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ARNewsline Report 1924 -- June 27 2014:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on June 27, 2014
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Amateur Radio Newsline(TM) Report 1924 – June 27, 2014

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1924 with a release date of June 27 2014 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. A possible challenge to ham radio at 5 Gigahertz; revised FCC rules on ham radio testing; digital voice modes take effect July 21st; solar researchers once again discuss our current solar cycle 24; VK hams set new microwave record down-under and the FCC says no to use of ham radio gear on GMRS frequencies. All this and more on Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1924 coming your way right now.

**

RADIO LAW: NEW MEASURE INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS COULD THREATEN HAM RADIO 5 GHZ ALLOCATION

A bill has been introduced in Congress aimed at making more unlicensed wireless spectrum available for Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure Wi Fi devices that operate in the 5 GHz band. This new initiative could adversely affect both terrestrial and space based ham radio operations. Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, is in the newsroom with the details:

--

Florida Senator Marco Rubio has introduced a bill to free up more unlicensed wireless spectrum in the upper portion of the 5 GHz band. On June 19th Rubio teamed with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker to introduce the WiFi Innovation Act as part of an overall wireless broadband expansion plan he recently outlined.

According to Rubio's office, the new WiFi expansion measure would direct the FCC to move swiftly in seeking comments and conducting testing to assess the feasibility of opening the 5.850 to 5.925 GHz band to unlicensed use. Also, to recognizes the need to balance the importance of developing Intelligent Transportation and incumbent licensees while also maximizing the use of the band for shared WiFi purposes.

The Amateur Radio Service holds a secondary allocation at 5.650 to 5.925 GHz. This includes the Amateur Satellite Service uplink of 5.65 to 5.67 GHz and a downlink from 5.830 to 5.850 GHz. If the WiFi Innovation Act were to be approved as currently written, it would clearly have a negative impact on Amateur Radio operations in the upper portion of the 5 GHz band.

The WiFi Innovation Act appears to be the second of three proposed laws that Senator Rubio and his supporters in the Senate plan to introduce. The first was the Wireless Innovation Act on June 12th. This WiFi Innovation Act is the second and another yet unnamed measure will be aimed at promoting expansion of the nation’s overall wireless infrastructure.

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

--

Earlier this year the FCC acted to free up unlicensed spectrum in the lower part of 5 Ghz band. At the same time it also made it known that it wants to do the same in the upper portion as long as it does not interfere with incumbent primary users.

(B&C)

**

RADIO LAW: CHANGES TO FCC PART 97 AMATEUR SERVICE RULES EFFECTIVE JULY 21ST

The news rules regarding ham radio testing and officially permitting Time Division Multiple Access emissions in the Part 97 Amateur Radio Service will become effective on July 21st.

As previously reported, the changes and some non changes released in a Report and Order on June 9th include granting examination credit to previous license holds whose expiration date is beyond the current 2 year grace period to get back into the hobby. This by simply passing the Element 2 Technician Class written Exam.

The rules will retain the current requirement that three Volunteer Examiners, but will permit the use of remote testing for instances where assembling three VE’s is not easily accomplished. Many hams in Alaska had strongly backed this request due to the remoteness of many small towns and villages from the more populated cities.

Lastly, the changes codify the use of transmit emissions with designators FXD, FXE, and F7E. Up until now hams have been able to use them only because the regulatory agency had issued a waiver requested by the American Radio Relay League back in 2013.

Again, the revised regulations take effect on Monday, July 21st. (FCC, ARRL)

**

PROPAGATION: HERE COMES THE SUN – THERE GOES THE SUN – PART 2

In a follow-up to a report earlier this year, solar researchers are now dubbing the sun's recent activity as a mini-max. This is because the maximum period of activity so far has been shorter than usual.

Researchers note that sunspots are now showing up and lower-density areas are appearing in the sun's corona. As such this current situation demonstrates how hard it is to accurately forecast a solar cycle.

They note that this cycle’s strange peak appears to have its roots in 2008 and 2009 when sunspot numbers were far lower than scientists expected. Solar flares, which are associated with sunspot numbers and the sun's magnetic activity, were also relatively quiet in that same time frame.

