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ARNewsline Report 1929 -- August 1 2014:

Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on August 1, 2014
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Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1929 – August 1 2014

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1929 with a release date of August 1 2014 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. The Amateur Radio Parity Act gains new co-sponsors; the Internet of Things could impact United Kingdom hams; Australian radio amateurs forced to temporarily share the 70 centimeter band with commercial interests; hams respond to northern California wildfire and changes coming to the famed Pennsylvania QSO Party. Find out the details are on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1929 coming your way right now.


The just-concluded ARRL National Centennial Convention in Hartford, Connecticut, helped to impart added energy into efforts to line up co-sponsors for "The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014" also known as House of Representatives measure H R 4969. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Gary Bernstein, N9VU, has the details:


H R 4969 was introduced in the US House of Representatives with bipartisan support in late June. It asks Congress to direct the FCC to apply the "reasonable accommodation" three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre- emption policy to private land-use restrictions regarding antennas.

The measures primary sponsor is Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. It received initial co-sponsorship from Democrat Joe Courtney of Connecticut. Four additional members of the House had since signed aboard to co-sponsor the bill by July 24th. On July 29th, ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, posted to Facebook that two more House law makers had thrown their support to H R 4969.

By way of background, right now present PRB-1 only applies to state and municipal land-use ordinances. The FCC has indicated that it will not act to provide the same legal protections from private land-use agreements -- often called covenants, conditions, and restrictions without direction from Congress. As such, the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014 is an attempt by the League to muster the needed push to get the FCC to act on this matter.

Speaking at the convention, ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, says that there already is precedent for the FCC to act. He explains that the Commission's so-called Over-the-Air Receiving Device rules currently preempt private land-use agreements to permit the installation of television antennas and satellite dishes. Based on this, Imlay suggests that making the leap to reasonably accommodating outdoor amateur radio antennas is within the FCC's regulatory scope. This, given the established strong federal interest in effective amateur radio communication.

On the other side, Imlay said the bill faces opposition from the Community Associations Institute and an organization called Associa. The latter has already suggested to Representative Kinzinger that he "re-think" the bill. As such, Imlay says that a lot more co-sponsors are needed for this bill.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Gary Bernstein, N9VU, reporting.


The ARRL reports that Representative Courtney visited the ARRL Centennial Convention on July 19 to speak with League officials and those attending the event. A more in-depth look at the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014 and how to support it is on the web at (ARRL, Facebook)



While the ARRL has been very successful in getting HR 4969 before the House of Representatives it appears as if not every ham is in favor of its being passed into law. In an interview on the video podcast HamRadioNow, viewer Mike Alexander, N8MSA takes what he calls a principled stand against the measure.

N8MSA spends about 40 minutes explaining his point of view and answering questions from moderator Gary Pearce, KN4AQ. You can see the interview in episode 158 of the video podcast HamRadioNow at (HamRadioNow)



United Kingdom telecommunications regulator Ofcom has published a Call for Input. This, to help it understand the actions required to ensure that nation takes a leading role in the emerging Internet of Things.

According to Wikipedia, the Internet of Things can refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, automobiles with built-in sensors, or field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue. Current market examples include smart thermostats and washer/dryers that utilize wifi for remote monitoring.

The Ofcom Call for Input seeks views to inform the UK regulatory body’s understanding of these and other developments, enabling it to better support the emergence of the Internet of Things. Many future devices will be connected wirelessly and the availability of radio spectrum will be an important enabler especially at 2.4 and 5 Gigahertz.

