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ARNewsline Report 1852 -- Feb 8 2013:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on February 8, 2013
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Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1852 – February 8 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1852 with a release date of February 8 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a Q-S-T. New Zealand to take a fresh look at its 70 centimeter bandplan; Italian amateurs regain temporary access to the pan-European 70 MHz band; an update on ham radio assistance in the flooding down-under and radio helps solve another mystery of the universe. Find out the details are on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1852 coming your way right now.

RADIO LAW: REVIEW OF THE 70 CENTIMETER BAND PLAN DOWN-UNDER

A frequency conflict on 70 centimeters has lead to the review of a ham radio bandplan down-under. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, reports:

The New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitter's or NZART Council has decided a review of the current 70 cm bandplan is desirable as a conflict with the IARU Region III bandplan has been identified by a number of formal complaints to both NZART and Radio Spectrum Management or RSM. The Council considers it part of its responsibilities to amateur radio that it reviews the Bandplans when significant changes occur in the use of the spectrum.

Due to the discrepancy between the NZART 70 cm Bandplan and the IARU Region III Bandplan, the review will give consideration to concerns regarding the operation of Amateur Television. It will also consider interference received from UHF Low Interference Potential Devices by equipment ham radio operate such as 70 cm repeaters even though the National System was re- engineered to be resistant to this some time ago.

This proposed review is now on the agenda of the Council face to face meeting in this month and it is hoped that submissions will be called for shortly afterwards. The NZART Council will seek feedback from existing operators on the 70 cm band. It is interested in learning about any interference presently being received or any that may occur in the future while operating on this band. The review is also planned to be a discussion topic at the Technology Convention in Auckland, where it is anticipated it will be presented as a Draft Final Recommendation for comment, before being presented to NZART Council.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, in Nelson, New Zealand.

The NZART says that it will soon be inviting comment from parties interested in providing submissions to a Committee appointed at the Council Face To Face gathering to perform this review. Submissions from New Zealand 70 cm Band users on the current 70 cm Bandplan or suggestions to improve it will be most useful.

(NZART)

RESTRUCTURING: ITALIAN AMATEURS BACK ON 70MHZ

Italian amateurs have regained access to the pan-European 70MHz band. That is at least until December 31st of this year.

All Italian stations are authorized to use 70MHz, unless they are within 30km of the borders with Austria, Switzerland or France. Frequencies in use are 70.100, 70.200 and 70.300MHz, with 25kHz of bandwidth. All modes are permitted with a maximum power of 50 watts Effective Radiated.

(Southgate)

RESCUE RADIO: VK FLOODING UPDATE

Ham radio continues to provide aid in the wake of flooding that hit the Australian state of Queensland. WIA Newsman Graham Kemp, VK4BB, has the latest:

VK4BB: “The Queensland, VK4 disaster continues and as the state begins its big clean-up and recovery phase, a picture of emergency communications provided by radio amateurs is starting to emerge.

Initial reports from Neil McCloud, VK4ERM. WIA National WICEN Coordinator are that HF links were requested by Queensland Water Police. Other WICEN help was given to the Townsville and Rockhampton regions pending repair by Telstra of its fiber optic cables to the North.

Widespread power and communications disruption will take a number of days by repair crews. No more is immediately known about WICEN and its emergency role, but this should be learn’t before next weeks broadcastcast.

At least six people have died in Queensland; others are missing and many thousands are homeless and sheltering in relief centers while some towns remain inundated and Isolated.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Graham Kemp, VK4BB, of the WIA News in Australia.

The weather system that caused record Queensland flooding was caused by ex-tropical cyclone Oswald, That weather system then moved south to affect many parts of the Australian state of New South Wales. (WIA News)

RADIO POLITICS: ARRL BOARD MEETING REPORT NOW ON LINE

Back on this side of the Pacific, the ARRL Board of Directors held its 2013 Annual Meeting January 18th and 19th in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. At the meeting, the board set its legislative objectives for the 113th Congress, approved the organization’s amended financial plan, elected members to the Executive Committee and ARRL Foundation, bestowed awards and more. You can read the complete report of the Boards actions on line at tinyurl.com/arrl-board-2013. (ARRL)

RADIO LAW: FIRST FCC HEARINGS HELD ON HURRICANE SANDY

In the first of several field hearings to discuss the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, several communications industry experts said access to fuel before, during and after a crisis was of utmost importance. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, is here with more on what transpired at the gatherings held last week in New York City and New Jersey:

While there was not much that affected ham radio, right off the top it was noted that none of the broadcast stations in the areas affected by hurricane Sandy went off the air. In the case of Clear Channel Communications which owns a number of broadcast properties in the region most impacted by the super- storm the company had pre-staged generator fuel well ahead of time. Clear Channel Chairman John Hogan noted that some employees even camped out for days, making sure the groups facilities stayed on the air.

