Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) Report 1727 - September 17 2010
The following is a QST. A new European solar observation system can warn of solar storms, Canadian hams forced to share spectrum with a cycling event, the ARRL asks the FCC to clarify where ham radio stands on 2 point 3 Ghz and the Fall VHF and UHF Sprints are here. Find out the details on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1727 coming your way right now.
PROPAGATION SCIENCE: NEW EUROPEAN SYSTEM GIVES WARNING OF SOLAR STORMS
Researchers at the University of Bradford located in the United Kingdom say that a new method of predicting solar storms that could help to avoid widespread power and communications blackouts has been launched. Amateur Radio Newslines Norm Seeley, KI7UP, is here with more:
Up to now, solar weather prediction has been done manually with experts looking at 2 dimensional satellite images of the sun and assessing the likelihood of future activity. But a team from the universitys Centre for Visual Computing has created the first online automated prediction system using 3D images generated from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory or SOHO satellite.
Already in use by both NASA and the European Space Agency, the Bradford Automated Solar Activity Prediction system also known by the acronym ASAP identifies and classifies sun spots and then feeds this information through a model which can predict the likelihood of solar flares. The system is able to accurately predict a solar flare six hours in advance and the team is working to achieve a similar accuracy for the prediction of major solar eruptions in the near future.
Solar storms involve the release of huge amounts of hot gas and magnetic forces from the surface of the sun into space at around a million miles an hour. The next major solar storms are expected in 2012-13 as part of the sun's 11-year weather cycle. A 2008 US National Academy of Sciences report estimated that modern reliance on electronics and satellite communications means a major storm could cause twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina.
Although major solar eruptions and coronal mass ejections normally take several days to reach the Earth, the largest recorded in 1859 took only eighteen hours. Solar flares which can also cause significant disruption to communications systems take just a few minutes. Because of this, advance warning is of vital importance to enable steps to be taken to avoid the worst effects of such solar activity.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, Im Norm Seeley, KI7UP, in Scottsdale Arizona, reporting for the Amateur Radio Newsline.
Data recovered from the system is on-line at the European Spaceweather website at tinyurl.com/2ud62yo (University of Bradford, ESA, Science OnLine)
RADIO LAW: CANADIAN HAMS FORCED TO SHARE SPECTRUM WITH CYCLING EVENT
Hams in two Canadian cities were recently forced to temporarily share their VHF and UHF frequencies for a pair of sporting events. On September 10th, telecommunications regulator Industry Canada advised both Radio Amateurs of Canada and Radio Amateurs du Quebec that their Montreal office had authorized a number of 430 to 450 MHz frequencies and a single VHF frequency of 145.555 MHz for non-ham radio use.
According to Industry Canada these frequencies in the 70 cm and 2 meter amateur bands were authorized to support communications for many European entrants of a now concluded cycling event held on September 10th and 12th in Quebec City and Montreal. Industry Canada says that the frequencies were chosen to avoid known amateur repeater channels.
In a statement after the announcement, Radio Amateurs of Canada said that this type of authorized intrusion by Industry Canada of non-amateur communications in amateur spectrum is highly unusual and is a matter of great concern to the national society. Radio Amateurs of Canada says that it will be taking the matter up with Industry Canada officials. It is also interested in knowing if actual interference had been caused to amateur radio communications by these non amateur events. (Various)
ENFORCEMENT: BEIJING CRACKS DOWN ON UNLICENSED BROADCASTERS
The Chinese government backed English-language daily the Global Times reports on a crackdown on users of unlicensed radio transmitters in that nation. According to the article, It appears that users of radio transmitters with a power output of half a watt or more will have to register. In the case of commercial users registration is with the Beijing Radio Administration Bureau. For those described as non-commercial users with registration will be with the Beijing Wireless Sports Association. For the latter group the registration procedure will involve taking and passing an amateur radio test.
