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ARNewsline Report 1841 -- Nov 23 2012:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on November 23, 2012
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Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1841 – November 23 2012

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1841 with a release date of November 23, 2012 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Hams in China develop a new digital protocol based on their own written language while mystery signals are being heard on the High Frequency bands coming from that nation. Find out the details are on these stories and more on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1841 coming your way right now.

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: NEW CHINESE DATA MODE CP-16 ANNOUNCED

China makes news again this week with word that hams in that nation have developed their own new data mode. One based on characters in the Chinese alphabet. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, has the details:

Up until now, most amateur radio data modes have been based around the English alphabet. The problem is that does not work well for languages that are built around graphic characters rather than letters. Because of this the Chinese Radio Amateurs Club has been working since 2011 on a project to develop a new data mode called CP-16, which stands for Chinese character Pattern of 16 x 16 dot- matrixes.

To achieve the goal of allowing easy communication at very low signal to noise ratio, CP-16 is designed to directly transmit the graphic image of Chinese a character one line at a time at about 10 milliseconds per line but adjustable according to propagation and other conditions. This makes the total transmission speed of 2 to 5 characters per second, which is suitable for real-time reading.

To make the system work, CP-16 uses 16 on-off keyed audio carriers spaced at 17 Hz intervals, with the total bandwidth under 400 Hz. A CP-16 message can be received by any Software Defined Receiver or the combination of an ordinary SSB receiver and a computer equipped with any type of S-D-R audio analyzing software that produces the traditional waterfall display. The text will be directly shown on the waterfall graph. Designers say that the human brain can then easily filter out all sorts of noise and correctly pick out the character.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, in Los Angeles.

A paper on the work was presented by the Chinese Radio Amateurs Club to the International Amateur Radio Union Region 3 conference held recently in Vietnam. It can be seen at tinyurl.com/CP16-data. (IARU Region 3)

INTRUDER WATCH: MYSTERY CHINESE SIGNALS BEING HEARD ON HF BANDS

Wolfgang Hadel, DK2OM, who is the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System coordinator reports that there are some strange signals coming from China and making their homes on various parts of the Amateur Service spectrum. DK2OM says that since October 25th hams have been hearing from mysterious signals on 7, 14, 21 and 21.010 MHz. He notes that they are also audible in the shortwave spectrum at 15, 18, 19 and 20 MHz as well.

DK2OM says that initially the A3E signals sounded like grunt or cow mooing. Now reports are that thy have become very strong multi-tone signals with a carrier and both sidebands and heard every morning. He speculates that this night become kind of special kind of encrypted broadcast or a new generation of Over the Horizon radar but at the moment its actual purpose is unknown.

For further details visit www.iarums-r1.org/ and look under "Latest Intruder News". There you can also find a link to a recording of this new intruder to the High Frequency bands. (IARU-R1)

INTRUDER WATCH: RUSSIAN TAXIS ON 15 METERS

And here’s a rather strange one. A taxi dispatch system seems to have set up shop on 15 Meters in Russia. This as DK2OM confirms a report of a taxi company in the Russian Federation is transmitting FM around the clock on 21.404.2 MHz. He says you can often hear a female voice organizing the business. (IARU-R1)

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: NASA PHONESAT COMING SOON TO HAM RADIO

Scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center have built the most affordable ham band satellite to date. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Heather Embee, KB3TZD, has the details:

The $3,500 orbital device is a cubesat the size of a coffee cup that uses an off-the- shelf Nexus One smartphone as a central processor and an inexpensive off the shelf radio for communications with the ground.

Called PhoneSat 1, the tiny bird is scheduled to launch by the end of this year. Once on- orbit it will transmit back photos of Earth on an amateur radio band for 10 days, or until the battery dies.

Subsequent iterations will be capable of much more. For example, PhoneSat 2.0 will have a two-way S-band radio transponder which most satellites use to communicate with the ground and solar panels for extended life.

More on PhoneSat 1 is on-line at tinyurl.com/phonesat-one. An overview of the entire NASA PhoneSat mission can be found at tinyurl.com/phone-sat-project. At airtime, exact operating frequencies for these tiny birds has not been announced.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Heather Embee, KB3TZD, near Berwick, Pennsylvania.

