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ARNewsline Report 1878 -- August 9 2013:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on August 9, 2013
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Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1878 – August 9 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1878 with a release date of August 9 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Scientists say that the Sun’s magnetic poles are about to reverse; hams in India again respond as monsoon rains bring landslides; a Florida man is electrocuted while installing an antenna; Louisiana adopts the Alert FM public warning system and guess who is not going to retire from ham radio teaching. Find out the answer on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1878 coming your way right now.


According to measurements from NASA-supported observatories, the sun's vast magnetic field is about to turn over. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Heather Embee, KB3TZD, has the details:

The Sun's magnetic field changes polarity approximately every 11 years. It happens at the peak of each solar cycle as our home star’s inner magnetic field generator reorganizes itself signaling the mid-point of a Solar Cycle.

Todd Hoeksema is the Director of Stanford's Wilcox Solar Observatory which is one of the few that monitor the sun's polar magnetic fields. He says that we are no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal and that this change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system. This is because of the fact that the domain of the Sun's magnetic influence, also known as the Heliosphere, extends billions of kilometers beyond the minor planet Pluto and almost too interstellar space.

When solar physicists talk about solar field reversals they are also referring to something known as the Sun’s Current Sheet. This is a sprawling surface jutting outward from its equator where it’s slowly rotating magnetic field induces an electrical current. During field reversals, the current sheet becomes very wavy. As Earth orbits the sun, it dips in and out of the current sheet. Transitions from one side to another can stir up stormy space weather around our planet which in turn can affect radio propagation to some degree.

As the field reversal approaches, data from the Wilcox Solar Observatory shows that the sun's two hemispheres are out of synch. According to Solar Physicist Phil Scherrer the Sun's North Pole has already changed sign, while the South Pole is racing to catch up. Soon both poles will be reversed, and the second or downhill half of Solar Max will be underway. For ham radio it likely means that good DX openings especially on the higher bands could be fewer and far in- between.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Heather Embee, KB3TZD, in Berwick, Pennsylvania.

You can read more about what is happening with “Old Sol” at midpoint-here. Frequent updates are also on the web at (NASA)


Hams in India are reportedly once again on the front lines. This as another series of heavy rains on August 4th lead to landslides hit in the high mountain range area of Idukki and the adjoining districts of Kerala.

At airtime nine people have lost their lives and scores are reported missing from the monsoon saturated areas. Word is that the ham radio response is centered on 7.080 MHz for long distance communications with VHF being used within the storm devastated region.

Idukki is described as an agricultural area where most people operate small farms. Reports say that the region has suffered heavy crop and property loss due to the flooding.

More information on the current situation is on the web at flooding.

(Southgate,, Times of India)


A report by the United Kingdom Department for Culture Media and Sport says that telecommunications regulator Ofcom's duties should expanded to include the power to issue monetary penalties for breach of Wireless Telegraphy Act licenses.

The report is titled Connectivity, Content and Consumers - Britain’s digital platform for growth. It covers a number of issues related to the RF spectrum including such items as spectrum management on and the already planned digital radio switchover. However of greater interest is the Spectrum Management Impact Assessment document. It notes that the Government's preferred option is to amend Ofcom's statutory duties to make possible Dynamic Spectrum Access database licensing, incentive auctions and to impose monetary penalties for breach of Wireless Telegraphy Act licenses.

The report says that should a holder of spectrum is in breach of the Wireless Telegraphy Act even in a minor way, Ofcom can currently only prosecute licensees or revoke their licenses. Such measures are often disproportionate to the offence. The report also suggests that its time to introduce a system of penalties which provide appropriate incentives for compliance. This would essentially be similar to the authority that the FCC has here in the United States. (Published news reports)


A follow-up to last weeks story on the destruction of the Rocky Ridge radio tower east of San Francisco, California. It’s now been learned that the ham radio system on that tower belonged to the Mt. Diablo Amateur Radio Club and was its heavily trafficked 144.390 MHz Packet Radio and APRS digipeater.

