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ARNewsline Report 1999 -- Feb 3 2012:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on February 3, 2012
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Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1799 – February 3 2012

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1799 with a release date of February 3rd, 2012 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a Q-S-T. Amateur radio is still live and well at WRC 2012; an Arizona ham files a petition with the FCC to expand the scope of PRB-1; medical implant devices coming to 70 centimeters on February 27th and meet a young ham who not only flies high altitude balloons but makes amazing videos with the pictures that they capture. All this and more on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1799 coming your way right now.

RADIO LAW: WRC-2012 STILL CONSIDERING NEW HAM RADIO ALLOCATION NEAR 500KHZ

Ham radio is very much alive as a discussion topic at the 2012 World Radiocommunications Conference now taking place in Geneva Switzerland. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Mark Abramowicz, NT3V, has the latest:

Rod Stafford, W6ROD, secretary for the International Amateur Radio Union's Region 2, says from his vantage point, it appears that there are several member countries that are in favor of granting the amateur radio service an allocation somewhere in the 415 to 526.5 kHz range.

It had been proposed to carve out a 15 kHz section for amateur use.

However, Stafford says those engaged in the discussions say there is a need to protect existing services.

And, Stafford says in a report on the WRC proceedings so far that there appear to be a couple of options:

First, a secondary allocation of up to 15 kHz to the amateur radio service on a worldwide basis between 472 kHz and 487 kHz.

Second, two non-contiguous worldwide secondary allocations to the amateur radio service between 461 and 469 kHz and 471 to 478 kHz, totalling 15 kHz.

Third, a proposal for a worldwide secondary allocation of 8 KHz from 472 to 480 kHz.

And, finally, no change or allocation.

He says some countries are concerned that non-direction beacons that operate in the spectrum could be subject to possible interference from any new allocations to amateur radio. Stafford's assessment is that it's still early in the process to determine whether amateur operators will succeed in getting the spectrum allocation.

He says there's one other item of concern to amateur radio operators and the IARU being discussed at the conference.

That's a bid for oceanographic radar applications in the 3 to 50 MHz range.

Stafford says the IARU's position is the oceanographic radar applications are incompatible with the amateur and amateur satellite services in the range 3 to 50 MHz and should not be allocated in bands already allocated to the amateur and amateur satellite service, including 5.250 to 5.450 MHz.

WRC-12 wraps up on Feb. 17 and Stafford promises he'll keep the amateur community apprised of developments as they occur.

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

As an aside, the International Amateur Radio Club in Geneva is on the air using the special call 4U1WRC during the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference. It’s operating all modes on 160 through 6 meters until the close of the conference on February 17th. If you work this special commemorative station please QSL via 4U1ITU.

(WRC 2012)

BREAKING DX NEWS: A GLOOMY FUTURE FOR DXPEDITIONS TO JAN MAYEN ISLAND

Jan Mayen Island could soon head to the top of the DX worlds most wanted this. This as the result of a recent decision by the Norwegian government that declared most of Jan Mayen a Nature Reserve and banned landings and camping on most of the island. This means that tour operators can no longer visit since the main landing area is part of the Reserve.

The only places left on the island which could be used as landing and camp sites are in the very extreme southern part of Jan Mayen which suffers from extreme weather conditions. Amateur radio operations may still be possible from the two locations but both are difficult to get to due to stormy seas and other severe weather conditions. As such it now appears that the recent JX5O operation was probably the last major DXpedition to Jan Mayen for many years to come.

