required to the towns of Tuolumne and Mi-Wuk
Village which were under voluntary evacuation alert.

We've since learned that hams also served duty assisting the
Red Cross in setting up an evacuation center in the town of
Groveland and later at the Tuolumne County Fairgrounds in
the city of Sonora.  Operators associated with the Amateur
Radio Emergency Service provided information into and out of
these centers during the time that evacuees were being
housed and fed at those locations.  At the height of the
evacuation news reports say that the Tuolumne Fairgrounds
was the temporary home to upward of 100 evacuees.

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


Full containment of the Rim Fire is not expected until
September 20th at the earliest.



Ham radio satellites could wind up being forced to share
spectrum at 5 point 8 Gigahertz with terrestrial devices.
At least in those nations that are CEPT signatories.
Amateur Radio Newsline's Bruce Tennant, K6PZW has the


A CEPT Short Range Devices or SE24 meeting took place in
Vienna, Austria on August 26th and 27th.  This to discuss
the future use of 5350 to 5470 MHz and 5725 to 5925 MHz for
wireless access systems including wireless or radio-based
local area networks.

The Amateur Satellite Service has a downlink band lies from
5830 to 5850 MHz.  Those involved in space communications
believe that introducing such ground based services in this
spectrum would inevitably raise the noise floor.  This in
turn could make the weak signals from satellites difficult
if not totally impossible to receive.

Right now, no final decision on the future of this spectrum
has been made by the CEPT, but as the squeeze for more
commercial bandspace grows, the entire 5 Gigahertz band
appears a prime target for more sharing on an international
basis among CEPT signatories and that includes most of
Europe and possessions of European nations.

More on this recent meeting is on the World Wide Web at

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, in
Los Angeles.


CEPT stands for the European Conference of Postal and
Telecommunications Administrations.  It was established in
1959 by 19 countries, which expanded to 26 nations during
its first ten years of existence.  Today 48 countries are
members of CEPT's with the organizations activities
including co-operation on commercial, operational,
regulatory and technical standardization issues.
(Southgate, CEPT, others)



Andreas Mogensen will be the first Danish astronaut to make
a trip to the International Space Station. Mogensen will
ride to the ISS on board a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to be
launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in
September 2015.  During his stay onboard the ISS, Mogensen
will conduct a series of experiments in preparation of
future missions and in the orbital testing new technologies.

This 10 day mission will be Mogensen's first foray into
space.  The flight is directly connected to the new era in
ISS operations where 2 experienced spacefarers from the USA
and Russia will work on the ISS for one year starting in May
of 2015.

More about his upcoming space adventure is on the web at  And we will have more ham
radio space related news later on in this weeks newscast.



We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin
stations around the world including the WA2JWR repeater
serving Toms River New Jersey.

(5 sec pause here)



The FCC has updated its rules governing Travelers'
Information or T-I-S radio Stations.  It's also seeking
public input on further planned changes.  Amateur Radio
Newsline's Stephan Kinford, N8WB, has more:


The commission created the Travelers Information Service in
1977.  At that time it authorized stations to operate low
power transmissions on 530 kHz on a primary basis and in the
535 to 1705 kHz band on a secondary non-interfering basis
with broadcasters who are the primary spectrum users.

At inception, the agency envisioned local governments would
use Travelers' Information Stations to reduce traffic
congestion.  Commercial broadcasters opposed the creation of
the service on grounds that the information conveyed would
duplicate what they provided and as such would siphon off
their add revenues or cause interference to their

The government prevailed and over the years, Travelers'
Information Station operators have wanted to broaden the
scope of their content and eliminate the restriction that
confines their transmitting sites to areas near roads,
bridges, highways and public transportation terminals like
bus stops, train stations and airports.  For example the
American Association of Information Radio Operators wanted
to broadcast excerpts of NOAA Weather Radio transmissions
and AMBER Alerts.  As a result AMBER Alerts are now allowed
on Travelers' Information stations.

In its latest decision FCC has clarified that Travelers'
Information stations operators can already transmit weather
alerts regarding difficult or hazardous conditions.  This is
in addition to information regarding motor vehicle crashes,
emergency points of assembly, road closures and
construction, parking, current driving travel times, air
flight status, truck weigh stations, driver rest areas,
locations of truck services, and road closures.