Jim Siemons, AF6PU, is a spokesman for the group. He says that the club's repeater committee has decided to move the digipeater and the results were amazing:

AF6PU: “This last Friday (Julu 2nd), Trevor Hall, WA6JAU, was able to get into the vault at Rocky Ridge and retrieve all of our Digipeter gear. Early on Saturday morning (July 3rd) a group of us met to go up to the North peak of Mt. Diablo to set up ATV gear. And while we were up there Trevor was able to install and get running the Digipeter. The great news is that at its higher vantage point we are now covering almost 150 miles all the way around.”

According to AF6PU, the new site should offer packet and APRS coverage to the majority of hams in Northern California.

Meantime police are still asking the publics assistance in finding the person or persons responsible for this act of vandalism. If you have any information that might help please contact investigators at area code 510-881-1833. (AF6PU, ARNewsline™)


Some interesting DX news. Word that Roger Jones, ZS6RJ, and a multi-national team of operators will be active as 3DA0ET from Piggs Peak, Swaziland, between November 18th and the 27th. They plan to have 4 stations on the air, covering 160 through 10 meters plus 6 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. This operation will also include the CQ World Wide DX CW Contest that takes place this year from November 23rd through the 24th.

According to planner Charles “Frosty” Frost, K5LBU, the team is still looking for operators, especially some skilled in RTTY operators. If you are interested in joining this DXpedition, please contact ZS6RJ at: roger.jones (at) vodamail (dot) com or K5LBU to 3da0cf (at) gmail (dot) com. More information on this upcoming operation is on- line at (OPDX)


Some late breaking good news. It comes in words of congratulations to the Dayton Amateur Radio Association. This on the grand re-opening of its clubhouse after some extensive renovation and expansion.

On Friday, August 16th from 4 to 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight time club members and the public are invited to preview the facilities that include a lounge, a kitchenette, two new classrooms and a Board Room which have been wired with the latest video, audio and Smart Boards projection gear.

Current club President Reuben Meeks, W8GUC and Past President Don DuBon, N6JRL, will be hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5 pm and again at 7 pm. Refreshments will be served.

The Dayton Amateur Radio Clubhouse is located at 6619 Bellfontaine Road in the Dayton suburb of Huber Heights, Ohio, For more information on this event please e-mail WD8QAI (at) gmail (dot) com. (DARA)

With you 52 weeks a year, every year since 1977, we are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the WB9AER repeater serving Madison Wisconsin.


An Oakland Park, Florida man was electrocuted on July 29th while trying to install an antenna for an unlicensed radio station antenna on the roof of a strip mall. According to the Broward Sheriff's Office forty-two year old Jean Roselet Adelphonse was reportedly climbing a tree at about 10:40 p.m. when the 30-foot antenna that was supporting came into contact a high voltage power line. His friend, Clebert Durand, who was helping him install the antenna, called 911. Officials said Adelphonse was trying to start a Creole-language pirate station and that they found more broadcasting equipment in his vehicle. (RW, Orlando Sentinal)


A new public alert system is coming to the state of Louisiana. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Don Wilbanks, AE5DW, has the details:

If there’s ever another disaster like Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana will be in a far better position to advise its residents than back in August of 2005. This with the announcement by Louisiana’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness that it has adopted the Alert FM system as a way of notifying the state’s emergency managers in 64 parishes and 42 institutions of higher learning of an imminent threat to life or property.

According to the release, Louisiana’s Senator Mary Landrieu was an early supporter of the broadcast-based emergency alert systems. She is quoted as saying that with Alert FM, Louisiana has implemented a reliable method of distributing life-saving information to the citizens. She added that the dependability of broadcast transmissions can make the difference between life and death during an emergency.

As previously reported here on Newsline, Alert FM is an emergency notification system that delivers messages from state, local, and private sector officials to citizens, schools, businesses, and first responders using the Radio Data System or R-D-S sub- carrier of local FM radio stations. Messages are originated by designated officials and are then transported from a secure web-based portal to the data sub-carrier via GSS Net which is a secure satellite data delivery system. These alerts and messages are then received by FM stations and re-transmitted to Alert FM equipped receivers or to cell phones that have both active FM chips and properly installed software.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Don Wilbanks, AE5DW, in New Orleans.

More about the Alert FM system is on line at (Radio Weekly)


Apple has begun a worldwide program to replace third-party and counterfeit USB chargers for use with its iPhone, iPad, and iPod products. The after reports that a woman in China was electrocuted by a non- Apple charger.

