The following is a Q-S-T. Ham radio aids residents of a Kansas town destroyed by a killer tornado, Motorola leaves the Access B-P-L business and some big news about the Roy Neal, K6DUE, Amateur Radio Mentoring Program. Find out the details on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1552 coming your way right now.
RESCUE RADIO: HAMS ON THE SCENE AFTER GREENSBERG TORNADO
Ham radio is once again a communications lifeline. This, after an strong tornado tore apart the town of Greensburg, Kansas on Friday night, May 4th. Fred Vobbe, W8HDU, reports:
The storm has been classified by the National Weather Service as an F-5 which is the most severe on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. The twister cut a 22 mile long track that was one-point-seven miles wide. Winds were estimated at 205 miles per hour. Authorities say about 95 percent of Greensburg was destroyed and at least 8 people lost their lives.
According to news reports, all wire-line and cellular telephone communications into the southwestern Kansas town of 1500 was destroyed by the twister. A group of ham radio operators identified as being from the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service were sent into the area early on Saturday May 5th to set up an emergency communications network. Media stories did not identify the hams by name but did praise their efforts while noting that they were entering an area of total devastation. A later report posted to the ARRL website said the team was under the direction of District 6 Emergency Coordinator Godfrey Flax, KC0AUH.
What they found when they arrived was an area of total devastation. More than 90 percent of Greensburg was destroyed or heavily damaged. Most buildings were blown off their foundations and blown away. The ARRL says that other hams involved in disaster relief were monitoring 3.920 MHz early Saturday morning in case there was a need for them to act.
Meantime President Bush has declared all Kiowa County, Kansas, a major disaster area, making federal aid available to residents affected by the storm.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Fred Vobbe, W8HDU, reporting from Lima, Ohio.
The last tornado of that strength was in Oklahoma City on May 3, 1999. That twister killed 36 people and left several hundred without homes. (ARNewsline™, ARRL, others)
THE BPL FIGHT: MOTOROLA SUSPENDS POWERLINE LV BPL DEVELOPMENT
Less than two years after announcing its Powerline LV Access B-P-L product, Motorola has decided to suspend development and to devote its resources to more promising markets. Motorola reportedly has decided to focus on a product called Powerline MU, which is for use within multiple-unit dwellings.
According to the ARRL Letter, the decision to stop work on its Access BPL product reflects declining interest in residential broadband service delivery among utilities. This, coupled with the more immediate demand for in-building BPL systems would provide Motorola a more lucrative market.
Powerline LV united Motorola's Canopy wireless broadband Internet platform with enhanced ham band-notching HomePlug technology, drastically reducing BPL interference potential. This, by restricting the application of high-frequency RF to the low-voltage side of the power transformers serving customers' homes, not the medium-voltage wires that line many residential streets. As a result, Powerline LV avoided the system architecture that poses the greatest risk of BPL interference to radio communication -- radiation from the medium-voltage power lines. Measurements and subjective listening tests on the ham bands showed that Powerline LV was Amateur Radio-friendly.
Powerline LV was developed by Motorola researcher Richard Illman, AH6EZ of St. Charles, Illinois. As a result he was selected for the Dayton Hamvention 2006 Technical Excellence Award. (ARRL)
HAM RADIOS DIGITAL FUTURE: IRA FIELDS DIGITAL MIGRATION PLAN FOR REPEATERS
The Illinois Repeater Association now has a proposed digital repeater plan. Titled "The Digital Migration - A Proposed Path," the strategy was developed by Robert Shepard, KA9FLX, who serves as the organizations Technical Committee Chairman.
Shepard indicates that the plan was crafted so as to serve the needs of tomorrows digital relay systems in such a way as to minimize impact on to existing analog systems. It also takes into account how to integrate digital systems into the existing analog environment, utilize spectrum efficiently and plan for the future. In other words, nobody will be displaced when and if its implemented. Rather, its goal is to make it possible for analog and digital to share opectrum with minimal impact on one another.
