ARNewsline Report 1851 -- Feb 1 2013:
Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF)
February 1, 2013
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Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1851 –
February 1 2013
Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1851
with a release date of February 1 2013 to
follow in 5-4-3-2-1.
The following is a Q-S-T. The FCC turns down
a petition for reconsideration on its report
to Congress about ham radio emergency
communications; The 2013 Global Amateur Radio
Emergency Conference to be held this June in
Zurich, Switzerland and ham radio assistance
in the Australian flooding begins as
Tasmanian brush fire communications winds
down. Find out the details are on Amateur
Radio Newsline™ report number 1851 coming
your way right now.
RADIO LAW: PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION FROM
DENIAL OF PETITION FOR DECLARATORY RULING GN
DOCKET NO. 12-91 DENIED
The FCC has turned down a petition for
reconsideration on the text of its report to
Congress dealing with amateur radio and how
land use restrictions might interfere with
emergency communications. Mark Abramovich,
NT3V, is here with the details:
The FCC's Scot Stone, deputy chief of the
mobility division in the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau, responded to the
petition from James Whedbee, N0ECN, of
suburban Kansas City.
And, Stone's legal language was pretty direct
- essentially, the matter is decided and
Whedbee should stop wasting the FCC's time.
In his reasoning for refusing Whedbee's
petition, the FCC's Stone says the division
which rejected his first appeal of the matter
was within its rights to do so without any
further public hearing.
Stone also stated in legal terms that Whedbee
engaged in a "frivolous statutory
interpretation," of the FCC's regulations,
especially those stemming from PRB-1 which
authorized limited preemption of state and
local regulations governing amateur station
facilities, including antennas and support
But those regulations don't extend to private
codes, covenants and restrictions, known as
CC&Rs, including homeowner association rules
that restrict amateur radio facilities.
However, in 2001, the FCC left open the door
on prohibiting CC&Rs from interfering with
amateur radio if Congress so decided it
should do so.
This latest chapter in the ongoing debate was
launched in February 2012 when President
Obama signed the Middle Class Tax Relief and
Job Creation Act of 2012.
That bill also included a provision requiring
the FCC to report to Congress on the uses and
capabilities of Amateur Radio Service
communications in emergencies and disaster
It also directed the study identify
impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio Service
communications and make recommendations
regarding the removal of such impediments,
including "the effects of unreasonable or
unnecessary private land use restrictions on
residential antenna installations."
The FCC record shows Whedbee filed comments
pretty quickly claiming CC&Rs violated
sections of the Communications Act.
He also demanded the commission issue a legal
decision called a declaratory judgement -
essentially asking the FCC to rule without
any further hearings or delays that CC&Rs
were indeed an impediment to amateur radio
operations, causing a controversy for amateur
radio and were unenforceable.
The FCC denied Whedbee's petitions saying
that was going to be addressed in its report
But Whedbee kept at it, asking the FCC to
When the FCC issued its report to Congress
last August, it stated there was no
overwhelming public comment supporting any
problems related to CC&Rs and amateur radio.
The FCC's Stone finally addressed Whedbee's
appeal petition in a January 25th letter in
which he explained the report to Congress
essentially trumped Whedbee's appeal and
rendered the matter - using a legal term -
moot or essentially of little value or
meaning given the FCC's findings in the
report to Congress.
Amateur Radio Newsline made several attempts
to reach Whedbee, but was unsuccessful as we
went to air with this report.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Mark
Abramowicz, NT3V, in Philadelphia.
At airtime it’s not known if Whedbee plans to
file any further appeals on this matter. You
can read the entire text of this FCC decision
on-line in PDF format at
RESCUE RADIO: GAREC 2013 TO BE IN GENEVA JUNE
25 – 28
IARU Region One has announced that this years
Global Amateur Radio Emergency Conference or
GAREC 2013 will be held in Zurich,
Switzerland from June 25th to 28th. Among
the draft topics to be discussed are the
relevance of Amateur Radio Emergency
Communication in the '1st World,' and the
HAMNET high speed data network. There will
also be presentations from the three regions
of the IARU and talks by groups with recent
experience in disaster relief communications.
