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Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2159 for Friday, March 15th 2019:

James Pastorfield (KB7TBT) on March 15, 2019
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Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2159 for Friday, March 15th 2019 Podcast -

Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2159 with a release date of Friday, March 15th 2019 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a QST. A weather net on DMR assists during a "bomb cyclone." A QRP pioneer becomes a Silent Key - and the ARRL helps the FCC target rules violators. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Number 2159 comes your way right now.



NEIL/ANCHOR: Our top story this week is the Colorado "bomb cyclone" that struck in the American West. The Northern Colorado DMR group regularly uses Brandmeister TalkGroup 31083 whenever hazardous weather threatens the region, but the hams' severe weather net was put to the ultimate test on the 13th of March when a bomb cyclone blizzard struck. According to Matt K0LWC, nearly 50 amateurs checked in between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mountain Time from QTHs throughout Colorado as well as Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas. They passed on road conditions and closures, power outages and weather conditions. The net also submitted weather reports to the National Weather Service in Boulder and gave Colorado State Patrol reports of stranded motorists.

Matt said the talkgroup was carried constantly on a number of northern repeaters in the state as well as in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He told Newsline that the Colorado Digital Multiprotocol bridge allowed users on Yaesu Fusion and D-STAR to also access the talkgroup even without a DMR radio. Matt wrote: [quote] "Very cool bridging of digital protocols making the talkgroup technology agnostic!" [endquote]

He said even with 200,000 people having lost power, the DMR technology remained operational and resilient. Said Matt: [quote] "That's a good sign for the stability of DMR and its use in the future for EMCOMM." [endquote]


NEIL/ANCHOR: Fans of low-power operating are grieving the death of a leading amateur in the field of QRP. With those details here is Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

JEREMY: A pioneering figure who made popular low-power communications and the founder of the G-QRP Club has become a Silent Key. The Rev. George Dobbs G3RJV, died in England on the morning of 11th March, following a period of failing health.

George had freely and regularly shared much of his expertise in numerous radio books and publications such as his "Carrying on the Practical way" in the Practical Wireless magazine and the QRP section in RadCom, the Radio Society of Gt Britain's monthly journal, where he was also a columnist. He visited many local amateur radio clubs to give talks and encouragement on low-power operating. He also wrote for the quarterly SPRAT - which stands for Small Powered Radio Amateur Transmissions - a magazine produced by the G-QRP Club which George founded in 1974 at which time, to be considered QRP, power levels could not exceed a 3 watt limit at the transmitter - later to be raised to 5 watts in the mid-1980s.

George was a retired vicar in the parish of Sudden near Rochdale in the north west of England. According to a posting by Rob G3XFD on the Southgate Amateur Radio News website, his death was attributed to pneumonia that failed to respond to antibiotics.

George Dobbs, RIP

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.



NEIL/ANCHOR: A drama is playing out in Washington, D.C., involving a commercial radio studio owned by a U.S. amateur, Russian broadcasters - and Justice Department officials. Kevin Trotman N5PRE has that story.

KEVIN: A Florida amateur radio operator and the U.S. Department of Justice have been locked in a battle over whether the ham, who owns a broadcast studio in Washington, D.C., needs to register as a foreign agent. Arnold Ferolito K2PEV, owner of RM Broadcasting LLC, sells time on 1390 AM in Washington to Russian-funded media group Sputnik radio. Justice officials have been working to compel the broadcasters to comply with the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act. According to a recent Washington Post report, Sputnik's parent company, the Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya has already registered but Arnold Ferolito has refused, telling the Washington Post that individuals should be able to do business in the United States without this kind of government interference. The 76-year-old amateur radio operator filed a lawsuit last October against Justice officials, describing the relationship between Florida-based RM Broadcasting and the Russian media group [quote] "an arms-length commercial business transaction." [endquote] His suit states that he is not acting as a foreign agent. FCC records show that Arnold is also licensed as a General class amateur radio operator who has a New Jersey address.

According to the Washington Post story, justice officials have filed a countersuit charging that Ferolito's broadcast of Sputnik news content is being directed and controlled by the Russian group.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Kevin Trotman N5PRE.



NEIL/ANCHOR: Young radio enthusiasts in Germany are prepping for an important launch, as we learn from Ed Durrant DD5LP.

ED: During the 20th Jungforscherkongress (the young experimenters congress) on March 21st in Heidelberg, there will be an "uplifting experience" as a weather balloon is launched from the Muenster Youth Hostel in conjunction with Hams from the Heidelberg A06 radio club. The balloon will transmit on 433.0 MHz using the callsign DL9II-11 {pronunciation" D L 9 Eye Eye dash eleven} and is expected to have a range of between 200 and 300 km, or 124 to 186 miles, flying at an altitude of about 35 kilometres, or not quite 22 miles high.

A probe with two cameras, a Geiger counter and scientific measuring equipment will be on board the balloon. Temperature and pressure measurements will be taken and GPS data will be transmitted in APRS format.

