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ARNewsline Report 1756 -- April 8 2011:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on April 8, 2011
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Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1756 – April 8 2011

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1756 with a release date of Friday, April 8, 2011 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a Q-S-T. One of the sponsors of H R 607 promises to keep the ham radio public informed of the measures progress through congress, the sun heats up with a solar flare and Aurora, the FCC previews its newly redesigned website and the nominating period for the 2011 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year Award is now open. Find out the details on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1756 coming your way right now.


U.S. Representative Billy Long of Missouri has assured ham radio operators that he will keep them informed about a bill that contains a provision to sell a band of frequencies that they use heavily for emergency service work. Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, is in our Newsroom with more:

According to an article in the Springfield News Leader newspaper, Representative Long made the statement after a meeting with a group of Missouri radio amateurs from his home district.

Billy Long is a co-sponsor of H.R. 607. This is a measure introduced by New York Representative Peter King who is the chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security.

As previously reported, the bill is intended to unite the communications capabilities of first responders by reallocating certain frequencies in the 700 MHz band specifically for their use. But another part of the bill would sell off 420 to 440 MHz to the highest bidder. This, to make up for lost revenue in the give away of the 700 MHz spectrum for interoperable, first response radio use.

Long says that right now, the bill is in its initial stages and that meetings like this is one with the ham radio community of many ways to address any concerns. Long promised that he will continue to listen to ensure that we are not cutting any vital emergency services and not adversely affecting ham radio operators.

Rod Kittleman, K0ADI is the ARRL's Information Officer in Southwestern Missouri. He was present at the meeting and is quoted by the newspaper as saying that he believes that Long is trying to do the right thing.

K0ADI went on to say that he believes that Representative Long understood where the ham radio community was coming from and that he reassured us he will do everything he can to keep the ham radio community informed. But at the same time, he did not guarantee that spectrum would not be taken away.

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

The bottom line. If nothing else this meeting between Representative Billy Long and the Missouri ham community has made one of the bill’s co sponsors aware of the negative impact that selling off 420 to 450 MHz would have on overall emergency communications during a time of public need. (, others)


Some good news for hams awaiting the return of decent propagation. Spaceweather reported on March 28th that a large number of emerging sunspots has kicked off what it termed as days-long radio storm on the sun. According to the on-line newsletter, VHF receivers on Earth were picking up loud bursts that sound like waves crashing on a beach. Spaceweather says that this ongoing event continues a recent trend of increasing activity as Solar Cycle 24 heats up.

Then over the weekend of April 2nd and 3rd a solar wind stream hit that Earth's magnetic field over the weekend of sent a wave of deep sky auroras over northern tier of the United States. According to Spaceweather dot com, the Northern Lights were pale-white to the naked eye, but digital cameras revealed spectacular colors and luminous shapes above Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and elsewhere.

Meantime, on the ground some hams on 6 meters and above heard or made contact with distant stations not usually heard on these bands. You can easily tell a contact made via aurora propagation by its raspy C-W note or gargely voice sound.

For images and audio go to (Spaceweather)


The new South African radio regulations that were published on March 31st and came into effect on April 1st are causing concern to that nation’s ham radio community. This is because a number of mistakes have crept in, which telecommunications regulator I-C-A-S-A is reportedly working on to rectify as soon as possible.

According to the South African Radio League, the problem is with the new regulation for the Class B or Zed-U license is incorrect. This is because the word "under" was left out before the words 20 years. The leads to a situation where if you are over 20 years of age you cannot apply for a class B license. If you have a class B qualification you will be able to keep a Zed-U license until you reach 25, when the license is automatically canceled.

The position of current Zed-U license holders has not been finalized. I-C-A-S-A is likely to allow a two year grace period for those over 25 with a class B qualification to upgrade their to a class A. To upgrade means having to sit for the class A examination.

Meantime, on the other side, those who hold the Zed-R prefix now have the same privileges as a Zed-S license holders meaning that the upgrade process falls away. But it seems that the new table of amateur radio frequency allocation is incorrect. Both Zed-R and Zed-S should follow the same frequencies and power limits. Zed-R license holders do not have to change their callsign. (SARL)


And it appears that radio has gone to war in Libya. This with reports that High Frequency radio transmissions are reportedly playing a major role in the U-N’s Operation Odyssey Dawn.

According to international shortwave news reports, 6 point 877 MHz is being used as an airborne announce channel, possibly from a Commando Solo Aircraft. The messages being broadcast are aimed at commanding Libyan naval officers. They reportedly and not so subtly order them not to board their ships.

