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ARNewsline Report 1906 -- Feb 21 2014:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on February 21, 2014
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Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1906 – February 21, 2014

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1906 with a release date of February, 21 2014 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. A ham in the United Kingdom hears China’s lunar rover; the public is invited to comment on FCC Process Reform; Canadian hams get permanent access to a very low frequency band; hams in Bulgaria get three new bands; South Africa hams told that they must comply with 12 point 5 kilohertz spacing for 2 meter repeaters; two teens bring a dormant AMSAT net back to life and a trip back in time and space to the beginnings of the universe. All this and more on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1906 coming your way right now.

RADIO FROM SPACE: UK HAM LOCATES SIGNAL FROM CHINA’S LUNAR ROVER

China’s Jade Rabbit Lunar Rover is not dead after all. This after its signal was heard and confirmed by a United Kingdom radio amateur. Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, is in the newsroom with the latest:

The Jade Rabbit rover was launched as a part of China’s Chang 3 mission to the Moon last December 1st . On December 14th the Chang 3 landed on the Moon with the first signals copied at UHF-Satcom around 17:18 UTC on that same day. The Jade Rabbit Lunar Rover was then deployed with its transmitter activated and signals detected on 8462.080MHz running in a low rate BPSK mode.

The rover functioned well until the lunar nighttime set in. The missions Command Control center was expecting the rover to contact Earth on February 12th after it had it endured its second lunar night. Since it did not transmit any signals, the rover was officially declared permanently inoperative.

But on that same day a signal from the Jade Rabbit was heard by a ham radio operator in the United Kingdom. Paul Marsh, G7EYT, who also holds the call M0EYT reported detecting the missing rover on 8462.078 MHz. This has brought new hope to the China’s Command Control personnel that the overall mission might be saved.

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

Needless to say that is quite an accomplishment for ham radio. Especially after those in command of the project seemed to think that all might be lost. The complete story of how the Jade Rabbit was found along with spectral pictures of the Chang mission is at www.uhf- satcom.com/amateurdsn/chang-e-3/ (Southgate)

TEECOMMUNICATIONS LAW: PUBLIC INVITED TO COMMENT ON FCC PROCESS REFORM

The Federal Communications Commission is inviting comment on what it terms as its Process Reform. Among the agency’s goals is eliminating or streamlining outdated rules that are candidates for such action. This, as a result of marketplace or technology changes that render them no longer necessary in the public interest.

Interested parties may file comments on the Report and the proposed recommendations on or before March 31, 2014. All comments should reference GN Docket No. 14-25. Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the agency’s Electronic Comment Filing System at apps.fcc.gov/ecfs. The entire notice can be read on-line at tinyurl.com/FCC-rules-reform (FCC)

RESTRUCTURING: CANADIAN HAMS GET PERMINANT ACCESS TO 135 KHZ BAND

Industry Canada has approved permanent access by Canadian radio amateurs to the Low Frequency band from 135.7 to 137.8 kHz, subject to certain conditions put in place in late 2009. This includes a maximum emission bandwidth of only100 Hz as well as a maximum Effective Radiated Power level not to exceed one watt. Also, as this is a shared allocation which Canadian hams many not cause interference to the primary users of this spectrum including stations in other nations that operate radio-navigation services.

The addition of permanent access to 135.7 to 137.8 kHz is a direct result of Canada implementing changes from the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference which added amateur radio use of this spectrum on a secondary basis. This has now been included in the newly updated Canadian RBR-4 Standards for the Operation of Stations in that nation’s Amateur Radio Service. (RAC, VE3YV, VE3KI, VE3IQ)

RESTRUCTURING: NEW AMATEUR BANDS FOR BULGARIA

Several new and one expanded amateur bands have been introduced to ham radio in Bulgaria. In the near future, L-Zed prefix amateurs will be able to use bands 472 to 479 kHz, 5.250 to 5.450 MHz and 70.0 to 70.5MHz. In addition, the 160 meter band will be extended up to 2 MHz. All those new and increased allocations are on a secondary, non-interfering basis with the primary users of these spectrum parcels. (Southgate, others)

RADIO LAW: SOUTH AFRICA AMATEUR RADIO REPEATERS MUST COMPLY WITH 12.5 KHZ CHANNEL SPACING

South Africa's telecommunications regulator ICASA has confirmed that all 2 meter amateur radio repeaters must comply to the 12.5 kHz channel spacing. This, during a recent meeting between the South African Radio League and that regulatory body.