The project is being led by two students from the University of Heidelberg, under the supervision of Dietmar Berger DL9II {pronunciation: D L 9 eye eye}.

Like most balloons, this isn't intended as a long-term project - the duration of the flight is expected to be somewhere between 3 and 5 hours long and help from local hams to find the balloon when it lands would be appreciated.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Ed Durrant DD5LP.



NEIL/ANCHOR: Get ready for youngsters DXing from Curacao. The adventure isn't til summer but if you're interested and qualified, you need to apply now. Jim Meachen ZL2BHF tells us more.

JIM M: What could be better than summer in Curacao? Try a summer adventure that involves ham radio. The 2019 Dave Kalter Memorial Youth DX Adventure has begun accepting applications from youngsters who will be between the ages of 12 and 17 at the time the trip takes place between July 14th and 19th. According to the website, there is room for three youngsters and parents. The station PJ2T will once again be hosted by Uli Thielke DL8OBQ. Last year's operation, which used the call sign PJ2Y, made almost 6,300 contacts. The trip is named in memory of Dave Kalter KB8OCP, a noted contester, DXer and youth advocate who became a Silent Key in 2013.

The website notes that organizers are aware of the tense political situation in Venezuela, which is more than 40 miles south over the ocean from Curacao and will be monitoring the situation. The trip, for now, is still on.

For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.



NEIL: Speaking of youngsters on the air, congratulations to Jet Jurgensmeyer of the American TV sitcom "Last Man Standing" who recently passed his license exam. The teenager plays the grandson of the show's lead character Mike Baxter who has the imaginary call sign KA0XTT [Kay A ZERO X TT]. Actor Tim Allen, who plays Mike, has the real-life call sign KK6OTD. Jet is awaiting word of his.


NEIL/ANCHOR: Amateur Radio Newsline honors outstanding youthful amateurs with its Young Ham of the Year Award named in memory of Newsline's Bill Pasternak WA6ITF. We have opened up the nomination period once again and are in search of candidates for this year. Award recipients offer the amateur community and the community-at-large the best of their talents. All information about eligibility is available on our website,, under the YHOTY tab. You'll be able to download a nomination form which is due back to us before midnight on May 31st. The award will be presented on August 18th at the Huntsville Hamfest in Huntsville Alabama.

** BREAK HERE: Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the Indianapolis Repeater Association's 146.70 W9IRA repeater on Wednesdays at 7 pm before the Marion County ARES Net in Indianapolis, Indiana. **


NEIL/ANCHOR: The ARRL is teaming up with the FCC in a new program targeting rule violators. Paul Braun WD9GCO has that story.

PAUL/ANCHOR: Under a new American Radio Relay League Volunteer Monitor program, hams are helping the FCC monitor for rule violations. Riley Hollingsworth K4ZDH, former FCC Special Counsel for Amateur Radio Enforcement, heads the new program.

HOLLINGSWORTH: These Volunteer Monitors will be placed around the country with emphasis on geographic areas where there are no field offices or where the field offices are exceptionally burdened with their workload. On the ARRL website you should soon see application forms for volunteer monitoring and we encourage all of the previous O.O.'s to apply.

PAUL/ANCHOR: Hollingsworth said that he, of all people, understands the value of these volunteer efforts.

HOLLINGSWORTH: The O.O. Program has been a hallmark of the League and I know that in my term in Amateur Enforcement [at the FCC] I relied significantly on the reports of O.O.'s. The first dozen or so cases we initiated in 1999 and 2000 when we re-instituted Amateur Radio Enforcement were all based on O.O. findings supplemented with independent FCC investigation. The new arrangement actually underlines the value of the long-standing O.O. Program as it morphs into the Volunteer Program because if it weren't for the hard work of the O.O.'s the FCC would never have proposed this offer.

PAUL/ANCHOR: Hams will hear more details at the ARRL Forum at Hamvention. Hollingsworth is hopeful of success.

HOLLINGSWORTH: This new agreement and procedure should be a major force-multiplier in making up for the fewer number of FCC field engineers working in enforcement. Personally, I think it was a tremendous offer from the FCC and the League is very grateful.

PAUL/ANCHOR: For Amateur Radio Newsline, Im Paul Braun, WD9GCO

NEIL/ANCHOR: To hear more from Riley Hollingsworth about this new program, listen to an expanded version of this interview as an Amateur Radio Newsline "EXTRA" report. It's posted on our website arnewsline dot org - simply click on the "EXTRA" tab.


NEIL/ANCHOR: What better way to earn a scouting merit badge than with amateur radio? Bill Stearns NE4RD has the details.

BILL: This week in Radio Scouting we have one activation of the K2BSA callsign, one scout camp on the air, another glass ceiling is shattered, and JOTA updates.

Ralph Roloson, KB3IPT, will be activiating K2BSA/3 at Towanda VOTEC in Towanda, PA on Saturday March 30th. This will be part of an Adventure Weekend for the scouts there, and this activation will go along with a Radio Merit Badge class that Ralph will be teaching.