We will have more space related ham radio news later on in this weeks newscast. (CGC, W7RNA, AI9Q)

ENFORCEMENT: US AND MEXICO JOIN FORCES TO COUNTER CROSS BORDER TRAFFICKING OF STOLEN MOBILE DEVICES

Its going to get a lot harder to activate a stolen smart prone or other broadband device in both the United States or Mexico. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Norm Seeley, KI7UP, has the details:

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has announced the signing of a new bilateral agreement with Mexican Communications Under-Secretary Hector Olavarria Tapia. This to combat the theft and cross-border trafficking of mobile devices between the United States and Mexico.

The agreement builds further on the FCC’s ‘PROTECTS Initiative’, and the recent participation of U.S. and Mexican mobile providers in an international stolen device database. This database will prevent mobile devices stolen in U.S. cities from being re- activated in Mexico, and stolen Mexican devices being re-activated in the U.S. market. U.S. carriers were able to join the database from October 31st.

But it does not end there. The agreement also commits the FCC and Mexico’s Secretariat of Communications and Transport to extend their inter-agency cooperation to crack down on the international trafficking of stolen mobile devices through a series of new action steps using technology and transparency. Among other measures, Chairman Genachowski and Under-Secretary Olavarría agreed that the respective agencies will closely track, analyze, and report progress in preventing mobile device theft.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Norm Seeley, KI7UP, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Both the United States and Mexican telecommunications agencies will also develop and share best practices with respect to theft prevention and consumer education. (FCC)

From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the KM6DF repeater serving Santa Maria, California

RESCUE RADIO: DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS WANT HEARING ON HURRICANE SANDY COMMS FAILURES

A group of top Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee is calling for a hearing to be held on the effect Hurricane Sandy had on the reliability of Internet, mobile, telephone and other communications networks. This after the massive storm whipped across the East Coast.

In a letter sent to committee chairman Representative Fred Upton and Communications and Technology sub-panel chairman Representative Greg Walden, W7EQI, the Democrats emphasized that network outages put lives at risk and noted that the storm knocked out 25 percent of cell towers in the affected areas. They argue that a hearing would let lawmakers examine vulnerabilities found in wireless and mobile networks during the storm and help with preparation for the next one. The lawmakers said they also want to examine the performance of wireless networks during and after the storm. (The Hill)

RADIO LAW: ZONECASTING TO BE TRIED ON THE FM BAND IF FCC SAYS OK

Something new may soon be coming to the FM broadcast band in the United States. This if a proposed system called ZoneCasting proves out its proposed technology.

ZoneCasting is the result of research and development by a company known as Geo- Broadcast Solutions. It proposes to use a series of booster transmitters to give FM radio stations the ability to divide their coverage areas into geographic zones and “geo-target” their advertising and programming. Geo-Broadcast Solutions says its ZoneCasting system uses GPS and mobile broadband technologies to slice up the FM signal but avoid interference via a single- frequency network made up of FM boosters.

To allow the system to work, the company has asked the FCC to modify its current rule that prohibits booster stations from originating programming. A booster operates on the same frequency as an FM station’s main channel and is used to improve signal within the station’s coverage contour.

The company and Harris are partnering on the first commercial test, which is expected to launch early next year at WRMF-FM in Palm Beach, Florida. Broadcast engineers say that limiting interference between a main channel signal and booster can be a challenge. Geo- Broadcast Solutions said the purpose of the test at WRMF is to prove ZoneCasting will not cause that type of a problem. (RW)

ENFORCEMENT: FOUR UNLICENSED FLORIDA STATION OPERATORS HAVE FINES AFFIRMED

Four operators of unlicensed broadcast stations in Florida have had proposed fines ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 each affirmed by the FCC. This is because none of them responded to Notices of Apparent Liability that were issued to them last summer.

The four unlicensed operators are identified by the regulatory agency as Damian Anthony Ojouku Allen, Michael William Downer, McArthur Bussey and Burt Byng. As a result of their failure to communicate back to the FCC the agency has upheld a total of $65,000 in fines and issued Forfeiture Orders.

Downer and Allen were fined $20,000 each for operating unauthorized stations on 101.1MHz in Pompano Beach and 102.1 MHz in Lauderhill. Bussey was told he has to pay$15,000 for operating on 89.1 MHz in Fort Lauderdale while Byng received a $10,000 penalty for operating an unauthorized facility on 107.1 in Miami.

