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ARNewsline Report 1902 -- Jan 24 2014:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on January 24, 2014
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Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1902 –- January 24, 2014

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1902 with a release date of January 24, 2014 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. Two meter DXCC comes to a ham in South Africa; a ham radio news service takes issue with UK licensing figures; a Canadian newspaper says ham radio is the right fit for emergency communications; the Northern California DX Foundation announces a major grant to the upcoming Tromlin Island DXpedition; the ARRL releases its 100th anniversary video and Russia ends an era of long-wave broadcasting. All this and more on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1902 coming your way right now.

RADIO RECORDS: ZS6OB ACHIEVES 1ST SOUTH AFRICAN 2 METER DXCC

A new record for VHF DXing from South Africa. David Conradie, ZR6DHC, tells us about the success on 2 meters by Pine Pienaar, ZS6OB:

December saw a landmark for South African VHF DXing when Pine Pienaar ZS6OB applied for the DXCC award using only contacts made in the two meter band. With this Pine became the first amateur in Africa and only the second in the southern hemisphere to achieve this feat.

DXCC is issued by the American Radio Relay League for proven contact with at least 100 entities. Most of these entities are countries, with a few additions that are regarded as separate, mostly for geographic reasons.

More than two thirds of two meter DXCC holders are in Europe, with their concentration of almost 70 countries in close proximity. North America features about a fifth of applicants, with about a tenth in Japan. Bob Macquarie ZL3TY was the first in Oceania and the southern hemisphere, with ZS6OB being first in Africa. South America has yet to produce its first winner.

Pine used digital modes with a four-Yagi station. He has been working on his DXCC for a full decade. His single-band award brings the number of bands on which South Africans have earned DXCC to eleven.

For the Amateur radio Newsline I am David Conradie ZR6DHC

Our congratulations to ZS6OB, on this truly difficult achievement. (ZR6DHC)

WORLDBEAT: NUMBER OF HAM RADIO LICENSEES IN UK IN DISPUTE

The U-K based Southgate news says that the number of ham radio operators in the United Kingdom is on the decline and not growing as reported by other news sources. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Norm Seeley, KI7UP reports:

The on-line Southgate News Service cites a sentence near the end of an article published on the American Radio Relay League’s web page using numbers compiled by AH0A that the newsletter says gives a rather misleading impression of the situation in the United Kingdom.

At the time it was posted, the ARRL article said that: “In the United Kingdom, 76,362 licensees were on record as of March 2012 up by 3.9 percent over 2011, and growth was consistent.” This says Southgate paints a completely false picture of the situation where the reality is that the number of UK radio amateurs has fallen by 47% over the past 7 years.

According to Southgate, United Kingdom Amateur Radio licenses should be renewed or revalidated every 5 years. But says the news service, U-K telecommunications regulator Ofcom recently admitted that 47% of the licenses reported in its monthly statistics had not been renewed. Also that the license statistics still include people who became Silent Keys or who gave up the hobby as far back as 7 years ago.

Southgate says that in the UK there is also a double or even triple counting of licenses. It notes that when people upgrade from Foundation to Intermediate and Full Advanced their previous licenses remain in the figures. In addition, a significant number of amateurs hold two Full Advanced licenses as a result of that nations old Class A and Class B licensing structure.

While all of this may be true, anyone outside the United Kingdom can only go by the official information provided by a nation’s telecommunications regulator. And as this story is being written the numbers on the Ofcom website show a grand total of 82,793 licensed radio amateurs in the UK as of January 1st of this year. That’s an increase of 6,431 total UK hams since the numbers cited by the ARRL web article appeared.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Norm Seeley, KI7UP, reporting.

