Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1883 with a release date of September 13 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1. The following is a QST. New Zealand and Japan sign a new reciprocal operating agreement; unlicensed operations on 2 meters in Europe becomes a growing problem due to cheap hand held radios; a wildfire in Northern California destroys several repeaters; a move to restructure the FCC passes the House pf Representatives and a pair of solar powered pico balloons set a new European flight endurance record. Find out the details are on Amateur Radio NewslineT report number 1883 coming your way right now. (Billboard Cart Here) ** WORLDBEAT: RECIPROCAL LICENSING AGREEMENT REACHED BETWEEN NEW ZEALAND AND JAPAN New Zealand and Japan have signed an agreement formalizing reciprocal licensing between the two countries. Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, reports: -- Under the agreement the New Zealand General Amateur Operators Certificate will be recognized as equivalent to the Japanese First Class Radio Operator's qualification and a New Zealand Amateur will be will be permitted to establish and operate a station as an amateur radio operator in Japan. Similarly the Japanese First and Second Class Radio Operator's qualification will be recognized as holding the equivalent to the New Zealand General Amateur Operators Certificate. This means that the holder of a Japanese First or Second Class Radio Operator's qualification visiting New Zealand may operate for up to 90 days using their Japanese assigned call sign, with the addition of the ZL prefix. Not included in the agreement are Japan's Third and Fourth Class amateur license holders because there appear to be no New Zealand licenses with equivalent levels of qualification. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, on the South Island in Nelson, New Zealand. -- No date was announced for when this new reciprocal licensing agreement will take effect. (NZART) ** ENFORCEMENT: UNLICENSED OPERATIONS DISCOVERED ON 2 METERS IN EUROPE The August issue of the International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System newsletter reports the amateur 2 meter band in Europe is being used illegally by unlicensed stations using what are described as cheap hand held transceivers. The monitoring service says it has already received reports from several countries about unlicensed operators using VHF FM handhelds in the 144 MHz band. These include such wide ranging activities as taxi-nets in the Canary Islands, fishery operations in the Bay of Biscay and a number of undefined private users in Germany. The IARU Monitoring System asks that all radio amateurs to be aware of this situation. Additionally they should inform their relevant national authorities when this type of activity is encountered. Also to please log their reports of any amateur band intruders online at tinyurl.com/2-meter- intruder-watch. (IARU-R1) ** RADIO HAZARD: CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE TAKES NUMEROUS REPEATERS OFF THE AIR AND DESTROYS SEVERAL A wildfire in Contra Costa County, California that started on September 8th forced the evacuation of at least 100 homes. It also took a cluster of repeaters primarily serving the San Francisco Bay area off the air. Four of the repeaters are owned by the Mt. Diablo Amateur Radio Club. They were the lucky ones because all they lost was power to their systems. Jim Siemons, AF6PU, is a spokesman for the club: -- AF6PU: "MDARC has three ATV repeaters on 440, 900 MHz ans 1.2 GHz and an APRS Digipeater ob 144.390 MHz. There are other buildings up on the hill which are being fed by generators and the owner of the site is going to string additional power lines to feed our vault and we might be back on the air by this weekend. (ed Note: That would be Sept. 15th.) -- According to Siemons, the clubs W6CX APRS digipeater was only recently moved to the north peak of Mount Diablo after vandals toppled the communications tower which was the systems home on another peak known as Rocky Ridge. Not so lucky on Mt. Diablo were several other repeaters housed in another container. This included the K6MDD D-Star repeaters, the W6UUU MotoTRBO repeater, and one of the sites of the Cactus Intertie. The latter is a privately owned amateur radio system made up of a large number of remotely controlled FM base stations that are interconnected utilizing full duplex links. This includes the system on Mt. Diablo. According to AF6PU, salvaging anything from that site is unlikely: -- AF6PU: "They were actually closest to where the fire went into the vault and firefighters were able to put the fire out but they had to break into the vault and spray water all over the equipment so it appears to be a total loss." -- Siemons said that it was only thanks to the firefighters who risked their lives in fighting the Mt. Diablo fire that most of the radio sites were saved: -- AF6PU: "The efforts of the firefighters up there were incredible. I was watching them drive around through my binoculars and was monitoring their tactical channels and I can tell you that they put themselves in a position that no normal person would put themselves in to try and save the communications towers that are on the North and South peaks of Mt. Diablo." -- As this newscast is being prepared firefighters were calling the blaze as being only 20 percent contained with no control