Justin Lentz, KF5IVJ, let us know on the site that their crew will be on the air as KB5WAX from Camp Wisdom on Saturday March 23rd. Catch this active venture crew on the air.

With the closing of the month of February we receive notice that Scott Hagner (KC9UTC) and Brian McDaniel (N4AE) awarded the first Radio Merit Badge ever earned by a young woman in Scouts BSA. Congratulations to Lilly Miller of BSA Troop 1175 in Joliet, Illinois. Expect many new voices on the radio at future scouting events.

Finally Jamboree on the Air is quickly approaching. Time to start promoting your event at district round tables, merit badge universities, and get the word out to additional amateurs and scouters to improve your support network for your event.

For more information on this and radio scouting, please visit our website at

For Amateur Radio Newsline and the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association, this is Bill Stearns, NE4RD.


NEIL/ANCHOR: In West Virginia, the first hamfest of the year is also the ARRL's West Virginia section convention and it promises to be a busy one, according to Jim Damron N8TMW.

JIM: The 35th annual Charleston West Virginia area hamfest is slated for Saturday March 23rd from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will take place in the newly remodeled and renamed Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center with easy access off the interstates. The Charleston West Virginia hamfest is also designated an ARRL West Virginia Section Convention and will feature keynote speaker Bob Allison WB1GCM in the ARRL Forum. Bob is ARRL assistant lab manager from Newington Connecticut. Other forums include ARES, satellites an SKYWARN, along with VE Testing and of course there will be a variety of vendors and flea marketers. Prizes for lucky winners include $500 cash first prize. This is the first hamfest of the year in West Virginia and attendees come from all over the state as well as the bordering states of Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia. For more information on the Charleston West Virginia Hamfest on Saturday March 23rd go to and click on the link.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jim Damron N8TMW.



NEIL/ANCHOR: Contesters in Iceland have just gained even more room for competing on 160 metres. Jeremy Boot G4NJH has that story.

JEREMY: Hams in Iceland have been given approval again this year to use the frequency range between 1850 and 1900 kHz for a number of major competitions, including the ARRL's separate DX Contests for SSB and CW along with the CQ World-Wide 160 metre competitions for SSB and for CW and the IARU HF World Championship. Iceland's national amateur radio society, Icelandic Radio Amateurs, reports that the Post and Telegram Administration has authorised the use of this frequency range solely for the purpose of participating in the contests, as in the previous eight years. These are frequencies that are otherwise used by the Maritime Traffic Service which has given its own approval for the hams to operate there. Hams in Iceland otherwise make use of the frequencies on that band between 1810 and 1840 kHz using full power, or 1 kw on a primary basis. The Post and Telegram Administration has told the hams that those with G licences are permitted to use the allowable full power of 1 kW in that temporary frequency range but N licencees' operation cannot exceed 10 watts. So if you're in any of the big contests with 160 metres this year, be listening for call signs from Iceland. The president of Icelandic Radio Amateurs, Jonas (Yo-NAS) Bjarnason, TF3JB, told Newsline that each licensee needs to renew their request to the Administration individually by E-mail.

For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH



In the World of DX, Nigel, G3TXF is operating as 3B8XF from Mauritius until the 24th of March. Beyond his plans to take part in the RSGB Commonwealth and Russian DX contests on the 16th and 17th of March, he will be operating CW and FT8. QSL via Club Log's OQRS and LoTW.

Meanwhile, if you've been waiting with the rest of us for the start of the Bouvet Island DXpedition Three Why Zero Eye (3Y0I), here's an update: The team's web page reported recently that the team has reassembled in Cape Town South Africa. Final vessel preparations are being made. As the team says [quote] "Stay tuned for further news coming soon." [endquote]


NEIL/ANCHOR: Finally, we report that the launch of a special CubeSat project by Virginia students is on schedule - but it won't be on the amateur bands, after all. The scheduled April 17 launch of four Virginia universities' CubeSat constellation is going forward but licensing issues are keeping its UHF packet repeaters from using the amateur spectrum, according to a report posted online by Mike KQ9P, one of the project's team members. The repeaters will instead operate at 401 MHz. Students from four Virginia universities are participating in the project which is launching their trio of small satellites in Houston on a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket. Their destination is, of course, the International Space Station. The Virginia Cubesat Constellation mission is designed to deploy the three nanosatellites so that they orbit almost simultaneously. The CubeSats will be measuring various properties of the Earth's atmosphere. The participating schools are the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Hampton University and Old Dominion University. Mike wrote online that the team hopes that the next CubeSat project will at last have an amateur radio payload aboard.


** NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the Augusta Free Press; Amateur News Weekly; AMSAT; ARISS; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; Dave Kalter Memorial Youth DX Adventure; the G-QRP Club; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; K2BSA; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; QRZ.COM; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; SatNews; the Washington Post; Wireless Institute of Australia; 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 at For now, with Caryn Eve Murray, KD2GUT, at the news desk in New York, and our news team worldwide, I'm Neil Rapp WB9VPG in Bloomington Indiana saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

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