For this reason the Internet of Things could mean using Amateur and Amateur Satellite Service spectrum for other services. The closing date for United Kingdom hams and others to respond is October 1, 2014. (Ofcom, Southgate)



Some bad news for hams living down under. This with word that a 400 MHz and above spectrum review held in 2010 has identified a need for using part of the 70 cm amateur band, on a temporary basis, for what the Australian Communications and Media Authority or ACMA has termed the orderly repacking of 400 MHz commercial services. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Stephan Kinford, N8WB, reports:


Specifically, the Australian Communications and Media Authority has advised the nations ham radio community that as part of the ongoing 400 MHz band plan review that it will be necessary to temporary move some commercial services into the 442.5 to 444 and 446.5 to 448 MHz segments of the 70 centimeter band.

Commercial services will be assigned on a secondary basis with equal status to the amateur service. The ACMA says that it will coordinate frequency assignments to avoid interference issues with existing licensed amateur services. Clubs that currently hold licenses for repeater links or other purposes in these band segments were being advised to contact the Wireless Institute of Australia for further information. The WIA is the recognized national society serving that nations ham radio community.

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


This ACMA says that this reassignment will be required starting now and continuing through to the end of 2015. (VK2ASD, WIA)



The VK3FI 473 kHz CW beacon at Mildura, Australia, has been temporarily taken off the air for some required maintenance and improvements. The work includes the errection of a new antenna support and feeder cables as well as relocating the home-made beacon into a rack assembly. According to reports this work will likely take a couple of months after which it will resume its nightly transmission from is location in the far north west of Australia’s Victoria state. (VK3PC)


In DX up front, DL2SBY will be active from Liechtenstein between September 13th and the 20th. Operations will be on 80 through 10 meters including 30, 17 and 12 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to DL2SBY, direct, via the bureau as well as through PayPal requests. (OPDX)



The Czech DXpedition Team will be on the air from Togo between September 25th and October 3rd. Activity will be on 160 through 10 meters using CW, SSB and some of the digital modes. The group also plans to take part in the CQ World Wide DX RTTY Contest on September 27th and 28th. QSL’s go via OK6DJ, direct, via the bureau, eQSL, Logbook to the World, or using the Oh QRS on ClubLog. (OPDX)


Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the KA5GLX repeater serving Clear Lake Texas.



Thanks to the work of Kevin Trotman, N5PRE and Don Wilbanks, AE5DW, we have a new and highly visible addition to our website. If you take your web browser to www dot arnewsline dot org, and start scrolling down, you will see we have posted an abbreviated video version. This is actually the same video we produce weekly for the TWiT-TV program Ham Nation and at our recent BoD meeting we decided to make it directly available to all of you as well.

Please note that due to the different production schedules, the video version will be released a few days after the audio and text. Also, you can only view it at our website; at least for now. We are sorry, but we will not be able to provide automatic direct down linking for the foreseeable. Of coarse you can also view it as a part of the TWiT TV program Ham Nation. Please take a look and let us know what you think. (ARNewsline)



Some good work by the Maritime Mobile Service Network as it helped in a recent land based incident. We have more in this report:


The Maritime Mobile Service Network normally helps hams at sea but on July 24th it took on a land based situation. This after net control station Ken Porter, A-C-zero-M-L, received a distress call from George Molnar, KF2T, on 14.300 MHz which is the nets longtime home frequency.

Molnar told Porter that he had witnessed a tractor-trailer overturn on Nevada Highway 318, approximately 26 miles south of US Route 93. The location was in a deep canyon with no cellular telephone service or any ham radio repeaters available in the area. As such HF radio appeared to be the only communications.

Once he had the information, Porter called the Las Vegas Police Department and told it about the incident and its location. The Las Vegas police in turn notified Nevada State Highway Patrol. Porter remained on the phone with the police in case the dispatcher required any further information.

It did not take long for troopers to arrive on scene. Thankfully there were no injuries but the driver of the overturned truck was reported to be somewhat in shock. Highway 318 remained blocked until the perishable items from the overturned vehicle could be cleaned away.

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


The Maritime Mobile Service Network operates between the hours of 1600 to 0200 UTC daily on 14.300 MHz and most hams are aware that they will likely find assistance on that frequency. (K4EDX)



Northern California ham radio emergency communications teams were called out on Saturday, July 26th. This in support of those fighting the El Portal wildfire burning in Tuolumne County.

