Friday, October 4, 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1886 - October 4 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1886 with a release
date of October 4 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a Q-S-T.  The FCC in shutdown.  How will it
affect ham radio?  A new report says that faulty radio
communications may have led to deaths of 19 firefighters in
Arizona; Hams in Pakistan stand ready to assist following
devastating earthquakes; The IARU Administrative Council
looks for ways to work with non member societies; D-Star
comes to 40 meters down-under and rappelling off a 367 foot
hotel was all in a days work for a California ham.  Find out
the details are on Amateur Radio NewslineT report number
1886 coming your way right now.

(Billboard Cart Here)



With the government shutdown that came into affect on
October 1st, one of the many agencies affected is the FCC.
Amateur Radio Newsline's Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, is in the
newsroom and takes a look at how this will affect the United
States world of Amateur Radio:


Until the government shutdown actually occurred on October
1st, no one was quite sure which FCC services required by
Amateur Radio would be affected.

A widely circulated FCC shutdown plan suggested only
essential personnel mandated by law would remain on duty
until the budget situation is resolved.

Automated services such as license processing and address
changes were unavailable as anyone who attempted to access
the FCC's Website on October 1st were quick to learn,

The landing page at said in part: "We regret the
disruption, but during the Federal Government-wide shutdown,
the FCC is limited to performing duties that are immediately
necessary for the safety of life or the protection of
property. FCC online systems will not be available until
further notice."

After giving a short list of links to cancelled meetings and
actions, the statement continued:

"If you need to contact the FCC to address an emergency
situation, please call: (202) 418-1122 or email:"

The Network Outage Reporting System remains open for
telecommunications providers to report network outages.

There is no way to access the U-L-S pages; no way to file
license applications, updates or changes or report rules
violations. Simply put, the physical and electronic doors to
the FCC are closed -- and won't re-open until Congress ends
the budget impasse.

Commission employees who remain on call are ready to act
should there be an actual crisis. As many as 16 have been
retained to handle emergencies, including staffing the FCC
Operations Center and 8 others to conduct emergency level
interference detection, mitigation and disaster response

So if you are waiting for a license or other paperwork from
the FCC to show up in your mailbox, you will simply have to
keep on waiting.

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


As this newscast goes to air its unknown how long it will
take both ides of the political aisle to come to terms on
this latest government funding crisis.



On September 29th, a long magnetic filament in the sun's
northern hemisphere erupted producing what some observers
are calling a magnificent Coronal Mass Ejection.  NASA's
Solar Dynamics Observatory or SoHo photographed the C-M-E
leaving the sun at a speed of close to 2 million miles per
hour.  Although the event was not aimed at our planet, it
was expected to receive a glancing blow from the plasma
cloud beginning on or about October 3rd.  Keep an eye on for the latest updates on this and other
solar events that could impact on radio communications here
on planet Earth.

(Published news reports)



An investigation into the deaths of nineteen firefighters in
Arizona on June 30th has found that inadequate communication
may nave played a significant role in their fate.  The dead
men, all members of an elite unit called the Granite
Mountain Hotshots died when they were overrun by a wildfire
near the town of Yarnell.  Amateur Radio Newsline's Mark
Abramowicz, NT3V, takes a look at what the report has to


It is a sobering and detailed report that investigators put
together to try to ascertain what happened, why it happened
and to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.

Because there were no survivors, investigators relied on
recordings of radio transmissions, eyewitness accounts of
fire incident managers and neighboring crews, including
pilots flying tankers dropping flame retardant and
helicopter pilots.

The report's key findings on communications:

"Radio communications were challenging throughout the
incident. Some radios were not programmed with appropriate
tone guards. Crews identified the problem, engaged in
troubleshooting, and developed workarounds so they could
communicate using their radios.

And, this telling conclusion:

"Radio traffic was heavy during critical times on the fire."

Did it mean the Hot Shots trying to escape to what they
thought was a nearby safe zone - a ranch - weren't able to
cut in on the traffic?

Here's more, quoting from the 122-page investigation report:

"Although much communication occurred among crews throughout
the day, few people understood Granite Mountain's
intentions, movements, and location, once they left the

The black is considered a safe zone.

