Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2106 for Friday, March 9, 2018

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    Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2106 for Friday, March 9, 2018Audio -

    Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2106 with a release date of Friday, March 9, 2018 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.
    The following is a QST. Australia's summits have a microwave moment. Swedish hams may be powering up -- and in Ohio, careful radio listening helps save a life. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2106 comes your way right now.
    DON/ANCHOR: We open this week's report with this question: How high can you go when you're activating a summit? In this case the steep climb doesn't necessarily refer to scaling a peak -- but the band itself, as we hear from Robert Broomhead VK3DN.
    ROBERT: In Australia, the VK1 association took a Summit-to-Summit adventure to a higher plane recently by making contacts on 2.4 GHz - that's the 13 cm band - in the mountains around Canberra in the Capital Territory.
    Three activators accomplished their microwave contacts on March 1 - Matt VK1MA on Black Mountain, Andrew VK1DA on Mount Coree and Andrew VK1AD on Mount Taylor. To round out the experience, they were joined by Al VK1RX, who became the first VK1 operator to be a chaser on 2.4 GHz from his home QTH.
    These are Australia's first three SOTA summit-to-summit contacts on that frequency band. Other summit-to-summit operations were already planned for 13 cm in the days that followed, this time with five summits involved.
    When all was said and done, the hams then moved down to 1.2 GHz for a bit of a ragchew. It's probably not hard to guess what they talked about.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Robert Broomhead VK3DN.
    DON/ANCHOR: Speaking of SOTA summits, the Polish-led DXpedition team to Bouvet Island 3Y0I, will have the added benefit of being able to activate one as part of their visit to the remote island. The SOTA management team has classified Olavtoppen, the island's highest point, as a valid SOTA summit with the identification code of 3Y/BV-001. Olavtoppen's is 780 meters or not quite a half-mile high and worth 10 points. If activated between the 16th of June and the 15th of October, the activator receives an additional 3 winter bonus points.
    DON/ANCHOR: Ham radio teaches us the art of careful listening. This month, that art of listening provided a lifeline in Ohio. Neil Rapp WB9VPG explains.
    NEIL: So, you’re sitting in the ham shack casually working some FT8, when all of the sudden your VHF radio is blaring with someone yelling, “Emergency! Emergency!” You answer the call, and start calling 911. It’s what we do, and that’s what happened on March 3rd to Ken Gunton, W8ASA of Centerville, Ohio.
    KEN: While I’m on the air, I’m always have my VHF/UHF radio scanning the local repeater frequencies. And, on the W8BI, that’s the DARA repeater 146.94, I suddenly heard this guy saying, “Emergency! Emergency!” So, I put my attention on the radio and grabbed the mic. So I called and said, “This is W8ASA. How can I help?” He said, “My wife is suffering from extremely low blood sugar, and I need to get an ambulance out here right now. Right now!” And he was very distraught, as you would be in an emergency like that. And I found out from some other hams later that he called out on several repeaters and was telling people, “I can’t find my phone. I can’t find my phone.” I told him I would call. I would take care of it.
    NEIL: Ken was in Centerville, which is 54 miles south of Sydney, Ohio where the emergency was taking place. He was able to call his local 911 service, and was eventually relayed to the proper authorities in Sydney.
    KEN: I called back to the police department, just to see if perhaps it was a hoax or if the people were all right. And the lady who answered said, “Yes, they have a squad there and they are taking care of it. And no, it’s not a hoax.” And, she appreciated my efforts. And so, we hung up and I went on from there… So I was just glad to help. That’s what we’re here for.
    NEIL: For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Neil Rapp, WB9VPG in Bloomington, Indiana.
    DON/ANCHOR: The Radio Society of Great Britain has an election coming up but before hams get to vote, they're going to need some candidates. Here's Jeremy Boot G4NJH with the latest.
    JEREMY: What if they held an election and nobody came?
    Well, that's not quite the situation but it's pretty close to being that way: As of the 2nd of March, the Radio Society of Great Britain had received no nominations for its election for the open president's post. The organisation is now re-advertising the post in the hopes that some names will be brought forward for candidates to serve the new term that runs from 2018 to 2020.
    The organisation will not go leaderless, however, as the current president Nick Henwood G3RWF, has agreed to stay on until something is decided. In fact, the RSGB has posted a video on its website in which Nick talks about the president's role. If you visit the new presidents' page on the website, you'll find that video and also hear from three former RSGB presidents.
    So if you know someone who might be a likely candidate - or if you think you might be yourself - you need to before the closing date of April the 26th. Nominations may be submitted via the RSGB website.
    Visit rsgb dot org forward slash nominations to learn more.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.
    DON/ANCHOR: More Dayton Hamvention plans are falling into place. The SouthWest Ohio DX Association has just booked its keynote speaker, as we hear from Stephen Kinford N8WB.
    STEPHEN: Veteran DXer Gary Dixon K4MQG will address attendees at the Southwest Ohio DX Association's 33rd annual DX dinner during this year's Hamvention. The banquet will take place at the Marriott Hotel in Dayton on May 18th. Gary is not just a veteran DXer but a veteran amateur, having been licensed more than 61 years ago. He is a past president of the International DX Association and has been involved with the group for more than three decades. He is in the CQ DX Hall of Fame and a charter member of the Carolina DX Association. He presently serves as the ARRL's DX Advisory Committee representative for the Roanoke Division.