Dave Davis is the president and general manager of WABC television in New York City. He agreed disaster planning is essential. Anticipating power outages due to the storm, Davis asked asked ESPN to feed content to the company’s two sister radio stations in the affected market. Those stations also remained on the air.

The manager of social media for the New York Fire Department described how she kept in contact with residents who had no phone service using Twitter. She then passed along their information to 911 authorities. As a result, the panelists discussed how to better incorporate more social media into emergency alerting. However WABC’s Davis noted that while social media can be a great tool, that the public needs accurate information, especially to disprove Internet rumors.

Finally, in his commentary Clear Channel Chairman Hogan said the FCC might want to encourage wireless carriers to include or activate FM chips in their cellphones. This he said would make radio available to more people in an emergency even if other forms of communications are not.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, in the Studio, in Los Angeles.

In her comments, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai cited Arbitron ratings service information that estimated about one million people were listening to radio the day Sandy hit the East coast. (RW, other published news reports)

From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the JR6YQF Amateur Radio Society serving the island of Okinawa in the mid-Pacific.

PROPAGATION: 15 TO 10 METER RADIO BLACKOUT CAUSED BY ERRUPTING SUNSPOT

If you operate 10 and 15 and were listening on Saturday February 2nd and several days afterward, the bands likely sounded like this:

Actual band noise recording.

That’s what happened to the spectrum from 21 to 28 or so Megahertz when a tiny sunspot erupted into a moderately sized solar flare/ One that radio astronomers say completely drowned out radio communication on these frequencies world-wide.

The recording was made at our studio on a venerable Kenwood TS-520 and MFJ vertical soon after we heard about the flare. And as reported by several solar observation sources, it appears as if the sun is beginning a period of high activity as it enters its maximum of its 11-year solar cycle.

Radio Astronomer James Thieman, who leads NASA’s JOVE project described the event was a fairly good-sized surge. He explained that the solar burst that happened on February 2nd accelerated electrons to high energies. This electron stream created plasma in the sun's atmosphere which traveled to Earth and caused some disruption in high frequency radio communications.

Despite this, many astronomers note that the Sun has been relatively quiet for the last few months, producing few large solar flares or coronal mass ejections. These occur when a star throws off charged particles into space that travel at speeds of millions of kilometers per hour. (NASA, SDR, Wired, others)

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: CONGRESS REMOVES EXPORT PROHIBITION ON SATELLITES

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, passed by Congress in late December and now signed by President Obama has removed a restriction that has essentially shut down international cooperation for building amateur satellites in the past decade.

Under the old law, satellites and their component parts were considered to be "munitions" and their export to other countries was severely limited. This made it impossible for amateur satellite organizations in different countries to work together on major projects. For example, the last big amateur satellite, Phase 3D. It was built jointly by AMSAT groups in the U.S., Germany and other countries, but that was before the international cooperation measure was put in place.

The new law restricts satellite exports only to China, North Korea and countries identified as state sponsors of terrorism, as well as those under trade embargoes. A recommendation from the Departments of State and Defense said the old law impeded the ability of American satellite builders to work with international partners while providing no noticeable benefit to national security. (CQ)

HAM RADIO PUBLIC RELATIONS: THAT GUY WITH THE HAM RADIO

Kraft foods has produced a new set of television commercials called the Velveeta- Eat-Like-That-You-Know campaign, and one of the 15 second spots fe

atures ham radio in a very positive light.

The ham radio spot is titled “That Guy with the Ham Radio” and appears to be one of five new commercials for Kraft’s Velvita Shells and Cheese lunch and dinner product. Others in the series are titled “That Guy That Drives That Limo,” “That Guy That Paints Those Landscapes,” “That Helicopter Guy at the Mall” and “That Guy That Owns That Aquarium Store.”

