Friday, September 27, 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1885 - September 27 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1885 with a release
date of September 27 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QS-T.  Hams in Australia may keep access
to part of the 2300 MHz band; amateur radio operators in
Portugal get new spectrum and some rules changes; Congress
asks why first responder radios failed during Washington
Navy Yard shooting; the FCC says no to encrypted ham radio
communications and researchers admit that Solar Cycle 24 is
quite puzzling.  Find out the details on Amateur Radio
NewslineT report number 1885 coming your way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here)


2300 MHZ

Some good news for hams down-under in V-K land.  This with
word that the Australian amateur radio community could win a
partial reprieve on the expected loss of 2300 to 2302 MHz.
Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, has the


The Wireless Institute of Australia reports that VK amateurs
may win a partial reprieve for access to the 2300 to 2302
MHz amateur band.  This is spectrum that is currently under
threat of reallocation and restructuring.

This past February the Australian Communications and Media
Authority or ACMA  released a discussion paper proposing to
withdraw the 2300 to 2302 MHz amateur allocation so that the
band from 2300 to 2400 MHz could be re-allocated for other
spectrum licensing.

The Wireless Institute of Australia filed a response to the
discussion paper, seeking to have a 150 kHz segment, from
2300 to 2300.15 MHz, retained for the amateur service on at
least a co-primary basis.

The ACMA has posted a report on its website on September
17th saying that it had received 124 submissions in response
to the discussion paper, from which an overwhelming number
objected to the ACMA's proposal.  Specifically, a staggering
93% of submissions disagreed with the ACMA's suggestion, and
of those, 30% indicated support for the position advocated
by the Wireless Institute of Australia.

Even so, the ACMA has advised that, after considering the
information provided in the submissions, its view is that
the amateur service would not be able to retain co-primary
status if 2300 to 2400 MHz was relicensed.  However, the
ACMA goes on to say that it will work closely with the
Wireless Institute of Australia to test whether a
coexistence licensing arrangement might be developed under
section 138 of that nations Radiocommunications Act.
Section 138 provides for a license to be issued within
spectrum where it would not result in unacceptable levels of
interference to equipment operated under the primary users
spectrum license.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF,
across the Tasman Sea in Nelson, New Zealand.


In its own statement, the Wireless Institute of Australia
says that it looks forward to working with the regulatory
authority to achieve a positive outcome for the 2300 to 2302
MHz band in that nation.  More is on-line at  (VK2ZRH)



CT1JHQ reports that hams in Portugal have some new operating
spectrum as well as a few rules changes.  He says that on
September 6th the nation's telecommunications regulator
issued an addendum to Portugal's National Table of Frequency
Allocations.  In summary, the changes include the allocation
of the new 472 to 479 kHz band to the Amateur Service with
secondary status, and changes to conditions for access to
the 50 to 52 MHz and 1270 to 1300 MHz bands.  The latter
affects only some license classes.  More about this
restructuring is on the web as a PDF file in the Portuguese
language at
(CT1JHQ, South



A follow up to last weeks report on ham radios response to
the massive flooding that hit the state of Colorado.  Bill
Pasternak, WA6ITF, is in the newsroom with the latest:


Ham radio volunteers assisting in damage assessment
following the recent flooding to hit parts of Colorado have
a new piece of equipment to work with.  These are remote
control drone aircraft equipped with fast scan amateur
television cameras that permit ARES volunteers the ability
to provide actual real time pictures to served agencies from
the air.  Amanda Alden, K1DDN, lives in Canyon City,
Colorado and is part of the Ham Nation reporting team:


K1DDN:  "... They've done some awesome things with amateur
TV and using drones at the same time.  Its... Allen Bishop
who controls this and he is one of those up there in Boulder
ARES.  It has been a pretty neat introduction to helping
them see where damage has been in remote locations and
things like that."


The Allen Bishop that Amanda refers to is Boulder County
ARES Emergency Coordinator K0ARK.  According to ARRL
Colorado Section Manager Jack Ciaccia, WM0G, Bishop is one
of the key people involved in rescue radio operations and
kind of the father of the  Mountain Emergency Radio Network
or MERN as described in last weeks newscast.  Meantime
Ciaccia says that amateur television played another role
early on in this emergency:


WM0G:  "We have been broadcasting live ATV pictures of the
evacuation choppers from the National Guard back to the
EOC's and we have been linking that through the Internet all
across the country back to FEMA headquarters in D.C.."