    The South Carolina resident and his YL Carol KA4WUR have two sons and a daughter-in-law - all hams.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Stephen Kinford N8WB.
    DON/ANCHOR: In Tunisia, amateurs finally have a license to call their own, as John Williams VK4JJW tells us.
    JOHN'S REPORT: Tunisian radio amateurs who took - and passed - their licensing exam last December 20th are now holding a piece of history: the first individual licenses permitted in that country by the Tunisian regular, the ANF.
    Last September, the ministry approved a law that granted individuals the right to have their own licenses, in line with hams in so many other nations. ARAT, the national association of Tunisian radio amateurs, was a big proponent of this change.
    The first licenses were delivered on the 23rd of February during a special ceremony in the ANF offices in Tunis. Five out of the 10 new licensees were present and representatives from the ministry and some ARAT members were also on hand to mark the occasion.
    It's all done now except, of course, getting on the air.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm John Williams VK4JJW.
    (IARU, ARAT)
    Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the Tri-Town Radio Amateur Club's WD9HSY repeater in Homewood, Illinois on Wednesday nights at 8.
    DON/ANCHOR: Some things don't go out of style in ham radio. Like a good ragchew. Like a beloved old rig. And oh yes, tubes. Combine those elements and you've got this next story from Paul Braun WD9GCO - the latest in our occasional series "Nets of Note."
    PAUL: Nets are a very big part of amateur radio. There are nets for general ragchewing, working DX, emergency communications, and then there are very specialized nets that cater to one common interest. The Tube Net is that kind of net. I spoke with Jimmy Lamanteer, WB2KNR, net control:
    LAMANTEER: The Tube Net was actually originated several years ago by an elderly gentleman who is a silent key as of last November - WA4SDE and his name was Danny Schrader. He started the Tube Net because he had a love for the older tube equipment because of the nice audio and so forth.
    PAUL: The requirements were pretty simple and straightforward:
    LAMANTEER: If you had three tubes or more either in the transmitter or the transceiver, you were allowed to check into the net. And when Net Control got your name and your full call then you gave a little bit about your station like what your rig was, what kind of microphone you're using, if you were using an amplifier, what your antenna was.
    PAUL: When Schrader became ill, he asked Lamnanteer to serve as Net Control from time to time. Eventually, he became full-time Net Control. According to Lamanteer, it's a fairly active net, propagation permitting:
    LAMANTEER: Band conditions - I think I had 18 check-ins the other night, but sometimes it's been as high as 25 and 30.
    PAUL: The Tube Net is held at 8 p.m. Eastern on the last Monday of every month. You can find them on 3.938 Megahertz if the Sun cooperates. So, if you share a love of radios that glow in the dark, you might want to try joining in the fun. Hybrid radios are welcome as well - Lamanteer uses a Kenwood TS-520.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Paul Braun, WD9GCO
    DON/ANCHOR: There's a price to pay for more transmitting power, as hams in Sweden may soon discover. Here's Ed Durrant DD5LP with that report.
    ED: In Sweden, if you want to have a big booming signal that exceeds the minimum, it may end up costing you. An ARRL report says that Sweden's Post and Telecom Authority wants to drop transmitter output power for general operators to 200 watts PEP and charge an annual fee of $33 for any hams who wish to exceed that limit. The maximum power permitted on most HF bands is 1 Kw.
    In Sweden, operators who want to be radio amateurs must still pass a qualifying exam before receiving a call sign and operating certificate, both of which are valid for the person's lifetime. Under the new proposal, the annual fee would buy them one year's permission to operate at the higher power.
    The proposed change centers around an important issue: the regulator would like to be able to better trace any interference caused by those more powerful transmitters.
    Right now the proposal is up for public comment in Sweden, with a March 30 deadline for input.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Ed Durrant DD5LP.
    DON/ANCHOR: Nigerian radio operators may gain access to a frequency well-suited to experimental use, as Jim Meachen ZL2BHF tells us.
    JIM MEACHEN: Amateurs in Nigeria may soon look forward to operating on the 60 GHZ, or "V-Band," as it is known. The announcement by Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission was made at the end of February, noting that a growing demand for wireless service has been spurred by new technologies. The 60 GHz band is a very wide frequency band lending itself well to technical experimentation.
    The NCC chief said that experimental frequencies had become scarce due to the emergence of new technologies and growing demand of wireless services.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.
    DON/ANCHOR: If you're near Charleston, West Virginia, get ready for some big action. Jim Damron N8TMW explains.
    JIM: The 34th Annual Charleston West Virginia Area Hamfest is almost here! It is on Saturday, March 24 from 9 AM to 2 PM at the Charleston Civic Center. This year’s hamfest will also be an ARRL WV Section Convention, with keynote speaker Steve Ewald WV1X, ARRL Field Organization Team Supervisor. Sharing in that ARRL forum also will be N2COP, Roanoke Division Vice Director and WV Section Manager Dan Ringer K8WV.
    Yaesu rep Cory Sickles WA3UVV will be talking about System Fusion II in his forum.

