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ARNewsline Report 1884 -- Sept 20 2013:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on September 20, 2013
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Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1884 – September 20 2013

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1884 with a release date of September 20 2013 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Ham radio responds as flooding ravages parts of Colorado; China and the Philippines at loggerheads over the fate of Scarborough Reef; UK hams set a new record at 76 Gigahertz; Portugal takes legal action to combat widespread unlicensed operation and ham radio says a final goodbye to 73 Magazine founder Wayne Green, W2NSD. This and more on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1884 coming your way right now.

RESCUE RADIO: AMATEUR RADIO RESPONDS TO COLORADO FLOODS

Ham radio was once again a first responder as a week of torrential rainfall brought destruction to parts of Colorado. Many of these were the same areas that were damaged by a series of wind-driven wildfires earlier this year and back in 2012. At least seven people have been confirmed as killed by deadly flooding and efforts to locate more than 1,000 missing people continue.

Some of the worst flooding followed the path of the High Park and Waldo Canyon fires. The 2013 Waldo Canyon fire was the worst in the state's history burning more than 18,000 acres near Colorado Springs and destroying more than 300 homes.

Jack Ciaccia, WM0G is the ARRL Colorado Section Manager. He says that as the flood waters began arriving on Thursday, August 12th, ham radio operators were ready:

Ciaccia” “The hams in the local ARES groups reported to the regional and local county emergency operations centers and manned their positions. Plus the state Emergency Operations Center in Centennial Colorado was opened and staffed by senior ARES personnel”

The unprecedented storms dealt a heavy blow to both utilities and communications. News reports say that many cellular telephone towers have either fallen, were washed away or are simply without power. This in turn cut off wireless and broadband communications to several communities. Also destroyed have been powerlines and some landline-based telephone service. This has left ham radio as the mainstay of communications into and out of these areas.

Ciaccia: “The next thing to happen was we started hearing of evacuation centers being opened kind of spontaneously because a large building in a dry area was the only criteria. And as fast as we could we needed to get communications to them because in many of the mountain areas where these evacuation centers were there was no other means of communications”

As the operation progressed, some hams were assigned to monitor the Boulder County ARES Repeater as well as the two Mountain Emergency Radio Network Repeaters located in high altitude communities. The latter turned out to be true life savers. Again, WM0G:

Ciaccia: “We were fortunate to have some hams located in some of the remote areas which is (the result) of another project that we had created in the past year since the fires called the Mountain Emergency Radio Network. This is a small network of repeaters that the ARES hams have trained upward of 60 mountain residents and who have gotten their licenses. We then repurposed a bunch of VHF radios – both handy talkies and mobiles for them to utilize these repeaters.

“And just tonight we were told by the Fire Chief in one of those remote communities that had it not have been for that MERM repeater system that there probably would have been a lot more deaths because people were able to communicate with each other as to what was happening, where the destruction was and how to get out.”

On Monday the 16th the ARES groups received new marching orders. In addition to search assistance, evacuations, shelter communications and logistics another role has been added. That of disaster assessment:

Ciaccia: “Disaster assessment teams from the Red Cross and from the counties will be mobilizing and we have been asked to provide hams, radios and also video cameras to record video of the disaster areas. So we will be taking on that assignment as well.”

According to Ciaccia so far some 200 ham radio volunteers have been deployed in and around the various flood-stricken counties with some providing communication where no other means existed or still exists. News reports say that at the height of the flooding that the towns of Estes Park, Lyons and Jamestown were relying on ham radio as their only contact with the outside world.

This is a still developing story and we will have more in future Amateur Radio Newsline reports. (ARNewsline™)

RESCUE RADIO: XE HAMS RESPOND TO TROPICAL STORMS INGRID AND MANUEL

Mexican radio amateurs have been using 40 and 20 meters as part of their response to the effects of tropical storms Ingrid and Manuel. According to a posting to Twitter by that nations national amateur radio society, both 7.060 and 14.120 MHz have been activated in the wake of these severe weather outbursts. Amateurs elsewhere are asked to please keep those two frequencies clear until post storm communications have been secured. (FMRE, Southgate)

WORLDBEAT: CHINA VS. THE PHILIPPINES OVER SCARBOROUGH REEF

DXpeditions to Scarborough Reef and other locations in that region could become a lot harder if not impossible if China makes good on its expected move to occupy a disputed chain of shoals in the South China Sea. This according to a top Philippines' diplomat who says that China may act to expand China’s territory before regional rules on maritime behavior comes into effect.

