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ARNewsline Report 1847 Jan 4 2013:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on January 11, 2013
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Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1848 – January 11 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1848 with a release date of January 11 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Hams down-under respond to wildfires in Tasmania; the comment deadline set in WRC 07 implementation proceeding and UK telecommunications regulator OFCOM thanks RSGB for help with 2012 Olympics. Find out the details are on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1848 coming your way right now.


Major brush fires in south-east Tasmania, which began on Friday, January 4th continue to burn relentlessly fanned by hot and windy weather. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, is in Nelson, New Zealand, with the latest:

WICEN Tasmania South Secretary, Roger Nichols VK7ARN reports that operators were sent to the Incident Management Team headquarters coordinating the firefighting efforts on the Tasman Peninsula and in the Derwent Valley. There they helped to run the Tasmanian Fire Service Communications using its 80MHz system. This says Nichols is a communications role in which they are trained.

Nichols said there had been power and communications outages caused by the fires. Crews are working in safe areas to restore power and communications and that WICEN had offered to link the Eaglehawk Neck and Port Arthur areas.

A search for possible victims has already involved 250 properties. More than 100 of them, including houses and a school, have been destroyed.

Access to the wild fire affected areas continues to be restricted, as more hot and windy days are forecast with the major fires out of control. Victoria State firefighters are now in Tasmania to help with the fires.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, reporting.

For those not familiar with WICEN, it can best be described as Australia’s version of the United States RACES but with some major differences. Chief among these is that WICEN operates as an autonomous body under the relevant disaster plan in each Australian state or territory. (VK3PC)


The ARRL reports that a commentary deadline of February 25th and a reply comment deadline of March 27th have been announced for rule making dealing with ET Docket No. 12-338. This measure deals with implementation decisions of the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference and to make certain other changes.

While most of the 130 page Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order does not directly affect the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Services, two sections of the document are of particular interest to the ham radio community. Specifically, the FCC proposes to upgrade the Amateur Service allocation in the upper half of the 160 meter band at 1900 to 2000 kHz from secondary to primary, while deleting the existing allocation to the Radiolocation Service. This is possible, because the re-accommodation of radiolocation stations displaced by the expansion of the AM broadcasting band to 1705 kHz has been completed and there are no non-federal radiolocation stations licensed to operate in the 1900 to 2000 kHz band.

The FCC is also seeking comments on whether, and how, an amateur Low Frequency allocation might be able to co-exist with Power Line Carrier systems that are used by electric utilities to monitor and control the power grid. The Commission notes that while Powerline Communication Systems do not have the status of an allocation, they do carry communications important to the reliability and security of electric service to the public. WRC-07 created a new secondary allocation to the amateur service at 135.7 to 137.8 kHz that already has been implemented in a number of other countries.

The complete text of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making can be found in PDF format at (ARRL, FCC)


A 12 month celebration of the founding of the Radio Society of Great Britain is now underway. Jeramy Boot, G4NJH, reports from Nottingham in the U-K:

Radio Society of Great Britain Centenary station G100RSGB is now on the air. RSGB President Dave Wilson, M0OBW, opened the year long operation of the RSGB Centenary station, GB100RSGB, on January 1st as it was being hosted by the Widnes & Runcorn ARC.

Although intentionally a celebration for all to enjoy, there is an associated RSGB Centenary Award. The rules for this have been amended this week to allow contacts with the station to count for points on a Region/Band basis.

I’m Jeramy Boot, G4NJH, and you are listening to the Amateur Radio Newsline.

Please check for further information. (GB2RS)


The Radio Society of Great Britain has received a thank-you letter from U-K telecommunications regulator Ofcom. This in appreciation for the national societies assistance in the area of communications during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In the note, Ofcom’s Peter Bury says that the games have come to an end he wanted to express his warm thanks and appreciation for the contribution that the RSGB made to the outstanding success of wireless communications during the event.

According to Bury, one of the critical challenges for Britain was to find enough people with the right skills in radio engineering and interference management to support the needs of the Games. He says that Ofcom could not have found enough people from its own resources and we therefore sought help from you and other agencies to help us find expert staff.

Bury continues his letter by stating that the support of the RSGB for this initiative introduced Ofcom to people who were very well motivated and with a high level of technical skill and expertise. He noted that Ofcom could not have provided such good service to its customers without the RSGB’s help.

Bury concludes by stating that he thinks the exchange of knowledge between Ofcom and radio amateurs will be an enduring legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games and that he sees this as a model for further fruitful cooperation between the two organizations. (RSGB)


The PhoneSat cubesat, originally planned for a December 2012 launch, now looks like it will fly aboard a new commercial rocket from Orbital Sciences Corporation in February. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Norm Seeley, KI7UP, reports:

The PhoneSat series of micro sat flights is a technology demonstration mission ultimately consisting of three 1 Unit CubeSats to be placed on-orbit in succession. The flights are intended to prove that a smartphone can be used to perform many of the functions required of a spacecraft bus.