All are fast paced and fun to watch. You can see them on-line at genericbaldman.com/Velveeta-Eat-Like-That- You-Know. But be forewarned, watching any of these spots may leave you quite hungry. (ARRL PR Remailer)

MEDIA SURVEY: KPMG SAYS TELEVIEWERS ARE MULTITASKERS

A new study by the research firm KPMG has concluded that 60% of American television viewers are also devoted multitaskers who watch television while accessing the Internet at the same time.

KPMG's findings were based on a global online survey of 9,000 people in nine countries, including the United States that was conducted lasst October. The survey also concluded that even though multiple devices vie for consumers' attention, that most people still prefer to watch television shows, movies and other video on the TV. Only 14% of those surveyed prefer to watch video on their smartphones or tablets.

According to KPMG, these results suggest that the next big disruption in living room viewing may come from so called "Smart TVs." These arer Internet-connected sets that afford the viewer access to traditional TV broadcasts as well as online services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon.com.

KPMG is one of the world’s largest professional services companies and one of the so-called Big Four auditors with global headquarters located in the Netherlands. Its findings hold implications for network programmers and advertisers, which can no longer be sure which screen is drawing the viewer's eyes. (Published news reports)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: FCC CHAIRMAN WILL NOT DISCLOSE HIS FUTURE CAREER PLANS

Some names in the news. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski remains silent on whether he is planning to leave that post anytime in the near future. According to news reports Genachowski would not respond to a press conference question asked on Thursday, January 31st regarding his short-term plans.

Genachowski would only say that he is working hard every day and that the FCC has a terrific agenda and that he is focused on that agenda. That echoed his answer over the last several months when asked whether he is leaving given the widespread belief in D.C. communications circles that he would exit early in the president’s new term, either for a private sector job or another Administration post. (B&C)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: SATELLITE EXPLORER APP NOW AVAILABLE

Tom Doyle, W9KE, has released “Satellite Explorer.” This is described as a Windows 8 app that runs on Intel based tablets, laptops and desktops as well as Windows RT tablets like the Microsoft Surface. It is available in the Windows Store if you search for “Satellite Explorer.” The app itself is free but if you find it of value you are asked to please contribute to your favorite AMSAT project. A video preview of it can be seen on-line at tinyurl.com/satellite-explorer- 2013. (W9KE)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: FIRST AWARD FOR ALL VICTORIAN NATIONAL PARKS TO VK3ZPF

The honor of the achieving the first Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award by operating from all 45 parks in Australia’s Victoria State has gone to Peter Fraser, VK3ZPF. Not only did Fraser operate portable from all national parks, but also worked from 25 of them on the 20, 40 and 80 meter bands. In addition he made contact with 25 on mixed bands and 15 on 40m. (VK3PC)

HAM HAPPENINGS: 11TH WORLD HIGH SPEED TELEGRAPHY CHAMPIONSHIP IN BULGARIA

Turning to the ham radio social scene, the Bulgarian Federation of Radio Amateurs will host the 11th World High Speed Telegraphy Championship in the city of Borovets. This from September 22nd to the 26th. Competitors from all over the world are invited to take part. More information is on-line at www.bfra.org or by e-mail to bfra_hq (at) hotmail (dot) com. (BFRA)

ELECTRONIC TRAINING: PROMER ON MICS IN NYC ON FEBRUARY 12

“Is This Thing On? … Let’s Talk Mics” is the title of a primer on microphones being held on Tuesday, February 12th by the Audio Engineering Society’s New York Section. The venue is the New School Jazz Performance Space in New York City with the session beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The host is David Bialik, who is the CBS Radio streaming operations project manager. He’ll be joined by Mike Webber, Peter E. Schmitt Co., David Shinn, and Henry Cohen.

The event is open to the public. The site is located at 55 West 13th Street, between 5th and 6th Aves on the fifth floor. (RW)

HAM HAPPENINGS: SPEAKERS NEEDED FOR 2013 HAM RADIO TOWN MEETING

And for the past 15 years or so, Amateur Radio Newsline has produced and presented "The Ham Radio Town Meeting” at the Dayton Hamvention. Whenever possible, we try to stay close as possible to the Hamvention's overall theme which this year is simply "DX." And in going with that theme, this years Ham Radio Town Meeting will be titled "What DXing Means To Me" and will be a very personal glance at the various aspects of DXing from those who are involved in so many different ways.