You can read the current Southgate story that covers ham radio licensing around the globe at tinyurl.com/UK-license-numbers. An earlier article also from Southgate is at tinyurl.com/hams-in-the-uk. The Ofcom website with the official UK statistics is at tinyurl.com/uk-ham-radio-numbers (Southgate, Ofcom)

WORLDBEAT: NEW UK BAND PLANS PUBLISHED

The Radio Society of Great Britain has published new band plans for all United Kingdom amateur allocations from 136 kHz to 250 GHz. Copies of the band plan pages can be freely downloaded from the Operating section of the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org. RSGB membership is not required to access these files. The same information will also be available in printed form in the February edition of the RSGB monthly magazine RadCom. (RSGB, Southgate)

WORLDBEAT: CANADIAN NEWSPAPER SAYS HAM RADIO PERFECT FOR EMCOMM

The Canadian newspaper the Camrose has run an article describing how amateur radios unique communications expertise can make all the difference in times of emergency. The article quotes Rose City Amateur Radio Club vice-president Gary Horne VE6GD. He says that one of the things hams do is keep an emergency radio in the county office so if they are called on for emergency communications that they have a base station already set up. He also notes that the city also has ham operators names should they need any help.

The article says that amateur radio operators are often called on to assist in the coordination of emergency services during disasters like the Pine Lake tornado, the floods in southern Alberta or the Slave Lake fire. You can read the entire story on-line at tinyurl.com/camrose-ham-radio. (Camrose.com)

DX UP FRONT: NCDXF ANNOUNCES MAJOR GRANT TO FT5/T TROMELIN ISLAND DXPEDITION

In DX up-front, word that the Northern California DX Foundation has announced a grant of $25,000 to the FT5 stroke T, Tromelin Island DXpedition planned for November of this year.

Tromelin is a very small and very environmentally fragile area. As such, there are strict limitations to the number of visitors and the time allowable on the island. Because of this it is currently number ten on the DX Magazine's Most Wanted List for 2014 and number three most wanted on the U.S. West Coast.

For the past 42 years the Northern California DX Foundation has funded major DXpeditions to many Most Wanted Entities. Without this type of financial support from the foundation, DXpeditions like this to challenging or rare locations would not be possible.

More on the DXpedition itself is on-line at www.tromelin2014.com/en/ (W0GJ)

DX UP FRONT: LESOTHO DXPEDITION NEEDS MORE OPERATORS

K5LBU has announced that he is still looking for a few more team members for a DXpedition to Lesotho this April. He states that he already has three DXers but islooking for several more. Plans are to arrive in Johannesburg on April 21st or 22nd and then drive down to Roma, Lesotho. If he can end up with 6 or more operators, the operation will have at least three stations on the air. Those interested can contact him via e-mail to 3DA0CF (at) gmail (dot) com. And we will have more DX news later on in this week’s newscast. (DX poasting)

Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the WA9CJN repeater serving DeKalb, Illinois.

RESTRUCTURING: CANADA FULLY AUTHORIZES 5 MHZ CHANNELS

Some good news for our friends to the North. On January 22nd, the Canadian regulator, Industry Canada released a decision to allow that nations ham radio community the permanent use of five spot frequencies in the 60 meter or 5 MHz band.

The new grant in Canada is the result of an official Industry Canada consultation held in the Summer 2012. The frequencies designated are 5.332, 5.348, 5.358.5, 5.373 and 5.405 MHz. Canadian hams can use them on a non-interference, no-protection basis. The maximum allowable bandwidth is 2.8 kHz at 100 watts peak envelope power.

It should be noted that in general, the new Canadian grant closely follows the same permits and restrictions as imposed on United States hams by the FCC. In reality, Canadian amateurs have had access to these frequencies since 2012, provided they applied for a special interim 5 MHz developmental license using a specially assigned VX9 series callsign. You can read the full Industry Canada 5 MHz decision at tinyurl.com/canada- 60-meter-grant. (IC, VE3QN, PB2T, G3PSM, Southgate)

ENFORCEMENT: CHURCH IN PUERTO RICO FINED FOR TOWER VIOLATION

The FCC proposed a $7,000 monetary forfeiture against the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Catholic Church in Puerto Rico. This for it’s alleged failure to have an effective locked fence or other enclosure around the tower for its WKVM A-M radio station in San Juan.

The story goes back to April 2nd of last year. That’s when an agent from the San Juan office of the Enforcement Bureau inspected the station’s three-tower array and saw that the perimeter fence was not locked and one section was lying on the ground. Also, the individual fence around one of the towers was partially on the ground and the gate was open.

