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ARNewsline Report 1854 -- Feb 22 2013:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on February 22, 2013
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Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1854 – February 22 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1854 with a release date of February 22 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a Q-S-T. Australian radio amateurs may lose the 2300 to 2302 MHz band; Over the Horizon radar invades 10 meters; amateur satellite allocations on the agenda at I-A-R-U meeting in Vienna; Mainland China manufacturer releases low cost all service multi-mode High Frequency transceiver and zombies invade the nations Emergency Alert System. Find out the details are on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1854 coming your way right now.


Australian amateurs could soon loose access to the band from 2300 to 2302 MHz. Amateur Radio Newsline has the details in this report:

The Australian Communications and Media Authority or ACMA has informed the Wireless Institute of Australia of proposed changes to spectrum usage in the 2300 to 2302 MHz band. Changes that will result in Advanced Licensees losing access to that spectrum.

The ACMA proposes to acquire the spectrum for LTE radio purposes. LTE, or Long Term Evolution, marketed as 4G LTE, is a wireless standard for high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals. The change would give LTE services the full 100MHz segment from 2300 to 2400MHz, which would resultin twenty 5MHz LTE channels

Losing any spectrum is of great concern to Australian radio amateurs as this secondary allocation is the only viable option for Earth-Moon-Earth contacts to Region II where the this activity is on 2304 MHz or Region I which uses 2320 MHz. After the reallocation Australian amateur EME activity would be confined to 2400 MHz and above, where wireless medical and Wi-Fi equipment is likely to cause interference weak signal reception by EME stations. And for hams in VK land it could mean that most EME operations could come to an end.

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

The Australian Communications and Media Authority plans to recommend the change to the Minister for Broadband Communications and Digital Economy in the near future. If the Minister approves the change radio Australian amateurs will probably lose access to the spectrum sometime in 2015. More on this situation is on-line at (WIA)


The IARU Region 1 Monitoring Service reports on a mysterious Over The Horizon radar causing interference in the 28 MHz amateur radio band. The mysterious signal disturbs the 28 to 29 MHz segment of 10 meters often with signals are 60 kHz wide, and jumping in bursts.

The location of the transmitter appears to be someplace in the Middle East but so far getting precise bearings have proven to be difficult.

The entire report covering this situation and other intruders to our ham bands can be downloaded free of charge at (IARU–R1)


The IARU Region 1 2013 Interim Meeting slated for Vienna, Austreia in April will be discussing two proposals of importance to Amateur-Satellite Service and weak signal users. One that’s not very controversial is an amendment to the 28 MHz Bandplan to remove of the downlink only restriction in the 29.300 to 29.510 MHz satellite segment. But the other has raised some eyebrows. The one proposes the introduction of a new satellite downlink band for CW and SSB transponders at 144.000 to 144.035 MHz.

The latter proposal could have the affect of putting United States hams in a rather precarious position. As pointed out on the W6YX VHF Reflector, SSB transmissions are not allowed below 144.100 in the US, even if they come from space. More important is that 144.0 to 144.035 is already used almost exclusively for C-W based Earth-Moon-Earth communications and experimentation and interference from SSB voice would not be very welcome in that spectrum. (IARU-R1)


The U-K Radio Communications Foundation Trustees have done a complete about face in regard to a decision made last year not to issue Advanced Radio Amateur Examination pass certificates to two candidates in Northern Ireland. This following internal reviews which had suggested that the results might be unsafe.

Following further consideration of this issue in conjunction with representatives of Ofcom and the Foundation’s own internal examination, the committees of Trustees have made a decision to now award the candidates their Advanced Radio Communications Examination Pass Certificates. Also they want to re-emphasize that there is no evidence of wrong doing by the club, its examiners or candidates themselves.

The Radio Communications Foundation Trustees also want to confirm that the Foundation remains committed to ensuring the highest possible standards of integrity in the examination system and will continue post- examination reviews of returned papers to support this objective. The Foundation’s Standards Committee will review all examination appeal processes and procedures drawing on lessons learnt in this case.

The Foundation and the club have mutually agreed that no purpose would be served by further public comment on this matter. More o this matter is on the web at (RCFT)


An article in the just out March issue of QST Magazine "Amateur Radio Goes To School" will be of interest to anyone involved in emergency communications. Authored by David Witkowski, W6DTW, the article is a report on the annual Disaster Management Initiative Workshop held at Carnegie Mellon University's campus in California’s Silicon Valley.

W6DTW: “Carnegie Mellon’s Disaster Management initiative started a few years ago in an effort to bring academic focus to Public Safety communications and Disaster Response. Most of what we know about disaster response is really empirical. We’ve developed it over time and through interaction with other responders we’ve put together a body of knowledge which is suitable but what Carnegie Mellon is trying to do with the Disaster Management initiative is to apply academic rigor to the question of disaster response.”