date mentioned. (AF6PU, MDARC, published News Reports) ** RADIO LAW: FIRST RESTRUCTURING MEASURE PASSES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES The United States House of Representatives has passed the first of two FCC reform bills by a 415 to nothing vote. The FCC Consolidated Reporting Act is co-sponsored by Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, W7EQI, Representative Ranking Member Anna Eshoo and Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise. The measure consolidates what are now eight separate reports required by Congress on the industries regulated by the commission into one biennial report. The measure known as H.R. 2844 also eliminates four outdated reports, including one on the status of competition in the telegraph industry that dates back to 1934. Meanwhile, lawmakers are still working on another FCC reform bill which would, among other things, establish more shot clocks for proceedings along with requiring the agency to publish the full text of a rule for public comment before a commission vote. A shot clock is used in some sports to quicken the pace of a given athletic event game. In this case the game is speeding up the activities of the FCC. (RW, TVT, other news reports) ** RADIO LAW: NAB OPPOSES CERTAIN CHANGES TO RF EXPOSURE REGULATIONS The National Association of Broadcasters has come out in opposition to a pair of proposed changes to the FCC's RF exposure rules as outlined in ET Dockets 13-84 and 03-137. The trade association is focusing specifically on a suggestion to reduce the allowable amount of RF emissions for so-called transient persons near a radiating antenna. Amateur Radio Newsline's Stephan Kinford, N8WB, has the details: -- Currently, the FCC allows broadcasters to treat transient people or persons, which include untrained employees or members of the public, the same as RF-trained employees. This is provided such transients are made aware of their possible exposure and such exposure is only brief and not normally repeated. The transient exception only applies to controlled environments, like fenced areas near tower sites or antennas on rooftops with locked access. Under changes to the RF exposure rules the FCC recently adopted, workers in controlled environments must be made aware of their possible exposure by verbal or written communication and must receive training on how they can control their exposure. The stricter general population uncontrolled exposure limits typically apply to situations where members of the public or employees have no or little knowledge of potential exposure and little means to mitigate their exposure. According to NAB Instead of applying the occupational or controlled limits to such transients, the FCC proposal would instead apply a newly created, and effectively undefined, general population controlled limit. This in turn would likely require significant and costly changes to the way licensees comply with RF exposure rules. The broadcast lobby group also disagree with the FCC proposal that transient people should be supervised by trained occupational personnel within the controlled area where the general population limit is exceeded. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Stephan Kindord, N8WB, in Wadsworth, Ohio. -- Comments on further changes were due to ET Dockets 13-84 and 03-137 were due to the Commission. by September 3rd. Reply comments are still open with a cutoff date of November 1st. (RW) ** BREAK 1 Time for you to identify. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the KC2DAA repeater serving Mount Beacon New York. (5 sec pause here) ** DISTRACTED DRIVING: NHSTA ISSUES VOLUNTARY DISTRACTED DRIVING FUTURE ELECTRONIC DEVELOPMENT GUIDELINES A new set of voluntary guideless for the operation of future vehicle electronics has been issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Amateur Radio Newsline's Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, has more: -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released its visual-manual driver distraction guidelines for electronic devices in vehicles. They apply to original, in- vehicle electronic devices used by the driver to perform secondary tasks where the driver must look at a device, manipulates a related control with his or her hand and watches for visual feedback. Communications, entertainment, information gathering and navigation fall under this umbrella. Although the guidelines apply to new technology, they also are applicable to common electronic devices referred to as conventional information or communications systems, such as AM/FM radios, satellite radios, CD players, cassette players and MP3 players. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes some secondary tasks also interfere with a driver's ability to control the car safely. Two examples would be displaying video or scrolling text. Other activities the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration considers distracting include displaying video not related to driving, automatically scrolling text, large amounts of static text for reading and manual text entry. The guidelines recommend these devices be designed to lock out the driver's ability to access them at a certain point if the vehicle is moving. However they would not mean to block simple map displays and related text, so long as the material is displayed in a safe manner. The bottom line according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is that any task performed by a driver should be interruptible at any time, and that the driver, not the device, should control the pace of task interactions. How this could all impact on the development of the next generation of add-on mobile two-way radio gear including rigs used by ham radio operators can not even be speculated on at this time, but simplified eyes on the road operation will be most likely For the Amateur Radio Newsline' Im Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, in Los Angeles. -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a part of the Department of Transportation. It issued these nonbinding, voluntary guidelines to promote safety by discouraging the introduction of excessively distracting devices in vehicles. You can find the entire 281 page set of guidelines on the agency's website www.nhtsa.gov and on the Department of Transportation's distracted driving website distraction.gov. (RW, NHTSA, DoT) ** RADIO LAW: POWAY CALIFORNIA MAY LOOSEN ITS HAM RADIO ANTENNA REGULATIONS Some good news for hams living in Poway, California. At a meeting on Tuesday September 3rd the Poway City Council took action to assure about fifty local amateur radio operators that the regulatory body will take a serious look at revising local planning codes. This to make certain that they conform with federal laws including PRB One regarding the placement of antennas on private property. Currently the city requires every antenna installation to go through a minor development review application process, which costs the applicant $719. In late 2005 the council gave its preliminary approval to some changes, but never followed through with the final adoption. Now, all five council members have agreed that the application fee should be waived or at least significantly reduced. They then instructed the city staff to return in 30 days with a plan and timeline for the regulation review. The radio operators were invited to the meeting by Poway Mayor Don Higginson. They reportedly applauded at the end of the discussion. (pomeradonews.com) ** RESCUE RADIO: NM HAMS AID IN SEARCH FOR MISSING FIREFIGHTER Ham radio was involved in a search for a missing firefighter found dead Friday, September 6th atop a New Mexico mesa, where he apparently had crashed his All Terrain Vehicle. Hundreds of volunteers, firefighters, search and rescue teams and the Civil Air Patrol had spent a week combing some 50 square miles of steep canyons looking for Token Adams. Adams was a 41-year-old U.S. Forest Service fighter who disappeared August 30th while checking a report of smoke. Some of those involved in the search effort included Sandoval and Bernalillo County ARES Members. New Mexico Section Emergency Coordinator Michael Scales, K5SCA, and Section Manager, Bill Kauffman, W5YEJ, were both directly involved in the search mission. (W5WHN) ** RESCUE RADIO: NEW WILLIAMSON COUNTY TEXAS EOC INCLUDES HAM RADIO A new $18 million Emergency Operations Center in Williamson County, Texas, will provide a room for amateur radio operators. Jarred Thomas is the Emergency Management Coordinator. He says that local amateur radio operators will also have a room in which to gather. He notes that natural disasters such as a 1997 F 5 tornado with winds in excess of 200 miles per hour is in part the reason for the Emergency Operations Center's existence. The new nerve center will be command central for major emergencies and also houses the county's 911 communications department, which had outgrown its home at the sheriff's office. A large conference center and separate room for media are also included at the EOC. More is on the web at tinyurl.com/hams-at-new-eoc. (The Statesman) ** RADIO BUSINESS: AMERICAN TOWER TO ACQUIRE GLOBAL TOWER PARTNERS If you own a repeater or remote station sited on a tower or other structure operated by Global Tower Partners you will likely soon have a new landlord. This with word that American Tower Corporation has announced an agreement to acquire the outstanding common membership interests of MIP Tower Holdings LLC, for a purchase price of approximately $4.8 billion. MIP is the parent company of Global Tower Partners, and its related companies American Tower says it expects that the acquisition of the MIP Tower holdings portfolio will generate approximately $345 million in revenues and approximately $270 million of gross margin in 2014. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and closing conditions. If all goes as expected the purchase will likely be completed in the fourth quarter of this year. (American Tower, Global Tower Partners, RW) ** RADIO BUSINESS: FUTURE AES SUPERFEST CANCELLED The annual March Amateur Electronic Supply Superfest is no more. In an e-mail posted to the Chicago's NS9RC North Shore Amateur Radio Club remailer, Don Whitman, KK9H, says that he learned from AES employee Ray Grenier, K9KHW, that there would no longer be an AES Superfest held in Milwaukee. Grenier, who spoke to Whitman at the recent Radio Expo convention reportedly mentioned several factors that led to the decision to abandon future Superfests. Among these are the high prices for gasoline that has curtailed the number of Illinois residents that drive up to Wisconsin for the event. Also there has been a drop in the number of commercial exhibitors willing to come due to increased expenses and the difficulty of finding interesting