Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2142 for Friday, November 16 2018

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KB7TBT, Nov 16, 2018.

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  1. KB7TBT

    KB7TBT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2142 for Friday, November 16 2018 Audio Podcast -

    Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2142 with a release date of Friday, November 16, 2018 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

    The following is a QST. California amateurs prep to aid in the state's deadly wildfires; hams arrange a dramatic rescue at sea - and in Europe, a tribute to all Silent Keys everywhere. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2142 comes your way right now.


    PAUL/ANCHOR: We begin this week's report with an account of unprecedented wildfire destruction sweeping the state of California. With most communications systems functioning, hams have found other ways to help. In the Los Angeles area, where the Woolsey fire raged, many assisted with the distribution of supplies for evacuees. Kent Peterson KC0DGY tells us about a scene further north, in the path of the deadly Camp Fire:

    KENT: Of all the California wildfires burning through the state, the Camp Fire has become the deadliest in its history. First reported early on November 8th, the fire burned through the town of Paradise, once home to 27,000 people.

    ANDY: The wind was one of the major factors in this fire, I mean it went from about ten acres at 6:30 in the morning and then by that night it was like eleven thousand acres just because the winds were that strong that day.

    KENT Andy Boone KJ6IYM is one of several volunteers from the Paradise Amateur Radio Society staffing ham stations at evacuation shelters.

    ANDY: We're working for the Red Cross and they've requested us as a backup because they've had issues where they had a shelter up and running with cell coverage and wifi -- and then a cell tower goes down, power goes out and they're kind of stuck and they find they can't call for help, so we're not doing a whole lot except being on scene in case they need us.

    KENT: Boone is about 40 miles south of the main fire but like much of the area, it has not escaped its overwhelming impact.

    ANDY: There's ash all over the cars every morning. Its just like driving in thick fog only its smoke. You can't see the sun, cars coming towards you looks like they're driving with their parking lights on because the lights are so orange. Its just like you're in a different world. I've heard it described as a war zone.

    KENT: Boone said that almost five days into the fire, the repeaters in his area continued to function normally and hams continued to monitor the situation. Hams, by the way, haven't been the only
    volunteers offering to help in the crisis.

    ANDY: when I was at the shelter there was a line of people waiting to come in and volunteer....There was a line of people for several hours trying to sign up, they just wanted to come down and
    help out. It was heartwarming to see.

    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Kent Peterson KC0DGY.


    PAUL/ANCHOR: Just north of California, in the state of Oregon, the disaster unfolding was perhaps only a drill but the challenges were real. Andy Morrison K9AWM explains.

    ANDY: If Amateur Radio Emergency Services members in Grant County, Oregon, were a little bit more tired than usual on the evening of November 8, it’s understandable. Not every ham is faced with responding to a double virus attack launched by terrorists. The first “attack” involved a deadly biological virus released intentionally into the population followed by a second virus, an electronic one that knocked out cellphones, landlines and the internet.

    First, let’s clarify something – this was all just a test. The hams were part of a statewide ARES Simulated Emergency Exercise in cooperation with the state’s Office of Emergency Management and they were training for what could someday be the real thing. According to Steve Fletcher K7AA, Grant County ARES Emergency Coordinator, participating hams faced numerous challenges: They were instructed to test Winlink in “radio only” mode within a one-hour window; explore the best way to employ APRS for the tasks ahead and of course, establish clear communications between volunteer and government agencies while understanding the instructional materials guiding their procedures through the test. An HF Net was also established on 75 meters in advance to avoid relay pileups.

    Steve said the hams’ enthusiasm was stoked even more by a scenario called the MacGyver Task, which occurred concurrently with the double-virus scenario. In this simulation, the antennas on each local Emergency Operations Center were knocked out by bad weather.

    Steve told Newsline in an email, the hams concluded the one-day test happy but tired – and better-educated about what they’ll need to do next time.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Andy Morrison K9AWM.


    PAUL/ANCHOR: Satellite enthusiasts rejoice! Launch time is near for two more and Neil Rapp WB9VPG has the details.

    NEIL: Hams, look skyward! Two new satellites are coming your way – well, a bit ABOVE your way. On November 19th, Spaceflight’s SSO-A SmallSat Express mission is to launch with the Fox-1Cliff satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9. In addition to carrying experiments on board from Vanderbilt and Penn State universities, the Fox-1Cliff has the Fox-1 U/V FM repeater and AMSAT’s L-Band downshifter. There is also a VGA camera provided by Virginia Tech that will provide images at a resolution of 640 x 480, much higher than that aboard the AO-92.
    Meanwhile, anticipation is high for the Qatar Satellite Company’s Es’hail-2 geostationery satellite that is carrying two AMSAT transponders that was launched by SpaceX on November 15th. According to AMSAT-DL, the satellite will first complete several orbital maneuvers, then enter a commissioning phase before ending up in geostationary orbit. While hams will understandably be enthusiastic about giving reception reports, AMSAT-DL is requesting reports be made only after the official release so as not to get in the way of the commissioning phase. Think of it as a “repeater in the sky” for some regions where it will almost constantly be visible, such as Africa and Europe. It is said to have the potential to link amateurs from Thailand to Brazil. The satellite will be carrying two transponders for amateur radio, operating in the 2400 MHz and 10450 MHz bands.