While the rains are gone there's still a lot of damage
assessment to be done.  And as Jack Ciaccia, WM0G, told us
last week, ham radio volunteers will be there for as long as
they are needed.

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


More on this story as developments warrant.  (ARNewslineT,
Ham Nation)



Predictions that 2013 would see an upsurge in solar activity
and geomagnetic storms have proved to be a false alarm.
Instead, the current peak in solar cycle 24 is among the
weakest for a century.  Amateur Radio Newsline's Stephan
Kinford, N8WB, takes a look at what scientists are saying:


Subdued solar activity has prompted controversial
comparisons with the Maunder Minimum. The Maunder Minimum,
also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum, is the name
used for the period starting in about 1645 and continuing to
about 1715 when sunspots became exceedingly rare, as noted
by solar observers of the time.  These minimums supposedly
coincided with the coldest period in the last millennium.

But Giuliana DeToma, a solar scientist at the High Altitude
Observatory in Colorado says that the unusually low number
of sunspots in recent years is not an indication that we are
going into a Maunder Minimum, but added that researchers do
not know how or why the Maunder Minimum started.  As such,
they really cannot predict the next one.

Other solar experts think the downturn is linked a different
phenomenon called the Gleissberg cycle.  The Gleissberg
cycle, named after Wolfgang Gleissberg, is thought to be an
amplitude modulation of the 11-year Schwabe Cycle which
predicts a period of weaker solar activity every century or
so. If that turns out to be true, the sun could remain
unusually quiet through the middle of the 2020s.  However,
as scientists still do not fully understand why the
Gleissberg cycle takes place, the evidence is, at best,

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


The bottom line appears to be that the sun has gone
unusually quiet and no one really knows why or how long this
lull in activity will last.



Vietnam will be on the air in a few weeks.  This with word
that N0ODK will be operational from Ho Chi Minh City as
3W2DK  between October 17th and the 24th.  He will then
travel to Phu Quoc Island and be operational from there
using the call XV4MN between October 24th through the 29th.
His operations will be on 20, 17, 15 and 10 meters from both
locations.  After his Phu Quoc Island operation, he will
return to Ho Chi Minh City and will again be on the air from
there until November 2nd.  If you work this rare one, QSL
via N0ODK, direct, by the Bureau or Logbook of the World.
And we will have more DX related news for you later on in
this weeks newscast.  (OPDX)



Time for you to identify your station.  We are the Amateur
Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world
including the Twin City Amateur Radio Club Net serving
Champaign Urbana Illinois.

(5 sec pause here)



Two California lawmakers are calling on federal regulators
to investigate reports that first responder radios failed
during the recent shooting at Washington's Navy Yard.  The
newspaper The Hill reports that Representatives Henry Waxman
and Anna Eshoo sent a letter on Monday, September 23rd to
the heads of the Federal Communications Commission and the
Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and
Information Administration, urging them to work with other
federal and local officials to investigate the problems.

In their letter of inquiry, the two lawmakers reportedly
stated that it is imperative that lawmakers understand what
happened to these communications systems and why.  They also
urged the officials to ensure that FirstNet, which is a
planned nationwide wireless network for first responders,
avoids similar communications breakdowns.

The newspaper had previously reported that some federal
firefighters and police officers were unable to communicate
using their radios during the Navy Yard attack.  According
to union officials for first responders some equipment
stopped working as officers entered buildings and at least
one officer was forced to rely on his cellphone.  There were
also widespread reports of battery problems that prevented
the some of the radios from working. More on this story is
on the web at
(The Hill)



Encrypted communications won't be coming to ham radio
anytime soon.  This as the FCC dismisses a rule making
request from a Massachusetts ham who had asked the
regulatory agency to amend the Part 97 Amateur Service rules
to permit the encryption of certain amateur communications
during emergency operations or related training exercises.