Albert del Rosario is the Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary. On September 4th he said that his nation believes China's incursion into the area known as the Scarborough Shoal is a threat to peace in Southeast Asia. But in Beijing, a foreign ministry spokesman described the shoal area as China's inherent territory.

Scarborough Shoal or Reef, also known as Huangyan Island, is a shoal located between the Macclesfield Bank and Luzon Island of the Philippines in the South China Sea. It is a disputed territory claimed by the People's Republic of China, by Taiwan and the Philippines. The shoal's status is often discussed in conjunction with other territorial disputes in the South China Sea such as those involving the Spratly Islands or the Paracel Islands. Since the 2012 Scarborough Shoal standoff access to the territory has been restricted by the People's Republic of China.

Tension in the South China Sea has risen of late as China uses its growing naval might to assert extensive claims over the oil and gas rich waters more forcefully. This in turn has been fuelling fears of a military clash for some time.

The last major operation from Scarborough was in 2007 where the BS7H team made over 45,000 QSO’s. Currently Scarborough is listed as number 21 in the Club Log Most Wanted List and number 7 in the latest most needed list published by the DX Magazine.

(defensenews.com, inquirer.net, South China Morning Post, others)

RADIO RECORDS: UK HAMS SET 76 GIGAHERTZ DISTANCE RECORD

A new United Kingdom distance record on 76 Gigagertz of 102 kilometers was achieved on Saturday September 14th. This in a contact between Chris Towns G8BKE and John Hazell G8ACE at Batcombe Hill, in Dorset and Ian Lamb GW8KQW on Eglwysilan Mountain in Gwent.

The success of this attempt is a result of continual innovation and systematic improvements and testing of the equipment built and used by the Wessex microwave enthusiasts. This with support from other microwave radio devotees in the UK and Germany.

This is also believed to be the first 76GHz contact between Wales and England.

The mode used was narrowband FM. More is on the web at tinyurl.com/uk-76ghz-record. (Southgate)

Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the W1QWT Repeater serving Scituate, Massachusetts.

ENFORCEMENT: PORTUGAL TAKES ACTION AGAINST ILLEGAL RADIO COMMUNICATIONS

Portugal is going after the radio bad guys. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Norm Seeley, KI7UP, has more:

Jose Francisco, CT4AN, reports that the Portuguese national telecommunications regulator ANACOM has taken action against illegal radio communications in that nation. In a second joint action, ANACOM and the Portuguese Maritime Police seized radio gear and issued heavy fines to ten unlicensed operators. Besides having the equipment confiscated, the operators face monetary forfeitures which may reach close to 1650 US Dollars each.

The Authorities said that the raids were based on interference complaints to legal Portuguese radio operators. These included stations licensed to operate in the Amateur Radio Service, Aeronautical and Maritime Services and on certain unspecified commercial radio frequencies.

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

More is on the web at tinyurl.com/PortugalCommsRegulator. (Southgate)

ENFORCEMENT: AUSTRALIAN CB OPERATOR ACCUSED OF HARASSMENT

A 44-year-old Adelaide, Australia, man has appeared in court charged with being abusive over his CB radio. The Australian Communications and Media Authority said the man had been charged with five offences following an investigation into his alleged abuse and harassment over that nations Citizens Band Radio service.

The unidentified man appeared at the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Friday, September 6 and was released under an order to appear again on November 15th. Under Australia’s Radio Communications Act it is against the law to operate a CB radio in a way that would cause a person to be seriously alarmed or affronted or to harass. It should be noted that Australia is a nations whose legal system protects the identity of those accused of legal infractions until a conviction has taken place. (Seven News Australia)

ENFORCEMENT: MYSTERY AM STATION ON THE AIR IN OMAHA NB ISSUED NOV

The FCC appears to be admitting that it is stumped by a mystery station in Omaha, Nebraska, that operates on 1490 KHz in the AM broadcast band.

According to the Omaha World Herald newspaper, the station uses the call letters KOMJ but is seemingly without owners, advertisers or disc jockeys. Instead it plays a continuous loop of oldies that some liken to a 1960’s jukebox stuffed with an endless supply of coins.

