Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1536 with a release date of Friday, January 26th , 2007
The following is a Q-S-T. A big change in Morse in the U-S-A, a bill to force the FCC to properly watch over B-P-L and hams in space chat with a famous TV personality. Who was it? Find out the details on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1537 coming your way right now.
RADIO RULES: THE END OF MORSE TESTING IS FEBRUARY 23
Morse testing in the United States should end soon. How soon you ask? Amateur Radio Newsline's David Black, KB4KCH, has the latest on this major change coming to the hobby:
Morse testing to obtain or upgrade an Amateur Radio license in the United States will end on Friday, February 23rd . This, following a 30 day "take effect period" after the January 24th publication in the Federal Register of the Report and Order on F-C-C rule-making W T Docket 05-235. And on February 23rd , Morse testing will be a part of ham radio history.
According to an earlier bulletin released by the American Radio relay League, the FCC maintains that this change will eliminate an unnecessary regulatory burden. One that the FCC says may discourage current Amateur Radio operators from advancing their skills and participating more fully in the benefits of Amateur Radio.
The new rules mean that all Technician licensees, whether or not they've passed a Morse code examination, will gain some High Frequency operating privileges
identical to those of current Novice, Tech Plus or Technician with Element 1 Morse credit licensees. This, without having to apply for an upgrade. Novices and Technicians with Element 1 credit already have Morse privileges in segments of the 80, 40, 15 meter bands. They also have Morse, R-T-T-Y, data and SSB privileges on a portion of 10 meters.
And one final word. Do not operate under the newly changed licensing rules until after their effective date. If you do and wind up getting caught, there's a good chance you will wind up with a most unwelcome letter asking you why you went on early. And that letter will be coming from the FCC.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm David Black, KB4KCH,at the South-East bureau in Birmingham, Alabama.
Deletion of the Morse requirement is a landmark in United States Amateur Radio history. Until 1991, when a code examination was dropped from the requirements to obtain a Technician ticket, all prospective radio all applicants for an amateur license had to pass a Morse proficiency exam. (ARRL, ARNewsline™, others)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: PEHUENSAT - 1 ON THE AIR
The Pehuensat One ham radio satellite is on the air. Reports are coming in from all over the world of the reception of signals from this latest ham radio bird and so far all are good.
The satellite was launched on the 10th January from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India. It transmits on 145.825 MHz FM voice in English, Spanish and Hindi followed by AX25 1200 bps packet.
To have a quick glance at next passes in your location and time, visit www.amsat.org.ar . Then click on the revolving globe, then on your location, then on Pehuensat. We will have more ham radio space related news later on in this weeks report. (Via Press Release)
THE BPL WAR: WD5DVR INTRODUCES BPL CONTROL BILL TO CONGRESS
A bill now making its way through the United States Congress could force the FCC to determine once and for all whether radio amateurs have the right to protection from interference caused by Broadband over Powerline technology. Amateur Radio Newsline's Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, is here with the details:
The measure is known in the House of Representatives as HR 462. It was introduced on January 12 by Representative Mike Ross, WD5DVR, as part of the Emergency Amateur Radio Interference Protection Act for 2007.
The bill gets right into the middle of a high-stakes battle between power utilities heavily invested in BPL and the American Radio Relay League which views as its prime objective to protect the ham radio bands from any form of man made interference,
If passed and signed into law, the measure would require the FCC to do a comprehensive study within 90 days after the date of its enactment. It would also require that the FCC produce a new set of improved rules governing BPL service transmission while at the same time calling on the agency to come up with a safe distance of separation that will guarantee no interference from BPL emissions.
And there is one real zinger that the B-P-L is likely to crusade against. HR 462 would also force the FCC also would have to investigate the degree of notching necessary to protect the reliability of mobile radio communications and provide a technical justification for permitted BPL radiated emission levels relative to ambient noise levels. In other words it would not just be home station operations that would be safeguarded from interference caused by B-P-L. Mobile operations would be protected as well.