Quoting again from the report:

"The Team believes this is due to brief, informal, and vague
radio transmissions and talk-arounds that can occur during
wildland fire communications.

"Based on radio conversations, Operations and other
resources had concluded the Granite Mountain IHC was located
in the black, near the ridge top where they had started that
morning. This resulted in confusion about the crews actual
location at the time of search and rescue."

Finally, the investigative team made some key
recommendations to the state of Arizona and the National
Wildfire Coordination group.

Among them, increasing resource tracking, communications and
real time weather information.

And, putting together an interagency task force to conduct a
further analysis of what happened, as well as examining the
human factors and wildland fire communications.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Mark Abramowicz, NT3V.


The report describes radio communications during the time of
the fire as being very challenging.  (K7DB, Yarnell Hill
Fire Investigation)



The toll mounts in south-western Pakistan after it was hit
by the 7.7 scale earthquake on Tuesday, September 24th.

Mujtaba Haider Imran AP2MI, is the president of the Pakistan
Relief.  He says that government officials put the death
toll at 349 and rising.  Other news sources put the number
of deaths so far at 515 with more than 600 injured. Few of
the mud and homemade brick houses in the area
survived. Since then tens of thousands of people have been
sleeping under the open sky or tents.

The disaster took place in a remote and thinly populated
area.  Pakinstan Amateur Radio Society members say that they
are prepared to provide any emergency communications support
to as needed.  A-P-2-M-U-T is already on the scene and
involved with gathering information on the devastation and
needed relief supplies.

Pakistan Relief has so far donated 2500 jerry cans, 1500
mosquito nets, an unknown number of first aid kits and other
essential equipment.  The coordination process is underway
with Pakistan Air Force to airlift and drop these goods in
the worst hit areas.

A second 7.2 magnitude quake in the same region on the 28th
caused further damage to the regions infrastructure.
(VK3PC, the Guardian, other news sources)



The International Amateur Radio Union Administrative Council
is looking into ways to work with non-IARU Amateur Radio
organizations.  This in nations where the IARU member-
society may not be representing all of that country's radio

The issue came under discussion at the annual IARU
Administrative Council meeting held September 21st to the
23rd in Cancun, Mexico.  According to a news release from
the gathering, in many of these countries, there are other
non-IARU member-societies.  The Administrative Council is
studying ways to work with the non-IARU societies to ensure
that the interests of all the amateurs are represented in
those countries where the IARU member-society fails to do
so.  (IARU, ARRL press releases)



Time for you to identify your station.  We are the Amateur
Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world
including the Peak Radio Association repeaters of Corvallis,

(5 sec pause here)



An Indianapolis area ham has been arrested after he was
allegedly spotted pretending to be a cop at the funeral of a
police officer who was being laid to rest.  Amateur Radio
Newsline's Jack Parker, W8ISH, has the details:


News of the death of an Indianapolis police officer shot and
killed while responding to a domestic dispute made headlines
all last week.  But, on the afternoon of his funeral another
man in uniform stole the headlines.  As law enforcement
officers, friends, family and media gathered at the cemetery
another man in blue was arrested for impersonating a police

As it turns out these two men had more in common than first
thought.  They are both Indianapolis based Amateur Radio
Operators.  Arrested is 38 year old Minh Nguyen, callsign
KB9WDY.  He was arrested as he waited with Westside
residents and other police officers as the miles long
funeral procession neared the west side district
headquarters when deceased officer Rod Bradway was assigned.

Rod Bradway was killed last week while attempting to save a
woman and her child from an armed domestic partner.
Bradways Amateur Radio call sign is KC9PFW.  Authorities
don't believe the two men knew each other.  The police badge
and uniform was the common link to this sad commentary.

According to the arrest report, Police say Nguyen was taking
photographs from a black 2012 Dodge Charger equipped with a
siren, flashing lights and a two-way radio.  Police found an
AR 15 rifle in his car and later found guns, police uniforms
and police equipment at his the home.

Police say he has had prior arrests on similar and other
unusual behavior.  The report said Nguyen also had "property
stolen from the city of Indianapolis," including property
room slips and envelopes that the public does not have
access to.