While most South African repeaters operating in the two meter band do comply with 12.5 kHz spacing there are however still a few repeaters that still use the older 25 kHz inter-system spacing. The South African Radio League and ICASA will meet again during March for a workshop to address repeater frequency coordination and other operational issues. (SARL)

RESCUE RADIO: TASMANIA POLICE CHASE DOWN OLD ANALOG EPIRB

From Tasmania comes word of a rather messy rubbish search to locate an errant signal from a discarded older style emergency locator beacon. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, has the details:

Police in northern Tasmania had to use a rescue helicopter to locate an errantly discarded Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, or EPIRB. Then a ground crew had to dig through the rubbish dump to located the unit and manually disable it.

Personal radio beacons such as this are a safety measure used by people mostly while at sea or traveling in remote areas. According to Jim Linton, VK3PC, who passed along the story, these older style beacons need to be disposed of properly. That means at minimum removing the battery before casting them aside.

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

As of February 2010, analogue beacons on 121.5 MHz are not monitored by satellite and only 406 MHz EPIRB signals are now being listened for. (VK3PC)

RESCUE RADIO: RBDS GETS PRAISE FOR DELIVERING ALERTS

Back here in the United States, a report validates the benefits of using the Radio Broadcast Data System or RBDS to deliver alerts to individuals during emergencies.

Congress wanted the Federal Emergency Management Agency to study how RBDS could be used with its Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. FEMA now says to improve the speed and penetration of federal, state and local emergency alerts and warnings, the agency is evaluating RBDS to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the alerting distribution infrastructure.

One of the upshots that could potentially be seen because of the report is finding more cellular telephones to be equipped for FM broadcast reception so that that they can act as RBDS receivers as well. More is on-line at tinyurl.com/RBDS-2014 (RW)

DX UP FRONT: AMSTERDAM ISLAND FT5ZM DXPEDITION CLOSES DOWN

In DX up-front, the on-the-air portion of the Amsterdam Island FT5ZM DXpedition has come to an end, although the job of sending out QSL cards remains. During its stay, the DXpedition team logged on the order of 170,000 contacts on SSB, CW and RTTY. Amsterdam Island has been the seventh most sought after DXCC entity according to the ClubLog Most Wanted List.

(GB2RS)

DX UP FRONT: WESTERN SAHARA IN MARCH

DX-World.net is reporting that 3Z9DX is planning to operate stroke S0 from the Western Sahara territory for one week only sometime in mid-March. The exact dates are yet to be determined but his activity will be on 40 through 10 meters using SSB only. QSL this one via 3Z9DX.

Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the KJ3LR repeater on 145.110 MHz serving Bradenton, Florida.

RADIO SAFETY: IDAHO HAM SERIOUSLY INJURED IN TOWER REPAIR ACCIDENT

A tower accident has seriously injured an Idaho ham. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Ralph Squillace, KK6ITB, is here with the details of what happened:

Robert Galindo, KE7ADT, of Athol, Idaho, was critically injured when the winching cable snapped while he was working on his forty foot crank-up tower resulting in the loss of his right hand and several fingers on his left hand.

The 52 year old Galindo, who goes by the name of BearPaw was trapped and left hanging 20 feet up in the air when rescue crews arrived at his home. The accident, which occurred on February 14th was witnessed by his wife Gail Perry, KE7ADN, who called for the emergency assistance.

Multiple agencies responded to her 911 call, with help arriving in under a half hour. Timberlake Fire Protection District officials say that it took rescuers another 20 minutes to raise the upper tower sections and to extricate Galindo.

KE7ADT was then transported by a Life Flight helicopter to the Kootenai Health Center in the city of Coeur d' Alene. There he underwent more than 4 hours of surgery and at last report we have was that he was listed in critical condition following the operation.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Ralph Squillace, KK6ITB, reporting.

More on this story as information is made available. (cdapress.com, nevadahamradio.com, N7UR)

ENFORCEMENT: FCC ISSUES $7000 NAL TO TEXAS HAM

The FCC has issued Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in the amount of $7000 to James R. Winstead, KD5OZY, of Coleman, Texas. This for his alleged violation of Section 97.101(d) of the Commission’s rules by operating a radio transmitter to interfere with the communications of other licensees.