speakers. (KC9RP, NS9RC) ** NAMES IN THE NEWS: W2TRR JOINS BURK TECHNOLOGY Burk Technology has announced that it has added former Buckley Broadcasting and WOR - AM Director of Engineering Tom Ray, W2TRR, to its team. Burk Technology designs, builds and sells high-quality electronics that monitor and control mission-critical facilities and functions. During his 15 years tenure WOR AM in New York, Tom Ray rebuilt the facility and made WOR the first high-power AM HD radio station in the country. He is a regular contributor to the trade publication Radio World, has published several papers for the National Association of Broadcasters Engineering Conference, has been on the Society of Broadcast Engineers board and was chairman of SBE Chapter 15 in New York City for nine years. Currently, W2TRR owns Tom Ray Broadcast Consulting in New Windsor, New York. His QRZ.com bio says that he is a member of the Orange County New York Amateur Radio Club and the Broadcast Engineering Amateur Radio Society which is run by ABC Radio and Television. Ray also operates an APRS digipeater and i-gate station. The home station call is W2TRR and mobile operation is as W2TRR-9. (RW, QRZ) ** HAM HAPPENINGS: CONTEST UNIVERSITY 2014 IN DAYTON OHIO Its never to early to plan for the future and in that vein comes word that Contest University 2014 will be held next May 15th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dayton, Ohio. According to organizer K3LR, if you stayed at the Crowne Plaza for the 2013 event, filled out a 2014 reservation form and dropped it off at the registration desk, then you should already have an e-mail confirmation from the hotel for your 2014 reservation. If not and you would like to reserve a room contact the hotel directly and use the code CON. The base room rate for the Contest room University is $139.00 per night. Hamvention 2014 runs from May 16th to the 18th with separate ansulary activities like Contest University taking place earlier in the week. (Contest University) ** BREAK 2 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 www.arnewsline.org and being relayed by the volunteer services of the following radio amateur: (5 sec pause here) ** EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: STANFORD SOLAR SCIENTISTS SOLVE ONE OF THE SUN'S MYSTERIES Solar scientists at Stanford University in California have solved one of the few remaining fundamental mysteries of how the sun works. And its something that hams will want to know as it does affect propagation. Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather Embee, KB3TZD, has the details: -- According to researchers, the mechanism in question is known as meridional flow and is said to work something like a conveyor belt. Magnetic plasma migrates on the sun's surface from the equator to the poles. It then cycles into the sun's interior on its way back to the equator. The rate and depth beneath the surface of the sun at which this process occurs is critical for predicting the sun's magnetic and flare activity, but has remained largely unknown until now. To find out how it actually worked, researchers used the Stanford-operated Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager or HMI instrument onboard NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory to track solar waves in much the way seismologists would study seismic movements beneath the surface of the Earth. Every 45 seconds for the past two years, the HMI's Doppler radar recorded images of plasma waves moving across the sun's surface which were then radioed back to Earth. By identifying patterns of sets of waves, the scientists could recognize how the solar materials move from the sun's equator toward the poles, and how they return to the equator through the sun's interior. One startling discovery is that the equator-ward flow is actually sandwiched between two layers of poleward flowing currents. This is a more complicated mechanism than previously thought. Its also one that could help refine predictions of the sun's activity. For example, some computer models projected that the current solar cycle would be strong, but observations have since showed it is actually much weaker than the previous cycle. This inconsistency could be due to the previously unknown inaccuracies of the meridional circulation mechanism used in the simulations. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Heather Embee, KB3TZD, in Berwick, Pennsylvania. -- The report was published in the online edition of The Astrophysical Journal Letters. (Space & Science) ** RADIO IN SPACE: US RESEARCH PROBE HEADS TOWARD THE MOON More than 40 years after the last Apollo astronauts left the moon, NASA has launched a small robotic spacecraft to investigate Earths primary satellite. The Ladee spacecraft, which is charged with studying the lunar atmosphere and dust, soared aloft aboard a Minotaur launch vehicle rocket a little before midnight on Friday, September 6th with its destination being the moon. Ladee is a acronym for the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer mission. It is using the so-called sling-shot effect of Earth's gravity to propel it to moon. This by it making three increasingly larger circuits around our home planet before getting close enough to transfer into a lunar orbit. Because of this the spacecraft will require a full month to reach Earth's closest neighbor. Ladee, which is the size of a small car, is expected to reach