The ARRL has conducted field tests in areas where BPL systems have been deployed as well as experiments to assess the emissions leakage level. As a result of these tests and of member complaints, the League has been outspoken in its criticism of two deployments in particular. These are a commercial installation in Manassas, Virginia, and a test placement in Briarcliff Manor, New York. As previously reported, the League says tests conducted at both sites by its members have detected B-P-L generated interference at distances of hundreds of feet from overhead transmission lines and making communications impossible on the H-F bands in both of these areas.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, inn Los Angeles.
HR 462 has been sent to the House Committee of Energy and Commerce for study. (ARRL, InformationTechnology News, redherring.com, others)
THE BPL WAR: THE BATTLE CONTINUES DOWN-UNDER
Meantime, down-under, Australian telecommunications A-C-M-A has undertaken another round of B-P-L interference measurements following ongoing complaints from a radio amateur. On Thursday January 11th , A-C-M-A field engineers visited the home of Conrad Kley, VK7HCK in the town of Sands Bay in response of complaints of interference he is suffering from the broadband system operated by Aurora Energy. Justin Giles-Clark, VK7TW, was there during the tests and has this report:
Measurements were taken using a flat-response loop antenna and also using Conrad's quad and vertical antennas so a comparison could be made between the calibrated professional antenna and tuned amateur antennas. There was definite correlation between what Conrad was reporting using the "S" signal strength scale and what was measured using the test equipment on the same antenna.
ACMA took notch profile measurements which showed up to a 20dB notch depth however this still resulted in about an S3-4 signal level being experienced by Conrad within a notch.
As some background, Conrad put in a complaint of unacceptable levels of interference from BPL emissions in November 2005 and then again in September 2006, and these have been the subject of ongoing investigation by ACMA. ACMA staff undertook initial measurements at Mt Nelson in November 2005, June and July 2006. ACMA even detected emissions at the Quoin Ridge ITU monitoring station which is 20km away back in November 2005, however that is no longer the case possibly due to the utilization of wireless technology for the BPL back-haul network.
Following Conrad's complaint of September 2006, ACMA compiled their measurement results into a report which was released at the end of November 2006 and reported signal levels ranging from 34.1 to 64dBuV/m across the HF amateur bands.
This ACMA report substantiates the claims made by Conrad that the Aurora Energy BPL system is causing interference and greatly reducing his ability to operate licensed amateur radio equipment.
I'm Justin VK7TW
VK7HCK has requested that the ACMA order Aurora Energy to make further reductions in emission levels including the widening of notching in various bands and notching of the 10m band.
From the United States of America, we are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world, including the Hualapi Amateur Radio Club net serving Kingman, Arizona.
(5 sec pause here)
A SIGN OF THE TIMES: WSWSS TO DISBAND
And a sad sign of the times. This with word that the Western States Weak Signal Society will cease to exist as of February 1st . Jeff Reinhardt, AA6JR, has more:
Word of the demise of the Western States Weak Signal Society comes in the re-posting to the VHF Reflector of a note received by Jim Foster, NN7K, from the society's treasurer Paul Hammer, KA6CHJ. In it, Hammer says that he is the only functioning officer remaining. He says that requests for members to fill the other vacant positions did not yield enough volunteers.
According to the post, membership dues will begin being refunded with payments received in December 2006 and working backward. Any remaining funds will be donated to the ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund. Remaining office supplies will go to the local Salvation Army.
The Western States Weak Signal Society certificate program will also cease. Hammer says that all remaining awards to be distributed to those waiting by mid-February.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Jeff Reinhardt, AA6JR, in Los Angeles.