There is the chance that hams who might be assigned as staff members at the islands Olonkin base will be able to activate Jan Mayen. Late word is that LA9JKA, is to be there beginning March 22nd and is expected to stay until March 2013 but what plans he has to operate from the island at this point are unknown. (Southgate)

RADIO LAW: MEDICAL IMPLANT DEVICES COMING TO 70CM ON FEB. 27

Monday, February 27th is the date when medical monitoring and control devices previously approved by the FCC could start showing up in various segments of the 70 centimeter band. Amateur Radio Newsline welcomes Chris Szpila who has this report:

As reported here on Newsline, last November the FCC voted to allocate spectrum for use by new implanted medical devices that operate on 413 to 457 MHz range. These devices which range from short range monitors to more advanced diagnostic and treatment gear will be used on a secondary basis as part of the Part 95 Medical Device Radiocommunication Service. The rules established by the FCC allow access 24 megahertz of spectrum on a secondary basis in the 413 to 419, 426 to 432, 438 to 444, and 451 to 457 Megahertz bands.

Amateur radio should hear little in the way of interference from any of these devices to signal reception. What’s not known is the effect of nearby high power transmitters from various services across the spectrum to the operation of these devices or the ability of any remote transceiver system to hear their telemetry and send instructions back to these implanted units. Most researchers believe this to be minimal to none at all.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Chris Szpila, in Los Angeles.

The most important aspect of these devices will be their benefit to mankind by restoring mobility and other functions to paralyzed limbs for those who cannot now use them now. (FCC)

RADIO LAW: ARIZONA HAM FILES FOR RULE MAKING TO EXTEND PRB-1 TO OVERIDE CCR RESTRICTIONS

A petition to the FCC to extend PRB-1 exemptions to cover outdoor antennas in communities with Condition, Covenant and Restrictions has been filed with the FCC by Arizona resident Leonard J. Umina, W7CCE.

Umina’s petition is based on an Equal Rights claim. He says that to establish the assertion it is necessary to ascertain that certain classes of amateurs are and / or were in identical situations with regard to those who received relief from PRB-1 but were not equally treated by the regulation.

Umina states that what he terms as the "move elsewhere" philosophy of PRB-1 fails to address classes of amateurs who were born into restrictive areas and those who had no part in selecting where they would reside.

Umina notes that because over 66% of Americans now rent and that that Homeowners Association market penetration has skyrocked. This at the same time that the urban population has increased to 75%. As such, Umina suggests that it is finally time for the FCC to act by extending PRB-1 in its present form to negate private contracts better known as CC&R’s.

Umina asks that special exemptions be applied to wire antennas so that simple rules exist in allowing for easier participation by youth and those who otherwise might be confused by complex regulation and court decisions. Umina also asks that Shortwave Listener and the commercial shortwave market be considered.

Most important, Umina asks that no significant changes be made which would compromise existing District Court decisions which upheld PRB-1 application. As we go to air the FCC has not yet assigned a rule making designation to W7CCE’s petition filing. (QRZ.com)

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: RS-39 NOW ON-ORBIT: RECEPTION REPORTS WANTED

The Chibis-M microsatellite, also known as RS-39, was placed on-orbit from a Russian Progress M cargo spacecraft on Tuesday January 24th. The satellite is designed to study atmospheric phenomena such as Terrestrial Gamma Ray Flashes associated with lightning.

RS-39 also carries CW beacons on 435.215 and 435.315 MHz. Hams hearing these signals are being asked to submit reception reports via e-mail to the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences at amateur-rs39 (at) chibis (dot) cosmos (dot) ru. Each report will be acknowledged with a special QSL card.

We will have more ham radio space related news later on in this week’s Amateur Radio Newsline report. (Southgate)

From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the Sequoia Amateur Radio Group repeater serving Lake Isabella, California.

HAM HAPPENINGS: ARRL TO PRESENT LIVE WEB TOUR OF W1AW ON FEBRUARY 12

Never seen the ARRL Headquarters station W1AW? Well you can do so vicariously through a webcast. Amateur Radio Newslines Heather Butera-Howell, KB3TZD, has the details:

The ARRL and Al Petrunti, KA1TCH, of The New Day Group have teamed up to present the first ever on-line tour of the League’s flagship station W1AW. The live webcast takes place on February 12th beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern time.