the moon on October 6th. Researchers hope to use it to learn the composition of the moon's weak atmosphere and how it might change over time. Another puzzle, dating back decades, is whether dust rises of its own accord from the lunar surface. To accomplish its mission the Ladee spacecraft carries three scientific research instruments. And in addition to traditional radio gear it is also carrying a. experimental Laser communications package that could revolutionize data relay. NASA wants to experiment with this system to see if it might eventually be able to replace its traditional RF based communications with coherent modulated light transmission that might afford greater bandwidth using significantly less power and smaller devices. For now, data gathered by Ladee will reportedly be sent back to Earth using both systems. The $280 million moon-orbiting operation will last six months. It will end when the spacecraft is commanded to make a final plunge to the surface of the moon. More about Ladee mission is on the web at tinyurl.com/back-to-the-moon (NASA, guardian.com) ** EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: QSCOPE LOG STATISTICS AND CHARTS Back on the ground, QScope.org is a new online application that provides statistics and charts from amateur radio logs. While some features are designed with contesting in mind, most of the statistics will be useful for DXers and DXpeditions. You just import your ADIF 2 or Cabrillo logs into QScope database and then browse the statistic and charts pages. Registration and access to the website are free at www.qscope.org (OPDX, Southgate) ** ON THE AIR: CELEBRATING HUNGARY'S TECHNICAL COLLEGE OF THEODORE PUSKAS On the air, listen out for HA75KBF which is on the air celebrating the 75th anniversary of the amateur radio club at Hungary's Technical College of Theodore Puskas. If you work them, QSL via the clubs regular call sign of HA5BKF. (Via e-mail) ** DX In DX, Bill Moore, NC1L, the ARRL Awards Branch Manager, reports that the current JY9FC operation beginning this past August has been approved for DXCC credit. If you have a card for that operation now is the time to submit it. HA3JB will be operational slash 4O from Montenegro between September 23rad to the 30th. Activity will be on CW, RTTY and SSB. QSL via HA3JB direct N4WDT and K4ZIN are planning to on the air from Sierra Leone between October 16th and the 21st. They are currently waiting for a license approval and plan to operate 160 through 10 meters with a focus on 30, 17 and 12 meters as well as the lower bands. QSL electronically via Logbook of the World or via their home callsigns. OH6KZP, will be active as CR2X from the Azores during the CQ World Wide DX SSB Contest on October 26th and 27th. This, as a Single-Operator/All-Band/High-Power entry. Before the contest begins he may be on signing his own call portable CT8. QSL via OH2BH. DJ7RJ will be active stroke FR from Reunion Island between September 28th and November 2nd. His operation will be on 160 through 10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via DJ7RJ, direct or by the bureau. Lastly, K7AR will be active as E51AAR from Rarotonga in the South Cook Islands, between October 21st and the 26th. His operation will be mainly using RTTY but he will also participate in the CQWW DX SSB Contest. Log will be uploaded to Logbook of the World upon his return home. QSL via K7AR, direct or by the Bureau. (Above courtesy of various DX news sources) ** EMERGING TECHGNOLOGY: SOLAR POWERED PICO BALLOONS SET NEW ENDURANCE RECORD A pair of solar powered pico balloons launched from the United Kingdom have set what appears to be an all time endurance record over Europe. Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, is in the newsroom with the latest on the flights of B-11 and B- 12: -- United Kingdom experimenter Leo Bodnar in cooperation with members of Europe's ham radio community has set some interesting records flying radio equipped pico balloons. His latest, simply called B-11 and B-12 were launched by Leo from the town of Silverstone on September 1 and 2 respectively. As of late on September 9th, both balloons were still in the air transmitting in the Domino EX 16 data mode on 434.500 MHz USB. During their long duration record-breaking flights, the two balloons have between them flown over most countries in Europe. B-11 was last reported over Turkey and B-12 over the Ukraine. Both balloons are powered by small solar panels which recharge a tiny on-board battery. Unfortunately, B-12 did suffer a battery failure so it only transmits when in sunlight. As this newscast goes to air, both pico balloons have so far floated at least 1550 miles from their launch point could still be in-flight. Keep an eye on leobodmar.com/balloons for the latest. From the other side of the world, I'm Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, in the newsroom in Los Angeles. -- Pico balloons do not go to extremes altitudes but instead float at anywhere between 6500 to 26000 feet for an extended period of time. From those heights above sea level their 434 MHz transmitters can have a radio range of up to 250 miles depending on line of sight. You can see the tracks of these latest radio equipped pico balloons on the web at tinyurl.com/b11-b12-flight. (Southgate, Leo Bodnar Balloons) ** 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 W-I-A 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.