Hams were assigned to shadow Red Cross officials and provide communications at an evacuation shelter in the town of Groveland. A number of repeaters were linked to provide a direct communication channel from the shelter to the Red Cross nerve center in Fresno. In all, the hams who volunteered spent close to a full day before being dismissed and returning home. (ARNewsline from various Sources)



A privately owned remote control drone aircraft shooting video of a California wildfire has been ordered grounded. This after firefighting officials feared it might interfere with efforts to contain the blaze burning near the city of Sacramento.

According to news reports a California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention spokesperson said that the owner of the unmanned vehicle was asked by Sheriff’s Deputies to stop flying the drone so as to keep it away from the low-flying aircraft being used to fight the Sand fire. The owner was apparently operating the small 4-engine quadcopter craft so he could check out the fire for his own personal viewing.

Cal-Fire spokesperson Lynne Tolmachoff said that this is the first time her agency had encountered such a device during their firefighting efforts, but she adds that she expects it may not be the last.

As previously reported, the Federal Aviation Administration is in the process of investigating who may use drones and for what purposes. This in order to develop guidelines and regulations concerning these radio remote control devices.

And as previously reported, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis has signed a policy memorandum that directs his superintendents nationwide to prohibit launching, landing, or operating unmanned remote controlled aircraft including drones on lands and waters administered by his agency. (Published news reports, ARNewsline archive)



AMSAT-North America's 32nd Space Symposium and Annual Meeting will be held October 10th to the 12th in Baltimore, Maryland. The location will be the DoubleTree by Hilton at the Baltimore BWI Airport. The gathering will be preceded by the AMSAT North America Board of Directors meeting for October 9th and morning of the 10th. A registration form for the Symposium and all events may be downloaded at SymposiumRegistration. And SymposiumRegistration is spelled as one word. (ANS)



And speaking about AMSAT North America, we received a message from that organization to pass along to members who may be listening.

It seems that after the 2014 Board of Directors election ballots were mailed, the group was notified by its printer that old stock return envelopes were accidentally included. Unfortunately, these envelopes have the old Silver Spring, Maryland address on them.

The good news is that the ballot postcard and other documents have the correct Kensington, Maryland, address. As mail is being forwarded to the new office address, and will continue to do so for several months, those voting can use either the envelope included in the packet, or, your own envelope addressed to The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, 10605 Concord Street, Kensington, Maryland, 20895. Whichever method you choose AMSAT asks that those voting make certain that their ballot is mailed in time to be received by the September 15th deadline. (WA4SCA, AMSAT-NA)



The North America chapter of the FISTS CW Club has reduced its dues for members aged 65 to 80 to $10 annually. The only caveat is that those in the 65 to 80 age group as well as those over 80 and under age 18 need to supply their birth date when you join or renew to get this rate. More on this change is on the web at (KB1DSB, FISTS, NA)



According to Roger Cox, W8IO, the Michigan VHF-UHF Society, based in the Detroit area will soon be coming back to life. Cox says that he wrote to the clubs current president Bob Lang, K8ZKJ who said that he was looking for someone to take over and make the organization active again.

Cox then called a number of his friends who indicated their interest in joining if the organization was to be revitalized. Cox is now proceeding in doing so with the assistance of Tom Bosscher, K8TB, who will create a mailing list for the group which holds the call AD8U, that it uses in contests and grid expeditions. More information on this project can be found on the web at (Michigan VHF-UHF Cub)



The Rainbow Council Amateur Radio Committee of the Boy Scouts of America will operate a Special Event Station during Scout Air Fest on August 8th to the 10th. This as the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association has given the Rainbow Council permission to operate as K2BSA during the event.