The article, incorrectly titled "Bureau Cracks Down on Radio Hams," labels both commercial and hobby users as radio amateurs. It is also suspected that the writer got the name of the association wrong and was likely referring to the Chinese Radio Sports Association as the registration point for non commercial broadcasters. You can read it for yourself at tinyurl.com/37hkzve (Southgate)
RADIO LAW: ARRL ASKS FCC TO CLARIFY 2.3 GHZ IMPACT SHARING ON HAM RADIO
Back in the USA, the ARRL has filed a Petition for Clarification or Partial Reconsideration asking the FCC to clarify, or partially reconsider a single aspect of its Report and Order in WT Docket No 07-293. This involving possible impact on the Amateur Radio Service by a result of the partial implementation of the agencys National Broadband Plan.
In it, the FCC adopted amendments to the rules for Wireless Communications Services in the 2.3 GHz band. The amendments will permit mobile broadband services, in addition to fixed services, in the bands 2305-2317.5 and 2347.5-2360 MHz.
Specifically, the ARRL requested that the Commission affirm that Section 2.102(f) of the its rules applies to Wireless Communications Service fixed and mobile operations, so that harmful interference that is caused to Amateur Radio Service operations in the 2300-2305 MHz band is to be remedied by Wireless Communications Service licensees. Also that the current out-of-band emission limits for the Wireless Communications Service devices in Section 27.53(a)(3) of the Commissions rules continue to apply to mobile, portable and fixed facilities across the entirety of the 2300-2305 MHz band following the rule changes implemented in this regulatory change. (ARRL)
RADIO POLITICS: IRESC SUSPENDS OPERATION TO RESTRUCTURE
The International Radio Emergency Support Coalition has halted all operations. According to a posting on its website, the reason for the suspension is to undertake a fundamental restructuring.
The unsigned announcement continued by saying membership at all levels was being immediately canceled, but the organization claims that it will return to normal operations once its restructuring is complete.
You will remember our report last week that South Africa’s Hamnet amateur radio emergency response organization had severed all links with the International Radio Emergency Support Coalition. This, over a difference of opinion in how the IRESC should function.
The full text of the coalition to restructure is on line at www.iresc.org. (IRESC)
From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the N5LEZ repeater serving Wichita Falls, Texas.
RADIO LAW: NY STATE HAM WINS FOR HAM RADIO IN TROY CITY COURT
A New York State ham ticketed under the states driving while using a cellphone law has won his case in court. This, after a judge affirms that ham radio gear is not hone the same as a mobile phone. We have more in this report:
Back on May 30th Steve Bozak, WB2IQU, of Clifton Park, New York, was operating his station while mobile when an officer in Troy New York pulled him over and cited him under the states cellular phone ban while driving law. Bozak, whose mobile was a hand held transceiver protested. Rather than paying the $100 fine he decided to take the matter to court. When he initially lost in Traffic Court he appealed the matter to the Troy City Court. It was there on September 8th that judge Matthew Turner found in Bozaks favor and dismissed the charge.
In rendering his decision the judge found that the Vehicle and Traffic Law defines a Mobile Telephone as a device used by subscribers and other users of wireless telephone service to access such services. Also that a Wireless Telephone Service is defined as two-way real time voice telecommunications service that is interconnected to a public switched telephone network and is provided by a commercial mobile radio service.
The judge then continued by noting that a review of 47 C.F.R.§20.3 reveals that Citizens Band Radio Service and by inference Amateur Radio as well is defined as a private mobile radio service not commercial mobile radio service. Therefore, the court found that the use of an amateur radio device does not fit the definition of a mobile telephone as defined under the Vehicle and Traffic Law and granted Bozaks motion to dismiss.
For the Amateur Radio Newsline, Im Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, in Los Angeles.