According to ARRL Public Relations and Media Coordinator Allen Pitts, W1AGP, many hams around the world know of W1AW. Thousands have made contacts with this impressive station, but few ever get to observe it in person.

Pitts who is producing the event says that thanks to Petrunti’s media streaming group, people world-wide should enjoy seeing what’s at the other end of the signals from W1AW.

Pitts notes that through the webcast viewers will be there as Petrunti, along with local weatherman Geoff Fox, K1GF, and others are given a tour of W1AW by Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q. W1AGP says that as in all live broadcasts, you never know what might happen.

Again, you can watch the webcast live on Sunday, February 12th beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern at www.awecast.tv/channels/arrl. W1AGP says that he hopes you enjoy the tour.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Heather Butera-Howell, KB3TZD, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Al Petrunti, KA1TCH, is no stranger to ham radio video projects. He was the creative force behind the ARRL video about HR-607. More about the New Day Group at www.NewDayHD.com. (ARRL)

RADIO LAW: NEW TOWER RULES FOR THE BIRDS

The FCC’s new rules affecting tower sitting for certain tall towers, meant to protect migratory birds, have been published in the Federal Register. However, they have not yet become effective.

Some aspects of the new rules adopted in December need approval by the Office of Management and Budget. The FCC will publish a subsequent notice in the Federal Register announcing the effective date.

To recap, towers above 450 feet tall will face more analysis. Owners will need to do an environmental assessment and allow the public time to comment on where a new tower would be placed before construction accomplishing this through methods such as a newspaper notice or local zoning public notice process. An environmental notice will also be required if an applicant changes the lighting of an existing tower to a less preferred style.

Very few if any ham radio towers are 450 feet or higher and are not affected by the new rules. However they do make for some very interesting reading. You can see these new bird safety tower rules at tinyurl.com/tower-birds-two. (FCC)

ENFORCEMENT: ANOTHER FLORIDA UNLICENSED BROADCAST FINE AFFIRMED

The FCC has affirmed a $10,000 fine to Willis Cernogg, Jr. of Miami, Florida. This for willful and repeated violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act by operation of an unlicensed radio transmitter on the frequency 90.7 MHz.

Back on October 25th, 2011, the Enforcement Bureau’s Miami Office issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in the amount of $10,000 to Cernogg. The FCC says that Cernogg never filed a response to the N-A-L. So, based on the information before it, the FCC has now affirmed the forfeiture.

As is normal procedure, Cernogg was given the customary 30 days from the January 25th date the order was released to pay the fine or file an appeal. If he fails to do either, the FCC will likely turn the matter over to the Department of Justice for collection. (FCC)

PUBLIC SERVICE: HAMS TEAM WITH CRIME STOPPERS IN MISSOURI

Members of the Barry-Lawrence Chapter of Crime Stoppers in Cassville, Missouri are joining forces with ham radio operators. This, to help keep an eye out for the thieves who have been stealing and burning vehicles in two counties.

Katherine Parker, KD0ETX, is the Assistant District Emergency Coordinator for both Barry and Lawrence counties. She says that general warnings could be issued to operators across the region to be aware of the situation and report suspicious activities occurring in their neighborhoods.

During their January meeting, the Crime Stoppers board members also approved offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage resulting from these recent crime sprees. Chairman John Strong also recommended organizing citizen patrols for parts of both counties, with suspicious activity reported back to local law enforcement agencies. (Cassville Democrat)

ON LINE NEWS: QRZ.COM ADDS GRIDMAPPER SERVICE

Another service has been added to QRZ.com. Called the Gridmapper this feature allows you to see the grid square on a Google map of the station you are looking up. A six character square is outlined. This is very handy for VHF and UHF enthusiasts who try to find and activate rare locations in the Maidenhead Grid Square location system. (K8YSE)

HAM MARKETPLACE: UK INNOVANTENNAS COME TO NORTH AMERICA

InnovAntennas have come to North America. According to Bill Hein, AA7XT, the full line of high performance British built High Frequency, VHF and UHF amateur radio antennas from InnovAntennas are now available to customers across the United States at R&L Electronics in Hamilton, Ohio.