The camporee will take place on the grounds of the Lewis University Airport in Romeoville, Illinois. High Frequency operations will be on 80 through 15 meters using CW, SSB and some digital modes. Talk in will be on 70 centimeter FM and the Campfire talk-about will be on 2 meter FM.

With nearly 4,000 registered scouts expected to attend, Scout Air Fest will one of the largest events of its type this year. More information including specific frequencies and QSL information is on the web at (Southgate, QRZ)



The Radio Society of Great Britain’s Board of Directors has appointed Murray Niman, G6JYB, to the position of Chairman of its Spectrum Forum. Niman is no stranger to spectrum matters having held the post of RSGB Microwave Manager, since January 2007. He succeeds the former Spectrum Chair John Gould, G3WKL, who was recently elected as RSGB President. (GB2RS)



Two radio amateurs have been named to receive appointments to the Order of Canada. Among the list of recipients are Veena Rawat, VA3ITU, and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, VA3OOG who also holds the United States call KC5RNJ.

Rawat was honored as a Companion of the Order of Canada for her contributions to telecommunications engineering and for leadership in establishing a global regulatory framework for radio spectrum management. Hadfield was recognized as an Officer of the Order of Canada for his commitment to promoting scientific discovery and for sharing the wonders of space exploration with the world. (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 and being relayed by the volunteer services of the following radio amateur:



NASA is asking for future assistance to help to get data back from its science missions that are orbiting Mars and roaming its surface of the red planet. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Heather Embee, KB3TZD, reports:


The United States space agency is acting now to close a potential communications gap that is set to occur in or around the year 2020. This is because it currently has no plans to launch new orbiters capable of taking over data relay duties from existing but ageing spacecraft that will be circling Mars in 6 to 7 years.

NASA currently relies on the Odyssey and the Reconnaissance Orbiter to along data radioed to them from the Curiosity rover. These two spacecraft can send data back to Earth at a rate of about 2 Megabytes per Second which is far faster than the data transfer speed that a rover can manage by itself.

In the near future, these data relay duties are set to be taken over by two newer spacecraft that are due to arrive at Mars later this year and in 2016. NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution satellite will go into service this September and Europe's Exo Mars Trace Gas Orbiter craft will arrive in 2016.

But after the arrival of its Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution satellite NASA has no plans to launch any more Mars-bound science and data relay orbiters. On the other side, there are plans to land more rovers on the planet, potentially creating a problem retrieving data gathered by these wandering robots.

Because of this the space agency is seeking input from universities and companies about better ways to continue the high speed relay of data back to Earth once the new orbiters eventually go dark. It adds that commercial partners could help overcome this shortfall.

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


One possibility for the future might be the use of Laser based communications. A system like this was tried in October 2013 during the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer mission. During that test, data rates between the Moon and Earth hit 622 Megabytes Per Second. The problem that even a system such as this would require sending an orbiter so equipped to Mars which is not in the cards or in NASA’s long term budget right now. (G7VFY, Southgate, SpaceWorld)



And speaking about its ongoing investigation of Mars, according to a NASA report, the Opportunity Mars rover that landed on the Red Planet in 2004, now holds the off-Earth roving distance record. This after accumulating slightly over 25 miles of driving across the surface of the red planet.

John Callas is the Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. He says that Opportunity has driven farther than any other wheeled vehicle on another world. He says that this is so remarkable considering Opportunity was intended to drive about one kilometer and was never designed for distance.

But what is really important is not how many miles Opportunity has managed to cover, but how much exploration and discovery we have accomplished over that distance. July’s driving took the rover south along the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover had driven over 20 miles before arriving at Endeavour Crater in 2011, where it examined outcrops on the crater’s rim containing clay and sulfate-bearing minerals and radio relaying its findings back to Earth. (



The European Radio Amateurs' Organization has announced a new on the air QSO party this time with the motto: "give youth a chance.” Similar to Kids Day here in the United States, its purpose is to promote amateur radio among young people, meet other hams around the world and to have fun.