According to Witkowski, the Carnegie Mellon University's Disaster Management Initiative is a somewhat unique entity in that it's one of the very few instances where disaster management and disaster communications is being studied in a formal academic setting. It's also distinctive in that the Disaster Management Initiative leadership team of deans and professors and most of the workshop participants are licensed radio amateurs.

Witkowski notes that while the Disaster Management Initiative is about a lot of things aside from amateur radio, that one can definitely see its influence on the research and the annual workshop.

W6DTW’s article appears in Rick Palm's Public Service column in the March issue of QST beginning on page 82. If you are involved in any aspect of emergency service participation, this commentary is must reading. (W6DTW, ARNewsline)

From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the KD6LC repeater serving Guerenville, California.


A man arrested on allegations he used amateur radio to threaten to kill members of a local amateur radio club has been released on bail from the Bexar County Texas Jail.

Twenty-nine year old John David Watkins III, posted a $4,000 bond and was freed before noon Sunday February 17th. This after his having been taken into custody the previous night on two counts of making terroristic threats.

An arrest affidavit states Watkins, known on radio frequencies as “White Noise,” was creating interference and illegally transmitting without having the required radio operator license. A member of a radio club met with Watkins in January and told him to stop or the group would report him to the Federal Communications Commission.

Officials said that the next day Watkins allegedly made threats against the person who visited him and against other members of the club, saying he would kill them with an AK-47 rifle. These threats were reported to the police who provided security at the club's next meeting.

At airtime, what motivated Watkins to make the alleged threats or if the matter will go to trial is unknown. (, KABB, KSAT, others)


A United Kingdom man has been arrested in a raid on an unlicensed radio station in Wolverhampton.

Police and officials from communications regulator Ofcom raided the premises in Park Village, early on Wednesday, February 13th. At that time equipment was also seized, including microphones, a mixer, a computer and associated cabling.

Police said the 33 year old man from the town of Dudley, was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006. He has since been released on bail. (BBC)


A bipartisan group of lawmakers in both the House and the Senate are reintroducing a bill to allow three or more Federal Communications Commissioners to meet in private, as long as no official agency action is taken.

Under current law, something known as the "sunshine" rule prohibits more than two FCC commissioners from talking to each other outside of a public meeting. The FCC Collaboration Act was reintroduced in the House by Representatives Anna Eshoo, John Shimkus and Mike Doyle. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Dean Heller plan to introduce the Senate counterpart.

The bill got sidelined last year when it was tucked in as a provision to a larger bill on FCC reform that Democratic party did not support. Otherwise, modifying the sunshine rule is something both sides of the aisle support. (Ad Week, NAB)


A very interesting court case that pitted a students religious beliefs versus communications technology has been decided. Skeeter Nash, N5ASH, is near Houston with more:

A Texas student who refused to wear a radio tag that tracked her movements on campus has lost a federal court appeal against her school's ID policy.

According to news reports, the 15 year old declined to wear the RFID badge on religious grounds, saying it was the "mark of the beast." After she stopped wearing it she was suspended and went to court where she won a temporary injunction to continue her studies at the school without the RF tag.

Now a federal court ruling has overturned the lower court. It says that if she is to stay at the particular school, she would be required to wear the badge. Otherwise, she would have to transfer to a new school.

The radio tags are used to track attendance, which in turn helps secure school funding.

Im Skeeter Nash, N5ASH.

More is on-line at (Published news reports)


The Universal Postal Union has introduced the newest model of the International Reply Coupon. The new Doha coupon named for the 25th Universal Postal Congress that took place in Doha, Qatar in October 2012 will replace the current model, known as the Nairobi model.

Although the US Postal Service no longer sells IRC’s, they are still available in other countries and post offices in the United States are mandated to redeem them. The Doha model IRC will be available for purchase on July 1st and is valid for exchange until the end of 2017. The Nairobi model remains valid until December 31st of this year. (ARRL)


A new all mode low priced High Frequency transceiver from China is on the way. Called the Feitong model FT-808 the new radio is being billed primarily as a Marine Band transceiver but its published specifications read more like a mid-range piece of ham radio gear. For instance the FT-808 has a receive range of 500 Khz to 29.9 Mhz and a transmitter that covers 1.6 to 29.9 Mhz. In other words, it covers all the ham radio bands from 160 through 10 and lots more.

The receiver is a double conversion superhetrodyne with both it and the transmitter capable of operating Upper and lower sideband, CW and AM with 100 memory channels. Tuning appears to be by up and down push buttons with a claimed receiving sensitivity of 12 db SINAD and a squelch sensitivity threshold on SSB, CW, and RTTY of less than 5.6uV.