In papers filed last month the FCC admitted it was stumped in that it could not locate the stations owner nor its studio location. The regulatory agency said in its filing that the station is technically owned by Cochise Broadcasting, in Jackson, Wyoming but that it could find a phone number nor a website for the company.

Regular listeners to the station's oldies format say that commercials aren't part of the entertainment cycle leaving questions about who is paying for the programming. Meantime on August 14th the FCC did issue a Notice of Violation to Cochise Broadcasting for various alleged violations of its rules in relation to the operation of KOMJ.

More on this fascinating story is on the web at tinyurl.com/Omaha-mystery-station. The FCC Notice of Violation can be found at tinyurl.com/mystery-radio-n-o-v. (Omaha World-Herald)

RESCUE RADIO: ARMY MARS INVITES PARTNERS TO COLLABORATE IN HOMELAND SECURITY OPERATION

Army MARS Headquarters has invited the Chiefs of Air Force and Navy-Marine Corps MARS to join in a National Communications Exercise. One that will measure the auxiliary force's capabilities in the event that normal communications are disrupted throughout North America.

The test will run for 48 continuous hours from November 3rf to the 5th and will be closely monitored by a Joint Command responsible to the Defense Department for homeland security. This exercise culminates a year-long series of escalating preparations by Army MARS for responding to all types of complex emergencies. These could be anything from a natural phenomenon or terrorist attack that might render the Internet, long distance telephone, and national news and media networks unusable across the United States. (N1IN, QRZ)

RESCUE RADIO: NEW EMCOMM GUIDEBOOK FROM DHS

A very informative guidebook authored by Ross Merlin, WA2WDT, and titled NIFOG is described as a great go-to compendium of radio frequencies, channels, and other tidbits if information that can be essential in times of an emergency.

The guide is authored by Merlin who works in the Department of Homeland Security Office of Emergency Communications. He authored the guidebook for the agency and says that it contains page after page of frequency information, operating procedures, formulas, and rules and regulations from both the FCC and the NTIA. Specific subject material includes frequency and channel data for Fire, EMS, Police, and Law Enforcement as well as Mutual Aid channels in VHF, UHF, 700 MHz, and others. Also included is communications information for marine, aviation, NOAA weather, MURS, GMRS, FRS, and just about any radio you might encounter in an emergency.

Te guidebook is available in printed and downloadable formats. The primary Website where downloads copies are available is publicsafetytools.info. Copies printed on waterproof paper, are reportedly available free of charge from the Department of Homeland Security. Please contact NIFOG (at) HQ (dot) DHS (dot) GOV for details. (AA7BQ, QRZ.com)

HAM HAPPENINGS: OCTOBER SKY - THE ROCKET BOYS FESTIVAL

The "October Sky : Rocket Boys Festival" takes place October 4th to the 6th in Beckley, West Virginia. And as a part of the celebration the Black Diamond Amateur Radio Club will be operating a special event station on October 5th with the call W8R. Frequencies to be listening on are 7.280 and 14.280 MHz. +/- 3.Khz. More is on the web at tinyurl.com/rocket-boys-festival-2013

(KB8QEU)

RADIO HAPPENINGS: COLLEGE RADIO DAY OCTOBER 1

College Radio Day 2013 will take place on Tuesday, October 1st. This annual event has by now grown to 650 participating stations in 40 countries. This includes Italy, Israel, New Zealand, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Colombia, the United Kingdom and Sweden to name only a few.

College Radio Day is described as a 40 hour relay which involves presenters passing the mic figuratively from station to station while circumnavigating the globe over the airwaves. It was begun by Rob Quicke, who is a communications professor at William Paterson University, in New Jersey. He also oversees programming at WPSC- FM, which was named the “Best College Radio Station” in the U.S. in both 2012 and 2013. More about the event is on the web at collegeradioday.com. (RW)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: AMSAT-NA BOD ELECTION RESULTS ANNOUNCED

The results of the 2013 Amsat North America Board of Directors election has been announced. Barry Baines, WD4ASW; Tony Monteiro, AA2TX; Alan Biddle, WA4SCA, and Mark Hammond, N8MH, will serve on the board for two year terms. The first alternate is JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM, and the second alternate is Steve Coy, K8UD. 688 AMSAT- North America members cast votes in this year’s election. (AMSAT-NA)

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:

CHANGING OF THE GUARD: WAYNE GREEN, W2NSD – SK

The changing of the guard in amateur radio continues with word of the passing of one of the hobby’s true legends. Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, has the story of the life and legacy of Dr. Wayne Green, W-2-Never-Say-Die:

One of the people who truly changed the face of ham radio in both the 20th and 21st centuries has gone to his final reward. This with the sad news that Dr. Wayne S. Green II, W2NSD, of Hancock, New Hampshire, died September 13th at the age of 91.

