Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2092 for Friday, December 1st, 2017

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    Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2092 for Friday, December 1st, 2017Audio -

    Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2092 with a release date of Friday, December 1st, 2017 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.
    The following is a QST. SKYWARN Recognition Day celebrates amateur response to weather. NASA prepares for a year of marking milestones -- and here come those Santa Nets! All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2092 comes your way right now.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: As we reach the end of a particularly challenging hurricane season in the U.S., SKYWARN Recognition Day on December 2nd takes on particular significance. The event shows just how valuable hams are to The National Weather service. Here's broadcast meteorologist Bobby Best WX4ALA with that story.
    BOBBY'S REPORT: Many people, in both the general public and more than you might expect in the amateur radio community, do not realize just how valuable NWS Trained SKYWARN Spotters, especially those that are amateur radio operators are to the warning process at local National Weather Service Offices' level. Recently I spoke with Clay Barnes, a former amateur radio operator who allowed his license to expire. He has learned just how valuable both NWS-trained SKYWARN spotters are in the field to the National Weather Service. He especially saw this, sadly for the first time first hand six years ago, when a powerful EF-4 tornado tracked literally miles from his own home, North of Birmingham, Alabama.
    Clay, tell us, how do you see the need for more NWS/SKYWARN trained eyes in the field and specifically what made you choose to go back to scratch, getting your expired ham radio license back please.
    CLAY: Honestly, the total devastation that Alabama took during the generational tornado outbreak, on April 27th, 2011 and how we saw first-hand how that not only had power outages across the state but also the severe devastation also knocked out emergency repeaters for law enforcement, fire/rescue and EMS, just to name a few, and the quickest of restoring communications was through emergency agencies cooperating with members of amateur radio.
    There's no doubt in my mind that were it not for ham radio that day, Alabama would have seen more deaths. It was safer after that day. That's when I began to re-consider re-taking the test and getting my ham license back so that I could be of emergency communications assistance to friends, family, and neighbors.

    BOBBY: If you're a ham operator who has let your license expire, or a non-ham who is interested in how you can be of great support to your community during times of crisis, like during weather outbreaks, that fall under The SKYWARN umbrella of amateur radio operations, contact a ham radio club near you today.
    Reporting from Gardendale, Alabama for Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bobby Best; WX4ALA.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Our favorite ham radio stories this time of year are about the magic of Santa Nets. Our first story comes from Kevin Trotman N5PRE.
    KEVIN: As any kid will tell you, the best kind of Santa is one who doesn't make you wait until December 25th, right? Well we've got one Santa who is already here: The nightly Santa Net went on the air on Friday the 24th of November and will be available every night at 7:30 p.m. Central Time through Christmas Eve. The tradition is into its 12th year and is operated by the 3916 Nets, the Rag Chew Crew, the Tailgaters and the Freewheelers. Pre-net check-ins begin nightly at 7:15 p.m. Central Time and are also accepted on the Santa Net's Facebook page. Find Santa each night on 3.916 MHz. No milk and cookies needed - but don't be on the naughty list: please observe all FCC rules regarding third party traffic.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, in Aiken, South Carolina, I'm Kevin Trotman N5PRE.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Looks like there's also a new Santa in town, as we hear from Caryn Eve Murray KD2GUT.
    CARYN: Like department store Santas and even sidewalk Santas, amateur radio Santas will soon be out there. These much-loved seasonal celebrities bring extra magic to an already enchanted medium. One of the newest Special Event Santas N-ZERO-P comes to us from the Park County Radio Club in Colorado. This Santa is giving the gift of radio -- and like the terrestrial Santa, this radio Santa seems to be everywhere.
    DAN: We can do it through EchoLink, we have AllStar available. For our locals we have VHF and UHF frequencies available as well as HF and the DMR Channel on TalkGroup 3100 USA.
    CARYN: That was Dan Kern W-ZERO-DFU who said club volunteers will be suiting up as the bearded superstar and his wife starting December 10th. They will be taking calls on 20 and 40 meters as well as digital modes such as PSK-31 and Mrs. Claus will be reachable through DMR. Best of all, even kids who are in hospitals or are hearing-impaired can talk to Santa on the radio too.
    DAN: So we are also offering the ability to communicate via text and email but it wouldn't be our standard format using the computer. We would be sending those texts and emails through our radio via APRS. We thought with the hearing impaired it would be a neat way for them to understand they were on ham radio - and that might also promote ham radio, where they might not be aware they can go digital with packet or PSK-31 and still be on ham radio.