As is usual in these cases, each was given 30 days to pay the fine or to file an appeal. If they fail to do either the cases may be turned over to the Justice Department for collection. (FCC, RW)

ENFORCEMENT: ALLEGED COPPER THIEVES CHARGED IN OHIO

Federal officials in Cleveland, Ohio, have charged 28 year old Thomas M. Carbone and 23 year old Katie M. Stanton with the malicious destruction of federally-licensed communications lines. U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach said that the defendants are accused of allegedly breaking into and seriously damaging radio towers.

The indictment charges that on or about August 17 to 18, 2012, Carbone and Stanton unlawfully entered the property of Radio One in North Royalton, Ohio, and willfully and maliciously destroyed and removed copper material from four radio station towers on the property. According to the indictment, this unlawful removal of copper depleted the signal strength of the radio station, thereby impeding its ability to broadcast emergency messages. As such emergency repairs cost nearly $11,000 while permanent repairs will cost an estimated $125,000.

The indictment also charges that Carbone and Stanton conspired together to commit these unlawful acts. (CGC, Published News Reports)

HAM HAPPENINGS: HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY TO REC.RADIO.INFO

A very happy birthday to the popular Usenet newsgroup rec.radio.info which is about to turn 20. This with the first articles having appeared back in January of 1993.

Usenet is an electronic discussion and bulletin system that predates much of the Internet. It later began using the Internet to carry its discussion categories, known as newsgroups. Amateur radio was one of the very first topics to have these newsgroups.

The rec.radio.info newsgroup carries a wide range of bulletins, announcements, and other informational articles about all kinds of radio. These include amateur, shortwave, and domestic broadcasting all of which are submitted by its readers and selected by its moderation team. Articles from rec.radio.info suitable for amateur radio transmission are also relayed to the amateur packet radio bulletin board service network.

The rec.radio.info newsgroup can be accessed using a newsreader and subscription to a News Service Provider. A web-based interface to Usenet newsgroups, including rec.radio.info, is available from Google Groups at groups.google.com. (K3FU, K9YA)

SOCIAL SCENE: HAMFEST INDIA 2012 TO HOLD US LICENSE EXAMS

Hamfest India 2012 is in the process of organizing a USA amateur radio license exams session on for this December 16th in city of Radakrishnan. Planners say that they are trying to find a location near to the hamfest venue with the exact location to be updated as soon as its known.

All the three classes of United States licenses will be tested. As anywhere else, applicants must present a photo identification of whom they and pay the exam fee of $15 or 850 Rupee in Indian currency. Walk-ins allowed and results will be made known to each applicant on the same day.

Oversight for this exam session will be by the ARRL VEC. More information is on-line at tinyurl.com/us-exams-in-india. (AB9US)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: THREE ASTRO-HAMS RETURN TO EARTH

Some names in the news. First up are ISS Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams, KD5PLB, and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP, and Aki Hoshide, KE5DNI. All three returned to Earth on Monday, November 19th after 127 days in space.

The descent and landing took over 3.5 hours and occurred at 5:56 am U-T-C. This with a successful touchdown to the north-east of the town of Arkalyk in the Ukraine.

Expedition 34 arrived at in October is now in charge of ISS operations. It consists of Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Evgeny Tarelkin, as well as NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, KF5GPP. They will spend five months on the orbiting laboratory. (NASA, Southgate, published news reports)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: ARRL DIVISION ELECTION RESULTS ANNOUNCED

Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, who has been elected the new Director of the ARRL’s Hudson Division. Lisenco of Brooklyn New York handily defeated incumbent Joyce Birmingham, KA2ANF, for the top slot in that Division.

Meantime in the Northwestern Division, incumbent Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, defeated challenger William Balzarini, KL7BB, to retain his Directors seat. James Pace, K7CEX, was elected as Vice Director in a three-way race.

Ballots were counted on November 16th. Those standing for election in other divisions were unchallenged. Terms for all Directors and Vice Directors elected or re-elected begin at noon on January 1, 2013 and run for three years. (ARRL)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: WALDEN TO CHAIR NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE

Newly re-elected Oregon Representative Greg Walden, W7EQI, says he will remain chairman of the House Subcommittee that oversees communications and technology policy. This as the former radio station group owner is being promoted within the Republican party leadership in Congress.