In its response the station management told the FCC that a storm had damaged the fences in the fall of 2012, however the fences around each of the three towers was still intact. It also said someone had damaged the perimeter fence in the beginning of 2013.

The station said it had the individual tower fences repaired and was planning to have the perimeter gate fixed. However the FCC countered by noting that the station had still violated its rules and that the proposed fine is justified.

As is usual station was given 30 days pay or to file an appeal. (FCC, RW)

ENFORCEMENT: TWO ALLEGED COPPER THIEVES CAUGHT IN CONNECTICUT

Police have apprehended a pair of individuals whom they allege stole copper from multiple transmitter sites in the Connecticut Valley.

According to the Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 14 newsletter, the unidentified pair apparently had a list of Connecticut transmitter sites in their vehicle. It says that the suspects would scout out potential sites to hit on holidays. They were caught on video on Christmas Eve while purportedly doing reconnaissance at two transmitter sites in the state. (RW, SBE Chapter 14 Newsletter)

STRANGE TECHNOLOGY: APPLIANCES BECOME SPAMBOTS

Possibly the first proven cyber attack to originate from connected smart appliances occurred between December 23rd and January 6th. This according to the e-mail security compamy Proofpoint which says that the scam involved some 750,000 e-mails from more than 100,000 appliances that had been commandeered by so called thingbots. These are robotic programs that can be remotely installed on digital devices.

Proofpoint noted that connected appliances typically aren't protected by anti-spam or anti-virus software. Nor are they routinely monitored for security breaches. As such they didn't require sophisticated hacks but the mere use of default passwords was enough to make them vulnerable.

A complete description of this latest in robot based hacking can be found at the Proofpoint website. It’s in cyberspace at tinyurl.com/robot-appliance-spam. (Zee News of India, other published reports)

NEW HAM VIDEO: THE ARRL AT 100: A CENTURY OF AMATEUR RADIO

The ARRL has released a preview of its new 100th anniversary video aptly titled the ARRL at 100: A Century of Amateur Radio. Running 25 minutes, the show was written by former ARRL Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP. It is hosted by QST Magazine’s Managing Editor Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY, whose on screen presence rivals that of some of the very best network news talent.

The story line itself is simple. It plays out as a timeline in the history of the League from its earliest days right up to the present. Along the way you will learn some interesting facts that few know about. This includes the methods used by ARRL founder’s Hyrum Percy Maxim, 1AW, and Clarence Tuska, 1WD, to insure the survival of ham radio after World War One when the Navy Department decided to hold onto control of all radio following the end of hostilities. That tid- bit alone make this video well worth viewing.

The ARRL at 100: A Century of Amateur Radio was produced by Al Petrunti, KA1TCH, with graphic design by Kevin O’Dell, N0IRW. It was edited by Jordan La Mere and you can see it on the web at tinyurl.com/ARRL-at-100. DVD’s suitable for group showing are available at tinyurl.com/arrl-100-video (ARNewsline from screening)

SOCIAL SCENE: 2014 DAYTON RTTY CONTEST DINNER

The 2014 Dayton RTTY Contest Dinner will take place on Thursday, May 15th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Dayton, Ohio. This years featured guest speaker will be Larry Gauthier, K8UT. For more information and to reserve tickets take your web browser to www.rttycontestdinner.com. (WW4LL)

SOCIAL SCENE: DAYTON TOP BAND DINNER ON MAY 16

And a day later the 25th Annual Dayton 160 meter Top Band dinner will be held Friday evening May 16, also at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Social hour begins at 6:15 PM with dinner at 7:15 PM. Dinner reservations and tickets are now available on the web at topbanddinner.com. (K3L)

THE SOCIAL SCENE: ORANGE COUNTY NY SPRING HAMFEST APRIL 27

The Orange County New York Amateur Radio Club will hold its spring 2014 hamfest on Sunday, April 27th from 8 a.m to 2 p.m.. The venue this year is the Wallkill Community Center in the city of Madison. Free parking will be available with talk-in on the local 146.76 Mhz repeater that requires a 100 Hertz tone to access. For more information please contact Tom Ray by e-mail to W2TRR (at) ocarc-ny (dot) com or check the clubs website at tinyurl.com/ocarc-hamfest. (OCARC NY)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: MORRISON REPLACES GALLAGHER AT NETCOM

Some names in the news. First up is Brigadier General John B. Morrison Junior who has been named to run the Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command or NETCOM operation. This is the parent of the Army’s Military Auxiliary Radio Service.