The Milcom Monitoring Post website has been reporting on the use of High Frequency radio in the enforcement of the no fly zone. More is on-line at (WIA)

From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the Three Rivers Amateur Radio Club repeater serving Philadelphia Pennsylvania.


A cable company has been cited by the FCC for excessive leakage at frequencies that could affect the ability of aircraft to communicate and navigate. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Fred Vobbe, W8HDU, has the details:

The FCC has issued an official Citation to Jerry Fuller doing business as Custom Cable of Russellville, Alabama. This, for exceeding signal leakage limits in aeronautical frequency bands in violation of section 76.605(a)(12) of the Commission’s Rules.

According to the Citation, an investigation by the Enforcement Bureau’s Atlanta Office revealed that on February 15, 2011, Custom Cable utilized a non-cable, multichannel video programming distributor system which was emitting radio carrier signals above allowed limits on frequency bands utilized by aeronautical services. At the time of the inspections, agents from the Atlanta Office measured excessive signal leakage on the frequency of 121.2625 in the Aeronautical Radio band.

As a result, the FCC has ordered Custom Cable to take immediate steps to come into compliance and to avoid any recurrence of this misconduct. The FCC added that any future violations of its rules in this regard may subject your company to substantial monetary penalties, seizure of equipment, and criminal sanctions.

Reporting from Lima, Ohio, I’m Fred Vobbe, W8HDU.

Custom Cable was given the appropriate time to remedy the situation and to reply to the FCC. (FCC)


The FCC has issued a Notice of Unauthorized Operation and Interference to EDN Aviation of Van Nuys, California. This, for allegedly operating a cellphone jamming device on its premises.

According to the FCC, back on January 10th agents from the Enforcement Bureau's Los Angeles Office visited the business location. At that time they detected radio signals in the 1.8 to 2.0 GHz range emanating from a radio transmitter. The Los Angeles agents determined that the business was operating a radio transmitting device designed to jam or intentionally interfere with licensed radio communications in the cellular and personal communications service.

According to the FCC, its agents did attempt to inspect the device. Subsequent to that attempted inspection, operation of the device ceased.

Now in its March 18th Notice, the FCC tells EDN Aviation that unauthorized operation of the transmitting device must not resume. It also warns EDN that the operation of the device may constitute a violation of Sections 333, 302(b), and 301 of the Communications Act. Such operation may subject the company to substantial monetary forfeitures, seizure of the offending radio equipment, and criminal sanctions.

EDN was given the customary 10 days to respond to the FCC with any information that it believed relevant to the warning notice. That time period has now passed. No word yet from the FCC if EDN responded or what the company may have said. (FCC)


Los Angeles, California Police say that they have tracked down three people whom they allege to have stolen nine computers from the Open Charter Magnet School in the Westchester area. This thanks to a new form of security software installed on the machines.

According to police, the computers were stolen between March 9 and 10 at the campus on 77th Street in the city of Westchester. The suspects were unaware that the computers were equipped with the security software. As soon as one of the machines was turned on and connected to the Internet, it monitored and recorded the location via GPS. It also took photographs of the user and then sent this information off to authorities.

Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department tracked down one of the suspects on March 12th. A further investigation led them to two others. So far, four of the stolen computers have been recovered. (Published news reports)


The Federal Communications Commission has launched a complete overhaul of the agency’s web site. In making the announcement the regulatory agency says that the new design will improve and simplify the FCC website experience for consumers, government, public safety agencies and the business community.

The Commission says that its new web site design was shaped by public feedback and sharpened through an ongoing conversation with users over the past several months. It also represents the Commission’s first overhaul of its main web site in more than a decade. You can try it for yourself at beta dot fcc dot gov. (FCC)


The ARRL Education Services Department has announced the 2011 schedule for the Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology workshop. Offered through the ARRL's Education & Technology Program, the Teachers Institute is a four-day, expenses paid in-residence learning opportunity designed for motivated teachers and other school staff who want to learn more about wireless technology and bring that knowledge to their students.

There are four ARRL Teachers Institute sessions scheduled for 2011. These are June 13th to the 16th in Albuquerque, New Mexico; June 20th to the 23rd at Parallax Inc. in Rocklin, California; July 11th to the 14th at the Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York, and July 18th to the 21st at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. The deadline to apply for the New Mexico and California sessions is April 15th. The deadline for the New York and Connecticut sessions is May 15th.