Dr. Green was an outspoken figure during his many years writing about the hobby. His public career really began with a five year stint at CQ Magazine in the 1950’s before founding 73 Magazine in late 1959. While at the helm of 73 he often used the title of El Supremo and Founder of the magazine which he published until 2003.

Over the years Dr. Green was known for many things. He traveled the world and did his best to introduce ham radio in developing nations. He was one of the earliest supporters of emerging modes such as RTTY, FM and repeaters and even started the first ham radio digital communications magazine. And as each new technology came along, there was W2NSD as its point man urging all of us to embrace the same dreams that he had. Be it ham radio, personal computing, the Compact Disc or numerous other technologies, there was Wayne Green urging anyone who would listen to give it a try.

But what Wayne Green, W2NSD, will likely best be remembered for was his editorials. He wrote over a thousand of them covering everything from giving his personal support to even the most mundane aspects of our hobby to alternate science such as his belief in producing energy through cold fusion. The list of what he wrote about goes on and on. It took a lifetime for him to write and for many of us; it took a good part of our lifetime to read. And in the process his zest for life and commitment to ham radio and technology changed both for the better.

On his blog, Dr. Green left a short note for all of us. It was his final entry. Please permit me to read it to you as it sums up the life of the man as he saw himself:

The wall clock clicks out the seconds
With so many yet ahead, I’ve ignored them
A battery keeps the clock going
I wonder how my own battery is doing?

The one with the most toys wins
Awash in toys, I’ll pass on
What did I win?
Now what happens to my toys?

I’ll leave books, records, tapes, and photos
By the thousands
A lifetime archive
Worthless to anyone but me.

Pictures of family and friends
Treasured books and music
The mileposts of my life
All will be headed for the trash heap.

Like my father, grandfather, and great grandfather
I’ll be another gravestone
In a northern New Hampshire cemetery
And the world will carry on as if nothing had happened.

I have no complaints
I’ve enjoyed the world and helped it a bit
What would I change if I could do my life over?
Get a thick pad and I’ll make a list.

73 Wayne. We will see you once again on the other side of the great ethereal abyss.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, remembering the years gone bye.

Wayne Green’s longtime associate Daron Libby will be keeping Dr. Green’s on-line blog at waynegreen.com/wayne/news.html active for the foreseeable future. If you have a personal thought that you would like to see added to it please e-mail it to dhlc (at) Comcast (dot) net. (ARNewsline™)

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: HAM OWNED COMPANY DEVELOPS HF ASSET TRACKING NETWORK

HySky Technologies Inc. is using High Frequency communications for an innovative asset tracking and reporting network. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Skeeter Nash, N5ASH, has the details:

The company whose the Chief Executive Officer is Charles Maynard, KJ4PPE, recently gained an FCC license to use 954 H-F channels each 3 kHz wide. The mobile tracking units using this spectrum will transmit a maximum of 1 watt Effective Radiated Power using a small low-efficiency broadband antenna. The data will be received by nine stations located at low-noise sites across the USA which will then be forward the data to customers.

The signal being transmitted will have a bandwidth of 2800 Hz and an emission designator of 2K80G1D. The company says that a military High Frequency waveform will be used and claims the system will overcome coverage and other problems associated with traditional tracking devices using cell-phone or satellite transmission interfaces.

The license issued to HySky reportedly covers up to 10,000 devices operating in the United States, including Hawaii, Alaska and US territories but word is that this service could expand worldwide.

Im Skeeter Nash, N5ASH.

More about the company and its rather interesting work is on the web at www.hysky.com (Southgate)

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: NEW INFLATABLE ANTENNA FOR CUBESATS

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology reports that researchers have developed a new design of inflatable antenna for CubeSats that can fold into a compact space and then inflate when on-orbit.