This past January 21st, in response to several complaints of intentional interference from amateur licensees operating on 7.195 MHz, an agent of the Enforcement Bureau’s Dallas Office used mobile direction finding to positively identify the source of transmissions to the address of record for Mr. Winstead’s amateur radio station.

The agent monitored the transmissions for approximately 30 minutes. During that time he heard the replay multiple times of short sentences or conversations that had just been transmitted and someone occasionally speak the word “George.” The FCC alleges that it was Winstead who replayed recorded conversations so frequently that other licensees were unable to complete their conversations.

The agent then identified himself to Mr Winstead and requested to inspect the radio station located on the premises. The agent soon noted that Mr. Winstead’s amateur radio station was tuned to the frequency 7.195 MHz. During the inspection, Mr. Winstead showed the agent how he recorded and retransmitted other amateur licensees’ communications. He also admitted that he intentionally interfered with amateur communications on 7.195 MHz and had an ongoing disagreement with another amateur licensee named George.

Now in its February 19th decision to propose the $7000 fine the FCC says that the evidence in this case is sufficient to establish that Mr. Winstead violated Section 333 of both the Communications Act and Section 97.101(d) of the Rules. Section 333 of the Communications Act prohibits any person from willfully or maliciously interfering with or causing interference to any radio communications of any licensed station. Section 97.101(d) of the FCC Rules states that no amateur operator shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communication or signal.

Winstead was given the customary 30 days to pay the proposed fine or to file an appeal. (FCC)

ENFORCEMENT: WLS CHICAGO FACES $40000 FINE

A proposed $44,000 fine issued against legendary Chicago broadcast station WLS-AM has now progressed to a forfeiture order. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Hal Rogers, K8CMD, reports:

The case began in 2009 when the Enforcement Bureau received a complaint that the station aired a program on behalf of the Workers Independent News without making it clear that the program was an ad, rather than a news story. In its response, WLS told the commission it aired several ads of various lengths, promotional items, a pair of two hour programs and an additional half hour program on behalf of the group. The station claimed that all of the ads referenced Workers Independent News and identified the narrator, but admitted that it did not specifically state that the program material was sponsored, paid for and provided by the group.

WLS asked that the proposed fine be reduced to $4000. It asserted that the FCC mechanically applied the base fine to the 11 times the ads aired, which raised the fine to the $44.000 level. . The station also blamed the incident on inadvertent employee error which the company says has now been corrected.

But in denying the request the FCC noted that it has the authority to fine a licensee up to $37,500 for each violation of the sponsor ID rules or for each day of the violation occurs up to a maximum of $375,000. It went on to say that it can find no legal basis on which to reduce the amount noting that inadvertent employee errors are not justification. As such the FCC said the proposed amount stands and the commission directed WLS to pay within 15 days of the date it issued its decision.

I’m Hal Rogers, K8CMD.

At airtime it’s not known if WLS plans any further appeals. (FCC, RW)

TELECOMMUNICATIONS: TWO LOS ANGELES TV STATIONS TO TRY CHANNEL SHARING

Two Los Angeles,. California, television stations are going to explore channel-sharing with the support of the major wireless lobby. This after The Wireless Association along with stations KLCS and KJLA announce a channel-sharing pilot project that responds to the Federal Communications Commission’s request to demonstrate the technical and legal arrangements necessary to implement a successful channel-sharing operation.

Once the two broadcast stations receive FCC approval, the testing will take place throughout the remainder of the first quarter of 2014. Under the channel-sharing agreement, KLCS and KJLA will conduct a series of tests that will culminate in KLCS hosting KJLA’s content and transmitting a shared stream that will combine the two stations’ primary and multicast content. KLCS and KJLA will also attempt a variety of High Definition as well as Standard Definition video feeds to confirm the feasibility and technical limits of channel sharing between two unaffiliated broadcasters. There will be no impact to KJLA’s and KLCS’ viewers during this test. More is at tinyurl.com/channel-sharing-study. (TV Technology)

HAM HAPPENINGS: ORANGE COUNTY NY SPRING HAMFEST APRIL 27

Turning to upcoming ham radio events, word that 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)

HAM HAPPENINGS: RCA TO HOLD MEMBERSHIP BREAKFAST IN LAS VEGAS MARCH 27

The Radio Club of America will hold its Membership Breakfast on March 27th. This, in conjunction with the 2014 International Wireless Communications Expo Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The featured speaker will be retired New York City educator Carole Perry, WB2MGP. The get- together will also see the presentation of the IWCE Scholarship to 2013 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the year Padraig Lysandrou, KC9UUS.