The first satellite is built around the Nexus smartphone which will be running the Android operating system and will be enclosed in a standard 1 Unit cubesat structure. The main function of the phone is to act as the Onboard Computer, but the mission will also utilize the phone's Secure Digital card for data storage.

The bird will also have a 5 Megapixil camera for Earth Observation, and 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis magnetometer for attitude determination.

Ham radio wise, PhoneSat 1 carries an amateur radio payload that will downlink on 437.425 MHz. It must be noted that this overall design was chosen as one of the winners in the Aerospace category of Popular Science magazine "Best of What's New in 2012" awards. Its also quite a lot of flight hardware for such a tiny bird.

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

Also planned for this launch is the commercial DOVE-1 satellite for a technology demonstration nano satellite based on the triple CubeSat form factor. Dove-1 plans to transmit its telemetry and image data to the ground 145.825 MHz in the amateur radio band although this is a commercial mission. (ANS, AMSAT-UK)

From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the N2KEJ repeater serving Salem, New Jersey.


The Dayton Hamvention is soliciting nominations for its annual awards program. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Stephen Kinford, N8WB, has the details:

There are four Dayton Hamvention award categories that consist of the Radio Amateur of the Year. the Technical Achievement Award, the Special Achievement Award, and the Radio Club of the Year.

By way of background, the Amateur of the Year is for the special person who has made a long term commitment to the advancement of amateur radio.

The Technical Excellence Award is presented to a radio amateur that has made an outstanding technical advancement in the field of amateur radio.

The Special Achievement Award goes to a ham radio operator who has made an outstanding contribution to amateur radio primarily by spearheading a single significant project.

Last but by no means lest, the Club of the Year recognizes an organizations on several levels. These might be a contribution of mitigating the effects of disaster situations, support of public service events, amateur radio education, recruitment, youth programs, years of service and media coverage.

The cutoff date to submit nominations is February 15th. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Stephen Kinford, N8WB, in Wadsworth, Ohio.

More information and official nominating forms are now on-line at (Dayton Hamvention)


And still with Hamvention news, the SouthWest Ohio DX Association has announced that it will again sponsor the DX Dinner to be held in conjunction with the Hamvention 2013.

The date for this gathering is Friday, May 17th at the Dayton Marriott Hotel. This will be the 28th annual DX dinner and planners say that it is an excellent opportunity to make new friends, renew old acquaintances, as well as learn about past DXpeditions and those in the planning stages. More information is on the Web at (AJ8B)


Episode 5 of the Youth in Amateur Radio Podcast titled The Amateur Radio Bands, is now ready for download. Joe Andrews, KD0LOS, one of the Podcast producers has more:

In this episode we discuss the characteristics of the amateur radio bands and highlight a high school in St.Charles, Missouri, that is in the process of rebuilding a radio club for its students.

To listen to this episode, visit or look up the Youth in Amateur Radio Podcast on i-Tunes.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Joe Andrews, KD0LOS, for the Amateur Radio Newsline.

The Youth in Amateur Radio Podcast service is produced by a dedicated group of young hams to serve the needs of young radio amateurs, world wide. (YARP)


The theme for World Amateur Radio Day 2013 is Amateur Radio Entering Its Second Century of Disaster Communications.

Each year on April 18th, radio amateurs around the world celebrate World Amateur Radio Day. In 1913, the first recorded instance of amateur radio being used to provide communications in a natural disaster took place during severe flooding in the Midwest of the United States. This in part led to the formation of the International Amateur Radio Union in 1925.

Now, event planners say that activities surrounding World Amateur Radio Day 2013 can be a great opportunity to spread the word about what amateurs are doing in the field of disaster communications in the 21st Century. More is on-line at amateur-radio-day-2013. (IARU)


The Fuel Cell Energy Corporation has announced a project using a stationary fuel- cell power plant to support Microsoft's latest data-center research project. The power plant will use renewable biogas generated by a wastewater-treatment facility as the fuel source to generate ultra-clean and carbon-neutral electricity to power Microsoft's Data-Plant project in Cheyenne, Wyoming. This sub-megawatt power-plant project will enable Microsoft to evaluate the effectiveness of using FuelCell Energy power plants to efficiently power future sustainable data centers.

The sub-megawatt Direct Fuel Cell power plant will be installed at the Dry Creek Water Reclamation Facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming by the spring 2013. The fuel cell plant will provide 200 kilowatts of power for Microsoft's Data Plant which will be housed in a modular pre-assembled building that will the home of a server farm to recreate a data center environment.