General information on GAREC 2013 including
information on the venue, registration fees
and the tentative agenda and the registration
forms is now available on line at
www.garec2013.ch. This website will be
updated frequently to keep all updated with
the latest news and program changes. You may
also e-mail to info (at) garec2013 (dot) ch
It should be noted that this years conference
has been timed to precede Europe's largest
amateur radio exhibition, HAM RADIO in
Friedrichshafen. Germany. This is so that
people can attend both events. (IARU-R1)
RESCUE RADIO: WICEN HAMS RESPOND TO FLOODING
Flooding has hit the Australian state of
Queensland. This as ex-tropical cyclone
Oswald that had already caused record
flooding has moved south.
Jim Linton, VK3PC, is the Chairman IARU Regon
3 Disaster Communications Committee. He
tells Amateur Radio Newsline that as this
disaster unfolds that a picture of emergency
communications provided by radio amateurs is
starting to emerge. According to Linton,
several High Frequency links have been
requested to be set up by the ham radio
emergency response group WICEN by the
Queensland Water Police. These links are to
connect the city of Brisbane to Cairns.
WICEN’s role is expected to expand in the
As this newscast is being prepared, four
people are reported to have died and others
are reported missing. Many thousands have
been left homeless and taking shelter in
relief centers as the widespread flooding,
which included tornados, is continuing.
RESCUE RADIO: WICEN TASMANIAN BUSH FIRES
Meantime, ham radio assistance by WICEN in
the Tasmanian brush fires has now come to an
end as we hear in this report from the
Wireless Institute of Australia’s ham radio
WICEN in Tasmania was finally stood down
after 20 continuous days of operation at the
Incident Management Centre at Cambridge, near
Hobart airport. Operations have now been
WICEN was posted by the Tasmania Fire
Services to mainly control the busy 80MHz
radio traffic during massive fires.
Although those the major fires, which started
on the 3rd of January on the Tasman Peninsula
and in the Derwent Valley, are still active,
one being classified as contained and the
The days serviced by WICEN and other southern
Tasmanian radio amateurs varied between 12
and 24 hours.
WICEN Tasmania (South) Operations Coordinator
Rod Finlayson VK7TRF reports that 24 radio
amateurs contributed to the effort, totalling
666 hours at the radio desk, plus time in
logistical support keeping up the supply of
operators to the task.
Seven operators did in excess of 45 hours
each, including three more than 60 hours and
one working a total of almost 80 hours.
Initially there were two operators on each of
the two networks, but this was wound back to
one after ten days.
For those who may not be aware, WICEN is an
acronym for the Wireless Institute Civil
Emergency Network. It is described as a
group of Australian amateur radio operators
trained to assist in emergency situations.
Their job is to provide emergency and safety
communications when normal communications do
not exist or are inadequate. (WIA News,
BREAKING DX NEWS: MARION ISLAND TO BE ON BY
Some breaking news in the world of DX.
Marion Island should be on the air before the
start of summer in the Northern latitudes.
This according to reports that South African
radio amateur David Hartzenberg, ZS1BCE, has
been appointed to be the new radio technician
to that rare location for one year between
April of this year and May of 2014.
Hartzenberg is expected to depart from Cape
Town on April 15th, and his amateur radio
operations are expected to begin about four
weeks later. Currently, he does not have a
Zed-S-8 callsign, but plans to apply for
ZS8D. Once set up, his operations will be on
SSB on most High Frequency bands.
And less we forget to mention: His QSL
Manager will be Pierre Tromp, ZS1HF, who
just happens to have been the last operator
from Marion Island using the call ZS8M. And
we will have more DX news for you near the
end of this weeks newscast. (OPDX)
From the United States of America, We are the
Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin
stations around the world including WMRP Low
Power FM serving Mundy Township south of
RADIO LAW: NEW RECOMMENDATION ON PLASMA TV
EMISSIONS IN EUROPE
Tired of hearing this when you tune your
favorite ham radio band?
