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ARNewsline Report 1851 -- Feb 1 2013:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on 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 structures.

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 relief.

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 to Congress.

But Whedbee kept at it, asking the FCC to reconsider.

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 tinyurl.com/petition-turned-down. (FCC)

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 for updates.

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 DOWN UNDER

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 coming days.

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. (VK3PC)

RESCUE RADIO: WICEN TASMANIAN BUSH FIRES OPERATIONS END

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 news service:

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 wound back.

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 other controlled.

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, VK3PC)

BREAKING DX NEWS: MARION ISLAND TO BE ON BY SUMMER

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 Flint, Michigan.

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 the past.

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. (Southgate, IARU-R1)

ENFORCEMENT: FCC ISSUES $8000 NAL FOR EAS VIOLATION

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 September 2011.

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. (FCC, RW)

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 details:

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 tinyurl.com/emergency-alerts-for-the-deaf (RW)

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 podcast distributors.

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 Patent.

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 ARRESTED

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 March. (B&C)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: CQ APPOINTS AA6TS AS NEW INTERNATIONAL EDITOR

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 ANNOUNCED

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. (WB8IFM)

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 amateur:

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 tinyurl.com/senior-citizen-RFID (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, Southgate)

WORLDBEAT: SARL ANTENNA DEFENSE FUND GETS A MAJOR BOOST

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 target.

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 FROM FLEVOLAND

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 radio bands.

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)

DX

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 home callsign.

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 useful products.

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)

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

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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