    For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Neil Rapp WB9VPG



    PAUL/ANCHOR: A historic New York fireboat is getting an 80th anniversary celebration - ham radio style - as Kevin Trotman N5PRE tells us.

    KEVIN: Imagine operating a special event station in partnership with a well-decorated hero and a veteran of eight decades of maritime emergency service. That’s just what the Long Island CW Club W2LCW has done. Between 1500 and 1900 UTC on Saturday November 17th, the club will mark the 80th anniversary of the commissioning of a fireboat known as Fire Fighter, a vessel that served the Fire Department of New York City in New York Harbor from 1938 to 2010. According to its website, both the boat and crew have been decorated for valor numerous times – more than any other fireboat – owing to its service in the 50 or so major blazes the boat helped battle. The website calls the vessel’s performance “the stuff of legend.” Hams listening on CW or SSB can expect to hear W2LCW aboard the fireboat calling QR Zed on 40 through 10 meters. Frequencies will be spotted on the usual clusters.
    The boat itself is now berthed in Greenport, New York – in Long Island’s Suffolk County – and it is spending its later years transformed into a firefighting museum open to visitors April through October. Answer the call being sent from this National Historic Landmark on November 17th and receive a special certificate for having scored a contact with the vessel called “America’s Fireboat.”
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Kevin Trotman N5PRE.


    PAUL/ANCHOR: The Silent Key Memorial Contest that was held on November 1st was more of an on-air memorial to departed friends than a competitive activity. Here's Jeremy Boot G4NJH with the details.

    JEREMY: This year's Silent Key Memorial Contest marked the sixth year since László Foldi HA6NL and László Dallos HA7PL conceived this tribute to be held in CW. László Dallos told Newsline in an email that it is held on the 1st of November which is a day that Hungarians honour the dead. He said it is a contest in name only and has grown to include between 50 and 70 hams, most of them in Europe, reflecting band conditions on 80 and 40 metres. László said even the form of QSL is special: Hams get an ornamental memorial leaf with the call sign of the Silent Key they have honoured by sending their call on the air.

    For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

    BREAK HERE: Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the KJ3LR repeater in Bradenton Florida at 10 pm local time on Fridays.


    PAUL/ANCHOR: The search for hidden transmitters has an appeal all its own - and now hams who enjoy the hunt can share ways to make the experience better. Dave Parks WB8ODF tells us how.

    DAVE: If you’re enthusiastic about amateur radio direction finding, here’s a survey you may be interested in taking. Kenneth Harker WM5R, the new ARDF coordinator for the IARU’s Region 2, is asking for feedback from the international ham community. The survey is seeking input about ARDF events and other activities related to direction-finding. Ken told Newsline that he hopes the questions will be something posted annually to help him track activity over time and to get important feedback on such issues as competitions and rules, especially with regard to coordinating with other regions of the IARU. The survey will be available through the end of November and takes about 30 minutes to complete.
    Find the link to the survey in the printed version of this week’s Newsline script – and make your voice heard.

    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Dave Parks WB8ODF.


    PAUL/ANCHOR: A recent dramatic rescue of a stricken man on board a sailboat off Bermuda took radio teamwork – and the Maritime Mobile Service Network provided it, as we hear from Mike Askins KE5CXP.

    MIKE: On November 9th, the crew member of a sailing vessel 300 miles east of Bermuda went into distress with severe chest pains. Capt. Nicholas Cancro KC2WRH sent out a distress call on 14.300 MHz and an amateur radio operator heard it and alerted Donald Plunkett VA6FH of Alberta, Canada. Donald is a member of the Maritime Mobile Service Network – and so is Fred Moore W3ZU of Inverness, Florida, the second radio operator on the network to respond. He jumped in and directly contacted the captain aboard the boat, the Marie Elena, arranging for contact on 20 meters with a backup frequency on 40. Fred then provided a phone patch with the U.S. Coast Guard so medical personnel could talk those on board through some life-saving measures until help arrived. Fred stayed in touch with the boat throughout the night to keep tabs on the stricken crew member. At one point, even the U.S. Air Force responded – at the request of the Coast Guard – to see if they could help. The Coast Guard told the Maria Elena to head toward Cape Hatteras and sent the Coast Guard Cutter Spencer in the same direction. The next day the cutter and the sailboat rendezvoused and the patient was taken on board the cutter and then hoisted onto a helicopter and flown to a Norfolk, Virginia hospital. Jeff Savasta KB4JKL, net manager of the Maritime Mobile Service Network, said it was a true team effort – bringing in relays such as Mark Strothmann Sr KC9YRX in Wisconsin and many others.
    Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Travis Unser praised the teamwork as nothing short of crucial.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Mike Askins KE5CXP.