The average for a solar cycle from minimum to maximum and back to minimum is in theory 11 years, however it can actually take between 9 and 14 years. The current solar cycle is expected to start fading in 2015 but it will likely go out with some increased activity.

The researchers note that historically speaking, there are usually strong flares leading to numerous auroras on Earth at the end of the solar peak. This is because particles from the sun strike our planet's magnetic lines and excite gases in the upper atmosphere.

Ron Turner of Analytic Services Inc. is a senior science advisor for NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program. He summed it up by saying that the current Cycle 24 is one of the weakest in the 24 cycles since 1755. (NASA, other published news reports)

**

RADIO RECORDS; VK HAMS SET NEW MICROWAVE RECORD DOWN-UNDER

Using both SSB and digital modes on the 78 GHz or the 4 millimetre band, Alan Devlin, VK3XPD, and David Smith, VK3HZ, have set new microwave distance records down under.

The new records were set on May 15th. VK3XPD on Mt. William in Western Victoria state and VK3HZ on Melbourne's Mt. Dandenong Observatory. Their efforts resulted in a new Australian record path of 139.8 kilometres. In addition to a contact on SSB the digital JT65C mode proved quite effective over the path. (VK3PC)

**

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH OF MULTIPLE AMATEUR RADIO SATELLITE PAYLOADS

A dozen new ham radio birds are now on-orbit thanks to a successful launch on June 19th. The ham radio satellites were part of the thirty-seven satellite payload carried aloft from a complex near Dombarovsky in the Russian Federation.

Of the many satellites on board, the two QB50 Cubesats were among the first deployed at 19:32 UTC. Shortly thereafter CW signals from both were received by Andre Van Deventer, ZS2BK in South Africa. It is expected that the ham radio transponders on these birds will be activated after the science missions have been completed.

Many of the other satellites on the launch have also been heard and confirmed to be in space. Frequencies and modes of operation for all of the amateur radio birds can be found on the web at tinyurl.com/june-hamsat- launch (AMSAT-UK, Southgate)

**

DX UP FRONT: CY0 SABLE ISLAND DXPEDITION IN SEPTEMBER

In DX up front, while still in the planning stages word that Murray Adams, WA4DAN, has received permission from Parks Canada for a one-day DXpedition to Sable Island now slated for September 8th. A second operator will be Randy Rowe, N0TG who is also a veteran DXpeditioner with prior experience on Sable Island.

The two man team will be using the Sable Island Amateur Radio Station that WA4DAN and the CY0P team left behind after their venture to Sable in October 2013. If things go as anticipated, WA4DAN will operate the SSB station while N0TG will be on CW. Antennas are expected to be 17 and 20 meter Yagis with at least one of the two stations will operating high power. (OPDX)

**

Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the W2GSB repeater of the Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club serving Lindenhurst, New York.

**

RADIO LAW: FCC TURNS AWAY PETITION REQUESTING HAM GEAR ON GMRS

The FCC has turned down a rule making petition from s Florida ham who asked that the rules be amended to permit ham radio operators to use their gear in the General Mobile Radio Service frequency spectrum. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Bruce Tennant, K6PZW has the details:

--

In his May 29th petition, Mark Friedlander, KV4I of New Smyrna Beach, Florida had requested that the Part 95 rules be amended so that a person who holds both a General Mobile Radio Service or GMRS license as well as a Part 97 amateur radio operator license above Novice Class be allowed to operate on GMRS channels. This, using a transmitter that has not been certificated for GMRS use as long as the it complies with the General Mobile Radio Service technical rules.

In his petition Friedlander noted that the amateur radio service and General Mobile Radio Service operate on similar frequencies. Also, that amateur radio operators are authorized to design, build, and operate transmitters without equipment certification in the 420 to 450 MHz amateur band. As such he believed that they should also be permitted to do the same on the 462 to 467 MHz GMRS channels as well.

But the FCC wasted little time in turning down this request. In its June 20th decision to deny the rules change request the FCC stated that GMRS transmitters with frequency capability for amateur frequencies will not be certificated. That the General Mobile Radio Service and the Amateur Radio service are separate and with different purposes and as such the Amateur Service is unsuitable for GMRS communications. It also stated that making an exception to the current rule would allow for the proliferation of home-built, non-standardized transmitters in the GMRS spectrum with no practical way for the Commission to monitor and enforce regulatory compliance for these devices.