Apple said it would swap third-party chargers for an official replacement on payment of $10 or the equivalent fee in local currency. The exchange program begins on August 16th and will run until October 18th.

In mid-July, Apple said it was investigating reports that Ma Ailun was killed when she answered her iPhone 5 while it was plugged into a wall charger. Investigators later said that her death was caused by a fake third party non-Apple charger.

No mention was made of the woman’s death in the announcement of the trade-in program but Apple did say that the initiative was prompted by safety issues. Apple also said that the third-party and fake chargers would be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. You can read one of the many detailed stories on this Apple initiated safety program at exchange. (BBC, iDigital Times, Huffington Post, others)


The FCC has proposed an $8,000 fine to the religious broadcaster Fellowshipworld Inc. which is the licensee of WFWO – FM. This for allegedly operating from a location other than the one it was authorized for. Stephan Kinford, N8WB, reports:

According to the Commission, the noncommercial station was authorized to transmit on 89.7 MHz in Knowelsville, New York. Responding to a complaint in October 2012, an agent from the Enforcement Bureau’s Philadelphia office traced the signal back to the Fellowship Christian Center in Buffalo, some 36 miles from Knowelsville. The agent also took field strength measurements to determine if WFWO’s power levels were low enough to operate under Part 15 of its rules. The FCC said in its decision that WFWO exceeded the maximum permitted for non- licensed devices and, therefore, required a license to operate.

In his response, Fellowship President John Young told the commission the station stopped operating from its original transmitter site so the property owner could remove some trees around the antenna. Young was admitted that the group was operating a one-watt low- powered transmitter on 89.7MHz in Buffalo. The agent told Young to stop operating the 1 watt transmitter because it was over-powered for Part 15 operation and not at its authorized location. The FCC said Young agreed and the agency followed up with a Notice of Unlicensed Operation. It warned the licensee of a violation and that a fine could be imposed.

But in November of 2012 the director of engineering from a licensed station told the FCC that WFWO was once again transmitting again from the Buffalo location. An FCC Enforcement Bureau agent confirmed that it was on the air and inspected the facility. This time Young claimed he was unaware the station was operational and alleged that his children must have turned on the transmitter.

But in its imposing the penalty the FCC said that while the base fine for this type of violation is $4,000, that it raised it to $8,000, saying the licensee’s conduct in this case is egregious.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Stephen Kinford, N8WB, in Wadsworth, Ohio.

Fellowshipworld Inc. was given the customary 30 days from imposition of the proposed fine to pay or to file an appeal. (FCC)


The FCC says that the Educational Media Foundation cannot have an FM translator in Los Angeles, California. In making its decision the regulatory agency said that the broadcaster had not proven that granting its application would not preclude future Low Power FM licensing opportunities for it in that market.

The Media Bureau had treated the Educational Media Foundation situation as a request for a waiver and said in its decision such waivers face a high hurdle. Audio Division Chief Peter Doyle noted that given the massive number of pending translator applications, the agency isn’t going to conduct a case-by- case assessment of any one request. (FCC, RW)


As reported last week, Bob Grove W8JHD, founder, editor and publisher of Monitoring Times Magazine, has announced his and the magazine's retirement. Now in a one-on-one video interview, Ham Radio Now’s Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, finds out why Bob's retirement also means an end to the magazine. It’s a very interesting conversation that will give you a lot of insight into Bob Grove’s thinking and putting his popular magazine to bed. To find out, take your web browser to (


President Obama's nominee for chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is one step closer to that position. This with word that Thomas Wheeler has received the approval of the Senate Commerce Committee for that position.