The Direct Fuel Cell power plant will also provide excess power not used by the data center to the water reclamation facility to offset their electric costs. In the event of a grid outage, the Data Plant project and fuel cell plant will be configured to operate independently to provide continuous power. (Fuel Cell Energy Report)


Students at California’s Anacapa School will have several experts on hand for their annual Synthesis Unit which will explore the topic “Space: Where Are We Going?”

This year the school has scheduled an all- star lineup of presenters. These range from astrophysicists and astronomy experts on the cutting edge of modern interstellar research to specialists who will discuss how ancient Central American stargazers. The students will also visit Vandenberg Air Force Base to learn about space launch operations as part of their research. After the three days of presentations, students will be asked to create academic products designed to synthesize the information learned during the week with the goal of charting the nation’s future in space.

The annual, three-day event is Anacapa’s premier tool for developing critical thinking skills. Each Unit provides students with unique opportunities to explore a topic in depth. Expert speakers make individual presentations with plenty of time for questions and answers. More about this special event is on-line at (K6LCM)


Former amateur radio manufacturer Datong Electronics has been mentioned in the UK press. This following a recent $12 million dollar order win.

Datong was formed in 1974 by Dr. D. A. Tong, G8ENN. The company initially specialized in the development of Radio Frequency technology for use by amateur radio operators.

In the late 1970's and early 80's Datong was well known for a number of successful amateur radio products that included Filters, RF Speech Processors, Morse Tutor and an HF to VHF receive up-converter. The company's final amateur radio product was its 2 Meter Direction Finding unit known as the D F One that was produced in 1982. The D F One led Datong into the security and defense sectors where it found a ready market for its products in an era of heightened terrorist activity in the UK. At that point Datong stopped producing equipment for radio amateurs.

Datong PLC, as it is known today, provides a range of advanced high performance covert intelligence gathering solutions, supplying defense, homeland security and law enforcement agencies around the world. More about the company and its current products is on-line at (Southgate)


Some names in the news. First up are W5LUA and JA6CZD reportedly made the first 24 GHz EME contact between the USA and Japan on January 2nd.

Their QSO took place at 1430 UTC when both stations had about an hour of common time where each had 15 to 20 degrees of elevation to the Moon. JA6CZD used a 2.4 meter offset fed dish with a 22 watt transmitter. W5LUA also used a 2.4 meter offset fed dish and a Traveling Wave Tube mounted on the feed support providing 100 watts out.

W5LUA’s station was GPS locked and JA6CZD uses a Rubidium standard to control frequency. The mutual Doppler Shift placed both at about 24048.108 MHz based on a center frequency of 24048.100 MHz. This shifted down in frequency as the schedule took place. (ANS, W5LUA)


A number of articles written for Make Magazine by Diana Eng, KC2UHB, about getting started in amateur radio are now available on the web. These include Setting Up a Radio Shack; How-To: Set Up an HF Portable Radio While Hiking and Seeing Radio Waves With a Light Bulb to mention only three. Most of these articles date back to 2009 and 2010 but remain relevant today. More information is on-line at or simply do a Google search for Diana Eng. (Southgate)

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:


A major breakthrough in magnetic storage for data has been announced. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Jim Damron, N8TMW, has the details:

An atomically assembled array of 96 iron atoms containing one byte of magnetic information in antiferromagnetic states has been announced.

The findings, being reported in the journal Science, could help lead to a new class of nanomaterials for a generation of memory chips and disk drives that will not only have greater capabilities than the current silicon-based computers but will consume significantly less power. And they may offer a new direction for research in quantum computing.

According to Shan X. Wang, director of the Center for Magnetic Nanotechnology at Stanford University magnetic materials are extremely useful and strategically important to many major economies, but there aren’t that many of them. To make a brand new material is very intriguing and scientifically very important.

Until now, the most advanced magnetic storage systems have needed about one million atoms to store a digital 1 or 0. The new achievement is the product of a heated international race between elite physics laboratories to explore the properties of magnetic materials at a far smaller scale.

Last May, a group at the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Hamburg in Germany reported on the ability to perform computer logic operations on an atomic level.

The group at I.B.M.’s Almaden Research Center here in the United States has now created the smallest possible unit of magnetic storage by painstakingly arranging two rows of six iron atoms on a surface of copper nitride. Such closeness is possible because the cluster of atoms is antiferromagnetic. This is a rare quality in which each atom in the array has an opposed magnetic orientation. In common ferromagnetic materials like iron, nickel and cobalt, the atoms are magnetically aligned.

From Charleston West Virginia, I’m Jim Damron, N8TMW, reporting.

