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ARNewsline Report 1881-- August 30 2013:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on August 30, 2013
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Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1881 – August 30 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1881 with a release date of August 30 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a Q-S-T. The NTIA to lead a two year pilot study of all spectrum in the United States, hams respond to Colorado Flooding and the western states wildfires; hams in Ridgecrest California get some good news concerning tower installations and a Virginia radio club begins a computer loan out program to help needy high schoolers. All this and more on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1881 coming your way right now.

RADIO LAW: NTIA TO INITIATE PILOT SPECTRUM MONITORING PROGRAM

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration or NTIA is planning a two year pilot program to determine the benefits of an automated spectrum measurement and data collection system. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Norm Seeley, has the details:

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration or NTIA has filed a budget request to Congress for fiscal year 2014 seeks an initial $7.5 million for a research and development investment. This, for a two-year pilot program to determine the benefits of an automated spectrum measurement and data collection system to better analyze actual spectrum usage.

In addition, the NTIA has issued a Notice of Inquiry to seek public comment on this proposed spectrum monitoring pilot program that, if funded, would develop and deploy a prototype system to monitor spectrum usage in up to ten metropolitan areas throughout the United States.

The Notice of Inquiry requests input from all interested stakeholders on the measurement system's design, its features, deployment options, operational parameters, expected utility, potential benefits, and other issues.

Subject to the availability of funds, NTIA will design, develop, validate, and field this prototype system and evaluate whether a more comprehensive monitoring program would create additional opportunities for more efficient spectrum access through, for example, increased and more dynamic sharing. NTIA intends to use the input received in response to the Notice of Inquiry to help design and implement such a spectrum monitoring program.

If this project goes forward it means that the ham bands from the lowest to the highest in frequency, along with that assigned to all other current users will come under the scrutiny of such a program. So to coin a phrase made popular by 73 Magazines Publisher Wayne Green, W2NSD, back in the 1980’s, when it comes to our bandspace we had better use it or we might just loose it.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Norm Seeley, KI7UP, in Scottsdfale, Arizona.

In his June 2013 Executive Memorandum on Expanding America's Leadership in Wireless Innovation, President Obama directed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to design and conduct such a pilot spectrum monitoring program. More on this is in the Federal Register at tinyurl.com/ntia-spectrum-monitor. (Southgate, rrmediagroup.com, FCW.com, Federal Register)

RESCUE RADIO: HAMS ASSIST IN WAKE OF COLORADO FLOODING

The ARRL Letter reports that on August 9th that Pikes Peak ARES volunteers provided communication support to several organizations during the Waldo Canyon flood in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Hams assisted at the El Paso County Emergency Operations Center, the Colorado Springs Emergency Operations Center, the National Weather Service Pueblo SKYWARN, the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross and one Red Cross shelter.

Some two dozen operators checked in with reports on rainfall rates, creek and roadway water levels, traffic and shelter populations. Pikes Peak ARES activated again on August 12 and 14 to support the EOCs and the National Weather Service in Pueblo, Colorado by providing rainfall rates, street flooding information, creek levels, and hail occurrences.

ARES also supported the flow of information from Red Cross evacuation shelters to the main Red Cross chapter, to help facilitate the flow of supplies, emergency needs, and shelter utilization.

More on this story is on line at tinyurl.com/arrl-Colorado-floods

(ARRL)

RESCUE RADIO: HAMS RESPOND TO WESTERN WILDFIRE

Ham radio operators have been called out to assist in communications efforts associated with a massive wildfire in the Western United States. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, is in the newsroom with what’s known so far:

Its called the Rim Fire and the situation surrounding its containment is so fluid that it literally changes from minute to minute.

As we go to air the statistics are literally staggering. Currently the burned area stands at close to 200,000 acres. This is about equal to the size of the city of New York. It has already destroyed 111 structures and was last reported to be threatening 5,500 more. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection 90 percent of these residences.

USA Today reports that ham radio was first called upon when communications assistance was required when the towns of Tuolumne and Mi-Wuk Village and several smaller communities between them were placed under voluntary evacuation alert. Operators associated with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service were providing information in Sonora, California where evacuees were being housed and fed.