Its now believed that a full Senate vote on Wheelers nomination will take place shortly after Congress returns from its August recess. If approved, Wheeler will replace former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski who retired from the position to join the Aspen Institute as a senior fellow. (Published news reports)


Before its recess the United States Senate confirmed three new members to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Jeffrey Shell, Matthew C. Armstrong and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker were unanimously appointed to the bipartisan board. Shell was also confirmed as chair. The board had been below quorum level for some time but with the swearing in of these new members it will once again be at a fully operational level. (The Hill)


The 52nd Antique Wireless Association World Convention is slated for August 20th to the 24th at the Rochester Institute of Technology Inn and Conference Center. The event will celebrate the grand opening of the new Antique Wireless Association Museum that takes place on August 20th. For more information on this event please take your web browser to convention (AWA)


The next World Digital Amateur Television QSO Party is on its way. The event created by Peter Cossins, VK3BFG, in 2011, will begin on Friday the August 30th and conclude on Saturday the 31st with scheduling all in Australian Eastern Standard Time.

This QSO Party will be initiated through the VK3RTV Melbourne-Geelong repeater in Australia linked with the California W6ATN network in the United States. It will also include an on-line seminar by Ken Konechy, W6HHC, of the Orange County Amateur Radio Club with an update on the DATV Express Project. This is a digital fast scan television system being developed by United States and British hams.

European presenters are yet to be confirmed; however the QSO party will be streamed on- line thanks to the British Amateur Television Club. If you are a ham interested in the world of digital video, this is one event that you won’t want to miss. (VK3PC)

Serving all of hobby radio 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:


Some enforcement of a different kind. This as a broadcaster down-under is ordered to apologize for things said on the air. Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, has the details:

A New Zealand radio station has been ordered to apologize on-the-air for abusing and insulting local councilors, as well as a rival radio broadcaster. This after the nations Broadcasting Standards Authority ruled that Cruise FM Waikato must express regret for unfair comments made about South Waikato District Council members, Classic Hits Radio and its staff in two broadcasts late last year.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority found that while host and owner Johnny Dryden and another councilor were broadly discussing issues of public interest, their comments went beyond what could be considered acceptable. Also that they had the potential to be very damaging to the individuals' reputations.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority went on to note that Dryden made comments that were not related to their public or professional duties but were personally abusive and insulting.

Cruise FM has been ordered to pay the Crown $2500 New Zealand Dollars to cover its costs in the matter. It must also broadcast an apology for the unfair treatment within a month.

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

Imagine if there was a board similar to the New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority here in the United States. It there were, its likely there would be very few edgy radio talk shows and no shock jocks on the air. (RW, NewsComAu, Broadcast NZ)


A Japanese HTV-4 cargo vessel carrying the new Ham TV gear was successfully launched to the International Space Station on Saturday, August 3rd. Once activated, the primary mission of Ham TV is to perform contacts between the astronauts on the ISS and school students by adding real time video to the current voice only QSO’s within the ARISS program.

The European Space Agency’s Columbus module on the ISS will host the 2.4 GHz video transmitting station in addition to the existing 2 meter FM amateur radio station. The new equipment can broadcast images from the ISS during the school contacts or other downlink other pre-recorded video images up to 24 hours a day.

The IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel has announced frequencies of 2422.0 MHz and 2437.0 MHz for use by the Ham TV project. It is currently planned to transmit using the DVB-S signal format with 10 watts of power. More about the project is on the web at (ARISS)


Christopher Friesen, VE4CWF, reports via the AMSAT News Service that he heard and recorded the space to ground portion of ham radio contact between NA1SS on board the International Space station with operators at the Boy Scout’s of America 2013 Jamboree on July 20th. Friesen, who lives several hundred miles away in Steinbach, Canada says that he copied astro-ham Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP, operating as NA1SS making contact with Jamboree station K2BSA and answering questions from the scouts.

VE4CWF added that at the time of the contact that space station was making a relatively low 30 degree pass to the south of his location. He says that to copy the N-A-One- S-S side of the contact that he had to climb to the peak of his roof to get above the trees and other rooftops in the area. He says that he used his Yaesu FT-60R handheld transceiver and what he called his Slapshot antenna capture the contact. You can read VE4CWF’s entire report and hear the ISS to ground portion of the QSO at 216-B. The audio clip is near the bottom of the page. (ANS)


A new record for registrations for this years International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. This as it’s announced that the milestone 400th registration went to Australia's Carpentaria CLS-4 Lightship and there have been 49 more since then.

