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Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2055 for Friday, March 17, 2017:

James Pastorfield (KB7TBT) on March 17, 2017
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Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2055 for Friday, March 17, 2017

Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2055 with a release date of Friday, March 17, 2017 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. A longtime amateur supplier of crystals is closing its doors. South African youngsters find new friends on the air -- and hams climb to summits around the world to face challenging contacts. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2055 comes your way right now.



SKEETER/ANCHOR: Our top story this week is about International Crystal Manufacturing. The longtime supplier to the amateur radio community is going out of business, as we hear from Newsline's Mike Askins KE5CXP.

MIKE'S REPORT: International Crystal Manufacturing, once one of the suppliers of crystals for Collins Radio, will be closing its doors by the end of May. The Oklahoma City company manufactures precision crystals, quartz crystals, oscillators, filters and other products and has been in business since 1950.

A letter on the company's website from Royden Freeland Jr. W5EMH, the son of the company's founder, said the company will honor all pending orders and would try to fill a limited number of new orders depending on the availability of raw materials.

International Crystal is considered one of the few remaining makers of crystal products based in the U.S. ICM expanded from crystals into other electronics in the 1980s, following the 1978 death of the founder and his wife in an airplane crash. It eventually went back to its core manufacture of crystals in the 1990s after selling much of its distribution and equipment business.

In addition to being a Collins supplier, ICM also provided materials to RadioShack which has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for a second time and announced that many of its 5,900 employees and 1500 remaining stores would be impacted.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Mike Askins KE5CXP in Shawnee, Oklahoma



SKEETER/ANCHOR: Shortwave listeners and scanner enthusiasts in and around Cincinnati are making use of a resource to monitor themselves as well as radio signals. We hear more from correspondent Jack Prindle AB4WS, in this report courtesy of Amateur News Weekly.

JACK: In the greater Cincinnati area there is a group of avid radio monitors who listen to all kinds of RF. Calling themselves MONIX, they have been a base for SWL and scanner listeners in the area for years. MONIX was founded in 1983 as an informal club of scanner enthusiasts, shortwave listeners, DXers and others who share an interest in the hobby of radio monitoring. MONIX is a full spectrum, all-mode club covering all aspects of radio monitoring, from DC to daylight. MONIX covers the Cincinnati-Dayton metro area, southwest Ohio, southeast Indiana and northern Kentucky. Monix is an open group. Anyone anywhere may join! If you're a radio hobbyist, this is the place to be. They have a group on Yahoogroups and Facebook, which can be found by searching yahoogroups for MONIX. For more information visit the MONIX website at M-O-N-I-X dot N-E-T.

Covering your amateur radio news in the greater Cincinnati area and the Commonwealth of Kentucky for Amateur News Weekly, this is Jack Prindle AB4WS in Big Bone, Kentucky.

SKEETER/ANCHOR: Our thanks to Amateur News Weekly for that report. Additional reports on the Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky region can be found at



SKEETER/ANCHOR: Young hams in South Africa are making friends with young American hams living in Michigan. It's all because of ham radio, as we hear from Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.

JIM MEACHEN: You're never too young to form a long-distance friendship, but while children before the era of the internet did that by becoming penpals, some youngsters of the current digital age are going - not online - but on the air. Kids in the South African Radio League's Hammies Amateur Radio Club ZS6ZU have been building bonds with their counteparts in the U.S. for almost two years through a net organized by Ed Engelman KG8CE, of the Young Amateur Communications Ham Team in Menominee, Michigan. Hammies organizer Noel Hammond ZR6DX said it's fun - and it's working. NOEL: The aim and whole idea of the net and the group is to get the kids to discuss, to talk about themselves, learning different cultures and what it is like here in Africa, what it is like in the States and hopefully getting to learn each other's cultures. Kids have been very good ambassadors from both sides.

JIM: Even with their days being many hours apart, Noel said the kids still find a way to bridge that huge time zone between them.

NOEL: We have had some great conversations with the kids. The kids have had great conversations with each other. They ask about South Africa of course and there are a lot of questions about the States, what they do and what they like about ham radio. The fantastic thing here is that the common denominator is ham radio.

JIM: In South Africa, those twelve weeks of Saturday morning Hammies classes have taught the kids enough technical stuff to become confident operators, but it's the on-air get-togethers with the other children that provides unity. Maybe one day Noel, says, the radio can unite them in other ways.

NOEL: I am hoping over a period of time we can take it to the next level and maybe we can get an eyeball QSO. That would absolutely be a dream, be a dream come true. Maybe take some kids there or some kids come across here and do some of those things and get to know each other that way.