More about the disbanding of the Western States Weak Signal Society is on-line at www.wswss.org (VHF Reflector)
RESCUE RADIO: HAMS IN VK CONTINUE WILDFIRES EM-COMMS
Wildfires continue in Australia's Victoria state and V-K hams affiliated with WICEN are on alert. WICEN is Australia's equivalent of A-R-E-S in the United States. Jim Linton, VK3PC, of the W-I-A News has the latest:
For 50 days fires have raged in Victoria burning out more than a million hectares with the loss of homes, property, livestock and wildlife. Responding agencies are stretched to the limit. They have needed to import fire-fighters from New Zealand, Canada and the United States.
In the midst of it all are WICEN operators assisting with communications systems for the Department of Sustainability and Environment - DSE. WICEN Victoria State Coordinator, John Kerr VK3BAF advises that operators were first stationed at Swifts Creek.
The activation, after a short while, was escalated with WICEN operators also deployed at Benalla and Mansfield. Rain that fell on Thursday eased the situation somewhat - but there's more of summer ahead.
The previous occasion on which WICEN Victoria provided assistance to DSE was in the 2002-03 Bogong bushfires in the state's north-east.
WICEN Victoria provided refresher training courses for its members in December on the operations of the DSE trunked radio system. Excellent forward planning indeed!
Earlier the Red Cross communications arm RECOM with radio amateurs as volunteers provided communications in December at the bushfire relief center that was set up at Bairnsdale in Gippsland.
And also in mid-December, WICEN had 15 operators activated in Tasmania when fire swept along that's state's east-coast causing extensive damage. With no end in sight to the fire situation as Australia remains in grips of its worst drought for century, we're certain to see more involvement of radio amateurs as they uphold the long tradition of providing emergency communications in times of natural disasters.
I'm Jim Linton VK3PC for the Amateur Radio Newsline.
Bushfires are common in Australia's summer, but officials say the situation is even worse than normal this year. Many of the fires this year were caused by lightning, while others were believed to have been started deliberately. (WIA News)
ENFORCEMENT: PART 15 INTERFERENCE TO CELL SITE
The New York District FCC Office, Northeast Region, has issued a Citation to a Dave Yogesh of Wayne, New Jersey. This, for operating what the FCC calls Part 15 amplifier on the roof of his residence that caused interference to a Sprint cellular telephone site.
According to the CGC Communicator, the problem sounds like a self-oscillating UHF-TV antenna preamplifier, but the Citation did not fully describe the device causing the problem. (CGC)
RADIO HISTORY: WOR AM TOWERS TAKEN DOWN IN NJ
Three giant radio towers that used to radiate the signal of New York City radio station W-O-R A-M have been demolished. The towers that have been a fixture alongside the New Jersey Turnpike in the city of Lyndhurst came crumbling down Thursday morning, January 11th .
The 700 foot tall towers were owned by W-O-R and have been a landmark on the turnpike for more than 40 years. Each was safely felled by a demolition crew which simply loosened one guy wire on each tower to permit it to fall in the direction it was being tugged by the other two.
Lyndhurst police finally approved the demolition after halting it last September. At that time, the city cited safety concerns and the possibility some people might confuse the demolition with a terrorist attack.
The towers and associated transmitting house have been unused for the past several years following a move by W-O-R A-M to a new transmitting site a half-mile to the north in the town of Rutherford. (Southgate)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: AN ALL HAM FAMILY
A word of congratulations to 10 year old Ricky Martinez, KD8EYO, of Stockbridge, Michigan. Rickey, who is only age 10 recently got his license after passing the Technician class exam at a recent test session held by the Livingston Amateur Radio Klub. That’s Klub with a "K."
What makes Ricky so unique is that he is the youngest person in the history of the Livingston Klub to earn an Amateur Radio Operators license through the groups program.
Dick Renaud, W8KDR, w is the Vice President of the Livingston Amateur Radio Klub. He says that Ricky has wasted no time in getting involved in the hobby. He says that KD8EYO has already participated in the National Weather Service SKYWARN Spotter training program. Renaud believes that KD8EYO and will no doubt become part of the county's Amateur Radio emergency communications support team as he continues in his pursuit of his Amateur Radio adventure.
