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ARNewsline Report 1839 -- Nov 9 2012:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on November 9, 2012
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Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1839 – November 9 2012

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1839 with a release date of November 9, 2012 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. The German Space Agency nixes a ham radio mission to Mars but AMSAT-DL is not giving up on launching the probe. Also Ireland’s national amateur radio society takes a stand against a proposed pan- European broadband over powerline standard and a Los Angeles radio personality says he will donate a kidney to a station engineer. Find out the details are on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1839 coming your way right now.


Germany’s space exploration plans will not support a proposed ham radio mission to the red planet. We have more in this report:

After five years of discussions and negotiations with the German space agency, AMSAT-DL reports that nation’s space exploration group has withdrawn its support for the amateur satellite organization's plan to send a ham radio satellite to Mars. This is the so-called P 5 or Phase 5 satellite mission.

According to the AMSAT News Service, the agency advised the group that P5's mission was not financially feasible. Also that compared with the current Mars missions the scientific attraction was simply not there. You can read that as being of insufficient interest to the formal scientific research community.

The decision by the German Space Agency also affects plans for a geostationary Earth- orbiting ham radio satellite. This being the so called Phase 3 E which was to be part of the overall P 5 program. None of this is good news for amateur radio’s future exploration of the final frontier.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Burt Hicks, in Los Angeles.

AMSAT-DL officials sat that they are not giving up hope for these missions. They note that their organization recently had some interesting meetings in China adding that if it cannot do rocket science in Germany, that it will have to look for other countries. (ANS)


Delegates are likely preparing to return home from the International Amateur Radio Union Region 3 conference that was held in Ho Chi Minh City from November 5th to the 9th. This 15th triennial conference was hosted by the Vietnam Amateur Radio Club and was themed emergency communications as reflected in the frequent disasters that involve amateur radio communications.

In seeking to standardize privileges and licensing, the organizations directors have asked that consideration be given to one of their papers. This is one that explores issues facing amateur radio societies in working with their administration in the 21st century.

There were also reports from the IARU Region 1 and 2, from Region 3 member societies, Amateur Radio Direction Finding interests, the IARU Monitoring Service, along with beacon and satellite representatives. The delegates also talked about regional finances and the organizations constitution. (VK3PC)


Ireland’s Irish Radio Transmitters Society is the latest national ham radio organization to line up in opposition to a newly proposed pan-European draft digital Power Line or PLT transmission standard. Jeremy Boot, G4NJH, has more:

Following the news last week that the German National Society, DARC, now opposes a new pan-European draft Power Line Transmission standard, we have heard that the Irish Radio Transmitters Society, like the RSGB, also opposes the standard.

In their magazine they say that "the draft Standard accepts that the PLT devices do not, in effect, meet the essential requirements of the EMC Directive as it prescribes measures to mitigate interference by permanently or dynamically excluding frequencies in the amateur, aeronautical mobile and broadcast bands."

The IRTS Committee took the unanimous view that it would not be appropriate to support a draft Standard that sought only to protect selective sensitive frequencies in the HF spectrum without regard to the levels of interference that could be caused by the equipment concerned on the remainder of the HF spectrum.

For the Amateur radio Newsline, I’m Jeremy Boot, G4NJH, in Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

As previously noted here on Amateur Radio Newsline, this new standard concerns the devices that people install in their homes to run data over their house wiring. It has nothing to do with PLC or BPL data that is carried over the over company powerline networks. (GB2RS)


A Canadian amateur radio club is lobbying for a new severe weather alert transmitting station in the county it serves. The Minden Times reports that on October 26th the Minden Amateur Radio Club members of the club which is one of the oldest in Haliburton County, gathered for their weekly meeting. At that time club President Dorian Young, VE3YBG, put forth the idea of getting a transmitter in Minden for the purpose of emergency weather alert situations.

One of the special guests at the gathering was Gord Maybee of Weatheradio Canada who connected the group via a conference call to Denis Paquette of Environment Canada. Paquette told the group the average amount of time it takes to get a transmitter is two years, after specifics such as scouting a location and installation are factored in.