This is believed to be the very first analog to digital repeater bandplan developed anywhere in the world. Shepard has posted it on the Illinois Repeater Associations website as both a .pdf file as well as a full Power Point presentation. You can find it on-line at www.ira.net. (Via e-mail)
HAM RADIOS DIGITAL FUTURE: NEW VERSION OF WSJT RELEASED
Still with digital ram radio news, word that a new version of WSJT program designated version 5.9.7 has been developed by Joe Taylor K1JT. This new rendition contains 8 updates from the latest past release version that appear to make the program a bit more friendly to use.
For those not aware, WSJT is a computer program for VHF and UHF communication using state of the art digital techniques. It can decode fraction-of-a-second signals reflected from ionized meteor trails, as well as steady signals more than 10 dB weaker than those required for conventional C-W. One of its operating modes is particularly well optimized for amateur Earth-Moon-Earth communications.
WSJT is open source software licensed under the GNU General Public License and is free for any ham to use. You can download it at: http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/WSJT597.EXE (VHF Reflector)
ENFORCEMENT: STOP USING THAT ANTENNA
A northern California resident has been issued an Official Citation by the FCC. This, for using one of those self oscillating Weingard amplified TV antennas that we have reported on in the past.
The FCC claims that an investigation by the Enforcement Bureau's San Francisco Office revealed that on April 3, 2007, one William Cooley of Yuba City, California operated a defective Winegard antenna, which caused interference to the licensee of station KZF952.
The San Francisco Office says that it received the complaint of interference on several frequencies used by the Sutter County Sheriff Department communications system. On April 3rd, an FCC investigator confirmed that a radio signal was drifting around 459.28 MHz was coming from a Winegard antenna mounted to a motor home parked in the side yard of Cooley's Yuba City residence. The agent conducted an on-off test of the antenna's power supply to verify the source of interference.
The FCC citation to Cooley notes that these Winegard antenna amplifiers have been the source of radio frequency interference in a number of cases. As a result of this interference, Winegard has agreed to replace the defective units at no charge.
Cooley was advised to contact Weingard to make the exchange. He was also requested to send the defective antenna to the FCC for inspection. (FCC)
From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the NS9RC repeater serving Highland Park, Illinois.
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HAM RADIO EDUCATION: QCWA TO CO SPONSOR ROY NEAL, K6DUE, AMATEUR RADIO MENTORING PROGRAM
The Roy Neal, K6DUE, Amateur Radio Mentoring Program is expanding with the potential of up to 10,000 new teachers. This as the Quarter Century Wireless Association's Board of Directors votes to have that organization become a co-sponsor of the three year old post licensing educational program created by Amateur Radio Newsline. David Black, KB4KCH, is at our South-East bureau with the details:
In a joint statement issued by the leadership of Quarter Century Wireless Association and that of the Amateur Radio Newsline, the two have announced that QCWA has become a co-sponsor of the Newsline created Roy Neal, K6DUE, Amateur Radio Mentoring Program. This is a post-licensing educational service created by Amateur Radio Newsline in January 2004 and designed to pair new hams with veteran amateurs in hopes that some of the established ham operator skills can be passed down to new generations.
The program is loosely based on a similar program created by Broadway choreographer and performer Ann Reinking through her own educational foundation, the Broadway Theater Project. This is a Florida based training program connecting students with seasoned theater professionals. If we may quote Ms. Reinking:
"Its sort of an un-written law or rule in the world of dance that you pass on what you know. This particular craft is at its best when its passed from one person's hands to the next."
According to ARNewsline Producer Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, what Ann Reinking says about "dance" applies equally to the world of Amateur Radio:
Pasternak: That’s true and maybe more so for all of us... That’s because, for decades the knowledge and tradition of our hobby/service was passed down from seasoned operators to newcomers, one on one. I know that’s how I got my start thanks to the late K2IXN at his TV repair store back in Brooklyn."
According to Pasternak, the success of the program has been such that the number of people seeking post licensing assistance has risen far faster than the number of available mentors. This has meant long delays for some who have placed requests. The addition of the member base of the QCWA makes available close to 10,000 highly skilled radio amateurs as potential mentors, each with a minimum of twenty-five years of experience in the hobby.
“This is a good deal for all of Amateur Radio,” says Q-C-W-A President John B. Johnston, W3BE.