In addition, the Dayton Amateur Radio Association will once again host and sponsor a TI-2 session on Space in the Classroom. That one will be held in Dayton, Ohio from July 11th to the 14th. The application deadline for this one is is May 15.

All information about the Teachers Institutes, including the application and a downloadable brochure is available online at (ARRL)


Some names in the news. The Radio Society of Great Britain says that it’s General Manager Peter Kirby, G0TTW, has left the organizations employment. In a March 28th statement released under the signature of the organizations President Dave Wilson, M0OhBW, says that Kirby departed following the discovery of financial irregularities on his part. The release says that RSGB Director Don Beattie, G3BJ, will act as interim General Manager. Wilson’s message goes on to ask that at this difficult time for the Radio Society of Great Britain, that all society members support G3BJ in his new role. (RSGB)


Meantime on this side of the Atlantic, word that Bill Smith, K1ARK, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, has been named to receive the Bob Kenworthy Community Service Award by the College of Sports Information Directors of America. Smith is being recognized for his decade as a volunteer to the Washington County Department of Emergency Management assisting with county weather emergency communications and for his work as the volunteer Public Information Officer for the Director of New Media with Advanced P10 certification from FEMA.

The College of Sports Information Directors of America is a national organization comprised of the sports public relations, communications and information professionals throughout all levels of collegiate athletics in the United States and Canada. The Bob Kenworthy Community Service Award is presented annually to a member for civic involvement and accomplishments outside of the sports information office. Bill Smith, K1ARK, will be honored at the at the organization’s annual convention in June. (ARRL Public Relations Reflector)

This is ham radio news for today’s radio amateur. From the United States of America, 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 amateur:


The changing of the guard continues and this time it hits pretty close to home. This as we learn of the passing of one of Amateur Radio Newsline’s co-founders and its longtime Production Coordinator Bill Orenstein, KH6QX. Again, our producer Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF:

Its not easy to write a final goodbye to someone who has been a friend for almost four decades, but Ill try.

I first met Bill Orenstrin, in 1972 shortly after my wife and I move to Los Angeles. And as I got to know him, I learned that he was first licensed in his hometown of Los Angeles, California, in the late 1950’s as K6ZSW. Bill also became interested in broadcasting as a teen.

Bill eventually landed a job with the ABC Television Network where he spent several years as an Audio Engineer before accepting a job at the rival National Broadcasting Company at its West coast headquarters in Burbank, California. There he worked on numerous live and “live to tape” network specials featuring such talent as the legendary Frank Sinatra and stand up comics like Bill Cosby and the late Flip Wilson. Later, Bill also had a regular gig as the audience Public Address Mixing Engineer on the “Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and “The Gong Show.” And it was also during this time he adopted Hawaii as his second home and turned in K6ZSW to become KH6IAF and years later KH6QX.

As those of you who were around in the late 1970’s may remember, Gong Show host and Producer Chuck Barris had the habit of creating on-air talent from members of the shows crew. Perhaps the best known was Stage Manager Eugene Patton who became known as “Gene Gene the Dancing Machine.” In a like manner, Bill Orenstein was tapped by Barris as the character “Weird Wille.” As Weird Willie, Bill’s job was to appear just before a commercial break and leer stoically and silently at Barris as the latter made jokes about the character Bill was portraying. For the rest of his life, Bill used that pseudonym or some derivation of it and carried it as a kind of badge of pride. If you asked him why, his answer would be: “ many of you can claim a famous TV producer like Chuck Barris gave you your nickname?”

After the Gong Show left the air, Bill continued as the Public Address Engineer on the Tonight show until he was tapped by NBC Network Radio to take on the Engineering position of its then brand new young adult contemporary radio network called “The Source.” “The Source” was filled with newscasts and features focusing on 18- to 34-year-olds. When it was sold to Westwood One Radio in August 1987, Bill remained at NBC News working with most of the well known network news people of the era including the late NBC News Science Correspondent Roy Neal, K6DUE.

In the world of amateur radio, Bill is best known as one of those behind the 1977 creation of the “second generation” of the Westlink Radio Network which eventually was renamed Amateur Radio Newsline. In 1981 Bill Orenstein and I co-shared the Dayton Hamvention Special Achievement Award for – and I quote from the plaque on my wall -- “The Development and Operation of the Westlink Radio Network.” Bill was also co-creator of the late 1970’s era “CARS Program” in which radio amateurs became the extra eyes and ears of the Los Angeles Police Department in the then heavily crime-ridden Hollywood and North Hollywood areas.