Based on this and several other factors the FCC concluded that Mark Friedlander’s petition does not present grounds for it to amend the device certification requirement in Section 95 of the General Mobile Radio Service rules and as such its dismisses his petition.

Or the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, in Los Angeles.

--

In making his request Friedlander said that his proposal would make possible interoperability for emergency communications between the two services. This is because many emergency response groups use both the amateur radio and GMRS bands. (FCC)

**

ENFORCEMENT: FCC ISSUES LARGEST FINE EVER TO CELLPHONE JAMMER DISTRIBUTOR

The FCC has issued what may well be the largest proposed fine in history to a mainland China on-line retail firm. This for allegedly selling Cellular Telephone and other radio frequency jamming devices to customers in the United States. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Fred Vobbe, W8HDU, is here with the details:

--

The FCC is calling it a landmark enforcement action to address the illegal marketing of GPS, cellular, and other signal jamming devices to U.S. consumers over the Internet. This as it proposes a thirty-four million nine hundred and twelve thousand and five hundred dollar fine against C.T.S. Technology Co., Limited and its subsidiaries located in the People’s Republic of China.

The FCC says that the proposed fine is the result of a pro-active investigation that shows C.T.S. Technology Co., Limited sold signal jamming devices to consumers in the United States over the Internet for more than two years. In some cases, the devices sold by the company not only jammed the communications signals as advertised, but were potentially much more harmful by blocking communications far beyond the frequencies listed in their advertisements.

In addition, the FCC says that C.T.S. Technology Company Limited apparently misled consumers by falsely claiming on its websites that certain signal jammers were approved by the FCC for consumer use. And as confirmed by proactive market surveillance along with an extensive undercover operation conducted by its Enforcement Bureau, the Commission says that these apparent violations are not only egregious but continue as of the date of this action being taken.

The proposed thirty-four million nine hundred and twelve thousand and five hundred dollar fine is the maximum penalty permitted by law for this type of an ongoing offense. As is usual in these cases CTS Technology Company Limited will have 30 days to pay the fine in full, ask for a reduction in the amount or simply file an appeal.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Fred Vobbe, W8HDU, reporting.

--

In addition to the proposed fine, The FCC is also ordering CTS Technology Company Limited, to stop selling and marketing the devices to United States consumers. It also has told the company that it must provide information about those customers in the United States that it sold them to as well. (FCC)

**

RADIO REMOTE FLYING: FLYING UNMANNED AIRCRAFT TO BE PROHIBITED IN NATIONAL PARKS

If you are into flying radio remote controlled aircraft then listen up. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis has signed a policy memorandum that directs his superintendents nationwide to prohibit launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft including drones on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service.

Unmanned aircraft have already been prohibited at several national parks. These bans were put in place after noise and nuisance complaints from park visitors and a least one incident in which park wildlife was harassed.

The memorandum does not affect the primary jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration over the National Airspace System. Also, the National Park Service itself can continue to use unmanned aircraft for administrative purposes such as search and rescue, fire operations and scientific study but some of these uses must first be approved by the Associate Director for Visitor and Resource Protection.

You can find links to several stories regarding the new radio controlled model aircraft ban at the following URL’s: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcneal/201 4/06/20/national-park-service-bans-drones- and-model-aircraft-pending-evaluation-of- their-potential-uses/, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/201 4/06/20/drones-banned-at-national- parks/11099497/, http://www.inquisitr.com/1310455/use-of- drones-in-national-parks-banned (Various news sources)

**

RESCUE RECOGNITION: AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS HONORED FOR VOLUNTEERISM DURING CANADA’S 2013 HIGH RIVER FLOOD

When Alberta Canada’s High River overflowed its banks in the spring of 2013, it raced across the near-by town destroying businesses, homes, and its infrastructure. That’s when local ham radio operators were quick to step in to provide necessary communications.

