Amateur Radio Newsline™ Report 1808 – April 6 2012

Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1808 with a release date of April 6th, 2012 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.

The following is a Q-S-T. The FCC issues a Notice of Inquiry on ham radios role in emergency communications and the way land use restrictions may be impeding this vital public service while the ARRL asks you to assist it in responding to the FCC on this matter. Also, Canada issues its first 60 meter developmental license; a Kansas ham survives a lightning strike and friends pay homage to the ham who loved Morse but is credited with bringing code free licensing to the United States. All this and more on Amateur Radio Newsline™ report number 1808 coming your way right now.


(Billboard Cart Here)


**

RADIO LAW: FCC ISSUES INQUIRY ON THE FUTURE OF HAM RADIO EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS

The FCC is taking a look at amateur radios role in emergency communications. It also wants to know about obstacles to ham radio operations such as Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions better known as C C and R’s that keep radio amateurs from being able to fulfill their public service duties. It’s done this in a Public Notice given the identifier of G N Docket 12–91 also known as DA 12-523. Amateur Radio Newsline’s David Black, KB4KCH, is here with the details.

--

Just how important is amateur radio during emergencies? What is ham radio's value to the community when disasters strike? The FCC wants to hear from you about these questions, because the Commission has a lot of homework to do for Congress. Most hams know that helping serve the community is one of the primary reasons the amateur radio service was founded.

Hams have a long history of helping during emergencies. They maintain close relationships with the National Weather Service and other public safety groups. When tornadoes raked Arkansas and Alabama in January, radio amateurs provided important communications support. They were active, as well, when a severe winter storm knocked out power and communications to villages along the Bering Sea in November, 2011.

The Commission is required to study amateur radio as part of a Public Law known as the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The FCC is to analyze ham radio's uses and capabilities during emergencies, and to submit its findings to House and Senate Committees.

The law also requires the Commission to analyze ham radio's importance as it relates to protecting lives and property. The Commission is to provide recommendations on how to enhance voluntary deployment of ham radio operators when needed. The law compels FCC to evaluate how best to integrate amateur radio into furthering various federal government initiatives that might require communications support.

If there are impediments along the way, the law requires that the Commission find ways to remove them. For example, the law questions whether antenna restrictions or unnecessary private land use restrictions wind up causing more problems than they solve.

In doing its study, FCC is directed to reach out to various entities including amateur radio, as well as various disaster and emergency response organizations.

The Commission has been given a list of specific questions to ask. If you want to comment, you can answer those questions, but you can also submit other comments, too, as long as they relate to the study.

The questions seek examples on various scenarios where amateur radio played a key role relating to emergency response and disaster relief.

Specific benefits ham radio provided are to be named.

Another question asks for examples of when ham radio is an advantage over other forms of communications during emergencies, and when does it complement those other systems.

Other questions cover a wide range of subjects, all involving amateur radio's role, how it can best be utilized, communications training, activities, planning and much more. One topic raised is whether existing rules governing the amateur radio service might need modifying to better facilitate emergency communications. The changes could be of an operational nature...or perhaps some technical limitations need to be addressed. The study asks whether rules changes would be a good idea to encourage development of innovative new technologies, whether voice, data or perhaps video.

In the past, some amateur radio emergency groups have expressed the desire to be able to interconnect directly with public safety and health care communications systems during emergencies. The Commission is to look into whether this should be considered, and if doing so, would enable hams to better serve the public, or whether would pose problems.

The possibility of national certification standards is mentioned as another subject to investigate.

If there are any current Commission rules that serve as impediments to what hams try to accomplish during emergencies, the FCC is told to name them and assess whether they should be changed or lifted to make it easier on hams trying to help during disasters.

If you want to submit comments, you have until May 17th to do so. You can file your comments electronically or by mail. To submit comments electronically, go to apps.fcc.gov/ecfs. Paper filings must include an original and one copy for each filing. Those must be mailed to the Commission's Secretary. The address is: Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th St SW, Washington, DC, 20554.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline I'm David Black, KB4KCH, from Birmingham, AL.

--

The FCC says that stakeholder entities and organizations, including the amateur radio, emergency response, and disaster communications communities, are particularly encouraged to submit comments. However the FCC says that those who do provide filings should not view this Public Notice as an opportunity to seek Commission rulings regarding specific situations. This is an overview inquiry only. And be certain to mention Docket 12-91 when you do submit your comments. The complete text of this FCC release can be downloaded in .PDF format at tinyurl.com/fcc-emcomm-study (FCC)

**

RADIO LAW: ARRL SAYS IT NEEDS CCR RESTRICTION INFORMATION ASAP

In a related story, if you live in a CC&R restricted community, have deed restrictions or homeowners association covenants that have prevented you from erecting amateur radio antennas then the ARRL wants to hear from you.