The Carpentaria CLS-4 is a Scottish designed and Australian built lightship. It is moored at Australia’s National Maritime Museum in Sydney's Darling Harbor. Word is that it will be put on air by the Hornsby and Districts Amateur Radio Club as station VK2MA for the International Lighthouse and Lightship event. It is also one of 17 such vessels taking part in International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend that has so far attracted some 450 registered entries from 42 countries around the world.

Now in its 16th year, International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend was created to increases public awareness of the old form of maritime navigation, engender good will and promote amateur radio. This year’s event takes place August 17th and 18th. More about it is on the web at www dot illw dot org. (VK3PC)


A new six meter beacon has been set up at the on 50.012.5 Mhz operating from the Gibraltar Amateur Radio Society's club house on that British Overseas Territory. Located in Grid Square IM-76-HD the beacon is signing the call ZB2SIX/B and running 5 watts output into a temporary inverted V dipole. QSN reports go via the information found on (ZB2B)


In DX, YT7AW and YT4RA will be active stroke 4 Oh from Montenegro through August 15th. Their operation will begin in Durmitor National Park followed by a seaside stopover and ending with a possible stop on Crna Gora. QSL’s go via their home callsigns as shown on

Bill Moore, NC1L, at the ARRL Awards Desk reports that the 2013 T5TC operation from Somalia has been approved for DXCC credit. If you’ve had this rejected in a prior application, send a note to bmoore (at) arrl (dot) org to be placed on the list for an update to your record.

DL7VOA will be active stroke EA8 from the Canary Islands through August 17th. His is holiday style using CW and mainly during his evening night. QSL to DL7VOA direct or by the Bureau.

IK2OHG will be active as HC2IOH from Ecuador between August 10th and September 12th. This operation will be holiday style on 40 through 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign, direct, via the Bureau or electronically using Logbook of the World.

Lastly, KF8UN is on the air from Tanzania as 5H3BB through August 20th. He is there on a safari with his fife K8FUN. Activity is possible on 40 through 15 meters, but mostly 20 meters using SSB with some CW. QSL via his home callsign direct.


And finally this week the man who is possibly the worlds best known ham radio instructor says that he is not going to rehire after all.

WB6NOA: “That’s right; Gordo is not retiring from teaching but rather I'll be teaching ‘Elmers’ and instructors and Scout Merit Badge leaders how to do ham radio classes similar to the classes that I have done for the past 44 years.”

Of coarse that’s Gordon West, WB6NOA, who earlier this year had hinted that a change was coming in his life that many saw as a hint that he would be pulling the plug. But West says that he feels that it’s time to take his years of accumulated knowledge and pass it on to the next generation of instructors who will be the people bringing new operators into the hobby over the next several decades. And from this came the idea of rounding out his career by teaching the teachers:

WB6NOA: “Teaching the teachers was a decision that I made when I saw that class sizes were continuing to remain strong and I had other ‘Elmers’ come over and monitor. So I thought ‘why not teach the teachers and get more classes going throughout the local area here in Southern California as well as well as when I travel throughout the country going with some of the techniques I use.’ So beginning officially now, I’m going to be training the trainers rather than actually presenting classes for students.”

West says that he plans to get this new educational project underway in just a couple of weeks:

WB6NOA: “We are going to hold our first Instructors Class on October 5th here in Orange County (California) and we already have about 25 signed up. And these are not necessarily ham radio instructors but rather ‘Elmers’ wanting to representing their club and wanting to teach ham radio classes like mine.

“Then Ill take this same technique and this same seminar, make it shorter and present sessions at Pacificon coming up in October, the Midwest Convention in November and other ham shows throughout the country where Ill put on an hour or so on training the trainers.”

The exact location of this first “Train the Trainers” session will be the Muth Interpretive Center, 2301 University Drive in Newport Beach California. The class will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. Each instructor will receive the forty page INSTRUCTOR TEACHING GUIDE that gives step-by-step directions on teaching the new Technician class materials. Those planning to attend are encouraged to download this free guide ahead of time at

Lastly, more information on Gordon West’s plans to train the next generation of ham radio educators can be found on his website at www dot gordonwestradioschool dot com. Just click on the tab marked ‘Ham Instructors.’ (WB6NOA, ARNewsline™)


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 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 Jim Davis, W2JKD, on Florida’s Treasure Coast saying 73 and we thank you for listening.

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

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