That’s the sound made by a near-by plasma
television set. And now Europe is starting
to set some standards to make it a thing of
Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE, in Wabern, Germany
reports that a European specification or
recommendation on the limitation of the
emissions of plasma TVs between 150 kHz and
30 MHz. One that was approved in the last
meeting of the Comité International Spécial
des Perturbations Radioélectriques.
Even though it does not have the same legal
implications as a regular Electromagnetic
Compatibility standard, it does show the
plasma industry what could be part of one in
the future. It should be noted that this new
recommendation is the result of work started
in 2007 by an Electromagnetic Compatibility
working group of IARU Region One.
ENFORCEMENT: FCC ISSUES $8000 NAL FOR EAS
A noncommercial FM station in Puerto Rico has
been dinged $8000. This after the FCC found
that it was incapable of issuing an EAS alert
without human intervention.
Based on a complaint that it received, last
April agents from the Commission’s San Juan
office inspected WVID FM in Anasco, Puerto
Rico. At that time the station personnel
demonstrated to the agents that the EAS
equipment couldn’t transmit an emergency
message without someone manually reducing the
on-air programming volume down to zero or
mute. The station employee also told the
agents that he believed the equipment had
needed manual intervention since at least
Now in issuing the proposed monetary
forfeiture, the FCC notes that all stations
must ensure that EAS encoders, decoders,
attention signal generating and receiving
equipment is installed and operational so
that the monitoring and transmitting
functions are available when the station is
operating. When a station is unattended, the
rules require stations to use automatic
systems to interrupt programming to transmit
an alert. WVID is only staffed from 6 a.m.
to 7 p.m. and unattended overnight.
Centro Colegial Cristiano is the owner of
WVID FM and was given the customary 30 days
to appeal or pay the fine. It also has the
same amount of time to submit a sworn
statement to the San Juan office certifying
that its EAS equipment is now fully
operational when the station is unattended.
RESCUE RADIO: NPR LABS HOPES TO DEVELOP
EMERGENCY ALERT RADIO FOR THE DEAF
A new way to alert the deaf and hard of
hearing to oncoming disaster situations may
soon be on its way. Amateur Radio Newsline’s
Heather Embee, KB3TZD, is here with the
The trade newsletter Radio World reports that
NPR Labs personnel hope to begin a project
that demonstrates an emergency alerting
system for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
population in the United States. This, using
broadcast radio as the transmission medium.
The end goal of this research is to develop a
deaf-accessible radio receiver with a large
text display and bright flashing lights.
This in turn could alert the user of a
potential threat to life and property.
Rich Rarey is the NPR Labs Manager of
Strategic Technology Applications. He told
Radio World that there are currently some AM
radios with aural warnings and FM H-D
receivers that have very small text displays
but without accessible warning mechanisms.
He says that the aim of NPR Labs is to create
a receiver that is useful for deaf and hard-
of-hearing people, which will also be helpful
for alerting the general public as well.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Heather
Embee, KB3TZD, in Berwick, Pennsylvania.
You can read the entire report of this
potentially life saving project on-line at
RADIO LAW: PODCAST IS A PATENTED TERM OWNED
BY PERSONAL AUDIO LLC
If you are a podcaster or thinking of
becoming a podcaster, even on a very small
scale, then its worth your time to read an
article on who owns the rights to the term
podcasting that appeared in a recent issue of
the chron dot com business report.
In a nutshell, it appears as if the term
podcast is not generic as most people might
think. Rather it is a patented system owned
by a company called Personal Audio LLC that
developed it and other internet streaming
back in 1996. And now Personal Audio LLC has
decided to assert its rights by going after
both podcast content creators as well as
So far it has won every case that has gone to
trial. Even Apple has lost to them. In that
case a jury awarded Personal Audio LLC an $8
million judgment plus $4 million in interest
for infringing on the company’s The Playlist
So if you run a podcast or are thinking of
creating one, you might want to take a few
moments to read the story at
tinyurl.com/podcast-patent and then talk to a
knowledgeable patent attorney before
proceeding or continuing your podcasting
journey. It could theoretically save you
every penny that you have ever will make or
have saved. (chron.com)
RADIO LAW: MAN WHO POINTED LASER AT AIRCRAFT
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that an
unnamed Oakland resident has been arrested
for allegedly shining a laser at two aircraft
hovering over the scene of a shooting on
Monday, January 21st.