Johnston, a retired career FCC employee and Dayton Radio Amateur of the Year award winner believes that it is important to keep ham radio traditions alive. He says that we in the QCWA are the elder statesmen and stateswomen of Amateur Radio. That they are the people who have spent a sizeable chunk of our lives learning the artistry that goes with being a radio amateur. We know how a radio works. We know how an antenna works. He says that most of all they know that Amateur Radio can only survive if it passes its combined knowledge on to the next generation of radio amateurs.
Under the agreement, ARNewsline™ will continue to solicit those looking for assistance and maintain the database that matches those desiring assistance with a mentor willing to assist. Willing members of the QCWA will be asked to register by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org stating their name, call, location, contact information and area of expertise. As request for assistance are received the person asking will be referred to the person closest to him/her who holds the qualifications and knowledge to assist. John Johnston believes this to be a program that all in QCWA should be a part of:
QCWA President Johnston says that:
"This is a chance for each of us to leave our own personal legacy within ham radio. If we do so, we assure the service of another generation of skilled and caring operators who will be a true asset to the service. I urge all of you to sign on."
Two large pools of Amateurs are needed to make mentoring work. First, there must be a group of volunteers who have a skill and are willing to share their time. The second group is made up of the large number of beginners who want to learn.
Newsline and QCWA are now seeking applicants for both groups. To sign up, send an e-mail email@example.com. Tell us your name, call letters, address with zipcode, phone number, when we can call and whether you want to be a student or a mentor. Again, that e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and I'm David Black, KB4KCH, at the South-East Bureau in Birmingham, Alabama.
The project’s namesake, Roy Neal, K6DUE, was himself a prominent mentor. Aside from being the dean of aerospace commentators for the Nation Broadcasting Company, K6DUE is generally credited with bringing manned Amateur Radio into space. This by convincing NASA to let astronaut hams take their gear on shuttle flights and to the International Space Station through the SAREX and ARISS educational programs. He also produced a half dozen ham radio educational videos dealing with Amateur Radio and manned ham radio on-orbit. More about the Roy Neal, K6DUE, Amateur Radio Mentoring Program is on-line at www.arnrewsline.org (ARNewsline™)
RESCUE RADIO: A NEW GENERATOR FOR EMCOMMS
Hutchinson, Minnesota Crow River Area Amateur Radio Club of has acquired a portable generator from Cummins Power Generation of Minneapolis. The generator, valued at almost $3,000, will be modified to support emergency communications by local Amateur Radio operators in times of disaster and to assist in McLeod County Skywarn operations. The first full demonstration of how the generator will be integrated into the club’s emergency communications capability will take place Field Day weekend June 23 and 24 at the Hutchinson Municipal Airport. (Hutchinson-Leader)
RADIO SAFETY: LOWER YOUR POWER PLEASE
A Seattle radio station has lowered its transmit power after it was discovered that its new location was a possible safety hazard to a near-by oil refinery.
After losing its lease on a transmitter site on Harbor Island, KKOL AM which is operated by Salem Communications spent several years broadcasting from a ship moored off-shore with a low-power signal that hindered its reach across the region. Eventually it found a new site and had signed a 10-year lease with the Port of Tacoma.
Late last year it announced it had gone to full power. That prompted U.S. Oil & Refining Co. to file a complaint with the FCC claiming that KKOL's transmitter has created a series of problems at its refinery less than a mile away. Of particular concern, U.S. Oil claims that an electrical charge produced by the transmitter creates a safety hazard at the refinery's docks when crude oil is unloaded from tankers. The Coast Guard has also weighed in, calling for the FCC to order KKOL to change operations to eliminate the risk of a spark causing an explosion.
Salem, which operates its Seattle stations as Inspiration Media proposed lowering its power to 47,000 watts at times when U.S. Oil is unloading oil tanker ships. The FCC in turn asked that KKOL operate at 25,000 watts during the day and 47,000 at night until the issue is resolved. Late word is that Salem said it has voluntarily complied with that request. (CGC, SEATTLE POST)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: NY HAMS HONORED FOR PUBLIC SERVICE
Members of New Yorks' Oswego County Emergency Communicators were recently honored by the Oswego County Legislature's Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee and County Emergency Management Office staff. This, when Emergency Management Director Patricia Egan presented the first-ever RACES Service Award to Brien Mathews, KA2AON.