The venue for the Radio Club of America 2014 Membership Breakfast is the Las Vegas Hotel in Ballrooms E and F. Cost is $15 per person in advance or $20 at the door. Pre- registration information in PDF format is on the web at tinyurl.com/rca-member-breakfast- 2014. (RCA)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: FCC CHAIRMAN WHEELER TO SPEAK AT NAB

Some names in the news. First up is FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler who will provide the regulatory agency’s keynote talk at the 2014 National Association of Broadcasters convention and trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The NAB says that Wheeler’s address will take place on Tuesday, April 8th, from 9 to 10 a.m.. At that time he is expected to provide insight into his views on broadcasting and what his expectations are on the regulatory front in the coming years. (NAB, TV News Check)

NAMES IN THE NEWS: VE4BOZ IS NEW RAC DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR MID WEST REGION

Bill Boskwick, VE4BOZ, has accepted the position of Radio Amateurs of Canada Deputy Director for the Mid-West region. Now living in Elm Creek, Manitoba, and officially retired, Boskwick previously served as the District Officer for North East Alberta Province with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency . He also served 32 years in military service with Canadian Forces as a Communications Electronics Engineering Officer and former deputy commander of the signals regiment in Winnipeg. (RAC)

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:

THE SWL SCENE: PIRATE RADIO COMES ALIVE IN SYRIA

Pirate FM transmitters have hit the airwaves in pockets across Syria. WIA newsman VK4LAW has more:

Radio Watan is but one of more than a dozen opposition radio stations that have sprung up since the start of the revolt against the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.

The stations are run by young civilian activists who played an important role early in the uprising but have since been targeted by government forces, for airing music and women's voices.

The opposition radio stations are the most recent arrivals on Syria's combative news media scene, where parties on both sides try to shape perceptions of a conflict that is conducted largely out of the public eye, because the violence and government restrictions severely limit journalistic access.

"It is much cheaper than TV and more accessible to the public because the listener doesn't have to have electricity to listen to you," said Obai Sukar, the director of Radio al-Kul. "Just a small radio with two batteries, and you are on."

With international news I’m Jason, VK4LAW.

The unlicensed radio outlets range from small operations with a single transmitter that cover one town to complete networks that broadcast into different Syrian provinces. (WIA News)

** HAM RADIO IN SPACE: CAPE II HAM RADIO CUBESAT DESIGNATED LO-75

The Cape II ham radio satellite is now known as the University of Louisiana OSCAR 75 or LO-75. This according to OSCAR Number Administrator Bill Tynan, W3XO, who recently informed AMSAT mentor Nick Pugh, K5QXJ, of the decision.

The CAPE II ham satellite operates on 145.825 MHz FM with a CW beacon signing the call W5UL. The bird also includes a digipeaters, text to speech operation, a simplex repeater, e-mail and tweet functions. The ground station software can be downloaded at www.ulcape.org

(ANS)

HAM HAPPENINGS: TWO TEENS BRING COLORADO AMSAT NET BACK ON THE AIR

A pair of young hams in Colorado have brought that states dormant AMSAT net back to life as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline’s Amanda Alden, K1DDN:

15 year olds Skyler Fennel, KD0WHB and Jordan Walters, KD0MLV have reestablished the Colorado AMSAT net. The purpose of the net is to discuss anything related to Satellites. Topics include informative bulletins on active Satellites as well as when they will be passing over the area.

After hearing their enthusiasm on the Colorado Astronomy net, its control station Burness Ansell, KI0AR encouraged the two teens to pick up the AMSAT nets operation. And while the AMSAT net is only a few weeks old, its popularity is already growing. In fact, Internet listeners have been tuning in from as far as Florida.