The FCC says that all transmitted content must remain
noncommercial and must relate to travel, an emergency or an
imminent threat of danger.  As such, the commission has
nixed the idea of routinely retransmitting entire NOAA
Weather Radio Alerts.  However, the commission will now
allow Travelers' Information Stations to integrate those
alerts into broadcasts but only during especially hazardous

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


In a Further Notice, the agency is proposing deleting
requiring the filtering of Travelers' Information Station
audio frequencies above 3 kHz.  So far those commenting for
the most part have told the agency that filtering makes it
harder to hear the broadcasts while adding little to
interference protection of commercial AM stations.  (FCC,



An Idaho Amateur Radio Emergency Services group will be
providing radio communications for that states Kootenai
River Ride to be held September 14, and the group is in need
of additional licensed radio amateurs to assist.  A planning
session is slated for Tuesday evening September 10th at the
Bonners Ferry Main Fire Station in Boundary County and any
radio amateur from that area who wants to be a part of this
outing is invited to attend.  If being a part of this very
worthwhile public service is of interest you them please
contact Gary Leonard by e-mail to gary (at) pvfd (dot) us.



Some names in the news.  First up is Greg Coons, who
currently works as an agent in the FCC's Denver field
office, but has been promoted to resident agent to be based
in Norfolk, Virginia.  Coons grew up in Virginia Beach and
started his commission career in Norfolk in 1991.  He was
transferred to Denver in 1996 after a reorganization of FCC
field offices, and has been based there for 17 years.  He
received his BSEE from Old Dominion University in 1986.
(SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section and SBE Chapter 48)



An astronaut aboard the International Space Station has paid
tribute to the late United States president John F. Kennedy
by flying a medallion to the orbiting outpost that bears the
likeness of the 35th President of the United States.  NASA
astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF6KDR, who is serving as a flight
engineer on board the space station, radioed photos down to
Mission Control on Wednesday, August 21st showing the medal
floating in front of a window with a view of the Earth

The 3-inch bronze medallion that Cassidy took to the space
station was created as part of the U.S. Mint's presidential
medallion series. The front of features a bust of the late
United States president.  Its reverse side in inscribed with
a quote from Kennedy's  1961 inaugural address which says:
"We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship,
support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the
survival and the success of liberty."

When he returns to Earth this fall, Cassidy will deliver the
medal back to the JFK Library, where it will become a part
of its permanent collection.  The John F. Kennedy
Presidential Library and Museum is located in Boston,
Massachusetts and has a permanent exhibit devoted to the
race for space that began in the 1960's. (,
VenturesInSpace, other news reports)



CO6CBF is looking for stations in the United Kingdom to try
contacts with him over the FO-29 amateur radio satellite.
Currently, when the satellite is in apogee, it has a good
footprint that covers both the UK and Cuba for a few
minutes.  Anyone wanting to try a FO-29 contact with Cuba
should e-mail Hector via co6cbf (at) frcuba (dot) co (cu)
cu.  (GB2RS)



Ken Villone, KU2US, writing via, says that the 13
Colonies Special Event is looking to enlist one dedicated
SSB and CW QRP operator for each the original colony states
state for 2014 and beyond.  Applicants must hold a General
class or higher United States Amateur Radio license but
there are no special station requirements.

KU2US notes that this will be a QRP to QRP operation only as
planners want to give the low power stations a chance to get
a 13 Colony States "Clean Sweep" endorsement on his or her
certificate.  Those interested should contact KU2US via e-
mail using the information found on

More information on the recent 2013 event as well as the
early planning for next year is on the web at  KU2US adds that the New York QRP
position is already filled for 2014.  (KU2US via



A reminder that the 32nd Annual ARRL and TAPR Digital
Communications Conference is less than three weeks away.
The gathering will take place September 20th to the 22nd, in
Seattle, Washington.  The DCC is an international forum for
radio amateurs involved in digital communications technology
to meet, publish their work, and present new ideas and
techniques.  Presenters and attendees will have the
opportunity to exchange ideas and learn about recent
hardware and software advances, theories, experimental
results, and practical applications.  More about this event
is on the web at



The 47th running of the California QSO Party or CQP is
slated this year to begin at 1600 UTC on October 5th and end
at 2200 UTC on October 6th.  The Northern California Contest
Club sponsors this annual event and offers a variety of
awards open to stations inside and outside of California.
These include plaques for the top operators in various
categories including a youth award for those under the age
of 18.   A list of the awards is included in the rules and
can be found on-line  (N6WM, W6TCP)



This is ham radio news for today's radio amateur.  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

(5 sec pause here)



Registration is now open for the Western Hemisphere's
biggest transmitter hunting event of 2013, and you might
become a medal winner there.  Newsline's Joe Moell, K0OV,
has the details.