At the meeting VE3YBG noted that there have been two weather emergencies in the past few years, one being a massive snowstorm and a the other wind storm. He noted that with Minden hosting the Pan Am Games in 2015 it would be a wonderful addition to have a weather transmitter in the area. Young added that the radio club is eager to make this happen.

Currently, the closest transmitter is in Orillia, however, members of the club argued Haliburton County does not receive adequate or timely information from that location. While there used to be a transmitter in nearby Algonquin Park that unit is no longer operational.

More is on-line at weather-radio (Minden Times, Minden Amateur Radio Club)


After two years of battling dropped calls and dead zones in the department's new radio system, Nevada’s Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie has opted to drop the Harris Desert Sky police radio system.

On October 11th, Gillespie informed the Chief Executive Officer of Harris Corporation that his company's Desert Sky radio system cannot meet his department's needs.

Unveiled in the summer of 2010, the $42 million Desert Sky digital system is based on Harris' OpenSky digital communications technology. While Desert Sky's data capabilities have seen mixed results, the voice communication between officers is the bigger problem. Gillespie says that while things have improved in the past two years, the system still is not up to the standard for an agency whose officers talk on the radio 50,000 times every day.

The most common complaints are common among patrol officers who say the faulty system endangers their lives. In his statement Sheriff Gillespie noted that he believed that his department had given Harris every opportunity to make the system work, but it's just not reliable. The full story is on-line at Clark County, Nevada encompasses the city of Las Vegas and surrounding areas. (CGC, Las Vegas Review Journal)


International Reply Coupons may soon be a thing of the past. At least here in the United States with word that the U.S. Postal Service has proposed doing away with them due to what it says is a very low demand.

The Postal Service says that even if it stops selling International Reply Coupons that it will continue to accept those purchased in foreign countries and presented at its U.S. facilities.

International Reply Coupons have long been a staple in the DX community used to help offset the cost of DX’ers to provide QSL cards especially from some of the words rarer DX locations. They have also been used to assist hams in nations where sending in foreign currency is not allowed. (USPS, QRZ)

From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the Cal- Net Link serving all of California.


The ARRL is warning hams who want to assist those regions affected by Hurricane Sandy to not self-deploy to those areas. According to the League there are many ARRL Sections involved and each has different requirements as to how they locate, credential and deploy volunteers. If a need for manpower is identified that cannot be met locally or in a given ARRL Section, its leadership may contact other ARRL Sections for assistance. If the need is still not met, Section leadership may then contact ARRL Headquarters for the needed assistance. But the bottom line is that you not go to any devastated area unless you are specifically asked to do so. (ARRL)


Some of the most important messaging during Hurricane Sandy or any other hurricane was handled by the unsung heroes of the VoIP Hurricane Net. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, is here with their story:

They truly are the unsung heroes of ham radio that few in the hobby know about. But they do the kind of volunteer work that is needed to assist the National Weather Service and other served agencies when disaster is near. And during Hurricane Sandy their contributions were immense. Take a listen:

Net audio: “WB1BOX from N1OU. Seeing a dramatic increase in the amount of wires down, trees taking out transformers and powerlines here in the city of Meriden Connecticut.”

That’s the sound of the sound of the VoIP SKYWARN and Hurricane Nets. Their primary objective is to help save lives and property thru the identification and field evaluation of threatening or dangerous weather conditions. At the same time facilitate the timely gathering and dissemination of this information.

Net audio: “We are very concerned about Rhode Island for coastal storm surge flooding basically from the Dartmouth – New Bedford area West is our big concern coming up here. So we are going to try to do the best we can to try to get some data. A lot of those areas are going to be closed off so we are going to see what we can come up with to gather data there that I know is extremely critical.”

The VoIP SKYWARN and Hurricane Nets operate by combining both Echolink and IRLP linked repeater networks over the Internet. This they say provides for more efficient and effective utilization of available resources while handling critical wide area communications during major severe weather events.