The League says that it is looking for input in two specific areas. These are recent amateur radio involvement in actual emergency communications and disaster relief and specific details about how CC&R’s and other private land use restrictions have impaired licensed amateurs to participate fully in these disaster relief communications.

If your ability to participate in ARES, RACES, SKYWARN, CERT, or other emergency and disaster relief communications has been limited because the inability to have adequate antennas due to such land use or owners association restrictions, you are asked to provide that information to the ARRL. Also to provide it as a narrative of your exact situation, giving as much detail as practical. Some areas for you to consider in writing your story might be:

Were there alternative properties without CC&Rs in the area you wished to reside?

The exact wording of what exactly does your CC&R’s prohibit or allow.

Have you applied for a waiver of the CC&R with the Home Owner's Association Architectural Review Committee but were denied? If so, what was the reason?

Whether you are an ARRL member or not, your information and situation are important to helping the League make the case for all amateurs. Please provide your documentation to the ARRL as soon as possible but definitely before Wednesday April 25th. It can either be uploaded to the ARRL website at www.arrl.org/ccr-study-information or they can be sent as an e-mail attachment to an email sent to CCRinfo (at) arrl (dot) org. (ARRL)

**

RADIO RULES: CANADA BEGINS ISSUING 60 METER EXPERIMENTAL LICENSES

Canada has begun issuing experimental licenses for the 60 meter band. Regulator Industry Canada issued the first such developmental license on April 2nd to Russ Hemphill, VE3FI, to use the call sign VX9GHD at 5 MHz.

Canadian radio amateurs have been waiting three years for an opportunity to join the USA, Britain and other nations in making use of the 60 meter spectrum. When a true Canadian amateur radio allocation on 5 MHz meters might be approved is at this time unknown. (VE3FI)

**

BREAK 1

From the United States of America, We are the Amateur Radio Newsline, heard on bulletin stations around the world including the K-J—Zero-A repeater serving Maryland Heights Missouri.

(5 sec pause here)


**

RESCUE RADIO: SEVERE WEATHER SPOTTER SURVIVES NEARBY LIGHTNING STRIKE

A ham radio severe weather spotter has survived a near-by lightning strike. According to news reports Bill Isles, KD0IIF, of Wichita, Kansas, is recovering after he survived a lightning strike and used his ham radio gear to call for help.

At 9:30pm Thursday, March 29, KD0IIF, who is a volunteer storm spotter was standing in his backyard. According to Isles, he could hear thunder and see lightning off in the distance, but did not think anything was quite that close to him. Suddenly he felt a shock from a nearby strike and was knocked to the ground. The only thing close was his amateur transceiver.

In a statement to a local Wichita station, Isles said that his whole body was twitching. Also that his radio had flown a little further ahead of him. He managed to grab it and put out a call for assistance.

Isles call was answered by Mike Mathia KD0IJO. Mathia and two other amateur radio operators called 911. Sedgwick County EMS soon arrived on the scene. The checked Isles condition and then transported him to a local hospital for further observation.

According to several reports, the odds of being hit by lightning are one in 835,000. (Various news reports)

**

CRYPTIC NEWS RELEASE: RSGB SAYS IT IS PREPARED TO DEFEND MORSE

Is there some group somewhere wanting to rid ham radio of Morse Code? This, at a time when its popularity is growing at a rate almost as fast as it did when wireless was first introduced?

One might get that impression from a rather cryptic two paragraph news release issued by the Radio Society of Great Britain. The statement, published in the latest RSGB news is presented here by news reader Jeremy Boot, G4NJH:

--

“Some say that CW has been made obsolete by modern digitmodes, which work well in conditions far too poor for the older mode.

“Now that Morse is no longer used in commercial radio traffic, the RSGB confirms that it would fight any moves to prohibit CW on amateur bands. The Society recognizes that Morse gives much pleasure to thousands of operators, and will continue to support its use.”

--

Very interesting and also begs this question back to the Radio Society of Great Britain: If there is some honest to goodness organized threat to the use of Morse by radio amateurs, how about directly identifying those involved? After all, if you are doing news and have that specific information, it is your duty to the worlds ham radio public to tell all of us what’s going on and who is behind any such anti-Morse movement. (RSGB/GB2RS)

**

INTRUDER WATCH: FM ON 50.079 NEAR ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS

Intruders have come to the 6 meter band in the mid-West. Jay Morehouse, W9RM, near Rockford, Illinois, reports via the VHF Reflector that he has been monitoring stations running FM on 50.079.