At airtime, it is not known if the city of Troy will appeal the judges decision in Bozaks favor or will simply let the matter drop. And while there have been several attempts at getting the law changed to specifically exclude radio amateurs operating mobile, to date there has been no interest on the part of the legislature to do so. This means that any amateur cited under it has to challenge it as Seve Bozak did or simply pay the fine. (KS4BZ, others)
RADIO LAW: NEW CANADIAN DISTRACTED DRIVING LAW EXEMPTS HAM HT’S UNTIL 2013
Hams in Canada have are living under a time-limited exemption to a distracted driver law. Under Ontario Regulation 366/09, that took effect last September 29th, drivers who hold a valid radio operator certificate issued under the Radiocommunication Act of Canada may drive a motor vehicle on a Canadian highway while holding or using a hand held two-way radio such as an H-T. Unfortunately, this exemption will be revoked on January 1st, 2013.
However, there seems to be a way to continue to use an HT as a mobile radio after that date. Another section of the law deals with remote control of cell phones and other two-way devices. It says that a person may drive a motor vehicle on a Canadian highway while pressing a button on a device that is worn on his or her head or hung over or placed inside his or her ear or is attached to his or her clothing and is linked to a hand-held wireless communication device. This, in order to make, answer or end a cell phone call or to transmit or receive voice communication on a two-way radio, a hand microphone or portable radio.
But those who use two-way radios that are permanently mounted and have push to talk microphones fare better. According to the language of the law, a person may drive a motor vehicle on a highway while pressing a button on a hand-held wireless communication device to make, answer or end a cell phone call or to transmit or receive voice communication on a two-way radio. But only if the device is placed securely in or mounted to the motor vehicle so that it does not move while the vehicle is in motion and the driver can see it at a quick glance and easily reach it without adjusting his or her driving position. (IC, QRZ.com)
RESCUE RADIO: ESA DEVELOPS EMCOMM SATELLITE GUIDED MICROPLANE
An unmanned rescue radio aircraft system guided by computer has been developed within the European Space Agencys Business Incubation Centre. This, to provide rapid monitoring of land areas and disaster zones.
A German start-up company called MAVinci developed the new system with European Space Agency that uses autonomous micro-air vehicles or MAV’s with a wingspan of less than two meters to inspect land areas.
MAVinci is hosted by ESA's Technology Transfer Programme Office in Darmstadt, Germany. Thats where ESA engineers provided expertise on attitude-determination algorithms and exploiting satellite navigation data to guide the aircraft by radio. ESA's optical lab in the Netherlands also helps MAVinci with the calibration of their optical camera.
The micro aircrafts autopilot controls the plane from takeoff to landing, and uses while using satellite navigation to follow a planned track, triggering the camera to image the target area. From the ground, the plane is followed by radio by a safety pilot who can take over the controls at anytime.
The MAVinci aircraft have already helped Spanish farmers in Andalusia fight land erosion. They will also likely become another tool in assessing damage caused by floods, landslides, hurricanes along with other natural and man caused disasters. (ScienceDaily)
RESCUE RADIO: HAM RADIO HELPS BRING SIERRA MADRE CA EMCOMM STATION ON THE AIR
Officials of Sierra Madre, California have launched the city's first-ever emergency radio station. Broadcasting on 1630 kHz in the AM broadcast band, the station is designed to issue alerts and other vital communications during floods, fires, quakes and other emergencies.
The project was spearheaded by Hank Landsberg, WB6MEU. Landsberg, who was the winner of the city's 2010 Public Safety Award, helped cut the ribbon at the new radio station inside City Hall. Landsberg tells Newsline that it was a project that he enjoyed contributing to:
WB6MEU: “You can use TIS (Travlers Information Stations) for either travelers information, community information, public service announcements as well as emergency information. So I pursued it a bit and we got the license from the FCC in October 2009 and then the city gave us the go-ahead to design and build the station which is what I did.”
Landsberg says that in addition to the radio station that Sierra Madre also is bringing back its famous warning horn. Three blasts from the horn will notify residents to tune into 1630 kHz for up-to-date emergency information.