The 40-year-old man is alleged to have aimed
a red laser several times at a KGO television
helicopter as it flew about 1,000 feet over
the scene of the incident in which an
undercover Oakland officer was shot in the
arm. The man is also alleged to have shined
the laser at a California Highway Patrol
fixed wing aircraft that was circling at
about 3,500 feet. Thankfully no one aboard
either aircraft was injured.
Under Title 18 Sub-part 39A, whoever
knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at
an aircraft in the jurisdiction of the United
States, or at the flight path of such an
aircraft, shall be fined or imprisoned for up
to 5 years, or both. (Media News)
RADIO LAW: COALITION PUSHES FCC TO RECLAIM
AT LEAST 120 MHZ OF BROADCAST SPECTRUM
The coalition of broadcasters willing to sell
spectrum rights has grown to 39 major market
stations. This according to comments filed
to the FCC by the Expanding Opportunities for
Broadcasters Coalition. The trade group also
wants the regulatory agency to make the
auction as attractive as possible by not
limiting wireless bidders or which stations
can share spectrum.
The coalition was formed because the
principal broadcast trade association, the
National Association of Broadcasters, is
focusing on making sure the auctions hold
harmless broadcasters who are not selling and
want to remain in the business. The
coalition members don't have to identify
themselves publicly because of the obvious
competitive and operational issues related to
publicizing their willingness to sell.
However they are reportedly pushing the FCC
to reclaim at least 120 MHz of spectrum.
The deadline for comments on the FCC's
framework for broadcast incentive auctions
was January 25th. Reply comments are due in
NAMES IN THE NEWS: CQ APPOINTS AA6TS AS NEW
CQ magazine will be adding a monthly
international news column called CQ World
Wide as of its April edition. The new column
will be coordinated by new International
Editor Tom Smerk, AA6TS. Smerk lives in
Dulzura, California and has been active in
ham radio since 1988. He is active in ARES®,
SKYWARN®, RACES, California Disaster Corps
and CERT, and is a volunteer examiner as
well. For the past 25 years, he has taught
business information technology for the San
Diego Community College District. Hams with
news of events and activities outside the
United States can contact Smerk by e-mail to
aa6ts (at) cq-amateur-radio (dot) com. (CQ)
HAM HAPPENINGS: QCWA DAYTON BANQUET
More Dayton Hamvention related news this
week. This in the announcement by the
Quarter Century Wireless Association that it
will be holding QCWA Banquet: on Friday May
17th at the Dayton Airport Holiday Inn. The
dinner begins at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight
Time . The after dinner speaker will be
James Crabtree with a presentation on
Lincoln. Cost is $25 per person.
Reservations and payment go to Jerry Ragland,
WA8BOB, 409 Park Av. Franklin, Ohio, 45005.
HAM HAPPENINGS: 39th ANNUAL EASTERN
VHF/UHF/MICROWAVE CONFERENCE APRIL IN CT.
Registration is now open for the 39th annual
Eastern VHF/UHF and microwave conference to
be held April 26th to the 28th at the Baymont
Inn and Suites in Manchester, Connecticut.
This years program includes numerous talks
and presentations for those who enjoy
operating in the world above 50 MHz. This
yearly get together is sponsored by the North
East Weak Signal Group. More information
including registration and hotel information
can be found at www.newsvhf.com/vhfconf.html
(W1GHX, VHF Reflector)
This is ham radio news for today’s radio
amateur. From the United States of America,
We are the Amateur Radio Newsline with links
to the world from our only official website
at www.arnewsline.org and being relayed by
the volunteer services of the following radio
EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: ADAPTING RFID TO
IDENTIFY AND MONITOR HUMAN ACTIVITY
Australia’s University of Adelaide computer
scientists are leading a project to develop a
novel sensor system to aid senior citizens.