One of the ongoing topics has been if net members have ever made contact through a satellite, and if so what antenna was used. The net operations also stands-by at times so that members can go outside and view the International Space Station passing overhead.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Amanda Alden, K1DDN in Canon City, Colorado

The Colorado AMSAT net takes place every Thursday evening at 7 pm local Mountain Time. If you would like to listen or check in, connect to Allstar node 29298 or 29436. Operation here in Canon City Colorado area is via the Rocky Mountain Radio League repeater on 146.940 MHz. (K1DDN)

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: SCHEDULING AN ARISS SCHOOL CONTACT

Hams in the United States are reminded that there is a new process for Amateur Radio on the International Space Station school contact proposals. For U-S schools to have an ARISS contact, they must fill out a proposal, submit it to NASA, and see if the school is selected. If so, it will be placed onto a future contacts list and a mentor will be assigned to assist the school in planning for the event. For more information contact the NASA Teaching From Space Education office by e-mail to JSC-TFS-ARISS (at) mail.nasa.gov. If you missed that kind of long address you can find it in the print edition of this weeks Amateur Radio Newsline report. (ARISS)

ON THE AIR: SLOVAK REPUBLIC SPECIAL EVENT STATION CELEBRATES LTE COMMUNICATIONS

On the air listen out for Slovak Republic station OM44LTE to be on all of the ham bands until December 31st. This special event callsign is being used to celebrate the allocation of frequencies for the Long Term Evolution or LTE communications at 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz in that nation. The station operator is OM3TOW who is a spokesman of the nations Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Postal Services. Electronic QSLing via eQSL is preferred but for those who require a paper QSL can obtain one by sending theirs with a self addressed envelope and sufficient return postage to OM3RP who is the QSL manager for this operation. (OPDX)

ON THE AIR: THE ST. PATRICKS DAY AWARD

A group of Northern Ireland radio amateurs have introduced a new award for hams who want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on the air. While details are still a bit sketchy, the organizers hope this to be an annual event every March 17th. Those who want to participate as an award station or who want more information on the event should go to stpatrickaward.webs.com on the World Wide Web. (MI0RYL, Southgate)

DX

In DX comes word that JA1IST, will be on the air stroke FK from New Caledonia between February 25th and March 1st. His activity will be holiday style on High Frequency bands. QSL to his home callsign or via the bureau.

F5MNW will once again be operational stroke FR from Saint Leu between March 16th and April 8th. Activity will be on the HF bands using only CW. QSL via his home call either direct via the bureau.

F6ARC will be active stroke FG from Guadeloupe between March 11th to the 23rd. Activity will be holiday style with a focus on the 30, 17 and 12 meter bands and the lower bands using 100 watts and operating Morse only. QSL via FE1IDX either direct or via the bureau.

ZL3TE will be operational as 3D2SE from Viti Levu Island between April 11th and the 14th. His main activity will be in the Japan International DX CW Contest on April 12th and 13th. Operations outside the contest will mainly be on CW, with some digital modes. QSL to ZL3TE or electronically via Logbook of the World.

G0VJG will be active stroke J6 from St. Lucia between June 5th and the 18th. Operation is likely to be on 40 through 10 meters using SSB only. If you make contact please QSL via G4DFI.

Lastly, several sources are reporting that a multi-national team will be on a DXpedition to Malawi as 7Q7Q sometime late November. This will include an entry in the CQ World Wide DX CW Contest. At airtime this operation seems to be headed up by ZS6RJ, and will be the same group that was active as 3DA0ET last year. Look for more details to be forthcoming in future newscasts.

(Above information from OPDX and other DX news sources)

THAT FINAL ITEM: A TRIP BACK IN TIME

And finally this week what can best be called a trip back in time to the beginnings of the universe has been taken by researchers down- under. WIA news anchor Graham Kemp, VK4BB, has the details:

A team led by astronomers from the Australian National University has discovered the oldest known star in the Universe, which formed shortly after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.

It has now been confirmed using the Magellan telescope in Chile. The composition of the newly-discovered star shows it formed in the wake of a primordial star, which had a mass 60 times that of our Sun.

The discovery has allowed astronomers for the first time to study the chemistry of the first stars, giving scientists a clearer idea of what the Universe was like in its infancy.

The star was discovered using the ANU SkyMapper telescope at the Siding Spring Observatory, which is searching for ancient stars as it conducts a five-year project to produce the first digital map of the southern sky.

I’m Graham Kemp, VK4BB.

Once completed the project should help giver a clearer understanding of the origin of the universe and the stars that we on Earth see every night. At least those seen in the Southern Hemisphere. (WIA News, Times of India)

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 Jim Davis, W2JKD, saying 73 and we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline™ is Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

Member Comments:
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ARNewsline Report 1906 -- Feb 21 2014:  
by KB3ZAA on February 24, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the AR report. I hope it is of interest to many of you
as well!

Tom..KB3ZAA
 
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