In the late 1980’s Bill retired from both NBC and Westlink Radio due to health reasons and eventually relocated with his family to Hawaii where he lived out the remainder of his life. Over the years he continued to file news reports for Westlink and then in our later incarnation as Amateur Radio Newsline. Most usually dealt with ham radio emergency preparedness and emergency response on the Island state. He was also with Hawaii’s famed Emergency Amateur Radio Club and at one time served on its governing board.

I last saw Bill a few years ago when he was in Los Angeles to attend his sons college graduation. After that it was only on the phone. And now, its time to say a final 73 to a guy who was an important part of my life for almost forty years. Not easy to do, but I hope I have succeeded.

Bill Orenstein was age 75 when he passed away on Wednesday, March 30th at his home in Honolulu. He is survived by his son Jon. At airtime, plans for a memorial service at Temple Emanu-El in Honolulu, Hawaii, are pending. (ARNewsline)


A mid-West legend in amateur radio has also passed from the scene. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Jack Parker, W8ISH, has the story of Mike Koss, W9SU:

Mike Koss, W9SU, of Indianapolis, Indiana, passed away Monday, March 28. According to his friend Brian Smith, W9IND, Koss was found on his workshop floor and paramedics were unable to revive him.

Koss is the founder of Industrial Communication Engineers. He is well known in the Amateur Radio and in the commercial radio communities for his surge protectors, line filters, RF switches and more.

Koss is known as being the heart and soul of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Amateur Radio Club, He designed and maintained one of the best Amateur Radio stations in the Midwest -- the one responsible for cranking out the big signals of Indy 500 Special Event Station W9IMS. Mike was also the driving force behind Special Event Station W87PAX, which commemorated the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis. The station logged more than 23,000 QSOs. Koss was also an avid Dxer. HIs 10 meter CQWW record for the 9th Call Area, set in 1989, remains unequalled.

Mike Koss also was actively involved in public service activities: Just last year, he spearheaded a volunteer project that cleaned up and repainted the USS Indianapolis Memorial in downtown Indianapolis, this coming just in time for the survivors’ reunion. History tells us the ship was torpedoed in 1945, and only 317 of the original eleven hundred and ninety-six crew members survived the sinking and subsequent shark attacks over a five day period in the Pacific Ocean.

In 2005 Koss was awarded the prestigious Technical Excellence Award for his contributions to the Amateur Radio community. And now, at age 57, Mike Koss W9SU, is a silent key.

From Indianapolis, this is Jack Parker W8ISH

Koss will be long remembered for his many contributions to telecommunications and his service to the ham radio community. Services for W9SU were to be held in Whiteland, Indiana, on Saturday, April 3rd. (W8ISH)

This is ham radio news for today’s radio amateur. From the United States of America, this is 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 amateur:


Some major cutbacks are coming to one of the worlds best known international shortwave broadcasters. To meet a United Kingdom government mandated 16 percent funding cut, the B-B-C World Service is eliminating five languages, ending radio distribution for seven more and slashing medium and shortwave radio distribution. This, in favor of FM, TV and the so-called online new media.

The cuts will amount to an annual savings of about $74 million by April 2014. At that point all World Service funding will be switched from governmental grants through to the same domestic license fee that funds B-B-C services across the U-K. 650 out of a total 2400 B-B-C World Service jobs will be eliminated.



NASA is offering the public a chance to vote for your favorite tunes to be played as the wake up song during the STS-134 mission, which is currently scheduled to launch on April 19th. Voting will be open until mission launch day. You can listen to the songs nominated and cast your vote at


The ARISSat-1 satellite, presently still inside the ISS, will be turned on and use an external antenna from the afternoon of April 11th through the morning of April 13th. This, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first manned space flight.

The transmissions on the 12th will see ARISSat-1 in low power mode This means 40 to 60 seconds on and 2 minutes off. Event planners say that this should be a challenge for hams on the ground to find and tune the CW signal then decode some B-P-S-K data during the short on times. As an aside, this mode was developed to be used when the batteries are low or the satellite is in eclipse.