According to W9RM, he first noticed them on Thursday, March 29th. All were running FM Push to Talk and speaking Spanish. Signal strength was S3 to 5 with some QSB monitoring with 7 element yagi at 80 feet.

Jay notes that there was no sign of any skywave propagation at the time he heard them.

W9RM asks anyone within a hundred or so miles of Rockford who has the time to keep an ear on 50.079 and if you hear the signal, try to get a bearing on it. He hopes that with enough stations on board that an exact fix on the location can be had fairly quickly.

You can contact Jay in care of RF Specialists Inc., PO Box 849, Hampshire Illinois, 60140 or by e-mail to w9rm (at) ARRL (dot) net.

(VHF Reflector)

**

ENFORCEMENT: TENNESSEE UNLICENSED BROADCASTER HIT WITH $10000 NAL

The FCC has issued a Notice of Apparent Liability in the amount of $22,000 to Arthur Lee Young of Cosby, Tennessee. This for his alleged operation of an unlicensed radio transmitter on the frequency 87.9 MHz and refusing to allow an inspection of that radio station. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Cheryl Lasik, K9BIK, has more:

--

In a March 27th release, The FCC’s said that back on April 14, 2011, agents from the Enforcement Bureau’s Atlanta Office used direction-finding techniques to locate the source of radio frequency transmissions on 87.9 MHz to Arthur Lee Young’s residence. During that first visit, Young permitted an inspection of the radio station. He also admitted that he owned the radio equipment and voluntarily relinquished it to the agents. Case closed you would think? Well not so fast.

Only a few weeks ago on February 29th an agent from the Atlanta Office again used direction-finding techniques to locate the source of radio frequency transmissions on the frequency 87.9 MHz. Once again he T-hunted it to Young’s residence. This time Young and his wife met with the agent outside of the residence, but Young refused to speak to with him. Young’s wife, however, acknowledged that her husband was operating an unlicensed radio station from their home. The agent asked to inspect the station, but Mr. Young refused the request and walked away. That’s when the agent informed Young that refusing to allow an inspection is a separate violation of the applicable law.

Now its’ all come home to roost. In issuing the Notice of Apparent Liability the FCC says that Arthur Lee Young apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Communications Act by operating an unlicensed radio transmitter. Also, that he violated Section 303 N of the Act by refusing the Commissions’ agent access to inspect the station. Added the two violations together, and noting that the violation of Section 301 was repeated more than once, the FCC says that Young is apparently liable for forfeiture in the amount of $22,000.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Cheryl Lasek, K9BIK, in Zion, Illinois.

--

As is always the case, Young was given the customary 30 days from the date of publication of the finding to pay or to file an appeal. (FCC)

**



HAMVENTION 2012 NEWS: AFFILIATED EVENT PLANNERS NEED TO NOTIFY HAMVENTION WEBMASTER ASAP

The Dayton Hamvention website administrator is asking planners of affiliated events to advise him as to when and where these events will be taking place and to do so as soon as possible.

Hamvention Webmaster Richard Rieben, KE4WLE, says in a post to the Hamvention blog that as of now, listings are sparse. This is mainly because planners of these events have thus far not notified either himself or the Dayton Amateur Radio Association as to who is sponsoring this years ancillary events and where they are being held.

Reiben says that if your group is hosting or organizing an event and would like that event publicized in the Hamvention program and on the web site to please send the required information in a word document. This must include what it is, where and when its being held. Also you must include whom to contact, a daytime phone number, your e-mail and any website URL if you have one.

Please send this information by e-mail to program (at) Hamvention (dot) org. KE4WLE adds that the cut-off date for submissions is May 1st, but the soon you can get this material to him the better. Again the e-mail address where to send this information is program (at) Hamvention (dot) org. (KE4WLE, Hamvention remailer))

**

NAMES IN THE NEWS: LEO LAPORTE, W6TWT, LIVE FROM NAB

Leo Laporte, W6TWT, will be bringing his popular netcast network, TWiT, This Week in Tech, to the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas the third week in April. This according to TWIT Live Events Producer Lynn Fu who says that for the second year in a row that TWIT will be the official streaming partner at giant NAB gathering.