Carol Logue, KG6SGL, is with the Tuolumne County Amateur Radio Electronics Society. She told USA Today that the smell of the fire was all around and that one can get on the hilltops around here and see the fires. Other reports say that Officials in Tuolumne County soon asked that ARES and RACES volunteers to help fill a communication void in areas that could not otherwise be reached by two-way radio.

In another USA Today interview Larry Brown, KJ6WHR, of Sonora, California, said that ham radio operator with the Tuolumne County Amateur Radio Electronics Society are manning phones at the Sonora community information line for those affected by the fire.

Another source of news on ham radio involvement came from Sabrina Ambler who is a reporter for MML news. She interviewed Phil Fish, WB6GGY, who is the Tuolumne County RACES Radio Officer. Fish told Ambler that radio amateurs volunteer to assist the county in any way they are needed. He noted that hams have the ability to provide radio coverage over a large area much more reliably than cell phones and that amateur radio has the ability to fill in communications dead spots. For this reason alone ham radio could be involved in the fire-fighting effort, as needed, for some time to come.

This is not the only blaze that the Western United States is facing. There are dozens of smaller fires burning the largest of which being the Beaver Creek Fire in Idaho, which has scorched 111,387 acres. Thankfully this one is now over 90% contained, according to a federal fire tracking website.

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

More on this in future Amateur Radio Newsline reports. (USA Today, MNL News, Southgate, other published news reports)

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: NEW HAM VIDEO GEAR IS ON THE ISS

The ARISS Ham Video transmitter is now on board the International Space Station and located in the in the Columbus Module. The transmitter was delivered by Japanese cargo spacecraft which launched in early August. Installation will be done by astronaut ham Michael Hopkins, KF5LJG, who has been trained for the commissioning of the ARISS Ham Video equipment. This could take place as early as sometime in October. When the new S-Band transmitter becomes operational, it will be used mainly for ARISS educational school contacts. Video will be for downlink only. Uplink will continue to be VHF FM audio and we will have more ham radio and space related news later on in this weeks newscast. (ARISS, ON4WF)

Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the W5HTK and WA5QYE Linked repeater system serving Enid Oklahoma.

RADIO LAW: FIRST STEP ACHIEVED IN HIGHER TOWERS FOR RIDGECREST CA HAMS

Some good news for hams in the city of Ridgecrest, California. By a 4 to 0 vote preliminary approval of an ordinance has signaled a small step forward for amateur radio operators in that community. This in the area of installing towers and antennas that exceed the current city limit. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Stephan Kinford, N8WB, reports:

At a City Council meeting on Wednesday's August 21st Ridgecrest California City Planner Matthew Alexander presented a request by the city staff to amend municipal code. This, to allow towers higher than 35 feet to be built in residential parts of the city on a conditional basis.

Alexander provided background to the council, indicating that in late 2012 that Steven Rainey, N6MVX, had requested to build a 55- foot tower, with an additional 15-foot antenna attached. Under the current municipal code, residents cannot install structures larger than 35 feet in residential areas.

Alexander said the zoning changes will apply to single-family residential areas, estate- zoned areas and the city's agriculture-zoned areas. He added that the language should be modified to include just the word tower, instead of signaling out any other particular type of structure. He also said that it has been suggested the council consider a lower fee for the permit process to reflect actual costs based on the time it takes to review, research and process applications. Currently the coat is $1200.

In his presentation, Alexander conceded that the structure that Rainey proposed would tower over most single-story homes in Ridgecrest. However, Alexander added that ham radio operators provided a great service to the community, especially during emergencies. He went on to say that the city does not don't want to discourage them and if newer towers are higher, we want to be able to let them to move forward and allow them to be built.

Vice Mayor Chip Holloway appeared supportive of the idea of waiving or reducing fees. He noted that he would actually want to encourage more ham radio operator in Ridgecrest after experiencing Hurricane Katrina, and knowing how effective and prevalent such towers are in the South where he grew up. Holloway added that knowing the city’s isolation, the state we live in and the lack of resources we already have, if we get into trouble we are going to need ham operators to be available.