RM-11699 was filed earlier this year by Don Rolph, AB1PH.
In it, he had asked the regulatory body to add an exception
to section 97.113 so as to permit limited encryption during
crisis communications or training exercises related to
readiness for such events.  He argued that communications
when participating in emergency services operations or
related training exercises which may involve information
covered by medical privacy requirements or other sensitive
data required such encryption.

However in denying Rolph's rule change request the FCC
concluded that while the proposal could advance one purpose
of the Amateur Radio in its value to the public that it
would at the same time undermine other characteristics and
purposes of the service. Therefore the FCC says that it
agrees with those who filed comments opposed the concept of
encryption and turned away the request.

Among those who filed in opposition to RM-11699 was the
American Radio Relay League.  As we go to air we have not
heard if AB1PH will appeal the Commissions decision in this
matter.  (FCC)



The FCC has issued a $4000 Notice of Apparent Liability to
Atlanticare Medical Center E-M-S of Egg Harbor Township, New
Jersey.  This for operating radio transmitting equipment on
154.4825 MHz from an unauthorized location in Hammonton, New

In its September 23rd release, the FCC said that on October
17, 2012, the Enforcement Bureau's Philadelphia Office
received a complaint of interference from Sunshine
Communications in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, alleging that
an unidentified digital transmitter was causing harmful co-
channel interference on 154.4825 MHz.  Agents from the
Philadelphia Office monitored radio transmissions
immediately after receiving the complaint.  They then T-
Hunted it to a mobile relay station operating from a water
tower in Hammonton, New Jersey.  The agents conducted an
inspection of the radio transmitting equipment, which was
located inside the Water Tower.  With the assistance of a
Town of Hammonton employee, the agents soon confirmed that
Atlanticare was operating a mobile relay station on the
frequency 154.4825 MHz from that location.

After the inspection, the agents searched the Commission's
records and found that Atlanticare holds a license for
Private Land Mobile Radio Station WQME366, but that it did
not authorize operation of a mobile relay station from the
water tower.

Now, in issuing its decision, the FCC says that pursuant to
the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section
1.80 of the Rules, the base forfeiture amount for operating
on an unauthorized frequency is $4,000.  As such,
Atlanticare was given the customary 30 days to pay the
proposed fine or to file an appeal.  (FCC)



The Federal Communications Commission has announced that it
will hold its second webinar to answer questions about low
power FM or LPFM radio stations and the process for applying
for a new license during the upcoming October 15th to the
October 29th open filing window.  The webinar will be held
Thursday, October 3rd, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern
Time and will be broadcast live over the Internet at

The session primarily will be a question and answer period
where potential applicants can ask Media Bureau staff their
specific questions on areas such as using the LPFM Channel
Finder, filling out the application and any other issues
related to the LPFM filing window.   Participants will be
able to submit questions by e-mail during the webinar to or by Twitter using the hashtag,
#LPFMquestions.  The Bureau says that it will respond to as
many questions as possible during the session.  Open
captioning will be provided.

The FCC says that it created the Low Power FM broadcast
service in 2000 to create opportunities for new voices to be
heard on the radio airwaves.  (FCC)



Yaesu used the occasion of the recent ARRL and TAPR Digital
Communications Conference held in Seattle, Washington to
introduce the latest links in its chain of new products
aimed at the VHF and UHF digital voice market.   Called
System Fusion, the new product line uses the previously
introduced  C4FM / FDMA mode introduced in the company's FT
1DR Handheld and FTM 400DR mobile digital and analog dual
band transceivers coupled with its soon to be released DR-1
dual mode repeater.  It will also have an optional
interconnect to the Internet using a stand alone HRI-200
Wires X interface unit.

Yaesu's System Fusion repeater differs in one important way
from most previous entries into the ham radio digital
marketplace as it retains traditional FM interoperability
along with C4FM / FDMA digital voice operation.  This
according to Yaesu means that both analog and digital users
can share one repeater and communicate with each other.