Members of the Foothills Amateur Radio Club and hams across the region responded to the emergency by working closely with area hospitals and emergency and support services. They also augmented or replaced communications channels that had been damaged or destroyed in the torrent.

Now, to honor the extraordinary efforts of these radio amateurs, the Foothills Amateur Radio Club recently sponsored an award ceremony and banquet for its members and for those other amateurs that came to assist in time of dire need. All received a certificate of appreciation for their volunteerism. Also, two principle High River authorities during the disaster presented letters of recognition and thanks from the town to volunteers signed by the towns current Mayor Craig Snodgrass. (RAC)

**

RADIO RECOGNITION: AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS PRESENTED WITH IOWA GOVERNOR'S VOLUNTEER

AWARD

Polk County, Iowa, ham radio operators associated with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service were recently presented with the Iowa Governor's Volunteer Award.

The ARES group was nominated for the award by the Polk County Emergency Management Agency. The two organizations have a long-standing relationship, working together to train and prepare to assist in the event of a disaster of if main communications systems fail.

The Iowa Governor's Volunteer Awards program was created back in 1982. This year’s presentation was made by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds in a ceremony at Southeast Polk High School. (Press Release)

**

HAM HAPPENINGS: PARA KIDS DAY JULY 19

The Philippine Amateur Radio Association will hold its 2014 PARA Kids Day on July 19th from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time to expose youngsters to the fun world of Amateur Radio. Based on similar initiatives in other nations including the United States, PARA Kids Day is a family oriented event aimed at introducing youngsters age 15 or under to what ham radio is and how it can benefit them in the future. Certificates will be available to qualifying children and sponsoring stations. (PARA, Southgate)

**

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: EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY SATELLITES SURVEY EARTH'S CHANGING MAGNETIC FIELDS

The first set of high-resolution results from the European Space Agency’s three satellite constellation named Swarm has revealed the most recent changes in the magnetic field that protects our planet. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Heather Embee, KB3TZD, reports;

--

The Swarm satellite observation system is providing some unprecedented insights into the complex workings of Earth’s magnetic field. Measurements made over the past six months confirm the general trend of the field’s weakening, with the most dramatic declines over the Western Hemisphere. But in other areas, such as the southern Indian Ocean, the magnetic field has strengthened since this past January. The latest measurements also confirm the movement of magnetic field Northward towards Siberia.

These changes are based on the magnetic indications stemming from Earth’s core. Over the coming months, scientists plan to analyze the data provided by the Swarm satellites along with contributions from other sources including other observations of the Earth’s crust, mantle, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere. Together with the data collected from space, the researchers hope to provide new insight into many natural processes, from those occurring deep inside our planet to space weather triggered by solar activity. In turn, they hope this information will yield a better understanding of why the planets magnetic field appears to be weakening.

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

--

The Swarm constellation was launched in November 2013. The initial results of this long ranging study were recently presented at the Third Swarm Science Meeting that was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. More is on the web at www.esa.int (ESA, SatNews)

**

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: ARISS SEEKS SWL REPORTS ON SCHOOL CONTACTS

ARISS is requesting listener reports for its school contacts. Due to issues with the Kenwood radio that are not fully understood, the Ericsson lower power transceiver is going to be used for these contacts in the foreseeable future. Please send your reports to aj9n (at) amsat.org or aj9n (at) aol.com. ARISS managers add that they thank everyone in advance for their assistance. (ARISS)

**

RADIO RESEARCH: RADIO CLUB GRANT ASSISTS STUDENTS IN BUILDING RADIO TELESCOPE

Taking light at wavelengths that cannot be seen by the human eye and translate it into digital characters that cannot be heard is the purpose of Colorado’s Estes Park High School radio telescope project.

The frequency being measured by the student telescope is 1.416 GHz. This is the wavelength of hydrogen which the most common element of the universe.

According to one of the students who assisted in building the radio telescope, when you gather this invisible light and feed it through a specialized receiver it is translated it into a digital signal. Those ones and zero’s can then be converted and displayed graphically.