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

Currently the way Ridgecrest handles such structures is with the issuance of a conditional use permit. Alexander explained that this process requires applicants to notify neighbors within 300 feet of the residence, to pay for costs of mailers and of a public notice in the newspapers in addition to the $1200 conditional use application fee. You can read more on this story at tinyurl.com/ridgecrest-ham-towers. (ridgecrestca.com)

RADIOSPORTS: WRTC-14 TEAM LEADER APPLICATIONS DUE BY SEPTEMBER 13

Organizers of the 2014 World Radiosport Team Championship or W-R-T-C competition are accepting applications for team leaders. There will be 54 two person teams in the contest, scheduled to be held next July in New England.

Team leaders will be selected from the top qualifiers in 29 regions around the world, based on applications and a qualification formula that considers 12 scores selected from 55 qualifying events between October 2010 and March 2013.

The team leader application is online at tinyurl.com/wrtc-leader. The deasdline for filing the completed application filing is September 13th. (CQ)

ENFORCEMENT: FCC CITES TEXAS CB STORE FOR UNCERTIFIED AMPLIFIER

The FCC appears to be hot on the trail of anyone who is selling uncertified gear capable of operation on the 11 meter Class D Citizens Radio band. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Heather Embee, KB3TZD, has more:

As we reported last week, the FCC already had cited DNJ Radio for selling uncertified equipment capable of 11 meter operation. Now comes word of a citation having been issued to the Radio Master CB Shop for similar violations.

According to the Citation and Order to Radio Master, this past February 14th agents from the FCC’s Dallas office inspected the Radio Master CB Shop at a TravelCenters of America truck stop in Rockwall, Texas. At that time they observed a used Palomar model 250 external RF amplifier offered for sale. The agents noted that the unit did not have an FCC identification number to confirm that the particular amplifier had been granted an FCC certification.

In its Citation released on Friday, August 20th, the FCC says that under its rules, any external RF power amplifiers capable of operating in that spectrum may not be offered for sale unless they have first been authorized in accordance with the agency’s rules. The unit in question was not so authorized.

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

As in the case of DNJ Radio, Radio Master CB Shop was ordered to immediately stop selling the uncertified equipment. The FCC also gave the company thirty days to provide in writing certain information concerning Radio Masters online store. (FCC)

ON THE AIR: COLLINS RADIO 80TH ANNIVERSARY SEPT 21-23 AND 28-30

Four club stations honoring the famed Rockwell Collins collaboration will be celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Collins Radio Company with a special event operation the last two weekends of September.

Stations W0CXX and N0CXX Cedar Rapids, Iowa; W5ROK Richardson, Texas; W4CRC Melbourne, Florida and W6CXX Tustin, California will be on the air September 21st to the 23rd and again on September 28th to the 30th to take part in the event. Operation is from 9AM to midnight local time for each station based on operator availability.

A special QSL card for the overall event will be available to all making contact with any of the stations. A commemorative certificate will be obtainable for those working 3 or more club stations on any combination of bands and modes. More information on the operation and QSL instructions is on the web at www.w0cxx.org. (Collins ARC)

HAM HAPPENINGS: EMCOMM EAST CONFERENCE SEPT 29 IN PITTSFORD NY

Registration is now open for the EmComm East emergency communications conference slated for Sunday, September 29th near Rochester, New York. This is an action packed one-day meeting where amateur operators involved in disaster response and emergency communications can attend training sessions, interact with those from served agencies, and exchange information with other operators from the area.

This years keynote speaker will be ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B. Kramer was one of the ham radio volunteers working at the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the terrorist bombings took place. As such he will likely have a very gripping story to tell.

EmComm East will be held at St. John Fisher College is located six miles southeast of Rochester, NY, in the suburb of Pittsford. More information is on the web at www.emcommeast.org (Emcommeast)

HAM HAPPENINGS: FORMER ASTRONAUT STEVE NAGEL N5RAW, TO SPEAK AT ARRL MIDWEST CONVENTION

Former NASA Astronaut Steve Nagel, N5RAW, will be speaking to students and the public at the ARRL Midwest Division Convention on Friday and Saturday, November 8 and 9, 2013 in Lebanon, Missouri.