In addition to his other duties, W7EQI will chair the National Republican Congressional Committee. Elected to the post by House GOP members, the National Republican Congressional Committee chairman works with House leadership to set the agenda of that body. The committee also coordinates national efforts to elect Republicans to the House. (Published news reports)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: 2012 ARRL UHF CONTEST RESULTS POSTED

Sean Kutzko, KX9X, who is the League’s Contest Branch Manager says that the results for the 2012 ARRL August UHF Contest are now on-line. You can view them at www.arrl.org/contest-results-articles. (ARRL)

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:

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: INCREASING EFFICIENCY OF WIRELESS NETWORKS

Professors at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering have apparently developed a way of doubling the efficiency of wireless networks. According to researchers Yingbo Hua and Ping Liang it appears the doubling of efficiency could be achieved by using full-duplex with “time- domain transmit beam forming.” They say that the latter digitally creates a time-domain cancellation signal, couples it to the radio frequency front-end to allow the radio to hear much weaker incoming signals while transmitting strong outgoing signals at the same frequency and same time.

Wireless Design says scientists Hua and Liang see applications in cognitive radio. They say that this is a type of wireless communication in which a transceiver can detect which communication channels are in use and which are not, and move into vacant channels while avoiding occupied ones. You can read the Wireless Design Online article at tinyurl.com/highly-efficient-radio. (Southgate, Wireless Design)

TECHNOLOGY CHANGING: SPACE WEATHER TO INTRODUCE TWO NEW PRODUCTS

This note from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Tentatively on December 11th the Space Weather Prediction Center will introduce two new forecast products titled the 3-Day Forecast and the Forecast Discussion. These new products will be available twice a day at 00:30 and 12:30 UTC to provide space weather information in abbreviated and detailed formats.

Both will use NOAA Space Weather Scale information. Examples of these new products are available at tinyurl.com/caqy4ox and for the concise, 1-page summary and tinyurl.com/bm9flp6 for the in-depth space weather analysis. These two products will supplement the existing product suite and no current forecasts will be discontinued. (OPDX, W8KVK)

RADIO IN SPACE: DARPA RECRUITING AMATEUR ASTRONOMERS FOR SPACE JUNK SURVEILLANCE

The U.S. military is launching a far-out neighborhood watch. But instead of warding off burglars, it’s recruiting amateur astronomers to assist in tracking orbital debris and there-by help in avoiding possible satellite collisions in Earth orbit.

The sky-monitoring project, called SpaceView, is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA program that enrolls the talents of amateur astronomers to help protect American space assets from orbital trash. These dangerous objects include spent rocket stages, defunct satellites and fragments from other spacecraft that are the result of erosion, explosion and collision. DARPA says that a collision between one of these small pieces of debris and a satellite could release more than 20,000 times the energy of a head-on automobile collision at 65 miles an hour.

The concept of the SpaceView program is to provide more diverse data to the Space Surveillance Network. This is a U.S. Air Force program charged with cataloguing and observing space junk and debris to identify potential near-term collisions. NASA estimates more than 500,000 pieces of hazardous space debris orbit the Earth, threatening satellites that among other things support peacekeeping and combat missions.

For more information on DARPA's SpaceView project take your web browser to www.spaceviewnetwork.com. (Space.com)

ON THE AIR: SPECIAL EVENT STATION GB0IDD TO CELEBRATE UN INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

The United Kingdom’s Wakefield District Radio Society will be operating the special event station GB0IDD over the weekend of December 1st to the 3rd. This in celebration of the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

This United Nations sponsored Day of Action takes place each year. Its overall aim is to raise awareness and understanding of disability issues and to promote the independence, inclusion and choice of disabled people and their rights, abilities and well-being worldwide.

This year’s theme is Removing Barriers to Create an Inclusive and Accessible Society for All. Operation will be mainly on 20 through 10 meters and you should confirm this contact electronically via e-QSL only.