One thing of note. While transmitter power appears to be in the 100 watt or slightly higher range but according to the public spec sheet there appears to be no provision to lock out transmission on 11 meters. This will likely keep it from gaining FCC acceptance for legalized sales in the United States. At least not in its current non locked out 11 meter configuration.

That said, the Feitong FT-808 carries a delivered list price of only $410 U-S dollars. Its complete specifications and a video of an Italian ham radio operation using it on 40 meters is on-line at (Sparkys Blog,,, others)


The history of amateur radio at Iowa State University is described as a technological revolution. This by Jeff Stein who is an Iowa broadcasting historian, author and a former lecturer at Iowa State’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.

According to Stein, the fact that Iowa State was one of the first places to pay attention to this technology that ultimately revolutionized our lives in the 20th century is important. This is because it shows that Iowa State has consistently been dedicated to being first in developing communication technologies.

The report of Stein’s findings was first reported in The Iowa State Daily where he notes that amateur radio first came to the school over 100 years ago. You can read the entire story by author Kimberly Woo on-line at (Cyclone Amateur Radio Club)


The Foundation for Amateur Radio, a non- profit organization with its headquarters in Washington, D.C., plans to administer forty– seven scholarships for the 2013 to 2014 academic year. This, to assist licensed Radio Amateurs in the pursuit of higher education. The Foundation fully funds two of these scholarships. The remainder are administered by the Foundation for various donors.

Licensed Radio Amateurs who compete for these awards must be planning to pursue a full time course of studies beyond high school and be enrolled, or have been accepted for enrollment, at an accredited university, college or technical school. The awards range from $500 to $5,000 with preference given, in some cases, to residents of specified geographical areas or the pursuit of certain study programs. Non-US residents are eligible to apply for some of the scholarships.

To be considered, completed applications must be received at the Foundation by April 15th. Additional information and an application form may be requested by letter or post card sent to FAR Scholarships, Post Office Box 911, Columbia, Maryland, 21044-0911 or by e- mail to dave (dot) prestel (at) gmail (dot) com. Applications are available, for download from the web at scholarship-2013 (FAR)


The Mesilla Valley Radio Club of Las Cruces, New Mexico will be operating special event station K5BL on March 23rd. This in celebration of it being one of New Mexico’s oldest, continuous operating radio clubs.

K5BL will be commemorating the clubs 63rd anniversary by operating from 1500 to 1400 UTC as near as possible to 14.330 and 21.337, MHz. A special QSL card for the event will be available by request. To get one, send your QSL card confirming your contact with a business sized self addressed forever stamped envelope Special Events Station K5BL Anniversary, in care of the Mesilla Valley Radio Club, P.O. Box 1443, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88004-1443.

And less we forget to mention, a very happy 63rd to the Mesilla Valley Radio Club. (K6SAS)


The 18th annual VHF Weak Signal Group dinner to be held on Friday evening May 17th at the Dayton Grand Hotel in Dayton, Ohio. This in conjunction with the 2013 Dayton Hamvention. The special guest speaker is famed VHF DX operator Jeff Klein, K1TEO. For more information contact Tony Emanuele by e-mail to WA8RJF (at) ARRL (dot)net, (WA8RJF, WB8BZK)

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:


An Interesting interference case has been solved down-under as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline’s Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF:

A recent case of a very low level of interference affecting the maritime VHF distress and calling channel 16 at two of New Zealand’s Maritime sites has finally been solved. The investigation into the interference took seven days to resolve. It involved contacting ships and shore stations on the New Zealnd coast, as well as both ground and helicopter searches.

Eventually a very low level signal was detected. Direction finding indicated it was from a broadcast transmission location about 120 km from one of the affected sites and 185km from the other. A visit to the broadcast transmission site traced the low level interference to a spur from a high power television transmitter. The cause of the interference turned out to be an inspection panel which had been left open for maintenance purposes.

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

Word is that sealing the inspection panel solved the problem immediately. (WIA)


The United Kingdoms’ Herald newspaper reports that the UKube-1 CubeSat will be launched in June and will carry an amateur radio transponder to orbit.

According to the news story, the spacecraft is being built for the UK Space Agency by Clyde Space. If all goes as announced its launch will take place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Soyuz-2-1B booster this spring.

UKube-1 will carry a set of AMSAT-UK FUNcube boards to provide an amateur radio 435 to145 MHz linear transponder. Also as a part of the payload will be a 1200 B-P-S-K beacon for educational outreach.

The newspaper also reports that Clyde Space has announced plans to build a facility in the United States. More is on-line at (The Herald)


Scientists have applauded a NASA decision to send another rover to Mars in 2020. At the same time they are stressing that the mission should pave the way to return Martian rocks to Earth. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Heather Embee, KB3TZD, has the details:

The new Mars rover mission was announced last December 4th by NASA's Associate Administrator for Science John Grunsfeld. This, at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

At that time it was announced that the next rover will share some design features with NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in August to begin at least a two-year mission.