One that would help older people to keep
living independently and safely in their own
homes. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Bruce
Tennant, K6PZW, is here with the details:
To accomplish this far reaching goal of
aiding the senior citizen community,
researchers down-under are adapting radio
frequency identification better known as RFID
sensor technologies to automatically identify
and monitor human activity. This in turn
makes it possible to determine if an
individual's normal routine is being
maintained so that timely assistance can be
provided if it is needed.
Although RFID technology has been around
since World War II and is in common use today
in applications such as anti-shoplifting and
vehicle identification at toll road
collection points, its potential use in
interpreting human activity remains largely
in the laboratory.
The chief investigator for this project is
Dr. Michael Sheng at he University of
Adelaide. He says that work will be among
the first few projects in the world
conducting large-scale common-sense reasoning
in automatic human activity recognition. In
addition the system will be low-cost and
unobtrusive, and without the privacy issues
and intensive monitoring of video
surveillance. There will be no need for
older people to wear anything or turn
anything on or off.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Bruce
Tennant, K6PZW. In Los Angeles.
The technology will be first investigated in
a laboratory setting and then in hospital
trials with geriatric patients. More aboiut
this possible new use for RFID is on line at
(Radio Comms E-zine, VK7WI News)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: NEW ANIMATED UK VIDEO
FEATURES UKUBE-1 AND FUNCUBE
A new animated video has been released that
tells the story pf the UK Space Agency's
first CubeSat UKube-1 slated to launch in the
3rd quarter of 2013. UKube-1 will carry a
set of AMSAT-UK FUNcube transponder boards to
provide a 435 to 145 MHz linear transponder
and a 1200 bps BPSK beacon for educational
outreach. For more information on FUNcube
and a link to the video please take your web
browser to www.amsat-uk.org (AMSAT-UK,
WORLDBEAT: SARL ANTENNA DEFENSE FUND GETS A
The South Africa Radio League’s Antenna
Defense Fund increased to 37,100 Rand which
equates to 4100 U.S. dollars. This, on its
way to its 50000 Rand or 6000 U-S dollar
The funds first contribution from industry
came from the Radio Accessories and Data
Modems Company which made 6000 Rand donation
to the fund. As previously reported, this
fund is to assist South African hams facing
antenna restrictions and the like. (SARL)
WORLDBEAT: PH00ZWAT ON THE AIR UNANNOUNCED
Shortwave radio writer Kim Andrew Elliott
advises that a special short term amateur
radio station with the callsign P-H-00-Z-W-A-
T was active January 26th and 27th UTC time.
This from the former Radio Nederlands
Flevoland antenna site near the town of
Zeewolde in the Netherlands.
The operators were reported to be using
relatively low power feeding the various
curtain type directional arrays at 120 meters
height on the various High Frequency amateur
According to Jonathan Marks, G8WGN, there
have been several events like this. The first
was in February 1985 when special event
station PA6FLD took to the airwaves. Video
of that operation was included in the ARRL
film “The New World of Amateur Radio”
produced and hosted by the late Roy Neal,
K6DUE. (G8WGN via Critical Distance Weblog)
In DX, word that W1USN, AA1M and W1SSR will
be on the air stroke PJ2 from Curacao between
March 8th and the the 22nd. Their activity
will be on 160 through 10 meters using CW,
SSB, PSK and RTTY. QSL via their home
callsigns either direct or by the bureau.
Members of the Westnet DX Group will once
again be active as EJ7NET from the Aran
Islands between May 10th and the 15th.
Operations will be on all HF bands and modes.
QSL via Logbook of thr World or direct to
EI6FR. No eQSL or bureau QSLs will be
accepted for this operation.