As this technology matures it could lead to a major breakthrough in magnetic based data storage for many industries as well as in future scientific endeavors. (Science)


A popular aboriginal radio station in Canada’s Northwest Territories is no longer on the air.

CKLB Radio made the announcement online early Saturday morning, January 5th. Its posting to the World Wide Web says that as of December 21st, the society didn't get the promised funding for the 2012 fiscal year, adding that it is nine months overdue. Because of this, those in charge of CKLB have no choice but discontinue the broadcasting service.

The post did not say if or when the station, which broadcasts on 101.9 FM, might be back on the air. This Aboriginal radio station is run by the Native Communications Society of the Northwest Territories. (RW)


Lectures on CubeSat Technology and Applications that will be held at von Karman Institute in Brussels, Belgium from January 29th to February 1st. In all there will be close to twenty sessions presented by a group of worldwide experts in this field. Participation is limited to 100 people. If you wish to attend you must pre-register on- line now at gathering. (ANS)


AMSAT is thanking all who participated in Straight Key Night on OSCAR 2013. It’s also requesting that if you have not yet done so to please take a moment to nominate someone you worked for Best Fist.

According top AMSAT, your nominee need not have the best Morse sending fist of those you heard, only of those you worked. Send your nomination to w2rs (at) amsat (dot) org. Those nominated will be recognized in an Amsat News Service bulletin in early February, and in an upcoming AMSAT Journal. (ANS)


This year's European DX Council Conference takes place Friday September 6th to Monday September 9th at Figueira da Foz, near Coimbra, Portugal. More details will be released in the near future at the EDXC web site at (EDXC)


In DX, K4ZW is currently on the air from South Sudan as Zed-81-Zed. He is active on High Frequency Bands mostly using CW. Please QSL via home call or electronically using Logbook of the World.

SM6CPY will be operational as 9X0PY from Rwanda between January 15th and the 31st. Activity will be holiday style on all bands using mainly CW and listening up 25 kHz. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

F6BLP is again be active as 6W7SK from Senegal through January 18th. Operations are holiday style using an IC-7000 into G5RV antenna operating mainly CW. QSL via F6BLP, direct or by the bureau.

F5OGL reports that back on March 24th and 25th, 2012, a station operating as TO4E, and claiming that he was on Europa Island was definitely not where he claimed to be. According to F5OGL tells the last TO4E DXpedition to Europa was in 2003 and there has not been any authorized activity from this island since.

Lastly, VK2CCC will be active from Lord Howe Island September 22nd to the 29th as VK9LL. He will focus on 160 and 80 meters. QSL direct via home call or electronically using Logbook of the World.


And finally this week, if an asteroid ever takes aim at our planet one MIT researcher says that shooting paintball pellets at it could bump it off its course. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK has more:

In the event that a giant asteroid is headed toward Earth, you’d better hope that it’s blindingly white. Why you ask? This is because one researcher believes that such a pale colored asteroid would reflect sunlight. So by bouncing a lot of photons off its surface could create enough of a force to push the asteroid into a different direction.

Sung Wook Paek is a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He says that if timed just right, pellets full of paint powder, launched in two rounds from a spacecraft at relatively close distance, would cover the front and back of an asteroid. This would more than double its reflectivity. Paek claims that the initial force from the pellets might bump an asteroid off course and that over time, the sun’s photons would deflect it even more.

But there are a few caveats. From his calculations, Paek estimates that it would take up to 20 years for the cumulative effect of solar radiation pressure to successfully pull the asteroid off an Earthbound trajectory. He also says that launching pellets with traditional rockets may not be an ideal option, as the violent takeoff may rupture the payload. Instead, he envisions paintballs may be made in space, in ports such as the International Space Station. There a spacecraft could then pick up a couple of rounds of pellets to deliver to the asteroid.

Paek’s paper detailing this unconventional strategy won the 2012 Move an Asteroid Technical Paper Competition. This is an award sponsored by the United Nations’ Space Generation Advisory Council, which solicits creative solutions to space-related problems from students and young professionals.

The challenge put forth by this year’s U.N. competition was to identify novel solutions for safely deflecting a near-Earth object, such as an asteroid. Scientists have proposed a wide variety of methods to avoid an asteroid collision. Some suggested launching a projectile or spacecraft to collide with an incoming asteroid. Other suggested detonating a nuclear bomb near an asteroid or equipping spacecraft as “gravity tractors,” using a craft’s gravitational field to pull an asteroid off its path. But when the judging was complete, Paek’s paintball strategy was deemed among the most novel approaches presented to date.

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

Researcher Paek recently presented his paper at the International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy. More about this theoretical way to deflect an asteroid off its trajectory is on-line at (MIT, Science OnLine, others)


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 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, N6ASH, saying 73 and we thank you for listening.

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

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