To learn more about the efforts of the VoIP Hurricane Net, you are invited to join the VOIP-WXNET Yahoo Group or visit on the World Wide Web.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, Im Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, in the newsroom in Los Angeles.

More on Hurricane Sandy and ham radio relief efforts in future Amateur Radio Newsline reports. (ARNewsline)


The FCC has denied a petition to change Part 97.219 of the Amateur Service rules filed by Rolan O. Clark, W3FDK, of Adamstown, Maryland. This regarding the responsibility of control operators in message forwarding systems for retransmitted messages that violate the Commission’s rules. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Heather Embee, KB3TZD, has the details:

In his rule making request, Rolan O. Clark, W3FDK, had asked that the phrase – quote -- “except as noted in paragraph (d) of this section, for stations participating in a message forwarding system” be removed from Section 97.219(c) and that Section 97.219(d) be removed completely.

In his filing, Clark stated that he believed that the control operator of the first forwarding station in a message forwarding system – quote -- “should have the same standing as the control operator of a repeater that inadvertently retransmits communications that violate the rules. This, because the intent to accomplish communications consisting of text and/or voice communications is the same.

Clark also claimed that Section 97.219 (d) is ambiguous as it gives no direction to the method and degree of processes and or procedures needed to define the degree of authentication. He said that it implies that there would have to be a visually obtainable copy of the suspected violation otherwise it becomes hearsay.

Clark proposed to address these differences between a message forwarding system and a repeater by conforming Section 97.219 to Section 97.205(g). Specifically, he suggested requiring that the originator of a message that is entered into a message forwarding system be the only licensee responsible for its content.

But in its November 5th ruling turning down Clark’s rule change petition the FCC noted that it had considered and rejected requirements such as he proposed when it adopted the message forwarding system rules back in 1994. It went on to say that Clark’s present petition did not demonstrate or even suggest that any relevant circumstances have changed such as to merit reconsideration of this decision. As such the Commission says that Clark’s current proposal does not demonstrate that revising this rule would provide the ongoing oversight of message forwarding systems that must be present. To the contrary, the regulatory agency suggests that Clark’s proposal asks for an accommodation for message forwarding systems that commenter’s said should not apply to these systems.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Heather Embee, KB3TZD, in Berwyck, Pennsylvania.

At airtime its unknown if Clark plans to appeal the Commissions dismissal of his rule making request. (FCC)


A mainland China company called Puxing has announced what might be the ultimate in hand held two-way gear, but the chances are that you will never see one in the United States. At least not legally and the reason for this is simple.

The PX-D03 combines a GSM cellular telephone with a dual-band two-way radio and as a bonus can also be used as an MP3 player for your favorite tunes. And under the current FCC rules, combining a two-way radio with a cellphone makes the unit illegal to import, buy, sell or use in the U-S-A or its possessions.

According to the specifications posted on- line by one China-based mail order retailer, the PX-D03 covers 136 to174 and 400 to 470 MHz as a full dual band two-way transceiver with a total of 128 memory channels. It can be computer programmed and features what Puxing calls a human-based operational interface.

On the cellphone side, the GSM-based unit carries dual S-I-M cards, has text messaging, and a built-in front-facing camera. And if that were not all, the unit also contains an FM radio that receives the 87.5 to 108 MHz broadcast band, the afore mentioned MP3 player plus other entertainment including several games.

As being advertised, the PX-D03 comes with a 3.7v Lithium-Ion battery, a charging stand and power supply for the country the purchaser lives in; two antennas, a soft case and a remote plug in earpiece. According to one of the websites advertising the unit, the total cost is $151 shipped world-wide. (Southgate)



The current issue of DX Magazine features an article titled Dealing With the Skyrocketing Costs of DXpeditions and is is asking its readers for their ideas on how to increase the level of funding for future major DX operations.

Carl Smith, N4AA, is the Editor and Publisher of the DX Magazine. He says that major DXpeditions to entities in the top ten most wanted list can cost $500,000 or more to activate. This poses a major fund raising challenge to organizers, especially with costs rising rapidly for such big ticket items as transportation, licensing, and permits.