Highlights of Astronaut Nagel’s visit will include a special event for science and technology students from public schools on Friday November 8th. It will be hosted by Nagel along with Carole Perry, WB2MGP, who is a former Dayton Ham of the Year and ARRL Instructor of the Year. The two will also host a 2 hour Youth Forum at 2 pm on Saturday, November 9th.

The target audience and programs focus is on youth and are open free of charge to all young people. The event will be held at the Cowan Civic Center with other guest that include ARRL Executive Vice President Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, Ham Nation hosts Bob Heil, K9EID, and Gordon West, WB6NOA and Newsline producer Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF.

More about this event is on the web at arrlmidwestconvention.org or by e-mail to k4sx (at) centurytel (dot) net. (ARRL Midwest Convention)

HAM HAPPENINGS: DAYTON RTTY CONTESTING DINNER TO RETURN IN 2014

After a 10 year interruption, the Dayton RTTY Contesting Dinner will be back next year. Fred Dennin, WW4LL, of Sharpsburg, Georgia, plans to host the dinner. He says that it will be held Thursday evening, May 15, 2014, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Dayton, Ohio. He adds that is in the process of locating a featured guest speaker and additional door prize donors. Any individual, organization or merchandiser wishing to contribute is invited to contact him by e-mail to fdennin (at) numail (dot) org. (OPDX, Southgate)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: 9M6DXX TO DEPART MALAYSIA NOV 1

Steve Telenius-Lowe, 9M6DXX, says that after more than eight years in Malaysia, that he and his wife Eva, 9M6EVA, have decided to move on to another part of the world. They will depart Malaysia on November 1st so 9M6DXX will go QRT some time in October. Lowe notes that they are moving to the Caribbean island of Bonaire, and hope to be active with PJ4 prefix callsigns before the end of the year. (9M6DXX)

This is ham radio news for today’s radio amateur. 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:

RADIO FROM SPACE: NASA TO RETIRE KEPLER TELESCOPE FROM PLANET-HUNTING

NASA’s Kepler space telescope has had to give up its prime mission of searching the universe for new habitable planets. This after mission engineers failed to find a fix for its pointing system after the observatory lost the second of its four reaction wheels. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, reports:

The $600 million dollar Kepler space observatory was launched in March 2009. Its primary mission was to try to locate planets orbiting their home stars in the so-called habitable zone and then radio its findings back to Earth. The habitable zone is the region where, given the right conditions that water might exist on in a liquid state. These planets are considered as having the best chance of supporting some form of life.

Kepler's method of planet detection involved looking for the tiny dips in light as a planets passes in front of its star. Because of this the space observatory must be held absolutely motionless during these observations which is something that requires a minimum of three operating reaction wheels to achieve.

The space observatory was launched with four operating reaction wheels, and experienced its first failure in the hardware set in July 2012. A second wheel failed last May.

Kepler had so far confirmed 135 planets beyond our Solar System but still had over 3,500 more in its database that have yet to be fully investigated. The observatory had already identified a number of worlds slightly bigger than Earth in several stars habitable zones and researchers were confident they will soon be able to confirm the existence of more planets that enjoy Earth-like conditions.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, in Zion, Illinois.

More on this story can be found at several websites covering space science including tinyurl.com/kepler-to-retire. (Published news reports)

WORLDBEAT: VOICE OF RUSSIA TO CEASE SHORTWAVE RADIO SERVICE TO GO QRT

It appears the Voice of Russia will cease shortwave radio service on January 1st, 2014. According to this article on a major S-W-L website, the shortwave service is closing due to government mandated funding cuts. The Voice of Russia was known as Radio Moscow in the Cold War era but actually first took to the shortwave bands back in 1922 with a single transmitter located in Moscow. (swling.com)

WORLDBEAT: RSGB TO FUND RF NOISE FLOOR STUDY

A proposal for funding to support the long term understanding of the RF noise floor has recently been approved by the Radio Society of Great Britain’s Legacy Trustees managing the legacy provided by the late Ken Rowell, G5RL.

The funding provides for web support for the Noise Measurement Campaign, announced in the July 2012 edition of the RSGB’s publication Radio Communications Magazine, and data collection for one or more such projects at the University of Leicester. The combined projects are expected to be run in conjunction with assistance from a small number of amateurs in suitable locations.