Mathews is Oswego County's Skywarn coordinator. He has also been a member of the Oswego County Emergency Communicators group since 1980. Public Safety Committee chair Tom Bullard, District 14, and vice chairman Milferd Potter, District 2, joined Egan in congratulating Mathews and presented a certificate of appreciation to RACES Radio Officer John Darling, K2QQY. (Palladium-Times.com)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: G3STG AWARDED RSGB RAYNET CUP
The Radio Society of Great Britain's Raynet Cup has been presented to Geoff Griffiths, G3STG. Griffiths joined United Kingdom emergency communications service in 1957 and received the award in recognition of his long-standing service to RAYNET. In his 50 years working with the group he has served as chairman of both the RSGB National RAYNET Committee and the Network's Committee of Management. (GB2RS)
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:
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COMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH: NYC SUBWAY RIDERS PERIL HEARING
Riding the New York City subway system can adversely affect your long term hearing. That’s the just of a new report by researchers who have been looking at hearing loss among those who use the rapid transit system to get around the city.
In a new survey of noise levels throughout the system, researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that exposure to noise levels in subways have the potential to exceed recommended guidelines of the World Health Organization and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. According to the research, as little as 30 minutes of exposure to decibel levels measured in the New York City transit system per day has the potential to result in hearing loss.
The findings were published in the September issue of the Journal of Urban Health. This is a publication of the New York Academy of Medicine. (Journal of Urban Health)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: KD5PLA TO REPLACE KD5PLB ON THE ISS
NASA has announced that astronaut Clay Anderson, KD5PLA, will succeed Suni Williams, KD5PLB, as International Space Station Expedition 15 Flight Engineer later this spring. According to NASA News, Anderson will arrive aboard the ISS aboard the shuttle Atlantis which is set to launch on 8th June. The same shuttle mission will carry Williams back to Earth.
Suni Williams has been in space since early December. During her ISS stay, she set a record for spacewalks by a female astronaut, conducting four excursions for a total of 29 hours and 17 minutes. Upon her return, she will have accumulated more time in space than any other woman. She has also logged numerous school contacts during her on-orbit stay. (ARISS)
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: SSETI-ESO LAUNCH DELAYED A YEAR
The launch date for SSeti ESEO, a European Space Agency led student satellite project intended for geostationary transfer orbit has been delayed by approximately one year. It had originally been hoped that this satellite would be a secondary payload on Ariane launch in late November of 2008 but it now seems that opportunity will not be available. (ANS)
RADIO IN SPACE: EU RADIO FROM SPACE
An advanced in-car multimedia system that could use recycled television satellites coming to the end of their working lives has been unveiled in Europe.
The prototype system was developed by the European Space Agency. It is Said to offer high-quality radio, video and data. If commercialized, the system would offer the first in-car satellite radio service available to Europeans. (Southgate)
WORLDBEAT - IRELAND: ON THE AIR CELEBRATING FLIGHT
Irelands Limerick Radio Club has been invited by the Foynes Flying Boat Museum to operate a special Amateur Radio Station. This, in conjunction with the commemorative Transatlantic Re-Enactment Flight 1937 from Newfoundland Canada to Foynes Ireland.
The special event callsign has been issued to the club to operate as EI70FOY. The station will be on the air from the July 6th to the 8th. On the High Frequency bands operation will be on 80 through 10 meters. EI70FOY will also operate on VHF / UHF as well.
A special QSL card, commemorating the flight reenactment will be sent to all stations worked over the three-day event. All inbound QSL cards should be sent to the Club’s QSL Manager Alan Cronin E-I-8-E-M at his callbook address. More is on-line at www.qsl.net/ei4lrc. (IRTS)
In D-X, A52SW will be on the air from Thimpu, Bhutan, from May 17th to the 22nd. The operator is Steve Herman, W7VOA who will be on 80 through 6 meters using CW, SSB and, possibly, PSK, as well as 10-meter FM. Steve is a news correspondent based in India covering South Asia. He says this will be the first of numerous trips he plans to make to Bhutan over the next several years as
A52SW. The QSL manager for A52SW will be K2AU.