By way of background, InnovAntennas was launched in 2011 by Justin Johnson, G0KSC. This after his hobby of designing antennas for his personal use led to a flood of make one for me requests from amateur radio operators who recognized that Johnson’s designs outperformed they could buy in any U-K store.

Today, InnovAntennas is building antennas at a former boat factory in Canvey Island, England and selling its products directly via InnovAntennas.com and via a network of dealers in Europe, Australia, and now, the United States. Designs include the Loop Fed Array and Opposing Phase – Driven Element System Yagis both of which have become very popular in the world of Moonbounce or E-M-E operations.

For more information on the introduction of InnovAntennas to the United States ham radio marketplace, you can e-mail AA7XT to bill (at) innovantennas (dot) com. You can also check the R and L website at www.RandL.com. (AA7XT)

HAM MARKETPLACE: YAESU HINTING IT WILL BRING OUT C4FM DITIAL VOICE GEAR FOR AMATEUR RADIO

Yaesu is hinting that they will be coming out with new digital amateur radios in 2012.

A new pamphlet discussing amateur digital radios shows the new Vertex Standard APCO P-25 commercial radios, as well as new amateur radios based on the C4FM FDMA digital audio system commonly known as MotoTrobo.

The pamphlet makes it appear that Yaesu will be offering amateur gear based on the MotoTrobo digital standard sometime this. The new vertex radios look identical to their Motorola counterparts.

Our guess is that any launch of such a project would likely take place at the Dayton Hamvention in mid-May. (Adapted from Yaesu Press Release)

HAM HAPPENINGS: AARA TO HOLD ITS 52ND HAMFEST IN RAYNE LOUISIANA MARCH 9-10

The Acadiana Amateur Radio Association will hold its 52nd annual hamfest at the Civic Center in Rayne, Louisiana. The dates are March 9 and 10 and the event will feature ARRL Education and Technology Program Coordinator Mark Spencer WA8SME as its special guest speaker. For entertainment Norm Helms K5SAC will be heading up the Texas Ham Playboys band.

This hamfest has been designated as the 2012 ARRL Louisiana State Convention and planners say that they are looking forward to seeing many of you there. More information about this fun event is on-line at www.w5ddl.org/hamfest. (KN5GRK)

HAM HAPPENINGS: DX UNIVERSITY 2012 APRIL 20TH IN VISALIA CA.

The 2012 DX University will take place on the Friday April 20th in conjunction with the International DX Convention in Visalia, California. Among this years lecturers are Bob Allphin, K4UEE; Bernie Mc Clenny, W3UR; Rusty Epps, W6OAT; Bob Locher, W9KNI, and a number of other world famous DX’ers many of whom are inductees of the CQ DX Hall of Fame. Together they will teach many of the operating techniques for working DX. You will also get the DXpeditioner’s view of how DXers should operate to get into the log. Registration is available on line at www.dxuniversity.com. For further information please contact Wayne Mills by e-mail to N7NG (at) arrl (dot) net or Roger Western, at G3SXW (at) btinternet (dot) com. (DX University)

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 www.arnewsline.org and being relayed by the volunteer services of the following radio amateur:

HAM RADIO TECHNOLOGY: ROS JOINS US EXPERIMENTAL SPREAD SPECTRUM TEST STA

R-O-S is among a number of modes raking part in spread spectrum experiments in the USA. The R-O-S data mode group reports that the FCC has issued a Special Temporary Authority to a United States based experimental group for the purpose of investigating Spread Spectrum modes within the USA.

According to the press release from Graham Brown, G0NBD, Phil Williams, KA1GMN, of Euless, Texas has been issued the first license with the call WF9XJD. Williams was scheduled to become active on February 1st.