The presentation of the new System Fusion was made by Dennis
Motschenbacher, K7BV, who is Yaesu's Executive Vice
President Amateur Radio Sales.  It was video recorded by
Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, of Ham Radio Now dot TV.  You can see it
on line at  Theres also
a new remailer set up to comment on this new digital voice
system.  Its at and
YaesuSystemFusion is spelled as one word.  (Yaesu,
HamRadioNow, ARNewsline)



Some names in the news.  First up is radio talk show host
Art Bell, W6OBB, who appears in a recently posted video
where he discusses his new Sirius XM show Dark Matter with
Las Vegas journalist George Knapp.  In the interview, which
was recorded before the premiere of Dark Matter, W6OBB,
explains that it simply the right time to come back.

Bell notes that many questions that he first brought to
radio more than a decade ago are still out there.  Also,
that they more important now to many people then when he was
doing the original Coast to Coast AM show on terrestrial

Art Bell's Dark Matter premiered on Monday, September 16, on
Sirius XM channel 104.  It airs live Monday through Thursday
from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am Eastern Time.  We are sorry we
can't bring you any sound bites from the interview as it is
copyrighted material, but you can see it on the web at  (Southgate, YouTube)



Space travel seems to have lost its magic for at least one
person.  This after a Russian cosmonaut  Colonel Yury
Lonchakov, RA3DT, quit as a commander on a future mission to
become a gas industry worker.

The Mail Online newspaper reports Lonchakov opted out of the
Russian space program for a what the newspaper called a more
interesting job and forgoing his chance to lead a flight to
the International Space Station.

Why leave what's definitely one of the most interesting jobs
a person could ever get?  The Mail says that as a gas
company worker he is expected to make two to three times the
salary as that of a Cosmonaut.  It adds that quitting the
space industry was his personal decision.  He thought he did
enough for space program and got an offer he could not turn
down.  (WIA News, MailOnLine)



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)


NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft is now officially the first man
made object to venture into interstellar space.   Amateur
Radio Newsline's Heather Embee, KB3TZD, reports:


New data indicates that the Voyager 1 spacecraft has been
traveling for about one year through plasma, or ionized gas,
present in the space between stars.  The 36-year-old Voyager
is about 19 billion kilometers from our sun in a
transitional region immediately outside the solar bubble,
where some effects from our home star are still evident.

Voyager 1 first detected the increased pressure of
interstellar space on the heliosphere in 2004.  That's
bubble of charged particles surrounding the sun that reaches
far beyond the outer planets.  It was at that point in time
that scientists then ramped up their search for evidence of
the spacecraft's interstellar arrival, knowing the data
analysis and interpretation could take months or years.

Voyager 1 does not have a working direct plasma sensor, but
does carry a plasma wave instrument.  As luck would have it,
a massive burst of solar wind and magnetic fields that
erupted from the sun in March 2012 provided scientists the
data they needed.  When this energy from the sun eventually
arrived at Voyager 1's location on April 9th of this year
the plasma around the spacecraft began to vibrate causing
the plasma wave instrument to detect the movement.  The
pitch of the oscillations helped scientists determine the
density of the plasma. The particular type of oscillations
meant the spacecraft was bathed in plasma more than 40 times
denser than what they had encountered in the outer layer of
the heliosphere.  This was to be expected and was the
confirmation astronomers needed to prove that Voyager 1 had
entered into interstellar space.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Heather Embee, KB3TZD,
in Berwick, Pennsylvania.


Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2, were launched 16 days
apart in 1977.  Mission controllers still talk to or receive
transmissions from the twin Voyager probes daily though the
signals are currently very faint.  Data from Voyager's
instruments is transmitted to Earth typically at 160 bits
per second, and captured by NASA's Deep Space Network
receiving stations. Traveling at the speed of light, a
signal from Voyager 1 takes about 17 hours to travel to
Earth.  (Space and Science)



According to a note from ARISS Europe chairman Gaston
Bertels, ON4WF, the new Digital ATV transmitter on board the
International Space Station, will soon be installed in the
Columbus module and commissioned.  This will be done in
several steps, each during a full pass of the ISS over the
Matera ground station.  It is not yet known if these passes
will be chosen in close succession, or if they will cover
several weeks.