The 2013 Ham Radio Town Meeting will be on Saturday, May 18th, at the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio. We usually are scheduled from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT. If you are interested in being a speaker please contact us by e-mail to newsline (at) arnewsline (dot) org or using the fill-in-the-blanks form at www.arnewsline.org/contact. Either way, please include all of your act information, including a SKYPE ID if you have one so that I can get back to you.

Thank you in advance and we hope to see some of you this May at Hamvention 2013. (ARNewsline)

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: TETHERCELL BLUETOOTH REMOTE CONTROL

Looking for a new way to remotely control things? Tethercell may be the answer to your needs.

Tethercell is a plastic case the size of an AA battery, embedded with Bluetooth 4.0 transponder, which is powered by an AAA battery that fits inside. The Bluetooth- enabled battery is then synced with an app on your smart phone that allows you to turn the device on and off, set a timer and even monitor the amount of power remaining.

According to its inventors Trey Madhyastha and Kellan O'Connor, this first version of Tethercell as a test bed for future applications. Its also an opportunity to get the technology in the hands of the public.

Only one catch. If you want one, you’ll have to wait until May or June to get one. More including a demonstration video is on-line at tinyurl.com/tethercell. (OnLine News)

WORLDBEAT: COMMUNITY RADIO COMING TO NIGERIA

AllAfrica.com reports that Nigeria is about to activate some 800 low-power community radio stations throughout rural areas of the country. This to broadcast information about the federal government’s policies and programs.

Mike Omeri is the Director General of Nigeria’s National Orientation Agency. He explainede that the venture is in collaboration with the Nigeria Community Radio Coalition. Omeri said that the new radio stations are a result of problems found in rural communities that currently have less access to information about the government.

Joseph Obodeze is the Director of Research and Policy. He added that some areas of Nigeria are so remote that they only receive radio transmissions from neighboring Cameroon instead of domestic stations. Nigeria hopes to have all of the new low power stations in operation by the middle of the year. (AllAfrica.com, RW)

RADIO ADVENTURES: TOUR OF NEW BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE STARTS IN APRIL

If you are planning a vacation in the United Kingdom and are interested in radio, then you will be happy to know that the British Broadcasting Company’s new facility tour launches in April.

While on the tour some of the things you're likely to see include a camera's eye view into some of the studios broadcasting such programs as the Six O'Clock News and Radio 1. Trained guides will also present a rich history of the building and the BBC.

The Broadcasting House Tour will be available seven days a week. Further details at tinyurl.com/new-bbc-tour (Southgate)

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: OSSI 1 TO LAUNCH IN 2ND QUARTER OF 2013

OSSI-1, the Open Source Satellite Initiative developed by DS1SBO, is now planned for launch in the 2nd quarter of 2013. The tiny satellite will be placed into a 575 km high, 63° inclination orbit after being carried aloft on-board a Soyuz-2-1b rocket from the Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan.

Initial reports say OSSI-1 will have a beacon in the 145 MHz band, a data communications transceiver in the 435 MHz band although actual operating frequencies have yet to be published. The data communications transceiver is reported to be using an open protocol although details have not yet been released yet. OSSI-1 will also carry a 44 watt LED optical beacon to flash Morse Code messages to observers on Earth. (ANS)

IARU SATELLITE COORDINATION BOARD SAYS DOVE-1 WILL NOT USE 145.825

The Dove-1 technology development experiment to be launched on the inaugural launch of Antares rocket in February from Wallops Island, Virginia will no longer be using frequencies in the amateur radio bands. This based on information posted on the IARU satellite coordination web page for the mission.

The satellite sponsors had requested coordination for a 1 watt transmitter on 145.825 MHz to downlink a 1200 baud AFSK AX.25 beacon with telemetry and health data. What new non-amateur radio frequencies Dove-1 will use are not shown in the latest frequency coordination listings. (AMSAT-UK)

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: AMSAT-UK TO PROVIDE AMATEUR RADIO PAYLOAD FOR ESEO SATELLITE

AMSAT-UK reports that it will be providing an FM transponder and a BPSK telemetry beacon for the European Student Earth Orbiter or ESEO satellite.

The target audience of this mission is primary and secondary students and the project includes the development of a simple ground station operating on VHF frequencies in the Amateur Satellite Service.

The ground station will consist of an omni- directional antenna feeding a FUNcube Dongle PRO+ SDR receiver. This system will receive signals direct from the satellite and transfer the data to specially developed graphical software running on any Windows laptop.