Leo along with his team of high tech guru's will broadcast live from the TWiT stage inside the South Lower Hall from April 16th to the 19th. According to Fu, the plan is to take a look at the latest broadcasting products, content creation and distribution technologies, professional audio and video equipment and much more. Fu says the TWIT video crew will tour exhibition booths and interview vendors, using a variety of hosts to keep people entertained as they tune in. Unfortunately the workshops will not be streamed.

TWiT first aired in 2005, originally under the title "The Revenge of The Screen Savers." These days the TWiT Network gets around 5 million downloads a month. TWiT also produces such netcasts as Home Theater Geeks and of course Ham Nation which is hosted by Bob Heil, K9EID, and Gordon West, WB6NOA. You can tune in the live coverage of NAB at live.twit.tv or access the coverage later via the TWIT TV website's on-demand feature. To get more information on TWiT, go to twit.tv. (Source: TWIT-TV; RW)

**

NAMES IN THE NEWS: HEIL SOUND TO AGAIN HOST HAB HAM RADIO RECEPTION

And speaking about Bob Heil, K9EID, he and his wife Sarah will again be co-hosting this years National Association of Broadcasters Convention Ham Radio Reception. This 2012 gathering takes place in Ballroom B at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel on Wednesday, April 18th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Pacific time.

According to K9EID, this event is open to all Amateur Radio operators attending the NAB convention. He notes that last year over 800 attendees enjoyed the free drinks, food and $16,000.00 worth of prizes that were given away.

Bob also tells Newsline Leo Laporte, W6TWT will live stream the entire two hours of the reception on his TWIT Internet television network at live.twit.tv. Also in attendance will be Bob’s Ham Nation co-hosts Gordon West, WB6NOA and George Thomas, W5JDX. (K9EID)
.

**

BREAK 2

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)

**

THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD: FRED MAIA, W5YI, - S.K.

The ham radio operator whose work in eliminating mandatory Morse testing and in turn appears to have escalated that mode to new heights of popularity has become a Silent Key. Amateur Radio Newsline’s Mark Abramowicz, NT3V, reports on the life and passing of Fred Maia, W5YI:

--

We could probably safely say tens of thousands in the amateur radio community had some kind of contact with Fred Maia, W5YI, over the last 35 years.

Some may have been early readers of his W5YI Report.

Others may have been regular consumers of his "Ticket Talk" and, later, the monthly column, "Washington Readout," published in CQ magazine.

Still others may have had an even more intimate relationship with Fred and his work thanks to using his license study guides to get their ham tickets.

Maybe they even went to a W5YI-sponsored VE testing session and took their license exams under supervision of people who were trained by Fred Maia.

Still others who had a closer relationship with him and numbered among his friends say he was probably one of the most passionate promoters of the amateur radio service and ham radio licensing of his time.

His good friend and partner, Gordon West, WB6NOA, recalls the controversy W5YI generated when he led the campaign some years ago to eliminate the Morse Code from amateur radio license requirements. And, West says, this from a guy who loved CW and was really good at it.

"In the military, he was great at copying CW at 30, 40 and 50 wpm," West recalls Maia telling him.

"So, it was a bit by surprise that he would author rulemaking legislation that would ultimately lead to a code-free - he called it, Communicator Class license.

"That's right, he wanted to do away with what he felt was a barrier for new hams - the CW - knowing all too well that once the new ham got on the air they would begin to learn and love CW."

Rich Moseson, W2VU, editor of CQ magazine, says few may remember that it was Fred Maia who pressed the FCC on the volunteer examination program for ham radio licensing.

"One of the leading people behind the implementation of the volunteer examining program and when that came to fruitition, he was one of the first people who applied to be a volunteer examiner coordinator and, in fact, was the first person or organization named as a VEC," Moseson recalls.

Moseson says he had lots of interaction with W5YI about his popular "Washington Readout," column for CQ. Moseson says it was one of the most popular and well read parts of CQ every month.

Moseson says it's difficult to quantify the impact Maia had on so many who are hams today.

"His devotion to the amateur radio service was unparalleled and he was responsible for helping untold thousands of people become hams or get their licenses upgraded or get the call signs that they wanted both through his column in CQ and through his W5YI-VEC organization," Moseson says.

Moseson says Maia actually retired from the W5YI-VEC group back in 2000 and turned the management of it over to Larry Pollock, NB5X, but still had an extensive hand in its operations. Moseson says it will continue as it has for the past 12 years.

As far as the column in CQ goes, Moseson says he is looking for a successor, perhaps not someone who writes in the same style as W5YI, but someone who can offer readers similar material.

Fred Maia, W5YI, died on March 28 after a bout with cancer. He was 76.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Mark Abramowicz, NT3V, in Philadelphia.