    CARYN: This club is spreading good will and good cheer along with the good word about amateur radio - that it's a holiday gift that's accessible to everyone and can be enjoyed all year round, not just in a ragchew with Santa. For times, frequencies and other operating details through Christmas Eve, visit N-ZERO-P's page on QRZ.
    Reporting for Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Caryn Eve Murray KD2GUT
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Our occasional series, Nets of Note, returns this week with a look at a group of amateurs who are less about ragchewing and more about mobile stations on the move. Here's Neil Rapp WB9VPG.
    NEIL: This week, we feature a long standing net on 7.251. SOUTHCARS is one net of a family of nets that is intended for mobile stations. I had a chance to talk to the Net Manager Rick Hatalski ND4Z about the focus of the net.
    RICK: We work on a list of check-ins which a lot of people aren’t familiar with. We take the suffix only of the call and establish a list and go down one at a time. Mobiles always have priority. We kind of cater to mobiles and QRP stations because mobiles generally are in a predicament. They on the way to work, they get there, they go into tunnels so I think they should have priority. On all the CARS nets mobiles have priority.
    NEIL: The net has been on the air for 51 years, and has changed to accommodate more people.
    RICK: We find ourselves to be a very busy net. We try to not ragchew a lot because we have a real lot of customers. We used to be more of a ragchew. We had more time to talk. But with the traffic we have, we try to cut it short and please everybody. And we really really have a lot of check-ins, probably more than most nets.
    NEIL: Aside from mobiles and the occasional emergency, the net has also been a gathering place.
    RICK: Well I think we’re a little unique in the fact that we really dwell on helping out people, especially shut-ins. We tend to be an older net, kind of an old codger net. We really like young people. We know that young people are crucial. So we’d really like to have more young people. But the nature of our net is we have a lot of shut-ins and handicapped people who check in with us. Some of them check in all five sessions every day, seven days a week. So, we really take pride on trying to make people who are shut-ins and handicapped have a place to go on amateur radio where everybody’s friendly. We’re more of a friendly net, trying to help other amateur radio operators. That’s kind of our goal.
    NEIL: And SOUTHCARS even knows how to party!
    RICK: We have luncheons and get-togethers. We generally have things like the Golden Corral and restaurants like that where we have a free tailgate for people to buy, sell and trade ham gear. Then we usually go into the restaurants and have a nice meal. We do this several times a year. We have a picnic in the mountains of North Georgia once a year. So we have a lot of fun. We have a lot of good fellowship on SOUTHCARS.
    NEIL: You can find SOUTHCARS on 7.251 and online at With this week’s “Net of Note” I’m Neil Rapp, WB9VPG reporting for Amateur Radio Newsline.
    Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the North Coast Amateur Radio Club's K8SCI repeater in Brunswick, Ohio on Sundays at 9 p.m. during the weekly info net.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: So who's staying after school these days? The U.S. Education Committee of Amateur Radio on the International Space Station. But they're not in detention. Jim Damron N8TMW explains.
    JIM: The International Space Station is many things but to educators and ham radio operators it's first and foremost a learning tool. Now the program has added the power of teachers from the elementary through college level around the country to advise ARISS and one another of new ways to inspire kids: about space, about technology and yes, about radio. They're part of a new committee, says ARISS secretary Rosalie White K1STO.
    ROSALIE: "Ham radio is front and center because we want these teachers who have experienced using amateur radio in the classroom from maybe just now and then to almost every week to be able to say, 'well this program worked for me this year - two years ago I had a problem with this program.' So to me amateur radio is front and center. STEM is very important and you can't go into a school and say 'I want to do amateur radio' but I've always pictured the ARISS program as a friendly high-tech way to get kids inspired toward amateur radio and science both....It's a win-win for everyone."
    JIM: Rosalie said the committee lets teachers do what they do best - teach! - while tying in parts of their existing curriculum to the space program and firing up students' imaginations.
    ROSALIE: Who better than educators to tell ARISS what can interest K through 12 students and even through college -- to interest them in amateur radio and science, technology, engineering and math -- and what's better than talking to an astronaut via amateur radio to inspire K through 12 and even college students? So that's why [we have] the committee, we want educators to tell us what's on their mind, what they think would work in the classroom and what they think the kids are interested in.
    JIM: The program has already facilitated more than 1,130 amateur radio contacts between students and astronauts. With the addition of this committee, the program hopes to connect these same students to a bright future too. For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Damron N8TMW.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The U.S. space agency has big plans to celebrate its milestones via ham radio. Here's Paul Braun WD9GCO.
