Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2144 for Friday, November 30, 2018

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    Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2144 for Friday, November 30, 2018 Audio Podcast -

    Amateur Radio Newsline Report Number 2144 with a release date of Friday, November 30, 2018 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.
    The following is a QST. Australian politicians promise shortwave will return. Amateurs in India honor a pioneer in wireless technology -- and a behind-the-scenes look at mesh camera video hams used during California's wildfires. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2144 comes your way right now.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: We open this week's report with promising news for shortwave radio's return to Australia. It's election season and campaign promises are being made, as we hear from Graham Kemp VK4BB.
    GRAHAM: The end of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s shortwave services in January 2017 hit hard in Australia, especially among remote communities and in the Northern Territory (VK8). Pressure was put on the federal government to restore what was, for many, a lifeline. Now with an election looming in 2019, a Labor Government under Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, has vowed to provide the $2 million in funds the independent national broadcaster needs to bring services back. At the time the government silenced the service, citing budget issues, Senator Nigel Scullion, minister for indigenous affairs, declared shortwave to be vital, particularly during cyclones, floods and other emergencies. He said This is a really poor decision by the ABC Board which is supposed to ensure the broadcaster provides services, such as the shortwave radio service, not provided by other organisations.”
    In late November, Shadow Minister for Regional Communications, Stephen Jones, vowed along with Senator Malarndirri McCarthy and Warren Snowdon that victory in the elections would bring a revival of ABC shortwave. Advocates for the return of service applauded the announcement. They included Chris Nott, president of the NT Cattlemen’s Association, who said that HF shortwave radio transmitters are a necessity in the bush where mobile and data coverage doesn’t exist for FM and AM radio.
    I'm Graham Kemp VK4BB.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: Public service and innovation are the backbone of amateur radio and nowhere was this more evident than during the recent deadly wildfires that swept through California. Hams responded, as always, with the help of repeaters – but one amateur-built high-speed data network stretching nearly 200 miles became the picture – quite literally – of the peril faced throughout the state. Andy Morrison K9AWM tells us how hams used mesh camera video to put people on the scene in realtime - and he spoke to one ham who was part of the process.
    BEN: “If you are in the middle of a wildfire, people only hear evacuation notices. They don’t know where the fire is, how far it is from their house. The public only hears evacuation notices, they don’t’ know where the fire is, is it a block away? A mile away? And people make a lot of life and death decisions based on that. By having the video you can actually say “here” and you can share that by social media or describe it……A video, a picture can tell a thousand words, a picture does tell you a lot.”
    ANDY: That was Ben Kuo AI6YR of the Pleasant Valley Amateur Radio Club which helps manage the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network, operating on amateur radio allocations on the microwave bands at 900MHz, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Ben says the system behaves just like the internet and uses similar protocols to compress video and send it over the packet network. To transmit, hams use commercial radios adapted for amateur frequencies. In one instance, he said, the AREDN even “out-Internetted” the Internet itself during the crisis.
    BEN: “One of the big Internet providers here is Spectrum Communications and they went down. Due to the fire they lost all phone, they lost TV, and they lost internet, broadband connections. We were able to provide the people who were on our network with access to some of the key info they couldn’t get. They had no internet, but they did have us -- and we could actually forward information to them digitally that they couldn’t get anywhere else.”
    ANDY: The ham-built network has been so successful that the hams hope to help the state build a wide-reaching network of its own to make their own videos available to public safety agencies throughout California. Meanwhile, Ben said, there is always fine-tuning to be done by the hams themselves.
    BEN: “We are now working on lessons we learned from this fire and enhancing some of the capabilities we have so it is even better next time.”
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Andy Morrison K9AWM.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: It was firefighters' turn to help ham radio operators recently by offering a special gift in St. Paul, Minnesota. Kent Peterson KC0DGY explains.
    KENT: In Minnesota, the St. Paul Fire Department is coming to the aid of the Salvation Army’s Northern Division Emergency Disaster Services with an estimated $18,000 in radio equipment it no longer needs. If the St. Paul City Council approves the gift, the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network, or SATERN, will be able to expand its reach in Minnesota and North Dakota when responding to natural disasters. That’s critical in a region that has suffered numerous weather-related emergencies over the years, including massive flooding of the Red River impacting the Fargo, North Dakota area. A report on KSTP TV news noted that greater deployment of ham radio operators during such events gives crews tighter control on the kind of aid they are able to deliver because of the enhanced communications. Officials also told the TV news that the added radio coverage – especially when communications networks are down -- also creates greater efficiency and safety, whether it’s for the delivery of meals, supplies, flood kits or some other assistance. According to the KSTP report, some of the donated radios will be installed in a 17-foot mobile command center with a 50-foot antenna.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Kent Peterson KC0DGY.