DF7ZS will again be on the air from Aruba
between March 26th and April 3rd. Activity
will include the CQ World Wide WPX SSB
Contest from March 30th to the 31st as a
Single-Operator All-Band entry. Some casual
operations will take place before and after
the contest on 17 and 12 meters. QSL via his
PA0FAW says that he will be operating with
the special callsign PF100ZOO between
February 1st and the 28th. This activity is
to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the
Arnhem Zoo. Operations will mainly be CW and
SSB, with some digital modes. QSL via PA0FAW
either direct, via the bureau or
electronically using eQSL. SWL reports are
also welcome and appreciated.
TU5KG is once again traveling through the
South Indian Ocean on a fishing boat. As in
past years, he will be sailing in both the
Kerguelen and Crozet Island regions, and may
activate the islands if he goes ashore) using
his new callsigns. These are FT5XT for
Kerguelen and FT5WQ for Crozet. When at sea
he will sign TU5KG maritime mobile.
QSL via F4DXW, direct only.
Lastly, ten operators from the Oceania DX
Group will be operational from Norfolk Island
between May 3rd and the 13th as VK9NT. The
group plans to have 4 stations covering all
bands 80-10 meters on CW, SSB and RTTY. An
Online QSL Request Service will be available
for bureau and direct cards on ClubLog which
is the preferred method or direct to VK2CA.
(Above from various DX news sources)
THAT FINAL ITEM: 15 YEAR OLD INVENTOR FROM
SIERRA LEONE VISITS MIT
And finally this week, the story of a young
inventor who is already leaving a very
positive mark on society. Here’s David
Black. KB4KCH, with the rest of the story:
Kelvin Doe is not a ham radio operator but he
is being called the wonder kid of Sierra
Leone and with good reason. This is because
the 15 year old who recently won a trip to
visit the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology taught himself how to build
generators, batteries, and FM radios using
parts he found in the trash.
In the best tradition of the maker and hacker
movement he does it using things that would
otherwise have been thrown out and, with
almost no formal training, turns them into
Doe's inventions are especially valuable in
his hometown where, according to Kelvin, the
lights there only turn on “about once a
week.” Kelvin builds batteries and
generators to provide electricity for his
family. He also uses his home made gear to
operate a successful radio station where he
is known as DJ Focus.
Kelvin says he hopes to use his radio station
as a way for the youth in Sierra Leone to
debate about issues in their area. He says
he plans to build a windmill generator to
provide more stable electricity for his town.
Kelvin Doe visited MIT as part of the
university’s Visiting Practitioners Program.
The Syllabus allows inventors to use MIT’s
plentiful resources and perform their own
research in the schools labs.
Kelvin Doe became the youngest ever Visiting
Practitioner after winning the Innovate
Salone Challenge. Innovate Salone runs a
program that asks young citizens of that
nation to creatively come up with solutions
to problems facing their community.
From the South-East Bureau in Birmingham
Alabama, I’m David Black, KB4KCH.
In our view, its young people like Kelvin
Doe, who will be the ones who will truly
advance all of mankind in the years and
decades to come, and the world really needs a
lot more like him. (StarAfrica.com)
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
Before we go, a note to those of you who
obtain these newscasts over the 661-296-2407
dial up line. While we have decided to keep
it in service a while longer, it will be down
for equipment maintenance from Febdruay 4th
to the 12th or there-abouts. Parts are
getting really scarce for the antique gear
used to feed the phone line, so we must do
what we can to keep things going. If you are
a phone access user, please make alternate
arrangements to obtain the newscast until we
can return the system to operation.
Also a reminder that the Dayton Hamvention is
seeking nominations for its 2013 Radio
Amateur of the Year, Technical Achievement,
Special Achievement and the Radio Club of the
Year awards. The cutoff date to submit
nominations is February 15th. More
information and official nominating forms are
now on-line at www.Hamvention.org/awards.PHP.
For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the
editors’ desk, I’m Jim Damron, N8TMW, in
Charleston, West Virginia, saying 73 and we
thank you for listening.
Amateur Radio Newsline™ is Copyright 2013.
All rights reserved.
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