    PAUL: On Monday the 11th of December, NASA has scheduled a launch for an adventure that's going to take the better part of a year to complete. This event involves radios, not rockets. NASA On the Air, or NOTA, is the year-long celebration of a variety of NASA milestones. Special event stations operated by ham radio clubs located at different NASA centers will be on the air marking such milestones as the agency's 60th anniversary, the 50-year anniversary of the first manned orbit around the moon and the two decades since the International Space Station's first elements entered low-Earth orbit.
    Even though most of the events happen next year, mark your December calendars now: NOTA kicks off on the 11th of December, the 45th anniversary of the day Apollo 17 touched down on the lunar surface. It was the last of the agency's manned moon landings.
    Successful contacts for all events will be sent commemorative QSL cards. Hams can also expect to receive special certificates noting each NASA club station contacted - as well as where and in what mode. There will be a scoring system with points awarded for each band and mode, whether it is phone, digital or CW or even satellite or meteor scatter. It goes without saying that contacts with Amateur Radio aboard the International Space Station definitely count!
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Paul Braun WD9GCO.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Disabled amateurs around the world are in the spotlight again, as we hear from Jeremy Boot G4NJH.
    JEREMY's REPORT: With the United Nations declaring Sunday the third of December to be the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, amateur radio groups in IARU Region 1 will be making a special effort again this year to showcase what radio can do for the disabled.
    Hams in Switzerland, Tanzania and Norway have signed on to be on the air as have hams in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Club station E71AVW plans to give special opportunities to members of the local club in Bosnia & Herzegovina who are blind and disabled. A commemorative QSL card will be sent to hams who establish contact on the day.
    Amateurs in Russia, who have been steady participants in the annual event, planned to operate from two QTHs - from the club Radio Ana RA5R an association of young disabled amateurs Apparel and from the Tambov QTH of Vladimir Gerasimov RA3RDT. The amateurs are devoting several days to the operation and are using the call sign R17IPHA from the first to the fifth of December.
    The annual recognition day is set aside to recognize the rights and strengths of individuals around the world who are disabled. It was created in 1992 by the UN's General Assembly.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.
    Members of the "The Holy land DX Group" will be operating a special event station from The Shivta National Park in Israel from Friday December 22nd through noontime on December 24th. They will be using the callsign 4X0XMAS and hams can listen for them on SSB and using CW on the WWFF frequencies. This will be the first time for an operation from this QTH. During the Christianity On the Air event, December 22nd through 24th, the station will also participate for the HOCOTA Award. Send QSLs via LoTW and eQSL. The park is considered a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
    Be listening for Fawaz, A92AA operating as 5T1A from Mauritius until December 20th. Listen for him on all bands using SSB and FT8. He plans a short break to join the 5T5TI DXpedition team between December first and seventh. Send QSLs via A92AA.
    A team of operators, including Massimo/HP1MAC, Ricardo/HP1RIS and Gianni/HP1YLS will be active between January 6th and 9th as H91IT from Taboga Island. Listen for them on 40-10 meters using CW and SSB. Send QSLs via HP1RCP.
    STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Our final story is about Santa Claus again. But wait - this is in Australia, where the search for Santa is getting a bit of an amateur radio twist, as we hear from John Williams VK4JJW.
    JOHN'S REPORT: When it comes to amateur radio direction-finding at this time of the year, even Santa can be pretty foxy about it. Perhaps it's because Santa *is* the fox during this exercise which is happening on the 15th of December. It's the annual Townsville Amateur Radio Club Monster Christmas Lights Tour when mobile shacks make their way along a route to a secret destination, all the while monitoring 2 meters to receive instructions from Santa. Yes, Santa's calling the shots as all the hams take their festive trip around the illuminated City of Townsville, Australia. Where is Santa headed? Ah, that's the secret --but by 10 p.m. all will be revealed. The organizer, Gavin VK4ZZ, is no humbug. He'll make sure everyone gets an eyeful as well as an earful. Handhelds will be provided on loan if hams don't have one available. Do bring your own water however. Sleighbells are not expected to be ringing in the summer heat.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm John Williams, VK4JJW.
    NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; Amateur News Weekly; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; the IARU; NASA; Ohio Penn DX Bulletin; Radio Amateurs of Canada; SOUTHCARS; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; the 3916 Nets; Townsville Amateur Radio Club; 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 Stephen Kinford N8WB in Wadsworth Ohio saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.
    Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

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