Also, word that DB5YB will be active as portable OZ from Bornholm Island, through the 18th May. He plans to operate SSB on 20, 17 and 15 meters. QSL via his home call.
And Special event station IR1ALP will be active from Cuneo, Italy through May 31st. A special postage stamp will be affixed on the cards confirming QSOs made on 12th and 13th May, during the 80th Italian Alpine troops gathering. QSL via QSL via IK1AAS.
Also, special event station ON50EU is active until December 31st. This, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. QSL as directed on the air.
Lastly, some DX from space. WA7IRW says that he will be operating from the British Virgin Islands as VP2V and WA7IRW through May 18th. He expects to try AO-51 ops typically in the afternoon and evening hours passes using an FT857 and an aArrow antenna from the sail boat. QSL direct to WA7IRW.
(Above from various DX news sources)
THAT FINAL ITEM: CB DOWN UNDER
And finally this week, we all know the story of how Class D, C-B at 27 MHz in the United States was created from the old 11 meter ham band. But other nations have their story of how C-B came about and in some cases the tale is very similar. Only the timeline differs. Jim Linton, VK3PC, reports:
Rewind, a look back at history
On a recent ABC radio program quiz segment this question was put: 'In what year was Citizens Band Radio legalized in Australia?"
It was 1977, in fact July the 1st of that year after a Federal Government inquiry that received a large number of submissions in favor of the move, and intense lobbying by a number of CB radio groups.
Initially CB was 18 channels at 27MHz, requiring operators to have a government issued callsign, pay an annual license fee and use type-approved equipment.
The big plan was that 27MHz, the amateur 11 meter band, was only to be a temporary allocation and all CB'ers would move to UHF in five years.
However, 27MHz was retained and expanded in 1982, and the UHF band continues today. Gone has the licensing requirement too, with CB radio now covered in 2002 by a fee-free Radiocommunications Citizen Band Radio Stations Class License.
So radio amateurs can commemorate the loss of their 11 meter band, while CB operators can mark the 30th or Pearl anniversary of legalized CB in Australia.
I'm Jim Linton VK3PC for the Amateur Radio Newsline.
Sounds like a rather familiar story, but this time that's a big 10-4 from down-under. (WIA News)
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.
Two reminders before we go. First we have a new poll for the month of May. This one asks the question now that the Morse exam is part of ham radio history, do you plan to upgrade or remain the license class you are right now. Of coarse this is unfair to Extra class licensees because they cannot go any higher so this poll kind of leaves them out in the cold. To compensate, we added a third possible answer, but you will have to go to our website at www.arnewsline.org to see what it is.
Also, the nominating season for this years Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year Award closes on May 30th. That’s less than 3 weeks away. Any nominations received after that date will not qualify for this years award program.
The Young Ham of the Year Award is open to any radio amateur age 18 or younger residing in all 50 United States, plus Puerto Rico and all 13 Canadian Provinces can qualify. Full details and nominating forms are on our special website at www,yhoty.org. Also see the Vertex-Standard sponsored ad on page 8 of the March issue of QST Magazine.
For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk, I’m Jim Damron, N8TMW and I'm Jeff Clark, K8JAC, saying 73 and we thank you for listening.
Amateur Radio Newsline™ is Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
WSJT (FSK441 mode) is an excellent program for meteor scatter. It's amazing how weak signals can be detected that would be impossible to decode without this software. Highly recommended. As for the Newsline Poll, I choose option #3.
§ 97.101(b)Each station licensee and each control operator must cooperate in selecting transmitting channels and in making the most effective use of the amateur service frequencies. No frequency will be assigned for the exclusive use of any station.
Although I'm not a big ARRL fan, ARN seems to do a much better job of covering ham radio news!
Ham radio is something you DO and LEARN. NOT something you BUY!
That is an understatement. I actually listen to ARN religiously and ARRL news once in awhile.
Originally Posted by [b