In all, Sierra Madre spent about $24,000 to help create the station, with residents and local businesses contributing another $13,000 to make the project a reality. A complete interview with Hank Landsberg, WB6MEU, about the new station can be heard on this weeks Rain Report. Its on-line now at www.therainreport.com. (ARNewsline, Pasadena Star News)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: HH2JR HONORED WITH BAD BENTHEIM GOLDEN ANTENNA AWARD
Some names n the news. The town of Bad Bentheim in Germany has been presented Jean-Robert Gaillard, HH2JR, with the Golden Antenna award. This in recognition of his work in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake.
He was presented with his award by Christel Somberg who is the Deputy Mayor of Bad Bentheim. In making the presentation Somberg noted that HH2JR became the voice of Haiti in the aftermath of last January’s earthquake that destroyed large parts of his homeland and claimed many lives. That’s when HH2JR used his amateur radio station to tell the world about the disaster. He was assisted by two U.S. hams identified as W3ZU, of Inverness, Florida, and WA1RTK, in New Hampshire.
The town of Bad Bentheim in Germany makes an award every year to the amateur or amateur group who has made exceptional effort following accidents or natural disasters. (Southgate, DARC)
NAMES IN THE NEWS: K6P ON THE AIR FOR NATIONAL POW MIA RECOGNITION DAY
Mark McMullin, KM6HB, will operate as special event station K6P for the 6th straight year to commemorate National POW-MIA Recognition Day. Listen out for Mark between September 17th and the 19th on 3.785, 7.250, 14.253 and 18.150 Mhz plus or minus an Q-R-M. The commemorative QSL for this operation will be a 2 part picture card. If you work him, send yours to KM6HB, Mark McMullen, P.O. Box 27271,Santa Ana, California 92799,in the USA. (Various)
This is ham radio news for todays 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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THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD: ARRL HONARY VICE PRESIDENT HUGH TURNBULL, W3ABC - SK
The changing of the guard in amateur radio continues. This with word that ARRL Honorary Vice President Hugh Turnbull, W3ABC, of Silver Spring, Maryland, became a silent key on Tuesday, September 14th.
Hugh Turnbull served the ARRL as Atlantic Division Vice Director from 1980 to1982 and as Director from 1982 to 1996. The ARRL Board named him as a Vice President in 1996 and Honorary Vice President in 2000.
Aside from his long and distinguished service to the ARRL, W3ABC was actively involved in several Washington DC-area amateur radio clubs and organizations, including the Foundation for Amateur Radio. This is agroup of clubs from the Maryland, Washington, DC and Northern Virginia area that awards scholarships to deserving radio amateurs.
A licensed and active radio amateur since 1932, Hugh's engineering career included employment with the FCC, the Voice of America and NASA.
According to his daughter, Karen Shangraw, Hugh Turnbull will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. At the time of his passing,W3ABC was age 93. (ARRL)
EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: CHATTANOOGA ELECTRIC POWER CHOOSES FIBER OPTICS FOR INTERNET SERVICE
Chattanooga Tennessee's city-owned electrical utility has started offering an Internet service that is among the fastest in the world, but its not using Broadband over Powerline technology. The Chattanooga Electric Power Board's new Fiber Optics network will provide a 1 gigabit-per-second Internet service.
The utility said the service is more than 200 times faster than the average national download speed today but will not come cheap. Priced at $350 a month, it's also much more expensive than the typical residential plan. The full story is on-line at tinyurl.com/39n5vmy (Yahoo News, N6ZXJ)
EMERGING HAM TECHNOLOGY: WSJT BETA VER 9.0 NOW AVAILABLE
A beta release of WSJT 9.0 is now available for free download on the WSJT Home Page. The new version by author Joe Taylor, K1JT, has more than a half dozen new or improved features that include enhanced performance for FSK441, calculation of EME Doppler spread caused by lunar librations and simplification and clarification of the user interface.
