Friday, September 13, 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1883 - September 13 2013

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)



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

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)



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

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
intruder-watch.  (IARU-R1)



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


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)



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)



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


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.



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)



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

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 and on
the Department of Transportation's distracted driving
website  (RW, NHTSA, DoT)



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.  (



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

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)



A new $18 million Emergency Operations Center in Williamson
County, Texas, will provide a room for amateur radio

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  (The Statesman)



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)



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.



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 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)



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)



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)



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

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)



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



Back on the ground, 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  (OPDX, Southgate)



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)



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)



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-


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

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
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  (Southgate, Leo Bodnar



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  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

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