    PAUL/ANCHOR: In Austria, one group of amateurs took time out from their recent meeting to honor fellow hams - past and present. Ed Durrant DD5LP has that story.
    ED: Longevity and dedication were the themes at the most recent meeting of one group of amateurs in Austria. A number of hams were honored for their longevity in the hobby and chairman Karl OE5FKL was surprised with an honorary membership in the Bad Griesbach club at the annual general meeting in clubhouse of the ADL 507 in Geiersberg. The 25-year honorees are Irene OE5YKL and Ralf OE2AXL and the 40-year honorees are Sepp E5TJM, Georg OE5MGM, Franz OE5SFM, Siegfried OE5BSM and Josef OE5EJM. Hans DL9RC of Bad Griesbach presented the chairman with his honorary membership. The gathering of 50 amateurs also reviewed the past year’s activities and paid tribute to the eldest member, Karl OE5CLL, who became a Silent Key recently at 97 years of age.

    For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Ed Durrant DD5LP.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: The net we are featuring this week in our occasional series, "Nets of Note," has been around for a long time, ever since the one that followed the earthquake in Alaska in 1964. The longest-running net, however, started in 1973. I spoke to Mel Bowns, KL7GG who is net manager for that Alaska net, known as The Snipers Net.
    BOWNS: We had the earthquake in 1964. Shortly after the earthquake - to my understanding, anyway - they started a net that's on 20 meters, 14.292 in the morning. It was handling a lot of the traffic that was generated after that earthquake. I came up the year after the eartquake, saw a lot of the devastation and I've been here ever since.
    The hams in Alaska were the first people to make contact with you littler states down there to let people know health-and-welfare traffic, and they did a lot of it.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: The actual Snipers Net was organized in 1973. And, according to Bowns:
    BOWNS: The net has never missed a day. We're on seven days a week. Our net is brief - the net will go approximately fifteen minutes when the conditions are good. It will go for 45 minutes some times with conditions bad on 3920. And it starts promptly at 6 p.m. our time every night.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: Bowns said that the members of the net help each other to be prepared:
    BOWNS: We check the radios and so forth. He's got some problems with his radio and he's not sounding too good, we'll try to walk him through with some suggestions. We try to make sure our radio gear is dependable and ready to go. There will be another earthquake - it's not **if** have one, it's **when**.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: The net is very active, according to Bowns:
    BOWNS: Right now that the bands have improved a little bit we're up to over 80 check-ins out of a roll call of about one hundred. We just broke a little over 2,000 for the month of October and the highest year that we've had was something like 27,000 check-ins.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: The Snipers Net attracts loyal members:
    BOWNS: We have one individual right now who's had perfect attendance going on ten years or more. Larry's just unbelievable.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: I asked about the origin of the name. Bowns said that while there is no documented origin story, his best guess goes back to the beginning:
    BOWNS: So they would pick on each other when they're sitting around, jabbering and talking about an antenna or "did you hear about this today?" or whatever before it became an actual net, so then they said, "Let's call it the Snipers Net."
    PAUL/ANCHOR: You can find out more information about the Snipers Net at the URL snipersnet dot kl7 dot net. Go ahead and find them - they are always happy to take guest check-ins. And maybe you, too, can become a regular on the roll call.
    BREAK HERE: Time for you to identify your station. We are the Amateur Radio Newsline heard on bulletin stations around the world including the WM3PEN repeater in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: There's a lot of pride right now in Bloomington, Indiana, where the high school's amateur radio club was a top performer in the latest School Club Roundup. Heather Embee KB3TZD tells us everyone is sharing in this celebration.
    HEATHER: Students in the Bloomington High School South Amateur Radio Club, K9SOU, in Bloomington, Indiana are being recognized for their operating abilities. Trevor Cutshall, Zach Kasper, and Adam Terry were part of the school's team in October for the latest School Club Roundup. According to the preliminary scores, the team took 1st place in the high school division as well as overall. The club has placed first in the last two School Club Roundups in the high school division as well, so an official win this year would give them a “three-peat.” Local media are interviewing the students this week, and they have received a special invitation from the Monroe County Community School Corporation to be recognized at their next school board meeting. "Celebration of Success" is a regular part of each board meeting, where the school corporation employees, students, and volunteers who make a difference in schools and the community are recognized. The ceremony will take place on December 18. The students made 746 unique contacts in the last roundup, which included all 50 states, 8 provinces, 33 countries, and 44 other schools. School Club Roundup is sponsored by the Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club (LIMARC), and the ARRL. Final results are still pending.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Heather Embee KB3TZD.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: If you don't already know about the contributions made to wireless communications by Indian scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose, you have until the 11th of December to learn -- with the help of a special event station. Jeremy Boot G4NJH has the details.