Specific costs are documented in the article appearing in the November-December issue. Smith said that DXer's and others are invited to send their ideas to the DX Magazine, which will be reporting the results in a future issue. All suggestions are welcome, and may be either anonymous or identified by the contributor's name and call.

If you want to lend your thoughts to solving this problem please send your ideas and comments to the DXpedition Costs Survey, % Dee Logan, W1HEO, 9901 Cypress Circle, Mentor, Onio, 44060. E-mail submissions to deverelogan (at) gmail (dot) com are also welcome. (DX Magazine, Southgate)


Amateur Radio Newsline producer Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, will be the featured guest on the Saturday night, November 17th edition of the Echolink Newsline Net. The net meets every Saturday at 9 p.m. Eastern on the Dodropin conference server which is Echolink Node number 355800. According to Steve Sercrest, W8WFO, this is not the original name for the gathering. Rather, because it’s been running our weekly report for such a long time that those signing in began calling it the Amateur Radio Newsline or Newsline network.

Again, you are welcome to join in the net conference at Echolink node 355800 on Saturday night, November 17th at 9 p.m. Eastern to hear Newsline’s Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, talk about numerous things in ham radio and do is best to answer your questions. Bill says he hopes to meet many of you there. (W8WFO)

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:


WWVB, the 60 kHz station most often used as our nation's time and frequency standard, is continuing to test its phase modulated mode and may switch between their legacy AM mode and their new phase modulated mode in the days and weeks ahead. Stay tuned and keep listening on 60 kHz for their ongoing experiments. (CGC, WWVB)


The first two Next Generation Beacons have come to the airwaves. On October 30th the latest two OZ7IGY came to 6 and 2 meters from Slettebjerg, Denmark.

OZ7IGY is the world's oldest beacon system in the world having begun operation in the International Geophysical Year in 1957. From its start on 144 MHz it has ever since been on air continuously. Now the newest beacons can be heard on 50.46973 MHz and 144.46973 MHz respectively.

And by way of background, the Next Generation Beacon platform is open to other users and the software can easily be adapted to other modulation types and sequences. And as the new platform is frequency and time locked to GPS signals the frequency accuracy is better than 5 milli-Hertz.

More information is on the web at (GB2RS)


A new service from NASA called Spot the Station will send you a text message when the International Space Station is within visual range of your house.

The service will only notify users if the station is easily visible above trees, buildings, and other objects. Spot the Station will calculate the station’s proximity to more than 4,600 positions on Earth, updating its information several times each week.

The International Space Station is usually at peak visibility at dawn and dusk. When skies are clear, it typically appears as fast- moving point of light.

You can sign up for the service on line by visiting (NASA, N6ZXJ)


There have still been no confirmed reception reports since the F-1 amateur radio CubeSat was deployed from the International Space Station on 4th October. Its command team is now focusing on reception of the backup UHF transmitter on 437.485 MHz, plus or minus 10 kHz Doppler shift.

This FM beacon should transmit Morse code for 20 seconds every minute during the satellites daylight. The team would appreciate any reports of the beacon be sent by email to thuvt (at) fpt (dot) edu dot) vn. Further information on F1 can be found at www.amsat- (Southgate)


A group of students in Gujarat, India will reach out to the stars. For the first time in that nation’s history about 500 students will have a live chat with Sunita Williams, KD5PLB, the Indian-origin astronaut aboard the International Space Station, using an amateur radio station at the Science City facility in Ahmedabad.

Ravi Saxena is an Assistant Chief Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology. He says that because Williams has roots in India, it is all the more special to them.

The contact is currently slated for November 14, celebrated as Children's Day in India. To arrange this Q-S-O, India’s scientific community from the state of Ahmedabad contacted NASA soon after Williams set off for her record-breaking journey in July of this year. (WIA)


On the air keep an ear open for special event callsigns with a J-U-850 prefix that will be on the air November 14th to the 21st from Mongolia. This to celebrate 850th birthday emperor Chinggis Khan.