--

Fred Maia, W5YI, is survived by his wife, Doris, and two daughters. A memorial service was held on Saturday March 31st in Arlington, Texas. (ARNewsline™, CQ, WB6NOA, W2VU)

**

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: ARISS MENTOR INTRODUCTION AT DAYTON 2012

AMSAT and ARRL are teaming up during the 2012 Dayton Hamvention to recruit new Amateur Radio on the International Space Station or ARISS mentors. At 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time On May 18th and 19th the ARRL stage area will be used by AMSAT to explain the need for additional ARISS mentors. It will also outline the requirements and responsibilities needed to help provide a reliable conversation between astronauts and selected schools or groups. All amateurs attending Hamvention 2012 are invited to attend. (ARISS)

**

WORLDBEAT: RADIO NETHERLANDS TO DROP DUTCH SHORTWAVE LANGUAGE BROADCASTS IN MAY

Radio Netherlands is in the news again with word that the international broadcaster will terminate Dutch language transmissions world-wide on May 11th. And to say farewell to Dutch speaking listeners around the world the station plans to hold a 24-hour marathon broadcast from 2000 UTC on May 10th until 2000 UTC on May 11th. Frequencies and a listing of program content should be posted soon to the Radio Netherlands Dutch language website.

**

HAM HAPPENINGS: DX UNIVERSITY APRIL 20 – LAST CALL TO REGISTER

The annual 'DX University' will take place in Visalia, California, on Friday, April 20th. On the program are several of the world's most renowned DXers who will share their knowledge. You will also hear some vital tips on making DXCC and on achieving Honor Roll status.

So far over 120 hams have already reserved their place at this session. There are still a few seats left. Go to www.dxuniversity.com to register. (DX University)

**

DX

In DX, PA7JWC and PD7DB operating stroke PJ2 will be on the air from Curacao through the 9th April. They will operate SSB, CW, RTTY and PSK on 80 through 10 meters. QSLs via Logbook of The World is preferred otherwise send paper QSL’s to their home callsigns, either direct and via the bureau.

JA1XGI will be active as A35XG from Tonga through the 9th of April on 30, 17 and 12 metes using CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL him also via his home callsign, direct or via the bureau.

ON4AEO and several other operators will be active as 3DA0FC from Swaziland from April 6th to the 10th. They plan to operate SSB, RTTY and PSK on 80 through 10 meters. QSL via ON4CJK, direct or via the bureau.

Lastly, GM6TW will be operating from the Inner Hebrides from April 7th to 13th. His main operating location will be the Isle of Jura, but he also- hopes to activate from Islay and Colonsay as well. No frequencies or modes were given. QSL via M0UTD.


(Above from various DX news sources)

**

THAT FINAL ITEM: ELECTRONIC HERITAGE - SCHNECTADY MUSEUM GETS ALL GE VIDEO

And finally this week a story about the work of a museum doing all it can to preserve some of electronics past. Here’s Jeff Clark, K8JAC:

--

The Schenectady Museum is using the YouTube dot com website to rebroadcast more than 1,000 of its General Electric films, which date back to 1915. According to the museum curator Chris Hunter, the archive was previously available only on 16 millimeter film and was viewed infrequently because of its physical condition and the cumbersome process to watch the films using an optical projector.

Hunter said that the museum had long wanted to digitize the collection in order to preserve it but until recently it had been cost prohibitive to do so. Now, thanks to grants from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Life Members’ Foundation, the museum was able to purchase a high-definition film transfer unit and hire and operator for it.

Among the film artifacts now existing in the digital domain are advertisements, raw footage of equipment tests, company picnics and promotional clips. Also transferred is the famed early television series titled the General Electric Theater. It was hosted by former President Ronald Reagan.

The museum hopes to finish uploading all of its film transferred videos to YouTube in the next year. It will then begin digitizing its 1,200 video tape based archives. A direct link to what has already been uploaded and available for viewing is at tinyurl.com/ge-on-youtube

--

Again that U-R-L to screen all of those historic General Electric films is tinyurl.com/ge-on-youtube (Schnetady Daily Gazette, ARNewsline™)

**

NEWSCAST CLOSE

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 newsline(at) arnewsline (dot) 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

A reminder that the nominating period for the 2012 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year Award is now open. Full details and a downloadable nominating form are on our website at arnewsline.org/yhoty.

For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk, I’m Jim Damron, N8TMW, saying 73 and we thank you for listening.

Amateur Radio Newsline™ is Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.