AMSAT says that it will also support this event and issue certificates to those stations reporting reception of the ARISSat-1 signals. Russia’s Roscosmos space management agency has announced that ARISSat-1 will be deployed into orbit during the next space walk in July of this year. (WA4SXM)


Meantime, special event station N-4-S will be on the air on April 12th to commemorate the 50 years since Russia’a Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space on April 12th, 1961. The operation also honors the first flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia, known as S-T-S One, that took place two decades later on April 12th, 1981. N-4-S will be active on 80 through 10 meters using SSB as well as the KP4IA FM repeater and 147.48 MHz simplex for local contacts across Puerto Rico. A special electronic certificate will be issued for this occasion. For information go to or write to wp3gw (at) arrl (dot) net. (WP3GW)


And the International Short Wave League is celebrating its 65th anniversary with a pair of special events stations. GB65ISWL will be on the air for the weekend of April 16th to the 17th. Operation will begin around 1800 hours on Friday, April 15th using S-S-B and P-S-K. The primary operator will be G6XOU.

Then PA0FAW will operate as PC65ISWL between May 1st and the 28th. Activity will be mainly on the digital modes and CW, with some SSB. QSL information for both callsigns will be on More about the Internartional Short Wave League is on-line at www dot iswl dot org dot uk. (ISWL)


In DX, word that G3KHZ has organized a 6th trip to Papua New Guinea to activate more Islands on the Air. Destinations include Feni Island, Nuguria and Green Island. Two members will then will go to Louisiade after the main DXpedition is finished between. Activity will be on all HF bands, including 6 meters, using CW, SSB and RTTY. For updates and more complete details, watch the expedition Web page at

IK8DNJ has just obtained authorization to be active stroke HI7 between April 30th and May 13th. All operation will be be holiday style on 40 through 10 meters using SSB and the digital modes. QSL via IZ8LKL.

JA1IFB says that the planned operation from Bhutan has been cancelled their April 19-26th operation due to the earthquake and tsunami hitting the JA7 district on March 11th. Look for this operation to possibly be rescheduled for some later date.

The "DX-World.Net" reports that N2WB, is planning to be active stroke HR5 from Honduras between April 20th and May 4th. QSL via N2OO.

The I2YSB DXpedition team is now active as 5M2TT from Liberia until April 13th. The group plans to use 3 stations for the HF bands and one for the 50 MHz band that includes a beacon and cubical quad antenna. Modes include CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via I2YSB.

The upcoming September 2011 Timor-Leste DXpedition has received the callsign 4W6A from the governing licensing authorities. 4W6A will operate from Atauro Island in East Timor from September 16th to the 26th. Activity will be on 160 through 10 meters, using CW, SSB and RTTY. The QSL manager is M0URX.

Lastly if you DX the birds, then look for KL7CN to be active in a holiday-style DXpedition on the FM satellites from various Caribbean locations. He will start at KP4 and then operate maritinme mobilefrom as many grids as we can. That will be followed by a stint portable J6 then as V25CN. Several other Caribbean stops are planned. QSL as directed on the air.

(Above from various DX News Sources)


And finally this week, its time to announce that the nominating period for the year 2011 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year Award is now open. Created by us back in 1986, this award is offered to recognize one young United States or Canadian radio amateur age 18 or younger for his or her contributions to society through Amateur Radio.

As in years past, the 2011 recipient will receive an expense paid trip to the Huntsville Hamfest in Huntsville Alabama courtesy of Vertex-Standard Corporation which produces Yaesu brand amateur radio gear. Vertex-Standard will also present this years winner with a special ham radio related gift. CQ Magazine will again treat the recipient to a week at Spacecamp-Huntsville. We at Amateur Radio Newsline will present the winner with a plaque honoring his or her achievements.

All nominations and materials required by the official rules must be received by ARNewsline before June 30, 2011. A downloadable nominating form is at our website at A nominating form can also be obtained by sending a request along with a self addressed stamped envelope to the Young Ham of the Year Award in care of Amateur Radio Newsline, Inc. 28197 Robin Avenue, Santa Clarita California 91350.

Again, the cutoff date for this year’s Young Ham of the Year Award nominations is June 30th. We ask you to do your part by nominating a young ham who has done something special related to ham radio. The nomination form is at (ARNewsline™)


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 and Australia's W-I-A News, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline™. Our e-mail address is Newsline (at) arnewsline (dot) org. More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's™ only official website located at You can also write to us or support us at Amateur Radio Newsline™, 28197 Robin Avenue, Santa Clarita California, 91350

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editor’s desk, I’m Don Wilbanks, AE5DW, saying 73 and we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline™ is Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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