Brown says that anyone wishing to apply for a STA or be one of the designated receiving stations, should contact Williams directly at ka1gmn (at) gmail.com for details of the application process. Reports and QSO’s are of course, most welcome from all.

The licenses are issued on a 6 month rolling basis and can also be applied directly from the FCC at tinyurl.com/fccsta. (G0NBD, Southgate)

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: SUMBANDILLASAT FAILS ON-ORBIT

South Africa’s Defence Web reports that the nations second satellite, SumbandilaSat also known as SO-67 is no longer fully operational.

Rob Olivier is the head of Business Development at SunSpace. He told Defence Web that although contact can still be made with the satellite, it cannot capture images. As such it is no longer fulfilling its main purpose.

Oliver added that chances of repairing the satellite on-orbit are virtually none. As such SunSpace has moved on to other projects.

SumbandilaSat was damaged during a solar storm in the June of 2011. The power supply to its onboard computer stopped working and the satellite stopped sending back images.

In addition to its primary mission SumbandilaSat also carried an radio payload as well. This consisted of a voice beacon, a store and forward parrot repeater and VHF to UHF FM repeater. (Defence Web)

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: WINNERS OF ARISSAT-1 CHICKEN LITTLE CONTEST ANNOUNCED

AMSAT and ARISS announced the winners of its ARISSat One Chicken Little Contest to predict when the hand-deployed bird would fall from the sky. The contest received 77 entries from 17 different countries, from all continents except Antarctica.

In the Kindergarten through grade 8 grade sector the winner was Cora Haefner, KK4ECV, of Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. In grades 9 through 12 it was the Cameron School in Lancashire, in the United Kingdom. The Adult category winner was Thomas Frey, HB9SKA, of Birr, Switzerland.

Based on comments sent along with the submissions, a wide variety of techniques were used. These ranged from detailed calculations, to comparisons with past satellites, to guesses based on birthdays. In the end, both KK4ECV and HB9SKA were within 15 hours of the best data from Space Track. It had reported that the remnants of ARISSat One splashed down in the South Atlantic approximately 07:00 UTC on January 4th.

All three winners have been sent a Chicken Little Certificate, and the congratulations of the ARISSat One team. The contest sponsors say that they also want to tank all those who entered, especially educators who worked with students on this project. (AMSAT / ARISS)

ON THE AIR: BCARA TO COMMEMORATE WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY ON THE AIR

On the air, word that Ohio’s Butler County Amateur Radio Association will be sponsoring special event station W8WRK from February 18th to the 26th. This to commemorate a historic Washington's Birthday amateur radio message relay which was originally accomplished on February 22, 1916 by members of the American Radio Relay League. The special event will be conducted from the clubs home station which is located in the original building of Special Land Station 8ZU. For operating times, frequencies and QSL information please visit tinyurl.com/6og8epf on the World Wide Web. (KD8RLA)

DX

In DX, W1NN and JA1LZR will be operational as NH0J and NH0Z, respectively, from Tinian, in the Northern Marianas, until February 4th. Their activity is focused on the lower bands using an Elecraft K3 transceiver an amplifier and a quarter wave verticals. QSL this one as directed on the air.

EA5BYP and EA5KM will once again be active from Annobon Island and Bioko Islands. The pair plan to arrive in Equatorial Guinea by the middle of February and then travel first to Bioko using the callsign 3C6A and then on to Annobon as 3C0E. Activity will be on 160 through 6 meters. Exact dates of this operation should be announced shortly. QSL both callsigns via EA5BYP.

W6HGF, will be on the air stroke FP from Miquelon Island between February 10th through the 20th. Activity will be on 160 through 10 meters but focused on the Digital modes, mostly RTTY. QSL via Logbook of the World or to W6HGF, direct or via the bureau.