JIM: That's ham radio building friendships, one child at a time. For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF.



SKEETER/ANCHOR: Ruth Willet KM4LAO isn't just an active YL and a DXer, she's the keynoter at an upcoming dinner at Dayton Hamvention. Let Newsline's Neil Rapp WB9VPG, introduce her:

NEIL'S REPORT: The SouthWest Ohio DX Association has announced that Ruth Willet, KM4LAO, will keynote its 32nd annual DX Dinner®, held in conjunction with the 2017 Dayton Hamvention®. Her topic will be "Experiencing the Hobby of a Lifetime." So, let's meet Ruth. She will tell you a little bit about herself.

RUTH: I'm a freshman at Kettering University in Michigan where I am majoring in mechanical engineering and engineering physics. So although I live in Georgia, I chose to go to Kettering in Michigan because of the small size and another big attraction to the school was the co-op program. So basically the entire schedule is set up around co-ops. It's basically a quarter schedule, so you're in school for a quarter, about 11 weeks, an entire semester, and then you go and work for a company in an engineering field related to your major. So I'm working right now for Textron Specialized Vehicles in Augusta, Georgia. I've been there since the beginning of January. I'll be there until the end of March, which is about 11 weeks, and then I'll be heading back to school.

NEIL: Ruth is still basking in the thrill of last year's enviable ham radio DX adventure.

RUTH: I was a member of the 2016 Dave Kalter Memorial Youth DX adventure. We traveled to the island of Saba last August. There were nine of us. We lived on the island for about a week. It was a lot of fun, getting the experience of traveling there and operating from the island. We operated on satellites, as well as HF. So satellites were pretty neat since most of us hadn't experienced satellite operations before. Getting to put Saba on the air was quite the adventure.

NEIL: Ruth looks forward to sharing her adventures with everyone at the DX dinner.

RUTH: I'm looking forward to basically sharing some of the stories of what I've been able to do in this hobby, thanks to the great people I've been able to interact with and learn from. Building on that, share my ideas that I've learned from the different experiences I've been able to have regarding how we can promote this personal hobby and attract people who will get licensed and stay interested in this hobby and interested in amateur radio to keep it moving forward into the future.

NEIL: You can hear Ruth's talk at the DX dinner on Friday, May 19, at the Dayton Marriott, 1414 S. Patterson Boulevard, starting with a social hour at 5:30 PM. For more information and to order tickets, visit Reporting for Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Neil Rapp, WB9VPG.


BREAK HERE: Time to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the W2GLD repeater in Pinckney, Michigan on Saturdays at 8 p.m. local time. ** THE PLACE TO BE FOR WEST VIRGINIA HAMS

SKEETER/ANCHOR: If you're anywhere in West Virginia, Charleston will be the place to be on March 25, as we hear from Newsline's Jim Damron N8TMW.

JIM'S REPORT: The 33rd Annual Charleston, West Virginia Hamfest is slated for Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 9 AM to 2 PM at the Charleston Civic Center in downtown Charleston, WV. In addition to the dealers and flea marketers, informative forums will be a part of the day, including ARRL and ARES. VE testing will take place at noon. DXCC, Worked All States, and VUCC card checkers will be on hand as well. Prizes include a $500 cash first prize. The event is the first hamfest of the year in West Virginia and attendees come from all over the state, as well as bordering states of Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia. Hamfest president Randy Damron N8XEA talks about a special attraction:

RANDY: We are excited about the advent of a new partner this year at the upcoming Hamfest. It’s the Radio Museum of Technology in Huntington, better known locally as the Antique Radio Museum. They’re going to be with us this year in their own separate area inside the hamfest and they’re bringing lots of antique radios and antique ham gear for sale...along with a soldering exhibition, particularly PL259’s being soldered to coax cable. Should be a lot of fun.Hope to see you there.

Jim: For more information on the Charleston, WV Hamfest, E mail For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Jim Damron, N8TMW.


SKEETER/ANCHOR: Amateurs activating summits around the world climbed to a new challenge recently as they worked with long-path propagation to make those coveted contacts. Here's Newsline's Ed Durrant DD5LP with that report.

ED's REPORT: In Summits on the Air (SOTA), one of the more difficult and therefore challenging actions is to communicate from one summit to another usually using low power and a simple antenna at both ends. Add to that distance and poor propagation and the challenge is enormous.

This is the situation faced by the SOTA activators who climbed to summits in Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan on Saturday the 11th of March. In two actions to correspond with long path propagation times between Europe and Asia Pacific and Asia Pacific and North America over 30 summits were activated across all the countries.