Now, in a pair of statements released January 28th ad 30th, two well-respected groups of researchers have shared their views on the plan to send another robotic explorer to the Red Planet in seven years. The Planetary Society and the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences applauded the announcement that NASA plans another mission to the Red Planet in 2020. At the same time both strongly suggested that the mission should have the capability to collect and store Martian rock samples as recommended by the National Research Council's Planetary Science Decadal Survey.

NASA has released very few details on the proposed new rover plan. Because of this it's still unclear whether the robot will be able to collect Martian rock samples intended to be brought back to Earth.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, Im Heather Embee, KB3TZD, in Berwick, Pennsylvania

It should be noted that most plans for returning Mars samples are multi-phase, with an initial mission to collect and store the rocks. Later missions would rendezvous with the collector and return the samples to Earth. (Space & Science)


On Saturday, February 23rd and Sunday, February 24th, amateur radio operators around the world will take part in a special operating even. This to raise awareness about Rotary International's End Polio Now campaign.

The hams are all members of the Rotary International group Rotarians on Amateur Radio. They will be calling "CQ Rotary" or "CQ Polio" and will be prepared to talk about the Rotary Club and the accomplishments and challenges of the End Polio Now campaign. This is a joint effort of Rotary International, the World Health Organization, and other non-governmental organizations.

More information is on-line at Questions go by e-mail to Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, to endpoliono (at) kb6nu (dot) com. A certificate or QSL card will be available on request to verify contacts made. (KB6NU, ARRL PR Remailer)


In DX, G3RWF plans to be in Rwanda between March 4th to the 12th and has requested the callsign 9X0NH. The license should be valid for all of 2013 and he could return later in the year. Activity will be mainly CW. QSL via G3RWF.

A group of Japanese operators will be active from Rodrigues Island from March 1st to the 10th as 3B9DX. They will be operational on 80 through 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK31. QSL direct only via EA5GL

G3SWH and G3RTE will be operational from Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands, between February 18th and the 28th. Their activity will be on CW only on 80 through 10 meters. QSL via G3SWH.

SP9FIH and SP6AXW will be active stroke as PJ4 from Bonaire between April 8th to the 20th. Operations will be on 160 through 6 meters using SSB and RTTY. QSL only via SP9FIH

KK4GV will be active as J79GV from the northeast side of the island of Dominica between March 8th to the 17th. His operation will be holiday style and SSB only. QSL via his home callsign either direct or by the Bureau.

Lastly, N7QT will be heading back to Saint Lucia to operate stroke J6 on a suitcase between April 5th to the 16th. Activity will be on 80 through 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY and PSK. He will also be operating field portable from the St. Lucia beaches and mountain tops. QSL as directed on the air.

(Above from various DX news sources)


And finally this week, Inside Radio reports that the FCC, FBI and several state and local law enforcement agencies are investigating what now appears to have been a widespread hack attack on the United States Emergency Alert or EAS System. One that claimed that the dead were rising from their graves. Amateur Radio Newslines Steffan Kinford, N8WB, has the details:

The full extent of the phony zombie EAS attack isn’t yet clear, but several stations recently aired a bogus EAS message about zombies attacking people and warning the public to stay clear of them.

Engineers say the hackers apparently had a solid knowledge of exactly how the EAS operates and how to breach it. One of these is Bonneville director of engineering John Dehnel. He says the company’s Salt Lake City stations were among the targets. While the fake message never made it to KSL 1160 AM which is the primary message distribution or LP1 station for the area or its sister station KSL-TV, the bizarre communication was broadcast on the cluster’s three secondary or HD2 stations.

Dehnel believes the culprit was EAS activation boxes that were left set to factory-installed default passwords to accommodate tech support crews. His guess is that before the attack you would likely have found most everyone still had the default password on it. The FCC has since issued a warning notice to broadcasters and other EAS decoder users for them to immediately change the passwords to ones that are propriety and secure.

The Bonneville HD2 stations reportedly fowarded the bogus EAS messages about one hour before a Great Falls, Montana television station that actually was the one that made the news headlines for airing the phony message. Several other stations also aired a fake EAS message, including TV stations in Albuquerque and Marquette, Michigan. It’s possible other stations also broadcast the alert but if there were any they are not known as this newscast is being prepared.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, Im Stephan, Kinford, N8WB, in Wadsworth, Ohio.

You can read more on this very strange story at and (Inside Radio, RW, other published reports)


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 in Los Angeles, I’m Jim Davis, W2JKD, in Vero Beach, Florida, saying 73 and we thank you for listening.

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

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