The mountains of North Carolina will be the setting for the
13th USA championships of on-foot hidden transmitter
hunting.  Fans of this international sport, which is also
called foxtailing, radio-orienteering and ARDF, are making
travels plans now, and they want you to join in.

Tuesday, October 8 will be arrival day for the optional
practice sessions on both two meters and 80 meters, which
begin early on Wednesday.  Thursday and Friday will have two
specialty events, sprints and foxoring.

Those who cannot be present for all five days will arrive
Friday, October 11 for the classic championships.  Saturday
morning will be the two-meter main event, followed in the
evening by the banquet and awards presentation.  The 80-
meter main event will be on Sunday morning with awards
presented afterwards, in time for those who must hurry home.

Organizing the 2013 USA Championships are Joseph Huberman,
K5JGH and Ruth Bromer, WB4QZG.  Both have competed at
previous USA Championships and earned medals.  Setting the
courses will be Nadia Scharlau, with radio support from
Charles Scharlau, NZ0I.  Nadia learned ARDF as a youth in
the Soviet Union and won her first gold medal by competing
for USSR at the European Championships in 1984.  In 2006 in
Bulgaria, she became the first Team USA member to win a
World Championships medal.

As always, our national Championships are open to anyone of
any age who can safely navigate the woods.  Most will be
licensed hams, but that's not required, so encourage your
unlicensed-but-athletic friends and family members to join
in.  You can watch and learn from the best in the country,
as well as visitors from around the world.

Registration is now open on the Web and there is an e-mail
reflector for Q&A with the organizers.  Learn all about the
championships and the sport of radio-orienteering at  That's homingin, as one word,  I hope to see you there.  From sunny southern
California, this is Joe Moell, K0OV, for Amateur Radio


Again if you missed it that URL is simply



The US Air Force Space Surveillance Radar or AFSSS has
stopped transmitting.  This, as a result of sequester budget
cuts mandated by Congress.

The Space Surveillance Radar which has been operational
since 1961 and is only one part of the nations global Space
Surveillance Network.  The system is designed to transmit
what the military calls a "fence" of radar energy into space
to detect all objects intersecting it.  The operational
advantage of is its ability to detect objects in a random or
non cued fashion, rather than tracking objects based on
previous information.  The disadvantage is the inherent
inaccuracy of the data, based on its dated design.

Military officials have devised what they call modified
operating modes for the Perimeter Acquisition Radar
Characterization System located at Cavalier Air Force
Station, North Dakota and for the Space Surveillance Radar
at Eglin Air Force Base, in Florida.  This allows the
discontinuation of the older Air Force Space Surveillance
Radar operations while still maintaining solid space
situational awareness.

The AFSSS radar's final echoes came from a Russian satellite
and a sporadic meteor.  You can see those traces at  Deactivating the old system
will save the Air Force Space Command $14 million annually
starting in fiscal year 2014.  (Space News, VHF Reflector,



EDN magazine reports that the next generation of Phone-Sats
which are microsatellites built around smartphones will
launch on November 6th and December 6th.  In an interview
with the magazine developer Jasper Wolfe said that these
next Phone-Sats will transmit using Packet Radio on 437.425
MHz using AFSK at 1200 bits per second.  Coding will be AX
dot 25 and the transmit polarization will be vertical.