The satellite is planned to launch in the 2015 to 2016 time frame into a low Earth orbit and will be the third mission within the European Space Agency's Education Satellite Program. (AMSAT-UK)

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: FOX-1 MAIN COMPUTER ENGINEERING PROTOTYPE COMES ALIVE

The Fox-1 development team reports that the first engineering model of the satellite's Integrated Housekeeping Unit or IHU has been constructed. Bdale Garbee, KB0G, performed the assembly work, and he was able to load and run the operating system on first power up on January 24, 2013.

Meanwhile, the software team is hard at work getting drivers and features ready to fully test the hardware. They have committed to a March delivery of software for IHU testing. (ANS)

DX

In DX, RW6ACM will be active as RI1ANP from the Russian Antarctic station Progress from February 1st through the end of year. Modes and exact operating times are not known. QSL via RN1ON, direct or via the bureau.

I2JIN is currently operational from El Salvador as YS3CW. He is reportedly operating mainly CW on the 10 to 80m bands. QSL via I2JIN, direct, via the bureau or electronically using Logbook of the World.

F6AML is visiting Zanzibar until February 28th and signing 5H1Z on the 10 to 40m bands using SSB and CW. He will also try to activate the Islands on the Air groups AF- 054, AF-063 and AF-075 while in the area. QSL via F6AML via the bureau or direct. No eQSLs on this one.

K0YAK will operate as ST2SF from the Sudan until mid-April. He hopes to be on 40 through 10 meters. QSL to his home call.

SM7GIB will be active as D44TIB from Cape Verde between February 25th and March 8th. His operation will be holiday style using a wire vertical on 160-10 meters. QSL via his home callsign.

Lastly, Prefix hunters will be interested to hear that TC16BURSA will be active through March 19th. This station is located in Bursa, Turkey and operated by members of local branch of the Turkish Radio Amateur Club. QSL as directed on the air.

(Above from various DX news sources)

THAT FINIAL ITEM: EXPLAINING A MYSTERY OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM

And finally this week, thanks to radio and radio astronomy, another of the mysteries of the solar system has been solved. Heres Amateur Radio Newsline’s Don Carlson, KQ6FM, with the details:

According to a team of astronomers, they now understand why particles from inside the solar system bounce off what is described as a ribbon of energy boundary and as a result, neutral atoms from that collision stream inward toward the Sun. This they say is caused by a strange band of energy that appears to wrap around the entire solar system and creates a sort of energy field that push particles inward.

The ribbon of energy was first discovered by NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer or IBEX mission. Since that data was radioed back to Earth, astronomers and scientists around the world have struggled to identify the source of the barrier, and explain why particles seem to be driven back towards the sun.

Now, in a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal, astronomers lead by Dr. Nathan Schwadron of the University of New Hampshire have put forth the so-called retention theory that for the first time explains the key observation of the unexplained ribbon’s width. The theory says that the mysterious band of energy exists in a location where neutral hydrogen atoms from the solar wind meet a local galactic magnetic field. As a result, the neutral atoms, which are not affected by magnetic fields, become charged ions and begin gyrating rapidly around magnetic field lines. The result is that these ions are aimed back toward the sun.

While the latest theory is not the first to propose a solution to the galactic puzzle, Schwadron’s hypothesis provided a key point overlooked by other researchers. That being the rapid rotation creates waves or vibrations in the magnetic field, and the charged ions then become physically trapped in a region by these waves, which in turn would amplify the ion density and produce the broader ribbon seen.

The result of all this is that Schwadron’s theory could provide astronomers with a better understanding of how the solar system interacts with interstellar space. It could also provide insight into the magnetic fields of the interstellar medium, which astronomers say still remain largely a mystery.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Don Carlson, KQ6FM, watching the clear nighttime sky up here in Reno.

Right now the ultimate source of the bands itself still remains largely unclear. NASA has yet to announce any future plans aimed at discovering the ultimate source of the ribbon itself. You can read more about this interesting phenomena at tinyurl.com/space- boundry. (Space Reporter, Space News, others)

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 WIA News, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline™. Our e-mail address is newsline (at) arnewsline (dot) org. More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's™ only official website located at 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 Don Wilbanks, AE5DW, in Southern Mississippi saying 73 and we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline™ is Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

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