A Chinggis Khan Award will be issued free to those who make three contacts with three different event callsigns. These include JU850AA, JU850DA, JU850DN and can be made using any mode on any band. If you make contact with any of the commemorative JU850 stations please QSL via the information found for each call on

By way of background, Chinggis Kahn, called in some parts of the world as Genghis Khan, came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. In the year 1207 he was the founder and great leader of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his demise in 1227. (JT1CS)


In DX, word that JH1AJT will be on the air from Bhutan through the 15th of November as A5A He will be active on 40 through 10 meters using various modes. QSL via home call

ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, has announced that the August 2012 VU7M Lakshadweep Islands and the ZD9UW operation from Tristan Da Cunha and Gough have been approved for DXCC credit. If you worked them feel free to submit your cards for DXCC checking for these two.

R4WAA will be active from Dominican Republic November 21st to the 30th signing stroke HI7. He will be working on 40 through 10 meters and will definitely be on for the CQ World Wide DX CW Contest November 24th and 25th. QSL via home call call direct or via the bureau.

G7COD will be on the air 8Q7AK from Embudu Island in the Maldives for three weeks in February of 2013. He’s expected to be operating holiday style on 30, 17 and 12 meters using CW and SSB. QSL him also via his home callsign, direct or via the bureau.

DF2WO is currently operational from Cape Verde as D-44-T-W-O. He is reported to be active on the High Frequency Bands. QSL via his home call

Lastly, SP5EAQ will be active from Tongatapu Island in the Kingdom of Tonga 26 from March 26th to April 16th as A3EAQ He will be operational on 80 through 10 meters using SSB. QSL via SP5EAQ.

(Above from various DX news sources)


And finally this week, it isn’t often that you hear a story like this, but when you do it makes one proud to be a member of the human race. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Bruce Tennant, K6PZW reports:

Gene “Bean” Baxter is a personality of CBS Radio’s KROQ-FM in Los Angeles. He has entertained L.A. audiences since 1990 alongside on-the-air partner Kevin Ryder, as part of the “Kevin and Bean” morning show team.

In addition to making a multitude of over the air friends, Bean, as he is known, has also created longstanding relationships with those inside the KROQ offices. In that vein he recently announced that he will become a kidney donor to help a longtime staffer. The recipient of Bean’s generosity will be Scott Mason, N1CBS, who is the Director of Engineering for CBS radio on the West Coast, and who has been with the company in a variety of capacities since 1979.

On November 13th, the two will go to Cedars Sinai Medical Center which is one of only four hospitals in the country that have the ability to match Mason’s blood type to that of Bean and give him the much needed organ. Bean then plans to take a few weeks off from work, and expects his remaining kidney to function at about 80%.

Out of this whole process, Bean hopes that people will see how easy it is to become an organ donor. He also believes that if he recovers quickly and is back to work in a short time, it may deliver an even stronger message, changing the minds of some and raising awareness of organ donation.

This will be the second transplant for Mason, who has had kidney problems for most of his adult life. He underwent a previous transplant from a cadaver in 1999 that lasted about 10 years. He currently undergoes daily dialysis and calls Bean’s decision to donate a kidney to him as a game changer. Bean Baxter calls it a no-brainer.

Wishing them both Mason and Bean a quick recovery from this upcoming and life changing surgery, I’m Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, in Los Angeles.

Scott Mason has been on a waiting list for a kidney, which sometimes is a six to 10 year wait, when Bean offered his kidney. For Bean Baxter, it was an educational process and a decision based on math, not emotions. He said that Mason has zero kidneys and that he has two. You can hear the full discussion with Bean Baxter and Scott Mason on Kevin and Bean audio archive at kidney-donation

(RBR, KROQ Audio Archive, 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, TWiT-TV 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 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 editors’ desk, I’m Jim Davis, W2JKD, in Vero Beach, Florida, saying 73 and we thank you for listening.

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

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