Morrison previously served as commanding general of the 7th Signal Command which is the subsidiary unit serving the Western Hemisphere. He replaces Brigadier General Peter Gallagher who has been serving as NETCOM's interim commander. (Army MARS)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: WHARTON REPLACES BURCHFIELD AT TEN TEC

Ten Tec, Inc has announced that effective January 1st that Jack Burchfield, K4JU, has turned over day-to-day management responsibility at the Tennessee based amateur radio equipment manufacturer to President Jim Wharton, NO4A. According to Wharton, Burchfield will remain as Chief Executive Officer and majority stock holder, however he plans to begin retiring and spending more time with family. Wharton said his challenge will be to coordinate and oversee production as well as to manage the Ten Tec design and sales teams. (ARRL, TEN-TEC)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: VU3BNH AND EMCOMM FEATURED IN NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

India’s The Hindu newspaper reports on an interview with B.N. Umesh, VU3BNH, about amateur radio emergency communications. VU3BNH was among the team of ham radio operators who helped provide communication in the state of Gujarat, after it was struck by a devastating earthquake in 2001. In 2004, Umesh went again as a ham radio operator to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands after the 2004 Tsunami.

The news article says that on both occasions, VU3BNH thought nothing of his own safety. It quotes him as saying that his mind was set on rescuing people and providing prompt communications. The full story is on-line at tinyurl.com/VU3BNH (The Hindu)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: KAY CRAGIE, N3KN, RE- ELECTED AS ARRL PRESIDENT

And congratulations to ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, on her election to a third two year term in that leadership position. N3KN is the League’s 15th president,. She lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, and has been in office since 2010. (ARRL)

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 IN SPACE: EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY ROSETTA WAKES UP IN SPACE

Waking up after almost three years of hibernation, the comet chasing Rosetta spacecraft sent its first radio signal back to Earth on Monday, January 20th. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Heather Embee, KB3TZD, reports:

The European Space Agency received the back in service message from its Rosetta spacecraft at 1:18 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. This after the spacecraft had traveled some 800 million kilometers in sleep mode.

Dormant systems on the unmanned spacecraft were quickly switched back on in preparation for the final stage of its decade long mission to rendezvous with the comet 67P. The return to service call was one of the final milestones for Rosetta before it makes its rendezvous with the comet this summer.

The probe will first fly a series of maneuvers to observe the comet before dropping a probe onto its icy surface in November. The lander will dig up samples and analyze them with its on-board instruments and radio the results back to the researchers here on Earth.

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

Scientists hope the Rosetta mission will help them understand the composition of comets and thereby discover more about the evolution of the solar system. (ESA, published news reports)

WORLDBEAT: RUSSIA ENDS AN ERA FOR LONG-WAVE BROADCASTING

Without any fanfare, Russia has quietly switched off nearly all of its long-wave transmitters. This as cost cutting by the Russian government finally catches up with this medium after nine decades on the airwaves.

The BBC report that on January 9th that state-run Radio Rossii ended its broadcast day as usual with the national anthem. There was no mention that long-wave transmissions were coming to an end but the following day listeners found they had to rely on local FM broadcasts and the internet to hear the station.

Long-wave had long suited Russian broadcasters because a single transmitter could reach a wide area at all times of day and night. But they are expensive to operate and as most listeners switched to listening on FM, through cable, satellite and the internet, the authorities decided to bring the service to an end. More is on the web at tinyurl.com/Russia-ends-longwave. (Southgate, BBC)

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: JAPANESE HAM RADIO SATELLITES LAUNCH FEB/MARCH

Japan will soon be lofting a number of new ham radio micro satellites as we hear from Hal Rogers, K8CMD:

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency have announced the launch date for the liftoff of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle Number 23 carrying the Global Precipitation Measurement core observatory along with seven amateur radio satellites.