Minh Nguyen faces felony charges of impersonating a public
servant and theft, which carries a sentence of six months to
three years in prison.  A conviction could also lead to
revocation of his Amateur Radio license by the FCC if they
choose to review the case.

Reporting from Indianapolis, this is Jack Parker W8ISH.


The public and law enforcement officers were not aware of
the Nguyen arrest until after Officer Rod Bradway, KC9PFW,
was laid to rest following a full honors ceremony at Crown
Hill Cemetery on Indianapolis north side.  (ARNewsline,



The FCC has proposed a $12,000 fine and a shorter license
renewal term for Gallup Public Radio.  This based on some
missing documents from its public file.

New Mexico station KGLP -FM admitted it was missing nearly
six years' worth of issues and programs lists from the file.
In its reply to the FCC the station indicated it has now
reconstructed the missing documents.

However the FCC's Media Bureau said in its decision the
station is still responsible for the lapse.  The commission
found the violations to be "extensive," occurring for nearly
six years of an eight-year license term.  For that reason
the agency raised the proposed monetary forfeiture from the
base $10,000 to $12,000 and also granted the station a
shortened, four-year, license renewal term.

Gallup Public Radio was given the usual 30 days from
imposition of the fine to pay the amount in full or to file
a further appeal.  (FCC, RW)



If you have interest in digital audio on the High Frequency
bands you might want to tune your D-Star equipped
transceiver to 7.215 MHz at noon UTC.  This to see if you
can take part in a D-Star test net operating from Australia
most mornings.

The net control is Brian Farrar, VK2AH, in New South Whales
who says the best contacts so far have been from his
location to the city of Horsham about 550 miles away. Farrar
says that net participants have tried other bands with no
much success but 40 meters seems promising.

VK2AK is not only on for the net but also tries 40 meter D-
Star at other times of the day as well.  While operating he
also monitors D-Star Reflector REF003 and does put out
alerts when he is looking for D-Star contacts from his QTH
down-under.  (VK3TOM, D-Star Remailer)



The president of Serbia has traveled to the United States
where he recently unveiled the Nikola Tesla Monument at
Tesla's former laboratory in Long Island.  In a press
statement prior to the actual ceremony, Serbian President
Tomislav Nikolic said that it was the strength of Tesla's
vision is what influences how the public speaks about Nikola
Tesla with respect some 70 years after he died.

Nikola Tesla who passed away on January 7, 1943 was a
Serbian-born and later inventor, electrical engineer,
mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist.  He is perhaps
best known for his contributions to the design of the modern
alternating current electricity supply system.

For decades The Tesla Science Center  has been trying to set
up a commemorative museum at the site of Nikola Tesla's old
laboratory,  Now those behind the project and who managed to
raise over a million dollars in an internet crowd funding
campaign can celebrate the fact that their goal is finally
starting to become a reality.  (IntelliHub)



A new exhibit highlighting the Radio Corporation of
America's rich history across the 20th century will open
shortly at the College of New Jersey, in Ewing Township.
The display will draw from the more than 6000 artifacts that
the college inherited after the David Sarnoff Library, which
at one time was RCA's main technical archive and museum,
closed in 2009.  The new exhibition covers the development
of radio, television, and broadcasting, as well as RCA's
work in liquid-crystal displays, electron microscopy, solid-
state physics, and computers.  The Institute of Electrical
and Electronics Engineers  Foundation funded the new Sarnoff
Study Center which is connected to the exhibition.  The
Center will serve as the central educational component of
the Sarnoff Collection.  More is on the web at  (Artscom NJ)



A new Laterally Diffused Metal Oxide Semiconductor or LDMOS
type Field Effect Transistor designated as type BLF578XR has
been developed by NXP Semiconductor.  This for use as an RF
power amplifier in broadcast and industrial applications.

The new device is rated at 1400 Watt output, 50 Volts DC
with a gain of 23.5 dB and an efficiency of 69%.  Even more
amazing, it is designed to survive a 125 to 1 or higher VSWR
and as such it is literally almost indestructible.