It should be noted that Ricky Martinez is no stranger to ham radio. His dad is Rick Martinez, W8RCM, and his mother is Katy, KD8EFS. Katy Martinez earned her ham ticket only two months ago making the Martinez household an all ham radio family. (W8KDR, others)
THE SOCIAL SCENE: THE HAMCATION IN ORLANDO IN FEBRUARY
Back on this side of the great Atlantic pond the 2007 ham radio social season starts in sunny Florida in February. This at the Hamcation in Orlando the weekend of the 9th , 10th and 11th .
The venue is the Central Florida Fairgrounds on Colonial Drive with the theme of this years Hamcation being "Fellowship in Amateur Radio.”
Among the Hamcations's special guest presenters is "Mr. Audio" himself, Bob Heil, K9EID. Bob, along with Chip Margelli, K7JA, will explore the latest in audio technology to make every ham radio operator sound better on the air.
Also on hand will be the crew from Icom America. They will join with members of the Orlando Amateur Radio Club to explore the latest in digital voice technology using the popular D-STAR system.
And less we forget, this year the Hamcation has selected the Flex Radio SDR 1000 as the events grand prize.
Sound like fun? The Orlando Hamcaton always is. And you can find out lots more on line at www.hamcation.com (Hamcation)
THE SOCIAL SCENE: TWO IN MICHIGAN IN FEBRUARY
The Hiawatha Amateur Radio Association's 28th annual Swap and Shop will be held from 9 am, to 1 p.m. on February 3rd . The venue is the Negaunee Township Hall, in Negaunee, Michigan. . For more information please contact Robert Serfas, N8PKN, P0 Box 1183, Marquette, Michigan or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The events website is www.qsl.net/k81od ;
And a week later on February 10th the Cherryland Amateur Radio Club will hold its 34th annual Swap-N-Shop at the Immaculate Conception Middle School Gymnasium in Traverse City, Michigan. Doors open to the public at 8 a.m and close at noon after the last orizes have been awarded. For more information on this one email@example.com (Worldradio)
THE SOCIAL SCENE: HAMVENTION 2007 AWARD NOMINATION PERIOD ENDS FEBRUARY 19th
The Dayton Hamvention has set February 19th as the cutoff date to accept nominations for its 2007 Radio Amateur of the Year, Special Achievement and Technical Excellence awards. Evi Simons has more:
If any honors program in Amateur Radio has earned the right to be called prestigious, it is the Dayton Hamvention's three awards. Awards that many consider the Oscar and Emmys of ham radio. And now the Hamvention has set February 19th as the last day that it will accept nominations for this years presentation.
By way of background, the Radio Amateur of the Year Award will be presented to an individual who has made a long-term, outstanding contribution to the advance of amateur radio. The Special Achievement Award goes to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to Amateur Radio, usually by spearheading a single significant project. Last but by no means list is the Technical Excellence Award. It goes to a ham who has made an outstanding technical advance related to Amateur Radio.
Nominators should send details of their nominee's accomplishments along with substianting documentation to the Dayton Hamvention Awards, PO Box 964, Dayton, Ohio, 45401. You can find out more about the awards and file a nomination on-line at www.hamvention.org.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Evi Simons in New York.
Again, the deadline for nominations for this years Hamvention Awards is February 19th . The winners will be presented their awards at the 2007 Dayton Hamvention, which takes place May 18th to the 20th . We hope to see many of you there. (Hamvention)
This is ham radio news for today’s radio amateur. From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline with links to the world from our only official website at www.arnewsline.org and being relayed by the volunteer services of the following radio amateur:
(5 sec pause here)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: HAMS IN SPACE CHAT WITH MARTHA STEWART
Homemaking expert and television personality Martha Stewart, chatted with the International Space Station Expedition 14 crew of Monday, January 22nd . During the interview Stewart asked the Expedition crew members about their experiments on station, the view of Earth from their vantage point, and life in their orbital home away from home.