The project was made possible by generous donations from the Toshiba America Foundation, the local Masonic Lodge, the Estes Valley Amateur Radio Club, and other grants totaling approximately $16,000. More about the students involved in this rather ambitious project including a photo of the completed skyward-looking array is on the web at tinyurl.com/colorado-student-radio-scope (Trail Gazette)

**

WORLDBEAT: UK REGULATOR OFCOM SAYS 22000 LICENSE REVALIDATIONS OUTSTANDING

United Kingdom telecommunications regulator Ofcom has advised the Radio Society of Great Britain that some 22,000 of the 83,000 licenses in its database have yet to be revalidated. This includes some 206 club licenses.

By the end of June, all license holders who have yet to revalidate will have been contacted by Ofcom. If you are a United Kingdom ham who needs assistance in the process, Ofcom staff will be available to help on the telephone. (RSGB)

**

WORLDBEAT: THAILAND HS0AC CLUB STATION RESTORED FOLLOWING FLOODING IN 2011

Work to restore the amateur radio station of Thailand’s HS0AC amateur radio club at the Asian Institute of Technology was completed on June 15th. Radio Amateurs of Thailand President HS1FVL announced that after the equipment and antennas have been tested a formal Open House would be held on August 3rd to which representatives of amateur radio associations throughout Thailand would be invited. The original HSZAC club station had been destroyed during the massive flooding that hit Thailand back in 2011. (RAST, Southgate)

**

DX

In DX, OE3GEA and OE5OHO will be active stroke FP from Miquelon Island between July 16th and the 22nd. Operation will be holiday style on 40 through 10 meters using mostly CW with low power and wire antennas. QSL via their home callsign.

OM3RM will be operational portable 9A from Vis Island during the RSGB Islands on the Air contest on July 26th and 27th. This as a Single-Operator All-Band Mixed entry. QSL via OM3RM.

YB3MM will be on the air as 4W stroke NB3MM from Timor Leste between July 31st and August 5th. Operation will be on 30, 20, 17, 15 and 12 meters using mainly SSB with some CW and PSK31. QSL IZ8CCW direct, by the bureau or OQRS.

IW2NEF will be active from Zanzibar Island likely using the call as 5H1NE between July 22nd and August 6th. Activity will be holiday style on the High Frequency bands using SSB only. QSL via IK2DUW.

DO3MY will be operational as 6V1W from Senegal from July through September. His activities will be on the High Frequency bands only. QSL via his home callsign.

YO2MSB will be active stroke 3A from Monte Carlo, Monaco between September 5th and the 12th. QSL via his home callsign direct, via the bureau or electronically using eQSL.

Lastly, N5NU will be living in Santiago, Chile until August and is sometimes active stroke CE3 or CE5 depending on his exact location. His home station is a QRP radio running 5 watts to a dipole. Sometimes he is also active from the Radio Club de Chile using its 100 watt station. Listen out for him mainly on 15 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign.

(This weeks DX news courtesy of OPDX and other DX news sources)

**

THAT FINAL ITEM: VK-LAND TO GET PUBLIC WI-FI NETWORK

And finally this week, as the fight over who controls broadband rights continues here in the United States, there’s some very good news for Internet access down-under. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Stephan Kinford, N8WB, has the details:

--

Australian Telephone provider Telstra plans to pour over $100 million to get a public Wi- Fi network up and running by 2015. The plan announced by Telstra chief executive David Thodey will see the his company install up to 8000 new wireless hotspots as it seeks to connect customers to two million Wi-Fi hot- spots across Australia. Thodey said the plan was designed to not only help meet current data needs but also deliver the capacity needed in time to deal with higher volumes of traffic.

There’s also an overseas component with Telstra striking an exclusive partnership with global Wi-Fi technology provider Fon. Telstra customers, who choose to join the company’s Wi-Fi network will be provided compatible modems to access their allowance at no extra charge via domestic hotspots and connect to more than 12 million Fon-enabled hotspots globally.

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

--

According to the news release, non Telstra customers and Telstra customers who have not joined the Wi-Fi community will be able to connect to Fon-enabled Telstra Wi-Fi hotspots for a small charge using day passes. (WIA News, The Australian)

**

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 South African Radio League, the Southgate News, TwiT-TV, Australia's WIA News and you our listeners, 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 Hal Rogers, K8CMD, saying 73 and we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

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