The current priced of a single unit BLF578XR transistor is
230 Euros or about 300 U-S dollars but like most
semiconductors, it should come down in price over time.



Some names in the news.  First up this week is Gordon Adams,
G3LEQ whom after 35 years of unbroken service, is to retire
as manager of the Radio Society of Great Britain's GB2RS
bulletin broadcast service.  The Society says that GB2RS has
always been a much valued part its news service and every
week nearly 100 volunteer newsreaders give of their time to
broadcast the material to all parts of the UK.   According
to the RSGB, Adams has agreed to continue in post until a
successor is found.  (RSGB)



British telecommunications regulator Ofcom has announced the
appointment of Philip Marnick as its new Group Director in
Charge of Spectrum.  Marnick comes to the agency with 27
years' experience in the wireless communications industry
including a stint at U K Broadband where he served as Chief
Technology Officer.  He will join Ofcom in November and will
lead the Spectrum Policy Group. This is organizations arm
responsible for setting and implementing the strategy for
managing spectrum, which involves clearing, awarding and
licensing it.   (Southgate)



CQ Communications has announced that effective immediately.
Jon Kummer, WA2OJK, has been appointed to head the company's
advertising department.  Kummer is no stranger to CQ or to
many in the hobby radio industry.  In years past WA2OJK sold
advertising for CQ Amateur Radio, Popular Communications and
WorldRadio Online, as well as Modern Electronics and
Electronic Servicing & Technology when the latter were CQ
publications.  Jon Kummer may be reached by e-mail at jon
(dot) kummer (at) cqcomm (dot) com or by phone to 516-883-
1641 during normal weekday hours Eastern Time.  (CQ)



NASA astronauts Gregory Chamitoff, KD5PKZ, and Ronald Garan,
KF5GPO, are leaving the agency.  Chamitoff is joining the
faculty of Texas A and M University in College Station,
Texas, and the University of Sydney in Australia.  Garan has
said that he plans to work on a range of new entrepreneurial
and humanitarian efforts.  (Southgate)



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)



The technologist who literally invented electronic noise
reduction has passed away.  This with word that Dolby
Laboratories founder Dr. Ray Dolby died September 12th at
his home in San Francisco at age 80.

Early in his career, Ray Dolby was employed by Ampex
Corporation where he was chief designer of the electronic
aspects of the first practical videotape recording system.
In 1965 he founded Dolby Laboratories, whose major
accomplishments include the development of electronic noise
reduction and surround sound technologies.

According to a company spokesperson, in recent years, Ray
Dolby had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.  Then
last July he was diagnosed with an acute form of leukemia.

Ray Dolby is survived by his wife, Dagmar, his sons, Tom and
David and their spouses.  A celebration of his life will be
held at a later date.  The family asks that, in lieu of
flowers, donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association,
1060 La Avenida Street, Mountain View, California, 94043, or
the Brain Health Center, % CPMC Foundation, 45 Castro St.,
San Francisco, California, 94117.  (Dolby Labs, RW,



Keep an ear open early next year when members of the Danish
Radio Amateurs group as they activate the special event
callsign 5P14EHC.  This station will be operational
throughout January of 2014 in celebration of Denmark hosting
the European Handball Championship for Men.  Look for
operation of 5P14EHC to be on all bands including the 30, 17
and 12 meters.  Activity will likely encompass all modes
available, but will exclude cross-mode, cross-band contacts
and those made via repeater, repeater interties and
Echolink. All QSOs will be verified electronically via
Logbook of the World and eQSL.  Paper QSL's will also be
available as well.  (Various)



In DX, The Martello Tower Group is returning to Herm Island
from October 4th to 9th using the callsign GP0PKT.  Their
operation will be 80 through 10 meters including the WARC
bands using SSB and RTTY.  Although Herm is part of the
Guernsey Islands on the Air group, it isn't activated very
often and the GP0 prefix usually attracts some interest.
All QSOs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.  Direct
or bureau cards should be sent via G6NHU.