    In addition to several dealers and numerous flea marketeers, there will be VE testing, as well as card checkers for DXCC, WAS, and VUCC.

    Prizes at the Hamfest include a first prize of $500 cash.

    For more information on the Charleston WV Hamfest go to

    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Jim Damron, N8TMW reporting.
    DON/ANCHOR: We remind all listeners that we are accepting nominations for the 2018 Bill Pasternak WA6ITF Young Ham of the Year award. If you know a promising young amateur who is 18 or younger and lives in the U.S., its possessions or Canada, please download a nomination form from our website, arnewsline dot org, under the YHOTY tab. Nominations are due May 31 and the award will be presented in August at the Huntsville Hamfest.
    In the world of DX, IOTA chasers should be listening for YL2GM, YL1ZF and YL2KL operating as 3C3W from Bioko and as 3C0W from Annobon, two islands of Equatorial Guinea, through March 27. They will be on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL direct to YL2GN.
    On Easter Island, a group of operators is on the air as XR0YD until March 15. Listen on 160 through 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL via DL4SVA.
    Be listening for Ross W2TT and John AF3K from Turks and Caicos Islands from March 20-27. They will also participate in the CQ WW WPX using the call sign VP5P. You can hear them all week on 80 through 6 meters using SSB, CW, RTTY, FT8 and 6M MSK144, which is a meteor scatter mode. QSL via EQSL, LOTW, QRZ. There will be Club Log uploads regularly. QSL via W2TT $2 for paper cards.
    DON/ANCHOR: Our final story is a footnote. Literally -- a footnote. We'll let Mike Askins KE5CXP explain.
    MIKE: Never mind having a good fist to send CW; sometimes what's really needed is a great set of toes. Yes, toes.
    At the recent Mobile World Congress showcase in Barcelona, Sierra Wireless unveiled safety boots that are also two-way communications devices. They allow industrial workers who wear them to transmit distress calls by tapping out Morse-like Codes with their feet. The footwear, which is outfitted with a SIM card and a wireless module, can also receive messages or reminders sent by the boss. These so-called "smart shoes" emit 80 decibels of sound -- and while they're not the latest in fashion, they're definitely the latest in technology. What that means to their safety-minded wearer is that they do have to gain some fluency in their dots and dashes to make it work. After that, operation is entirely hands-free - except, of course, for putting them on and lacing them up.
    NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; the ARRL; ARAT; the BBC; CQ Magazine; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; the IARU; the Irish Radio Transmitters Society; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; Radio Society of Great Britain; Sierra Wireless; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; Vanguard Nigeria; Waverley Amateur Radio Society; 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 Don Wilbanks AE5DW in Picayune Mississippi saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.
    Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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