Expedition 14 Flight Engineer Sunita Williams, KD5PLB, was one of those providing answers from Earth orbit. She showed off her green thumb with a sample of bean sprouts she had been growing as part of a horticulture experiment for long-term living in space.
After giving a glimpse of their personalized sleeping areas, Williams and Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, KE5GTK, told Stewart they were open to any home decorating or cooking tips for their home in space.
The event started at 11:40 a.m. EST and was shown on NASA TV. The conversation was taped for replay on Stewarts' TV show. (Southgate)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: AO-27 RETURNS TO THE AIR
Some good news for satellite users. As of January 14th , AMSAT OSCAR 27 is back in operation. This, thanks to the dedicated work of the satellites Command Team.
Michael Wyrick, N3UC, reports that after working on several problems with the A-F-S-K modem on board AO-27, the controllers were able to upload the flight n code. As a result, AO-27 is now running the E-O-S software and sending good back telemetry and the analog repeater has been turned back on.
The Command Team asks that all users keep in mind that AO-27 is 13 years old and that it takes some work to keep it going. More information is on-line at www.ao27.org (AMSAT)
HAM RADIO NEAR SPACE: HAM RADIO BALLOON TO FLY IN ARIZONA JAN 27
If you have never worked a balloon carrying ham radio you will soon have a chance. This Saturday, January 27 at 1600 U-T-C is when A-N-S-R, or Arizona Near Space Research is launching a high altitude balloon carrying Amateur Radio at.
The 2200 gram weather balloon will be sent aloft from a school in Maricopa County, in Arizona. It's expected to rise to 90,000 feet with a flight time from launch to burst of about 2 1/2 hours.
College students built the varied payload which will include a cross band repeater, an ARPS Beacon and a simple FM-voice repeater. The latter has a downlink frequency of 445.525 MHz and an uplink of 145.560 MHz with a PL tone of 162.2 required for access. This repeater will be linked to the world through I-R-L-P Node 9255.
More is on line at www.findu.com/cgi-bin/find.cgi?kd7lim-11 and http://map.aprsworld.net/kd7lmo-11 (K6PZW)
WORLDBEAT - SOUTH AFRICA: SARL NEEDS NEW YOUTH NET NCS
The South Africa Relay League's Youth Net needs a new host. This, as its current teenage moderator decides to step down as its Net Contro Station after running it the past year.
Stuart, Zed-R-6-D-B-Z has been hosting the weekly gathering and has built it up to a formidable network. But Stuart is now facing more schoolwork and sporting activities which require more of his time. He plans to hand-over the reigns of Youth Net to someone else at the end of January.
Now, the South Africa Relay League's is inviting young people to come forward to host the weekly gathering on a Thursday afternoon. If you live there and are interested, drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details. (SARL)
WORLDBEAT: VK EMBARGORES SPECTRUM FOR DRM
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has placed an embargo on frequencies and bands potentially suitable for use by digital broadcasting services using Digital Radio Mondiale. These bands are outside the spectrum used by traditional broadcasting services.
The frequencies involved are 5.950 to 6200, 7.100 to 73.00, 9.500 to 9900, 11.650 to 12.050, 13.600 to 13.800, 15.100 to 15.600, 17.550 to 17.900, 21.450 to 21.850 and 25.670 to 2.6100 MHz. The A-C-M--A will consider applications for the licensing of trials to investigate the use of these bands for Digital Radio Mondiale operations. (WIA NEWS)
WORLDBEAT - DENMARK: PIRATE CONTINUES IN COPENHAGEN
Talk about breaking the law with at least tacit government approval. This is really the crux of a pirate radio station in Copenhagen that’s been on the continuously for over a month with no action by Denmark's telecommunications regulatory body to shut it down.
Since Thursday 14 December, the station has been on the air on 101.8 MHz from an area of Copenhagen known as Ungdomshuset. Translated to English, Ungdomshuset literally means "the Youth House" and it’s a well known rendezvous for various left-wing political and social initiatives, concerts and festivals. It is permanently occupied by activists, and has become a de facto “no go area” for the police. Consequently, the station has not been raided by the authorities.