ARISS has proposed to the European Space Agency to operate
so called "blank" transmissions during the commissioning
period.  If this is accepted, it means that Ham Video will
transmit permanently without camera.  The camera will not be
used because it is fed on batteries and servicing it would
require a prohibitive amount of crew time. Transmitting
recordings is part of a future project, but not available

Although ground stations will receive a black image without
audio, these so called blank transmissions will contain all
information needed for the setting up and the fine tuning of
the station.  Collected data will be used for a performance
study of the ARISS L/S-band antennas as well as for an
evaluation of the global system.  (ARISS Europe)



NASA has invited hams around the world to say hello to its
Juno spacecraft as it passes close to Earth on October 9th.
The experiment will utilize the amateur 10 meter band using
CW and you will need to know basic Morse to send the two
letters HI.  More information on how to take part is on the
web at  (NASA)



The 2013 Arizona QSO Party, sponsored by the ARRL Arizona
Section and Catalina Radio Club, takes place from 1600 UTC
on October 12th and runs through 0600 UTC on October 13th.
It then continues at 1400 UTC on the 13th and finally
concluding at 23:59 UTC on that same date.  Modes will be
phone, CW and Digital on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 10, 6 and 2
meters.  More information can be had for an e-mail sent to
info (at) azqsoparty (dot) org  (AZ QSO PARTY)



The World Wide Radio Operators Foundation has announced
plans to host a webinar to review the updated rules for
the CQ World Wide DX Contest.  The cyberspace event will
take place at 1900 UTC on Sunday, October 6th and will be
hosted by CQ World Wide DX Contest Director Randy Thompson,
K5ZD.  According to a news release, Thompson will also take
questions following the presentation.

The CQ World Wide DX Phone Contest takes place on October
26th and 27th while its CW counterpart is slated for
November 23rd and the 24th.  Pre-registration for the
October 6th webinar is required and can be done on-line at  (WWROF, DX remailer,



In DX, JF2WGN will be active as AH2EA from Guam between
October 17th and the 21st.  His operation will be on the HF
bands. QSL via the bureau to his home callsign only.  If you
want a QSL direct do not send your card until after January

JF1CCH and JA1FUF will be on the air from West Kiribati
between November 28th and December 4th.  Activity will be on
the HF bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK.  Their callsigns
and QSL info will be announced shortly.

Lastly, HL05GDB will be active from South Korea around until
November 3rd. Listen out for him on 80 through 6m using all
modes and QSL via HL4CEL.

(Above from various DX news sources)



And finally, if you have been spending far to much time in
front of your computer screen, then a Pennsylvania hospital
may be able to help you.  This as it becomes the first to
offer an inpatient detox program for those addicted to the
internet.  No we are not kidding as we hear from Amateur
Radio Newsline's Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK:


Bradford Regional Medical Center in Bradford, Pennsylvania
will soon have a program available to assist those whose
lives have spiraled out of control because of their
addiction to the World Wide Web. The program will offer a
voluntary, 10-day in-patient treatment program that was
created by experts in other, more traditional addictions
like alcohol or drugs.

In the hospital wing already occupied by patients with
addictions of other sorts, groups of four internet addicts
will take classes and take part in the sort of group therapy
traditionally reserved for chemical and other dependencies.
This program can also intervene with medication, if needed,
to treat withdrawal symptoms and diagnose and treat the
underlying issues that often accompany the web addiction

Only one catch.  The price tag of the program could be
prohibitive enough to keep all but the most desperate of
internet addicts away.  A stay for this digital detox
facility will cost around $14,000 and currently no insurance
program will cover it.  So if you are a ham who may be
addicted to web based contacts or just surfing the web night
and day, it may pay to simply try limiting your time on the
Internet and spending most of it using RF to make contacts
on the air.

But before you do anything be sure to consult your physician
for advice.  That's because none of us are doctors nor do we
play one on TV.

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


The United States is not the only place where digital detox
will be taking place.  According to a report in The Japan
Times, that nations Education Ministry plans to set up the
camps next year, offering addicted students a chance to
unplug from their computers and smartphones, enjoy some time
in the real world, and face their web based addiction head-
on with tablet-free counseling sessions and lectures.
(London Daily Mail, CTV News, other published reports.)



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 David Black, KB4KCH, saying 73 and we thank you for

Amateur Radio NewslineT is Copyright 2013.  All rights

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