Further information is on the Notices section of the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org.uk (GB2RS)

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: NEW DIGITAL 2 METER BEACON ON THE AIR FROM EUROPE

The new generation digital and analog 2 meter beacon in grid square IN87KW near Bubry, France, became operational on Sunday evening, August 25th. Signing the call F5ZRB, the new propagation alert device operates on 144.405 MHz and transmits both analog telegraphy and digital JT65B with its sequences of emissions are controlled by the Global Positioning System. To decode the JT65B data your receiver must show 144.4035 MHz Upper Sideband. More about this new propagation alert is on the web at tinyurl.com/F5ZRB- Beacon. (F6ETI)

ON THE AIR: CYCLING EVENT STATION IN SPAIN

On the air, keep a lookout for EG5VCE will be operational through September 15th. This, while the annual Vuelta cycling race is under way in Spain. Operation is all bands using various modes. QSL EA7HBC via the bureau. More information can be found on the world wide web at www.europeanrosclub.com (Euro ROS)

ON THE AIR: GERMAN SPECIAL EVENT STATION

DL600WW is a special event German station run by amateurs from the town Willingen to celebrate their city's jubilee. More is on the web in the German language at tinyurl.com/osam587. QSL’s go via the bureau. (DL News)

DX

In DX, CE0ZOL is active from Juan Fernandez Island. He will be on there for about six months in the role of manager of the local airport. Activity will take place mainly on weekends. QSL as directed on the air.

HB9IQB is reported to have begun his Palestine as E44PM on August the 18th . He is using 100 watts and vertical antennas. QSL to HB9IQB using Logbook to the World.

R100RQA continues to celebrate the beginnings of professional radio operations 100 years ago in the region Arkhangelsk, Russia. He will be on through November 15th. QSL via RN1ON direct or electronically using Logbook to the World.

PA1FJ will be active from Chios Island through September 9 operating portable SV8. He will operate 40 through 6 meters using QRP level SSB. QSL via his home call.

JJ8DEN will be operational from Reao Atoll from September 18th to the 25th signing F Oh slash K-H-Zero-P-R. Listen out for him using CW, SSB, PSK31 and JT65A on 80 through 10 meters and QSL via JJ8DEN

E78A is now active as JY9FC from Amman, Jordan. As during his activity will be during his free time, mostly on CW with some SSB and Digital operations. QSL via E73Y.

Lastly, the ARRL DXCC Desk has approved the 2013 operation of D2CT in Angola and TX5K DXpedition to Clipperton Island for DXCC credit. If a previous request credit for theses operations has been rejected contact ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, to get placed on the list for an update to your record. Please include the submission date and/or reference number of your application in order to expedite the search for any rejected contacts. His e-mail is bmoore (at) arrl (dot) org.

(Above from various DX news sources)

THAT FINAL ITEM: VA AMATEUR RADIO CLUB CREATES LAPTOP LOANER PROGRAMS TO NEEDY STUDENTS

And finally this week, the Floyd Amateur Radio Society of Floyd, Virginia, has created a new program to supply loaner laptop computers to high school aged students. The club purchased surplus laptops, installed Windows 7 on most of them along with Open Office. It then provides these computers to those students who show a need.

Dee Wallace, KG4MVI, is part of the committee that handles the computer loan out program. She says that the application process is fairly simple:

KG4MVI: “…Basically its just an affirmation by the students and their families that they are eligible according to the program and that they do agree to receive the computer on-loan and that they will use them for the proper uses and take advantage of what computers offer related to their home and school studies.”

The program also applies to home schoolers as well as those in public education. The only stipulation is that the loan out computers go to those who can provide a need for them and that they do not show up for resale on Ebay or any other auction site. Rather, they are to be treated as text books and returned at to the organization at the end of the school year.

The club has provided a video describing the program and posted it to YouTube. It can be seen at tinyurl.com/ham-computer-loan. More about the Floyd Amateur Radio Society is at www.floydamateurradiosociety.com. (KG4MAV)

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 Jeff Clark, K8JAC, 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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