    In this week’s World of DX, if you want to contact Christmas Island, be listening for Michael, DF8AN who is operating only until the 17th of November as VK9XQ. Listen on 160 to 6 meters where he is using CW, RTTY, various digital modes, and FT8 in DXpedition mode. QSL to home call.

    Henning, OZ1BII, will be active as ZA/OU2I from Golem in Albania between November 21st and 27th. Listen for him using CW only on the 30/17/12 meter bands. He will also be in the CQWW DX CW Contest, which is November 24th and 25th. Contacts will be uploaded to ClubLog, eQSL and LoTW. QSL direct to his home address or LoTW (which is preferred).

    In Barbados, a team of operators including Sigi DL7DF, Manfred DK1BT and Wolf DL4WK will operate as 8P9AE from Barbados until the 20th of November. Be listening for them using CW, SSB and the Digital modes. They can be heard on 160-80m, including 30m, and they will also have an antenna for 20-10m. Send QSLs direct to DL7DF or by the Bureau. Logs will be uploaded to LoTW within 6 months after their DXpedition.

    From Algeria, be listening for the Algerian Radio Amateur Union’s special event station 7V1N from Djelfa until November 20. QSL via operators' instructions.

    These days many use the FT8 digital mode for DX contacts. On the evening of the 13th of November, the WSJT-x group published version 2, release candidate 4 of their program. As well as several fixes and extensions, this latest version (which will work until the final release of version 2 in December) now only works with the 77 bit packet mode and hence all FT8 operators will now need to upgrade if they are to continue to work each other. Version 1.91 and earlier of WSJT-x will no longer work with this or future versions. There is expected to be some confusion until all have upgraded, at the latest when the non-test version 2.00 is available from December.


    PAUL/ANCHOR: For our final report, we introduce a YL who's an octogenarian headed to Africa. Caryn Eve Murray KD2GUT shares her story.

    CARYN: An amateur radio ticket can also be a ticket to living one’s dreams – and perhaps no one knows that better right now than Susan Meckley W7KFI. Susan is headed to Malawi where in a few days she and her friend Don Jones K6ZO will be on a DXpedition through early December, operating CW as 7Q7M and 7Q6M respectively.
    Retired from both the U.S. Navy and the Army, the Mississippi resident said she’s always been up for adventure. Yes, even at 83 years of age.
    Susan, who’s had her ticket since 1952, cruised the Pacific solo aboard her 32-foot sailboat for years until she came ashore when she turned 80. Her next big moment was to fly a World War Two fighter plane -- but then, Don Jones came along another option: They would travel to the rare African DX entity where he is involved in a project assisting a local hospital and operate before, after and during the CQ WW CW contest.
    Her rationale for changing her plans?

    SUSAN: “The plane would have been for an hour and the trip is for an extended period of time.”

    CARYN: Though they’ll be living in the hospital guest quarters there might be some camping involved – which, in Africa, means lions.

    SUSAN: “I am worried about that…I just might bow out of that because with my luck I would get the 10 percent that didn’t get the memo that says don’t bother humans.”

    CARYN: She wants to make as many contacts as possible, of course, but she has another goal, a reasonable one:

    SUSAN: “Get out alive and come back home.”

    CARYN: The trip will mean that this devoted ragchewer will finally get to experience her first contest too. She considers this trip one grand last hurrah.

    SUSAN: “When I first got into radio in the early 50s I read about Danny Weil and his yacht the Yasme and I said ‘my gosh I want to do that.’ My whole life has been planned to get military retirement, Social Security and disappear off into the sunset. So I’ve gone to some of the islands and places I’ve been to that I haven’t been so sure about. Oh I’ve had some adventures out there.”

    CARYN: You can be a part of her next adventure starting on the 22nd of November. Listen for Susan 7Q7M and Don 7Q6M sending CQ in CW. That will be the sound of Susan Meckley, age 83, saying QSL to one more big ham radio dream.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Caryn Eve Murray KD2GUT

    NEWSCAST CLOSE: With thanks to Alan Labs; Amateur News Weekly; AMSAT-UK; the ARRL; CQ Magazine; Hap Holly and the Rain Report; Jeff Savasta KB4JKL; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; Steve Fletcher K7AA; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; Variety; 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 Paul Braun WD9GCO in Valparaiso Indiana saying 73 and as always we thank you for listening.
    Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.
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