These and the previous Phone-Sats were developed by young
engineers at the NASA-Ames Research Center.  One of the new
birds will remain on-orbit for up to two years while the
other will have a far shorter lifespan of only three months.
The entire article including photos is on the web at  (EDN, Southgate)



AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL have been advised that the launch date
for FUNcube-1 is now expected to be November 21st. This date
is still subject to final approval by the authorities.
FUNcube-1 is a 1 unit CubeSat that will provide a
signal directly from a satellite to classrooms with a signal
level that can easily be received by schools and colleges.
(AMSAT, Southgate)



In DX, OH2YY hopes to be on the air from Nepal between
October 2nd and the 5th.  He has applied for the callsign
9N2YY, but the final confirmation will not take place until
he arrives in that nation.  After Nepal he will be visiting
the Kingdom of Bhutan between October 6th and the 10th where
he has already been assigned the callsign A52YY.  Listen out
for him during his evenings and nights on 20 through 10
meter SSB.  QSL via OH2YY, the bureau or direct.  Electronic
QSL's go via Logbook of the World.

JK1AJT will again be in Myanmar from September 18th to the
23rd signing X-Zed-one-Zed .  He tells DX Daily that he has
spotted a better location atop a 1557 feet hill and will
bring a tri-band Yagi with him in addition to the Ground
Plains that he used last month.  This next operation will be
mainly CW.  QSL via ClubLog Oh-QRS or direct to JH1AJT.
Meantime the recent X-Zed-one-Zed Myanmar 2013 operation has
been approved for DXCC credit.  If you've had it rejected in
a prior application, send a note to to be
placed on the list for an update to your record.

The Martello Tower Group are activating Herm Island again
from  October 4th to the 9th on 80  through 10 meters
including the WARC bands.  The group will be using SSB and
some data modes.   All QSOs will be uploaded to Logbook of
the World and Club Log.  QSL direct or via the bureau to

WB6OJB and K5LBU will be active as A25JK and A25CF,
respectively, from the extreme eastern part of Botswana
through September 12th.  They should have two stations
running but the A25JK will be the main call to listen out
for.  Look for A25JK to operate SSB on 20 through 10 meters
with a possibility of some time spent on 40 and 75.  A25CF
will be operating some PSK on whatever bands might be open
and A25JK is not on. QSL via their home callsigns.

DL2MDU and his DO3HDA will on the air 8Q7CF from the
Maldives between September 15th through the 27th.  Their
activity will be holiday style on 80 through 10 meters with
the possibly 160 meters Modes will be CW and SSB with some
digital.  QSL via DL2MDU.

JA0RQV hopes to be operational from Tonga as A35JP/N between
September 19th and the 24th.  This operation will depend on
weather and flight availability to the island and his time
on the air will be limited because of limited supply of
electric power.  Operations will be on 80 through 6 meters
using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign, by the Bureau,
direct or electronically using Logbook of the World.

DL7AFS and DJ7ZG will be operational as D44TXT from Santiago
Island, Cape Verde between October 19th and November 7th.
The duo will be on 80 through 6 meters using SSB, RTTY and
PSK31.  QSL via DL7AFS.

(Above from various DX news sources)



And finally this week, we have all heard of RF getting into
public address systems, but this one truly has to take the
prize for the unusual.  Amateur Radio Newsline's Cheryl
Lasek, K9BIK, has the rather strange details:


Can you imagine being at a funeral service when the sound
coming out of the loud speaker system is suddenly
interrupted by airline stewardess' message to her
passengers?  Well it actually happened recently in the
United Kingdom when what's been described as a mysterious
voice was heard through a church's public address system
during a funeral service telling passengers on a plane to
prepare for landing.

The story goes this way.  Friends and family of Brendan
Duffy had gathered at St Edward's Church in Windsor,
Berkshire, to pay their final respects after the Dublin-born
grandfather-of-four died on August 8th, at age 78.  But as
his nephew Joe Duffy was reading the eulogy, everyone was
suddenly told to fasten their seat belts and for the other
flight attendants to prepare the aircraft's doors for

While some might have thought it could have been a sign from
the heavens above a more rational explanation is that the
church's wireless microphone system and the two-way radio
system on the aircraft were on the same frequency.  But that
would not explain how the announcement made using a closed
loop in-cabin public address system could get transmitted
outside the airplane unless perhaps someone pushed the wrong
button on the flight deck.

That said, as we go to air, the mystery of the RF signal
from on-high remains unexplained.

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


Joe Duffy is a local personality radio.  He told a news
reporter that everyone at the service was looking around and
up to heaven, trying to figure out where the voice was
coming from.  (UK Daily Mail)



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 Damron, N8TMW, saying 73 from Charleston, West
Virginia and we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio NewslineT is Copyright 2013.  All rights

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