NP4Z will be active as EE8Z from the Los Chachos Contest Club in the Canary Islands. This, during the CQ World Wide SSB Contest from March 24th to the 25th. QSL via EA8AY.

Lastly, ZS4U will be operational portable 9Q6 from the Republic of the Congo between March 10th and April 5th. Activity will be limited, probably mainly on the weekends and some days during the week. Listen out for him between 1200 and 1600 UTC on 40 through 6 meters using CW, SSB and PSK31. QSL via his home callsign.

(Above from various DX news sources)

THAT FINAL ITEM: HACK THE TUBE – A TRIP TO THE EDGE OF SPACE BY TEEN HAM ERIN KING, AK4JG

And finally this week, Erin King, AK4JG, of Columbia, Georgia, may only be a teenager but she has already left a very positive imprint in our world of amateur radio. Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, has the details on Erin’s magic carpet ride to the edge of space and the video that is taking the ham radio community by storm:

Erin King, AK4JG has posted a video of her recent amateur radio high altitude balloon mission for the 'Hack the Tubes' project. This, for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s class of 2016's early admissions program. And when you see it you will find it hard to believe that both the flight and the video are the work of a very, very talented teen.

According to AK4JG, she decided to send her Tube to the edge of space by turning it into an amateur radio high-altitude ballooning project. To accomplish this, Erin used two GPS and APRS-equipped transmitters for payload tracking. One of these signed the call AK4JG-11 and the other beaconed her fathers call sign of K4ETY-11. Each one sent out position packets from the Tube so Erin could follow it on the ground.

Also on board the tube-shaped payload was an Earth viewing GoPro Hero camera shooting high definition video. And capture some breathtaking video of the entire flight it did.

Erin’s payload was carried aloft by a Helium filled 800 gram weather balloon. Takeoff took place on January 16th at around 1 P.M. Eastern time from Lumpkin, GA. The entire flight from launch to landing lasted about 2 hours. That is all compacted to 8 ½ minutes during which Erin’s video takes you from initial payload assembly of the trackers to the edge of space at over 90,000 feet and to recovery of the payload from where it landed in a pine tree.

The video is set to the music of "Circuit" by Sonic Adventure Project. There is no narration. Instead Erin and her very professional video editing skill lets the pictures tell the entire story. You can see it for yourself by taking your web browser to tinyurl.com/AK4JG-balloon-video.

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

Again, you will find Erin’s video on-line at tinyurl.com/AK4JG-balloon-video. Go take a look. You will be glad that you did.

NEWSCAST CLOSE

With thanks to Alan Labs, AMSAT, the ARRL, the CGC Communicator, CQ Magazine, the FCC, the Ohio Penn DX Bulletin, Radio Netherlands, Rain, the RSGB, the Southgate News and Australia's WIA 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 www.arnewsline.org. You can also write to us or support us at Amateur Radio Newsline™, 28197 Robin Avenue, Santa Clarita California, 91350.

Before we go, a note to those listeners who have reported hearing Amateur Radio Newsline played in what might best be called unexpected places and asking why we are doing it. The answer is that we are not. Amateur Radio Newsline only produces a newscast and distributes it via the Internet and automated telephones. We have no transmitting equipment and we broadcast nothing. Since our inception as the Westlink Radio Network back in 1976 right on to today as the Amateur Radio Newsline, we have been and continue to be a ham radio news program supplier and nothing more.

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk, I’m Jim Davis, W2JKD, in sunny Vero Beach, Florida, saying 73 and we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline™ is Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

Member Comments:
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ARNewsline Report 1999 -- Feb 3 2012:  
by K4ETY on February 14, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
It was a delightful surprise to see my daughter's story of being accepted into MIT and her celebratory Hack-the-Tube amateur radio balloon project show up in the Amateur Radio Newsline! We appreciate all of the folks that have supported Erin and all of the well-wishes. One small correction, however: Erin and her proud Dad are from Columbus, GA.
 
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