For the first of the two actions starting around 0700 UTC – the Europe-Australia one – hopes were not high with predicted propagation and the results of a test at the same time the previous day by the organizers – Mike 2E0YYY and Andrew VK1AD, when contacts were very difficult to make even between a summit station and a well-equipped home (chaser) station.

But despite these predictions, the Amateur Spirit kicked in and early morning in Europe and late afternoon in Asia Pacific the stations were out in force on the summits. A total of 25 summits were “activated” in Europe, 8 in Australia, 5 in Japan and 1 in New Zealand.

Luck was with us, the band conditions, while variable, were better than the previous days and inter-continental Summit to Summit contacts were made. I myself managed five summit to summit contacts, two of those into Australia from Germany, the other three were with Portugal, Germany and the UK. I heard a SOTA summit in Japan although call as I may, he didn't hear me. Others managed contacts from Europe into New Zealand and Japan as well as Australia. So all in all a surprisingly successful event. There are many comments on the SOTA reflector from those who took part saying how much they enjoyed the event and when would the next one be. For several activators, this was the first time they managed an inter-continental summit to summit contact.

Then while the Europeans went home and had a nice restful evening, on the other side of the world, activators in Australia were heading out early on their Sunday morning to try for summit to summit contacts into North America. Three Australian activators camped overnight on their summits, so that they could take part in both events.

Again for the VK-to-North America path, predictions were not good and in this case, unfortunately the predictions were mainly true.

Although inter-continental summit to home station contacts were made, and several S2S contacts within each region, no inter-continental summit-to-summit contacts were achieved. This might sound a little disheartening but in fact it has increased the resolve of those taking part to come back and try again when conditions are somewhat better and with improved antenna set-ups. I'm sure it won't be long before the VK to North America path will be as successful as the European to VK one. One similarity already exists, that those taking part thoroughly enjoyed themselves and are looking forward to another go.

Active during this event; the VK-to-North America event, were 5 summit stations from Australia, 5 from the USA, and 1 from Japan. Going by the enthusiasm of those taking part I expect there will be many more next time.

These events are organised by individuals within the SOTA community, so it just shows how much fun can be had based simply on an idea, a date and a loooong walk up a hill!

For Amateur Radio Newsline this is Ed Durrant DD5LP.


In the world of DX, Dmitry/RZ3DJ, Pavel/R2DX, R2DY and Yury/R2DG will be active as EK/RZ3DJ, EK/R2DX, EK/R2DY and EK/R2DG from Armenia until March 21st. Find them on 160-10 meters. QSL via their home call-sign or ClubLog's OQRS. An "Armenia Plaque" is available if you work them on three different bands

Nigel, G3TXF, is active as 3B8/G3TXF through March 21st in Mauritis. Nigel will be mainly on CW on the 30/17/12-meter bands. You may also hear him in the Russian DX Contest on March 18th and 19th. QSL via ClubLog's OQRS for direct and Bureau QSLs.

Antoine, 3D2AG, will once again be active as 3D2AG/P from Rotuma Island between March 25th and April 22nd, pending shipping schedule. Find him on 160 through 6 meters, including 60m, using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK31. He will run barefoot and entirely solar-powered. QSL via his home callsign direct only or PayPal (see Also, watch for update by Antoine.

In Uganda, Anton, ON6NL, is once again active as 5X8C from Entebbe. Listen for him on various HF bands. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the Bureau, LoTW or ClubLog.




SKEETER/ANCHOR: Finally, we remind you of Amateur Radio Newsline's commitment to honoring young talent. Is there a young radio operator who particularly impresses you? Nominations have opened for the Bill Pasternak Memorial Young Ham of the Year Award for amateurs 18 or younger who reside in the United States, its possessions or any Canadian province. Find application forms on our website under the "YHOTY" tab. The award will be presented on August 19th at the Huntsville Hamfest in Alabama.

Visit our website for details. Nominations close May 31, which will be here before you know it.


NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; Amateur News Weekly; the ARRL; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; Hurricane Watch Net; International Crystal Manufacturing; Irish Radio Transmitters Society; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; QRZ.COM; Southgate Amateur Radio News; the Southwest Ohio DX Association; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; WTWW Shortwave; and you our listeners, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline. Please send emails to our address at More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's only official website located at

For now, with Caryn Eve Murray, KD2GUT, at the news desk in New York, and our news team worldwide, I'm Skeeter Nash N5ASH in Topeka, Kansas saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

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