K1JT asks that after gaining some experience with the beta release of WSJT 9.0, please share your views and opinions about it. Of course, bug reports are also welcome
More details on this new version can be found in the on-line WSJT 9.0 Supplement to User's Guide. A link to download the new version can be found at tinyurl.com/wsjt9. (K1JT)
CONTEST CORNER: THE FALL VHF/UHF SPRINTS ARE HERE
>From the contest corner word that the Fall 2010 VHF and UHF Sprints are here. The 144 MHz Sprint is on Monday, September 20th from 7 to 11pm your local time. Next up is the 222 MHz Sprint on Tuesday, September. 28th which is followed by the 432 MHz Sprint on Wednesday, October 6thth All three of these run from 7 to 11 pm your local time.
The Microwave Sprint for 902 MHz and up will happen on Saturday, October 16th, from 6am to noon local. The last will be the 50 MHz Sprint running from 2300 UTC on Saturday, October 30th until 0300 UTC on Sunday, October 31st. The 50 MHz event follows UTC time due to the possible inter-timezone and international contacts that might take place anytime on 6 meters.
The Fall VHF/UHF Sprints are again being sponsored by the Southeastern VHF Society. More information on all these Sprints is on-line at tinyurl.com/2adk39l (KC9BQA, VHF Reflector)
CONTEST CORNER: VA THAI CONTEST CALL TO SHARE
Charlie Harpole, HS0ZCW, has informed the Ohio Penn DX Newsletter that the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand has received permission from the radio governing body of Thailand to utilize the special callsign of E2E for use in any contest. There is no expiration date for the callsign. The Radio Amateur Society of Thailand says that it will share the callsign with its members on a rotational basis. QSL to HS0AC, which is the other the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand valid callsign. (OPDX)
In DX, VK4AN will be active as 3D2A from Viti Levu Island between October 27th and November 14th. Operation will be on 160 through 10 meters including 30, 17 and 12 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK31. QSL via VK4AN
K3PLV will be active portable MJ from Jersey Island through September 22nd. His operation will be on 160 through 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or by the Bureau.
DJ5AA and DL2DXA will be active portable EA8 from La Palma through September 24th. Operation will be holiday style on 80 through 10 meters QSL via their home callsigns, either direct or via the bureau.
Lastly, word that IZ8EDJ will activate the Agropoli Lighthouse during the a lighthouse special event on September 26th. For more details, see the following Web page at www.strangeradioteam.com.
(Above from various DX news sources)
THAT FINAL ITEM: THE 2010 NEWSLINE LISTENER SURVEY
And finally this week, it has been over a decade since we ran a survey to find out what repeaters and nets around the world are playing these weekly Amateur Radio Newsline reports. We were about to start one a few years back, but unfortunately our then Surveymaster, the late Karl Pagel, N6BVU, took ill and was hospitalized.
As regular listeners know, Karl became a Silent Key last November 10th. Since then performing a new survey has been on hold. Now, the Newark Radio Society in New Jersey has offered to take over the responsibilities of conducting a 2010 Amateur Radio Newsline Bulletin Station Survey, and it has set up a special e-mail account to begin the process.
If you are a bulletin station that transmits these weekly newscasts or a listener who has the following information, you are invited to be a part of this review. What we need you to do is to supply to us the call sign of the repeater or bulletin station making the transmission, the frequency where it can be heard, the time and day or days of the week it is broadcast, the time zone and the estimated audience you think you have. Please e-mail that information along with your name and callsign to arnschedule at gmail dot com. Once again thats arnschedule (at) gmail (do)t com.
We will keep the survey open through the end of November and hopefully by years end we will have a new schedule of when and where you can hear Amateur Radio Newsline on the air. Our thanks to Leon Grauer, N0TAZ and the Newark Radio Society for their taking on this rather daunting task.
And once again, please send your survey response by e-mail to arnschedule (at) gmail (dot) com. We and the Newark Radio Society look forward to hearing from you. (ARNewsline(tm))
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, 28197 Robin Avenue, Santa Clarita California, 91350
For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk, Im Fred Vobbe, W8HDU, saying 73 from Lima, Ohio, and we thank you for listening.
Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.