The amateur radio birds are STARS-II, ShindaiSat, TeikyoSat 3, KSAT-2, OPUSAT, ARTSAT, INVADE and ITF-1. It is understood they will be put into a 407 km orbit with an inclination of 65 degrees.

The launch window is scheduled to begin on Friday, February 28th Japan Standard Time from the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.

Im Hal Rogers, K8CMD.

Several more ham radio cubesats from various nations will be launched during 2014. (AMSAT-UK)

**

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: SOUTH AFRICA AMSAT INVITES SCHOOLS TO PARTICIPATE IN NEW HAMSAT

The South African Amateur Radio Satellite Association is inviting schools and universities in that nation to submit proposals for an education project for inclusion in their CubeSat satellite currently being developed. The satellite will carry a telemetry beacon which report on the health of the tiny bird and provide opportunities for school students to acquire more knowledge about space.

Satellites planners want to extend the learning experience by including a student built project in the flight. As such they are now accepting proposals for a project from South Africa high schools and universities.

The project needs to be small enough to fit in with the rest of the equipment of the 10x10x10 cm CubeSat and draw as little as power as possible. The criteria for judging includes originality and once operating from space the estimated level of interest it is likely to draw among young people. The most interesting proposal received will be considered for inclusion in the satellite.

Proposals from South Africa schools should be documented as completely as possible and be emailed to saamsat (at) intekom (dot) co (dot) za. The closing date for proposals to be received is this coming February 28th. (SA AMSAT)

DX

In DX, ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, says that the TT8ES operation from Chad that was previously approved for 2012 and 2013 has had the license extended through February 28 of this year. This means that DXCC credit for this operation will continue through that date.

In an e-mail to Newsline, CP6XE says effective January 15th, that IK6SNR is no longer his QSL Manager. His new QSL manager is via IK6GPZ. Please QSL via that routing. No reason was given for the change.

On the air, OZ5BD will travel to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to be active as OX5T between January 31st and February 2nd. His operation will be on 160 through 10 meters with an emphasis on 160, 80 and 40. Modes mentioned are CW and SSB.

DL2AWG, DL6JGN and K5YY will be on the air from Nauru between April 3rd and the 16th. They are searching for operators to join them to operate CW, SSB and the Digital modes. QSL will go via DL2AWG. More details should be forthcoming soon.

N4SIA and K4MIL will be operational as KG4AS and KG4SS respectively, from Guantanamo Bay through January 27th. Activity will be on 160 through 6 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via their home callsigns.

Lastly, F5IRO will be active /FK from Mare Island sometime during the second week in February. His operation will be 40 through 10 meters using CW only. QSL via F5IRO direct via the REF Bureau.

(Above from various DX news sources)

THAT FINAL ITEM: RADIO AND THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE MAKE POSSIBLE WEATHER FORECAST FOR ALIEN PLANET

And finally this week, radio communications and an orbiting telescope have made it possible for astronomers to provide a kind of weather forecast for an alien planet. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Cheryl Lasik, K9B- IK, is here with the details:

Astronomers from the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago have actually been able to characterize the atmosphere of an Earth class planet orbiting another star. The team of researchers led by Laura Kreidberg and Jacob Bean detected clear evidence of clouds in the atmosphere of planet GJ1214b from data collected with the Hubble Space Telescope and radioed back to Earth.

The Hubble observations used 96 hours of telescope time spread over 11 months. This was the largest Hubble program ever devoted to studying a single exoplanet. The researchers describe their work as an important milestone on the road to identifying potentially habitable, earth-like planets beyond our solar system.

The scrutinized exoplanet is called a super- earth or water world because its mass is intermediate between those of Earth and Neptune. It was found orbiting a red dwarf star some 40 light-years from Earth.

An exoplanet, or extra solar planet, is a world outside the Solar System. To date, over a thousand such planets have been found.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, not far from Chicago in Zion, Illinois.

More on this amazing discovery is on the web at tinyurl.com/new-waterworld-discovered. A NASA artists rendition of the planet and its home star is at tinyurl.com/kb5y4kf (NASA, Business Standard)

NEWSCAST CLOSE

With thanks to Alan Labs, AMSAT, the ARRL, 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 Jim Damron, N8TMW, 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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