K7ZO will be active from Nicaragua during the CQ World Wide
DX SSB Contest from October 26 to the 27th as a Single-
Operator All-Band entry using the callsign YN5Z.  QSL to
K7ZO direct, via the bureau or electronically using Logbook
of the World.

DJ7RJ will be on Reunion Island signing stroke FR until
November 2nd.  Listen out for him on 160 through 10 meters
SSB and CW with a focus on the lower bands.  QSL via DJ7RJ
either direct or via the bureau.

WP3A will be active as ED8P from Santa Cruz de Tenerife in
the Canary Islands also during the CQ World Wide  DX SSB
Contest.  He will enter as a Single-Operator, 15 meter
Single Band Low Power Assisted entry.  His QSL's go via

DL4VM will be operating stroke OZ when he returns back North
Jutland.  He will be there through October 19th.  QSL via
DL4VM either direct or via the bureau.

DK8LRF is reportedly operational from Columbia as HK3JCL
through November 23rd.  His activity will mostly be on 20
and 40 meters using SSB.  QSL to his home callsign via the

(Above from various DX news sources)



And finally this week, its not every ham that gets to rappel
down the side of a 35 story landmark, but it was all in a
days work on Friday, September 27th, for Tony Buittitta,
KD6AJG.  Amateur Radio Newsline's Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, has
the rest of the story:


By profession, Tony Buittitta, KD6AJG is a news photographer
for KTTV Fox 11 television.  He is also a member of the Los
Angeles Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue team.  So
when reporter Bob De Castro, decided to walk down the side
of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel to raise money for the Boy
Scouts of America through the Los Angeles Council "Over the
Edge IV" rappelling demonstration, Tony, who is fully
trained and qualified in this area was a natural to
accompany him down the side of the building:


KD6AJG:  "The station asked me if I would be interested in
being part of that and I was really excited.  I just
couldn't wait to do it.  So it was like `yeh, no problem.'"


Oh yes, in addition to going along for the 367 foot vertical
walk, Tony had another duty.  That was to bring some live
television pictures of both of them as they made their way


KD6AJG:  "I've done lots of rappels; come out of helicopters
and (off) mountains and stuff like that.  That kind of stuff
does not bother me.  I'm really comfortable with my skill
level as far as that goes.

"But the night before this, I couldn't sleep (because) I was
trying to figure out the technical part of it.  How to do
all this and then put it on live TV."


We asked Tony to tell us a bit about the technology involved
to make it all happen.  It turned out to be rather complex:


KD6AJG: "Lots of microwave links (and) some new technology
using broadband called Live View in my balk-pack.  Se we had
a camera on the roof on the reporter going back via Live
View broadband technology.  I had a GoPro (camera) on my
head and then in the back pack I had all kinds of converters
sp we could get audio into the GoPro and then a portable
microwave link one on frequency that was bouncing from my
back up to the rooftop where we had dangled some receive
antennas over the side.  Then from the output of that
receiver into another receiver which was hitting Saddle Peak
where the station would pick us up.

"Then in addition to all those microwave links and broadband
we had our helicopter on another microwave frequency
hovering right over us.  So there was quite a bit going on
and actually on the air it all cut together seamlessly with
no problem."


And did he enjoy the experience?


KD6AJG: "Oh, I had a blast.  My responsibility was to try to
keep the reporter in frame, but shooting on the GoPro stuck
to your head you really never know where you are pointing.
If I could do it again I probably would like to have done a
test and see what the shot looked like.

"I was able to get him in there quite a bit; try to keep up
with him and to try to stay level with him.

"I wish I could do it again and make a few changes to the
camera but for the most part I did OK.  I got some good
stuff and it was fun, that's for sure."


If you want to know what its like to venture 367 feet down
the side of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel you can do so
vicariously.  That's because Bob and Tony's walk was
televised live on the stations Good Day L.A. morning program
and is on line at

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, Im Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, in
Los Angeles.


And one more thing.  While we are not 100% sure, it appears
as if KD6AJG may have inadvertently become a sort of a
record holder.  This  as being the first ham radio operator
to ever rappel down the side of the Westin Bonaventure
Hotel, even though he had no way to get on the amateur radio
airwaves at the time.  (ARNewslineT)



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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