WORLDBEAT - CROATIA: THE 9A60K AWARD
Members of Croatia's Amateur Radio Club Koprivnica will be active through December 31st with the special anniversary callsign 9A60K. This, to celebrate the clubs 60th anniversary. Also, the club will issue its new Koprivnica City Award as a part of the year long celebration. The QSL and Award Manager is 9A7K. More information is on-line at www.9a7k.com
In D-X, the long awaited VU7RG DXpedition to Lakshadweep Islands in the Indian Ocean is on the air. The expedition is sponsored by the National Institute of Amateur Radio of India and is scheduled to remain on the air through January 31st . The Lakshadweep Islands are 2nd most wanted entity on the DX Magazine's Top 100 Most Wanted Countries List.
And word that a group of radio amateurs is planning a DXpedition to the Spratly Islands in Asia. The DX0JP DXpedition is set to take place between 3rd and 13th February. The plan is to operate on 160 through 6 meters on the SSB, CW, RTTY and PSK modes Also listen out for 6 and 2m for JT65 digital for E-M-E contacts. You can find out more about the DX-pedition on the web at www.dxcom.jp/dx0jp.
Also, a DXpedition to Swaziland is planned for March 16th and 30th . This, to celebrate the 75th Jubilee of the Irish Radio Transmitters Society. The DXpedition will be on the air for St. Patrick's Day and for the CQ WPX contest . The expedition leader is I-R-T-S vice president Paul Martin, E-I-2-C-A.
And a member of the United Kingdom's Craven Radio Amateur Group will be operating as 8-Q-7-A-K from the Island of Embudu in the Maldives until 2nd of February. The bands bring used are 30, 20, 17, 15 and 12 meters mostly on SSB with occasional CW. QSL all of these operations as directed on the air.
THAT FINAL ITEM: RADIO MAY BE THE KEY TO FINDING ET
And finally this week, yet another search for an E-T using radio. That’s E-T as in am extraterrestrial civilization or two. Jeramy Boot, G4NJH, of the GB2RS News Service helps us to seek out new worlds and news civilizations and to boldly go where no ham has gone before:
Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in the US have unveiled a new initiative aimed at detecting extraterrestrial life. The project, due to kick off in early 2008, will use a new radio telescope to search other planets for radio transmissions similar to those that are generated on Earth.
At present, most attempts to find alien life look for radio signal that are deliberately beamed across space, but the new initiative by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center is different in that it will look for the residue of radio
transmissions sent from one place in a planet to another. It will search the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is used on Earth for radar, television and FM radio broadcasts.
David Aguilar, director of communications at the Center for Astrophysics, said: "We may pick up spurious signals from people that never meant for us to hear them and get an inkling that something’s going on."
I'm Jeramy Boot, G4NJH in Nottingham, and you are listening to the Amateur Radio Newsline.
A new low-frequency radio telescope is currently been built in the Australian outback to detect these weak signals. That area was chosen because it is remote enough to avoid most radio interference. The researchers behind the project believe that they will be able to detect Earth-like radio signals within a distance of 30 light years. There are more than 1,000 stars within this area. (GB2RS)
With thanks to Alan Labs, AMSAT, the ARRL, the CGC Communicator, CQ Magazine, the FCC, the Ohio Penn DX Bulletin, Radio Netherlands, Rain, the RSGB, the Southgate News and Australia's W-I-A News, that's all from the Amateur Radio Newsline™. Our e-mail address is email@example.com. More information is available at Amateur Radio Newsline's™ only official website located at www.arnewsline.org. You can also write to us or support us at Amateur Radio Newsline™, P.O. Box 660937, Arcadia, California 91066.
For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk, I’m Jim Meachen, ZL2BHF, in Aucklamd, New Zealand, saying 73 and we thank you for listening.
Amateur Radio Newsline™ is Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.