The event is slated for September 20th and 21st. In nations where regulations permit, licensed radio amateurs are encouraged to invite and supervise future operators to their home or club station so as to get their first taste of ham radio. More on this event is on the web at (EURAO)



In DX, word that AI5P will activate two islands on a holiday style DXpedition during the months of August and September. His tentative schedule is to be on from Greneda from August 12th to the 22nd signing stroke J3. From there he will move onto Tobago for a stint signing portable 9Y4 from August 23rd through September 1st. Activity will be on 40 through 10 meters using mostly CW. QSL via AI5P.

RW6HS has contacted EP3SMH, who works for the Communications Regulatory Authority of Iran, and was told that EP2MKO doesn't have a license. As such he is operating without authority to do so.

Member of the Hotel India DX Club will tentatively be on the air as HI2DX from Saona Island between November 19th and the 23rd. Activity will be on 160 through 6 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes. They will have 10 stations on the air using dipoles, verticals and other various antennas. The QSL Manager M0URX for direct requests and bureau QSLs.

LW9EOC will be operational from San Andres Island as 5KZ0A between November 26th and December 9th. Activity should be on 80 through 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau. Electronic QSL’s go via Logbook to the World or eQSL.

LW9EOC will be active stroke HK-one from Columbia between October 22nd and the 29th. Operations will be on all High Frequency bands using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau. Electronic cards go via eQSL and Logbook to the World.

Lastly, DL2SBY will be active as S79KB from two islands in the Seychelles between October 4th and the 18th. His operation will be on 20 through 10 including 17 and 12 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY with log being uploaded onto ClubLog. QSL via DL2SBY either direct or via the bureau.

(This weeks DX courtesy of the Ohio-PennDX Newsletter)



And finally this week, the 2014 Pennsylvania QSO Party is slated for October 11th and 12th and its already on the calendars of many contesters. Now comes word of a major announcement from the events planners as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline’s Mark Abramowicz, NT3V:


The era of the paper summary sheet is coming to an end with the arrival of this year's PA QSO Party.

Michael Coslo, N3LI, party chairman, says the Nittany Amateur Radio Club in State College, PA, sponsors of the party, decided it's time to do away with the requirement that participants MAIL IN the summary sheet after the party.

"We've had that requirement for years and now that we're here in 2014 in the internet age not so many people really wanted to mail things in anymore," Coslo says. "If a partier does want to mail it in, they still have that option."

Coslo admits there's a bit of a risk here because those mailing in the summary sheets usually sent a donation along to cover party expenses.

But he says they've come up with a solution.

"What we've done is we have opened an online store where people can make donations if they see fit or also buy a promotional T-shirt and such," he says. "And, I think all of this will make everybody's experience a lot more pleasant."

Coslo says a link to the new PA QSO Party store can be found at the club's website - that's It links you to the PA QSO Party site.

Coslo says he's hoping by dropping the mail- in requirement, that more logs and completed entries will be submitted for the event this fall.

"The number of people sending in logs turned out to be about 50 percent of the people who actually participated in the QSO party," he says. "In fact, there are some people out there, I know who they are, that they would have won their respective county or their respective section, had they sent in their summary sheet and logs."

The PA QSO Party is the second largest of its kind in the country, topped only by the California QSO Party which falls the first weekend of October.

Lots of PA contesters tell me they use the California event as a sort of "tune-up" to check antennas and operating conditions.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Mark Abramowicz, NT3V, in Philadelphia.


Again, the dates are October 11th and the 12th for the 2014 Pennsylvania QSO Party. Be sure to make those dates down so that you don’t miss this year’s event. (NT3V)



With thanks to Alan Labs, AMSAT, the ARRL, CQ Magazine, the FCC, the Ohio Penn DX Bulletin, 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 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, saying 73 from Charleston, West Virginia, and we thank you for listening.

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

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