Due to their small size CubeSats have up to now been limited to small monopole or dipole antennas. Such low gain omni-directional antennas have in turn restricted CubeSats to Low Earth Orbits using lower data rates than would be possible with a large directional antenna array.

But the new inflatable antenna may significantly increase the communication range of these small satellites, enabling them to travel much farther in the solar system. It is claimed the distance that can be covered by a satellite with an inflatable antenna array is seven times farther than that of existing CubeSat communications.

The MIT team, led by Alessandra Babuscia, is part of the research group of Professor Sara Seager, KB1WTW. The group also includes graduate students Mary Knapp, KB1WUA, Benjamin Corbin, and Mark Van de Loo from MIT, and Rebecca Jensen-Clem from the California Institute of Technology. (Southgate)

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: KF5LJG HEADED TO ISS IN LATE SEPTEMBER

NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG, along with Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryzanskiy are scheduled to launch September 25 to join their Expedition 37 crewmates aboard the International Space Station.

Hopkins will be the first member of the 2009 NASA astronaut class to fly into space. While aboard the ISS, KF5LJG will install the new Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Ham Video gear. He has already received pre-flight training on how to commission the amateur radio digital video equipment.

Hopkins will join Expedition 37 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, RN3FI, and Flight Engineers Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP and Karen Nyberg. Yurchikhin, Nyberg, and Parmitano arrived in May and will return to Earth in November. (K6LCS)

DX

In DX, DL1YAF is currently on the air stroke VP9 from Hamilton. Bermuda. He will be there through September 25th operating holiday style on CW, SSB and PSK31. QSL via home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

Members of Canada’s Association de Radio Amateurs Sept Iles Inc. will be active as VE2CSI during the CQ World Wide DX RTTY Contest on September 28th and 29th as a Multi-2 entry. Operators mentioned are VE2EBK, VE2SG and possibly others. QSL via M0URX.

DL3JH will be operational from Sri Lanka as 4S7JG until September 29th. He is active on the High Frequency bands only. QSL via his home call.

Lastly, JI1LET will be active from Chichijima Island in the Ogasawara chain from October 25th through November 3rd operating signing JD1BOI. He will be active on 80 through 6 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via his home call direct only

(Above from various DX news sources)

THAT FINAL ITEM: NASA TO REACTIVATE WISE INFRARED RADIO TELESCOPE

And finally this week, a currently mothballed space telescope will soon have a new mission in space as we hear from Newsline’s Jeff Clark, K8JAC:

NASA will reactivate a currently unused infrared space telescope for a three-year mission. This to search for potentially dangerous asteroids on a collision course with Earth.

The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, telescope also will hunt for targets for a future mission to send a robotic spacecraft to rendezvous with a small asteroid and relocate part or all of it into a high orbit around the moon. Astronauts would then visit the relocated asteroid during a test flight of NASA's deep-space Orion capsule which is slated for launch sometime in 2021.

Launched in December 2009, the WISE telescope spent 13 months scouting for telltale infrared signs of asteroids, stars, distant galaxies and other celestial objects, especially those too dim to radiate in visible light. As part of its all-sky mapping mission, WISE observed more than 34,000 asteroids in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and another 135 asteroids in orbits that come close to Earth. In all, researchers cataloged more than 560 million objects from data radioed back to Earth from the WISE space telescope.

Im Jeff Clark, K8JAC.

Orion and a heavy-lift rocket called the Space Launch System which will carry Wise follow-on team on their mission are scheduled for an unmanned debut test flight sometime in 2017. (NASA)

NEWSCAST CLOSE

With thanks to Alan Labs, AMSAT, the ARRL, the CGC Communicator, CQ Magazine, the FCC, the Ohio Penn DX Bulletin, Radio Netherlands, Rain, the RSGB, the Southgate News, TWiT-TV and Australia's W-I-A News, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline™. Our e-mail address is newsline (at) arnewsline (dot) org. More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's™ only official website located at www.arnewsline.org. You can also write to us or support us at Amateur Radio Newsline™, 28197 Robin Avenue, Santa Clarita California, 91350

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors’ desk, I’m Don Wilbanks, AE5DW, in South Mississippi, saying 73 and we thank you for listening.

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

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