By the way: Some 30 percent of the Wakefield District Radio Society members are disabled in some way, (GB0IDD)

ON THE AIR: 5G12ITD CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL TOLERANCE DAY

And special events station 5G12ITD is on the air Morocco in celebration International Tolerance Day. The United Nations sponsors International Day for Tolerance annually observed to educate people about the need for tolerance in society and to help them understand the negative effects of intolerance. 5G12ITD will be active all bands and all modes through December 16th. QSL via RW6HS. (Southgate)

DX

In DX, word that Members of the F6KOP team expected to be active from Ugands as 5X8C between February 6th to the 18th, 2013, from a location some 20 Km from Entebbe airport. They have announced they will comply to the last IARU bandplan on 40 meters for the region with the frequencies of the PSK and RTTY moved to 7040 and 7042 kHz. For more details see www.5x2013.com

H44RK has announced that he will be active from Samoa for a while in early December. More details will be forthcoming shortly.

DL5RMH will be active from Guatemala until middle of January signing stroke TG9 stroke KF5LSG though he is hoping to obtain the call TG9IDX. If you make contact, please QSL via his home callsign.

VK6DXI will be active stroke FK from New Caledonia until mid December. He has been heard early on Sunday mornings on 28.485 MHz around 07:20 UTC. QSL only via his home callsign.

LA9JKA continues to be operational as JX9JKA from Jan Mayen Island and will be there until approximately April 11th, 2013. He operates SSB and the digital modes on 160 through 4 meters including 60 and 6 meters. QSL direct only to his home callsign as listed in QRZ.com.

Lastly, special event station 8J6HAM will be operational from the Island of Kyushu Japan, between December 10th and March 3rd. Activity is in celebration of the 12th West Japan Ham Fair with operations on all bands and using many modes. QSL via the JARL Bureau.

NEWSLINE FOLLOW-UP: L.A. AIRPORT'S TRAVELERS INFORMATION STATION IS HISTORY

And finally this week, thanks to the efforts of a sharp-eyed CGC Communicator reader, we now know why the 530 kHz Travelers Information Station at Los Angeles International Airport reported on last week is silent. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Bill Pasternak tells us who found out and why its goods and bad news for broadcast band DX’ers:

According to the CGC Communicator, it was a reader identified as Mark Nodine who provided the answer to the question of why the station went dark. According to Nodine, who holds the call KJ6MS says Los Angeles World Airports canceled their recently renewed license for WNHV296 effective October 1, 2012.

Los Angeles World Airports is the City of Los Angeles department that owns and operates three airports. These are Los Angeles International, Ontario International and Van Nuys. The latter of the three being mainly used for private and corporate aviation.

The CGC Communicator goes on to give some interesting technical date about the now defunct Los Angeles International Airport Travelers Information Station. For instance, the station consisted of two separate transmitters. A 10 watt unit was used to provide service to street traffic in a tunnel under the runways while a 100 watt transmitter broadcast to the general public. An FCC waiver was necessary in order to run 100 watts with the above-ground transmitter. That power level was granted back in 2004 after being deemed necessary to communicate with the general public in case of a terrorist attack.

The bottom line: As we said in our last report, the disappearance of this Travelers Information Service station does open up that frequency in the Southwest United States for DX’ing a 50 Kilowatt religious station in Turks and Caicos islands that operates on the same frequency. But it also means another low power AM broadcast band station that was a challenge for DXing listeners has gone away.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, scanning the medium waves from the newsroom in Los Angeles.

As an aside, the Los Angeles World Airports still holds but is not using the license for station WQEA967 on 770 kHz. It is supposed to be a 10 watt station at Southern California’s Ontario International Airport. (CGC Communicator)

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, TWiT-TV 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 www.arnewsline.org. 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 Skeeter Nash, N5ASH, 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 1841 -- Nov 23 2012:  
by K3FU on November 27, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Thank you Bill. Thanks also to the K9YA Telegraph (http://www.k9ya.org/k9ya_telegraph1.htm) for running a long-form article on rec.radio.info in their December 2012 issue. Thanks to our newsgroup creator, Mark Salyzyn (AG4YD, ex-VE6MGS), our two other past moderators (David Dodell, K7DSD, and Brian Short, K7ON), as well as all of our article contributors and readers over the past two decades. Here's hoping for at least another successful 20 years!

73, Paul, K3FU

Chief Moderator, rec.radio.amateur.moderated/rec.radio.info
 
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