    JEREMY: Amateurs in India take particular pride in the 19th century scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose, who was called the father of wireless communication after he successfully demonstrated the transmission of electromagnetic signals in 1895. The distance? One mile. Special event station AU2JCB is hoping to achieve some real DX, however, during its operation. The special event station is already on the air and will continue to operate until the 11th December. Call sign AU2JCB is being used by Datta VU2DSI, but listen as well for other special event stations honouring Bose, AU3JCB and AU5JCB. These stations mark the anniversary of the birth of Bose in 1858 and his pioneering work in microwave optics technology which is now part of the operation in modern satellite communications, remote sensing and radars. His original papers from 1897 contain concepts that have since been incorporated into 1.3mm multi-beam receivers on the 12-metre telescope of the National Radio Observatory in the U.S. Bose is also credited with developing the use of the galena crystal for radio receivers. When Bose first drew attention to electromagnetic waves in 1895, he demonstrated how they could be used to ring a bell remotely – and to cause gunpowder to explode. Fortunately, today those same waves can rather get you a spot in someone’s logbook and a QSL card.
    For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Jeremy Boot G4NJH.
    Be listening for Martin, PT2ZDX using the call sign PS6I from Itaparica Island from the 1st to the 7th of December. Brazilian stations should send QSLs direct to manager PP5GEL; hams in all other nations send QSLs to F4BHW.
    The Radio Amateur Association of Greece is using special callsign SX60RAAG from the 1st through to the 31st of December to mark its 60th anniversary. QSL via LoTW, eQSL, Club Log's OQRS.
    Alain, F8FUA will be active as XT2BR from Burkina Faso from the 2nd to the 11th of December. Be listening on the bands for him calling in CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via his home call, direct or by the bureau, or on LoTW.
    Steff, HB9FXL is using the call sign XU7AKB across Cambodia through the 14th of December. Listen for him on 40 through 10 meters operating SSB and FT8. Send QSLs via HB9FXL, direct or bureau.
    PAUL/ANCHOR: For our final story, we hear from a ham in Australia who hopes to visit Christmas Island with his wife in pursuit of good DX and some very special nature-watching. John Williams VK4JJW tells us more.
    JOHN: Allen Harvie VK3ARH has timed it out just right for this year’s early celebration of Christmas – on Christmas Island, no less. Allen, who is active in portable and Summits on the Air operations has planned a trip of a lifetime with his wife to see the red crab migrations on this distant Australian territory. He hopes to activate Murray Hill VK9/CH-001, a rare summit in the SOTA awards scheme and VKFF-0098, Christmas Island National Park. This is not ordinarily a place they would plan a one-week holiday, he says, but ah, there are those crabs and this trip is carefully planned out to coincide with the creatures’ annual march to the sea to spawn.
    ALLEN: The entire island is basically a crab island. So we feel we will be privileged to see the migration in full flight, but purely as a tourist.
    JOHN: His wife has been keen to see this annual migration to the sea for some time and Allen, well, he’s excited too about the prospect of a rare SOTA summit – but only if the crabs aren’t blocking traffic.
    ALLEN: “Beause the crabs are using the road. They will be gone in four hours and we will be able to go down there. We might have to wait until the next day. It is going to happen – we are just going to have to be ready to act when we are allowed to move.
    JOHN: Propagation may not necessarily be the best for the bands but at this time of the year, propagation should be perfect if you’re a crab.
    ALLEN: You have to time if when you’re there. I am hoping to see the tail end of the migration of the crabs and part of the spawning from an earlier migration.
    JOHN: Meanwhile, they are there through to the 7th of December. Allen is planning to do some CW as well as operate SSB at 30 watts of power. He’s hoping for chasers to be listening mainly on 20 meters – 14.062 for slow CW and 14.310 MHz for phone. His call sign: VK9ARH. So be listening as he goes for a parks activation, a SOTA activation and – yes a bit of nature in action.
    ALLEN: It’s going to be a bit of touch-and-go but what else have you got to do on your holidays?
    JOHN: Best of all, he said, no matter how it plays out, you won’t catch him crabbing about it.
    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; KSTP.COM; Ohio-Penn DX Bulletin; RADIOINFO.COM; Southgate Amateur Radio News; Ted Randall's QSO Radio Show; 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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